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Friday, May 31, 2013

NewDar tomorrow! Let's start testing with Rangers and Fast Attack...

With my mystical Runes of Fateandstufforwhatever, I have somehow divined the information I need to play with the new rules tomorrow! So much for pseudo Biel-tan. I'm going to be playing around with Rangers/Pathfinders, Illic, Warp Spiders, our psykers and shuriken death.

I'm relieved that at 1,000 points I don't feel like it is crazy hard to fit in units. While the heavy hitters still cost quite a bit, we have shed costs in many other places. Warp Spiders, for example. They have dropped by 3 points per model. But in addition to that, they have Hit and Run standard. Now that the Exarch can get a twin-linked Deathspinner, but not a pair (cheap and more effective than another body in the 4th ed book), you have to invest somewhat heavily for him to effective enough to want. To get an Exarch with the new Spinneret Rifle, Fast Shot and Power Blades, you're looking at 55 points for the whole package. I'd rather save the points because without him the unit is insanely fast, can escape combat still and shoots harder than ever. Oh and I get to say I called it on the rending monofilament! Hehe. I thought that looked pretty likely. Flamers would have been neat, but again I think 12" range and Assault 2 is the more powerful of the two, all things considered.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. The point is that a unit that used to cost me 262 points is now 190. Rangers that I used to take are now 35 points cheaper. Those two changes alone buy me almost two more units of Rangers! I expect to feel the points crunch a little more when I write lists meant to be hard. Right now I'm indulging in playing around with stuff. Obviously the Heavy Support section is more crowded than ever and features lots of expensive options. Elites are pricey as well and it won't be any easier to fit in lots of mech elements. But it seems to me that some of my better lists from the last book are still plenty viable and have gotten a good deal better due to the BS boost among other things.

For now, I'm looking at trying out something like:

5 Pathfinders
5 Pathfinders
5 Pathfinders
10 Warp Spiders - Exarch w/ Spinneret Rifle
9 Shining Spears - Exarch w/ Star Lance, Hit & Run, Disarming Strike

Total 1,000

I don't really need the Spider Exarch here, but I had 25 points left over and didn't have much else to do with it. This isn't meant to be competitive at all, but I do think it could hold it's own. Anything with short range is insanely fast. Anything that's not fast has good range. All the Pathfinders have stealth and shrouded. Oh and they always shoot precision shots thanks to Illic! So any flamer that isn't DSing onto my face is going to die before he gets a chance to light up the burner on his weapon. And I don't have enough anti-tank, but Warp Spiders are now S7 against anything <I3 and anything without an initiative value. And Shining Spears finally get their lance rule during assaults too, so maybe I'll be better off than it seems on paper. That's what test lists are for! Figuring that out! I expect some of what I learn here will help me in homing in on tough, similar lists. I have some ideas on which ways that'll take me, but I'm trying to fight coming to conclusions that aren't based on experience.

Hope you all get some gaming in with the new book soon! If you write some lists this weekend, post them! I'd love to see what you're cooking up.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.29: If These Aren't Real, it's a Lot of Work for a Troll

Word is that a huge portion of the new Eldar codex leaked through 4chan and can be found here. I've some Bioshock Infinite to be playing, so I'll leave comments for later. Generally I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the bulk of it. I kind of hope we're being trolled just before the release but it does seem in line with what has become of some of the 6th edition books. Mainly I wonder why he would type it all out and not just scan it if he has it already. I don't know whether typing out so much of the info is okay or not from a legal standpoint. I'm just sayin', pics or it didn't happen.

What do you think, troll or furrealz? How do you feel about what you see?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gaming Weekend: One Last Dance with the 4th Ed. Book

This weekend I'm going to get some gaming in. Seems like this will be the last time I will use the 4th edition Eldar codex. It's a shame the new book couldn't have come out last weekend or something though. It's not easy for me to schedule gaming and it will be a really long month if I'm waiting to use the new codex.

It's sort of a minor event that we're doing. Just a couple of tables prepped to play on and 5-6 players. The idea is for everyone to bring a few small-medium sized lists and get some games in and have a good time. I'm planning on running something I haven't done in a long time, which is tons of aspects. I have always felt that aspects are where Eldar earn themselves their reputation for mandatory synergy. The vehicles are pretty well multi-purpose and while they work incredibly well, they are less satisfying when they work well. Of course not all aspects work great on foot, but some of them do and can operate in support roles especially.

I don't have a huge variety of the things, however. If I just chuck all the ones I have plus some Rangers and Guardians into a list then I'm probably around 1500 with almost all of it painted. The list would be something like 2 x 5 Rangers, 10 Guardians, 10 DAs kitted for shooting and tarpitting, 10 Fire Dragons, 10 Spiders, 10 Scorpions and 5 Shining Spears. Probably a Farseer for HQ, but actually looking at this now, I have good reserves options. An Autarch wouldn't be a bad option. Dunno if I'd run my Aegis. I have a lot of guys who need cover, but I find that ADLs encourage boring play. Our host has good terrain, so dashing to safety in some ruined buildings would be pretty exciting.

Anyway it's a shame I don't have the new 'dex in my hands right now. And as nice as it sounds to see the codex off in fashion, I'm not as sentimental as I am excited about new Eldar. I'd actually get to work on my Inquisition and bring them, but I'm putting all my painting time into a commission and any personal time is going into Bioshock Infinite.

So yeah, Monday is over and I have four more very--long--days until gaming and the new codex =) I can't wait.

Is anyone else getting some last games in with the book this week? Whatcha got planned?

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.27: Wargear; An Aside about Fire Dragons

Someone on the Warseer forum threw around the rules of the Remnant of Glory:

- Mantle of the laughing god: hit and run, shrouded, stealth, reroll cover saves but you lose the IC rule (doesn't replace one of your weapons)
- Shard of Anaris: +2Str melee and rending melee weapon, in challenges you have flesh bane and instant death.
- Firesabre: +1Str, AP3 and soul blaze
- Faolchi wings: can run up to 48" in the shooting phase. But can't shoot charge or cast psychic powers, reroll all cover saves.
- Spirit stone: You give up your invun save until next turn so that you can reduce the charge cost of a power by 1 to a minimum of 1 (Farseer/spiritseer only, doesn't replace one of your weapons)
- Rifle: 120" standard sniper rifle, AP3.
- Phoenix gem. Before wearer dies roll a d6, on a 1 nothing happens but 2-6 a large blast is placed on the model, friend and foe suffer Str4 AP5 hits, if no one dies the wearer removed but if only 1 model dies the wearer gets back up with 1 wound. (One use only, doesn't replace one of your weapons)

That and wraithguard lose wraithsight apparently.

 There is a lot of really cool stuff in there. Notable to me is the sniper rifle at 120" range and AP3 base. I really hope that's true because I have a good number of Rangers and I have some more on the way. Something I'd like to try out is a mix of Rangers and Wraith units. Mostly as a fun army as it seems right now I'll have issues with mobile armies and deep striking flamers, but I think it could be a good time.

This is totally unrelated, but I saw that people are actually upset/surprised about Fire Dragons getting a point cost hike.  They even felt that FDs were a bad choice before. And furthermore that it was a waste of so many points because they need a transport to get their job done. Does it not occur to them that the transport is not dead weight and provides useful dakka? Or that Fire Dragons have a great stat line and amazing wargear for very few points? I think they are the most undercosted unit in the 4th ed codex. Dragons going up makes sense because they cost too little and can achieve great things. Them getting heavier armor makes sense because their targets regularly explode in their faces and you'd think they'd prepare for that. I'm actually pumped about having Fire Dragons I can treat as more than a suicide unit. With support, they may actually fire more than once. 3+ armor is nothing to laugh at when the guy in it is packing a melta gun and melta bombs.

Fire Dragons are unbelievably good as they are, but it seems that with these changes they might actually become a unit players take seriously and don't just throw away. Is anyone else with me on that?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.26: Round-Up, Fire Dragons and Shuriken Catapults

Over at Faeit you can find an excellent list of recapitulated rumors. Everything looks so promising. Seems the Wraithknight is going to be absolutely devastating. Suncannons look like hell on infantry and Phantom Lasers will be just as bad against tanks. That's a LOT of T8 wounds too. It has as many as two Wraithlords and has much better weaponry.

Fire Dragons are looking pretty good too. They were way undercosted in the 4th edition book, so I'm happy to see them go up a bit. Especially since they're getting armor that will protect them from the exploding vehicles that used to kill them all the time when they'd do their job. It also seems to me that Falcons will not be dedicated transports since it isn't listed next to the Wave Serpent.

Fire Dragon WS 4 BS 4 S 3 T 3 W 1 I 5 A 1
Fire Dragon Exarch WS 5 BS 5 S 3 T 3 W 1 I 6 A 1
Heavy Aspect Armor (3+)
Fusion Gun
Melta Bombs
Special Rules: Ancient Doom
Battle Focus
Fleet -
5 Dragons 110 points
Options up to 5 more at 22/model
Exarch upgrade 10
Exarch may take Dragon's Breath Flamer for free or Firepike 15pts
Exarch may take up to two of the following exarch powers:
Iron Resolve 5pts
Crushing Blow 10pts
Fast Shot 10pts
May use a Wave Serpent as a Dedicated Transport.

So, Fire Dragons pick up a 3+ save, but jumped up in price by 6 points a head.
 And perhaps best of all is the Shuriken Catapult and Shuriken Cannon. I would have loved a little more range, but I have had plenty success with using ShuriCats as a last resort attack option and the new rules will make that even better.

Shuriken Catapult 12" S4 AP5 Assault 2, Bladestorm
Shuriken Cannon 24" S6 AP5 Assault 3, Bladestorm

Bladestorm: When a weapon with this special rule rolls a 6 To Wound, the target is wounded automatically and the Wound is resolved at AP2.
So basically they're all rending except they don't get +d3 against vehicles. That's definitely something I can live with since bringing down armor isn't even something that 4th edition Eldar have a problem with and I have a feeling it's not about to get any harder.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ganesha Beer Garage

What is with that name? No part of that makes any sense to me. Anyway...this bar serves about 3-4 pages of Belgian beer, another 2 pages of German beer and a page or two of others. Everything is exquisite. It's not just the beer that's good there, the food is excellent too. It's pricey and the portions are smaller than I'd like for the value, but that's why today we ate a huge, late lunch just before going to the bar. That allowed us to really enjoy the drinks they serve which are such a treat if you've experienced the lack of variety available in typical Japanese bars.

I've gone back there several times and in doing so I've learned that Belgian beer really is what I'm looking for when I want a drink at a bar. I want to experience something new. I want to drink something with flavor and purpose. It ought to be like any other food or drink where the maker really cares about the product, where he really loves what he's making. I wouldn't pretend to have a lot of experience in describing exotic beers, but it's immediately apparent when tasting these that the people who make them are thinking about the product differently than how Asahi or Anheuser-Busch does. They care about flavor the way a chef does. And I think that says a lot considering the amount of time that goes into generating beer brewing know how.

If you're ever in Matsumoto, I couldn't recommend this place more. It's the best bar I've found there. The interior is mostly wood and dimly lit. There are never so many patrons that it gets cramped at all. There are stools and small tables both. They mostly play jazz and had a mix disc of Coltrane (John) on today. It's five minutes from the station, so you can relax right up until last train, pretty much. I've only ever seen a young man and woman working there and I'm inclined to believe they're a couple who co-own the place. They're very pleasant people who understand very well the drinks they serve. Ask them anything about the beer and they'll help you pick from their daunting selection. 

Here are a couple shots of the delicious treats we chose tonight, but really the whole menu is stunningly good.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.24: Time for One Last Set of Rules Rumors...

Spice! So spice! Just some last minute rules from BoLS. Just itching to see these preorders now! And good god I want to get my hands on that codex. The rules are so incredibly exciting!

The Eldar advanced orders are just hours away.  Here's the 11th hour latest on rules hot from the retail outlets.

A press release doing the rounds at retailers lists the following:

Reasons to Buy the New Eldar Releases

Codex Eldar :
- Craftworld ships will be introduced
- New special rules for many Eldar units. Old Nemesis (Slaanesh) and Battle Trance (running and shooting)
- Multiple exarch abilitys, options and equipment

Wraithknight (heavy support 240 points)
-Strong Profile (S:10 T:8 W:6 AS:3+, Jump-pack
- 2 heavy Phantom lasers (S10 AP 2 instant death on wound rolls of 6)
- Alternative equipment possible - for example close combat weapons with a 5+ invul and blind special rule or a S:6 5" Blast with AP2. with 5+ invul and blind special rule.

Somach Phantomhunter (fast attack 185 points)
- Psyker with the terrify psychic power
- 2 blast weapons with ap 2
- Enemy units within 12" have to reroll succesful ld tests.

Crimson Hunters (fast attack 160 points)
- New Aspect warriors with strong Exarch upgrades
- May reroll armor pen rolls against flyers
- Vector dancer

Wraithguard /Wraithblades (elite 160 points 5 models)
- Strong profile with S5 T 6 as 3+
- Wraithblades got 2 close combat weapons with AP3 and +1 S or can get a 4+ invul with a single AP2 weapon
- Runeseer can mark targets, every wraith unit can reroll missed to hit rolls of 1 against marked targets.
- If you select a runeseer as HQ, they become troops

Ililic Nightspear (hq 140 points)
- Alaitoc character that allows ranger units the Pathfinder upgrade.
- Has 9 special rules - one of them allows ranger units to infiltrate without the range restrictions to enemy units.
- BS:9 S:X AP2 instant death on wound rolls of 6
Other new releases for Eldar
Phantomseer, Runeprophet and cards for psychic powers.:
- 3 different kinds of psykers (Seer council, Phantomseer, Runeprophet)
- Divination, Telepathy and 2 new Eldar psychic disciplines: Runes of Battle and Runes of Fate (for Rune prophet and Runeseer respectively)
- Runes of Battle have always 2 effects, for example granting Shrouding or taking Shrouding off the enemy unit.
-Runes of Fate : 4 warpcharges, 2 powers, very strong and offensive

Happy Birthday Preordering

Well preorders should be starting tomorrow. I turned 30 today (woo!) and I know I've got my birthday shopping list mentally prepped based on the rumors. I'm not as pumped as the Iyanden players probably are about most of the figures, but I feel like there is something special for just about everyone.

Right now I'm just hoping I can preorder the stuff I want before I get to the pub tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Once it's finally up, let me know how you feel about the actual release. What are you planning to get? What are you definitely not going for? Why?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.23: Eldar Jetbikes--Step Six is Acceptance

There's our answer. Not the one I'd hoped for, but at least now I'm going to be picking up the codex with my mind open to other options. I was dead set on buying tons of new bikes and running the fastest army I could conceive of. Well I'm definitely not doing that with these go-cart jockey Klansmen. I don't think I can convey how much I despise these models. As if their KKK hoods weren't bad enough they wear jackets like they want to be the Fonz. They look atrocious in pretty much every way. The bikes that I have bought I converted into a Jetbike Council. I covered up every stupid detail with green stuff robes and replaced and/or converted the heads. I even chopped the bike and reconfigured it to be longer. The go-cart shape just grates one me. So anyway, sorry if you're disappointed by this, but at least we're in it together.

Looking for a silver lining, however, I was wondering what their rules might be like. In particular I'm wondering if there might be other weapons that we can get on that third bike. Having a single option for a heavy weapon has always seemed stale to me. How could would it be to have a Star Cannon on something this fast? Denying cover saves would be a cinch! An EML would be fun too. A single heavy weapon is so dull though. I really hope they considered shoring up the options for the unit. That would make it even more appealing when they finally do release what might have been, in my opinion, the most exciting kit of the whole Eldar launch.

Someone on either a forum or in the comments on a blog I read, I forget where, proposed "What if Vypers could be part of the unit?" The possibility got shot down pretty quickly by the next posters because they thought it would be a nightmare from a wound-allocation standpoint. But I'm not so sure. A Vyper would provide a degree of protection from small arms, but would still likely die to massed bolters, so it wouldn't make a unit unduly durable. Not to mention that the aggressor chooses what weapons are dealt with first. If they want the krak missile to hit that Vyper first, that's their call to make. Another poster said that in the new Dark Angels codex the Ravenwing Attack Squadrons can take a Land Speeder. I hadn't ever noticed that and just checked it out. Seems if the squad numbers 6 or more you really can take one. So there is precedent for something cool like this. If it turned out to be true, the Vyper in the battle force would seem a little less silly.

Good news everyone!

2d6D reached over 5,000 views today! Thanks to everyone for checking out the site. It's a relatively new project, so I'm pleased to reach this many people this early on. I hope you enjoy the content and the topics I've been covering. As things settle down when the Eldar are released, I'll be posting less obsessively about what's coming out and more obsessively about what we can do with all our new toys =D I've got some BL novel reviews, hobby product reviews, modeling and painting tutorials, and some tactics articles in mind as well, so there ought to be a lot of cool content coming in the near future. Keep an eye out for it

If you're keen, like the Facebook page on the right-hand frame and share/+1/delete the site from your history cache. Y'know, whatever feels right. Thanks again guys =)

Oh and if there's anything you'd like to see more or less of, just let me know and I'll take it into account in future posts.

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.23: More Pics

Here are some more pictures from 3++. Sad face at the first one. Guess that answers that. Cool stuff otherwise. I'm liking Illic Nightspear more and more =)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eldar Crimson Hunters: Reading Between the Lines

So I noticed it says "the Exarch can swap his bright lances for Starcannons." Does this mean they can be taken in squadrons? The thought had never occurred to me, but that's how I'm reading this. I do suppose Exarch status could be an upgrade bought for each plane.

Edit: Kirby from 3++ said the Exarch is a vehicle upgrade. I'd be really happy if they could squadron too. He didn't specifically say they can't. Also he mentioned they're Fast Attack. So much for running a pair alongside my two Nightwings.

Eldar Photo Dump 2013.5.22: Flyers, Wraithblades, Sniper, Spiritseer and More

Well damn! You know what they say, when it rains it y'know...precipitates. Hm that wasn't very good, was it? WHO CARES! BEAUTIFUL ELDAR PICTURES!

The flyers actually look a good deal better than I was afraid they would. I'm still not terribly fond of the Wraithknight, but I can get behind just about everything else. Er, actually I'm not sure about the Spiritseer's helm. I get that they're trying to establish a new helm design, but I'm going to have to get used to it. And the sniper got an amazing sculpt! Definitely going to want one of those.

 *Long reflective sigh* June can't get here soon enough.


Eldar Rumors 2013.5.21: First-hand Comments on the Eldar White Dwarf

Copied and pasted from the Eldar Rumors thread on DakkaDakka. Looking pretty good. Seems tricky and there are lots of psychic options here. Not to mention versatility which is very important to me. Basically double powers if they all have two modes. The artifacts look obscenely powerful, Wraith units sound appropriately durable, the army as a whole sounds fast. Holy cow I can't wait!

Powerguy wrote:
Got a sneak peek of the White Dwarf today, managed to dig out some actual rules from the battle report, preview teasers and a couple of tiny pages from the codex that were printed in the WD that I managed to read. Not many stats on offer but still a reasonable chunk of rules. I'm probably mis-remembering the names of some of these rules but here is what I picked up in no particular order:

- From what I saw all the non Wraith infantry have the run/shoot shoot/run ability (the rule was called Battle something). Avengers definitely do (from the report) and Rangers definitely do (from tiny printed profile in the WD) as well. Not sure if its just for Shuriken weapons (Rangers do have Pistols I guess).
- It looks likes all Eldar have the 'Ancient Foe' special rule, no idea what this does but I suspect its something like Hatred Daemons of Slaneesh (don't think it was Necron related as the report was against Crons) since all Eldar appear to have it (including the Wraith units).
- There are 14 Eldar specific psychic powers from 2 different charts, Runes of Battle and Runes of Fate. However it looks like several of the powers are 2 in 1, i.e they have a buff mode and a debuff mode, so there are actually HEAPS of powers. I.e the Primaris for Battle is Conceal/Reveal (as a single card/roll etc), Conceal gives you Shrouded and Reveal removes Shrouded from an enemy. The 1 on the Battle Chart was Destructor/Renew(?), Destructor being the same as before with Soul Blaze added and Renew allowing you to restore a wound to a friendy model within range (18" I think). Primaris for Runes of Fate was Guide, which is now 24" range but is otherwise the exact same as before. Very surprising to see this as aside from the range it is far worse than the Divination Primaris (although I guess you could take both and effectively Guide two units). The 1 on the Fate Chart was a terrible Focuses Witchfire power. Fortune and Doom are still options (the Farseer in the report had them) and appear to have the same effects.
- The Avatar has Fleet. Also one of the psychic powers increases your movement speed/charge range somehow
- The Wraithknight is insanely huge, it is literally twice the height of a Wraithlord, and the sword option it can take is basically the size of a Wraithlord as well. It can take up to 2 Suncannons, which are S6 AP2 Heavy 3 Small Blast or up to 2 Wraithlances(?) which are presumably the heavy anti tank option. Sword replaces one of the big guns I think (they are arm mounted like the Titans). This is in addition to the two shoulder mounted heavy weapons (I saw Scatters and Starcannons, so presumably the normal range of heavy weapons are available)
- Wraithguard and Wraithblades look good, think scaled down Wraithlords. They looked a bit bigger than the old ones, but I think it was partly just the added range of motion in the poses on 40mm bases (similar to the old 25mm base Terminators vs the newer 40mm base ones, they are bigger but the better poses help as well). Wraithguard can now get either Wraithcannons (which from the fluff descriptions seemed to still be single shot and very powerful) or D Scythes which were described as a multi shot weapon but it could still Pen vehicles on a 6. Wraithblades are only 1A base (sadly) but looked like they could go either 2 CCW (no idea on stats of their weapons, but they appeared to have sword/axe options) or 1 CCW + Shield gen arm.
- Wraithguard are definitely S5 T6, Lord is almost certainly not T6 (a full unit of Destroyers shot one in the report and did nothing, which suggests T8 or some other equivalent buff). No idea on the stats for the Knight.
- It looks like Aspect Warriors have the same base profile, include Exarches with Ld9
- Reapers have Slow and Purposeful
- Rangers have WS4. They also have a character (not sure if he is upgrade or HQ) who has a 120" range Sniper Rifle.
- One of the fliers has 2 Heavy D Scythes on the wings and a psychic based main gun. The other has 2 Bright Lances and a Pulse Laser.
- Saw stats for what looked like special weapons for characters, might have been for Special Characters as well since the 120" range sniper was in there. One weapon was +2S, AP- Melee, Rending, Fleshbane, Instant Death. Another was +1S AP3, Soul Blaze, and if you killed anything with Soul Blaze then every unit within 6" of that unit would become effected by Soul Blaze as well. There was also a one use only piece of wargear, which you could use when the character died. On a 2+ you place a S4 AP3 template over the character, hitting both friend and foe, but if you cause at least 1 wound then the character stands back up with 1 wound. Last one I saw was an item which gave the user Fearless, Shrouded, Stealth and re-roll cover saves but they lose the IC rule, which gives people a way to make a Solitare (the name was something to do with the Laughing God).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eldar Rumors: A Double Take at those Prices

I posted these prices yesterday at the tail end of my break. I was rushing to put it up at the time so I couldn't really say anything about them. Let me repost them below and then comment afterward.

Oliver Beinlich May 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Eldar Codex - $49.50
Eldar LE Codex - $100
Farseer - $20
Wraithknight - $115
Wraithguard - $50
Hemlock Wraithfighter - $65
Dire Avengers (5 pack) - $35
Battleforce - $115
Windrider Jetbike Squadron - $40
Spiritseer - $19.25
Illic Nightspear - $19.25

Let's assume for one terrifying second that these figures are accurate. Now hold your ears as I shout THAT'S F&$#ING BANANAS! Limited Edition codex for $100? Full codex price for the Iyanden supplement? Wraithknight for an unbelievable $115? I never imagined! My friend told me I was crazy for calling the Wraithknight a $95 kit. I must be crazy for thinking nothing in the GW range ought to cost that much!

And could someone explain to me what the limited edition codex could have in it that makes it twice as expensive? I don't know if it is just the book itself or if there is any kind of bonus material--art, a code for the digital download, gold f%&$ing nuggets perhaps?

The Battleforce goes up $25. The Dire Avengers box is cut in half , essentially doubling the cost of the unit. The Wraithguard actually got cheaper and so did the Jetbikes if those figures are right. And assuming 5 Wraithguard and 3 Jetbikes in their respective boxes. But then it also depends on how points change, doesn't it? Right now you'd be hard pressed to put more than ten WG in a list. I'll bet that with the Iyanden supplement and the dual kit with the CC variant, it will be possible to field at least another $100 worth of them.

I was just saying on the Facebook page I need to post about beer and sandwiches sometime this week because I haven't had much positive to say at all. There is plenty to say that's good about the Eldar release. I'm ecstatic about that sniper character that popped up in these release lists. I'm just getting caught up in what I think ought to be the standard reaction. I hope it is and I just don't know. The only way GW will stop bleeding us dry is if we stop walking into their knife. When it affects sales is when they'll stop raising prices with each release. For my part, I'm not going to go nearly as overboard as I wanted to. I've been saving a long time for this, but I just can't fork over all that cash in good conscience. I'll make a few reasonable purchases in addition to the codex. I'm sure I'd spend a lot more if each individual purchase were cheaper, though.

Anyway, I'll have to post about something positive another time, it seems. For now I'll leave off with Duvel and pastrami on rye. Absolutely delicious.

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.21: Release List (2 of 2)

In the link here you can find other lists in the comments. These fill in some holes that are somewhat surprising and confusing. The surprise to me in Natfka's list was the missing Jetbikes that I pretty much assumed to be a given. The confusing part to me was the missing Iyanden supplement which we've had confirmed by the White Dwarf leak.

First poster with an alternative list:

Oliver Beinlich May 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Eldar Codex - $49.50
Eldar LE Codex - $100
Farseer - $20
Wraithknight - $115
Wraithguard - $50
Hemlock Wraithfighter - $65
Dire Avengers (5 pack) - $35
Battleforce - $115
Windrider Jetbike Squadron - $40
Spiritseer - $19.25
Illic Nightspear - $19.25

Those prices look suspiciously high to me, so I'm not exactly sure what to make of that list.

Second poster's alternative list:

Ian Johnson May 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM
List just published by my FLGS as what is available for pre order
Confirmed Eldar releases for June 1st
Codex Eldar Eldar Psychic Powers Deck
Wraithguard (plastic!!!!!)
Hemlock Wraithfighter
Windrider Jetbike squad
Spiritseer Illic
Autarch on Jetbike upgrade
 The Iyanden supplement appears to be June 15th release

Again I see a discrepency between the Iyanden launch date listed in White Dwarf and the one he is proposing here.

If Eldar don't launch with Jetbikes I doubt I'm going to just jump on an Iyanden bandwagon and buy stuff I hadn't planned on. It would be really disappointing, but at least it would save me loads of time and money. I hope some happy middle ground exists among these lists where we just get ALL THE TOYS. =)

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.21: Release List from Faeit212 (1 of 2)

Damn I love that Faeit is back up. Natfka puts a lot into posting what he comes across. 40k Internets are just a little greyer without his blog. Here is the rumor list he put up:

Warhammer 40000: Codex Eldar
104 page full colour, hardback Warhammer 40,000 Codex. Contains New Artwork, Background and rules whilst showcasing the fantastic miniature range

Warhammer 40,000 Psychic Cards: Eldar·
This pack contains 14 reference cards that describe the effects of each of the Primaris Powers and the the six psychic powers available to each area of mastery

Warhammer 40000: Eldar Wraithknight 
This box contains a multipart plastic kit that makes one Eldar Wraithknight, this completely new Walker stands a massive 9 inches tall and can be constructed with a variety of armaments to fulfill a range of battlefield roles.

Warhammer 40000: Eldar Hemlock Wraithfighter/ Crimson Hunter 
This box contains a multipart plastic kit that makes either a Hemlock Wraithfighter or a Crimson Hunter, both new Eldar Flyers. The Hemlock Wraithfighter is a Psychicly armed bomber designer to cause havoc among enemy troops while the Crimson Hunter is an all new aspect warrior class whom excel at aerial combat.

Warhammer 40000: Eldar Wraithguard/Wraithblades 
This box contains a multipart plastic kit that makes either 5 Wraithguards previously only available in metal or 5 Wraithblades, a new type of deadly close combat warrior.

Warhammer 40000: Eldar Farseer 
A plastic Clamp pack containing 1 Eldar Hero in a dynamic mid-casting posse.

Reformatted Warhammer 40000: Eldar Battle Force 
Contains 10 Eldar Guardians and a Heavy Weapon Platform, 5 Dire Avengers (including the option of making an Exarch), a Wave Serpent and a Vyper Jetbike

Reformatted Warhammer 40000: Eldar Dire Avengers
The Dire Avengers squad has been repackaged as a five miniature boxed set (including the option of making an Exarch)

New Finecast Releases
Warhammer 40000: Illic Nightspear· 
A clampack that contains one highly detailed Citadel Finecast resin miniature sculpted by Edgar Ramos. Illic Nightspear is an outcast who has become an deadly assassin armed with the sniper rifle Voidbringer.

Warhammer 40000: Eldar Spiritseer· 
A clampack that contains one highly detailed Citadel Finecast resin miniature sculpted by Mike Fores. Armed with a Witch Staff and spirit stone wearing a distinctive eyeless helm.A vailable While Stocks Last These Items are highly limited, please request the quantity you require and we will supply you as close to this number as we can.

Eldar Teaser Trailer

Eldar Rumor Analysis: Supplemental Material to be the DLC of Wargaming?

First I want to be clear that I am still incredibly excited about rules expansions for factions within armies. Eldar is a great one for this because of the variety inherent in the craftworlds. In the background and on the table they're all very different. You can write a list and call it Alaitoc, but it would be a lot more fun if there were rules written and balanced to emphasize that flavor and play style.And the same goes for many armies.

The first supplemental faction book is the Iyanden craftworld. It seems to release exactly when the codex does. This begs a number of questions--or perhaps I should say furious inquiries, considering how much we spend on the books these days. Why isn't this material already in the codex? How much more do we have to pay to play Iyanden? Do they plan on releasing all the craftworlds in this way? If so, why are they not all being released together later on, when Eldar have already been out for some time?

Yeah, I know the answer is the same for each of these questions. It's the dollars and yen of it. Just as with video game companies who release games with the DLC loaded on the disc, the Eldar codex is essentially coming out split up for maximum profit. As much as I love the idea of more material for ever more specific army variants, I can't help but feel like we're all being kicked in the teeth and asked to hand over the gold fillings that fall out. As a collector I would love to have the Iyanden book despite not playing that faction, but I don't think I can warrant the purchase if the price is on par with the core codex.

We, the fans, are getting some of the things we've been wanting, but what a wicked twist of monkey-paw fate that the material comes to us with such apparent scorn. One of the best feelings you can have as a customer is to walk away from a purchase like you just received a birthday present, even though you paid for it yourself. It feels like the content provider has some measure of respect for you. Just ask Valve. This is part of the success behind Steam bargain sales. You're spending money and feeling like every purchase is the best deal you've ever gotten. And it feels exactly as bad to buy an expensive book and need another expensive supplement that is likely only 20% of the expensive supplements that will come out for your army. I feel for Iyanden players here.

There are ways GW promotes sales that are a little unsavory in my opinion. External codex balance is one of those. Internal updates is another; and on that topic I'll be writing something eventually about Flamers and Screamers when I get a chance. And this DLC equivalent is another. While it's great to get rules support for handing over so much hard-earned money, for me it's spoiled to some degree by the obviousness of it as a cheap play for quick profit.

I think the most likely rebuttal to this post is "Fine, don't buy it." I agree with that. GW's customers are not entitled to good deals. But it works both ways. They're not entitled to our money either. To be honest, I just don't want to feel like I'm being ripped off. They could release a book like the old Craftworld Codex with all five major craftworlds in it. They chose to release only one, not to include it in the codex that is releasing on the same day and for the chosen faction to be the one that prominently features units like the new, expensive Wraithknight. If that's not being obvious I don't know what is. I want to see them making decisions that benefit their long term growth by maintaining their loyal fanbase the way some other successful companies have managed to. To put it briefly: while profit is good, posterity is better.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Eldar Rumor Analysis: The Wraithknight and Anime Influence

I think there is a real problem with the recent supersized monstrous creature menu at McGW. There are some broadly expressed complaints that I think warrant merit, such as the necessity for them to be made at all. If there are only one or two it makes that unit stand out and adds some character to the respective army. It may not be recent, but that's how I felt about the Trygon when it was released. I didn't much like that they nerfed the existing badass MCs to sell the new kit, but it was an appropriately frightening sculpt and did suit the aesthetic of Tyranids.

The problem I see lies with the design philosophy behind the supersized MCs. The three most recent ones, the Dreadknight, the Riptide and the Wraithknight are all way too heavily influenced by anime giant robots. When the Dreadknight was released it was a little less noticable because there was just a shift from boxy Space Marine armor and less humanoid forms to a sleeker, curved aestheic with appendages made to look more articulated and human. You can find those details in the fingers, arms and legs. With the Riptide it was to be expected. Tau is already known for having heavy anime influence. I still find that unfortunate because I consider that whole army a marketing strategy devised around targeting teenage demographics. The Riptide and new Broadsides continued that trend to no surprise. Not that any was needed. The whole army looks that way. I'd prefer GW had done something more original with the very first Tau launch, but with them already established the way they are I don't think the Riptide is out of place.

The Wraithknight, on the other hand, has a lot of features that look like nothing else I've ever seen in the Eldar range. Take a look at the picture below of a VF from anime classic, Macross. Note the similarities in the lower legs. Now check out the picture from Gundam. Look again at the Wraithknight's chest. I heard there is a pilot in the chest there, but is that necessary? Why can't it just be a wraith construct? The tragic sadness that surrounds a eldar spirit being placed into one of those walking sarcophoguses is one of the most interesting elements of the fluff. They served in life and performed great deeds, but for all their trouble they still cannot rest. That's so compelling, interesting and above all, it's genuinely original. The same goes for Dreadnaughts and that was why I didn't like the Dreadknight having a pilot. The terrible ordeals that either the Eldar or the Imperium will put their people through in order to fight for their survival contributes a great deal to the grimdark atmosphere of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. By moving away from these tragic horrors they harm the IP that they seem to hold so dear to their walle--*ahem* hearts.

Smooth the chest out and you're not far off. This is also just one example picture.  Google image searching brings up tons of similar designs.

I think the Revenant titan would have made for a much better basis for the design. It contains elements already established in Eldar sculpts. The legs and feet closely resemble a mix of the War Walker and Wraithlord. The chest is smooth and not overly accentuated. The arms are huge cannons, because why not? I don't have a problem with giving the Wraithknight hands, but I don't think they executed it terribly well. The arms are much too small and the same goes for the head. I think the proportion issues ought to be clear to any professional artist, so I'm really at a loss as to why they would go that route.

I don't have any plans to expand my Eldar to be wraith-heavy at all, but if I did I would be looking to scratch build or kitbash a Wraithknight together. I just don't think they suit the Eldar aesthetic. I like the Eldar getting more wraith constructs, but I think more care should have been taken to keep the established design philosophy intact.

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.20: Release Date and Iyanden Supplement

There are pictures floating all around of leaked White Dwarf pages. It has a nice surprise that no one had heard or expected too. On June 8th we're getting a supplement to the codex with rules for the Iyanden craftworld. I haven't actually seen in the images that the core codex drops on the 8th, but I think it is reasonable to assume a simultaneous release.

This is exciting on so many levels. It signifies that GW has finally figured out that people like this stuff and will buy it if they release it. People love to build specific variations of armies. How many people were disappointed at the nullification of the Eldar Craftworld codex? And the change from chapter traits to chapter tactics?  The lack of legion support in the new CSM book? Not only do these factions provide more variety in the fluff, but they also provide templates for playstyles that are balanced within the book.

This also tells me that there will be more. I'd be thrilled to see the other four major craftworlds receive similar supplements. But I'd be really excited about similar books for the legions and varieties of Orks, etc. This is turning out to be a really surprising release. All because of some leaked images. GW, are you paying attention to what the community does to boost your sales by leaking your precious shopping catalogue--er, I mean hobby magazine?

Eldar Rumors 2013.5.20: Codex Cover Art and Wraithknight Pics

Man, I break from continuously refreshing my google search to sleep for just a few hours and there's a flood of pictures and information! Here's a link to the the Wraithknight. I'm very pleased with the cover. It probably belies the focus on Eldar psykers. It also stands in stark contrast with all the bright colors of the other books that came before it. This is so exciting!

Well except the WK model...but I'll have to talk about that later...

NagoyaHammer 2v2 Tournament: Game 3 of 3

Well this is very unfortunate. I have very few pictures from our final game and it seems I just have a couple angles on the same exact turn. That really stinks because this last game was our most challenging and tensest game of the day. We played against Tau + Eldar. After I got hold of the Tau codex in April I had been saying to Scott that the absolute worst match up we could get would be double Tau. They just have all the right tools to shoot down low-mid AV value targets. And especially against the low end. AV10, open-topped is hilariously easy to remove from the board with massed S7 missiles and S5 rapid fire. Especially when they have the range advantage and can remain mobile. Well here we were facing off against half of that nightmare. Here are their lists:

Miguel Eldar

Farseer - RoWard + Some power

6 Dire Avengers
5 Rangers

6 Wraithguard

Fast Attack
6 Swooping Hawks - Exarch w/ Sun Rifle
6 Warp Spiders - Exarch Spinneret Rifle
Nightwing Interceptor

I'm not too sure about his upgrades. Hawks get a bad rap on the Internet, but the truth is that while they cost too much, they slaughter vehicles if they charge. And I know how much damage Spiders can do if left alone because I use them a lot. These were the two high priority targets we were looking at before the game started. The others were footslogging and were slow enough that we could leave them be until later on, like turn 3 or so. The Nightwing would require some consideration, but not until turn 2. The worst it would do is kill a vehicle before we could return fire. Without interceptor on our units we would just have to wait and see what it does and react on the following turn. That would probably mean letting my own Nightwings have at it until it evades.

Tanya's Tau

2x about 8 Fire Warriors
10 or so Kroot

Riptide with a mix of shield, missile and markerlight drones. I think it had the Ion cannon gun.

3 Broadsides with missiles and a mix of drones.

I'm pretty sure that's it on the Tau side. Looking at the list in the beginning out target priority was clear. Kill the Riptide and the Broadsides. If we could do that, the game would mostly be over. With that commander, the Riptide can some nasty stuff. Ignoring cover is one of the worst, in my opinion. But also that one unit can split fire three times. The Broadsides can split fire too. We knew it would be bad news bears when all those missiles came flying at our vehicles. This game was going to be decided by the first two turns.

The mission was The Relic. We won both rolls--going first and deployment zone. Both sides were essentially the same but one had a little bit of ruins to hide in. We chose not to give that to the Broadsides. We set up as far forward as we could get and hid mostly behind the rocks in the middle, which Scott immediately named Hamburger Hill. With the only objective on top of it and both sides with very soft infantry, it was clear from the beginning that name would be fitting. They set up with mostly Eldar near where my Hornets are in the pictures. The Riptide/Commander unit was where my Nightwings are and the Broadsides had set up about where that proxy Nightwing is.

Saying it this way I think you can sort of see how the battle went for us already. That's a shame because there was nothing clear about how the game would turn out when turn one started. For the third time in a row Scott won first turn (much more than three times in a row, actually. It's not for nothing I had him roll...lucky f%^$. *Ahem!* Excuse me. Ate a bug...moving on!) Our opponents then promptly stole the initiative and proceeded to hammer our vehicles with those nasty missiles. For the first time in the whole day I took some losses that I couldn't have done anything about. Lost both of my Wave Serpents that turn. And Scott lost a few Venoms as well.

On our turn one we got to work on the Riptide and Broadsides, but let me say now that it's insanely tough, even with lots of poison, dark light and S6, to kill one of those with lots of drones attached. The ablative wounds and attached IC give you an absurd amount of T6 wounds and with Look out Sir, you can really cherry pick who eats what shot. With the losses I took, I didn't really contribute much first turn. Maybe a wound or two on the drones. Think I kills some troops with my Hornets. I was trying to avoid getting within 18" of the Wraithguard though, so until they were committed to the center of the board I didn't want to draw too much of their attention. When our turn one ended we hadn't significantly diminished the firepower that was about to bear down on us again.

The enemy turn two begins with the Swooping Hawks coming in from Reserves and the Nightwing not showing up. Lucky break number one. The Eldar move up some and most of the Tau do not. Just the Kroot if I remember correctly. I was glad to see the Wraithguard move forward onto the hill. That'd let my Hornets get into their backfield without fear of distortion guns tearing me apart. Warp Spiders were right on the hill, ready to shred some Dark Eldar. Swooping Hawks landed right on target between my Farseer and his contingent of only 3 Dire Avengers, ready to flashlight me to smithereens.  Our opponents opened fire again and Scott took the brunt of it again. I forget what all he lost this turn, but actually it could have been worse. Much worse. In fact it turned out pretty well when the Riptide wounded itself trying to charge its overdrive thing, then shot wide with its blast of splattery death and annihilated the Warp Spiders in front of us. Lucky breaks 2 and 3! This time I got very little attention, in part because I had little on the board. My Farseer passed wounds away to the Dire Avengers and took a few saves himself. In the end he survived, but his squad did not.

At the bottom of turn two both of my Nightwings came in and we positioned to end the units that had been giving us these head aches. I knew Scott was shooting the Riptide with nearly everything he had on the right side, but I was busy with my own shooting, so I didn't really see what was happening. I fired my Scatter Walkers into the Broadsides to bring down the drones in front. Then a Nightwing laid out the exposed suit with a Brightlance which was assigned to be rolled against first so that the Shuriken Cannons could wound down more drones. After I repeated that once more, Scott finished of the unit with a Ravager. The Swooping Hawks were still a problem if they could assault, but one Shattershard and some good rolls later and they were cleared out quickly. There was some more shooting but that was essentially the end of the phase. I looked over and the Riptide was gone. "Oh awesome, you killed it!" I said to my partner. Nah, turned out we killed enough drones and it failed its leadership test and ran away. Lucky break number four! I wonder if they actually intended that to be a balancing factor for getting to have all those amazing T6 wounds. Hehe, funny stuff anyway.

Essentially that was the end of the game. We played two more turns but I don't remember meaningful losses on our side. Kroot killed a venom and then got dakkaed down, I think. And the Rangers managed to bring one down too. But for the most part we were just playing to clear out their troops and ensure that ours could reach the center before time ran up. Unless we had that objective or got some infantry into their deployment zone we would tie. That would only score us two points total for the tournament and mean we could potentially tie for first if the second-place team could score the maximum. When we got some troops in contact with the Relic we just called it.

There were a lot of really tense moments, especially first turn getting seized. But from our opponents' turn two things slid downhill and it snowballed from there. The Warp Spiders getting vaporized was a real load off. I don't think it was a game changer, but our opponents sure would have had a lot more options on turn three if they were around and if the Riptide hadn't run away. Miguel and Tanya were great sports despite their horrible luck on a couple clutch rolls. I had a great time playing with them and look forward to the next opportunity.

And that was the end of the tournament! We came in first with units that I see lots of complaints about on the internet. Dark Eldar catch a lot of heat and so does Mechdar. But I feel that with some IA11 units on my side and with the interplay between massed poison, darklight and S6, we had all our offensive bases covered. Scott's list does struggle to bring down lots of vehicles quickly despite all the S8 it packs. In turn one, the Blasters can't fire so he really only has Ravagers to fire with. But with some Eldar shooting shoring him up, I can crack open vehicles and provide targets to his poison. Or that was the idea at least. We ended up playing against armies with a lot of stuff on the ground and he was never left wanting more targets. To be sure, our list would struggle harder in a scene with more powergaming in it, but I'm actually still confident we'd do very well even in an event where people are bringing the nastiest, meanest lists they can think of. The luck we would need would probably not be in-game rolls, but who we draw for opponents. I really think the toughest match ups for us are armies that can do what we're doing, but better. Double IG, double Tau, or really any mix of units that shoot with tons of S5-7 dakka.

It was great to meet so many awesome people and to see what kind of crowds big events in Japan can draw. Apparently it was their biggest yet. It was the first time for anyone from our group to play with theirs and I hope it will signal more trips, more gaming and more events. I'm certain there are more players in Japan that need brought into the fold too. I hope we can broaden the community out here. Guess it's up us on the east to something together in the second half of the year.