Friday, May 28, 2010


I had such high hopes for the Night Spinner. I was hoping it would revitalize my Eldar army but it sadly doesn't strike me as terribly effective. That said, I'm still buying the kit for the Prisms, and I'm going to magnetize it. I also intend on trying the vehicle out since I already have the Forgeworld kit and see if it really is as bad as it seems.

The biggest problem I have with it is that it's in the Heavy Support slot. There's already too much competition in that slot. Furthermore, I wish it was a Heavy 2 or something.

I really hope this isn't presaging the new Eldar codex.

/minor rant off.

Oh, and last day of school today! Man I love being a teacher.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Kill-Team Tournament and FAQ?

In a few months my local store owner will be hosting a Kill-Team tournament. We have a lot of brand new players in the area so the owner wants to make it Troops only. This will make it somewhat bland, but a single Vendetta won't dominate like it normally does. It's not the most competitive but it does allow the new guys to participate. This means we have to come up with some kind of FAQ because there's a lot of gray areas in KT.

I also want to point out that this isn't an argument about the merits of a KT tournament, it is what it is but we might as well clear up as many gray areas as possible.

As much as I love to stick to RAW (rules as written) KT is a different issue than standard 40k. In some cases I think you have to go with RAI (rules as intended).

So here's a few things I think need clarification, questions that people have asked during some of our games, and I'd appreciate it if you can come up with more problems or solutions. These are just my first impressions, I haven't thought about them in depth yet and would appreciate as much input as possible.

1. Do squads have to deploy together and then move off separately, or do they deploy individually just like they were their own units?

Since each model is its own unit, they don't have to start off in coherency.

2. How do things like Orders and Exarch powers work, and other "benefits the squad" type rules?

RAW would suggest that since each model is its own unit it would only affect one guy. That makes upgrade characters kind of pointless (and defeats the purpose of Kill-Team, where it is supposed to be about individuality). A possible solution is to have the powers affect only models that stay within coherency of the character granting the upgrade power. That way you still get the benefit but trade off your flexibility and make yourself more vulnerable to blasts.

3. How do transports work?

Since each model is an individual unit, RAW would say that only one guy can be in it at a time. However, RAI would rule that it can fit as many guys as its normal capacity, and that you don't have to embark/disembark the whole squad at once.

4. How does the Doom's aura work?

Since each model is its own unit, each model has to make its own test. This might make the Doom too powerful (though he's always more powerful on paper) but I'm not sure how to balance it. Although in the last KT game I played with him my opponent simply meched up and the Doom couldn't do anything.

5. Reserves aren't used in the KT scenario. What about a unit that must start in reserve such as a drop pod?

Remember, Codex trumps expansion. So if it says that it MUST or MAY start in reserve, it can. Units that do not have that rule cannot go in reserve.

6. What about Ymgarl Stealers? Do they have to all go in the same terrain piece as a unit?

Each is its own unit, so you'd have to clarify in which terrain each individual model was hiding.

7. When half the Kill-Team is gone, what if there is no model remaining on the table with a LD value?

I would rule that you use the "standard" leadership of the army. Space Marines would be an 8, IG and Orks would be a 7, Eldar would be an 8 and so on.

8. What if your last models are fearless?

They still have to take the leadership test. It's not a morale test.

This is what I've come up with so far, some may seem obvious but others will likely require clarification if we're going to hold a tournament. If you've got any input, let me hear it! Whether you agree or disagree please provide your reasoning.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fixing Eldar: What If?

Eldar seem to be getting weaker every time a new codex comes out. Space Wolves nullify their powers with impunity (and don't even get me started on Njal, an upstart who is a better psyker than Eldrad), IG get a fast skimmer just as good as a Wave Serpent and cheaper, Blood Angels also get a fast skimmer. Seer Councils get shut down and other armies can match the speed of mass skimmers. Aspects mostly suck, leaving Dire Avengers as Falcon upgrades to make them scoring and Fire Dragons are suicide squads.

That said, I still love my Eldar. Tyranids are just a fling, Eldar are my first and true Warhammer love. I'm positively giddy over the new Prism and Nightspinner. They are due for a new codex eventually, so here's some ideas I've been kicking around. I haven't really thought these through, so some may be imbalanced and others may not help at all, but that's what the comments are for.

I put my thoughts on some of these, in italics.

1. What if every Farseer's first cast power were unstoppable, but you could nullify the second normally?
This would force you to choose which power is the most important to you, and I hope something like this makes it in. Foolish Mon-keigh should not be able to nullify a Farseer so easily.
2. What if Farseers could use one Warlock power per turn for free (after all they were Warlocks once)?
3. What if the Avatar could join squads and not be picked out, much like the Hive Tyrant in a Guard unit?
4. What if the Avatar could deep strike (and he'd better get fleet)?
5. What if the Phoenix Lords allowed you to take one or two squads of their aspect as Troops (I got this idea from Stelek)?
I really like this idea. It would create so many more interesting possibilities in army builds. We would need Warp Spider and Shining Spear Phoenix Lords, however.

6. Fire Dragons are currently a suicide squad- what if they could shoot out of the rear of a Wave Serpent (and perhaps the Wave Serpent counts as open topped in a turn they do that)?
7. What if Wraithguard kept their gun as is, but with a 24" range?
I really like the idea of Wraithguard, space elf zombie robots, but that short range just kills them, seeing how pathetic they are in close combat.

8. What if Pathfinders were an upgrade character for Rangers, much like and Exarch, that would confer new abilities on the squad? One power could be to allow him to take a shot at any member of a squad. And what if they could fire twice per turn as another power?

Fast Attack:
9. Swooping Hawks, as they are, don't know what they want. They have anti vehicle grenades and pathetic anti troop guns. What if they could do fly-by bombings like in second edition (with either the Haywire or the Frag grenades), with the number of bombs being dependent on the number of warriors in the squad (perhaps one bomb per two members)?
They used to be able to fly up to 36" and drop bombs anywhere on their path. That was fun.
10. Warp Spiders. How I used to love thee so. What if they got the flame template again?
Old school Warp Spiders were unstoppable with large flame templates and instant death. I would like people to be afraid of them again, not simply mildly annoyed.
11. What if Shining Spears were cheaper and could come in larger squads?
12. What if Vypers could come in squadrons of 5?

Heavy Support:
13. The biggest problem with Heavy Support is there's just too much competition. To resolve this, what if Falcons could be bought as dedicated transports for certain units, such as Elites?
14. What if the Fire Prism came in squadrons?
I would love this. GW gets to sell more models, and you can take plenty of tanks in the same list. You could even have the Prisms fire individually or charge up for SUPER SAYIN OVER 9000
15. What if the Night Spinner doesn't suck (I would like to see Heavy 2, large blast, barrage, S6 AP 6), and could be bought in squadrons?
16. What if Wraithlords had more attacks and could live without a psychic babysitter?
17. What if Heavy Weapons platforms were bought as attachments to a Guardian squad, like Imperial Guard (and had a drastic improvement in range/power)?
18. What if Dark Reapers had regular missile launchers?
I got into the game because of Maugan Ra. Dark Reapers are my favorite aspect looks wise, and I'd like people to be afraid of them again.

So, thoughts?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let's Talk Boardgames: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot

Could the title be any longer? For this month's installment I thought I'd talk about one of the...odder selections in my board game collection. It's not actually a board game but a card game. A card game with loads of expansions. I'll get to that.


To start off, you draw a hand of seven and lay down two cards. These two cards function like a conveyer belt, and every turn you play the top card so you must plan your game two turns in advance. In order to win you must have the Magic Carrot. There are two carrot decks, one of which is shuffled and laid face down pre-game, the bottom card being the magic carrot. You can buy carrots during the game, or win and steal them. Players who don't have a lot of carrots still have a chance of winning through this draw, though you must have a bunny to win.

There are a variety of cards to play. Some are bunny cards, you need one to win and they tend to die rather quickly. With later expansions you find yourself with more resilient and powerful bunnies. Other cards are attack cards, which range from a level one spatula to a level twelve nuke. There are virus cards which spread, specials which let you gamble your property or steal your opponent's property, along with other shenanigans, monkeyshines, and high-jinks. Most of these cards require you to have a bunny in play so keep them alive!


The cards are rather silly. Attack cards range from a wire whisk (level 1) to nukes (level 12 and can destroy nearby bunnies) to even more ridiculous weapons. The artwork and cards frequently reference classic sci-fi franchises such as Red Dwarf and Star Trek. The creators have invented many, many horrible ways for your bunnies to die. The game certainly does not take itself seriously.

Gameplay is fairly simple in the beginning. The rules are easy to learn with the starter set. You're allowed to trade with other players which can lead to hilarious negotiations and impromptu alliances. Don't expect them to last though, they are frequently shattered when you are betrayed.


A large chunk of cards require you to have a bunny in play in order to use the card. If you don't start with a bunny it can be discouraging to not be able to do anything until one shows up. I played one game where a player didn't draw a single bunny for the whole game. I have also had times where I finally got a bunny out only to have it killed seconds later.

There are a large number of expansions for this game. They are individually cheap but to get all of them is a sizable investment. Each one adds a new level of complexity to the game which is fun for experienced players but it makes it near impossible to introduce the game to new players in this expanded state. You then have to sort out all your cards in order to teach a new player the game unless you want to explain a lot of stuff.


If I can use a 40k analogy, this game is not for the Competitive Gamer, but is the kind for the Fluffy Bunny. It's near impossible to set up a game winning strategy, a large chunk of the game is luck of the draw. Strategy mostly comes in your personal interactions; do you play it safe and be everyone's friend, or do you join in picking on the leader? A Competitive Gamer would get frustrated with the reduced amount of control while a Fluffy Bunny would enjoy the silly cards and situations, along with the personal interactions.

It also greatly depends on your group. I've played the game with lame groups and it was less fun, while with certain people the game is hilarious. I have fun with it- and I also enjoy high strategy games like Agricola and Dominion. This game really depends on your group. This is one of those "gateway games" that help introduce people to board games other than Monopoly.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poll: Which Aspect Warrior Would You Be?

If you were an Eldar, and felt the path of the Warrior calling you, which aspect would you choose first? Don't think gameplay stats and rules, simply consider the fluff. Here's my thoughts.

Fire Dragons: Burninating the countryside! These guys also get to blow up big things. If you love explosions and fire these are your guys. Of course they have the shortest lifespan of all Aspect warriors it seems.

Striking Scorpions: Stealth and brutal close combat. You also get to shoot dakka out of your face. I would lean towards this one.

Howling Banshees: If you're a dude (there are male Banshees, they're just rare), you get to hang out with all the hot chicks. Of course, everyone will wonder about you...

Dire Avengers: The standard soldier. You are basically a glorified guardian. Also, you'll frequently find yourself stuffed in the back of a Falcon just to make it scoring. Boring.

Shining Spears: You get to ride on a Jetbike and skewer your opponents. Sounds fun! I ride motorcycles so I definitely favor this aspect as well.

Warp Spiders: Jumping in and out of combat, masters of surprise. It would be a fun aspect but I'm not so keen on risking my immortal soul with each jump.

Swooping Hawks: It's everyone's dream to fly. That dream can come true with the path of the Hawk. I also lean towards this aspect.

Dark Reapers: These guys sit back, looking awesome, and rain death from afar. I like this aspect as well.

So which would I choose? Ignoring gameplay aspects I think I'd go with the Swooping Hawks. My second choice would be Dark Reapers followed by Striking Scorpions. I like the idea of flying around, dodging the enemy in an aerial dance while keeping them at range. I like the idea of taking out your enemy while he can't do anything in return. Plus, you get to fly. How cool is that?

My second choice is the Dark Reaper. It's like being a sniper with a rocket launcher and good armor.

My third choice is the Striking Scorpion. They're basically ninjas that shoot dakka out of their faces.

So what would you pick and why? Vote in the right hand column!

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