Example The Standard Template Construct: November 2009

Saturday, 14 November 2009

News: Beastmen, Feb 2010!

In the dark places of the world, the Beastmen have been gathering in number and in February they will unleash their rage on the Warhammer world with renewed vigour. A feral army of twisted monsters, the Beastmen have inhabitant the dark forests and wild places of the world since such places existed. To lead a Beastmen army is to field vast herds of braying, brutish beasts who worship Chaos in all its forms, and who fight to level the civilised world.
This will be the first time ever that the Beastmen have had their own, completely stand-alone, army list. The forthcoming Warhammer Armies: Beastmen is full of twisted monsters old and new, and an all-new lore of magic. The Beastmen are the original inhabitants of the Old World: in February 2010 they come to reclaim it from the hands of Men.

Interview: Jeff Carroll from Podhammer

Art by Artgerm

So, I sat down with Jeff a did a small interview for people who are fans of Podhammer. Podhammer is the first Warhammer themed podcast on the net, and the inspiration for 40k radio. I listen to it often, and it has been my 'music' through many a long night of painting sessions. While it does have a focus on the competative side of Warhammer, there is plenty there for any type of Warhammer player.

So enjoy the interview.

Q1). Your podcast is often referred to as the premier wargaming podcast, predating 40k radio and the d6 generation, if I remember correctly. What was your motivation to begin podcasting in the first place, and why about Warhammer?

It wasn’t the first Wargaming podcast, there were a few others floating around. I am a big fan of the Podcast medium and I was playing World of Warcraft at the time and  hadfound a lot of WOW related podcasts that I listened to and enjoyed. I searched for “Warhammer” in iTunes and didn’t find anything that matched the quality of what was being done for WOW. The seed was planted in my mind and it all took off from there. The show exceeded expectations and started a whole genre of podcasts. It’s great to have been at the forefront of Wargamings entry in the world of WEB 2.0

Q2) What sort of equipment did you use in the beginning? And how has your podcasting equipment evolved since? What equipment and software would you recommend to an aspiring podcaster looking to start?

Well It started with a headset USB mic and a laptop in my garage. It was very lame sitting there by myself. I was nervous about how it would sound and who would bother to listen to it. Since then I have been slowly upgrading to a more professional level of gear. I was hesistant to spend money at first because I thought I would quit. However as time went on I realised I needed better equipment if I was going to have multiple co-hosts as well as guests on via skype.
For beginners I recommend starting cheap. You can get very good quality sound with a USB mic if you want to do it yourself. Its when you add guests in that things get complicated. Crowding around a single microphone does not produce good results. Behringer and M-Audio do beginner podcast kits these days. But a music store is the place to go for the equipment you need. I will add this piece of advice. Quality is not nearly as important as content. Get comfortable in front of the mic and develop a niche for yourself. Its harder to get off the ground now with so much competition out there – you need to do it very well or come up with a new approach to the medium. Once you have done this – then start spending big $$ on equipment.

(Tell me about it, Jeff! I'm having the same feeling now about my blog, who really carea about my rablings about 40k and Fantasy? That's why I'm namedropping you to get views!)

Q3) You recently have been attempting to do several 'Live' format shows, what are some of the challenges you are finding in this? How have your fans responded to this? I know I certainly enjoy them as an inner circle member!
Live shows were always my goal. I think they add a great interactive element. I have however never had a sufficient internet speed to do this properly. It creates several challenges that a prerecorded show does not. The big one is you can’t edit what you say, and mash it together later. I always wanted the show to be unscripted and recorded “live” anyway so this was not a big issue for us.
The other challenge is sound effects and music clips need to be added on the fly. This requires a second PC to play the audio and feed it directly into the mixer. So volume levels all need to be adjusted as you record. A radio station has a team of producers doing this stuff while the hosts focus on content. A podcaster is watching all this aswell as the live video feed and directing the discussion on the show. Its not perfect yet but we are getting better! Its been well received by fans. However because the bulk of our audience is in the UK or USA it is difficult to get a huge live audience because of the timezone differences.

(Though Jeff does do several USA and UK timed shows these days, so keep an eye out for those, listeners!)

Q4) Do you have anything new planned for the future for the podcast? Do you see yourself still doing it in 2 or 3 years time? Do you want to remain more casual like you are now, or go down the semi-professional route 40k Radio and the D6 Generation seem to be taking?

It’s a little casual at the moment because of the well discussed life changes that I have been through this year. The other challenge I face is that my co-hosts all have their own lives and fitting in time to record as well as play games and tournaments to talk about can be difficult at times. It is still just a hobby however. That being said,  I would like to see it become a more profitable side business for me that can fund my warhammer hobby. One of the things that made Podhammer a success is its informal and humourous banter, this casual format is our signature trait and it will never change. As for new things for the future….well you will just have to keep listening I guess

(That we will! If you can get podhammer dice out again jeff, I'm sure many of us would buy a few sets for leadership tests!)

Now lets talk Warhammer a little bit.

Q5) What army are you currently collecting and how far along is it? What's its theme and what plans do you have for it in the future? (If I recall correctly you were last working on your Persian Empire themed army)
I am working on my Persian empire themed Empire. Howevever I have recently been given a Mantic Games Elven army and it has inspired me to start a High Elf force. I will probably drift between the two. My motivation for painting has dwindled of late but I am starting to get the bug again.

Art by LuinOhtar
(Jeff's next army?)

Q6) There are excited rumors about the next edition of Warhammer. What changes do you expect to see? What changes to do you want to see?

Well I don’t think we need a new edition, the core rules are very solid. It’s the army books that are unhinging the game. I hope they don’t make change for changes sake. I do expect to see more scenario based gaming in 8th ed.

Q7) Given how thrilled games workshop seem to be with the success of Warhammer 40,000 5th editions new mission setup, it seems inevitable that we will be getting a similar system in Warhammer Fantasy in the next edition. Do you think there would be much resistance to 'missions' in the Eastern Australian tournament scene? Or would people roll with it because that’s what would be in the rulebook? What are your thoughts about missions in Warhammer Fantasy?

I should read the questions before I started answering them. I think there will be some resistance to missions, but the Aus tourney scene has proven that it is flexible and able to change as new ideas and concerns come about.

Q8) What other games do you play besides Warhammer. Do you play any other Games Workshop Games? Such as 40k or Bloodbowl? Do you play any non-GW games, like Warmachines or Hordes? Do you have any interest in playing anything else if you don't currently?
Do you enjoy playing board games, videogames, do you roleplay (such as in D&D) and if you do, what systems are you currently playing in?

I don’t play much else. I have dabbled in BloodBowl, and I am currently enjoying Space Hulk as a change from Warhammer. I have played all the GW games (my interest in tabletop gaming started with 40k) I used to be a big RTS gamer and I did spend about a year playing WOW ,but computer games don’t grab me like they used to. Podhammer is my hobby and I spend many an evening working on it. Add in a game or two of Warhammer a week I don’t have a lot of time for anything else.

Q9) What have you been reading recently? Do you have a few good novel recommendations for people? They don't just have to be Warhammer related either.

I finished the Times Eye series by Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter. I like Sci-fi that is near future or in the extreme far off future. Anything that is based strongly in current theoretical physics and other advanced science. I don’t really understand it but the basic concepts are fascinating. I also enjoy alternate history – Harry Turtledove is top of that list.

Q10) I know you're a huge fan of the West Wing and so am I! So I must ask you. Who is the better writer, Sam or Toby? And also, what's your favourite episode?

Hmm well the better question is who is the better writer between Aaron Sorkin (series 1-4) and John Wells (series 5-7) But I like to think Toby is the better writer, that bitter “I have been crushed by the world” attitude reminds of Dave Palmer.
As for favourite episode….tough choice. “King Corn”, “Crackpots and these women” “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen”, soo many good episodes… I have seen every one many times it’s the most well written TV series ever made.


Have to agree there, Jeff.

Well, there we have it, my very first interview! It certainly was an experience. Writing questions was much harder than I thought it would be! I'll be doing my next interview as soon as I can, have I'll hopefully catch up with jeff again in a few months, and ask him some hobby related questions next time!

My next planned interview is with the crew of Worlds End Radio, if I can track them down while I'm in perth in December!

Stay safe, and happy gaming everybody!


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pic of the Day: For Ultramar!

From Maldus of Freebootaz fame.

Hobby: 40k Forums Painting Competition

I have been a member of the 40k forums for just under a year now. And it was the first Warhammer 40,000 dedicated forum I ever joined. Even before I join dakka dakka.

I have always found it a very supportive and tight knit, if small community of people, where i love showing off my Blood Ravens after I have painted them.

Recently they held a painting competition to convert and paint a 40k minature within one month.

I am relatively new to the painting aspect of this hobby, but I thought it would be a good experience, so I set about doing my best to paint up my Blood Raven version of Captain Sicarius.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of the helmet he comes with, its too small, but I love the roman style crest, so I chopped it off and pinned it to a normal space marine helmet, filling the gaps with green stuff.

I then removed all the Ultramarine symbols, and gave him wings, as I intended for this to be my 'Master of the Fleet' so wanted him to have that sort of iconography.

I entered within much thoughts of actually winning, but as it turns out, I manged to place 1st! Scoring myself a copy of the new Space Hulk. Something I was very pleased with.

So without further adue, here is my winning entry.
Captain Octavian, Master of the Fleet, Captain of the Blood Ravens 3rd Company.



Army Overview: Codex Space Marines

Art by  Sheason

Welcome to our first army book review. To start us out with a bang, and something everyone knows we will be doing Codex Space Marines. You will get a new 'section' every two days, until the codex is finished. I won't be going through and listing stats or wargear options, you'll need to buy the book for that. I'll be giving my opinion on what's useful to you, and what is not.

So sit back, and enjoy.

Art by Nachomon

Chapter Master/Captain
These are our two primary fighting non-unique character selections. Their differences are threefold. Firstly, the points costs, as you'll note the Chapter Master clocks in at slightly more expensive than the Captain (25 points more). Secondly the Chapter Master comes with an ability called 'Orbital Bombardent' which does what it says on the tin. And finally, each unlocks their own personal squad, the Honour Guard for the Chapter Master and the Command Squad for the Captain.

Many people equate the additional costs incured by the Chapter Master to relate to his orbital bombardment ability, but that doesn't hold water with me. To me its mostly to do with unlocking the Honour Guard. The Honour Guard, each bearing a power weapon are the most offensive and deadly close combat group in the entire codex. They trade the defensive power of the terminator invunerable save for more attacks and the ability to sweeing advance.

If you take the honour guard, I feel there is only one way to play them. Out of a Landraider assaulting with your chapter master carrying a chapter banner. The extra attack provided by the chapter banner is what make this unit worth its points cost. However, their lack of an invunerable save means they won't get a save against power weapons, so when i use them I almost always send them into close combat with soldiers that lack any form of power weapons or rending. In these situations, their massive amount of attacks 5 each on the charge with power weapons allows then to cause absolutley massive damage, and they will still get their 2+ artificer armor save in return.

But still for points cost value, I can't see them edging out Terminator Assault Squads. For two reasons. First, for a squad of 4 + Chapter Champion + standard bearer, you are looking a rather steep fee when compared to the cheap cheap 200 points of a 5 man squad with lightning claws/thunder hammers. In addition to take them you are forced to take a Chapter Master who will come without any form of special weapons. If you are using them like you should, assaulting from the land raider, your chapter master will also never have the chance to use his orbital bombardment ability. As much as I love them, for fuff and look, and despite the fact they do perform well on the battlefield the fact they are tied soley to a chapter master and the sheer cheapness of assault terminators makes their usage quite limited. I dont feel the chapter master is a viable option so I tend to only take these when feilding a special character chapter master, like marneus calgar, or pedro kantor.

The Captain on the otherhand, is your best choice for a non-unique combat character selection. His biggest weakness is that he comes with almost no wargear, compared to say, the librarian or the chaplain who come standard with power weapons. This characters cost should really just be included with a power weapon since I fail to see anyone who would ever take him without at least that. He does however come with the exact same statline as the Chapter Master, making him somewhat of a combat monster, not to mention his 4+invunerable. I recommend him for larger point games, over 1000 points, where the additional cost of a power weapon or relic blade won't be too big a deal. For lower point cost games, I recommend avoiding him and takine one of the choices listed below.

As for the Command Squad, if you dont have any other decent close combat unit to attach your lord to I recommend taking them, simply because they provide feel to no pain to him, and the unit. However, if you do this keep in mind you will have to use the squad accordingly and avoid any enemies with power weapons or strength 8 or greater. If your armor save is negated your command squad will die as easily as a tactical squad, and feel no pain will cease to function. Also, be very careful about how you place your wounds in the squad, keep that apothacary alive. Without him, you are left with your lord inside what is essentialy a slightly overpriced combat squad. 

Chapter Master: Unviable. Pass.
Honor Guard: Viable, but better options. Use with a special character chapte rmaster.
Captain: In games over 1000 points with no special characters, great.
If you use special character, pass.
Command Squad: Semi-viable. Requires skill and finesse to use. Better option tho is usually a terminator assault squad to accompany your captain.

Art by Scraps

Master of the Forge
The master of the forge serves pretty much two purposes in the current space marine codex. He unlocks the ability to take an additional 3 dreadnaughts as Heavy Support, and also unlocks the conversion beamer, a weapon that gets more powerful the further away you are from the enemy. I think his repair abilities are simply fluff, and you will rarely find the chance for him to use them, instead of firing his conversion beamer.
If you want to field 6 dreadnaughts, probably for an all drop pod force, take him. I dont think the conversion beamer is good enough to include his justification soley for that.

Master of the Forge: Viable to change your force organization chart. Other than that, pass.

Art by Team-Preston

Librarians got a slight nerf in 5th edition, losing a wound and the ability to find an invunerable save outside of terminator armor and their own psychic powers. Even among the unique characters librarians lack more than 2 wounds, or the ability to get a invun.
Despite these loses, Librarians remain a viable choice, but they require an army based around them. However, I feel they are not worth their HQ slot in higher points games. As we pass 1,000 and go into 1,500 pts, 2,000 pts their abilities get more and more overshadowded by the spcecial characters, or tooled out Captains you could be taking for their slot.

But in 500 pt or 1000 pt games, I feel they are almost the character of choice. Coming with a force weapon (that counts as a power weapon), and a wide use of destructive or defensive psychic abilities, and the ability to nullify your opponents pyskers for only the base cost of 100 pts, needing no upgrading. Their wide range of powers can give them a game changing effect at smaller troop engagement levels. However, if you really want to include them at high points costs games, you cannot pass up terminator armor. I suggest placing them with a very shooty unit, like sternguard, and abuse the ability to continually deepstrike away from danger.

Librarian: Low Points cost games: Highly Viable, recommended.
High Points cost games: Less useful, but can still be functional. Take terminator armor here.

Art by Lordhannu

Our final choice from the HQ section for today. Tonned down quite a bit in the combat department, but nevertheless a viable choice. I can never seem to find the points costs for them in addition to the usual special character I take. however But if you can and you stick them with an assault terminator unit assaulting from a land raider, they are simply golden, with the re-rolling to hit. I don't recomend giving them terminator armor, no matter how cool the model is! Nor is a jump pack viable, with the decline of jump pack marines as viable choices in 5th edition.  Again they come standard with a power weapon in their 100 points price tag. I think they, like the librarian are great for smaller games, but over shadowed in larger games. Take him over the librarian if you wish to have more combat prowess instead of tactical flexbility.

Chaplain: Very good combat character for small point games, 1000 pts or less. Highly Viable.
Over shadowed by the Captain or Special character in higher points games. Semi-viable.

And that's all for today, tune in next time for unique/special characters!

Peace out and happygaming.


Today's Picture: Hang in there, buddy!

This can only end well.

If you would like to submit a pic of the day, please send it to wrightaaron2@gmail

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hobby: How to Paint Imperial Fists

Art by JaffarHasad 

This guide to painting was submitted by wash-away, a regular poster on the 40k Radio Freeboota forums. He is currently producing a Imperial Fists Pre-heresy force, and this is the colour scheme he has chosen to use 

The guide has been very popular on the Freeboota Forums, and I think it as a very good guide for beginners looking to paint up a unit or more of the yellow sons of Dorn. 

Anyway, enough from me.

How to Paint Imperial Fists
By wash-away (Guest Author)

I start with all my models being painted with a very very diluted vomit brown, (if you shake it there's bubbles) and it'll take about 3 coats to dry. Don't worry about making it perfect because you have a lot more coats to do. All of my paints are watered down so that they flow better.

Next, I do Bleached Bone over the helmet, and when the vomit brown coats dry (I believe he does enough to get a smooth coat. -ed) I do a wash of Ogryn Flesh Wash. On the helmet I did a Sepia wash.


On the vomit brown I then did a 2:1:1 mix of Vomit Brown, Bleached Bone and Skull White. In all honesty its pretty close to Dwarf Flesh. So, just cover all of the armor with this mix and be sure keep it out of the cracks.

Here I used Golden Yellow (watered down) and blocked out basic colors. Remember when you're painting yellow its like doing a huge highligh. You're not going to cover the entire leg like you will with say ultra blue. (Damn Smurfs! -ed)
Now put another layer of thinned Bleached Bone on the helmet, and repeat this step till you are pleased with the look.


Take sunburst yellow and hit the edges. Don't be afraid to (with a wet brush) put a lot of yellow on top of the larger areas like the leg and pull it down and push it into position. If you didn't get it all covered let it dry and go back over it. Keep doing this until you get a depth of yellow you enjoy.

The helmet is then just Skull White applied in thin layers until you get the look you desire. All metals are Mithril Silver with Badab Black wash.

Light layers and lots of them are your best friend. Just remember; you're not painting yellow you're painting brown. You simply highlight with the yellow.

Article by Seth (wash-away)

Image by Mellanius

I hope you all enjoyed the article, and it helps some of you Imperial Fist players out there.

Peace out, and happy gaming!


Rumour: Host of Angels

Image by Malkavian7515

Rumours abount of the new Blood Angel Codex due to be released sometime first quarter of 2010. Many people are excited to play Blood Angels. I am mostly excited to steal all their new models and incorporate them into my Blood Ravens, like I already to do all those poor Codex Marines and Dark Angel models!

Recently, I read Jawaballs post on Bell of Lost Souls and I wans't too impressed. Now, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Jawaballs, his painting tips were of great help to me in developing many key skills, and I hope to interview him in the near future for this blog. But I thought a lot of his thoughts fell far from the tree, so I felt I might go and discuss some of things he mentioned that struck me. You might want to read his article before reading this one, so you can follow along!

Firstly, I feel normal Blood Angels should have neither fleet, nor assault ramps on their rhinos. Fleet is the domain of Shrike from the Codex Marines while assault ramps for rhinos would be pretty hugely overpowered as a general rule.  The same goes for drop pods.
I could however see fleet as a rule for Death Company, and this would generally be awesomesauce. But Assault ramps on Rhinos? Assault ramps should remain the sole domain of the Land Raider.

I agree in boosting the size of Terminator squads from 5-10. But would be against any attempt for a special character who made Terminators troops choices, as I feel this is the domain of the Dark Angels/Space Wolves.

I also agree with Jawaballs that stormshields should be upped to the standard 5th ed 3+ invun, I also feel this is pretty much assured. I'd expect their points cost to fall in line with the points costs in Space Wolves though. I think the games designers relized they undercosted storm shields in Codex Space Marines. Especially for Terminator Assault Squads. I'd expect to see the upgrade from lightning claws to Thunderhammer/stormshields to be an upgrade you need to pay for a Blood Angel, and not a free swap.

The change to the new ballistic skill Power of the Machine Spirit is something I feel is inevitable as well.

I dont think Blood Angels need, nor should receive any special Land Raider variant, and I feel if their vehicles all get overcharged engines, they should operate with a negative incentive, like a Lemun Russ If you move over 6inches, you move 6+2d6, to represent the fact your overcharged engines might stall on you. (without Over Charged Engines being a compulsary option)

jawaballs expresses a desire to be able to select 5 to 10 marines, in 1 marine incraments. I agree and would also express what I feel to be the inevitability of this happening. I think its more a holdover from 3rd/4th edition that they can't currently. Tho I have never seen a non Space Wolf player field any number except 5 or 10.

I would expect Blood Angels to keep the Combat squads rule as well. Keep in mind, they are still a codex chapter! They are just slightly divergent. They will no doubt replace combat tactics with something else, however I can't speculate as to what they might be. Furious charge might be a decent bet, tho.

I would expext Assault Marines to be Fast Attack or Troops, dependant on how you kit out your HQ. (Probably if your commander has a Jump pack then jump pack fast attack count as troops), tho I imagine Vanguard (if Blood Angels get them) will remain Fast Attack regardless. (And probably remain just as terrible).
I also agree that the heavy flamers on the Baal class Predator (Currently its sponson weapons) need to be changed, but I imagine this variant will either be ignored or phased out, anyway (Not the ball, the version with heavy flamers), especially given the changes to defensive weapons! (This variant is basically worthless in 5th ed)

Corbulo deserves a power weapon as Jawaballs says, Dante will be changed however. (I certainly hope the model will as well!) I expect to see a terminator armor variant, this seems to be all the rage for special character now. Mephiston should not have a invun save, Librarians just gotta suck up not having one, nobody else does! You gotta have some drawback. I'd enjoy seeing the Death Company dreadnought making a return as well, perhaps with fleet, or the ability to heroic intervene.

In conclusion, I think that jawaballs wish list is really out there, and I dont feel most of what he wants is justifiable. I think he's considering too much from the prospective o what's good for his army, and of wanting his force to always win, and isn't considering what will make it balanced. His suggestions would you leave you with a very fluffy, but massively overpowered, battleforce.

All in all, stick to painting Jawa! You're one of the best out there, but I don't think you're ready for Game Development just yet!

Peace out and happy gaming!


Hobby: Art of a Predator

I recently (two days ago) finished the construction and painting of a Predator for my Blood Ravens Chapter space marines. After my post plugging the amazingness of Predators I thought it was a little hypocratical all 3 of mine were stuff unpainted and only strung together with bluetack!

Those who don't know of the Blood Ravens, they are the chapter from the highly acclaimed 'Dawn of War' stragegy games based on Warhammer 40,000 produced by Relic Games. Which I highly recommend.

But I digress, the idea behind this tank, was I wanted a venerable vehicle, that has earned many honours. The Blood Ravens value knowledge above all things, and have a association with psykers, so I tried to maintain that feel by having a lot of scripping of prayers and random things all over my vehicles. Not to mention the abundance of purity seals, to ward of the warp, and ensure luck, good fortune, purity, etc. The wings are an ongoing these in my army, with each 'leader' of a section of vehicles having them. So the lead predator of 3, or the lead land raider of 3, all get them. (essentially the first vehicle I bought!). I also like the maintain a 'clean' feel throughout all of my army, so I dont do weathering or battle damage.

So, check them out, and let me know what you think!


Tell me what you like, and don't like.
If people want, I can write up a painting guide to this scheme when I paint up my next vehicle (very likely a LandSpeeder Storm).

Peace out, and happy gaming!



"The XV-9 'Hazard' Close Support Armour is an original battlesuit design intended to act as a powerful counter-attack unit and weapons platform. Model designed by Daren Parrwood" -Forgeworld Website

(Seen here in the middle)

Currently retailing for £24.45 on the Forgeworld website.
Looks like this would make a great christmas present for that Tau player who you love very much!
I however recommend buying it for no one! I dont want to be facing these from the other side of the table, they look signed to shred my precous Space Marines.

Another superb kit from forgeworld, and just what we have come to expect from them. Tauriffic.


News: The Skaven are here!

The Skaven have arrived, I saw some of the new models at my local Games Workshop store.

Here are some brief thoughts on my favourite units and choices I have seen so far, in regards to models. Expect a Army Book review  about rules once I get my hands on it.

My favourite of the new 'units/infantry' choices would have to be....

 These Storm vermin are truley amazing models, if you go and look at the actual pictures of the sprues on the Games Workshop website
( http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat1510402&prodId=prod260001a)
You will see customizable these models will be. If I were a Skaven player (which I'm not sadly) I would be bouncing off the walls at the conversion opporutinies for these models, simply comparing them with the old storm vermin

and you can really see the difference. If I were a Skaven player, i'd be considering buying these or the new clanrats, and using them for every unit type in the army that doesn't have a new model, they are simply incredible! A unit of plauge ridden nurgle stormvermin? Sign me up!
Hey, there's an idea for a unit of chaos marauders...NO, BAD ROLEPLAYER.

The Heroes choices you have now received are simply amazing too!
You can see them all here
But my favourite by far must be Warlord Queek Headtaker. This model just looks like a killing machine, and fluidity in how he is jumping foward would look simply amazing leaping out of a skaven regiment. I personally don't collect Skaven, but I will be buying this model simply to be a interesting painting project. Keep and eye out here in the hobby section for it!

The other new heroes and troop choices and be found on the Gamesworkshop Advance Orders section, in the link I listed above. I simply picked my favourites to have a small talk about. Any new Skaven players will be happy, and I am really digging the ratmen's new look.

And of course, I couldn't not include...

*drool* What a nice plastic kit. Though I have to think my favourite part of the model is the engineer, his face and scream are truley epic and evil, and I love it. 
I wish I had the time for a Skaven army so I could paint one of these badboys up!

I hope my Warriors of Chaos will be hacking their way through them at a tabletop sometime in the near future!

Happy gaming, you vile, dirty Skaven players!


Gaming: Predator VS Vindicator (Part 1)

The Predator


"Consider the Predator. Let your soul be armoured with Faith, driven on the tracks of obedience which overcomes all obstacles, and armed with the three great guns of Zeal, Duty and Purity."

The debate rages, Predator VS Vindicator. It’s an argument that many Space Marine players have had, and it continues to rage to this day. The changes within 5th edition have altered the role of this trusty space marine armour piece. Today we will be focusing on the pros of the Predator in relation to the Vindicator, and we will address the Vindicator’s positives in a later article. Also to note, I will not be discussing the lascannon variant of the Predator here. I feel this variant is not at all viable anymore under 5th edition rules, but we can discuss that in a future article.

I have heard many players both on forums and in real life discuss their abhorrence for the Predator under the new 5th edition rule set. For those who are new to the game, or don’t know much about Warhammer 40,000, 5th ed brought with it some fairly large changes to the way tanks operate in the 41st millennium. The most important to Predators was the changes to defensive weaponry.

What does a defensive weapon mean? Within the vehicle rules a tank has one of two weapon classifications, primary and defensive. All defensive weapons can always be fired when moving 6 inches or under (listed henceforth as ‘combat speed’) while only one primary weapon may be fired. Any number of defensive or primary weapons may be fired if the vehicle does not move at all.

The new cut off mark for a defensive weapon as been lowered to strength 4 and below, which rules out the strength 5 Heavy Bolters a Predator employs as its side sponson weaponry. This means the Predator can no longer ‘roll forward’ with all its weapons firing, which is what has turned many players away from what was once the bulwark of space marine offence.

It’s true that it has suffered in this role, but we must look at it in the context of the entirety of the rules set, for now it has developed a new role. Cover saves are now far more prevalent, and your foe’s footsloggers (and sometimes armour) will rarely be without that trusty 4+ save. This means the effect of weapons such as the demolisher cannon (Strength 10, AP 2) has decreased greatly, no longer is a ‘hit’ a death sentence for an entire squad.

The changes to cover however have had virtually no effect on the Predator destructor’s (This is the load out with a autocannon for the turret and two heavy bolters on the sponsons) arsenal. One Predator is still putting out 6 heavy bolter shots, and 2 autocannon shots every turn, and since most units in the game will get an armour save vs. these AP 5 weapons, the changes to cover matter little to its effectiveness.

The rate of fire also gives you a much greater margin for accommodating bad dice rolls. One unlikely roll on a scatter dice can render your Vindicator’s demolisher cannon far wide, meaning it does nothing to contribute for this battle. The Predator on the other hand, with 8 separate dice, and needing only a 3+ to hit as a space marine vehicle, will rarely fail to find its mark with at least half of those weapons. And the high strength of all of them ensures a good majority of those that hit, will also wound.
It is for this reason; I think that while the Vindicators kills may look more spectacular and you may remember them better in your mind, over the long run, the workhorse Predator will slowly rack up far more kills.

“But the Vindicator can move and fire, while the Predator must remain stationary to get the same benefit!” I hear you say. A true statement and I’ll be addressing the advantages of this in the Vindicator article, but remaining stationary is not without its benefits. With the changes to cover for vehicles in 5th edition (If your tank is 50% obscured from the shooter, you get a 4+ cover save ignoring all damage) you are strongly encouraged to find a advantageous firing point, park yourself there for the duration of the game and let lose. The risks of moving out into open space are huge; as you lose your 50% chance to ignore that lucky lascannon hit that would otherwise wipe out your precious fire support. The incredibly long range of the Predator’s weaponry also adds to this advantage. With a greater ‘arc of death’ it is given far more options in choosing its locale of residence. Your entire deployment zone is almost always fine for choosing where to place it. While in contrast a Vindicator’s much smaller range means it must be deployed far more aggressively. And its list of viable locations where it can get that 50% cover save is vastly reduced, as it doesn’t have such a large area of the board where it can sit and still be in range of potential targets.

This brings us to our last point for today, range. The primary threats to vehicles now in 5th edition come from close combat and melta weaponry. With the inability to be destroyed from glancing hits, always striking the rear armour (the change to close combat for vehicles in 5th ed) as well as the +1 on the damage table from melta weaponry (for being AP 1) and the extra dice on the penetration roll for being within half range make both these avenues of attack highly perilous for tanks. Thus, the very short range of the Vindicator will force you to bring it within range of being charged by the enemy who may be packing melta bombs or a powerfist (slightly negated by the fact it should always be moving, granted) and within range of that terrifying melta weaponry your opponent is no doubt employing. Combine this with the much harder time a Vindicator will have in finding a decent vantage point to offload its firepower while maintaining that all important cover save, and you start to see why things stack up in the favour of the Predator in my mind.

Finally, we come to points cost. For all this, with sponson upgrades a Predator will only cost you 85 points. Almost nothing in a game of 1,500 points or more. By comparison a Vindicator will set you back 110 points, a much steeper investment for something I feel is much more likely to not only be targeted and die, but present itself as a open target for destruction by barrelling in at the forefront of your army.

So, to summarise. Rate of fire, ability to take advantage of cover saves and the long range of its weaponry are the primary advantages a Predator possesses, as well as being incredible value for points at only 85.

Now, this is not to say that Vindicators are not without their own advantages. They do have them, and they are many, and I will be describing them in a soon to follow article.

But I hope this has helped turn some of you around to the cause of the Predator, and seen how strong an artillery piece it can be for you, sitting at the back of the board, rattling off a constant stream of heavy firepower. I would argue, however, they are best taken in pairs, but that can be the subject for another article on how to use your Predator, now I’ve convinced you to take one!
As always, comments, feedback or emails are more than welcome, I am happy to hear your insights on this topic or any other!
Good luck, and happy gaming!


Beaming into the Void

Intimidating is the word I would use to describe the beginning of a blog. The feeling of sending out a message into the deep, not knowing if anyone will ever see it.

Welcome to The Standard Template Construct's humble beginnings. It is my hope that this blog will quickly develop into a one-stop location for up to date hobby news, tips, photos, and articles relating to the three major Games Workshop hobbies, their specialist games, as well as a few other hobby related things.

The relevant posts will be broken down by a header before their title, the most common of which will be,

Time for a brief introduction. I live in Japan, in Tokyo, but I was born in Australia twenty six years ago. I play all 3 Games Workshop games, as well as a few other worlds besides. I participate in many local hobby events, and am active in the hobby wargame scene both online and offline. I tend to learn more towards the painting aspect of the hobby, but I am also an avid gamer, and do my best to balance the two.

I could spend all day talking about what I intend to do, but that's not really going to be of as much interest to you as showing you.

So please, read on, and enjoy your hobby!


Thought for the day: A small mind is a happy mind.