Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Preceptors of Vertex



Enter the Preceptors of Vertex!  With 8th edition 40K on the way, I have been working on a force that I wouldn't mind leaving at the game store for others to use to try out the game or use while they are building their own armies.  Using old Space Rangers as Space Marines and some old foam vehicles a friend of mine carved years ago.  I went with yellow and brown as their main colors mostly because those would work well with the wood stain shading I planned on using.  Dirty urban ruin bases to fit in with a lot of the ruined buildings we have at the store.

Once the rules are in-hand, I will sort out some forces at various point and power levels and leave those as well with some sheets on the unit stats.

I had started them before a lot of the info dribbles started coming out.  They are big enough to probably pass for Primaris marines, so I may go ahead and also see how they could be arranged as Primaris.  I may need to paint up a second HQ as well to fit them all into one of the the new force orgs.

We have so far:
Captain with plasma pistol and power sword
2x10 man tacticals with plasma gun and lascannon, sgt with plasma pistol and power sword
4x5 man tacticals with plasma gun, sgt with plasma pistol and power sword
5 man devastator squad with four lascannons,  sgt with plasma pistol and power sword
2xRhinos
Whirlwind
Vindicator

Thursday, May 18, 2017

We have met the enemy and he is primarus




So these guys are coming.  Upgraded Space Marines, bigger, better, with better gear.

From a background standpoint, this is a huge can of worms being opened.  Some of the worms I can see resolved more easily than others.

Developed in secret for 10,000 years?  I can maybe see that with the AdMech.  Perhaps Guilliman made Cawl program himself to not reveal the project until Guilliman told him to, and then G goes into stasis for a few millenia.  Oops.

How will the other Space Marines react to being the old model?  I wonder how many remember stories about the Thunder Warriors. I would expect for there to be significant friction between these new marines that are added to existing chapters and between older chapters and these new Primaris foundings.  This could be an opportunity for a lot of interesting storytelling as the Grimdark reasserts itself, but I doubt they will go down that route.

New foundings of Primaris Marines.  How exactly does that work?  A whole unit of rookies?  When they found chapters, don't they bring in leaders from other chapters to run the show for the first generation at least?  Are they going to have old marine chapter masters, captains, chaplains and such and Primaris line troopers?  Or somehow enough of the Primaris have distinguished themselves enough to immediately go to leadership roles, even without experience?  Again, could be fertile ground for stories, as the theoretically elite run into problems with a lack of practical experience to draw on.

Logistically, it seems like a nightmare.  Different armor that all the old chapter serfs and techmarines don't have experience with, weapons that will require different maintenance and ammo, troopers that may have radically different physiology that Apothecaries will have to adapt to.  Will they need different drop pods, transports, etc.? Why not just take all this effort spent on this project and just make a few hundred extra chapters of old marines instead?  Or why not just give all marines the new bolt rifles?  There are bound to be logistic chokepoints and problems.  To an extent this feels like some of the 1980s toy/tv show combos - manufacturer is coming out with new toy, you guys figure out how to feature it in the show.  Yeah, I know the other guys are robot cars and these are robot dinosaurs.  Make it work.

Chaos.  So, Guilliman broke the legions into chapters to limit the power available to any one commander, then forms chapters that are more powerful than the old ones.  And at some point, someone will say the Primaris aren't bound by the Codex restrictions on size.  Some of these guys are bound to start falling to Chaos, creating problems for the Imperium, and another layer of narrative issues as super-renegades start muscling their way around in heretic circles.

Speaking of Chaos, this really makes Fabius Bile look like a chump.  He's been struggling to make better marines all this time, while Cawl had done it already and was just waiting to pull them out of the drawer.  And other experiments like the Cursed Founding went on to disaster while Cawl already had succeeded?  Or perhaps that will be retconned into being part of Cawl's project, with the final perfecting of the process happening afterwards?

I could see them doing a lot with these guys that could be interesting, but I doubt it will happen.  Of course they could surprise me and explore these things or handle them in a different way that works.  It's still early, we have just had a brief reveal, as more comes out some of the holes may fill in. 


Despite all of my trepidations narratively...gosh those guys look nice.  And with heads and pads being the same size, they could be beakies, or altered with a multitude of alternative heads and pads, both GW and from other companies.  I look forward to seeing the primaris versions of assault marines and other things.  I'm tempted to start a force of primaris, one of these brave new chapters in a Second Great Crusade.  I expect to become part of the "problem".

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

7th ed wind-down. Space Sharks vs. Blood Angels, terrain and primarch



A few weekends ago I had a little fight with Sam's Blood Angels, 1250pts, one objective each side plus secondaries.  We were playing in the store's new location, and I was going to have a car full of terrain we were bringing back, so took a compact force of terminators and a jump pack squad run as Vanguard vets. Sam had a mechanized force - termies and characters in Redeemer, predator and two tacs in rhinos.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Vraks: A Farewell to Templates



Today Scott came over with his Death Korps of Krieg and we played a 2500pt a side Vraks slugfest, partly as a farewell to 7th edition.  And man, it's good that blast markers are going away in 8th edition because I think we wore ours out in this battle!

We had been working our way through the actual Imperial Armour 5-7 missions, originally intending to play through the whole Vraks campaign, but that fell by the wayside after the first 3 (?) scenarios.  Instead we went with this, with his DKoK against my renegades, represented by my Scythiak Usurpation and assisted by sonofsonsoftaurus commanding my Steel Legion/Merkan 76th figures towards the top of this pic (chaos right flank) (renegades using regular IG rules).  With the Death Korps loaded down with artillery pieces, our only hope was to swarm across no man's land as fast as we could and close with the guns.  The whistles blew and we were off!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Who the feth moved my cheese?



As man took to the stars in the distant past, he took many creatures from Earth with him, some intentionally, some less so.  As in the age of sail, wherever Man went, Rat went as well.

Over tens of thousands of years some changed.  Exactly what the catalyst was is unknown - perhaps the influence of the warp, perhaps the continued effect of experimentation with the sciences of the Dark Age of Technology, perhaps an intentional uplifting to create disposable workers or soldiers, perhaps a combination of them all, mixing and breeding.  But regardless of the cause in the 41st Millenium another race contests the stars, often from within and underneath the works of the Imperium.


While some consider them a form of the aberrant beastmen, offshoots of humanity itself, or some strand of alien, this is not the case.  Known by various names - Ratmen, the Nimh, and many others this plague lurks ready to strike when conditions are right.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Two worlds


My (ir)regular RPG group has played a lot of superhero games in our day, and over time I've bought a bunch of Heroclix figures to use in those games.  Depending on what they have available, I've placed orders with two main places, Troll and Toad and Popular Collections.   

Years ago, as detailed HERE, I ended up entered in a contest at Troll and Toad through an order I made, and didn't realize there even was a contest until I received the prize along with my order.

Great!  

More recently, this past August, Popular Collections had a Heroclix related contest up on Facebook.  I entered as a lark, and managed to win!  Great!  I sent them my information and waited.  

And waited.

And waited.

I don't keep up with when the various Heroclix sets come out, so figured it might be an issue with that.  Looking online, I saw that the set in question came out some time ago, so I contacted them again, figuring it somehow slipped through the cracks.  Things happen, no worries.

So again I waited.

And waited.

And contact them again, they again say it will be right out, then nothing.

Sigh.  


The prize itself isn't even a big deal.  I'm not out any actual money, like from an order that wasn't shipped, but it makes me concerned that if I did have a problem with an order, I would similarly wind up in eternal customer service limbo.  Add to this that in the contest someone else had mentioned that they were still waiting on a prize from an even *earlier* contest, and it seems unfortunately to be a pattern.  It's just disappointing to be promised something and repeatedly let down.

(Facebook messages, with address info removed)
James
Wow! Thanks so much for the Heroclix prize! Go Black Manta! My address is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Popularcollections.com
Congrats James! We have you down and your brick will ship when the Joker's Wild Set is out. Have a good weekend!
James
Hi, I just wanted to check on this Joker's Wild giveaway; I have not received anything or heard any more since August. Thanks!
Popularcollections.com
Hi James, Our apologies as this should have been shipped months ago. I am checking our shipping records right now to have this figured out for you. No matter what we will get you your Brick of Joker's Wild! I will be in touch by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. Thanks, PC
James
Hi, hadn't heard anything back. Thanks.
Popularcollections.com
Hi James, I spoke with Shipping and went though all records and cannot find record of the shipment which is very strange. I just submitted an order with one of our suppliers and we should have the Joker's Wild Brick in house by mid next week to ship. Until then if you have any questions please email me at any time. Thank you. PC
Popularcollections.com
P.S. Could you please let me now your shipping address?
James
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
James
Hi, any word on this? Thank you.


So...Troll and Toad.  Great site.

UPDATE 04/10/17 - Rather than send me a brick, they've given me a code for credit on an order.  That'll probably work out better anyways as I tend to like the various common figs, and this'll let me order from various sets.  We'll see how the order goes...

UPDATE 05/24/17 - So nothing came.  I got an automated notice on 04/26 saying it had shipped, but without any tracking info.  I emailed 05/17 asking for a status and tracking info.  On the 20th they said they would look into it that weekend, then nothing.  Tonight I disputed the charge and they refunded the extra amount I had paid beyond the credit.  So, not out anything anymore but a very disappointing experience.  

So again - Troll and Toad, great site, check them out for any Heroclix needs you may have, plus they sell a variety of other gaming items.  Collectible figures, cards, RPGs, board games and more.  I fully expect that you'll have a great experience.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hyborian Age - Session One


I've started a Pathfinder campaign set in Conan's Hyboria, but a hundred years or so after King Conan disappeared.  For the deadly, generally low magic Hyboria I would generally prefer to use a system like HERO or GURPS, but I decided to use Pathfinder for ease of entry for the players, who have all played Pathfinder or D&D 3.x.  Magic items will be rarer and more expensive to create, and shipwrecks, etc. will be common so characters won't get a chance to get too attached to piles of gear.

We had our first session, and here's the recap:

Hyborian Age – Session 1 – “Cat’s out of the Bag”
Characters:
(Larry) – Jubel, warrior from Cimmeria
(Mark) Fiala Suslaya – Cimmerian witch (and her owl, Odus too!)
(Cat) Nedra – Hyrkanian archer/sorceress
(John) – Ty Nightseeker – Hyrkanian bandit-hunter
(Joel) Trace Erbite – Kothic warrior/wizard
(Patrick) Toma Erbite – Kothic wizard/assassin (and his weasel Belal too!)
(James) – Malakul Xhoon, Nemedian holy man of Mitra, who somehow fell in with this band of murderous thugs!

Having all been part of the mercenary army raised by the Shemitish city-state of Sabatea in its conflict with Shushan, the characters fell in with each other during the rout of said army.  Helping to defend the city gates against the initial assault by the enemy, they come to the attention of King Zagat and enter his service directly, riding out the siege and depravation in the city in relative comfort.   

One night they are summoned and sent on a special mission – to retrieve LORD WIGGLES, the queen’s (hateful) cat that has escaped from the palace and is loose in the city, where some horrible fate may befall it.  While this fate would doubtless be just, it would be distressing for the queen, and therefore for the king.  Out into the night our heroes go!  Talking their way past a band of hungry thugs, the group befriends an old beggar who helps point them in the right direction of the rogue feline.  

They spot the cat, right as it is captured and taken into a walled compound, that of the nobleman Lord Aras.  While some knock on the front gate seeking entry, the other half of the group sneak over one of the compound walls.  After an initial rude reply to their requests, the group out front is greeted face to face and told to leave.  Instead, they attack and force their way in, with Fiala turning Jubel into a death-dealing giant, cleaving men apart with every blow.  The others take their own toll as well, while Ty Nightseeker fights his way clear and enters the house itself.  While the rest butcher the house guards out front, Ty finds a sack with a cat in it in the kitchen, and meets his fellows with his prize as they hack their way in the front door.  

They are about to depart, when Jubel insists they inspect the cat first – and it indeed turns out to be some common alleycat, not Lord Wiggles!  Returning to the kitchen, a more thorough search turns up the sack that indeed contains the object of their quest.  Returning to the palace, they are given thanks and a choice of rewards.

They can either take a monetary reward and continue in the king’s service, or be shown a way out of the city, past the encircling army.  They choose to leave rather than risk starvation or worse, and the next morning are led down to the dungeons, then to a secret tunnel out of town.  They are told where to find a spear and a drug to apply to it (made from purple lotus from the ghost-haunted swamps of southern Stygia), to use to subdue the guardian at the other end of the tunnel – the MAN-RENDER!  A foul near-manlike beast with great strength and sharp fangs and claws.  It is chained up at the end, but the spear should allow the drug to be administered from safety.  Jubel takes up the spear and engages with the creature, venturing closer in his blood-lust and drawing close enough to be partially rent before withdrawing with the rest of the group as the drug takes hold of the beast.  Out of the cave, they gaze down the mountain at Sabatea and her foes below, and consider where the road of adventure will take them next…

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Massilia campaign: Iron Warriors vs. Grey Knights


I had missed the official start of the campaign due to snow and then being out of town the following week, so this was the first mission I've been able to play.  It was 1250pts, my Iron Warriors vs. Josh M's Grey Knights.  The mission is called "Survivors", where the objectives represent injured warriors from the different factions you try to rescue/capture.  After setup you roll to see if they are Imperial, Chaos, or local xenos (basically eldar).  Objective for your faction is worth 2VP, opposing faction worth 3VP, xenos 1VP.  Could make for some interesting late-game choices I think.


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