Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kharn and friends vs. Grey Knights

This Friday before last, I got to play again with the Khorne boys, but at a higher point level. We agreed to play 1750, however I accidentally left my bikers home and he was able to drop a unit with the same point cost, so we played at approximately 1580 points.I was playing my Khorne force led by Kharn the Betrayer, and using the Chaos Codex. Scott H. was fielding his Grey Knights. This is the first time Scott and I have had a chance to play each other in well over 10 years!

My deployment
The only non-khornate force in this list are a squad of Plague Marines. Despite the red wrapper, they would be hitching a ride in the Land Raider. This mission has objectives, each one is in our respective deployment zone.  His whole army is using a formation that allows him to Deep Strike everyone, therefore he has no set-up.  So we begin, with first two of Scott's forces beaming in...

"We have arrived!"
An impressive display of firepower was launched against the Berserker unit that contained Kharn, as Scott was doing what he could to decapitate my army in the first round. However, he only managed to mow down half the unit.

Just imagine the corpse pile in the middle. 
On my turn I maneuvered the Land Raider closer to the Terminators so as to take advantage of the Dirge Caster's ability to shut down my enemy's Overwatch. This worked a lot better than the shooting, which for the most part was ineffective, although I did whittle away one or two before I had the Berserkers and the Hellbrute charge in. However, I botched the Berserkers charge roll, leaving the Hellbrute on it's own. It did manage to kill a few Grey Knight Terminators on this round before falling to the Grey Knights.

The Bloodbrute charges in
On the 2nd round, a very note worthy even happened on Scott's turn as his Interceptors attacked my Chaos Space Marine unit with the Mark of Khorne. A lot of them were chewed up by the CSM's shooting in the previous turn and by their Overwatch fire when they initiated their assault, However my Champion had to challenge his Sgt, and well, it didn't go well for the champ!

"Seriously, there can be only one."
The CSMs broke from this and were swept away by the halberd wielding fiend!

Kharn's unit of Berkers where all but swept away by this point by the firepower unleashed against them by remainder of Scott's army who all arrived on Turn two.  On my Turn two, I sent Kharn over to eliminate the Interceptor Sgt, as he just had to go!

Kharn and the Berserker shoot the Interceptor Sgt. 
I had the Landraider tangling with the Terminators on my right flank, while the Vindicator was lobbing shots at the send group, which was starting to whittle them down with AP2 death.

Scott sent the sole survivor of the unit that killed the Hellbrute over to take the objective away from the other CSM unit, and after some amazingly bad rolling for me (see below) the Terminator was able to kill enough of my guys to force them to route off of the objective!

I switched to my big dice for this game. It mattered not! LOL
This left Kharn to run over on the next round to finally get a go at some hand-to-hand blood letting, only to have the (now rallied) CSMs shoot the guy to death!

"Seriously?!" He said, outraged. 
In the previous turn my Landraider had been lucky to survive an assault from the Grey Knight Terminators, and I had tried to tank-shock them and to capitalize on the Destroyer Blades rigged up to the front of this thing. They failed their route test, but were able to rally (you know, 'cause they Know No Fear), and charge the Land Raider again and blowing it up on the last turn of the game, liberating the Plague Marines within.
Last shot of the game
The game pretty much ended there, with Scott getting 1VP for First Blood, and my CSMs being the only ones to be holding an Objective, earning 3 VP, which managed to pull off a win for the forces of Chaos! Oddly enough, Kharn, close-combat nightmare incarnate, never managed to make it into an assault the whole game! Also, another fun aspect of this game: the entire battle took place on just half of the board!

So far, I like how this force is starting to work in the game. I used it again the following Friday, and it was a radically different game. Stay tuned for that report soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kharn!!! (Feeling Khorney Part 4)

Kharn's blister card. 
Last Spring/summer. during my "feeling khorney" phase, I started working on the poster boy of all things Khornate in the Warhammer 40,000 universe: Mr. Kharn the Betrayer himself! I had the model for awhile now. He was acquired back when GW US Mail Order used to run these amazing blister pack blowout deals where you would get a box of randomly assorted blister packs that they were deleting to make rooms for new versions. (Ah, those were the days!) This particular blister pack was intended for sale in another country (which I thought was kind of cool) and he stayed in his card and plastic home all mint condition and snug for many years. That is until the early days of last summer when I saw fit to finally throw some paint on him.

He was not alone however, and as part of my "feeling Khorney series" I also opened up a blister pack that contained a Khorne Berserker standard bearer. He is going to join up a unit of Khorne Berserkers that I also started to work on around the beginning of last summer. It's the "newer" set with the zany dance poses and bigger blood-bunny ears. Here he is below, having his arm pinned.

Pinning on an arm. 
The next thing I did was glue some grit onto their bases and prep them for priming.

Bases prepped. 
Again, I used Tester's Red Brown enamel paint for that. Then the standard bearer and Kharn were base coated, and that's as far as I got at that point...

Standard Bearer base coated.
Kharn is seen below, and he is quite probably the last miniature I worked on before moving out the place I was living at and, well, basically restarting my life.

Kharnes base coat.
Now here we are in April 2015 and I have a hankering to get this chainaxe wielding loony painted and onto a gaming table!
Blood Red! Who can paint Khorne without it?
Mid coated added. 
Here he is mostly done. I decided I wanted to make the chains that are wrapped around his arm appear to be old and weathered. Usually when I see this model painted the chains look so shiny and new that he looks like he just ripped off a DIY store!

Mostly done.
Kharn's axe, Gorechild, deserved special attention. I painted it using my typical blend of metallic bronze/copper tones, but after applying a highlight of a color called Red Copper, I gave the axe head a thick wash of Red ink. I think this came out looking quite cool (so far) and I will probably leave it at this stage because I think I will liberally splatter Blood for the Blood God all over it anyway.

This is the current work-in-progress state of this model, and the Standard Bearer hasn't had anything done to him at all. Hopefully the next "Khorney" update, Kharn will be done and I will have made progress on the Standard Bearer.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blood on the snow

How's that for a title? On April 3rd I played a game with Scott and Skylar, where Skylar and I, being aware of the Emperor's bogus claims of divinity,  teamed up to take on Scott's loathsome Imperial Guard Scions. My Worldeaters would take to the field in what I considered to be something of test run for me, as the last time they saw action they were a support element for a Daemon host. Today, I was daemon-free, but instead allied with Skylar's Traitor Guard. Skylar and I had 1,000 points each to Scott's 2,000 points. 

Due to really not wanting to write another massive battle report, I focused my photos on my own forces. 

My deployment was fairly straight forward. I had a line of Chaos Space Marines along the Aegis Defense line to provide cover, while the smaller unit (on the other side of the Vindicator in the pic below) would jump onto the first objective. The Land Raider (Blood dumpster!) would rumble up ahead and take the Khorne Bereserkers to the closest meat for them to carve. While the Vindicator would try to kill as much stuff as possible. 

 I got something (a Warlord Trait I think?) that allowed me to infiltrate a unit of Troops, so I moved the smaller unit that had been joined by the Terminator Lord, to the ruined Land Raider.

Being sneaky
 Below was Scott;s deployment zone, looking down the line from the board edge nearest my side of the board.

Turn One, and I rushed forward as I planned. My shooting was fairly modest, taking some hull points away from a few vehicles, whereas Skylar laid waste to a good chunk of Scott's tanks. Latter in the game we would figure out that we were using Skylar's Master of Ordanance incorrectly making his barrage attack way more effective than it should have been (oops!). But at least that asshole Col Pask was dead (I swear, that guy is ALWAYS on the table when I face guard!).

Then end of Chaos Turn one, my side of the field.
Somehow I managed to overlook and underestimate the firepower of the scions and their damned hot-shot lasers. My warlord was killed along with his 5 man unit when a squad of Scions jumped out of one of those Taurox APCs and blasted them to hell. This also earned Scott a Warlord VP.

The white space between the wrecked LR and the IG is where my Warlord died . 
Also on Scott's turn he had an amusing die roll that resulted in his dice stacking! We had quite a good laugh at that, as it's a pretty uncommon sight in our club.

Stacked on the die roll!
After this I knew I had to get the Khorne Berserkers on to the table as soon as possible or else this just wasn't going to end well at all. Most of Scott's attention thus far was on making Sklyar's 2 Basilisks disappear (which he did!).

The Blood Dumpster kept whittling away at the sentinels, and Bersekers deployed from it. Of course the Berserkers surrounded the Imperial Guardsmen, and amazingly when my 3 plasma pistol wielding Berserkers fired I roll two 1's and a 2! LOL

Attempted plasmacide take one. 
Luckily they made their saves! LOL! The Worldeaters on the bunker roof however had a normal Plasma gun in the squad, and he was successful committing plasmacide, leaving only and angry vapor behind...

Anyway, the Berserkers made incredibly short work of those guardsmen and followed up on the scions, wiping most of the them out as well, but from shooting.

On the round following that, they double-charged those funny looking Taurox things (I do like them better in person, even though those little tracks still confound me).

And yes, they wrecked them!
While Skylar was all but tabled, and the hour was getting late, we pressed on for a final round. The sole surviving Scion made his way back to the objective to contest it, however he got greedy and attempted to get a side armor shot on my weakened vindicator, only to roll snake-eyes on his Get's Hot check!

Yeah, this post was almost called "Plasmacide!" LOL

It was a good game, which we wobbled back and forth on in the end between figuring out who really won this blood bath. I'm sure it was Scott though. Skyler had a unit holding an objective that broke at the very end of the match, and that pretty much decided it.

Oh, and for the record this game was played without the use of cardboard. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: Master of Sanctity

Another painting by GW's "Armpit artist."
Master of Sanctity by Gav Thorpe. 

When I reviewed the previous books in this series, Ravenwing and Angels of Darkness, I think I did a pretty decent job conveying my irritation with Ravenwing's pacing and over heaped servings of "warporn".

So, fellow reader, I am satisfied to say here and now that Master of Sanctity is a far better reading experience than Ravenwing was. The pacing was better, the interest level was better, and the story was... well, I will get to that in a minute, but first:


Yes, sadly, in order to review this book it may be possible to reveal more than you might want to know if you're about to read this story soon.

Essentially this book is a sequel to Ravenwing, but really, it's the sequel to Angels of Darkness that Ravenwing failed to be. The story focuses more on Astellan the Fallen angel that was tortured (lots!) by Chaplain Boreas in Angels of Darkness, and the attempts of Sapphon, the Dark Angel's Master of Sanctity, to use Astellan as a means to catch more Fallen. We also catch up with some of the characters that we followed in Ravenwing, Telemenus and Annael, both of whom have heroic moments in this book, although one treads a more tragic path than the other. Another character is also followed, Chaplain Asmodai who some might know as a special character from the table-top game.

The story picks up pretty much where Ravenwing left off, but we get to meet Sapphon right away, and we get to see fairly quickly the friction between him and Asmodai. In fact, throughout the book Asmodai is pretty much a blood thirsty prick, petulant and insolent. I seriously recall remarking to myself that he was like a brat in power armor. But it all makes the tension between these two so much more intense. I really kind of craved Asmodai's demise quite honestly. However, his behavior, and interestingly enough, his fears, are explained and he proves to be a far more complicated character by the book's end. But still, I rarely like asshole interrogator's in any scenario, and wanted to see him lose. Asmodai, throughout the book, is constantly trying to upstage Sapphon and unseat him from his position as Master of Sanctity (he also stated a few times that he would like to torture him too, but Asmodai probably thinks this about everyone). The tension gets really crazy when Sapphon presents the idea to the Dark Angel Inner Circle his plan to use the Fallen, Astellan, in a ploy to root out more Fallen and also as bait. This is also, by the way, where the story gets really good!

Without touching too much on plot points, I would like to say that the pacing of the action scenes felt better in this book as opposed to Ravenwing, especially the description of the events that take place on the daemon world that the Dark Angels assault in an effort to track down another Fallen. That was an insane warzone and Gav does a great job handling this and he doesn't keep us in it longer than necessary, which feels like a lesson learned from his previous works. Also, if you like Nurgle daemons, you'll enjoy this I think.

The book really ramps up the tension and pacing as we get closer to the end, with a battle that is quite epic in scope, especially the space battles. One highlight was when Sapphon leads a Terminator assault onto a Chaos battleship that is just freaking awesome. The description of the Chaos bombardment of the planetary palace was also quite intense and made for a thrilling lead, and it continued right up to the final chase, and the surprise ending.
And now, the 3rd cover that this book has had! But at least it's back in print. 

  • Did I like it? I did! I didn't think the story had the pacing issues or the feeling of mindless warporn as the previous book fell into often. In fact, I very much enjoyed this installment. 
  • Was it hard to put down? Almost, but toward the final 1/4 of the book it very much was. 
  • Could I care about the characters? To a degree, yes. Sapphon mostly, as he seemed to be a very noble, sensible and humane character, unlike Asmodai who was damn near his opposite. Telmenus' story was the one I enjoyed the most in the previous book, and I was glad he had a role in this one as well, as we got to see him go through the rituals and training of being a Deathwing Terminator. His story takes a twist that Gav will no doubt wrap up in the next installment.  
  • Did the writer truly grasp how the 'world' of the 41st millennium works in the sense that it doesn't betray or retcon previously established (as I know it) lore?  It's Gav, so yeah. However Gav's writing can be hit and miss, but this one is surely one of his hits. It was fun to watch him squeeze in the new vehicles from the most recent Dark Angels Codex, (heheh)
  • Was I being talked down too? No. Gav's style usually has a good vibe about it. 
  • How predictable is this story? This one wasn't very predictable, which Ravenwing sort of was, this one was more of a "will this plan work?" intermixed with false paths and unforeseen twists, which makes a 40K book far more enjoyable than just endless scripture describing how a bolter works at killing things. 
  • Do I recommend this book? Yes I do! Sadly, in order to do so I have to recommend Ravenwing as well, as it is important to know who all of our protagonists are, however you could skip that but you must read Angels of Darkness first. In fact, Master of Sanctity is far more satisfying sequel to Angels of Darkness than Ravenwing was, and it greatly factor's into the success of this story. And since this book sums up a lot of what occurred in Ravenwing, yeah, skip it! 

  • Saturday, March 21, 2015

    "Psychic phase?! We don't need no psychic phase!"

    Had a game recently with Screech. It was a pick-up game, and only my 2nd 7th edition game and I was fearing I was going to face a psyker (at least one, right?). So, I figured I would try out a Culuxus Assassin to got along with my Ultramarines. When Screech and I decided to get a game going he gave me a choice between facing his Tyranid army or his Imperial Guard. Foolishly, I chose the IG. This was foolish of me because unlike the 'nids, there were no psykers to be found in his guard army.

    LOL, and it all goes down hill from here!

    Our table set up.

    Ultramarines deployment.
    The Imperial Guard (or Astra Millivanili) deploy.
    After the usual mission selection, etc, I deployed first. It was a objectives mission, and I was poised to pounce on them and do as much damage as I could do my first turn. This "plan" was dashed when Screech rolled a '6' to steal initiative. And he managed to alpha-strike me into near oblivion! The two 6-man squads in the pic below were both reduced to 2 guys each, with the unit on the ground pulling back when they failed their break test. 

     On the other side of the table, my two 5-man squads were reduced down to 2 survivors each and my whirlwind was 'stunned', The whirlwind was a key element in my plan reduce his infantry numbers that were bunched together on the other side of the missile site.

    But, I wasn't going to let Screech's awesome round, or my cardboard power armor, stop my assassin from having some fun, even if he didn't have any psykers to hunt down. Realizing his limited functionality, I dove him headlong into the nearest guard unit, where I managed to avoid being overwatched to death and took out a few of Screech's groundpounders.

    "I'll blow your minds with my fists!!!"
     Turn two, and the punishment continued. My landraider scared a few of his tanks in the last round, but nothing that netted any lasting results. However the IG managed to immobilize my venerable tank and forced my Captain and his Command Section to bail out.

    A unit of Scions arrived via Deep Strike and pasted one of my squads. The Assassin, who, despite his awesome stat-line, just botched it in the following assault phases before falling to the IG. It was really looking like the Ultramarines needed a new hope...

    Impossible shots R us.
     And on my turn, the hope arrived.  My Terminators arrived via Deep Strike and slaughtered a squad that was hiding behind the tanks that were giving my Landraider hell. Most of the unit were set ablaze by the heavy flamer terminator (note the props in the pic below!).

    A few more Imperial Guard were immolated by the sole survivor of one of the squads near the missile site. That Scions took some losses from the whirlwind and some fire from the Command Section and some of my straggling units. But it wasn't enough...

    Top of Turn 3, and the might of the Imperial Guard rained death on my Terminators, and by some miracle, two guys lived!

    On my turn, they charged the IG tanks, and I hope, nay, expected them to rip those fricking tanks to scrap, but they either failed to hit the damn things or they failed to penetrate them enough to take them out of the game.
    "I thought you said these things opened like sardine cans?!"
     My end of my my turn 3, all I had left, except for those two hapless Terminators, are as they appeared below.

    A functioning Dreadnought and my Captain and Command section. And not a lot of options.

    We decided to call the game, and just for kicks we tallied the VPs: Ultramarines 4, IG 9. And it surprises me that I did that well! LOL

    Mistakes? Well, the obvious one from the start was taking an army based around a psyker hunter and electing to fight the army least likely to have one! I think I should've been more aggressive with deploying the Captain and his unit, but other than that, there wasn't a whole lot I could do. I had sufficient cover, but his dice were hot and mine were not. It became a goal of trying to milk as much fun out of the situation as I could, so we did, and it was good time as always!

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    PIAT team

    While continuing to assemble my British Infantry units for Bolt Action, I decided to create a few support teams. This one in particular required a bit of research however, as I didn't know how the PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank) was held and fired in combat. Behold: Youtube.

    I think it's obvious that the weapon can be fired from a laying down position, as shown effortlessly in this war-time propaganda clip . However I wanted to see evidence of it being held over the shoulder, as this seemed to be the only way to model it with this kit.

    This clip from Weaponology truly explains how the thing worked, as well as explains the truth of the PIAT's battlefield effectiveness. (sorry old propaganda clip, you've been set straight!) Loading one of these things looks like a true pain in the ass, and I was tempted to convert this particular action on a model, but decided against it... after all there are a few ways to ready a PIAT.

    What really convinced me to model this team the way I did however was this clip from the old war movie Theirs is the Glory. Arguably propaganda, like most of these old movies, but you got to let it go when faced with the pure warporn awesomeness of this scene. Dixon just strolls out, PIAT in one hand, ammo case in the other, and annihilates a Panzer like it was no more bothersome than checking the mail. I am utterly convinced that the chap who sculpted these models was a fan of this flick, right down to the details on the ammo case!

    And finally, this is a great piece of reference Sons of Guns, as it firmly illustrates some of the problems that the PIAT was known for, although I question whether or not the explosions in this piece hasn't been augmented with the assistance of more flammable substances (gasoline in the old truck perhaps?). Check it out.

    I am getting to the point now where soon I will work on the bases for my British Infantry, and then apply the primer before starting the challenging task of painting these blighters.

    Sunday, March 8, 2015

    A Runt, a Squig and a Gobo

    Left to right: The Runt, the Squig and the Gobo
    Pretty simple title to this post, as it was a pretty simple undertaking. While working on my Orcs, I came across these three models that were still just half painted, and with the way I have my painting station organized now, it's  a lot easier to focus on getting models like this done. So I dedicated myself to getting these 3 models completed. It also helped that there might've been a few snow days with little else to do.

    The RUNT
     An ammo runt more specifically. This was the first model like this ever produced by GW, and he is exactly as the name implies: an overworked gun caddy. I am unsure what possessed me to single him our for a paint job back in the late spring of 2012, but on that day I based coated him along with a box set of Fenrisian Wolves whose paws you can spot in the pic below.
    The day of base-coating: 6/3/2012
    The boss
     I got him from Warfrog along with an assortment of random Rogue Trader era Orks he simply didn't have the time or patience to ebay off.  This model was sold in a blister along with an Ork Warboss (the tab simply says 'the boss') model. He was a big Ork back then, but not too terribly inspiring even back then. I do like that Marine helmet that his foot's on though. Anyway, the pic is included over on the right.

    The backside, showing the ammo clips that are adding to his weight
    I always thought the best part of this pair was the over worked gretchin, He's miserable in his unyielding loyalty to his cruel master, he carries on no matter how encumbered The Boss makes him. He has a chain dangling from his throat, perhaps used more as a leash than as a means to keep him in place. Seriously, GW, this little sculpt deserves to be in the 'Hall of Fame' that you do in White Dwarf. This model clearly inspired a line of Gretchin Assistants during Warhammer 40,000's 2nd edition, and carries on to this day as add-on bitz on select ork sprues. I feel this grot, out shines and out lasts the master he was sculpted to serve.

    In fact just last week I used him in a game!
    My finished paint job.

    The SQUIG. 
    This is the attack squig that goes to the metal (currently "finecast") Ork Warlord. I removed him from my Warboss so I could convert a Power Klaw on to him. But I wasn't about to toss out the Squig! I was very careful at the time to slowly remove the attack squig. Eventually I attached him to a base and started dabbling on him some time in 2013. And now, with a bit of focus, he is done!

    Say Awwww!

    The GOBBO.
    This single night goblin came free in White Dwarf when Warhammer Fantasy 7th edition came out. I painted him as a test model for the rest of my Goblin army. He painted up super quick (as far as actual time painting is concerned) and I like the results.

    Night Goblin
     Here's hoping there is more to come on the Night Goblin front. The sheer number of them though is a bit daunting to say the least. Still, it's cool to have this one guy to lead the proverbial charge.