Monday, 29 April 2013

The Kotheous Campaign - Pt.2: Prologue Mission - The Signal: Overview

Here is the overview for the prologue mission of my Warhammer 40,000 campaign, as introduced in my blog post here.

Follow these links for the progress of Tim’s campaign:

Starport Scramble: The Mission
Prelude to the Starport Assault
Forces present at the Starport Assault

The Space Wolves have the initiative on the first turn unless the Eldar can steal it on a roll of a 6.

Game Length

Custom – The Eldar army begin the game in reserve. The Space Wolves deploy within 12” of the left board edge

Army Size
500 points

Victory Conditions
The winner is the army that controls the objective at the end of the game, or wipes out the opposing army. All units except vehicles are scoring units.
If the objective is contested, or no-one controls it by the end of the game, the winner is decided by points scored from Secondary Objectives. If there is still no winner, the game is a draw.

The Eldar army starts the game in reserve.
The Space Wolves must deploy a HQ and TROOP choice, but any other units may remain in reserve.On turn one, roll a D6 for each unit in reserve. On a 3+ they arrive on the battlefield. From turn two, roll a D6 and on a 2+, units arrive from reserve. On turn three, any units left in reserve deploy automatically.Space Wolves arriving from reserve move in from the left table edge.
Eldar arriving from reserve roll a D6. On a 1-2, they arrive from the right table edge. On a 3-4, they arrive from the top table edge. On a 5-6, they arrive from the bottom table edge.
If the unit arriving from reserve has the Scout ability, it may choose to arrive from any table edge, including the left.

Primary Objective
The device emitting the signal on the Skyshield Landing pad in the centre of the board.

Secondary Objectives
Slay the Warlord
First Blood

Army List – Space Wolves 

Wolf Lord w/ 2 wolf claws (140)

10 Blood Claws – Power weapon, plasma pistol, plasma gun (190)

Dreadnought w/ twin-linked lascannons (135)

Rhino (35)

Total: 500 points  

Army List – Eldar 

Farseer w/ Mind War (75)

10 Dire Avengers – Exarch w/ power weapon, shimmershield and Bladestorm (162)

10 Guardians w/ starcannon+ Warlock w/ singing spear (133)

3 Jetbikes

Heavy Support
War Walker w/ 2 scatter lasers (60)

Total: 496

In the next update, we'll have the full battle report.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Kotheous Campaign - Pt. 1: Introduction

In my last blog entry I told you about all the new discoveries I’ve been experiencing of late. New discoveries inevitably take up more of my time – particularly the enthusiasm I have for Fantasy Flight card games at the minute. What this means is my Games Workshop hobby has suffered a little. I haven’t painted in a month or two now and only had one game of Dreadfleet.

Well thanks to fellow #warmonger Tim (@warllama40k), this is about to change.

If you’ve read previous blog entries, you’ll know Tim and I crossed paths on Twitter whilst discussing the wargaming hobby and have since met on a couple of occasions at Warhammer World and Games Day.
Over on his blog here, he has started work on a Warhammer 40,000 campaign and while reading about his preparation and ideas, I decided to get in on the action.

My experience of 40K campaigns is limited. My friend and I have played through all six Planetstrike missions, but while they are thematically linked with an escalating level of threat and devastation, there aren’t actually any rules that change the following game based on the events of the last, as is usually the case in a campaign.
We did try out a two-game campaign during a visit to Warhammer World, with a smaller game to begin with – the winner of which would be the defender in the subsequent battle, controlling turreted strongholds against the attackers deep striking in. Beyond this though, my games of Warhammer 40,000 have been single skirmishes.

Following Tim’s guidance, I’m hoping to put together a five game campaign pitting the Space Wolves against the Eldar. I say five games, but it’s actually going to be six.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t be having an even number of games, but this first game is actually going to be a prologue to the campaign, a small skirmish that will set the scene for the main event to come.

Tim is basing his campaign on a planet called Thrask in the Caerphillax Sector on the Eastern Fringe – with the intention of developing this area of space over time.
What I’ve decided to do is base my campaign in the same sector, but on a planet called Kotheous. Small, with harsh weather conditions, Kotheous was nevertheless a valuable outpost for the Caerphillax Sector and a well positioned trade route for other planets such as Thrask. That was until it was cut off by warpstorms towards the end of the Age of Apostasy. Abandoned, nature has taken back the planet – it’s factorums and bastions falling into decay. The warpstorms have cleared, but Kotheous remains a shell of its former self, ruined and forgotten. Until a passing Imperial vessel picks up a signal coming from the surface……

In my next update, I’ll be laying out the rules and plans for this opening skirmish.

One last thing.
As the Caerphillax Sector is Tim’s baby, I didn’t want to just wade in like a spoilt child playing with another kid’s toys, which is why I’ve steered away from Thrask and added another planet. But I’m also going a step further. Once my campaign has played out, I’ve come up with a little surprise that will allow Tim himself to decide the fate of Kotheous.

Stay tuned……

New Discoveries

Aren’t new discoveries great? The excitement you feel when you discover a new band, or a series of books you’d never read before.

Well over the last few months I’ve experienced quite a run of new discoveries and I just wanted to share them here.

While I’ve never seen the tv show, I decided to buy the first book in The Walking Dead series of graphic novels and loved it. The atmosphere, the characters. Brilliant stuff. I’m currently working on the fourth and I know I’ve got a lot of zombie goodness still to come.
On the TV – late to the party again – I discovered Sherlock and Boardwalk Empire. I’ve now seen the first two series of the former and I’m working through season 1 of Boardwalk Empire. Really good on both counts.

And then there are the card games. Boy have I fallen big time for these. I bought Infiltration after reading this article by Robert Florence and since then I’ve also picked up The Lord of the Rings – The Card Game, Android: Netrunner and Elder Sign. I’ve joined board/card gaming forums and I’ve even bought sleeves to protect my cards. I wasn’t looking for another hobby, but this one found me and I’ve had a great time introducing my friends to these games.

Expect more from me on these games and my journey through my new found hobby in the coming months.
I just need a new band to listen to and get obsessed with now. Maybe I'll find one at Eurovision.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

L.A. Noire

A month or two ago, I finally finished LA Noire. I got it when it was released and the time it’s taken to complete it is more down to other games and real life getting in the way, not the quality of the game. It is definitely a good one with a great cast, utilising superb facial technology.
But there are just a few things not quite right. In fact they’re just odd.
First of all, the difficulty. I’ve never known a game hold the player’s hand as much as LA Noire. Never once did I feel like I was failing the game – even when I clearly was. I could get everything wrong on an investigation and yet would still complete it. Even when told that I was “back on the streets”, the next case would start and I’d still be in my detective suit like nothing had happened.
And if I died 3 times in a particular shootout, or failed to chase down a suspect in the street, I was given the option to just skip this bit and carry right on with the game. What?!
Then there’s the main character. When the game was in development, the choices you had in interviews included “Force” and the script and acting was finished accordingly. But somewhere along the line, “Force” was changed to “Doubt” and so the voice and motion capture that had already been done, no longer fit. Instead of the suspicious, cajoling questioning you’d expect from the word “Doubt”, you get a Jack Bauer-like line of questioning that is downright psychotic!
Det. Phelps:       “How did you know the deceased, ma’am?”
Little Old Lady:  “I live down the street, officer.”

Even knowing the little hiccup during the development cycle, doesn’t help you live with the fact that the main character of the game; the guy you are controlling; the hero – is an arsehole.
He even (spoilers) abandons his wife and kid to get his end away with some singer!
And to remind you of how you’ve just spend 10-12 hours playing a complete prick, the last quarter of the game you play as someone else! Someone altogether more likeable and less likely to bit a suspect’s face off in an interview. Again….what?!
I enjoyed LA Noire. It made a nice change from the usual games that pass through my console. But it didn’t make it easy.