First play, new 40K

Eight editions and I’m still rocking the 1986 beakies. Anyway, I’ve never been a serious player, but dan and I gave the new edition a spin last weekend.

8th ed. is very streamlined with very simple mechanics where once there was a lot of fiddly stuff. Gone are templates for flamers, explosions and the like and they are replaced with a flat or rolled number of hits to the unit in question.  You can premeasure ANYTHING which is one of the things that made 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy better than all previous versions.  All this simplification was likely to improve speed of play and allow for very large battles.  At just over 1000 points for the game, it was plenty large for my tastes.

Command points are a new thing to 40K 8th edition, something borrowed from AT-43 and I believe they are now in Bolt Action as well. In the new 40K, they allow a reroll of a die when expended at certain points, pretty much like Blood Bowl.

One very interesting thing we used were the new “Open War” cards that lay out a scenario’s objectives, special rules, terrain and the like without rolling on various charts.  These were pretty neat and would work for any edition of the game.



So how did the game go?  It was a ‘grab the objective’ game except that the objective didn’t show up until turn 3.  While I was able to get some casualties on the Eldar, the main thing for me was holding off teleporting on my Terminators until after the objective dropped.  It’s unlikely anyone will get Terminators off an objective in a couple turns. Dan’s rolling was TERRIBLE so there wasn’t much he could do in the end.

Close combat, which is a big thing in 40K despite all the guns, is similar to the old games (chargers attack first, then defenders attack back) except that failing morale checks means removing more casualties as if everything was like the undead from WFB.  This is a pretty elegant solution to remove ALL instances of units running away, rallying and then coming back into the game.  That said we had two close combats that went on and on round after round for awhile, with no clear winner.

I do not like that small arms fire can damage heavy vehicles (i.e.: non open topped or light transport vehicles) so that’s really odd to have someone shooting a bolt pistol at a Land Raider and have it do damage, but that’s my only real beef with the game.

Overall while I like 2nd Edition 40K the best (which fuels Necromunda and Gorkamorka), 8th is very sweet in it’s simplicity without devolving into the Age of Sigmar level.

 

Big Day for Gaming

Today was a big day for the nerd gaming with Free RPG day which included a new Runequest quickstart, new DCC adventure, the intentionally controversial Vaginas are Magic from lotfp and while I’m not a Pathfinder fan, there was a quickstart for STARFINDER, a new space game from Paizo.

In addition to the RPG goodness, it was the official release of the new version of Warhammer 40,000 in it’s 8th edition.

The 40K book looks incredible, as you would expect from 2017 GW. I had a short talk with Dan about the rules and they look good–it does not seem like they age of sigmared that shit up as was feared. I’m looking forward to breaking out my 1987 beakies and having a go at some point.

The Free RPG stuff Matt and I grabbed up was a trove of goodness. Swords Against Owlbears for 13th Age looks boss, the new Runequest adventure is SOLID Glorantha, though I wasn’t able to make heads or tails of the magic system after a short perusal. The DCC adventure is cool, but what’s best is that the quickstart has the character creation rules in a module format! So I won’t need to lug around the big book all the time nor pass it around the table to get all sorts of greasy hands all over it and spilled beer/bong water.

Finally there is Vagina’s are Magic. While it’s silly and fun, the important bit is the update to the LotFP magic system. It’s similar to the playtest packet that came out awhile back in that no spells have levels. In addition, spellcasters can keep casting spells but have a danger with every cast over their level each day to have a miscast, which can be horrible as you would expect from LotFP. While the spells in the book are cool, what has to happen now is that ALL the other spells in the game will need a miscast chart appended to each one. This will make the LotFP book nearly double in size with 1 page for each spell in the game (much like DCC). VAM may be just testing the water before going that far with the magic descriptions for the core lotfp spells. Looking forward to trying this out.

For me, I got a chance to run Feng Shui 2 (with a new adventure I wrote that will get posted to the blog eventually) and today I got to play FASERIP after a gap of about 30 years!

Weekend links and Gloomhaven impressions

This was a busy ass week, but I got a game in of Gloomhaven which is… interesting.   It’s definitely not a game I would want to own or try to get people to play (or read the rules) but it was pretty fun.  Gloomhaven is a mash up of Kingdom Death and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition with all the cards-as-actions and tons of counters for everything;  except instead of an RPG, all adventures are pre-codefied in maps that unlock as you play.  Classes unlock as you play as well which is interesting.   While I don’t think it’s especially good after the first play, it’s still worth giving a good college try.

Comparing it to another similar, recent game: The Others, it’s the opposite in that the basic Gloomhaven gameplay is clunky and card driven, while the Others is very smooth and streamlined.  However, the Others has zero as a campaign mode and is replayable only in that you can play through different missions with different hero teams.  The lack of a Campaign mode in The Others really hurts the game, while the campaign mode in Gloomhaven makes a rather lackluster miniatures combat game much more exciting to play.

Anyway, here’s some other interesting stuff from the interweb tubes this week:

New 8th ed 40K FAQ.  I love some of the questions (and answers): basically people are asking if they are planning on AOS’ing 40k.  Seems not.

Freemium ios games are the worst of the worst trash mobile gaming has to offer, but there are exceptions.

An AWESOME rundown of the launch of the original Warhammer 40K.  I read this and then started re-reading it right away.

And another GW-based post about 1989.  That was when I was totally into the Warhammer stuff full bore (as full bore as a highschool kid could be) and it lasted until 1993 or so when we started playing too much Jyhad and MTG (and still a lot of talisman).

 

Warhammer inception interview with Rick Priestley

This is an excellent interview with Rick Priestley on the inception of Warhammer and 40K and those two big beautiful books from the 80’s that I still pour over from time to time (3rd edition Warhammer and 1st edition 40K that is).

With the release of Gates of Antares, which does not have the amazing aesthetic that 40K does (what with Jes Goodwin and John Blanche), we have Priestley’s seminal rule set for sci-fi gaming.

Good Quotes:

“The fact that the Space Marines were lauded as heroes within Games Workshop always amused me, because they’re brutal, but they’re also completely self-deceiving. The whole idea of the Emperor is that you don’t know whether he’s alive or dead. The whole Imperium might be running on superstition. There’s no guarantee that the Emperor is anything other than a corpse with a residual mental ability to direct spacecraft.

“It’s got some parallels with religious beliefs and principles, and I think a lot of that got missed and overwritten.”

And this:

“When you’re doing something something as wacky as a huge toy soldier game with goblins, it can be a bit of a tough sell. But when people can see how glorious it is, see the beautifully painted armies and all these people hooting and hollering and rolling dice, it gives you an instant idea of how much fun it is.”

And finally:

“The studio, the creative part of Games Workshop, had always been kept apart from the sales part of it. One thing Bryan said was that if the sales people got to be in charge of the studio, it would destroy the studio, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Necromunda!

After 19 years, it hit the table again.  Read that again– 19 years.  I found a penny in one of the Necromunda boxes that was shiny new– from 1996.  It’s amazing that:

  1. This hasn’t been played forever
  2. I still have all this stuff and it hasn’t been destroyed somehow
  3. it’s in pretty good shape
  4. and I remember the exact point when we stopped playing it and I packed up the hive terrain from the ping pong/gaming table for good wonder if that would be the last time we played and it was.

Enough reminiscing.  We played for about 10 hours yesterday, with breaks for lunch and dinner, but only got in about 3-4 games per player– so i’m not of the mind Necromunda is a short game any more– it can take a long time.  I would really not recommend more than 2 games in a day as it’s just too much to process and plan between games in addition to the shootings themselves.

Set up of all the terrain. Luckily I had enough bulkheads!
Set up of all the terrain. Luckily I had enough bulkheads!

Since I had them painted, I played as the Cawdors again.  The models are OK, but unfortunately the Cawdors are a bit of a close combat gang– and none of the ganger models have close combat weapons!

Here is my initial buy for the Transanal Eviceration gang.

  • Leader with Chainsword, bolt pistol and frag grenades.
  • Heavy with Heavy Stubber
  • Heavy with Flamer
  • 2 Juves with Autopistols (and knives)
  • Ganger with Shotgun (manstopper, scatter, solid)
  • Ganger with Lasgun
  • Ganger with 2 autopistols and frag grenades
  • 2 Gangers with Autoguns

This gives you 5 gangers to harvest your territories, a leader who can hammer in close combat and a second back up close combat guy, along with a lot of stuff to flush people out of cover (frag grenades, flamer, shotgun).  While I do believe the heavy stubber sucks, it’s only 120 points, can shoot across the whole board, and you will get a lucky roll from time to time to make it worthwhile.  No one has armor, so don’t bother with the heavy bolter until later.  The flamer is amazing (but we forgot that it requires an ammo roll after every shot…).

Lasguns are the most boring weapon in the warhammer universe, but they are super reliable and shoot far.  Autoguns are nearly as good with their +1 to hit at close range, but they go out of action far easier.

My territories were crap, but I did get Vents which lets you place guys around the board after set up– yet I NEVER remembered to use it.

In the four games, overall my leader had the most ‘kills’ with the flamer heavy second most.  The leader was able to get into close combat with a bunch of enemies in two games and tore them up (except for a lucky juve) and that’s because of the chainsword. Swords are cheap and allow parrys, which cut down on some of the swingy rolls your enemy might have against you. Well worthwhile.

There were three other gangs getting on on the good shootings:

Hate Boat– a Delaque gang of unpainted (but primed) minis

Vaginal Force 1 – Eschers (obviously)

The Crustables – a Van Saar gang represented by the excellent and drool worthy miniatures from the new Dark Millenium 40K box set. If you have any interest in Necromunda, these are definitely worth picking up.  They would do in a pinch for any gang, but would especially fit as Cawdors with their masks.

The first game was the Hate Boat vs the Crustables and I’ll admit that my grip on the rules was loose.  Things were going against the Hate Boat after the Crustables got into good shooting position far above their cover and they got to explore the falling rules fully. Hate Boat had to make multiple bottle rolls, but in the end it was Crustables that bottled out on their first roll!

Lots of guys having a lie down.
Lots of guys having a lie down.

My first game was being ambushed by the Crustables, a fitting beginning for Transanal.  Luckily, I was able to position a few groups of my gangers to ambush the Crustables.  After a few turns it was obvious that the Crustables ambush was turning into a bloodbath, with 3-4 gang members on each side out of action, including the Crustable’s leader who had been burned by a flamer. After a turn or 2 more, the Crustable’s bottled out and ran for the vents.

Ambushed!
Ambushed! note the mix of AT-43 and 40K terrain.

My heavy about to get beaten down-- cause he can't hit with that stubber!

My heavy about to get beaten down– cause he can’t hit with that stubber!

Couple things to remember about Necromunda that I had forgotten.  First your gangers aren’t the bravest and will run away pretty quick when things go south nearby. Second, shooting into cover is pretty difficult.  You can start to have to take bottle checks when a mere 2-3 of your guys are out of action.

The Crustables gang leader crawling through a pool of his own blood and urea after getting hit with a flamer.
The Crustables gang leader crawling through a pool of his own blood and urea after getting hit with a flamer.

A good time for sure and a game that should probably be played a bit more than once in 20 years.

Ruminations on moving a ton of gaming shit

Along with my normal house stuff like clothes and books (so many books), I had to pack up and move a shitload of games and gaming related materials.  I have… a lot of gaming stuffs, some of which I haven’t physically seen in years.  It’s a bit ridiculous really.

The first thing I did was drag a bunch of old World of Darkness books to sell them.  I kept the core Vampire and Werewolf books for nostalgia, but for some reason I had a ton of those books and we played maybe once–and it sucked.  Owning these was likely due to RAGE and JYHAD fandom for the most part.

Speaking of which, I have a massive Shadowfist collection (for good reason), but I also have a massive VTES and Jyhad collection, large amounts of RAGE, On the Edge, Blood Wars and still have my tiny MTG collection (most of it) from back in the day.   With Netrunner, I really can’t see playing any 2-player CCG’s other than that, yet it’s difficult to part with a  mere stack of Legends of the Burning Sands or Legends of the Five Rings cards let alone a massive set like VTES—  I just don’t know why: we no longer play these games.

I did find some stuff that I forgot I had, or forgot how MUCH.

a LOT of AT-43 stuff.
a LOT of AT-43 stuff.
Therians...
Therians…
Red Blok
Red Blok
and a fuckton of UNA.
and a fuckton of UNA.
termies1
First set of Terminators in the box all painted!
Pretty good for fucking high school!
Pretty good for fucking high school!