Saturday, December 26, 2015

40K: Turn Order Needs An Overhaul

What's this you say?  Change the foundation upon which the game is built?  Blasphemer!  Heretic!  Chaos spawn!  Guilty on all accounts


Monday, December 7, 2015

40K: We Want A Clear, Concise Rule Set...Yeah Right!

Do you really think the rules to a game this complex will ever NOT be ambiguous?  Instead of that pipe dream, let's think of ways to minimize the conundrums and get on with the game.

Multiple question marks on paper


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Specialty Games: Bring It On

Hell yes I'm excited that some of our favorite classic Specialty Games may be back on the shelves!  But wait, GDub, there is plenty of competition and timing is critical.  We like the way you are releasing 40K/30K product; be careful with those Specialty Games!


Friday, November 27, 2015

On The Bench: Iron Revenants Progress Report (November 2015)

The Iron Revenants Strike Force is moving along nicely.  Here is an update with some pics and conversion notes...this will probably be a two parter as I have loaded in quite a few new models.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

40K: Hobby Scoring Good For The Game (Or Not?)

Hobby scoring has been with us, in one form another, pretty much since tournament play existed in 40K.  Is it good for the scene, or not?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What-Khan 2015: A Gaming Convention For Everyone

A couple of weeks ago, I made the annual trip to What-Khan (formerly RockCon) in Rockford, Illinois.  It is definitely not GenCon, but for a regional Con, it has a bit of something for all gamers, including a generous helping of 40K.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

40K: Some Thoughts On The Tournament Scene

Since the departure of GW from the world of tournaments years ago,  40K "competitive" play has been all over the place.  Let's see where we are now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

40K: Back On The Bench With Forge World Mechanicum

I have been a busy hobbyist over the last several weeks; buying, assembling, painting.  Here is the latest Iron Revenants progress report, focusing on my work with 30K Mechanicum models.

Monday, October 12, 2015

40K: Just Get Your Grimdark On

I hear and read all the time about 40K players who say that unless you're building, painting and rolling dice, you aren't really engaged in the hobby.  That you aren't "bringing the hobby back."  What a load of crap.

Board Gaming: Darkest Night

If you want a truly challenging co-op game, that can also be played solo, then continue reading.  Darkest Night is the game for you.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

40K: Scouts or Tactical Squads?


I know you can take both.  The question is, if you HAD to choose, which would it be?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

40K: The Bottle - Not Broken Until You Drop It

So much conversation in the community about "fixing" 40K, which, it appears, is very broken.  So help me understand; who broke it?
beer 2

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On The Bench: Iron Revenants Progress Report (July 2015)

Last couple of weeks have seen significant progress on the Iron Revenants Strike Force.  Take a look at what's been going on...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Commentary: Competitive (Tournament) Play Is Not Narrative

Am I trying to pick a fight?  Hell no.  Just stating a fact, and getting folks to think about something we all know is true.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

40K: Iron Revenants Strike Force

Even though I have stepped back from 40K, I am still committed to being ready for D-Company's annual Big Game next spring.  As Hive Fleet Prometheus fades into memory, the Iron Revenants Strike Force is preparing for the big rumble!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review: The End of the Dune Saga...Hunters of Dune & Sandworms of Dune

If you are a fan of Frank Herbert's epic science fiction space opera, then you need to read this.  The Dune saga comes to a close, written by none other than Herbert's son, Brian, and Kevin Anderson.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Commentary: A Toast To Those Who Help Us Keep The Hobby Alive

Yeah, its a platitude.  So sue me!  I think it's important to thank the folks who spend that most precious of all commodities, time, to keep us informed and connected.
toast 5

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

40K: Imperials Knights - Would You Like Fries With That?

There is no doubt that Knights are powerful units and bring the sting.  However, as strong as they are, they need support to keep them operational and on the board.  So I have three Knights and I want to fill out a 2000 pt list.  What do I bring to the dance?
knight 4

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dead Tree Books Are Not Dead

And the book said..."Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."  Even in the digital age, the dead tree book (printed copy) is alive and well.

Books 1

Sunday, June 7, 2015

40K: Too Cold, Too Hot or Just Right?

Having to wait years for updated/new codices was frustrating.  Not having enough time to catch your breath and make a purchasing choice can be just as frustrating!

Codex Space Marines 2015 games_workshop_warhammer_40k_codex_adeptus_mechanicus_cult_mechanicus_cover CODEXIMPERIALKNIGHTS

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Board Gaming: Merchant of Venus (2nd Edition)

Off we go!  Here is the first of Shadow's non-40K posts, this one focused on a recently acquired board game called Merchant of Venus (with no apologies to the Bard). 


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Prometheus Is Changing - The Power of Adaptation

Just like the Tyranids themselves, Prometheus is about to change.  This weeks post talks about why and how...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Run Little Bugs, Run!

 Those smiling Termagaunts and Hormagaunts.  Piles and piles of them.  Or should I say waves and waves of them…yes I should! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tyranids, 7th Edition and the New Psychic Phase

Tyranid_by_JaevulenAfter a year of playing with the new Nid dex and 7th, I am resigned to the fact that the Psychic Phase, at least for my Tyranids, is a sidebar...
Fundamental changes in the psychic rules, I'm sad to say, have affected not only Tyranids, but other armies that made psychic powers an important part of their winning tactics.
You can, and probably will, say I'm whining here.  As you wish.  If, however, you look at the changes in the rules, it is hard to argue that Tyranids are still an army that can make psychic powers an important part of their game.  Sure, you still have powers and you can still use them.  I get that.  Can you use them to make a real difference in a game?  I doubt it.  Let's take a look at the changes and how they have affected Nid armies.  By the way, I know I am not alone here.  Other psyker armies have been affected in a similar.  However, I can only speak to my own experience over the last several months.
First, we have the change to Shadow of The Warp (STW).  This intrinsic army rule actually made a difference once you got your STW units within range.  It made it much more difficult to not only manifest powers, but to pass any leadership test.  Now, it is only a shadow of its former self (that pun WAS intentional!).  STW now has no affect on a units ability to manifest powers, which no longer relies on leadership.  Sure, it can affect Perils rolls, but seriously, you will lose a wound on 4/6 results anyway.  That is of course IF you roll Perils.  Does it work in synergy with Horror?  Sure.  As long as you are not using it against Fearless units and your Synapse creatures are close enough.  STW is way too situational to be of use on a reliable basis.
Next we have the significant change to the choices in Powers.  A single list with marginal choices, other than Warp Blast, IMO.  What about the Primaris power, Dominion?  Sure, but you have to use Warp Charges to use the damn thing.  The Norn Crown is a sure thing for just a few points, and doesn't cost Warp Charges.  If I am going to use Charges, given the mechanic of how they work now, I want it to be worthwhile.  Moreover, the Nids are restricted to codex only powers...this is a HUGE disadvantage!  A single discipline to chose from for an army that has several potent psykers in its ranks...go figure!  No Biomancy?  Are freakin' kidding me?  Even the Nids weapons are organic, and the army can't use Biomancy? Catalyst is even nerfed in the Nid dex.  For Nids, it gives FNP to the psyker and a single unit with 12".  For those using Biomancy, Endurance gives a 4+ FNP and Eternal Warrior to a unit within 24".  No Telepathy for an army that uses a form of telepathy to control its minions over countless miles of space?  How does it work that the Nids have powers called Dominion and Psychic Scream, but can't use powers from Telepathy that includes the powers Dominate and Psychic Shriek?  Wait a minute, both those powers are spelled differently...that makes perfect sense!   Warp Blast, although it comes in at 2 Warp Charges, is at least worth the risk/effort, as it is the only reliable shooting attack that Nids have against armour 13/14.
Now we move on to Warp Charges themselves.  Before, I could reliably manifest 7-8 powers every turn, with a Swarmlord, 2 Zoey broods, a couple of Tervigons and a Hive Tyrant (11 powers available in the pool).  This same bunch now gives me 14 warp charges if I roll a 3 in my Psychic Phase.  To reliably manifest anything but Warp Blast, I be rolling 4 dice, 5 for Warp Blast.  This means I can, as best, manifest 3-4 powers each turn.  That is a huge change for an army that used psychic powers as an important (but not the only) tactic towards winning games.  Does the Neurothrope really make a difference?  Simple answer...No.  So he kills 4 models and adds 4 to my Charge pool...I had to use those 4 to get his power to go off in the first place.   There are, for certain, armies which have thrived in the new Psychic Phase.   The Tzentch Summoning Spam comes to mind right away.  Not only do they have a crap load of Warp Charges, their units can create more units that create more Warp Charges...excellent!  My Tervigons spit out new gribblies (quite reliably I will add), but those little fellas don't add to the Warp pool.
OK.  Now I'm done bitching.  It is hard to admit that a part of the rules that truly complemented my army has fundamentally changed.  It is difficult (but not unusual) to see GW make fundamental rules changes that are inconsistent with codex rules and army backstory.  So, like any decent player, I have moved on and found new ways to make my dex work and win games...and I have won several games over the past year (11-4 in 2014).  The return of the Tyranid Drop Pod was certainly welcomed, although I have yet to build and paint enough of them to use.  The rise of the Flyrant (FMCs in general) has been fun to see, as well as my consistent use of waves of gribblies which I happily pull from the table.  Formations have also been a great way to wean myself from psychic powers.  It's just so damn hard to give up something that always worked.
How have the changes to Psychic rules affected your play and army over the last year?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Are Swarmlords Obsolete?

When was the last time you took a Swarmlord as an HQ choice instead of a Flyrant?  Have changes in the 7th ruleset and in our codex made Swarmy a tough sell in 1850-2000 pt games?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Kind of Gamer Are You?

Like many of you, my 40K gaming life has changed quite a bit over the years.  The world, and our "other" lives, change, even if our love of the hobby does not.  With that in mind, here's a question...what kind of gamer/hobbyist are you?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shield of Baal: Leviathan Rules Breakdown

Now that the smoke has cleared after all the complaints regarding the late release of a paperback copy of Leviathan, I thought it might be time to actually dig in and see what GW has given Nid players to work with.  I received my copy of Leviathan just before the holidays, so I have had time to give both books a good read through, and have even thrown down for a quick 1500 point game.  He we go...