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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Monday, August 14, 2017

S4 the Universal Power

Strength 4 (S4) is the new universal power now. It used to be S3 prior to the release of the 8th edition Roll To Wound table.

This a great boon to Space Marines due to their ubiquitous bolter. It used to the case for the lowly lasgun but no more. As you can see from the first chart S4 wounds T6 on a roll of 5+ while the lasgun needs a 6+... twice as good ! If you have been playing a lot of 8th edition games you will come to realize the two most common rolls to wound are 3+ and 5+... therefore the lasgun is mostly wounding on 5+ at best now.

It is no secret now the assault phase is dead as a door nail now so take heed all you loyalist SM players... victory is through our bolters now !

Friday, August 11, 2017

Assassin Part 20 - Blood Oath III, Re-Awakened

The Death Company was prepared for battle dark in the silence and brooding. Bruised and sullen the storm clouds had the light of day obscured. Looming low and ominous in twilight premature thunderheads rumbled in the distant overture then all at once they parted. Light streamed down in bright unbroken beams. Overhead a golden warrior emerged from the opening and floated down towards the ruined sepulcher. The Sanguinor held his ancient Blade Encarmine in one gauntlet and a relic spear in the other.

The eldar broke from the temporary trance lifting up their shuriken weapons to take aim. Heavy staccoed bolter fire from the Death Company dreadnaught erupted into the xenos instantly pulverizing them. Lifting his dreadnaught power fists the Ancient opened them like flower petals greeting the light revealing heavy flamers from within and unleashed burning gouts of promethium as he slowly turned in place thoroughly drenching the enemy. The smell of burning flesh quickly filled the morning air and the accompanying screams of agony drowned the steady drum of the hurricane bolters.

Landing in the center of the ruin the Sanguinor lowered his melee weapons and withdrew a pair of polished ivory canisters from his utility belt. His armored fists crushed them releasing a sudden cloud of burning black incense. He pulled more canisters loose and broke them as well throwing them into the masses of ever crowding eldar surrounding the sepulcher.

Image result for black incense

The Harlequin stode his weapons and then quickly darted away only to be met by the burning gaze of the Sanquinor from above. He drew back the spear and launched it with a sharp twist of the wrist. It flew like a missile catching the pariah dead center in the back skewering the troupe like a piece of fresh meat. Twisting about the Harlequin clutched at the shaft as he bled out but could not set himself free.

Still the many eldar surrounded the sepulcher teeming around it in vast countless number. The closest suddenly broke from their deep exhaustive battle fatigue clutching up at the marble stone block upon which stood Sanguinor towering with his dark host. They looked up with blank sunken eyes and dirty sullen faces. "Cease fire." commanded the Unending Host through his brazen vox grille and instantly all fell silent. "Finally all that was necessary is in place here. A great transmigration shall now pass. So mote it be!" Ash from the burning incense drifted down slowly peppering his armor like a soft gentle mist of refreshing rain. The Sanguinor pulled forth a huge golden chalice holding it over the gaping black maw of the sepulcher. Tipping it over ever so slightly a thin stream of bright red blood dripped from the sharp golden edge silhouetted by golden rays of burning sunlight. The silence held for a just a moment more then there came a horrid deep moan followed by a shrill lonely scream from the black depths of the ancient sepulcher, something large stirred below violently pained by its sudden reawakening. The pitch of the scream was ever so intense of the highest audible Octave. Dark blood began to quickly drip from the smudged nostrils of the watching xenos as broken rock and bits of stone trembled from an unseen force. That hidden below screamed again, a long wail that tore at the very realspace. Something gigantic stirred below in the black pit as the very warp began to bleed through into the surrounding continuum.

The Sanguinor and his companions continued to watch in silence, all of them anticipating the end with a vicious relish hidden by their masks from the braying crowds swelling below. There came the sound of deep raspy breathing and heavy panting from the pit then a pair of giant skeletal hands broke free from below clutching and grasping hard at the thin edge then the very top of a huge skull rose up, soft beautiful blue eyes sunken into the deep black sockets staring out in wonder. The giant wailed in pain as it struggled to pull itself free from its broken sarcophagus below. The air had grown hazy and it was hard to see everything now. It throbbed with a deep violent hunger consuming its only thought as it slowly climbed out dragging itself free from the black gaping maw. "Feed me!" it shrilled then wave after wave of a voracious feeding vacuum uncoiled from the animus buried within the ancient skeletal form. Too late the eldar realized the imminent danger and broke. "Feed me!" it cried again as the very closest xenos began to dissolve grasped by the many long wicked unfolding protoplasmic tendrils reaching out to grasp and consume them. A shock wave exploded from the epicenter capturing them all. One by one each but in the blink of an eye they were all wholly consumed, their souls extinguished as well.

A mirage of pale skin grew over the face of the skull as the giant licked at the ether energies folding in to his new form. Huge wings with the whitest of feathers unfolded from its now deeply muscled back tearing from festering wounds. Deeply buried memories exploded within its mind as it looked upon its fleshed hands, bare feet splaying in the black soil. Sanguinius smiled as he looked down upon his waiting children. "By my blood we are reborn And reunited onto this day!"

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Assassin Part 19 - Blood Oath II

Eldar troops swarmed over the open ground crowding around the ruins of the black sepulcher. They wore pitch black uniforms blending seemlessly into the background. A Seer Council moved through the masses chanting blessing to the masses. Overhead the dark skies loomed over them filled with clouds of burning ash. A pair of Wraithkinghts fashioned from pure white Wraithbone strode behind the Council towering above all others. Carcasses of Tyranid lower life forms littered the ground piled high. A glittering lone Harlequin carved runes into the exposed skull of a dead Tyrant with its kiss.

There came a super sonic boom from above drawing the immediate attention of all those still living. A trio of drop pods came crashing down hitting dead center atop the sepulcher. Immediately the doors exploded outwards on impact raining burning gouts livid shrapnel upon the eldar licking at them like gigantic tongues of fire. The closest were vaporized, their faint distorted shadows etched into the broken rock below. The Seer Council attempted to throw up a kineshield but reacted too slowly also consumed by the conflagration along with the others. The massive series of following explosions rocked the very ground with deep tremors causing even the Revenants to stumble for the briefest of moments then quickly righted themselves untouched by the sudden attack.

Charging out from its wrecked vessel the Ancient Venerable caught one of the Wraithknights with its unfolding armored fists savagely ripping it apart then threw aside the ruined halves. The Death Company dreadnaught reacted more slowly unlimbering its heavy Hurricane bolters stitching a salvo of shots into the remaining Revenant. Spinning away the alien construct lowered one of its cannon sighting along the upper bulk of the approaching metal behemoth. The shot went wide even at such close range kicking up great clouds of slagged rock. The newly approaching rank and file dived out of the way but still some were caught in the blast radius instantly slagged. Again the Death Company dreadnaught let loose another salvo now at point blank range stemming the ever advancing construct at bay by sheer weight of fire power. A few of the micro rockets struck true blowing chinks into the pearly white Wraithbone. The Ancient attacked from the rear catching the Revenant by surprise tearing through the back side with hated vengeance. Together the pair of Blood Angel dreadnaughts wrecked the Wraithknight crushing it into a pulp.

The Death Company then stepped out lead by their Chaplain. While there was still a sea of eldar their leaders had been felled by the sudden savage attack. Urizen lifted his Crozius commanding them forward.

Friday, August 04, 2017

40k Editorial: BAO +1

Hey everyone so just when you thought it was safe again here comes BBF to ruin your weekend... it's what I do.

This past weekend was a major GT took place here in California - the Bay Area Open (BAO). So first the good news and it's really great news. GW released a new FAQ within a few days following the American Team Championship which effectively crushed the much hated Ravenspam and this is totally unprecedented. To me it shows GW really cares now unlike before... it's a really big deal. Today I'm here to discuss the effect of house rules on the game we all love, yes of course I am talking about Warhammer 40k.

I have never been a fan of house rules and unfortunately they exist in many forms. The house rule I'm talking about is as follows:

According to the actual rules if your army has less drops then you automatically go first unless your opponent seizes the initiative. The house rule in effect now changes this such that you no longer go first - there is a roll off and all you get if you have less drops is +1 to the result of your roll. I should mention there is actually another house rule in effect as well that does not allow you to reroll seize the initiative using a command point. Let's take these both for what they are.

The change to +1 is a huge advantage for horde armies which to me creates unbalance how the game is intended to be played. There was no vote to institute these changes and it came about literally days follows the official release of eighth edition. It is a very hot topic on the internet and my research shows more are against it than for it. A vocal minority made their case online and it came to be just like that !!! Wow.

One thing that bothers me a lot about this house rule is the fact that GW made a big deal about how eighth edition was thoroughly play-tested by vet gamers outside of the company and these are some of the same people that instituted the house rule... that just doesn't seem kosher to me.

So now let's fast forward to the BAO final round and the game between the two top players... whoever wins is the champion. I was lucky enough to be able to interview one of these two players - Paul McKelvey from Left Coast Corsairs. I'll let him give you his first hand account of the final game.

Hi Paul would you please first tell me a little about yourself and your army?

I've been playing Tau since 2001, it's my favorite army and a big part of why I love the hobby. My BAO list is essentially the same thing I have been doing with Tau since the beginning. Using the strengths of the army to counter the meta and focus fire and destroy the key elements of the opponent.

Next tell me about your opponent's army in the final round.

My opponent Brandon's IG army in the final round of BAO was extremely powerful. We both knew going into this game that it was going to come down to who ended up going first. He had a much greater chance of surviving my initial barrage than I did his. The conscripts coupled with artillery made this a very tough game for me. It was the first game where I had an opponent place so many units in reserve - he had 9 units in total for his reserves.

What was the mission parameters and can you describe the terrain layout ?

We played the NOVA Scouring mission - 6 objectives with the new modified diamond dawn of war deployment. The board had very little area terrain but a lot of line of sight (LoS) blocking terrain. The latter was a big factor but more area terrain would have only really helped him and further hampered me. Either way with all of the artillery he had that ignored line of site it didn't make a difference on how much or how little terrain was on the board. I choose end of game objectives and so did he. For tertiary I chose Cull the Hoard, Line Breaker and Moment of Bloodshed. He choose First Strike, Marked for Death and Strike Rank and File. We both scored all three on the first round, well except Line Breaker for me, but I was there still in the game.

Now tell me about how important it was for each army to go first. If you want to discuss the ITC rule modifications for +1 and no reroll seize please feel free to do so.

Out of all of my games at BAO this was the only game that the ITC modification made a difference. I don't feel like it is a super huge change in most games but when you are staring down an army with 30 drops that can still go first it seems a little silly. Either way that the community and TOs choose to play it I will roll with it - I love the game and the community. For events I run however But for events I will continue to use the BRB in all aspects, missions included. I have never been a big fan of making changes to the game. It creates a false meta and changes the power levels when the intent is to stop that from happening.

So there you go right from the proverbial horse's mouth and I couldn't have said it any better. Here we already have not one but two house rules with at most only one codex officially released. Ask yourself is this what you really want and is it really good for the game plus what kind of precedent is it.