Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit Game by Games Workshop

The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game: Escape from Goblin Town

Crazy Gamer here to give you a crazy review of Games Workshop’s latest game, The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game: Escape from Goblin Town, from here on out referred to as The Hobbit.

Let’s dive in.

The rules:  The Hobbit is based on the original Lord of the Rings: Strategy Battle Game, which is not to be confused with the War of the Ring games, also released by Games Workshop.  Whew, that’s a lot of titles.  Back to my original point: the Hobbit is essentially a new version of the Lord of the Rings games rules.  The rules are fundamentally the same as LOTR.  In essence, one player plays the good guys (in this case, Thorin’s dwarves) and the other plays the bad guys (the Goblin King and goblins).  Heroes and monsters have special abilities and equipment like their movie counterparts.  Players recreate the movie moments in six scenarios.

This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg, but I will discuss that in the hobby section.

The rules themselves are easy to learn and are fun.  Most of the rules are identical to the previous version of the LOTR strategy game with some confusing elements refined.  What has changed are more sophisticated moving and shooting mechanics, shooting into and out of terrain, fighting behind obstacles, heroic actions, and monsters.  Monsters have been given new options to use that make them more tactical to use and heroes now have twice as many heroic actions that they can call.

The game has plenty of tactical decisions for players to make - just because the rules are easy to learn doesn’t mean the game is easy to master.  Players must balance the need to modify their dice rolls with calling heroic actions.  The canny player will be rewarded; the careless player will lose regardless of how mighty their models may be.  The game is fun to play if you give it a chance.

The models: Having played miniature games for almost 20 years, I am still amazed by what can be accomplished in plastic these days.  Even if we go back to 2001, when the original LOTR game came out, there were only a handful of poses and none of the models in the basic set were heroes.  The Hobbit game comes with all the members of Thorin’s company, all heroes, plus the Goblin King, 18 different posed goblins times two, plus Goblin Town scenery.  Each member of Thorin’s company is excellently sculpted in the likeness of their movie counterpart.  Thorin’s model has the option of his Oakenshield or Orchrist, while Bilbo can be equipped with Sting if the player wants it.

The goblins, thirty-six of them, are hideous, lumpen, grotesque critters.  The models are nasty, just like in the movies.  The Goblin King is large and imposing, bigger than a cave troll, not quite as big as a Balrog.  Goblin Town itself is functional and includes the goblin scribe and the Goblin King’s throne.

Overall, the miniatures are excellent, coming in at a little over $2 a piece for the collector’s set.

The Hobby: The one weak area of the Hobbit box game is its tight focus on Goblin Town.  All the scenarios revolve around that portion of the movie when the dwarves and Bilbo are in the clutches of the Goblin King.

This can be fun, but players will quickly want to explore other portions of the Hobbit movie.  There are miniatures for other parts of the film (and the other Lord of the Rings movies), but this will require purchasing the hardcover Hobbit rulebook and additional miniatures.

As far as what’s out there for you to collect, gamers can collect all of their favorite characters and can recreate all their favorite events from the movies and books – everything is available from both the Lord of the Rings movies and the Hobbit.

Overall – worth a buy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Warhammer 101 (Armies Fantasy Flavor) Vampire Counts

Vampire Counts

Crazy Guy here to write about another army article.  This time I will talk about the Warhammer Fantasy army Vampire Counts

Fun Fact, Games Workshop released the Vampire Counts army around the same time as the second to last Twilight movie.  Did GW do this to benefit from the popularity of the Twilight films?

One quick read of the Vampire Counts book will tell you this isn't the case. 

Let me write the Twilight saga if Edward (I cry that I know that) was a Warhammer vampire...

Bella walked to school.  She didn't much like the cold cloudy weather that assailed her as she made the short journey from her dad's house to the brick building that was her new school.  Although she wasn't thrilled with starting a new school she hoped her new classmates were decent.  Teenagers could be nasty if they wanted to be. 

Suddenly a darkness descended, a snaking black cloud to be precise, fell upon the school.  Screams could be heard, carried as it was, on the fell wind.

A figure emerged from the dark cloud, a pale figure on a monstrous dragon. 

Bella locked eyes with the man.  He is so dreamy she thought. 

The dragon descended opening its maw as it did so and swallowed Bella whole. 

The end

Warhammer Vampires are not broody emo guys.  They want to destroy the world with dark magic.

If you start a Vampire Counts you will have:

The worst troops (statistically speaking) in the game

Elite troops that are more expensive than other armies

Powerful, yet vulnerable, leaders

So why would you want to play this army?  Well beyond controlling an army of horror movie monsters yours is the only army (well, except Tomb Kings but they are also undead) that can get your troops back. 

Skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights, whatever can be summoned back to the battlefield using Necromantic magic.  You will lose a lot of models, but unlike other armies you can get those guys back.

The army is considered a solidly mid range list.  You will be able to compete and be successful.  The range is largely new so you will not have to worry about new models replacing the models you just bought. 

Older kits that COULD be replaced soon include vampire bats, Blood Knights, the Black Coach, bat swarms, but that's about it.

Painting is pretty easy, kits are nice.

Be aware that a Vampire Counts army is MORE expensive then the average army.  Why?  Since you can summon models back and add models to your units that weren't originally purchased for the army you will need extra models.  Games Workshop's rule is once you don't have any more models left then you can't summon anymore. 

A note on Zombies:

I'll leave you with this, if you want to play this army and you don't play in an officially marked GW store, you may want to look into alternative companies for zombie models.  Mantic games makes a good set as does reaper miniatures.  The GW zombie kit is a weaker kit and isn't likely to get replaced anytime soon.  Just FYI.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coming Soon!

Coming this week! 

My review of the Hobbit: Unexpected Journey Strategy battle game


Crazy Gamer Story TIme!

Check back for these fun articles.

Warhammer 101: Tools of the trade

Hello all,

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you.  I have journeyed long and far to a strange land to partake in local rituals of consumption.  I traveled through arid desert where rocks teetered upon other larger rocks until they reached the heavens.  For long hours I thought that perhaps the whole world was nothing but dirt and sand but then suddenly a temperate climate appeared with trees, and grass, and, and... water.

But I am back...

In my Warhammer 101 series I have discussed several armies.  This time I will discuss several tools that every gamer needs. 

These tools are necessary for you to get the most out of your models.  Citadel Miniatures do not come assembled.  You have to do this for yourself.  If you make sure that you have the proper tools you will reduce your frustration.

First, you need a knife

No, no no

Not this kind of a knife, you're not fighting off pirates!  You need this kind:

This kind of knife is used to clean off mold lines on models.

What are mold lines? 

(Face palm)

See that line that runs down the models leg.  That is a mold line.  It looks bad in plastic, when you are painting it's even worse.  A knife will get rid of this.

It is also wise to purchase a set of small files.  These are good for metal miniatures primarily.  The metal will dull your knife quickly so files will save you money on blades.  You can use files on plastic miniatures as long as you are delicate with it.  Under no circumstance should you use a file on Citadel Fincast miniatures. 


Adhesives are a sticky subject (badah boom, I'll be here all week.) with different models needing different glues.  Let's look.

First- Super Glue

Super glue is used on metal models and resin models.  I advise that you use a super glue gel as pure super glue has the consistency of water which makes it difficult to work with.

Some things to note:

Less is more with all glue, but especially super glue as the more you use the longer it will take to dry.  Too much super glue will leave a white residue on your model. 

Super glue is strong but it will not hold a piece if that piece is too big or heavy.  As a good rule of thumb if the piece was thrown at you and you think it would really hurt, it probably needs something stronger.  Look for my advanced modeling techniques coming soon.

Usually warnings on products are just for stupid people, but as the wise man once said "There are two types of people who use super glue; those who have glued their fingers together and those who will glue their fingers together."  Watch what you are gluing, it will take only a second for your fingers to glue together and boy is it painful getting them apart (your knife is good for that also by the way)

Super glue WILL ruin whatever it touches that isn't your model.  Clothes, carpet, wood, plastic, whatever.  Make sure you use the glue in an area that has protection against the glue. 

2.  Plastic glue

This is a catch all for several different substances that are designed to glue plastic.  Games Workshop does offer a decent plastic glue. 

Some things of note:

Plastic glue will only work on plastic models.

Some types of plastic glue actually melt part of the plastic to create adhesion, be very careful to make sure that what you are gluing together actually should be glued together.  Plastic glued models are more difficult to break apart then metal ones.

Elmers White Glue

White glue like Elmers has a use.  Your models bases will need to be flocked or given sand.  In order to put this on your models you need white glue like Elmers.  There is no other modeling use for this glue so one small bottle will last you for a long time. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Warhammer 101: Armies (40k Flavor Grey Knights/Sisters of Battle

Welcome to another installment of my seemingly interminable Warhammer 101 series.

Grey Knights

I was originally going to consider the Grey Knights as another type of Space Marine army.  I have since changed my mind. 

To be certain, the crux of the army are Space Marines albeit Space Marines with unique weapons and abilities.  Grey Knights have the same stat line as a regular space marine, and the same armor save.

So what separates them from their generic brethren?

1. Terminators can be chosen in larger numbers.
2.  All Grey Knights are psykers.
3.  Inquisitors and their boys n toys.

Let's get to each of these in turn

1. Space marine Terminators are among the most feared of all troops in the 40k universe and why shouldn't they be?  Terminator armor gives the best save in the game (2+ on one six sided dice) allows you to use some truly fearsome heavy weaponry which because of that awesome armor you can still fire on the move (most regular guys can only hit on a 6+ if they move and shoot with a heavy weapon).  A regular space marine army can use 30 of these bad boys but with the Grey Knights the sky's the limit (well more likely the points value of the game will be the limit, but you catch my drift).

2. Psykers have potent abilities that regular troopers don't have.  Think of the Jedi force powers combined with more generic fireballs shot from hands, the ability to predict the future, and many can put their dirtiest dishes in the dishwasher without the need to pre-clean (okay, not that last one, no psyker is that powerful.)  Most armies have to purchase special hero's to get access to psychic powers, but Grey Knights have them as standard.

Before I go on to my last point, it should be noted that the above abilities come at a price.  Namely you will likely field a tiny army.  At 2000 points (a medium sized game) you will be lucky to have 40 models.  This really isn't bad or good, just don't be shocked when your ork opponent outnumbers you five to one.

3.  Inquisitors are CIA + MI6+ Mossad+ the ability to kill worlds all wrapped into one.

Here is a quote from one of these guys  "I carry with me an Inquisitorial Seal.  It is a small, unassuming object contained in a neat box of obsidian.  It is a modest thing.  Plain, adorned with a single motif and a simple motto.  Yet with this object I can sign the death warrant of an entire world and consign a billion souls to oblivion."

Inquisitors and their henchmen are human and set against the stats and equipment of the Grey Knights they may go ignored.  However they have key abilities and crazy equipment that you shouldn't overlook out of hand. 

Gregor Eisenhorn: Inquisitor


The Grey Knights are fairly new with a complete model range.  It is possible that GW will add plastic inquisitors and henchmen later but you can be confident that when you buy your models they will be in service for years to come.

On the tabletop:

Grey Knights are considered a top level tournament army.  This is a double edged sword so be careful, because they are seeing so much success now, many gamers are gearing their armies to be optimised against Grey Knights. 

The Sisters of Battle:

I'll be honest, I wasn't quite sure where to put this.  As of this writing, the Sisters of Battle are an independent army (at one time they were part of the Inquisition) that have a White Dwarf Codex.

There is some murmur that they will get their own Codex and new model range.  This is far from certain.  Currently the range is all metal, models that were originally released in the late 90's.  If you love the range then go for it, but don't be shocked if they never get a codex or new models. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Warhammer 101: The Armies (Fantasy Edition)

Since I've been slowed in my blogging I figure I should begin my run down of Warhammer Fantasy Armies.

Today I'll start with:

Ta Dah!!!!

The Empire

The army is loosely based on the 15th Century Holy Roman Empire (that's where modern Germany is now by the way!)

Anyway... I won't bore you with geography... but you really need to learn it.  Seriously! 


The Empire is one of the "flagship," armies for Warhammer Fantasy.  The army is human, so that should be familiar... to most of you... and has plenty of fantasy archetypes such as knights in shiny armor, flamboyant heroes with fancy hats (or helmets, most kits have options).  They have wizards aplenty.  The Empire army is also has guys with guns (black powder muskets not M16's), guys with crossbows, and guys with bows and arrows.  Want cannons?  The Empire's got them.  How about a mortar?  The Empire has that also.  Perhaps a Gatling cannon with nine barrels is more your thing?  Well the Empire has that to. 

The range is 100% available right now and is almost all plastic.  Plastic kits mean more options, and cheaper prices.  The range is fairly new and so it won't be replaced anytime soon.

This variety has a price though.  You have access to all this cool stuff, but your army is reliant on the humble old soldier whose stats are near the weakest in the game.  This shouldn't be taken to mean the army can't win.  It can.  It's just that you aren't going to get a cool stat line like a Chaos Warrior, but then again a Chaos Warrior can't carry a hand gun...

Empire soldiers are cheap and if used properly are quite effective.

Empire soldiers are also colorful and look good on the tabletop.

Empire armies utilize the colorful Renaissance style with slashed duel color doublets, feathers, and steel armor. 

First time players will find that this army is a good starting point as the list can be tailored for your style of play. 

If you want to play aggressive then the army offers Knights, Griffon mounted leaders, and other hard hitting units.

Prefer to be a static army then the list offers big blocks of infantry and plenty of guns and artillery.

The army also can use units that are good for tricky, hit and run tactics. 

Most armies (in both Fantasy and 40K) tend to have just one strength but the Empire is a good all round list. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ranking The Dragon Quest Games New

Sorry for the delay once again fellow viewers.  I apologize that I don't keep up as well as I should.  Of course if you wanted to pay me for my blog...

Anyway, where were we?  Oh yeah!  I was ranking one of my favorite series of videogames; the Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) games.

Before I get started, I want to remind my faithful viewers that I enjoy all these games.  Just because one of the games had to be last, that doesn't mean the game isn't good. 

Got that?  Good!

Dragon Quest 6- Nintendo DS

Dragon Quest 6 was released in Japan for the Super Nintendo (Super Famicom) in the early 1990's but those of us in the United States had to wait until early 2011 for its release!  Dragon Quest was never as popular in the US, even the ever popular Final Fantasy series were niche titles then, which caused Dragon Quest 5 and 6 to see very late release in the US.  Was it worth the wait?  Of course it was!

You play a farm boy who lives a simple life but when you go on a trip for the Town mayor you slip into a different world.  In this world you are invisible but it seems to mirror your own in many ways.  Needless to say you find your way back home but as you come of age and look for work you run into a guy who seems so familiar to you but you don't know why.  The two of you work together for the king who never sleeps and before you know it you find out that the world you are living in is a dream! 

The game has two primary mechanics, the first of which is your ability to go between the real world and the dream world.  The worlds are similar but not identical and your actions in one world can have serious and unexpected ramifications in the other.

The other mechanic is the job system.  You apply to different jobs and learn different skills from these jobs.  Seems simple at first, but persistent players will be rewarded because if you master different combinations new jobs open up for you to try.

The game offers a long, challenging quest that you owe yourself to play if you like roleplaying games.  Its only serious weakness is that it followed the brilliant Dragon Quest V.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Warhammer 101: The armies 40k flavor 2

Today's blog about armies will focus on two of 40ks alien races the Orks and the Tau.  The orks and Tau are a study in extremes; orks are violent and simple who focus on getting up close and personal while Tau are technologically advanced who favor attacking foes from afar.

Let's get more in depth kids! 


In 40k orks are green skinned, axe wielding psychos.  Orks are bad at shooting with a ballistic skill of only 2 (the lowest in the game).  As an ork you will need a 5 or 6 on a six sided dice to hit anything.  Orks have two things going for them however:

1.  Ork weapons don't hit very often, but when they do they hit hard.
2.  Orks are very good in close combat.

Let's look at this second point in more detail.  Orks are skilled in close combat, they are armed for close combat, and orks are cheap meaning you will have a lot of them on the table. 

For comparison a space marine has a weapon skill of 4 and one attack and costs 16pts.  He is armed with a bolter meaning that the most attacks he can have in close combat is 2.

An average ork boy also has a weapon skill of 4 but has two base attacks and costs 9pts.  He is armed with a choppa (think of a really big axe!) and a pistol which grants him another attack.  This means that an ork has 3 attacks minimum and if he charges into combat will have 4 attacks. 

Above is just a basic example but it underscores the theme of the army which is get your big hordes of orks into combat and bash heads.  Ork armies are big, have lots of cheap vehicles, and have a close combat edge.

This doesn't mean that orks can't shoot.  They can, ork weapons tend to offer a lot of shots and their vehicles can have ordinance that use big 5 inch templates that can hit automatically anyone under them.  Orks also utilize a slave race called gretchin or grots who shoot better and can have artillery.  They don't have any ability in close combat but have better ballistic skill. 

Ork armies are supremely customizable, perhaps more so than any other  army in the game.  If you want to have a bit of everything then orks are a great opportunity to model all sorts of crazy things.

If you like uniformity then the ork army probably isn't for you.

As for how successful ork armies can be, they are competitive in the current 6th edition rules. 

Ork armies tend to be more expensive because you need more models.

The Tau

Tau are a technologically advanced race that have expanded at an amazing rate.  They go about their policy of "For the Greater Good," by offering races they encounter a place in their empire, as long as they submit.  This means that in addition to the Tau themselves they have several other alien races that support their armies.

The Tau are very poor fighters, the worst in the game, but they make up for that deficiency by having super technology and aliens who can fight up close.

If you crave having awesomely powerful guns and cool tech like battle suits, gun drones, hover tanks and more than the Tau are for you.

Currently their range is one of the more limited available in 40k, collecting this army is about average in cost. 

The army is currently considered to be not competitive with top tier armies.  That said, rumor has it that a new Tau book is coming soon and could see release as early as next spring.  Games Workshop has not indicated that they will replace any of the range so you can collect the army without fear of something being taken away.

You can have fun with this army, and you can win with it, my above statement should be taken to mean that against top level tournament players with top level armies you will struggle. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Warhammer 101: The Armies (40k flavor)

Sorry for the delay Warhammer newbies

Here is the next part of introducing Warhammer 40,000 armies.

The Imperial Guard

The Imperial Guard is the "other," human army in 40k (well... I guess I should claim Grey Knights as a human army as well so...)

The Imperial Guard is the "regular," guy army in 40k.  Many new players are drawn to this army because it looks normal to gamers, it's you and me in camo with guns. 

Pray that you never get inducted in the Imperial Guard.  The Imperial Guard is essentially every historical (and in some cases movie) army unit.  What do I mean by that?  The Guard doesn't have one uniform look.  Do you want your guys to look like Laurence of Arabia then play Tallarn Imperial Guard.  Do you prefer World War One Germans?  Play Armaggeddon Steel Legion.  Prefer a modern look to your army men?  Play Cadian Shock Troopers.  There are many more styles for me to list here.  Looks are deceiving though as the Imperial Guard plays like the Red Army.  If you play this army you will have waves and waves of cheap (and expendable) infantry, with tanks in support.  You also have a few units that defy expectation in a futuristic army such as hobbits (called Ratlings in 40k parlance) and Ogryns (think ogres but not green).

The bottom line is the Imperial Guard are army men plus tanks and some goofy stuff
The tanks are not modern tanks but rather they are tanks more reminiscent of those from WW1 or WW2.

Imperial Guard armies are popular and effective in Warhammer 40,000.  They have a lot of options and it is a good army for collectors. 

A word of warning for new players; you will lose A LOT of men in games!  Don't get discouraged!  You will lose 3 or 4 models for every one Space Marine. 

Ranking the Primarchs Addendum

A few weeks ago I wrote a series of blogs ranking the Primarchs.  However since I wrote the list a few things have changed.

Last week Black Library released the book Angel Exterminatus by Graham McNeill which tells another tale of the Horus Heresy, this one focused on Perturabo.

If you recall I ranked Perturabo very low on my list.  Only Angron and the deleted Primarchs ranked lower. 

I now feel differently than Perturabo.  I feel he should be pushed up the list now as he now is a fleshed out character.  He is no longer the brooding killer who punishes his subordinates for any mistake.  Now he is a skilled inventor, artistic, a master linguist, and above all raked by guilt and self doubt. 

I recommend the book highly, if you are a fan of the Heresy or Sci Fi in general it's a very good read.  You will have to go to or to get it.  It will be released in main stream outlets next spring.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ranking the Dragon Quest Games 2

Crazy Gamer here to count down the quality of the Dragon Quest games.  Here is part 2.

7.  Dragon Warrior 2- NES

Dragon Quest 2 (Dragon Warrior 2 here in the US, see my Dragon Warrior one entry for explanation) expands upon and improved upon the original in many important ways.  The story is far more complex, you have multiple characters, and the monsters you face have grown in number, type, and ferocity.  In a lot of ways Dragon Quest 2 and not the original is the grandfather of the roleplaying game.  So why does the game rank so low?  The biggest problem is that Dragon Quest 2 has largely been lost to time.  Released in 1988, in the US, the game last saw re issue as a Game Boy Color game in the mid 90's but otherwise has remained in obscurity.  The fact remains that the latter games accomplish what Dragon Quest 2 did well while looking better.  Still I recommend the game highly for those of you looking for a challenge, and who don't mind the archaic graphics. 

6.  Dragon Quest 3- NES

Dragon Quest 3 (again it was called Dragon Warrior 3 here in the states) adds another element to the series that gamers today in 2012 expect as standard, job specific skill sets.  At the outset of the game you the player are asked to create a party to adventure with from a series of classes that are common today but not so in 1990 when the game saw release.  Soldiers, wizards, priests and more were available to name and equip as you fought once again to save the world. 

By today's standards the story is weak, but it features a second world that you must rescue, however the second world throws you for a loop as it is the game world from the original Dragon Quest.  It turns out that Dragon Quest 3 is a prequel to the original and you are Erdrick the legendary hero mentioned as the savior in the first game.  This was very cool to discover for those who loved the first game so much. 

The game is lower on the list because once again the later games expand upon this concept and have better visuals and stories.  That said, players should pay respect to the game that created the rpg conventions so prevalent in later games.  Dragon Quest 3 also benefits from a more recent re issue on the Game Boy advance, go find it if you are looking for a challenge. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Consider a new candidate for president of the US!

I know where my vote will be going this November

Warhammer 101: Choosing an army

Yesterday I started my Warhammer 101 series with a basic overview of the hobby.  Today I will discuss choosing an army to play.

Ultimately you should choose an army that you like the look of.  Don't succumb to popular Internet sentiment.  If you don't like the models you won't want to paint the models and your enjoyment of the hobby will diminish.

I will also point out that you should be careful about looking for super powerful Internet lists.  They don't last long. 

What do I mean by this?  Back in 2002 I began an  Ultramarines army which I based off of the 5th Battle Company.  Over time I have added different elements, but I still use my 5th company as the core of the lists that I use today ten years later.  In the same time I have seen hundreds of "super," lists come and go.  These lists are usually highly specialized and very expensive and even small changes to the game can greatly reduce the armies effectiveness. 

Currently the 40k darling army is a Necron army known as Cron Air.  It uses as many Necron fliers as possible.  The problem is each Necron Flyer is some $50.00 dollars.  This army will set you back a small fortune and their is no telling how long the list will be super. 

I cannot stress highly enough to purchase a balanced army (which I will discuss later).  It will be cheaper and will last you as long as you play in the hobby.

Now I will give a brief overview of the current armies, starting with 40k ones.

Space Marines: This is the bread and butter army.  It is almost entirely plastic (fun to model, more variety, light, etc).  Space Marines are tough, skilled, and well equipped.  Space Marine armies are smaller in numbers and as such are cheaper to purchase.  However because they are an elite army you will have to make tough choices with what to bring to a game. 

Space Marine armies also allow many easy painting techniques to be used.
Here are some cool images to wet your whistle.
Space Marines also come in several other flavors:

Blood Angels are more close combat oriented and favor use of Jump packs.

Then you have Dark Angels which are more shooty and have more bikers.

Finally we have Space Wolves that have things like giant wolves, and viking weapons.

Regardless of type, all Space Marines are tough and effective in combat. 

Next up we have

Necrons: Necrons are similar to Space Marines in that they are tough and resilient and effective in combat.  They are essentially metal skeletons who want revenge against the universe.  Necrons are currently very popular but are likely to be reduced in effectiveness. 

Necron armies are also mostly plastic and can be effectively painted using the dry brushing method (which is both quick and easy).

Those of you who are children of the 80's may notice a homage to the Terminator.  Necrons even have a special rule that used to be called "I'll be back."

Next up- More 40k armies and then Fantasy armies!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ranking the Dragon Quest games

One of the first console role playing game series ever released was a little series called Dragon Quest.  Now, almost 25 years later, Dragon Quest has released nine games here in the US and ten games in Japan.

I have a great affinity for this series, so I will rank them

9.  Dragon Warrior- NES

First released here in the United States in the mid 80's; this game was for many fresh faced role players (including myself) their first foray into how awesome it could be to play games with a story. 
By today's standards Dragon Warrior is simplistic with only one character, a very basic game system, and a very very paper thin story, but in the mid 80's we were transported to a kingdom under siege from the evil Dragon Lord.  Only my little blue avatar (no not that one!) stood in the way!  But, as is so often the case when you start out you stand no chance of defeating the Dragon Lord so you must fight your way up by improving your stats and equipment until you can meet the Dragon Lord in single combat.  In order to get stronger you must explore dank caves, dark forests, and haunted towns, hunting down mythical equipment as you fend off fiendish monsters. 

Role playing games today are highly interactive novels these days with amazing graphics, fully voiced dialogue, and moving scores.  But the only reason games have gotten so amazing is because games like Dragon Warrior sparked the imagination of thousands. 

I rank Dragon Warrior in the lowest spot because each game is an improvement over it in the series.  Even Dragon Warrior 2 is leaps and bounds more complex than the original.  This still a transcendent game. 

Note:  Dragon Warrior is known as Dragon Quest everywhere else in the world.  I did not in fact go crazy by billing my ranking of the Dragon Quest series and then begin with a game called Dragon Warrior.  Apparently their was a show trademarked Dragon Quest here in the US in the 80's so Enix couldn't call the game by its Japanese title.  Today that trademark has expired and games are now released as Dragon Quest.  Sorry for the confusion. 

8.  Dragon Quest VII- Playstation

Dragon Quest VII is my least favorite Dragon Quest game.  I rank it higher than Dragon Warrior only because it improves greatly on the limitations of the original.  However, by 1997 when this game was released the series had not grown as much as it could and the series lagged behind its competitors in almost all respects. 

The game itself is fine.  The story is fine, the game play is fine, the characters are fine, the music was fine and the graphics were poor.  Enix had not grown the series like they should and in a few years they would merge with Square to the betterment of the company and the series.

Dragon Quest VII is not a bad game, but it failed to use the PlayStation's technology in any meaningful way and its average story was not enough to carry it.

Tune in next time for the next two games on my list.

Warhammer 101: The basics for building an army

So you've decided to ruin your life

Oops!  Wrong blog title.


Warhammer (in this case referring to both the fantasy and futuristic versions) is a wonderful hobby.  If you put forth both time and effort you will be rewarded many times over.

But, for many beginners, you can often feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of everything that is involved in the Warhammer hobby. 

Sadly many gamers ignore new members of the hobby as bothersome and do not try to help the fresh faces of the game.  Alone and bereft they soon leave the hobby never to enjoy it or accomplish as much as they could if someone would have looked out for them.

I won't do that.  So here is my attempt to help people new to Warhammer with my on going series of Warhammer 101 articles.  Please remember that these articles are geared to both Warhammer and Warhammer 40k players. 

Without further adieu

Where to start?

First you need to pick a game system.  Both Warhammer Fantasy and 40k offer unique experiences.  Both have their good points and a few bad points but what it really comes down to is the following:

Do you prefer swords and sorcery, with massive regiments of foot soldiers fighting against dragons, hordes of zombies or even (gasp!) zombie dragons?


Do you prefer futuristic warfare with soldiers using big fancy guns and huge tanks who fight against alien invaders in the forms of green skin brutes, skeletal robots, or acrobatic lithe pirates?

Once this has been done- 

I would recommend going to all the nearby local stores and see what is played and when to make sure people nearby play the game you enjoy. 

Don't know where your local store is at?  Go to they have a link to a local store finder.  A more old fashioned approach would be to look in your local phone book under the "hobby," section.  Always call ahead if you use this approach.

Typically I recommend independent retailers over Games Workshop stores.  The reason is very simple, independent stores are usually larger and less crowded.  If you live near Chicago, LA, or Memphis, you might try the Games Workshop battle bunkers,  which are larger than the typical GW stores. 

You first purchase:

If the armies interest you I would go with either the Dark Vengeance boxed game for 40k or the Island of Blood game for Fantasy.

Even if the armies aren't of huge interest to you you might still want to invest in the boxed game.  In addition to getting a soft cover rulebook (the stand alone rulebook costs $75.00) you get two armies that you can clip together and play right out of the box. 

Find a bud who is also interested and split the cost! 

If neither army in the box game lights your fire then feel free to buy the stand alone rulebook and miniatures that you like the look of.  Keep in mind that in order to play you need one leader and a selection of basic troops (called core in Fantasy and troops in 40k). 

You will also need a specialized book called a Codex in 40k and Army Books in fantasy.  This option will cost more money up front but gives you a good starting point.

Remember two things:

1.  You will need a rulebook so you have to get one someway.

2.  You will need your armies individual Codex or Army book.  This may seem expensive but if you really want to understand the game these two things are essential, even before the models themselves you must have these resources. 

The good news is that these two essentials aren't like Apple products.  They get replaced about every six to seven years.  40k just changed to 6th edition this year and isn't due an update before 2017 and Fantasy was updated in 2010 so it will not see a new edition before 2015. 

Next time, we will discuss choosing an army and the tools you will need to start off.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Gentleman's game

By now I'm sure you're aware that I play the games Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. 

Today I want to discuss competition and sport.

Now, to begin:

Both of these games are meant to be competitive, one person should win.  However people need to pay attention to their competition.

First, an example:

Imagine; the 49ers of the Joe Montana era are considered by many to be some of the greatest teams of all time.  Would you think more or less of them if they won 10 championships?  Probably most people would say they would think more of the team. 

What if they won their championships against the other greatest teams of all time, like the 70's Steelers, the Lombardi Packers, or Johnny U and his Colts?  Again you would probably think more of the 49ers.

Now suppose that the 49ers won their championships against the Peoria Panthers youth league, would you still feel that the 49ers were so great? 

Probably not. 

But Crazy Guy what does this have to do with Warhammer?

In the tournament scene today the prevailing view is to build the most powerful list and crush all that are in your way.  When you win you will be showered with adulation and applause!

But do you deserve it?

Where you the 88 49ers playing against the Steel Curtain Steelers or were you one of the greatest teams in history playing against a bunch of eleven year olds?

I know what you'll say next:  "Crazy Guy, I don't know who I'll play in a tournament, I have to play tough."


I have several answers.

First, consider your tournament.  If you are playing the super competitive 40k team tournament at Adepticon or at a tournament whose objective is to win at all costs then you can use whatever list you want.  These tournaments are all about coming up with tricky combinations.  in fact it is downright expected.

Large tournaments, play an average list that is representative of your race.  Space Marine armies based off Battle Companies, Imperial Guard armies that actually aren't all just veterans.  Empire armies with bunches of infantry and no hordes, Ogre Kingdoms without units of twenty ogres.  Play "meaner," against opponents who have experience.  If you lose, so what, nothing of consequence is at stake.  If you win what title do you get?  King of the dorks?

Small local tournaments are another proposition.  Yes, it is quite possible you will play against an opponent who uses a hardcore list but if you play a balanced list and win, that means you are all the better player for it.

If you lose, so what?  No money is at stake, you aren't going to get signed to a professional contract where you will earn millions of dollars.  You'll be out a trophy and maybe, if you're lucky, a prize or two of a nominal value. 

While I'm at it, you really should consider your opponents skill level when playing at your local store.  Sure, if you are playing against your buds that's one thing.  Against new players maybe a different tactic is needed.

Another story:

Once upon a time the Crazy Gamer was a young lad.  He went to his local game store and played a game against a regular from their Warhammer group.  The regular used his baddest toughest list and won the game against young me.  What did he get?  He won one game.  Guess what else?  The young me never went back, neither did my young friends.  The group that was at that store stopped playing and then they died.  Okay, so they didn't die, but their game group did. 

If you are playing someone new, now isn't the time to crush them.  Push yourself.  Play using the Dark Vengeance miniatures, but play Chaos and don't use the Hellbrute.  You'll challenge yourself while giving the other player a fighting chance.

But don't forget, if you lose, tell your opponent good game.  Don't complain and say "you only won cuz I played with less points," or other similar statements. 

Challenge yourself!  You'll become a better player, more people will want to play against you, and most importantly; you'll be a true gentleman. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are you a Democrat or Republican? Are you sure?

Once again I digress from the field of gaming to delve into the world of politics.  I admit that I feel strange today, I've a desire to give a perspective that might shock you.

Ask any semi- knowledgeable adult today and they will be able to correctly identify that there are two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans.

But where did these parties come from?  Have their ever been other parties?  And most importantly how, if at all, have these parties changed over the years?

First some brief history:

The Democrats claim their heritage from Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic- Republicans who first took power in the election of 1800.  They were known for preferring isolation over trade, France over Great Britain, and agriculture over business.  In the 1830's the republican was dropped officially from their name. 

The Republicans came into being in the 1850's.  Some Republicans claim heritage with the Whigs or the Federalists but they really cannot fairly be compared.  The Republicans are the only third party in our country's history to become a national power.  Most Republicans today consider Abraham Lincoln to be the father of their party because he was the first Republican president. 

You may be wondering why neither party can claim George Washington as their founder.  It's because Washington hated the idea of political parties and is the only president in our history that had no party.  Some, wrongly, list him as a Federalist.  He wasn't.

Now, to our next point.  Have these parties changed over time?

Here is the map of the 2008 election.  Remember blue is Democrat (Obama) and red is Republican (McCain).

Now let's look at the map of the 1860 election

Notice anything?  Many of the red states in the first map our blue (Democrat) on this map, and many of the blue states on the first map are red (Republican) in this one.

If you were a Republican in 1860 you favored:  Civil rights, humanitarian efforts, you wanted society to change, and you were typically middle class.

If you were a Democrat in 1860 you favored a small Federal government, you were concerned with your business interests, and you wanted society to stay just the way they were.

My point?

The political parties have switched.  If you are a Republican today, in 1860 you would likely be a Democrat and if you are a Democrat today you would likely be a Republican in 1860.

So give someone who has opposite political beliefs from you a hug or a high five, they were part of your party one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs 3

Today I will finish my ranking of the Primarchs. 

5.  Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves

The last five Primarchs on my list were very difficult for me to place.  I really like all of them for different reasons.  I suppose that I could persuaded to change this portion as I can see the merit in all of them.

Anyway, Russ is considered by many of his brother Primarchs to be just like Angron, that he is nothing more than a blood mad killer.  He surely is that, but unlike his brother Angron he is playing the role that is asked of him.  He does not complain about what the Emperor asks of him, he merely does what is asked. 

Russ is also very thoughtful and introspective in a way few would ever expect.  He is quite possibly the most self aware of all the Primarchs. 

Like so many of his brothers, Russ grew up on a world that was not pleasant but rather than give in to despair he adapted to his surroundings and survived.

Russ is also one of, if not the most amusing of the Primarchs to read about. 

4.  Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists.

Rogal Dorn among all the Primarchs believed in his father's dream of a unified galaxy.  He was not his father's favorite son and yet when Horus falls and declares his allegiance to the chaos gods the Emperor turns to Dorn to fortify his realm and Dorn does so without comment. 

Rogal Dorn turns the Imperial Palace, the most architecturally magnificent structure in the galaxy, into a fortress.  Unlike Perturabo who would smash beauty into pieces for functionality, Dorn is pained by each masterpiece that he has to wreck.

Moreover, as news comes of each of the Primarchs that have turned away from the Emperor; Dorn is tormented by this news.  He does not know their individual reasons why and yet he wants to give them the benefit of the doubt.  He wants to try to understand.  That his brothers are lost to him haunts him for the remainder of his life.  Dorn is one of the tragic Primarchs.

3.  Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels

Sanguinius is the only Primarch to have an obvious mutation, he is known as the winged Primarch.  He is probably the most humble of the Primarchs even though the others believed him to be the one most like his father the Emperor. 

In many ways Sangiunius is parallel to Fulgrim.  Both are artistic and highly skilled in areas beyond warfare such as music, poetry, and art.  The difference is that Sanguinius does these to honor his father the Emperor, Fulgrim did if for his own aggrandizement.

Sangiunius did have his flaws, one of which plagues his Chapter to the current Millenium.  However, unlike some of his brother Primarchs, whose flaws they either flaunted or sulked about, Sangiunius still continued to do his best to further his father's vision.

Most telling about Sangiunius' character is the fact that he had the gift of foresight.  He knew that he was going to his death when he boarded the Vengeful Spirit to battle Horus.  He went anyway, he sacrificed himself to allow the Emperor to be able to defeat the Arch Traitor.

Sacrifice, magnanimity, artistry in all forms make Sangiunius one of the best Primarchs. 

2.  Robute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines

Guilliman was a tactical genius, an architect of renown, and the author of the Imperium's treatise on war that has lasted 10,000 years.  He places so high on this list not just because of his skill or nobility of spirit, but also because of the accomplishments of his legion.

While other legions focused on conquest, Guilliman focused on building the foundation of the Imperium.  He made sure that every planet that he brought into the Imperium was self sufficient, able to feed itself, provide for its self defense and more.  Some of his more war loving brothers laughed at this, but Guilliman also conquered more worlds than all of his brothers save Horus.

Guilliman was not able to be present for the Siege of Terra, for which he never forgave himself, but he and his Ultramarines were responsible for pushing the traitors back and keeping the Imperium together right after the Heresy ended.

If the above wasn't enough to secure his place so high on this list, then let us not forget that the Realm of Ultramar, the Ultramarines home worlds, are the only worlds of the Imperium relatively free from the uber fascist government.  Ultramar is a beacon of hope against the darkness of the 41st millennium.

1.  Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Luna Wolves, later the Son's of Horus

Before 2006 when the book Horus Rising was released Horus was simply Horus the Arch Traitor, the ultimate bad guy in 40k for those of you who are not into the background.  He would have ranked very low in this list if I had written it in 2005 or before.

That has changed.  Horus has been re-imagined to show why he was the Emperor's favored son, that before his fall he was the best of his brothers.

Horus was a diplomat supreme

He possessed wisdom without equal

A Warrior without equal

A general that all the Emperor's enemies feared

Above all, Horus was patient and benevolent, always offering the olive branch of peace before unleashing his Luna Wolves in war.

That he was so great makes his fall from grace all the more sad.  No one would be surprised that Night Haunter or Angron would turn, both being so damaged by the world on which they were raised.  Nor would anyone be shocked that Primarchs with obvious character flaws like Lorgar could be turned.

Horus was none of those, thus Horus secures his place as the greatest son and most feared enemy of the Emperor.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crazy Gamer fixes the government

Well well, what a mess were in!  I guess I need to stop playing games and get this mess sorted out!  Without further ado I will solve the nations ills so I can get ready for Assassin's Creed 3.

We all know that the national government has three branches.  All three need some fixes and I will deal with each in turn.  Today, the legislative branch will face my withering gaze.

First let us talk about pay.  Some people are proponents of paying congress people a low salary figuring it's an honor to serve and those elected likely already have substantial income.  The other side is in order to get the best people, the job needs to be high paying.  I have a middle ground, I will pay representatives 1,000,000 and senators 1,250,000 dollars a year.  Those of you who are in the know should realize that this is a huge pay increase.  What's the deal Crazy Guy?  This new pay comes with three caveats:

1.  All government pensions for elected/ appointed officials and their staffs would be gone, forever.
2.  Term limits will be introduced.
3.  Balanced budget provision.

I'll go into my balanced budget provision right away because it is important.

First, a story.

One day a magic fairy comes along and gives you a credit card.  This card can be used to buy whatever you want.  A bunch of people have contributed money to this card, but you don't really know who they are since there are so many of them putting money in the account.  Guess what is even cooler?  If you buy a bunch of stupid things that you don't need or you spend all the money you won't be held accountable.  Do you think that you would use the card wisely?

Guess what?  The government doesn't either.

Each time a new congress is elected they tell us, "Oh we proooooomise this time we won't spend the money stupidly."

Are we really surprised when they break their promise?

In order to fix this each numbered congress must be fiscally responsible for any debt they accrue.  If the government ends its session in the red then each member of the congress (and the executive branch, and the judiciary, see later) is legally responsible for making up the shortfall.  No exceptions.  Anyone who cannot pay is removed from office and all of their paychecks for the rest of their lives will be garnished. 

Harsh?  Maybe, but you know what they say, "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the fire."

I imagine the congress will be much more cooperative with each other if it will hurt their pocket books. 

Some may argue that this policy would make lobbyists and donors  more powerful but to that I have two things:

1.  Complete election reform (see later)
2.  All congress people upon being elected must have only one bank account that will be checked every month.  By being elected the politician agrees that their congressional salary will be the only salary and if at any time they have more money than would be possible that congress person will be dismissed forever from government office and arrested for treason.  Having hidden accounts, taking cash, off shore accounts, etc would also be grounds for the above as well. 

Again harsh, but guess what?  We've done it your way for 230 some years, it's time we tried something else.

Spousal salaries will also be monitored.

Next we need term limits. 

No person may stay in the legislative branch for more than three terms.  After that they must retire.  You can be a mentor for one term at quarter salary if you have been elected three times in a row.  You would have NO vote, and NO power beyond mentoring new representatives. 


Attendance is mandatory.  If you do not have a valid reason and you miss more than one vote of which you must be a part of you will be removed.

Congress runs all year.  Hours are Mon- Fri 8:00 A.M- 5:00 P.M.  You get two weeks off in the summer and one week off between Christmas and New Years. 

You are expected to be in Washington 6 out of every 8 weeks.  The other you should be back in your district or home state.  Travel is at your expense. 

The next big sticking point is raising revenue.

Tea Party members would have it that no new taxes should be levied. 

Another short story:  If I owed my parents 10 dollars and I wanted to pay off my debt while spending two dollars every week could I pay the debt off if I only spend one dollar?  I've cut my expenses by 50% but will I ever owe my parents nothing? 

I think for most Americans we don't have a problem with taxes, we have a problem with what our tax money is being spent on.

I'll get to new taxes later.  For this section we will focus on legislative reforms I'll deal with taxes in my tax section. 

All expenses the government makes must be made public.  This must be in a simple form.  It will include: Item, cost, what it's used for, and where you bought it.

No exceptions!  I don't want to hear, "Oh were the CIA and we need to have secret stuff."  Nope too bad, no exceptions is no exceptions.  Army?  Nope sorry.  Guess what?  I don't know what makes up your tank armor, list everything as single items and we won't know what magic creations you concoct with them. 

Fear me executive branch, you're next.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs part 2

The second installment of Ranking the Primarchs brought to you by the Crazy Gamer

8.  Alpharius and Omegon, Primarchs of the Alpha Legion

Spoiler alert!  If you haven't read the book Legion you may want to look away.

Still with me?  Okay, it was revealed that the Alpha Legion has two Primarchs who are exact duplicates of each other.  They were distrusted by their brother Primarchs because of their secretive ways.  Unlike the other Primarchs who were physically much larger and more powerful than their legionaries, the twins are only slightly bigger than an average marine.  They had to fight differently than their brothers and as such used deception and misdirection on a scale that was seen as repulsive to the other Primarchs.  Ask any Alpha legionnaire who is Alpharius and they will answer, "I am Alpharius."

I guess I put them so far up the list because they are so unique among the Primarchs and their characterization in the book Legion ,to me, make them very interesting.

7. Mortarion, Primarch of the Death Guard

See what I did there Death Guard fans?

Anyway, like so many of the traitor Primarchs, fate wasn't so kind to Mortarion who as a baby landed on the planet of Barbarous which was surrounded in a poisonous fog.  Everyone except the rulers who lived high above the poison fog, everyone else had to endure short painful lives.  Mortarion thought this was wrong and led the populace against their despotic rulers, one of whom had sheltered the young Mortarion.  Mortarion felt guilt and the thought of killing the person who had rescued him even if that act could not forgive the horrors his adoptive father reeked on the human populace.

Mortarion was almost successful but relented in killing his adoptive father.  When he returned to the humans they told him about a stranger who had arrived while Mortarion was waging his war.  This stranger was interested in him, and wanted Mortarion to come with him to a place called Terra to be one of twenty princes.

Mortarion was confused, why would this man be interested in him?  Mortarion didn't want to leave the people he had sworn to protect but the stranger seemed adamant.

Finally, the stranger offered him a compromise:

Defeat the tyrant who was Mortarion's adoptive father and the stranger would leave.

Fail and Mortarion would have to come with the stranger.

Mortarion confronts his erstwhile father but cannot overcome him.  As he is at death's door the stranger appears and with one sure strike he kills the overlord.

Mortarion must go with the stranger.

Mortarion is not happy.

The stranger turns out to be the Emperor of mankind and Mortarion learns that he is one of the Emperor's twenty sons called the Primarchs.

Mortarion is presented as being the reaper, striking from the shadows.

His fall to Chaos might seem very obvious given the enmity that Mortarion felt towards the Emperor for taking him away from his home world and killing his adoptive father when he had failed.  Still Mortarion is a deeply nuanced character that I found interesting.

6.  Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Son's

Cyclopean Magnus as he is known was wise, but his wisdom brought him arrogance.  I find it fascinating the philosophical questions that are brought forth with Magnus and his role in the Horus Heresy.  Magnus is the only psyker among the Primarchs and at first this gives him special status with the Emperor who is the most powerful psyker to ever exist.  Magnus delves too deep for the Emperor's liking and is rebuked officially at the Council of Nikea by the Emperor along with his brother Primarchs.

Does Magnus give up?  Of course not and as he is looking where he shouldn't he detects the daemons of Chaos trying to ensnare Horus.  He tries to help Horus, but is defeated.  Then he warns the Emperor that Horus has been turned.  He is correct, Horus had been turned, but the Emperor refused to believe him because Magnus had violated the edict of Nikea.

Magnus decides to show the Emperor using his psychic might and in so doing unleashes the daemons of the warp on Terra.  Oops!

Magnus's hubris leads to his downfall as the Emperor orders Leman Russ and the Space Wolves to destroy him.

But the fact remains; Magnus was right.

Is doing something wrong for the right reason okay?

Does the fact that a decision is wrong mean that everything that comes from it wrong also?

These questions fascinate me, and Magnus bring them out so I rank him high on my list.

Looks like I've gotten a bit long winded.  So join me for part 3 of my ranking the Primarchs!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs

In the Warhammer 40,000 canon the Emperor created twenty "sons," to bring light to the galaxy.  But are all of his sons equal?

The Crazy Gamer says no!

I will now rank them from least to greatest.  I will use the official background, the history of their legion, as well as their characterization in the Black Library novels to decide who is the best.

Without further ado:

20 and 19: The two unknown Primarchs.  According to the lore of 40k two legions were wiped out prior to the Great Crusade for unknown reasons.

18: Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters

The gladiator Primarch.  Angron is a beserker who even before his fall was unbalanced.  He frequently is in a rage for one reason or another and because of this he is a very one dimensional character.

17. Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors

Perturabo is a master of siege craft and defense.  He ranks so low because he has never been explored in any major way.  He is apparently featured in John French's novella Crimson Fist, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

16.  The Khan, Primarch of the White Scars

Khan is presented as being a master of the hunt.  We know that he is present at the Siege of Terra but little is known about what he did there or what he did after.  Again the Khan is a victim of little attention from the Horus Heresy series so this might change.

15. Vulcan, Primarch of the Salamanders 

Vulcan is also a victim of little exposition from the Black Library novels.  His chapter is also difficult to understand as they seem, at least on the surface, to have no place.  They are portrayed as artificers and craftsmen yet the Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, and the Emperor's Children all seem to have greater legacies in this regard.

I admit that I have not read Nick Kyme's Tome of Fire trilogy that deals with the Salamanders so I don't want to be too stringent in my criticism.

Hopefully some more characterization will be coming soon.

14. Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the Word Bearers

Lorgar is the first Primarch that I have listed that is ranked low because of his characterization in the Black Library novels.  Lorgar is a huge feature in the novel The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. The characterization is of a son who desperately wants to please his father.  Not too bad in of itself but he does so by going against his father's express wishes.  When he is rebuked he locks himself away leaving his legion alone to attempt to figure out what to do.  Not the mark of a good leader in my book.  Lorgar is a petulant child who is jealous of his brothers.

13. Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands

Ferrus is the master craftsman who it is said has crafted several of his brother Primarch's weapons.  His arms are made of Iron thus how his legion received its name.  In many ways he and his legion are seen as the loyalist counterpart of Perturabo.  Ferrus is not portrayed as icy as his brother Perturabo.  If anything he is very trusting and that is his great flaw which undoes him on Istavaan V leading him to be the first Primarch killed.

12.  Conrad Curze; the Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords

Curze was raised on the tortured world of Nostramo the planet of perpetual night.  Growing up on a planet in which crime rules and the only cause of death more prevalent than murder is suicide had a very negative impact on the young Curze.  He became the Night Haunter to combat the crime on his world.  Curze is another victim of not having very much written about him in Black Library novels as of this writing.  He is a deeply flawed character who is thought to have had two personalities the wise and protective Curze and the remorseless, brutal psychopathic Night Haunter.

11.  Lion El'Johnson, Primarch of the Dark Angels

He is the Lion of Caliban.  His chapter is very interesting with many nuances, but the Lion is very difficult, for me at least, to get my head around.  He is supposed to be a tactical genius but he makes so many bad decisions that if he was a CEO of a company he would probably get a huge bonus.

10.  Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children

Fulgrim is a dandy, yet he a sublime warrior whose artistry in personal combat is near legendary.  He has two strikes against him.  First, his legion is pretentious to the extreme and that makes them annoying to read.  Second, he is tricked into using a daemon weapon causing the daemon to take over his body.  The daemon sides with the Warmaster and does all this depraved nonsense.  Fulgrim fights regain his body and once that's done he's like "I'm back , but all that gross stuff the daemon did, yeah I'm cool with it."

Pretty suckie Fulgrim. Not cool!

9. Corvus Corax, Primarch of Raven Guard

Corax and his legion had one of the Horus Heresy books dedicated to them.  The first half of the book characterized him, his legion, and his doubts very well.  Instead of taking a page from Lorgar's book Corax doesn't give in and sulk.  However, the second half of the book changes his characterization back to a brooding loner.  I'm not sure which is the real Corax, thus he ranks lower than he might otherwise.

So here is the first half.  Tune in next time for the final installment of... ranking the Primarchs!