Monday 31 December 2012

An update in the Christmas aftermath

I had a wonderful Christmas break, and I'm feeling very relaxed. I took some painting up to my parents' house. I did not need to sneak away from my parents, although there was a very helpful guide  to escaping your family provided by Joeyberry for those who need it.

I got a few gaming related presents which I will mention here. The non gaming related stuff was also lovely, but this is my gaming blog, so you only get to hear about the gaming related things!

The first thing to mention is the board game Lords of Waterdeep. I've played it before and enjoyed it, so happily added it to my Amazon wish list. The premise is that you are a significant figure in the D&D city and to try and take control of the city, you gain political capital by sponsoring adventurers to complete quests for you. I would heartily recommend it!

Sim got me a Dark Vengeance set, which is wonderfully generous. My only panic is that it will stuff my painting progress this month! I have some plans, though, and intend to do a little bit of kit bashing to deal with the few duplicates in the box, which should be fun. Have I said how wonderful my wife is enough yet?

Finally, I got Imperial Armour Aeronautica. It maintains Forge World's high standards, and I'm very happy with it. It does favour the Imperium over the Xenos and Chaos, but that doesn't affect me much. The campaign is a nice filler, but I don't really expect many people to actually be using the rules and missions from it given the number of fliers you'd need to be able to do anything with it!

You should see a little more hobby in the blog from the progress I got over the holiday season. I hope everyone had an excellent holiday period, and has a wonderful New Year.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Some thoughts on 'Counts As' Adeptus Arbites


I've been thinking about how to run some Arbitrators in 40K. Now, with the advent of allies, there's a lot more flexibility in how you can do this as you can steal from one army's list to help another.

Imperial Guard

You can quite easily put together a squad of Imperial Guard Veterans as Arbitrators. They can replace their lasguns with shotguns, upgrade them to carapace armour, give specialists grenade launchers and the sergeant a power maul.

Sadly, there's not much more you can do - although I might consider a Priest with an Eviscerator as a "cyber mastiff", although I'm not happy it's the best representation of what the model should be doing.

Space Marines

Space Marine Scouts are the other solid option - they start with carapace armour, and can take shotguns easily. Sadly, they lack the grenade launcher upgrade available.

You can also get Arbites bikers by using Scout Bikers. You get shotguns as standard and carapace armour, and some real potential for mayhem with a locator beacon.

Grey Knights & Sisters of Battle

I'm putting these in together as its effectively the same rules you're using for both - Arcoflagellants for cyber-mastiffs and Crusaders for shock squads with power mauls and suppression shields - whether from a Battle Conclave or an Inquisitorial Henchman Warband.

Both have restrictions in taking other models - the Battle Conclave is not a Troops choice so you would need to take some Battle Sisters as well, while the Henchmen either need Coteaz to make them Troops or some Grey Knights to go with them.

So, those are the units you can potentially use as members of the Adeptus Arbites - but how would you use them in a force?

All Arbitrator Force

For the greatest variety, you're probably best placed putting Space Marines and Imperial Guard allied (it doesn't overly matter which way around). You'll have a lot of scoring units from the Marine Scouts and the Veterans. If you want to up the close combat punch, using the aforementioned Priests with Eviscerators as Cyber Mastiffs.

You can certainly take a Marine Captain with a Storm Shield and Power Maul as a good Judge, and from the Imperial Guard side you can easily have a "Detective" Primaris, a Commissar Lord "Judge" or a Command HQ as a Judge with a bodyguard.

Hydras or Leman Russ are good choices for Heavy Support, with it not being too hard to justify a Vendatta as an Arbites gunship.

Marines to the Rescue

One good option for a theme list is to take a pure Codex Marines force, but with the Scouts and Scout Bikers as Arbitrators, holding out on the planet against the evil invaders - perhaps a Fortress of Redemption as the "Precinct House"?

The Marines get held in reserve, whether Terminators or Drop Pod troops - and they can then rock in to "save the planet" from the evil invaders as the Arbitrators were preparing for their last stand!

Forces of the Imperium

This is about coming up with a way of fitting as many different branches of Imperial Forces into a list as possible. Imperial Guard & Space Marines is your best bet again, but you should be able to fit in the following;

  • Imperial Guard
  • Space Marines
  • Adeptus Arbites (any of the counts as mentioned above)
  • Imperial Navy (Master of the Fleet, Valkyries & Vendettas)
  • Adeptus Astra Telepathica (Astropath, Psykers)
  • Departmento Munitorum (Commissars)
  • Adeptus Ministorum (Priests)
  • Adeptus Mechanicus (Techpriest)

I have some ideas on how to kitbash a few Arbites, but that is definitely something for the future. I hope these rambling thoughts have been helpful. Does anyone have any other suggestions for units?

Monday 24 December 2012

Christmas Treats

So, with the intent of sharing some Christmas cheer and inspiration, I thought I'd share a few blogs and sites I've come across recently which have been impressing and inspiring me.

Do You Have a Flag? and Palladian Guard by Headologist and Colonel Scipio
I have mentioned these blogs in the past - they've been the inspiration for my creative writing (I hate the word 'fluff') around my army. I also see some awesome modelling and kitbashing going on, and even better, they're both Guard players!

Inquisitor 28
Legion of Plastic
Spiky Rat Pack
Tears of Istvaan
Oh my goodness.
Each of these four blogs turns me into a slightly embarrassing fan boy. This is the kit bashing I've always had in my head as to what I want to be working towards, but I've never seen it done so well or in such quantities. The fact that they're also playing Inquisitor in 28mm just adds to the mild hero worship I'm currently suffering from.
These four blogs are my absolute "best of the 'net" right now, and I think for good reason.

Indiegogo and Kickstarter Campaigns
If you were wondering what to spend your Christmas money on...
I already spent a bunch of money on the EDEN Indiegogo Campaign, which is going to make up Sim's slightly late Christmas present when it finally arrives...
My wife is a massive Eden fan girl, and the campaign reward doesn't just cover her Christmas present, but also my starting a faction. When this all arrives, expect some happy blog posts as I to through all the shiny things.

We then have the Kingdom Death Kickstarter, which is tempting me but I am trying to resist. All the miniatures are very pretty, and the game concept looks interesting. I'm not normally a fan of horror games but the idea of trying to build a community of survivors in a horror world is quite appealing. It's co-operative, it can be one player.

I totally failed to resist Through the Breach: A Malifaux Roleplaying Game, though. I'm holding off right now and trying to be good and not go too mad on what level I'm supporting. I think it really comes down to how much I can save and whether I get enough cash for Christmas to get me a higher level of Stuff. There's plenty of time left, though, so its not something that is worrying me too much yet.

And while on the subject of "It must be mine" craziness, I know it is only a matter of time before I buy Only War and as many of its supplements as my budget allows. I just accept it as a sad reality of life and move on. :)

And as a final note: I get most of my miniature release gaming news from Tabletop Fix, and all my GW rumours from Faiet 212. I don't really bother linking to them much, and definitely try not to repeat what they say - if you want the news with regards wargaming, go there.

Thursday 20 December 2012

In which certain people's habits with blue on blue are discussed (creative writing)

To: Segmentum Tempestus High Command
From: Inquisitor Bernard
Date: 7874912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Lambum Obscurum
Security Grade Omega

I would just like to reassure my learned colleagues that the most recent engagement between the 666th Chapter and Captain Rafiq's command was not the matter I referred to in my previous report.

It appears, from talking to the survivors, that Captain Rafiq had most definitely received authentic and genuine instructions from high command to advance into no man's land ahead of the major offensive. The intention was to proceed with a heavy armour to take the positions needed to launch the right flank of the upcoming offensive, particularly a large bunker complex which could act as a forward command base.

The actions of our colleagues in the aforementioned Chapter are shrouded in secrecy, but it would be a brave man indeed to draw any conclusions on their receiving identical orders to secure the same co-ordinates and to make assumptions regarding the presence of Justicar Thawn in their force given his previous encounters with the Tallarn XVI. It is, however, far more easy to be sympathetic to their point that given Captain Rafiq's previous hostility that it was reasonable to assume he would be hostile again when encountered.

This wasteful encounter did at least ensure that the bunker complex was properly secured for the servants of the Emperor - it is now a staging point for our power armoured colleagues.

Captain Rafiq's force (the survivors of whom can have some minor mind scrubbing for the incident to cover a few light issues with seeing things they should not, but a complete wipe is not required) did acquit itself well, despite its defeat. The lesson was most certainly learnt not to underestimate the capabilities of the explosive lances of Imperial cavalry, nor their threat range.

I will express some suspicions as to the identity of the sniper who engaged in a firefight with a Leman Russ tank and won, although I understand they were in turn killed by small arms fire at closer range.

It is my understanding that the conscripts involved in this conflict behaved excellently, and the survivors should be redeployed to fill roles in the depleted platoons. Despite the unfortunate 'blue on blue' their behaviour was without fault with regards to the tactical battlefield situation.

You will notice that Captain Rafiq is no longer in his hospital bed. He and Sergeant James' squad from the Tollo II auxilia have been requisitioned by me for a special mission behind enemy lines as a part of the upcoming offensive. Please be assured that I will be taking all appropriate actions to ensure his personal safety is given the regard it is due based on his faith, actions and loyalty.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Progress in December

I have really started to motor along with getting things done now!

The silos are now fully assembled, although my wife has disputed the "fully assembled" part of that and has confiscated them to fix some slapdash approaches in assembly. She also fixed the broken handwheel on the door, achieving her first thing to do! I abjectly failed to get some pictures of them in all their glory.


OK, I'm back. I've taken a photo!

Wife fixing some of my poor construction...

You've already seen the fiction from one of my two battles against Grey Knights - perhaps the other one will come soon!

A lot of this month I've been doing some painting on one of Sim's commissions - just getting the base coating done to save her time. I'm only really doing this on commissions for friends right now - I feel like people are not just paying for the paint job, but for the sheer awesomeness imparted by the miniatures being in the presence of my wife. I got a bunch done, but they aren't due for a while, so I've put them to one side once they began to get to me, and moved on to something else.

(This does, notably, indicate to me that I really shouldn't take up commission painting. The idea of an external deadline just takes all the joy out of it, when I'd far rather switch to another project when something starts to drag...)

So, this afternoon, having put away the other work, I hit my own stuff. The Vindicare has now had a lick of paint as I try out the method of painting black suggested in the Eavy Metal Masterclass. It's looking good so far!

I've also got a little progress on the Imperial Beastman:

Fur now washed....
You'll notice I've taken off his right arm for painting - that's now glued to a lollipop stick for ease of access. I also got all the bodies, heads and horns that I need for the two squads I'm planning on putting together. A Catachan Battleforce (for all the muscled arms you'd ever need) is now on my Christmas list...

The Collodi crew now have more paint on them. I realised when I got them out again that I'd been leaving far too much very dark purple on them which just looks black under most lights. I'm correcting that now and going a little faster and being a bit less precious over them. Hopefully this will pay off.

Collodi's hands are still separate. They stare at me, accusingly.

I've also started sorting out my Malifaux corpse markers, in the hope that they'll be a quick win that I can post some nice progress shots of shortly. Also, I need to learn water effects!

I plan on writing up the rest of the entries for the blog this year this evening, and set them to auto post. That should keep people interested and happy!

Also, I passed the 10,000 views marker!

Vast quantities of these views come from the two posts I put up about stuff I found out at Games Day. Still, I'm pretty happy people are reading what I'm writing.

I am hoping that "time spent with family" over Christmas where I won't be able to paint or model can be counteracted by the days I've taken off between Christmas and the New Year, so I won't lose too much progress.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

An unfortunate incident (creative writing)

To: Segmentum Tempestus High Command
From: Captain Rafiq, Tallarn XVI
Date: 7852912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Lambum Obscurum

As per standing orders, I led a small force (platoon strength plus auxilia) into No Man's Land to seek out  enemy advance forces to engage and destroy. Whilst advancing through the eastern-most reaches of our designated patrol area, our forces sighted a number of unmarked units of tactical-dreadnought class infantry advancing on our units.

Upon receiving this report from our scouts, I ordered our troops to take up firing positions and alerted our air support units. Attempts at contact over authorised hailing frequencies failed, at which point I designated the units as renegade and viable targets.

My force then engaged and destroyed the enemy. There were no survivors. Enemy casualties consisted of over a dozen tactical-dreadnought class infantry and one dreadnought class support walker.

Of particular note is that one of the individuals seemed to show extreme resilience to injury. In particular, Sergeant James from the Tollo II Ratling auxilia placed a confirmed headshot with a needle rifle through the eyepiece of the individual in question, only for him to rise again after a short while. The individual was eventually neutralised by the survivors of 1st platoon bayoneting him repeatedly.

Notable casualties included Lieutenant Yusuf, who was killed by a bolt round as he exited his destroyed Chimera and Commissar Price, struck down in hand to hand combat.

The survivors of the conscript platoon performed admirably, withdrawing from untenable and needless positions before regrouping and returning to the fray more than once. I recommend they be permitted to replace casualties among the full members of the company elsewhere.

I have asked my adjutant to provide you with the usual list of rounds expended, necessary repairs and replacements.

The intent of the enemy force remains unknown.

To: Segmentum Tempestus High Command
From: Inquisitor Bernard
Date: 7855912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Lambum Obscurum
Security Grade Omega

Despite his innocent protestations, Captain Rafiq knew exactly what he was doing. My spies inform me that he purchased a map to a "valuable treasure". It appears that our colleagues in a specialist Chapter believed this relic to be incredibly dangerous and sought to recover it, treating others who had interest in it as potentially corrupted.

Justicar Thawn has reported (after he recovered from his injuries) that his Chapter failed to recover the relic, but it should also be noted that the Captain was most angry on his return, so it appears lost. Several scans of his quarters and interception of his private mail seems to confirm this. The Justicar was holding it at the point where he fell as the last Marine active on the field - but it was not found or recovered by either side.

This is a most vexing loss and one that concerns us for the future. The relic poses a potential danger for the future and I fully intend to take this out of our errant Captain's hide. He may be too politically powerful to punish directly, but I will be taking a leaf out of some of his superiors' book when it comes to inconveniently dangerous missions...

Monday 3 December 2012

November in review (wherein a lot of lists happen)

November has gone pretty well!

- Assembled and Undercoated the Imperial Beastman kitbash
- Prepped and Undercoated my Wicked Dolls
- Prepped my Vindicare Assassin
- Assembled one Sarissa Silo
- Undercoated some cultists for one of Sim's commissions
- Prepped most of Becky's Herald (awaiting some help from Sim with some Green Stuff)
- Prepped & Undercoated the Disc for the Herald

Not done:
- Imperial Beastman isn't finished
- Collodi isn't assembled
- 3 other Silos are not assembled
- Didn't do anything with my Skaven

Reprieve given:
Sim had asked me to prep and assemble some Sanguinary Guard and Kabalite Warriors, but she's now farming that out, so I don't have that on the "to do" list any more.

I've also got a ton of games in;

  • 1 game against Space Wolves
  • 2 games against Grey Knights (I even got mentioned in someone else's blog post)
  • 1 Apocalypse Game
Picture totally stolen from ClauseIV1918
So, that comes to this month...

The wife has asked me to give her a "to do" list an itemised order. Where better to do it than on my blog?

  1. Fix the handwheel for the silo door I've already broken!
  2. Green Stuff Becky's Herald so I can undercoat it
  3. Fix the Valkyrie Door
  4. Magnetise the Valkyrie Weapons Options (I need to check if I should paint the other ones first)
  5. Fix the Basilisk so it doesn't look terrible any more
  6. Fix the Ogryn banner
  7. Fix the Ogryn bayonet
  8. Help with the Techpriest Assembly
  9. There's probably some more but that's all I can remember for now
(Hello love - just the first two this month is all I really need doing quickly!)

I did find a little this month that by setting myself a high set of targets, if I got demotivated with them, I didn't want to do other things because they weren't contributing so much.

So, in an effort to try and be a bit more flexible, I'm going to try and do some of these goals;

  • Finish Beastman kitbash so I can blog it
  • Sort out another unit of Troops for my Guard?
  • Assemble Collodi & progress the Malifaux crew painting
  • Progress the Vindicare
  • Prep the Salute Mayan for April
  • Finish the assembling the other Silos
  • Do something with my Skaven
I may also do other things instead, depending on how I'm feeling. Making a hobby a chore is a fast way to madness.

I also have some things I would also like to do for the blog;
  • Write up the fiction for the two Grey Knights battles I had, and the Apocalypse Game
  • Get some more games in
  • Write a blog about all the Kickstarters & games that are looking shiny (such as Eden, Malifaux RPG, and Kingdom Death)
  • Talk about other crazy future projects and ideas I have
  • Write up the Beastman Kitbash
  • Maybe throw out some army list ideas I've had
I also really need to take more pictures for the blog so you have more nice things to look at.

Monday 26 November 2012

Some early lessons about Imperial Guard in 6th

So, I've now had a few games of 6th edition, and an apocalypse game, so I thought I'd take a moment to run through my general thoughts on what I've observed so far...

  • 1000 points is very different to 1500 points! That should go without saying, but the balance of what you can take and what is worth taking is fundamentally very different, especially if you're dealing with a multiple objective mission.
  • Feel No Pain (ie: Medi packs) is still a huge help in keeping squads alive, and the reduction to a 5+ doesn't hugely outweigh the reduction in what it protects against - although with T3 Guard, it's not super awesome.
  • I'm yet to draw any useful conclusions on psykers yet.
  • Ogryns can punch tanks to death. They also take a remarkable amount of fire compared to Guard infantry. Who knew?
  • Ratlings are immensely useful and awesome.
  • Storm Trooper deep striking has potential, but I need to get better at placing.
  • I do not have enough Troops choices painted. When I put together 3,500 of Guard, with only two troop choices? Something is wrong. Troops need to move up my painting schedule!
  • Don't leave space for Deep Strikes
  • Demolitions Veterans remain awesome.
  • Sentinels work better when you remember to take them out of the army carry case.
  • Rough Riders are faster, have a greater threat range, but remain as fragile and short lived as ever. They are only as tough as infantry, and after the initial strike are very vulnerable.
  • Fliers need some getting used to.
  • I've not seen much benefit from anti infantry fliers so far - need to try out anti tank ones.
  • I had failed to spot the rule about taking a dangerous terrain check when you jump out of a Valkyrie and scatter. It makes it riskier, but its still a hugely beneficial boost to movement.
  • Hydras do not rock as hard as they used to.
  • Leman Russ do die easier than before, but are still a pain to take down.
  • Manticores need to work in concert with other firepower to take out enemy armour, as they are mostly trimming hull points now, not wrecking multiple tanks.
These are just my personal observations, and your own experiences may vary. All I can re-emphasise is to keep on playing games and trying things out!

Saturday 24 November 2012

Friendly fire report form

To: Segmentum Tempestus High Command
From: Captain Rafiq, Tallarn XVI
Date: 7835912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Lambum Obscurum

5th Platoon of my company was ordered to advance into no man's land with heavy support from the available armoured units. I was doing as ordered and was on schedule when my forces were engaged by an unknown force of power armoured marines. I have since been informed that the warriors in question are actually a loyalist chapter called the "Sons of Tyr".

I am afraid that I cannot give much of an account of the incident myself as the first action of the matter was a perfectly timed and executed decapitation strike by drop pod on my position. Despite the heroic efforts of my seconded medical officer (whose name I have forgotten, but I would wish to recommend for a posthumous award of some kind - can someone senior pick something appropriate?), I was rendered unconscious by a hail of bolt gun shells.

The medical recovery teams have done an excellent job, and my force only took 97% fatalities from the 100% casualties inflicted by the excellently co-ordinated assault of the Sons of Tyr. Apart from whoever was responsible for their briefing, I would commend them as an excellent force to face the vile renegades and xenos we face in this sector.

I shall forward the requisition for further secondment of troops to my company, additional armoured support and specialist troops under separate cover once I have recovered. Once again, my heartiest complements to the medical staff who tell me that I will be back on active duty shortly, with only a few more bionics.

Report ends.

Administratum additional report into loss of war materiel
To be appended to friendly fire report form
Restricted access: Not for viewing by field officers
To: Segmentum Tempestus High Command

From: Administratum Investigative Clerk, Count Karl Bolt
Date: 7836912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Lambum Obscurum

Once again, I find myself writing an investigative report into Captain Rafiq's loss of another platoon. To the dismay of many, the investigations have found that this loss is genuinely not his fault - unlike the platoons lost to his 'disagreement' with a Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves Chapter, which has led to the sector wide prohibitions about engaging in drinking games and / or insult contests with members of that Chapter for officers of the Imperial Guard, stemming from the unfortunate 'cultural exchange' incident that has led to Captain Rafiq being constantly "accidentally" attacked by members of the Space Wolves.

The Sons of Tyr, a successor chapter to the Raven Guard, with strong stylistic similarities to the Space Wolf chapter, engaged the Tallarn XVI on the mistaken belief that they were renegades. The Librarian who led their force has been exonerated as it appears that a enumerator servitor made an error in transposing the co-ordinates for both the Tallarn XVI and the Sons of Tyr's assaults into no man's land.

It is unclear whether this is due to one of Captain Rafiq's many, many enemies among the Imperium acting in a treacherous manner, hostile enemy action infiltrating the command chain, or simple technical error.

The influence of Captain Rafiq's father means that the matter will, as usual, be quietly dropped. Please fill in the usual forms and complete the necessary requisitions to get him back out onto the front line as quickly as possible, and hopefully he will be a little less lucky next time.

Monday 19 November 2012

A productive weekend

Despite a merciless bout of light manflu that left me close to Satan in temperament, which meant I didn't go in to Darksphere for their monthly painting day on Sunday, I still got a whole bunch of stuff done!

I have been working on a test figure for an Imperial Beastman, to use the Penal Legion rules... I'm also photographing that for a step by step of what I did and how it went.

Here's a teaser for that:

I also finished cleaning up my Wicked Dolls ready for painting, started work on prepping a Vindicare for painting, done most of the green stuff work done for the Herald on Disc (wife is about to help out with a tricky bit), undercoated some cultists for a commission for the wife, and assembled a Sarissa Silo (pics to follow when I've fixed the bit I've already broken)...

Next Sunday I'll be rocking over to Darksphere for their Apocalypse game. I should really write up my list for that...

I also hope to write up a little more of the creative writing over the army background of the Tallarn XVI soon. I am rather excited about sharing the story with people, although it doesn't really enthuse folk as much as rumours or interesting models do...

Friday 16 November 2012

More shameless attempts to gain free stuff...

Zaphod over at Masterminis is still trying to up his blog traffic by prize giveaways...

The latest one is that if you follow the instructions on his blog, you enter you (and me) in a chance to win a copy of Dark Vengeance each...

{in my best Godfather-esque accent}

"So go and talk to Zaphod, and tell him I sent you. It will be a thing that is in your interest and my interest."

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Investigative Report, Draft Copy (fiction)

Inspired by the wonderful work by Colonel Scipio, Headologist, and Zzzzzz, I got inspired to write some fiction about the recent battles I've been having and the regiment I've been collecting. There is more to come! 

To: Captain Rafiq, Tallarn XVI
From: Lieutenant Yusuf
Date: 7824912.M41
Theatre: Laxus Sector
Planet: Fellminster

Upon receiving your orders to investigate the whereabouts of Lieutenant Sufyan's platoon, which had not returned from their standard clearance patrol. Investigating their expected route, we found an area in the lower east sub sector which was the scene of a conflict.

A storage building for the nearby light agriculture had taken a direct hit to its generator through one and a half feet of plascrete. The burn marks would match those caused by a close ranged shot from a melta gun. A dead guardsman from second squad was found in the lee of the building on the opposite side to the door, and the charred remains of the three Ratling auxilia seconded to Lieutenant Sufyan's expedition were a short distance to the north.

Our medical officer informs me that one of the three abhumans had suffered a broken leg, which would be explained had they jumped from the roof of the building. No other bodies were found, either of assailants nor the missing platoon.

To the west of the building, the wrecked remains of the command Chimera were found. The remains of the crew were within, but not the passengers. The APC was destroyed with a single well placed anti tank shot, probably from short range.

Given Lieutenant Sufyan's exemplary record, it is most likely that he encountered an unexpected overwhelming force. The unrecognised weapon pattern, minimal number of deceased (and all those killed were killed by explosive force) and lack of enemy dead indicates an enemy raiding force who wished to conceal their presence, probably of Xenos origin. It is unlikely that our expected renegade opponents were responsible for the losses.

The records of those whose bodies were found (dog tags attached) should be updated to indicate they were killed by enemy action.
The records of Lieutenant Sufyan's platoon (appendix attached), less those known to be deceased, should be marked as MIA, with a note indicating that should they be found, further investigation be made as to their reasons for not making contact with Imperial forces sooner.

Appendix I: Platoon complement

Lieutenant Sufyan
Four guardsmen assigned to command section
Two squads of ten men each
One Chimera from the XVI infantry's motor pool (reserved primarily for officer use)
3 Ratling Auxilia, seconded from Tollo 2nd

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Creeping into November

Goals from last month
  • Progress in each of the "categories" I use on my tracking spreadsheet, which are; "Imperial Guard", "Malifaux", "Grey Knights", "Ad hoc projects" and "Scenery".
Failed. Progress only really in the Imperial Guard, basing the Conscripts.
  • Get the Malifaux Collodi crew painted, if not based
Failed. Marionettes have started painting, but that's about it.

  • My friend's Herald of Tzeentch at least undercoated and ready for paint.
Failed. Not looked at. I'm a terrible friend.

I did, however, manage to finish tidying my study, leading to me earning my 40K rulebook from Sim!

Gaming and some first thoughts on 6th Edition

Also, rather than have our local youngsters demand money with menaces from us on Halloween, Sim and I popped down to Darksphere for the casual 40K night.

I did not take photos. I fail as a blogger.

While my wife had the local cheese weasel (he'll be proud for me to call him that) show her the terrible things Grey Knight Henchmen can do at 500 points, I managed to grab a nice chap called Louis when he finished his game for a quick 1,000 match up.

Louis plays Raven Guard successors, using Space Wolf codex rules. He had a Rune Priest, a couple of Grey Hunter Squads (one in a drop pod), some Long Fangs, a Dreadnought and a Speeder. Tons of lovely kit bashing, which readers will know I'm a big fan of.

I took a trimmed back version of the normal list, with a small company command squad, a psyker, infantry platoon, Veterans in a Valkyrie, a Demolisher and a Hydra.

The mission was "Big Guns Never Tire", with standard deployment on a 4 x 4 board.

I was thoroughly schooled, with the opening turn being an absolutely canon perfect decapitation strike by the Drop Pod squad, coming in behind my lines to obliterate my Warlord and wipe out his squad with brutal short ranged shooting to earn Louis both First Blood and Slay the Warlord.

I won't bother with a blow by blow, but it ended with all my models on the table dead while the Valkyrie was off turning around. I learnt some useful lessons, however!

- The Imperial Pie Plate still scares the pants off anyone in power armour.
- Tanks can be more reliably taken down this edition, but can still be useful and dangerous
- Fliers are really useful, but Valkyries with MRPs are less good given the new flying rules - should focus more on using as a transport and less as a gunship. Also, may want to consider looking back at the standard one shots it comes with
- Hydras are dead good on skimmers and fliers, but at smaller point games may not make their money back
- Plan your flier movement from the start, so you have a good idea of where you're likely to go
- My current list still suffers from power projection issues - it doesn't put enough threat across the table fast enough
- Cover is still useful, even if its a lower number - your opponent has the same issue too
- Focus on objectives - while I was still wiped, I could have put a more credible threat out earlier on

And finally . . .

I have been selling bits and pieces on ebay, and thus had a little money to spend on bits on ebay too.

I realised a short while ago that my Imperial Beastman conversion was hamstrung by a lack of left arms (cursed lack of forward planning!) but a good mate mailed me more than I needed to complete the project in exchange for a couple of Cadian torsos for him to test out one of his projects.

I also picked up a couple of sprues of Glade Guard, which still had five hooded heads on! Woo! These are hard to find cheap. The remaining bits that don't fit guard have now been passed on for my wife's bits box.

I've also bought a few Dwarf Warriors to see if an easy Squat kitbash is at all feasible. I am somewhat doubtful. I'm still waiting for these to arrive, though.

Monday 29 October 2012

Starting to learn 6th edition (and teaching the wife)

So, I finally finished the housework which earned me my copy of the 6th edition rulebook!

I was then somewhat surprised to have my wife ask me to teach her how to play 40K, as she's going to be playing the Dark Eldar we picked up at one of the Eavy Metal painting Masterclasses at an Apocalypse game at Darksphere on 25 November.

So, a short bit of maths later, Sim had a list of 400 points of Dark Eldar. It consisted of two squads of Wyches with an assortment of upgrades, and that was the lot! She seemed happy with that, though.

I picked a quick 400 points of Guard to face her. I took an infantry platoon, with the PCS having all the melta guns, and a Chimera as a ride. The two squads got autocannons and melta guns. I threw in the recently painted conscripts because they were just finished, and rounded it off with three Ratlings.

So, this in mind, we set up the terrain!


OK, remind me to really move "terrain building" up the priority list. Yes, we're using a passing Doomwheel as wreckage. The mobile phone box is a building, the old Necromunda card barricades are . . . barricades, the pond is a pond, and the failed sample arm warmer some difficult ground that doesn't provide cover.

I suggested using the recon mission thing from the book, but Sim said she'd far rather just have us try and kill each other first game and she could move onto such complicated things as "objectives" later...

We rolled off and I deployed first.

My Conscripts are off to the left, the two infantry squads to the right, Chimera in the centre with the command squad in it.

Sim deploys her squads opposite, with the special weapons at the back with me having explained "casualties start at the front".

She then has the opportunity to seize the initiative.


I get my Ratlings set up on the roof of the building, and the Dark Eldar start running towards me as fast as they can...

Sim then remembered she'd taken the chaos star from the gamer's edition of the 40K rulebook, and went and grabbed her beret.

The conscripts then let off a spectacular volley of fire at the Wyches, which even with the failed "First Rank, Fire" order left Sim's numbers looking remarkably thin!

To the right, they faired better due to the amount of cover available, and my inability to roll anything useful whatsoever!

On my left, the surviving three Wyches ran into the Chimera, blew it to pieces with Haywire grenades, then ducked behind the barricade to the left. I charged in response, with a melta gun nearly taking out the squad leader, but they "accidentally" pushed one of their colleagues in the way instead.

Surely this looks bad for the Dark Eldar, you say...
I also bravely decided to take a chance at charging on the right, hoping that weight of numbers would see me through.

This was, I think, a terrible mistake.

Yup, I was right, terrible mistake.

On the left, they hacked down two of the Lieutenant's bodyguards, causing the conscripts to panic and flee.

Now realising that being outside was very dangerous with the Imperial Guard's weight of fire, the Wyches decided to run into the building before butchering the Ratlings the following turn.

The combat on the left remained pretty much equal for now, with only ridiculously jammy rolling of saving throws saving the day for me.

"Then I rolled three sixes and a five!"
On the right, my Ratlings decided jumping off the building was safer than staying in it. One of them proceeded to break his leg jumping off the roof and passed out with pain. The remaining infantry squad ran up to the building, and the melta gunner loosed off a shot . . . causing a massive explosion. All the Dark Eldar died, both surviving Ratlings died, and two of the remaining infantry squad near the building were killed in the explosion.

So, erm, building damage tables are much scarier than they used to be!

On the left, the two surviving Wyches killed off my command squad, then charged into the conscripts on their turn!

The Wyches neatly take them to pieces (I forgot to Overwatch) - they kill one and the conscripts flee a second time, but this time their officer is not holding the killer gladiators off, and they are cut down to a man!

There's not much more to report, beyond that they proceeded to run across the table to the few surviving infantrymen, and cut them all down with no further losses, even though I remembered Overwatch by then!

Imperial Guard to the right are the casualty pile spreading out onto the table.
Chimera is wrecked. They're all dead, Dave.
Well, wife is rightly pleased with her first game of Warhammer 40K ever, and my first (completed) game of 6th edition! I may post a few thoughts on this later, but for now I shall go and wallow in my extensive and terrible defeat!

Monday 22 October 2012

A simple experiment in basing

Historically, I suck at basing. Like, a ridiculous amount. I haven't really done any basing since the old "sand and goblin green" days, apart from just desperately gluing some sand onto my Tallarn for a tournament, and a disaster with some clan rats that I don't like to talk about.

So, I decided to experiment with some Stuff to see what I could do.

After a bit of digging around my wife's painting stash, I 'liberated' a pot of Games Workshop Astrogranite and a pot of Model Colour Sandy Paste.

The Sandy Paste smells funny.

For the purposes of my experiment, I chose my recently finished conscripts, on the grounds that I don't care particularly strongly about the cannon fodder...

It also meant they'd stop looking like they came from a very flat iceworld where there'd been some paint spillages!

As a first step, I painted a smooth coat of Iyanden Darksun onto the bases. The wife advises that this was completely unnecessary, but it gave me something smooth and neat to work on.

I then put a few daubs of Astrogranite onto each base, one or two per miniature. The idea here was that the Astrogranite texture is much thicker than the Sandy Paste, so it would break up the base a tiny amount without being obvious.

I then painted around the Astrogranite with the Sandy Paste.

Once this was done, I repainted them all with another coat of Iyanden Darksun.

After a quick comparison between a coat of Nuln Oil and a coat of Devlan Mud, I decided I liked the Devlan Mud option more, so then washed in that - and was done!

I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out. They aren't works of art, but they are functional. I'm still undecided about the "using different textured paints" thing - I should have made some with just one or the other to compare to - but I'm certainly getting over my fear and hatred of basing in the meantime!

Thursday 18 October 2012

Painting event this Sunday: London, UK

As a reminder to my UK readers, there is a painting event at Darksphere in London on Sunday (21 October). Its running from 12pm to 5pm.

Some people from Platoon Britannica have said they will be there.

My wife says she's going.

I will also be there.

There is a map to the shop here.

It will either be at the shop itself, opposite the Eye and next to the Duck Tours, or it will be at the gaming space just up the road, between Chilli Chutney and Europcar (behind the bus stop).

I will be curious to see who arrives...

Monday 15 October 2012

Rules to live your (painting) life by

/begin topical wargaming reference
Anyone who says Nurgle is less powerful after the recent Codex release is completely and totally wrong if the plague going around my office and friends circle is anything to go by...
/end topical wargaming reference

I've mentioned before I have a bit of a system for keeping track of how my painting progress is going. Since I originally started the system, I've tried to come up with some rules to try and keep my painting mountain under control.

My wife had already instituted one;

This is a perfectly sensible solution in times of limited budget and space, but significant backlog. It means I have to save up for new cases and shelving in between saving up for miniatures, and means I actually attack the backlog.

Once I instituted my tracking spreadsheet, I realised that given I have months of work to complete, I really shouldn't be making the situation any worse, I instituted the next rule.
  • Don't finish the month with more work than you started with
This keeps my errant spending further in check, as otherwise I may buy two miniatures I intend on detailing up ridiculously and completely overshadow the ten odd gaming quality miniatures I finished that month...

I then started discovering that the spreadsheet I'd made didn't include lots of projects I'd forgotten about, or found while clearing up my study. As this is behaviour I want to encourage, I don't want to penalise to motivate me to paint more by limiting spending if I tidy old boxes...

So, now I have a reserve project list. Each single model, unit or thing counts as a project. I can add projects at the start of a month, but it must be replacing an existing closed project. There are, honestly, more projects than I will probably ever complete on the spreadsheet already, so coming up with cool new ideas for projects is not going to be very helpful. It also helps encourage me finishing off that last bit of basing or touching up to finish up a project or job.
  • Don't add projects to your work in progress - adding to the work in progress from stuff you've found or been given can only happen once you've completed a project, and only happens at the start of a month
If stuff sits around and is not on the spreadsheet, I will get nagged to ebay it. This is probably not unreasonable!

I am sure my rules will get added to over time, and probably to the point of over-complication to the point where they are of no use or interest to anyone else. But I must be careful not to turn into the Arnold Judas Rimmer of the gaming community and spend all my time writing spreadsheets for painting and modelling projects I never actually do...

Monday 8 October 2012

Slow progress, step by step...

Back in one of my blog posts in September, I set myself some goals, with the expectation of utter failure. How well did I do?

"- Finish off Imperial Guard Conscript Squad"
They are now, surprisingly, completely painted. I'm working on the basing now. Once that's done, I may post some more pictures, but there's not enough yet to justify that since the last ones where they were unbased.

"- Finish preparation of a wizard for Sim"
Done and handed over. He's now on her painting desk!

"- Assemble Malifaux Crew"
Collodi still needs some work. Pinning his hands is slow, time consuming work I need to be awake for. All four Marionettes and all three Wicked Dolls are now assembled and undercoated. I plan to take them to Darksphere on Tuesday to start painting them.

"- Find some better backdrops for photographing models"
Nope, I got nothing. Its probably something to talk over with Sim.

I'm also progressing pretty well with sorting out my study. Its down to the last few pieces to go before its clear. I'm thinking of moving my computer around the corner, at Sim's suggestion. This should leave a bunch more space.

In my defence, the two cardboard boxes in the corner belong to my wife
So, what am I trying to get done this month?

Well, I set myself down the goal of progress in each of the "categories" I use on my tracking spreadsheet, which are; "Imperial Guard", "Malifaux", "Grey Knights", "Ad hoc projects" and "Scenery".

I'm also aiming to get the Malifaux Collodi crew painted, if not based, and my friend's Herald of Tzeentch at least undercoated and ready for paint.

So far, the Imperial Guard progress is looking good, with me hoping to have the conscripts basing finished soon. Malifaux is also going well. I've not done anything for the Grey Knights yet, but I will probably pick up the assembly of my Vindicare once I'm done assembling Collodi. I've not started on the Herald yet, but I have dug out the Sarissa Precision boxes so I can work out what to do with them.

I'm also looking really thoughtfully at the two kit bashing projects I have lined up as I would love to get them done and documented for the blog.

I aim to be down at Darksphere on Tuesday for the regular painting night. I also intend to go to the painting day they are holding on 21 October. Some of Platoon Britannica have also said they will be there, so between them and my darling wife there will be plenty of folk about who you can ask about techniques or other painting related questions.

Thursday 4 October 2012

A blogger looking for followers

There seems to be an individual on the internet who wishes their blog to have more followers, to the point of offering tokens which might be exchanged for miniatures.

His post making this offer is here:

I offer no recommendation beyond their excellent taste in bribes, but I'm sure you'll find something interesting there!

Monday 1 October 2012

Some actual progress

I'm pleased to say that I have some actual progress to report for once, rather than another set of flimsy excuses as to why nothing is done!

I have completed assembling an empire battle wizard for Sim to paint. He's now undercoated and passed over to her.

I've also got all of the painting done on my conscripts! For proof, see here:

I'm holding off on doing their bases until I've finished sorting out the preparation for my next painting, as I don't like taking basing stuff with me to Darksphere - I think it's too messy.

My next project is the Collodi boxed set for Malifaux, so I can start playing that. The Marionettes are prepped and undercoated. I plan on starting on the Wicked Dolls shortly...

Here are the Marionettes. You may notice I've done a black undercoat with some oddness with a white spray. I'm trying something called "Xenithal" painting, specifically with the undercoat - which meant doing a white spray from directly above the miniature. You may notice the second miniature from the left is still mostly black - that's because he was blu-tacked on at a slight angle leaning forwards - so his back is a lot whiter than the front. I'm going to leave that be and see how that affects the paint job - I can always fix it later.

I am being reminded how much I've been spoiled by Games Workshop in terms of miniature assembly and prep. Collodi's arms / hands are a screaming nightmare of awful, which isn't helped by the fact that this is the first time I've pinned anything ever (and boy, does he need it). Two of the Marionettes are dancing at odd angles on one leg and the flimsy leg they are standing on bends incredibly easily!

I'm also having a huge amount of indecision around the crew basing. I mean, they can stay on their 30mm round bases they came on for a while, but I wanted to experiment with something a little special, and I'm having some indecision between two contenders. I'm going to think on it, but here's the challengers;

Black Cat Bases

Secret Weapon Miniatures
The Black Cat bases are inserts for the existing bases, and made out of metal. I really like the planks of wood thing they have going on.

Secret Weapon miniatures' bases are all resin, and have a base lip to allow you to fill them up with swampy water effect once you've added your miniatures.

The price is comparable for the two, but I'm really stuck as to which ones to go for...