Warhammer 40k 7th Edition – A Review

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So 7th Edition has been unleashed upon the world. I’d like to say that I was eagerly anticipating its release but if I’m honest I felt fairly indifferent about the whole thing. Mainly because I do my best to avoid rumours and I really hate the way Games Workshop give people a week’s notice to find £50.

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Of course to avoid all the rumours flying around concerning 7th Edition I’d have to delete my social media accounts, not talk to any of my friends and quite possibly move somewhere fairly far away and possibly underground. The persistent rumour was that it would be Blood Angels and not Space Wolves joining Orks in the new boxset. Another was that there wouldn’t be a boxset at all. Well done Games Workshop you finally got one over on us.

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In a way I’m quite glad I ignored the rumours because when 7th Edition finally came out I had the opportunity to be surprised by a book I’d already owned 5 times previously. And that was quite a novel feeling. Of course the main change is that the Games Workshop have heeded the cries of its customers and split the book into three – hobby, fluff and rules. This is welcome news for gamers – particularly tournament gamers – who no longer have to lug around a chuffing heavy book with them wherever they go. They are also stunning to look at. It’s a real departure from the traditional with this iteration. It has new type faces, bold colour block, new stylised aquilas and groovy new art up the whazoo. Plus some of the best pieces from the previous edition. The books feel cyberpunk rather than sci-gothic which is actually a pretty clever. For the first time it feels like a work talking a bout the universe rather than a document from the universe. Which I think makes it far more relate-able for those who just want to paint some toys or play some games, not go balls deep into the fluff. And breaking it into three makes it more digestible. But, for me, harder to get into. Mainly because I do my reading in snatched hours so as I finished one part I was usually nowhere near the others.

A Galaxy of War – the hobby book – is, for me, a huge indulgence. It’s padded to hell and basically a hardback version of Warhammer Visions which is a bit poor. Lots of full page or double page photos which are totally unnecessary. It could be half the thickness, still look good and make just as much contribution to your hobby. I suspect it was thickened up because it would rather put lie to the principle that the wargaming is divided into three equal parts – painting/modelling, gaming and background. There are some new and pretty good hobby articles in there which is very refreshing considering the last couple of iterations have been rehashes of the ones before them. And it’s also cool to see a proper article about collecting an army and giving it some personality. It has nothing to with it being Ultramarines by the way. Although it’s nice to see Captain ‘Angryman’ Agemman getting some love considering he’s contributed almost as much to the Codex Astartes as Marneus Calgar. It’s the first hobby section in a while that I can see a seasoned gamer actually taking the trouble to read. I can’t promise they won’t get bored by the huge amounts of wasted space but at least there’s some value to it. Especially with the changes to the Citadel paint range in the last couple of years.

The book I was looking forward to most, it’s no surprise, was Dark Millennium – the background book – but it was the one that disappointed the most. Now I’ve been immersed in the Grim Darkness of the 41st Millennium for the best part of 25 years so I’m aware that the Imperium is not a happy or easy place to live but this book was so utterly bleak to the extent that when I reached the timeline I was questioning what the point of playing any more. In the past there was always an element of hope. Yes humanity was besieged on all sides and the outlook was grim but through strength or arms and sacrifice humanity had a chance. That has been replaced with a bludgeoning hopelessness that does beg the question why anyone would bother. And it lacks finesse. There’s no ambiguity which was always Games Workshop’s strength over its competitors. Everything was myth and legend and open to interpretation. Debating the background has always been a bit of a hobby within a hobby for me. 7th Edition just seems to be a bit…factual. Not bad by any chalk just factual. But I suppose that does tie in with the idea that this is a book about the 41st Millennium rather than a book from the 41st Millennium. Some aspects of Imperial society have been nicely fleshed out – the Imperial Knights being slotted in for one – but it does get a tad repetitive. And if you’re anyone but a lapdog of the Emperor then you may not enjoy this book because 88 pages of the 128 pages is given over to the Imperium. Granted it’s been padded with the usual large pieces of artwork but still. The Eldar – one of the most important players in a galaxy gone mad gets two pages. And that’s split between Dark Eldar and full fat Eldar. There’s a fair few pages about Chaos but even that is Imperium-centric. I stress it’s not a bad read but the old guard, those few of us that are left, may find it a bit of a direction shift.

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And finally the rules themselves. I’ve heard more than a few people call 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000 v2.1 and with good reason as it seems to have tightened up the rules that have been evolving since third edition and added in some of the best bits of 2nd Edition. They started in the previous version with Over Watch and the like but that face that unbound armies are back is very welcome indeed because for the first time since I collected it, I can now use my Ultramarines 1st Company without borrowing rules from another army. This is joyous news. There’s other big changes like a dedicated psychic phase bringing it back in line with Warhammer having spent 16 years making it different. There’s little rule tweaks particularly around cover and line of sight. There’s clarifications around Over Watch and a raft of other things. But most importantly: vehicles don’t suck any more. There’s been no real rule changes other than to damage table. As I said in my review of 6th Edition the studio completely failed to notice that mid strength rapid firing weapons – like assault  cannons – had become the most valuable in the game because they could glance vehicles to death. Whilst this is still true, they no longer can get a lucky kill in on a penetrating hit. The only way you can now outright destroy a vehicle is if you have a weapon that’s designed to do the job. Which. Makes. Sense. Suddenly lascannons and multimeltas are worth taking again. The best lesser weapons can hope for is to destroy weapons or immobilise them. A lot of effort has gone into the ‘gaming’ aspect, specifically scenarios and missions. Taking the throwaway after thought that was the 6th edition offering and making it a clear and digestible and, most importantly, good. The woeful, soul crushing, miserable Compendium of Special Rules has been thrown out in favour of something logical – rules grouped together by type. It actually means you can find rules too. Which is novel.

Overall the 7th Edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules feel the tightest they’ve been…um…ever. The books are gorgeous and aside from sterility in the background it’s a strong offering from Games Workshop. The flyers are still over powerered – the Heldrake still being mental – and the fact that there’s still millions of special rules, however nicely they’ve been organised, means it can still frustrate but it’s not enough to put me off.

It’s been a long journey since 3rd Edition hit the shelves back in 1998 and it’s actually been fascinating watching that rule set evolve and see some of the facets of 2nd make a return. Not all the changes have been well received but then again you can’t please all the people all the time. I think there’s probably another iteration (or two) to go before Warhammer 40,000 hits that sweet spot where everything is working in harmony but for now I’d 7th Edition is pretty close.

For me the consideration that’s gone into the small details is what makes it good. Clarifying small but significant sentences cuts down rule flicking, arguing and prevents anyone from feeling hard done by when they lose the inevitable roll off. It’s just a far more well rounded offering and feels more robust because of it. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve felt confident in the rules I’m reading.

The Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition rules is available from Firestorm Games priced £45.00.

New Games Workshop Website Live!

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After the mysterious activities on the Games Workshop website yesterday, presumably just to build tension (given that these days there is no technical reason to take a site offline for a whole day to launch a web site!) it’s back, it’s new and, er, well is same but different.

It’s still just Games Workshop

No clever attempt at an integration of the Forge World and Black Library sites (as expected really, given that at no point yesterday did these sites disappear), it’s just the Games Workshop website, with some differences (see below). This is a good thing in my view, Forge World and Black Library have great individual identities and if they had been subsumed into a new ‘pure eCommerce’ site like this one then the community would have lost a significant amount of the flavour that they bring to our hobby.

The new design

Isn’t a million miles away from the old one. It’s still image-driven but now it’s even clearer that this is a retail store. Pretty much all of the ‘hobby’ content, bar the “What’s new” and “White Dwarf” sections, has gone and the menu layout and options are definitely geared towards purchasing, with options to select by price range and force organisation/ army composition rather than just driving you through the standard ‘army’ channels.

There are some good tweaks here, specifically to make the site more generally accessible across more devices, and as a result the hover menus have died a necessary death. It’s slightly annoying that you have to click on check boxes, not words as that gives you a smaller target area to aim at (especially on a mobile device), but I definitely prefer it over the last front end, much cleaner and easier to read and the new ‘list’ of products view is nicer.

One potentially useful new feature is the ability to select multiple categories at once from the side bar, very much a standard eCommerce feature but I’m not sure how necessary it is for this site. Unless of course you really need to look at Beastmen and Dwarves in one product list…

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Mobile/ tablet friendly

Probably the biggest change folks are talking about (on Twitter, where Games Workshop notably still are not) is the introduction of a ‘proper’ mobile site. My feeling on this is, yup it’s nice, but really if there had been a site relaunch without some response design to accommodate mobile users then that would have been a serious negative point against it. It’s good to have, but should be auto-include for a retail web site these days.

FAQ off!

This is probably the ‘biggy’ in this revamp, Games Workshop have completely stripped out the FAQs section.

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This isn’t totally unforeseen, after all the FAQs haven’t been updated in a long while, and Games Workshop’s general shift towards digital content might suggest that they’ll simply shift them into automatic codex/army/rule book updates plus possibly a return to the old days of ‘official’ update books? I think that latter option is unlikely, Games Workshop have put considerable effort into their digital offerings of late and I suspect they want us all to just buy iPads and receive over the air updates so that we’re all using the version of rules they consider to be ‘the right ones’. Not that that’s much help if you don’t have a fruit-based tablet, of course…

We will have to wait and see what impact this has on the tournament and general hobby scene. After all if Games Workshop have taken them down, does this mean they won’t allow them at Warhammer World events? Most tournaments, I suspect, will still count them as valid (after all, they’re still an official Games Workshop offering), but how will new players get hold of them if not from the Games Workshop web site?

Your account is dead, long live your (new) account!

Part of the revamp involved a new platform and I guess rather than attempt (and therefore pay for) a migration of existing accounts, Games Workshop have scrapped all existing accounts and wish/gift lists. Not a massive issue really and certainly not worth holding up a new site for, but something to be aware of nonetheless!

Final thoughts

So all-in-all not a bad revamp, but clearly another step towards Games Workshop’s online presence being about two things, retail sales and retail sales. Oh wait, that’s the same thing twice. I do think they’re trying, with the White Dwarf revamp, the weekly release schedule and the hiving off of all social content to the stores to explicitly split off our relationship with Games Workshop HQ as a retail body from our relationship to the stores, hence retaining the store Facebook pages. It’s an interesting move on their part and I guess time will tell how successful a strategy it is, but with their one-man store policy and a clear desire to drive footfall back into stores as hobby centres you can see a picture developing where we go back to the days of our primary relationship to the Games Workshop part of the hobby being bricks and mortar centric. At least I suspect that’s what Games Workshop are trying to achieve.

The Dark Knight Ruleses

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When news broke that Knight Models were releasing a Batman Miniatures game I was very excited because I love Batman and have massively enjoyed playing the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games. My enthusiasm did wane somewhat as I saw the prices of the models but I suppose, as it’s a licensed product it’s to be expected. Then I had to wait and wait and wait for rules.

But basic rules are finally available to download completely free from the Knight Models website. Available for your crime fighting pleasure is a quick guide, scenarios, character sheets, and the rules. And can all be found here. I’ll be having a good read once I’ve cleared a couple of other reviews off the Shell Case desk and I may try to get my mits on a couple of models. For now go over to Knight Models and have a dribble.Batman: Arkham City

The Storm Falcon

Followers on Twitter and regular readers will know that I had the very great pleasure of writing the rules for a conversion that Hugo over at Ichiban Painting was putting together for Games Day Japan.

The original concept was a Storm Eagle MkII but having had a Facetime conversation with Hugo and seeing the work in progress I realised it was so much more than that and deserved it’s very own classification. And so the Storm Falcon was born.

Hugo has worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to convert and paint a truly awesome looking model. And it paid of as he won Best 40k vehicle which is simply an incredible achievement.

So, for your pleasure I not only have a lovely snap of the best painted 40k vehicle in Japan, if not the world, but the rules which went some tiny way towards winning it. At the very bottom is a link to download the PDF version so, should the mood take you, you can build a Storm Falcon and use the rules.

STORM FALCON HEAVY GUNSHIP

Land Raider Spartan

Another gem from the Forgeworld Open Day, the much rumoured return of the Land Raider Spartan. Forgive the photos, they aren’t mine. As you can see it’s a big bugger, but no surprise considering it’s designed specifically for transporting Terminators. And yes, that’s quad lascannons mounted on the sponsons. After some digging around I found some test rules from late last year. They’re by no means official. Or even officially unofficial from Forgeworld. But at least it’ll give you an idea of what to expect when the Spartan is unleashed upon the foes of the Emperor.

Land Raider Spartan – 350 Points

BS: 4 ¦ Front: 14 ¦ Side: 14 ¦ Rear: 14

Unit Composition: 1 Land Raider

Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank)

Wargear: Twin-linked heavy bolter (hull mounted) ¦ Two twin-lined Lascannons (sponsons) ¦ Heavy Bolter (pintle-mounted) ¦
Extra Armour ¦ Smoke launchers ¦ Searchlight

Transport Capacity: Thirty (30) models

Special Rules:
Power of the Machine Spirit
Assault Vehicle
Spartan Assault Vehicle: Counts as open topped for embarkation & disembarkation purposes, but not otherwise affected by this rule. Units entering combat directly from the Spartan also count as having offensive grenades.
Multiple Squads: May carry multiple squads/unit entries

Options:
May replace heavy bolter with:
– Heavy Flamer………… free
– Multi-Melta ……………. +10 pts

May replace hull-mounted heavy bolter with:
– Twin-linked Assault Cannon… +25 pts

May replace sponson mounted lascannons with:
– Hurricane Bolters ………….. free
– Twin-linked Heavy Flamer….free

May take any of the following:
-a storm bolter…….. +10 pts
-a hunter killer missile …… +10pts
-a dozer blade……. +5pts
-a siege shield……. +10pts

Discuss it on The Shell Case forum.

Stormeagle Rules

The weekend saw the Forgeworld open day at Games Workshop head office in Nottingham and for those that didn’t know, it was the only opportunity to get your grubby little mits on a Space Marine Stormeagle.

However, thanks to a rather well taken snap by @WarLlama40k, who attended the day, if you weren’t lucky enough to get yourself a model you can at least scratch build something and use the rules below. Enjoy.

Discuss on The Shell Case fourm.

6th Edition 40k Secrets Revealed

It would appear someone at GW HQ has been rather naughty and leaked the rulebook. Whilst I’m not going to share that link I will share the highlights from Blood of Kittens.

Brace yourself, it’s a long one:

This is a new statline that works with BS to determine if hit a unit Evasion (EV)
The Evasion Value indicates how hard it is to hit the model. The smaller and faster, the better the Evasion Value of a warrior. This characteristic is not part of the model’s profile as it depends on
the speed of the model. A moving Tau Fire Warrior has an Evasion of 3, a stationary Land Raider tank only an Evasion of 1.

Cover Save are now 5+ looks like for many things

Wound allocation: Back to 4th ed we go! All wounds are distributed by armor type, multi- wound models count for as many models as they have remaining wounds. Sarge and his special weapon buddies are last to die.

Running in the movement phase…. most of us do this already!

Instant Death, this is awesome! Instant death is totally changed, if your toughness is exceeded by 4 points of strength you take 2 wounds. By 5, 3 wounds, etc. Tyranids, rejoice!

If you double your opponent’s WS, you hit on 2′ s in combat! If their WS is double yours, you hit on a 5, triple, you hit on a 6!

Rigid saves: sounds like FnP, but is ignored by AP 1,2 ,3 or instant death attacks. FnP is Rigid 4+
Removed from play now just means removed as a casualty. Necrons get a break from JotWW!

Preferred enemy: Shooting and HtH! But like 4th ed, always hit on a 3+ , if normally hitting on a 3+ , now hits on a 2+ . If you choose to shoot at a unit that you have PE against, but don’t, you lost the rule for the rest of the game! Now Destroyers with preferred enemy: Everything! makes sense!

If a unit can be singled out by an attack (JotWW) it becomes it’ s own unit. Shielded (USR) ignores that rule.

Falling back is now your movement + D6 ″ some units can cause Terror which triggers a morale check.

Shaken applies to all units now, like pinning for infantry and shaken as now for vehicles

Broken units automatically fail their morale if they lose a combat.

Surrounded: if broken and falling back, if you end your move within 12″ of an unengaged enemy model, the unit is destroyed! Wow!

Tactical Retreat: If a unit falls off the board, they are removed from play but does not count as destroyed. You can choose to leave the game and not give up a KP or VPs.

Immobilized counts for all unit types. Immobile units EV value (evasion) is decreased, usually +1 to hit them.

Tiered fearlessness: can be pinned or shaken. Nice! Fearless units are subject to rules but are better against them. Level 3 fearless ignores everything, though. Stubborn the same.

Cold Blooded new rule allows you to choose to pass or fail.

ATSKNF largely remains the same.

Critical hits: this is a blanket rule that automatically wounds and ignores all saves but invulnerable, vehicles take a penetrating hit. Triggered by certain attacks and difficult terrain roles, which now are on a 6, not a 1.

New Dense terrain type: can’ t see through it at all. If a unit is in it, you ignore this unit for shooting.
Cover saves now 5+ for all but fortified ruins.

Skilled Rider now IGNORES difficult terrain checks.

Airborne rule: units with this rule ignore difficult and dangerous terrain, but still gain a cover save form it.

Move through cover: run/cruise through difficult terrain.

Turn phases: Move, Assault, Shoot, Consolidate

BIG! In order to control a mission objective, you must have it for an ENTIRE turn.
Turns are defined, things that occur :at the beginning of the turn” are clearly defined.

Cruise and Combat speed are for all units now, cruising or running for infantry, is a straight double movement, no more random roll.

You cannot shoot before charging anymore. A Charge is a double move.
Engage action: charge normal movement distance (not double), but can shoot in the following shooting phase.

Flat Out: Triple movement

Fleet adds 2″ to your movement value!

Fast rule: shoot twice if stationary, shoot normally after moving or charging.

Rage: can’ t remain stationary, must take -1 morale check to not charge enemy unit within 12″.

Alpha Strike: charging into terrain makes defenders I10, charging already engaged unit makes attacker I10.

In HTH, if a template deviates onto combat, each unit under it only takes 1 hit. Can’ t target into HtH. 

BIG RULE: No Retreat is now a critical hit for every wound you lost combat by (ignores armor) but you can pass a morale check with a -1 for every wound you lost combat by. Wow, that levels the playing field, a LOT!

Sweeping advance: if you lose combat and fail a morale, you roll 5+ and break out of combat or are destroyed. If your In is higher than the pursuing unit’s In, you break off on a 4+ 3″ consolidation 

Hit and Run now only 3″, but can now shoot in the following shooting phase

Hulk rule: can not attack in HtH

Intractable rule: cannot be bound in HtH

All models with a base (infantry, walkers, MCs) do NOT block LOS. They grant a 5+ cover unless the squad leader of the firing unit can not see the target unit, in which case the save is a 4+ 

Look out sarge: a unit can force a cover save to a unit behind it, even if normally the target unit would not get a save, but the intervening unit takes a critical wound for every save that is passed

Evasion: 3 base for all units. Massive: Tanks, MCs, GCs, bastions, walkers, super- heavies -1 Ev. Stationary -1 .

Jink: +1 , Swarm +1 , Flyer always a 6, point blank (squad leader is within 12″) EV always 3

Divide fire : if you have the divide fire rule, you can give up a shot to shoot all remaining weapons at different targets! A vehicle that holds still can do some serious work, but is easier to hit.

Night Vision now lets you reroll your check unless their stealth is higher than their Night Vision.

Multi-Targeting : if you have this rule, you can double your shots if you hold still!! Wowzers. If you have multi-targeting (3) you can shoot three times. If you hold still, you shoot 6 times!

Overwatch! If an enemy unit ends its move within 12″ of a unit with this ability, they can perform a defensive shooting action at them out of sequence

Relentless: can fire as if they held still, rapid fire to 18″ as opposed to 24″

Tiered stealth: +1 . 2. 3 etc.

Swarms: eternal warrior (1 ), +1 evade, vulnerable to blasts 

Veiled: tiered level 1, 2d 6x 3 to spot, level 2 2d 6x 2, level 3 2d 6x 1.5 to spot.

Draw Back rule: performed in the consolidation phase, 2d 6″ move after shooting: eldar jetbikes. In the consolidation phase (after shooting) you can join or leave a unit, embark in a vehicle(!), move or regroup. You can only regroup if you are not within 12″ of an enemy unit, but if you embark into a vehicle, you automatically regroup.

Patch up: bye bye wound allocation tricks! If you have more than one multi- wound model with a wound, take a wound from one and give it to another until only one model remains with less than full wounds! Peace out, Draigowing!

Defensive fire: you can shoot a unit that comes within 12″ out of sequence with this rule. Nice! shoot units as they assault you.

Charge by Chance: sounds like over- watch but for assault. If a unit appears within 6″ of the unit with this rule, it can assault that unit. Sounds like shooting a transport, blowing up it up, then assaulting the unit inside.

Rapid Fire: tiered rapid fire, if within 12″ you get one extra shot. rapid fire (2 ) gives 3 shots at 12″, 2 at 18″ assault weapons count as a secondary close combat weapon in HtH, Ordnance weapons take 2 fire actions to fire, ordnance barrage take 4 fire actions, “bomb” type weapons are fired in the movement phase grenades can be used as weapons against massive type models (MCs!) or vehicles but your WS is 1.

Directed Hits: attacker chooses what models take the wounds. Stopped by shielding units, or the shielded rule. Grenade launchers halve the WS of the defending unit when attacking them with grenades ID causes an additional wound even if the str value of the attack isn’t high enough to normally cause ID.

Eternal warrior block ID if the tier is higher.

Master crafted rerolls a miss, multiple master crafted weapons of the same type in the same unit reroll one missper model with the rule (speeds things up a lot)

Coarse weapon: only another coarse weapon may grant an additional attack and can’t be directed.

Blast weapons. Wow! Hit with BS as normal, if you miss, scatter the number x 2 (always scatters). So if you hit on a 4, you can only ever scatter 4″ max!

Template weapons: can shoot out 3″ from the firing model unless otherwise greater, if it hits the firing point of a vehicle or bastion, D3 models inside are hit! Can be fired in the turn you assault, hitting D6 times on the target unit at the weapons str and AP.

Blast weapons hit as described above. Any model partially under the template gets hit at full strength (even vehicles). If the blast hits a vehicle, full strength to armor in firer’s facing. If not on vehicle, full strength to armor facing the center of the blast but -3 on the damage table.

Multiple blasts: fire one weapon as “lead.” Resolve where it lands, all secondary shots must touch the preceding template and hit as many enemy models as possible, moving towards the enemy unit if the shot missed. Wow. Faster, and much deadlier.

Rail Weapons: awesome! Target a model within range, even if not in LOS. Roll to hit as with a blast weapon. After final point is determined, draw a line between point and firing unit. All units under the line take as many hits as models under the line. Holy crap, this can rape tanks! A Hammerhead could theoretically hit as many tanks as are in a straight line and in range! Models out of LOS get a 4+ . Multiple rail weapons resolve simultaneously, indirect rail weapons only grant a cover save if the unit is in area terrain.

Barrage: roll to hit as with blast weapon. If target is out of LOS you hit with BS, roll the scatter, on a “Hit” you hit. On an arrow you scatter double the die roll. On a BS miss, you scatter as normal.

Bombing is a free action done in the movement phase

AA weapons always hit target as if it were evade 3 Entangling weapons cause target to be in difficult and dangerous pinning weapons cause cumulative morale checks to be pinned. -1 for each unsaved wound.

Add salt to taste but I think this is pretty much on the money…

Not United Nations

Those lovely chaps at Spartan have been busy balancing out some of the MARs for Dystopian Wars in light of the mad as bat shit stuff that’s coming out over the coming weeks. And being the nice chap I am, I’ve robbed it and put it up here for your convenience…

With our latest releases hitting gaming tables around the world, some of the more eagle-eyed Commanders out there may have noticed that the scientists, both home and abroad, have been working overtime to improve their machinery of war. And while the boffins of the Federated States of America have been concentrating on fitting a huge artillery piece to their Gunship, the other Nations have been making more encompassing tweaks to their beloved moving arsenals. This blog details a couple of the improvements that are being made to Dystopian Wars.

Prussian Empire's FlagPrussian Empire’s Flag

The Prussian Empire has been making advancements with its Tesla Coil technology.

From this point onward ALL Prussian Empire Tesla and Tesla Coils weapons have the following Model Assigned Rule (MAR) associated with them (regardless of whether it is listed on the Stat Card owned by the player, or not):

REDOUBTABLE: Any weapon with the Redoubtable Model Assigned Rule only reduces its Attack Dice (AD) by 1 for every 2 Hull Points (HP) of damage taken.

Empire of the Blazing Sun's FlagEmpire of the Blazing Sun’s Flag

The Empire of the Blazing Sun have taken strides towards improving the mobility of their Naval vessels.

From this point onward ALL Empire of the Blazing Sun Naval models have the following Model Assigned Rule associated with them (regardless of whether it is listed on the Stat Card owned by the player, or not):

SHARP TURN: This model can Turn during the minimum move made at the beginning of its activation, rather than moving DIRECTLY ahead.

Kingdom of Britannia's FlagKingdom of Britannia’s Flag

The Kingdom of Britannia have put their faith in the invention of a new Generator that will be making an appearance on suitable vessels within their Fleets.

Classified information on the Guardian Generator is detailed below – don’t read it if your security level isn’t up to snuff:

Guardian Generator

Esteemed Britannian Physicist Eugene Parker is the creator of the Guardian Generator, an invention that many in the Kingdom of Britannia military believe will save thousands of lives during the world war. This enhanced generator, which has become nicknamed the Big Brother Generator by Britannian crews, allows a vessel to not only protect itself, but to cast out a 6″ diameter defensive veil of protection that other models can shelter under. Parker started work on the Generator the day he received news that his only son, Giles Parker, had been killed in action following a naval engagement with Prussian forces south of Greenland. The Frigate his son was serving on was shadowing the Battleship Selenga when a salvo intended for the larger vessel struck the Frigate, destroying it with no survivors. Eugene Parker vowed that day to create a Sturginium powered Generator that would save the crews of unprotected vessels during combat.

The Guardian Generator grants the model it is fitted to ALL of the effects of a single Shield Generator. Roll 2D6 Shield Dice for each Guardian Generator:

• Against Gunnery AttacksAA and CC, a roll of 4 or 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• Against Rockets and Torpedoes, a roll of 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• A roll of RED6 always results in a success which cancels two hits against this model.

The Guardian Generator also grants ALL nearby Friendly models WITHOUT Shield Generator a limited amount of protection. Roll 1d6 Shield Dice for any model, without a Shield Generator, that is hit with an attack, within 6″ of the centre of the vessel fitted with the Guardian Generator:

• Against Gunnery AttacksAA and CC, a roll of 4 or 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• Against Rockets and Torpedoes, a roll of 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• A roll of RED6 always results in a success which cancels two hits against this model.

A model can only gain the effect of ONE Guardian Generator at any one time.

In the lead up to Christmas we’ll be putting online all of the altered Stat Cards, along with an A4 crib sheet of the different enhancements we have made to Dystopian Wars. Please bear in mind that the amends you see here are part of batch of enhancements we will detail in full before Christmas.

To tie in with the arrival of the Large Class Flyers, the following Stat Cards have been modified:

The Kingdom of Britannia Eagle War Rotor
The Prussian Empire Gewitterwolke Airship

Necron Codex Rumours

I know this somewhat flies in the face of my post last night but the information was right there so there wasn’t and real work involved.
Anyway, below is rumoured rules and background for the impending Codex Necrons. Add salt to taste…

I’ll start with the background as there’s been a bit of a direction change which you’ll need to appreciate before you get to the units. Please note this is copied from a post from the Bell of Lost Souls Lounge, and not, in any way, written by me. But it does all sound rather tasty:

The Necrontyr’s empire was massive at one point, but the different Lords in the empire started to turn against each other in civil war. To prevent this from happening the overall ruler of the Necrons (the Silent King) started the war against the Old Ones specifically to give them a common enemy to fight against to prevent his empire from destroying itself. Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts and in desperation, the Silent King found the C’Tan and agreed to the Deceiver’s pact without realizing what he was doing. However, after the Necrons helped the C’Tan to kill off the last Old Ones, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C’Tan in vengeance and utterly destroyed the C’Tan into tiny shards. This war agains the C’Tan weakened the Necrons overall so much they decided to go into stasis to avoid the vengeance of the Eldar (the C’Tan had killed the Old Ones, but not all their children).

Now that the Necrons have reawakened in the 41st millennium, their goal is no longer to ‘harvest’ souls for the C’Tan (the C’Tan shards are now their slaves) as it was in the old book, but rather to reestablish the great Necron empire that spanned the galaxy before the war with the Old Ones began. However, the overall hierarchy of the Necron people is gone for the most part, leaving each individual Empire to once again rule for itself. This means each Tomb World (or cluster of Necron worlds) is essentially a separate little empire to itself, with a full backstory and idiosyncrasies. While Necron warriors are pretty much just automatons and Immortals not too much better, every other higher Necron being is now much more like an actual person, as their essence is simply trapped inside a metal body.

So there is lots of crazy nuance to Necron culture that was never present before. The codex now has plenty of ‘quote’ boxes featuring memorable quotes from Necron Lords like other races have in their books. There are some Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, there are a few Necron Lords who trade with other races, and although an uneasy alliance apparently, yes Necrons and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together. Oh, and there is definitely plenty of reason to have Necron vs. Necron action now (as the old feuds between competing Necron Lords flare back up again).

All in all, it is a major tonal shift. While part of me recoils from it, the other part of me thinks that Necrons as they were had no distinct ‘character’ that each player could choose to get behind. Yes, the race as a whole had ‘character’ in how it was organized and functioned, but there was never any really good reason that a player should have his Necron force painted and modeled ‘X’ way as opposed to another player with his Necron army looking ‘Y’ way. People certainly painted their Necrons in different (neat) ways, but there was never really any good fluff giving players inspiration to do so.

The only real ‘personality’ in the old book was the Deceiver, and that frankly wasn’t the Necrons, it was their god. The mindless mission that all Necrons were on was basically really similar to Tyranids…the Necrons were coming to harvest every living thing in the galaxy (yawn).

This new incarnation, love it or hate it, gives the Necrons a whole wide array of personality and every single empire has different goals and motives (not to mention paint schemes, markings, etc). Some Necron Lords are obsessed with finding the perfect flesh bodies to transfer their sentience back into. One Necron Tomb World was damaged during the great sleep and erased all the Necron sentience and has started basically commanding its Necrons like true robots (and is actively attacking other Necron worlds to take them over and keep growing), and there are of course dozens more little stories. The Silent King, who put himself into exile (for his unforgivable crime against his people) by leaving the galaxy after defeating the C’Tan encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Tyranids (realizing that if the Tyranids wipe the galaxy clean of biological matter, then the Necrons will never find a form to transfer their minds back into).

Oh, and the biggest rival of the Necrons is now actually the Altaoic (sp?) Craftworld. Apparently they are the only Eldar who stayed true on the original path to seek out and destroy Necron Tomb Worlds while the rest of the Eldar got all caught up and destroyed in their decadence and then the Fall. Altaoic rangers have traveled the galaxy far and wide over the millennia (ever since the Necrons went to sleep) to track down and destroy or hamper Tomb Worlds from reawakening.

So with this new direction there is now tons of different possibilities for players to make Necrons forces different from each other and there are neat new takes on ‘nemesis’ races like Eldar & Tyranids to drive gaming plots as well as good reason for Necron on Necron battles.

And as for totally destroying the background of the C’Tan, the codex does allude to the fact that there are lots of unaccounted for C’Tan shards still allegedly cast around the galaxy. The Necron are always trying to hunt them down and imprison them (in pocket dimension prisons), but this does still leave the door totally wide open for a shard of ‘The Dragon’ to be on Mars and for shards of ‘The Deceiver’ to have done all the crazy things that’s been written about him in novels. Essentially, the full power C’Tan were massively, massively powerful, and the ‘shard’ versions of them are closer to the idea of what we had in the last codex anyway (something that can be killed/banished on a battlefield).

So while it is a little shocking to have such a massive fluff change hit, I do think it is probably the right way forward to create a more fully realized faction. But I do think it is probably going to be a massive turn-off to those players who absolutely adored the old fluff for the army.

Rules:

HQ

• Imotekh the Stormlord (Lord of the Sau): The most powerful Necron Overlord currently. A master strategist whose nemesis is the Orks (since their random nature is the only thing that can accidentally disrupt his flawless plans).

• Nemesor Zahndrekh: Overlord damaged in the great sleep who still thinks he is flesh and blood fighting the war of secession against his brother Necrontyr. Therefore, he is one of the few Necron Lords who still fights with honor and valor towards his enemies. Has a bodyguard named Vargard Obryron.

• Illuminor Szeras: The Necrontyr who took the C’Tan’s knowledge to do bio-transfer and actually made it a reality…so he’s the chief architect within the Necrons for actually making the bio-transference happen. He is a master of technology and can augment D3 units in the army with an augmentation.

• Orikan the Diviner: A master astromancer (a Cryptek specializing in tech that can predict the future), he is renown for knowing what will happen and when. During the game he is able to achieve a ‘powered up’ state that gives him a greatly increases statline, but this boost can randomly end on any turn dropping him back down to his regular stats.

• Anrakyr the Traveller: A Necron Lord whose goal is to unite the Necron Empires again. He travels to Tomb Worlds still sleeping and kills the ‘lesser’ inhabitants that may live there unaware they are on a Tomb World, the ‘price’ for this service is to claim a tithe from the newly awakened legions. Some Necrons see him as a golden crusader others don’t want reunification and would rather see him dead.

• Trazyn the Infinite: He is a Necron who woke very early and is fascinated with studying and collecting history. His tomb world is filled with secret trinkets including (I quote) ‘a giant of a man clad in baroque power armor’ (start your wild theories here!). He even will attack other Necron tomb worlds to capture artifacts from them that he doesn’t think they deserve. He is the character that has the CC ability to pick one type of model he killed that round and inflict wounds on all models of that type in the combat.

• Necron Overlord: Generic DIY Necron Overlord (guy who rules a Tomb World) with plenty of options. Can ride on a Catacomb Command Barge (which is a one man transport) as can all the named ‘Lords’ above, but not those that are Crypteks in their fluff (Illuminor Szeras & Orikan the Diviner). Also can be a Destroyer Lord instead.

• Royal Court: 0-5 regular Necron Lords (lieutenants to the Overlords) as well as 0-5 Crypteks. Crypteks are masters of Necron technology, whose abilities sometimes appear like sorcery to other races, but they do not have any psychic powers…all their abilities do not require a psychic test or anything like that (nor are they ever referred to as psychic powers in any way). Any member of the Court (Lord or Cryptek) can be split off at the start of the game to lead a unit of Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard or Deathmarks (but only one per unit). Neither Lords nor Crypteks are ICs.

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS

• Night Scythe: A variant of the Doom Scythe fighter that is a 15 model flyer transport with the ‘supersonic’ 36″ flat-out move that the new flyers (that are really skimmers) have. Can carry jump infantry models (taking up 2 spots each) and fire all its weapons even when moving at cruising speed. Has living metal (chance to ignore crew shaken & stunned) but not quantum shielding (which gives +2 armor until the vehicle suffers its first glancing or penetrating hit). AV 11/11/11 like most Necron vehicles (not open-topped though).

• Ghost Ark: 10 model transport, Open-topped AV11 with quantum shielding and living metal. Also is able to regenerate D3 models to one unit within 6″ each Necron movement phase (but cannot take the unit above its starting size).

• Catacomb Command Barge: One-man vehicle for most ICs. Open-topped AV11 with quantum shielding & living metal. Can make sweep attacks over 3 enemy units it passes over when it moves. Also the character can lose wounds to negate immobilized or weapon destroyed results.

ELITES

• Deathmarks: 24″ range rapid-fire AP 5 sniper unit that can choose to Deep Strike in immediately after any enemy unit arrives from Reserves (which just allows the enemy to fire at them first?)…teleporting in from a pocket dimension to target their prey. They can also mark a single unit as their ‘target’ which allows them to roll to wound on a 2+. Beautiful models from the pics leaked, but at the point cost listed I can’t see them ever being used except to see those great models on the table. Can be transported on a Night Scythe.

• Lychguard: Traditionally these have been the bodyguards for the Overlords. Come standard with Warscythes (+2 Strength Power weapon) and can replace them with Hyperphase swords (power weapon) and Dispersion Shields (the thing that gives them a 4+ invuln and reflects enemy shooting). I made a mistake before. The Shields don’t only reflect enemy shooting within 6″, they reflect all enemy shooting, but only against enemy units who are within 6″ of them (they reflect saved wounds, they don’t affect blast/templates, for example). Can be transported on a Night Scythe.

• Triarch Ptaetorians: These used to be effectively the ‘police’ (my term) of the main Necron ruler (the last of which was the Silent King) to help enforce his will onto the Lords of the Empire. They are known to respect great warriors and honor valor and have sometimes ordered Necron Overlords to stop attacking a foe they deemed worthy of respect (much to the Lord’s chagrin). They are Jump Infantry with a 6″ AP2 S5 weapon. They can swap that out for Void Blades (a weapon with Rending and the same Entriopic ability that Scarabs have) and Particle Casters (a pistol weapon). No transport option.

• C’Tan Shard: Must take 2 of the 11 listed ability choices that basically shape what kind of C’Tan shard you’re fielding. No ability can be taken more than once in the army (even if you take 3 C’Tan shards in the army). The statline is slightly less impressive than previous incarnations of the C’Tan, but still pretty decent. Also has Eternal Warrior and ignores all terrain penalties. Still explodes D6″ when they die. Fluff-wise, these are shards effectively controlled by the Necron (even though they have most shards locked away in pocket dimensions). Each shard represents only a portion of the power and consciousness of the C’Tan and therefore in battle the C’Tan may not even think to utilize some of its power because the portion of it that knows it has ‘X’ power simply isn’t there. This is essentially what explains why they only have access to 2 special abilities in battle.

• Flayed Ones: 3 Attacks base (and no additional CC weapons). Can infiltrate or Deep Strike. No transport options.

• Triarch Stalker: Concept Sketch shows a Triarch Praetorian sitting in an open-topped cockpit that is riding on a Necron-style giant almost scorpion walker set of legs. Very cool looking IMHO. Has a variable heat ray (which can be upgraded to a couple of other weapons) that can either be fired as a template or as an Assault 2 S8 24″ Heavy2 Melta weapon. Has a Targeting relay which means that any enemy unit hit by the Stalker gets a counter placed by it that allows all other Necron units shooting at the same unit that phase to count as being twin-linked. AV11 & open-topped, but does have Quantum shielding & Living Metal.

TROOPS

• Warriors: You know them, you love them. Described as being basically automatons, with very little (if any) sentience. These were the non-warrior Necontyr before the bio-conversion. See my previous rumors (in the OP) for details on their points cost, etc. Can be transported on a Ghost Ark or Night Scythe.

• Immortals: Immortals are said to have the ability to at least speak, but still aren’t too much brighter than Warriors. These were Elite warriors of the Necrontyr before the conversion (not sure who the rank and file troops were if the Warriors were the non-combatants and the Immortals were the Elite soldiers?). Can exchange their Gauss Blasters for Tesla Carbines (24″ S5 Assault1, extra hit inflicted on a ‘to hit’ roll of ‘6’) Can be transported on a Night Scythe.

FAST ATTACK

• Canoptek Wraiths: Protectors of the Tombs while the hosts slumber. Jump Infantry who ignore terrain. 3A base with Rending. All models can take one of a few different upgrades including a Whip Coil (nearly identical to a Tyranid Lash Whip), particle caster (pistol) or a Exile Beamer (12″ range that kills a random model in the target unit unless it passes a Strength test).

• Canoptek Scarabs: See the rumors copied in the OP for more details on what Scarbs do now.

• Tomb Blades: Jet Bikes. From the artwork, these look like Necron warriors fused into a flying crescent throne carrying a weapon harness in their arms that is base twin-linked Tesla Carbines. The fluff says that they are pre-programmed with a bunch of different flight patterns and vectors that the onboard Warrior chooses from on the fly. this mitigates the fact that a Warrior has poor coordination, but since the programs are so advanced, in reality they act basically like any other similar unit in an enemy army despite the fact that their ‘pilots’ are much slower to react. They can upgrade their weapons to a couple different choices (twin-linked Gauss Blaster or Particle Beamer). The entire unit can take any of the 3 options: Nebuloscope (increases BS to 5), Shield Vanes (increased armor save to 3+) & Shadowloom (Stealth).

• Destroyers: New fluff that says Destroyers are infected with some kind of degenerative virus that causes their sole purpose in life to be to kill their enemies. As such they hate everyone and have the Preferred Enemy special rule against everyone (as do Destroyer Lords). They are Jump Infantry now. Any model in the unit can upgrade to a Heavy Destroyer.

HEAVY SUPPORT

• Doomsday Ark: Variant of the Ghost Ark transport: Open-topped, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Something I forogot to say about the Ghost Ark…each Guass Flayer array (5 Flayers) on each side is allowed to fire at a different enemy target (and different from the Doomsday Cannon). Not entirely clear whether a weapon destroyed takes out a whole array or not, but I’m leaning towards yes. The Doomsday cannon has two profiles, one for if the vehicle did or didn’t move that turn (with the non-moving one being 72″ range S9 AP1 Large Blast). The moving profile only has a 24″ range and a S7 blast. Basically described as gunboat whose strategy is to hit first and destroy the enemy before they can fire back.

• Annihilation Barge: Described as anti-infantry support platforms. Variant of the Catacomb Command Barge: Open-topped, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Tesla Cannon, but can upgrade the cannon to a Gauss Cannon. Not exactly sure why you’d want to do that except for the extra range (36″ for the Gauss Cannon as opposed to all Tesla weapons which are 24″ range).

• Monolith: 35 Point reduction along with corresponding nerf in invulnerability (were you not expecting that?). Still AV 14 and still has Living Metal (although again that only helps remove Crew Stunned/Shaken now). Can still Deep Strike but no longer has invulnerability from Mishaps. Has 4 Gauss Flux Arcs (which are now just Heavy 3 instead of randomly rolled). Particle whip is now just a straight up S8 AP3 24″ large blast. The portal can be used to either transport any non-vehicle friendly Necron unit through it or to suck enemy models within 6″ to instant death who fail a Strength Test. No bonus to reanimation protocols (the replacement for WBB) is present. Although, at the end of the day, this is still an AV14 vehicle all around, which is pretty imposing in the current game. Unfortunately all of its weapons are really close range, which means it will also now tend to be in Melta range…

• Doom Scythe: Pure fighter variant of the Night Scythe. AV11 with Living Metal (but no Quantum Shielding or open-topped). Is supersonic (36″ flat-out) and can fire all its weapons when moving at cruising speed. Has a twin-linked tesla Destructor & a Death Ray, which allows a 3D6″ line to be drawn (with one end of the line being within 12″ of the vehicle) and causes a number of hits on every unit crossed by the line equal to the number of MODELS in the unit hit. Oh and did I mention that these hits are S10 AP1? Nasty indeed! But at nearly 200 pts for an AV11 vehicle, to get within 12″ to unleash this beast will probably be a bit rough.

• Tomb Spyders: The artwork makes them look much more flying and nimble, like giant Scarabs. Can now repair vehicles like a Techmarine, Big Mek, etc. Can take an anti-psychic defense against any power targeting a friendly unit within 3″ (nullified on a 4+). Can still create Scarab Swarms, but only into existing swarms on the table (they no longer form a unit with the Spyder) and it can still take damage if it rolls a ‘1’ while doing so. Can take Whip Coils (by giving up a close combat weapon and a +1 to repair vehicles) which is like a Tyranid Lash Whip. Can take 1 or 2 Particle Beamers (by removing its CC/fixer arms) to do so. 1-3 in a unit.