Preparing the Defenses!

So our upcoming APOCALYPSE game is less than a week away. After getting in some kill team with Jon this weekend (and hearing Jordan cry about Tyranids some more) I decided to get things ready for the big game this Saturday. Having set up the terrain I thought it would be a good idea to get a feel for how many models it could handle before it looked too packed. Really I just wanted an excuse to set up all my little men and take pictures of them but just humor me for a bit... Our game is going to be 9000 points total so it shouldn't be too over crowded. Then again there will be three Ork players and one Tyranid player, so space may become limited very quickly. Though once the Hellhammer starts firing I'm sure space will become readily available.

I picked up a few new pieces of terrain from Pegasus Hobbies last week and am very satisfied with the quality of their products. Their techno bridge was a snap to assemble (Quite literally since I haven't glued it yet, yet it holds together just fine.) and looks great with just a dusting of silver spray paint. My wife keeps bugging me to detail it more but I'm happy with it as is for now. Besides, what's a war gamer without a backlog?
The second piece I purchased  was the river. My wife had been telling me I should get one of these for months, (Its great having a wife who tells me I need more terrain!)so I finally splurged on it for a whole sixteen bucks or so. When I initially opened it I thought it looked kind of cartoonish but its been growing on me the past few days and together with the bridge it has become the staple of our kill team games. The other terrain items I got were the resin barrels and rubble piles you can see in some of the pictures. The sand bags are also from Pegasus Hobbies now that I think of it. Their prepainted resin scenery is top notch and I would recommend it to any one looking to add that extra little something to their tables. Their prices are reasonable and their selection is huge!

Rules wise I'm still up in the air about how to count this game in our planetary empires campaign. Should it count as playing all three of the guys on the other team? How to determine the bonuses form controlling tiles and such? Should we just make it a game for funsies and leave it at that? I was thinking we could just have the game count for the player across form you and use the tile bonuses that would come from that player but what do you guys think? Some of the guys who are playing this weekend haven't made a lot of the games and could use it to get some numbers in their standings. When I asked about apoc experiences in a a previous post Turuk gave me a link to this page.

The article made a lot of valid points and got me thinking of things I should be doing to facilitate a smoother game. Our game wont be nearly as huge as the ones listed but issues will surely arise. (Especially the ones about Ork players crying when their boyz get blasted!) As always comments and suggestions are appreciated. And for my players I'll post info on objectives and more rules later this week so you can start scheming!


Simple Doom Of Malanti Conversion

In his current quest to repaint his Tyranid force with a Hive Fleet Behemoth color scheme while updating his army to the new codex, my brother Jonathan came up with a simple yet effective Doom of Malanti. Using spare carapace armor from his old kits in addition to the unused portion of his Trygon / Mawlock kit he transformed an old Zoanthrope into the DOOM with a minimum of effort. As I stated last time I featured one of his conversions, "Not bad for a kid who put his models together with Gorilla Glue about a year ago!" It's fun to see him improving in his modeling and painting skills. Now if we could only get all those layers ofspray paint off his old models. Simple  green can only do so much.....

Dawn of War2: Chaos Rising Review

Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising - A Lil Guys Review

Hey its that Lil Guy Cristof here to talk to you about something I'm sure most 40k and RTS fans alike have been talking about lately: Dawn of War 2 - Chaos Rising. Below I'm gonna write a little bit about the ups and downs in Relic Entertainments newest addition to the Dawn of War franchise Chaos Rising. First and foremost there are NO spoilers in this review. I will not discuss story elements other than those that are already known to us in the first Dawn of War 2 or the trailer to chaos rising. I will however speak of some of the new units to be found in Chaos Rising so without further delay here we go!

First off Chaos Rising is an EXPANSION to the original Dawn of War 2. The reason i emphasize expansion is because it is just that. While Gamespot and other sites say the title is stand alone I cant be 100% sure nor would I suggest getting it if you haven't played the original Dawn of War 2. In my opinion starting a Chaos Rising campaign without knowing the story of the first game would leave you diminished and asking a lot of questions. Chaos Rising starts you off shortly after the final battle with the Tyranids in the first game. Without spoiling how or why planet Aurelia has returned from the warp and you and your team of ridiculously awesome Blood Ravens are sent to investigate. The method in which the story of Chaos Rising plays out is one of the biggest perks of the game. One of my biggest gripes with Dawn of War 2 was the defense missions. The taking of shrines, arrays, and foundries eventually led to a never ending plethora of boring defense missions where you stood by three generators with your squads and watched as they eradicated whatever was attacking them whether it was Tyranids, Eldar, or Orks. This aspect is completely changed in Chaos Rising and much to my delight. You can still capture all the building types from the first game as they appear throughout the missions in the game. You thankfully never have to go back and defend them later on. The enemy will sometimes push and take them back but ONLY in the mission your currently in. Once you take a structure and beat that mission its implied to be yours for good. More than anything they are just extra points at the end of your missions. Whats cool is that in some levels taking the structures is a big detour from your main objectives and can even cost you the mission if your not careful. This brings me to my next area of discussion....corruption

Corruption/Redemption is a totally new system added to the franchise. Corruption/Redemtion is a new echelon of leveling where you "choose" to follow the path of Chaos or stand by the teachings of the codex! The reason I say "choose" in such a way is because its not always a choice. For the most part choices are pretty simple. If you wanna be a jerk or find the easy way through a situation than you will gain corruption points. If you firmly believe in the ways of Emperor than you will do whats right even when its the more difficult choice. This gives you redemption points, which lowers your corruption bar. Following the path of Chaos changes your abilities to give them a nice Chaos twist. The story also changes as you become corrupted which is awesome since the game has multiple ways the story can progress. In a cool twist corruption can also happen for other reasons. Without giving too much away an example of this is a level where if you hit the "fallback" command that particular squad gains corruption points. You can also gain corruption from your choice of equipment. Some items are attuned to Chaos while others are attuned to redemption. As you follow a path you will also hear your squad mates react to your decisions. This leads me to what I believe is the best part of the game...SOUND!

The sound in the Dawn of War franchise is perhaps my favorite of all features. The way the units would scream their battle cries in the first Dawn of War games and the way Dawn of War 2 units would interact with one another on the battlefield simply made those games EPIC. This legacy continues in Chaos Rising. The sound in game is amazing. The music is riveting and has an epic battlefield feel to it. All units in the game have a whole new set of lines that they say that not only reflect the sheer awesomeness of their respective faction. A prime example of this is a Space Marine force commander saying "Yes..Yes!! You'll need a tank to take me!!" Upon being fired upon by a Chaos Predator. Unit interaction has also been updated somewhat to include some pretty sweet Chaos sayings such as "Give my regards to Slaanesh!" upon killing Eldar units as the Chaos faction. Phrases like that not only emphasize the epic feeling of a game like Warhammer but also shows how closely a company like Relic pays attention to the lore of the game (to those that don't know the souls of all Eldar that cant be preserved by their races technlogoy all go to the Chaos God Slaanesh). They also added some dialogue options to the mission setup screen where you as the force commander can ask Captain Angelos or whoever is briefing you some questions. Its a small addition but it adds to the entirety of what is Dawn of War 2. All in all the sound quality in the game is in my opinion perfect.

As with its predecessor Chaos Rising continues the epic multiplayer gameplay of the franchise. Although I doubt I have to mention this but the Chaos faction is added to the list of armies you can play with in multiplayer. At first the Chaos Space Marines can seem a little bit overpowered (especially the Chaos Lord) but I don't truly think this is the case. They are for sure different and have a number of advantages. Chaos gets their own unique set of units and heroes like any other army. You can customize all your units to a certain degree. Unit upgrades in Chaos all depend on which God Icon you give your units (Example: Giving your generic space marines the icon of Khorne will make them similar to Khorne Bezerkers and thus melee units). All the Chaos Gods have some type of impact upon the Chaos faction (although Slaanesh could have been shown some more love as his upgrades only appear in Last Stands Chaos Sorcerer) since in the story mode the main traitor legion is the Black Legion and they worship all Chaos equally. All other races in the game get some new units of their own (even if they don't own Chaos Rising!). The Space Marines get the Librarian unit which is a powerful caster. The Eldar get the Wraithguard, who are fallen Eldar whose souls are sown into mechanical bodies. The Tyranids get Genestealers as well as Tyrant Guard to replace their Carnifex in the second tier in multiplayer. Orks get the Weirdboy, which is a rare caster that comes about every now and then within Ork warbands. The Last Stand mode is also updated adding the Chaos Sorcerer and the Tyranid Hive Tyrant as playable heroes.

No game review has only positive remarks. There are always some negatives to every game and Chaos Rising is no different. Luckily the gripes I have with it are very minor and few and far between. First off there are some path-finding issues with some of the units in the game particularly with Librarian Jonah. Some of his abilities grant him free spells with his auto attacks so you have to babysit him less but even with those additions he has a few of line of site issues and not to mention that he will die REALLY fast if you don't watch where hes standing. Another gripe I have with the game is that the single player mode is short. That's to be expected with an expansion and this is perhaps due to the fact that the campaign is really well done and fun to play. In the end I think Chaos Rising is a pretty awesome addition to the franchise and personally cant wait to see more factions and expansions added to Dawn of War 2. The gripes mentioned are easily overshadowed by the sound, story, and multiplayer aspects added to the franchise. Being able to play with the Chaos faction against others who don't own the expansion is also a big plus. All in all Chaos Rising gets 4 and half lil guys out of 5! ---- 4.5/5

Battle Report: Tau Vs Orks

Tau Vs Orks 1500 points DoW / Annihilation from paul mehaffey on Vimeo.

It's a little late, but here is the featured battle from our Planetary Empires campaign. Tau Dan vs Warboss Jorkfist in Dawn of War with kill points. I think this may be the first battle report I have posted with two fully painted armies!

Most of the players are about five battles into the war and the major contenders are really starting to stand out. Tyranids are dominating in the majority of their games and the undefeated Joey V is way ahead of the pack with seven tiles on the map already. Speaking of the map, I am having mixed feelings about it for our campaign tracking. My biggest beef is that it just sits around taking up space. I think it looks nice and all but I could do the same thing with a piece of paper or a picture on the computer.

In other news, we submitted an application to run a table at Games Day. Our plan is to make a few small arenas no bigger than 2'x2' and have gladiatorial battles with independent characters of 200 points or less. The winner will stay to face the next challenger and those with the longest winning streaks will get some kind of prizes at the end of the day. We have done some testing with the idea and there were some truly epic battles. The games are short and sweet, so people won't be stuck at our table all day. You only need to bring one model so setup time is no issue and lots of people should be able to move through quickly. Hopefully we get selected and it will be a hit!

Next month half of our players are attending an anime convention, so the remainder are considering putting together a team apocalypse game. The only other time we tried apocalypse was on the new years eve after the book was first released and that was a major disaster. Hopefully by now we've all got enough experience under our belts to make it work without all of the problems that plagued our first attempt.

That's it for now. I hope you enjoy the video and if you have any tips for a four to six man apocalypse game let us know!

Planetary Empires Round Three Live!!

Just a quick heads up. Tomorrow we will be broadcasting round three of our Planetary Empires campaign around 1PM EST. I believe the first match up will be TQ's Imperial guard versus Joey V's tyranids at 1750 points. So if you're floating around the net and feel like stopping by TQ will be glad to chat it up while blowing away some gribblies with Cadia's finest.
On a completely different note the gamesday table applications came out and I think I've got a pretty solid concept for a fast, exciting, and fun event based off of one of the last 40k books I read. Look for some WIP shots of the boards and a general overview to come soon once I iron out the last few details.
And now to go clean the basement from last months games.... procrastination is a beautiful thing...

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