Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Month at a Glace

Well, hasn't it been an exciting month? First off the blog goes live on instagram (#artofwarhammerblog), I try out my Ultramarines finally and now an entirely new edition! Well, where do I start?

Let's start with something new on this blog. Those who have been checking out my instagram posts will already be familiar with the Assault Marines I've been working on, using various parts from the Vanguard, Sternguard, Tactical and Grey Knight kits (the heads were kindly donated by Will, whose army you can check out in my last post). My aim was to have a dynamic looking squad that looked a bit like gladiators, following my Roman theme. I'm very happy with the results.

Next up, Ultramarines and how I found them. A full report and post mortem will go up soon I promise, it's been lack of time more than anything, but what I can say is that the Combat Doctrines were very fun to play with and really made every turn feel like a battle in it's own right. I have some things to say about Psychic Powers and Flyers, neither of which I had used in 6th edition previously, but with 7th edition out it could prove very different next time.

Lastly, 7th edition. I am already worried about the obscenity that is Tzeentch Daemons and what I've heard makes me not want to play with or against them, period. It also makes me wanna toy with Grey Knight allies a little, maybe some allies and stuff. Other than that there are some amazing options that have been opened up and I will be discussing them over the next few months.

Almost half way through the year, catch you all in June!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Another Army: Will's Imperial Fists

After I made it my duty to do 6 spotlight armies for the blog in 2014, Will was one of the first people I asked to do a piece. He agreed on the condition I waited until this month before he had enough painted to show off, and my he's been a busy boy! You may remember Will's Space Marines in my battle report back in February and was the first person to be involved in my pre-battle short stories. Since then he has got over 2,500 points fully painted and the guy only started his collection when the Space Marine codex came out last year! Yikes, that's a lot of models!

Ever the helpful soul, Will's also written up some info on the inner workings of his army in full details so I don't even have to interpret it myself, so I'll be putting some quotes from him here and there to really explain it all in his own words.

Sons of Dorn

"After playing the hobby for a long time now it is only recently that I've finally found an army I truly love and bond with on a greater level.
The start of this army came from my a combination of those that I had collected before being an avid dwarf and space wolf collector I truly am a man on the beard and hammer! Though I wanted an army I could love for the fluff and to paint (as lets be honest painting space wolf grey is just boring).
Well it's my Imperial Fist chapter "Hammers of Dorn!" The Hammers of Dorn venerate their primarch, Rogal Dorn, to a degree far beyond those of the Imperial Fists' successors and I wanted to optimize this in my army making them fanatical about dorn." - Will
Will just could not have gone for a more iconic start to his army. To the left is a picture of his very own "count as" Lysander for his fists, complete with huge Thunder Hammer and over slung Storm Shield. I remember this miniature as a work in progress myself and it's always astounded me just how creative Will is with his conversions, and we're just getting started! As the article goes on you will see he takes Space Marine kitbashing to a whole new and stunning level, even I have been inspired by his work and have some marines in the making that are directly influenced by Will's use and mixture of bits in his own army, plus the yellow is absolutely amazing and, unlike most Imperial Fist armies I don't find the tone of yellow he uses too much. But I digress...

Hammer Time!

"This particular company I have made is that of the highest level, it is comprised of only the most veteran fists with them all being oldest and wisest battle hardened men! To enter this company a marine must give up his position in his current company after proving himself to then become a scout again in this one!
Going by all this fluff I made my army full of markings of the fist on all models. Oh and the hammers... lots of hammers! They're everywhere! Nothing smites the heretic like that of a hammer infused with the might of Dorn himself!" - Will
Will's HQ lead by example. Everything (almost) is armed to the teeth with some kind of warhammer (rather fitting for the game). As well as his Terminator Captain there's one of each HQ choice holding a hammer as you can see. A Master of the Forge with two plasma pistols and a forge style hammer in place of a servo-arm, a rather clerical looking Chaplain with a Crozius Hammer, a Librarian with a Force Hammer (count as Force Staff I reckon?) and a Contemptor Dreadnought holding a massive Siege Hammer. Although not entirely accurate to what they have everything is pretty easy to identify in the rules they use.

But it's not just hammer related wargear that spurs Will's models, sometimes he doesn't even look for an excuse to stick some more hammers wherever he can. It's more like "spot the guy without a hammer" than the other way around, but it's a great vibe running through the whole thing. It's very fitting in their roles in siege warfare and, combined with their highly mechanised units and long beards they kind of remind me of Space Marine Dwarves.

Space Marine Tactical Squad with... Bolthammers?

The full squad

Assault Squad with Close Combat Weapons... AKA hammers

More Assault Marines with hammers

Yep, even the Scouts have hammers

Heavy Metal

"I still took upon the fact that fists are bolter specialists with lots of Heavy Bolters but I wanted to convey my models to nearly all be close quarter looking with hammers ready to purge!
The last thing I really wanted this army to be about was slow, stubborn and purposeful, with lots of walkers, centurions, termies and men! This army will not field any flyers, skimmers (except a scout speeder maybe) or bikes.. Assault marines are allowed as they may wield the mighty weapon of Dorn." - Will
Centurions in particular seem to be the pride and joy of Will's army, in fact I was lucky to get away with as little damage as I did from these beasts, everyone else they shot at in other games didn't survive long. You can tell how much he loves them too, the sheers amount of work Will has put into these guys is breathtaking, looking more like walking behemoths than a chunky exo-suit. He's even used Storm Bolters to represent the Hurricane Bolters that they typically carry. Such simple ideas such as this go a long way towards making the chapter look unique and very untypical of the usual Astartes army. Although to be honest I am quite disappointed in the lack of hammers, but when asked Will merely responded that he wanted to set the Centurions apart from his other units to signify their key role. Fair enough.

The vehicles Will has incorporated really feel slow but heavy hitting, blending perfectly with his army's theme. 2 Riflemen dreadnought and a Hunter add some serious firepower to the mix. Although originally Will was going to do a Stalker, he felt the Hunter made more sense for his theme and he's not wrong. Each vehicle is lovingly painted in the famous yellow of the Imperial Fists and the regal purple casing for the Skyspear Missile Launcher looks a lot nicer than it does in theory. It really does look like a siege vehicle and goes a long way to countering enemy flyers without resorting to using any of his own.

Missile Launcher/Lascannon Devastator Squad

Combi-Pred and 2 Razorbacks

More hammers in the hands of Terminators

4 Heavy Bolters Devastator Squad

So, What Now?

Unfortunately, as Will got everything in his collection painted, there are no shots of any of his upcoming works. Instead he left me with a teaser in writing as to what he has next in stall...

"Next for this army I've got a land raider crusader that's going to hold a chaplain and 10 Vanguard Veterens as well as filling out my ranks with some more Scouts and Marines, but most of all because I love my Centurions so much it would have to be another unit of these bad boys, another Dreadnought and I've got some very nice ideas for a Knight *wink*" - Will
So there you have it, that wraps up yet another installment of "Another Army". I'll be honest I have no idea what's coming for the next installment but I'm sure it'll be interesting! Until next time fans.

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Review: Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition

So as you all know I posted a huge rant about the recently released 7th edition, complaining that Games Workshop are destroying all that made the game interesting, fun and unique. But I also withheld absolute judgement until I had seen the book myself in person. Well I haven't bought the book myself (due to being as broke as Knight Commander Pask) but I did get an extensive read of my friend's copy yesterday and I'm glad I reserved judgement, 7th edition now excites me. There are a lot of subtle changes that change the game completely for most players, plus a lot of older rules have been polished (Instant Death, for example now states it takes your model down to 0 rules unless you have Eternal Warrior, solving the problem of "is removed as casualty the same as Instant Death?"). Of all the editions of the game I've read (which is all but Rogue Trader) I had the least amount of questions in regard to how particular rules affect particular circumstances which, for me is incredibly important.

That's not to say 7th edition is perfect, far from it. In this review I will avoid all the stuff you already know and focus on the subtle things you probably won't know. Also I will be compiling a list of units that have been nerfed, units that have become awesome and some that are questionable. This will be one of the most extensive reviews I've written and I hope you all enjoy.

I thought I'd start with the most obvious change in the latest edition. We all know how this works by now (you now roll from a pool determined by a D6 roll and your combined psychic mastery)  and we all know about the new Daemonology powers, but there is a lot of stuff you may have missed as I will now list below:

Psychic Focus - This is a welcome addition to selecting your psychic powers and one that will throw up some tactical options for many players. Now if you select all your powers from a single discipline you gain the primaris power as well, making my all singing, all dancing Tigurius with nothing but Divination a tasty option. This is a massive bonus for Tyranids as it means every Synaptic Creature has Dominion, giving 'nids a new way to counter their synapse problem without sacrificing a better psychic power such as Onslaught or Paroxysm.

Power Types - Although mostly the same other than the addition of Conjuration powers, Witchfire and Focussed Witchfire have changed in amazing ways. You can now generate as many Witchfire Powers as you want now and can target a different unit to the psyker's conventional weapons (so Tigurius can cast Smite and Flame Breath at one target and his bolt pistol plus whatever weapons his unit has at a completely different target for example). In addition Focussed Witchfire powers automatically Precision Shot if you pass more warp charges than the minimum needed for a power. One type has been removed however, but I can't remember if it was Nova or Maelstrom powers...

Perils of the Warp - Although Psychic Tests are no longer passed on Leadership values, most Perils of the Warp results do. This is now a table which you roll on if 2 or more 6's are rolled when generating a power and it's a mixed bag of good and ugly. Results can can vary from instant killing your psychic and the unit he's in to randomly becoming an uber demi-god with rules like Fleshbane and Armourbane for a turn. It's not something you want to roll on though, let me tell you, and you may find more and more Astra Militarum players accompanying their Primaris Psykers with Commissars.

Daemonology - Daemonology is a very different kettle of fish to other psychic powers being that they are actually very dangerous to use unless you're playing specific armies. Every army other than Tyranids can take these powers, but Sanctic Powers are aligned with Grey Knights and Malefic Powers are aligned with Chaos Daemons. Neither army can take their opposing Daemonology lore (so Grey Knights can't go around summoning Blood Thirsters afterall). In addition, any other army that casts Daemonology Powers suffer Perils of the Warp on any double, not just 6's! Ouch. Unless your daemons, summoning a Blood Thirster (which requires 3 4+ rolls) is actually more likely to kill your psyker and his unit than anything. The risks are high but the rewards are many...

Power Changes - A lot of powers have been changed, removed or added. Vortex of Doom is now a Sanctic Power and is a Strength D Vortex weapon, and is replaced on the Telekinesis with the old version of Vortex (Strength 10 AP 1 blast), but this is one of many changes. Powers like Warp Speed and Iron Arm which gave +D3 stats back in 6th now give a straight up +3, Misfortune no longer forces it's victim to reroll failed armour saves but instead gives all weapons shooting at it the Rending special rule (ouch!), Scriers Gaze now affect Tactical Objectives, Objeration Mechanicum now gives the victim unit's shooting weapons the "Gets Hot" special rule... I could go on. Interestingly enough, however is the complete absence of Puppet Master. A sad loss but I'm sure we'll get over it.

Those who hated how easy Vehicles were to kill in 6th edition rejoice! Tanks and the like have just got harder and have become the lynchpin for many armies once again. Now crushing an army with the might of tanks is a viable tactic. Let's take a look at the big changes:

Vehicle Damage Chart - Explodes! Now only affect tanks on a result of 7+, so only Open-Topped vehicles and vehicles hit by AP 1/2 are now under threat of one shot kills. Land Raiders and Monoliths just became meaty again! The downside to this however is now every roll on the damage chart does something regardless of the situation. Out of weapons and inflicted with a Weapon Destroyed? You're immobilised now. You're already immobilised? Have another hull point worth of damage. Interestingly Flyers can't be on locked velocity permanently and immobilised either destroys them as per Crash and Burn or merely stuns them for a turn. Even more interestingly, Weapon Destroyed results are now randomised.

Ramming - Ramming just got awesome. Now, instead of adding +1 strength for every armour point on the facing in question it now sets the basic strength equal to half the facing's armour value rounding up, then adding modifiers for being a tank and, I believe movement too. So a Land Raider in a ram will always be at least Strength 8 unless their armour is modified for example. Also Dozer Blades now add +1 strength to rams.

Vehicles in Assault - Gone are the days where if you remain stationary you are automatically hit in melee. Now vehicles (unless they are Walkers or Chariots) are always Weapon Skill 1 regardless of whether or not they moved and are only automatically hit if they have been Immobilised. Sweet! Also, Chariots are now locked in close combat.

Squadrons - Now hits aren't evenly doled out to vehicles in squadrons. Hits are now resolved against the closest tank until it's destroyed then goes to the next tank until that is destroyed etc.

Buildings - Buildings now act like vehicles with their own damage chart and can be captured (even if they are a fortification!). I can see these playing a larger part in some battles...

With Bound and Unbound armies now a major factor with 7th edition, we all know that the tournament scene is going to be broken as all hell. This I still don't like, however now that I've seen Battle Forged armies they actually don't seem too appealing...

Battle Forged Armies - Now Battle Forged Armies can take as many detachments as they want, regardless of points values and can now take several allies. Admittedly this is open to abuse and makes Unbound armies redundant since Battle Forged armies also get Objective Secured and can reroll Warlord Traits without sacrificing much (I saw a list with 6 Dakka Jets, 20 Deathcopters, 3 Weird Boyz and 60 Ork Boyz as a Battle Forged Army, yuck!).

Ally Matrix - The Ally Matrix has been revised in interesting ways. Now all armies are battle brothers with themselves (absolutely amazing news for Tyranids) and you can ally with Come the Apocalypse but this option is even worse than Desperate Allies. Also we noticed Tau and Space Marines are no longer Battle Brothers and all Imperial Armies (all lumped under one category here) are Battle Brothers with each other. This doesn't sound like much but opens some interesting new plays, like Grey Knights led by Tigurius, or A Sisters Seraphim Squad led by a Black Templar Captain. Whilst I hate they have ignored some fluff, I'm loving the possibilities. My next thing to do is see if Unbound armies can ally alongside Battle Forged armies so I can have my lone Assassin once again.

Warlord Traits - Aren't rubbish in 7th edition. Now Warlord traits affect Battle Brothers, and if no character is available to be Warlord (in Unbound armies for example) one model must be Warlord. The option to have a random Necron Warrior be Warlord is hilarious but pointless. In addition a new chart has been added call Tactical Traits which mostly affect Tactical Objectives and a lot of the older traits have been buffed. Most have lost their prerequisites to use (you don't have to be within range of an objective to use them for example), some have been changed substantially (Night Attacker only makes it Night Fighting in turn 1 and only affects your opponent) and some have been changed completely (Master of Ambush no longer give Acute Senses and instead allows D3 of your units to Infiltrate). Now BRB traits are a viable option which is great news for armies waiting for a new codex.

As I predicted some of the Special Rules have changed slightly, for the most part better. Here I will list some of the major changes for some of the rules in 7th edition:

Challenges - Although working more or less exactly the same as 6th edition, overrunning attacks now "spill" onto collateral units, so no more accepting challenges from Sargents to keep your squad intact! Additionally, if collateral units have nothing else to fight they now attack enemies in challenges instead of doling out rerolls. A few people hate this but I think it'll stop the beardy tactics some people utilised to lessen the impact of enemy challenges.

Precision Shot - Exactly the same as 6th edition except Characters no longer have this automatically, making Sniper units far more useful.

Rending - Slightly nerfed. Exactly as it was in 6th edition but now it doesn't utilise the AP2 against vehicles, only non-vehicles. Still gets +D3 armour penetration on a 6 though.

Scout - Scout has become amazing in 7th edition. It reads that you can redeploy units either 6" or 12" from it's original position (depending on type) and can now be used in addition to Infiltrate.

Graviton Weapons - Now in the rulebook and exactly as they are in the Space Marine codex.

Counter Attack/Split Fire - No longer require a leadership test to perform.

Feel No Pain - Is even better now as it cannot be negated by anything other than Destroyer Weapons and Instant Death.

Jink - Massively nerfed. Jink is now 4+ but if you decide to use it you can only snap fire.

Skyfire - Can no longer fire at ground troops with full BS when combined with Interceptor.

Smash - Massively nerfed. Now only a single attack when doubling strength,

So what does this all mean for our plucky units? Games Workshop have stated that all 6th edition codexes translate perfectly into 7th so, with that in mind how do our units change? Well I have compiled my own list of units separated into 3 different categories... those who have been buffed (The Good), those who have been nerfed (The Bad) and those who are questionably nerfed/buffed (The Ugly). Please note I will only be commenting on units that have already received a 6th edition codex as we do not know what the future holds for the rest...

The Good

Eldrad - Has received an unbelievably good boost in the psychic power department. Sure his level 4 status means he's unlikely to focus and receive a fifth power in the form of a primaris power, but now warp charge is shared, his ability to generate new charges after successfully casting makes him amazingly useful now.

Vindicators - Already armed with a Dozer Blade, Vindicators have actually become more effective than Land Raiders at ramming. Once that Demolisher Cannon is gone you can just start throwing it about like a mad man as it maintains a basic ram attack of Strength 9. Ouch!

Ironclad Dreadnoughts - Not only benefiting from being harder to kill, Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons are back and are exactly the same except they are no longer Specialist Weapons, so taking a Siege Hammer and Power Fist actually has some use now.

Telion - Not so much "buffed" as "not as nerfed as others", Telion carries a sniper weapon meaning he is one of the few characters in 40k to still have Precision Shot. Telion just climbed up in my purchase list.

Wyrdvane Psykers - In 6th I always questioned the point of these. Level 1 Brotherhood of Psykers who cost more than a Primaris Psyker really didn't appeal to me. But now Daemonology has made an appearance they make great sacrificial lambs to summon daemons. Wyrdvanes have suddenly become quite cool.

The Bad

Ahriman - Unfortunately Ahriman wasn't quite as blessed as his rival Level 4 Psyker. Now Psykers can fire any amount of Witchfire powers and their bog standard weapons, Ahriman has lost the one thing that made him good. This guy needs some new rules methinks.

Deathleaper - Although not bad still, Deathleaper losing Precision Shots is quite a blow to the unique Lictor, plus challenges still leave him vulnerable to the new overkill attack making his Warlord Trait a lot harder to utilise. He is still an annoy snot though.

Flying Monstrous Creatures - Now Flying Monstrous Creatures cannot assault the turn they change flight modes, meaning an end to Winged Tyrant/Blood Thirster swoop rushes. Still, I said from the moment 6th edition was released that this was overpowered anyways so think of this as "balanced".

Eldar/Tau Vehicles - A small victory for us non Tauder players, Eldar and Tau can't keep jinking every damn shot we make at them without sacrificing their shooting ability, very annoying for people fielding Fire Prisms. Still, with all the overpowered rants everyone has had concerning these two armies, I think it was time they were knocked down a peg anyways.

The Ugly

Vanguard Veterans - There's a small clause with these guys and, depending on the inevitable FAQ that will surely come out it could make them not quite as good or absolutely amazing. Disordered charges do not grant +1 attacks full stop anymore so do Vanguard Veterans still get this due to their Heroic Intervention?

Knight Commander Pask - Nah, I'm only joking, this guy is still broken as all hell. Interestingly though because of the lack of Precision Shot and Rending no longer being AP2 against vehicles means he has lost some of the impact he had in 6th edition. Still, take him in a Leman Russ Squadron and chances are you can't kill him until you've killed 2 other Leman Russes. Harsh!

Captain Cato Sicarius - Still a solid choice and admittedly hasn't changed much but there are two minor things to consider now. First of all his Feel No Pain can be taken against more attacks which is a massive score, but also his Imperium Sword trait is now a rubbish version of the Master of Offense trait in the BRB. Hmmmm...

Well I have to say I've really changed my tune on 7th edition. Yes I still think it was too early to release a new edition, yes I don't want to fork out another £50 just yet and yes the rules for Unbound armies will be abused. Having said that 7th edition seems to play on the principle of High Risk, Big Reward and I kinda like it. Supremely powerful strategies can be played but can backfire massively which kind of balances it all out. Unbound armies are strangely equally viable to Battle Forged armies, in fact actually less tempting in most situations. I still need to see if I can ally Unbound detachments with Battle Forged detachments because this could potentially lead to some awesome set ups (Battle Forged Space Marines with a singular, Unbound Vindicare Assassin, or Battle Forged Chaos Space Marines with Unbound Wyrdvane Psykers converted as ritual cultists for example).

If I do have a niggle though, there are no Fortifications listed in the rulebook, which is strange considering you can still take Fortifications...

All in all I look forward to future battles in 7th edition and even excited by the prospect. I will always remember 6th edition fondly as the edition that really drove my hobby to a dedicated degree, and I hope 7th will nurture that drive and evolve it beyond anything 6th ever could...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Birthday Warefare

Just a quick update, it is my birthday today and as such I will not be writing any lengthy posts today, but as a little treat for you all I will be doing a battle report soon and I thought I would post some teaser pictures for you all to check out. Have a good one peeps!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Psychic Phase

The latest video from Games Workshop concerns the most drastic change to Warhammer 40k and that's the Psychic Phase. The video doesn't show anything we don't already know but it's worth checking out:

Also, did anyone else spot the Space Marine mini in the video that doesn't seem to have been released as of yet?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tutorial: Rocky Flying Bases

Anyone who has been following my posts on Instagram may have seen a few pictures popping up that have  been nothing but a big base with rocks on it, well here's the reason. I've had an odd fascination with modelling and painting my Stormtalon base for the last few days and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The problem I've had with flying bases is how to model them whilst still making them look good, that clear stalk is pretty hard to work with. So here's how to get a flying base like mine...

Step 1: Pre-Undercoat Basing

The first thing to do with your base before even a drop of undercoat hits it is lay the foundations for the base itself. Get some rocks (slate works well and you can pick it up for free sometimes) and make a template allowing the clear plastic stalk to still sit in the middle of the base, but do not glue it in yet. After this is done you can do the following just to make the whole thing more stable and less plain:
  • Green stuff the rocks and bases where the rocks are glued. Rocks (particularly slate) don't hold well when super glued and the green stuff will create a stronger bond to hold the rocks in place.
  • Don't worry if your green stuff skills aren't great! Just put some non-watered down PVA glue where the sculpting looks "unnatural" and pour some small gravel or slates from the Games Workshop basing kit.

Step 2: Painting the Detail

Once the green stuff has dried, spray the base up and paint all the rocks with Dawnstone Grey (you may need two coats to smooth out the paintwork). Then wash the rocks with Agrax Earthshade (I actually used Windsor and Newton Peat Brown ink but it should do the job) and finally drybrush the whole thing with Fenrisian Grey.

Step 3: Mud

Next paint the base whatever colour you use for your army and cover the bare areas with Stirland Mud, and don't be afraid to put some on the rocks too! Not only will the base look more natural and war torn but it also helps to break up the colours a bit. Now drybrush the mud in three layers: Skrag Brown, Tau Light Ochre and finally Ushabti Bone.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Finally add some flock to really make the base vibrant and colourful before varnishing and sticking the plastic flying stalk in the centre. All done, simple!

There is only war...

More unveiling for 7th edition on youtube, this time focusing on the Maelstrom of War missions that do look very interesting indeed...

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Force (Organisation) Unleashed!

As the 24th May approaches, Games Workshop become more confident in their next incarnation of our favourite Sci-Fi miniature universe. Check out the preview of how Battle Forged and Unbound armies will work in the 7th edition:

Daemonic invasion mini-report

Last Saturday I delved into a large game of 40k which saw my Necrons paling up with... yep, you guessed it, Blood Angels, just like that Matt Ward fluff. Our opponents were a pure daemon force consisting of all Greater Daemons excluding the Keeper of Secrets, lots of different ground troops and some Daemon Prince back up. 4,500 points of mayhem which was decided to be a normal game of 40k as opposed to Apocalypse... uhhh, what? Oh nevermind, I agree, it gets me out of the house.

The thing is that we all agreed to use Daemon world rules for this battle, a ruleset I never plan to play again. Most of the time the warp fell in their favour with Khorne smiting our units and Skulltaker possessing my ally's Librarian who was also acting as the Blood Angel's Warlord (see middle left picture). It was by far one of the most embarassing ways to give 2 victory points to our opponents - one for Slay the Warlord and First Blood.

I'm gonna go to the spoiler, we were almost tabled with all but the Imperial Knight being wiped off the board. The C'Tan (see bottom left picture) put up a valiant fight against the Great Unclean one, stripping all but a single wound off him before being charged by 10 Flesh Hounds and being enfeebled twice. Still, he exploded and took some of the beasts out with him. My Warriors and Immortals lasted a good while before 2 Daemon Princes and a Lord of Change massacred them all in sweeping advances. I was lucky that one of my Tesseract Labrynths caught one of the Daemon Princes. I also stripped all but 1 wound off the Great Unclean One, all but two off a Lord of Change (which was hard work!) and took 2 wounds off a second Daemon Prince.

I won't go into massive details on why we lost, only that some annoyingly good luck on our opponents side and some disgustingly bad luck on our side (my Wraiths failing to charge by 1" and being blown away in the next round of combat springs to mind) plus some very hard to kill daemons didn't help our cause, not to diminish our opponent's victory. 

But the most valuable lesson I learnt was Desperate Allies hinder more than help. I found my Annihilation Barge and C'Tan Shard unable to do anything for a turn and they were crucial to my plans.

Next time Daemons, next time...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Lucky Number 7?

I am sure you have all read the many, many articles regarding the fabled 7th edition of Warhammer 40k, so the question is what do you all think about the rules mix up?

Well what do we know? In truth not much admittedly, but there have been a couple of upcoming White Dwarf leaks that spill a couple of big beans from the can and I have to say I'm very much not impressed. In case you haven't seen them then the basic lowdown is that we are now getting a psychic phase that works almost identically to it's fantasy counterpart, plus a new psychic lore that almost anyone can take known as Daemonology. In addition there is now a choice of force types, namely Battle Forged and Unbound army lists as well as 6 new missions known as Maelstroms of War. If that wasn't enough, Lords of War are speculated to be an everyday occurrence like in Escalation. If this all seems like gobble-de-gook to you all then let me break it all down.

Let's start with the psychic phase. As much as I've always loved to try out the magic in Warhammer Fantasy, realistically I cannot see this working so well in 40k. It seemed perfectly ok with me at first until it was pointed out that powers are, theoretically are easier to nullify, making those psyker gambits a massive risk. It also makes Tyranids 10x worse as their army is propelled on their psychic powers. Zoanthropes are likely to get shut down instantly and any buffs the army would get from Tyrants and the like can easily be lost, but on the other end of the scale characters such as Tigurius become 10x more broken than before as Psychic Mastery seems to mean much more now than it used to.

And then there's Daemonology...

Wow. Who was the brainbox that decided that more or less any army should be able to randomly summon 250 points worth of Greater Daemon? Brokeness aside, it doesn't even make any narrative sense. Are you seriously saying that a Grey Knight Librarian, who is completely uncorruptable by the Ruinous Power would summon a minion of Khorne which, for those who know their fluff is an act of heresy? Seems legit.

Rant over, we go on to Unbound and Battle Forged armies... no wait, rant back on. Basically this means you can either follow the FOC as it stands now with some unknown bonus, or ignore it completely! So you can essentially play with restrictions, or not! Geeze thanks for clearing that up GW. I'm sure my Ultramarine force consisting of 3 Tactical Squads, a Captain, a Whirlwind, a Storm Talon and some Sternguard is a perfectly fair match up against a Baneblade and a company of Leman Russes. Sounds totally fair to me.

Yes I said Baneblade, Lords of War are in apparently.

The only speck of hope I could salvage from all this is the Maelstrom of War missions which use random objectives such as "Kill a Troop Choice" and the like that grant victory points. Once achieved a new objective is randomly selected and so on and so forth. This I actually like, it's a neat little idea that keeps you shifting your tactics. Also completely redundant at times if your opponent has an Unbound army and you can't complete your objectives because they have too many Psykers running about summoning Greater Daemons.

With all being said, I'm trying my hardest to reserve judgement. For me this could be a fiasco on the same scale of 3rd edition (which made me stop playing) or it could be a surprise gem like 6th edition (which got me majorly back into the hobby). But that brings me to my main point... what is so wrong with 6th edition that it warrants an entirely new rulebook less than 2 years later? It's not even half the time it's taken for previous editions to come out and 6th is a universal hit so why fix what isn't broken? My advice? Stop turning Warhammer 40k into Warhammer Fantasy and bringing more and more Apocalypse style rules into the main mix, Games Workshop. Not only are you messing with a great ruleset, but you're detracting from the individual charm of Apocalypse (which, by the way doesn't work on a small scale) and the unique feel of Fantasy, all the whilst robbing our wallets of as much money as quickly as you can. It feels cheap, it feels forced but more importantly, it feels unoriginal.

I'll buy this book, if only to hope I'm wrong about all this, but all this talk is making me worried this will be the last nail in the 40k coffin.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Follow Art of Warhammer on Instagram

After much deliberation I decided to ditch my old phone of 3 years and upgrade myself to an iPhone. As such I have access to lots of cool apps (if you have an iPhone, check out the psykers app from Games Workshop or Battlescribe available on the iPhone and Android phones). As updates have been slow you can now follow my progress more regularly on Instagram. Just search for  #artofwarhammerblog for more up to date pictures and cool hobby related findings.

Proper updates soon, I promise!

P.S. I don't have any pictures with the above hashtag yet, keep checking it though, soon there will be...