Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vindicator of Khorne (Part 3)

Slowly but surely, the Vindicator of Khorne grows nearer to completion! After the last game I played my Vindicator took on a wee bit of transport damage, and since I have been focusing mostly on Khorne anyway, it only made sense to conclude this project. And just in case you haven't seen this thing from the start, check out how this project started. And here as well.

First off I had to tighten up the Blood Red painting, and then highlight the edges using Ruby Red.

After that I had to get the bronze areas completed. Also the hydraulics were finished by using Mitheral Silver.

I wanted this thing to look old, so rusting up the ventilation system seemed like a logical thing to do.

I added a Khorne decal to the front panel, which then used thinned paints to color over the transparent part of the film. This was my first time using decal solutions (more on that stuff in a future post).

I added an older style decal to the rear door.

Additional highlights now in the form of Mitheral Silver for the rivets, bullet holes, and other miscellaneous scratches and scrapes.

The last thing to do is the gunner and his gun. Slowly continuing to make progress on him, though I am kinda stuck on how exactly I want to paint the combi-bolter. I should have that figured out soon.

And skulls. There are a lot of bits with skulls on them that are also being worked on as well. I mean. it IS a Khorne tank, it's GOT to have skulls, right?!

And I need to add a few Dark Angel helms as well, right Bob?... :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review: Lord of the Night

 Lord of the Night by Simon Spurrier.

I stumbled upon this book at a local used bookstore. I had never heard of it before, and the synopsis appeared to have a cool plot liken to a Dark Heresy game which easily snagged my interest. I think I have said if before, but I really think from a fiction standpoint, the Warhammer 40,000 universe, particularly the Imperium -it's culture, laws, religions, history, etc.- is best presented in the stories using the Inquisition as protagonists.

I quickly devoured this book.

The basic set up is that a space hulk crashes onto a hiveworld, with it's sole occupant being a Chaos Space Marine, Zso Sahaal, a Raptor of the Night Lords Legion. He awakens to the sight of scavengers plundering the wreckage of his vessel. In particular, they steal a treasured item that he has sworn to safe guard for many millennium. he tracks down these scavengers to the Hive City of Equixus where he begins a campaign of revenge and (literal) chaos.

Also on this Hiveworld is an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos named Kaustus along with his entourage of pompous henchmen. His 2nd in command is Mita Ashyn, an Interrogator who is also a psyker. Having psykic visions of the arrival of Zso Sahaal and the carnage he will bring, Mita tries and tries to get her lord to focus on dealing with this new threat, and the interplay is deliciously harsh between these two characters. So harsh that one wonders if Mr. Spurrier was citing personal experience with an asshole ex-boss, as it's that harsh.

This book is divided by the points of view of two characters: Mita and Zso, with each chapter alternating between each. It was a very clever way of telling this story and it helped to keep the events fresh and intriguing. Ultimately, you saw the point of view of Zso and as a reader, you couldn't help sympathizing with his point of view, his world view and motivations, by the end of the book. If anything you come to see the Imperium, with it's zealous laws and rigorous adherence to the maintenance of normalcy and order, as the thing that you despise.
  • Did I like it? Yes, very much so. 
  • Was it hard to put down? No, however I did find Zso's flashbacks to the good old days of chilling with The Night Haunter started to get a bit repetitious however these ultimately served a purpose to the over-all story in the end.
  • Could I care about the characters? Indeed. Again, one develops sympathy for Zso (even though he just slashed to death a room full of arbites) but it's Mita that I really rooted for. Mostly because I too have experienced in my day the frustration of working for a boss that I just couldn't get along with, just couldn't communicate with, yet damnit I wanted to get that prick to like me and to acknowledge that the work I was doing was good and valuable. That is a good summery of the Mita and Kaustus relationship I think. Another interesting character that was fun to encounter on page, and this guy, or one like it, and I could definitely see putting into a Dark Hersey game, is Pahvulti, a renegade from the Adeptus Mechanicus. A lot of fun ideas this character inspired, and his appearances throughout this tale definitely made the story more interesting.
  • 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? Or is this the work of a hack chasing a paycheck vs. establishing his mark on the ever-expanding 40k universe? This is no hack fiction here my friends, but this is total Inquisitor-style 40K! It was actually refreshing to read this after reading Gav Thorpe's Dark Angel stuff. However this book has that typical ending that one can expect from Inferno!-era novels, but handled in a good way. I was particularly keen on how he handled the Underhive and other details of hive life without getting lost in the minutiae. 
  • Was I being talked down too? No, the story-telling was smooth, and felt very "right" to me.
  • How predictable is this story? Not very. Although the story has a way of tricking you into thinking you know what's going to happen next. 
  • Do I recommend this book? In fact I do. Here is a link to the ebook version.

Ebook cover. And the lamest GW cover art EVER!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Juggerlord of Khorne (Feeling Khorney Part 6)

Progress has slowly been made on my Chaos Lord on Juggernaut since my last update in part-5. In fact, he's now complete, and you can follow along with these pics to the final phase below.  

As you can see in these first few pics, I liked the bio-organic aspect of this juggernaut model and emphasized the "bio" parts only with it's mouth. I thought it might look cool to make the teeth and gums look real, like a mean dog perhaps.

Then came the daunting task of assembly. This model actually goes together quite easily, however it was intended to be assembled on a flat plain, not on the multiple levels of the molded cracked battlefield dreadnought base that I had decided to use.  What I thought would work best would be to assemble it one leg at a time,  Which is what I decided to do:

First leg!
2nd leg
Then I attached the body to these two floating legs.

After that I attached the other two legs, however I was displeased with how these last two legs were attaching to the base, so I pulled the whole thing apart and redid the assembly.

After reassembly I was still have spacing problems with the rear leg, it was just simply too high up and it was never going to touch the ground. After a brief brain storm, my solution came in the form of one of the Citadel Basing Kits that I have, in particularly the slate pieces with it. These acted as shims allowed me to fill that gap and solved the problem.

Now with more stones!
After I touched up the jugger, it was time to complete the rider. I painted him up to the level that the other World Eaters are at in my army. It was during this stage that it occurred to me that I did not have a backpack for him. Scouring my available bits I found a backpack from the Dark Vengeance boxed set. Tinkering with it, it not only fits the whole Khornate theme of the model, but it really works well with this model!

Once I finished the rider, it was time to attach him. And after a few bad starts, I got the model fully assembled and really to collect skulls! But enough of my rambling, just enjoy these next few pics:

And with that, I now have a completed Warlord on a Juggernaut. In the background, you might have spotted a red rhino. That is actually my Vindicator of khorne which I haven't done any more work on since December. Worse, it took some damage during transport the last time I took it to a game (it's probably more fun to just blame those dastardly Ravenwing Bikers!) and I put it on the bench to not only make these repairs but to finish the model.

Stay tuned for more Khorney posts! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Making the Mean Streets part 1 (guest post)

Dr TSG has been a busy fella. Over the course of many weeks he has been working diligently on his city terrain.

It started back in February of this year when I got a text message with a few photos that stated: "Got in 2 hours of airbrushing this weekend!"

The Doc has built an airbrush venting station for his his airbrush, and after many years of dreaming about it, he finally got a functioning airbrush studio-spot up and running. Of course, one must start off big with airbrushing right, and what better choice than to go with the some terrain!

 The next pic shows the results of those first 2 hours on this project.

 About a week later he sent me another message:
"Check out the further progress on the board tiles! I tried using an oil wash for the first time- it did a really great job of blending!"

The next few pics shows those results. I am unfamiliar with the oil wash of which he speaks and will try to get more info for you interested readers soon.

About a month later he sends me this pic. I have NO idea WTF if could be, as he does a lot of science stuff and carpentry and other things of which I lack any vocation in, so I had to ask what this was about:

"Working out spacing for my crosswalk template for urban streets. Will build on computer, then print out and cut cardstock master, then cut friskette from that to airbrush the crosswalks on."

 "This (referring to the pic below) is what I came up with from that: The Cut-Out Template for my friskette so I can paint crosswalks on my urban road tiles."

He texted back and forth briefly regarding ideas for Imperial specific icons for roads and sidewalks, and aside from what little can be gleamed from the Necromunda games, there isn't much! He sent me a really cool link I would like to share with you: icons from Alien. Which in turn led to me telling him about the cool scenery Warlord Games sells for Judge Dredd. However, both Alien and Dredd would fit better in the early, pre-gothic, period of Warhammer, like the first few months of it's existence in the earliest days of Rogue Trader. However I can see these things working fine for Necromunda.

The next day he sent me the following pic with this message"

"So this is the final crosswalk template to cut friskette with. At most I will need 4 friskettes at a time."

 Another week passes...
"Crosswalks before washes to tone down and blend."
Followed up a week later with: "Finally got some divider lines on my roads." along with these 4 images:

Masking in progress.
I really like the weathered look to the road paint, as that's pretty much what what all the roads look like in the part of the world that I live in!

He has sent me some more pics showing some of the terrain pieces, which I will save for a future post.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chasing Cypher

When Bob and I agreed to finally play a game together, we decided to play 40K as his Dark Angels haven't hit a gaming table in many moons. I was going to play the same list that I used against Bryan's khorne Daemonkin but after some consideration, I thought it might be a lot of fun to finally play a game with Cypher. I painted Cypher way back in '99 and even entered him the Golden Daemon painting competition that year (none of my models made the first cut, but it was still very fun!). So he was over-due to see action. After reviewing the Dataslate, and making the adjustments to my list, I was ready to give Bob a game we would both remember.

The field is set, the zones divided.
When I told Bob that he was going to be facing Cypher, he was very excited! It would be a game his Dark Angels were destined to play! So we set up the table and then rolled on the Cypher Dataslate's Alter of War table. We got the mission A Hidden Presence. In this mission Cypher begins the game hidden in one of my Troops units. There are three Primary Objective markers, one in the middle, one in the two opposing zones opposite of our deployment areas. My mission is to get Cypher off of the enemy board edge. After we rolled off, Bob chose the zone with the trench line, which Cypher would have to cross to escape. 

This was not going to be easy! 

I deployed Cypher (secretly) in with the Black Legion unit that I placed in the ruins (behind the Land Raider in the pic below).

While the rest of my army will be focused on taking the other two objectives and meeting the Dark Angels head-on. That's how it was going to work in my head anyway...

Chaos Deployment
 Bob's deployment appeared very focused with equal part defense and offence.

Dark Angels deploy, Deathwing wait in Reserve.

Eye-balling each other through 'No-man's land'. 

Getting the first turn, Bob rushed the Ravenwing straight at his closest objective.
"Objective secure!"

However his first turn shooting didn't net any casualties. This was good for the Chaos ego as my first turn began. I moved the Landraider out and took some shots at the squad on top of the bunker killing at least one of them. I rushed the chaos bikes at the Ravenwing, unloading everything I had, however that effort failed to kill anything. My vindicator on the other hand pasted one of them. They were too far for me to declare any charges.

Turn 2 begins, and woe, the Deathwing arrived! The DW Knights, thankfully, scattered and landed on the bunker, one squad had a mishap and went back into reserve while another squad landed on an objective on my side of the board.

After all the fire-power they sent at me, I managed to only lose one Black Legionnaire, but my Warlord in terminator armor, who was striding out in front, took a wound.

"We have arrived!"
My bikers entered into a duel with the Ravenwing, who killed off half of my squad with shooting!

 However, after declaring a charge, they rolled snake-eyes on their charge distance! Oops!

On my Turn 2, I closed the gap with my bikers and whittled the Ravenwing down a bit more, before charging into the fray.

...however they used Hit and Run to back up and set up another round of shooting and assault against my unit, which was now down to just two models, having just lost the champion!

Meanwhile, on the other front, I was making a series of critical errors that would cost me the game. I moved the Land Raider up to be within Dirge Caster range of the Deathwing. Only that I chose to keep the Khorne Berserkers at bay within the Land Raider. I knew another Deathwing Squad was due to show up next round and those DW Knights (the Sgt of whom, along with another knight, I just killed with a well placed Vindicator shot!) all had the fire power to cut down my Berserkers from afar. So I moved the Black Legion up to shoot up the Deathwing. I also revealed Cypher so that I could use his firepower. The mistake here wasn't the reveal of Cypher, or leaving him in the unit, it was using Rapid Fire on a unit I had intended to charge! I didn't realize my mistake until the assault phase, and by then it was just too late!

Turn 3, and the Ravenwing, which I had done a great job chewing down, finally vanquished the Chaos Bikers, and they were now looking down the field at my Vindicator's rear side!

Time to die...
 Speaking of vanquishing, if you haven't seen what Deathwing Knights can do to a Landraider yet, then behold what just three of them can do:

The 2nd DW squad arrives, the knights set up their charge...
"It's like cracking open an egg!"
 The Landraider didn't have a hope! Amazingly, I only lost a single Berserker in that explosion!

You might also be able to tell that my Black Legion unit, featuring Cypher, was shot up really good by the other Deathwing squad, who was also joined by the 2nd Deathwing squad. The Deathwing have the Fallen in their sights, and it was now a very determined battle to catch Cypher!

On my Turn 3, I decided the biggest threat were those Deathwing Knights. Ignoring the Ravenwing bikers I fired the Vindicator at them, as well as had the Mark of Slaanesh Chaos Space Marines fire on them,

Cypher, making his escape, also fired into the unit as did the Berserkers. So by the time my whole freaking army pretty much opened up on those three knights, my Berserkers only had two that they had to kill in close combat! 

And killing is what they did!
 It was sick to see just how much dice this unit could throw down! Normally by the time my Berserkers can get into combat they have been whittled down quite a bit, so this was the first time I could see the full fury they can produce.

The other close combat involved my Warlord and the remaining Black Legion. In the previous assault my Warlord killed the Deathwing Sgt with the Murdersword and received the Chaos Gift that makes him poisonous. That last DW terminator just wasn't going down easily however, and this combat would last for a few player turns.

Turn 4, and Cypher was now quite exposed. The Dark Angels all left their cover and made their move towards him, with one unit working their way towards the Chaos Marines in the middle of the board.

As predicted the Ravenwing shot the Vindicator in the ass, blowing it up like a fireworks display.

"And it was good!" -The Bob
Having witnessed the murder of the DW Knights at the bloody hands of the Khorne Berskers, the Deathwing charged them to deny them their extra charge bonus. The Berserkers had lost a hand full of models to shooting and where now quite a bit vulnerable, but I knew this would happen, I just needed them to stand in the way of the Deathwing to allow Cypher to escape.

 On my turn, the Chaos Marines shot and charged the marines in the ruins. I managed to kill a few, but the Dark Angels held firm, and wiped out the Chaos Marines.

Meanwhile the Warlord and Khorne Apsiring Champion tried to support the Khorne berserkers but it was a fruitless effort. The Berkserkers were smashed by the fury of the DW powerfists.

On turn Five, the Dark Angels on the hill took the objective, and the other unit sought to gun down Cypher. Combined with the Ravenwing, they actually managed to knock 2 wounds off of him! I had to get Cypher to that trenchline as soon as possible!

The noose tightens...
 Luckily the Dark Angels botched a charge attempt on Cypher, losing another man to an Overwatch shot. On my turn, Cypher took out their plasma gunner with a plasma pistol shot before jumping into the safety of the trench.

The Chaos Warlord, now standing alone against a Deathwing Sgt and Deathwing Terminator, unfortunately had his luck run out and was defeated.

If you're keeping count, you'll notice that I am effectively tabled at this point. I only have Cypher left!

Only the Ravenwing and those 2 Deathwing Terminators could shoot at Cypher, and they did, and he was fine. They then charged. The Deathwing Shrugged off the Overwatch shots, but the DW Sgt was brought down by Cypher's plasma pistol in combat. The Ravenwing didn't take him out, but the surviving Deathwing Terminator did, and with a zealous fury, caught the accursed Fallen!!!

No where to run!


Yeah, I was tabled, but I had so much fun with this game that I didn't care about whether I won or lost. Just trying to get Cypher off the table was the trick, and it was a tough trick to pull off. Even if I had escaped that close combat, there was a squad of Dark Angels now in the way...

I like how the Dark Angels get 'Zealot' when they face Cypher, and it really does make them a vastly superior fighting force than when you face them under normal circumstances. 

Cypher looks great on paper, but in practice, not having an invulnerable save make him easy to catch. Despite what he can dish out in combat, it's best to keep him away from an assault. Yeah, he's Shrouded from shooting, and that helps.

What might have helped me would be if I had remembered that my vehicles have Warpflame Gargoyles! Yes, my face-palm could be heard in three States when I realized this earlier as I was typing all this up! LOL -All well, it didn't matter at all in the last game I had them anyway. Perhaps it's time for me to invest in some of those cook flame counters that I see people using?

So again, we both had a blast, and with Bob heading overseas for a few months this game should serve as a grand send-off for him. I hope when he returns we can find time to play another Cypher scenario! 

Check out Bob's take on this event here: