Friday, October 24, 2008

Arcadia Prime: One year on...

Actually, it's one year plus I totally missed my anniversary of October 8. Well, I've had 90 posts in the intervening year, which isn't so bad. A very large percentage of them were "catching up" by reformatting and posting old battle reports, so I don't know that year two will be nearly as productive. If I can manage a post or so a week, I think that will be pretty good.

Since I started making battle reports, I've done 72 of them, and they've evolved with time--from simple one page descriptions with some pictures, to now with maps, pictures, briefings and debriefings, etc. I hope to keep improving them with time.

The coming year is going to be a busy one, not the least reason being is that I'm going to be a dad for the first time... But in between diaper changes and bottle feedings, I'll hopefully be able to devote some time to gaming and painting--it'll just take more planning ahead to make it work. Already my "game room" is being dismantled to make room for a nursery, but that means I'll just have to use the garage for gaming (the upside to this is that I'll be able to break out my 9' x 5' table again!).

So in terms of the blog, what will the next year bring? I have lots of projects going on behind the scenes:

  • My Brazen Claws continue to expand, in preparation for the last battle of the Axis Columen Campaign, which will be an Apocalypse battle between my Brazen Claws and Badelaire's Necrons.
  • I'm also working on finishing up a Necron terrain piece for that battle (expect a terrain article soon)
  • A scratch built Battlefleet Gothic ship. I've had the idea in my head for a while, and I also have all the parts/bitz needed for it, I just need the time to sit down and do it!
  • An idea for a new mini-codex that I've been thinking about for a while, which will include rules, some background, and some conversions.
  • More battle reports, of course! Starting with battles 3 and 4 of the Axis Columen Campaign.
  • The most ambitious idea yet--I've been thinking about making a "sourcebook" of sorts based on the Arcadia Sector, providing background of the setting for that games my gaming group plays in, including a compilation of battle reports, campaign ideas, hobby projects, etc. This idea was inspired by the truly amazing work that the boys at Bell of Lost Souls have done with their various minidexes and campaign supplements. I can't hope to match what they've accomplished, but it will be fun to try!

Other possible things down the road include:

  • An Epic 40k battle report. I have miniatures for this game dating back to the days of Space Marine, and both Badelaire and I have been itching to give them a try.
  • A Lord of the Rings battle report. Yes, it's not 40k, but I've played it a few times and liked the game, so I thought it might be fun to do a battle report for it.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'll try to keep it interesting...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Battle Report: Eldar vs. Imperial Guard Capture and Control

In this battle, I would be commanding the Imperial Guard forces while Tyrant commanded the Eldar. Just before the battle we randomly determined the mission type to be Capture and Control, with deployment Spearhead, and the Eldar won the choice of deployment, and they opted to deploy and move first.

Eldar vs. Imperial Guard, 1250pts

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Impressions of Codex: Space Marines

It’s thick.

There’s a huge background section which focuses on the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines are really being pushed as THE ultimate Space Marine chapter, which, in a way, they are.

This is bound to anger some of the other founding chapter players, like Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, etc. But there’s a reason why the Ultramarines are dominant. They came out of the Horus Heresy largely intact, which cannot be said for the other loyalist chapters. Their dominance shows in the fact that 3/5 of all Space Marine chapters are descended from the Ultramarines, and that the Codex Astartes is so prevalent. Some players may argue that the Ultramarines are "boring." Boring they might be to some players, but they make up for that with sheer power. If you want to play one of the more "characterful" chapters like Blood Angels, Dark Angels, or Space Wolves, that’s perfectly fine, but don’t complain when the Ultramarines are described as being more powerful. Those chapters are cool because of their character, not their raw power, and that’s why you wanted to play them in the first place. Still, a line like this is bound to cause some legitimate gnashing of teeth: "Some [chapters], such as the Blood Angels and their successors, strive to be worthy of Guilliman’s legacy, but their recalcitrant gene-seed drives them ever further from it." (p.24)(emphasis added) I would think that the sons of Sanguinius would want to tell the person making that statement that Guilliman’s successors should be striving to be worthy of the legacy of their angel-winged primarch, rather than the other way around. But then, Codex Space Marines is a book about the Ultramarines and their successors, so some creative license is expected.

Some of the background seems to have changed for some chapters, directly contradicting previously published works, for example:

  • For my beloved Raven Guard, previous background has stated that the Raven Guard never fully recovered from its decimation at Isstvan V, so they are constantly low on vehicles and other heavy equipment. Yet the new codex states that since Deliverance has the production capacity of a small forge world, the Raven Guard "rarely lacks for the materiel to prosecute its campaigns."(p.25)
  • For the Brazen Claws, it used to be canon that the chapter sent all 10 companies to fight in the 13th Black Crusade. Now, apparently the Brazen Claw embarked on a crusade into the Eye of Terror after their Chapter planet was destroyed by daemonic forces. (p.29) I suppose that these two statements can be reconciled, but the old canon seemed to indicate that they went on crusade along with all the other imperial forces, whereas now they seem to be on a lone crusade motivated by revenge.
  • In the 5th Edition 40k rulebook, it states that in 546.M32, the Halo Brethren, Imperial Fists, and Sable Swords Chapters kill the traitorous Drakan Vangorich, Granter Master of the Officio Assassinorum. (p.124) Yet in Codex: Space Marines, it states that the Sable Swords Chapter was "[f]ounded in the latter years of M41" (p.28).

    Here’s a list of the things that jumped out at me while looking at how my armies would be affected by the new codex:
  • Assault Marines essentially get their jump packs for 2 points a model. They can forgo the jump packs as in the past, but they do not get a points credit like they used to. But since the packs are cheaper now, it doesn’t matter much.
  • Techmarines lose their signum, but the Devastator Sergeant gets one as standard, which is a net gain as far as I’m concerned.
  • Terminator Honors is gone, so my captain effectively loses an attack. But then, my captain can get Hellfire rounds for his bolter, which is very cool.
  • Space Marines did go up in cost, but Rhinos went down in cost, and the basic special/heavy weapon loadout (flamer/missile launcher) is free, so a standard tactical squad with transport costs less now than it used to. (205 as compared to 219 points)
  • Captain Shrike can get a command squad all armed with Lightning Claws, but there is NO option for them to get jump packs. I have to think that this is an oversight. (Update: As somewhat_damaged pointed out, it is possible to get Shrike's Wing by using a Vanguard Veterans Squad instead of a Command Squad, and you can always field a Command Squad separately. A little roundabout way of doing it, but it works.)
  • Razorbacks get the Lascannon & twin-linked plasma gun option again, which allows players to use the old school Razorback again. I don’t own one, but I know this will make some players happy.
  • The Landspeeder Storm looks to be really cool, and their Cerberus Launcher seems cool to supplement the scouts assaulting, but it begs the question: Why on earth would you assault anyone with a 5-man scout squad? There are very few targets that would make this worthwhile, unless they’re supporting the assault of another friendly unit, or attacking extremely weak units. It doesn’t seem like this will happen enough to make them worthwhile to get.
  • Scout shotguns are now S4, which makes them worth getting now.
  • My Brazen Claws are begging me to get them some Sternguard and a Land Raider Redeemer.