Monday, June 28, 2010

8th edition play - first impressions.

Got the chance to read through the 8th edition book and play a 2000pt game with the new rules yesterday. While I am sure there are plenty of nuances I didn't pick up on I thought it would be valuable to post briefly about my initial thoughts and impressions regarding the new rules. So here we go!
  • The game moves faster: with the changes to movement, magic, and close combat, the overall "speed" of the game seems to have increased as well. While my first game with the new rules was slower than average this was mostly due to looking up the changes to certain rules or army book interactions. Overall the game was moving much quicker and I liked it.
  • Magic is CRAYZAYY: maxing out on magic users is not always the way to go, in fact it can be a big waste of points. In the end, much of the new magic system comes down to luck. What did you roll for the Winds of Magic? Did your casters manage to channel? How badly do you need your spells to go off? What are you willing to risk? Everything you do in the magic phase has a repercussion. Don't use enough dice - you may lose your chance to cast any more spells with a particular wizard. Use more dice to cast - there is a damn good chance you will get double 6's and suffer some horrible magical backlash in the form of a miscast. Everything is different and I love it.
  • No more lame turn 2: in 7th edition most games stalled out on turn 2 as each side played their part in a game of "who gets the charge" chicken near the center of the board. No longer! With every unit essentially rolling 2d6" for their charge you have the possibility of getting into close combat on turn 2 with plain ole infantry! This greatly increases the chances of things going really well for your army or really poorly depending on how you are used to playing. Personally, I am all for it and I can't wait to break out the Ogres and use their higher movement to my advantage.
  • Measure what matters: gone are the small arguments and bickering over 1/4" and 1/8" and 1/16" short charges. You measure before you ever declare a charge so you will always have a pretty good idea if you can make it or not. Wanna risk that 16" with your unit of Night goblins? Go for it! Never again will you need to scrutinize the small measurements of a wheel and how it changes the charge - you get two free ones! If you can make it from the closest model of your unit to the closest model of their unit you make the charge! It really is that simple, and best of all it makes the game much more fun!
  • Fear not fear: no more outnumber means no more "cheap deaths" after being outnumbered and breaking from a fear causing enemy. No more "I can't charge because I am scared" setups either - fear is tested for after you are in close combat. Fear is good but it isn't game breaking any longer ... so maybe GW can stop giving it out like it is freaking candy now!!
  • Leave your toys at the door: sorry 7th edition min/maxers, the new toy in town is basic infantry. Finally - huge blocks of troops can actually do something and make a difference! Even crappy units like Gnoblars can be really scary when you are facing down 40+ attacks at WS2! Hordes, stepping up, and support attacks drastically change the way the game will be played and is far more fun this way. Lots of dudes! Attacking! Lots of dudes! Dying! Lots of fun!
So there you have it. Just a few quick initial thoughts on the new rules and my own experience with them. For those wondering what I played, it was a 2000pt  game of Vampire Counts vs Orcs & Goblins. You know things are moving in the right direction when the O&G player says "wow... playing against Vampire Counts was actually fun!".

UPDATE: For those looking for a more detailed battle report from 8th edition I recommend reading this:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Progress report 6/27/10 - trees, folks, and fun?!

You may be wondering, "What happened to Randroid this time around? Why isn't he updating his blog with funny and insightful posts that inspire and impress me every time I read them?" Well... the only thing I can say is...  June!!!?

A short list of the things that have occurred over the past couple weeks:

- Went on a work related trip to Bloomington, IN for a few days. Learned that there is at least one place in Indiana which is not completely horrible, drank a lot with co-workers and new friends, and learned a couple things pertaining to my job.

- Went on another work related trip to St. Paul, MN for a few more days. Drank some excellent local brews, had the chance to drink some Odell's on tap in a state closer than Colorado, remembered how much I hate sleeping on vinyl covered mattresses, and learned a few more things pertaining to my job.

- Had a half dead tree near my back porch fall over and on to my house during a rough storm that swept through Michigan while I was out of town. Spent a few days stressing (and not in my house) and being very nervous as I watched the tree lean closer and closer to my room full of models, paints, computer equipment, etc. The tree was eventually cut down and no major damage to the house was done - however; in cutting down the tree my house was filled with sawdust (all over my models especially) due to the windows being open in my rooms. Fun?!

So that is what has been occupying my time for the past few weeks. Even during all of that I did manage to get a little bit of hobby related stuff accomplished:

- Played my first 3 full games of Blood Bowl in KUBBL I. Lost my first against the Maynooth Gits because I completely forgot I could throw my players around, tied the second game against last season's champs the Blitzburgh Stealers when I could have won the game had I not forgotten to use my wizard, and lost my last game against the Ikea Spartans when I couldn't manage to down anyone on a team full of dudes with Block. Feeling a little bummed out by the situation but I am still learning how to play the game and my team is evolving. Once I can afford to buy one or two more Ogres for my team I think things will be a bit different.
- Got a bit of painting done on my BB team and "finished" my first test model - the fearsome Stinkfinger: Gnoblar superstar and all around bad ass stunty dude. Here is a quick pic of the model:

"Trow me ova dare!!"

Now I am headed off to the game store to get in some WHFB 7th edition action and hopefully a bit of time with the new rulebook as well. Either way, we'll soon be knee deep in new fantasy battles and rules in just a few more days!! I am really excited to see how my two armies will change in both build and playstyle with the new edition - how are you feeling about the situation?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WHFB 8th Edition information from the Ogre Stronghold.

The internet is full of 8th edition chatter this morning as GW sent out their announcement email as well as prices and pictures of the different collectible sets available. I'm sure you've all seen this information already so I won't bother covering it here. 

However! One of our forum members (Dooks Dizzo) on the Ogre Stronghold has agreed to answer questions we put forth regarding 8th edition. Since many of you do not frequent the forum I thought it would be good to share that information here. I'll add more information as it is provided in the forum thread.
So, I am finally allowed to talk about the 8th ed book with everyone.  Hragged put together a great set of questions to get us started.
1. How does the save system work for models that have an armour save, ward save and/or regen? Same as 7th or has it changed?
You may always take your armor save (if you would be allowed one) and then if you have both ward and regenerate you will have to choose which one you want to take.

2. Can Ogres use the Flying Carpet magic item?
Oh hell yes, and I expect to see some rockin’ conversions soon.

3. Are fear causers immune to panic?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

4. Do enemy units have to take a fear test every combat phase?

5. If a unit fails a fear test, are they reduced to WS1 and A1 or simply reduced to WS1? Does it last for the remainder of the combat, until the start of the player's next turn, or does it last for that combat phase only?
WS1 and it lasts until they pass a fear test, but they must continue to test each round, pass or fail.

6. Is the Bull Charge special rule in the rulebook now? If so, has it changed from what is printed in the Ogre book?
It is not in the main rule book.  We will still follow the rules from our army book.

7. Could you please briefly outline the bonuses provided by each command group model?

Standard bearer: as 7th ed.  However a captured standard only gives up 25vp’s in 8th.
Champion: as 7th ed.  However if a champion defeats a hero or lord in a challenge +50 vp’s are awarded.
Musician: as 7th ed. Except that a musician allows for ‘swift reform’ maneuvers.  A swift reform allows a unit to make normal move (not march) after reforming and allows a unit to shoot (with the normal -1 penalty for moving.)

8. What bonuses does a BSB provide?
Same as 7th ed.  With the following bonus: allows units to re-roll ALL leadership tests within 12”.  Panic, Break, Stupidity, Primal Fury, etc.
Give 100 vp’s if slain in close combat (including being run down.)

9. How does line of sight work in 8th?
True line of sight.  Hard cover for shooting through models.  I’m not going to answer endless questions or enter debates on this one.  Get the book, read it and play through a few games before worrying about it.  All the games I have played it has worked out fine.

10. Any changes to stupidity?
Yes!  ‘Suffering’ from stupidity makes you immune to psych.  Hello Mawseeker!

11. Are models only march blocked if they fail a leadership test?
It’s more like they’re not march blocked if they pass one.

12. Any changes to how the brace of handguns works?
Just as good as ever.  ‘Over packed’ on the first shot is gone.

13. Any changes to Gut Magic under the new magic system?
Other than it being generally easier to cast, no.  Slaughtermasters gaining +4 to cast is going to be handy for example.

14. What are the rules for army construction? Any Ogre book army restrictions lifted?
Restrictions are lifted.  In a one off contradiction to the normal rules, the BRB supercedes whatever system of army selection you have in your book.  You follow the rules listed in the BRB which are as follows:
Up to 25% Lord
Up to 25% Hero
Minimum of 25% core
Up to 50% special
Up to 25% rare

1-2999 no more than 3 duplicate special choices and 2 duplicate rare choices
3000+ no more than 6 duplicate special choices and 4 duplicate rare choices

In 3000 points you could have 6 units of 2 leadbelchers and 6 scrap launchers, and whatever else you wanted so long as you did not go over your 50% special allotment.

15. How many ranks do Ogres fight in, how many Ogres make a rank, and how many Ogres are required to make a horde unit?
2 ranks like everyone else (with up to 3 attacks from the second rank per model), 3 ogres to make a rank and 6 ogres wide to make a horde.

16. How many attacks does the second rank of Ogres get, and how many attacks does the third rank in an Ogre horde unit get?
3 and 3.

17. Does the Stomp rule exist and work as the rumours suggested?
The Stomp rule does indeed exist and no it doesn’t work as suggested.  It is not an additional attack, it is an additional hit!  One per model in base contact, Always Strikes Last.

18. Is the S7 autokill vs chariots (i.e. our Scraplaunchers) rule gone?
Yes, no more S7 auto splat.

19. Can you always wound on a 6, no matter how low your S is and how high the enemy's T is?
Yes.  And with the number of ways to buff toughness out there, this is very important.

20. Can you share any more common magic items with us?
Warseer pretty much has these nailed.

21. Are the Allies rules only for games with multiple players on the same side, or do they allow you to play with multiple armies yourself?
All games are an agreement between players, so you really can do whatever you like.  The rules however were included with games consisting of more than 2 players in mind.

22. Battle Missions - how many are there and how do they work?
There are 6.
The first one is the beloved pitched battle.

23. Scenarios - how many are there and do any of them involve Ogres?
M\None that specifically involve Ogres no.  There are 11 of them with a few that have subsets for specific historical battles.

24. Roughly how much of the 500+ page rulebook is rules? What makes up the rest of the book, and in what quantity?
Roughly 200 pages is rules.  100 pages of back story for all the armies. 50 or so pages of miniature show cases.  Campaign rules, scenario’s, legendary battles…you name it.  The book is absolutely beautiful, full color and just packed with information.
There is also a picture in the Ogre back story that I have never seen before.  Looks like pencil drawn and shows a large ogre riding a massive rhinox.

Some very exciting prospects here for all armies but the new Ogre possibilities have me quite excited! Flying Hunters or Bruisers!? Mawseeker granting ItP!? BSB rerolls for all psychology!? AWESOME STUFF.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review - "Nagash the Sorcerer" by Mike Lee.

Books! To review! This time around we have a Black Library release from 2009 from the "Time of Legends" series. Next up will be a review of the first book of  the Sigmar trilogy "Heldenhammer" by Graham McNeil.

"Nagash the Sorcerer" by Mike Lee

"Nagash the Sorcerer" is the first in the Time of Legends: Nagash trilogy. The story begins in  the ancient empire of Nehekhara just moments before a series of extraordinary events leads to the death of Nagash's father (the current king) and mother. It isn't long before the cunning youth Nagash begins to form a plan to seize control of his father's kingdom from his brother - beginning a series of events that will change "the blessed land" and the face of the Old World forever.

The tale unfolds through the eyes of several characters and jumps back in forth through time in a way that can be unsettling and confusing to the reader. The initial origin of Nagash is continually interrupted by a "present day" setting where Nagash (known as the Usurper) has begun a war against the people of the Nehekharan empire in advance of his siege of the holy city Mahrak. This strange narration becomes less prevalent later in the book when the focus is placed more squarely on the "current events" as Nagash's army rampages across the desert sands. 

In addition to the narrative jumping about the pacing of the story tends to advance in fits and spurts - often spending pages describing mundane events and dialogue or focusing on the less interesting battles being waged in the name of Nagash's blood campaign. Time spent detailing the pantheon of gods (which is incredibly similar to Egyptian mythology) is interesting but seems to be a large departure from more "established" Warhammer lore. Perhaps this new focus is what future tales of the Tomb Kings and Nagash will build upon in the future?

The most enjoyable parts of this book for me were the more in-depth looks at Nagash's past - his magical training, the beginning of vampirism in the Old World, the construction of the Black Pyramid, and other similar major events from Warhammer "history". These moments make reading through the incredibly repetitive descriptions of armor (apparently everything was "hammered" for the warriors of the blessed land) more bearable and lend a much needed excitement to this workman-like tale.

While it is at times confusing, repetitive, or just downright boring there are some great moments scattered throughout the book for those who are interested in the history of the Old World. Nagash is a great villain and I look forward to seeing how he grows into his truly "evil" nature in the next two books of the series. If you like Warhammer lore, vampires, twisted sorcery, or undead things you will find a thing or two to like in this book. 

Verdict: 7.5 out of 10. Without the interesting lore/back story I think this book would be more like a 5.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm still drinkin' and modelin' ... honest!

Things have slowed way down around here. Part of it is my "new" life here in my hometown - the focus on tabletop gaming is just not the same. Part of it is my new job which doesn't afford me time to waste on a computer while I work (in fact I hardly get to use my computer at all).

The result of both has been me not being able to find a game of Warhammer. This in turn has slowed (stopped) my drive to complete my Vampire Counts army, which also put my Warriors of Chaos force on hold. While I had planned on finishing the VC army in time to attend BoLSCon it doesn't look as if that will be a financial possibility. Moving and taking a pretty steep pay cut has left me without much in the way of "disposable income" - including things like beer, models, paints, and cross-country trips to weekend long gaming conventions.

So where does that leave me and my miniature obsession? Well most recently I found some solace in a local Blood Bowl league and I am in the process of building an Ogre team to play in it (the Bultimore Bullies). Also, just last week my preferred gaming store changed ownership with a promise to focus more on GW games while building a community of players (something I intend to support however I can). And who knows? Maybe once the 8th edition of Warhammer is released the local scene will explode with new fantasy players (for me to abuse with my "overpowered" Ogre Kingdoms army).

Two lengthy work related trips this week and next may keep me from updating this blog as much as I would like - but stay tuned later this month for a look into my painful initiation into Blood Bowl, fantasy book reviews, progress reports, and more. In the meantime I leave you with a review of a beer I probably won't ever be able to buy again!

Lagunitas Brewing Company - 2009 Correction Ale

Beer Type: American IPA

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle with a white label, the Lagunitas dog, and some text. Beer poured an amber-gold color with a thin head that quickly faded.

Smell: A lot of floral and citrus hops followed by a little bit of sweet malt.

First Drink: Mostly sweet, with a bit of the floral and citrus flavors from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, a little oil slick, and a nice crisp finish.

Last Drink: A pleasant bitter finish and a little more sweetness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, not sure what really makes this stand out from a "beer snob" point of view but I like it.

Notes: This beer is limited edition and seasonal. I was lucky to get one bottle of it from the local beer troll. The labels says "this is NOT a double IPA". I'd have to agree - I didn't much care for their Hop Stoopid Ale which was a double IPA.

Verdict: 4.25 out of 5. Flavorful, with a secretly hidden ABV, and it's easy to drink. What more can you ask for? Now only if I could get this beer all year long...

Links: Beer Advocate and Lagunitas Brewing Company.

UPDATE:  Forgot to mention it in my original post but I wanted to say ... go check out the new forums hosted by The Trading Post. Kuffeh (or Kuffy) is the nice bloke who put together the forum as a place for:
"Just a bit of fun, somewhere for general Fantasy based chatter. Please feel free to join and promote the forums to others. I am not expecting much, but it be cool to have a little place on the web for some nice friendly chatter."

I've already stopped by and registered my name so you'll have to get your own! See you there!