Saturday, December 25, 2010


This has been a lovely Christmas day. Soft snow is steadily streaming down. I hope everyone out there has a safe, warm, and love fill day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Uncharted Seas: the Factions

I recently finished reading the rules for Uncharted Seas, a fantasy based naval game. I have decided to get into this game for two reasons. Firstly, I have been active in a map based fantasy campaign, and am in the early stages of planning a map based LotR campaign for the Spring. Secondly, I think the rules for Uncharted Seas appear sound and simple, and the model lines appear good as well. Both good rules and good models should allow for a fun experience. As soon as I play a game I will post further thoughts, but for now I want to talk about how to incorporate the 8 different Uncharted Seas factions into either Warhammer Fantasy Battles or LotR.

Elves are elves. With Warhammer Fantasy these could be either High Elves or Dark Elves. Certainly Wood Elves as well if they leave their green forest. With LotR these again can easily be representing High Elves in particular or elves in general.

Dwarves are also dwarves. With Warhammer as well as LotR these will fit well enough. Sure the Iron dwarves may be a tad more technologically advanced compared to LotR dwarves but close enough.

Orcs are orcs. They should fit with either Warhammer orks or LotR Angmar or Mordor list.

These humans are a perfect fit for Warhammer Empire. They should also be acceptable for Bretonnians. With LotR they could represent any humans but at a more technologically advance level. Personally I would keep these are Gondor, Arnor, and perhaps Rohan.

These undead should be fine with either Warhammer Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings. They might also be a reasonable option for the undead of Angmar or Gondor in LotR.

These guys are technically dwarves with magic casters so for Warhammer the natural fit would be Chaos Dwarves. However, if you leave the dwarves aside, they should be good for Skaven as well. The closest LotR faction to this might be Isengard.

Not sure how to fit these guys in with Warhammer but I think with the background of elite warriors, magic casting, and availability of flying dragons make these reasonable proxy for Chaos Warriors.

These guys might be good proxy for Ogre Kingdom because of their powerful cannons ... but not really. For LotR I think they might be reasonable Fallen Kingdoms of Khand in particular, but also Umbar and maybe Harad.

Don't know where to fit Ogre Kingdom but maybe the Ralgard might do. Just don't take balloons?

On second thought, a ninth faction is coming out for Uncharted Seas, the Sky Pirates. The idea of a pirate fleet of balloons from the Ogre central homeland is fairly appealing.

Edit 2:
On third thought I think the Dragon Lords would also be reasonable proxy for Lizardmen. They have a carrier of mini-dragons that could be modified to be a carrier of terradon riders.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Warmaster Thoughts

I love warmaster because how the army looks on the battlefield. I currently have three armies, Kislev, Dwarves, and Khemri. Kislev i bought because of the bears. Dwarves i bought because i got a good deal at an auction at a gaming convention once. Khemri was actually my first army and it is a great all around army. I currently have components for three more armies: High Elves, Skaven, and Lizardmen. High elves because the model line and the list is great. Skaven because i love the fluff and a horde of rats seems awesome. Lizardmen because they are my main Fantasy Battle army.

I build each army to 3000 points, with a core of 1500 points and 3 500 points additions, one for open field battles, one for besieging, and one for defending in a siege. These after all are the common battles for armies. Army components for open field battles are cavalry, chariots or large monsters. Army components for besieging are armored infantry and artillery. Army components for defending in a siege include archers, artillery, and flyers. I think flyers are important in defending in a siege because they can sally forth and take out enemy artillery. Thus it appears to me an all around army should be able to do all three. An army should also have a flyer mount so a hero can assist in an open field battle, in attacking defended units, and to sally forth with flyers. An all around army should have all four: flyer mounts, offensive units, besieging units, and defending flyers.

Here is my review of the different warmaster currently available.
Araby: flying carpet mount, knights & elephants, armored infantry but no artillery, and flying carpets.
Bretonnian (tournament list): pegasus, knights, trebuchet, and pegasus knights.
Chaos: dragon, knights & dragon ogre, armored infantry but no artillery, and harpies.
Demons: wings, steeds of Slaanesh & beast of Nurgle & greater demons, no armored infantry or artillery, and screamers of Tzeentch.
Dark Elf: manticore, cold one knights and the war hydra, repeating bolt thrower, and harpies.
Dwarves: no flyer mount, no cavalry or chariots or monsters, armored infantry and cannons, and gyrocopters.
Empire: griffon, knights and steam tank, no armored infantry but lots of artillery, but no flyers.
High Elves: eagle and dragon mounts, knights and chariots and dragon rider, bolt thrower, and eagles.
Kislev: no flyer mount, knights and bears, no armored infantry or artillery, no flyers.
Lizardmen: no flyer mount, cavalry and stegadon, kroxigors, and terradons
Orcs & Goblins: wyvern, boar riders and wolf chariots, black orcs and ogres and rock lobbers, but no flyers.
Skaven: no flyer mount, doom wheel, stormvermins and rat ogres and warp cannons, but no flyers.
Undead Khemri Tomb King: dragon, chariots and sphinx and bone giants, bone thrower and skull chukka, and carrions.
Vampire Countt: winged nightmare, knights and black coach, grave guards but no artillery, and no flyers.

The armies in bold have all the requisites, the italicized armies do not. I would rate them further as follows:
Top tier: High elves
Second tier: Bretonnian, Dark elves and Undead
Third tier: Araby, Empire and Chaos
Fourth tier: Demons, Dwarves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Skaven, and Vampire Counts
Fifth tier: Kislev

Friday, October 29, 2010

Warmaster Khemri/Tomb King

The Army:

Command & Cavalry




Monsters & Creatures:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BFG: New Space Marine Rules

Final updates for Space Marine and some eldar stuffs now available here.

Key content:
Venerable Battle Barge that may be an Imperial or Chaos battleship, grand, battle or heavy cruiser
3 variants for Strike Cruisers
and a fortress monestary

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chalice of Night Campaign

This is the name of our fantasy battle campaign name. It entails gathering up the gems of the Chalice of Night go gain unspeakable power?

Anyhoo, here is my updated campaign map and realm within. The stars represent fortresses, the targets cities, the single dark circle my capital, and the numbers represent armies.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fantasy Battle Campaign

I recently joined a map based campaign for Fantasy Battle 8th edition rules. I will be fielding my Lizardmen.
Here is the world in its virginal state.

Here is my realm.

To my West and Southwest is an Empire realm. To my Northwest is a Bretonnian realm. To my Northeast I believe are some High Elves. To my East across the water are Skaven. Immediately North of me is a fortress of Beastmen.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BFG Model Competition 2010

GothiComp 2010 is up and running.
Voting threads here
Gallery thread here

Comments on other entries to follow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Empire: Peripheral Wars

Found these pics at Concept Ships.
They appear to be for a game from Russia? Wish i knew more about it.

more images here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Warmaster: Kislev

Finally, my warmaster Kislev army pictures:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Space Tables at FTW Games

Just waiting for BFG.

Tuesday Night, July 20th at 630p.

Monday, July 12, 2010

BFG Tau Gallery

These are some pics of my recently finished Specialist Tau BFG fleet. I have also submitted some choice selections for GothicComp 2010. To submit your pics, send them to There are two categories: Fleet and Ship/Squadron. Fleet category consists of 500 - 1000 pts worth of ships. Ship/Squadron category is a single ship, 2 light cruisers, or a squadron of escorts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

BFG "Demo" Game Session

I am planning on a BFG gaming session at 630 pm on Tuesday night on July 20th at the FTW game store. If you have a fleet and know how to play, great; bring 500 pts. If you don't learn how to play, no problems. Bring what you have or I'll lend you some models. I'll help you learn to game.

BFG resources: Rules and Fleet lists can be found here and
Turn Sequence
How to inflict damage

Saturday, June 19, 2010

FTW Game Store Review

About a year and a half ago our local GW store closed down. Fortunately, our gaming community continued onward with games being played in basements and garages across the greater Richmond VA area. While there were a few game stores in the area, most were small stores with limited gaming areas. This month a new game store opened up in the Richmond area, FTW. FTW stands for "for the win" and their website is here. Here are my thoughts.

Space.: A
The store is rather spacious, with 8 4x6' tables with terrain to play on. This will easily accommodate most gaming nights and even a tournament of 16. There are also about 3-4 smaller tables that are meant for card game plays. Without these they probably have space enough for another 2 4x6' tables.

Stock: B
The variety of games and hobby supplies is good. There is Spartan games stuffs for Uncharted Seas as well as Firestorms. There is Flames of War, Confrontation, Warmachine, Infinity, as well as a few board type games as well as a few other such as Ultra Forge. Naturally there is a wall of GW products from 40k to Warhammer and LotR/WotR. There are also GW gaming supplies, along with Gale Force 9. Aside from the variety the amount of materials seems small for what i perceive as the more popular product lines: GW, FoW, and Warmachine/Hordes. As of this posting there is also not much in the way of card games, general board games ,or video games that might appeal more to the general public.

Customer Experience: A
Rob the owner is young but very friendly and seem like a good guy and an obvious gamer. He is friendly and will easily engage you in conversation as well as respond to your inquiries. There is a large couch in front of a large flat screen for video gaming. For 60 US$ a year you can also become a member of FTW gaming club, where you get 10% of your main product line. In my opinion 60$ is very affordable as this translate to only 5$ a month. You would easily spend more than 5$ at a matinee any random weekend.

Viability: Uncertain
I want this store to work out and stay past their 3 year lease. I believe they can expand into the empty space next door but in my opinion this is really unnecessary at the moment and for a long while. My greatest concern is that there just isn't enough products on the shelves. The store part of the space is at most 25% of the total space. The store caters to gamers by providing gaming space, but will gamers buy enough to make the store profitable or will they just game with what they have, and add only a few models here and there. The FTW membership could be and should be more perhaps (i understand the membership is to build a customer based community of sort rather than to provide income). And will the gamers be enough of a customer base or should the store also make an effort to appeal to the general public? I am glad that he does sell food and drinks but he should expand more in this regard.
Rob gets it as a gamer but will he get it as a game store owner? If not now, I hope he will be soon. The Richmond gaming community really needs this.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

40k: Strategy Battle Game

Looking at playing 40k with the following modifications

1. Turn Sequence
Player A moves, Player B moves
Player A shoots, Player B shoots
Player A assaults, Player B assaults

2. Priority
At beginning of each turn, each player rolls off to see who goes first. Ties go to the player who lost did not have priority in the last turn.

3. Tactic Points
For every 500 points of game size, each player has 1 Tactic point.

4. Use of Tactic Points
Tactical Move: one squad/unit gets to move out of turn. A player who does not currently have the priority may move one squad/unit before the player with priority. The player with priority may counter with a Tactical Move of his own. In this situation, both players roll off to determine which squad/unit will make the Tactical Move first. Each attempt costs one Tactical Point.
Tactical Shoot: one squad/unit gets to shoot out of turn. A player who does not currently have the priority may shoot with one squad/unit before the player with priority. The player with priority may counter with a Tactical Shoot of his own. In this situation, both players roll off to determine which squad/unit will make the Tactical Shoot first. Each attempt costs one Tactical Point.
Tactical Assault: one squad/unit gets to assault out of turn. A player who does not currently have the priority may move one squad/unit before the player with priority. The player with priority may counter with a Tactical Assault of his own. In this situation, both players roll off to determine which squad/unit will make the Tactical Assault first. Each attempt costs one Tactical Point.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

WotR: Khand Battlehost

I am dissapointed that there are no battlehost for Khand. While it is true they have no named heroes listed in WotR (one was named in Legions of Middle Earth though his profile was never published), there are actually four battlehosts without named leaders (Mordor's Black Legion, Fallen Realm's Mahud Wartribe, Mumak War Herd, and Host of Karna). Thus I have decided to try to make one for Khand, largely based on the Black Legion and the Mahud Wartribe.

Variags Raiders of Khand: 75pts + models.
The Khandish steppes east of Rhun and Harad are populated by the Variags, a belligerent and warlike people. Their realm is divided into fractious and warring kingdoms. Only by sheer personal might and charisma does one remain a Khandish King for long. While Khandish Kings normally sell their warriors out as sell swords, they will on occasions take to the field of battle themselves to lead their warriors. Khandish warriors will then fight all the harder when the gaze of their King is upon them, as favour won in battle invariably brings rank and wealth.

1 Khandish King
3-6 Khandish Chariots
2-4 Khandish Mercenary Raiders (3+ companies)
0-4 Khandish Mercenary Warband (3+ companies)

Khand King: As long as they are within 12" of the Khandish King, all formations in this battlehost count as having a Taskmaster and are steadfast on a 5 or 6 instead of a 6. In addition, the Khandish King counts as an Army banner, but only to formations in this battlehost

Skilled Driver: All Khandish Chariots in this battlehost gain the Expert Rider rule and if within 12" of the Khandish King can re-roll the dice to determine how far they charge.

Chariot Charge: During a turn in which a Khandish King calls a Heroic Charge, all friendly chariots within 6" must declare a Heroic Charge. These extra heroic Charges do not cost any Might.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

GothicComp 2010

The annual modeling and painting competition for BFG is now open.
More information here.

And yes, there are prizes!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BFG Fleet Overview: Corsair Eldar

GothicComp09 Submission

Of all the biological races, the Eldar are the oldest still interactive with the younger races such as humans, orks, and tau. As old as their civilization is, their technology is as expected more advance than these other races. Despite their technological prowess, they have an ancient foe that is even older and more advance, the Necrons. In BFG, they are a very strong fleet against all but the Necrons. In BFG the Eldar are represented by three lists, Corsair Eldar, Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar to represent their current fractured and scattered state. Corsair Eldar is likely the one most likely to be encountered in space by merchants and patrols alike (and equally likely to be the last encounters by these ships as well.) Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar will be discussed sometime future.

Even before any ships are placed, the Corsair Eldar fleet is at an advantage with leadership values at +1 (maximum of 10). Remember that in BFG higher leadership facilitates special maneuvers and actions in the form of Special Orders.

On both the offensive and defensive component of the game, Corsair Eldars are strong, very strong. Offensively, Eldar batteries, lances, torpedoes, and fighters are superior to the "lesser" races. Eldar batteries always count their target as closing (the most favorable aspect for targets.) Eldar lances can re-roll successful hits, yes successful hits, for up to three hits. Since lances hit on a 4+, each lance will on average inflict 0.875 hits (much higher than the average of 0.5 hits for most lances.) Even so the average can be misleading because a lance can actually inflict three hits each! It is understandable why lances are your friends when playing Eldar. Eldar advantages don’t end there because Corsair Eldar ordnance is extraordinary as well. Torpedoes can only be taken out by enemy turrets on rolls of 6+ rather than 4+, making them three times as likely to survive to attack the hull. Note when facing against combined Eldar torpedo and bomber attacks, save your turrets for the bombers rather than wasting them on the torpedoes. Their fighters are also more resilient in missions against enemy torpedoes, fighters, bombers and assault boats. Instead of being removed after neutralizing enemy ordnance as are most fighters, each Eldar fighter marker remains in play on a 4+.

On the defense Eldar ships are protected by holofields. Holofields provides a 2+ saves against lances, nova cannons, torpedoes, bombers, hit and run attacks, boarding, and even ramming. Against battery weapons a rightward shift on the Battery Gunnery table (less favorable for the shooter.) As if that isn't enough, once Eldar move in their movement phase to position to shoot, they can then move again in their ordnance phase to minimize becoming target themselves. "Minimize" because while most ships have no weapons in their rear, most ships can also turn to get their side weapon into play against Eldar ships seeking a safe area behind their target. An Eldar player should expect this and consider how to position your ships so that once turned, your Eldar ships are abeam to the enemy's (side) batteries (further weakening their best weapon against you.)

Shadow Cruiser by Arithon.

The first weakness of the Corsair Eldar are that they are 3 times as likely to suffer a critical hit each time they take damages as most other fleets: suffering a critical on a 4+ for each damage rather than on a 6+. Their second weakness is that all Corsair Eldar ships only have 4+ armors. However, any hits that might gain from the lower armor must first pass through the holofield. Overall I believe both of these weaknesses are more than well compensated by the strength of the holofield and enhanced Eldar maneuverability. A third weakness of the Eldar is that their movement rate is affected by where the local star is located. If the star is toward the ship's front its movement is only 10-15 cm (depending on the ship) and if the star is to its side the movement rate is 25-30 cm. Where the star shine from must always be considered. (And when facing Corsair Eldar maneuver toward them with the sun to your back). A fourth weakness is that while all Eldar ships, escorts and capital ships, may make a turn to face in any direction at the beginning of its movement, Corsair Eldar cannot turn at all once moved (though it does not have to move at all). Both of these movement issues are easily compensated for by the ability to move in your ships in your own movement phase and again in your own ordnance phase (not the enemy's ordnance phase.) The fifth weakness of the Eldar is that holofields are not shields, thus when any Eldar ships move through blast markers (once per move whether in its own movement phase or its own ordnance phase) it can suffer a damage on a roll of 6 (their movement is also reduced by 5 cm.) The final weakness of the Eldar is that holofields do not work against Necrons. Against Necrons Eldars thus will do rather poorly.

I do not consider Eldar weapon's limited range of 30 cm on all ships except the Void Stalker battleship to be a weakness because most fleets engage in the 30 cm range anyway.

Eclipse Cruiser by the Laughing God.

Fleet Selection.
All fleets should be built to maximize its strength and minimize its weaknesses. Strengths of weapons, holofield and double movement are available to all Eldar ships. Weaknesses are vulnerability to critical hits, 4+ armor and movement restrictions. Armor of 4+ and movement restrictions affect all Eldar ships. Since escorts only take one hull hit, vulnerability to critical hits doesn't affect it at all unlike with capital ships. Such analysis of strengths and weaknesses will likely result in Eldar fleets being a predominantly escorts based fleet.

There are four Corsair Eldar escort options. First up is the Hemlock, essentially a flying lance. Since a lance is the best Eldar weapon, this is a great option for only 40 points each. Second up is the Nightshade, a torpedo (2) ship also armed with a battery. Eldar torpedoes and batteries are both great and for just 40 points this is another great option. Next up is the Aconite, a battery ship. While Eldar batteries are indeed great and 5 of them are even better, for 65 points they are a tad expensive. However, if you might face other Eldar, including Dark Eldar, they could become very handy to overcome enemy's' holofield (or shadowfield for Dark Eldar.) Last up is the Hellebore, a great model in my opinion. Unfortunately, while the package of lance, torpedoes, and battery looks impressive, for 75 points it is too pricy. For 5 points more you can get the same weapon layout (1 lance, 2 torpedoes, 1 battery) with a Hemlock and a Nightshade. A Hemlock and Nightshade combo is also substantially more survivable as two targets capable of splitting enemy fire and having twice the damage capacity as one Hellebore.

The cheapest Eldar cruiser is the Solaris, coming with 8 batteries to the front and 4 hits points for 130 points. For the same points you can get 2 Aconites with 10 batteries and 2 hits points splitting fire between two Aconites. While most cruisers can sustain more damage prior to reduction of its offensive capability than a squadron of escorts, Corsair Eldar capital ship vulnerability to critical damage erase this edge in my opinion. The Solaris is likely better replaced by 2 Aconites. The Aurora at 140 points also has 4 hits points but is armed with 4 torpedoes and 2 lances. Similarly priced at 150 points would be 2 Hellebores that are over priced in themselves so I am not sure the Aurora is worth taking either. Both the Solaris and Aurora are Forgeworld models and as an American, this means both will cost more money wise as well. The next cruiser is the Shadow for 210 points with 6 hits points, 4 torpedoes and 12 batteries. For the exact same 210 points you can get 2 Nightshades and 2 Aconites, yielding the exact same weapon layouts with 4 hits points across 4 targets. Thus far all three cruisers are better replaced by escorts. The last cruiser is the Eclipse for 250 points. The Eclipse is the only cruiser with launch bays (4) and this alone makes this cruiser worthy of consideration.

The last ship available in the Corsair Eldar list is the Void Stalker battleship. This ship also has 4 launch bays but what set this ship apart from the Eclipse, and every other Corsair Eldar ships, is its 45 cm ranged lances (4) and 45 cm ranged batteries (8) with the ability to fire to the right, to the left, and not just to the front. The Void Stalker is available once your fleet is 1000 points (minimum actually fielded) or more. This ship should definitely be considered for inclusion once it becomes available.

Void Stalker by Arithon.

Fleet Tactic.
While Corsair Eldar have a significant amount of offensive and defensive capability, they should be used with care like a sharp blade rather than a blunt instrument. When on the attack, concentrate your fire on enemy battery ships first, hitting the enemy toward his rear. Such opportunities will not likely present naturally and as an Eldar player you must be both patient and manipulative. Hide among stellar phenomena if possible. When striking hit as hard as you can but if you cannot or were unlucky and did not, never linger. When you move in the ordnance phase, position your ship defensively to be abeam of your opponent batteries. Move in, attack, move out and away before the enemy can respond.

Additional info can be found here.
Originally posted at BoLS.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


works on a new BFG FAQ has been started here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

40k: Number of Troops

I recently read a very interesting article at BoLS. Though it is about how many troops to take in 40k, i think it is germaine to any other game systems as well.
In Annihilation, Troops are just another unit that can become a kill point by dying and generate kill points for killing other units. In most cases, Troops choices are less effective at killing and as easy or easier to kill than similar Elite, Heavy, and Fast Attack units. This is obviously an overgeneralization, but it matches the game design and is more accurate than inaccurate as a general rule. So in Annihilation, fewer Troops choices are better for most armies. The exceptions include Chaos Space Marines Cult Troops - Khorne Berserkers are very killy, Plague Marines are among the most durable, Noise Marines produce significant Dakka, and Thousand Sons have great antipersonnel fire and are the best unit to take Demolisher cannon hits on. Dark Eldar should generally take a maximum number of Troops, as they are a bargain for their killing power. Imperial Guard can go with a large number of Troops, especially if they have a Platoon that collapses into a Commissariat Blob. Yes, you can mount the platoon squads in Chimeras, but blobbing 30+ in Annihilation makes the unit essentially nonviable as a kill point for most armies.

In Capture and Control, most armies really only need two scoring units, as there are only two possible objectives. Reserving a unit to hold your own objective at the end of the game and sending another towards the enemy objective (often obliquely – no sense trying to hold an objective against counter attacks for 3 turns) is generally a good default behavior. If you are Eldar, you need at least two units assigned to each job, as Wave Serpents break down at the most inconvenient times, and walking Eldar Troops aren’t known for their durability. Guardsmen need more units for defense (and possibly offense, but Guard should focus on eliminating all enemy scoring units and/or contesting the far objective, in most cases) – I like 3 units in the area to hold my home objective, and I tend to devote the rest of my Guard force to immobilizing and then eliminating enemy contesting and capturing units. Space Marines often do well to Combat Squad a couple of units for home defense, working on the premise that killing two units is harder than killing one.

Seize Ground can have up to 5 objectives – so obviously you need at least 5 scoring units, right? No, not at all. In almost no cases should you be able to take more than 3 objectives – your opponent has to be really asleep for you to get to 4, and if you’re looking at 5 objectives, just go ahead and go for Wipeout instead.
Seize Ground is the mission designed for Space Marines. Combat squads mean that 6 scoring units are very likely for most Space Marine players, and each unit essentially has to be destroyed totally to be stopped. Eldar also love Seize Ground; mobility is really all they have going for them, so having a lot of objectives to hope to tank shock a Wave Serpent of Dire Avengers onto is a very good thing.

From the articles I take away the following concepts.
1. You don't need to contest all objectives, just the majority of them. If there are five objectives, you need to take 3 to win.
2. Troop choices need to be protected. They need to survive till the end of the game. There are several ways to do so. Firstly shield them in terrains. Secondly take either large units that are hard to reduce to less than half, or make them particularly resilient.
3. One to two troop choice should be mobile, held in "reserve" until toward the end of the game when they can rush forward and take an objective.
4. This means minimum of 3 troops and maximum of 4 troops.
5. Other force selections, whether it be HQ, elites, fast, or heavies should be taken to attack, and they really should focus their attacks on enemy troops as much as they can.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SBG: 1k of Good & Evil

Tonight i completed 1000 pts of good and evil forces. Both are compact forces designed to both fit together in a small GW carrying cases. Both are also all metals and include models whose rules i believe are better in SBG than in WotR.

15 fountain guards + shields. yes shields, making them D7!
2 warrior of minas tirith with banner (i like placing a banner on either end of, but behind my battle line)
1 avenger +/- captain
1 captain
1 Elendil + shield
1 gandalf the grey
along with
15 dead warriors
1 dead king

15 black guards
1 black guard banner
1 black guard captain
1 black guard taskmaster
1 generic ringwraith
1 witch king with crown of morgul
2 castellans & 2 bat swarms (1 of each together to hold my flank)
1 shade (the anti banner)
1 warg chieftain (fast responder)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Planning new Imperial Navy fleet

I have been contemplating a new Imperial fleet for three reasons.
1. I want a fleet consisting of ships most veterans eschew: the Lunar, the Dictator, the Mars, the Overlord, and the Apocalypse.
2. I want a fleet to paint well enough for competition (or so i say now)
3. I want a fleet to name using cities from my favorite state of Texas, and naturally color schemed for the Texas flag.

I have hesitated until i found these prow.

Beautiful, no?

more details can be found in this thread at Port Maw and here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

BFG Fleet Overview: Space Marines

Background. In the fluff, Space Marines power lies within each space marine as the epitome of a warrior. As such, space marines force relies on the power of each marine working in conjunction with each other in close encounters. This theme is carried on in how Space Marine fleets play in BFG.

Warp Rift Issue #21 cover.

Strengths. The primary strengths for the Space Marine fleet remains within the individual marine. In game terms SM has a +2 bonus to boarding actions and +1 bonus to hit and run attacks. As a reminder, boarding action can be declared in the end phase when in base to base contact with an enemy ship. Base boarding values + a D6 are compared; higher totals win. Each point of difference between the two totals results in a hull damage for the loser. Space Marines get a bonus modifier of +2 to its total but then Orks and Chaos gets a +1, Dark Eldar gets a +1 in the first round (but a -1 in each subsequent rounds) and Tyranids gets to chose the higher of two D6 rolls rather than be limited to just one D6 roll. Given that these other fleets also receive some bonus for boarding, the Space marine bonus of +2 doesn't really seem that significant. In addition, since part of the boarding total is based on the remaining damage points available added to its current turrets, Space Marines ship size must also be considered. The most numerous ships in a Space Marine fleet will be either strike cruisers with 6 hull damage points and 2 turrets or escorts; most chaos ships will be cruisers with 8 hull damage points and 2 turrets, or the ork cruisers with 10 hull damage points and 1 turret. Considering the ship size, the effectiveness of Space Marine in boarding appears essentially limited to boarding Imperial Navy and Ad Mech (both ally fleets), Corsair and Craftworld Eldars, Necron, and Tau.
On the other hand, the +1 bonus to hit and run attacks is tremendous. Hit and runs can be conducted by Space Marines in 3 forms. Firstly by thunderhawk gunships which are a cross between fighters and assault boats. Secondly by boarding torpedoes, which unlike regular torpedoes can make a 45 degree turn at the beginning of the ordnance phase and attack by hit and run rather than hull hits. Third and finally, Space Marines can make hit and run attack by teleport attacks. Teleport attacks are made by capital ships against enemy ships within 10 cm whose shields are down. Hit and run attacks is conducted with a D6 and checking against the Critical Hits table. Since the Critical Hits table spans from 2-12, most fleet fails on a roll of 1. Space Marines always inflict some damage. Against escorts, any critical damage means destruction; Space Marines can rapidly wipe out enemy escorts (except Eldars). Against capital ships at most 2 in 6 attacks will result in a hull point of damage but can be quite effective in crippling weapon functions.
Another manifestation of the power of a Space Marine is the average ship or squadron leadership is 9 and Marine "Admiral," the Master of the Fleet has leadership of 10 for a measly 50 points.

Red Scorpion By Martin Sharp, 4th place winner of GothiComp09.

An additional strength of the Space Marine fleet is the armoring of their ships: both Marine battleships (Battlebarge) and cruisers (strike cruisers) are armor 6 all around. Space Marine capital ships also have a unique weapon in the form of bombardment cannons with left/front/right firing arcs. Bombardment cannons are battery weapons that always hit on 4+. However like batteries the number of attacks is modified using the battery Gunnery table. This means that the usual sequence of using batteries to take down shields first will reduce the effectiveness of subsequent bombardment cannons shooting while shooting with bombardment cannon first will make be more effective at taking down shields while losing its 4+ to hit advantage to inflict hull damage against armor 5+ and 6+ hull. The rules do not appear to allow a simultaneous shooting with both bombardment cannon and batteries using different colored dice.

Weaknesses. Given the focus on the individual marine warriors, space marine fleets sometimes feel particularly like a "one trick" fleet. Space Marines lack the variety of ships and variety of armaments that allows other fleet to be all around competitive. Pure Space Marine fleets do not have carriers of fighters or bombers, and lances. Space Marines also only have two capital ships to choose from, the battlebarge and the strike cruisers. While the battlebarge maybe relatively comparable to most battleships in other fleets, the strike cruiser doesn't match up well against most cruisers. Thus the Space Marine fleet is more like a system to deliver marines to attack rather than a fleet of warships for ship-to-ship slugfests.

Fleet Composition. Given that BFG is a naval game, Space Marine fleet should include a battlebarge at first opportunity. It is the only ship that can go toe to toe with enemy ships. Unfortunately there can only be one barge at up to a 1k points fleet and a second for up to 2k. The rest of the fleet will be made up of either strike cruisers and or escorts. Given there are several escorts to choose from and only one strike cruiser choice, let us look at the escorts first. Space Marines can choose from among 3 Space Marine specific escorts and upgrade the 3 Imperial Navy escorts to Space Marine standards. Firstly is the Hunter escort for 40 points armed with 2 points of torpedoes and 1 point of battery. While 2 points of torpedoes may not sound like much, they can also launch boarding torpedoes, which make them very Space Marine. Hunters are better than the 35 points Space Marine upgraded Cobras. For an extra five points you get 5+ armor instead of 4+ and 35 cm movement rather than 30 cm. The Space Marine Gladius for 45 points has 4 points of batteries but when compared to the Space Marine upgraded Sword for 40 points, the only return for the 5 points difference is a 5 cm extra movement. In my opinion this might give the Gladius an edge as strike cruisers have a similar 30 cm movement as the Gladius while the Sword would be a slower 25 cm. As you might have guessed, the Space Marine Nova has a similar role as that of the Firestorm. However, for 5 points more it gains a 10 cm extra movement but loses one point of turrets. Among the 6 escorts, I believe the most worthwhile are the Hunters (much superior to the very useful Cobras for a small charge of 5 points).
Strike cruisers are nearly quintessentially Space Marines with armor 6, fast and maneuverable, armed with both thunderhawks and bombardment cannons. Model wise if you don't like the looks of the Specialist Games striker cruiser, look at the Grey Knights strike cruiser from Forgeworld.

Fleet Tactic. At 1k points, a Space Marine fleet should have one barge, 2 to 3 strike cruisers, and 3-8 escorts. The barge should hold off enemy capital ships with its 45 cm batteries while contributing to the fleet hit and run attacks with its own thunderhawks and boarding torpedoes. Strike cruisers, like most light cruisers can be played as super escorts to support and protect the fleet, or used offensively in pairs. The Hunters should support thunderhawks with their torpedoes. Defending ships must choose between directing their defensive turrets against attacking thunderhawks or boarding torpedoes but not both. While enemy escorts may be easily eliminated with hit and run attacks, these attacks may be better spent against enemy capital ships. The ability to take down a whole bank of weapons (dorsal vs starboard vs port vs prow) can really reduce a significant amount of offensive power of a capital ships, much more so than a destroyed escort in my opinion.

In summary, a Space Marine fleet is all about hit and runs. If you are looking for more diversity, there are alternative list available. An Armageddon list allows a mix of SM and Imperial Navy. Another option is to use the Chaos 13th Black Crusade. This is the list that most if not all Chaos Space Marine players should be fielding but without the use of marks of chaos, it could represent a chapter who has retained their pre-heresy ships or even to represent a pre-heresy marine fleet. Chaos Space Marine also has the +2 bonus to board, +1 bonus to hit and run, as well as the availability of thunder hawks. In truth, this may be preferable to a standard barge/strike cruiser Space Marine fleet. The 13th Black Crusade list would give you more ship options as well as being cheaper to purchase.

This post is a slight update of the one originally posted at BoLS