Friday, March 31, 2017

More SW: Armageddon leaks! Tau, Eldar, and Dark Eldar!

As many people have been noticing, SW: Armageddon seems to be a serious return to the days of 2nd edition. Whether that's good or bad depends a lot of the gamer but if this IS a lead in to how 40k 8th Edition plays I can see how different point tiers like what we see in Age of Sigmar becoming an important distinction for games. If you take a look at the leaks that hit the web today for Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Tau, there will be lots of modifiers to standard dice rolls, and with those kinds of time consuming calculations in play a 1,000 point game could take 4 hours potentially. Keep in mind this is ALL speculation but if this is the sneak peek at 8th Edition a lot of us expect it is, the way we play will change significantly. Codex bloat will wither away but modifier stalling while playing will create longer games yet those games will have more tactical depth as you play the battle field for those modifier advantages.

Here are a few examples but be sure to click the links for all the images:

They sure look like the kinds of warscrolls we might see for 40k, don't they?

Thanks to the website La Voz de Horus for spreading these scans around

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Catching up on comics: Death of X #1-4 review

Mutants. Inhumans. These two groups have had an increasing presence in comics and other media the last decade. The X-Men have staring in movies since 2000, and have had representation on the small screen in assorted cartoons since the early 90's (and one made for TV movie in 1996 focusing on Generation X that I loved). The Inhumans, who have recently appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will soon appear in their own live action television show and upcoming movie in 2019.

In the current Marvel comics timeline, these two groups are at war! After the destruction of a Terrigen Bomb by Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, two separate clouds have been drifting randomly over the Earth. Much like the original Terrigen Mists, the Terrigen Clouds grant anyone with dormant Inhuman genes fantastic new powers. It is discovered not long after that the Terrigen Clouds are poisonous to mutants, not just causing a terrible disease called "m-pox" but also neutralizing the x-gene in humans which would effectively destroy the mutant population in a generation. Because of their need to destroy the Terrigen Clouds, the mutants of the Marvel universe are fighting the Inhumans so that the clouds can be destroyed and future mutantkind preserved. The Inhumans, who rely on the cloud in order to produce more Inhumans, are fighting to save it. This conflict culminates in Inhumans vs. X-men, a seven issue mini series that should wrap up in April.

As a precursor to that, a four issue mini-series dealing with the death of a prominent mutant character and the beginings of the Inhuman/X-man conflict came out entitled Death of X. Today, I'm going to discuss what happened.

In issue one, a squad of X-men fly to Muir Island in response to a distress call sent out from a mutant research facility. The green fog of the Terrigen Cloud has already enveloped the island. Meanwhile, at nearby Matsumoto, Japan, a group of Inhumans are flying above the populace in expectance of the Nu-humans the cloud is about to create. Back on the X-men side of things, they arrive to find that the the entire facility has died while collecting data on the Terrigen Cloud, which is revealed to be the source of the calamity. Cyclops himself passes out from exposure though he soon recovers. Back with the Inhumans, the group comes under attack from Hydra while trying to secure a Nu-human cocoon. During the struggle, the Nu-human "hatches" and reveals he has the ability to cause all non-Inhumans in a rather large radius to fall comatose, unhurt. Cyclops decides as a result of the new information about the Terrigen Cloud, it is time for mutants to go on the offensive and "take care of their own." Crystal, leader of the Inhuman group, states the same thing in response to the Hydra threat. That sets up a dramatic final page where both leaders state their intentions to protect their species.

The writing in the book does an amazing job of keeping a steady pace throughout the four issues. This book existed as a flashback to explain exactly how Cyclops was killed leading up to Inhumans vs. X-men, and white it does provide details and an interesting story, I feel the death of Cyclops from "m-pox" is somehow hollow. It doesn't have the same impact as those who died from the Legacy Virus in the 90's, for instance. It's so quick that there feels to be almost no meaning at all. The same statement applies to his apparent suicide.

As much as I disliked Cyclops in recent years I do feel he deserved something a little more substantial around his demise. What did you guys think of the series? If you haven't read it, despite my spoilers you should seriously check it out. It's a pretty pivotal moment in current Marvel comics stories so it would do you some good to have an idea of what is what. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

In issue two, Storm arrives to New Attilan to deliver the news that the Terrigen Cloud can kill mutants and to gauge Medusa's (Queen of the Inhumans) reaction. Medusa immediately moves to begin protecting mutants in the path of the cloud which satisfies Storm's worry on if the cloud was an intentional attack or not. As Storm begins to leave to help with the Inhuman led mutant evacuation, Cyclops sends a planet wide psychic declaration through Emma Frost that the Terrigen Cloud is lethal to mutants and possibly humans as well. He says that the X-men will strive to protect everyone from the Inhumans and their "weapon". During the projection, the Stepford Sisters see something in Emma Frost's mind but are sworn to secrecy concerning it. The Inhumans head to Madrid, Spain in an effort to divert the cloud and receive some timely support from Storm. Though the crisis with the cloud has passed, a riot in Madrid threatens the lives of all present and the Inhumans and a few X-men led by Storm try to neutralize the rioting. Cyclops and Frost leave for Madrid to confront the Inhumans. Meanwhile, the Nu-human named Downer uses his powers to stop the riot after the Inhumans weigh the consequences of catching the X-men up in the area of effect. The move works, however, and the riot is stopped.

In issue three, Emma Frost is explaining the situation to Magneto by boiling down the Terrigen Cloud into an increase in Inhuman numbers with an equal decrease in mutant numbers. Thanks to a remote viewing of the Madrid riot, she also spins the activity of Downer to stop the riot as a serious threat to mutants since Storm's team was easily dispatched as an afterthought. Just as Storm's team wakes up and Crystal's Inhumans are explaining their actions, Illyana teleports in and kidnaps Downer. Magneto appears immediately afterwards and attacks both groups in an effort to stall them while Cyclops's group begins a plan to attack the Terrigen Cloud with the help of a mutant named Alchemy.

In the midst of the fighting between Storm and Crystal's respective groups, they notice exactly what Cyclops is trying to do. Crystal gets an emergency call out to Medusa to bring her up to speed on the situation and to ask for aid. Medusa appears near where Cyclops and his followers are standing, showing up with Lockjaw, Black Bolt, and others. The attack on the cloud is momentarily stopped by the Inhumans and they discuss their next move. Unfortunately, a new assault on the Terrigen Cloud beings and Medusa's Inhumans are forced to act, though their response arrives too late. As they close in on Cyclops' group, the cloud has already been turned red and Alchemy reveals that he succeeded in neutralizing the Terrigen in the cloud. His actions come at a cost as by doing so he is infected with "m-pox" and quickly dies. As both mutants and Inhumans come to grips with what this new turn could mean, Cyclops confronts Medusa and Black Bolt. Medusa quickly points out that the distruction of the sacred Terrigen mists have made mutants the enemies of the Inhumans forever. Cyclops gives a monologue about his actions and what this will mean for the mutant people and just as he is about to attack Black Bolt with an optic blast, Black Bolt whispers, sending a deadly shockwave that instantly flays Cyclops to pieces.

The issue skips ahead to a week later where Storm is giving a eulogy at Cyclops' funeral. Off to the side, Emma Frost and Cyclops' brother Havoc are discussing the aftermath. Storm as fashioned an uneasy peace with the Inhumans where each group will "live and let live" for now. Havoc confronts Frost about the nature of Cyclops' death, feeling that "death by Black Bolt" doesn't make sense. This causes Emma Frost to reveal the Havoc, and the readers, that it was his initial encounter with the Terrigen Cloud that actually killed Cyclops. The following events transpired by Emma Frost projection an image of Cyclops into the mind of everyone (except the Stepford Sisters) to make everyone think he was alive. The resulting attack on Black Bolt was done so that Cyclops could be come an ideal and a martyr.

Shadow Wars: Armageddon rules leaks

For those of you who are interested in seeing what this different version of Necromunda might hold for you before you buy it, imgur user Aracersxx has posted four scans. It appears to be a rather simplified rules set like Age of Sigmar. The one downside I see so far is that (in these few pages) they only have Ork and Marine type weapons, excluding any of the other races GW said will be playable. In other words, expect another book for Shadow Wars in the near future.

As has been discussed amongst my local gamer group, pay attention to these rules as they could be the precursor to what 8th edition 40k holds in store for us.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The giant, my comp has been in the shop and the floodgates opened, catch up post.

Holy cow! I'm out of commission for two weeks and Games Workshop goes and opens up like they're Willy Wonka and we have golden tickets!

First off, two new games have been announced: Shadow Wars: Armageddon (the Kill Team version of Neromunda) which goes on pre-order this weekend...

and then they game some love to their fantasy range with Warhammer Underworld: Shadespire (seemingly a more armies involved version of Gorechosen)

you can read more about it here.

I don't have any interest in Shadespire and not much more in Armageddon (I wanted Necromunda as was) but the Armageddon set has some interesting new terrain in it and they have already discussed the other races you'll be able to play besides the starter set of Scout Marines and Orks here. The rules for Armageddon will be playing a part in an upcoming Narrative Campaign a group of likeminded gamers are concocting for when 8th edition drops and I'll be making a separate blog about that soon.

For 40k itself, the Talons of the Emperor box set came out. It has a unit of Custodes, a unit of Sisters of Silence, a variant Land Raider, a variant Rhino, and a Custodes Dreadnought, plus two codexes for a steal at $160. Seems like they will be out and about the universe now that Guilliman has kicked them out of the Imperial Palace on Terra. Also, a plastic Thunderhawk is soon to be released and tons of people will be grabbing one.

On the Age of Sigma side of things an entire race has been added to the game: Kharadron Overlords! They are steampunk sky dwarfs, buzzing around in zeppelins and the like. I know quite a few people that are interested in this army and are already waiting for pre-orders, which will hit the GW website this weekend when the new White Dwarf comes out.

Also, Games Workshop is getting into the apparel business with a new webstore: Warhammer Wargear! The selection is a little limited right now since they just opened up but I am looking forward to seeing what they have down the line for Eldar clothing.

Did I miss anything you felt needed mentioning? Feel free to leave a comment and it may get turned into a topic for an upcoming blog post!

The second Spider-man: Homecoming trailer has arrived!

Well I'm just as ecstatic as I was when I saw the first trailer and when I saw his appearance in Civil War! What do you folks think?

Friday, March 10, 2017

New 40k army confirmed

It has been an avalanche of new news today. Early this morning Bell of Lost Souls posted a lengthy rumor from 75Hastings69, someone they vetted as a reliable source:

“I wouldn’t be expecting too much in the way of releases for existing chapters from this point going forwards, not that there won’t be ‘some’, expect the focus to shift onto GW pumping out RGs new armies and weapons of destruction for the upcoming storylines/advances/crusade mk2 (who knows there might even be a new starter box on the not too far horizon ) 
Without trying to sound like a dick I’ve known for almost 9 months where this story was going and who revived RG etc. if the rest of what I was told is true (new marines, Mortarion and his plague armies etc.) then there are truly some very exciting times coming for 40k players/hobbyists! 
…Imagine how the sigmarines are to the standard empire soldier. Wouldn’t it be a weird twist of fate if AoS copy pasted space marines into the fantasy setting as Sigmar’s answer to chaos always winning, that somehow w40k kind of copy pasted the end times and reboot of fantasy AoS into 40k with the same fundamental idea….. hence new marines will spearhead offensive for the emperor following on from current w40k fluff events/outcome.
…New marines will make old marines seem like empire now seem to sigmarines …… if that makes sense? 
…I’m not suggesting anything gets squatted. I said clearly focus will be on new marines rather than existing chapters, but existing chapters will still get releases.
I don’t get it, people are happy they’re moving the story/timeline on but don’t want anything to change, they want just their chapter to get new toys yet complain SM have too much, 40k players should think themselves lucky that they didn’t get the same treatment that WFB fans did with the destruction of the setting and large parts of models/armies. What’s the point of the hobby for Bret or tomb kings players?
I see new marines as a chance to have the best of both worlds, SM originals don’t get endless variants and units but are still in the fight, new marines are like a new army to build up from scratch pretty much, I’m sure they’d happily ally so don’t really see what the problem is. 
…The answer to that is simply I don’t know. I was told they new marines are different to current marines, I imagine (at least fluff wise) they SHOULD be their own army, however that’s not to say they wont also be added to existing chapters as a choice somehow, in fact from a sales point of view it would probably be better to offer them to existing marine players as something new they can buy. I really doubt the iconic space marine kit will be retired so I wouldn’t worry too much about them becoming outdated. I guess fluffwise it would be no different than older armour classes still being around in 40k, sure the new marines would be out there, but a lot of existing marines are still out there too.”

No sooner than that, the following image hit the internet:

In the new Talons of the Emperor box we obviously gain a Custodes dreadnought, rhino, land raider, a unit of Custodes, and a unit of Sisters of Silence. Below is the Warhammer Community page's write up of this:
Talons of the Emperor in the 41st MillenniumClad in baroque, golden artificer armour and armed with priceless relic weaponry, the Talons of the Emperor are joining the battlefields of the 41st Millennium.
Rules for using the elite Adeptus Custodes, Sisters of Silence, their vehicles and two brand new detachments (one each) in your games of Warhammer 40,000 will be available very soon, both in this box set and as separate digital downloads.
The personal bodyguards of the Emperor himself have come to quell the Gathering Storm; this is your chance to lead them into battle.
And then right after THAT, this was momentarily viewable on the Black Library page:

So, there you have it! The Custodes are coming to join the war in the 41st millennium. It would seem that when Roboute Guilliman gets to Terra he sees the Custodes as a wasted resource in their seclusion on Terra and have given them the boot out of the Imperial Palace. Are you excited to see these highly skilled titans joining the war?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Fallen, Guilliman, and more pages from GSIII

More leaked images have begun to float around the internet and it will undoubtedly continue as the weekend release of Gathering Storm III approaches. Yesterday, the page from GSIII showing Guilliman's points and stats hit the internet along with a data sheet out of the Imperial Triumvirate box from tarar2d2:

A lot of moaning has already hit the internet and fallen into 2 camps: either Guilliman is too powerful for his points and will wreck the game or he is worthless because he can't join units and will quickly get ganked. My two cents, based on his performance on the Warhammer Twitch battle on 3/3 is that he will wreck face and is the perfect representation of a Primarch on the tabletop. Except for his 6" movement. Honestly, they should have given him a move of 12 as the guy is genetically modified to be all spider monkey fast but it's a small gripe. Trust me, he works like he should. Some people just aren't going to like that.

Now on to the extra stuff that is coming out. Now, a couple scans of the rules for The Fallen (the Dark Angels that sided with Luther during the Horus Heresy) have hit the internet. Pretty interesting, I'd say:

The image comes from blogger La Voz de Horus and he goes on to explain the rules for them. Since you may not be able to read Spanish, or care to Google Translate the info they load out similarly to the typical tactical squad, adding 5 more marines, access to combi weapons, heavy weapons, and what not. The blogger doesn't seem to know if The Fallen get access to rhinos or drop pods, so I'm not entirely sure if they will get them if it isn't stated on the data sheet. Feel free to check out the original post here.
Now, the potential for major spoilers lies below. Bell of Lost Souls posted all of these on Imgur, and while they are almost all fluff one page does describe the Fallen Angels formation rules and a scenario.

I'll let you check out the rest here. To be honest, a quick scan of the pages didn't reveal the specifics of how Guilliman is restored or what happens when he gets to Terra but it is revealed that he faces not only Skarbrand but Magnus as well. Presumably he comes out on top of these two encounters because he DOES make it to Terra.

Are you still excited about what Gathering Storm III will reveal this weekend?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The cost of the Primarch has been revealed!

I feel like he is a bit under-costed but at least he is ripe for South Park Lock Ness monster quotes. He is still a Lord of War and will be stuck out in the open all by his self, so there are ways to combat him. Space Marine players are going to have a TON of fun with him, though.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Logan movie review

As the credits rolled at the end of the movie and Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around started playing I took stock of the two hour and fifteen minutes of ending I had just viewed, I mentally shrugged and thought "Eh." Now that may not sound like much, I get it, but further explanation may make it seem more positive than it seems.

Logan is the final chapter of Hugh Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine, and recently discovered it will also be the final time Patrick Stewart will play Charles Xavier. This movie serves as a very dark, troubled ending for these two characters. Both of them have made it to this point in their lives with tragedy haunting their steps on top of the fact that the mutants are dying out. There haven't been any new mutants born in 25 years and there are few that remain. More on that in the spoilers.

This movie delivers on the premise that a rated R Wolverine film will show you a lot of death. That's why I bought a ticket. Ever since I saw him running around in X-Men 2 I knew that Wolverine is one of those characters that exists in his full form beyond a PG-13 rating. In that regard, the film is a success. People die. Horribly. You get to see an old, in pain, killer do "What He Does Best" in multiple scenes. You get to see what he would have looked like in his prime going full Wolvie-berserker style." You get to see what a child with claws and insoluble rage do to people who want to attack her. And you get your fill of it. It is satisfying.

The story, not that much. It's a decent story but I don't feel like anything really hit me as emotionally consequential. There are moments of pain, regret, humor, and quick glimpses of happiness but it really feels like it is just a driving force of moments towards the finale of the movie.

Overall, the movie is worth watching. Let's be honest, a shrug and an "eh" are a sight beyond the shattered dreams of all the X movies that have come before. Every other movie has a small group of amazing scenes interspersed amongst two plus hours of crap. Logan isn't that. It never has a bad scene. It has some awesome action pieces. But the scattering of moments that are supposed to be meaningful just don't grab at you. And I REALLY wish they did. I wanted this movie to be cathartic at the end. The best version of what this movie could have been was Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood. That's the kind of send off I wanted from Logan. I wanted to close the book, so to speak, and be satisfied. I just wasn't. Hopefully you may have a different experience.


Ok, you shouldn't be looking if you don't want to know things. So here we go. Some of the things that were missed opportunities were the hinted at moments of the past that got the characters into such a broken state. Charles is succumbing to dementia or some other type of neurological degeneration, causing massively potent seizures where as many as 400 people are forcefully frozen in place and suffocated. He takes pills and injections to keep him mentally subdued lest he have a grand mal seizure and kill people or he dies from the strain. A couple of mentions are given to an event "a year ago in Westchester" but we don't know what happened. Did he kill the X-Men? Did students die? No idea.

Logan is another unanswered question. Hints are given to a specific incident where he did something terrible but nothing is revealed. Again, did he kill the X-men like in the Old Man Logan storyline? He is also dying but has no idea why other than to venture a guess that it could be the adamantium in his body finally poisoning him. He has no real idea and doesn't seem to care, either. Kinda weak sauce, if you ask me. He want's to die, that seems apparent, but with an explanation that is just as sensible as Padme dying of a broken heart there doesn't seem to be much oomph behind his decline.

And where are all the mutants you ask? Why have there not been more in 25 years? Was it the final push of sentinels that rounded them up? The Legacy Virus? The Terrigen Mists? No, the worst villain ever to confront mutants: GMOs. I shit you not. GMOs are used to basically negate the x-gene in the worldwide populace. The future of human evolution is halted by going organic and gluten free. What. The. Hell? That just makes me sad. No mention of what happened to the X-Men themselves is never revealed, though again hints that they all met violent ends are peppered into the story of Logan.

Charles Xavier dies in the film by being stabbed in the chest by a cloned version of Wolverine. Read that again for confirmation. There is a scene in the film where it is revealed the children are created from genetic material from mutants to create a personal army. In the reveal the children are considered a failure and another plan where they create the ultimate weapon without any soul or remorse is going to be the ultimate culmination of their research. There are separate body parts in bubbling water tanks and schematics. I was reminded of this:

But it was just a younger version of Logan. There are several scenes where the old and the new fight each other, and even X-23 ties into the fight too. But it reminded me of this:

Was Omega Red busy? There had to be a better option. Anyway, other than the initial shock of Professor X dying I didn't feel much about his death. The parts of the film that dealt with his invalidity meant much more too me, to be honest. The scene where Logan buries him is touching, but could have been much further developed than what it was. Logan's death at the hands of his evil doppelganger. His compromised immune system finally succumbs to the catastrophic damage he has taken and he dies. X-23 does have a touching moment by his grave where she quotes a poignant line from Shane (a western I'm sure most people have never seen but you should check it out) but that's about it. She and the rest of the escaped children then leave to Canada though we have no idea if the safe haven they are searching for actually exists.

Then the screen goes dark.

Sure, I admit these may be nitpicky complaints or observations but they are the things that stuck out to me that made me want more. Like I said above, the movie didn't disappoint me it just didn't offer me enough to tie a nice ribbon on Jackman and Stewart's involvement in the series.

Screen grabs on Roboute Guilliman's stats!

As you can see, Roboute (pronounced Row -bo- wtuh- A) is a monstrous creature (character). His stats are sixes across the board (I imagine his WS is highter). He has a 2+/3++, and if he manages to be slain he can return on a 4+ with d3 wounds. Presumably he can do this continuously thanks to the armor and you can read the rest of his armor's info below.

The gun stats in the top of this image apply to the gun attached to his gauntlet. 24", S6. AP2, Assault 3, rending is pretty sweet.
What little bit we can see on the Sword of the Emperor is nice. Strength 10, AP1, Melee, Armorbane, Concussion, Soul Blaze, Touch of the Emperor, Whirling Flame. They said that he can hit at x2 strength and the sword can be a d weapon. Pretty gnarly.

Make sure to check out the Twitch channel to watch Roboute Guilliman fight against the forces of Chaos!