Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Running the Numbers

Earlier today, I made the claim that I felt like "[Bloodcrushers are] more resilient than Bloodletters."  3+/5+ vs. 5+.

I took a moment to doodle out the math.  I don't fetishize Mathhammer or anything; there are a lot of factors that it can't weigh (and likely just as many factor's I'm too lazy to try to include), and it's sloppy statistics.  It's inevitably built around flat percentages, no accounting for standard deviation, &tc.  It's another tool in the toolbox, though.  A quick and dirty way give you an idea of whether something's better, or worse, or about the same... even if it doesn't immediately appear that way.

Anyway, the numbers:



For starters, 1 Bloodcrusher clearly cannot eat as many bolter shots (as good a metric as any) as 8 Bloodletters.  But he's 2/3rds as resilient for less than 1/3rd of the cost.  Still, I was wrong about that.

Bump it up 2 'Crushers, though, and they're still considerably cheaper and we're talking something much more resilient... even before factoring in Would Allocation Shenanigans (which I have no doubt can be calculated, but it's been a few years since I took a discrete math class).  They're also possibly killier (another claim I probably need to verify).

I think that, instead of running 3 'Crushers in my list from earlier today, I'm probably only going to run 2 in a single unit, just in the interests of kill points.  The points left over from not buying the third will go towards Icons and Fury on some models, I think.

Shrinking the List


Just learned that the Madicon 40K tournament is going to be 1,500 points.

Now, there are a few things I could probably say, but I think I'll leave it at: "1,500?  Really?"

Of course I haven't thought through a 1,500 point list.  I've thought through a 1,750 list that I can sort of ham-fistedly bloat up to 1,850 and 2,000... but nothing a 1,500 points.

On the one hand, this is vexing.  On the other hand, this is an opportunity to run a list that's somewhat tuned instead of a tuned list (as I consider my 1,750 list to be) plus points wasters.  I'm going to choose to be positive about this.

So, give me your opinions!

The first cut is my 1,750 list - 250 points.  Fundamentally, that's going to describe all of these 1,500 lists, but this is the most direct path.

I drop the Bloodcrushers entirely, as well as Karanak and an Icon.  I pick up a Fury of Khorne on the larger Bloodletter squad to hit 1,500.

MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 1,500 points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Bloodthirster

Troops
Bloodletters x16 - Icon of Khorne, Fury of Khorne
Bloodletters x8

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Pros: I can run this right now.
Cons: Bloodletters suck, and having fewer units does me no favors.

This next list is very similar to the previous list: it just splits the big Bloodletter squad in half.

MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 1,500 points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Bloodthirster

Troops
Bloodletters x8 - Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Fury of Khorne
Bloodletters x8

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Pros: I can run this right now.  More targets than the list above.
Cons: Bloodletters remain the weakest unit in the army.  8 is really fragile, too.

I can't tell if this final list is The Way to Go or Silly.

Instead of paying for more Bloodletters than the bare minimum, I can buy Bloodcrushers.  They're the cheapest thing I can put on the table (while sticking with the powers-of-two number scheme of 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 that Khorne likes), and feel like they're more resilient than Bloodletters (I'll do the math, later, to see if that's true or not).  They're also More Units, which means More Targets, which makes the overall army that much more resilient.

I could shift the Bloodletter upgrades onto the Bloodcrushers. Not sure if I want to do that or not.  If I do that, I'll have to model up and paint another Bloodletter.  (Only have one octet without an Icon.)  Without doing that, I think I can fudge the Fury, unequipped, and Instrument Bloodcrushers as just regular 'ol Crushers.

MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 1,500 points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Bloodthirster

Elites
Bloodcrusher x1
Bloodcrusher x1
Bloodcrusher x1

Troops
Bloodletters x8 - Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Fury of Khorne

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Pros: More targets!  More resilient targets!
Cons: Bloodcrushers have A Reputation for being really 'Ard and Killy, so this could look bad.  I don't think that's they're going to be too hard and killy run on their own, however.

What do people think?

Painting Progress - 20100224

I got a lot done over the weekend but, thanks to training, I've gotten nothing done this week.  Fortunately, that means I'm actually pretty much on schedule (yay!) instead of somewhat ahead of schedule (boo!).


I stuck the wings on the rest of my Daemon Princes, and did the greenstuff gap filling on them.  In retrospect, I'm really glad I did this with resin wings: I was able to reshape the wings to better fit the backs of the minotaurs in ways I simply couldn't have with plastic or metal wings.

I also based the Daemon Princes, and put Rubber Steel on their bases, as well as Karanak's.

Spent the bulk of the weekend powering through the Bloodthirsters.  If I'd been able to finish them, I'd be a week ahead (I expected it would take me two weeks to paint both of them, instead of just the one).  I'm close: I need to do a couple of details here and there, as well as do the flesh highlighting on their wings (non-trivial), and that's it.  Pics when they're done (maybe Friday, I hope).

On another note, Jay and Bill, have started up a hobby gaming podcast.  If you're into that sort of thing, you should certainly give it a listen.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bits Suggestions

I need a head.

Specifically, a head that could be converted to look like Benjamin Franklin's, in ~28mm, without too much sculpting.  An angry Ben Franklin head is not only acceptable, it's preferable.

Any ideas one where to look?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100217

I've made some progress... and had a setback.

I wrapped up Karanak in no time at all over the weekend.


I can't help but feel like I need to get him with a bit of blood somewhere, but I'm not quite sure where.  It's low priority to me, though: I can always come back and do that later.  I'm also waiting on some more Rubber Steel to show up in the mail so I can transport him in the drawer.

As noted in my last post, I've started on the Bloodthirsters.  The model is... making it difficult for me to motivate myself to paint them, but at least it feels like I'm making progress on them... unlike the Soul Grinders which seemed to live at the "drybrush Shining Gold" stage for forever.  I doubt I'll have them finished by this weekend, but I'd like to get them most of the way there by then.  That'll leave me with the Bloodcrushers (and the Daemon Princes).

Last week, I'd mentioned that I couldn't think of a good way to put wings on the Minotaurs/Daemon Princes. Conveniently, Casey had some Tyranid Wings he needed to get rid of.  That's great, because it means my "Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide" x3 can become the equally unhealthily expensive but significantly more useful "Daemon Prince - Daemonic Flight, Iron Hide" x3.

I've already stuck one pair on one of the Minotaurs.


They went on with extremely little work.  A pin in each wing, plus a tiny bit of green stuff to smooth things out.  I think I probably still need to come back through and do a bit more gap filling with greenstuff, but I'm pleased.


I did hit a minor setback last night, though: I got a game in last night (vs. Tyranids, got tabled) and, while bringing my stuff into the house, the foam tray with the Soul Grinders sitting in it (still need to do actual foam trays for transporting them) tipped over.  They fell, and some legs broke off.


Repairable, but I'd rather it hadn't have happened.

Anyway, progress from this morning (discounting the totally painted but needing-attention Soul Grinders):

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Boobthirster - Greater Daemon of Khorne


I started in on the Bloodthirsters yesterday.

I've never really been fond of the Bloodthirster model.  It's dated.   It's metal.  It's kind of ugly.  In the planning stage for this army, I'd decided I was going to use ForgeWorld Daemon Prince model... but at Games Day they were basically giving away the metal 'Thirster models for $10 a pop.  So, classic model it was.

Now that I've started painting them.... I'm starting to wish I'd stuck with the original plan.

For one, I hate metal.  It's less cooperative and more fragile than plastic.  Plus, with the enormous wings it's extremely top heavy.  

More significantly, the sculpt is kind of wretched.  I realized this while highlighting the flesh.  

For starters, the musculature is pretty crazy.  Like, Liefield-crazy.


Muscles and tendons aren't quite where they should be.  I can't tell if things are bulging veins or gills or what.

Ultimately, though: the boobs.


I had the following conversation last night:

Me: "I don't know that I want to highlight these pecs.  They're big... but I think that highlighting them makes them look more like boobs.

Mrs. Rushputin: "No it doesn't.  They're boobs."

Me: "They're supposed to be enormous, masculine pecs."

Mrs. Rushputin: "Well, they look like boobs."

Me: "Yeah, I suppose they do."

They are pretty huge man-boobs.  It's been better endowed by the breast fairy than the Keeper of Secrets


I'm forging ahead regardless, though.  I'll have a more detailed status update later on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Khornate Daemon Lists


Given that I had to bump the list up to 2K for March 20th, as well needing to swap out the Soul Grinders for... something else, I've done some thinking about my lists.

My 1,750 list has been unchanged.  Part of me looks at all the scary new psychic powers that these new codices have... but then the other part of me tells me that Blessing of the Blood God really wouldn't be as useful as it should be (since it only works for wounds).
MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 1,750 points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Bloodthirster

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne, Instrument of Khorne

Troops
Bloodletters x16 - Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Icon of Khorne

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Karanak, Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
My 1,850 list is identical to my 1,750 list.  100 points just isn't enough to buy another unit, so I have to throw more points at the units I have.
MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 1,850 points

HQ
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne, Instrument of Khorne

Troops
Bloodletters x16 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Karanak, Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
My 2,000 point list is considerably rougher.  For one, I'm swapping out the Soul Grinders with which I'm very comfortable and happy for Daemon Princes I've never put on the table.  Furthermore, besides the Daemon Princes, I really don't want to add any new models: I've got my eye on shifting from running mono-God to something more... ecumenical, while sticking with the Khornate theme.  That will involve some fun conversions and such... none of which I'm permitting myself to think about until I'm done with this mess.

The Daemon Princes I'm not particularly happy with.  They're loaded up with a bunch of crap that gets them up to 170 points a pop.  That's the same cost for a Winged Daemon Prince with Iron Hide, which I think would probably be considerably more useful... but I don't think I can run them 'cause I can't think of a way to model them this side of ordering Tyranid Warrior Wings, which is cost-prohibitive.  Also, I'm kinda-sorta holding out for the plastic Daemon Prince kit.  I'd run them cheaper... but I don't have anything else on which to spend the points.

So, that leaves me with:
MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 2,000 points

HQ
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne, Instrument of Khorne

Troops
Bloodletters x16 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Karanak, Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
There's a lot of room for improvement with the 2K list, but it'll get me to where I need to be for the time being and it should, hopefully, be a fun list to play.  Then, come April, it'll be time to look to diversification.

Painting Progress - 20100209

Made a bit of progress with the second Soul Grinder over the past few days, but not nearly as much as I'd have liked.  I think I went to bed Sunday thinking that I'd be able to power through it and have it mostly done by Monday night but... that hasn't happened.  

I'm still doing the final highlight on the skin and, not only that, I'm fairly displeased with the results.  That second wash has come out splotchy and uneven; I find I've had to keep going back to different spots to knock it back to pre-wash.  I'd mixed up a bottle of the wash, and I'm thinking I got a ratio off.

Threw some primer on the two Bloodthirsters and Karanak, since they're what I'll be working on when I'm done with these dang 'Grinders.

In anticipation of being snowed in for the bulk of the week, we braved the roads to get out to Game Parlor and pick up some more Devlan Mud.  While out, I also grabbed a box of the new minotaurs, with the thought of using them as Daemon Princes.  The Battle for the Cure will have a rule that benefits those who don't take vehicles.  Given that I need to bulk up the list to 2,000 points anyway, I figured it was worth looking into.

I'm pretty happy with the models.  There was a lot of complaining on OGO about them: I think all that boils down to a paint job that, while I think was fine, wasn't what most people wanted.  The models themselves are pretty cool looking: REALLY ANGRY BULL PEOPLE, which will work fine as DPs.  No conversion involved here, but I'm okay with that.  They'll have the Mark of Khorne and will be geared for stabbification.

Given that the tournament at Madicon looks like it isn't going to be (which is a shame, because I'd have been happy to take care of it for them), plus the addition of three Daemon Princes that I need to have done by the following week, I've shifted the goal a bit.  I'm adding the three DPs and shifting everything it back a week, to 3/19.  The new chart:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100207



I think I got good use out of SnĊmageddon II: Snow Harder / Snowtorious B.I.G. / 2 Fast 2 Flurrious, wrapping up my first Soul Grinder and powering through my second.  This is good, because the first one took much, much longer to paint.  If the second turns out to take as long, I'm definitely slipping my schedule.  I'm aways off from finishing it, but if I can get to where I think I can get before bed tonight, I won't be in too bad shape.


As mentioned before, I've been lax in posting painted mini pics.  Allow me to rectify that mistake immediately.  Here's my painted army so far.

I've got three octets of Bloodletters.  Each octet has a model with Fury of Khorne, with a great big KHORNINATION symbol on their forehead.  Two of the octets have Icons of Khorne, and the third actually as nine models, no Icon: I intent to merge it with another octet, which means I need eight regular Bloodletters.




Bloodletter octets are designated by blood splatters: one octet has nothing, one has a bloody left hand, and one has a bloody face.



I've got two octets of Flesh Hounds.  Each has a model with Fury of Khorne, indicated by bloody faces.



As with Bloodletters, Flesh Hound octets are designated by blood splatters: one has no blood, the other has a bloody left paw.


Finally, I've finished one Soul Grinder.  It's been gloss-varnished, but still needs the sweet kiss of Dullcote before it's "Done" done.


This means that I'm getting there!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Battle for the Cure


Frank is running a tournament mid-March (3/20) called "Battle for the Cure."  At the same time, we'll be running a silent auction, auctioning off various donations.

Tournament fees and the proceeds will go to sponsor fellow IFL'er Bill Donovan's participation in the Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure.  He's been doing it for years, but this will be our first year doing something organized to support him.

Breast cancer's very recently touched my family: my mother's spent the better part of last year fighting it (and beating it)... so it's something that I've been pretty cognizant of, lately.

I'll be donating to the auction: I'll paint a squad of ~10 models for the winning bidder.  I'm not the best painter in the world, but I am a Golden Daemon finalist, so I think that should be worth something.  (I'm a little tempted to make a high bid for my own services: I don't particularly enjoy painting for other people :) )

Of course, this is further motivation for me to have my army nicely and completely painted in time for the tournament, so I can point to it.  "See, I'm a good painter.  You should spend money on boobs and, in doing so, get a nicely painted squad."  Given that the tournament is one week after my previous target date, that should be doable, but it's a 2,000 point tournament.  So, one more week... but 150 more points.

Anyway, if you're in the area (within driving distance of Fredericksburg, VA), you should check it out.  It should be a lot of fun, and it's for a very good cause.  More information about the event can be found on the IFL Forum or on the Game Vault Forum.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daemonhunters vs. Daemons

Awesome Grey Knights art from here.

Someone on the IFL Forum made a comment about "the fact that [Daemonhunters] have anti-demon stuff that doesn't affect the new demons is just a bit stupid."

This appears to be a pretty common, yet significantly inaccurate belief, and it bugs the snot out of me.

So, to set the record straight, I decided to run through the codex and pick out the items that specifically refer to Daemons, as well as the things that people would think would work against Daemons (read: things that relate to Pskyers and psychic powers).

Now, I'm hardly claiming that Daemonhunters are a power army or anything, and they definitely have some things that, while still broadly useful (in a world with the new Space Wolves and new Tyranids, they're increasingly useful), aren't as useful against Daemons specifically.   But it's not as dire or "stupid" as people claim.

The List

Still Useful:
  • Annointed Weapon (Wargear) - Unchanged, still works except vs. Soul Grinders by RAW
  • Daemonhammer (Wargear)- Unchanged, still works
  • Destroy Daemon (Psychic Power) - Unchanged, still works
  • Grimoire of True Names - Unchanged, still works
  • Hierophant (Henchman) - Unchanged, still works
  • Mystic (Henchman) - Unchanged, still works
  • Incinerator (Wargear) - Unchanged, still works
  • Psycannon / Psycannon Bolts (Wargear) - See Incinerator
  • Rites of Exorcism (Special Rule) - See Hierophant
  • Sacred Hull (Vehicle Wargear) - See Hierophant
  • Sacred Incense (Wargear) - Unchanged, still works
  • Sanctuary (Psychic Power) - See Incinerator
  • Scourging (Psychic Power)- See Incinerator
In summary, Daemonhunters have:
  • A number of things that make Daemons assault as if through Difficult Terrain.  This is never a bad thing and, given that most Daemons lack grenades, it's even more effective.
  • A host of things that ignore Invulnerable Saves, which is all most Daemons have
  • Rules that weaken Daemons in combat: making them ½ Weapon Skill and/or -1 Initiative.
  • Rules that help against Daemons in combat: wounding on a 4+, granting (effectively) Preferred Enemy or providing an at-Initiative Thunderhammer.
  • Something that allows free shots at every single Daemon unit in the army as it deploys.
Clearly, Daemonhunters have a number of things going for them that are 1) intended for use against Daemons and 2) still very much useful against Daemons.

No longer Useful:
  • The Aegis (Special Rule) - Daemons don't take psychic tests
  • Banishment (Psychic Powers) - Instability is gone
  • Blessed (Vehicle Wargear)- Daemons don't have vehicles that have the listed attributes.
  • Culexus Assassin (Elite) - See The Aegis
  • Daemonic Infestation (Special Rule) - Simply not relevant, but this was hardly an "anti-demon" rule.
  • Null Rod (Wargear) - See The Aegis
  • Psychic Hood (Wargear) - See The Aegis
  • Ungents of Warding (Wargear) - See The Aegis
So, in other words, all of the Daemonhunters' "anti-demon stuff" still works just fine against Daemons except:
  • Things that affect psykers and psychic powers
  • Banishment, because Daemons no longer have Daemonic Instability
  • Blessed, at least by RAW
The psychic thing is something of a legit complaint, I think.  The things that one would want to classify as "psychic powers" in the Daemons army, though, really aren't in the same league as other armies' psychic powers.

Pavane of Slaanesh is kind of a lot like Lash of Submission, but it's not nearly as strong.

You've kinda got me on things like Bolt of Change (being the same between the Daemonic Gift and the Chaos Marine Psychic Power) and Daemonic Gaze/Doombolt (which is actually better for Daemons), but at the same time would it really be reasonable to classify 100% of an army's shooting as psychic powers?

Blessed isn't, by RAW, useful against Soul Grinders.  I'd feel a little dirty making that claim at the table, but at the same time... 'Grinders are affected by all of the rules that work against Daemons.  That makes it a bit more of a wash.

So, even with the nerf to psychic defense (nothing to defend against), items that still kick daemonic butt outnumber items that are no longer useful in fighting daemons nearly 2:1.  That psychic defense stuff, while not useful against Daemons, is more important than ever against other armies.

Doom of Malantai Debate

I've been strenuously avoiding the Doom of Malantai debate because I've yet to get through the new codex.  As far as I can tell, it's a tough question.  Someone linked to this video, though, and it got a good laugh out of me.


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