Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Space Marines - "Ushering" in a New Chapter

I've grown a little bored with my White Scars. They're hard to paint and I get a little anxiety when I think about how many bikes I have left to paint. Plus, they've lost a little of their punch in the new Space Marine codex because they don't receive the extra bonus to their jink save.

But you know who does get that extra bit of cover save? Raven Guard. At least in the first turn...

One of the radio plays I'm in this year is "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. Last year's radio play featured three Poe stories, "Cask of Amontillado," "Tell-tale Heart," and "The Black Cat" so I have had a steady diet of gothic imagery from Poe that obviously inspired the Raven Guard. In fact, I have named my Blood Angel dreads after a few Poe characters and I've thought of painting a standard after the Montresor family crest from "Cask."

While at rehearsal (and when my roles are not being rehearsed) I've daydreamed some conversion ideas, army lists, and paint schemes. I think I'm going to use some high elf feathers as a kind of purity seal...

I like fluffy lists and I can't think of a more Raven Guard centric formation that the uber-powerful "Skyhammer Annihilation Force."
Obviously, the assault troops are well within theme and adding drop pods to dev squads makes them feel more in character as well. Adding the Raven Guard rule that jump pack units get to reroll wounds on their hammer of wrath hits really makes this a very attractive formation to field.

Best of all, I find that black is a fun color to paint.

Since a lot of my Scars only have little paint on top of white primer, repainting them won't be a problem. I've never really painted very pale/white skin before, but I don't really see that as a problem. In fact, painting everything in black and white might be a cool look.

Converting my Scars to Ravens seems like an easy swap and an upgrade in tactics. Win-win.

For my 30k Alpha Legion, I purchased a Sicaran Relic tank and assembled it this weekend.

Normally, there's a little bit of flash to scape and sand but this model was very clean. However, I did have a few warped pieces. The baseplate on the main hull was a little off kilter and the two autocannons were less than straight.

The nice thing is, those problems are easily fixed. I microwaved a mug of water for two minutes, gave the piece a quick bath, then gently bent them back into proper shape. The base plate was easy but the guns took two dips in hot water to get it right.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

WIP and ETC Championships

After giving up on my idea of an Imperial Knight army, I'm not sure if I'll sell off my current models or just hang onto them and use them for allies in large point games. I always regret selling most of the models I do get rid of and end up buying more models back.

I've started rehearsal on a new set of radio plays that will be recorded in a September so I haven't had much time this week or last to work on minis or play any games. However, today rehearsal was canceled so I had a little time to work on my loyalist Alpha Legion. Half the army will be for 30k and I'm also making a significantly sized 40k army out of the unpainted marines I had laying around.

Here are some of my Centurion Devastators I've started working on, maybe 50% completed.

I've seen Mark Raley's per-heresy Alpha Legion and I fell in love with the lighter blue/azure color scheme. You can find more of his awesome work at: Marc Raley's Blog

The Europeans seem to dominate the Americans in 40k at the ETC. However, I was pleased to see the list that won was very similar to a list I play, the CentStar.

The ETC format doesn't seem to allow Forgeworld rules - and I really prefer that - and here is the winning list:

ETC Primary Detachment (CAD): Codex Grey Knights, Faction Grey Knights
HQ1-Warlord: Librarian (110): Nemesis Daemon Hammer (5), Psyker ML3 (25) [140]
TROOP1: Strike Squad [110]
TROOP2: Strike Squad [110]
HEAVY SUPPORT1: Nemesis Dreadknight (130): Gatling Psilincer (30), Heavy Psycannon (35), Nemesis Daemon Hammer (5), Personal Teleporter (30) [230]
HEAVY SUPPORT2: Nemesis Dreadknight (130): Gatling Psilincer (30), Heavy Psycannon (35), Nemesis Daemon Hammer (5),Personal Teleporter (30) [230]
HEAVY SUPPORT3: Nemesis Dreadknight (130): Heavy Incinerator (20), Heavy Psycannon (35), Nemesis Greatsword (10),Personal Teleporter (30 )[225]
LOW1: Kaldor Draigo [245]
Total ETC Primary Detachment: 1290 pts
ETC Secondary Detachment (Allied Detachment): Codex Space Marines, Faction Space Marines
HQ2: Chief Librarian Tigurius [165]
TROOP3: Scout Squad (55): Bolter (0) [55]
HEAVY SUPPORT4: Centurion Devastator Squad (190): additional Centurion (60), Omniscope (10), 4 Grav-cannon and grav-amp (80), Hurricane Bolter (0) [340]
Total ETC Secondary Detachment: 560 pts
Total Army Points: 1850

Like I said before, I'm running a similar list with only three CentDevs, and a few other cosmetic differences. It makes me feel pretty good that so similar a list can do well in better hands.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rules in Novels for Black Library

When you look at the recent moves by GW with Age of Sigmar and the alterations to 40k with additions like formations, allies changes, rules appearing in White Dwarf or if you make a purchase on the GW website, and a lack of FAQs, it appears that there seems to be an effort to make the game a "forged narrative" and not a game for hard-core tournament players. Heck, even GW canceled the 'ard Boyz tournaments a couple years back.

I can only assume that this is an effort to make the game more accessible to new players and the "beer and pretzel" gamers whom can be easily turned off by the "Win At All Costs" or WAC players.

The Black Library, and specifically the Horus Heresy series, have fueled a lot of sales minis from Forgeworld and sparked a 30k scene. Personally, I know that I've started armies and purchased more minis because I read a cool story and felt compelled to play that army. The Horus Heresy series from Forgeworld are not only gorgeous rule books but they give players a few named characters to add to their forces. However, not every character makes it from the printed novel to the table top.

One thing I'd like to see are some rules for special characters, scenarios, and formations from the novel series printed in the back of the book.

For example, in the back of Horus Rising, points and rules for the mega arachnids could be printed. Maybe two different units and a scenario. A little treat for the faithful readers to help bridge the printed word to the gaming table.

I don't think this game breaking, but it would be another level of immersion into the series. Who knows, perhaps Remembrancers will get some neat rules and folded into someone's Eldar Wraith list, or added to a Gladius Strike Force?

Just my two cents and a wish list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

40k Imperial Knights

Here's a WIP shot of my Imperial Knights; Errant, Paladin, and Crusader.

I have most of the colors blocked out and I'll move on to weathering, shading and dirt after I finish the last of the leg grieves and pads.

However, it turns out, I don't really like playing Imperial Knights.

I've been running just three with a librarian coven on bikes to give them invisibility and any other support telepathy can offer. It's a gross combo, but it's just not fun to play. In maelstrom missions, I actually do ok, or at least I've been pretty lucky with my draws.

Obviously, the librarians are the first to bite the dust. I did have a single psyker jink his way past 14-15 wounds in a row in a game last night. He finally fell after the third round of shooting attacks, but I wouldn't say that three lords of war and an overpowered formation fit my play style.

I like troops. I like lots of troops.

I think if I field these again, I'll just use them as support for my IG, Marines, or upcoming AdMech.

Monday, August 3, 2015

AdMech and the robots from Mars!

As I have mentioned before, I have army ADD. I see new and shiny things and I run to the ATM and place orders at my local comic and game shop.

My next obsession is AdMech with the Adeptus Mechanicus and their very powerful War Convocation formation.

For the current Warhammer 40k league I’m playing in, I painted up my three Imperial Knights from AdMech loyalist houses (pics coming soon.) I picked up the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus codexes so that I could fill out my remaining points with some more troops from Mars.

At first, I was going to just add some inexpensive Skitarii Vanguard to help hold some objectives. However, after reading some more from the Cult Mechanicus list, I fell in love with the Kataphron Destroyers with their relentless grav-cannons. They lack the nifty model design of the Skitarii, but their firepower is so over-the-top that they make a very attractive option.

After a little more research, I found the Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation formation in White Dwarf 69 and it blew my mind. A multi army themed formation that gets upgrades for free and plasma doesn’t overheat, among other bonuses.

There is a tiny amount of room for improvements in an 1,850 point game so I started list building.

Here’s my all AdMech list: