fredag 18 juli 2014

It's not easy being green

Wow, has it been that long since the last post? My apologies, friends and fellow miniature geeks and nerds. I have been playing this fascinating new roleplaying game called life.
  • I have visited relatives in Greece, lived through a throng of greek aunts that all wanted to compliment and congratulate me on my two well-behaved and exotic sons, especially the younger who almost looks greek, and experienced my cousin's daughter's orthodox christening, complete with chanting priests and professional serial photographers. (50 XP, tick skill check in Urban Survival and Greek Culture.)
  • Been painting the house, yes in 1:1 scale, including riding up 7 meters in a skylift, without dropping any lumber or tools on anyone below, without succumbing to vertigo, and without driving the lift cage through the neighbour's bathroom window. (100 XP, tick skill check in Handicraft (Painting), Driving (heavy machinery) and downgrade Vertigo from Severe to Mild.)
Yeah, that too.
Hobby-wise I have been lying low, secretely amassing a horde of miniatures to be tossed onto the lead/resin/plastic-mountain. The release of Warhammer 40k 7th edition hasn't yet convinced me that I need to get back to that game, but the release of the new Ork Codex with accompanying miniatures did!  Here's some thoughts on the new codex.

First, let me tell you that I'm not a power gamer. I do not want to find that ultra unbeatable combo that trounces all opposition. However, I do not want to feel that there is nothing I can do to beat the other guy, so I do want some level of competitivness. A new codex usually means new rules and new models to make your army the best there is. (Codex Creep for short.)

So what do we get that's new in this codex? Nothing much, just a hideously ugly walker called the Gorkanaut (or Morkanaut).

The Gorkanaut on the left, and the Morkanaut on the right. Or vice versa. Who cares anyway?
This thing sports an insane amount of firepower and can carry a bunch of orks in it's belly to spew forth into battle. And while it looks ugly -- for starters I would make the barrels of that rotating gun point in a lot of different directions -- there's a bunch of interesting bits to play around with. And people has started to make a lot of nice conversions on the web. Rules-wise it seems to be the new thing you need for your Mob to be competitive, at least GW wants us to believe that.

But the thing costs almost as much as a stompa, and twice as much as a Deff Dread. But hey, you get a lot of nifty bits left over, right? Wrong. I do not know if this is a conscious decision by GW to counter all those magnetizers and bits sellers out there, but a lot of parts are re-used in both versions. For example, the Twirly-Rotaty shoota thingy (forgot its name) and the Mega-zappa-ray-thingie (forgot its name too) share most of their parts, one used as a base for the other. The only varant parts are the heads, a zappa-gun and the Kustom Force Field generator. So you actually do not get that much left over. Compare it to the Deff Dread where you get four close combat arms and seven ranged weapons (it can mount four arms total) plus a lot of armour plates to chose from and you wonder why the G/Morkanaut is so expensive? Because its new, shiny and souped up in the codex. (But word online says it's not that effective.)

Stompy, Stompier, STOMPAAAA!!! Seriously, for just £5 more you get twice as much orkiness.
(Picture by Paul of the Watching Paint Dry blog. Paul also has an excellent YouTube channel by the same name. Check it out, highly recommended!)

Other than that the Codex have had some changes. Mostly it seems like they are gearing it towards armies with lots of boyz. The new Force Detachment Chart makes it mandatory for Orks to take three Troop Choices and one HQ per detachment. However, you can take Grots as troops if you want to save on points, and various tactics guides on the internet proclaim that you should use Grots to fill the troop slots and use for grabbing objectives, while Elite choices like Nobs, Kommandos and Flash Gits do the fighting.

There's also a new Formation called Ork Horde which features six units of Boyz, one Warlord, one Mek, one unit of Nobs and one unit of Grots. But they can Whaaaagh on each turn after the first. Spiffy, and slightly scary. This is a pure foot slogger army and I'm not sure it's very fun to play for you OR your opponent.

Some things have points skewed and options swapped around of course. For instance, Shoota Boyz cost one point more than the standard Slugga Boyz now. But there are some annoying oddities and omissions.
Big Mek now need a Mega Armour to have a Kustom Force Field (which also gets nerfed a little bit). I have the previous Failcast model with KFF but without Mega Armour, which isn't available anymore. But hang on, GW has just released a box of three Mega Armoured Nobs, one of which can be built as a Big Mek. (But if you do, you need to buy a second box since Mega Armoured Nobs need to be at least three in a unit.) The only other Big Mek model available is the one with the Shokk Attakk Gun. So now, if I want a Big Mek, without the Mega armour and without the SAG, I'm screwed. They did release an ordinary Mek in plastic which is a nice kit, although there are Mek parts in both the ordinary Ork box and the Loota/Burna box allowing you to build Meks already. But a Big Mek? Nope.

This poor guy didn't even get finished before he was ousted from the Codex.
The grot artillery pieces have got a lowered points cost and the ability to get more grots serving them, as well as a boost in stats I think. Guess what, a new plastic model is available that's twice the size of the previous metal models, and thrice the cost. You can build all options from it, but as with the new Morkanaut a lot of parts are common to all variants so you do not get a lot of leftover parts.

The Looted vehicle was left out. What? I hear you say. Well it's "exclusively" in the new White Dwarf, issue #21. And it's AV 11 now, used to be 12. This is actually insane, almost all Ork players out there has some looted vehicles in one form or another, from Land Raiders going backwards with a cockpit stuck on top to painstakingly orkified Leman Russes from the time when Blood Axes could take imperial vehicles -- I have two by the way! Way to go GW, my Leman Russes are now made out of swiss cheese and if I want to use them I have to buy your stinky magazine in addition to the Codex. (Or download the article somewhere. Just saying. Besides, the datasheet is copy-pasted from the previous issue, so the unit size says "1 Morkanaut". Hilarious.) 

The Battlewagon is re-released in a new box together with the upgrade sprue containing the Deff Rolla that you previously had to order separately from Mail Order. And its cheaper. Quick go out and buy a dozen before GW realised they actually lowered the price on something!

One of these Trukk add-ons is now redundant, guess which. (No it's not the driver!)
Vehicles can get Stikk Bomb launchers as before, making a unit travelling in it count as having Stikk Bombs on the turn they charge. However every unit in the Ork list except gretchin now has Stikk Bombs already included. So why bother putting it in there?

The Mob rule now actually works so the Nob bashes a few heads in to restore order in the ranks, so you take extra hits and then you pass the test. It could lead to some small units being wiped out by a failed morale test. I like it however as it's well within the fluff for Nobs to bash some heads to bring the boyz in line.
Besides these gripes the Codex is actually well written it really inspires me. I like the new format with the codex entry, background and special rules for each unit all on the same page. I played a game along with a mate who also has orks against another mates Dark Angels. We had around 800 points each of orks, and that is actually quite a lot of figures, together we filled the deployment zone.

The Whaaagh assembles. (Sadly most of the unpainted stuff is mine.)

That's shoulder-to-shoulder orkiness stretching 48 inches, several lines deep.

This has got me into painting orks again, so expect some greenskins in the near future. It's unfortunate really, because earlier I had splashed out about 70 pounds on Forgeworld Horus Heresy models to use for my Deathguard army, and today some Bolt Action figures I had ordered from Caliver Books in april finally turned up. But now I'm going full green, trying to keep from buying too much new and shiny and concentrating on finishing at least some of the stuff I already have.

Goff 'Ardboyz almost finished. Two of these were started during 5th edition, the rest is from the 6th edition starter box!

I will leave you with a work in progress shot of a Goff Nob for my 'Ard Boyz.

My very first attempt ever at OSL. I know it sucks, but I'm getting there, hopefully.

And remember, when in doubt, WHHHHAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!

5 kommentarer:

  1. I think that the OSL is quite nice actually. And you know that GW must be itching to raise the price on the Stompa soon...

    wait, is the Stompa in the codex now?

    1. Yes, the Stompa is in the Codex. It's a Lord of Battle, just like Ghazskull.

  2. I like what you've done with that Ork in the last photo, very effective and clever.
    Sigh, GW. I like Orks and I have some W40K figures from about 6 years ago, though mostly disused since my son moved out. I hate to get rid of them but I would never spend money on another GW book or codex. Buy the figures you like and write the rules for them that you like would be my advice.

    1. Michael, you are of course right. I can play with my figures in any way I want with any rules I want.

      But it's not that easy. Warhammer is what set me on the path of wargaming over 30 years ago. It literally blew my mind. So the world setting in both the Fantasy version and in 40k is very dear to me. And I still have a small core of friends who game Warhammer, some are into historicals as well, some refuse to play anything other than Warhammer or Warhammer 40k. We have large (too large!) collections of figures ranging from the first metal "beakie" marines to the latest Forgeworld models. We play to have fun, paint outrageous over the top models and generally have a laugh. Nobody plays to win. If I want realism and tactical challenges I play WW2, if I want to hang out with a bunch of likeminded loonies I play Warhammer. In short, Warhammer is our go to Beer and Pretzels game, and every new rules edition and codex serves to keep the game fresh.

      There is another side to it as well. My kids have friends in school that play Warhammer 40k, and kids need rigid rules and guidelines to play. So I keep up with the game in case their interest gets serious.


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