The very day I was leaving town to visit a friend of mine, what should arrive in the mail? My Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Nickstarter, courtesy of Bad Squiddo Games. F:GA will make a larger appearance in some future posts, no doubt, but the reason I went with Bad Squiddo was to add in a few additional miniatures, including a couple of Statuesque miniatures for use with my very unofficial Escher gang.
Rosa the machinegunner was first to get built upon my return to the frozen North, and of course I opted to do some pinning. Her joints varied from a light ball/socket treatment to flat pairs, and I don’t like to take chances. Plus I generally enjoy pinning. That said, Rosa is not a big model (Statuesque is a true scale sort of deal), so we went with staples. Having a smaller bit has been wonderful in terms of being able to pin truescale miniatures without putting them at huge risk (some of my Infinity miniatures are almost more pin than model at some joints).
Fortunately the staples have some give to them (just like the copper wire I use for bigger pinning jobs) so the opposed angles of the arm and wrist didn’t prevent this from working at all. That said, I was definitely wishing I’d thought the angles through a little more before starting.
I’m definitely pleased with the end result. Rosa is a mini I looked at ages ago when I first started looking into Necromunda, but looking at only a couple of miniatures direct from Statuesque meant shipping was going to hurt a little too much too justify. Not that it was outrageously high, but split across only a couple of minis it just didn’t go far enough for me.
I also picked up a second Statuesque mini for use as an Escher juve:
I’ve got lots of gangers and quite a number of heavy options, but I’m pretty short on appropriate juve miniatures, so I’m looking to increase my options there. I also picked a up a couple of girls hauling guns and teddy bears from Hasslefree, but no doubt they’ll make an appearance later.
Started painting my kill team for Shadow War: Armageddon a week or two ago. The goal was to get one of these guys into shape for the Science Fiction / Modern painting competition, but I just didn’t sink the time in this month, so my Caledonian Volunteer will be taking on that role. My partially painted kill team *did* see some Shadow War action this past weekend, though. Sergeant Jaeger Hel led Hel’s Half-Acre into Von Stravo Spire on Saturday and faced off against some Tau.
I didn’t take a single picture.
The Tau had a few missions under their belts already, but the previous one had gone south, so I was facing a field-promoted leader. They had a few tricks, but I outranged them by a significant margin and was able to use that to my advantage. My sniper and a lasgun Veteran were able to knock the Tau rail rifles out of commission within the first couple of turns, and the only guy I had go down to enemy fire rolled a 1 in the recovery phase and got back up with a flash wound. My favorite moment in the game was probably when one of my Specialists managed to hit the enemy leader with a krak grenade from his launcher, only to roll a 1 to wound. Lucky guy.
I captured one of the rail-riflemen, and earned 200 monies to spend on recruiting/rearming, so I hired a new guy and kitted him out.
I spent the full 200, so this guy is as ready as he can be for whatever comes his way.
‘Til next time.
I’m back! And even more impressive, I’m back in the world of Warhammer 40k, where I haven’t been for quite a while. My regular group was getting fairly bored/frustrated with the state of the game by the end of sixth edition – I’ve only played one game of 7th since its release – but we’re starting to feel ready to dip back in. Certainly not on a tournament level or anything (There’s way too much ridiculous going on at the moment, and I don’t think any of us can be bothered to keep up), but on a goofy homebrewed scenario level I think it’s just about time we all got reacquainted. So that’s our plan. To reintroduce our own flavour via scenarios, similar to when we developed the Cruenta Campaign.
Now, that’s all just plans… the actual act/event that has prompted a 40k blog entry is my newly acquired Stormraven Gunship! I’ve wanted one of these for ages, but it’s been pretty hard to sell myself on one, cost-wise. Last week I managed to snag one, still in the shrink, for $50cdn, which seems about as good a deal as I’m ever going to get on a brand new one (and I’ve so seldom bought new warhammer that assembly has been a whole extra treat so far.
I normally paint the interior of a 40k vehicle by opening the assault ramp and just spraying some primer in there. This time I went all out, did some masking, and actually primed the interior separately.
I even made some minimal effort to paint a couple details in there!
I also decided to have a little fun with this one, and added some bloody boot prints. Still a ways to go, but it’s nice to feel excited about some aspect of 40k again!
In case anybody is wondering, that’s a Krylon flat black; looks very very grey in the photos.
Did another small infinity intro last night. This time it was my regular warhammer group, and we didn’t get around to using any special skills. We just played two games to get a feel for the different kinds of rolls and the various ways it differs from warhammer and Kill Team. Definitely a lot of interest in playing again; next time I’ll probably have people select a faction ahead of time so they can get familiar with the appropriate rules/skills.
I myself did pretty terribly, although skills would have helped. Mostly I just rolled poorly all night. Worked out well though, as getting knocked out early every time meant that I could spend a lot more time on clarifying the rules for everybody else. By the time we break infinity out again (probably in a few weeks) I will hopefully be one of many people that have read the full rules. If there is any one aspect of infinity that I think was made abundantly clear, it s the lethality of the game. I often got myself obliterated almost entirely within my first turn.
Tonight I managed to get in a little more modelling. Started by pinning a couple of models that have repeatedly broken on me: an old plasma cannon devastator (metal arms and weapon in a plastic body) and an old crusader multi-melta (same issue). With that out of the way I turned my attention to the thunderbolt ‘vindicator’. The model includes seats, and I could think of no better way to 40k-ify it than by putting some space marine butts in those seats.
The marine pauldron meant twisting him a bit on the seat, but it still looks fairly natural; I just need to find a second arm that I like (maybe an outstretched hk launcher?) to wrap that one up.
The scout was a bit of luck. I didn’t think anything would fit in that seat (heroic scale being the bulk festival that it is), but a friend have me some seated scout legs that almost worked as they were. I just had to cut out the back of the knee to bend the straighter leg and voila!
Hopefully I can get some better shots at some point. What with all of these being unpainted, the glare is pretty ridiculous.
So another couple of busy weeks gone by; what’s been happening in hobbyland? Well my one group finally got in some pathfinder (2 games), and also ordered ourselves some smallish infinity armies. My regular warhammer group got in some fun fantasy games, and we’re looking to try out infinity tomorrow evening. I’ve actually managed to get some modelling done; no painting, though. On the rare moments when I had done time, I didn’t feel like painting what’s already basecoated, and it’s been way too cold (-25 to -55 degrees Celsius with the wind chill) to spray anything outside. Definitely giving serious consideration to getting or building a spray booth in the basement for next winter, as I’ve picked up a couple fun models (my infinity squads, Skweel, some jezzails, an old rackham wolfen and so on), and I can’t get beyond building them.
And how has all this looked?
One final fun project is the addition of some space wolves to my space marines force. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Unyielding are a lost-in-space sort of chapter, which grants some opportunity for me to throw some other chapter units into the mix. I just finished putting jump packs in some space wolves so that I can field them as Unyielding vanguard veterans. And voila!
As much as I wasn’t intending to turn this into a regular thing, I sorta want to do the opposite and keep it going. So, with that in mind, here’s what I did this past week, terrain-wise…
First off, the Mermaid Tavern is a little closer to completion.
Wow. That sorta puts the hell pit abomination into perspective, doesn’t it? The other project I undertook was to create some rivers. We usually use three ugly scraps of painted cardboard turned upside down (cardboard side up) to denote any rivers, and it looks awful. So over the weekend I joined Meagan on one of her trips to fabricland, where marine vinyl had gone on sale. I grabbed a half metre, which is a sizable chunk, since the stuff is over 4 feet wide. $3.50 netted me enough to make a whole mess of modular river pieces. I tried to keep the ends of each piece to a fairly squared off 5 inches, so that any piece can be linked to any others. I’ll try to get a better picture by next week, but for now you can see them in use in the background of these shots from last weekend’s battle:
That would be a piece or two in the upper left corner there. Does it look like a real river? No. Of course not. But does it look like a decent representation, while adding a ton of flavour to our battlefield for the low price of a couple bucks? Definitely.
And that’s what’s new in terrain this week.
40k this weekend was 1500pts per player, 2x dark angels vs 2x space marines (iron hands and the unyielding). Dark Angels were mostly bikes, and they closed in the first turn, wreaking havoc on our line of tanks.
My plasma devastators were largely cut down in that initial attack, leaving the unit with only 2 plasma cannons to return fire. By the second turn only one remained, having survived unscathed as a hail of plasma and gunfire vaporized his comrade. At this point I decided he was going to get a name, and then he proceeded to vaporize another bike, and continued to do so for several more turns!
At one point totally surrounded by the enemy, he ducked behind the wreck of an Unyielding predator annihilator, and got right back to raining plasma death upon his enemies.
He was finally brought down in the fifth turn, and I grabbed a pencil so I could mark him for later naming. I flipped him over, and…
That’s right! Henriksen is back!
And in brilliant form again. I’ll have to give him a purity seal or something.
The other real standout individual was chronus. Faced with a veritable wall of melta from turn 1 on, he kept his land raider crusader in action right to the bitter end. Having lost a multimelta, both hurricane bolters, and 6 (!) hull points, he managed to cut down the last of the melta bikers before losing his seventh hull point to dark angel terminator attacks. He almost never missed with anything, healed 3 hull points with It Will Not Die, and fired all available weapons every turn of the game.
I liked him before; but now that he’s been updated I’ll never have to defend the choice again. At 50pts, chronus was a steal. As amazing as Henriksen’s performance was, I think MVP goes to chronus this time.
I’ve mentioned before that I regularly play in a smallish group, and that the meta in this group has recently been getting out of hand. Monstrous creatures are fast becoming the norm, and one fellow in particular consistently just brings as many riptides as our point limit and his supplementary codex will allow him to. Frankly, we’re all getting a bit sick of it, so I decided it was time to make them a less appealing option.
In the past I’ve had a fair bit of success with a librarian attached to assault terminators, but librarians have lost null zone (forced rerolls of successful invulnerable save), which makes it a less powerful option. It also tend to take too long. A couple turns to close with the riptide, and a few more to actually whittle it down.
During this weekend’s battle, I decided to try a new approach, utilising the new grav guns:
-9 sternguard veterans, 2 with grav guns and the rest with combi gravs
-an HQ meatshield with the armour indomitus (I used a captain this time, but a librarian would be ideal in a bigger point game, as they’re only 135 with the relic armour and a combi grav)
-All in a drop pod.
First turn. Our side went second. The drop pod landed in front of the riptide, and everybody got out. (If the riptide has full interceptor going on, you’d want to use the armour during this movement to guarantee your round of shooting; otherwise save it for the riptide’s next turn, in case this fails.) I used the tactical doctrine (ultramarine successors) to let me reroll 1’s, and fired. 20 shots turned into 14 wounds with no armour saves.
The riptide’s biggest deal in our experience is just that it’s super survivable. He did spectacularly well and only took 3. That said, the sternguard unit did kill it on the second turn. They were the only unit to attack the riptide, and drew pretty much all of the enemy fire in that end of the battlefield until they were wiped out.
Points-wise, this wasn’t a cheap option, and fielding it in a 750pt list seemed a bit ludicrous, but the fact is that it works out okay. It’s expensive, but so is leaving the riptide alive to walk all over your army. This eliminates the riptides in the first turn, and whatever is left afterwards is still sternguard veterans, which is still a serious threat to just about everything on the board (especially against the tau armies that necessitate riptide hunters).
My next riptide hunting expedition will probably involve proxying a large quantity of centurions. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
Played a 3 on 3 team game of 40k on Sunday night. Tau / Tau / Orks vs. Eldar / Dark Angels / Space Marines; 1250 pts each. A bit of a fiasco, as the Tau players once again brought riptides to the board (one of them brought 2; it’s seriously all he fields). Eldar and Dark Angels got bogged down fighting the one Tau player, so my Space Marines were left to defend our objective against the other 2/3 of the army. Thoughts? Well:
I like the new codex. I obviously haven’t had the chance to try much of it, but I like that a fair bit of stuff that I like got cheaper. Chronus? 20 points cheaper and now grants his tank It Will Not Die. Predator Annihilators? Way cheaper (I’d only recently started fielding these again, and I think I’ll be a lot more likely to now). Even my assault ironclad got about 10 points cheaper (although the new description of Ironclad Assault Launchers doesn’t look to grant Stealth any more).
I like the Chapter Tactics, and I particularly like that you can ally different chapters. My own chapter, the Unyielding, has occasionally picked up lost members from other chapters over the centuries, and now I can represent that. I’d have preferred a more flexible system that allowed me to build my own chapter-specific tactics, but this will do, and is probably much easier to keep balanced. Regardless, it lets me field more than one set of Tactics simultaneously via the ally options, so that lets me get some extra flavour in.
I’m sad that they didn’t put Deathwatch Kill Teams into the book. I realise they’d be ridiculous to try and balance, but I had high hopes. I also hoped to see sternguard get more heavy weapon options and relentless, but that was pretty much a pipe dream. There are some fun Chapter Relics I’m looking forward to trying out. More on the codex later, as I make further use of it. Still not a fan of the new Centurions, but I’ll probably look into trying them out at some point, just to see if I’m wrong. I just think they’re going to be way too fragile. I feel like I saw that they’re Slow and Purposeful; can I drop pod those guys? I’m going to have to keep reading.
Oh, and random psychic powers are dumb. Think about all the fluff behind Space Marine Librarians. These are not individuals that stick one hand in the warp and point the other at their enemy, hoping for the best. The idea that they’d even use a power of this nature if they had no control over it is ridiculous.
But back to Sunday night. So what did my list look like?
Main army was Imperial fists, with 2x Tactical Squads, a Captain, and a couple devastator squads (1 all plasma, 1 all heavy bolters). Allied detachment was Iron Hands, with a Master of the Forge (bike and conversion beamer), my assault ironclad, a scout squad and a vindicator. The assault ironclad failed miserably this time; largely failing to wound with the heavy flamers, and then failing the charge. He drew a lot of fire, but that’s about it. The plasma devastators (also cheaper now, by a lot!) did about as well. 2 died to gets hot rolls, and the rest were shot to bits by a tau stealth team. The MOTF did decently well, punching blast sized holes in various units over the course of the battle, and the vindicator emerged totally unscathed (and I cannot say the same for its targets). The remaining infantry (I can’t even recall ever fielding 2 full tactical squads before… *ever*) held their own pretty well, considering they were consistently shot at by Tau and charged by Orks.
Before: Weakened by fusion blaster fire and various other horrible ranged attacks, my infantry prepare to face down the advancing horde and their battle wagon of rolling death and mayhem.
During: Got some good shots in (my heavy bolter devastators were probably the most effective unit in the battle) and thinned the attacking ranks.
After (not shown): Almost all of the infantry were taken out by the rolling death wheel or whatever was on the front of the battle wagon. A Tau Hammerhead’s rail rifle took down my captain, and I was left with three tactical marines, 1 scout, and 1 devastator. By the end of the third turn (our last of the night), two more tactical marines had laid down their lives, but the battle wagon was destroyed, and I had three infantry left in that corner, one of which was a lone tactical marine standing his ground 2 inches from the objective. He will soon be named.
All in all a great game, and a fun introduction to the new codex. Biggest issue? Riptides. They shouldn’t be, but we mostly play for fun, so we haven’t really been fielding to deal with them, and now our group’s meta is getting all out of whack. Just a metric tonne of monstrous creatures meandering all over every battlefield. I’ve decided it’s time to make those riptides look less desirable. With that in mind, I’m building a new series of lists, to be held in reserve until I face those riptides again.
If that happens soon, you may get to hear a little more about it.
Edit: apparently no drop pod for the centurions. They can take a land raider, which might be okay, but lacks the first turn punch I’m going to give the riptides. I might give them a try later, though.
So, is anybody out there in internet land waiting to hear how it went? Because it went well. All of the players enjoyed it, and the folks that had doubts were pleasantly surprised.
There are still a few glitches. The objective does a bit too much damage when it explores; I should tweak them so as to allow some armour saves. The do or die ‘hazard’ pretty much decimated the daemons, which until then hadn’t been doing unreasonably well. Probably should either pull the hunter rules or replace them with shred, so that everybody benefits. Objectives just can’t be moved far enough in six turns, so I will probably change the location of the rendezvous.
That said, it sounds like everybody had a blast; I look forward to joining the fray next time.