Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Reflections

We've come to a very interesting place 11 months after the release of 6th edition.  Games Workshop has turned around and given us new codexes and models at a pace we've never experienced before.  A year ago, the 40k forum collective and blogosphere were ripe with people bemoaning the snail's pace of releases and updates.  Today, we're getting new books, units, and models so fast that only the hobby elite (read: those with the most free time) have actually had time to read every page if every new book and play with or against the new units.  The most common complaint I hear from my closest circle is lack of time to reflect on all the new content and experience the meta changes on the table.

If you frequent the most "popular" 40k sites, you'll still find plenty of complaints despite Santa arriving every other month for us hobbyists.  I contend that we are approaching a "Golden Age" of 40k despite the negative focus of the disillusioned competitive bloggers.  GW has given us an edition that isn't dominated by those who can bring 12 tanks.  They've given us limitless army builds through allies and fortifications.  A common complaint I read is that 5th was the most balanced because designing a "take all comers" list now is nearly impossible due to a wider variety in the tournament scene.  Really guys?  A year ago people complained about mech-spam mono-builds and now we complain about too much diversity?

I'm not going to stand on a soapbox and rant all day, but I encourage everyone to reflect.  Accept the fact that change is necessary.  Businesses cannot remain viable without changing to accommodate society's needs.  People cannot make their way through 75 years of life without adapting to technology and inflation.  The armies you used in 4th and 5th edition will not be competitively viable now without major changes.  Human beings have the amazing power to convince their own minds to think differently if you can overcome self-imposed barriers.  I challenge you all to embrace what GW is doing and what they have given us.  If you weren't happy with one new book every 6 months playing tankhammer, and you aren't happy with rapid fire books and allyhammer, the problem is not with the company or game but with your own mindset and approach.  And you have within yourself the power to change your own mind.

There's been rapid fire reviews of the Eldar codex on many of the prominent 40k blogs, and a majority are tainted with bitterness, apathy, and disillusionment.  This comes a week after release with not even enough time to assemble models and thoroughly playtest.  I pose an opposite proposition.  The Eldar and Tau books are the best books to date for this edition.  Some will disagree, but I think 12 months from now we will still see both armies as dominant contenders in the tournament scene.  It will be the year of the Xenos.

Anyways, enough of the gushy stuff and onto the meat.

I'm continuing to work on my Parkhammer '13 painting contest model.  The beginning steps can be found here.  This week I worked on some NMM and OSL on the staff, as well as shading the face with glazes.  A full step-by-step of this model can also be found here.  If you like what you see, I will point out that my progress as a painter has been 100% driven by internet research on sites like CMON and hobby blogs on my blogroll.  I highly recommend Fantasy Games and James Wappel's blogs for painting tricks and tutorials.

I also added some shading and highlights to the cloth with glazes this week.  Glazes are basically washes but watered down even more than normal.  When applying them, you don't "wash" the entire region, but rather "stain" your existing base colors with watered down pigments.  Here's a shot of my wet palette in use during glazing.

If you look at the black paint and follow it down towards the center of the photo, you'll see watered down black that's barely visible.  That's the "glaze" that I apply to shade regions on the model such as the face, black areas on the staff, and folds on the cloth.  For highlights, I mixed base colors such as the green or blues with white, watered them down to the glaze consistency, and "stained" the high areas to create shaded highlights.  It's a very easy process that I highly recommend.  On top of an airbrushed base coat, you'll have finished models without ever having to worry about "thick paint" anymore.

In last week's article, I also talked about my list for DaBoyz GT this year.  I've been pondering the recent Tau and Eldar releases and trying to anticipate the meta 5 months from now and drafted another list.  LMK what you think.

CSM Lord + MoS, steed, lightning claw, melta bombs
Herald of Tzeentch + ml2, locus of conjuration
Noise Marines x5 + blastmaster, sonic blasters x3
Noise Marines x5 + blastmaster, sonic blasters x3
Horrors x11
Zombies x28
Zombies x28
Spawn x5 + MoN
Maulerfiend + lashers
Obliterators x3 + MoN
Bastion + quad gun

I've dropped one unit of spawn and plague bearers to add the lord and noise marines.  Eldar and Tau have many ways to achieve 3+/2+ cover so I'm anticipating the noise marines will fit the meta well.  There's still nearly 80 fearless scoring bodies, 3 fast assault units, and resiliency across the board.  For extra shenanigans, I can put the lord with zombies and outflank them.  I'm hoping to stick with this list and assemble it quickly so I can get to practicing.

That's all for this week.  Stay tuned for more Parkhammer '13 updates (don't forget YOU are invited, just contact Crispy with an RSVP) and progress towards this year's GT.


  1. I really have to agree wholeheartedly with your intro. I've been surprised by the negative reactions to the way 6th has gone. I haven't looked at the CSM, Daemons, and DA dexes, but I think the Tau and Eldar dexes are wonderfully balanced. And by balanced I mean that there seem to be numerous viable builds from each.

    For Eldar, I think Ulthwe, Saim-Hann, and Iyanden (even before the supplement) have viable themed builds available. Alaitoc and Biel-Tan maybe less so, but I'm not ruling it out. Comparing that to my Tyranids which will typically have a more or less standard net list and it's pretty exciting.

    1. Agreed.

      Look at the gifts Eldar received:
      1. Army-wide upgrade to bs4 (guardians, war walkers)
      2. Army-wide battle focus (except a couple units)
      3. Vehicles that can twin-link themselves (via scatter lasers)
      4. Army-wide rending on their most abundant weapons (shuriken catapults, cannons)

      If you ask me, that's the biggest codex buff since Necrons at least, and possibly the biggest I've ever seen. People complain about shuriken range, but guardians have an effective 18+d6 (rerollable) threat range. That's just about as good as GK as far as output. Add in guide, doom, prescience, or misfortune and nothing will survive in the close ranges. Consider several 20 man blocks of guardians with the Avatar buried safely within and you have a terrifying army core.

  2. I love this edition of 40k and fantasy. Everyone bitches about the changes that matt ward was making but given time....his grand scheme is coming together nicely. Sure the first few books were way ahead of their time but you gotta give it a chance to play out. the only trend I don't care for is huge models. the new elder knight-thing feels more like a ken doll to me than a warhammer model. I just don't want to play with it.

    1. True but that's all a part of progress. The early editions were infantry focused. Last edition was about whoever brought the most transports. The predictable future leads to MC's and flyers. The Nemesis Dreadknight was and is jeered with laughable names, yet they still sold a ton of models. The same with the Riptide. The model has obvious proportion issues, but they sold out of their pre-orders the first day.

      People have played infantryhammer and tankhammer, and now it's time for monster mash. This also functions as a segue into apocalypse sized units. It started with the Trygon model transitioning from forgeworld to GW 40k plastics. It's only a matter of time until they scale the game up further. Units are moving faster (fleet, JSJ, battle focus, flyers, vehicles getting 18" now with flat-out), armies are getting killier (cover from 4+ to 5+, higher ROF, more rending, more ap2-3), and armies are getting bigger (unit cost reduction, see daemons). My 6th ed games have come down to single digit models on the table, or complete tabling more than all my 5th ed games combined.

      The next logical steps when every army has tanks and infantry is MC's and flyers. 7th ed will probably see superheavies and gargantuans entering standard play.

  3. Totally lost interest in the content of the article the instant I saw the first picture, lol. :)

    But seriously, no need to complain about 6th. It's way better than 5th in terms of diversity.

    It's got its own set of problems, but they are different problems than we had in 5th. Whole new set of stuff to complain about, lol.

    Least we aren't all play Grey Knights now, so that's a plus.

    1. True no edition will ever make everyone happy at the same time. It's just funny how we as a culture went from criticizing monotonous mono-builds to "there are no TAC lists because you cannot plan to beat every build due to diversity". To me, that rewards player skill at the table over list building.

  4. I found the issues I had with 6th diminished greatly when I didn't build my armies around the rules I really clunky and awkward (try overwatching a Prescienced 50 man IG blob squad...uggggh.)

    Ironically, while I think the rules in 6th are not very well written or intuitive (look at the number of erratas GW put out in a single year---oops for playtesting and proofreading), I do believe the Codexes released have been some of the best they have ever produced. Aside from a silly FAQ (SEE: Helldrake), I think each codex has a lot of balance and 6th edition codexes interact well on the tabletop. From my experience, the top 3 things complained about in any given army are:

    1. Helldrakes. I believe it was the FAQ the made this model reviled.
    2. Necron fliers. Way undercosted and I think GW realized this as all other fliers afterwards are much more costly
    3. Vendettas. Now that they are fliers, they too are way undercosted.

    So, 2/3 of the complaints I read/hear about are from older codexes and the final 1/3 was from a WTF?!? FAQ. I think that is a fairly good for their 6th edition codex releases.

    Are there still some bombs in the codexes? Sure, but that just prevents me from buying every unit in the codex. I was worried about the Eldar codex as I do own a substantially large Eldar army, but this book, while very different and similar from its predecessor, has been fun and I believe I'll get another several years of gaming out of it.

  5. I like the new list,glad to see the oblits they really are a invaluable tool although sad to see the khorne axe lord go, dont know too much about noise marines other than they ignore cover, and as you said i can definitely see your point of tau/eldar being the new cover masters, although remember both of these armies also can chew apart 5 man MEQ units without having to focus on them, so deployment and how you present your other threats (which you do present plenty, some being very fast) will play into how much use you get out of the noise marines (i assume range is around 24"?). also remember alot of what eldar bring cover to except guardians already have decent saves(jetbikes,wraith units, whatever else you can slap a spiritseer onto) so what AP are the noise marines? im sure you will see Ulthew style eldar lists with huge guardian blobs with shrouded but I think alot of build will involve jetbikes.