Monday, August 13, 2018

Bad Moon Warphead (Part 1)



This project was initiated rather quickly. However I have only just begun it and there has been way too little progress to show you much, so first, a manifesto if you will:

As some of you know, I have been working on my Bad Moon Mega Armor Nobz and that, along with my recent nostalgia kick with the 2nd edition era Goffs, had got me thinking about how to truly complete this army. I know, some of you scoff (Da Masta Cheef likely just sprayed his morning drink across his monitor), but I do aspire to it. This vision of mine is rooted in the 'Ere We Go/2nd Edition Codex Orks approach to how a Waaargh comes together: mobs of Orks, gather from a variety of Clans to rally behind the strongest leader. The variety of clans favor certain combat roles and aspects from each other.

Since 3rd edition came along I really only thought about painting my Orks like Goffs, but this approach felt... incomplete. I loved my 2nd edition orks. I had Snakebites, Goffs, Bad Moons, Blood Axes, Deathskulls and Evil Suns all rallied under one leader and it was cool. But when 3rd edition came about the clans were greatly marginalized. The Design Studio had come to feel that the clanz were getting a bit too silly and wanted to return them to the earlier days of Rogue Trader when they were more maruader-like. Which is fine, but damnit couldn't we have the best of both worlds? In time, the clanz returned and we now do, indeed, have the best of both worlds.

And I am embracing it. My idea is to break my forces up into micro-armies. Battalions are probably the best way to represent this idea. Each specifically favoring a clan theme. As you can see from the two links in the 1st paragraph, the Goffs and Bad Moons are rolling along. I have huge plans for Blood Axes as well. They will dominate this blog at some future point. Deathskulls will mostly be my Lootas with a few Boyz mobz and some support. Evil Suns will be the vehicles and mechanized support. And my Snakebitz will be last simply due to the amount of time and space I will need for the Squigoth and also because there hasn't been a proper Feral Ork list in years!

And each of these will need a leader. Ror Ruk is my Goff Warlord usually. And I have ideas on who the Blood Axe and Deathskull Warlords will be. But I was stuck on the Bad Moon one. And earlier this evening it leapt out of the case at me: the classic Bad Moon Warphead!!! The really crazy one!

The crazed Badmoon Warphead.
And instead of trying to finish those Meganobz (you can see them lurking in the background) I set about starting on this guy. I was right about to greenstuff up his base to match the expanded bases on the Meganobz when I decided that he needed something a bit more....epic. Or rather heroic. Then I remembered the Hero Bases set, the first of which was used on She Who Milks,  the second one is being used on a Chaos character I have yet to post about (I think you guys will like that chap) and now this one, the broken Imperial Stairs.

A stairway to the stars.

I chose to use this one because the box for this basing kit has on it a Space Marine Librarian looking all powerful and bad-ass while standing on these stairs. I figured this Warphead, also being a psyker, will look like a defiant power-mad villain daring the gods to challenge him!

I added a few skulls to the stairs prior to taking it, and the Warphead, out for priming. But I might add more before it's all done. The Dark Angel heads are always a hit after all...

Good health to you. 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Bad Moon Mega Armor Orks (Part 2)

I have been slowly making progress on these original Mega-Armored Ork Nobz since I last posted about them. In order to just get through with this, I chose to break away the leader of these meganobz and just get him done. And with exception to his banner pole, he pretty much is now done.

The (mostly) finished Nazdreg miniature.

The miniature of Nazdreg, of which I discussed at length in the previous Bad Moon post, seemed to have attracted the most attention from me. After getting his paint job up to a certain level I pinned and glued his arms into position.

Nazdreg, right after his arms were pinned.
And over the course of like three weeks my available hobby time was greatly diminished, and I could only manage to dab some paint on here and there.

A dabbing session.

Eventually I dabbed on enough to get this guy mostly finished. In this pic I had finally settled on what color to paint his awesome shoota. I wanted to paint his gun yellow but it would have not looked right with his arm being yellow also so chose a weird sort of  'safety orange' color for parts of the weapon. I think this has turned out well.

You can dance ...if you want too.

This is from that era when the GW Design Studio had an uncontrollable urge to slap a skull on every part of every miniature, and old Nazdreg here was no exception. I painted the one on his knee a traditional bone color and some of the snaller ones were painted in a rusty/bronze. The glyphs on his shoulder also got the bronze simply because I was too indecisive on how to paint them. Traditionally ork glyphs are colored in contrasting colors but usually they are all a different from one another. Often this looks like a mess too me, so I feel that the solution to tone that mess done worked out very well.

"Skulls for da...wait ah sec..."

I thought the base needed something other than rocks and rubble, and It occurred to me that a marine helmet/head would be the nature choice. My recent work on the base for my Waaagh Plane incorporated elements of a destroyed Ultramarines bike, however there still too many Dark Angel players locally to not take advantage of the opportunity to take the piss out of 'em. So I painted up a spare head/helmet for use as a grisly trophy.

Another Dark Angel headed  for glory.

Using a bit of sponge, a liberal application of Blood for the Blood God paint was applied onto the bottom of the marine helm and in the area near where the head rests on the ground. The power claw got some too, perhaps suggesting that the corpse of this Astartes is mangled far worse than the evidence would show...

"Blood for the Blood God! Oy, did I really just say that?!"
Next up is his back pole and some grass on the base and this model will be done. Then the other three gits need their paint. Slowly, but surely, I will get there...

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Review: Curse of the Wulfen

Hello again. This is my review of Curse of.the Wulfen by David Annandale. This is a novelization of the Warzone Fenris campaign book of the same name that came out in the last half of Warhammer 40,000's 7th edition.

The synopsis is that members of the Space Wolves long lost 13th Company have started to appear in warzones throughout the galaxy and the Space Wolves are desperate to retrieve them before other, more puritan, factions of the Imperium find out about them. The reason being is that the 13th Company have mutated into Wulfen, and this is a secret geneseed flaw that the Space Wolves are desperate to protect. It doesn't help either that the Wulfen are only appearing in warzones under attack by the daemonic hordes of Chaos, further supporting the suspicion of warp-taint. So Logan Grimnar scatters the Great Companies to retrieve the 13th Company Wulfen where they may be detected, leaving only one Great Company to protect the Fang on Fenris. He strongly feels that this could be an omen foretelling the return of Russ himself, adding further urgency to the need to retrieve the 13th Company.

That sets things up, let us look at how Space Wolves are played like simpletons and set for a spectacular fall. If you are unfamiliar with the outcome of these events, then let me warn you now that there are some spoilers forth-coming.

While the Space Wolves are dealing with retrieving the Wulfen, the Dark Angels and the Grey Knights both get wise to what is going on. However the information the Dark Angels have acquired has been planted and manipulated by the Changling, the daemonic Tzeentchian trickster, and he has done a spectacular job playing to the suspicious and fanatical nature of the Dark Angels. The Grey Knights on the other hand are bit more skeptical and will come to choose to partner with the Space Wolves, although it is a reluctant partnership. The Wulfen's presence seems to be causing regular Space Wolves to change into Wulfen as well! The Wolves have enough foresight to understand the delicate nature of their situation and that the only way they will overcome this situation is with the aid of the Grey Knights. On the Shrine World of Vikurus, Brother Captain Stern of the Grey Knights and Logan Grimnar come to an understanding regarding the Wulfen, and the Grey Knights Brother-Captain gives the Great Wolf a warning that the Thousand Sons may be setting up an attack on Fenris. Alarmed, Grimnar rallies nearby Great Companies and sets course for the Fenris System 

One of these worlds is place called Midgardia which is interesting because most of the cities are in vast underground caverns. Midgardia has been mostly plagued by Nurgle and the population is discovered to have been ritually sacrificed in some very cruel and sinister ways. Splitting his forces Grimnar leads the underground assault while Egil Ironwolf leads the surface campaign.In the underground theatre we do get to see the Murderfang rampaging in it's bestial fury as it joins with his Wulfen buddies in hunting down and slaughtering daemons. It is all good fun until the ceiling collapses. Literally. This traps the majority of the Wolfguard along with Logan Grimnar, Ulrick the Slayer, and a lot of very important Space Wolf leaders, underground. They lose contact with the rest of the Space Wolves.

On Frostheim the Battle of Morkai's Keep began when Harald Deathwolf led a Thunderwolf Cavalry assault on the Alpha Legion and Tzeentchian Daemon allies.The Alpha Legion, lying in wait, activated the Keep's defenses and tore into the many Space Wolves gunships and descending drop pods. As casualties climbed by the second, Daemon Prince Lord Skayle appeared at the forefront of the slaughter, using his warp-tainted powers to massacre all before him as the tide of Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, and Cultists advanced. Thanks to the efforts of Wolf Scout Feingar, the defenses of Morkai's Keep were disabled and the tide turned in an epic show down. It was a grim and harrowing battle, with Harald Deathwolf being one ot the focus characters of the book

Spread thin, and spread over many conflicts the Wolves have left only Krom Dragoneye, F-up of Sanctus Reach, in charge of the Fang back on Fenris. A vision from Bjorn the Fell-handed prompts Krom to break his orders and rescue a group of Grey Knights who are besieged on Valdermani, The vision's portent being that failure to rescue these Grey Knights would spell the end of the Space Wolves Chapter. So off they go, and in a very intense battle, Krom is triumphant and succeeds in his task, and now united with Brother Captain Stern of the Grey Knights they turn their attention to stopping another Daemon Prince, Daemon Prince Tzen'char,  who has enslaved the world's Astropathic Choir for use in a diabolic ritual. Captain Stern slays this daemon prince but it is too late as swarms of daemons surge forth. They manage to stop this too, but were left with thinking that a larger, more strategic maneuver may have been pulled off. 

By the end of book the Dark Angels, having been conned so easily by the Changling into thinking that the mighty Space Wolves are falling to Chaos, leads, with The Rock at it's head, a massive fleet (including ships from fourteen Chapters of Space Marines. Knight Houses, a Titan Group and three Imperial Guard armies!) set to lay waste to Fenris and it's worlds... The book ends like the campaign book did, wondering how the Space Wolves and their worlds are going to get out of this one...

The bombardment of Fenris begins. From the Curse of the Wulfen campaign book. 

  • Did I like it? I did, although there was little surprises considering I had already read the campaign book. 
  • Was it hard to put down? Despite there being no surprises, I thought Annandale did a good job keeping the story moving without getting lost in the warporn minutiae like the Campaign books like to do. He kept the story moving while focusing on the intrigue. While yes, there is action, it is less of a grind to read through it than say a campaign book or a Thorpe Dark Angels novel. I thought he handled the trap of Midgardia particularly well. 
  • Could I care about the characters? The author genuinely tries to make the Murderfang cool, but it comes off more like...almost adorable. I have a hard time imagining that the Space Wolf commanders aren't laughing at this thing every time they see it, but then, they take Logan Grimnar's santa sled seriously, so what do I know? 
  • 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? While this is clearly one of those works commissioned tn support of a Campaign release, it was handled well and read better than I expected it would. The tone seemed to take itself a bit more seriously than Space Wolves Legends of Dark Millenium, and yet fits very well with it. 
  • Was I being talked down too? I didn't get a vibe like that at all from this book. Having said that I would not use this book as introduction to the Space Wolves, as it is assumed that you have some knowledge about them prior to engaging this material (i.e. knowing the difference between a Long Fang and a Blood Claw). 
  • How predictable is this story? Well, it is based off the campaign of the same name, so if you are familiar with that material in any way than this book will be very predicable. 
  • Do I recommend this book? If you are familiar with the Battlezone: Fenris campaign then I would say you might be able to pass on this one. If you want to know about how that campaign unfolded without tracking down a very expensive book, than this would be a good thing to grab. I found this retelling to be quick, smooth, and  somewhat insightful, particularly in the thought processes of some other key figures in the story. Especially Krom and Harald. 


You can find this story collected in the Legacy of the Wulfen Omnibus or as a download from the Black Library.



All images are Copyright Gamesworkshop Ltd. and used here for review purposes and not as a challenge to copyright. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Arena Rex Gladiator ready for GenCon (TSG feature)

Dr. TSG and Brian are heading to GenCon, but before they left the Dr. jammed on a Gladiator miniature to take with him for participation in Arena Rex. He and our pal Brian discovered Arena Rex while attending GenCon a few years ago and it has since become part of their con going schedule every time they have gone back.

Ready to kill! 

Ripped!

Prepare to be bashed! 

This was the first model completed in his new studio. Check out all those paint options! I dream of having a proper studio like this again...someday...

Now that is a nice rack!
"Trying to get some Arena Rex minis done by GenCon. Might get two finished. Man, I really could use some magnifying loupes..."

Begining preparation.

He wasn't able to get it totally finished yet, but since this was his first painting night in the new studio, and I also figure since GenCon is this weekend, that there would be no better time to share this than now.

Brian got his guy painted too and here he is:

This guy, Mago, looks like a survivor for sure! 

When I asked Brian for permission to share that pic with all of you here on the Chronicle, he not only agreed but graciously flooded me with pics of more of his Arena Rex miniatures. And here they are:
Khepros.

Ur-Kek.

Thoth.

Tiet-Khebi (female)

Sereqet (Eygptian for Damn Big Scorpian!!!)

Zahra

"Zahra can use Sereqet as a mount (so there are technically two Zahra figs).' -Brian



"The beauty shots (pro paint) are at
https://arenarex.com/collections/morituri. -And if you're interested to see how the game works, the rules are free to download: https://arenarex.com/pages/game " - Brian.

The guys are sure to send me updates over the weekend and hopefully they will include game pics that I can share here. If you are attending the con you should stop by the Arena Rex table and check this game out. Everyone tells me it is awesome.

The scene outside Brian's house, according to The Dr. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Kill Team Launch Party


Kill Team Party!

Hello! This past Saturday my local gaming store, Hobbytown USA hosted a Kill Team launch party. It was a big launch for Hobbytown, probably the biggest I have seen at this location. They had plenty of Kill Team products in stock (which they sold a lot of!) And they had multiple tables set up for purposes of conducting demo games. And according to Matt, the man cordinating the event, they had quite a turn out for their first session. That session ran from late in the morning until 5pm, and the evening session ran from 6pm until 10pm.


The Kill Team event poster.

The event had some nifty give-aways: buttons (aka badges for my UK readers), a poster (for those who arrived early enough to snag one) and some really cool CP tracker dials. And pizza.


The Reaper's Mirth assembled before a dial.

I arrived at the 6pm session with 2 teams in tow, but I decided to run with the Harlequins since I never got to use them in the previous version of Kill Team. Matt gave me a super quick crash course on the rules, I threw together a team of 7 Troupers for 98 points, rolled up some quirks and background (fun but not game affecting), and I was ready to hit the table.

Racing towards the Skitarii.

Bob and Matt were already pretty familar with the rules at this point, so we decided to try the 4-way team battle. Bob had Dark Angels, Matt had Tyranid Genestealers, Jim and Chyanne had Skitarii and I had my Harlies.  One of the new (and refreshing!) changes to the game is the Iniative phase. All parties roll off each round to determine the turn order for that round. This added some variety to this game for sure and was especially refreshing in a 4 way match like this.

Genestealers pour into the Dark Angel wall of bullets.
I had a difficult time adjusting to how charging works now, but it was more an adjustment from decades of learned behavior than it was comprehension. This early mistakes caused some tactical blunders that surely cost some Harlequin lives, but my biggest foes were the dice were using. If I hit, I rarely wounded, but my armor save attempts were especially frustrating as I pretty much failed most of the ones I was asked to make. All well! LOL!

Look who  is charging who.
Multiple charges in the fight phase was an interesting thing to experience. In the pic above a Genestealer charged a Skitarii, the my Harlequin charged that Skitarii, then another Genestealer charged my Harlie. It was definitely a  crazy and swirling melee!

Slaughtered by Genestealers.
Once I got my Leader engaged with a foe, I finally got to expeience the joy of the Harlequins Kiss shredding a target to death. By the time this had occurred I was down to less than half of my force being alive. Most of the Harlequin had been shot to death by Bob's uncanny ability to roll 6s on Overwatch!

Harlequin Leader showing the clockwork guys how to dance! 

Ultimately this game shrank down to an area of a single building, the structure the Dark Angels were holding onto tightly! With a few marines left to defend the building from the invading xenos, the Dark Angels stood firmly in piles of dead clowns and shattered chitton.

This Harelquin and Dark Angel fought each other for 5 rounds! 
I had one Harelquin that charged one of the Dark Angels on the 2nd storey of the ruins way back on turn 2. That fight carried on until it finished on the ground level on turn 6. The Harelquin trouper finally surrendered tobthe beating it had been taking.


Finally it ended, with Bob hanging on steadfastly against my sole surviving Harelquin and Matt's remaining Genestealer.

The grand finale.

It was good, fast-paced fun and once we master the rules it should go even quicker for us. We hope to run a campaign at some point to as to experience the leveling system as well. I haven't gotten the book yet but I had really good look through it. I'm definitely looking forward to making some more Kill Teams as the diversity looks very appealing to me. Also, those numbered counters that come with the boxed game will be really handy in future 4 way games for keeping up with whose turn it is.

Alpha Legion vs. Dark Angels.

While we played our game there were other KT games taking place as well as a massive Chaos vs. Dark Angel 8th ed battle.  I think the Dark Angels won, but it appeared to have been an bloody good game!

This looks like a fun party, yes?



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Magnetic Flight Stands (Review)


Magnetized to terrorize.

In my last post regarding the Reavers of the Obsidian Rose (part 3), I talked about magnetizing these jetbikes for easier storage. I wanted something that wouldn't be a customizing nightmare or take an agonizing amount of time. At first I found some customizing tips using a screw, but with some of my models already painted I feel this would be a disaster to attempt. Warfrog has some amazing flight stands that he uses with his Eldar but apparently the company that makes those has stopped producing them.

Shopping around online I found a vender that I thought may do the trick: The Magnet Baron. His catch-phrase is: Your DIY Super Magnetic Home. Seems like a tall claim, but after perusing the site, I was impressed enough to try it out.
"Your DIY Super Magnetic Home."*

The magnets I chose were the Medium ones. It was easy to choose as the Baron, wisely, used GW models for scaling purposes. I ordered 3 sets, enough to do all of my Reavers and with a few left over. And I waited.
My chosen selection.* 
Shipping was fairly quick and the package even arrived sooner than promised, which is always a small victory, yes? And here is what each kit has.

4 ball bearings, rods, and indented magnet and 8 flat magnets.
However no base was provided which is understandable as it is assumed that you are buying this kit to replace the rod for your kit's provided flying stand. But it is something to be aware of. Also, beware that there is no instructions provided, or on his site, so unless you're great at puzzles or just highly intuitive, be ready to correspond with the Baron like I did. I asked his lordship** for instructions and this is what he relayed back to me:

"for every rod there should be 2 flat magnets a ball bearing and a indented magnet. One flat goes on the models base. one goes on the bottom of the rod. the indented magnet goes on the model. The ball bearing goes in the indention on the rod."


I decided that I did not want to glue the two flat magnets to the base as I will not need this for storage purposes. Although in hindsigbt this does give the base a bit more weight so there is an added bonus for doing this other than making the rod detachable from the base. So, let's get to it then: First I glued the rod to the base using plastic cement.

Rod glued to base.

Next I added the ball bearing to the rod. Note that one of the rod is concaved so that the ball bearing fits perfectly when super-glued in.

Ball bearing attached. 
Ran into a slight snag with the concaved magnets as one broke when I attempted to seperate it from it's family. I think I can fix it with superglue but we'll see.
The damaged concave magnet.
Next I glued a concave magnet to the bottom of my model.
Concave magnet attached.
And presto: the model is done!

Done! Stable and balanced.

The ball mount allows you to make model poseable if you choose, which is a really cool bonus. The bikes seem to be a bit higher that I had anticipated, but I am OK with this. Additional bikes may be lowered by just cutting a 1/2" or so off the stand's bottom.

Zooming upward!
I am trying to decide if I want to paint the magnet or not. Since the ball bearing can not be painted after it is mounted, the whole point may be moot.
Angled down to straff ground targets.
Over-all I am pleased. It beats customizing my own and is also faster. I like the added bonus of being able to swivel the models as this was not a goal when I set out on magnetizing these things.  Also I'm pleased with my first purchase from the Magnet Baron and I will likely use him again. My only criticism is the lack of included instructions or guidelines. For that I give him a 'B-' grade instead of an A- grade for this product and for quick communication.

*These images are from Magnetbaron.com, used here for review purposes only.

**Just in case the Baron is truly a Royal (and not just a cool and catchy business name) I felt it safest to address him as such to avoid any disrespect.