Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Age of Sigmar Comp

               The Warhammer community has been fractured just as much as the Old World and has been flung into the realms of Age of Sigmar. It was quite clear upon its release that AoS felt incomplete and marketed as an entry level tabletop game. The rules were four pages, included a new easy to paint faction, and seemed gutted of tactical game play. This was my initial reaction and I was completely wrong. The synergy and strategy that is incorporated in the warscrolls is very rich and deep. In fact, 8th edition WHFB strategy pales and seems like a gimmick in comparison. The shining key that unlocks this game on a competitive level is a comp/cost system known as Clash Comp or Mo Comp in some areas. You can find it HERE.  I'm also impressed with their companion list building site www.scrollbuilder.com. My hats off to them for an excellent comp system and list building site.  At this point, Clash Comp stands out from the rest and is a great jumping off point for any T.O. I will also be seeking the opinion of this year's Nova Open AoS T.O. and AoS winner of Da Boyz GT in a follow up post. I have a feeling he knows a little bit about AoS(/sarcasm).

            The initial community reaction was as expected, portions of the community feverishly clacked away on their keyboards, exposing the many short comings of AoS. Others in the community saw a system that, by design, was meant to be a frame to expand upon. Instead of poo pooing the clear lack of any army building rules inherent to the system they began creating a comp system of their own to enable list building and competitive play.  I doubt we will see any "advanced rules" from GW in the near future and I'm okay with that. I feel as though a player made "rule set" hearkens back to the golden age of gaming. For many it's our youth. Making your own rules up, changing rules, even designing your own game were all things that a lot of us probably did as a kid. In this respect, all this comp creation is rather exciting for me. But whats that you say? Pick up games are dead, huh? I don't think pick up games were how the majority of the community got games in and even if it is look at comp in Warhammer 40k for example. Players, based on their geographic region usually play a flavor of the game that is supported by the major GT's in their area. For example, west coasters play using the ITC format put out by the Frontline Gaming guys(a lot of people all over the U.S actually play with this format) and east coasters play using the Nova Open format in mind. I'm not saying everyone uses either one or the other. In fact most people play the game how they like to regardless of regional format. I'm just trying to illustrate my point. If major comp systems are prominent in your area then it is quite likely that your pick up game opponent is aware of it. 40k has been undergoing these community comp systems for years now and the sky has not fallen yet. Besides that, GW is a model company... It's best we the players decide exactly how to use our toys anyway!

In a nut shell let's look at some things that Clash Comp addresses in AoS.

-Lack of a points/list building mechanic.

    This is the meat and potatoes of Clash Comp and everyone's main gripe about the AoS rules system. Clash Comp addresses this expertly with a pool choice system. Every unit has a pool cost associated with it. Average unit choices are usually 1, 1.5, or 2 pool choices for a minimum size unit. The most brilliant feature is the list building site scrollbuilder.com. It really doesn't get any easier to build your list. In general you select thirty pool choices and deploy twenty of them. 

    -Measuring from the model, "bases don't matter" issues.

    Bases now matter again, you always measure from them and they must be a reasonable size.

    Instead of summoning gone wild you now can opt to deploy less than twenty pool choices and instead summon them onto the table.


       Clash Comp restricts shooting to forty shots allowed on the table per army.                                             
      -Pile in move clarifications

    In a game where close combat is king, it's nice to have clarified pile in rules. 

           The T.O.'s at the Da Boyz GT took Clash Comp and altered it with some of their own house rules, Things like:
    • Armies may consist of units from the same faction(IE: order,chaos,destruction, and death). 
    • Use of quirky "flavor" rules. 
    • Percentile hero/monster selection. 
    Beautiful Venue at Da Boyz GT

    You can find the Da Boyz GT comp HERE.

    Fresh from Da Boyz  I can tell you that AoS is one of my favorite games now. Each game I played at the GT I understood more and more about the immense strategy of the game and by round five I was hooked. My next post I'll be talking Comp again and I hope you all give scroll builder and clash comp a try in the meantime.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Gearing up for AoS and Da Boyz GT

    "You may execute me here today but you will not stop..the Blood Pact. The vilest war hosts have combined in a fetid alliance, Goretide Bloodbound and the Plauge Father's festering horde. They march on the realms, intent on destroying the realmgates and denying Sigmar his glorious Stormhost. They have defiled entire realms and their armies swell to unimaginable numbers. Nothing will stop them. You...will all die."
    -Bajan, Azyrian heretic

                    It's been quite some time since my last post but rest assured the signal goes on. With the change of Fantasy to Age of Sigmar I have been busy reading warscrolls and painting up my army. Got some Nurgle war hounds done recently. I'm ordering some round bases for the whole army so I just painted the bases in the meantime. 

    And here's a blood monkey from a Gorebeast chariot I've been working on. 

         Outside of AoS I've been prepping my army for Da Boyz GT. I'm choosing to take Astra Militarum only because one army per list seems encouraged in the Highlander format. My initial reactions to highlander were varied. I liked the idea of it but was not thrilled with how rigid the 0-1 restriction was, especially playing an army that relied on repetition of units. Scratching my head about how I was going to make them work in Highlander, I realized that they still are able to spam troops and vehicles. The horde list cometh. My currently drafted list has me at 78 infantry models, 5 vehicles, 1 fortification, and 1 flyer. I've been to a few grand tournaments but never with a fully painted army with a display board. That's my goal for Da Boyz and lucky for me most of the infantry models are painted and only a few vehicles remain. I have a feeling this blog is about to get requisitioned by the Guard...

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    My new army: D-99 Elysian Drop Troops

    I recently got a pretty good deal on about 25 Forge World Elysian infantry models and 4 Tauros so I've decided to go all in with an elysian army. I played IG through most of 5th edition 40k and dabbled here and there in 6th edition, but mostly moved on to Grey Knights and Space Marines for 6th and 7th edition. I've had the itch to get back to IG/Astra Militarum for a while but I don't love horde style armies so I've had a little trouble picking how I'd want to play them.

    With my recent Elysian windfall, I've got a great start to an elite fast IG force that plays in a way that will be exciting for me. I've got 2 Valkyries from my existing IG force that are painted to a pretty nice standard, and I think I'll pick up another 2. In addition I've recently placed and order for a Forge World Vulture armed with Punisher cannons and I'm in the process of converting 3 sentinels to look a little more Elysian in design. Overall I'll probably spend a fair bit of cash on the army but I'm excited to try out the D-99 rules and get an Inquisitorial IG force on the board.

    Here's the spread I picked up on the cheap(ish)...

    I did quite a bit of blog and forum scouring to find paint schemes I like that also match my Valkyries and here are my 3 test paints I came up with...

    The model on the far right is just too dark for me, there's not enough contrast between the armor and the fatigues and it's not an interesting enough scheme to work. The model in the middle is the color I wanted to work (Vallejo Sand yellow or something like that), but it just looked way too yellow once I saw a model fully painted. The model on the left is my final decision, it's just enough contrast to look interesting to me but not to heavy handed with the yellow color. Now just the small matter of painting about 40 of these guys. I'll need to purchase about 25 more to have all the special weapons I need. I'm just gonna crank through this project at a fevered pace and try to get them done and really make an effort to not overdo the details on these models. I want to get an army done so I'll be airbrushing base colors and using washes for depth. Let's hope it comes together the way I have it organized in my head...who am I kidding it never does.

    Saturday, September 5, 2015

    NOVA Open Capital Pallette is go!

    I finally finished and submitted my entries for this year's Capital Pallette at NOVA Open. For anyone who's here and likes my stuff, go give me a fan favorite vote! For anyone who's not here wish me luck.

    I don't really have any expectations since the display case is stacked wth absolutely amazing minis, but maybe I'll at least place.

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Getting Ready for NOVA Open's Capital Palette

    In a little over a week we'll be trekking from New England to the DC area for the 2015 Nova Open. I won't be playing in any events, except possibly some Age Of Sigmar games, but I'll trying to bring my A-game (or at least my B-game) to this years years Capital Palette.  Last year I completely dropped the ball with my prep work and ended up not submitting any entries, I really regret being so damn lazy after winning a Silver medal the previous year. I'm trying to make up for things this year so if you end up down there keep an eye for some of these models in the display cases.

    I've been trying to refine the Iron Hands Legion Praetor I started a few months back. I added some more pronounced highlights as well as a few chapter and clan markings from the Forge World decal sheet. I also played with adding some shadows to the base for the first time, I like the effect but there's no way I'd be able to put that much work into a whole army.  Now he's looking a little meaner and more fitting of his stature in "The Iron Tenth". There are a couple small details left but I think I'm about ready to call this guy complete.

    I've also done quite a bit of tedious work on some Tau Pathfinders that I've been working on for two plus years now. I probably over did the paint job considering their value on the battlefield but that's sort of my problem in general, I have a tough time taking short cuts of any kind when painting. I really went to town with some weathering pigments on their bases which I think are looking pretty sharp. Now I just need to finish the rest of this Tau army to the same standard.

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Lion's Blade Battle Company - Part II

    Did some more work on the Lion's Blade Battle Company tonight. I built the final rhino, and used the Citadel Caliban Green spray can to coat most of the brand new or unfinished old marines (except for a few of the robe wearers; they're still primer white), the two new rhinos, and the two old razorbacks (converted from seldom used predators).

    For anyone who's curious, the list is: 

    Dark Angels - 1850 Points - Lion's Blade Detachment

    Demi-Company I

    • Captain w/combi-grav and auspex
    • Command Squad w/apothecary, sacred standard, 4 grav guns, and drop pod w/deathwind launcher (because deathwind's are awesome -- don't let anyone tell you otherwise)
    • Assault Squad (5-man) w/2 flamers, combi-flamer sgt., and drop pod w/deathwind launcher (still awesome)
    • (3x)Tactical Squad (5-man) w/combi-melta sgt., meltagun, and rhino
    • Devastator Squad (5-man) w/4 missile launchers, and a razorback w/a TL heavy bolter

    Demi-Company II

    • Chaplain w/jump pack
    • Assault Squad (10-man) w/jump packs
    • (3x)Tactical Squad (5-man) w/grav-cannon, and rhino
    • Devastator Squad (5-man) w/4 missile launchers, and a razorback w/a TL heavy bolter


    • Ravenwing Support Squadron w/3 Typhoons w/heavy bolters, and Dark Shroud w/heavy bolter

    Army-wide special rules for this formation are: stubborn (from the DA ability Grim Resolve), objective secured on everything (from the Lion's Blade formation), and full BS overwatch on all models with Grim Resolve (basically infantry models -- this is from having a battle company within the Lion's Blade). Also, all the transports were free, although I did have to pay for upgrades (awesome deathwind launchers).

    The command squad gets relentless from their sacred standard, so they are always firing their grav guns at the full 18" range, and 3 shot rate of fire. The banner also gives counter attack to the command squad, and has a 12" bubble of re-rollable failed morale, pinning, and fear checks. These guys will be great to drop next to a badass assaulty (but not shooty) unit with even a mediocre armor save.

    The Ravenwing support squadron has some special rules of its own: interceptor and strafing run (from the Ravenwing Support Squadron formation), re-rollable jink saves (Ravenwing models with Grim Resolve get this). The Dark Shroud has shrouded, which is passed on to the rest of the support squadron (because they share special rules like any unit), and it gives stealth and fear to units within 6". It cannot receive the benefit of this stealth bubble, but the Typhoons in the same squadron can, so they will obviously be staying out front. In addition, units within 6" of the Dark Shroud can't fire overwatch when assaulted. Pretty solid.

    Some stats:
    • 62 marines, 6 rhinos, 2 razorbacks, 2 drop pods, 4 speeders
    • grav shots: 33 max (21 min -- after combi's are fired, or when grav-cannons move)
    • melta shots : 6 max (3 min -- after combi's are fired)
    • missiles: 14 (frag or krak)
    • heavy bolter shots: 18
    Potential flaws: 
    • No AA - just lots of missile and grav shots. Lets hope what's there is enough.
    • No psychic powers or psychic defense.
    • MSU. I will always lose kill point missions.
    Not sure about: 
    • The jump pack assault marines and chaplain. I feel like they will be useful, even if it's only because people underestimate them. I think having objective secured, the ability to deep strike and combat squad, and fast movement, will make them useful. They do put out 34 re-rollable hits the first round of close combat. Not too shabby.
    I'm hoping "quantity over quality" will prove to be a sound strategy... or at least make for some fun games.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Lions Blade Battle Company

    The NOVA Open 2015 list is coming together. I built one rhino last night (not pictured) and have one more to go, and then I can start speed painting everything to at least three colors.