Friday, April 23, 2010

Tac Marine / ASM Painting Update

I decided to get another model off the painting line, this time an Assault Marine. He doesn't have either pack in the picture because I will magnetize all of them to be either Jump or Mech troops, so that is for later. I also took a new pic of my first Tac Marine. The painting process was mostly the same, only this time I painted the soft armor parts Chaos Black before my base coat. Last time I just painted the whole thing red and used Badab Black wash in those areas. I like the more solid black of straight paint instead of the wash, so I'll do it that way from now on. I added a Dark Angels icon to the ASM's boot that I painted with Shining Gold on the blade and Dheneb Stone on the wing and the helm is all black. I'll tell you, the models look fine in your hand, but looking at these pictures, there's just so much detail up close, I can see a lot of places I messed up. I'll have to go back and touch these up, but basically, this is what most of my army would look like. You'll also see my Tac Marine has more highlights and the pack looks like the right color this time compared to the first post. But yeah, my highlights are crazy wide and I'm using a Reaper 10/0 detail brush. Apparently I need to do this with a pin needle or something to get such smaller lines.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tac Marine Painting Test

Well, last night I did. I sat down, stared at one of my tac marines and started painting. I chose one with a simple chest icon and a rank and file guy so I could glue the bolter and back pack on and be done with it. Not gunna get in too much of a hoop-la over this 'cause I need to go back and add another layer of red to the power pack, and it would need icons on his shoulders and basing, but it took me weeks to actually do just this much. If I had a table full of guys at this point, I would not be disappointed. I didn't mean to steal it, but the scheme comes out to be pretty much the Angels Encarmine layout. I love darker, muted reds than the bright Blood Red of the typical BA. I also love the look of the Flesh Tearers, and that might be how my assault marines turn out, with black helms and shoulders. Anyhoo:
For the color scheme it's as follows:
  • Base with Primer Gray spray paint
  • Mechrite Red Foundation
  • Devlan Mud Wash
  • Gore Red
  • Blood Red highlight
  • Knarloc Green Foundation
  • Goblin Green
Purity Seal:
  • Mechrite Red Foundation
  • Gore Red
  • Leviathan Purple Was
  • Dheneb Stone Foundation
  • Gryphonne Sepia Wash 
  • Boltgun Metal
  • Devlan Mud Wash
Nothing fancy, just a couple layers. I wanted quick and easy. I have no real painting skill and have shaky hands, so I don't like to dwell in one area for long or it just smears. As such, the highlighting with Blood Red was nigh impossible. I need to practice that more and take more time. I can whip up a few more of these and some assaulters, but a full force won't be ready until I magnetize my Sgts and Special Weapons models. I'll post again when I clean this guy up or have another test model done.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Area Terrain and Embarrassment

I was sitting around procrastinating from painting my Blood Angels and noticed a pile of styrofoam I've been saving for some terrain. I decided to make up some area terrain for my board since it's a simple enough project and hard to mess up. I created two pillars, one having some damage from some ancient battle and some stone walls to provide cover and a boundary for the terrain. The base is a heavy cardboard so it wouldn't flex when moving around or rip apart. I threw on a couple extra Dark Angels icons because I bought a whole slew of em when I first started my marines last year. I based it with black spray paint, then a layer of rough-texture spray that gave it rocky feel. I then painted it with watered down Codex Gray. The icons where painted with Dheneb Stone foundation and then covered with Gryphonne Sepia wash. I hit the edges of all the bricks and pillars with the wash as well to make an aged look from a lot of dirty rain fall. I edged around the stone with PVA glue and flock to give it a bit more character.

(Click for bigger pics)

On another note, I played another Kill Team vs my friend Jason who is still new to 40k. He fielded 7 Necron Immortals and I fielded a squad of normal marines with a Priest and a Razorback with a LC-TL PG. This isn't optimal in the least, but they are part of my 1500pt list and I have never fielded a RZB before. Boy was this one sided. He is blessed by the dark gods of the dice. He consecutively rolled 6s to glance me and 5s on the dmg charge to take off my PGs first, then my LC, then finally immobilize me. My RZB literally did nothing.  He could have had an armor rating of 5+ and still won the game. He was rolling 5 and 6 about 75% of the time, and i was rolling mostly 3s.... And charging T5 units without power weapons is terribly hard. Average to hit, below average to wound, and then they have an average shot to get back up, and of course he was hitting those numbers, but I wasn't. It came down to me only have 3 guys left and he had 5, all of us in assault, and I was rolling low and him high, so we just called it. I knew Immortals could be bad ass, but this was crazy lopsided. I could have taken my normal Kill Team load out of DC with all power weapons, or maybe a Furioso for easy wounds, but that wasn't the point of the game. Right now I'm just worried about the performance of normal marines and RZBs... We'll keep playing and eventually get up to 1500pt games where the real testing can begin.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Magnetizing My Baal Predator

Well, I've been working on my new Baal Predator since I got it on Friday and ready to post a couple pics. I decided to magnetize a few things like the turret and the Hunter-Killer Missile. Of course the sponsons are magnetized for either Rhino doors or the weapons, but this time I decided against trying to mag the HB and HF options. Partly because they have been redesigned and tougher to do now, but also, I never feel like I'll run HF, just personal preference. There's always count-as... Anyway, besides the weapons on the turret itself, there is a back portion, called the bustle, for either the Flamestorm or the Assault Cannons. I pretty much took the cheap and easy approach to this by using magnets and glue. This isn't the strongest combo, as the glue can fail on you if the pull is too strong. Something like green-stuff might be better after it cures, but I'm no good with that stuff so far. Here is what my pieces look like:

As you can see, the magnet in the center of each bustle will match up with the one in the back of the turret. The one to right of the back magnet is for the Hunter-Killer Missile. You can take it on and off as you use it and still leave the paint job on the outside pristine. I also felt bored enough to add a magnet for the smoke launcher, so if I pop smoke I can remove it. For the turret weapon, the part that pivots will stay in the housing, and the gun choice can be slipped in and the cowling slipped over the top for a snug fit and add matching bustle. Easy as pie, haha. Now I can seal all these parts up and move on to the next stage. As for my DC looking Sgts, they are all built up to the last part which is magnetizing their arms for weapon choices, but otherwise look great.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New BA Sprues and a Weekend of Kill Team

 Well I got my legit codex, box of Death Company and new Baal Pred in the mail on Friday! Gotta say, the quality of the new parts are excellent! So much bloodly blood drops and skulls and chalices and more blood references everywhere on these guys. Each DC will be magnetized as each one will be a Sgt for my assault squads and can take normal CC weapons, power weapons, the new Infernus pistols, or even the mighty Thunder Hammer. The kit comes with all those options, and even both Jump Packs and Power Packs, so I can take them in either a JP or Mech list in one simple switch. Since they will never carry their bolters I can sprinkle their ornate bolters into my normal Tac squads so it isn't such an obvious difference between ASM and Tac units in terms of bling. The should pads that come with are also amazingly detailed and over the top in variety. As for the new Baal Pred it includes the two normal sprues that all Rhinos use, and one additional sprue that has a billion pieces on it it seems. Two cannon choices, two sponson choices, and BA icons, all detailed and seems redesigned a bit. The sponsons look a bit more beefy than normal Pred choices and the TL-AC is plastic finally. The directions for both are also a bit more pro, which seems necessary for the level of detail and options they are giving us.

The weekend was also full with some Kill Team missions amongst a number of my friends and armies. The first was my BA vs some Tau fielded by a friend who hasn't played since 3rd Edition. I brought my Death Company as usual and he took a number of Warriors and a single Crisis Suit with plasmas and a Marker Light Drone. One of my guys was equipped with a power fist and fleet, who was singling out his suit. I was able to fleet and get that suit, which saved me a big headache, but it still wasn't a cake walk. Since everyone has to slog it to assault the Warriors and his drone consistently got a marker light on one of my guys, increasing a shot to BS 4 each turn. He got me to half strength before I got him and I failed my first leadership test (8) but we continued playing, at which point I was able to wipe him from the table, but he still got the official victory.

I also got a friend that has never played before to play against a different 3rd Edition friend to play another Kill Team game of my Necron Warriors vs Space Marine scouts and a Dread w/ MM. The scouts stayed in cover and took pot shots all game while the Dread advanced. The new guy, Jason, pulled off the incredible rolling a single to-hit, a six to glance, and then a 6 to immobilize the Dread in the middle of the board. With it relegated to a stationary turret, the main threat of assault was gone and he preceded to shoot out the scouts for a victory! Finally, on Sunday those two guys teamed up on me for a 2 on 1, 400pt Kill Team battle royale, where I also got double the Force Organization to be fair.

The SM player took normal Termies at an even 200pts and the other repeated his 10 Warriors. I took a Furioso with Frag Cannon (mostly to test this baby out) with fleet, a 5-man Sternguard all with a combi-melta and one being relentless, and 4 Death Company with 3 power weapons, one being preferred enemy. They won roll off and gave me first turn, so I deploy closest to the edge of the deployment zone, ready to open fire and assault. And again, Jason pulls it off with a '1' roll, which steals initiative in Kill Team. This leads the Termies to assault me first instead of the other way around. I lose FC and one attack in this case, but I still strike first in combat, so not all was lost. He charged a Sternguard and two assaulted a DC in range, the others did not make range or specifically avoided my preferred enemy DC. He cut down the Stern, but I took out one of the Termies with the other DC before he was punched to death. My PE DC fell back for a turn or so but then got assaulted by two termies. I split my attacks between them, and was able to cut down both! He then assaulted the Termie Sgt that carried a power sword and FC to gain the upper hand. Since I still got to go first with an extra attack and strength, I cut him down as well, making that DC my MVP. My Furioso Frag Cannon also proved to be valuable, taking down 3 Necron in one blast and then another 2 a turn later. No AP and I never rended, but putting two wounds per model is a sweet deal. The only other thing of note was using the Vengeance rounds on my Sternguard that resulted in blowing away a Necron and then failing a save for Gets Hot and killing myself. Oh well, the price of AP 3 weaponry. And I actually whiffed in assault against a single Necron with a DC, letting him attack back with 1 shot, and Jason actually hitting and wounding me! I failed my armor, but then was saved by FNP; a very close call to embarrassment on my part.

I've interested these guys to play a bit more often, especially Kill Team for it's small scale and ease of use. After they get used to 5th Edition more, I'll try some other Battle Missions and then get them up to 1500pt battles again. Overall a good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blood Angels Hobby Update

Just a short little update here. Since the return of the BA via this new codex, I picked up modeling my figures again. Way back when, I bought up tons of bits from E-bay on the cheap to make assault troops and a bunch of Rhinos. The Rhinos have been done for a while (built, not painted) but the Marine models sat untouched til now. I went ahead and built 3x 4-man units of assault marines with various configurations. The plan is 3 of the 4 currently built are normal assaulters with a permanent bolt pistol and chainsword. The 4th will be magnetized to accept a bolt pistol/chainsword combo or a special weapon type like a Melta or a chainsword/Infernus pistol.

The 5th man for each squad is the Sgt of course, but I have a special plan for them. I will be using the newest Death Company models for these guys; weird, I know. This pack is pretty much the best of all worlds. It comes with tons of BA iconography, chainsword/pistol combo, Bolter, powerpack, and jump pack for each man, including power weapons and Infernus pistols and even the thunder hammer. Also has 20 should pads and 8 heads, so you'll have plenty left over to sprinkle around to other squaddies. And since these guys will never carry their bolters, I can spread those out to a tactical squad, making the whole army look similar in theme, instead of plain marines over here and super bling marines over there. If I run 10-man squads, then obviously I'll only have one tricked out Sgt, so I don't get confused on who actually has the better stat line, but with this build plan if I run nothing by 5-man sqauds in RZBs, for example, I won't be short on Sgt models. I'll be justifying this all via the chapter's fluff (as I have never wanted these to be true Blood Angels, but my own successor chapter), not that I really need to justify it, but if some smart-butt asks why I have Death Company leading my squads, I already have an answer. And they won't be painted black like the DC, they'll be the same red as everyone else when I'm done. More on that in a fluff post.

To help this along I went ahead and ordered the codex (to make up for getting a PDF version early and I want to be legit), a box of Death Company, and a new Baal Predator. Since the Baal was seriously redesigned I thought it best to just buy the new kit. Plus it includes even more BA icons! The original plan was to buy standard Preds and make do via conversions, since the old metal upgrade kit seemed lackluster. I do have a single vanilla Pred on my desk, but it works out that Baals are FA and normals are still HS, so I can use both models! These will probably arrive at the start of next week and I'll get to building on those and take some pictures of the new models. Everything is getting their extra little icons and purity seals now, so I can't make excuses to slow me down. Once the glue dries I've been priming everything gray so all I have to do is settle on a painting scheme... which is the next hurdle. Looking to this as a helpful guide: From the Warp - How to Paint Blood Angels Red

Monday, April 5, 2010

Battle Missions: Kill Team First Impressions

I was hoping to try out my new BA 1500pt lists this weekend with my friend Seth, but timing and space didn't allow it at his place. Instead, we opted to try out the new Battle Missions, specifically Kill Team. If you don't know the basics, it's a max 200pt game, played on a 4x4 or less table space. Every model acts independently and up to 3 different models can receive a different USR, to give the impression this is an elite scouting party or something. No HQ or HS choices are allowed, but you can be tricky to get HQ/HS type units into play with the new codexes like BA that have an Elite Librarian via the Furioso or the Fast Attack Baal Predator. For my first outing I tried out the Sternguard, as I've always heard they are awesome but I've never played them or seen them in action. I was able to fit 8 men on the board versus 11 genestealers, one of which was a Broodlord. Since range was king, but the board was a bit smaller than 3x3, I cornered up and let him come to me over the various buildings and walk ways we set up as terrain. He claimed cover where ever he could, but I always opted for the cover ignoring rounds, which was amazingly helpful since it still is AP5. Then when they are not in cover I can switch to the poisoned rounds that wound on 2+ and are still AP5. The only thing that was tricky was the Broodlord, where I can either wound on a 2+ but he gets his saves, or I wound on a 5+ but no saves allowed. It came down to a mass of both ammo types and a failed Psychic roll to take him down. But in the end, he was able to catch me with a loss to me. For schnitz and giggles I said "one more time" and put down a Librarian Furioso with a DCCW and HF and extra armor (equals 200 exactly). I did it so I could negate the Broodlord psychic powers and the front 13 armor in CC. I was able to assault the lord by himself and obliterate him first and then the swarm hit. It was basically an exercise in rolling dice then, as he immobilized and took off the force weapon before I eliminated all the genestealers.

The final game was his Plague Marines vs my Death Company. It was 7 vs 8 and one of his was a Champion. I took 3 power weapons and an Infernus pistol. I gave the Infernus Hit and Run, a power weapon guy Fleet and another one Preferred Enemy, and just a normal guy with a weapon to spread it out. I couldn't reach full potential since he had defensive grenades, but still with FC so I could wound on a 4+ instead of 5+ was handy. A bit of it came down to the fact he had 0 power weapons and I had 3 and a pistol that could pop armor as well. The increased WS also helped me inch forward as well in CC. He took me to half strength but I passed my Leadership test and then when I got him down to half he failed his first test and I won. I said let's play it out, but in the next assault phase I killed another 2 models, leaving 1 for the next phase so we called it for good.

All in all, the games only took a few minutes, tho a lot more checking for LOS and cover is done since you're trying to save as many models as possible from certain death. This is a quick and easy way to get some 40k time in, but not need to move your whole army to a friend's house or rush things. It felt like a 3D, brutal version of chess, having to move each piece in certain ways to get or avoid a charge, rapid fire range, etc. I also found it an easy way to check the abilities of a particular unit without having to give into a big commitment. It doesn't speak to how well it will work as part of a larger army, etc, but more to see if it has the abilities you like and are up to snuff or not worth it. I could see playing this a bunch more and using it as a way to get someone accustomed to 40k rules without saying "here's 1500pts, now try to remember every ability and stat while we play".

Friday, April 2, 2010

Army List: 1500pt Poorman's Mech

(Image from forums)

Ok, so I asked around about my Dante/Sang Guard list on here and forums and I got a resounding "Meh". Apparently the Sang Guard are trash, as they are still just marines. The only aspect of them I don't like is the 5-man limit. People also point out cost or no invul save, but I'm fine with that. I just like to have enough bodies around in the event guys drop, so if it were a 10-man unit, I'd still go with them. I still intend to put them on the board sometime as a lark and find out how fast they die. But, on to more lists as I said I would. This one is a Mech list, which actually is a modified Jump Pack list. Since the transition from JPs to transport is no longer free for normal assault marines, it ended up that I had to remove models and make 9-man units to fit everything in a transport plus the points difference. *Edited RZB weapon and Libbies for more anti-tank*
  • 2x Librarian (Blood Lance and ??)
  • 2x 9-man Assault Squad
    • Power Weapon, 1x Melta-gun
    • Rhino
  • 2x 5-man Assault Squad
    • Razorback with LC/TL-PG
  • 2x Priest
  • 2x 8-man Sternguard Squad
    • Missile Launcher
If you haven't picked up on it, I like mirrored lists. It might be a deep seated OCD thing I don't know about, but there it is. I think it has to do with redundancy, should one unit fail via bad-luck I have a back up. It also means the enemy can't cherry pick the "uber" unit and single out my best guy. He has equal threats on both sides, so regardless of where he attacks I have more of the same. The Libbies are attached to the large squad in a Rhino and a Priest is with the 5-man in the RZB. It was between that or an Honor Guard that comes with the free Priest and were actually very near the same cost. It came down to the fact I now have 4 scoring units in armor instead of 2 scoring units, but really it's a toss up if you compare them on paper. The RZB is to protect the Priest from being singled out, say if he was with the main assault squad. If the RZB is popped, the 5-man squad isn't kitted to fight, but could be a counter-charge/meat shield and the Priest can break off to hide in maybe the newly emptied Rhino of the original squad to keep that bubble up. The Sternguard form a fire-base and mostly lay down 30" range shots to weaken units or target MCs, etc with their more specialized ammo, instead of my squishy troops trying to assault it.

As the title suggests, this is a poor-man's mech. Of course I want better upgrades, especially on those other 5-man units, but it's just impossible to fit it all. GW is forcing me to play 1750 almost so I can round everyone out. For example, taking 10-men squads and the other melta would be great! But that's 56 points I don't have at 1500 and plus my Librarians now are kicked out and have to walk or pay even more for a transport or JP. Every time I remove men from a squad, say like the Sternguard, I get more upgrades, but I'm losing shots that could be vital against a horde. This is a take-on-whatever list, so I'm planning to be rounded, so I don't want to lose anti-horde just to get more anti-MEQ when my troops can handle it. I can't decide on the Libby powers quite yet either. The Shield seems pretty awesome to have a 5+ cover save either on foot or in vehicles and I might take Preferred Enemy as well to ensure we'll win combat. Again, I hope to not be assaulting MCs, but if it happens, I can still use my Instant Death blade if it comes down to it, since stuff like 'nids lost Eternal Warrior on everything for just being in synapse.

Caveats: Again I have no experience with the list and no one else does, so let's not start off with "this list sucks" comments 'til we enter a time when the codex isn't the new hotness anymore. This is built of personal preference, not a jumping board to 'ard boys lists and dreams of tourneys or stomping one enemy type at the local club. I hope to try this out sometime soon. I'll build more lists in the future as well, so this isn't the end all be all for me.