November 3, 2018

'Ere We Go!

Life continues to be stupidly busy. I finished the Genestealer Cult Kill Team I previewed in my last post, but haven't had the time to take pics of them. I did manage to paint something new this week though...

The Orks have always been my favorite Warhammer 40k army. In the grimdark of the 40k universe, where everything is horrible for most sentient races, the orks cheerfully blast through the endless battlefields having the time of their lives. I've collected them since the days of Rogue Trader. It's weird there are only three posts on this blog about them.

The new codex for 8th edition orks just dropped today, though the 'net has been full of leaks and images so there isn't much that remained a surprise. Forums seemed to have mixed feelings on the book, with competitive players unhappy about this point value or that ability. I always find that terribly amusing, but then I'm not a tournament player. My armies are always composed of the models I wanted to paint rather than the best synergies and I prefer narrative games to competitive ones.

I love the new codex and the new models that were released (although I DID wish for a new Ork Weirdboy model... maybe one of these days). I haven't purchased the new Ork racing game, Speed Freeks, but I did buy one of the models from that game on eBay... the Shokkjump Dragsta!

The Shokkjump Dragsta, a racer that uses shokk-attack technology to project itself ahead of the competition. The thing basically has a chance to pull a Back to the Future 88-mph teleport... emphasis on chance, because it doesn't always work and the attempt could leave you in a bad spot on the battlefield, which seems like a very orky predicament. I picture the thing barreling toward a fortress wall, intending to jump inside, failing to activate the tech, and plowing into the wall (much to the wonderment of the defenders) while screaming Waaagh! all the way. Rule-wise, it always has grot gunners and a targeting squig, making it among the most accurate shooting model orks can have. Yes, please, I'll take two...

Anyway, I am in the middle of rehabbing some of my old models, rebasing the infantry (not mandatory, but the new GW models are on 32mm bases rather than 25mm and I like the way they look), and adding to the horde. I'll post pics as I get the chance.

September 24, 2018

Kill Team Tiamat

Genestealer Cults have been a fascination of mine since the 90's. I had a small army in the grim darkness of the Rogue Trader days based around the theme that a chaos cult skulking in the sump stacks of an Imperial world had been infiltrated by genestealers. There was a whole campaign, ran solo, based on forces only slightly larger than what might find now in the new Kill Team.

My old force is lost to time, but contained genestealer hybrids, chaos beastmen, chaos hounds, and a handful of imperial army models I'd painted in corrupt colors, much along the lines of the one that appeared in White Dwarf a zillion years ago (well, I didn't look up the date, but it was old).

When Games Workshop released Genestealer Cults as a full army for Warhammer 40k, I bought a pile of plastic for it, but never actually got around to painting any of it. With the launch of Kill Team it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go without the need to paint up fifty models (and what better foe to pit against Kill Team Crucible?).

With only needing a handful of models, I wanted to take the time to include some conversions and try to capture elements from my old army. I sat down with the Kill Team rule book to work out an initial force, with an eye toward including an eclectic mix of models...

Only when I started rolling on the charts in the book did I fall in love with this force.

My leader ended up with 'Born Survivor - This warrior is well used to fleeing from trouble to fight again another day.' As I had intended on using a Magos model rather than one of the more fighty types, this was great. I meant for him to be more for morale buffs than combat prowess and having him skulk around in the back fits perfectly. Also with the announcement of Kill Team Commanders containing psyker rules, I can see Onderghast getting a promotion soon...

For the background I rolled 'The Prophet's Claw - This Kill Team is the hand-picked retinue of a Genestealer Magus.' This sounds like the genestealer equivalent of an Inquisitor warband! I had viewed Onderghast as an Interrogator, but with the aforementioned announcement I am really going to play this up, kitting out the Magos to total badassery (which makes my list above irrelevant but I included it anyway because it was important to my initial process)... STILL a bit cowardly though!

The final interesting bit was the squad quirk 'Twisted Physiologies - Aberrations in the xenos gene have caused these warriors to develop a variety of unsettling mutations.'

So my first thought was how can I add beastmen to the kill team? Twisted Physiologies has me covered and could have simply replaced a few of my Neophyte Hybrids and armed them appropriately. However, the revelation came after I dug some spare beastmen sprues out of the cupboard. These guys are way bigger than men. That caused me to look at the Aberrations...

Oh... yeah! There was some putty work required, but the scale was perfect. I can only fit one into my initial team, but as the parts were scattered across the desk I went ahead and built two. The chaos power the cult was dedicated to (before merging with the True Faith) was Slaanesh so the pale skin tones of the genestealer aberrants will look perfect on these models.

Speaking of Slaanesh, I decided I wanted to add more than hunchbacked men and grabbed a sprue of Necromunda Escher to see what I could accomplish...

I managed to put together three of these ladies - again there was some putty work the fill out the heads, but the final results turned out great (you'll have to take my word until get them painted).

The rest of were going to be standard Genestealer and Hybrid models, but I realized I hadn't included a chaos hound. With all of the fuss received by 'the bestest boy ever' from the Rouge Trader box, I KNEW I need a dog... err... hound... er... canid. The Hybrid Metamorph Leader seemed like the perfect candidate...

I don't know how 'official' venues would view this level of deviation for a 'counts as' but I don't play at places like that so... The one thing the model lacks is the autopistol and blasting charges. I played around with a weapon mount on the other shoulder, but I really liked the non-symmetrical look of the model as is. I'll run Snarl without them and I doubt anyone will complain if I drop free wargear.

So that's it. The guy with the bonesword is not in the current list, but will probably take over once the Magos makes his ascendance. I can see expanding this force to the full twenty models allowed in the campaign rules (and maybe even into a (very) small 40k army. I'm going to be stuck in a hotel room for the next ten days but I packed a travel paint set so I hope to finish them during that time. I'll post the finished pics when I get back...

September 23, 2018

Ahriman, Sorcerer of Tzeentch

For ten thousand years, the seeker of arcane truths known as Ahriman has roamed the galaxy in a quest to acquire every artefact, every tome and every scroll that harbours eldritch powers. Worlds burn in his shadow as he plucks these treasures from their owners by any means necessary. Resistance is the last error his enemies can make – Tzeentchian magic reshapes reality around them, a pass of the Black Staff twisting their bodies unnaturally until nothing remains but bubbling flesh. Ahriman, lord of a broken Legion; his determination is such that destiny itself bends to his whim.

Painted for my brother Dennis' collection. It was fun to paint something different. The base is photoshop wizardry because he is going to finish it to match the rest of his army. I just didn't want to post the pic with an unfinished black base!

It was probably a mistake because this guy is dead hard and he is absolutely going to kill me...

September 3, 2018

Kill Team Crucible

When the new Kill Team game out, I was psyched to find the elements of role playing that was built into the game. Adding specialists provides a level of narration that also give you concrete benefits during the game. However, there is another layer of charts that allow you to add details like the reason your team was formed and the personalities of your main characters. These are unique to each army choice and there are also name generators to get you started if you don't know what  a genestealer cultist might be called. Of course, you can do this in any game, but I feel like having Games Workshop add these elements in each army list encourages people to make use of the narrative element, especially newcomers to the hobby.

After building my Kill Team from the Deathwatch list, I rolled randomly on the charts to give them more life beyond their stats and forge a narrative.

Kill Team Doctrine
The Deathwatch are humanity's shield against xenos horrors. I decided to go with an all Primaris Kill Team because I really like the models and haven't done a lot with them yet. I chose the Team Doctrine 'Fortis Kill Team' because... well... these teams are comprised solely of the heroic Primaris battle brothers!

Of course, every game will have a different mission, but this defines the reason your team was assembled. I rolled on the chart and got 'The Cull' meaning they are especially interested in suffering not the alien to live, even for Space Marines.

Squad Quirk
This is something that sets your squad apart from the rest. I ended up with 'The Bigger Picture' which says my warriors know full well the wider price of failure and are willing to commit unconscionable deeds in the name of victory. THAT sounds ominous...

Intercessor Marcus Aggrenor, Ultramarines
Leader (Tactician: Marcus' mind is a rich repository of tried and tested combat maneuvers.)
Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

Of course the leader is an Ultrmarine! I used some Deathwatch bits on my leader to make him stand out a little.

Intercessor Navaer "Never" Qeld, Chapter Unknown
Sniper (Black Shield: Mysterious and insular, Naever's past is a dark secret.)
Stalker Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I wanted the sniper's Stalker Bolt Rifle to stand out from the others so I snagged a barrel from a Scout Sniper Rifle.

I rolled "Black Shield" for my Sniper, which is something peculiar to Deathwatch. For reasons known only to the Deathwatch Chapter Master this marine has chosen to keep his chapter of origin a secret. He may be on a clandestine mission for his Primarch, the last survivor of a destroyed chapter, or one of The Fallen. The Chapter Master has approved his assignment to the team and his brothers will not ask him further. His comrades call him "Never" as in "never misses" which is sure to doom his dice rolls.

Intercessor Jago Haden, Imperial Fists
Gunner (Contemptuous: Jago has nothing but scorn for xenos and all their works, and his disgust for them finds its purest expression in battle.)
Bolt Rifle, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I love that the Imperial Fist came up with 'Contemptuous' as his personality. I seem him disdaining to take advantage of cover in games (which probably means he gets killed, but oh well).

Reiver Erik Stormstrider, Space Wolves
Combat Specialist (Hunter: Once Erik sets his eyes on a particular quarry, he harries them to the exclusion of all else.)
Heavy Bolt Pistol, Combat Knife, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, and Grav Chute

Combat Specialist.. well, yeah, Space Wolf! Originally I was going to convert a model with an axe, but I really liked this pose. I added the wolf tail on the pistol grip and there is a wolf skull on the back of his belt. He will patrol forward through cover seeking to close with the enemy as quickly as possible on the tabletop.

Reiver Ari Mologhai, Black Templars
No specialty (New Comer: Ari replaced a beloved and trusted battle-brother who fell. He seeks to prove himself to his new squad.)
Bolt Carbine, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, Grapnel, and Grav Chute

I went ahead and rolled a personality for the sole non-specialist on the team and got "New Comer". The others refer to him as "The Kid" despite his decades of service in Black Templars and I see him constantly trying to prove himself in battle and taking crazy risks in games.

I just realized I forgot to add the squad marking (4) on their knee pad.. oh, well.

I KNOW people are going to ask - the name plates are from Versatile Terrain and worth every pound. They have several different sizes and different style fonts. I will be getting more of these...

So that's it. I don't know how they will actually fare in games, but Primaris are dead hard with two wounds and 3+ saves. The special ammunition rule for Deathwatch will make them extra dangerous. This was a fun project and I see more Kill Teams in my future.

August 26, 2018

The Guns of August 2018, Sunday

Whew! Third game went totally different from the previous two. Though the Jacobites did manage to get all of their plunder across the ford (in eleven turns.. don't tell Dannie), they were slaughtered to a man save several units of horse who retreated in good order from the field.

Mike 'Fat Bastard' MacNeill captained the Williamite assault while the dynamic duo father-son team of Rob and Justin Buck tried to keep the Jacobites in line. None of these gentlemen had ever played BLB, but it half way through they mostly figuring out their own factors and more or less running the game themselves and reminding me of the rules..

This battle had several twists and turns, including the first squadron of Tyrconnel's Horse DEFECTING to the enemy, two-thirds of the remaining brigade riding away after an errant flare was launched to signal retreat, and the Danish Guard trading fire with the Irish Guard and Lord Grand Prior's at point blank range for several turns. Despite harrowing losses, the Danes refused to retreat and died to the last man after have inflicting grievous wounds on the Irish Guard.

This battle lacked the huge cavalry scrums featured in the earlier games, though there were still several well timed charges (and one not so well timed).

Again, I'll write up these games in a bit. It was a good weekend - the players were good sports all around, embracing both good and bad luck as it fell and seemed to enjoy the games. It was a lot of work, but I will definitely plan to host a game at the February show in Williamsburg next year and may have the opportunity to put on another game at the museum later this year as well.

More soon...

August 25, 2018

The Guns of August 2018, Saturday

Real quick as I am beat.. two great games Saturday..

Left to right, Dannie Fogleman, Joe Brecher, Richard Jaekel, and Dick Goettel.. ALL of the these guys played in one of Barry and my sessions of the Pennyburn at Historicon. Some of them came from quite a ways, just to play BLB. I was stressed because in my haste Saturday morning I left the house without my QRS... THREE of them brought their own copies (thanks, for that, guys).

What a cool venue. While it lacked a huge food court (lunch and dinner were available in the form of sandwiches from Chick fil'A), my table was in the Weapons Hall in the middle of the Virginia War Museum.

Dannie and Dick both wanted another game and we were joined in the afternoon by Rob Eubanks. We played the same scenario, but the veterans switched sides to have a different perspective on the game.

There were lots of nice comments from people, interest in the Warfare range, and I even managed to sell some books. The event also saw the blooding of Hilton's Regiment (seen below with the blue and white flags.. will get proper photos of them in coming weeks as well), painted for my collection by THE Barry Hilton.. more on how that went soon..

I'll have a full account of the battles, as well as action from Sunday and the full scenario in a few days.

August 19, 2018

Crossing the Shannon - July 15, 1690

In the period between the Battle of the Boyne (July 1st, 1690) and The Battle of Aughrim (July 12th, 1691) a variety of smaller engagements took place in central and the south west Ireland.

This scenario is a fictitious encounter placed against the backdrop of small raids, sieges and low level actions which characterized the year following the Battle of the Boyne. Scenario Background King William’s multinational army is now in the ascendant in Ireland and the Jacobite Army of King James is restricted to the western counties of the island. An advanced guard, five small brigades of the Williamite Army, has come across a small Jacobite force which is attempting to transport plundered light cannons and other baggage across the River Shannon at a narrow ford. A small force of enemy troops is occupying a farm immediately in front of the advancing Williamite column obviously to act as a rearguard. No other enemy troops are visible, but rumors of the vaunted Jacobite cavalry have greeted the advance at every village and there might still be infantry on this side of the Shannon as well...

This game is inspired by the scenario included in the first edition of Beneath the Lily Banners (published 2008) and will be my offering for the Guns of August. It's been modified to suit my collection and several details altered to take into account the likely participants would be new to the rules. I want to be able to fight the game to a conclusion in the time allotted so troops will start a little closer together to get the action underway. I also changed the crossing from a ferry to a ford because this terrain is the beginning of a new direction for my efforts going forward. I wanted a river that would be more flexible for other tables than the 12-18" wide span I would have wanted to make a model ferry seem necessary. I'll get around to building a wider river when I design my tables for the Boyne..

The Guns of August show is at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News, VA on August 24th-26th. I will be running two games on Saturday at 10am and 2pm and another game on Sunday at 10am. There is no pre-registration for the event, so if you'd like to play in one of the games, just come on by - the scenario can be played by two or up to seven, but I'll find a command for you if we end up with more.

I'll have a report on the show and hopefully AAR's next week...

August 15, 2018

Guns of August 2018


The static grass I use comes in sheets, so once the glue is good and dry, I can feather the edges and blend it in to make look a little more natural. That's it... I'll post another pic of the finished table with all of the rest of terrain in place this weekend...