Field of Fire Gaming

A gaming and hobby blog based in Raleigh, NC.

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Mathhammer Unit Focus: Kastelans

Yesterday Dernicus wrote about one of his new favorite units in 8th edition, Kastelan Robots. Today I’m going to walk through the crazy math on these things in our first Mathhammer Unit Focus: Kastelans. Their rules are in Index: Imperium 2.

Quick Rules Review

-Kastelans hit on 4’s. If they move they hit on 5’s.

-We’re assuming they are equipped with triple heavy phosphor guns.

-Their guns are S6, apply a -2 to saves, and are 1 damage.

-They can change protocols to shoot twice.

-Bellasaurius Cawl can let them reroll failed to hit rolls if they are within his aura.

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Adeptus Mechanicus Robots

Warhammer Unit Focus: Kastelans

Welcome to our first Warhammer Unit Focus: Kastelans! As we find more and more impressive units in 8th edition we’ll take some time and do a quick write up. We’ll be posting a second article soon all about the math behind this great unit. For now here’s Dernicus:

Beep-boop. Let’s talk about the giant robots who hurl walls of phosphorus flares into their enemies without a flicker of emotion. Kastelan Robots from the Adeptus Mechanicus of course. Relics of the days after AI was outlawed in the Imperium of Mankind (basically a little Skynet situation that the Mechanicus would rather not talk about), these guys were awesome to field in 7th edition, if a bit pricey. Come 8th edition and these robots have stomped through the walls like a series of Koolaid-men with high powered flare guns for hands. You can find more of these suckers here. Ohh yeah!

Robots from the internet

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A picture of Lord Commander Eidolon painted by Dark Bunny Creatives

Best Armies at ATC – 2017

This year the American Team Championship was the first big 8th edition tournament. With 8th coming out only a month before the event Shane and the other tournament organizers did a great job making ATC a big success. Now do you want to know what the best armies at ATC -2017 were? Here’s the breakdown of scores by faction below!

Faction Average Overall Score Average Score Per Game Players
Harlequin 74.2 12.4 5
Daemons 71.5 11.9 24
Asuryani 65.7 11.0 28
Grey Knights 63.7 10.6 11
Space Marines 62.8 10.5 36
Sisters of Battle 61.0 10.2 1
Astra Militarum 59.6 9.9 30
Drukhari 58.5 9.8 8
Genestealer Cults 58.0 9.7 6
Blood Angels 55.4 9.2 14
Imperial Knights 53.8 9.0 19
Tau Empire 53.6 8.9 15
Dark Angels 52.8 8.8 8
Necrons 48.1 8.0 14
Orks 47.9 8.0 14
Chaos Marines 47.1 7.9 17
Tyranids 46.0 7.7 13
Space Wolves 42.7 7.1 7
Adeptus Mechanicus 42.1 7.0 9
Deathwatch 29.0 4.8 2
Talons 18.5 3.1 4
Grand Total 56.6 9.4 285

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What Factions Will You See at ATC?

The American Team Championship is just around the corner and lists are out! What factions will you see at ATC? We have a breakdown of how many players have submitted lists for each faction. While definitely not the official list, here is a quick breakdown of what we counted.

Also check out the results from our ATC Prep Tournament and that tournament’s Breakdown.

Faction Players
SM 33
Astra Militarum 29
Ynnari 21
Daemons 18
CSM 17
Orks 16
Tau 15
Blood Angels 14
Necrons 14
Tyranids 14
Imperial Knights 12
Aeldari 11
Grey Knights 11
Ad Mech 9
Dark Angels 8
Drukhari 7
Renegade Knights 7
Space Wolves 7
Genestealer Cults 5
Thousand Sons 5
Harlequins 3
Death Guard 2
Sisters of Battle 2
Adeptus Custodes 2
Death Watch 2
Officio Assassinorum 1

 

Well that’s a lot of Space Marines, Guard, Eldar, and Daemons. If you were hoping to avoid Daemons or soulbursting Eldar this edition you’ll be disappointed. However I am glad to see the Imperial Guard make a better showing this year. And as to be expected it looks like quite a few players dusted off those old Ork models they have laying around. Knights, both heretics and loyalists, also seem to be quite popular this year although I don’t think we saw any double knight teams at least.

There’s a solid 57 teams or so this year. That means a total of 285 players. It’s going to be a big, exciting tournament this year. Good Luck!

NOTE: We are not talking about the specifics of any list out of respect for Team America who will be competing in ETC.

First 8th Edition Tournament Breakdown

Tournament Breakdown:

8th Edition Missions:

With the advent of 8th edition of Warhammer 40k comes a new take on the classic “book” missions we use to play the game. GW kept the essence of both the Eternal War and Maelstrom set of missions, but tweaked them in some places. To that effect, we’re going to examine how those changes, along with the changes in 8th edition as a whole affect gameplay at the tournament level.

Disclaimer: the data in this article is drawn from the Inaugural 8th Edition 40k Tournament, hosted by Field of Fire Gaming at Event Horizon Games on 6/17/17. The spread of armies was wide (only missing Dark Eldar, Daemons, Dark Angels, and Sisters of Battle), but being the day of release, this is by no means a comprehensive examination of the game as a whole.

Context: We had 20 attendees, with the following factions present: 3 AdMech, 3 Space Wolves, 3 Necrons, 2 Imperial Guard, 1 Space Marines, 1 Blood Angels, 1 Grey Knights, 1 Tyranids, 1 Knights/Space Marines, 1 Harlequins, 1 Eldar, 1 Orks, and 1 Tau. The armies were all Battleforged, 2000 points maximum, and capped at 3 Factions.

SO, with all that said, let’s take a look the missions, and what armies stood firm each round. We’ll also postulate some ideas as to what those armies that didn’t do so well might have been lacking with regards to the mission objectives.

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ATC Prep Tournament Results!

Here are the ATC Prep Tournament Results! Dernicus (Dean) and I tried to run a day one tournament in 8th edition and overall it went pretty well. Congratulations to Joe for winning best overall, although he tied with Richard and it came down to strength of schedule. Tim won most Battle Points and Preston won Best Painted with his Adeptus Mechanicus (Officiated by Dark Bunny Creatives‘s Val).

We’ve broken down the numbers by army (faction now?) and here’s how they did:

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Inaugural 8th ed/ATC-Prep Tournament Missions

Are you ready for the Inaugural 8th ed/ATC-Prep Tournament at Event Horizon? Since we can’t publish anything specific about the book missions, we’re just going to give you mission numbers and deployment numbers that go with them “whatever those happen to be on release day”. That way we don’t run afoul of GW’s legal team.

We don’t know exactly how yet but each game will have a total of 15 points possible (including any secondary objectives)!

Round 1: Eternal War Mission 2, Deployment 5

Round 2: Eternal War Mission 1, Deployment 3

Round 3: Eternal War Mission 5, Deployment 1

Painting will be worth 1 full game, so 15 points in addition.

Updates to come as we’re allowed to release more information.

Should 8th Edition Play-Testers be Competing at Major Events Close to Release?

Games Workshop has finally reached out to the community for this edition. Apparently they’ve had some of the best and brightest 40k players actually play test this edition before releasing it publicly. But, with some major events like the American Team Championship falling only a month or two after the rumored release date, this brings up a question. Should 8th edition play-testers be competing at major events close to release?

Right from the start I want to make it clear that I really appreciate all the time and effort guys involved with events like Adepticon, Las Vegas Open, and Bay Area Open have put into this edition. And I’m glad the new GW is waking up to the fact that they survive based on the community. From the teasers we’ve been getting daily, I think many players are going to find 8th edition to be the quickest and easiest to play 40k edition in years. While I’m still skeptical, I think the hard work play testers are putting in is what will really set this edition apart.

Is it Fair?

So with all that said, is it fair for play testers to get to compete at tournaments right after the new edition comes out? The first several months of 8th edition are going to be crazy. So many current 40k players are going to have to relearn a lot of basic game play. Since GW has made it a priority to interact with the community, I’m sure there’s going to be several FAQ’s in the first few months as well. We’re all going to be trying to learn and play a very different game. Frankly, those play testers are going to have a huge advantage. When it comes to big events people travel for, everyone goes with access to all the same resources and rules everyone else does. Seeing how different people play and what they can do with those same resources on a level playing field is what makes the experience fun. I don’t know if that’s going to be possible if some groups of players have had access to the rules for an extra six months.

Why not teach?

Now I do want to say play testers absolutely should be going to and organizing events. I just don’t know if they should be playing competitively at events within a few months of release. It seems like they should be teaching the community how to play this new edition they helped make, not trying to win prizes or awards. Someone who play tested 8th edition claiming top prize at any tournament immediately after release just seems ridiculous. Every gaming group has that one guy who only plays new players because they like clubbing baby seals. We all hate that guy because he’s not even playing a fair game. That’s how it feels for play testers to be winning trophies and prizes in this new edition right out of the gate. Come on guys, help judge, come hangout and promote your blogs/podcasts/battreps/whatever, but don’t come to be THAT GUY.

Conflict of Interest?

One last thing I want to bring up is less about how fun the game is and more about what the community should want out of events. I know many of the older guys in my group wish that Games Workshop would more tournaments and really try to drive interest that way. With this new influx of support from GW in tournaments and blogs I do start to wonder at what point there is a conflict of interest. If Games Workshop is sponsoring your blog, should you really be trying to compete in tournaments run or sponsored by Games Workshop? I might not mind so much if I wasn’t paying and traveling to play in those tournaments, but there just feels something wrong about all of that.

Final Thoughts

Again, I want to thank all those play testers who are trying to make 40k great again. I also want to thank Games Workshop for finally doing some community outreach. However, with all these changes I do think the community needs to start asking itself at what point is there too much involvement by Games Workshop and their affiliates. If Games Workshop is sponsoring all the blogs that used to post articles calling out their BS, what happens when GW does actually mess up? I hope groups like Frontline Gaming and Adepticon keep putting out their own ITC or FAQs to keep GW rules in check but I don’t know if that’ll happen if they’re being sponsored. Finally I hope play testers and those who make a living off of 40k that get sponsored by Games Workshop directly choose not to compete in events run or sponsored by Games Workshop just to keep everything above board. I don’t like having to ask why someone won without knowing they could crush me any day of the week!

Let us know your thoughts!

Binaric Showdown – Random Rule: Glitch

Glitch

At the beginning of the game roll a die. On 3+ this rule goes into effect.

Glitch: Immediately after placing all objective markers, scatter each objective marker that is not the relic. Do this by picking an objective marker and rolling both the scatter die and a D6. Move the objective marker in the direction of the scatter die as many inches as was rolled on the D6. Repeat for each objective that is not the relic.

*Note: Per normal objective placement rules no objectives should be within 6 inches of a board edge. Further no objective marker should be within 12 inches of another objective. If for some reason the Glitch rule would take an objective off the table, move the objective until it reaches the table edge and then stop. In addition, if the glitch rule would cause an objective to come within 6 inches of another objective, simply move the “Glitched” objective until it comes within 6 inches of the other objective and then stop.

 

Warhammer 40000 8th Edition – What We Know

Games Workshop has been trickling out information every few days about the release of Warhammer 40000 8th Edition. There’s been a lot of speculation without even seeing one solid rule but the rumors are flying. I wanted to take the time to talk about some things we definitely know, some concepts we’ve heard, and what could those mean? In this article we’ll go over what we know.

What We Know

So let’s talk about some things we definitely know. We know there will be movement characteristics for each unit. We know that charging will allow at least one (if not all) attacks before the charged unit can strike. And we know that templates are out. That’s a lot to cover right off the bat.

Movement

For me, movement characteristics are going to totally come down to execution. If just about everything moves 6″ except for big monsters that move 9″ or orks that move 7″ just because they get a bonus, then fine. I just want it to be consistent and obvious. Every unit being an arbitrary “oh this just moves 8 inches and that moves 10 inches and that moves 11 inches just because” is going to drive me nuts in the middle of a game. That’s more mental load for a game and not less. Hopefully base size and kit like a jump pack will make it obvious how far a model will move. In 7th you could just say “Hey this is a jump pack unit” and your opponent would know all the rules associated with it, not just its movement. The loss of those unit type templates that everyone could look up in the core rule book makes me wary of how well this will go in competitive play. I don’t necessarily trust my opponent to read all the way through his super unique snowflake rule and remember to tell me the negatives his units take for their cool ability.

Charging

We also know that units that charge will get to strike first in some capacity. From a fluff perspective this feels natural. From a gameplay perspective though I think an Ork Nob charging with 4 or more powerfist attacks is going to get frustrating. Oh, or when I bayonet charge with however many guardsmen I can bring to the table. That’ll be 100 or more attacks before you get to do a thing. One thing that could make this more balanced is definitely overwatch although we haven’t heard much about how overwatch will be represented in the game. I’m concerned because I haven’t heard it mentioned in particular and I think that was a good way to balance shooting units that are awful in close combat. At least they got to do something before being torn apart. If we’re trying to find the line between game balance and fun it’s always nice to actually be able to do something in your opponents turn instead of just watching as they cut through your army. If Games Workshop doesn’t take that into account, welcome to 40k Lite, Assault Edition.

Templates

Alright we got through those first two, now let’s talk about templates. I’ve been cautiously optimistic so far but this one hurt for me. A big part of Warhammer 40k is firing my big guns and doing big blasts that hit multiple units or using flamers to punish enemies who get too close. From a gameplay perspective though templates add a layer of tactical positioning. They keep opponents from clustering models, whether that’s right at the edge of their shooting range or nearly base to base to brace for a charge. Many times I’ve seen players spread their units to max out 2″ just to get charged and not be able to strike with all their models in combat. Players who try to get the most out of their units by clustering up have to risk getting pounded by artillery or other blast weapons. Templates add a level of risk/reward as well as a level of randomness which I think is exactly what a game needs. If artillery and blast weapons just turn into D6 wounds or other random amounts that just feels like firing a blunderbuss, not shooting my big artillery guns.

Now on the other side, the way 7th had handled blasts was definitely not great. Players rarely agreed on how many models were covered and the scatter direction was almost impossible to align exactly right. That’s fine in normal play with friends but I’ve definitely seen it cause conflict in tournaments. Maybe the lack of templates will help speed up the game just by limiting conflicts?

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