Monday, October 31, 2016

Black Legion Terminators (part 1)

Since I had to push these guys ahead in the modeling queue in order to get my army up to 2k points in the most recent game  that I played using my Chaos Space Marines, I have continued to tinker on them. First off, I had to get the bases modeled and prepped. I did this using green stuff, rocks, modeling grit and lots of PVA glue.

Then I primed them with Citadel Chaos Black Primer (otherwise known as "the Expensive Shit"), then I tightened up the basecoat using Abaddon Black before applying Territorial Beige on the bases.

With luck, and persistence, I will have these guys fully painted by the next time I get to play with my Chaos goons in a full-sized 40k game...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kill Team: Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors (part 3)

Moving into the final stretch with these dark-hearted murder-elves, it's time to experiment with their flesh. This time I wanted to experiment specifically with the paint scheme that Games Workshop recommends using in their recent paint guides for Dark Eldar. The scheme I used in the past was fine, but the "alabaster" look on their 'eavy metal models looks nice. And the guides themselves make it look easy to achieve.

So we start with Rakarth Flesh. A good solid basecoat of the stuff.

Rakarth Flesh basecoat.

A wash of Reikland Fleshshade is liberally applied, making sure that it collects in the recesses.

Reikland Fleshshade is washed on.

Rakarth Flesh again. The Paint Splatter article I was following said this was a wash, which you could do if you watered the stuff down, however this would also collect in the recesses and just cover up up the Reikland Fleshshade. I decided not to wash this but apply a thick coat instead while staying clear of the recesses in order to create the illusion of a fading color.

Rakarth Flesh coat.

A layer of Pallid Wych Flesh was applied over this, leaving some Rakarth flesh exposed, mostly near the recesses, for the layering/tonal effect.

Pallid Wych Flesh layer.

 A final highlight layer of White Scar. Unlike a typical highlight, this was applied over most of the top layer. Doing this really exaggerates the pastey skinned Dark Elf look very well.

What do you think? I think it came out alright, and it was indeed a quick process. Next up, I will be using this technique on the models with exposed faces.

These faces are already at the Reikland Fleshshade stage...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Kill Team: Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors (part 2)

Following on from the last post on this topic, kabalite-warriors part 1, I can show you that I have made quite a bit of progress. Considering that this is 20 warriors, and how fleeting my hobby time is, I'm very pleased with the progess actually.

A chunk of the progress.

All but three models have their 'red parts' finished. The three models that I am holding back are the Sybarites and a special weapons model that I feel deserve more focus and less of an assembly-line approach when it's their turn for color.

Sybarites with armor base coats.

As stated in the last post, this scheme is based on a coven presented in the 5th ed  Codex: Dark Eldar called the Obsidian Rose. I'll let you judge if I have done a good job representing it with these models.

The stages. Finished guy on the left.

Basically the red color scheme is simple, yet requires a little patience and a bit of precision.

  • It's essential to prime the models black, and I usually apply my primer as thin as possible then go over the model again in Chaos (or Abbadon) Black. 
  • Next I thinnly apply Scab Red to any raised areas and edges on the areas that I have decided will be the "red" part of the armor.
  • Then I go over it again with a more solid application of Scab Red along the edges ad higher areas.
  • I use a strong application of Blood Red on the edges but a dry brush along the high points that aren't so obvious.
  • I then give this area a wash of Nuln Oil to tone the reds back down.
  • I used Chaos (or Abbadon) Black to the areas I might have been sloppy with or that I might have added too much red to.
  • I reapply a conservative amount of Blood Red back onto the edges, picking out the parts I want to stand out.
  • A final highlight of Sunburst Yellow is added to the extreme edges of the red.
That's a lot of steps, but it goes faster than you might think if you're just reading this.

Next up for these models are the dark blue areas, finish off the weapons and then the eyes. I think I want to make their hair black but make the crests on the helms a kind of dark green but I am still deciding on that one.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Review: Dark Angels: Accept No Failure

Accept No Failure by Gav Thorpe.

I purchased this audio-book back in the fall of 2015 (a year ago next week!) when I visited the Warhammer Store in Turkey Creek, otherwise known as the Knoxville Games Workshop. At the time I had not yet completed my reading of the Legacy of Caliban Trilogy, so I set this aside for later. I recently pulled it out and gave it a listen.

There are two stories contained in this collection:

Accept No Failure and Holder of the Keys.

Accept No Failure is the main feature of course, and much of it is adapted straight from the novel Master of Sanctity. It is a reflection of Deathwing Captain Belial as he looks back on the time he ran into Ghazghkull Thrakka the uber Ork Warlord, who in this script might as well be the Incredible Hulk on meds while encumbered by lots of armored junk. Here is a snippet from the script:


Sheathing my sword, I reloaded and fired again as the Beast started towards me once more, every shot aimed for the exposed face and skull. Two rounds glanced from the jagged gorget that protected the Beast’s lower jaw. Another pair clanged from the bionic half of Ghazghkull’s head, leaving blackened welts on the metal but not penetrating. My fifth shot hit flesh, deflected from the bony cheek beneath and exploded beside the ork’s ear rather than beneath skin and muscle. 


The chunk of script (above) is from the 2nd disk which includes the scripts for both stories and desktop wallpaper (I recall when the Black Library would include these things as free download...). Personally I got a kick out of Gav's sound FX descriptions. The FX on the audio was quite good actually although I tend to recall this story had a lot of 'crunchy' sounds due to the fight occurring in an old warehouse district. I was hoping to hear ork-speak in that classic deep cockney that the Orks have had attributed to them since the late '80s, and yet I'm thankful that we didn't get the voices from the Space Marine video game ("Die Spayace Mahreene!")

This fight was quite enjoyable to listen to, however it's broken up by events in "modern times" as Belial how seems to regret how that fight ended (obvious spoiler- he didn't kill Ghazghkull). He tattoos himself with admonishments and testimonies as a form of punishment. The FX team has the buzzing of a tattoo gun (although it reminded me more of a dental drill) while his thoughts are narrated. These scenes, and the scenes from Master of Sanctity where he meets his new Deathwing inductees for the first time, felt unnecessary and painfully slow. It could be that I've read it before, and chances are anyone picking this up has read it before as well, but the biggest problem is that it's set in 2nd person while the action scenes are all in 1st person, and far, far more exciting.

Holder of Keys was awesome but lamentably short. To sum it up, a member of the Fallen is being psychically tortured and he recounts how the loyalist Dark Angels attacked Caliban with unbridled furry and that he and his comrades who stood with Luther had to defend themselves. This Fallen was on one of the orbital stations and the battle he describes to Ezekiel is of it's defense. It's an exciting story but it's over far too quickly. I was particularly intrigued by the description of Corswain who in this story is a total bad-ass. In the Legacy of Caliban Trilogy The Sword of Corswain is an artifact that one of the characters is entrusted with taking into battle. The concept of Caliban, particularly the Dark Angel Civil War and it's break-up at the battle's climax, has always intrigued me and it's always fun to see it explored.

Another snippet:



FALLEN: They had chased us from orbit. There they had spat their hate upon us, spewing fighters from burning flight decks. Like a storm of swords they fell upon our station. We manned the defence batteries. Macrocannons and mass-fusillade laser barrages. A wall of fire, a barrier of lightning, plasma and missiles to fend off the rage of a demigod.


Screen shot of the bonus disk menu.

  • Did I like it? Yes I did. However, I found it the 2nd story was over too soon, which is a shame because it was far more interesting to me than the first one.  
  • Was it hard to put down stop? No,  it was like I was hoping for a bit more info on the Dark Angels, another snippet of revelation to the overall Dark Angel Story.
  • Could I care about the characters? Belial comes off as a bit whiny to me, especially in the scenes where he is petitioning the Dark Angel inner circle to allow him to pursue Ghazghkull. . But then, in Gav's books most of the Dark Angels are somewhat like this I guess, so I suppose it works.The change in POV maybe a factor as the older Belial seems to be in a constant state of self-torture while Belial the younger is something of a bad-ass. Ghazghkull's portrayal as a monster as opposed to an ork military genius (albeit, an insane one) felt wrong to me. It also felt wrong to me that he would be alone and cornered in a warehouse and not completely swamped with mobs of orks all competing to be in his new retinue. I understand why it's presented this way, as from the Marine's perspective, the Orks are just big dumb aliens and Gav's just trying to present them as such here. In the 2nd story, it's a bit challenging figuring out exactly what's going on with the psychic-torture scenes, but the Fallen's recanting of the battle was very well done. 
  • 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? Gav's knowledge on the Dark Angels has got to be uncontested at this point. The 2nd story describing the attack on the orbital station was particularly awesome, focused, and well done. 
  • Was I being talked down too? Not so much. 
  • How predictable is this story? The 2nd story wasn't predictable at all, heck it's over so fast. The first one is some what predictable as anyone who know the 40K universe knows that Ghazghkull isn't deceased yet, and this is a flashback, so it's all a matter of figuring out how Belial gets out of this encounter alive. 
  • Do I recommend this book? Only for the hardcore Dark Angel reader and collector. This isn't something I would recommend to the casual 40K fiction fan and especially not for some's introduction to the Dark Angels. 
Imagines and text snippets are Copyright Games Workshop and are used here for review purposes and are not intended as a challenge to Games Workshop's Copyright. 

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Kill team battle

The Bob and I got together for another game, and while I do have the Bolt Action 2nd Ed rulebook, I have not had time to read it yet. We decided to give Kill Team a whirl since neither of us has ever played Warhammer 40,000 at this points level before.

After a quick review of the rules Bob threw together a Dark Angel Squad while I spent that time setting up the battlefield. I love the 4' X 4' battlefield as it really keeps the game centered on a focused area and since it's Kill Team, and neither of us had tanks, I tried to fill up the board with as many ruins and brush as a could. After Bob finished his list we took the time to select our Specialist abilities. I pulled my own Kill Team from it's containers, and set about distinguishing who exactly my Specialists were.

Chaos assembled. 
I chose my Khorne Berserker Aspiring Champion as my Leader. The other Aspiring Champ was my Combat Specialist who got the special rule Killer Instinct which gave him the ability to wound his foes on 2+. The Chaos Marine with the Melta Gun got the Eagle Eye special rule which gave his melta gun an 18" range. And the Berserker in mostly black armor was granted the Murderous Blow special rule, allowing him to re-roll wound rolls in close combat.

The Dark Angels arrive, ready to unleash some atonement. 
Bob's leader is the guy in the front of the pic above. I think he's a Vet Sgt. He rolled for the ability to have his LD extended up to 12" for break tests. The three Specialists are behind him: a marine in the old armor who got Soulblaze,  the missile launcher got Shrouded and the Plasma gunner got the ability to ignore cover (ouch!).

The field is set.
I set up first, and my strategy was to set up on my deployment zone line so I could close with him and the objectives as fast as possible. His set up was a tad bit more defensive.

After Bob missed stealing the initiative (by one -ulp!), I started the first turn. Mostly I just ran everyone up, but I did get an awesome shoot with my extended range melta-gun killing a guy. A guy who turned out to be the Dark Angel Team Leader!

Oh, a guy in range! I'll see if I can shoot him...

First Blood and Slay the Warlord achieved in one glorious shot!

That was your leader? Oops!
But a good start to the game giving me 2 immediate Victory Points (First Blood and Slay the Leader).

The Dark Angels turn was an exercise in patience for Bob as his dice seemed to make a mockery of his shooting attempts. He did set a World Eater on fire with his Soulblaze marine but the flames extinguished by the end of the turn.

"Have some Soulblaze!"
Round 2 and I was feeling bold. I got my leader to close and get a charge on a Dark Angel that was crouching behind a crater. Despite the amount of dice I was allowed to roll I failed to kill the guy, however he got a hit on my leader in return and I failed the armor save. Bob racks up a Slay the Leader VP.

"Blood for the Bloo---urk!"

Note that we decided it would be fun to leave our dead behind on the table. With a game this size it sort of adds to the drama. I was using the flat blood-red marbles to represent pools of blood for a bit more of a dramatic effect.

Bullets rained back and forth, both of our men near the biggest crater were down, with my guy being baked in his armor by the Dark Angel plasma gunner.

End of turn 2.

Turn three, with more back-and-forth, I got one of my beserkers to close with the Dark Angel with the Soulblaze power and they were locked in a melee for a few close combat rounds.

Contested objective.

Bob's shrouded missile launcher on the roof of one of ruins had been trading shots with the Aspiring Champion and/or the accompanying Black Legion marine since the game started. Finally the Black Legion was able to get a killing shot on him and he went down.

Dark Angel missile launcher falls.

Eventually the Soulblaze DA dies to the Berserker and Chaos takes an objective. At this stage I was sitting on three of the objectives and now had Line Breaker so at this stage I had 6vps to Bob's 1vp.

Objective claimed.
Pressing on, the Chaos Champion slaughters another Dark Angel in Close Combat and sets his sights on a fresh target...

"You are next!"
With a sudden surge in fire-arms proficiency, both of Bob's Dark Angels on my right flank gunned down the two chaos guys in the opposite ruins. One is killed off of the objective and other, my extended range melta-gun user, is vaporized by the DA plasma gunner.

Taste the vengeance! 

Feeling cocky, the Berserker that had killed the soulblaze marine attacked the marine on the 2nd level of the ruins. It was a quick duel, ending with both men killing his opponent!

"I kill you!" "No, I kill you first!"
My last objective, one in the middle of the board which a Khorne Berserker had been holding for much of the game, was abandoned. The Berserker decided to charge the marine that had killed the chaos Kill Team Leader and who had been taking shots at him for most of the game. Just like the squad leader, it was suicide, as this Dark Angel gutted him like a fish! He then took the objective!

Objective secure!

This was the end of Turn 5, and we rolled for it and the game was over. I had 4 VPs (Slay the Leader, First Blood, Linebreaker and Break the Enemy) wheras Bob had 3 (1 Objective, Break the Enemy and Slay the Leader). I was winning, However Bob was in a position to get the upper hand and was outnumbering me with living models. Eff it, we were having too much fun to stop now!

Knowing he could easily take the insufferable Dark Angel that had just claimed the objective, the Aspiring Champion charged. But he was cut down by the Dark Angel marine's overwatch response!

Seriously, objective secure!

The Dark Angels on my right flank moved into the ruins and claimed the other objective. There were three Dark Angels left alive to my lone Black Legion marine. The game ended with a tie, 4VPs to 4VPs.

Game over
That was a close one, and it was very intense!

Being our first Kill Team game, we had many thoughts on how well it went. We really enjoyed it and both agreed that it was a lot fun! We liked that even with so few miniatures it was still a very intense game. The fact that every individual model was now behaving as a unit of one, put a lot of importance and emphasis on each one of them. In normal sized 40K games a single model is often little more than fodder, while here, that single model has the potential to truly shine. Take for example the regular, non-specialist, tactical marine of Bob's that had the dice gods blessing in this fight: he killed 2 Aspiring Champions (one in hand to hand, one with an overwatch shot) and Khorne Berserker in hand to hand as well. That guy absolutely got the MVP for this match!

We're already talking about playing another game soon, and I am already thinking about what my next kill team might be...