When I used to play EVE Online there were often posts on the forums saying “drama llama is not amused” or words to that effect. To those not familiar with it EVE is a sci-fi MMORPG with the highest number of players on a single server of any MMO. There’s a big part of me that misses playing it but I simply don’t have the time to get back into it. Anyway, every time the developer released an expansion/patch/ship/module there’d be mass panic on the forums that this new thing was going to break the game forever. Once the new feature was released there were a few days of panic and then everyone realised there was an easy counter to it and things went back to normal. To me, 40K is no different. Every time GW announces a new codex, or in this case an entire new edition, we hear a few rumours and everyone panics that the new army/rules will break the game. Now I’m not going to pretend that GK are balanced but they certainly aren’t as powerful as everyone seems to think. Most players now know how to deal with them
So before we start, in case you haven’t seen it yet there’s a teaser trailer over on the GW website or you can watch it on YouTube here . Not much to it but there’s no doubt that it’s announcing when pre-orders will start for 6th edition: 23rd June 2012. What do we know for sure about 6th edition then? Well there’s certainly a lot of rumours running around at the moment. With several sources claiming the same things I’m farily sure they’re on the mark. However, it’s still difficult to differentiate between genuine information and wishlisting. What we can be almost certain of is that 6th edition will be released on 7th July. How can I be sure? Well think about it this way. We’ve got a video saying pre-orders will be up on 23rd June, I’m then playing in the GW 40K Doubles the weekend after and the weekend of the 14th July I’m going to the GW Open Day
With memories of Blog Wars 3 still fresh in my mind the time has come to announce the next Blog Wars tournament. Blog Wars 4 will be held at Maelstrom Games on Sunday 14th October 2012. Things will change quite a bit this time around so let me explain some of the differences. Firstly and for some, most importantly, the prize structure will be changing. As others have pointed out the prizes in the first 3 tournaments were pretty generous and as such people felt that they needed to bring something highly competitive because so much was at stake. In such a small tournament if you bring a decent tournament list against a field of mixed skill level, you’ve got a good chance of going home with a prize, such is the nature of one day tournaments. Therefore my plan for BW4 is to reduce the amounts of the big prizes and hopefully encourage people to bring something a little different without hefty comps. I’ll be announcing the details of the new prizing structure once I’ve finalised it but suffice to say the prizes will still be decent but there’ll be more on offer and everyone will have a chance of taking home something. I’m also quite keen to offer door prizes so I’m going to be contacting some companies to see if they can offer me deals on buying these things in bulk in exchange for a little publicity
Jamie and I headed down to our FLGS (Wargames Emporium in Sheffield) with the intention of picking up one or more of the new flyer kits that GW released over the weekend. We’d planned on getting them at Maelstrom to make the most of the tournament discount but they’d already sold out their first lot of stock! Since I don't own any Necrons or Space Marines (except SW), the only one I can put to use is the Ork Bomma kit. I have been considering a Necron army but I think I'll wait and see what 6th edition brings both in terms of rule changes and new codexes. Jamie on the other hand bought all three!! I'm hoping the purchase of a new kit will be the push I need to get mine & Matt's shared Ork army painted up. Before I go on to talk specifically about the Ork one I’d like to say that I actually like the look of all three models. In spite of what the popular consensus is I think the Stormtalon is perfect. It shouldn’t be long and sleek it’s just a flying gun platform. I’ve seen some people extending the tail section to make it look more like a real plane but frankly I think GW got it right in the first place, unpopular as that opinion may be! Anyway, I’ve got the Ork kit sat in front of me and I’m trying to decide what to assemble it as. From a purely aesthetic point of view I prefer the swept back wings of what the manual calls the blitza-bommer: However, I’m very much a gamer first and a hobbyist second so it’s important to decide which will actually be more use on the table. Bear in mind of course that we apparently only have a month of 5th edition left so I’m a little bit loathe to commit to any of the 3 options until I see the new rules.
In the final game of the tournament I found myself in the rather unexpected position of being on table 3. My opponent would be none other than Frank Marsh. Over the past year or so Matt and I have played Frank on various occasions. The last time I played him was at Blog Wars 2 where my Space Wolves were held to a draw by some last minute KP grabbing from Frank including ramming my drop pod with a wave serpent! Frank has a pretty decent tournament record and seems to always place pretty near the top. I knew this was going to be a tough game and having webway Dark Eldar wasn’t going to make it any easier. The final game would be Seize Ground with 5 fixed objectives and Dawn of War deployment. I was relieved to see Frank looking confused as he read my army list. Sure enough he said that he hadn’t played Dark Eldar much and certainly wasn’t familiar with webways. Frank’s list consisted of a rune priest and a large grey hunter pack in a rhino, a wolf priest on a bike with a squad of swiftclaw bikers, a small grey hunter pack in a razorback, Arjac Rockfist and 8 grey hunters in a drop pod, two lone wolves and two packs of long fangs (one with a razorback). In my previous two games I’d won the roll offs easily even without Baron’s +1.
My opponent for round two was Phil Waghorn who Matt and I had met at the GW Doubles when our Bloody Wolves had hammered their Tyranids . From practice games against Scott’s Tyranids I knew that if I got the units I want when I want them I can make a mess of a Tyranid army as I usually have the initiative advantage. It would still be a hard slog and the Cleanse mission is difficult to take many points from without tabling your opponent. The advantage of this mission for my list is that the deployment really lends itself to webways as you can easily position them right near the centre. This coupled with the fact that nids list needs to come towards me to be effective meant I felt pretty confident. I again rolled a 4 for combat drugs which helped! Phil’s list had a hive tyrant, 2 zoanthropes, the deathleaper, a tervigon with termagants, 5 warriors with boneswords, a carnifex, mawloc and trygon. He kept the deathleaper in reserve and deployed the rest of his army spread across his quarter with the zoanthropes in the centre supported by the trygon and followed by the tyrant. Phil stole the initiative and advanced his army forwards.
Despite it being a random draw I somehow found myself facing Jamie and his Iron Hands. He’s got quite a lot of vehicles in there and I simply don’t have much anti-tank in my list… at all! So we were all set up for a tough game. For anyone wanting a reminder of the dual webway list I was fielding you can find it here. As per the scenarios we’d be playing Pitched Battle with the Annihilation mission. The difference being that the commander SC was worth 2 points (Cassius for Jamie and Baron for me). Jamie was fielding Chaplain Cassius with a master of the forge and some assault terminators in a land raider. These were joined by 3 tactical squads (2 in rhinos, 1 on foot), a small bike squad with attack bike, a predator and a whirlwind. As with most Dark Eldar lists I’ve got a much better chance if I get first turn. Fortunately that’s what I got and I deployed by two venoms where I wanted them
As ever, alongside the dice rolling was the hobby side of things. This time around there were three prizes on offer: Best Painted Army, Best Painted Special Character and Best Army Theme. The first two would be voted for by all of the competitors but the army theme award was decided by yours truly. Before I get to the results I wanted to say that unlike the first two Blog Wars there was a disappointing number of votes cast with only just over half of people voting. This is probably partly down to people not knowing where the voting slips were (though I did say!). Anyway, here’s a selection of the armies on display. Apologies to their owners for the crappy pictures but it was a case of rushing round with the camera in between other things I had to do! If anyone else has better pictures feel free to post them up and then link them in the comments. The winner of the Best Painted Army was my good friend Jamie (I’d like to point out I’m not eligible to vote). His army was a beautiful Iron Hands force with Cassius and a Master of the Forge
The third Blog Wars tournament took place yesterday at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Blog Wars is a twice-annual,
As promised here’s a rundown of the special characters that will be in attendance for Blog Wars 3 on Saturday. Let’s start with the Emperor’s Finest, for the mighty Space Wolves their only representatitve, Frank Marsh, has opted to bring along Grimnar’s Champion, Arjac Rockfist. It’s no secret that he’s my personal favourite SW character thanks to his impressive “bang per buck” ratio and the fact that he can’t be targetted separately. Oh and when you do hit him he gets a 2+/3++ save and Eternal Warrior, nasty. Those shiny men of the moment the Grey Knights will be represented by two lots of Inquisitor Coteaz, Castellan Crowe and Grand Master Mordrak. I’m sure people are familiar with Crowe and Coteaz but I’m keen to see how Mordrak performs. Surprisingly no-one opted to bring along Draigo. We’ve lost a couple of Blood Angels players but Paul O’Boyle who stepped in last minute will be bringing Commander Dante and my mate Scott will be fielding the walking tank himself, Mephiston. The other space marine chapters will include a ‘counts as’ Chaplain Cassius for the Iron Hands from Jamie Jackson, Kayvaan Shrike for the Raven Guard, Vulkan Hestan joining the Relictors and Pedro Kantor of the Crimson Fists