Monday 30 August 2021

Druze Bayram Security Expansion Painted

Alongside the Dahshat Company models I sent to Thunderbrush Studios was a pretty extensive update to my Druze Bayram Security. Druze were my first commission painted army and I played them very extensively a couple of seasons ago. Unfortunately, their limited unit selection and unforgiving playstyle meant I eventually gave up to avoid falling out of love with the game and moved over to Dahshat Company.

With the new edition, Druze have had a bit of an overhaul, and a whole bunch of new units to try out. First up are Kunai Solutions Ninjas. These masters of close combat are armed with long range rifles they're mediocre with. In keeping with Druze Bayram Security's high quality vetting and hiring processes, you can even take two. I picked these up for completionist reasons, and am not exactly expecting them to shine.

Next up is Aida Swanson, a smuggler and secret alien infiltrator. I suspect Druze Bayram Security don't so much have an HR department but rather a creepy guy in a dive bar picking up anyone who's willing to kill people for money and is good at it. The vetting is more "are you a narc?" than checking for war crimes...

Aida is a profile I'm really rather curious about. She forward deploys with submachine guns and viral mines, so is quite capable of messing people up. Lacking a market state, she's not well placed to defend and is more a short ranged attack piece who will kill lightly armoured targets super dead and disrupt the midfield.

Taowu, Mastermind and Schemer is a criminal mastermind who has a side hustle as a futuristic sports star. As you do. With the ability to disguise himself as another model, some nasty close combat tricks and brutal short ranged loadout options, I think he's probably a back-field sweeper model who waits for attackers to get close, then leads an unexpected counter attack.

Security Chief Arslan was available in N3, but the model came out pretty late in the edition and I hadn't gotten around to picking him up. He's a character from the Outrage graphic novel that Corvus Belli published, which is well worth a look if you haven't picked it up.

He's in a weird place as a unit profile. He's got across the board good MI stats with a solid middle of the road weapon load out - MULTI Rifle, Light Shotgun and Viral Pistol gives you solid options for killing most targets, especially with +1 Dam on his shooting. Dodge +3 and No Wound Incapacitation ups his survivability, but the lack of Shock Immunity means he's not as tough has he could be - he's well placed to survive a lucky shot back but shouldn't be trying to defend in the Reactive Turn. The Multispectral Visor L1 rounds him out, meaning he's got gear for pretty much every circumstance.

I kind of love Arslan in N4 because he's such a good example of a character's rules exemplifying a faction's theme. Druze are a criminal organisation with a paramilitary arm, not professional soldiers. They're well equipped veterans despite that, and have a wide range of gear. But they lack some of the top end military options that full armies can deploy.

Mechanically, the biggest deal in terms of new units for Druze Bayram Security is the ability to take Bulleteers. Pan Oceania has clearly decided to sell more of their higher end tech to mercenary companies, probably because they like money. These cheap and cheerful Mimetism -6 gun platforms are super hard to hit, meaning that they can get into a whole bunch of gun fights quite happily.

I have also had an Anaconda painted, but photos will have to wait as she took a small ding in the post and needs some repairs. Once that's done I'll get her up on the blog.

The post shouldn't be taken as a commentary on the overall changes to the faction. The increased fireteam flexibility around Brawlers and Bounty Hunters is in many ways far more of a boost, I suspect. Limiting armies to fifteen models will also help the Druze avoid getting swarmed, which was historically a risk for them. They've also gained the Wulver mercenary Wolfgang and the trans icon engineer Fiddler, but their models are only just coming out now and I've not got them painted just yet.

I'm not planning on diving back into Druze immediately. I've been focussing on the Shasvastii as I get them painted up, although my Defiance Pledge not having turned up means that my first few in person games are going to be Dahshat Company. Still, they're basically a ready to go army and I remain deeply fond of them, so I will certainly get back to them in time . . .

Thursday 26 August 2021

Dahshat Company Expansion Painted

With my old commission painter having sadly hung up his brushes, I decided to give Thunderbrush Studio a go at my neon Infinity scheme. As you can see, he's done very well with it! Today I'm showing the models he completed for me for Dahshat Company.

First up is the Motorised 112 - an Ariadnan doctor on a motorbike. The model had a high SWC cost in the last edition, but his N4 update removed that, meaning I'm likely to be quite tempted to take him in lists now.

The Dozer was a more common pick, as it unlocks Traktor Mul remotes, which are super cheap orders. I already have the old model for the Dozer, but she technically has the wrong weapon load out to take Traktor Muls. Having the ability to be clearer on the table for my opponent is a good thing, even if it isn't strictly required.

I also grabbed the newer Zhencha model, again for the alternative weapon load out. This was less "necessary" as the model usually starts as a camo token so is unlikely to cause confusion on the tabletop, but the model is just so cool looking I felt I had to pick it up.

Finally for the Dahshat company batch, we've got the absolute beast that is the Maghariba Guard. I never quite got around to trying this out in N3, so I'm looking forward to trying some builds that include it.

Here she is standing next to the Dozer Engineer to give some idea of scale. The whole model is metal, so it's really heavy to pick up. I'll definitely be packing her with a lot of foam!

I haven't really had a chance to try playing with Dahshat Company in the new edition yet - I've mostly been focussing on getting my Shasvastii game up to par. They're in an interesting place. Last edition they benefitted from taking a couple of strong attack pieces with loads and loads of cheap troops as back up.

The new edition limits you to fifteen models in a list, so that build isn't going to be happening any more. I'm also not quite sure how well it would actually do in the new edition. It relied on a lot of high burst weapons, but as the new edition favours armour a little more, I think those builds lack a solution to heavy armour. It's a fundamental rethink in terms of playstyle, and I'm looking forward to trying to solve that puzzle.

Monday 23 August 2021

A short update

Well, it turns out that the overly optimistic tidying plan was pretty catastrophic on my blogging schedule. Things are all back in boxes now, in a bit better order. There's still some stuff to sort, but that's in one place and I'm pretty happy I know where it's all at.

I've been Outside, going to a friend's wedding. It was pretty exhausting. I'm planning on not really doing more than one tournament a quarter while I get used to human interaction again, and have signed up to a big Malifaux tournament in November.

Of course, when I did this I hadn't realised they had a minimum painting standard, and I can't just run the bare plastic I had assembled, so it looks like I've got another deadline. That's the Stormcast on the back burner and Malifaux to the top of the pile.

My neon NA2 forces for Infinity have had some reinforcements back from my new commission painter. I need to do some organising of those photos but will get them up on the blog soon. I've also signed up to an "in person" league with my Dahshat, as I don't have quite all the right pieces assembled for my Shasvastii to play in person just yet. (I mean, I have enough models painted for a legal force, but I'm missing some pieces I want to use, so am going to wait for them to get done.)

All in all, things are pretty OK, just not really interesting stuff to blog. Hopefully that'll change in the coming weeks...

Monday 2 August 2021

White Dwarf is Pretty Good Right Now

As my readers in the UK will know, the other week was too hot to do anything sensible. Conveniently, I found the latest White Dwarf lying around, and thought I'd give it a read. I have a subscription, but I've not been reading them for a little bit. I was notably pleased to see that the packaging it came in was now recyclable.

The big focus of this issue was that Jervis Johnson has retired, so they were taking a look at his career. I don't think there's any dispute that Jervis has been a massive influence on the Games Workshop hobby over the years. The issue really served to emphasise that.

The J Files were an old article where Jervis was given some column space to have a bit of a ramble on whatever he felt like. It saw a final return for Jervis to talk about the importance of the hobby to people and the impact it has on people's lives. I like talk pieces like this in moderation, and they weren't enough here that it started to drag.

There was plenty of delicious nostalgia this issue, looking over loads of stuff I remember from my Yoof. Being reminded of loads of cool articles I would read at school, or in my bedroom at home growing up was a nice feeling. I keep thinking about going back to re-read this, which is always a good sign.

In a "what's old is new again", they're doing "Tale of Four Warlords" again. There was a little bit of reality crashing in as these articles were written back in the middle of full lockdown. If it wasn't for that, the new figures aside, it would have fit happily into the White Dwarfs I remember and love.

There were a good few fan / hobbyist armies articles as well. They gave me a bunch of hobby ideas and got me really enthused about painting. I kind of want to stop writing this blog and go back and look at the models again.

There was also a whole bunch of rules for stuff. A couple of 40K articles, some Blood Bowl stuff, scenarios for Aeronautica Imperialis . . . While I don't play all the small games, new content for most of them was a really good sign of support that I appreciated. Age of Sigmar just had hobby articles, but I suspect that this is due to the recently released new edition and production schedules.

I particularly felt the article for Torchbearer fleets looked excellent. This was an option to build an army around the combined fleets escorting Primaris to meet their new chapter. While I was a little sad they missed Sisters of Silence out of the models you can take in it, it gives a ton of interesting options. I'm not sure if it's legal for tournaments, but that level of "new stuff you can try" really got me excited to see what else they'll put out.

So, in summary, White Dwarf is pretty good right now. I did give that away with the title, but this isn't really a complicated concept. They've got a good balance of hobby stuff across their different games, new rules and fun games you can try out if you're playing regularly, and stuff that could inspire you to a new hobby project. It felt a lot like the old White Dwarfs I used to read as a kid, and that can really only be a good thing.