Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rex Camo Update #2: It's a leg!

I'm really liking the direction this is going, its fun. Now to finish assembling the radar ha.

Time to Take Back Warhammer 40k

With all this talk of Escalation and Stronghold, the community has been ablaze with chatter. The following is an analysis of what I have noticed and what could be the start of what we all really want. Now, obviously all these points don't apply to everyone or every event, but bear with me.

Is it "balanced"? What do we have to do to balance it if it isn't?

There's no fixing the balance in Warhammer 40k perfectly, time to stop trying.

There, I said it.

Let's look at what tournaments are considering and what, perhaps, they should ultimately do.

Banning D weapons brings us back to the Screamerstar, Riptide spam and Serpent spam days. Then we ban the grimoire, limit the availability of of Riptides and Wave Serpents. Then what have we done? We've chopped up the game in hopes of this thing called "balance". It's still not perfect. This isn't chess, it never will be. Units don't mirror each other across the codices so that each codex is similar. This alone creates unit-to-unit imbalance. Which is the entire point of different armies. It's when players start min-maxing and using gimmicks to abuse the system that the real problems occur.

Since when has this hobby been so reliant on tournaments to tell us whats acceptable and whats not? Can we not discuss things before hand with our opponents? Sure we can, but when it comes to a tournament some feel "forced" to play against things they don't like and are scored on it. This score directly influences how they place during the day.

That's wrong.

Warhammer 40k is not designed for tournaments where  the sole objective is winning. That's only a third of the game. So why should we be scored on only 1/3 of the actual game? Let alone the part that has the most imbalance?

We shouldn't. It's time to take back ALL OF WARHAMMER 40K.

Game-play, Narrative and hobby.

Instead of being scored solely on your list making and tactical prowess, it's time to be scored on sportsmanship and the time and effort you actually put into your army.

Gone should be the days of "40k Tournaments" and forthcoming should be events of simply "Warhammer 40k Day"

Those who paint and collect miniatures primarily shouldn't be subject to those who have more experience playing the game through putting the game first. It's not fair to score based on victories alone. Just as someone has more experience in game-play, some have more experience in painting and converting. Let's level the field and come together.

A day to celebrate the hobby as a whole and the spirit of competition, instead of the prowess of game-system-abuse. Why compete with only the most unbalanced 1/3 of the game when you can compete with the hobby as a whole. Warhammer World and some other events are starting/have done something similar.

Now it's time to take it all the way.

Example system, everything is legal, go nuts:
  • One Point for a Victory
  • One Point for a fully Painted Army
  • One Point for a Positive Sportsmanship Score
  • One Point for a Favorite Game Vote
  • One Point for a Favorite Army Vote
  • Neither player has a LoW: BRB Missions
  • One player has a LoW: Altar of War: Escalation Missions
  • Both players have a LoW: BRB Missions 
It's time to win the day, not just the battles. Face a rude power-gamer? Well he's already missing out on upwards of three possible points. Face a beginner who has lovingly painted his whole army, put time in for a theme and story. Someone who was a blast to play against? The kind of person who has the same spark you had when you started? They now have the advantage over the power-gamer because they care about 40k as a whole. Not just winning. Rules like the above help encourage fun battles.

Now this system, or should better systems be discovered/implemented/improved, puts a lot of responsibility on us. The 40k hobbyists. As it should be. We should be accountable for our hobby. Not put it off on the game systems, altered or otherwise.

Instead of us looking to authorities to figure it, we should be looking next to us. To the fellow hobbyist. If you're already doing that, excellent, keep at it.

Instead of seeking validation through this hobby by just winning, we should seek validation as a whole. Through the stories we tell, through the miniatures we paint, through the effort we put into every part of the hobby.

This is just a starting point. Lets come together over the whole hobby, instead of separating over 1/3 of it. It will only be as good as we make it.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rex Camo Update

First time I ever did something like this, I like it. I don't know if I want to add another light or darker grey fractal shape to the pattern. Have it overlapping the current ones slightly.

Metal Gear Rex Update

Progress is sloooooww. There are so many parts. It is so fatiguing. But I know the end result will be  grand.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Simple Alternate D-Weapon Save Rules

Here is a post I just made on B&C. You can follow the conversation here.

"Now, we all know some of the panic D weapons have caused. I personally think they have a place to deal with things like: screamerstars, T10 MCs, Riptide spam, Serpent spam etc. However I can see how adversely these weapons can affect the more casual side of the game should you want to use a SHV in a tournament at a FLGS where you know there aren't all WAAC players that power-game. So how do we tone them down to be able to take down the power lists that abuse the system while still not steamrolling a more casual player.

Just making them S10 AP1 Ignores cover will still splat most thing but screamerstars and riptide spam will laugh it off.

Perhaps a slight alteration to D weapons and how they affect saves. Now lets say that D weapons don't automatically ignore all saves, but only do so on a 5+. This keeps their ability to deal with screamerstars while keep other more casual lists viable. More difficult sure, but significantly more possible.


Edit: Perhaps they reduce invul and cover saves to max of 5+? Gets rid of system abuse builds but retains a more casual friendly aspect.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Void Shield Generators and Lava Base

I am really digging the new paints from citadel. They are fantastic. Especially the rust and corrosion.

The earth technical can make for great lava bases as well.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013





When Warhounds were made legal for Escalation I just about flipped the table in joy. I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Combine my favorite mech from my favorite game of all time, Metal Gear Rex, and my hobby of 40k together. Soon it will be my first Super-heavy count-as Warhound stalking through the radioactive wastes of Kiahvar. Words cannot describe my elation.

I am going all out with this.

And it shall be glorious.

Victorius Aut Mortis

Escalation Battle Report Summary

Altar of War: Escalation
Mission: Armoury of Annihilation (Objectives give shooting attacks armour/fleshbane, optional skyfire and interceptor)
Deployment: Dawn of War (As per the Mission Rules)
Night fighting First turn
2,000 Points
Necrons/Trans C'Tan with Dark Eldar Allies(me) vs Imperial Fists with Templar Allies Imperial Bunker fort
5 Objectives total

The game was crazy. He had two sternguard squads loaded for bear and scouts in his list. Both scout squads infiltrated onto two objectives. With my opponent having first turn his first sterngurad landed next to a third objective. So all those squads had fleshbane and armourbane, I was sweating. He took 3 wounds of the C'Tan and blew up my ghost ark instantly on turn 1 giving him 2 VPs(first blood and 3 wounds on a Gar. Creature). The C'Tans Primary 6 Apoc Barrage did major damage throughout the game and ended up blowing some objectives up(they are AV15 in this mission). He finally felled the beast on turn 4 for another VP from devastators on a fourth objective with fleshbane.

We ended up tying 3-3 (2 Objectives for me to First Blood, 6 GC wounds). There was some major whiffing on his side but over all it was a fun game. I really think these missions, as well as balanced/non gimmick list are key to maximum balance.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Real Answer to Escalation Balancing

It's quite simple and very clever on GWs part. You don't need void shields or another LoW if you already have an established army and feel like you need a bit more of a boost. It's  not banning Escalation or banning D weapons.

Just play the Alter of War: Escalation missions in the back of the Escalation book.

They are designed for one player to not have a Lord of War. The missions special rules help level the playing field even further. One mission gives a unit who controls an objective shooting attacks armourbane, fleshbane, skyfire(optional) and interceptor. Imagine a Dev squad with lascannons controlling one of these? Another gives the player without the LoW units outflank and acute senses. Grav/melta bike squad? More like Titan Hunter Squad. Another gives the LoW player a VP for each wound/HP remaining and the non-LoW player a VP for each they dealt. Pus three other missions and more rules I didn't mention.

All these coupled with the new Warlord table that opponents without LoWs get access to... It proves for a very challenging game for the player with the LoW.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Thoughts on D Weapons

I just had another thought. Things with D weapons are expensive. Crazy expensive. I know a lot of people are concerned they are just "point and remove from pay" weapons but think about the point breakdown:

The cheapest source of SD weapons in Escalation. The Shadowsword's volcano cannon. It's 5" blast SD. That is still going to be almost a third of you points at 1.5k. Know how many lascannons you could get for around 500 points? Depends on codex, but the answer is: A lot. Do you know what can survive that much pewpew? Almost nothing, to the point where it equates to Strength D. Especially the Revenant Titan. 4 D weapons is impressive, but for around 1,000 points you can bring the pain without D weapons if you dedicate it all to big guns, not just lascannons. Plus because it's from different sources you minimize the risk to overkill something. So you don't spend all 1,000 points to kill 200.

What D weapons actually end up doing is reducing the time it takes to destroy things. This helps when some apocalypse games take a few days to complete. In "regular" a term which I use very loosely nowadays, 40k it translates to consolidated firepower as the things that carry them takes up more points.

Now it isn't, say, a "1:1 ratio of time:power" as D weapons in the form of blasts can output a bit more if things are bunched up(pro-tip: don't) but it's closer than you might think. Plus it is a double-edged sword; one source of that much firepower is easier to bring down than say, 6. Also if you lose that superheavy you are out that much instantly, where as multiple units take long to kill of and the power curves down instead of cutting off.

If you want more protection that's when you bring Void Shield Generators. Not only do they protect what you can use to kill titans, but the rest of your army as well.

Against vehicle, a D weapon has a good chance to nuke it. So do 12 lascannons.

D weapons are fearsome, but not the end of the world. I fortunately have enough experience to where I can confidently handle them without bringing a Revenant of my own. If you feel like you don't have enough experience/models etc don't cry "nerf now!" just simply say "Hey, I'm new/poor/not confident my current army can handle D weapons/other valid reason, would you like to play a game without Escalation/D-Weapons?"

It is that easy.

For tournaments, you have to expect every player that to have a min-maxed list that utilize everything available withing the confines of the tournaments structure. So if it allows Escalation/Stronghold (Hint: it should if it allows all the other supplements because they are designed to exist in a meta where superheavies do too otherwise Tau Fireblade Cadre with Screamerstars EVERYWHERE) then expect D weapons and plan accordingly and realize that 40k was never supposed to be cut-throat.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why Titans and D-Weapons Aren't as Scary as You Think

Blunt Post:

I've been seeing a lot of doom and gloom about "Escalation" and a lot of it is because people don't now all the options that are available to them and just freak out.

I see things like "D weapons are OP." and "Just field a Titan and you win."

Not true, not even close. The simple fix for a non-Escalation army is to take void shield generators. Each generator can be upgraded to have 3 projected void shields(layers). That is essentially an AV12 HP3 12" bubble that has IWND and can't be destroyed by simple popping all the bubbles. You could also take the Void Relay Network and have upwards of 3 generators with 3 layers each. At single FoC that's 9 void layers, at double you can take 16 (SIXTEEN!) layers. Even a Revenant will have trouble with 9 layers (which is a fraction of the Revenants points), let alone 16.

Now, the fix I recommend is to simply adapt your list, also known as "balancing" it.  There are many options, void shields, Tau Fireblade Fire Support Cadres, Stormwings are easy to slot in. I have made several lists that can effectively deal with a titan, even without Escalation or Stronghold using both no allies and allied combinations of the following codices: Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Daemons, Dark Eldar, Necrons, Inquisition. Not a single superheavy, formation or void shield. I admit, just using Stronghold makes it much more effective but it can be done without it. Some kill the titan faster, which does not automatically equate to "easier", others are more tricky. So I know it is possible to make balanced lists without these supplements that can combat them. Once you add them to your arsenal, however, your ability to fight back curves upwards.

40k is not supposed to be a cut-throat competitive game. Think about this: You cant go to a tourny expecting there to be anything but min-maxed lists, super combos (screamerstars), "cheese" lists and other things that borderline abuse the 40k system. That I think hurts the spirit of the game more so than anything else. These new expansions, I personally believe, give players and option to field what the 40k universe is all about without padding/manipulating the system and counter the cheese: Big Scary Warmachines.

Riddle me this:

It's called "Escalation" for a reason.