Dissatisfied With Previous Eldar List... Revamping

Okay, so I was running the list you'll find not too far down the page on this post. I haven't been satisfied at all, so I'm revamping. These are the changes I'll be making soon (along with my reasoning). Feel free to point out any flaws in my logic and/or leave me advice.

HQ Revisions:
  • I'm dropping spirit stones and doom from the farseer in the seer council. There just isn't that much synergy between doom and witchblades. They always wound on a 2+... why do I need to reroll? Alternately, I could doom a unit that I'm not intending to assault with the council, but I'm not usually close enough to two must-kill units. Doom's real use in this squad should come in when I'm playing against high toughness opponents (like orks) and I need to reroll wounds with the destructor templates... but against Tau (which is what I face 90% of the time) it just isn't necessary.
  • I'm also dropping the farseer that usually joins the dire avengers. That particular wave serpent attracts a ton of fire, and dropping the farseer will remedy that situation in one of two ways: either it will attract less attention and actually be useful (because foot-slogging avengers never seem to survive) or it will continue to get shot down every game and I'll just lose less when it happens. Either way, it's better than what I'm experiencing now.
Troops Revisions:
  • Guardian defenders suck... not only because of their general uselessness but because I keep forgetting about them during my shooting phase. Yes, this is player error at its finest, but I've got to figure out a way to make every unit useful. Since my brother has such a fear of template weapons, I'm going to trade these in for storm guardians with a couple of flamers. It also means I have an excuse to buy another wave serpent... and a chance to show off the guardian conversions I've got in mind (pics will come soon).
Heavy Support Revisions:
  • Goodbye, holo-fields. I've been running them just as a point filler, but now I'll need those points to improve my wave serpents.
Dedicated Transport Revisions:
  • Shuriken cannons are great, but I'll be upgrading to scatter lasers next time. While the extra shot is nice, the real kicker is the extra 12" of range, which has bothered me recently because I've seen more immobilized results than usual. As I mentioned earlier, I'm also grabbing a third serpent for the storm guardians.

Eldar vs. Tau 1500

Once again, the Eldar and Tau forces clashed. This match-up was getting pretty stale around here until this game.  My brother and I only have one army apiece, so battles are always Eldar vs. Tau. However, new lists, a higher point total, and a nonstandard mission (courtesy of DLT's Alternate 40K Missions) breathed new life into the battle.

Objective: Gain Ground (p5; basically, each table quarter is an objective)
Deployment: Corridor of Fire (p9; basically, you can deploy on either the right or left side of the board, all the way up to midway as long as you aren't within 18" of an enemy model)

The Eldar:
Farseer (Jetbike, Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones) 165
6x Warlocks (Jetbikes, 1x Embolden, 3x Destructor) 305
Farseer (Fortune) 85 [with avengers in wave serpent]

10x Dire Avengers 120 [in wave serpent]

5x Dire Avengers 60 [in falcon]
10x Guardians (Scatter Laser) 95

5x Fire Dragons 80 [in wave serpent]

Heavy Support
Falcon (shuriken cannon) 120
Fire Prism 125 (shuriken cannon)
Fire Prism 125 (shuriken cannon)

Dedicated Transport
Wave Serpent (Shuriken Cannons, Spirit Stones) 110

Wave Serpent (Shuriken Cannons, Spirit Stones) 110

Total: 1500

The Tau

Crisis Battlesuit Commander

6 Fire Warriors

6 Fire Warriors

3 Crisis Suits

3 Crisis Suits
3 Crisis Suits

Fast Attack
5 Vespids

Heavy Support
3 Broadsides


Total: 1500ish

(I really need to get a real list of his army on the blog... it isn't like we keep anything a secret... I just don't know the Tau codex well enough to name all of his upgrades.)

Turn One:

  • The squad of broadsides immobilizes my dire avenger-carrying wave serpent, which effectively wrecks it because nothing ever gets in range of my shuriken cannons for the remainder of the game.
  • One hammerhead manages to stun my falcon. The other hammerhead misses.
  • Things look dire for the Eldar... one transport that won't be transporting anything and one tank that can't shoot or move... not a good sign.
Turn Two:

  • A unit of crisis suits and the vespids come in via deep strike. Both arrive out in the open, which I initially think is a mistake until I realize that I really don't have anything that can hit them there except for the fire prisms. 
  • The falcon explodes from broadside bombardment, and between the explosion and subsequent fire I lose all but one dire avenger, who breaks and runs for my table edge. He does manage to shoot and kill a pair of vespids on his way off of the board though.
  • The wave serpent that can still move (the one carrying fire dragons) gets hit by a hammerhead but is only shaken, so it moves to drop fire dragons to blow up said hammerhead. Unfortunately, the hammerhead in question explodes and kills a fire dragon in return.
  • The seer council wipes out the unit of crisis suits it assaulted the previous turn.
Turn Three:

  • The other set of crisis suits deepstrikes onto the board. This group throws flamers at the guardians inside the caves, which kills all but two, and they immediately run off of the table.
  • The Tau commander almost annihilates the remaining fire dragons but leaves one brave soul still standing.
  • The broadsides destroy the remaining wave serpent, so the remaining fire dragon has no hope of scooting across the board and popping the other hammerhead.
  • Lots of guys shoot at the seer council, but fortune saves the day and no models are removed (the farseer suffered two wounds).
  • The seer council burns away a unit of fire warriors and moves to avoid getting assaulted by the opposing HQ.
  • The fire dragon attacks the Tau commander but fails to slow him down.
  • Fire prisms combine beams to deal some damage to the crisis suits in mid-field.
Turn Four:

The Tau commander moves, runs, and assaults the seer council. He does no damage but prevents them from decimating the last group of fire warriors on the board.
Broadsides destroy one of the fire prisms. The other prism manages to put a few wounds on a squad of crisis suits.

Turns Five Through Seven:

These are pretty uneventful. At this point, we realize that the Eldar cannot win. The best they can hope for is a tactical draw, and even this depends on the HQ vs HQ assault ending so that the council can turbo boost and contest the table quarter claimed by the fire warriors. Due to the clash of tough-to-kill units, the game ends with the two HQs still locked in close combat and the small group of fire warriors easily claiming their objective.

Tau: One objective controlled
Eldar: No objectives controlled

And thus, my not-losing streak with the Eldar has come to an end. I've found myself stuck in tactical draws, but until this battle I had not actually lost.

In the end, I found myself wishing I didn't change my list around at the last minute. Up until about 30 minutes prior to the game, I wasn't running the second farseer and had brightlances on the wave serpents as well as enhance on one of the warlocks. The enhance I could have done without, but the extra 12" of range on the immobilized wave serpent would have been much more useful than a farseer that did almost nothing the entire game. Perhaps I could have popped his HQ with a strength 8 instant kill...

All in all, I did enjoy the game. The new mission and deployment options were fun and a great break from the norm. I just hope I can get the Eldar back onto that not-losing streak that I was on previously.

Getting Back to Rifts (Soon, I Hope)

After several months of playing nothing but Warhammer 40K, I'm looking forward to beginning our Rifts game through Google Wave, but the setup is slow going. The last time I started a Rifts campaign, I used pregenerated characters so we just picked them up and played. This time, just getting the ball rolling has been a challenge in and of itself.

First of all, everyone is creating characters from scratch, and one of the quirks of the Palladium RPG system is really shining through: very involved and very time consuming (for new players, at least) character generation. The detail is nice in actual play, but seems tedious when you're setting up. Second, Google Wave is still in beta for a reason. One of my players has had difficulties getting it to work correctly, and it seemed to take forever just to get the invites to go through. Once we get all of the characters rolled up and sort out the software issues, we'll actually get to play a bit!

In the meantime, I'm reading more and more of MercTown... which I'm beginning to believe will be a commonly recurring location in my future Rifts campaigns. I love this book... so much that I might try to get my hands on a copy of Merc Ops as well. With literally hundreds of locations, MercTown is the best fantasy (well, sci-fi) setting book I think I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The best part, though, is that it doesn't go overboard on the detail. There's a sweet spot somewhere between leaving the GM with so much empty space that the PCs test his improvisational skills on a regular basis and providing so much detail that the GM is overwhelmed with setting info. The location descriptions in MercTown have just enough detail to fuel a plot hook but not so much that a creative GM can't spin the story into something interesting... just the way I like it.

Here's hoping I get to write about the beginning of our Rifts campaign soon...

Alternate Missions for 40K

I followed a link from The Back 40k a few moments ago and found a gold mine. Apparently, Dice Like Thunder has an excellent collection of alternate missions for Warhammer 40K. You can find it by clicking on the image below:

Like Sandwyrm (of The Back 40K), I haven't played any of these either. Come to think of it, I haven't played at all in several weeks... I need to remedy that soon. Reading the document, however, has left me highly impressed. These are just as simple as the standard missions in the 5th edition rulebook (except for Objective Two: Recovery, but it might be a lot simpler in practice than it seems on paper). However, there are twice as many mission objectives, twice as many deployment options, and a bunch of army-specific missions in the back.

The new options are great, but the part about this pdf that intrigues me the most is its subtle tweak to the kill points rule. Not only do you get KPs for killing your opponent's units... this tweak gives you KPs for protecting your own units as well. I'm not completely sure I like it, in part because I'm already dreaming of ways to exploit it, but it might be a viable option for people who aren't satisfied with the current system.

As I said before, I'm impressed. I would encourage anyone who plays 40K to check it out. I'm looking forward to giving it a spin.

Gaming Fail

I couldn't help but notice this post on failblog.org (which is well worth visiting, by the way). The rule on the sign is an understood house rule where my group gathers (in my house). Notice that the sign is posted right next to a Shards of Alara poster... Magic: The Gathering players, we're looking at you. :-)

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Who the Flock has Time for This?

Ever since I started playing wargames, I've always shied away from any sort of flocking. My first real purchase was a ton of used Eldar stuff on eBay, and that box was full of green grit that got everywhere. After that bad experience, I swore that I would never waste my time with fake grass on miniatures... and I still probably won't.

However, what I have started working on is flocking my Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard... and it is insanely time consuming. I finally got around to painting and drybrushing the rest of the rocks, but the majority of the board still looked like crap, so I broke down and gave flocking a try. I started with the top of the hill and it took me the better part of a day to finish. Granted, much of that time was actually spent doing other things while glue dried... it still seemed like it took forever. And I only have the top of the hill finished. That's only about a fifth (maybe less) of the total space on the board.

The rest will probably have to wait until January when I have more time... that is a huge amount of space to be flocking. Until then, I could use some help trying to figure out the best way to make the grass around the patches of skulls look dead. I'm currently using burnt grass by Woodland Scenics for the regular grass... should I use yellow flock? or a mix of yellow and brown? or something else?

200 Posts and Counting... Over a Year of Blogging

Well, I've been at it for over a year now and just broke the two hundred post mark. In the past year (and part of 2008), this humble little blog has evolved from a way to burn time while bored... to a way to gather and record my experiences as a gamer and hobbyist... to a fairly time consuming (but enjoyable) hobby in and of itself. To say the least, I've enjoyed the experience and plan to continue as long as the mental exercise amuses me and my readers stay entertained.

I want to take the time to thank my readers, whether you've found me through the Bell of Lost Souls Alliance, the From the Warp Bloggers Group, the RPG Bloggers Network, or just by chance through a random link or search. I've genuinely appreciated the feedback, advice, and encouragement you've all freely given.

Rifts Class Descriptions

We'll be starting an online Rifts campaign soon (using Google Wave!), but some of my players aren't all that familiar with the system. This post is to help my players choose what types of characters they'll want to play.


  • Crazy - augmented warriors who trade their sanity for superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, endurance, etc. 
  • Cyber-Knight - perhaps the only men and women left on Earth who truly uphold the ideals of chivalry, these cybernetic (and sometimes psionic) warriors fight for purity and righteousness
  • Headhunter - warriors who use bionics to gain an edge in combat
  • Juicer - warriors who use various chemicals to enhance their physical abilities; they live fast and die young (either in combat or because no one can withstand such high doses of drugs forever)
  • Merc Soldier - mercenaries who rely on battlefield experience and their natural abilities

Scholars and Adventurers

  • Body Fixer - the doctors of Rifts Earth
  • City Rat - rogues from the big city
  • Cyber-Doc - doctors and scientists who specialize in cybernetics/bionics
  • Operator - mechanical geniuses and repairmen
  • Rogue Scholar - educated wanderers who often teach anti-Coalition ideas
  • Rogue Scientist - similar to rogue scholars, but with more emphasis on technical knowledge... to use an example from modern schools, rogue scholars are probably English or history teachers while rogue scientists are science or math teachers
  • Vagabond - the ordinary guy (or gal) who got caught up in the adventuring life without any specialized training
  • Wilderness Scout - as their name implies, these adventurers specialize in surviving and thriving outside of civilization

Practitioners of Magic

  • Elemental Fusionist - instinctive wielders of magic from opposing elements, such as fire/water or air/earth
  • Ley Line Walker - wizards so in tune with magic that they can see and sense magical energy in all its forms
  • Ley Line Rifter - a line walker who specializes in dimensional and rift magic
  • Mystic - wizards who can naturally use both magic and psionics
  • Shifter - wizards who specialize in rifts and summoning magic
  • Techno-Wizard - wizards who specialize in blending magic with technology
  • Warlock - wizards who draw their powers from elemental supernatural beings (Rifts Conversion Book)


  • Burster - psychics who can control fire with their minds
  • Dog Boy - mutant dogs with heightened psychic senses
  • Mind-Melter - powerful psychics with access to all types of powers
  • Psi-Stalker - human mutants with abilities that help them fight the supernatural
Omitted OCCs/RCCs: Combat Cyborg, Glitter Boy, Robot Pilot, Dragon Hatchling

As we get further into the campaign preparation, more options will likely be added. As of right now, I want to remain as generic as possible.

The Horde Has Arrived!

I just got my ork horde in the mail today. Unfortunately, I won't have much time at all over the next few days to even assemble them. I'm excited, though.

The main problem is that I keep getting models faster than I can paint them, even at my version of tabletop standard... which isn't a very high standard, to say the least. Oh well... since this one's just for craps and giggles (and variety), I'll probably prime them and then ignore them until I at least finish working on my Realm of Battle Gameboard.

I did start working on the warboss and the weirdboy already, but I doubt I'll finish them until the gameboard looks decent. I'll post work-in-progress pics of the HQs whenever I get the time to take them.

Myrna, Horizon Walker

In all honesty, I haven't messed with my Spectrum Shock campaign in months. However, while digging through some old folders on the laptop this week, I stumbled upon a few NPC spotlights that were almost finished, so I finished them up. All of these were exercises in mixing and matching different D20 resources to come up with interesting characters for a post-apocalyptic campaign. This particular NPC, Myrna, uses material from D20 Modern, D&D 3.5, and a supplement from RPGObjects called Supers20.

At times one of Aron Illarion's travelling companions, Myrna is on the run from the DC military for entirely different reasons. She worked for DC emergency services for years before discovering that she had superhuman abilities. While on a seek and rescue mission, she found herself unable to reach her target... but after visualizing herself by his side, she found herself actually by his side without moving an inch... she had teleported! She immediately assumed that she had awakened some sort of latent psionic ability within herself, but testing proved her theory false. In fact, testing couldn't pinpoint the origin of her ability at all. Unable to define the source of the power, DC scientists began making subtle accusations that she might have been tainted by the supernatural. Myrna knew the eventual results of that line of thinking, so she gathered what she could carry and left as quietly as possible. Of course, the DC officials interpreted her fleeing as an admission of guilt, and added her to their list of wanted criminals.

Myrna now drifts around the wilderness, searching for someone knowledgeable enough to explain how she ended up with her special talent. In the meantime, she is immensely enjoying both the opportunity to see the world and the ability to pop up wherever she pleases. Still, a nagging feeling of uncertainty plagues her thoughts... what if the scientists were right? What if she has been corrupted somehow?

Myrna (Dedicated Hero 3 / Explorer 3 / Horizon Walker 2): CR 8; Medium humanoid (human); HD 3d6+6 plus 3d8+6 plus 2d8+4; hp 51; Mas 14; Init +2; Spd 6; Defense 16 (+4 class, +2 Dex, +0 natural armor), touch 16, flat-footed 14; BAB +6; Grap +6; Atk +6 melee (1d4, dagger) or +8 ranged (2d8, laser pistol); Full Atk +6/+1 melee (1d4, dagger) or +8/+3 ranged (2d8, laser pistol); SQ none; AL CG; Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +6; AP 4; Str 10, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
Occupation: Emergency Services (Search, Treat Injury)
Skills: Hide +8, Knowledge (earth/life sciences) +9, Knowledge (history) +9, Listen +11, Search +9, Spot +7, Survival +13, Treat Injury +15
Feats: Archaic Weapon Proficiency, Endurance, Guide, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Power Level x2, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Teleport (20' move action), Track
Talents (Dedicated Hero): Skill Emphasis (Treat Injury), Aware (+6 on listen/spot checks to avoid surprise)
Class Features (Explorer): Explorer Lore +5, Resolve (+1 vs fear/intimidate), Skilled Searcher (+1 to find secret doors/traps)
Class Features (Horizon Walker): Terrain Mastery (Forest, Hills)
Possessions (Wealth +4): In addition to her combat gear, Myrna carries a full backpack with her that is full of knickknacks and random items that she thinks she might need. Although she struggles to carry it long distances in the conventional fashion, she generally doesn't travel very far conventionally. She has far too much fun traveling by "hopping" short distances with her teleport ability.

Books Used: D20 Modern Core Rulebook, D20 Future, Dungeon Masters Guide v3.5, Supers20
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