Wednesday, 23 July 2014

'nids part 149 - Not a Pyrovore

I don't know if this fella ever showed up in the background of any other WiP photos but in typical 40kaddict fashion when in doubt - paint a Tyranid! This Pyrovore, which I got from Otty about a year ago to use as a Biovore has been sat on the table for quite a while. Initially this was because I didn't want him on a 60mm and he's too big for a 40mm. Now I know there's 'legal' issues with putting him on the correct sized base [i.e. the one it comes with] but as far as I'm concerned this model fits a 50mm base, so that's what he went on. And really the basing issue mainly comes down to assault [although being hit by blasts is another issue...] and Biovores hardly ever get into assault.

There were some issues with the super glue breaking and needing to be reposed and pinned which delayed his progress but eventually he was primed and ready to go. I'd painted the base, alongside all the Dark Vengeance marines and then in a burst of activity did the Bonewhite and Chitin [DoCraft Bahama Blue] just because.

Then I went and did all the washes and unusually did the Bonewhite highlight first. I always tend to do the Chitin first but there's nothing like messing with your process to keep things fresh.

It's really weird just to do one model, quite satisfying though. I enjoyed doing the 4 Horsemen but that was 4 models and this sole one in amongst all the other Dark Angel and Parade board stuff is like an 'amuse-bouche' - cleansing my palette while I struggle with the other projects that are less straight-forward.

I really think this may be a way to work through the Fallen, always have a 'nid on hand, I just have to make sure I'm not spending hours on them instead of hours on the Dark Angels and a little bit of time on the 'nids to help get me through.

Anyway, next up more highlights, you know how this goes by now.

It'll be nice to finally have two 'Biovores' now. I know it's still proxying but it's much better than proxying a Warrior and this is such a decent model, even if the Codex unit is pants, can't wait to have fun with the fluff on that!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Armies on Parade board 2014 - Project X is go!

Moving on from Saturday's doom laden post we are down the rabbit hole now folks! Armies on Parade is a go, despite my fear-mongering to the contrary. I hope anyone reading this blog, in particular my gaming buddies, enters a board. I see it as a showcase of what you've done all year, a 'parade' of your painting and hobby efforts so I hope everyone tries, they've already put a lot of the effort in afterall.

Last year it was all about the army, a simple board swamped with the Ferron Splinter Fleet of Hive Fleet Gorgon. This year I'm going to run with the OTT idea I alluded to here and here's where it begins. I'm a little paranoid, unrightly so, but isn't that the nature of paranoia? So I won't be revealing what the plan is, you can just try and imagine initially hopefully guess along the way, it should also help with the blog because I can just show pics and micro-blog the progress with less explanation, at least that's the plan.

Firstly I have about £10 worth of MDF and wood. I went to the local GW to confirm I could enter the same army and they did offer to sell me a Realm of Battle tile. They'll do this individually for AoP entrants, in case you didn't know, I think they're £30 each, though I'm not sure if you can get the hill sections, just the flats or even the new Sector Imperalis boards [although I doubt it]. At any rate mine is going to be covered a lot with insulation foam so really MDF is fine.

Once again I'm making a corner piece, here's one of the 18" high back walls with wooden batons at the edges to make it more stable. These have three wood screws in the back and wood glued in place.

Here's the second wall, it only has one baton as it will fix to the first one. I'm thinking of using dowel rods to secure it horizontally in place.

Here's the insulation foam, cut to fit the first wall

And the second wall is also trimmed.

The foam is glued in place using foam panel coving adhesive.

The second one is also glued in place, you can see the overhang where it can slot behind the first piece.

Here's the base, I went for 8mm MDF for stability this time, it's going to have the walls mounted to it afterall. I'll start marking where the foam is going to go on top, to join up with the walls next.

And this is how we stand after 2.5 hours, doesn't seem much really considering I completed my last board in about that time but 'measuring twice and cutting once' is a little more time consuming. Going to have to find a way to tidy up those edges.

Once the base foam is in place this will give me a great starting point for the next phase

And to allow your imagination to run wild, this is sort of where I'm going, lets remind ourselves of my brother's Vivarium. These [never before seen] pictures show what happened when I added some green to the stone to represent slime from rain fall.

It worked really well, although there's no Chlorophyll on Ferron Proxima so I'm not sure what to do painting wise, yellow would look very odd as people won't be able to process what it actually is as the visual reference wouldn't fit what they see on Earth.

 However, it ended up nice.

And the lizard approves, it's laid 102 eggs so far, in four clutches, so it must be happy.

I'll be undertaking a whole host of other terrain element while building the board. I'm hoping to make many elements removable, taking inspiration from Grubnards Swamp Table over at the Mandulian Chapel.

This will  both make it easier to store/transport and allow me to reuse the terrain components should I ever run a game in my own house! It is considerably more challenging for me to do this though as I'll have to work out the attachment mechanisms - lots of magnets, maybe some lego.

Each item will be a mini project in it's own right which means once I've finished the board itself all these other elements can be added piecemeal so any that fail to be finished will not jeopardize the whole. Hope that's whetted your appetite, obviously my last post was a bit 'down' clearly this seems a little contradictory to that but I'll be blogging as and when I can.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Where's my head @?

Once you get past the vanity/egotist nature of having a blog there are a number of motivators for continuing. The biggest reason could be as archival reference of your progress. A blog is a digital diary afterall and the point of doing a diary is to record what you’ve done and how you felt. Additional reasons include serving your readership, once you build up a bit of a following there is an expectation to continue on, to add more content to gain more readers.

Another reason for blogging, and it’s been quite an effective tool for me, is that it motivates back into the actual hobby itself. Being motivated to blog means I’m then motivated to paint or model. However, I’ve always been open about the pressures that then build up to record progress. It’s been useful for reconciling a lack of mojo and hobby slump but emotionally right now I’m all over the place. Some of my hobby progress is floundering, my Ravenwing are not going well and I’ve built quite a backlog thanks to working on many Dark Angel units at once. The slow progress isn’t helping me feel fulfilled and with my attempts to start my Armies on Parade board, such an endeavour seems huge at the beginning, I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Equally though I’m very excited for what is to come but apprehensive about managing to do it without a drama at home, not to mention the cost of doing it [it’s not substantial, £20-£30 tops but somehow this month has become very expensive and I could do without spending anything more].

I have these ‘where’s my head @?’ posts occasionally, I warn of an impending reduction in the amount of blogging and quite often it acts as a ‘penseive’ and I get on and do it. I'm definitely not soliciting sympathy, so please don't feel obliged to respond, this is something I've dealt with before and I'll get over the frustrations again this time. But right now I'm not sure what I’m inclined to do. I’ve had a significant reduction in page views, which as a measure for one’s blogging worth shouldn’t mean a lot, but it does. Granted I haven’t done anything ‘spectacular’ for a while and as I go ahead with my AoP plans there will be some heavy duty scratchbuilding which may bring in new readers. But I have to do the content ‘fuel’ to keep the blog ‘fire’ burning. Part of me wants to take a break and another part wants me to switch to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule another part of me wants to blog every day, but that part has been severeley flogged and ridculed by the other parts.

Anyway, maybe that will help me get my head straight, before you know it I could have tons of content and loads of time/energy to share with you all.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

1500pt battle report - nids vs Astra Imperial Milatarum Guard

What happened here was quite amusing, Ben asked me for a game, proper 7th at 1500pts and I combined a detachment with nid allies so I could get twin flyrants, two Tervigons, one an allied HQ, the other a troop. A Venomthrope, Zoanthrope and brood of 3 Hive Guard. A Dakkafex, Biovore and 30 gaunts plus another 10 for the Allied contingent. The big point being I had ZERO fortifications, no Aegis, Bastion, Weapons Batteries or Skyshield

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQWinged TyrantTervigon CC TRTervigon Plain Tr
The HorrorThe HorrorOnslaughtPsychic Scream
Psychic ScreamParoxysmDominionDominion


DominionOnslaughtWarp Blast

The low down:
  • Big Guns Never Tire [though apparently they do give up Victory Points when they die, as they score anyway now, good one 7th!] 4 objectives
  • Vanguard Strike
  • I lost deployment and failed to seize
  • Warlord Trait - A 7th ed strategic trait that made Ben's reserves -1. he had no reserves!
  • Night fighting turn 1.
Of course the problem I immediately had is Ben was not using the Orks I thought he would take, given they have a fresh Codex, no he went for a slightly more mature Astra Imperial Milatarum Guard. And I could see straight from the get go I was stuffed. An Aegis and a bastion with VSG [yeah, I can't touch them], two Leman Russ [can't touch them], two Wyverns [they'll punish my blobs], Ratling Snipers [bye, bye Tervigons] a Quad Gun and an Icarus [bye, by Flyrants]

Cover was sparse but I deployed my termagants in such a way to be Shrouded by the Venomthrope and give cover to anything else but with the Hellhound Chimera variant with the Inferno Cannon, cover [or lack thereof] is petty much moot anyway

Interesting to note that objectives are now positioned before Deployment setup is rolled, so you put the objectives on the board and then you could deploy in a completely different way than you anticipated. That means you have to be quite generic in where you put them. I placed mine in the Chapel ruin and the crater field in the middle. Ben put his in the blasted forest and just in front of his Aegis at the top.

First up Ben rolls to see what the Crashed Aquila Lander has in store, oh some ancient Achaeotech that is a 1VP objective within 3" of the lander, thank you, he'll have that behind the Aegis on the left of the Bastion. Everything else moves forward and the Torrent on that Chimera flames a couple of Gaunts, now that's unpleasant.

A lot of shooting focuses on my Hive Guard and 3 wounds get stripped off quite quick, despite the Venomthrope. Ratlings got an 'ignore cover' order but there was also re-rolls to hit and wound from some banner/wargear.

Further fire took the remaining three wounds off the Hive Guard for First Blood, but more importantly removing my 'anti-tank'. We also roll to see what my Mysterious objective is - Sabotaged! We then spend the game regularly forgetting to see if it blows up.

The Great Maw spawns out on 10 Termagants, which head for the crater field for some cover. unfortunately their run move is pathetic and they're pretty much dead men walking with that Hellhound nearby, although cover would again have availed them nought. My Flyrant headed to take some shots at the side armour of the Hellhound, but it's AV12 and I had seious doubts about getting three 6's to glance it. Instead I went for the softer option of the Guard blob and trust the Great Maw might eventually get it's talons on the Hellhound. I managed to kill only about 5or 6 with my Brainleech which was unrewarding.

The other Flyrant swooped into cover, I was able to take out a Heavy Weapons team but cover denied most of my shooting. The CC Tervigon spawned out on 11 so no more spawning at all - great! Everything else decamped from the ruins so as not to be blown up by the Sabotaged objective.

Warlord Flyrant takes a couple of wounds

Then a couple more, spawned gaunts also get shot to pieces with just two left. The Second Flyrant in the woods at the top is wounded and falls out of the sky and takes a 2nd wound.

In my turn two I bolster the two spawned gaunts with the eight remaining from my allied brood. The Great Maw heads for the Hellhound, needing an 8" charge, it manages 5" so fails it's assault.

My second flyrant Vector Strikes the lead Wyvern. I get a pen and the tank cannot shoot or move next turn. I shoot the back of the second Wyvern, I glance and pen but only prevent it shooting next turn.

The Dakkafex follows up too but I'm not sure what it did this turn as nothing else dies. He had Onslaught so he was run and shoot, maybe saving throws were very effective? More importantly though with that Grav Wave generator in front of the units and cover I can't charge the distance to get into assault.

The Nephropid captures an objective, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that it is also Sabotaged!

Anti-air trains it's sights on the Flyrant...

...and shoots it to pieces.

With space to manoeuvre the Hellhound reverses from the oncoming Great Maw. Concentrated fire puts five wounds on it.

But it takes pretty much all the remaining fire for the kill shot. I immediately 'go to ground' with the nearby gaunts. You don't get a cover save from the Brood Progenitor backlash but it will help next turn because they will be immune to Instinctive Behaviour. Ben thinks this is a dubious tactic, that he could understand them being able to go to ground should he be firing directly at them but they're being hit in a different way. The description is specific that they're being hit as if by a shooting attack from the Tervigon. I think the argument should be that perhaps they should have no right to go to ground because they can derive no benefit, but counter to that you always take your best save anyway so even if they were entitled to a cover save if they had a 4+ save and went to ground in 5+ cover they'd still get 4+. I'm confident I can do it but if anyone want's to chip in their thoughts feel free.

War gets into range of the Wyverns, I actually whoop when I find out they're a squadron so his shooting effects them both. I'd been floundering at the thought one would go and the other would carry on. even so I only manage a few hits. I managed to get a few hits with glances and pens. Ultimately his cover save would stop most of them except one pen gets through. I roll to see damage and on the front Wyvern and get a 6, plus one for open topped and the Wyvern blows.

The explosion takes out a couple of Guardsmen and hits his Squadron buddy, I roll and get a glance, wrecking the second Wyvern thanks to it's last Hull Point. Finally some luck! With War on the rampage all the Defenders train their guns on the beast and let rip.

Stripping all four wounds off the behemoth.

Things are looking dire but I still have a chance to steal this with 3 objectives I can control and the other one I can contest. I head the Tervigon forwards to take fire and shield the Termagants who can contest the Grav Wave objective.

My plan works too well and the Nephropid implodes.

About 5 gaunts die in the synaptic backlash. The other gaunts head to contest the other objective. I'd moved my Zoanthrope across and cast Dominion which kept everything in Synapse and also re-invigorated the gaunts that had gone to ground.

Unfortunately a dozen Termagants is no match for the massed las fire and Inferno Cannon set against it.

I try to run and contest but can't get more than an inch or two. It's turn four and I think I'm all done.

Technically, having called it, this is a Crushing Defeat. I'm actually unhappy about this shift in 7th to levels of victory. Calling it, like I did, seems an amicable acceptance but then to be branded not just defeated but 'crushed', well it's not really in the spirit of the game to me. Anyway, Ben had First Blood, Slay the Warlord, had killed 2 Heavy Support, Archaeotech objective and 1 objective for 8VPs. If we'd gone into 5 turns he would easily roll over the objective in the craters for another three and most likely got Linebreaker too, with the Hellhound, for 12 VPs all in.

Meanwhile I had either 1 or 2 VPs from the Wyverns, I think it's just 1 because they're a squadron and most likely would have had the blasted woods objective and the ruined chapel. That would have got me 7 but would have been dependant on the remaining Termagants not being gunned down by the Aegis Defenders and the Zoanthrope continuing to hold the Chapel and neither being blown up by the sabotaged objectives. This would have net me 7VPs but you can see that despite the monumental losses [and awful dice rolling] I wasn't too far off the mark from Ben. Had a couple of units just survived a bit longer [Catalyst anyone?], or been more effective in their attacks I might not have suffered as many losses and would have been able to snatch it.

The funny thing was that we played on the night Brazil got hammered by Germany so I can't feel too bad, at least it wasn't 7:1 ha, ha!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

GW - Manchester

Just a little blog post about GW Manchester. I nipped in to get White Dwarf for the Armies on Parade info and discuss AoP with the staff, not that I'm entering there, just so I can get the inside scoop. Anyway I took a few pics while I was theres because I'm a 40k addict and that's what addicts do, alright?! This store, situated in the Arndale Centre is great value - hobby-wise. They always put in a lot of effort in their display, this fantasy diorama has been there for a a year or so now but it's still awesome and if I'm correct was recycled from a previous display that was 40k related but they managed to reconfigure it to something completeyly different.

I love the magical flames made from expanding foam. But I actually can see these turned upside down to make some truly organic fleshy towers as quick LoS blocking terrain. Use some sort of support in the middle - a plastic coat hanger arm perhaps, attach to a base - wooden disc or CD. Spray on the foam and then build a crater round it so it shows a ruptured demonic tentacle or alien flesh probe bursting from the ground

Great use of the Citadel terrain kits too and also the green fairy lights in the tower on the right. What crazy spells and incantations are being wrought to defend the keep or is it just the largest Warpstone gem ever discovered? Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I just forged a narrative all over the blog, I'll go get a tissue and clean it up, sorry, couldn't help myself.

Every GW has a table set up to showcase the Dark Vengeance box set and run taster games on, but I particularly like Manchester's as the colour scheme is awesome. Granted it's not red, but it's the next best thing and this isn't just yellow, it has plenty of black in there to give a painterly to the table not unlike the artwork in the books.

I love the background too, the dieing star/warp storm in a flame red sky. These are touches the board doesn't need to have but they'v egone the extra mile just to help create that first impression for those kids that drag their parent into the store to see what it's about.

Apologies for the reflection but there's no way to see this Imperatur Titan any other way, except for the back. It's really quite a construction. Scratchbuilding Titans is a massive undertaking. My matel Liam managed to make his Warhound and Warlord brilliantly. The Warhound is a thing of beauty, potentially better than the Forgeworld model but the Warlord was an exercise in understated but effective execution. He didn't get bogged down with the detail, which may have stalled the project, put just enough on to make it interesting and managed to reproduce the design accurately enough so it didn't look daft. So many times you see Titans that are just boxes on legs but his wasn't and I think this Imperator achieves the same goal. It's simple enough to have got made but detailed and accurate enough not to look like wasted effort and resources, the glowing red eyes help too.

There are a number of other good displays and their glass cabinets are full of high quality painted miniatures. I'll try and get some more pictures next time but if you are visiting Manchester it's worth nipping in to see what they've got on show.