Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Poor Old Guard - An Ode to the Old

Hello Wargammers

Let us hold a minutes silence for the Astra Militarum players, the reason? They are so outdated and ,having played a few games against them, a disappointment. That's right, my friend Harry and I have been playing a lot of games lately to break in the new table and scenery that I'll be using in some of the battle reports that you guys are welcome to come take part in. After playing these games we quickly realised that the newer codex's, namely the Space Marine one that I played, are brutal against guard.

Over the space of a few days we played 8 or so games, no two of my lists for Space Marines were the same and yet the result came back conclusive, 8-0 to the Marines. I toned my list down a bit, scout snipers and rhino's were everywhere to begin with and this is arguably the weaker way to play SM but I still won. I then played one game where I went full on. Most of these games were 750, 2 1000 points games as well. The full on 1000 point list was Combined arms and the Librarius Conclave. After two turns all that was left was half of a Command Squad, a Leman Russ and a Sentinel. Casting powers on a 2+ was crazy and then I had 5 Assault Terminators, 2 5 man squads which were bare bones, one devastator squad and finally drop pod Sternguard.

Since when were Astra Militarum this bad? Harry's list wasn't even that bad! I thought it would be a close match up but I was so so wrong. It reached the point where we decided to stop playing as there was no way he could win, we'd exhausted all of our reasonable options. So what was going wrong? Well, I think I've found the problem. Money. GW are a business so it's in their best interest to maximise profits, I get that, I study economics. But this does mean that with codex updates being more strong that the last, there comes an increase in demand for that race. As each one becomes better than the last it forces those who want a good game to buy the updated race or new power units. I mean neither of us are competitive but losing 8 on the trot is not fun for anyone.

This post therefore is a recognition of these older codex players and a chance to remember our friends and foes less fortunate, who did not receive the big 7th Edition update our army just had. What does this mean for me though? Nothing really, I'll just collect what I want. I'm not interested in power gaming, all I look for in a model is something cool fun to paint and fun to play with. Hence why I'm looking into more and more army ideas all the time. Obviously Eldar, my next project, aren't exactly bad but what lay ahead in the future is a mystery and will only be found by seeing how awesome the miniatures are.

So yeah, let us keep in mind these poor old codex's and give them a little love ourselves with our toned down lists and warmest condolences.

Thanks for Reading

Callum.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Is bigger always better?

Hello Wargamers!

For those of you who didn't immediately read that title as an innuendo, I congratulate you, as for the rest of us, it can't be helped, I know. Now you might be wondering what this blog post is all about and why it's taken me so long to get to the point, good question, the answer? Game size.

Playing at the University wargaming society I got a distinct feeling that the minimum kind of sized game people want to be playing is 1500 points. I thought to myself if this was a good or bad thing more recently. When I look at a bigger game I think "that's so cool" when all the miniatures are painted up and ducking behind terrain or charging into combat. But the problem is people aren't painting mini's any more apparently, so 1500 points starts to look very grey. So is it more fun? well I guess it can be but it takes a lot longer than smaller games for obvious reasons, Sometimes it can seem that games that last too long become more dull, especially if it becomes a slaughterfest. That being said, if you have the time and energy and most importantly the painted models, 1500 points is great, upwards of this is probably similar, I know that 1850 and 2000 are two other values often played, but what about smaller games?

Well games of 1000 points or less seem to slip under the radar. Arguably just as fun, cheaper and easier to have everything painted for I'm baffled as to why it's not more popular. I suppose you get to use more of your collection in bigger games but if it's unpainted does it feel the same, simply? No, it doesn't. I completely understand you should take your time and build up your collection in your own time, it's your hobby and you shouldn't let anyone rush you, but this is where smaller points games come in. With less to be assembled and painted it easier to have a complete army, it becomes an incentive. I once stayed up all night before a game at 12 in the afternoon just to paint up my last 250 points, and it was so worth it to see a completed army on the table. Is it terrible to have a few unpainted mini's on the board, no not at all, is it terrible to have an unpainted army on the board, in my opinion, yes, its a travesty. Having played a few 500-750 points games lately to experiment I can tell you now they are just as fun.

So what did I take away from writing this and looking into this exercise? It's all about balance. Build up to the bigger games when you are more comfortable with your army, or the game if it's your first army and then as you paint more you'll pick up the game and you can then start looking at 1500+ points games. If you are just starting out, look to 500-750 points, I'll probably be doing a blog post on a few low points list ideas for each faction at some point so keep your eyes peeled. Once you've then got the models painted, go to 1000 and then try to crack 1500, that's how I tried it and I'm happy with how much I picked up in the early days that has helped me develop into a more rounded gamer now. I think most importantly though, do what makes you happy, this is only from my experience and is my personal opinion, if you like bigger games with less painted mini's or just bigger games then play them, just make sure that you and your opponent are happy playing to the same size.

Thanks for reading

Callum.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Detachments

Hello Wargamers,

I have to admit when I first read into the extra detachments I was a little worried that it would be too powerful and prevent players using the combined arms detachments to make an interesting list. I will however day that the positive thing that stood out for me was that GW are making new ways to play the game instead of Unbound and Combined Arms. Any alternative way to play the game is great, it stops it becoming stale and allows variance in lists. Obviously for this to happen each detachment in a codex should be internally balanced so to allow for plenty of variety in lists on tables. Along with this it would be fair to say that the "Objective Secured" rule for armies using Combined Arms cannot be too hideously out gunned by whatever the in codex detachments can offer as to allow fully customisable lists, without going down the crazy unbound route.

A little more research got me to the point  of noticing that what you really want is the "Detachment of Detachments" one. This is more flexible than just using one and provided there are multiple ways of fielding this it can at least make numerous lists, so it's not all the same "Be all, end all" list every time. I do however think that the danger of this is seeing too many of those same models over and over.  As I write this blog post I should probably point out my focus is a non-competitive one, I'm really only looking at what's going to be played in games with friends or club members etc. Obviously some detachments are crazy good for tournaments but that's not really my thing.

So in this casual mindset, my verdict on detachments is that they are good, not great but good. They give you another way to play the game and that's awesome. Tie this in with scenarios and such and you could play a lot of games before playing "the same game twice", which as a casual gamer is important to me. Any maelstrom of war game really provides something interesting for the two players to face, forego "Objective Secured" ,which definitely makes a difference here, or go for something with stronger "special abilities". It's a real dilemma faced by gamers that I have been against and talked to. Obviously however when you go kill points or maybe eternal war missions there is much less debating and unbound/special detachment lists will be more common. So yeah, I like them from a non-competitive point of view and hope that I will have some models to try one out in the near future.

Many Thanks


Callum.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Calling All Wargamers!

Calling All Wargamers!

This is a much shorter blog post than usual, if you could really label it as a blog post. I suppose it is more of a plea? Anyway I, Callum, am inviting you to come and play against me. That's right I am looking for volunteers to play against me to film some new battle reports. If you are interested at all please visit the "Contact Us" page on this blog and ping me an email. Here are a few more details below:

1. I really want to meet the people who power my blog/twitter/youtube account. Without any of you this just wouldn't be a thing, so meeting you would be great fun for me.

2. Making more content is important. More content leads to more interest and that will help this grow even more, it's just a big cycle. I'm sure that you, the readers, would love to see more Battle Reports and more individuals getting involved.

3. More armies for everyone. I can only collect so many models and I think everyone, yes both you and I, would love to see more variety in Battle Reports, who doesn't love good looking models?

Obviously this whole adventure would require you to travel to where I reside in Swansea. More details of that would be given in response to a request. You can bring as many points as you see fit to bring however I know transporting them can be a hassle so for larger games we would need to arrange that all in advance and please bare in mind time constraints. Then I can book you into a mutually agreed date and the gaming can begin.

The plan for the day would be:
  • Arrive as early as you can (within reason), likely to be 9/10 at the earliest anyway.
  • Play a 1500 point "Challenge Callum" game
  • I'll sort out some lunch or something, I'm actually not too bad in the kitchen!
  • A smaller "Baby Batrep" styled game will be played (500-750 points with a special scenario)
  • A big thank you, possibly some bits swapping and a warm hearted good bye.
This would take effect as of mid September so please if you need to make the trip try to book time off or have limited availability fear not, email me in advance to set a finite date, I am so excited by this prospect!

Currently have a gaming table under construction with terrain on the way soon, so this would be played on a half decent table too.

Can't wait to hear from you all.

Callum


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

What I've Learnt in One Month

Hello Wargamers,

It's been about 6 weeks since I started this blog/youtube channel up and I have to say it excites me to see such a great response already, so thanks! It would be fair to say that this first month or so has been a huge learning curve for me already and I've only managed to squeeze in 4 games of 40k so far. So here are a few things I've learnt and hopefully those of you who are new to the game can get a leg up from this post and those who aren't can look back to their first month or so and compare.

1. There are two types of wargamers:

This one is painfully obvious but it's amazed me how clear it is. Now these two types are the player who's sole goal from wargamming is to win, in any way possible and then the other kind who are there to enjoy themselves. I guess as long as you get out what you want from wargamming either is okay, I myself fall firmly onto the "Im here to have fun" side but that doesn't mean being competitive is wrong. As long as you are playing someone like minded it can be really fun, I've found if I play someone who's very competitive it's less fun for me as I don't get the friendly to and fro or the more casual and fun lists. When I have played against someone who played for fun though it suited me much more, we laughed and joked as our warlords did nothing to each-other for 3 turns of combat or we solved any rule queries with a die roll or a quick check in the rules, or even a trust in judgement, something a competitive player would not allow! So both kinds are completely fine to be, but you'll get more out of the game if you play the gamers who are of a similar mindset.

2. I can't roll dice:

I think I might be the unluckiest roller of dice to grace the planet. Or have I got the wrong technique? I have, on so many occasions, rolled below average and a few times ... well, rolling 8 shots that hit on threes and seeing 7 2's ... that was not my finest hour. And yet as I struggle to roll to hit and to wound, my opponent makes amour save after armour save. Is this just me? I am already considering praying to the dice gods each night, not sure if anything will fix my curse of rolling ones for terminator saves or not getting my psychic powers off, even if I use 4 dice for a warp charge 1. Where have the statistical rolls gone and why are they not with me?

3. There are two types of wargamers:

I know you're thinking, "hold on Callum, you said that earlier", well hang on, let me explain. The first type of wargamer is the one who paints their miniatures. Yes fear not, I'm not actually that forgetful, this is a different thing I have learnt. So yes these players take at least some care in the appearance of their models. Now I have seen a few armies with obviously varying degrees of quality when it comes to the paint job but that doesn't bother me, yes I'll be in awe of those who are amazing and I'll feel good about mine when I see someone with slightly less well painted models but the underlying thing here is I love seeing someone with painted miniatures. Good or bad they put an effort it, which is more than can be said for the other player. The one who leaves theirs grey or primed. I get that it's a hobby and you should take your time but when someone spends £100's on an army only to leave them all grey it confuses me. Now obviously some people don't like the painting, but to me it seems a waste of money to buy all those models if you aren't going to finish them, or at least pay someone else to paint them, if you're happy spending money on grey stuff why not just get it painted by someone who will make it look amazing?

4. I want everything

I have looked at almost every model from the 40k range, and some from other gaming platforms too, and I want them all ... anyone else have this? I have made plan after plan to buy all these things and then I have to remind myself that you need money to buy things. I'm honestly not sure I could ever buy too many models, though my girlfriend might disagree. So what do I plan to buy then? Well once I have my space marines up to 1500 points I plan to put together a 500 point Eldar army but I'm going to really focus on painting techniques and trying to pro paint them so I wouldn't expect to see them any time soon. There are plans to expand my reach to other gaming platforms in the near future too, perhaps to Infinity or Warmachine. I also have one more future "surprise" project that you will all find out about in due course ... best keep your eyes peeled this "movemeber".

So yeah there's a small list of things I've learnt so far, give it another month and I'm certain I'll have learnt even more and I do look forward to doing so. Well thanks for reading, let me know some of the things that you learnt in your early days and maybe if there is anything I should look out for!

Thanks

Callum.