Monday, January 22, 2018

The Jumpening: 2k Blood Angels all Jump Infantry List (x2)

Like I said in my last post about an All Dreadnought list, I really like Gimick lists right now (I mean, who runs 80 Death Riders?) With that in mind, I messed around on Battlescribe and came up with two All Jump Infantry lists. The first one is a little more casual and the second a little more competitive IMO, but both are generally just cool fluffy lists.
What is really nice about these lists is the capitalize on what I think it the most important, but largely unrecognized stat in 8th edition- Movement. Its what made those 80 Death Riders surprisingly REALLY GOOD.
The Jumpening 1- 2000 points, 5 CP, 14/15 KP, 14 Drops

Vanguard Det- +1  CP
HQ: Lemartes- 129: Warlord: Soulwarden
Elites: Company Ancient- 84: Jump Pack, Powerfist
Elites: Company Champion- 68: Jump Pack, Combat Shield, Bolt Pistol, Master-Crafted Powersword
Elites: Sanguinary Novitiate- 60: Jump Pack, Bolt Pistol, Chainsword
Elites: Death Company (10)- 216: Jump Packs, 9 x Bolter & Chainsword, 1 x Thunderhammer
Fast Attack: Assault Squad (10)- 259: Jump Packs Sarge w/ Inferno Pistol & Power Fist, 2 x Melta gun, 2 x Eviscerators

Vanguard Det- +1 CP
HQ: Commander Dante- 215
HQ: The Sanguinor- 170
Elites: Company Veterans (2)- 56: Jump Packs, Sarge w/ Powerfist & BP, Veteran w/ Plasma Gun & BP
Elites: Sanguinary Ancient- 99: Angelus Boltgun, Power Fist
Elites: Sanguinary Guard (5)- 189: 3 x Encarmine Sword, 2 x Encarmine Axe, 4 x Angelus Boltgun, 1 x Inferno Pistol
Elites: Sanguinary Guard (5)- 185: 4 x Encarmine Sword, 1 x Encarmine Axe, 4 x Angelus Boltgun, 1 x Inferno Pistol
Fast Attack: Inceptor Squad (3)- 135: Assault Bolters
Fast Attack: Inceptor Squad (3)- 135: Assault Bolters

I mean, what is there to say about this. Jump Infantry with Character auras. All the cool toys I could bring. Run at the enemy and punch them hard. Like I said in the opening... casual.
The Jumpening 2- 2000 points, 6 CP, 14 KP, 14 Drops

Supreme Command Det- +1 CP
HQ: Captain- 129: Jump Pack, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer; Warlord: Soul Warden, Relic: The Veritas Vitae
HQ: Captain- 129: Jump Pack, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer
HQ: Sanguinary Priest- 87: Chainsword, Hand Flamer, Jump Pack

Vanguard Det- +1 CP
HQ: Astorath the Grim- 143
HQ: Lemartes- 129
Elites: Company Ancient- 73: Hand Flamer, Jump Pack
Elites: Death Company (10)- 261: Jump Packs, 9 x Bolter & Chainsword, 1 x Thunder Hammer
Elites: Death Company (10)- 261: Jump Packs, 9 x Bolter & Chainsword, 1 x Thunder Hammer
Fast Attack: Inceptor Squad (3)- 135: Assault Bolters

Vanguard Det- +1 CP
HQ: The Sanguinor- 170
Elites: Sanguinary Ancient- 99: Powerfist, Angelus Boltgun, Relic: Standard of Sacrifice
Elites: Sanguinary Guard (5)- 185: 4 x Encarmine Sword, 1 x Encarmine Axe, 4 x Angelus Boltgun, 1 x Inferno Pistol
Elites: Sanguinary Guard (4)- 154: 2 x Encarmine Sword, 2 x Encarmine Axe, 3 x Angelus Boltgun, 1 x Inferno Pistol
Fast Attack: Inceptor Squad (3)- 135: Assault Bolters

So this second list is a little more tooled up IMO. Basically its two attack groups, the Death Co and the Sanguinary Guard, each supported by an Ancient, an Inceptor Squad and a Thunder Hammer Jump Captain. Sanguinary Priest goes where ever I think the added S bonus is needed most, though I think it will be most devastating with the Death Company, but playing will really tell me where is best.
One thing to note in both these lists: DEATH CO CAN TAKE BOLTERS AND CHAINSWORDS. ALWAYS DO THIS. Bolt Pistols ONLY pay off after something like 5 or 6 rounds of locked combat. Your DC should never be in combat that long. Or at least, they rarely should. Take the extra range and firepower the bolters provide and remember, you no longer need a pistol to gain the +1 A in combat. Chainsword does that on its own.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Dreadening: 2k Blood Angel Dreadnought List

So between life and work and 8th edition in general (don't get me its not bad, but I personally liked the mechanics of 7th more) I sometimes find it hard to motivate myself to make armies and lists lately.
Which is why I have started making gimmick lists. And here is one I am ALL about and can actually WORK Towards. I actually own 80% of this already and will likely pick up what missing next month to pull this off.

I give you "The Dreadening". An ALL DREADNOUGHT ALL THE TIME list.

The Dreadening- 1998 Points, 5 CP, 2 Detachments, 11 KP, 10 Drops

Vanguard Detachment- +1 CP
HQ: Librarian Dreadnought (187)- Force Halberd, Furioso Fist, Meltagun, Smoke Launchers
Elites: Furioso Dreadnought (154)- 2 x Furioso Fists, Meltagun, Storm Bolter, Magna Grapples
Elites: Contemptor Dreadnought (165)- Dreadnought CCW, Combi-Bolter, Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon
Elites: Relic Deredo Dreadnought (237)- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolter, Atomantic Pavaise
Heavy Support: Mortis Dreadnought (109)- 2 x Twin Heavy Bolters, Smoke Launchers
Heavy Support: Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (334)- Cyclonic Melta Lance, Storm Cannon Array, 2 x Heavy Flamer
Dedicated Transport: Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod (80)

Vanguard Detachment- +1 CP
HQ: Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought (174)- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Stormbolter, Smoke Launchers; Warlord- Relic: The Veritas Vitae, Trait: Soul Warden
Elites: Death Company Dreadnought (194)- 2 x Blood Talons, Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Magna Grapples
Elites: Death Company Dreadnought (189)- 2 x Blood Talons, Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Smoke Launchers
Elites: Furioso Dreadnought (175)- Frag Cannon, Furioso Fist, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Tactically, I think this for the most part is pretty obvious. Go punch things with Dreadnoughts. But there are a few subleties.

First of all, the Mortis and Deredo pait up and stay together. Ranged firebase with an I save from the Deredo's Atomantic Pavaise. I may switch the heavy bolters to auto cannons on the Mortis (dropping magna grapples and a heavy flamer someplace to do it) BUT for now that heavy 12 is nice.
The Fragioso in the past was the clear choice to put into a drop pod, but the new 9" deep strike rules rule that out. SOOOO instead, he is a very situational beast. Most often plan is to leave him in my backfield, relatively close to my firebase, as a sweeper if you will. He is my ANTI Deepstriker now. And for people without DS, I'll just march him forward with my attack force.

The Leviathan is the NEW candidate for the Lucius Pattern Drop Pod. Big tough guy with the ability to take down most vehicles in a single turn with his cyclonic lance and storm cannon and tough to wipe out in return. Plus, just such a COOOOL model.
Main attack force consists of the Chaplain and 2 DC dreads in one group and the Librarian, Contemptor and Furioso in another. Run forward and tear things apart. The Chaplain and DC dreads are for attacking higher model count, weaker targets while the Lib and crew go after smaller, tougher nuts to crack (all ideally)

Chaplain is the Warlord OVER the Librarian for two reasons
1- He comes with an Invulnerable Save
2- I can give him soul warden, giving him the ability to deny the which IN ADDITION to having that naturally in my Librarian dread.
3- If he is primarily chasing infantry, he is less likely to encounter things that can hurt him.
Over all, it just seems FUN and fluffy to do, so I want to make it happen.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Successor Chapters, Warlord Traits, Relics, and the Tradition of "Counts As"

Successor Chapters are a core tenant of playing Space Marines. They allow us, the hobbyists, to create our own unique individual forces with their own paint schemes. It keeps Space Marines interesting. Without them we would be stuck with only:
-Ultramarines (blue)
-Raven Guard (black)
-Blood Angels (red)
-Dark Angels (green)
-Imperial Fists (yellow)
-Salamanders (green)
-Space Wolves (grey)
-Iron Hands (black)
-White Scars (white)

Not very exciting in both terms of character and color.

Now yes there are 3 Successor Chapters in main GW rules, that do have their own rules
-Black Templars
-Crimson Fists
-Flesh Tearers

Now when you look at the new SM FAQ or in the new BA or DA codex, you find something interesting.

Restrictions on Successor Chapter access to Warlord Traits and Relics. Say what?

The way the rules are written, the only was to access things for Ultramarines is to ACTUALLY play Ultramarines. Same for any other founding chapter.
EG- Dark Angels have NO RULES for ANY SUCCESSOR. So lets say you want to play as the Angels of Absolution. They are essentially DA, just bone colored instead of green. But the DA codex relics specifically state the relics are ONLY for DA with the exception of 1 blade.

Why? What difference does it make on the rules? None! IT IS JUST A PAINT SCHEME!!!!!

It is a concept that has LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG existed in 40k: "Counts As". When the difference is merely what color you painted your marines, what is the problem? There is no current rules existing saying things HAVE TO be painted in any particular manner, so why base other rules on this condition?

And besides, are you really going to tell me those Praetors of Orpheus are different than Ultramarines? Or those Angels Encarmine or Angels Sanguine aren't near IDENTICAL to Blood Angels? No. You aren't. Because they are soooooooo close you might as well treat them the same, less GW release TOO many rules with TOO much details and little minute changes. They even practically have the SAME NAME. BLOOD, SANGUINE, ANGELS!
Clearly I can't use any Blood Angel Warlord Traits or Relics. Not Blood Angely enough...
Heck, successors should be able to use CHARACTER PROFILES since they have none of their own.

Things that don't have rules "borrow" the rules of something that does to closely approximate their own characters. Don't have a chapter master? Use the rules of your parent chapter. Chances are they are similar, or at least they fit the theme and feel of your force and its rules given they share a common chapter tactic!

I get that Black Templars and Crimson Fists don't have access to Imperial Fists. It makes sense? BUT ONLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN RULES. That is the difference. They have been fleshed out. If you are playing them, then yeah, it stands to reason you can't use the parent chapter. They can't use yours after all.

This is where GW is getting it WRONG. And if their intent wasn't to make it as their rules suggest, and to prohibit only successors WITH RULES, they need to clarify it.
Sorry we have gone through all the trouble to make schemes and lore for all these armies just to discourage you from actually playing them- Sincerely GW 
The FAQ and codices should say something like "Successor chapters may use parent chapter characters, relics and warlord traits provided they have no unique chapter tactic, characters, relics or warlord traits of their own. IE if you play a successor chapter that has a unique character in your list from that successor chapter, you may not access parent chapter Warlord Traits or Relics unless otherwise noted. Note, characters used in such way are representative of similarly armed individuals with similar abilities and efforts should be taken to make the model representative of your chosen successor chapter in appearance"

A little wordy but not too hard to say or comprehend IMO.

For FW Characters, I think they should be a little more flexible for now, maybe add "You may use X-chapter chapter tactics, warlord traits and relics provided your list does not contain other characters from X-chapter" or something like that, just because it is unlikely they will get fully fleshed out chapters any time soon.

You may be sitting there saying "Why is this even a discussion? I wouldn't prevent someone playing the Sons of Guilliman or their own homebrew chapter from using Ultramarine stuff."

Problem is THERE ARE PEOPLE DOING JUST THAT. AND THAT IS WHAT INFURIATES ME. Even if GW is being pathetically dumb about it, we don't have to be. There has been counts as forever, and with the new keywords, it should be just as easy to do counts as now.

I have an even bigger problem with people saying they would allow it in a friendly game but not in a tournament. Really? At least the guy who is against full time has a leg in the rules to stand on, even if they are being obtuse about it. But to only allow it or ban it when it suits you strikes me as purely ruling for your own advantage. If you are afraid someone can beat you because of a warlord trait and your only method of preventing them from using it is saying "Your paint scheme isn't correct, so you can't use that. Nana-nana-boo-boo," then you should be looking at your own list and playing ability over your opponent's.
It's poor sportsmanship. But people can and will be pedantic about it so long as the rules are written in the way they currently are.

Please, don't be one of those people. Celebrate an individuals creativity and let them play successors or homebrews without rules as their parent chapter.

So long as at the beginning they are clear what chapter theirs represents, and they are not using 1 scheme to represent 2 different chapters, it won't have ANY EFFECT WHATSOEVER on your ability to play the game. So let them enjoy their hobby.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The physics (or lack there of) of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Hyperspace Kamikaze)

Let me first say, that I LOVED The Last Jedi. I think it is great. If you don't, then fine. But this is not the time or place to discuss whether the movie was good or not (though I probably have more posts coming on that). Now is the time how to, once more, explain how the latest movie RUINED ALL OF STAR WARS...

Needless to say, but... spoilers ahead!

A few Disclaimers
1- Let me reiterate, spoilers for the movie lie ahead, so if you haven't seen it, stop reading and come back after you do (go ahead and join us/follow us on facebook or twitter!)
2- The movie is AMAZING. Anytime here that I say that "Star Wars is ruined" I don't mean it literally.
3- I am not guaranteeing full accuracy of this. I do this just because I am really nerdy and think about these things... A lot of approximation and some rounding goes into this sort of math. I am not doing SCIENCE. I am writing a blog post. But I do try and make sure there is some "weight" to the numbers I do throw around.
4- And before you go "This guy doesn't know anything," or "I know physics better", I'll just say I have an MS in Applied Physics, so I have a decent grasp of this kind of stuff.

If you recall two years ago, I did a similar piece after the Force Awakens.

Let me say first you should probably read that, especially the part on the "Solo Maneuver". But in case you don't want to spend the time doing that I will sum it up here

1- Going Lightspeed through shields makes them useless
2- Even if "Hypserspace" allows you to not interact with matter, there has to be a transition speed between 0 and c (lightspeed).
3- Why slow back down? Why not just stay at .99c and run into things. Gives you LIGHT SPEED MISSILES.

So, I guess I predicted that didn't I... because that's EXACTLY what happened in Episode 8.

Vice Admiral Holdo takes her flagship, the Raddus (named after Admiral Raddus from Rogue One) and RAMS IT RIGHT INTO THE FIRST ORDER FLEET.
This. In space.
So four things to take away from this scene
1- This is the ONLY moment in Star Wars with NO SOUND. Everyone knows there is sound in Star Wars space! But seriously, its funny how this moment, despite every other flaw, actually does follow one real scientific truth. "In space, no one can hear you lightspeed kamikaze"

2- Why aren't lightspeed droid missiles a thing. SERIOUSLY. Even if they aren't that small. A-Wing sized I guess. That is big enough for a hyperdrive AND would be pretty devastating. Good enough to kill a Superstar Destroyer, good enough for me. Lets put it at  conservative 10 tons. That's as much as an F-16 fighter jet about, so seems good. So 9,200 kg ish.
Now I could go into alot more ballistics and impact physics. It's actually what I got my master's degree in. However, for simplicity here we are just going to go with the super simple equation for kinetic energy.
Next we establish what c is. Rounded up its about 300,000 km/s.

So going .99c puts us at 297,000 km/s.

Now do the math and we get 4.06 x 10^20 JOULES. Or 406 EXAJOULES. That's a lot of energy in that A-wing sized droid controlled missile.

So step that up to the Raddus. Extrapolating from some of the largest warships in the world, Nimitz Class aircraft carriers (100k tons-ish), I would put the 3500m long, 460m tall, 700m wide Raddus at about 1.5 x 10^11 kg. That's a lot of mass.

Rough math for its kinetic energy in the same situation, 6.6*10^27 joules. Or 6.6*10^15 terajoules. Or finally something manageable... 6,600 yottajoules. yodajoules? (1 yottajoule is 1 SEPTILLION joules).
The death star, well that operated at 225,000,000 yottajoules. So the Raddus ramming manuever is only 1/34,090th as powerful as the Death Star.

But that is still 17.36 TIMES MORE ENERGY THAN THE SUN PUTS OUT IN A SECOND. And we were AIMING IT AT A SHIP. For all its mass, the Supremacy is about one trillionth the mass of Alderann. So if Alderran was instantly obliterated by a weapon only 34,000 times more powerful, I think 1 trillionth the mass is no issue for instant obliteration of a weapon 1/34,090th the Death Star.

But even if it DID hit a planet, it would be a cataclsymic event.

To put this into perspective, a 1 megaton nuclear blast would be 418 Terajoules, making a 1 kiloton blast 4.18 terajoules. This would make the blast at Hiroshima about 63 Terajoules.

The A-wing hyperspace missile droid collision would be 6.4*10^6 times more powerful than Hiroshima. The Raddus is at 1.05*10^14 times more powerful than Hiroshima. A Turbolaser is suppossedly 200 gigatons around the time of the clone wars, so that makes it 8.36*10^19 joules, or 1.3*10^6 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

Directly comparing the two, the A-wing is 5 times more powerful than a Turbolaser and the Raddus is 7.9*10^7 times more powerful than a Turbolaser. And shields stop Turbolasers.

But for even more perspective, the Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was only 1x10^9 times more powerful than Hiroshima. That's right, an the Raddus running into Earth at 0.99c would be equivalent of 105,000 Dinosaur killing asteroids...
Really makes you wonder if the Death Star was necessary after all... (hint, it wasn't).

Now in both these cases, the A-Wing and the Raddus, imagine that much force being transferred in an infinitesimal moment. That's ALOT OF FORCE. Makes the lightside and the darkside insignificant in comparison.

It wouldn't just cut the ships in two. It would OBLITERATE THEM. Nothing would have survived on the supremacy. Sure there are other articles out there saying they aren't sure it would go down the way it did in the film. I am hear to tell you that it MOST CERTAINTY WOULD NOT. And not for the same reason as that other article. They have no clue about hypervelocity impacts. Because the real killer here is the shockwave propagation through the Supremacy. And with that big of an impact at those speeds, it would be tremendous. Nothing would have been left of either ship.

Though nothing would have happened to the surrounding star destroyers UNLESS spall shot off at near light speed into them.

Basically, Hyperspace Missiles are the single greatest weapon that can exist in Star Wars.

To reiterate from my last Star Wars phsyics post, they have the added benefit of
-You can strike from ANYWHERE IN THE GALAXY
-Your enemy cannot detect you
-You are moving too fast for anything to stop you even if it could
-There are no (known) defenses for this. Han proved shields don't work, so what else is there?

3- Objects in Hyperspace must not interact with mass, and only energy some how?

So its established in Episode 7 that to get through the shield (an energy field) Han has to be in hyperspace. And we know that gravitational fields can rip ships out of hyperspace or prevent them from jumping into it from back ground lore and the cartoons (Interdictor cruisers people).

And Holdo looks like she is only ACCELERATING to Hyperspace in The Last Jedi, and not yet at it (thus why I did everything above at 0.99c and not 1.0+).
Bust most importantly, even if my math above is just rough approximations and doesn't fully encapsulate the complexities of light speed collisions, I think it does well enough at demonstrating the energy involved is ENORMOUS.

So even if not specifically used militarily, why is this not used by Terrorists? Or more to the point... why does it never happen accidentally.

All it would take is a miscalculation or a computer error and BAM, Coruscant is gone as some lowly junk goods trader plows into the planet for coming out of hyperspace 2 seconds too late. But that never happens right? You never hear of the planets that are vaporized by accident.

To expect all calculations across the galaxy are always perfect to avoid such accidents is just too much to assume. It would require ultra precise numbers, and incredibly precise locations... in a Galaxy KNOWN to have uncharted star systems. Beyond that, it would require the impossibility of a perfect, synchronized time reference point. But we are talking about FTL and interstellar distances soooooo that can't happen. Relativity says that the clocks will never match.

Also, those computers would have to be BEASTLY. And based on what you SEE in Star Wars... they don't have computers that powerful. I mean, they have to access the Death Star plans on Scariff in Rogue One with an Analog System. The schematics for the Death Star have all the resolution of late 1970s computer graphics (lol).

So if these accidents COULD happen, they WOULD have happened, and you would see A LOT more precaution in regards to Space Flight, particularly around Coruscant in the prequels. The fact that you don't means it can't be a concern. Meaning that once at Hyperspeed, objects cease to interact with each other physically.

Its like it must be a parallel reality or something they travel through, where you can go faster than the speed of light and yet not have relativistic repercussions, maintaining a bubble of reality around your own vessel in order to return to the proper time, covering vast interstellar gulfs of space in a fraction of time it would actually take even at the speed of light...

Sound familiar?

Last take away from that scene
4- The tacticians and military scientists of the Star Wars universe are idiots for not realizing any of this.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Allies of Inconvenience- Episode 7: Codex Reviews and Dead Primarchs

I know we have lapsed a few months. But thats how life goes isn't it. To make up for it this episode has not 3, but 4 segments!

Happy holidays! Since it tis the season AND we have missed a few months, we bring you a longer episode with 4 segments rather than the normal 3! This month we cover our hobby progress per the norm as we work towards Adepticon 2018. Chris then dives into Codex Tyranids and Codex Craftworld Eldar, after which Jason and I discuss the Blood Angels and Dark Angels releases. Finally, we finish discussion with the status of all the Primarchs and the possibilities for their return to the game and universe. 

00:00 Intro
02:40 Hobby Progress
20:35 Codex Tyranids and Craftworlds discussion
44:40 Blood Angels and Dark Angels discussion1:16:42 Primarchs discussion

Songs and Soundclips
Blue Mark- Atlan
Urtag Kaap mere- Bugotak
Clip 1 - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Clip 2 - Kingpin
Clip 4 - Microtouch Pro Laser System with Brett Favre (Aurlanauts Youtube)