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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inquisition Codex: I'm More Torn than Space-Time on the Crone Worlds

Let me remind you that I am skeptical of everything that isn't a hot sandwich or a cold beer. I love the Inquisition as much as a (barely) decent human being can love a maniacally obsessive, paranoid, genocidal army of cyborgs and side-show freaks. The designs, the flavor, the endless room for character personality--there is so much going for them. I haven't seen any rumors on what will be in this book. But I'll take a wild stab at it not being the tome it could be--a book with the GKs and Sisters redone and with the Deathwatch given their place as well. All three Ordos that would be, Malleus, Hereticus and Xenos, all under one sadistic, yet happy roof.

This release all but crushes any of hope of that under the hard sole of a Munitorum-issued boot. I can't wait to see it because I long ago learned that you have to take what you get with GW. The artwork does look really cool and a lot of the rules for 6th edition armies have been good, flavorful even. But I haven't seen the new Sisters stuff and that is probably the best indicator for this book. Bottom line for myself though, is that I let myself get too attached to a rumor I saw earlier in the year.

Which leads me to: that rumored 28mm Inquisition skirmish game. That was the most exciting rumor I read in the second half of this year. I hadn't heard anything about it so when I saw this news I went looking and found this not-so-recent thread on Dakka Dakka about it. This digital codex is slated for next month. It could make for a very Inquisition November to have this and the skirmish game come out around the same time. On the other hand I also worry that the skirmish game could have been twisted warp lies sent drifting in the aether of the internet. Terra help us if that's true.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last Weekend's Gaming Sans Pictures (D'oh!)

Unfortunately I have less to say about last weekend's gaming than I'd hoped. I hadn't known what exactly we were going to play and was surprised to find out I was supposed to field both armies. I didn't have any lists prepared for that and I only brought my Eldar. It was also a good deal later than we'd thought it would be when my buddy rode in. Still, we got a kill team-ish game in and had a great time. We sort of just eyeballed the points costs for some footdar squads and then put them in pairs. Then we rolled off on each pair and the winner got to choose one of the two squads. We didn't really pay attention to full squad sizes and we allowed combat squadding for all of them. A kill point to be awarded for the death of half a squad, or for a full combat squad. 1 Farseer each. I ended up with 7 Rangers, 3 Warp Spiders and 9 Guardians with a Shuriken Cannon. He got 5 Scorpions, 5 DAs and 4 Fire Dragons.

Honestly I thought I'd mop him up before he ever got near me and on the first turn it looked like that's what would happen. I layed out 4/5 Scorpions and it looked like I would kill off his DAs. But he rolled very well for his assault range on his Scorpion who got to kill off my heavy weapon. Then his DAs made about 12 4+ saves in a row and Battle Tranced behind my terrain to lay waste to me. We had a few combats that were dragging on when we called it. If he wasn't going to table me, it would be a boring 3 turn slapfest while we take turns rolling dice.

It made for a really fun game. I hadn't been on the receiving end of Battle Trance yet and I feel like it is the best army-wide rule you could ask for except maybe ATSKNF. It's fantastic for both defense and offense. This game was also only about the third time I've used my terrain (that this same friend actually did up for me) and it was pretty rad playing on it. Hopefully after my vacation next week in Hawaii (woo!) then finances and parenting time permitting, I might be able to have more of my doods out here to play on this killer table I almost never use. I'll try to actually get pictures next time too. Sorry!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Spotlight: Allan Carrasco

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I love Eldar. I had a good time playing Eldar vs Eldar over the weekend and I'll be posting something short about it this week, but just now a friend of mine shared an awesome CWE army on Facebook that I really wanted to share with you. It is by none other than the brilliant freelance sculptor, Allan Carrasco. You might know his work from Kingdom Death (NSFW). Everything he does is really gorgeous, so I'll just post a few pictures from his site and leave it to you to go check out his other work. Under "own works" in the "painting" link you can find some truly awe-inspiring stuff. Aside from the Eldar I'm partial to the Deathguard he did. Thanks to James for sharing this in the first place! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Gaming at Home in Nagano

I'm going to get to play some 40k this weekend and I don't even have to travel for it! A friend of mine is training up for the Mongolian Bike Challenge and as training he is biking all the way here from Ogaki. That's something like 180km if I'm not mistaken! He called me this morning at like 6:30 when he left and I acknowledged his departure with a groggy "Grhughrlllr gu huh." This should be a great time! I love the terrain I have but I haven't gotten to use it much as I live far out and have few visitors. He actually put most of it together for me and this will be his first time to play on it.

I think I'll throw my aspect warriors against him. If we do a second game I'll probably give him a Seer Council list. Since I don't own the Dark Eldar allies I wrote my current Council list with I'll put something else together, probably including Shining Spears and Warp Spiders.

This ought to be a really great time. I'll post about our gaming during the week, most like.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Need Worlds of Magic Greenlit, Let's Help Make that Happen

You won't hear me say often how fortunate I was to grow up with three older brothers, but when it comes to my exposure to awesome stuff as I was growing up, there's no denying it. Games were a real big part of all of that. It was my brothers and their friends who brought home Final Fantasy 1. It was my brothers who introduced me to Mike Pondsmith's Cyberpunk and my older brother's friend who first showed me the glory of F-Zero on SNES. And it was the second oldest of my bros who bought and carelessly left out Master of Magic where I could steal it and lose myself in its deep wells of badassery. 

If you're not familiar with Master of Magic (MoM), it is one of the seminal works of the 4X gaming genre. 4X stands for the four X's of eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate, and it is essentially these four activities that make up the whole of the genre's gameplay. 

The 4X genre has withered away into a husk of it's former robust, mighty form. It is comprised of but a few recent titles, but luckily Wastelands Interactive is hard at work on a spiritual successor to MoM, Worlds of Magic. If you look at the features they're working hard to include, at the way they involve the dedicated fan base of the original in their development, at the way their game is almost flawlessly faithful to Master of Magic, it is clear that it is a game made for fans by fans. 

Unless it can't get greenlit because YOU wouldn't vote YES for it on Steam! Yeah, that's right I'm blaming YOU specifically for something that hasn't yet and might not even happen. All right not really, but this game will be seriously excellent if Wastelands Interactive can get the support they need to get the thing out. There is already a demo available and while it is clearly still in development, it is equally apparent that the developers are going in the right direction.

Basically the point is that I want to play this game really badly and I need you help to get this game onto my hard drive. C'mon, be bro. Err, a bro, not my bro. I"m not asking you to buy this so I can steal it off your desk. Just try the free demo and click yes that you'll buy it =)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

List-building: 1500 AspectDar

When I first got into Eldar it was the synergy required of aspect warriors, each operating at maximum efficiency and in perfect harmony, that had me falling in love with the flavor of the army. My first taste of Eldar gameplay was in Dawn of War and I found immediately that depending on the match up, my units either slayed or were slain. The steep learning curve and fierce tactical demands were exhilarating. When I first tried it with models I had a little success, and then far less as my opponent got used to my army. I found that in the face of sheer optimization and efficiency, our masterful warriors were just too pricey and not quite good enough to justify it. Well now we have a new book and have seen a lot of improvements for certain aspects--luckily they were the ones I already own and enjoy, so I have gone back to enjoying the Eldar play style that I think most embodies the harmony and calibration that drew me to the army in the first place. This list focuses on synergy, board control, overlapping target priority, and deceptive deployment:

--Farseer - Singing Spear 105

--8 Dire Avengers 249
  Wave Serpent - TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit stones
--10 Guardians with Bright Lance 110
--5 Rangers 60
--5 Rangers 60
--10 Striking Scorpions - Exarch w/ Scorpion's Claw and Crushing Blow 220
--9 Fire Dragons 343
  Wave Serpent - TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit stones

Fast Attack
5 Warp Spiders - 95
5 Warp Spiders - 95
5 Shining Spears - Exarch w/ Hit & Run and Star Lance 160

12 Kill Points, 4 Scoring Units and 1497 Total Points

It's not what I'm used to these days. It isn't especially heavy on the long-ranged firepower and doesn't have any dedicated anti-air. In lists I make, I generally try to have a couple of ways to deal with every threat in the game while keeping my units' movement speed roughly the same. 

Well this list has a huge variety of weapon ranges and movement speeds. Playing it means deploying smart. You have to make good use of infiltration on the Rangers and Scorpions. Using reserves with Spiders deep striking and Spears outflanking can cripple crucial enemy units mid-late game. The slow/immobile units are best used to hold back-field objectives and depending on the enemy's ability to close in on them they should be supported accordingly. Objectives can be used to split up the enemy force and then you can apply pressure with the right units.

Being a hybrid force, this army could easily get separated into small battle groups that would be easily destroyed. The key to playing it is to evaluate the opponent's ability to do that and not to overextend your units. None of the units are meant to suicide into the enemy, least of all the Fire Dragons who have a reputation for that kind of thing. With their new armor and a Farseer backing them up, they should delay their attack until absolutely necessary and deliver a crucial blow at a vital moment. They're too pricey and have great survivability with their new armor; they are wasted when thrown away on a single target. The Spiders and Spears can easily find themselves outnumbered in the enemy backfield and that is something that must be avoided as well.

I think this list has a solid chance against many opposing forces. It's far from a power build, but I have had some success with it already and find it to be a lot more strategically demanding (and rewarding) than my mech lists.

What are your thoughts? What style of Eldar do you prefer? How do you feel about playing aspect-heavy with the new book?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Steam Sales Oct 3-7

Just a quick post about this week's Steam sales. Though I (probably) won't be getting Borderlands 2 because I'm completely addicted to War of the Roses right now, it's 66% off. But even better than that is that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is 75% off!

I've been playing XCOM since I was a little kid. I even played the original only about a year before the new one came out. Enemy Unknown is not only a great XCOM game, but if they'd finally release the source code for modding it would make an incredible template for any turn-based, skirmish system. I dreamed of a 40k mod almost constantly throughout my 100 hours of blissful gameplay. If you like games that are old-school hard, and if you want to really challenge your tactical thinking get this while it's cheap! Then after you've finished the awesome campaign mode, hit the multi-player assuming there are still people playing. It gets so incredibly intense. Seriously, the suspense and atmosphere created by the fog of war is nerve-wracking at times.

Just some notable video game news you might not have noticed if you don't log into Steam regularly. On another note, you may find me posting about War of the Roses sometime soon. I got into that game pretty late, but I'm stunned by how excellent it is.