Craftworld Lansing

Sunday, March 30, 2014

ALL HANDS ON DECK! Ships Of the Rense pt1

Upon acceptance into the Rense System Navy, Dindrenzi main fleet officers are assigned to one of the many Frigate squadrons that make up the outer echelons of a Rense Navy task force. Would be Captains and aspiring admirals have all had their first commands and baptisms of fire among the Bulwark Frigate squadrons.”

-Admiral Markus Stole,
“A History Of The Federation Fleets”

SeerK here to start my series on the ships of the Rense System Navy. Its been a couple weeks. I have just started a new job and the 65 hour work week is kind of killer. I am planning on posting every Sunday from here on out though, and I hope the other writers start filling in the rest of the week. Some of us will also be at Adepticon this weekend. Sadly we cant go for the full week like normal. As long as all goes to plan the Craftworld crew will be there Friday night. As I stated last time we are going to start from the bottom up. We are going to talk about the Rense Navies Tier 3 ship today. The Bulwark Frigate.

The Bulwark is the main frigate of the Rense Navy and besides the Siren class Escort is the only Tier 3 choice for your fleet. It is fielded in squadrons of 2 to 4. I usually do full squadrons of 4 as it is an even 100 points and the combined fire of a 4 ship strong squadron is pretty decent. Each ship is 25 points and has no upgrade options. The Bulwark has the Elite Crew and Difficult target MAR. The Elite Crew MAR lets you pass command checks on a 3+. The whole Rense Navy has this MAR. The Bulwark also can move 10 inches so it is very quick. With a DR,(damage rating) or 3 and a CR(critical rating) of 6 it can be quite hard for an equal sized vessel to destroy the Bulwark in one go.

The Bulwark is a very close range ship. It has a fore beam weapon ad beam weapons to port and starboard. Its beam weaponry has two range bands. Beam weaponry has 10 inch range bands for those of you unfamiliar with the game so 2 range bands gives the Bulwark a threat range of 20 inches.
Range band 2 , 10 to 20 inches, is your most effective range band. You get 5 dice in the fore arc and 4 in the port and starboard arcs. With a squadron of 4 this gives you 12 dice. Pretty respectable, especially when attacking cruiser sized vessels. In my experience you can usually get a critical hit on most vessels with a critical rating of 6. Of course this is utterly dependent on how well the dice are treating you.
The Bulwark is very well suited to supporting your Spook or Cerberus squadrons. While the cruisers use their range advantage the Bulwark can work in the mid to short range. They have the firepower to finish off crippled ships the heavier vessels have damaged. You can use the Bulwarks speed to get in behind vessels to give it an even better chance of scoring a critical hit.

I have been seeing a lot of mixed reviews of the Bulwark on the Firestorm forums. It would seem a lot of people have not been having the same experience I have when it comes to fielding them. It is true they can be a bit tricky to use. They are out ranged by a lot of ships and can get picked off before they can close to lethal distance.
You have a couple of different options for deployment and thanks to they way game setup is done you can really plan out your fleet and how it is going to be deployed. I like to keep my Bulwarks in reserve, unless the mission being played allows for hidden set up. Either way it allows you to delay your Bulwarks appearance on the table and allows you to keep them alive longer. Shunting your Bulwarks, deep striking for you 40kers, into the battle can be a risky gambit. I like to use shunt deployment, but only if there is a good target. To get a good shunt deployment you have to really set it up. The intended target has to be lead into a decent spot so you can get a good one two punch. Shunt deployment backfires quite often. You can't shunt into the middle of a fleet and expect the squadron to survive after trying to deliver a death blow to a stricken ship.
I prefer to actually bring in the Bulwarks on the board edge if there is a decent target that is reachable. Flanking the enemy fleet has its advantages, especially if their attention is elsewhere.

How you deploy your reserve squadrons is entirely situational. As obvious as that sounds many players do that same things over and over again and then get frustrated when it does not work all the time. Firestorm Armada is very much a situational game. This is reflected in the way you set up and play the game. Many 40K players are use to the concept of the “all comers” list. In Firestorm you determine the mission and such before you make your fleet list. All you really know when going up against your opponent is what race they are using.

Well there you have the Bulwark. Next time I will be covering the Siren Escort as well as starting into our tier 2 vessels. I will also Hopefully be reporting form Adepticon later this week.

Until next time....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!

and always


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Storm Begins: The Rense System Navy

SeerK Here. Well February has been a busy month for everybody. Sorry for the lack of updates. Job
hunting and gaming malaise has left me doing a lot of stuff other than writing. Although we will still be covering 40K on occasion, we are kind of changing gears on Craftworld Lansing. The writers and many at our FLGS do not like the direction things are taking with 40K.

IN fact my Eldar have been sitting on the back burner for quite a while now. I have been playing quite a bit of Firestorm Armada and I am eagerly awaiting the release of Spartan Games ground based combat game Planetfall, which is set in the Firestorm Armada Universe. With the 40K malaise in full force I decided I am going to start talking about the Fleet I run in Firestorm Armada. In fact there is going to be a lot of Firestorm Armada coverage from now on. I have talked about it a bit in the past, but the other writers and I are going to be delving in deep with it. This means tactics, battle reports and our general musings on the game. That said, Lets dive into Firestorm Armada.

In The game you take command of a fleet of warships from one of the many factions available. Ultimately the faction belongs to either the Terran led Kurak Alliance or the Dindrenzi Federation Led Zenian League. As with most war games, you build a fleet using a point system. The game also uses a force org of sorts. It is a Tier system made up of three levels.

Each Tier contains different types and sizes of vessels. Tier One Vessels are the largest ships in the fleet. These range from Dreadnoughts, currently the largest vessel you can field, to Squadrons of Heavy Cruisers and Battleships. Tier two vessels are generally mid sized capital ships. Typically your fleets Cruisers and destroyers occupy this slot. Tier three vessels are the smallest. Frigates, Corvettes and Escort vessels occupy this tier. Each tier has a minimum number of vessels that must be taken and a maximum number that can be taken. This minimum and maximum can change based on the point level of the game.

The number of squadrons available increase as you play higher point level games. There are basically 3 different “Force Org” charts based on the point level of the game. The first is for games up to 800 points. This is known as a “Patrol Fleet”. 801 points to 1200 points is a “Battle Fleet”. 1201 points and above is known as a “Grand Fleet” Sometimes ships can move to different tiers at higher point levels. For example, when you are playing an 800 point game Heavy Cruisers may be in Tier 1. If you play a 1000 point game they may be now Tier 2. Each fleets ships are generally in the same Tier, but there are some differences. For example, I play the Rense System Navy which is part of the Zenian League. In 800 Point games and below I can take a Battle Carrier as my Tier 1 choice. If I was using the Ryushi Fleet, part of the Kurak Alliance, at the same level I could not take a Battle Carrier as a Tier 1 choice. I could only take a Battle Carrier as a Tier 1 choice in games above 800 points. I know it sounds a bit confusing, but there is a chart that is specific to each fleet in their Fleet manual. I wanted to do a brief overview before I dived into my fleet and the ships it contains. Over the next few weeks I will be going in depth on the Ships of the Rense System Navy, the leader and enforcer of the Zenian League.

The Rense System Navy is a sub faction within the Dindrenzi Federation. Originally formed to guard the new Capital world of Ravens Citadel after the destruction of the original Capital world of Dramos at the hands of the Terran Alliance. As time went on the Rense Navy became the personal strong arm of the Federation Chairman. The crews and commanders of the Rense Navy are the best and the brightest. Drawn from all across the Federation, they patrol the federation and strike deep into alliance territory on missions of subterfuge and intelligence gathering. The Rense Navy has the best ships in the Federation, as they are a joint venture between the Dindrenzi Federation and the Mega Corporations of the Directorate.
Many of the members of the Rense System Navy are also devout members of the Church Of The Dramos Angels. This religious organization formed after the destruction of the world of Dramos. Dramos is a major center point for the Federation. With their forces being driven back during the second succession war the Terrain Alliance unleashed a nuclear holocaust upon the world of Dramos. The Dindrenzi Federation had won its independence from Terra, but at a very high price. The Rense Navy has the honor of guarding the millions of Pilgrims that flock to the blasted world of Dramos.

Basically the Rense Navy are the Zealots of the Dindrenzi Federation and its members are the ones really driving the current hostilities against the Terran Alliance and their Kurak Alliance allies. Although it is a Zenian League fleet it has at least 2 ships in each tier and can act as a fleet by itself. From what I have seen most of your Kurak Alliance and Zenian League member fleets have to work with other members to work as a cohesive fleet. The Rense System Navy can stand on its own.
Their Ships are as follows

Tier 1
Banshee Class Dreadnought
Spectre Class Battleship
Argus Class Carrier

Tier 2
Spook Class Cruiser
Cerberus Class Heavy Cruiser ( can be Tier one depending on point level)
Phoenix Class Destroyer

Tier 3
Bulwark Class Frigate
Siren Class Escort

I am going to start from the bottom and work my way up. Next time I am going to be talking about the workhorse of my fleet. The Bulwark Frigate. Despite its class and size it packs a punch and when used properly it can knock out vessels well above its weight class. So next time the Bulwark, doin work!

Until then...

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!

And Always


Friday, February 14, 2014

Time To Take A step Back....

Well it happened.  Between the malaise at the shop and the fallout from the LVO that is hitting the interwebs, I officially requested a refund for the GT at Adepticon.  Well I should say I switched to the Exterminatus event first and now I sent the email requesting a refund.  This would be the reason for the lack of posts for the past couple weeks.   The gang and I have been playing a lot of Firestorm Armada and not a whole ton of 40k.

That being said I want to assure everybody that I am not totally out of 40k.  I am not selling off my army and ditching it.  I am taking a step back though.  Not so much a break, but I am going to try and concentrate on the hobby aspect for a while, at least until they rules get sorted out.

I am still participating in Adepticon though.  I am playing in a Combat patrol and doing a weathering class with Mr. Justin of Secret Weapon.  I am also doing the Iron Arena with the Privateer Press gang.  I am bringing my 40K stuff though to get some pick up games while I am there.  I will also have my Renses Navy Fleet for pickup games of Firestorm Armada.  Basically I am going to chill and just enjoy my vacation and the best 4 days of war gaming there is.

On a semi related note, most of you know I host a Adepticon primer tournament dubbed "The Test Of Khaine" every year.  This will be the 4th year of the tournament at Evolution Games.  I am still going to run it.  I was on the fence, but Farseer Rerolls talked me into it.  So I will be making an official announcement next week about the tournament.  I want to make sure it does not interfere with any other events going on mid to late March.

Well thats all for now.  I just wanted to update and basically let everyone know whats going on and where the Craftworld stands at the moment.  Expect some Firestorm Armada articles from Spellduckwrong and the BigMek in the next couple of weeks.

until then...

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!

and as always


Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Road To Adepticon: Making The GT List

SeerK here.  Well despite the 40K malaise that has over taken many, I am still soldiering on.  I have been at
this for 20 plus years so I guess I am just to old and set in my ways to quit.  I have been contemplating what to bring the Adepticon 40k Championships.  I have been mostly contemplating what I may be coming up against in the GT.  The more I think about it the more cross eyed I get.

So I started looking at it from a different angle.  What won't I be up against?  I know it sounds kind of weird, but there is a logic to my madness. If we consult the latest rules for the GT we will see that data slates and such are out.  Updated rules for the fortifications in the BRB from stronghold assault are in.  The firestorm redoubt and the vengeance batteries are in.  No upgrades are allowed.  SO I don't have to deal with titans, shield generators or any annoying Firebase Cadres.

This first bit tells me I have to have a few different things in the list.  Besides the obvious, decent amount of scoring units, anti flyer/ flying varmint capability, anti armor and anti horde capability, I am going to probably have to deal with fortifications and the crap ton of fire they can lay down.  Serpent spam, Seer / screamer star and flying circus doesn't even worry me.  They can be tied up semi easily and when tide up there is not much else left to deal with in the opposing army.  Its weird that the meta has not really changed a whole ton since Codex Space Marines came out.  I think the confusion caused by the advent shenanigans, supplements and lack of FAQ has actually kept the meta pretty stable.  Format of course dictates meta, but I think its fairly safe to say from what I have read on forums, seen on torrent of fire and heard on pod casts that things have not changed a whole bunch.  I just have to keep my eyes and ears peeled to see what the Hive Fleet boys come up with.

I digress slightly though.  I have really been wracking my brain about what to bring.  I initially had a Eldar list with Grey Knight allies and an Inquisitorial detachment that contained 5 flyers and not much else.  It was hard to deal with, but lacked boots on the ground.  This is the real lynch pin of a good list.  Boots on the ground.  Most importantly scoring and denial boots on the ground.  I think the later is as important as the former.  As long as you can deny objectives it means you can keep the valuable scoring units back,  holding objectives.

I have Dire Avengers, Rangers, Guardians, Jetbikes and Wraithguard as possible scoring units.  Everything else that's not a tank, IE Aspect Warriors and such, are denial units.  Now the typical denial unit in an Eldar list is also scoring.  The mobility of Jetbikes make them great last minute objective denying units and scoring units.  This also makes them targets.  With reserves coming in more easily you have to really work at hiding them.  Try as I might mine usually get killed in last ditch efforts to tie or win a game.

So I think I am going with a traditional Ulthwe style list.  I am comfortable and familiar with running Guardian heavy lists.   The list will be anchored by two blobs of Guardians supported by Warlocks.  My Main HQ choice will be Eldrad.  A second HQ choice is what I am going back and fourth on.   If I go Guardian Heavy, which is what I am leaning towards, The Avatar would be a good choice.  A Spirit Seer would be cheaper and make Wraithguard troops, but I don't know if I want Wraithguard are going in.  I swear I need to really work on my flip flopping with lists.

 A working list I have had some success with currently, which is not a real Ulthwe theme,  has an Autarch paired up with a squad of Dark Reapers.  I have Dark Kin allies with a beefy Archon leading them also in with that squad to provide some close combat protection.  The list is as follows.  Since I am probably not using it I will post it.

HQ:  Autarch with Reaper launcher

Troops:  2x Dire Avenger Units in wave serpents with the typical load out
Troops:  1x squad of Rangers

Fast Attack:  2x Crimson Hunters, one an Exarch

Heavy: 1x unit of Dark Reapers

Dark Eldar Allies

HQ:  Archon with lots of goodies

Troops:  2x Kabalite warrior squads with blasters in Venoms with duel splinter cannons.

Heavy:  1x Razorwing kitted for ground assault.

As I said its been semi successful, but not great.  It is Especially not GT winning great.  Firepower is very nice and it deals with a lot of different situations and lists, but its main weakness is lack of hardy scoring units.  I myself am trying to up my own skill as a player as well.  No amount of list building can make up for poor generalship.  I know there are some crutches currently that make that statement a bit false.  I digress again.

So as it stands I have Eldrad and a couple Warlocks in the new list along with two Guardian blobs. I am really trying to flesh it out past that.  I am debating my heavy choices as well as my Fast attack.  I do think Warp Spiders and a Wraith Knight may make it in.  I am not sure about the Wraith Knight though due to points.  I am trying to have something finalized by next week so I can start play testing it.  I am shooting for a list that I don't have to really paint anything.  I will clean up the models and do some more detail work and possibly re base.

Once I get a list done and a couple games in I will report back.  All this thinking out loud is getting the gears turning more.  So If you were me what would you bring to the table?

Until next time..............

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and as always

Remember Dramos!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Breaking The Malaise: Firestorm Armada 2.0

SeerK here.  I know its been kind of silent around here with the start of the new year.  I am sad to say that GW reorganizing and having a 24% drop in its stock value has not made things better.  As it stands I am the only person playing in 40K events at Adepticon from our local group.  Everybody is still going of course to participate in open events and the comradery the convention encourages in all of us.
the 40K malaise has hit the shop hard and the news about

I am still deciding what to run in the GT.  I guess I am kind of holding back waiting for the FAQ to drop so I can build to suit the rules and the missions.  I know I am running a strait Eldar list possibly with some Dark Kin allies.  I am kind of hoping Adepticon kind of takes the bull by the horns and does some drastic tweeks with the FAQ.  That's a whole other post though.  I digress.

So what are we doing to try and break the malaise?  Hammering our a campaign and forging a rock hard narrative that's how!  We are not doing it with 40K though.  No sir.  We have a fever and the only cure is spaceships.  Firestorm Armada 2.0 has taken hold in the FLGS, Evolution Games in Lansing, and the regular "40K nights" are now filled with the sounds of kinetic, beam and torpedo weapons.  Also the curses that go with them.

The new rules set for Firestorm Armada is very tight.  it is simple to pick up and has a lot of tactical depth.  I almost forgot what tactical depth was.  I have been to busy trying to figure out how things work and arguing over rules interpretations with my "primary game".  Yeah I used sarcastic quotations.

The 2.0 rules are very clear and concise.  We have not had any major arguments at all.  Well other than my war game diva kicking in and bitching about Directorate cyber warfare and bio hazard torpedoes.  I think this has been why its been so popular at the shop.  Its a nice rule set and we can just have fun and immerse ourselves in the game.  Spartan Games has really outdone themselves with the new models as well.  The new Patrol Fleet boxes come with more stuff and got cheaper than the old ones.

I spoke about tactical depth.  I have to say I have lost my tactical edge.  I have to much going on in real life it would seem.  Firestorm has really made it clear I need my tactical edge back.  Being a reactive style game, by reactive I mean you have alternating activations.  This may not be a concept you are familiar with if you have done nothing but 40K in your war gaming career.  Basically the player who goes first does not move and shoot with all of his or her units all at once.  You move and shoot with one squadron and then your opponent goes with one.  You move back and forth until all the units have activated.

This style of game tends to be more tactical by nature.  This is mainly because you cannot alpha strike your opponent like you can in 40K or War Machine.  It makes it more of a game of chess.  In fact Dreadbeard and Spellduckwrong surmise that Firestorm Armada 2.0 really is won in the movement phase.  Position, facing, range and firing arc all have to be taken into consideration as well as the position and disposition of the enemy fleet.

I will be doing some articles about the different phases of the game to try and introduce it to you a little at a time.  I will also be taking about my Rense System Navy fleet quite a bit.  Spellduckworng  and Dreadbeard will also be chiming in covering different topics, including their Dindrezi Federations and Terran Alliance fleets respectively.

They have both conspired to start a store campaign to test out some campaign rules.  It is running 4 weeks and is mostly to get us all in the mood for a bigger campaign this summer and to get to know the new rules.  We have been playing so far with mostly patrol fleet sized games.  That is 800 points or less.  The big campaign, which I am composing a narrative for, will include Spartan games new land based war game when it comes out as well.  Planetfall is set in the Firestorm universe and is in bascially an epic scale.  It pits tanks, mechs and other engines of destruction against each other in a future battlefield.  I am really looking forward to it.

Thats all for now.  I am thinking about topics for 40K.  I am toying with list ideas.  I am really trying not to just vent in a big spazzy post complaining about the stat of the game.  Lets face it things don't look good right now. My resolve may fade...

Until Then.............

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes War Calls!!!!!!!!!

and always


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tj Must Die! Results And A Kill Team Review.

SeerK here. Well the “Tj must Die RTT” had a real good turnout for taking place in a blizzard. 20 players
descended on Evolution games and when the dust settled and the snow started to hit hard, Mr. Bill Kim took top honors with his Daemons. I had the honor of getting tabled in round one by Tj himself thanks to me having to go first. I rolled way to high for my reserve rolls for my Autarch to keep my air force off the board, so they were easy prey for the Chaos and Necron air forces.

Round two had me matched up against Chris Vintons Space wolves. 16 Thunder Wolves ran ramshackle over my ground forces while my air force killed all of his troops. In the end He won based on Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker and First Blood.

After somebody dropped I got a by in the 3rd round so I could chill out. Needless to say the Eldar Grey Knight combo has been deleted from army builder and 2 lists I should have run are now going to go into full development mode for the Adepticon GT. I have a pure Eldar list and one with Dark Eldar Allies. We shall see how they do over the next couple months. I will be doing some updates on the progress of the list and posting some pictures of the display board once I start its construction.

I had an opportunity this week to try out the new Kill Team rule set. Since Tj was in town all week we had a big crowd on our usual 40K night at Evolution Games. 40K night is Wednesday night for those that are close to Lansing and want to pop in.

Kill Team was released as a data slate. Its a short addendum to play small games of 40K. You have 200 points to buy a kill team and are limited to troops, elites and fast attack choices. The list building limitations are actually similar to the rules for the Adepticon combat patrols in past years.

Basically you are able to get a squad or 2 and then each individual model moves and acts on its own. So its basically a skirmish based mod of 40K. 3 models are assigned a USR from 5 different lists based on what kind of “Specialist” is. The highest leadership model becomes the leader and gets a special Warlord trait. Its pretty simple and the games play fast.

My main complaint is that it does not allow for real customization of each individual. Granted I don’t think it was meant to be as involved as Necromunda, GW's first real skirmish game, or the Fan built Killzone. Its nice for a pickup game. Its also kinda nice for small games in a campaign. It wants you to play on a 4x4 board, but I think using terrain thats more like Zone Mortalis would make it more fun. In fact next time the group plays, we will be combining zone Mortalis and Kill Team together.

I think its a little pricey for what you get. $11.99 is a bit steep for a rather basic modification of the rules. It seems like the price hikes are just going to continue. It really is a shame. I think between the lack of FAQ's, price hikes and undefined direction of the game it is causing hobbyists on the fence to walk away from 40K or at very least cause a malaise.

The cure of course to to just play and hobby and break it up a little bit. Try out some other games and diversify. This is what our group is doing. I will be discussing Firestorm Armada 2.0 in the coming weeks and Spartan Games newest endeavor. Planetfall, when it is released.

We will be forging some rock hard narratives with both 40K and Firestorm in the coming months as we have campaigns planned for both. More on those as they happen.

Until Next time..

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

War Calls!!! The "Tj Must Die! RTT"

Welcome to 2014.  SeerK here to start the new year off.  Last year was rough and I have to say things are
starting to look up for myself.  I hope the little snippets of luck and good fortune continue to snowball and make good things happen.

Speaking of good things, one of the very good things that I am looking forward to this weekend is the "Tj Must Die!" tournament happening at Evolution Games this Sunday.  Registration starts at 11 am and dice roll at noon.  Entry is $10.  This is an 1850 standard force org, no escalation, no stronghold assault and no data slate tournament.  It is being held in honor of Tj AKA Old School Terminator the Primarch of Dark Future Games.  He is on leave from his duties defending our country and is coming back home for a week  of gaming and Emperors Children like partying.

Myself and Spellduckwrong will be playing.  I am bringing the Eldar with some Cormmorite allies.  I am all tooled up to deal with Flyers, Daemons, Nercons and Tau battle suits.  Its been a while since I have played in a tournament so it will be nice to get back in the mode.  I have to get a list hammered out and prepared for Adepticon.  I got the call this past week and I am officially off the wait list and in the GT.

I have a couple different lists I am going to be playing.  Of course the Eldar and Dark Eldar are what I am leaning towards as I dont have to buy any models, just paint a few and touch up and embellish the rest.  I have another list that involves Grey Knight allies, but I really don't feel like buying $150 dollars worth of models.  We will see how it does I guess.  I know one thing for sure.  I will have to deal with hordes.  The Hive Fleets are upon us and I fear if the codex is decent, Nids will be making a big comeback.

Well thats all for now.  I hope to see some of you Sunday, if you are in Michigan.  I know they are calling for a big amount of snow this weekend.  so if you do make it out, drive safe.

Until next time.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!