Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
What I see as professionalism isn't necessarily taking the game with the seriousness that you would your job, but having an attitude conducive to a good game. A player's conduct is under their control and only their control, so it is the core of what I view as an attitude conducive to a good game. In some areas, leniency is very helpful to conducting an enjoyable game. For instance if you and your opponent are not sure whether a vehicle or monstrous creature is half or more obscured for getting a cover save, either remember the provision in the Big Rule Book (BRB) for a 5+ save in case of disputes or simply give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. I've found that a lot of those "iffy" cover saves happen to fail, but the important part is producing a friendly atmosphere with your opponent. If you give them the benefit of one iffy call, they should reciprocate later, making what could be a hotly contested point, slowing the game and raising tempers, into a minor point where friendship was worth more than the game, as it should be.
When it comes to rules disputes, I will admit my tendency to be a rules lawyering ass. The rules are the foundation of the game and give it structure. Much like the lines on a football field, the rules say where one can act and where they cannot. The codices and BRB define these limitations in, admittedly sometimes obscure, language whose meaning is generally clear. Houserules are perfectly fine, if they are agreed to by both players before hand. Only bringing up houserules midway through the game to explain your action can leave your opponent feeling as if you are cheating. To avoid this perception I try to know what my codex says, but we can all mess up with our memories from time to time. Remember your own falability and be willing to look up the answers to any question your opponent has. Don't act like this inconveniences you, even if it does. Literacy in an army is always helpful as a player.
When an opponent makes a choice you think is an error, for instance firing a Strength 7 weapon at a Land Raider (AV 14), try to politely ask them if they are sure. We all make mistakes and we don't always see them. Discussing with your opponent why a choice may or may not be a good idea will slow down your game, but it will get both of you to think. If your opponent realizes their error and wants to take it back, in a casual game, I say let them, within reason. This may put you in a worse tactical situation, but it will put you in a better interpersonal situation. Your opponent should realize that you would have been fully within your rights to force them to adhere to their decision, but chose not to. In a tournament, I would not point out errors to my opponent until after the battle, but even then it is an opportunity to discuss your way of thinking, not for gloating.
The classical Greeks believed in a principle they called "Agon," from which we derive the word agony. For them it held a very different meaning; Agon was not suffering, but the struggle inherent in sporting and contests, generally at religious festivals. I love to play this game for the same reason I loved to wrestle: there is a definite sense of Agon on the field. One person on each side pits their mental faculties and luck against another, trying to see who is the better on that day. Winning is a good feeling, but I've never really liked the feeling of blasting an opponent off the table nearly as much as counting up the points at the end and seeing either a draw or a minuscule victory for either side. Neither side towers above the other, but each gave as good as they got and gave their best fight, even if it was not enough to win.
The willingness to struggle against an opponent, to help them and give them the benefit of the doubt are all signs of respect for your opponent and yourself. This is just a game we all play, but that does not mean that giving your best performance in your conduct, your tactical decisions and being willing to give some leeway for your opponent say that you respect them as an opponent and treat both yourself and your opponent as adults by acting in a professional manner.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So I find myself putting off my readings for my USSR history class. Then I remember that I’ve left readers in the dust with my logic articles. Well, here we take off once more! If you remember, last time I went over the basic logic gates that construct arguments, as well as the basic methods by which to appraise those arguments. In hindsight, I forgot some definitions:
Valid- This means that it is impossible that we have all premises true and the conclusion is false.
Invalid- It is possible to have all premises true and the conclusion false.
Sound- An argument is valid and has every premise true. Please note that these are incredibly hard to find outside of mundane statements.
Moving on, we’ll start with the S-rules, which deal with basic inferring from the logic gates.
If it is the case that you have two items linked by an AND symbol, then you can infer each part.
Banana and chocolate
Please note, however, that if it is negated ~(B*C), then you cannot infer a thing.
If you have the negation of an OR statement, then you can infer the opposite of both.
Not-either banana or chocolate
In the case of a negation of the negation of an OR statement, you cannot infer anything.
If you have the negation of an IF-THEN statement, then you can infer the first part and deny the second. Please note the original definition of an IF-THEN “it is not the case that we have A true and B false.” This negation means that we do have A true and B false.
Not if banana, then chocolate
As has been usual so far, if there is a positive IF-THEN, it is the case that we cannot infer anything.
These should be rather obvious in their usage, and you may find yourself using these rules to infer things about what another person is saying. Now, let us move on to the I-Rules, which are just referred to as the Inference rules, and while those last rules were technically inferring, they’re just called the Simplification rules.
If we have the negation of an AND gate, we can affirm one and deny the other.
It is NOT the case that we have A true AND B true
Remember, if there is a denial of the first, we cannot infer anything.
If we have an OR statement, and deny one of the two premises, then we can affirm the other.
Chainsaw or shotgun
Remember that you can only infer when you have a denial of one of them. If one is affirmed, the other can be true or false…we don’t know!
So, we’re back to this complicated prick. This gate actually has two I-rules, so ‘ere we go!
If we have an IF-THEN statement, and affirm the first premise, then we can affirm the second.
If chainsaw then shotgun
If we have an IF-THEN statement, and deny the second, then we can deny the first.
If chainsaw then shotgun
So yeah, this one proves to still be quite wretched as a logic gate.
Now, I can certainly understand that all this is rather dry, so I’m going to shoot something out to the community: Give me a rules situation that you are having trouble with, and I will apply these principles to it to find meaning, and it will be in the next segment of this…not necessarily frequent series regarding Mr. Spock.
As always, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be waiting to see what you guys have questions on!
Monday, May 24, 2010
First let’s look at the codex itself. As the Blood Angels are a space marine chapter we have nearly all the goodies of the vanilla space marine codex are here with a few exceptions such as the Legion of the Damned (apparently they don’t like Blood Angels, Dark Angels, or Templar), the Master of the Forge, the Thunderfire Cannon (and to those of you who would have used the cannon, I’m sorry both of you), Ironclad Dreadnought (they have been replaced with a cooler dreadnought anyway) and the generic Space Marine Chapter Master. Although the Chapter Master was pretty much a Captain with the addition of an orbital bombardment and we still have Captains (without the orbital, of course) who is down some bits of wargear and the option to make bikes troops. Other than that the squads have largely been copied and pasted into the new codex, but we are space marines so no surprise there.
“So what makes the new Blood Angels special?” you might say. Well, it’s all the new things that we have and different things that have carried over and our very own special characters (more on them in a bit). For instance we have our new special rules. The regular space marine rules are still present, while the ability the chose to fail leadership test is gone and has been replaced with new Blood Angel oriented rules (a pretty good trade really). Harkening back to the third edition codex (last time we had an actual codex we didn’t have to print off of a pdf) where all infantry (including jump infantry and bikes) had furious charge and a kind of ”half-rage” and the fourth edition pdf where only the death company had, or could get for that matter, furious charge is a rule that makes all infantry, jump infantry, bike, and dreadnoughts roll a die at the beginning of the game, after deployment, but before the first turn. Any rolls of 1 mean the squad has given in to the red thirst gain for fearless and furious charge (why this is on a 1 which typically means a failure I don’t know as it is pretty good). The other new army wide special rule is a rule for jump infantry (minus the Vanguard Vets for reasons probably known only to Matt Ward) that lets them reroll for reserves when coming in from deep strike and has them scatter less. This is a cool way of showing the BA’s expertise with jump packs and makes deep striking a much more appealing and deadly option.
Then we come to the new units. Assault Squads, while having been copied and pasted from the space marine codex are a Troops choice for the Blood Angels. It is definitely nice that they kept this as this is one of the core aspects that has come to define the BAs. Rhino based vehicles (rhinos, razorbacks, predators, Baal predators, whirlwinds, and vindicators) have also gotten an upgrade. All of them cost an additional a few more points and have the same possible upgrades, but are fast. Land Raiders can now deep strike, but that almost never works out well, so we’ll just ignore it. The Death Company are now a regular troops choice costing a few more points than a Assault Marine (jump packs cost additional and can get real expensive) and come with the ability to buy power weapons/fists (no more rending), have furious charge and FNP standard, and can never hold a point (‘cause they be craaaaaazy). Lemartes is now just an upgrade charcter for the death company. Death Company Dreadnoughts are now their own troops choice (as a vehicle they can’t hold a point though) and they same loadout as the Furioso dreadnoughts discussed below, but without the increased front armor, furious charge, fleet, rage, and a new rule which grants them immunity from shaken and stunned (just like the old Moriar from the 3rd edition).
For HQs the only new guy (other than the special characters) is the Reclusiarch, who is a slightly buffed up chaplain, the regular chaplain having been downgraded to an Elite choice. For Elites we have the Furioso Dreadnought, who more or less replaces the Ironclad with his increased front armor, the Sanguinary Guard, and the Sanguinary Priests. The Furioso comes with two Dreadnought close combat weapons, called Blood Fists, one having an underslung meltagun and the other a storm bolter. The biggest change is the option to replace the fists for Blood Talons, which wreak havoc on infantry by generating additional attacks that can also generate additional attacks and acting like lightning claws by allowing rerolls of failed To Wound rolls. The down side is the claws don’t give the strength increase like dreadnought close combat weapons, so no more anti tank punches. The Sanguinary Guard are terminators with wings without the invul save or the good weapons. They cost as much as a regular terminator, come in squads of five (no more, no less), have a regular marine stat line, artificer armor, storm bolters with an extra AP (mounted on their wrist) and two-handed master crafted power swords. Note that despite two-handing the swords they get no bonus out of it and essentially just lose an attack they could have from being dual-armed. They can, however, take the chapter banner and/or fancy new masks like Dante wears which make enemies they are assaulting pass a leadership or lose their weapon skill for the combat (still aren’t worth their points though). Last new addition to the Elite slot is my personal favorite, the Sanguinary Priest. These guys are fairly cheap for what they do (jump packs still cost extra though). They are independent characters, although three of them can fit in one elites slot. They have a pretty standard stat line (regular marines, but with one higher weapon skill), and no invul. What makes them rock though, is their Blood Chalices. These essentially turn even regular units into the Death Company without the downside of not being able to control them. Corbulo is now an upgrade character for these guys rather than an HQ and comes with an interesting rule that lets you reroll any one dice, regardless of what it is for, once per game as long as he is alive. For new Fast Attack we have the Baal Predator. Tanks in my Fast Attack? It is more likely than you think. These guys are predators that have the scout rule and come with either a twin-linked assault cannon or a flamestorm cannon (enough AP to kill space marine out of terminator armor and just enough strength to do it on a 2+). Useful for scounting in turn one, killing a few dudes and then soaking up fire while the rest of your army moves up. The only new Heavy Support is the Storm Raven, sort of the space marine answer to the Imperial Guard’s Valkryie . It is has the same armor as a drop pod, but can ignore the melta rule. It has high AP one-shot missiles, a twin-linked assault cannon, and a twin-linked heavy bolter (that can be changed to a twin-linked multi-melta for free). It is an assault vehicle (although if it moves flat out guys who get out may scatter, take dangerous terrain tests, and can’t assault) that can carry 12 models (no terminators, jump pack guys count as two models) AND a dreadnought. I just really like the idea of a dreadnought jump with a flying ship onto very surprised infantry.
That’s it for the new units of Blood Angels. Check out my upcoming article on the new and returning special characters for the Blood Angels, how these BA-dasses work, and how they stack up to everything else.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Look for my articles about once a week or so under the title "Liturgies of Blood" (guess which army I play).
Coming soon will be the first of my three part review of the new(ish) Blood Angel Codex (that army). I realize its kinda late to do a review, but I need to establish my Blood Angel street cred.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
So I have played many games over the past week, which has been a great change as I usually struggle to get in one or two. Many of them have been very close and extremely enjoyable. I really like playing at the house with friends invited over for a few reasons; one being the tables Ishamael and I made are much more textured than those at our F.L.G.S. and the other being the atmosphere.
But anyways to the point. As I said, I had a chance to play a lot more games than usual this past week or two, and most of them have deviated from the usual 3 set ups and 3 game types from the Big Rule Book. Not that those aren't fun, but after a few hundred times playing them, they begin to get a little stale. So, it shouldn't be much of a shock to know I purchased the Battle Missions book. And I will say without a doubt, I highly recommend this purchase for your gamer group. Find someone who has it, or even purchase a copy with friends to be used by the whole group. It adds a nice bit of variety to the game, and makes for many enjoyable new twists.
But I want to urge people to go beyond just that. It is not impossible to create a unique game type or set up. Earlier in the week I played against ZerkeX with a modified version of "Save the Fallen Commander", a mission from White Dwarf when the new Tyranids were fist introduced.
This mission shows me that if people come up with a fun and fair way to alter the usual rules in a balanced a fair way, it can really add a lot to this game. We shouldn't look at 40k as being a set in stone game that must be played as it has been in the past. It is a game, and one that we can really have fun with by making our own rules, scenarios, etc. The sky is the limit, and I really hope we get some new and unique ideas for missions. (Just had a neat idea... tangent)
We could get a group together to brainstorm and create mission and or set ups for the armies played by those people. I think that would be a great way to get players to look at their army and picture them as more than just plastic minis.
Anyways, I hope people look at this, and consider the use of alternative styles and missions, rather than just looking at the same three and only play to win. Have fun everyone, and try new ways to make the game more about enjoyment in the game rather than just winning.
Friday, May 14, 2010
This Battle Report will follow a similar Picture based Style to the previous as they were done on the same day. We will most likley be returning to a video style in the coming reports, but as of right now this is our best and only real option to get reports out to the world.
Marshal Irons (Helbrecht) with command squad in LRC
3 Rhino Crusader Squads
2 Wolf Guard Terminators in Drop Pods
Grey Knights in LRC
Game: Capture and Control
Set Up: Dawn of War
First Turn: Loki (Templar)
Nothing on the table but the Emperor's Champion with a 9 man squad in a lonely Rhino. The wolves hold their units in reserves hoping to hit the field in a glorious shock and awe tactic.
The Forward Rhino with the Champion deems best to hold position and wait for the bulk of the crusaders to arrive at their side before advancing.
The Wolves move Long fangs into a ruined manufactorum on their extreme left. While a crusader filled with the Knights of the Daemonhunters move cautiously up the center, a Wolf Lord lands on the Templar's right flank to hit a lone rhino advancing up alone.
The Templar Move up the center to counter the Daemonhunters before they can make use of their superior skill and wargear to bare.
While the lone rhino falls back in an attempt to force the Woven Terminators to follow them away from the main force of the Crusaders. The Wolfs take the bait, but now the squad is forced into solitude against the Fenrisian Guard, who quickly destroy the holy Rhino with the strength of Russ.
After firing all weapons and receiving aid from the Venerable dread once more, the crusaders fell two the the Fenrisian Gaurd. With their numbers lowered, the Templar assaulted with righteous Zeal against a Wolf Lord and his Guard in a bloody fight leaving the two sides locked in close combat for a turn.
Across the field, Heavy Fire from the Wolves brought down yet another Holy Rhino of Marshal Iron's Crusade, this one belonging to Godfrey, the Emperor's Champion.
Along with the loss of the Rhino's Protection, the Marshal now faced implacable Terminators arriving from orbit via Drop Pod. And with Grey Knights awaiting orders to attack in the hull of a mighty Land Raider... the battle looks ill for the Crusaders, and songs of Glory would soon sound in the great halls of the Wolves.
As Godfrey lead his squad to the charge to fulfill his sacred duty, Marshal Irons stepped forth from the doors of the great crusader, the two squads opened fire on the terminators lead by the great wolf himself, then charged with the zeal and hatred of all who stand before them. After a great battle, only a wounded Logan and Arjak stood in defiance of the crusaders.
While the great battle raged on, the Venerable Dreadnought used his expertise in Tank Hunting to bring down the mighty Daemonhunter Land Raider, leaving the knights of the Inquisition to the mercy of the Crusaders.
Though the battle turned in the favor of the Templars mid field, the crusader squad laid down their last lives to the Wolf Lord and Guard. Though victorious, the squad was badly wounded, and far from any help to their wolven brothers. The Crusader's sacrifice was no in vain.
The end of turn 4 brought the final judgment of not only The Great Wolf Gimnar and Arjak... but the horse they rode in on was felled when the Drop Pod was destroyed by the might of the Sergeant's Power Fist.
With the Grey Knights exposed, the might of the crusaders open fired on the holy warriors, removing all trace of their once majestic presence with ominous silence.
While the crusader squads moved up, the crusader rained vengeful fire upon the wolf lord and his Guard for the fallen crusaders.
After seeing the Grey Knights fall, the Long fangs opened fire upon the Mighty Venerable Dreadnought, but were unable to crack the skilled opponent's mighty hull.
The battle continues with a roll of a 5
Having taken refuge in the final remaining Rhino, the crusader squad mounted up and ran for the Wolfen Objective, killing a few Long Fangs with the mighty fire of the zealous Dreadnought and the command squad.
Though having lost the battle, the wolves did manage a small victory, by escaping the fate of all Heretics. The Wolf Lord and his Guard made it free from the fire of the Crusader before it could bring it's vengeance to bare.
Game ends on a 1.
Templars - 1
Space Wolves - 0
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Here is a flyover image of the battle as it commenced, for your consideration.
As the battle began, Ishmael's forces advanced toward myself and my broadsides, with the vindicator deploying smoke and one of their battlesuits committing fratricide with his large fusion weapon. If this is the quality of our opponent, I am sure the Greater Good will triumph in the end.
Having fought gue'ui many times in the past, I knew it would be futile to attempt to destroy the vindicator while it was obscured by a cloud of smoke so I sent the piranhas to slow the armored column's advance while the broadsides and I attempted to dismantle their transports. While the gue'ui armored column advanced on my right my hammerhead and shas'la advanced to my left, creating a circular fight and hoping to lure only one group of gue'ui toward themselves at a time.
As the battle progressed, the warlord advanced his forces under the cover of more smoke, as my broadside pilots showed their lack of recent practice by failing to destroy a single vehicle. Showing their resolve in the face of the loss of their sisters, the crew of the piranha Swift Strike swept behind the column and destroyed the demolisher cannon of the vindicator. Assaulted by foul beasts, the Swift Strike deemed it wiser to withdraw than continue attacking the column.
As one team attempted to secure the far statue on the left flank from a deformed pair of obliterators, the other three showed a group of gue'ui the power of a united force, reducing their vaunted power armor to smoking piles of slag. However on the opposite flank, another team of gue'ui assaulted and disabled the broadside team I had recently disengaged from.
As the battle progressed, the gue'ui battle suits moved to assault the shas'ui teams after disabling their devilfish. Ishmael bypassed myself in search of the shas'la on the near left flank. The Swift Strike moved to contest the central point, pursued by the warp creatures summoned by Ishmael. It is my sad duty to inform you that two crisis pilots were lost to a mishap, but the other team landed near and killed three gue'ui.
While I was preparing to destroy the statue closest to myself to prevent it falling into the hands of the gue'ui I was called away to another battle as the warlord had sent one of his lieutenants to attack another sector and I was forced to prepare defenses there. The statues have fallen into Ishmael's hands, but my technicians have attempted to sabotage some of them so they will detonate when any attempt to investigate them is made. They were only able to sabotage two but they gathered valuable data on the energy source that will aid us later in this campaign. I await your judgement. Shas'El'Mel'ek out.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Hail most wise and honored one, I regret that I must bear grim news. A warp storm has opened above our new colonies on Ke'Shan and I fear our colonists will come under attack. The Earth Caste technicians you have assigned to my coalition have intercepted transmissions coming from the storm. They believe a band of gue'ui renegades under the deranged warlord Ishmael are mounting an attack near the end of the current earth week. My shas'vre and I are deep in meditation on what would be the course of action to defend Ke'Shan, but I felt it necessary to inform you of the situation. I am confident in victory, but Ishmael has been know to lead many gue'ui devoted to their "god" Khorne. I am still at a loss to this concept of a "god," oh wise one, but this one seems to drive the gue'ui to a bloody frenzy. I will send word on our first engagement with these barbarians hopefully within the coming earth week. I would ask that you consider preparing a relief force should our defenses be overrun.
Inquisitor, I propose we prepare to take advantage of this clash between Xenos and Heretics. All information will be passed to you by your faithful agent Loki.
Hail the God-Emperor
Monday, May 3, 2010
The next day Loki had convinced me that, crazy as it was, the list had some merit after we had built a rough replica of this mystery army. Loki and I hadn't been able to play a game in quite a while due to conflicting schedules, so he suggested we test this list out. We rolled into the Keep and set up a game between ourselves and Loki told me a secret: he was the mystery Tau player, he had thought up the army the night before. Having been thoroughly conned, I had to shake his hand as we lined up to duke it out.
The game forced me out of my comfort zone and to think, as I had slipped into such a rut I was playing in my sleep. It was one of the closest games Loki and I have ever played and that's saying a lot since he was the person to get me into the hobby. With his assistance my school of devilfish kept swimming and advanced up one of his flanks, intimidating and eliminating his sternguard, while one crisis team dropped in, killed two devastators and forced them to run off the board. Loki's terminators ripped a path through my broadsides, commander and two fire warrior teams. The game was decided on turn six when Pedro and a tactical squad bowed to the massed shots of two teams of fire warriors, two devilfish and a crisis team. The game ended on a two with a tally of eight kill points for Loki and nine for myself. Surviving for Loki were five terminators and six tactical marines facing down thirty-six fire warriors, two devilfish, three suits and a hammerhead.
Through taking a leap of faith, or indifference, and a convincing lie by Loki, I was able to get out of a rut. Generally, I have too high an opinion of myself when it comes to this hobby, but I will admit this was a learning experience for me. Loki was able to figure out an army he's played all of one time, both in list building and tactics, and take it to a close victory over his own tournament winning army. Will I keep running this new list? Probably. Will I try harder to keep my eyes and ears open to advice in the future? Definitely.