Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Painted Horsemen of Apocalpse: Khorne

What feels like a long time ago, I assembled a collection of chaos marines riding on horseback with the intent to field them as Chaos Lords or in games of Apocalypse.  This is the first painted horseman: the Khorne Lord.

Khorne colours are straight forward to paint, if nothing else.  Basecoat in mechrite red, followed by a few dark washes and gradual lifting of the red tone using blood red and hints of oranges does the main regions very well.  The gold is pure shining gold with very subtle highlights across the washed tones.  The horse itself was picked out in shades of grey, bleached bone and silver (as appropriate) and makes for a moody complement to the red and gold of the rider. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wargames Gallery: In the Shadow of Vindication

The Death Guard secure the objective and allow their nicely rusting vindicator to trundle forward to take shots at the loyalist dogs.

Full Battle report on this one will follow next month (as soon as I sort through the images!).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Warpath Release

For those who are looking for something different to Warhammer 40,000 (etc.), Mantic Games have released their new miniature range for the Warpath game to pre-order.

The miniatures cover the "forge father" range which at first glance appear a subtle blend of the old 40k squats and large power armoured marines.  I personally think they look very cool.  I wonder if Warpath will be a long-term rival game for 40k?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ode to a Dead Paintbrush

There once was a large-headed brush;
Whose fibres were to begin with lush;
It has now seen better days;
Too much undercoating has made it laze;
And drybrushing has turned the tip into a maze;
Tis time we parted ways;
Old faithful paintbrush under my gaze.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica V (Undivided)

Included in the "complete" compilation of the previous four volumes comes a fifth, free volume based on the undivided nature of chaos.

This volume is not as extensive as any of the preceeding volumes and seems a bit more of an afterthought (or easter egg even) than the others.  That's not to say that is isn't well considered or written: it is.  It just doesn't do as much justice to the material as Slaanesh or Nurgle does.  

Commencing with a discourse on the Ever-Chosen, the book descends rapidly in to an un-targeted review of the pantheons of the races of the Warhammer world.  I think Tzeentch could have done this in a much more (shall we say) "insidious" manner.  Its not that the material doesn't fit, but I just wonder if it should have been shuffled elsewhere and with a different "accent"?

The volume is rounded out with an essay on the "unaligned powers" (but where is Malal? ha!) that aligns well with material from the Lost and the Damned and terminates with Be'lakor.  

Given the brevity of the volume, this one is the weakest of the series -- it could have been made much better.  More could have been made of it through greater exploration of the nature of chaos (perhaps even shifting the ideas of souls given in the Tzeentch volume to here) and giving greater emphasis to the independents rather than the Warhammer pantheons.  A brief vision of even Horus could (nay: should!) have also been added, let alone the Black Legion.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Quality Issues"

So, I was planning on making my first citadel finecast purchase this weekend (and yes -- I've waited a while to do so).  My intent was to get hold of the new Tzeentch Herald on the Disc.  And, yes, I was even willing to pay GW Australia prices (61 AUD, to be precise) to get hold of it on the release date. 

In store, they didn't have any on the shelves.  I asked whether I'd got the realease date right.  One bloke said he wasn't sure, so I spoke to another staff member.  It turned out that there were "quality issues" with the Tzeentch herald (in their own words).  But moreover, this wasn't just affecting the herald.  The Bloodthirster of Khorne was not on the shelves either ... same reason given.  Expected delivery date: next weekend. 

Sigh.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Winner of the August 2011 Army List Challenge

It's a tie!  Congratulations to TheGraveMind and Cody J who both polled 35 per cent of the vote each for the August Army List Challange and get entered in to the Hall of Fame.  I've got to say well done to Quite_Thor as well: those eldar without their jetbikes were simply a fantastic idea.

Another Challenge next month!
PS: If anyone wants to suggest a future challenge, let me know by email or a comment to this post :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Horus Heresy Board Game Report: A Traitor Victory

The Horus Heresy Board Game can be played in a variety of modes across six different missions.  This is a report from one of the advanced scenarios entitled "Cry Havoc".  The main difference between the later scenarios and the earlier ones are the extent and power of the event cards and the way in which the game is set-up.  In this scenario, there are multiple game board areas that are inaccessible to both sides.  This means that each player needs to plan out their moves in a bit more chess-like detail in order to navigate through the maze to their desired destinations.

The set-up is similar to previous games otherwise, but it did take a bit of time to get it all done.  As the traitor player, I had Angron and Fulgrim on the planet's surface supported by the rank and file of their respective legions ... ready to pounce.  The Loyalist player had Dorn an the Imperial Fists tucked up in a nicely fortified looking palace.  Meanwhile, the Khan kept to the out-field with his legion. 

As I made a move to attempt to secure one of the space ports in the game, the Khan swept in from nowhere (one of his special abilities) to completely lightning strike Fulgrim's forces out of the way.  In the image, you can see the Khan gloating over his victory with his troops, supported by a loyalist tank company.  To the upper left, you can see some traitors looking quite isolated and weary.  They were the next units to be elimiated by the Khan.  Fulgrim himself even fell to the Khan by two thirds of the way through the game.

However, the "real" battle (if I'm allowed to call it that) was not taking place in the out-field where the Khan was amassing victory after victory over the traitors (poor Fulgrim!)... but rather: it was nearer to the palace walls itself.  Pictured, Angron has secured one of the Space Ports through an overwhelming force of World Eater legionaires, titans, and daemons.  The Blood Angels who were nearby got slaughtered and those that survived limped back to the Imperial Palace, routed.  Sanguinius himself fared little better.  Although some Loyalist marines can be seen surrounding the space port (Imperial Fists top left, White Scars top right), their numbers were far too small to do anything about Angron in full fury.  Indeed, I let Angron assault the palace himself whilst Mortarion and his Death Guard served to back them up and mop up the remaining resistance around him. 

Of course, the Emperor himself was holed up in his fortress / palace all along.  By the time Angron was a few board squares away from tackling the Emperor, a powerful event card was drawn: the loyalist fleets that were in the Warp on transit to holy Terra were lost -- Horus' prayers to the darker powers had paid off!  In game terms, this meant that the Loyalists could no longer "hold out" until their reinforcements arrived.  Help wasn't coming and a drawn game wouldn't mean victory for the Emperor.  Hence, the Emperor took a gamble and teleported on the the Vengeful Spirit -- Horus' battle barge in orbit.

Taking with him several squad of custodians and what remaining troops he could, the Emperor encountered both Magnus the Red and Horus aboard the catacombs of the battle barge.  Still a little bit miffed about the whole Nikea thing, Magnus really took it out of the Loyalist forces.  The Thousand Sons were glorious: accounting for multiple units of custodians and army regiments.  The daemons that they had allied with also helped change things up.  Desipte wounding Horus himself, the Emperor was alreaded greviously wounded himself from Magnus' assault.  Horus then came along to join the party.  A few combats later, and the Emperor was dead.

The shields immediately were raised over the battle barge once more, leaving Angron and Mortarion to mop up the remaining resistance on the planet-side.  The Khan and the Fabricator General escaped, but Dorn and Sanguinius were both gone; their legions shattered.  Horus had won.  An new era beckoned.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dice App


For those of you who have smart phones / iphones, here is an app that was recommended to me recently: d6 kit free.


Want to roll 30 die without having any propping up on edge?  Well this is probably for you.  I've seen it used in a game of 40k a few times and: it does work.  But I can't help but feel there's something cool (and traditional) about cupping a wad of die in your hands and rolling them on the table.  Call me a traditionalist, but I can't see these kind of apps taking over from actual physical die rolling anytime soon. But maybe in the future, who knows?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Does Fielding Tall Miniatures Make a Difference?

For those of you who like converting or using proxies, you probably have a number of models in your collection whose height might be considered to be "above normal".  For me, I regularly use a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth from Warhammer Fantasy as a daemon prince.  This has a variety of advantages and disadvantages inside the game that are tied to its height.

The obvious advantage associated with height is the line of sight it purchases.  If I equip the daemon prince with doom bolt (or a similar psychic power), then this is a guy who can potentially see over the tops of buildings / scenery that shorter than average daemon princes cannot.  

The other side of the coin (of course) is that others can also see him better.  This means that he naturally takes more incoming fire from opponents.

But, that ties in with the other perceived, but subtle, advantage: given the height, he makes himself more of a fire magnet than other threats that I deploy on the board.  I wrote a while back about daemon prince distraction techniques.  By having a larger miniature for this role, I've found (anecdotally) he becomes just a fraction more of a distraction.  The big imposing bulk of the daemon demands to be dealt with!  That gives me time to manoeuvre in with other pieces of the puzzle to control the game.

Has anyone had any different experience with fielding tall miniatures?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poll Open for the August Army List Challenge

There are three entries for this month's army list challenge.  The theme was to take on a high gravity world.  Check out the lists and then vote (poll to the right) on which army you feel is the most effective that also best articulates the theme (whatever you interpret that to mean!).

Blood Angels (The GraveMind)
"Rapid Descent"

Commander Dante
Honour guard With Jumppacks, 4 plasmaguns and 3 Flamers

Priest with Jump pack Plasma pistol and Power weapon
Priest with Jump pack Power weapon and Hand flamer

10 ASM 2 flamers, Sarge with power weapon

10 ASM 2 flamers, Sarge with power weapon

10 ASM 2 Plasma guns, Sarge with power Fist and Plasma pistol

Devastator squad with 4 plasma cannons.

The extreme Gravity will cause the descent of these angels of vengeance to become far more hazardous than normal, but this is nothing new for Commander Dante. These mighty Astartes are built for war, and Gravity is not going to slow them down. While the puny heretics have trouble moving, The assault marines will be using their Jump packs to gain ground on them. The plasma guns stay back put high yield rounds into the toughest of opponents, all the while the flamer squad come in close and roast the vulnerable infantry. Keeping distance until the time is right to assault in. Little fear of counter-attacks or the enemy getting the charge as their movement will be dictated by the pathetic strength of their legs.


Eldar (Quite_Thor)


For Their Feet Ne'er Touch the Ground
(with apologies to Fritz)

Eldrad 210
3 x 5 Pathfinders 360
3 x Wraithlords - eldar missile launcher, shuriken cannon, flamers - 375
2 x 10 Harlequins - Death jester, Shadowseer, 9 x harlequin's kiss, 2 x fusion pistols

Yes, it is a 1500 point version of Fritz's harlie list but that is peculiarly appropriate. The rangers and harlequins ignore cover, the wraithlords nearly so. Ranged firepower is deeply ineffective on all the elements, especially with the Bearded Cheese-Wizard firing off fortune in all directions! Ranged shooting is questionable but mobility is good and harlequins are, well, cool...especially when everyone else is hacking through cover which they ignore.

Also. Craftworld Eldar. No anti-grav. See, I read the rules!
Dark Eldar (Cody J)
HQ

Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade, Hexrifle- 70

TR

x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145
x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145
x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145
x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145
x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145
x10 Wracks, x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst, Hexrifle- 145

HVY

Talos w/ Stinger Pod- 105
Talos w/ Stinger Pod- 105

1500pts

So an invasion force of Wracks and Talos constructs. 12 Hexrifle shots can bring down MC's, and pin targets when needed. 66 bodies on the field all with FnP and FC with rerolls to wound will be a tough nut to crack. Talos provide minimal shooting from range but also can move well. They arent too shabby in CC either.

I think this would struggle against horde Orks or Nids. They bring so many more bodies, so FnP would be key as would getting the charge. Liquifyers help but I know Orks can bring 120 Boyz easy. 

Daemons on Pre-Order from GW

Games Workshop have thrown up the pre-orders for their new range of daemons.  They include what we expected (fine casts of greater daemons such as the Lord of Change) and (excitingly for me) a Herald of Tzeentch on a disc.  

Also included is a batallion that features 20 bloodletters, 10 daemonettes, 10 horrors, and 5 seekers of Slaanesh.  At UKP65, that represents a saving of UKP22.50 which is good to see.

As a bonus, there are also three sets of standards included.  Two lots of "banners of rage" for all you Khorne fans out there and a set of Tzeentch "blasted standards".  The Khorne banners looks like good conversions, but the Tzeentch ones are probably the more appealing ones for me personally.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica IV (Tzeentch)

Tzeentch gets his/her/its chance to shine in the fourth volume of Liber Chaotica.  As with the previous two volumes (Slaanesh and Nurgle), the book commences with a discourse on the nature of Tzeentch.  Much like the Nurgle volume, it becomes clear from the outset that Tzeentch simply isn't all about "scheming" and "magic".  More than anything, Tzeentch embodies the true nature of Chaos: the very fabric of the shifting tides and conspiracies that have happened or are yet to come.

I felt that the introductions to Slaanesh and Nurgle were stronger than Tzeentch: they explored in detail the why's and how's that mortals may come to them through direct or insidious means.  It think the writers missed this opportunity with Khorne, but with Tzeentch, his various aspects weren't too obvious, but at least they had a go.  Somewhere in between the aspiration to power and the manipulated, all come to serve the great conspirator.

Given the strong connection to sorcery, there is an extensive section included on the nature of magic in the Warhammer world.  Although enjoyable, it probably isn't the highlight of the volume.  The discourse on the nature of chaos and how souls fuel the growth of such gods is a paraphrase from the Lost and the Damned / Slaves to Darkness, but very welcome.  The strength of the volume for me was the initial exposition of the nature of Tzeentch, the exploration of the daemons of Tzeentch and the fleeting references to the Thousand Sons legion.  

For me, this volume sits below Slaanesh and just below Nurgle in interest and span.  But it is a long way ahead of Khorne still.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica III (Nurgle)

The third volume of Liber Chaotica sees a graphics treatment of Grandfather Nurgle in all his glory.  As with the Slaanesh volume, the Nurgle volume starts out by dissecting the nature of Nurgle and making it clear that it isn't just as simple as "decay" and "disease".  Rather, he is more about the defeat of Death, the will to avoid a weak end, the despair of mortality that fuels creative and physical genius.  

Beginning with a treatment of how "victims" can be turned to Nurgle (denial, fear, desperation, resentment, bitterness), the book demonstrates that these aspects of emotion can readily lead to vitality, life and energy. It is this juxtaposition that is often over-looked by those who do not discern the full nature of Nurgle.  This early part of the book is very well done -- highly analogous to the excellent way in which the Slaanesh volume treated its god.  The worship of Nurgle is illustrated by example through consideration of how the Old World comes to worship this otherwise repulsive god.

In the same manner as the other books, some of the tangents in to the various characters and tribes of the old world can be tedious, but there are gems contained within that make it worthwhile to go through.  The section on Nurgle's Rot is (of course) obligatory, but well-received.  The low point of the volume for me though was the inclusion of the Beastmen.  They're not especially Nurglesque (well, some of them are, true), but it is space that could have been spent illustrating different aspects of Nurgle.

The book is rounded off by looking at the daemons of Nurgle and (if I'm honest) all too little 40k references.  So whilst the volume is stronger than the Khorne one, it is not quite at the same level as Slaanesh. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica II (Slaanesh)

In the second book of Liber Chaotica, Slaanesh gets his/her chance to shine.  This is truly one of the stronger books of the series.  Rather than entirely focus on the Eldar and how they gave birth to the god, the book begins with an exploration of what Slaanesh stands for.  This is in contrast to how the volume of Khorne commences with the focus on the barbarous tribes, and frankly is a much more focussed and exciting way to hook in the reader.

The book acknowledges from the outset that Slaanesh isn't simply about "pleasure".  The core emotion can be perverted in to many forms ranging from "purpose" to "willpower" and "experience".  These include not only the negative forms such as "lust"and "greed", but can extend to what may seem benign emotions such as "love", "joy", and "aesthetics".  Therefore the picture of Slaanesh that is painted is one of the most insidious gods of the chaos pantheon: one who has many ways to infect the hearts of mortals.

The excellent in-depth treatment of the nature of Slaanesh is elucidated through the considerations of his cults.  This is the manner in which the Khorne volume should have been presented I think.  The book then descends in to a few other matters (a re-writing of the Slaves to Darkness: Brothers von Gottlieb; daemonic possession; the eldar; elves and Slaanesh; and short background writings on various tribes and Warhammer individuals).  The strongest section of this has to be the "conversing with the damned" section, wherein Kless interviews a Slaaneshi adherent charged with a variety of (not very well defined, yet obviously implied) crimes.

Together with a presentation and analysis of the daemons of Slaanesh and the Emperor's Children, this book is not only strong, but very well rounded.  Superior to the exploration of the nature of Khorne, the book demonstrates in no uncertain terms the full extent of the threat that Slaanesh represents.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica I (Khorne)

The Liber Chaotica books draw from the classic Realms of Chaos books (Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned), including a series of direct quotations and tangents that old timers such as myself will be quite familiar with ("the eyes the flies...." etc.).  All of them are presented from the point of view of a certain Richter Kless -- an individual from the Warhammer Fantasy world who journeys through the daemonic lands and risks insanity along the way.

The first volume in the Liber Chaotica series of books is Khorne.  This is probably one of the easier books to write, as it is possible to have an intuitive understanding of what Khorne is all about: blood, skulls ... and death in general.  The book starts out with an in-depth treatment of old tribes (Norse, Tong, Kurgan, Hung) which didn't do too much for me personally.  The warriors of Khorne and their armaments get more interesting, but it isn't until the daemons are reached that the treatment peaks for me.  Combined with hazy visions of the 40k berzerkers, this last part entices more than the preluding bits.

One aspect that I felt was somewhat missing from this book though was the more subtle aspects.  For instance, in Slaves to Darkness, it is noted that even the most valiant and noble-minded Empire warrior can unknowing serve Khorne.  For, what is a soldier, but an unwitting agent of Khorne? Blood is shed by them and some may learn to enjoy and revel in the bloodlust.  Thus, the insidious nature of Khorne was over-looked, at least for me personally.

The good parts were all the commented fields alongside the main body of the text -- annotations by the "editors" of Kless' deranged visions and worries about their own futures.  Combined with the nods to Slaves to Darkness (e.g. the artwork, the Liber Malific / Book of Hated Khorne references, the Tree of Souls), what was a weaker start for me climaxes to a strong finish.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reminder: August Army List Challenge

The August 2011 Army List Challenge is still open for entries.  Can you design a force for a high gravity world to take on a similar force?  good luck!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Note to Self: Daemons against Tau


Tau vehicles can have flechette devices attached.  This means that daemons who want to charge them can get wounded by doing so.  


Right, now that I've noted that to myself, I'll hopefully stop having squads of screamers of Tzeentch all die in close combat with Tau vehicles (yes it happened: an entire squad of screamers were dead on arrival!).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Painted Quantum Cannon

In painting Quantum Gothic's quantum cannon, I wanted to opt for a more standard scheme than I've done with the previous pieces I've painted up from this company which are done in lots of rusted colours.  I therefore set about with a standard metallic dry brushing approach for the mainstay of the piece, but became a bit unhappy with the somewhat bland choice and approach vector I was taking.  I therefore decided to accent the piece with reds (for selected metal struts and regions) and blues (for the power coils).  Each of the accent colours has been washed down to darker tones, before lighting up to highlights with blazing orange and electric blue (respectively).  The overall feel of the scenery is one that feels like it has just come off the production line, but has not been painted up in to the correct colours of whatever army had to deploy it at short notice.  I think as a final touch, I will add some muddy colours around the base to finish off the idea of fresh-off-the-line and pressed-into-battle sooner that was ideal concept.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dryad Trees

I certainly didn't have guardsmen conversions in mind when I purchased a box of Dryads from Warhammer Fantasy.  Instead, I wanted to do two things: grow my bits box with a variety of interesting odds and ends and create enough "trees" to give myself an authentic-looking mini-woodland modular scenery base.

To that end, here's the first of my woodland dryads, mounted on a regular warhammer 40,000 circular base.  The painting of the dryad has been kept deliberately low-key and simple: various washed of browns and blacks over a grey base coat with very few highlights.  The eye of the dryad has been picked out in codex grey mixed with skull white to make it stand out a little.  

The final touch was to glue in place a big wad of tree flock on the dryad's outstretched hands; giving the impression of passiveness, rather than a dryad that is ready for warfare.  Having said that, I think the model could do well for a bio-themed Death Guard generic lesser daemon as well(!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 2011 Army List Challenge

Welcome to the August Army List Challenge.  This month, its about facing off against another army on a high gravity world.  What does that mean in practical terms?  Well, your supreme lord commander has dictated that thou shalt not use any armour (as they'd simply get stuck in the mud).  But in addition, anything with a jump pack can only move as per regular infantry, and all terrain is treated as difficult terrain.  In short: the maximum that anyone can move per turn is dependant on a die roll.  (Unless you're a crafty eldar player (or similar) with anti-grav technology ... that'd be perfect for this situation).  Sounds like your supreme lord commander is going to deploy an all-infantry army...

Rules
(1) Design a 1500 points army list from any codex to take on this challenge.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and why the army list is effective and is themed to the scenario.  Extra kudos to lists that avoid anti-grav technology and are 100% infantry based!
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on August 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) The winner will be tallied and announced on August 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.

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