Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dropzone Commander Skimmer Rule

I'm back to encourage Hawk Wargames' Dropzone Commander, and this time around I am going over the Skimmer rule (p.42).
p.42 of the Dropzone Commander Rulebook that is!
First, here is a video I explain it in.  It is 99% audio, so feel free to give a listen while you multitask, or scroll on past and I will hash it out in text.

As you may of guessed, Skimmers skim just above the ground and may move over Impassable and Tough terrain without penalty, as long as the terrain feature is less then ¼" high.  However they do need something to propel off from, so Insubstantial Area Features, such as vegetation, that are over ¼" high count as impassable.

Skimmers are quick and agile and become tricky targets to hit while moving.  Because of this, weapons shooting at a skimmer that has moved 6" or more in it's previous activation suffer a +2 to their Accuracy (Ac) rating, to a maximum of 6+.  You do not count the 3" you receive from embarking/disembarking when calculating if you have moved at least 6".  AA weapons do not suffer the +2 Ac penalty.
PHR Angelos
Skimmers do not actually have to move 6" to claim this bonus, and may be said to be driving in circles or swerving back and forth.  The rules say to declare this, but my local group, as well as others I'm assure, assume a skimmer is claiming this bonus whenever possible.  This will change if Hawk ever gives a skimmer a weapon that has a Move and Fire (MF) rate of less than 6".

The times you cannot move the 6" required tend to be when you are embarking/disembarking.  Units may only move half their Movement value (Mv) when embarking/disembarking, and most all skimmers do not have a Mv of 12" or more.  This makes skimmers most vulnerable the turn after they have disembarked.
Shaltari Caiman
I covered this rule, because I have seen it asked multiple times, in multiple places, if this rule is applied until the end of turn, or until their next activation.  The correct answer is until the skimmer activates again.

Thanks again for reading/watching.  If you have any suggestions for good Dropzone Commander noodle-scratchers, please leave a comment (wherever on the web you found this, I will find the comment). I'll be back next time to cover Transports, Embarking, and Disembarking.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dropzone Commander LZ is Hot! Rule

I want to encourage Hawk Wargames' Dropzone Commander, and decided to do some videos on some rules that I see misplayed, or in this case, forgotten completely.

First, here is a video I explain it in, but if you get paid to read blogs, but not watch videos, then scroll on past and I will hash it out in text.

Dropships are an important element of Dropzone Commander (gee, go figure).  The pilots of the dropships are highly skilled and brave, however they are not suicidal.  To represent this fact Hawk has given us the "LZ is Hot" rule (p.44).

To drop troops and vehicles off, and pick them up, in DZC, the dropship must be able to land.  All dropships have a LZ stat that indicates which template to use to measure this.  This LZ must be clear of all units, except those being dropped off/picked up.

The "LZ is hot" rule prevents a player from landing if enemy infantry or vehicles are within 3" of the edge of the template, and have line of sight to the dropship.  Remember to measure edge of the template to the center of the enemy infantry base or vehicle in question.  Enemy infantry allocated to fire from a wall of a garrisoned building will also deny a dropship from landing, as long as they can draw line of sight from that wall.

That is it.  A simple rule, but one that is easily forgotten, especially when you just start getting into the swing of DZC.  Thanks for reading and look forward to more of these videos and write-ups.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Eldar Hemlock Wraithfighter

Finished up this Eldar Flyer to go with the purple Eldar army I've been working on.  This model was a joy to paint.  I wish they had better rules so I would see more of them in the studio.  I also took a shot of the it w/ the Spiritseer and Wave Serpents I still have in my possession.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Finished this Eldar Spiritseer to go with the purple Eldar collection.  I enjoyed painting this guy, as there was only one of them and that sense of completion comes faster then when doing a unit.  Anyways, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Encouraging Balanced Lists

First, yay!  My first article.  First post that isn’t about what I’m painting, or planning to paint.

I feel the need to write some thoughts that have been in my head for over a month, and it has to do with the current state of competitive 40k.  The ideas began to formulate after a Death Worlds tourney run by Tastey Taste of Blood of Kittens at Endgame, but it wasn’t until a recent forum posting by Reecius of Frontline Gaming that I decided this had to happen.

Reece’s post detailed 6 things he thought should be changed to “fix” the game.  Those points were:

1.) The Baron cannot join a unit of Warlocks.
2.) A Tau Commander can only use one signature system at a time.
3.) Riptides always count as a unit of 1 model and therefore cannot be joined by another model with the exception of it's own drones.
4.) Fateweaver's reroll cannot be used on the Grimoire.
5.) Heldrakes have a 90 degree arc of fire to the front.
6.) Chaos Space Marines characters may choose to challenge, but do not have to.

The idea was to apply targeted nerfs to trouble areas, rather than a blanket nerf which may hurt lists built for fluffy (or other) purposes that aren’t causing trouble.  This was met with both positive and negative replies.  I can see both sides of the coin, but what gives me pause is that this just fixes what we have now, and does not prevent something similar happening again with new codex releases.  

First I am going to rewrite the list to simplify it a bit:

1.) An HQ from one book is joining a unit from another.
2.) An HQ has a piece of wargear that makes a unit stronger.
3.) A unit is being joined by an HQ which is making the unit stronger.
4.) An HQ has a special rule that interacts with a piece of wargear.
5.) A Flyer has a strong weapon.
6.) A codex specific special rule.

I am going to drop #6.  It is a proposed buff to a unit, and this article is being written about leveling the playing field in the game.  I could write a lot about Chaos Space Marines, but that is for another article, and perhaps I’ll write that article if this one is well received.

So it boils down to HQ choices interacting with units and wargear, and flyers.  Or more simply, Deathstars and Flyers.  The recent Adepticon results only correlate this with a flying circus playing another flying circus for the title.  And yes, I’m lumping Flying Monstrous Creatures in with Flyers.

These lists win so consistently because of the win conditions which is mostly objectives and sometimes kill points.  I like the objectives and the occasional kill point game is good, so I do not want to change them.  I also don’t think changing them will solve anything since you can win by being more killy, which the meta is good at.

So I don’t want to change the missions or issue out any nerfs, but I also want to create changes that are broad and not specific.  What’s left?  As I mentioned in the beginning, this idea started forming after playing in a Deathworld tourney.  Each round had a few different special rules.  Two really stuck out to me as they really attack the current meta.  

Before I go on, I am going to use the LVO tournament format of 5 games which creates the final 8 who playoff in a single elimination tree for the championship, for my example.  The idea should work with other formats.  

When should these special rules happen during a tournament?  The weeding should be done before the finals, and I feel the finals should be straight up 40k.  Also, I feel at least the first game, possibly the first two, should be straight up 40k, as it would really suck to be knocked out of the running by a special rule first game.  This leaves us with 3 or 4 games to toy around with.

Now back to those Deathworld rules.  One game, at the beginning of your turn you rolled and on a 4+ the highest model (physically) would be hit by lightning, which is a S8 AP3? (don’t remember if it was 2 or 3) hit (I think it was d6 or d3 hits).  The other rule was during one game you had to subtract the turn number from your leadership anytime you needed to test on it.  These rules occurred during separate games.

Those rules work against some of the troublesome meta.  Flyers are typically the highest model and psychic tests become unreliable.  I would certainly tweak the rules.  For example, create an order to follow so that these lightning blasts would affect zooming flyers and swooping FMC before moving on to  other monsters and Vehicles.  Also, adding a random number of lightning blasts since most of the problems are when these type of units are spammed.  Maybe a different way of subtracting leadership rather than turn number, or any failed test is a perils.  The specifics are for the TOs to sort out, but this will give losses to the current meta lists, which means they are out of the running.  Players will stop using these lists, as they need to win all their games.

But wait, the Tau Buff-mander and the Riptide!  The above rules (if you can call them that at this early conception) do not take either of them into account (or at least not nearly as directly as they do the other perpetrators).  This I came up with myself, but since a lot of offenders involve an HQ choice acting as a force multiplier, or stacking USRs, what if during one game your HQ must start in reserves and cannot join a unit until they have entered the table.  Or, adding on to the rule, what if they must outflank by themselves?  Or entered from the opponents table edge, but don’t begin rolling to come in until turn 3?  Lastly, what if for the game you couldn’t have more than 1 IC in a unit at a time (b/c they feudin’)?  The last few sentences are spit balling, but to summarize, one round should cause players to play with their HQs differently.

There is some overlap in the rules penalizing certain current meta lists, but that is intentional to aid in the chance there is a mirror match during one of the weeding rounds.  Players will adjust their lists if one round seems like a real uphill battle and is a near guaranteed loss.  It does not prevent anyone from taking flyers, psychers, or other powerful HQs, but the choices will have to be well rounded so they can still help in the games where they won’t want to fly, cast powers, or manipulate another unit.  This should result in more balanced lists.

Some will undoubtedly object to this, but can you really respect a professional sports team that only plays in the most ideal weather?  If a 40k champion falls apart during a warp storm, or because his leader is hung over, then they are no 41st millenium champion of mine.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Some more minis by Flytrap Factory which are cast and distributed here in the USA by Zombiesmith

These are from Flytrap's system Warpod.

These guys are awesome and I wish I had more time with them.  They were done express for a convention.  They have so much character and are in the same vein as Rivet War, though I have no idea which came first.  Warpod looks more WWII, while Rivet War is WWI.  Anyways, I digress.  There are only a couple pics as I rushed these out the door.



Wave Serpents

I have been painting, but sadly skipping the blogging (so stay tuned for some minis I snapped some quick photos of, but haven't posted).

Here we have a couple of Wave Serpents with weapon options to go along with the purple Eldar you saw earlier.  I have more to paint for this army in the pipe [five by five].