Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hobby Update: Space Hulk on the Brain+

I painted the bases that I had mocked up recently.  I'm pleased with the results for a number of reasons.
First, I did some research and it shouldn't be too cost or time prohibitive to crank out a whole bunch more of them.  Second, I tried out Reaper's line of paints for the first time.  I didn't see a GW color that I liked for this, and I've been meaning to try out new paints, so I grabbed some Blackened Steel the last time I was at the shop.  Granted, I didn't try to do a lot with it, but it seems like good stuff.  Finally, I'm really pleased with how they looked.  The models look just how I think they should.  They're dynamic.  They're evocative.  They're exactly what I hoped for.

The biggest headache of the whole process was trying to separate the models from their original bases.  I guess that's part of the problem with committing to an idea wholly, prior to when you really should.  I ended up losing a few toes temporarily and had to glue them back on.  It's not a big deal, but definitely a pain.  If anyone has any tips on separating plastic connected via super glue cleanly, I'd appreciate it.

And of course, this came out:
While the chances of me actually buying one, let alone enough to play a whole game of 40K on, are slim to none (but desperately hoping that slim pays out),  I might have run around the house screaming with my hands in the air.  It's pretty cool.

Finally, we get to the plus.  I've been mostly good.  I have gotten a lot done on the Vargheists, and they're pretty close to done.  But I also got wrapped up in painting Deneghra from a Cryx battle box.  For the most part, I haven't tried to do anything special, but I went a little more extreme with the highlighting on the dress.  I like how it turned out.  What I don't like, almost hate in fact, is the head.  I'm considering swapping it out for a Dark Eldar Wych head.  Really any head from that particular group would look better.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Epidemic Begins

I'd feel better with something on the board
My standard Tuesday game turned narrative.  I asked my buddy to bring 1250 points of his Death Guard, plus about 30 of the Guardsmen from his Imperial Guard army.  I brought 1000 points of Space Wolves (in power armor, of all things) plus 24 zombies.  I didn't tell him what we were doing, but I'm pretty sure he had a good idea about what was going down. 

The scenario involved him assaulting my guardsmen's positions with his zombies.  In true Imperial fashion, my Space Wolves were more than ready to sacrifice all of the guardsmen, if it meant wiping out the zombies.  The Death Guard deployed like it was a Pitched Battle, while the Guardsmen were strung out in defensive emplacements between 12 and 18 inches from their board edge.  The Wolves would walk on in turn one. 

Here they come!
The zombies were well screened, so the only target for the guardsmen's flashlights was the Daemon Prince.  They managed to put a wound on him against all odds, but that didn't do much to slow the advance.  Turn two saw the first of the zombies getting stuck in, while the Daemon Prince bypassed the initial line to charge the Grey Hunters and Battle Leader.  The zombies pulled down most of their targets and were well on their way to picking up a kill point.  The Prince didn't fare so well.  One hit out of five left a lot of swings coming back.  The Battle Leader did two wounds and the Power Fist stepped in to finish the job.  Meanwhile, my Lone wolves charged in.  You would think a raging werewolf in power armor would bring down a bunch of zombies, but apparently all my opponents good rolls were in his 5+ armor saves and 4+ feel no pains, because he couldn't kill a single one over several turns of combat.

They're in the building!
On the other end of the battlefield two of his Plague Marine squads tied down my Blood Claws and Wolf Priest while the zombies went to work.  They munched through two squads of guardsmen before charging into the marines.  In the bastion in the middle, another squad bit the dust as the zombies ran amok.  My counter-charge hit pretty hard.  The Battle Leader killed a whole squad by himself, while the Grey Hunters killed the zombies that the Lone Wolf proved incapable of handling.  As the dust cleared, one of my guardsmen squads had made it off the board alive.  The Blood Claws killed the reduced Plague Marines, while the Wolf Priest killed the last zombie (a secondary objective).  For the most part, we were both successful in achieving our aims. 

So what's next?  Well, we've discussed it and we plan on proceeding by taking alternating turns to tell the next part of the story.  We'll see exactly what he comes up with, but he mentioned possibly assaulting the laboratory of the Wolf Priest who took samples of the zombie virus.

Cleaning up
If you're interested in running the scenario yourself, the zombies had guardsmen stats with two close combat weapons, Feel No Pain, a 12" assault, and Slow and Purposeful when outside of 18 inches from an enemy unit.  The Death Guard's main objective was to acquire as many kill points of guardsmen by zombies as possible, while their secondary objectives were to protect the zombies and collect a kill point of a Space Wolf unit by a unit of zombies.  The Space Wolves main objective was to kill all the zombies, while their secondary objectives were to get guardsmen off the board and have the Wolf Priest take a sample of a zombie.  The Death Guard have 4 packs of six zombies, while the Space Wolves have 6 groups of five guardsmen.  The guardsmen weren't allowed to begin falling back until turn 4. 

Some optional rules we talked about included having the dead guardsmen added to the zombie squads, or possibly giving a few of the guardsmen some heavy weapons such as autocannons.  If you do give it a go, let me know what you think.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Road tripping all the way to the bay area and back in less than 48 hours means about 16 hours of total time in the car. 

Totally worth it.

I drove up with some friends who had committed to helping run the 40K tournament.  They were asked to do some of the judging and to help make sure things ran smoothly.  They asked if I wanted to come along, and while I hesitated at first, I'm glad I did.  Geoff, who ran the tournament, did a great job.  Rounds started on time.  The missions and explanations were clear.  Everything just seemed like it came off with zero hitches without too much fuss, which can certainly be a lot harder than it seems.
Nice venue and definitely an interesting Con

In round one, I got paired against Nick who was playing a Daemons army.  The mission had three objectives with one in the middle and one in the center of each deployment zone.  They were weighted so that the objective in your opponents end was worth three, the one in the center was two, and your ends was worth one.  We had a pretty close game, but a few mistakes and few lucky breaks ended up deciding things.  I cast Murderous Hurricane on the wrong unit of Fiends.  He managed to immobilize my Dreadnought, which would have tied up his Bloodletters in the next turn.  I didn't support some of my units enough.  I whiffed a lot with my Thunderwolf Lord and had a few rough turns of saves.  In the end, he held the center and my end, while I was on his end's objective, but it was contested by the second Great Unclean One who had decided to wander over there.  Logan did manage to handle the first one which was pretty awesome.

I hate Daemons so much!
Game two was against Mark and his Eldar army.  The mission was kill points, but added a number of bonus kill points for killing things like tanks and HQ's.  Unfortunately, this meant that my list jumped from thirteen kill points to twenty one.  This weakness came to the fore by the end of his second turn, when two fire prisms and Eldrad's ten man wraithguard unit opened up on the squad with the Rune Priest and Wolf Priest and he picked up a quick seven kill points.  Just like that, I knew I pretty much had to table him to win.  The Thunderwolf Lord went into the Wraithguard by himself.  Logan's unit was just out of range and got counter-charged by Asurmen and a squad of Dire Avengers after eating a full turn of fire.  Logan and the Thunderwolf went to work, while the remaining storm shields tried really hard to just not die.  Eventually, Asurmen would finally make it to Logan, who was on his last wound, but by that time the Lone Wolf had arrived and he doubled out the Phoenix Lord.  Meanwhile, once Eldrad and the warlock went down, the Wraithguard dropped pretty quickly.  I did end up tabling him, but Mark was a lot of fun to play and he had a great attitude whichever way things were going.

The final game of the afternoon was against Jon and his Blood Angels with multiple win conditions.  I lost Logan early, and things were looking pretty grim.  He fulfilled the kill point portion of the win condition early by nuking drop pods and independent characters, then had his scouts show up in my table quarter to further complicate things.  The game turned when the Thunderwolf Lord made a pair of Belt of Russ saves and killed Mephiston.  He then assaulted a pair of assault squads that had teamed up with a Furioso Dreadnought to whittle one squad down to a single Wolf Priest.  The Lord went crazy, killing seven marines.  Both squads failed morale and the still intact squad fell all the way back off the table.  That swung the game.  I still needed until turn six and some good shooting to pull off the win, but I did it.

So 2-1 for my first tournament of the year.  I had a great time.  I played well.  You can't really ask for much more.

Hobby Accomplishments!
-Won tournament games!  Finished in the top half. 
-Finished the menhir and a Daemon Prince.  Did some work on the Land Raider.
-Mocked up Space Hulk bases.

Hobby Goals
-Finish all the red on the Land Raider.
-Varnish the Daemon Prince and the Menhir.
-Do some work on the Vargheists.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fear the Coryphaus!

What am I supposed to be working on?  A Land Raider and 3 Vargheists for Saturday. 

What am I actually working on?  Finishing a Word Bearers Daemon Prince.  He'll serve as the military strategist to the Dark Apostle.  I find him suitably intimidating.
Who wants a hug?
He's been Mechrite Red for an extended period of time, but I finally got around to putting a basecoat of 1:1 Red Gore and Scab Red on him while I was taking a break from working on some other things.  Then I got sucked in and put on the next layer of straight up Red Gore, followed by highlights with 2:1 Red Gore and Blood Red.  This is the standard procedure that I am using for my Word Bearers marines, though obviously on a smaller scale.  It produces a very robust, deep red that I'm quite fond of.  The interesting part with this model was doing the highlighting for much larger areas of illumination.  He's so similar in structure to a space marine in power armor, that while the highlight areas felt familiar, they were larger, so trying to do them so they looked smooth felt more difficult.

Additionally, I rebased my Fantasy Daemon Prince, so we have this family portrait:
You and me...  and me and you...
I share this "ohbytheway" because I built both from a single kit.  When the new kit came out several years ago, I picked one up.  Being a huge cheapskate, I counted up the bits and realized that it was short only a back and a set of legs to be twice as efficient. 

Never one to pass up a chance to do a little hobby and save a few bucks, I used some old Legos to build a crucible and made a mold out of greenstuff.  I let the mold sit overnight, then coated it in Vaseline, and put an ample amount of putty into it.  In a rare spell of patience, I let that sit long enough to harden, then pulled it out via the twist-tie that you can see embedded in the inside of the piece.  It turned out quite well.  I can't remember which Prince has the false back and can't tell by looking at them.

I would recommend the same procedure to anyone looking to save a few bucks or looking for a hobby project.  There are lots of great bits in the kit, and even if you don't have an extra set of legs laying around, you can really get creative with options for the lower half.

Finally, I'm headed to Dundracon with some friends this weekend.  It'll be quite a drive, but I'm sure that will be more than made up for with the fun to be had both at the con and in the tournament.  It's also my first tournament of the year and in a very new environment, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Turning Scraps into Space Hulk Bases

One of the things my Terminators definitely need is an upgrade to their bases.  I love the way they've turned out, but nondescript silver discs just aren't cutting it as the floor of a space hulk and it detracts from the overall appearance.
Not pictured:  The suspension of your disbelief.

So rather than doing any of the things I'm supposed to be doing, whether that be in life or in hobby, I spent the day sitting on the floor, watching basketball, and fiddling with plastic bits pulled out of the vehicles box.  Here is the result of my labor:

Not the trickiest of conversion efforts.
Essentially, we have mostly the reverse sides of leftover Land Raider and Rhino doors, plus some cables and movement tray sides.  It's fairly straightforward.  There is a lot of cutting and snipping.  I should probably clean up the edges with some sanding and green stuff, but I'm not that concerned about it.  I think hitting it with some black primer will cover a multitude of ills.    

Thoughts?  Should I continue the project or scrap it and buy some resin bases?  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Big Table and Big Terrain

Today, I had the opportunity to play in a pretty fantastic multiplayer game.  After not giving my opponents a very competitive run for the past two games, it was nice to be able to sit back a little and just try to do cool stuff. 

It was a big board with lots of dead stuff
We played an objective mission on a double sized table, with an objective in each deployment zone and another in the center.  This was my first experience playing against the Necrons codex.  I can't make any judgements about the book, due to the way we played, but there are definitely some things I liked.  The Doomsday machine is pretty sweet.  With an army full of Terminators though, that thing became target priority number one and died quickly.  Mindshackle Scarabs are amazing against some things and not particularly useful against others.  War Scythes terrify me. 

Deathmarks? Meet Lone Wolf...
All in all, I'd call it a book full of interesting things.  The game itself was well played on all sides.  It's too easy to gang up on one player, but I think it was played evenly throughout.  At the last, I fought a teleporting squad of Necrons off my objective, then had a chance to score the objective in the center of the table, when my Thunderwolf and a lone Terminator finished off a Plague Marine squad.  Unfortunately a Greater Daemon chose that moment to make his presence felt, charging across the Fortress of Redemption and wiping out the last Terminator.  I can't complain too much.  I think I made three Crux Terminatus saves in a row at one point.

A nice fulcrum, perhaps
I finished the High Elf menhir that I've had for quite some time.  I picked up a few of them with a big Forge World order several years ago, and just never got around to finishing any of them until now.  This is the first of them.  I thought it would be a great piece to experiment on with my new airbrush.  It wasn't a perfect process, but it's only the second time I've used it.  I didn't mask the lines well enough, so I had to do a lot of clean-up.  Not a big problem, considering the time I was able to cut off with not having to do multiple layers of white to cover mistakes and get a smooth surface.

List building has been occupying a fair amount of my brain space during the quiet hours.  I'm considering attending a Con in the near future and if I'm going to play in the 40K tourney, I'd like to bring some of the more visually impressive elements to bear while remaining somewhere close to competitive.  Of course, a Land Raider and four Thunderwolves including a Lord isn't exactly cheap, so it might come down to really sacrificing some things.  That's a scary notion though, with only have twenty scoring models in my list as it is now, so paring that down doesn't seem like a good idea, but where else to cut?  Those are the puzzle pieces I keep playing with. 

I've been playing a lot of Dominion online lately.  I feel like the layout of the site lets me be more detached and analytical about card selection.  I'm also pretty sure that I'm less attached to my deck, so I'm more likely to go with strategies in which I'm trashing a lot of cards.  I definitely recommend checking it out, whether you already enjoy Dominion and would like to play more often than random game nights, or you wanna give a set a test run before picking it up.

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Hobby Love

In less than 5 minutes
Today was all about spraying paint from various things.

I had the opportunity to give it a go with my airbrush for the very first time.  When asked to describe it, I broke out the dictionary and dropped the word, "Revelatory."  I don't know if I can oversell it.  The heavens opened up, trumpets blared, and I saw visions of me painting legions of all kinds in a matter of hours.  Alright, maybe that is overselling it, but I slapped a very nice coat of Red Gore on the tower of my Fortress of Redemption in a matter of minutes.  By hand, we're talking about an indefinite period of time, plus breaks, plus boredom, plus me eventually putting it down to find something more interesting to paint.

The second attempt was a little less enthralling and it pointed out a few problems, beginning with, "I have no idea how the heck to do this."  I think I accomplished the mission, but paint didn't come out as smoothly.  I tried mixing in some water, but if there's too much, it gets runny.  So it'll be a while before I get everything figured out.  At the same time, the Word Bearers somewhere deep in the queue are very excited about getting several deep layers of red and probably moving up in the order.

I also hit up my drop pods with a layer of Testors Dullcote.  That's way less exciting, but definitely pragmatic.  The Drop Pods take a beating in my current transportation set-up, so they needed it.  I don't think the varnish messed with the color at all which is great.  I've heard about gloss and matte varnishes either raising or dulling the intensity of the color, so I'm glad this worked out.  It also left a very nice texture on model.  I don't know why I put if off for so long, but now I'm definitely going to spend a little extra time touching up things and varnishing them. 

Facing down the firing line
Finally, I got in a game against Imperial Guard.  It was Dawn of War with five objectives.  Things went my way from the start.  He took the first turn and brought everything on.  I counted four targets that I had to eliminate as soon as possible, with three Vendettas and a Leman Russ with five plasma cannon shots.  He had several other veteran squads with some scary stuff, but they didn't have nearly the range or the speed.

Because of the night fighting rolls, he didn't have the chance to reach out with the long guns in turn one.  In response, I deep struck Logan and his squad and the Dreadnought right next to a Vendetta and the Leman Russ respectively.  All the meltas hit and penetrated, and I quickly had two less targets on the field.  Just after that, my Thunderwolf Lord assaulted one of his squads and wiped them.  His turn two response saw some terrible shooting, but the Vendetta and melta fire took down the Lord.  Meanwhile, several squads worth of shooting could only take the weapons off the Dreadnought.  My turn two included Logan's Living Legend and four combats, all of which went my way.  Essentially, all my Terminators were into his lines, running around, and demolishing everything, and I still had a pod to come in.  My opponent got incredibly disheartened at this point, and I asked if he wanted to call it, so we did at the top of turn three.

Not now.  I'm about to run amok...
Hobby Accomplishments
-Airbrushed something!  Two things actually.
-Finished a Drop Pod, so now I can run a fully painted 1850 point army.
-Built some Storm Boyz and some Vargheists.
-Got above .500 with a win over Imperial Guard.

Hobby Goals
-Finish the menhir.
-Work on the Land Raider.
-Figure out how to do Space Hulk bases.  Suggestions?