Thursday, June 1, 2017

8th edition 40K has arrived

Hey Sportsfans,

As much as I hate to admit it, the gaming airways are pretty much filled with the sounds of 40K. Despite my long standing issues with GW, I have to say they are knocking this one out of the park. In just two days, the new 40K set goes on pre-order and I'm expecting it to blow up. Already the internet is flooded with info from the new army books.

From what I have seen, GW has done a good job and took this quite seriously (unlike some of the stuff that made it into AoS). As a huge fan of orks, I was very happy to see the rules they have received so far. I think they are one of the most characterful armies in the game and now you can actually take those units without being blasted off the table.

Of course, we won't know anything for sure until it actually gets in the hands of players and games are played. And we also have to mention that there is no whining. I have yet to hear someone come up with a legitimate issue. Simple rules. Rules for all existing models out at launch! That right there is unheard of for 40K. No more waiting a few years after new edition to get your new book. Day one, you have your updated rules for your army. That is a pretty huge undertaking and they did it well.

For anyone local to the Portland area, the Ordo Fanaticus club is having a garage sale at their Western Oregon Wargamers location. It will be going on this Saturday starting at 11am. They typically end up with 10-20 people bringing games, books and models for sale or trade. Deals are to be had. Sometimes whole armies can be purchased. I know I've got stuff that I don't need and will try to sell.

My D&D group is going very well. So happy that I have a steady group that I enjoy playing with. We are still using Pathfinder and that seems to be going okay. For someone how never jumped on that train, the amount of info and options is a bit overwhelming. But all in all, its still D&D and that is what matters most.

Flames of War has gotten bowled over by the 40K hype I'm afraid. I probably should be on the looking for some of the stuff I wanted to get...but honestly, all thoughts and extra cash are going to be going to the 40K set and those books...which I need 4 out of the 5. My fault for having so many armies I guess.

Apparently the Dystopian Wars kickstarter stuff should be hitting in June as well. Wonder if I'll even notice it? Let's face it...the biggest thing on my mind is which army to focus on for 40K. :)

Until next time....

Monday, May 22, 2017

Where are my orks?!?

Hey people,

So what the hell GeeDub? You keep releasing these Focus pages on the various armies....but somehow the orks haven't gotten one yet? What's up with that nonsense?

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of you for releasing all these previews and rule snippets. But damn...give me my orks! :)

So as you can see, I've been keeping an eye on the 8th ed updates for 40K. I haven't seen anything yet that is worrying people or scaring anyone away. I've liked what I have seen so far. Just going to come down to whether or not any armies got screwed at this point. I own lots of armies, so the odds of one of them getting hosed is pretty high. But I'm holding out hope that they did they all a solid. For the orks, they need a way to mitigate morale. As a horde army, if they don't get some way to ignore morale, then their number of valid builds is going to be very small.

I am really hoping that GW is also working on a nice transport model for my Ad Mech. There are going to be lots of strategies using transports in 8th and that seems like a big glaring hole in their list right now.

All the rest of my armies seem to be pretty solid for the most part. I wonder if the necrons will get some sort of wound regen. And I want to see how the gauss weapons are going to work.

In other news, I've just plugged up some model needs for my undead army. I think it will be my main force going forward in Kings of War. I have always loved my undead, and while in Kings, they lose some of their sparkle due to the more generic army list, they still are going to look great on the table. I just need to get creative with some of the units and model choices. For the first time, I'm actually going to replace a GW model with a Mantic one. I've bought a bunch of the mantic zombie models. They are quite decent and actually fit better with the newer GW models than the old GW zombie. Maybe I'll even put some together and toss in a pic or two down the line.

Nothing new to report on the PC gaming front. Been pretty much playing the same games. For DDO, my dragonborn Sorcerer build is just crazy good. Granted, he is still only level 10, but the damage he can put out is just redonkulous. So much fun and since it's Monday, I get to use him...woot!

I did actually install and play the Blizzard MOBA game Heroes of the Storm. They had this Nexus 2.0 event going on where if you played games with "friends" you could unlock bonuses for Overwatch. It worked in that it got me to play again. But I'm not so crazy about some of the character balance I witnessed, so I doubt I'll play anymore than I have to.

Oh, I did get Dawn of War III, but I haven't played it yet. Meh..I'll get to it eventually.

Well, that is it for this week. The sun is coming out in the PacNW and that means models can be primed again. That means I might actually paint something. Till next time.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

And on the 8th edition, he played

Hello gentle readers,

Today we are doing the near unthinkable, talking about a GW mainline game. For those that have read my previous posts, they have seen a hate/hate relationship bloom with GW over the past few years. I watched my beloved games turn into miniature selling schemes and prices go through the roof. My investments in their miniatures have kept me in the orbit of their games if not actually playing them.

Well, GW is about to release their 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 and the journey so far has been surprising.

Winds of Change or Clever Ruse?
First off, GW has been releasing good info about the new edition. Nearly every day they have talked about the various phases of the game, giving a general outline of how they work. These are actual articles with real words as opposed to a ten second teaser video that showed nothing. For those that are wondering, no, I don't know the name of the rogue GW employee that has released this info. For his safety, that is being kept very secret. :) You can't blame anyone for thinking that. This is a huge turnaround for GW from years past. So either someone hit their head really hard, or they actually paid attention to the community when AoS dropped. Either way, this has been well received by the community at large by all accounts that I have seen. Lets hope that this new direction for GW is a permanent one.

40K, Age of the Emperor
The rules themselves are very much like Age of Sigmar. Movement values are back for troops, and armor is no longer a static save. Since 40K has always been a skirmish game, the change isn't so drastic unlike Warhammer Fantasy Battle to AoS. I believe we have been promised a free 12 page rulebook. So more meaty than AoS, but still very simple and streamlined. This means that the units themselves are going to be loaded with any special rules they might have. I'm fine with that. I always liked that units could have very individual abilities in AoS that fit their nature. One sore point that may come up is that the 7th ed books are completely irrelevant now. But to sooth that over, GW is going to release info for every unit currently in the game, IIRC. So again, very AoS like. But learning from AoS, they are releasing point values for units from the start. Using them is optional, but at least they are there, allowing no disruption to the competitive community.

Is that Hope?
So what does all this mean? Well honestly, it means I'm actually excited for 40K again. I have friends that have sworn off GW, reading the forums and asking questions about the new rules. In one swoop, GW looks to be making 40K accessible to new players with the "Play with what you have" style of play, yet keeping the veterans happy with point values. Also, they have outright said that they are hoping to speed up play, so that a typical game (based on previous game size) will take only 90 minutes.

Wasn't Born Yesterday
That said, we still don't have the rules yet, nor a solid release date. Also, we don't have the "warscrolls" for the various units. Simplifying the rules is good and all, but if you don't get the flavor and balance right for the units, then it is all for naught. GW seems to be heading in the right direction with 8th edition 40K. Whether or not they will stay on that path is still to be seen. I will say that with what they have done so far, I would recommend people to keep an eye on this one. It could turn out to be not only GW's biggest win, but a win for the players as well.

Till next time...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Close calls and forging ahead

Hello True Believers,

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of April. That was fast. Not that I had any goals to hit before now, but still, seems time is in a hurry to get somewhere.

Welcome to my random thoughts on gaming. I'll try to organize them a bit though.

Latest temptations from GW, Blood Bowl and Shadow Wars.
I have to say, I'm digging the new models for Blood Bowl. The orcs in particular look fantastic. In the past, I had tried Blood Bowl a few times, and even own a couple of iterations of the PC game. There is one constant with the game in that it throws me into a blind rage pretty much every time I play. Something about those darn block dice just trigger that inner barbarian. Looks fun, seems fun, going to cause me to have an aneurysm one day.
And now we have the "spiritual successor" to necromunda with the new Shadow War game. I haven't delved too much into this one. I have owned a necromunda gang since that game came out. And the whole "gang campaign" game seems like it should be fun. One thing always bothers me though, the dreaded WYSIWYG. In most cases, I'm all for it. However, in a game where a character/model may end up changing weapons several times...I can barely get the motivation to convert/paint a model once. Now you want me to cut it up after the fact just because they now have a bolter instead of an autogun?? Screw that. I get that you want to represent whether its a heavy weapon, standard, or a CC kind of model..I do. But there is no way I'm going to cut up my classic escher models just because of a gear change. So necromunda sits on the bench.

Spartan Games reaches out...to late?
So I'm a big fan of Spartan Games. I love the models they come out with. I'm not so much of a fan of the rules sometimes...and definitely the sheer amount of games they keep pushing out, each one with little support. Well it seems they are trying to right their ship and have taken a big step with reaching out to the Firestorm fans. They've laid out their internal changes and a roadmap for the future. So it's a big "wait and see" with them. I hope the community hold their feet to the fire on this. They really need to change their ways if they want any hope of winning people back.

Leading the way for Flames of War v4
So I've invested in V4. I probably should have waited to see if the community would take hold of it first, but they suckered me in with the Africa focus. So now I'm going to see if I can help this game get some local traction. I think Flames is a great game, and I'm really hoping that V4 follows in that tradition. I'm going to go digging through my collection and see what forgotten DAK models are still in blisters and boxe and start working on them. I think I have a few units that are present in 4th that I had never used before. Also, the new command cards that were talked about might prove to let me use some of those units that were left out of the book. For instance, I could see a card that lets you bring Nebels instead of the 105s. At least that is what I'm hoping for. The best part is, assembling Flames units is normally pretty easy, so I will hopefully get a few done this weekend and then can add pics later. Hold your breath for that.....heh.

'Til next time...


Monday, April 3, 2017

The Flames are rising higher

Hello Sports Fans,

So March was a slow month...meh...I was sick for most of it. Seriously. I'm currently going on week four of a cold that still has its nasty hooks in me. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be well. However, I didn't let it stop me from getting in my gaming.

Dungeons and Dragons Online
Yup, I'm playing the "bleep" out of this game. They recently added in the Dragonborn race (for free) and some additional content. I've already got two new characters made and running around having a blast. It doesn't matter that I've run the same quests 10 times or whatever. Whether it is solo play or getting together with my friends, it is fun and challenging. The new Reaper mode they added to the game is fantastic. It really cranks up the difficulty and keeps you on your toes. And there is actual reward for that added risk in the way of additional chests and reaper skill tree points. Now I do pay to be a VIP. For $30, I get three months of full content, lots of character slots, and 500 DDO points a month that I can spend on whatever. I consider it a bargain. The new dragonborn are really interesting, but not overpowered or out of balance. I replaced a  half-elf sorcerer that I was running with one. Now he looks way cooler, and will eventually get some nice buffs when I can spend points in the dragonborn tree. My daughter made a favored soul and it really got some nice boosts from the race tree.

Overwatch
I typically play Overwatch around 15-60 minutes on a typical day. Now I play quick matches almost exclusively. I want to play the game, not wait around for stuff and I'm a casual player. However, that being said, I still try to win when I play, and I expect the same from others. I can get worked up when I see people playing really poorly or just not doing what I want them to do. :) Seems silly when typed out loud, but there you have it, I'm human. So I play in small bits to keep working on my skills and hopefully become more tolerant. My daughter reminds me if my temper is not kept in check.

Flames of War
Yes, there is actual miniature games content in this update. My purchases this past month include the new v4 mid war rulebook, the free books from BF, and the first two army books for v4 (Desert Rats and DAK). I haven't talked a whole lot about v4 because to be honest, I wasn't sure how much I was going to get into it. First off, kudos to BF for producing quality stuff again. The new rulebooks are all hardback, reasonably priced ($25 or less per book), and well done. The free books were also well done (but not hardbacked). Now the reason I haven't jumped in to v4 with both feet is due to the initial info that popped out. You see I've been playing FoW since v2. I started out with DAK and the North African front has been my favorite theatre. I also own a desert rats force, I have a sizable Italian army as well, both Carri and Bersaglieri companies....the desert war is the shit. So I was super excited to hear that was the focus of the v4 release. But then the actual info came out and they gutted the armies. I say gutted, because as a vet gamer who owns a ton of stuff for these armies, over half of my units are gone. I was like, "where the F is my army??". I was all ready to rage against BF for what they did. But then in a moment of maturity and clarity, I realized what they did, the made the game accessible. They released with the new player in mind. I am not a new player. So I will have to be patient. But if you are a new player, you are a happy clam. You have an $80 boxed army that you can jump into with brand new plastic kits that are freaking cool. You have army books that do keep things simple, but still gives you options to expand and add more depth to your game play without asking you to become a historical expert in WWII. Plus, you are being fully supported with accessories and terrain right from the start. This is a great time to try out Flames of War if you previously haven't. As a veteran player, I get a bunch of new people to play against, and a new system to learn that brings new options of play. Yes, I will need to make adjustments, and I will have to wait before I can bring all my favorite toys, but hopefully I won't have to wait too long. And if I really miss them that much, then I can always bust out v3.

Flames of War has always been one of my favorite games. The rule set was always good, the armies well balanced*, and I loved how you could play for a close loss that still makes you feel like you accomplished something. All of that wrapped up in the knowledge that stuff like this actually happened and that this is history, not fantasy.

* as with all games, you can find a way to abuse them. However, I have always found that it was easier to make balanced games with FoW than most others.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Rainy Days

The pacific northwest is living up to its rep this Spring. I haven't seen it rain so much since the late '90s. This always creates a huge lull in any painting I want to do as rainy weather makes priming impossible. Okay, so maybe not really impossible, but it has been so long since I brushed on primer that it pretty much feels like it.

On to gaming. Well the search for the two missing vanguard models has pretty much been called off. I have no clue where those models could have gone. At this point, they are lost to the warp. I did trade for a new kit though, so I'll be replacing them shortly. Still, I hate losing stuff.

I have also been purchasing some air brush paints recently. I found some gift certificates that have been building up over the years and finally remembered to bring them with.  My son also surprised us this weekend by coming up and getting all of his furniture out of the garage. So with some work, my garage man-cave can be reassembled and I will have space to pull out the airbrush. That is exciting and scary all at once.

I also made some bolt action purchases with that money. I would have liked to have spent them on GW stuff, but GW retail is just too expensive. And GCs are basically money. If I'm not willing to spend cash on GW, I'm sure as heck not going to spend a GC on it. But that is okay because I got some cool bolt action units. They will go on the bolt action stack in my office. Sad I know.

Oh, I have also gotten a few fantasy models as well from a local guy selling his stuff off. Good prices and well worth the trip. Who doesn't need more savage and black orcs? So I keep finding ways to spend money on my hobby without actually playing it. One day they will actually name that disease.

This weekend I also went to go get my free 4th ed Flames of War book...but was denied as battlefront didn't deliver to my store on time. Boooooo. However, I did get to see what the new book would be and I'm very happy with battlefront. They treat gamers right. Didn't get a chance to get the new mid war books as they were already sold out, but hopefully I'll get them this next weekend.

Also, Dawn of War III is on preorder. Now this really gets me a bit. I went to the site, and they have a collector's edition ~$130 and then a limited edition ~$60. The collectors is pretty cool, but the limited edition is pretty much crap. Steam also has a pre order deal going on too. I'm going to think about it. I have a little time before I need to decide. I'll probably get it as I have enjoyed the DoW series so far.

And finally, got to play Pathfinder this weekend. Had a good time as always. And I saw that 5th Ed D&D has a new app coming out and you can sign up for beta. I really think Wizards could have been doing so much more digitally for their game. Such a shame. They have had good tools out since 3rd ed, but they have always fallen short at some point. We'll see if this set is better.

Till next time...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Deserters!

Models gone AWOL! Gah! I am missing models! And it is driving me crazy. I currently busted out my Ad Mech guys to take inventory so that I could see what I had available for the OFCC. Well once I got them all out on the table, I found several were missing. I had two partial big robot guys that were missing their arms, and the tech that went along with them. Then I found that I was missing two electro priests, and two of my vanguard armed with arc rifles. I haven't been doing anything with this army for months...so it has really thrown me off as to what could have happened to them.

I have scoured my office, section by section, looking for the models. Thankfully, I did find the missing pieces to the Kastelans. However, the four others are still missing. I have checked every case, every foam container, every shelf. I've pulled out whole sections of my office to no avail.

I've wracked my brain trying to think of where they would have gone. I hate losing things. And there is no reason for these four models to be missing. I could see maybe one if some odd accident happened where it got bumped off a shelf and into a garbage can or something...but four? I just don't see how that could happen.

It's also depressing. I just don't like losing stuff.

EDIT: okay, so after some research, I've discovered that I only ever had eight electro priests, and not ten. Thus, I am not missing two models. That is a relief. So now I just gotta figure out where I put those two darn vanguard models!