Wednesday 19 May 2010

Common sense rules/ models? Pt 1 Vendettas and Orders

This may turn into a little rant but here it goes.

In recent years I've noticed some really stupid rules and models coming from GW. They've been bugging me for a while but I've kept my doubts to myself. But after an incident involving Orders recently, I've decided enough is enough. In this series of articles I'm going to be covering some of my (huge) bugbears about 40k

First up to face my scrutiny is the Imperial Guard

OK here it goes...

The Vendetta

For those few of you that don't know it, it's a variant of the Valkyrie, filling the role of an anti-tank gunship - something especially important in the mech-heavy environment of 5th edition. The thing mounts 3 twin-linked lascannons, a very heavy weapon outload for something that needs to be able to fly. In my opinion, a little too heavy.

Now remember a few years back when Apocalypse was released? remember the Terminus Ultra pattern Land Raider? The thing mounted 3 twin linked lascannons and two single ones. It also had a tiny chance of blowing itself up if you rolled too many ones.
This is the heaviest tank the Space Marines can bring to bear, sacrificing it's not-insignificant transport capabilities for the space to store the powercells, cooling systems, etc so it can fire its huge arsenal of weapons.

So how in the hell can a light aircraft, which can also carry 12 men in its hold, support three twin-linked lascannons and the appropriate systems to support them?

The idea that the Imperial Guard, which are all about mass production over efficiency, would have sufficiently more advanced technology than marines to mount virtually the same outload of weapons on a vehicle about half the size of the marine one is just ludicrous to me

Now the cynical side of me says it's all to sell the shiny new Valkyrie model, but that doesn't excuse badly thought out rules.
Even three non twin-linked lascannons would have had people snapping them up like hot cakes, but as usual, GW only thinks about how many plastic kits they can sell.

Think about it, 3 lascannons are easy to come by from your average bitz box.
However, 3 twin-linked ones are a whole lot harder, meaning people would be buying the Land Raider Terminus bitz pack (ironic, don't you think?) which was released near the time and had all the lascannons you'd need, or splash out for the Forgeworld conversion kit six months later.

And to top it all off, they could have easily included the parts to make a vendetta in the Valk box, especially considering the Leman Russ Demolisher box released just the next month, with parts for half the Russ variants in. It just bugs me big time. But not as much as this next one...


The much-praised Orders system came as part of the ruination of the Guard codex that was 5th edition. I could write pages upon pages of my dislikes about the IG codex, but I might come back to them at a later date. For the purposes of this article, i'm focussing on the Orders system.

The idea being that at the start of the shooting phase (the 'Orders Phase' as i quickly came to call it), the Officers in the army shout, curse and generally inspire their men to great deeds. In reality it opens up a whole can of worms both rules and fluff wise, for me at least.

First up is the abilities they grant. These men, for the most part are trained soldiers. They would've at least gone through basic training and learnt to shoot straight, while the vast majority will have survived several war zones. Why is it they need their officers to tell them how to shoot a tank accurately? Is it like they don't try their hardest to deal with the big scary death machine in front of them unless they have a junior officer yelling in their ear? I can understand abilities like rallying and running faster, as the officers are shouting encouragement to their men. I just can't stand the idea of granting re-rolls to shooting or magically giving their lasguns an extra shot.

Then we come to vox. Consider the fluff for them. Fluff-wise they're long-ranged radios designed to let frontline units stay in contact with their superiors. In the Gaunts Ghosts books, the vox casters are shown to work over entire continents (one the scouts specifically states this fact in 'His Last Command') so why is that in game, it doesn't work on anyone further away than their own arse?

Vox should increase the range units can take orders from, not grant re-rolls to failed ones. Better yet, go back to the old system of a vox network keeping the army together, where taking out the master vox could cause huge problems for a guard player

The sheer ridiculousness of the newer rules was highlighted in my latest game.

Picture the scene, bullets are flying, artillery crashing overhead.
I gave the 'run, run, run' order to my company command squad with my count as Iron Hand Straken who was in the unit, aiming to cover ground before the marines shot again. They failed the order check. I shrugged and was about to move on when i remembered his squad had a vox-caster, hence granting me a re-roll. This resulted in the ever-so-slightly stupid situation where he's bawling into his own headset, trying to get his own order through to himself.

I laughed and joked about it at the time,putting it down to the unhinged nature of the Blood Pact, but it highlighted to me just how bad the 5th edition rules are for Guard and the main reason I'm writing these articles. I know it's a science fiction game, but it still needs a grounding in realism - something the GW writers seem to be forgetting recently.

So what do people think? Am I wrong? Am I talking crazy?

I'm also open to suggestions for rules to look in the future at if you want to drop me a line.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

New Bases? What the Hell?!

GW has just announced it's releasing the Screaming Bell and Dreadnought textured bases next month.

Looky here

Now the Dreadnought base i can understand. I've been wanting some of these without having to buy the full Dread to get it. I'll be picking up a few of these for my Bloodcrushers i'm making and if anyone else is like me (a scary thought, i know), they'll sell like hotcakes.

What gets me is the Screaming Bell base. It's not that i can't see why they're selling it. It's a new base size (something i wasn't aware of until today, despite facing one several times since its release - i thought it was a chariot base), so naturally it follows to sell it seperately, like every other sized base they make. I can imagine people building Hellpit Abominations and other big monsters on these things, or even mounting dioramas on one.

What was interesting though was the example they gave of its usage. They mounted twenty Night Goblins on one of them. Now i know some people mount multiple models on bigger bases, especially in horde armies, but twenty on one base? Seriously? I can't imagine a single situation where even twenty Gobbos would be removed from the table at once.

Call me crazy, but is this a sign of things to come in 8th edition? Will there be uber destructive weapons or spells out there that can wipe units out in a blink of an eye?

If so, I fear for our hobby

Also, as a side note, it also talks about mounting a High Elf Chariot on the bigger Screaming Bell base. Does this mean they're getting rid of the strict base size limits?

Discuss. Any and all theories are welcome

Monday 17 May 2010

New Army for (almost) nothing

In honour of GW's announcement of a second wave of Daemons in August (only 2 years too late, but never mind), I've decided to finally start the army I've been promising myself since the codex was released.

Now, i have more bitz than I'll ever know what to do with, so i might as well make use of them and convert myself up a batch of daemons, rather than have them cluttering my desks, shelves, cupboard, floor.... you get the idea.

Anyway, onto the models I've made so far, heavily inspired by Dead Emperors project log on Warseer. ( here if you're interested).

Possessed dreadnought. The marine within is channelling the power of A Lord of Change. I'm going to modelling wings on him at some point and the hull's going to be painted up in the colours of one of my regular opponents

My first Horror squad

If the rumoured plastic Horrors come out, I'm going to be mix and matching parts from the Cadian and Horror boxed sets, if not, I'll just get hold of some of the awesome metal ones to mix into the squads, maybe as leaders - I just don't like the idea of an all-metal army.

This old-school rhino has been through many incarnations in its long life. It was the second GW model i ever owned (the first being one of those old snap-fit Khorne Berserkers). It's been a Rhino, a Vindicator, a Rhino again, an Iron Warriors artillery piece, an Ork Looted Wagon, Trukk, had a brief stint as a Battlewagon, before finally being consigned to the cupboard.

Fast forward to yesterday, as i dug it out looking for bitz to scavenge and came up with the idea of turning it into a Soul Grinder - a fitting end to such a long and varied career. A fitting thing is that in it's last game before disappearing into the depths of the cupboard it got zapped by a Tzeentch Sorcerer, so I'll stay it got taken into the warp as an offering for the Forge of Souls, only to reemerge to plague the mortal realm once more.

As you can see, I've cut it up and rebuilt it with the aid of Plasticard. When i get paid I'm going on a bitz website and grabbing the Soul Grinder torso (I'm not paying £30 if I'm not going to be using the legs), then use green stuff to build it up from there

Monday 10 May 2010

Lunchtime Progress 10th May - Cauldron of Blood

Today i've been working on painting up the base and improving the blood in the cauldron. A hairdryer was my best friend here, otherwise all the progress you see would've taken me the better part of a week!

I've been dabbing in more red paint and layers of gloss varnish to try and add some depth to the blood. I'm personally quite pleased with the result and now that's done it means that i can move on to freehanding runes around the rim.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Friday Top Ten #6

I kinda dropped the ball last week. Sorry about that.

Real life overtook me in a big way and i'm afraid it'll keep getting in the way. My studies and moving half way across the country next month will basically eat up all of my free time, hence why i've been resorting to doing lunchtime painting. Serious kudos to Ryan on FTW for finding the time to post his top ten on the same day every single week, as it's a lot hard than it first seems.

So this is the end of the Friday Top Ten as you know it. There'll still be a weekly Top Ten, just on whatever day i can find the time to post it up on. Some time in the future it will be restored to a set day, but for now, this is the way it has to be.

Here's this weeks list then

1. Big Will over at Heresy Workshop has this very nice pre-heresy veteran

2. These Howling Banshees by Stahly are just all kinds of awesome

3. Magilla Gurilla has this cool but slightly creepy Deamon Prince

4. Rob at Spikey Bitz has some truely epic Ninja Grotz

5. Suicide Badger has some cool Imperial Guard, complete with Xeno-Heretic Col. Straken!

6. Tolcrothlogan has some awesome Danes. I'm not usually one for historical figures, but these are just too good to pass by

7. Ron talks about playing 40k your way

8. John at Santa Cruz Warhammer demonstrates how to make Rhinos that make you go 'ooooh gribbly'

9. I want one of these models for my Khainite Dark Elves army and this one on Bellum Aeternum has brought my urge to impluse buy to the fore again. Truely inspirational paint job

10. And finally, Avertine at Zen 40,000 has this awesome Lamenters Captain

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Lunchtime Progress 5th of may

As promised, better pictures of the Cauldron of Blood, along with the scenic base I made for it at lunchtime today. It's the first layer of a stepped structure I'm creating, sculpted from spare bases and green stuff.

I'm currently in the process of highlighting the blood in the cauldron and adding an extra layer of gloss to make it a bit more realistic, so that will probably be the next update.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Lunchtime Progress 4th of may

May the fourth be with you

Sorry, it had to be said. Now on to why you're here.

My Manticore is based at last. Now i just have to do the details on him and find a good donor model to use for Hellebron herself.

If anyone knows of a good model, i'm open to suggestions. At the moment, i'm leaning toward this one....

My Cauldron of Blood is nearly done. Not the best of pictures but i was in a rush to snap them before heading back to the studio (hence the food wrappings in the background too)

All i need to do is find and paint the arms of the statue, detail the bottom and make a scenic base for the whole thing.

I'm getting there. Slowly but surely

Any thoughts or critiques are welcome

Monday 3 May 2010

Not A Top Ten

Hey guys, just a note to say sorry about the lack of Friday Top Ten last week. Little thing called real life got in the way.

It'll be back to normal on Friday. I promise