Monday, December 11, 2017

Sanguinius Returning: Possibilities and Plot Holes

Well, there is a lot of talk of my beloved Primarch, our most Glorious Angel Sanguinius, coming back. And while I am sure Hawk Boy would be an AMAZING MODEL and be SUPER AWESOME to play with, from a story perspective I am not so sure how I feel about it.
The first and biggest question surrounding his return is HOW? Well, turns out it would pretty much be the same as Guilliman.

See Sanguinius is in a sarcophagus in the Sepulchre of Heroes (thus why I am extra sensitive to this). Now Blood Angels sarcophagi are NOT what they are today, full of mummies and dead bodies in Egypt. These are slightly more akin to the tombs that the Vampires live in in the Underworld series, just not in the floor. They keep the occupants alive and can restore them and are similar to a dreadnought sarcophagus. Not only this, but they are also what Neophytes go into for a year to transform into battle brothers (which means there are likely BA recruits who were on Baal and missed its whole devastation. Funny extra thought). And Sanguinius' is the EXTRA SPECIAL Golden Sarcophagus, so who knows what that one can do.

But basically, it would boil down to "Sanguinius is in stasis, healing, in his Sarcohphogus. Lets open it up!" and then once they do, it would go something like this:
Point is, he MAY be in stasis. BIG BIG MAYBE, but possible none the less.

And lets just say for now he is, this opens a few cool doors
1- The visions Death Company get are actually psychic projections of the trapped primarch going mad.
2- If he comes out, he will be insane and we will have this Death Company-esque Lord of War choice for the game.
3- We'd likely get an answer to exactly WHAT the current Sanguinor is.
4- Probably give Cawl another chance to be AMAZING by bringing Sanguinius back to "Life" and making some really new spiffy amazing model for hawk boy.

"Cool, case closed" you may be saying. Well hold your horses there partner. This is where we start ripping open plot hole big enough to drive a land raider through.

So here is a list of all the holes opened with Sanguinius being in stasis and not DEAD.
1- Is Rogal Dorn really that stupid? Or is he just a massive MASSIVE dick.
So the story goes Sanguinius, the Emperor and Rogal Dorn all teleported onto Horus' flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, during the end stage of the Siege of Terra. Once onboard Sanguinius found Horus, fought him and was killed. Then Big E found them both, fought Horus, killed Horus and was mortally wounded in turn. Finally Rogal Dorn walked in, said "Oh crap," and then took Big E and Sanguinius off the ship.
Now Rogal KNEW the Emperor was still alive. And he KNEW Sanguinius was dead. Not in stasis. Not dying. D. E. A. D.
A Primarch should definitely be able to identify these things through their preternatural abilities (including PSYCHIC POWERS) and just general "I'm better than you at everything"-ness.
SO if Sanguinius WAS alive, Rogal should have, beyond a shadow of a doubt, been able to tell. HE WOULD HAVE KNOWN. Which means if he said nothing and just dumped the body off with the 9th Legion, then he is at best the galaxy's biggest jerk and at worst, a self centered traitor eliminating Sanguinius as competition.

2- Is every BA Librarian stupid, blind or inept? Psychic powers people. From the moment he fell all the way until M41, how would no one have psychically sensed that Sanguinius was alive? Mephiston is one of the greatest psykers of the 41st millennium.  He should at least be able to tell.  But in 10,000 years, NO ONE has said "Hey... wait a MINUTE," and figurered out that Sanguinius was in stasis and not dead and that the visions the DC experience or the noises the Sanguinary Guard hear when guarding his tomb  ARE ACTUAL REAL PSYCHIC PROJECTIONS OF SANGUINIUS.
 3- His psychic death scream. Supposedly this is the catalyst for the flaw. Every son was triggered the moment he died, and now that curse lingers in their blood FOREVER.
But the key thing here is it was a DEATH scream that did this. Not a "Mortally Wounded" scream or "Going into coma" scream. No. It was a DEATH SCREAM. Without it, what causes the flaw? I think the Black Rage/DC fluff would need to be reworked, and that really isn't an option is it....

More important than the plot holes though are the implications.

From a game persepective, we have potential Primarch Parity right now.
Horus and Curze are dead as can be.
So are Ferrus Manus and Sanguinius.
Now there is no way the first 3 are coming back. They for sure are dead, with no bodies left either. So that leaves 2 Traitor and 2 Loyalist gone and dead. Eventually, if they all get released, you would have seven loyalists and seven traitors. If you bring back one on one side, you HAVE to do it for the other for the sake of balanced numbers. And that would lead to some pretty awkward discussion surrounding the FOR SURE dead primarchs.

If Sanguinius lived, it would invalidate his visions of his own death against Horus,
It would largely invalidate the nobility of his Sacrifice. He is such a great hero because HE KNEW he was going to die, and faced Horus all the same. This sacrifice is a driving theme of the Blood Angels. This doomed nobility. To retcon the death would be to diminish the character of the legion.
It would also, diminish the current Heroes IMO. I've talked about this before, so I won't rehash too much, but really it comes down to lessening the achievements of mortals because gods now walk amongst them. What can they achieve when a Primarch can do so much more?

These last two points above all else, despite how amazing the model would be, are why I want to let the dead lie and leave Sanguinius in his tomb.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

5 Things I Hate/Love About Eldar, 8th Edition

Discordian here again, this time with my love and hate relationship with Alderannians... Ailerons.... screw it, Eldar in 8th edition thus far!

Here is the Love
1. Craftworlds being a thing
I've been playing long enough to remember that Craftworlds used to have rules.

Other than Iyanden jumping out of nowhere every once and awhile, its been a long time since Alaitoc, Biel-Tan, Saim-Hann, and Ulthwe actually had a table-top presence.

And its just such a really simple addition that helps create more unique armies. It also gives me hope Dark Eldar wont be as boring as they've been.

2. Points Changes/Rules Tweaks 
Several units got some really cool rules changes. Fire Prisms are actually a legitimate option.

The rules issues that plagued Shinning Spears had already disappeared with the edition change, but the points drop really makes them a viable unit. Same thing with most of the Aspect warriors.

Vypers gaining "Bike" and the Saim-Hann attribute was a real nice touch.

Crimson Hunters might be able to compete with Hemlocks! It just takes being 60 points Cheaper!

3. Relics/Warlord Traits
A big issue I had with 7th was that the war-gear and warlord traits were kind of useless.

My initial impressions are that they've both changed for the better, and have a variety of usable options.

Didn't hurt how relics are taken now and that you get to pick your traits.
4. Wraithlords
I can't tell you how much it pissed me off that my Wraithlords were getting wounded by bolters on 5+s. I had finally decided to start painting/playing all of my lords at the end of 7th and instantly that army was a more of a joke then it was.

I didn't really care about losing Soul-burst with them. Soul bursting is for chumps... or people desperately trying to make shitty models partially usable. But losing T8 was just mean, especially with he new wounding chart

Going back up to T8 and the Iyanden trait is almost tricking me into playing them again.

5. Breaking out of the Ynnari Shadow
This one was really important.

GW needed to put in places a reason for all Eldar armies to not be Ynnari, and thankfully they did that through craftworld rules.

Also nerfing Ynnari didn't hurt either.

Okay Now for the Hate!

1. Some Craftworlds kind of fell short
I'm not going to point a finger at the offender, but clearly someone is going to be more popular then the others.

I wished Ulthwe had gotten something that benefited psykers, that thing they are known for. +1 Casting/Denying wouldn't have been to much to ask.

Saim-Hann, would have been a great craftworld to give the ability to run after shooting. But that might end up being the thing corsairs do.

Biel-Tann, patron saint of rending bolters doesn't do to much to make aspects necessary
2. Wraithknight 
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Losing FNP and increasing the amount of weapons that can hurt them really did a lot to balance the Wraithknight. So much so, they shouldn't have increased as much as they did in the Index.

They did need a increase. But I didn't see a single one during the Nova GT, and I really expected GW to lower the cost with the new codex.

3. Points Reductions
Dark reapers needed a change. Of all the things I expected to happen, just having a points drop wasn't one of them. Having un-modifiable accuracy and such high ranged damage output, makes them such a joke in Ynnari 8th. I would have been okay with a points drop if something was diminished, but that just didn't happen.

The drops in Rangers and Dire Avengers was a bit to much. Especially considering they are two of  most benefiting units with the craftworld changes.

Hemlocks also dropped 10 points for some reason. Neat.
4. Wave Serpents
Wave Serpents are still the Main Battle Tank/Transport of choice for Eldar. They really shouldn't be competing with Fireprisms and Falcons, but they still are.

It has been worse but its still not better. Being able to just cause mortal wounds is really powerful, and now there is a stratagem that lets them keep doing it.

The tanks did come down in points, and fire prisms did get a some love. But Falcons and Weavers are still just floating in the why bother category.

5. Strategems
I think this is going to be more of just a pet peeve for me then anything. I hate the layout of stratagems in books.

If I wanted to look at cards I'd look at cards. I've started doing/adding things like this to my printed out army lists.

Mostly just so I know when/where things exist as options.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The New Vehicle Design Rules: A Gee Dub Flub

Well the Chapter Approved is here. By and large I like it I suppose. Wish it had Custodes stuff, disagree with some of their points decisions, etc. etc.

But there is one thing in there that had SOOOOOOOOO much potential and it was ultimately squandered

The new Land Raider Vehicle Design Rules.
I am not even upset that they ONLY did this for Land Raiders. I understand. There are just to many tanks out there to truly capture. Why not stick with something iconic with a lot of upgradability from a modeling perspective. Thats fine.

The problem isn't that it was limited to the Land Raider. Its the limitations they put ON said land raider. GW just had so much potential with these rules and a good deal of hype. The original ones even allowed you to recreate the infamous Deoderant Stick Grav Tank. The idea is just AWESOME. However, this iteration is just lacking effort in several areas...
I am glad they at least included Chaos Space Marines in the potential benefactors of these rules, but I think they still messed up. There are 4 other factions I think that SHOULD have had options present. Lets discuss them.

  • GREY KNIGHTS- How can you give this to other Astartes and NOT THEM. Where are the options for a GK LR with psycannons and inferno cannons etc. etc.
  • CUSTODES- Man are the boys in gold jonesing for options. This could have helped them if rules for Venerable were included. 
  • INQUISITION- There are numerous inquisitors that have LRs in the fluff and it is something they have had in the past. Why not give them some access to this. If anyone will have a custom raider, its and Inquisitor.
  • ORKS- SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY WASTED FOR LOOTIN'. My goodness, how awesome would that have been. Orks already lost their Looted Leman Russ in the transition to 8th.
WHY THE LIMITATIONS? Such a disappointment keeping me from making turly awesome unique conversions. I don't get it, you ask about conversions in your big survey, make VDR rules to encourage conversions, and then write rules that totally box in that creative potential. So many things should have been in here. Here are some Imperial options I can think of off the tap of my head:
-Plasma Cannons
-Conversion Beamers
-Quad Lasers
-Quad Heavy Bolters
-Thunderfire Cannons
-Single Assault Cannon
-Inferno Cannons
-Helios launchers
-Whirlwind Launchers
-Typhoon Launchers
-Demolisher Cannons

I mean, someone made this on their own!
I am sure the list could get bigger, but I think you get the idea. More options were needed. This really really breaks the section in the book for me. It is either lazy or reeks of marketing interjection into rules design. Just because only certain things are available in certain boxes, why limit the creativity of your customer?

These probably would have been best to be open play only, but instead of rubber stamping it in the book (like it is), a general statement up top would have been nice.  Basically say "These rules are for casual, creative fun for you to implement in all typse of play". Don't worry about making sure they aren't in tournaments. TOs would take care of that.
Lastly I also think all the choices should have impacted Power Level instead of a blanket 30. Make a baseline and then each weapon would add or subtract from that to help provide a little more resolution and balance for player to figure out how to use them in their game.

Ultimately, these rules are asking us to buy and already $80 model and ADD TO IT. They really should be letting the player have more creativity than they did. It just seems rushed and kinda lacking as is... hopefully they flesh it out better in in future...

Monday, November 20, 2017

5 Things I Hate/Love About Grey Knights, 8th Edition

Sorry for the long break! Discordian here with my love and hate relationship with Grey Knights in 8th edition thus far!
Here is the Love
1. Mind Powers
I really appreciate that the psychic chapter got +1 to casting and deny for their detachment rules.

The re-introduction of the older psychic powers was great too. I used Astral Aim and Gate on my GK Landraider in almost every game. No one expects to be shot through walls by las-cannons and having to deal with a teleporting landraider for line breaker

2. Flyers 
Towards the end of the 7th I was running a raptor wing formation (2 storm talons and 1 land speeder) with my GKs to give me some desperately needed anti-tank. So I was super happy to find out that they're now GK storm talons. Not to big of deal really but its nice to have as a option.

Never really wanted Stormhawks, but they sneaked in there as well.

3. Relics
Last edition GK relics were kind of bad. Everyone took the Book and that was about it, because everything else was to expensive or not really that good.

Hilariously the book isn't good anymore and the rest of the relics got pretty interesting, and without having absurd point costs its far easier to take them.

4. Characters
I think they did a pretty good job in character changes. Captains having a legitimate purpose in life and the banners/apothecaries aren't tied to expensive units.

It was nice way to add support interesting support units that gave you list options without having to fish into other imperial armies to fill army gaps.

And thus the concept of the Storm Bolter was first conceived
5. Storm Bolters!
Rapid Fire 2. Talk about a simple change that did wonders for GK. It isn't the psybolts of 5th edition (there's a strat for that), but it helped add some horde management for a elite army that really struggle with it.

Okay Now for the Hate!

1. The Elephant in the Room

Grandmaster. Dreadknights.

I get it, GW wanted to add a big toy to the HQ section and they didn't have the time to make a new kit. But they just ended up showcasing how terrible they changed normal Dreadknights.

7th did make DKs to cheap for what they were, but they over-nerfed DKs in the index release. Points went up, they got slower, suffered heavy weapon penalty, and can no longer shunt. And nothing in the codex fixed that.

Instead of doing anything to pull back those changes and give two usable unit options, the end result is that everyone's dreadknights just got a promotion and Gk have a net zero unit increase in this regards.

2. Warlord Trait (and I mean singular) Table
I've never been a fan of assaulting from reserves, it creates a boring aspect of the game where you're encouraged to just not play on the table. And people not doing that just need to castle behind meat shields. Its just an escalation of boring, not some genius strategy system.

GKs are thematically a deep strike army, fine. But now becasue of all the changes to the game GKs only practical army build is just deepstrike in and assault things. And because of that "first to the fray" is the only warlord trait you will see.

Just to add salt to my personal wounds, it's named after a rule a character had that GW decided didn't need to exist.

3. Points Increase?
Instead of any points decreases to help make some units actually playabe GKs only got price increases. There has always been a debate on weather its better to field terminators or paladin, but what didn't need to happen was to make terminators more expensive.

Gk did get Stormtalons and Stormhawks, they are just to expensive to justify fielding.

Its almost spiteful, especially after seeing all the points decreases Eldar got on its elite units.

4. Dreadnoughts
Its kind of annoying that dreadnoughts are phasing out dual auto-cannons. I custom built the two that I have and the Mortis isn't a option by Gks.

And I really hate the notion "Just use the Index". That really shouldn't be the answer to a rules system that promised to end the bloat.

Also still annoyed Gks still don't have Librarian dreads.

5. Not-Strike Power Armored Gks
You have to work really hard to find a reason to play those units. They just really don't have a lot going on for them.

Purifiers just became strikes that smite and Purgators suffer from the Gks heavy weapons being really bad. You could argue Interceptors allow you to get around to objectives. But since they effectively follow the same rules as deepstrike, why don't you just deepstrike cheaper versions of them that have all the same weapons and are obsec....

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cypher's Sword Identified?!!!

I'm not sure why I've never seen this picture before. I hope it's just new.

That's Lion El'Jonson fighting Conrad Cruze. See anything interesting?

That cross guard looks familiar doesn't it.

Cypher does have the Lion sword. THIS IS GOING TO BE HAPPENING SOON!