Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Expanding Vintage IBM PC & Compatible Display Options - The GGLabs CGA2RGB Converter

GGLabs' CGA2RGB (courtesy of GGLabs)

Getting a high quality and proper video signal from an IBM CGA or EGA card or an IBM PCjr or Tandy 1000 without their specialized monitors can be difficult.  These computers used specialized RGB monitors to give a high quality solution using digital signals to tell the monitor which color to display.  Unfortunately this standard was not really adopted outside of the expensive PC compatibles and most RGB monitors only accept an analog signal.  When VGA and its analog RGB signal format became standard, support for the older digital RGB format went away.  In this blog entry I am going to examine an inexpensive converter that can help you adapt your vintage PC compatible's digital RGB video output to the more accessible analog RGB video output.


Read more »

Harlequins: Making It Work

Chopping up yo faces.

So.. my last post about Harlequins might have been a little too negative.  Don't worry though, just because I'm talking real sometimes doesn't mean I'm going to give up.  You guys have to remember that even though I'm a competitive player, I'm not WAAC.  Think about it:  I've been playing pure Kabal Dark Eldar since 3rd.  I have never owned a single Coven unit because I don't like the playstyle and I despise the fluff.  So what does this mean?  That means that I'm going to be playing boatloads of Harlequins and trying to get them to work on the table.

I've been constructing a lot of lists in the last couple of days with the new book and I've had a lot of thought experiments.  Here are some of the topics that I've thought about the most the last couple of days:
  • How viable is Harlequins as a standalone army?  They're so expensive and it's really difficult to get them to work from a raw points-effectiveness standpoint.  The more Harlequins you take, the less other "good stuff" you can take from allies.
  • Speaking of allies:  What makes a good ally for Harlequins?  Do you take them with Eldar or do you take them with Dark Eldar?  What about both?  Do you even have enough points to take both?
  • There are a TON of Strategems that I think Harlequins generally depend on.  Your model count is low, so you really need to spend CP on them every chance you get to make them worth it.  I think Harlequins might be one of the most CP-heavy armies in the entire game from what I've seen.
  • For my playstyle, I'm going to keep the army mechanized because I need to be able to preserve the fragile assault units inside while delivering them across the table.  However, I did think about big units of Troupes a few times because of all the overlapping and stacking buffs.
  • What is the best Form that I should take with my army?  I'm mainly thinking about Soaring Spite right now because my forces are mostly mechanized, but I'm also eyeing Frozen Stars for damage, Midnight Sorrow for tieing things up, and Silent Shroud for practicality with Eldar shenanigans.
  • I'm still working on the best layout for my Troupes, mainly because I'm focusing on 3 key design principles:  The Form matters, but cost-effective units matter more.  The Troupe must be able to be a melee threat to all targets.  The first Fusion Pistol is a must, the rest is luxury.

With that said, I got started working on some basic list principles:
  • Build with as much CP as possible because you should be using Harlequin Stratagems at every chance to keep the army alive.  This means double-Bat is a must-have.
  • Build with some kind of Black Heart so you can bring in Cunning and introduce Vect so you can repress enemy bull-shittery while having a CP-farm on your side.
  • Build as many threats as possible:  Keeping your Troupes alive so they can make a cost-effective return means you have to introduce some serious threats on your side of the table.
Should I take more Dark Eldar?

Here is the first list I came up with after some tweaking:

Soaring Heart
2000 // 13 CP

Soaring Spite Bat +5

HQ:
Troupe Master, Caress, Fusion = 86
Troupe Master, Caress, Fusion = 86

TROOP:
5x Troupe, 5x Caress, 2x Fusion = 118
Starweaver = 99
217

5x Troupe, 5x Caress, 2x Fusion = 118
Starweaver = 99
217

5x Troupe, 5x Caress, 2x Fusion = 118
Starweaver = 99
217

ELITE:
Solitaire = 98

+++

Black Heart Bat +5

HQ:
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster = 91
Cunning, Living Muse

Archon, Agonizer, Blaster = 91

TROOP:
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
5x Warriors, Blaster = 47

PARTY BOATS:
Raider, Dissie = 80
Raider, Dissie = 80
Raider, Dissie = 80

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125

>>>

Firepower:
12 Disintegrators at BS3+
24 Splinter Rifles at BS3+
6 Blasters at BS3+
2 Blasters at BS2+
6 Shuriken Cannons at BS3+
6 Fusion Pistols at BS3+
2 Fusion Pistols at BS2+

The list design here was really easy because I think all the right notes.  I originally had Razorwings in the army because I really like having some kind of air, but I didn't have enough boots on the ground for me to be truly influential.  When I first began army list construction, I noticed that I was hesitant to turn my Black Heart Spearhead into a Battalion.  I kept finding that second Archon as a bit of tax, but then I remembered just how many times I'm going to use Harlequin Strategems throughout the game.  While the firepower of the list looks pretty small, one can't remember the absolute monster that is Harlequins in melee once they get there.  With all 5 Players in a Troupe having 4 S5 AP-2 attacks, things are going to get all kinds of disgusting once you actually get in there.  To make things more exciting, I'm planning to make one of the Troupe Masters The Great Harlequin for that tasty re-roll 1s to Hit bubble.

Or should I take more Eldar?

Alaitoc Soaring Heart
1999 // 14 CP

Soaring Spite Bat +5

HQ:
Troupe Master, Caress, Fusion = 86
Troupe Master, Caress, Fusion = 86

TROOP:
5x Troupe, 5x Caress, Fusion = 109
Starweaver = 99
208

5x Troupe, 5x Caress, Fusion = 109
Starweaver = 99
208

5x Troupe, 5x Caress, Fusion = 109
Starweaver = 99
208

+++

Alaitoc Bat +5

HQ:
Farseer Skyrunner = 135
Doom, Mind War

Warlock Skyrunner = 70
Protect/Jinx

TROOP:
5x Rangers = 60
5x Rangers = 60
5x Rangers = 60

FLYER:
Crimson Hunter Ex, Lances = 175
Crimson Hunter Ex, Lances = 175

+++

Black Heart Spearhead +1

HQ:
Archon, Huskblade, Blaster = 93
Cunning, Living Muse

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125
Ravager, 3x Dissies = 125

>>>

Firepower:
9 Disintegrators at BS3+
4 Bright Lances at BS2+
2 Pulse Laser at BS2+
6 Shuriken Cannons at BS3+
3 Fusion Pistols at BS3+
2 Fusion Pistols at BS2+
15 Ranger Long Rifle at BS3+

This one is a bit different and I might be stretching myself too thin.  I've already dropped the Solitaire (which hurts my heart greatly) to make room for some Eldar allies, while greatly decreasing the amount of DE I have in the army.  The Black Heart detachment has been reduced to a small footprint just for the CP farm and fire support, but I've introduced fighters back into the mix with 2x Crimson Hunter Exarchs to give some heavy lances while the Doomseer and Jinxlock go do their thing.  I still have Rangers to be backcap but otherwise, I find this list a bit light on boots on the ground.  Missions might also be a problem, which is why I'm slightly in favor of the first list.

Regardless of which list works out to be better, both lists have a sizeable Harlequin presence with a lot of melee pressure.  The Caress' across the entire army really puts out some good threat, as well as the 22" moving and shooting Shuriken Cannons and Fusion Pistols without BS penalty.  Hell, I even have a pet unit in the first list because I think the Solitaire is the coolest thing ever.  With CP/Ravager farms in both lists, Warrior/Blasters in the first list, and Crimson Hunters in the second, which list do you guys like better?