Thursday 31 October 2019

Learning Warhammer 40,000 - 1,000 point Astra Militarum Battle Report vs Death Guard

After my first go at 8th edition 40K, I arranged a small 1,000 point game down at HATE to see what a smaller game was like and get a better handle on the rules. Unfortunately, my opponent wasn't well, but they managed to arrange a substitute player who brought their Death Guard.

The point of the game was to try and hold objectives at the end of the game.

I'd brought a bunch of Leman Russ this time, and it turns out if you take them in a Vanguard detachment, they're better at holding objectives.

I remembered to drop in my Storm Troopers this time, but they didn't quite manage to kill the Beast of Nurgle who was their target. (The model being used is a classic "Chaos Toilet", which I think adds to the embarrassment...)

I also brought an Eversor assassin to see how cool they were.

Meanwhile, my Guard squads were getting bogged down in zombies, although they made a good accounting of themselves.

The Eversor took out most of a Plague Marine squad, which isn't bad going.

But he seemed to have attracted quite a few friends.

I'd gotten the tanks a bit too close to the plague zombies who, it turned out, could at least tie me up in combat even if they had trouble hurting the tanks...

The officers did OK at cutting through zombies, but they're better at making Guardsmen less terrible than they are at being punchy!

Team zombie kept the tanks tied up away from the objectives...

The Storm Troopers made a valiant last stand trying to hold one of the objectives.

But it wasn't enough and they got licked to death by a Beast of Nurgle.

The Chaos Marines managed to contest the central objective from my Leman Russ...

My Guard squad were solidly holding one objective...

And my psyker another while the other Leman Russ kept the Plague Zombies occupied. But I ran out of turns and couldn't get enough firepower together to deal with the Plague Marines on the central objective, leaving it to a Death Guard victory.

While I was mostly just trying to get a handle on the rules and how the Guard play in the new edition, I had a ton of fun. Guard played how you want them to feel - the infantry are mediocre but their officers keep them together and make them better. The tanks are solid for their cheap and cheerful price point but don't want to get hit in close combat.

The real next step is working out what I want to collect in 40K - do I want to revise my Guard for the new edition, or start a whole new force instead? I'm undecided at present, but my next 40K plans are Purge the Pit, so I'm going to focus on that for now and not worry about longer term plans for now.

Monday 28 October 2019

Beginning the journey to Purge the Pit

With Purge the Pit in December I worked out I needed to get about fifteen models painted, and I had three free weekends to get it done. Currently I'm a "little" behind that curve with one model painted rather than five, but I'm sure I'll catch up.

This little fellow is a converted mutant I made years ago. The white undercoat was really thin so I re-undercoated him in Grey Seer and quickly went to work with contrast paints. I added some dry-brushing to add extra texture, and played around a little with washes. I feel like I've got a better idea of how this will go together now, so hopefully the next models will be a little quicker.

I also got a bunch of models undercoated. I've not bothered to take photos of all of them as it's not hugely pertinent, but in particular, the four Shasvastii I assembled a while ago are now ready for paint.

I also undercoated the Grey Seer for my Skaven and the three Malifaux figures that I had assembled. With the weather the way it is, I suppose you take the opportunities you have!

I also finished assembling this adorable little sweetums, and got him undercoated as well - though I don't have an undercoated photo of him.

I'm mostly assembled on the mimic, too, but it does need some basing sand.

I spent my Sunday afternoon at HATE again, assembling more Shasvastii. I got the Shrouded and the Gwailo done, but no pictures yet. The Gwailo was relatively complex, with six pieces, so it took a bit longer to do. The Shrouded was only four pieces, but the joints were nowhere near as well fitting as the others, so there were a lot of swears, and I badly bent it twice trying to get it together.

Once they've had some basing sand, they should be good for the undercoating queue.

I'm a bit down on myself because I got five models assembled the last time I was at HATE on Sunday, and only two this time. That's mostly because the last set of figures were much easier than these ones. What it comes down to is that I under-estimated the amount of work they'd take, rather than that I did less work - but seeing less of a result is annoyingly disheartening.

I'm spending next weekend running around doing escape rooms, so I won't get much hobby done. Hopefully I'll find the time during the week to schedule up some posts of a battle report or something on the Monday instead.

I'll do an end of month round up on progress the following Monday.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Tournament Report: Totally Crit Open x4

Last weekend I headed down to Hildenborough in Kent with a group of other members of HATE to attend the Totally Crit Open X4. It was my first tournament of the new Infinity season, and I took Dahshat Company, which I plan to run this season until I've got another faction painted up.

First up was Hunting Party, and I drew shrikeh from HATE. He was running Druze Bayram Security, which got me a bit worried. Hunting Party is a weird mission, and one of the ones that Druze excel at and Dahshat don't.

Winning the Lieutenant roll, I chose to take first turn, as both Druze and Dahshat are brutal on the first turn, although Dahshat has less defensive options for ARO.

Shrikeh was running a limited insertion Druze list, and set up a Brawler Sniper and Armand opposite my main link. I also spotted that there were only nine models visible, which meant either a Bashi Bazouk or Saito Togan. My guess was Saito Togan given the points I could see on the table.

My first choice for taking out the snipers was McMurrough, who headed up the table behind smoke until he was out of sight of the snipers. I didn't have enough spare orders to start a big close combat charge this turn, so decided to throw a couple of speculative grenades . . . only to have Saito reveal and fire an adhesive launcher at McMurrough and crit, gluing McMurrough in place!

I weathered the Druze first turn and hit back, making sure I'd taken out the Druze HMG, and clearing off both snipers. But I was still having trouble scoring and getting to a Lieutenant or Specialist to capture them.

The Druze E/M Grenade Launcher proved it's worth, isolating my Lieutenant and putting the Druze ahead.

I'd never quite got the E/M Grenade Launcher working for me . . . but shrikeh got the range dialled in on my link team and dropped a couple of E/M grenades on it.

Fortunately, the specialists were further back and not caught, but three of them were isolated . . . The game then got pretty intense and I didn't get many more photos. The link got mostly fixed up, but it took orders to do, and I was still no closer to immobilising the Druze Lieutenant.

I managed to flip both of the consoles, and controlled the HVT . . . and put a stun pistol on an unconscious paramedic to put me 5-4 up on the score. But with only four orders left on the board for his last turn, he managed to stun my Hunzakut to tie the specialists and take the game 4-3.

While it was close, shrikeh managed to inhibit my ability to score points while scoring his own throughout the game. I felt like I was always behind on scoring objective points, though I suspect he was constantly worrying about the damage I was doing to his troops in turn...

Next up was my first play through of Countermeasures, a new mission for this season. My opponent was KR15, who was running vanilla PanOceania. I managed to win the Lieutenant roll again and chose first turn.

Looking at his deployment, there was a Nisse sniper in a good nest keeping my main link team pinned down, but there were only 8 orders in his main pool, and a huge diagonal fire lane appeared unguarded. My main worry for my link was a Swiss Guard missile launcher.

I took a cautious approach, but no missile launcher! Just as I thought that wasn't where he'd deployed his TO, he revealed a Swiss Guard HMG and shot a trailing Bounty Hunter down, dropping the link to a four person link.

The TO revealed, I ran McMurrough up under smoke and cut him down. With one wound left, he then jumped off the roof and chain rifled a Forward Observer Fusilier and a Mulebot while he was shot unconscious by the sniper.

My opponent didn't really recover from the loss of the Swiss Guard. He brought on a Spitfire Akali drop troop, but when running out of orders, he went to go for both of my Zuyong at once, and lost the firefight.

He managed to bring on a Cube Jaeger behind my Libertos, took him out and went on to cause a lot of mischief in my back lines.

I pushed forward with the three remaining active members of my link to finally deal with that blasted Nisse Sniper at a solid range for the HMG.

The weight of dice was enough and he went unconscious. With the sniper down, I was clear to move around on the right hand side of the board that had been shut down for me so far.

The Hunzakut snuck up the flank and managed to Forward Observe a remote, narrowly avoiding being set on fire by an Auxbot. Objectives done, I dropped a mine to help lock the surviving Pan O forces down and pulled back.

With four cards scored, I was on a full 10 objective points. KR15 had one classified so could theoretically score three in a round and bring the game back to a draw.

In the rush to try and score a fifth objective, I walked one of my Zuyong into his hacker. Fortunately, my careless moment didn't cost me, and I managed to get a last objective. In the last turn, KR15 managed to score two objectives, including one with his Data Tracker, bringing him up to five objective points. I still had the major win, but PanOceania honour was restored!

So, on to the last game, and the tournament was finishing up with a simple game of Annihilation against zzzinger's Tunguska. I was worried about the Hollow Man link as it's a tough nut to crack without hacking.

As I feared, it was a Hollow Man link, and my cunning plan of having McMurrough punch them to death fell over when he got hit twice by missiles on his way up and fell unconscious. I didn't have enough orders to do much more, so I shifted some positioning to be more defensive for the following turn.

Raoul Spector dropped in on the flank and started giving me a master class in how a drop troop can ruin your day. A drop bear was neatly dropped on one of my flank guards.

He then came around the other side and took a quick shot at my Warcor, who was lucky to survive.

And this is the result of the first boarding shotgun run...

Then he went to work on the main link with another drop bear.

Miranda ended up the only one still up.

She got into a knife fight with Raoul, as my best chance of stopping him. It was close, but he passed his Monomolecular save, and managed to take her down in turn.

I managed to hold up the Hollow Man advance a short while with a healed up Valerya and a Hunzakut deployable repeater. She lasted way longer than her points merited, but eventually she went down.

The only redeeming moment was the Dozer engineer managed to crit Raoul Spector, finally ending the rampage. The Hollow Man link finished up everything else, leaving only the War Cor alive. With 3 points of my list surviving, I managed to hold the game to a 9-0 loss by having caused a few points of damage on the way through...

I finished 17th, but I'm not unhappy with that. I'm getting the hang of Dahshat and learning about how to write lists for them. I've got a few more practice games to fit in before my next tournament, St Albans Smackdown in November.

Totally Crit Open is an excellent tournament, and I'd absolutely recommend it. They're looking to run two next year, and if you play Infinity and can get to one, look them up and give it a go!

Thursday 24 October 2019

Primaris Psyker from Gonzo History Gaming

A while back, my good friend James from Gonzo History Gaming offered to paint one of my Guard psykers in exchange for some minis and bits I sent him. It recently got back and I thought I'd proudly show him off.

There's some lovely little details like the cables to the force stave. It's also brilliantly timed, as I'm just getting back into 40K. (I can't really call it the new edition any more, can I?) I'm looking forward to getting to use him in a game!

Monday 21 October 2019

Skaven Test Paints Finished - and what comes next

Sunday was a bit of a late one finishing off a few projects, and it was bed time by the time I'd finished uploading all my blog photos. So my Monday blog post is a little late, but in my eyes it's absolutely worth it because I finished off the Skaven test paints, and I'm pretty settled on what I want to do with the army.

(Should you want some of these miniatures yourself, they are Oakbound Studios Gnawlochs.)

As I finished up the last three, I experimented with basing a little bit. From left to right - just Aggaros Dunes, Aggaros Dunes and Warpstone Glow, and Aggaros Dunes and Plaguebearer Flesh. I felt that the Warpstone Glow effect was OK, but drew away from the miniature too much. I really liked the Plaguebearer Flesh one, as it gave the ground an unhealthy feel.

Once the contrast on the bases was dry, I washed it with Agrax Earthshade and drybrushed it with Wraithbone. At this point, I start liking the plain Aggaros one a lot more. I still don't like the Warpstone Glow base for this project, but I might use it elsewhere. I actually like the Plaguebearer Flesh base a little less in the finished version, as it loses some of the unhealthiness to the shade and highlight. I suspect I could improve on that, but at the expense of painting efficiency, which I will desperately need working with Skaven.

Skeleton Horde cloth is going to be the unifying factor across all my Skaven. I most like the effect from the fancy undercoating method with Wraithseer, which is the one in the middle.

"Use the fancy undercoat method" bears across with the colours I want to use for the Eshin, too. I much prefer the one on the right, although due to needing to do some tidy up, he also got two passes of Gryph-Charger Grey, and I think that darker hue really works - so likely two coats for the Eshin!

So, I need to sit down and write down my finalised recipes for my Skaven into a book this week so I don't forget them, and move on to my next projects.

Malifaux assembly proceeds slowly. They're fiddly models at the best of times. The second Viktoria is now done, but her sword draw behind her back involved lining up the head, the sheathed second sword, and then the two arms - with the final join being along the sword blade, so everything had to line up perfectly. It's done now, but I was pretty sweary!

So, with two models done, I'm going to get another three of the first ten done and then treat them as a smaller, more manageable batch. I'll need ten to play but trying to paint and assemble ten all in one go is not going to be good for my motivation!

I've grabbed another one of the Reaper figures off the shelf if I need a break. Having something I'm not emotionally invested in to hand is a useful thing to have. I had a couple of brain frazzles in the past fortnight where I nearly had a meltdown because I couldn't find anything low effort to paint at that exact moment. There's still a lot of boxes to go through and it's not all sorted.

I have, however, managed to find a bunch of models for Purge the Pit. I've decided to go Inquisitorial (it seems to make sense to do so) with a definite trend towards the Radical end of things.

The original plan had been to write a list and paint only the exact models I need, but this month's White Dwarf teased something Inquisitorial next month - so the new plan is to paint as much as possible between now and then and then bodge it into a force closer to the time.

Here's a few of the miscreants and trouble makers I'm looking to get painted up for the event. It may not be all of them, as I've seen some Arco-Flagellants and a Jokaero recently. I'd really like to find one of my Terminator Inquisitors too, if I can! There's also an Inquisitorial Transport or two sculling around somewhere.

And finally, aware I'm running low on my Reaper figures that are assembled and ready to go, I've washed a couple of resin models ahead of assembly for future casual paints. One is a creepy mimic, I think from a sculpting Facebook group that was a competition winner. The other is a scarecrow that was sold by JoeK Minis. I'm pretty sure it's out of print now. And I think it was something he got from an Oz inspired range in turn...

Still, a good couple of models for Halloween casual painting, I thought...