Thursday, July 31, 2014

There was a City Fight!!!!!

Obligatory Boondock Saints photo.

Greetings folks! Bob here with brief article on Games Workshop's urban terrain line. With the release of the new Real of Battle set I figured this would be as good a time as any to take a look at some of the terrain my Dad has stashed around the house. Back when the plastic Imperial city terrain first came out GW ran a limited release of a big ass box o' buildings for, by today's standards at least, a pretty good price (if my memory is correct and feel free to chime in with what it was if anyone remembers). Being the suckers for a good deal that we are, my old man and I purchased said box at a discount from our then local FLGS in Chattanooga (don't ask what the name was because we went through several in the space of a few years). At the time, we built around five structures total and decided to leave the rest for another day. Well, jump foreword to July 2014 and while I have been visiting my folks we decided to crack open the box and see what was left.

The original box

Turns out we had left a lot more not built than we remembered! We decided to bring out what was already built and see what else we could throw together. As best as I can tell, the original Imperial City box contained the equivalent of somewhere between 2 and 3 Imperial Sectors in today's availability (and I guarantee we didn't pay $360 for it either.....). So without further adieu here is what all we have managed to get built

The above box built all of this.

Another view.

And left all of this as bitz.

So with the kitchen table conveniently set up for a little urban warfare, we decided to bust out some armies and throw down. We decided to go with 1500 points of Tau (the old man) and Guard (me). Here are a few photos taken from turn 3 of the game. We played mission 1 in the BRB with 3 objectives (two for me and one for him)

Not a lot of movement given the set up. Except for the damn battle suits

Storm Troopers dropping in to say "hi"

Each side was getting withered down by shooting
The glorious dead and dirty Xeno bastards as of Turn 3

Despite some early game hot dice rolling from me, the filthy space commies ended up taking home a victory 7-3 by the end of the game (two objectives and first blood for the old man). The perfidious Xenos managed to wipe out one of my flanks and seriously compromise my other objective (though not contest it). I suppose a Tau victory was in order given the last time the Guard and Tau met on the field the Tau got shot to bloody ribbons thanks to massed weapon team spam on my part and a suck ass version of rules on his. This time the old man was mighty pleased with the amount of death he dealt to the servants of the Golden Throne and managed to give me hell about it for several days after the fact. I will be returning to my own place here in the next few weeks, but before I go we are going to bust out some Viking and Saxons to have a throw down and possibly a mythology inspired clash between the Vikings with Dwarf allies against a marauding Goblin horde.

As always, happy gaming folks!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Final Judgement


So I have had a little more time to get some work done. Got Judgement ready to go, not much changed that the pics will show, but cleaned up the lines, added the orange stripes, added the camo to the turret and dirtied the old girl up.

A little grit
I added some dirt and grime to the tank. I didn't want to over do it, as 1. this is my first time, 2. I didn't want to ruin the camo pattern and 3. with this being a new regiment and tank i didn't feel right covering the sob up in mud, so i wanted it to seem like it had rolled through some mud, not gone 9 rounds with a Blood Thirster. So I just paper-toweled on some brown to the treads, undercarriage and the tread guards.

Platoon Command squad
Heavy flamer, melta, flag, vox and chainsword wielding commander (name pending). Since this is the first command squad to get painted this will be the command squad for first platoon.

effing vox operator fell apart 4 gd times, now has as much glue as the judgement does

major painting done, now just have to make them look nice. 

Flag - words to be added (1st Platoon, 132nd Myrmindons)
So i still have a lot of detail to add to the inf, but painting is going real fast. since this was a command squad i am giving them more orange to stand out. (that color selection has nothing to do with my collegiate allegiance WOOOH GO VOLS!, nothing at all)

Schmucky Mcgee and flamer boy, the worlds tiniest super hero and side kick combo
In FistfullofD6 news, I am finally getting Bob down to Atlanta for some gaming at the GW store. Should get in at least two games. The first will be fantasy where I will undoubtedly prove my superiority again, may whip out the lizards to make him cry. Then I will be giving 40k a try, bought another command squad and infantry squad to give myself a legal army (750pts or so) but will probably take some of Bob's ig to fill out, not sure what i will be fighting there, but Bob's Dad's Orks may make an appearance. (its quite the WAAAAGGGGHHHHH he has been building) so look for a battle report or 3 and some more pics soon. 

Friday, July 18, 2014


To continue on a FistFull's IG/AM splurge, I present this.

name plate (Judgement)

With the dearth (complete lack for you Ork players out there) of posts by me you would think Bob wasn't the only one abroad. I have had little time for hobby time down here in Atlanta. But when I have found 5 mins and a little inspiration I have been working. I finished the bundle of IG/AM i got and decided on a paint scheme.

Text reads (132nd) I will add armor kill tally's as the Judgement earns them

This is a Leman Russ Vanquisher whose name is Judgement of the 132nd regiment (other text on the turret) Primary color is the dark grey. I wanted to do something a little  different and something I have never done before (like paint a tank). So I added some camo after the idea of WWII warships, particularly the Brits. The tank has patches of a light and dark grey and then lines that randomly cross it which will change directions randomly. The idea behind this camo scheme is not to hide the ship (or tank) but to make it harder for the enemy to make out the profile of the big steel target which is usually easy to find. Whether or not I actually achieved this remains to be seen.

Say hello to my little friend(s)-finally remembered to add the sponson weapons
So I was shocked putting together my first tank that I would be able change out weapons at will without any work. So I haven't glued in any of the weapons, including the main cannon. But I think it will mainly run as seen above (Vanquisher, lascannon, and two heavy bolters)

close up of the stripes
So I am about 60% done, and the lines need a lot of cleaning up, along with adding the orange stripes (which would remove any chance of 'hiding' the Judgement) and before anyone gets too impressed I drew on the black lines. I still have to add the stripes on the turret and add some grit and dirt here and there as I am able.

I have worked up a bit of a history for the Judgement but, I am waiting on either a battle report or completion of the paint job (hahaha that's never going to happen) to release and really work on the history. I have really enjoyed painting this guy up, but damn that's a lot of area to cover.

Each of the stripes is outlined with the black you just can't see it. The camo is so good it camo's itself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Astra Militarum

Howdy folk!

Bob here with some thoughts on the new Imperial Guard Codex. I will break it down thusly: Changes to the lore and the stupendous changes to the terminology. I will also to a brief breakdown of the new units and some of the changes to existing units and systems (i.e. orders, weapons, etc). Lastly I will highlight my own forces of the Imperial Guard. So let us get started.

Astra what? Right out of the gate we have the first huge change to the dog soldiers of the Golden Throne, the name. Now we can speculate all day as to why GW did this (copyrights), but the change in the name of the army isn't the only name change we have. Astra Militarum comes on the heels of the Tempestus Scions (Storm Troopers) we also have the Commissariat being changed to the Officio Prefectus, as well as some other changes to names for other organizations. Lore related changes really aren't that significant. We get a overview of how the Imperium musters Guard forces to face a threat as well as some new snippets about various campaigns. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the relegation of any regiment without plastics to a small artwork and a blurb about the regiment. As of the time this article was written, a lot of the other regiments are still available to order via the GW Online Store. This includes a lot of the older metal models, mostly Infantry and Officers with a few heavy/special weapons for the Tallarn, Valhallan, Mordian, and the "newer" Vostroyan. This drive by highlight also includes ranges like the Elysians and Death Korps that Forge World produce. Something that really bugged me about this was the artwork and description of the Tanith 1st. Let me be clear, the Gaunt's Ghosts series is one of my favorites the Black Library has ever done. I am fairly well versed in the lore of the Ghosts. Nowhere in the description is Colonel Commisar Guant mentioned. Nowhere. The artwork, while cool, does not depict what Abnett has described as the combat uniform of the Ghosts.

Seriously, does anyone actually check the source material?

It is things like this that take away from the pretty awesome presentation GW has been putting forth for army books (at $50 they had better be top notch). The rest of the book falls in line with current GW layout . Unit entries with descriptions and pictures. Nothing really to comment on here. The model section is pretty standard as well. The inclusion of a non 'eavy metal painted army seems to be something that is being worked into more and more Codecies and Army Books. In this case we get a converted up Cadian army. It is a well painted army with some interesting conversion work. Now on to the rules.

As most of you who have read my book reviews know, I am not big on going into detail here. Other sites crunch the numbers and do breakdowns in way more detail and effort than I really care to. So that being said I will do a brief rundown of my impressions on some of the bigger changes. So what is new? Well we of course get a Warlord Traits table, which true to form, is overall pretty meh. New orders are a welcome addition, "First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!" still being my favorite. I always picture that scene from the movie Zulu as Stanley Baker and Michael Caine give the same order. The Tank Commander offers some interesting options for those inclined to be tread heads or anyone looking to boost the effectiveness of their Russ formations. Storm Troopers have been changed over to Scions and finally get a Command Squad option, though they do not get the "orders" from either Militarum Tempestus or the old Storm Troopers. The Taurox and Prime have been added as transport options for multiple units, though I am really not a fan of those glass cannons. Psykers have been brought in line with the options to choose lores. Priests are also close, if not exact, to the equivelent entries in the new Sisters "book". The new artillery vehicle, the Wyvren, offers a relatively cheap option to rain S4 blast templates down on some poor blob of a unit. The prospect of a unit of three of these targeting a unit in power armour would be enough to give said unit pause. The abhumans got a little bit of attention with the addition of Bullgryns or as some people have been calling them, "Banegryns".

 These are Ogryns with Carapace Armour and kitted out for melee or support. One options gives you what amounts to mobile cover for anything behind the unit and a short range grenade launcher or a power maul and 5++ save and To Wound re rolls for Hammer of Wrath. Most everything else in the book either remained the same or had some cost adjustments. Enginseers got a potentially cool new ability in the form of granting a vehicle Power of the Machine Spirit. Priests, Commissars, and Enginseers are all HQ choices that don't occupy a space on the FOC. Bodyguards are also missing from Company Command Squad upgrades as well. Speaking of HQ choices and such, gone are the vast majority of special characters. Marbo, Al'Rahem, Chenkov, Mogul Kamir, and Sargent Bastonne all disappeared from the book (and Gaunt was yet again left out). So basically this brings the book in line with the new "policy" of if it doesn't have a GW made model, you can't take it.

I think this edition of the Guard is a fairly solid book. Want a "red tide" style army of foot sloggers? You got it. Want a mechanized force? You got it. Want a armoured company with infantry support? You got it. Want an army based on something other than Cadians or Catachans? Not so much. At least not easily or "cheaply" from GW or Forge World. Nothing much major was added nor taken away from the army. Now I can hear some of you saying "but Bob, they took away all of those artillery vehicles!" and I get where you are coming from. That being said, lets be realistic for a moment. Those models where never going to be made plastic since doing so would be stepping all over Forge World turf. The models are still available from Forge World as are the rules for them. As much bitching and moaning that went on over this removal I would wager most of the loudest voices are the same people who had no intention of ever purchasing them in the first place. It sucks anytime an army looses a unit option, but at least the models and rules are still available. The new Wyveren is a potentially nasty customer, and the availability of cheap, effective psykers in the form of the Primaris is likely to turn a few heads. I am liking the new orders and the inclusion of a Tank Commander is a welcome one (though his usefulness is somewhat debatable). I also think that GW missed a lot of opportunities model and lore wise. I think the time has come for the Catachans to get a new plastic sculpt that makes them look slightly more realistic and not like a bunch of steroid abusing Rambo clones. I think there also is room to see some of the older metal regiments get brought into the age of plastic. I personally would love to expand the small forces of Tallarns, Valhalans, Vostroyans, and Ghosts that my Dad and I own. Hell, plastic Steel Legion would certainly have been a buy for me had they been made. Lore wise GW dropped the ball yet again in bringing the universe that the Black Library has created for an army into it's Codex. I am of course speaking of the complete lack of female Guard. The Ciaphas Cain novels as well as the Ghosts and other novels all feature prominent female characters as members of the Imperial Guard both as foot soldiers and officers. To me, this is a huge missed opportunity to both broaden the appeal of the game and to take some of the best stories written for 40K and make them part of the tabletop experience.

Lastly here are just a few examples of my own Guard force, the 152nd Cadian Grenadiers. I plan on doing a more in depth focus on my army in the near future so for now I will just show some of the things I have been working on recently. From left to right top to bottom we have the following: Company Commander, Guardsman, Plasma Gunner, plastic Commissar, Regimental Standard, Tank Commander, and lastly one of the new Scions.

That is it for now, folks. Stay tuned for more articles dealing with the Guard in the near future. I will be bringing these guys to the table top in force hopefully in the next month. Till next time, happy gaming!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trip to France June-July 2014

Hey folks,

Long time no post from me. As always, the summer months mean field work season for me as an archaeologist. For most of June and the first bit of July I once again had the pleasure to work in the lovely Auvergne of France and take a week of vacation in Paris. One of the many great things I get to do outside of work is take some time to scope out the gaming scene both in Paris and in the city of Clermont-Ferrand. I am happy to report that GW as well as Warmahordes, Infinity, and various historical systems are all alive and well. So allow me to give some of my observations about the miniatures gaming scene in Paris and the Auvergne based on the slice of it I saw.

Couldn't turn a corner without seeing this.

Games Workshop: Let me start off by giving a huge shout out to the folks at Games Workshop: Clermont-Ferrand and manager Simon especially. On the one day off from work that I had I popped over to the Games Workshop while I was in Clermont. I had visited last year and I was pleasantly surprised that the manager remembered me! We talked for over an hour about the hobby and how his store has been doing in the year since my last visit. I was very pleased to hear that he has developed a fairly large regular crowd that comes in to his shop. I have to also mention that these were some of the nicest folks I have met hanging out at a Game shop in the middle of the day. I walked in and was greeted by the large group in the store who were working on a large city fight table. When they found out I was from out of the country they were very surprised to see me in the shop, but very welcoming. My spoken French is passable, but not developed enough to hold a very in depth conversation about the hobby, but luckily Simon speaks very good English. With the release of the new Ork Codex he was organizing a narrative campaign based on an Ork invaison of a Imperial world. This would feature the work in progress city table as well as several Ork themed components. All of the scenery game from GW itself at the request of the store.

Basis for their new board. Photo from Facebook page of the store

 The campaign itself sounded pretty awesome and well thought out with each game having a definite impact on the overall narrative as well as future games. Simon as well a few of the player offered to loan me an army if I would like to get a game in, but alas my schedule would not permit. Maybe next year I can get a few games in.

The GW in Clermont-Ferrand as well as the Paris 6e are slightly larger than the ones I have been to in the U.S., but not by much. Table space was limited. In talking with Simon he said that the typical games in his shop are 750 to 1000 points in order to get more people playing. The independent shops I visited in Paris, Starplayer and Night Drop, had slightly more space and no space at all. Starplayer has a very nice selection of GW products as well as board games and other miniature systems like Warmahordes, Infinity, etc. Prices at these shops seemed to be retail or slightly under. Starplayer had a selection of individual models and units, both painted and not, available for purchase at very good prices compared to the new boxes.

I of course ended up making a few purchases. On the GW side of things I purchased a box of the new Ogrys, a Space Marine Master of Relics, a new Ork Mek for my Dad, a box of the new Chaos Marine Raptors, and a metal Prince Althran on foot for the High Elves.  I also picked up a box of Conquest Games plastic Norman Knights. The Ogryns will be featured in a upcoming article or two I plan to do about the Guard in the near future and the Normans will be in a long overdue article on historical miniatures gaming in the near future.

Until next time, folks! Happy Gaming!

I will leave you with a few photos from my archaeological work at a medieval house in France.

The view from the remains of a medieval hilltop fort I hope to one day excavate.

The residue from a possible hearth and a fragment of metal.

Medieval spindle whorl

Expanded excavations. Seen here is the collapsed wall of a possible barn in the foreground and a corridor and room in the background