Hobby Corner 4: Warhammer 40,000 8th edition

It finally happened! Last Saturday I finally got my mits on the newest Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, and I have to admit… I was rather disappointed.

Most of the book was background fluff, which is good for people just getting into the game, or for old vets like myself coming back and needing an update on what’s happened in the universe of the dark imperium; but not so great for the $75 price tag. Actual rules are crammed together on about ten pages, with the back of the book devoted to scenarios and promotions for codexes and game expansions. Honestly, it’s not surprising, but I think the 6th and 7th edition books at least offered more for the money. They were even chincy on the army photos this time, which has always been one of my favorite parts of the books. With all the reused artwork, and not costing them much to make, it’s starting to look like Games Workshop hasn’t change that much after all.

So what about the rules this time? Are they better? Are the worse? Well…

It’s a mixed bag. I would agree that the rules for 6th and 7th edition were bloated beyond enjoyability, but I don’t think they should have given it the Age of Sigmar treatment with a thunder hammer. Most of the changes have already been discussed on  sites with better access to rulebooks, so I’m not going to make an itemized list. I will however post my thoughts on some of the more extreme things, and how I think they will change the game.

Removal of initiative

I’m on the fence with this one. Granted, initiative either made a unit combat gods, or it made them useless, but I think this is an area that could have been expanded upon as opposed to thrown away. Leaving close combats up to a round- robin with the players throws a little too much randomness into the mix. On the plus side, chargers always go first again, so that added back a little bit of a strategy element. A bit of give and take at the moment. We’ll just have to wait and see how it holds up.

Split Shooting

Or in other words, units no longer have to waste heavy weapon shots on fodder meat. This is a good change in my opinion, as it better represents squaddies giving covering fire to a heavy weapon specialist targeting a big baddie. It also allows a squad to deal with multiple threats at once. With the new amor rules I see this change as a good thing and hope there will be more like it.

Armor Reduction as opposed to Armor Penetration

I’ll be honest, I hated the AP rules. Some guns were incredibly powerful as a result *cough* plasma *cough* and other guns, such as high powered cannons, and heavy machine guns, were next to useless. The Armor Reduction rules, however, are nothing new, they’re old, brought back from the days of 2nd edition when Space Marine Terminators didn’t go down to a few guardsmen with super guns.  I’m excited for this change, as it’s added a lot of tactical flexibility back into weapon choices. No longer is heavy dreadnought armor simply ignored because someone has a glowing sword. Now those units will still get some protection, even if it is reduced by the weapon’s power.

Vehicle Wounds and Toughness Values

Another change I’m a little iffy on. Not having to dance around with your tank to take advantage of armor facings is a definite plus, but now heavy battle tanks are somewhat susceptible to small arms fire. I suppose it is a lot simpler than 7th editions vehicle charts and structure points, while still accomplishing the job of ensuring a Land Raider doesn’t go down to a single shot from a missile launcher, but it’s one of those things I think simply needed some improvement. Like with initiative, I’m going to give it the “wait and see” treatment. In the long run, it probably will be a better system.

Removal of Templates

This one I don’t like. Replacing blast and flame templates with randomly determined attacks is one of those things that really is too simple for it’s own good. There was nothing wrong with the template system. If it was under the template, it was hit, if not, it wasn’t, and provided for a more accurate impact of explosions and gouts of flame. The new random D6 rule has neutered pounding battle cannons, earth shakers, death strike missiles, and other weapons of mass impact, while making rapid fire and straight shot weapons more powerful. Other than losing templates after games, I don’t recall this ever being a problem. It was a nice element and opened up tactical options that are no longer available. I hope GW brings this back in the future.

And that’s it. There are a few things left that might warrant a mention, such as multiple wounding weapons, or making every vehicle an assault platform, but, in the grand scheme of things, these are just additions (or subtractions) to elements that were already there. If there is enough interest, I can discuss those later. Command Points are also something that warrants a discussion, but as they are optional, again, I’ll leave those for another time, perhaps alongside the new detachment rules.

Now, I promised pictures, so here we go.

Not being a fan of the Ogryn models for Adeptus Militarum, and needing some heavy hitters that fit the canine theme of my inquisitorial strike force, I decided to get some skin wolves from Forge World and convert them up to represent a unit of Bullgryns.

Skinwolf Ogryns

Again, not the best picture, but good enough for a quick peak at one of my current modeling projects (oh yes, there’s more). As you can see, I’ve given them armor plates from dreadnoughts and cut up battle cannons. Provided storm shields for Brute Shields (essentially the same thing anyway), and gave them auto cannons for mauls (yes, they swing around entire auto-cannons). Given my inquisitor would likely be looking for an edge against all enemies, a little bit of genetic manipulation is small potatoes compared to summoning and bonding demons into service. Besides, everyone gives into chaos eventually. Sounds better than being eaten by bugs.

Here’s a better picture of the swinging one as he got a little cut off.

 

Skinwolf Ogryn Swing

I wish I had more to show you, but these were the best pictures of the quick snaps I made. I think I have a photo box around somewhere, as well as a few spot lamps I need to pull out, but that will have to wait for another time. Until then, keep checking back for more photos and discussions of my modeling hobby, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of “The Last Chronicle of Azureden: A Deal in the Darkness” to support me and my work. You won’t regret it.

And before anyone asks, yes, I am still working on book 2 😉

Zazzle and Hobby Corner 3

Hey! It’s an update, which means there must be things to talk about. Well yes. Yes there are.

First and foremost, business. Book 2 of The Last Chronicle of Azurden is taking longer to write than I would like, but I assure everyone, it is being worked on. Aside from numerous other obligations that keep cropping up at inopportune times, a lot of the delay also has to do with Book 2’s complex plot structure. “A Deal in the Darkness” was simple. It involved one viewpoint, an introduction to a new world, and a narrative that took place in essentially two or three locations. Book 2 involves two viewpoints, takes place across an entire continent, and involves much more backstory than Book 1 did. Weaving it all together has been… trying, but I refuse to sacrifice quality by taking shortcuts and making idiotic continuity errors. Also, as I’m sure seasoned readers are probably wondering, no, I am not trying to complicate the plot for complication’s sake. The overall plot structure eventually required the second veiwpoint to surface and be focused upon more regularly than it already has. After all, The Last Chronicle of Azurden isn’t just one story, it’s part of a much grander tapestry I hope to one day expand on when this first series is finished. In this way Book 2 is probably the most critical in the series, hence why I want to make sure it’s the best it can be.

Next, Ellysian Press has opened it’s own storefront through zazzle called the Ellysian vault, selling book reading essentials such as book marks, totes and coffee mugs (or tea mugs if you prefer). I encourage anyone looking for a new reading utensil to pop on in and take a look. You would be helping Ellysian Press and supporting the authors you love to read. Not to mention there is just so much cool stuff featuring the awesome covers of your favorite books. Linky: The Ellysian Vault

Now we get to the Hobby Corner aspect, and something a lot of tabletop hobby enthusiasts have been buzzing about for most of the summer. The New Edition of Warhammer 40,000.

As other parts of this blog will demonstrate, though not a rabid fan, I have devoted a sum of my life and a considerable amount of my capital to the immortal emperor of mankind.  From Space Marines, to Tyranids, Grey Knights and Imperial Guard, I have played 40k off and on since high school, and one time even worked at the U.S. based headquarters of Games Workshop itself. For almost four years now, I have been divorced from the hobby due to Games Workshop policies of treating its customers (and employees) as little more than simple commodities, easily gained, and tossed, at their discretion. Nothing demonstrated this mindset more than the complete dissolution of Warhammer Fantasy, their rank and file battle game that, despite lackluster sales, still had a humongous following and several video game adaptations (some of which were ironically released that same year). Now understand, I’m not saying they simply stopped making models for it, or said the last rule book would be the last edition. I’m saying they completely dropped it from the face of existence, to the point they won’t even let you play the game in their stores anymore. To add insult to injury, they replaced it with an infantile skirmish game called Age of Sigmar, that had no sense of balance, and made people do ridiculous and obnoxious things for cheap boons. Having hundreds, (if not thousands) wrapped up in Warhammer Fantasy, and the arrogant responses from Games Workshop marketing department, (not to mention the 40K fans who felt their game invincible) I had enough, and swore GW would not get another dime of my money until they either did a full 360, or sold the IP rights to a company that actually gave a damn about their customers. Fast forward two years later. Games Workshop has had a complete shakeup of their upper management, part of which resulted in the overthrow of evil overlord Tom Kirby. Two of the company’s best creatives are back, and suddenly, their is a significant turnaround concerning the release of their games and the treatment of their IP’s. Warhammer Fantasy is still gone, and will probably remain so, but Age of Sigmar has been reworked, and 40K is due to be overhauled. Marketing is actually reaching out to the customers, and GW stores, which had almost disappeared from the landscape, are slowly starting to return. I began hearing something from the Warhammer hobby community I had not heard in a long time, contentment, even (gasp) praise. Though cautious, I have decided to give GW another chance, and with the release of Warhammer 40K eighth edition, I felt now would be the perfect time. Who knows, maybe in another year, Warhammer Fantasy will return as well.

Sadly, due to very high demand, I have been unable to get a new rulebook at the time of this writing (I was supposed to have one. I’d ordered one, but they are still filling out back orders) and so don’t have a copy of the rules to facilitate a fair discussion. I could talk about what I know, such as vehicles now having wounds, and the return of armor reduction as opposed to straight penetration, but then I might miss something surrounding those aspects that also warrants discussion. That being the case, I’ll end this for now, and return in a week or so when I actually have a copy in hand and can break down my views and opinions on what I think of the changes (for those who care about that sort of thing). Until then, watch this space, as I am already getting new models and expanding one of my armies thanks to the imperial 2 index that came out alongside. Yes, there will be pictures 🙂

Ellysian Press and Upcoming Author Weeks

Okay, so that didn’t work. Character rebellions aside, I somehow knew it wouldn’t before I even started. This doesn’t mean I won’t update, or that I won’t update semi-regularly. It just means like I said before. I will update when there is something to say. Sometimes that will be the following day. Others it may be a month. Regardless, know that I am not abandoning my series or my writing. No matter how long it may seem I’m away. I am going to try (no promises) to update this more frequently, but when I don’t have anything to say, I… just don’t have anything to say.

But, as I’m here, that must mean things are going on, Right? Well, yes! A lot actually! However, it just so happens to have all started coming to a head at this very point. Hence the latest update to Another Fox’s Hideaway 🙂

First Ellysian Press is now operating a You Tube Channel for all readers, authors, and interested parties alike. It is done in open discussion format between the many talented authors of Ellysian Press, featuring topics such as writing/marketing strategies, world building, movie tie-ins, plotting, character development, and so much more from a variety of different perspectives and experiences. I highly encourage anyone interested in the world of books to take a look. You won’t regret it.

Next. Ellysian Press is also kicking off AUTHOR WEEKS. Where each author is featured prominently on the press’s Facebook group page The Ellysians for one week. This week is yours truly! But I will be updating the site each week with the next author on the featured list. During these weeks, you will be able to ask the authors of your favorite Ellysian Books any question pertaining to their stories, writing, or general experiences, and they will be around to answer them for you. Be sure to take advantage, I know I will.

Third. Anyone who has been paying attention to Games Workshop and the tabletop gaming industry will know that they are releasing the eighth edition of 40K VERY soon. Though I still abhore Age of Sigmar, the new 40K looks like it’s a step in the right direction for the hobby. Guess time will tell in the end.

And last, but certainly not least. Work on The Last Chronicle of Azurden “The Journey Made Twice” (tentative title) is in the works. Know that I will devote a lot of time to this to ensure the same standard of quality and pacing that I strive for in all of my works, and to ensure the complex world Renard exists in remains easy to understand. So far, it starts off with a roller coaster ride of an opening, so keep your eyes open for future updates on its progress.

Expect more frequent updates soon, as a lot is happening with Ellysian Press and The Last Chronicle of Azurden. As a final note. If you enjoy my books and stories, share this site, and Ellysian Press, with your friends. Having more people involved certainly helps when it comes to doing updates, and I am willing to answer questions about almost anything whether poster here, or on my FB feed. (It’s also a great way to formulate more topics in the future.)

 

What is Enavordin?

Late update today, but I’m determined to stay on schedule so here we go. As I said last time Archimede is better at this stuff than I am, so here he is to briefly discuss the second world in The Last Chronicle of Azurden series. Take it away.

“Is this really necessary? You know only a few people are even going to see this.”

Ha ha, Archimede, these get archived. Future readers will want-

“Oh yes, they’ll want to dig through long lists of old posts to see the one you happened to write today. As a historian, I’ll tell you that’s incredibly unlikely.”

He’s just a little distracted everyone, he wants to get back to-

“Don’t tell them how I feel. This is a waste of my time and you know it! I have a million other things to do aside from coming out on your version of Free Haven’s Linked Network and updating your social page. Besides from what’s going on in this ‘Face Book’ I see your world is well on it’s way to following in the footsteps of ou-”

Anyway! I suppose I’ll take the reigns again and give a brief introduction to the continent of Enavordin and some of the places that inhabit it.

“Humph! Rude.”

First of all, unlike Azurden, Enavordin is a continent, not the world. This might cause some confusion for the first book as-

“That is terrible. Is that how you described Azurden?”

Well, yes, kinda. But-

“Oh move over. Enavordin is a large continent consisting of the lands of Loringlund, Atlia, Stratholme, and the two independent settlements of Dawnfire Keep and Brione. There are, other, smaller independent entities, but for the sake of the one who demanded I update this page for him, and my sanity, I cannot discuss them just yet.”

You know, I’m right here.

“As they read, one might realize that Enavordin is… more mature, than the smaller world of Azurden. It was discovered long after the events of Azurden came to an end, and as a result, carries with it more complex entities, such as a developed feudal system, established networks of trade, more natural geographic features, and, what I can assume to be a magic system based more in ancient traditions rather than the ‘point point pew pew’ nonsense I see all over Free Haven’s data vids.”

To be fair. There wasn’t much pew pew nonsense in Azurden either.

“Are you kidding? It was all over the place. Was rather fun too, until you decided to-”

Ha Ha, that was only because I didn’t understand how electronics and pyrotechnics worked yet. Azurden is actually very scientifi-

“You had a villain that could shoot fireballs. A giant bull with a magic axe. A dolphin that could control plants. And a fox from outer space that could make death rays and turn herself into a crystal statue.”

. . . No I didn’t.

“I wrote it all down. In fact, I used to have a partner. Do tell me what happened to-”

And will you look at that! Almost out of time. I’ll have to work some things out with Archimede as to Azurden’s history as it’s obvious he doesn’t quite remember how some things happened correctly.

“I’m not going to let you just leave them out you know. I’ll find a way to bring them back. As a historian it’s my duty to tell the whole story, and I am writing the books.”

*Feed Terminated*

“That won’t work. This wasn’t a video interview.”

So, What is Azurden?

It’s Monday! And according to my previous post, that means its time to start discussing some of the background behind my first series “The Last Chronicle of Azurden”.

So why Azurden in the first place? Why not call it “The First Chronicle of Enavordin”? as that’s the continent most of the story takes place. Well, first, Enavordin didn’t “start” when Renard got pulled into it by Adriana. It already had a rich history that Archimede was, at the time, unaware of. Second, it’s also because the series isn’t so much about the events transpiring on Enavordin as it is about how Azurden met the fate hinted at in the preface of Book One, A Deal in the Darkness, and how the two worlds of Azurden and Enavordin end up affecting each other. Finally, Azurden is the oldest of my many worlds, and as such it only seemed fitting it be one of the first  I write about, even if it is from a “looking back” perspective.

To clarify what I mean, I must first point out that unlike some of my other works, this series isn’t something I came up with over a week of brainstorming, or a month of “wild ideas”. It is, in fact, a story that has been twenty six years in the making, and it has been in the making for so long because Azurden was the world of my childhood. It was an escape from the many pressures of adolescent life, a playground for my mind to throw together whatever it wanted, and a place where that pesky “logic” couldn’t pull things down. It had flying whales, a futuristic domed city, gardens that came to life, lands that floated over the ocean, magical gods, and its own fair share of talking animals. Perhaps this will make it quirky for some, thinking they are reading a child’s fantasy, but I did say it has been twenty six years, and a lot of nasty things can happen to a, supposedly, innocent place in that amount of time. In Azurden, the heroes didn’t always win, the villains weren’t always incompetent, and the cities and nations did not always get along. That’s right, even in my imagination, my mind forced me to face some harsh realities. Some would say its a coping mechanism, others would insist I was just abnormal. Whatever the case, as I grew older, Azurden became a darker and more intimidating world, until a time came, at about sixteen years old, I decided something needed to change. What was that change? Well, that will have to be revealed at a far later time, as it has very much to do with the current story. I’m sure there will also be those that notice sixteen does not equate to twenty six. And I certainly wasn’t coming up with this stuff as an infant. That is where next week’s discussion will begin.

Unfortunately, that’s about all I can say at this point and time, as much of Azurden’s existence, and it’s fate, is left up for the book series to reveal. However, we are not done with this place. Far from it. As I highlight characters and places over the coming weeks and months, I will also discuss more of the world around them and reveal bits and pieces of the story that simply aren’t, or can’t, be covered in the scope of the books. I also think I will let Archimede handle the discussions, as he’s much better and more prolific with these things than I am. I’ll instead focus on the upcoming hobby corner discussion on Thursday, as I haven’t made up my mind yet as to where to start with that.

Sincerely,

-Allan B. Anderson

P.S. watching the Atlanta Falcons choke in the final quarter of the Super Bowl is not a great way to start off the week.

 

 

Watch This Space

For a while, I’ve been trying to decide what to do with this blog. I can’t simply use it for book promotion. That’s what everyone else already does, generally to a low degrees of success. At the same time, I can’t leave it empty while waiting for the next big announcement to come along either. This has gotten me really thinking and I took a look around other blogs (not just authors) to figure out how I can use my own blog best.

First, the page needs more work. I keep saying this, but it remains true. Right now it’s nice and simple, but also a bit generic. The few people that actually visit are no doubt unimpressed and happy to move on to more flashy pages. I don’t blame them, I’m the same way. The problem with that is I lack the resources to make this page shine, or, I thought I did, until I remembered that I have a degree in graphics arts and, time permitting, can create my own artwork. On top of that I already have artwork I can show off, some of which has taken me years to create. I am going to start posting it, as well as go into discussions about other things not related to Azureden or my books, which includes my modeling hobby. Don’t roll your eyes just yet. I’ve put a lot of work into this hobby and what’s come out of it has been nothing short of impressive for all but the most jaded of fellow hobbyists, and I will be happy to share it with you all. I will also discuss my current ‘place’ within the hobby as well as my past experiences and even some things about when I worked for one of the companies. I hope it will be enlightening. For now, if you are into modeling or miniature wargaming, feel free to friend me on FB as I always enjoy discussing it with other enthusiasts.

Second, I would like to “grow” the world of the Azurden series and my other works to help foster interest in the series as a whole, and the entirety of the lore it represents. Therefore I’m going to post things about my universe, where I got the inspiration, and why certain characters are who they are, hopefully with some artwork. In time I hope this encompasses a HUGE literary universe akin to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones, but only time will tell. Until then, I hope you at least enjoy the tidbits about my story and how such elements came to be. Also, in case you’re wondering, there will be no plot reveals, sorry.

Finally, in order for this all to work I will need to schedule how I update this blog. This is something I have been putting off as I don’t like to be tied down to social media outlets, but if it represents something I enjoy and can be involved with, then it shouldn’t be a problem to update at least once a week. Right now, I’m toying with the idea of doing Azurden and other works one day a week, while doing my hobbies and interests on another day of the week. Which days, I haven’t decided yet, but I’m thinking Monday and Thursday respectively. If this turns out to be too much, or if I’m eating through material too quickly, I may cut it back to Wednesday only, as was my original intention. Until then, expect this site to get some new things added once I can manage it. Also, you can expect announcements and shout outs to keep coming as normal, or I should say, as sporadically as they happen. (which I hope will be more often). Stay well everyone. Change is coming.

Sincerely,

Allan B. Anderson

Author Interview by Michael R. Baker

For those wishing to know more about me and my writing process, an acquaintance of mine, Michael Baker, has recently returned from his vacation and has just posted an interview he conducted with me on his blog Thousandscarsblog. Feel free to head over and check it out. While there, also feel free to check out his own fictional works, other author interviews, and gaming related articles.