Tuesday, January 29, 2019

40K Weekday: Grey Knights Update

I really really like the Grey Knights lore in 40K I remember them being an interesting unit in Rogue trader and then in Epic where they were a single unit you might take if fighting Chaos but not an army on their own. Then came 5th edition when they received a separate Codex and suddenly they were a whole separate force with some really nice miniatures all their own. It's a great look, a great theme, and a great concept for an elite strike force in the game.

In 5th they were a top-tier army.

In 8th ... they are widely regarded as the bottom tier army of the game.

This is sad on one level but it also opens up some possibilities as there have been Grey Knights all over eBay for the last year. It occurred to me that since they are an elite army and there are a lot of them showing up for sale online it might not be too hard to acquire them in nicely painted form at a reasonable price.  I've been interested in adding them to the house armies for a while so this seemed like a great opportunity to do that.

So ... the goal: Build a fully painted Grey Knights army without ever lifting a brush to paint them myself and without paying a premium for having it done. This was to be a total refugee army.

I started looking last January, and this first month of 2019 has seen the final acquisition needed to make my Grey Knights army really playable in 8th edition 40K: A third strike squad! This opens up the Battalion option and a decent number of Command Points when fielding them. It's a nice milestone to have achieved.

The force now:

  • Grandmaster Voldus
  • 2x Terminator Librarians
  • 2x Grand Master Dreadknights
  • 3x Strike Squads
  • 3x Interceptor squads
  • 1x Paladin squad
  • 1 Venerable Dreadnought
  • 3x Razorbacks*
Now I like the silver look for these guys, not the literal grey look, and that seems to be the default color scheme along with red and white heraldry. It's been fairly easy to acquire and there are still a lot of options out there. I don't have any air units, I don't have a land raider, and I could always use another Dreadknight and some more Paladins. 

*I'm cheating a little bit on the Razorbacks. They are not painted. I brought them over from another army and I will probably end up painting them myself.

It's around 2300 points right now so I can play pretty much any normal scenario and have some options on what to bring. The core of the force is 3 strike squads in the razorbacks who sport lascannons to give some usable heavy firepower. Pretty much anything in the force can deep strike either from the unit rules, a psychic power, or a stratagem so the rest of it is pretty flexible. The dread is also carrying a double lascannon as well. The recent buff to bolters makes everyone in the army a little better too.

I've been collecting them for a year but I have yet to play a game with them so I cannot tell you how they play - but that should change this week! I'll put up a report when it happens and hopefully it will be the first in a new series.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The RPG Catch-Up post

Despite the silence this month I have managed to get in some games - here's what's been going on at the beginning of the new year:

  • I'm actually playing in two games! At the same time! Not literally!
    • Paladin Steve's Pathfinder campaign is about to make it's 5th anniversary. We're 10th level now and even playing once a month, roughly, it does feel like a nice long continuous campaign. It's clearly going to outlive the system that spawned it ... and I don't care at all.  
    • Variable Dave has been running his 50 Fathoms campaign weekly for around 10 sessions now and it's going really well. I have not played in an extended Savage Worlds game in a very long time - actually never this long - and it's cool to see the intended progression at work. Playing a squid-faced water mage and ace swordsman has been a ton of fun. People always know when I'm speaking in character because I put my hand in front of my face and wiggle my fingers like tentacles and it cracks us up every time.
    • In general it's really nice to be playing in some games regularly for a change. I've been a constant DM for so long it's good to have that perspective from the other side of the table and it helps remind me of the way the fun works on that side of things too.
  • The main campaign which has run mostly consistently every two weeks is the "Classic Cormyr" 5th Edition D&D game. 
    • I really liked running Storm King's Thunder but I felt like I needed to focus on just running one D&D game for a while -not the 3 I was attempting- to keep on some kind of regular schedule. The players liked playing through Keep on the Borderlands and when I explained my thinking on what other old classic modules we could play through as this campaign the immediately voted to make it "the game". Most of them have not played through these old adventures because they are too young or if they did it was back in 1st or 2nd edition and it's pretty fuzzy. 
    • It's fun for me because it gives me a framework to build around but the process of updating to 5th gives me some space to flex my creative muscles in tweaking the encounters and working up some hopefully memorable characters to encounter, both good and bad.
    • They are now finished with the Keep and next on the agenda is The Isle of Dread which starts later this week! Down the road we will probably encounter some Giants and then likely Descend into the Depths of the Earth.
  • As a holiday one-off I ran Day of the Swarm for ICONS - yes, a Supers game again! It went pretty well so I expect ICONS will show up again as an ad-hoc game.
  • I also managed to run another session of our extremely intermittent Marvel Heroic game! I will write it up in the future but the start of a new Event saw the return of Hercules, new writers for Colossus and Iron Man, and the first appearance of Wolverine. It took some time to shake off the rust but we had fun and this may turn into a once-a-month game to try and keep the rust off.
For the rest of the year I would like to keep these things stable and work in more as much as I can. Hopefully SKT will drop back into the rotation at some point, Savage Rifts is still being asked for regularly, and I'd love to run another fixed-run Star Wars game. We will see but it all looks pretty promising at this point.