Friday, November 19, 2010

Dark Eldar model review: Beefy Arms

So overall I think the new Dark Eldar models are really really sweet.
They finally look like "Dark" versions of their sissy cousins.

AND they continue reinforcing the Japanese feel/theme of the Eldar image type. Just look at the Mandrakes for the best example. Tell me those pants aren't Japanese. You can't can you. And I am not saying this is a bad thing. The kanji like glyphs of eldar and their back banners in Samurai style are coo, and things like this fit perfectly in and only help reinforce the idea.

BUT there are a few things that are a little rough IMO. Basically, Beefy arms and manly chicks.

Let me start with the Beefy arms: If you look, a bunch of models, including females, have some bulging biceps. Like Catchan bulge. maybe not quite that big. BUT alot bigger than Eldar should be. Especially on chicks, and especially when compared to the size of an arm in a sleeve or armour. I will say the Jetbikes look sweet. But just look at all the arms. Compare the bare to the clothed. Why are they so beefy? Especially on the wytches.

See Eldar are graceful, even their Dark Tainted bretheren, and their limbs should be much more lithe and slender, like the Helions.

Let me next adress the manly women. Some of the chicks just look too much like dudes. Just look at the sideburns on the right one. And the chin on the left make him look more like this.
So yeah, there is that. But GW does have a bad track record of making women look like men. I understand that on a miniature scale, especially heroic, it is a very hard look to capture BUT they are continually harping on about their progress in model making. I would like to see some progress made here.

The one other thing is the Incubi. Why are they holding their blades like this. GW made this mistake on the Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard. But they did it once. And if you took a powerfist, you could just avoid that Blade. This is just a dumb way to hold a blade, especially one that has a hilt. If it was more like that weapon klignons use, then it would be fine. But it obviously has a hilt. One meant for two hands. Why not continue with your Samurai theme and have them hold it that way. Or at least 1 or 2 of them hold it that way. But no, they are all holding it like a psuedostaff.  At leas the wide grip has same intelligence, as you can absorb a block easier with your arms spread, but the close grip really has no logic, at least to me in it. Otherwise though, I think the models are truly representative of their namesake. I would have nightmares if I faced them. Once I was done laughing at their fighting stance that is.

Honestly, who holds a sword like that?
Overall though, they are really really sweet models. I especially like their Jetbikes. They just look menacing. Can't wait to see what further releases hold.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Free Mission Friday: 2 Missions for the Price of None! (Download)

This week I thought I would give you a double header to make up for a lack of posts. Hope you enjoy! Please post any feedback!
Amphibious Assault
FOB Raid
Synopsis: Amphibious Assault has an attacker attempting to seize a beach from the defender as he comes forward fearlessly from the sea. FOB raid has an elite force conducting a daring dawn raid against an enemy Forward Operating Base.

Get the first week's Line Breach mission here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There is a missing USR: Immunity

So, I know I complained about the prevalence of FNP now, but really my problem with it is that it is taking armies and units that are suppossed to be "tough" and watering down their toughness versus the competition.
Nurgle armies are suppossed to be TOUGH, yet BA are now nearly as Tough. S8 Instakills both, and you can have FNP on both, so the T5 bonus of PM has little effect overall.

What could help make armies like this tougher, and makes fluff sense for several other armies, is an Immunity USR giving them advantages against poison weapons.

Where this makes most sense is Necrons and Nurgle. This actually came up when talking about Necrons with a friend and how they have virtually no chance to beat the new DE codex.

This could work 2 ways:
1- It reduces the roll required for poison to work
2- It is a save versus poison weapons only

1- This method would say subtract 1 or 2 from the to wound result of a poison weapon, so say a poison 2+ would become a poison 3+ or 4+. 6 would always work, so either a poison 6+ weapon would not be effected or it would require another roll of say a 2+ or 3+ on top of the 6. The issue with this is that it complicates the game a little more than option 2 and is indiscriminate to the "toughness" of the army. I believe necrons to be more immune to poison weapons than anything seeing as they are made of metal, but under this they would be the same as anyone.

2- This would give a save like FNP versus Poison weapons. Where this is better than option 1 is that you can scale it better. Say the Plague marines get a 4+ save versus poison where as Necrons get a 3+ save. The issue is though that with cover saves and Feel No Pain is another save really needed or will it ever come up?

So with the issues of number 2 and the complications of number 1, maybe they should just make up a Army Wide special rule for the Necrons when they drop. I would favour a save like FNP for them, but only versus poison weapons. This would make them tough in the right way, and while it seems to be prejudice versus DE, they still will have a large advantage in Close Combat and immunity helps against Tyranids, SM Sternguard, and Nurgle Daemons, and I am sure I am missing other poison type attacks, and I am sure we will see more around in the future as well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Free Mission: Line Breach (Download)


As a result of this post and an early interpretation of the related poll I designed a mission last night for your pleasure:
Line Breach
Synopsis: There is a gap in a defensive line. The attacker is trying to hold this gap so that it may be exploited. The defender is obviously trying to close it to maintain their line.

Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. Hope to make more of these and have them out as oft as possible.

Check out the downloads tab up top for other great resources from Sepulchre of Heroes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reinvention of my Imperial Guard PART TWO

For some reason, a post I put up in Nov 2009 asking the community to help me decide what direction to take my Imperial Guard force is one of my most popular hits. So thought I would elaborate more on this.

I haven't really put a lot of effort into my guard. Essentially I only use them when Apoc missions go down, and then it is pretty much only the Tanks that roll out (11 Leman Russ and 2 super heavies are no laughing matter).

But I still am struggling to capture what I want with the force. The issue is that the DKK armoured battlegroup list from FW is really hard for me to write a list I want, or at least in 2000 points. Leman Russ are expensive and eat up all the room for the cool things like Death Riders. And there are no ogryns either, which I think are cool too. But I am willing to sacrifice that for the sake of a list that works for me.

Basically because I can't make a list I want to make, I don't know what to buy, and because I don't know what to buy, I don't have an army I like, and so therefor I don't play them.

This got me thinking though. What if I made 2/3 armies using a majority of the same units. Basically use the normal IG and/or Krieg Siege list for smaller games and the DKK armoured battlegroup list for the large games (which I like more anyway).
So what I need to do now is design a theme around Tanks and Infantry. I don't really want to have to buy Chimeras.
I know I need some Centaurs for the DKK parts of the list. I would like to get Deathriders of Krieg, but would consider doing conversions to represent Deathriders/Rough riders.

The thing is I need to come up with some fluff for the Army. Right now I have a majority of Cadian inftantry, a squad of Steel Legion, a squad of Kasrkin, and a squad of Krieg Grenadiers. I would like to get some more Krieg to add to the army, as they look the best IMO.
What I am thinking is a Cityfight style remnant army. Basically, a force of guardsmen from devastated units brought together for common survival.

So now I need to site down with an IG codex and the 2 DKK lists and my collection of Guard. Figure out what I have and need. As well, I will probably shift the colour scheme of my Cadians. Fortunately, only a small number of them are done. Maybe I will leave them the browns and khakis they are amongst a sea of grey/blues to re-enforce the remnants concept.

Also, going to look into vostroyan and catachan models to see if they'd be a good addition.

Expect to see lists forthcoming!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(Inventing) Missions in 5th Edition (poll post)

I want you to do something for me. I want you to grab your rule book. I want you to flip to page 266. What does it say at the top of the page? "Inventing New Missions"
Feel free to mess with the missions!

Why does no one do this? Why does everyone, day in and day out play the 3 same missions in the 3 same setups. And some of the setup's don't even matter for some of the missions. Whenever I get pitched battle capture and control, it pretty much goes the same as spearhead capture and control in terms of deployment and how the game plays out.

I remember a world of many missions, scaled missions and when each codex also came with a mission tailored to that army. These worlds were known as 3rd and 4th edition, and they were great and full of variety. There were breakouts and pitched battles, alpha level to omega level. Meatgrinder. VARIETY!

Now the world is stagnant and repetitive. Yes there is Battlemissions, but those aren't the best of missions in my book, and not everyone bought the book either. And there is planetstrike, but that seems like it was a flash in the pan and no one plays it anymore. As well, it wasn't balanced well and I would consider it somewhat of an unfinished product. It could have been great, but ultimately it has disappointed I feel. Cityfight goes unused as well, as either people don't have enough terrain to do it or it is considered to archaic (written in 4th edition mind you, so I can kinda see that point). Apocalypse is a breath of fresh air, but it only has one mission and is intended for really BIG games of multiple people. What you see happen a lot with APOC is instead of the one standard mission, people make their own. Which brings me back to page 266 of the rulebook.

Did you even know of that page? Did you even know of pages 267-273 which contain 4 more missions already made with 5th Edition in mind? Why does no one play these?!?!

One problem I think is people can't think of Victory Conditions for a game, like objectives and kill points. But is really not that hard. You could just use scaled KPs like the old 'ard boyz rules (3 for HQ, 2 for Elite, FA, HS, 1 for troops and DT). Or you can use the old Victory point system (margin of victory should be used with it). You can combine the two. Units under 100 pts (or something like that) are 1 KP, 101-250 are 2, 251 to 500 are 3 KPs.
You can take inspiration from your old rule books, or from other games (WHFB for instance) or just play those old missions as are or slightly modified for 5e (KPs instead of VPs).
List of suggestions
-Escape the opposite board edge
-Kill a number of enemy ICs/MCs
-Destroy all the enemies vehicles
-Your opponent starts with the objectives and you cap/destroy them
-Protect/escort "civilians" or "prisoners"- models without weapons and just basic stats
-Boarding missions with limited playing area (space hulk sets or the like)
-Sabotage type missions
-Rescue type missions

If you are one of the people out there who does mess around with missions, who does actually take the time to do something different, then tell us what you do. Oh yeah, and you deserve this:

So now please everyone, answer the poll and tell me, how do you play your missions? Poll over there --->

Monday, November 1, 2010

Power from Pain - More like Overpowered Pain

So maybe its not that broken or overpowered (or is and has yet to be fully realized) but I think the power through pain ability of the DE is somewhat slanted.

The issue is the ease of getting FNP, and at little to no cost.
First off, FNP is the first thing you gain from Power from Pain. I think the chart is upside down, or at least mixed up. FNP is clearly the most powerful of the abilities, yet the easiest to access, meanwhile fearless is the last.
The chart should be-
1- Furious Charge
2- Fearless
3- Feel No Pain
The concept of DE is to be a Boxer with a glass jaw, but gaining FNP increases their survivability by light years. Furious Charge and fearless are more aggressive rather than defensive abilities and reinforce this concept.
Sure S6 weapons can get around it, but no one walks around with basic S6 and armies generally have to pay a decent amount to gain them (plasma guns are 15 pts, 35 pts for Assault cannons on razorbacks).
Then there is the ability to just hand out Pain Tokens right off the bat. Buy 3 Haemonculus. That is 3 pain tokens right there for 150 pts. That is 3 units with FNP. Okay before you say it, I know that is the same as a Sanguinary priest in BA, who gives Furious Charge and FNP. The difference is that the Sang Priest can be singled out, killed in combat, and then my Blood Angels loose the ability. The Dark Eldar though keep it, even if the Haemonculus is dead. I will say looking at it this way you can make the chart this
1- FC
2- FNP
3- Fearless
BUT FNP should still not be first.
Then there is the Duke, who doubles your chances of getting a 6 on the combat drug table, allowing units with Combat Drugs to start with pain tokens. A 1 in 6 to a 1 in 3 chance is a big leap and a great improvement.
Another thing is that it is easy for some of the units to get FNP turn one/two with a one sweep assault, especially against armies like guard, tau, orks, and necrons, and nids. Arrive and get to assault asap, minimizing time you are shot at, and then get to render small arms fire insignificant the rest of the game.

As well handing out FNP like this makes armies that had it before less unique and competitive. I even feel this way about BA somewhat, though I still utilize it, as will all the Dark Eldar. But things like Death Company in old BA, and Plague Marines in CSM lose some of their inherent coolness and advantages with the onset of the design studio's mindset to hand out USRs like candy.

So what tried to do is design an army that hits really hard and really fast with the intention of making them fragile and easy to break. What they did was make an army that hits hard and fast, but is resilient and has staying power as fast (or faster) than its ability to deliver the hurt. It just doesn't make sense as the first ability and makes the army more resilient than I believe it was meant to be.


In response to a lot of the comments. Yes I do understand that the army can get stranded and shredded if you shoot the transports, and yes I know S6 bypasses their FNP.

The issue is, they have defenses against this as well. They are a very fast Army. Their transports turn one should get a cover save because they should turbo boost. Turn 2, they should be disembarking and assault. This really minimizes the time I have to shoot at them before they gain FNP.

I think a better mechanic would have been as follows:
Darkness Prevails: Dark Eldar always have +1 to their cover save. They gain a 6+ cover save in the open.
To me, this is more fluffy and a little less powerful, lending to the Boxer with a Glass jaw concept.

As for other FNP armies. Nids can get it easily but don't have the Speed of DE/BA and the Mech of CSM.
BA have Sang priests yes. I will concede that this made my very own codex a little bit broken. They are virtually flying PMs. But there is the other side to this. SPs are harder to utilize and are vulnerable AND Space Marines don't benefit from FNP as much as DE do. SMs already have 3+ saves, so you get a marginal benefit from FNP, as you don't fail too many to begin with. DE on the other hand against a bolter are going from 0% chance of surviving a Bolter to 50% chance of surviving a Bolter. And cover saves are abundant in 5e, so you need to account for that as well.
As for PMs, they used to be the FNP kings. Now, they are more generic. While still good, they are pricey troops whose advantages can be found elsewhere in the game. Plus, overall the CSM codex is shunned as a lackluster codex in need of revamp. Plus they can not gain the other abilities that DE/BA can gain, and so their advantages are even surpassed.
You can say, as the BOLS post did that CSM have yet to be updated and we will see new advantages, but there are 2 problems with this IMO: When will that update come and then there is Codex Creep.

As for S6 getting past it. S6 isn't that common and it is expensive. Yes, people can spam it, but for a balanced list to face all comers, you won't. So to me this isn't as big of a disadvantage as people claim. In general, you will find more S8 weapons in an army list than S6.

BUT know this: This is a rant. It is a slight exaggeration of my true feelings and everything across the internet comes out 10 times more dickish than it truly is. The DE codex isn't the end all be all of cheesyness and beardiness like Necrons were at first release. IG are still top dog IMO. I just feel that DE are overtough for what they were intended/should have been. That is not to say that they are the toughest SOBs out there and no one can topple them. I just feel that the Power from Pain rule went one step too far.