Sunday, December 28, 2014

Games Workshop's Digital Commercial

White Dwarf's latest iOS application has been out for a little bit we wanted to see what it was all about first before we go deep in to a review of the product. So we wanted to see what Games Workshop in their infinite wisdom were planning to do with this app.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Did GW take our advice? Kind of

Blood Angels Datacards
We found a little surprise in this years Games-Workshop Advent calendar. And this made us wonder did Games-Workshop listen to us? Well, kind of it looks they went digital and in a good way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Word Bearers and Alpha Legion Contemptors

Alpha Legion Contemptor
Word Bearers and Alpha Legion armies are getting some more love from our friends over at Forge World. Today they release new contemptor dreadnoughts specific for each of these armies respectfully.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fall Tournament 2014 Playoffs

We end our league with a tie, sounds unfortunate but we do get a play off of our best players to see who tops out this seasons best players. Befitting with the NCAA College Football implements their play off system this year as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fall League 2014 Week Six

Week Six's mission is "Frozen Chosen". This is based on the "The Emperor's Will" a mission from the big rule book. With a few changes to the army compositions.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dark Vengeance Expansions

Games-Workshop has done something they haven't attempted to do before, expand upon a starter set. Now generally we see expansion for campaigns or formations.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fall League 2014 Week Four

Week Four's mission is "Meat Grinder". This is based on the "Purge the Alien" a mission from the big rule book. With a few changes to the army compositions.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall League 2014 Week Three

Week Three's mission is "Junk Yard". This is based on the "Big Guns Never Tire" a mission from the big rule book. With a few changes to the army compositions.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall League 2014 Week Two

Week Two's mission is "Hot Potato". This is based on the "Relic" a mission from the big rule book. With a few changes to the army compositions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coaching Your Army

As most people have seen a football game either on TV or live we take a moment to dedicate this post to the coaches on the sidelines. Either the head coach the offensive coordinator or the defensive coordinator this is for you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall League 2014 Week One

Week One's mission is "Smash and Grab". A take on the Maelstrom mission from the big rule book. With a few changes to the army compositions.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Troops in 7th Edition, What To Know

Hello all,

Calvin here to talk about one of the most important game winning aspects in 40k today. Troops. With one of the biggest changes in 7th today being that our whole armies can score in a pinch were going to look at some of the more effective or points efficient objective secured units in the game today.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rules Update

We have taken a moment to review the tournament and base rules for league play. As we have found we have to make some changes. And as we promised we would fully communicate these changes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen

The Chaos Gods are looking upon us favorably today! Our friends over at Forge World have announced the release of the Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen. This tome is dedicated to the forces of Chaos Space Marines to heretics and renegades.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vorax Class Battle-Automata Review

I'm not certain if I've mentioned it before, but I'm a huge fan of everything horus heresy related, and especially mechanicum related. I've got a good size mechanicum army and try to keep up with all the new stuff coming out. I've not managed to do that recently because I've been more focused on my death guard army, but that will change in the near future I suspect with the soon to be released vorax class battle-automata.

Forge World Bundles

Forge World New Bundles
Forge World has announced that they are releasing eight new bundle deals. Four of the eight new bundles are from the Rites of War, one is the Siege Assault Vanguard and the last three are different versions of the Mk (mark armor) mechanized tactical squads.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cerastus Knight Castigator Rules and Review

If you've read my previous post on running an all knight army you have some idea that I really enjoy the imperial knights and have quite a bit of experience playing with them. Forge world has recently released a new knight, the castigator, and with that knight they've posted up the rules for it on their download page. For those that want the direct link to that page, here. Today I want to talk about those rules and how best to use a castigator.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review Anvil Industry

Anvil Industry
If you know anything about Cleveland we have a love for the little guy. We have quite a few award winning restaurants all unique to Cleveland. Sure they sell Miller Lite here but we have Great Lakes Brewery. It is a part of being Cleveland. Now this gives a little background on Cleveland but that isn't why we wrote this post.

Monday, September 1, 2014

If they just went digital

tactical objectives
As the dust settles with the release of the Warhammer 40K 7th edition rules and the release schedule of Games Workshop has ramped up to a codex or supplement just about every other month. There was a huge opportunity for Games Workshop to go digital in the perfect way way.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Social Media Update: Facebook

FacebookThe war-gaming club of Cleveland Ohio is now on Facebook! Please take the time to stop by and like our page here at the latest addition to the Burning River Battalion's social media outlets.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Officio Assassinorum Dataslate

I've been playing 40k more or less since the days of second edition. One of the things I remember very fondly from those days was the fluff for the various assassins as well as the rules for them. Who doesn't remember being a total jerk having your Callidus assassin replace someone's super upgraded squad leader? The look on someone's face when you told them that exarch was now your assassin was priceless. Yes it was mean, but second edition was a beast of a different color. So today I'm going to talk about the latest version of our deadly assassin friends and what you can expect from the dataslate.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Forge World New Contemptors

Contemptor DrednoughtOur friends over at Forge World have a new model release this week giving some special love to the forces of Chaos. We are seeing new Comptemptor Dreadnoughts for the Night Lords and the Iron Warriors.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall League 2014

Burning River Battalion
The Burning River Battalion put on its Fall League
What: Warhammer 40k League here in Cleveland Ohio.

When: October 18, 2014 through November 22, 2014 (6 weeks). Every Thursday night, is reserved for you to play but you have a week to get your.

Where: Recess Games (26636 Brookpark Road Extension • North Olmsted OH 44070).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dataslate: Officio Assassinorum

Dataslate: Officio Assassinorum
White Dwarf Issue 29 released today with a cover dedicated to the now confirmed release of the Grey Knight Codex. Which we are all excited for this release but inside of this issue of White Dwarf there is a glimpse of how Games Workshop is giving Assassins some love as well.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rumor: Grey Knights

Rumor Grey Knights
 Our friends over at Faeit 212 latest post is all about Grey Knights being the next codex to be released. Some of us thought that Dark Eldar would get the next codex release but Games Workshop and their infinite wisdom could be releasing another power armor marine unit first. And really if they did who would be surprised?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Logan Grimnar on Stormrider

Pre-order excitement as Games Workshop just put out Logan Grimnar on Stormrider. This isn't a Fine Cast Resin (fine crap) model but a solid plastic model. This is a modelers delight to have this in plastic and not resin. The model is released on it's own or from the looks of it in a few other non discounted bundles.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Unit Review: Plague Marines

Plague Marine
Plague Marines are one of the most prized units in the whole Chaos Space Marine codex. They are tough and they can deal a lot of damage as well. This Unit Review will go over how to use this unit effectively and how to handle them if you are going against them.

Playing Plague Marines, starts with either taking them as scoring or non-scoring units. There are two ways to go about making these guys scoring, first Typhus and he is very expensive, the second and cheaper choice is a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Nurgle. Either way you are getting Plague Marines as scoring units. As scoring units this gives you the ability to take objectives and of course contest them easily. What makes them so good at scoring or contesting an objective? Few factors there one is Fearless, these guys aren't breaking and running away when they lose a few buddies. Toughness 5 is preventing Strength 8 weapons from doubling you out, might ask why does that matter? Because Plague Marines get Feel No Pain, and these reasons are why they are arguably the best unit in the CSM codex.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fall 2014 Tournament

Burning River Battalion
The Burning River Battalion is hosting the Fall 2017 Tournament.

When: October 4th dice rolling at 11 am.

Where: Recess Games (26636 Brookpark Road Extension • North Olmsted OH 44070)

Cost: $30 by October 3rd and $35 after that, $5 will go to lunch we are ordering a few pizza's, and Frank's Red Hot is included.

Points: 2000

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We went all in to 7th

Here are a few photos from our last tournament Going all in to 7th Tournament. We want to thank everyone for coming to the event and participating, a thank you to our host Recess Games. We saw quite a few different armies, first place was a mix of Eldar and Dark Eldar, second place was a mix of Grey Knights and Eldar, and rounding out third place was an Imperial Knight and Deamon list. And almost every model was nicely painted.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics For Using An All Imperial Knight Army

So if you're anything like me perhaps you've wondered what it would be like to run a pure knight list. Maybe you like the fluff, maybe you really like big giant robots, or maybe you really just don't like messing around with things like multiple detachments/allies/formations etc (all of those apply to myself). I'm going to go over each of the knights you can currently use, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how to best use them as a total army. This by no means will guarantee you victory but hopefully it will give you some food for thought.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Battle Report Chaos vs Space Marines and Imperials Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse

Today I am bringing you a battle report of monstrous proportions. We finally had our apoc game this weekend. It was imperials vs chaos. As you can see from the pictures the imperials had to hold a fort. The chaos guys could only win if they controlled 2/3 of the 3 sections of the fort. There were 90 victory points available to take, 45 of which were available to whomever held 2/3 of the fort.

In the pictures you will notice 1 imperator titan, and 2 warlord titans. They were on the chaos side. The armies combined for a total of those titans, 7 or 8 reaver titans, 10ish warhound titans, 20+ baneblade chassis of various types, 9 imperial knights, 20+ flyers of various types, well over 200 additional vehicles between tanks, dreadnoughts, skimmers, transports etc, and 1,000's of infantry. I played personally in this game for approximately 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday. The game was started on Friday which I did not play in. So my guess is this game went for between 30 and 35 hours.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw

Sanctus Reach: Stromclaw
The email came in last night for the preorder of the latest box set for the Sanctus Reach campaigns. Games Workshop's latest model release is the box set called Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw. Even before the release of the latest 7th Edition rules Games Workshop has been on a releasing rampage of models both old and new.

With Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw we see a change in what Games Workshop is releasing, this isn't just a starter set, this a campaign (well, a partial one) in a box. When Games Workshop releases a starter set we normally see two 500 or so point armies, that are not optimal and that are not balanced, and of course you get a small rule book. And most players buy and split the models, for their respective armies. Here Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw goes all in with a part of a campaign, the units are set the missions are outlined in a 32 page campaign book included. Now since this is on preorder we haven't had the opportunity to see how balanced everything is nor do we have the opportunity to review the models (expect to see that in the future). The price point for this box set is great at $125 (USD), we don't expect this to last we expect this to go up in time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Going all in to 7th Tournament

When: July 26th registration at 10 am dice rolling at 11 am.

Where: Recess Games (26636 Brookpark Road Extension • North Olmsted OH 44070)

Cost: $30 by July 24th and $35 after that, $5 will go to lunch we are ordering a few pizza's.

Points: 2000

Monday, May 19, 2014

7th Edition is here

After 23 months Games-Workshop has decided to release a new edition of rules for the Warhammer 40,000 game. This edition comes with a lot of anticipation, not because the current rules are old and out dated but because the current rules just didn't work. From 4th edition to 5th edition players were excited for the changes. 5th had its problems but it was an improvement over 4th. The jump from 5th edition to 6th came with grumbling. Some of the changes were accepted with open arms and some of the changes were down right awful.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fairwell to 6th Edition Warhammer 40,000 Tournament

On Sunday June 1st at 11am we will be hosting a 40k tournament at Recess Games in North Olmsted Ohio. We are doing a 1000 point doubles tournament. You will have a randomly assigned partner for the tournament and you will play other teams of players. The details for the event can be found at this link which is a lovely PDF file. You don't have to print out that file but you do want to take a look at it because it has the missions that will be potentially used at the tournament.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unit Review: Necron Canoptek Wraiths

Necron Canoptek WraithsIf you have ever played against a necron army you've probably had the frustration of playing against necron wraiths. Today I'm going to go over this unit I've used many times and even played against. I'm going to go over what they do (for those who've never played against them), how you should use them, and of course how you can beat them.

What makes these guys so nasty? At the end of the day its really the 3+ invulnerable save combined with 2 wounds that really makes them awesome for what they do. They have no normal save, just that lovely invulnerable save that someone necron players always seem to make. Without that invulnerable save the rest of the abilities, while good, wouldn't be as amazing as they are. On top of that save they're jump infantry that completely ignore all cover due to the wraith flight ability. This means they don't care what you put in front of them they will just move right through it and not get slowed down. So on turn 2 in most games they have made it into hand to hand.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Warhammer 40,000 The Rules That Just Don't Make Sense

Today I want to take a look at some of the things in the big rule book (brb) that just don't quite make sense. I'm not going to go into individual codex rules at this moment because then I would write a book on the things that don't make sense. These are rules that from a physical sense don't add up with reality. I realize that this is indeed just a game and therefore is not an accurate reflection of real life, but we are attempting to place game values on the physical realm. Some of the things I'm going to mention have to do with the technology in the year 40,000 and others have to do with plain and simple sense. This article is meant to be light hearted and amusing and hopefully it comes across that way. These are in no particular order either, just a list I wrote down to go over.

First up is challenges in combat. How many of you reading this have been challenged by some necron with mind shackle scarabs and realized how horrible of a decision you have to now make? The chose is either my space marine chapter master with all kinds of nasty does nothing while that necron lord slaughters my troops, or I accept and hopefully don't go dumb and punch myself to death by failing that leadership test. In the brb is says that if you deny the challenge your character doesn't fight because he is busy running from the guy that challenged him. I can mentally picture that, but I can also mentally picture the guy that is now "chasing" him down being to busy to kill anyone else as well. I personally think the challenge system should work that way. If you challenge and the guy declines then neither guy has any attacks, they're too busy running and chasing each other to care about the goons fighting around them. Sadly as it stands challenges are kind of a bad rule that doesn't make sense.

How about multiple toughness values? So when I'm shooting and killing stuff the guys closest die first. That makes complete sense. In a multiple toughness unit though, when the number of guys with the various toughness values is equal you have to use the highest. They couldn't simply have said use the value of the guy closest to the shooter? This seems like a really logical thing. This keeps something like a riptide with 1 drone from having that toughness 6 on the drone.

Cover saves. I think the cover saves system is fine in that it gives you a free invulnerable save. Where I think it doesn't make sense is for anyone who has a 3+ armor save. I personally think you should get armor and cover saves. If you want to convince me that a tree has a 32% chance of stopping a laser cannon but power armor has none, I will listen to that argument as long as that tree has the same chance of stopping everything else that gets shot at the power armor guy. What I mean is that no matter how you look at it a tree always has a random chance of getting in the way of someone's shooting attacks. Just because your armor save is better doesn't mean the tree can't still randomly block that shot. I know this would make terrain really good for some armies like marines, but I also think you could adjust the points accordingly. Of course that meas they sell less physical models and we all know GW isn't about to do that.

Jet pack infantry. Evidently jump infantry know how to turn off their jump packs, but jet pack infantry don't. This only matter when you start or finish your move in terrain. For jet infantry all difficult terrain becomes dangerous, because unlike jump infantry, they just don't know how to simply walk and not kill themselves on a rock.

Flying monstrous creatures start the game in glide mode. Why is that? Do flyers with the hover mode start in hover mode? Here's looking at you Be'lakor. Hope you're going first other wise that tyrant, daemon prince, or whatever else is going to die. I guess they just aren't smart enough to stay away from those 50 bolters about to blow holes in their heads.

Night fighting. I put this here because I just can't imagine that in the year 40,000 when you have laser weapons and ships that can cross the universe, you just don't have night vision goggles. So super advanced space marine guy with two hearts just can't quite see in the dark. I guess they just didn't think they could make that work with power armor. All those scopes you see on lasguns, yeah they just can't put a night vision scope on it. The only way tanks can see is if they turn on the headlights. I guess a 40 ton vehicle just can't fit that night vision thing in anywhere. I do like night fighting rules by the way, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense.

Gets hot. This one really kills me, pun intended. If some guy handed me a gun and told me every single time I shot it there was a 16% chance the gun could kill me on accident, my response would be very simple. Can I just have a knife or something sir? Think about that, in an average game that plasma gun will get hot at least once, and if you have that lovely 5+ armor save, you're probably a dead man. Why couldn't they just make this rule have the weapon not fire while the user waits for it to cool down. That makes way more sense to me. Then again I don't put my faith in the emperor to protect me.

The last few rules all deal with vehicles, mostly because I think GW has problems with its vehicles. Number 1 is the way they shoot. So if you move even an inch, you can only fire 1 weapon at full skill and the others are snap shots. If you move more than 6", for most vehicles, you have the further penalty of all your weapons firing as snap shots. So lets look at the US abrams tank. That think can move at full speed going up and down bumps, and still fire its main gun with incredible accuracy. So in the year 2014 our tanks can shoot better than the imperium and better than all the other alien races some of whom were flying in space while we were still monkeys. Other than pintle mounted weapons I think that all a vehicles guns should get full bs or at least the main gun no matter how far they moved.

Difficult terrain tests for vehicles is also pretty dumb. Once again the abrams can drive over a car and not notice it. A tank in the year 40,000 always has a 16% chance of getting stuck if it drives over a wooden fence. Why can't it just work exactly like infantry moving through difficult terrain? It just slows them down a little.

Vehicle armor values are another thing that doesn't make sense. Small arms fire should not be able to hurt most tanks. Trucks, wheeled vehicles, open vehicles where the crew is exposed all make sense. Anything that is armored and enclosed pretty much shouldn't care about a guy with a bolter. Those rhinos though and that rear armor. I guess they just don't know how to slap on an inch or 2 of steel.

Here is the last one I've got at the moment. Vehicles exploding. A strength 3 hit, even on the guys inside, really? I'm pretty sure if I was in a car that exploded I would be very dead. Those should be at least strength 5 and maybe even 6 for any occupants. Explosions are pretty violent things and tend to kill those near them. The rules should reflect that basic idea.

Well that's why I've got off the top of my head. Again we all know its just a game, but I think it could be a better game without those head scratchers. Feel free to leave comments and let us know what rules don't make sense to you. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Games Workshop site is down

Games Workshop site is down
Well, as of right now the site is down for "maintenance" but most major e-commerce sites don't come down mid morning for maintenance especially during the week. Sure in eastern standard time this is morning and for Games Workshop it is evening. This could be for a huge release of new products and models! Or it could be a changing of the guard at Games Workshop. Could they have been bought? Either way let's hope it is worth the down time.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Joy and Pitfalls of Forge World Products

After the recent article about forge world and the horus heresy products, I had someone suggest to me that I should write about how to acquire, prepare, assemble, and paint forge world products and what typical problems you can expect to run into. It occurred to me that many people may have seen something from forge world that they wanted to purchase but were perhaps intimidated by the whole process or may have the wrong idea of what their products are really like to work with. So today I'm going to try and give you some tips and general information on working with forge world and resin models in general.

For those that don't know forge world products can only be officially purchased in a couple places. The easiest to get to place is their website, which is a British web address. That's why it ends with the instead of the normal .com. There are a couple things about ordering from the website I'd like to point out. Its your typical click to add to cart kind of website with drop down menus. Its easy to use but I will say that the search function is pretty limited. If you don't type in the exact name of what you're looking for it won't find it. So if you misspell it or aren't quite sure what the name is try and google it first because forge world's site just isn't built to help point you in the right direction.

The next thing with the website you will notice is that all the prices are in British pounds. This is pretty much the biggest issue with forge world products. They do not give anyone else a price break. If you look at anything on the normal British version of the GW website you will see things listed in pounds. If you then go and compare the prices in US dollars of those items on the US version of the GW website you will notice that the dollar price is lower than the full conversion rate. Unfortunately forge world does not bestow that blessing upon us. Also, forge world's site specifically states that all prices show include VAT. What is VAT you ask? VAT is essentially what we in the US call sales tax. As a British based company they have to charge it whether selling online or not. The big issue with VAT already being included is that they are not supposed to charge VAT for someone that is ordering from a country that doesn't have to pay VAT. So every time you order something from forge world in the US you are pretty much giving them free money. You could potentially file some sort of legal appeal in the UK to get that money, but the amount of money we are talking about isn't significant enough to go through that process, however it is something I think everyone should be aware of. Getting back to the conversion rate thing, as of this moment 1 British pound equals 1.66 US. That means for a 100 pound item it will cost you or I 166 dollars. Obviously that is kind of rough, but such is the price we pay for our hobby.

The last thing about the website I want to go over is of course the shipping. This is another thing that I think could really be done better because forge charges a flat 15% shipping fee. Now if you order 250 pounds worth of stuff, money not weight, shipping is free, but that equals roughly 415 dollars. That's a pretty expensive order to get free shipping. I don't really agree with the 15% flat fee in this day and age. They know how much everything they have weighs and could very easily do a website that calculates the shipping price based on weight, but they instead choose to significantly over charge customers on shipping. Sadly you can also expect to have your package take a bit of time to arrive. My personal experience is that it takes about 3 weeks from the day I order to the day I get it. I don't know if this is a staffing issue or not, but it typically takes about 5 or 6 days, again in my experience, before they actually ship the order. The free shipping is is express shipping so I'm sure that cuts at least a week off, but again that's over 400 dollars. So unless you're wealthy or ordering with friends in a big order expect about 3 weeks.

The only other places to get actual forge world models are on eBay used from someone, or at a convention. Forge world attends a couple conventions outside of the UK each year but even then, if you're not going to the convention your only options are the ones I've already mentioned. They also have really long lines at the conventions. I went to Chicago games day 2 years ago and when the doors opened people literally went running over to the forge world area. There must have been 500 people in line to buy forge world products. That's not an exaggeration that's actually probably a low number. So unless you like standing in line for an hour plus to hopefully get what you want before they sell out of it, at a convention you have to travel to, oh and still pay the bloated conversion rate price, just order it online. 

Alright, on to the actual modelling part of this. If you've ever worked with finecast stuff and are afraid that forge world must be as bad, don't be. The resin they use is much harder and not as prone to warping. Don't get me wrong, all resin if it gets warm enough will warp and but. The forge world stuff though is harder and thus requires more heat for it to become flexible. I've had finecast items bend and break just sitting safely in foam. I can honestly I've not had that problem with forge world resin. Most of the stuff they send out is pretty good quality as well. Some of the older models I've been told can have issues due to the age of the molds or some such. I don't know that the "age" of any mold is really the issue there. What I've read in the past is that forge world uses "hand" poured molds for their stuff which have a shorter life span that a spin cast mold. I have a feeling what really happens is they end up making "new" molds from items they've casted with old molds rather than just using the master sculpt. From a production stand point this makes sense because if you can only ever use the master to make new molds then you're talking a significant amount of time to make molds. Something like the thunderhawk must use 200 molds. I don't know what the cure time is on the mold material they use, but that would take forever to make any decent amount of molding capacity. So be prepared for some warping and hefty mold lines for some of the older stuff.

What will you need for prepping these resin models? A hobby knife, preferably with a nice new sharp blade. There will be quite a bit of "flash" you need to clean off forge world stuff. Again with poured molds you have a lot of excess resin left attached to the model that you will need to remove along with those mold lines. Files and sand paper will also be a must have. I purchased the larger 12 piece file set from gale force 9 and have found them to be perfect for working with resin. The variety of shapes of the files in that set really come in handy. I rarely use the sand paper, but a sanding block is really nice for those larger pieces like a wing or maybe the side of a tank. Something that has a long mold line is a really great target for a sanding block. You will need a heat source for fixing warp issue. I use a halogen lamp and just hold the parts closely under it. I've also used a hair dryer for particularly large parts. The lamp is really great for a small point of heat but not so much on a large area like a whole wing from a plane. I've heard of people submerging parts in boiling water as well, but I have never tried that approach. Obviously you will need super glue and its a good idea to get a glue accelerator. Some of the vehicle models will have gaps that need filing. Green stuff is great for this, but super glue and a spray of glue accelerator is faster and cheaper. You will have to file it level, but you have to do that with green stuff as well. Since we are talking about glue, you will have to pin some things together. Some of the really large stuff like titans, if you didn't pin things they would fall apart. I've found with the primarch models they need to be pinned to the base because of the dynamic poses they have. If you don't pin them to the base they will fall off a ton. I had this happen with my Abbadon. I didn't pin him at first, after the 4th time I glued him back on I decided to just put a nice metal rod in his foot to keep him put. I've never used that model in a game either so I'm not talking about a ton of movement with that guy.

The last thing you will need is a cleaning agent. I want to emphasis that you NEED a cleaning agent. They use a chemical on the molds to make sure the resin doesn't stick to the molds. This chemical will be on your parts and needs to be removed. If you don't remove it you will have a very difficult time painting. Primer will run off the parts. If the primer sticks, guess what? The chemical will affect the primer and cause your paint to still run off the primer. The first time I did a forge world model I was not aware of this fact and tried to just paint on my primered model. After about a half hour of trying to figure out what was wrong with my paint or primer I did a google search on the subject and figured out I was an idiot. I know some people use dish soap and just use a tooth brush to clean the stuff off. I've seen products that are made specifically for cleaning mold release agent from resin models, its expensive and again you probably need to use a tooth brush and do some scrubbing. I take the easy simple route. I buy this gallon size container of purple power degreaser from walmart. It's about 5 dollars and doesn't require me to scrub and potentially damage details. I do all my prep work and then let the pieces soak over night. The purple power doesn't damage the resin and all you have to do is rinse the parts off after they soak. I always notice a sort of oil slick on the surface of the purple power after its soaked, telling me that it did it's job. After you let the water dry off from rinsing you can now freely paint your models.

I hope this has been enlightening and helpful to someone. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you have. If you want to join the burning river battalion google+ group then just drop us a line for an invite.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Forge World and the Horus Heresy, Is it for You?

Today I'm going to take some time to talk about all the fun stuff that Forge World has done with the Horus Heresy. In this article I'm going to go over the back ground of the heresy very briefly for those not familiar with the fluff and for those that may not be familiar with 40k at all but find themselves reading this. I'm also going to talk about the items that forge world has put out already for it and some of the things that they've openly discussed are coming in the pipeline. Lastly, and these items are in no particular order, I'm going to talk about some of the common misconceptions I've heard from people about how the game plays and other points I've had brought up to me.

So lets start with the "fluff" or back ground of the heresy. The game we lovingly call Warhammer 40,000 or 40k for short, really has its origins in approximately the year 30,000 give or take a couple hundred years. The events that went on in 30k were really what sets the tone for the grim dark future we call 40k. In 30k the emperor of mankind is very much fully alive and essentially kicking the butts of everyone. He decides to make these 20 beings called primarchs. Primarchs are super humans that the emperor creates in a lab in order to lead humanity on a grand crusade through all of known space in order to reclaim all the lost worlds of humanity, and in order to pretty much wipe out any species that isn't human. Something strange happens and these 20 primarchs get snatched away before they are fully matured in the lab, and they get spread throughout space as infants. The emperor then creates the space marines from the incomplete genetic remains of the now disappeared primarchs. The space marines are no where near as powerful as the primarchs, yet the remaining primarch DNA still makes the marines far stronger, faster, and tougher than a normal human being. Long story short, the emperor creates 20 legions of these space marines, each legion based on the genetic code of a single primarch, then goes searching for his lost primarchs/sons. The emperor eventually finds each of the primarchs and lets each primarch take command of his own legion in order to go stomping around the galaxy to rescue lost human worlds and kill all the aliens they can find.

At some point roughly half of the now 18 legions (2 primarchs and their legions were destroyed for unspecified reasons) end up deciding they don't like the emperor anymore and turn traitor. The leader of the traitor primarchs and legions is called Horus and thus you get the "Horus Heresy." Forge World in its Horus Heresy stuff is allowing players to recreate the awesome battles that took place between the traitor primarchs/space marine legions, and the emperors with his loyal primarchs/space marine legions. For those that don't know in the end Horus gets killed, the traitors run away into warp space and become the chaos marines we all know and love in 40k. The emperor almost gets killed in the civil war and put into the golden throne to pretty much end up as some kind of soul eating zombie that can't ever leave the throne. Thus the heresy pretty much leads to the stagnation and slow crawl to death of the imperium of mankind that we find in 40k.

Obviously that is the briefest summary I can give you and I have left out literally tons of information for the sake of simplicity. You can grasp the significance of the heresy though and the spiral of events it causes later. Without 30k you have no 40k. Feel free to check out any of the Horus Heresy novels by the Black Library for thousands of pages of additional information on the heresy back ground. I think they've surpassed 20 novels in the series at this point. Also 40k lexicanum, I believe I have that right, has a ton of stuff on it as well if you google search their page.

So what has Forge World done to bring this epic event to life for us on a table top near you? Well they're releasing a series of campaign books that go over the really pivotal moments and battles that took place during the heresy. Thus far they have 2 books out with a 3rd one coming this summer. You can think of these as your typical codex books with a ton of additional material. Instead of having rules for just 1 army each of these books gives you rules for several of the space marine legions as well as mechanicum forces. They also give you the detailed flow of the battles in them and give you rules and a campaign format to recreate them. Each pivotal moment or battle is going to be done in a trilogy of books, at least that's the plan that Forge World has for now. So the first 3 books, called Betrayal, Massacre, and Extermination each go over all the events that took place in the Istvann system. That's where the heresy kicks off. The first book goes over how the traitor legions had to cull their ranks of anyone that would try to remain loyal to the emperor. Massacre goes over the battles that took place when the emperor sends some of his "loyal" legions to destroy the "known" traitor legions while they're still in the Istvann system only to have some of the "loyal" legions also turn traitor. Extermination will detail the basic, well extermination, of several of the truly loyal space marine legions at the hands of the now reveiled traitor marines. These books do allow you to make some truly amazing space marine legions but we can get into that a little later.

So what else besides these truly amazing leather bound tomes has Forge World made? Well they obviously have a ton of heresy era space marine stuff they're made. Thus far they've come out with specific units for 6 of the 18 legions, special characters from 4 of the legions, and 5 of the primarchs. They also have a ton of vehicles and various marine units that you can paint in whatever legion colors you want to. They only have specific rules out for 8 of the legions currently but you can make a generic legion army for whatever legion you prefer. You just won't get any unique units specific to that legion. So for example Forge World has these death shroud terminators that are specific to the death guard legion. So if you want to play say raven guard you can't use those guys, only the death guard get them. You do however have access to all the generic units that every legion does. So for example everyone can take tactical squads or contemptor dreadnoughts. They will obviously cover all the legions/primarchs over time, it is just going to take a while to get there. The heresy is a truly massive civil war in scale.

They've also made the mechanicum as I mentioned before. These are essentially the guys that keep all the technology running in the imperium of man. They're also talked about how they do have their own armed forces but up until this point Games Workshop as a company has not given them an army. Since they were part of the heresy Forge World, thank God, has finally given them models and rules to play them. All the legions have access to them as allies or you can of course use them on their own. The models for these guys are pretty impressive. Lots of robots and guys with big guns for arms. The none robot models are kind of borg like except with robes added. So think cyborg priest with big guns. They have mechanicum tanks and all kinds of things planned for them in the future. Actually this week if you were subscribed to Forge World's email list, they showed a sneak peak of the first mechanicum only vehicle. Its a tank with a lightning cannon. The rules for the model will be available this summer, while the model itself will be available around the same time. Based of the little bit of back ground they gave on the tank in the email, I suspect the rules for it will be very similar to how necron vehicles work. Its armor is low but it has some kind of shields that will make the armor value functionally higher. I'm pretty sure it will also be open topped just like all the necron vehicles.

Now let's discuss the actual game play and some of the misconceptions I've heard people have. The game is mostly marine on marine crime, with the mechanicum thrown in. So if you've ever played a game of 40k with or against space marines its pretty much the same game. All of rules that apply in 40k apply in the Horus Heresy. In fact it says in the beginning of the books that you will need a copy of the warhammer 40,000 rule book in order to play. The only differences are that marines don't have "And they shall know no fear," and that the units are different in their size and equipment they can take. For instance, marines still have tactical squads but they can't combat squad, they come in squads of 10 to 20 and none of them get a heavy or special weapon. That's pretty much how all the squads work. In the heresy era the units all had very specialized rolls, so for example you still have devastator squads and they still have between 5 and 10 guys, but every single guy has a heavy weapon and they all have the same gun. So if you take a 10 man devastator squad with lascannons all 10 have a lascannon to include the Sergeant. That may sound awesome, and it is, but you have to pay for all those lascannons and you lose the flexibility that comes from being able to handle multiple types of targets with one squad. Instead your marines are going to have very defined roles and don't ask them to do something they're not equipped for.

The legions also don't have chapter tactics, obviously because they had not been broken down into the smaller chapters yet. Instead what Forge World has done is given you some additional rules, called "rites of war," you can opt to use provided you follow certain restrictions on what you can take. So the emperor's children rite of war gives your primary detachment +1 inch of normal movement, run movement, and charge distance on the first turn of the game. They also must pick between 1 and 3 elite/fast attack units to hold in reserve. They write down on a piece of paper on what turn those units are arriving, either turn 2, 3, or 4. Those hidden units arrive as normal on the specified turn and gain the outflank special rule. The restrictions this rite of war places is that you can't take units that have the immobile, heavy, or slow and purposeful special rules. You must take a legion champion as a second compulsory hq choice, you may not take a fortification or any allied space marines from a different legion, and lastly if the mission being played has the slay the warlord secondary objective, if you fail to slay your opponents warlord the opponent gains +1 victory point. So each of the legions will have stuff like that which you can take if you're willing to deal with the downside. Some of them are pretty good, the iron hands have one that lowers the strength of any shooting attack by 1.

Another thing that's different is you don't use the missions from the main rule book. They have their own set of missions and deployment zones. They even have "historic" missions that recreate a specific battle that took place. There is a deployment zone where one side sets up in all 4 corners and the opponent is in the middle.

So how is the balance? If you've ever played a game of 40k you quickly learn that as a game it simply is not balanced very well. Guess what, 30k is very balanced. The reason for this is because everyone has access to the same equipment with the exception of those legion specific units and special characters. You can't really complain that your opponent has a better codex when he is using the same one you are. Also expect the games to be in a bigger point range. When you can take 10 guys with lascannons the points tend to add up rapidly. So really 2000 points for Horus Heresy is like 1500 for regular 40k. You really need to be at 2500 to have a decent amount of physical models. Really though if you're looking for a fun game with balance you can't go wrong with the heresy.

To bring it back to simplicity, its the same game with some difference in the flavor. A moral check still happens at the same point it would in a normal game of 40k. Charging is still 2d6 inches. Cover saves still work the same, etc. Your marines just don't auto regroup anymore if they break. They can however always attempt to regroup no matter how many casualties they've taken at their normal leadership.

Maybe your still on the fence about the heresy stuff after all that. Well the good news is that if you already have a space marine army most of your stuff is usable. Marines are marines, bolt guns are bolt guns, predators are well you get the point. You can't take a melta gun in your tactical squad but chances are you can find another regular space marine to fill in that 10 man squad with bolters. They do have some fun units and vehicles that you probably won't own, but you can still use almost everything you already have. With some simply clarifications on what is what I'm sure your opponent would have no problem allowing you to use some stuff as proxies. Plus you can always just pick up a couple of those units and vehicles that you don't have. You have an ultra marines army, great. Pick up a sicaran battle tank, maybe a contemptor dreadnought or two and poof you have a legion force. Oh and yes quite a few of the vehicles can be purchased as squads. So if you have 3 predators sitting around you can take all 3 for only 1 force organization chart hit.

The last thing I want to hit on here is the price of playing the heresy stuff. The biggest hit you're going to take is getting the books, because again if you have a marine army already you don't need to spend an extensive amount of money on getting units. The books I believe run about 150 each once you factor in shipping. I really do believe they're worth the price and everyone that has seen the ones I own in person has said they are really amazing books. Once you get the books though it won't cost you that much more to play. If you don't have a marine army already and still want to play but not invest a ton of money, ebay and used models are your friend. There is a store here in Cleveland that has a ton, literally a ton, of space marine stuff. Ebay is also always a great place to find stuff on the cheap if you don't mind used stuff. And as a additional bonus to getting any of the heresy specific units, I'm sure you would be able to use them in casual games against normal 40k armies. After all prior to half the legions turning traitor they were out in space killing eldar, orks, and any other number of races.

Hopefully I've given you some things to ponder about. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I will answer as best I can. Its an amazing this forge world has committed itself to doing, and while I know the xenos lovers out there are not fans of all the marine love, its still a vital piece of back ground to the 40k universe.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of Games Workshops, Dataslate: Helbrutes

The Dataslate: Helbrutes was anticipated by so many Chaos Space Marine players. In their new codex the Helbrute is arguably the worst unit in the book. The unit doesn't match up to the fluff and for the points there are better alternatives that players take. Until the recent release of the new dynamic model players only could get their hands on the static model released in the Dark Vengeance box set.  But knowing Games Workshop they gave us a new Helbrute model and to make sure we bought it they released Dataslate: Helbrutes, their attempt to fix the Helbrute and sell some of the new models. We won't be reviewing the new model in this post, but just the Dataslate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Should you go digital?

Should you go digital?We first talked about going digital with our post Codex al Carte, with Games-Workshop's exclusive interactive content on iTunes to Black Libraries static content. Privateer Press also has a great digital app for their content. The question for most players, both new and experienced is should I go digital?

First the good and there is a lot of good here. Content is on demand, we get instant satisfaction downloading a new book the moment it is released. And for some of us that is almost needed with new content. Next some of the content is automatically updated with a FAQ, this means no PDF print outs to carry around and make sure the PDF's are up to date. Some content is interactive with imbedded videos and dynamic diagrams. But the biggest good of going digital is convenience all your rules, codex, army books on a single device.

The bad and yes it is bad. Tablets are not cheap by any means from an iPad to a Samsung Tab they start around $200 and go up in price. This is probably the biggest problem for anyone to move digital from physical books. Do I pay $499 for this iPad or do I pick up an apocalypse formation?!? The content isn't any cheaper, when you look at GW and PP you would think that since they are saving money in the cost of printing physical content that they would pass that along to us? In one word NO.  This also doesn't give you the chance to resell the content either, if you are done playing with a specific army or if you are giving up on wargaming all together (which why would anyone give up gaming?) you cannot sell off or give away the content. This means it is pretty much yours forever.

Now the ugly, which could be considered "bad" but this is where GW and PP get you. Exclusive content for digital only. Yeah that is ugly and these companies know it. Releases such as Kill Team by Games-Workshop in digital only (as of the time of this post) and it sucks for some players who are not digital. This is where we see a rise in illegal downloads of content. I found it easier to find an illegal version of Kill Team than to find the legal one on iTunes.

In all the question remains should you go digital? It comes down to the device, if you own it and you use it and the bad mentioned above isn't too bad for you then by all means give it a try. But if you don't own a tablet or laptop you want to use then moving digital doesn't make sense. The cost can set a gamer back almost an entire army. We say stay physical for the time being.

This also begs the next giant question, what if you got all the content for a monthly fee, would you pay it? We will save that for another post.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A review of the New Imperial Knight by Games Workshop Part 2

For those of you that took the time to read part 1 of my review of the imperial knight, thank you. Here is part 2 detailing the actual building and painting of the model.

I'm going to start with the instruction booklet itself as it has a couple things in it that I think should be noted. First the diagrams in the booklet are the "new" style 3d imaging that GW went to a number of years back. I don't know exactly when they switched over to this, but I'm a fan. That 3d style really helps you see depth and exact fittings. In the past they've had some instructions that were not exactly clear, looking at you drop pod, but this booklet is free from errors. The last couple pages in the booklet are of particular note in that they lay out places to put the transfers for a particular faction. They lay out a mechanicum house and a regular house. If you didn't have access to anything other than the images on the box, I think this would be of real help. I didn't personally use those diagrams because I was basing my knight off of a specific imagine in the codex, but I think its nice none the less. I think that people who have no real interest in 40k and are just buying it because it looks like a cool model would probably find it pretty useful. Its just something new that I haven't noticed before in any instruction booklets from GW.

As far as putting the model together, again great job by GW. Everything fit correctly and I didn't need to do any kind of crazy cutting or heating to make something fit. Ever built a land raider? Those things were notorious for not fitting right together and having some significant gaps. Ever built anything by forge world? Again most of the stuff they put out has gaps that need filled or resin parts that need heated so you can bend them to fit right. I also didn't run into one of those moments where I wished I had a 3rd or 4th hand in order to hold something while the glue set. I was worried when I noticed the thin metal railings that go on top of the carapace that when clipping them off the sprue they would be prone to break, but that was not a problem for me. All in all I think its a pretty easy model to put together. I don't think you need to have amazing skills to put this guy together.

On to my favorite part, the painting. I always paint my miniatures in pieces and then assemble them. Sometimes this can be a bit tricky to avoid glue getting on your beautifully painted surface, but again I didn't run into that problem. Most of the sections where you're going to glue are pretty hidden. The shoulder pads are glued under at a point you really can't see. The only parts I had to worry about this were the railings on top but that just took some care to not get a ton of glue on the parts.

I based my paint job on house Taranis. There are pictures of 3 imperial knight in the codex of house Taranis. I like the symbols of the house and the back ground so that's why I picked them. One really nice thing about the digital codex is that I was able to zoom in on the image of the knight I was painting. For the most part that's not really needed for the colors, but for the transfers that came in real handy. Looking at the painted model in person I'm pretty impressed with how it looks painted up. I'm not saying that I am an impressive painter, more so that pictures don't do this model justice if painted well. Painting in pieces ensured that I didn't have a hard time reaching anything, but I also think that it wouldn't be to hard to get at most of the nooks and crannies if it had been fully assembled. Painting anything in the inner carapace might have been hard but I'm sure a lot of people will skip any detailing of that anyway. I chose to paint some of the wires and piping in order to help it stand out. You won't see it without looking for it because its not the part that catches the eye, but its there to see. I think the paint scheme I chose would be pretty easy to do for most people if they wanted to take the time to do it. Its colorful but not filled with a ton of different shades. I avoiding any edge highlighting because while it can look great, it just didn't seem right to me.

Last but not least, the transfers that I talked about. I put a fair number of them on the imperial knight. I would guess about 20. For the most part it was pretty straight forward. I did have trouble with one on the shoulder pad. Its a fairly long transfer and thin. In the process of trying to get it in place it curled up under itself and no matter how carefully I tried I couldn't get the thing to uncurl itself. So I had to sadly give up on that one. Otherwise I didn't have any problems. Some of the transfers on the sheet are really close to each other so you have to go slow and take your time cutting them out. This is because of the large number of transfers on the sheet. Given that I took off about 20, I'd estimate the sheet has about 120 or more transfers on it, looking at what's left on it. I use vallejo's decal medium and decal fix to apply my transfers. The decal medium is alcohol based and you put a layer of that on the surface where you're going to place your transfer. It helps to make the edges of the transfer disappear. You also want to put some on top of the transfer after you've placed it and wipe off any excess while making sure to brush out any air bubbles as best you can. Also having a layer underneath helps you to move the transfer where you need it exactly. Once that's dry the decal fix is brushed on. This obviously "glues" or fixes the transfer permanently to the model. Its basically a clear acrylic paint, that has a matte finish. It will show up when it dries which is why you have to overcoat your model with whatever varnish you chose. The varnish will fully hide the presence of the fixer and give a single smooth surface to your model. I use a matte varnish because I am not a fan of the glossy look except for things like gems or eyes.

All in all it was a lot of fun painting and assembling this beast. I may in the future do a part 3 about using it in game. Thanks for taking the time to read and enjoy the pictures.