Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Vigilus crusade - a new start for 9th?

 Back when the first Vigilus book came out, I grabbed a copy and voraciously read through it. For a campaign book I just fell in love with the whole story. I felt like an absolutely perfect example of a 40K campaign. Only thing missing was a means to include Tau, Necrons and Tyranids but I get why they were not included. It would be just busy for lack of better words. 

One aspect of the book that I loved was the campaign system. Each stage of the war came with a couple specific blanket rules that allowed the campaign to be played nice and thematic. Nothing game breaking but cool all the same. I even started up a league, for lack of a better word, for the local club. The idea was to be play out the whole story over a couple years. To start with it the campaign seemed popular enough but after a couple months things turned a bit sour. The more competitive players at the club decided that narrative missions and the specific round rules did not suit them. Even though I had said that they could play any mission they wanted, they pulled out of the league and soon enough the whole thing had fallen apart much to be disappointment.

To say I was annoyed would be an understatement. But fair play. Can't please everyone all the time.

Recently I have finally got my hands on a copy of the second book in the series and as 9th edition has a few players from the club interested in the Crusade system I am hoping that I can restart the Vigilus campaign with them utilising the new rules once we get out of the pandemic and lockdown. Maybe with fewer players and with those more interested in a narrative play the idea might get somewhere.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

10 points for a painted army?

In the 9th edition rules there is a new addition that says that you get 10 victory points if your army is painted to a battlefield standard. I think it is a bit of a silly rule especially as it is technically part of the rules system now. Such a rule... the requirement of a three colour minimum.. used to be a part of every tournament. After all, you want your models too look good to anyone walking past rather than grey plastic. 

It has always caused some consternation among a lot of Warhammer players that painting your models is just as big a part of the hobby as setting up a table and fighting it out against your friends. That painting was a requirement to play Warhammer. As some one who doesn't really enjoy the painting element (although these days my space marine force is fully painted) and for many years never had a painted army, I find it unfair to push this sort of element onto the fun and friendly casual game. But that is what is happening under 9th edition.

I personally would not use this rule and if playing against someone who had an unpainted army - whether due to time or a lack of desire to do so - I would simply say we're not using that rule. Let's just play. In competitive tournaments, leagues and the like, I can see that makes sense to use this to make people play painted forces or risk not winning over all (most likely) but it should not have been included as part of the core rules. 


Two reasons.... firstly, by the wording this means that tournaments can be played by opponents who do not paint their models. They will be down on points but it does not stop them playing. I'm sure most TO's will stick to a rule of painted armies so this isn't such a deal.

Secondly.... no where does it say what the definition of "painted to a battlefield standard" actually means. Is that the same as the old three colour minimum? Or does it imply something more? I would assume that the model itself must be painted with suitable colours and not just slapped on. Does it require models to be based? Probably not.

I don't think this was well thought out by Games Workshop and I'm sure that it was included solely to try and nudge players into buy their paints as a money making exercise. Painted model is always going to look better than the basic grey. I just don't like the concept that GW are trying push everyone into an area of the hobby that not everyone is interested in. Surely, having people play the game is a better way forward?

What are your thoughts on this? 

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

I'm Back!

 I haven't been all that active of late mainly due to the epidemic, work and the lack of gaming opportunities. I want to start up again and get back to posting. My plan is to do at least one if not two posts a week. I'm not going to focus on battle reports as I don't feel I do them justice so I'm going to start covering my thoughts on various aspects of the game and army reviews.

I have managed about a dozen games when we haven't been in lockdown after the release of 9th edition so I feel that I know something of the edition - what works and what doesn't. That'll be something I'll cover as well later this week even if a 9th edition review is a few months late.

Hopefully you are all still out there and reading, and we'll get back to regular posting.

May the Emperor protect! 

Friday, 1 January 2021


 Hi all.

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Hopefully 2021 will be the year we all get back to normal sooner rather than later, with much wargaming ahead of us!

Monday, 23 November 2020

9th edition missions


Since 9th edition has dropped, I have managed 13 games between lockdown and social distancing. I think if I am honest that I preferred 8th edition although 9th has some nice additions. One thing that bugs me a little is the new mission format and that is what I am going to discuss here both the good and the bad.

Table Sizes.

With the exception of patrol missions, where I can fully understand scaling down the table size, it feels unnecessary to do it for other game sizes. The new table sizes are there just to contain armies more and force them into a kill zone due to the mission requirements. No more gunlines. Everyone goes forwards. Because I have three boards that make up a 6' by 4' table we have played our games as the new table length but for ease we have kept the 4' depth and it doesn't make any real difference. I'm going to start seeing if my fellow gamers will be willing to just stick to 6' by 4' tables. The new scales are a minimum after all.


Objective placement is my biggest grumble about the new missions. There are certain rules for them that bug me. 

Having them be a fixed placement means that a fixed table layout (something that I want to build) is impossible because each mission placement is different and they cannot be in terrain. Sure, you can move ruins and the like around but that defies the point of a fixed table. It also means that if you are playing a pick up game, you have to waste valuable playing time measuring out where they go before you even set up table terrain and start the game. When your club or local gaming store has limited play time of an evening (for example) that's not helpful.

It would be so much better, in my opinion, to have stuck with what we had previously, where players alternated setting up objectives so that they were X inches from a table edge and from other objectives. That worked so much better.

Also, why can they not be in terrain? Doesn't make sense to me. You don't send troops to occupy an open street or an open patch of ground. You occupy a defensible position or somewhere containing supplies you need or something like that.

I know that sounds like me grumbling about table layout and so on, but it just bugs me a little.

Secondary Objectives.

Every mission is now a objective holding mission. In a way I don't mind this as I was never a fan of the kill point missions as they tend to favour certain armies over others. It just lacks flavour. However, the addition of secondary objectives is what adds that flavour. Initially I didn't like them as they smack of the ITC format missions - something 9th seems to have unfortunately emulated. The problem is that many of them aren't worth taking. I tend to find that some are suited better to specific armies while many of the mission specific secondaries just are not worth taking.


What I really miss are the tactical objective missions where we used cards to determine the goals for battle. Sure, they were random are sometimes you didn't get a good draw but they gave you a mission with fluid goals which felt both more realistic and also meant that you wouldn't win just going for the kill. You actually had to play for the cards you were given. I seriously hope that they bring this format back at some point.

Ultimately the 9th edition missions aren't bad. I've had fun playing them but at the same time they could be better. The new mission format just doesn't feel as enjoyable as the old missions did. They are something that just needs adapting to but like nearly everything Games Workshop releases it could have been done better.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

9th ed Battle Report #1


Rift Wardens vs Grey Knights.

Points: 2000.

Scenario: Retrieval Mission.

Finally the 9th ed rules had come out and I had my copy of the Indomitus box in hand. Once the models were all built I challenged my friend Gary to a 2000 point game. Try out a higher points limit and see how well it played. The mission rolled was Retrieval Mission so I set awkward objective placements and then built the terrain layout around them to ensure that we had decent initial cover from one another. I picked the table edge that was to be mine but as was pointed out afterwards it may have served me better to claim the opposite side. I was thinking of ease of moving the models around but Gary was probably right.

Gary chose Psychic Ritual, Assassinate and Thin Their Ranks but I went with Slay the Warlord, Thin Their Ranks and Raise the Banners High. I did take a look at the scenario specific objective - Minimise Loses - but it didn't look like something that was going to be in my favour. A problem I see in most scenario specific objectives. 

First turn I focused on shooting as much as I could. I took down one squad and I think inflicted a handful of injuries elsewhere. I specifically moved my units to claim three objectives and to start raising those banners. The problem I had against Gary's Grey Knights was that he had brought a storm talon and a land raider - two units I would be hard pressed to deal with. I presently have no transports for my army so the marines had to advance forward on foot which meant Gary was able to start inflicting a lot casualties. 

As the game progressed the Grey Knights took control of their own three objectives and his shooting was a lot more effective than was mine. Although I expected to suffer at the hands of smite spam Gary didn't do much with it and it was in assault that he turned the tables. I don't know if it was a mixture of bad dice rolls or just bad luck, but I was barely able to do anything in assault and he was smashing my poor assault intercessors and my chapter master into fine red mist. Even my poor chapter master with his invulnerable save and 6+ ignore wounds died all to easily. 

The Grey Knights were soon pushing me back and once his grand master in dreadknight armour teleporting onto the table I knew I was in real trouble. My primaris lieutenant charged into him with the idea of using hi storm shield to keep his warlord in check and maybe if the dice were with me I might be able to take him down but I couldn't even make a 3+ invulnerable save more than once. 

Turn 5 came and my poor space marines were tabled and the Grey Knights had completed their Psychic Ritual. When we counted up the victory points Gary beat me 75 to 53. For a first game of this edition I thought I didn't do too badly as each new rules set is a learning experience. Gary won fair and sqaure but I can't help but feel that my dice let me down a lot of the game. He was always going to win I think but the scores might have been a bit closer. I really need to get myself a couple of Impulsor's so I can get my troops about the table more safely.

The Rift Wardens move to grab the objectives.

Kaldor Draigo emerges from the Warp to guide his brothers in battle.

The battlefield before us.

Friday, 14 August 2020


 Apologies for lack of updates. I lost my internet connection for a couple of weeks due to the uselessness of my provider. But I'm back now and in the next couple days I hope to post up my thoughts on 9th edition and a new 9th ed battle report. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Objective Markers part 1

While have a bit of a post lockdown clear out recently I found a sealed box of booby traps from the release of 4th edition's Cities of Death supplement. With 9th edition not needing numerical objectives I figure they would do well. Just needed something to mount them on and I found that at work. Where I work we sell child proof plastic caps for electrical sockets. Tonight I glued on the appropriate "booby traps". Now I just need to paint them.

Got my Indomitus box this week as well so it looks like I may have a bit of hobby painting and building to do over the next couple weeks.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

First Thoughts part 1

The other night myself and my friend Gary played a pre-9th edition game using the free download rules. My space marines vs his chaos daemons and instead of the basic Only War scenario that comes with that download we decided to tryout the Four Pillars scenario that appeared in one of the recent Warhammer Community pages. Without having access to the new points we stuck to the current 8th edition points and unit rules. We also don't have the new secondary objectives so we could only use the one from the mission itself.

At the end of that game I thought about the changes and here are a few of my initial thoughts. I'll do a part two once I get my hands on the actual rules and have played a couple more games fully under the new edition.

1. Table Size.
I prefer the idea of playing the traditional 6x4 foot table but for this game we played the reduce 44x60 and it shows during play. The reduced table width meant that we were fairly packed closer together during the game but it in a good way it also meant that my opponent's ability to deep strike was less likely to be dropped into my lines or behind them unless I moved forwards. It forced Gary to drop his bloodletters later in the game and on the edge of his own deployment zone. It doesn't seem like a huge difference but it could make a difference on the game play.

2. Command Points.
This was huge! Having a large pool of command points plus regenerating 1 a turn meant that we could both use stratagems that might never have seen the light of day under 8th edition. I could still use the re-roll, the regular stratagems but I was also able to drop an orbital bombardment and on two occasions the stratagem (I forget the name) that lets me rapid fire 2 the bolt rifles of my troops. This was a big improvement.

3. No Overwatch.
This was my only negative that came from the game and even then it didn't play a big part. Under 9th edition you can only fire one Overwatch (unless you play Tau of course). On a tactical level it means you have to choose where you want to use it, just like if you can deny a psychic power and you have to choose which power to risk the deny on. However, I think that against a aggressive hoard type army... daemons, tyranids and orks mainly, that only getting to overwatch once is not enough. If they really want to reduce overwatch then it should be a +1 cost to the stratagem for each time it has been previously used that round.

4. Actions.
Within the mission we only had the secondary that comes with the mission itself. To start with we got actions wrong. We had not properly read it and assumed that when using an action it meant that you couldn't do a psychic power, shoot or charge, and if you were charged then the action was wasted. If other secondary objectives are going to be like that, then I think they are going to be largely awkward to achieve once the game really gets underway. I can't say much more until we get our hands on the full rules and we can read them fully.

5. Morale.
The morale phase has changed and I don't understand why. The 8th edition way worked so much better and made more sense. Now, you roll as you did but if the morale test is failed one model dies or runs away. You then have to roll for each remaining model and on a 1 one more model dies or runs away. While it might reduce unit casualties from morale but it also adds a small amount of time to the game that really wants to be a bit more fast paced.

Otherwise the game played the same as 8th always has. These five points just stood out to me a lot more, both good and bad. Other than some initial kneejerk reactions, I think this will be a good edition. We just need to see how it actually plays out once we get the rules in our hands. Once I get mine next weekend I'll do a part 2.

Have you had an opportunity to try the new rules yet? What did you think?

Vigilus crusade - a new start for 9th?

 Back when the first Vigilus book came out, I grabbed a copy and voraciously read through it. For a campaign book I just fell in love with t...