Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (Some Beta spoilers)

Imperial Battlecruiser with Space Marine Favor
Battlefleet Armada Homepage

-All images taken from my progress (or Bobs) in the Beta-

Quick Synopsis:

J- Another GW based tabletop game getting made into a computer game, yay! I never played the tabletop so I can't do a comparison (Bob can) but my experience with the game/beta has been very positive. For being a beta I give it a good 91. I have only really played as the Imperials so my knowledge is a bit limited by choice. For the Emperor!

B- Right now we are only going to be discussing the solo skirmish. Versus multiplayer really doesn't appeal to either of us and the campaign isn't there yet. I have been playing all 3 factions available right not (Eldar are incoming at the time this goes out) and each of them feels pretty close to what I remember of the tabletop game.

J- Fleet battles of the 40k universe. Build and customize your fleet and lead to battle against 4 possible foes. Imperials, Chaos, Orks and Eldar, you can end up fighting your own faction in skirmish. As it stands you can only do a tutorial portion of the campaign, or the skirmishes up to a point. As you level up both your admiral and ships they unlock more options and slots and larger battles. Pretty fun format, another one where you just have to level your stuff up and get the biggest available. But having the biggest and the best isn't necessary to win. Battles are on a fairly open "map" (its space) where you control your ships, right now there is a good bit of micromanaging and it takes some getting used to.

J- You start with only light cruisers and escorts, and as you level, you unlock cruisers, battle cruisers and finally battleships. Right now the battleship is the biggest, idk if it stays that way at full release, and now the fleet make up is limited to 1 battleship, 2 battle cruisers, 3 cruisers and 4 light cruisers. Escort ships are "free". each of the classifications holds at least 2 options and on up to 5 within each tier.

Light Cruiser, if you zoom in you can see more of my fleet in the background
B- Briefly the fleets play as follows: Imperials are all about closer range broadside firefights. Their ships are heavily armoured in the prow so they can soak up some fire getting in to "cross the T". Chaos have the advantage of longer range over the Imperials with more prow and all around firing weapons. Throw in favors of the Chaos gods and you get some really interesting ships. Orks are all about ramming and getting in close. Their guns hit hard when they hit (Orks aren't known for accuracy) and they excel at boarding actions. Their ships maneuver like drunken cows piloting a bathtub, but if they line up a good ramming action your ships are not going to get the better of that deal. While the Eldar haven't been released yet I can talk a little about them from what I remember of the table top game. They are fast, hit like a truck, and have a glass jaw. Eldar have superior range, strike craft, and maneuverability plus some tricks to mitigate incoming fire. Just don't get caught in a close range broadside fight. Eldar ships are fragile compared to the other races and are more focused on prow and 180 degree firing arcs.

J- Did I mention micromanaging? Get good at it and it is very rewarding. I started with getting my but handed to me, but as I figured out the nuances it became much better. and there are a bunch of different mission types already available with more to come. You have your straight up fights, to capture objectives, escape to defend locations. each race and even ship has a unique play style. you really have to accept that play style to get the most out of it. If you want ranged combat and play Orks you are going to have a bad time. There is a genuine different feel to short range combat vs long range, ramming/boarding actions and support/fighters. You do get to pick your what part of your fleet is participating in each fight so you are never stuck with the same ship.

J- So beyond the ship choice and combat controls the game offers several other customization. Favors are 4 race specific upgrades, that you get to choose, that give two  benefits a piece to each ship equipped with it. I have equipped my whole fleet with Space Marines to make me less susceptible to boarding actions and give benefits to when I board others. Skills and attributes are not race specific but some are ship specific (you can't upgrade the lances on a ship that doesn't have them, sorry) and offer a good bit of differentiation to get your fleet to fight the way you want. The Orks get more upgrades to ships than the others, and early on in the beta there was a grayed out option for fleet colors, they have since removed it. But I would bet it is back at full release, maybe just for multiplayer but it would be cool in skirmish/campaign. Hopefully they at least change which Chapter of Space Marines I have, not a fan of the yellow.

J- 1. Ships aren't as tier-able as I thought they would be as far as stats go. A frigate has the same flank armor as a battleship and the same troop strength. 2. The sizes of the ships can be strange. A battle cruiser is the same size as a cruiser for the Imperials. 3.Add macros, please! At least someway to map my ship selection as selecting the one specific ship you want can be problematic.4 Right now you can't control the skirmishes, the point total, victory condition or enemy. It would be nice to control that. 5.ish. I think its just a beta thing but the limit to your level and the number of ships you can get as well as the size of the battles being capped. I have a 1500 point fleet and I only ever get to field 700 of it, come on!

Battleship showing signs of battle after taking heavy damage
B- They still have some stat tweaks to make for sure. Key macros are a must have considering the amount of micro managing of abilities that is needed. I wouldn't mind having a more options for ship customization (paint scheme and details), but that is mostly cosmetic.

Real Life:
J- Game got delayed, I am starting to just blame GW for this, but comes out on April 21st (I think). The beta is fun and fills in the wait. They fixed most of the major glitches and problems that I experienced at first. Some things are still wonky and or slow, but I trust them to get it fixed. If you are wanting to enjoy a real graphics marvel, this probably isn't for you. The detail and graphics themselves are very good, for a beta, but I spend my whole battle zoomed way out to see all the action. If you are lucky you do get some good cinematic endings to each fight, usually something blowing up or a ship escaping or something. battles tend to be very quick 5 minutes being pretty standard. I don't think I have had a fight go 10 minutes.

B- So I have to say that this is one of the best betas I have ever gotten to play. I love BFG and this is a pretty good video game adaptation of it. Yeah the game got delayed, but I'm not all that upset about it. The devs have been pretty transparent about why they delayed it (they listened to feedback) and the fact that they are running the 10% off pre-sale price for a few months after release is brilliant. The graphics are good for what the game is going for and they improved as the beta has progressed. I have had a lot of fun playing the skirmish and I can't wait to get my hands on the campaign and full release. In the future I hope the game does well enough to see the addition of the full BFG fleet list. Would I recommend this game? Yes, even in beta form. Stay tuned and we will bring a full review when the game officially releases here in a few weeks!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What's on my table 2/27

Greeting folks!

Bob here with some ruminations and pictures of what hobby stuff I have been into. Bolt Action has been lodged front and center recently so I have attempted to harness that energy into painting and it has happily born fruit. Check this out folks,

Paras after flocking. Had to go back and dry brush the fatigues because my dumb ass forgot that step on all of these....
All of my infantry completed barring some base work. The weapons teams are on the painting table at the moment

Good progress on the French infantry. 2 squads left then the support weapons.

That's right folks, I have been a model of completing projects of late. If I keep this up I may just screw up and finish an army of two (stranger things have  happened)! The Americans and the French have been getting the love at the moment as they are the smaller of the 3 armies I have. The Germans will be next after I get the French infantry and American support weapons done.

This past game night I managed to actually play a game of 40k (will wonders never cease?!). This was my first use of the newer Dark Angels book since it was released. When I say 40k has dropped off locally, I mean it has dropped off locally as to be non existent on any given night. Here are some highlights of the game. It was a Crusade mission with 5 objectives. My opponent, Screech, ran a vehicle heavy Guard list. We agreed on 1750 points for the game.

Flyers: still wrong as hell in 40k.

End of the game shot. I had 2 models on the board but managed to win off of objectives!
Final score of the game was me:8, Screech 5. In the end it boiled down to me having models on objectives at the end of the game and having killed all of his infantry except 1 squad. This was a fun game with the usual amount of head scratching at rules and crap dice rolls. I lost a Terminator squad to a miss hap and that hurt a bit. It had been a long time since either of us played. I really don't know what to think of the game of 40k anymore. It still works, but good lord is it clunky compared to other systems (Bolt Action in particular).

So there you have it gentle readers. I hope to start into a semi-regular routine of posting again, but we shall see. Happy gaming!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bolt Action action

Hey folks, Bob here with some updates on the hobby front. I am happy to report that after a lull Bolt Action is picking up again! I have managed to get in two games per night at the last two game nights! The first round was against our local big cat enthusiast finally managed to actually put some arms on his infantry and get a game in. We played two 750 point games with the vaunted superiority of the late war grenadiers and German armour falling to the guts and glory of US airborne and the humble Sherman tank.
No, that isn't some strange pipe. It is our dice cup/macro cannon. That face in the middle is the face of  getting your ass whooped and your Panzer IV not doing shit and dying to a Sherman 75mm and a 57mm at gun. Photo courtesy of Da Masta Cheef
Fire and maneuver

That's right folks, one shot one kill. 

My second set of games were a lighter affair. Our newest player, Mike, wanted to get a game in with his newly built US forces from the D-Day Firefight intro box. We decided on a 500 point game with me bringing my early war Germans. I decided on an all infantry force as armour takes up a lot of points at that size of a game (and it wouldn't have been fair). While I won both games, a lot of that was due to rather poor dice rolling on Mike's part and two airstrikes that didn't mange to do much and a "1" result that wound up in my favor. Mike's enthusiasm for the game wasn't dimmed however and he plans on expanding his forces soon. So really big news as well on people picking armies. Our long time hold out finally picked an army! After over a year of vacillation it will be Imperial Japan for our longest hold out.

Our local armies are as follows:

Blitzkrieg Germans (me), French (me), 2 US airborne (one of them me), British paras, late war German panzergrenadiers, Imperial Japan, DAK (coming soon hopefully), and 1 US army with another coming soon as well, and a Weird War force of Russian Aardvarks.

That is all for now, folks! Happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Warhammer: Total War update

Warhammer Total War Empire Campaign Video

So the good folks over at Creative Assembly released another video and I have a few comments I am fully hoping they steal, again.

1. For the love of Sigmar start the major factions out with more than 1 city/town. And there had better not be a big difference from the starting strength of the good guys vs the bad guys. but I willing to bet pennies on dollars that the bad guys will start with more than the good guys. in the video it says the Empire starts with only one city, complete bull hockey. notice the difference between where the two factions are in the videos. Orks have stuff all over and the Empire has two provinces, way too big of a difference to be balanced. (i know its not the same turn)

2. Hopefully the good guys have real "diplomatic" options on how to convince the other provinces to join them. Hopefully similar to Empire with the British and the American Colonies. if not that I would like to see the provinces under siege from 1 major enemy army (that never actually takes anything) and that defeating that army and/or settlement will unlock control of that whole province. What I inferred from the video is that if you are the Empire you will spend way too long conquering the lands that are already supposed to report to you, when diplomacy never works for you. but again I am willing to bet that your allies get nommed before you can talk them into joining you or they straight up declare war on you and you just have to conquer them like anywhere else. It was turn 71 in the video and they only had 7 provinces and no diplomatic expansion; while the enemies had grown exponentially via violent measures.

3. Hopefully the AI is dead set on maintaining alliances or at least neutrality between the good guys. going back to the lore the Empire and Dwarves don't fight, Bretonnia and the Dwarves don't really fight. The good guys have enough going on where they don't need other good guys coming after them. at least until late game, only option situations. I could understand the little guys going after big guys but it shouldn't happen if they are at war with a bad guy faction (which should be all the time)

4. Something all total wars need to fix is the enemy's preference just to attack the player faction even while being destroyed from the other side. too many times the enemy faction sends its final army at a town while a third faction besieges their capital. it ticks me off and is unrealistic. would really like to see some self preservation come into play.

5. No "homing" enemies like the Huns in Attila or the Mongols in Medieval. hopefully the enemies growth is more along a general front expanding out, and not one that seeks out the player's faction.  with the video it seemed like the player had three enemy factions coming at him. Bretonian vamps, empire vamps and the ork tribe to the north.
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 4
for those curious on what I have said earlier here are the links to previous posts, some going way back before anything came out at all. A couple of them reflect things above. a couple of these links go back to 2013, its like I am psychic. don't tell the witch hunters. could have swore I did another one but couldn't find it.
Previous Warhammer Total War comments
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 2
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 3

sadly Warhammer Total War is about all that I have an interest in of late as far as GW is concerned so this is how I will post. Damn GW for killing Fantasy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Hobby Goals and Wishlist

Greeting good readers!

Bob here after a long hiatus to offer up some of my thoughts on my hobby goals and wishlist for 2016. 2015 Proved to be an interesting year and dare I say disheartening. Despite some interesting released from GW (Skitarii mainly) the death of Warhammer Fantasy and the ever bloated and increasingly obtuse nature of the 40k rules has really put me off of them on the whole. Yes, prices factor into it of course. The ever rising price point for new kits is very disheartening. On the positive side I managed to start to branch out into other systems and companies. I am really happy with Bolt Action and Hail Caesar. Warlord is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies. I also broke down and got some Perry Brothers Hundred Years War English archers and men at arms and I have to say that I am impressed. This shouldn't be a surprise considering it is the Perry brothers. X-Wing has also been a fun system to slowly collect and play on occasion. The last part of 2015 was rather hectic as I was finishing my last semester of undergrad. I know John has been getting ridden like a cheap mule by his work and like me has been suffering from hobby malaise.

Some action from the last game of  Fantasy I played

It was a close game, but the soldiers of Nordland proved victorious over the Tomb Kings

But fear not, hope is here. I have some very achievable projects and goals for 2016 along with a rather more focused approach to GW. So what am I planning and what are my hobby aims? First of all, having graduated has put me into an interesting position. Part of what my future employment may entail is a lot of travel for weeks if not months. This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for hobby. Depending on the length of the project and the location I am fairly well set up to bring a travel case of figures and painting supplies as well as a small army of something. So let's break down my hobby ideas by category:

Games Workshop: So I am not getting out of Fantasy or 40k. For Fantasy I plan on slowly finishing out the last bits I need for my Dark Elves, finishing my Vampires, and picking up odds and ends for Brets, Beasts, Chaos, and Dwarfs when the opportunity arises. 40k is going to be largely similar. I want to get my Eldar and Guard finished out as they don't lack much. I would like to work a little more on my Iron Snakes and Skitarii, but they really aren't high priority to be honest. If Deathwatch come out I may be tempted by them, but beyond that it will take a lot to tempt me into really starting a new army. What would like to see 40k wise (this is purely a wishlist)? Plastic Guard kits for some of the older regiments, plastic aspect warriors, chaos marines, and that is it. I am curious to see where these new specialist games go. I am really enjoying collecting my legion forces for 30k. I have a feeling this is where the majority of my GW spending will be. Betrayal at Calth is an excellent set.

Warlord: I want to finish out my early war French Army. It is very close to being done and painted (gasp!). After they are done I would like to start either a British/Commonwealth army or a late war German army to square off against my US paras. I wouldn't mind developing my Hail Caesar Romans and Gauls, but they aren't a priority. Beyond the Gates of Antares looks pretty cool and I would like to read the rules for it.

Star Wars: I wouldn't mind getting a few more X-Wing ships and Armada looks cool. Not much else to say here.

Other: I will be working on an English and French army for the Hundred Years War (Agincourt period). The Perry miniatures are just that good and I love the period.

I also have a new idea on dealing with the rather huge backlog of things that need to be painted. I want to try and rotate armies painting 5-10 models at a time. I want to try and have these done in a 2-3 week window time permitting. This of course will vary with work and other constraints. I just need to be painting. Period. I would like to have all of my armies done before I can start to draw social security.

Test model for my French Army
Have a full squad painted up now

So that is my ramble for the new year. Hopefully I will get back in some sort of spasmodic rhythm of blogging. Thanks and happy gaming!

Monday, October 19, 2015

What is on my table 10/19

Hey folks,

Bob here with a very small update. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a whole lot of hobby progress lately for one reason or another. The weather has decided to cooperate so I have managed to get some stuff primed. Besides that I have managed to finish up a few odds and ends and mess with some random stuff. I decided I wanted to go with white shoulder guards for my 30k Emperor's Children so that managed to get done. I also have had a box of Warlord Games Celtic Warriors sitting around unbuilt so I decided to put a few of them together to see what they looked like. After I did that I decided to paint a few of them up. Here are my first Celts (Gallic of course)

For some reason my box didn't come with the decal sheet that was supposed to be included, so I have left the  shields blank aside from the boss until I can pick some transfers up. Painting more of these guys is going to be interesting given their lack of uniform and noted bright colors. So far I am fairly pleased with the kit.

Next up I've finished the scenic bases that come with the new GW Space Marine assault squad. I have the squad all built up with suitable Dark Angels bitz and they will form the basis of my last assault squad for my Dark Angels. I almost have a full battle company finished (sans the rhinos and such) and just lack 5 assault marines and some devastators. Here are the bases minus the flocking.

That is it for now, folks. Hopefully I will have some more models to display in the near future and some more substantial content as well. Take care and happy gaming!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Army History

Like most long time hobbyist I have several armies, High Elves, Dwarves, Skaven, Lizardmen, Tomb Kings and Chaos, in that order. It may seem random but there was some logic behind it.

High Elves were the cool, disciplined, recognizable army when first picking a choice. I liked how much ranged attacks they had. And it was one of the first armies I played as using Bob's army. This was back in 2002.  Well problem with this army is that they die way too fast. Somewhere around 2000pts

Only painting I have got done.

So, Dwarves were next. Dwarves were tankier than elves but still had good ranged choices. problem was I didn't have enough of them, and at the time a lot of the unit choices, and the whole army really, sucked. This was probably 2004. Around 4000pts

Most of the main painting done, just got to do the final washes

Skaven were the answer. Lots of models, monsters for the first time, they were also my first "bad guy" army. ok 4 boxes of clanrats and only 2 units later, they're are too many skaven. This was probably 2005. Only thing I have added since is when I bought the rats from one of the starting kits from Bob. Around 1500pts

if any one can pick it up, I have washed the horns, pretty happy with the result

Lizards. Easily my favorite army. Back to the good guys, lots of attacks, can take a hit, cool monsters, lots of magic. These guys were my army until 2007 when I briefly dabbled with.
Around 4500pts

Started with Bleached Bone, then a light wash of a dark brown. then another wash of light brown. then hit the ends of the horns with some dry brushed Skull White and a final wash, while the first was still drying.

Tomb Kings. Similar to Lizards, some good hitty units, monsters, great characters, chance to raise your dead. But again too much of a horde army. This army died very soon after it started. 2007
Around 1000pts, most of that not a legal army

several layers of light washes brought out the details, and helped blend in the Skull White that I thought was going to be too bright.

Fast Forward to 2014. Chaos arrive. Local GW store was having a "Warlord" tournament for the new chaos book. Decided this was a great way to start an army. Got a decent sized army, and decided this was going to be my best painted army, so it is coming along very slowly.
between 1000-1500pts

That's what I gotten done with a busy work schedule. Not much time for anything. Might get some more painting done here in a couple months. I still have a couple boxes of guardsmen I got to put together.