Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hooked on Phoenix, Part 1


 So Bob and I got together and had a 3k fantasy battle to determine who is the masta. His High Elves vs. my Dwarves. These are both armies we have had for a long time, but its been a long time since they have seen each other and it made a really interesting match with all the new stuff on the field.

Runelord, Master Rune of Balance, Rune of Spellbreaking, Rune of Fury, 2 Rune of Iron and a Rune of Stone

Grimm Burloksson
Thane-Fiery Ring of Thori, Rune of Cleaving, Rune of Iron
Master Engineer- dwarf handgun

20 Dwarf Warriors w/ shields & Full Command (FC)
20 Dwarf Warriors w/ great weapons FC
10 Thunderers
10 Quarellers w/ shields
20 Longbeards w/ shield, greatweapon & FC

23 Ironbreakers, FC
20 Hammerers, FC, Master Rune of Valaya

Organ Gun, Rune of Penetrations

High Elves
Prince- Star lance, Talisman of Preservation, Dragon Armor, shield, Potion of Toughness on Moon Dragon

Noble, BSB, Warbanner, dragon armor,shield, Ironcurse Icon
Mage, Lvl 2 Barded Horse
Mage, Lvl 2

8 Silver Helms, shields, FC
25 Seaguard, shields, FC
25 Seaguard, Shields, FC

24 Swordmasters, FC
25 Phoenix Guard, FC

Flamespyre Phoenix
2 Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers

Scattered terrain, a few hills and some trees which largely got ignored/ weren't a factor
John's Left to Right
Quarellers far left, Warriors w/ shields, Ironbreakers w/ Runelord, Hammerers on the left. Organ Gun and Master Engineer on hill in the middle. Then Warriors w/ great weapon, Longbeards w/ Belegar, Thunderers, and cannon with Grimm.
Elves, Johns left to right
Bolt thrower far left, Swordmaster and BSB, Seaguard. Phoenix Guard and other bolt thrower in the middle. Seaguard, dragon, silver helms and Phoenix on far right.


Dwarves go first, general movement forward, Quarellers kill a Swordmaster, organ gun kills bolt thrower in the middle, cannon wounds Lord. Elves march up, Bolt thrower kills 3 hammerers, Seaguard drop another one. All magic did was boost one shooting. On both flanks units lining up for charges, dragon and phoenix in particular are carefully positioned to do damage.

Turn Two
Hammerers move towards phoenix guard, Ironbreakers move towards Seaguard and warriors towards Swordmasters. One right flank warriors square up on Seaguard, Longbeards try to position for combat w/ either Dragon or Phoenix. Quarellers, kill another Swordmaster, organ gun wounds dragon twice, cannon shot ward saved, thunderers shot phoenix wounding once, Grimm shot phoenix and wounds again. Elven turn, Seaguard attempt to charge Ironbreakers but fail, Swordmasters lurk threateningly, Phoenix Guard engage Hammerers in what would be the most one sided fight of the game. Other seaguard shot warriors and failed to wound. Dragon flies next to organ gun and shoots flame attack at organ gun but fails to wound. Silver Helms line up a charge for next turn, phoenix charges cannon, and promptly wipes out the crew and over runs off the table to get away from vengeful shooting. Magic failed to wound but buffs Phoenix Guard to WS 8, BS8 and I 8 against the helpless hammerers. Phoenix guard munch 6 hammerers but starts a trend of passing their ward saves, return only kills one. Break test passed.

Turn Three
Ironbreakers charged the Seaguard, make it, lose one to shooting. Warriors with great weapons charge Seaguard in the middle. Longbeards charge silver helms who run away. Warriors move up to support Ironbreakers if Swordmasters charge them in the flank. Quarellers kill mounted mage, thunderers reform so cant shoot, Organ gun, wounds dragon once, so lord has one wound left and dragon has 2. Combat, Hammerers continue to get munched, only 1 left at end of phase, maybe kill one Phoenix Guard for loss of 7. Warriors w/ great weapons win combat by 1, Seaguard break, killing standard bearer hahaha ("ass" -Bob), they get away but flee through mage who then panics and spends most of the rest of the game fleeing. Ironbreakers force their Seaguard to flee but reform and face Swordmasters. Elven turn, Seaguard on the left rally, Seaguard in the middle flee, mage flees, Silverhelms run. Phoenix re-enters the battle field and fire flies over the Longbeards killing 3. Dragon enters combat with organ gun crew. magic nothing they are all dead or fleeing, that's what you get for messing with fickle magic. Shooting, bolt thrower killed two Quarellers. Combat Swordmasters kill several Ironbreakers and lose several in return, combat locked. Phoenix Guard kill off hammerer and reform towards Ironbreakers. Dragon and lord munch the organ gun and overrun deep behind Ironbreaker combat.

See the rest of the part in Part 2!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Touch of Heresy: Part Deux

 Howdy, folks! Today I want to show you some of the painting I have done on a recent Forge World order I made. First off, here is what I ordered: 1 Mk IV Command, 2 Mk II Armour Sets, 6 Mk IV Armour Sets, 2 Mk IV upgrade sets, and 2 Dark Angel transfer sheets (these are freaking awesome by the way). I have assembled and primed all of the models and I have decided to make two complete squads, and use the other models as test models for Heresy era Legions I want to collect in the future. In the case of the loyalist Legions I will use them as part of the 40k armies I already have. So lets take a look at the works in progress for what I have been working on!

Sons of Horus 

I have decided to paint on of the squads as Sons of Horus. I wanted to make them as a force of Sons recently after the Triumph of Ullanor and the renaming of the Legion. They are a loyalist force lead by a Terran veteran. Their armour reflects the sea green of the early Sons rather than the later abyssal green of the later Sons. They will also retain a more organized appearance rather than the decent into Cthonian glyphs and panoply, hence the transverse crest of the Sargent.

Emperor's Children

The other squad as well as the command models are being painted as Emperor's Children. Since I already had a model almost completed I figured I should make something to accompany it. I may change that converted model to a veteran rather than a Centurion, but I haven't decided yet. I have opted for a darker, more imperial looking purple for their armour. I also wanted them to have more gold and decoration on their armour, even on individual Legionaries. The Emperor's Children had a reputation for ornate armour and a penchant for spectacle and pomp. I want them to look imperious and regal.

Stay tuned for more 30k goodness as I get these finished and paint up some of my other models! Happy gaming!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wrath of the Damned: An Old Collection Revisited.

 Greetings, gentle readers! In today's article I want to focus on one of my armies that hasn't gotten much love in many, many years. These past few weeks I have been cheating on my lover power armour with a old flame. That's right folks, I busted out the Eldar! I first started collecting Eldar way back in the mists of time (aka Third Edition). In fact, if memory serves (which it does only occasionally) the Eldar were either my second or third 40k army ( Dark Angels were the first). Back in the day, I themed my army around a force from Ulthwe Craftworld. That meant more Guardians and fewer Aspect Warriors, and of course a large contingent of Farseers and Warlocks. Ulthwe Craftworld in the lore has a large force of professional soldiers in the form of Black Guardians with a smaller number of Aspect shrines than most other Craftworlds. This, coupled with a large Seer Council, made for a challenging force to play. In the old Craftworld book the Ulthwe army could take a dedicated Seer Council as a HQ choice. This allowed for up to five Farseers and a large number of Warlocks ( I can't remember how many exactly) as a single HQ. This made for a rather ridiculous amount of psychic powers on the table potentially. The times I played them I really enjoyed the army. The last time they saw the light of the gaming table was around the introduction of 5th edition. So with that in mind, a trip to my folk's house inspired me to retrieve them and get them back on the table.    

So what all do I have in my collection? Well, not as much as I remembered. The collection looks something like this:

Farseers (5)
Spirit Seer
Warlocks (12)

Howling Banshees (9)
Wratihguard (5)
1 Heavy Support Platform
Dire Avengers (15)
Swooping Hawks(7)
Guardian Defenders (56)
Storm Guardians (16)
Scatter Laser and Starcannon Platforms
3 Jet Bikes
1 Vyper
1 Falcon
1 Wave Serpent (old Forge World conversion kit)
1 War Walker with Bright Lance and Scatter Laser

Getting Them Back on the Table

 Recently I have gotten two games in with the Eldar. One was 1850 points against the Blood Angels and the other was part of a unholy alliance with the Necrons (with Kaldor Draigo and Paladins) in a 2v2 2000 point battle. The game against the Blood Angels was pretty bloody (har har). I got destroyed rather convincingly, but it was a lot of fun. The star of the game was definitely a lone Wraithguard who absorbed a hilarious amount of firepower for most of the game. Howling Banshees performed well in close combat and managed to wipe out a unit of ten Sternguard with a Priest and Warlord Librarian. Some other things I have learned is that: managing psychic power is a pain in the ass, Shuriken Catapult range is a major issue, cover is my friend, and lastly I need to pick up a few things to make the army more effective. Next time I use them I will try and get a proper battle report written up. 


I don't really have a lot of the army painted, and what I do have was painted many years ago (aka not as well as they could be). Despite my painting abilities in my youth, I don't plan on repainting anything that has been completed. So to take a break from painting my Heresy era Marines I have decided to paint a "test" model for each unit. Here are the work in progress models for Guardians, Dire Avengers, Wraithguard, and Howling Banshees. 

So, moving forward I have a few ideas about what to add, but I would welcome suggestions from people who have more games under their belts. That being said, I DO NOT want to make an army that is a min/maxed Jet Council. I abhor internet power lists. Until next time, happy gaming!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bringin' Out the Big Guns!

I will admit that I am a fan of big guns, real life, movies, games and so forth, I mean why shoot twice? For me this means CANNONS! Rockets and missiles don't impress me much, bolt throwers and rock lobbas fail to excite, but cannons, mortars and larger than usual 'guns', that right there is the stuff. Continuing to be honest, the biggest draw for me to 40k are the guns, and therefore to the armies that have the big ones, IG and Tau. But I am still solidly stuck in the fantasy world, for now, and so I have to make do with what I have. As anybody familiar with the hobby and or lore should know by know who my favorite army is. Dwarfs, masters of engineering, taught the humies how to build and use black powder weapons and all that jazz.
just a cannon

 The Dwarves are my favorite army, lore wise and how they 'should' play on the table top. However I have found many a reason to drift away from them, and while the new book has brought me back there are still issues. If you were to take a gander at my army there is a relative lack of artillery at least when considering other stunty armies.This is because of how artillery works, for me, in the game. Before my latest additions all i had was 2 cannons, yup that's it, only a little more than you find in the average pointy ears army. This is fact is tied up in several factors. 1. The whole mechanic for how cannons work in game, I don't like it and seems way to wrong I guess. 2. is the fact that the dice gods don't like me, particularly when rolling artillery dice. Bob can attest to the fact that when i field the cannons the crew does more damage than the cannon ever does, hahaha charge me again with your chariot! If i guess six inches in front of my target I roll a 10. If i get it to land in front of my target i will then promptly roll a 2 or a misfire so that the cannon ball never actually makes it.
cannon with a rune of usefulness aka a engineer

Dwarven made artillery doesn't exist as far as the game is concerned. Lore wise the dwarves are masters of their craft and make the best cannons out there and have been doing longer than anyone else. yet this is applied exactly nowhere in the game. The Empire's cannons are actually better (d6 wounds vs d3 on a dwarf) and cost the same amount of points, riddle me that Batman?
What dwarven artillery should look like, so much better than a cannon
So am I doing about this? Changing what artillery I am taking. I have bought an Organ Gun and have spent time playing with how I am going to use it, a rune and an engineer come in handy. The Organ Gun removes my main issues with the cannon. I roll to hit, not roll to see how close I get to almost hitting my target. Strikes multiple models, in the same unit of course, while i agree that the cannon ball bounce only hits a single model per rank I don't like how it doesn't explode and hit a lot of guys at once. Organ Gun fires 2 artillery dice worth of shots, that is going to hit something. S5 is respectable and range 30 is meh but a choice of runes can help with either the power or the hitty-ness of the shots. So while it may not pose the one shot danger a cannon can, there aren't too many targets that aren't going to worry about an Organ Gun looking its way.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Rules: Let the Debate Begin!

Bob and I are going to try something new and see how it goes, he and I are going to debate certain points regarding the game. This post was created to be a debate but it ended up more as two old guys siting around agreeing with each other for the most part.

1. Parry Save: Good addition or not? Quick fixes/changes?
J. I like the parry save addition, however the full use of this rule bothers me. A skaven clanrat is just as likely to parry as a Chaos Chosen. In a game filled with too many modifications I think parry's need to be modifiable, can't parry an attack from something with double your WS, S or I.

B. I like the parry save as well and the need to make them modifiable. Base should be the 6+ with perhaps 4+ being the max. The 4+ would only be available to the models with the highest chosen characteristic as well as having some form of negative modifier.

J. A regeneration rule if you will. I like the idea

2. To horde or not to horde?
J. Yes- to an extent. I think some armies have to horde to be competitive. I wouldn't mind seeing this being an army specific option or even a points restriction, can't take a horde in a battle under 1500, or if you spend more than 400pts on the unit you can't horde it, I don't know but overall I like it.

B. While I agree that some armies need to horde up for lore or gaming reasons (Skaven, Goblins, etc), I do not like this mechanic overall. Given the scale of models used for Warhammer, and the prices of models rapidly approaching pants on head stupid levels, I don't think the near requirement for hordes in any semi-competitive level of play is detrimental to the game. 

J. This is a case where hording should be an army by army basis not a general rule.

3. Shooting, all negatives no positives?
J. Hate that they got rid of the one positive modifier in shooting in fantasy, shooting at large targets. While I am personally not a fan of the all or nothing in 40k, shooting is getting way too difficult in fantasy.

B. Shooting runs into a very similar problem in The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit game. Take Elves for example, they can hit things very easily considering a high BS or Shooting value, but with no Strength modifier to a long bow they usually can't kill anything nearly as easily.

J. I believe this is slippery slope issue, I would like to see the elves get boosted shooting then for some reason the orks and gobbos will get it too, and that makes no damn sense. I would be all for this is they were able to limit which factions got this bonus, all the elves and maybe dwarves that would be it.

4. Steadfast, how broke?
J. Brokest, most broke, most brokest. All of the above. This needs to be modified, I don't care how many skaven slaves you have, when my Carnosaur mounted Old Blood kills 14 of them, they are going to notice (This actually happened) Again I am not saying get rid of it, but this really needs work.

B. Agreed 100%. There needs to be a rule that negates this when a certain number of casualties are inflicted in a single round of combat.

J. I would like to see this as a percentage, maybe 25% losses from a single round of combat. Basically if it would cause a panic test, if they weren't in combat, they don't get steadfast.

5. Random Charge or Fixed Charge?
J. I like the fixed charge distance. I have seen my dwarves roll double sixes and be able to charge 15 inches, while I've had elves roll double ones and charge 7 inches. This is one place i don't like the randomness.

B. I would say I lean more towards a fixed charge range. It doesn't make much sense that a Dwarf can charge farther than a Elf or Skink.

6. Over Simplification, too big of a rule book?
J. They need to stop trying to fit all the rules into one book, it sucks, doesn't work and takes a lot of the flavor out of the game.

B. I disagree. All of the rules need to be in one book. What would be better would be to publish the small, rules only book as well as the brick. 

J. I don't like how bland the game is getting because of this fact. While it would be handy to have A book with everything I believe you lose the feel of the game. I believe if they go to one book a lot of the uniqueness is going to get bled out of the game- see magic items. The uniqueness is what makes the game, look at how i have grown armys. Elves - too squishy go to Dwarves - too few dwarves give skaven a try - skaven not pack enough damage try lizardmen - lizardmen 'too strong' try other armies (Chaos and Tomb Kings). Once everything is under one book I KNOW the armies will start to look to similar to allow a lot of variance between armies.

B. I am talking about the core game rules being in one book, not army specific information.

7. If you had one general rule (not magic based) you could change what would it be?

J. Unmodifiable Steadfast, i loathe that rule. You take 25% or 10+ casualties you arent steadfast.

B. Besides the Steadfast bull plop, I would totally rework the way armour works. It is completely unrealistic the way the various types of armour are modeled and still represent the same thing (looking at you Empire State Troops and Chaos Marauders).

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Common Topic

I do not frequent other blogs and websites to know if this topic is over talked about, or not talked about enough. It deals with probably my second favorite aspect of the hobby. Building the models. Now this isn't a post about how crappy "finecast" is, (obligatory finecast sucks), but instead the art of putting together your models.
bits galore

As with anything GW related there are probably a million different ways to put your models together and probably half a million ways to do it correctly. In this post I will cover all the aspects of building which I use, or used to use.

 First things first, Opening the box. For me its a mix of Christmas Day excitement and another workday project I have to tackle, usually i am more excited than anything so i tend to open the boxes on the way home. Not while driving, of course, for any Atlanta cops reading this tread. I love looking at the sprues and seeing all the different bits, even the ones I won't use. When i get home and start working i always dump the whole box out in one go, which has lead to me 'misplacing' a few bits every time. Recently before i whip out the shears and xacto I now spray paint a base coat on, I love this method ever since the first time i did it. 1 it gets rid of the risk of me not base coating later on when i add bits on to models. More importantly it saves me time! a lot of time, it usually only take 5 minutes to spray a whole box. An added side benefit is of course its terrible for the environment, take that you stupid tree huggers.


Second part, clipping bits, now i refer to bits as any of the pieces you want/ can use to build a model off the sprue. While those slightly edged rectangular frames look tempting i wouldnt suggest building a model out of them. Now that i am a more evolved hobbiest I now take the time to clip all the bits off in one go. Used to be I would only clip the bits i wanted to use, and thusly had boxes and boxes stuffed with sprues with all the good bits off them, oddly familiar looking to what you would imagine it would look if an ork/gobbo got their hands on a sprue. Now i just clip all that shit and have mounds of bits laying on my work table as i frankenstein my little plastic unit together. Benefit to this has been, I see every bit, and every once in a while i find something i didn't catch before and add a nice 'shiny' bit to the model. Once i have clipped i divide the pile into smaller ones, legs over here, heads over here, weapons over here. Again this lets me compare all the different choices within a category and lets me choose what looks the best. I find it difficult to compare/contrast on the sprue so this has been a major bonus for me.

Assembly, basically i can see two ways of building models, 1. build one whole model at a time. 2 assembly line assembling (get it?) legs to body on all the models, then heads, then arms then bases etc etc. I prefer to do the second one. First it looks cool, you get to see your unit be assembled as a whole and you get to start working out the ranking up problems for those of us fantasy hobbiest out there. And as i am assembling piece by piece it is easier to remember how i did something, and remember what parts i glued more to myself than the figurine. Allowing for a smoother process when i add the next arm or whatever. It also lets me assemble however differently or similarly I want to, again because i just did the same thing on the last guy i know what to do next. Lastly as patience is a virtue I don't have much of it allows me to assemble fast while giving the glue time to dry before i get back to that model.
finished product

Then while the juices are flowing I can usually get a layer or two of color on the finished models before i call it quits. So just wanted to share my clearly superior way of doing things, and if you want to share your methods in the comments please go right ahead so that i may ridicule you for it. Most of that last sentence was sarcasm by the way.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Touch of Heresy (part 1)

Greetings, folks!

So over the holidays I had a rare flash of inspiration. I really like the Captain Sicarius model of the Ultramarines. I don't have any interest in making a Second Company of the Ultramarines though, but I really wanted to make something out of the model. So, why not make a Heresy era character out of it!? Thus my Emperor's Children Centurion project was born. The model is still very much in the "work in progress" stage of painting, but the converting is completely finished. The converting itself was pretty simple. All I really did was file off all the Ultramarine iconography and do a real simple magnetizing of the right hand. Currently, I have a chain sword, thunder hammer, power axe, and a relic blade magnetized for use on the model. The relic blade will be a Paragon Blade for use in gaming, or just a regular power sword. I used the relic blade from the Vanguard kit. I thought the "Imperialis" engraved into the blade would fit perfectly into the III Legion motif.

 So where do I want to go with the whole Heresy side of the hobby? Good question! I want to create some forces for the Emperor's Children, Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, Iron Warriors, and the Thousand Sons in addition to making Legion forces for the Dark Angels and probably the Blood Angels, Space Wolves, and the Ultramarines. Ease of access and pricing being what they are, I don't see these projects being entered into seriously for a while. I love the Mk II, III, and IV styles of armor that Forge World makes. I also love that the new Space Marine Tactical Squad kit comes with the correct components to make a full Mk IV suit. The real obstacle to collecting a Heresy army is the sheer cost of purchasing the models I want from Forge World. I have recently made a order with Forge World and it is allegedly winning its way to me courtesy of the Royal Mail (I forgot to expedite the shipping so god knows when it will get to little old Tennessee). Part two of this wonderfully rambling series of articles will focus on the models and my first attempts to make a 30k Legion army list or three. Until then, happy gaming!