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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Will Onslaught become the new Norm and Matched Play


I am wondering if Onslaught (3000 point games) will become the new standard for gaming. If we look at the increase in cost of the basic Intercessor as a rough metric for overall points increase it equates close to 120 percent. Surely monsters and tanks will increase even more in points. Going from 2k to 3k is 150 percent... so a difference of around 30 percent. This could easily be a stealth incentive enabling GeeDub to easily garner more sales.

I am liking the new mission format for matched play which is based upon NOVA and ITC. One Mission with a good number of variables (for example, which secondaries you select) makes it a lot easier for pickup games and removes the need for third party house rules. GeeDub should set the standard and dictate how we play.

Here are several secondaries you can choose from for the new matched played:

- Purge the Enemy - End game: 3 victory points for every character kill.
- No Mercy, No Respite - End Game: Tally of kill points.
- Shadow Operations - Investigate Sites: Progressive scoring: Score 3 points every time a unit from your army completes a task.
- Battlefield Supremacy - Progressive scoring: Score 2 points if you have presence in 3 table quarters.
- Warpcraft - Progressive scoring: Score 3 points every time you pass a "Warp Charge 4 psychic test.

Also the maximum points you can score for secondaries is capped.

It looks like the primary objective doesn't promote killing enemy units in like the ITC format. An army that plays well for "the four pillars" is an army that can take and hold 3 objective for most of the game. With 5 turns to score, that nets you 75 VP before scoring secondary. Assuming your opponent fully scores all of their 3 secondary objectives and has holds 1 objective all game, they will end up at 70 VP - a close loss.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Ninth Edition is Coming


Is it Saturday yet... no but seriously this is my first serious post regarding ninth edition. First I want to say I’m really looking forward to it - eighth edition is pretty played out with just a few Psychic Awakenings left to go now. The play testers only have good things to say and this includes those with a narrative point of view.

So far what we know is that modifiers to hit can never be more than +/-1 plus tanks and monsters are going to be much more powerful again. If you like to play Primaris Space Marines there are some strong new units coming and it just seems like melee is going to be a thing again.

I am looking forward to GeeDub taking the reins for mission rules - they should decide how we play the game in every aspect assuming they do a fantastic job which they have shown they can and do now. Sure there will be a lot of change but in a way it’s inevitable.

I imagine the new release with include errata and FAQs to cover each faction so it’s a smooth release for everyone and that’s a good thing too. I’m not worried or apprehensive and and am looking forward to ninth edition. Do you feel the same... do you have any concerns? This is my first serious post regarding ninth edition. First I want to say I’m really looking forward to it - eighth edition is pretty played out with just a few Psychic Awakenings left to go now. The play testers only have good things to say and this includes those with a narrative point of view.

So far what we know is that modifiers to hit can never be more than +/-1 plus tanks and monsters are going to be much more powerful again. If you like to play Primaris Space Marines there are some strong new units coming and it just seems like melee is going to be a thing again.

I am looking forward to GeeDub taking the reins for mission rules - they should decide how we play the game in every aspect assuming they do a fantastic job which they have shown they can and do now. Sure there will be a lot of change but in a way it’s inevitable.

I imagine the new release with include errata and FAQs to cover each faction so it’s a smooth release for everyone and that’s a good thing too. I’m not worried or apprehensive and and am looking forward to ninth edition. Do you feel the same... do you have any concerns?

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Scouring - Part 5 - Assault


Gigantic plumes of superheated steam boiled above the mountain top evaporating long frozen ice. Three figures loomed within the icy haze leaping down from one piece of solid rock to the next. Drawing the mirror blade from its dark leather scabbard the Champion hurled himself into a nearby long throng of startled Word Bearers. The blade sang like a steel rattle as Plato beheaded those closest then rended loose limbs, rupturing their wine red armor plates. Fresh blood poured from the sudden wounds flowing into the icy swirling water beneath them. A large wall of steaming water engulfed them all knocking them loose. As one they all tumbled down into the valley below. Plato quickly righted himself holding the mirror blade submerged under the the rushing water. A pair of Greater Possessed rose up on either side. Ancient runes cut deep into their armor shone bright emitting sickly green warp energy. The blade struck before either could react slicing through tendon and long hardened bone. They fell to either side as the Champion slipped past them to re-engage those whom had momentarily escaped his reach.

The traitors fumbled grasping at their weapons but they were too slow to react. Plato made short work of them all as his two Honor Guard reached him again. Back to back the trio continued to fight taking full advantage of their initiative. Ancient mauls and bent blades crashed harmlessly against the stormshields. Hissing with rage against gritted teeth the Champion set to work again decapitating each and everyone of the last of the living traitors. They emerged from the fray coated in blood marring their bright blue armor. Looking down a brief moment at the fresh pile of dead the Ultramarines stepped onto flat ground pulverizing the scattered bone and pieces of rent red armor.

"Bring forth your very best now." Plato spoke through the grille of his helmet.

Friday, February 07, 2020

You want ITC this is how you got ITC


Hi everyone it’s Black Blow Fly here to discuss the inherent problems with the ITC 40k mission Pack and why a lot of people want change now. This is a bit long so hang in there with me.

A common problem I see in many peoples' dissatisfaction with the ITC is that the ITC is designed to provide the most balanced game between two equally talented opponents as possible - Reece and Company have tried their best to eliminate any randomness. One inherent problem with this approach is 40k is a dice game... wink wink.

Reece and his crew do not understand that tournament missions can have some randomness and be very exciting. After watching the final day of LVO finals I can say that ITC plays just like Infinity, hiding entire armies behind big pieces of line of sight blocking terrain.

There is no narrative element either, every ITC mission is really just the same and they are always a grind. They you say can completely customize your missions with secondary choices but let’s stop and realize everyone that can always takes Engineers and Recon - these are two super easy achievable goals netting eight sweet points and both favor no interaction whatsoever.

It has been proven randomness helps to create a more healthy meta with more competitive factions since hyper competitive gamers cannot simply design for one trick ponies and must adopt a more overall tactical approach to list building. There’s a reason why the meta went straight from Imperial Knights to Imperial Space Marines and ITC takeS a lot of the blame for consistent stagnancy.

Reece does not really does he have any appreciation for lore. It should also be duly noted many elements of the ITC mission pack have been directly lifted from NOVA OPEN... more of the same thing if you know what I mean.

In closing I hope that GW will start to exert control over the tournament system. GW can and did have an excellent grand tournament system that embraced the entire hobby - I’m sure they can do it again. There is a whole cottage industry built around the ITC and unfortunately it currently exhibits lots of chest thumping and a win at all cost attitude.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

The Scouring - Part 4 - Presence


Plato lead his party up to the first peak of the mountain ridge. A dense cloud bank loomed ahead blocking off the view of the twisting path they followed. Thunder rumbled as lightning bolts struck down from above. The air was frigid and tiny specks of icy snow shimmered coating the broken rock with a thick coat of hoar frost. Carefully they stepped over the frozen debris as the top of the alien sun broke above the far horizon.

Suddenly a high pitched whistle cut the rarified air. "Look down now." Plato ordered over their encrypted vox link. Radiation runes began to chime inside their helmets. "An electromagnetic pulse has just been detonated at high altitude. The purpose is to disrupt enemy communications and their vox netscape. We are at a high enough altitude now not to be affected and our armor was perfectly tuned to a resonant frequency with the primary pulse. Our grounding straps shield us from the lower frequency content."

"How long will the interference last?" asked the Victrix Honor Guard named Sid.

"It could be more than seven Terran days before they can rein back in their networks. That should be all the time we need." Plato replied.

"Do you think we can find the child?" asked Sid.

"It’s why we are here brother." said Plato. "I pray to our Emperor every hour that she still lives and if she does then yes we will."

"Look." Sid replied. "There just ahead is a Chaos wishing well."

The search party crept up as the unholy noise from the burst filled the air. The well was so deep they could not see the bottom, loose brick littered the ground.

"It is said theses rare artefacts can grant any desire." said the first Victrix Honor Guard. "Anything."

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Psychic Tactics for Ultramarines



I come to you with solutions this morning providing you with some hot Psychic Tactics for Ultramarines. Currently I use Tigurius and a standard Librarian. While they are not Ahriman and company they can still be quite potent forming up to create an extremely effective Smitebomb.

I run Tigurius with the old school Librarius psychic powers typically - Might of Heroes, Null Zone and Psychic Scourge. The other Librarian typically has Empiric Channeling (EC) and Scryer’s Gaze. First cast EC on Tiggy for the psychic buffs... Tigurius now has +3 to cast and deny plus with his ability to reroll them he should be able to pull off super smites quite often. You can then follow up with a smite from the Librarian and then Psychic Scourge from Tigurius taking advantage of our native +1 leadership. Scryer’s Gaze (warp Charge 7) gets you that sweet sweet CP and is not all that difficult to cast. Seven being the average on 2d6. Your opponents won’t be denying them when you're slinging tonnes of filthy smites, melting them alive.

Pro Tip #1 - Null Zone is very reliable and quite scary for opponents... Never charge Tigurius into combat if he successfully manifests this psychic power - your opponent can interrupt combat and then destroy him since he doesn’t have an invulnerable save.

Pro Tip #2 - Psychic Fortress is a go to psychic power versus smitey factions such as Thousand Sons, granting you the ability to shrug off mortal wounds on a 4+. While we don’t have nice things like Doom or Guide I have found our psychic staples like Might of Heroes coupled with Tiggy’s Prescience ability can go a long way when you really that hard resilience for a critical unit such as Centurions.


So there you have it, Ultramarines have access to some excellent psychic prowess if you follow my advice given above. It will definitely catch some opponents off guard.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Scouring - Part 3 - Trek



"The third Legion was excised from the annals of Imperial history but right there stands the very image of their Primarch." said Plato as they lifted ammo belts and ranged weapons from the innards of their drop pod. He looked up at the square chin and wild eyes chiseled deep into the hard granite. Tantric tattooed runes were etched all over the facsimile of a bare face and a three pronged bolt of jagged lightning split the brooding eyes.

"It is whispered they were actually the very first to fall to the ruinous Powers. Our mission is to ensure he is truly dead. These lands crawl with filth... Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzneetch - their followers have flocked here in search as well."

The Champion had sheathed his swords and gripped the combi melta testing the rack as he chambered a fresh magazine. ‘We shall follow that ridge into the far valley. There lies the enemy camp. Be on guard for any of their outliers. Our insertion was perfect as planned. We must not fail now."

"Will there be any reinforcements?" asked one of the two Honor Guard as he hoisted up a heavy plasma rifle.

"Don’t count on it brother and the glory shall be ours alone should we succeed." Plato answered.

"You’ve always been the optimist." replied the Honor Guard.

Plato’s smile was hidden behind the golden grill of his helmet. "Let’s move out." The Champion set a boot upon the beginning of the rocky outcrop. The slope was quite steep. Raw jewels twinkled under the softening moonlight.