New Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Narrative Trailer

Today Focus Home Interactive released a new narrative trailer to launch their pre-orders of the game and it looks awesome.

Also until Friday, 29 January 2016, 18:00 GMT they Games Workshop are running their midweek madness sale which is offing 10% off the retail price of this game and upto 90% off some of their other titles, so it is well worth a look.

Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth Game

This past weekend I went down to my local Games Workshop and they had a copy of the new Horus Heresy board game Betrayal at Calth and I managed to grab a demo game with one of the regulars down at the store, with a member of staff pointing out how the rule system works and answering any questions we had.

The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth
The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth

First of all the models are amazingly detailed, they are plastic, and it looks like they are replacing the Forgeworld Resin Mark IV armour by the fact it is no longer available on the Forgeworld site. This looks positive for the future of plastic Heresy models.

Sold Out Mk4 Maximus Armor

The game itself is very entertaining. I played the first scenario where the Word Bearers and Ultramarines face off against each other in a race against the clock to reach the safety of the blast doors at the other end of the map before the doors slam closed and the surface of the planet is irradiated by Calth’s dying sun.

Each of the forces consists of a 10 tactical marines, one with a special weapon, and one with a heavy weapon. The Word bearers, utilise a flamer and Heavy Bolter, and the Ultramarines have a missile launcher (which is amazing when it crits) and a plasma gun.

When playing the game, it’s best to forget most of what you know about 40k. The turn goes as follows. Roll Initiative, which is 3 dice +1 per Sargent that is still alive, and the player that has the highest number of hits wins, and goes first and you both pick up a command card which gives your marines a special benefit. This happens every turn.

Another thing that changes is that turns alternate by actions. Each squad of up to 3 marines has 2 actions, which can be move (move 1 hex), run (move 2 hexes, but cannot be done if you would pass through rubble or are in an adjacent hex to an enemy), shoot, or assault. There is also consolidate which is not going to be covered here.

When it is your action you choose a unit, and spend one of your actions, then your opponent spends their action, and you continue to alternate until neither of you have any left and then the turn ends and you go back to the initiative phase. Repeat this until a victory or loss condition is met. In the scenario I was playing, that was turn 6, when the last blast door closes and anyone outside the doors dies.

The shooting also differs from 40k, in that marines are a lot more survivable. Every marine has 2 points of armour, so they roll 2 dice and any shields reduce the damage by 1, then each marine also has 2 stamina which the amount of damage dealt, has to equal or exceed. This means that an entire unit of 3 marines that shoots their bolters (2 dice each) will get usually 3-4 hits, and “might” kill 1 marine if he fails his saves.

When rolling to hit, every one or more critical hits has a special effect. For example if firing bolters, if you score a critical hit your opponent loses a single action meaning that if they only have 1 they can no longer do anything this turn. This is particularly useful in this scenario because it is time sensitive and requires units to move across the map, if you can slow your opponent, you can get more of your units behind the doors than theirs, and win.

Honestly though, it’s quite simple and you will pick it up very quickly within a game or 2. In my game I won using the strategy I just explained, I moved across the map as quickly as I could and sacrificed a unit to shoot and slow him down.

I’m looking forward to getting my own copy, though finding time to assemble and paint the units is a different problem entirely.

Space Hulk: Deathwing – New Trailer released

It is not for the Blood Angels to hold all the glory. Now it is time for the Dark Angels to delve into the depths of a Space Hulk, in Focus Home Interactive’s new strategy game new Space Hulk: Deathwing.

Personally I think they have made a great choice with the background music which is Walking with a Ghost by Kadebostany, it works so well with the theme in the video.

Video: A Developer diary of Full Control’s upcoming release Space Hulk: Ascension

This video that was recently released on Full Control’s YouTube page is an inside view of their upcoming release Space Hulk: Ascension. Unlike an expansion, where they might release a few new levels, or new weapons, this release is more like a complete revision while keeping true to the look and feel of the original game.

In this revision, it is more video than tabletop game. They have removed a lot of the randomness from the previous incarnation, like command points, which are now a static bubble of extra points you get if you are near your sergeant.

There is also a dynamic campaign structure, which evolves as you proceed through the space-hulks, which can evolve the ending depending on if you turn left or right, and as a result can despite the removal of the random element leave the game with a high re-playability.

I am keen to see how this game progresses.

Death over Talamar – Lock-in flier event

Last Friday I participated in a an evening Lock-in flier battle at my local Games Workshop store, and it was great.

Battle over Talamar Turn 1
Battle over Talamar Last Turn

The flier battle was loosely based off of the now discontinued game produced by Forgeworld Aeronautica Imperialis, as a result, tactics that usually worked against fliers were not quite as effective and this made this game into a much more entertaining.

Flier battle Rules page 1Flier battle Rules page 2Flier battle Rules page 3

How does it work?

Everyone had one flier each, and following the values in the Aeronautica Imperialis, each flier had:

  • A manoeuvrability rating (M) “Low” to “Very High”, this determined what manoeuvres your aircraft could perform.
  • a maximum altitude 1-9 (MA)
  • a minimum speed 1-9 (MinS) eave number equals 3 inches of movement (though certain fliers can hover so their value can be 0, otherwise if your speed hits 0 you will stall and crash).
  • a maximum speed 1-9 (MaxS)
  • and a Thrust value 1-3 (T), this was how quickly you could speed up or slow down outside of manoeuvres.

This was a game of planning as at the beginning of the turn, your team each decided which manoeuvre they were going to try and perform (from the rules page 3 above), and notes this down on the sheet, this is kept secret until it is used. Then each of the team captains rolled initiative, the highest got to be first to move 1 aircraft from their side of their choice, then it switched to the opponent’s side, and then back again, until all the fliers have been moved.

During the movement, you have to move you current speed, which could mean going off the table, and being destroyed, if not planned correctly. You also have to perform the manoeuvre you selected earlier at some point, this cannot be changed. This results in you having to try and predict what your opponents are going to do and plan accordingly, also most manoeuvres have an affect on your speed and altitude which also has to be planned for, this is also the only way of turning your aircraft.

From turn 2 onwards, at the beginning of your movement phase you can apply your Thrust value to your current speed before you move, so that you can avoid crashing if you are at low altitude and need to climb (which usually will slow you, and could cause a stall).

Next came the shooting phase, the captain that gained initiative, can choose one of his team’s aircraft to fire first, following the normal restrictions for range and firing arcs, with one new factor to consider, Altitude. If your opponents aircraft’s is at the same altitude +/- 1 you can fire at full ballistic skill, but if you are +/- 2 units you can only fire snapshots, and +/- 3 or more, you cannot fire at all, they are too far away.

This as with the movement phase, this goes backwards and forwards between you and your opponent, which adds target priority challenge, as you would ideally want to shoot something that has not itself shot yet so you can stop it firing.

Any kills you score during the game each equal D3 victory points that are rolled at the end of the game, meaning that, a poor tactical decision in the first turn does not mean you have automatically lost. Also, if you are killed, you will automatically return the following turn from any table edge at any Speed and Altitude, meaning vengeance was never far away.

The Game

This game revolves around moving at high speed and dogfighting with your opponents, so as you would imagine it is best played on a large table to give players a chance to turn. We played on a 6ft x 6ft table.

This game we opted for a thematic Imperials vs Xenos matchup, our opponents had 2x Storm Talons, 2x Storm Ravens, a Thunderbolt fighter, and the thing I was dreading a Vulture with Twin-linked Punisher Cannons. On our side we had 2x Eldar Crimson Hunters, 2x Ork Fightas, a Heldrake, and a Necron Doom Scythe.

For this event I had the Crimson Hunter, shown below. It had the following stats:

M MA MinS MaxS T
Very High 9 3 9 3

As you can see it is ideal, for dogfighting as it has access to all of the manoeuvres, has the highest max speed and altitude, and the best thrust value, plus the crimson hunter’s weapons are very good at killing fliers, especially with Tank Hunter, its only drawback was armour 10, all round.

My WIP Eldar Crimson Hunter I used for this event.

Turn 1 was just pot shots with missiles and Lascannons where possible, due to the range, and altitude there was only 1 kill, the Thunderbolt fighter, we were off to a good start.

Turns, 2, 3 and 4 saw the ranges get closer, the fighting more intense, and the looks of despair when people realised that they were at the wrong altitude, were going too quickly so passed completely over their targets, or had miscalculated the position of their opponents because of their chosen manoeuvre.

At the end of the game we had claimed 5 kills, I dropped one of the Stormravens in the last turn and suffered no deaths, and our opponents managed 6 kills, so it came down to the dice roll for victory points. We scored 11 victory points to their 13, a close and very fun game. I would recommend you all give it a try.

The rumours proved true, Space Hulk is on its way

For at least the last year, there have been rumours flying around of Games Workshop bringing back it’s fantastic game Space Hulk, the only factor seemed to be, when will it be re-released. As of Friday night those rumours have been validated and Games workshop released a limited run of Space Hulk.

If you have never played it before, you play either a strike force of Blood Angels Terminators or the unending tide of Tyranid Genestealers within the confines of a drifting Space Hulk. As with most of these releases I don’t think it will be long before it is out of stock, especially with this game that has proved very popular in the past.

Update 15/09 – The online Games Workshop store is now sold out and with still another 4 days until it is released, the only chance anyone has of getting a copy will be by coming into stores.

GW Rolling Thunder Game 13/09

This weekend was the lock-in Tank battle game down at my local Games Workshop. For this game they were allowing super heavies but had the prevision that you had to bring a normal codex tank as well just in case no one else brought one. So I brought a Shadowsword and a Hammerhead as my codex tank. Luckily there was 1 other super heavy a Praetor Armoured Assault Launcher, and as a result my Shadowsword was allowed.

Rolling Thunder Turn 2Rilling Thunder Last Turn - Turn 6

This game started out well, to a degree. In this game there were 3 objectives across the battlefield which worked like relics and you could take with you. We had first turn so this meant that by turn 2 we had all 3 objectives and it was a case of letting them come to us, or at least that was the plan.

There are a few other special rules for this game, at either end of the field is an Ork repair station, which when a friendly unit is in it, they can bring back one friendly unit that has died already, and they can come back immediately and shoot on the turn they arrive. Also if you have an objective and you are rammed, that objective is immediately transferred to the vehicle that did the ramming.

Our opponents wisely chose to put all their tanks at the other end of the table, which allowed them to avoid my line of sight. This also had the unfortunate side effect of putting 5 tanks on our Ork player’s tank that had the objective from that end of the table. He very quickly died and kept dying every time we brought him back. Meanwhile they made a great tactical decision of throwing a lure tank close enough to us to tempt us into killing him. His plan was very good apart from one factor that every gamer has experienced at some point, our dice failed us. We reduced it down to 1 hull point, but then over 2 turns we fired everything we had against it, including 2 shots from the Shadowsword Volcano Cannon, all of which failed to kill it.

When it did happen, they immediately brought one back behind the shadowsword, and another next to our mid-table Landraider that held that objective, rammed us both, taking our objectives, and as the counter for the objectives was done at the end of the game turn they took all 3 victory points for holding objectives. Then came an amusing series of events of ramming and counter ramming and doing no damage, even from the thunderblitz table.

At the end of the day, we lost 7 victory points to their 12. A thoroughly fun game, with one lucky shot I was very pleased about from the volcano cannon which allowed us to retake one of the objectives in the last turn, unfortunately it was too little too late. Next week, we have the flier battle Death over Talmar.

Kickstarter Monday

Recently I have been backing a number of Kickstarter projects, such as Games & Gears Ichiban Studios Pro Line Brush which I received the first part of last week and am very happy with.

Below you will find a number of gaming projects ending soon that I am backing, that you kind readers may be interested in.

The fantastic, Rugged Cardboard Wargaming table Kickstarter by 4thWar Equipment is well worth a look, if you are like me and wanted a gaming table for your tabletop miniatures game.

I Personally play Warhammer 40k as readers of this blog will already know, and the flexibility of these tables makes them perfect for 40k as well as a number of different gaming systems.

At time of writing, this project was at $31,589 of a $13,000 goal, so it has successfully funded. They have also reached 7 of their 11 stretch goals and are only $411 away from the next stretch goal.

In addition they have an excellent gaming deal, the Spec Ops pack for $129. For that you get 3 tables and a limited edition “one of the 150″ bag. Each table is 48″x24″ designed to fit the Games Workshop Realm of Battle tiles, meaning this deal will build a single 72″x48” once the tables are connected using the magnets on each of the edges.

A toxin is running through your veins. Can you deduce the Antidote before it’s too late? A deadly-fun card game for 2-6 players.

Antidote is a very interesting game produced by Dennis Hoyle from Bellwether Games, that is both a cooperative and competitive puzzle solving and manipulation game. With an intro like that, why wouldn’t you want to pledge.

The basic pledge of $16 or $26 for international backers, like myself gets you one copy of the game, plus any stretch goals. The first 3 stretch goals have already been unlocked, there are still 9 left, 4 of which are hidden objectives.

A great idea about this game is that to give everyone a chance to try before they buy, they have made the full rules available for free download and print. Check out the How to play section.

Virus the Card Game

20 daysFunded!
Virus created by Around The Clock Games is a fun and compelling deck building game, where you assume the role of a mad scientist who is intent on creating a lethal pathogen.

Around The Clock Games have taken a differnt approach to stretch goals from other kickstarters that I have taken part in. In order to make this game as popular as possible and to get the news about the game out to as many people as possible they have gone for the novel approach of rewarding people for liking and sharing their facebook account (Around The Clock Games) and following them on twitter (@Bloodmoondice).

They have already passed their first 3 stretch goals, and are looking to generate 85 Facebook Likes & Twitter Follows to unlock the next goal. Like most kickstarters they also have monetary stretch goals, such as upgrading the card stock and finish if they sell over 200 units. This is well worth a look and for $17 or $27 for international backers it is on par with all the other card game kickstarters. Check them out.

Braiiiins!

23 days$8,447 of $20,000 goal
Finally, there is a game that I would really like to see funded. Braiiiins! is a twist on the typical zombie apocalypse story. In this story the players play the zombies, rather than the humans, and your goal is to raise a hoard of zombies and plough the feeding grounds for, you guessed it, Braiiiins!

Like the other kickstarters I have mentioned here, the starting level is $18 or $27 for international pledges, and like the others this level gives access to all stretch goals, plus the graveyard expansion pack. There are also a number of cool add-ons for this campaign, patches, t-shirts, and extra copies of the game.

Unlike the other kickstarters I have mentioned here, this one has not yet funded, but with the quality of the game and the fact it still has 23 days left to go, it would surprise me if this did not go well above it’s goal of $20,000. So go grab yourself some Braiiiins…