Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ork Bastion

Taken at Games Workshop, Camberwell (Melbourne, Aust.), this is an orky adaptation of Imperial Ruins, suitable for use as a planetstrike bastion perhaps.  

I like the way that the orkification makes it look like an ork face.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Plaguebearer Orchestra

Whilst I can only imagine that plaguebearers are not the most musically gifted virtuoso creatures of the Warp, a pair of them ringing dread bells together must signal woe to all who hear them.

The front plaguebearer is the new one of the pair (the rear-ward, right hand one can be seen in full here).  For the new, front one, I decided to have a bit of a go at painting some blue slime, to match up with the blue plagueswords that I've painted a number of my other plaguebearers with.  This isn't my first attempt at the blue slime (as can be seen from my standard bearer).  Here, I've base coated the slimy portions with space wolf grey and followed up by using a traditional blue ink -- dark, vibrant and somewhat glossy.  The inking was followed up by selective highlighting in pastel blues to create the final slime-ridden vision. 

The plaguebearer itself was base coated in dwarf flesh and graveyard earth brown blends and then liberally washed with devlan mud.  Highlighting was picked out in muddy colours that progress up to an almost rust-like orange tone (essentially dheneb stone mixed with blazing orange).  As well as picking out the sores and poxes in lighter colours, the cyclopean orb was painted in slightly off-white and the tongue picked out in a strangely healthy-ish colour.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Painting in Warm Weather

(With sincere apologies to my Northern Hemisphere friends, some of whom I know have endured a bitter winter).

The Australian Summer brings with it a wealth of opportunities to get out and about, and more daylight time in which to paint with natural light filtering in through the windows.  However, there are many times at which the temperature is above 25 deg C.  At night.  And then there are the scorchers: above 30 or 35 deg C by 1PM in the daytime. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be painting with those temperatures.  Frankly, it's usually too hot to do much at all.  But year after year, I find myself painting in those conditions, usually because I have a tournament coming up that I need some extra models to be finished up for, or because I'm just a little bit crazy.

One of the obvious perils of painting in such warm conditions is that the paint dries much faster.  That can be something of a boon though if the intention is to apply lots of washes to a miniature (or batch of miniatures) since it dries off much faster and the next layer can be rapidly applied.  On the other hand, if you're not paying enough attention or painting fast enough, it can readily clog up the bristles of the paint brush.  Hence my first top tip about painting in hot weather is to wash your brushes more frequently than you usually do.


In cooler times and climates, leaving the lid of the paint pots open doesn't cause any dramas.  But they sure can dry out fast if you accidentally forget to close the lid of the pots you're no longer using!  I've done it myself a couple of times and learnt the hard way to only have a couple (i.e. two at maximum!) lids open at any one time.  I also like to try to keep any pots that I will not need for the rest of a painting session to one side so that I have a clear line of sight to the paint pots that have their lids open!


Mixing together colours can be tricky unless you're using a wet sponge technique.  I'd advise to try to steer away from making your own mixes if possible (at least until the Sun dips below the horizon) due to the rapid drying times.


If you enjoy doing a little wet blending (e.g. the bloodletter's hellblade sword picture above), then this is one that you might like to leave altogether unless absolutely necessary.  I'd suggest having practice at using wet blending techniques in cooler conditions before having to speed up in hotter conditions since celerity is exactly what is needed to pull wet blends off in hotter weather.  One really needs to race through applying the colours and blending them together before they dry out.

Let me know if you have any further tips for painting in hot weather...?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Painted Bloodcrusher

This is the painted version of the bloodcrusher that was built at the start of the year.  The paint scheme follows my herald of Khorne, with the reds, blacks and bronzes being prominent, combined with wet-blending of the hell-blade's colours as per my bloodletter troops.

The highlighting of the bloodcrusher required some work, with lighter glints of the metalic hell-blade hilt, and around the gold / bronze metal bits (on the head, upper forelegs, and around the bronze edging just above the chainmail on the legs).  Additionally, orange highlights were applied to the red parts of the juggernaut and attention was paid to the scratch marks around the body of the juggernaut.

The base meanwhile, was painted in a modestly simple fashion -- drybrushing of metallic colours and bleached bone plus dheneb stone.  I decided not to add any grass to the base, but I might add just one clump to break up the urban decay feel.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boon of Mutation vs. Soul Devourer

The ability to turn enemy combatants in to jibbering chaos spawn must be one of the most annoying (for the enemy) and fun (for the chaos player) ability that there is.

I've been thinking about Boon of Mutation in relation to Heralds of Tzeentch as a defensive measure.  The main choice as a defensive measure is either the Boon of Mutation, or the Soul Devourer (power weapon with a Ld test imposed for each unsaved wound that can cause instant death).  Which is better though?

The Boon has a 3+ chance of hitting (conducted during the shooting phase, even if the herald and target are engaged in combat!), and then the target needs to pass a Toughness test.  Let's assume for the moment that the target has T=4.  This means a 5+ is required to turn the target in to a chaos spawn.  Hence the probability is 0.22 for success (or 1 in 4.5).  This takes care of the target full stop - no invulnerable (or other) saves apply as no wounds have been caused.  In contrast, for soul devourer, the Herald will get 4 attacks during the combat phase (assuming it is on a chariot for the moment) and will hit of 4+ (against WS=4) and wound on 5+.  That means a 1 in 6 chance of a power weapon wound per attack, or a total of 0.67 unsaved wounds per combat round.  Against Ld=10, there will be a chance of 0.05583 (about 1 in 18 chance) of the target getting its soul devoured if it has more than one wound.

That needs some interpretation though.  Against space marines, the soul devourer is going to hurt regular marines most turns.  Except for commanders and those other miniatures that possess invulnerable saves, of course.  It could make regular squads think twice before charging in ... but what do terminators with a 3+ invulnerable save care?  Probably very little.  Moreover, the chances of inflicting instant death against a pesky three wound space marine character with an invulnerable save is incredibly slim.  A quick analysis shows that the herald stands the same chance of turning a 3+ invulnerable save terminator in to a spawn as causing a wound with a power weapon from 4 attacks! (i.e. the probability of killing a regular storm shield terminator with a power weapon is 0.22 for the herald!).  But with Boon of Mutation, if it is successful, not only does the herald kill the terminator, the team also gains a chaos spawn miniature.

But when faced with a T=3 Dark Eldar Archon (or Lelith Hesperax even), the herald has a probability of 0.33 (1 in 3 chance) of working per turn.  That's got to be worth considering given that the herald may not survive a several rounds of combat with Lelith (etc.).  Combined with some other powers, it could be an effective block against webway incursions.

Here's one such build:
Herald of Tzeentch with Chariot, Bolt of Tzeentch, Daemonic Gaze, Boon of Mutation and Master of Sorcery -- 130 points.

With 2 or 4 of them on the field, they could be very efficient at producing a chaos spawn per turn, or pummelling down multi-wound characters if that fails.  I know that others may consider Breath of Chaos better value that the Boon for the same amount of points (in all likelihood it is!), but Boon of Mutation is much more satisfying in its own chaotic way and can be used defensively whilst in combat, unlike Breath.

Finally, I'll note that the chaos space marine Gift of Chaos psychic ability (same thing as Boon of Mutation, but a different name) and the daemons version is worded slightly differently.  If the target is hit, they must make a toughness test immediately or be turned in to a spawn, but in the chaos space marine version, a roll of a 6 is explicitly noted as always being a failure, but the daemons ability is not.  It is worth noting that on page 8 of the 40k rulebook, it explicitly notes that all rolls of a 6 on a characteristic test always fail.  Therefore there is no difference between Gift and Boon in this regard, despite the different wording. Hence both of them have a chance even against Mawlocks (etc.).  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winner of Jan 2011 Army List Challenge

The winner of the Jan 2011 Army List Challenge is: AbusePuppy!

Congratulations!  The dark eldar list was, in the words of Anton, pure filth!

The final percentages were as follows:
1. AbusePuppy: 35%
=2. Gundog8324: 17%
=2. GDNMW: 17%
=4. Aleksi: 11%
=4. schuelerliu: 11%
6. Ctreleheb: 5%

Finally, if anyone has any suggestions for future challenges, then please send me an email or leave a comment.  (Ideally, the challenges should be themed and able to be tackled by any codex -- see previous challenges for a broad spread of ideas!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sons of Malice: Combat Squad

It's been a while since I wrote an update concerning my developing Sons of Malice miniatures.  To be fair, I've only built up and painted a few of them, having concentrated most of my time on daemons of late. That not withstanding, I've got a small combat squad of Sons of Malice marines now -- enough to form the core of killteam squad at any rate.  

The five of them are converted with a variety of close combat weapons (spear, axe and mace), one has a flamer special weapon, and there are some chaos warrior bits thrown in to the mix as well. All are painted with red accents on their head pieces, similar to the initial test model that I painted up. 

I am yet to figure out the insignia for them and how to paint it.  In the Games Workshop background, it is typically depicted as a skull: one half in white, the other in black, and sometimes with an arrow down the middle of it.  I not too sold on that insignia though.  Other ideas would be welcome!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blue Fiend of Slaanesh

Fiends of Slaanesh are one of the most utilised and useful cogs in the competitive daemons machinery.  I've slowly been putting together a set of them, the first of which can be seen in an earlier posting.

Although fiends come in a number of casts, I haven't purchased every variety.  Hence for this fiend, I've re-positioned its claws in to a different pose and tilted the head slightly to suggest it is looking leftward for new prey.  

The painting for this fiend consisted of a light blue base coat, followed by a beep blue inking.  The blue layers were then worked upward with progressively lighter blue tones and brought together with an asurmen blue wash.  The armour plated shins were painted in sunburst yellow and washed with watered-down chaos black.  They were then steadily painted in lighter yellow tones and accented with almost pure skull white at the outer edges.  A similar proscription was used for the fur on the head, torso and tail.  I wasn't too happy with the face, and so accented it with a blue-white mixture to give it superior definition, or make-up perhaps.

The base of the miniature is constructed out of spare Hirst Arts blocks that were glued on to the base and had the fiend milliputted (greenstuffed) in to position without needing to resort to pinning.  On top of the black undercoat, I've simply drybrushed the Hirst Arts blocks with dheneb stone, followed by a mixture of dheneb stone and skull white.  The final miniature has the appearance of an odd, daemonic, Slaaneshi creature bounding over the ruins of an ancient temple looking for its next play-thing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Codex: Dark Angels now in-line with Codex: Space Marines


The new batch of FAQs and Errata from Games Workshop has seriously updated the Dark Angels Codex and brought it in to line with the more recent space marines (plural) codex.  My long time readers will know I have a soft spot for the Dark Angels, so I am really pleased to see this progression. Here's the headlines from the FAQ:

  • All veterans may replace their bolter and chainsword with special options (not just 3).
  • Storm Shields now provide a 3+ invulnerable save (was 4+).
  • The narthecium/reductor now provides feel no pain to the unit to which the apothecary is attached (rather than letting 1 unsaved wound be ignored per turn; etc.).
  • Typhoon missile launcher update.
  • Cyclone missile launcher becomes Heavy 2 (rather than heavy 1).
  • Whirlwinds get barrage.
  • Power of the machine spirit gets updated.
  • Drop pods become BS=4 (was BS=2).
  • Combat shield becomes 6+ invulnerable.
  • Smoke launchers come into line with the newer codex: space marines.
Okay, Death Wing terminator squads are still 15 points more expensive than codex: space marines terminator squads; the only compensation being that the get the Death Wing assault rules.  But Codex: Dark Angels is looking much more attractive now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Combi-Plasma Chaos Terminator

Combi-plasma chaos terminators don't come pre-packaged in the plastic boxed set like combi-flamer and combi-melta options do.  If we want combi-plasma traitor terminators to use (perhaps in a termicide squad), then the combi-plasma needs to be converted.

In this image, I've hacked apart the twin-linked bolter by chopping off one side of it using a hobby knife and some filing.  The plasma side of it was created using a standard plasma pistol with the handle removed.  It was the simply glued in to place once the parts were filed down so that they would lie flush next to each other.  Although it's not too hard to do, it does take a little time and its probably not a job for beginners given how fiddlesome the bits can become.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Poll Open for Jan 2011 Army List Challenge

The poll is open for the winner of the Jan 2011 army list challenge.  Please have a look at the entrant's lists and vote according to who you think has the most effective army list that also best articulates the theme. This month, the theme was to take on the Death Wing (lots of terminators and land raiders) and get as many of your models in to their deployment zone as possible.  The full details are here.  Below are the army lists!


Gundog8324 (Necrons)
3 Monoliths-705
Lord with Warsycthe, Resorb, Solar Pulse, Phase Shifter-200
33 Warriors in a group of 17 and 16

Good luck killing more than the three Monoliths which deep strike in to the other guy's DZ using the gauss flux archs to stun all of the LRs while the warriors hopefully stay off the board.


Aleksi Lehtio (Chaos Space Marines)


1500pt Chaos Space Marines 5th Ed (2007) Roster
(1496pts Total)

Selections:

HQ (255pts)
Chaos Sorcerer (125pts)
Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Lash of Submission (20pts), Mark of Slaanesh (5pts)

Chaos Sorcerer (130pts)
Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Lash of Submission (20pts), Mark of Slaanesh (5pts), Melta Bombs (5pts)

Troops (806pts)

Plague Marines (190pts)
5x Plague Marine (115pts), 2x Plasma Gun (30pts)
Chaos Rhino (45pts)
Combi-Weapon (10pts)

Plague Marines (190pts)
5x Plague Marine (115pts), 2x Plasma Gun (30pts)
Chaos Rhino (45pts)
Combi-Weapon (10pts)

Plague Marines (213pts)
6x Plague Marine (138pts), 2x Plasma Gun (30pts)
Chaos Rhino (45pts)
Combi-Weapon (10pts)

Plague Marines (213pts)
6x Plague Marine (138pts), 2x Plasma Gun (30pts)
Chaos Rhino (45pts)
Combi-Weapon (10pts)

Heavy Support (435pts)

Chaos Vindicator (145pts)
Daemonic Possession (20pts)

Chaos Vindicator (145pts)
Daemonic Possession (20pts)

Chaos Vindicator (145pts)
Daemonic Possession (20pts)


Vindicator + lash is a nasty combination, even more when it ignores terminator armour. You could go with lash+obliterators (for plasmacannons) but oblits cost more and I think vindis are better at 1500 points.

All Rhinos have combi-meltas. Combi-meltas+vindis should be enough to down any land raiders. Plague Marines were taken for the cheap double plasma.

Abuse Puppy (Dark Eldar)
Dark Eldar are so perfect for this it's not even funny:

(1500 list)
Haemonculous (Shattershard)

4 Trueborn (3 Blasters)
1 Venom (Splinter Cannon)

4 Trueborn (3 Blasters)
1 Venom (Splinter Cannon)

3 Trueborn (3 Blasters)
1 Venom (Splinter Cannon)

5 Warriors (Blaster, Sybarite, Blast Pistol)
1 Raider (Flickerfields)

5 Warriors (Blaster, Sybarite, Blast Pistol)
1 Raider (Flickerfields)

5 Warriors (Blaster, Sybarite, Blast Pistol)
1 Raider (Flickerfields)

5 Warriors (Blaster, Sybarite, Blast Pistol)
1 Raider (Flickerfields)

1 Ravager (3 Disintegrators, Flickerfields)

1 Ravager (3 Disintegrators, Flickerfields) 

1 Ravager (3 Disintegrators, Flickerfields)

Everything you have can move 24" if necessary and carries a constant 5++ to keep protected. You have twenty-one Lances that can shoot on the move and a ton more AP2/poison guns, which will evaporate all the Land Raiders almost immediately and quickly finish off even Assault Terminators. Your ability to move quickly and low individual value of each squad means that the Terminator's shooting will be fairly ineffective- each squad costs them 200+ pts and the best they can kill with anything is an 85pt troop or vehicle, so they're wasting most of their firepower. It's also quite easy to engage the Terminators at long range, draw them forward, and then zip past to claim victory in the final turns if the engagement goes poorly early on.

Themewise, this is obviously a raiding force that preys on Space Marines- and really, what better prize?

Ctreleheb (Tau Empire)
Shas'o Commander # 1 with Bodyguard - 292 pts
plasma rifle
fusion blaster
multitracker
Hardwired drone controller
2 gun drone
Bodyguard 
Suit #1 has
2 plasma rifles
Drone controller
1 gun drone
Suit #2 has
2 plasma rifles
Drone controller
2 gun drones

Shas'o Commander # 2 with Bodyguard - 292 pts
plasma rifle
fusion blaster
multitracker
Hardwired drone controller
2 gun drone
Bodyguard 
Suit #1 has
2 plasma rifles
Drone controller
1 gun drone
Suit #2 has
2 plasma rifles
Drone controller
2 gun drones

Fire Warrior Squad # 1 - 200 pts
12 Fire Warriors
Dedicated Transport
Devilfish
smart missile system

Fire Warrior Squad # 2 - 200 pts
12 Fire Warriors
Dedicated Transport
Devilfish
smart missile system

Fire Warrior Squad # 3 - 200 pts
12 Fire Warriors
Dedicated Transport
Devilfish
smart missile system

Hammerhead #1 - 165 pts
Railgun
2 burst cannons
targeting array
multitracker

Hammerhead #2 - 165 pts
Railgun
2 burst cannons
targeting array
multitracker

Been a while since I wrote any Tau stuff so I think all of that is legal. At 1500 I'm thinking max would be 3 landraiders and 3 units of 5 termies and a leader. This army relies on the railguns making a couple early raider kills, letting the suits cleanup the termies inside with plasma. If needed the Fire Warriors can disembark and torrent the units to death. The suits can jump into and out of rapid fire range for maximum damage without fear of being assaulted.

Theme=Fast, maneuverable and lots of firepower, exactly what Tau are known for.

schuelerliu (Eldar)
Autarch (130pts)
Jetbike, Power Weapon, MandiBlaster, Fusion Gun

Farseer (173pts)
Jetbike, Singing Spear, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Guide, Doom

FireDragons w/ WaveSerpent(276pts)
6xFireDragrons
WaveSerpent with TL Brightlances, SpiritStones, StarEngines, VectoredEngines

FireDragons w/ WaveSerpent(276pts)
6xFireDragrons
WaveSerpent with TL Brightlances, SpiritStones, StarEngines, VectoredEngines

FireDragons w/ WaveSerpent(276pts)
6xFireDragrons
WaveSerpent with TL Brightlances, SpiritStones, StarEngines, VectoredEngines

Guardian Jetbike Squad (183 pts)
5xGuardian on Jetbike w/ 1xShurikenCannon
1xWarlock on Jetbike with Singing Spear, Conceal

Guardian Jetbike Squad (183 pts)
5xGuardian on Jetbike w/ 1xShurikenCannon
1xWarlock on Jetbike with Singing Spear, Conceal

Total: 1,497 pts

Both HQ units attach to one of the Jetbike Squads each. However, if necessary they can detach and attack on their own. 

Due to the fact, that Eldar still have a 4ed codex, the units are way overpriced (just compare it to the DE force of AbusePuppy). 
I need to use Terrain/Cover, Range and superior maneuverability as much as possible to keep range and units alive.

I would deploy slightly forward and try to get some shots on the Landraiders. The Farseer will use guide to get the BrightLances stun/immobilize/destroy some of the Landraiders while moving backward and baiting them away from the target zone. However, it will not be my primary target to destroy my enemy. I just need to slow them down and occupy them with attacking my WaveSerpents. Torrent to death? I just turn them into slack!

The Jetbike Squad & Autarch / Farseer hang back and support and try to reach the target zone in the last 2 turns with their full movement.

I would even win if one/two of the FireDragon Squad is/are totally destroyed while placing one/both Jetbike Squads+HQ in my opponents deployment zone.

GDNMW (Space Marines)
I think the plain ol' Space Marines are worthy competitors here too. Army list first, explanation second.

2 x Librarian
Null Zone, Vortex of Doom

3 x 5 Drop Pod Sternguard
3x Combi-Plasma 2x Meltagun

2x 5 Tactical Marines
Las-Plas Razorback

3x 2 Multi-Melta Attack Bikes

Vindicator

1500 on the button.

Turn One:
Two pods drop in and deploy sternguard with librarian units x2 into play. Attack bike units turbo boost up to 22" away from the Raiders. Close enough to ensure multi-melta goodness next turn and far enough not to be assaulted.

Razorbacks move up 6", vindicator moves up 12" and pops smoke. Razorbacks shoot first, then librarians, then sternguard. This allows you to use Null Zone if you got lucky with one of the lascannon shots.

Turn two:

Razorbacks move 6" and shoot first again. Attack bikes take out any surviving Raiders. Librarians switch to null zone duty and the rest of the army, joined by the vindicator, shoots the terminators until they are dead.

The vindicator needs to shoot the safest unit to avoid nuking your own guys!

Turn Three and so on,

Razorbacks switch to plasma goodness when raiders are gone. All units eliminate terminators units in order of vulnerability to wipe out. You want full units so that any enemy assaults are likely to result in clean wins so you can carry on with the pigeon shoot.

Five plus no terminators is much better than 2 + 3 in this game.

When the remaining pod comes in it is on tidy-up duty. Landing close by any remaining terminators and helping to drop them with plasma and melta fire.

As for the victory conditions: The pods get your sternguard and libbies across the table while the rest of the army is mobile enough to get there under it's own steam.

Good 'ol marines can still kick it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Battle Summary: Death Guard vs. Space Marines (1000 points)

Over the vacation period, we were at it again: my Death Guard against the Blood Ravens space marines chapter for a fun grudge match (cf: here).

Mission:
Capture & Control / Pitched Battle.
Table:
4 ft x 4 ft, scattered ruins and craters.

Death Guard Army:
Deamon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Doombolt (160)
7 plague marines (1 champion with power fist), 1 melta, 1 flamer, Rhino with havoc launcher (266)

7 plague marines (1 champion with power fist), 1 melta, 1 flamer, Rhino with havoc launcher (266)
7 plague marines, 2 plasma guns (191)
Dreadnought with plasma cannon (105)

Blood Ravens Army: (approximately)
Commander with relic blade and artificer armour
2 full tactical squads with missile launchers, meltas
5 scouts, sergeant with power weapon
1 rhino
5 thunder hammer and storm shield terminators
5 assault marines, power fist

Early Turns.
Both armies deploy on the board and amongst some ruins, guarding their home objectives.  The image below shows the disposition of the forces at the end of the first turn.  I've ran forward my two rhinos that are carrying two of my squads with the daemon prince running behind one of them for a little bit of cover.  The plasma Death Guard squad are holding the objective in the Imperial Ruins in the background.  Meanwhile, my dreadnought has had a turn 1 craziness result and fires his plasma cannon twice at the oncoming terminators on the left flank.  That reduces them down to a single miniature already -- quite remarkable for me.

With only a single terminator left to deal with, the dreadnought weathers an assault and slaughters the Blood Raven.  However, the servos on the dreadnought's legs have been compromised: he is now immobile and doesn't play much of a part for the rest of the game.  Good job he has a poor line of sight for firing anywhere, otherwise my rhino's would be toast.

Middle Turns.
But it looks like it doesn't matter too much -- both of my rhinos are whacked by krak missiles & the assault marine squad. They get their havoc launchers destroyed and one becomes a wreck.  The on-board Death Guard disembark to brace themselves for the foot-slogging fight.  The image below depicts the early stages of the developing melee.  One Death Guard squad is headed right for the assault marines, whilst another edges close to the main cohort of marines in the ruins.

Over at my end of the board, some sneaky scouts outflank and start racing toward my plasma gun squad.  They slowly get whittled down, but the rhino coming toward the plasma gun squad is also looking like a dangerous threat.  Better set my Daemon Prince on to the task.

Late Turns.
The daemon prince wrecks the Blood Raven's rhino (and discovers that the interior is remarkably well painted!).  The command squad exits and lays in to the prince (killing him!) and moves on to the plasma gun squad.

The scouts also head toward the plasma gun squad and join in the fun.  But the high toughness of the plague marines does their points value justice as they hold out and slay the scouts and the majority of the regular marines. 

At the other end of the table, my marines are readily weathering the melee and finish off several squads.  I re-embark one squad back in to a rhino and make a mad dash back toward the plasma gun squad to support it whilst the other squad is relishing the melee and contesting the opposing objective.

Sadly, the game ends before I can reinforce my plasma squad.  The enemy commander is contesting my home objective whilst one of the plague marine squads is contesting the opposite one.  I just needed more turns!

End Result: Draw -- both objectives contested.




Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chapter 666: Hammer of Daemons - The Grey Knights to be released in April

Games Workshop have announced that Chapter 666: Hammer of Daemons - The Grey Knights - will be released in April 2011.  The full text of the notice can be found on Games Workshop's web site.  I'm personally looking forward to their release, even if it might mean that my daemons army becomes a little less effective.  I've liked them since the days of Slaves to Darkness to be honest.  But moreover, I'm thinking that perhaps I'll construct a traitor Grey Knights mini-army.  Yes, I know, I'm a heretic...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Basing a Bloodcrusher

The plastic Bloodcrusher of Khorne is a fantastic miniature.  If you've assembled any, you'll notice that the front hooves are invariably in action -- off the ground and leaping forward with menace.  Only the rear hooves are touching the ground (and a few of them are standing on plastic skulls themselves!).  Hence, to base this bloodcrusher, I adopted a different approach.  

I picked up a bag of metal "off-casts" bits from a model railway exhibition the family went to a few years back -- it was only something like five dollars for a small bag full of random, assorted, and otherwise useless bits.  In the image, you can see a couple of these bits attached to the base (via milliput and superglue).  They are basically bits of a train that have been mis-case, or otherwise rendered pointless for railway enthusiasts (unless they were in to post-apocalyptic train station?).  However, they are absolutely perfect for 40k basing purposes!

I've positioned one of the longer intact stripes of metal off-casts underneath the front hooves of the bloodcrusher's juggernaut.  Dynamically speaking, this creates a minor illusion of the beast stepping over, or leaping over, some debris in it's path.  

In addition to the off-casts, I've attached bits from the 40k basing kit: an abandoned auspex, etched metal, small and larger stones as well as black, fine grit to fill in the gaps in between.  A complete, authentic, themed base in less than 15 mins.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Painted Relay Station / Doomsday Device

This is the painted Relay Station / Doomsday Device that I built out of bits and a shaped wooden block that was originally intended as a replacement bed part.  A Verdus Prime necron is shown for scale.

I've added three lines of red, green and blue along the surface of the Doomsday Device -- suggestive of external wiring and thrumming power of unknown, arcane origins that may date to the Dark Ages of technology.  The rest of the model is painted in black and has boltgun silver highlights and drybrushing across its surface.

I think it wouldn't look out of place on many battlefield surfaces, and personally reminded me of the necron table I played on at a tournament a few years ago.

I'll be using it as a line of sight blocking terrain piece and backdrop.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reminder: Jan 2011 Army List Challenge

Can you take on the terminator spearhead challenge?

This posting is just a quick jotting to note that the January Army List Challenge is still open for entries.  The enemy is a load of terminators (Dark Angels?  Iron Warrirors?) accompanied by land raider transports. The details of the challenge can be found here.  Good Luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Problems with Death Guard at low point values


One of the obvious problems with fielding an "elite" army at low points value levels is the paucity of models that are available to you to deploy on the board.  Death Guard, Dark Angels' Death Wing and so forth, all share this problem.  The main issue is that the "basic" troops cannot compete with a regular ork boy (etc.).

Consider this 1000 points list of Death Guard.

Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Doombolt (160 pt)

Chaos Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon (105 pt)

7 Plague Marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 champion with power fist, rhino with havoc launcher (266 pt)

7 Plague Marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 champion with power fist, rhino with havoc launcher (266 pt)

7 Plague marines, 2 plasma guns (191 pt).

Total = 988

Okay, so I could swap out a plasma gun and get warp time (maybe even Nurgle's Rot) on the daemon prince and other subtle points transfer.  But check out the troops count -- there are only 21 troops, 2 rhinos, 1 monstrous creature and a dreadnought.  In comparison, I could probably field circa 40 daemons in a mixed daemons army.  And in a previous game at 1000 points, I faced nearly 70 orks!  Clearly, quantity is a quality all of its own, and the more elite armies out there can really struggle.

In the above Death Guard army list, I've tried to help them out a little bit by having multiple template weapons (the havoc launchers and the plasma cannon) than can help take out multiple targets in one hit.  This goes back to a previous philosophy that I built around my Death Guard -- they have deficiencies in firepower that must be compensated for somewhat.  Yet they are still manoeuvrable, and can take on mechanized opponents with a choice selection of targets.

But is a Plague Marine worth more than 1 standard marine?  They certainly are pseudo-terminators in a number of respects, but my experience when I've faced horde armies (orks, tyranids) at low points values is that they don't perform too well.  At larger points values, they can certainly do well against both hordes and regular marine armies.  But at low points value, horde beats my elite Death Guard army with frightening regularity.  Perhaps I should simply try to go without any mechanization and march across the board as Mortarion intended?  How does four plague marine squads with a daemon prince sound?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wargames Gallery: Death Guard Dreadnought Melee

A full Battle Report is coming up on this Death Guard vs. Blood Ravens battle just as soon as I get some time to write it.  In the meantime, here's an image to whet appetites.  Anyone care to predict the outcome of this Dreadnought vs. Terminator melee?  (this is not the first round of melee...)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Relay Station / Doomsday Device from Cast-offs and Bits

This cheap terrain idea came to me whilst meandering around the local hardware store.  I purchased the wooden block pictured for under $5 -- it is a spare bed bit apparently.  

I then glued various bits and pieces from my bits box to the sides of the wooden block.  The squares are obviously warhammer fantasy battle citadel bases -- I seem to accumulate them given the chaos miniatures that I collect (and the zombies that I hacked up for Death Guard accentuation).  The aerial is from a tank command kit that came with the apocalypse vindicator line breaker formation box; whilst the rhino doors were spares from a predator kit.  The only other non-citadel bit was the circular metal thing you see on one side -- that is a lid from a gravy powder tin that was otherwise destined for household recycling.  

I intend to paint it up black and add some detailing to the more blank portions of the block.  I intend it to be some enigmatic kind of techno relay station ... not necessarily an imperial one.  Having added a chaos tank bit to the upper edge of one side, I'm also thinking that it could easily double up as a chaos Doomsday Device as well.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bloodcrusher Building

Amongst some new miniatures, I received a box of bloodcrushers of Khorne for Christmas.  These guys are awesome!  After spending a long time pinning and gluing my metal herald of Khorne together, these plastic bloodcrushers are simply a breeze to put together!

The top tip about putting these beasts together is to follow the instructions. Seriously!  The three bloodcrushers that one can build out of the boxed set are not entirely interchangable. Having said that, there are ways to customize the bloodcrushers since there are a variety of heads available (both juggernauts and bloodletters) as well as a variety of juggernaut necklace chains, plus a small selection of skulls on chains to add extra ornaments to the bloodcrusher.

I intend to add a bit of scenery to the base of my bloodcrushers.  Hence I intend to pin the rear legs of the bloodcrusher to the base.  One of the main reasons for this is that the front paws (feet? hooves?) of the juggernaut are raised off the ground on all of the models.  Pinning the rear legs to the base therefore adds a great deal of stability to the build and will enable me to insert a few neat looking additions to the base ... but that's a story for another day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jan 2011 Army List Challenge: Terminator Spearhead

Happy New Year!  And to kick off the New Year, here's a new army list challenge.

Can you create an effective and well-themed army list to take on the challenge?

Overview
The Iron Warriors / Dark Angels / Mischievous Theives (delete as appropriate) have a large number of terminator armoured marines ready to stand against your spearhead.  You must punch a hole through a large contingent of terminators and land raiders to reach the opposite side of the board.  To succeed, you must have more points value of models in the enemies deployment zone than he / she kills of your army.

The army list challenge is to design a themed 1500 points army list to take on this challenge and run amok against an equivalent list of terminators backed up by land raider transports.

Rules
(1) Design a 1500 points army list from any codex to take on this mission.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and suggest why they're well suited to this mission. 
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on January 14th. 
(4) On that same day, I'll open a poll for Warpstone Flux readers to judge which army list they consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme" (whatever readers interpret that to mean) out of all entrants.
(5) Winner will be tallied and announced on January 21st (and entered in to the hall of fame!).
(6) One entry per person please.

Remember that there are no prizes for these contests, beyond kudos, honour and entry in to the hall of fame.
Good Luck!
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