Friday, September 7, 2012

40k FAQs - Its a Rules Lockdown!

Just one week after NOVA and GW has decided to release a fairly major overhaul to their core rules. As a NOVA staffer I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I didn't have to ramp up on new FAQs in the wee hours prior to the start of NOVA. On the other hand, these FAQs actually answer a lot of questions and put paid to some of the gamier "tactics" that I saw at NOVA. Nonetheless, the updates are in and I figured I would post just a few thoughts on impacts to my favorite armies.

Look Out Sir - By requiring you to assign wounds to the model closest to the character who passed the LOS roll, GW designers have effectively nixed the wound allocation nonsense that has been so prevalent in nearly every game I have seen. This coupled with the change in status for Paladins (characters no longer) and Nobz (characters only when leading another group) will speed up gameplay immensely and frankly make for a more enjoyable experience (at least for me). When I first read the 6e rulebook, one of the changes I proposed for NOVA was requiring the removal of whole models from LOS rolls where possible to avoid this scenario. I think GW's solution is much more elegant than that I am quite happy with the new deal.

Leman Russ Tanks - Wow, major update to these guys. The Lumbering Behemoth rule is no more and Russes are officially classified as Heavy vehicles. The major downside is that they can move no more than 6" per turn and no Flat Out move. However, they always count as stationary when firing their weapons. The real loser in all of this is the base Leman Russ battle tank (LRBT), when firing Ordnance battle cannon reduces all other weapons to Snap Shots regardless if the vehicle moved or not. Probably not a big deal to most guard players as the base LRBT with heavy flamer is still a great option as a backup tank. The real winners here are the Exterminator, Executioner, and Punisher. I am going to ignore the Punisher as its just not something I run - if you love it feel free to post in the comments.

The Executioner fully stocked with plasma cannons however becomes an awesome mobile AP2 nightmare. I know that the plasma cannons will generate 2 overheats over the course of a six turn game but that is a risk I am willing to take. The Exterminator is a ridiculous generator of fire - heavy bolter sponsons and hull mount with a heavy stubber thrown in for good measure is a move and fire tank that puts down sixteen shots per turn - it should be called the Dakkanator! Honestly not a bad choice to throw at a lightly armed flyer if you don't have anything else to shoot at.

Disruption Pods and Target Locks - These last two are somewhat minor but Tau still hold a special place in my heart so I found them worth measuring. Unless I am missing something, a D-Pod Devilfish that moves now has a 3+ cover save from anything firing outside of 12". The Tau FAQ states that D-pods now give Shrouding, which increases any cover save by 2 points and as skimmers, Tau get a 5+ Jink cove save just for moving. By my math, that adds up to a 3+ save for just adding a 5 point upgrade to a Tau vehicle. A D-poded piranha can move flat-out (total move 30"), get a 2+ cover save, and still be able to launch seeker missiles (by virtue of markerlights).

Target locks were removed from the Infantry Armory but are back now. Always helpful to have on a broadside team and can even be useful for a markerlight equipped Shas'Ui in a firewarrior squad to be able to light up another target.

I know there is a lot more across all the codicies and main rulebook to note. These were just a few that I found interesting. Feel free to comment below on some of your favorite (or otherwise) rules updates.

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 NOVA Open

Whew, NOVA 2012 is over and there is nothing left except picking up the pieces. Sounds like our attendees had a great time. Certainly everyone who gamed had a great time! The hotel was fabulous as always and the staff seemed to think we were genuinely well behaved. Hope everyone enjoyed the extraneous and additional vendor action - we did a LOT more stuff this year: we sold some digital art, we had a cash raffle, we had a silent auction, we sold meal deals, and we sold lots of NOVA-branded gear (T-shirts, bases, mouse pads, bumper stickers, etc.).

IIRC the NOVA store will continue selling gear long after the convention closes so check back in case you missed a chance to grab some goodies. Mo' money and all that jazz...

Recovery always takes a few days for me. Good thing we have Labor Day this year. Today was essentially spent on the couch, passed out in front of the AMC Clint Eastwood marathon. Made one run out to the local Indian place for a lunch buffet then back to my recumbent status.

A big thanks to all the 40k judges who supported the event. You guys rocked like nobodies business and were really the unspoken heroes of the main event. We literally couldn't have pulled off the NOVA Open Grand Tournament without you. Keeping it real with almost two hundred (200) players is no mean feat and you studs pulled it off graciously and with aplomb!

Speaking of heroes, I couldn't help but be impressed by the immense effort put forward specifically by staffers to create those amazing monuments. In addition to the madness of the scheduled builds and the insanity of 1 million terrain pieces, NOVA folks ripped out some killer monuments. I have to give a shout out to Sam for her amazing wiring and feats of electrical engineering. All of the lighting effects were due to her diligent and tireless efforts to make sure that the 40k Narrative was represented by the best and the brightest of our terrain efforts.

My amazing wife Kelli  took a ton of great photos. Here is a link to the album and below is a slideshow:

I also posted a few Infinity specific pics over here: