Book Review: Blood Angels Codex

06/04/2010

Review

Nice background section, some well painted models in the gallery sections, clear unit lists and some amazing artwork.  This is a must for all Blood Angel or successor chapter players.

Moaning

Why oh why do you need a full codex for Blood Angles?  That goes for EVERY chapter with the exception of (maybe) Space Wolves in my books.  Space Wolves have a unique organisation with Wolf Guard units/unit leaders that make it slightly more likely they need a codex to themselves.  Grey Knights don’t count and as they have too few units and should be put in the Daemon Hunters codex.

Why the moaning then?  Furiso Dreadnoughts – aren’t they essentially normal dreadnoughts with an extra CCW and no Multi Melta?  Baal Predators – some ancient technical data was uncovered allowing them to strap an Assault Cannon onto a Predator and now the Mechanicus are annoyed because this technology is not theirs – but they can make Razorbacks with Assault Cannons?

Don’t even get me started on the Storm Raven – a piece of kit used by only a few Chapters, or that they have so many Land Raiders that they are used as common transport vehicles.  Surely (here is the real rub of it for me) the Ultramarines would have pretty much everything – friendly with Mars, adopting new technologies (Razorbacks and Land Raider Redeemers) etc.

The Sanguinor gets his own paragraph here due to him irritating me.  An excellent model, awesome statline and one of the best potential NMM paint jobs i’ve seen are in the plus side.  A character who no one knows, and just appears out of thin air to kick arse and then disappear sounds familiar – oh, thats it, Legion of the Damned – is pushing it too far for me.  The Legion of the Damned can do this due to their unique place in the background of the Hobby, a single character not of the legion sounds a bit silly to me.

Don’t get me wrong the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard are good additions and are Blood Angel only (as they should be) as per the very good background.  The Characters are colourful and interesting (except the Sanquinor who is crazy) and again deserve a space.

Solution

Unless GW really bulk up the background sections of these books I feel that (for Space Marines) the way to go would be to release 1 monster sized codex with loads of background, a force selection chart and an awesome gallery.

In the force selection chart there would be a few page for each Chapter (+ successors).  The 1st page would include all rule changes and alterations to the force organisation chart, followed by Characters and Units – maybe 10 pages for Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Black Templars and 5 for White Scars, Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists, Salamanders etc.

This would allow each Chapter to get Special Characters, Units and Rules, but ‘typical’ units and vehicles would be available to all and would be updated across the board all in one hit.

Example 1 – Blood Angels Fast Vehicles – +?? points per vehicle

Example 2 – Blood Angels – Instead of Combat Tactics all units have Red Thirst

GW are doing a great job with their Special Characters altering the armies – why not allow the armies to do it in their own section of the space marine codex?

I’d love to hear all your opinions – however please don’t comment on the Money GW are making by having the Codex separate – everyone understands that it is a way of a) constantly updating armies, b) making people buy the latest army and c) making people buy multiple Codex.


The 3 Types of Gamer – Age Based Review

22/02/2010

Sorry – it’s been a while since the last post and even longer since one with pictures.  However you’ll still have to wait for the pictures – but why they come you will get to see the start of my allies squads for the Tale of _ Gamers.

Today I want to talk about the differences in hobbyists – using myself as an example.  I want to point out at this early stage that these are MY opinions and definitely bunch lots of people into a very small number of groups and in many cases there are exceptions to the rule!

The Young

Young gamers (up to 16) are normally only interested in the look of the basic models and playing games.  When I say the look of the basic models I mean how all the models look out of the box.  They will, more often than not, have next to no patience with modelling and painting, preferring to spend their time on crazy conversions and playing game after game.  When playing the games they will often forget the rules or actively bend (break) them to their own advantage.  In England this can be seen at almost all GW stores, where the parents have gone shopping for the day and left their kids in what is essentially a free child care centre.

I was definitely like this – I will even post one of my early models recently found to prove the painting bit.  I remember crude and inappropriate weapon swaps and attempts at Chaos corruption – which in hindsight were rubbish.  Finally I remember playing lots of games – whilst I never cheated or bent the rules plenty of other kids doing exactly that.

Tweens

16-30 – my age group.  Typically these have matured to the level that they are interested in painting, mild conversions and simple modelling – also enjoying the gaming side of the hobby.  They want to push themselves to the limits with regards their modelling and painting skills, generally producing far better results than when they were younger.   Games often break down into more of a narrative feel and are played in a competitive manner with good sportsmanship, and when sat around with other Tweens they will often refer to the huge amount of fluff including the Black Library books that fatten out the hobby and enrich the gaming universe.

Veterans

Veterans have been there and seen it all.  They are similar to the Tweens but have far more patience and are interested in some of the more obscure parts of the hobby.  Rather than making an army (like the Young) and including some relevant hand made objective markers (like the Tweens – often based on literature) they will go the whole hog and have army based terrain.

The Veterans are the ones that answer the questions in the store, resolve gaming queries and advise on painting and modelling. 

Anyone who read my post on Getting Kids Involved will know that I favour the Veterans and Tweens to socialize with and to hang out with in (and out of) the stores.  It is important to note however that this progression really does make for a well rounded community with many people being involved for decades and getting pretty deep in the hobby. 

As for now I will continue to strive to improve my painting, read my books and create themed forces to go out and continue protecting humanity (crusading is kind of hard when being attacked constantly from all sides).  Who knows – one day I may even be considered as a Veteran, giving wise advice to mould young gamers into the Tweens and Veterans of tomorrow.

As an end to this post I would like to thank all those (Tweens and Vets alike) that have helped me improve with my hobby and I hope that one of my articles in the future (or past) will be able to help someone in a similar way.

So – what do you guys think, am I missing any big generalised group of players?  Are my definitions/explanations flawed?


The Allies Are Coming – 40k Allies

12/02/2010

I’ve been assembling my allies and wondered what you guys think of how I plan on using (counting) them.

There is constant net-debate about ‘counts as’ and how some people will not allow count as units (which seems crazy to me so long as it is obvious).

I plan on including Blood Angel Terminators, Space Wolf Wolfguard and a Marines Malevolent wheeled heavy weapons platform to name but a few.  The Terminators are straight forward as they are fine in the codex.  The Wolfguard I want to use as Vanguard and the heavy weapons platform as a Thunderfire Cannon.

We’ll start with the Wolfguard – I’m planning on making them look really unique and cool, weapon wise this includes Thunderhammers, Powerfists, Frost Axes, Plasma Pistols, Powerweapons, Lightning Claws etc – which fits with the Vanguard entry (Frost Weapons changed for Relic Blades and the bearer being the Sergeant).  Can anyone see any issues with this?

The Heavy Weapons Platform is a very exciting conversion (for me) as it will allow me to finally use my remaining bike bits (the others are lost in the warp).  BUT it will not look like a Thuderfire Cannon.  Taken from the Salamander literature I can see no issue with this.  However the ‘no counts as’ camp may not allow it to be played – what do you guys think?

I think that if a model looks cool and fits into a codex description then it should be allowed to be used as a ‘counts as’ model.  There are limits, I’m not going to make some tyranid warriors and sat they are meant to be terminators – and I’m also not going to alter rules to say my weapons platform is a rapid fire weapon with 20 shots all with blast markers.

What do you guys feel about the whole ‘counts as’ debate?  What are your limits?