Thursday, 7 November 2013

Flames of War Deutsche Afrika Korps - part two


Finally, after much faffing about, my Deutsche Afrika Korps army for Flames of War is done...





Wednesday, 23 October 2013

40K Clearout

It's time to make space for new toys. As such I'm selling off a fair bit of stuff that isn't getting used. First up:

Orks from Assault on Black Reach £35 posted in UK.
3 Deffkopters (2 on sprue, one built and undercoated black)
Big Boss (build, sprayed black)
5 Nobz on sprue
16 boyz on sprue
3 boyz built (2 black, one painted)


Friday, 30 August 2013

Flames of War: Deutsche Afrika Korps - part one

Time for a new project: Introducing the Deutsche Afrika Korps, 21st Panzer Division. This means a new game system, Flames of War which will be my first foray into historical gaming, and a new scale to paint (15mm). I can't wait to get started...


A friend and I are putting together armies from the North Africa book and I'll be aiming to get things (vaguely) right in terms of the historical background and have selected the Battle of Alam el Halfa as the point at which to set things (late Aug/early Sept 1942). The DAK will be the 21st Panzer-Division and the British will be the 22nd Armoured Brigade who met, I think, in what was pretty much the first armoured engagement of the Battle. It also has the handy bonus of making Pip Roberts the perfect character to use (while my inclusion of Rommel is perhaps rather less based in historical fact).

After buying the Open Fire box set my next purchase was the North Africa book. I know I could have used easyarmy.com but I prefer reading paper books. The quality of this one impressed me and it's neat that it includes army lists for both Axis and Allies.


I then began a bit of historical research. In the main this has largely taken place online with the exception of a couple of print sources: James Holland's Together We Stand: North Africa 1942-1943: Turning the Tide in The West (London: Collins, 2005) and Major-General G.P.B Roberts, Generalleutnant Fritz. Basil Bayerlein, Liddell Hart, ed. Battle Report: Alam Halfa (Combat Studies Institute, 1956). Oh, and Holland's 'Jack Tanner' novel Hellfire!







THE ARMIES

Following some helpful discussion on the Flames of War Forum we decided on the following lists:

21st Panzer-Division

Rommel
Company HQ 2 Panzer III J (late)
Panzer Platoon 1: 4 Panzer III J (late)
Panzer Platoon 2: 4 Panzer III J (late)
Panzer Platoon 3: 3 Panzer IV F1
Light Panzerspäh Platoon: 1 Sd Kfz 223 (radio); 2 Kfz 222 (2cm)






22nd Armoured Brigade 

1iC, 2iC, Pip Roberts in Grant tanks
1st Troop 3 Grants
2nd Troop 3 Grants
3rd Troop 3 Grants
4th Troop 3 Honey Stuarts
5th Troop 3 Universal Carriers
Sporadic Air Support Hurricane IIB


I've been told that both lists need to invest in some smoke so I'll be looking at this as the first addition to the lists and I'd like at some point to add in British minefields and German Pioneers to play out some of the historical action but for now I think the lists above will be enough to handle in our first games.

Painting

My first job has been deciding on the paint scheme and I've been googling for images and tutorials for the last week or so and have come across quite a few that have been useful. Perhaps the most impressive was DAK Weathering 101 on on desertarmor.com. Or maybe it was this one (not on DAK tanks) by Zoolander the FOW forum. There's an interesting discussion of just how 'chipped' tanks got here on Armour Workshop. I also found the Quest Masters website helpful in determining which bits of the tracks/wheels are metal/rubber.

Colour photographs seem to be quite hard to come by (perhaps my google-fu is weak here) but I came across this one from Life:


This tank is from the Battle of El Guettar in Tunisia (1943) so it's not exactly the colour I need (it's darker I think) but it's one of the best I've found so far. Most of all I've enjoyed the generous advice of various forum members on the Flames of War Forum and on The Warhammer Forum. After much faffing about and trying to follow the advice I've been given I've settled on the following scheme:


  1. Undercoat with Halford's Grey Primer 
  2. Basecoat with VMC Iraqi Sand (airbrushed on, mixed 50/50 with Vallejo thinner, two coats) 
  3. Wash: 20% VGC Brown Ink/ 20% GW Flesh Wash/ 10% Iraqi Sand/ 50% Water (all over the model - most removed with clean wet brush from flat areas) 
  4. Basecoat Tracks: VGC Hull Red 
  5. Tracks Washed Black Ink 
  6. Tracks Drybrushed VMC Oily Steel 
  7. Rubber wheels painted black 
  8. Black lining on tank with Army Painter Dark Tone ink 
  9. Tank body tidied up with thinned VGC Iraqi Sand 
  10. Tank body highlighted with very thin VGC Ivory 
That gets you to something like this:


The next stage is detailing, applying decals (over gloss varnish), and then weathering. Most of this will be done with weathering powders if I can work out how to use them effectively (I'm going to try sealing them with AK sealant, following the advice from this Model Dads' video). While I work that out here's my recipe for paint chips: 
  1. Sponge on VMC Black Grey to the relevant edgesd 
  2. Stipple on VMC Oily Steel 
  3. 'Underline' with VMC Flat Aluminium 
Then I guess it's be time for some gloss Varnish before matting the down with Dullcote but that's getting very much ahead of myself. For now, ready for the next post, this is what I'm faced with:



Time to get building...




Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing Part Seven: Command Squad

As promised, here's a picture of the Dark Angel's command squad. Overall I'm pleased with how they came out and painting robed marines turns out to be faster than painting those without so they were fairly quick to do as well. My one regret with this unit is that I built them with bolt pistols - given that they're always going to be toting the Banner of Devastation this was something of an oversight!

Here's the unit:


And here's a close up of the Banner of Devastation which is my first attempt at a freehand banner. Again, I am pleased with how it turned out. I reckon it looks close enough to the original.
My version
The original
That might be it for a while for the Dark Angels as I'm about to turn my attention to Flames of War but I am tempted to paint up a Chaplain in terminator armour to be my 'counts as' Belial. I don't much like the Belial sculpt whereas I think the Chaplain looks completely badass!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Dark Angels: Deathwing

My allegiance to the Greenwing has been seriously weakened by the mind-numbing tedium of painting marine after marine in the ludicrously slow style I've adopted and in order to get the Dark Angels moving off the paint station I've turned to the Terminators who, of course, aren't green... It's taken a few weeks but they're finally done and here they are:


So far I've run then out in three games (one against Necrons and two against Blood Angels) and they've rocked (largely due to their being joined by Belial)). They certainly add something to the list, they can't be ignored and they seem to be able to stand up to an almighty amount of unfriendly attention.

Next up, it's back to the Greenwing. The Command Squad is almost done, just the Banner of Devastation to paint (yikes!). 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Incursion on Kickstarter


As a long-time fan of Grindhouse Games' board game Incursion I'm really excited to see that they've just (3 days ago) announced a campaign on Kickstarter that will see the game rereleased with a full set of plastic figures. I'm posting here in the hope that it'll help push the campaign along, given that Incursion is already a well-established (if slightly niche) game there's very little risk here, just the promise of a great game that'll play as well as ever and look fantastic.

The good news for anyone who already owns the game is that the campaign includes a pledge level (Metalhead) which includes all of the new figures in metal, there are six of them, along with a limited run sculpt of Gretel, and cards and counters for everything in the SNAFU expansion and a two-board poster to play the big SNAFU games on. The metalhead pledge comes in at $80 + $30 shipping and of course there's the import tax, VAT and Royal Mail's handling fee so the cost could be seen as pretty high for those of us outside the US but there's talk on Kickstarter that an EU distributor may be found so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Here's a link to the campaign, as you'll see it's nearly there:

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing Part Six - Librarian

It's been a while since I've updated this blog, real life has been a bit hectic to allow for much hobby time. But I have been slowly getting on with things and finally there's enough done to share. First up, here's the Librarian who seems to lead the army most of the time:



And finally the first squad is finished, I'm happy with how they turned out but the time they took is killing me!




I also found the time to get a game in, this time against a Necron army which totally tore my army apart. My pre-game 'tactical' decision was to rush plenty of stuff forward to get into combat with the Necrons to avoid being outshot. As it happened my rush forward was very ill-conceived with all three of my vehicles being taken off the board in the Necron's first turn - a lucky scatter managed to take out the Powerfield wielding Techmarine who was hiding behind the landraider and the rest was as you'd expect with a unit of scarabs performing most of the vehicle-killing duties. This was also my first game using bikes but that didn't go well. Both squads outflanked and managed to kill nothing with their first turn of shooting (even the Multimelta-armed attack bike failed to hurt the Necron walker tried to shoot in the back, twice!). The Marines of the match were the Devastator squad who sat at the back and did a decent job of shooting up the Necron menace and I think they were the only unit left by the end! All in all it was a fun but brutal game that left me with plenty of questions to answer.

So, next list, more Devastators. In fact, I'll aim for two units each of which will be joined by a Librarian to help with their shootiness. With this in mind I've begun converting some tactical marines, specifically working on their shoulder pads. Here's my first attempt at greenstuffing Devastator markings:


And painted up: It came out a bit thicker than planned but I can fix that with the next attempt.


The Dev's need to wait for the Forgeworld Brass Etch to arrive before they can be built up (I want to put the chapter symbol on the other shoulder) so in the meantime my attention is directed to the Veteran squad... Hopefully the next update will be here soon!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing Part Five - Dreadnought

It's been a while but finally there's something to show, here's the first Dreadnought to join the army.


I say 'the first' dreadnought as I've just picked up a second-hand copy of Assault for Black Reach and the first thing I plan to paint up is the dreadnought. Not that I think they're particularly good in the game but I do like the look of them and they don't take that long to paint.

There are also other reinforcements on the way  - a fourth tactical squad, a second Devastator squad (and reinforcements for the first squad), and a couple of rhinos (once I get hold of some new top hatches to replace the ones I'm about to rip off).

By the next post the first tactical squad will be done - finally - there's just one to go...

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dark Angels FAQ 1.1A

I've just noticed that the Dark Angels FAQ has been updated on the Games Workshop website (here). The biggest change for my list is the errata to the Powerfield Generator which now reads: “If the bearer is embarked upon a Transport vehicle, the powerfield’s effects only apply to models embarked upon that vehicle”. So, no more super-survivable Landraider which doesn't seem like a particularly bad decision. But... what if the bearer isn't embarked upon a Transport vehicle? What if he stands next to a Landraider (or two...)? Then, reading the rules-as-written the vehicle would have a save, as would any marines inside that vehicle. Hmmmm....

A bit of googling around suggests that this is the general way this is being read. There's a good discussion on the Bolter and Chainsword forum (here) and a suggestion for what sounds like a nice conversion from march10k:

"If the PFG bearer is standing between four land raiders in a parking lot, all of them get the full effect of the 4+ invulnerable save, but as soon as he steps inside one, all of them, including the one he's riding in, lose the save.  There's a relatively simple fix for this...put your PFG on a bike behind the land raiders, instead of inside!  You heard it here first! ... damage assessment.  I'll have to put my PFG-bearing techie on a bike.  He'll also be able to repair either of the two tanks that he's following around, but only on a 5+, not the previous 4+.  Also, he's at more risk than before, especially from deepstrikers.  Countervaling, late-game, his bike makes him an excellent objective-contesting unit.  And with T5 and a 2+/4++ save, he's not the most fragile model on the battlefield, single wound be damned."

The downside (apart from the fact that my techmarine is painted and now looks like he needs replacing) is that you no longer benefit from having the techmarine inside the Landraider to extend the range of the PFG to catch multiple units and I'm assuming that this is the purpose to the errata here. But the upside of having some funky modelling to do makes up for this! Here's some inspiration from Warseer, posted by Rich 123:



The other key errata concerns the Standard of Devastation: "Q: The Standard of Devastation states that ‘all friendly Codex: Dark Angels units within 6” of the standard treat their boltguns as Salvo 2/4 weapons’. Which boltguns does this apply to? (p66) A: This applies to the standard boltgun (24”range, S4, AP5, Rapid Fire), twin-linked boltguns on bikes, the bolter component of combi-weapons, and hurricane bolters [my emphasis]." Good news, mainly because I didn't like the feeling that I might be playing this incorrectly.

So, overall not such a bad result from the FAQ. No doubt the PFG-Landraider interface will result in another FAQ at some point but until then I think it's pretty clear what the rules say though it's a shame it wasn't spelt out more exactly.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Dark Angels Techmarine and Forge World Transfers...

Work on the Dark Angels continues. First up, here's the second finished model for the Dark Angels, the plucky Techmarine who was the lone survivor of the battle with the Chaos Space Marines, it was a fairly quick job but he looks good enough for the tabletop providing a nice break from a sea of dark green. So far he's spent a good deal of time hanging out in the Landraider but when he's got out he's proved to be surprisingly resilient. I think perhaps I'll pick up a couple of servitors to help him keep the machines running (in five games he's yet to manage a repair) and to act as ablative wounds when he does charge in to combat.

****

Work on the first Tactical Squad goes on and I've just finished experimenting with some Forge World Dark Angels transfers. The sheet cost about £12 and came a week after ordering (the day before I went to Warhammer World!) in a nice solid card envelope. The A4 sheet is packed with transfers (the ones I really wanted were the squad numbers which come in two sizes, you get twenty of each number (1-10) at 3mm and about 15 of each at 4mm. I went for the 3mm which are just about the perfect size to use over the tactical squad markings on the Dark Vengeance marines. In use they appear to work well, they lift off the backing a little quicker than the GW equivalent (10 seconds max in water) and the white covers the red nicely. In the following picture the decal was applied over a coat of gloss varnish ('Ardcoat) with the area to be 'decalled' given a thin coating of micro set. I then let the decal dry before giving it another light coat of microset where the decal overhangs the raised tactical squad symbol. Then another coat of gloss, sand a final coat of semi-gloss (Vallejo) some might prefer matt but I like the 'free' highlighting you get from semi-gloss. Overall I'm impressed with the transfers, they're well designed and are nicely opaque so there's no need to overpaint them.









Monday, 15 April 2013

Dark Angels Vs Blood Angels Battle Report


The Dark Angels have had a few games this week with mixed results (a loss to Chaos Space Marines that left them with just one man standing, two wins and an unfinished game against that we called a draw against their Astartes brothers, the Blood Angels. Here's a report from the first battle with the Blood Angels.

The lists:

Dark Angels
Librarian
Techmarine Power field generator
Command Squad (5) Banner of devastation, Storm shield, powerfist, apothecary
Tactical Squad (10) power fist, plasma gun, Missile launcher
Tactical Squad (10) plasma pistol, Plasma gun, Missile Launcher)
Tactical Squad (10) Plasma Gun Missile Launcher
Scouts (5)  2 sniper rifles, Hvy Bolter
Assault Squad  (6) 2 Plasma Pistols
Landraider Crusader (Multimelta)
Devastator Squad (5) Lascannon, 2 Plasma Cannon

Blood Angels
Librarian, Terminator armou, Storm shield.
Sanguinary Guard (5)
Terminator (5) Hvy flamer
Deathguard (10), Rhino
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon, Meltagun
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon Meltagun
Death Company Dreadnought
Devastators (10) 2 lascannons, 2 hvy bolters

The mission was Crusade and there were three objectives (the two central ruins and one  between the two woods).

Initial deployment.
Both armies set up their devastators in central buildings (both were the locations of primary objectives) with a squad of Marines on each side. Off the board are a unit of deep striking Sanguinary Guard and a squad of outflanking Dark Angel scouts. The DA Techmarine reinforced the central building in their deployment zone.


****
Turn One:
The Blood Angels took the first turn and their attention was clearly on removing the DA's big guns to give their Dreadnought and Rhino the best possible chance of getting across no-man's land. To this end their librarian used prescience to boost the skills of Devastators and with the result that three of the Dark Angels Devastators were gone (leaving just two). That was my first lesson of the match: small units of Devastators are vulnerable (they need some sacrificial marines) and prescience + Devs is a very handy combo. Aside from this the Death Co. Dred ran forwards on the BA's right flank, the Terminators advanced on the central objective (looking like being a nasty denial unit - it'd turn out that my opponent had forgotten they weren't a scoring unit at this point) and the Rhino (full of Death Co.) rushed forwards 12".


In response the Dark Angels fixated on the Rhino, firing everything they had at it resulting in one glancing hit. Not a very dramatic start...



****
Turn Two:
The position at the start of turn two.


The BA turn is one of aggressive movement... The Sanguinary Guard teleport in close to the DA lines, the Death Company Rhino rushes another 12" and the Dreadnought keeps running up the right flank. The Devs shoot across at their Dark Angel counterparts but the 3+ cover save keeps them safe.
The Sanguinary Guard arrive deep in Dark Angels' territory.
The Scout squad came on the DA's right flank with the intention of hiding and later snagging the central objective (I'd hoped they'd come on later). The only major bit of movement saw the Assault Marines head towards the Death Company. Then the Dark Angels laid down some serious fire with the Landraider's multimelta wrecking the Rhino (sending the Death Company behind it for cover), and the remainder of the marines killing all five of the Sanguinary guard (first blood) and four of the sheltering Death Company. Finally, the Assault Marines charged the Death Company and the combat was drawn at a casualty each.


****
Turn Three:
The start of the third turn
Surviving against the odds...
The Dreadnought continued his run down the right flank getting ever nearer to the Dark Angels' line. The Terminators noticed the Scout squad and redirected their attentions, moving to intercept them and taking one down with their storm bolters. The Devastators took down another DA Devastator (leaving just one) and a Lascannon from a Tactical Squad took managed a penetrating hit on the Landraider leaving it shaken. The Death Company took the Assault Squad down to one man.

In the DA turn nothing much happened with the exception of the fact that miraculously the single Assault Marine held off the Death Company!


****
Turn Four:
Start of turn four
The Terminators head back towards the DA line, while one of the BA tactical squads heads off to deal with the scout squad on their left flank (and to contest the central objective). The Death Company finish off the surviving Assault marine. There's some good shooting from the Blood Angels and the Landraider is left with just two hit points left...

The Death Company, now not protected by combat, and perilously close to the DA line, were promptly shot to pieces.


****

Turn Five:
The Terminators Assault.
The Terminators charge the Landraider and manage two glancing hits which it then saves thanks to the Techmarine's Power Field Generator.

In the Dark Angels' turn the Landraider tank shocks the Terminators (who sensibly get out of the way) before unloading its shooting at the devastator squad in the central building who are wiped out. The DC Dreadnought is shot down having turned his back on the tactical squad on the Dark Angels' left flank while three of the Terminators fall to sustained bolter fire.



And with that the game ended. The score-line was 5-1 (both had Linebreaker, while the Dark Angels held a primary objective and first blood). It was an oddly abrupt end and had things gone on another turn as we both expected  the score would likely have been much closer. As it was both of the Blood Angels tactical squads were just out of reach of the objectives but that could easily have been fixed had the game continued.

All in all I was pleased with how the list fared, it was fun to play and thankfully we'd brought armies that seemed to be roughly of the same power level so it always felt like the game could go either way. As a gunline the Banner of Devastation + Tactical Squads + Prescience is a pretty horrific thing to face if you have to get near to it. Outflanking scouts, a new addition to the list, worked well as a cheap scoring unit able to get the drop on the enemy - in the second game they'd co-ordinate with deep striking assault marines to do some more serious damage by getting behind the Death Company Dreadnought. And the Landraider, with a Techmarine inside and the banner of Devastation boosting its guns was truly horrific, and extremely resilient, and really came into its own when played aggressively (something I failed to do in this game) - that said it died to the second shot of the game in our final battle! Less successful were the devastators who were too small a unit to survive (more bodies need adding) and I know that this list lacks any defence against fliers (defence line + flakk missiles need to go in there somehow).





Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing: Part Four

Today I abandoned batch painting marines and had a go at painting up a test marine. In terms of colours I followed the Tale of Painters recipe pretty closely but I moved the order around a bit. Here's how it went:


STAGE ONE

Green and based.












STAGE TWO

Base coats. Then black lining and black wash on metals. I should have washed the chest eagle at this point but forgot.










STAGE THREE


Done! Highlights (in all cases I touched up the original colour and edge highlighted). All that's left to do is put a squad number on his shoulder and varnish him up...

















Overall I'm pretty pleased with how he's turned out. It's not the fastest method of painting marines and the edge highlighting look is pretty stylised so won't appeal to everyone but I think they'll look nice on the tabletop as it gives them a bit of 'pop' that might not be there if I'd gone for a more realistic blended style.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Dudes of Hazzard: Game Five

The Dudes played their fifth game of the season last night against Alex's Nurgle team Necrotic Crevice and it most definately was, as they say, a game of two halves...

The first half saw the Dudes kick to the Crevice who caged up deep in their own half. But not deep enough and the Dudes quickly got to the box and bashed its corner in, putting a tacklezone onto the ball carrier. Turn two for the Crevice went badly as the ball carrying pestigor went down on a double one trying to dodge out of the box which, given that he needed twos was pretty uncalled for. The Dudes capitalized on this and had scored by turn three with star catcher Wopat taking the ball over the line. This left the Crevice five turns in which to score...

The second drive saw the Crevice box up again, this time even deeper in their own half and the Dudes were left trying to fight their way through the main line to get to it.  By turn seven things were looking good for the Crevice who had the ball three squares from the Dudes' endzone with only Blitzer Schnieder within striking distance and he was on the floor and needed to make two dodges (4 then 3) to get to the ball carrier for a 1D blitz. Which he duly made and, to add insult to injury, scooped up the ball and stood their looking lonely. In their last turn the Crevice prepared to get that ball back and score but a QUAD SKULLS! block early on ended their turn and the half was over. 1-0 to the Dudes at half time, it's fair to say that as I set up for the second half I was feeling fairly confident.

As I said, it was a game of two halves...

In the second half I got the chance to make one mistake before handing over all intiative to the dice gods who clearly decided that enough was enough. My mistake was pretty basic and one that came from being out of the game for a while. I got the ball and caged up too near to the LOS and then discovered that a combination of tentacles and disturbing presence make this a pretty poor place to be! And then it all went wrong, the handoff predictably was fluffed in turn two (that much was entirely probable). I then watched in horror as my three attempts to catch the bouncing ball failed only to see it jump into the hands of a Rotter who was entirely unphased by my TZ and who caught it on a five. That wasn't expected! The next surprise was seeing the Crevice decide to play for a draw and stall out the touchdown. The next four turns fell into a familiar rhythm of watching my players being blocked off the pitch (across the end of the half at least nine players went off KO'd or injured) while I'd throw the odd block and fall over (it was my turn to QUAD SKULL this half - the tables had literally turned). The Crevice scored in turn five or six when my squad was pretty much gone.

One drive to go... The Dudes had clearly had enough and just one of the four KO'd players returned leaving me with 10 men on the pitch. I set up aggressively planning a run down the right with catchers on the line ready to get moving. PERFECT DEFENCE! With my players now entirely hemmed in by S4/5 monsters I had no way through, fluffed a few more blocks and just managed to keep the ball by grabbing it with a catcher and hiding him in my own endzone! In the last turn of the game the Crevice took the catcher down with a 2D blitz. The ball spilled free and scattered nicely for the Nurglers but finally fortune smiled on the Dudes as the Crevice rolled a two for the pick-up roll ending the game with the final score at 1-1. In the after game stuff the dice decided that no, they weren't really going to side with the Dudes and the gate came up with a 1 and the MVP went to my already SPP'd up catcher. Curses! 

Overall it was a fun if at times frustrating game. My mistake in the second half proved costly indeed -  had the dice stayed with me (or not turned against me) I could maybe have come back from this but it wasn't to be.

Oh, and as an aside, the Necrotic Crevice were one of a few teams that I've painted for others and it was cool to see them on the tabletop. Here's a pic:

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing - Part Three

With a gaming day at Warhammer World coming up fast, my painting motivation has been totally pumped! Here's the Landraider, the first model completed for the Dark Angels' army. 

This is probably the model I've most enjoyed building and painting in quite some time. The colours came from the Dark Angel tutorial on the Tale Of Painters blog and the weathering came from another tutorial there (on an Ultramarines Landraider) - I went for fairly minimal weathering (it's near showroom) and it got even lighter when my spray varnish blew away the weathering powder. On to the pictures (in which you can see that Linus has just taken a pen to our coffee table):



Detail of the driver (he's a Techmarine and I'll be honest, there's likely to one sitting inside this tank keeping it safe):


A couple more pictures, showing off the fancy Forgeworld doors (which are worth the money just to avoid having to use waterslide transfers):



A few notes on painting. First up, despite my irritation when they came out I found that the new (or not so new now) GW paints cover really very well indeed with the base range covering at least as well as the old Foundation paints without the associated grittiness. I thinned Caliban Green and used two coats for the Landraider (over a black undercoat) and ended up with nice smooth coverage and the rest are used straight from the pot. In particular I am impressed with Leadbelcher which has great coverage and which takes inks very well and with the reds. The Techmarine was painted with Khorne Red, shadow was added with thinned Vallejo black ink (50/50 ink/water), followed by a touch up with Khorne Red and highlights (largely edges) of which Mephiston Red followed by Squig Orange). For my own records (and not because it’s exciting, the blues were painted with Regal Blue followed by Ice Blue, and the Whites are Codex Grey followed by Vallejo white). Again, for reference, there’s a great conversion chart over on Dakka here: (note that the colours display very poorly on my monitor so really this is only good for translating colours not for picking them).

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Dudes of Hazzard: Game Four



The Dudes' fans left the Nerodome in a state of disarray today after the team suffered a crushing defeat at the hands (paws?) of Sizzler's Squeak and Destroy. The game ended at 3-1 (0-1 Cas) and was, if it's possible, even more once-sided than the scoreline might suggest. In the end I was outplayed, out-teamed, and perhaps just slightly unlucky. In a game where nothing went very right the two stand-out moments was a leaping gutter runner putting down my caged-up ball carrier on a 1/2D blitz and the moment when my thrower later lobbed the ball into the crowd who must have been fans of the Squeakers because they then passed it back to a gutter runner who was hanging around in the Dudes' half! To make up for this I did pull off a neat passing TD that involved plenty of dice-rolling nonsense but it was all too little too late. All in all the game was a bit of a disaster and I was left wondering just what went wrong.

On paper the Skaven were certainly a tough prospect with four gutter runners (three of whom I think blodged, while one leapt and stripped balls for fun), two guarding stormvermin and a couple of wrestlers. It was a fantastically coached team who'd come out of the last premier league with great skill choices across a wide number of players and I think that pretty much did it for me. Not because they were a better team (though they were) but at least in part because of my reaction to this fact. On reflection I realise that I decided the game was lost before we'd rolled for the first kick off, or very shortly after that at least, and the result was that I couldn't get my head into the game at all and played reactively and with little to no spirit. I'll never know how things would have gone had I been in a better frame of mind but I do know it didn't help and worse still I don't think I offered Sizzler much of a game which really is very embarrassing. Sorry Sizzler! Hopefully I'll rediscover my BB-mojo for our next game.

Here's the roster as it now stands:






Sunday, 17 March 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing - part two

It's taken a while but finally, the Green Wing are green (and based). Here's a picture of how things stand right now:



In painting these I decided not to spray them (I'm not good with Army Painter sprays or my GW spray gun). If I were doing this again I'd change that decision, painting them by brush wasn't very entertaining and took up precious painting time. If I do another Marine army I'll look into buying a proper airbrush. I am also wondering just how bad an idea it was to glue the weapons on at this stage, it made them useable for a game but looks to make painting the detail on their chests and the backs of their guns pretty awkward.

FIRST BATTLE...

Last week I was lucky enough to get a game in against a Chaos army, playing at 1850 points. My list was (roughly):
  • Ezekiel
  • Techmarine with Power field generator
  • Company Command Squad (Banner of Devastation)
  • 3 x Tactical Squad
  • 1 x Assault Squad
  • 1 x Devastator Squad
  • Dreadnought (Lascannon, Missile Launcher)
  • Land Raider Crusader
  • Defence Line + Quad Gun

They faced (from memory):
  • Daemon Prince with wings
  • 2 x Chaos Space Marine Squads (Lascannon)
  • 1 Thousand Sons unit
  • Chaos Cultist Squad
  • 3 Chaos Spawn
  • 2 Obliterators
  • Forgefiend
  • Maulerfiend
  • Heldrake

We rolled The Emperor’s Will as the scenario and Vanguard Strike for the set up. The terrain ended up being pretty sparse with lots of buildings in each of our deployment zones and a fairly intimidating stretch of empty space standing between the two armies. With the bulk of the two armies facing hunkering down in their own deployment zones, the first turn saw the Chaos Space Marines send a fast-moving flanking force down the left side (Daemon Prince, Maulerfiend and 3 Spawn), the Thousand Suns down the right, while the rest hung back. Some decent shooting took out the Dark Angel dreadnought giving the Chaos army a victory point for First Blood and removing the lynchpin of the left flank making it extremely likely that they’d get to their target intact. In return the Marines shot down the Maulerfiend and Ezekiel, tried to buff the Tactical Squad that was about to get mashed (he succeeded with Prescience to allow them to reroll 1s in shooting but failed to get Foreboding going (which, had it worked would have meant they’d have 40 BS4 overwatch shots at the charging unit). Curses!

Turn two saw the Heldrake appear, I’d heard they were good but wasn’t prepared (mentally or tactically) for the reality which was that it’d remove five marines a turn until it died. This turn it took off my Devastator squad and Marine-morale skydived - with my two shootiest units gone this wasn’t good! As predicted the Daemon Prince and the Spawn annihilated the Tactical Unit, it looked like the Marine’s left flank was gone… In desperation (and sensing the end had already come), I sent Ezekiel and five Assault Marines over to the Daemon Prince planning a three-spell combo that might (just) give him a chance to fight the DP on equal terms: Mindworm to bring the DP’s initiative down to his level, Prescience to allow him to reroll to hit rolls, and, hopefully, once in combat a final Warp Power point would be left to activate his force weapon for Instant Death! Mindworm failed, it wasn’t looking good! Nonetheless the Marines charged in. Acting rather out of character, the Khornate Daemon Prince decided not to challenge Ezekiel and took out the five Assault Marines leaving the Master Librarian free to strike back. Ezekiel caused one wound, activated his force sword and sent the Daemon back to the warp! With that the Marines were back in the game. To make matters worse for the Chaos Marines, the death of the Daemon Prince gave the Dark Angels two victory points (Kill the Warlord and another for Ezekiel’s warlord trait ‘The Hunt’). As Paul remarked, it was a fair punishment for the uncharacteristic cowardice of the Daemon Prince that lost the Chaos Marines a game that was all but in the bag – if he’d challenged the Librarian things would have been very different indeed!

The remainder of the game saw the Dark Angels slowly whittled down by the superior firepower of the Chaos army but there wasn’t anything in the Chaos army bold, fast, or tough enough to make it across the battlefield to contest the Marine objective. This was largely thanks to the Land Raider which, although immobilized from turn two, displayed a remarkable ability to ignore being shot at, and which was capable of laying down a ludicrous number of bolter shots thanks to the Banner of Devastation. The Heldrake would take out another unit of marines off before being punched to death by Assault Marines and, despite a last-minute dash across the table by the Company Command Squad (who finally abandoned the Land Raider) neither objective changed hands by the end of the game. The result, a great game and a 5-4 win to the Marines.

I'm pretty impressed with the list which proved to be very good fun to play. The Banner of Devastation worked well and I was amazed by the survivability of a Land Raider with a Techmarine aboard, on the other hand I'm conscious of the lack of firepower here to help deal with enemy armour and fliers (though I had a Quad Gun in the list). Noting this deficiency my canny opponent took out the dreadnought in the first turn and the devastators in turn two. To remedy this I'm calling in some reinforcements in the form of another unit of Assault Marines, this time toting a power fist and a pair of melta guns. Before I can do that I'll need to get hold of some more Assault Squad shoulder pads, which brings me on to...

SHOULDER PADS

You can't see it in the picture above, but I used GW's Dark Angel Shoulder pads on the Assault Marines. I'm not entirely convinced by the quality of these, as you can see from the picture below they're a fair bit smaller than the plastic shoulder pads so combining them looks a bit off (though this squad has metal pads on each side so it's harder to tell. The sculpting is a bit basic too (not up to the level of the current plastics for detail and the chapter symbol is a little off centre). Here's a size-comparison picture:




LAND RAIDER ASSEMBLY

Finally, the Land Raider is getting built up but I decided to do it in sections to make painting a bit easier. Here's a picture of the sub-assemblies. I could easily have done this in more pieces (leaving the tracks off might have been sensible) but as it is the model is useable on the table and that's important to me given the speed at which I paint (or, more accurately, the time I've got for painting). Here are the bits:


I'm loosely basing this on Garfy's 'How To' post on Tale of Painters.