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woensdag 18 januari 2012

Guess who´s Back!

(actually, the title is a pretty good song by hip hop legend Rakim. You should listen to it)

It seems somewhat apt to return from a form of Blog demise (or torpor at the very least) in the week that Vampire Counts have been re-released  (honestly, not swayed by Balephon’s comment at all, really). So here I am, back to entertain you with my gaming mumblings, showing you what I have been up to and what’s going on in my mind, gamewise!

So let’s get this show back on the road. I’ll just call this my “ I’m back, b!tches” post and do a Midweek Modelling one right after this one (as should be Thunderstomp! standard for a Wednesday). Really, even though I haven’t been blogging, I have been painting and modelling, so I have some stuff to show you there as well.

First things first though! What do I have for you today? I’ll take a quick look at the new Vampire Counts book and do a First Thoughts kinda thing, to see what I think will happen once we’ve played a few games with the book and which units stand out. Secondly I’ll take a look to another game me and my mates have started playing looking for a new challenge. It’s got to do with boats (no, not that dreaded Dreadfleet, come on now…) and let me tell you, it’s caught on like wildfire.

Couldn't resist...
Vampire Counts!

Let’s start with the not-quite-dead though. Everywhere you look, people on the interwebz are talking about the new Vampire Counts. And with Thunderstomp being on the cutting edge of absolutely nothing, I will do the same here! Like I did with Ogre Kingdoms before this I’ll do a first thoughts post where I’ll talk about how I see this book working in a couple of months. That way I can look back at this post in a while and see what I got right and what I was wrong about. Always fun.

>Favourite new unit: Bat Swarms. Finally swarms that have a function! These little critters cause any unit they are in base-to-base contact with to get the Always Strike Last rule. I doubt I have to tell you what a boon it is to certain undead units if they can strike first, right? So, for 70 points (two bases), sounds like a good deal to me!
>Most important change to the book is that there now are a variety of builds possible, each with a decent chance of winning. No longer will every VC army be one big unit of Grave Guard with Regeneration and the +1 to hit banner, supported by units of Ghouls, that silly helm, and all that bog standard stuff. Now, with a Master Necromancer, players can do a no-vamp list. They can try out a gimmicky 75% ethereal list or do an all-mounted army. The Ghoul King and Crypt Horrors lets you do a cool Ghoul Court army. All in all, lots of options, just like with all the other 8th edition books so far. I like it!
>Magic is fixed and crumbling has been elegantly solved. No longer do VC need to spam the same spell over and over again. They can just cast Invocation of Nehek (the signature spell) at the desired level and all units within range will get models back in one go! Allowing another wizard to ‘ take over’ and stop the army from crumbling to death when the real general dies is also genius. It’ll still suck when you general dies, but at least it’ll not be end of game.
>Zombies will be the most complained about unit in 6 months’ time. I thought at first Crypt Horrors might be, but then I realised not everyone will include those. Zombies will be in every VC army for the simple reason that you don’t have to buy them but can start summoning then in-game. Don’t get me wrong, zombies still suck, they just don’t suck as hard as in last book. With a S and T increase they don’t keel over from a brisk breeze (a plus) and, and this is the important bit, Zombie units are dead easy (see what I did there?) to resurrect. Whenever you cast IoN on this unit they get bolstered with 2d6 zombies (+ level of caster) instead of 1d6 (+ level). So, cast that twice a magic phase and you’ll have a tarpit that will be very hard to get rid of.
>Not too sure about allowing the bloodline powers to be separately bought instead of coming out of the magic items allowance. I mean, OK got their big names, but those really aren’t any good or at the very least overpriced, and those come out of magic items allowance. Looking at the VC Bloodline powers there are some really good ones in there. Always Strikes First for 30 points, for example. Look, I don’t mind there being a mechanic in place to allow players customizing their Vamps to the bloodline of their choice and, to be really honest, I can also understand allowing Vampires to become better characters than most all others (perks of being a Vamp, I guess). I just hope this doesn’t herald the start of ‘codex creep’ in the 8th edition army books. So far GW have done a smashing job of keeping all the new books reasonably balanced. Here’s hoping they keep doing that!
>Lastly, how many opponents do you think will fall to the Corpse Cart obscure (at least for now) Vigour Mortis rule & Invocation of Nehek synergy? Whenever any Augment from the lore of Vampires targets the CC, all undead units within 6” of the CC will get Always Strike First! Since all Vampire Augments affect all units within a certain distance, it’ll be easy to just make it look like you’re just trying to bulk up your skellies and grave guard and then, bam, always strike first grave guard! Or something…

I want it!
Just a quick note on the new models: They look smashing. Honestly, they range from great (Black Knights) to awesome (Krell). Well done, GW.

And before I forget, yes, I will be making a small VC army, just because I think it’s cool. Progress shots later!

Something else to read

Go check this out if you have the time. Nice article over on Santa Cruz Warhammer on how GW are doing some things right. Good article, Mike.

Time for something completely different!

By Spartan Games

As I have mentioned before, the Fantasy Campaign I participated in ended, and we are still looking for something to do in its place. Right now, it looks like we’ve found a replacement: Dystopian Wars.

This is a steampunk-ish game where a general commands an army of Boats, Aeroplanes, and Land vehicles. The basic rules are fairly simple, they have a fair selection of armies and units to choose from to make it interesting, and it just looks a lot of fun. The models at first didn't appeal to us that much, but I can tell you they look a lot better in person. They are also quick and easy to paint (as you'll see later).

I’ll not talk about the game too much yet (I’ll leave that for Friday) but I will tell you that we played our first few games over the weekend and we definitely see the potential for a nice game. Ideally we would like to play in a campaign of some sorts, so we’re thinking about what we would need to set something like that up. This is a good read for inspiration. As is this.

Right, that’s it for today. A bit short, granted, but after the month long hiatus something is better than nothing, right? (don’t answer that…)

Now, with all that out of the way, I have got to say, it’s good to be back! And also, Happy Birthday to both Balephon and David, who both are creeping ever closer towards that dreaded 3-0 this week. Enjoy your youth while it lasts, young bucks!