Friday, October 30, 2009

Ran the 40k Zombie Adventure Last Night...

*Edit:  I have updated the rules, you can find them here.*

...and I can say it really needs some work! It was fun, but suffered from some of the same problems that 2nd edition did. There's just too much stuff to keep track of. I am going to simplify the power ups and simplify the zombies. I also think the game would be better off if there were a player controlling the zombies, but if I simplify it enough that may not be necessary. I'm thinking next time of reducing all power levels, and having the players be little more than Guardsmen, or some kind of rank-and-file trooper but with shotguns, so it comes down to skill and a bit of luck instead of who has the best character options in their codex.

Here's the field. We started in the graveyard, and worked our way forward.

Here's the escape vehicle with the trophy nearby.

Also! Wolf Lords are overpowered in this scenario. He was just mowing through zombies getting ridiculous numbers of attacks. Even after dying, the Wolf Lord still made it back into the lead simply through wiping out inordinate amounts of zombies, and then consolidating.

My group went all out and we had great terrain, great models and a lot of fun. One group member even made a trophy out of an old Necromunda figure. In the end, we ran out of time and decided to give the trophy to the Wolf Lord player as he had killed at least 50 zombies, was the furthest ahead even after dying. No one had reached the escape vehicle, but since he was the closest and also owned the zombie models (which were a mix of Fantasy zombies, skeletons, Skaven, and D&D miscellanea) we decided he should get it.

These are the three characters I chose. I only used the Autarch, but I should have ran the Broodlord. Close combat was way better than shooting.

A group photo of all the characters prepared. We had ten players, and some brought more than one character.

The Space Marine Captain getting eaten by Zombies. He died.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Zombie 40k Night!

**Double Edit:  I have updated the rules.  Here is the new version.**

*Edit: I have tested the scenario and it is fun but kind of broken! Here is the post in which I review how it went.*

I read about something like this a while back, and figured I'd write up my own version of this adventure. Here is the PDF. I have not playtested it yet. We were supposed to play it tonight, but Nurgle has seen fit to strike me down with some kind of nasty flu. So my group will either play without me or reschedule to Thursday night, when hopefully I'll be better.

If you haven't downloaded it yet, here's the intro:

++On a distant planet in the Imperium, war was raging. Like most planets in the Imperium, this one happened to be a Necron Tomb World, house important Chaos artifacts, be part of a Tau expansion, in the path of a Tyranid Hive-Fleet, and in the path of an Ork Waaaagh! Furthermore, the Eldar decided to join battle for reasons unknown. During the course of the fighting, Nurgle let slip his latest creation, Imperial Designated H1Z1, or the Plague Zombie Flu. This outbreak ground the fighting to a halt as the plague affected all combatants, xenos, machine, and human alike. Even Nurgle himself lost control of his own plague zombies. The leaders of each faction called a temporary uneasy truce. How this was managed is unknown but our plot demands it, thus it is so. The plague became so bad that the survivors became desperate to escape the planet before Exterminatus is declared.++

The objective is to reach the escape vehicle. Your character is any Independent Character from your codex. There is no points limit, but the character must be on foot.

There are character upgrades to balance out those characters with fewer options.

There are also 4 different kinds of zombies. When attacking a zombie with shooting or close combat, you have the rending ability which represents the chance of getting a headshot.

Zombies respawn, as do exploding barrels.

There are power up boxes scattered across the field, and when you get a headshot zombies will drop a box as well. Here's a sample power up:

Shotgun: Despite all the technological advancement of the galaxy, there is no better zombie-killing tool than a good ole’ pump action shotgun. The shotgun has the following profile:
Range 12” S: 4 (see special) AP: 6 (see special) Assault 1
If fired at a zombie within 6” you do not need to roll to hit, and that zombie suffers an automatic wound with no save possible. It may also be fired once at any time during the Shamble Phase. The Shotgun has 6 shots. Further pickups of this item will add D3+3 shots to your inventory. Once all ammo is gone it is discarded.

There is also an item called "The Hat Of Chuck Norris." Needless to say it's pretty potent.

Please note that it is not really intended to be balanced, but to be a fun zombie-killing night. But who cares about balance when there's zombies to kill? So what are you waiting for? Download it and let me know what you think! Run it with your groups and give me feedback so I can improve it for next time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barbed Hierodule Completed!

Here he is! Look at all his majesty.

The arms are magnetic for storage purposes. This didn't take as long as I thought it would. The Citadel Medium Drybrush is amazing. Thanks to it, I discovered how to get my carapace effect much faster.

Painting a large model has its own set of rules! I tried using my normal claw highlighting techniques but they didn't work so I had to develop some new tricks. I also should have put the magnets in before painting...but I didn't think of it until I was almost finished.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Using Forgeworld in Regular Games

I used my completed Hierodule (pics forthcoming) in our weekly game Tuesday night. It was quite the interesting experience. For one, we had a new player come so we did a three sided game following the rules in the back of the rulebook. Secondly, I had a 700 point unit in my army.

In the end, I don't think it is overpowered. It's not something I would do every game, but it is fun once and a while. It caused a lot of damage, but in the end was brought down by TH/SS terminators and a missile launcher. I can see how people say it is overpowered as it took out a lot of stuff, but I don't think it even earned its points back. I actually lost the game.

I also took my Malanthrope. While it is not overpowered, the more I use it the more I realize its rules are all wrong. All lookers on said they were surprised that it was more nasty in CC than with psychic powers. If they do put it in the 'nid codex, I hope they fix those rules.

The three sided game rules are interesting. I think I'd give them another try, with a bit of adaptation. For one, make sure the home bases are equidistant. If one is too far away, the other two players will weaken each other and the third can mop up. But such is the nature of cutthroat.

Anyway, I'm going to be coming up with some new scenarios for 40k. I am working on a Halloween themed one right now. I'll post it after I get it out of the rough draft phase.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Tyranid Mystery Creature

Image totally copyright Gamesworkshop

Well here's our first view of one of the new creatures from the codex. It looks like it's got Lash Whips, Feeder Tendrils and extreme Toxic Miasma. It also looks to be part Ravener. The size is unclear, however. Is it January yet?

All I can say though is that it's going to be a pain to pin that tail if this is a metal kit.

I dont' know if this is a psychic creature, the head isn't big enough.

The only thing I don't like about it is the way the tendrils are sculpted, but then again that may have something to do with the color.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Rumors! Thoughts!

Summarized, here's the new Tyranid rumors to come out of Gamesday Italy:

Plastic Trygon (no confirmation on whether it's Apoc or not)

None of the current plastics are being redone (I heard this one a few months ago).

Some metals will be made plastic (My guesses are Gargoyles first, Tyrant second).

I was personally hoping for more, but it seems GW is running a tight ship these days. Of all the things, I am really hoping for the plastic Trygon. People are saying that they won't ever put an Apocalypse unit into a regular codex; but what of the Valkyrie? They simply modified some rules and it works perfectly in-game. Also, a Trygon is hardly Apocalypse material. It is overpriced and very vulnerable. You can make a Carnifex just as tough, with a better save and for half the cost.

Some people say that they won't put a Trygon in the codex because it's too big. However, it's only about the size of a drop pod. I of course would be a very happy hive node if the Trygon made it into the codex. Even if it was a 0-1 restriction I would still buy three.

Of course none of this is fact yet. Just because someone higher up said it at Gamesday and said quote made it on the interwebs, doesn't mean it's true. All we can do is wait for the inevitable leak, or until GW decides to impart their knowledge unto us.

Update: Gaunt boxes have been pulled from the GW store. Does this mean they'll be splitting the contents? Rumors suggest the base box size will go up to 10 models, but they'd have to re-do the sprue if that was the case.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fact vs. Rumor

I have been closely following the rumors thread on Warpshadow, and have been thinking about the nature of rumors with GW's latest policy. In past days we would already have the full listings, now it seems like we have to wait until stores get their copies. A couple of choice tidbits seem to make their way through, but a lot of those become fan speculation. Fan speculation becomes rumor and rumor becomes truth.

Here are the facts about the new Tyranids:

It was written by Robin Cruddace.

It will be released in January of 2010.

3 plastic models and 3 metal models will be released simultaneously.

The codex will have never-before-seen creatures.

There is a much circulated quote from Phil Kelly that says that there will be 4 new creatures. Since I have seen no official word on it other than a rumors thread over on BoLS I'm not counting it as truth.

That is all we know. The rest is rumor, hearsay and speculation. Some of the rumors may be truth. For example, it seems practically a given that there will be a plastic Trygon. However, there has been no official confirmation and even those who are in the know say that they don't know if it will actually be in the codex or if it will be an Apocalypse side-release. Other rumors of cheap gaunts seem very plausible, while others of 8 point Genestealers seem very far-fetched.

Finally, the last few pages of the Warpshadow rumors thread discuss what that big thing is in the background of the new codex cover. Many people think that whatever it is, it must be in the codex be it an Exocrine or some other monstrosity. Whatever it is, I must point out that Phantom Titans are depicted on the cover of the 4th edition Eldar codex, and yet that model is not found in the codex. I have tried twice now to register on the Warpshadow forums to point this out, but they haven't activated my account yet so I'm posting it here. To me, that giant spikey thing in the background isn't supposed to be anything other than a suggestion of a monstrous Tyranid horror.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Econo-Box: A Review

I am desperate for a new carrying case. Currently, I carry my models in an ancient leather doctor's bag which I have no idea how old it is or how it even came to be in my possession. I don't even know if it was a doctor's bag, but it looks just like the ones doctors would carry in the early 20th century while making house calls. It is made of very firm, wire reinforced leather. I place my models in, and use towels to separate the layers. Let me assure you, I am well versed in the benefits of a good matte sealant.

While I am saving up for a nice one, I figured I'd give the "Fuzz Box" from the Warstore a try. The price is only $12.99, even if it was terrible at least the price isn't too bad. It's a good thing I didn't throw down for more than one as I was sadly disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Warstore. I pretty much order exclusively from them. I was disappointed in this product because I couldn't fit anything in it. But fear not! There's good news too. I'll cover that more later, but for now I'll give a good description.

The box is about 15"x11"x2". It comes with three foam sheets; a top, middle and bottom one. You have to punch out the holes in the middle one leaving you with 66 foam blocks. The cardboard is- well, cardboard. When I got home from work I found my daughter standing on it. Why was she standing on it when there's plenty of other places to stand? The world may never know. She's about 20 lbs and she only put a slight bend into the lid, so that's a plus. I hadn't punched out the squares yet so it was a little firmer inside so I'm not sure if that's a good test.

Here's where the box failed for me: it doesn't fit any of the armies that I play. I have both Eldar and Tyranids. The only Eldar unit that fit inside were Fire Dragons and Guardians. Dark Reapers kind of fit, but the Exarch wouldn't fit. Warp Spiders kind of fit, but the gun really sticks out. The only Tyranid units that fit were my Termagants and Spore Mines. The Spinegaunts (I only have 2) kind of fit. Here is some photographic evidence.

As you can see not much really fits. Click on the picture to get a better idea of how everything fits (or doesn't).

This is what I'm using the box for. I have 34 gaunts, and they fit well enough. If the rumors are true and Termagants are going to be 4 points and get Without Number for free...well I'm going to need a lot more and this box will be great for storing them.

I considered cutting the squares to fit my guys better, but the amount I'd need to cut wouldn't be worth it as I'd be basically combining two squares. That trick might work for the 60mm Guard Heavy Weapons teams, however.

Now for the good news. At my big game on Monday, I tested several different armies. Space Marines fit perfectly. Assault Marines maybe not (I didn't test them) but Tactical Marines fit great. Slugga Boyz fit perfectly (I did not test the Choppa Boyz but I'm pretty sure they'll fit, especially the AoBR guys). Imperial Guard fit perfectly. I'm sure Necrons will fit great, as well as Tau. So if you play one of those armies, go for it! The Fuzz Box would be a great buy for you. But if you play Eldar, Tyranids or any other army that uses small bases but with tons of gribbly bits, cresting plumes, dynamic poses or what have you, you might want to reconsider.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Painting Challenge Failed! Also, The Curse of Painted Models

Args! I failed to complete my Hierodule in time for the game. All I had left was to highlight the black and the blue. Of course, if I didn't have a family I totally would have got it done.

Anyway, we played a 6,000 pt apoc game today. Here is a brief batrep: It was me and Dark Angels versus Wolves, Guard, and Orks. Two of the most underwhelming codices versus three of the best. The first unit of mine to die was the Hierodule. He was in cover. Out of 7 missile launcher and lascannon shots that wounded him, I only passed one cover save. So the dice struck me down on the first turn. The second model of mine to die was my Malanthrope. So my two Forgeworld goodies were the first gone. Then a few Genestealers died, an the next guy to go was my Broodlord! Why do all the painted guys go first?

The Ork guy told me that in the first game he used his completed Stompa it got wasted on the first turn. Has anyone else had this curse?

Oh yeah, we ended up losing the battle by 100 points. The central objective was contested and when we totaled up the points we were found wanting.

A funny moment from the battle was a lone surviving Genestealer who charged some Long Fangs. In over three full game turns of combat, neither side inflicted any wounds on the other.

Finally, here's some pictures of my WIP Hierodule. It is past this stage now, but here's what I've got going on.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Space Hulk: Brother Claudio

Here it is, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. This was my entry for the Jawaballs painting contest. The hardest part was probably the heraldry.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Ultimate Painting Challenge

Well, sort of. Monday we're playing a big Apoc game since for some reason I have Columbus Day off. I really want to play Tyranids and use my Barbed Hierodule, but it is currently in pieces. In order to assemble it, it needs to be painted. So, I have one weekend to finish. I want it to be the same standard as my Malanthrope. After all, with Forgeworld models why settle for a tabletop quality paint job? I figure if I pay that much I might as well make it awesome.

On another note, I think the Hierodule is a bit overpriced. He's really just a souped up Carnifex. Of course, most Forgeworld things are overpriced, but this one I think is overpriced on the order of about 200 pts. Especially when a 20 man ork squad with a power klaw can take him out quite easily.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What the Dark Angels Need

I was thinking about this the other day, and I thought of a few things that Dark Angels need to become a more characterful army. Their looks are second to none, but their rules don't exactly follow suit. Here's what I came up with:

Deathwing: The Deathwing are quite used to going up against insurmountable odds, it's what gave them their bone-white color scheme and that tradition still rings true. To reflect this, all Deathwing should be immune to the effects of the No Retreat! rule. They should also have to select an opponent's HQ at the beginning of the game, against that model and its unit they gain the Preferred Enemy USR as this HQ has information about the Fallen.

Ravenwing: All of them should have the Skilled Rider USR, and furthermore they should always get some kind of save, or have their normal save increased to reflect their skill at dodging incoming fire. Back in 3rd edition, they had a "jink" save that was always on a 6+.

Also, why bother giving Sammael a jetbike when no one else can take one? He should be able to take an Honor Guard, all of whom have jetbikes. The Dark Angels have access to many ancient pieces of equipment, why not more than one bike?

They should be able to take the Mortis Pattern Dreadnought.

They may not get a new codex for a while, maybe I should let my friend who plays Dark Angels to try out these rules and see if they are balanced.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Correct Plural of Codex

I've seen it wrong too many times. Time for some prescriptive smackdown. People write codexes, codici, codi, and all manner of linguistic blasphemies. The correct plural of codex is codices. That is all.

Source: Merriam-Webster's dictionary.

*Post Edit*  Please don't recite the crazy Latin rules for plurals.  I am fully aware of them and if we were living in Imperial Rome you would be totally correct on the different declensions.  However, in this case codex is a loanword, and as a result when we're speaking English the correct plural is codices.  GW tends to say codexes which is technically wrong but I'll survive that misuse.

While we're on the subject, the correct plural of octopus is not octopi.  It is octopuses.  Octopus comes from Greek, and the -i ending is Latin.  If you want to get really technical the correct plural is octopodes but nobody uses it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Successful Planetstrike Defense

Last night I defended against Dark Angels and Daemons. For this game we did the second Planetstrike mission. Instead of a Helm's Deep type defense, I put my bastions spread out, with one in the middle, and one on each table edge, slightly off-set so that each bastion could see all the way to the other table edge. I then put my cheapest troops (not easy with Eldar) inside the bastions because I knew they were going to take Flamers and just burn my troops inside.

Inside the bastions I had two units of 5 Rangers, two units of 10 Guardians, and in the center a Vibro-Cannon unit. Each unit is about 100 pts, which isn't too cheap but was the best I could do.

The rest of my army was in reserve. I had a Seer council, 6 bikes, a Falcon full of Fire Dragons, a Fire Prism, and 10 Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent. For the game, I basically flew around turbo-boosting as needed and frying things as needed. This more mobile defense worked out great. Since I only had to claim one objective, I could distract them and pull them far away from the objective I intended to claim, and then turbo-boost into position at the end of the game. I killed very few things, I don't think I killed a single Dark Angel model. I took out as many flamers as I could since they're fast, and I killed a Soul Grinder with a lucky Bright Lance shot, but that was about it. This game was won through resilience and speed.

So for a mobile army like Eldar, try a spread out defense. You force your slower foes to commit, and then you can rapidly redeploy as you see fit. Remember though, in Planetstrike you have to totally clear the objectives. None of this last minute contesting if you are defender.

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