A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Operation Game Collection Warhammer 40K Special: Fan Magazines Part 4: Inquisitor 15

Its now August 1997, a massive ELEVEN months since the last "Quarterly" issue of Inquisitor.  Tim DuPertuis mentions how he and his wife moved, he mentions the release of my arch enemy game Epic 40,000  (BOO HISS!), and says that GW has now forced him to take the Datafaxes for the models he sells out of them, because they are only for models and not for gaming in their eyes as how they want them sold.  So next issue will be full of Datafaxes!  Yay?  Yes yay.

Because now one can see what a toy can do before buying it, or nowadays to convert or buy the ridiculously priced (but honestly better looking though not a good FOUR TIMES or so better looking Forge World kits.  Even if I would adore getting a Chaos Warhound.

Last time we had some overly long and complicated Titan class rules and very little else.  Let's see what a year gives us!

 Notice in a year some prices have gone up.  50 dollar superheavy tanks now 60.  30 dollar Eldar superheavy now 38.  Ouch!  The issue itself is also 4 pages less and costs another buck.  Eh, its all still worth it really.

 The highlight of this 32 pages including the covers issue is the Squat Brotherhood and Engineer army list.  Being a mixture of conversions (many figures shown with what they were converted from) and figures from both Games Workshop and other companies like the tanks.  

I have played with the Brotherhood list before which is actually quite nice without having remotely the absurdness of most of the official GW Codex lists.  Its flavorful and fun.  I had to proxy a lot or use toy vehicles that were close enough though.  But you can have Exo Armored heroes with AT weapons!  (Like Space Marine Terminators but its 4+ on 2D6) Troop Transports with Heavy Stubbers!  (Unlike the Space Marine Rhino, most other transports in 2nd edition tended to have infantry support or light antitank weaponry on them.

Squats gain the parry ability with axes (BECAUSE DWARVES AND AXES!) but it only works on a 4+ roll.  The Guild Engineers list has some fun motorbike and demolitions weapon goodies which are cool but do not overwhelm and generally require stationary targets to work on.

The points are overall fair and the basic statline of M3, WS4, BS3, S3, T4, I2, A1, and Ld9 is solid but not mindblowing.  Dependable but not overwhelming.  14 points a basic Squat trooper with Laspistol, Mesh Armor, and Frag Grenades.  Not ridiculous by any stretch.  You can combine Brotherhood and Guild Engineers as a team list but most wargear restrictions apply to BOTH forces and not just one.

The normal Strategy Rating is 2, raised with an extra D3 if an Ancestor Lord is taken.  Once in a while they will tie the Marines but not often.

There are also a couple of fun bits like Throwing Axes, Hammers with Jump Packs installed, and a hover option for their tanks which merely allow them to float over terrain and not to make pop up attacks.

 The tanks were from a line called Kryomek.  I wouldn't mind getting a couple honestly.  But any 25mm scale tank with the same basic weapons loadouts would work for them.  

Nowadays Mantic Games is probably your one stop shop for NOT SQUAT models.  In fact an upcoming project may involve said Mantic figures.  (They call them Forgefathers.)

And the other feature this month!  Datafax rules for Titans.  Four total rules pages as opposed to the TEN in Issue 14 (not counting the multiple reference sheets and charts and table of contents that ruleset contained) makes this version a LOT better.  You can see some of the same basic rules and concepts but they are sped up, simplified, and streamlined with the Warhound, Reaver, Eldar Revenant, and Eldar Phantom given said cards as you can see our friend the Warhound here.  As opposed to 14's Shield system, now the shields work like Khornate Terminator armor and nonsense like "flicker" are removed.

It is better in every way though it may generally make Titans a bit weaker.  I am ok with that.  As is, these things really shouldn't be showing up till 3000 point games as even the cheapest Titan will burn through 460 points out of your normal 25% Support choice cost.  (My own house rules we will get to brings up the percentage, but some of the more overpowered Troops choices get moved over.  Like Long Fangs, Wolf Guard Terminators with the Assault Cannon and Cyclone Spam, Chaos Veteran Teams with Two Heavy Weapons out of Three Man Teams, ect.)

The points on everything seems really fair and balanced, and while these Titan rules do still add some more things to deal with, it is honestly fine for the size of games they are intended for.

This issue has far less spelling and grammatical errors too.  A damn fine issue and almost a MUST BUY for 2nd edition 40K players.

My Rating:  Good!  

The only reason it didn't get the special rating of DRACULA is because it is all unofficial rules and thus some people are really unlikely to let anyone actually use them in a game.  And the Phantom gets a slightly revised Datafax in the next issue whose changes I was unable to discern so it is probably in the damage table part.

(Though to be fair if you are playing 40K 2nd edition at this point and have a game group you are probably using far dodgier fan made works than that of a playtested out set of works from a longtime 40K fan who has made it a bit of a business.  And you know, most of your fellow players are probably your friends at this point.  Who else are they gonna play?  Nobody?)

See you next time for Datafaxes!  Tyranids!  Super Heavy Tanks!  Some normal non mega articles!  

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