Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On Terrain -

With the tournament over and my war wounds on the mend, I thought this is a good opportunity to chat a bit about terrain and its overall affect on a game of Warhammer 40k.

The official tournament results have not yet been posted. When they are, I will link to them and discuss the tournament itself, but let it be known for now that I went 1-3 in the four rounds. My only win was of course, against Chaos. For the Emperor!

Ahem, back to terrain. Let me explain the terrain at the tournament first, as it is what primarily gave rise to this discussion. The tables were all set up with a river running through the middle, length-wise, which was "Stones River." It was judged that the river gave a 5+ cover save to any unit inside it, but could be seen through for shooting just like any other river. The rest of the boards were given four (perhaps a few had a very small fifth piece) terrain pieces of about 10-12 inches in length (buildings, rocks, trees). Most of these pieces were in deployment zones, leaving the battlefield largely open between the two deployment zones.

Now, anyone with at least a little experience in 40k will see here the problem. Shooty armies had a wonderful go at this style of board, for they could see the enemy coming and prioritize targets, shooting up what they wanted at their leisure. That's all fine if there are two shooting armies on the table across from one another, but what if one of the armies was an army that likes to get close, assault even?

Mine is one such army. Now I know that many other experienced Grey Knights players will tell me that I shouldn't have tried to get into assault with the enemy, control fire lanes, deny victory points. But that was exactly the problem! There were no "fire lanes" or VP denial opportunities (unless I parked my army at the back of my deployment zone, didn't move turn after turn, and was content to let my opponent get mad at me and give me a low sportsmanship score!). The tables at this tournament were built to favor the extremely shooty armies at the event. As a result, assault-themed armies did not perform well at all, and my own army (a hybrid that favors the above mentioned tactics) found itself more in the boat of the assault armies than of the shooty armies.

I think that this tournament needs to be used as an example that "killing field" tables should not be the norm at tournments, as it is my fear that they are.

More on the tournament itself as the results are posted on the official website.

For the Emperor,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Final BFSR List -

This is, I believe, my final list for the Battle for Stones River tournament on Feb. 23rd. My esteemed Eldar opponent and I have played a handful of games at the 1863 points level, and I am confident that this list will perform at least enough for me to not lose every game. Anyway, I know that there are some GK players who read this, so please comment on the list. It has so far seen good performance against the Eldar, but I know that larger horde armies might be a bit more of a problem.

BFSR Stern List - 1860 Points (out of 1863 possible)

Brother-Captain Stern
-4 Grey Knights Terminators

Brother-Captain Caspian
-4 Grey Knights Terminators

Squad Detlin
-Justicar Detlin
--Teleport Homer
-7 Grey Knights

Squad Gormann
-Justicar Gormann
--Teleport Homer
-7 Grey Knights

Squad Auran (Fast Attack)
-Justicar Auran
-7 Grey Knights
--2 Psycannons

Grey Knights Land Raider Valiant
-Extra Armour

Grey Knights Land Raider Paladin
-Extra Armour

Got them all silver so far, thanks to my spray painting experiment, so the next week will be all painful detail work. I can feel my hands hurting now...

The Emperor Protects,


Monday, February 11, 2008

A New Way to Be Painted -

I'm always on the lookout for ways to make the hobby easier and more fun, so I decided to try to spray paint my Grey Knights to see if I could save a little time on painting (pictured below).

The first thing to remember when doing this is to also put the layer of black or white primer on the models first, or the spray paint may blotch, flake off, or otherwise be rough or clumpy. The first five Knights of my experiment turned out really well, I think. All that is left is gold highlights, a little black into joints and on weapons, and some purity seals. Much faster than having to paint silver on all of them by hand.

Take notice of how smooth the paint went on and how it preserved the detail perfectly.

The Emperor Protects,


Monday, February 4, 2008

Dark Heresy Character Background - Ragaa Kenter

As stated in my previous post, I recently acqiured the new 40k roleplaying game, Dark Heresy. My buddy over at the Ulthwe Eldar: The Only Way blog also picked up a copy, and we were excited to get characters rolled up and maybe get in a practice run to get used to the rules a bit. I have had some limited experience with the Warhammer Fantasy system and many years of roleplaying besides (MERP, WEG Star Wars, and most recently Savage Worlds), and my Eldar friend is also a seasoned roleplayer.

Intentions, however, do not make a gaming night.

We got caught up, though not bogged down, in an elaborate and rich character creation process. Dark Heresy may be the most enjoyable character creation process I have ever seen in a game. A limited amount of out-of-order page flips kept things linear and nicely organized. Chris made a Tech Priest and I decided to try out making a psyker.

We decided to give ourselves a couple of paydays (based on the going rates for our professions) to get some gear worthy of Acolytes in the employ of the Inquisition. Nothing too fancy or over the top, but I think we made our characters worth it. Ragaa was a random name from the tables (yeah, we rolled them on the random tables for a bunch of stuff... really funny, actually), and I chose the last name.

Ragaa Kenter, Sanctioned Psyker

Early in his life, Ragaa was robbed of his sight and most of his other senses by a psychic accident on a Black Ship. He does not remember much of life before that, only that he is comfortable in crowds and knows how to get things done on hive worlds that most people don't. His sight and other senses were restored to him shortly after, and the rest of his life was decided from that point onward. His head, now mostly covered in standard sensory implants, hid most of his facial features forever, and Ragaa spent the rest of his sanctioning tenure in complete silence, hating the way this his voice now sounded to his new augmetic ears.

After his sanctioning ended, Ragaa was recruited into the service of an Inquisitor in the Ordo Xenos, Maximillian Stone, who was a powerful psyker and a good friend to the erstwhile aloof and secretive Ragaa. Stone was killed in a raid on a Xenos weapons factory in the Hive World of Praag III, and Ragaa, having unfortunately survived the incident, was transfered to the retinue of another Inquisitor. Ragaa has yet to actively investigate for his new boss. In fact, he hasn't met the Inquisitor yet.

Ragaa is characteristically moody and hardly ever speaks in large groups, except to exert some kind of control over those whom he is addressing. His psychic abilities are developing, and he is already displaying aptitude in the areas of Telepathy and mind control. Though rudimentary at best, his powers will continue to grow as he serves the God-Emperor and His Inquisiton.

Well, that's all for now on Ragaa. I don't want to explore everything about him or delve too deep into the character before I've had a chance to play him and know what he's going to do on his own, without me trying to make him play a certain way.

Play 40k, read as much as you can, and always remember that no one expects the Inquisition.

The Emperor Protects,