Category Archives: Not EvE

New Year, New Thoughts

Ok It’s a new year I should probably talk a bit about what my plans are and how they affect the blog. First off I just can’t play EvE anymore. It doesn’t attract me, it isn’t fun, and I don’t have time for it. Hanging out for 30 minutes to wait for a fleet that takes 2 hours to engage to lose my ship in the first moments because I’m way up in the alphabet just sucks. Unfortunately this rather trashes the central trunk of my blog as EvE Online is by far the easiest game out there to write about. But if I wanted easy I’d play WoW so let’s see what I am playing.

Well, actually…. WoW

The game is in a great place at the moment.  The devs have done a good job of distilling the game down to the essence of what they want it to be, finding engaging things for you to do, and letting you do them.  They’ve made everything from leveling to raiding accessible and other than how flat and dull PvP feels for me everything just works.  I’m working on alts right now and have my 100 arms warrior just cleaving the hell out of things.

SWTOR

Revan is an interesting subject for an expansion and I hope they do him justice.  I’ve heard some dark things and the early part of the story is frankly bizzare.  My Sith Jugg is a Dark Lord of the Sith and one of the most powerful beings in the Empire and you are afraid of him because… you think he’s a pirate?  WTF.  I hope the writing gets better.  Gameplay wise I’m happy with it.  I feel more powerful, the tuning was well done and I hope to see more developments like that.

Warmahordes

Awwww yeah.  Nothing says fun like little painted men.  I’ve got some plans for this year, including hopefully a journeyman league run in the summer.  Currently paging through the Cryx book for one off games and trying to assemble Terminus.  Seriously PP models that big need to be plastic.

Star Wars Armada

It’s on.  It’s on and popping.  Pre-ordered and drooling over it.  Cannot wait.

LotRO and EvE and STO

These are the back benchers right now.  LotRO just had an awful producer letter that neuters my desire to play it, EvE is too much time-sink for too little boom-boom and STO will get some play time but… it needs some oomph.  I think they are starting something good with the BOFF revamp but I want to see better and more innovative content.  And better writing.  Watching the entire crew of a Scimitar pour energy fire into a guy wearing a T-shirt was painful.  Like, Shatner-esque

The Blog

So what to write about.  WoW is probably the only game with more digital ink spilled than EvE and I don’t feel I have anything to add.  I’ll certainly opine on things that happen in the game if they climb onto my radar, SWTOR has some possibilities, and of course there will be pictures of miniatures as they get assembled and painted.  General gaming news certainly has some possibilities and obviously snarking about everything will probably be part of it but… we’ll see.

Advertisements

Corelin is Dead. Long Live Corelin Lintu

So I’ve more or less given up on EvE.  It just doesn’t have the draw for me anymore.  It’s too hard to find interesting people doing interesting things for me anymore.  I’m not dropping the Corelin persona in my gaming however, I am adapting him, and the Lintu clan to other games.  First up:  FF XIV

So I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan ever since the very first game hit my old NES.  I’ve played to completion every main sequence game except 8 (I cannot stand Squall) and played all the Tactics, Mystic Quest, etc.  I never got into FF XI very much because it came too early for me to really get into.  Boy did I get into XIV though.  I played it after release when it hit the main stage like a rotten tomato.  I don’t know what it was supposed to be, but it was a clean miss.  It didn’t feel like much of anything, from a Final Fantasy game, to a Top Flight MMO, to a Grindbox game.  It was just a wild mishmash, a Chimera launched malformed into the world.  It was actually fun, but definitely not worth the $14.99 a month.

So Squenix bit the bullet, fired some people, moved others around, and reborned it.  Let me give you my unvarnished opinion of it.  First the good

  • Graphics are great, this is a visually stunning game, that does full justice to the sort of majesty we have come to expect from a Final Fantasy game.
  • The music is amazing.  Seriously.  Battle Music is better than world themes, but when has that not been the case with Final Fantasy?  Let me give you A FEW EXAMPLES.  Yes the last one is a bit odd.
  • Fan service.  2 of those 3 songs are references to previous games.  Battle on the Bridge is one of the more famous FF themes.  Good King Moggle Mog is one of the crazier fights, especially as it has you smashing moggles, who are normally (literally) falling all over themselves to help you.  Chocobos are huge.  Goobues.  Coerls.  Primals/Summons/Name it.
  • Long Global Cooldown.  I wish they used this better but I love how that 2.5 second GCD gives you plenty of time to plan out your move and act or react to the fight rather than spamming through your rotation/priority tree.
  • Enough Story.  Rather than being a primarily story-drive game like Star Wars, or barely bothering with the story like WoW, this game finds a happy medium.  The story is there.  You will play through it once, but if you don’t want to pay attention, you don’t have to.  I barely did until I got to bits I liked.  I will mention that I *HATE* Western Thanalan.
  • Combat in general is very good.  Some of the animations are repetitive.  Arcanists hold their book one way.  That’s it.  Kinda dull for 50 levels and countless dungeons.  Ditto for all the magic users.  Still there’s plenty going on.  ALL the fights require you to think, move, and react to your opponent.  All of them.  That level 3 rat has an AoE that will make you very sad if you stand in it.

Now the not so good

  • The game is a tiny bit cutesy for the “serious” gamer.  It doesn’t always take itself seriously, and this includes ALL aspects of the game.  If you beat Thornmarch and get moogle gloves before finishing your relic quest as a monk you are gonna look like this for a while.

    Yes, those are Moogle heads.

    Now that’s fine for some people.  Including me actually.  But sometimes you will be wanting to feel like a hardcore badass, and you are partied with three Lalafell geared out in full up Kawaii gear.  You can zoom out and ignore it, but it’s still an issue, and an understandable one.

  • The game bogs down in places.  1-50 isn’t smooth, and some endgame gear will be gotten all out of order.  You will get your ilvl 80 weapon before you get much more than a handfull of pieces of other gear.
  • Endgame on the whole was VERY week until a couple weeks ago, now it is smoother, but still could use some help.  I do believe they are working on it, but it is more of a work in progress than it should be.
  • It’s a very Japanese game.  Grinding is a perfectly acceptable thing to put in for them, to the point where mindless repetition of quests or quest equivalents is just fine by the devs.  In addition sometimes the game feels VERY different from a European/American MMO.  Be it WoW or LotRO or SWTOR these games have a lot in common.  This game defies some of that.  It’s not all comfortable for us Americans, although I do like changing things up, sometimes I want to know WHY things are a certain way.
  • I don’t like the crafting.
  • I don’t like the gathering.
  • Housing is expensive.  *Really* expensive.

All in all it’s very fun.  The community is quite helpful, and jerks get called out more often than they don’t.  That’s big for me.  The staff is responsive to petitions, and other than the occasional grindbox segment, the game is just fun.  Seriously watch that Gilgamesh fight and tell me that doesn’t look like a blast.

Later this month I’m going to talk about how bad I am at World of Tanks, and since it’s Sexual Assault Awareness month I will probably talk about why everything you were told about consent is school is horrible.  Till then fly safe, enjoy your game and be excellent to each other.  In addition I’m working on the old podcast and streaming with Matt from the podcast on occasion.

Also:  Gonna need some new art.

 

Good Name *Snort*

So the beleaguered Mechwarrior Online has announced that they will be commencing the Clan Invasion.  This came as a moderate surprise to most Battletech folks as, well, it’s a bit early for the full on invasion.  Sure there were fights in 3049, most notably on The Rock, but most of the planets taken simply had no meaningful presence by Inner Sphere folks.  But it’s certainly permissible by the timeline, if a bit of a stretch so –

Operation Revival is a Go!

Yeah.  The Clans threw bloggers a bone here.  Because lemme tell you MWO can really use a revival.  There isn’t much in the way of numbers coming from the company, but Massively has had 1 story in the last two months.  TheMittani.com has had 2 this month, and a handful in October.  That’s it.  Press coverage has fallen off a cliff because people who want to write about games want to write about good games, and MWO ain’t a good game.  In fact it is a rather bad game.  The community wanted it to be very good and when it landed with a bit of a splat they revolted, sending Piranha into a bit of a panic of balance patches that ended up introducing them to the Law of Unintended Consequences, with patches meant to balance things actually unbalancing them (poptarts?  Gunboats?) and some fixes have taken excessively long to show up, like the UI fix.  LRMs, SRMs,

Oh and the price.  MY GOD.  $240 to get a Masakari, $210 for a Mad Cat.  (The two easiest to gunboat/poptart) You can get a Loki or a Daishi for “Only” $90 or $120.  Be still my heart.

This comes just under 2 months after the last big addition, Project Phoenix, and it’s FAR more unbalancing.  Clan tech is a very dangerous addition.  For the uninitiated, clan ‘mechs have more firepower, more cooling, better speed, and better protection.  In other words something like a Puma is going to win a lot of fights against a Centurion.  A Daishi has the capability to laugh at an Atlas, and a Masakari will do terrible things to an Awesome.  Heck a Mad Cat will tear apart an Atlas most of the time, and the Mad Cat isn’t even the best designed Clan ‘mech.

So we have a money grab, and one that will completely destroy the current game meta.  Seriously these ‘mechs will make obsolete everything else out there on patch day.  This is looting the place as it burns down.  MWO was very promising, but ultimately flawed and the current state of the game all but a death sentence for it. Without a serious attempt to make a fun and engaging game out of the current product Piranha is  running out of suckers to give them more money.

Maybe they can find an Operation: Necromancy to name the next pack after.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Well That’s Refreshingly Direct

From the SWTOR Patch Notes:

A host of new Galactic Starfighter items have been added to the Cartel Market; check the new Starfighter tab to see them all!

Soooo the fastest if not the only way to get these upgrades is to buy them for real money.  Of course they will probably be bound to the character for at least a day or so.  Still letting people buy good parts for real money right off the bat… ouch.  Nice to know wallet warriors are going to be rocking it for at least a few days.  I know it’s a skinny difference but I much prefer to be able to buy a multiplier to my rate of advancement than to just buy advancement.  I like the feeling of “earning” my gear, even if I earned it with an advantage over simply showing up, plunking down dinero and saying “WORSHIP ME MORTAL ONES” for a week while people catch up at least to the point where skill at the computer = skill at making disposable income.

I’ll be interested to see the Galactic Starfighter content of course.  It’s one of the most iconic parts of Star Wars, and even if I usually detest PvP outside of EvE, I’ll probably participate to some extent, just to try it out, but I don’t think it’s going to be a real game-changer for me.  The story is still the key (more on that in a later post) and the PvP, while getting more imaginative, will now consumer ever more resources as they will be managing 8v8, starfighter, AND the upcoming 4v4 arenas.  That’s a lot of resources for a game based on “Story” to devote to PvP.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Really GW? Really? This is How You Treat Your Supporters?

So this weekend I was in the Twin Cities.  I stopped by the Games Workshop store up there.  MANY years ago my long-suffering family took me to the one in… Seattle?  Vancouver?  Somewhere where it rains a lot.  The place was amazing.  Huge.  Well stocked.  Knowledgeable staff.  Laid out far better than the local gaming stores nearest me.  I was able to get a whole unit of Engineer Outriders, which were nearly impossible to acquire in any conventional manner available to a teenager way back then.  If I was even a teenager.

Fast forward to Saturday.  We get there, GF looks over the Eldar, the plan is to at least get her HQ (Farseer with retinue, or an avatar) and maybe some troops.  Only… there’s no Avatar, and they only have the solo farseer sans retinue.  The one staffer working there comes over, I ask him what’s the haps.  Turns out they are direct order only.  Even for GW stores.  Now I’ve heard a bit about direct order.  More on that in a minute.  I didn’t realize that it applied even to GW stores.  Then I started looking at the shelves.  Almost NONE of the direct order line that I know of was on the shelves at all.  Nothing.  Period.  Bupkis.

I’m not sure if this is just that store or what, but they don’t stock a TON of GW product because it’s not part of the core line.  That’s lousy.  Then I started to look over the store itself.  I am blessed to have a place near me as good as Mayhem Comics of Des Moines.  No they don’t give me a discount either.  The place is big.  Well lit, spacious walkways (which is important when gamers seem to grow side-to-side every year) attractive displays and a HUGE games room.  The only place I think the GW store had a match was the quality of the staff.  The gentleman there on Saturday was top notch.  Knew the product line, had the answers, and as I observed him dealing with other customers he was extremely personable, and a great salesman and an ambassador.  Seriously GW that guy needs to be doing more for you than working at/managing a shop.

But the GW shop was still smaller, less well equipped, and less well staffed with only one guy there on a Saturday, with an Army Book releasing that day.  It lacked the massive game room, shelves and shelves of terrain, and additional stock that the folks at Mayhem keep on hand.  When it comes down to encouraging the hobby, Mayhem does a better job than a GW store in addition to selling other products and even other wargames.

Now about that direct order system.  From what I understand:  Direct Order is a subset of products that aren’t as common, and aren’t considered in as much demand.  Stores are strictly limited in how much they can order in a given month, and it’s a harsh limit.  If you need a lot of this stuff, well, your customer will have to order from GW directly.  This is in addition to GW limitations to online shopping from 3rd parties, which is effectively total.

Now lets add this to GW’s litigious nature.  GW would sue a cockroach for infringement if it grew a birthmark that looked like an aquila.  The very popular site Beasts of War has been hammered frequently with cease and desist letters.  Their partner, Wayland Games, would be massively affected should GW hammer Beasts of War.  Beasts of war is in kind of a unique spot.  Located with Wayland they can probably hit GW staffers with water balloons given a proper slingshot during their lunch break, and as one of the largest and most visible online reporters of wargaming news, they are frankly very large, and very hard to ignore for GW.  It’d be about as subtle as the Red Sox owners putting in a billboard showing playoff results across the street from the Steinbrenners house.  Tough to ignore.

Side note:  Red Sox Nation, can we make that happen?

Now I’m not questioning GW’s right to protect their proprietary information.  I’m questioning their judgement.  They certainly have the right and some level of responsibility when it comes to protecting their info.  I’m actually not even going to question their judgement at this point.  It’s a bad fucking idea to do it in the manner they do.  Stores are ambassadors for their product as well as outlets for sales.  Online news sites drive demand for their products above and beyond what GW manages with their own website and youtube videos.  This would be the equivalent of CCP slamming every single blog, podcast, vlog, or news site that uses their copyrighted material no matter how it was used.  This would be like CCP going after me, the person sitting in this chair, with lawyers and all, for linking a video of one of their trailers.  Literally.  GW has gone after people that linked their own public videos.

The worst ambassador for GW is GW.  Their stores are slipshod affairs.  Their legal team is voracious and out of control.  Their pricing is nonsensical.  I could probably name 50 people who could do a better job running the company than they are and for once it’s not hyperbole.  Those of you that have dealt with them in the past are probably nodding your heads.

They make great games.  They make gorgeous miniatures, and the stores that carry them are worthwhile endeavors.  I’ve played the game since you could get 30 marines for 30 bucks.  I just wish the company at the top of the pyramid was less grimdark and more open and engaging.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

 

 

VICTORY IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR!

So I finally got my first battle over and won.  Played against Dartingdejima and his White Minotaurs (Iron Hands) with my Crimson Fists (Imperial Fists) his list was centered around a Land Raider Crusader and a Stormraven.  He had a full strength squad of assault marines, and three full strength squads of tacticals with no transport.  A rifleman dread (twin, twin-linked ACs) and a stalker.  His HQs were a librarian buried in a tac squad and a captain lumped in with the assaults.

My list was a full strength tac squad in a rhino, 6 scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks, a Land Raider Crusader with Assault Termies and a Librarian in Terminator Armor.  A 5 man sternguard squad with a captain (badly equipped) were riding in a TL Lascannon razorback.  A 6 man missile launcher tac squad provided another scoring unit and some added firepower.  Finally an AC/LC predator added some anti-vehicle support on the cheap and a Stormtalon with skystrike missiles gave me a nice flyer hunter.

Terrain was two buildings on opposite sides near the center of the field, both ruined.  A shallow lake with an objective in it, some smaller ruins with an objective to my deployment areas building’s left, and forests in the four corners, his back right (my left) had an objective, his main building had an objective The last objective was in a big crater/ruin in no-mans land directly in front of my small ruins/objective complex.  The mission was Big Guns Never Tire, making my Predator, and Crusader scoring units, and his Storm Raven, Stalker, and Land Raider Crusader scoring units.

My opponent threw his tac squads in a long line, one on each objective, one opposite the lake, his LRC opposite the ruins objective and his stalker to his left of the big building in his zone.  The dread was on the top floor of the ruin, his assault squad was in reserve in his Storm Raven.

I deployed my Rhino/Tac Squad between the two small ruins, the scouts on one objective, the half squad in the center in the ruins, the Crusader/Assault Termies next to the big building opposite the lake/objective.  The Razorback/Sternguard squad hugged up on it, and the Predator lurked in the forest to my far right.  The Storm talon of course was in reserve.

My opponent set up and had first turn, he made the most of it even with night fighting in effect.  His Crusader lunged forward, smacking fire into the rhino, nearly wrecking it, leaving the hulk for his dreadnought to shatter.  The rest of his fire claimed a stray scout.  My first turn the Predator did some damage to the tac squad that was the only target it could see, while the Razorback lunged up and dinged the Stalker.

Turn 2 was much more interesting.  His Stormraven showed up, zooming in and hooking from his back corner towards my razorback.  Massed fire from his army wrecked the razorback, spilling out the sternguard, and chipped a point off my Crusader.

On my turn I got revenge and big time, my Crusader lunged towards his, then promptly got stuck in the lake.  The Termies lunged out anyway and “raced” towards his Crusader.  Mine promptly one-shotted it with the multi-melta.  The Predator opened up on his stalker, ripping off its main gun, my terminators idled in the middle of the field, and the scouts raced up to claim the center objective, while the tac squad dropped out of the rhino secured my baseline objective.

His turn 3 the Stormraven dropped into a hover, dropping its cargo of assault troops, the desultory firefight on my left staggered on, his troops unable to do much against my scouts in heavy cover, and mine not able to overcome the marines heavy armor despite some great accuracy.  The other side of the battlefield was much friendlier.  His assault marines charged into my sternguard and got stuck.  Captain dueling captain in a slap-fest, and his assault marines not nearly as effective as they could have been against my sternguard, who gamely struck back managing to cause a few wounds.  My crusader and predator continued to hammer at the Stormraven, immobilizing it.  My Termies charged into his tac squad, the librarians engaging in a truly embarrassing slap fight which would end up with a whopping 1 wound caused in the course of the game.  Finally my stormtalon showed up and strafed his tac squad on my left holding his corner objective.

Turn 4 continued with his tac squads long range fire being almost completely ineffective, his Stormraven launched a long range missile strike, doing light damage to my stormtalon.  His dread attempted to play Anti Air but missed its attacks, and his assault marines chopped down my sternguard while his captain did in mine.  My Crusader and Predator finished off his Stormraven, my stormtalon raced back to his line for Linebreaker and to shoot at his dread, while my Librarian flailed ineffectively at his, and the terminators ate the last of the tac marines for lunch.

The game ended after only four turns with two objective held by each side.  the final objective was unclaimed.  I had destroyed two of his heavy support choices and lost none of my own, putting me up 2 points.  He had killed my warlord and scored first blood on my Rhino, evening things up, meaning the last turn dash by my Storm Talon to score linebreaker decided the game by one point.

I had some pretty good luck one-shotting the Crusader, some mediocre luck taking the rest of the game to destroy the far more lightly armored and vulnerable Stormraven, I goofed up and left my termies to soak up some incredibly stupid fire for a turn but still got them into melee where the librarian managed to get them tied up for the rest of the game.  Balancing that was my sternguard tying up his assault troopers, keeping him from getting them into my deployment zone and tying the game, or even winning it by wrecking my predator with a melta bomb.

My opponent game me two big opportunities.  He raced his assault squad into my sternguard, rather than chasing victory points, resulting in my holding out for a four-turn win (turn 5 he almost certainly would have tied, and probably won the battle) He gave me a free shot at his Stormraven by dropping it to hover right in the middle of my big guns, which as it turned out did not tire.  The sternguard and my crusader truly outperformed themselves, the one doing damage every turn (as you would expect from such a behemoth) and the sternguard holding out just long enough to grant me the win.  I made some mistakes too, I didn’t use my assault termies very well, and they need something that can win challenges in a hurry so the blender boys can get on to hacking down the enemy.  The transports needed to be hidden and protected until they could be moved to a critical point, but that wasn’t a horrendous mistake, and most importantly I was lucky EARLY, when it allowed me to reduce the number of shots he got by the largest amount possible.

I also forgot my camera.  Yeesh.

My GOD You’re a Bunch of Whiners

Seriously.  Turbine announces that Helms Deep will require people to pay for the expansion to continue the storyline and an element of the LotRO playerbase LOSES its SHIT.  Turbine has once again shown us that developers are just griefers that took it to the big leagues.  I haven’t seen tears like this since the death of can-mining.  This is right up there with the Vaga losing its frill.  Let’s go right to the trenches.  A wonderful thread called “The Last Straw for FreeToPlay”

Ive been reading some of the forum posts about HD and I am horrified
The Epic Storyline..is now for VIP’s only.
HORRIFIED
Thats it, FreeToPlay is now FreeToSuffer
Turbine fix it, or you’ll lose all your people to RIFT, DDO, RoM and WoW.

OP getting us off to a nice start.  Bring out the tear buckets!  Never mind that it actually ISN’T a requirement that you subscribe (VIPs are subscribers) never mind that he is ignoring the fact that you can (all for free) download the game, set up your account, and follow the Fellowship of the Ring from (Bree/The Shire/Ered Luin) all the way to the Eastenmet of Rohan, without paying a damn penny.  Never mind that you can pay for every expansion with an in-game currency that you are more than welcome to grind out fulfilling in-game activities.  This git doesn’t even get that leaving LotRO for DDO would be as effective as leaving Aion for GW2.  It’s the same company.

For me it is not about what is free and what is not free, it is the fact they gave a promise and are now going back on it. It is also not the first time they have done so. When they were talking about F2P and the store they said it would not sell gear but now it sells low level gear. When they said they were bringing the low level gear to the store they said it wont sell end game gear, now I have lost all confidence in that claim.

Also if you make a promise but are unable to keep it at a future date, at least apologize for not being able to keep it.

Yeah, that level 25 set of armor they sell so you can skip a few skirms or some of the sillier price jumps in the auction house is just a horrible tihng.

Now here’s one that isn’t that much better in “context”

A better car analogy is that Turbine is like a car company requiring that you buy the Ferrari before they’ll even let you have a test drive. Those VIP Access fees are non-refundable, of course, unlike a purchased Ferrari.

If playing to level 85 in a game isn’t a “Test Drive”… what is?  Although I have heard you can join the battle WELL before 85, I’m sadly ignorant to most of Helms Deep.

There’s more, both in that threads and in the bittervet threads elsewhere.  LotRO is at a point where the game is coming up with increasingly innovative systems to keep itself afloat.  I would love to see another game that has a system as complex as the Legendary Item system for LotRO that lets you build up your own unique weapon.  Sure it’s old, and could use an update so you really do build and develop it like you want, but it’s still an amazing system.  Now let’s look at Skirmishes.  Scale-able instances, that scale along three axes, player level, party size, and a tier, all of which provide an individual adjustment to the balance of the encounters.  Sure the bosses are “single mechanic” bosses with a few exceptions, but the challenge is quite real.  Mounted combat.  MOUNTED.  COMBAT.  THAT WORKS.  Go ahead.  Find THAT in WoW.  PvP!  actually.  Screw the PvP.  Now they are going to add big huge battles!

And that’s the crux of the issue.  Huge battles don’t come cheap.  Doing them right is expensive.  Capturing the right flavor, while giving the PCs the ability to influence things… is a HUGE challenge.  I imagine it required a lot of resources to develop, program, and playtest.  Sure Turbine wants money for you to play with their new toy!  They developed it, poured hundreds of hours into it, show some appreciation you git!

 

Space Marines: ATTACK!

So at least titling these posts is easy.  I’m continuing to add to my Space Marine army, both the knowledge I have and the army to succeed in 6th edition.  The new codex is more or less what we thought.  I am a little disappointed with some things, I am a little bit more excited with others.  First let’s talk the bad.

Librarians

Ouch.  They got a lot better by becoming cheaper.  They got a lot worse because they don’t get a really good school of powers.  A pyromancy librarian is basically a heavy flamer you just BADLY overpaid for.  I want buffs damnit!  I don’t want mediocre guns that the enemy gets an extra save against.

Legion of the Damned

Another unit that got improved, but not enough.  I’m ok with them being stupid expensive if they are stupid good.  I’m not ok with them being kinda pricey and mediocre.

Space Marine Centurion Squad

Nope.  Slow and Purposeful on an assault unit?  I’m not a huge fan.  Delivering these guys where they can do some good is a near herculean feat.  Simply not worth the effort for a unit with a base 1 attack at 60 points a piece.

Vanguard Veterans

I’ve never been a huge fan of them, and they are stuck in the VERY crowded Elites section.  They can hit hard but as many points as they cost.  Ouch.

So that’s the units I think range from “meh” to “bleh” now let’s look at the standouts

Tactical Squads

No I’m not kidding.  They got cheaper, bringing them in line with other troops, they got a lot more in the way of options, and the ability to take a heavy or special weapon without going to ten men (and still able to take 2 at ten men) makes selection just a LOT more flexible.  Finally they are a good, tough scoring unit.  In a game that can turn on simply having a scoring unit near something these guys can make their bread just hanging tough.

Sternguard Veterans

They got cheaper, and while combi weapons got more expensive, they still benefit a LOT from being less expensive.  They aren’t great, but they are a solid, and VERY flexible killy unit, especially against horde armies, in a unit that really does need help in that regard.

Centurion Devastators

Where the regular Centurion Squad is a very blah sort of unit, the Devastators are the kind of supremely killy troops that can do all kinds of damage.  T5, 2 Wounds, and a 2+ armor save (albeit without an invuln save) and fantastic weapon options.  A squad of 3 will murder most of a squad of MEQ in the open, and even in cover will likely mulch the whole squad in 2 turns.  Against terminators they are even better, and that’s just with grav guns.  Tailoring for your opponent you could select missile launchers to thin down hordes, Lascannons to murder vehicles and TEQs and if you like handicapping yourself or are expecting a REALLY massive horde you can go for heavy bolters.  They do need to be kept in cover, and their range with grav guns is very meh, but they are still a brutally powerful gunline unit.

There’s some other units on both sides of the line, I like the Terminators, but they aren’t huge standouts, I like the flyers, but I would have to see them in combat (and hope to do so) before weighing in, and I’m a bit soft on the anti-air vehicles.  At first I thought Stalkers would be more popular but now I’ve seen a lot more Hunters, and I can see why reading the rules a bit more, and seeing the mathammer worked out.

 

For the Emperor!

So I’m delving back into Warhammer, fantasy and 40k.  40k helped IMMENSELY by the fact that I still have about 75% of what I need for an army from when I left the army.  I’ve always enjoyed the visuals and the fluff of 40k more than Warhammer Fantasy.  Fantasy is often a more nuanced game, but 40k has made LONG strides to even things out since the last time I played in 3rd edition.  I’m also a rather more mature person myself, and capable of seeing the improvements, and what they mean for my marines, especially with a shiny new codex released on Saturday.  

First I’m going to talk a bit about my goals.  The main objective of my gaming is to have fun.  You’d think that goes without saying, but only if you’d never met a Warhammer player before.  I want to try to find a way to build a force that’s fun to play and gives me a shot at being competative.  Let’s face it, no one has THAT much fun if they are constantly getting pounded into the dirt.  I want to play with painted miniatures.  Now let’s get to some details.  

No School Like Old School

I’ve played 40k for a while folks.  A while.  I have a Rogue Trader book somewhere buried in my stuff.  You know who is on the cover of the book?  Crimson Fists.  

Using an Ork's head as a club.

Using an Ork’s head as a club.

So I’ll be painting them like that.  I also have several of the old “30 Marines for 30 bucks” beakies.  They need to be stripped.  BADLY.  But there really isn’t a better scheme to paint them in than the classic one.  I also have a new airbrush to try out, though at first it will mostly be used on tanks and dreads.  I should mention I’m not big on highlighting.  I like shading, I like a few, carefully selected, highlights to bring out the depth in the model.  I don’t like GW’s over the top HIGHLIGHT EVERYTHING method.  I think it looks cartoonish and overdone, but you have to do something when you’ve hired a dozen painters to paint minis all day.  

I Like New Stuff Too!

So there are a few things that I like that weren’t in Rogue Trader.  Razorbacks are the first thing to come to mind.  6 man transports with a twin-linked heavy weapon, and smoke launchers.  Now at a nice price of 75 points.  Put in a 6 man squad (which can now take a heavy or a special weapon!) and you’ve got a scoring unit that can do a fair bit of damage.  The Stalker and Hunter look interesting, I can see the Hunter’s value in larger games, but the tons o’ dakka provided by the Stalker are where it’s at for me, outside of apocalypse.  Tuesday I have a battle and I’m looking at the following list.

Librarian (Psyker Level 2: Telekinesis) Terminator Armor, Storm Shield, Force Sword 

Tac Squad, 6 Marines with a Flamer
Razorback with Twin Linked Las-Cannon

Scouts, 6 with camo cloaks and Sniper Rifles 

Tac Squad, 10 with a Grav gun, Plasma Cannon, Veteran Sergeant, and Melta Bombs
Rhino

Sternguard, 6 with a Missile Launcher

Terminator Squad with Assault Cannon
Land Raider Crusader, with a Multi Melta

Predator with Lascannon Sponsons and Extra Armor

Venerable Dreadnought with Assault Cannon

The army is mostly limited by what I have, I’d rather have assault termies, as I have NO CC in my army, I’d also like either some Flyers, or Anti-Aircraft, but at 1500 points I think I’ll muddle through.  I do have a good bit of mobility, the Scouts can camp my home objective, the Sternguard have good range and can hit MEQs hard, the Termies are always good to scare the crap out of my opponent (I might Deep Strike them and use the Crusader elsewhere on the field actually) but they aren’t an ideal squad, and they are pricey.  I do like having a third Troops unit and I’d like to bring the scouts to full strength.  They can be a very resilient unit and have a lot of tools in the box playing baseline defense.  

The predator is another odd duck.  Vindicators are a lot more fun, and throwing 3 of those down, and running them up behind three rhinos could be a LOT of fun, but the Predator is basically there to pop tanks.  

Dread is there to move up and kill things.  It will have a very tough time paying for itself but I can move it into and through cover and lay down some fire with its weapons.  

One of the problems I have with my list is that the Infantry killing power comes from Infantry and Tank killing power comes from tanks.  Usually I would try to do this the other way.  I do have two landspeeders I need to reassemble and they will help things considerably.  Swapping around some infantry weapons and possibly getting a Dev squad (or Centurion Devs) to take advantage of the Imperial Fists Rule could be nice as well.  Tank Hunters for free.  

Having Fun

So my first game is tomorrow after work.  Sadly I close so I wont get to the LGS until after 6.  And I’ll only have a single Tac Squad painted.  I have no idea what my opponent will bring, but he’s a guy with a decent disposable income and SEVERAL armies to choose from so I’m not expecting it to be too nice for me.  I plan to play about every other week, the local group plays on Tuesdays so I shall try to get my half days then!

Base Coated, Shaded, going to clean them up, varnish, then a SLIGHT highlight.

Base Coated, Shaded, going to clean them up, varnish, then a SLIGHT highlight.

Got three more about to the same stage, should have them all done tonight, which will be my first squad.  

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

 

 

 

MWO: Sweep the Leg

So I’ve been fiddling with MWO because I need instant pew pews and you can fight three matches in the time it takes a fleet to get started and put on fleet finder in EvE.  I’ve done what I do, which is fiddle with ‘mechs and I’ve noticed something.  Legs tend to be the first thing I strip of armor because, well, I never get legged.  Unlike every other MW game in the history of mankind, I never ever get legged.  Part of this is tactics.  People tend to keep at a distance at first, and legs are naturally the last piece of a ‘mech to drift into sight, but also because people aim for the head, or center torso, or barely aim at all.  I’m looking at you guy who panicked and failed to finish off a legged commando, losing us the last match I was in!

I have been fiddling with the twin gauss Jagermech, because: why the fuck not.  I’ve also noticed that every time I hit something over 50 tons in the legs the armor goes bright red.  Sometimes the structure starts to change color.  It’s pretty amazing to see it when an Atlas is showing internal damage from one shot.  I rarely think to actually go for the legs when I’m trying to fight off an Atlas but I’m trying to be more disciplined.  I’m trying to go for the easiest kill, and let me tell you I’m pretty sure the easiest kill is to “Sweep the Leg.”

For those unfamiliar with the line, in the old movie “Karate Kid” the bad guy tells his student to “Sweep the Leg” of the hero, who is already limping more than an under-engined Atlas missing a leg.  The intent is to cripple him and get the tourney over with so he can rejoice in his dojo’s domination, and his students can sneak off to smoke and drink and feel good about their victory.  Of course the good guy wins, the bad guy’s student is the one to hand him his trophy, and everyone is happy except bad guy Sensei.

It isn’t a perfect parallel.  Daniel-san didn’t exactly choose to get himself crippled for the tourney.  In fact I’m pretty sure it was somewhere up there with “running over Mister Miyagi in the parking lot” on his list of things to do.  Someone running an Atlas with 20 armor between the legs is begging to get legged.  In a ‘mech like my Jager, you have to keep calm and pick your shots, take the extra couple seconds and… SWEEP THE LEG