Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Part III

Continuing wall-of-text...
Part the Third: The Art of War

While certain sites may overestimate its applicability to the game, Sun Tzu's classic book on warfare can actually be summed up into one very useful point: never let the enemy fight the way he wants to. If someone brings a static gunline to the table, your first priorities should be forcing assaults and movement on him, because he is poorly-equipped to handle these tasks.

This is where the inability to stop AV14 starts to come back to haunt Orks. One of the strongest "rock" armies in the game, using a Land Raider to deliver TH/SS Termies and backing it with strong shooting support or other assault elements, simply takes them to pieces. Both of the common Raider variants (Crusader, Redeemer) will cause extensive damage to the Ork forces on their own and the contents are all but untouchable- the Hammers in the squad will make short work of Nob Bikers and Lightning Claws combined with No Retreat will inflict pretty horrific casualties to large mobs of Boyz, already weakened from the Raider's shooting. Since they have no meaningful ways of threatening it with shooting- even Rokkits are a slim chance at best- Orks are forced to send in units to assault it (exactly what the Terminators want) or to try and block it (which they have few options for, since Trukks can't be expected to do so thanks to Ramshackle). Deff Rollas can wreck them with reasonable consistency, but they do so only by putting themselves right in the heart of the enemy formation, meaning either the unit they carried dies to the Terminators (bad) or they are running empty (also bad).

But that's only a single army. How do Orks fare against other major strategies? Another popular example might be the Alpha Strike army, which intends to shoot the enemy right off the table early on and never look back. Many armies deal with this by either using a refused flank (awkward for Orks because of the large footprint of their army) or by holding in reserve (also a poor choice because Orks have no reserve manipulation and aren't mobile enough to rush in from off-table- they're fast, but not that fast.) So we have another major strategic failure, as this sort of army is almost perfectly poised to annihilate Orks with its plethora of high-strength ordnance and other powerful shooting. Over and over again, looking at any given army's major stragegy, the Orks' only real counter to it is "get stuck in, kill them all." Now, this in and of itself is not a fatal flaw- indeed, it's the fundament of most hammer armies- but it is a major weakness that, combined with their other flaws, starts to push the army towards unplayability in high-level matches.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Part II

The wall-of-text continue...
Part the Second: Transports and Mobility

One of the reasons for the extensive use of vehicles in 5E, of course, is the mobility they provide, and this lack of mobility compared to other armies is a second major issue with the Ork codex. Ork armies come in two major styles: Green Tide and Speed Freaks. Green Tide hardly even needs to be discussed in terms of mobility: it doesn't have any. Its large number of models and space required for them make it incredibly unwieldy and, combined with the short range on most Ork guns, it becomes a simple matter to chop it apart piecemeal. Speed Freaks are the Ork lists using (generally) Trukks and Battlewagons; Warbuggies and Bikes are also common, but they aren't really relevant to this part of the discussion, as all-bike armies are not really feasible for Orks and Nob Bikerz are a discussion all their own. (Suffice to say that you are not likely to control multiple objectives with them.) So instead we will look to the two dedicated transports available to Orks and how they fit into the game.

The first thing to note is that they are both Open-Topped vehicles. This is necessary in some ways, as Orks really need to be assaulting out of their transports and their shooting comes in numbers, not quality, so Fire Points are all but worthless to them. There is a big downside to Open-Topped, however: it makes you much more fragile. Vehicle's greatest asset in 5E is the damage table, which forces one more roll beyond what most units get in order to do anything to them, and even a penetrating hit is only 1/3 likely to kill. This is part of why Melta is so good- you raise your kill percentage to 50% and can destroy even on a glance. Well, all weapons are Melta when they're shooting Orks, and Melta is 66% likely to kill them after penetrating (and is guaranteed to at least strip a gun or immobilize). Combine this with the comparatively low armor values of Ork vehicles and their transports start to look very, very fragile. Yes, they have the Kustom Force Field to help mitigate this, but other mech armies generally have access to cover saves of their own (be it from going Flat Out, Smoke Launchers, psychic powers, or the universal save from Disruption Pods), so this is not an advantage they have- it is merely keeping up with the Joneses.

The second problem is that Trukks are not reliable the same way other vehicles are. Even once wrecked, Chimeras and Rhinos often provide excellent terrain to hide behind, as it's not hard to form strategic walls with them. Trukks cannot hope to do this- their Ramshackle rule not only bounces them about the table randomly, it also (under most interpretations) does not leave a wreck behind afterwords, thus denying them the benefit against other shooting for the turn. As Trukks are the only dedicated transport available to units other than Nobz, this means that Orks cannot reliably create cover saves for their vehicles outside of the KFF, and anytime your army has a linchpin that can be broken, you are asking for trouble.

The third issue is also specific to Trukks: they carry twelve models. When you are talking about Space Marines, this is plenty; when it comes to Guardsmen, that is also a fine number, since eight of the squad members are just wound markers anyways. But for Orks, who rely on superior numbers to overhwelm opponents, this is a problem. Squads of Boyz in Trukks do not have the numbers to soak up casualties during an assault- losing 5-8 members will severely hurt a squad, possibly causing them to lose combat, at which point their poor Leadership (as Mob Rule no longer helps) and Initiative virtually guarantee that they will be wiped out. Now, for a squad of twenty or so Boyz, this is not an issue- they can afford to take some casualties from shooting, exploding transports, assaulting, etc, and shrug it all off. So long as those last ten or so Boyz (and Nob) get to swing, they will probably win the fight- Orks on the charge can do a ridiculous amount of damage if they have any significant numbers. This is where our issues with the Ork army start to coalesce, however: those same Battlewagons that you need to carry your large squads of Boyz into the fight are also needed to carry your anti-tank and to function as AT themselves (via Deff Rollas), not to mention carrying harder units like Nobz. So our poor, benighted Battlewagon- which the Ork army only has access to 3-4, in most cases- is stuck trying to do quadruple duty for the army, and that's a no-go.

Transports are also valuable to other armies because they allow not only speedy delivery of units to where they need to be, but also protection against incoming fire and assaults while they are getting there. Ork transports... do not offer this advantage. A Rhino makes the unit it carries immune to being shot by Bolters; a Trukk does not, because the Trukk itself can die to Bolters and other light weapons fire. Battlewagons are immune to this issue, but they are not available in great enough numbers to solve the Orks' problems here. This is why mechanized Orks are a failure compared to other, even older, codices; unlike, say, the Tau Devilfish, a Trukk does not function the same way that other transports do. Orks are too different- and their needs and rules too different- to have a shoddy, overpriced knockoff of other people's vehicles work for them. (Remember, Rhinos cost as much as a Trukk and have none of these issues; BA Rhinos are only 15pts more and are just as fast with an effectively larger carry capacity.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Part I

Next up in the wall-of-text...
Part the First: Anti-Tank

5E has variously been called Tankhammer, the Transport Game, etc, etc, but the simple truth is that vehicles are good again and sheltering your fragile soldiers with steel has become a very good policy. Steel Coffins FTW! All armies have had to adapt to this- some better than others- but Orks take their place alongside Tyranids and Daemonhunters for being unusually lacking in this department. On the other hand, many proponents of the Ork army scoff at this, pointing out that they have Rokkits and Klaws in abundance as well as Lootas and other shooting. Obviously, being that I am writing this article, you know which side I am on, but I would like to take a closer look at the failures of each of the methods in the Ork codex to deal with AVs.

Forge World: Games Day UK 2010

Once again Forge World has released a done of stuff that has resulted in dozens of wives, partners and wallets cringe at the thought of how much money we nerds will spend on the extremely addictive resin crack. I have tried to compile all the images and comments relating to Forge World from this years Games Day UK. I'll be updating it as more stuff emerges... okay turns out there are way too many pictures to go into a single post. So I've made links...

Imperial Armour 11 is certainly Eldar and an as yet unnamed Space Marine Chapter (Wolves perhaps). Phantom Titan sketch model was on display again. Some FW Ironclads, a new Land Raider Achilles with Thunderfire Cannon, Sponson Multimeltas and extra armour and Eldar Light Tanks.  
- Strangleweb on Bell of Lost Souls

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Introduction

A Heuristic Analysis of Trend-Maximal Orcinian Militant Formations With Regards to Non-Interactive Communication Behaviour was a huge battleship text-of-wall by Abuse Puppy that hit the Interwebz a few weeks ago. It was what made me decide to collect information on Orks. Now since this is well over the 2000 word marks it will be broken down into more readable parts...
So following on the heels of my last article, let's transition to something much, much more specific: Orks. Specifically, are Orks a good army? Do they have strong builds, and can they be said to be competitive in 5th Edition? There are some rather strong opinions on both sides of this- the Ork Defense Force articles as well as Stelek's article on the subject are both fairly well-written, if rather adamant in their respective positions. So why is there such a huge divide on the subject?
To find the answer, I'll point back to my previous article on levels of play (and in doing so explain why I had to write that article first, you see.) Orks are an amazing army in low-level play- their raw numbers are fantastic, easily trumping most other armies. Their fast transports, powerful hammer units, and easy learning curve mean that even a relatively new player can expect to do pretty okay with an Ork army; in truth, few of the units in their codex are genuinely bad, although as we'll explain later they all suffer from their own problems. In the context of a low-level player/game, however, Orks are a very strong army.
As the game shifts into mid-level play, Orks don't look quite so overwhelming. The preponderance of vehicles in the 5E metagame means that they have issues to deal with, albeit ones that are certainly handleable. Blocking, multi-charges, etc are all mid-level tactics that Orks can take good advantage of and a properly-constructed Ork army can offer up some difficult target priority choices. At this tier, Orks seem like a fairly balanced (in the sense of "fair," not in the sense of "balanced army") force to bring to the table.
In high-level play, however, is where the problems crop up. Orks have very poor redundancy in several key areas, most notably tank-killing and heavy infantry killing despite what the interwebz thinks. They do not have good strategic flexibility and cannot easily adapt to an opponent's plan in the same way that some other armies can they have way to much randomness for starters; furthermore, they have no good counters to many of the strong top-tier plays and units and are stuck looking to less-efficient answers, putting them at an innate disadvantage.
Note that this does not mean that Orks, as an army, take less skill to play (they don't) or reward a general less for being skilled at low- or mid-level play. Rather, they punish lack of skill less, primarily through their ability to soak casualties to little effect and to have multirole units that can perform several needed tasks. They are reasonably robust at these levels of play and can have their builds and playstyles taken in several different directions without losing any of the fundamental strengths of the army; to contrast, a "finesse" army like Tau or Eldar is heavily reliant on key strategic and tactical decisions and very specific builds and setups- without these, they simply collapse into a worthless pile of fragile, expensive units.
- Abuse Puppy in Why Orks Are Bad, Despite What the Internet Thinks
Next up is a look at anti-tank...

Dante Wing

For some time now I've been planning on creating a Death Company themed Sanguinary Guard list. The list in my head combines Honour Guard and Sanguinary Guard with Missile Launcher Devastators. And it turns out my idea isn't a looney thought...
Well, emails just keeping coming in.

How do I do a Sang Guard list?

Waaaah help me.

I'm the internet and dumb.

Is John's list the best?  By the way, thanks to 3+ Save for letting me totally steal that pic of Sanguinary Guard. [editor's note - if yer gonna steal pics from me, at least attribute them right. stj]

How about SandWyrms?  I couldn't find a pic to steal.  =/

Help us, the 7th layer of Hell is hot this time of year and we want NippleWing!

Yeah yeah. I'll help you.

Really? Yes, really. Yay!

So let's explore.

First, you need Dante.

Hey, 225 points gone.

Now let's bring 4 Sanguinary Guard units.

Why 4? Because they cost so damn much, that's why. They are like super minions.

Plus you need the bodies.

Now something I keep seeing in the Sanguinary Guard lists, is the same thing over and over again.

Drop down, and use the Sanguinary Guard to blow open vehicles then assault the guys inside. With 4-6 squads of only five guys with no invulnerable save that is a bad tactic. You kill a couple of cheap Rhinos or Chimera and then get torrented to death by all the autocannons and heavy bolters.

Well, you can't assault the turn you drop--and you are going to drop on turn 2 at the earliest.

Normally, for a small elite force, that's good news.

Limits the shooting at you, you see.

Well, in 40k--I'm not impressed with the alpha strike capability of such a list.

Ooooh I lost some Rhinos. Color me scarified.

What color is that anyway? Yellow? lol

Normally you buy one power fist and a couple inferno pistols for each squad.

Then you buy some Land Speeders with multimeltas.

Well, that's great.

Don't the Sanguinary Guard reliably arrive on turn 2, and the Speeders not?

Are you trying to make it so on turn 3--if you haven't received your reserves, you can't pop tanks reliably without exposing your troops to death? This is why I thought of Missile Launcher Devastators... i r so smrt! Plus they will be in the backfield. Forcing my opponent to decide whether to use weapons like Autocannons, Missile Launchers and Lascannons on the immediate threat of S8 shots or the next turn threat of 25 Sanguinary Guard in their battle line.

Do they not have invulnerable saves?  Oh snapple, they don't.  Just a 2+, which is nice--but won't save them from concentrated fire of any real magnitude.

2 or 3 Speeders just isn't enough 'extra' stuff to add to your reserves pool to make it likely they will arrive.

What if you don't NEED to rely on unreliable reserve rolls, and can instead provide precision strikes where you need them?


No, it's not.

In fact, I don't think you need anything other than the IMMINENT threat to make people think twice before deploying like you aren't a threat.  What's that mean?  Simple--a couple of RELIABLE and devastating anti-tank units is better than a handful of unreliable units.

Also, do you *really* need huge amounts of FNP/FC bubbleage?  I certainly don't think so.

Missiles bounce--but on a 1, you die anyway.
Las, plasma, melta...all of it goes right through, and you die.
Against heavy bolters, shuriken cannons, multilasers, and autocannons--you have a 2+.

In short, you want to play an army where basic infantry fire can torrent you, but with a 2+ save--it's not going to be terribly effective.  Look it's one thing to use 5-6 units to drop 5 Terminators.  It's another thing entirely to drop 20+ Sanguinary Guard.  Seriously.

Wouldn't it also be nice to dump all the extraneous, and pickup some decent fire support?

Then instead of hiding in reserve, you can start on the table--and scare the shit out of people as you have a valid assault force coming their way, and have threats in reserve.

Really?  Oh yes, really.

Let's explore a list then:

I'll take Dante.

Now if I bring along a squad that has jump packs--not only am I bringing a unit in from reserves reliably, but I can put it anywhere I want to?

So let's take an honor guard.  Give it 3 meltaguns + 1 Flamer.  Why? Yeah why? Well, why not? Because they don't look as hard core as Honour Guard running around with power weapons. Just look at the Honour Guard miniatures from Forge World.

What else would I give it?  BOLTERS. Why Bolters?  Well, firing Meltaguns into Gants isn't terribly effective, but if you are landing and don't have a better target because you play someone who knows how to defend against the deep strike you threaten I'd link to a tutorial on how to bubble-wrap, but I can't think of any on the interwebz at the moment, you might as well bolter them.  Yes, I'll take 8 bolter shots +1 flamer on Gants and IG over 3 melta + 1 flamer + 1 pistol shot.  Why?  If they are out in the open, you have the POTENTIAL to kill more of them.

Why a bolter on the flamer guy?  Simple--sometimes, you deep strike out of range and having a flamer-tard 9" away from the enemy sucks.  So, bring a bolter "just in case".

Oh and give one of the meltagun guys a meltabomb.  Split the squad up a bit more.  You can, if you want, give only ONE of the other meltagun guys a bolter, creating 5 differently equipped guys.  Personally I wouldn't bother.  Anyway, Dante is going to go with this squad.  But...they won't scatter!  Right, and sometimes you'll be landing behind a Russ, and the bolter has MORE potential damage than a flamer does.

This is the first threat to heavy armored vehicles.

Anyway, let's go get 5 Sanguinary Guard squads, but rather than giving them ANY upgrades--we will give them NO upgrades.

Really?  Yes, really.  Would power fists be nice?  Of course.  Why are you charging into MC's and Dreads with guys without an invulnerable save?  Right, so it's not necessary.  If you are charging into CC with a transport vehicle and think 3 power fist attacks will be amazing, well it isn't.  lol

Why 5?  Well, 20 guys kinda scares me.  25, definitely does.  I've seen so-called 'competitive' jump lists with less. Like St John's with his three Sanguinary Guard squads...

So, we have one threat--now we need another.

But it needs to be reliable--and it needs to force the other guy to make decisions at deployment, ESPECIALLY if he's going first OR SECOND.  It's bad news either way--I'll explain later.

So let's pick up a Sternguard Squad.  Give it 2 meltaguns, a combi-melta, and a combi-flamer.  See where we're going yet?  Well, buy a Drop Pod for it.  This is the other reliable unit.  It has triple melta, bolters, and a flamer.  Hmmm.  It's a theme.  Note that single Drop Pods ALWAYS show up on your turn 1.  No stopping it.  Something else--these guys bolters are nasty.  Deployed a screen to prevent units getting to you?  Some cover busting bolter fire will shred it nicely. Other than my Devastators I plan on going all Angelic Jump Packs. So the Sternguard are out unless I use them for Missile Launcher or Lascannon support... alternatively I go with two Land Speeders with MM and HF.

What else do we want?  Well, going with the 'outside the box' thinking, since we are not going to be in reserve but are instead going to charge across the battlefield...we want some fire support.  The cheapest and most potentially useful for this list (meaning it can bust vehicles, MC's, and strip hordes of their numbers) would be missile devastators.

3 units of them, minimum size, with 4 missile launchers.

Now let's take a gander at my 'Best Of' Sanguinary Guard list.

2000 Pts - The Sanguinary Guard

Notes:  So, you start everything on the board except the HG and Sternguard squad.  Unless you are facing a spammy anti-infantry army (like Eldar with tons of S6 but few S8), then start the HG on the board and put them in the middle of a Sanguinary Star.  Sternguard + HG w/Dante give opponents bad choices to make.

If they reserve to avoid the Sternguard, your jump troops start on the board and go 12" + Run D6.  Meaning, you win when his army shows up piecemeal.

If they go second, they can't hide.

If they screen, the Sternguard can poke a hole in the screen.

All the while, it takes heavy weapons to down your army.

It's all Marines, but there aren't any Speeders to drop in (maybe) and zap something (maybe).

The Sternguard and Honor Guard are reliable at cracking ANYTHING.

With re-rolls to arrive, Dante WILL show up with that HG--and being able to place it anywhere without scattering makes screening it very difficult.

While the missiles are relatively safe from small arms fire deep in your deployment zone, and your Sanguinary Guard have their 2+ to protect them--the Sternguard are easy to put into cover, and the HG have FNP, meaning EVERYTHING needs heavy or special weapons to kill it.

That's the key to making a Sanguinary Guard army.

Don't try to increase a 90% super-tough to a 93% super-tough unit.  Just add more 90% super-tough units instead.

It's very flexible, and it's very deadly.

Are the Sanguinary Guard totally reliant on the 2 melta and 3 missile units to pop open transports?


With unique lists, come unique problems.  Trying to make Sanguinary Guard kill tanks rather than project 18" death bubbles around them on the board, is imho a mistake.  They CAN do it, but they do it so poorly, it's best if you just don't try.

- Stelek in Sanguinary Guard, oh my... from 20th of September, 2010
Although I plan on building three squads of Devastators with Missile Launchers. I will also be making sure to magnetise enough arms so that I can play around with different army lists... possibly even using Sanguinary Guard models to represent 10 man Assault Squads in a similar fashion to St John's list.

Incoming: Dark Eldar

Holy Fucking Shyt!
Today at UK Games Day we announced the re-launch of the Dark Eldar and unveiled a wicked host of new Dark Eldar miniatures. Jes Goodwin, lead Dark Eldar designer, was there to answer questions about his latest creations and show off the cover art from the new Codex. As newsletter subscribers we felt that you should be the first to hear the news and catch a glimpse of Jes and his team's stunning work. Make sure you check out the 'What's New Today' section on every day next week, as we'll be showing more of the Dark Eldar, including some of Jes' concept sketches and early design work. The new Dark Eldar will be available to advance order from Tuesday 5th October. Brace yourself, gaming in the 41st Millennium is about to become a lot more frightening.

ZOMG!!!!! I'm hoping it is possible to create a small elite army that doesn't use any Raiders...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Old Ork's View

Found something interesting while exploring old content on Yes The Truth Hurts. I will be picking out bits that get my attention...
My issues with GW go back for quite some time. For years I promoted that hobby (in kind of a big way, especially as the orks go). I took it on the chin when my other armies rulesets and models were cut (Space Marines and Eldar, I still have a land raider crusader with extra forgeworld armor not built because I cannot use that with the White Scar traits) but the release of the ork codex, after 10 long years, was for me the final straw. Yes this was written back in 2007 and then updated for 5th Edition in 2008. What a poor effort...
... With the (upcoming) release of the new, 2007/8 ork codex for Wahammer 40k by Games Workshop, there has been a lot of talk about the changes that are occuring. Well Warboss Bob of Warboss Bobz Killa Konviktz, and his partner in crime Gooba and his Lootaz are not looking forward to the changes wrought by Games Workshop.
Well, I have made my decision on what to do.
After a long discussion with Warboss Bob and Gooba, it's been decided that the Killa Konviktz will NOT be played any longer, under the new codex. To put it concisely, the new codex is pure shit, is an affront to the loyal ork gamers, and GW can kiss Gooba'z burna, Bob'z Klaw, and my ass. After a long, long run, the Killa Konviktz will be shelved. They played their last tournament at Triple Play on the Mall.
Thanks Games Workshop, for the wholesale killing of my hobby.
Why, you ask? Is it the loss of the choppa, or looted vehicles? In part yes. Mostly, however it's because the new codex is a poor product, and I refuse as a consumer to purchase a poor product, and reward a company for continuing to do so.
Now you ask, what makes it a poor product?
Is it the changes in the rules?
In part yes. The rule changes were poorly done, in my opinion, as they take what was openly considered an underpowered codex and weaken it. Simply stated, the sum of what was added is less than what was taken away.
Come on Dude, boyz are now just 6pts apiece base!
Yup, and that's quickly offset when you're making a list by two things - other units and toys are more expensive, and in the new GW boyz box, you only get 12 models. So guess what - for those of use that often ran large foot lists, the change in point costs and total number of models is minimal; and for those of us who don't have a lot of models to exploit the cheap boy cost. It's going to cost a new player $100 for each mob of 30 boyz. If you think that was done for your advantage, well, back to math class for you!
You should also ask yourself this - point for point, which 20 boy slugga mob was more effective? A 3rd edition one with 3 special weapons, including burnas, and a nob who had the run of the armory, plus choppas, power of the waaagh ,and mobbing up, or the new one, with 2 special weapons (no burnaz), no choppas, low leadership, furious charge, and a limited armory. If you honestly think it's the latter, well, no point in continuing this discussion...
... But the word on the forums is that this codex is now competitive, in that the older one wasn't.
I haven't said you cannot win with the new codex, just that it's a poor product. I fairly expect that you're going to see very standardized lists from successful ork players, ones that include just a few unit types and undoubtedly named characters. To me this alone speaks volumes on how poor the new codex is, as the previous one allowed players to field a much more varied and balanced list and still be successful. This is a GW trend, pushing the named characters, and list "min-maxing" in all of their recent codices, and is a mistake in my opinion. As far as the forums, well, you should take that as you will. I personally have a hard time taking solid advice from anyone who's army I havent' at least seen pictures of, and or seen a battle report they've posted. A grain of salt, that's all I'm saying.
But it's new! The Orks finally got a new codex!
Exactly. We, one of the most dedicated and loyal players of any race, waited 10 years for this? You have to be kidding. I know I've said this a lot, but the simple fact that Nobs may still purchase 'eavy armor for the character upgrade clearly indicates to me that this was not proof read or play tested carefully by GW. Think I'm wrong? Than go ahead, and spend that 5pts on 'eavy armor for your nob in that mob of 20+ boys, and see how often his extra armor save comes into use. Just because it's "new" doesn't make it "good"...
... Like I say, this is a shit product. To quote one of my favorite Big Mekz, 'nuff said.
- Scarpia in An Old Ork's View
Another interesting read by Scarpia can be found here where he briefly talks about Ork shooting. And although he hasn't updated his 40K website in over a year he does have a separate hobby website.

Forge World: Tomb Stalker & Warhammer Forge

The interwebz has been excited with the release of Forge World Newsletter 249...
Hi there,
We are now only a few days away from Games Day UK, and the Forge World office is under a mound of packaging and bubble wrap, not to mention a massive stack of Reservation orders! This week’s Newsletter has two more exclusive Games Day pre-release kits for you, more details about the lavish displays that will be showcased on our Studio stand, and a reminder about our exclusive Seminars.
Ead Brown
Pre-Releases Available in Limited Numbers at Games Day UK:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Devilnacht Approaches...

... the darkest hour of the century is close at hand brothers. Stay strong and fear not the alien...

Junking the Rebuild

Below is Dash of Pepper's reply to Stelek's brain storming of a 'Best Of' Ork list...
Stelek has put together an interesting list over at his Yes the Truth Hurts. I thought it was a good list to further investigate. Since I probably know Orks better than any other codex I really wanted to weigh in.
I thought his list was interesting in that it tried a couple of things that aren't typical in any of my Orks lists.
1) It uses both Nob Bikers and Battlewagons
2) It relies primarily on grots as the basic troop choice.
3) It runs Kanz but isn't a Kan Wall.
I thought I'd run down these three items and offer feedback on his strategy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pokémon Apokélypse

Celadon City hasn't been the same since the Gyms closed down. Pokémon fighting has gone underground, and the sport has gotten a taste for blood. Ash, Misty, and Brock have been forced deep into the city's seedy underbelly to keep training, but the Pokémon aren't the only ones in danger. Now, Ash must choose to either become a master in the grim world of illegal pokémon fighting, or make a desperate stand to free them all from the criminal grip of Rocket Industries.

Pokémon Apokélypse is a fan-trailer responding to the common trend of 'dark and gritty' reboots of popular franchises. An article about the production of Apokélypse is available on Shogun Gamer.

Rebuilding the Junk

Another attempt by Stelek to unlock the Ork codex. The first attempt can be found here. This is what he came up with after two previous goes at it...

So I had some time to really 'think' about what I fear from Orks.
Well, there isn't a whole hell of a lot with the majority of builds, but I figured what the hell can't hurt to rework ze Orks one more time, see if I could really come up with something I'd be scared of.
Well, I did. I think run properly, this list is really the Best Orks can do.
Now I'll explain why Orks have such a problem.
Everyone uses several builds.
Lots of guns.
Problem is, they don't really stick anything into anyone's face that's scary enough to distract enemy fire from turn 3 threats.
Having a huge assault range is cute, until there's nothing to kill but some cheap transports.
Orks tend to break then.
What's worse is, Orks have only one realistic answer to several of the nasty units in the game like Thunder Hammer Termies, Honor Guard, SM Command Squads on Bikes, Seer Councils--they all hurt Orks badly.
The usual Ork response has been to bring more and more concentrated units of Nobz, mass Kans, and/or super characters, usually Ghazzy, to deal with them (or to bring more Battlewagons, ugh).
Hey, all of those things cost points--and they don't stop enemies from smashing your face in anyway. Seriously, FNP is great. A 5+ invulnerable? Marines got a 3+ invulnerable because a 4+ or 5+ just isn't good enough.
So you have to assume you'll do limited damage to such units and must instead deal with them the way everyone else does. Not by sacrificing 500 points of Nobs to torrent them to death with Power Klaw attacks, hey anyone can do that. lol You still lose most, if not all, of your unit in return. Then get blown up. Really, it's not a good trade.
So instead, you should not worry about power fists and the like. They are going to insta-kill you anyway, even with a crummy 5+ invulnerable save. Give the Space Marine player a hug if he has wasted points on Power Fists. There are very few units that should be carry them. Unless you don't get Combat Tactics like Black Templars.
What you should focus on is a simple concept: How can Orks put enough threats down on the table to force people to deal with the wrong threat, whether they want to or not? Put enough targets on the board and your opponent will eventually make the wrong priority target choice.
No, being an unbalanced army isn't going to work.
You need to maximize what abilities you DO have.
Which means, beating down horde units (easily doable) and crushing face on small units (like combat squad Marines).
No, you don't really want to fight people in CC--and you don't want to be overpoweringly good in CC that regular non-CC units won't come anywhere near you. That's bad, because unlike say TWC can't go very far once your Battlewagon dies.
So let's see if we can amalgamate my Ork ideas into a reworked 'Best Of' list.
Unlike many other armies, spamming one kind of unit (Battlewagons, Nobz, Kans, etc) results in weakness for Orks. You are too reliant on inherently unreliable units.
Sure, you *can* spam lots of units...but going second, or facing an army like my Space Wolves--well, you're in serious trouble and there's really no easy way out.
So here we go:
2000 Pts - Codex: Orks Roster
Notes: So, let's see what problems we've solved.
We have a scout unit.
We have a unit that can zoom up and immediately threaten the enemy if not killed immediately (the Bikers led by the Warboss).
There is decent fire support in the Lootas, Buggies, and Kans.
There are 4 craptastically bad troops units (the Grots) you usually have to kill, but who will spend the game in cover and hope you shoot don't shoot them them as Lord knows firing at guys with 3+ cover saves who cost 3 points is just stupid, and normally you roll up and assault/flamer/bolter them to death; but when you aren't able to roll up because the Orks are everywhere...well, that's bad news then as those units are suddenly going to be taking objectives. Shooting at them doesn't really help much as they have a re-rollable LD7. Not awesome by any means, but fairly reliable.
Instead of 2 Nobz units to scare Marines with, you have 2 Nobz and 2 Kans squads. If they don't have a serious CC unit around to beat your face in, they aren't going to be bravely running at you. Instead they should use delay tactics while shooting their priority targets.
You still have 2 Battlewagons with Rollas and a KFF mek aboard, and a 2nd Nob squad outfitted much like the first.
Just forget about your shitty invulnerable saves. Go with GOOD invulnerable saves. Since you don't have them, all you need to do is remember your Nob squads are not extremely powerful and are there to crunch enemy units down then hide in cover until another element of the army can bail them out. Or they die. ;)
While it's not a huge amount of shooting, it's what I call "just enough". Hell even the Nobz have a couple Rokkits, not because they reliably do anything...but because they MIGHT do something. Knowing your vehicle might get popped means you play the guys inside differently. Nobody wants small 5 man squads of Marines or 10 man squads of IG to get assaulted by freaking Nobz. lol Not even squads with minimal gear like these. They will still beat your face in. Sadly, one is a troop unit so you'll have to kill it even if you don't want to.
2 Lootas, 2 Buggy squads, 1 Deffkopta squad, and 2 Kan units isn't overwhelming firepower, but all of it is protected by 4+ cover saves. It's still 16 things that need to be shot at by heavy weapons, that's what Orks do well so might as well go with it. They are all BS of 2... so don't expect many things to die from shooting.
This is a list I fear, because frankly there are lots of targets to deal with--and they are the targets I don't want to see in an Ork army. Kans, Buggies, Lootas, Nobz, Rolla-Wagons, Deffkoptas, Biker Nobz, KFF, Biker Boss, and stupid freaking Grots everywhere.
Well, that's the list I worry about--it has the tools to deal with just about anything, and while I wager all the Ork players will come out of their Battle Fortresses to decry it, you'll just have to take my word for it: I'm scared of this, and not scared of everything else you bring.
- Stelek in Orks: Rebuilding the Junk Take 3 from 21st of August, 2010 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forge World: Newsletter 248

Forgot to post this when I read about it a few days ago. But anyways...

Hi There,
With less than 10 days until Games Day UK, we have another Newsletter crammed with exciting announcements for you. This week, we have details of more pre-release items that you’ll be able to purchase at our sales stand along with more titbits about the work-in-progress projects that our Studio team will be showcasing. We can also announce details of an exclusive Forge World Seminar to take place at Games Day.
Remember that you can still order your Games Day ticket, if you haven’t already, and here at Forge World we’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the NEC!
Ead Brown
More Forge World Pre-Releases Available at Games Day UK and to Pre-Order Now:
Chapter-specific A4 Transfer Sheets
Forge World’s Kenton Mills has been hard at work of late, busily working away on a new range of transfer sheets. Some of these have already been released, such as those available now for the Imperial Fists, Iron Hands and Raven Guard Chapters, but as another Games Day pre-release you’ll be able to get your hands on four new A4 decal sheets for the Blood Ravens, Crimson Fists, Blood Angels and Elysians, priced at £9 a sheet.
Each decal sheet is crammed with a huge array of squad badges suitable for shoulder pads, jump packs and vehicles. There are also unit designations and unique details such as Librarian rank markings in the case of the Blood Ravens decals, and Vulture Gunship and Tauros kill markings on the Elysian sheet. Each of these fantastic sheets will be available as an exclusive Games Day UK pre-release while stocks last.
Each of the new transfer sheets is also available to pre-order now, if you aren’t lucky enough to be joining us at Games Day UK, and will be despatched in the week commencing October 4th.
New Etched Brass Symbols
Not content with his awesome Transfer sheets, Kenton has also found time to produce a sheet of incredibly detailed Etched Brass Symbols for the Iron Hands, featuring a variety of Chapter and Clan-Company details perfect for making your infantry and vehicles stand out even more.
He’s also recently finished a set of Etched Brass Ork Glyphs to complement the recent range of Kastorel-Novem themed Greenskin kits that we have released. These glyphs allow you to personalise and name your Ork characters and vehicles in typical Orky fashion.
Both of these detailed Etched Brass sheets will be available as a pre-release at Games Day while stocks last.
Space Marine Character Upgrade Set
 Will Hayes and Phil Stutcinskas have followed up their work on our recent Power Armour sets and Weapon Packs with this detailed set of upgrade parts to allow you to customise unique Space Marine figures from Sergeants to Captains. The Character Upgrade Pack features 5 bolt pistols and a plasma pistol, styled along the same lines as the Special Weapons Pack, as well as three bionic arms, a bionic leg, a mechanically detailed head, a fantastic right-handed Power Fist and an ornate Power Sword. The sprues also contain a combat knife and a combi-flamer to offer even more conversion options, as you can see here. The combi-flamer idea is ducking brilliant. Will be a very easy conversion to pull off on a mass scale if the need ever arises.
The Space Marine Character Upgrade Set will be available as a pre-release item from the Forge World Sales Stand at Games Day UK while stocks last, priced at £10.
 It’s also available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing October 4th.
Forge World Show Only Model
Not content with our staggering array of resin kits, modelling supplies and Imperial Armour books, each year Forge World produces a Show Only figure, which as the name suggests can only be purchased from our Sales Stand at an event we attend. The Show Only figure for 2010 is this excellent Ork Runt Bot designed by Mark Bedford. Only available until the end of the year, this unique miniature will be available at Games Day UK alongside the rest of our Ork range while stocks last, and can be yours for £20.
Perfect for use as a vignette, or for representing a Warboss with a Bionik Body or wearing Mega Armour, the Runt Bot depicts a hulking Orky robot wildly swinging its huge klaws while a tiny Grot perches on a vast armour plate, desperately wrestling with his kontrol pad.
Forge World Studio Displays
In addition to our talented model designers, the Forge World studio boasts a dedicated book production team and two Imperial Armour writers and this week we can offer an exclusive peek at what will be on offer from these skilled chaps.
Alan Bligh, writer of Imperial Armour Apocalypse II and the brand new Imperial Armour Volume 9: The Badab War Part I, will be on hand with an entire box of pens to sign your copy, and rumour has it that he will even be letting slip a few of the dark secrets contained within the forthcoming second, and final, half of our epic exploration of the Badab War.
Warwick Kinrade, the writer of Imperial Armour Volume 8: Raid On Kastorel-Novem, will be laying bare his plans for future Imperial Armour books which might involve snow, Eldar and a popular Space Marine Chapter…
Kenton Mills is one of the Graphic Artists behind many of the colour profiles included in recent Imperial Armour books, as well as the architect of the Transfer and Etched Brass sheets that we have recently released. He’ll be showcasing his work on the Badab War series, so don’t forget to ask him to sign your book!
Graphic Artist Ian Strickland is the most recent addition to the Book Production team, and he will have an array of his colour profile work from the Badab War series for you to admire. He will no doubt be easily persuaded to spill a few secrets about exactly how all the fantastic colour profiles in an Imperial Armour book are planned, created, laid out and printed. No Imperial Armour Volume 9 bought at Games Day will be complete without the signature of Forge World’s professional Yorkshireman.
To complete the set, make sure you seek out Book Production Manager Paul Rudge, who oversees every book project that Forge World embarks on. Rudgie also produces colour profiles and photo art for Imperial Armour books, and his iron fist controls all the technical aspects of making a document into a book.
You should also look out for Graphic Artist Sam Lamont, who is responsible for the fantastic Badab Sector Map on one side of the A1 poster supplied with The Badab War Part I, as well as many of the fantastic photo art and other star maps featured across the two parts of the Badab War series. Exactly what these two will be showcasing at Games Day UK is still shrouded in secrecy, so keep an eye on next week’s Newsletter for more details.
We have prepared a special Games Day UK page on the Forge World website that you can find here which contains more details about everything you can expect to see at the NEC on September 26th.
Forge World Seminars at Games Day UK
We can now confirm that Head of Forge World Tony Cottrell and Studio Manager Owen Branham will be hosting an exclusive seminar, ‘The Future of Forge World’, at Games Day UK, and these will be held in the Westside Bar in the Arena area.
Each running of the seminar is strictly limited to 100 tickets, which are totally free, and will be available from Games Workshop Customer Service staff located at the entrance to the Westside Bar near the Black Library Digital stand and the entrance to Block 12 of the Arena.
Tickets will be available on a one per person, first come, first served basis from the very minute that the NEC doors open. As the title suggests, the seminar will focus on future projects on the Forge World schedule, from Imperial Armour books to resin kits, and it will feature a Q&A session in which you can grill Tony and Owen to your heart’s content!
Seminar One will be held from 12:00 until 12:45 and Seminar Two will run from 1:00 until 1:45.
Place Your Games Day UK Reservation Now!
Forge World are still taking reservation orders for Games Day UK. This is the best way to guarantee that we will have exactly what you want and we’ll have a separate Reservations Collections area on our sales stand so you can pick up your order at any point during the day.
What’s more, as a special bonus, if you place a reservation of £50 or more you’ll receive an extremely rare Show Only Reaver Titan Princeps or Ork Skwadron Kommander free when you collect your order on the day, while stocks last.
To place a reservation, just send an e-mail titled ‘Games Day UK Reservation’ to including your name and a list of the items you’d like us to provide or you can also telephone us on 0115 916 8177. We MUST receive these orders by September 20th to allow our heroic Despatch team to pack them in time for Games Day.
We will provide you with an order number and total cost slightly before the event, and we’ll also inform you of anything that we can’t guarantee to have for you. Remember that anything we don’t have, or we run out of, can be ordered on the day with the added bonus of completely free shipping! Can I just such how self-edit unfair that is. Already living in the UK and get to benefit from free shipping. 
Games Day Tickets Still Available alot of good for those of us on the other side of the world
If you’ve not yet bought your Games Day UK ticket, they’re selling fast! You can order yours by visiting and if you need transport to the NEC, coaches will be leaving from Games Workshop Hobby Centres nationwide so make sure you pop into your local store for more details.
The Bolter & Chainsword discussion can be found here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pray They Don't Take You Alive...

This is just self-edit awesome...

Those blurry miniatures make the current Incubi look like they were made before I was born... and they are my favourite DE miniatures from the current range. Going to be hard not buying an army straight away...

Macers Ad

Had to share this with all of my imaginary friends. Going to try and found out if it is real...

... because it looks freaking AWESOME!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ruins of Osgiliath

I have a small collection of Lord of the Rings ministures (100+). I doubt I will ever get any use out of them and chances are they will find themselves on Ebay or given to someone more interested (I'm interested just not motivated to paint them sadly). I digress, awhile back I came across this What's New Today post which showed something I had consider. Using the movement trays for terrain pieces. More can be found in the commentary below (the picture says it all actually)...

These Ruins of Osgiliath were painted and modelled by the staff at Games Workshop Liverpool. They've based the ruins on one of the floor sections that come with the Modular Movement Tray set. They told me 'the plastic floor sections make for a sturdy base and the pre-marked out squares are ideal for paving stones.'

Disclaimer - Image taken from the Games Workshop website. They will be removed if requested.

Friday, September 17, 2010

mX: Dementia & Texting

Feeling burnt out from work and university. And being the Aussie male that I am there is the urge to get something to relax...
Alcohol-related dementia is on the rise in young people in Australia. There are more than 15,000 Australians afflicted with younger onset dementia - 10 per cent higher than 10 years ago. And alcohol is the cause of one in five of those cases...
- mX in Memory loss link to booze from Friday, 17th of September
Not like people need to be told that too much booze is bad for your health. But maybe this will discourage that extra drink. And that wasn't the only hazardous thing that we young adults need to think about...
Texting while on the move isn't just a danger for drivers but for walkers too, a UK scientist has warned... One in 10 mobile phone users has already been injured because they are so engrossed in their phones and fail t notice bollards, lamp-posts or cars, according to Dr Joanna Lumdsen of Ashton University. New studies suggest that mobile phone texting uses up so much brain power, people simply don't see one in five potential hazards as they walk down a footpath.
- mX in Footpath wet, mind your text from Friday, 17th of September

Dakka Orks

Surprisingly Stelek comes across civil in this post about Orks...
So, here's my take on the Orks. I've tried lots and lots of different builds for them, from horde orks to kan spam to battlewagon spam to biker spam.
I think all these builds are effective in their own way, but I really like my gunline as it tends to do more damage consistently than these other lists do. That said, the gunline even when built efficiently, needs units to protect it and it's always been a issue actually getting them into the list.
While Nob Bikers are great for absorbing fire, they also eat points like candy....effectively leaving the army without enough troops. In short, they defeat the efficiency of the list by being so inefficient. Problem is, there's nothing in the army that's a serious CC threat nor do I have any anvil type units. Just lots of glass hammers.
So my solution isn't what most players use, but that's par for the course for me. ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

mX: Friends, Machines & End-game

Life has been hectic lately due to the self-edit, self-edit University. Sorry for the foul language but I will be hating UWS for some time possibly forever. I digress, this issue of mX like several others got left under a bunch of journal articles, miniatures and scrap paper while working on several reports. So using the marvels of time-travel I will be posting it on the correct date. My imaginary friends don't mind as they know the following will never happen to them...
When you fall head over heels in love, you will have a heavy price to pay - two close friends... One is sacrificed to make way for the new partner, and the other disappears because of being ignored for too long... Typically, people have a small number of around five "inner circle" friends who they can confide in. It is these friendships that can be sacrificed for love, according to the new research outlined at the British Science Festival at Aston University in Birmingham... Although women tend to be more socially active than men, both sexes tended to lose the same number of friends.
- mX in In love, and out of friends from Thursday, 16th of September
Sounds believable since some of my fiancée's friends didn't take our relationship so well at the beginning. One of them is now enjoying her just deserts after she tried to get others to turn on me. Of course friendship may take on a new meaning if the development of robots make leaps and bounds in the coming years...
The replacement of humans by machines in the workplace took another step yesterday as Japanese researchers unveiled a model they hope could lead to humanoid menial workers... Standing 151 cm tall and weighing 39 kgs, the robot at yesterday's news conference stood on one foot, twisted its waist, struck poses, walked in accordance to given voice commands and moved its head to track objects... The price, for what is described as a "low-price" model, is about $334,000 per robot. The developers hope to sell three to five a year.
- mX in Say hello to Mister Menial from Thursday, 16th of September
The HRP-4 has potential but they could of given it a more serious looking head. I keep thinking Gundam whenever I see it. Robotics and programming isn't the only area that science has made progress in...
Scientists have hailed the "end game" in the battle to understand the causes of cancer and how to treat it. In a breakthrough compared to penicillin, doctors have successfully trialled a drug that uses genetic data to target specific tumours... All cancers are the result of mutations in individual genes, but the process of finding faulty DNA has taken a lead forward over the past few years thanks to new gene sequencing technologies. The advantages of gene-targeting drug is that they only interfere with cells with the mutation and leave healthy tissue alone. However, scientists still face a colossal task of unravelling every genetic mutation for every form of cancer.
- mX in End game claim for cancer from Thursday, 16th of September

Forge World: Imperial Armour 9 & Games Day UK

More goodies from the latest Forge World Newsletter...
Hi There,
Welcome to our third Games Day UK preview. This week’s Newsletter is crammed with exciting announcements; we have details of more pre-release items that you will be able to purchase at our sales stand, as well as full details of the fantastic participation games that you will be able to play, courtesy of an intrepid team of GCN Volunteers.
For those of you unable to make it to Games Day at the NEC, we can also announce a fantastic set of items that are available for pre-order now to despatch in the week commencing October 4th – read on for more!
Ead Brown
More Forge World Pre-Release Miniatures Available at Games Day UK and to Pre-Order Now:
Lugft Huron, Chapter Master of the Astral Claws, Scourge of the Maelstrom, Tyrant of Badab
The first of the exclusive Games Day UK pre-release models that we can unveil this week is perhaps the most detailed Space Marine character that Forge World have ever released. This brand new, multi-part resin miniature of the notorious Lugft Huron, sculpted by the talented Simon Egan, depicts the Chapter Master of the Astral Claws during the dark days of the Badab War. Supplied with a resin scenic base, this finely detailed model should be available in limited numbers at Games Day UK, priced at £18.
Armed with an ancient master-crafted Lightning Claw of dark origin and a Heavy Flamer, Huron epitomises the brutal frontal assault tactics for which the Adeptus Astartes are renowned. Note: the WiP image of Huron has been taken from the Games Workshop website. It is being painted by the former 'Eavy Metal painter, now Forge World sculptor, Keith Robertson.
Magister Sevrin Loth, Chief Librarian of the Red Scorpions with Honour Guard
The second of our exclusive Games Day pre-releases in this Newsletter is Simon Egan’s latest addition to the range of Forge World Red Scorpions miniatures, Magister Sevrin Loth with Honour Guard.
A veteran of centuries of battle, Sevrin Loth is one of the most potent battle-psykers in the entire history of the Red Scorpions Chapter. He is also the only non-metal Librarian with a helmet. Across the breadth of the Imperium there are few able to match his destructive psychic powers and as Magister, or Chief Librarian of the Red Scorpions, Loth serves as one of the Chapter Master’s most trusted advisors.
This is a fantastically detailed, multi-part resin character that comes accompanied by enough resin and plastic components to build four unique ducking awesome Red Scorpions Space Marine Honour Guard miniatures. Priced at £36, this incredible set should be available in limited numbers at Games Day UK.

ZOMG!!!! That helmet, front plate and whatever-the-heck-that-axe-is look awesome. The helmet and front-plate would fit in perfectly with my Black Templar crusade. While the whatever-the-heck-that-axe-is would be put aside for when I build my Death Company themed Sanguinary Guard...
We are taking reservation orders for both Lugft Huron and Sevrin Loth with Honour Guard now! Please note that if you have already placed a reservation order for UK Games Day and wish to add either of these new items to it, we will confirm a separate order number in the week before Games Day to allow our Despatch team as much time as possible to guarantee these orders on the day.
Those of you not lucky enough to be attending Games Day UK so anyone not living in the UK or Northern Europe can pre-order Sevrin Loth with Honour Guard and Lugft Huron now for despatch in the week commencing October 4th.
Forge World Participation Games
Games Day this year will see the return of our ever-popular Warhammer 40,000-scale Aeronautica Imperialis participation game, and the second outing of our awesome Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse participation game:
Super-Heavy Metal
A Titan Maniple of the Legio Gryphonicus strides into desperate battle against a mighty Ork Stompa Mob, also featuring an Armoured Battlegroup and up-gunned Orky Trukks and Wagons! This game is an awesome spectacle and terrific fun to play – if you’ve ever wanted to unleash the city-slaying firepower of a Reaver Titan, or pound one of a dozen mighty Stompas into brutal close combat, this is the game for you!
Aeronautica 40K
The elite squadrons of the Imperial Navy struggle for dominance against the foul Xenos pilots of the Tau Empire and the brutal Skwadrons of the Orks in this high-speed game of aerial combat, which up-scales our popular Aeronautica Imperialis rules for use with the finely-detailed Warhammer 40,000-scale aircraft kits in the Forge World range. Chalk your kill tally up on the Dispersal board and shoot down your opponents to become the first Ace pilot in this dramatic game of high-altitude combat!
Both of these games can be found on your Games Day map. To play, simply turn up at any point over the day, and our dedicated team of volunteers will ensure that you are thrust straight into the action!
Forge World Studio Displays & Design Studio
As usual, our entire Studio Design Team will be present at Games Day, showing off work-in-progress projects as well as displays of their recent work, and answering your questions on anything from ‘wish list’ models that they’d love to sculpt to the process of creating our master models.
Will Hayes will be proudly displaying a large Eldar project that he has been working on for quite some time now – in fact it’s a very large Eldar project! Will has recently been responsible for many of the popular Space Marine Armour and Weapons packs that Forge World has released, as well as the Elysian Tauros and Tauros Venator assault vehicles.
Phil Stutcinskas has been deeply involved with our new range of Space Marine Armour and Weapons packs, and as well as offering tips and hints on the finer arts of painting and weathering Forge World models he will be displaying a work-in-progress Dreadnought model, along with some of the exquisitely painted kits featured in Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume I.
Stuart Williamson, whose recent work includes the Ork Stompa Upgrade kits and Battlewagon Lifta-Droppa, will be showcasing a forthcoming, brand new Land Raider variant as well as explaining the finer points of vehicle modelling.
Daren Parrwood, the talented designer behind the fantastic Grot Tanks and Caestus Assault Ram has recently been hard at work on another Eldar project that he will be unveiling exclusively at Games Day.
We are still tracking down details of what else our Studio team will be showcasing at Games Day; look out for future Newsletters to hear more.
Imperial Armour Volume 9: The Badab War Part I Available to Pre-Order Now
Forge World can now proudly announce that the eagerly-anticipated new Imperial Armour Volume 9: The Badab War Part I is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing October 4th and is priced at £45. Works out to be something like 115 AUD but I still wanna get it for Christmas. This new Warhammer 40,000 expansion details the shadowed origins, terrible secrets and savage birth of Lugft Huron’s secession from the Imperium.
As usual, the first 500 copies of this 208-page tome will be signed by the writer, Alan Bligh, and Forge World’s book production team have done sterling work adding fantastic new depth to the Warhammer 40,000 universe in the form dozens of colour profiles, star maps and colour photographs. The book also contains a full colour, double sided poster of a detailed Badab Sector map by Sam Lamont and brand new Space Marine artwork by Paul Bonner, which can also be pre-ordered now.
In addition to full background histories for the nine Space Marine Chapters who played the most significant part in the early stages of the Badab War, the book also contains a full army list of the Tyrant’s Legion, a purpose-designed campaign system that includes five unique missions and a special Boarding Assault mini-expansion for Warhammer 40,000.
Click here for a gallery of sample page spreads to give you a taster of the content of the book - you can also find an exclusive Badab War desktop wallpaper available to download. The contents for Imperial Armour Volume Nine can be found here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brainstormin' Orks

This was a brain exercise by Stelek to unlock the codex as he put it. It was spread over three posts but to make it easier I will combine them with some minor editing...
As many of you know, I've been nothing but a big old negative nelly when it comes to Orks. As I have an Ork army sitting around, it'd be nice to get use out of it (well ok I have two but one is yet unbuilt lol).
Now there are some minor issues to be dealt with when considering Orks, namely:
  • To get 'good' Ork Troops, you really need Wazzdakka or standard Warbosses (or Ghaz, of course) in the army.
  • To make Killer Kans work best, you either need a solid screening force or you need a big mek with KFF (and preferably mounted).
  • Having any Meganobz in the army really requires Mad Dok, to provide them with a 5+ invulnerable save and make them Fearless but then they don't get FNP and regular Nobz get better options (and don't need Mad Dok).
Every Ork army should if possible include:
  • Maximum Lootas (max defined as each FOC slot filled up).
  • At least one Deffkopta unit with buzzsaw (for first turn scout assaults).
  • Gretchin for cheap scoring units/screeners.
Every Ork army should avoid if possible:
  • Trukks. Primarily because they die so easily but also because they do not become terrain...
...So, here's what I've been thinking for a while now--a way to make Orks at least 'semi-competitive'. Much like the Demon list, the whole point of this exercise is to 'unlock' the Codex, as it were.
An army designed from the outset to be able to handle virtually all armies. The same exception for the Demons, applies to the Orks. All Land Raider armies are, frankly, too much for the army to handle. The best you can really hope for is a Generalship win, or a Luck win. A list win is unlikely, as you hold the window and they hold the brick. Sooner or later, that brick is going to hit your window and shatter it. Just the way it is. You have GW's shortsightedness to thank for this state of affairs.
I think it's possible to create such a list. I've got it in my head, but let's continue the discussion (nows a good time to revisit some Ork lists, if you are so inclined)...
... So, this is a list I've been playtesting, trying to make Orks work. While it's an odd collection, I note a couple others have been running a similarly themed list.
The inspiration for this came from my Eldar, who have really really bad troops--but if you bring some Guardian Jetbikes along it really changes the way the army runs...
Click here for army list
... 8 anti-tank units (3xlootas, 2xbuggies, Wazzdakka, Kannons) and anti-infantry everywhere, plus hopefully enough anti-assault elements. Kudos to all the excellent ideas, looks like I'm not alone in thinking highly of old Wazzy. Now if only he could hit something. lol
- Stelek in his Re-Envisioning Orks: Part I, Part II, Part III
As usual for anything relating to YTTH it is the discussions that you really need to read to get a better picture of things. My next Orks post will have another army list by Stelek...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Community Shoutout - Dave Taylor's Heart of Gold

It is hard to imagine hobbyists not knowing who Dave Taylor is. But incase you live under a rock. He is one of the guys who has constantly contributed amazing armies to White Dwarf as well as working as the Oz White Dwarf Editor and in the US Tournament Scene. Dave was also one of the guys who took part in the Storm Warden Project.

And for those who have been living under a rock. The Storm Warden Project was an example of how members of our small community can come together and produce great results. In this case it was a bunch of guys coming together to build an army with the support of companies, LGS and even The Bolter and Chainsword. They then did a raffle with the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders.

Recently two of Dave's friends suffered from personal losses. To help them out he will be selling two of his armies. But not just any armies. Dave will be selling his stunning Custodian Army that has featured on the Games Workshop website and in White Dwarf (Oz Issue: 303).

He will also be selling his Hive Fleet Kraken Tyranid Army. This is another high profile army that can be seen on pages 216 and 217 of our 5th Edition Rule books. If you haven't taken the time to admire the armies feature on pages 214-219 then I strongly encourage you to do so. Dave has announced that there will be other charity projects over the year aimed at helping out these two guys. Full details can be found here.

The more exposure this gets the better. And it is not the only example of members of our small community coming together to help others which can be seen all over the place like here and here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On this day...

... thousands of people lost their lives to attacks of violence that are still felt today. Around the world people gather to remember the heart-ache and heroism that occurred nine years ago.

Ork Codex Sucks

This is an interesting read by Stelek...
I had this article pointed out to me.
Ork Boyz are not crap per se. Their Codex is when you consider all things.
  1. Their heavy hitter units are elites.
  2. Their shooty units are elites.
  3. Changing #1 to not be elites requires 150-200 points per Warboss, for the right to do it once.
  4. Consider the mech rules--the Ork Trukk is a horrible piece of shit currently, the absolute worst vehicle in the entire game. You claim diffeerently? I call you on your bluff then. It's a pair of deuces. You might win with them, but you should definitely not go around telling everyone you beat a veteran with Trukks and that makes them 'good'. The battlewagon is also not very good, because the model combines with the rules to make it's actual AV in midfield AV12. Everyone can pop that. Having a 4+ cover save is nice, getting shot with 3-4 meltas a turn into that side armor means you will be rideless very soon. Heavy bolters will take trukks down, whether you have that cover save or not. If you don't know this yet, you damn well should by now.
  5. The ork fast attack choices cost like land speeders, but perform way way worse. The Ork heavy choices cost like mini-land raiders, but are nowhere near as good. When you have to take Kans and hope that they hold up with a KFF around, doesn't that invalidate #3? Sorry, did you think I did not know this or something?
  6. Ork troops COULD be fine as is, IF they had decent supporting units. As it is, they really don't have enough. Kans, Battlewagons, Nobs, Lootas. I'm sorry, do you run other units? Then your already marginal list is even shittier than the builds that vary those units around.
  7. You can pretend Orks are good, but I'm not going to pretend. Ork Boys are fine if you are only considering them in their own little bucket, without considering the rules or the rest of the Codex. Then their awesomeness goes down considerably, to mediocrity...
...At no point should one consider Orks a good list because the entire army is too focused on one single build with little variation. That means everyone has your number, because they've punched that ticket before and aren't shocked when you show up with the same army everyone else has.
Even netdeck idiots will beat you, because learning to beat an army that's so one faceted is not hard.
That's why Ork Boyz are fail, because the Ork Codex is fail.
Written in 4th edition instead of 5th, without concern for the future of the Ork playerbase--well, you can think it's all well and good...
- Stelek in Ork Boyz
As usual read the discussion for some more depth. And I still reakon Ork Boyz are crappy units. They are not awesome in close combat due to being Fearless and having a 6+ armour save. They either go small and ride in a crappy transport. Or go big and walk across the board with a Tank Shock me sign. They offer very little when it comes to anti-tank. You get the Power Klaw and the Ork version of missile launchers (BS 2 is fail). These alone do not make Ork Boyz the crappy units we see them for. They really shine as crappy units when you include all of the problems the Ork Codex has... infighting for FOC, really shyt Ballistic Skill, even shyter transport and an over-reliance on Power Klaws to kill high AV targets.