Thursday, December 20, 2018

All Over the Bench

My last two painting projects were Kill Teams. Small number of figures, small footprint on our dining/gaming table. Easy to move aside to game and/or eat.

I have a good amount of Sector Mechanicus terrain, mostly kinda assembled. Some parts even had a bit of paint them. I wanted to make some really dynamic industrial battlefields for 40K/Kill Team, so I picked a few more terrain sets that would fit in with the theme.

Then I decided to paint ALL MY TERRAIN AT ONCE. A bold move to be sure, but not a very well thought out one. I wanted my Sector Mechanicus to be glued together but still modular, and yet in small enough sections I could actually store in bins (to keep dust and cat paws off of it).

A week of test fitting, guling, stacking, cursing, and just staring at it, finally gave me what I wanted.

Then it was time to paint. Oh mighty Emperor, I gravely underestimated how long it would take to paint all those big slabs of detailed plastic. Or how many times I would have to run to the game store for more paint.

Big projects can get out of control fast. By breaking it down to its component parts I was able to tame this doom I brought upon the work bench. Paint all the red, do all the leadbelcher, (so, so much leadbelcher), in a assembly line fashion. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me.

The terrain is so detailed, I could have gone way down the rabbit hole with this one, but I did a lot with drybushing and washes, and picking out just select detail to give a little pop.

So after two weeks I declared it done enough. I could easily spend a lot more time detailing but I actually want to play something. After a few games I'm sure I will notice somethings that bug me and I'll go back and touch some stuff up. But tonight the table will be clear!

Until I start on the Sector Imperialis stuff...

Go Make Something
But Leave Room To Eat

Friday, November 30, 2018

Bad Photos

Sexy Assassin always wins against hideous monster. Dice permitting.
So I had every intent on doing some detailed Kill Team battle reports, but I have this problem. I get distracted playing the game and the pictures I take (if at all) are poor quality. Going back over the few photos I did remembered to take, I find that anywhere from 50% to 100% are blurry, over/underexposed, or just poorly framed.
Good dogo for the win!
I'm going to try something: Instead of in game as-it-happens-action-shots, I'm going to restage the more interesting bits after the game is over. I'll have to take notes of some kind, which may be the new point of failure. We'll see.

"So you decided to become a Mutant and overthrow the ship. This is going to look bad on your employee review, Bob."
Two of the walls in our game room are pretty much made out of windows, so daylight shooting is a huge glare fest with not enough front light.

Speaking of which, the lighting is all overhead, and the other two walls and ceiling are are kinda dark wood, so no bounce. Far from optimal shooting conditions.

I have taken a trail step to address this, an LED light array I can attach to a tripod, to try and get some front fill. This will hopefully sharpen up the images a bit. I'll give this new setup a try next week.
And so the badly planned revolution came to an end.
The Emperor Protects
He Always Has Sharp Focus

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Poxwalker Outbreak

It's time for a good old fashion Halloween zombie brawl. 90PL of Death Guard (with so, so many Poxwalkers) versus a rag-tag group of Imperial Guard and a squad of Blood Angel Devastators.

The odds were against Typhus' horde of undead from the beginning. The setup was not at all favorable to the slow moving zombies, with a 24" gap between forces. Still they came on.
There was a clash of the armored forces on my left flank, with the tankers of the Guard coming out on top.
The huge horde (100+) of Poxwalkers was an intimidating sight as they shambled across the field. The buffs they received from Typhus and the other characters made it all the more worrying.
Just a few of the annoyingly had to put down Poxwalkers can tie up a unit so the following waves of undead can surge forward.

Unfortunately we had to call the battle early, but it was a good game, and the sight of so many zombies is something to be experienced.

The Emperor Protects
But Send More Flamers

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tower of Madness

What happens when you mix KerPlunk with Yahtzee and wrap it in a Cthulhu theme? It's Tower of Madness! (Published by Smirk & Dagger Games, 2018).
Tower of Madness is a semi-cooperative game for 3-5 players. Each player takes the role of a 1920s-style Investigator in everyone's favorite doomed township, Arkham.

The players must stop the Big Bad from coming forth to lay waste to our world. This is accomplished by rolling dice and matching up the symbols and clearing each location. Each location may have some special rules to make things a bit harder, or give a bonus.
If a player cannot match the symbols, then they must pull a tentacle out of the tower, which may release some colored marbles. Not all the marbles are bad for you: Blue gives you extra points at the end of the game, White gives you a new spell card. Of course the Red Marble gives you madness. Four of those and you go irreversibly insane, which then makes you work against the sane. If all three green marbles get dropped, then the Old One has arrived and all it lost. The Insane players can win if that happens.

Setup of the game is a bit tricky the first time or two, but you quickly get a handle on setting up the Tower. (Hint: start from the bottom and work up)  The Tower is cleverly held together by the magic of magnets, but be careful once it is loaded with marbles.
Play is fast and a lot of fun. The Spell cards add a lot to the game, and give it the not a full co-op game. The sane players win if they go through the deck of locations without all three green marbles showing up, but the player with the most points is the overall winner.

A game can run up to about an hour, but could be much quicker. It's a light fun game that is a good addition to a Cthulhu game collection. Recommended.
The Doom has been summoned!
Go Roll Some Dice
And Pull Some Tentacles While You're At It

Friday, October 19, 2018

Objective: MacGuffin

It was time to make some new objective markers. I have a bunch of ones on the old flat, 60mm bases. They are the typical objectives: fuel drums, ammo crates and the like. For Kill Team, I wanted some new exciting ones on smaller 40mm bases. Enter The MacGuffins!

Here Lady Halifax secures the Containment Cylinder with Beacon, and The Forbidden Case.

  Acolyte Smith stands watch over the Comms Station, and Escape Pod.

Tech Priest Anders-XiL7 and Helper put the finishing touches on The Device, with items from the Useful Crate.

 Now I have some fun and colorful objectives to kill for!

Go Make Something
Plenty of Weird Bits to Choose From

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Lost and The Damned

Today we have a guest article written by the Best Selling Author and fellow Warlord, Mr. Peter Clines. 

So, I moved recently, and it made me go through a lot of old GW stuff that had piled up over the... wow, nineteen years that I’ve been playing these games and building these models.  Some harsh cuts were made.  I had a bunch of older Tyranids, Demons, Necrons, Genestealer Cultists, and more that I’d hauled from San Diego to LA, across LA, and potentially back down to San Diego if I didn’t re-evaluate some of it.
As I went through things, though, one thing that came up was just how much stuff isn’t supported anymore.  Granted, there are a lot of things that have been... well, lost in recent times.  Especially in Age of Sigmar.  With the loss of the World That Was, we’ve seen the end of the entire Bretonnian line, the Empire, all of the Tomb Kings, Dogs of War, a lot of elf and dwarf sub-types.  Probably a lot of other stuff, too. I never knew Warhammer Fantasy that well.
And this was true for 40K, as well.  There used to be lots of metal models and elements for the grim, dark future.  Some of them became finecast and some... didn’t.  And then the whole finecast line sort of... well, we’re all friends here, yes?  We can be honest.  Good intentions, horrible execution.  Now finecast is on life support in the back room and everyone’s agreed not to pay attention to it unless it coughs too loud.
But this has left a lot of armies with gaping holes.  Popular models or options have just sort of ceased to exist.  And the more I thought about it, the more I was struck by how many things GW just doesn’t make any more.  Or only has available in limited numbers from limited sources, which is... well, really limiting.
For example...

My beloved Chaos Marines have lost a lot of their character models.  Abbadon, Lucius the Eternal, and Fabius Bile have all kind of vanished into that back room.  And that’s considering Abbadon’s desperately needed a new sculpt for... well, a quarter-century now?  Huron Blackheart’s gone, too.  No generic Sorcerers. either, except for the alt-Terminator Lord model.  Has anyone seen a Dark Apostle or a Warpsmith in the past few years?
Heck, there aren’t any more Chaos heavy weapons.  You can get a heavy bolter in the basic Chaos Marines pack and... that’s it.  No lascannons, no missile launchers, no autocannons.  I’m still using a metal lascannon guy from the 1990s because... there’s no other option.  And all the Noise Marine weapons are gone as well.

Are there any Space Marine characters left, aside from the glory that is Guilliman?  I think there’s a Dark Angels Primaris character, but past that...?  No Calgar or Cassius or Tigerius.  No Shryke or Kossaro or (Imperial Fists???)  Blood Angels?  Space Wolves?
Heck, what’s left for basic Space Marine command units at this point?  Can you still get Chaplains or Librarians?  They made a plastic Librarian a while back, right?
I think the Legion of the Damned has completely vanished.  All troops, options, etc.  They were metal-turned-finecast-turned-lost-in-the-warp as well.
Granted, a lot of this may be part of the slow, inevitable creep toward all loyalist marines becoming Primaris.  I could see a whole quarter of 2019 or 2020 dedicated to new hero models, all in their amazing new Primaris bodies/armors/wargear.  Which would probably be followed by a story about the Alpha Legion or Iron Warriors stealing a bunch of Primaris gene seed, and then... boom, Primaris Fabius Bile is in the house (do kids still say “in the house”?).  Followed by an all new, swollen-with-power Primaris Abaddon, and then a scattering of new-and-improved Chaos Marines.
Well, that’s what I’d do if I was telling the story.

There are many things effectively missing from the Eldar armies—say, all the Aspect Warriors—but the big one that stands out to me is the Avatar.  Like Abbadon, here’s a huge model that’s supposed to be the centerpiece of the army and it just... doesn’t exist.  Well, there’s a really expensive Forge World one, I think.  Is that still a thing?

For such an all-inclusive group, the Tau Empire left a lot of people behind.  The Vespids didn’t have a ton of options or models to start with, and they’re all gone.  Same with the Kroot auxiliary beasts—the Kroot hounds and the big ol’ Krootox (with its big ol’ cannon on its back).  And I don’t think there’ an actual Shaper model anymore, either.  You’re just supposed to stick extra bitz on one Kroot and say he’s in charge.

Is the Tyranid Lictor still available?  It’s gone from a nightmare on the board to a nuisance to... well, not even worth having a model, apparently.  Same with Deathleaper and the Red Terror.  And the Pyrovore.  When’s the last time anyone saw a Pyrovore in the flesh-and-chitin?

So what did I miss?  I admit I can be a bit narrow-focus, so I don’t know as much about armies I don’t play.  Is there a big one I skimmed over?
And, sure... a lot of these are easy to make very passable versions of (said as a  guy who had a long-running blog about how to do things on the cheap).  I’ve been using Heresy-era missile launchers for my Alpha Legionnaires.  The Vanguard Veterans set comes with all the options you’d need to make a very solid Captain Shrike.  And even with the big cull, I hung onto all my metal Krootbeasts.
But considering how extreme Games Workshop used to be about no model = no rules, it’s still kinda weird to see the pendulum swing so far the other way.

Go Roll Some Dice
And Be Thankful For Your Old Ones

Friday, September 7, 2018

Knights vs Dread Mob

What is the best way to celebrate Labor Day? 150 Power Level kill-fest with giant robots of course!

We took my newly completed Terryn Knight Household against a Scary Ork Stompa-Dread Mob. Four Turns of Mayhem resulted.
I just finished up a Knight Castellan and three Armigers, but I had to go back and do some touch ups on my four previous Knights so they would match up. Which entailed re-doing all the gold trim and rebasing them. Yeah, I know I'm a bit crazy. But now they look like a unified force.
The Ork force was led by a Stompa (with the Gaze of Gork) a Gorkanaut, a Mega-Dread, and a host of Dreads and Kans.

Both sides charged straight at each other, firing all the way. The Knights shooting was overwhelming, and was able to thin out the Mob before it closed to melee. The close combat was as fast and brutal as you may think. The Stompa took out a undamaged Paladin with it's Mega-choppa (24 points of damage!) before the Knight Baron fished the Stompa off with a spectacular 20 point hit from his Thermal Cannon. The Knights took a lot of damage, but only lost one Knight and all three Armigers.

It was a good game, but I do feel the Knights might be under-pointed. More likely, the Orks (who don't have a real Codex yet) are too expensive. Of course the lower end units, the Kans and Dreads probably knocked the Ork side a bit out of whack.

I would like to run this battle again and give the Orks a 51 PL handicap, which happens to be the price of a second Kustom Stompa...

The Emperor Protects
But Charge the Ion Shields Just in Case

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Kill Team Idea

Kill Team has been out for a bit now and it seems to be really taking off. I have only managed to get in a few games but I like it a lot. It's quick and fun. The command point and specialist abilities give it a good edge without making it super fiddly. (unlike what X-Wing became...I'll talk about that soon.)

I would like to see some more units made available, particularly for the Eldar. I understand that the current units are tailored for Match Play, but that is so not my group's focus. Which brings me close to my main idea here:

Kill Team is a fantastic vehicle for narrative play. The small scale and advancement of characters make it perfect for a lite-RPG-wargame experience. Yes, my concept takes it from the 1 vs 1 type of play to a kinda GM vs player thing, like Imperial Assault and others like it. Where the GM creates a set of liked scenarios that the player will bring their Kill Team through escalating actions to a climax.

I have a test campaign just about ready to go, and will unleash it in a week or so. If it goes well, I have a much longer campaign in mind, with some custom characters on both sides.

                                            *                     *                 *
In the time it has taken me to finally get back to finishing this post, Games Workshop has given more details on Rogue Trader Kill Team. To my surprise, it is exactly what I hoped it would be: a focused narrative campaign, with nifty custom characters on both sides. I am very excited for it and will give a review of the boxed set next week.

Go Roll Some Dice
Roll To See If I'm Wining

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Blackgate Nomads

As I was waiting for Kill Team to arrive, I finished up my Chaos Team for Blood Bowl: The Blackgate Nomads! On their fancy new home pitch to boot.

Long ago, in the distant past (early 1990s) The Nomads were the first Blood Bowl team I made and took into a league. I think I managed to win two games and not finish last. The team was made up of found and borrowed figures, mostly just primed black, and a few missing limbs. Damn you soft lead!

Using the new plastic box set and the Minotaur from Forge World, the Nomads have at long last taken the field finished* and fully painted. With the help of the Dark Powers, I hope to win more than two games. No promises.

*Not quite totally finished, they need Player Numbers and some Chaos decals.

Next up: Kill Team, and lots of it.

Go Roll Some Dice
And Take a Few Heads While You Are At It.

Friday, July 27, 2018

All Aboard the Hype Train!

Yes, that includes me. I have gone from, 'Oh, a new version of the Kill Team sub-rules set, neat?" to "Emperor's Teeth! Why aren't I playing this yet!" Everything I have seen about the 2018 Kill Team has gotten me excited to jump on board.

As the miniature gaming world continues its slow roll in favor of Skirmish games, GW has decided to get involved in a serious way. There is a lot to be said in favor of Skirmish games, They can be much faster playing games, much lower entry point in terms of models, (and real money) and a far smaller storage footprint. With smaller model count per Team it also lends itself very well to being able to field lots of different Teams from factions that I don't really want a full-fledged 40K sized army for.

40K kill Team is replacing Shadow Wars: Armageddon. Which was of course a re-do of Necromunda 1st edition, just with 'proper' 40k factions. It was a huge success, but the game system really showed its age. Now we will see what a modern version will do.

The light Role Playing Game elements to Kill Team is also a big draw for me. Seeing named characters level up, do awesome (or lame) feats on the battlefield, and the possibility of death will be a lot of fun. Almost harkens back to Olde Tyme Rogue Trader days, when 40K was a lite-RPG skirmish game...

I am hopeful that this game is really supported by GW post launch and does well. The possibilities beyond the (many) staring factions are quite intriguing, especially for narrative missions. Hmm, I am getting some ideas now. Oh yes, this is going to be good.

I will pick up a copy of Kill Team in the next day or so and there will be many ramblings about it.

  The Emperor Protects
Now with the Heartbreak of Getting Favorite Characters Killed

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wind, Fire, All That Kind of Thing!

The Big trouble in Little China board game is here! By Everything Epic Games it is a 1-4 player co-op where the players assume the roles of the heroes from the iconic 1986 movie to adventure in Little China and stop the cursed man/demon Lo Pan!

The game comes with a bunch of well sculpted miniatures, loads of tokens and cards, custom dice, and a beautiful doubled sided game board. The game is played in two acts, the first one set in the streets of Chinatown, where the players must accomplish quests and work to level up their characters before the Big Trouble timer reaches the end and the game goes to Act II, when they descend into Lo Pan's lair to face him and his minions.

We have only give this game a quick stumble-through of Act I, but I found the game flow to be fast and clean once you get the hang of it. The learning curve is shallow and will be a cinch to teach to new players. The game is an absolute love letter to the movie and gets the 'feel' of the characters right. As one of my favorite movies, this is a huge relief.

I will post a complete play through up next week.   

Go Roll Some Dice
Terrific, a six-demon bag. Sensational. What's in it?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Index Renegade Knights?

Duncan does not approve.

A nice little free mini-index to use all the Knights for the Ruinous Powers. Only one Warlord trait, one Relic, and two Stratagems, but I think that will grow with White Dwarf articles and Chapter Approved 2018.

Will this pave to way for a full Codex in the distant Future? Magic Eight (Pointed Star) Ball says, "Most likely".

At the rate GW is releasing Codexes they will need something to do after the Sisters are released next year.

Now I really have to paint up the new Knights in my Household to deal with this expanded threat.

All Fall To Chaos
And Get Free Tentacles!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Knights: First Impressions

I received my Knightly reinforcements! Let's have a look:

The Codex: Up to the usual (excellent)  GW standards, great art, good photos, and a consistent 8th edition layout. The most Knight units ever! A far cry from the first Codex with only 4, the Questor Imperialis now has a staggering 10 plus a special character! Seriously, the new units add a welcome variety to the army. The Dominus-class is a great centerpiece, and the Armiger are nice Calvary/flankers.

I'm still going over the stratagems, Freeblade abilities, and relics. One kinda odd thing about the Armigers is that you may take them 1-3 in a unit. Being a Lord of War choice, this makes absolutely no difference. You could take six in separate detachments, or in two. They don't count towards being Battle Forged (you need 3 of the Dominus or Questor class) so I'm not real sure about why it matters what detachment they go in.

The Accessories: The Datacards are useful, with Tactical Objectives, Stratagems, and the Freeblade abilities. New this time around is a deck of actual Datasheets. I've been hoping to see these for each codex, so maybe this is a start. Each Datasheet has every stat you need for the unit, so very handy during a game. And lastly is the Battle Gauge! Etched stainless steel! Looks really cool! Too small to really use with the Knights! It will work well for my Admech force...

The New Models: The two big 'uns are, well big. I only have the Castellan at the moment and I can't wait to put it together this weekend. Lots of detail and clear instructions. The Armiger Helverins I did assemble, and they go together well and quick, with just one little annoying bit to the assembly.

My question is why are the different versions split up into seperate boxes? I was surprised to see the Castellan and Valiant as separate kits, but I was downright shocked that the Armigers were two different boxes. That kinda sucks to be honest. Coming two to a box being to only way to buy them, it makes mixing types a pricey endeavor. Not any kind of deal-breaker, but damn, couldn't GW put in to options for both types in the box like they have for past kits? Oh well.

The Sector Mechanicus Sacristan Forgeshrine terrain piece is a good deal. Over half of a Galvanic Magnavent kit ($75) plus a sprue of various cool stuff for $40.

The Special Character and the new Knight version apparently won't be out for a while. That's okay, my bank account needs some recovery time.

Overall I am very pleased with the Knights upgrade (aside from the boxing issue). I'll get the new stuff painted and on the field in a few weeks for a propper battle report.

Muster the Knights!
There Are Plastic Heretics To Smite

Friday, June 1, 2018

'Ere We Go

This just was posted on Games Workshop's Facebook page. Orks than Wolves?
That works for me.

Xenos Incoming
Good, My New Knights Will Be Waiting

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Yet More Giant Robot News (minor update)

The pict-captures of the two Dominus-class Knight variants have finally been revealed! The Castellan (top) and the Valiant (lower). It seems the Valiant is more geared to close (Melta) ranged combat and the Castellan is a long range slugger. 

Also the secondary configuration for the Armiger, the Helverins, has been shown. As was expected it is an all guns loadout. 

 Of course the Codex itself and a box of Datacards will be part of the release. Also some Knight dice, Datasheets Cards, and some kind of new combi-measuring gage thing as well. Plus a re-release edition of the Imperial Knights Renegade boxed game, with new terrain. 

Intriguingly, a new terrain piece just for the Knights:  

"The Sacristan Forgeshrine is a battlefield repair-and-reload station that’s a great choice in any Imperial Knights army. Used defensively, you’ll be able to keep your Knights in the fight for longer. Used offensively, you can ensure that your weapons with a random number of shots (like the volcano lance wielded by the new Knight Castellan) always perform at maximum effectiveness repair-and-reload station"

All of this plus the new Knight Character, Sir Hekhtur, who was mentioned last week. This is shaping up to be a very exciting release for the Knights. 

We Walk the Road of Swords
With Big Plastic Robots