Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Rise of Chaos in 6th Ed.


Like many chaos and daemons players, I'm very much looking forward to 6th Edition W40k.  If the rumours are to be believed, then Chaos in general will have a much larger role to play in the next edition of the game.  

This rise might represent a general re-focusing of the game by the designers.  That is, of course, welcome.  But here's another thought (or rather: guess) that I'd like to put out there.  The Emperor is dead.  Considering that the plotline of the Grim Dark Future was enhanced in the previous core rules by stating the Golden Throne is / has gone wrong and is un-repairable, this may not be a totally outrageous proposition.  Is it going to be true? ... probably not!  So here's an alternative: Abaddon's success rate improves after 12 attempts...  Anyone else with alternative background reasons for the rise of the importance of chaos in 6th, please leave a comment!

One way or another, the prospect is enticing for the rise in the importance of chaos in 6th Edition ;)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

C'Tan Shards and Thoughts on the Necron Release

The necrons are available for pre-order at GW now.  Overall, its looking like the necrons are receiving a well-deserved upgrade coupled with a slight re-boot (nay: retcon?).  The firepower that the necrons promise to be able to pump out sounds great.  Although I've not seen the codex or the unit costings, the new necrons certainly look like a formidable foe. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old Verdus Prime necrons once again?

Whilst some things appear (on the surface) to be missing (Wraiths, Tomb Spiders), the new models looks great and the prices are largely in-line with recent releases.  The necrons gain new transports which appear to be highly versatile and fire-power deadly (and indeed, the background emphasizes that the necrons were once masters of arcane technologies).  But the one thing that struck me most was the re-written background for them, as exemplified by the "C'Tan shards".

It appears that the necrons will no longer be the effective slaves of the C'Tan, but more in control of their own (soulless; robotic) destiny.  The C'Tan are described as "Shards" -- broken bits of their former selves.  In game terms, they feel like a greater daemon, with two must-buy special powers to make them a bit more unique.  I'm looking forward to reading the new codex rules here.  But in terms of background, the necrons (have now) rebelled against the C'Tan after the War in Heaven (agains the Old Ones) instead of still being pawns of the C'Tan.  After that, they went to sleep (for reasons not adequately presented in the updated GW background on their website ... I hope the codex presents a coherent argument for that!).  And 60+ million years later, they're now awaking to re-take the galaxy and  bring it back under their heel.  

I am a bit more taken with this re-write than the previous necron codex.  Somehow, it sits a lot better with me than the old kill everything to make the warp quiet plotline they used to have.  But I suspect I could be in a minority.

Friday, October 28, 2011

40k Movement / Coherency Trays

A new product from Back2Basix: 40k coherency trays.  The idea behind them is simple enough: not only do these trays help with moving large numbers of ground troops in a quick and simple manner (especially if you're a tyranid horde player for instance), but they also spread out your troops to a maximum coherency.  The obvious reason to do this is to minimize damage from incoming template and blast weaponry.  But if the infantry need to leave the tray to get inside a building, they can also do that readily as well.  Different trays are available (5, 10 or individual models) which makes for maximum flexibility. Hence if a fixed formation doesn't appeal, an equal number of individual trays would be perfect.

Is this a legal play aid?  Well, I can't see any direct rules against them (unless I'm missing something), and they'll help speed up the movement phase for horde players.  I don't think I'd be bothered to play against such innovations, as it is what good players aim (and mostly succeed) to do anyway.  And moreover, the trays can readily be painted up to the same quality as fantasy movement tray analogues which would probably look great.  I'm tempted to get a few and see what they're like to play with.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Large Planetary and Mighty Empires Map

As my readers will know, I've been painting various Planetary Empires and Mighty Empires tiles on-and-off for a long time now, with a variety of painting techniques and terrain styles implemented.  

This is one of my larger maps that I stuck together recently.  

I think the overall aerial view is neat, and I'm especially pleased with the green tiles nearer the bottom half of the image. Considering that they were painted over the course of months (nay: years!), the manner in which they run on from one another is great.  

I'm tempted to get back to these tiles and paint a few more up now that I've convinced myself that the end result can look this good in the end.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chaos Marine with Melee Weapon Conversion: Concept and Painting


This chaos space marine is an exploration of a melee weapon conversion.  The melee weapon comes from a fantasy sprue for the upper portion and pummel, and a wire wrapped around a long section of paper clip for the upper grip.  This gives the impression of a hand-and-a-half sword for the space marine.  Perhaps he will drop the plasma gun and grip the weapon in a two handed fashion before charging in to close combat?


The painting of the miniature doesn't follow a particular legion or chapter scheme.  Instead, it follows a kind of chaos ultramarine pattern: blue for the large part of the armour, coupled with white for accents and shoulder trim.  The hand-and-a-half sword was painted with a bronze grip to offset the blue colours of the miniature and help it stand out.  The eyes and plasma of the plasma gun are picked out in red with subtle orange highlights applied.  Meanwhile, the base is a combination of medium sized rock grit scattered amongst green flock and painted cork.  Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome of this test miniature and I'm thinking of replicating it for special units or characters (squad leaders at any rate) for other chaos space marines.

Infernal Device

Forgeworld recently published rules for the Land Raider Proteus.  Part of those rules that caught my eye was the infernal device entry for chaos versions of the land raider.  In short, it is the analogue of the Imperial power of the machine spirit.  It allows one more weapon to be fired than would be permitted (given the speed of the vehicle), potentially at a different target, and allows a single weapons to be fired even if the vehicle has been whacked with a crew shaken/stunned result.  

I suspect (hope!) that this is a foreshadow of things to come for chaos space marines.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Winner of the October 2011 Army List Challenge

The percentages for the October 2011 Army List Challenge were as follows:

Ming from B&C (Space Marines/Pedro)
  13 (40%)
 
Torgrimm (Chaos Space Marines)
  8 (25%)
 
Hendrick (Imperial Guard)
  3 (9%)
 
Cody J (Dark Eldar)
  8 (25%)


Which means that Ming from B&C is the winner!  Congratulations mate!

There will be another contest next month... stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wargames Gallery: Chaos Terminators Advance

Having teleported on to the battlefield and laid down withering firepower, the squad of Warp Hornets terminators advances on their prey.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apocalypse Homebrew: The Dark Contagion


This one was inspired by the old Realms of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned book:

The Dark Contagion.
Points Cost: 77 points per unit; 17 points per character.  May only be given to followers of Nurgle (daemons of Nurgle or models already possessing the mark of Nurgle).

Description: One of the more unpleasant "gifts" of Mortarion, the Dark Contagion causes the victim's flesh to swell up and sport black and purple blotches.  Out of these blotches spills a viscous and foul-smelling pus. 

Effect: If an opponent lands a close combat wound (regardless of whether it is subsequently saved or unsaved) on the unit or character possessing the dark contagion, the pus bursts out and splatters the opponent, causing them to retch and/or generally be overcome with disgust.  The opponent's initiative is reduced to 1 for the next close combat round and they strike last.  (This applies to the whole attacking unit in an analogous way to thunder hammers causing oppenents to strike last.)

Historical Notes:
This gift of Mortarion originally had the opponent take a willpower (now known as Ld) test if they caused a wound.  If that failed, the opponent lost all subsequent attacks in that round and in the next round as well.  In an on-going campaign, there was also a risk that affected models would contract the dark contagion themselves.  This interpretation of the Dark Contagion is a bit more stream-line and effective, which is reflected in the points cost. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Poll Open for the October 2011 Army List Challenge

There are four entries for this month's army list challenge.  Which one is the most effective that also best articulates the theme (take and hold)?  Have a read through the lists and then vote at the poll on the right.

Good luck to all!

Ming from B&C (Space Marines/Pedro)

Kantor's Kastle at 1500 Points - ready to take it and hold it.

HQ: Chapter Master Pedro Kantor

HQ: Space Marine Librarian in Terminator Armour Storm Shield; Null Zone; The Avenger

Elite: Terminator Assault Squad; Lightning Claws x2; Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield x2; Sergeant; Lightning Claws

Elite: Sternguard Veteran Squad 9 Sternguard Veteran Squad; Combi-Meltagun x2; Plasma Cannon x2; Sergeant; Lightning Claw x1; Rhino

Troops: Tactical Squad 9 Plasma gun; Lascannon; Sergeant; Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1; Rhino

Troops: Tactical Squad 9; Plasma gun; Lascannon; Sergeant; Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1 Rhino

Heavy Support: Thunderfire Cannon;
1 Techmarine Gunner; 1 Drop Pod

This list should be able to take a "lightly held" position, and then setup a defensive castle to last vs the never-ending waves. The thunderfire is to drop at the objective and the pod and rhinos become castle walls and cover for the marines. Kantor makes everyone stubborn, inspired, and the librarian can aid vs special enemy units (null zone) or flame SMEs. The assault terminators are to countercharge when needed to restore the line. The thunderfire can work to slow down or wreck hordes anywhere on the board.


Torgrimm (Chaos Space Marines)

Assuming that "without number" is applied to only infantry, we can make amazing Slaanesh themed list using CSM codex:

2x Slaanesh Sorcerer with Lash of Submission.

4x Rhino with 5x Noise Marines, Blastmaster, Havoc Launcher.

1x Defiler with 2x DCCW
2x Vindicator with Daemonic Possession.

And some points to spare. In case vehicles also get without number, we can use obliterators as Heavy Support choice.

So what do we have here - 2 Lashes, because there is a lot of models against us, and we don't want to get stuck in combat, plus each Lash is a Pinning check as well. 4 Havoc Launchers as anti-light infantry and general range torrent power. 4 Blastmasters to pin down troops we don't want to fight. 3 resilient pie-plates to deal with heavy stuff, such as without number terminators and marines. That would be it.


Hendrik (Imperial Guard)

I assume we play on a regular table (48" on 72"), the outpost is preferably closer to our edge (about 1/3 into the board).
I'd run an Imperial Guard list, because it is the simple men of the Guard that get the really bad jobs with the unlikely chances of survival. *G*

NOTE: I've only got a german IG codex so please forgive me if some terms are wrong. I will gladly clarify any questions regarding that.

So let's get it on with the list first and then to my ideas:

HQ1:
- Company Command Squad with autocannon

Elite1: none

Troops1:
- Platoon Command Squad with mortar, Chenkov
- Infantry Squad with flamer, autocannon, Commisar
- Infantry Squad with flamer, autocannon
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x autocannon
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x lascannon
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x lascannon
- 30 Conscripts with "Send the next wave"

Troops2:
- Platoon Command Squad with mortar
- Infantry Squad with flamer, mortar, Commisar
- Infantry Squad with flamer, mortar
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x mortar
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x mortar
- Heavy Weapon Team with 3x mortar

Fast Attack1: none

Heavy Support1: Leman Russ Battle Tank with Hull Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter sponsons

Heavy Support2: Leman Russ Battle Tank with Hull Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter sponsons

So what do we have:

- 126 bodys (counting the weapon teams as 2 bodys each)
- 2 heavy tanks

- 13 Mortars (48" range, 3" explosion, no LOS)
- 6 autocannons (48" range, 12 shot)
- 3 lascannons (48" range)
- 2 battle cannons (72" range, 5" explosion)
- 6 Heavy Bolters (36" range)
- 4 Flamer (for when it gets desperate)

Now on to the tactics to employ:
- the Infantry Squads should be merged in each Platoon, so we get the improved LD and stubborn from the commisars.
- the LRBs, the infantry squads and the conscripts charge the outpost full on (with the conscripts working as the front meat shield).
- if possible the mortar teams should be placed as far frontal as possible and preferably in cover or even better completely out of LOS. Therefore they should be able to lay a constant hail of mortar grenades from the start till the bitter end.
- the autocannon and lascannon teams should also either start in positions where they can remain for the rest of the game or should use a "Überschlagener Einsatz" (that was the term we used in the German Airforce): one team shoots, the other runs, switching roles in the next turn until the desired position has been reached (preferably in the fort or in a covered position from where they have fire lanes to shoot at the front without having to move again)
- once the fort has been taken the LRB take up positions on the sides and remain still in order to be able to fire all weapons.
- the Infantry Squad with the autocannons are to take forward positions in / infront of (if cover is available) the fort, while the Squad with the mortars is to remain in or behind the fort to counter charge in case everything is going down the drain.
- the conscripts are to be used as bait to get enemy units into the open and are to be slacked whenever applicable.

All in all we have primarily Anti-Infantry weapons, as without number most likely will only affect them. But as we don't know what to expect really, we also have some weapons to deal with tanks / monstrous creatures to some degree.


Cody J (Dark Eldar)

So the Archon here employs the uses of Mandrakes to infilitrate the base and take it down from the inside out. While holding the base, they are used to distract fire and divert enemy forces from overtaking the base.

HQ

Archon w/ Agonizer, Shadow Field, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Haywire Grenades- 140

El

x5 Incubi, Raider w/ FF- 180
x10 Madrakes w/ Nightfiend- 160
x10 Madrakes w/ Nightfiend- 160

TR

x5 Warriors w/ Blaster, Venom with x2 SC- 125
x5 Warriors w/ Blaster, Venom with x2 SC- 125
x10 Warriors w/ Dark Lance, Raider w/ FF, Chain Snairs- 190
x10 Warriors w/ Dark Lance, Raider w/ FF, Chain Snairs- 190

HVY

Ravager w/ FF- 115
Ravager w/ FF- 115

1500pts

Te Incubi act as a bodyguard for the Archon. every Archon nees a bodyguard and they are it. Any CC units get into the base, they are there to wreck face.

As described before, The Archon hired the mandrakes to infilitrate and divert enemy forces from the base. Something they will be very good at since they have 5++ and stealth. If people ignore them, they will pay the price.

4 troops. 2 mobile At units that are able to move from wall to wall and provide support fire whereever is needed. 2 static Dark Lances to cover the heavy stuff. You may have noticedthe Chain Snairs. I put those on for capturing slaves. Every Archon wants slaves and the snairs are able to do that for him.

2 Ravagers. They provide the muscle. Heavy hitters and aim at those that are coming to them.

Everyone is mobile except the Mandrakes. The vehicles are used to screen or take pop shots at the enemy vehicles or hordes running at them. The Archon's Raider of course stays secured in the back in case he needs to make his retreat!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stegosaurus

Hiding at the back of an Australian Geographic store was this dinosaur excavation kit.  The price was okay, so I thought I'd purchase it for (1) some fun and (2) the potential to have some neat looking scenery pieces eventually!   

If you've not come across these excavation kits before, the (educational) premise is straight-forward.  The kit contains a lump of gritty material ("rock") that encases a plastic dinosaur model.  Using some excavation tools supplied, the user (children??!? hahaha!) take their time to uncover the dinosaur bones contained within.  Both my wife and I have been taking turns doing some excavation and my (too young) daughter also seems to be taking an interest!  It is taking some time to finish the excavation, but what I've noticed is that it gives a good amount of stress relief after a tough day at the office(!)  The excavation tools are tough to use, but I guess they provide a real-ish simulation of the process ... well, at least a simulation of the patience required to perform the archeological process at any rate.  Once the stegosaurus skeleton is released, I plan to use it as (potentially multiple) scenery pieces.  Ironically, I'm tempted to partially re-bury some of it inside a crater.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Assembled Finecast Changeling

Having assembled the finecast Changeling, a number of issues present themselves.  Although I previously noted the warped staff, heating it back in to a linear shape has proved very difficult.  I might have another go or two at it, but I think I'm simply resolved to leaving it as is. 

The mould lines on the miniature were actually a sinch to trim away.  But, there were a few further finecast mis-casts that I didn't spot when I bought the miniature, particularly the lower portions of the billowing robes and the underside of one of the arms.  Whilst I'm not happy about the quality, they're simple enough to deal with and (/ or) ignorable enough that a semi-decent paint job will disguise their presence.  So, I might just proceed directly to the paining stage now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Off-Topic: Physics Nobel Prize

I don't go off-topic too often on Warpstone Flux.  But I think that this one deserved a plug.  The Nobel Prize in physics this week was awarded to three cosmologists, for the discovery that the Universe was not only expanding, but the expansion was happening at an accelerated rate!  When they set out to measure the acceleration, they initially thought that they were going to find a deceleration (since gravity was thought to contract the Universe back down again).  Therefore, this result was not only unexpected, but revolutionized the field of cosmological astrophysics and, moreover, suggested the existence of "dark energy".  

So congrats to Saul, Brian and Adam!  (and particularly Brian -- good on ya! and well-deserved.  You may have been surprised, but I don't think too many others in the Australian astronomical community were).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reminder: October 2011 Army List Challenge

Entries are still open for the "Take and Hold" October 2011 Army List Challenge.  All entries welcome!  (I'm also happy to post lists for you in case you don't have a blogger profile, etc. -- just jot an email).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dreadnought Repairs

Alas, my rust-themed Deathguard Dreadnought took a tumble off a table top recently which resulted in some ... accelerated decay.  Being made of resin, the brittle nature of the substance came through as the upper body smashed in to the floor, resulting in a snap.  Luckily for me, the snap was quite clean -- there was only the one bit that snapped off (the dreadnought arm, pictured). 

To fix it, I ended up having to pin the arm back on to the torso.  Drilling resin for a pin (at least at these widths) is certainly a challenge for those with hand wobbles.  But, two reasonably deep holes later, and the pin was in place.  A spot of super glue and the two pieces merged (nearly seamlessly, in fact) together again (see the second image).  I got lucky this time I think.  But that got me thinking: maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have this happen to any Death Guard model -- the presence of a snap or two that is put back together in a semi-hap-hazard manner could accentuate the feeling of the miniature.  The next time this happens (hopefully not, ... but if it does) I might try out this thought!

Monday, October 3, 2011

White Dwarf Retail at AU airports

Having travelled around Australia for both work, (far too few) vacations, and lived in two state capital cities, one thing I've noticed about airports is the availability of White Dwarf.  I occasionally pick up a copy whilst waiting around for departures.  But some cities are (surprisingly) better stocked than others.

For example, Brisbane tends to have plenty of copies in every book stand / newsagents.  I've often found the Brisbane gaming scene to be very strong and loyal (a high ratio of gaming stores to the number of residents).  On the other hand, Melbourne tends to have absolutely zero copies of White Dwarf in any newsagent throughout the departure lounge.  This surprises me given the population of greater Melbourne and the larger attendance at gaming events in the city compared to Brisbane.  Sydney is more like Brisbane and reasonably well stocked.  Adelaide did not have a newsagent who sold White Dwarf when I visited earlier in the year.  And, with apologies to Perth and Hobart, I've not been there in a while, so don't know the local conditions (and never been to Darwin yet). The last time I was in Canberra, the whole airport seemed to be undergoing reconstruction, so I can't really comment for Canberra either.

So why does Melbourne not retail White Dwarf like Sydney or Brisbane does?  The newsagents are the same company, but somehow decides to not sell the magazine like the others.  I don't have an answer to this, hence my observation is purely empirical ... but interesting ...!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011 Army List Challenge

Take and hold, boyz!  The theme for this month's army list challenge is to capture a lightly guarded outpost from the enemy and hold it for ten turns.  As soon as you capture the outpost (or turn 3 at the latest), all enemy units gain the "without number" special rule ... which means that as soon as you wipe out a unit, they re-enter the game from the board edge.  So, what kind of army would be most suitible for this task?  Heavy firepower?  Rapid redeployment?  Or something else?


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.  
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on October 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 October 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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