Friday, November 13, 2009

BFG Fleet Overview: Necron

I plan for this post to be the first in a series of analysis of the various fleets in BFG. I want to start with Necrons for two reasons. Firstly, the Necrons are rated one of the strongest fleet in BFG. While most of us may not play BFG Necron ourselves, I do think it helps to understand how tough they can be so when we build our own fleet, we will continue to keep them in mind. Secondly, I am helping a friend start a Necron fleet and thus I have to apply some thoughts and focus for my recommendations.

Firstly, lets look at what the Necrons can do in the movement phase. They are a particularly fast fleet, their cruisers have 30 cm movements and their escorts move 40-50 cm. Their battleship though only move 20 cm, which is pretty average. Another aspect of their speed is where the standard All Ahead Full (AAF) special movement order generates an additional 4D6 cm (4-24 cm) in movements with no turns allowed, Necrons ' AAF is D6 x10 cm (10-60 cm) and a turned is allowed every 20 cm moved. For Necron players, their enhanced speed allow for faster closings and faster exits from the encounter. For playing against Necrons, this will necessitate concentrated shooting to inflict all the damage while you can.

In the shooting phase, all Necron attacks are particularly powerful, especially against all Eldars. Their batteries are called lightning arcs that always consider their targets as closing (the most favorable aspect compared to moving away and abeam). In addition, lightning arc attacks are not affected by the negative column shift modifier of Eldar holofields or Dark Eldar shadowfields. However, as it stands, no Necron ships has lightning arc with a range more than 30cm. The Necron lances are called gauss particle whips what can bypass shields on a to hit roll of 6. I think this sounds better than it actually works because most of us always fire our batteries before our lances, using batteries to take down shields prior to lances shooting. Holofields and shadowfields usually allow 2+ saves against lances but this is not allowed against gauss particle whip. Currently gauss particle whips are only available on capital ships with 45cm ranges. Necron main capital ships (tombships and scythes) are also armed with a unique weapon called the star pulse generator. With each star pulse generator all enemy ships and ordnance within 20 cm receive one hit against its facing armor (or 4+ for each ordnance marker, not wave) and once again, holofields and shadowfields offer no saves. Given these three weapons, Necron players should start with lightning arc batteries (when there are a minimal number of blast markers are in play to be negative modifiers), then the star pulse generator (not affected by blast markers but must roll against armor) , and then gauss particle whips (which only require a 4+ to hit and so best applied once shields are down).

One other special weapon available only as an upgrade for Necron cairn tombship is the sepulchre. The sepulchre destroys each ordnance marker (not waves) within 20 cm on a 4+. The sepulchre can also force a leadership test of one enemy ship within 20 cm. If the leadership test is failed, that ship suffers a permanent -1 to its leadership value for the game and cannot go on any special order, including Brace For Impact (BFI), until the end of the ship owner's next turn. For those facing against a Necron tombship, keep low leadership ships more than 20 cm away if possible or squadron them to maximize leadership values. In addition, since both the tombship and the line cruiser scythe are also armed with the star pulse generator, ordnance attacks should only be conducted within attack range so as not to leave ordnance markers on the table to be attacked.

In the end phase, Necron ships armed portals can make additional teleport attacks over the standard of 1 based on the number of portals they are armed with (3 for tombships, 2 for scythes and 1 for jackal escorts). The teleport attack restrictions of 10 cm range and no functional defensive shields remain in play but the restriction that the target must have less remaining hull points than the attacker is waved (though jackals can only attack ships with current hull points of 6 or less)

Tomb ship model by Asmodean GothiComp05 submission.

Against enemy shootings instead of shields Necron ships have saves, 4+ for tombships, 5+ for cruisers, and 6+ for escorts. In addition all Necron ships have an intrinsic all around armor of 6! Both of these make a Necron ship a very tough nut to crack. And if they have to go on Brace For Impact (BFI) their saves go to 2+ though this does reduce their armor to 4+. I have looked at this to determine whether it would be more effective to attack Necron ships with lances first, and then if they go on BFI and lower their armor to allow follow up batteries or ordnance attack to be more effective. It doesn't.

tomb ships gain nothing to brace against batteries; it stay at 3/36 per battery die
cruisers go from base of 4/36 to 3/36
escorts go from 5/36 to 3/36

against lances tomb ships go from base of 3/12 to 1/12 per lance die
cruisers go from base of 4/12 to 1/12
escorts go from base of 5/12 to 1/12

With a tomb ship, if batteries fire first, BFI really doesn't help so I would decide to brace based on the number of lance attacks. With a cruiser or escorts the gains of BFI against batteries fire is marginal, so I wouldn't brace if batteries fire first and again wait for the lance attacks. If lances fire first, I would decide on brace, which might later reduce ever so slightly battery attacks.
I am not sure it makes that much of a difference on analysis but I can see how firing batteries first might eek out a few additional hits. Thus when shooting against Necrons, I think it would be easier just to keep the usual order of batteries attack first, followed by lances.

The Necrons uses a different critical hit table which make them a bit more at risk for weapon failures and permanent leadership loss. This might be exploited by assault boats attacks and bombardment cannons, typical of Space Marine attacks. Also worth noting is that there are no Necron ordnance whatsoever; no torpedoes and no attack crafts. Necrons will use both turrets and the star pulse generator defensively in lieu of ordnance for defense or offense.

When choosing any fleet, the first question is what is your main stay ship class, battleship, cruisers, or escorts. As previously alluded to, there are no Necron carriers. One tomb ship battlship with a sepulchre is the same points as 2 scythes. Though a tomb ship has only 12 hits to the 2 scythes 16 hits total, its 4+ saves to the scythe 5+ saves make them fairly equivalent in durability. The tomb ship can field more lighting arc batteries but 2 scythes have more gauss particle whips and portals, and using 2 models will also extend the effective range and attacks of the star pulse generator. Given also that a tomb ship can only be taken for each scythes, it appears to me the scythe is the mainstay of the Necron fleet. The other Necron cruiser is a light cruiser with only 4 hits, only lighting arc batteries and 1 turret makes it a support vessel rather than a ship of the line. As a support vessel though it will grant the Necron player an additional +1 leadership (making the total modifier +2) for special order tests when there is an enemy ship on special order as well. Despite the 6+ armor the 6+ saves value for escorts make them the most vulnerable component of the Necron fleet. Of the two, the jackal is the superior escort as you get more for the points: 200 points with 4 jackal raiders get you 16 points of lightning arc batteries and a total of 8 teleport attacks that can be applied against ships with 6 hit points remaining whereas only 15 points of lightning arc batteries with 5 dirge raiders. I don't see the faster dirges make up the difference in value when compared to the jackal raider.

One last consideration. Necron capital ship destroyed but not a drifting hulk counts as twice its cost for Victory Points and thrice if destroyed and left as drifting hulk. More so than against other fleets, at least in VPs, it pays to concentrate your fire against Necron capital ships.

Cross Posted at Bell of Lost Souls

Friday, September 18, 2009

BFG Tactic: How to inflict damage

Before I get further into each fleet list, I want to go over how, in game terms, you inflict damage on your opponent ships. In each and every phase of the game there is an opportunity to inflict damage. How is that for a wargame!

Movement phase.
To inflict some hurt while moving, you have to ram. To ram a ship must first pass a special leadership test to go on “All Ahead Full.” Then if the movement takes into base to base contact, a leadership test is immediately required to actually hit the target ship. This leadership test is easier when ramming a larger ship and harder when ramming a smaller ship. The result of ramming is a number of dice used to inflict damage; the number being dependent on size of ship. Shields are ineffective against ramming. Both ships are at risk for being damaged but if rammed in the side or rear, the rammed ship will likely take more damage than the ramming ship. Once ramming attack is completed, the ramming ship must move forward and completes its remaining move. However, a ship can only make one ramming attack per phase. Note that since ramming requires base to base contact, cruisers may opt to be on a large flying base rather than small ones, and thus increase its ability to ram. Obviously doing so will make it more vulnerable to ordnance attacks.

To inflict some hurt while your opponent is moving, you must have deployed ordnance attacks (torpedoes or bombers) in the path of his ship. Once in contact, ordnance attack is immediate.

Tau Emissaries by Lord Chronos, heat winner from GothiComp 08.

Shooting phase.
Always start shooting with batteries rather than lances. Each hits (whether damages is inflicted or not) typically leaves a blast marker on your target. Battery weapon effectiveness will be degraded if it has to fire at or through any blast marker. Since shooting is by one ship or squadron at a time, batteries based ships should fire first, mixed battery-lance ships should be in squadrons, and lances should be used to finish the destruction.

To increase a ship’s shooting effectiveness, consider rolling for that ship to go on special order “Lock On.” This will allow the ship to re-roll all misses. However, all special orders, except for one, must be declared at the beginning of the movement phase, so a little forethought is required.

The one exception to when to check for special order test is the special order “Brace for Impact!” Bracing can be tested for against any attacks made by your opponent, thus this is typically during your opponent’s shooting phase but can also be tested for during his movement phase (against ramming) or the shared ordnance phase, or the shared end phase. Bracing gives your ship a 4+ save against each damage inflicted but must be declared and test for before the number of actual damages inflicted is determined. Note that a failure to brace against one ship’s attack does not prevent rechecking when another ship attacks whether it be against the ship that previously failed a Brace for Impact test or another ship that has not even tested. In general, if you estimate that there is a reasonable chance your ship will be crippled in the entirety of your opponent shooting phase, not just from this one ship currently attacking, you should consider going on Brace for Impact.

One amusing target for attack during shooting, as well as during the ordnance phase, is to attack your opponent’s hulks. A lucky roll may cause it to explode and engulf surrounding ships with equivalent of lance attacks (4+ to damage). Note though that any ships within range can be damaged by such a blast, yours and his. If your ships are more resilient against such attacks, say by having hollofields or with active saves, it might make tactical sense as well.

Eldritch Path Thousand Sons Acheron by Giulio DDM, final winner of GothiComp 08.

The Ordnance Phase.
The decision to launch ordnance must be made at the beginning of the movement phase. This is because other than the launching of ordnance is free the first time and does not require the special order “Reload Ordnance.” Every subsequent launches require the special order to be passed and this has to be declared at the beginning of the movement phase.

Since the ordnance phase is shared, once you are done with moving your ordnance, your opponent will get to move his. Thus the first thing I do is use my fighters to take out his ordnance. This will clear the board for my ordnance to move and attack. Note that bombers or assault boats can take out an equal number of enemy fighter. This might come into consideration because a) he cannot reload ordnance until his own movement phase, b) he might fail his reload test and thus his other planned special orders as well and c) you might want to sacrifice some attack craft so that others may reach their target.

Since most torpedoes cannot maneuver and must move directly forward, I typically attack with my torpedoes first. Defensive turrets can only defend against either torpedoes or attack crafts. If there are threatening bombers within reach, your opponent will have to decide whether to waste his turrets against less effective torpedoes or save them for against a more vicious bomber/assault boat attack that may never come! Next I direct the bombers to their target. Unlike torpedoes, bombers can attack any enemy ship within range. Assault boats are killer against escorts but are less likely to kill capital ships. The basic assault boat attack has a 5 in 6 chance of taking out an escort. I save them till the end to finish the kills I need as I usually prefer to kill capital ships before escorts.

Imperator Ex Machina Venerable Battle Barge by ehlijen, heat winner from GothiComp 08.

The End Phase.
There are two ways to inflict damages in the end phase: boarding and teleport attacks. Since boarding must be declared in the movement phase when a ship ends its movement in base to base with an enemy ship, it seems best to resolve boarding before teleport attacks. Larger ships are more effective against smaller ships but both ships can be damaged.

Teleport attacks are made by capital ships not crippled or on special orders against ships without active shields within 10 cm. Teleport attacks are resolved just as hit and run attacks conducted by assault boats.

Final Thought.
You really have to plan ahead with BFG, starting with what special orders you want for each ship/squadron, and prioritizing the order to test for because once failing one, you cannot test the remainder. In addition, knowing how to inflict damage and more importantly how you want to inflict damage will affect your fleet’s ship choice, as well as how to safeguard against them.

Friday, August 28, 2009

BFG: Alternative Models 2

From the Gothicomp gallery you will notice this ship:

This ship is from the Cold Navy line and for ordering info go here.
Interesting enough, I have several models from this line with ships for both Terran Republic and Mauridian Empire when they were metals (now resin).

In my search for more of these models i came accross Ninja Magic. Some of their models are shown below. They also are in the process of producing rules for their models and i will definitely keep an eye on them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gothicomp 09: Submissions Posted

Gothicomp 09 submissions are now posted. Here are a few of my favorites. To vote go here.
My own submissions are here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BFG @ BoLS Guess Post #2

My latest BFG post at Bell of Lost Souls is up. It primarily look at BFG turn sequence.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GothiComp 09

Each year the folks over at TacCom runs a BFG model competition. The deadline is July 31 so if you haven't done so, get going!

Here are my submissions this year.

1.5k Fleet category: Imperial Navy

Single model category: the Retribution battleship Uriel

1.5k Fleet category: Chaos Navy

Single model category: Acheron heavy cruiser Balberith

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BFG: Alternative Models

I plan on expanding my BFG fleet collection to include Orks, one of the Eldar fleets, and what ever else. I however do not like some of the GW models, especially with regard to Orks. So i have been eyeing alternative models from other companies. Before Mongoose stopped producing B5 ship models for their All Call to Arms game, they had a sale. I looked at the model line that I liked and picked up two fleets: Narn and Earth Alliance. (Since Mongoosed stopped making these models, Iron Wind Metals have acquired the rights to do so). Since I don't intend any of these to be my primary fleet, and certainly won't be using them in GW Tourneys, I think it might be nice have try some different models.

I have decided to use the Narn models as either Orks or Necrons. Fluff wise the Narns seems to have the more primitive technology. Their ships have a low wedge sharp profile so I that they might be harder to hit front on (thus their 6+ prow armor in BFG as orks) yet not as durable close in (hence a 4+ armor against attack crafts). In contrast their larger models have four pyramidal wedges in the corners seems to fit with the Necron monolith models. So they too might fit Necrons alright.

Narn ships to represent BFG ships.
Ka'Bin'Tak super dreadnought as Ork BB or Necron Tombship.
Bin'Tak dreadnought as Ork Terror ship or Necron Scythe cruiser.
G'Quan cruiser as Ork Kill Kroozer of Necron Shroud cruiser.
Var'Nic destroyer as Ork Onslaught or Necron Jackal.
KaToc escort as Ork Ram ship or Necron Dirge.

Narn color scheme
Base = Gunmetal with green wash
Hull = Iyanden darksun
Highlight = Mithril silver
Weapon = Red Gore
Engineerings = Tin bitz

The Earth Alliance ships will represent AdMech ships. They are ships based on the long axis similar to standard Imperial ships.
Warlock Advance destroyers will be AdMech Dictators.
Apollo Bombardment cruisers will be AdMech Lunars.
Marathon Advance cruiser will be AdMech Defiant light cruiser.
Delphi Advanced scout will be Gladius escorts.

Earth Alliance color scheme
base = Shadow Grey with black wash
Hull = White
Highlight = Shinning gold
Weapon = Chainmail

I have also been eyeing these ships from Spartan Games upcoming Firestorm game. Dark Eldars? Space Marines? Tyranids?
Firestorm models.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I am guess blogging about BFG at Bells of Lost Souls.

My first post is here. My next post will likely about the turn sequence and the one after that will be about the models. Afterward I will likely post about each fleet lists.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

BFG Game at Hobby Town July 18th

I played a 3.8k game of BFG today, 3.8k of Imperium vs 3.8k of Chaos. (We had a guest player, Harry, from Albany who found us on the web). I played Imperium. The scenario was Fleet engagement; we chose Wedge and Chaos chose Cross. The two fleets deployed on long edges parallel to each other facing opposite direction. This prevented the Imperial fleet from charging Chaos with its armored prow. We did what we could to maneuver toward the enemy but seemingly always one arc behind. This led me to realize that Imperium should not try to come directly toward their opponent but should instead come on at a converging angle so that the current enemy ships are toward the one corner of our front arcs, expecting that once the enemy ships move, they will remain in the other corner of our front arc.

Previously I have also been reluctant to leave bomber markers on the table because of fear of being taken out. However, I think that the chances they will be taken out by ship fire is remote (requiring 6s to hit). When enemy carriers launches fighters to take out your bombers they aren't launching bombers or assault boats against my ships. In addition, interesting enough, damages taken by attack crafts are renewable (with re-rolls) similar to shields. By having bombers out, I have alsos extended the range of my bombers to 40cm per turn.

Final thought, the obvious thought. Concentrating fires to cripple ships is more effective than spreading fires across many ships' shields.

Friday, June 26, 2009

BFG: Chaos Navy

The typical Chaos cruiser is armed with longer ranged weapon battery and lance broadsides, medium armor (5+), and moderate speed (faster than Imperial and Tau but slower than Eldar and Necron). As such, the Chaos fleet is frequently successful by using their speed to attack from longer ranges. However, no fleets would allow itself to be shot from long range without trying to close range. Thus the Chaos fleet will need to counter this by either keep moving to maintain range or close and pass through. Keep moving typically will only work for so long given the limited table top playing surface. Closing and passing through nullify for a period their advantage in weapon range. There is a third option, and that is to close and pin the enemy with a portion of your fleet, while the majority stand from afar unmolested and shoot. Ships choices should keep the above in consideration.

The Cruisers:
The Slaughters = good. The slaughters have only short ranged weapons but compensate for this by having a faster approach and more powerful broadside than most Chaos cruisers. Given these atypical traits that set it apart from most Chaos cruisers, it should be used apart from the main Chaos fleet. Thus it might be used as bait for the enemy to chase, but few competent opponents would fall for this. The best use for the slaughter would be to close with the enemy fleet to force a firefight and thus pin the enemy. This is in essence an active bait role. If taken for this function, two (or three?) slaughters work better than a single ship. A single slaughters would be better as a counter attack or reserve cruiser.
The Devastation = good. Without torpedoes (the Chaos fleet is short on torpedoes overall) however, their attack crafts are less effective. Thus the attack crafts of devastations to be more defensive in practice, with only occasional opportunities to feign and or actually make an attack run. This is why the devastation is rated good rather than excellent. But given long ranged lances the devastation can still contribute to the fleet attack (its batteries are defensive).
The Carnage = excellent. The carnage can deliver 10 battery points at 60 cm and 16 at 45 cm, or 2,3, 6 attacks against capital ships abeam at 60 cm, 45 cm, 30 cm. These guns provide extended coverage against Eldar from afar and give the carnage the option to close for broadsides. This flexibility to attack from afar or up close make this an excellent ship.
The Murder = poor. Compared to the carnage, the murder has shorter range batteries and less firepower. While it is armed with 2 lances, the lances cannot combine with the weapon battery broadsides. The lances are forward firing yet the chaos fleet is best encircling the enemy at range.

The Heavy Cruisers:
The Acheron = average. This is a lance ship but at 60 cm no better than the devastation and at 45 cm adds only two more lances.
The Hades = average. The hades is in essence a murder with an extra two lance that can be added to its broadsides. If you are looking for a long ranged ship with both batteries and lances, then this might be considered, but two hades is probably not as effective as a devastation and a carnage.
The Styx = average. This is another carrier like the devastation. It costs 50% more, has 50% more attack craft capacity, but same number of lances. The devastation is a better buy.
The Repulsive = above average. Medium ranged batteries and short range lances seems an odd combination. It should be upgraded to have medium ranged lances instead. Having 10 hits rather than 8 means that you can take this ship into the heart of the enemy fleet and duke it out. It costs about 50% more than a slaughter and is armed 50% more as well, and while the slaughter is faster, the repulsive with medium rather than short range make the ship point effective. One thing good about it is the torpedoes it can add to the Chaos fleet.

The Battleships:
The Desolator = good. This is another lance ship but is actually reasonably armed. At 50% more than the devastation it actually has 100% more long ranged lances. True it is not a carrier but with a salvo of 9 torpedoes, it sufficiently compensates.
The Despoiler = above average. This ship firepower wise is about as effective as two devastations. But two devastations has 16 hits instead of the despoiler 12. But given that it can be upgraded to have torpedoes, the despoiler becomes the only combined torpedoes-attack craft carrier in the chaos fleet. That is why the despoiler is above average rather than poor.
The Planet Killer = above average. At 505 points it is very expensive, but also well armed with 18 points of broadsides and 6 lances at 60 cm. Then there is the armageddon gun that can be very devastating but requires reloading (which will also reload the 9 points of torpedoes) and it can misfire. I agree that it should be a unique occurrence to field.

The Escorts.
The Idolators = good. This escort has 45 cm batteries that do not suffer a column shift above 30 cm, along with 2 turrets make this a very capable escort. Add in the lance and this escort in a squadron very able to take on capital ships point for point.
The Infidel = average. Sure it adds torpedoes to the Chaos fleet, but to fire it as one salvo the ships have to be in base to base, which make it vulnerable to having one hit take down the shields on each of two ships in base to base. In general I am not a fan of torpedoes on escorts.
The Iconoclast = average. Poorly armored but reasonably armed, and cheap. You get what you pay for.

In summary the mainstay of a chaos fleet should be devastations and carnages. It should also contain a detachment of slaughters or a repulsive. Sprinkle in a squadron or two of idolators. Lead it with a desolator.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BFG: Imperial Navy

The imperial navy fleet should be built around its workhorse, and this is the standard imperial navy cruiser. How the fleet will work thus will depends on the theme of the standard imperial cruisers. Imperial cruisers are defined with 6+ armored prow and short ranged but powerful broadsides. Thus the usual way to play imperial is to stick your fleet close together as you drive toward the enemy, secure behind the 6+ armored prow, shooting your nova cannons or torpedoes until you split and splinter their fleet with broadsides. Sticking together means the cruisers should work together, complement each other, and probably be squadroned. While it is quite reasonable to maintain a force apart from this thrust to harass and harry from afar, it would be unlikely to win engagements if most of your fleet plays this way. Most of the cruisers just do not have the range and both torpedoes and nova cannons are just not reliable enough at range to consistently win.

The cruisers:
The Dictator = good. A combined bomber-torpedo attack works better than either alone. When both ordnances are combined into one ship this means just one reload roll is needed.
The Lunar = good. Best when squadroned with another lunar or two. The combined batteries will be supported by the combined lances that will be there when you need and want it.
The Gothic = average. The gothic comes with powerful lances but is best used as a supporting ship, letting other ships fire their batteries first.
The Dominator = average. Though 12 pts of broadsides looks great, in play against capital ships abeam you get only 4 dice, probably at 5+ to hit. Abeam because against a smart opponent they will want to cross your fleet as quickly as possible and thus won't let you fire on closing. Meanwhile, as previously stated, the nova cannon with the scatter die is unpredictable.
The Tyrant = better than average. The tyrant gets 10 pts of broadsides and against capital ships abeam this is also 4 dice to hit, just like the dominator. However, unlike the dominator it can fire its batteries to 45 cm ranges which will prove handy, and not just against Eldars. This slight increased range make up some of the short comings of the imperial cruiser format. For about the same points as the dominator imo it is the better ship.
The Dauntless = less than average. The dauntless lacks the 6+ prow of the standard cruisers, making it less survivable as the fleet moves forward toward the enemy. It also lacks the fire power of the standard cruiser or even an equivalent points of swords or firestorms. It is almost as maneuverable as escorts and slightly more durable. The only advantage of the dauntless is that being a cheap cruiser, it allows you to take a battlecruiser or a battleship sooner points wise.

The battlecruisers.
I think all battlecruisers are average. The only advantages they offer are longer ranged batteries (but not much better than tyrants) and long ranged lances. Ranged batteries are really defensive fires and while long ranged lances are good, it is unlikely you can match the number of ranged lances other fleets can field. In addition, with the longer ranges, you might be tempted to play them separate from the main fleet. However, this will weaken your main thrust of more affordable cruisers spearhead.

The battleships:
The Emperor = above average. At 365 points it is the more expensive battleship. Going for it are 8 squadrons of attack crafts, including assault boats, up to 16 points of 60 cm batteries broadside (6 attacks at 30 cm against capital ships abeam and 3 attacks at 31-60 cm) or 10 points of 60 cm batteries forward (4 attacks at 30 cm against capital ships abeam and 2 attacks at 31-60 cm), and most valuable the +1 leadership. Against it are the 5+ prow and the 15 cm move that makes it vulnerable to not being able to turn if there is even just one blast marker in the way. Most would field the emperor apart from the main spearhead where it would be less effective.
The Retribution = above average. At 345 points it is the less expensive battleship. It has 12 points of 60 cm batteries broadside (4 attacks at 30 cm against capital ships abeam and 2 attacks at 31-60 cm) which is only slightly less than the Emperor but once you factor in the 3 lances and at over 30 cm ranges it will have more firepower. With the 6+ prow it will fit right in with your cruiser spearhead and thus be fighting at short range typically.

The escorts:
What escort to take really comes down to covering the deficits of the cruiser spearhead. If there are dauntlesses, you might not need them at all. If you are lance heavy with gothics, take Swords. If short on lances or relying on cruiser batteries broadsides then take Firestorms. Cobras should be taken with an emperor to get the attack craft-torpedoes synergy.

In general, an Imperial fleets should have many dictators and lunars, a few tyrants, some dauntlesses, and a battleship as your centerpiece. Such a fleet certainly won’t be a sure win but would be fluffly and reasonably competitive.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Painting To Dos

With WotR, I recently placed a large order to field all my armies at 1.5k. I am having second thought on the blue color scheme of my easterlings and so will leave them alone for now without painting new easterlings. I am midway through painting Gondor and thus far am satisfied with their color scheme. They are second to next on the painting list. Next on the painting list will be:

Tau primer: white
Tau highlight: bleached bone
Tau weapons: scales green
Tau Heroes 2nd highlight: dark angel green

Kroot primer: black
Kroot inner sphere: deneb stone
Kroot outer sphere: charadon granite

Nicassar primer: black
Nicassar: Fenris grey

All washes: sepia

After the Tau i hope to finish Gondor, then move on to:

primer: black
skin: tallarn flesh
armor: dry brushed bolt metal
weapon: chainmail
cloth: Iyanden darksun
highlight: hormagaunt purple
wood: brown
arrow feathers: white
bow & arrow: gretchin green
leather: black
horse: grey
wash: sepia

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WotR: Fallen Realms

After reviewing WotR army list for the Fallen Realms these past few days, my impression is that to stick to a theme would be difficult but personally i would still like to try. In practical terms there are only three theme-able sublists: easterlings, harads, and corsairs as these all have an epic hero each and plastic core troops. Queen Beruthiel was a black numenorean per Tolkien lore but in game terms, could be fielded as any southrons and even as a male character wizard!

Easterling strengths are armored infantry and cavalry which can be supported by light Khandish cavalry and chariots. I don't see much point for Khandish infantry other than as small formation to flank with their 2-handed weapons.

Haradrims can be "upgraded" to serpent guards/riders for +1 Fight and +1 Courage for only 5 points more per company. This seems well worth it to me game wise but the serpent models are all metal, thus financial cost must also be considered. using the taskmaster the haradrims can have +1 per formation to come closer to the serpent troops. The far haradrims of Mahud fluffwise i guess should complement near haradrims but their infantry and cavalry, though great models, do not seems worth the point cost or the money cost to acquire. The half trolls though do seem very interesting. The ultimate back up for the haradrims of course is the Mumak.

The corsairs are light infantry and can have as rare formations the arbalesters as well as the black numenoreans infantry and calvary (Umbar was a black numenorean city after all). I think this gives them a good mix of light infantry, heavy infantry, missile troops and knights.

When taking the ringwraiths, Khamul and the Knight of Umbar seems natural for easterlings and the corsairs as well. The Dark Marshall should go with the black numenoreans (making them common formations) and the corsairs. The remaining 3, the Betrayer, the Undying, and the Shadow Lord i guess are up for grab.

Friday, April 24, 2009


After playing LotR Strategy Battle game for the past year, I have decided it is unbalanced. To explain why, lets start at the beginning. Why do any of us play any games at all? I believe firstly it is about how appealing the theme is to us. When i say theme i mean a composit of background over all, particular aspect of that background made personal, and of course the gaming pieces themselves. The first and biggest thing going for LotR is the background so many of us are familiar with from either the books and or the movies. If possible, we all want a little corner of the LotR universe.

Once we connect with the background then we look at the rules of game play. Face it, some game systems are clearly better than others. In this regard, from the GW major games, I believe the LotR SBG has the best rules compared to Fantasy Battle or 40k. Thus it is a win win so far with LotR from both background/theme and rules. So we enter the game and choose a force for us. There are two reason to choose any particular force: theme and competitiveness. It is hard to choose just competitiveness without theme, especially since theme is one, if not the first, reason we chose to play the game to begin with. But with any particular theme, we still want our force to be competitive.

Though the game is set as good versus evil, I believe most people view this as sides rather than theme. Theme includes such concept as a Mirkwood force of elves, a city of Gondor, a tribe of Far Harad, or a force of Orc Uruk hai venturing abroad in day light. Here is where I think the LotR SBG breaks down. If you want a theme force, in general Good themes are stronger than Evil themes, and game play is subsequently affected.

Lets look at the essential phases and aspects of the game.
Movement: Usually this is fairly balanced between good and evil.
Magic: Seems to me that despite having only three wizards available, these are really powerful Good wizards and typically superior to Evil wizards. Their spells have more offensive capability and their pool of Will slightly more available. Rarely a Good army ventures forth without a named wizard. The edge goes to Good.
Shooting: The forces of Good have superior shooting in terms of elven archers and or Grey companies. This discrepancy is exaggerated even more when considering the poor shooting ability of goblins and orcs. It is no contest, the shooting phase belongs to Good.
Fight: Again on average forces of Good has better and easier access to higher Fight value troops (not to mention anything about characters yet). From Elves to Dwarves to many human options, in most fight encounters, Good automatically wins when they roll a six. This means Good statistically wins 7 out of 12 times overall. While an argument may be posed that these higher Fight value models cost more to field, the same cannot be true for an argument that fielding more Evil models can compensate for a lower Fight value. Whether facing one or three evil models, Good still wins 7 out of 12.
Might: It should be obvious that the heroes of Good have greater access to higher Might characters than Evil. I do not believe the option to take monsters can offset higher Might (much like more fighters cannot offset higher Fight value Good models). Think about it, having more Might and Fate allows a hero to win over monsters, breaking any tie and surviving most losses. And those monsters Good does not want to fight they can always shoot or magic against. Heck, even having more Might can turn the neutral appearing movement phase to favor Good over Evil.
Thus in my analysis in nearly, if not all, phases and aspects of the game Good has the edge.

Yes I know we can all build killer combinations to win with, but these combinations typically will be "unfluffly" and stray, if not violate, the main reasons many of us chose to play to begin with, and that is theme. If the common Evil themes are uncompetitive, it really becomes a drag after a while, whether you play good or evil.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Table Top Tactical Thoughts: Mobility & Function

In my previous post on Table Top Tactical Thoughts, i expressed these considerations:

Force maneuverability means either out maneuvering your enemy to achieve and gain the objective, or limit the ability of the enemy to maneuver to achieve their own objective. Being maneuverable doesn't just mean moving further, faster, or even ignoring the effect of terrain. Being maneuverable means being able to move further, faster, and more effectively than your opponent. Always bear in mind that all movement has destinations, and the destination should be to acquire favorable terrain, achieve the objective, or limit your enemy maneuver. There are two ways to limit the ability of the enemy to maneuver. Firstly, use terrain defensively to channel the enemy to move down unfavorable pathways or slow them down from arriving at favorable destination. However, using the terrain favorably can be difficult as both sides will try to get the best terrain layout, and there is little control over the layout of terrain in general. A slow army can out maneuver the enemy by limiting a faster army effective movement.

My belief is that mobility is key to success on the table top regardless of unit types or function. Mobility allows strong units to engage their target of choice and allows weak unit to avoid being targeted.

Force neutralizing typically means either inflicting unacceptable losses to the enemy while limiting your own losses, or limit the enemy ability to inflict losses on your own forces as they strive to achieve and gain the objective. Typically there are two kinds of forces: melee and ranged. Melee does not necessarily means hand-to-hand but close eye to eye combat. Ranged forces is just as it appears, with missile weapons of some sort. While there are two kinds of forces, there are actually three ways to utilizing and neutralizing forces: take the fight to the enemy to destroy them with pure close up power (strong melee vs weak melee), stand and barrage the enemy into oblivion (ranged strong vs ranged weak), and deny the fight confrontation avoidance (weak vs strong). Most units are not capable of being strong melee and ranged strong, and if that does happen, they can potentially be neutralized by fight confrontation. In addition, we want to avoid similar match up of strong vs strong or even weak vs weak because this increases the chances of an uncertain outcome. We want to increase the odds toward victory, not leave things to chance alone, though chance is always a player.

The permutations are as follow:
Strong Melee and Strong Ranged = Alphas
Weak Melee and Strong Ranged = Betas
Strong Melee and Weak Ranged = Deltas
Weak Melee and Weak Ranged = Gammas
I used semi-generic designation because i want to applies the terms accross different game systems. When considering what is strong and what is weak, it doesn't apply to just what your forces can field alone but must also be referenced against what your opponent can field.

What are their roles on the table top?
The alphas should target either the enemy's betas or the deltas depending on which is the bigger threat to your forces. The alphas should not target other alphas as the chances of success are less in this regard. While conceptually the alphas can inflict great losses against the gammas, the time limitations of each battle/encounter/game means that what losses inflicted is unlikely to be the winning factor. To be selective, they need to be mobile.
The betas should target firstly the enemy's alphas or deltas. Targeting the enemy alphas first make better sense because a weakened alpha can be finished of with your own deltas or even gammas. Many gamers have an over reliance on their own alphas so weakening his game plan can provide you with a psychological edge. However, if your own force is light on deltas, then targeting them and ignoring the enemy's alpha might be preferable. Mobility is necessary only in so much as moving to get that shot.
The deltas should move forward and engage whoever is closest. Against alphas they will likely lose, against betas and gammas they should win, and against other deltas it will be a toss up. As they main strength will be close combat/melee it ultimately won't matter too much. Mobility is essential.
The gammas have two functions. First is to occupy objectives/terrain and let others fight the battle. The second is to sacrifice themselves as mobile terrain, sort to speak. Thus for both functions they should be mobile. More on this later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

BFG: Imperial, Chaos, and Space Marine.

Last night at our club night gaming I introduced a few folks to BFG (using my Chaos and Imperial fleets). Happily, I have sparked interests and have been requested to provide input on 500 points fleet for Imperial, Chaos, and Space Marines. Here are my thoughts.

Imperial Navy.
When it comes to building the imperial fleet, i think the most important first consideration is what combination of 2 cruisers you can build from the plastic kit (which allows 2 cruisers but due to limited weapon options, it cannot be just any two cruisers you want). The combination are:
a) Carrier build: two Dictators or a Dictator + a Lunar or a Gothic
b) Cruiser build: two Lunars or a Gothic + a Tyrant or a Dominator
c) Battlecarrier build: two Dauntlesses and a Mars

Fleet build option A. The Dictator (220 pts) i think is a great ship because it is an all purpose ship with batteries, fighter/bombers, and torpedoes. All fleets in my opinion should have a carrier. Two dictators would be 440 pts allowing 1 admiral at 50 pts.
Alternatively you take a Dictator and a Gothic or a Lunar. If you companion a Gothic (180 pts) with the Dictator this would be a great combination as the batteries from the Dictator would take down shields allowing the 4 lances to follow-up for the hits. The Lunar (180 to 200 pts) has both batteries (to take down shields) and lances (to inflict damages) thus allowing it some independent action on its own. The Lunar can also be modified to carry a nova cannon (though somewhat unreliable, has great power and a range of up to 150cm!). Total would be 400 to 420 points leaving 80 - 100 points for an admiral or escorts.

Going to 1000 points you can again load up on Dictators but balancing the fleet out with attack cruisers like a Gothic + a Tyrant would be good as well. Between the Tyrant and the Dominator I think the Tyrant is a better ship with more upgrade options. Total of 375 to 395 points and thus room for escorts. More on escorts later.
Alternatively going to 1000 points you can get a Dauntless (110 pts) light cruiser and a battleship (335 - 365 pts). More on battleships later.

Fleet build option B. This would be an attack cruiser build at 500 points, relying on Lunars or Tyrant + Gothic. The Lunar being armed with both batteries and lances allow it to work independently. But since each ship has to finish firing before the next, they cannot effectively combine their weapons (unless squadroned togehter). In addition, they only have 30cm weapons other than the nova cannons. Two Lunars would be 360 - 400 pts.
A Tyrant and Gothic combination will allow the Tyrant's batteries to take down shields and the Gothic lances to finish the job. The Tyrant also has 45 cm batteries which will be helpful against pesky eldars. This build is 365 to 395 points.

Going to 1000 points the fleet will need a carrier of some sort, either a Dictator or a Mars. Again you can alternatively get a Dauntless (110 pts) light cruiser and a battleship (345 - 375 pts). The Emperor would be tempting as a fleet carrier at 365 points.

Fleet build option C. The alternative to fielding a Dictator as your carrier would be to field a Mars battlecruiser (270 pts) and take the required two cruisers to be Dauntless (110 points each). The Mars is not a larger carrier than the Dictator, nor does it have torpedoes to combine with the bombers, but it does have better ranged batteries, lances, and the nova cannon. The Dauntless are sufficiently mobile to protect the Mars' blindspots. This would be 490 points.

Going to 1000 points you can add a Gothic (as the Mars has the same modeling requirement as the Dictator) or a Lunar. Then you will have to either buy escorts, more Dauntless, or buy another plastic cruiser set but be able to only field one (if you are undecided between different cruiser this might be a nice option to build one carrier, one Gothic, one Tyrant, and one Lunar) .

Regarding escort
s, they must be squadron from 2 - 6 ships. Thus when you look at their profile you should multiply the weapons value by the number of ships in the squadron as they fire act act in conjunction with each other. All three are pretty good but the Firestorm seems unpopular for some reason.

Regarding battleships, there are actually 4: the Emperor (365 pts is the correct value based on updated FAQ), the Retribution (345 pts is the correct value based on updated FAQ), the Apocalypse (365 pts) and the Oberon (335 pts). Only the Retribution has a move of 20 cm, the rest is at 15cm. The significance is that battleships has to move 15 cm before turning, and their move is reduced by 5 cm by blast marker. The 15 cm move battleships also cannot turn by "come to new heading" special order or if they move through even one blast marker. Of the remaining ships the Emperor is popular for the +1 leadership and the 16 points of batteries it can focus (which may be better than the Retribution). The Oberon is like a more powerful Dictator/Mars and the Apocalypse a more powerful Lunar.

Chaos fleet.
At 500 points take a Devastation (this is absolutely the best carrier in the list, perhaps in the game, based on points). Then take either a Murder or a Carnage. The Murder has lances but it cannot combine with the batteries; the Carnage has only batteries but can get a pretty good amount together). Two cruisers would be 360 or 370 points. Add a chaos lord at 50 points will take total to 410 or 420, leaving 80 or 90 points for upgrades or escorts. For escorts, the Infidels (2 for 80 points) lets you have torpedoes (rare in the chaos fleet) or the Idolators (2 for 90 points) which has superior batteries.

At 1000 points: since you already have 2 cruisers, you can then take a heavy cruiser. The Styx (at 275 points) is generally considered inferior to the Devastation for points value. The 2 remain heavy cruisers are essentially mirrors of each other; the Hades is a batteries ship supported by lances while the Acheron is a lance ship supported by batteries. Between the two, i would probably take the Acheron as it has more turrets and can concentrate both batteries and lances to the front (the Hades cannot). Thus you will have 310 points left. Since you now have 3 cruisers (2 standards and 1 heavy) you can now take a Desolator battleship or a Repulsive grand cruiser. However, since the plastic cruisers come 2 per box, you may want to build either 1 heavy cruiser and 1 standard cruiser (Acheron + Devastation = 380 pts) or 2 standard cruisers (2 Slaughters at 330 pts) along with a warmaster (50 pts), another escort (they come 3 per blister pack (40 or 45 points). The Slaughters are faster than the other chaos cruisers but also have numerous though limited ranged weapons.

Space Marine.
For a Space Marine fleet i would recommend at 500 points take 3 strike cruisers and 1 fleet commander (leadership 10). At 1000 points add 1 battlebarge, leaving 90 points for rerolls or upgrades. In my opinion there is little need for escorts as the strike cruisers can turn 90 degree like escorts and are much more durable in a fight. All strike cruisers and the battle barge can launch fighter-bombers so the fleet will be well protected against other carriers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Table Top Tactical Thoughts

Alliteration ally aside, I have been given some thoughts to the general nature of table top tactics. I have also considered how the table top tactic is different from actual battlefield tactics. The biggest difference is that with table tops, you get to choose your force whereas in real life, you must fight with what is available. This difference is what really sets wargames from real life (other than the whole death and destruction thing) so as gamers we have a unique opportunity to select our forces. What should go into the selection is contingent on what we must accomplish on the table top and here, the differences between real life and games do not differ that much. There are two essential goals in tactics centering on force neutralizing ability and force maneuverability.

Force neutralizing typically means either inflicting unacceptable losses to the enemy while limiting your own losses, or limit the enemy ability to inflict losses on your own forces as they strive to achieve and gain the objective. Typically there are two kinds of forces: melee and ranged. Melee does not necessarily means hand-to-hand but close eye to eye combat. Ranged forces is just as it appears, with missile weapons of some sort. While there are two kinds of forces, there are actually three ways to utilizing and neutralizing forces: take the fight to the enemy to destroy them with pure close up power (strong melee vs weak melee), stand and barrage the enemy into oblivion (ranged strong vs ranged weak), and deny the fight confrontation avoidance (weak vs strong). Most units are not capable of being strong melee and ranged strong, and if that does happen, they can potentially be neutralized by fight confrontation. In addition, we want to avoid similar match up of strong vs strong or even weak vs weak because this increases the chances of an uncertain outcome. We want to increase the odds toward victory, not leave things to chance alone, though chance is always a player.

Force maneuverability means either out maneuvering your enemy to achieve and gain the objective, or limit the ability of the enemy to maneuver to achieve their own objective. Being maneuverable doesn't just mean moving further, faster, or even ignoring the effect of terrain. Being maneuverable means being able to move further, faster, and more effectively than your opponent. Always bear in mind that all movement has destinations, and the destination should be to acquire favorable terrain, achieve the objective, or limit your enemy maneuver. There are two ways to limit the ability of the enemy to maneuver. Firstly, use terrain defensively to channel the enemy to move down unfavorable pathways or slow them down from arriving at favorable destination. However, using the terrain favorably can be difficult as both sides will try to get the best terrain layout, and there is little control over the layout of terrain in general. A slow army can out maneuver the enemy by limiting a faster army effective movement.

For future posts, I will explore how the above principles and thoughts apply to Battlefleet Gothic, 40k, Fantasy Battle, and LotR.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Introducing my club to BFG

In a few weeks i will introduce my club (which mostly play LotR) to my favorite GW game, BFG. The fleet i will be fielding will be as follows:

The Imperial fleet will consist of:
the Lauviah Dictator class attack carrier
the Harbonah and Zaphkiel Tyrant class attack cruisers
the Melchisedec Dauntless class light cruiser

The Chaos fleet will consist of:
the Arioch Devastation class attack carrier
the Gamaliel and Kushiel Carnage class attack cruisers
the Beleth Slaughter class fast cruiser

I did not include any escorts because I wanted to provide each player an equivalent cruiser. There are two others players in the club with BFG experience so hopefully they will show up and lead a fleet each.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Warhammer: Characters Role

With the new Lizardmen Army book out, I have returned to tuning my 5 separate Lizardmen armies (armies, not lists). As most, I started with thinking about Lords and Heroes and I have come up with the following in order of needs.

1. The General. This role is mandatory for all armies. First consideration is that he has to have the highest leadership of your characters. This stipulation alone means that if you want a wizard to be your general, he will almost has to be a Lord level character. Second consideration is that regardless of what army you play (though Vampire Count in particular) he must be protected at all cost. Even if you play a regular human army, many competition scenarios award extra points for killing your opponent's general. With this in mind, if you choose a fighter as your general, you will be unlikely to throw him into combat on a regular basis, making a Lord choice somewhat of a waste.

2. The Slayer. This role is essential for nearly all armies. First consideration here is that this character is designed to kill characters and or large monsters. As such, ideally he should be a Lord level fighter tooled up to fight, kill, and maim. However, a lord level character in most armies will typically will have the highest leadership and thus will be forced to be your general. Except for Lizardmen, a Hero is what you will end up with here. Second consideration is that his model should be as mobile as he can be in order to chase his prey down. A monster mount would be great but again most monster mounts are only available to Lords rather than Heroes. Finally, in the absence of characters or monsters to kill he can always hunt artillery.

3. The Battle Standard Bearer. This role is helpful for most armies. First consideration is whether you really need one or not. In order to get the best use of one, you will have to cluster your units around him. While this may not be such a bad idea, it may limit your force tactically. Second consideration is whether he will carry a magic banner, or be "inspirational" and armed for combat otherwise. Taking a magic banner will be the most traditional role but again would also make him more tactically limited. One options would be for him to function both as a "Slayer" and a BSB (Battle Standard Bearer). This combo advantage would be he would be more resilient in combat resolution and his disadvantage would be the higher 25 points cost. Regarding victory points if standard VPs are only awarded to over-running units, then this would not be a problem as he should be fighting challenges (and either winning or dying), taking on small units with easy wins, or re-rolling break tests and passing them. The third consideration is whether he can be a Battle Standard Bearer and a Wizard. Only a few armies allow this option but if possible, this would make a decent combo allowing the character to remain with the main battle line protected, inspirational, to either cast spells and or dispel them as a defensive wizard. Finally, only one army that I know of will allow you to take a General-Wizard-Battle Standard Bearer combination and that is Lizardmen. This is a great combo for a more balance offense/defense or just defensive minded Lizardmen player.

4. The Supporter. This role is really optional for all armies. The first consideration here really is whether you need to take a wizard for magical defense. This character will almost certainly be a Hero level. If you have already taken a wizard as your General, then he will be a much more powerful offensive spell caster. If you have not taken any wizards at all then it means you have gone with Fighters for your characters and might need some magic defense. The second consideration here is if you have no needs for a wizard in this slot, a fighting hero to lead/buttress a flanking force/unit separate from your slayer. Under most circumstances more troops might be better than another fighting hero.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

First Meeting of the Richmond Warmancers

More details here.

But i am intrigued and excited by the possibility that 2-3 others in the group has expressed an interest in playing BFG!

Monday, January 26, 2009

LotR Tactics 2

Some thoughts on army list composition and the Reinforcement rule. If this rule is in play, then your battle plan will be thrown in disarray if you are not prepared. Thus because of the chance that the reinforcement rule might be in play, the army list should compose of 2 parts of equal or near-equal number of models wise.

1. The first half, the half starting the game. When troops come on as reserve, they do so not as a unit but as individuals and thus will not be able to function as a unit. This must be kept in mind. Missile troops should be considered for this force faction. By starting the game together on the board, missile troops can be grouped as a unit to shoot volleys. There will also be more opportunity to shoot earlier in the game both directly and indirectly. Secondly named heroes should be considered for starting the game. Most named heroes have special abilities thus these ability should be available sooner rather than later. Thirdly, support troops may also be better off starting the game because support troops are best within a unit rather than on their own. Support troops include spearmen, pikemen, or standards.

2. The second half, the half arriving as reinforcement. Reinforcement models are hindered by their delay entry into the fray time wise as well as distance wise. Thus mounted troops, flyers, and faster models are better troops for the reinforcement faction. These models are also typically viewed as higher power troops and will frequently be targeted by missile weapons. Delaying their presence to the battle also delay the number of turns they may be targeted. Similarly, low defense troops, typically cheap troops taken for their sheer numbers, may be better off as part of the reinforcement faction for similar reasons. Some support troops are reasonable reinforcement as well, as the can be directed toward spots on the table that may need combat support rather than opening a new offensive front. Un-named heroes, with their single fate points, make good reinforcement heroes.

3. Rolling for reinforcement. Since the rule stipulates that you roll for one model at a time, it may matter which models are rolled for first and which last. Even if you roll for all similar models at a time, the order of what models are rolled for still matter. Because there is a one in 3 chance your opponent will get to place where your reinforcement enters, it would be better off if he places your least useful reinforcement first, to fill up the least useful reinforcement entry location. The order to roll for are bowmen (if there are any in your reinforcement faction), warriors, warriors with shield, warriors with spear/halberd/pikes, cavalry, infantry standard bearer, cavalry standard bearer, and lastly, heroes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

LotR: Gondor & Rohan Colors 2

Started painting Gondor. My current thoughts on colors for Amon Barad (Gondor led by Cirion & Madril) & Eastfold (Rohan led by Erkenbrand) are now.

primer: boltgun metal
armor: boltgun metal
shield: deneb stone
weapon: chainmail
clothe: charadon granite
cloak: knarloc green
bow & arrows: khemri brown
arrow feathers: white
leather: black
wood: calthan brown
flesh: tallarn flesh
hair: Iyanden darksun
wash: ogryn flesh

primer: black
armor: boltgun metal
shield: charadon granite
weapon: chainmail
clothe: deneb stone
cloak: knarloc green
bow & arrows: khemri brown
arrow feathers: white
leather: black
wood: calthan brown
flesh: tallarn flesh
hair: tausept ochre
wash: devlan mud

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Richmond Warmancers

With GW closing down locally, a few of us similarly minded gamers have started a gaming club, the Richmond Warmancers.

Monday, January 12, 2009

GW Stony Point Store is closing

My local GW store here in Richmond VA is closing in 2 weeks. Some of us gamers are looking to start our own gaming club, at least in the short term. A likely location has been found. We would like to get in together on the GW modular gaming board. So far we have about 6 so that means one piece of the gaming board each. I would like to see us have 12 players and 2 gaming boards. Two boards means 4-8 players on the 2 boards, and perhaps another flat top table. I would like the club to cover at least the 3 main GW games, 40k, FB, and LotR.

Surviving Horror

This is not meant as a serious post but it does not mean the contents are without application to real life. . In my household we have been on a horror movie bent of late. The perpetrators have been monsters and humans, supernatural and too natural. I have thus decided (like the book on preparing for the Zombie apocalypse) have decided to generate a survival directive for surviving horror (movies).

1. Do not deviate from the original travel plan. This is typically how you are placed within a horror situation to begin with. As a corollary to this directive is that you must travel well armed. No, bullets may not slow spirits, but there are plenty of flesh causing horrors out there that will indeed bleed.

2. Once in horror situations, be prepared to use deadly force. I am not advocating first strike/pre-emption. But if you find the body (or blood stained suggestions of one) of a travel buddy, then all restraint against the use of deadly force should be suspended immediately. Naturally, if you are armed and are at risk of becoming the first victim of the group, by all means pre-empt.

3. Stick together. United you stand, divided you will die. Stragglers will be picked off. Do not investigate anything or anywhere on your own. Do not even go to the bathroom on your own. I recommend a minimum of 3 persons per activity. Say you are going to the bathroom. One person does the business, one keep an eye out in the room, one in the doorway (leave it open) and keep an eye out in the hall/outside. You should also keep 3 for each watch sleep. Teamwork is essential for survival. This would suggest that the size of your over all team should be six, grouped into threes.

4. Believe your friends. When your friend reports seeing something too crazy to be true, take it on face value as being true. No potential threat should be dismissed, every potential intel should be considered. Your enemy cannot be underestimated. Never assume your enemy follows the same code of behaviour as you do, adhere to the same moral code as most might. A corollary of this is that if you yourself saw something too crazy to believe you must tell others of it without fear of dismissal or ridicule. Distrust breaks down the team effectiveness and cohesiveness.

5. Have a plan for actions. Do not wait to be victims. Your plan of actions should be firstly security and ensure survival of the team. Your plan of actions should be secondly about escaping from the current horror situation. This has to be the order rather than the reverse. You will die without the team, there can be no escape alone. Note that all good plans require knowing what the sequence of actions will be (stepwise progression works best) as well as alternative options. No plans, regardless of how good, will be effective without buy-ins from the team. And the combination of action plans + team require defined role for each team members.

6. Have faith. Believing in a higher power/purpose may not save you from a lunatic, but it may against un-natural forces. Even against the mundane, having faith that you will survive provides a positive goal to enact and accomplish your plan of actions. Faith cannot be under-estimated. If you don't already believe, consider starting to believe (there are no atheist in foxholes). A corollary to this is that if you do not already believe, while others do, do not dismiss their faith, instead trust them, trust their faith (see #4 above).

7. Do not believe there is a traitor among you. Doing so will tear the team apart and doom you. If there is a traitor among you then you are doomed already, but no point speeding things up by breaking up your most important resource, your fellow team members. If the evidence become incontroversial that a person is a traitor, and some team members have already died from betrayal, eliminate the traitor. Use deadly force if necessary. Under no circumstances should you continue travel with the traitor as a captive. He/she will certainly seek to escape bondage while with you and cause harm to your team. While not the best of options, leaving the traitor behind bound and silenced may be an alternative. Know though that if found by your enemy, the traitor will certainly act against you. Why is having a traitor means you are likely doomed? Because the team has already been weakened and fractured by the traitor as well as the process of rooting out the traitor. However, you can at least take solace in the fact that nobody likes a traitor, and that in all likelihood the enemy will eliminate the traitor themselves once his/her usefulness has expired.