Friday, January 29, 2010

Escalated Progress

A few posts back I talked about some resolutions that I had for my army and my blog. So far the posting (except for one occasion where I apparently forgot to push "publish") has followed my 3-a-week goal to the letter. There was another resolution, that I would not purchase any more models before I had painted and assembled everything that I had. Here's my current progress on that front:

Weeeeelll, that one's going out the window, because my FLGS is starting an escalation league!

Now, most people would start a brand new army when such an event occurs, and I did consider it. A Daemons force would let me play Fantasy as well as be a good nemesis/ally force for my Guard, and another project (still secret) would have been fun but nearly impossible to model in time. But getting more Guard will allow my force to grow out of its current stagnant state, as well as save me some money (as I would probably buy more Guard anyway).

So here's where I stand now:


Yes, that's two Valkyries (well, Vendettas in play...) in 500 pts. Not sure if it's a wise decision, but I'm trying to use mostly units that are new to my army in the league. The league starts two Saturdays from now, so I hope my second (and third!) Valks get here soon, 'cuz I have a lot of painting and modeling to do!
Wish me luck!

*Image from

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Attacking Progress Fast-ly

About time for an update on what I've been working on. My first order of magnets came in a while ago, so I set to work magnetizing up some sentinels. Unfortunately I forgot to order 1/16" magnets, so I'll have to hold off before I can make a Scout/Armored Sentinel mix.

For your perusal, Stompy Lesser and Stopper.

Stopper was built from the new sentinel kit:


... while Stompy Lesser came from my E-bay purchase of a long time ago. His top will remain open so that I can justify using him as both a Scout and Armored Sentinel in games. I'll probably fashion a lid when the magnets come in.

The paint scheme was created by spraying the walkers with Skeleton Bone color primer from Army Painter, a heavy Badab Black wash followed by a lot of dry brushing of Skull White. It's the same color as is on the armor of Clubs and Hearts platoon soldiers.

The few stray bullet streaks were made with a base of Calthan Brown followed by Boltgun Metal and Chainmail/Mithril Silver. I tried using Dwarf Bronze to add a bit more, but the rust ended up being too shiny.

My weapons were magnetized with two magnets on the Sentinel (one on the weapon mount, one just to the right of the slot for the power pack) and with snipped staples on the weapons. While the latter doesn't result in the tightest fit, it is much cheaper than using more magnets. I'll probably use the 1/16" magnets when I get them for the other sentinels, but I wanted to get WYSIWYG models on the table for once.


As for where I got the idea for magnetizing, check out this website. Great place, and has tips for magnetizing my next project...


As mentioned earlier, this is a wonderful X-mas present from my girlfriend, and will come in lots of use in my games. As soon as I get some more time and magnets I will make it so that I can switch in and out all of the different weapon options. As for now, the heavy bolters can feel free to swing in and out the doors.

As far as painting goes, I've managed to paint up the interior. I'm looking for a dark grey spray paint before I start painting the outside, something in the neighborhood of Adeptus Battlegrey... or whatever color they used to spray the stormtrooper Valkyrie on the website.

 Alright... more progress updates as well as a look at the future in the next post. See you on Friday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mordheim Mondays: Welcome to Mordheim!

Greetings fellow traveler! Have you come to hear tales of that most unfortunate and cursed city, Mordheim? A city whose fall was so terrible that our great Emperors buried the smoking shell rather than attempt to save it? Well then, pull up a stool by the fire and order me a drink, for it is going to be a long story...

Mordheim is a tactical skirmish game set in the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. It is a curious mix of RPG and war game where players command Warbands, groups of 10-15 warriors that scavenge among the ruins of the fallen city looking for Wyrdstone. As your warband fights other warbands the characters in it will gain new skills and experience, as well as earn gold with which they can purchase additional arms and armor.

There are two basic kinds of warriors that you can have in your warband: heroes and henchmen. Heroes are like RPG characters- they can gain experience for eliminating enemy models, can learn many cool skills and generally have better stats and armament. Henchmen are everyone else- while they can gain experience they do so much more slowly than heroes and have fewer options to upgrade them with. However, every so often a henchmen will be brought up to the big leagues and be granted the mantle of hero through the "This lad's got talent!" rule.

On the table Mordheim uses many of the same rules that are found in WFB. The units use the same stats and many of the races and abilities will be familiar to those who have played the game before. However, the action in Mordheim is much more complicated. One thing that does this is the nature of the terrain. The board for Mordheim, which you may be able to tell by looking above, is set up like a Gamma level city-fight map. Ruined houses, derelict carts and steep ledges litter the battlefield impeding movement. To deal with this there are tons of rules for climbing ledges, or for falling off of them when your character is shot/struck and fails to keep his or her balance.

Another is the very involved nature of combat. For instance, when you strike an enemy with a weapon it matters whether the weapon is a sword, axe, hammer, etc., as each weapon has its own profile (like in an RPG). And even if you manage to wound an enemy, they won't necessarily be struck down. Models can be knocked down and out in addition to being "removed from action."

This term, removed from action, is very important, as just because a model is removed doesn't mean that it is dead. While henchmen only live on 2/3s of the time it is very difficult to keep a hero down. More often then not they will suffer some kind of debilitating after effect like missing an eye... though just as often the hero will actually gain from his misfortune, for example gaining hatred for the warband that felled him!

There are also a ton of missions, especially if you consider the dozens of player created additions that you can use. Each one is unique and they often have quirky and fun rules. The assembled warbands might try to assault a wizard's tower and plunder the riches inside, or simply try to grab as many pieces of wyrdstone as they can before being forced to withdraw.

I'll get into more nuts and bolts next Monday, but just as an example of what can happen in a game let me tell you about the outcomes of my warband, Gunnar's Axes, and their first outing into the mean streets of the City of the Damned. The mission was Rescue the Prince- basically a dumb son of a noble tried adventuring in Mordheim and his father is paying to have him rescued. Whoever manages to grab him and run off the board wins. Three of us were playing- me with my Norsemen, Russell with his Skaven and Ben with Witch Hunters. Ben decided to simply shoot the prince when it looked like Russell might win, so the entire mission devolved into a massive brawl in the center of the map.

At the end of every mission we find out what happened to our heroes and henchmen who gained experience or fell in battle. This particular battle was brutal- the leader of Ben's warband was outright killed while my leader, Gunnar, now has a paltry toughness of 2 thanks to the lasting damage that a witch hunter hammer did to his rib cage, while Russell came out scot free thanks to good rolls for his people.

Join me next Monday when I continue to fight my way through Mordheim and we start talking about the typical Warband.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fortunan Fluff: Fortuna Secundus, part II



CASE FILE 359:92C:HB8:Dih

CLASSIFICATION: Primary Level Intelligence
ENCRYPTION: Cryptox v 2.5
DATE: 41.M36
AUTHOR: Inquisitor Martin Schleissmacher
SUBJECT: Fortuna Secundus Warp Activity
RECIPIENT: Lord Inquisitor Justin Liechtenstein


Greetings, and may the God-Emperor look down upon us with favor.

Three weeks ago Warp monitoring stations near the Fortuna system detected a large signature manifesting on Fortuna Secundus. After all attempts at communication were met with either screams or silence an Ordos Malleus strike team was dispatched and sent to investigate.

(Image from
We touched down in what our maps purported to be the capital city of Vega. All that surrounded us for kilometers was burnt wasteland and the melted remnants of sand covered buildings. Nothing even closely resembling the lush forests that were present in our data sheets could be seen, even through our macros. All was dead and burnt. Our mystics reported strong psychic resonance from the area as would be expected from the presence of the Great Enemy, but that it was strangely muted, as if it were being actively walled off.

Our craft took to the air again, under my orders to follow the mystics' senses to the strongest source of resonance. They led us to the location of a large entertainment complex known quite distressingly as the "Imperial Palace." We touched down several kilometers away from the structure and prepared to investigate in force.

That night the Enemy assaulted us, but he met his match in us. Precision fire from my Stormtroopers as well as the wail of my Hammer beat the foe back into the warp, seemingly too easily.

Once the perimeter was secure we called down reinforcements and made towards our destination. Entering the "Palace" my mystics began to cringe in fear, complaining about large shapes surrounding our every move. We took up defensive positions immediately and steeled ourselves for an encounter with servants of the Most Hated.

After an hour of heightened alert we decided to continue on into the structure, mystics be damned. When we neared the heart of the beast, a large cavernous room with many tables and machines of questionable purpose, we detected movement through our night vision scopes. There, in the middle of the space were figures sitting around the tables, playing cards of all things. We crept down into the center of the room, weapons at the ready.

The humans were bedecked with all manner of Imperial regalia, some so much that I could barely make out their faces for all of the purity seals and aquilae. They had also ritually scarred themselves with pictures of the various suits from their decks, and many of the cards themselves had been stapled to their clothing and flesh. The motions of their game had a ritual-like quality, betraying none of the motion and vulgarity that the common citizen expresses when engrossed in such fare.

Our mystics reported that the great shapes that they had detected were warping in and around the game, seemingly trapped in the fanatically ordered chaos of the shuffling cards. Later we discovered a large number of additional survivors, all similarly scarred though bearing less Imperial iconography. They corroborated the mystics theory, adding that one of their one, someone by the name of Katriana Carde, had had a vision telling them to perform the ritual above in order to survive the impending "doom of the perverted heretics dancing to their deaths above."

All survivors have been quarantined and will be interrogated to see if their stories corroborate our further investigations. I am sending this missive to your, my Lord, because of the massive theoretical implications that this find presents and I require guidance as to how to proceed.

May the Emperor protect and send your response swiftly to me


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Imperium vs The Bugs: A Video Battle Report

Welcome to my first video battle report. My friend Russell has just gotten the new Tyranid codex and has whipped up an 1850 list to go against 1100 points of my Fortunan 24th and 750 heavily proxied points of Space Marines for Caleb.

None of these lists are intended to be competitive- we're just trying out all of the new stuff that Bugs have to offer. Same goes for proxies- since all of the new stuff just came out, we're trying a few builds before purchases are made. Hope you enjoy- I'll be trying to do some more of these!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mordheim: Assembling the Warband

As I mentioned in my new year's post, I'm starting up Mordheim this year. I decided to go for the Norse warband as it sounded like it hit all of my key points- vikings, werewolves, and more wolves!

For my miniatures, I decided to go forego Games Workshop models. Since I don't plan on participating in any tournaments, I wanted to go as cheap as I could while still having miniatures that I would have fun painting. Plus, GW doesn't really have any models that fit the viking, werewolf or wolf theme. Sure there are goblin wolf riders, but I want three, not ten!

For my human warriors I looked to Wargames Factory's excellent 8-figure sample set of Vikings. The detail on the models is pretty nice, and the posability of the weapons is very good, especially since they all come detached on their own sprue; just add them to the hand that you want and you are golden!

They look a little off scale when stood next to the "heroic" scaled 28mm figs, but they do pretty well. Plus, what a price- $4.95 for 8 figures? Sold!

Over the weekend I managed to assemble my warband, so here are some pics just to show how the models turned out:

Next on my list were my Ulfwerenar and wolf pack. For these I went to Reaper Minis.

This fellow came pre-painted and only costed around $4. I'll probably do some highlighting to make him my own.

The wolves also came from Reaper, but unfortunately my FLGS's were out of them at the moment so I had to special order them from the Warstore. I still need to get cavalry bases for them, but otherwise I think they'll fit the bill.

All in all, my warband cost me about $30 to put together. And you know what the best part is? That is all that it will cost me. I have enough vikings left over to build over the maximum of my warband if needed, and if I get something like a mercenary wizard I can always just steal the astropath from my Guard army.

Stay tuned as I get these boys painted up and ready to hit the mean streets of Mordheim: City of the Damned!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fortunan Fluff: Fortuna Secundus

Fortuna Secundus was discovered shortly after exploration began again after the Horus Heresy. The explorators noted that it contained many accessible deposits of adamantium and other precious materials, as well as the verdant tropical setting that would easily support  Within the century ships carrying miners, equipment and supplies were burning their way in-system. They settled on what was called the Caesaerean plains and began mining in earnest, as the Imperium was still piecing itself back together and needed as much materiele as possible.

The Caesaerean Mine generated great profits for the first Fortunan governor, and he capitalized upon it by turning Fortuna's lush forests into an elitist pleasure planet. Great entertainment structures called casinos were erected, thousands of square miles of forest were clear cut to incorporate landing pads and high rises and "nature preserves." Fortuna soon became the place for the Imperial upper crust to relax.

Over the centuries the planet grew more popular, resulting in veritable hives of servants that were shuttled out to the resorts for the rich while other hives developed around new mining sites. Several rare crystals, metals and woods were discovered on the planet, fetching even higher prices at market. Fortuna was booming, and business was good.

As business went better, the planet grew more overgrown with potent emotions. The rich looked for new ways to entertain themselves and the workers grew more and more unsettled with their way of life. By the fifth millennium of its existence, trouble was brewing on Fortuna...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Summons: Fluffy Battle Report

Hearts-King Remy shivered in the confines of his Chimera despite the heat. It wasn't right to let the men know how he felt on the inside, but he couldn't help it. Despite his training, despite the assurances of his superiors, he could feel that this was wrong.

A xenos strike force had been sighted just hours before by Hearts-Queen Card pushing fast towards the 24th's perimeter. All that stood in between the combined force of Tau and Eldar was a single squad and armored sentinel from the recon company, not nearly enough to hold the enemy at bay. Remy's squad, a small mechanized squad of Black Jacks and one of Queen Card's scout sentinels were all that could arrive to provide assistance. No other forces would be able to reach the perimeter in time. The Inquisitor's response had been clear and to the point. "Do not let the xenos interfere. Perform the summons."

Remy shivered again. Just remembering those words sent a chill down his spine. He had done as he was ordered- the cards were laid out in concentric circles of power, blood and sand had been sprinkled over them as the intonations had been chanted. He had reached out to and through the cards, calling out into the void.

And They had heard him.

Their voices, screams, howls and shrieks had echoed- STILL echoed through his mind, furious at the binds that had been placed upon them. These had increased in strength when he had whispered the forbidden words into the maelstrom:




Come and reap."

The fiends cackled, took reality with a forceful grip and clawed their way into the world.


That was 15 minutes ago. As the Chimera barrelled into position, the battlefield was filled with the roar of grav engines, the buzzing of energy weapons, the crack of railguns... and the screams. He would never, had never, forgotten those screams. He, after all, heard them all the time.

The scream of metal as crab claws sheared through armor.
The scream of dying Eldar as reality warped and twisted around them.
The scream he later learned unleashed from his own throat as he came close- too close- to losing control.
And the screams of impossible creatures, beings forged of dark myth and sin, singing praises to their masters as they slew and were slain in return.

Despite the horrors surrounding them, his men had performed bravely. The lone squad on the scene had managed to neutralize the lone Devilfish that had broken through the daemonic onslaught. On the far side of the battlefield two bound servants of Tzeentch ran down the opposition while the Hearts-Queen's sentinel had broken the Tau and driven them off their firing position. The armored sentinel, piloted by none other than Steven "Stompy Jr." Marlow himself had lent his firepower to victory while keeping a close eye on the summoned "allies."

He would later report that it was an almost flawless victory- only an immobilized sentinel marred the otherwise impeccable outcome, the enemy broken, bloodied and running. The Tau had lost everything, their few remaining troops captured for interrogation. The Eldar had fled the battlefield after the last of their aspect warriors had been slain by the rampaging Daemon Prince.

Remy had held the line. His cards, as always had done their job. Yet still he shivered, looking out into the growing twilight, wondering for how long before even the cards would stop holding the screams at bay...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Progress Rolls Forward

Progress continues on the Fortunan 24th. Since taking these pictures I've added some more detail to one of the Chimeras and thrown a heavy flamer on it. The heavy weapon squads had been finished earlier, but had not appeared on the blog till now.

Also, I got some new tools to help me on my next project...


 With these I shall finally be able to get to work on my Sentinels. Yay!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fortunan Fluff: Prologue

Imperial Guard regiments hail from an almost unimaginably varied number of worlds. Some, like Cadia, are planetary fortresses with a strong military tradition and the best training that the Imperium can offer. Others, like Catachan, are Death Worlds, worlds where even the ground underneath your feat might consider you a delicious morsel. There are feudal worlds, feral worlds, ice worlds, lava worlds, worlds completely dominated by machinery, midnight worlds, depot worlds, manufacturing worlds... worlds without end.

Each planet sends its tithe of troops to the Imperial Guard without fail, and each has its own traditions. The Rough Riders of Attilan bear garb similar to that of Mongols and ride fierce warhorses into battle. The Vostroyans are sometimes more machine than man and hold their arms and armament to high standards. The Death Korps of Krieg sublimate their individuality to atone for long ago sins.

Some planets even have sanctioned variants of the Imperial Creed, seeing the Emperor as the All-Father, the Great Hunter, the Light Everlasting.

Out of all of these worlds, and all of these different peoples, and even confronted with all of these different creeds, they all can agree on one thing:

Something ain't right about those Fortunan boys.


Join me on Fridays to hear more about the story behind the suits, the Black Jacks, the Inquisitorial involvement, and Fortuna itself. Just make sure to lock your Puritan friends in the closet first...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tyrannic Invasion!

With the new codex coming out our local Nids player is looking to get as many games in with the 4th ed codex as possible. So this past weekend we decided to play a game of Planetstrike, a format that neither of us had much experience with. We rolled up mission number 2, Desperate Assault, with the dastardly Nids as the attacker and my brave Fortunan 24th as the defender.

In Desperate Assault the attacker has succeeded in establishing a beachhead on the planet and is attempting to seize additional ground to land even more forces. To represent this the Attacker gets a bastion of his very own on the battlefield and deploy some units without deep striking them. In addition, the preliminary assault blasts are strength 10 and due to the ferocity of the assault the defenders units are at -2 leadership for the first turn. Not all is downside for the defender, however, as he only needs to hold 1 objective to claim victory.

If you are interested in a full battle report, click on the link below:

Click me to read spoilers

I set up my defenses with little cover on the field. There were three of my bastions and one of the attackers (in the picture below shown as a forest, though this was later replaced with a more suitable building). I also activated two of my assets: extra ammunition for the central bastion, and Force Pylons guarding the front of the bastion on my left flank. Force Pylons are great buys against Tyranids because only vehicles and units with assault grenades can cross them, meaning that the only unit I had to worry about from my friend were his genestealers.

The Nids player soon revealed that he had chosen the asset that allows him to roll 2d6 for preliminary bombardment strikes and set about smashing my defenses. With 10 blasts he shattered my central bastion and began his assault.

My force pylon guarded bastion had survived with little damage, but a problem arose that I had not considered before- I had no one in either of my remaining bastions! Most of my army outflanks due to Al'Rahem, so I actually had no one in either bastion, meaning I needed my reserves to come in quick in order to seize some ground!

Turn 1 most of his force deep struck except for the gaunts, Broodlord and Carnifex already on the board. The hordes came on, breaking the lone veteran squad that was in the central bunker while a Zoanthrope destroyed the force pylon bastion. The fleeing Harker and Psyker Primaris would prove to be very useful to my forces even if they were gutless bastards...

My turn 1 my reserve rolls failed for the most part, though Marbo and Al'Rahem's platoon managed to find their way to the board. FRFSRF destroyed a squad of genestealers while Al'Rahem's command squad destroyed a Carnifex that was threatening to destroy my last remaining bastion. Marbo showed up and squashed most of the Broodlord's retinue before being slaughtered in turn.

The next turn's reserve rolls both went well and poorly for the 'Nids, with the rest of his forces coming in. Unfortunately one of his Carnifexes landed in my massed infantry platoon and promptly died, while his Tyrant landed on top of my bastion. We weren't sure how to rule this as I had no units in the bastion yet, so we decided to say that he was standing pretty on it (though he lost a wound to Dangerous Terrain test).

Nid shooting decimated my infantry who were standing around without cover. He also revealed his second asset: Supply Drop, granting his Gaunts offensive and defensive grenades and meltabombs. They made short work of Al'Rahem's chimera even though my Minefield asset managed to kill fully half their number.

Shooting on my turn brought the Tyrant down to 2 wounds and eliminated his guards, while my Leman Russes and my Commander in a Chimera came on from my left flank (though they failed to do anything important like killing).

Turn three saw my infantry decimated even more on the right flank while accurate Zoanthrope fire on the left flank stunned my command Chimera. Al'Rahem was assaulted by Gaunts but barely managed to hold them off. My turn three saw my few remaining guardsmen run desperately for the safety of the bastion, but failed to make it thanks to a pair of sergeants stuck in barbed wire. More infantry ran to support Al'rahem, defeating the bugs with bayonet and power swords.

Turn 4 saw desperate battles on both sides of the board. Genestealers flung themselves at the Commander's chimera but were unable to stop him from breaking through and onto the objective. On the other flank a lucky scatter from one of the Tyranid Warrior blasts took a wound off the Tyrant, allowing Al'Rahem to finish it off with a plasma pistol shot.

My commander and his retinue disembarked on turn 4, slaughtering another genestealer brood, leaving two zoanthropes and the Brood lord as possible threats.

Meanwhile, my Psyker Primaris was slaughtering squads left and right, surviving endless amounts of high strength shots thanks to his refraction field. In the end massed shooting from gaunts brought his reign of terror to an end. This would come to be a theme with me, with Al'Rahem bravely surviving many shots that should have killed him many times over, only falling to multiple hits from Warrior shots.

Turn 5 passed and we moved to turn 6. In a key moment the wounded Zoanthrope contesting the objective fried its brain rolling boxcars for a focused Warp Blast to get around my FNP. My commander then proceeded to down the Broodlord on Turn 7, having outlived all the other members of his squad through sheer luck and determination, leaving me in sole control of the left objective. A zoanthrope, unable to get through the force pylons looked on miserably.

For those of you who don't like battle reports, here's a summary of the badass moments that you missed:

Thoughts on the Battle
Al'Rahem, while seemingly not a great commander for Planetstrike defense proved to be very useful as I had bastions on both table edges to take advantage of his outflanking. Knowing exactly where he was coming from helped coordinate my defenses greatly, and if necessary I am sure that I could have supported his offensive easily with the rest of my reserves. He just happened to serve a much better purpose as a distraction to my sneaky offensive from the other side of the board.

I also saw both the good side and bad side of plasma weapons, as at one point a squad of stormtroopers self destructed and ran thanks to poor rolls for plasma weaponry while at others I was plugging MCs and heavy infantry left and right. Still, very, very useful against the bugs and something that I am not likely to leave home without for a while.

Another MVP were the Force Pylons. While useless against many armies, against Tyranids they are a godsend. Without them I don't know if I would have been able to hold out against the horde.

As always, praise the Emperor for victory and pass the ammunition!