Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What I love to do, what I do I love

A short post, but one that will hopefully whet your appetite a bit. I'm a programmer by trade, and a fairly good one if I say so myself. I'm also an avid gamer, and love playing all sorts of games. I'm also a founder of a rather successful online community that deals with PHP. So, it's safe to say that I have all the necessary skills to do... something cool. I'm hammering away at the code. It's 40k related. It's community related. It's something I want to use, and I'm certain other people would get a lot of use out of. Best of all, it really doesn't exist out there, at all, for the war gaming community. Man, this SVN import is taking a while. Anyways, back to writing up a proper schema.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wargaming Ventrilo Server

Contact Catattafish through YouTube and he'll hook you up with the needed info!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battle Report - 2000 pt - CSM vs. SM - Exploding Objective!

Now, this was a fun game. Each building was an objective. Each building was also has Armor 12 all around. One building in the middle was Armor 14 all around, and the other one was Armor 10. The Armor 14 building was a bunker, and provided a 3+ cover save to people inside. The Armor 10 building was a reactor, and could be blown up with a 5+ result on the dice. All buildings could be destroyed by a 5+ roll, 3-4 results had the models not shoot. Results of 1 or 2 did nothing to the building. Buildings that were destroyed forced units inside to leave, and made the building impassable terrain, as well as making it block line of sight through it.

Deployment was Dawn of War, but we didn't use the night fighting rules. The battle was played at 2000 points, and it was a LOT of FUN! Being able to shoot at buildings made for some interesting tactics.

Watch and find out!

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Nurgle and Khorne Armies

Just wanted to spend some time showing off my 2 armies. Obviously the Khorne army is still a work in progress, and the Nurgle army still has work that needs to be done, but it's on its way to being completed.

One thing I have been considereing is working on a non-CSM army in between units of CSM. Most likely space marines. The idea would be to work on things I need practice with as far as painting goes. I have Assault on Black Reach models I can paint up, and space marines make great test models because they have to be so smooth.

Here is the Khorne army. It's still missing 2 rhinos and Kharn.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Khorne Land Raider - WIP

Just wanted to show you the progress I've made on the Land Raider. I still have a long way to go before it can be called done. The hard lining is extreme, but needs to be cleaned up in a lot of places. Skulls need more work. I also need to keep applying black to various places. And then comes the gold. Lots of gold! The extreme hardlining is supposed to help with the gold, and hopefully once I add even more gold to it, it will really pop. A beautiful rich red with nice golden highlights! But it's off to a good start, if I say so myself.

I also found I'm pleased with the number of skulls. There aren't too many that it prevents me from doing any freehand stuff on top, but its also enough that you can't miss it.

So yeah, still a lot of work to do, but definetly an excellent start.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Land Raider WIP - Skulls for the Blood God

Just wanted to throw up some pictures of my Land Raider's progress this evening. The lascannons are magnetized. Put a bunch of skulls on it, and I'm considering putting more on. The banners are pinned so they can be removed for normal play and put up for display. I don't think I'm putting spikes on the beast.

Tomorrow it get's sprayed down, and we begin painting! Yes, it's going to be red. Red! Red I tell you!

Things I'm still considering:

  • More skulls! More heads! Heads of other races. Can I have too many?

  • What I want to do with the hole in the top. While I can easily put up a weapon, or just close it off, or magnetize it, I really want to do something cool. Hrm, I'll show you tomorrow.

  • Color scheme. Red is obvious. Gold/Yellow/Black/White are all going to be apart of it. But how do I want to show it off. Which colors where.

  • The name. Obviously something short and bloody.

  • The center-rear of the vehicle might need a larger banner. Pretty much over the exhaust pipes. A big banner proclaiming the blood god, his desire for blood, and that blood is, in fact, for the blood god.

So, if you have any ideas, let me know, please. Thoughts or comments are welcome. Tomorrow, I'll be putting up a video update, but I know some of you don't follow my YouTube channel, and I like to make sure my updates here aren't just YouTube videos. Pictures and text can do a lot more then a simple video.

Land Raider WIP - Inside

So, I've pretty much finished up the inside of the Land Raider for my Khorne Army. I'm not sure I'm going to replicate the cream color throughout the rest of the army, but besides that, the rest of the inner components are nice. I'm especially proud of the engine block which you can see below.

The engine block was painted with Boltgun Metal, then washed with Badab Black. I highlighted with Chainmail. The Mechanicum icon I'm especially happy with.

Most of these screens won't be easily seen, or even viewable I think once the land raider is closed up. It's okay though, they are painted and I'm happy enough with them.

The seats are highlighted to show light coming from the front of the land raider.

The floor has pools of aged blood. I tried to make it look like someone was walking from the entrance to their seat, so the blood follows a trail.

I'm fairly happy witht he inside, though I'll admit I didnt' feel like spending too much time on something that will be mostly hidden from sight. But it's painted.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009 - Les' Wash Recipe, and 40k Ventrilo

Les Bursley over at has released his wash recipe.  Now, you might not have been aware of it, but Les was selling his washes and pigments for a while, but recently, it was shut down because he needed to be a member of a particular organization.  Someone reported him apparently, and he was no longer allowed to sell his washes or pigments.  However, in true form, he released his recipe in order to provide the masses with a simple, easy to use recipe for his excellent washes.

I'm especially excited because I had been planning on buying some of his Soft Body washes, and the very day I was going to make the purchase, the store was closed.  His recipe is nice because it shows you not just how to make the washes he was selling, but also provides you with enough information to come up with your own colors of washes.

Check out Les' YouTube Channel for excellent videos and tutorials.  His current project is a space marine chapter project where he does a video tutorial for each chapter.  Right now he plans on doing 70 chapters, and is already off to a great start.

Finally, related to Les' and the YouTube gang of 40k'ers is the Ventrilo channel provided by Catattafish.  The vent channel is provided for people who play 40k, Fantasy, and other war games.  A great place to sit and talk while painting and modeling.  Basically, if you enjoy painting with company, but want to paint in the comfort of your own home, this is the place to do it.

The server address is "" and the port is "3826".  You can get Ventrilo for free from the Ventrilo website.  It's not just a place to chat about nothing.  We talk about the game itself, the rules, painting tips, suggestions, and general camaraderie.  If you enjoy talking about 40k, now you can do it with real live people!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Khorne Raptor Squad

As promised, here are some pics of the Khorne Raptor squad in all it's winged glory.

Okay, the first two up are the Icon, which you've seen previously, and my normal Khorne Berserker. The normal 'Zerker is one of two in the group. He's flying over the ground, almost gliding, scanning around for an opponent to attack.

The next up are two special guys. The guy on the left is my Champion. I know, he looks small when compared to everything else, but I actually really like the pose. He's weilding my version of lightning claws. But it's all about the pose. Arms wide and on the groun ready to attack. His torso is posed leaning slightly back, as is his head, in a fearsome howling rage. The wings were also chosen because they are the wider, open wings. While me Icon is posed to look tall and moving forward, the Champion is meant to be wide and imposing.

To his right is my special weapons guy. He'll either be a melta or a flamer, depending on whichever I want to run. The possessed arm with the flame shooting out makes it work well for both, I gather. Instead of red flame I'm considering using green flames for contrast. He's on the ground as well clearly looking at what he's burning down in front of him. His close combat weapon is held at the ready.

Now we come to the next two. My second normal Berserker, and one with two cloes combat weapons. The normal 'Zerker is landing, opening fire and preparing to swing his chain sword down on the foe. The wings are pushed out as he lands, giving him a bit more shooting time and also time to consider which head to remove from which foe. Choices like that shouldn't be rushed.

The raptor on the right is using a piece from the Chaos Warriors set for his right arm. I imagine he's jumping toward his right, the reason his feat and head are turned that way. His sword is bring brought up to block an attack, and his left "hand", another possessed arm, is pulling back readying for a swift piercing attack.

The final two raptor squad members are dual wielding close combat weapons and pistols.  The gentleman on the left is using two arms from chaos warriors.  I didn't use shoulderpads because I felt in this case, he wouldn't want to wear them and hinder his arms.  I can easily see this guy impaling a foe with his sword and at the same time flinging his axe over at another guy.  Brutal!  Combine the ripped arms with the chest I used and the skull helmet, it almost reminds me of a Khorne version of Skeletor.

 Of course, what would Khorne be without some guy going all akimbo style with two pistols.  I love this pose on my 'Zerkers, and I've used it before.  He may not be raging like the other guys, but I see him using his two pistols like weapons themselves, blocking attacks and slamming the muzzle under an Imperial fool's chin and pulling the trigger.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Speed Painting Tau - Stealth Suit Urban Style

So this is what I've been working on the past few days.  Painting plus video rendering.

Inspired by the Space Wolves release, I decided to try out an urban Tau theme. My goal with the Sniper suit was to merge the space wolf base color and combine it with a dirty, urban theme. The model here is supposed to look as if he fits with the base, hence the reason they are the same basic color. I also wanted a muted theme.

Urban environments in the 40k world, I imagine, are rather dirty, so I wanted to give this Sniper suit the appearance of having been walking through ruins, but still give a very Tau-clean look to it. At the same time, I was hoping the highlight color (the white) was still a muted white, so it would stand out, but not look out of place.

Finally, the gun itself is my take on the weapon. I imagine that the barrel of the weapon spins rather fast when firing, so I figure the metal is worn in a circular pattern. That's the reason for the attempt the blending and highlighting like I did. I'm actually rather proud of it, because when it's lit with my desk lamps, it looks natural.

Finally, this was yet another attempt at blending, which I really want to keep practicing.  I'm very proud with the blending jobs I did here.  Both the helmet and the gun turned out how I wanted.  I still have a long way to go before I'm comfortable with blending, but overall, I think I'm on the right track.

If you enjoy my videos, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel.  I don't always post my videos here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Slaanesh Chaos Sorcerer Video

Listen to me ramble for almost 10 minutes about my Slaanesh Chaos Sorcerer.

Slaanesh Chaos Sorcerer

Painted up for Number1GamerAsh's YouTube contest.  Was fun doing something not Nurgle.  All together, I'm happy with the results for the amount of time I put into painting him.

He has lots of little details, but also a lot of open space you can use to blend together colors.  I spent a lot of time on this model practicing blending.  The shoulder pad, the sword, and the white armor is all blended to different degrees.  The robe is simply blended with layers.  I'll have a video up tomorrow morning that goes into detail all the little things I did with this guy, and because I have to for the contest.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 5 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

Telurn’s bolter emptied and the sergeant ducked back down behind cover.  He popped out the empty magazine and slapped in a new one.  Rising back up, he opened fire again.  The tyranid swarmed out from the city now.  They were done skulking in the shadows.  He could see them climbing over the ruins.  He watched as the xenos climbed over their own dead without slowing.  They were getting closer, and no amount of bolter fire was going to stop them.

From the behind the hill came another rhino.  Third squad, Sergeant Getling’s squad, was moving up into the middle of the wave of gaunts.  The rhino slammed into the swarm of creatures, sending them flying away.  Telurn watched as Getling jumped out of the rhino, leveled his bolter, and opened fire.  The man was insane, but as soon as the rest of third squad laid down fire as well, the gaunts in front of them died in droves.  Telurn smirked.  Getling was always going for glory.  As he watched, Telurn noticed a giant behemoth on the far side of the squad, and he saw the hive tyrant approaching Getling.  He must have seen it too, because his men turned and opened fire, bolter and melta fire flying into the great monster and his minions.  The drive of the rhino must have seen it, and immediately backed away, leaving Getling and his squad alone.

The gaunts third squad had been firing at used the hive tyrants distraction and came in fast.  Telurn’s squad opened fire on them, trying to stop them from reaching Getling, but they were too far and the tyranid numbered too many.  The gaunts leapt onto the men, and Telurn watched as three gaunts pulled Getling down.  Telurn then watched as the hive tyrant charged in.  Telurn watched for a long time.  Slowly, one by one, Death Flies were pulled to the ground.  Then finally, none were left standing, and the hive tyrant roared.

Telurn could do nothing but continue firing down on the horde.

* * * * *

Sergeant Tare tore open the door, leaned into the driver’s cabin, and said, “Open the damned doors, Moratoro!  We need to take that bastard down before he rips this box apart!”

Moratoro spun, and he said, “I got my orders!  I take you there, I take you now!  Nothing is going to stop me, got it?”

“Got it, but he don’t,” he said calmly, looking through the ports in the front of the rhino into the eyes of the charging carnifex.

The beast struck the vehicle, pulling it up and almost tossing it back.  The rhino was airborn for a second before landing hard into the ground.  The engine screamed in pain and then died.  Tare was on the floor of the cabin.  His squad was lying throughout the cabin attempting to get back up.  Moratoro, buckled secure to his seat, was trying to get Gutwrencher started again.  Tare got up, stepped back toward the driver, and spoke, “Open the doors now, or we die.”

Moratoro stopped, turned, and stared.  For a moment the two soldiers locked eyes, before Moratoro nodded and flipped a switch.  Tare heard the hiss of the seals as they released the doors from their locks. “Now, get this hulk moving toward that objective.  We’ll distract the beast,” and without another word, Tare turned, opened the side door, and stepped out.

The monster was standing only a few meters away, and Tare sensed that it had been preparing to charge the rhino again.  It watched as the soldiers got out, but its eyes never left Tare.  The soldiers and the carnifex stood there pinned to their spots, staring at each other.  The rhino’s engine flared to life, bucked forward, and started moving toward the dreadnought.

The carnifex spread its giant scything talons wide, opened its tooth-lined mouth wide, and roared.  Tare felt the earth tremble.

“Right, let’s get this done,” Tare said, and he opened fire.  For the second time today, his squad faced the might of the hive fleets elite troopers, the carnifex.  This carnifex wasn’t just any, but it had killed Tare’s lord daemon Muldaven.  The carnifex took round after round of fire, it’s hard armor-like skin splintering away.  Tare thought he saw it smile.

It jumped, lightning fast and right at Tare.  The sergeant tumbled low and to the right, diving behind the giant beast as it flew past him.  He wasn’t fast enough to avoid the beast’s armored tail.  It struck him hard across his legs, sending him flipping over and over, landing hard.  He lost his grip on his bolter.  Rolling over, he pushed himself up in time to take a direct hit across his left side sending him flying off to the right.  The carnifex was right behind his flying body.  He watched it jumping after him as he tumbled through the air.  He struck the ground, and before he could stop rolling, the carnifex was on top of him.  He saw it lift its right talon high up, and swung down.  Tare started to roll, but the beast was far too fast and the talon sliced neatly through his left shoulder, pinning him to the ground.  Tare stared in horror as he saw the carnifex pull up its left talon to deliver the killing blow.  Tare pulled his right arm up to ward off the blow.  The talon came down.

Tare caught the great blade inches from his chest in the grip of his might power fist.  The carnifex screamed.  With a twist, he ripped the talon in two.  The carnifex reared up, pulling its other talon up out of the ground, pulling Tare up over the tyranid’s head.  Tare felt himself slide down the talon a bit.  Reaching out with his right arm, he grabbed the other talon, but he didn’t snap this talon off.  Instead, he pulled on it, pulling the talon through his body.  Pulling Tare closer to the head of the carnifex.

The great beast jerked its head in his direction, and for a moment Tare could see it was pondering what he was doing.  Tare smiled.  The sergeant swung his open fist out, wrapping it around the head of the great beast, and squeezed.   The head exploded in a wash of brain matter, blood, and other fluids that Tare did not care to know.  Tare let himself fall on top of the carnifex as it fell back.

Moments after falling, he heard the chain swords of his squad ripping through the talon still impaled through him.  He was pulled up, and he found his footing.  Finally, standing on his own, he looked out across the battlefield.  The tyranid force was pulling back.  The hive tyrant was fleeing, and the gaunts were scurrying between ruins trying to get out of range of the bilecannon.  Tare knew they didn’t have long to collect what they need to collect.  Already over the vox he could hear reports about drop ships coming in to retrieve them and their prize.  They had maybe twenty minutes before the place was overrun with ten times the tyranid they had faced.  But they had won through the day.

* * * * *

They had won the battle.

For what? Tare thought.  What was so bloody important about this dreadnought that Mygar was willing to throw away the lives of a daemon lord for it?

From behind, he heard loud ponderous footsteps, and Tare knew it was the Cult Masters approaching.  He turned, looking up at them as they approached.

“Cult Master Maem, Cult Master Brom and Cult Master Ordam both fell in battle.  Their bodies are over…” Tare was saying, but Maem raised a clawed hand.

“I care not for the fallen dead.  They were weak and deserved the fate they were given.  I came to pass on a message from Mygar, who witnessed the battle here today.”

Tare nodded.  Mygar was a psycher and usually watched battles form orbit.  Tare had assumed that with this dreadnought being so important to the Lord, he would be watching carefully.  That Mygar would seek to watch him in particular, however, was something Tare had not expected.

“What is the message, Cult Master?” Tare asked, reminding himself to remain civil with the warrior.

“Simply that he was pleased by your actions, and that you were to be rewarded when you returned to the fleet above,” Maem said.  He hesitated for a moment, and Tare could tell that there was more, and whatever it was, Maem wasn’t sure he liked it. “He… he wanted me to say that such actions are the sign of a Lord.”

Tare looked hard at the Cult Master for any sign of jest.  When he was confident there was none, he asked, “Anything else, Cult Master?”

“No, my Lord Master.”

The End

Friday, October 2, 2009

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 4 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

Sergeant Tare reached over to the boarding switch and flipped open a cover revealing a small button beneath.  He pressed the button.  Over head, the loud clicking of several locks sounded as the firing points in the roof of Gutwrencher unlocked.  The doors opened, and his squad stood to their full height, looking out the top of the rhino.  Immediately they opened fire.  Tare moved to the right side and opened the hatch’s viewport and looked out.  What he saw was frightening.  Tare had expected a horde of gaunts or genestealers, not what was bearing down on the Gutwrencher.  Not fifty meters away a giant carnifex was charging right at the rhino.  Tare stared in horror.  The beast would reach the rhino, tear into its hull, and rip his mean apart.  Suddenly, out the left of the viewports window, he saw all hope fade.  One carnifex was bad.

Two was impossible.  The other beast was slowly making its way toward the rhino as well.  Tare looked back and noticed his mean, still firing.  Melta weapons and bolter fire, would that be enough?  Tare flexed his right hand, encased in a might power fist.  He could tear the head off a terminator with this.  Could he rip the arms off a carnifex?  He might find out today.

Gutwrencher lurched forward, turned right, and sped up.  The view port turned away from the carnifex, and Tare knew that the rhino was moving toward the beasts.  Tare moved over and pulled himself up, looking out the firing point.  Without warning, a sudden wave of pure force washed over him, his mean, and Gutwrencher.  He heard the scream of metal as it stretched and flexed under the mental onslaught.  Out in the distance he saw the zoanthrope.   With two carnifxes and a zoanthrope, Tare could not imagine things getting any worse.  He’d have to reevaluate the limits of his imagination, he thought.  Behind the zoanthrope he saw a hive tyrant.  The grotesque beast was surrounded by giant beatles, dwarfed by his the tyrant, but Tare knew that each one was large them he was.

Then from behind the rhino, a large impact struck the ground and Tare felt heated air surround him.  Expecting a large winged tyranid, he was relieved to find the daemon lord.  The daemons attention was on the battle before him, and satisfied with the progress, made to take flight again.  As soon as the great daemon was in the air above the rhino, Tare saw an explosion of bio-mass strike Muldaven and send him back to the ground.  At the same time, another rolling blast of psychic energy rolled across Tare and slammed into Muldaven, pinning him to the earth.  The great daemon pushed up from the ground and howled in range, but Tare could see the damage done.  Skin had been flayed away, blood poured from Muldaven’s mouth, and still the bio-mass ate through his muscle.

Tare turned forward again, and saw three great giant tyranid even closer to them now.  Gutwrencher lurched back into gear, and started moving forward again.  From over his shoulder two shots of lascannon fire flew, striking the carnifex.  Lascannon fire could stop a rhino.  A single shot could halt a bilecannon.  A single shot could destroy a land raider.  The carnifex shrugged off attacks and barreled ever closer.

Soldier Moratoro called over the rhino’s vox, “Smoking up, Sergeant!”

Tare dropped down into the cabin as he heard the popping sound of the smoke canisters firing.  He knew what this meant.  They were moving even closer to the tyranid.  The smoke would give them cover as they made their way to the front line.  No, that was wrong.  They were the front line.  They were moving the front line forward.

Gutwrencher came around to the left and came to a stop.  Tare heard the release of the locks on the side door.  Taking a step forward, he pulled it open, and stopped.  Not twenty paces in front of him stood the carnifex.  The beast wasn’t looking at him, it was eyeing something beyond the rhino, but a moment later, it slowly turned its head to face him.  Despite the rumbling of the rhino’s engine, despite the sound of his squad disembarking, despite all the bolter fire and the explosions, he could hear the low growl of the giant tyranid as it eyed him.  The beast roared up onto its legs, and howled in fury as it leaned forward and started to charge Tare.  Not Tare’s squad, but Tare himself.  He could see those eyes, and he knew they were focused on him.

From over head, streaming across the battle field, to lascannon shots sped at the great beast and struck it square in the chest.  Tare didn’t have time to become hopeful.  The carnifex wasn’t slowed.

Tare’s squad opened fire at the charging beast.  The melta weapons slammed into the chitinous armor, burning deep, but cleary not affecting the behemoth.  Tare swore under his breath and saw the inevitable conclusion to the beasts charge, and prepared himself.  Pulling out his bolt pistol with his left hand, balling his power fist in his right hand, he roared in defiance and charged the tyranid.  Pulling back his fist, a moment before impact, he swung.

It was no contest.  He found himself flying through the air, striking the side of the rhino, and falling to the ground in a daze.  His squad was up and swinging their chain swords.  One of the soldiers got around behind the carnifex and was able to plunge his sword deep into the beast’s tail.  It spun with amazing speed, and grabbed the startled soldier.  He was able to bring his bolt pistol around to fire before the tyranid bit off his head.

Tare stood up, and he knew something was wrong.  He felt a strong pain in the back of his neck.  Reaching around, he felt a piece of his helm had been torn free in the attack.  Reaching over, he undid the clasps connecting the helm to his armor, and removed the helmet.  Breathing in deep, he turn to face the carnifex just in time to see another soldier impaled on giant talons.  As if some unseen force was directing it’s attention, it turned to face Tare while swatting away another attacking soldier, and it roared.

Tare raced forward as the beast stood to  its full height.  It brought up high it’s two great scything talons and continued to roar.  Tare took his final two steps and lept into the air.  The scything talons came racing down.  Holding his right hand high, he caught one of the talons with his power fist, the other one missing him as he pulled himself inside the reach of the tyranid.  With the enormous strength of his power fist, he squeezed his right hand closed around the giant talon.  Face to face, Tare could see into the eyes of the vile creature.  Pulling his bolt pistol up, he stuck the muzzle up against the creatures head.  He heard a snap as the talon split in two.  He pulled the trigger, and the bolt pistol fired.

The carnifex finally stopped moving.

Tare breathed heavily while he watched the light of life go out of the beasts eyes.  After a few moments, he relaxed his grip, and pushed himself off the carnifex.  He had been lucky.  His squad had been  lucky; only two dead.

Suddenly from his vox, he heard Moratoro’s voice.

“Sergeant, I’m getting reports in from fleet.  They say another tyranid horde is closing in fast from the north.  They will be here shortly,” he said, far too clamly.

“Soldier, what are you babbling about.”

“Sergeant, we are getting orders from Muldaven to break through the tyranid line and get to that dreadnought.  Apparently it’s more than just spare parts.”

“Damnit,” Tare growled.  He glanced across the battlefield, and spied out in the middle of all fighting a giant wreck, the remains of a dreadnought, their primary objective. “What is it? What’s so bloody important about that wreck?”

“I don’t know sarge, the Dameon Lord wouldn’t say.  Just said that you need to get your men over their now. “

“Right, embarking now,” he said.  Turning to his soldiers, he said, “Back inside!  We are going to break our way through the line and get to that damned wreck over there.”  Tare lifted his had to point toward the awaiting dreadnought, but when he turned to look, he saw the other carnifex turning toward him and his squad.  He recognized that look, and he knew what was coming.  He didn’t want to tempt fate twice. “Move it, now!”

There was no chance though, he saw.  The creature was too close and it would reach him before he could get back into the rhino.  Still, he had to try.

Five paces from the door to the rhino, with two of his soldiers already inside, the carnifex lept at him, a furious howl coming from its mouth.  Tare felt the entire battle slow.

He half turned in mid-stride and brought his power fist up in front to shield his bare face.  He pulled his bolt pistol around to take aim.  The carnifex was flying through the air now, and he knew that the power fist would not stop the crushing force of the creature for destroying him.  He knew the bolt pistol, even if he could get it around in time, would slow the monsters descent.

Suddenly, as if time caught up, everything happened all at once.  From the sky Muldaven hurtled down at the carnifex, slamming it into the ground.  The great daemon lord growled in a might rage, pulled back his sword arm, and swung it full force, the blade cutting a large swath of destruction across the creature.  He slammed his other hand down, wrapping his fingers around the great monster’s maw, and squeezed.  Muldaven roared in triumph.

Tare kept moving.  The battle was amazing.  The power the daemon lord possessed was immense.  To wield such power… Tare was in awe.  He wanted to stay and watch, but he had a duty to attend to.  Muldaven demanded it.  Mygar demanded it.

The Lord of Decay desired it.

Jumping aboard the rhino, he closed the hatch behind him.  Tare smiled in glorious delight.  He couldn’t help himself, and turned quickly to open the view port and peered through to watch the battle between the daemon lord and the carnifex.  The rhino roared to life, and started to move again.  Through the dust and the destruction, Tare spotted the pair of mighty warriors.  The carnifex had regained its footing.  Both it and the daemon were now circling one another.  It was as if the entire battle around them did not exist.  Nothing touched them.  They were focused so much on one another.

With a speed that awed Tare, the daemon lord leaped high into the air, giving himself even more lift with his giant wings, before diving fast at the tyranid.  He held his sword out like a lance, and Tare could hear Muldaven roar in triumph.  A finality in that shout that Tare would later see as ironic.

The carnifex had no chance to dodge out of the way, so it did the only thing it could do: use its own giant blades against the falling demon.  Too late, Muldaven saw the error of his attack.  He could not slow his descent.  While the sword struck deep into the monster, the two giant scything talons pierced the daemon’s body.  Without hesitation, the carnifex pulled his talons apart, and the daemons body felt away into three distinct and bloody pieces.

With a shake, the carnifex let the sword fall from the wound, and stood defiant over the remains of Muldaven.

Then the carnifex turned to look at Gutwrencher, and though it could not see him, he was sure the monster was looking right at him.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chaos Space Marines v.s. Tyranids 1500 points Battle Report - Part 3

Part three.  Sorry it took so long to post onto my blog.  If you like my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel and you'll see when they are put up, which is usually well before they get up onto the blog.

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 3 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

Telurn closed his vox as soon as the battle shouts died down.  Fitting his helmet into place, the Sergeant spared a glance at his soldiers.  Each one bore a bolter, except for Galland and Moor, the plasma gunners.  Those two cradled their weapons with care, the plasma injection coils heating up in preparation for battle.  Galland and Moor never left the side of their weapons.  One too many tales of a plasma gunner mistreating his weapon and in the next engagement having it blow up, taking arms and head from the offending soldier.  Some would call the two crazy, but Telurn understood why they carried the dangerous weapons.  In a fire fight, a plasma weapon was better than a bolter.  Each shot from a plasma gun was twice the strength of a bolter.  Where a bolter shot would bounce of the thick hide of a carnifex or the armor of a terminator, a plasma shot would plow through and not slow down.

Telurn heard the grinding of the breaks and the rhino, Hellboar, ground to a halt.  The side doors opened and Telurn disembarked first, his squad following without hesitation.  Moving up the hill in front of him, Telurn spotted Cult Master Maem and Cult Master Grol setting up their support positions.  The walking behemoths in age old terminator armor looked more like miniature dreadnoughts.  Embedded into their armor were weapons of many different types: lascannons, meltas, flamers, and that was just attached to the right arm.  Holding the weapons in place was the armor and flesh, pulsing and moving even now.  Telurn couldn’t help but shudder at the thought of what warp infested power they had taken in to become what they were.

“Sergeant Telurn,” said a low, grating voice. “Your squad is to setup to our left.  Support the flank and make sure nothing reaches us,” Cult Master Maem said.  Grol didn’t acknowledge them.

“Yes, Maem,” Telurn spoke, already moving in that direction.

“Sergeant! You forget yourself,” growled Maem.  He shifted his great mass and faced Telurn. “You will learn your place, Telurn, or you will die.  Now appease me.”

Telurn’s jaw tightened, his knuckles growing white as they gripped his bolter.  He felt his teeth grinding together, pushing harder and harder, before he let them open in reply. “My apologies, Cult Master Maem.  If it pleases you, I will finish my service here with my death, or I shall leave your presence and serve as ordered.”

Maem almost spat his reply before facing back to the town. “Be gone from my site, and be glad that the master has need of you.”

Telurn hesitated only a moment to cast a twisted smirk at the vile Cult Master before turning back to his soldiers, who had wisely kept moving into position.

Settling into position, he looked out over the town, and for the first time studied the battlefield before him.  He knew why they were here.  The space marine’s had left a hulk of a dreadnought here.  It was long dead, but the technology was needed.  The Death Flies didn’t have the service of the Mechanicum of Mars to support them, so they scrounged everything they used.  In a way, he felt like a rodent searching for scraps of leftover food.  But better a rodent free than a pet imprisoned by a false god emperor.  There were other reports that a downed shuttle craft had been sighted here, and any information that could be taken was needed.

Muldaven’s voice came through over the vox. “Tyranid sighted.  Battle is upon us. They are coming!”

No battle shouts this time.  The Death Flies were focused now.  Dug into their position, Telurn’s squad would not move for the end of the world.  Nothing could pull them from their spot.  They held the high ground, they had cover, and they were covering the left flank.

Suddenly, off in the distance near the center of the line, the Bilecannon roared to life and the ground shook.   In the middle of the town, great cloud of earth, stone, and metal flew into the air. Then, running quickly through the cloud, over the rock and through the crater, he saw them.  First he just saw shadows, but only for a moment.  Countless insect like creatures with talons the size of a man running across the open ground straight at them; he could make out large creatures known as genestealers amongst smaller gaunts, but he couldn’t tell how many came.  Floating above the giant herd of tyranid were giant floating gaunt-like heads with long tails that hung down below: zoanthopes.  Psychers, he knew.  He had felt their mental waves of destruction before.  This was no small force, these tyranid were here to kill.

From off to his right, the Cult Masters’ lascannons sizzled as they opened fire aiming at a target beyond Telurn’s vision.  Their resounding laughter and howls of rage gave evidence to which missed his target and which struck dead on.

Telurn returned his focus to the gaunts ahead of him.  With a quick mental calculation for distance, he opened his squad’s vox channel and said, “Open fire!”  No sooner had he opened the vox channel and issued the command then the bolter and plasma fire flared all around.  Ahead, he saw the limbs of gaunts fly away, torn from the bodies.  The gaunts were beyond number, and even after reloading his bolter, Telurn could not tell that all that fire had slowed the hoard.  The Bilecannon roared to life again, and he saw a giant explosion erupt in the middle of the hoard of gaunts and genestealers.  Gaunt claws and genestealer legs and tyranid limbs rained down from the skies, pouring on top of the advancing horde of bugs.

Yet still Telurn could not see that it had made a difference.  The tyranid did not slow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Space Wolves

Will die.

It's really as simple as that.  They are almost here.  They have been studied.  I have found them wanting.

My goal?  Build up a themed Khorne list and trounce them.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the Space Wolves get some new love, they have an awesome theme, get new models, and they aren't the same as other Space Marines out there.  But with all that, they aren't an unstoppable wrecking force.

Space wolves will do well because they are brand spanking new marines that aren't normal Space Marines.  They are a different style of play.  They have new tricks, and time will tell which ones are really worth it, but I'm not worried.  They aren't game breakers.  Good generals will still be good generals.  Space Wolves aren't an "I Win" button.  I'd go further and say that for players lacking skill, Space Marines will still suit them far more than Space Wolves will.  The Space Wolves aren't generalists like Space Marines.  This means you have to take advantage of the Space Wolves strengths.  You can't rely on the Space Marines default abilities doing the work for you.

So, what do I expect you'll see?  People jumping onto the new Marine codex using their current marine armies.  They'll do this for one of two reasons.  They are losing a lot, or they actually prefer the style of the Wolves.  The latter will be greatly outnumbered by the former.  The former will die, and die a lot.

That being said, GW should put out a bits kit of just wolf capes.  I'd love to throw them on the backs of my berserkers to represent all the puppies they killed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 2 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

The metallic beast was christened Gutwrencher, and it wore that name proudly.  The men inside the tank were squeezed in, not only because of the little room the cabin provided, but also to limit the amount of tossing about they’d have to suffer.  The transport was old, very old.  Tare couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t gone into battle riding Gutwrencher.  The vehicle was old, sure, but like most old things still in service, it was tough.  Tough beyond all measure.  Gutwrencher had taken hits from countless missiles, plasma guns, cannons, melta fire, innumerable tyranids, and the rhino would not stop.   Oh, sure, Tare could remember countless times the vehicles tracks had been thrown, the hull ripped into, the drivers killed, the doors blown wide open, the engine melted.  But always the rhino was recovered and repaired, back in service a short time later.  It wasn’t a clean vehicle, either.  It carried no fancy decorations like the fool Space Marines adorned their transports with.  Beyond the sigil of their war band, the Death Fly of Rabis Prime, it was undecorated.  It was a machine that had a purpose, a job to do, and it did that job well.

 Gutwrencher embodied everything the Death Flies aspired to: unstoppable, unrelenting, unwavering monsters of war free from the tyranny of a false god-emperor.

Beyond the cloud of dust churned up by the tracks of the tank, Tare could see the other two transports following behind.  Up ahead, the bilecannon Rolling Grim lead the force toward the town of Dawn’s Gate.  The dozer blade, a wall of hardened steel and other metals, cleared the way in front of the Grim while it’s single, large cannon protruded from a small cutout in the top of the blade, waiting to release the shell it invariably held ready.  The crew of the Grim was a tough lot.  They had to be.  Enemies the band faced would focus their fire at the bilecannon in an attempt to bring down the lumbering monstrosity.   A lesser man would fall under the fire that tank received, and would not stand the thundering shot it sent in return.  Even Tare could not imagine how the once-men operated with as much efficiency as they did.

“Sergeant Tare, Sergeant Telurn requesting comm hook with you,” said a voice through the vox unit.  It was Gutwrencher’s driver, Soldier Moratoro, a solid once-man from the moon of Rabis Prime, Rabis Nox.

“Patch him through, Soldier,” Tare said.

A crackling sound indicated the channel switch, and a second later, an voice of a cement brick being dragged across stone came through Gutwrencher’s vox unit.

“Tare, I’m getting readings from up ahead.  Can you confirm?  Five hundred meters, dead center of town if the reading is right,” Telurn said.

“Hold on, let me check the boards,” Tare said, closing the panel on the door and turning around to look at the monitors and readouts on the inner wall of the rhino.  A quick glance later, he said, “I have nothing on thermal imaging, everything looks…” but an electric click sounded as Telurn cut in.

“Check audial, it’s there.”

“Right.  Checking now,” Tare said, flipping a few dials and pushing a button.  A few seconds later, the screens blinked rapidly as they changed displays, and slowly a picture came into view.  Over four-hudered meters ahead a large grouping of targets were massed, and they were moving toward them. “Damn it, Telurn.  Four hundred meters confirmed,” Tare said.  He opened vox channels to Muldaven, Sergeant Getling, Honor Sergent Vorn, and Cult Master Maem. “Contact at four hundred meters ahead, and closing.  Audial readings confirmed.  The bugs are coming for us!”

Tare turned around to face his squad of five.  Already Muldaven was laying in commands over vox, but the soldiers of the Death Flies already knew what to do.  Tare smiled at his squad, already with helmets donned and weapons at the ready.  He felt the Rhino shift into higher gear as it propelled itself faster and faster toward the awaiting enemy.

“Death Flies! Battle arms, once-men!” he bellowed.

“For the glory of Rabis!” his squad shouted back.  Gutwrencher’s front pitched up, then down, and Tare could hear the crashing glory of the rhino smashing through half destroyed ruins.

“For the glory of Mygar!” his squad shouted again.  Tare could feel the battle heat take him.  He could smell his blood, taste his blood, feel his hearts pound faster and faster as it prepared for the oncoming battle.  Raising his powered fist before him, he let the final verse of the Death Flies battle call fall over him.

“For the glory of Father Nurgle!” they finished with a final shout that shook the insides of the rolling box with it’s might.

“Yes, my kin, for the Lord of All!” Tare intoned.

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 1 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

Daemon Lord Muldaven looked across the wasted lands of Kettamet IV, a once prosperous planet of the Imperium of Man, now a warzone where the few prizes that remain are killed for without hesitation.  Kneeling low on the hill top, his gaze settled on a long abandoned outboard town that must have once housed a refueling station.  The scouts had named the town Dawn’s Gate.  Whatever gave the town its name, however, was not apparent.  Dawn did not visit the planet anymore; the blackened skies saw to that.

Flexing his great wings, the daemon looked back over his shoulders and beckoned with clawed hands for Sergeant Tare.  The once-man felt the command and started to make his way up the hill.  Muldaven turned again and looked out once more across the land, this time focusing on the earth between him and the remains of Dawn’s Gate.

Countless battles and orbital bombardments had driven the soil into a dead and dying state.  He smiled, letting his thoughts linger on what had caused the Imperium to attack this planet.  A few well placed ambitious and hungry men had caused enough dissent in the populace, enough to draw the attention of the Imperial Inquisitors.  When they failed to quell the threat, the fleet came to resolve the matter militarily.  Getting spies on board the Indoctima Primus had been easy.  Mygar had known the precise codes needed, and a few well doctored scans of the planet made it very clear to the orbiting fleet that Kettamet IV was overrun with daemons.  In ignorance, they sent a single detachment of Howling Gryphons space marines to the planet where they were met by Muldaven’s forces.  The daemon lord’s smile broadened as he remembered that battle.  They were overrun and were forced back, at the last moment being rescued.  But the battle had served its purpose, and the Imperium laid the planet to waste.  An entire planet of loyal Imperial humans had died to the hands of the people that they had come to see as their saviors.  The fleet was destroyed in the middle of the bombardment.  Mygar was efficient and quick.  Muldaven still remembered the fire raining down that night.

“My lord,” the Sergeant said, “the once-men are ready.  The armor is repaired from our last engagement.  The fleet reports…”

“I have heard the fleet’s report, Sergeant.   I need not here it again.  They claim the town is vacant and what we seek is there.  Do you doubt Lord Mygar?” asked the daemon prince, his head turning slowly to face Tare.  He let his teeth show through his smile.

“No, Lord.  I do not doubt Mygar.  I do doubt his source, though.  Something stirs in the town below.  We should go in cautious and ready,” Tare said.  His face was stone.  Only his shifting eyes gave away his nervousness.  Doubting Mygar was always dangerous, even for a Daemon Lord, and especially for a Sergeant.  Battlefield promotions were rarely questioned.   Muldaven turn back toward the town, letting Tare sweat a bit.  Let the man think Muldaven was giving thought to this.  Let him think he had made a mistake.

“Do not fear, Tare.  I agree with your assessment.  Have the once-men board Rhinos in battle formation.  Get the Bilecannon up front.  I want it clearing the way,” the daemon said, the smile leaving his face.  Battle was coming, he was sure.  He smelled it in the air.  He felt it in the earth.

“Yes, my lord.  At once,” Tare said, standing as he walked back down the hill.

Muldaven smiled again.  Yes, battle was coming.

Chaos Space Marines v.s. Tyranids 1500 points Battle Report - Part 2

Part 2 of the CSM v.s. Tyranid battle.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chaos Space Marines v.s. Tyranids 1500 points Battle Report - Part 1

Just a little something before I get the other 2 parts done.  I also plan on doing a narrative of the battle.  However, enjoy the first part.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lots of Dice Logo

My wife thinks my site sucks. At least the look of the site, and the logo, or lack-of one, inspired her to come up with a new logo. These are the ones she came up with. Oh, she had other logos, but weren't happy with them. These are the logos that made it, and even then, she has her favorites. Each one has an element I like. Considering I'm planning on using this logo in the future for other ventures beyond just a website, the logo is important to me. I want the logo to be something that can easily be made black and white, or at least keep the elements recognizable without color. The logo should be easy to put on clothing or business cards, and it should also go a long way toward telling people what the site is about. For these reasons, I had her make a d20 sided dice to see how that would fit in. So far, #4 is my favorite. Numbers 1 and 2 do a great job at making a simple logo, though I fear the potentional confusing between gaming and gambling.

On a side note, I had fun exlaining to her that dice are numbered in a particular way. Opposite sides add up to the total number of sides plus 1. So 1 is opposite 6, 2 is opposite 5, and 3 is opposite 4. I'm not sure if her d20 follows the same rules, but if I went to far, she'd probably smack me upside the head.

So what are your thoughts on the logo? Color schemes can be modified, I'm sure, but I'd like to know what you think.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Custom Content v.s. By the Book

For your average role player, coming up with home brewed content is as commons as coffee in the morning.  That is to say, so common that you can't imagine role playing without it.  So why is it in the world of 40k custom content is so often frowned upon or at least avoided?

Most other war games don't suffer this fate either.  They present rules but expect you to do what you will with them.  Heck, even Games Workshop goes out of their way to say "Play how you want to play!"  Even Gav Thorpe went out of his way and basically told everyone that they can do what they want, it's their game and if they want to do things a certain way, they can.

The problem is that so many people out there, myself included, get hit with this road block.  The feeling that the community online and at clubs have built up that the rules are exactly that: rules.  No, you cannot break the rules.  It's wrong.

That's not to say we are wrong to think that way.  After all, in a game where I want their to be an even army on either side of the table, I make the assumption that the point values are a certain value for a reason.  A 15 point CSM is about right in the grand scheme of things.  I'm under the assumption that GW has some sort of system they use, however basic, that tells them what point value to set things at.  Why are CSM 15 points?  A combination of things, I imagine.  The squad size they are required to have, their stats, the type of unit they are, what weapons they can take and when they can take them.  At 15 points, they seem right.  But if I want to give my CSM Feel No Pain, how much is it worth then?  Not 23.  That's Plague Marines with a toughness of 5 and Blight Grenades with 1 less Initiative and limited weapon choice but can take more of them at smaller squad sizes.

The problem is, we don't know how they got their numbers, so we can only guess.  That's important to us.  Why? Simple.  We want to create units that are fair.  I want to build an army I want with my theme inside the 40k universe, but I'd like to know how.

Of course, I can just build units and call them one thing and use them as "counts-as" units.  That's fine, I guess.  But it only works so far.  The play style is also different then what you would want.  Do you want an entire army of Jump Packs? Can't, even if you might want to theme it that way.  Oh sure, you can say "yeah, these Jump Packs only go 6 inches," but then that kinda ruins the feel when the opponents Jump Packs move 12", or your Jump Packs move 2 inches through difficult terrian.

You also have the problem of mission types.  Now, the tournaments do this really well, I must say.  The mission types they come up with are pretty interesting.  But the default book is pretty bland, with a heavy emphasis on troops for objectives.  Don't get me wrong, trying to emphasize the lowly troop is a good thing.  It limits the people taking only the bare minimum of troops and leaving it at that, but they could have done so much more with the missions inside the main rule book.

So, where does this leave us?  Tied to the hip to our favorite army's codex.  For me, I enjoy the story behind the army, not the stats.  But the story behind an army also features that armies style of warfare, and all too often, this isn't carried over into the game.  So, if my codex doesn't allow me to play the army theme I want, it disappoints.

Now, let's be honest.  I don't want my themed army to suck (unless of course that was the theme of the army).  If the army I'm playing did well using this tactic in the story behind the rules, then it should work well on the table as well, or at least moderately so.  Enough that I'm not feeling like I'm wasting my time.

Why is it like this for 40k? After all, D&D players come up with custom content all the time.  We drown in it!  Well, the answer isn't pretty simple.  D&D players are generally playing together throughout a campaign and it's generally for the long haul.  No one is really against anyone, and the rules are subject to change at the DM's whim.  With 40k, you aren't playing that way.  The game is designed around two people meeting up and wanting to play a war game.  They may not know one another, or they might not play together often.  They need a balancer, and those are the rules.

It's why you don't see a lot of custom cards in Magic.

Of course, their is also the tournament angle.  Throw in any competitive aspect to a hobby and suddenly everything is very official.  Look at WOW.  As soon as battlegrounds and the honor system were put in, people started shouting if their classes weren't efficient in group PVP.  Then you had Arenas, and people got even crazier with the number crunching.  Suddenly it just wasn't good enough that you were close: every little number was calculated.

Seriously, Mathhammer has nothing on what the WOW freaks (of which I used to be one) would go through.

Of course, another reason D&D does so well in supporting custom content is that the game itself tells you how to make it!  The game gives you countless monsters to throw at your character, but if that's not enough, you can make your own as well.  It gives you the rules, or guidelines to creating them.  The point is, when you are done creating your monster, you'll have a fairly good idea of it's relative power level to other monsters.

So, if WotC can pull that off, I can't help but wonder why GW hasn't done the same?  I'm fairly confident that eventually they will come up with something like that.  Of course, it will be limited in some ways so they can still sell an army codex, but at least they might come up with some guideline on how to create, manipulate, or otherwise alter existing units in a codex.  That would at least give us a start.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you want to see user created content?  Does codex legal mean anything to you? If someone came with a home brewed army, would you have an issue?  Should tournaments support user created content?  Let me know!

The Horus Heresy: False Gods and Galaxy in Flames

I finished reading the final two books in the first trilogy of the Horus Heresy series yesterday: False Gods by Graham McNeill and Galaxy in Flames by Ben Counter.  I want to discuss these books, along with Horus Rising, all as one giant tale.  That's really what it is, and frankly, it doesn't do the story justice to discuss any single book alone.

Let's also agree that I burn through books far to fast for my own good.  Fast enough that I've gone ahead and picked up the next 4 books in the series.  But let's get back to the first three books.

False Gods is exactly what it should be, a good second book.  It shows how Horus became corrupted, how he came about making the choice.  It also gives us the clear rift that forms among the members of the Mournival.  Loken is still our main character here, but several of the remembrancers also take center stage.

Galaxy in Flames continues after False Gods, showing us the battle of Istvaan III, as well as the ultimate betrayal of Horus as well as setting us up for the next series of books.

I have to admit, despite knowing how everything turns out, I couldn't help but wonder that maybe, just maybe, things might turn out differently.  The justification for why he turns is sound enough, but evil enough, that it hurts to see the brother Astartes turn on one another.  You can't help but wonder if they are all so loyal to Horus.  The battle between Horus Aximand (Little Horus) and Torgaddon, as short as it was, exemplified the reality of the battle, and I wish it had been featured more.  Abbadon's thoughts on the matter, however, were perfect, and demonstrated there, in five simple words, what the traitor legions would essentially become.

One thing that I found interesting was the use of the words "traitor" and "loyalist" in GoF.  Both sides were using the terms, and it really helped nail the point home that the truth was, both sides believed they were doing what was truly right.  This really makes the entire thing that much more tragic.  Sure, Abbadon might be showing signs of being corrupted, but I don't believe he was the norm.

Of course, looking back on False Gods, I can't help but be amazed that Horus would listen to Erebus even after Magnus comes in and reveals him for lying.  That, I think, demonstrated clearly that while Horus was deceived in some ways, it was his choice in the end, and he made it.

And I think that's the important point here.  Despite all the tragedy and despite all the second guessing, the traitor marines knew what they were doing.  On the surface, they might think what they are doing is right, and that might suit them for a time, but deep down inside, they know what they are doing is wrong.  But they still made that choice.

Galaxy in Flames ended well.  I didn't enjoy the ending, for reasons that I'll avoid discussing because it will give away things that I shouldn't.  But I didn't enjoy it because it happened the way it should have happened.  It's Warhammer 40k after all.

The Flight of the Eisenstein is next, which I'm excited about.  Death Guard!  Captain Garro's short but awesome storyline in the previous books got me all excited.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with my love of the Death Guard itself.

I would like to add that a lot of the fun with these books is thinking about recreating some of the armies.  It's so much more fun when you can build an army and have a story behind it.  Now I know why there are so many pre-heresy fanatics out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rogue Trader RPG

I gotta say it: YAY!!!!  I've been anxiously awaiting Fantasy Flight's Rogue Trader RPG for some time now.  I remember the release of the Collector's Edition and jumping on the chance to get it.  I dig this sorta stuff.  Not only is the CE limited, but it's tied to my personally: Rogue Trader Jason Michael; my first and middle name, if you're wondering.

The game itself is all sorts of fun.  I've been reading every entry they have, loving every single one.  Ship combat and constructions, character creation, everything.  Not only is the game down right awesome, but... well, it's on its way!

I also have a lot of work to do now, because I think a few fellow role players are eager to get in a game of Rogue Trader, and I'm expected to DM.  Which is only fair, considering one of those guys is the DM for the D&D game I'm in.  But that's alright, I could use some scifi-40k-genestealer-rogue-trader role playing action.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Small games are fun, two!

Recently read the article Small games are fun too over at Imperius Dominatus talking about smaller games being fun.  I'd have to agree.  Of course, the article was referring to games at 1000 points.  If you look back through my posts, you'll see discussion of 500 point games.  So I'd like to talk about this for a bit.

What I learned at 500 points
At 500 points, you don't have a lot of room, especially when playing CSM.  You need your HQ and you need your troop choices, and that right there will eat up a large portion of your points.  Even if you go with the minimum (1 Lord, 90, 2 CSM troops, 150, for 240), you've already used up almost half your points with no upgrades and debatable usefulness.  In all the 500 point games I've played, I've had to build for both going against SM, Tyranid, and Ork armies.  This meant having to build my small army for horde killing as well marine killing.

This isn't easy.  You can't just load up a Rhino with 7 Plague Marines and 2 Meltas and be happy (216 points; 256 if you have a Champ with PF).  Of course, you can leave off the Rhino as 500 point games are usually played on 4x4 boards, but even that is risky business.  A Daemon Prince get's expensive really quick, and 3/5 saves are good up until you get jumped by a large mass of Orks.  The shear numbers are on their side.

The point is, just like in larger games, every unit has to have a specific role.  More importantly, every role must be self sufficient because you probably won't be able to double up.  Finally, and most important, you still need to cover all the roles needed.  You need close combat, you need anti-armor, you need everything you'd normally need at larger games to one degree or another.

For me, this meant clearly defining the rules of each squad as well as making the most out of each unit.  This also meant being intelligent about deployment.  A bad deployment will hurt you.  With the small number of units you can take, every unit out of place can cost you.  One unit dead is 1/4 your fighting force, generally, and that's a big blow at any level.

In my 500 point games, I found the following worked well for my CSM.

5 Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters: 125 points.
Role: Ranged anti-troop support.  15 shots at 24" with pinning is nothing scoff at.  Even better is the 10 shots at 24" while moving.  If you can get them into a position on the board with cover, they can provide support without moving, covering a large number of objectives and putting out a large amount of fire.  125 points is also reasonable for this type of fire power, considering that 8 CSM can only put out 8 shots at 24 inches while not moving, are not fearless, put out only 1 more shot while moving but only at 12 inches, and have 1 less initiative.  So, for 5 more points, I felt like I got a lot more.  Also, since they have longer range, and are fearless, I can keep the back away from the fighting holding a point.  They'll still be useful, and will be out of close combat range.

5 CSM with AC w/PF and Flamer, Rhino w/TL Bolter and Dozer Blade: 165
This is my assault squad.  The only scary part here is the non-fearless aspect of the group.  I might drop the Dozer and the extra TL Bolter, but really, they are cheap for the added firepower and assured mobility.  If there is only place where I have bad luck, it's dangerous terrain checks.  They plague me like nothing else.  But the Chaos Lord travels with the group.  The Flamers give them the ability to help clear out hordes, and the PF help with armor killing should it be needed.  Two TL Bolters on the Rhino also means it's got more weapons to fire.  I mean, 5 more points for an extra TL bolter? Not bad.  Easier to get in then a whole new SM at 15 points.  Besides, in smaller games, you don't have as much anti-armor fire coming your way.
5 CSM with Melta: 85
Footslogging isn't always advised, but it's not bad.  Remember, you are usually playing on a 4x4 board at 500 points.  This means you don't have far to go.  The melta is there for two reasons.  The first is to provide a clear anti-armor ranged weapon.  The other reason for the unit is to provide support for the troops in the Rhino.  These marines will move in slower, of course, but not that much if they can afford to run the first turn.  The unit is also small, meaning anyone firing at them is not firing at something else.  Indeed, firing at my Melta squad is almost a waste.  Again, morale might be an issue (and it was in one game for normal CSM), but these guys generally do their job well.

1 Chaos Lord w/PF and Combi-Flamer: 125
At this level, he's pretty strong.  At 3 wounds, with a PF, and a Combi-Flamer, he's packing a punch.  Coming in with the CSM squad in the Rhino, it's a fearsome force.  Sure, he's no DP, but at a lower point value, he allows me to take more options in other areas.

This small force at 500 has the following:
  • 2 Power Fists
  • 1 Melta
  • 3 Anti-Armor weapons
  • Long Ranged anti-troop support
  • Mobility
  • Template weapons for Hordes
  • 3 Scoring Units
  • Small Unit sizes for easier cover 
 At 500 points, that's not bad.  Each unit is vital, but none are essential.  This sort of goes against what I said earlier, about each unit not having a backup.  In a way, it's true: each unit has a backup, but not the same type of backup.  If the Melta is destroyed, I don't ranged anti-armor.  If the Flamer squad goes down, I don't have a close combat squad and I've lost a template weapon.  In larger games, I could double up on these units, but in smaller games, I have to find a way to double up in different ways on each of my units goals.

In some ways, larger games can get easier.  You can throw more and more on the table.  You can take all the wicked combos with ease.  With smaller games, you have less to work with.  You can't just throw those same combos on the table without suffering.  Each unit needs to be able to fill multiple roles.  And you have to fill those multiple roles while still giving you a solid model count in case a squad get's torn through early because of failed armor saves.


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