Saturday, December 27, 2008
Okay, so I got Tactica Aeronautica for Christmas, and I am looking through it and I start wondering once again about what I believe to be a hole in the Space Marine fluff: Aircraft/Spacecraft
So Space Marines have this wonderful thing called the Thunderhawk Gunship, BUT it isn't a very strong aerial vehicle from a fluff point
Issue #1: Pilots
So who actually flies these jet propelled bricks? Marines or Chapter Serfs? In one book, say the Space Wolf novels for instance, it is Marines who got flight training. In another, say the Blood Angels, it is Chapter Serfs. Well I for one prefer the latter fluff point. Why waste a good Marine in a cockpit? The ships are manned by serfs, why not a Thunderhawk. It is not like you have to worry to much about physical constraints, as the physics of flying a rectangle would not allow for it to pull extreme maneuvers. It has a Low rating in Aeronautica, while Lightnings have a Very High. I understand tanks being operated by Brother Marines, as they are on the Field of Battle, but Serfs should stick to flying. BL writers should get together and come to a general consensus on this little fly in the soup.
Issue #2: Turbolaser
Why is it on top? That's really all I got to say. Good in space I guess, but in the atmosphere, almost unusable. Like putting the bomb bay on top of a Marauder. And how can that effectively be used on aircraft? That's all I got on this one.
Issue #3: Top cover
So in the Fluff, and as demonstrated in the source of the Fluff: World War II, Marauders get nowhere without air cover. Thunderbolts or Lightnings have to accompany these lumbering beasts.
Now the Tunderhawk. A little more maneuverable, mayhaps, but not enough to avoid interceptors. Where are its escorts? Why don't Space Marines have a limited contingent of fighters (Thunderbolts and Lightnings)?
Arguments against this:
1- Drop pod assault should render the resistance crippled
2- The Imperial Navy wouldn't let them
3- The thunderhawk is heavily armoured enough
Well, let me just sink your little ships.
1- A drop pod assault is focused. That reserve airbase a few hundred Kilometers away would escape unscathed. Orbital Bombardment you say? Well, this doesn't always happen, and may rob the surprise of the Drop Pod assault.
2- Space Marines have Imperial Navy Ships (Cobras, Firestorms, Swords). They can get a hold of some fighter craft. Plus the Imperial Navy has no say over them, the Astartes are separate. And besides, in some places, the Space Marine chapters essentially control the Guard and Navy located there. Ultramar anyone?
3- How many books have you read where one of these flying tanks crashes? Plenty. I don't care what it is made of, enough hits will bring it down. It does not even have 360* weapons coverage, it can be shot down pretty easily.
Maybe I should paint up a squadron of Blood Angels Thunderbolts...
Who do you think should fly Space Marine Thunderhawks?
Should Space Marine Chapters have fighters in addition to Thunderhawks?
Yes! They need them!
Yes. They could use them.
No. They don't need them.
No! That goes entirely against the fluff of 40k!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Repetition of General Directive 264-A-XCIV
To: Distribution, Sectorium Primus
From: Office of The Grand Inquisitor, Ebineezar Grinchanius
Re: Yearly Chaos Incursion
This purpose of this notice is to remind the forgetful of the annual visitation by the minion of Chaos known to the unworthy as Santa Claus.
+++ The Emperor's Light Banishes the Shadows of Heresy +++
As the diligent will recall, the incursion occurs regularly every 8742 to 8766 Terran hours, roughly corresponding to a Terran year. This trespass has occurred with disturbing regularity since at least the Horus Heresy, and perhaps longer, as many records were misplaced.
+++ Love and Obey the Emperor +++
The faithful will recognize the target on sight, as his garb and gear mark him immediately as an agent of the abominations. Santa Claus is a corpulent, bloated creature approximating the human form. It wears a crimson tunic the color of fresh blood, marking him as a possible follower of Khorne. It is bearded, mocking the honorable Squats, and its hair is a sallow shade of gray, betraying its unnatural age. Be advised that despite the creatures fearsome name, no claws have been observed, and the former is likely a ruse.
The target has been observed in the company of smaller creatures having the appearance of thin (less than 30 kg, approx.), stunted (1.5 meters) humanoids with pointed ears. Their appearance suggests the involvement of the decadent Eldar, and although that race denies involvement (*reference the Rudolphian Campaign [index 4111-BGE-MMXCII-Primus], specifically the Battle of Yukon Coneliaus IV [ibid., index 6]*), agents are advised to be prepared for their involvement, as the Eldar are known for their deceitful ways.
Santa Claus is conveyed by means of a grav-sled powered by unnatural livestock as detailed below. The target's vehicle is a grav-sled. It has superfluous runners which are used only on landing and take-off. Despite the appearance, no frozen water is necessary for its operation (another ruse). The vehicle's resemblance to the foul Palanquin of Nurgle should not be discounted, even though the colors continue to be reminiscent of Khorne.
The device is powered by the unholy ministrations of eight or nine quadrupeds. Ordo Malleus scholars have identified these creatures as warped versions of an extinct species of Terran mammal known as a Moose (reference 900002-ER-CIV). These beings single-mindedly pull the target's vehicle during its yearly invasion. They are outfitted with belled harnesses which are apparently imbued with the ability of flight. These beasts have been likened to the Fiends of Slaanesh, and such a comparison should not be dismissed too lightly, as the creatures shed a luminous substance as effluent as they move. Inquisitors should take care to avoid exposure. Perhaps more disturbing is the variable number of the minion-creatures.
On occasion, a ninth Moose has been observed, placed before the other Mooses. This creature radiates a sickly reddish glow from its snout, as a psychic beacon to other followers of the Vile Ones. This Chaotic device has allowed the target to navigate despite our best efforts to jam its navigation systems.
+++ Blessed is the Virtue of Blind Faith +++
Santa Claus gains entry to the domiciles of loyal Imperial Citizens (see below) and leaves small Chaos Rewards to tempt the faithful. Inquisitors are reminded to confiscate and incinerate these items before any lasting damage is done. As a localized temporal distortion field is in effect around the target, these items are secreted in the habitations of the Imperium at exactly 2400 hours in every location defiled by the creature. It is therefore possible to gain entry to the citizens' quarters and remove the items (often cunningly hidden in footwear) before the citizens are aware of the heresy that has been committed upon them. In other cases, removal of the items after the citizens have discovered them is possible. In such situations, small children are occasionally loath to surrender the items, as the tainting of the juveniles has already begun. Executions of the above are to be handled in the most expedient manner possible.
Often, juveniles that are well within the Emperor's Grace are given small blocks of graphite ore rather than the more tempting gifts visited upon the less faithful. The identity of these individuals are to be recorded, as future recruitment into the Inquisition or Adeptus Terra is possible [Note: Inquisitors or other agents who do *not* receive the graphite stones should be watched carefully].
Santa Claus enters the domiciles be way of heating ducts and waste vents. The size of the opening is not a factor, as the creature can adjust its mass and displacement by means of psychic manipulation. Mining these openings with frag, krak and other demolitions has proven unsuccessful. The creature egresses by the same means, after ritually caressing his nostrils. No mucus has ever been recovered.
+++ The Death of Emperor's Enemies is the Only Gift We Can Give +++
Although all previous attempts at the destruction of Santa Claus have failed, Inquisitors are urged to make such an attempt whenever possible. However, of more importance is the suppression of cultist activity associated with the yearly incursion.
The Tainted have been known to erect shrines in their homes in the form of shrubbery adorned with baubles and lights [Note: the shrubbery is often highly inflammable, and offers a discrete method of executing the offending heretics without calling undue attention to the operation].
Other warning signs include: Hallucinations involving sugared candies during slumber; Excessive singing; References to “a magical time of year” (note the influence of Tzeentch); The construction of effigies made of snow; and The performance of Slaanishi rituals while underneath plant clippings of the genus Phoradendron flavescens.
Once again, executions should be handled in an expedient manner.
+++The Emperor Protects+++
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!"
Monday, December 22, 2008
To address other issues, Terminators are a YES. The suits are owned by the Deathwatch, not on loan. The DW go into too many space hulks and such environments to not have such wargear.
And as far as assault squads, maybe vangaurd, maybe standard, maybe something between (base it off the Blood Angels veteran assault squad).
Well, I had an interesting idea.
0-2 Xenos forces. I am not sure how this would work, but it would encompass Eldar, Tau, Kroot and maybe something else/new.
The idea is that often Xenos include the most radical and/or cooperative agents in the Inquisition.
I don't know what would be on list, so lets have suggestions. I was thinking Harlequins BUT they fight chaos mostly so I'd say no. Somehow the xenos choice would need some leader type figure and then a generally able force selection from the parent list.
Warlock and/or Exarch Leader
Aspect warriors choices
Crisis or Stealth suits
Variant kroot warriors
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So in addition to what I suggested with the Chapter Council, what other non-codex formations would they have?
Well for one, their normal squads are essentially replaced with kill teams, which are super awesome veteran squads essentially. Special Weapons, Ammo, Heavy Weapons. All of it. This is a basic unit in the chapter, lead by a pretty sweet Captain/Librarian/Sergeant.
So seeing this as a basic unit, I think devastator squads and veteran squads are out. Maybe not vet squads, but really, it doesn't strike me as a battlefield formation that the DW would have.
Assault Squads, Bike Squads, Landspeeders, and Terminators are all still in. So are all Space Marine Tanks, except for maybe the Vindicator. How many sieges do they operate in?
So now that this is clarified, we see they only have 2 unique units really, the Kill Team and the Chapter Council as told of in Part One.
This leaves the rest of the army open to the Inquisition choices. Inquisitors, Assassins, Stormtroopers and allied units. Maybe the allied Guard will always get the Xeno-fighters doctrine BUT seeing as the IG codex is coming up for a re-vamp, this won't happen.
So here is the Breakdown
HQ: Inquisitor, DW Hero (Single Captain, Librarian, Chaplain), DW Chapter Council
Elites: Terminators, Inquisitor, Assassins
Troops: Kill Teams, Stormtroopers
Fast Attack: Landspeeders, Bikes, Assault Squad
Heavy Support: Land Raider, Predator, Whirlwind, Orbital Strike
Transports: Land Raider, Rhino, Razorback, Chimera
The only thing I see weak is the elites. Even Deamonhunters have one more choice there. BUT that shall be addressed in part 3.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Now I will say that certain things definitely need to be redone before they release a new army BUT this is still something that could easily have been addressed a while back.
What would Ordo Xenos have?
Well obviously they would have the consistent elements that have been in the other Inquisition lists (Inquisitors, Assassins, Stormtroopers). But what else?
Lets look at the obvious first: The Deathwatch.
There is already some simple stuff for them. The kill team. But this is supposed to represent just a small attached force, like in the "Warriors of Ultramar" book by Graham McNiell. What we need is an army of Deathwatch Marines.
We must note here that Deathwatch Marines are all on loan from their parent chapter for a period of some decades and then they return. As such, the Deathwatch would not have certain aspects of the normal Space Marine chapter set up.
1- No Dreadnoughts: No chapter would dare loan one, no marine injured would stay DW.
2- Probably no Chapter Master, Chief Librarian/Chief Apothecary/Master of the Forge/Head Chaplain.
3- No Scouts (including bikers and their fancy new Land Speeder), or at least how they are in the new SM codex. Maybe they would have scouts, but in a more veteran role, like Space Wolf scouts are.
Now number 1 & 3 are obvious, but let me explain #2. Marines are loaned only for short periods of time. I doubt any Marine would turn his back on his chapter to stay Deathwatch and be a permanent Captain or Chapter Master, and 10-50 years is too short a period to be the sole voice of the Chapter. Instead I would imagine that the Deathwatch would be lead by an ever changing council. Warriors of particular character would be made Captains. They then would lead together, an Oligarchy rather than a Dictatorship. Same would go for other specialist Space Marine roles, council of Librarians, Techmarines, Apothecaries, and Chaplains. Maybe all would meet in some large forum to discuss things. I think this would be an interesting Fluff point of the Deathwatch, and could be represented by a really awesome HQ choice or Apocalypse formation (Chapter Council).
So, anything else the Chapter WOULDN'T have? We can get into what they will have next time.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Remember the days where you bought a codex, lets say Space Marines for instance, and then you got that cool supplement, such as Blood Angels, that based it's core off that codex. Those were the good old days, right. When you didn't have to worry about your list becoming outdated/broken when they decided to change something with a new book or FAQ.
Case for supplements-
First of all from a purely business standpoint, it is better. We all know that GW likes to make money, and if you are reading this blog, you most likely are willing to pay vast amounts of it on what are essentially "Toys". Given this fact, GW could sell a normal codex at normal price and then make extra off a 1/2 price 1/2 codex. The way it is now, everyone buys 1 codex for 1 army. This way everyone buys AT LEAST 1 codex per army and some people choose to buy MORE. Not only did it allow for variant army supplements, but campaign books could be supplemental to codices as well, such as Armageddon and Eye of Terror. You needed the main book and then the campaign book for your specific army list. Business logic tells me that is a winning plan.
Okay now for the player side of things. It is nicer. It meant consistency through out the codices. Catachans selected from IG, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Salamanders, Black Templars, 13th Company (A Double Supplement- excellent business move) all used Space Marine, Craftworld Eldar used Eldar. What this hurts really now is the variant Space Marine lists. Why do some chapters get Land Raiders of Variant capacity? Different veterans? etc. etc. GW can't update the variants fast enough for separate codices to be viable options. Supplements work. When the core changes, all change with it. It is easy, fast and done. THEN they can take their time on changing a supplement, but at least it isn't outdated.
In addition, supplements for things such as Catachans and Eldar allowed for a little more flavour. They say that you can now make any craftworld from the Eldar list, but IMOHO they aren't as representative of their craftworlds as they used to be. Furthermore, there isn't as much fluff on certain armies when the supplement is just folded into the main book. There is much more potential in the supplement to contain background and hobby info in the supplement for a variant than in the main codex.
To some it up supplements are:
Fluff and Hobby friendly- able to have more than a folded in variant and as much as a separate codex
Easily Updated- One change rather than a Squillion over the course of a decade. By the time a variant separate codex is updated, everything is changed.
Better business- I am willing to pay for your products. Sell them to me.
Allows for Campaign Books
Greater flavour to the army- Salamanders are nothing in the new SM codex. They were so much cooler from the Armageddon book. Give the players back the fluff. AND the army special rules...
So thats my rant for the day.
Tell me what you think in the polls.
On a seperate note I want to thank those who added me to their blog rolls. If they added me, they are present in mine- so go check them out.
No post tomorrow most likely- I have a 7+ hour drive...
Seperate codex for each army
Supplement Codices for variant lists
Independent Character driven variant lists
Wider options in the main list to attempt and create a "variant list"
Trait/doctrine driven variant lists
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Drink deep of victory and remember the fallen.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tired of naming your lists "Joes army" or "Bobs Eldar"? Why don't you come up with a better name?
1- Elements of an Army Name
An army name often has several components to it, but it varies from army to army for obvious reasons. Dark Eldar do not have regiments, Imperial Guard do not gather in mobs (except for conscripts, but that is something else entirely) and Space Marines do not name themselves after anyone but Primarchs.
A number: This can be an Army, Regiment, Company, etc. etc.
Commander's Name- General, Captain, Lord, Archon, Warboss etc. etc.
Planet/System name- includes craftworlds and crusade fleets
2- Adjectives as elements
Alot of armies contain cool adjectives to describe them. This is even further reinforced by unit selection and colour scheme. Grey Knights are an example of this.
3- Creatures as elements
Typically these are mythical or reptillian in manner, or in some cases both. Predator are obvious choices here unless you are going for a parody army (Major Moo's Mad Cows). Examples: Drake, Dragoon, Serpent, Lion, Raptor, Pheonix
4- Elements as elements
I am not talking periodic table here, I mean old school. Fire, Water, Air, Earth. You can be a little more detailed though, like Iron, Steel, Flaming.
5- Paranormal elements
Anything spooky. Banshees, Ghosts, Gremlins, Phantoms. Spooky adjectives work too: Etheral is a fine example.
6- Orginization as an element
This is in thinks like the Cadian "Shocktroops", Mordian Iron "Guard" or Gundrite "Rifles". The type of army it is plays in here.
You can score more here. The correct combinations can make or brake a name. Firedrake is cool. Firedragoon not so much.
8- Don't go overboard.
Limit it to only a couple elements, and typically only one of each type.
Can be good, can be had. Typically, you only want to rhyme/alliterate an element with a commander's name or a colour like "Rasczak's Roughnecks" or "Blackie's Blackguard" "Grey Ghosts". "Flyin' Lions" is just weird.
10- Multiples names
Alot of times an army may also have a nic name. My Guard for instance is the 23rd Uragal Shocktroops a.k.a "Schraider's Raiders"
So there you have it. A quick guide to naming an army. The same rules can apply to fantasy and most specialist games as well.
Here are some further examples
8th Elysian "Droptroops"- The Wareagles
17th Gundrite "Rifles" - The Fire Bats
Warboss Griznack's Bad Ol' (Battle) Boyz
Da Green Horde
The Order of the Gleaming Chalice
Inquistor Stienhart's Household Guard
Sons of Salamis Chapter
Iron Knights Chapter
Craftworld Pentaxis Strike Force
Autarch Feanor's Warhost
Archon Drazni's Wytch Band- The Venomous Vixens
The Gryphons of Kalaptis
Old British regiments are also great examples. Nothumberland Fusilers. Highlanders. Lightfoot. etc. etc.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
HQ: Company Captain, Lighting Claws, Jump Pack, Melta Bomb OR Chaplain, Jump Pack, Plasma Pistol
Elites: Death Company (5), Jump Pack (5); Veteran Assault Squad (10), Power Weapon (3), Combat Shield (10), Flamer (2), Melta Bomb (2); Veteran Assault Squad (10), Power Weapon(3), Combat Shield (10), Meltagun (2)
Troops: 2 x Assault Squad (10), Plasma Pistol(3), Power Weapon, Melta Bomb, Combat Shield; Tactical Squad (10), Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon, Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher
Heavy Support: Baal Predator, Sponson Bolters, Pintle Storm Bolter, Extra-Armour
Pts: 2000 Scoring Units: 3 to 6 Kill Points: 14 (Tourney). 8 (Rulebook)
The idea here is to have a fast striking force that can smash into the enemy hard and pick him apart.
The Veteran Assault Squads when broken up into combat squads manage to deliver nearly as many attacks as a standard Assault Squad of 10 men (20 on the charge for 5 Veterans, 31 for 10 Standard). On top of that the combat shields and power weapons allow them to hunt dangerous opponents with power weapons and the like. Breaking the combat squads up into a support squad and a assaulting unit is ideal, as the power weapons are intended to get bogged in combat, but the special weapons should stay mobile hunting hordes in the case of the flamers and tanks/monstrous creatures in the case of the melta weaponry. Death Company should be employed much the same way. Bring the hurt to your opponent. They are best for hunting down and butchering high toughness units with their rending ability.
Assault squads are an obvious troop choice for Blood Angels. Who wouldn't take scoring units that are jump troops. That last push to make the objective is so much easier. Plus, they are brutal and can easily bring the hurt with 3 plasma pistols and a power weapon bearing sarge to boot. A melta-bomb per squad just in case something annoying like a Leman Russ starts interfering with your plans.
The Tactical Squad is your safety blanket. Never leave home with out it. Most of the battle, your opponent is going to be on his back foot facing 46 jump infantry marines. That gives you plenty of time to bring your footsloggers up into position and starting laying down some fire, preferably from an objective. If you can afford to, combat squads are ideal, capturing two objectives. Make sure though to use their heavy weapon to rid yourself of nuisances, like the chimera blitzing with an Armoured Fist squad for an objective. This is your fire support and killing the enemy is paramount. Deny him his scoring units rather than just protecting yours.
The Baal Predator is another obvious choice. The amount of firepower it can put out once parked is astounding. Just find a place with some good fields of fire, preferably within LOS of at least 2 objectives in a multi-objective game, and begin reducing his troops to piles of gore.
The HQ choice is a matter of preference. Both have obvious advantages. The captain has Rites of Battle and those lightning claws will tear apart enemy characters with ease, capturing you those 3 KP. The chaplain though can control your hard hitting Death Company and applies Litanies of Hate to them, and with Jump Packs, they would always get the charge to use it. Personal preference really. Remember to use those last 15 pts if you take the Chaplain though. Extra melta-bombs or a Hunter-Killer missile? Maybe some Storm Shields rather than combat shields for some of your veterans?
Drink deep of victory and remember the fallen.
If you have stumbled across this and are curious, it's primary concern will be fluff, tactics, and hobby discussion of the 40k universe (including specialist games). Occasionally I may spout off some stuff about WHFB as well.
Drink deep of victory and remember the fallen.
Where am I?
40k is cool