Friday, May 11, 2018

BFG Additional Ship's Compendium 2.0: Draft Update!

Okay, so I finally recommenced work on the ASC 2.0 after some prodding from the group earlier today. Was nice to return 2 it after almost 2 years since the last draft. In those 2 years, I stopped work not because of lack of interest, but I both was getting a Master's Degree in Applied Physics and had a second kid.
That being said, I finally am at a place I can actually resume work, and I have a new draft up as a result. In this draft you will find
7 new vessels (5 Chaos, 1 GK, 1RT) as well as WIP work for 4 more vessels and 2 fleet lists (Ministorum Pilgrim Fleets and Rogue Trader Dynasty Fleets)

What is ASC 2.0 you ask? Well for those of you who play the community updated versions of BFG (ie BFG:R or XR) it is suppossed to be a comprehensive compendium of additional ships (thus ASC) to be used with these systems that are not in the "official" rules but are established in the fluff or other unnofficial sources (Warp Rift, Book of Nemesis) and/or are common conversions (or easy to convert) and fit in the game. It is a completely fun and optional thing with great hobby opportunity, supporting the long tradition of BFG being the most open game and community to fan made rules. AND even if you don't play those versions of BFG, I have gone to great lengths to provide awesome artwork, accurate fluff and some neat designs, so it is worth checking out as a generic BFG resource anyway!

Pictured is a screen shot of one of the vessels from the latest draft. ENJOY!
You can learn more of all of these projects, as well as find other resources for them here
AND as always, feed back is most welcome! Please be constructive with it though, and remember, these are extra ships for fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Post of Malal

We here at Sepulchre of Heroes have a unhealthy fascination with the one true Daemon King Malal. I mean why not, It's kind of a cool dude.
For the un-initiated, or for those you want a fun review, I highly encourage you to check out this previous POST. It covers a lot of the major aspects of Malal, and It's quasi-continued existence in 40k.

And for those of you on board I've got good news, we've kept our tin foil hats on and have more fluff connections for you.

The Hunger of Malice

Remember these guys?

source: Adam Skinner
Well turns out the original designed Tyranid models were slated for Daemons of Malal. They wanted something different then what the other four were, so they went goofy ass space ant.....
Really Goofy Space Ant
Malal in fluff right before his removal, was actually kicked out of the warp for general tomfoolery. To that end he was going to be the great unseen force behind the Hive Fleets. When Malal was removed they dropped that plot thread, and just made the Tryaind source something something mysterious.

But in reality they're operating just as Malal intended. Ravenous destruction which in the end will burn itself out after everything has been consumed. This also circles back to the nature of chaos existence itself, can't be a imagery-dream-monster if nothings left to dream.

Tyranids don't have an identify, or a sense of self, they are mindless biological program running a logic program of KEEP EATING. Even the special characters that exist are all actual copies of specific evolutionary dead ends, that are immediately deleted upon completion of a given task they are re-produced for.

GW has yet to ever bring up the true origins of the Tyranids. So unless they do, MALAL, it's Malal.

The Shadow of Malice

Currently, outside the possibility of Be'lakor, there are no stated Daemons of Malal running around. Or are there........

Fun fact, for a split second GW made Mandrakes Daemons.

(ed- this took me forever to find. It is in the 6th edition Grey Knights FAQ)
This was right about the time they started giving them more fluff. Mostly through the concept of a shadow realm, a place which they are able to phase in and out of reality from . This is very daemony kind of thing.

More recently, Kheradruakh was able to break the barrier to the shadow realm during the events of the Gathering Storm 2. When Ynnead awoke and a chaos rift happened inside Commorragh, and Daemons were flooding in from everywhere.

Kheradruakh found the last skull for his weird skull room. Upon its completion, the barrier to the shadow realm fell, enveloping Commorragh in shadow, and thousands of PCP enraged Mandrakes murdered all the Daemons

Curiously, while the events of Ynnead are still referenced in the new Dark Eldar codex, Kheradruakh and the Mandrakes accomplishment are oddly not.....

Fuff rewrite or Cover-UP?

Also why else wouldn't they be able to follow the Daemon God Ynnead. Coven units don't because they are flat out opposed to the concept of their own death. The Avatar of Khaine is you know, the AVATAR of Khaine. Mandrakes don't, because they already follow the one true Daemon God Malal.

The Voice of Malice?

There is one other weird thing that happened in the new Dark Eldar fluff that stood out for me.

A complicated Vect plot to "die" at the hands of Mandrakes and "destroy" every DE means of Vect being able to revive himself. He then somehow crashes his own wake killing all his rivals. Without any outside connection it just seems like some weird mafia-competition-wipe-out ruse, you know that old chestnut.

Or is it.....
I propose the idea that maybe it was wasn't a ruse. He was killed by the Mandrakes, those guys I do believe to be true agents of Malal. All the haemonclus revival methods were destroyed, because they wanted expose Vect to true death. And since Commoragh is still effected by the "Shadowrealm" this would expose Vect to Malal, the same way Yyraine was to Ynnead.

Vect has become the conduit for Malal!!!!!

I might not be right, but until GW decides to do something about the crippling lack of interesting DE HQ options/models, I'm not wrong. (ed- but you probably most definitely are)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Showcase: Blood Angel Leviathan Dreadnought

So I finished up my Blood Angel Leviathan. As an added bonus I got to play around with my new Macromats from Tablewar. They are pretty cool, and I think the photos tell as much.
This is just the base of the Leviathan. I have other weapons still to paint, but I am going to focus on a few other things before circling back to those. Just wanted to get this load out done and ready for use in game.

And some WIP pics

Friday, April 20, 2018

BIG FAQ Review Part One: The Rule of 3, How it fails us and made 4 ways to play 40k.

This is the first of my BIG FAQ reviews (or Rants). Today I am going to cover "The rule of three." I am seeing a lot of praise for it. People claiming it fixed abusive spam. Etc. etc.

I will concede there are benefits to it. No one wanted to face 7 Flyrants or 10 plagueburst crawlers.

But just like the Tau Commander limit, I think it was a ham-handed attempt at fixing something that could have been handled in several other ways and really didn't address the problem.

In case you aren't aware the Rule of 3 as its being called is actually just a nick name for the following table
This table is used for Organized play. As you can see, at the most common points levels, between 1k and 2k, it recommends allowing no more than 3 of the same datasheet IN AN ARMY. Not a detachment. The whole army.

"But isn't that a good thing?" you say, "I can't imagine spamming anything more than 3 times is FUN for you OR your opponent."

To your first point I answer "Maybe". To your second, whole heardetly "Patently Untrue."

Case in Point- My all Death Rider Army. See list list here. There is 80 cavalry all told.
While this MAY be a fringe example there has to be other fun thematic lists people were running at this level that had 4 of a unit and DIDN'T break the game. Saim Hann Windrider host comes to mind. Iyanden Wraith Army. White Scars and Ravenwing. Ork Kommandos or Stormboy lists. IG Steel Legion Armoured Fist Veterans. SM 8th, 9th or 10th Company builds. All Death Company. etc. etc. There are ways to do some of these still, but it is now likely by watering down the list. By this I mean taking larger blobs instead of multiple units, combat squading units where possible, or by selecting sub-optimal but still thematic choices (eg. instead of 4 jetbike squads and 2 vyper squadrons for Saim Hann, stacking it out to be 3 and 3. Or 4 Wraith Guard 2 Wraith blades to be 3 and 3. Etc.)

Furthermore, alot of these types of lists RELIED on things like the Outrider or Spearhead detachments. With Battalions and Brigades getting HUGE boots to CP, these detachments are even weeker in comparison with their measely +1 CP. So IF you spammed in one of these dets, you were already starting off WORSE than your competition. There were downsides to doing so already baked into the game. Were they not enough, even with the boost for "normal" detachments?
Lastly it just flat out damages a few of the smaller codicies. Harlequins and Deathwatch come to mind. I know they are both INDEX books right now, but they are not likely to get any new units added. Harlequins ONLY have 1 fast attack and 1 heavy support. They have 2 elites... one of which is limited to 1 per army. They don't have the ability to deal with the rule of 3. Some mono-build deamons lists deal with this same issue, albeit to a lesser extent.

 "Okay, okay, but isn't this all JUST for organized play. You can still do ALL of what you mentioned in matched play right?" I hear you say.

Correct. Which is how this rule fails us the most. The two are no longer synonymous. Granted you never HAD to play competetively or in tournaments before, but the two were essentially the same meta and game type, with possibly the exception of specific tournament missions instead of BRB ones.
BUT NOW you can have people playing matched in a style specifically for tournaments and others in a style specifically PROHIBITED by them. And people likely will not want to cross the streams. Furthermore, you are more likely than not just going to see groups outright adopt the stricter of the two. Why? There will be a handfull of people really pushing for it, playing more than others, championing the game, because they are the regular event atendees and practice more than more casual players.

BUT for those groups NOT playing Organized- Well THE SPAM STILL EXISTS. NOTHING WAS FIXED! That guy with 7 Flyrants or 10 Plague Burst Crawlers CAN STILL BE THAT GUY! The core of the system is still FLAWED. And they even have a better argument to stand on then people telling them NOT to play that way. The Table says IT IS SPECIFICALLY INTENDED FOR ORGANIZED PLAY. Not that it recommended for matched play. JUST ORGANIZED. So if they are not playing in a Tournament, WHY SHOULD THEY LIMIT THEIR SPAM? Fairness and fun yes, but if that was their MO, they wouldn't have 7 Flyrants to begin with TBH.
This is what I mean by 4 ways to play. Open. Narrative. Matched. Organized.

-Multiple Datasheets for practically the same unit: Want 18 Hellhounds? You can do that. 2 Datasheets- GW & FW - squadrons of 3 each. 9 Regular and 9 Artemia Pattern. Dreadnoughts? There are like 45 different datasheets for them in the game. Easy. Leman Russ. Battle Tank, Demolisher, Command Tank.
-Combat Squads: 3 squads of something not good enough. Just make it twice as big and then split it if you can. So effectively, GW only managed to cap Sarges and Special Weapons, and not actual units
-Really expensive units: So online I was using Death Wing as another example of a unit HURT from a fluff persepective by the rule of 3 and had several people point out to me that no DW armies uses more than 3 terminator squads any way because of cost. Same goes for things like Custodes Jetbikes, etc. etc. They just get too expensive. So capping them at what their natural cap seemed to be anyway DOES NOTHING.
-Vehicle Squadrons: Mentioned above, but seriously, so many vehicles SQUADRON. The rule of 3 just becomes the rule of 9. Which from a cost perspective is probably around where a player maxing them at anyway.
-Troops are expempt: Yup, doesn't even apply to troops, one of the most spammed categories in the game. Cultists, Fire Warriors, Scouts, Horrors, Conscripts. All of these are still POSSIBLE
-A LOT OF SPAM WAS ALREADY FIXED: Boots on the ground killed flyer spam. Tau commanders get limited. Certain other adjustments killed things like Razorwing spam. There wasn't alot left to deal with.
Still completely legal..
Too me all of the above just further shows how thematic lists are disproportionately effected as compared to competitive lists. Things like my Death Riders CAN'T benefit from any of the above. And I guarantee you its more fun to face than Cultist Spam or Leman Russ Spam. Or even lists that fit the rule, like 3 Custodes Shield Captains and 3 Jetbike squads.

So really, this just leaves us with a few spammable units, MOSTLY in the HQ Slot. So here are some what I feel would have been better SHORT TERM (8th edition) solutions
-Handle each unit on a case by case basis. Determine if it needs a limit OR is it just UNDERCOSTED. If it is being taken more than 6 times... its probably too cheap. Now when we see a competitive unit is will be in groups of three no mater what, and it becomes harder to say is that fair and reasonable from a cost perspective. Could be all it needs to go from the world of SPAM SPAM SPAM to "I guess I'll just take some of this" is something like 50 points a squad. And if the cost just isn't a solution, well Tau commanders got hit with a 0-3 bat. Period. No Beta. Either do this whenever needed or not at all.
-Limit HQs 0-3 per datasheet/HQ Type. All HQs EVERYWHERE. If it makes sense for Tau Commanders it makes sense for them too. And cuts down on the abusiveness of things like Flyrants or Custodes Bike Captains. By doing it by unit type instead of just datasheet you could capture things like "SM Captain, Camptain w/ Jump Pack/Captain w/ Terminator armour etc. etc. so you have no more than 3 captains.
-Keep the 3 limit in place but allow certain HQs to UNLOCK thematic choices from the limit. A Death Rider Officer- You can take more than 3 units of Death Rider Squadrons. White Scars Captain on a bike, more than 3 units of White Scars bikers. Etc. etc. Or go back to certain things making certain units TROOPS. Same concept really, though it would invalidate the point of an Outrider/Vanguard/Spearhead det.
BUT LONG TERM SOLUTIONS by which I mean 9th edition and beyond
-Get rid of the detachments. Bring back the old Force Organization Chart. Keep the current separate Dedicated Transports.
-Add to the chart a new "Character" slot for things not HQ, but shouldn't be elites in their own right. Stuff like banner bearers, enginseers, assassins. Support/buffing singular models.
-Have NO MANDATORY SLOTS. Instead just a minimum of 3 units total. May only take 1 HQ for 1 of every other unit (so to have 2 HQ you need 4 units in the Detachment)
-Have the chart be base 3 CP. Take 2 troops, thats +1 CP. Take 3, +2. 4 is +3 and so on.
-Fill the fast attack- +1. Fill the elites- +1. Fill the HS- +1.
-Tie any other CP specifically to characters. Creed and Calgar would give alot where things like Kharn or Lucius wouldn't. Breaks out combat characters versus Leaders.
-Allow characters to CHANGE the unit type of certain units. Someone like Belial of the DA should have the ability to take Terminator Troops. And he should get adequate CP for that. Thats what he commands and has experience with.
-Warlords can only be HQ.

To me this would allow for thematic armies to be playable WITHOUT having the worst things get spammed. You just DON'T allow those things to change force org type.

"But this isn't simple and that is what 8th is supposed to do"

Well playing and army construction are different. The game can be simple still. But anyway, look at all the FAQs, your stack of books and indices. And the 45 different traps cards... I mean strategems you need to memorize. It isn't simplified. It failed to be so. Lets stop pretending.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Allies of Inconvenience: Episode 9- The Big FAQ Discussion and Review

The BIG FAQ for Warhammer 40,000 has dropped, and there are A LOT of changes. Join us as we ramble and rant about anything and everything released, from the "rule of 3" to reserve and deep strike limitations, and every little change in between (including all the comical ones!).

Kept this one down to right around an hour as well.

Songs and Soundclips
Blue Mark- Atlan Urtag
Kaap mere- Bugotak
Clip 1 - Iron Man