Friday, September 1, 2017

40K Friday Returns! 8th Edition Update

8th edition has been going really well here. We've played 1000, 1500, and 2000 point battles. Apprentice Red has played a little bit with his Orks. Apprentice Blaster is focusing exclusively on his Space Wolves. Apprentice Who has joined the fray with a new Tyranid army. One of Blaster's friends has joined in as well with a new Tau army too. I've built some ruins for a new city board - haven't painted them yet but I've built them!

I'm going with  a new policy on this edition as well: I'm getting all of the codices as they come out. We play most of the armies anyway in our little group so why not? I have Space Marines and Chaos Marines already and I'll be adding Grey Knights in the next week. It's not cheap but this has really turned into our main (if not only) miniatures game so why not go all-in?

Army-wise for myself it's been chaos chaos chaos! Mainly Iron Warriors but with a healthy side order of Khorne daemons and World Eaters. In June I was scattershooting all over the 40k universe, picking up a unit here and a unit there for a bunch of different armies - Chaos, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Orks, Eldar. I decided this was just going to lead to a bunch of half-finished armies competing  for playing time so I went with a variant of my "Year of the Eldar" approach. The second half of 2017 is the "Year of Chaos" where I am finally making my Iron Warriors into a full-on massive force and getting the daemons into usable forces as well. Getting the CSM codex really helped solidify

Iron Warriors

  • HQ's are pretty much set at a daemon prince, termie lord, termie sorcerer, warpsmith, dark apostle, and an exalted champion
  • Troops are a bunch of CSMs and about 30 cultists if I want to sink that low. Seriously, I play CSM's for the marines, not cultists. I'm still experimenting with the CSM squads. 
    • Five of them wit ha heavy bolter in a ruin is cheap and contributes even at range. A lascannon or missile launcher improves the contribution but also ups the cost, 
    • Ten of them with double or triple plasma or flamers in a rhino turns into an actual threat to many units. I'm still not settled on what  I like better.
  • Elites are termies and helbrutes for the most part. Possessed were effective when I put ten of them in a rhino and rushed it up the board. Berzerkers will likely be included in a different way.
  • Fast Attack is limited to spawn for me right now but they have been very effective bullet sponges leading a charge and can do some real damage in close combat if they survive to reach it. Also, being able to take them in units of one can lead to some formation shenanigans if you're so inclined. They're great for blocking out deep strike zones too.
  • Heavy Support is kind of the IW's thing so I am going in pretty heavy here.
    • I have 3 predators and they have done great work and I think they are very effective in this edition. I have not tried out the triple-shot strategem yet but I will!
    • I have also added 3 vindicators. I have not done much with them yet but I will and I'll be trying out their triple-shot stratagem too.
    • I have added a land raider - finally the basic land raider is a strong player again!
    • Havoc Squads - effective but best off in cover. I like autocannons and I like missile launchers. I use the predators for lascannons so I look for other options for my havocs. 
    • Obliterators - they were terrible in the index but the codex seems to have made them much stronger. I need to try out this new version.
  • Dedicated transports: My Rhinos have gotten quite the workout this edition and I love them. The workhorse APC from the early parts of the game is fast, tough, and just really useful this edition. Rush them forward and pop smoke and the squad inside is almost certainly safe untiil next turn. Use them as cover. Run them into the enemy to soak up overwatch. Put guns on them! The chaos Rhino can carry two combi-bolters and a havoc launcher for 85 points! That turns them into a Razorback effectively, while still retaining the ten-man capacity. They're just handy to have on the table.
Expansion: I don't really _need_ anything but I am looking at maulerfiends and maybe some raptors just to have some of everything in this army. 

World Eaters

This is a fairly new addition to the force. I started picking up more berzerkers and while trying to decide how to integrate them into the army I realized I could just make a separate World Eaters detachment to include whenever I felt like it. This is mainly driven by the WE's being able to take Berzerkers as troops. The core force right now is Kharn, a dark apostle, and an exalted Champion accompanying a trio of 8-man berzerker squads in rhinos. That's around 1000 points and makes for a nice add-on force.

Expansion : I'm already considering expanding it into a full army on it's own - land raider, helbrutes, daemon princes, more berzerkers. We will see.


I mainly focused on Khorne daemons as they work well with a more shooty Iron Warriors marine army. Right now it's built on two detachments:

  • An outrider detahcment of 3 flesh hound units led by Karanak 
  • A battalion detachment of 3 bloodletter squads led by Skulltaker
Pretty basic right? I also have a unit of bloodcrushers I can add in, and the specific unit sizes above can be varied somewhat, but the sauce is in the other HQ choices. A herald on a juggernaut, a pair of khorne daemon princes and up to three bloodthirsters. Taking the thirsters as a separate supreme command detachment and I am pushing 3000 points.

Expansion: Well I am still building this one but I think a skull cannon or two would give it a little shooting and some more heralds would make it more playable at lower point levels. Plus it can always use more bloodletters.

I'll see if I can put up some battle reports and talk about what I am thinking with the rest of my armies next week. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

  • The new 40K RPG will be something to watch. Different company, different approach, different era altogether I suspect. A new system gives me hope that this might be a more playable and fun entry to our library.
  • The Expanse RPG might be interesting but I haven't read the books or watched much of the show. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Traveller and other harder sci-fi RPG's. I'm wondering if Starfinder might have sucked most of the air out of this room by then though.
  • FFG's Star Wars is taking a turn with the first of what I suspect will be a series by publishing Dawn of Rebellion - an era book, not a "campaign type" book. I'd like to see more of that.
  • I'll be interested in seeing where D&D 5E goes next. With a first big rules supplement scheduled for later this year and a pretty diverse set of adventure modules in print what's next?
  • Mutant Crawl Classics! What comes next beyond some more adventures? 
  • Starfinder: does it sustain the incredible momentum it has right now? Or does it slow down once people actually start playing?
  • The new Star Trek RPG: how does it do? Big hit? Medium hit? One year on what will it look like?

Non-RPG Bonus Anticipation: 40K 8th edition will continue strong and that new codexes will enhance the game without breaking it - fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day 30: What is an RPG genre mashup that you would most like to see?

Don't we already have just about all of these? At least that we're likely to see published since a Star Wars - Star Trek official crossover is unlikely at best? Between Shadowrun, Torg, and Rifts haven't we had them for 25+ years now? Deadlands, Numenera ... how much is left here? Superhero games tend to do this inherently and we have tons of those.

I'm struggling to come up with something original here that's a mashup.

How about this though as a game I'd like too see whether it's a mashup or not?:

How about a Kaiju RPG? Something where you play as a Kaiju - you get the Kaiju's point of view? You have some kind of motivation for doing what you do - smashing cities, roasting tanks, eating nuclear power plants. You have goals to accomplish and these pesky humans and maybe other kaiju are standing in the way. Maybe you're eating, maybe you're doing this stuff to reproduce, maybe you're trying to protect the planet - but they just do not understand and they cannot be allowed to stand in the way.

I'm sure we could come up with a basic mission structure:

  1. Emerge
  2. Replenish
  3. Discovery by humanity
  4. Initial Opposition
  5. Begin Agenda
  6. Heavy opposition
  7. Rivals!
  8. Final goal + climactic battle
  9. Resolution
The trick is to make all of these interesting and applicable to most characters. I could see using a fairly simple system similar to FATE, Apocalypse World, or ICONS. I could also see going more complex and building up some sub-systems for battling the human military, spawning offspring, battling other Kaiju, developing a cult following among humans, all kinds of little things that show up in these kinds of movies. Maybe the whole framework of defending earth against various threats from pollution to alien invaders would serve as the core conflict.

"Stand by wave motion gun and RELEASE THE KRAKEN!"

To make it a mashup once you have the basic system figured out then it's time to take it into space with *COSMIC KAIJU*! Now you're not just defending the earth - you're going into space, perhaps allied with humanity and their space fleets, to stop alien threats before they invade! Imagine Star Blazers/Yamato or Robotech/Macross  with Kaiju as a part of the fleet!

...or maybe the fleet and the kaiju are running from something ...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Day 29: What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?

As of today I have been a part of about 30 Kickstarters and about 20 of those have been related to tabletop RPG's. I have received the promised rewards on every single one of them other than the most recent ones and even on those I may have a PDF already while we wait for books to print.

Most of them have been fun and interesting. the M&M 10th anniversary run was cool and the RQ2 KS turned up a lot of old material and released it as PDFs.

There are two that stand out however:

Spirit of '77 had a tone that stood out right from the beginning. The concept, the video updates, and the follow-up and delivery were all top notch. That was a really great job.

The other one is a company, not one particular KS. Pinnacle, the Savage Worlds guys, has done a consistently excellent job with Kickstarters. I've been a part of Weird Wars Rome, Deadlands: Stone and a Hard Place, Deadlands: Good Intentions, and Rifts Savage Worlds and every one of them has come thru with everything promised, no surprises, and pretty much on time. I like their game, I like their settings, and I like the way they handle their business. For a smaller company they have a damned impressive track record and I'm interested in anything and everything they do in the future.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

  1. Star Wars (movies and shows)
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger movies
  4. The Tick (animated series)
  5. Star Trek (shows and movies)
  6. Lord of the Rings (movies)

I am under no illusion that this is unique to us. I suspect a lot of other groups have similar lists, particularly those of a similar age. A lot of it is influenced by what we're playing so the order may reshuffle but these are pretty consistently the set of things that turn up. You'd be surprised how many "bad feelings" are found in a D&D game or how That Still Only Counts as One even in a superhero game. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

I think I've covered this before so I'll keep it short:

  • I need a good game. For me this is basically a game I like, one that starts the wheels turning just by flipping through it. It might be the setting, the concept, the mechanics, or even the art, but something about it has to inspire me.
  • I need some players. Interest and availability are the two key elements here. Experience isn't super-important - I can teach you the game if you're interested and can show up regularly and I can provide dice, character sheets, and books for the game.
  • I need time. This is often the hardest thing to come by. It's not really a tool but it is a necessity.
Anything else is gravy. You'll probably want some pencils and paper. You'll probably want some kind of character sheet. You'll probably want some kind of dice or cards or coins to flip. That said there are workarounds for all of these - a smartphone can replace all of them, and can probably keep a copy of the game rules available as well. A tablet or a laptop can do the same.