Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are Necron Aircav Spam Lists Illegal?

Allllllrighty… So I have a fairly large rules question. Let’s start by looking at three main rules…

Reserves on Page 124
“When deploying their armies, players can choose not to deploy up to half of their units (rounding up) keeping them as Reserves to arrive later.  Units that must start the game in reserve are ignored for the purposes of working out how many other units may do so.  A unit and its dedicated transport are counted as a single unit for these purposes.”

Flyers on Page 80
“ Flyers must begin the game as reserves- it takes time for a Warlord to organize and coordinate air support.”

Victory Conditions on Page 122
Likewise, if at the end of any game turn, one player has no models on the battlefield, his opponent automatically wins.”

Reserves start rolling at the start of turn 2…

I was reading through the rules for flyers so I could run my all aircav guard list in 6th edition 40K…  According to the reserves rules I can only put up to half of my units in Valkyries as only half of an army’s choices can be held in reserves and flyers MUST be held in reserves.  Is this right? I guess that means I need to have a ground portion to all of my guard armies now? (Welllll…there goes my theme!)

But that is not the case… Is it?  How does that work with all the necron flyer armies out there (terrorizing tournaments around the world)?  Only half the army can be flyers…  Right?

AND if all-flyer spam is legal (maybe I am missing something and I hope that I am)… Since all flyers are required to start in reserve wouldn’t the flyer player loose automatically as they do not have a unit on the board at at least one point during the game?

Monday, November 26, 2012

THE RIDDLE OF ARC!!! (1200 Points or BUST!)

I have been taking on additional duties at work over the last 12 months (as a primary school teacher) and next year I have been asked to work the week before school actually begins (which is new for me).  What this means to the greater scheme of things is that I will not be able to make my usual trek to Canberra over Australia Day for Cancon.  I have been going to Cancon for 5 years now and I really like the camaraderie of the trip with my mates, the 8 tournament games over 3 days, the rooms of gaming stores, and the choice of playing 40K or Fantasy.  Well…  Not this year…  As I am effectively grounded in Melbourne it looks as though I have to get back on the horse and revisit Arcanacon if I want to play tactical war dollies over the long holiday weekend. 

For those who don’t know, Aracanacon is the largest 40K tournament run in the southern hemisphere. It is extremely hard to get tickets to and sells out early every year.  I attended ARC the first few years after moving to Australia and had a blast.  For a variety of reasons I stopped going and have been going to Cancon for the last 5 years.  As a former ARC Champion I am guaranteed a golden ticket to ARC.  I think that for the first time… I will use it.

Now to the problem that I always struggle with (and that is my only criticism of the ARC system):  ARC is 1200 point event.  For a 6 games over two days the point level seems a little small.  I understand that ARC has always been that point level but as editions have changed in the last 15 years, point levels and the game have changed as well. In 3rd ed a 1200 point army looked very different than a 1200 point army now that we are in 6th edition.  Everything just seems small.  I suppose it helps with comp as it prevents a lot of the truly broken combos (not enough points) or if people do take the broken combos their lists lack the numbers of models to win. 

I really dislike 1200points as a point level.  I just can never decide what to take.  I never feel like I have enough stuff.   In the last week, as I look to get into the 1200 point mindset again, I have gone back to the drawing board and I think I have two possible lists (so far anyway)…  My trusty Wyche Cult… Which is why I am rebuilding all the raiders and ravagers from scratch… And a rebuild of the list that I first took to ARC all those years ago…  Foot Slogging Guard.   

Allies and fortifications are variables that I am still struggling to get my head around… 

Another consideration is appearance.  ARC is filled with beautiful armies so whatever I take will have to look the part as the painting and conversion criteria is tough.  If I can’t get a beautiful army on the table I won’t use it. 

Soooo I have the next few months to get an older project up to scratch or to cough up something at the top of my game… 

I think I need some practice games and fast!


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Answer to My Versatility Conundrum

A few days ago I wrote a blog update about wanting a versatile army (40K) that I could use in a variety of different ways using a variety of different books.  As I wrote before the quick answer to that conundrum… Space Marines.  Depending on how it is built you could run a marine army in countless ways especially when you factor in allies.

I bought this army from Buddha in South Australia.  It was originally painted by Anthony Clare and I really like the look of it.  The army is painted in a neutral camo scheme AND uses directional lighting from lenses and lights (which is something I have been meaning to try out as a painter).  Anyway this is what I got:

Full army contents:

Librarian in Terminator Armour            
Captain in Power Armour (Pedro Kantor?)
Chaplain in Power Armour
Apothecary in Terminator armour
3 x Dreadnaughts, 2 Tactical, 1 x Furioso/Ironclad/Venerable + extra Weapons
5 x Terminators, Tactical
2 x 10 man Tactical Squads + extra Weapons
1 x 5 man Combat Squad
3 x 5 man Scout Squads (Combat, Bolters, Snipers)
Razorback, Heavy Bolters
2 x Lanspeeder Typhoons
1 x Landspeeder Storm
Stormraven Gunship (not pictured in photos, brilliant centrepiece)
2 x Thunderfire Cannons

As you can see... You could run this easily as a regular Marine army, a Blood Angel's army or even (with a little tweaking) Wolves...  

In the past it has won 3rd Players Choice at Arcanacon and then Players Choice at High Lords of Terra in 2011.

Piccies below:

Now...  Footslogging guard... I like the idea of that too!  Hmmmm...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Building A Versatile Army

Ever since I started playing competitively, I have felt the need to mix up my armies.   When I would play in the first Baltimore GT’s it was easy.  Tournaments did not really run in New Orleans so I would only get to one tourney a year.  The GT.   As such, it was no problem to take six months off hobbying before knuckling down to paint a new army.  In every one of my 9 GT experiences I always took a new army.  This would give me the opportunity to improve my painting scores and to try out different tactics (and satisfy my ADHD…  Yup, I literally have it).  For GT #3 I started to paint a marine army well before I turned in my list (I was not very competitive back then) and I discovered that I could run my painted models from a variety of army lists (as GW loves to put out Marine dexes)…  That got me thinking.  And that changed the way I build armies.  Since then, I have started to look for ways to make armies work in more than one way.  My daemons are on round bases for example but since I have laser cut movement trays I can run them as a fantasy army…  My orks work the same way.  I had a Blood Angel/ Khorne marine army for years…  Etc… etc…

In recent years with work commitments, relationships, and other activities I have found myself increasingly time poor.  Sure I can work on projects during school holidays but even those vacations seem to be shrinking in the face of my busy life…   As such I have looking to make the most of my hobby in the shortest period of time possible.  I am also looking to learn how to really play 40K again, this has really narrowed down the field a bit.  What army has basic universal rules, is relatively forgiving and allows for a large amount of variation because of a large number of released books…  Space Marines.

Now I am not saying that one should use their clearly painted, converted, etc Blood Angels army as “The Red Wolves” for example…  That just smacks of laziness (OK… maybe not in friendly trial games but tournament play is something else).  To be properly versatile between books, an army should be modeled to work in any of the contexts that it could be used as…  The army should have a neutral colour scheme (a camouflage or an environment matching paint scheme might work for example) with a neutral chapter badge. 

In the era of “Blood Brother” allies this concept of versatility really comes into its own.   Loyalist marine armies can borrow army specific models (Grey Hunters, Storm Ravens, Land Speeder Storms etc…) from each other with very little restriction.  If you have a neutrally painted army you can really add whatever you want as long as you obviously follow the allies rules (which I guess means you can only ever combine two marine books).  It used to be that armies had strengths and weaknesses built into their books.  It is easier now to overcome inherent army weaknesses by borrowing units to offset issues (like a lack of a flyer or a lack of decent anti-tank weaponry) from allied army lists.

I plan to look at this in more detail the more I play 6th ed but for now… I am on the hunt for a basic list to learn the game that I can mix up depending on the event (especially in a tournament environment as varied as Melbourne’s with tick box comp, panel comp, peer comp and no comp events spread throughout the year).  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Suitability of Forgeworld, Victoria Miniatures, and Cadians... (REVIEW)

As many of you know I have been eyeing up the work of Victoria Lamb the last year.  Her Imperial Guard conversion kits and accessory sprues have looked great online and over the last 15 months or so she has turned out an impressive number of the bitz.  Last week I ordered my first stack of  parts and today I am going to look at them with you.

A couple of years ago I got the itch to do yet another Guard army and I went online and ordered a massive Tallarn Army from Forgeworld.  Forgeworld doesn't make a Tallarn army some of you might say...  Well you would be sort of right.  They made heavy weapons teams, weird camel cavalry, and sniper teams (who used the same rifles as the regular guardsmen).  I would guess that they had planned to do the whole army but decided not to at some point.  Most of the parts are there to do it.  It just needs to be done!  And that is where I step onto the stage (so to speak).  

I ordered the army and true to form for Forgeworld at the time (they have gotten much better since) the 120 or so guardsmen that I got from them had crazy flash lines and assorted miscastings.  This is not the worst of the problems... The lasrifles that the models come with are beautiful long barrelled lasguns.  The issues comes in here...  These lasrifles are a mess because they are so long and thin.  I have heard Death Korps of Krieg owners bitch for years about the state of their fragile, often miscast lasrifles.  I would say the Tallarn ones are worse...  The state of the basic rifle of the army is the single issue I have with actually doing this army that I am keen to get together at some point...  Which brings us back to the present.  I ordered a pile of Victoria Miniatures lasrifle arms specifically to use with my Tallarn troops.  Let's see how that works...

To start with I have to say that I was pleased with the prompt delivery of the Victorian parts.  I had them within a week from placing the order (more likely within days but to be fair I was out of town).  The parts came in a padded envelop within durable plastic bags much like forge world used to use.  The casting of these metal parts was pretty good.  There were a few large horrible most lines BUT they are in easy to reach spots and would be no problem to clean up.  The detail on the models was exactly as was advertised on the website.  All in all I am very happy with my purchase.

These parts were made to integrate fully with GW's Cadian line.  Here you can see a variety of parts on cadian models with a full plastic guardsmen thrown in for scale:
 As you can see the arms fit perfectly (please excuse the blue tac).  Everything is to scale and arms fit torsos with little to no gaps.

Now to the Tallarn problem.  Here is are a few of the Tallarn Rifles next to the Victorian rifles for scale.

 Now here is a Tallarn torso with the Victorian arms attached next to a Tallarn with the Tallarn arms attached (please note the crappy bent Tallarn Lasrifle in this photo).
What you might be able to tell from the photographs is a slight but noticeable size difference between the large arms and the smaller Tallarn Models.  It is not the fault of Victorian Miniatures that there is a size discrepancy.  Forgeworld Guard models (Kriegers, Drop Troops, AND Tallarns) have always been smaller than GW's over exaggerated "Heroic" scale.  By matching the Cadian models, Victorian Miniatures arms are a little too big for my true scale desert raiders...  Which is a pain in the nether region!  I had hoped that the VIC parts would solve my Tallarn problem.  They might but they do not solve it as cleanly as I would have hoped. 

Here you can kind of see the size difference of the GW and the Forgeworld guard models:
Would I recommend Victorian Miniatures to fellow guard players?  Yup, they get TWO big thumbs up from this guy.  Can I use them for this...  Sadly...  Probably not.  

Back to the drawing board!

Ideas anyone?

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Brief Update

Sooo it has been a crazy week of work but I have had long cycle trips to consider which direction to take my raider WIPs...

I decided that I needed to add bits to make them immediately identifiable as Dark Eldar Raiders. This in mind I ordered a few of these:
It will be the first time I have officially ordered bits off an online store.  Looking forward to seeing how long it will take and to get my grubby paws on the sails to convert up on my boats...

I may have also picked up a few packs of these for another project:
I am very excited that people are selling Forgeworld bits these days.  I hadn't been looking but I am very happy with the discovery!

Have a great weekend gang!


Friday, November 9, 2012

WIP Dark Eldar Scratch Built Raider Spam

Hey gang… 

I thought I would check in and report on how my scratch built raider project was going.  I have basically built and trimmed the base platforms for all 6 raiders and 2 ravagers.

I have then added facings on 2 of the 4 sides of all 8 platforms (so they do not just look like piles of layers of plasticard).   On three of eight platforms I have finished the facings on all 4 sides.  If that makes sense. 

I was able to cut the remaining pieces this morning before work (thanks to an early morning crank call) but ran out of time before I was able to glue them in place.

The next step is to fill the gaps with green stuff and then to sand everything smooth.   I will then add an engine to the back and a cowl to the front (to mount a dark lance on).  I am thinking about adding a sail to each as well (might bitz order those off the existing raider kit but I am not sure yet).

The ravager will have wall plates added to the sides like the old kit (because I will be using spare side plates from the old kit).
 After that…  Model and paint up crew…  

That is the plan anyway…

Not sure how I will model the crew to look like wyches as I am running out of metal bits to kit bash with the new plastics.  I will have to see I suppose...

Til next time gang!