Friday, October 30, 2009

Magnetizing My Rhinos

So another one of the hurdles that was keeping me from finishing my army has been wanting to magnetize as much of my models first, before assembling and painting them. Awhile back I ordered a couple different sizes of magnets from so I could finally stop making excuses. After finishing a good number of my 40k tokens that I posted about earlier, I decided to switch gears and get some models done. I hemmed and hawed about how I was going to do this, but when I sat down with the models and magnets in hand, this was probably one of the simplest mods I've done or probably will do, since magnetizing the troops will be a smaller, more delicate job than the huge rhinos.

So as I said this was simple. I used the 1/4" x 1/16" Disc Magnets to ensure they could hold the weight of the finished HB or HF sponson of my Baal Pred. I measured out the distances needed inside the hatch here to make sure the magnets had actual contact in both situations of a door or a sponson. With the one magnet on the hatch itself and the other on the sponson, they had full contact and were spaced perfectly! Now for the door, I needed a spacer to make up the distance to the magent in the recessed area. I snipped a piece of sprue, filed it down to the width of the door and tested it: perfect again! With the sprue spacer and the size of the magnets they had full contact and perfect spacing. I started by using the rounded GW file to remove the rivet from the center of the inner rhino hatch to provide a smooth surface for the magnet to adhere to. Applied a dab of super glue and let it set.
Next I decided to magnetize my sponson options, eventho I feel I'll never A) use HF on my Baal Pred and B) never field a normal Pred that has las-cannons as an option, I still felt like I want the option or maybe something would change come next BA codex. This was a bit more tricky trying to decide how I wanted to mount it. I contemplated using Oni's method but I wanted to retain the up and down tilt of the guns for some reason, don't ask me why. So what I did was just cut above where he did to leave a bit of the arm that sits between the two gun halves. For this I used the 3/16" x 1/16" Disc Magnets. In general, go with Oni's method. I would too, but if I switch now, they won't all match up and I'm OCD when it comes to stuff like that, lol.

 (Click for closeup)

As for the other parts of the Rhino like switching out for a Whirlwind, Rhino doors up top, Pred turret, and the little hatches I decided that them being on top, I'd just let gravity do the work of holding them on. Trying anything else would be too complicated for all the options. Next up will be my Land Speeder, with magnetized options for the missile launchers, MM or HB and the HF or AC underneath. Should be a bit more of a challenge. Then will be my Heavy Weapon, Special Weapon, and Sarge in my tac sqaud.

As a general update, I've also started priming everything that I finish in Krylon Primer Gray. This eliminates me from trying to decide between priming in either white or black depending on the model as I have the full foundation paints and I wholly endorse them as a base paint, so the primer color is almost a moot point. Plus the can is labeled "primer" so it's gotta be right for the job, no? And it's only 3 bucks at Wal-mart and it has the angled nozzle so you can do passes in wide lines instead of a centralized circle.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Battle Report - 1500pt Blood Angels vs Tau

Managed to fit in a quick game on Sunday with my friend Dak and his Tau again after a long hiatus. He's more into Dungeons and Dragons right now so his Tau are on the side lines at my place most of the time. I decided to repeat my last army list, which my friend Seth came up with during my last batrep. I also took pictures this time to help detail the situation! My list:
  • Carbulo (on foot)
  • 3 Death Company (on foot)
  • 2x Land Speeders with MM and HF
  • 2x Baal Preds with HB Sponsons
  • 1x Furioso Dread w/ DC and HF
  • 3x 10-man ASM (2 in Rhinos, 1 Jump Packs)
    • Sargent w/ PW and MB
    • 1 Plasma Pistol
One unit of ASM were using Packs for two reasons: 1) I didn't have enough Rhino hulls to represent 2 Preds and 3 transports and 2) I had yet to field Jump Packs and wanted to see how maneuverable and deadly they could be. Tau forces were (from my memory):
  • 2x HQ Suits with Plasma/Missile and Shield Drone
  • 2x Suits with Plasma/Missile
  • 2x Hammerhead with Ion Cannon
  • 1x Hammerhead with Rail
  • 2x Firewarrior Squads, only 1 Devilfish transport
  • Squad of Kroot and Hounds around 20 or more strong
  • Mystery unit that was in the back, but never shot or did anything so I can't remember what it was.
Here is a picture of the opening layout. We rolled for Seize Ground and Pitched deployment. He won the roll off and handed me first turn. I deploy everything and so does he.

(BA Deployment Details)                (Tau Deployment Details)

For the most part in the Tau picture what you see is what you get. I had to point out my stuff as I proxy a lot. He tries to steal the initiative, but rolls low, a theme that will dominate his dice. I move my tanks up, staying behind the destroyed bunker to get cover saves instead of popping smoke. My Rhinos and Speeders on the right move up to the wall and tower with one of the objectives. My overall strategy this time around is to play the waiting game and make him close the distance to get shots on me, so I'm not out in the open getting pinged by all his S7 shots from Missiles and Ions. My forces in the center move up behind the bunker for cover with the goal of charging across the middle to get into CC with the Kroot on the other point. One of the Speeders on the right goes flat out to the center bunker as well, to help the Baal Preds take on the Hammerhead on the left. No shooting takes place on my first turn. In general nothing dies on the ensuing Tau turn via cover saves ignoring everything he throws at me. Here are the results of Turn 2 shooting, to speed things up:

(Bottom of Turn 2 Shooting Details) 

The Tau only managed a Shaken result on a Rhino and a Stunned result on one Speeder. My Baal Preds moved up to guard the point and my Speeder while getting angles to fire their ACs on the remaining HQ suit on the left. The Jump Pack ASM were in range to jump into the remaining FWs. The ASM took on shots from the FW and an Ion Hammer, but as I said, Dak was rolling lots of ones tonight and failed to down any of them. On the right, knowing I had the DC, a Furioso, and a HF Speeder all ready to pounce on the Kroot, plus I had a Rhino full of scoring troops on the flag behind the wall, I went for a crazy move and tank shocked his HQ. He failed his DoG and I crushed the suit and it's shield drone.

 (Turn 3 Details)
At the end of my shooting phase, before I even assaulted his FW with my ASM, he called the game. He failed to kill anything of mine and his troop choices were dwindling. He was down to one suit as well that already lost its drone and a wound. I would say my forces were nicely balanced and I was rolling an abundance of 4+'s with about 3-4 rending shots on his suits. He also rolled an abundance of 3-'s for his to-hits, to-wounds, and armor saves for his troops. 

Strategy Summary: I'd like to think I had a better strategy as well compared to other fights. Presenting 2 Baal Preds and a MM Speeder up against only 1 Railhead means he can pop one of my guys but I still have enough to kill off his suits. On the right I had a Furioso with HF, the DC, and a Speeder with a HF, all threatening his Kroot in cover (which wouldn't matter vs HF and assaulters with 'nades). This overwhelms the opponent's choices for attack and provides that even if something is eliminated, I have enough backups to get the job done. I also used more cover for my vehicles in terms of doubling up so the one behind is covered and then popping smoke on the front unit where possible. These cover saves stopped all his incoming missiles and ions, and he just rolled poorly for his two Rail shots so they never landed either. Also, with my limited Melta shots and good blocking cover, my strat was to avoid taking on the tanks. I took on the Devilfish as I had a side shot with a MM within 12" and got a destroyed result. Beyond that, I was going to focus on the suits and just run away from the armor or let my ASM charge in with a Melta bomb and 9 Krak attacks on the rear armor, rather than hope 1 melta shot hits his AV13. This seemed to work better as I popped his suits with ease, while his tank shots were deflected by smoke.

After the battle, I did find one thing I played wrong and that is having my Jump Pack squad enter the bunker in the center. The Rule Book states buildings are the exact same as transports except they are immobile, so they cannot fit Jump Packs inside. I jumped them to the door on turn one and embarked and then disembarked on turn two on the other side and moved them up to assault. Had I know, I would have just used the building as cover and stayed out, jumping over it and assaulting, either way, I would have made it in on Turn 2, but I wanted to write this down to remember for next time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Battle Report - 1500pt Blood Angels vs Chaos (x2)

My friend Seth, who was the one that pushed me into the table top hobby, visited from out of town this weekend and he brought his mixed Chaos force to do battle. We played 1500pt, Dawn of War, with one Control Point, that being my AV14 Bunker in the center of the board. It was going to be a blood bath. We played two games using this setup. The first is sort of my "all-comers" list and the second is his suggestion of an "all-comers" list, so neither were geared for killing Chaos. His forces:
  • Daemon Prince with Lash
  • 3x Squads of Death Guard with 2x Meltas and a PF each w/ Rhino
  • 2x Squads of Bezerkers w/ Rhino
My Forces in Game #1:
  • Lord Dante
  • Carbulo in Rhino with 3 DC
  • 2x 5-man ASM in Rhinos
    • Sargents had PW and Melta Bombs
  • 10-man Tac Squad with Las-cannon
  • 3x Landspeeders with MM
  • 3x Baal Preds with HB Sponsons
  • All vehicles had Extra Armor
My Forces in Game #2:
  • Carbulo
  • 3 Death Company (foot slogging)
  • 2x Land Speeders with MM and HF
  • 2x Baal Preds with HB Sponsons
  • 1x Furioso Dread w/ DC and HF
  • 3x 10-man ASM in Rhinos
    • Sargent w/ PW and MB
    • 1 Plasma Pistol
To keep things short and sweet, and maybe it's obvious, but both games ended in draws. With only one CP in the center, there weren't any chances for last turn grabs and there were just too many things to kill that any one thing could contest. In the first game I used two Landspeeders that had no weapons to turbo boost in and just provide something to contest. Overall, most of my stuff died, including Dante on turn 1 from a melta (*curses old edition codex with no eternal warrior*). In the second game it was more of the same, but my units fared a bit better with surviving and killing the Chaos, but still a draw. A picture of the end of game two is below. At the bottom of 5 we just laid it out on the table of what we'd do the next couple turns and it was determined that it was impossible for either of us to get a "win" as all of our units were on top of the point, so even if he cracked open the objective and killed my marines inside in one turn, there were still Rhinos that could sit and contest that would take more than 2 turns to wreck or destroy, so we just called it.

(Click for details with text)

Some observations, instead of a turn by turn account... Chaos are crazy tough to beat. Damn DG just don't go down with what weapons I have. Plus they get 2x Meltas, which I believe to be the best weapon/most broken weapon around. It kills anything, infantry or vehicle with two "rule modifiers" that being AP1 which adds to the dmg table (and ignores all armor) and 2D6 for pen, plus it's an Assault Weapon so you can fire it on the move. This is infinitely better than the "ancient and lost tech" of plasma weapons that can actually back fire and don't get either vehicle bonus. I digress... The other thing was how it felt anything he used to attack negated any of my special rules. Meltas, Monstrous Creatures attacks, and Power Fists all ignore armor, which screw my DC with FNP and Carbulo who can heal a wound... just not those types of wounds... Chaos also has defensive grenades that keep me from getting attacks on the charge, which is the whole point of an assault army. Also, he kept rolling 2s on the vehicle pen table, which I would ignore with my extra armor... but these were always Melta shots, leading to weapon destroyed results, which my Speeders only have one, and my Preds rely on their AC to do any real damage...

I can live with the draws as they just mean we both had good results and bad results. He knows how to better set up an attack, but I'm good enough at reacting to them to hold him off. I can always do better, but he has a couple years of play on me, so it will be awhile before I could best him in strategy. I'm also learning the limitations of my army and what can work and what doesn't. And yes, the picture is quite ugly with my unpainted Marines and Rhinos, Necron and Tau proxies, etc, but we never get confused as to what is what, and this is still the learning phase for me in the hobby. Plus as you can see I'm painting plenty of other things like terrain and tokens, haha.

» Any constructive comments on my army lists are welcome, though I feel either were quite well set up, maybe it's just my overall strategy that needs work. Also, how do you handle taking on the Chaos craziness of mobile Death Guard and Daemon Princes stomping everything?

Friday, October 16, 2009

40k Counter Tokens

Well, I've finished up my testing pieces for my side project, which is painting the GW 40k counter set! They come as neon green, clear-ish plastic with raised features like footprints and bolter outlines, etc. I thought I'd add some character to them myself so you wouldn't have to go over across the board and pick them up to actually read what the affect was or see what turn it was. I made a standardized color scheme for the Infantry; Vehicle Damage, and Vehicle Movement tokens. All Infantry tokens are black, all Damage tokens are red and all vehicle movement tokens are blue. This, plus the writing of the effect in white will make it easy to spot at a distance to know what effect is going on. So let me know what you think:

(Click for detail)
  • The turn counter is based black, then the gear is Mechrite Red then Red Gore. The numbers are Burnished Gold then Shining Gold. The Skull is just Skull White with Bleached Bone on top, and I went back with Skull White highlights. The moon (to designate turns with the Night Fighting Rule) is the same gold layering.
  • Blue movement tokens are based in Midnight blue, then Regal Blue and finished with Enchanted Blue.
  • Red damage tokens are based in Mechrite Red, then Red Gore and finished with Blood Red.
  • The smoke puff is based in Bleach Bone and then watery Skull White is added to give the surface a cloudy, dirty look from vehicle smoke.
  • Symbols on each token are based in Boltgun Metal, then Mithril Silver, and dry brushed with Boltgun again to keep them from shining too much. The explosion lines are the same two steps of gold as above. And then I hand write the effect on in skull white. Everything is covered with 'Ard Coat to seal the colors in since these will be heavily handled by people.
It may seem like a lot of work and paint layers, but they look sooo awesome in person and add so much to the game instead of clear neon plastic. Plus Everything in the picture took about 2 days of work while watching movies, so it's not a big deal. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Necron Army (a WiP)

I did state and intend this blog to cover my first army, the Necrons, not just my Blood Angels successors. I didn't find it necessary to start a second blog just for them as the blog is mostly just my "workspace" on the internet, just like my work table at home. So, some background, first. I got into 40k via Dawn of War back in the day and was in love with the lore, read everything I could on Wikipedia (before they started taking it down). Necrons were my number 1 choice for the campaigns in Dark Crusade, many, many times. I just wasn't sure about the hobby/minature side of 40k, and never got into it. Then I played my first game as a proxy using my friend Seth's Khorne army as my necrons (oblits as heavy destroyers, Rhino as my monolith, etc) vs my other friend's Tau. It was a blast to play and I said the next day "I need more." Thanks go to Seth who egged me on to play that day for the first time. And thus began my spiral into the 40k hobby. I did some searching on the net and found the Necron Battle Force to be the best value and got it from a combic book store online that sold it for much cheaper than GW. I set up a production line to create my dudes and got enough up and running in the week I got the box to play 1000pts that weekend.

(Click for detail as usual)
As far as my lists go for battle, I've played them about 10 times so far, and never repeated the same list. I'm still learning what works and what doesn't. I've tried different combos of Destroyers, Heavies, and Wraiths. I tried a Warrior heavy list by cutting the Lith, but got cut down myself. Otherwise I've been able to hold my own with a [6W/3L/1D] record against Tau, Nids, and two different Chaos armies. And I only have what was in the box, so it's about 1500pts, 40 some odd Warriors, a Lord, Lith, 6 Destroyers that normally see action as Heavies, and around 15 bases of scarabs. As for painting them, the pictures follow below. I've left their arms off so I can paint the chest easily. So I have about 40 Warriors that look like the picture on the right, ready to go at a moment's notice.

They are primed black, painted once with Mithril Silver, then the chest is covered in Bleached Bone, Goblin Green in the rib cages and eyes, and Blazing Orange for the symbol, neck supports, and you can't see it, but the spine as well. I do a second coat of green to make it stand out more and then go once more with Bone to cover up any green that may have got onto the chest. I thought of making the legs Midnight Blue, but I like their current look more, so they may just stop there. The scarabs I'm particularly proud of. They are definitely something different looking with the contrasting orange and green and the blue legs. Destroyers are currently the same setup as the Warriors (you can peek at some in the army wide pictures above). I was also thinking of making their skimmer bodies blue, to be a big brother to the scarab look, but that may not happen. Finally, the Lord and Lith are unpainted as they will be done when I have better skills in painting as they will be center pieces and I don't want to mess them up.

So there you go, my first army exposé. Always feel bad when I have long posts, in case someone will comment "TL;DR". Either way, hope you enjoyed it and I'll update as I finish the army. Worst part of building a Necron force? Each warrior flayer is 5 parts to construct... times 40... plus the same for each Destroyer cannon times 6... ughhhhh! That's a lot of cleaning of mold flashings!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blood Angels Codex Update

Well well, I don't know how I missed this, but bam: Bell of Lost Souls: Blood Angels Rumors

Looks like there will be a BA update coming soon™! This is why I've been holding off on building my BA successors. I have the bits, but been waiting for word on an upgrade sprue. I'll still use the normal marine bits for tactical squads, besides adding icons from both BA and DA (fluff reasons). Maybe even most of the normal assault marines will also be create with normal bits, but I'll be choosy with which bits I use. But the upgrade sprue will be heavily used for my sargents. Normal squad sarges, Veteran Squad sarges, ad Honor Guard would all be built with the fancy upgraded armor. I'm also hoping we just get tweaked correctly, like Dante getting Eternal Warrior, and upgrade choices and prices up to date with the regular marines. I always wanted to try a bunch of combat shields to make mini-terminators, but with the update they will probably go to a 6++ and that's not really worth upgrading to. Tycho was worthless, and dead, so he'll probably get replaced, and I hope they make Mephiston a bit more survivable as well, as he really is a powerhouse, but no invul save or Eternal Warrior means I'd never field him now (I'm not a big believer in FNP being awesomesauce).

I wanted to upload some more pictures I took, but can't find my memory card at the moment. :-\ But as general update, I got in a new Pred box and the 40k counter set. Still waiting on my magnets and Green Stuff (it's a big order, coming from Canada by normal post, so it's taking a while). But in the mean time I've decided to paint all the 40k counters so we don't have to stare at neon green all over the table (when my Necron aren't even on the board, haha). I'll take pictures as I complete those, which I already have some done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Camera test and small update

(Click for more detail)

So there we go, my first picture with my friend's dinky Kodak camera. It's probably almost a decade old, but still can put out some good pictures if I get the focus just right. The pic above was taken at night with no real lighting around the table at all. The table is my gaming board that I "re-purposed" from my fraternity, which would explain the letters in the center. There's a mix of my terrain and the Necromunda cardboard stuff from my friend's set. You can spot his black-primed Tau littering the board, since he just leaves them at my place between games for ease of use. We have nice terrain, actual copies of the rule books and codexes, official templates, but all are units are still mostly just from the sprue or only base coated black, lol. I'll post my WIP Necrons in a day or so as those are coming together nicely. My friend is working on painting his Tau red and yellow like Soviet Russia, but obviously they are at my place and are on hiatus now.

My pin drill and bits came in the other day so I now can bore out my bolters and Rhino exhaust pipes. I also ordered some magnets, so I will be able to start drilling out those holes as well. No more excuses indeed! I'm also contemplating making custom Baal Preds instead of buying from GW direct. That will be the source of another post. I now have a good 3-4 blog posts lined up, but will space them out to keep people coming back. ;-)

Oh, and I tried my hand at washes and flocking for the first time on my bunker. The results did add a bit of character. I washed the building with Devlan Mud and that took out some of the shine of the gray. I then added Badab Black to around each window to add some soot from weapons fire from the inside. And then I did Thrakka green around the bottom mixed with some mossy flock along the bottom edges. Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 2, 2009

No more excuses

I have a workstation in my home to work on my models, like any good hobbyist, but I keep sitting down and making excuses why I can't finish a model or why I don't want to start a project. Usually I want to take pictures of my work, but no camera. Or I want to magnatize my Rhinos, so I can't do to much until those are put in. Or I don't have the right paints to paint my marines. Well no more! I'm borrowing a camera from a friend to document my projects and then I sat down at the miniwargaming website and started loading up on modeling supplies. I got over 200 magnets, 200g of Green Stuff, a razor saw for large builds and scaring Rhinos and terrain, the foundation paint set, a fan brush for painting my Rhinos, a Predator box set since I still need Baal Preds in my list, and the 40k counter set to make games go just a bit faster not having to remember what unit did what last turn.

The nice thing was this was during miniwargaming's 2-year anniversary sale, so much of this was at 20% off, a bulk deal, or free. The green stuff was 20 bucks for 2 tubes compared to 14 bucks for one. 40 of the magnets and the fan brush were free deals as part of the sale. Plus they give you points for everything you buy that turn into dollars off your next purchase plus when you buy anything they give you a 5 dollar off coupon. I split the order into two so I immediately used up the points I earned and coupon from the first order to knock another 10 bucks off my second order.

So, no more complaining and putting things off. Once everything comes in I'll start finishing up some stuff that can show results on the table. I'll also document the steps of my builds as I'm trying to mod up my Rhinos a bit more than usual to add some uniqueness. Also in the works will be my chapter background, organization, and an army list. Some of that won't be interesting for most, but the blog is not just about letting people know about what I'm up to, but as a record of my own thoughts and a sounding board for my ideas.

To steal an idea from Bell of Lost Souls blog, I'll try to pose a question at the end of my entries on the topic I wrote about.

» What holds you back from a project? Too daunting, too many ideas, or just not enough reasons to complete it? For those that blog, do you feel you need to produce content for your blog to keep readers interested, or is it more of a personal record and you're not concerned with page hits?