Thursday, January 30, 2014

Weekend of February 1

Hey folks,

Just a quick update for today. This weekend (weather permitting) I will be over at my local Hobby Town for some Saturday night gaming. In addition to 40K I am hoping to try out Warmachine. I purchased a Cygnar battle group to try out. I will get an article out on the weekend's gaming goodness. Also this weekend heralds the release of the new White Dwarf Weekly and Warhammer Visions magazines. I am reserving judgement on this new direction for the publications as well as the new weekly release schedule. I will hopefully be purchasing both magazines this weekend so I will give my impressions on both new publications in the near future. With the Dwarfs coming soon maybe John can muster up the gumption and do a review for the new book. So long for now and happy gaming, folks!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hatred and Spite

Dark Elves

Howdy gentle readers. Today we shall take a long overdue look at the Dark Elves. This will be structured much like my look at the High Elves. 


Not a whole lot has changed here since the last book. I would say that things have been mostly expanded upon and fleshed out. There are some interesting bits about some of the early years of the Dark Elves as they slowly descend into murder and debauchery. They have also expanded Morathi's role both at court and in Dark Elf society. One of the major changes is in the handling of male magic users. Previously all male Dark Elves who could use magic were killed out of hand due to the prophecy regarding the Witch King being overthrown by a male wizard. Now we have the addition of  the Doomfire Warlocks whose souls have been cursed to be devoured by Slaanesh. 


So what all changed in the meat of the book? Well lets take a look at the army wide rules to start. First of all we see almost across the board Always Strikes First, secondly we have Murderous Prowess which grants rerolls on 1s To Wound in close combat. Next we have a +1 to casting attempts when using Dark Magic. Last we have across the board Hatred for High Elves (to be expected).
Onto the units. My favorite new unit from the book? That is simple, Sister of Slaughter hands down. 15 points for a WS6, I6, A2, 4+ ward save in close combat unit that ignores rank bonuses and doesn't allow parry saves, and they get a +1 To Hit and To Wound on units that have either a higher Strength or Weapons Skill. Yes please. Doomfire Warlocks are pretty sweet as well. 4+ ward save and a unit of fast cav spell casters are a pretty nasty proposition. Now we slide comfortably into the "pretty cool" category. Here I lump the High Beastmaster, Scourgerunner Chariot, Bloodwrack Medusa/Shrine, Black Ark Fleetmasters, and the Kharibdyss. All of them have features that make them useful and they will make good additions to any Dark Elf army. Lastly I turn to the Bleakswords, an entirely unnecessary addition to an already robust Core selection. As to the already established units what was good in the last book is still pretty good over all in this. Hydras are nasty, Cold One Knights are heavy duty, and the Corsairs are still terrors. Bolt Throwers got a boost with a point drop and the ability to take up to four in a normal army.    


Rarely do I have to say that I prefer the old metal models over the newer plastic incarnations, but the new Executioners/Black Guard kit takes the cake. While I do enjoy the design of the models, the poses are some of the most static and least dynamic I have seen from GW plastics. There is no sense of motion or menace at all in these figures. I understand that they may have been going for a more disciplined or stoic pose for these models based off of their background, but for crying out loud make some of them look like they are moving foreword or bracing for an attack.  I also have to level this complaint against the new Spear/Sword/Crossbow kit. I get that they are going for ease of assembly for large blocks of units, and I like the idea, but again the poses are very static. None of the crossbows are in a firing position. Also another thing I have noticed, at least as far as I can tell, they have removed the female torsos from the above mentioned kit. Whats up with that?

Now contrast these static poses with the rest of the range. The new Witch Elves/Sisters of Slaughter are awesome examples of dynamic posing for plastics. I also would like to add that GW has finally done some female sculpts that actually look respectable. The new Dark Riders/Doomfire Warlocks look pretty nice too and they really did some funkiness with the new horses. The new Hydra/Kharibdyss kit looks pretty awesome. I have read some criticism of the Hydra design, but I think a lot of the unhappiness is due to the way GW has chosen to paint one of the models they have used for display (the green/red one). The new Cauldron of Blood/Bloodwrack Shrine is pretty awesome as well. The Cauldron has got some great detail on it. Lastly we come to the new chariot kit. The design has certainly stirred up some controversy. I certainly like the attempt to make them stand out from other factions, especially the High Elves, in terms of design, but in the end I don't like the mono wheel design. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the model. I really think they could have done a slightly more practical looking design.

The Takeaway

Overall I am pleased with this release, with a few reservations as mentioned above. Another complaint I have to level is the price of a particular kit, I am of course speaking of the Witch Elves. $60 for a ten model kit that is a core choice as well as a rare? What the bloody hell GW?!?! I get that they want to get revenue off of what is a powerful core choice and rare choice in the form of the Sisters of Slaughter, but with the current emphasis on large core blocks this price is utterly absurd. I have a small but growing Dark Elf army. Thankfully I have been able to get a hold of some of the old metal Black Guard, Executioners, and Witch Elves. I have enough of each unit (15) so that adding the plastics should only take a box each to flesh out the units to playable levels. I definitely want to get them on the table again and give the new book a proper try. Hopefully that will be sometime soon. Until next time, be well and happy gaming!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Hey folks, before I begin this article I just want to say one thing: I suck at updating and posting, I know. With that out of the way I want to talk about something I don't normally weigh in on, internet rumors. We all look at them on various sites such as Bell of Lost Souls or Faeit 212 (my personal preference) and often times we get some pretty outlandish rumors filtering through from various sources. Recently Natfka has been reporting some strange rumblings about the future of GW as a company and the direction Warhammer Fantasy will be taking in the future. Let me state for the record that I have nothing but respect for Natfka. He reports the rumors and clearly states what each article is about. He doesn't pretend to report the rumors he posts as the gospel truth and corrects himself where applicable. What set  me off on this rant was what I saw today regarding changes to GW stores, mainly mass closures, in Europe, and the elimination of support for no less than FOUR Warhammer Fantasy armies. Check out the site and read the rumors and comments for yourself .

Now I am certainly no financial expert nor do I have any intimate knowledge of how corporate GW works. I am simply a fan who has been in the hobby for over a decade and who has had the pleasure of visiting hobby stores outside the U.S. What strikes me as bogus about this whole rumor set is the incredibly drastic nature of it. I could see possibly closing a few stores, but to eliminate your company stores on in not one, but two major European markets? I find this to be highly suspect. In July of 2013 I had the pleasure of visiting several GW stores in France, namely GW Clermont-Ferrand and GW Paris 15e. I also follow both of these stores on Facebook. GW has a pretty heavy foot print in Paris with at least four or five stores across the city. I went to both French stores on "off" days (not the weekend) and both stores had people in to game and paint as well as customers making purchases. I know that this is in no way representative of what their profits are, but it wasn't like the stores were dead. I can't imagine that Germany is any different. I am sure we all have seen the GW financial report that came out a few days ago. I think a lot of these rumors stem from people who are either trolling or hate GW for whatever reason yet still enjoy frequenting forums about the hobby. What I do find more plausible is what some have suggested, and that is a merger in regional management into a centralized management in the UK for Europe.

Regarding the rumors about Fantasy I really can't say much other than I find them very hard to believe. Eliminating support for four armies is a radical move to say the least. A lot of rumors and discussions have been floating around the web about the direction Fantasy will take. Some have said that a new edition is in the works that will include all of the army lists in the core rule book while others have said that armies with "similar themes" will be rolled into single books (Empire and Bretonia into a single book for example). I find all of this talk of merger a bit hard to swallow. In the case of The Empire and Bretonia you have two very culturally and technologically different civilizations with The Empire being a late medieval/renaissance Holy Roman Empire and Bretonia being very clearly feudal France. The same can be said for the three Elven factions and the undead as well. The only thing I could see making sense for a merger would be the factions of Chaos. If they rolled Warriors, Daemons, and Beastmen into one giant book I wouldn't feel so bad about dropping $50.

So where am I going with all of this rambling?

 Well I don't really know. I guess my point is to be careful what you believe on the web.