Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My top 10 kits that need to move from FW to plastic

There have been a lot of models over the years moved from Forge World to GW Plastic- The Wave Serpent, Valkyrie, Baneblade and Drop Pod to name but a few. All of these moves have greatly benefited the game and hobbyists, and it is a trend that should not stop. Below is a list of the 10 kits that I believe would over all do the most for the hobby and hobbyists. Note, this is not just a Space Marine lovefest either. Plenty of (heretical) Xenos kits made the cut.

Space Marine Deimos Pattern Rhino- This would go a very long way to making warhammer 30k viable as a game everyone has access to. With Burning of Prospero and Betrayal at Calth we have a good core, but those vehicles still come at a premium cost. I understand the rest staying with Forge World, but making this would really bridge the gap from "Desire" to "Realtiy" for alot of potential 30k players. I am banking on it so much I am ever so slowly starting a 30k Dusk Raider army myself. But very slowly to ensure I eventually get this kit. It just makes too much sense, esepcially since it is also still entirely useable for 40k.
Imperial Navy Thunderbolt Fighter- The Valkyrie/Vendetta are cool and all, but some sort of Strike Fighter capacity would be excellent for the Guard. This is a classic model and very easy to make in plastic IMO. Could potentially be made available to all Armies of the Imperium. A workhorse of the skies that should be used in more games. I have a Forgeworld one I need to refinish. If they came out with plastic ones, I'd buy 2 more no questions asked and run a flyer wing for sure.
Space Marine Storm Eagle/Fire Raptor- Another 30k/40k crossover potential. While a plastic Thunderhawk would be amazing, it is probably never going to happen (a Titan would happen first). BUT This is pretty close. It can me made into 3 different units (Fire Raptor, Storm Eagle and ROC pattern storm eagle) and is a great looking model to boot that already uses several plastic Storm Raven Parts. Plus, the usual warping people have to deal with with the model would be a thing of the past.
Ork Squiggoth- Orks don't get enough love, especially since the Stompa is one of the worst LoW for its points in the game. A brand new, more dynamic sculpt along with some new cool rules and you will see it fly off the shelves for sure. A usable Gargantuan creature with endless conversion possibilities on it. I guarantee you everyone who plays 40k would love to see this, whether they play orks or not. Given that Orks also have no true answer to the Knight, this would be a smart move IMO.
Tyranid Heirodule- Another beasty for the game. If anyone should have more plastic gargantuans it is Tyranids, and the Heirodule perfectly fits the bill. It is the right size, playable in normal games and comes in two flavours. New rules once again and you'd have something highly effective and desired by players, especially if it is made to be their answer to Imperial Knights.
Imperial Guard (DKK, Elysians, etc.)- This should follow the Horus Heresy model of late. But it would be really awesome to get 1-2 core sets of various guard regiments that I can they upgrade with Forgeworld parts or kitbashing. Everyone LOVES DKK, but they are the most cost prohibitive army in the game. Having a plastic infantry box of them would be amazing, add variety, and have many many uses (IG, Chaos, Renegades)
Necron Pylon- YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS. Another Xenos force without a lot of attention recently. This kit is super simple and yet has 3 profiles I believe! Really great potential for a cross over to plastic and something that I am sure a lot of Necron players would love to see. Given that IG has like 70 versions of the baneblade and Imperial now have Knights, there is no reason why Crons can't have another LoW, particularly one in the price range of Knights.
Eldar Hornet- I keep seeing these. A lot. They just are really popular right now. Really that is the extent to my logic of making them plastic. They are a fun little kit with some good rules. Index it in price right between a Vyper and a Wave Serpent and I sure it would sell in droves.
Space Marine/Imperial Guard/Solar Auxilia/Renegade Rapier Batteries- Why isn't this a thing already? Seriously, it is one chassis design that can mount like 54 different weapons to it. It is usable in 30k and 40k. It is usable by SM, IG and Renegades. I mean COME ON! It screams "MAKE ME IN PLASTIC". Heck, you could even combo in the thunderfire cannon with it if you tried hard enough. It is such a useful kit, but so expensive right now. In plastic it would fly off the shelves and has great magnetization potential for sure. The only problem would be "What crew do we sell it with?"
Space Marine/Imperial Guard/Solar Auxilia/Renegade Malcador- Last but not least, yet another 30k to 40k vehicle, And unlike the rapiers, the crew problem is really easy- just put 1 space marine on the sprue and 1 human with 3 heads (1 IG, 1 Solar Aux and 1 chaos). BAM, you have a "Warhammer 40,000" generic kit. Its numerous profiles in 40k and options in 30k make it a great combo kit once again. Plus it just looks plain cool.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Blood Angels list I would take to LVO (if I was going)

I am not going to LVO, but if I were, here is what I would bring (and who knows... planning on NOVA...)
BA CAD- 825
HQ: Brother Corbulo- 120
HQ: Techmarine- 95: Servo Arm, Auspex, Servitor (Servo Arm), Servitor (Plasma Cannon) (WARLORD)
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 135- Multi-Melta, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 135- Melta-gun, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Troops: Tactical Squad(5): 140- Grav-gun, Teleport Homer, Rhino
Heavy Support: Relic Sicaran: 200- Lascannons, LoG Schism of Mars

Terminator Assault Squad(5): 225- TH&SS
Terminator Assault Squad(5): 225- TH&SS
Terminator Assault Squad(5): 215- 3xTH&SS, 2x LC

Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon
Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon
Dreadnought: 120- 2 x TL Auto-cannon

Lets break this list down. Scoring block with obsec of the 3 tactical squads and rhinos. Fast Rhinos to get them where I want them with a Teleport Homer in each. This is to bring in my Terminator Assault Squads as reliably as possible, because they are the main damage causers in the list. To further boost this reliability is Corbulo (who either sticks with the TM or rides with a Tac squad). This is because his once per-game reroll, which I would use for the Terminators reserve roll.

I think the Terminators are self explanatory. DS and Assault with alot of hitting power. Once squad has 2 LC as a personal quick of mine. I find it more useful to have one of the squads be a little flexible, especially since two is usually enough to kill anything on their own.

The Chapter Ancients are Dakka Spam. On the turn I get to activate their power, they can shoot 8 auto-cannon shots each. I mean, their normal 12 total is nice, but 24! I can easily pop all the transports in a Battle-Co or eliminate a bunch of Scat-bikes with them. Plus TL makes them decent anti-air platforms. And then they are still dreads and can handle a pesky backfield assault decently IMO.

Then there is the Sicaran. I love this thing. It does the Lord's work. Some people would prefer to run two with no upgrades. Who knows, maybe I would too if I owned two! But in all seriousness, since I have one I make it deadly. Lascannons and LoG Schism of Mars. This LoG gives it tank hunters on its already fearsome weapon (S7 AP4 Twin Linked Heavy 6 Rending, and Rapid Tracking to ignore Jink) and add to that lascannons now and you can kill any vehicle in a single salvo, including flyers. PLUS It gives you +1 BS against Daemonforged vehicles AND a 4++ against haywire. Bonus, particularly the invuln. Saved me a few times.

Now to go with this and the dreads in the back field is my Techmarine. He is the Warlord so that I can roll instead of being stuck with Corbulo's +1. He also just has a better save. Basically he is there to keep the Sicaran and dreads alive. The servitors are wound buffers and one has a plasma cannon just to give him some range. Add to it an Auspex, and he should aide greatly in keeping the back field clear (remeber -1 to cover is also -1 to jink, so any bikes/jetbikes encroaching are perfect auspex targets).

This list wouldn't take me anywhere. I would be stuck in the middle to bottom half for sure, but I wouldn't lose every game and it would be pure Blood Angels, which I can assure you almost no one is going to run. I'd be happy with that and that is about as much as I could ask for.

Lets hope Blood Angels get something more before NOVA though... because Angel's Blade did not stack up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Angel's Blade Review (finally): A book of missed opportunities (Rant)

So, it has been months since Angel's Blade came out. I feel I have broken enough salt off of my keyboard to actually say something about it here, and in light of newer releases, better illustrate the failure that it is. But be warned, this is a full on Rant post.
Also, please don't come in with "Well X, Y and Z have it worse," or "Why not just play Vanilla then?" First of all I likely know x, y and z have it worse (sorry Orks) HOWEVER they didn't have to pay $60 for this book ON TOP OF $60 for Sheild of Baal ON TOP OF $10 on ebay for Deathstorm ON TOP OF a $60 codex. Also, as a customer, every release I have to pay for should be usable and decent. Just because your codex is worse doesn't mean I should get crapped on with a release. "Fairness" isn't a thing when I am spending money. As for playing SM... No. I play Blood Angels. I always have and always will. They are my army. I shouldn't have to abandon what I have done for 15 years because GW can't write rules.

I will open with what I liked about the book in this short list
1- Great fluff. No really worries on that front. Cool story, decent writing, go little vignettes and action throughout.
2- Archangels Orbital Intervention Force- This formation is the truth. Forget the normal terminators in it. It is all about Assault Terminators. Being able to deep strike and assault is amazing with TH&SS. Best way to remove those super threats like Wraith Knights and Stormsurges. I run two squads with all TH&SS and one squad with 3 TH&SS and 2 Lightning Claws. I find have two guys that can strike at initiative can be really useful. AP3 and shred is a nice boon too. The fact that it is a disordered charge as well means these two guys are useful increasing the number of attacks the unit has, as they still get +1 for having two CCW. The problem is, as a formation, they are free and open as a detachment to EVERYONE. Anyone wanting to run TH&SS Termies will just take this and run it with their White Scars or something. Once again, BA are relegated to just being useful as allies. At least it is for killing potential now instead of drop-pod taxi-service.
3- Golden Host- Also pretty good. Not as amazing as above, but very fun and fluffy. I am sitting on a bunch of sanguinary guard to build to do this.
4- Chapter Ancients- Three dreads is fun I guess. Decent rules too. I have a concept I want to test of 3 dual auto cannons and drop pods. Drop in and get 8 S7 Twin Linked shots each (4 at two separate targets). Basically take out and entire gladius' worth of transports in one turn. Alternatively, frag cannons can be really really nice.
5- Reprinting the psychic disciplines from Angels of Death. Saves you from having to go out and buy the book. Very Un-GW like IMO.
6- Ability to play an all DC army. Not very good IMO, but potential for CRAZY FUN! And a super fluffy list to boot. Also useful potential for playing some obscure chapters (seems like a cool way to possibly do a Carcharodons chapter.
7- Fixed terminator captain, assault squad and devastator squad. Profiles and gear now in line with codex SM.

Okay, now I recommend you go get some water. It is about to get really REALLY SALTY
Start off easy with a minor annoyance. The colour plates. You know those static diagrams of marines and vehicles throughout. They are terrible. Way too cartoony and way too bright. WAY TOO BRIGHT. The GW graphic guys need to go take some lessons from Forge World or historical uniform societies. These are just cheesy and no where near as good as what is in the BA codex itself. Please please PLEASE go back to the old style of artwork for all future books. PLEASE. I can't stand to look at these.

Lets dig into the meat and potatoes of it all though. First off, this is, in its simplest form, just a Shield of Baal reprint. Several of the formations are copy-pasted out of SoB with one rule added (even the Archangel Orbital Intervention Force). The whole thing just smacks of laziness. A lot of laziness. No one seemed bothered to come up with anything useful AND new or critically think about what was bad about pre-Angel's Blade BA.

1- Super expensive underperforming formations
2- Too many mandatory units in some formations (demi-co)
3- Limited to no OBSEC (CAD/Allied det only. OR Take a super massive formation that can't be used in typical games because of cost)
4- No Decurion

1- Super expensive underperforming formations
2- Too many mandatory units in some formations (demi-co)
3- Limited to no OBSEC (CAD/Allied det only. OR Take a super massive formation that can't be used in typical games because of cost)
4- Useless Decurion

See the difference? So lets start with that. The Decurion is useless. First of all, the USEFUL bonus for the decurion EXACTLY matches the Demi-Co. EXACTLY. +1 Initiative on the charge. Oh, but wait, that is also what I get for using a Baal Strike Force in the codex, which doesn't have a million and one useless requirements to take it. Oh, I also get to reroll my warlord trait when using BA or Angel's blade traits. You know... just like a Baal SF.

I am not saying I needed or wanted free transports. In all honestly, I didn't. But I did want something new and useful. Getting zealot for being  reduced to 50% or under is USELESS. First of all, it only applies to the first round of combat in which I charge. Secondly, the BA player is relying on their opponent being bad at math to allow it. Say I have 2 squads in charge distance of 5 marines each. To get the Zealot bonus, I have to loose 3 marines. Say he shoots a squad and kills 2 marines. Well now instead of shooting them, he will shoot the other and kill 2 marines there. Now I have 6 marines in 2 squads charging without Zealot. BUT Even had they chosen to shoot the one squad and kill 4 marines, I would be left with ONE MARINE with Zealot... ooooh so scary... Another thing, this stresses you buying even numbers of marines, since to get Zealot on a squad of 6 would be the same as a squad of 5. Same for 7/8 and 9/10. Which ultimately will make the formations MORE expensive than they already are.
Speaking of expensive, lets look at the Demi-Co. Mandatory Dreadnoughts and Honour Guards! WHAT! Not other SM demi-co has this AND THEY GET FREE TRANSPORTS AND OBSEC. Dark Angels get their AMAZINGBALLS Grim Resolve to boot! Remember, BA trasports are also already 10 points more than their SM equivalent (for fast) Once more, I am not saying I needed free stuff, but BA have to PAY MORE FOR A FORMATION WITH LESS RULES AND STUFF?!?!?! FOR THAT CRAPPY ZEALOT RULE?!?! Maybe GW could have done some cool disordered charge out of a Rhino/Razorback instead as the bonus for taking an Angel's blade or two demi-co. That would have been useful, fun AND fluffy without being overtly broken IMO.

Now lets talk about the other Demi-co, the Archangels. Not nearly as bad. At least they have some useful rules (can come in from reserves turn 1, which if you are clever with drop pods, can mean they all show up). But then again it too has TWO MANDATORY DREADS! I love dreads, but GW is killing me. This already requires FIVE ELITE CHOICES. It isn't cheap at all! For a cherry on top there is no way outside of including an entire DC strike force to get a chaplain in the first company.
Now lets look at ALL THE OTHER missed opportunities of the books
1- No Contemptor or Cataphractii Terminators. I don't get why these are Vanilla only. Why? Wouldn't GW sell more is ALL chapters (particularly 1st Founding BA, DA and SW) had access to them? I mean, GW printed a new terminator captain and the psychic powers again. What would two more pages have been?
2- Did not fix Vanguard Veterans. Ours are still the most expensive ones out there weapon-wise. SM pay 5 points for power weapons. We pay 15. That's right, the assault chapter once again has to pay more... but that really doesn't matter because...
3- No real jump pack formations. Really disappointed that there was no Vanguard/Assault Marine formations in the book. Those are signature BA things. Furthermore, instead of the Zealot rule this would have been the PERFECT opportunity to bring back Jump Pack troops. Make the angel's blade Obsec and instead of the Zealot rule, have assault marines count as troops and we would have had something. I mean, SM can do it with bikes (and White Scars bikes at that). DA too. Why not make Jump Packs great again?
4- A reason to take demi-co's/battle co's. I don't think I need to rehash this, you should be able to deduct my thoughts on the matter from all the above.
5- For as much of a Shield of Baal reprint this was, GW should have put Cassor and Rafen's DC in here. Particularly Cassor since he is ONLY in SoB Deathstorm, which isn't available anymore. Or you could have made Moriar (with the same rules? I wouldn't have cared). Also, by leaving them out, they can't be used in the ALL DEATH CO DETACHMENT! How dumb...
6- No librarius conclave. I get it, I am asking for ANOTHER vanilla marine thing. But Psychic powers are a big part of the game now. Something would have been cool. Conclave or not, there should have been something that allowed for some psychic manipulation.
7- A flyer. It could have been new. It could have been something SM have. For "owning the skies" BA sure have the fewest flyers. Did you know BA don't even have access to all the FW flyers (Storm Eagle and Caestus Assault Ram for instance). This is a hold-over from when BA had the Storm Raven and no one else did... but that's not true anymore is it GW? I have spoken on this a before... it just doesn't make sense for BA to ONLY have the Storm Raven. And they, we don't even have any really useful formations for them!!!
In comparison to all the Chaos releases of late, even Traitor's Hate, and especially the new Imperial Fall of Cadia stuff, this was a terrible release. I essentially paid $60 for printed access to the Archangels Orbital Intervention Force. I miss the days of my only complaint being a Necron fist bump... and with Fall of Cadia, I bet I will eventually have to suffer that again.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

T'was the night before 9869986 M.41

T'was the Night Before 9869986 M.41
And all through the bastion was clear, there was no abomination.
All the vehicles were safe secured in their sheds
The Guardsmen too did sleep quite content in their beds.
Marines in the barracks some manning the walls
Assured me the bastion never would fall.
When out in the courtyard arose such discord
I picked up my bolter and unsheathed my sword!
Out to the window I ran to take aim
As the Marines around me all did the same!
When what did my loyalist occular show?
But an ancient convoyance, knee deep in the snow.
It was being pulled by horned quadrupeds
And a fiery red nimbus glowed from the sled.
There its eyes glowed, red, full of scorn
Dressed all in crimson, like a servant of Khorne.
There I shouted, blessed without pause
That this must be the dreaded Santa Clause.
"Fire Boltguns! Fire Lasguns! Fire Ogryns and Ratlings!
Fire Missiles! Fire Cannons! Fire Mortars and Gatlings!"
"You men there in the tower, and you men there on the walls
Now blast away! Blast away! Blast away all!
"But all through this maelstrom the driver did flew
Past Bolt-shells, and Krak-shells, and Frag that we threw.
And then to my horror, I heard on the roof
The vile covorting of each decandent hoof.
Down the chimeny, he came with a boom
Our destruction, I feared, was to be soon.
I saw his eyes glow, his vast stomach gurgle
Bloated and fat like a daemon of Nurgle.
I ordered a charge that was to be swift
When it reached in its satchel, and pulled out a gift.
Then it tossed the vile boxes that fell at our feet!
(Our moral was strong! We did not retreat!)
But the Marines held pause, our charge was disrupted
They picked up the gifts and were quickly corrupted.
For each box contained a Chaotic present
The Marines (Damn their souls!) found them quite pleasent!
"A Bolter! A Flamer! A new Powerfist!"
The Clause gave to all, and he checked off his list.
But as for me, he failed in his goal
For I recieved but a small pile of coal.
But the bastion was lost, I could only instruct
The bastion computer to set self-destruct.
I saw him escape, as the base burst into light
Crying "Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Novel Arcs Black Library should do after Horus Heresy/The Beast Arises

If you are like me, you crave as much fluff and lore as possible. You have read Lexicanum and the Warhammer 40k wiki thoroughly (and even add to it). Your desire for more never ends. This future history is just so COOL. So what should Black Library further explore to satiate this thirst...

Age of Apostasy- This is a cornerstone event of the modern 40k setting. This is what gave rise to the modern ecclesiarchy and the Sisters of Battle. To see their roots in the Brides of the Emperor and to read tales of Goge Vandire, Sebastian Thor and the Confederation of Light! Plus to have some nice Space Marine and Custodian action on Terra would be pretty sweet. Also, what is nice is most of this is actually conflict between mortals, not demi-gods like HH.  To have characters more down to earth again would be welcome (Finish Gaunt's Ghosts already!)This would likely have to be at least the length of The Beast Rises (same monthly format mayhaps) or even larger. But what a tale!
The Fall of the Eldar- Spawned a Chaos God and the Eye of Terror. Caused the Eldar to split into two different main factions and a variety of lesser ones. Lead to the establishment of Aspects and spirit stones. Lead to the existence of Craftworlds. Basically, everything important for this seminal 40k race is established as a result of or during the fall. Some  Probably an important event right? To see its build up, occurrence, and immediate aftermath would be quite the spectacle. I imaging 3 to 6 books being enough. If they can do the Macharian crusade in 3, they can do this.
The Unification Wars (Unification of Terra)- Who doesn't like Thunderwarriors? That's right no one. They are awesome. So why not some stories about them vs the Panpacific Empire? Hy Brasil? How cool what it be to read about the pacification of Albyon or the sieges of the hives of Nord Merica. The coolest thing about the potential this has is its relatability to the audience. Imagine sitting at home and all the sudden the book you are ready talks about a battle... IN YOUR CITY! Would be pretty cool in my opinion. Oh, and it would have tons of sweet Emperor action and Malcador intrigue. I would hope for no less than 12 books myself.
The Badab War- The Tale of the Tyrant of Badab and his succession from the Imperium. Largest Space Marine on Space Marine conflict since the Horus Heresy. Already laid out in Imperial Armour, this could easily be done in 10 or less books. There are some really neat characters and a lot of very fluffy but often forgotten space marine chapters too. And tons of really cool moments. And the Space Sharks. Anything with Tyberos the Red Wake is worth doing. It would also be a very easy tie in back to the game. Did you know that the Horus Heresy models actually all started as Badab ones? All the variant MK power armours came from Badab first. So an easy pitch and a reason to release an updated IA book from FW.  Easy to do in a few books too, especially since it is all already detailed in 2 Imperial Armour books.

The Abyssal Crusade- One of the worst disasters for the Imperium, it led to the loss of numerous Space Marine chapters, almost all of whom turned renegade as a result. Basically a corrupt (read corrupted) High Lord finds 30 Space Marine Chapters wanting and sends them into the Eye of Terror on a crusade of penance. This is a lie. Begin. The books could follow one over all plot or each document a different chapter and their part of the crusade, probably finishing with a little duology of the Vorpal Swords, following their crusade and retribution. Maybe not follow all 30 chapters, but some of the more notable ones? Include a short story anthology or two for some of the lesser ones?

The Black Crusades- There are 13 of them... for crying out loud why are there not more books about them! A continual driving factor in the 40k universe since the Heresy. As far as I am aware, there are only books about the Gothic War (12th Black Crusade) and even then they aren't a lot and really don't document it (though they are awesome. Best source for the crusade though is the BFG rulebook). But would it be too hard to get a trilogy on each of these, following Abaddon, the ultimate baddie, and his merry band of Chaos Marines? And who doesn't want to read about such conflicts as "The Skullgather", "The Tide of Blood" or "The Ghost War". Neat stuff this 40k, right?
The Tale of Ursarkar E. Creed- A trilogy just waiting to happen. Follow him from Whiteshield to Lord Castellan of Cadia, and all of his heroic battles along the way. Why would you not want to read about this man's tactical genius? He is larger than life and, as I said before, would give us fans another "muggle" to relate to as the central figure of the story.
The Tale of Commander Farsight- Yet ANOTHER trilogy waiting to happen. Follow him from Shas'Saal to Shas'O, and all his heroic battles along the way. Why would you not want to read about this fishperson's tactical genius? He is larger than the Greater Good and, as I said before, would give another "mug.... well I guess not. BUT it wouldn't be more Space Marine Samurai Jacktion now would it. And that is always nice. Plus, understanding such an important figure in a non-core storyline faction would be nice. Especially as the story line moves forward. He most assuredly still has a role to play in the Galaxy. Plus, a renegade Tau with a what is likely a C'tan blade is COOL!
The Iron Cage- Rogal Dorn's Magic Pain Glove in battle form. Basically the single most important and defining moment for the Imperial Fists (even more so than the HH and Siege of Terra IMO). This battle between them and the Iron Warriors almost lead to their extermination and their acceptance of the Codex Astartes. Easly done in a few books (if not one TBH), but something than should be explored more IMO. Can delve more into the characters that would found each successor of the IF as well.
The Sabbat Worlds Crusade- HA, JOKES ON YOU! THEY ARE ALREADY DOING THIS! I just wish Dan Abnett would stop doing Marvel stuff and finish it (and the Pariah Trilogy). Dan, I love Guardians of the Galaxy and all, but really I NEED this. NEEEEEEEED. (This is the Gaunt's Ghosts series for those of you who don't get it.)

Honourable Mention: Night of 1000 Rebellions- So this wouldn't be a series. But it could make for one of the COOOOOLEST short story anthologies they have EVER DONE! Basically a Chaos Superplot and a massive psychic scream cause hundreds, if not thousands, of Imperial Worlds to rebel at the same time. Opportunities for creativity abound.

Did I miss anything BIG!!! Is there something you want to see?