Friday, May 24, 2019

Horus Heresy Review: Ruinstorm Daemons Rules (2)

In the second part of our review of the Daemons of the Ruinstorm core rules, we turn our attention to Aetheric Dominions.

At heart, these dominions are electives that any primary or allied detachment may take. However for allied detachments, they do not gain use of the warlord trait, or the victory point bonuses available through them (all of the dominions have the option of replacing mission objectives with special objectives should they wish). 

Resplendent Terror.
This dominion is chaos undivided for the uninitiated. It is presented here as a hunger only for destruction and the desire to end all mortal life. 

Its core benefit is being able to take any emanation (upgrades) including those of different dominions. This is really nice and hence this is a generalist option that many players might opt for to take all the tools and upgrades that they could ever wish for. 

The warlord trait here can be selected from any viable table. Meanwhile, the End of Days objective can be chosen to replace all missions objectives with 1 VP for killing a unit. Seems very fair and one that I can see many players selecting.

Crimson Fury.
Hello Khorne. This gives rage for infantry type models, and rampage for monstrous miniatures. You have to charge if enemies are within 12 inches, which means you have to watch very carefully how you position things (recall that the rules don't care if your weapons cannot hurt the enemies - beware of expensive tar pits).

The warlord traits feature a variety of upgrades that all involve close combat bonuses, except for one which denies the witch harder than anyone expects. 

The Blood Must Flow objective is what players might think: killing things in close combat, overwatch, or sweeping advances. 

Creeping Scourge.
Hello Nurgle. Feel no pain for infantry types, and It Will Not Die for monsters. The downside is to choose the lowest d6 of two when running or sweeping, thus making this a slow army. Hence this is a tougher army than most, and creeps (as per the name) in its advance.

Warlord traits feature bonuses to terrain movement, re-rolls on the core feel no pain or IWND rules, and a pestilent cloud that causes additional attacks.

The Torment Without End replacement objectives is flavourful and reminiscent of the table quarters rule that players may be familiar with. This might be a good one to take if you're able to clear the area around your Warp Rift markers and hold them. Should be fine, but who knows with a slightly slower army that struggles to sweep. 

Lurid Onslaught. 
Hello Slaanesh. Everything gains hit and run at the expense of never having cover saves except jinks. This is a huge negative for what is, arguably, a good to strong bonus. It argues for a close combat, and rapidly moving army throughout. This is not impossible with the emanations available as we will talk about in the unit analyses. 

Warlord traits here are about initiative, and movement fundamentally. This, of course, aids the army in the best way possible and I would strongly recommend their adoption for such an army. . 

A Twisted Dream objectives is all about making enemies failing morale tests. However, Insane Heroism successes count against you --- and your enemy will be sure to try to exploit this at every opportunity. Hence this is an iffy option, unless you take lots of musk upgrades probably. Fear tests on their own may not provide the victory.  

Maddening Swarms.
Hello Tzeentch. Interestingly, the upgrade here is based around the mutability of the units: they can all take an extra emanation. This allows for better tailored units, of course, but the price tag will add up here quickly, so maybe it isn't such a big bonus. We'll explore this one in the unit analyses. The cost here is to manifest psychic powers all the time, or suffer extra die for morale tests for the remainder of the battle. In effect, you are forced to cast spells with anything available. Of course, you were probably trying to do this anyway, so maybe not such a negative. The build here is psyker orientated. 

Warlord traits feature psyker bonuses, bonuses in close combat due to having psykers, and reserves bonuses. These are fluffy, but some are situational. 

Warp Conflagration objectives mean that kills or routs caused by pskyers win the game. Bonus VPs for excessive use of warp charges (4+). This, of course, calls for an army of psykers and brotherhoods of psykers. 

Mirror Of Hate.
Hello Malal. Ahem. We're not allowed to name Malal due to copyright. But oh my! This is such an amazing addition to daemons. I am absolutely stoked to see its addition here. Genuinely. It is singularly the best addition I have seen to daemons in ... simply decades. Seriously: the re-appearance of powers that represent Malal under another name is simply an inspired and awesome inclusion. My sincere congratulations to the designers here. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Damn it - I want an army of this, but cannot afford it right now. 

All models in this army gain hatred (daemons and psykers of all kinds) at the expense that they may never include an allied detachment if they are the primary (which I find a bit sad, but understandable -- but this doesn't stop, for instance Word Bearers, as a primary, having them as an ally). The build here could be almost anything: I can see psyker heavy, or psyker light; or multiple small units, or an army of big units here. It has plentiful types of builds. 

Warlord trait replacements centre around challenges against daemons and psykers, (entertainingly adopting the initiative or weapon skill of the opponent -- I like this!), hatred, and re-birth under a different guise. 

Victory point replacements are about elimination of daemons or psykers of the enemy. Clearly this is highly situational. Conversely, losing the same units results in negative points. This is clearly dangerous. However, a neutral VP total means a win regardless. So maybe its fair against another daemon army. Not sure I would recommend it against space marines though (maybe Thousand Sons for obvious reasons, but that's about it). 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Horus Heresy Review: Ruinstorm Daemons Rules (1)

The Daemons of the Ruinstorm play unlike other factions in 30k (or in 40k for that matter either). Today, I wanted to give a brief overview of their core three rules that all builds of the daemons army in 30k have to adhere to, regardless of whether they are

Daemons of the Ruinstorm.
This first rule of the three covers some of the basic rules for daemons. They possess fear (which my Night Lords playing friends will recognise the power of within 30k in the absence of "And They Shall Know No Fear"). In turn, they do not suffer from fear (which is nice for a mirror-match).

Their invulnerable save is standard for daemons as well.

However, when they fail a morale test, they will suffer a special "Perils" test. This is a roll on a different table that old-time players of daemons will recognise the results -- the random results -- of. Most of them are negative and involve more wounds being taken (as might be expected). On a critical fail, they drop WS, BS, and I, as well as all warp charges. However, the inverse happens on a critical success: bonuses to WS, BS, and I, as well as a gain in warp charges! The warp is fickle and this adds to the randomness of the army if it is played sub-optimally, and can really punish players for poor moves.

Parting the Veil.
This rule covers the reserves and how the daemons come in to play. If the daemons are the main army, the player gets three 5" markers to place down on the battlefield, and one if it is an ally. These markers are warp rifts, and daemons coming in from reserves use them to enter the battle. Strategic placement of these markers is therefore key to a victory for this army. Adding to this critical placement is some rules to help the daemons (such as infiltration blocking, line of sight blocking, saving throw re-rolls, and cover).

Tides of Madness.
The Tides of Madness is a really great innovation. In the first couple of turns, your daemons get a boost to strength and toughness. But over the course of the battle, the bonuses drop, and then drop again. The inference here is to go hard early and try to hold tight in the later turns. For goodness sake, don't opt to play "To the Bitter End" against the Iron Warriors when you have the option!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Daemons of the Ruinstorm, First Impressions

Daemons of the Ruinstorm is a new army that has been introduced to Warhammer 30,000 with the release of the 8th rulebook: Malevolence.

In a nut-shell then, this is codex: chaos daemons for 30k. Interestingly, it has always been the case that certain armies could take daemons as allies (i.e. Word Bearers). But now, 30k players have a formal army list for chaos daemons, and the traitors have a new list to use as allies. This is, of course, a very welcome development!

As a daemons player myself for a long time in 40k, this new list does appeal. Heck, I was playing daemons before they were cool or powerful, hence this new army list is something that I do want to tinker about with and consider how to optimise, and play flavourful lists out of.

What is most striking about the new daemons is the sheer amount of customisation that the controlling player can exert over the individual units. This is in huge contrast to the 40k army. Ten thousand years ago, the daemons were a bit more mysterious. Warp space aliens to some. Corruptors to others. They really were not as widely known about. The upshot of all this is that the army lets the controlling player use almost anything from their collection that they like. Great Unclean One? Obviously it's in. Be'Lakor? Yes, sure. How about a Dragon Ogre? Why not! If you have the miniatures, you can literally tailor the rules to suit whatever unit you like. It reminds me of tyranids codexes of years gone by.

I will go through their basic rules in another post, but for now, I'd like to state that I'm pleased to see how they play in a generic sense. It brings back memories of older days when they deep-strike on to the battlefield, and sometimes they are stronger (at the beginning of the game in this case) and weaker (later in the game), coupled with a specific type of Perils for falling back. All this is very good and characterful.

More than this, the army can also be dedicated to the four main powers we all know and love (although not named directly as such, oddly -- Aetheric Dominion is the new name), Chaos Undivided (known as Resplendent Terror), and Malal (ahem: Mirror of Hate). The latter is particularly welcome by the old-timer in me and nicely gets around the copyright issues that have prevented Malal from ever being named since the very earliest of days.

As a final passing thought before I conduct some more in-depth reviews on this army, I really do want to (one day) see playable lists for Xenos who were around in the time of the 30k story line. I think specifically here of Eldar and Orks. However, I wonder if something could be created around a "generic" Xenos army list perhaps.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

More eBay items for sale

This week, I am selling off more of the Death Guard army, including the lot in the picture below. This listing can be found here, alongside some other miniatures, and assorted roleplaying game products and books.

In the Dungeons and Dragons category, I'm parting with the Atlas of Krynn (something of a collectors item); The Rod of Seven Parts (most assuredly rare and highly sought after); and the old Aliens roleplaying game sourcebook that is based on the movie franchise of the same name.

The main reason I'm selling these items is simply lack of use. The other reason is to fund some new projects..!! Hope you like the auction items and will consider helping them going to a good home.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wargames Gallery: Alpharius vs Gal Vorbak

Revealing himself, Alpharius makes sudden and short work of the treacherous Val Gorbak element of the Word Bearers, as around him his sons surge.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Games Workshop Cardiff

It has been many years since I was last in Wales. I was more recently in New South Wales to be honest, rather than South Wales! But I finally made it back to the nation recently and, as per usual, decided to take a wander around the city and find the local Games Workshop store. This particular one, in common with the growing trend, is badged as a Warhammer store.

The picture above shows the front of the store. It is physically located on (the appropriately named) High Street in the city, toward the north west side of the pedestrianised area and near to the Castle (now a big tourist attraction). As Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, the city is spread a bit, but it is nowhere near the size of London for instance -- traversing the shopping precinct / pedestrianised area is very simple and takes only a matter of 20minutes from end to end assuming no traffic.

Transport in to the city is readily available through train, road, and even an airport, plus it has good public transport links making the store simple to get to on foot.

One thing that I did notice immediately is the lack of posters in the front window. In comparison to other stores, it did look fairly low key. However, maybe I just visited at an odd time? I don't know.

Regardless, inside the window was a display (pictured above) with a knight and mechanicum forces facing off against chaos. Toward the right hand side of the store were displays in cabinets (pictured below) that contained all sorts of quality miniatures and armies.

Physically the store is of moderate size, but not the biggest one I've ever been in at all. From the interior posters, it looked like there was plenty going on (e.g., a Shattered City: Underworld tournament in a few weeks time, and plenty of "beginner" events to boot). The staff were also great - top notch.

Overall, I would certainly complement this store, but perhaps it needs a little more in the front window?

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