Sunday, 2 February 2014

It's been a while...

Afternoon peeps, how are we all? It's been a while since I've posted anything on here so firstly, apologies for that. Real life has overtaken hobby time a bit at the moment and I've been getting slammed at work so to be honest I've not had the energy to do much when it comes to hobby due to being so tired!

But, I'm starting to shake off the January blues and I'm getting geared up for 2014. I've got ambitious plans for this year, to which I'll be sharing my progress with you as I go along. As you know, I've already embarked on my Salamanders 2nd Co. project and I plan on entering Golden Daemon 2014 later in the year all being well, but on top of that, I'm also hoping to start attending more tournaments and picking up some new games to start playing (more on that in a minute). 

The biggest news since the last post though is that I'm now a staff writer over at Talk Wargaming. I've been asked to contribute to their painting guides and general tactical posts which is nice, so keep an eye out for some extra stuff over there.

Now to go back to my plans for starting new games. At my new gaming club, although its small (i.e it's held in a room in the local community centre), they have a staggeringly large range of games being played, which is awesome. So, I plan on getting back into Malifaux (not strictly a new game but I haven't played for about 18mths and they've released 2nd edition rules now so it's kinda new to me again), but I also intend on getting into Bushido: New Dawn. Now for those of you who don't know what Bushido is, it's a small 32mm scale, D6 based skirmish game based on a fictionalised version of feudal Japan, so it's chocked full of Samurai, Ninja and Sumo. On top of that, it has some stunning mini's to go with it so I'm really excited about the hobby aspect of it too. 

So there we go, a bit of an update on what's been going on and what's coming up. Now, time to settle down in front of the TV for the rugby!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hobby Focus - Salamanders 2nd Co. PROGRESS REPORT #1

Greetings fellow gamers, Geochimp here, how did you all fare on the hobby front over the festive period? Personally, I did rather poorly on getting actual "stuff" done, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!

In between all of the booze and chocolate, I've been making steady progress on gathering stuff together for my Sallies project, namely spending money and buying plastic crack!

My hobby haul was rather spartan this year as my rellies were like "well we didn't know what to get you so here's some money/vouchers instead so you can get what you want". On Boxing Day, armed with a fist full of cash and GW vouchers, I trundled off to my local store to pick up some bits and bobs to keep me going for a while. I also hit up GW direct and Forge World for some other goodies which I'm waiting to be delivered, hopefully before the weekend so I can get building.

So, in addition to the stuff I'd already started on, I've now added 2 drop pods, a box of vanguard vets (not to use as vanguard mind you, but to construct veteran assault sergeants from & to raid for bitz),  a chaplain and the legion praetors from Forge World. I'm also waiting for some brass etch to arrive with the praetors.

So far then, this is where I'm at with the progress:

  • Captain - purchased, waiting for delivery
  • Chaplain - purchased, waiting for delivery
  • Librarian - purchased, assembled, painting WIP
  • Techmarine - completed, however it's an old model I may do a repaint on, I'm undecided
  • Command Squad - all assembled, standard bearer, champion & apothecary completed, 2 vets WIP
  • Tactical Squad 1 - assembled & undercoated
  • Tactical Squad 2 - 5 marines assembled
  • Devastator Squad 1 - Sarge & Heavy Weapons troops assembled, x5 bolter marines required
  • Ironclad Dreadnought - assembled & undercoated
  • Venerable Dreadnought - purchased, waiting for delivery of FW bits for him before assembly
  • Drop Pods - x2 purchased, awaiting assembly
  • Land Raider Redeemer - assembled & undercoated
  • Rhinos - x2 Rhinos requiring repaints
  • Vindicator - requiring a repaint
As you can see, that little lot is plenty to be getting on with for the moment. What I'm going to try to do is get what I've got finished first before buying any more so that I don't end up drowing in a sea of sprues and getting overwhelmed with things. I'm hoping to get the librarian and command squad finished completely within the next fortnight, time permitting.

I've also set myself a target of getting 1850pts worth of Salamanders completed in time for the 40k Team Challenge at the Giant's Lair in Plymouth at the end of April as I want to try and go for best painted army as well as trying to place in the overall tourney standings. I'm not sure if that's a bit ambitious though, we'll have to see.

For now though, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy, prosperous and most importantly, hobby-filled 2014!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Greetings, hope you're all enjoying the festive period. Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Crucible.

Hopefully Santa has brought you all shed loads of plastic crack to keep you occupied over the holidays while the rellies take over your sofa and eat you out of house and home!

See you all in 2014! :)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gaming Focus - Solid Lists with Fluffy Twists

Evening all, today I'd like to talk to you  about list writing, specifically writing lists with some fluff justification behind them. 

Nowadays,  it seems as if the rise in hyper-competitive tournament play has caused the types of list we see to become stagnant and cookie-cutter like, with the onus on min-maxing the crap out of the best units in the codex or fielding ridiculous, hard to counter combos such as the screamerstar (seriously, who thinks of these stupid names?!). In my opinion, these kind of lists are killing 40K for the casual gamer. Now, I'll hold my hands up now and say when I write a list for attending a tournament, obviously I'll try and beard it up as much as I can to try and give myself that edge over my opponents to hopefully allow me to place in the final rankings. 

However not everyone likes to play in tournaments and so aren't as hardened to seeing these sledgehammer lists go at each other all the time, and these players often naïvely agree to games which are effectively over by the end of turn 2. Think about it, how many of you have that one player at your club who brings the most douchebag lists week in week out even when you've  arranged a series of silly, fun games? My old club certainly did and it got that bad that many members refused to play him. Those he did manage to convince to play then got pwnd and he lost yet another future opponent as they joined the growing ranks of gamers who ostracised him for being "that guy" all the time. Not fun for his opponent and not fun for him as he's running out of possible opponents. 

Now I know some of you will be sat there thinking "What's wrong with using the cheesy, broken units GW has put in the codex? They're all legit choices!". Well to be honest, nothing at all. Like I said, I'm not averse to being "that guy" in a tournament situation, but when it comes to normal club nights, I like to be a little less cutthroat.

An that leads me onto the main course of today's post, namely writing lists which present a balanced challenge, yet aren't totally unbeatable, with a fluff justification for the list composition.

The below list is one I cobbled together this afternoon after reading some of the current Tyranid rumours on some of the forums. As you can see, it's an Imperial/Eldar alliance.

When I wrote this list, in my brain I had a storyline ticking along where the Imperium and Eldar had begrudgingly joined forces to repel a fledgling Tyranid splinter fleet. Led by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and a Deathwatch Kill Team, the noble Salamanders 2nd Co. have mobilised for war with an enigmatic Eldar psyker and a cohort of her warriors in tow, with the objective of purging the ravenous vanguard of tyranids from the system.

With that little narrative seed planted, I then started to construct the list on that basis. So starting with the Inquisitor, I got him tooled up for fighting nids, equipping him with the needle pistol and rad grenades to help with the releatively high toughness of the bigger bugs, power armour to try and keep him alive & kicking for as long as possible and servo skulls to create a defensive ring to keep enemy infiltrators at bay during deployment.

Once I'd sorted the Inquisitor out, I then moved onto the Eldar cohort. I knew that I wanted quick units that could keep out of harms way but that could lay down a fairly solid base of fire that had the ability to cause considerable damage. Enter the jetbikes with the pseudo-rending of bladestorm and the monofilament death delivered by warp spiders. I also gave the farseer a spear, providing her with the ability to try and rid the bigger bugs of the odd wound here and there should the opportunity arise.

I then went on to construct the marine list. As you can see, I've tried to strike a real balance of units. There's plenty of high strength shots from the meltas and missile lauchers mixed with the low AP grav-cannons. All of the missile launchers that were able to have them have been equipped with flakk missiles for AA support against flying gribblies, while the high amount of templates and blasts will deal with hordes. The Sternguard count as the Deathwatch Kill Team for the Inquisitor to ride with, while the Ironclad can mix it up in melee with the mid-sized beasties.

The final thing to note is the amount of psychic power this list provides also. Up to 6 powers per turn is nothing to sniff at and could be quite the game changer. 

Through writing the list with an anti-Tyranid fluff aspect in mind, it's actually turned into a solid all-comers list that should provide competent players with a range of options in offense and defense an give both parties a good, challenging, fun game.

I'd love you guys to give it go if you can and let me know how it performs. If you do have a bash with it, hit me up in the comments and let us know how you got on! :)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Getting ready for PAW 2014 - Calamari marches to WAR!

Evening all, Calamari here! I recently got a reminder that the other local club in my area is holding their annual event at the start of February and I’ve decided to join in. It is an 1850 40k tourney using standard book missions and, like all events like this, it's supposed to be toppers with filthy armies and players. Seeing as my Necrons are still a long way from being ready, I’m going to be taking my Daemons flying circus.

Now, I have been playing with these guys for quite a while (since well before the 6th ed codex, I've always used lots of Princes) and I’m constantly trying to refine it. At the moment my list is Fateweaver, a Great Unclean One, 3 Nurgle Princes with all the toys, a few Screamers and a couple of token troops. This has been really irritating to a few people at my FLGS but I think I’ve seen some areas that need improvement. Namely MOOOAAAAR firepower and the loadout of the Princes.

To get more shooting in the list, I have dropped most of the Screamers and the GUO, allowing me to add a squad of Horrors.  I was sceptical of these guys when I first saw them. They can be stopped by a lucky Deny the Witch roll and then could go on to hand out FNP like it’s going out of fashion. However, after I looked at them a bit longer and used them in a couple of games, I’ve come to appreciate them more. While they aren’t ideal due to the issues I mentioned above, they can potentially throw out a huge amount of mid strength shots regardless of how many models there are in the unit in addition to them being scoring. Winner!

I was never overly happy with the setup of the Princes. The thing that mark of Nurgle has going for it is shrouding. Being able to hide my DPs in a ruin for 2+ cover on the way into combat was awesome. This was not without it’s disadvantages though. Losing out on the ability to run or being able to Sweeping Advance hurts. Slaanesh is a good mark for the extra speed plus I get access to the Lash of Submission for even more firepower. I’m kind of forced into taking Mark of Tzeentch on at least 2 of the Princes due to taking Fateweaver. This isn’t really a bad thing. Apart from being the most expensive mark, rerolling saves of a 1 and getting to cast all of my powers at Ld 10 is very helpful. Using this set up I can free up a Heavy slot for a Soul Grinder.

So far, my list is looking like this:


Daemon Prince

Slaanesh, Armour, Flight, Exalted Reward (Portalglyph), Lesser Reward (Lash), Mastery level3

17 Plaguebearers

10 Daemonettes

11 Horrors

Soul Grinder
Slaanesh, Baleful Torrent

Daemon Prince
Tzeentch, Flight, Armour, Exalted Reward (Gimoire), Greater Reward, Mastery Level 3

Daemon Prince
Tzeentch, Flight, Armour, 2 Greater Rewards, Mastery Level 3

Total: 1849

So this list keeps most of the elements of my original list but with more improvements. The portalglyph can give me more troops if needed. The Grimoire coupled with Fateweaver’s reroll can make a unit really survivable for a turn and the Daemon Princes are much more rounded and backed up by more shooting. Plenty of time for playtesting in the meantime though!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Joining the Twitterverse

Evening all, hope you're all enjoying your Friday.

Just a quick one to let you know, the Crucible has it's own twitter feed now so go on, give it a follow. You can just click the follow button on the right hand side of the page

You know you want to.... 


Monday, 2 December 2013

Building a Dynasty – Impressions of the Necron book and plans for the future

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m starting Necrons. There are 3 main reasons for this:

1: I want a new army.
2: I want an army that can hold it’s own on the tourney scene.
3: They aren’t Eldar or Tau.

I love my Daemons but I have been playing them almost constantly for the last 3 years. I have played my Deathwing for a bit during that time but they are just a bit of fun really. As for point number 2, I might be fairly new to the 40k competitive scene but I want a decent chance of not getting utterly trashed at a tourney. The reason for me not wanting Eldar or Tau are a combination of the fact they are rampant at my club (and I here they are like rats, pretty much everywhere) and that I can never really find a list I like the look of.

So Necrons then right? I like their fluff and look. The whole Stargate type thing and the very Macbeth story of their tragic rise to power appeals to me. I’ve borrowed a friend’s codex and I’ll be looking through it over the next few weeks looking for units to catch my attention.

A few units grab my attention. Nightscythes, Deathmarks and Wraiths all look awesome, they will all definitely find a way into my lists. They also happen to be 3 of the best things in the book, lucky me right? As for a HQ, I’m looking at Nemesor Zandrehk. This dude is the daddy of the Necron special characters, yes, even better than Imotehk and his gimmicky lightning trick. He can dish out any one of a bunch of special rules to a friendly unit, of particular note is Stealth and Tank Hunter. Stealthed Warriors? Tank Hunting Annihilation Barges? Yes please! The flip side of this is that he can strip certain special rules from enemy units. Again, stealth is a big one here.

Doomsday Arks on the other hand seem to be awful in comparison to the other Heavy Support choices. A skimmer that can’t move because it will make it’s gun weak? Not that a single str 9 template is anything to write home about, especially when it costs 185 points.

I’m going to keep looking at the book and lurking on some forums and put a list together. I’m really quite excited for this. I’ve not built a brand new army in a while.