Monday 24 June 2019

WarhammerFest: When a model sparks an idea...

While I was pottering about WarhammerFest, I noticed the above models in a display case. At first, I thought they were some new Blood Angels, but chatting with the sculptor, it turns out that they are some Adeptus Custodes from Forge World.

Given I was already considering a force of Custodes as part of an army defending the underhives of Terra from assorted threats, and I adore these models, the idea became more tempting. Once I discover that their background is that they lurk in the aeries of the hive spires of Terra before diving down on the threats they spot, I was sold.

I can't remember, dear reader, if I've mentioned this concept on the blog before. The other part of the force is a bunch of Primaris Vanguard Marines from the Imperial Fists, and maybe some Inquisition or Sisters of Battle. I particularly love the image of a covert ops team sneaking around with eight foot tall super humans clad in armoured ceramite. But you can tell they're sneaking because they have a camouflage cloak over the top...

Still, it sparked a few interesting thoughts in me about how seeing a model in passing can either spark or develop an idea or project far beyond what you'd expect. Creativity is funny that way...

Monday 17 June 2019

Necromunda: The Van Saar Gang Attempts a Rescue

I got an opportunity for another game of Necromunda the other week, with a rescue game against my first Van Saar opponent.

I still had my Bounty Hunter available after my last game, and I drew him as one of the guards. It turns out that you should take hirelings like this in addition to anyone else in the gang, but we only found out afterwards.

Here's another of my gang, guarding the prisoner.

And another guard, wandering about.

I was pretty unlucky with my guard control rolls, and they wandered off all over the place.

The Van Saar gang snuck up on the prisoner...

My juve models hadn't arrived, so I'd grabbed a couple of goblin models to represent them. They then played like goblins really well, completely failing to notice a Van Saar sneaking about in the open.

Nope, still don't spot them..

The prisoner then freakishly managed to break their own bonds and, due to the way the sentry rules are written, peg it from under everyone's noses without them noticing.

The bounty hunter proceeded to badly shoot up the Van Saar leader.

The gang start pouring back on.

The Van Saar will be in trouble now! To cap it all off, a hail more bolter shells take the gang leader out of action, and he's killed - complete with botched doctor roll!

The vengeful hail of energy weapons messes up the gang quite badly, so, the prisoner already rescued, they peg it before someone gets badly hurt...

Thursday 13 June 2019

WarhammerFest: Golden Demon Entries

Catching up on the photos I took at WarhammerFest, here's the last of the photo posts. I've got a rambly text post to come about ideas being sparked by seeing other people's hobby, but that's for later.

I wasn't going to  take photos of the Golden Demon entries this year, as the photos are never very good and the painters often put up their own photos on their own blogs taken in much better conditions. And then I saw this absolutely gorgeous unit of Mordheim Averlanders, and I absolutely had to start taking a few photos.

I don't really have very much to say about all these photos, so I'm going to restrict myself to the odd comment of my thoughts. In this case, it's just some lovely Slaanesh demons, which I was very nearly tempted into starting an army of.

This photo catches the manic energy of the new "Gloomspite Gitz" without getting too cartoony.

This horrible monster, with all it's heavy conversion work, caught my eye immediately.

An adorable troll. The hole in the ground looks like a yawning mouth, too.

The new troll models are gorgeous and full of things that a painter can use to show off their techniques on, so it's not a surprise they're popular this year.

Lovely bright colours on this one.

Creepy Great Unclean One conversion with a bell tower growing out of his back.

More Oldhammer, in terms of a classic Ogre and the "Moon Knight". I definitely want to own both of these, and don't.

Unsubtle political campaigning as part of an entry...

A Harlequin Shadowseer conversion where the chest has been hollowed out to glow and change colours.

Another ornate tower, this time growing out of the back of a Renegade Knight.

Louise Sugden entered her Squat bounty hunter into the Open Category (winning a well deserved finalist pin).

There was even a Heroquest Fimir making up the ranks of the old classics on display.

Someone had painted up all the weird little Nurglings you get with other Nurgle kits as a unit of Nurglings.

There was also this excellent mix of Forge World Bounty Hunters for Necromunda mixed in with some excellent kit bashes and conversions.

Monday 10 June 2019

St Albans Invitational Infinity Tournament

This weekend, I headed up to St Albans for one of Laina's reliably good "St Albans Smackdown" tournaments. I've been pretty demotivated of late with Infinity. With my Druze doing very badly at tournaments and my planned Dahshat away with my painter, I've been having more fun with Necromunda and really looking forward to getting into Malifaux 3e and Age of Sigmar.

Still, I'd promised to go, and I've often found that dragging myself to an event can help me find the fun again, so I dragged myself out of bed and headed up to St Albans with an earlier start time than I need to get to work.

Given Corregidor received an update in the last Infinity book and my Druze weren't bringing me joy, I decided to go back to some unpainted figures for a tournament and just have fun.

First game was Engineering Deck. This is a mission I've literally never played. My opponent, multifish, announced they were playing Bakunin. Losing the deployment roll and forced to deploy first, I noticed the mission required controlling the central room and decided to take the pain of the first turn as well in the hope of some sneaky late game scoring.

The Bakunin list was built around a tanky Riot Grrl heavy infantry link. I was definitely worried about this as I wasn't confident I had enough punch in my list to get them out of the central room, which they promptly staked a claim to in the first turn.

I brought my Intruder HMG out to take out the Missile Launcher who'd been left out to ARO, but took a critical hit to the face and only a fine red mist was left. I was a little stuck for what to do next at this point, but managed eventually to stun it.

I moved my Lunokhod up to cause some worry - not really too concerned about losing it, but trying to make multifish expend too many models and orders getting rid of it. And then . . . the game got very focused and involved and I didn't take any more photos until the end...

And this is the final situation in the room . . .

The two main scoring points in this mission are "activated more consoles than the enemy" and "have models in the central room when your opponent doesn't have any". At the top of my last turn, I held two consoles to my opponent's three, and they still had a whole ton of models controlling the central room.

So, I had to resort to sneakiness. My Bandit Killer Hacker had downed a Morlock earlier in the game, and then used the Scavenger skill to pick up their smoke grenades while performing a coup de grace. They threw a smoke grenade into the room, walked in under the cover of the smoke, and took over the central console before ending the game. With the middle room contested, I claimed a 5-2 win for having more consoles controlled.

Next up was Hunting Party against laina, who'd stepped into the breach to cover a late drop out, and was running a Steel Phalanx list. She was running at a slight disadvantage in that she'd never played Hunting Party before, and it's a very strange mission.

I'd drawn two classifieds of Predator (kill two targets in close combat) and a second that needs you to take out an unconscious model with a WIP roll. Looking at the deployment, she had her Lieutenant well guarded in a bunker with a full linked team guarding them, and only two specialists.

I sent McMurrough up the board to try and get some early classifieds. First turn, he ended up like this, with the specialist resolutely not glued, and open to a counter attack. In later turns, as more models came out to deal with him, he was able to take out one that was unconscious for the second classified, but was put down before he could take out two cleanly in close combat.

On the right, I sent Senor Massacre and friends up to act as a screen for my core link (who had no orders after McMurrough used them all) and a threat that had to be dealt with - hopefully, this would mean I could predict where an angry Ajax was going to go.

The plan went OK, but sadly too both Jaguars died to a chain rifle, while Massacre got into combat. He didn't manage to cause much damage before he went down, sadly.

I dropped in my Hellcat with Adhesive Launcher to glue the Steel Phalanx engineer and secure me some points. We started running out of time at this point so things got rushed. At 4-0 up, I panicked and ran my Lieutenant into an adhesive launcher with one order left, meaning I'd changed the score to 4-4.

With little needed to win, laina advanced Ajax up to secure the HVT for a 5-4 win. I was super mad at myself for making a really terrible decision with my Lieutenant, but there was still a good chance she would have been able to get the glueing and the objective in her turn for the win.

Last game was Frontline against East of Irem's Yu Jing. I was pretty shattered and forgot to take photos for a lot of the game. What it basically came down to was that I managed to drop a Hellcat into his back line, and massacred most of one flank in a turn.

In retaliation, he dropped his Tiger Soldier, but as he was targeting a core fireteam with sixth sense, simply wasn't able to get the damage he was looking for and eventually the drop trooper was shot down.

I'd managed to get second turn this time and after a bunch of super nervy movement of models around the board, I managed to claim the centre and far zones while losing my own near zone for a 9-4 win.

After the games

I was absolutely ecstatic at this point, as I've never managed to win two out of three games at a tournament before, and it's been my goal for competitive play all year. To have it happen with my old Corregidor force at a tournament I'd not played practice games for,(and in one case, never played the mission) was amazing.

At the prize giving once the venue had been cleared away, I was even more pleased to discover I'd ranked 4th out of 16 players. While I don't have much Infinity planned for a while (I've had to cancel the Satellite event "Warcors Warparty" due to a family commitment) I'm definitely up for getting back into it and hopefully winning a few more games.

Monday 3 June 2019

Infinity League: Druze vs Vanilla ALEPH - Highly Classified

Our Infinity League is still going on, and doesn't allow you to swap what army you're playing, so I'm still plugging along with my Druze in it. Due to the odd number of players, this game I ended up with a round against a "ringer" player so we don't have a bye.

The mission: Highly Classified. The opponent: Vanilla ALEPH. Weeks since I'd played Infinity: Lost count.

I dropped my link and a bunch of bots out on the right hand side, the link able to go up the middle or swing right or left as needed.

My HVT went on the extreme left, as most of the classified missions drawn involved interacting with it. I made it appear lightly guarded but had Saito Togan covering the approach.

First mistake - I advanced my Forward Observer bot up the right hand flank and didn't realise I could score two objective points for my secret classified by passing a WIP roll out of line of sight of the HVT but within 8 inches. Instead went to shoot a line troop that turned out to be a holo-projector illusion masking a really tough named character.

With my remaining orders, I advanced up the link team and prepared for a bit of a counter attack. It was as brutal as expected - I lost the HMG, and a whole bunch of other models. However, he ran out of orders deep in my lines so with a bit of carefully manoeuvring I was able to shoot him in the back a few times until he fell over.

With what was left of my orders and link team, I tried to advance up the table a bit further, but holding back so I didn't get wiped out before the final turn.

A drop troop came in to try and deal with the HVT. I revealed Saito to shoot them unopposed but he managed to pass his armour save. The Aleph player then advanced up his Multi-Spectral Visor, which ignored all of Saito's camouflage and took him down.

In the end, there were too many models moved over to guard the HVT and I couldn't break through. The ALEPH player managed to come out and split shotgun shots, taking out pretty much everyone I needed to complete the mission. With a few careful uses of orders, he was able to score enough points that there was very little I could do.