Thursday, 27 September 2012

6th Edition - First Games Thoughts

Morning folks,

We've been a bit without a blog and in the time since my last one, I've played a few of my first games of 6th edition.

Whilst I've not played enough games to pass true judgement on 6th edition (plenty of other people have on their blogs) I thought I'd get some of my feelings towards the edition into words...

1. Lots of faffing.
Now, this is always going to happen with a new edition. Lots of unfamiliarity, lots of new / changed things to memorise and also, lots of things to read and re-read to avoid playing incorrect rules or rules how they were played in 5th edition.

I've read the book a fair bit, read a lot of thoughts and rules commentaries on blogs and then find myself spending half my gaming time on a Monday night turning backwards and forwards in the rulebook, going from the rules for Beasts, to the rules for Difficult Terrain, back to Beasts to compare wording and look for clarification.

All this combined with the necessary hefty FAQs released, means my games are spent with my nose in the book, rather than rolling dice.

2. Pre-Measuring.
This is a minor one, and one I thought was just my mentality, but when I pull the tape measure out to check a distance or see if I'm in range to fire a weapon - I feel like I'm cheating.

Part of the fun I had in 40k was becoming a good eye for range guessing and judgement. However, I have found it to be really helpful at times and stop the issue of moving somewhere (like a Raider out in the open) and then finding yourself an inch short.

3. Heavy focus on Shooting
I don't want to come across as a negative "the sky is falling!" type, but I think my Slugga Boyz days are numbered, probably the same with Hormagaunts and other such fodder Assault units. People will argue they are, people will argue they aren't - that's your own opinion.

Part of this comes from Overwatch (come to that in a minute) and the other part I think comes from certain circumstances such as Cover dropping to a 5+ in the majority and emphasis on Flyers, that these units can do nothing to.

It seems to me that this edition is geared towards shootier armies, with dedicated assault units, as opposed to armies that rely heavily on assault. I can only imagine what sort of pasting my Daemons of Khorne will take when I bring them out.

Maybe when I play using my Orks or Khorne Daemons I'll see it's not so bad - I doubt it - but maybe?

4. Overwatch
This seems like a Marmite rule to me, some people really love it and others absolutely hate it. Admittedly, you'll always hit on a 6 which limits the hits you'll take, but there'll always be that above average roll of the dice.

So far, there's not been TONS of casualties come from Overwatch fire. Usually 1 a time, but I think the mechanic itself needs to be prepared for rather than shooting any unit charging you, all the time.

One idea me and Sanguinius talked about was you having to forgoe shooting and declare you are Overwatching. If this wasn't fair enough, then by forgoing shooting you get to fire at full BS.

All in all, I don't mind Overwatch that much when I'm using certain armies, but I find allowing a unit to shoot twice (albeit as BS1) still favours the unit being charged, rather than the charger.

I dread to think what would have happened if I'd charged a unit of Broadsides on Monday night, with their twin-linked shots and other shenanigans. Whereas in previous editions, charging them would have been a good option to tie them up.

5. Mobility
To me, 6th edition has a LOT more mobility around the board.

In 3rd, 4th and 5th editions, the fact you couldn't move any of the unit if you wanted to fire a heavy weapon was killer. Now the fact you can move other guys, but declare your Heavy Bolter team to be standing still.

And this combined with the fact most heavy weapons can move and fire at Snap Shot means you get away from the 2 gunline setup that plagued past editions, with people too scared to move a squad because then the heavy weapon couldn't fire.

On top of this, I think all missions have the "Line Breaker" objective, which favours mobility as well.

6. Random Charge
Another marmite thing that goes back to the pre-measuring point. I liked the feeling of gauging a charge distance just right and getting into base contact.

Nowadays though, nothing is certain though and all it takes is a bad dice roll to scupper your plans. Which again, makes me think that the game is weighted more towards shooting. You always know your guns range, but your assault range is anywhere between 2" and 12".

On the flip side though, you can increase and even double your charge distance from 5th edition. Which is pretty cool, especially when you manage to pull it off!

7. Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures
I've barely given these a thought in my first games. Each time I try and read those pages in the rulebook I just think to myself that they've overly complicated.

Different flight modes, moving on and off the board, etc. etc. As well as keeping track of all the usual vehicle or MC rules attached to them. If I get to play a few balanced games with them (i.e. No 6 Necron Croissant list of doom) then maybe my opinion will change.

At the moment though, I find myself actively avoiding these rules and choosing armies that don't have access to them, or that I don't own the models for - like my Squats and Dark Eldar (no flyer models)

Seems like this new edition is geared towards these though, as they're all shiney, new and people want / are expected to buy them. So there's no avoiding them in short.

8. Psychic Powers
Here's something I was really interested in to begin with as I loved the Magic stuff in Fantasy. For the time being though, I've not used an army with a Psyker, or never got around to using the psychic power for him.

But the opinion of people is that new psychic powers are "Devstating". Which makes me think about leaving my Orks, and other armies with no Psykers or psychic defence, on the shelf for a while.

I'll be giving my Dark Angles a bash with some psychic powers, as their Codex ones are terrible (until they get the new codex) and when I eventually get around to my Eldar I'll give them a try there too.

Similarly to Flyers though, I find myself going cross-eyed reading the Psychic section. The words go into my brain, then straight back out.

This is a contentious subject before the release of the rulebook. Lots of people were kicking off about it (and still are), but I think it's the best thing for the game until such a time when all the Codexes are FAQed, updated or WD updated to have a flyer, anti-air unit or weapons and either a Psyker or an Anti-Psyker.

I'm on the fence again with this one...

First off, I love the idea of allies from a modelling and painting point of view. It lets me add very small collections of models to paint up and ally into my forces. For example, I'm wanting to add a squad of Firewarriors and a Tau HQ onto my painting backlog. And then it'll probably spiral into adding a unit of Battlesuits, then a unit of Pathfinders, then I might as well add in a squad of Broadsides yeah? And then I fancied adding some of the cooler Grey Knight units into my Guard - HQ, squad of Termies, a small GK squad, Dreadknight and Storm Raven.

See how quickly it spirals into me going from spending £20 to £120?

My counter to it though, is if someone says to me "I'm taking Eldar to tournament X" and then shows up with an Eldar army, supported by Dark Eldar flyer, Lady Malys and whatever else, I feel a bit meh about it.

My major gripe though is when it becomes a massive Cheese-off with what you can get away with in the allies, such as Grey Knights and Necrons? Gimme a break.

I can remember a time when the entire Internet was up in arms over a Blood Angel / Necron team up in a half page bit of fluff, but they're more than happy to let that unholy alliance continue.

Maybe it's just me stuck in my ways though?

10. Game Size and Length
The final point on my first commentary on the tour of 6th edition is about the game size itself.

In past editions, 2000 points has been the top end of what I was willing to play (Apocalypse excluded) and could, at a push, get 2k game done on a club night in a decent amount of time.

In this edition however, 2000 points seems a big stretch to fit into a 2 hour 30 time limit at a tournament, as has been mentioned from people's experiences at the first of the 6th ed tournaments. And also, to fit this comfortably into a game at the club that doesn't end after Midnight.

I've enjoyed my 2 games at 1500 points and think that's the optimum points level for a decent game that doesn't last until Tuesday morning. 1500 also limits the amount of Allies that can be taken (or at least, limits the amount of points spent in your primary force) in my opinion.

There'll still be tournaments and players pushing for bigger games than that ("I want to get these toys into my list and 1500 just isn't enough!!!" etc.).

The amount of new special rules, rolling, initiative step movements, checks, objective rolls, pre-measuring, umming and aahing over decisions, checking rules for Fortifications, how far did that Flyer move? etc. all mean for a slower, but more detailed game.

So that turned out to be a bit more wordy than I was expecting... It was only supposed to be a quick blog but it's turned into War and Peace.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on 6th edition so far. I am enjoying it a lot, but the best way I've heard it described is "6th Edition is a new game that GW lets you use your old toys for". If you think of it that way it eases things a bit.

But I'm sure the more I play, the more I'll get into it and lose my 5th edition mentality.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

At long last - Britcon 2012 results

Hi All,

Angryman here.  4 weeks later than I planned to post, I finally get around to doing a 'Britcon aftermath' blog.  With me working 7 days a week recently I haven't had time in between work/eat/sleep to post but now things are calming down a little here it goes.

1999 points, Tyranid Hive Fleet Tattybojangles

There were 12 people who entered Britcon this year, less than some years but more than others.  The guys who attended were a fairly easy going bunch but there were a few rules queries, mainly due to the fact 6th edition had been released 4 weeks before the event so that was to be expected.

My first opponent was a Chaos Space Marine Nurgle themed list.
We played Crusade with the Dawn of war setup.  It was a win for the Tyranids
the next round draw was as follows

My second round opponent was a Sisters of Battle army.  Lynette who uses this army has been going to Britcon for a number of years, she is a pleasure to play against and her army is fantastically painted.

We played Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil setup (due to the nature of the boards being setup side by side we couldn't play hammer and anvil deployment so we opted for dawn of war instead).  It was a win for the Tyranids

The next round draw was

My third opponent was Chaos Space Marines with Chaos Daemon Allies.  Ali who brought this army has been coming to Britcon for a number of years, she is a very skilled player and fun to play against.

We played Big Guns Never Tire with Vanguard Strike deployment.  It was a win for the Tyranids.

The 4th round draw was

My fourth opponent Martin is another Tyranid player.  We have played each other before and our games have always been close and very enjoyable.

We played The Emperors Will with Dawn of War deployment.  Unfortunately for me the Tyranids won (the wrong ones).  I lost the game on secondary objectives, I couldn't believe it!!!! but it was a good game.

The 5th round draw was
My fifth round opponent was a Blood Angel list

The game was The Scouring with Vanguard Strike deployment.  It was a win for the Tyranids

The sixth round draw was
My Opponent was a Dark Eldar player and non-other than my club mate Mike.

The Mission was Crusade with Hammer and Anvil setup (because of the issue with the tables we decided on dawn of war setup).  It was a win for the Tyranids, and as usual when I play Mike, too much sugar and caffeine was consumed which meant the game was funny as fook.

The competition ended and this is how people were ranked

I finally finished in a scoring position at Briton, the first time in 5 years, second place is very good going (i would have settled for 3rd).  This means next year I'll be pushing for 1st.

In all its glory is the top of my head, my 2nd place prize and Hive Fleet Tattybojangles

The real prize that everyone wanted was one of the 3 'helper' woman walking around the Britcon halls all weekend, the only picture i managed to get was this one
Its not a flattering picture but they were damn fine!!!

All comments welcome.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

[Fluff] Manutia - The Return

I was roaming through the blog this morning to check out some older posts and found a bit of fluff I wrote about the planet of Manutia HERE. I originally wrote this back in May 2010, and since 2 and a bit years have passed since then I thought I'd give a bit of an update...




                ++ EN-ROUTE TO YOU. ++
                ++ MANUTIA. CONFIRM RESPONSE. ++


A year passed without contact from Manutia. The Dark Angels fleet reached the galactic coordinates and found nothing, but a lingering un-natural glow where the planet once was. High command left a small task force of Dark Angels stationed on the nearby planet of Citiya, preparing for a large scale Chaos or Daemonic incursion due to the presence of the reported Warp Storm.

                ++ HIGH COMMAND. THIS IS MANUTIA. ++

                ++ CONFIRM SECURITY CODE. ++

                ++ SECURITY CODE 26/05-1999-20/10-2-1. ++


                ++ STATUS REPORT INCOMING. ++

Minutes later, Manutia returned into Real-Space, as observed from nearby planets and Imperial Fleets. The Manutian command gave a full report. The Warpstorm was triggered after the attack on Portsmotia by Tyranid fleets. Chaos cultists active in the area triggered an ancient artefact with a dark ritual, in an attempt to summon Daemons of Khorne to help their defence. Instead, the artefact triggered a Warpstorm holding the planet in a stasis-like state for over a year. As far as the Manutians were concerned, only minutes had passed since their last transmission was beamed to High Command.

The Warpstorm however caused several events to occur in the years afterwards...


Firstly, the Warpstorm artefact acted as a beacon to the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue. Their Archon, Lady Malys, is known for her trophies and dark artefacts. Once activated, the artefact called out to her, drawing her and her Kabal towards Manutia. Her Kabal, accompanied by a throng of Haemonculi, Grotesques and Wracks, intend to raid the planet for other artefacts and trophies spread across the regions. 

Shortly after the planet emerged from the Warpstorm, various Dark Eldar craft were spotted making daring surface raids while the planet was in a state of panic. They drew pleasure from the torture of panicked Manutians, striking whilst Imperial forces were in a state of disarray and vanishing back into the Webway from where they came. However, Lady Malys and her Kabal have yet to even scratch the surface of Manutia's hidden treasures.


The raid upon Manutia not only alerted Imperial forces to the presence of the Dark Eldar, their use of the Webway brought the attention of an unknown Eldar Craftworld force. They have been spotted regularly around Manutian space, but have yet to set foot onto the planet surface. Each time the Craftworld appears, it vanishes again before a response order can be issued. They have yet to engage Imperial forces in combat, but have refused communication channels for diplomatic talks. Manutian command is in disagreement whether these are silent guardians to the planet or lurking predators waiting to strike when Manutia is at its weakest.


During the seemingly brief time in the Warp, Chaos activity has seemed to explode on the surface of Manutia. Where once, Chaos worshipping cultists were confined to low numbered, underground group they now roam the surfaces empowered by the Warp taint left upon the planet, openly attacking Imperial stations, raiding and pillaging as they travel. What they lack in numbers, they make up for in sheer ferocity and fearlessness.

Rumours speak of further Chaos forces, long lost in the Warp, taking command of the Manutian Cults forcing them ever onwards to try and take the planet for their own dark machinations. One  region of Manutia reported sightings of Chaos Space Marines, however, communications were lost  before the sightings could be confirmed. When search parties reached District 13 they found nothing but a slaughtered Outpost with no sign of any attackers left behind.


Since the Warpstorm has passed, Dark Angel Space Marines have made planet fall and secured key areas. Large contingents of Deathwing were dispatched to death with any lingering remnants of the Warp, along with Ravenwing contingents to scout large areas in a short time. The Captain of the Deathwing, Captain Tyrion, has summoned further reinforcements to the cause - keen to prevent another Warpstorm and to cleanse Manutia once and for all. 

Further supply of Tactical Marines, Terminator squads and Ravenwing squadrons have all be summoned, alongside a request for Librarians to combat the Warp-taint left on the planet.


As with Imperial forces, the Brotherhood of the Forge has been keen to prevent further Warp incursion on the planet and requisitioned their master craftsmen to prepare the Brotherhood for new means of warfare. Jumppack equipped "Thunderer" squads have been sighted, alongside "Iron Guard" melee units. 

The Warp effect left on the planet has caused the Brotherhood to enter a zealous frenzy against their enemies, sometimes causing an uneasy alliance with these still mysterious abhumans and the Imperial forces.

The Brotherhood seem to be driven on into battle by their Eldest and most venerable warriors commanding the lines. Hundreds of years of battle experience, combined with decades of hatred to their enemies ensure even the youngest member of the Brotherhood is whipped into a battle  frenzy.


Unconfirmed reports of various other Xeno races have been investigated and found to either be hoaxes or previously unseen Ork creations.

The only other mysterious sighting has been large amounts of lightning and darkness around a localised area of Wastelands, close to where the last confirmed sighting of Necrons forces.  Manutian command assumed they had returned back into stasis in the catacombs under the wasteland, but severe weather activity in that area has prompted investigation.



                ++ MANUTIA WILL BURN. ++


So yeah, probably some glaringly obvious errors there, but I've tried to tie it up with the Warpstorm being the catalyst for a lot of new activity on and around Manutia, as well as the events that have gone on in the year whilst Manutia was gone, and the year since it's been back.

It incorporates pretty much all the hobby activity I've had in the last 2 years, but also I handily included references to Chaos Cultists in my original fluff, so purchasing Dark Vengeance ties in pretty well with that!


Monday, 3 September 2012

Badger's Log - Squat Seraphim Completed

Morning folks,

Productive week for me. After finishing off my Squat infantry, I rolled straight onto getting the remaining units left in the army completed. The first was the Seraphim, who weren't included in the original Infantry lot, as they weren't sprayed up at the time.

 I wasn't too sure on what colour to have the Jump Packs from these guys, so I went with Grey matching the clothing and vehicles of the army. The squad is 10 strong and has a Sergeant (can't remember the actual name) and a model with Hand Flamers.

This is the squad leader, armed with his jump pack, pistol and Eviscerator. Not entirely sure the pistol / eviscerator combo is allowed, but the main point is he's armed with an Eviscerator for a bit of combat punch and incase they got stuck with a Walker.

And this is my Squat equivalent of the Living Saint. I wanted him to stand out, so I got some Mechanical wings off eBay which look really cool. Would have been nice if they did some smaller ones and I would have done the full squad in that way.

So... just the Immolator to go now and the Squats are finished. Then, onto my Eldar!