Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Kans and Catachans

So I had a day off today and managed to get a nice bit of painting done, which was a pleasant way to relax after a busy working weekend.

First up is this killa kan. I have another two of these, a deff dredd and a mega dredd to do, this one was just to test where I wanted to paint metal and which parts the army colour. Most of my vehicles are majority yellow, but then they do have lots of panels, whereas walkers have more of the workings on show... I'm fairly happy with the balance, I may increase the proportion of yellow as I go up in scale to the more ostentatious Bad Moon Orks compared to the feeble grot machines.

I also got my list for Fluffageddon approved, assuming I get chance to go. I want to, but as I am just starting a new job I'd like to be there at least a week before I start asking for time off...

The list is as follows:

HQ - Company Command Squad, officer of the fleet - 80
ded tran - Chimera - 65

optional HQ Ministorum Priest, x2 - 50
optional HQ Primaris Psyker, x 2 both level 2 - 150

T - Veterans, 3 meltas, carapace armour - 105

T - Inf Platoon consisting of
Command Section, 4 meltaguns - 70
Squad 1, flamer - 55
Squad 2, flamer - 55
Squad 3, flamer - 55
Squad 4, flamer - 55

E - Tempestus Scion Platoon consisting of
Tempestus Command Squad, 4 meltaguns - 125
Tempestus Scion Squad (10 members) 2 plasmaguns - 160
ded tran Taurox Prime, gatling cannon - 90

FA - Valkyrie, rocket pods - 135
FA - Vendetta - 170
FA - Vendetta - 170

HS - Wyvern battery, 2 wyverns - 130
HS - Wyvern Battery, 2 Wyverns - 130

Total 1850
Now in case you are wondering why such an unusual list, here is the link to the event have a read of the rulespack and you'll see why I have such an eclectic list. In summary, only two duplications, transports included. (My duplications are in bold) Also, no more than twice the starting size of squad. A check in with the TO confirmed that for guard and their infantry platoon, the squads within it shall count as starting sizes... so I can have a platoon without using a duplication, but as it starts with a command and 2 squads, I can only have 4 squads max. Also, if I want to combine (I do) I can only take the squad size up to 20 guys, rather than all 40 in one squad. I can live with that.

So the vague plan with this list is to form 2 x 20 man blocks with the priests keeping them in the fight and the psykers hopefully giving some buffs to the units. The scions ride in their prime, the tempestus command jumps in a vendetta. The platoon command also jumps in a vendetta, and the veterans go in the Valkyrie. I then have various fast armour crackers that can go kill tanks when needed, wyverns to lay down punishing anti infantry firepower, 2 small blobs to sit on home objectives and various units that can drop down on further afield objectives as needed (some with obj sec)
Anyway, still waiting on a few models to arrive, but mostly this army will be a hasty paint improvement on existing models. As such the troopers will be painted to a tabletop standard. With about 60 infantry and 5 vehicles to paint in the next 2 months I'm not expecting to win awards with this army (especially not with some of the trooper models being on about their third coat of paint by now) but the test squad is done and I'm reasonably happy with them. It's a fairly dark and dirty colour scheme, so the ork walkers will give me a bit of brightness to work on to break things up a little.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Perils of a Vivid Imagination...

So, a couple of posts ago I listed a new project that had come to mind after a brief but amusing chat about Orks and their crazy nature. As such, I am now planning to do an army, but having looked at the conversions I want to do, it's looking like about £700 worth of models... If I get the job at Games Workshop and the attendant discount, then it drops to a figure I can stomach spending on an army. In the meantime, back-burner... Consider that army to be my reward to myself should I get that job I want in the next couple of years I guess.

I still however have my Deffskulls army to do, and a quick sort out today revealed I had about 20 boyz, 20 lootas, 13 Burnas, 20 Tankbustas, plus a whole host of Nobz and characters to build that army from, plus some dakkajets and looted wagons. And a couple of mekboy junkas will be added to that army too, thanks to finding some sprues I can convert into Shok Attack GUns while having a big hobby sortout today.

Anyway, the reason for my big sort out is I wanted to check my model situation for a list I drew up for a tournament in Spetember, Fluffageddon. I'm considering going, I shall have to wait and see how my employment situation develops in the coming weeks before I can commit. However, I have drawn up a list for now and wanted to see if I had the models to do it. Well I need a few vehicles and one or two old miniatures will have to be tracked down on ebay if I want to keep a consistent look across a squad, but purchasing wise it's not too bad. I already have most of the infantry I need. However, much of it is rather old. And badly painted. Some second hand which is even worse than my own bad painting, and given I used to paint in Technicolour, whereas now I prefer to paint in the gritty style of a Dark Knight, that is saying quite a bit. I'm basically gonna have to spray black and redo the lot. They're only basic troopers so I'm not too worried about losing detail, I just want to come up with a basic colour scheme across the army.

The dread inspiration this time...

So, with two horde armies in the works, I have now added in about 70 infantry and 5 vehicles that will need to be done by the beginning of September. Ouch. So already got quite a lot to do. So what do I do today? I have a chat with a fellow hobbyist that sets my imagination rolling for another guard army... A theme army, working from a restricted codex to suit, taking out most of the big expensive tanks but keeping in plenty of cheap foot infantry. The army includes 100 conscripts for starters... Why do I do this to myself? Anyway, an evening with a pen and paper has shown that infantry can rack up the points quickly if you go all out like I did, but I've designed a 2500 list that I think will look good, so I'm gonna aim for that, and if I want to play at a lower level I shall then have some flexibility. In fact there's a 500 point unit of Bullgryns in that 2500, so easy to drop to 2000, the Enforcers as I plan to call them will stay at home.

So, with planned army list totalling over 550 infantry and 30+ vehicles, I'd appreciate it if you guys could PLEASE stop giving me ideas... :P

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Wacky Races

So this Sunday my local Games Workshop is holding a tank race... I don't have all the rules yet, I do know it's 200 points limit and forge world is allowed.

So, this gave me the kick up the backside I needed to finish off a mekboy junka I'd been thinking about for some time. In amongst that wealth of ork stuff I picked up second hand I had a rhino and a chimera chassis, both slightly battered and orkified, and a couple of turrets, one of which could pass for a Shok Attack Gun.

So, I designed the following:

Mekboy Junka - 65
Ard Case - 10
upgrade the 3 pintle big shootas to rokkits instead - 15
Add turret Shok Attack Gun - 100

So 190 points. And it gets me this...

My plan? To be Dick Dastardly. Now sure the mekboy junka has a turbo charga, it could try to actually win the game... or better yet, it can hang back with a dastardly scheme for ultimate victory. I sit near the back of the pack, safe, and keep taking pot shots at the leader. I hope to roll double 5 for a "Zoink" result where I immediately teleport to the target and ram it at full speed. A ram to the rear like that might kill 1st place, but at the very least it puts me in second.

Now I'm sure you can all come up with far better ways to actually win, but remember, i'm playing the part of Dick Dastardly. The guy who would get far enough in the lead to lay an elaborate ambush, which would spectacularly fail, putting him back in last place and usually mired in some trouble. He'd then get ahead of everyone again, and set up yet another ambush. If his car is THAT fast that he overtook everyone multiple times in one race, he didn't need to ambush them - he could have kept his foot to the floor and won every race. But then maybe that's how he lived his life for several years, and after 17 back to back championships he got bored, bought a dog, and decided to try something different, just for shits and giggles...

 Anyway, my work on this conversion is adding the missile launcher rack to the turret, and adding the deffrolla to the tank. I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out, and I was already a fan of the previous owners work on the counts as SAG anyway, so I'm very happy with this model. The only question left is, is this an expensive toy, and therefore should be one of the last things I paint for my bad moons army? Or is it a shooty toy? In which case it should be one of the first things I paint for my Deffskulls army? Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, 13 June 2015

There is, a Bad Moon rising...

So, having just returned from Blog Wars where I placed a respectable 18th out of 48, and was joint second on the best converted army award (two votes behind what can only be described as an absolute masterpiece of a Tau army featuring hand carved statues to decorate a flying base) the best part of the whole thing has been since my return, I have been much more active in the blogosphere. Mostly reading up other peoples views on the vent, but it's given me the bug to try to get back into blogging myself. Yeah, it's been a while...
The dakkawing that went down so well at Blog Wars
So, to kick things off, my Bad Moons army was designed because I liked the new artillery pieces and Meganobz but felt that static artillery and slow and purposeful units had no place in the Speed Freaks army I had previously been running. So I started something new. I had a large stash of Orks to raid from a second hand army I picked up dirt cheap, so while the boyz were mostly armed with shootas, which wasn't my preference, I made a solid workable 2000 point list.

A small sample of the 60 Boyz I painted for this army... Why do I do this to myself?
Once all that was painted, I went through the box and picked a few select units that would fit the expensive living of a Bad Moons army. So the mega dread that I loved and bought but never painted cos it never felt like it would fit in a speed freaks army - that's now on my painting table among a cluster of killa kans and a deffdread. I also picked out some converted meganobz with cybork bodies (yeah I know, not legit any more) that needed a few repairs and some TLC. Adding in a painboy to that unit got me Grotsnik and a suitable cohort. A unit of Nob bikers I had been planning to put into my speed freaks, but why should they have ALL the bikes? I can put some into another army. Give them SOME mobility.

Grotsnik and his "modified" lads...
Plus Grotsnik got bored so modified some grots too...
Including this poor guy, who he didn't bother to put any strengthening servos onto when he gave him that rather bulky power fist...
As for the remainder? Well it looks unbound (there appear to be only 20 or so boyz, which could be troops legal, but way too many HS choices) but I should be able to make about 2000 points or so of Deffskulls as my next Ork project...

The truk I refer to as Orktimus Prime... no it doesn't transform. I'm not THAT good...
Or is it? You see I was chatting to my tournament buddy Ken, and we were joking about the background of the orks and the shenanigans they get up to. How does a stompa actually STOMP? It can't lift those legs high enough to step on a Space Marine! If anything it would sort of shuffle through a melee like a pissed off geisha girl. (On the flipside there's no way a wraithknight should be using a blast marker with those ballerina legs, it should be selecting individual models for a precision kick) Anyway, the idea of a Stompa scurrying along on little legs set a train of thought in motion... which eventually lead to a back story being developed for a useless Mek. He tries bless him, he sees what other meks do and attempts to imitate it, but he just can't figure out the internal combustion engine. If he built a Stompa, it would have a grab rail round the inside of the skirt, and 50 orks would have to lift the bugger up and move him towards the enemy. Stormboyz would be hanging from the legs of swallows (African swallows most likely, perhaps two tied together) in order to gain flight. Anyway, it's tickled off some ideas, and I've written up a list, along with conversion notes alongside certain units. I believe it could be a very fun project. It is however, a staggering amount of infantry. It scares me. But the conversion opportunities are very intriguing. I guess it depends how the next couple weeks pan out. I am currently out of work, job hunting. I have an interview at Games Workshop. Get that job, this project moves a whole lot closer (hello staff discount) Any other job, it depends how soon I get it. I've made some money selling my old Baneblades on ebay, and I'd like to put that money towards a new army... However until I am in paid employment and know where my next pay cheque is coming from, I'm spending nothing.

So, watch this space, for the final few Bad Moons units, and for my decision on which tribe to do next - Deffskulls or Snakebites.
Ghazza and the boyz...
Ghazs ride...
With the ramps down, it extends the length of the tank by approximately 2" No I don't use it for disembarkation, but life imitating the rules pleases me...

Some Stormboyz I did when I was running a Tale of Some Gamers and needed to spend a few more points that month...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Why I don't miss sixth edition...

So, today I took part in an apoc game, which our side lost (as I anticipated) and before this comes across as griping, might I say that I enjoyed the day overall. I am not saying it was a wasted day or that the host was wrong in his approach. He took steps to simplify the game so that the less experienced players could easily take part, and that is his right to do when he is hosting.

I just want to say it felt like a sixth ed apoc game... and revisiting the old style made me more appreciative of the new.

We all remember the old apoc style. Several turns of beating the crap out of each other followed by a last minute dash for the objectives. Well for this scenario we'd be playing with no objectives, just kill points... so while the last minute objective grab was out, the several turns of kicking the crap out of each other would be familiar. Now with three ork players (hordes of cheap easy kill models, that are cheap so you have plenty of them) against a primarily Space Marine opponent (so, fewer much harder to kill models that are more expensive) one of whom we knew had many knights to act as point sinks... This is why I was sceptical about our chances from the moment I got the scenario.  For example, I brought 31 units, if I remember correctly. My opponent on the flank I was driving down had 13. Five of these were knights, two were Land Raiders, and one was the hardly easily dispatched Logan Grimnar.

Yet again strength D proved to be too strong for my liking in this game, and when the enemy had 6 strength D shooting attacks per turn, 6 str D combat units, and 8 str D stomping units, against our paltry 2 str D combat/str D stomping units, we were most definitely outgunned in this department, as aptly demonstrated when the Stompa with a 4++ save and 10 hull points evaporated from a single salvo of ONE of the Eldar titans weapons. Far too many of the kill points our team gave away were from cheap characters that were trying to protect our flimsy vehicles... a 15 point mek to try to repair a hull point a turn on a 5+ seems a good idea, but when the Stompa blowing up means the 45 points of "unit" you had inside gifts the enemy as many points as the Stompa did, you aren't looking so clever after all.

Reducing this game to Kill Points also robbed the game of some of the tricky decisions. When you are winning in Strategic objective points by 5 to 3, you might consider sacrificing a point to activate a powerful strategic asset, but you may also decide it isn't worth the risk. When points are flowing so freely, sacrificing a point for an orbital bombardment is a no brainer. If that bombardment kills a single truk it has earned it's points back, any more is a bonus. The final score was 89-73 in the end I believe... do you think any of us would have balked at paying a point for a bombardment there? But if you are leading 5-3 going into the final turn, knowing that unless you get ridiculously lucky and cap either a super heavy or a warlord with that bombardment, you are definitely sacrificing points, then you need to weigh up the decision against what you hope to tactically achieve. If the strategic resource frees your warlord from a combat he is destined to lose, then by all means, that is worth it. If it's just to kill some enemy stuff in the back corner, well how much can they do anyway?

What I love about 7th edition is the move to Maelstrom games, which has you bouncing around from one tactical objective to another, rather than simply trying to steamroller your opponent. Apoc in this edition is similar... sure the objectives are fixed, but the fluidity of the battle may make you decide that one is easier to get than another, especially if you can All Out Attack a unit halfway across the board to intervene in a situation and stop an objective from falling into enemy hands. It is this tactical challenge that I missed today. It went back to being the old target priority game. What can kill me most? Right, kill that first. I had a unit of grots survive the entire game, something they rarely do in a game where they can sit on an objective and serve a purpose. In this game, they were beneath the attention of most people (the only casualties they took all game from when a basilisk shot missed it's target and hit them instead.)

Anyway, there were some highlights to the game for me. My meganobs charging a Stormlord turn 1 and annihilating it in one round of combat was fun. The survivors then charging across and having a go at an invisible warhound was entertaining too (damn invisibility, would have mullered it if that trick hadn't reduced me from 23/25 hits to 5!) Lysander then bounding in to save the titan was fun, the first round of combat going my way thanks to Ghaz 2++ save, but then the second round, invulnerable-less (and shanked for a couple of wounds by an Avatar of Khaine it has to be said) finished Ghaz off, but not before he could deal Lysander a death blow or two... Interrupting HIS finest hour, getting our team a bonus point, which admittedly was kinda lost in such a high scoring game... I also enjoyed my Big Mek flipping a Knight off the table (thankfully, otherwise the reactor overload would have likely ended him and his buddies!) and the inescapable ineptitude of one Imperial sniper who I'm pretty sure achieved NOTHING all game, despite having several chances where "ooh that guy is down to one wound, sniper him and finish him o... oh. you missed." It WAS an enjoyable day.

I just don't miss the old style. And anyone who wants to pine to me about the good old days, I'll be the first to set them straight.

Apart from templates and blasts hitting multiple floors of buildings. Yeah that one I don't know what GW were doing...

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014

So once again I round up my record for the year against the usual markers to see how my year in wargaming has gone...

To start with, I have recorded fewer games this year than last, however past of that can be explained by the rise of X-Wing. This is a much quicker game where you may play a few skirmishes in a single evening, so I haven't been keeping track of it. I'd still class it as a solid evening of gaming nonetheless. Perhaps I shall record it next year, but we shall see.

Whilst I may have recorded fewer games, I have had a more balanced year. Last year I played 56 games, however 44 of them were 40k. This year I have only played 48 games, but by fluke have played exactly 24 of each system (well, I may have played a few more of either system, as I don't count multiplayer games in my record - just 1 vs 1 games where I can only blame myself and thus claim all the credit when things do go right)

Of last years 56 games, I won just over half (30) whilst losing 19 times and getting 7 draws. Despite playing only 48 this year, I have managed a solid 32 wins, so 75% victory rating. I got 11 losses and only 5 draws. These are split fairly evenly between 40k and fantasy, leaning ever so slightly in fantasys favour, but not much.

My best performing army was my Empire, but given it's the only fantasy army I played with all year throughout a long campaign that makes some sense. That army chalked up 17 victories, 5 defeats and 2 draws. As for 40k, that was split between my guard with 6 wins, plus 2 losses 2 draws, my Dark Eldar (a theme army I took on as a modelling project, took to a tournament, and promptly got spanked in) got a solitary win and 3 losses... credit where it's due though, that solitary win was in the playoff to avoid the wooden spoon, so they won when it mattered. Kinda. My Orks made up for my Dark Eldar, taking a solid 8 wins from 10 games, losing one and drawing one.

My best streak was 11 wins on the trot, in a 13 game undefeated streak that lasted over the summer. I couldn't put this down to one army though, as it was quite a mixed bag between campaign games, plus a few guard games and me starting to use the ork army that has been doing so well this year.

As for the games against my close friends Neil, Rich and Ken. Well surprisingly this year Ken was not the person I played least! Despite him living miles away. I played 5 games against Ken, winning two. Whereas I only played 4 against Rich, again winning 2. There were no draws against any of the three, so a fairly evenly matched year there. The same cannot be said for Neil. He kept challenging me in the campaign. I don't know why. I played him 8 times. I won 8 times. A lot of those were in the campaign, though there were a couple of 40k games too.

Overall, a decent amount of games played and a lot of fun had. A bloody good win loss ratio that is always gratifying, even if it isn't the primary goal of the hobby, let's be honest it's nice to win. I have no particular goals for next year, I don't know if my game count is likely to rise as I do wish to try out a few different game systems, and unless I decide to count them too... Tempting, but it would mean messing with the pattern established over several years of keeping track. Do I really want the extra work? Probably not, but no promises either way.

In the meantime, good luck to you all in the new year.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Chivalry Dost Live Yet...

The Ogre Tyrant manoeuvred his armies into the Elven lands. They had already seized the elven capitol, and were now pursuing the refugees. "I want blood, and an easy victory!" the ogre tyrant roared.

Some of the fleeing elves were captured by a small patrol of humans, and brought before their leader in the small encampment they had at Hanging Rock. They pleaded for their lives. They told their tale, of the Tyrant in search of an easy victory. They caught Old Man Ulric on a good day. Whilst he was on a quest to free his son from the clutches of the hated Lizard foe, he could not let the weak be ridden over in so roughshod a manner. To do so would mean that while he may find his son, he would sacrifice his honour to do so. Ulric wouldn't have that, and knew that, wherever he was, William would agree.

As the ogres advanced into the field where the elves had finally stopped running, they noticed the foe looked more numerous. Were those humies over to the right flank? Why was there steam rising from both flanks of the host before them? The ogre advance slowed to a crawl...

This mattered not to Ulric, as he spurred his horse towards the enemy. The elves followed his lead, and two mass forces of cavalry advanced towards the now stationary ogres. The elves seemed cautious, wary that the humans may not keep their word. Ulric rode with the confidence of righteousness. It probably helped that there were demigryph knights ready to pounce should anything attack his flanks, but that was for the benefit of his men. Ulric needed no such reassurances, as he had by this point become convinced of his own invincibility.

A large horde of ogres, lacking the comprehension to understand why their general was being so cautious all of a sudden, went charging after a lone human wizard on the left flank. As they crashed after him through the forest they ran straight into the Steam Tank that Ulric had loaned to the elves to bolster their flank. The Tank battened down the hatches and held the ogres there while the elven infantry, somewhat left behind by the cavalry advance, flanked the ogres and routed them.

The Steam Tank on Ulrics flank seemed to be having trouble brewing enough steam, and after an emergency vent the boiler remained stable, but the tank was still somewhat slower than usual and unable to aid Ulrics attack. It was no matter. Ulric and his hammers smashed through a mammoth creature, before charging into the Tyrant and his guard. They slaughtered the bodyguard, and the Tyrant turned to flee. Ulric and his knights were faster, and caught the rotund creature before he could make it two steps. They dragged the crying sobbing creature away from the field of battle. With Ulrics steadying influence occupied, some minor scuffles broke out between the elves and the rearguard of Ulrics army, but it was largely irrelevant. Ulric carried the field that day, and the elves were spared and allowed to escape, to regroup another day.

Ulric made camp in the lands of his victory. His horses needed rest, and it wasn't a bad position to perhaps raise a small holding to regroup and continue the search. He released the chastened tyrant, but not without extracting a suitable bounty from the Ogres Overlord. He also felt that the leaderless elves needed some help to regroup, so he ordered their Loremaster to be released from his dungeon. The grateful elves gifted a beautiful suit of armour to Ulric as thanks for his generosity. Ulric would stick with the tattered old armour he'd worn for the past 30 years - if Mrs Von Lichtenstein couldn't get him to change it, and her complaints were mostly down to the smell and the appearance, he'd be damned if some pointy ear would get him to change it now. But the gift was well received nonetheless, and placed in the armoury to await a suitable recipient.

To top the day off, a squire arrived with news from Roughguts. Sir William had been located. He was being held in a castle near the Marshes of Madness. Roughguts was amassing an army to attempt to free him.

"God Speed old friend" uttered Ulric "God Speed"

A gift from the ogres...