Monday, 22 August 2011

Path of the Seer - A Black Libriary Review

Let me start off with the following warning – This review contains spoilers for Path of the Warrior. I will try to keep it spoiler free for Path of the Seer, but it follows the same story as Warrior. Which also means (I guess) this review also contains “spoilers” for the unreleased Path of the Outcast, even though it’s not out for ages yet.
And before I get onto Path of the Seer, a brief word on Warrior. Warrior…is a complicated book for me. It offers a deep look at Eldar culture, society, the path system, how a craftworld functions and how the Eldar wage war. It is brilliant for understanding the Eldar more than what is in the codex, and great for the enigmatic race to get some more screen time. However if you aren’t interested in the background (or maybe even if you are) Warrior is severely let down by the main character being an intolerable prick. Who then gets “killed” off 2/3 of the way through the book and replaced by an even less likable character (although this is deliberate – Exarches live only to fight and so are allowed to be aloof d**ks). Warrior earns 6.5/10 from me
Anyway…Seer. From the get go already a much better book from the first few pages. The main Character (Thirianna) is a much more likable character. From her point of view (not the skewed view of Korandril in Warrior) she is a much better person, and Korandril comes off even worse than he did in Warrior. The book follows the same structure as warrior. 3 friends re-united, confrontation, choosing a new path, conflict on a maiden world against the Orks, more training, assault on a chaos tainted guard outpost, decision to continue the path, defence of the craftworld from the Imperium. It’s the same story as Warrior, just from a Seer’s perspective, not that of the Warrior.
Again the book is resplendent with details of the Eldar way, and different aspects of their culture explored. Obviously the Eldar physic powers, rune casting and mastery of the threads of the Skein are paramount, but other aspects are explored. The interaction between Eldar, the infinity circuit and the Craftworld are explored. How Physkers battle each other in combat, both in mind and body. A section focuses on Thiriannas father, a Bonesinger as they sculpt the Pyscho-plastic wraithbone into a battleship. How the physkers and Autarchs work together for battle plans and enforce them. The most distasteful of all Eldar practises is also discussed and shown - Raising the dead to fight in the form of Wraithguard and Wraithlords. The webway, the warp, demonic possession and influence as well. There is a particular part during the raid on the guard outpost about Thirianna duelling with a child who is being possessed by a demon of She-Who-Thirsts that’s sticks in my mind
The writing style is as good as Warrior, and with a better character and I feel, a better character’s journey, the book is much better. The Space Marines who invade the craftworld at the end are finally named (Sons of Orar) and from the beginning of Thirianna’s days on the path of the Poet to her final climactic duel with a Marine Librarian the book is well paced and a brilliant read. Still I feel it suffers towards the end. The trilogy (Warrior, Seer, Outcast) is unusual in they all end in the same place, but only the last one will actually end the story. In Warrior and Seer, the war for Altioc is still raging when the book ends, leaving only the cryptic comment that it’s “Fate will be decided in Book 3”. Interestingly it never refers to the series as a Trilogy, only a series. Maybe suggesting future books? Maybe Outcast won’t end the battle either, and there will be a 4th book of climax and recovery. Without a true ending, the book suffers, but still is well deserving of its score of 8.5/10
Hint for Outcast are also scattered in the book, where Thirianna touches on Aradryan’s (the Outcast) memory. Memories of pirate raids, visits to Commaragh and ranger training are highlighted, as are his return to defend the Craftworld with the Harlequins.
Off topic – A few cool physic powers are mentioned that would be good in the next Eldar codex. One is a kind of reverse-guide where the enemy is targeted and their accuracy drops due to distraction. Maybe target enemies and make them re-roll successful to hit rolls?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Brighton Warlords 1750pts

Link to their forum

The guys at Brighton are good fun, and the venue is generally brilliant as well

1750 points, including any FW (but not Superheavies or Gangantuan Creatures - although I'm asking if I can take my massivly overpowered Eldar Fliers)

If I can take my fliers then I'll be taking 3 aircraft Eldar list. Which needing 6's to hit, and 2 4+ saves will be bent as hell

If I can't, the DE list I took to Solent will be added to and changed.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Solent Position

Just got posted. Came 14th out of 37. Pretty happy with that for my first real tournement!

Solent Wargamers Day 2

Returned the next morning, with a sore back and clicky knees. I set myself the goal of getting hopefully one more win, and the secondary objective of seeing if the Duke could pass at least 1 2++ save.

And so it begins

GAME 4, Pitched Battle, Annihalation. Result - Loss (Ended turn 5, conceded about 800VP and gained about 1200

Ork army. 2 battlewagons, 1 full of Hard Boyz, 1 with Nobz, Warboss and the crazy physic ork leader. Also a unit of warbikes, and 3 warbuggies with Rokkits.

This was always going to be hard. His army had only 8 KP. By the end I had both Ravagers, my raider, my venom, my incubi and my wyches still alive. He had 2 wounded Nobz, the warboss and the special wierd boy (I can't for the life of me remember name) cowering in a pile of rocks, under assault from my Wyches and Incubi. Another turn and i'd have had him through Annihalation

High Points - Immobilsing Warboss Battlewagon turn 1, wrecking the other turn 2. Reaver flyby killing most of the bikes in one turn. My Talos realising he had to sacrifice his life to kill a battlewagon before it ran away and lost me another kill point and Death or Glorying a Deffrolla Battlewagon. Took 9 hits and died, but his one hit back...rolled an 8, penetrated and exploded it. The wracks also got AP1 and 2 for their liquifiers which really helped cut the Nobs down. The 'ard Boyz running, sacrificing one of them to reroll their leadership and still failing

Low Points - Those Nobs surviving! Just! Another turn and the Wyches (who were still unwounded) and maybe the Incubi would have killed them all. The immobilised battlewagon using its only Grot rigger and repairing its immobilised turn 1 and then shrugging off a huge amount of firepower.

GAME 5, Spearhead, Capture and Control. Result - Loss (Tabled turn 6, gained about 200VP's

GK. 3 Psyrifledread's. 2 razorbacks with strike squads, a librarian and a stormraven full of Terminators.

I hate GK's

That point still stands.

The only game I got tabled, and just got horrendous luck. Was playing on the exact same table as I was for the previous GK game, so really dislike this table.

Did I mention I hate GK's?

High Points - Even less than last game against GK's. My Talos guns killed 3 guys. And in CC he got 7 attacks against a vehicle!

And managed one glancing hit

Low Points - The Game. In all my shots, all my Talo's CC attacks I managed a single glancing hit. Which gave me a shaken result. Which being a GK vehicle it ignored. I lost all but one ravager by turn 2. My Wyches walked on, got hit by all 4 missiles from the Stormraven, took 20 wounds. only lost 6, but failed Leadership and ran off. My large warriors squad took 8 hits from 2 dreads, failed 6 out of 8 cover saves (on a 3+ having gone to ground), failed a leadership and ran. Was not a good game.

Did I mention I hate GK's?

GAME 6, Spearhead, Seize Ground. Result - Win (Ended turn 5, conceded about 350VP and gained about 1100VP Ultramarines. Absolutly beautiful, and won best painted overall. Damn well deserved it as well.

Land Raider, Drop Pod dread, rhino, razorback, sternguard and a few combat squads and a Terminator squad

High Points - Venom killed 6 Sternguard in one shooting phase. Incubi assaulted the Terminators and over 3 assaults killed all of them without taking a single wound back. The Wyches using their blast pistol to one shot the Dreadnaught that was about to assault my warriors squad after drop podding in and then Haywire grenading the Droppod and Land raider.

Low Points - Wracks got hit and ran away. One fluky missile shot at its maximum range managed to get one Ravager on turn 1.

So all over! Had a great time, got a breakeven result, even had 2 games (a win and a loss) at the top of the leaderboard! The results will get published later so I can find out how I did.

Re-writting my list and will share that and some army pictures soon