Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some VC brainstorming

Needless to say, I'm really excited about Vampire Counts in January.  I have boxes and boxes of stuff stored away waiting for this day (Jan 14th).  As if I don't have enough stuff already, the new stuff looks amazing.  I think it's time I start brainstorming on what kind of things I'll be taking in my 8th Ed. Vampires army.

First thing's first:  I will be taking a fighty killy lord over a spellcasting one.  There is nothing more boring than a bunker lord sitting behind his units spamming spells.  I want some 6th Ed. Killing Blow, +1S on the charge killer or some 7th Ed. Infinite Hatred + Red Fury.  From the latest rumor mill, it appears that Vamp Lords will be able to hit WS9 by taking the Dreadknight upgrade.  Since we have no idea what else is available, I'm hoping it'll be similar to what 7th Ed has now.  Sadly, I don't think Bloodlines will be back from what I've read so far.

I have no idea how I'm gonna deliver this bad boy yet, but it's either going to be Zombie Dragon, Blood Knights, Black Knights or Grave Guard.  At this moment, I'm leaning towards the Zombie Dragon and Blood Knights.  From the White Dwarf BR, it appears that Blood Knights went down in points, costing ~250 points for 5 of them with Full Command.  Also confirmed is the Banner of Blood Keep, so that's always a good thing to give your dudes ranged insurance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some VC rumors

UPDATED: 1:36pm 12-29-11

Completely true. Local newsagent had the white dwarf, and I've been having a good read. Invocation of Nehek affects all friendly units in its radius of 6"/12"/18", depending on the power level.

The Corpse Cart gives all units within 6" ASF until your next magic phase if it is the target of a Vampire spell - including the AoE of Invocation. This is specifically stated. Imaging say, 3 units of Skeletons or even Grave Guard, with 2 Corpse Carts between them, and a Necromancer or two in there throwing out Invocation every turn. Skeletons/Grave Guard with permanent ASF.

Raise Dead can raise either Zombies or Skeletons.

A few other tidbits.

Necromancers can take an upgrade called Master of the Dead. The only way to add models to a Skeleton unit raised with Raise Dead is with a Necromancer with Master of the Dead.

Ghouls are 10 points. A unit of 40 with a Ghast in one of the sample lists was 410 points.

Banner of the Blood Keep is one of the returning banners, and grants a 4+ ward save to shooting attacks.

There appear to be 3 different vampire types. Vampire lord, Vampire, Strigoi Ghoul King. This is mentioned in the new rules for Vampire Counts pacts for Storm of magic, they specifically name the lord choices you can take, and it is those 3 and Master Necromancer. They don't mention at all what makes a Strigoi Ghoul King different, though it might have something to do with Hatred and Poison, as Phil Kelly pointed out in the GW website Terrorgeist designers notes.

I also may be reading too much into it, but there's some hints towards Ghouls not being able to be reinforced through Invocation of Nehek. Don't quote me on this, it's not outright stated, just whenever they talk about raising models, Ghouls are the only unit not mentioned, as well as in the Lahmian sample list they say 'with 40 models, it ensures there will be enough left when they reach the enemy' or sometihng to that effect.

A Vampire Lord with death knight is WS 9. Looks like Vampire Lords are getting ridiculous stats again.

Master Necromancers can be the general. They specifically state this. It's possible to make an army completely lacking vampires.

They make a subtle mention about 'when the general dies, the army starts to crumble until another powerful character can regain control.' Seems like you can replace the general with a powerful Necromancer or other Vampire caster somehow if the general dies.


Another batch of input... (from reading through the WD at the store today)

Where should we start ?

Lore of the Vampires

Signature Spell is definitely Invocation of Nehek - on the most fundamental level it can restore "D6 + caster's Wizard level" of Wounds to friendly Undead unit within 6". Boosted version has 12" range, as well as 18" ones.

Other spells includes Raise Dead, Vanhel's Danse Macabre, Curse of Years, Gaze of Nagash, and Wind of Death

Lore attribute: When the spell from the Lore of the Vampires is succefully casted, the wizard or any undead models within 12" restores 1 wound.
Rules tidbits:

All Vampire has rule called "Hunger" - You get to roll a D6 when the vampire kills one or more models in combat, on a 6 you recovers one wound. (Vlad with Blood Drinker pass the roll on 4+)

Also Vampire, including vampiric creatures "such as" Varghulf and Vargheist, can march. So Vargheist will be able to move 20" per turn almost all the time. (not sure if Varghulf can also fly)

Vampiric Powers: (not all of them, just those mentioned in WD)
Flying Horror - give the vampire ability to fly (unsure)
Dread Knight - ability to boost WS (don't know how - but a Vampire Llord with Dread Knight has WS of 9)
Quickblood - gains ASF
Master of the Black Arts - get to re-roll one D6 for the Winds of Magic.
Dark Acolyte - add D3 to the total number of models raised by Nehek.
Red Fury - should be about the same. (unsure)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Vampire Counts!

Got a whole bunch of pics from the latest White Dwarf.

Check out all the Vampire Count goodness!

Merry Christmas everybody :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Research: War of the Ring

I guess this can be inspired because of the new Hobbit trailer, but this is more for personal research.

My friends tell me War of the Ring is herohammer 40K + simplified Warhammer Fantasy.  Since I have no experience with the LotR or WotR, I was wondering if you guys can explain the game to me.  I have the rulebook and I've been reading it over.. but I kinda ran into a problem area.

I've read this maybe 30 times and I'm either tired, illiterate or a mix of both, but I can't make any sense out of this:

Take a look at the To Hit mechanism for shooting in this game.

The example they gave was that a few companies of Galadrim Archers shot at some orcs.  They generated 22 shots.
then they lost me...

So a Galadrim Archer has a Fight value of 5/3+.  The 2nd value represents their skill with a bow.  So using that aiming bonus chart they provided, it means that each company does that number of attacks (8 attacks per company), plus 2 more attacks because it's 5(5 is base number for everything apparently)-3 = +2 bonus die (so 10 total).  So 2 companies of Galadrim Archers with direct LoS generates 20 shots  and if there's 2 more companies behind them, they generate 2 more (1 die for each "supporting" company).  That's 22 dice total.

OK, so looking at the 3+ value of their ranged skill, then looked at their example of "to hit chart", it seems to me they skipped "to hit" all together and just moved onto wounding?  (strength is strength and defense would be toughness).

I'm pretty confused.  I guess hits only add attack dice and you only roll to see if it wounds or not?

Anywho, the rest of the game looks pretty straight forward:
  • 1k battles looks like a 1500 point game from the size of stuff
  • FOC looks really streamlined and easy to figure out with common and rare choices
  • Charges have a smaller degree of random because it's just D6 + 2,4,6,8 depending on what kind of model you are
  • LoS like WHFB but there's less emphasis on pivots and turning (even more so than 8th)
  • Magic is not like 8th ed. WHFB but more like 6-7th ed., which I like, a lot
  • Herohammer elements with epic heroes doing epic and heroic abilities
  • From the looks of it, it looks like this game should be very scenario based or else people are just going to push models forward and crash into things

Did I miss anything?  Now to figure out this combat system...

Monday, December 19, 2011

40K vs. Fantasy by region

I'll lead this off with a link to my favorite site of all, Warseer.  (I'm banned from there btw)

Then I'll post something that loveless said somewhere on the first page:

On the subject of why 40K is played more in the USA than Fantasy.. it's because..

We Americans like our automatic weapons, missiles, and tanks. Fantasy is lacking a bit in that department.

That said, I think the biggest issue with Fantasy around here is still the rank-and-file nature of it.

"I need to buy how many boxes to make one unit?" compared to smaller box counts in 40K and Warmachine. Honestly, I'm not sure why GW packages WHFB the way they do - they throw out 10-man boxes for WHFB when a standard unit size is going to be 20+ in most cases.

40K has its own packaging problems, but they're less apparent, IMO. A 5-man Terminator squad is perfectly usable, even if the max size is 10. The 5-man Troop/Elite boxes are questionable, but are often bulkier than equivalents in WHFB. It's odd to say, but I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck when I'm working on $60 of 40K vs. $60 of Fantasy (notable exception: plastic Zombie Dragon - worth every penny).

The other thing that springs to mind is the widespread knowledge of the Dawn of War and Space Marine games. GW has struggled to license out a good, positively memorable WHFB-based game. W:AR was (is?) quaint at best and a useless exercise in PvP at worst. The RTS version of Fantasy (Mark of Chaos?) never seemed to catch on.

Personally, I like WHFB (especially 8th), but I have trouble painting (let alone buying) 200+ plastic rats or 100+ plastic undead when a square piece of cardboard does the same thing - 50%+ of those models are just glorified wound counters.

With 40K, if I buy 10 Necron Immortals, all 10 have a definite chance to contribute to my army's rate of fire and damage output. 10 Terminators means 10 bruisers who have a damn good chance of getting stuck into a combat and individually wrecking face.

I think you get more of a personal connection with 40K models - you can really go to town with posing and conversions and single Troop models. Your opponents can learn to fear Brother Nero, the tactical marine firing a bolter in one hand and a bolt pistol in the other because he managed to pick the last wounds off the Ork Warboss after the rest of his squad died. Hell, back at the beginning of 4th, I had one particular Arco-flagellant that had accomplished such ridiculous feats of murder that he quickly became the go-to target for my regular opponents.

With Fantasy, the most "locally renown" models were Lord and Hero choices - the troops and such were just meaningless placeholders while Wizards blew them away and heroes cut through them with the Enchanted Sword of Truthiness. Skeleton #27 isn't very likely to stand out from his fellows, nor is High Elf Spearman Ellisyr or Ork Boy Grum Toothcracka.

Fantasy often feels like you're just moving blocks around while 40K can feel like an interactive war movie (and there are games that do it a lot better than 40K, as well!).

What do you guys think about this?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

1500 points - A different animal

Lately, I've been doing a good amount of 1500 pt games.

For me, this is a complete change to how the game plays at 2K.  Let me riddle you guys something:  Does the number of units you have under your control changes from 1500 to 2K?  Yes, most of the time.  It could be a lot more units in transports, a more aggressive MSU approach, 2 huge squads of something or a boss character.  Does this change how you play the game?  Most definitely.  Your strategy, tactics and game sense will change depending on what you add into your army. This is certain.  What isn't certain for me is your level of generalship and play style.  For me, it's difficult to judge whether or not I play more conservative at lower point levels than I do at higher point levels.  The thought and need of unit preservation stays the same no matter what level I play at.  I always want to get the best bang for my buck.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Designing a new miniatures game!

I've had this on the backburner for the longest time, but I think it's time to start a open blog about it.

I can't share too much info right now, but I want to touch upon two settings I'm interested in hosting the game in.  Which one of these appeals to you more?

Alternative History
It's 1947 and the war is still going
Weapons technology is advancing at a unheard of rate
Japan is still racing through rapid expansion
Germany wins the Battle of Britian and has now established Fortress Europe
America tries to invade Europe via Italy and is pushed back
Fights still rage in the Pacific as Pearl Harbor still happens
Hitler is now just invading Russia since Europe is under his grasp
Russia and China unite to form a superfaction to fight Japan and Germany
Think Wolfenstein, Red Alert and Dust Tactics in terms of sci-fi and paranormal coolness

Near future 2239
China and Russia merge as a superfaction
USA is still the world police, the Peacekeepers
NATO is formed into the European Defense Force
Japan sinks under the water from a natural disaster but is actually building a new Atlantis, with Mecha Gundams
There will be future weapons, mechs and a lot of cool technology and weapons
China and Russia invade Europe for the last remaining resources in the middle-east
Europe has no chance but to unite and form a defense force
America is brought into the fight to restore peace and initiate justice
Japan takes this opportunity to strike back after its humiliating defeat in WWII and all hell breaks loose.
Think a mix between Mech Warrior, Earth 2150 and CNC