Friday, January 20, 2012

Games Workshop Pages Disappearing

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to find out why Forgeworld books are no longer on the Games Workshop website. GW have ignored three questions on their Facebook page and Forgeworld were snarky but just as unhelpful on theirs.

But the shrinkage on the site gets worse. Ever since I started collecting Blood Angels I have referred to painting and assembling guides helpfully posted by Games Workshop. Tonight, they stopped working. The links no longer link to anything. If I google the pages they show up in the search results, along with previews. But there is no cached version of these pages, which probably means the cache was deleted by Google at Games Workshop's request.

The pages were:



I have emailed Games Workshop, asking what happened to the pages, but, as the only 'contact us' email address is for 'orders' (how telling is that, eh?) and GW's apparent reluctance to answer any questions about changes they have made, I don't hold out much hope of getting a sensisble answer any time soon.

Of course, it could just be a server problem, but then why is there no cached version?

Any other pages gone missing?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No more Armour

Here's a weird one: GW appear to no longer sell Imperial Armour books.

I have been looking forward to buying Imperial Armour 11 for quite some time - it does contain details on two of the three armies I collect, after all. But instead of rushing to the Forgeworld site to get a copy before Christmas I held off, wanting to pay for it with Paypal and skip shipping charges by buying it from the GW site. But I am foiled! Without ceremony or announcement, Forgeworld books no longer appear for sale on the GW site (certainly not in the UK anyway and I'm too lazy to check every nationality's page).

It used to be the case that Forgeworld books were initially exclusive to their own site. The reason given was it took a while for stock to reach warehouses around the world. I figured it probably didn't hurt FW's bottom line to have that initial period of exclusivity either so I'm guessing thats the reason for this latest move.

Its strange neither GW nor FW decided to mention this change to their customers though - even stranger that GW have ignored my questions about this on their Facebook page. Well, strange for a normal customer-facing company in the modern world that thrives on including its customers in the moves they make and the things they do as a way of promoting buy-in to said company's products, anyway...

*Update* After writing a letter of complaint about getting blanked or insulted on the GW and FW Facebook pages, I got a very nice letter back from GW/FW this morning. In essence, the FW books have been pulled from the GW website simply because if they are sold that way, customers get free shipping - which means FW have to pay for it. So, to protect the margins, no more free shipping. Which is annoying because that is exactly why I was waiting for IA11 to appear on GW's site. Free shipping. Curses, foiled again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Games Workshop Share Price Spike

I keep an eye on the GW share price - I may one day want to be a shareholder (especially if that means I get to vote on Board salaries!) and as a player and customer I have a vested interest in how well the company is performing. OVer Christmas though I had other things on my mind and didn't update the tracker on my tablet. When I did though, an amazing thing happened - the share price went from the low 400's to 530 in about a month. That's nearly a 25% jump. Here's a graph from the LSE to show what happened:

It happens around the 6th of January, the peak being hit around the 9th. So what prompted buyers to suddenly rush to buy GW stock?

I mentioned this to a few friends, some of whom have worked for Games Workshop, and they came up with two possible explanations; Christmas went well for most GW stores, who nearly all reported hitting their sales targets, or, the release of Vampire Counts could have been viewed as a positive step for the company.

Now don't get me wrong, I think some of the new VC models are very impressive, but not a 25% jump in share value impressive. Which left the sales figures, and them being leaked.

However, this week we saw the public release of some half-year financial figures from the GW group. Basically they are making mo' money - certainly good news for investors (in the short term at least, but that's another story), and possibly worth a bump in share price. But doesn't that mean the information was leaked ahead of time? Is that legal?

Addendum: It appears this is nothing new.

I winder if there is any way to find out who is buying all these shares?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slightly more traditional Blood Angels list

I have made a habit of playing some frankly ridiculously small Blood Angels armies. Using Dante's ability to make Sanguinary Guard into Troops, I've fielded two squads of them, two Stormraven's, two Furioso librarians, and five Death Company with a Dreadnought.

As well as providing a tactical challenge (to both players), this has largely been an excuse not to have to paint a lot of miniatures. More recently I have pushed that tactical challenge even further, replacing Dante with a Terminator Librarian, along with assault termies in a Land Raider. That means 0 scoring units - I can only win by tabling the opponent (although I tend to take draws as a win too!).

I even went so far as to tell a friend I would not buy any more Blood Angels, particularly not Tactical Squads. My reasoning there was to keep my army lists themed around what I see as the flavour of the codex - fast moving squads with lots of deep striking and jumping around the board. Tactical flexibility over tactical marines, if you will.

But one should almost never say never. This week I have ordered two tactical squads and a couple of special models in order to field the following list:


Furioso Dreadnought with melta and frag cannon

Furioso Dreadnought Librarian

2 Sanguinary Priests


6x Death Company with Boltguns, one of whom is Lemartes

Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons

Tactical Squad with flamer and plasma cannon, sergeant has a powerfist

Tactical Squad with a plasma gun and a las cannon, sergeant with chainsword and pistol

Heavy Support

Two Stormravens, each with las cannons, multi-meltas and hurricane sponsons, plus extra armour.

This list is based on one that appeared in White Dwarf last March. The thrust of it is a two-pronged killing machine assault with the Death Company in one 'raven and a tactical squad and dread in the other. The Death Company are more or less guaranteed to clear any infantry unit in the game off an objective, leaving it to be held by the tactical squad.

In addition to the Dwarf list I have two Priests to give Furious Charge and Feel No Pain to my marines (and possibly the dreadnoughts too). I have taken Lemartes because a)I have the model and it looks cool, and b)he has cool rules and makes those raving loonies he's with even more insane in combat.

Similarly I have the Librarian dread in the list because a)I have two of them and they both look cool, and b) they are dreadnoughts with 20ft long force weapons! (On a more rational note, the Blood Angels have access to some great psychic powers and the only thing better than one powerful psyker is two!)

Another strength of this list is the amount of firepower it can put down in a turn. Angelus boltguns are great and all, but I have looked on in envy as my fellow Marine players have have used their two or even three tactical squads to gun down vastly superior numbers. With this list I have lots of strength 4 shots, plus lots of really nasty close combat power. The dreaded ork hordes may not be a problem any more!

Actually trying to take and hold objectives with two full sized squads is going to take some getting used to though and don't get me started on combat squads - the potential to take on four objectives all at the same time? Unheard of!

I started repainting an old dread as a Furioso last night and the other new models are on the way. Should be able to start playing them next week :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eldar List of the Walking Dead

My previous Eldar List is a fairly traditional one - it ticks all the boxes of multiple small units, lances, psychic powers, and different aspect warriors. This list is more of a themed list, that is, its based around my Wraithseer rules for which are in the (Apocalypse Second Edition).

Although the Wraithseer is genuinely powerful he does present a few challenges in a standard 40k army list. As well as taking up an HQ slot without actually qualifying as an HQ choice (meaning you have to take another HQ choice as well) you have to take at least one unit of Wraithguard as well. I guess the idea is he's like the shepherd for these borrowed souls. He does give them, and Wratihlords, some potentially great abilities, but the points cost means these guys are likely to be the centre of your army.

So, what did I come up with?

Wraithseer with D-Cannon
Farseer with Runes of Witnessing, Spirit Stones, Doom, and Guide.
3 Warlocks with 2 Singing Spears, and Enhance

6 Dire Avengers including Exarch with sword and pistol and Bladestorm
Wave Serpent with Missile Launchers and shuriken cannon

6 Dire Avengers including Exarch with power weapon and shimmershield
Wave Serpent with Missile Launchers and shuriken cannon

5 Rangers with Pathfinder

10 Wraithguard

Heavy Support

2 Fire Prisms, each with shuriken cannon

Wraithlord with Sword and Missile Launcher

In games of two objectives, I see the collected Wraiths being extremely hard to dislodge from my one. There's also a decent amount of ranged and mobile firepower to send after my opponents. In games of more than two objectives, the Wraiths and Rangers are there to hold those on my side of the board while I have the Serpents to clear and shock my opponent's. Six Dire Avengers with a Shimmershield, a Farseer and three Warlocks, Enhanced and Guided against a Doomed opponent is a pretty scary opponent to get assaulted by for most units in the game.

The only problem is I don't have any Wraithguard yet and they are very expensive new. Ebay may be my best friend on this one but frankly the appeal of all these spirit warriors probably means a little expense is going to be worth it :)

Eldar Army List - 1750

So here is the Eldar army list I have been using in recent weeks. It is largely based on what I already had built and bought when I decided I wanted a change from Marines, with a few extra units brought in to make it viable.

Farseer with Runes of Witnessing, Spirit Stones, Doom, and Guide.

6 Dire Avengers including Exarch with sword and pistol and Bladestorm
Wave Serpent with Missile Launchers and shuriken cannon

6 Dire Avengers including Exarch with power weapon and shimmershield
Wave Serpent with Missile Launchers and shuriken cannon

5 Rangers with Pathfinder

6 Fire Dragons including Exarch with Pike and Tank Hunters

6 Howling Banshees including Exarch with Mirror Swords and Acrobatic
Wave Serpent with Lances

Heavy Support

2 Fire Prisms, each with shuriken cannon

Falcon with shuriken cannon, holofields, and bright lance

I put Eldrad in with the Shimmershielded Dire Avengers and the other Farseer in with the other squad. The Fire Dragons ride in the Falcon and the rangers hoof it.

So, how does this list do? Well, I've played five games with them and the record is 2-2-1. However, two of those games, the draws, were missions from the Battle Missions book.

One placed a bunch of Space Marines on a single objective and made them fearless - I had to shift them off. I forced a draw through tank-shocking the marines off it in the last turn, and, if it weren't for how we had agreed the terrain the objective was placed on should be treated, I would have had the win. Still, the Fire Dragons reliable popped a Land Raider, stranding its Terminator-armoured passengers miles from the objective and the Rangers popped a Predator while the Falcon took out a Baal, meaning I was able to deal with the big armoured threats quite easily.

The other Battle Mission made me face an Ork horde with Endless Waaagh! That's right, Waagh for as long as the Ork player wants it. This, and five fairly closely placed objectives made it a war of attrition on a 4x4 table. There's no point having fast tanks when everything is a foot away from everything else. Not much opportunity to take out charging trukks or force your opponent to spread his forces either. Still, Eldrad took out a trukk that had destroyed and immobilised a couple of my vehicles with its whirling blades of crappy games design and the Prisms and Serpents did manage to destroy one of my opponents two scoring units, leaving us drawn at one objective each.

The two wins came against firstly 1500 points of Blood Angels. Fast tanks versus fast Rhinos - my fast vehicles could shoot, fly and ignore terrain though leaving my admittedly underpowered opponent chasing me around the board for kill points. The other win was against 'nids, this time on a proper sized board though, meaning I had time to shoot down his hoards as they charged my single objective, held as it was by Rangers. I then used three of my tanks to block the path of his deep-striking monster gribblies, while the Dire Avengers snuck around to the rear of his objective to end the game contesting it.

The only out and out loss the Eldar have suffered was against 'nids though. On a 4x4 board, I lost due to a lack of knowledge of the enemy. We were playing for kill points so I held my edge of the board to whittle them down as they ran towards my guns. I didn't count on his three packs of Ymgarl Genestealers outflanking (with rerolls due thanks to the Swarmlord) and absolutely creaming the rear armour of all my lovely tanks though. A disastrous loss, but you live and you learn.

My overall impressions of playing Eldar then, albeit with limited experience? Firstly, you need to have a decent sized table to really play them properly. As I said earlier, fast skimmers are practically worthless in games where the objectives and units are all a foot away from each other. The long ranged guns, particularly the 60" Fire Prism cannons, also need to be at a distance from the enemy to get the most out of them.

Secondly, Pathfinders are worth every point. 3 feet of range, a 2+ save in cover, and rending on a 5 or 6 - whats not to like? Oh, and they're a scoring unit. Similarly, Fire Dragons are a reliable way of destroying pretty much anything on the board. Just be prepared for them to be wiped out by angry passengers :(

Thirdly, Howling Banshees - not so great. Unless you can get Guide on them and Doom on their target, their low Strength makes actually causing a wound hard against most enemies. Sounds easy enough, but there is competition for those psychic powers - your Dire Avengers, tanks, or other shooty units may need the help more.

I have another list finished that uses the Wraithseer I bought last year along with a unit of 10, yes, 10, Wraithguard as a scoring Death Star and will put that up as soon as possible.

Until then, any thoughts or suggestions are welcome :)