Saturday, May 31, 2014

First Thoughts On 7th!

Only if I knew how to Photoshop, because 6 and 7 would have displayed a down trend on the assault cycle. But it's a pretty good display of the strength of assault in 40k. 3rd ed was crazy with Rhino Rush and all that so this chart is pretty fitting.

Before I start let me warn everyone that I have not played a game of 7th Edition, or 6th for that matter... lol. This will be an outsiders view of 7th edition. I borrowed the book from a friend and I read the rules and here are my thoughts.

Let me start by saying that I even though I don't buy into rumors until I actually get to read the rules, I kind of gave in and got extremely excited when I saw a rumor stating that consolidating into another unit after a successful assault like it was back in just like, at least in my opinion, the glory days of 3rd and 4th edition. And then I read the rule book and searched and searched and searched. Read and reread the whole damn thing and my heart was crushed! NOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOO! How could they?! 5th Ed got rid of consolidating into another unit, which hurt, 6th kept that status quo and added in random assault range and overwatch/snapfire along with terrain you can buy to slow down assaults even more, and 7th did the same, more or less.

The lack of consolidating into another unit after a successful assault really hampers assault armies IMO. You get penalized for smearing a unit in assault because you just open yourself up to gun lines, rapid fire weapons, etc on your opponent's turn. Smart players set up their army with bubble wrap. They're like "go ahead, kill that sacrificial unit, I'll just pump you full of bolters and las the next turn".

The game still feels like it is designed around shooty armies. I understand that some people might prefer it that way but I think assault needs more teeth. Assault armies used to be feared, as they should be. If I was a guardsmen I could handle being in a fortified position taking fire, but if someone is crazy or blood thirsty enough to charge my position and do it well, I might start to get a little scared. Assault is designed to wreak havoc on your opponents positioning. It makes the battlefield more fluid and less static. I think that in 7th there are plenty of things in the rules that already help gun lines deal with assault whether it be fortifications you can bring, overwatch/snapfire, random charge range, wounds being taken on the closest models, etc. IF consolidating into another unit was indeed brought back I think that it would still strike fear into people who play the static style, but they will still have enough tools to deal with it. If you roll well on overwatch/snapfire and can eliminate a good amount of the models that are at the front of the unit then their charge can fail, which opens them up to more incoming fire. That fortification you brought can stop a charge dead in their tracks as well. Shooty armies still have the upper hand in this edition and assault armies are still at a big disadvantage.

I know some will say "but you can still charge multiple units at once." Yes, I know that, but with all of the advantages shooty armies already have compared to assault armies, it makes it even more difficult to have charge range on multiple units. Also, most people these days set up their armies with multiple assaults in mind and try to space them out or stagger them out a bit.

Moving on, I like the mission cards. I'm not a competitive 40K player at all, as lame as it sounds, I'm all about the narrative. 40K is meant to be a fun game and the randomness can make some of the stupidest things happen, but that what makes it fun IMO. The mission cards (whatever faux latin name they gave them escapes me) just adds to this.

There's also the Psyker phase. I'm actually kind of glad they put Psychic Powers into their own phase, it makes it more like the Magic phase in Fantasy. I'm not too familiar with the new Phase so I can't comment on it too much but from what I've heard things can be a little broken at times. The summoning of demons thing is actually pretty cool in my opinion. I didn't really see anything new in the fluff but it seems a bit odd that Space Marine Librarians would be summoning demons. I internally rationalize this by thinking "shit, things but have gotten pretty desperate in the land of 40K that Space Marines are summoning demons." After all, the Golden Throne is supposed to be failing and our good old friend Abbadon is launching his 13th Black Crusade (for the 4th time already?). I understand that the Forging a Narrative section somewhat explains this, but it didn't explain enough. As I've always said, I would love it if they moved the narrative forward, even by an inch, and I would be frothing at the mouth, lol. I've read reports of people summoning in almost 1000 points of demons during a game. That's a little too much. I also don't quite understand how armies with no Psykers, such as my beloved Black Templars, deal with the Psychic Phase besides the +1 to Deny the Witch they get from Adamantium Will. No idea if that's any good or not. I do like the Perils of the Warp Table, adds a nice, fluffy touch.

There also the Battle Forged vs Unbound debate. My take on it, being the causal fluff guy that I am, is sure, why not. It's a tool that lets you make an incredibly fluffy themed list that might not have fit under the old Force Org. I also like how you get a bonus if you do use the Force Org, but I think they should  have gone a step further. Why not take a page from Warmachine/Hordes and do something like their Tier lists? The Tier lists limit you on what models you can take in a list, but they all fit a specific theme that follows the fluff, and there are nice bonuses for taking a Tier list as well, but they're not overpowered. I understand how people are concerned that all the WAAC offs will abuse the living hell out of Unbound lists, but I don't play against WAAC offs and I advise you do the same. As for the tournament scene, I don't care, I don't play competitively and 40K is just not a competitive game.

So overall, even though I have not played a game of 7th, I don't think it's too bad. I'm still pist off about the lack of buffs to assault, but hopefully if I ever get a game in I could possible house rule it in. If I am able to house rule it in I think it would make an outstanding article reporting on how it changed the game, for better or worse. I like the mission cards, Unbound is awesome for fluffy lists and the Psychic Phase seems ok as well, as long as you don't summon in 1000 points of demons, lol. I can see myself playing a few games of 7th just for shits and giggles. And that says quite a bit considering I never played 6th.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

The picture says it all.

Thank you to all the servicemen and women. We are eternally in your debt.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thinking About The Good Ole Days....

This pic is of the now closed GW Battle Bunker in Downers Grove, IL. More specifically it's a pic of how it was when I first started going there. Some of you might be asking why the hell are you posting about that place, I thought you hated it?! Well I did after a while but looking back I really miss the place.

I started going to the Bunker back in 2008 where I would meet up with Dan, Jon (Tau Jon, not The Baron) and Rich. I've know them since 2000 or so, maybe even earlier. We used to all play AD&D 2nd Edition (with Skills and Powers!) back in the day and one day I got a call from them asking me to meet up with them at the Bunker, so I did. I've always had an interest in 40K from years prior and I finally had a job that gave me the means to afford to get serious with the game. That one meeting at the Bunker turned into a weekly ritual. We would do mini campaigns, start rivalries between our armies and just shoot the shit about the hobby or anything in general. We would always wait for everyone to get there then do lunch at either Portillo's (which is a Chicago staple) or Burger King (which always gave me bad gas).

I was also introduced to Mack and became friends with him as well. Mack was a good addition to the crew because he was Mr Tournament player and none of us really were. He really made our group well rounded because all of us had different ways of playing and it really made things interesting.

This was also when I was invited to sit in on a recording session of Dice Like Thunder and I had a blast sitting in on it and eventually I was asked to become a part of the show. I had been listening to podcasts since 2004 or so, mostly listening to Video Game podcasts such as 1UP Yours and GFW Radio so the concept was not new to me at all. So every Friday after gaming at the Bunker we would record, which was great because we got to talk about our misadventures at the Bunker while it was still fresh in our heads. I was shocked that people actually listened to what we were talking about and actually wanted to hear more. It was very humbling, especially when going to Adepticon for the first time and have people talk to me saying they love the show. It was a very weird experience because I would just freeze in shock and just say the truth, we only do it because it's fun and I'm glad our little group can entertain you with our idiotic podcast, lol.

Then people started coming out to the Bunker on Fridays to meet up with us and play with us. The Bunker's location was perfect because it was centrally located and right off of a major highway. We met a ton of cool people and our regular Friday gaming group just grew because of it. This is how I met Joe, Chaos Dave, Roy, Fletch and the rest of the Screaming Heretic Podcast crew. We also met Dave and The Baron through regular Friday night gaming at the Bunker! We then started doing full blown campaigns and doing Apocalypse games here and there. My wife (that I was dating at the time) even started to come out every Friday! Our small group turned into a full blown gaming club but it was still small enough where we all would meet up and still do lunch all the time and bullshit about anything and everything. We would even hang out with each other away from the Bunker and we all became really good friends. The Dice Like Thunder Crew which would eventually turn into the Eternal Warriors crew would still record every Friday night after gaming at the Bunker. Everything was still the way it used to be, just on a grander scale.

I believe things started to change when we all started getting to other gaming systems, which we could not play at the Bunker. Price increases, people losing interest in 40K and other things made the ritual Friday meet ups less frequent. Regardless of why that happened, it was still a blast when he did it and I look back fondly at those days realizing that it might not ever be like that again. Life happens, people get married, have kids, move, work gets in the way and etc....

But if it wasn't for the Bunker I would not be writing this blog post right now and I would not have befriended a bunch of amazing people that I am still friends with to this day. Now, if we could only get TEW to record at least once a month, that would be great.... lol

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another trip to the Deadzone


Tonight me and the crew (Dan, Dave and John from The Eternal Warriors) all met up at Draxtar Games in Batavia, IL for some Deadzone! Dan and John have never played a game so I figured this was the best time to get them roped in.

I first had Dan and Dave play each other, Dan's Enforcers against Dave's Rebels, with me supervising and answering any questions. Dan found out the hard way that going hand to hand with a Teraton is not a good idea because Dave's Teraton cleaned house! Needless to say, the Rebels gave a good licking to the Enforcers and ended up winning the match.

I then had my Marauders (Orx) go up against Dan's Enforcers. Dan's mission was to secure a certain objective while mine was Infiltrate where I had to get as many of my troops across the off the table through Dan's deployment zone. I really like how this game gives both players separate missions to complete because it definitely livens things up and honestly 2 different forces will have different reasons for being in a Deadzone.

Dan learned how effective Blazing Away is in this game. Blazing Away is an action that targets a square, not a model, and it's mean to pin and suppress units in that square. If you succeed, your opponents models can be pinned, suppressed or actually take damage. When a model is pinned or suppressed you have to use a half action to either go from suppressed to pinned, or pinned to up and standing. Since you're only allowed to use 2 half actions a turn, Blazing Away can do wonders to screw up your opponent's plans. You can also wound or even kill models by Blazing Away because every success you get that takes an enemy model past suppressed is potential damage. Being in cover actually penalizes the defender when being on the receiving end of a Blaze Away. When you think about it, if you have cover around you and someone is laying down some suppressing fire, you sure as hell are going to cling to that cover to avoid being shot. Some units are designed to Blaze Away as effectively as possible, for example the Marauder's Rainmaker.....

Not only is this guy a walking gun show, he has a rule called Gun Crazy which forces you to roll on a table. Results of the table can either make you fire again with another gun (and he has plenty), stop shooting or your opponent can pick an unused weapon and also pick the target! The later happened in this game and Dan made my Rainmaker shoot and wound my Commando Captain.

Dan picked up on this and from there on out he almost entirely went for Blazing Away actions to pin down my units. I'm pretty sure the fact that 1 of my Commandos exited the table through his deployment zone gave away what mision I had, so kudos to him for picking that up and choosing an excellent strategy to prevent me from doing it again!

There are other facets to the game that I can go on and on about but I'll save that for upcoming articles. Today was a blast and I fell even more in love with the game! The other thing I realized is if you wanted to you can easily plug in 40K models that almost all of us have lying around. You can easily sub in a unit of Space Marines and just use the Enforcer rules, or even go ahead and do a count's as Inquisitor with retinue on the table and use either Enforcer's or Rebel's rules. Campaign rules are baked into the basic rule book and your units can even advance and gain new skills ala Necromunda.

So to wrap things up, Dan did such a good job of pinning my guys down most of them died, I only had 2 guys left when I finally decided to throw in the towel. As predicted, Dan is now hooked and can't wait to play again. John did not get a chance to play but he was watching and reading the rules and he is going to pick up the Plague, which in my opinion is such a cool faction. I like how Mantic made The Plague to actually be intelligent and not just randomly wandering zombies.

Now I need to stop slacking and start assembling and painting some permanent terrain, I'm talking at least 2 if not a 3 level building, can't wait to show it here!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow Your Roll!

OMG, talk about rumor overflow! You can't go anywhere these days without seeing rumors for 40K 7th edition. I'm not even going to touch base on any of these rumors, because they're just that, rumors. I know some sites have reputations for being accurate and they very well could be spot on, but I'm still holding out. I will not comment on or react to any of these rumors and I suggest everyone else do the same.

I realize this is GW we're talking about and some, if not most, of their design decisions will probably be terrible but just wait it out guys. Let the rule book come out, read it, think about it and then comment on it. At least take things at face value instead of going on random blogs and vent and rage endlessly.

On a brighter note, I found my Nook! I'm currently on book 3 of the Gaunt's Ghosts series (Necropolis) and I'm absolutely loving it! I have really grown to love reading about Imperial Guard more and more recently. I guess it has to do with the fact that they're actually human and not augmented super humans. I like how authors, especially Abnett, show how human the guardsmen really are and you can't help but root for these guys because they get put into the worst situations time and time again. There were times I would get turned off when I would read Space Marines books because they lack emotion, they were just a bit too cold for me. Regardless, I have a ton of Black Library books loaded up on my Nook so that should keep me occupied for the time being.

So relax, wait for this newest edition to come out and let it sink in before you decide to defend it or rage about it. Read a book in the meantime, relax!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finally got in another game of Deadzone!

So Dave (Skrivus) and I finally got in a game of Deadzone tonight. Great times were had by all!

So we kind of got lazy with assembling the terrain as you can see. It was late and we really wanted to play so we went with what you see in the picture. I've been slacking on working on my terrain. By working on I mean filing out all of the holes on the terrain. When the connectors snap in like they should, assembling the terrain is easy. The thing is this rarely happens. There are mold lines inside the holes on the terrain squares which most of the time prevents the connectors from snapping in as intended. Now that I've got another game in under my belt, I'm definitely motivated to get working on my terrain.

Staying on the terrain topic, it's pretty much mandatory to litter the board with buildings and terrain. Having a lack of terrain like we did tonight gives you plenty of opportunities to get wide open shots, which gives you 2 additional die on shooting rolls. So I'm pretty sure this will be the first and last time we have a board this empty in play.

Dave played with Rebels (using GW figs as counts as because he hasn't assembled them yet) and I brought my Marauders. Dave's mission was infiltrate meaning he had to get as many of his guys across the board and exit through my deployment zone. My mission was to hold Objective Z. Long story short neither of these happened, it basically turned into a blood bath, and quick. The highlight of the game has to be Dave throwing a frag grenade at a square that was occupied by 1 of my Ork Commandos and there happened to be 1 Commando each on 3 of the adjacent squares. He scored a direct hit on the square he targeted, killed that Commando, then killed the 1 Commando in an adjacent square by throwing him into a wall (from the blast of the grenade) which killed him. The 3rd Commando took a wound and was suppressed for the almost the rest of the game.

We both had a blast, non stop laughs and we both enjoyed on how tactical and cinematic the game is. Dave definitely wants to buy his own Deadzone box now so we can have more terrain and we might get a campaign going in the future.

Now I just need to get Dan in on a game and get him hooked, mwahaha!