New 40k – what we know so far

Posted in 40k with tags , on May 1, 2017 by vobeskhan

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Admittedly, when we first heard that 8th edition was imminent and would be taking an Age of Sigmar style route many of us felt as betrayed as Horus did. However, GW have been showing us gradually that it’s not all doom and gloom (even in the Grimdark future), and that the lessons learned from the AOS initial release have enabled them to bring forth a new edition of 40k which I for one am actually quite excited for.

Rather than repeat what they have shown us here I will simply direct you to the Warhammer Community site for their regular updates. But I will cover a few of the points with my own views.

What we do know is that we’ll get the basic rules for free and there will be the basic information for your factions available too. Hard copies will be coming and I guess will include bonus stuff that the free version might not (fair play they need to make money still) but to get going you’re not going to need to outlay a lot of cash. If the recently released Traitor Legions book gets invalidated I will be pissed off, especially since it basically replaced the Black Legion Supplement and the Traitors Hate book itself after I had forked out for them too, no word yet on whether the formations within it will still be usable (though it was said that the recent Gathering Storm stuff would be so I hold out a hope).

They’re advocating 3 play styles: Open, Narrative and Matched. Open seems pretty much what the old “unbound” format was (just bring and battle). Narrative looks to be the one I’m going to be more focussed on, forces picked according to a story-based reason rather than just because of their death-star combos. Matched pretty much will be the tournament style from the sounds of it, though this can easily combine with the Narrative style I reckon to make for some very interesting games.

Gone are the Armour values for vehicles, everything uses the same style profiles and vehicles will be multi-wound with decent saving throws. The Movement stat is back, with different factions and unit types having differing movement rates – this to me feels good as Eldar/Nids should be more mobile than Guards/Marines/Necrons.

One big change is that templates are gone! Flamers have a range  and hit D6 models automatically – I’m very interested to see how this works with my heldrakes (though haven’t seen anything about flyers in particular so far).

Weapons will also have save modifiers rather than a flat AP value, for example a bolter doesn’t change your save target but a lascannon gives you a -3 penalty (so a marine in power armour can survive a hit on a 6!). Some weapons will give multiple shots, eg heavy bolters, while others will inflict multiple wounds on a single target, again the lascanon is their example causing D6 damage – excellent for taking shots at those pesky multi-wound vehicles and monsters but a bit of a waste shooting a guardsman (though it will still kill him and sometimes it may be necessary – the important part of overkill is the last four letters!).

Running, turbo-boosting, flat-out vehicles – this all takes place in the Movement phase now rather than the shooting, kind of makes sense as it’s a continuation of the movement.

A big one they revealed too is that you can move out of combat! Yes it will incur penalties and limit the actions the unit can take during the rest of the turn but this is huge. No longer can you be locked in to a combat if you dont want to be. Not only can units that aren’t ideal for assault retreat but dedicated assault units cant be bogged down by swarms/hordes if they would be better suited chasing down other targets. I’m really looking forward to this as I have a new-found love of my raptors and warp talons.

The psychic phase gets a massive overhaul and as a follower of the Dark Gods I do like my sorcerers so I’m still on the fence for this until we see the full version. However, the tease tells us that psykers can cast as many powers as their mastery levels (and enemy psykers can attempt to dispel as many as theirs). Each faction will have their own powers but every psyker will know SMITE – a power that can inflict Mortal Wounds, which can’t be saved by anything! WHAT! Psykers are the new D-weapons!

Remember those penalties for leaving combat I mentioned, well apparently no shooting is one of them, I guess the unit is too busy getting the feck out of there to do so. Running (or Advancing as its renamed) also prevents shooting, as does having an enemy within 1″ – unless you’re equipped with a pistol, which you can then shoot in his face. And yes this includes when you’re in combat (those raptors are looking more and more fun)!

You still can’t have other units shoot into the combat, but with the option to either fall back or shoot the fighting units pistols it’s going to be a tactical choice.

Heavy weapons and vehicles take a -1 to hit if they move (looks like snap fire is gone, though no word on how that affects shooting flyers yet).

Cover gets an overhaul too, with it increasing the saves in a similar way to the weapon modifiers decreasing it but with hopefully better clarifications on who counts as in cover and when (none of this “well my knights toe is on the terrain base so I get a cover save” bullshit).

As always these are just my thoughts on the teasers they have revealed to date. You might not agree, and that’s fine

 

Black Legion – built via the All Scars Painting Challenges

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by vobeskhan

So we’ve been running the All Scars Survivor Series Painting Challenge for some time now and I decided to work out how many points of my Black Legion Chaos Space Marine force I had managed to get done through my pledges.

Starting with the 750 points in 75 day challenge then continuing through 2015, 2016 and so far in 2017, this is what I have completed.
++ Unbound Army (Faction) (Chaos Space Marines: Codex (2012)) [5418pts] ++

+ HQ +

Abaddon the Despoiler [265pts]: Warlord

Chaos Lord [190pts]: Bike, Bolt Pistol, Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Power Sword, Sigil of corruption, The Hand of Darkness, Veterans of the Long War

Chaos Lord [160pts]: Bike, Bolt Pistol, Combat familiar, Mark of Khorne, Power Armour, Power Fist, Sigil of corruption, Veterans of the Long War

Daemon Prince [340pts]: Mastery Level 3, Power Armour, Spell familiar, The SpineShiver Blade, Tzeentch, Wings

Dark Apostle [130pts]: Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta, Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer [220pts]: 2x Additional Mastery Level, Bike, Bolt Pistol, Force Stave, Last Memory of Yuranthos, Mark of Tzeentch, Melta bombs, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, Spell familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer [185pts]: 2x Additional Mastery Level, Force Stave, Mark of Tzeentch, Melta bombs, Plasma Pistol, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, Spell familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Warpsmith [140pts]: Aura of dark glory, Bolt Pistol, Mark of Tzeentch, Power Axe, Veterans of the Long War

+ Elites +

Helbrute [120pts]: Plasma cannon, Power scourge

Possessed [205pts]: Mark of Tzeentch, 4x Possessed, Possessed Champion, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Rhino: Combi-bolter, Dirge Caster, Warpflame Gargoyles

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [75pts]: 9x Cultists, Heavy Stubber, Mark of Tzeentch, 8x Replace Autopistol with Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Shotgun

Chaos Cultists [75pts]: Cultist Champion, 9x Cultists, Flamer, Mark of Nurgle

Chaos Terminators [255pts]: Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Terminator Champion: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Terminator with Heavy Weapon: Chainfist, Reaper Autocannon

Chosen [295pts]: 9x Chosen with Boltgun, CCW and Boltpistol, Icon of Flame, Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War
. Chosen Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bomb, Power Sword
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul

Chosen [190pts]: 5x Chosen with Boltgun, CCW and Boltpistol, Mark of Tzeentch, 4x Replace boltgun w/ Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chosen Champion: Boltgun, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Bikers [180pts]: 4x Chaos Biker, Mark of Nurgle, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Biker Champion: Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Chaos Bikers [180pts]: 4x Chaos Biker, Icon of Flame, Mark of Tzeentch, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Biker Champion: Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Heldrake [170pts]: Baleflamer

+ Heavy Support +

[FW] Chaos Land Raider Proteus [355pts]: Ark of Unnameable Horror, Armoured Ceramite, Dirge Caster, Maelific Ammunition on Heavy Bolters, Multi-Melta, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Warpflame Gargoyles

[FW] Chaos Spartan Assault Tank [372pts]: All heavy Bolters to have Maelific Ammo, Armoured Ceramite, Dirge Caster, Frag Assualt Launchers, Havoc Launcher, Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, Two Sponson-mounted Quad Lascannons, Warpflame Gargoyles

Chaos Land Raider [240pts]: Dirge Caster, Warpflame Gargoyles

Chaos Vindicators [140pts]
. Chaos Vindicator: Dirge Caster, Siege Shield, Warpflame Gargoyles

Defiler [230pts]: Dirge Caster, Power Scourge, Reaper Autocannon, Warpflame Gargoyles

Forgefiend [200pts]: Additional Ectoplasma Cannon, Two Hades Autocannon

Havocs [206pts]: 5x Havoc, Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
. Aspiring Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Power Fist
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles

Havocs [175pts]: 4x Havoc, 3x Heavy Bolter, Lascannon, Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
. Aspiring Champion: Melta Bombs, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword

+ Fortification +

Imperial Bastion [125pts]: Gun Emplacement with Quad-gun

++ Total: [5418pts] ++

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D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – I must be crazy

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2017 by vobeskhan

So the new season of Adventurers League story arc is upon us, and it’s not the same as previous ones. This time the adventure consists of remastered classic dungeon crawls collected together in the one hardback.

Now when I hear the title and that it wold be a dungeoncrawl my brain automatically screamed “Undermountain!” but sadly the mega dungeon below Waterdeep doesn’t even get a look in. The only link being that the books premise is that adventurers from all over gather at the Yawning Portal to swap tales of their exploits in these “Legendary” dungeons.

That’s not to say I don’t like the book, its good and some of the adventures within are amongst my personal top 10.

Another change this season is that I am the only DM for Adventurers League this time around as our other regulars take time out for other games (or to continue their current Storm Kings game beyond the AL banner), this means that with the recent influx of new players I will be running 3 separate tables of 7 players apiece on fortnightly schedules (1 on a Tuesday evening, the other 2 on alternate Wednesday evenings), in addition to my fortnightly paid-DMing for a roll20 campaign and a monthly game with the local Hackspace group. This might sound like a lot, but I really enjoy DMing, especially if its bringing new players to the game and in the past I had even been running games 6 days out of 7 on a regular basis.

So who are my victims this season:

Tuesday (team 1) is a mixture of returning players and new players (to our AL group at least)

  • Phil (elf ranger)
  • Stuart (elf rogue)
  • John (human barbarian) new player
  • Elliot (dwarf fighter) new player
  • Jason (tiefling warlock)
  • Rose (gnome druid)
  • Melissa (half-elf ranger) new player

Wednesday (team 2) is mostly my previous Storm Kings group with a couple of returning players and a new addition

  • Jon (dwarf fighter)
  • Lee (bugbear barbarian)
  • Jack S (assimar cleric)
  • Tim (kobold ranger)
  • Morgan (assimar rogue)
  • Josh P (elf wiard)
  • Tommy (dwarf cleric) new player

Wednesday (team 3) is a mixture of newer players and some that while in our group for a while havent been on my table before.

  • Jack P (half orc barbarian)
  • Joshua P (elf ranger)
  • Sil (tiefling warlock)
  • Kieran (human fighter) new player
  • Lucie (gnome wizard) new player
  • Kara (elf ranger) new player
  • Vin (aasimar paladin)

As I prepared for the first sessions I realised the opening adventure, the Sunless Citadel, was written with a party of 4 in mind so using the AL and DMG guidelines I went through it and recalculated the encounters for my larger parties so as to maintain the challenges. I also noticed that the adventure had 3 different suggested hooks to get the players involved so decided to give each group a different one (though through interaction with npc’s etc they could uncover the other hooks in the course of the game).

As each table is progressing at a different rate I wont go into extreme detail on their sessions so far but it’s certainly been interesting to see how they have tackled the same adventure in their own ways.

Some things they have all done though so I can comment on those without fear of spoilers.

Meepo – the kobold keeper of the dragon. All three groups encountered him, and all three chose to interact with him rather than just slaughter him outright (maybe there’s hope for some of them yet). A source of little information but certainly some amusement, he was easily convinced to take the parties to his queen, Yusdrayl.

Queen Yusdrayl of the kobold clan inhabiting this part of the citadel, surrounded by her guards was willing to “recruit” the parties to recover her missing dragon in return for some of her treasures. She was able to tell the heroes that the goblins seem to be working for a man down in the grove below the ruins of the citadel and he gives the goblins the magic apples they’d heard of.

This is where the three groups begin to diverge on their progress however, some took Meepo with them as a guide, some left him behind so he didn’t get hurt. As I write this we have just wrapped up the second session for each group (around 7-8 hours gameplay each table) and interestingly enough 2 of the 3 have suffered their first pc deaths each and the ones that haven’t come close yesterday with both the barbarian and paladin being taken unconscious.

Looking ahead, I am planning on running the corresponding “expedition” adventures interspersed with the hardcover to allow us access to the additional content and Faction rewards.

All Scars Glory Hogs – on the Path to Glory

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , on April 18, 2017 by vobeskhan

A while back GW released something called Path to Glory – A Call to Chaos. You may have seen the guys over at Miniwargaming playing this a few times on their videos (you haven’t? go check it out, they’re good fun). Well, fellow All Scar and Chaos enthusiast Mark got a copy and we’ve been planning on having a go ourselves ever since but just haven’t had a chance to fit it in to our gaming schedules.

However, neither of us were planning on entering the annual All Scars 40k Tournament this year so thought this would be our perfect opportunity to give it a whirl, a few others were interested and this then snowballed until we now have 16 prospective Chaos Warbands competing (where was all this love for Chaos previously hmmm).

I guess the good thing is that we are all working from the same codex so the playing field is more even than say facing Eldar/Tau/Spesh Maureens, so that may have been holding their chaotic tendencies back.

The format is based upon your Lord summoning a warband to battle in an effort to become the Champion of his patron power, being elevated to the rank of Deamon Prince and being the best there is. While it would have been great to have the warbands spread evenly across the 4 patron powers it didn’t work out that way.

Tzeentch taking quite a few people’s fancy. So we are tweaking the rules a little and taking a leaf out of the Highlander movie as “there can be only one!”, so not only must you  defeat the rest of the pretenders to the favour of your patron but the final champion of each god will face off (without the rest of their warbands) in true gladiator style in a fatal-4-way match.

Some of the players are using their existing forces (Jon’s Night Lords and Beastman Deamonkin, Mark’s World Eaters, Patrick E’s Word Bearers, to name a few) while others have dove in fully and bought new models solely for the purpose (Samuel). I’m using my existing collection, the reason I chose Tzeentch being because I already have 20+ Thousand Son models plus a broad selection of the rest of the models required.

So my burgeoning warband was rolled up (all of us made sure at least 1 other player witnessed the rolls for fairness) and this is what I shall be beginning my path to glory with:

+++ the Rising Sons (Warhammer 40,000 Path to Glory) +++

++ Chaos Warband (Chaos) ++

Warband Dedication: Mark of Tzeentch
···· Rules: Mark of Tzeentch

+ Champion +

Burdon the Warplord – Chaos Lord: Bike, Bolt Pistol, Combat familiar, Gift of mutation, Melta bombs, Power Armour, Power Sword, Sigil of corruption, Veterans of the Long War
···· Rules: Champion of Chaos, Fearless, Independent Character, Veterans of the Long War

+ Retinue +

Riders on the Storm – Chaos Bikers: Icon of flame, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
···· Rules: Veterans of the Long War
···· Krieger – Chaos Biker Champion: Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Power Sword
········ Rules: Champion of Chaos

The Wayward Sons – Thousand Sons: Icon of Flame
···· Rules: Fearless, Mark of Tzeentch, Slow and Purposeful, Veterans of the Long War
···· Livgren – Aspiring Sorcerer: Force Sword, Melta Bombs
········ Rules: Champion of Chaos, Psyker
···· The Impala – Chaos Rhino: Dirge caster, Dozer Blade, Havoc Launcher, Warpflame gargoyles
········ Rules: Repair, Transport Capacity: Rhino

+ Hero +

Ina Gadda – Warpsmith: Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Veterans of the Long War
···· Rules: Champion of Chaos, Independent Character, Master of Mechanisms, Shatter Defences, Veterans of the Long War

+ Vehicle +

Aycee – Defiler: Dirge caster, Power Scourge, Reaper Autocannon, Warpflame gargoyles
···· Rules: Daemon, Daemonforge, Fleet, It Will Not Die

Deecee – Heldrake: Baleflamer
···· Rules: Daemon, Daemonforge, It Will Not Die, Meteroric Descent

(it wasn’t until I took this that I realised I’d put the wrong Lord in as was going to take a trerminator but changed my mind to my usual Bike Lord, doh!

We shall also be utilising the Deamon planet and thematic missions GW released to go with the mini-campaign, so stay tuned for updates on how it all unfolds.

 

All Scars painting challenge – The Survivor Series 2017 – April

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2017 by vobeskhan

April, the time of Spring, so obviously the time of horrid wet weather – though thankfully its not been too bad so far and the few days we’ve had of glorious sunshine have even ecouraged me to get this months pledge done (I hate painting under artificial light).

So this months pledge was just a single model but one I really quite like – from the Dark Vengeance boxed set chosen squad, officially known as Draznicht of the Crimson Slaughter. I use him as a Dark Apostle in my Black Legion as I really like his pose and the power maul and am not a massive fan of the “official” model.

As always I started with a black primer, but as with a few of my recent models decided to take a leaf out of GW Duncan’s book (after re-watching how he did his Black Legion power armour) and drybrushed Leadbelcher over all but the cape. The cape got several thin coats of Calador Sky, with a Ceramite White on the trim before finally getting Bad Moon Yellow over that. Details on the backpack were picked out in Screaming Bell, the face and helmet horns had a basecoat of Rakarth Flesh, and then I picked the armour out with Abaddon Black. The head of the power maul I saw as more a badge of office than just a weapon so gave it a coat of Retributor Armour, as well as using it to pick out a couple of details on the body.

The base was simply Astrogranite as per my standard trooper bases.

The head and horns were given an Agrax Earthshade wash, then the head had a light drybrush of Cadian Fleshtone over that. The rest of the model had a Nuln Oil wash, the base rim tidied with Abaddon Black and job done.

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Some of us are about to start a Path to Glory “Call of Chaos” mini-campaign (16 players – where were all of these Chaos players previously?)  so next month I might need to paint a unit up for use in my warband for that.

D&D Encounters – Storm Kings Thunder – update, recap and finale

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2017 by vobeskhan

Well despite my best intentions to keep on top of these posts I failed utterly.

The campaign has since ended and the new season has begun, so here is the recap, update and final post on our heroes shenanigans.

Heading out of Icewind Dale they encountered a Frost Giant during the night in a mountain pass, after taking several boulder hits they decided to just use the darkness and escape. Making their way to Hundelstone and delivering the message to Thwip, who urges them to visit his colleague in Everlund.

Arriving in Fireshear they book passage by ship down to Waterdeep (with a brief stop over in Neverwinter for supplies), en route they spot a huge ship made party from an iceberg just outside Port Last and signs that the town was under heavy attack but they chose not to engage the enemy.

Arriving in Waterdeep they visiting the Roaringhorn  family and delivered the news that Cimber was being hunted by the Frost Giants, the family were thankful and allowed the heroes to use the teleportation circles to travel to Everlund and the Moongleam Tower. Here they received Tressym, and the suggestion to meet up with an unusual Harper ally, the frost giant Harshnag, at Silverymoon.

Once they reach Harshnag he gets them to accompany him north towards something called the Eye of the All Father, but as they reach Rivermoot Harshnag is informed that a Fire giant and its allies are digging something up nearby and the heroes investigate.

The Fire Giant is accompanied by ogres, hobgoblins and goblins and looks to be digging out the remains of a dragon. The heroes and Harshnag engage their enemies in a bitter struggle but are ultimately victorious. As they examine the aftermath it becomes clear that the Fire Giants are searching for the remnants of the Vonindod, a massive war engine from the last giant-dragon war, which the fire giants could use to tip the current balance of power to their advantage.

Harshnag leaves to take this information to his allies and that was where we too had to leave things.

There were several other encounters in between these highlights but they were over a month ago and the exact details are fading in my brain (though I do recall them scaring a band of orcs away using an illusory headless giant, and finding a live goat in a giants bag which Morgan’s halfling then rode – until it was killed by a wolf).

I liked the overall story line for SKT but it was too open-ended and nothing other meeting up Harshnag led to the players ever visiting the Eye of the All Father and progressing to the next stage of the adventure. My other big issue with it was that unless they trawled the countryside looking for trouble they were never going to reach the levels suggested for each progressive chapter after the first which seems to be a major flaw in most of the hardback adventures unfortunately and encourages the “murder-hobo” mentality.

Moving on to the next season, Patrick will be continuing his table through the further adventures of SKT (albeit going off Adventurers League to include some variant rules) while I begin DMing not 1, not 2, but 3 separate tables through the Yawning Portal adventures! I honestly don’t know if I shall be posting updates on how each group progresses as I really want to avoid spoilers for each of them – as of this moment (Easter Sunday) we’re 2 sessions in for 2 tables and 1 for the 3rd, and all are at different stages. What is nice is to see the different approaches each group takes to the adventure too.

All Scars painting challenge – The Survivor Series 2017 – March

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , on March 17, 2017 by vobeskhan

So this month for the Survivor Series, rather than go with something I would be needing for the annual All Scars Tournament I went with something just because I liked the models – that and the fact that I’m not taking part in the tournament this year (won’t go into it here, maybe in a later post).

So I had recently acquired some Cataphractii terminators from fellow club members Jon and Alastair and had built them up as members of my Black Legion force (hey these guys have been around since the Heresy and deserve the armour more than the loyalist Spesh Maureen’s do).

Having built enough for two squads, and used them in a couple of my Damnation battles I wanted to get a unit painted.

I kept the scheme pretty much to my normal – Black with silver trim, with one silver pad – but wanted to paint the cloth strips and one pad to represent their mark allegience. In this instance blue for Tzeentch. I had every intention of putting the ourobos decal on the blue pad and my custom made (thank you so much Mark) warband decal on the silver as normal, unfortunately both were just that little too wide to fit without looking odd.

I also did the bases in a style to match my bikes, mainly because their that much bigger than the normal 25mm infantry ones and looked a bit bare.

One note, I was over halfway through when I realised that I had done 6 men instead of 5. I will most likely repaint one with green accents for the Nurgle squad when I paint them up (maybe next month, haven’t decided yet).

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Jon has also given me a box of sprues full of spares from his other Calth sets, which I’m combining with various chaos spares for more heretical goodness.

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So that’s another month done, and even finished early. I really enjoyed painting the Cataphractii, just wish Chaos got the proper rules for them same as Loyalists do.