Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tale of Even More Painters 1.4: Sketchy Phone Photos!

As stated above, here are sketchy photos of my painting for the competition taken on my camera phone as I can't interface with my digital camera until my laptop is fixed:

The Inquisitorial J is the company symbol for the Black Jacks, and will make it easier for me to use them as STs for my planned future Daemon/Witch Hunter expansions. Plus I like saying Inquisitorial J...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Technical Difficulties

As you may be able to tell from the title, I'm having a bit of a day. This blog post is being typed on my wonderful, loving girlfriend's computer because my computer decided to die. A lot.

It started about a week ago when I noticed that the case was cracked, causing it to buckle when I closed the screen. Not a good sign. Then the touchpad mouse stopped working. And now it will no longer charge.

So, despite my best efforts to get back into daily blogging, it seems that Fate has thwarted my plans yet again. No pic reader on this laptop and none on the comps at work, and I just don't happen to have a cable... oyveh Maria. Well, I'll get my finished Stormtrooper pictures up one way or another, even if it means I have to e-mail them from my cell phone...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tale of Even More Painters 1.3

Got a lot of feedback from my contest buddies, and I think the advice really paid off! Here he is, new and improved:

The blue was brightened by adding quite a few drops of white with about half as many silver and a single drop of red. The red benefited from a combination of yellow and Bronzed Flesh, though just a very small amount of the latter. Finally, the gold wasn't mixed in a different way, but instead I layered yellow, then silver, and then finally Shining Gold on top.

Thanks to all of the people who gave me advice... now to just paint all the others!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tale of Even More Painters 1.2

And here is the mostly complete test-trooper. All that it's missing are the insignia on the pauldrons. I switched from white to Adeptus Battlegrey cloth with a Kommando Khaki and Skull White highlight, followed by Badab Black wash on select areas.

I think I need to make the visor and scope blues a little bit lighter and maybe a bit more metallic. I also need to add some highlighting to the power cables... but I don't want to have to go out and buy a new red. I think I can mix up a lighter red using the yellow and white that I have. Anybody have a good recipe for either of those?

Tale of Even More Painters 1.1

Our next challenge for ToEMP is to paint at least 125 points of models from the Elites FoC. For me, the obvious choice was to paint up my Stormtroopers who have seen quite a bit of use in my games. Since I had a bit of time tonight and I don't want to be caught off guard, I started trying out a color scheme for my "Glory Boys." Here's the WIP first member of the Black Jacks:

First, some caveats. I obviously haven't even finished base coating this guy let alone done any clean up or detail work. I'm thinking gold for the skulls with wings and a metallic blue mix for the goggles. The armor needs to be black as they are the Black Jacks, and there will be a stylized J on one pauldron and a spade on the other.

What I'm really curious about is what people think of the cloth color. White goes along with my playing card theme, but I'm not sure if it is working out here. Other possible colors include Bleached Bone, khaki and some kind of grey. Let me know what you think so I can knock these boys out of the park!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tale of Even More Painters, Challenge 0

Like a few other bloggers I have decided to join the Tale of Even More Painters (ToEMP) as a way to get me back on track painting all my dudes. For the first 75 point challenge I decided to paint up a special weapon squad armed with 2 demo charges and a flamer. I still need to find room for this particular build in my 1500 list, but in my 2k game that was posted earlier today they were deadly.

This is my first attempt at using greenstuff- I used it to fill in the back of my demo charges which I made out of the bottom half of a Cadian vox caster unit, which as you can see looked a bit... open before:

I also did a bit of freehand work that I would say is a definite improvement over my earlier attempts. All of the troopers have regimental number (24) on the right pauldron and squad number (S), platoon (Hearts) and rank (Ninesman) on the left pauldron.

You might also be able to see that I did some work on the bases, painting Hearts on them and rimming the base with red and black stripes to help identify them when they are on the table.

Some pics from the front and back of the same guardsman:

And a pic of the squad after their charges have been thrown:

And special thanks to my girlfriend who painted up one of the demo charge carrying guardsman on top- I hope this doesn't carry against my standing in the contest, she just was really excited to be involved in my hobby, and I think she did a great job!

Tau vs IG: Blood In The Sand

Tau vs 24th Fortunan
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead
Points: 2000

For this game I went for a slightly different set up, as I needed to field almost all of my models to get up to this point value. I dropped both squads of vets, Marbo and the stormtroopers in favor of two large infantry platoons. Clubs platoon would start on the board and play defense for the tanks and call in heavy weapons fire on the enemy while Hearts platoon would outflank and hopefully catch the wily grav-tanks by surprise. I also paid for three sentinels, two of them armored with camo netting and plasma cannons and one scout with a lascannon. Also, my lascannon Russ was upgraded to a Pask-enabled Vanquisher as I was curious about the tank.

The Tau got the first turn and readily opened fire. Submunition rounds from the Hammerhead slammed into my infantry while the Broadsides and Skyray attempted to crack the armor of my HB Russ and Stompy Jr. respectively. Fortunately the armor of the battle tank and the armored sentinel both withstood the assault without a scratch on them. Return fire from my heavy weapons teams was vicious- the mortars pinned one squad of pathfinders and broke another while the lascannons eliminated a broadside with style and panache. Characteristic of their performance all game the two Leman Russes failed to do squat thanks to poor shooting and disruption fields.

The second turn saw a squad of Stealth Suits drop from the sky and land in the middle of my back field while Kroot charged out of the woods towards my Lascannon teams. The former eliminated a mortar team causing it to flee the battle while the Kroot managed to take down a lascannon team. More shells pounded my infantry and tanks, though no significant damage was accrued. In retribution for my lost mortar team I sent my PCS out to douse the Kroot with the Emperor’s fiery justice, sweeping the lot of them from the board. My CCS meanwhile brought the Stealth Team down to 1 man with plasmafire which my remaining mortar squad finished off with lasgun fire.

More battlesuits fell from the sky, including Commander Shadowsun who unfortunately managed to incur a Deep Strike mishap by landing on one of my Chimeras, even with reroll. The other battlesuit team landed safely and burned my PCS to the ground. Only the medic managed to make his FNP saves… Elsewhere the battle was also not going well. My infantry platoon had been forced to seek shelter in a nearby rock outcropping, but even so they were slowly being whittled down to nothing. My reserves finally decided to grace me with their presence on the third turn; Al’Rahem and his demo charge SWS came in on my flank while the rest of my reserves came in on the other. This latter was perhaps a poor decision as the Tau tanks were out of range for my guys, though the scout sentinel managed to down the hammerhead with one lascannon shot. The demo charges eliminated the attacking battlesuits easily.

At this point the KP were very close, 6-5. He easily got another one with one volley of fire from his command battlesuit group which was equipped with a fragmentation airburst projector, basically a large blast mortar version of the flamer. With it he destroyed two combined squads of Guardsmen. Now tied, I had a problem; I had stupidly placed two easily obtainable kill points on his side of the board (My melta SWS squad and the scout walker), so I needed to get at least 2 to tie the game… or pray for an early conclusion. On turn 5 I downed the last broadside with lascannon fire and was leading 7-6. We rolled for turn 6 and it came up 4, so we played on.

The Tau focused all of their fire on the walker and the SWS. Miraculously 1 meltagunner managed to survive the onslaught by making 3 consecutive 6+ cover saves, denying him the KP. On my turn I opened fire on a wounded Devilfish, bringing it down with plasmagun and Vanquisher fire. The roll for turn 7 came up 2, so the game ended with me ahead by 1 KP, 8-7.

It was a really hard fought match that came down to blind luck in the end. Granted we both made some stupid decisions during the game, but it was still a very entertaining and thrilling battle. Things that I won’t do again include using the Pask/Vanquisher combo as it only managed to take down a single tank all game, and that on the very last turn by stripping it of all weapons and immobilizing it. If it only had AP 1 it would be a beast, but as it stands it’s not worth the points, especially with Pask.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Battle in the Wastes

The Tyranid threat had been encroaching on the settlement of Barad’s Tome for some time now. Pre-Assault shelling from Imperial artillery had turned the landscape into a mix of craters and ruined buildings, but the area was still important from a strategic standpoint as it marked the beginning of Highway 204, a vital road to the Imperial war effort. In particular, there were 5 defensive positions that were key to securing this stretch of the highway: the two ruined remnants of the Redemptionist Rectory, the last remaining Imperial fortification in the region, and a ruined house and rocky outcropping in which heavy weapons and anti-aircraft defenses could easily be situated.

The offensive was triggered just before dawn when a vanguard of the invading hive fleet discovered the forward operating elements of the 24th Fortunan and Dark Angels Space Marines. Fortunately both were situated out of sight and range from most of the Tyranid bio-weapons, though Tactical Squad Alpha bore the brunt of the assault, losing 2 men. The leader of the foul beasts, a Hive Tyrant accompanied by his guardian beasts, advanced towards the remaining Marines, hoping for a quick end to the fight.

Imperial forces quickly responded to the assault. Dark Angels space marines ran onto the board and sprinted for good firing lanes. Trump-King Xavier Strauss saw this and new that the noble Astartes would need cover from the approaching Hive Tyrant or else the entire offensive would fall apart. The quick thinking commander ordered his Chimerae to execute a daring maneuver, driving full speed and swerving 180 degrees at the last moment to let their cargo disembark. T-K Strauss commanded both his own and the Diamond squad to bring the foul beast down. After a flurry of hot streaming death from the two squads the beast barely hung on to life, its bodyguards destroyed. The Spade snipers hidden in the top floors of the ruined Rectory attempted to finish the beast off, but their weapons were no match for its chitinous hide.

The beast roared and charged those who had wounded it. The light of the Emperor was with our men, however, as the fearsome weapons of the Xenos failed to make any significant headway. The Tyrant charged, roaring in its guttural tongue, yet somehow the Diamonds managed to dodge its fearsome blows and hold the beast to a draw.

The Imperial counterattack surged onwards, marines bellowing challenges and jumping into the fray. But even the mighty Space Marines proved no equal to the gargantuan beast, losing two of their number to its wicked talons.

At this point Ninesman James “Jimmy” Johnson became a hero. Running forward and leaping suicidally onto the creatures back, he pulled out a grenade and slammed it into one of the deep wounds that had been caused by melta and plasma fire. Leaping off again, he turned around just in time to watch the creature explode in a fantastic fashion. Since his squad was eliminated later in the fighting, his Star of the Legion will be posthumous.

The joy of the counterattack was short lived, as genestealers and their Broodlord, codenamed “Amanda,” surged onto the field.

Fortunately the Emperor looks out for his humble guardsman and reinforcements arrived. Combined fire from the Terminators, the Spade snipers and a small squad of Stormtroopers brought Amanda’s retinue down to just three xenos while a Scout sentinel marched up along the other flank, dying gloriously in close combat with the beasts.

More genestealers poured on from the right flank and the gargantuan Carnifexes trudged forwards. Lictors also appeared out of the rubble and joined the fight. If not for the timely intervention of Hearts-Queen Catherine “Kitty” Jones the battle might have been lost, but a hail of blistering lasgun fire eliminated one brood while costly close quarters fighting eliminated a second in addition to a lictor. The Hearts-Queen relied on her personal vox bearer to give her squad the courage to assist the Terminators in taking down the fearsome Fex.

Elsewhere the battle looked ever brighter for the Imperials. One of the Warrior broods had been eliminated, as well as the other Carnifex and two of the Zoanthropes that were haunting the battlefield. Even though 2 of his men had succumbed to plasma burns and he himself was grieviously wounded, T-K Strauss fought on, losing a third man while trying to eliminate a Lictor that had devoured the last member of Diamond squad. The brave Dark Angels once again proved their mettle by charging the beast in its lair and laying it low with blessed chainswords.

The alien, seeing that it had taken grievous losses from the tactically superb Imperial assault fell into retreat. They would be back later, no doubt, but for now the highway was once again under Imperial control. Hopefully this would not be another world to lose to the hive…

Friday, August 14, 2009

Product Review: Simple Green

… is Simply Amazing! I left my models in it for 6 hours and was already able to scrape most of the paint off of them. After twelve even the metal models were willing getting down to their skivvies. This was my first attempt at stripping paint, and all of the articles in the Painting section of the FTW archive were really helpful, especially those that pointed me towards this fine product.

For you physics nerds out there, the shirt reads "H-Bar: Put a positive spin on things! (also available in 1/2 sizes)"

I even forgot about two of the models for a couple of days, and they’re absolutely fine!

And does anyone else find the concept of toothbrushing little plastic men while wearing latex gloves hilarious?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Switching Armies: Nidses!

So I’ve had quite a few battles in the past few days and I figured it was about time to tell you about some of them. Two of the other gamers and I decided to try switching armies around for a couple of battles to get a feel for using a different force. The first switch was me going over to Nids. Being a fan of outflanking from my Mobile Infantry Guard lists I decided to go for a genestealer heavy army. Here’s a breakdown of my list:

Broodlord with feeder tendrils and flesh hooks
10 Genestealers with flesh hooks, 4+ save
8 Genestealers with flesh hooks, scuttlers, 4+ save, toxin sacs
8 Genestealers with flesh hooks, scuttlers, 4+ save
8 Genestealers with flesh hooks, scuttlers, 4+ save
3 Bio-acid spore mines
3 Bio-acid spore mines
3 Bio-acid spore mines
Carnifex with venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, extended carapace
Carnifex with venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, extended carapace

A couple of points of contention that this list brings up:

- 4+ save on the stealers. I could afford a ton more troops if I dropped the save, but not having them die instantly to basic infantry weapons seemed to be a big plus in my book. Plus the army I was borrowing had it modeled on, so that was a plus.
- Spore mines. I figured they were cheap and hilarious and an ok way to deal with tanks, something that this army will struggle with. They can even pen a Land Raider on a wing and a prayer!

I played the former Nid player who was now playing Tau. Set up was in a desert canyon, granting plenty of cover for my stealers and Lictors while at the same time affording a great degree of protective mobility to the Tau jetpacks and grav tanks. He had loaded up on maxed out firewarriors in Devilfishes and railguns, but only 1 team of battlesuits.

Mission was 2 objectives, deployment was long board edges and my opponent won and chose first turn. He deployed his army, and in response I deployed two carnifexes in out of the way locations.

1st turn saw little happening, as my cover saves held out and the Fexes did little to deter the enemy tanks. 2nd turn got a little more interesting as two of my genestealer broods came on, including the one led by the Broodlord.

I unfortunately forgot that the Broodlord wasn’t fleet, so I was unable to assault anything on the turn they entered play. I was repaid for this mistake with boatloads of enemy fire that reduced the Broodlord’s retinue to 4 genestealers. My other brood escaped any molestation, however, and the Fexes continued to prove invincible.

My third turn shooting managed to pin the battlesuits with a Strangler and stun a Devilfish whose firewarriors had disembarked. Also two more genestealer broods came in on the opposite board edge, allowing me to charge for my objective. I made another poor decision in not sending two broods to secure the objective, a choice that would haunt me later. One brood assaulted a hammerhead, hitting it on 6s three times...

then rolling this for armor penetration:

The tank blew up but failed to take any of my troops with it. Victory for the swarm!

The rest of the battle became a mad dash for me to secure an objective. His objective was too far back and well guarded to assault, especially after my Carnifex was finally downed by a lucky missile pod shot. At one point I assaulted 4 tanks at once and only managed to kill one. I also assaulted two firewarrior squads with lone Lictors and slaughtered them both in one round. Yay enemies getting to hit me on 5s!

In the end it was a draw only because the Tau player forgot that he could contest objectives with tanks (his response when I reminded him of this after the game: Contesting? What, you mean getting on an objective and NOT assaulting? Madness!). I probably could have done a bit better if I had managed the Broodlord better and gotten the assault on the Battlesuits with the fleet-enabled Stealers.

Still, it was fun to try out another army for a change. Since he wants to try using my IGuard next time and our Tau playing friend has sadly departed for Montana, I’ll be back to Nids… though I now have the go ahead to borrow elements from another Nids playing friend, allowing me to field everything except for Raveners. Should be interesting…

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Making Do With Less: Meltaguns

A return to the series as I've started painting my army in earnest. The past two days I have spent making meltagunners for the SWS and Platoon Command Squad of Hearts platoon. Since I am a budget player (har har)I purchased the meltagun bitz packs instead of buying the metal special weapons troopers. This has two problems for me:

1) The hand on the meltagun is a space marine power armor glove; ok for Grenadiers or stormtroopers, but for a normal guy might pose an aesthetic problem.
2) Getting the hand and the gun on the trooper in a way that makes sense.

I've tried a few ways, often times unsuccessfully, with my vets, so this time I had a bit more experience going in. One way that I found worked fairly well was to use the Cadian infantry sprue and select the lasgun model that does not have the hand built into the gun. All I had to do was chop the gun and hand out of the weapon piece and I had two arms that were perfect to use for my trooper. Here's how they turned out:

I don't like these the most because of the glove; if I had another glove for the other hand that would be one thing, but... eh. You can also try leaving the hand on the gun, but I found that that ran into some interesting problems with the butt of the meltagun, as well as made it a bit harder to glue into place.

The other method, that I found worked very well was to take the grenade launcher pair of hands and use them to put the meltagun together. I imagine that it would work just as well for plasmaguns/you could probably use the flamer hands as well, as it is a similar configuration.

There are really only two steps. Step one is to cut off the arm and the pistol grip of the grenade launcher.

Step two is to cut off the butt and hand on the meltagun.

Then just attach the two together. Here's the finished model:

And here's a pic of him with the 4 other meltagunners I finished today: