Monday, April 3, 2017

a 2500pt 30k Custodes Army

I fell in love with the 30k custodes rules almost as soon as I saw them (granted this was largely due to loving the look of their awesome grav tanks and wanting to field hordes of them.

In general practice, I get nervous about playing an army that has been jumped on by the power gaming crowd and I've been told Custodes have done really well at 30k tournaments.

This actually makes some sense to me. I suspect custodes could get trounced somewhat easily by about half of the 40k armies.  I also think that 30 Custodes would be generally very potent against Space marine legions. (I'm not sure how they'd do against 30k AdMech or 30k Solar Auxillia.  I think that 30k Custodes could have an easy time against most 30k armies (on the assumption that space marine legions are the most commonly fielded army).

If I had known the above, I likely would have avoided the army just to avoid the risk.  after spending $600 on Forgeworld Tanks, I'm less excited about the idea of giving them up.

This is the most common variation I intent to play.

I'm curious to know what people think of this, both in a 40k and a 30k sense.  Note in 40k games, I would still play this with 30k rules and not the 40k rules for Custodes (which I think are a touch more powerful because of Eternal Warrior and storm shields)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rush to Judgement: My gut feelings and initial impressions from the new Imperial Guard Storme Troopers (em,I mean TEMPESTUS SCIONILINGUS!...that's right, no?)

I actually bought a digital copy of the White dwarf last week and  I'm not terribly happy with the new models (either the troop models or the transports).

Their rules are predominately "Meh", but I like things about them enough that they will have a decent presence in my Air Cavalry force (assuming One can buy enough Valkyries/Lighters to make them Air Cav.).

Point Cost and primary Armament
Their point reduction was nearly mandatory, as a 16pt model with a guardsmen at it's base, is almost completely retarded. 

The Hotshot lasgun is OKAY, but it it's low strength removes most of the scare factor of its otherwise impressive AP3.  They sound like they can benefit from "First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire!!" So that MIGHT make any large Storm Trooper squad have the potential for a little nastiness.

7 close range Hellguns firing average 3.1 MEQ kills and bumps to 4.5 with Close range FRF_SRF which is their ideal target/fighting conditions)

They lost their special orders (replaced with Move through cover) and their pistol/CCW unit-wide.  This to me, largely seems to be a parallel downscaling in potency and cost leaving them again as a mediocre unit. (though not a bad unit either.)

Unit statlines are decent but not exemplary, nor are they’re special rules. Decent is a good adjective for the unit rules.

transport options
The transport models I’m still largely turned off of (even though some Dakka Dakka photo shoppers are able to put a tolerable spin on the Taurox  with enough conversion work)  The Taurox Prime’s weapon system seem like they were stolen from some poor Hasbro toy line. 

Rulewise, they are okay, being equal in scope to the chimera but with a deviation of form.  (Where I see folly with this is that if people already own all the chimeras they need, the rules or model don’t inspire the “Gotta Have it” need required to have decent sales)  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Taurox is a one-edition pony.(one sales cycle and out)  I’ll end up converting my own as there are plenty of great models out there to choose from.

Their Charm
Their great appeal to me is that they have a platoon structure, so you can take multiple units under a single Elite spot.  This allows LOTS of units to be purchased from the Elite section of the force org chart which can be fun for the otherwise not-elite Guardsmen. 

Additionally, I’ve been tinkering around with my own ideas for having an Elite IG squad that could break apart like combat squads and fight as individual fire teams. (and adopt a loadout similar to conventional US army platoons  of 2 fire teams consisting of a team lead, rifleman, grenadier and Automatic Rifleman.  This platoon structures actually allow you to come pretty close to modeling this.(though they wouldn’t be able to merge for transporting purposes and such.)

I also like the Hotshot Volley gun acting very much like a Squad Automatic weapon.  It will be a regular in most of my Storm trooper units.  I'll probably kit out most units with a Grenade Launcher and Volley gun to replicate traditional US Army squad structure I noted above.

Wishlist Lost opportunities
There were a couple of things I was really hoping for that may not be in the cards this release.  these were "wishlist" items that I was hoping for, but I'm fond enough of the rules I have seen to excuse  their absence. ;-)
1. Replacement of the 'Special mission' with being Scoring units.  While their cost and  small model count preclude them from being the ideal objective takers I liked the notion that their "special mission' could be translated as helping take objectives. 
2. Valkyrie as Dedicated Transports- CURSE YOU STUPID NEW TAUROX model kit!  My gut tells me Valkyries would have become a Dedicated transport for Storm trooper had it not been for the new (and lackluster) Taurox transport option.  The Valkyrie and Storm troopers just always seems like a natural fit theme-wise.
3. Ideally, I would have preferred the Hotshot lasgun take it's original role as a Las version of the str4 boltgun.  given the otherwise standard scaling of Las weapons in general(Lascannon has quickly increasing STR over  the MultiLaser which has quickly increasing  STR over the lasgun)  I would have ideally liked to see the Hotshot lasgun as a 24" str4 AP6 rapid fire weapon. but alas, it does not seem like it was mean to be.

My initial feel is that this new take on the Storm Troopers have potential, but don’t strike me as overpowering.  I used "Decent" to describe the rules earlier and that seems like an accurate adjective for the Storm trooper.

I don't expect them to have a strong presence on game tables aside from those more an "elite Deltaforce" theme driven enthusiast or those that do fall in love with the new model range(or wanting to use their older storm trooper minis). 

If that ends up being true I'm right, I'm okay with that.  I tend not to like it if new rules make my stuff too much cooler, as then you see everyone and their dog suddenly jumping on the bandwagon and removing the uniqueness of your own army.  Sometimes It's nice to be the guy who brings those units to the table people think suck.... and then wipe them off the felt covered battlefield with them! Moo-haha! Moo-haha!..ha...MOOO!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Progress Update: True Scale 'MK16 Damocles pattern' Space Marines.

It’s been over a year since I started this project, so I think a progress update is in order. 

I ended up not liking the MK16 armor kits as much as I like.  They need to be extensively cleaned for the oils used in casting.  Their design also looks good, but are extremely limited in poseability, which looks very cookie-cutter when you build more than 2 or 3.  They also were not as close to true scale as I’d like.

What I ended up doing was kitbashing these models with components from a company Anvil Industries.

This company sell high quality resin parts that could be used to represent a space marine very well (PLUS they have great gun accessories selection).  PLUS, using the MK16 torsos with Legs from Anvil produced a model very close to true scale!

I’m planning on writing a WIP tutorial for the models I’ve built, but for now, a simple picture will have to suffice until I get time to do the process justice.  The pictures are not staged well to show  a true size comparison, but they do give a basic idea of how they look in comparison to normal space marine models.
Here is a pic next to an Imperial Guardsmen.  Note, this guardsmen actually is a bit taller than a GW space marine model.  This is because it uses Catachan legs with Cadian torsos.

Here is showing the size difference (roughly) between the MK16 Marine and a GW space marine.  For the record, the Guardsmen above is TALLER than this GW Marine.

I'll post more pictures from different angles when I'm home this weekend.
Also, here's a WIP of the unit's captian.  His head isn't attached but just shown for scale.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

a quick look at the Greater good

Well, I was forced to stay the weekend in California, but it gave me some free time to download and read the official new Tau Codex.  It’s about time I got another post on this blog anyway!

Overall, I continue to love the digitial layout and they are finding more and more ways to utilized an interface design iBook.  but lets get to the content of the rules.

Considering I was anticipating some crazy changes to how the Bonding knife ritual [people who know know me will know how and why I thought these were coming  ;-)   ]  I was glad to see a solid rendition similar in nature to the previous rules.

I think Supporting Fire is great fun and LOOKS to be an amazingly potent rule….but if I’ve ever learned anything about successfully playing tau it is never keep too many units tangles in one place.   Tau played best follow the rules of engagement devised by Native American Light Cavalry.   Hit hard and then scatter.

Point cost wise, I think they really hit the mark, which was better than what I was anticipating [again people who know me will know why I expected differing point cost] One of the few exceptions to this is the devilfish staying at 80 points base. Being a Jinking Skimmer is nice until you get stunned.  Then you’re fodder wishing you cost little more than the overgunned/overruled Chimera ;-)      I expect this is the result of GW pushing people away dominance of MechTau armies and wanting to push some sales on their newer toys.

The New toys seem pretty great and the flyer design is growing on me.  I see the sunshark as the clearly superior flyer of the two, though my heart lies with the razorfish.  I wish they had given the Razorfish a markerlight light it’s big brother.  Also It exchanges the interceptor drones for more thrusters, but I KINDA wish these thrusters actually had some rules impact.  In essence, the Razorfish just loses these as well.   I might custom build a hybrid “Best of both worlds” superiority fighter  Razorfish that has these items and loses the Pulse Bomb generator  (no superiority fighter worth is salt would be a bomber too!)

The giant suits turned out really well and I preordered one, though I’m not sure it fits my army theme.

If I could say I had two contributions to that army, it would be that they took my advice on giving thr commander more hardpoints than the crisis suits AND for most of the crisis suit weapons, they realized that most of them should be about equally priced, with each one just specializing in a different role.

Our Deaths bring glory to the Empire!  For the Great good!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Marines of the Rising Sons Chapter

This is my pride and joy, though you wouldn't guess it by looking at my army. They are a marine Army I developed a Bushido story behind that used the Blood Angels Codex SOLEY because I knew about the Storm Raven at it's inception and said  to myself "My Marine army is going to be about Storm Ravens, even if they have to have quirky blood angel rules".  I also had a fascination with Stern Guard, and with enough time and throught, I made a coherant history for a shooty Bload Angels army who had Ronin (Death company) and a desire to fly into battle on giant gunships with shooty boltguns.

I will try to post my Index Astartes soon.  It's lengthy and still needs some editing, but it's a good read.

The chapter has a Second Veteren's Company called the ValeGuard that are somewhat detached from the chapter's "Death before Dishonor" esprit de corp.  They have a Xeno-hunters slant to them and have a seedy alliance with some of the more deceptive and underhanded cadres in the Tau empire. This has really allowed me to push the chapter's story forward and further embolden the idea of them being an army design around Air Cavalry (Storm Ravens Look a little pale when a normal marine army can have Storm Talons, Storm Eagles, and Assault Rams.)  It also gave me the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do.  Build a Marine army fully in Truscale. 

I'm a big fan of the mk4 Maximus Head and found a guy who produces this Tau-Power armor hybrid which happens to be design in 28mm Truscale(or darn close to it)

Below are some of  Prototype models I have showing the larger Mk 16 Damocles power armor and their non-standard Bolt weaponry.  While I very much like the GW aesthetic, I find myself seeking out non-GW bits to give my armies some individual flare.

(There are actually three different guns types in the above picture.  The one on the far right is a carbine version of the first and third.)  I have about 40 figure s currently and want to get another 20.

The makings of a GW External Playtester. (The Ancient and Honorable Order of the TechPriests)

For those who stumble into this and DON'T already know me, I thought it might be helpful to know what a freak with a two decade old hobby defending and assaulting Humans who worship a guy who sits on a golden toilet.

I'm a fortysomething GIS Rulebase Analyst who bought into the game thinking the old Hard Cover Rogue trader book was a roleplaying game. I found the game difficult to comprehend, being almost completely oblivious to standard wargame concepts (If I can glue a clip onto a marine's leg, how come that doesn't let me fire more.... what do you mean we don't even KEEP TRACK of AMMO!?). I probably never would have pushed further into the game were it not for a bold stupid kid named Todd Hallchurch who fell in love with the Rogue trader Miniatures....something I had ZERO tallent building painting or even understanding. He made some AMAZING figs with guns stolen from Transformers and GI Joe figures. He actually had a standing space marine who was armed with a reasonable size DEFENSE LASER.(okay it was small, but it was significantly larger than most vehicle weapons of the day.). I

I went through 2nd edition in my college years and played the Uber power gamer with my college crowd. I had friends in ROTC and studied Platoon and squad SOP manuals (FM 7-8 is a personal favoriteof mine) and was somewhat irked that what produced game victories seldomly resembled modern infantry tactics and manuvering. I'm not fond of those years and were it not for Jervis Johnson producing a small article series called the "J files" in WD and Citidel journals, the gamer in me would have died for sure.


I had the amazing fortune post college to have a lengthy chat with a good bloke who used to work in the GW design studio and not before long I joined "THE ANCIENT AND HONORABLE ORDER OF THE TECHPRIESTS." This was GW's early attempt at external playtesting and I had the luck to be able to work directly with the game designers over the course of 7 years. I've been directly or indirectly (under the blanket of the Honorable Order) credited in 7 40k publications and worked on 2 White dwarf tidbits and some other items.

This was a dream of mine second ONLY to working as Games Developer myself and one I came pretty close to achieving despite the fact of being a "Colonial".

The Honorable Order was disbanded around 5th edition playtesting, though through what I believe is the fault of the Order(external playtesters) themselves, the group lost reputation in the Design studio as being too hard to work with (and finally prone to a major PT leak the only I know of in the history of the Order). They were a good group of well meaning playtesters and a smart bunch too, but bias and passion often overshadowed solid analysis. When a Leak finally occured that was indeed the fault of the Order all were let go besides me and my tiny band of amazying servitors.


I was Tim Sawyer, Leader of the bold and stupid Sawyer's First Chancers, the Last of the TechPriests...The last of a proud order, the last slice of grimy pizza. We had secret handshakes and code words (none of which were required or sanctioned by GW....we were just that dorky) My playtest cell rode into the mouths of Game Studios Guns...Cannons to the left of us, Cannons to the right of us.....Into the Valley of death rode we 7 dorky Rule laywering nerds....
Me clentching the Pencil, and several of my
Playtesting and D-Company gaming Buddies

What can be said of my time in Nirvana is that I feel most people in the gaming verse think they understand how the process works without having ANY CLUE of how such a process works. it's easy to blame a single Name in the studio, when really they are extremely limited by how much influence they have(or don't have) on specific details of the book that they will be applauded/chastised for. and I can honestly say that while I shared many harsh criticisms of unit design/costs, or rules, The GW design studio was a great bunch to work with and I miss my interaction with all of them. They TRY hard and WORK harder than any disccussion forum dares give them credit.

In my time since, I focus much more putting the recreation back into the game and cutting back on the 'tourney style' competitive play which I strongly feel is antithetical to what the game is best at providing. 40k is a game to me which is meant to be played with a pint in hand, hollering a hearty Waaagh! or "The Emperor shields us!" as we foolishly rush our Marine captain out to prick his little power sword into the giant Chaos deamon standing in front of his Brother marines....It is a game where an individual grot can take down a mightly Hive Tyrant if his luck is Juuuuuuuust right. and the stories that stem from those games are those to which songs will be sung in the great halls of Valhalla.


While I don’t see them as often as I’d like any more, I have the best group of gaming dorks to pal around with, and in the coming millennia, I hope to tell you a bout them, my crazy gaming stories, and the work I’ve been up to.