Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Genestealer Cults Review: Formations

The formations in the Genestealer Cults codex provide the army with some very entertaining options for possible builds and come with some neat bonuses when employed.

Cult Insurrection Detachment.
For the price of a few formations, the entire army gets some very nice bonuses in this detachment. Patriarchs re-rolling traits if the warlord (and why wouldn't they be?); everything infiltrating (except vehicles); shrouded for those that already have infiltrate on turn one; manipulating reserve rolls by 1 in your favour and against the enemy; and regaining dead members that are in on-going reserves. This latter facet can be really powerful as it represents an easy way to get back a special weapon where needed, or even an icon. Overall, it is very powerful and can really be powerful when played right (particularly return to the shadows). Just be careful not to get wiped off the board whilst many are situated in reserves though -- that could really make a good game turn sour quickly. 

Command Formations.
Lords of the Cult doesn't do anything other than provide models. Meh.

The First Curse necessitates a large unit of genestealers, but they all get a bonus of some kind. Some are nice, others are situational or okay. 

Brood Coven is okay and provides a number of vital special rules bonuses. This can be good for building a very powerful segment of the army that has an excellent attack possibility and even could approach a death star level of power. Almost.

Core Formations. 
Brood Cycle is a very large formation requiring a significant investment of cash to purchase the models involved. Having said that, it is nice as it provides bonuses to WS and Ld and a bubble of furious charge. It'll eat up some points, but resonates very well with the reserves back and forth that you will undertake with this army.

The Neophyte Cavalcade plays to a more mechanised army overall. It provides a way to grant outflank to vehicles and a 50-50 chance to ignore crew shaken and stunned. 

Auxiliary Formations. 
The Doting Throng provides a nice bubble of zealotry and re-rolls to psychic tests for a Magus with this. 

Subterranean Uprising is a nice way to grant infiltrate (and this in turn resonates with the Cult Insurrection rules, of course). The bonus for having the Primus is nice and not to be overlooked either. 

Demolition Claw is another one that would be good for a mechanised approach. I personally don't like all the dynamite knocking around due to the short range myself, but I can see its appeal. 

Deliverance Broodsurge is a good resonance with the Neophyte Cavalcade and provides good bonuses for taking lots of Goliaths. Really for the mechanised orientated force, but could work in other places as well (particularly high points value games). I would be tempted to stick to all infantry armies for the Insurrection though.

The other formations provide no particular bonuses, but are a nice way to gain purestrains (Shadow Skulkers), aberrants or metamorphs (Cult Mutants), and sentinels or leman russes (Brood Brothers). They're a nice way of tailoring the army list for particular themes.

My own take would be to go down a themed route: (1) all infantry and focus on the hybrids and everyone else; (2) mechanised - go all out with vehicles wherever possible; (3) pseudo-Imperial Guard and even take allies from said codex; (4) monsters and take allies from the Tyranids codex to represent something later in the invasion of a planet. All of these options (and more) are viable and can be represented through the Insurrection detachment readily. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ophidian Archway

One of the newer scenery pieces thanks to the Age of Sigmar transition from Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the ophidian archway is one that I have been keen to get my hands on for a while. With my daughter wanting to play a bit of Age of Sigmar, it provided the perfect excuse to see just how it all slots together and to see how it, in turn, stacks up against 40k scenery of a similar ilk.

The first thing to say is that this has far less parts than a manufactorum or similar. With less configurations possible, this archway is either a "wall" or a "U" shape in essence. As can be seen in the images, I built it in the U-shape configuration. This is largely so I can have the upper walkway in place and be well supported. 

Since I never built these pieces before, I followed the instructions to the letter. I think this was a mistake in hindsight as it caused a few irregularities. The main one being the gap that can be seen in the second image between the bend of the wall. The principle cause of this was the base of the archway that didn't quite mesh well with the other corner bases. If I were to build this again, I'd glue the walls in place first and then worry about the bases as the final step. As it is, I will have to use a bit of greenstuff to weld together and cover up these gaps at the wall corners. Not to worry - its an easy fix. Otherwise, this is a great bit of scenery, and for a good price as well (at least compared to 40k!). 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Storm of Sigmar

On a visit to a Games Workshop, I was a little bit pressured by my daughter to purchase this boxed set for her … plus it was a recommendation from the store manager that not only was it extremely good value for money, but a nice introduction to the game. I think I'd have preferred Lost Patrol or something like that perhaps. Regardless, this was what was bought in the end (with some 40k miniatures for myself as well!). 

I stayed up last night putting everything together for my daughter. In total, there are five Storm Casts, and Eight Khorne minions (with four total war scrolls and the full Age of Sigmar rules set). 

The boxed set is very nice, and the plastic miniatures that it contains amazingly detailed. When folks whisper how awesome plastic is these days, they are probably referring to some of these newer mould productions. Seriously: with four frames, and lying incredible flat, the miniatures that are able to be built from it are truly dynamic and very few in terms of fiddle some parts. This is all good for an introductory set. And assuming one does not with to extensively convert any of the miniatures. Given that this is a game for my daughter, I didn't.

My only really complaint with the boxed set are the instructions. As can be seen from the second image, they're wrong in terms of which bits to cut from the sprue to make up certain miniatures. This one is just wrong. Its an easy mistake to make, but one that I hope is also easy to fix up (I wonder if anyone from GW actually reads my humble blog at all?). To me, it was obvious that it was wrong at the outset, but for others who don't have as much assembling experience, I do wonder if they would struggle or not.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Drop Pod Painting

A very short update today to show off some airbrush work on a drop pod (the dark blue silvery sheen is real, and created using gunmetal blue). This one contains a Death storm launcher for my Alpha Legion forces -- its remarkably useful for hemming in the opponent and taking off a few critical wounds here and there. I'm pleased with how its done in games (surprisingly so given the competition for slots in the heavy support part of the force organisation chart!).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Headhunter with Heavy Bolter

Following on from yesterday's squad leader for my Headhunters, today is the Heavy Bolter toting squad member.

Now, for this marine, remember that the heavy bolter automatically comes with suspensors to offset the "heavy" setting. Hence he can run and shoot normally. 

For this marine, I wanted a heavy bolter that was a bit different to what is normally seen on the table top. This is because the rounds being fired will be bane strike, and the suspensors will probably make the heavy bolter fairly unique in the armour.

The light coloured parts are resin from the Forge World upgrade kit for the headhunters. The heavy bolter itself is from the Blood Angels range, with the front end being from the chaos space marine upgrade set. The backpack is clearly grey knights. The legs are regular space marines. Overall, this is a miniature that looks very unique and helps communicate the diverse weapon (perhaps illegal tech) that the Alpha Legion likes to use. 

There's a bit of finishing off to do here yet. Clearly the armpit requires greenstuff (you can see the conversion work with a paperclip pin in the armpit of this photo), and the cables need bending in to place at the rear of the heavy bolter. But otherwise, this is a miniature that I think is looking very nice already, even if it is a bit of a work in progress. Indeed, the pose is the marine effortlessly lifting the heavy bolter up to a more eye / line of sight level (which I wanted in there to suggest the suspensors at least). The chaos space marine gargoyle head is just the icing on the cake really for me. It fits very well and gives a certain baroque feel to the weapon which fits with what I wanted for the theme of this conversion. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Headhunter Prime

A little bit of conversion work today -- a headhunter prime to add to my collection for the 30k Alpha Legion.

Although the headhunters are an odd choice in some ways, they are actually really fluffy, and can be very effective in certain Alpha Legion builds. For this model though, I wanted something this might communicate the arrogance (or martial hubris) of the Alpha Legion. Hence, the combi-bolter has been angled at the wrist to give a different orientation to the weapon. Meanwhile the power weapon is trailing behind him in a suggestion of charging in to combat and about to unleash on an unsuspecting target.

Clearly, there are a variety of bits used here, including not least one of the newer plastic bases from Games Workshop. The head of the miniature is from the chaos space marine raptors set which I think fits in very nicely with the Alpha Legion (their armour marks and use is always confusing). The backpack is a grey knights teleportation device (the power weapon is also grey knights). The idea being that I might use these in conjunction with Dynat's deep strike granting ability -- this ties in with an army theme of using stolen, advanced, or reverse engineered tech. Meanwhile the legs are from Khorne Berserkers! What can I say? I just liked the pose. The resin (lighter bits) are from the head hunters upgrade release from Forge World. What do you think - does it communicate the martial hubris and sneakiness of the Alphas well enough?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Warhammer World: The Pilgrym

"A being of supreme psychic might, yet still but an infant, the Pilgrym has been brought to the soil of Terra by Lorde Castor Marguardt. This mysterious power could prove instrumental in the plots of those who scheme on the soil of Terra, from strange gutter-cults to factions of the Inquisition possessed of the seemingly incredible belief that they might use the Pilgrym to unshackle the God-Emperor from his Golden Throne."

"A seven month `collaborative storytelling game' undertaken by friend from around this world, this display features an array of amazingly detailed models, and incredible gaming board, influenced by the evocative artwork of John Blanche.

The board is in two parts -- the processional steps and the Imperial Shrine created by Mikael Silvanto and the Botanicarium built by Stefan Darlan Boris and Rune Nielsen."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Warhammer World: The Burning of Prospero

One of the newer exhibits inside Warhammer World is the Burning of Prospero. Given that Inferno is available for pre-order this weekend, I thought I would upload my images of this display board. 

There are plenty of nice features on the board, ranging from the spilt plant pots through to the battle scenes themselves. Leman Russ is very dynamic in this regard, as is the Space Wolves leviathan ripping apart a contemptor. There's so many nice touches, I just wished the board was a little bigger! [I think I have a video of this display somewhere on disk as well -- I'll try to dig that out at a late date!].

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Genestealer Cults Review: Leman Russ Squadron

Stolen directly from the Imperial Guard of the `host' planet, the Leman Russ battle tank is well-known for what it does on the battlefield across the Warhammer 40,000 Universe.

This is a great tank! Excellent front armour, great side armour and versatile set ups. I don't really dislike much about them overall. I guess it ultimately depends on the kinds of opponent that one expects to face. Having said, that, some of the pie plates do rely on BS=3, so that's not so awesome. A large number of shots would be better to ensure a few hits arguably. But I still like and respect the Leman Russ.

The rear armour is only 10. But you all knew that, right?

There are a lot of builds to consider here. What is below is just a sub-sample of the ones that appeal to me personally.

Leman Russ, Eradicator, heavy flamer (120 points).
This basic battle tank is really versatile. I like the flamers for defence and assault roles. The eradicator nova is a mid-range beast that can bring the hurt in numbers to Imperial Guard, Eldar, and the like.

Leman Russ, Exterminator, heavy bolter sponsons (140 points).
A lot of dakka here to get around the BS=3 issue. Not much not to like really!

Leman Russ, Vanquisher, Multi-melta sponsons (155 points).
Heavy, high strength shots at long range is still awesome no matter what enemy one is facing. However, the BS=3 is a really big issue here though. That said, certain builds of the cult armies could outflank this beast, so the above build is equipped with multi meltas to help take advantage of this. Add an extra lascannon if the points allow.

Leman Russ, Battle Cannon (150 points).
Large blasts and large ranges. Very nice. Add plasma cannon sponsons if desired? A hunter killer missile as well? Perhaps a lascannon too?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Genestealer Cults Review: Goliath Rockgrinders

As the name suggests, the rock grinder grinds rocks. This is made evident by the grindy rock drill dozer on the front designed for the grinding of rocks.

Its chassis is in common with the Goliath Truck and is a bit of an upgrade from said truck. Like most things in the Cults armoury, it has been stolen, adapted and put to use of the day of light when the cult springs forth from the darkened mines that they have long been labouring in.

Most obviously, the Rockgrinder has a better armour rating than the goliath truck and is not open topped. Arguably it will be hanging around longer. And (rules as written), it can transport purestrain genestealers.

The rugged construction is a nice boon in common with the truck that provides a "save" of sorts against crew shaken, stunned and vehicle immobilised results.

Unlike the truck, this is not an open topped vehicle. Whilst this is a strength in terms of not dying quicker, clearly it also means that any transported cultists cannot assault out of it so readily.

The weapons are not much to write about here. Although the strength is good, the BS is really what makes this less than tempting overall. I can see a good use for the clearance incinerator option though. The torrent is very nice and the flamer template bypasses the poor BS of the vehicle.

Not many options here, but here are two.

Rockgrinder with a cache of demolition charges (80 points).
Yeah, they're okay. Nothing special though. And one could subtract off the charges to save on valuable points to be honest.

Rockgrinder with clearance incinerator (80 points).
I like these ones due to the torrent. Several of these can be very nice in a squadron. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Inferno Friday

Forge World announced today that Inferno would be hitting the proverbial shelves on Friday this week! Yay! After all this time, I can scarcely believe that it is finally happening! Can't wait to get my order in and get the goods. Just shut up and take my money, frankly.

Okay, in all seriousness though, I'm not a Space Wolves player. I regularly play against a Space Wolves opponent locally, and I used to have a similar frenemy when I lived in Australia as well. Here's hoping that they invest in Leman Russ et al though.

No, for me the interest is certainly focussed on the Thousand Sons. Not only their rules (which have been previewed on other blogs elsewhere), but also their background. They are fairly unique across all of the legions in many regards. And they are a legion whose loyalty to the Emperor and the Imperium was so very solid. This for me makes their downfall all the more terrible. By this, I mean that I have little sympathy for the Night Lords fluff -- they were always monsters and likely on the edge of censure. I can feel sorry for the World Eaters and their mutilated master. They had little choice. The Death Guard just wanted justice across the Galaxy (well, Mortarion did at any rate). But the story of the Thousand Sons having little other option is one that will be good to read through.

I'm also looking forward to the Custodes and the Sisters of Silence. Although I won't be collecting Custodes, I might invest in some Sisters to support my (obviously loyal) Alpha Legion. And I will be looking at the special units of both Space Wolves and Thousand Sons legions with a view to whether they would be good with Coils of the Hydra as well.

Okay, enough gibbering from me for one day. Roll on Friday!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Alpha Legion Kill Team Army List

Following on from yesterday's post about the Genestealer Cult Kill Team that I built, today is the turn of the Alpha Legion Kill Team list. Although I wanted to squeeze in a headhunter or two as they seemed very appropriate and fluffy, I knew about the genestealers that I would be facing and therefore wanted something a bit less pricey. So, here's the list.

10 legion tactical squad marines, including 1 vexilla, 1 sergeant with power fist and melta bombs (155 points).

2 heavy support marines with missile launchers (66 points).

2 assault marines (34 points).

1 terminator with thunder hammer (45 points).

The plan here is to be maximally flexible. The heavy support marines set up where they can and use their missile launchers against either armour or infantry clusters.

The assault marines (recent picture of painting progress above, but still needs finishing!) provide a quick moving element to capture any objectives as required or engage lesser enemies. 

The rest of the marines are fundamentally still space marines and can take most things on. The fury of the legion on the tactical marines is just the icing on the proverbial cake. The terminator simply adds to the punch where required. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Genestealer Cults Kill Team Army List

A few people have been asking me what I've got in the Genestealer Cults Kill Team that I've been posting about recently.

The points value for the tournament is 300 points. Its a little larger than a few Kill Team regular games, but very accessible for new players (which was kind of the point). We're playing with restrictions common to Kill Zone in the sense that one cannot have more than two models with Infiltrate, Outflank (or almost any other special rule or heavy weapon for that matter) with some nuances thrown in for good play as well.

Here's the list (give or take some rounding and a few points here and there thanks to the system we're using).

10 Neophyte Hybrids, including 1 leader with power pick and web pistol, 1 seismic cannon, 1 mining laser (115 points).

3 Hybrid Metamorphs, 1 crushing claw, 1 lash whip, 1 double talons; 2 with hand flamers (41 points).

6 Purestrain Genestealers, half with scything talons (93 points).

1 Armoured Sentinel with plasma cannon (50 points).

The basic plan is simple enough. The sentinel pumps out some blast templates in the shooting phase and hangs back when possible along with the heavy weapon hybrids. The rest of the hybrids (all of them) move up and engage by mobbing up against power armour and the like (making at least 3 or 4 on one combats where possible) and are essentially expendable as either tar pits or large number mobs. The genestealers meanwhile move individually and provide the real punch of the army with an impressive number of attacks on the charge. They pick off anyone (or anything) that they like almost. All in all a nasty close combat kill team with expendable hybrids that is backed up with a plasma cannon in the rear field.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Metamorph Leader

Last one assembled now -- this time the leader of the Metamorphs for the Genestealer Cult Kill Team. He might get dropped though, to make way for the plasma cannon toting armoured sentinel!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

More Genestealer Metamorphs

Getting in to a groove of assembling now. Here's the rest of the Genestealer Cult Metamorphs for use in the Kill Team tournament we are having locally. Love these models from Games Workshop -- simply wonderful in terms of the sheer amount of detail now possible.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Genestealer Cult Metamorph

I really do like these new Genestealer Cult models. They are some of the best produced by Games Workshop and really showcase what they are capable of doing with plastics these days (although this is clearly dwarfed in impressiveness by the Yncarne from the upcoming fracture of Biel-Tan release, obviously).

The particular model is upgraded with the whip appendage and sports a hand flamer for immediate toasting needs. This model alone accounted for one of my Alpha Legion marines in the earlier Kill Team game we had!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Rest of the Neophytes

Following on from earlier posts about the Genestealer Kill Team I'm building (here, here and here), today are some pictures of the rest of the Neophyte squad. Just some basing and painting to now and they'll be looking good in a short amount of time. [In the first round of the Kill Team we played, I used my Alpha's and loaned the Genestealer Cult to a friend. And I lost by a massacre! Shocking!]

I have made a deliberate choice to try to select the goggles and eye mask wearing heads for these models where possible. I think they communicate the kind of vibe that I'm looking for nicely. 

More on the painting of these as time permits…!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Digesting new 30k news

Like many other fans of 30k, I was eagerly watching the incoming blog rolls over the weekend for news of the Horus Heresy Weekender that was happening (and that I can almost never attend due to distance, money, real life, etc., etc., and other lame excuses).

I must admit that I'm really liking what I am seeing of Inferno and of the semi-preview of Angelus (apart from the name in part!).

Hopefully Inferno will be in my hands just as soon as it goes on regular sale. I'm impressed with the take of the early Space Wolves to say the least. I feel that their rules really capture what they're all about. And the rules for Russ himself are high quality. Sure, he is not a force multiplier, but I don't think I ever particularly saw him in that way. However, to see he is the Loyalist version of Angron was a bit of a surprise. And his armour is truly excellent to say the least.

The Thousand sons, for me, also perfectly capture them rules wise compared to the background materials. The dominance of psykers within their ranks and their leadership fits right in. The rules for Magnus are terrific and I like the fact that he can boost psychic powers up to destructor strength to say the least. I think the Thousand Sons will mix things up in the meta game more than any other force. They will compete strongly with the Word Bearers in the psychic phase and provide numerous playing options and potential allies (modulo the exact wording of the "warlord" issue that they must take) and perhaps even for Coils of the Hydra in some ways as well.

Overall, very pleased! And excited. Can't wait for Inferno to go on sale frankly! Hurry and and take my hard earned money please!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Wargames Gallery: Kill Team Mission

Intercepted by infiltrating genestealers, the loyal Alpha Legion suffers heavy losses!

So, today was the first Kill Team game we played. I was using my Alpha Legion, whilst my opponent borrowed my genestealer cultists. The Alpha Legion were wiped from the table top due to a miasma of rolling 1's and 2's on the first two turns. By the third turn, all the enemy genestealers, and the remaining cultists charged in and pretty much finished most of my marines off. The picture shows the last marine standing who made it to turn 5 before succumbing to the rending claws of his opponent!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Armoured Sentinel with Plasma Cannon

I picked up an armoured sentinel to add to the kill team for the Genestealer Cults that will be one of the forces playing in our upcoming tournament. I doubt that I will have time to paint this one before the tournament begins though!

The sentinel is a fairly standard piece of kit these days for Imperial Guard players. In the Genestealer Cults codex, it provides a good way in which to get some heavier weapons deployed on to the board, with some stability as well (at least in terms of a kill team). The rules we are adhering to mean that only one tank or vehicle with an armour value can be taken per team, and the sum of the front+side+rear armour must be 33 or less. This particular sentinel fulfils that criteria nicely. On top of this, it is armed with a plasma cannon. The choice of the plasma cannon is very deliberate. Not only does the blast nature of the weapon offset the low ballistic skill of the walker, but it provides a way in which to bring a heavy weapon in to play that is manoeuvrable for the kill team, without slowing up their advance in any significant way. 

The only thing I might have changed about the assembly would have been to not bother putting the pilot on his seat. Yeah, I know. Silly given that I've now glued the enclosure in to place and there's no way to see him! Oh well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Apology from Demon Thing

In response to yesterday's post about PETA's demand that Games Workshop start to take the depiction of fur on their miniatures more seriously, there has been an outpouring from many sites. My favourite one, though, has to be the one from the Daily Mash.

The text reads:

A CHAOS Daemon from space wargame Warhammer 40,000 has shamefacedly yielded to PETA’s request to remove fur from its armour.
The immortal fiend, who entered our galaxy from the hell-realm of the Warp to murder and lay waste to the living, has issued a full apology following pressure from the animal rights group.
It continued: “Somehow, as I was ravening across the cosmos eviscerating and mutilating any sentient being I could, I lost sight of what was important.
“I’m a role model to children, and topping my eight bladed torture-instrument limbs which support the mountain of my putrescent, acid-weeping flesh with fur shoulder-pads is unacceptable.
“I can’t apologise enough for the hurt I’ve caused, and I’ve agreed to appear in PETA’s next ad campaign under the slogan ‘I’d rather be Lawful Good than wear fur.’”
A PETA spokesman said: “Living in the grim darkness of a far future where there is only war is no excuse for making poor moral choices.”
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