Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Ravenwing SHOULD have Jetbikes!

Pic from the original White Dwarf article (illustrated by Pete Knifton)
There are rumors out there that the Dark Angels could finally get access to more Jet-bikes. As this rumor spreads throughout the various forums and rumor-mongers push and pull on this topic, I keep seeing readers commenting on how they think the Jet Bike should remain unique to the Master of the Ravenwing Sammael. I disagree, the fact that the Sammael model even exists hints, to me, that this was a step towards restoring the Ravenwing to it's original background.

Say what?

Yup, original. The Space Marine jetbike (the Mk 14 'Bullock' Jet-Cycle) was introduced at the same time and in the same White Dwarf article as the Ravenwing. A particular passage talks about how the Ravenwing Company made a sub-orbital drop with their jetbikes to engage and surprise the enemy in the relief of Rynn's World. In the last Dark Angel Codex, this background was slightly re-tooled and incorporated into the background of Sammael himself (accept now it's just him and him alone, and the 11 drop-ships are now reduced to a single Thunderhawk). This was White Dwarf #96. I want to also say that this was the 1st introduction (with exception to the scraps of info in Rogue Trader itself) to a lot of background elements that would later evolve into the larger story for the Dark Angels and perhaps even the Horus Heresy itself.

GW Catalog page. Note that an original plastic marine from the Imperial Space Marines boxed set was required

Here are the original stats just to blow your mind as to how awesome Rogue Trader was! Granted, it's been so long since I looked at these I can't recall what the 2nd set of stat's are, let alone the meaning of the abbreviations or the rules to use them! But the top row should be easy for you to figure out: the Jet-Cycle was FAST! (Yup, that's 300" a round! Only the Eldar Jetbike was faster!)

So, the Ravenwing were originally a Jetbike Company, and I for one would love to see them return. Not just because of the historical 'full-circle' this would create, but it would give the Dark Angels the edge that they lost when the other Chapters started to get new toys, and when the White Scars trumped them in the biker dept. And it would give me new toys! :) Besides, it seems silly to have the Master of the Ravenwing zipping along the battlefield on a Jetbike while his troops 'tag along' on their ground bikes. "Wait for us boss, we have to determine how to ford this stream! Emperor damit, he's over it and the next hill already..." Not to mention the logic in this from a leadership perspective. If you're the enemy and you wanted to perform a decapitation strike against the Ravenwing, just target the git that's flying around by himself! LOL

The 2nd generation of jetbikes. The pilots were the same as the ones for the ground bikes.
Looking around online, I have found that I'm not alone. There seems to be a small scattering of Marine Jet-Bike cults lurking about out there converting and customizing their own versions. There also seems to be quite a bit of excitement surrounding Forgeworld's Horus Heresy era Space Marine Jetbikes as well.

Original advert. And I used to think these were expensive back then!
I still say the xmas marine with the tankard would make a great Wolf Guard!

So, here's hoping the rumors are true and that we'll have some Dark Age of Technology goodies soon!


Image Copyrights respective to holder (Games Workshop) used without permission and for review purposes only

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Waaagh Plane! Part 2

Continuing on where I left off (and no, I won't explain the time gap), the pic above is of the pilot that I finished...oh, back in June or July. Whenever this kit was released! LOL, it's now mid-September (see, there is a gap) and this pic was taken that far back. Anyway, this part of the model isn't assembled beyond this stage yet, as it makes sense to me to put the cockpit in absolutely last after the model has been sealed or fixed or glazed or whatever so as not to screw up the clear canopy. I know, I could mask it, but that's always more work than necessary. Personally, I don't understand why GW has the canopy added so early in the instructions, I can't imagine how many kids must screw up their kits trying to paint past and around the bloody thing!

So Sunday evening I got the bug to just tackle this thing. I went an applied another mostly thinned layer of Scorched Brown to the fuselage. Then I added a thinned down layer of Scab Red

I then added a a thicker layer of Scab Red.

Her is the underside, when I remembered to added the landing...skid? Ski? and grab hook. Seeing these things land has GOT to be entertaining by the way... I wonder if the Kult of Speed comprehend slowing down to land or do they not stop until the jet has been hooked by something?

Here is where I stopped Sunday night. As you might be able to tell, I was adding bits to it as I painted it. Seems to be the best way to do this kit, and so I'm pleased...

After reading the stats and options, it occurred to me that only a fool would pass up the option to by additional Super-Shoota's and since there's another set in the kit for the Blitz Bomba, I figured, what the heck! Go for broke man! This next pic shows that extension as well as the 1st wing.

Here's both wings with the scorched brown base coat. For that 'rusted through' look. Should make more sense when it's finished.

...and here it is with the added scab red and all the super-shoota's added! That's a lot of Dakka for me Dakka Jet!

We're almost there, soon it'll be ripping apart the gitz that stand before us! update in the Chinese New Year! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Dredd-fully good time

My brother and I just saw the new Judge Dredd movie, Dredd 3-D.

I shall preface this review with a reason why I'm suddenly reviewing movies on a GW-fan-Hobby Blog. You see, without Judge Dredd and his 2,000 A.D. cohorts and cast members, the Warhammer 40,000 universe wouldn't be quite the same. Way back in the mid-'80's, around the time the GW designers were sculpting the 1st Space Marines, GW had the licence to make Judge Dredd miniatures as well as publish the Judge Dredd RPG. The early 40K universe presented in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader was a mish-mash of influencing sci-fi genres: Dune, Aliens, Starship Troopers, and probably many others, but the strongest influence on the worlds of the Imperium, those places your marines are dying each week to protect, is undoubtedly Judge Dredd.

GW's Judge Dredd RPG

The world of Judge Dredd is basicly a dying wasteland with vast cities of humanity stacked and sprawled across hundreds of miles dotting the continents. Resources have been plundered and squandered long ago, or destroyed in the post atomic hell-scapes of the earth. Most citizens don't venture far from the blocks that they live and work in. The population so dense and numerous the Judges, the law enforcers of the Mega-Cities, are too few to deal with all of them. They are empowered to act as Judge, Jury and executioners for immediate and on the spot dispensation of justice. They are the law.

Jes Goodwin design sketch of an Adeptus Arbite
The worlds of the Imperium are either on the way, or already are, dying wastelands with vast hive cities of humanity dotting the continents. Stacked (more so than sprawled) across the continents, spewing forth pollutants and chemical waste as they pump their world dry of whatever resource of value that they can find and use. Most citizens don't venture far from the blocks that they live and work in. The population is so dense and numerous the Judges of the Adeptus Arbites, the law enforcers of the Hive worlds, are too few to deal with all of them. They are empowered to act as Judge, Jury and executioners for immediate and on the spot dispensation of justice in the name of the Holy Emperor on Terra. They are the law.

Not too much difference huh? The judges of both worlds see their worlds as a ceaseless cess-pool of crime. They see the Law as an ultimate, unwavering line that is unforgivable to step over. Extreme black and white: no gray. No sympathy or compassion for those that they dispense justice too. After all, you chose to commit that crime perp, now here's your sentence!

Yes, that is a Space Marine.
So back in 1987 the earliest blister packs of the new Warhammer 40,000 recycled some of these old Judge Dredd models, particularly the various perps, as "Space Pirates". Some packs had a few generic aliens from GW's Dr.Who miniature line tossed in as well (one of my models says 'Timelord' on the base tag, which I have used as an Astropath). I have quite a number of these that I gathered over the years, and they don't look very 40K-like much at all. Not to mention that most of these models didn't really have supporting rules in the Rogue Trader book, so much as they had a supporting role in filling up the gaps in the blister racks of the day. So awkward was this early launch of 40K, that the two brands even shared a product, Citi-Block, which had floor plans to use in recreating table-top blockwars. This background element rarely finds it's way onto the warzones of the 41st millennium, but make no doubt, the underhive is a warzone. The Necromunda game (and it's predecessor Confrontation) both dealt with gang warfare in the Underhives with the Judges/Enforcers of the Adeptus Arbites as a constant threat to the survival of the gang.

Fast forward 25 years later to today, and we find that only the look of the Arbites has (albeit slightly)changed (not so much for Dredd) except now they have cyber-mastiffs and 40k specific gear. As I read through The Book of Judgment for the Dark Heresy game I kept thinking about Judge Dredd and how far, and yet not so much, that GW has evolved the judges of their worlds. And literally today as I was watching this movie, I was thinking: "This is my next Dark Heresy campaign: Judges cleaning up the underhive!"

The top row were released for 40K 2nd ed, the bottom row were released for Confrontation.

Which, onto the review, is what we got with Dredd 3-D: Judges cleaning up the underhive. In Mega-Citi 1, whole City blocks rise up to the smoggy heavens in vast skyscrapers.This was poorly presented in the mid-'90s Judge Dredd movie but perfectly presented here in Dredd 3-D. Especially the gangs and how they fight for control over the various levels of a given block. Dredd and Anderson find themselves looking into a triple homicide but stick their noses in a bit too far, upsetting a very powerful crime lord, who will stop at nothing to protect her operations. To say too much more might give away too much, but I will say that I left feeling like I just read a classic Judge Dredd story. Dredd is never seen with his helmet off. Which is usually the case in the comics as well. The snear, the attitude, the unwavering persuit to serve justice to those he has targeted -all these things- are perfectly presented here. The awesomeness of the 'Lawgiver', which thankfully is improved here vs. the comics, makes for some great entertainment as well. And it left me wanting to play a game where I could control a judge, and clean out a hive spire of the filth that inhabits it.

Awesome grenade options: another thing GW swiped from Dredd.
Go see it, Unless you dislike blood. Cause I think as far as recent action movies go, maybe only Hobo with a Shotgun had more blood and guts than this does...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Rogue Trader Imperial Guard

The fate of all Imperial Guardsmen...

After our game this past Sunday, the Doctor pulled out his latest Imperial guard models. Let me explain the history of these models. He bought his 1st box of these models the week (perhaps even on the day) of release back in '89 in down-town Ipswich at our local game store (War & Peace) . The 1st few models he painted were based on the schemes found on the back of the box and within White Dwarf. This was a regiment that was tithed from a mysterious planet called 'Necromunda'. The 'Necromunda Spiders' they were called. 

The paint scheme was simple: Grey uniform, black flak jacket, Silver Helm, brown boots & belt, and brown pockets.

He painted only a few of these models back then, before moving back to the states.

Painted by the Dr, 1989 in Suffolk UK.

The fellow to the left is one of these models from that time. Complete with wing icon on the shoulder and squad numerals. It was this model that I wanted to copy. I spent a summer with him back in '94 and he allowed me to paint some of this models for him.

Painted by Neverness in '94

This was a squad that was based on the original IG list in White Dwarf and inspired by a piece of Paul Bonner artwork. The Space Marine back packs were originally 'Jump Packs' according to both Rogue Trader and the back of the original boxed set. The gear we refer to today as 'jump packs' were originally 'flight packs'. This is a squad of Imperial Guard with jump packs. Note that the Doctor was experimenting with some different base techniques back then, and this is one of the ones he intends to redo.

IG painted by Neverness '94

This is another group of Imperial Guard that I painted that summer as well. i think I would've painted them all had we more time. We're not sure, but it's possible that a few of these guys might've been painted by him. We're not sure, as our styles were sort of close at this point. Note the Sgt. with the 'Confrontation' sawed-off shotgun!

Painted by Neverness, '97-'98?

I painted these models at a later point, around '97 or '98. It was around this point that I started to gather some of these classic IG myself, ordering the female IG from the UK Mailorder. The Dr. allowed me to paint this one for him, as well as this IG Sgt.

Now, onto these newest models. Or rather, the latest models. The Doctor ended up making a strange deal with a guy we'll call 'Ford'. Over the past 10 years Ford had to paint a huge pile of models for him. The years weren't the deal, it just took him that long to do it. Ford was permitted to model these figs, with the encouragement to make them as dynamic as possible. So the Dr. provided him the bits to do it, as well as the newer style of Lasguns from the newer versions of the IG plastics. The only rule that Ford had to follow was to stick to that original paint scheme. He did very well we think:

I hope these picks give a good indication of the dynamic poses Ford came up with! But my favorite has got to be the one at the top of this article! That guy has to be the one in front! LOL

So in case you're wondering, yes, I have Imperial Guard. And I will be following this paint scheme as well. I hope to be able to show you some soon...


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

2nd 6th edition game

The Dr's Kommandos. A reminder that I should paint my own someday.
Last night the Dr. and I played 40K. This was my 2nd game of the new edition. It was a small game, 750 points, but I've been finding in this new edition that the smaller points games are taking us about as long to play as the 5th edition 2K point game. There are enough subtle changes to learn through to slow us down a bit.  

Space Wolf Deployment

I fielded my Space Wolves, which was just a subtle rules tweak to the list I used with Warfrog in that last report I wrote about.
  • 2 grey hunter squads (one with a rhino)
  • A landspeeder
  • Rune Priest as my HQ choice
  • 4 man Wolf Guard Terminator squad with Drop pod
  • Longfang squad with missile launcher

Shoota Boyz deployment

The Dr. fielded his Orks. Which I tried to recall as being:
  • A warphead
  • 2 squads of gretchin with the required amount of Runtherdz
  • 2 squads of Shoota Boyz.
  • 1 squad of Kommandos.
Shoota Boyz with Warphead ( the unpainted ork)

The battlefield was set up with Vanguard layout. Our mission was Crusade, Failing to steal the initiative the orks went first. It didn't seem that he could do much, except move his guys towards the objectives. That was, until, he rolled his Warpheadz' psychic powers and teleported him and his shoota boyz across the table, directly behind my Long Fangs.

Warphead and boyz attack the Longfangs from behind.
When the smoke cleared from all the shooting, the Long Fangs stood firm. Then they boyz charged. When the red mist settled, the Long Fangs were no more. In fact, each model died 3 times over! LOL

Aftermath of Kommando and Boyz assault
A similar thing happened with the Squad of Grey Hunters nearby who were wiped out by a squad of Kommandos that launched out of cover. It was a glorious 1st round for the Orks...

Drop Pod Assault
On my turn I tank shocked the warphead and shoot boyz who failed the LD test and bolted, but the real fire power was unleashed with the Runepriest Gnarl and the Wolfguard's drop-pod assault. With a heavy flamer, Deathwind missles, and living lighting, the Kommandos with quickly dealt with. 

Chasing the Warphead
The last of the Kommandos were eliminated by the terminator's assault phase, and they began pursuit of the Warphead.

Objectives seized

 Over on the other side of the table, the other half od the ork army (all troops choices I must stress) were happily seizing objectives. BTW, that strange white square is our last minute attempt at, "modeling" a pond! LOL. It worked for our purposes.

Dr's awesome ghost-faced grots surge forth!
A note on the Dr's grots: They are all totally customized (actually, the Dr.really can not stand fielding models that aren't unique) and I wanted to show them off here. Note that bases with 2 snottlings on them count as a single grot. This is a close up of them surging forth to assist the rallied Warphead and his boyz...

Yup, it was turn 3.
 ...who turned to charge the Rhino full of Grey Hunters. They wrecked the Rhino, and subsequently all the Grey Hunters jumped out the back, and gunned down the shoota boyz.

The Heavy Flamer of the Land Speeder Tornado showed up to flame a huge swath of the grot horde.

The Runtherdz assaulted the Speeder, and blew it up. The resulting explosion might have killed more grots then the heavy flamer did!

In the remaining turns the Grey Hunters eliminated the Runtherdz and the grots, and claimed a nearby objective, giving me my 1st 3 points. The Warphead, down to 1 wound,  hid denying me a bonus 1vp.

The game ended at the bottom of turn 5 with my Wolf Guard and Rune Priest trudging into the ork lines raining fire into the other Grot squad in a desperate bid to clear the orks of their objectives, but it was not to be.
Space Wolves 3VP

Some questions that came up that are basically due to the edition change. In fact, these are sort of subtle changes and they really threw more for a loop.

  • Charging a skimmer: Is the chance to hit no longer modified by how fast it moved in previous turns?
  • Attacking a moving vehicle. This gives a vehicle a WS1. Non-moving a WS0. If by having a WS1, does this allow the vehicle to "attack back" (i.e. those hobos who kill themselves or self-amputate themselves by trying to jump onto moving trains)?
  • Where the hell is the main rulebook FAQ!? C'mon GW!
  • There may have been other questions that I don't recall, if so I'll edit them in here later.
All in all, a fun game, We're hoping we again do it can on Friday.