Sunday, 26 March 2017

Second 40k Starter Event Report

I'm typing this up during the event, so it's probably going to be a little disjointed.

We had 10 players again, so maximum turn out. Some different players and some players playing different armies. Only one repetition, and both of those are different styles.
  • Khorne Daemonkin, mono-daemons with Flesh Hounds, Bloodletters and a Skullcannon
  • Blood Angels infantry, with Terminator support
  • Blood Angels, 4 Dreadnoughts with some infantry support
  • Sisters of Battle, with Saint Celestine and 2 Exorcists
  • Tzeentch Daemons, Flamers galore
  • Skitarii, Rangers and a Dunecrawler
  • World Eaters, Berzerkers and Raptors
  • Raven Guard, Shrike leading Assault Marines, Scouts and Sternguard
  • Crimson Slaughter with a Vindicator
  • Saim-Hann Elder, with Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent.
As I type this, round one is coming near to an end. Everyone is playing the mission, no-one has come here just to try and table people. It's part of the intent of the event. I've limited the guest list to ensure a good atmosphere. Some players aren't great at facing newer players and that rapidly turns things toxic. That then leads to players not wanting to return to future events or even losing interest in the game. Definitely something I want to avoid.

Second round has led to an interesting match up. The Blood Angels players are facing off, with the more experienced one giving advice to the newer player. The latter played Harlequins last time and recently obtained the Blood Angels army. I'm hoping that he gets some good advice.

I'm considering asking at the end if any of the players want me to feature their army on the blog. It'll be interesting to hear the whys behind some of the builds and their intended tactics, alongside how they felt the games went.

Via summoning, the Tzeentch army managed to practically table the World Eaters. Far too many Flamer templates and not enough successful saves.

Final round I was unable to get pictures because a player dropped. This meant I got to play a match! I'll talk about the list I'm trialling in a future post. I won on behalf of the player that went, but as is my custom the player I beat got the win as if he faced the bye.

Everyone seemed happy with the event, the winner played the Tzeentch Daemon list, facing off against the Sisters of Battle in the final round. I've sent out the same questionnaire as last time, and nearly had a full set of responses already. I'm really enjoying running these, and I'm looking forward to the next one where we pump up the points, lift some restrictions and move onto Maelstrom missions,

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Second 40K Starter Event

I'm currently prepping for this weekend's event. I thought I'd share the battlefield with you all. The more observant among readers will be able to plan their tactics based on this, but that's the advantage of recon ;)

The Red Cross is The Relic. The key objective for the mission. As per the mission rules, it starts in the dead centre of the field. Players will be fighting to capture and control this, moving it away from their opponent as needed.

The Black Rectangles are the Deployment Zones. Not much to say here, the Players set up their armies in these, one in the top, one in the bottom. Units with Scout will shoot forward from these. Units with Infiltrate will want to deploy outside of these. Units with Outflank will come on from the sides.

The Blue Shapes are Line of Sight Blocking Terrain. These serve to break up the lines of fire and give models/units places to hide. If you can be partially seen past these, they will be worth a 3+ Cover Save.

The Grey Ovals are Area Terrain. The features of these will block some lines of sight, but mostly will grant cover to models in their marked area. They will gain a 5+ Cover Save.

The Grey Rectangles are Ruins. This offer vantage points for shooting units, as well as cover to models behind their walls. They will have a 4+ Cover Save.

This will be the set up on Sunday, and after players have tried it out may well be the set up for the next few events. Looking at upping the points and removing some of the restrictions for April's event.

Next time; A summary of the Event itself.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Triumvirate Death Match

In lieu of more serious content this week, I thought I would try and battle the various Triumvirates against each other. One-on-One matches in their weight class, short summaries, 14" x 24" battlefields with no terrain, opponents setting up in opposite corners. Let's get it on.....

Cruiser weight

This class will be Inquisitor Greyfax, The Visarch and Cypher.

Round One

Inquisitor Greyfax vs The Visarch

Greyfax wins the first move. She has generated Mental Fortitude and Dominate this round, The Visarch has generated the Master of Death Warlord trait.
Due to the sizes of their bases, both Greyfax's Condemnor-Boltgun and Dominate are already in range, so she opts not to close the gap with such a deadly close combatant. Generating 2 Warp Charges, she uses 3 dice on Dominate and succeeds, The Visarch fails to Deny and then loses a wound to the Boltgun.
The Visarch moves in, passing his Leadership test to run, but only running 1" (I forgot Fleet at this point).
For Greyfax, Dominate is once again successful, but this time The Visarch makes his armour save.
The Visarch passes his test to charge, loses a wound to Overwatch but uses fleet to succeed in his charge. He only scores 2 hits, but gets the 6 to wound he needs for Instant Death.

Winner - The Visarch

Round Two

Inquisitor Greyfax vs Cypher

Greyfax wins the first move again, generating Terrify and Shrouding this time. Moving just enough to get into range, she successfully casts Shrouding, which isn't denied, and Terrify. Cypher succeeds in his Leadership test though. Her boltgun fails to wound.
Cypher moves up, and as both his pistols are out of range, he opts to run then shoot. This gets the bolt pistol into range, but Greyfax makes her save.
Greyfax casts Terrify but fails the Shrouding. Her boltgun bounces off his armour.
Cypher moves up and fires both pistols twice. The bolt pistol shots fail to get through Greyfax's armour, however despite managing to miss with one plasma shot (BS10!) other one gets through and Greyfax's lack of Eternal Warrior lets her down.

Winner - Cypher

Round Three

Cypher vs The Visarch.

The Visarch wins first move, generating the Ruthless Commander Warlord trait.
His turn is simple, close the gap. He runs 5" and ends his turn.
Cypher moves up since he wants the bonus attack for charging, and The Visarch can't Overwatch. Shooting his pistols twice, the bolts take one wound and the plasmas take the other two.

Winner - Cypher

This group was decided by the woeful lack of Invulnerable saves the characters have and Greyfax not having Eternal Warrior. This guys are universally fragile and Cypher's Plasma and The Visarch's sword are both AP2.

Overall Winner - Cypher


This class was difficult. While it obviously contains Yvraine and Grand Master Voldus, there are 2 options of equal points in the other group. I rolled off and Saint Celestine joined the fight.

Round One

Saint Celestine vs Yvraine

Yvraine wins first turn and generates Spirit Hook, Word of the Phoenix and Ancestor's Grace.
She moves up, and fails to cast anything. She runs closer as she needs to assault.
The Saint walks up, wanting to use her Jump Pack to charge. but between the Geminae's pistols and her flamer, Yvraine is slain.

Winner - Saint Celestine

Round Two

Saint Celestine vs Grand Master Voldus.

The Saint is going first. Voldus generates Banishment, Gate of Infinity, Hammerhand, Sanctuary and Cleansing Flame.
Leaping forward so they need an 11" charge, the girls open up.  The flamer is out of range, the bolt pistols do nothing but the Emperor's Vengeance hits. Voldus fails his 2+ armour save and lack of Eternal Warrior claims another soul.

Winner - Saint Celestine

Round Three

Grand Master Voldus vs Yvraine

Voldus is clearly a gentleman, as Yvraine is going first. She generates Spirit Hook, Shield of Ynnead and Storm of Whispers. He generates Banishment, Sanctuary, Purge Soul, Cleansing Flame and Vortex of Doom.
Dashing forward, Yvraine casts Spirit Hook but it is denied.
Voldus, seeing no reason to not, moves up. Sanctuary succeeds, but Cleansing Flame is denied. His storm bolter takes a wound and then he makes his charge in. His armour absorbs all Yvraines hits, which is lucky as she causes Instant Death. His Hammer causes a wound back (at least someone is Eternal Warrior) and the combat continues.
None of Yvraine's powers are useful, so it's straight to combat. She hits 4 times, wounds 1 time and it is saved. Voldus hits 2 times, wounds 2 times and Yvraine fails 1 save, dropping her to her last wound. She passes her Leadership test and combat continues.
Voldus is in the same position power-wise so it;s straight to Yvraine's attacks. She hits 3 times, wounds 2 times and Voldus' Terminator armour fails him again making him fall to his own lack of Eternal Warrior.

Winner - Yvraine

When character's like this clash, it often comes down to endurance. Voldus has decent armour, but the other characters were able to make him pay for his lack of Eternal Warrior. Meanwhile, Yvraine couldn't handle the amount of hits the Saint can get off.

 Overall Winner - Saint Celestine


Two of these are Lords of War, so this is going to get interesting. Belisarius Cawl, The Yncarne and Roboute Guilliman.

Round One

Belisarius Cawl vs The Yncarne

The Avatar is going first and generates Spirit Hook, Storm of Whispers, Ancestor's Grace and Gaze of Ynnead.
The Avatar moves up and fails to cast anything. It runs up and passes the turn.
Cawl marches up and starts with some shooting. The Solar Atomiser takes 3 wounds and Cawl charges in to try and finish the Daemon off. The Mechadendrite Hive does nothing so the Avatar gets to strike. It only manages to do one wound through the Feel No Pain. Cawl's attacks bring it down.

Winner - Belisarius Cawl

Round Two

Belisarius Cawl vs Roboute Guilliman

Robby G is going first, with no Psychic Powers in this fight.
Striding forward, Robby G shoots 1 wounds off Cawl.
Cawl regains his lost wounds, moves up and his shooting bounces off the Armour of Fate. Cawl takes no damage from Overwatch and reaches combat, his Hive bouncing off as well. Robby gets 3 hits (no D) and can't beat the re-rollable Feel No Pain. Cawl's Axe also bounces off. This could take a while.
Straight to Robby's combat, the Hive doing nothing again. Robby gets 5 hits, one of which gets through Feel No Pain. Another is D, and does 3 wounds! Cawl still can't beat the armour. Cawl passes his Leadership test (just) and it moves to his turn.
Cawl regains 3 wounds, plus another from Harmony of Metallurgy. The Hive continues to do nothing. Robby is clearly pissed, as he misses with one attack, and gets four 6s. The regular hit bounces off the Refractor Field. One of the D hits fails to do anything. The rest are "regular" hit and Cawl fails his saves taking 9 wounds that ignore Feel No Pain!

Winner - Roboute Guilliman

Round Three

Roboute Guilliman vs The Yncarne

Robby wins the roll for first turn (possibly shouldn't be using Ultramarine dice). The Yncarne generates Spirit Hook, Storm of Whispers, Ancestor's Grace and Unbind Souls.
Strutting forward, Robby opens fire and take 1 wound off the Avatar.
The Avatar moves up and loses a wound to Perils while casting Storm of Whispers, only to then have the power denied. Ancestor's Grace is failed. The Avatar charges and loses a wound to Overwatch, then fails the charge despite Fleet.
Robby moves up and his shooting takes another wound off the Avatar, putting it to it's last wound. It attacks first and bounces off. Robby and gets mostly 3s. Two attacks hit though, and get through to finish the Yncarne off.

Winner - Robute Guilliman

Robby G is a beast, and also the most expensive of the three. Cawl is hard to put down, but the D removes most of his survivability. The Yncarne needs other Aeldari around it to get wounds back, so struggles when solo.

Overall Winner - Roboute Guilliman

This was a fun little experiment. Obviously to really test them, you'd want to run several fights for each match up. You'd also want to look at expanding them to include support units as some of the models are meant to be army centrepieces, not solo warriors. That would take a lot of time and space, an actual living opponent and be less fun! I am looking at using some of these characters in future games though, most notably the Triumvirate of Ynnead. It's going to be intriguing as the game moves into 8th Edition, since the plot has Chaos on the rise, but with glimmers of hope for the good guys. The Grim Darkness of the 41st Millennium is heading into Interesting Times.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Hive of Fun and Silliny

Just a quick post about the blog. I'm trying to get a post done each week, as an outlet for my thoughts and ideas on gaming. I'm getting people mention that they have read posts, which is great. And the links are attracting likes on Facebook and Twitter.

What I would like though, is for feedback via the comments section. So that others can see the feedback I'm getting and venture their own opinions. Though I may talk in a way that suggests otherwise, I can be wrong on things. Debating them helps us all see more points of view, and I feel that is best done on the blog rather than in one on one conversations.

Likewise, if there is something you want me to talk about, comment on a post. Sam Griffiths has already asked for a post about Deployment in 40K, which I'm going to look at talking about. Anything else would help me keep the content going, while also posting stuff that people are interested in.

TL:DR I would like feedback/requests in the form of comments on my posts :)

Ours is the Fury!

Recently, we had a Store Championships for the Game of Thrones card game. Because I did quite well (went undefeated), and because the blog is rapidly filling up with 40K related posts, I thought I would talk a little about my deck.

House - 

Agenda - 

Plots - 
Summons x 2
The King's Peace x 1
A Feast for Crows x 1
A Clash of Kings x 1
Filthy Accusations x 1
Summer Harvest x 1

Characters - 
*Robert Baratheon x 3
*Ser Barristan Selmy x 2
*Stannis Baratheon x 3
*Melisandre x 3
*Ser Davos Seaworth x 3
*Selyse Baratheon x 3
Asshai Priestess x 3
Fiery Followers x 3
*Edric Storm x 3
*Shireen Baratheon x 1
Vanguard Lancer x 3

Attachments - 
Stinking Drunk x 3
*Lightbringer x 3
Red God's Blessing x 3
*Ruby of R'hllor x 3

Locations - 
Dragonstone Port x 2
*Chamber of the Painted Table x 2
*Tobho Mott's Armory x 2

Events - 
Consolidation of Power x 3
Seen in the Flames x 3
Even Handed Justice x 3
Ritual of R'hllor x 3

I have a deck built for each House for a Melee Cube, so none of the decks have Neutral cards and they currently all use the Fealty Agenda. As time goes one, each House may get it's own Agenda and Neutral cards may be used, but currently I'm not playing the Cube often enough to make changes like that yet.

Essentially, the deck uses Melisandre and a suit of R'hllor cards to kneel opposing characters, plus help from effects like Stinking Drunk. Then it relies on either repeating those effects or Stannis to keep those characters knelt. I then attempt to win a few challenges while actually winning the Dominance Phase.

Mel kneels an opposing character whenever a R'hllor card is marshaled or played. Including her when first marshaled, but not including any Dupes, there are 23 cards in the deck with the trait. There are also 14 other cards that kneel opposing characters. This allows for a lot of board control, and meant that an opposing Mountain stayed knelt for practically a whole game at one point.

Stannis the Mannis turns all the kneeling into a soft lock. While he is in play, each player cannot stand more then 2 characters in the standing phase. While that seems symmetrical, my deck is more often than not kneeling their characters with no benefit to them. Give Stannis Lightbringer, and suddenly he stands every time he gains power. Give him Red God's Blessing and he has the strength to win challenges and gain power from Lightbringer's Renown and therefore stand himself. That's one less character to worry about standing. This allows him to win challenges the next turn and keep it going. The two Summons in the Plot Deck are there to find him and Melisandre as quickly as possible.

Bobby B, the only King I respect. Intimidate and Renown are great keywords. And then he gets +1 strength for each other kneeling character. Kneel before your King! That can lead to him being hard to stop in a challenge, especially as you should have knelt their strongest/most threatening characters. Spoiler alert - I failed to draw/marshal him during the event.

The Onion Knight. When the opponent has so few defenders, the Stealth on him is amazing. His ability to dodge death is great too. I can even use Selyse to give him an Intrigue icon. He is the man you want when you want to make a small winning challenge.

Combo - Ruby of R'hllor and Seen in Flames. I never managed to pull this combo off, but as both cards have the R'hllor trait for Melisandre, I'm not that annoyed. Seen in Flames essentially acts like Thoughtseize in Magic the Gathering. I look at your hand and choose a card for you to discard. It being a Challenges Action means I can use it to stop any combat surprises, or after you have drawn cards from effects like Insight. Then (in theory) the Ruby works like Cabal Therapy. If I win an Intrigue challenge with the attached character, I can name a card and the losing opponent reveals their hand and discards each card with that name. Choosing correctly is made easier when I have seen their hand through the first card. Especially in subsequent turns where they may not have been able to play all the cards I've seen. Also, each use shows me their hand to keep my information up to date.

Finally, the Dominance Package. A Feast for Crows gives me 2 extra power when I win Dominance, which can often end the game. Painted Table can be knelt when I win Dominance to steal a power from the opponent. Mott's Armory draws me a card when I win Dominance.
Winning Dominance can be easy, as my opponent's characters should be knelt and therefore not contribute their strength. Fiery Followers stand themselves during the Dominance phase to contribute extra power and Edric Storm lets me stop an opposing character from contributing strength should they manage to stand someone.
Ritual of R'hllor is the icing on the cake. When I win Dominance, it lets me turn leftover gold into power on R'hllor characters, to increase my overall power gain. Then, because it has the R'hllor trait, Melisandre can kneel someone. It can either be played early for an extra kneel trigger, or late to finish the game.

That's the deck I've built for my favourite house. It's a control/prison style deck that wins through inevitability, but can also gain a chunk of power quite quickly. It did better than I expected, as it is made for Melee and the format was Joust. I suppose attempting to build a deck that can lock down multiple opponents makes it good at focusing on one opponent. I won the event, but passed down the Bye at Regionals as I don't intend on going while the players that came to the event will do.

Aeldari Nation - One People under Ynnead

The pantheon of Avatars for the Eldar has expanded. We had Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody-handed God of War

Since 2nd Edition 40K, we've had rules and a model for this guy. He's had his ups and downs but I've always liked the guy. In 7th Edition, the Eldar following him have Battle Focus. This is a great rule, allowing models to move then shoot or shoot then move.
The Dark Eldar have Power from Pain, a rule that allows them to gain specific special rules the longer the game goes on.
The Harlequins don't get anything special, possibly because Cegorach, the Laughing God hates them.

The Gathering Storm 2; Fracture of Biel-Tan awakens a new god. Ynnead, the God of the Dead

And it's Avatar, the Yncarne. The model is fantastic and has a host of rules and abilities.
Devotion to it loses your army both Battle Focus and Power from Pain. The Harlequins lose nothing, possibly because Cegorach loves them. You gain the ability to take units from all three armies in the same Detachment.

The big thing though, is Strength from Death. This rule allows you to trigger move, shoot or assault when a unit (friend or foe) dies. For a proper review of this, check out this post by Variance Hammer (and check out his blog in general)

This post is my opinion and ideas on how to make this all work on the table. I will cover each of the things in order of least-to-most importance.

The Background

The fluff in this book is amazing. The story is fantastic and there is so much going on. It certainly feels like an epic journey. I won't give any spoilers to the major events, but one of my favourite moments is a huge battle in the Webway where all the Phoenix Lords turn up. There is a bit where Maugan-Ra is causing quite a death toll and a Lord of Change swoops down to stop him. At the last moment, Karandras appears leaping out of the ground to intercept and kill the Lord of Change before it's talons can connect.

Between this, the Fall of Cadia and Rise of the Primarch, the books have been worth it for the story alone.

Artefacts of the Ynnari

Like most Relic lists, I give these a glance but rarely consider them when army building. Relics are often expensive for what they do. Three on this list stand out to me though.

Corag Hai's Locket - A cheapish way of getting wounds back, might be good on a Succubus, Harlequin or even a close combat Autarch.

Hungering Blade - A nice idea, but only triggers if you kill other Aeldari with it. Might be best seen as a Fleshbane weapon and ignore the rest of the text.

Song of Ynnead - It's a Shuriken-Splinter pistol that lets you pretend to be a Death Jester. That combination or rules is pretty kewl, even if it's probably not worth taking 18" range though.....

The Characters

Firstly, we have Yvraine. She is dangerous in close combat, especially with her Instant Death sword. She's also a decent Psyker, with the potential to gain extra Levels and Powers. She is 200 points though. I don't think she is as good a Psyker as Eldrad. She is a much better close combatant though, especially with Eternal Warrior. Her ability to gain Powers relies on Aeldari psykers near her dying, so maybe you want to put her in a Warlock Conclave. That seems weak though. I'm yet to try her out as her points cost is really off-putting. Her D3 extra Warp Charges is okay though, as is her Warlord Trait, 14" range on Soulburst. I'll make a point of giving her a go soon, though I actually have low expectations.

Secondly, The Visarch. I have actually tried him in a couple of games, as a HQ alongside some Harlequins. I never managed to roll high enough to get wounds back, so he fell over pretty quickly. However he is the cheapest of the three and great in combat. His weapon is S5 and AP2, with 4 attacks and WS7. That plus Rampage makes him nasty in combat, just don't expect him to survive. His ability to generate a Warlord Trait alongside not being your Warlord is pretty good too. I feel happier taking him and expecting him to die than I am taking Yvraine in the same role.

Lastly, we have The Yncarne. This is an interesting piece. It has the ability to teleport near to units that have just died, which when done carefully will either have it always be where you need it or frustratingly out of your opponents ability to focus on dealing with it. It gains wounds back easier than the other 2, and grants Feel No Pain to itself and others within 12" and it's attacks have Fleshbane and Armourbane. 6 Attacks at AP2 and these two rules will tear through a lot of things on the battlefield, allowing for more Soulburst. It's easy to make comparisons to the other Avatar, as well as the Wraithknight, but they are all units that do different jobs. This one is even a level 3 Psyker. I'm looking forward to the chance to try this one out.

All three of them are fantastic models as well.

Warlord Traits

You have little control over your Warlord Trait, though some Detachments give you a re-roll. So it's hard to put too much stock in these. The Visarch can take one even when he isn't your Warlord though, so that can allow you a second chance at getting one that suits your force. Warden of Forgotten Wisdom stands out as the best one though, as on a Farseer it will allow you to pick and choose your preferred Psychic powers from Telepathy, Runes of Fate, Sanctic and the new Revenant Disciplines. If you pull this off, that will lead to some nasty combos. It even forces you to re-roll it if you aren't a Psyker.

Revenant Discipline

All of these powers are great. This is the default chart for Yvraine and The Yncarne. It's really hard to decide if this is better than Runes of Fate. It's probably best to leave that for Farseers and have Shadowseers roll on this chart. Unless your Farseer is a Warlord with Warden of Forgotten Wisdom. Then you pick and choose, probably also taking Invisibility from Telepathy.

Spirit Hook - The Primaris. As a Focused Witchfire, this allows you to snipe out special and heavy weapons from squads, especially as most of the time you will have a higher Leadership.

Shield of Ynnead - short range but a 6+ Invul for units in it's area of effect. Useful for your last couple of Warp Charges, or as your first attempted power if you think your opponent may waste dice trying to Deny it.

Storm of Whispers - A Nova that's AP2, Ignores Cover and 2D6 hits? The low strength is the only thing stopping this being too powerful, as it only costs 1 Warp Charge.

Word of the Phoenix - Straight up, target unit Soulbursts. Which can then create a chain of extra actions across your force. Or more simply, target a unit for extra movement to ensure they get where you need them.

Ancestor's Grace - \This is a mega buff. Almost any unit you target with this will benefit from some, if not all of the upgraded stats.

Unbind Souls - "a number of shots equal to the number of models in the enemy unit" and Soulreap means this is likely to kill at least one model and then trigger a Soulburst action.

Gaze of Ynnead - If this hits and wounds, you get no save except Look Out Sir. Great against vehicles and monstrous creatures without Feel No Pain, though you still need to roll to hit and wound.

Reborn Warhost Detachment

So, it's a Combined Arms Detachment, with optional Formations attached and a list of specific choices for each battlefield role. It gives Stubborn, lets you ignore shooting casualties if you are within 7" of another unit and if you build it with at least 7 units in, then you can Soulburst 2 units per death. It draws units and Formations from across this book, Craftworld Eldar, Dark Eldar and Harlequins. This gives you a lot of customisation choice to build the kind of force you want. Shooting, close combat based, even everything on Jetbikes.
For those interested in such things, a Court of the Archon, 2 units of Kabalite Warriors and a Wraithknight comes out to 385 points at minimum. Just in case you want to min-max the amount of Wraithknights in your army.

Strength from Death

Finally, we come to the strongest thing in the army. A thing so confusing they've have already had to publish an FAQ to make sure everyone understands how it works. It's the main reason to field the Ynnari instead of other Aeldari, though the ability to play mix-and-match via the Reborn Warhost is certainly attractive too.

Essentially, every time a unit is slain (friend or foe), you can immediately take an action out of sequence. Move, Run, Turboboost, Shoot, Assault. Whatever fits your tactical needs. If killing/having a unit die triggers the right unit, it can then kill an opposing unit. This can then trigger another unit and so on causing a chain that potentially lets your whole army act outside of the normal turn sequence and put a hole in the opposing one. This is compounded by the Reborn Warhost letting 2 units activate from one trigger and then the Psychic powers that let you Soulburst for less effort.

It makes for an army that wants to get stuck in and not care about it's own casualties. This is different from the usual hit and run style of the regular codexes. Rather than replacing, I feel it gives options for when you want to build for that play style without having to start another army. Also, with the correct unit choices and tactics, it could become a brutal strategy. Imagine a squad of Fire Dragons or Wraithguard killing a tank with their guns. This is quite an easy feat for them.Then, using Soulburst they immediately target and kill another tank. Or the occupants of the tank. Or even trigger another unit to assault the passengers. The possibilities get greater from their.

All told, this book essentially creates another army for 40K, both fluff and rules-wise, without the need to release a bunch of new models. I'm excited to try this out and will keep the blog posted with any such experiments.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

40K Starter Tournament - Feedback

Since I'm running short of time to make one more post before the end of the week (this is being drafted on Sunday morning) and Games Workshop have posted an FAQ about the Fracture of Biel-Tan, I'm gonna hold off on discussing the Aeldari. There is a lot to talk about with that faction, so it's worth sitting down and planning what I want to say.

In the meantime, I sent out a survey to the players that attended the 40K Starter Tournament. I'll instead use this post to discuss the results and how they affect things going forward.

How satisfied were you with the event?
This was a Linear Scale question rated 1 to 5, with 1 being "Not very" and 5 being "Very much". I'm happy to see that the results were thirty percent 4 and seventy percent 5. This sets a definite goal of increasing the 5 to one hundred percent, while setting a standard to not slip below for future events.
How did you feel about the amount of scenery on the tables?
This was a Multiple Choice question (most of them were). Three simple options too, "Not enough", "The correct amount" and "Too much". This was one that concerned me, as I was trying to get the tables to have a similar layout utilising the available scenery. Also, when choosing terrain, I'm never sure if I've placed too little or too much. I'm glad to see in this case that the result was one hundred percent "The correct amount".
 How did you feel about the amount of Line-Of-Sight Blocking scenery?
This was a Multiple Choice question. The result here is interesting. No player said there was too much, nor too little. Ninety percent of the players felt that there was enough of it and that the placement on the battlefield was fine. Ten percent (one player), however, felt that while there was enough, he wasn't happy with the placement. It would be interesting to chat to that player and ask for more information on his concerns. It maybe that he started on the same side of the battlefield each game, and would have had a different opinion from the other side of the table. It may even have been something army specific. It's something to bear in mind for future events.
How did you feel about the total points value of the event?
This was a Multiple Choice question. Eighty percent of people were happy with the event being 1000 points. This allowed for a 2 hour round time and was chosen in case some of the players only had a small collection. Twenty percent were not happy, opting for larger games so they can experiment with units that wouldn't fit in the points limit. I whole-heartily agree with those two. While the limit was great for the event, it's frustrating not being able to play some of your stuff. There are Formations and Detachments that don't fit within that limit, and models/units that seem like too much of a gamble when they are between a third and half of your points. The good news is I intend to experiment with the points limits for future events, and have appropriate missions for those limits.
What points value would you like for future events?
This was a Multiple Choice question. I put forth a variety of points values, from 500 to 1850. One player wants to stay at 1000, one wants to shift to 1250, two want to go all the way to 1850 and the rest want to settle at 1500. This says to me that the players don't want games of less than 1000 points, which as I said above I agree with. 1850 is nice as it's in line with a lot of competitive events, but requires larger tables and more time. I will look to the feasibility of doing that  in the summer, however it would require a 2 day event and more tables and terrain at the venue. 1500 is probably the largest I'd want to see on a 4x4 table anyway, so it's something to build up to.
How did you feel about the build restrictions? (can pick more than one)
This was a Check Box question. None of the players thought there were too many or too few restrictions and all checked some variation of saying they were fine, most saying that they were fine for the points allowance. As we increase in points, restrictions can be lifted. Which brings us neatly on to the next question.
If the points went up, what would you want to see allowed? (can pick more than one)
Another Check Box question. I'll address each option in turn;

Fortifications - 5 people want these. They weren't actually restricted in the event. My guess here is that players aren't using them because they aren't in most Codexes. I'm yet to pick up the book with their rules in myself, so I shall do so soon and have a peruse. Maybe this will spur people to have a look into the available options.

Allies (Battle Brothers only) - 5 people want this. On the one had, I see little harm in this if that's how people want to play. Plus most of the players only have one army. On the other hand, there can be powerful combos within the Battle Brother armies. This is one to consider for future events. I don't want to encourage things like Wolf-Stars, but I don't want to inhibit the guy who wants to add Daemons to their Chaos Space Marine army.

Allies (Any) - 2 people want this. This one I'm more dubious about. Allies of Convenience may be okay, as that would allow armies like Genestealer Cult/Tyranids. On the other hand, Come the Apocalypse probably shouldn't be allowed as there is little fluff reason for such an army at these events other than looking for the best combo. This is something I'll discuss with the players, but I personally would prefer flavourful armies.

Fliers - 8 people want these. I'm assuming/hoping that people assumed that this included Flying Monstrous Creatures. My personal take; Fliers are fine in games over 1000 points. At 1k or less, a Flier can dominate a game, and if you dedicate points to dealing with them and your opponent doesn't have any those points can be a drag on your army. So I'm happy for this restriction to lift as we increase the points. I imagine most people saying yes to this either have or are about to purchase models that this restriction stops.

Lords of War - 5 people want these. This is a restriction that annoys me, which is a topic for another day. However, much like Fliers, I feel these are fine at higher point games. Probably still a good idea to limit them to 1 in a 1500 point game though. These units can dominate a battlefield. It'll be interesting to see how people deal with them/field them if this is lifted.

Certainly a group of things to look at for unrestricting. The next event is a simple repeat of this one, so I've got some time before I have to consider what points/restrictions for another event.
Do you think the event should allow Forge World rules?
This was a Multiple Choice question. This was an interesting one. I didn't restrict them for the event, but one of the players questioned me about it beforehand as they wanted to use one. The question itself got a 50/50 split. Which echoes my feelings on the matter. It feels like Forge World models are either over-pointed fluff units or under-pointed powerhouses. I understand that that's subjective, and not coming from having seen all the rules for all the units. Still, I'm just a bit wary about blanket allowing these. Possibly the best route is to get players to okay Units with me first, like Chris did.

That's the feedback. The comments were all short sentences saying people enjoyed the event. It's encouraging to see the first event do well in the players eyes, as well as get an idea of what path they want the events to take. There is little point in me making changes that the players don't want. After the next one I'll send out another questionnaire, see if opinions have changed and maybe get a fresh perspective if other people attend.

Next post should be about the Aeldari. I may then follow that one with my Rant about Lords of War in current 40k.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

40k Starter Tournament Part 2 - Report

40K Starter Tournament

The day started out with me getting to Dark Star and setting up the tables. During this process the players started arriving. I aimed to get a mix of area and line of sight blocking terrain and some ruins to give vantage points. I also aimed to get each table as similar as possible, so that which table you game happened on wasn't a factor in the result of the game. I placed markers out for the Relics, X-Men poker chips. These were not only marked in such a way that made returning them to the centre between games easy, but they fit under that standard 25 and 32mm base sizes.

The Players

We had 10 players in total.

Alfie Bennet, playing a Farsight Enclaves Tau list, featuring deep striking Battlesuits and a Ghostkeel.

Charlie Bennet, playing Dark Eldar with Ravager and Talos support.

Gareth Curl, playing Skitarii with a Dunecrawler and a Sydonian Dragoon.

Kyle Clements, playing Harlequins following Ynnead and accompanied by both Yvraine and the Visarch.

Ron Gargett, playing World Eaters. Led by Kharn himself, the army was a solid wall of Berzerkers.

Sam Hough, also playing World Eaters. Kharn led this army as well, but had brought a pair of Chaos Spawn along as well.

David Newby, playing Adeptus Sororitas. His Battle Sisters were led by Canoness Veridyan and featuring two Exorcist tanks.

Mike Pooley, playing Necrons. His lord was mounted on a Command Barge and he had the Reclamation Legion and a Canoptek Harvest.

Ben Tucker, playing Saim-Hann Eldar following Ynnead. His army was Jetbikes, backed up by Vyper Jetbikes, led by guys on Jetbikes and a Fire Prism.

Chris Tucker, playing Blood Angels, with some bikes, 2 Drop Pods and a scout Land Raider variant.

Round One

Kyle vs Charlie
Hough vs Ben
Pooley vs Gareth
Alfie vs Chris
Ron vs Newby

The event started fine. Everyone had become well versed with the mission objective in the lead up, so there were few opening questions.
Highlights included Gareth's Dragoon charging and killing Pooley's Warlord, Kyle's Death Jester shooting down a Raider and Newby's Exorcists killing Kharn using the Precision Strike from Veridyan. All in their respective first turns. Ron managed a late game comeback via Dark Apotheisis, which gave him a Daemon Prince that Newby couldn't deal with.


Round Two

Ben vs Pooley
Alfie vs Ron
Gareth vs Newby
Hough vs Kyle
Chris vs Charlie

Highlights from this round included the massacre of the Harlequins by Hough's World Eaters and  Bens' Eldar slaughtering the Necron Wraiths but not much else in the army. After this round, we had a short lunch break.


Round Three

Alfie vs Pooley
Chris vs Ben
Hough vs Newby
Kyle vs Ron
Charlie vs Gareth

This round's highlights included the Tau/Necron final, the brotherly grudge match, Kyle facing a second World Eater army and Newby once again facing the surprise Daemon Prince in the late game.


Final Standings

9th - Gareth, Skitarii
8th - Kyle, Aeldari (Harlequins/Ynnari)
7th - Charlie, Dark Eldar
6th - Newby, Adeptus Sororitas
6th - Chris, Blood Angels
5th - Ron, Chaos Space Marines (World Eaters)
4th - Hough, Chaos Space Marines (World Eaters)
3rd - Alfie, Tau (Farsight Enclave)
2nd - Ben, Aeldari (Craftworld Eldar/Ynnari)
1st - Pooley, Necrons
(two players at 6th due to a tie on victory points)

None of the games went over the time limit of 2 hours. One game reached the limit in round one, but after finishing the second player's turn it was pretty easy to call based on how much they had left.  Feedback so far has been good and I'm currently crafting a questionnaire so I can improve future events. There will be an identical follow up event at the end of March and then hopefully I will run an event for these guys every month.

Next post should hopefully be this weekend and be about the Aeldari and their newfound Strength From Death