Monday, October 29, 2018

A Modest Proposal - Grey Knights

I have a couple of modest proposals to put forth for the Silver Tin-Cans of Daemon-Hate. 

Interesting possible changes, that probably won't happen.

1. Psychic
This is a place that has a lot of potential for GK. It's one of the areas they just should be better at, but the rules of 8th edition kinda forced them into just being bad smiters.
A simple idea is that they just have more tables. Picking up SM's Liberius Table and dropping it into GK isn't to tall of a order.

But a more interesting option is to expand how their current table works. Something similar to the Eldar Runes of Battle table, that cool dual power system GW came up with, that hasn't been replicated once.

Sanctic Table (Modified):

1. Purge Soul (As is, but enemy unit has -1 to cast until next friendly psychic phase) / 
    Reinforce Soul (Ignore Morale, unit has +1 to deny until next friendly psychic phase)

2. Gate of Infinity / 
    Wall of Infinity (Cast on a friendly unit, when charged treated as 2" further away).

3. Hammerhand / 
    Bladehand (Unit gains +1 Attack)

4. Sanctuary /
    Desecration (Enemy unit within 12" has -1 to saves)

5. Astral Aim /
    Astral Reach (Add 6" to range of weapons)

6. Vortex of Doom / 
    Might of Doom (target self, to-wound rolls of 6+ in close combat cause 1 Mortal wound)

Other than that really anything could help. Characters having normal smite, units can swap smite for Hammerhand, or GK can have multiple castings of the same power but each iteration has -1 to cast.

2. Deep Strike
We're kind of in a weird place right now. BIG FAQ 2 dropped a bomb on how reserves work, and GK definitely felt it. They're a assault army with mostly 24" range guns. But I do see a chance to balance the game with tactical options.

A lot of armies including GK have a stratagem that lets you deep-strike a unit/or units. What if those Strats were expanded to also allow turn-one reserves. Then there'd be a cost associated with turn-1 sucker punches.

Alternatively, a good fix would be to change a GK warlord trait (which they have many bad ones) to allow a certain number of units for turn 1 arrival.

3. Wargear
GK melee weapons need a re-work, and lot of it comes down to point costs. Units in general should get a little cheaper, but the melee weapons should actually have differing point costs.

Gk guns also need a complete overhaul. They need to come down or be changed to Assault weapons. In a strike squad it just doesn't make sense to give up a CCW and a Storm Bolter for the privilege of spending more points. You can't use incinerators out of deep-strike and being heavy makes the others cost prohibitive.
Honestly I'd like see Psycannon changed to Rapid Fire 2 and the Psilencer just be assault. But I'd settle on them dropping in points.

4. Mordrak

This is just a personal gripe of mine. Mordrak should get rules again. He's a magic Space knight with a retinue of imaginary friends (who happen to be terminators).

Even I'm not sure why my name had to be Voldus

5. Units
A big part of why Gk suck right now isn't because they don't have units, it's that a lot of their units are terrible and/or actively competing with each other with little gain.

5a. GK in Terminator Armour
Ideally points across the board should drop a little, a big part of why terminators are expensive is because they have natural deep-strike, which no longer works turn one so maybe that should factor into their points cost.

I'd argue that Paladins could get away with being bumped to tough 5 and gain the ability to cast two powers. They are naturally/unnaturally/mary-sue (would that be Joe-Smith or something?) superior beings that can fight Daemon princes in their underwear.

5b. GK in Power Armour
Attacks. Strikes, or least Purifiers, should just get +1 attack to their stat line. They are just to ridiculously expensive to have a Tactical squad stat-line.

Purifiers should drop to 3-10 squad sizes, just like paladins (They're are literally only 44 of them in existence). They don't have "Brotherhood of Psykers" so they are limited by the smite +1 per casting. Its just a simple change that lets you fill out points better and have slightly more units.

Interceptors are just more expensive Strikes that move faster. You can't make them cheaper without creating a superior option. So instead of making them cheaper just give them something that makes them different. They're playing it loose with phasing in and out of reality, give them a -1 to hit or a rule that lets them teleport close enough to enemy units to use incinerators but forbids them from charging.

Purgation squads are a tricky thing, if the guns got better/cheaper they'd probably be good as is. But a simple addition for them would be the ability to always cast Astral Aim on themselves, even if someone has already cast it.

5c. Dreadknights

Either make their guns assault or give them relentless. A big reason why Grand Master DK replaced them is they highlighted exactly why DKs became bad and presented a immediate replacement unit. They just need to hit more with their expensive war-gear while on the move.

A cute trick would be to make the GMDK only buff DKs, maybe even giving a relentless aura.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Starting AoS: Tamurkhan's Horde First Steps

So I've decided to make the plunge. I am starting an AoS army. Why now? Well AoS 2.0 seemed to relaunch a lot of interest. I also move alot and have an active AoS community where I currently live. Figured having an army I could use would only be a good thing.

I wanted something relatively small, but unique in the meta and fun on the table top and to hobby. When the Tamurkhan's Horde pdf for AoS dropped, I knew it was perfect for me. I wanted something that would be fun and quick to build and paint, and I've always had fun painting Nurgle units. The Horde is a very assault oriented army with a rapid movement forward (I am a Blood Angel's player at heart), and it is unique and gimmicky (like my horse army). It is a perfect opportunity for some conversions along side some sweet forgeworld models. Bonus, the army is relatively low model count and isn't super competitive, so I don't have to worry about changing it or keeping it optimal. Sometimes it will hit like a ton of bricks and break people. Other times it won't. And I'm okay with that. This army truly is purely for the fun of it.
To sum up, Tamurkhan's Horde checks all the boxes I was looking for, so I went with it. I am already working on a 9th Age/WHFB 8th Ed Lizardmen Army and endless summoning doesn't seem like my bag, so Seraphon was kinda out. Chaos Dwarves were just TOO Expensive, and Beast of Chaos didn't have a battletome... yet. More on that to come.

This list I finally settled on
So I started with one of the Battalions from the T-Horde pdf. But the most I thought about that the more I realized it stunk and was a waste of points. I know I said this army wasn't meant to be competitive, but I also don't want to intentionally make TERRIBLE choices when there are better options that are just as fluffy but way more useful AND have opportunities to be creative.

I knew I was going to include the Maggot Lord himself, Tamurkahn. What's the point of the army if you don't include him. Kazyk the Befould also seemed like a no-brainer, and I originally rounded them off with just a Sorceror.

I also knew I still wanted 18 Plague Ogors at the core with 3 Bile Troggoths. This is the basis of the battalion and seemed fun. Just the added battalion was useless. The debate came down to 3 units of 6 Ogors or a unit of 12 and a unit of 6. The first way gave me 3 battlelines, but fewer points to work with, while the 3rd method gave me only 2 battleline meaning I would need a 3rd, but saved me some significant points with the full unit discount.

Knowing that I started looking around for another battleline... which at first only left me with marauders and warriors. Neither of these choices ever really excited me. I really wanted plague monks, but they were only battle line for Clan Pestilens. BUT looking into them made me realize how WORTH IT a Plague Priest with Plague Censer was in my army, so my characters grew by one and left me with a measly 160 points.
Beastmen from the Throne of Chaos book
At NOVA I had already procured my Ogor models and I had at this point basically resigned myself to just doing 20 marauders and an endless spell for the remaining points. And then Beast of Chaos dropped. And while I couldn't get Nurgle Marked beasts or pestigors into that 160 point slot, I COULD fit 20 normal gors, and these instantly excited me more. One, I had been considering Beasts of Chaos BEFORE picking T-Horde. Two, they are fast and assaulty and fit PERFECT with the theme of the Horde, even if they aren't especially boosted by its abilities. BUT that was really a third part of the attraction. They make the perfect unit that can operate OUTSIDE the command influence of my characters and can serve as objective holders, speed bumps or tarpit. And they were exactly 160 points. All the more perfect. The only debate I still have out on them is do I go with 2 units of 10 or one large unit of all 20. I feel some playtesting is required there.

I managed to snap up 18 Ogor bodies and some random bags of weapons bits for cheap at the NOVA Open from the Toledo Game Room (the bestest most amazing vendor on the planet). With that purchase made, some cool old chaos bits I had, and some green stuff, I went to town.
And now to start painting!
Still have a ways to go, but it is a start and pretty fun so far from a creativity perspective.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sisters of Silence - 3 Immediate Changes that should happen

This small, largely neglected, force in 40k is really in an unfortunate spot. With Sisters of Battle on the Horizon in 2019, and Forge World not really doing much for them or 40k in general, they really can't and won't get any love in the future. They are stuck in this perpetual state of meh, and the current rules surrounding them make it even worse.
If you don't know much about them, they have 3 Elites Choices. You can take them in a Vanguard Det of JUST SoS, but gain no command benefits (this includes CP). Combine that with a somewhat mediocre stat line AND the fact they are Index only, and you are left with virtually no reason to play them.

And while it would be great to get prosecutors with the dual pistols and their sweet FW transport, there are really only 3 changes, NONE OF WHICH REQUIRE NEW MODELS, that GW would need to do, and could do OVERNIGHT with a simple update to the Index FAQ
CHANGE 1- Make Prosecutors Troops- Simple change. If Custodes have troops, they should to. They are just Bolter ladies. But critical in order to make them playable (ie, get around the rule of 3) and useful in context of the next 2 changes.

CHANGE 2- Add an HQ Choice- GW should do exactly what they did with Custodes: make it so you can make an HQ out of the box. Essentially make up a Knight Commander Stat-line, just like they did for a Shield Captain, and allow it to pick the wargear in the box (sword, flamer, bolter). Give it some special ability, probably an enhanced Deny the Witch or something of the sort.
CHANGE 3- Add an ELITES Choice Command Squad- They key here is a squad with min squad size of 4. Limit- 1 per knight commander. See what I did there! You get 5 in a box! If you make a Knight Commander, you'd have 4 models left over... PERFECT FOR A COMMAND SQUAD. Probably stick just with Bolters and give them a 2+ BS. Or maybe same stat line, and allow mixed weapons. IDK. Point is to make a 4 woman squad possible.

Simple. Done. All can be done via an FAQ. You're welcome GW. No credit needed. Just please implement these changes and make such a unique fluffy little force practical!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Modest Proposal - Harlequins

I have a couple of modest proposals to put forth for the masters of fashion. 

Interesting possible changes, probably none of them will happen.

1. Re-purpose some Models

I've said this before and I'll say it again, they're left and right pistol arms in the Troupe kit. Ergo you could easily make a really cool gunslinger unit. Small elite unit 3-5, give them a rule that lets them shoot twice and/or lets them shoot into combat with a penalty or something. But otherwise done.

Another option is to take a play from Custodes, just give a option for a HQ Skyweaver. Just play around with some stats, add character, done.

Past that it gets tricky, you'd have to make new models or upgrade sprues. You could try and port things like DE Beasts, but that really isn't the kind of clowns GW has written Harlequins to be.

2. Make a new kit

Mimes used to be a thing. They were a elite close-combat unit that could sneak around. While another CC unit isn't really needed in Quins, a infiltrating unit is. Give them a infiltrate rule and something that focuses on defensive abilities instead of close combat. So that they are more/different then just Troupes' that can infiltrate.

Never Saw It Coming

But we can't stop there. If Quins get a new kit, clearly it should be a dual kit. Right?

So lets go with different arms with guns, possibly shuriken carbines. I'm not saying Harlequin Dire Avengers....... but..... Harlequin Dire Avengers.

3. Weapon Changes

Star Bolas are just a bad option. They need to change somehow. I wouldn't mind them going back to limited use weapons or even getting a price increase, but something like just being assault d3 would make them tempting. Which is kind of all I'm asking for.

Embraces should go back to being different. They used to have a few hits that always-hit-first, but at a sacrifice of normal close combat attacks being slaps. Something similar, or maybe even use that "on-a-turn they charge, they clause 1 mortal wound a 6+" rule that gets thrown around.

I would say Prism Cannon, but I got a plan for that.

4. Voidweavers

Aren't great right now, they really never were. The only real change is that they aren't physically required anymore...... bright-side?

Anyways, a simple thing to do is give them the "Grinding Advance/Pulsed Laser Discharge" rule. The one that lets you shoot the main weapon twice if you moved half your total distance or less.

Other then that, maybe give them a boast to the Prismatic Cannons range and a little bit of a points increase to compensate.

They really just need to be a justifiable anti-tank option to be taken instead of Skyweavers.

5. Also Do Something About Skyweavers

Something needs to be done about Skyweavers armed with Haywire. They should be a Harlequin dedicated anti-vehicle unit, but they shouldn't be the obvious default anti-tank option for every Eldar faction.

They are just to good as a anit-tank unit..... and anti-alot of things in general. Internally they're just terribly balanced, hayweavers just shouldn't be competing with every other option in my codex for every purpose.

And I don't want to come across as someone defending the shitty Knight meta right now (hopefully something happens there via chapter approved). But I just don't want to have a fad unit everyone tells me I should be playing more of.

Ideally haywire just need to change to str 3 or go back to d3 shots. But I'm betting Chapter Approved 2 is just going to increase points somewhere, hopefully just the gun so that it doesn't screw over the unit.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Allies of Inconvenience: Episode 14- The Big FAQ 2 Discussion & Review

This Episode the Allies of Inconvenience Crew goes over what they like and what they feel missed the mark on the Big FAQ and the implications of these changes, as well as some alternative fixes that we would have liked to see instead.

WE ALSO HAVE NEW METHODS OF SUBSCRIBING AND LISTENING! You can now follow us on all the services linked below! Can't stop the signal Mal!

00:00 Intro
02:03 Hobby Progress
14:15 FAQ Discussion

Songs and Soundclips
Blue Mark- Atlan Urtag
Kaap mere- Bugotak
Clip 1 - The Princess Bride

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

BIG FAQ 2 Review- The Five Things That Missed The Mark

Well BIG FAQ 2 is here, and where do I begin? First Impression: Underwhelming. It does a lot without really fixing the root of some of the real problems while heavily nerfing some things that were not really a problem.

I never got around to fully putting down into a post what I thought about BIG FAQ 1. Just the rule of three. We do talk about it on the podcast quite a bit (Episode 9: The Big FAQ Discussion and Review).  If you are reading this on the day it is posted, we are recording tonight to talk about Big FAQ 2, so stay tuned for that (lucky Episode 13)!

But what to say about this FAQ in the meantime...

I guess I will just walk through my thoughts on some of the biggest (and most egregious) changes and disappointments of the BIG FAQ 2.

1- CP Farm Nerf: To sum up- you can only regenerate one CP per battle round now (Game Turn), though stratagems like Agents of Vect that can save you from spending the CP to begin with still work as normal.While welcome, I think it is ultimately rather ineffective at correcting the FAQ farm problem. Just slightly curtails it, and mostly damages the low CP armies that relied on some regen to even the playing field.

For one, the fix did nothing to fix SOUP. What GW thinks SOUP is and what SOUP really is are two different things. GW thinks SOUP is just having a detachment of multiple different factions. And it kinda was in the begging, but that wass before you had pure detachment bonuses too, which now tend to be reason enough to not make that style of SOUP. A veritable gumbo if you will.
What GW fails to realize is SOUP is now is having 3 detachments of 3 factions that feed each other and eliminate each factions respective weakness. The pinnacle of this in 8th thus far is Astra-Militarum + House Raven Imperial Knights + Blood Angels Smash captain and scouts. It works by using the CP and high regen rate of Astra Militarum to feed the high octane Knights and Smash Captain. And while this SOUP combo has been slightly curtailed, it is still effective IMO. The issue is you can just start the game with a metric buttload of CP (like 15 or more). And the FAQ only changed it to regen 1 PER BATTLEROUND. Not 1 ATTEMPT PER BATTLE ROUND. Eventually, you WILL regen that CP. Enough attempts and it is guaranteed. So it effectively went from 15+infinite CP to 15+6 CP. And if you still can't get the job done with 21 CP, feeding it to those monster units, you have other problems as a player.
What needed to happen IMO is that CP should be faction locked. Basically, guard could only spend CP on guard, Marines on Marines, Custodes on Custodes etc. etc. It just doesn't make sense that an Imperial Guard company commander and his band of 30 merry men are giving "Command Presence" to battle hardened marines and knight seneschals.

Also you should never be allowed have more than you started turn 1 with (so if you burnt 6 of your 15 on pre-game stratagems, these 6 are gone, and you can never regen past the 9 you started turn 1 with).

Along with this nerf, there is the price increase of several Stratagems. All this really does is hurt the people who weren't farming to begin with, because as I pointed out, those armies that were farming are still bringing like 20+ CP to a game. Spending ONE more on a few select no-brainier stratagems doesn't really burden them like it does to the guy who only had 8. It just feels like all fixes are only hurting the things they were not intended to hurt.

2- Change to FLY. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Worst change IMO. For those not in the know, they nerfed FLY from being allowed to pass over models while moving to pass over models moving in the movement phase ONLY.
 What does this mean? Well you can no longer charge OVER models or terrain if you have fly. The reasoning behind this is the old interpretation allowed for a loop hole exploitation, especially when combined with the last FAQ, that essentially gave people a 0" charge if they were under an enemy unit, ignoring the vertical distance. 
And I think we can all agree that THAT is broken and wrong. CLEARLY there should be no 0" charge, especially when model MUST maintain a 1" separation outside of combat AND there is still physical distance between them. The easy fix would have been this: "Models with FLY measure direct distance when charging a unit." Essentially, they MOVE up the diagonal. THE VERY ONE YOU HAD TO ESTABLISH TO CHARGE TO BEGIN WITH!

But instead, GW roamed into the realm of gross over reach with unintended (I hope) consequences.

First of all, in the Tactical Reserves ruling (which I will get to) they explained they changed it because it didn't feel like it fit the narrative aspects of battle to have the rule work the way it did. They claim it felt like there was no realistic reason for the rule to work the way it did. Why would reserves arbitrarily stay out of the enemy zone turn 1? Then by the same logic, why can't a unit with FLY charge OVER an infantry screen? I mean, here is how your officially licensed media displays Jump Packs working.
There is just no believable reason why something that can zoom/arc/glide/swoop through the air just wouldn't fly over unimportant units and attack the more important ones.
Me gusta indeed
Or why going from one building to the next with wings/a jetpack/a flying motorcycle requires you to land, go down a few flights of stairs, walk across the street, go up the stairs, and then take back off to fight... especially since you can then later fall back in a flying type motion?
"Obviously we can't have a Neo vs Agent Smith DBZ style fight in the air or anything. There is infantry after all and we need to walk through them first.
Then there is the case of something with FLY charging another unit with FLY. NOW if there is Infantry between them, they can't charge! I mean we already have to deal with FLAME WEAPONS being the BEST ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPONS IN THE GAME. BUT NOW we also have to deal with infantry being the most effective defense FOR A FLYING JET. THAT DOESN'T MAKE A LICK OF SENSE!
Definitely can't take our super advanced flying bikes that can deepstrike if we want and zoom up to that plane. Infantry clearly would stop us.
The real kicker here is the inequity of screens. Super cheap infantry screens are now some of the ultimate powers in the game (as if they weren't abused before). You can stick 40 x 4 point models in front of a knight, and that super flying squad of death is just going to get caught in their tar pit.

Combine this with the continued nerfs to Deep Strike, and assault armies keep having a rougher and rougher time this edition IMO.

3- Tactical Reserves. New rule- no reserves first turn. At all.

Don't get me too wrong, I kinda like rolling back when DS can happen. BUT this edition it just seems to help all the already powerful things the most.

Were first turn assaults really this big of a problem? I just never saw it myself. 9" seemed more than enough to make it HARD to get the assault off (I've failed plenty of them). The real issue was DS and shooting probably. But I have yet to see an alpha strike ASSAULT build that wasn't GSC. All alphastrike really seem to bank on heavy amounts of shooting. And so GW is intensifying that? Just seems like the days of leafblower lists are at risk of coming back to me.

IMO the AP system in 8th compared to previous editions benefits shooting more than it does assault and in general makes it all more preferable. Look how many people don't opt for power weapons (unless they get an S boost or -3/-4 AP), but will take AP -1 guns all day. Because it all comes down to weight of saves it seems. Quantity over quality.
Yes, we now have the prepared positions stratagem, but it only applies to units not in cover already. It also does nothing versus armies like Imperial Fists or Iron Warriors who ignore cover. So overall pretty meh...
Oh... and how in response to the very ruling you made for "Narrative Reasons" do you justify allowing Flyers to have "Prepared Positions"? Do all 40k planes now come standard with cloud bank generators?

4- Failure of Forgeworld to address... well... anything.

I know I have submitted feedback. I am sure I am not alone... yet NOTHING? There are almost no changes or fixes to anything in the FW indices. Everything is still MASSIVELY over costed. Tanks that should have equivalent rules to the codex (All the Super Heavies, anything based on the Leman Russ like the Thunderer Siege Tank) still DON'T have equivalent special rules.

Then they went through and did arbitrary nerfs. Like taking away the Chaplain Dreadnought's ability to hold a Relic! WHAT? I'll use BA as an example here- there was ONE relic he could use- the Veritas Vitae- a CP regen relic. Why couldn't that be on a dread? Oh wait, IT STILL CAN BE ON A LIBRARIAN DREAD. So there is really no REAL reason other than "fluff" reasons someplace, which as we saw earlier, if that is why you are going to change rules, then it needs to be CONSISTENT and not done arbitrarily.
Unrelated but I wanted to post this.
At this point I am beginning to think FW needs to turn over the writing of their 40k rules to the GW team. Keep making AMAZING MODELS. Keep making Horus Heresy and Specialist games rules. BUT if you are going to make a model for 40k or make it cross game compatible, let the guys in 8th handle the rules. Maybe coordinate, but at the end of the day we need effective rules in 8th edition, and FW is losing my confidence in them to do that.

5- Double down on the pointlessness of the rule of 3. Go read this post I did in the past if you have the time. If not, I essentially argue while I understand the spirit of the rule of 3, its execution was flawed. And this FAQ doubled down on that. Daemon Princes from every source are their own Datasheet, so you can field 3 of all of them. Vehicle Squadrons are completely fine. So what is a rule of 3 becomes a rule of 9 or 12. What's the point? If GW wanted to stop 7 flyrants, then they should do what they did to the Tau Commander (AND STILL HAVEN'T UNDONE AFTER IMPLEMENTING THE RULE OF 3) and limit SPECIFIC UNITS to 0-1 per detachment.  I know this is just rehashing the past, but I am still of the opinion that the rule of three disproportionately effects fluffy armies and once again HAS NO NARRATIVE BASIS, WHICH IS WHAT GW IS APPARENTLY MAKING DECISIONS ON. So where is the consistency!!!