Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Plastic Pink Horrors Box

Here's one for you: I bought a box of new plastic Tzeentch Pink Horrors. On getting home, I looked more closely at the artwork and imagery depicted on the box.
I found on the reverse of the box is a picture of the mid-2000's metal Pink Horror in the top right corner...! What the?!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wargames Gallery: Dark Eldar Melee

A rapid melee evolves as daemons deep strike in the midst of a Dark Eldar onslaught.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Many Khorne Berzerkers does it take to Tackle Loyalist Terminators?

A number of my loyalist-playing opponents seem to fear Khorne Berzerkers being anywhere near their terminators -- particularly a unit of thunder hammer and storm shield terminators. I have often wondered why this is. The most frequent reason given is that the berzerkers have bucket loads of attacks and go before the terminators in combat. So I decided to sit down and run a quick and dirty calculation.

Here's the question at hand: How many Khorne Berzerkers does it take to (statistically) kill 5 terminators on the charge?

The basic computation goes as follows:
When charging, the Khorne Berzerkers have 4 attacks each, at WS=5 and S=5.
They will therefore roll to hit on 3+ and roll to wound on 3+.
Each terminator will get a 2+ save.

Hence the probability of 1 attack killing a terminator is 4/6 * 4/6 * 1/6 = 0.074 (=2/27 as a fraction). Or to put it another way, 13.5 attacks will be needed (on average) to down a terminator.

Therefore to remove 5 terminators will require 5 * 13.5 attacks = 67.5 attacks.

If each Khorne Berzerker performs averagely and they get to charge, then the unit will need to be 67.5 / 4 = 16.875 members strong to pull off this feat on the charge.

That's a whole load of Khorne Berzerkers. I personally don't field Khorne Berzerkers in such large numbers. Eight is obviously a fluffy number to have, but I mostly stick with about ten. But I also add in to the mix a Skull Champion with a power fist or power weapon. And I've ignored subsequent rounds of combat. But those considerations are a story for another day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

GW Sydney -- Now Stocking FW Books

Business took me to Sydney this week. In some spare time, I decided to track down the city-centre Games Workshop store, as I hadn't been there in years.

The Sydney GW is located on Clarence Street in the heart of the shopping precinct of the city. It's a short walk from many major train, bus (and even the monorail) lines so it gets a tick from me for accessibility (I'm not sure you'd want to drive in down town Sydney unless you had a good inside knowledge of the one way streets!).

From the outside, the GW store has a classy looking facade. After going down a small flight of stairs, the inside strikes you as large. Larger than the Melbourne and Brisbane stores, for sure. This is largely due to the play area / bunker bit at the rear of the store. The layout was also spacious -- I didn't need to squeeze past folks to get a look at the miniatures (etc.). The staff were very friendly and helpful (big tick marks from me!) and chatted to me about daemons, what I was collecting and painting at the moment and so forth (which I've come to expect from the staff).

Cliff, one of the store guys, pointed out to me that the store was undergoing an experiment: they're now selling a limited range for Forge World merchandise. By that, I mean the game books (e.g. Imperial Armour) -- i.e. NOT the resin models. They're neatly stowed next to the Black Library merchandise alongside the Liber Chaotica. I think this is a good move, and one that I hope will take off.

About the only negative thing I can say (and it is a minor one) is that I'm not taken with the interior decorating. Black and dark colours are very foreboding in general. To get a better family friendliness rating from me, I think they need brighter colours!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mighty Empires: Varied Woodland

Adding to my growing map for planetary and mighty empires is another woodland tile. This particular one I thought of as a challenge to try to get a number of different types of terrain on to a single tile.
Alongside the more usual bright, grassy greens, I've placed some areas of deep, foreboding dark woodland green. Some of these darker woodland green parts have been drybrushed lighter tones to suggest a a dual canopy -- perhaps vines are climbing these trees or the sunlight is simply catching them? There's also a brown area that I tried to seamlessly blend in to the other green areas. This is supposed to denote muddied land where grass is not covering the surface. Finally, with a steady hand, the road was painted on in a dark brown plus black blend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ezekiel the Fallen

I've like the model for Ezekiel for a while. As well as being a Dark Angels fan, I reckon I could use the miniature in some of my chaos space marine armies -- mainly as a chaos sorcerer, but perhaps as a Tzeentch Thousand Sons Champion.

The beauty of using Dark Angels miniatures in a chaos space marine army is that one need not entirely scrub them of all their imperial iconography. Rather, they can be played as "Fallen".

This model has had a chaos space marine back pack glued on to his back and an old white plastic WFB orc skull attached through a spike driven in to an eye socket. Even with the Dark Angels icon on the Book of Salvation, I reckon that this miniature will do well once indoctrinated in to wearing Tzeentch's colours!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wargames Gallery: Clash of the Raptors

From behind the tree line, a Dark Angels assault squad blazes a trail toward my winged chaos raptors squad.

The trees seen around the image are of my own design -- see the tree making tutorial for details on this if you're interested in creating some.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Apocalypse Homebrew: Nurgle's Miasma

Formation Name: Nurgle's Miasma

Points: 77 + points for the units

Description: In some incursions, the daemons and tide of filth from Nurgle's realm pour forward accompanied by large clouds of flies, a dense cloud of noxious fumes containing air-bourne Nurgle's Rot, and a seeping river of ooze underfoot. These conditions make it unwise for opponents to approach units directly surrounded by the Miasma.

Units: A minimum of 4 squads of Nurgle daemons, or models marked with the Mark of Nurgle (e.g. Plague Marines).

Special Rules:
  • All units entering play in this formation must do so at the same time and remain within 2 inches coherence of each other once on the board.
  • All Nurgle Daemons and models with the Mark of Nurgle inside the miasma are treated as having offensive and defensive grenades if they do not have them already.
  • Any opposing unit attacking models in the Miasma are reduced to initiative = 1 as the flies swarm around them looking for a new feast and the slime seeps in underfoot.
  • Any models within 6" of the miasma units take an automatic S3 hit at the start of their turn as the Rot takes its toll. Models with the Mark of Nurgle, or Nurgle daemons are not affected. Creatures killed by this hit are counted toward Epdemius' tally, if applicable.
  • Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Poll Result: Where Your Battles Take Place

    Two weeks ago, Warpstone Flux asked the question "Where do your battles take place?"

    The results are as follows, within the categories supplied:

    Urban Context 48%
    Rural Context 41%
    Jungle Context 10%
    Deserted Context 28%
    Cityscape 33%
    Ruins 38%
    Icy planet 5%
    Magma planet 0%
    Forge world 10%
    Death world 0%
    Hive world 20%
    Shrine world 7%
    Agri-world 17%
    Maiden world 5%
    Crone world 0%
    Tomb world 2%
    Marine Chapter world 2%
    Dead planet 23%
    Daemon world 7%
    Feral planet 17%
    Civilized planet 20%
    A Moon 17%
    Ork planet 5%
    Tyranid planet 2%
    Craft world 0%
    Tau planet 5%
    Other 7%

    Trying to get some general themes from this: it seems that most battlefields come under themes of urban / city / ruins. This is probably not too much of a surprise.

    Strong secondary suites appear as deserts, verdant planets and feudal (or dare I suggest it) Warhammer Fantasy worlds(!)

    What is striking though, is the sheer variety and unusual combinations that are out there! It has started to inspire me to think about different terrain board than I might construct in the future.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Old Terminator, New Base and Paint Scheme

    The image is of an old Chaos Terminator, half painted up in the colours of the Sons of Malice (following some paint stripping from many years ago). Although I'm yet to complete this miniature (i.e. highlighting and blending the lighter colours), today I wanted to illustrate how a new base can easily transform an old miniature.

    The base is a 40mm construct from back 2 basix. It features an urban setting with an old fuel (petrol?) canister on the rear. As you may be aware, the old style terminators were designed to fit in to a regular slottbase rather than a 40mm circular base. Hence, with this miniature, I have removed the slotta tab and pinned it to the resin base. The result still looks like a regular terminator, but he now has the correct base size for the modern 40k era. The only way that a casual observer would be able to tell that this fellow is not a modern chaos terminator is to look closely at the size of him in contrast to the modern plastic ones. He is slightly shorter in height and less bulky (or "heroic", if I can use that word). However, the new base gives him a height boost and a solid foundation to hold his own amongst his newer cousins.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Nurgle Daemon Catalogue

    For the collectors amongst you, this site may interest you. I found Stelio's site a long while ago (years ago in fact!) whilst I was building a few nurgling bases and was wondering "how many different types of nurgling exist?"
    The answer is lots. There's also a catalogue of Great Unclean Ones as well as plaguebearers. Hope you enjoy the website if you've never seen it before! It opened my eyes to all the different types of Nurgle daemon that were ever made.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Bothered About Nurglings

    Nurglings are small caricatures of Nurgle personified. They are grown inside the putrid bodies of Great Unclean Ones before popping out in to the world and behaving like naughty, mischievous and down-right evil primary school children. If they're not eaten as a light snack by their sires, they can potentially grow in to jovial Great Unclean Ones themselves.

    But in my mixed daemon armies, I often struggle to find an appropriate place for them to happily exist (not usually a problem in mono-Nurgle lists!). I think the main problem is that I would sooner invest the points in bigger, or more, units of plaguebearers as troops. Nurglings tend to have a tar-pit role in the battles that I've fought with them. In large numbers, they can bog down even the hardiest and most deadly of troops (such as loyalist assault terminators) for a few key turns. So the task that I'm going to set myself in my next few games is to try to make optimal use of units of nurglings in non-mono-Nurgle armies. Just for fun and experimentation...! If you regularly use nurglings in your mixed armies, let me know how you play them, and in what quantities (lots of small units, or just one or two very larges units?).

    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    Email in: 600 points of Daemons

    I get a number of emails here at Warpstone Flux but I honestly don't publish many of them since others (Kirby, YTTH, et al.) do a grand job of answering general army list questions on their own blogs. But I do tend to get emails about daemons quite a bit and I'd like to share this one with you guys (with permission of the writer).

    Email In:
    Morning,

    I am considering collecting a Daemons army in 40K and will be soon taking part in a campaign designed for helping people build new armies.

    We start out with 1 HQ and 2 Troops with 600 points to spend on the three. We then play a game against each other player in the campaign before adding a new unit in the next round and then repeating the process.

    I was thinking of the following list for the starting 600 points:

    HQ: Keeper of Secrets – Pavane of Slaanesh, Transfixing Gaze – 235

    Troops: 10 Daemonettes – Icon, Instrument – 170

    Troops: 10 Bloodletters – Icon, Instrument – 190

    Total – 595 points

    What do you think of this as a starter army? Is there anything you think I should change?

    What do you think I should add to the army first for the next rounds?

    I am aiming to include all the chaos powers eventually rather than limiting myself to one or two.

    Sorry for all the questions but going by your blog you seem to know what you are doing with Daemons and I could use some help as they are so different from all the other 40K armies!


    Reply
    Thanks for your email! Daemons are a great army choice and I love them - but I'm biased as well! I'm glad you like the blog and hope you continue to follow it. What follows is a number of opinions gathered from playing daemons.

    The first thing that I'd note is that daemons can play differently at different point values, in my opinion. So what you might want to play at low points value may be different at 1500+ points. For example, I would only take Great Unclean Ones in a higher points value game as they're simply too slow at low points to be worthwhile (unless playing mono-Nurgle... but that's a different story).

    The second main point to make is that daemons can struggle against mechanized armies (e.g. space marines all holed-up in rhinos and razor backs). This is principally because they lack the tank-busting firepower that meltas, las cannons and so forth can pump out.

    And finally, daemons on the whole lack the sheer firepower of other armies. This can be dealt with via good use of cover saves and optimizing stratagems. They make up for this deficit in close combat ability though.

    Given that you want to expand your army to all the chaos powers eventually gives you a lot of flexibility. In the long term, you will need units that are capable of taking care of tanks quickly and efficiently. This means that you will eventually need either monstrous creatures with wings (e.g. bloodthirsters, daemon princes) to move in quickly and destroy them in close combat, or units that have strong ranged attacks (e.g. lord of change, herald of tzeentch, flamers of tzeentch, soul grinder). It is also worth noting that some rending daemons (fiends of slaanesh in particular) can perform the job of tank-busting minor tanks such as rhinos with efficiency.

    Okay -- on to the army list you wrote.
    All the choices are solid ... but it depends entirely on what the opponent fields as to how effective they might be, especially at 600pt. If you think you're going to be facing marines or chaos marines without rhinos, then the list should be very effective. If they bring a pair of rhinos, it could be a struggle.

    Bloodletters are great at killing miniatures with power armour. Just ensure that you get the charge before opponents do to maximize their potential.

    Daemonettes are very fragile -- with a toughness of 3, some rapid firing from bolters will likely wipe many of them out. Ten might be enough to make close combat. Just remember that they have fleet, so be prepared to hide them behind scenery as they close for the kill. In the longer term, you may like to invest in some plaguebearers for their potential to capture objectives (if that is the flavour of game you envision playing).

    The Keeper of Secrets is a solid choice, but maybe a bit expensive in a 600 point game. Two heralds on chariots might be a better choice (1xSlaanesh for extra kill and light tank busting, and 1xTzeentch for long range shooting perhaps? or even 2 Tzeentch heralds for great shooting potential-- see here). But making the chariots would involve some conversion work (e.g. here).

    Alternatively, one of my favourite tactics is to place a herald of Khorne on a Jugger and have him lead a squad of bloodletters. The bloodletters can then die to rapid fire, leaving the herald and whoever survives to finish off the rest of the opponents.

    Regarding the options on the troops squads: I don't think instruments are worthwhile on bloodletters on the whole -- they should win their combats by a good margin, or not at all. Daemonettes in sufficient numbers should do likewise. See here for a full discussion on instruments.

    Icons are expensive. Even in 1500 point games, I only usually field up to 2 of them. In a 600 point game, you might like to just "take a chance" and do without them. Chances are that only one of your units will make use of the icons.

    Between the icons and instruments, you'll then have 60 extra points left over to spend on more troops (bloodletters and/or daemonettes, thereby decreasing the percentage of casualties they'll take before engaging in close combat), or options for either your greater daemon or heralds (whichever option you end up choosing).

    Regardless, I'd be very interested in hearing how your army progresses and how you fare. Daemons are a fun an unusual army that takes practice & patience to get good at, but they're well worth while.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Earth Elemental

    This miniature takes me back many years and holds a number of good memories -- largely ADnD roleplaying games that I had back at high school. It is an Earth Elemental (produced by citadel miniatures and still available through direct order from Games Workshop), based on a square Warhammer base and painted in different earthy and rocky tones. The paintwork is now chipped (see the forehead!) and the base has lost a number of its cobbles from the milliput that holds the miniature in place. I'm posting it for posterity and because it brings back happy thoughts of old friends when I see it.

    Hence today's general question is this: Do any of your miniatures in your collections hold a special place in your mind or evoke happy thoughts when you dig them out once in a while (inspite of their painting or age)?

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Note to Self on Merits of Blight Grenades

    No self-respecting plague marine would be seen without them -- blight grenades are absolutely awesome in regular games of 40k. My only problem with them is trying to remember to declare using them!

    Blight grenades negate the extra attack that opponents get due to charging plague marines. This can be incredibly useful in all situations, but especially against ork hordes and furious charge models. I remember one time being charged with bloodletters (who have furious charge) with a unit of 14 plague marines. They survived purely through their blight grenades.

    Chances are that my plague marines are going to go last in most of the combats that they fight in. So to try to remember to declare using them, I will often think through my next turn ahead. Not only do I see a charge coming, but I also then remember that I have blight grenades! Hopefully writing this note to myself will help me remember them more often -- they really are an intrinsic part of what makes plague marines such a great troops choice in chaos space marine armies.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Great Unclean One Builds

    It has been a while since I wrote about various builds and list building aspects that I think about. Today, I wanted to jot down a few personal notes that I've made about fielding Great Unclean Ones in daemon armies.

    The first thing to say is that the exact build of Great Unclean One may depend entirely on the type of daemon army that one is running. For example, an Epidemius orientated build may be entirely different to a build designed to complement a mixture of different daemon factions as they will have entirely different roles to play.

    I think the keyword there (for me) is "role". Since I play mixed daemons much more frequently than pure Nurgle lists, I'm going to talk about what role I have for a Great Unclean One in a mixed build (see e.g. this army list). For my army, I want my Great Unclean One to be a distraction and a road bump. He's the fellow who's going to hold up the thunder hammer terminators for a turn or two. He's the guy who's going to deep strike near a remote objective on his own without support to kill the enemy that is currently holding it. He's the one who's going to distract the enemy force commander for a few turns whilst my other (faster) miniatures either descend on more important targets or objectives, or come to his aid. He's there to get in the way as much as possible and slow my opponent down as much as he can (providing he gets a good deep-strike in to play!).

    The second thing to note is that the Great Unclean One is fairly cheap. In my army lists, it usually comes down to purchasing this guy, or a unit of smaller daemons. Therefore, I don't really want to spend more points on him that I have to.

    Spending the base cost on this greater daemon and adding no upgrades is therefore perfectly acceptable to me! Yes - that's right - I sometimes just field him as is! This is due to his large number of wounds, feel no pain, noxious touch and generally solid stat line given the role that I want him to play. Moreover, given his slow and purposeful movement, he may never actually see any action if an opponent decides to move away from him (which is often why I decide to target him toward a held objective!).

    Cloud of flies is a cheap upgrade. Sometimes it is worthwhile, sometimes not. Given his initiative is 2, he's never going to be striking first in many "normal" combats. But at least with the cloud, he can ensure he goes before power fists (and the like) if he charges enemy combatants in cover.

    Aura of Decay is nice in an Epidemius list. And if I'm sure the Great Unclean One is going to get close enough, fast enough. Personally, I don't usually take it unless it is on a daemon prince.

    Breath of Chaos is an interesting choice. It brings the total of the build up to 190 points immediately and can be very devastating to both armour and infantry alike. But again, the slowness of the Great Unclean One means that this is usually only going to go off once per game, if I'm lucky. However, when an opponent (particularly an inexperienced one) sees it go off the once, they'll recognize how dangerous the ability is and tend to target the Great Unclean One in preference to more real and immediate dangers. Hence, I kind of like this upgrade and it is fun to use once in a while despite the cost!

    Unholy Might just is not worth while in my opinion. Especially since the Great Unclean One comes with noxious touch already. And the role I have in mind for him is not tank-busting in general.

    The Instrument of Chaos is sometimes worth while -- largely for the same reasons it can be good on plaguebearers. An unsupported Great Unclean One can certainly tie combats with choice opponents often. So if there's a few spare points left over, why not.

    Hence, I might go for one of a few builds depending on the points available to me:
    (a) A "naked" Great Unclean One (no upgrades);
    (b) Clouds of Flies and / or Instrument of Chaos (nice cheap upgrades that can be very useful);
    (c) Breath of Chaos -- just for fun! But at a higher price points-wise!

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Imperial Ruins Project - VII. Modularity

    It has been a long time coming, but here is the finished Imperial Ruins Project.All three pieces can be seen attached to one another, fully painted and textured. The left hand piece (the straight) has been painted slightly differently to the other two due to the inclusion of more brown colours in the hue. I may touch this up to get it in to line with the other two pieces, but otherwise, I'm very happy with these buildings! They can be fielded as separate pieces, or as a unique longer structure as pictured on this gaming board. They're going to get some regular use, I'm certain!

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Poll: Where do your battles take place?

    I'm opening a poll today to hear about something I'd like to know more about. The question is this: Where do your battles take place?

    There's clearly a lot of answers possible to this, so I've included a large number of options (and you can tick more than one).

    Firstly, are your battles mostly set in an urban context (ruins or otherwise), a rural context (perhaps forests and woodlands), a jungle location (perhaps infested with early tyranid organisms), or a deserted place (lifeless rock, icy plains, or sandy hot desert)?

    Then, what about the planet itself? Is it a city planet, a desolate rocky world, red planet, ice planet, verdant green planet (etc.), or something else entirely? Perhaps it is a forge world, a death world, a shrine world, or an agri planet? Or is it a maiden world or crone world as the Eldar might look at it? What about a tomb world, a dead planet (stripped by the tyranids perhaps?), a strongly volcanically active world, a hive planet, a space marine chapter home planet, a daemon planet deep in the Eye of Terror, a feral planet, or otherwise a civilized planet of some type or other?

    Or perhaps it is something not mentioned here or in the poll? If so, please leave a comment!

    I'll leave this poll open for two weeks and see what you come up with.
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