Friday, May 27, 2016

Stencil Work on a Titan

One of the things that I purchased my airbrush for a long time ago was to do some stencil work. With my titan already base coated, I found the perfect excuse to try some stencilling out. 

Here, I'm using some of Anarchy's stencils -- in this case a hex grid. The first image shows me lining up the stencil over the upper carapace of my Warhound titan. I then attach in in place with a combination of masking tape (the sort that doesn't rip paint off!) and blu tac (again - applied lightly to not rip the under coat or base layer off).

The colour I'm using here for the stencil work is a creamy off-white colour. I chose this to be a nice complement to the green base layer that I've already airbrushed in to place on the titan. 

The results are very nice. I did go a little bit wrong as I sprayed around the curve of the carapace though - some of the paint leaked at an angle. I should have been more aware of this -- the tip here is to always be at 90 degrees to the surface that you are stencilling. Or at least be at a consistent angle. Still, a little bit of detailed paint with a triple zero sized brush tidied it up to an acceptable level. I'm sure once I've applied a little bit of weathering it will hardly be noticeable at all.

And I capped it off by stencilling half of the head / pilot unit as well. The idea here is that the iconography will occupy one half of the upper carapace and the stencil work the other half. That way, it'll look very identifiable on the battlefield and give it a little bit of a "pop" to stand out against other titans (if needed!). 

Later work will include going around the "edges" of the bodywork and selecting a different colour for this (I'm thinking gold or brass to complement the green). 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Warlord Battle Titan

So, I've reviewed everything now in Tempest, and this is the last entry. The Warlord Titan. I've done the Reaver and the Warhound, so for completeness, I'm now doing the Warlord.

In terms of background, and at the time of writing, the cost of this beast is GBP 1240. Do you need more background? Okay, its points cost is 2750 at the base level.

I would like you to have a good hard look at those numbers. Are you going to use it in a game? Are you rich enough not to care?

Right, now that we have got that out of the way, the Warlord is the largest of the battle titan class and one of the most iconic. In the background blurb, it hints that it is the Warlord that is primarily responsible for the domain of man, rather than the space marine legions. And with the rules presented, its not hard to see why.

Oh my. Where to start. Look, this machine is an absolute game killer. And city killer. With a game breaking AV=15 on two faces, a whopping 30 hull points, 6 void shields, 5++, and all the usual titan rules you've come to expect, I'm not even sure how to bring a Warlord down short of fielding one against it myself. 

Other than that, we get to choose two arm weapons and two carapace weapons. And yes: there is choice here. Note as well, the Warlord can simply target blank areas. That gets around invisibility very nicely. The weapons are all viable in various combinations. For the arms, I like the sun fury plasma annihilators and the bellicose pattern volcano cannons most myself. I don't like the close combat weapon (the shooting is better, and you've got a great stomp attack anyway and can't be locked in combat regardless -- even by another titan. Hence I think taking ranged weapons is better).

For the carapace, I like the apocalyptic missile launchers, the reaver melta cannons, vortex missile banks, laser blasters, and incinerator missile banks (for opponents in very hard cover). 

Yeah. It explodes with a large radius? Erm. Okay. Moving on.

Here's just a couple of my personal favourites. To be clear, I don't think you can go tooooo wrong here. You just have to ask yourself what you're going to be up against. 

Warlord, 2 Bellicosa pattern volcano cannons, 2 laser blasters (2850 points)
Lots of D class ranged weapons. For the primary weapons that is.

Warlord, 2 Sunfury Plasma annihilators, Apocalypse missile launchers (2750 points)

Warlord, 2 Bellicosa pattern volcano cannons, 2 reaver melta cannons (2850 points)
I've got nothing to add here.

Warlord, 1 Bellicosa pattern volcano cannon, 1 Saturnyne lascutter, 2 vortex missile banks (2900 points)
I don't even like this build. I'm just including it to demonstrate that such builds are still viable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Domitar Class Battle-Automata Maniple

The Domitar is an upgraded version of what the book calls the "ancient" conquerer design of robot (which I thought was a nice nod to the Rogue Trader era 40k!) that was brought out just prior to the Heresy happening. These robots are a really nice addition to the range as they fill in the elites spot very nicely and are able to take on marines, terminators, tanks, buildings, and most other things in between. They're a close combat beast, but one that needs some placement thought and management.

I see two primary strengths here. The first one is the obvious close combat role with a pair of graviton hammers that ensures high strength and low AP, coupled with forcing disordered charges against them. And did we mention d3 hammer of wraths -- that's great!

The second is that they provide some well-needed anti-air cover in the form of flak missiles. Clearly this is might be needed in some builds more than others. 

For the points, if these guys charge the wrong unit, they're going to regret it. They will also regret tar-pitting units. Hence they need to have some well-thought through targets to charge in to and handle. 

Domitar, frag grenades, paragon of metal (215 points)
Pricey, but a really nice use of paragon of metal in the right situation.

4 Domitars, frag grenades, flak missiles (740 points)
Wow -- expensive for what you get, but capable of taking almost anything on in the game. Placement is going to be an issue though.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Thanatar-Cynis Class Siege-Automata Maniple

The growing tensions between Ryza and Estaban III resulted in the latter creating the Cynis variant of the Thanatar. The main problem was that they lacked Ryza's mastery of plasma mechanics, and as a result the Cynis has always been considered a bit more erratic and possibly malevolent in comparison to Ryza's attempts.

Unlike the Calix variant, the Cynis can be taken in multiples to form a maniple of up to three of these amazing machines. If you can find a way to infiltrate them, then they will prove (in all likelihood) devastating to all around them.

This will be accomplished by their Cynis pattern plasma ejectors. They pack two of them, and each can lay down two S8 AP2 blasts. Four S8 blasts are horrific for most armies to contend with and they can affect (or have the chance to affect) almost anything in the game. Twelve of them are just insane. 

Couple this with the plasma wave special rule that forces cover saves to be re-rolled, and we're looking at a unit that can wipe out even terminators camped on objectives inside very hard cover. 

The mauler bolt cannon is pretty nice on top of this.

The major drawback of the plasma ejectors is their range. At 18 inches, the threat range is smaller than a regular bolter, and the Cyris needs to think carefully about where to lay down their amazing plasma storm. On top of this, the gets hot rule is an ever-present issue that might merit some attention. 

Arguably, the best way to play them is to get these Cynis in range of enemies pretty fast and blow them away. Getting them in range may prove an issue. Hence we need to think about that. Infiltrate or equivalent would be beastly here if possible to pull off somehow. 

Here are a couple of builds to think about.

Thanatar Cynis, paragon of metal (305 points).
Deadly!  And a good distraction to boot as well.

Thanatar Cynis, searchlight, enhanced targetting array (291 points).
You will like searchlights after playing night fighting against Night Lords a few times.

3 Thanatar Cynis (825 points). 
Laugh or cry, this is a valid unit entry for Horus Heresy. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Thanatar-Calix Siege-Automata

This robot is what happens when you combine together the know-how of some of the most secretive and advanced mechanicum factions in one lucid dream of destruction. Rare and in some quarters: sacred, these machines of destruction live up to their background on the tabletop!

There are some really nice weapons on the Thanatar, including a lascannon, the dreaded graviton ram, and a mauler cannon. All at BS4.

The WS is a bit lower though, and hence this machine is not quite as good as you might want it to be in close combat. Combined with only two attacks, the natural S=8 is a bit on the wasted side arguably. The equally high toughness combined with many wounds and its saves give this guy a huge survivability in the game. Combined with cybernetics resilience, not even poison is going to do too much damage to these machines. 

One of the main problems with this Thanatar is what range to place him (her) at. Take for example the weapons. The lascannon has a long range and so can happily sit back and shoot away. The others do not have that luxury, so you are forced to move forward to make use of them. In doing so, you run the risk of getting tar-pitted (which is certainly what I might look to do against them in the game). 

Although this unit is excellent against buildings, there is hardly any call for this in games as they exist at the moment. I look forward to seeing them deployed in cities of death though or boards with a large amount of buildings in close proximity to each other. 

To be honest, I think I'd sooner spend points on other machines and robots overall, despite how survivable this particular machine actually is.

Thanatar-Calix (295 points).
The basic and naked build is totally viable in Horus Heresy.

Thanatar-Calix with Paragon of Metal (330 points).
Probably about as many points as you want to spend (unless you really want the searchlight and the enhanced targeting array). This can be a beast on the board. But I regard it as a huge points sink and think other army selections get a better return on their points. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Scyllax Guardian-Automata Covenant

With an intelligence that some within the Mechanicum consider to be on the borderline of an abomination of animated silicon wafers, the Scyllax are written to be highly durable, intelligent with a full battlefield role. That said, they are comparatively rare and typically serve as bodyguards of the high ranking Domina. 

With 2 wounds each and toughness of 5, these machines are tough and relatively worth their points in the stat line department alone. 

The have access to fearless so long as they're within range of a cortex controller (or suitable Iron Warrior with the battle smith special rule). 

Their close combat array is interesting as it can generate extra hits on wound rolls of 6, or be substituted for an enhanced strength and AP singular hit which is well worth while if they're going to up against terminators or terminator equivalents. 

As if these weren't good enough, they get a bolter with a better AP and longer range, coupled with a rad furnace engine that gives the usual radiation poisoning penalty to opponents in melee. Blimey!

I would have preferred them to be a lot faster frankly. That way they could have been superlatively deadly. I think they're going to need some kind of transport and they probably want to be with a high ranking Dominus. 

If they do happen to be outside the nominal range from a cortex controller, then they don't move either. That could be bad. Particularly with average Ld. 

16 Scyallax, frag grenades (565 points).
A large squad for killing lots of things in combat or with their bolters. Take a Triaros for transport to taste? Relentless with rapid fire is very nice here regardless. 

10 Scyllax, frag grenades, Volkite Chargers (445 points).
With volkite, we need to have lots of them equipped with them to make the most of it. 

5 Scyllax, frag grenades, 1 graviton gun (195 points).
Cheaper than terminators are possibly a bit better assuming you have a cortex controller somewhere nearby and you can get in close combat to use their high S hit against T=3 terminators (reduced thanks to all that radiation) -- instant killing as well in all likelihood. I like this arrangement, but feel free to swap out the graviton gun for a plasma gun or a melta gun to taste. 


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