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.