Thursday, May 26, 2011

Product Review: Promethean Sun

Front Cover of Sleeve
Back Cover of Sleeve
Signature Page & "limited edition" number

Authentic Salamander Hide, and I'll fight any man who says otherwise...
So clearly, I'm a big fan of the Salamanders.  It's not that I have any real bombshell of a reason, I just kinda like their reliance on flamer/melta weaponry, dig dragon motifs, and green happens to be my favorite color.  I sort of just fell into it I suppose.  Before anyone brings it up: Yes, I would still play them if their special character (who I don't always use) didn't offer up those sweet re-rolls.

All that said, it seemed pretty obvious that I would try and get this book.  I'm a big fan of the Horus Heresy series, so this seemed like a natural progression.  Unfortunately, by the time I got the email advertising this bad boy, the folks at Black Library had already put sales of it on hold due to intense demand.  So, like most colonials, I screwed up my calculation of time zones and did not get online right as it was set to go back on sale.  I thought I was done for, but it took about 5-6 hours for it to sell out completely, so I was in luck.  2235 out of 3000 to be exact.

There is some interior art, but not much.  Some rehashed pre-heresy art from the Index Astartes articles, and a fold-out version of the art on the cover sleeve.  I was a bit disappointed to see that actually.  It's essentially a 120 page story (written using 18 point font) with little extra to recommend it. 

All in all, I give this product 3 out of 5 stars.  And that includes the "salamander fan-boy" bonus I'm giving it.   The story was ok but not good or even great.  On the merits of the "special limited edition product" alone, it's not all that exciting for the cost I paid to get it.  While I've been relatively underwhelmed by Nick Kyme's previous Salamander work, the pre-heresy feel of this short story saved it from the bickering high school girl scenes common in "contemporary" space marine novels.  The details of Vulkan's early years and the importance of the Salamander's compassion were the two biggest draws for me.  The depictions of the Iron Hands and Death Guard are weak, but there's really not enough space for that kind of thing in a short story and it was nothing compared to the poor treatment the 888th Phaerian IG regiment received.  While not a famous regiment, they just seemed...contrived.  If you absolutely need it to fill out your collection, by all means, go find a copy.  I'm sure they'll be on E-bay if they're not already.  If you're just curious, however, you'll probably be just fine without it.

Post Update (5/26/11): check out the pic of the Salamander Dreadnought from Games Day France

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

GW switching from metal to resin...and a price increase?

 MiniWar Gaming article

While I abhor metal miniatures and all that they represent, I'm not that big of a fan of resin either.  I also enjoy price increases about as much as a swift kick to the tender parts.  I need a new hobby.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Battle Report: Black Templars 1500 Point

And the killing was glorious.

Chaplain Aerion reporting for duty. I participated in a 1500 point tournament at Miniature Market in St. Louis today. They host an event every second Saturday and with finals and the Spring semester just finishing, and with the St. Louis Grand Tournament on the horizon, I thought I'd drag the Howard Crusade out and knock off some of the rust.

My List:

HQ: Emperor's Champion w/ Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds

Sword Brethren Assault Terminators- 3x Lightning Claws, 4x TH/SS w/Furious Charge
Transport: Land Raider Crusader w/ Extra Armor, Blessed Hull

Sword Brethren squad- CCW/Bolt Pistol x3, Power Weapon/Bolt Pistol, (Pair) Lighting Claws w/Furious Charge
Transport: Drop Pod

Crusader Squad Damoclese- 8 CCW/BP, 1 Meltagun, 1 Power Fist/BP
Plus 9 Neophytes- CCW/BP

Crusader Squad Torrence- 8 CCW/BP, 1 Flamer, 1 Power Fist/BP

Heavy Support:
Vindicator w/ Dozer Blade, Extra Armor

Tournament was 3 rounds. Players would get 10 points for a win, 5 for a draw, and 2 for a loss (plus any bonus points awarded) for each round.

Round 1: "RUN AWAAAAY!!!!!!"

My opponent was none other than a fellow Team Snake Eyes conscript, Josh. Josh played with TSE Black at Adepticon. I had never had the opportunity to play against Josh so this was a nice surprise.

Josh brought Imperial Guard, consisting of a Valkire full of Veterans, 2 Leman Russ tanks, a Manticore launcher, one Chimera full of 8 psykers, and the some other Chimeras full of veterans (Meltas, flamers, and flashlights), and of course a Command Squad toting lots of plasma in a final Chimera. (Apologies if I missed anything. I did not get a copy of his list).

Mission 1 was Pitched Battle deployment, and the center of the table was the sole objective. The player with the most scoring units within 6" of the objective at game's end would get 5 points toward victory, plus 1 point for every enemy unit destroyed.

I deployed as far forward as possible after Josh spread out a nice mechanized gun line. He held his Valkire in reserve and my Drop Pod loaded with Sword Brethren would be waiting on the ship as well.

My famous luck failed me right off the bat and I managed to steal the initiative. Little did I know that this would be a major factor in the end results.

My games against Guard have been fairly limited, and against Guard toting psykers even more so. So I was completely unfamiliar with the power Weaken Resolve. Let me tell you, if you play Guard and fight Black Templars frequently, take this power!

I had moved everything up and managed a few hits but did no real damage on Turn 1. I ended up running both Crusader squads, with the 10 man squad covering 9 inches. On Josh's turn, he inflicted a handful of casualties on my troops. Before he finished his shooting, though, his psykers waggled their fingers and went "Boogity-BOO!". With my 8 Leadership thusly shaken down to a 1, I prayed for the spirit of Team Snake Eyes to save me. It wasn't happening. So Crusader squad Torrence proceeded to run 10 inches back toward my table edge. This is when the true impact of stealing initiative was revealed, because with this 36" power I would have lost one of my troops to a board edge right off.

The game played on, with my troops moving forward and Cha-Cha'ing back for the first 3 turns. Finally I manged to knock the Command Squad and the Psykers out of their cute little boxes and the Templars got to do some of what they do best (next to dying in droves, anyway).

Not to take anything away from Josh, though. The battle truly was back and forth, and I wasn't sure how it would play out. My Vindicator and my LR had been immobilized and my Termies were huddled in trees waiting for a chance to rush out and smash something.

Long story short, Josh never could get his Valkirie to come in from reserve, and the time ran out, giving me 2 additional kill points and the win. I kindly pointed out to Josh that his model had no pilots and that was obviously the cause of the delay.

Round 1 result: Me- Win with 14 points

Round 2: Templar on Templar Violence

As long as I've been playing I have never faced another Templar force. That changed today when I was paired with Kirk. While my Crusade is habitually stabby, Kirk was rolling with a mechanized list. He had the obligatory Emperor's Champion, but he had taken the vow that lowers everyone's Initative and raises their Strength by 1. The Champion was paired with some shooty Termies (Squad of 5 including 1 Assault Cannon, Missle Launcher, and 1 Chain Fist) riding in a Land Raider Crusader. In addition there was a 5 man Crusader squad in a Rhino, another 5 man squad in a Razorback (TL LC), two Predator Destructors, and an Assault Cannon/CCW Venerable Dread awaiting arrival in a Drop Pod.

Mission 2 was Spearhead deployment. The objectives would be table quarters, but there was a twist that was decidedly in my favor. In this mission all troop AND elite choices would count as scoring, and only troops and elites could contest table quarters.

After deployment I once again tried to steal the Initiative (in case you haven't noticed, I rarely win the roll to choose and stealing is customarily the only way I get to go first), but this time the roll failed.

Kirk did some shimmy-shimmy with his vehicles, moved the LR 12" toward the table center, shot the daylights out of me with Predators, and ended his turn spread across his side of the board quite nicely.

On my turn I pretty much did the exact same thing, so our LR Crusaders were mirror images facing off at table center. I moved a squad to the left, and the other to the right toward one of his Predators. I did some shooting myself, and Kirk and I both decided that we buy our Multi-meltas at the same forge world (many misses and failures to glance were rolled in this round).

Kirk's Champion and Termies assaulted my Land Raider on his turn, and succeded in immobilizing it. My troops continued to take Predator fire but they were getting close enough to use their melta and assault with the power fist. My squad on the left took fire and failed Righteous Zeal, so they ran backward.

I disembarked my termies (on the sides since my front end was crowded by his guys) and they assaulted his termies. After a couple of losses to the Black Sword (HEY! How many of these things ARE there, anyway?), my termies managed to eliminate his but left the Emperor's Champion with a wound.

On Kirks' turn his Drop Pod fell right behind my Land Raider (and smack dab in front of my unnerved Crusader squad remnant), and my termies sanctioned the doppelganger Champion after taking another loss. I consolidated them back toward the Dreadnaught.

My Vindicator took his LR out of commission and the Multi-melta on mine FINALLY managed to score a hit and immobilize the Dreadnaught. I moved my troops into cover to hold the left table quarter, and the squad on the right managed to immobilize his Predator. The termies finished off his Dread (again, taking losses), and my Drop Pod (which had arrived in his backfield on my right) took possession of a second table quarter.

His Rhino moved to table center on the right side to contest, and my guys managed to withstand his shooting. On my turn I moved my squad on the right behind his Predator and wrecked it, making him have to choose which table quarter he would contest with the Rhino.

At the end of the game I held 2 table Quarters and contested the other two, giving me the win. I got bonus points for keeping my HQ alive, and a couple more for killing his termies and Dread. Oh, my most embarassing moment in my 40K career: I assaulted an empty Drop Pod with assault terminators. Ugh!

That was great fun, and Kirk was a blast to play against. I really hope to repeat it sometime.

Round 2 Result: Win- me with 18 points (for a total of 32)

So far so good (and WAY better than I'm accustomed to).
I was in 3rd place going into round 3. As they say, all good things....

Round 3: Dey SHOOTIN!

Since the BatRep has been so long, I'll keep this one short. Trust me, it won't be hard.

I was paired with Jeff and his Eldar. Since I got a copy of his list, here it is:

Eldrad Ulthran
5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent w/ Spirit Stones, TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Bright Lance
9 Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch
9 Dire Avengers w/ Exarch in Wave Serpent w/Spirit Stones, TL Catapults, TL Bright Lance
12 Guardians w/Warlock and Scatter Laser platform
5 Pathfinders (Rangers) w/ Ranger Long Rifles
1 War Walker w/ Spirit Stones and 2 Scatter Lasers
1 War Walker w/ 2 Scatter Lasers

Mission 3 we deployed 12" from a line drawn diagonally across the center of the table (corner t0 corner). An objective marker would be placed at table center, and each player would place 2 additional markers in their deployment zone (not within 12" of another marker or 6" of a board edge). The player controlling the most objectives would win. I actually managed to win the roll to start, but I let Jeff choose since it was an objective based game and I wanted to see where he was going to be.

I failed once again to steal the Initiative, so Jeff started shooting. His dice were hot. I mean so hot that he never failed a psychic test, and with Fortune on constant replay he rarely missed his shooting. Oh, and with Doom also going he rarely failed to wound. I, on the other hand, had burned up every ounce of luck during the first 2 rounds and failed just about every save. By the bottom of turn 3 I had 5 Terminators huddled in the crater my Land Raider had left behind (cursed Fire Dragons) a lonely Power Fist weilding Crusader, and the wreck of my Vindicator. I phrase things this way because Jeff had managed to either kill or explode every other model in my army by then. He held 2 objectives, was a move away from the center objective, and I had one single troop model at least 2 turns away from any objectives (and facing 4 Scatter Lasers and his remaining Dire Avengers, plus his immobilised but facing the right way Bright Lance). I saw no point in dragging things out so I conceded. BUT, when tallying the points I realized there were bonus points for killing the opponent's most expensive unit. My Terminators beat out my Land Raider by 11 points, so I suggested Jeff take 2 rounds worth of shooting at them to see if he could kill them. I didn't want to screw him out of a tournament win because I had thrown in the towel. He accepted and killed 2 more termies but didn't eliminate the squad.

So, points tallied we shook hands and turned in our score sheets.

Turn 3 result: Loss- Me. Points- 2 (Total of 34 for the tourney)

Jeff ended up winning the tourney and great fun was had by at least everyone I talked to. There were about 12 of us there, so it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Scott, the guy who handles their monthly tourney at Miniature Market, is a great friend of TSE and it is always a pleasure to play in his events. If you want, head over to their website and check out their store. They do some great discounts and their service is top notch. If you're in the St. Louis area, swing by. You won't be disappointed.

Thoughts on the day: This is the second time I've run with a bare minimum HQ (Emperor's Champion) and for the second time I've won more games than I've lost. That being said, I also failed more Righteous Zeal rolls today than ever (and not only because of Weaken Resolve). I'm likely going to re-inlist my Lightning Claw Marshall for the Grand Tournament, both for the Leadership aspect and for the CC monster he'll be. The rest of the list seems to be working great except for me missing having any Fast Attack. It's an adjustment and it's growing on me. Time will tell.

I'll be heading to the Battle Bunker in Memphis in 2 weeks to play in a 1000 point event (the kickoff to their Summer escalation league), and to hang out with my God Son who I haven't seen in a few years (Air Force brat that he is). Then it's June and time for the big Grand Tournament at DieCon.
Again, if you're in the area, check this out. It's going to be HUGE! $300 first prize!

Until next time, The Emperor protects!

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Salamanders Stuff!

Forgeworld is releasing some new Salamander's stuff, presumably for that Badab War business that they've got going on right now.  While I have not read any of those books, there appears to be some love given to my chapter, so I ordered a few sets of these bad boys this morning.  I am hoping that they come through with brass etchings for them as well.  I need to add something to my vehicles, and that might just be the thing.  Of course, I could always head over and read CVinton's article on tank weathering....

Anywho, now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to congratulate the Team Snake Eyes crew for, what happens to be, our 100th post.  I've never considered myself a serious blogger.  I actually don't think I'd want to be.  I enjoy my hobbies, and I enjoy sharing that with folks, but I really enjoy reading up on "real" bloggers and how they do what we do.  A few interesting facts about the Team Snake Eyes Blog:

Top Five most viewed posts:
Ol'Seth's Traitor Guard Baneblade
Army Showcase: Salamander Headquarters
DieCon initial debriefing: I gots STUFF!
Army Showcase: Ol'Seth's Biel Tan Eldar Host
Battle Report: Salamanders vs. Lusty Loganwing

We've had just over 27,000 page views from 107 countries.  Ever heard of Mauritius?  I haven't, but that's the latest country to stop by.  Granted, I think many of my foreign visitors might be proxy servers for spam or some such, but my delusions of owning an International Blog of Mystery please me.  So don't burst my bubble.  A very special thanks to the 57 folks kind enough to "follow" the blog as well.  You're all far too kind.

Lastly, I'd like to thank the two blogs most responsible for sending visitors my way.  From the Warp, and Dark Future Games.  I won't lie, I got into this business, albeit in an amateur fashion, because of these two blogs.  They have served as my inspiration and they have supported my site on their own.  Thanks for all that you do gentlemen.  I owe you some drinks.

Edit (05/26/2001) - Games Day France 2011 picture of a Salamanders Venerable Dreadnought.  Too, too sweet.
Salamander Character Dread from Badab War books?
Photo from Thomas Fritz