Friday, June 25, 2010

Army List Part 5: My Favorite List In the Game

I like my Loganwing list alot. Like, a lot a lot. But this list is my favorite. It's from a codex I don't own, a race I've never played, and really is just something I have no experience with at all. Despite all that, it still just feels right to me. Without further ado:

I am Legion, for we are Tyranids:
Tervigon - Adrenal Glands/Toxin Sacs

2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard

10 Termagaunts
10 Termagaunts
Tervigon - Adrenal Glands/Toxin Sacs/Onslaught
Tervigon - Adrenal Glands/Toxin Sacs/Onslaught

Tyrranofex - Rupture Cannon
Tyrranofex - Rupture Cannon

Just. So. Perfect.

I don't even know how to play it. I just know that I like it. Best part is, this only comes to 1500 points. I get another* 350 points to play with. I don't know anything about the 'Nids codex**, and I shamelessly stole this list from someone else, so I've no idea what to do with those remaining points. Everyone seems to think Hive Tyrants with Old Adversary and Tyrant Guards are cool. I wonder if I can fit them in 350 points or less. I've no idea what Old Adversary is (something about preferred enemy? I don't know) but if the internet thinks it's cool, then it must be.

Or I wonder how many Trygons I can get in 350 points. They seem pretty cool too. Again, I'm not sure what they do exactly, but from what I understand they're big and scary and have a lot of wounds.

Oh, I know. 350 points worth of Rippers!

I suppose I would have to do some more research on the space bugs if I ever wanted to actually field this list. Figure out what to do with those extra points. Or maybe I'd just play it against 1850 lists as-is. With this core on the table, I wouldn't even care if I lost every game. Just getting to play it would be enough.

The sad truth, however, is that I can't play this list. Not with anything that isn't Xenos scum anyways, and certainly not Custodes. For previously mentioned reasons (unless footnotes are counted last, then for reasons yet to be explained) I pretty much refuse to play with Tyranid models. A lot of them look pretty good... ok, all of them look pretty good, but I still can't bring myself to use them.

Orks might be able to pull off this sort of thing. I could see some relatively believable conversions for most of the modles. Tervigons as weird, Ork-spewing fungus pods? Or something? I dunno, it's a stretch, but not completely out of the question. I still don't want to play Orks either though. Daemons neither, which would be about the only other guys that could do count-as reasonably. Anything with power armor would be tough to justify, and that's really what I would like to have.

Here's a thought. What about this Tyranids list as Adeptus Mechanicus? Hmmm, yes, that just might work. Let's see:

Tervigon: Some sort of techmarine manufactorum***
Termagaunt: Standard techmarine
Hive Guard: HXC Techpriest with mad body mods
Tyranofex: Weapon platform of some sort, dreadnought-type thing perhaps?

I like it. If I had a beard right now I'd be stroking it and looking off into the distance, deep in thought.


Hm, I don't know.
Custodes would be far easier to model, and possibly paint. I would need a lot less Custodes, that's for sure.

27 Custodes, PA and TDA combined.

29 standard techmarines at the least. That being if the Tervigons all roll triple 1's on the first turn. A more realistic number would be somewhere around 80. That is 3.5 spawned per die for 2 turns. Although in a perfect game, where nothing dies, and the dice land perfectly for 6 turns, I would need 290 of them.****

The dreadnought/t-fex are the same. I have a DN design that I really like that I would opt to use either way.

I would have to come up with something really impressive and convincing for the Tervigons. And then make 3 of them. This is starting to sound worse than the Boyz list...

Also, it's easy to show up to a shop with a fully converted Custodes army and say "These are my Space Wolves" and be accepted. To show up with a fully converted Mechanicus army and say they're Tyranids though? That's a completely different story. A lot of people are strongly against count-as armies, especially ones that look completely different than what they're being played as. I don't know the shops around here well enough to know how that would go over. The hope would obviously be that my shit would be so hot that nobody would care what it was representing. Also, I mean really, if someone wants to play Blood Angel models as Tyranids, that's one thing, but why should I be held accountable for GW having not yet made a Mechanicus codex? In all honesty, they would probably play similarly to the current Tyranids codex anyways. Just with tech upgrades instead of biomorphs.

This sort of throws a monkey wrench into things. I'll have to mull this over some and weigh my options. Perhaps get some Vassal games in to see if I even like this list. I don't have any understanding of how to play it, so it's not impossible that I'd hate it.


* - I tend to write like I speak, for better or for worse, and I initially started this sentence with "A whole 'nother" but couldn't figure out how it would be written. I think it would be "A-whole-nother" with the word "whole" being injected into the word "another" for emphasis. Sort of like "Abso-fucking-lutely".

** - Tyranids are a race I pretty much swore I would never play. Back when I started 40k in 2nd edition, a friend of mine played them and we basically had to beg him not to play them so the rest of us could have a chance at winning a game for once. Maybe we all sucked, or maybe they were imba back then, who can say now? The fact remains that they've always put a bad taste in my mouth since those days. On top of that, now that I'm old enough to understand and appreciate the 40k universe a bit more, I find the Tyranids to be utterly terrifying. And to be perfectly honest, it isn't the type of terrifying like "Have you seen The Ring? Man, that movie was scary!" but more like "Can we please not talk about anything non-Euclidian? I finally just stopped having the night terrors."

*** - I was going to put a link to Master Mold here, but apparently the internet contains no decent pictures of him.

**** - Math. Let's do some.
Expected die roll: 3.5
Chance of rolling doubles in 3 dice: 96/216 ~ .444444
Expected Tervigon spawn throughout game:
(3*3.5)+(3*3.5*.555)+(3*3.5*.555^2)+(3*3.5*.555^3)+(3*3.5*.555^4)+(3*3.5*.555^5*.666)+(3*3.5*.555^6*.666*.5) = 22.8 per Tervigon (assuming nothing ever dies)

This is 3 die rolling 3.5 on average and each turn there is a 44.4% chance that they won't be rolling any longer. Also, at turns 6 and 7 there is a 33.3% and 50% chance respectively that the game won't get that far. So, with 3 Tervigons in the list, I can expect to need 68.47 Gaunts, +20 that I start with, so about 89 Gaunts. Awesome. Of course, there's always the chance that they'd spawn more or less, or that I'd only need 39 Gaunts if half of them get killed every turn or that the Tervigons die early, or whatever else.

Just like any statistics, this doesn't mean this is how many I will get every time, but I can say that assuming nothing ever dies (which I know of exactly one game in which that has ever happened) I can expect about 69 Gaunts to be spawned on a per game average.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Whilst Innocently Browsing the Internet

I was looking around the old internets and came across what is probably the best thing I've ever seen.

This is page 8 of the Google Image search for the word "shoryuken", and every result on the page is the same thing. How insane is that?

Army List Part 4: Wishful Thinking

I have mixed feelings for the new Blood Angels codex. It has a lot of pieces that I like, but I really don't think I like it as a whole.

Librarian Dreadnoughts
Magna Grapple
Storm Ravens
Jump Infantry Troops
The psychic powers

I would love to make a Blood Angels list made exclusively of these things. Let's see:

The Sanguinor (because he's awesome)

Furioso Librarian
Furioso Librarian
Furioso Librarian

5 Assault Troops - Meltagun\Infernus Pistol*\Power Weapon
5 Assault Troops - Meltagun\Infernus Pistol*\Power Weapon
5 Assault Troops - Meltagun\Infernus Pistol*\Power Weapon
5 Assault Troops - Meltagun\Infernus Pistol*\Power Weapon

Storm Raven - MM/TLLC/Hurrican Bolters
Storm Raven - MM/TLLC/Hurrican Bolters
Storm Raven - MM/TLLC/Hurrican Bolters

Hm, leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion, and it's probably well over 2000 points. It's sort of cool, maybe, but I don't know if I would like to play it. Storm Ravens are fething sweet, but AV12 is pretty terrible on something as dangerous as they. Sure they get the anti-melta rules, but S10 still basically autopens. That and they're dangerous enough that they'll basically be focus-fired until they're all down. Also, they really don't have any cargo to hold. The dreadnoughts and troops could go in there, I guess. The troops have jump packs so they don't really need the extra mobility, and the dreadnoughts can take Wings which puts them in the same boat. Although, if they can, lance and sword would be the better choice.

I don't know. That's why this one is the wishful thinking list. It's made up of all my favorites parts of the codex, but they don't really add up to as much as I'd like. Maybe if Grey Knights get Storm Ravens and can make decent lists with them, I'll try some. I'm not really seeing it happen until then, though.

Big expensive transports like these have a major problem that I don't like: they do too much. Sure Land Raiders are worth 250 points because they are AV14 all around, can have crazy guns, and can hold a ton of models including ones in terminator armor, but could I maybe have a dumbed down version that doesn't do everything? Maybe an AV14 rhino? Or an AV14 gunboat of some sort? Same thing with Storm Ravens. I'd love to pay half the cost for the same thing minus the transport capability, or minus the hardcore guns, or whatever else. They just do too much stuff, and I don't like it.

It's like the PS3. It does everything! Yeah, but it launched at like $500. I don't need my PS3 to play DVDs, or Blue Rays, or act as a DVR, or whatever. Can I pay like $200 for the version that only plays games? No? Well, guess I'm not getting a PS3 then.

Except that in 40k it's sort of a moot argument because Space Marines with Vendettas and Leman Russes would probably be a bit imba. Still, I can dream.

Also, as much as it pains me to say so, vampires aren't cool anymore. There was a time when an army of space vampires was a pretty sweet idea. The halcyon days of vampires in the media, as it were. The days when hearing about the next upcoming vampire movie meant things like Blade, Underworld, Ultraviolet, Vampires (the one with James Woods), From Dusk Til Dawn, need I continue? Now it just means the next crappy teen/mid-life drama bullshit. Thanks a lot Stephenie Ass-meister.***


* People call them hair dryers, but when I read that all I can think of are the Pretty Marines.**


*** Bitch

Monday, June 21, 2010

More additions to the blogroll

I just added a few more blogs to the roll. These blogs mostly belong to more people who I like to see comments from on other blogs. In no particular order:

Whiskey & 40k
Mike Brandt (aka MVB) among other things, is the man behind the NOVA Open Warhammer tournament. This is sure to be an incredible event, and if it were a little closer to home (and if I were anything remotely resembling prepared) I might be attending. He's another guy I always like reading in the comments section, but I never realized he had his own blog. I suppose it would make sense, I just never really thought of it until I saw this article linked to from another site. It's among the most relevant 40k articles out there.

40k For the New Professional
This is one I found under recommendation from Dethtron. I think they may know each other irlz. The blog spends a lot of time relating 40k to other Business-related things and contains a lot of interesting life skills as related to 40k. Also, while fairly subtle, the awesome sense of humor that Dethtron spoke of is there in spades. Definitely my kind of thing.

3++ Is the New Black
Written by Kirby, this is a blog I've been aware of for a little while and have heard many good things about, but just haven't yet taken the time to really check it out. Well, I have finally gotten around to it, and so now it's on the roll.

Mind War FTW
Pretty much the same as 3++ as far as I finally got around to checking it out so I've deemed it worthy of the roll. The_King_Elessar runs this one and he's got some great stuff as well.

That's all the new additions for now. I fear that before long I'll have too many blogs on my roll to be displayed properly. Oh well. I guess I can always make it bigger.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Army List 3: Rubbish and Novelty

I've decided to split my currently remaining lists into separate posts to help keep my posts shorter*.

In this edition, I have two armies that I really like but that I won't ever play. I just think they are fun/neat/whatever. Due to that, they aren't really finished, nor are they actual lists. Just ideas, sort of.

First up:
Novelty - ORK HORDE!!!


30 Boyz
30 Boyz
30 Boyz
30 Boyz
30 Boyz
30 Boyz



Awwww yeah. I've no idea how many points that is nor do I know anything about the Ork codex (other than it is totally hilarious and awesome) but getting to put 180 models on the table is just made of win. I'm pretty sure I can fit like 50 more into the other FOC slots, but I don't know their codex so I'm not sure. The obvious point of the list is to cram as many bodies in as possible. Mostly for teh lulz.

I would never play this list. First of all, as much fun as their fluff is anymore, I still just don't like Orks that much. And who has time to make 180 models? With Ork pricing, that's still probably under 1000 points. Nuts to that. This is just something I think is fun. Also worth noting is that even knowing they are actually Orks, playing against 180 power armored models would be incredibly intimidating.


Ok, well maybe not a horde, or an actual list, but still Grey Knights.

The Grey Knights have some of the best fluff around. Nathaniel Garro is my hero and I don't care what Amazon says, this is the best book in series. (though to be fair, I've only read the first 8 or 9)

Outside of fluff, though, GK are units that I really like. Storm bolters, True Grit-SB, nemesis weapons. All things that make me very happy. Psycannons! Oh man, love these things. Seriously. Even after they FAQd them against cover saves, still <3 psycannons. 25 points a model though? No thank you. Or, well, maybe.

Ok, here's the thing about GK cost: they are super cheap for what you get. GK troops are incredibly powerful and worth every point. Assault2, 2attacks, S6, WS5, Shrouding, Aegis Armor, for 25 points? It's crazy. I realized this a while back when I was playing with Loganwing and discovered that a PAWG with storm bolter and frost blade is WAY more expensive than a Grey Knight and isn't even half as good. (1 less WS and S, and no Shrouding or Aegis) So, sure they're expensive, but for what you get they really aren't bad.

No, the thing that makes GK so poor is their options; or lack thereof. Where that PAWG can get a cheap transport and pay 27 points to trade his FB and SB for TDA and 2 krak missiles, the GK gets.... nothing? Well, they can get 2 psycannons and gain 6 S6 invul-save ignoring shots (for 50 points extra), but they have to lose their S6/2A abilities in close combat to get those, and then they still can't really do anything against armor.

Which is actually their other main problem, GK have pretty much no options for anti-armor. Sure, they have options, but they all suck or are lame. All their lascannons are overpriced (GKDreadnought, Land Raider, etc), their autocannons are lame (inducted guard platoon), and their melta is lame too (Inquisitorial Storm Troopers). Ok, so their melta and autocannons are actually pretty good, but they are still totally lame. I don't want to take IG platoons, I want to take Grey Knights damnit! Also, ISTs are quite effective at what they do, but at the end of the day they're suicide squads that take up Troop slots. In an army where I'm relying on my troops to do, well, just about everything, I don't really like throwing away bodies.

GK definitely need a new codex for me to actually field them. Fortunately, they're getting one! I'll have to wait and see how it turns out, but current rumors include:

Rending in CC for all GK (!!!)
Cheaper/better psycannons (!!!)
Storm Ravens (!!!)

These things are all really awesome in my opinion, and definitely will help to make them better. The unfortunate news, however, is that there is currently (from what I understand) no plans to give them cheap transports. Sigh. As much as I hate the Rhino chasis and love foot armies, GK are just not something you can play on foot. Sure they're more resilient than most marines with Shrouding and Aegis, but they cost way too much per model to have them on foot. Three GKs do not significantly outlive five tactical marines, but they cost just the same. In the new codex (from what I hear) their only options will be land raiders and storm ravens. Both awesome vehicles, but also both around 265 points. Land Raiders might be taken as dedicated transports instead of heavy support, like Black Templars are now. Whoop de doo, they still cost too many points.

So until their new codex (and possibly even after that) the GK will remain rubbish and so I shall not be playing them. Here's a list I cooked up for fun anyways though:

3GKT retinue - 3THSS/Holocaust

10 Grey Knights - 2Psycannon/Targeter
10 Grey Knights - 2Psycannon/Targeter
10 Grey Knights - 2Psycannon/Targeter
10 Grey Knights - 2Psycannon/Targeter
10 Grey Knights - 2Psycannon/Targeter

Crap list fo sho, but almost as fun as the Boyz. All on foot, obviously. 50 GK bodies, 30 psycannon shots and 80 storm bolter shots per turn. Fun times. Until they face anything with an armor value higher than 12. They sure would murder infantry though. Footdar, watch out!


* HAH! That's a laugh. I should change the name of this to WallOText40k.blogspot, or perhaps TextCrit40k.blogspot. Yes, I rather like that one.

Army List 2: BIKES!!

For my second list, I wanted something to represent an army of Custodes Jetbikes. No one will deny the awesomeness of jetbikes in the 40th millennium (they apparently don't exist anymore in the 41st), and I've seen some pretty attractive* conversions. Naturally, I wanted to get in on this.

I originally played around with the idea of sticking with the SW love and doing a Thunderwolf Cavalry list. From first glimpse, I loved TWC. They're cavalry, 2 wounds, T5 (not T4(5)), S5, they get like a dozen attacks on the charge, and have rending. Yeah, these guys are bad as hell. That being said, I ultimately decided against making my jetbikes list count as TWC.

The main reasons being:
1) Modeling cavalry as bikes is tricksy
2) I don't like the lists
3) I can't bring enough of them

I feel like modeling cavalry as units of another type is kind of sneaky. Obviously I would explain to anyone up front that these models are actually Cavalry and not Bikes, but I can't honestly expect them to remember 100% of the time. There aren't many things in which it would make a difference, but it might be just enough to cause some hate, and ultimately I'm in it for the fun so I'd like to avoid that wherever possible.

I have not yet seen a TWC list of my own or anyone else's construction that I actually like. I can't really get a feel for how they should be played, and so any lists I make don't feel right and any lists I see from other people contain too much stuff I don't want. How do you even build a list focused on these guys? I put in the TWC (in configurations: 3x5, 2x5, or 3x3) and a TWM-HQ, but after that everything goes to shit. I need transport-death, so... Long Fangs? Riflemen? And what about troops? No matter what I do, they never seem like more than an afterthought. Putting min GH squads in Razorbacks with las/plas or TLLCs seem like a good idea, but being the only armor and the only S9 on my side of the board means they go down fast. Also, rhino chassis, how I loathe thee.
I think the problem is that they are a super unit, but they aren't really that super. They need lots of support to be effective. Way more support than can fit into 1850-TWC points. Either that, or only take a small number of TWC as the assault element in an otherwise balanced list. But that's lame. My instinct says that 3x3 is the sweet spot for TWC configuration, but I still can't wrap my head around an effective list.

Which brings me to my final point, I don't want a normal army with a few jetbikes, I want a Custodes Jetbikes army. At most, I can fit 16 into an army using TWC; 15 in the Fast slots, and 1 in HQ. I could fit more into the HQ slots if I wanted to, but it gets very pricey and wouldn't really be worth it. Also, I could take Iron Priests on TWMs in the Elite slots as well, giving me 3 more but again I don't think it would be worth the cost. It just isn't possible to run enough TWC to sate my hunger for jetbikes.

For that reason, I decided to base my jetbikes list on a Space Marines Bikes army. Again, I've got 2 variants.

Variant 1: Siegebikes
Space Marine Captain - Bike/Artificer/Relic Blade

5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Flamers/AttackBike Heavy Bolter
5xBikes - 2 Flamers/AttackBike Heavy Bolter

Vindicator - Dozer Blade
Vindicator - Dozer Blade
Vindicator - Dozer Blade

2xLand Speeder Typhoon
2xLand Speeder Typhoon

This variant I built myself and it's pretty cool, I guess. It actually only comes to 1785 in points, but I really have no idea what to do with the 65 left over. The 2 squads with flamers and HBs I put in to help with horde clearing, but I'm not sure how I feel about them. I mean, I have 3 Vindicators in the list, how much more help am I going to need with infantry? Also, having a squad with both 36" and template guns just doesn't seem right to me. Especially on a bike list that really needs to not get charged. Perhaps that's somewhere 40 of those extra points might go in fitting those last 2 squads like the rest. Or maybe I'll just make the flamers into meltaguns if I'm really worried about losing those HBs.

I might switch the LSTs with Riflemen, I don't know. Basically they're there for transport and MC hunting, which the Dreadnoughts do just as well. I don't know. While much better than the TWC lists, I still can't quite get the feel for this list like I could with my SW list. Really, I just wanted an excuse to stick 3 Vindicators on the board and this felt like the type of list in which they might actually do pretty well.

Variant 2: Stelek Special Edition
Master of the Forge - Bike/Conversion Beamer
Space Marine Captain - Bike/Artificer/Relic Blade

5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Meltagun/AttackBike Multi-Melta
5xBikes - 2 Flamers/AttackBike Heavy Bolter

Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought

Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought

It comes to 1805 points total, and again the 45 left over have nowhere to go.

As mentioned, Stelek built this one, and and its awesomeness/novelty was not wasted on me. His version was a bit different, being 2500 points (I think, or was it 2000?) and having different configurations in his bike squads, I just bumped it down a few points into the range I wanted. I'm pretty sure I did the wrong thing by removing bikes instead of dreadnoughts, but who cares? There are 6 of them!! Some quick math tells me that's just over 21 autocannon hits per turn. Crazy. Does this list need the HB/flamer squad more or less than the other one? I dunno. If I really can't find anything better to do with those points, it will probably turn into another melta squad, but I really don't know which would be the better choice.

I've seen a few SMBikes lists proposed on the internet and the majority of them don't use min-sized squads. I think this is a poor choice and this is why: an attack bike is superior to 2 normal bikes in every possible way. An attack bike is cheaper, gets the same number of attacks, has better shooting (they get to shoot both their bolter and heavy weapon every turn), and they have wounds instead of being separate models meaning they lose no effectiveness until they take 2 wounds as opposed to being cut in half at 1 wound. Giving them a multi-melta instead of the HB makes the points even and means they get a single less die in the shooting phase. (oh noes!! but wait, they trade that 1 shot for S8AP1 melta, hm...) Thus, my philosophy when approaching the bike list was to fit as many attack bikes into it as possible because, yes, they really are that much better. Just increasing my squad size from 5 to 6 means 1 less squad and 1 less attack bike. Frankly I don't think it's worth it. Ablative wounds, survivability, whatever, I understand the problems 5-man squads face and I am prepared to deal with them.

As a side-note, Techpriests are sweet and if GW ever released a Mechanicum codex I would be all over that shit. Easily on par with Custodes for coolness. Custodes are just easier to model, and frankly I feel more like a Custodes than a Techpriest, whatever that means.

So there are the jetbikes lists I am never going to build. I like them well enough, but I just feel like they would take way too much finesse to play. Not to mention the fact that physically building this list is not something I even want to think about doing. Going the 'easy' modeling route and kitbashing SM bikes with Battlefleet Gothic minis would be insanely expensive (and still a pain in the ass), whereas going the 'cheap' modeling route and just building my own from SM bikes would be an insane amount of work (and still super expensive). No, it was a nice thought** while it lasted, but in only the most alternate of realities is it something that might happen irlz.

Well that concludes the "real" lists I've devised. There will be a Part 3 containing a few more I've come up with/copied for consideration, but none of them are as likely to be run as those from Parts 1 and 2. Maybe. I dunno. The remaining lists contain: rubbish, novelty, wishful thinking, and my favorite list in the entire game which is unusable for reasons that will become obvious in time.


* Probably the most attractive Custodes conversions out there, but how do they drive their jetbikes holding both a spear and shield?

** Obsession is more like it, I was hooked into the bikes like mad all that week


Well, my brothers came up last weekend so I didn't make it out to the 'Ard Boyz semifinals. A bit of a disapointment, but at least I got to spend some time with them, so that's good. I'll have to at least find out how it went next time I'm at the hobby shop.

In unrelated news, I saw this commercial on TV today. I'm pretty sure it's my favorite thing I've ever seen on TV.
Anyone not completely obsessed with the animated Transformers movie might miss the reference, but this is what Shockwave is emulating. Clearly the best part of the whole movie*.

List part 2 is in the works.

*Tied with the whole rest of the movie, of course.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It occurs to me that

Perhaps I should try to write less. I know that I tend to write a lot, and I have been trying to keep it to a minimum on here, but I think that every post I've made has been larger than the last.

Eh, if I actually had an audience, I might care enough to write less. Until then, though, nobody reads this anyways so I might as well just do what I know.

Maybe I'll just try to change my layout so the text body is more then 300 pixels and call it a day.

Do I go with the Limp Bizkit or Chamillionaire "Rollin" joke?

Well, I've had my computer back for a couple of weeks now but have honestly touched neither it nor anything Warhammer related in a while. I don't expect this to change drastically for a few more weeks, and here's why.

About the time I fixed my computer, (had to go through OCZ's warranty program to get a new PSU which, while not an incredible experience in customer service, was at least smooth enough to not be worth complaining about) I also picked up Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. Being a huge fan of, and investing a serious number of hours in, all of the PS2 and PSP games to date, I have not yet been disappointed with this installment. I've basically been playing it every second of spare time I get at the complete exclusion of everything else leisurely. As such, Warhammer et al. has suffered. On the one hand, this is sort of disappointing to me, but on the other hand MAOR MONETSR HUNTYR PLOX!!!

This weekend, the 'Ard Boyz semi-finals are being held at a hobby shop near(ish) to me, so I'm thinking of trying to make it over there to get some spectating in if I can manage it. Hopefully seeing all the high(ish) level play will get my juices flowing (???) again I'll get more motivated about the hobby. We shall see how that goes.

Today, though, instead of delivering another army list like I was planning to, I've opted for the less time-dependent task of redoing my blogroll. This choice was made, very easily, to ensure that I waste as little time as possible outside of Minegarde*. The blogs I have on my reading list are ones that I visit pretty much every day, and so I thought I'd take a second to talk a little about them.

Without further ado, what I'm reading:

Blogs I no longer deem worthy of my presence
I started reading this blog in the middle of the big Stelek v. Mkerr internet fight and thought it was hilarious. This was really my first exposure to the violent, petty world that is the WH40k blogosphere. I had at least heard of YTTH but didn't really know what it was, and so when I stumbled upon this blogfight, I thought it was the greatest thing and that Stelek was a total fuckshit.

I read the fight exclusively from Mkerr's point of view and really supported his side of things for a while. I have known of a lot of people with the type of personality he was describing in Stelek of YTTH and, despite my normally 'no worries' demeanor, they really bother me. So I was checking Mkerr's blog daily looking for the newest bit of info or commentary on what was happening and getting all worked up over what an asshat Stelek is and how people like him are the bane of human existence.

Blood of Kittens
Eventually, I got tired with Mkerr's less than frequent posting schedule and started to branch out in my blog reading. This is when I landed on Blood of Kittens where I found even more Stelek-bashing. There was more entertaining controversy on this blog, so I was hooked and, once again, immediately began thinking of what a serious piece of shit Stelek must be. Here I found, accidentally, two blogs having serious internet fights with him in which they look to be fairly reasonable and he looks like a complete jackass. Seems pretty clear to me.

This lasted for a little while too, but again I decided to branch out some more and began browsing around other blogs. During this time, I found most of the blogs that are still worth reading: Spite, B40k, and BoLs(sort of, more on this later) namely.

I also ended up on Stelek's own YTTH. At first it was sort of like "well, let's just see what this is all about" or "alright he's a jerkass, as has clearly been established, but he actually writes some good stuff" and finally "let's see if I can find more about his shit fight with Mkerr and Tasty so I can beat some more entertainment out of that horse". A funny thing happened, though. I realized that Stelek is actually an alright guy, and the real assheads were the ones from those other blogs. Funny, that. I came into the situation with an incredibly biased (negative) opinion about the guy, but after spending a week or so roaming around his blog, seeing his side of the story, it became very obvious to me that they were the ones in the wrong.

I'm not saying Stelek is a total victim here. He promotes a lot of drama on his site due to his style, but that's just what it is: his style. He has a very frank way of putting everything in perspective that (apparently) rubs some people the wrong way, but in the end that's just what he does. His website is called "Yes The Truth Hurts", from that alone we might assume that he isn't going to be anything but brutally honest at all times. And besides, he does actually have some pretty cool articles with some really competitive lists.

Further proving my point (to myself?), I sent him an email asking a tactical question. This email was well-formed, but I was proposing something relatively preposterous and the answer was completely obvious***. I was not disapointed by the response I got. He, in a manner that was in no way impolite while still maintaining that frankness he likes so much, told me why what I was suggesting was wrong. He even made a joke with me in the response. This joke was not directed at me, nor was I or what I had said in any way the subject of said joke. All in all, it was not an unpleasant question/answer experience.

So, then, it seems obvious to me that Stelek is an ok guy with a blunt attitude that happens to rub some people wrong. This attitude should be completely apparent to anyone who spends more than a few minutes on his website (or more than a few seconds reading the site's title), and so how can he be held responsible for someone else taking what he says personally? At worst, he is still way better than people on Gamefaqs who respond to questions with "search bar", because if it is something that he hasn't yet addressed in a previous article, he will usually explain it out.

In the end, I just don't really care that much anymore for these guys, and that's why I decided to stop reading Chainfist and Blood of Kittens. BoK at least has some interesting articles occasionally, but really it isn't enough to keep me interested such that I feel like it needs a place on my blog roll. I might check it out every once in a while to look for tournament reports and whatnot (because Tasty does do a pretty good job of that, and I still do like him actually) but honestly, I don't really care that much about tournies that happen in places I have no access to. 'Ard Boyz I can get into because it has local participation, Alamo 40k not quite as much.

Jawaballs, or actually his YouTube channel, was the second source of internet 40k stuff I ever encountered. (first being Mini War Gaming's YouTube channel) I really liked watching his batrep and hobby videos, so during the time I was expanding my 40k blog reading, I decided to check his out and add it to my list. I never really spent a whole lot of time there though, because without his voice or hairy arms in the picture it didn't interest me very much. So, while I still think Jawaballs is a pretty cool guy, I just never actually look at his blog, so I'm clearing up the space. I'm still subscribed to his YouTube channel, so I can at least keep up with him there.

Blogs I thoroughly endorse
Spite for the Dice Gods
This is a relatively small, unassuming blog that, as it turns out, is really fething good. Lots of great articles, batreps, hobby stuff, good writing, it's all here. I stumbled across this blog because I liked the name and I do not regret my decision to stick around.

Back 40k
This is another good one. Not quite as free from controversy as some of the others, but a very good blog nonetheless. I sort of feel like Sandwyrm is the guy that everyone always wants to pick internet fights with, but he either doesn't care enough or simply knows better than to stick around to try to argue. His site sports some pretty good writing as well, and he also has some incredibly awesome articles on color theory that are worth their weight in souvlaki****.

Also, how can anyone with a game like this under their belt not be worth reading?

Yes The Truth Hurts
Ah, the infamous Stelek. (cool name, btw. has a nice ring to it, I always thought) I've already explained my history with the site to some degree so I won't go into again too much here, but....

From what I can tell, the big problem everyone has with him is his ego and his credentials; he thinks he's the best player in the country, but has virtually no way of proving this past or present. There are lots of things that he claims to have done, or whatever, but his detractors basically maintain "pix or it didn't happen". Personally, I couldn't give a shit less about his credentials. I don't care if his entire life is a fantasy world and that he actually lives in his parent's basement and only plays games against himself all day long (as some of his opponents tend to insinuate), the fact of the matter is that he gives good advice. If there is one thing he excels at, it is building army lists.

I really don't understand what the problem is. I can see how his credentials might be an issue if he was giving bad advice, or if he was just starting out and trying to sell his brand of kool-aid (as he likes to say) over that of everyone else. But really, spending some time on his website and just reading what he is saying is proof enough for me that this guy knows what he's talking about. Sure Stelek makes some lists that are quirky, or sometimes he does things that aren't perfectly optimized (for example, his all Space Marine bike list, which I will go into some more in my next army list article... but to his credit this is literally the only example I have of this that I can tell) but it is all completely overshadowed by the good stuff he does put out*****.

Also, he tackles every single list request he gets with his most competitive effort. It is one thing to send him an email with "I <3 Blood Angels, can you make me a good list?" it is another completely to say "Can you make me a competitive Blood Angels list with max Storm Ravens, max dreadnoughts, no librarians, all jump infantry, and no melta weapons?" (this isn't a request I've actually ever seen, but it is the sort thing he does get where they want a super competitive list, but...) He gets requests like this with all sorts of arbitrary restrictions and he always does his best to make it work anyways, and then explain why it's hurting itself by having the restrictions. There aren't many reasons left to not like this guy. He bad-mouths GW too much? I dunno, maybe. Ooh, I know, let's hate him because he loves his wife and takes every opportunity he gets to say as much. Yeah, what a jerk. Blogs that are staying on my roll anyways
Bell of Lost Souls
I think everyone hates BoLS now. Even the people that hang out there. It used to be alright when I was first getting into these 40k blogs, but anymore there is such a vacuum for content over there I don't know how they keep readers. (and they apparently have tons of them, the biggest baddest YTTH article might get up to 60 comments, on BoLS pretty much every one gets into the 100s in the first few hours of posting)

Their articles all seem like pilots, or lead-ins for real articles.
"I'm going to write about this great tactic known as XYZ."
Alright, that sounds cool, what's that all about?
"Oh...that was the whole article. You just read it."

Anyone who has read any of their articles lately will understand what I mean. Goatboy is pretty cool, and I like checking out his site from time to time, and I do really legitimately like Fritz, but so much of the site is just lacking in actual content.

Not to mention the fact that BoLS harbors the vilest piece of shit I've ever encountered on the internet. There are some pretty big dicks out there who get into some serious internet fights, but in almost all cases there is at least some reason they feel they can be so stubbornly resilient to the voice of reason. Maybe their logic is completely flawed and wrong, but for some reason they looked at their codex and decided that, in their mind, Footdar just really made sense competitively. It doesn't matter if they're wrong or right, they think they are right and they think they have a good reason for thinking so. While it doesn't make it ok for them to be engaging in such violent arguments, at least they are just trying to defend their position. Melissia, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any such reason for being the internet's fattiest corpuscle.

All that being said, they do have the rumor mill on lockdown. I can't be expected to keep up with every nonsense forum out there, but no fear, the BoLS crew will do it for me. For that reason, I am keeping them on my blogroll. Otherwise, they would be off.

Also, I just found this article when I went to grab their url. It's about Warhammer through the eyes of Grimlock of the Dinobots. While I can't help but feel like the article is a farce, I feel like it is my civic duty to post things that involve the original Transformers.

Honorable Mentions
Space Wolves Grey
This was the first 40k blog I ever got into, and it is a good one. It is made up of a couple of guys who all play Space Wolves and like to write about it. They hold the very interesting feat of being completely out on their own, untouched by any other sites. Pretty much all of the other blogs I frequent know each other in some way. They all pee in each others pools, so to speak. SWG seems to be all out on their lonesome, and it is just sort of refreshing to see such a purely genuine 40k blog. And they're all great guy to boot!

Strictly Average
Brent is sort of my internet hero, and I'm not ashamed to say it. His are usually the comments I most agree with during internet fights; he's always the complete voice of logic and reason. In the midst of big arguments he is either making short quips to try to defuse the rage, or long, incredibly well-thought comments sincerely trying to help. Every time I see his digital blue head in a comment list I always stop by to read what he has to say, and his blog is no different.

Besides, he made a pretty sweet Storm Raven conversion. (that was apparently ill- received?)

Dick Move
This site I just found earlier this week, and within a few days had read every article Dethtron's ever written. The point of the site is pretty much to find ridiculous 40k- related internet fights and post them in the worst possible light with hilarious commentary added. So I get to read all the terrible 40k arguments that I find so entertaining, except that I only see the best parts and don't have to read through every last soulrending post? And there's hilarious commentary? Sign me up! The community here is pretty cool too. There are like 8 guys that post comments regularly, and they all happen to be guys that I recognize and respect from other sites. Sweet! (Sorry Kirby and TKE for not rolling your blogs, I promise I've been meaning to) Maybe he's a bit harsh in his presentation, but it's all hyperbole.(right?) He's just trying to be hilarious and to point out how dumb it is to be arguing so militantly about which regiment of Imperial Guard is the best, or whatever other nonsense he finds.

So there it is. Everything that I'm reading with briefly (??) laid out descriptions of what they are and why I read them. That ended up being a huge post and taking quite a while, but I still think it probably less time overall than my next posted list will be. When I get another piece of time I'll try to put that one together. Here's a teaser: it's a Custodes Jetbikes counts-as army.


* Minegarde being the world Monster Hunter is set in.**

** Yo Dethtron, lemme hold them footnotes.

*** It's not like I sent him a useless question that was a complete waste of time. It was still something I had been thinking a lot about, and even though I was pretty sure I knew what he was going to say, I really wanted to hear his take on it.

**** how much do internet articles weigh? For the sake of my own purposes, I'm going to say these 3 in particular contain mass approximately equivalent to the sun.

***** "Stelek....he does put out." is a nice quote I cleverly mined out of this sentence.