Thursday, June 16, 2011

Warhammer 40K 6th Edition: Part 2

Last time, I talked about some changes I'd like to see in the next edition of 40K. These aren't rumors or anything like that, this is me flexing my Game Designer muscles and just talking about the current state of 40K and what I'd like to see change in the next edition. In part 2 of this series, I'm going to focus on vehicles and how they factor into gameplay. Here are the changes I would like to see made in no particular order.

1. Mech is too good. In 4th Edition, transports were too weak. In the current edition the pendulum has swung to the other side and mech is king. We got some good stuff with 5th Edition like troops that assault a vehicle use the rear armor value. Also the unified damage chart is much better. I'm not entirely sure what the answer is to this. Is it as simple as a glance is only a -1 on the chart? Eh, that's too crazy.

Maybe we just need additional modifiers on the chart. If a vehicle is Stunned or Immobilized you gain a +1 bonus on the damage chart because the vehicle is basically a sitting duck. I like that a lot better. Of course if you happen to be sitting in an immobilized Rhino and someone hits you with a meltagun at close range you're in for a world of hurt. Vehicles do need to be weaker and there is nothing more annoying than rolling 4 or 5 Shaken results against the same vehicle.

Another issue I have is blowing up transports doesn't usually have much of an affect on the passengers unless they are rocking a poor armor save. I'd like to see Destroyed – Explodes results cause Strength 4 wounds on embarked troops and cause a pinning test like they do today, but they should also be upgraded to rending. This represents the poor SoBs who couldn't get out in time and gives Terminators something to be afraid of if someone pops a Land Raider.

The other thing I would like to see are vehicles scattering when they are blown up. We had this in 4th Edition and I'd like to see it make a comeback. Nothing is weirder than when my Stormraven comes crashing down and it dies on the same spot. I like how Ork Trukks can go flying out of the way, let's do the same thing with all vehicles that asplode.

2. Fix tank shock. The concept of tank shock is really cool. I take my cool bad ass tank and I run over the enemy and crush them beneath my treads. In the game, it's kinda dumb because you can never really kill anyone. There must be a lot of really annoyed tank drivers in the 40K universe.

  "We have Tyranids closing in on us sir," the corporeal reported. "What should we do?"
  "Run them down!" The Chimera kicked up the earth as it sped toward the incoming throng of hormagaunts.
  "By the Golden Throne! Corporeal, how could you possibly miss all of them? They're everywhere!"

The designers probably didn't want people trying to run over infantry the entire game and I understand that, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. With this one, I'm not so sure what the fix is. Maybe everything works like it does today, but tanks also inflict d3 Strength 5 hits against the unit. If the vehicle is fast, it inflicts d6 Strength 4 hits to represent the difficulty of getting out of the way. To avoid abuse, maybe you have to move a set distance that turn or you could only fire defensive weapons at the unit you tank shocked. That makes it a desperation move like it should be.

3. Make embark/disembark a separate action. This is a great point from dzer0 who commented on my first 6th Edition post. I'm really surprised I didn't think of this, because I always struggle with this. How many times do you disembark and you are stuck trying to figure out how to either move your vehicle or your troops because you have to do all of the movement at once?

He had a great idea. Make disembark/embark it's own action. Now I can disembark my troops, move my Razorback out of the way and then move my Assault Squad. Better yet, I can move my troops forward, drive another transport across the battlefield and have my troops hop in during the same phase. I wouldn't have to worry about positioning everything perfectly beforehand. This would also allow for better screening tactics with your transports and give players more flexibility when moving across the battlefield.

4. Rules for flyers. I of course would like to see rules for flyers since they seem to be the rage ever since the Valkyrie was released. Now we have the Stormraven, Razorwing Jetfighter, and the Venom. I think this is a sure bet just like the new edition of the game will still involve the rolling of dice. I wouldn't be surprised if Supersonic wasn't Games Workshop playtesting rules for flyers from the new edition.

That's it for today. I promise, my next post will be about the hobby and I'll either show some new scenery or miniatures I'm working on.

Till then,
–The Harrower

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I have a lot of models laying around the house and my wife has been bugging me to get rid of some stuff so I started a bunch of auctions up on eBay. A lot of these are models I meant to put together, but I never did. You can see all of my current auctions here. If you're leery about purchasing on eBay at all, rest assured I have a 100% feedback rating and I'll do combined shipping if you win multiple auctions. Here are some highlighted items:

  1. Warhammer 40K Forge World Dreadnought Chaplain– This bad boy is brand new. Never got around to putting him together and with the new plastic Furioso kit, I figure I never will. Comes with 2 close combat arms and a twin-linked multi-melta.
  2. Space Marine Land Speeder Tornado– This is the old box with the metal bitz. This is something I found when I was cleaning (I have so much crap, I always find hidden stuff). Right now it has no bids and is starting at $0.99. Can't beat that...
  3. 25th Anniversary Emperor's Champion– I always liked the Black Templars, but the Blood Angels were always my favorite. This is another miniature I'll never get around to painting. I like this one better than the current Emperor's Champion. This one is long out of print. Get him before he's gone!
  4. Blood Angels Sculpted Shoulder Pads– This auction is for over 50 (I think I counted 60), Blood Angels shoulder pads. I really do like these, but unlike Tenacious D, I don't think the metal will live on. I'd rather plastic so I'm letting these go. On Games Workshop's site, these would cost you over $45. Right now, they are $0.99.
  5. Blood Angels Sergeants– I think these were the first Blood Angels marines I purchased. Sad that I never put them together. These are the pewter miniatures that are long out of print. Also includes 4 pewter Death Company. Right now, the auction is at $0.99.
  6. 40K Limited Edition White Dwarf in Space– Not sure why I got this. I hate dwarves and I hate squats even more. There was something about it that I thought was cool. Anyway, this came as the limited miniature with a White Dwarf subscription and you can't get him anymore. Would make a cool character for a squat army. This miniature is still in the shrink wrap.
  7. Legion of the Damned Squad– I got this boxed set as a present for my birthday. I really love the look of these guys, but I'll never use them. The auction comes with everything except the Sergeant (he's my Reclusiarch). It also includes the Sergeant's back banner if you want to make your own.
  8. Thaindon Elf-Lord of Caledor riding Kargos the Despoiler– Man is this miniature old. It was sculpted by Aly and Trish Morrison almost 20 years ago. If you are a collector, this miniature is for you. It has all the pieces and harkens back to the early days of the miniature craft. That and it's EXTREMELY rare. $0.99 to bring Thaindon and Kargos home with you.

I have a lot of other auctions up on eBay like regiment bases, movement trays, combi-weapons, plastic jungle trees, and some other metal miniatures. If you have any questions, drop a comment below or send an email to theharrower[at]dedard[dot]com.

Till next time,
–The Harrower

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tournament Aftermath

Solidsnizzle invoking
the Gods of Chaos.

Last Saturday was the 40K Tournament at Adventure Games in Dixon City, PA. Turns out that Jawaballs and Fritz didn't show, but there was a good turn out nonetheless. I didn't want to do my Blood Angels a disservice and play my first tournament with only a primed army, so I decided not to play.

Solidsnizzle (another member of DED 'ARD) ended up playing as the ringer in the Tournament and was loaned the use of Farseer Frank's Chaos Army. Solidsnizzle ended up ahead of the entire field at the end of round 2 and just needed a victory to win the whole Tournament. In a surprising turn of events, he ended up playing Farseer Frank and was thwarted by his Eldar in the 3rd and final round.

I wanted to scream at times watching Solidsnizzle's games because he missed a lot of key assaults, but for someone that has been playing 40K for less than a year and was using an army he never played before (he's only played Imperial Guard), he did really well and I was very impressed.

Farseer Frank preparing to
command his smug Eldar
The Tournament victory didn't stay in the DED 'ARD family unfortunately, but was won by Jim Benson who had a really well painted Sisters of Battle Army. He seemed like a really nice guy and played some solid games from what I saw, so kudos to him on winning an extremely close tournament. Next time, maybe DED 'ARD we'll be able to bring the trophy home. All in all, it was a great first tournament at Adventure Games with a good turn out and hopefully they'll be a lot more tournaments in the future.

The next tournament at Adventure Games will be on July 24th and will be a Two Headed Giant Tournament featuring 2 vs. 2 games at 2,000 points. I'm really mad I didn't play in this tournament, so there is no way I'm missing the next one. Expect to see a lot of painting posts in the coming weeks as my Blood Angels get ready for the coming battle.

Here's some more pictures I took throughout the day. Once I have the proper DED'ARD website completed at, we'll be able to have real photo galleries and I'll be able to post a lot more pics.


Next time I'll talk a bit about my new commission service and I'll be doing some spring cleaning and posting a bunch of eBay auctions. Watch this space for some sweet deals.

Till then,

–The Harrower

Saturday, June 4, 2011's Open Letter

I find myself agreeing with a lot of what is being said here, so I'm just spreading the word:

I love 40K, but every now and then, I begin to feel like a battered spouse with a black eye, and GW is promising they'll never do it again...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Specialize vs Generalize: What's your approach?

Recently I've seen a flux of small point value lists (I consider 1500 small for reference) and I've been taking particular note in how some people like to run/equip their various units. For example, a common build I've been seeing a lot recently for tactical marines is a missile launcher and a flamer. Delving deeper, the common reason is "well, it can shoot a tank and toast a horde of orks!" And this build pattern repeats itself in the army where they'll have 3-4 squads each with an anti-infantry and an anti-tank weapon. As a matter of fact, I think the Assault on Black Reach marines come built like that. But, is it the right move?

I can understand wanting to have that old boy scouts motto of being prepared be applicable to everything you have, but shouldn't that be something you have applied to your army in general? Not the individual units? I'm a big fan of specialization, and I will admit that the habit does stem from playing a specialist army (Eldar), but that doesn't mean to say that the same mistakes can't be made. For example, the community recognizes Dire Avengers as being one of the best shooty infantry units in the game, but the Exarch has melee build options. Why? Well, first off, it's a hold over from 3rd and 4th, back when mech was something noobs did. Second, I think a lot of people perceive putting a power weapon in the hands of one model makes it a viable assault unit. In reality, I'm just going to laugh off any Eldar assault lead by a power weapon toting exarch. S3 + T3 + power weapon x= assault unit. Or even a unit that is capable of handling whatever situation is thrown at it. Honestly, I almost feel like the Dire Avengers having any assault options is a misleading joke that GW just throws in there, and I don't understand why people fall for it. As I always say, to succeed with the Eldar, use their units for what they're designed to do.

If you can find a double use for a single build though, well, now you're thinking ~_^. For example, Fire Dragons are excellent tank hunters, but their S8 AP1 weapons also happen to be good at roasting Tyranid monstrous creatures, and War Walkers with a scatter laser build not only make hordes run in fear, but 24 S6 shots outflanking makes almost any tank quiver in its treads. Dual purpose builds rock and should always be taken advantage of.

Anywho, back to marines. So let's say Jimmy wants to run four tactical squads, and wants to make sure he has good tank hunting and a horde contingency available. He decides to go the way of the Salamander and use meltaguns and flamers, but how should he equip the units? Following an emerging trend, he would put one multi-melta and one flamer in each squad. But here's the rub for me. Jimmy may think he's covered, but what if he was a monstrous creature and a horde of gaunts in front of him? A flamer is worthless versus an MC and the squad of gaunts will just laugh off a single melta shot. And here's the kicker, let's say it's critical that he needs to take down the MC. Jimmy may end up firing all four squads at the MC just to get the melta shots in, and everything else, from bolter shots to flamers just go to waste, and now the guant squad can swarm him. How do you remedy this? By combining your special weapons together.

Plague marines are fantastic at this. I dedicate each squad to either flamers or melta guns, and then on top of that, I'll give each champion a combi-weapon to match. So, if I were to use the same scenario, I can bury 6 melta shots in to the MC and 6 flamers in to the gaunts, which is much more efficient.