Friday, March 1, 2019

February Hobby Challenge Wrap Up

EDIT: Finally got around to processing more pics and getting them up.

At the moment, this is just a single quick photo of everything for Squaduary, Fembruary, and Neglected Model February. Sometime in the next day or two I'll get around to taking better and more detailed pics, but right now, I'm just not up to it.
The front 10 are a legit Squad of Neophyte Hybrids. I want to touch up their bases a bit, but I've taken Models to Tournaments in worse shape than this. In the back, we have a quartet of various non-combatants, a couple of female Spaceport Crew in the middle from Statuesque Miniatures that I was reminded of by Suber, who are my (smaller than hoped) contribution to Fembruary, and they are flanked by a couple of old-ass Imperial Guard repair crew or something, I can't remember exactly what they were called. Every last one of them qualifies for Neglected Model February.

I'll be back in a day or two with better pics, and until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

First off, here are the two for Fembruary.  My camera isn't great at capturing darker skin tones, and it kind of distorted the features on the second woman in particular a bit. I'm really happy with how they came out, tho, they look great in person.

 Now the other two civilians. These are, as I mentioned, old GW tank repair workers or something like that. These and the two above were a really nice bit of a break from the Stealer Culties, since they were all hand-sculpted and cast in metal, so they don't have so much ludicrously fine detail as modern CAD-sculpted plastics. The dude carrying the fuel cans is the only one that has any remotely interesting detail from more than one angle, so he gets more pics. I'm kind of assuming he also has no eyebrows, since things like smoking while hauling around tank fuel tend to lead to that ;)

"Man, I need another gas fire like I need a hole in the head." "I think we can safely assume that you don't have a good grasp of what you do or don't need."
And we'll finish everything off with the Culties here. First a bunch of generic grunts to fill out the Squad, but even they end up having a lot of fine detail on them. One of my fave things about this colour scheme is that the skin and the reinforced parts of the work suits both start with Rakarth Flesh. The only difference is whether they get Purple Tone or Strong Tone over that. I try to further differentiate by thinning the Purple Tone down more for the 4th gen Hybrids than for the more alien-looking 3rd gen Hybrids. The spotlights on their shoulders are Nihilakh Oxide over white, and I need to remember to do that after the Strong Tone in the future, because it's really fiddly trying to keep that off the lens.

 I wanted to take a couple more pics of this guy, because he's got the most chitin of anyone in this Squad. This is the hideously garish blue and red (Caledor Sky and Evil Sunz Scarlet), with a coat of undiluted Purple Tone, and then another coat of turn-of-the-century era GW purple ink, which was ridiculously shiny, and utterly crap for actually shading things, but perfect for the effect I wanted here. The first pic is closer to how it looks in person. The second, the bright lighting from the flash and light box make a bit more of the base colours show through the glaze.

And that's it for now! I've been kind of crashing since rushing to get this all done by the end of February, but I have been working on other stuff as well, and hopefully I'll have some actual new content, instead of just edits of previous posts, up soon. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Vehicles

EDIT 3/4/19: I think I got all the references to Cult Creeds taken out. If you were planning on taking my advice from this, give it another look, and make sure that what you plan on doing is legit.

EDIT 2/26/19: It has just been pointed out to me that only Infantry and Bikers gain Creeds. I don't have time to go through and properly fix this right now, so just ignore those parts. Also, GW really needs to start standardizing these things. Ugh.

Here we are with the last, and smallest, section of the GSC Units to look over. Altho primarily an Infantry-based Army, there are some definite uses for some of the Vehicles they have available, particularly the Ridgerunner and the Goliath variants, which get a Cult Keyword and can benefit from some of the Cult-locked effects.

Achilles Ridgerunner: Speaking of the Ridgerunner, it's the first on the list, so let's dive in. There are a lot of potential ways you can set up a Ridgerunner to be used, but some of them are clearly better than others. It's a very light vehicle, with just a couple of extra Wounds separating its defensive Statline from that of a Sentinel, but it's substantially less disposable, coming at potentially over twice the cost of a Sentinel. This will definitely affect how good its various options are.

Other than the potential to explode (3", 1MW), the only unique special Rule it always has is Scout Vehicle. Before the first Turn begins, you can move it up to 9", staying at least 9" away from any Enemy Units. I'm going to have to play around with them for a while to figure out how worthwhile that actually is, because it also has Cult Ambush, allowing it to be held back while you just set up an Ambush Marker instead, but because of the timing of Scout Vehicle, it's mutually exclusive with Cult Ambush. I suspect it will vary case by case, but I feel like it will usually be better to keep it hidden so you can be sure to place it somewhere safe, and use Scout Sentinels if you want something that can move out from your Deployment Zone before the Game begins. Note also that this is a move, not a redeployment, so you'll need to go around any obstacles, potentially take Dangerous Terrain tests, all that sort of thing.

The Ridgerunner has three "main gun" options, plus a pair of Heavy Stubbers. Of the three, the Heavy Mortar is far and away my fave, partly because it's much cheaper than the other two, but mostly because it lets you keep the incredibly fragile Vehicle out of LoS. The Heavy Mining Laser is actually a pretty good buy compared to a regular Lascannon, but on a Ridgerunner, it's just too much of a glass cannon, and too tempting of a target for your Opponent. Similar to Brood Bros HWSs. I'd rather taken them on Rockgrinders. The Missile Launcher is just a Missile Launcher. It will function almost exactly the same as one taken on a Sentinel or in a Brood Bros Infantry Squad, but will be easier for your Opponent to destroy. Also, I must admit, I really don't like the design they went with for the Missile Launcher on this thing. It's too clearly a military weapon that was specifically designed for this Vehicle, rather than being a repurposed mining tool or something more improvised looking like the Mortar is. I'd rather see it done with something more like an Infantry Missile Launcher on a pintle mount, like some of the heavier armed pickups, or Technicals, used by parties that don't have the infrastructure for custom-built military vehicles.

The other three options are for different "support systems". If you do want to use a direct-fire Weapon on it, the Flare Launcher is a very attractive choice. Over the course of the Ridgerunner's 8 Wounds, the 6+++ roll will probably save you one of them, which isn't terrible, but isn't fantastic, either. It can also be used once per Game to basically give a Unit of Atalan Jackals the Turbo-Boost Rule for a Turn, which has some potential for shenanigans. A Spotter, on the other hand, gives you an extra 6" of range, which, especially with the Missile Launcher and Mortar, can help to keep it out of range of return fire. A bit. The third option, the Survey Augur, is the most expensive, but my fave with the Mortar, since it lets the Vehicle ignore the effects of Cover, and those are often going to be used  on stuff that's trying to hide, which often involves both LoS blocking and Cover.

The Ridgerunner does get a Cult Keyword, but most of them aren't too great for it. Hivecult and Pauper Princes both have Stratagems which give it the potential to get +1 to Hit under the right circumstances, which is pretty nice. Ridgerunners can also benefit from being near a Hivecult or Bladed Cog Warlord with the Cult-specific Trait, and they can also benefit from a Jackal Alphus's Priority Target Sighted, the re-roll 1s to Wound against a nearby Primus's chosen target, and the Deny the Witch attempt from a nearby Magus.

Goliath Rockgrinder: I'm going to go out of Codex order here, and cover the GSC-specific Vehicles first, and then the Brood Bros options afterward. The Rockgrinder is as beefy as it gets for specifically GSC Units, with T7 and 10 Wounds, tho it is unfortunately stuck with just a 4+ Save. Rugged Construction gives you a 6+++ that should be good for another Wound or two on average, but isn't to be relied on. There are basically two ways I see to use a Goliath Rockgrinder. Either seems good, but trying to mix them and have it do everything is probably going to be bad.

First, and less fun, it's one of the few things GSC have that can really be a "bunker" type of Unit. It's not great at it, but between being cheaper and being able to get Cult benefits, it's actually probably better at it than a Russ would be here. The Heavy Mining Laser is your main option here, tho the Heavy Seismic Cannon might work. (IDK. I haven't really figured out what either version of the Seismic Cannon wants to be shooting at.) But the Heavy Mining Laser is at its best here. If you want, you can also toss maybe some sort of small counter-Assault Unit like a half-dozen Stealers or Acolytes in there, or even a Patriarch. Keep a Jackal Alphus or something nearby to help boost its accuracy, and you can probably get some real value out of it.

The more fun, and probably more effective, way to use it is as an Assault Vehicle. For this, you want to give it the Clearance Incinerator, and probably a Cache of Demolition Charges. Unlike in most Armies, the main use here isn't transporting an Assault Unit (tho you should probably stick one in anyhow, given how cheap it is to add on some Acolytes, and they let you use the Cache of Demolition Charges), but actually Assaulting people with the Rockgrinder itself. Depending on how damaged it is, it gets between 2d3 and 6+d3 WS4+ Attacks on the Charge, at S9, AP -2, Damage d3.

Keep Stratagems in mind when using the Rockgrinder. This is basically what Devoted Crew was made for, maintaining a Rockgrinder with even a single Wound as a major threat as long as you have CP left. Or if it does go down, and you bought the Cache of Demolition Charges, you can use Rigged to Blow to automatically make it Explode for d3 Mortal Wounds to every Unit within 6".

As with a number of other things in the GSC Dex, the threat of what a Rockgrinder can do is probably more useful than when it actually does it. The potential to just randomly shrug off that last Wound, the ability to act at full power for one more Turn, even what it can do when it does get taken out. You can't rely on any of those, but your Opponent has to keep those possibilities in mind when deciding how to deal with it. And any time you force them to make more decisions, you increase the chances of them making one wrong.

Goliath Truck: Now, if rushing an Assault Unit up in a transport is actually what you're going for, this is the variant you're looking for. It loses most of the Rockgrinder's offensive capability, and a point of toughness, but gains a couple of inches of movement until it's on its last legs, and can carry 10 Models. It does still have Rugged Construction, for that extra little bit of durability. It also has a Heavy Stubber and Twin Autocannon, which, if you'll pardon the digression, I really don't get, fluff-wise. A Heavy Stubber (or even two like on the Ridgerunner) seems perfectly reasonable. Even civilian life in M41 is pretty dangerous, and it's been clearly established that things like Stubbers are fairly common on Vehicles that are going to be traveling through sketchy areas. Almost all the other big guns (except for the Ridgerunner's Missile Launcher, which I have the same issue with) are re-purposed mining tools, which also make perfect sense. I could even see a jury-rigged Autocannon on there. But having twin Autocannon --heavier armament than that carried by AM Chimeras or even some Space Marine Razorbacks!-- as a standard fixture on a civilian vehicle just feels ridiculous. I really think it should start as a completely demilitarized base version, with all the weapons being optional additions. It would also make the thing about 28% cheaper if you just wanted to use it to haul dudes around.

OK, rant over. And speaking of hauling dudes around, that's the other upgrade it has over a Rockgrinder: A transport capacity of 10 (a Patriarch counts as 5). Now, that's not exactly optimal for most GSC Assault Units, that generally want to run Units of 15-20, but there's still some potential there. A couple of Goliath Trucks full of Stealers, Acolytes, or Metamorphs, and then maybe a Rockgrinder with a Patriarch and another support Character, or just a handful of support Characters, probably have decent odds of getting something across the board that's worth hitting folks with. Even more so, tho, they seem just about perfect for Aberrants. They have a max Unit Size of 10, and the Abominant doesn't take up any more room than any other, so you can really pack some serious hitting power into a single Truck there. Gotta be careful with it, because that's a lot of Points in one place, but if you end up across the table from someone who's clearly going to blow it away first thing, you do still have the option to just use it as a gun truck, and bring the Aberrants and Abominant in via underground tunnels. Do keep in mind that both variants of the Goliath are Cult-locked in who they can transport, which may be an issue when mixing Cults in a single list, but is more likely to cause issues with Brood Bros.

The other thing to keep in mind about the Goliath Truck is that it has the Open Topped Rule, which can make for some pretty nasty drive-bys with a bunch of Hand Flamers or something in there. And like the Rockgrinder, it has the option for a Cache of Demolition Charges, which both add some extra short-ranged firepower while you've got a Unit embarked, and unlock the Rigged to Blow Stratagem for it. As a final note, the Goliath Truck is probably the best statline to use as the basis for any Cult Limos anyone might have lying around or in progress/planning.

Cult Armoured Sentinels: I've gotta be honest, I really don't see the point of these, in either Astra Militarum or GSC Armies. They're slightly more durable than Scout Sentinels, but a Lascannon or Krak Missile can still one-shot them, and they lose out on the pre-Game Scout Vehicle move. They are one of the two places you can get a Plasma Cannon if you really want to, but they're pretty likely to just blow themselves up with it if you ever overcharge, since they can't benefit from any of the re-roll auras or anything that Cult Units can.

Cult Scout Sentinels: The main use I see here is the Scout Vehicle Move, as described above for the Ridgerunner, if you need a way to push forward before the game begins. That's less of a big deal than it was before the removal of Turn 1 Reserves, but there are some situations where you might want a bit of a buffer, or to get on an Objective right from the start, and with a starting price as low as 35 Points each, these guys are the most efficient way to do that. I probably wouldn't run them with anything but the Multi-Laser, since cheapness is their main virtue. It is unfortunate that they don't benefit from Cult Creeds and such, because the Sentinel Chainsaw upgrade would be mildly hilarious with Twisted Helix.

Cult Leman Russ: Nice and fluffy, but not terribly useful, I think. No Tank Commander option for Orders and better BS, no access to the best variants (Punisher and Executioner), and no Orders or anything to buff their accuracy. They are the only T8 Unit available, but given that we can't take enough of them to achieve Target Saturation, that doesn't actually mean much. Maybe when Allied with Nids using some of their T8 beasties? Probably still better to just take a Brood Bros Spearhead. If you are going to take one, the Battle Cannon is the best option. At first glance, the Eradicator Nova Cannon does have potential against T3 enemies, but for just a few points more, you can take an Augur Array with a Battle Cannon and get something significantly better. The Vanquisher is just plain awful, and the Exterminator is one of the only formerly Twin-Linked weapons that didn't get its shots doubled in 8th, leaving it badly under-gunned for how expensive it is. Heavy Bolters are the only Hull/Sponson weapons worth considering in most circumstances. Heavy Flamers are occasionally really nice, but most often useless, and pretty expensive for a contingency option. Lascannon, again, is just bad here. Plasma Cannon are slightly less terrible than on a Sentinel, because you only half kill yourself with an overheat, but still pretty bad.

Cult Chimera: Pretty much a side-grade from the Goliath Truck. Costs about the same or a bit more, depending on what options you take, has a little less firepower, but the extra point of Toughness and Save are probably worth more than the loss of Rugged Construction. The Lasgun Array more or less compensates for the lack of Open Topped, and pretty much everything else is the same. The first main thing about it is that, while the Chimera can't transport Cult-Keyword Models, it's the only thing that can transport Brood Bros, so if you want to haul them around, this is what you're using. It does still have Cult Ambush, tho, so you can make use of it in all those shenanigans as well. The other big thing is that it has access to a wider range of upgrades. The Dozer Blade is garbage, and the Auger Array isn't worth much here, but the Track Guards, letting you keep going at full speed regardless of how much damage the thing has taken, are potentially very worthwhile, if a bit spendy. An extra Stubber or Storm Bolter seems like a pretty obvious choice given how cheap they are, tho.

Bonus - Tectonic Fragdrill: It's a bonus because I completely forgot about it until just now ;) My gut feeling is that this thing really isn't worth taking in Matched Play. You can get a lot in a GSC list for 75 Points, and it eats up one of your Detachments as well. Maybe if we ever get a Fort slot added to one of the other Detachments or something. If you do take it, I kinda feel like the Drill itself is the least valuable part of it. What seems much more relevant is that it's a 10" tall piece of Terrain that provides Cover, and that you get to place during Deployment. And given how Cult Ambush works, you can actually wait until you've seen a pretty good chunk of your Opponent's Deployment before deciding where to put it. Then, on top of that, you can use it to send one Unit per Turn into the underground tunnels, popping back up wherever you want (usual 9" restriction from enemies applies) at the end of your next Movement Phase. That could be incredibly handy for late game Objective Grabs, effectively letting you bring in Reserves on Turn 4+, especially if you can keep them out of LoS while they're waiting.

I would note, however, that considered purely as a Terrain kit, it's a pretty good one. The drill blocks LoS to most of the middle floor, and if you choose to build it other than as the purchasable Fort, it comes with a couple of the most useful sprues in the Sector Mechanicus line (walkways and stanchions), is US$60 for a four-sprue kit (most of those are US$75), and has a ton of cool options for things to do with the drill, including some ways it can fit together with the Galvanic Servo-Haulers kit. Check out some of them on Ray Dranfield's twitter, and the_kit_basher on Instagram.

And that's all I've got. Sorry for not breaking it up with pics this time, but I've been writing this up because of insomnia, and now I'm finally starting to crash, and I can't deal with finding pics and putting them in. Hopefully I'll have some more finished Models over the next few days before the month runs out, but my hands have been pretty shaky lately, and most of what I need to finish up needs more care and precision than I've been able to manage.  I may try to just slam out some stuff that doesn't need any fine detail work, or I may just go straight to the wrap-up/Army Lists portion of this review. Until next time, y'all have a good one now, y'hear!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Gellerpox Infected: Nightmare Hulks

Once again with the Nurgle warning. These guys include some of the grossest stuff I've ever done, so maybe don't click through to the rest of the post if you're currently eating or something. This will be the last of these for a while, tho.
OK, for those of you still with us, let's get started:

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Units

Before I properly dive into this, I'd like to mention one of the fluff bits in the new GSC Dex that I particularly appreciated. Back in Rogue Trader, one of the big things about Genestealers was that they could infect and hybridize with pretty much anything, but when GSC came back in 7th, the only Models made were of hybrids with humans. In that version of the Codex, there was no particular explanation, but in this one, they actually spent a bit of time talking about why humans are the most common hosts for Stealer Cults. Even Genestealer hybridization can't do much to speed up the Aeldari reproduction rate, for instance. T'au, particularly the Ethereals, can to some degree sense Hybrids through the same (as yet unexplained) means that they keep all the Castes working together; they just "feel wrong". Similarly, Orks are linked by a low-level psychic connection that Hybrids don't fit into properly, and so they get shunned by the real Orks. I know it's basically just a means of justifying a more limited Model line, but I still like that they actually put some thought into it, and got a much better explanation than the usual GW handwaving. Anyhow.

Genestealer Cults Squads, Packs, and Broods can be divided up by two functional criteria: Whether or not they are Troops, and thus gain the Insurrectionists (Objective Secured) Rule in Battle-Forged Armies, and whether or not they benefit from Cult Creeds. I'm going to be starting with the two Units that get both.

Acolyte Hybrids: The Close Combat Troops option. Their basic statline, other than being only T3, is pretty similar to that of Ork Boyz, which is certainly not a bad starting point for an Assault Unit in the Troops slot. The compensation for their lack of toughness compared to Boyz is made up by their Rending Claws and greater access to special CC Weapons, rather than them only being available to the Nob. My fave is the Heavy Rock Saw, which is essentially a Chainfist without the penalty to Hit, but the Heavy Rock Drill isn't far behind. They can also all take Hand Flamers, which let them dump out a shocking amount of auto-hitting firepower. It may only be 6" range and S3, but with the various Deployment shenanigans available to GSC and the sheer number they can take, that's more than enough to clear out screens, and will put some hurt on pretty much anything short of T6 and/or a 2+Sv. For those things, in addition to the Saws and Drills, they can take Demolition Charges, which are pretty close to one shot, Grenade d6 versions of Krak Missiles. They've got a Stratagem to let up to five of them chuck one at once, too.

Very much a Unit that dishes it out better than they can take it, but not quite to the point where I think I'd really call them a "glass cannon" Unit. Available in Units from 5 to 20 strong, with 2 Specials per 5 Models, but they need some sort of Morale support if you're taking larger Units. A Cult Icon, to let them re-roll 1s to Hit in Close Combat, seems like an excellent choice for larger Units as well. Four-Armed Emperor and Rusted Claw seem the like the Cults they'll get the most from, but Pauper Princes lets them get more effectiveness from smaller Units and makes their Special CC Weapons more reliable, while going up to S5 from Twisted Helix makes them even scarier, too. Seems like it's hard to go wrong with taking these guys regardless of Cult, but I don't think I'd want to rely on them as my only Troops.

Neophyte Hybrids: Weaker (S3), but cheaper and shootier than Acolytes, Neophytes are good backfield/midfield Objective holders, screens, and close-mid range fire support. They can get some heavier Weapons, but you're going to want to be sparing with those, since cheapness is one of the prime virtues here, and those can run up the price of a Squad surprisingly quickly. I'd generally keep it to Heavy Stubbers and Grenade Launchers for Units that are going to be hanging back a bit, and Flamers, or possibly Web Guns, for Units that you know are getting up close. The signature special Rule for Web Guns is rarely going to matter (they use the lesser of the Target's Strength or Toughness to Wound against), but they have a 16" range for their d3 auto-Hits, which means you can use them immediately with Units Deploying from Underground, and they're the cheapest Special Weapon option.

10-20 per Squad, but there's no real benefit to running them in larger than minimum Squads most of the time, and they'll need help with Morale at that point, while minimum Units are unlikely to lose more than you can afford to let run. The extra durability against basic Attacks from Rusted Claw seems like the most useful Creed for Neophytes to me, but Hivecult and Bladed Cog have their attractions as well, and going up to S4 with Twisted Helix brings them much closer to being solid all-rounders.

Brood Brothers Infantry Squad: The very cheapest Troops Unit available. Basically a standard Astra Militarum Squad, but with fewer options and less support. They can bring proper Heavy Weapons, but without Orders, Doctrines, or Creeds, I don't see any but the high RoF Weapons like Mortars or Heavy Bolters being very useful. Even more so than Neophytes, these guys are really just here to screen and hold Objectives. They probably will show up fairly regularly, because they do bring something unique to the table, and are really cheap, but they'll likely be the least common of the three Troops Units because the lack of a Cult Keyword cuts them off from the vast majority of the bonuses that GSC can hand out.

Hybrid Metamorphs: Basically Acolytes+1. Not sure how I feel about these from a competitive point of view. On the one hand, they're certainly better than Acolytes on a per-Model basis, but on the other hand, they also cost something like 30-60% more, depending on how you equip them, they die just as easily, and they don't get ObSec. On yet another hand (these are Stealer Hybrids we're talking about here), GSC have some great tools for getting a glass cannon combat Unit into action without getting shot up too much. I think I'm going to have to get some actual play experience to know how they really work. From a Narrative/Modeling point of view, however, they're absolutely and unquestionably fantastic. So many cool gribbly options.

For the most part, I think I like them basic, with either a Metamorph Talon and Rending Claw or two Metamorph Talons, just go for mass of Attacks. Maybe the occasional Metamorph Claw for some harder hitting Attacks, especially in Twisted Helix, where it hits S7 (or even 8 if you add in the Icon of the Cult Ascendant as well), and a Bonesword for the Leader is probably worth taking. Hand Flamers seem better suited to regular Acolytes, and the Metamorph Whip, while it's free, keeps the bearer from taking any of the other Weapons that would make the Attacks that grants when they die worthwhile. A Cult Icon is probably worth taking, since you're going to want as many of those Attacks you're paying so many Points for to land as possible. Four-Armed Emperor is probably my favourite Cult for them, but Pauper Princes, Rusted Claw, and Twisted Helix all seem good, too. Probably best to pile as much support on them as you can, for as long as they last. Character Auras, Psychic Powers, the works.

Aberrants: These are what I would probably take instead of Metamorphs if going for a competitive choice. T4, 2 Wounds, a 5+ "FNP" roll, and reducing the damage of incoming hits by 1 makes them pretty damn hard to drop. On a per-Model basis, they're the toughest Squad in the Codex, and they're close to it on a per-Point basis, despite how expensive they are. They also hit like a ton of bricks, with even their basic loadout making 4 S5 Attacks, variously at AP-1, -2, and -4. I don't really care for the Heavy Power Hammer (basically a Thunder Hammer) unless you've got some pretty good buffs on them to overcome the to-Hit penalty, but Hypermorphs with Heavy Improvised Weapons (i.e. the dude with the street sign) look really good, dishing out 6 S10(!) Attacks, plus an extra at S5, just because. The Cult of the Twisted Helix is made for these guys (well, fluff-wise it's the other way around, but anyhow), with not just a useful Creed but also a Stratagem just for them. All of the others except Hivecult have something for them, tho, with Four-Armed Emperor and Pauper Princes probably being next best. If you're taking a big Unit, and/or multiple Units, some dedicated support from at least a Biophagus seems like a no-brainer, and probably also an Abominant, some Psychic support, and other Character Auras. Don't forget Monstrous Vigour if you suspect they're going to get hit a bunch over the next Turn. It's 2CP, but taking their "FNP" up to a 4+ is pretty awesome.

Purestrain Genestealers: Where it all started. While they might not be the unholy terrors in 40K that they were in Space Hulk, there is still very little that a big Brood of Purestrains can't shred, especially when properly supported. A Patriarch along with them is ideal, for the +1 to Hit, immunity to Morale (because you want a big Brood to get the +1A), and Psychic support like Mass Hypnosis and/or Might from Beyond. Give them a Strength buff from the Icon of the Cult Ascendant or Might from Beyond, and they're Wounding even Knights on 5+, with half of those being AP-4. Or run them alongside a Bladed Cog Warlord for full re-rolls to Wound against one chosen Unit. They don't benefit from the Cult Creed, but the Warlord Trait can still buff them. They also have a Stratagem just for them, The First Curse, but it feels kind of risky to me. Yeah, there are two good results, but losing the ability to Advance and Charge on the third result is pretty bad, and 4+ Armour does not make up for it.

Atalan Jackals: I've seen a bunch of people talking these guys down, but I just don't see it myself. Yeah, they're not terribly impressive on a per-Model basis, but they're also dirt cheap. They're the same price per Wound as Neophytes, but they also get an extra point of Toughness and a -1 to Hit penalty on anyone shooting at them. Against D1 shooting, they're very nearly as durable as Aberrants on a per-Model basis, and less than half the price. I haven't run the numbers for every Unit, but I'm fairly certain that, on a per-Point basis, they're the most durable non-Character, non-Vehicle Unit in the Codex, unless you go way overboard loading them up with Power Weapons and Demolition Charges and such. I figure if you stick mostly with Shotguns and Cultist Knives, with a Stubber or maybe an Incinerator on the Wolfquad(s), they should do fine for your investment.

Rusted Claw is the obvious Creed for Jackals. It's a significant buff to their durability, makes the Mining Laser viable on Wolfquads, gives them extra threat range with Shotguns and Grenade Launchers, and has an absolutely fantastic Stratagem that lets them Move twice (but not Charge), and gives them a buff to their Grenades for the Turn. It's a ton of CP, so I'll probably never actually do it, but I love the idea of them showing up right in someone's face with Lying in Wait, unloading a ton of Grenades on them with Extra Explosives and Drive-By Demolitions, and then using the extra Move from Drive-By to get the hell out of dodge before the enemy gets a chance to hit back.

Brood Brothers Heavy Weapons Squads: Honestly, I'm not even a huge fan of most options for Heavy Weapons Squads in an actual Astra Militarum Army, and without Orders, they're significantly worse here. The one option I actually like is Mortar Squads. 39 Points to sit on a backfield Objective out of LoS and kick out 3d6 shots per Turn is a pretty great deal. Paying more than that to put the same 6 T3 Wounds out in LoS of the enemy is just throwing Points away in my experience. Theoretically you could use Lurk in the Shadows to protect one, but that's a lot of CP to devote to less than 100 Points of your Army that isn't going to be a game-changer on its own anyhow. Like the Brood Bros Infantry Squad, the choice of Cult is entirely irrelevant here.

Overall, we've got 8 different Squads, 6 of which are pretty damn good in at least one build, and only one of which looks like it might be particularly bad to me. Further, they're distributed nicely across the FOC, and many of them are quite cheap, making a Brigade a pretty viable option for all those tasty, tasty CP. I'm still processing the last of the pics and finishing the write-up for the Nightmare Hulks, but that should be up in a couple of days. Then there's one last group of Units to review (Vehicles), and maybe an overall wrap-up post. Not sure what comes after that. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Squaduary Week 3 and Necromunda Accessories

Squaduary is rolling along well here. All that really needs to be done still is touching up all the black (which is, admittedly, the most fiddly and obnoxious part of the whole process), doing the washes and glazes, and a bit more on the bases with some Skrag Brown and then going back over them with some metal drybrushing. I'm hoping to make it over to Seattle at some point in the next couple of days to pick up a couple of nicer brushes, which should make the black a bit less of a slog.
We actually had good natural light today, so I experimented with using it in addition to my light box. Mixed results.
I also got around to painting up the Priority Token and Monster's Lair marker from Necromunda. Pretty simple work on the Token, but I'm happy with how it came out. The shine off the BftBG in the left eye is more pronounced and gem-like in person, but when it is viewed in person, it's pretty much exactly like I envisioned it at the start. The natural light really worked out nicely here, helped make it look absolutely fabulous.

The Sewer Monster is somewhere in-between in terms of how the natural light worked out. The blending on the underside is much more stark here than it usually looks, but otherwise, it's about right. I'm not sure it's done, I might want to run some gloss green ink over some or all of it to make it slimier. It does look good as it is, tho, so I'm just going to leave it for now.

I'm almost done with the penultimate installment of my GSC Codex Review, that should be up in another day or two, and then I'm working on the last post for the Gellerpox Infected which I'll hopefully have up sometime this weekend. Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ryza Pattern Ruins: Detail Shots

So, apparently, back when I made the post with my Ryza Pattern Ruins, I took a whole bunch more pics that I then completely forgot about, and just found a little while ago while processing pics for another post. There's not really a whole lot to talk about that I didn't say in the previous post, but you can see better what I was talking about in that post, in terms of the colour contrast, the weathering/corrosion, and the sloppiness, so I'm just going to jump right to the pics:

So, not a whole lot there, but hopefully at least some of it looks cool enough that it was worth your time. I've got a couple more posts in the works that are taking longer to write up, the next part of the  Genestealer Cult Codex Review and the last post about the Gellerpox Infected. Until I get one of those finished, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Gellerpox Infected: Vox-Shamblers

OK, again with the Nurgle warning here. These guys aren't as bad as the Nightmare Hulks, but they're still pretty gross.
I like the metal masks inherently, but not so much here, so I did some head swaps. I also decided to do some variation in skin tones, like some of them were flushed and feverish from the infection, while others were pallid and drained. You'll see that continue when I get to the Nightmare Hulks. Other than that, it was mostly just tons of Typhus Corrosion and various browns for rust, and then Nurgle's Rot, Blood for the Blood God, and various off-coloured washes for the injuries and signs of infection. I tried actually using Ryza Rust for drybrushing rather than blobbing it on as a base, which worked a bit better, but I'm still not a huge fan of it, and some of the rust really doesn't feel right to me. The washes and other fluids on the infections, on the other hand, I'm really happy with how they came out. Anyhow, here they are, you have been warned: