Friday, December 25, 2015

merr chrismas

Sorry for the lack of posting around here. Autumn probably wasn't the best time for me to try to start up this blog, the holidays always see things fall by the wayside. Next week, I'm going to get the Christmas decorations packed away, and then I'll have my full table available for the first time since July to set up a bunch of photoshoots of the stuff I've been working on over the last couple of months. Not much completed yet, but some WiP stuff that I'm pretty excited about, both Terrain and Units.

Y'all have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a happy Friday for those who don't!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Escalation Again

I dropped out of the Escalation League at the store, because November just got away from me on a number of levels (including blogging :P), and the way it was organized, players who were ahead had no incentive to accept challenges from players below them, meaning it ended up really static.

But now one of my regular Opponents has three co-workers who are interested in getting into the game, and with some help from a ridiculously good bargain on craigslist, we're helping them get started. We've got a simplified version of Planetary Empires set up, starting with them playing Kill Team or 500 Point Games against one of the more experienced players, and then after a couple of Games, they'll be in range to start going after each other or moving up in Points value, depending on whether they work along the edge or in toward the center.

I doubt they'll all stick around, but one of them has started making terrain already, and even one more player in the local pool would be pretty nice. Plus, I get a few games in with models that I don't usually use, since we've decided to handicap ourselves a bit in games against the newbies, so I'm going to get to do things like run CSM lists that actually involve Chaos Space Marines themselves instead of just Culties, Characters, Helldrakes, and MaulerFiends.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

DreadTober: Just Under the Wire

It's still October here, so that counts, right? ;)

They all need massive amounts of touchup, more highlights on the red and gold, and snow on their bases, but that's not happening tonight. I didn't get all four to this point, even, but the one I ditched was the least impressive of them. I also didn't get around to doing the Leadbelcher at all, because I was looking at some of my other SW and realizing how little it stands out from the grey, and decided to focus on the stuff with more impact.

Somehow, despite taking twice as many shots of Bjorn as of the others, his pics came out worst. IDEK. I did find out that one of the issues I'd been having is that my camera has two different sets of modes, and it was in one from the other set that doesn't play well with macro mode. That seems to have helped with the other Dreads, but not with Bjorn for some reason. Maybe my hands were just shakier on his shots because I was more worried about getting good pics. Anyhow, here's the shinies:

I was torn on how to paint the Nid on the base. Leviathan makes the most sense, but Kraken is what the two local players who use official schemes have. I'm really happy with how the ice/glow effects came out on the Helfrost Cannon and TrueClaw. Unfortunately, I noticed while painting him that I screwed up the assembly on TrueClaw. The thumb-claw is in the wrong spot, which makes it look all wonky. Need to try to figure out how I can cut that apart without wrecking it.

Kvedulf IronHand is a homebrew Special Character of mine. No special Rules, but I'm in the process of building Models for him at all stages of his career, from young Fenrisian Warrior to Venerable Dread, as seen here. Again, really happy with the effect I got on the Axe.

Ulli SharpEyes doesn't really have much fancy detail on the sides, so I just did a front-on shot for him. I really like Mortis Dreads for SW, gives them some good Anti-Air without needing Flyers of their own.

And finally, a group shot:
I'm gonna keep working on these guys and hopefully get a completely finished post up sometime in November. For now, tho, I think they're actually sitting pretty nice here. Y'all have a good one, I'm gonna go watch some Scooby Doo and then crash :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thokt Awakens

I got my first two Games in the Escalation League in with my Necrons. Won the first one, and pulled a Draw in the second, ascending to the second tier of the Challenge Pyramid and then defending my place on it.

For the 500 Point week, I was running:
Nemesor Zahndrek
2x5 Immortals with Gauss
3 Tomb Blades with Particle Beamers
Annihilation Barge

Not mine, I haven't had time to take more pics. Just something I found on a google image search
- First Game was against Nids. The guy running them is planning on going through the various stages of a Tyranid Invasion, so he's running all Vanguard stuff right now:
2x8 Stealers
3 Lictors

I was pretty sure I had him outmatched here, so I was generous with the Cover Saves, playing a bunch of stuff as Ruins that most people just call rough ground. Unfortunately for him, a couple of bad rolls meant even that wasn't enough. Both his Reserves failed Turn 2, so I had two full Turns to pound away at the nearer Genestealer Brood with basically my whole force. Then when they did turn up, I got a bit jammy and he whiffed on a couple of Saves and I managed to gun down DeathLeaper. The final nail in the coffin was when Zahndrek, his retinue shorn away and on his last Wound, gleaned the knowledge of how to Hit and Run from the Lictors assailing him, passed the Init Test, and dashed 13" over to link up with the other Immortal Squad, who then joined with the Annihilation Barge in cutting down the Lictors who were left in the open.

- Second Game was much more of a challenge. Blood Angels with:
Librarian Dread
5 Tacs with a Meltagun in an Assault Cannon Razorback
5 Tacs with Meltabombs on the Sarge in a Lascannon Razorback

This one was a Maelstrom Mission. Started out with him shooting the Tesla Destructor off my Annihilation Barge (actually a screwup, I was looking in the wrong place and didn't realize it was open-topped, so it should have been Immobilized. This was actually in his favour, tho, since I never moved it anyhow, and failed all my Jink Saves with it, while it would have been Immobilized pointed right where he needed to run his Razorbacks through a gap in the Terrain.), but he didn't manage to kill it, and I got the Razorback in return, picking up First Blood and a point for a "Destroy a Unit" card.

The next couple of Turns featured some desultory firefights, finally Wrecking the Annihilation Barge, and each of us picking up a couple more Points for holding Objectives. I got an extra one by switching Zahndrek's Warlord Trait to one from the Tactical table that let me score double if he  or his Unit were holding an Objective I needed.

Then pretty much everything got stuck in combat. After several Turns of truly terrible Charge Rolls, his Librarian Dread managed to make it to Zahndrek's Squad and wipe them out, but not before I picked up a couple more Points for having two cards that required me to declare a Challenge. My last Tomb Blade Turbo-boosted across the board for Behind Enemy Lines, and then got gunned down by the surviving Razorback. The other Immortal Squad and the other Tac Squad just sat around playing cards or something. They were Locked in combat for like 3 full Game Turns without a single casualty on either side.

At the end, we each had 4 cards scored, he had Warlord and Linebreaker, while I had First Blood and the bonus point from the Warlord Trait I used for a draw.

- Zahndrek was key in both Games, using his special rules to get away from the Lictors and pick me up an extra VP by switching his Warlord Trait. I think I need to make up some cards with the Warlord Traits I'm likely to use for him, so it's easier to keep track and I don't have to keep my rulebook open to that page.

- For this week, I'm looking at adding a minimal Canoptek Harvest and upgrading my Tomb blades with Nebuloscopes, because that means the least screwing around with basing materials, since the crackle putty I use for my Necron bases takes forever to cure. I'm prepping up a bunch of bases to help things go more smoothly in future weeks, but right now, I kind of have to focus on stuff that doesn't need more basing done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I May Have Bit Off More than I Can Chew

 Yes, I'm still alive! I spent the first third of the month frantically preparing for the Elvensword Ambassadorial Tournament (forgot my camera, so I don't have pics of the event, gonna try to do a write-up anyhow), most of the next week after recovering from it (4 games of 40K in one day is really pushing my limits), and then found out mid-day Monday that the Escalation League that I'd signed up for with my Necrons started that evening.

Now, the reason I'd signed up with my Necrons is that I hadn't painted any of them, and still hadn't even built most of them, and wanted some motivation to get me going. But I thought I had some more time than that. Fortunately, the League also includes the Thursday Game Night, so I slammed out these guys, and I'm hoping to get some more work done on them today and tomorrow before heading over to the store.
They ain't pretty, but they've got three colours and basing, they should clean up pretty nicely with a couple more hours work and a dip, and they comprise a 500 Point force. It's also fortunate that we're not locked into lists for this League, so if I end up regretting some of these choices, I'm not stuck with them for the whole thing.

I'm working on a bunch of Scarabs and a Tomb Spyder for most of my next 250 Points (due Monday!), and then I should be able to settle into a slightly more sedate pace, but getting 250 Points painted each week is definitely gonna be a fair bit of work.

Then there's DreadTober as well. I've only just got the first basecoat on Bjorn here, need to get cracking on him as well.
I'm hoping to also get his buddies there at least a bit further along, and hopefully finished. There's a 1250 Tournament in January that I want to take an All Dread list to, with a Champions of Fenris detachment plus a Fleshtearers Strike Force with Cassor as the mandatory Troops Choice.

Painting takes priority for my free time over the next few days, but hopefully I'll get well enough ahead that I can spend some more time with the camera as well, get pics of my new DK stuff with paint on as well as more Necron and DreadTober updates. Y'all have a good one!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Modeling Monday: WiP DaemonKin Bikes and JuggerLord

Got some substantial work done this past week, getting the two Bike Squads for my GorePack, and my new, even more ludicrously over the top JuggerLord together and ready to prime. I'll definitely have pics of the Bikes at least basically painted by next week, since I need them for a Tournament on Saturday. I may or may not get to the JuggerLord, since I have another I can use if necessary.

I'm disappointed that I couldn't manage better pics of this Squad, and particularly the Champion. Hopefully I'll be able to get some better ones once they're painted.

Better pics on these ones, but they're not as cool. The greenstuff on the dude on the left is a bit of an experiment, I'm going to try to make it look like he and the bike are gradually melding.

 And the JuggerLord. Based on the AoS Chaos Lord, with a Juggernaut body I picked up cheap somewhere, a Fex head because why not, and a few random bits to make him more Chaos Marine-ish. Really happy with this guy, hope I can do him justice when it comes to getting paint on.

Y'all have a good one!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I ended up getting pretty wiped out by a wedding on Sunday that was really nice, but had way more people than I expected, and thoroughly overwhelmed my capacity for extroversion, so I didn't really get any of the modeling/painting I was hoping for done, so no Modeling Monday post.

But Greggles just announced DreadTober, a Walker-painting event, and I've got a Bjorn sitting around primed, so I figured I'd get in on that, get myself a little more visibility in the 40K Blogosphere.

Also, I ordered a couple of Blood and Skulls Industry's 6 wheeler conversion kits for the Tauroxen I've got lying around, and they also sent me this little pack of skulls, I guess as a sampler or something. 8 of them, perfect for Blood Tithe markers once I get them painted up!

Hopefully more modeling/painting progress and maybe a BatRep sometime later this week. Y'all have a good one!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Necron Days and RavenWing Knights

One of my regular Opponents wanted to try a Game against a fairly hard RavenWing list, so I pulled out all my half-finished and unpainted Bikes to give it a go. No pics, because like I said, unfinished Models and Proxies and such (plus poor lighting at his apartment), so this isn't really a BatRep, but more of a review of the RavenWing Knights, Support Squadron, and Nephilim Jetfighter.

Even using my unfinished Bikes, and proxying Storm Talons as a couple of Nephilims, I didn't have quite enough to fill out 2K properly, so I tooled up the Black Knights all the way: Full Squad, Champion, Apothecary, Banner, 1 Grenade Launcher.

My first Turn, I had a pretty long Charge lined up for them, so I didn't bother shooting. Did cast Righteous Repugnance on them, tho, and made the Charge thanks to Sammael's Warlord Trait. Necron Wraiths are tough. Even with 30 S5 Attacks on the Charge, plus a few more from Sammael and a couple of Hammer of Wraths, I only managed to drop two of the three. Next Turn, I put one Wound on the last one, which was perfect, because then I got to Hit & Run 19" out of there thanks to the RavenWing Banner!

Second Turn, I lined up on Orikan and his Squad, wanting to take him down before he hulked out. Other than my Librarian killing himself with his second Perils in three Powers (I totally forgot that I could have taken FNP against those), and forgetting to fire the Stasis Grenade first (only Orikan was left by that point, and it scattered off him. If I'd fired it when there were still 10 Immortals spread around him, it would have been almost impossible to miss), it went off perfectly. Gunned down all the Immortals, and then it took all those Attacks to drag Orikan down.

This then left my Knights sitting in the open near a bunch of Warriors. Think basic firepower wouldn't do more than drop a couple, I didn't bother Jinking, but then my Opponent got ridiculously jammy (14 Saves forced by a single Squad of 10 Warriors!), and I screwed up my positioning by leaving my Apothecary closest, and he managed to wipe the Squad just with massed Gauss fire.

Overall, I was very impressed. They basically died because I got overconfident with them, but they did a pretty ridiculous amount of damage, given the insane durability of Decurion Necrons.

The Nephilims were kind of underwhelming. Not bad, but I feel like three Storm Talons would have done rather better, for just 5 Points more. Being able to re-roll their Jink Saves thanks to RavenWing is very nice, but because almost none of their firepower is Twin-Linked, it really hurts them in the Turn after. The firepower is also kind of lacking as Anti-Vehicle/Anti-Air. Certainly better than it was in the previous Edition, but not really where it needs to be. It took both of them to down a single Night Scythe, even with my Opponent failing all his Jink Saves. Did rather better as Anti-Infantry Ground Attack; Strafing Run plus that loadout makes it pretty good at taking on Necron Warriors. If they could get the TL Lascannon as a replacement for the Heavy Bolters instead of the Bolt Cannon, I think it would be a much more effective dogfighter.

(Double checking that just now, I realize that I accidentally cheated. I thought both variations had Hover, but I see now that only the Dark Talon does. Oops.)

The Support Squadron was excellent. I never did get a chance to use RavenShield, but the ability to keep the regular Speeders screening the DarkShroud was great. I would have lost that thing way sooner without that. Three Typhoons is a pretty nice load of firepower, but I think I may want to go with Assault Cannon Tornadoes instead. To get good use out of the DarkShroud, I need to get up close, and the Typhoons want to hang back.

In general, I lost the Game because I've been playing my DK and SW too much lately. I got way too aggressive, and ended up spending too much time in that short-ranged firefight zone that Necrons like so much. I should have used my speed more to hang back at the edges of my Range and pick away for a couple of Turns, and then rushed in Turn 3 or so. I also probably should have Combat Squadded. With only 5 Units and a couple of Flyers, I was really inefficient at dealing with my Opponent's greater number of Units, and he had a bunch of things left at the end that were just 1-3 Models strong, but I couldn't justify throwing an entire Bike Squad at them. If I'd had a few solo Attack Bikes and a bunch of 3-man Bike Squads, that would have let me clear off a bunch of those little dudes, and clear off the Objectives they were holding.

Time to get back to work on painting up this Company Master. Hopefully I'll have him done in time to do a Modeling Monday post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

I had been planning to start this off with a BatRep featuring an old gaming buddy of mine who just moved back to town, but I keep stalling out on writing that up, and I figured it would be better to get something going here than to just sit around waiting until everything magically came together. So, instead, I'm going to kick this off with a bit of a ramble about perfectionism and trying not to get paralyzed by it.

I'm representing Khorne DaemonKin in the Elvensword Ambassadorial Tournament on October 10th. I just locked in my list last week, going with the following:
Combined Arms Detachment
55        Herald
58    8 Cultists
58    8 Cultists
170    Heldrake (BaleFlamer)
130    MaulerFiend
130    MaulerFiend
130    MaulerFiend

Blood Host (1 extra Blood Tithe per Turn) 
* SlaughterCult (Units benefit from an extra Blood Tithe effect less than the paid for effect)
205    Chaos Lord (Juggernaut, Goredrinker, Axe of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Meltabombs)
80    8 Bloodletters
80    8 Bloodletters
185    5 Possessed, Rhino
160    5 Chaos Spawn 
* Gorepack (Flesh Hounds gain Hammer of Wrath. Bikers gain Shred on their Hammer of Wrath Hits)
111    3 Chaos Bikers (2 Meltaguns, Champion with Combi-Melta & Meltabombs)
111    3 Chaos Bikers (2 Meltaguns, Champion with Combi-Melta & Meltabombs)
256    16 Flesh Hounds
80    5 Flesh Hounds

Is this perfect? Far from it. Is it even what I would ideally run within the Tournament's restrictions? Nope. But due to a bunch of Metagame factors, it's what I'm running.

"Metagame" is usually used these days to refer to the Armies and Units one is likely to see in a given setting, or as a shorthand for how casual or competitive a given setting is. In its broadest sense, however, it refers to all factors outside the Rules of the Game itself, and it's these factors that have pushed the list into this form.

First off, there are the additional Rules imposed by the specific event. The Ambassadorial Tournament has a couple of twists. The core restriction is that each Player may only use a single Codex, and each Codex may only be used by a single Player in each bracket. So it's gotta be pure DaemonKin. The next biggest impact on what I took was that no Forge World Units are allowed. If that hadn't been in place, you'd better believe there'd be a Brass Scorpion in there. The third big factor here is the Detachment limits. Three total Detachments are allowed, one of them must be a CAD. The overall Detachment in a Decurion-Class Detachment doesn't count, but each Choice within that does count as a Detachment, whether it's actually a Formation or just a single Unit. Without those requirements, I might well choose to ditch the CAD entirely, and just run the Blood Host, using the extra Points freed up to add more MaulerFiends, Flesh Hounds, Spawn, or Bikers, and trusting entirely to my ground game to hold out against Flyers.

Other restrictions are based on what Models I have available, or can get by the 10th. I only have a single Heldrake, and given what a nightmare it was to build and that I still haven't finished painting it, getting another ready to go by the 10th would be difficult at best. I also don't own a BloodThirster. I probably wouldn't use one as a basic Choice in the List anyhow, but a Biker Lord with the Axe of Ruin (Bearer turns into a BloodThirster when slain) is a great cheap Unit to fling at the Opponent to make difficult choices for them, and would give me far more utility than the Herald. But I don't have a Thirster for him to turn into, so that's not an option. I also only have three MaulerFiends, and none of them have Lasher Tendrils. A fourth would have strongly pushed me toward a double CAD build so I could run all of them, and probably just folding the Flesh Hounds into the CADs and ditching the Bikers as well.

The last big factor was time. I'm really not sure if the Blood Host is worth taking the Possessed and BloodLetters for. The extra Blood Tithe is great, but that's 345 Points worth of Tax Units, on top of the 171 for the Herald and Culties in the CAD. I'd been going back and forth on that, and if there had been more time, I might well have ended up with something more like:

Biker Lord with Axe of Ruin
2x8 Culties
2 HelDrakes
5 Spawn
3 MaulerFiends
2x3 Melta Bikers
15 Flesh Hounds
2x5 Flesh Hounds

Some sloppy shorthand there because I didn't have this one handy in a nice form to copy and paste, but you get the point. Basically only the Culties are chaff here, and even they can do some good by hiding in Reserves and holding Backfield Objectives in the late Game. But I didn't get enough testing in, and when the deadline hit, the first list is as far as my evolution had got to. This is also true on a smaller level, too. I've been constantly going back and forth on whether or not the Axe of Khorne is really worth the extra 15 Points over a Power Sword for the JuggerLord, which would also give him an extra Attack (and also let me get the big pack of Flesh Hounds back up to 16 for the sacred number), but wouldn't give him any at-Initiative AP2. Again, that's just where my thought was when the deadline rolled around.

Add in the option for Forge World stuff, and removing limits on Models I don't have, and the picture changes again, to maybe something like:

2x8 Culties
4 MaulerFiends, 2 with Lasher Tendrils
16 Flesh Hounds
Brass Scorpion

There's actually one more class of Metagame considerations in play, which I didn't really give enough thought to when working on the list, which is the Scenarios that are being used. I generally play Maelstrom, but all of the Scenarios used for this Tournament are based on end-of-Game scoring. These lists all have a bunch of fast stuff that can run around and capture Objectives Turn-by-Turn, but not much that's good at just sitting and camping them, and the aggressive CC Playstyle the list demands doesn't always leave me with a whole lot left at the end to jump on things then.

The third Scenario has another twist as well: The Primary Objective is to clear out FOC sections, so if you wipe all your Opponent's Troops, that's 9 Points, if you wipe all their FA, that's another 9 Points, and so on. The catch is that any FOC area that you leave empty (except for LoW), your Opponent automatically scores. This was another factor that pushed me toward the Blood Host, because none of the KDK Elites are worth taking on their own merits, and I didn't want to leave any slots empty. On further reflection, I've gone back and forth on that, thinking that perhaps the free 9 Points I'd give up there would be worth it to make another slot that much harder to wipe out. But again, the deadline came down, and that's what I had.