Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Squishing your head......

"I'm Squishing your head... no really, I am!"

Above you can see the model I have alluded to in recent posts. That's my new Farseer squishing the head of an upstart Tau fire warrior. I was going to call this post "Don't F%^# with the Eldar", but my wife recommended the current title and it fit!

Here are some additional views:

I have to admit that I really like this model. For the time being, it has moved into place as my favorite model in the army. I have updated the post to the left and the right (Queue and Army), and have the new Wave Serpent primed and ready to go. I also added a new Dire Avenger Exarch, as I needed a second Exarch with 2x ShuriCat.

Pending everything going as expected, I am headed out tomorrow for some local IFL gaming.I am still proxy'ing my falcons as Wave Serpents and playing with unpainted Fire Dragons. This is definitely something I need to rectify!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Progress has been made... and photographed!

Thats right, we are going to let Yriel overlook the progress on the Dead Tau Project! So after too much time I have some new pictures and a fair amount of progress has been made. The one model that has moved forward with no picture is the Farseer base. I am liking this model and have the base + Tau completed. I thought of taking pictures, but feel it will be better posted as a completed model than in stages.

So, here we go with the actual completed models. First we have 2 Guardian Jet Bikes with Shuriken Cannon's. First is chasing down a Kroot:

And second is chasing a Tau Marker Drone:

I also have the full Wraithguard squad with Spirit Seer based.

That's all for now. I have updated my Queue over there <-----------. Added another Wave Serpent to the construction queue, just not sure if I am going to wait for the second one or not.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Land Speeder Storm comes with Marine Scouts

So I just opened my newly arrived White Dwarf and and the picture above caught my eye. I am pretty sure everyone reading knows I am not a Space Marine player, but I have followed a fair amount of conversation regarding the Land Speeder Storm. Most of what I have heard says it was not going to come with marines (which even I thought sucked).

Well, this picture shows the marine pieces that are on the sprues. Looks like 6 marine crew will be coming, along with all the bits to make them hang on the side!

6-28-2009 - An update..... Here is a close-up of the scouts themselves.

Swordwind vs Nurgles Rot

Its been over a week, so some of the details may be murky, but the Dead Tau Project took to the field once again for another game. This time I was starting to play-practice my list for the 40K Radio World-Wide-War in September. While I will try and post some details below, let me say that the game ended with my opponent stopping the final turn (turn 6) and instructing me on what he would do if he were in my place. When a game ends this way you know 2 things for certain:
1. You lost. Very likely you lost in a big embarrassing way!
2. Your opponent is a great sport, and is willing to help you instead of just curb-stomping you.

My thanks go out to Brian from the IFL for the game and the advice!

So, lets look at the face off:


Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Fortune, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Spear)

6x Fire Dragons
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Brightlances)
9x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Mirror Swords, Warshout, Acrobatic)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Scatter Laser)

9x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missile Launcher)
5x Dire Avengers
6x Jetbikes
w/ 2x SCan

6x Warpspiders
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)

1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, SCan)

My opponent brought Nurgle Daemons... something like this:
4 units of plague bearers (in unit strength 10 and 15)
1 unit of 6 nurgling bases
2 Daemon Princes

Record: 1-3-0

So, while I cannot go through all the points of the game, let me sum up. At the end of the game, I had killed 1 Daemon Prince. He had NOT killed my serpents, my falcon, and my 5 damn Dire Avenger Vehicle Upgrade (DAVU). Ouch.

My biggest problem in the game, as I see, was dealing with Toughness 5. It was not so much that I did not have the tools, I think I did. In the army I have:
  • 12 vehicle based Str 6+ shots
  • 16 str 6 shots from the spiders
  • 6 str 8 shots from the dragons
  • 1 str 8 shot from the autarch
  • 1 str 9 shot from the farseer
  • 2 str6 shots from the bikes
Overall, I was simply not working my strategy around how hard T5 is to deal with. I did not focus fire on units to wipe them out and I focused very heavily on his big Daemons. I am not convinced this was the best strategy.I have to balance this against the knowledge that only his daemons had the ability to kill my tanks. Perhaps that was too much of a focus since all my tanks lived and he crushed my units.

Other issues were my farseer getting stuck in close combat, and not keeping my Banshees and DA together. I split them early in the game then hesitated to pursue the reason I split the squads. This left my Banshees out of the fight until the final turn, after my DA were already wiped out and the Farseer killed.

I would love to hear suggestions on how to deal with Nurgle Daemons. They seem like a tough army so I would expect to see them more as I play.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DLT Boycott of Planet Strike

Things have been crazy lately and the posts I expected to put up recently just have not made it onto the blog. I played a game last Tuesday (6/16) and learned a bit, and also got some modeling and painting completed this last weekend. I need to dig up the time to get those posted, and I commit to do that this week.

On another note however, the guys at DLT (a great podcast for those who have not listened) are organizing a boycott of the new Planetstrike book. Specifically the book, not any of the new terrain that is part of the release. Here is their reasoning:

I've received a few emails asking me to lay out a list of why we are Boycotting the Planetstrike book so that those who choose to join us can site why when asked by store staff.

1) We aren't going to support new books until they support old ones. Planetstrike doesn't support all the armies equally, leaving two completely out, the Inquisition. Even Chaos Daemons only gets a passing mention. If Inquisition players have the same treatment to look forward to as Apocalypse then this product needs to ignored.

2) It doesn't actually have anything new. It gives rules for something players have already been doing. The entirety of the rules can be summed up in 3 bullet points, all that you are missing are the assets, which have several redundancies from previous books and 3 codex's given short (if any) attention.

3) The state of the FAQ's and Codex's is down right insulting and planetstrike is only going to make that worse. The fact that some players are having to wait over a decade to see their army supported by GW is a travesty. GW is wasting a release this year on a book that has nothing new rather than supporting codex's desperately in need of it such as Necrons and Dark Eldar. Rather than address the problem with simple online web updates and giving someone who really needs it a new codex they release planetstrike.

4) GW doesn't believe that veteran gamers can affect their bottom line. It's time to show them that if they aren't going to support us it will hurt them. Players quickly graduate to "veteran" status and find themselves wishing for more responsive support. Putting a dent in their profits on one product shows them the real long term risk. We can flex our muscle here and GW might just start taking players who want a balanced and updated game seriously.

This is what is called a "soft boycott". Hopefully plenty of you choose to join us and help us send a clear message to GW about the current status of the game. That is, of course, assuming you agree! We don't want to put GW out of business, just flex a little muscle... or find out if we have any!

Some have suggested that we endorse players downloading the product rather than buying it. While I am sure many will do this, it doesn't send the proper message, it tells GW to be afraid of the internet rather than embrace it. We need them to understand that we want what they are selling but are willing to spend our money elsewhere if they are going to ignore groups of players.

I am not convinced that this is going to be effective. One of the DLT board members (Osbad) posted the following, which was an interesting read:

The lessons I learned from this in dealing with GW about stuff.

1/ Those of us that have strongly held beliefs on the internet are de-facto a minority. The majority of GW's customers are an unthinking horde, willing to scoop up any crap GW produce just because it has an official lable on it.

2/ Of all the forms of protest we tried, formal, old-fashioned, polite letters were the best received. While other forms of protest may or may not be effective, organised financial "blackmail" is of no effect if a billion unthinking fanbois ignorant of your campaign still buy the crap anyhow! On the other hand a handwritten, stamped coherent letter addressed to a named person of authority is likely to be read. Several will be read. While GW will NEVER, EVER admit they are wrong, the designers and others inside GW are still human beings who prefer, given various alternatives, to produce stuff that people want rather than what they don't want.
Those interested in reading more of the discussion, check it out here. I was only luke-warm originally on the planet strike book, and planned to look through it at the local GW prior to purchasing. If the book holds with the reviews, this is definitely a no-buy for me

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trying to maintain momentum

Trying to keep the momentum up on crafting, buts its been a tough weekend. My son had an "episode" this past week which pulled me away from crafting time in a fairly severe manner. Then this weekend I rallied the kids and family to do some deck cleaning (grill/deck/yard/etc). Basically, I was ambushed by the greater good and that caused my hobby-ing to suffer.

So, I have very little done, but as I say, I am trying to maintain momentum. I updated my crafting/painting list over there <--------, adding bases for 5 new Wraith guard and a spiritseer/warlock, adding bases for the fire dragons, moving the dragons up to the paint queue and increasing their number to 7. I also did the green stuff work on the Farseer base and added the Farseer plus base to the queue. I am really looking forward to completing this model and getting pictures up, but currently its just primed black and in 2 pieces. As I did previuosly, I cheated on the Wraithguard squad. I contacted the painter (on ebay) who painted the first 5, and bought another 5 plus matching spiritseer from him. For pre-painted stuff, I do recommend him.

I think I have hammered out my list for the World Wide war, so I am planning to start practicing this week. The items in that list are moving the my top priority for painting over the summer. I feel a little wrong, but I am actually planning to play some practice game with unpainted models while I am working on getting them completed. Hopefully this will not be a long term thing and will push me to complete the project! I acknowledge the compromise and hypocritical nature this plan put my previous post in. I still stand by my previous post and feel really uncomfortable playing with the unpainted models, but I want to weigh that against getting in tourney practice over the summer. I am going to need a fair amount of practice to be fully familiar with the 5th edition rules for the tourney.

That's all for now!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

40K Radio World Wide War

I want to first thank Eldanesh, who may not realize I snagged his picture from the 40K Radio forums. This logo was just far too cool!

Now, onto the substance of the post! 40K Radio is sponsoring the World Wide War for the second year. This year it will be September 19, and I will be entering. Local venues have not yet been announced, but I assume they will begin signing up soon.

So, from today I have approximately 3 months to complete my Eldar army (at least what I am bringing) and start practicing with 1750 points. It certainly looks like this summer will be the summer of 40K.

Oh Canada

So its been a bit since I posted due to work and a recent trip. Last weekend I packed up and headed to Canada for the weekend to support a friend of mine playing in the Walter Gretzky Ball Hockey Tournament. He was playing on one of the Kevin Smith sponsored teams and I was there as his "posse".

While the trip was cool, you would think it had very little to do with hobby-ing. You would be mistaken! We carved out some time to head up to one of the GW Canada stores, and here I am in front of the store.

I have traveled a fair amount over the past year and every city I have gone to I stop in the local GW or local hobby store with gaming tables. I thought I should start taking pictures of the various stores and posting them here.

Then, last night I sat down to start crafting. I dropped the IPOD into its stand, starting up the latest 40K Radio. I pulled out my paint case and modeling gear. I arranged my new Tau/Eldar Farseer model on the table.

And the power went out.

So, nothing new. I am aiming on carving out a fair amount of hobby time this weekend to get the new Farseer green stuffed and ready for primer. I also have some fire dragons that need their bases complete and some repair work on one of my DA Exarchs.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thoughts on White Dwarf

I have been collecting my thoughts for a while now on the topic of White Dwarf magazine and the overall value. There are many complaints in the community and it has started my brain moving. This is not my intended full post, which will follow at a later date, but I wanted to share a post I recently made on the Dice Like Thunder boards.

From the DLT boards.

Ok, so I know everyone wants to hear my thoughts so let me share them (snig).....

First, I have not read this months issues of White Dwarf yet. Its sitting on my desk in front of me but between work and reading "Courage and Honor" I have not had a chance to open it up. C&H is pretty good btw, but back to the subject of WD. I notice several people talking about a $10 price tag, and I have to assume these are Canadians. Looking at the cover in front of me, the US price is $9. Now, this price seems high to me (who got in on the previous 2 years for $60 deal), but my subscription will be coming up at the end of this year and I am considering if I will renew or not. The renewal subscription price right now is 15 issues for %74, which brings the per issue price to $5. For $5/issue I will probably renew my subscription.

Ok, now for the hard part (admitting I am ga.... a WHFB player as well). I am interested in 2 of the systems GW produces, and have a growing interest in War of the Ring, even though LoTR does not interest me. For someone who only plays 1 system, I would say that the magazine is a stretch on value. For anyone who plays 2 or 3 systems, the magazine is good ALMOST every issue. I will compare this to a number of other magazines I have subscribed to over the years. I have had subscriptions to Wired, PC Magazine, Business Week, Newsweek, and Readers Digest. When I receive RD, I read the jokes and maybe 1 or 2 times a year I read 1 other article that interests me. For Wired, Businessweek, and Newsweek, I read 2 or 3 articles and the rest are chaff. For PC Magazine, well it was a free subscription and they are no longer in print.When I get my WD, I read at least half the articles in there, and usually find a painting or modeling tip that interests me.

Now, having read last issue lets go do some analysis of the magazine.
- 119 pages, full color
- 9 New release pages
** 6 pages on the new Guard releases
** 1 page on Collectors range new releases
** 1 page on Black Library new releases
** 1 page on Forge World new releases
- 2 pages on news covering
** Planetstrike announcement (hints that its coming)
** Website updates
** announcing the price change
** Games Day Exclusive announcement
- 2 pages on Games Day
- 11 pages on design notes on the Guard including a view of the new troop sprues and a sample army list
- 2 pages for in-store calendar of events
- 2 pages of Guard pictures, showing the studio paint schemes
- 8 pages of War of the Ring tactics/overview
- 6 page article on Tournament attendance including tourney lists and how the players/lists did in UK tourneys
- 3 pages adapting new War of the Ring models to LoTR game rules
- 1 page advert for LoTR books
- 28 pages of Battle Report including
** 1 new "innovative" scenario
** 1 Apocalypse battle report
** 1 "Pre-Planetstrike" scenario
** 3 different but legal Guard army lists
** 3 other legal army lists
- 3 pages Jervis Johnson article
- 1 page "Bitz Box" on modeling
- 8 pages of IG vehicles (paint schemes, conversions)
- 7 pages of painting guide, including a tutorial on Non-Metallic Metal painting.
- 5 pages of a profile on a Golden Daemon painter. Mostly pretty pictures of models
- 16 pages of "Frontline" listing stores and a calendar of events

I guess a lot comes down to what you define as "Advertisement for selling you more stuff" and what you define as content. Technically, every Codex and Rulebook is an advertisement to sell you more models, but lets not go down that road. I will assume that we can agree that design notes, tactics guides, rules updates, painting guides, modeling guides, and battle reports can be considered content. I would also propose that we add Jervis's article and the tourney report. Now, we also need to look at a second category, which I like to term Geek Porn. This is the pretty pictures of painted models. Then we have advertisement. This leaves us with the following:
- 67 pages of "content"
- 15 pages of "Geek Porn"
- 32 pages of "Advertisement"

This leaves 5 pages unaccounted for, so lets throw those into Advertisement. This means that on analysis:
- 56% of the magazine is in content
- 13% is Geek Porn
- 31% is Advertisement

I will also note that of the advertisement sections, I personally like the new release sections at the beginning of the magazine.

Overall I guess its a personal choice and a lot will probably depend on how many game systems you play. I would think that the "fluff pieces (tourney overview, Jervis article) are interested in most readers. Add in the geek fluff, painting, and modeling sections and there is some content in every issue for people who only play 1 of the 3 game systems. Add this to the "Geek Porn" and the question becomes, is that worth $5 per month? Compared to other magazines we are probably getting ripped off, as I believe the average subscription price for a Conde' Nast magazine is ~$2/issue.

For me, GW rips me off regularly and I still look forward to receiving my White Dwarf every month. I will most likely renew for $5/month and look for 2 year deals to lower that price.

For those who are interested, I plan to do a deeper write-up on my blog, comparing past issues with current issues and going deeper into my overall thoughts. I also plan to keep going on this discussion, as this is an interesting topic for me.

For those who are interested in Podcasting, Dice Like Thunder is a great podcast. The guys are out of Chicago and are fun to listen to. I plan to head out to Chi-Town in July to hang with the guys, go to Chicago Games Day, and with luck convince them to let me onto the podcast for a night!