Friday, March 31, 2017

Horus Heresy 30k Tournament: Today's Update

An update today on where everything is at with planning for a potential 30k / Horus Heresy Tournament that is going to be run by Warpstone Flux.

I am still clarifying a number of outstanding issues with our preferred host (the University of Hull). These are small things, but I want clarity on them before I make a booking with the institute for hosting the event. 

A number of you (in the blogosphere that it) mentioned to me that the proposed dates in mid-May (13th and 14th May 2017) were sub-optimal. It turns out that they are also sub-optimal for some of the local group as well. Given that I'd very much like to have as many of the local group helping me as possible (both setting up, and even taking part!), I'm going to have to potentially shift the dates. I am therefore currently looking at the weekends of either June 3rd and 4th, OR June 10th and 11th. 

Feel free to comment or email me about your preference for either of these dates. I await to hear what the university will say about room availability for those dates, hence do not regard them as set in stone. Just yet. I'm really hoping that I can lock things in next week.

To be absolutely 100 per cent clear: I've not made any booking yet. But things are looking very promising at this stage. It is simply a matter of tidying up the details for me. Hence, stick with me at this stage. I want to get everything right (or as optimal as possibly can be).

[The gratuitous image is from today's game that we played on a new gaming mat from Deepcut Studios. If we have the tournament, it is a mat that you could also be gaming on!]

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Genestealer Cults Kill Team: Armoured Sentinel painting

Finishing off the Genestealer Cults kill team painting reports today is the Armoured Sentinel [previous parts are here and here]. This is the most expensive unit in the kill team in terms of sheer points value, but it is well worth it due to the plasma cannon that it is toting on its right hand side.

The painting scheme is a muted one using a codex grey style base coat over a black undercoat followed by a liberal wash of nuln oil. Sharp edges have been picked out in a cream colour (and then a second slightly lighter cream for the extreme edging) and metallic details added on the rear exhaust port and a few select other places. 

The plasma on the sentinel is a green colour to provide a contrast to the more typically seen blues and reds. On the top, the lights have been done in reds and oranges. The final step was an application of some decals selected from various locations -- a skull (daily standard on many decal sheets) and some "script" from a 30k Mark 4 squad (Word Bearers style!). Combined with the base, the scheme is meant to communicate a stolen sentinel from the imperial guard stationed on whatever planet the cult has found a footing on. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Genestealer Cults Kill Team: Metamorphs and Purestrains painting

To paint the more genestealer looking members of the Kill Team for the round robin games we are playing locally, I delved in to my very old paint pots. I dug out the first generation inks (purple and blue) from those paints which have aged very very well considering how many years have passed since I bought them. 

After applying a base coat in ultramarine blue and worm purple (yes, I still have those paints too!), I inked them over with the respective coloured inks. After allowing to dry, I went over the ridges and exposed regions with some brighter blue and purple tones to bring out the features a bit more. The finishing was done with the claws using a two toned vanilla and off-white scheme to create the final feel for the creatures. Otherwise, the human parts broadly followed the approach I had for the neophytes

Job done, and they look very respectable on the tabletop!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Genestealer Cults Kill Team: Neophyte Painting

Today a painting update on the Genestealer Cults Kill Team that I assembled and painted up for our mini round robin tournament that we are currently having. I am using my 30k Alpha Legion for this tournament, so have loaned the Genestealer Cults to a friend for this tournament. And they're doing rather well, having wiped out my Alphas once already.

These are the bread and butter (and expendable tar pits) of the Kill Team plus two heavy weapons -- the Neophytes. As can be seen, there are no conversions implemented here -- they are straight out of the box assembled and painted.

For the painting, I wanted to try to emulate some of the schemes shown inside the covers of the codex. The orange jump suits coupled with the grey body armour and the classical blue and purple colours of the genestealer inheritance. That hardest bit was doing the skin tones. Some of them feature dappled scalps that looks almost chimeric in nature. Others have more smooth, yet still noticeably purple tints to their skin. The edging took a long while to paint as well, but I think it was worth the investment in time.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Poll Results on Running a 30k Tournament

One week ago, I asked my readers and the community about the possibility of running a Horus Heresy / 30k Tournament locally. To say that I've been blown away by the support out there for this idea would be an understatement.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time out to send me an email (or several), fill in the polls that I put up, and made a comment on Warpstone Flux here. It is genuinely appreciated.

As of this point in time, I have concluded that this idea is a "go-er" and can succeed. Accordingly, I have begun getting quotes and negotiating with venues for costs, etc. I will update folks about this later in the week once those talks have all been done. Suffice to say that I'm excited about this prospect and I think that we categorically can run a tournament with minimal fuss. 

What I wanted to to in this blog post was take a wide-field view of the poll results that I asked people to comment on. I had a good number of results from this which is a nice snapshot of community feelings for this kind of event for me. 

Entry Fee.
Firstly, with regard to costs. I would have to charge a fee to cover the venue, insurance, and new scenery purchases (and new gaming tables too). So the first question was about what the maximum price should be.
* Nobody wanted to be charged GBP100. That's understandable really.
* Half of respondents to this question were happy with up to GBP75. This is interesting. I think it shows that many 30k gamers are probably more mature (meaning more disposable income) than the average 40k player perhaps?
* The majority though suggested that up to GBP50 would be fine.
* Less said it would need to be GBP40 and below.

Overall then, I will try to keep the tournament to GBP50 per person for the entry fee.

Whilst a few people wanted an upper end venue (unique, national stage level venue), the vast and overwhelming majority thought that a mid-range venue (hotels, etc.) would be ideal, with only 1 person wanting a lower end venue (church halls and the like). Having contacted several upper end venues, I'm actually glad the majority of people want a bit lower than that just on the basis of costs. Although hotels are pricey enough, they are nowhere near the level of football stadia and the like. I'm currently talking with the University of Hull about costs, etc. I will report back on this later this week I hope.

There was 55/45 split between a 2 day event and a 1 day event. Personally, I don't mind either. But for a HH tournament with more than 12 players, I think that a 2 day event would be better. So I'll try to do that. But if the cost takes the entry fee above GBP50 (as above), then maybe we'd start out with a one day event instead.

Army Lists.
There were two questions here. One surrounding the type of build that should be allowed, and one about the points value that should be imposed.

Only a couple of people said unbound lists would be okay. Hence I think we'll write off that idea instantly. My personal view is that it can lead to vast imbalances.

Many people suggested only one faction (or legion) would be ideal. I can see why as it solves a lot of balance problems without really trying.

A large number of people said that a Lords of War choice should be allowed. And I do agree -- 30k is a great place for them. But they would have to be a certain fraction (say 25%) of the total points value.

Even more people wanted Primarchs! Who am I to disagree? I don't. Because playing with Primarchs is awesome and great fun too.

What surprised me was the number of people who said that having one ally would be okay. I'm on the fence about this as I can see it both ways. A single faction would solve balancing problems to a large extent. Some allied lists could be very powerful. But then again, having some allies would be fluffy and enable things like the mechanicum or imperial army to be represented alongside the legions. That is always fluffy and fun. I am therefore inclined to have up to one single allied detachment and trust to the community that they'll not try to build (and abuse) death star type formations. After all, 30k does reward fluffy builds already, so that's probably not too much of an issue. And clearly for Word Bearers, daemonic allies are almost a given. However, we could always restrict powerful builds by insisting that no named daemons can be taken (I'm thinking of Fateweaver and Be'Lakor in particular here). And no summoning either to keep it points balanced. As with Lords of War, there will probably be a maximum percentage of points allocated to allies, say 20% to 25%. 

Speaking of points, the general consensus will be of no surprise to many: a higher points limit should be used in 30k compared to 40k. However, there is a trade off here in terms of getting games (say, of 5 turns each) completed in a reasonable time limit (say, 2.5 hours per game) … and even getting an army painted up (or assembled) in time. The majority voted between 2000, 2250 and 2500 points per side. I don't mind any of these points values. Perhaps 2250 is "about right" then for the trade off described above.

At 2250 points, 20% would correspond to 450 points and 25% to 563 points. The former is too small for certain primarchs, so Lords of War would have to be 25% at this points level. The latter is reasonable for all of primarchs, Lords of War (short of titans!) and allies together. 

The vast majority of people wanted some kind of sportsmanship scoring to be part of the final reckoning for the tournament. As did people who wanted painting, and a distinct painting award. Personally, I think all three are fine to include. Horus Heresy tends to be more about participation than it is about winning at all costs. If balanced nicely, then there's no reason to not have painting and sportsmanship involved for determination of the overall winners as some component of the final scoring system. I personally find Horus Heresy players are much less "win at all costs", but they do provide a very competitive game regardless of all other considerations. I personally think this is due to the demographic -- most more mature folks compared to other types of tournament. Plus it encourages people to play well together and have a good time. Let alone providing more photogenic images for everyone to take if folks bring painted armies along.

Most people wanted 12 or more players. I think 10 or 12 is about the lowest that I could do whilst maintaining financial sense. There were a good number who wanted over 24 as well. I think that whilst this initial tournament is in the category of a "go-er", I couldn't handle 24 or more players at this stage due to the preparation it would require. Hence that is now a goal for the future. This initial event will be restricted to about 20 or 22 players at the most … purely for my sanity and finances. We can build up to larger events later. Plus, that kind of number means most people can at least interact with each other and say hello, etc., in some meaningful way.

Dates and Days.
In terms of the dates, there were a spread of preferences between late spring, summer and autumn in the UK. To be honest, I'd like to do a tournament before the summer holidays kick in. This doesn't mean that another one could not happen later on either though. Hence, one in the autumn as well could easily be undertaken I believe.

Most people would find it tough to play on Fridays or weekdays though. So I think we're aiming for Saturdays and Sundays here!

I'm currently negotiating dates and costs with the University of Hull and will update on this later this week I hope. At that stage, we will make a formal announcement and open registrations if everything goes well.

Numbers attending is my chief worry. Particularly in terms of finances. If less than 10 people register or attend, its not going to be very successful financially for me. Although most said that they couldn't attend (and freely admitted to living way outside the UK), many have indicated to me that really REALLY want to attend and would be willing to travel a long way to do so (modulo family commitments, of course). I'm genuinely enthused by your support. And ultimately, it is the people emailing me, messaging me, and posting comments here on the blog that has encouraged me to treat this idea with all seriousness and try to make it a reality.

Hence, as above, we're now at the stage of negotiating with venues, setting costs and determining finances.

...Plus, I may have invested in a Death World terrain set already over the weekend which will come in handy whether or not the tournament happens…!

Keep the comments and messages / emails rolling in if you are thinking about attending; or just to send some encouragement my way. I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gaming Boards at Tournaments

A very long time ago, I once got asked to describe what a "typical" gaming board looked like at a tournament for one of my friends who was thinking about going to their first tournament.

I suspect that my answer might be similar to yours in this situation. 

A uniformly green mat or green velvet sheet draped on top of a 4ft by 6ft table. There are 4 buildings -- they are ruins. There's also a copse of trees. There might be some walls and if you're lucky: a hill in the middle. That's about what you can expect. And they'll all mismatch. One of the buildings will be from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The next from 40k. And the other two from somewhere else -- I've no idea. Hopefully they'll be at the right scale for 28mm though. 

Or at least, that was my experience of tournaments at the time. 

Fast forward a bit, and I was attending a tournament in Brisbane where this was slowly becoming less true and such mismatches decreasing in regularity. I remember in particular that there was one table that really stood out for me. It had a lot of MUSHROOMS everywhere. Big ones. Small ones. Clusters of them on MDF sheets. Things to hide behind and claim quality cover saves from. Clusters of them to place an objective behind and sit on it for almost all of the game if I wanted to. The enemy would have to come to me if they wanted it. It looked so cool that I deliberately asked the tournament organiser if I could have a game on it -- they said sure! And so one of my 5 games was held on that board and I loved it -- the whole board what solidly cohesive. 

On reflection, I think the thing that stood out for me was the theme of the board. It had a tale to it. It represented a planet where fungi were the dominant life form and somewhere that was obviously not Earth-like in nature. 

Since then, I found multiple other themed boards at various tournaments -- particularly at conventions at the GenCon level. They range from Eldar wraith bone boards, through to necron green-glow eerie boards and chaos boards. Some were based on MDF with layers of styrene foam on top to create channels and valleys. Others were just a blank canvas, but with highly tailored individual scenery bits strategically placed. Plus a good mixture of line-of-sight blocking terrain coupled with terrain that can be interacted with. 

This thought has long stayed with me. When I got around to designing not just custom terrain items, but entire boards (see picture above), I wanted to go themed. An entire board that looked like it gels with all the components present -- as opposed to just a green sheet on a table with a few out of place looking buildings. To me, this is the key aspect of gaming board design -- not just a cluster of odd scenery items on a board, but one that looks unified and provides a good experience. Yes -- they can have four buildings, no problems. But those buildings need to look like they belong there at some level. And the buildings should be from the same source as much as possible. This is what I wanted with my Martian board and I paired this up with some appropriately painted scenery that ultimately resulted in something that was high quality for all concerned.

And, with the prospect of running a tournament in the pipeline, I have returned to these thoughts for creating a number of gaming boards. I already have invested in a number of different pieces of kit over the years, but the opportunity to design several from scratch and re-adapt others is really re-invigorating my creative energies. That said, I no longer have the time and space (due to children) to design and build MDF plus styrene 4ft x 6ft boards from scratch any longer. So I will be investing in more mouse-mat boards as the basis. What will ultimately create the unified feeling for these boards is what I then do with them. A mouse mat board is just the start. Will it have burnt-out buildings? Will it be a war zone? What about a death world? Or an Eldar maiden world? All these thoughts and more are currently burning around my mind and I'm looking in to how to fully theme a gaming board from the basis of a detailed mouse mat board. More on this at a later date!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Views on 8th Edition Rumours

Like many other people, I read with interest the rumours concerning the next edition of the Warhammer 40,000 core rule book. Being a bit of an old timer (meaning I've been playing since Rogue Trader days), I thought that I would offer up some views on the rumours and what my take on them is.

(1) Armour save modifiers. In the current rule book, every miniature gets a fixed saving throw to represent how good their armour is. Some weapons are designed to bypass almost any armour at close enough range (plasma and melta all have a low AP for instance). This works well, as armour should stop some shot types but not others and the system is relatively simple. On the other hand, the proposal to modify saving throws based on the weapon used is an old idea that's been done before. Sure, it works nicely. Until a new release comes along that says you can never alter my saving throw. And then power creep might well happen. Furthermore, this rules change favours cheap horse style armies. Why take space marines any more if they only get a 5+ save from bolt gun rounds when you could just have more wounds by taking more irks or tyranids? In short: I don't like this change even if it might make some narrative sense to some people.

Also "This topic comes up almost as often as Sisters of Battle… so we're going to bring them back" -- did you interpret that to mean sisters of battle are being brought back as well?!

(2) Variable movement rates. This is bad. It makes the current system more complicated than it needs to be. Currently it is 6 inch or 12 inch moves for almost everything-- nice and simple. I really don't want to have to remember five or eight or twelve different movement rates and try to think about how fast my opponent will be moving in their next turn. Getting rid of movement characteristics was a good thing to my mind. This complexifies things and risks making the game slower -- at least at first. In short: I don't like this either.

(3) Striking first if you charge in to combat. Charging is already rewarded through bonus attacks. That said, being able to strike first due to charging is a very nice idea and one that I do not think will slow the game down. I am all for this one as it'll bring about new tactics that I think makes more sense. The worry for me here is what it'll do to 30k.

(4) Different ways to play. Looks like an Age of Sigmar import. This is actually all good in my opinion though. I would encourage folks to look up the Age of Sigmar system for the ways that can be played. I actually like it.

(5) Morale. The proposal of moving to a "kill more squad members if you lose" is okay and feels like what happens to fearless or daemon units. I can't quit tell if units are still going to be fleeing or not though. I hope fleeing still happens as it's fluffy!

(6) Command points. Urgh. A messy way to solve the mess of formations being introduced outside of Apocalypse about a decade ago. It will work in the short term and until codex creep happens. Or until a big bonus of rerolling everything happens. It has the potential to be game breaking if done badly with the bonuses getting out of hand. I'll take a wait and see approach for this one overall.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Update on the Possible HH Tournament

Further Update.
Further to the earlier post today and the initial one yesterday about arranging a possible Horus Heresy Tournament, I've been getting a few more quotes in -- this time from providers who are more in the mid-tier rather than in the upper ends of what is possible. 

The one that stands out the most to me from both a practical and a financial point of view is from the University of Hull. The University is cheaper than the apex locations (like KCOM stadium and The Deep), but still significantly more than a church hall would be. 

The reality of the quote that I obtained is that I could offer ticket prices in the region of 40 to 50 pounds (although probably more like 50 pounds once other considerations are factored in). Importantly, this amount would cover a TWO DAY event. However, it means that I would make a short term loss on the event. I could claim that loss back very readily by running a second tournament later in the year though, assuming this one works out well enough. That's my problem and not yours though dear reader!

The University of Hull has a number of things going for it. Firstly: Free Parking on site during the weekend (at the owner's risk, of course). The support offered by the University is comparable to that of a dedicated hotel team. The staff are well-used to handling wedding receptions, funeral wakes, concerts, and everything in between. Hence we would be very secure and well looked after in many regards. 

For those of you not familiar with the area, the University is offset from the city centre (as defined by the railway station) by about a 5 minute drive, traffic dependant (regular bus services every 10 to 15 mins from the city centre connect it up to the city very well indeed). It is located in a pleasant, leafy suburb of the north part of the city. There are nearby food outlets contained both on and off the university campus that would be fine for such a tournament. Overnight accommodation can readily be found nearby or in the city centre itself.

There would still be undergraduate students around the place though (including perhaps players themselves!), but we would be located on the first floor of a recently refurbished entertainment building on the campus and therefore away from the centre of the action. 

I've been offered a number of dates. The most plausible is May 13th and 14th. That's slightly sooner that I would have hoped for, but later in May is a public holiday weekend in England which makes things tougher (plus not wanting to clash with the Coventry event either). I could potentially negotiate for June though. 

So. There it is. May 13th and 14th 2017, all day on both days for a 5 round tournament of 30k. Would people be able to make it if I went ahead??? (or delay till later in the year?). 

(aside: this tournament idea is going to need a name soon if it gets any more real! suggestions welcome! The polls on the right hand side are still open for use until next week, please fill them in if you've not already done so. Additionally, send me emails -- -- or leave comments! I'm on the cusp of making this a reality now...)

Updated Thoughts on Tournament Hosting for 30k

A few days ago, we floated the idea of running a Horus Heresy tournament locally in the East Riding of Yorkshire and Humberside area. In the short amount of time that that blog post and idea was posted, I have been contacted by a number of people all expressing their encouragement and positive ideas for such an event. This post today is therefore an update as to where this idea is currently at. 

Venues and Costings.
I have informally asked a number of different venues for potential costs for room hire for one and two days. A few have got back to me with prices, and a number require chasing up. At the high end of the scale, venues such as KCOM stadium would be rather costly at (or over) 350 pounds per day. That cost, in and of itself, is not prohibitive though, it just means a high ticket price for attendees. The Deep (aquarium) would cost at least 250 pounds per day for a small tournament, and double that for a larger tournament. Possibly do-able, but again, I'm unconvinced about these two upper tier venues -- at least for the first tournament. On top of this, public liability insurance would be required to be paid. Hence I am thinking that these upper tier venues might be locations for a future event down the line.

The main problem arising is that the venue hire is only a part of the initial outlay for me. The purchase of additional boards (or gaming mats) and appropriate scenery is another large component. Therefore if we went a little bit more down market, the cost to the attendees would be significantly lower. 

The other factor in all of the costings that I've put together so far is the fact that I would need to run not just one event, but probably a minimum of two events to make my money back if I wanted to keep costs to the attendees reasonably low. Again, this is not a big problem, it just means that either my business account or my personal account would have to take a short term "hit" until I ran two separate tournaments to recover my expenses. I am not sure how I feel about running back-to-back tournaments yet though and whether such a short term loss would be significant for me. Equally, if the first tournament is successful and popular, I don't see why a second couldn't be hosted later in the year. Or perhaps even a 40k tournament instead of a Horus Heresy one. 

Polling and Viability.
As above, I have received a good number of positive messages, both here on the blog and via email. Please keep them rolling in as I am genuinely interested in hearing about what you think would make a high quality tournament (rather than something hosted at a local GW store, or similar). 

It seems from the responses that I have had that such a tournament would be viable. However, a few more people telling me that they're very likely to come would be more … re-assuring. 

The polls to the right are still open for responses until the start of next week. Please let me know your preferences using those polls and carry on emailing me (warpstoneflux AT gmail dot com), or leaving messages in the comments. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

What If Warpstone Flux ran a Horus Heresy Tournament?

Hypothetically, what if the guys from Warpstone Flux were to run a Horus Heresy Tournament?

This is a question that I (we) have been pondering lately. The main question I have for my readers is: would you attend?

To be clear: I am 100% serious here. This blog has taken a deep interest in the Horus Heresy and the local players are very knowledgable about the game. But I could only run a Horus Heresy tournament if I were reasonably sure that I could recoup the initial outlay costs. It is a chicken-and-egg situation really. I don't know if people will come, but the only way of knowing is to run the event. Yet I cannot afford to make a big loss on such an event for self-explanatory reasons. Hence in this post, I wanted to take a "temperature check" on whether this would be worth undertaking, or whether I should just write it off and not bother.

In order to make that evaluation, I want YOUR input please. Please use the polls on the right hand column of the web-browser version of the blog, or leave a comment. And please: be honest. Don't just fill it in without thinking or being honest.

Prior Experience.
What makes me think that I could pull a tournament like this off?

Well, I have nearly two decades worth of experience in organising conferences for my professional work and day job. This includes doing donkey work like making bookings, insurance details, working with venues and everything else associated with making sure that such events are pulled off smoothly. I am personally very confident that I can make arrangements for hosting a tournament with a minimum of fuss and make the day enjoyable for attendees. I have dealt with various conference sizes ranging from a dozen or so people, right up to 400-500 attendees.

Obviously, running a conference is not the same as running a tournament, but I have attended so many tournaments in both Australia and the United Kingdom to realise the details involved in a tournament, ranging from swiss-pairings to prizes. Again, I am personally very confident of all of this.

My motivation in wanting to run a tournament is to create a great experience and to see some of the wonderful Horus Heresy armies out there in person. Plus to meet some of you fantastic people in person finally. 

In order to run a tournament, I need to set an entry fee per person. The fee would need to cover the hiring of the venue and anything else associated with it (e.g., a hot or cold lunch buffet, tea, coffee and any other sundries, in addition to any prizes or trophies that might be awarded).

Looking at a number of recent tournaments, the price tag for entry varies quite a bit from free (usually local events hosted by a Games Workshop store), up to something like the SN events in Gibraltar ("No Retreat Horus Heresy" for instance), with a price tag of GBP 75.00.

So, assuming that you would want to come along, my second question is how much of an entry fee would you be willing to pay? Please answer in the polls to the right, or leave a comment below.

To be clear from the outset, my goal is to not make much of a profit. Any cash profit would be immediately re-invested in purchasing extra scenery for potential future tournaments (and yes: if successful, this would not be a one off event and we would consider running more Horus Heresy events, Warhammer 40,000 tournaments, and even Age of Sigmar tournaments in this part of the UK). However, a larger entry fee would enable better venues, better tables, more and varied terrain features and scenery and so forth. So what price would you be able and willing to pay for an entry fee?

In organising a tournament, the venue is probably the singular biggest factor for the organisers to arrange. It is also one of the most expensive.

My next question is therefore about a venue. Assuming that the tournament would be held locally for the Warpstone Flux team, that would mean somewhere in the East Yorkshire region of the UK. In all probability it would mean the UK City of Culture 2017: Hull! This is just because of (a) accessibility from mainland UK and nearby Europe; and (b) it has the venues needed due to being a city. As a city, it is well served by roads (M62 motorway and A63), rail (Paragon Interchange is a major terminus for trains from London, the North and the West), bus (good links to regional destinations including York, Lincolnshire, etc.) as well as National Express, airport (Humberside airport is reasonably close; Manchester airport has reasonably direct trains to Hull too), and ferry services (regular services to nearby Europe / Rotterdam and Zeebrugge with P&O ferries). Of course, it could also be a nearby village or town -- Beverley in particular springs to mind as they have a train station and lots of possible venues. 

There are three broad options that I could envision undertaking such a tournament at:
Option A: an upper end venue. This would be somewhere "unique" like the KCOM stadium (a football / soccer stadium from the English Premier League in the UK) or The Deep (a nationally acclaimed aquarium). Both have the venues needed to pull off a tournament like this, and would offer more besides. Entry fee would certainly have to be in the GBP 75.00 range, depending on numbers. And that's before I contact them to see if there are any available slots (they tend to book out well in advance with wedding receptions and the like). 

Option B: something mid-range. This might be a large hotel such as the Royal Hull Hotel (next to the Hull Paragon Interchange train & bus station), the University of Hull, or the Mercure Hotel in Willerby (in a village near to Hull). Again, these kinds of venues are used to running things like weddings and conferences and we would be well set up in such a venue.  Entry fee would likely be GBP 50.00 or thereabouts, depending on the exact details.

Option C: something at the lower end. This could be a church hall, or perhaps an assembly hall in a high school that had sufficient room. The main negative for me in these venues is the lack of facilities provided by the hosts and the lack of experience that such a venue might have in hosting these events. It would be a lot cheaper though. Attendees would likely have to walk further / drive further / take a taxi from the train station. All that said, it could be great for a starting event in the series before going up in scale or venue and would certainly allow much more scenery to be bought! Entry fee would be well under GBP50.00 in all probability.

Tournament Format.
Assuming that all of the above is okay, what sort of format would folks want for a tournament? Let's take for granted we use the current 40k rule book and some of the standard missions from that rule book, and from the Horus Heresy publications (at least ones without attacker / defender distinctions). Obviously I have my own ideas here, but let's hear yours too.

Firstly: how many rounds? Up to 3 rounds would mean a one-day event. Up to 5 rounds would make a two-day event. For a two day event, note that the costs would go up as the venue would obviously have to be hired for a second day. My personal preference would be to do a one day event and see how that goes first. But if there is enough interest and cast-iron guarantees of attendance then a 2-day initial event is certainly possible and feasible. 

Secondly: what lists should be allowed? Unbound (not my favourite due to the potential for abuse)? Only one faction or legion (most Horus Heresy tournaments tend to favour this)? One faction or legion with one Lords of War? One faction or legion with Primarchs but no other Lords of War (this disfavours those legions without primarch rules, of course)? One Age of Darkness FoC with one ally (but points restrict the allied detachment)? Regardless of this, I don't think that I would like to see folks use true titans on the battlefield as they're mildly unbalanced in the points range that I'd like to consider. Use them as scenery only(!) and nothing larger than an Questoris Knight in play realistically.

Thirdly: how should the winner be determined? All on game outcomes (not favoured as people can get dispirited and quit early)? Game outcomes plus sportsmanship? Plus painting (how does one prove that the army was painted by the entrant?)?

Fourthly: points limit. Larger points limit means longer games, but we could cap the length at 5 turns per game and impose a strict time limit. Some 1500 points is probably the lowest rung of the points ladder that would be playable for the Horus Hersey, but is very low all things considered. At the other end of the scale, 3000 points is about as high as one should go to ensure a game can be finished within a reasonable amount of time (say 2.5 hours). My own view is that somewhere in between is the optimal spot, but where exactly is this sweet spot?

If there are any people out there reading this that would be willing to sponsor such an event, please let me know either by writing to me via email (warpstoneflux AT gmail dot com) or leaving a comment below. Sponsorship could take many forms and I would be happy to chat. I would particularly be interested in hearing from anyone in the terrain making business. And I will think about emailing such folks for sponsorship if numbers are sufficient to justify running this tournament. If anyone could put me in contact with such folks, I'd also be happy to explore that at a later date once I'm confident such an event could be pulled off.

Alternatively, straight-up donations would also be welcome. 

Of course, we would be open to working with other entities out there to make a combined effort or collaboration (I certainly would be happy to work with other mature bloggers known for their Horus Heresy content). But the fact is that if I am making the initial outlay and room bookings, then it is on my shoulders ultimately if others don't pull their weight.

Other considerations.
Finally, the number of players would also be a consideration. At this stage, I don't want hundreds of entrants to cope with. I think the minimum number of people that I would need to make this a success would be in the region of 12. This is about ideal for an initial tournament in some ways as it means less initial outlay for purchasing of terrain. [Additionally, if there were an odd number of people, I would step up with my Alpha Legion forces to ensure that everyone had an opponent every round.]

At the mid-range, about 20 players might be about right for the kind of event I would ultimately like to run. Anything over that and I will make the tournament invitation only (invites being sent to those with full application forms and pictures of painted armies -- our interest here is in having awesome games with full terrain and seeing fully painted WYSIWYG armies on the battlefield; WAAC players not particularly welcome). That said, I could also do much larger numbers than this, but I simply don't have the terrain.

Speaking of terrain, I do have enough of a collection to cover several boards already. However, I would need to purchase additional gaming mats/boards, terrain and scenery to cover the remainder. This represents another outlay of investment for me, but the price tag would include most of this. I am loathe to borrow any terrain due to prior negative experiences (e.g., someone says that they will show up with a full board, but they are ill on the day of an event and therefore the terrain never materialises. I have seen this happen in person and it means that people at a tournament are forced to have a "bye" for one round. I would not want this to happen for a Warpstone Flux tournament). Having run some calculations, the more players, the more scenery outlay would be needed and this would take the ticket price for an A-class venue nearer to 75-100 GBP if there were (say) 12 to 20 players in the tournament. Subsequent tournaments could be run at less of a price tag though as I would then have most of the scenery needed for this. 

If desirable, I would also advertise on Front Line Gaming to ensure it would be part of the tournament circuit (i.e. using ITC rules for the main part) so folks that are so inclined could accumulate points.

Time of year is also a factor. Would a tournament be best run in a certain month of the year, or day of the week? Certainly weekends are the favourite spot for this, but venues tend to get booked up in advance for weekends more frequently than (say) Fridays. 

Summing up.
My main question in all of this remains if Warpstone Flux ran a Horus Heresy tournament (in Humberside / East Riding of Yorkshire, UK), would you attend?

There are lots of ancillary questions alongside this. Please let me know your thoughts. Use the polls to the right. Write comments below. Send me an email (warpstoneflux at gmail dot com). Be honest.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: The Wolf-kin of Russ

Huge. Wolves. Big huge wolves. Wolves the size you've not seen before loping around after Russ or sleeping at his feet and loyal to his commands. They also have names: Freki and Geri -- in line with the very old fluff thankfully.

These two wolves have a good stat line that enables them to regularly win in close combat against space marines.

Further, they can "Look Out Sir" for Leman Russ, which provides him with effectively a large pool of ablative wounds. For this reason alone, the wolf-kin come highly recommended.

Both come with rending, but only Geri gets precision strikes, and only Freki is a Crusader.

Their saving throw is only 5+. This is offset by the fact that they have 4 wounds each and also have feel no pain. Hence for the price tag, this is an 8 wound unit and therefore is priced reasonably. They need to beware of being shot before they reach close combat realistically. Secondly, some thought is needed in how they and Russ will reach close combat since they are very bulky.

Take them if you have the points cost available and are running Russ. Then think about how to get in combat. And then don't cry too much if they sacrifice themselves for Russ.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Leman Russ

With tanks named after him and a veritable legend of achievements, few could doubt the martial prowess of Russ. However, he was also a bit misunderstood. His brothers might have regarded him as a mere barbarian more akin to Angron or the Night Haunter. But the truth is much more than that. His legion and Russ himself were more nuanced and cultured than most imagined. More than this, Russ was the ultimate loyalist unto the end of days. A fact the Horus exploited by changing his orders when Russ was released to sanction the Thousand Sons.

The best way to view Russ is as a loyal analogue to Angron. He is simply splendid in close combat and can be relied upon to take on (and win against) almost anything else in the game. This includes other primarchs statistically. Even Horus would be rather likely to fall to Russ in a one on one arena. On average.

He has a number of special rules that help set this up. Like Horus, he can split his attacks between his two weapons. Balenight is a sword with "sever life" -- take a toughness test if you've taken wounds or suffer more. Helwinter is a sunder weapon which is always nice. His side arm is a Vulkan forged affair that has lots of short ranged shots and rending at AP3. Also very nice.

What really sets his melee component above everyone else though is his armour. At a base level is it 2+/4+, but he gets a 3+ save against flames, plasma and so on. The main effect though is to reduce the opponent's effectiveness with a -1 to hit in round 1 and -2 in every round after. This is really what sets him above and beyond other primarchs realistically.

Other than that he provides a Leadership bonus to his sons and howl of the death wolf which is very nice when pulled off well. He himself has a bunch of other special rules like night vision that help him along and he unlocks Varagyr Terminators as troops.

He price tag is fabulous for what he is capable of doing. But the main problem is that his is not a force multiplier in the same way Alpharius or Guilliman is. He is a close combat expert that gives a cute Ld bonus, and that is it for his team. He has to be treated accordingly -- get him to the fore of the combat and let him loose and the rewards will be reaped. In isolation, he will not be effective. He needs to be leading from the front. World Eater players will no doubt recognize this play style. But he needs to look out for hit and run units with big bonuses on the turn they charge.

He's a loyalist analogue of Angron. Treat him accordingly and he is absolutely amazing. Just watch you don't have rings run around you and take some accompanying units.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Priest of Fenris

To those outside of the Space Wolves legion, these "Priests" are barbarians at best, and shamans and superstitious men who should know better at worst. Within the legion, they are highly respected and sources of great support for not only the technological, but also for the spiritual side of the legion.

In a nut shell, they are the medics, librarians and chaplains rolled in to one. Well, not quite. Rolled in to two really. Well, three really really. The Priests are divided Speakers of the Dead (medics and chaplains) and the Caster of Runes (librarians). On top of this, the "Priests of Iron" also exist but don't have a distinct entry here, and are instead represented by Forge Lords, Master of Signals, and Praevians.

For the Speakers of the Dead, there is the usual feel no pain advantage, combined with fearless and preferred enemy. They also get a vial they can toss at enemies to cause pain.

For Casters of Runes, they are a low level psyker with slight bonuses for denying the witch. I find the Casters of Runes odd in the sense that the Space Wolves don't really recognise them as librarians at all (and Leman Russ himself was all for sanctioning Magnus and the Edict in general). In other news, Sanguinius was a mutant, but we can overlook some things, right?

They cost slightly more than what they might in other legions, but they get a few bonus boons for it (refractor fields), but its not too much.

Forge Lords get cyberwolves instead of servo-automata … I haven't worked out whether I like this better or not … its just different and a better (fluffier) fit for the Space Wolves.

Finally, the Priests do not get any option to travel fast (e.g., jump packs). Hence this needs thought (and probably use of land raider transports arguably!).

A couple of builds to touch on here. I won't bother with Priests of Iron though, might as well see the Consul article instead.

Speaker of the Dead, hand flamer, melta bombs, artificer armour (125 points).
Add to a blob of infantry and go forth charge. Add in a specialist weapon like a power fist to taste. Equip with terminator armour to sally forth with other terminators (probably Tartaros to take advantage of sweeping I think).

Caster of Runes, second psyker master level, combat shield, aether-rune armour, melta bombs (165 points).
The aether-rune armour is an interesting choice and possibly a reasonable alternative to terminator armour in certain circumstances. But to be honest, I can also see the case for terminator armour as well. I like the combat shield option here as the psyker powers might as well be the shooting weapon here instead. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Hvarl Red-Blade

Hvarl is a new HQ selection for the Space Wolves legion. In a nut shell, he would seem on a surface scan to be more of a World Eater than a Space Wolves marine. He likes head hunting and then singing and discussing the tales of the heads that have been chopped off with his brothers in his company. Oh, and his company are expected to do the same. Because if you don't have the head then it never happened and you can't boast to your mates about it afterwards and spin a yarn worthy of a campfire tale. The background suggests that he was not of a good humour and pretty much only liked being in combat. I think that's about sufficient to get the picture.

Hvarl has a number of factors in his favour. Firstly he has a bonus wound compared to a standard praetor. This is very strong. But backing this up is his terminator armour  with grenade harness plus iron halo coupled with his AP2 Hearth-Splitter melee weapon with armour bane. This is very nice indeed (and has a good S bonus as well. Plus he totes a heavy bolter. For fun.

His battle cunning rule is where he truly comes in to his own though. Granting scouts to several units is a powerful boon to almost any army. And it is this rule that sets him apart from other HQ selections to my mind. Having preferred enemy (infantry) in a small bubble is mere icing on the cake for this warlord.

Not much. He is actually reasonably priced for his rules if one can take advantage of them. However, if you're not going to play to his strengths then he is an over costed praetor and you should instead build a generic terminator praetor frankly.

One needs to build an army (or a core of an army) around Hvarl to take advantage of his rules. He could readily wreck things on an enemy back line through outflanking along with a nice blob of infantry. Recommended overall!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Geigor Fell-Hand

For some reason, I have this strong desire and tendency to want to call this character Gregor, or something similar. With another "r" in it. That might be just me. It rolls off my tongue easier than pronouncing Geigor.

Anyway, Geigor felt that the loss of his pack during the Great Crusade was caused by the Thousand Sons with whom he was crusading at the time. He held it against them and was accordingly unleashed upon Prospero for a spot of revenge.

Geigor is a straight forward Thegn with an almost praetor like statistic line.

He has "Warrior's Mettle" and therefore can safely be plugged in to a Grey Slayer Pack unlike almost any other HQ selection. This is neat.

The Crown Breaker warlord trait is okay -- feel no pain in challenges is certainly advantageous.

Finally, he has a master crafted frost claw that shreds things very well. And this is where he gains his famous name from.

He's a bit bland otherwise and only has a 3+ power armour saving throw.

Geigor is a fluffy choice for the battle of Prospero. He also slots in very nicely with Grey Slayer packs and should be used in that manner. I would only think of using him in low points games as the HQ otherwise (say 1500 points or under). I think even a generic praetor would be better due to customisability unless you are desperate for an HQ to have Warrior's Mettle.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kill Team (Alpha Legion vs Chaos Space Marines)

Today, a battle report from Round 1 of our local Kill Team tournament. We are using modified Kill Team rules, particularly in reference to army selection (e.g., no more than two fliers, two heavy weapons, etc.; basically if its anything other than a "normal" troops selections, then you can only have 2 of them at most. And no named HQs, as might be expected).

I am running an Alpha Legion 30k Kill Team. The one draw back here is that I cannot infiltrate more than two marines (the rule of two applies here as well). So I opt for counter attack instead. Meanwhile, the Chaos Space Marines have a particular Khorne flavour to them (they're a borrowed force - the enemy miniatures belong to me! So no excuses.). I'll leave you to watch the video, but I will note that there were some dire die rolling going on in this game!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Grey Slayer Pack

Before the Codex penned by Guilliman, there was the Principia Bellicosa of the Great Crusade era. The Space Wolves cared as little for the Principia Bellicosa as they would come to care about the Codex. Hence in 30k, the Space Wolves are not able to select any unit other than the Grey Slayer Pack as their compulsory troops. This is beneficial, and also a drawback associated with running the Space Wolves.

Although they lack the Fury of the Legion rule of the Tactical Squad (and yes: Space Wolves can still run tactical squads, but there's not point since Grey Slayer Squads are an excellent replacement), they have Warrior's Mettle. In short, they can charge after running or shooting. This is amazing (and harkens back to a different era of the core rules for old timers like me!). Re rolling pinning tests is just the icing on the cake.

More than this, the squad is incredibly flexible with multiple load outs that can really work very well in the game. We'll look at a few possible builds below.

To balance out the Warrior's Mettle bonuses, they can't go to ground. You probably were never going to anyway because you're playing Space Wolves. So, its fluffy and appropriate. However, the charging after running or shooting suffers a one inch negative modifier.

There's also the minor matter of what independent characters should join on to them. In my opinion: none of them. This is so they retain their Warrior's Mettle rule. Place the apothecaries with terminators and the like and be happy with it.

I see these squads as a melee orientated squad, and therefore they should be kitted out accordingly. But since they're also scoring, there's a temptation to take a big blob of them for objective camping.

20 Grey Slayers, bolt guns, 1 vexilla, Huscarl with artificer armour, melta bombs and thunder hammer (290 points).
Not a recommended build really. But this is a back-field objective camping build. Plenty of models and wounds knocking around here.

10 Grey Slayers, 9 power weapons, 1 vexilla, Huscarl with artificer armour, melta bombs and thunder hammer (215 points).
Highly close combat orientated and decidedly deadly. Take with a land raider to assault out of.

10 Grey Slayers, 5 combat shields, 2 hand flamers, 5 power weapons, 1 vexilla, Huscarl with artificer armour, melta bombs, and lightning claws (225 points).
Mixed threats here and nice for land raiders or rhinos alike.

10 Grey Slayers, 2 plasma pistols, 1 vexilla, Huscarl with artificer armour, plasma pistol, melta bombs and power fist (190 points).
Plasma death from the back of a rhino with a power fist to back it up. I actually like this set up a lot myself and the points cost is attractive at under 200. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Varagyr Wolf Guard Terminator Squad

Forsaking their own sagas and their own chance to command and lead their brothers in to battle, the Varagyr have been chosen by Leman Russ from the Space Wolves to be his own hand-selected body guard and council in war and around the hearth having demonstrated their prowess time and again on the battlefield.

They're terminators fundamentally. Their leader has an extra wound and that all have a bonus pip in WS. They come equipped with some of the frost weapons (your choice, but not the great frost blade) as standard, which is a very nice touch.

Their real bonus is a hammer of wrath attack when charging over a minimum distance. They can all take part in challenges and they gain a bonus to combat resolution when they kill characters. This is a strong bonus in my opinion.

Beyond this, they are customisable to a good degree.

Their cost is somewhat high, but not prohibitively so. I think a future errata may well bring their cost down just as we have previously see with Sons of Horus Justaerin.

The key thing to remember here is that these terminators are excellent in close combat. They are distinctly average at shooting and therefore waste their points. I'll provide a shooty squad to begin with, but I think that this should be avoided due to the costs and their inherent rules that are all melee orientated.

5 Varagyr, 5 reaper autocannons (345 points).
Yes, they are a kind of unique long ranged threat that few other legions can match in terms of the build. Yes its a nice build. But no, it is not a good use of points value really. Unless you're playing 5000+ points or somewhere thereabouts.

5 Varagyr, 4 with a second frost weapon (take claw or axe), thegn with thunder hammer, heavy flamer and grenade launcher (315 points).
Built to charge out of a land raider and optimised for near pure close combat. I like this one a lot.

8 Varagyr, 2 with a heavy flamer, 2 with thunder hammers, 2 with chain fists, 4 with combi-weapons, thegn with double axes, grenade harness and 2 cyberwolves (501 points).
A really expensive unit consisting of 8 terminators and 2 wolves that are to be deployed from a land raider. Seriously expensive though and very tooled up. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mark 4 Squad Assembled

A new Mark 4 Space Marine armour squad today -- one that I've literally only just assembled in the precious little free time that I have these days. The squad is entirely constructed from parts in the Mark 4 space marine kit with the exception of the sergeant. For the sergeant, he sports a head taken from the grey knights range, a back pack from the chaos space marine range (because it is from Anvilus, of course).

The base topper beneath the feet of the sergeant comes from Anvil Industry -- they're a nice way to mark out some of the more important characters in a squad. All of the squad are posed in a way that I wanted to communicate "activity" by. Many are looking down the sights of their bolt guns. Those that are not appear to be looking at something very in particular in a different direction. All have grenades attached and bolt pistols stowed (from both space marines and chaos space marine parts) and ready for deployment as well. And there is a legion vexilla on the guy who has been silly by removing his helmet. Plus a forge world shoulder pad that I had left over from another project that I wanted to use up!

These will ultimately be painted in Alpha Legion colours and will complement my other miniatures that I've already assembled and been using. Explicitly, I bought them to ensure I could field bigger and more squads of tactical marines. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Deathsworn Pack

The Deathsworn are like a dirty little secret at the heart of the Space Wolves legion. They are the ones who are closer to becoming the Wolfen than anyone suspects. But the Wolfen lie in the future for this legion. The Deathsworn are those who succumb to the general bloodlust and the lure of the `death wolf', descending in to savage fury from which there is little coming back. World Eaters, eat your heart out.

The Deathsworn all come with artificer armour, which gives them a very nice (And needed) saving throw. However, what really stands out about these marines are their unique equipment and special rules.

They come with `Yimira' class stasis bombs as standard. These are blast grenades with all of pinning, gets hot, and flesh bane at a 2+ level. This is frankly insane and there's nothing like it anywhere else in the game. On top of this, the marines can also take melta bombs and rad grenades, should the fancy take you.

More than this, they will always get to hit in close combat (and be fearless) so long as there're still some of them left. Explicitly, if they die, they will still strike at the final initiative step. This is very strong and begs for them to be used in close quarter fighting as much as possible.

Other than them being still space marines, their Ld is only 8 and therefore they are vulnerable to massed firepower outside of combat. Try not to line them up against a melta or plasma support squad as they will wilt. Think of them like a destroyer squad and you'll probably be fine.

A few builds here to consider which I'll provide just a couple of examples of.

5 Deathsworn (175 points).
A small distraction style squad for getting the opponent to notice something is going to hurt them.

9 Deathsworn, rad grenades, 1 thunder hammer (315 points).
To be taken with a speaker of the dead and some kind of land raider transport of your choice. Unload and unload the grenades and follow up with an assault whilst their toughness is compromised. Take frost weapons to taste.

Overall, they are an elite assault unit with access to unique pieces of kit and can potentially be paired up with a speaker of the dead to be used to kill things or be a general distraction and nuisance. Treat them accordingly and they will do very well in all likelihood.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Space Wolves Legion Rules

Background Material Evaluation.

Leman Russ was the second Primarch to be located (a "handful" of years prior to Ferrus Manus … and by implication, one of the missing Primarchs), after Horus Lupercal. Raised on the death world of Fenris, Leman Russ was a barbarian - a warrior king who was for a while on his own against the elements of Fenris before rejoining humanity. And he was hugely successful without having access to modern technologies. 

The Space Wolves themselves were developed in isolation from the other legions -- alongside the Salamanders and the Alpha Legion -- making up the third of the trefoil of legions held apart from the others during development. Inferno gives no more clues about this, but some interpretation could be made from the fact that they were very hard to raise a legion from Russ' gene seed as the fatality rate was abnormally high. 

Following Russ' recovery, the Fang was constructed and from herein, things went well -- at least according to the Emperor and others of the inner circle. In reality though, his brothers held Russ at arm's length regarding him as savage in the same way they might mis-trust Angron and the World Eaters. Savage beyond compare and usually causing vast collateral damage when sent to war, the Space Wolves became a truly independent force bound only to the wolf lord and his absolute loyalty to the Emperor. Good job really that they didn't turn like Angron - the outcome of the Heresy could have been quite different. Overall, Inferno paints a picture of a loyalist son who is the analogue of Angron, but exceptionally loyal and capable. 

Legion Rules Review.
The Space Wolves are a legion apart from their cousins in other legions, right down to their command structure and squad complexions. There are several rules affecting the creation of Space Wolves army lists that seriously affect what they're able to deploy and, accordingly, the rites of war they are able to take. Compulsory HQs must come from praetors or centurions. Other consuls are introduced (the priests of Fenris), and there are certain consuls that cannot be taken (librarians, etc.). Coupled with the requirement to have an HQ per 1000pts and the fact that compulsory troops are only Grey Slayer squads (all other troops are designated support squads) contributes to the feeling that the Space Wolves are an infantry based army.

Beastial Savagery provides a WS bonus on the turn a unit successfully charges and counter attack. Balancing this, they must always sweep (but they were probably going to try to do this regardless). 

Hunter's Gait provides an extra 1 inch to runs and consolidations. This means their troops are going to be one of the fastest of all the legions. 

Preternatural Senses laughs at Night Lords and makes them ignore night fighting, plus grants re-rolls for outflanking and ensures they're not going to be infiltrated closer than 18" by anybody. This is a great boon realistically. 

Finally, a Space Wolves HQ must use a new warlord trait table rather than any other. The bonuses in that table are balanced overall, but I do like Howl of the Death Wolf for re-rolling run and charge distances!

Fenrisian Wolves can be purchased by praetors and centurions alike, providing some ablative wounds and even can have feel no pain if upgraded to a cyber wolf (for an extra price). Overall, this is an upgrade that is well worth while in my opinion.

The Frost Blade set of weapons are a nice replacement for power weapons for characters. I like the axe for the +2 S bonus (but might as well take a power fist to be honest!), and the great frost blades for their reaping blow which provides a bonus attack. 

Aether Rune Armour is very nice -- providing +1W as well as the usual 2+ save for artificer armour coupled with a bonus for denying the witch. Worth it, so take it. 

Rites of War.
The Pale Hunters is highly tailored to the Space Wolves. Not only is there a bonus to reserves, but they get hit and run (at a reduced move of 2d6), and +1 attack for mobbing an enemy already locked in combat. This latter one is huge and speaks to building an army around fast moving infantry. The balance of only having one heavy support unit is good, and fluffy. This is one army that I would not personally like to face, but no doubt I will.

The Bloodied Claws grants furious charge at the expense of always having to charge if possible. The combat resolution gets a bonus of +1 which is amazing when facing off against other legions (Recall that 30k legions have no ATSKNF rule!). Plus, they get the aforementioned howl of the death wolf as their guaranteed warlord trait. This rite of war is superb in my opinion. And yet another very powerful close combat rite of war that I don't really want to face. The restrictions are tough in the sense of no immobile, artillery and slow and purposeful units -- meaning no drop pods. That said, of course, dread claws are not immobile, so they'll certainly do for this rite. I actually fear facing this type of army build. They're going to be very good!

To sum up: the Space Wolves are infantry based. They are fast (particularly grey slayer squads -- reviewed separately). They excel in close combat. Their rites of war are meant to help mob up on opponents (pale hunters) or be a bit more tactical with hit and run coupled with resolution bonuses (bloodied claws). This calls for multiple grey hunters squads backed up by those toting assault weapons and very few (if any) heavy support choices beyond dedicated transports. I think several land raiders, rhinos, dread claws and the like, all loaded up with chunky squads will be common with the Space Wolves. Indeed, the "in your face" way of playing here is very much emphasised by their overlapping rules that can provide very nice bonuses for this kind of play style. Fast, furious, and close combat. Even Angron would approve. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spotted: New Missing Legion Information in Inferno?

Slowly reading through the background material in Inferno, I came across this passage in the early history description of the Space Wolves.

The passage is interesting from a number of different facets. First, the Imperial was under existential threat very early in the initial portion of the Great Crusade. This was against the Rangdan, in a series of conflicts that would become known as the Rangdan Xenocides. Featuring losses that would not be seen again until the Heresy, the passage indicates that:

"...entire Space Marine Legions [REDACTED SECTION] lost to the Imperium…".

Now of course, the redacted section might just be "aspirants", or "companies", but there's no apostrophe here. Hence it is more likely that the redacted section would be along the lines "...including the primarch, XXX, were…".

Hence, are we seeing a huge clue as to the fate of one of the missing legions? Could it be that Legio II or XI were lost in the Rangdan Xenocides? From this passage, it looks somewhat likely by my reading of it!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Inferno and Nikaea Positioning

It. Is. Here! Finally, after what feels like a very long wait, I have Horus Heresy Book 7: Inferno in my hand! I'm really excited!

I'm in the process of digesting and evaluating the materials contained within, and full reviews of units, tactics, builds and so forth will follow in the fullness of time. 

For today, I wanted to note how the Legions felt about the use of psykers at the time of the Council of Nikaea. This is information that is contained in Inferno in the first few pages, but has never been one hundred per cent clear to me personally. Here's a brief summary, but leaving out the other characters beyond the legions.

Fulgrim; Jaghatai Khan; Konrad Curze; Sanguinius; Roboute Guilliman; Magnus; Lorgar Aurelian; Vulkan; Alpharius.

Perturabo; Leman Russ; Ferrus Manus; Angron; Mortarion.

Lion El'Jonson; Rogal Dorn; Horus Lupercal; Corvus Corax

Favouring censure of Magnus, regardless of the above:
Lion El'Jonson; Rogal Dorn; Corvus Corax; 

Hence the majority of the legions were rather in favour of the use of psykers overall. There were others that were very con psyker use though, including the Kelbor-Hal the fabricator general and others besides. Despite this, it was clear that the Emperor had to act to decide the (growing) issue -- and this set up the scene for what would be to come. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

One. More. Day.

Tonight, I am a bit frustrated. My delivery from Forge World (i.e. Inferno) was expected today. Sadly, the delivery company (UPS) attempted the delivery whilst I was out. Oh no! So, UPS delivered it to a local UPS access point (basically a local company in a secure location with whom they have an agreement). Sadly for me, said company closed before I could get there as well. Double oh no!

So. One. More. Day. Just one sleep to go before I get my hands on Inferno. I know a lot of my long term readers want to see my reviews and builds of units and suggestions (etc., etc.), but you'll have to wait just a little while longer. Just like me. But: Inferno will come. And the reviews will follow!

Genestealer Cults Summary Page

This page serves as a summary for all the Genestealer Cults codex reviews that have been posted on to Warpstone Flux. The ordering follows the presentation within the codex, followed by the formations and the Insurrection detachment. 

Acolyte Iconward

Acolyte Hybrids
Neophyte Hybrids

Hybrid Metamorphs
Purestrain Genestealers

Fast Attack
Armoured Sentinels
Scout Sentinels
Goliath Truck

Heavy Support
Goliath Rockgrinders
Leman Russ Squadron

All Formations and Cult Insurrection Detachment.

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