Saturday 31 December 2016

Painting review of 2016

2016 hasn't been too bad for me from a painting point of view. I've got a reasonable amount of stuff done.

What doesn't show up on the blog so much is that I've managed to get a whole ton of models assembled and undercoated ready for paint on top of painting about as many models as last year. I was aiming to do that at the start of the year, so that's pretty reassuring.

I didn't set myself strict goals this year, and that's gone pretty well. Some projects, I perhaps thought I'd get further along this year, but these things happen.

I was particularly pleased with how all three of my familiars from Heresy Miniatures came out. They're tabletop quality, but I feel a pretty good one.

Of course, I've not managed to get to a tournament with them all painted before Malifaux managed to release the proper models for the Changelings I was using them as proxies for...

I also won this adorable renegade Inquisitor from Whiskey Priest. The plan was to debut him in a game at Warhammer World against my wife, but then I forgot to pack him, because I'm a moron.

He doesn't really count as a model I finished, as all I did was base him, but I seem to have forgotten to photograph a random mutie I'm going to be using in Inquisitorial Warbands I finished off, so he's here as a much prettier and better painted stand in.

I got my D&D hero Myth painted up.

The last of the Heresy familiars. That robe blending!

Ajjatahr, from the Circle of Chaos Kickstarter.

My first painted goblins. Only a hundred or so to go.

The John Pickford barbarians are the only models I've finished so far for the Tale of Gamers challenge I was doing with Gonzo History Gaming. It was meant to finish today... Still, I've got 30 infantry assembled, and 5 Forsaken are nearly done (they will probably be done today, if not photographed and posted).

And finally, my Oldhammer Forum model for the Chaos Villager challenge project. This is a project where everyone paints a model and then there's a draw held for who wins all the figures. This year - I won! The box arrived today, so another future post will be me going through the assorted miscreants and oddball figures I've received...

Monday 19 December 2016

A Review of Codex: Imperial Agents

One of our focus group gets to work
The new Imperial Agents Codex came out at the weekend, and as a massive nerd when it comes to obscure little detachments and the weird corners of the Imperium, I was super excited. I've inhaled the entire thing through my eyes, so will now regurgitate some excellent and useful facts and opinions for my dedicated readers.

TLDR Version

This book is quite good and has plenty of cool stuff in it. Narrative gamers will have plenty of awesome ideas to plunder. More competitive gamers will find several old favourites thoroughly nerfed, and only a few 'good' options amid some really weird stuff. Some of the rules stuff is a bit unclear and needs a little clarification.

Cult Mechanicus

Broadly, this gives the Astra Militarum Tech Priest the Cult Mechanicus faction, a few more equipment options, and lets them have "Canticles of the Omnissiah" rule from the Cult Mechanicus Codex.

It doesn't help with Guard formations that have to include a Tech Priest, which is where most of them are likely to turn up in an army, but if you are not putting them in a Astra Militarum formation, use this to buy them, as you get some nice free rules.

Law of Unintended Forge World
Trojan Support Vehicles are a Dedicated Transport for Tech Priest Enginseers. If they are allowed for Cult Mechanicus Enginseers, that adds an extra unit with Canticles for cheap.

Aeronautica Imperialis

I want to like this so much, but it's really not very good at all.

So, you get a Fast Attack slot with an optional HQ, with the Aeronautica Imperialis faction. The only options available are Valkyries and an Officer of the Fleet as an Independent Character. The latter is amazing, the former is rubbish.

The problem is Death from the Skies. That supplement has a detachment for Valkyries that grants them Objective Secured in hover mode, which is spectacularly better than getting to reroll some reserve roles. Getting to hide away your Officer of the Fleet as an Independent Character rather than part of a Command Squad is great - but not at the cost of your flight wings losing Objective Secured.

Law of Unintended Forge World
This will be where this detachment could shine. If Forge World put out a PDF listing any number of it's fighters or bombers as Fast Attack options for the Aeronautica Imperialis faction, then they gain nothing from the Death from the Skies detachment and something nice from the Imperial Agents detachment, and you can take your improved Officer of the Fleet.

Adeptus Astra Telepathica

This is where good stuff happens. Primaris Psyker is more or less the same. The Astropath from the Astra Militarum Codex gets a nice tasty upgrade, getting an option of a second psychic level, and becoming an Independent Character. As cherry on the cake, the HQ option then gets bonuses if near a unit of Wyrdvane Psykers.
From a competitive standpoint, this leaves you with an excellent source of Telepathy Psykers for cheap. From a narrative gamer stand point, I really want more Astropath figures...

Adepta Sororitas

Most of the most recent Sisters of Battle Codex, with tweaks. Mostly, it has an impact on how Inquisitorial Warbands work later. The Ministorum Delegation is a fun little unit that lets you have a Priest, with a pick of optional miscreants to accompany them.
Arco-Flagellants, Crusaders and Death Cult Assassins are all now Adepta Sororitas units with tiny minimum unit sizes (the size, incidentally, of a blister from GW). You can then package them up with a Priest or Uriah Jacobus to form an Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave, like the old unit.

Special Mention goes to the Mace of Valaan, which gains Fleshbane and Armourbane when wielded near a model with the Daemon special rule. Over in Inquisition-land, a Daemonhost can be put in a unit with a Priest, who can take said Mace... Do not take this combination when playing with people you want to stay friends with.


Simple squad of Deathwatch, included as relevant for future options. Mini Kill Team detachment for the casual buyer who doesn't have the Deathwatch Codex - which has much better synergies. This stripped back approach may be worthwhile for people wanting a small Deathwatch investment though...

Grey Knights

See Deathwatch. Just a little bigger - you get a Troops or Fast Attack unit as Compulsory with an Optional Heavy Support. The key thing here is that you're not restricted to the units included in the book. They just have to have the Grey Knight faction. So, you can still have Purgation Squads, Stormravens and so on if you want (although I've not looked at which ones get good synergies with the detachment itself).

Legion of the Damned

Those whacky invulnerable saving, deep striking, cover ignoring ghostly Space Marines are back again. They don't have the Relics from the LotD book, but do get a command ability in their detachment to choose to automatically pass or fail reserve rolls. I'm not sure if that was there before or not.

They remain the Legion of the Damned. They're pretty good. They do a job. I kind of want some.

Officio Assassinorum

See Deathwatch, except it's basically every rule from the Assassins Codex. Including the formation.

The Inquisition

... what a show!

So, this is where it all gets a bit weird. There's quite a big overhaul, and this removes almost all the broken "competitive" combos people were using the Inquisition for before. Servo Skulls are gone, warbands are no longer a Codex entry, and you can get Acolytes, Jokaero and Daemonhosts.

You now get a Detachment with one Inquisitor and 3 Elites choices, and a Formation called an Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband.
And this is where it gets really weird.

Acolytes get Dedicated Transports from the Sororitas (Rhino), Aeronautica (Valkyrie) and Grey Knights (Land Raider variants). This is fine, despite people's panicking (p120, main rulebook - Dedicated Transports gain the faction of the unit they are picked with).

What is confusing is whether the non faction Dedicated Transports can use the vehicle upgrades from the Inquisition list (psybolt ammunition, etc) - current strict reading is "no", but that may not have been intent.

There's a light upgrade to Inquisitorial Rhinos as they theoretically gain Shield of Faith. I'm also not sure if it's intentional that Ordo Malleus Inquisitors can use Malefic Daemonology as well as Sanctic, as the other Inquisitors can't, and the wording for each is "Inquisitors".

The Henchmen Warband has some changes. You can't go all Death Cult Assassins in a Land Raider - but you can still have quite a lot of Death Cult Assassins in a Land Raider, with a few ablative acolyte wounds, a guy who can repair the Land Raider, and an Astropath to try for Invisibility. This is on top of the light comedy of the Priest with Mace of Valaan and a Daemonhost.

There's also a side option that you can take of a unit of Sisters, Deathwatch or Grey Knights to be a buddy for your Inquisitor. I already have some plans for this from a narrative point of view.

Final Thoughts

I really like this book - the updates clear out some old tired combos and give us new ones from a competitive standpoint. From a narrative stand point, we can achieve more or less the same thing as we could before with Inquisitors. We just have to go about it in slightly different ways.

I've actually found that I was stalling on inspiration for a lot of my Inquisition stuff because there was so much choice. With the formation structure a little more ordered, I'm finding myself thinking up an assortment of ideas I really want to try out. I'm really pleased with this, and am looking forward to using it!

Monday 12 December 2016

Tale of Gamers - Forsaken - a little bit a night

With Christmas Party season drawing to a close as people start to go off on holiday, I'm starting to get the odd evening back. As such, I was pretty pleased to get in, sort some food, then settle down for forty-five minutes or so of painting and faffing with the Forsaken unit that caused me so much trouble back in August.

It's not a huge amount - tidying up some overpaint here, getting a wash on there - but they're slowly creeping towards getting done now, and that makes me pretty happy.

The latest challenge was finding a rather large and annoying gap I'd missed at the assembly stage, so some liquid green stuff was deployed to fill in the hole. I'm leaving it to cure overnight before painting over it, meaning I couldn't quite push a second Forsaken through to being finished this evening.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Tale of Gamers - Chaos Warriors Assembled


The Tale of Gamers challenge I'm doing with Gonzo History Gaming is still plugging along. The Chaos Warriors are assembled and undercoated now - so there's 30 miniatures assembled at various stages of painting now.

This is Adira the Dark Champion, from Bad Squiddo Games. You can get her here if you like her. And yes, I spotted the mould line on the cloak - I'll get it when I paint her!

Meanwhile, here are some Harlequin "Templars". These are the ones I found on a shelf in Foundry, but they've been out of production for a while...

I also dug out the "finished" Forsaken and started redoing the base to match the finished barbarians.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Infinity Battle Report: 300 pts Nomads vs Bakunin - Armory

I took the opportunity to get in another game of Infinity at HATE. My opponent is just starting to get into the Bakunin Sectorial, and as I have some interest in the force, I thought it would be a good way of looking at the faction from another angle.

As I have a lovely pre-painted objective room from Right Arm Labs, I suggested a cheeky game of Armory to make sure everything got up in the mix.

I chose deployment, and my opponent chose to go first. I had really wanted to go second and holding the room, and thought my opponent wouldn't fancy deploying first and going second. I was right!

The Lunokhod holds down the left flank, with the TR bot my reserve model on the roof. My opponent's reserve model was advanced infiltrating camo token (Bran Do Castro, then) who you can see on the tall building just outside my deployment zone.

If you squint, you can just about make out a couple of camo markers (Zero Forward Observers) at the shipping containers. Pi Well was left a little exposed on the right, relying on his ODD and supplying some annoying AROs.

I've noticed a problematic bit of irrational behaviour. In an early game of Highly Classified, I simply couldn't get my opponents to shoot my remotes, as Test Run was one of the four known Classifieds. I since bought the Lunokhod so I had something to more aggressively push my remotes and force people to do something about them. This lets me put my remotes in dangerous situations so they can get disabled, allowing me to get the repair and Test Run.

But I keep doing it when I don't have the classified.

I keep putting my remotes in dangerous situations so I can get them shot and repaired - when that's not the mission! I had the Forward Observing one this time around. I really need to get out of that habit. I've kind of written it out to explain to you here to hopefully drum it out of my head...

So, my Bakunin opponent goes first. Immediately combat drops in a forward observer remote, clearly to start Observing everything so his smart missile launcher sitting at the back of the field can do horrible things to me. He places it near Bran Do Castro, in a nice spot to start really ruining Pi Well and the Zeroes . . . and fluffs the drop roll.

His dispersion roll (result pictured above) is not ideal...

The reactions are two Crazy Koalas, a Heavy Shotgun blast (I wasn't confident I could get the Heavy Flamethrower down without catching the total reaction remote) and a full burst from the HMG, although at an inconvenient range.

The only surprising thing about the end result was that it was only double unconscious, and not straight back off the table!

It turns out, this was the first outing of the Meteor Zond, so it clearly needed to get all its bad luck out of its systems...

Bakunin's turn then mostly consisted of moving, completely failing the rolls to hit with Pitchers, and someone thoroughly blowing a hole in my reaction remote. I forget who. It was either the Sin Eater firing in the active turn (when he's rubbish) or the Task Master opening up at a stupid range with his boarding shotgun.

The Taskmaster had taken up a careful position on the side of the objective room, covering my advance on that side. For those of you who know Infinity well, don't worry that the Taskmaster looks 'suspiciously' like a Gecko - the proper model is on it's way!

Not pictured, I discover and neutralise Bran Do Castro, who's blocking any safe route I have to advance up the field.

I start moving models up to the Armory, and a careless failure to check lines of sight means that the Killer Hacker Interventor gets picked off on her dash up the field.

One of the Forward Observer Zeroes opens the door, runs for a crate - and forgets to check line of sight again, getting blasted by some models just out of shot - the same ones who picked off the Interventor.

I pop Miranda Ashcroft just inside the door to score the points for holding the room at the end of the turn.

The Taskmaster decides to get involved and opens up on Miranda. A good dodge roll and ODD combine to get her out of there - dodging back outside the room.

My turn two starts with this as the position - my opponent won't be scoring the room again, but I should be able to get them - but there's someone peeking in the right hand door to see the supply crate, and the Taskmaster is covering the main room itself.

Things got a bit fast paced, but there's the situation at the end of the turn. The Mobile Brigada turned the corner and opened up with his flamethrower, running neatly down the line of troops there, though sadly not quite catching the remote at the end.

Miranda Ashcroft then ran around the left hand side of the building, where there was another convenient line of troops, and opened up with her boarding shotgun using the template shot, which she then rolled a crit on an 18 for. The result was predictably bloody.

Sadly, the Taskmaster had decided to tough it out and use his Pulzar, and a model outside the template had also got a lucky shot back, putting Miranda down for good (much to my opponent's relief).

I then ran a camoflagued Zero into the room to score the points unopposed.

My opponent now rushes as many people into the objective room as possible to grab the last turn five points. The Zero is easily discovered and shot to bits. They open the panoply once to even out the points and deny me the two victory points. I'm left with five orders to salvage the situation.

Up runs the Reverend Healer. She patches up the Mobile Brigada who runs into the room and opens up with the multi-rifle, one shot each.

Kusanagi, already with her ODD burned off and on No Wound Incapacitation, falls - but the Clockmaker and Custodier are still up.

The Reverend Healer runs in, goes for the shots, but can't quite take down either of them - while remaining upright herself. In the end, I don't quite have the points to retain the room, and that's me down 5-2.

It turns out, if I'd retained my Classified for area control, I could have won the game - but I chose not to in the pre-game phase. I had a Forward Observer Classified, but simply couldn't free up the orders at any point to get a good opportunity to claim it.

All in all, this was a brilliantly fun game, which gave me plenty of ideas for things I want to do next. I also need to be more careful about checking lines of sight and asking my opponent about them before I move. There were some sloppy mistakes here that cost me orders!

This is also the first time that aggressive plays on my part have come off, and short ranged weapons have done some serious damage. A critical hit on a boarding shotgun using a template is absolutely brutal. I'm certainly going to try getting some more short ranged troops / weapons to try in the future.

Monday 21 November 2016

Oldhammer Forum Challenge - Chaos Villager - Complete!

So, with the deadline on the Oldhammer Forum Chaos Villager challenge fast approaching, I sat down to quickly finish off the Chaos Blacksmith you saw in my post the other week.

To finish up the base, I drybrushed various different light colours onto the paving slabs to add some contrast - there's a lilac, a green, a blue and a couple of different greys all there. The piece of paper got a Steel Legion Drab base coat and a quick bone drybrush. I then dabbed in some Typhus Corrosion, wiping off the worst with my finger, to bring the stone back down a bit.

The anvil got a nice simple grey stone base with a plain Nuln Oil wash. Nothing fancy.

And here he is all together. Pleased oto have gotten a model finished, and had fun playing around with a few new paints.

Background wise, I'm thinking that his drive for perfection attracted the attention of Slaanesh, and his gold mask is riveted to his skull, driving him mad with visions of techniques and secrets beyond mortal comprehension. He uses those secrets to craft fine swords for the champions who sometimes pass through the village.

I basically took this photo to show the piece of paper behind the anvil. No other reason.

As a reminder, this miniature is available from Anvil Industry, should you want one of your very own.

Friday 18 November 2016

Infinity Battle Report: 300 points Nomads vs MRRF

So, it had been too long since I played Infinity, so I arranged a game at HATE. After a little bit of rescheduling and changing of opponents, I ended up up against some Merovingian Rapid Reaction Force. I've not played them before, mostly because not many people do play them!

I was a bit late in, so didn't get a perfect set of Infinity terrain. I had a go at setting up the terrain as above - fortunately, when my opponent turned up, they had a bunch of cardboard shipping containers to add some more line of sight blocking terrain.

The mission was "Supremacy", which means dominating the table quarters at the end of each turn, and controlling the consoles, which are the four white markers ina square you can see on the table.

I had to set up first. You can now see the bonus shipping containers. If you are interested in my army list, here's the "Army Code" for Infinity Army.


On my left flank, I dropped my Lunokhod, Zoe, Pi-Well and the Reverend Healer. Pi-Well is hard to see but he's pretty far up the field on the level crossing. The Lunokhod is the big one, with it's two Crazy Koalas on either side, with the Reverend Healer next to that, and Zoe off on the far left.

I felt this was a pretty good group to hold the zone, given the strong area denial of the Lunokhod, the Reverend Healer's strong staying power, Pi-Well's ODD, and Zoe being able to pick up the two remotes and provide hacking support.

Meanwhile, on the right flank - two camo markers are the Bandit Hacker and a Prowler with a Spitfire. Two Alguaciles (including the Lieutenant) sit on the far right of the field, and an Interventor (the 'obvious' Lieutenant) hangs back behind the shipping crates.

The Securitate Paramedic is further forward, extending the hackers ranges with her repeater. Deep in the ruin is another Alguacile as another fake lieutenant candidate. The Mobile Brigada joined here as my reserve placement.

I forgot to take photos of my opponent's deployment, but roughly, there were a bunch of camo markers up the field, a sniper at the back, and a few infantry dropped off with Mechanised Deployment.

I had the Mobile Brigada wander out and fill the sniper full of holes, and grabbed my near console on the right hand side. Pi-Well headed up to do the same on the left, but failed his WIP role, leaving me with only the one console.

So, first up, the French air drop a Werewolf onto me, throw smoke, and murders some poor Alguacile Forward Observer to death.

Next a rifleman of some sort puts holes in the Mobile Brigada, which is just rude!

The Werewolf then decides to potter up and take out the Bandit, but misjudges it, and takes a skilled martial arts enhanced "Double Action" blow to the face, and down he goes.

Up comes a Zouave who opens up with their assault pistol on the Bandit - critting the Bandit, but also putting three shots into the unconscious werewolf, killing him stone dead.

A Chasseur then popped around the corner and took out the Prowler.

My turn! The Securitate bravely pops out the corner to shoot a Zouave. I can't roll for toffee...

It got bloody, and I forgot to take pictures, so here's how it looked at the end. The Zouaves had managed to wipe themselves out from AROs from the Alguacile in the ruin. Margot came on from the edge to try and hold the table quarter, then my Interventor ran out and shot her down with a Combi Rifle... The console had been grabbed on the way, though, so was contested.

Meanwhile, on the right, Pi Well managed to activate the left hand console, but in turn went down. The Reverend Healer had to pop out and plugged a Moblot Heavy Infantry.

In the end, I had two specialists with WIP15 left up, but they both rolled poorly and the contested console went to my opponent. I'd managed to Forward Observe someone for a classified and gain a point, so it was something like 8-2 or 7-2 when the scores were counted.

So, what did I learn? Well, the list didn't have enough to push up the field in a game where I needed to be able to move out of my deployment zone. The Heavy Infantry did OK, but standing around in the open is not survivable, even for the guys in power armour. Deploying first will leave you a little on the back foot, but you need to formulate a plan to work proactively to achieve the objectives, not wait to see what their plan is and react to it.

All in all, a fun game, and I'm glad to be getting back into playing Infinity.