Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A Year in Retrospect

With the last grains of 2011 slowly trickle down the horglass, it is time to look back on a year of hobby.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Rules Conundrum: What to Do When the Rules Have Been Broken?

And he's back.

Life, work and Christmas have conspired to keep me from blogging. One's calmed down, one's taking a break, and one is basically over, so I'm back (for now, at least).

And it's time for another Rules Conundrum.

Monday, 12 December 2011

WarmaHordes: Cryx Tournament Results

We had a tournament yesterday. It was a small, in-club thing with seven participants (and two guys sharing the eighth spot to get us to an even number). It was more of an opportunity for some concentrated gaming than an attempt at competition.

I played my Cryx. I won all my three games, giving me the overall victory.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

General Ramblings: Uh-oh, SinSynn Got Me Thinking...

I'm a member of a blogroll called Krootbery Paincakes, over at House of Paincakes (yes, that's a link to the right... you know you want to...), where SinSynn - in his normal disjointed manner - posted this a little while ago. Yes, you go look it through. I'll wait.

Now, everyone who's even an infrequent visitor to this little corner of the Internet marked 'Incarias' will know, I don't like 'Competitive' in my wargames. I think I might have mentioned it...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

General Ramblings: How Are GW and Privateer Like Nineteenth Century Banks?

Inspiration comes from the weirdest of places.

I'm currently reading E.J. Hobsbawm's Age of Capital. Voluntarily.

Anyway, one part sparked a line of thought that I thought I'd share. This will not be one of my brilliantly thought-through posts. It will be at the caffeinated-squirrel end of the scale.

You have been warned.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

General Ramblings: The Utopia of Balance

I had a bit of a discussion with Abakus in the comment section of this article.

We basically had different views on a specific phrase, mostly, I believe, because we read it different ways.

Long story short, it got me thinking about what would be the ultimate balanced army. Utopian, really. And we're not talking about a balanced force, but a balanced Army Book, Codex, Forces of, or whatever.

The matter we didn't agree on was whether it is good for an army to have choices that scream 'you must have this!'.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Terrain Thoughts: WarmaHordes Obstacles

And here's part three.


Trying to think of a good intro...

Failing. Let's just get on with it, shall we?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Rantette: Necron Reception

And we interupt your regular programming (which would have been another Terrain THoughts post about WarmaHordes) to bring you Incarias' (only somewhat late) rantette about the Necron Codex' reception.

And, since I'm lazy, I'll just sprinkle the whole thing with pictures taken straight from the GW webstore.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Terrain Thoughts: WarmaHordes Forests

I actually wrote the second instalment of Terrain Thoughts? Yay me!

So, continuing on the subject of WarmaHordes, the next terrain feature up for discussion is forests.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Terrain Thoughts: WarmaHordes Water


It is one of the most important aspects of a wargame, capable of changing the course of a battle quite significantly by its placement, nature, or absence.

Which is why I feel justified in looking at a few types of terrain here. I'll start off with WarmaHordes (since that is what I'm playing right now) but might branch out.

Today is about water.

[There used to be a picture here. I was informed that it was copyrighted, and have removed it. My sincere apologies]

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

General Ramblings: The "You Shut Up Now" Rule

So, I'm still kind of struggling for ideas.

Sure, I could do a hobby post. Badly, probably. But that would require me to get my camera out. I could similarly actually photo my Trollbloods collection. But that would not only require the camera to be out, but brought down to the club, where my Mega-Smurfs are languishing in a display cabinet.

I could whine about the Internet. I'm sort of good at that. But no one's actually annoyed me thoroughly enough lately. At least not about anything even remotely Incarias-related. The politics are staying off this site for now. Mostly.

So, I'll talk about my club. And one rule we have that deserves spreading.

I like to call it the 'You shut up now!' rule.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Opinion Piece: Why Pirating Benefits Wargames Manufacturers

This one might annoy people. I'm aware of this fact.
I'd just like to make it clear that this is not intended as an argumentation for pirating in general (that's a can of worms that belongs elsewhere). It isn't even an argumentation for pirating material made by wargames manufacturers. It is merely a look at how I (that is, me, personally) see ways in which said pirating might in fact benefit the manufacturers far more than it hurts them.

There, that's the disclaimer done with.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WarmaHordes: Onwards and Forwards - Choosing a Second Army

Yeah, I know it's been a while. No, I'm not going to apologize. Onwards and forwards.

I started WarmaHordes maybe four months ago. Since then, I've been frenziedly assembling, painting and playing my Trollbloods. I've now got to the point where I cannot field all (or even half) my models in a single game at the club.

Faced with this fact, I've decided to get a second army, rather than keep expanding the Trolls ad infinitum (except they will probably still get the occasional reinforcement; no army is ever finished, after all).

I've gone with Cryx. This post will be about why.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Opinion Piece: Competitive Play - Round Peg Meets Square Hole

And it's that time of arbitrary time unit again, when the stars align just so, and Incarias feels he needs to write something about Competitive play.

This time, though, I am going to look at the very core of my arguments against the notion. Why - exactly - does it bug me that the Competitive crowd is growing in influence? Why can I not just sit back and watch as one aspect of my hobby grows?

Put simply: wargaming isn't suited for true competition.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hobby: Broadening Your Horizons

This'll be one of my relatively rare hobby posts. Why are they rare? 'Cause I'm kinda crap.

Today's post will not be a tutorial. It will not deal with a specific technique. There are people much better suited for that kind of article than Mediocre Me. It will, instead, deal with a wide, sweeping principle that I have just recently discovered.

Yeah, truly groundbreaking this is.

Not something I should have realized ages ago.

Changing game systems is good for your hobby skills.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

WarmaHordes: I Hate Cygnar!

This is a rantette (patent pending).

Don't consider it serious.

But I do hate Cygnar

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Opinion Piece: What the Hobby Is to Me

I did a post a while back about non-Competitive play, that got some attention.

It shook me up a bit, to be honest. I've had a bit of trouble actually setting pen to paper (so to speak) since. Call it writer's block. So I figured I'd deal with something that lies at the very foundation of this blog, and my hobby on the whole.

This is a post - insert drum roll and dramatic thunder - what the Hobby (yes, capital 'H') is to me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WarmaHordes: The bandwagon trundles on - Focus versus Fury

And it's that time again.

Unless you've tried it yourself, you've no idea how much of a motivation it is to actually get some traffic.

Which is why I write this now; I was expecting to wait at least till the weekend.

The third instalment of my look into the world of WarmaHordes will deal with the only truly fundamental difference between Warmachine and Hordes, the Fury/Focus mechanic.

Monday, 3 October 2011

WarmaHordes: The bandwagon trundles on - further gameplay

So, my first real post since I joined the House of Paincakes.

No pressure.

I've just had more hits in the last few hours than in the month before it.

Assuming anyone who's still around found something I've written before at least somewhat entertaining and/or informative, I'll just keep going.

And on that theme, here's more observations on the actual game WarmaHordes.

The House of Paincakes


Maybe the big logo tipped you off.

Maybe you're not one of the disappearingly small number of people who already knew my blog existed.

Either way, I think you might have been tipped off.

I sent in an application to join the esteemed network the International House of Paincakes yesterday. Lauby responded today. Apparently, my half-wit ramblings were good enough to qualify.

Maybe now I'll start getting some traffic.

Like, maybe even two visits a day.

Which would be more than I ever expected, to be honest.

Ah, well, that's all I've actually got for now.

Ciao (in my best Eddie Izzard impression).

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Opinion Piece: A Letter

This one's been a while in coming. I thought I'd do it more seriously, but last night I had a whimsy, and this is what came out of it.

Consider this something like an open letter.

Friday, 30 September 2011

WarmaHordes: The bandwagon trundles on - gameplay

I said I might do it.

I'll try to look at a few of the significant traits of WarmaHordes as a game, and tell you why I do or don't like them. So, part actual fact, part opinion piece. Business as usual.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

General Ramblings: In Defense of non-compettitve play


What do you mean I've done this before?

Yes, I've talked about Competitive versus Casual play before. The reason I'm doing it again is partly this article by GMort, and partly this article by SandWyrm. Partly, however, it's just the same kind of reaction again, to an Internet that seems hell-bent on turning our hobby into something it isn't, to me at least.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

WarmaHordes: The bandwagon trundles on - super glue edition

So, a while ago, I jumped the bandwagon and picked up Trollbloods, swept up in a frenzy of steampunk-powered miniatures gaming (but righteously convinced that a blue monster can whoop a steam powered pseudo-dreadnought any day of the week).

This was two months ago.

Now, I've got somewhere around seventy points of models, plus three Warlocks, assembled and painted. Another handful of guys are yet to be finished.

This post is about WarmaHordes (duh) and one of my impressions so far.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Remembering why I don't like rules forums

So, I posted yesterday.

As I said in that post, I had yet to get an answer to my question (that I believed in). That's changed, and apparently, I was wrong (Infernal's posting).

Rules Conundrum: WarmaHordes, I've had a change of heart

So, I little while ago, I wrote this:

"Firstly, it makes it unlikely that there will ever be a large number of Rules Conundrum posts about WarmaHordes".

And, while this may still be true (I am rather good at covering my rear) in that there may never be a "large number", I've found fodder for one, at least. Mostly 'cause no one gave me a good enough answer on the Privateer forums.

Which means I actually have a rules post to write.

This, of course, makes me a happy panda. Big. Kinda hairy. Happy. Yup..

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Giving credit where credit is due

So, this'll be a short post.

I know, precious few of those around here. I'm npt even gonna bother with a break.

I got a package in the mail yesterday. A thick, brown envelope with my address handwritten on. It confused my girlfriend no end.

Inside was the missing bit for my Trollblood Kriel Warrior Leader (long name... I'll call him Bob). I bought Bob and his mates a month ago, and realized there was a piece missing. The weapon arm for the leader. Any other arm, I could probably have scratchbuilt out of Orc bits and hidden behind a shield or in the mass of bodies, but on a leader, that would stand out.

So I contacted Privateer about it. I left them a short message on their website for the purpose, and figured they'd get back to me when they could (they have been rather busy lately). They updated the status within a few days, to 'shipped'. I, quite frankly, assumed this meant the ticket had been shipped to someone who'd deal with it.

But no. I got my stuff. No hassle.

This is just me applauding Privateer for dealing with this kind of stuff that quickly (yes, it took a month. They had to send it from the States to Sweden, and that takes a while) when they have the backlog they do.

So there.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

On the differences between GW and Privateer: Rules and production

And, here we go again.

This will not be a post to bash either GW or Privateer. I like both their games. I might not agree with everything they do, but that's probably why I'm not rich.

This will be a post (possibly series) to look at some of the ways in which it becomes apparent that the two games companies do not always think alike. It will be entirely based on subjective observation, and my extrapolations.

No, I'm not just pulling it out of my... hat. At least I don't think so...

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Trinity of Games: The Miniatures part 3 - Warmachine best

Here goes the second part of my (very limited) look at some of Warmachine's models.

I've been putting off writing this. Why? I'm a lazy bum.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Trinity of Games: The Miniatures part 2 - Warmachine worst

First I said one post, then I said four. Now, I say... It's gonna be a few.

Today is all about the reason I play Hordes, not Warmachine. The Warmachine models that make my hackles rise because they're so bad.

Consider this the "bad news first". Next post will be about the really good ones.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Trinity of Games: The Miniatures

So, what’s next then? Well, if you’ve taken the trouble of reading the title, you’ll know.

I’ll wait if you haven’t. Go on. Read the title.

So, this’ll be about the models for three different games.

No, I’m not going to review all of them. I’m going to look at some of what I consider to be the best and the crappiest of the models for each system. Yes, it will be arbitrary. Yes, some might disagree with me.

Tough Luck.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Trinity of Games: Opening remarks on three games

So, I’ve been thinking. Mandatory quip about this never being a good idea. There, can we continue?

I’ve been thinking.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

General Ramblings: Casual vs. Competitive (or How is Warhammer like Football?)

I’ve been away for a while. Summer holidays, and all that. If you’ve noticed; thanks for following me that closely.

Today’s topic is a sensitive one. Why? It goes to the very way we view not only our hobby, but by extension ourselves.

With the rise of the blogosphere, and in particular blogs such as 3++ Is the New Black, Yes the Truth Hurts, and Bell of Lost Souls, the competitive aspect of our dearly beloved hobby has changed.

Friday, 29 July 2011

40k misconceived: WYSIWYG

After my recent lapse into WarmaHordes (which is still ongoing, as it were) I thought I’d reaffirm my allegiance to the Empire of Games and do another rules thingy for 40k.

I’m gonna poke a hole in a very basic assumption.

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

WarmaHordes: There's room on this Bandwagon still!

So, Incarias goes WarmaHordes. Who'd a thunk it?

A few weeks ago one of the guys down at the club asked around, to see if anyone actually played Warmachine. A couple of the 'old-timers' (sorry, guys) did, and there's been a couple of games played.

Me, being in sort of a GW lull right now (the inspiration and motivation just don't come as easily as normal) decided to see what the game was all about. Fool me.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Rules Conundrum: The Blood Lance

Time for another Rules Conundrum. There’s been a slight gap in between them, as I rile against FAQ’s and play much too little 40k to stumble on any fun conundrums.

So this one’s been brewing for a while.

The Blood Lance.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Gaming on the Dark Side: Baby Seals and the Accidental Clubbing Thereof

Welcome, minions, to this the first instalment of Gaming on the Dark Side. 

It's about clubbing Baby Seals.

Insert Evil Laugh of Doom©.

Friday, 15 July 2011

FAQ'd Up: Initial rant

Hi. I was planning an elaborate greeting, but fell short. This is all you'll get.

Today’s post will be the second in a new series. The first was my Tyranid FAQ rant, though I didn’t know it at the time. In this series, I will be looking at the complementary documents released by GW: their FAQ’s and Erratas. And Amendments.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Follow-up: Valkyries

So, this is going to be quick.

Apparently, GW has realized there's a problem with Large Oval Flying Bases.

Updated FAQ. Scroll down to page 6.

I will ponder the implications.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Book banter: A Storm of Swords

I’ve said this before, but today’s post will be a bit different from what I normally do. It will have nothing to do with miniature wargaming, rules nitpicking or anything else of what I set out to do with this blog.

It will be about a book.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

General Ramblings: Relearning WHFB

Hi again!

I’m gonna start this one of with some sentimental drivel – er-hurm, I mean back story. So feel free to skip the first couple of paragraphs.

Oh, and I won’t be making any ridiculously pedantic rules readings at all. Sorry.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

WHFB Rules Conundrum: The Impossible Combat Reform

So, skipping the customary greeting and excuse for not having posted for a while, here's the gist of today's Rules Conundrum:

It is impossible to perform any but the most basic Combat Reform.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

General Ramblings: RaW vs. RaI

Welcome back to my humble textual abode.

Today, we will be digging into the subject of RaW versus RaI.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

WHFB Rules Conundrum: Obstacles and Steam Tanks

So, here goes again. Today, I bring a rules conundrum of the horticulturally destructive kind.

Monday, 23 May 2011

System Generic: Choosing a force

Happy post-rapture everybody!

So, the world didn't end (did anybody really expect it to?), and I'm back. Why? Why the hell not?

Today I will be regaling you with a rambling article on generic force choice. Again, some of you may be asking yourselves "why?" and once again the answer is: why not? Okay, so it might be that I've had a few of these things sneak up on me and smack me on the head lately. It might...

To most of you, this will be old, and nothing news-worthy. Anyone who doesn't feel like that probably stumbled here from Google (I've had a few hits that I suspect ended up here by accident. Hi!).

No matter what (miniature-based) game system is your personal poison, at some point – a rather early one, too – you’ll have to build yourself a force. This entails all sorts of decisions, from the size of the force (“Should I get fifteen hundred points of Space Marines, or two thousand?”) to its faction (“Empire or Dwarfs for my gunpowder fix?”).

This post isn’t about those things.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

General Ramblings - Games Workshop trying to sink their own ship

As it happens, it seems I'm not the only one capable of screwing even seemingly succesful ventures up. Games Workshop, who are (as many of you know) my main source of hobby addictives, seem to be trying to sever parts of its market.

Three sets of actions are currently setting ye olde Blogosphere (phrase stolen from Brent) abuzz.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Hobby: S.N.A.F.U.

Look it up. It's a thing.

Hobby: Magnets and Anti-shine

Howdy y'all!

Today's post is a hobby post. Yay! I won't regale you with painting tips (there are many better suited for that) but I will relate recent success with two recent purchases from our resident drug-dea... hobby retailer: a bundle of magnets and Army Painter's anti-shine spray.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Rules Conundrum: Vehicular movement

Guess I did manage another post before too long had passed since the last one. Weird...

So, well, considering I've managed to get somewhat of a reader base (as a consequence of linking here from my gaming club's forum) I guess it's worth stating that this will be old news to them. I'm going to write it anyway, but hey...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

RAW vs. FAQ: The Tyranid FAQ revisited

So, let's face it, this has been done before (I think Stelek over at Yes the Truth Hurts has, for example) but there are some things in the Tyranid FAQ that just bug me (pun unintended, sorry). So, I'm going to do what I do and apply my rules-lawyering mojo to some of the questions asked in that illustrious document. With actual rules!

The following questions are lifted directly from GW's Tyranid FAQ. The answers have been substituted with my own.

Q: If I have more than one Hive Tyrant with the Hive Commander ability, do their bonuses to reserve rolls stack?

A: Yes. “Whilst the Hive Tyrant is alive, you add +1 to your reserve rolls” (Codex: Tyranids, 34). The semantics are clear; if the ability were to not stack, it would have to say something like “Whilst there is a Hive Tyrant with this ability alive…”. But no, whilst the Tyrant is alive, you add +1. A second one also alive? You add +1 for that one too.

Q (Cont’d): Also, do I get to outflank with one Troops unit, or one Troops unit per Hive Tyrant with this upgrade?

A: This one’s less clear, and could very well go the way GW decided, so I’m not going to whine about it.

Q: If a Tyranid unit takes a Mycetic Spore, can an Independent Character join the brood before deployment (and hence deep strike in with the brood)?

A: This one, I don’t know about. On the one hand, the rules for reserves indicate that for those purposes, an Independent Character that joins a unit is considered part of that unit (so for the duration of its transportation, the combined unit would qualify as a single one, BBB, 94) and the closest rules we have, being those for transport vehicles, similarly allow Independent Characters to join units being transported (BBB, 67).
 However, for general purposes, the Independent Character does not explicitly count as part of the unit, but merely moves with it (BBB, 48).
 I would have allowed this, but I’m afraid this really is a grey area.

Q: Does Shadow in the Warp affect psykers who are taking a Psychic test whilst embarked within a transport vehicle?

A: Why. On. Earth. Wouldn’t it? I’ll quote you the transport rules (from BBB, 66): “If the players need to measure a range involving the embarked unit (except for its shooting), this range is measured to or from the vehicle’s hull.” Clear as crystal. There are no inherent immunities from being inside a vehicle except (implicitly) from shooting. Other similar powers (like the Eldar Farseers Runes of psyker botherance) have no similar limitations. Why the heck would the all-encompassing Shadow in the Warp not affect a psyker just because he’s inside a tin can?

Deep breath. Calm and easy.

Q: Do Lash Whips affect Sweeping Advances?

A: I know this one is shaky, but I’m going to argue yes. See, the Lash Whip says: “counts their Initiative as 1 until the end of the assault phase” (Codex: Tyranids, 83). I also feel a sense of corroboration from a later entry in the Tyranid FAQ, which says that it is the new Initiative of 1 that is modified by things such as Furious Charge. Surely, if the Lash Whips were just another modification, the order would have been less clear?

So there you have it: my whining about GW's understanding of their own rules. Sorry if I got a bit riled up...
'Til next time.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Rules Conundrum: WHFB buildings, close combat and multi-character units

Guess who's back? Yay, it's me.

This edition of Rules Conundrum will be a little different. Why? 'Cause I say so. And also, because it's a weird thing, that has a fairly straightforward but completely unintuitive answer.

So, last night I had a game of Warhammer Fantasy. Watchtower scenario (oh, lord, how I hate it). Long story short, my general and Battle Standard Bearer (only survivors from a unit of Halberdiers) assault the Watchtower alone. Here's the fun bit, from the rules regarding assaulting a building:

"If characters, champions, or other models that can normally be singled out if they are in base contact are involved in the assault, then up to half the enemy models can choose to attack them [. . .]" (BRB, p. 128)

So, up to half the enemy models involved (five out of ten) can choose to attack my characters. Not each. Half his attacks are wasted, since there isn't a unit to attack instead.

And on that short note, I leave you for now. I'm hoping to get a commentary on my Tyranid list up within a couple of days. Here's to that working out.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

General Ramblings: Rules Within Rules

Considering how few hits this blog is getting, starting this post with any sort of greeting seems somehow wrong.
I've been really busy lately. Hence the shortage of updates (like there's anyone to care).

Well, I'm back, and here goes. I first broached this subject on Warseer several years ago (before I figured out how pointless it is to try to make a reasoned argument in a forum), but it seems time to bring it back to life.

It would seem, that within any given game system, there are the rules, and then there are other rules (Rules Within Rules, or RWR's) that are made up by a gaming group, the community or a small group of friends in front of a computer.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Real Life and the Problems it Poses


My activity here has been scarce lately, but that is because my hobby activity has been more or less on ice, as I recover from what can only (okay, not only) be described as an epic fever streak. Coinciding, as it does, with an intense period at school, this has left me with little energy for anything hobby related (or anything else, for that matter), and the blog (undeserving of the name though it may be) has suffered.

The intention, if there was anyone around to actually care, is still to maintain this little soap-box heaven of mine, but it might be a while before I manage any sort of coherent content again.

So, that's it for now. Be well.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Army: Drop Tyranids

So, when I originally started this little thing, I said that I might put an armylist or two up. Well, I've been ill for a solid week now, and still haven't recovered, so it will give me an easy post to keep the blog alive (if unread).

Tyranids, 1750 points.

Hive Tyrant, Heavy Venom Cannon, Devourers, Armoured Shell, Hive Commander, Old Adversary
2x Tyrant Guard, Lash Whips

Tyranid Prime, Bonesword and Laswhip

2x Zoanthrope
Mycetic Spore

10x Termagants, Fleshborers

10x Termagants, Devourers
Mycetic Spore

10x Hormagaunts

3x Warriors, Scything Talons, 2x Devourers, 1x Barbed Strangler

Trygon Prime

Carnifex, 2x Devourers
Mycetic Spore

Carnifex, 2x Devourers
Mycetic Spore

...which actually adds up to 1735 points. We'll see what I do with the remaining 15.

Anyway, this is what I'll be using (at least that's the plan) in my club's serial tournament. Is it a strong list? In our local meta, yes, it is. At least for now. Would it compete in the States? Doubtful, at best.

So, as for plans... The first thing to realise with this list is that everything is expendable, with one or two exceptions, depending on the mission. Obviously, I want the Tyrant alive until my turn 3, at the least, but after that, he's as expendable as the Zoanthropes. Everything that drops does so with the express plan 'kill as much as possible and then die'. In objectives mission, the Warriors and cheap Termagants get what protection I can give them, and when Kill Points are in play, some of the weaker units will reserve to avoid dying, or bubblewrap, depending on the enemy.

Unsurprisingly, a large protion of this army's strength lies in the ability to strike where I want/need, with relative accuracy (Hive Mind bless Mycetic Spores, haleluja!). Due to the lack of long range anti-vehicular firepower, the Zoanthropes, Mycetic Spores (Ripper Tentacles, yeah!) and Carnifexes (usually in that order of success) need to be dropped to take out armoured threats. Which will work fine till someone decides to mechanize... Ah, well, you can't have everything.

That's it for me. Stay safe.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Rules Lawyering: Line of Sight

As you may have noticed, today's post has a significant titular difference from those that precede it. Why? 'Cause today I feel like being an asshat, is why. This post will be petty. nitpicking, and - of course - entirely correct. It contains the sort of rules lawyering I only ever apply in practice if it's my own models that are affected.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Rules Conundrum: The Kustom Force Field

Here we go again. This post has been inspired by Fester's article here. Arctic Circle thing indeed. Don't get me wrong, I like his articles. I just don't agree with his (or to be fair, the seemingly most common) interpretation of this rule.

Let's get to it, then. The Kustom Force Field.
"A Kustom Force Field gives all units within 6" of the Mek a cover save of 5+. Vehicles within 6" are treated as being obscured targets." (Codex: Orks, p. 34)

So, vehicles are obscured. Let's see what that means, shall we?
"If the target is obscured and takes a glancing or penetrating hit, it may take a cover save against it, exactly like a normal model would do against a wound (for example, a save of 5+ for a hedge, 4+ for a building, 3+ for a fortification, and so on).
[. . .]
If a special rule or a piece of wargear confers to a vehicle the ability of being obscured  even if it is in the open, this is a 4+ save, unless specified otherwise in the Codex." (Big Black Book, p. 62).

So, we need to check if the special rule 'specifies otherwise'. Back to the Codex we go. What have we here? "[A]ll units within 6" of the Mek [get] a cover save of 5+". Are vehicles treated as units?
"A unit will usually consist of several models that fght as a group, but it can also be a single, very large or powerful model, such as a battle tank [. . .]" (BBB, p. 3)

There's further evidence on page 5, if you want it. Vehicles, whether alone or in group, count as a unit.

So, what's my point, then? The Kustom Force Field (or KFF) gives all units within range a 5+ cover save. It makes vehicles obscured, which only tells us we need to apply this rule to vehicles. Targets that are obscured because of a piece of wargear have a 4+ save only if the wargear doesn't state differently (or if it's also obscured for some other reason, obviously), which the KFF does. It confers a 5+ save, and it doesn't matter if you're a Grot or a Battle Wagon.

Following Fester's argument, I'm a Swede, and obviously subject to the Arctic Circle thing, but hey, I feel I make a cogent argument.

So that's my take on Kustom Force Fields. Ta for now.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Campaign thoughts

My club has, over the last few years, run four separate campaigns for 40k, the last of which I organized. Suffice it to say, mine fell flat on its face. I think, however, that I've a theory as to why.

Lack of focus.

All these campaigns have run on the principle of having a narrative, and assigning a winner. I think, that after a few times, something needs to be changed. Okay, so it's a bit more complicated, but that'll do for now.

So I've decided to shake things up a bit. The next campaign will forego the narrative bit entirely; it will, in essence, be a tournament spread out over several months (to accomodate everybody's schedules, more than anything). I will do some meddling with the basic scenarios (bringing the two tables up to six, for a total of thirty-six possible combinations), but will otherwise leave things as they are. I will also encourage lists ofg a more competitive nature than are usually seen.

And where does this leave the narrative aspect? I'm glad you asked. And the answer is, 'down the road'. See, I'm also planning on a real campaign, with a map and four or six players, in which i can go nuts with weird rules and scenarios, without balance being such an issue. But more on that later (hopefully). I've got school work to do. Toodles.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Meta matters

Okay, so there's been some talk (ah-huh-herm) about the importance of the so-called metagame going on lately. Both locally and in the world of international electronic opinion-spreading (blogging). I, being the lost little kitten I am, will not be left out.

What is the metagame, then?

Well, depends. Some consider it to be something contained within the realm of the game itself, that is, it is something created in the interaction of the rules themselves. The cheapness and effectiveness of unit transports in 40k is a common example. Others, however, consider the metagame to be an expression of what is popular in a particular area, be it localized in a town or even a single club, or considered in larger scale. In this sense, one could talk of an American metagame, a British metagame, or for that matter an East London metagame.

It is with the second definition that this post is concerned. After all, the rule-meta is being analysed ad nauseam in every strategy blog.

Why is it important to acknowledge that there is also a local meta to be considered (because I believe it is)?

Let's talk about my club. My club is, some of the more competitively oriented blogs would claim, 'stuck in 4th' (okay, honestly, I think elements of it are stuck in 2nd, but hey). The notion of mech has not taken hold, the two most frequently encountered armies are Orks and Chaos Space Marines, ans special characters are viewed with suspicion. I could go on about things that make the local meta of my club different from that of the blogged-of America.

What this means is that some things that are absolutely mandatory (or near enough) when gaming in the American meta, are next to useless, or at least a lot less useful, in ours. A lot of the time, a melta gun is just a short ranged Space Marine killer, since the only armoured target is a Dreadnought that was rendered irrelevant in the first turn. Another army has no Rhinos but two Land Raiders. What are you going to do with those fifteen autocannons?

The point is, the local meta influences what is important in a list. And the local meta can be determined by other things than popular army choices; what terrain is commonly used, what is frowned upon (admit it, some choices get the stinkeye at your club too) and so on.

And for those of us who rarely venture outside of our own gaming group, this is the only scene in which to play. I'm convinced there are a lot of us.

That'll be it for now. I might edit this post as I think of more stuff to say, though...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Being Incarias

This, then, will be my introduction.

I'm a Swede. English is not my first language, but thanks to a decent educational system and personal preference, I believe I speak, and more importantly, write passably in English.

Gaming-wise, I'm isolationist. I have a club, and for the last four years, the members of that club have been my only opponents across a gaming table. Before that, we were just a bunch of friends duking it out across the floor of my living room. Let's just say finding that club had highly beneficial effects on my gaming, as well as the inspiration to paint and model.

Why have I not gone to widen my horizons further? Laziness. It's a bother to go even to Swedish tournaments, and going abroad? Not my cup of tea right now.

As for systems, I feel I'm primarily a Warhammer 40k player, with a side of Warhammer Fantasy and a sizeable dessert of Blood Bowl. What do you mean a slave to Games Workshop? Seriously, though, those are the systems played most regularly at the club (although some of the guys are looking to run a Secrets of the Third Reich campaign which might or might not spark something) and therefore... See what I mean about laziness?

40k is, and will preumably remain, my primary system. Which, in essence makes this another in the myriad of 40k blogs out there. No matter. I've got three armies, painted up to where they're usable at up to 2000 points, at least, with more models on my table. Those armies are: Deep Striking Tyranids, Elitist Orks and rather neglected Space Marines (vanilla).

It is with the Tyranids that my focus lies at the moment. I might post a list at some point, but suffice it to say, it has three Carnifexes, a Trygon, a Hive Tyrant and an obscene amount of firepower. At 1500, that is. And no Hive Guard, Tervigons or Tyrannofexes (the last, admittedly, mostly because my project for that model is daunting and yet to be started). I hate building conformist armies, to the point where I bring stuff just because people hate it (the Tyranid army didn't really start until fifth edition, but befor ethe new codex; Nidzilla was rubbish - I had to have it).

What exactly I'll write about here, I have no idea. I mostly want my own street corner to spout gibberish at. I might go entirely unread, but that is irrelevant; the point is to have a place to write that isn't a forum or the comments field at someone else's blog. What cares the demagogue if no one answers?

That will be it for now. We'll see if anything comes of this, or if this will be the last post.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Rules Conundrum: Ramming a Walker

So, this one has actually come up in a real, honest to Kermit, game.

Rhino A Rams Deff Dredd B. The resultant collision immobilizes both vehicles, thus leaving them in contact ( as per the rules on page 69 of the Big Black Book: "[. . .] if the ramming tank comes into contact with another vehicle, the collision is resolved [. . .]"). In the Assault phase, the question arises whether the Deff Dredd now gets to attack the Rhino in Close Combat. Coming to the conclusion that the only way this would happen was if it had assaulted the Rhino in a previous turn, we ruled no. I stick by this judgment. See page 63 "Successive Turns" for the rules applicable here.

In the Deff Dredd's assault phase, however, something seems weird. Finding no justification for anything else, we ruled that no attacks could be made, since the Dredd couldn't assault.

I maintain that this is an accurate reading of the rules as they are. I do, however, feel that there is a case to be made for the Dredd being allowed to assault. See, there's not a single sentence (as far as I can find, and I have looked) disallowing an assault merely because the model cannot move. Oh, it will most assuredly fail, since at almost all times models must remain at least 1" apart, so an assault where you can't move will leave you with no base contact.

But, as has been established, the Dredd is in base contact, so could declare an assault, not move a bit, and end up in base contact, thus being allowed to fight. Seeing how ridiculous it feels that the enraged Ork would just sit back and enjoy the view with a perfectly fine target right under its nose, I'm going to go with this second interpretation.

And that's it for now. Happy Darwin Day.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Rules Conundrum: Vehicles shooting

Okay, so, if this blog thing seems to be working for me, and I keep doing it, this'll quite definitely be a regular feature. Why? Because I like rules lawyering, that's why.

Anyway, the point here is to lift a rules issue that either lacks a clear-cut solution, or that has a solution that sort of baffles me, sense-wise (as in it makes none). Enter the rules for vehicles shooting.

In general, the vehicle rules modify some of the general model rules, but leave others intact, yes? So, if a rule isn't explicitly changed by the vehicle rules, it still applies to vehicles. This will be the basis for the argument.

Now, we turn to page 27 of the Big Black Book. In the third paragraph under "Type", there is this little gem of a sentence:

"Remember that a player can decide that any model in a firing unit is not going to fire his weapon. However, if a model does fire, it must do so at full effect"

So what are the implications? Well, first, I take the first sentence to be a simple yes/no; so, you either fire or you do not. The bit that says "it must do so at full effect" has implications for vehicles (and Monstrous Creatures) beyond simply preventing one from firing a heavy bolter at half rate, or whatever. A model that fires must shoot as much as it can.

Now, for most vehicles, in most circumstances, this matters little. Oh, so I have to fire my Storm Bolter at that vehicle I just shot with my Lascannon? Boo-hoo. Pling, pling. For some, however, the implications are dire. Point in case: the Dark Eldar Razorwing. Comes with four one-shot, large blast missiles. Can fire any and all weapons while moving 12". Has two Dark Lances.

Problem the first: if the Razorwing decides to fire its Dark Lances while it still has those missiles, they're going to be fired too, quite possibly at a target that will just shrug them off.

Problem the second: when the Razorwing fires its missiles, its all or nothing. Loose one, and the rest will follow. No shooting some now and saving some for that other large mob of infantry targets.

The same obviosuly applies to any vehicle mounted one-shot weapon (Hunter-Killers, Bloodstrikes, possibly others), but the Dark Eldar fliers are extra vulnerable due to that usually quite nifty ability to shoot full pelt at cruising speed, which means you can't even limit yourself to one weapon by moving fast.

And with that, it's Incarias out.