Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Break

Dear Readers,

I will be taking a little break from blogging for the next couple of weeks due to the Northern Hemisphere Summer holidays. 

I hope you have enjoyed the materials so far this year. We will be continuing with the Horus Heresy Review series in the coming months, as well as the usual digest of wargaming, photos, painting, terrain and other assorted hobby goodness. But for now, its time to recharge some proverbial batteries and take a seasonal break. See you in mid-August!

JabberJabber :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Natural Rock Stacks

Today, I wanted to write about and highlight a set of rock stacks that have been in my collection for some time. They are supposed to represent natural rock formations as might be seen in hot, dry locations around the world as a result of erosion over many millions of years. Not quite buttes, they're more of a set of rocks stacked on top of each other that have resisted further erosion over time. 


Creating these kinds of terrain is actually remarkably simple and easy to do. The key ingredients are:

(1) Plentiful styrofoam;
(2) Hot wire cutter;
(3) Paints;
(4) PVA glue;
(5) MDF base.

Obviously, one doesn't need an MDF base for these items, but I find that it does help preserve the lifetime of the piece. Also obviously, most hobbyists will have paint in their collection. However, I tend to use textured paint for these kinds of projects to try to give a more natural feeling to them. I would certainly recommend that others try them out if they don't already own some. Making your own textured paint can also be achieved through the addition of PVA glue ... but that isn't so kind on your brushes in the long term, so I tend to stick with pre-made and shop-bought textured paint for my projects. Styrofoam packaging is plentiful in this day and age. Just keep some around in your bits box rather than send it to a landfill, and you're sorted.

Perhaps the hardest item to acquire is the hot wire cutter -- I would recommend mail ordering it if you do not live in or near to a major city shopping precinct as they can be tough to casually track down. This is an integral ingredient as it is needed to slice in to the foam and shape it to the desired morphology. To achieve this, I basically rule together cubes of foam on top of each other using PVA glue and base them on the MDF board. I then slice inward and outward at regular intervals to create the rock shapes. 

Painting them over with a dark undercoat and then a textured layer of brown works wonders. A brief dry brush with a slightly lighter vanilla colour and the job is done. Total working time is a couple of hours, but I think the results are very nice indeed.

Below is a picture of the desert themed board that I regularly use them on (top right hand corner). I think they fit in very well here. Although they also don't look too out of place on Martian themed boards either.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Warlord-Sinister Pattern Psi-Titan


Background.
Assumed to be granted permission to exist by no less than the Hand of the Emperor Himself, the Warlord Sinister is a psychic version of the regular Warlord Titan.

At some level, I can't actually believe that I'm reviewing this. As amazing as the Warlord is itself, the level of "wow" goes up to eleven with the psychic variant. In short, this titan is fuelled by the mental energies of captured psykers that are subsequently bled to a dry husk in service of the Imperium. Grim.

Strengths.
The psychic pilot rule gives this amazing beast a psychic mastery level of 3 and several reasonable quality powers alongside it. These include the ability nova a cover-ignoring soul blaze, the ability to repair hull points on the move, and a haywire vs vehicles or d6 hits vs toughness things models auto-hit witchfire.

Anything within 12 inches has to take a leadership check or fall back due to its shroud of terror that it emits. And should anyone wish to charge this thing (why would you do such a thing????) has to take a -3 leadership modified check.

It has access to a unique weapon called the Sinistramanus Tenebrae. We shall call it the left hand of darkness for the sake of my spell checker. This weapon has a huge range of 120 inches with an apocalyptic sized blast radius with Vortex / Fleshbane / Poison within the inner, middle and outer circles in play.

On top of this, it is a Warlord Titan. Game breaking AV=15 on the front and sides and a rather impressive 30 hull points behind 6 void shields. I will simply refer the reader to my previous article on the regular warlord titan at this point.

Weaknesses.
It explodes in a 36 inch radius when it goes down. And it will kill stuff with D strength hits in doing so in all probability.

Other than that, there are really no weaknesses. Thank Alpharius!

Builds. 
Here are two of my suggestions. You cannot go too wrong overall though.

Psi-Titan with Left Hand of Darkness, Titan Power Claw, Two Vortex Missile Banks (3400 points).
This is a close combat titan(!). Fire off the missiles and then get stuck in once the enemy has been softened up with the Left Hand. It gives the opponent a sporting chance at least. Joking. I actually don't even like this build. But its still ridiculous.

Psi-Titan with Left Hand of Darkness, Belicosa Pattern Volcano Cannon, 2 laser blasters (3350 points).
I like the shooting output potential of this titan. I like it a whole lot. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Contemptor Galatus Dreadnought


Background.
The best way to describe this dreadnought is as an anchor point. Armed and armoured with some of the best technology in the Imperium and a pilot who was possible a great friend of the Emperor himself, the Galatus is simply an amazing power house for the slaughter of any enemy of the Imperium from within or without.

Strengths.
There are so many strengths here. The Praesidium shield for a starting point is amazing for the fact that it allows re-rolling of invulnerable saves. Better still, it reduces the typical to-hit roll by one (basically non-gargantuan creatures), meaning that its almost certainly going to have an edge in close combat almost all of the time.

The warblade it carries is amazing as well. Shred, rampage and AP2 mean that it will tear in to almost anything. And just for fun, an inbuilt incinerator as well. Who could want for more?

Weaknesses.
Look, it is not a Caladius. But you knew that already, right? I'm just pointing the Caladius out as it occupies the same force organization chart slot as the Galatus. That is all. There's competition here. And the Galatus doesn't move like a grav tank.

Overall.
This is a very powerful choice that will literally chew up whole enemy infantry units in close combat. Getting the dreadnought there might be a challenge, but one that it should be surviving. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Caladius Grav-Attack Squadron


Background.
The Caladius is a mobile weapons platform in a nutshell. It boasts the Iliatrus accelerator cannon that would later be retro-fitted to the Sicaran for the space marine legions, and can potentially take heavy blaze cannons instead in the much rarer annihilator pattern upgrade.

Strengths.
Fast. Deadly. Lots of fire power. Flexible in a pinch. And very handy to have on your side.

Weaknesses.
The primary draw back here for me is the armour value of 11 on the rear. Other than that, it really is a decent tank overall and comparable to a predator or a sicaran from the more familiar space marine arsenal.

They are so fast and deadly, that they are rather forgiving on the controlling player and I think they're going to see a good amount of use in either variety.

Builds.
1 Caladius, armoured ceramite (205 points).
A bit of a baseline build. Take extra armour to taste.

1 Caladius, Blaze Cannons, armoured ceramite (220 points).
An interesting choice here. The exoshock rule can provide a vital extra result for the controlling player that can readily see the demise of any tank it is looking to take out. Overall, well worth the price being paid so long as a good target can be brought in to range. It could be very good against enemy knights for instance. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Sagittarum Guard Squad


Background.
Theirs is the laying down of withering firepower from a vast distance. Theirs is also pattern recognition and recall to a scary degree. The ability to read a crowd from a vast distance away and pick out what might happen next are all hallmarks of this incredible group of warriors - rare even for Custodes.

Strengths.
Like all Custodes, they will be tough to dislodge.

The Adrastus bolt caliver is an odd sort of weapon. Its like a heavy bolter to be honest, but with a shorter range. Hence, although they can lay down withering firepower, other squads will do it better.

Arguably, its the second profile that you are taking the Adrastus for: the disintegration beam. With armour bane and AP2, these guys can certainly get almost any job done. But their range is very short.

Weaknesses.
I'm not sold particularly on this squad. They seem to lack the sheer firepower for their points compared to other heavy bolter units in the game. And the anti-tank mode is perilously short range. Hence they could make good distraction squads to place near enemy tanks. But its hard to see other utility for them as they're bound to get caught up in a tarpit (intentionally or otherwise) after this kind of alpha strike.

Builds.
3 Sagittarum Guard, melta bombs, teleport transponder (215 points).
I wouldn't really take anything more than this to be honest. Use them to take out a tank and then tar pit the occupants and slowly kill them over the subsequent rounds. 
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