Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Why I think the Dark Eldar Bandwagon won't last very long


It's been a busy few days since I last posted, involving the following...

  • Sitting on the table next to Bobby Davro when me and my wife went out for a meal on Saturday
  • Sitting in traffic on the way down to Essex thanks to work, and doing my best not to ram people due to them being stupid drivers and slowing down the flow of traffic (all I can say was I was very very angry about a two hour trip taking four hours!)
  • Sitting in a hotel listening to a co-worker moaning about things not being right with the hotel
  • Sitting around thinking what fun I can have with the new Dark Eldar
The dust has settled from Games Day, and GW have shown off possibly the best minature range that they have ever done (in my opinion of course). You can find loads of rumours and pictures over on the Warseer Dark Eldar Rumour Thread, but to sum it up, lots of people are excited.

As usual, when lots of people get excited about a new army the term Bandwagon gets banded around a lot. Lots of veteran players get disgruntled due to sticking with the race through thick and thin and then seeing lots of people playing with the army, thus ruining the 'unique' appeal about the army, but we also see other players getting annoyed as people are jumping on the next 'hard' army. Personally I think the Dark Eldar bandwagon will slow down after the release due to two things - The models look very detailed and the army will run like a glass cannon.

So why do I think this? Well lets look at the models. Firstly, they have to be some of the most detailed models that GW have produced. We have armoured plates all over the place as well as fine details making the models look very nice. The average gamer tends to get put off with things like this as they want to have their models done quickly and look good. Next up is the Glass Cannon. For those of you not familiar with the term, it basicly means for the Dark Eldar that they will hit hard but can't take any damage back. With an army of lots of Toughness 3 models with 5+ saves as well as Open Top AV 10 transports, it's easy to see this. Average gamers won't like this as they want to be able to win after a couple of games practise rather than quite a few games practise.

So because of this, I think interest in the army will fizzle out after a bit. Personally, I'm still looking forwards to them, as I want to improve my painting and I quite like playing with Glass Cannon armies. Then again, I could be completely wrong. Chaos Daemons for 40k were an army everybody said would be brilliant but interest fizzled out after a bit until recently (mainly thanks to Fiends I think) and they are proving to be quite popular.

Anyway, what do you think about this (or bandwagons in general)? Whack a comment up and let me know!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Games Day this year might be cool


I sit here at home just finishing off a bit of work while sipping whiskey and half watching Predator in the background and my mind is cast towards Sunday. On Sunday, we have UK Games Day kicking off and frankly it sounds like it's actually going to be good.

The last Games Day I went to was over 12 years ago when I was about 18 and while I enjoyed it, as I got older I never really fancied going to one because of the following reasons:
  • I felt like I was paying a lot of money to wander around effectively a Games Workshop
  • With the Internet, you actually got to see more cool stuff than being there on the day
  • Far too many people who need to be introduced to a shower and soap
But now being 30 I have a slight change in how I see Games Day and I have been very tempted to go this year, just quite simply because I haven't been to one for a long time now. Add on top the fact that GW have also just recently added that they would be revealing a lot about Dark Eldar and have Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin showing things off, I was really looking towards going. But again work has popped up and I have to travel down to London on that day, so I can't go.

So I was a bit sad about that, but then I found out that GW are doing live updates during the day, so hopefully I too can join in and see some of the cool stuff going on! Visit the Games Workshop Website on Sunday to see more!

PS - I'm really looking forwards to seeing the Dark Eldar Models!!!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Is Jes Bothered?


So, is Jes Goodwin bothered by the blurry picture of the Incubi floating around on the web? That is the question that has popped up on a couple of forums recently.

For those of you with a big confused look on your face at the moment, I'll explain/waffle for a bit. Firstly, Jes Goodwin is probably the best minature sculpter on the planet and has had a hand in much of Games Workshop's success. Along with John Blanche, Jes has shaped and developed both the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes as well as sculpting the most iconic thing associated with Games Workshop - The Space Marines.

Nower days, Jes is fairly high up in the company but he sculpts now and then with probably the most recent thing being the Cold One Knights for the Dark Elves.So naturally, when people heard he was involved with doing Dark Eldar concepts a couple of years ago, they got excited. And now we come to a few days ago and somebody has put up a blurry picture from the Dark Eldar Codex and a lot of people have gotten excited. But there are a few people who are spreading rumours that Jes is upset that the picture has leaked and is throwing his toys out of the pram, yet they can't prove if he is annoyed or not.

At the end of the day, I think this. Jes, probably doesn't give a hoot what some random person on the web says about his work, because the web person can find it very easy to hide behind a pseudonym and moan. He may be annoyed about the leak, but then again we have no idea if it was GW (or even Jes) who leaked the picture (which is something that they have done in the past). We'll find out more over the next few days as Games Day approaches but I'm looking forwards to seeing proper photos and the actual models!

Edit - I've just realised that some people might mistake the picture as Jes. It's not and is in fact Katherine Tate as one of her comedic characters, Lauren Cooper, who's catchphase is "Am I bothered?"

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Blurry Things and Laughing at Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Right, lets get it out of the way. Over on Warseer, you may notice the Dark Eldar Rumour Thread, and with in said thread there is the following blurry picture....


So first glance at the new Incubi which look like a cool mishmash of Eldar Aspect Warrior and LotR Uruk-hai. Looking at the image, the models appear to be sculpted by Jes Goodwin and rumour has it that most of the Dark Eldar range has been done by him. We should see and hear more come Sunday due to Games Day.

On a completely different note, Aaron Dembski-Bowden yet again proves why he is so frigging cool. Over on his blog, he is listing a few reasons why he hates Star Trek. All I can say is pop over to his blog and have a read as it's so funny and it's great reading about what he is thinking about. Plus whilst you are reading about that, buy some of his books as he is a really good Black Library author. In fact he is just a cool guy, as he's quite happy to discuss things with his fans and importantly he seems to 'get' the universe he is writing in.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Run! The Dark Eldar cometh!!!


It's been a curious weekend for me and my wife. It initially started with me having to build two servers quickly to replace a failing system at work and then spend all weekend supporting the guys who managed the app and making sure it was up and running. We did this and I can put a nice big tick next to it.

Next up, a Blind, frail and elderly cat was handed over to my Mother-in-law as a passer by noticed it walking in circles in the road. Because she has three cats, a dog and her house is generaly noisey, me and my wife said it could stay with us over the weekend until we could drop it off at the local RSPCA shelter. The weekend was also spend mopping up cat wee, calming our cats down as they weren't very happy with it being in our house, and also trying to stop it going under the kitchen units and getting lost. Cat was dropped off this morning and thankfully her owners were found and contacted. Another big tick

So although I'm quite chuffed with myself today due to those two things, I'm even more excited about the following....


Hell must have frozen over! Normally GW are quite cagey about letting people know what's coming out as they fear that the knowledge hurts sales as people find out what is in the book and then aren't excited when it actually comes out. This is kind of true, but I don't think so in this case. This has to be one of the most eagerly waited releases from GW in the last 12 years (apart from Chaos Dwarfs), and I can see it being a very happy Christmas for the guys at GW, as I can see this being a big seller! I know I'm pretty much sold!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Only a mother could love them....


... the new High Elf plastics. Only a mother could love the fuglyness that the ooze. You might of guessed that I'm not very impressed with the new plastics, which are now up for Advance Order from Games Workshop. I was really looking forwards to these and I was even half tempted to go to Games Day as I might be able to pick them up early, but after seeing the pictures I've changed my mind. Now it's not that these models are poorly sculpted, it just that they had quite a high level to meet due to the metal models that they were replacing. If I'm quite and brutally honest, they don't. For example, the metal Pheonix Guard are nice and slender and basicly ooze Elveness. Then we have the new plastic Pheonix Guard (see picture) and they look like that they have been down the gym bulking up on Weightgain.

What's frustrating though is that I've wanted a High Elf army for years and I was tempted to give one a go as soon as I heard about the Island of Blood boxed set containing some, but these new models have put me off them. At least with my interest in WFB being low, I'm not hugely disapointed and I can get back to playing with Boltguns and Chainswords.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Pinkie Winkies come out to play!




Introduction

For the last year or so I have mainly been playing WFB and I was enjoying it. Then 8th edition popped out and I liked it, but for some reason I wasn't getting excited about it and I found that I was getting interested in 40K again. So I see if I can get a game at my local club and have no luck, so I do something slightly silly and dangerous and arrange a game against some random guy off the internet! (please note if you are under 18 I would recommend against doing this due to the protental problems and I don't want the blame for it!!!)

Over on Dakka Dakka, Mercer aka Mark answered my call and we arranged for a game and off I pop up the motorway to visit him. Having not played 40K for over a year, my choice of armies was a bit spartan. I had my Necrons which needed repairing as they were used to decorate my birthday cake for my 30th. The fact they needed repairing was my fault as my wife nearly dropped the cake while trying to keep me upright when we went home. Having drunk lots of beer and whiskey, I don't remember this, so quite clearly it didn't happen :D

This left me with my Daemons which I could use in 40K as long as people didn't mind the square bases. Mark wanted to play a 2000 point game which I just about managed with the models to hand and only very minor proxying. I took the following....

The Pinkie Winkies - A 2000 point Chaos Daemon Army

HQ
Lord of Change with a Instrument of Chaos
Herald of Slaanesh with Soporific Musk; Transfixing Gaze; Unholy Might; Chariot of Slaanesh
Herald of Slaanesh with Soporific Musk; Transfixing Gaze; Unholy Might; Chariot of Slaanesh

Elite
3 Flamers with a Bolt of Tzeentch
3 Flamers with a Bolt of Tzeentch

Troops
13 Daemonettes
12 Bloodletters
11 Horrors with a Bolt of Tzeentch
11 Horrors with a Bolt of Tzeentch
12 Plaguebearers
12 Plaguebearers

Fast Attack
10 Flesh Hounds

Total : 1993 pts

I was quite aware that this wasn't the most effective list, but it was what I had to hand, plus this was my first time playing in about a year and with this army. I wasn't expecting to do very well and was aiming not to get tabled or loose very badly.

So off I pop up the motorway and I get to Mark's just as he's setting the board up. The board is a 5' x 4' board and is set up as a deserted/runined city block with a lot of terrain, which is what Mark normally plays over. That doesn't boad well for my Deep Striking army, but them's the breaks! Mark had taken an Eldar army he's been using for a while...

The Lost (aka the Purple Wurples) - A 2000 point Eldar Army

HQ
Farseer doom, guide & spirit stones
Farseer guide & runes of warding

Elites
5 x Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked brightlance & shuriken cannon
5 x Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked shuriken cannon & shuriken cannon
5 x Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked shuriken cannon & shuriken cannon

Troops
10 x Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked brightlance & shuriken cannon
10 x Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked brightlance & shuriken cannon
10 x Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked brightlance & shuriken cannon
6 x Guardian jetbikes with 2 x shuriken cannons

Heavy Support
Fire Prism
Fire Prism

Total : 1992 pts

Deployment

Mark rolled for the mission and we got Seize Ground and Pitched Battle. Mark then lost the roll off and I picked to go second. Although I hadn't played in ages, I wasn't stupid as this allowed me to 'waste' a turn of Mark's shooting before my army turned up. He then deploys his Wave Serpents centrally and hold the Jetbikes back behind a large shrine ruin. He then finishes his deployment with the Fire Prisms in a buddy system in the left corner of his side of the board.

I split my army up into Waves, with the first wave made up of both Heralds, Bloodletters, both Plaguebearers and the Hounds, and the Second wave had the rest of my army. My plan was stick down the fighty units first using the Plaguebearers as bunkers to protect the rest of the wave, and then the rest of my army comes down and shoots him up. Of course the Chaos Gods decide that this is a silly idea and pick my Second Wave to come down first. Ho hum...

We then get ready to start and Mark realises that we didn't put any objectives down (I play all inocent and blame forgetfulness and old age)! We then agree to play on kill points as it stopped messing around redeploying and Mark would have had an advantage with his deployment if we placed objectives now.

Turn 1

Mark plays cagey and moves his units 6" forwards and shields the rears on the Serpents by doing the back to back trick.

My turn and my Pinkie Winkies start appearing on the board. I pick both my Horror units to arrive first as I wanted to form a firebase. They come down in the centre of the board but one scatters to my left and leaves me slightly worried about how safely my army will come down. I then next pick the Flamers which I try to place down behind some LOS blocking cover but one scatters and they land in a large tower ruin but pass their dangerous terrain test. Next my Daemonettes come in and I try to place them in some open space near the tower ruin. Finally my Lord of Change comes in and I aim to place him behind another big ruin, but he has other ideas and scatters onto one of Mark's Serpents. Rolling on the mishap table, I get a 3 so Mark places him in a crater as far back as possible for me to not get any shots off but close enough for him to try a driveby or a long range duck hunt.

In my shooting phase, my Horrors blast some bolts at a single Serpent and get crew stunned.The Daemonettes try and make a run for cover but don't quite make it as they get distracted by something shiney and then the LoC trys to Moonwalk out of it's crater, in an effort to put some distance between him and the Eldar but doesn't quite make it

Turn 2

Mark identifys that the LoC is a threat to his tanks and drives up a Wave Serpent containing lots of Fire Dragons towards him and they all bail out hoping that they are in range. The rest of the army shuffles around to unleash the Avengers to try and blow the horrors up in to little bits and then the Fire Prisms move a little bit to get better LOS on the Daemonettes.

His Farseers then cast psychic powers, with Doom going on the horror unit nearest the stunned Wave Serpent and the Guide on both Avenger units going to shoot at the two Horror untis (we realised that this should have been done at the start of the turn but as this is a friendly we don't worry about it). In the Shooting phase, the Fire Prisms blast and blast at the Daemonettes until only 3 remain. The Avengers then unleash a storm of shuriken at the horrors and each Horror unit ends up with 3 models remaining. Finally the Fire Dragons finish polishing their meltas and fire away at the LoC along with pretty much every available brightlance and shuriken cannon in range or LoS. After the dust settled, the Greater Daemon still stood but minus a couple of wounds. Mark was not impressed! :D

He then Assaults with his Avengers who jumped out the stunned Serpent and charge the Horrors . Unsurprisingly they smash them good, destroy the unit and consolidate into some terrain.

In my turn I pray to the gods asking for the rest of my army and get rewarded with a flurry of 2's for my reserve rolls! One of the Heralds hears my call and she deep strikes in near the depleted Daemonettes hoping to be a threat to the Fire Prisms. She scatters into some craters terrain but passes the dangerous terrain test. My Lord of Change attempts to get out of it's crater but just manages to crawl out of it and I move my remaining Horrors to try and get them in position to kill the Fire Dragons. I put the remaining Daemonettes up against some LOS blocking terrain in an effort to be all gamey and deny a Kill Point for a turn or two and I then shift my Flamers in the ruins the ground floor to the first floor.

Shooting wise, my Flamers take aim at the Avengers who had killed their horror siblings and managed to kill half the unit. The surving Horrors blast away at the Fire Dragons, killing all of them and then Big Bird destroys their Serpent with a bolt of tzeentch.


Kill points so far.... Eldar 1 / Daemons 2


Turn 3

Mark starts his turn by moving a Wave Serpent carrying some Fire Dragon through some terrain ok, and he then moves the other one carrying Fire Dragons through terrain but it gets immobilised. The rest of the army colisdates around to get in good firing positions, and the 5 man Avenger unit back into terrain while the full man squad moves into some terrain to get some cover.

He then shoots with the Fire Prisms at the Herald scoring two wounds on it, which I wasn't bothered by as there are 3 more left and I can survive another round of shooting before I can carve them up. He then blasts the Horror unit with some shuriken cannon fire all but one. The LoC then gets peppered by all the bright lances and shuriken cannons Mark had avaiable but he fails to cause any damage.

In my turn I offer some assorted sweets and stuffed toys to the Gods, and this time I get the rest of my army apart from a single unit of Plaguebearers (who obviously aren't impressed with a toy giraffe).

The Herald deep strikes in, trying to land by the other one and gets in ok. My Bloodletters have different ideas and deep strike in, landing behind Mark's army but scatter onto his models. One Mishap later and they are sent back home to the warp! The Flesh Hounds attempt the same and come in ok and I try to bring the Plaguebearers in to support them, but they land in terrain, fail two dangerous terrain rolls but pass their invulnerables ok. I bring out a sneaky unit of Flamers which had been stealthly stalking along side some ruins in an effort to try and bag some kill points this turn, who are in turn followed by the remaining Daemonettes ready to assault and blast the full strength Avengers. The wounded Herald decides to come along with them and I fly the LoC towards the centre while the single Horror runs away.

The Shooting phase has the flamers wind of Chaosing the Avengers causing 14 wounds, which in turn leaves a single Avenger who passes his morale check. The Flamers in the tower, wind of chaosing at a Wave Serpent closest to them and manage to immobilise it. The LoC trys to throw a bolt at the immobilised serpent but does no damage.

Next up is my assault phase, and I have the Daemonettes charging the Lone Rang..Avenger and they rip it to pieces. The wounded Herald charges a Wave Serpent and smashes it to bits.

Kill points so far... Eldar 2 / Daemons 4


Turn 4

Mark cackles manicly and starts his turn casting Doom on the Hounds.He then moves the Fire Prisms, backing them away from the Herald. The Fire Dragons from the immobilised Serpent get out and move through terrain towards my Flesh Hounds, and the Jetbikes that had been hiding all game come out to play, aiming to add to the party gathering around my poor flesh hounds. He then moves all his Serpents 6" so I'll need 4+ to hit in combat, but one of them containing Fire Dragons move up to perform a drive by on my LoC.

In the Shooting phase, my hounds die thanks to the Avengers, Fire Dragons and Jetbikes. He then kills the LoC (although I found out afterwards that I had been playing him wrong and rolling a 4++ save rather than 3++! I think this would have left him with a wound!). The Fire Prisms shoot at the Herald coming towards them but no damage is caused, and then the rest of the army still fails to kill the lone horror! The remaining Avenger squad tries to prove that Eldar can shoot, by picking on the Daemonettes. A hail of shuriken later and only two are killed leaving one and denying the Kill Point!

In my turn, I try offering a Bullseye special speedboat to the remaining Plaguebearers, who arrive, get too excited about it and scatters onto one of Mark's units, Another 3 on the mishap table and Mark puts them in the bottom right corner of my side, as this will keep them out of the game. I suffle my units around to get them into good shooting positions or assault positions.

In the Shooting phase, my pinkie winkies fire away but don't cause any damage, apart from the lone horror shooting at the Fire Dragons. It manages to kill three which causes a Moral check and the unit legs it! Kill Point to me!

Assault time and the Plaguebearers charge and kill a 5 man Avenger unit and conslidate ready to try and fight something next turn.


Kill points so far.... Eldar 5 / Daemons 5


Turn 5

Doom is cast on the Plaguerbearers and Guide gets casted on the last Avenger unit and Fire Dragons. Mark then moves his Fire Dragons through terrain move their Wave Serpent out of terrain to target what it can. The Fire Prisms move around to target the Plaguebearers.

His Shooting phase is quite simply blasting the Plaguebearers with both Prisms, Fire Dragons, Jetbikes, Avengers and a single brightlance and he wipes them out. He then manages to kill the lone horror which has been plaguing him all game!

With the game protentially ending next turn, I know I need to kill three things to win the game. So my Daemons suffle around with the wounded Herald ready to assault a Wave Serpent, the next herald to get a Fire Prism and I then shift the lone Daemonette out of dodge, as I don't want her dieing if the Flamers take out the immoblised Wave Serpernt.

In the Shooting phase, the Flamers blast the Serpent and do nothing! Right so I can only get a draw at least now.

In the assault phase both Heralds fail to wreck their victims (although the Fire Prism suffers a Weapon Destroyed).

Mark rolls to see if turn 6 happens, but it doesn't.

Kill points in the end... Eldar 7 / Daemons 5 - Eldar Victory!


Summary

Although I lost, I was quite pleased with the result as it could have easily been a win or a draw. I was pleased that I had managed to cause a lot of damage to his army as well as not having my army wiped off the board. I think Mark was expecting a game a lot easier than he had, as I mentioned I hadn't played in a while and was bringing my WFB army as my 40k one. I made some mistakes, with the biggest one being the hounds being plonked down as target practise, but I did have some luck when it came to my lone horror and Loc surviving as long as they did considering what was being shot at them. I think Mark made a couple of mistakes by being too fixated on the lone horror and LoC when he could have been watching out for my Flamers. The Pinkie Winkies will get a few more outings as I'm waiting to see what the Dark Eldar are like before I commit to a 40K army.

You can read Mark's Bat Rep HERE. It has some pictures and is slightly different as I think he got a bit muddled up towards the end of the report. (but I think we both have a little bit)

You can also have a look at Mark's blog - http://www.imperiusdominatus.com . There's loads of stuff on there.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Dakka Dakka Dakka!!!


I've really been getting the bug to play 40K recently. I know a lot of people are going crazy about Warhammer Fantasy and too be honest, it's a nice game and I enjoy it, but I have a scratch that needs scratching and 40K it is.

I haven't played much 40K now for at least a year as I got quite into WFB (which is why I think I've kind of gone off it at the moment) and it's a bit refreshing coming back to the scene and working out what is hot and what is not. Slight problem is that my Necrons have been damaged and need repairing, so ideally I would like to paint a new army up, but with Dark Eldar possibly coming out in November I want to hold fire until I hear more about that. In the mean while I have a Pink Daemon army for WFB which oddly enough I can use in 40K as long as my opponents don't mind the square bases. Luckly enough, I've joined Dakka Dakka and found an opponent not far from where I live. I'm off to play him tomorrow using my Daemons, so I might post a battle rep this week if I can remember (or just steal his as he posts them on Dakka Dakka.)