Tuesday, 15 August 2017

2500pt Battle Report: Angels of Death vs Guilliman and ALL his friends




Hi folks,

On Sunday I played my first game of 8th Edition at a local FLGS, Hall of Heroes. I have been recommending Hall of Heroes to gamers for years, but had never actually stepped inside the store before the game; their customer service had impressed me a while back when I had some issues with miscast miniatures. Walking in there with three of my closest friends (shout out to The Trooper, Sgt Waz and BennyW), I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of the place. It was buzzing. The store had four large boards set up for Warhammer, a massive table with a historical game in progress and other smaller tables at the back for card and board games. The store was packed to the gills by the time we reached Turn 2 of our game, with 40k games being played all around us. With toilets out the back, drinks in the fridge and access to food, we didn't need to go anywhere else for the rest of the afternoon. Finding space to pack your dead was a little hard, but everyone was very respectful and gave people space when they needed it.



By the looks of those beards, these guys were serious.


For the battle, the Trooper took his usual eclectic mix of... Blood Angels assault units. Death Company: Check! Sanguinary Guard: Check! Sanguinor: Check! Assault Squad: Check! Death Company Dreadnought: Check! Corbulo: Check! Death Company Chaplain: Check! Transports: Check! Vindicare assassin: ...sure, why not!?

Knowing this, I tried to even the force out with some fire support. I took a Captain in Gravis Armour (with the usual), two Tactical Squads with Plasma/Lascannon and Flamer/Multimelta, a Devastator Squad with two Heavy Bolters and two Plasma Cannons and two Dreadnoughts, one with twin-linked Lascannons and one with an Assault Cannon. Taking a look at the board I thought to myself "Yeah, this looks pretty good for or first dip in the 8th Ed. pool.

Then I looked at the other side of the table...

Guilliman, 10 Custodes, 4 Imperial Assassins (one of each), Primaris Intercessors, Reavers and Hellblasters, Thunderfire cannon and Landraider Excelsior + a large squad of scouts. This was going to hurt.






We placed 6 objectives, with both the superior and inferior objectives randomly generating the closest to Sgt Waz's and BennyW's end of the board. I set up to the right side of our board edge, providing a clear field of fire for my Devastators. I set up a screen of Tactical marines for my Captain, backed up by the Dreadnoughts, and snuck a Lascannon combat squad into a sniping position to start picking off Custodes. The Blood Angels set up in reserve, with the Death Company in a Landraider Crusader and an Assault Squad in a Rhino.






Early Game

The Ultramarines and Imperial Agents took the first turn and advanced on the center of the board, unleashing on one of my tactical squads, wiping it out immediately. The Thunderfire cannon bombarded my Devastator squad, taking out all of my ablative marines in one round of firing. The Dreadnoughts managed to get through the turn unscathed, whilst the Blood Angels Rhino lost a wound to a plucky Eversor Assassin.







Sneaky...


In response we started to whittle away at the Intercessors screening the Hellblasters and put some wounds on the Custodes. The Landraider also advanced on the center, ready to take on whatever it could (for as long as it could). The Sanguinary Guard and Sanguinor dropped behind the Custodes to try and split them off the objective and an Assault Squad dropped next to the Primaris marines to distract them from the mission as well.



Before the shooting phase.


We also engaged in some counter-sniper fire against the enemy Vindicare, though in hindsight, those shots would have been better spent against Roboute.







The jump pack equipped Assault Squad made their charge against the Primaris marines, but copped a beating in overwatch against the Hellblasters. the Sanguinary Guard failed their charge, and prepared for the inevitable Custodes onslaught. The Blood Angels squad in the Rhino charged the Eversor, which popped off a few shots with its pistol on overwatch.









Mid-game

With our opening gambits played, it was time for the Ultramarines and Imperials to bring on some reinforcements. A Culexis Assassin appeared next to my Devastators and opened fire, causing more damage than it probably had any right to (curse my ham-fisted dice rolling!). Between it and the Thunderfire I was left with one lonely plasma gunner.




Armour (not)saves.


A Callidus Assassin appeared right behind by Captain and some Reivers dropped next to my Lascannon combat squad holding an objective.











The concentrated fire of the Excelsior and Hellblasters took out The Trooper's Landraider. The Death Company piled out, ready to charge the Primaris marines next turn.






Meanwhile, the Sanguinary Guard took a pounding, leaving only the Sanguinor alive to seek some kind of revenge. The Callidus was taken down to one wound before she killed my Captain, thanks to some judicious use of command points.






The Sanguinor broke from combat and joined the Death Company blob in charging Roboute. We wanted to see just how tough he was (stupid idea, really...). We managed to get him down to 3 wounds.










End Game

With nothing better to do, I sent my Dreadnoughts to hunt down the assassins that had been plaguing my backfield. First on the hit list was the Callidus, which I crushed in a brutal round of close combat.






The Culexus was a little bit harder to do away with, as I needed sixes to hit it. These two were bogged down in combat until the end of the game!






To complete the Dreadnought rampage, the Death Company Dreadnought ignored the faltering charge in the center of the battlefield and maneuvered to charge the Reivers. Making the charge, it started rolling them up like a burrito. A very dangerous, multi-wound burrito that hits back.






The Blood Angel Assault Squad finally managed to kill the Eversor, with only one model remaining. He charged the scouts that were, by now, giving the Rhino a bad time. Frankly, I was really impressed that it lasted so long!






After 5 hours of pouring over the rulebooks and learning the ropes, we all agreed to finish one last round of combat and call it quits. Predictably, Roboute carved a sizeable piece out of the surviving models. What a beast!






And that was that. Between us, The Trooper and I managed to kill 10 Primaris marines, 5 Custodes (gosh, even that was a triumph), 2 Imperial Assassins and a couple of scouts, whilst putting 6 wounds on the big man himself. In return, we lost the good part of two Assault Squads, a Death Company Squad, a Sanguinary Guard Squad, a Tactical Squad, a Devastator Squad, Landraider, Chaplain and Captain. At the end we were in control of one objective, but the Ultramarines were in control of the superior and inferior objectives, as well as two others. On victory points we had been absolutely walloped! It didn't matter though; lessons were learned and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a sunny winter afternoon. Bring on game two... preferably with a few less Custodes/Primarchs.

See you across the table,

Marc


MVP
 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

A Knight's Tale: Posing "Perseus" Intrepidus




Hi folks,

After spending the past couple of days layering my Knight Warden, I thought I would piece him together and get a better idea of how the pose was going to work. The top half isn't anything to look at yet; my current weathering technique requires a black undercoat followed by Leadbelchers. I paint the other colours over the top and then scratch into it, forming shaded bullet-holes and scratches. The technique works really well, but it feels like I have been undercoating to death!






One of the main things I wanted to achieve pose-wise was to have the Warden looking over its Chainsword and aiming its carapace weapon (in this case, a twin-linked plasma cannon). The gatling cannon is going to be held down and hopefully painted with some wicked overheating barrel effects.






I played around with the Plasma Hellfire Cannonade direction and found that it looked best pointing straight forward. Its elevation is a little higher than it will be on the finished product, I used a little too much blue tac.






This little glimpse of how it will look has provided some clarity regarding colour choices on the carapace and shoulders, which has kinda been keeping me up at night. It feels like it is starting to come together...

See you across the table,

Marc


Friday, 21 July 2017

Dark Angels: Character Kitbashing




Hi folks,

I was in the mood for building things a couple of nights ago, so I started working on some Dark Angels characters. The plan is to make some updated versions of some old models that I have. I still love the classic models, especially Ezekiel, but they really stick out like a sore thumb next to my newer figures.

Azrael



 

The Dark Vengeance master was always an Azrael wannabe in my mind, so I thought I would make it official. Not much conversion work was required for this guy, just a head and backpack swap. The sword looks impressive enough to be the Sword of Secrets and he has a nicely posed combi-plasma strapped to his back. Thankfully, I also have a spare Watcher in the Dark with Lion Helm to go with him. I'll be undercoating this guy black and going from there.


Ezekiel





Even with Ezekiel's classic pose being appropriated by my new Azrael model, I felt like this guy had some big boots to fill. I did a simple arm swap with a drum-fed bolt pistol from the new Ravenwing Command Squad sprue (is that even considered new anymore?). I also gave him a suitably Librarian-esque backpack. I will probably go back and drill out the bolt pistol, and I will definitely be fixing up the floating foot during the basing procedure.


Interrogator Chaplain





I don't have a name for this guy yet, but he is based on the Seraphicus model. Like the Centurions I was working on back in February, this guy only really goes together one way, so making significant modifications was a bit more invasive than usual. I pretty much spent 30 minutes just cutting and shaving away the backpack, as the robes that I wanted to keep were attached. I also gave him a winged jump pack from a Blood Angels model (Astorath the Grim) and a dirty great big powerfist.

I still have some Deathwing and Ravenwing characters to work on, as well two extra Librarians. For no, though, I have plenty of models to paint!

See you across the table,

Marc

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dark Angels Devastator Squad: TO-DONE!





Hi folks,

With the end of the 2016/17 hobby season looming, I can't help but look upon my To-Do list with despair. In terms of progress, I feel like I have missed a lot of opportunities to finish my projects. My concentration has just done a lot of drifting, particularly during the past 6 months. Sometimes it is good to go with your heart and work on the projects that are inspiring you, but there is also a time for just knuckling down and getting the job done.

With the release of 8th Edition, I have taken the opportunity to reconsider some of my plans and prioritize certain units that I want to use in games. This Devastator squad was the first to get bumped up the list. I am working on a new set of characters to fill my HQ choices, so my old Dark Angels Master has been demoted to Veteran Sergeant status. I also did a couple of hours worth of extra detailing and touch-ups, including re-painting the skin tones and adding a round of highlights to just about everything.






The plasma cannons don't work quite the same in 8th Edition, with the loss of blast markers, but they are also safer to use (...unless you overcharge them...).  I have spoken to a few people who are thrilled with the elimination of blast markers from the game, as they had experienced some annoying shenanigans at tournaments. I am going to miss them though, in my gaming group we never had any such troubles.






The heavy bolters have always punched above their weight in my experience, taking more scalps than the plasma cannons!






Surprisingly, it was the bolter marines that required the most work, particularly the chest eagles, which I completely repainted. Taking a look at the shots now, I am glad I went to all the trouble, though I have noticed that I forgot to paint one of the details on one of these marines. I'll give you a biscuit if you can spot what I am talking about :o)






I have a game of 8th Edition lined up for next Tuesday, so it will be interesting to see how much more I can get done before then. Until then, here's another big purple stamp:




See you across the table,

Marc

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Weekly Review: Birthday Edition!




Hi folks,

This week I celebrated my Birthday in style: hanging out with the kids and painting in my free time (if you have kids, you will know roughly how much I got!). My hand has almost completely healed now, so I have been testing it out on a Primaris Captain that Sgt Waz gave me that was 99.9% completed on arrival. It had a bit of touching up that could be done on the base and one purity seal that he missed (If you are reading this Waz: I LOLsed when I saw it, but didn't tell you). As I have often done in the past, I used this opportunity to go nuts with detail work. I am really enjoying letting someone else do the drudgery of undercoats, layers and highlights! Now it is 200% complete :o)

The first step was to remove the head ornament thingy and the sword, which were both very Ultramarine/Ancient Roman looking. Nerve-wracking does not even begin to describe the feeling of snapping off a sword from a miniature someone just painted for you as a Birthday present. I cut and filed down the head armour, then drilled pilot holes in the hand and backpack. Note: I don't usually pin plastic, these bits were just going to be sensitive to knocks and need the support.






The sword and Dark Angels symbol were both pinned into place. I also added a Dark Angels censer under the billowing robe; I had some sneaky plans for some OSL. Already he was looking a lot less Smurftastic and a little bit more... loyal but unconscionable.






I undercoated the bare parts in grey and then went about restoring any of the green armour that got chipped. I introduced some bronze to the scheme on the bolt weapon, leg armour, backpack, robes and censer, followed by some blue OSL on the legs, backpack and robes.






I painted the sword in a dark red with sharp white highlights, like the old school Deathwing powerswords of 2nd Ed. I then added a small amount of weathering to the armour and mud on the robe (even in those hard to reach places!).






I drilled out the bolt weapon barrel, because that kind of thing is important to some folks ;-)






Lastly, I painted the Dark Angels icon in the same scheme as the captain. And I painted the missed purity seal!

The base got a few lumps of Astrogranite debris, which I painted with Rhinox Hide brown and highlighted. I also added some rust effects using a mixture of Lich Purple (!),  Rhinox Hide and Solar Macharius Orange, which was stippled on using a big old drybrush. The brass and verdigris fan blades added a bit of contrast to the base. Brass is a great material for reducing friction in moving parts... unless it's all oxidised to hell, of course.






And... he's finished! As this guy is a Dark Angels character, I even get to break out the big purple stamp:




Thanks a million for doing all the ground-work Howie, if I could commission you to paint everything I had to that level, so I could just mess around with the interesting stuff, I surely would. Let me know when I can return the favour :-)

See you across the table,

Marc


Friday, 7 July 2017

Undertaking to Pylos: Part 2




Telemachus sprinted out of the surf and, as the foam of the last wave receded, he enjoyed the illusion that he was moving preternaturally swiftly. Nearby, his Imperial Knight Warden stood idle. He had left it on stand-by protocols, with its fusion reactor cold and back-up generator providing for the bare minimum of functionality. One did not “leave the keys in the ignition” of a war machine. Now, as he powered up the dune of skittering black rock, he wished that he had never left the command module of his Knight. Passing beneath the shadow of its hulking form, Telemachus grasped a line that would hoist him up to the embarkation hatch on the carapace, and fastened it to the reinforced ring on his belt. As he ascended he turned to watch the crashing waves, expecting the enemy to appear at any moment. He scrambled over the lip of the carapace, using the hand holds and rails to position himself over the open hatch and dropped into the cockpit.

Telemachus took his seat on the padded command throne and barked commands at the machine’s voice recognition cogitators. Somewhere in its armoured heart, fuel rods locked into place and control rods were withdrawn, unleashing megajoules of energy into the Knights power-hungry ignition system. Indicators on the command console flickered to life as pre-ionisation and heating processes began. As the spinal jack engaged, his mind was flooded with data and his musculature pulsed with phantom sensations.

He toggled the current initiator switch and was rewarded by the atonal hum of the plasma drive igniting. The digital meters in his heads-up display showed a small influx of absorbed gases, well within the combat tolerances of the reactor. He manually shimmed the field dimensions to compensate, before diverting the accumulating power to the primary weapons and mobility grids.  He reached up with his right hand and re-set the fuses that governed energy distribution to the carapace mounted weapons, whilst his left hand grasped the arm controller and revved the Reaper chainsword mounted there to full power. With a flick of his thumb he reversed the chain rotation, testing the responsiveness of the controls. Fighting with a Titan-killing Reaper chainsword was similar to dueling with its infantry-sized equivalent. Little finesse was required, but chain control and tooth integrity was key.

With the briefest of thought impulses, Telemachus shifted his Knights weight into an en guard stance, hunkering down with its sword positioned to bifurcate any immediate attacker. With his right hand he grasped the other arm control and released the safety on the Avenger gatling cannon. He half-depressed the trigger with his index finger, allowing it to cycle to its maximum rate of revolutions as the autoloaders clattered. His thumb triggered the heavy flamer control, test firing a gout of incandescent promethium into the black gravel at his Knight’s feet. Finally, he emitted an extended burst of sound from the Knight’s war-horn. “Intrepidus walks.”







Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A Knight's Tale: Legs Complete





Hi folks,

Following a cooking accident on Friday, I have had my right hand bandaged quite heavily. Thankfully, after the specialist removed the dressings for a peek yesterday, it was clear I had done some X-Men/Wolverine level regeneration. Now it is just a game of regaining flexibility and putting up with the nerves firing randomly. At some point over the past week my wife said "Well... you had better learn how to paint left-handed." We both laughed. I'll let you guess which half of the Knight's legs I did with my left hand yesterday.






Striking a balance between using enough colours to represent both the Iron Snakes and House Feardrakken and not creating a confusing mess has been a challenge. For example, both factions use white in their scheme, but in slightly different ways. Feardrakken use it quite extensively on the armour segments, whereas the Iron Snakes use it as a one-off spot colour. To resolve this I have replaced the white on the armour with Leadbelchers and white decals.






I haven't decided whether I will weather the decals or not yet. At the moment I am just happy that they are on in roughly the correct place.






The Adeptus Mechanicus symbol I was planning to put on the right leg turned out to be a shoulder decal, so I swapped it for a few of the steam-punk cogs. The symbol on the left armour panel is unique to Perseus Intrepidus and came off the Shadowsword sheet. The Aquila on the knee armour cross-references the main theme of the left leg decals.






The Aquila decals that fit into the armour were really tricky to get into position; I still need to use some softening medium and a razor blade to clean up some parts. Again, the symbol on the knee references the other leg.









The next job will be to undercoat the torso and head, then add some glazes. Thankfully, rattle-cans and washes don't require that much fine-motor control! I was planning on doing a free-hand Medusa on the shield, but I think that is well and truly beyond my capability at the moment.

See  you across the table,

Marc