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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Mon Jul 16 2012, 21:56

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So I went to the 40k open day at warhammer world on Saturday, and sat in on the seminars on developing both the dark eldar and necron codexes. Very different styles from the people involved, first was obviously Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin (top blokes, I was fourth into the room and Phil Kelly spoke to me straight away, he was really relaxed and down to earth, he even recognised me later on in the day) and the second was Mat Ward, Dale Stringer and Tom Walton. I won't go into that one too much, but suffice to say that the two atmospheres were very different. I was really intrigued to note though that Mat Ward when talking about their work on the Necrons said he viewed the Dark Eldar codex and the development of the background and balance as their goal to aim for when working on those elements of the necron codex.

[img][/img]
The seminar took the form of a series of pre-written questions followed by some from the audience. Bear with me cos my notes at the start were a bit shaky

When developing the background, they had a starting point of knowing what warriors, wyches etc were like, but then worked backwards to figure out what made them like it.

They were given the opportunity to largely re-write the whole codex, but when they went through the old dex, they really liked some of the ideas (at which point Jes mentioned that he really didn't like the old mandrake models - 'gimp suit' was mentioned). As such, their work was focussed more about how the models worked than ditching them and starting again. PK worked with a series of index cards for each unit with notes written on them and JG's concept sketches on the back.

PK sees the DE as less organised than most armies, more a group of units that all want to go raiding rather than a coherent army as such.

Once they'd decided that wyches and kabalites were the troops choices, they had more room to maneouvre with what scourges/mandrakes/hellions etc actually were and did. They were quite keen to highlight that whilst haemonculus etc would look a bit like chaos stuff, it was all surgical and 'voluntary' rather than mystical. JG described Chaos as being more like 'daddy doesn't love you' whereas the DE were unrepentantly evil. They were also keen that the webway concept allowed a race that could appear anywhere, anytime (unlike Tau I guess).

Aim of how to play on the tabletop:
Phil Kelly described it as 'fast and nasty', and also 'dynamic'. Worth noting that they didn't see them as assault-orientated, the dynamic concept works just as well for shooting as assault. JG highlighted that one of the aims was to get a lot of the models on flying bases. Covens on the other hand were the opposite and PK saw them as parallelling the wraithguard in their own way with a slightly 'undead' feel to them. JG on the other hand described the cults as the 'evil olympic athletes' of the 40k universe.

Relationship between DE and CWE:
the biggest connection here was to be in visual design but they didn't want them to be just a dark version of CWE so it was more about creating a common design root (so the CWE jetbikes will use the same basic frame as the reavers just with different fairings etc. Noted that the existing eldar jetbike is one of the oldest models they still produce bar a couple of the warlocks). Their intention is that a cross between the psychic might of the CWE and the physical prowess of the DE gives you some idea of how powerful the ancient eldar really were. JG pointed out that the kits are designed to be interchangeable to allow creation of corsair units (but I guess we'd figured this out already).

What would they do next time given the chance:
PK - Bigger coven creatures.
JG - A double decked raider, 'I win!' cheers
PK - would like to expand the idea of alien mercenaries (like the archon's court). Mentioned that he would be surprised if we didn't see plastic wracks in the future.
JG - Noted that he would have loved to do more poses for the grotesques, but they ran out of time. I got the distinct feeling that JG was really gutted they'd only done the one pose, he seems like the kind of guy that really wouldn't have wanted to release a single pose kit.

When will we see the rest of the range:
PK - Said that special characters were the sort of models that can be released at any time rather than needing to be as part of a wave. No indication of dates of course, but he did say that Jes has already worked on the voidraven. Didn't say if it was finished or not though.

What was the proudest part of the codex from your point of view:
PK - probably power from pain, he felt it was a bit of a gamble as it was quite complex, but he thinks it paid off well.
JG - the interchangeability of the range and the way it goes together. This was a real theme whenever I heard Jes talking, he seems really pleased when he crams the widest range of options into the space he's given on the frames.

PK mentioned that he doesn't like games where nothing dies. Also someone mentioned the quality of the range, and PK said that he thinks that's partly because they were given the chance to completely re-design everything (even the necron project retained some existing elements)

and finally, what would they change with CWE (bit off topic but I wasn't asking the questions!):
JG - the colour schemes! lol! Noted that the old jetbike model was a bit clunky (good, whoever is in control please press the 'go' button on this one!) but other than that pretty happy with the range, he did say that the eldar were more of a personal project than his work on the marines.

So there you have it, that's everything I remember from the seminar, big thank you to Messrs Kelly and Goodwin for being totally awesome on the day, I could have sat and listened to them talk for twice as long and not been bored, their enthusiasm for the project and their working relationship is really infectious.

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Siticus the Ancient
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Mon Jul 16 2012, 22:48

Aww man, I (and I'm sure many of us) envy you for being able to talk with Phil and Jes in person! Thanks for the write up, I really like getting as much insight in their work as possible, as they seem just as passionate for our army as we are!

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 08:15

Interesting, big coven creatures i would have liked it... it's a shame they didn't mention anything about 6th and balance.
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 09:35

well i wouldve asked if they had any ide what 6th is going to be like, and did they have a chance to tailor the dex for it to?

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 10:14

Very interesting to read, thank you very much for sharing this with us The_Burning_Eye. I have also been [url=http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/462603.pagereading up on the seminars on Dakka[/url] and elsewhere, it seems like everyone who attended was super impressed with GW's staff and the events and seminars. Haven't seen one negative comment yet.

Seriously jealous about not being able to attend, especially with DE being featured this year.

Do you have many notes from the Necron session as well, that you could add? Or have you posted them somewhere else, perhaps? I would really love to read those as well.

Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 12:52

I didn't take too many notes from the necron forum (they're more of a future project for me once I've finished my DE), most of what I wrote down related to the design themes running through the range like the spherical power sources, coffin shaped elements, crescents and exposed spines, along with the separation of the vehicles like the ghost ark/annihilation barge etc from the automatons such as the tomb spyders/wraiths.

In particular this was picked out as being that the necrons don't want to become part of the machine, they actually want their souls back (destroyers being the exception) and so they're seeking to retain their separation from their machines. Mat Ward did highlight at that point though that just because they want their souls back doesn't mean they want to be flesh and blood again, metal bodies have their advantages!

He also said that this evolution of the book was trying to focus on the necrons rather than the C'tan. He wasn't too happy that previously when you saw necron forces they were either nightbringer or deceiver-led (Not sure if they were the only hq choices, didn't have the previous codex) so tried to introduce necron characters to allow a force to be tailored to the person collecting it rather than a pre-defined 'personality'.

I have to say, whilst I could see where Mat Ward was coming from with his answers, i didn't feel he was quite as down to earth as Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin. It could just be that the necron codex needed a bit more out of the box thinking than DE to get a background that worked, but i got the feeling that his style is to be more 'way out' than Phil Kelly right from the off.

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 18:40

Thanks for this, great stuff here. I really like how they don't just say "Dark Eldar are Dark Eldar and Eldar are Eldar", but are rather like "there's this Eldar race, that's split into two factions, lets make sure we make them the same, but distinct from one another... and lets make sure they can look good when they work together too." Takes a lot of forethought to really get into something like that. Would have liked to know who was going to be working on the CWE codex. Was there any rumors of a new army this edition? (possibly Kroot? /fingerscrossed)

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 21:02

@Ruke wrote:
Was there any rumors of a new army this edition? (possibly Kroot? /fingerscrossed)

Faeit212 had a report about the same open day I believe. Where the guy asked them about other armies. (can't post the link as my account isn't 7 days old)

Quote :

New Army Types?

I asked them if they though there was a ‘missing play style’ of army in 40K. They felt that with 16 armies, no there wasn’t – a slower more shooty than imperial guard was the only thing they could think of, which they thought would be boring to play / play against.

It was as close to a categorical ‘no new armies’ as I think you could get.

They also mentioned that it was getting harder to keep the feel of each army and not do a unit which was just another armies unit with a slight twist to it… but they vaguely mentioned that with the allies rule in 6th, there might be a chance to do odd units. I mentioned the old mercenary units / dogs of at from Fantasy and they said possibly that sort of thing… but it didn’t sound like anything that was even being looked at currently.

Dark Eldar was a 5 year project before it came to fruition (mostly Jez said due to having to keep pushing for the project as DE were such a poor selling army – which has now got a massive boost and a similar thing has now happened for Necrons – so this has opened the door to other stuff which might not have been considered in the past by marketing / sales).

Also talking to some of the CAD designers – they said that most sprues, from idea sketches to final production usually took 18 months – so you can see the sort of lead times they have.
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 22:37

Ah... that's too bad... Would really love to see a full Kroot codex (not the one thats just floating around the 'net, I think that one's legit, but it's pretty lackluster). I think that's a army that they could do without infringing too much on other armies... /lesigh

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 22:46

@Ruke wrote:
Ah... that's too bad... Would really love to see a full Kroot codex (not the one thats just floating around the 'net, I think that one's legit, but it's pretty lackluster). I think that's a army that they could do without infringing too much on other armies... /lesigh

It might become a full blown option in the tau codex, a bit like we have coven lists. Especially seeing as GW is moving away from silly restrictions like needing a squad of fire warriors etc.


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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 22:49

Given their predilection for everything pointy-eared, I'd be very surprised if Phil and Jes didn't do the eldar.

None of the devs would say what they were working on, though I did see on Faeit that someone had managed to glean that there were 6 projects on the go at the moment, and I think it was Robin Cruddace that said they were aiming for a big release every month in the near future

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Tue Jul 17 2012, 23:45

Every month? That's pretty impressive...

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 09:39

@Ruke wrote:
Every month? That's pretty impressive...

Doesn't necessarily mean codexies, it could be large model release waves, expansions etc. Still great! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 09:41

That includes Fantasy, the annual "Mystery Box" (Blood Bowl this year I believe) etc so sadly not just 40k.

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 10:25

Interesting read. Smile

Was hoping for some signs of new character models, though. Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 12:42

I think they're rumoured to be Oct/Nov time, 3 finecast and a plastic was what I'd heard. Jes did confirm he's done work on the voidraven but it's not finished yet, again from another site I heard it said that they're having frame space issues.
@Count Adhemar/Mushkilla. True, there's also the 40k starter set to squeeze in there, which I'd think would be released either before or at Games Day?

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 18:38

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
Jes did confirm he's done work on the voidraven but it's not finished yet, again from another site I heard it said that they're having frame space issues.

Still???
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 19:49

An interesting summary of rule questions asked by one of the attendants of the event. Might give insight to future FAQs and how they will affect DE (the one concerning power weapons is most peculiar).

Quote :

Eldar:

Karandras' Stealth rule is indeed the Stealth USR (grats, Mercury14!); the mention of Scorpions in brackets is just an example and the rule is indeed conferred to any unit he can join.

Howling Banshees cannot be armed with any power weapon as their codex entry specifically states they the unit type is armed with power swords despite the army list entry saying 'power weapons'. The only Banshee model without a sword is an old Exarch model which is actually armed with an old Executioner. Simon then went on to say that even if Banshees could be armed with power axes they would still strike at I1, rendering their Banshee masks useless, but as they can't be armed with axes the point is moot.


General Stuff:

Power weapons can only be chosen by the player if a unit's FAQ, codex entry and army list entry fail to specify a type. See the Banshee example above. (I assume that this is because previous editions of 40k didn't differenciate between types of power weapons, just allowed them to ignore armour so whatever weapon the model had was purely cosmetic and this is no longer the case.)

The Character trait for a troop type is only applicable if that model is leading a unit. I specifically asked about the SW's Wolf Guard rulebook entry at the back and the official line was that you cannot have a unit of characters, only the leading model is considered to have that trait. So in the case of Wolf Guard, they are only a character when used as a Pack Leader, but this restriction applies to any unit with the (Ch) suffix in the rulebook. (I have no idea why GK Paladins are listed as characters, I didn't think to ask at the time.)

No units have access to flakk missiles at present. The ammo type has been listed in the rulebook with the intention of being assigned via future codicies.


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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 20:13

Very interesting and I'm glad they've cleared up the issue with character units and flakk missiles. The flakk missile case seemed obvious to me but some people at my local store, including the manager, were determined to argue differently. I did eventually get to understand that it is an upgrade, not auto-included and nice to know I was right. Hopefully we'll see them soon.

A bit of a shame they mention power axes overriding Banshee masks as I was thinking of running an Autarch with a power axe, fusion gun and Banshee mask at some point with my Eldar. Oh well.
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Wed Jul 18 2012, 20:40

Quote :
The Character trait for a troop type is only applicable if that model is leading a unit. I specifically asked about the SW's Wolf Guard rulebook entry at the back and the official line was that you cannot have a unit of characters, only the leading model is considered to have that trait. So in the case of Wolf Guard, they are only a character when used as a Pack Leader, but this restriction applies to any unit with the (Ch) suffix in the rulebook. (I have no idea why GK Paladins are listed as characters, I didn't think to ask at the time.)

I am glad this is clarified. I got seriously tired of people thinking they can LoS! with every freaking Paladin or Nob in the unit, when they're all equal. I mean, how the heck would that work anyway, a bunch of paladins shoving eachother aside to take bullets for the other guy? Why would they do that?

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Thu Jul 19 2012, 14:14

Wonder how units with multiple characters work then. Nobody gets LOS saves? Take LOS for one guy a turn? Designate one guy as a leader? How about units with multiple characters but also non-character models, like Beastmaster units (up to 5 beastmasters plus the beasts), or a unit with multiple ICs joined?

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Sun Jul 29 2012, 12:26

Quote :
Howling Banshees cannot be armed with any power weapon as their codex entry specifically states they the unit type is armed with power swords despite the army list entry saying 'power weapons'.
Thats piece of crap, we play by the rules, not by background description of rules.
Unless there is a FAQ Banshees are armed with Power Weapons.

Old Banshess models actually have Axes.
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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Mon Jul 30 2012, 17:04

lol relax Azdrubael. Until FAQed, you can do whatever you want with your banshees. This just shows that GW really didnt take the time to fully understand what the rules changes did to their older codex's, and it shows they really dont care about the gaming side as they dont check for clear as day questions.

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Mon Jul 30 2012, 17:15

Well they seems to care, its just the feelig that there are a lot of uncoordinated effort.
Different people, different aproachesm and we enjoy whats coming together from it.

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PostSubject: Re: Feedback from Dark Eldar seminar   Mon Jul 30 2012, 17:23

Usual story of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Doesn't help that their game designers have completely different design philosophies (Kelly vs Ward).

I just thought it was disgusting how they FAQed all the dexes to have AP3 power weapons and then go and gives the necron war-scythe AP1. The Ward dexes in general got more complete FAQs, instead of the mess that is harlequins, void mines etc.

But from the other thread regarding FAQs I'm glad to see that designers will hopefully have more control over the FAQs, hopefully we will get a few bones. Smile

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