go back and read that if you're interested. I also want to take this opportunity to say that no matter when 8th edition is released, Double Trouble will still be using 7th edition. The event is just under six weeks away (tickets are still available...) and I don't think it's fair to suddenly change the rules for it when some of us won't have had much chance to playtest. Perhaps I'll run an event later in the year making full use of the new system once we've all had more time to get to grips with it.
Right, this post is just a collection of thoughts I had after watching the Q&A video that GW posted on Facebook. You should go and check that out first if you haven't already. This post might seem a bit randomly ordered but it's the order I thought of things as they were talking about them. I've tried to add headings to make it easier to follow but they're a bit vague. Anyway, here goes...
I'm really pleased that movement values are back. It feels a lot more realistic that everything moves at a different speed. Sure the different unit types moved differently e.g. bikes and jump units but all of the footslogging stuff moved 6". That doesn't make sense to me. I imagine Terminators being slow but tough and wyches being lightning fast but flimsy. Obviously they tried to incorporate this with initiative and things like Fleet but it never really felt right. It also will hopefully simplify things a bit. That might not initially make any sense but I think a lot of the special rules won't be necessary any more which will save a lot of book work during the game to look up the less common ones. I'd welcome any system that doesn't require me to constantly check the rulebook/codex for things I don't remember clearly.
I know the morale check thing is kind of old news now but I haven't had much chance to thing about it. I like the idea that units don't fall back anymore. Well, that's assuming they don't eventually do so. All of the models in the game have supposedly been fighting these wars for years (if not centuries or even millennia) yet they fall back when a handful of their squad die. It's one thing making a tactical withdrawal but having no say in it and legging it off the field never felt quite right. Obviously some units bypassed this but a lot that should've didn't e.g. CSM. At first glance the new mechanic seems strange:
"Roll a D6, add that to the number of models your unit has lost this turn, subtract your Leadership and take that many additional casualties"
The problem is we're thinking of applying it in our current system. They've said in this latest video that stats are no longer capped at 10. Let's say Space Marines are Ld 12. They'd need to lose 7 models before they lost anything and that's assuming you rolled a 6. That would make them effectively fearless without needing a rule for it. An Ork unit might get better leadership depending on how many models are in the unit at the time of being shot at. Would make sense from a fluff point of view too. Basically, like a lot of things there's a wait and see element but this sounds promising.
Vehicle/MC damage charts are yet more evidence that they're returning to a lot of the ideas from the earlier editions. I only hope that having a chart for each vehicle/MC doesn't get too complicated. It'd be nice if they release a PDF of all of these so you can print them out and have them to hand. If not I'm sure some enterprising person will make some - might even be me! We'd definitely need some way of keeping track of these things. It sounds more fun though. Obviously it was there in the current edition but taking out a dreadnought's legs feels more thematic than just immobilising it. Hope this pans out as well as I think it will. The most important thing is HP is gone so you'll actually feel like you're hampering a vehicle by doing some damage to it rather than it being at full strength with 1 of it's 9 HP remaining!
Having a damage chart for each individual vehicle is an interesting idea. I like that vehicles get weaker the more damage they take. Let's face it, this was the old system that they're basically bringing back. My concern is that it'll over-complicate things and it'll be difficult to keep track of what damage has been done. It's certainly more fun though to think that you're ripping an arm off a dreadnought or damaging the tracks on a tank than simply stripping hull points.
Damage, Templates, Modifiers, etc.
I was initially concerned about their comment that everything can hurt everything. Whilst I know it's frustrating to feel like your army can literally do nothing to your opponent (this happened with my Venoms this weekend against Astra Militarum), it doesn't make sense that a poxy lasgun could damage a tank with incredibly thick armour or shielding. However, it seems their bringing Damage back as a stat for the guns. If you aren't familiar with it, check out the Necromunda/Shadow War rules. It was instead of instant death and it's a much better system. Be interesting to see how it all works out and interacts together.
Speaking of which, modifiers to hit sound like they're back which I'm in favour of. If that takes away things like cover saves from the game then I'm happy. It's stupid that my space marine in the open is as easy to hit as one who can barely be seen in the gaps in a barricade. He'd be taking his armour save most of the time anyway! Cover really doesn't feel cinematic enough to me. It always felt much better in Necromunda and early 40K though. Making me want to flick through my old rulebooks to see what they've borrowed. Perhaps I will when we finally get 8th. I've got 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th on the shelf above my head.
One of the things I'd hoped would return from the old editions were the other dice! Bring me back my D20! If stats are going to go above 10 then I think a D6 system will be too limiting. It'd also be a good opportunity to flog us some dice and give a bit of variety to things. On that subject, I'm probably one of the few people in favour of the removal of templates. Of course their an iconic part of 40K, I get that, they're limiting though. They've never felt quite right to me either. A flamer isn't filling the room with gouts of flame, it's kept them in a very neat teardrop instead. A space marine with a frag missile can't hit something 10 feet in front of him because it scatters away. Whilst scattering back onto yourself is entertaining it doesn't make much sense. Templates/blasts have always been a source of argument at tournaments too so anything that minimises that has to be a good move.
The biggest thing for the removal of templates though is that deployment will be significantly quicker. Not having to spend time spreading out your unit whilst avoiding the scenery etc is a bonus. When I've played games against lists without any blasts it's refreshing to just plonk the models down and get on with it. Anything that makes games quicker whilst also making things feel like they should is fine by me.
Speaking of quicker games. I love the idea that a game could be done in 90 minutes. That might mean we could get four or even five games into a single day tournament. That makes a big difference to Swiss Pairs for a start. We might have to all accept that things don't feel as resilient as they used to though. More decisive battles would be cool. We played some Armada this week and it's limited to six rounds to the damage comes thick and fast and ships are blown up pretty quickly when things fall right. I wish 40K were that dramatic. Of course it is at times but often you're chipping away at a huge fearless unit for several turns or combats drag on for the whole game. Having epic games that take a whole day to play are part of the joy of 40K at times but when it's a one-sided affair at a tournament and it drags on for two hours after the point you know you've lost is no good for anyone.
Command Points and FOCs
I'm intrigued by command points but perhaps a little worried that they'll be the thing that gets exploited. It'll add a new tactical dimension having a pool of command points and deciding when to spend them for maximum effect. Having different ways to spend them depending on faction is a nice idea too. I also like that FOCs are still there but there'll be more to choose from. I can only pray that they don't feel like Formations. If the only bonus is command points then they probably won't but only time will tell. From the snippets we've got so far it does sound like there'll be less opportunity to break the game. Supposedly all of the myriad units in the game will be useful in some way. I'd welcome this but I'm hugely skeptical that this is possible without removing some of their identity in the process.
I really hope close combat can come back to the fore. Recently, apart from a couple of exceptions, it's all been about shooting. Combat has always been my favourite part of any game and it's frustrating that a lot of my favourite combat-centric units aren't much use at the moment. The charging unit hitting first makes huge sense! Obviously there's Hammer of Wrath but it doesn't really feel right.
Allies and Filth
Sounds like they've reduced the opportunities for creating dirty combinations. That's a good thing to me. Allies are all well and good but they've stripped away a lot of the identity of the armies. Dark Eldar for example have been reduced to a means to webway our wraithguard into a battle. I'd have preferred them to get rid completely but I wasn't really expecting this to happen. Seems like they're still there but there'll be a big benefit to taking an army from a single faction. Reducing the number of combinations might sound like a road to monotony but the game at the moment is almost impossible to keep track of for those of us who don't play several times a week.
It was funny watching the comments coming in on FB as I was watching it back. As ever with these things there's going to be hordes of people overreacting to the snippets of information that we've got without seeing the rules as a whole. I think that's the key thing here. Wait until you've got the rules in your hand and have had time to digest them before you start burning your models (yes, I know it was a parody). As a community we like to make snap judgements on things. I know I'm making positive assumptions here too but I think that's healthier than all of the negativity around at the moment.
I'm reassured to hear that it sounds like there's been hours of playtesting which wasn't just in-house. I'm sure the old editions were playtested too but clearly they're bothering to think about how all of the rules will affect all of the armies and their individual units. That's got to be a good thing even if they don't get it quite right straight away. I'm a little insulted that it sounds like most of the playtesters were American. I know the tournament scene is bigger in terms of volume of players there but still. I like Reece and Frankie from Frontline though. Their ITC system has really helped standardise things over there. I don't agree with all of it but still, it's a step in the right direction.
I actually enjoyed blogging about this stuff. I'd like to return to my codex review style posts when the new stuff comes out. Make it easier for everyone to get to grips with things (including myself).
In summary, I'm cautiously optimistic. The idea of regularly updated rules with full community involvement is what we've all been asking for. BB has definitely benefited from a "living" rulebook and I think 40K will too. Let's just try to take 8th as a clean slate and not spend too much time making negative comparisons to the current game. 40K is far from perfect in it's current guise!
New factions!! I hope they really mean that. Not just a new chapter of Space Marines. Would be cool to rediscover some of the lost legions though....
Monday, April 24, 2017
Anyway, this time around we toyed with various different lists. We needed two 900pt armies to make a combined 1,800pt force. I think that's the highest points limit we've ever had. We toyed with various horrendous combinations of Imperial Knights, wraithknights, dreadknights, Ta'unar, etc but decided to give the recently released Ynnari a spin. We only managed to a get a couple of test games in but it's a good job we did as using the Soulburst effectively is key to success with them. The list we settled on was:
899pts of Ynnari
2x 5 Kabalites Warriors in a Venom
Venom (for Maugan Ra)
6 Swooping Hawks (incl. Exarch)
899pts of Ynnari
Farseer Skyrunner (Spirit Stone of Anath'lan)
5 Kabalites Warriors in a Venom
3 Reavers (incl. cluster caltrops)
2x 5 Scourges (4 Haywire in each)
Wraithknight (wraithcannons, scatter laser)
Nothing too filthy I don't think. Obviously Ynnari are powerful but there's no scatter windriders, no wraithguard in raiders, etc. A fairly mixed list that should be fun to play with and against we hoped. I'll try to keep the battle reports brief for a change. Here goes!
Game One - Ynnari vs. CSM/Daemons
Our first game was Cloak and Shadows against Fateweaver, some heralds with screamers (2++ re-rollable saves), some blue horrors, some CSM, a terminator sorcerer, firestorm redoubt with lascannons and a land raider.
Fateweaver headed straight down the middle of the board and was frankly pretty lucky to survive two turns of shooting from pretty much all of the Dark Eldar. He passed a ton of 3+ saves and all his grounding tests to cling on with a single wound remaining to fly off the board to return in turn 4. Elsewhere their Wraithknight used a Soulburst to kill the land raider in their first turn with a D shot when some nearby Reavers perished. The land raider turned into the Yncarne and between them they slowly worked his way through everything else in the army whilst the Dark Eldar were mostly out of range thanks to the deployment.
Ultimately, the Yncarne ended up in combat with the 2++ re-rollable screamers for the rest of the game whilst we tried to rack up the VPs. It wasn't until later that we realised we'd brought the Swooping Hawks in on T2 only to forget about them for the rest of the game. They could've been attacking Fateweaver and claiming objectives but they were lost in their dead pile which they kept to the edge of the table. The game ended in a narrow victory of 14-12 helped in no small part by me rolling 3 for all three of the D3 point objectives we scored!
Unfortunately, one of our two opponents was pretty miserable throughout the game because he took an instant dislike to us for running Ynnari. It's a shame as this was our closest game so could've been a lot more fun.
Game Two - Ynnari vs. DA/Tyranids
Not your most likely of combinations and something you'd be more likely to find at Double Trouble with its random pairings (hint hint). Anyway, basically it was 60 hormagaunts, 30 termagants, three zoanthropes and an exocrine. The DA portion wasw two rhinos with tactical squads, two predators, DW knights in a pod and Ezekiel. The mission was Spoils of War. They won the roll-off but we Seized!
The Venoms lay waste to the Tyranids early on with the Exocrine and two of the Zoanthropes gone in the first turn. The Wraighknight struggled to kill the predators and the Scourges didn't give much help leaving both on a single hull point. That spelled doom for the Wraightknight who ended up dying to overwatch having lost all but one wound in their shooting phase. Meanwhile, the Yncarne got tied up fighting some Hormagaunts until the other Zoanthrope died to remove their Fearless. The DE continued to chew through the Tyranids and the Yncarne eventually turned her attention to the DA with the Scourges helping by finishing off the predators. Other than killing the Wraithknight the only highlight for our opponents came from the Deathwing Knights who soaked up a lot of fire and killed Maugan Ra in combat before eventually being whittled down to end the game.
By the time the dust settled we'd managed to find 21 VPs from the objectives and our opponents hadn't scored at all. A pretty one-sided affair throughout and I felt for the Tyranid player who was a spectator from quite an early stage.
Game Three - Ynnari vs. Cult Mech./Wolves
The last game of Saturday would be Tactical Escalation. Our opponents had two units of four breachers, a unit of four destroyers and a dominus. The wolves had WG in a drop pod, WG terminators, a lord on thunderwolf and a squad of TWC. They won the roll off but, to our surprise, gave us the first turn.
The venoms and concentrated on the destroyers early on to try to protect the wraithknight. The dominus went down and in came the Yncarne who somehow find herself in a charge from the TWC as we'd not thought about them when we brought her in (despite carefully placing everything else in our list out of charge range during turn one). The rest of our army was able to focus on everything else though including the drop pod of WG and terminators who arrived on successive turns. The breachers were eventually whittled down by the rest of the firepower and the wraithknight waded into the combat hoping to save the Yncarne and end the game. We'd also thrown in some sacrificial Reavers to die to try to get some wounds back for her.
The squad leader for the TWC had other ideas though. The wolf lord had long since died to the Yncarne but he decided to avenge his brother by smashing down the Yncarne. He also put some wounds on the Wraithknight who'd stomped the rest of the squad away. That put the Wraithknight on initiative 1 thanks to Concussive (which I don't think I've ever actually managed to use!) meaning they'd strike simultaneously. In an epic end to an otherwise pretty one-sided game, the heroic Space Wolf took out the Wraithknight but died in the process. He'll certainly make it into the sagas!!
Whilst all that was going on we managed to take a 17-3 win on VPs to give us a healthy 52-15 scoreline for the day.
Game Four - Ynnari vs. Astra Militarum
We knew our list would struggle with heavily mechanised lists and that's exactly what we found ourselves against on Sunday morning for the Deadlock mission. Five Taurox, two Wyverns, a Vanquisher, some rough riders, two lots of armoured sentinels and two Vendettas. Our opponents won the roll off for first turn (I don't think we won one all day!).
Their first turn was unbelievable, pretty much everything they tried to do worked. Three of the venoms went down, two of which to single autocannons on the Taurox which hit, pen'd and rolled 6s to explode after I failed the cover saves! That did give the Wraithknight a free shooting phase but he missed with one gun and the other pinged off the trees hiding the Wyvern. That would be the story of the game. We'd really need the D shots to be hot but Matt fired 11 shots (i.e. 6 lots of shooting) before we managed to kill the Wyverns who'd been the targets every time! That's just insanely unlikely to happen! The Wyverns took full advantage and their barrages lay waste to big chunks of our army. We did at least manage to take out a Taurox to bring in the Yncarne....
Well, that didn't go great either. They drew the Kingslayer card so unloaded a pile of guardsmen to fire at her. Matt failed an ungodly number of 3+ saves and she perished without moving an inch! Granted we'd missed an opportunity to get her into combat with a Soulburst but still, gutted. Eventually the Wraithknight started to wade through their army in combat but by that point their VP total was well out of reach.
I don't think we've ever had a game where our luck was quite so abysmal. Our opponents must've felt invincible because pretty much everything they tried to do worked out. Part of the problem was that a big chunk of our army (i.e. the Venoms) was either dead early on or impotent because there were no non-vehicles on the table for most of the game. We were perhaps foolish to bring the Yncarne in on our turn but it felt like the right place and time. It basically came down to all those failed D shots. If even a couple of the early ones had worked it would've changed the face of the game. The final result was a 10-18 loss.
Game Five - Ynnari vs. Orks/Unbound
We were grateful not to have to play another Vanguard Strike game and instead we got Contact Lost. The opposing army consisted of grot tanks, killa kans, a Shadowsword, leman russ, Chaos Terminators, grots and a mek gun.
Another mismatch that proves that random pairings often don't make for fun games for everyone. The opposing army was certainly nice to look at though and eventually scooped three of the painting awards (I was a little suspicious about the number of people from their gaming group who might've voted for them though). They went first and killed off one of the Venoms with the Shadowsword. It proved costly though as the Wraithknight found his form again and stripped 8 hull points from him in response before finishing the job in our turn and charging the Leman Russ to kill that too. It was then The Scourges chewed through the killa kans and with help from Maugan Ra the Grot Megatank went down to give the Yncarne her entrance.
Nothing particularly dramatic happened in the game from this point on. We slowly chewed through their army and, despite losing some Scourges for a lone Killa Kan charge, they had a pretty miserable time of it. We managed to pick up a 13-4 win and probably could've dragged it out for more if the Scourges had stayed in combat with the kan rather than running off the board! It was a shame to end the day with such a one-sided affair that I don't think either of us really enjoyed.
You might be thinking that 4:1 win/loss ratio would place us pretty high in the standings but, since we didn't pick up a single favourite game vote, it was only good enough for 67th out of 89 teams! Had it been scored purely on VPs we'd have been 16th mind you. We knew going in that they were scoring it on fave games though so we weren't too worried. Incidentally, our vote went to our third game for the epic antics of that TWC squad leader. They were also really nice guys who we'd have loved to play again some time. Shame they're from Kent so that's perhaps unlikely!
Looking around there didn't seem to be that many insanely broken lists. It seemed from talking to people like there was a lot of Ynnari but probably the daftest thing we saw was this:
The main thing was that the event delivered on what we hoped. It was a great atmosphere (if a little warm) and we had a great time in most of our games. They stopped proceedings to play the 8th edition announcement video which didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know. It'll be interesting to see how tournament play changes though. I'm cautiously optimistic about it but I hope I'll be able to get a post up with some of my wishlisting for the new version of the game.
I think our list delivered on being fun to play, if perhaps not to play against. It's interesting to try to figure out the best way to get the most from Soulburst. Clearly a nonsense though really. The sort of thing I hope gets fixed with the new rules.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
- 15 Kabalite Warriors
- 4 Venoms
- 10 Scourges
- 7 Reavers
Well, after a bit of a test session on Wednesday (which I had hoped to blog about before now), we decided to ditch the Archon and one of the Reavers (along with his cluster caltrops) in order to squeeze Maugan Ra in as my HQ choice. I wasn't too bothered by this as my Archon was the only thing I'd managed to get "finished" for Double Trouble. I'd have been annoyed if I'd put hours into him in this project only to write him out of the list. I can cope with one Reaver not being involved!
Anyway, apologies for the crappy pictures but it's late and I couldn't be bothered to set things up properly. Maybe I'll get round to some better pictures at some point. Here's a summary of what I've been doing since the last post.
I've rolled out the orange and red wings to the rest of the Scourges. Painting the black bits back in on the orange took far more time than it should've last night but I'm happy with how the wings have turned out. It did mean that I didn't get time to do the vials/pipes properly or paint their armour properly but hopefully the bright wings will distract people from that! I never got round to getting the airbrush out for them so opted for a bit of a Jokaero Orange basecoat then 3 thin coats of Troll Slayer. Probably would've been quicker with the airbrush but that would've meant painting in the garage rather than on my knee in the lounge and "spending time" with my missus.
I updated the paint job on my fourth venom (it had previously been painted with Liche Purple which didn't match the rest). Once they were all done I added a couple of transfers to the flags and glued in the gunners. Out of interest, did anyone else find the gunners were leaning back quite a way or is this just because I've used the ones from the Raider sets instead of the wyches? I ended up filing their feet down so they stood up straighter.
I've tidied up all of the Kabalites with purple shoulders and knees to match the gunners and Reavers. I unfortunately haven't had time to do ANY of the line highlighting on them, the Scourges or most of the Reavers. It's a shame but hopefully I'll find the motivation to come back to it later.
Well I'll be taking plenty more shots of them at the tournament tomorrow so hopefully you'll get a better look at their paintjobs then. For now it's midnight and I should really turn in. I'll try to get battle reports for the tournament up early next week. I should have more time for blogging over the next few weeks as I won't be frantically painting. I do want to get the Blood Bowl teams ready for the next session mind you...