Thursday, September 24, 2009

Web-Resource Review: Spite for the Dice Gods and Mind War, FTW

In light of Project Future Boys, I think its time to do some site more reviews. This time I'll be focusing on the blogs I've been poking around on in search of Eldar advice/info. Unlike my last review, these two site are tactics oriented. Since I focus on painting a lot, I'm always happy when I find good articles on tactics that ease the learning curve. I'll periodically call out sites like these for all you other 'artistes' out there as well as the guys who just don't know where to go for advice (hint #1: its never a forum. Hint #2: EVER!).

I happen to like both of these sites, so prepare for a bit of a love fest.

Spite for the Dice Gods
Every once in a while I start poking around the other blogs that people link to on their own site. I found Spite for the Dice Gods on YTTH. I didn't actually know about the type of content there or Raptor1313's own mechdar experiments. Sometimes you get lucky. Raptor is a regular on YTTH and was kind enough to link to me on his own site. Thanks! The fact that Stelek links to him should be enough of a clue that he knows what's what.

The Good
The content is pretty focused - its mostly unit analysis and testing reports. All of which is extremely useful for us lowly noobs. There's a lot of information to process and it's solid advice to boot. All well though out, detailed and clearly worded. The best part about Raptor's analysis is that he doesn't ever give out the generic "do this and win" advice common to so many other writers.

The important thing, for me at least, is the gap he helps fill between my knowledge and the advanced advice that I get from other sources. Provides a nice continuity of information and keeps the number of retarded comments that never get published on YTTH down.

For my own personal information needs, this blog fills a large void with the pretty expansive Eldar coverage it contains. Most of which is conveniently linked on its own side bar. This is all super useful for my current maniacal plans.

I'd like to mention a few stylistic things about this blog. First of all, many of the analysis articles are treated as 'living' documents - much like my 'on paint' series. That means that as new information or experience is accrued, it gets added to the original instead of being presented as a separate piece. This makes it incredibly easy to find info. Much less wading through multiple posts or having to piece things together from a series of contradictory posts. There is also a distinct lack of ranting and raving and, thusly, a lack of internet drama. A nice change of pace from the frequent knock-down, drag-outs that Stelek seems to get in all the time.

Finally, the selection of links is quite expansive and has pointed me in the direction of a ton more resources to check in on.

The Bad
Not too much wrong with this blog except that some of the posts can be so looooong. Add in the same white on black color scheme that I use and then eye strain can be a problem. Of course I realize that my pot has left an accusatory message for his kettle after the beep. As soon as I find an easy to read color scheme, I'll switch.

And one final non-complaint would be that Raptor1313's site leaves me hungry for more info than he has posted at the moment.

Final Thoughts
A great resource for beginner and intermediate gamers as the content within goes a long way to explain things that may be obvious to the experts (who often don't bother to explain the same concepts themselves). A great place to go for some very solid analysis.

Mind War, FTW
Another blog I found courtesy of YTTH. The_King_Elessar (henceforth referred to as 'Elessar') is another regular commenter over there as well as being another guy with a head for tactics. Another Eldar player willing to share his thoughts so that I can mine them for useful nuggets of sweet, delicious information. I'd have to say in, all honesty, that Elessar's blog was a large component of my decision to start up an Eldar army. Again, the fact that Stelek links to him is in his favor (in my opinion).

The Good
Elessar does a lot of the same stuff that Stelek does - critiques army lists, provides commentary on the goings on of 40k and shares tactics. Always nice to have more of the same with a different viewpoint and writing style. Specifically, I find the writing on this site engaging because it is also pretty clearly laid out and lconcise.

Again, Eldar coverage is one of the things that drew me in and keeps me coming back for more. The write up on the Fire Dragons was particularly useful for me. I also hope that his hinted at "complete guide to the Eldar" is something that is actually forthcoming. Could be very useful for me and to new Eldar players in general. Especially if its of a quality consistent with the Fire Dragon write up. Looking forward to it.

Mind War also has a solid links list. Yet more stuff for me to dig through.

I think the really unique feature of Mind War is the fact that Elessar himself is from the UK. Now, being a foreigner (or in Foreigner) isn't particularly interesting in and of itself but Elessar brings an interesting perspective to us yanks. You see, Elessar is firmly in the competitive gamer camp (unless I've misread him). Now while he seems to have a healthy respect for the hobby aspects, he isn't the sunshine and Skittles kind of twat we've come to accept as the stereotype for UK 40k players.

Elessar doesn't defend crappy codicies, poor design choices and bad army lists. Generally speaking, he doesn't pull his punches. Nice to see living proof that GW's cup o' tea with scones, gentleman's game, mutual admiration society conception of 40k isn't as pervasive as Jervis Johnson likes to think.

Also, a brief note that Mind War has multiple contributers, so if I gave credit to the wrong person at any point, its a tribute to the overall quality of all others that I didn't notice the difference.

The Bad
The only real problem I have with Mind War, FTW is that it also occasionally acts as a drama magnet due to the 'no pulled punches' thing. To be fair to the Elessar and to Stelek, its not so much that their opinions are crap or wrong, its other people's reactions to them. So by no means do I wish the rants to stop, I just need to learn to avoid reading the comments.


Final Thoughts
Mind War is a great spot for some advice on army lists and a great place for information on the Eldar - the rants are pretty good too. I really dig the fact that while he does a lot of the same stuff that other people do as far as advice, he has his own view. Another great place for help with your list.


  1. Thanks for the kind words and the recommendation. I seem to be getting some press with the ol' blog, and I'm glad it's actually achieving its aim: being well-written low-to-medium-level advice. I suppose if and/or when I ever get to the advanced level, it'll have that on there.

    The kettle did get the's just finding the good contrast, and I kind of like the black background. I could always go black background and yellow text for max contrast, but then eyes might be gouged and such.

    I think the closest I've come to throwing out a codex-rant was pointing out the gross deficiencies with the Necron and Daemon codex, but...that's kind of fish in a barrel (within a minigun, Mythbusters style). Didn't stop me from trying Necrons, and I still at some point am going to finish up that Daemon army. Cashflow was the obstacle, but I finally landed a damn job, so...yeah.

    I try to link to stuff and people I read regularly and/or use, and while you're not always a prolific source, there's a reason and the stuff's pretty good.

    Just out of personal curiosity, was there a particular article or some such that you were looking for but did not yet find?

  2. Oh, I know the feeling about voracious reading habits. I'll buzz through a heap of content on webcomics and other archived stuff if I have the time to do it.

    I shall now ponder the art of the Warwalker. I haven't used them, and my biggest problem with them is the low armor. AV10 + walking armory = priority target.

  3. Wish Granted.

    That's what I can figure out about the walkers.

    I'd probably roll with them more if they weren't such a huge commitment in time and money, but if I could ever get a hot deal on 9 of them and four more vypers...