Feast of Blades '13

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Eldar Rules:The Competitive Edge

Hey all Kevin here getting back to my Competitive Edge article series writing. So with the book in a few hands lets go break down what Eldar will need to do to get the competitive edge in 40k.

I will probably follow this up with a more in depth view of the codex when its in my hand physically.....

OK so lets go through the army as a whole. It has gotten a lot more elite. I know the Eldar really wanted to get cheaper but instead we actually got more expensive points wise. Yet rules wise we got a huge boost across most of the board. Yet the extreme boost in abilities and rules will make this army potent in certain aspects, yet with a huge skill level increase to play this army effectively....aka it will be a hard codex to play correctly. I get why they did it since it would not fit the fluff to have massive hordes of eldar yet a general decrease would have been nice. The whole old nemesis thing is too niche to mean much to me as a competitive player. Slaanesh CSM is rare and we would only see this with daemons....which will happen but not that often....

Now I am ok with this. Army wide abilities such as shoot/run run/shoot is a huge ability....basically it is jump shoot jump light which is a very potent power when used correctly. We also saw  all shuriken weapons gain the new version of bladestorm which is basically rending light (aka no D3 extra pen.). Now I would rather see a 6"+ average range boost on all weapons this is a very good ability. Now is it as good as poison? Situation depending it can be. This ability combined with gude and doom really can spell doom for armies like Nid MC spam and other similar high toughness armies relying on a few tough models that are hard to kill. This may be a case of looking mediocre on paper at first since it is not as reliable as would be needed to rely on (Only 15% of wounds will ever be AP2 and auto wounding anyway) yet with a combination of powers and proper MSR/MRS (Move Shoot Run/ Move Run Shoot) the already nasty footdar close up shooting is only gonna get better..We must remember Eldar have fleet making this move a little better than most are thinking of it on paper..Making it a more viable army in competition than it already is. Guardians get a huge stat line boost. Besides a slight increase in range and exarch abilities Dire Avengers lose most of what made them cool to the point where its almost always better to take Guardians instead. Pathfinders needing an hq is a downside and normal Rangers are only cool because they are dirt cheap.

HQ wise we got a lot more diverse. The warlord traits have a few one offs which is OK. It only emphasizes the positioning and quick and sudden counter strike ability of the army.  Multiple different varieties of farseers with different abilities is nice as well is the multiple different corresponding charts they can roll on. The multiple charts with multiple abilities per roll is huge as one power seems to always have the anti version. So fortune/misfortune, guide/anti guide. This flexibility is a psychic boost I was not expecting all though we do lose all of our other perks that get replaced by weaker yet more modern versions. The Avatar got a huge boost as well and with Exarch abilities could be cool to run in a Wraithbone Construct themed build for Shiggles and Gits. Autarchs allow some serious reserves manipulation which is cool and Phoenix lords can unlock Aspects as troops. Wraithguard can still be made troops as well. All together we have a lot of serious FOC manipulation at our hands. I still see using the new versions of farseers and even Eldrad more often. I haven't heard anything on him points wise yet which worries me although he still is about the same if not better at ML 4. Warlocks got leaps and bounds better since they are all Level one psychers. Their chart is also pretty nasty taking these guys where and whenever possible is a must.

Aspect wise Dark Reapers got a ton better. They went back to their old form of using Rocket launchers and can even get skyfire. This combined with the ability to give fast shot to any exarch is pretty good. Warpspyders are a little bit better with the mono filament abilities. The flyers are mediocre at best since they are AV 10 all around but since it can be controlled by an exarch with exarch powers you can spend a bit of points to make it more efficient yet not more tough....so these guys will be probably left at home, especially with the anti-air abilities of Tau. The  bomber is just more expensive for the same weaknesses.  Banshees only got a point cheaper, yet they still are mediocre in todays game.

17 point jet bikes are very nice.

It seems Harlies went back to the limited range view on them which is odd....

Vehicles, although still expensive, got a pretty nice boost with holofields and normal shields giving them 4++ saves. Warwalkers having skyfire missiles is also pretty useful.

The Wraith units are the most interesting part of the codex. Wraithlords got a bit more expensive and unless the weapon got cheaper they are not getting better with only being S8 now. Yes this is lame as I like Wraithlords but it seems these guys might get left out except for themed armies. I might still take one since I own the models but I am not happy right now with the state they are in. Wraith Guard and the CCW version are 160 points for 5, which is good. Since they can become troops a high toughness with some pretty crazy high strength weapons is possible yet still expensive.

No I have yet to understand why a lot of Internet Armchair Generals are crapping on the Wraithknight. It is a 6 wound Wraithlord with a jump pack. Now for 240 points, aka the price of two wraithlords we get something that is just as tough to kill as two wraithlords except it has a jump pack and an invulnerable save. It also has access to way better weapons.If people are worried it can die too easily remember we can get a psychic power that gives it shrouding. Stack this with the possibility of fortune and keeping its tippy toes of the base in terrain and we have a 3+ re-roll-able cover save.....how is this easy to kill? It can avoid force weapons with the ability to jump pack around as well. IMHO this guy is an auto take for at least two spots. Combine the new weapons with the twin linking ability of scatter lasers  this guy is quite good in every aspect although some playtesting will be needed. As of now I think he will be better in practical use than he looks on paper.

Honestly I like the army. I can see myself running Eldrad and another Psycher for HQ's. Double blobs of guardians with some Dire Avenger units following them up. I might get a few small jetbike squads to replace my pathfinders. Beyond this I plan on still using Warpspyders. Possibly as many warlocks as I can fit in. I will bring two of the new Wraithknights and a Wraithlord or Reapers or D-cannons if they got a higher range. Will it work? Possibly....only time will tell....more on this later....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Road to Feast of Blades List Concepts: #1: "Vanilla Skies" Codex: Space Marine's Flyer List

Hey all, Kevin here to return to my blogging origins of posting concept lists and going into why and why not running them. In this case its about what I will bring or not bring to Feast.....And yes I know that's a little far out (About 5 months) yet its never too early to plan ahead...especially since I will be stranded from playing 40k for most of the next three months until September....

So since I am planning on going to Feast (Anyone know when it usually sells out I need to wait a bit before I can buy a ticket?) I have to look at all of my options and they are Dark Angels using my Deva-Raider List, I can wait and see the new Eldar and run them as I originally planned, or I can go to my constant companion of using the Vanilla Marines Codex...although we will not know if the rumors are true that we will get a new Vanilla Marines codex sometime in August or September...or even if they would be legal at Feast lets look at a concept list I have been working on that will still probably work in a new book anyway....Vanilla Skies!

So here is the list....

2000 Pts - Codex: Space Marines Roster

Total Roster Cost: 2000

HQ: Chapter Master Pedro Kantor (1#, 175 pts)
   1 Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, 175 pts

Troops: Tactical Squad (5#, 90 pts)
   4 Tactical Squad, 67 pts = 4 * 16 (base cost 16) + Sergeant 26
      1 Sergeant, 23 pts

Troops: Tactical Squad (5#, 90 pts)
   4 Tactical Squad, 67 pts = 4 * 16 (base cost 16) + Sergeant 26
      1 Sergeant, 23 pts

Troops: Scout Squad (5#, 85 pts)
   4 Scout Squad, 75 pts = 4 * 13 (base cost 13) + Missile Launcher 10 + Sergeant 23
      1 Sergeant, 10 pts

Troops: Scout Squad (5#, 85 pts)
   4 Scout Squad, 75 pts = 4 * 13 (base cost 13) + Missile Launcher 10 + Sergeant 23
      1 Sergeant, 10 pts

Heavy Support: Stormraven Gunship (1#, 230 pts)
   1 Stormraven Gunship, 230 pts = (base cost 200) + Hurricane Bolters (each side) 30

Heavy Support: Stormraven Gunship (1#, 230 pts)
   1 Stormraven Gunship, 230 pts = (base cost 200) + Hurricane Bolters (each side) 30

Fast Attack: Stormtalon Gunship (1#, 140 pts)
   1 Stormtalon Gunship, 140 pts = (base cost 110 + Twin-Linked Lascannon 30)

Fast Attack: Stormtalon Gunship (1#, 125 pts)
   1 Stormtalon Gunship, 125 pts = (base cost 110) + Skyhammer Missile Launcher 15

Fast Attack: Stormtalon Gunship (1#, 125 pts)
   1 Stormtalon Gunship, 125 pts = (base cost 110) + Skyhammer Missile Launcher 15

Elite: Sternguard Veteran Squad (11#, 315 pts)
   9 Sternguard Veteran Squad, 250 pts = 9 * 25 (base cost 25) + Combi-Flamer x2 10 + Combi-Meltagun x1 5 + Meltagun x2 10
      1 Sergeant, 30 pts = (base cost 25) + Combi-Meltagun x1 5
      1 Drop Pod, 35 pts

Elite: Sternguard Veteran Squad (6#, 175 pts)
   4 Sternguard Veteran Squad, 110 pts = 4 * 25 (base cost 25) + Meltagun x2 10
      1 Sergeant, 30 pts = (base cost 25) + Combi-Meltagun x1 5
      1 Drop Pod, 35 pts

Heavy Support: Thunderfire Cannon (2#, 135 pts)
   1 Thunderfire Cannon, 100 pts
      1 Techmarine Gunner, 0 pts
      1 Drop Pod, 35 pts

So I have jumped around a few versions of this list but have settled on this, and there are a few odd things in it but lend to what I would want in a Flyer list.....

First off it is not all flyer you may notice, original versions did use three Storm Ravens and three Storm Talons yet this one drops a Raven....so why? Well soon enough after I first thought to do something like this I realized the prevalence of skyfire in newer codices especially int he new Tau Codex. Even a Soulgrinder is a decent skyfire platform that's hard to shift at a distance. I needed a tool to be a preemptive strike to come in prior to the Flyer wave to take out any skyfire threats immediately without being delayed. I have this in the Sternguard. They will come in with their two pods and split into three units, with combat squads equally divided with multiple melta weapons... since most armies only have 1-3 skyfire units taken in an army on average imho, to drop in and strike in order any Interceptors, skyfire platforms, or anything that has a decent shot of taking down a flyer. If none of these are there then they can take out any enemy unit that will be a pain for my Flyers to take out or even troop choice snipe. If all of these things aren't needed I took Pedro, just because the more scoring the merrier and I have a converted model, to make them scoring so any survivors can just hide on an objective. Or they can just drop on an objective. Now you can say that Khan giving outflank could be more valuable but I like this approach better.

Next we have the scout units and thunderfire cannon. They are my start on table units, meant to hide and camp objectives when needed or even infiltrate on to one. The thunderfire is there to take the extra pod so my  Sternguard all come in at once turn one, or even I can drop an empty pd from it if needed. It then camps during Big Gunz games or harasses troop choices camping objectives.

Finally we have the 5 flyers, Two small Tactical squads to hide in the Ravens then jump out on to objectives at end game. I took a bunch of anti infantry weapons on the flyers in order to help take down the infantry heavy meta as well, and of course tons of TL Assault cannons and a couple multi meltas.

So the Game plan is simple and effective.  Hide scouts and thunderfire cannon on objectives. Turn one Sternguard drop in and Eliminate the enemy skyfire threats and possibly, if they survive, camp on an objective. Then the flyers come in and take out  as many enemies near objectives as possible, with thunderfire support, then late game hop down on needed objectives with Tact. Squads....simple yet an effective plan and it has things to preemptively take out skyfire. I like this list quite a bit and am working towards having it.

Now I know Feast is awhile back and at this rate a few more codices might change things before then yet I still like this list and I believe it will work...and I can only use it if I only play the Open and not the Invitational although making a qualifier will probably not be possible for me....

So this will probably be a long term article series seeing articles after Eldar and possibly even the new Marines books drop...As well as when I decide on what to take when we get closer.....until then more on this later.....

So what are your thoughts? Anyone else going to Feast? I am moving to Denver, near the Aurora border near East Colfax (Yes I know sketchy area). Are there any game clubs/stores near there I should know about that are cool? I am looking for a new 40k buddy to play on a consistent basis too so just contact me here closer to the fall and lets see what we can do, I am looking forward to it......and yes I know Feast allows Forgeworld and I want to take Flyers

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Blogger Legal Wars Episode II: The Foam Strikes Back!

(The Internets current opinion on this topic ^ not mine)

OK all, so the summer is around the corner and since I will be stuck up in the boonies in Northern Maine without a gaming outlet I will probably write on the blog a little more often. Hopefully more on the tactical 40k side of things soon to follow

Now Since the last time I tried to get into the Legal conflict regarding our little hobby I made a few errors) I will try and only use the facts as represented and share my opinion on them. You can take what you want from both. There are two major blogger wars going on right now...to the point where it kind of is a little amusing to watch this....Now this is the older of the two so its nothing new. I would just like to see some healing in the community.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough I found out after writing this that Romeo went on to get interviewed by Pat from the 11th Company that day. Since we didn't record last week and put in a buffer episode I think it should show up in next weeks episode if not the following but Pat can clarify this himself :)

UPDATE 2: Pat was nice enough to throw up the link to his Romeo interview on the topic, I haven't listened to it yet but I will not change this article yet I may add updates at the end...here is the link

I will try and be Switzerland in this Foam War folks....Ok so the older of the two current wars going on is the newest Case of Romeo ,and his company, Battlefoam vs. Tastytaste of the blood of Kittens Network. Waging two decently controversial community figures against each other Basically the background of this case is that Tasty, if you don't know of him for some reason, is kind of the Bill O'Rielly of the 40k Blogosphere. He says some fairly controversial things from time to time in a firebrand/edgy sort of way. It has earned him some fans and enemy's over the years. Recently he wrote a article slamming The owner of Battlefoam, Romeo, over some alleged grievances that have been building up in the community against him with apparently evidence to prove this. Romeo did not take this lightly and quickly had his lawyers send a Cease and Desist to Tasty basically asking him to retract the article, apologize  and pay his lawyers an amount around two grand in US dollars alleging that all of the statements were false and lies.

Now Tasty quickly responded by getting some pretty strong Pro Bono Attorneys and suing Romeo in order to counter any payment to Romeo or further legal action. So hence the Foam Wars have arisen again.  

In reality these allegations Tasty made have been stirring in the community for awhile now and were decently well known before this even came up on BOK. So its nothing new what Tasty said. Romeo does have a fairly controversial past with the lawsuits during the infamous "Foam Wars" as well as some actions some community members have laid against him.

This is kind of sad really since Romeo does have a great product. Heck I have a Battlefoam Pack GO Bag in my room. Other than an issue with the foam tearing and being deformed from the bag itself(explanation coming in my 500 days later review coming soon!), which the foam has a warranty anyway apparently, it is still a premium product.....Heck my cat uses the bag as a scratching post and there are no scratch marks on the bag at all, and she sits on it too...still in it is in great shape if it can stay well after all of that(It is impressive my cat has sharp claws)....

Now in many regards the community did a couple stupid things in response to all of this drama, like putting "Romeo is a D*****" stickers all over the Adepticon hotel. For one that is kind of childish and hotels like that need a good rapport with the TO and if the TO's guests are vandalizing the hotel it really doesn't help the TO. Plus its a pain to remove the glue and crap from the stickers and the hotel needs to do that quickly which is just a pain to the Hotel's cleaning/maintenance staff.....Really people we know it seems funny but it is a little childish...

From Romeo's side he has the impression that BOK's article will hurt his business  but really not too many people take Tasty all that seriously, he is more amusing than anything. I like to read his blog from time to time but I do not always agree with him. In my opinion, which really holds no weight in this, Romeo should play the part like any CEO of a company should do, Regardless of vendetta's or personal emotions the community has a bad impression from him from all these lawsuits and personal forum attacks that have happened. It makes the brand look bad. I would even be surprised that if Romeo came out and said "Hey I know we have had some bad blood with people in the past, but we are dedicated to our product and the community and want to be a positive image and promote the hobby"following this with an apology if he did anything to anyone in the past that he would see a surge in people buying his product. This and quit making lawsuits when they always get thrown out to my knowledge anyway and alienating the community  Doing this and other kind acts will always attract business and improve bottom lines. Tasty will always be Tasty but good acts will replace any supposed bad acts and the community would back it up eventually after healing. With nothing to sling mud against what bad things could be said about anyone anymore? Yet until these things happen even I start to feel alienated towards the product when I could always move over to other lines that go out of their way to support the community....its a shame really :/

I know, I am going all "kum by-yah", or however its spelled. But we are too small of a community to deal with the negativity. With GW's Hostile actions to indie retailers and constant lawsuits and bad blood being slung all around the internet we could all do with some good will....

Anyway I will stop being preachy. I hope this gets resolved and everyone comes out all the better. Till then the Blogger Wars continue!

So I would like to see some community input on how everyone hopes this gets resolved. Please no accusations or derogatory comments. Everything written above is based off of community knowledge or just opinions. Until this case is resolved in court any allegations made by either party are not true until decided by the court of law....so please comment on what you hope is the outcome of these blogger wars below.but keep it civil.

UPDATE 3: Comments and Opinion Post Interview
Well that was an interesting interview getting Romeo's perspective on this case. The first thing that popped out on me was the obvious. Romeo states in the interview that it is just a simple C and D ad was just asking Tasty to stop. Yet to comply with the C and D it would cost Tasty a couple thousand dollars.....which isn't really all that simple at least from my point of view yet that is just an opinion. It also gives a little insight into why a company would send out one of these letters which is fairly interesting. Still the fact remains simple that Romeo is just trying to defend his company from hostile blog posts which would cause anyone to send out a letter like this. The current RF vs. Dakka case also has some decent insight into C &D's as well. Now to put this into context I did actually get a chance to read Tasty's article when it first came out before it got blocked and it was venom filled. It also uses what seems to be a biased form of the stories that make up the case itself. It seems to me that it is similar to the phone call game....the original story is Guy walks down the street, by the time it reaches the tenth ear that guy also got attacked by a hawk and spray painted graffiti on someones house..if you get my point....there is probably  lot of exaggeration yet in any story there is probably a note of truth in the background. It doesn't mean you should take the final form as an ultimate truth. Romeo also seems to have some of the apparent story tellers retracting what they said and on his side of the case which is interesting

What we can take from the interview is exactly what Romeo says, which is basically he just makes the bags and foam, if you hate him for it you can but do not attack his business. It is not exactly humbling but it is business and I cannot say myself I do not agree with Romeo on that front as well as I cannot question his integrity there. Hopefully everyone learns a little about what is and what isn't OK to say on the inter-webs. It is now all of our job to choose who and what we agree with....

OK so I hope this is the last legal battle I comment and give my opinion on for awhile. I want this to be a more Game based Editorial blog and not a controversial continuum ....more on this maybe later....