Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Article: Space Hulk

So here is the first of our Guest Articles. Corvus Sanguine has written up a brief summery of our recent creation. Cheers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Role Play vs Roll Play

Changing pace for a little bit, I'm going to shift away from my usual topic of 40k and talk about games of a different (but possibly similar) feel. All games have an element of role playing in them, whether it be something as extensive as DnD where you create and play a character, to something even in 40k where you might try to think like or create a story for your particular commander or army. We all play these games to escape from reality in some form or another. Its the ability to roll play that makes a game more than just a bunch of nerds (meant with all due respect and love) sitting around a room together.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Battle Report VII

Here's a 2000 point match up between Black Legion Dave and myself. We played Seize Ground with 3 objectives on Spearhead Deployment. Was a really great game. Hope you all enjoy.

As a quick edit note, I forgot to mention the Carnifexes all had Adrenal Glands as well. I4 on the charge ftw.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fluff on the Battlefield

Alright, this is one of those articles that really serves no purpose other than to try to get people active on the page. That said, I feel that this is a worthwhile question that has been in a lot of discussions in a lot of different game stores.

"Where does fluff fit in this game?"

Some people argue that the game itself is what it is, a strategy game. The dice and the rules are what make the game, and the stories, while nice reads, have little to do with playing this game. This player focuses on list construction in an attempt to create powerful synergies which maximize what their particular codex can do (which in no way is a bad thing, but can often lead to strange unit match ups to maximize rules).

This type of player feels more at home in the presence of stiff competition and generally do well in tournaments as their ability to construct powerful lists and maximizing the output of their army generally pertain to much more solid chances in "random" situations (this random referring to the idea of not knowing who or what army you'll be facing in tournaments).

This type of player generally knows how to play the game very well. In many ways they may have mastered some aspects of the game. Their skills may become the current "meta" if done well enough, and this is truly a testament to this ability to think in ways others may not.


Other people say that creating lists that follow the story or fluff of the game is much more crucial. In this game, we have creative license to create our own armies, but should really follow the fluff. Units are designed to fit a story, and we use them to reenact or create moments from the universe.

When playing the game, often times we'll see somewhat less potent units and/or combinations being used in order to attain a better story. These players often use units deemed "bad" from the online meta. Units will generally play smart, but may often not stand up in comparison to meta-strength units.

Generally these players seem to feel more at home in the beer and pretzels style game with friends. This isn't to say they can't enjoy or do well in the tournament scene, but many times their lists may not sand up. These players may utilize units that are custom made and may or may not fit the correct scale or size in order to allow for more hobby (larger bases or taller/shorter models).

Now I'm not saying that these are the only two types of players. These are examples from the somewhat extreme ends of play. I personally feel like I sit in the middle and float between the two feels. I try to create lists that follow the fluff, but these units are generally pretty potent units. I avoid bad units (as I know I am competitive) but will try to utilize units as they would be in the fluff.

What do you guys think about this? I would really like to see people bring their thoughts in on this. This is a question I know we've all had, and having a discussion online can bring new minds in to have a much broader intellect and more points of view available.

In the end we all can play how we see fit. There is not really a right or wrong way to play. I'm interested to see where people sit on this particular discussion.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Reappropriation

I won't bore you with details, but after stopping to review a few things, I felt that my user name was no longer appropriate. Named after the sector in which Rynn's World was located, It was a good name at the time given my army was the Crimson Fists.

While I still hold them close, I have never held a bond with an army like I do with my Black Templars. It is likely I will always play them, and as such felt it appropriate to alter my user name on Rites. I have chosen the name of my Emperor's Champion to represent myself with. I even have a new Emperor's Champion Model with a few minor changes to make it my own (picture coming soon).

So with that, the last rites of Loki have been read.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Playing with Yourself

So lets skip the talk about the birds and the bees for a moment and move onto a topic that I think is something people never think about in terms of learning this game. 40k is, at it's core a strategy game. It shares a lot of similarities with games like Chess, where a lot of the game rides on how you think, and how your opponent thinks. Taking the dice out of the equation for a moment we know that in order to win we have to play the mission, but in a lot of ways we need to play the player as well.

In a game where thinking and strategic moves are as crucial as they are here... we have to find more and more ways to look at this game. Experienced veterans will come to the table and in little to no time once they have determined where they will set up and what the mission is, they will generally have a plan for the upcoming 5 to 7 turns; while newer player will take a little more time to examine the terrain, how their units will interact with it, and what units benefit the most by being in one spot or another.

This is where knowledge and time interact pretty differently. A new player will take this time to focus on how they will play, and what their units will be doing. A veteran will already have these questions answered in a very short time, and can then spend the rest of this time evaluating what their opponent is doing. Studying units, where they are set up, and how the army will most likely play. Everything that is on the table, and even units in reserve tells a player who knows how to "read a unit" what their plan is.

So how can new players try to reduce this disadvantage? Besides playing dozens of games against dozens of armies and players... it is hard to get that experience... or is it? I devised a way (quite accidentally) to help players better themselves as players and it only requires you and yourself.

I grew up with a brother and some of his friends who played this game... Their commitment to playing was sporadic at best and after many of them left for college (as they were much older than me), I soon found myself with no opponents. So I began playing against myself. I started off small, taking small armies that met force org rules and pitted them against the other units in my army that also met force org. Over time I began to teach myself more and more about not only my army rules, but also game rules, strategies, and even how units could be used against other units. It provided such a unique challenge.

Something else that has come from this is how to out think your own self. Many times we take the same or similar units repeatedly, and generally run them the same way every game. But when the person sitting on the other side of the table is you, it becomes pretty clear that often times your go to strategy is often not the answer... and your other self will know exactly how to counter it. This forces you to rethink your strategy. It also serves as a way for even experienced players to stand to gain from this.

Whether you are new and are trying to find a way to better understand the game, or an experienced veteran seeking a unique challenge... playing a game against yourself often provides a challenge that is almost impossible to gain anywhere else. Knowing that our opponent already knows what you are planning can often help force yourself to think of better strategies relying less on chance and more on skill than playing against another skilled player. It will help give you an edge when you look at your list, and you know exactly where the weak points are, so that you can guard them with your strengths.

I urge everyone to take some time, even more time than you would spend on a usual game... talk out loud to yourself (even have conversations with the other you... try to get into the head of both players at once). It sounds weird, and your room mates might think your a little nuts... but I have found it to be an invaluable aid in learning the game, how I play, and how to prevent people from stopping how I play. I hope you guys give it a shot. After all, I'm sure we all know how much fun playing with ourselves can be. :D