27 November 2008
Happy Thanksgiving, all!
26 October 2008
And that's that for a bit. To all of those who still keep up with this blog, thank you so much. I do still read your blogs, even if I don't leave any comments. If I don't leave comments, that's usually because I feel that I have nothing constructive to say due to my inexperience.
08 October 2008
I get a mercifully long weekend, so there should be some chapter progress (along with some grudging school work) getting done.
Hopefully something more substantive coming up. I'm thinking about modifying my chapter's background a bit, because I really used the 4e codex as a basis for some of the fluff. Now that the attributes are gone, I may have to rethink the backstory. Let me know what you think about that: good, bad, ugly, or just don't care. ;)
02 October 2008
Almost finished with my AoBR Melta-naught. Pics to follow once he's done!
30 September 2008
More to come, after a bit of sleep.
20 September 2008
A few years ago my two younger cousins were really big into fantasy movies and books, and both of them are artistically inclined. As it turns out, they decided to get into fantasy miniature painting because of the influence of a family friend. They kept at it, and kept at it, and got very good. Being the thoughtful cousin that I am (well, that's my excuse for looking into something cool,) I decided to try to understand their hobby better. So they showed me some of the models they were working on, and had a spare elf sitting around that they let me paint. I was hooked. I started buying models, paints, brushes, and hobby tools. At the time, I knew that there were these cool looking models from a mysterious game called Warhammer 40,000. I didn't know anything about it, other than it would probably take a lot of discretionary income (that I didn't really have) to break into. So I just shrugged and kept going, only painting models infrequently.
One year ago I was surfing the web, and I found out about a little game called Dawn of War. It was lauded for its uniqueness in the RTS world and it's sci-fi theme. I decided that I needed to learn more about it. Much more. So I jumped into the Warhammer 40k fluff head first, and was hooked. I bought the game, and played for hours on end. I decided that for Christmas, I was going to buy a squad of Space Marines, paint them, and give them as gifts to my friends. So I did, and I thought that would be the end of my experience with 40k. As a surprise move, though, I ended up receiving the Battle for Macragge box set for Christmas that year. That was all I needed: I had more minis, terrain, and the rulebook. I was instantly hooked by the mechanics, and so were my cousins that I dragged into it with me. :)
As it stands now I have not only brought my cousins in who live in a different city, but also two of my best friends, with some more looking closely at it.
So, let me know what your story is! How did you get into this hobby, and who have you brought into it?
16 September 2008
My first dreadnought, Knox. Though currently shown in the "Hellfire" armament, the arms were left un-glued to allow weapon interchanging.
09 September 2008
Assault on Black Reach is the newest starter set, released by GW recently in order to get new players started playing in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Inside the box are a boatload of push-together models, templates, dice, red measuring rods (whippy sticks,) an introductory booklet, a pocket sized rulebook, and a tiny little "What to buy next" pamphlet. All of this can be yours for ~$60, available at fine retailers everywhere.
Firstly, I would just like to say that the box art is absolutely beautiful. (In that grim, dark "I'm going to rip the head off of my enemy" kind of way.) The artwork of the battle between the Space Marines and the Orks is brilliant. As per standard fare, there are examples of different ways to paint your armies on the sides of the box top, other armies not included in the set on the sides of the box bottom, and on the back it labels the contents and tries to sell you the game. There's really not much to say about it, other than the box feels kind of flimsy. Not only does it feel kind of flimsy, but it is flimsy: mine was partially crushed during shipment. That makes me an angry gamer. Though you don't need the box after getting all of the components out of it by any stretch of the imagination, I'm one of those rare gamers that likes to keep the boxes that his models came in sort of as a badge of honor or a timeline. Ergo, it makes me a little miffed when one of those badges or pieces of the timeline looks like it's been through some serious crap, especially because I take care extra special care of all my possessions if at all possible. Again, box strength is not a very important part to the set as a whole, but if you like pristine aesthetics, either buy the set from your FLGS, or from GW directly. I got mine from an independent retailer who shall remain nameless, and I don't think they packaged it as well as GW packages their stuff.
Now, for the real meat and potatoes of this set. This set is HUGE, and each of the components will be dealt with independently.
The models themselves are excellently sculpted and detailed. They push together easily (for the most part,) and I have yet to run into any horrible sculpts where something just wouldn't fit. (That was my biggest beef with the Battle for Macragge set: some of the Tyranid Termagaunt arms just didn't fit!) Not only are these models well sculpted, but there's a lot of them. Here's what you get:
Space Marines: Captain, 1 Tactical Squad (10 troopers,) 5 Terminators, and a Dreadnought. (Not just any Dreadnought, but a Melta dreadnought!)
Orks: Warboss, 5 Nobz, 20 Boyz, 3 Deffcoptas.
For those of you counting at home, that's 46 models. Not a bad haul by any stretch of the imagination! The Space Marines land in at about 585 points, and the Orks at a nice, round 450. Any way you cut that, that's a great start to a new army, or an expansion of an old one. So, all in all, the models get the thumbs up from me.
It's not all perfect, however. Unlike in the Battle of Macragge box set, there is no terrain available out of the box. That's not a total deal breaker, per se, but it was nice to get at least a few pieces of cover to play with from the start with BoM. It helped me to get drawn into the experience more, so that is one detraction from me.
Templates and other accessories
The new templates are cool. Not only are they a cool new green color, but they are much thicker than the templates that came with the Battle for Macragge set. This was an excellent move, in my opinion. There's really not much else to say though, the whippy sticks and dice have remained the same.
Here is my single biggest hang-up. The Assault on Black Reach starter book is very skimpy. While they do have a good system for quickly assembling and painting the models, and they have enough background information to pull new players in, the biggest failing of the book was in the exclusion of scenarios. They have a quick, 2 page section of "Setting up Your First Battle" and another 2 page section that goes over the basic turn system, but that's really not enough. It seems like new players are really forced to read the rulebook immediately in order to play, and that may frighten some people away from it. When compared with Battle of Macragge, I believe that there should have been at least a few scenarios so that the players even know why they're fighting at Black Reach, and what the significance of Black Reach is. As it is, there's really no context to the fighting. One of Battle of Macragge's biggest boons, to my mind, was that the rules were introduced scenario by scenario, teaching players new stuff and building upon what they had already learned. Admittedly, sometimes the BoM intro book babied players a little too much for my taste, but the fact of the matter is that some players are going to have to be babied a little bit if they've never played a miniatures game before in their lives. Now, you might be wondering why I'm going on and on about that little book. The reason is because I'm going to be teaching one of my friends how to play with this set, and he'll be getting the Orks. However, I'm not always a very clear teacher when it comes to games, and I was hoping on having a set of scenarios to help me get him into the game. Since they hamstrung me in that department, this book gets a big thumbs down from me.
As to the rulebook: it's just a thin version of the excellence that is the new 5th edition hardcover book. Not nearly as cool, but it still has some good artwork, and it has the rules, which is the most important section of the game anyway. Don't get me wrong, I definitely want and love the fluff and modeling stuff, but when push comes to shove, what people really need at the table is the rules.
So, all in all, what do we have here? There's a ton of great minis, there's a thin rulebook, and there's a new set of sexy green templates. And all of that is well and good! However, Assault on Black Reach seems to have missed the biggest point: be a set for pure beginners and ease them into the rules. Throwing everyone into the deep end first off was not the best move, I believe. Definitely get this new set if you want to start either a Space Marine or Ork army, or if you want to build on those forces. It's also good for the slim rulebook and templates, and even if you don't have or aren't interested in either of the listed armies, it's a great way to get a friend started with a small 40k army. If you want to learn the rules, you can do it with this set, but not as easily as I would have liked.
Final rating: 7 out of 10.
08 September 2008
27 August 2008
Hello, and welcome to my new blog, detailing the creation of my very own space marines chapter, the Dawn Crusaders. I am a relative noob to 40k, but I love the hobby, and I will post my thoughts on the game and upcoming products on occasion.
So, to get started, I will give you some background on the Dawn Crusaders. Get comfy, this may take a little while. ;)
The Dawn Crusaders are a 26th Founding Chapter, and trace their lineage back to the Destroyers. The Destroyers, like the White Scars before them, were dedicated to fast attacks. They, and especially their veteran First Company, were highly skilled at combating the vile forces of Chaos.
While the Destroyers' home fleet was orbiting Justice Rock 600 years ago, they were attacked and boarded by a contingent of the Night Lords Legion. Without their valued maneuverability, much of the Destroyers' specialized combat doctrine was useless. The battle for the fleet was bloody and fierce. Though they only lost one of their barges, the Destroyers required a great deal of time to recover from their troop losses.
One hero of the Destroyer Fleet Incident, as it came to be known, was Brother Captain Broderick, head of the 2nd Company and chief of the defense forces on the battle barge Eagle’s Malice. He and two squads of his elite tactical marines had been pushed back to the bridge of the vessel, and were fighting desperately to hold it. They viciously held their hard points, using heavy weapons and frag grenades judiciously against their seemingly endless foes. While Broderick and his men defended the bridge from the Traitors, a Chaos Champion named Maldroth appeared with his personal guard, slaughtering all in his wake. He challenged Broderick to single combat. The two dueled, each scoring hits on the other as their soldiers around them slew one another. Finally, the loyalist captain gained the upper hand, and drove his power sword up through Maldroth’s gut. With his dying breath, the Chaos warrior hissed, “This isn’t over. The Empire is waning! Soon, night will fall on mankind...forever!”
Spitting in the Champion’s face, Broderick replied, “Night may be coming, but we fight for a new dawn!” Their champion having been slain, the few remaining Night Lord forces aboard the Eagle’s Malice retreated, and the ship was secure. Upon giving his report after the battle, the chapter master commended Broderick for his efforts, and for his highly trained tactical squads. As the First Company captain had fallen in battle, Broderick was up for re-assignment.
Broderick was a key player in the Destroyers throughout the next three centuries, honing the skills of the Destroyers' tactical squads and specializing his veterans in guerilla and urban combat. A century later, the High Lords of Terra decreed that the Destroyers would be honored with a successor chapter both for their loyal service, and because the forces of Chaos seemed to be ever increasing in their attacks from the Eye of Terror. Broderick and his company were selected to establish the chapter and train the new recruits. When it came time to name his chapter, he received a vision during meditation concerning his vendetta against the Night Lords, and what he had said to the dying Maldroth. The master then named his new chapter the Dawn Crusaders.
The Dawn Crusaders set up a stronghold on a colony world in the Genevas system, Genevas IV. The system is located in the Scarus Sector of Segmentum Obscurus. The planet is a developing agri-world, and is mostly arboreal. The long term plan is to clear most of the forests to make room for more farmland. The wildlife is plentiful and dangerous, and anyone unprepared to defend himself often becomes a meal for one of the vicious predators of this world. Such dangers have their uses to the Astartes. Scouts of this Chapter begin combat training by hunting the native wildlife in sniper teams, and with pistols and knives should they be ambushed by their quarry. After a recruit has slain enough of the wild, six legged Genovite Panthers and more rare Crematorian Hydras to prove his worth, he is allowed to enter active combat duty and travel with the chapter into whatever battles they are called to. It is not uncommon, however, for even higher officers to go hunting whenever they are not on duty to keep themselves in good sharpshooting condition.
The established society of the colony is very close-knit. The dangers faced have developed a survivalist spirit amongst the populace, and they look out for one another’s interests. This means that the people from Genevas IV are suitable for recruitment: tempered by hardship and loyal to allies.
The Dawn Crusaders method of recruitment is somewhat unorthodox. To select trainees the Dawn Crusaders send out Chaplains among the populace of Genevas IV to preach the glory of the Emperor and hatred for his foes. In order to be accepted as a chapter Chaplain, the spiritual leader must recruit ten young men each year through his oratory. This helps to facilitate a quick indoctrination of able-bodied recruits by filling them with zeal of purpose prior to entering the Crusaders’ monestary.
Relations with the citizens and Imperial Guard regiments are closer than in most chapters, though not close enough to be called friendly. The local populace is forbidden from entering their sanctuary during peace time unless they are new recruits. If the world were ever to come under siege, however, the Adeptus Astartes would open its doors for a certain number of refugees. In terms of public presence, only the Chaplains and Apothecaries are frequently seen: the Chaplains to preach, the Apothecaries to perform medical services for those gravely injured. Additionally, Broderick is considered to be something of the planet’s true lord, because Governor Belikov frequently asks him for advice, when Broderick makes time for him.
The Dawn Crusaders differ in some ways from their Destroyer progenitors, but still stay close to the Codex Astartes. Though they use assault infantry, they have fewer numbers of them than the Destroyers, due to Broderick’s personal bias for tactical squads and his remembrance of the Destroyer Fleet Incident. They also do not use many vehicles in combat, with the exception of the Dreadnought. Theirs is a chapter dedicated heavily to infantry tactics.
Their most frequent opponents have been the traitorous Chaos legions, both defensively and offensively. This is due not only to their proximity to the Eye of Terror, but also to Broderick’s personal vendetta against the Night Lords who slaughtered so many of his men. The chapter’s most notable victory was in their defense of Scela, aiding the PDF forces in the repulsion of the hated Word Bearers. Using their extensive knowledge of urban combat, they managed to drive the Legions out of the major cities surrounding the capital, forcing their foes back meter by meter and eventually off world. The chapter has also made headway against Ork tribes found on Chinchare, driving them from one of its larger islands and establishing an easily defensible OpsCenter to monitor fleet activities at the very lid of the Eye of Terror.
The chapter is not without its defeats, however. During a crusade to liberate the colony Hope’s Landing on the moon of Veloris from the Iron Warriors, nearly the entire 6th Company was wiped out at what became known as the Jayne’s Ridge Massacre. Historically, the Dawn Crusaders’ lack of heavy vehicles has been their undoing on more open worlds, which is why they prefer staging operations in dense jungle or urban terrain. The chapter has learned its lesson well, and has since refused to fight in large, open ground situations similar to the Hope’s Landing incident if it can be avoided.
The Dawn Crusaders are organized in a similar manner to that in the Codex Astartes, but they have more of an emphasis on the importance of Chaplains than Librarians in any army. This is due to practicality more than anything else: it wouldn’t do to have a psyker go rouge during the midst of an operation, and the Chaplains often inspire the men to greater feats of heroism for the Imperium. As such, Librarians are rarely ever fielded, and are always under careful scrutiny.
The Dawn Crusaders believe that the Imperium is entering into a dark and increasingly threatening age as Maldroth said, but that a new Golden Age is coming. They also believe that they have a responsibility to preserve the life of the citizens of the Imperium if they can. If at all possible, they will aid civilians in times of war, but will not do so if it is tactically inadvisable. Additionally, if the taint of chaos has infected a population, they are willing to exterminate the source, no matter how close to home. Broderick and his chapter believe that Chaos serves as a dire warning of what mankind is truly capable of. As such, they are prepared to be as shining examples of what man should strive to be.
Like the Destroyers, since they are so near the Eye of Terror, the Dawn Crusaders believe that there are many worlds that need their aid. They will often send out three companies on crusades to aid Imperial worlds blighted by Chaos’ taint in the Scarus Sector. The Dawn Crusaders have even been known to conduct minor raids on Chaos worlds, sizing them up for future operations.
The geneseed of the Dawn Crusaders is derived from the Destroyers line. Their most notable divergence from standard geneseed is that the Crusaders’ third lung implants are prone to pneumothoraxes during toxic atmosphere operations, reducing their combat effectiveness on death worlds.
Pre/Post-battle: “Viriscit vulnere virtus!” (Courage grows strong at a wound.)
In battle: Either “Invictus maneo!” (I remain unvanquished,) or “For the Dawn!”
Chapter Master Broderick
Chief Librarian Vesalius
Colors: Sanguine red, yellow-orange, white, and silver.
Chapter Icon: Black double-bladed battle axe.
Ok, that's good for now. I'll post some model work soon!