Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where (Blood) Angels Dare

Good weekend! Although my painting/modeling output has been slow over the past fortnight, I have made some progress that will soon materialize into some posts. Speaking of materializing...

Materializing onto the field of battle, ready to engage the foe!

Last night I did get in a game with Jim's Blood Angels. Fresh from his recent victory he spotted me upon walking into Hobbytown, slapped me with his blood encrusted gauntlet and challenged the Company of Sven Axegrinder on the field of battle! To make things more appealing, a relic of importance to the Space Wolves Chapter was at risk of being confiscated by the Blood Angels. Sven, being of both a stubborn and noble character (and, it must be stated, a naïve sort of fellow), was quick to launch the Thunderhawks.

The army assembled.
The Relic is a yellow base with a Space Wolf icon on it. A rather basic objective marker that I made for the a previous edition that occasionally still finds a use. The field of battle was 2/3 wilderness with a 1/3 of ruined city. I imagine that this fight is taking place at the edge of an old habitation zone, long torn asunder by the state of constant war that besets the Imperium of Man.

Space Wolves deployed 1st. On my left flank, my venerable Landspeeder Tornado (the Chairlift of Death) lurks behind a rock column. In the distance behind a rocky outcrop (that's what those turd-looking things are supposed to be),

I place the Long Fangs on the high ruins on my side, while the Vindicator is placed behind a tree line to get a bit of cover.

In the ruined streets to the right of the Long Fangs is a rhino with more Grey Hunters riding in it and the Lone Wolf, sitting in the shadows mourning the loss of his comrades and humming the catchier melodies of Piotyr and the Wolf to himself as he works himself up in preparation of a heroic death.

Nice dilapidated bastion huh?

The Blood Angels deploy and the bulk of their battle-line is shifted to where my forces are lightest. He has the best chance to grab the objective 1st as his Death Company are all jump infantry and the objective is directly in front of him

 Failing to seize the initiative the Blood Angels watch as the screaming roar of the Space Wolf drop pod tears down from the heavens. The screaming is actually Wolf Lord Sven, raging at the horribly miscalculated scatter that sent the drop pod 12" off target and in between the woods! More infuriating is the drop pod blocks most of the Long Fang's LOS to the relic and the bulk of Jim's Blood Angels.

 Two dreadnoughts ambling over in the BA deployment zone seem pretty threatening to me, so a concentrated krak missile volley eliminates the Death Company Dreadnought. As you see in these pics, and as I mentioned in a previous post, Jim loves to make cool effect for this game. Seen here is on of the explosion plumes he made. He has his dreads made so that the torso can separate from the legs, and when we wrecked the dreadnought we separated the two halves and placed a plume in between them. It makes in interesting pic for a battle report and makes for a more interesting battle to play in.
First Blood goes to the Space Wolves as the Death Co. Dread is reduced to scrap.

 That was First Blood, my Land Speeder zipped up and tried to slag the BA Predator with a multimelta shot but missed. My Vindicator would announce itself by sending 4 Deathcompany marines to their graves. Not a bad 1st turn for the Space Wolves.

The Blood Angels return the favor, with the Predator noting the Landspeeder's immediate threat and swatting it from the sky with a single blast from a Las Cannon sponson. We noted the event as "second blood", More calamity would occur with the Green Dreadnought shooting it's twin-linked lascannon at the Rhino on my right flank, turning it into a smoldering crater and killing one of the Grey Hunters inside of it.
"Weren't we in a tank a second ago?"
 On Turn Two, my force would concentrate it's fire on eliminating the Death Company with the Vindicator landing another direct hit that would finish off all but the Chaplain, and even he was left standing with a wound. On the BA turn 2, the Terminator's would beam in along with the BA Commander, and the two Terminator squads, each with the respective army commander joined to it, staring each other down behind a hail of Storm Bolter shots. I lost a Wolf Guard to this attack. Note that the Chaplain joined the Terminator Unit.

Beaming in. Note that we had a flashlight above them for the added glow effect.
 The BA Tac squad moved into the dilapidated bastion and fired a krak missile at the last SW Rhino, but it missed.
Jim's firing missile marker.
 Turn 3, and it was time kill stuff. The problem with teleporting in is that you don't get to spread out, which makes the Vindicator's Demolisher Cannon giggle with glee as shoots another directed hit on of the BA commander's head. The entire Terminator squad is wiped out, including the BA commander (Slay the Warlord point) leaving, once again, the Chaplain alive. This left us to wonder it maybe the Chaplin is a curse the units he joins? As he stands their contemplating this, he is felled by a snapshot from the Vindicator's Storm Bolter. Shooting through cover, the Long Fangs manage to blow up the Predator with some surgically precise krak missile shots, leaving another flaming crater in the BA deployment zone.

BA turn 3 saw the Green Dreadnought getting some revenge for his fallen Commander. A well placed shot at the Wolf Guard, and a failed Look Out Sir roll, would see Sven instant-deathed by a twin-linked lascannon shot.

Turn 4, the wolf guard press on taking the fight to the Blood Angels who had just made a mad dash out of the Bastion in a desperate gambit to find some way to get the relic, while my Rhino zips up, deploys a unit of Grey Hunters and they manage to take the relic in triumph!

Lined up for a perfect shot the Vindicator was set to shoot the green dread. Having spent the whole game charging up the field, the Long Wolf was poised to charge the green dread (his Beastslayer oath ment that he was born to engage this foe!), when suddenly, surprisingly, the rhino fired it's hunterkiller missile and it actually hits, and actually penetrates, wreaking the dreadnought! We all looked around in shock, having rarely seen one of these actually work so well!
"...! AH! You bastards! That was going to be MY kill!!!"
Reduced to one unit, the BAs at the bastion fought back, but to little effect.

Turn 5 saw the rhino make it's escape with the relic, while the wolf guard moved in for the kill. The vindicator sent more Blood Angels to their grave, but they held on, refusing to be pinned.

Finally, it all ended, as the Wolf Guard charged in and finished off the Tactical Squad in the assault phase in the game.

For the 1st time in a long time, the Space Wolves tabled their foe! And with few casualties.
Still, the Blood Angels got a few well placed licks in as well.

We had a fun game, and despite the game turning grim for him quickly, Jim remained a good sport all the way through. In fairness to Jim, his dice just didn't want to be there and were just begging to be shot off into the lake with a sling-shot.

He earned 2 VPs (One for his Slay the Warlord kill on Sven, and another quite humorously from my Lone Wolf surviving the game!)

I claimed 6 vps, all 3 secondary objectives as well as the Relic which was worth 3vps.

Afterwards we went to work on improving his army list. He has some models that he has yet to build which I think could make his force far more competitive than it currently is. Including an assembled Rhino and an assembled Razorback. Also he has a Baal Predator model somewhere I think could bring some hurt if he were to use it. So, like all of us in our circle, we take these kind of games and we weigh our strengths and weaknesses vs. our playing styles and make adaptations for the next list. Jim is fairly new to 6th edition and hasn't played consistently since 2nd, so he's learning a lot still, and regardless of his dice, he's having a good time escaping with us to a place where there is only war...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Orcs! (With a 'C') part 2

For the past 2 weeks I have been scrambling to get my fantasy orcs completed by today, but I grossly underestimated post-workday burnout and other non-hobby related distractions. Never-the-less, I have made some progress! On the chariot I made quite a bit of progress but I will showcase that in it's own post. But I have made, what has got to be a speed record for me, quite a bit of progress on the spear regiment.

By the morning of May 24th this was where I was at with orcs.

I had spent a few evenings clipping the legs and bodies off of the sprues and cleaning off mold lines. Probably my least favorite thing about miniatures is mold lines. They are annoying to have to contend with and I always find one in the middle of painting the model that I've missed. They are my bane. Anyway, like I have shown in other blog posts, I add the gravel to my bases this early in the process. After taking some time to glue that on, it was time to go out to my deck for some priming action.

I had cleaned off the spears as well and primed them with bodies. The other components I left on the sprues and primed them as they were. Note the 'command' sprue, the one on the right, appears to be mangled?

My local, and now sadly gone, favorite gaming store that was around about 10 years ago received a box from their distributor that badly damaged and the owner gave me the box because he couldn't sell it.

Although that one sprue had a few bitz detached everything was there. One of the shield sprues was warped but no big deal. At the time I had no intention of playing WHFB I just figured I could use the bodies for 40k and just add on left over parts from a Orks boxed set. So I got this damaged box and it stayed in my mini-closet until recently.

 On May 26th I began the base coating stage by painting all the flesh in Dark Angel's green (actually the new version, 'Caliban green' I think it's called), and the weapons, teeth and base a dark brown color.

I also separated the left arms and heads. over the span of about a week I slowly applied Goblin Green, and the thinned yellow/green ink washes to all the orc skin.

This was the level the regiment was at as off June 9th. The black clothing was highlighted with a gray tone.
I am always tempted to just leave the heads off and paint a single eyeball on the neck stumps... :)
 By the evening of June 12th I had the heads on my, troops, attached as well as their arms. I did this in a way that hope will make it so that they will rank-up properly. The only factor I've not accounted for is the shields I will be adding to these guys, so I hope I have provided enough room to accommodate them.

Last night I added Bleached Bone to the teeth (these models have teeth not just in their mouths but also hanging from necklaces, ear rings, etc.). and I used various browns to paint up the leather bits. As you might be able to spot on some of the arms, that I have also begun to paint the next highlight stage on the orc flesh.

Also I applied Tin Bitz to the spear heads, but each one was applied a different amount of this color. I intend to make the heads of these spears appear like old farm equipment, or weathered tools with must the edges highlighted in silver. Some will be rustier than others. Looking at the way these are sculpted and seeing how GW tends to paint these in their product shots, it doesn't make sense to me that these would be shiny and bright, but weathered more like and old hoe or a rake, but no less deadly in the hands of these brutes.
The early stages of the nasty spear heads.

So, I will not make today's deadline. Not possible I think. But I have still made decent progress and will continue to hammer out this army at this pace which I hope to carry over to the 40K orks. If I can just keep from coming home exhausted that is,,,;)

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Teleporter effect for 40k

Here's something cool my buddy Jim came up with:

Yes, those Terminators are beaming in to kill Da Masta Cheef's vile inquisitor and lackeys. When I walked in during their game, I saw the terminators in this awesome field effect off to the side and I instantly comprehended what was going on: these models had yet to beam in! It was a great way to remind himself so he wouldn't forget about them, and it looks cool as heck on the table top.  But where did Jim find that template?

Well, he made it!

How? More like from what. He made it from a 2 liter Mountain Dew bottle. He just cut it to the height he wanted, painted on the shimmering effects with white paint, and that's it!

Jim is also a fairly good hand model.

The cool thing is that it coils around the models without forcing any stress on them, so it doesn't snap too tight to harm the models and is adaptable depending on the size of the unit that you want to have appearing to beam in. You just got to have a bit of care while cutting it out as the surface of the bottle can be sharp and tricky, and know how you want your 'shimmering' effect to appear. Most of which he painted on the outside, with a few on the inside to get a sort of 3D illusion to take place.

So there you have it! Thanks Jim for the great idea!


Monday, June 03, 2013

Tau about that?

Deploying in cover.

Taking a break from painting a sea of green (more on that in a future post) I found myself scrambling an army together and marched over to HobbyTown-USA in Johnson-City where Da Masta Cheef and I decided to give his girlfriend's newly constructed Tau army a workout. It was my 1st game against the new Tau Codex, so I was expected to be gunned to death. We both took pics and are both writing battle reports  (in fact, he has beaten me to it, the-first-engagement-of-my-gfs-tau-army. (kinda of bold using 'engagement' and 'GF' in the same sentence, but that's the Cheef's fearless tendencies for you).

To make this fun for us, I have intentionally not yet read his battle report, just for the sake of perspective and to make it fun to compare and contrast the two against each other.

1500pts of Ultramarines
 So once again I mustered the but with a few unit adjustments. This time I wanted to use both Legion of the Damned and Sternguard, but I was limited to only 5 Legion of the Damned. The whirlwind ought to make a mockery of the Tau's pathetic attempts to stay at arm's length from me. Muhahaha!

The Tau assemble.

The Tau totally camped out in this building. We suspect it is a brothel...

The Tau deploy the big guns. They never tire apparently, which is why they weren't allowed in the brothel...

"Sarge! Xenos scum have taken the brothel?! They're ruining our shore-leave!"
Once again we had diagonal deployment and once again I rolled Master of Cities for my Warlord trait! This is becoming a trend, but one that I like (so long as I am playing on this board). I tried to position the Whirlwind so it could strike deep into the Tau position but not be so easily picked out by his big guns. The Landraider was packed with Sternguard.

"Concentrate fire on the brothel, we MUST retake it!!!"
 We had 4 objective markers scattered about the board, in the pic above there is a building with black and white tiles to the right of the Land Raider. On the opposite side of it is an objective marker. On this side of it there is a squad of Tactical Marines that will quickly take it.

On the 1st turn, we just moved in a bit, taking objectives and getting our shots lined up. Tau has the first turn, where he attempted blast the Land Raider but failed to do any harm to it. He killed these marines:
The first to go to Ultramarine Valhalla!

The two on the bottom are from the squad that was stacked up in the tall building, the in the middle was in the squad under the squad in the tall building and the guy in the rear was sniped by from the squad that too the closest objective to my line.

On my first turn we killed only 3 Tau, one from a bolter shot and two from the scattering whirlwind.

Turn two would set the stage for who was going to have the toughest uphill climb...

The 1st stealthsuit unit enters the Tau's zone, while Da Cheef premeasures his target...

The 2nd Stealthsuit arrive in the Utlramarine DZ.
 These Stealthsuits changed the game for me, taking away my biggest gun by blowing up the Whirlwind! And getting the First Blood VP!!!

The Sternguard React.
On my turn two, after watching most of my other units getting picked apart by Tau firepower, my reserves arrived. More on that in a sec; check out how the Land Raider Turned around and discharged the Sternguard....
The results of the Sternguard reacting! was a thorough and deep cleansing as they mowed the Stealthsuits down!

They arrived, with a boom box blasting 'Maiden's Children of the Damned.

The Legion of the Damned arrived, and they blew apart the Devilfish! On turn 3, they would be completely blown away by the Tau big guns! (Da Cheef hates metal and would have none of that racket in his DZ!) I think I stated that a 3+ invulnerable saves looks good on paper, but I can't roll anything higher than a 2, it doesn't matter anyway. Not seeing how they earned back their worth in points, when I might've had the same result with a lame scout squad! LOL!

The Librarian and his Terminator Squad arrives! "Focus on the brothel men, we must save those ladies!"
My Librarian shows up, focusing on dealing with the concentration of xenos filth that infests this particular zone. They dumped everything they had at the Crisis Battlesuit in the ruins, and managing only to knock out his drone...(Arrrgh! Frustrating dice!!!)

Imagine LOTS of tracers, lasers, missiles, bullets, women's undergarments, and obscenities blasting the terminators!
The rain of firepower that was dumped into this Terminator squad could've wiped out an Imperial Guard unit! Some how the Librarian lived, albeit with a single wound, and two terminators.

"Take the brothel! You are expendable, it is NOT!!!"
Notice in the pic above that there is only two terminators now? The other was shredded by the utterly INSANE amount of overwatch fire that this unit endured! It is a miracle that any of them survived. To add insult to injury, the Terminators failed to wipe this squad out on the charge and would be stuck in combat until the top of turn 4.

"HA! We did it!" "Sir, what about the other squad?" "...sigh.."
The Tau army warlord would come around the corner and kill the Librarian, earning the Tau a Slay the Warlord VP, while the remaining terminator would kill the Tau commander's partner and then charge the Tau commander, who in turn kills the terminator with overwatch shooting!

The sole survivor of the squad that started on the burnt out rhino.

 This guy would have his unit gunned down by Stealtsuits and Drones, but manage to dive into the door of the Shrine of the Aquila where he could see the objective on the other side of the door and the Tau squad holding it. He threw a frag grenade, which scattered and killed a Pathfinder...

"Liquidate him.:
 ...not taking that crap, that squad would line up, and gun down the trooper, who never lost sight of the goal while never seeing the odds stacking up so badly against him...

Moving up the street...
 This pic shows the crater, where for about 3 turns of the game I had a unit holding this objective. The big guns of the Tau reduced them to ash. just to the left there is another set of ruins where the surviving Sgt from the squad that was holding the tall building was hiding out, waiting for a last minute grab for this objective, however he was spotted by that gun drone and was killed.

"Sir, they just won't give up that brothel; it must really be the best in the sector!"

The Sternguard had deployed from the Landraider and tore apart the Tau that was on the upper level of the ruins, but they did not break, but instead went down stairs to claim the objective! ( !@#$% BASTARDS!!!!) while their Commander wandered over to see what the big deal was about these Sternguard. He even killed one! My Landraider killed that last Crisis suit, and turned it's attention on the Stealtsuits...

 ...while the machine spirit targeted the unit holding the objective at the Shrine of Aquila. The shots on the Stealthsuits failed to kill anything.

"Ignore him and he'll go away!"
The Sternguard ignored the tasty targets of the Tau Commander and the Stealthsuits and instead fired long range at the Tau holding the objective at the Shrine of the Aquila. Although they killed a good chunk of the unit, they just couldn't kill them all and the Tau simply refused to run away!

"We held this useless ruin for 6 rounds and NOW you tell us that the other place was a brothel?! Damn it!"

 This squad above held the objective for the whole game, taking only a single casualty on turn one. They shot down a lot of drones in this game and made a lot of saves! Well done men, you earned us our 3 VPs! While the Tau took two objectives, plus two secondary objectives to earn 8 VPs total!

So, my thoughts on Tau? They finally live up to their hype as the best guns in the galaxy! OMG -the amount of firepower! Staggering! Especially on the overwatch reactions! This would've been a sick game if I had brought the orks (which I almost did). The markerlights have always annoyed me, but in this game they didn't make too much of a difference. The shoot-around-corners missiles were a surprise but not one that felt I could do anything about. The Tau's use of cover saves was impressive as well. I look forward to seeing more of this army, and I wonder if Da Cheef's gal would let me paint a Crisis suit (simply because I have never painted a Tau model before)?

The sternguard, again, I love this unit and SO wish the Space Wolves had something this awesome!

All in all, a good game, although I kept wondering how the Space Marines earn the background they have when their in game performance would suggest otherwise? A rant for another time...

The cruel tutelage of Screech.
Over on the other table Screech has been showing Jim how to maximize the cheese in his army list while showing him that he can do the same with his. I hear it was a total bloodbath!

Honorable mention to Ben who showed up in the beginning to wow us with his High Elves! I hope to be sacrificing Orcs to him in the near future...

Till next time!