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Sunday, 30 June 2013

40K universe there's so much in it

A long time back a bunch of very talented people got together & created the 40k universe & to the best of my knowledge done something that had never been done in table top gaming before.

The worlds & the races they invented have stood the test of time & has created a multi-million pound corporation.
So lets go back to the grim dark distance pasted & have a look, GW was a very different company then then it is to day, now I not going to say that back then it wasn't about making money because very business has to make money or they go out of business.
The different I think in them days was that the people running the company then where not as business mined as they are to day, which meant games designers had more freedom then they do today.

Anyway enough of all of that, lets have a look & see what did the games designers ever do for us ? well a lot to be honest as the 40K universe they created wasn't just about big battle's on planets it was a lot deeper then that.
A universe that was so weird & wonderful that players of the games just fell in love with it, games such as Epic which is a 6mm game of huge armies where space marines deploy in whole companies & titans roam freely across the table.

small is beautiful 
Now as I said in my last post I love apocalypse but if you really want to capture the feel of massive armies fighting one another then epic is that very thing that because of size & price of models  apocalypse can't be.

FW has just released IA 3 the Taros campaign, but for anyone who never seen the 1ft ed the big battles in the book are games of epic not apocalypse, also in this book are missions for  Battle fleet Gothic.

I read in the rule book for battle fleet grothic that it is not really set at a scale because of sizes that these ships are meant to be & the sizes of plants & other things, but the models are like in epic none the less small.

A game where space ships do battle with one another in the cold dark void of space & a very big part of the 40k universe, how else are those big armies going to get from one planet to another to do battle if there is no spaceships for them to go in ?

Next up the real elephant in the room Inquisitor a game set at 54mm scale which meant you got very detailed models a real painters dream & a game like battle fleet gothic where you would only ever have a couple of models on the table.

your an odd size
Inquisitor a game that's like across between a table top game & a role playing game, a game that took the inquisitor away from the front lines & into a more murkier setting.

Oddly enough Inquisitor is more popular now then it ever was with people now playing it at 28mm.
Another one set away from the big inter galactic battles was Necromunda, with these games taking place in the lower reaches of the massive hive cities of the 40K universe where gangs battled it out for survival.

Like Inquisitor Necromunda gave the players a feel of live in the 40K universe if you weren't out dieing on the front lines & again a game of few models.
 Spacehulk the last of the 40K giants (I know there was space crusade & some others) again a very different game as it's is unlike the others & ia a board game.

A simple but none the less a very enjoyable game to play that pitches terminators against geanstealers in the confined rooms & corridors of spaceships.
A great way of getting new players into the hobby as the rules are very few unlike 40K where the rule book can seem very intimidating.

sometimes there are things more scary inside spacehulks then geanseaters
Sadly GW have dropped all of the games in the 40K universe except for 40K its self & while from a business point of view I can understand why, I think for future gamers when they read books like the Taros campaign are going to feel cheated that they don't have the option to play battle fleet gothic, or when reading books from the black library some of the other games.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Apocalypse is returning

Apocalypse is  been regigged & relaunched to bring it into line with 6th ed 40K, but will we notice ?
Gw's best ever expansion Apocalypse gives you a chance to get out the big guns & what ever else you have in you collation, things like the other 3 tactual squads that never seem to get used have their day in the sun.

Maybe he won't see us
I for one love apocalypse & can remember it first launch & GW's first big kit the baneblade which until then was FW only, they also released a lot of big armies box sets at the time things like a set of 10 Leman Russ's which you could field as the Emperor's fist tank company formation.

You better be a high roller.

It also gave you a chance to use flyer's, titans & other cool FW units like the hydra flak-tank for 200pts I might add, still how else where you going to shoot down them plains ?
Now as I've already said I love playing apocalypse, the ideal way for me is 4 players with between 5 or 6k pts per player & a good GM running the show a perfect way to spend the day gaming.

Right who order the pizza 
That was all in the pasted & now I sit here wondering what 2snd ed apoc is going to bring ? lets be honest the game of 40k has moved on a lot since apoc made its grand entrance, we now have flyers the eldar have just got a model that I belive is 9inchs tall the price of a lot of units in the game have come down so much that many of them are less the half of what they once where not so long ago.

The apocalypse is coming the end is nigh
My dark apostle I can now have him & 100 csm on the table at 1500pts with some pts to spare for some special weapons, remember when the guy below was 26pts ? I do & it wasn't back in the days of RT.

btw I'm looking of one of these old bloodletters if anyone has one to spare.
At the end of the day the big difference will be what it has always been the real trill of apoc the killing power of some of the big hitters, ever seen about 30 GK die to just one shot from a weapon ? I have & by is it ever fun, or laugh as a whole IG army charges a gargantuan creature because some sneaky daemon player put a spell on them.

How will your Emperor protect you now ?
So as I sit here writing this post I look forward to many days of fun playing 2snd ed apoc, even if an IG player can now have 9 Leman Russ's in a normal game of 40k it still not the same as haven 10 in the one squad, so dust off the big guy's & rally the troops for something big is coming & it' going to be fun fun fun.

Some times size does matter.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

To the spaceship yards

To the spaceship yards or where ever it is that nids go to build or grow their ships.

Now to be honest I think I've only ever played battle fleet gothic twice & certainly no more three times, & yet one of my fondest moments in table top gaming came playing this game.

I was playing Darragh at the time & if my memory severs me right with my main ship unable to shot & on fire with him closing in for the kill, I looked a cross the table at Darragh & declared ramming speed & for that one brief moment felt like Captain Jean-Luc |Picard of star trek.

Building a nid fleet is something I've planed to do for a long time now, after all how is Nagaina meant to devour the Galaxy if it has no ships ?

This doesn't mean I'm about to start playing battle fleet gothic any time soon at least I don't think I am but hell who knows.

So then why build a fleet for a game you don't play you might very well ask ? well the answer is quiet simple really, its a modelling opportunity & a part from the paints & glue a free one at that.

In 40K you can't really make a lot of things for nids as they don't have tanks or weapons platforms like other races, as everything in the army is a living organism but oddly enough the very thing that makes it haed to do stuff for them in 40K is the very thing that makes it easy to make a fleet for them.

As these are living things they don't have to comform to the normal rules of spaceships & can just come in any shape or size you like & just like in 40K where the weapons are a living part of the nid so to is it a part of the ship.

A simple & enjoyable little project to do with the whole thing from start to finish taking less then two days I really am very happy with the results.

So now that Hive Fleet Nagaina has the means to transcend the galaxy let the feeding commence.

And the new addistion to the fleet my 5th grandchild Theo who was born yesterday.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Yesterdays Heros

Yesterdays heros units that where once the main stay of  their armies that your not likely to see these days.
In this post I take a look at two units from both codex space marines & codex tyranids,  these two units are  among the most iconic units in 40k but because of changes to their own rules & the games rules these unit seldom make the table top.

The picture above has geanstealers & terminators in the classic board game spacehulk, but outside of the spacehulk these two units really have taken a big fall from grace, so why was this & is there any hope for them in the future ?
To see what happened to these once great units of 40k we first need to go back to their hay day as it was, now I'm not going to go all the way back two when terminators had a 3+ sv on 2d6 no I think the tail end of 4th ed will be enough.

 So why the tail end of 4th ed you might ask if you haven't been playing that long, well in them days the rules where kinder to these units then they are now.
We'll start with the stealer he took his first blow with the release of 5th ed & the change to the rending rule from been on a 6 to hit to been on the roll of a 6 to wound also going from a S+6 +d6 against vehicles to S+6+D3.
There was also the fact that you could no longer consolidate in to another assault which meant taking more bullets.

At this point the stealer was still usable, but the next nid dex was to make it even harder for him with the lost of grenades, the final blow was to come in with the release of 6th ed & the overwatch rule combined with not been able to assault from out flank.
So what about his sparing partner the space marine terminator, well the first blow for him was like the stealer  the change to the rending rule as a popular build for them at the end of of 4th ed was a 5 man squad with 2 assault cannons.

A new dex was to see the change in the rule from haven two heavy weapons in a five man squad to one, also in typical gw fashion the assault got a good price hike, this dex was also to give rise to his brother the assault terminator with the new 3++ storm shield the death blow for the shooting terminator.
Oddly enough with 6th ed been so shooting orientated  & a new dex on the way there could be hope for the shooting terminator if the unit was to get back the 2 heavy weapons in the five man squad, as for the stealers well sadly I thing its might be best for them to stay inside the spacehulk a little while longer.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Forging the Narrative

With the coming of 6th ed 40K GW seem to want us to be forging the narrative, but what does that mean exactly ?
Now this is not one of those if you don't play this way or that you're playing it wrong post as I believe that different type of people look for different things out of this hobby & what ever way you enjoy it is the right way.

 Now anyone that knows me knows that I love to play none standard games or the missions from the earlier forge world IA books where they gave you the army to use, in fact the pictures you'll see are from a game I played last week with was a mission from IA3.

Anyway back to forging the narrative what is it that stops most players from doing this ? as from what I can see most people just play the missions from the rule book, but funnily enough as was the case in the 4th ed rule book (I'm talking about the big rule book here) there are other missions that people don't seem to use.

Now I understand that for a pick up game you can really only use the normal missions from the rule book or if your looking for a tournament type of game but ask yourself are all of the games you play one of the above ?.

So what are the problems with stepping outside of the of the rulebook to play a game of 40k ? why is it that in the club I see players just playing the same missions over & over again, now if that what your happy doing well & good but if you'd like something a bit different why not try forging the narrative for your next game.

Right lets take a look at what we'd need to do to forge the narrative, well first off we need a bit of a story, this doesn't have to be a black library job it can be something as simple as out post 99 coming under attack & how they fought gallantry to buy enough time to send out a warning.

Right so that will be our story & your mission with one side trying to hold out for a certain amount of turns to send the warning against over whelming odds, but what about balance you say.
Well lets be honest here 40k may be a lot of things but balanced it is not, two top players with two top armies or two bad players with two bad armies might have a game that is close as you'll get to been balanced but even then it won't be completely balanced.
The game I played last week seen me using 40 marines against 40 guards & 3 gun emplacements, totally unbalanced yes but such was the design of the the mission that Ger still had two chances to win the game if he'd roll a 6 at the end of turn 5 or 6,

I've played many a game a game of 40K both in tournaments & friendly games in the club that I new I wouldn't win even before a dice was rolled, so balance is not really as big a problem as you might think & these type of games are more about how the game feels then who wins.

Of course these games don't even have to be unbalanced at all, here's a simple little way of doing a narrative style game using the nothing more then the basic missions in the rule book, the 138th have been completely cut off & are running short on supplies with the enemy trying to wipe them out.
So we'll play the game using objectives & killpoints with  a twist, we'll take the number of killpoints in the 138th army say 16 & divide it by 4 which will give us answer of 4 so we'll place 4 objectives with each objective worth 4 killpoints to the 138th but worth none to the other player.

So we end up haven a game where one player is playing for killpoints & the other is playing for objectives, with both players using the same amount of points for there army.
As you can see these games can be played in many different way, using the same points per side or not using the same points per side, using the foc or not using the foc, using forgeworld models or not, the ways to play 40k is only limited by your own imagination.
 Another way to do it is this, we'll say Bill & Ted are going to be playing a game together next week so they ask Bob who is familiar with both their armies if he'd make up a mission for them for the next week, they could even go as far as asking him to do up the two army lists if they wanted, after all a general always has to go to war with the army he has not always the one he wants.

There are a couple of very important thing about stepping outside of the normal mission, one is keeping true to the narrative so build the armies to fit what your trying to do, after all a deathwing company are not likely to be manning a relay station.

Another is the spirit of the game, I think this is some thing that is often misunderstood it doesn't mean that if your crushing you opponent that you should play a few bad turns or forget to shoot, but more this way the mission that Ger & myself played last week was for me to destroy a missile platform whit 30 of my marines arriving by a thunderhawk, now the only way I could destroy it was by assaulting it  using demo- charges(2 marines in the 2 tactical squads had demo charges) now if I'd land the thunderhawk right beside the platform & debus the marines next to it I don't think that would be in the spirit of the game.

So like I said at the start if your happy enough just playing the basic missions in the rule book then that's fine, but if like me you like to step outside the box now & again then don't be afraid  to forge the narrative it really isn't all that hard.

My thanks to Ger for a very enjoyable game & for putting up with me taking pictures

Thursday, 6 June 2013

How to industrial terrain

Industrial looking terrain is in fact a simple enough thing to do after all a piece of machinery can look many different ways.

The table you see set up above is mostly made from stuff people throw away, rice pots, bottle tops, spray can lids & packaging.

Jamie's inquisitor takes cover behind a couple of bottle tops glued together, the green one has a strip of plastic card glued around the middle of it to give a bit more detail.

This orange piece in this two pictures is from is from one of them Christmas sets that nearly everyone gets.

the one below I think might have been an Easter egg.

A lot of the food we buy these days also comes in this type of packaging, it like a soft plastic.

So to start we need some form of packaging & expanding foam that you'll get in any hardwere.

Next put the foam into packaging only fill it about one third of the way, rememder this is exspanding foam.

The foam will fill the packaging making it robust, it will take different lents of time for the foam to set depending on how much you used I normally leave it till the next day before doing anything with it.

You'll next need to cut the foam off level with the bottom of the packaging.

On a lot of theses type of packaging there's a little turn up around them that you'll need to cut off.

 After that you can add more detail if you like.

Before basing it & painting it, so the next time before you throw that piece of packaging out have a good look at it & see what else it could be used for.

A couple of spray can lids with a bit of detail added do the job just fine.