Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Double Army Painting Update

Hey there, Internet. I've been plugging away again at some painting projects. For one reason or another, I've gotten the Eldar bug again. I played Eldar a while back, lost four games in a row terribly then put them back up on the shelf. This was about a year and half ago. The issue I think was that I wasn't playing to the Eldar strengths by having the army support each other. The Tau list that I played required a certain amount of synergy to be successful. If I can take those skills and tactics, I think I can apply them to Eldar with some modifications.

Anywho, painting. The models that really set the Eldar apart for me were the Wraithguard and Wraithlords. My starting army had three lords and a small 4 man guard unit. I'm now up to the full 10 man Wraithguard unit with Warlock to make them a troop choice.
I'm working on the original 5 man unit to start.

They start out with a solid black base coat (courtesy of Black Gesso), then coat the whole model with Astronomicon Grey. I do a really rough stipple/dry brush on all the top facing surfaces with White then wash the entire thing in Vallejo Smoke. Vallejo Smoke comes out super super thick so I add a lot of water to it. Why Smoke instead of Devlin Mud or even an oil wash of Sienna? Smoke has this really nice dirty quality to it that does some solid weathering without a lot of effort.

From there its got to dry for a while. Take some Desert Yellow (one of my new favorite colors) and put down some base colors on the top facing surfaces again. The Smoke layer is now your shadow colors. Allowing a little bit of that edge to be seen gives it a great chipped up effect. Heavy dry brush some Bone color, and follow up with White for the best contrast. Done. The gun was done up with some watered down Chardon Granite then washed black. The head is just straight black for now but it'll be getting some attention soon.

My other army, the Raptor Legion, has just received a nice shot in the arm for base colors. The Vallejo Surface primer painted on looks just like the olive green I'm aiming for. Pictured here, you got 5 Terminators, 10 Tacticals, 10 Assualts without jump packs, 5 Assault Termies, and a Baal Predator. All done within about an hour or so.

The Surface Primer brings the primer and base coat to the table so you save a lot of time overall.
Here's a close up of one the Assault Terminators with a resin sheild from MaxMini or Scibor, I can't recall.

Close shot of the Predator.


I apologize for the image quality. During the move, I found my camera but the battery died and the charger is still missing. As soon as I track it down, I'll try to do a tutorial or two so you can see my process.

Until next time, have a safe Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getcha' Rats Here!

The bell tolls for my Skaven. Yes, after countless battles and many victories, it's time I said goodbye to the little ratmen. Since I moved recently, I've been weighing in on my collections of stuff and make decisions on what I actually use. The Skaven have been on the shelf for almost a year now and I have no desire to swing back to them. So, instead of giving away the army like I did with my Empire, I'm putting it up for sale. I want to make sure that its going to someone who is going to use it, because its a nice army.

I'll be breaking everything down here and if you are interested, you can contact me at impossibleblock (at) about pricing. If you want more photos of the units or characters, I can do that too. These guys are taking up space that can be used for my other interests. Priced to move here, people.

If you feel weird about money exchanges, I am looking for Eldar stuff and Space Marine stuff. If you got something I might be interested in for a trade, just shoot me an e-mail.

Everything is fully painted (including those yellow eyes) and based. I can also break up things, like the big units I can make smaller (instead of 50 rats, two units of 25, etc.). Without further ado, my Skaven:

Army wide shot (not pictured: two Doomwheels

A unit of about 20 to 25 Clanrats

30 rat block of Giant Rats of Many Colors, 4 packmaster including the Character Packmaster

Big block of 50 clanrats

Block of 24~25 Plague Monks

10 Plague Censer Bearers (these guys are awesome BTW)

My two commanders: one with an Ogre Mount, the other on a Warlitter

5 Plague Wind Globes (I think I have another 8 or so unpainted)

More character: the BSB, Rat-hound mount, and Warplock Engineer

10 Gutter Runners, converted from Plague Monks

And a Screaming Bell/Plague Furnance that's been magnetized fully

There are a few things that are not pictured: I also have two Doomwheels, a converted Warpfire Thrower, a Rattling Gun, and an pretty much a whole Island of Blood set that is un-built.

Rather than list a price, if you're interested, shoot me an offer. I'm willing to haggle. I have a price in mind but it's geared to sell so I can make space. I can also break up the sets if you just need like 5 rats for whatever reason. Contact me at impossibleblock (at) for more details. Thanks everybody.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Priming in Winter

Primer. Love it or hate it, it's one of those essential evils of the hobby. When I first started, I learned the hard way multiple times about the difference between painting on primed and un-primed models. The first arguement is whether you even need to prime certain models, e.g. plastic and resin. My answer is a flat "yeah, you should be priming, bro." The issue that comes up time and time again is if you have good environmental factors to prime in. Here in Northern Virginia, we just got our first snow. A minor dusting but enough to trigger Christmas decor to spring out at local stores all over the area.

Having primed outside in snow, it doesn't give you good results. So with winter right around the corner, what is a hobbyist to do? Here's a quick run down to just regular spray paint that I have found useful:

black gold!

Gesso is a classic art tool to help painters prime canvas for paint. This stuff is great. I love it. I think I paid maybe 10 bucks for it a while back. It comes in Black and White. The only trick with Gesso is that it can be super thick. I usually shake it up, open the lid, and use the flipped over lid to get the material out. I always dip the brush in water a few times to transfer it over to the gesso to cut it a bit, but if you over do it, it'll be straight water on the model and won't grip. If you go straight on to the model with the gesso, there's a chance you'll obscure the details, which is no fun for anyone.

The best quality of gesso is that you get an amazing tooth to the surface. Tooth describes the ability of a surface to grab the paint. Typically you hear this term to describe canvas or paper.

If I use gesso to prime a model, right after I get the first coat of paint across the model, I seal the base in with a varnish. Matt and stain typically, but sometimes a glossy one is called for. It just ensures that you don't end up straching the coats off. Here is the major draw back: if you prime with gesso, unlike spray paint which binds to the plastic/metal/resin, you can strach it off with your finger nails.

Surface Primer by Vallejo
image from the internets

I picked this stuff up at a local hobby shop. It's recommended to use the surface primer through an airbrush, which you can use almost straight away. I like to cut it a little with water, just to give it a little give. Spray it on, looks like the model came out of the box that color. What I enjoy about it is you can get it in different colors. I have it in dark grey, white, and german drab green. The green color is almost spot on for Catachan Green, which is great for my Raptor Legion army. If you don't have an airbrush, you don't need one! Painting this stuff on with a brush works very well. But watch out. The brush you use will get a little gummy, but if you clean it out right after, you'll be set.

This stuff binds really well to the surfaces and doesn't block much detail from the model, unlike the gesso if it goes on real thick.

Those are my two recommendations if you can't prime outside due to weather conditions. Winter is a good time to paint and hobby because it's crappy out. So get some models, paint, and supplies (beer) and get tucked in for the snow. Until next time, folks and folkettes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gaming like it's going out of style

The month of September was absolutely nuts. There's been a lot of changes not only to my gaming but my life in general. To get the boring (real life) stuff out of the way, I've been in the process of moving. I have been slowly transporting my stuff to a new place. Its exciting times, gentlemen.

In gaming news: I've been playing with my Raptors Legion (Blood Angels). The paint job is coming together nicely. I'll post up some pictures later this week. It's a solid olive green with white accents and boltgun steel.

I am writing a bit of backstory for them as well. Taking place after the Badab War, the Raptor Legion is trying to regain some clout and respect. I got pulled into an ad hoc doubles tourney and pulled third place. I don't have a lot of experience playing a straight Imperial Army but the learning curve is pretty smooth. I'm working inside of a self-imposed escalation battles with a decent amount of success.

I've made three 1,000 point lists centered around their commanders. So far, a Jump Captain (the Brave), a Reclusiarch (the Imposter), and a Librarian (the Soul) have all taken their armies to the test. The Jump Captain got wiped out, the Reclusiarch has been solid, and the Librarian is pretty good too. The Brave will not be advancing to the 1500 point level, but the Imposter and Soul will make it through.

I'll be providing more background as to the names of the commanders soon. I'm playing it at a deep game here.

In addition to all this, I've acquired the Warmachine bug again. My Khadorian forces are going to be seeing a nice revival with some paint and a few games.

In even more addition to this, my D&D group has finally began regular games again! I've been DM-ing the last couple times. My old roommate will be taking over soon once we finish our current campaign. That's going to be awesome because I haven't played the game as a PC in almost year. We have about two sessions left to cure one of the members from becoming a werewolf. It's a long story, but it's becoming problematic when a fighter starts to turn on his party.

It's been a gaming haven as of late. Tons of fun for everyone. Now all I need to increase some of the storage capacity of my new place. Until next time folks.

Monday, September 19, 2011

NoVA Day 2 - Late to Update

I've been meaning to get this up so I can start talking about my new project. NoVA seems like a fond memory, but according to the Internets, there was lots of drama. At the end of the day, I'd like to think that if you personally had fun for two days playing games, you walk away feeling good.

Anyway, on to the meat:

Day 2, Game 1: Spaaaaaaaaaace Wolves. Long Fangs, as far as the eye could draw line of sight. Thunderwolf Cav. One unit of scouts. And some Grey Hunters for flavor. I decided to try "First to the Fray" with Mordrak's Lads. Originally, I had first turn but he stole it. I drop the Lads into the scatter terrain near one of his Fang squads and just try to force Panic Checks where I can. This brings the Thunderwolf Cav back around the horn to focus down on the Lads. I could not get a single goddamn psychic power off. The Rune Priests he had were turned up to '11' and denied every single power. In addition to that, any time he needed an insane roll, like a 2 to save or lose the HQ, he'd make it. It was a tough uphill battle without powers available to me but such is life. Game Highlight: Incinerator Squad rolling in from Outflank and killing a healthy Long Fang squad by itself. Seriously, these guys are amazing. Result: Loss.

Day 2, Game 2: Deathwing! I've never played against Deathwing! Sweet! This guy was a great opponent. We were both of the mindset that we weren't hitting top tables so why make the game so serious. Terminators everywhere, One landraider, two vindicators, and one tactical squad in a rhino. Having to kill every terminator squad down to the man is a pain. Cyclone missile launchers are no joke either. I might just have to plug a few shooty terminators in my new army. Game Highlight: Mordrak's Lads fighting up against two squads of terminators and clearing them out. I also managed to get the jump on Belial's unit. Result: Loss, but actually Win! We screwed up the scoring for Kill Points (you had to win by three or more, and he only had two over me). The tie breaker should have gone to the Quarters, which I had. Unfortunately, even though we corrected it with the judges, the published results still show me as losing that game. Its probably why I was near the lower tables later on, but it didn't really matter to me. The game was an absolute blast and probably the most fun I had the entire weekend. It just bugs me a little, but hey, there was nothing really on the line except pride at this point, so I'll just keep rolling dice.

Day 2, Game 3: Chaos Marines! Double Land Raider! Khorne guys in both, with Kharn in one. Two sets of Plague Marines to sit on objectives and a unit of three bikes. Oh, and a Chaos Wizard-dude. One thing my opponent taught me is that anything that Marines have that makes them useful, Chaos doesn't have it. No Power of the Machine Spirit on the Raiders. So he tried to castle up on one side while charging in on the other. He went after the assassin quickly but ended up putting his Khorne unit into great position for the Incinerators to fly in. Game Highlight: One Justicar by himself killing the three man bike squad. I also managed to chase the second Landraider into a corner with a Dread. It survived but kept it out of the fight for a long time. Result: Win. Just couldn't keep up with an old codex. The guy was nice but he was definitely giving off a bad, bitter vibe the whole game.

Day 2, Game 4: Grey Knights! Massive Paladin unit, Lib, GM, 3 Strike Squads, a Vinnie, and a Land Raider. This was very similar to my last game on Day 1 but I knew what to expect. Instead of daring him to charge me, I made him choose between confronting me head-on or defending his other units. The Hammer unit kept having to help out the smaller squads throughout the whole battle. Highlight: It finally came down to the last turn, Table Quarters, I had two to his one. He didn't realize what I was doing until after the game. He had let his units die, I would have floated to another Quarter. Deploying too much in one side without respect to the mission is where the fault was. He was a good player too. Our Vinnie stayed out of range from each other, which was funny to measure them just outside of range. Result: Win.

So the whole weekend, I went 4 wins with 4 losses. I hit my target. I wanted to stay for the whole award ceremony but it was crazy late during the drawings. The big thing to pull away is a crazy amount of experience and now I have a fully painted 2000 point army. Feels good, man. The major corrections to the list are as follows:

Dropping Mordrak, plug in a normal GM with Grenades. He's a neat trick or two, but you can get more out of normal GM's with Paladins or Terminator (namely Psycannons). The Librarian can be switched up to be the Swiss Army Knife and I think I get a few points left over too.

Stormravens are insane firemagnets. If I can just figure out a better delivery system for the terminators, like Outflanking them, I can save TONS of points and either spread out the targets or make the units better.

Other than that, I feel really comfortable at this level. I played a game after this with a buddy of mine, Thomas. I changed out the Terminators for Paladins, dropped Librarian and made him Crowe, and swapped all the Strikes for Purifiers kitted out with Halberds. I also tossed in two Techmarines with grenade belts. It was pretty gross, so I might have to practice with that for next time.

As for now, I'm painting up a Raptors Legion from the Badab War. I'm loving it so far. I'm pulling out all the stops for this one too. White is a major color for some of the accents. Lots of practice with that now. I find it incredibly rewarding and looks pretty banging when

Friday, September 2, 2011

NoVA Day 1

NoVA comes and NoVA goes. Its been hard recovering after not really having a weekend. Thank god for Labor Day.

As you probably heard, we had Irene roll through here, but luckly with minimal damage to the area. I came into the Open with the goal of breaking even. My list definitely wasn't set for tourney level competition but set for a fun game with (what I think is) a cool character. Let me break down some the Pros and Cons of the weekend:

Pros: Terrain was important but not exactly game breaking. Each table had a good set up and you knew what to expect with each game. The different piece allowed for some creative line of sight options. Everything was considered flat but being in an elevated position gave you better line of sight overall.

Bracketing levels. I've been to a few tourneys but never a two-day one. Day one (which I'll get to in a bit) was very random how you got paired up. Day two, you played people around your same level. Pretty much all of my games on day two were very close or at least a blast to play. I think it makes it a better experience for everyone overall. No one likes getting stomped out for two days straight, though I'm pretty sure that happened to a few people.

Cons: The venue was nice and all, but no cell phone reception at the tables. Nit picky, I know, but it sucks having to go up top to get reception. I heard from multiple people that it was wicked hard to find something to eat. Since I'm from the area, I either brought things to eat or waited until I got home.

There were a few issues with getting some of the table assignments correct. Plus whenever they were posted, everyone would create this mass of humanity around the list. Then someone would need to put their hand on the page to read an individual line, blocking half the page. Really now? Still need a hand to read in a straight line? Come on, guys. Not really an issue with the tourney, just an observation. Maybe next year, a big projection of the table placement or a TV, I don't know. The list on the wall is low-tech and cheap. We're a hobby of creative folks: let's find something better.

Ok, now for some meat. For each I'll just give a brief overview and a highlight, good, bad or otherwise:

Day one, Game one: Nids
Lots of bugs. 2 sets Hormagaunts with 24 bugs each, Two terrvagons with their 10 each gaunts, three sets of Zoans, Flying Tyrant. I felt good that I had somethings that could take that much but my hopes were dashed quickly when my Stormraven crashed the second turn. I played too conservatively and let him come to me instead of meeting him half way. I ended up getting tabled, badly. Game Highlight: Watching my Terminators get charged by 22 hormagaunts that were boosted by two of the other big bugs. 66 attacks with re-rolls. I ended up taking 10 wounds on each of my four remaining Terminators. Result: Loss. Horrifyingly apparent, I still can't squish bugs.

Day one, Game two: Mech Blood Angels
Predators maxed out, 3 small assault squads in Razors, and two assault jump packs full, one with a chaplain/priest, and the other with a librarian. The terrain was all pretty flat but tall enough to create these valleys. Those created choke points that let me set firelanes and take out tanks as I felt it required. I did have a really good bum rush turn early (turn 1 or 2) and popped four tanks in one turn. What would have helped my opponent is if he included more melta into his army. A lot of his normal squads had either flamers or nothing. Once the troops hit the ground, my Dreads could walk up and bash them up. EXCEPT MY GODDAMN VENERABLE DREAD WHO IMMOBILIZED HIMSELF STEPPING OVER A RHINO. He has flame throwers. File under "Not Helpping". Game Highlight: After his deep striking librarian nailed the landing with his unit, I dropped a few templates on the unit to try to get it wiped. Didn't wipe it but caused just enough to cause a panic check the unit. I was more than happy to escort them off the board. It was a rough game and we both got bloodied, but really it was the terrain setup that made the difference here. Result: Win. At least I know how to handle BA's now. I wanted to play more BA's throughout the weekend so I got a better feeling how they played (since I'm doing them next), but he was the only one I got to play against.

Day one, Game three: Mech IG
Chimeras for as far as the eye can see, three gunships, a PBS, two heavy blasting tanks (the ones with rockets and, I think, a colossus). An Inquisitor lord and a Callidus from the Witchhunters Book as a last hurrah from the Codex. Lots of shooting and me taking covers saves trying to outflank where I could. This was probably my worst match-up and game. I see where everyone was getting their gripe on competitive IG. The PBS targeted down my Terminator squad to reduce their leadership to a "2", the Callidus pops up and templates them with the better shredder. I lose only two but now a check on a "2", and I'm the one getting escorted off. My incinerator squad outflanked in and managed to kill off a tank and the Inquistor with one turn of creative template placement. Highlight: Had to be the Callidus coming in like a hot rocket of anger that her codex is now in a magazine. I'm kinda glad she's not raged out now in the GK codex. Result: Loss. Felt like I was on a steady diet of my own teeth at this point.

Day one, Game four: Grey Knights
After hearing about how many GK's were there, I finally played against one!
Grand Master, Librarian, Paladins and a Stormraven. MSU Strike Squads in Psybacks. Purifiers and a Vinnie.
I thought I had the upper hand after he reserved a ton of his stuff and I killed the Assassin and a whole unit of Strikes before his other stuff got there. I still have much to learn. They came in and rocked my silver plated world. Psyk-Out grenades, rad grenades, and tropes all on the grand master. My Terminators never stood a chance. They all hit themselves at I1 but it didn't matter since he charged with the Psyk-outs, I'm going last :(.  Highlight: I found the proper way to utilize the Brotherhood Banner. In that unit, Mordrak can't be singled out but through wound allocation, and I failed a save on him. Banner activates. Bye-Bye Ghost Knights. His list felt stronger than mine and he gave me some good advice on not overreaching myself. Result: Loss. Tied for objectives. Tied on table quarters. Tied on Kill Points. He won by victory points by a 27 point margin. That's 27 out of 2000 points. Ugh. A fantastic game to end day one, but still, 27 points.

I'll hit up Day Two later, but here's a photo of my army with Mordrak's Fancy Lads up front against Belial on the Second Day.
"Come on, lads!"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NoVA List Finally! (I think...)

We are down to a little over a week to the NoVA Open and I think I've finally nailed my list down. I kept waviering towards a few Inquistion options but I have a feeling that Coteaz and his many clones will be all over the Open. Draigo was tempting but I don't feel comfortable running that few models. I'm pretty good 40K but not to the point where I can keep 20 models alive to see turn 6.

The hardest part about putting together this list was the last 140 points. Originally, I plugged in a small Interceptor Squad with a hammer to be a harassing unit. Everytime I run it, it ends up get blasted before its any use. I do have another list that uses a similar unit but with an Incinerator instead. I don't really think it compliments the list as a whole.

My heavy slots were taken up with Dreads, all of which have performed famously well (I'm a sucker for walkers, what can I say). Both HQ's were also gone, but I still had Fast Attack which was a no-go and Elites open. So my options are:

Slap in another Assassin - gives another dramatic threat if used properly but also has the fault of being able to get punked with one shot, giving up a killpoint quickly..

Get the Vindicarie Assassin a Techmarine sidekick to bolster his ruins and an Orbital Strike Relay - the Techmarine I still see as an un-sung hero in the Codex. It might do this just prove a point. With the relay, he comes in at exactly 140 points. As an Independent Character, join him to Vinnie, Vinnie gives him stealth (mentioned in the new FAQ a while back), Bolster gives the two of them a 2+ cover save. Plus if I need to, I can attach him to a different unit to give them that extra punch in shooting or with the Servo-harness, a powerfist attack or two.

Drop the Purgation Dread and throw in a Purgation Squad with all Incinerators riding a rhino - a really underused combo. Since the Purgation guys get the Incinerators for free, that's a flat 100 points, rhino for 40. The problem with this option is a really, REALLY like the way the Dread works with the Terminators. I could try to find a way to save another 40 points or so to make him Venerable so I can get the best of both worlds. That may involve taking a full Strike Squad > make a five-man with a Psyback to save points. It dramatically lowers the amount of scoring bodies I'll have, but the Grand Master ability can balance that back out.

Internet, sometimes choice is difficult.

I can make each option work in some way or another with the same core but I don't want to short change myself in the process. The third option I think gives me what I want out of the Dreads (plus making one more durable) and more boots on the ground that can burn things like a mean, mean man. Plus, if needed, I can make them a scoring unit.

So my new list looks like this:
Grand Master Mordrak, 4 x Ghost Knights with Halberds
Librarian, 2 powers (Might of Titan, Sanctuary)

Vindicare Assassin
Venerable Dread, TL Heavy Flamer //DCCW with Heavy Flamer, Psyflame Ammo

8 x Strike Squad, 1 Halberd, 1 Psycannon, Rhino
5 x Strike Squad, 1 Psycannon, Psyback
5 x Strike Squad, 1 Psycannon, Psyback

Fast Attack
Stormraven Gunship, Multimelta//Assault Cannons

Psyfleman Dread
Psyfleman Dread
5 x Purgation Squad, 4 x Incinerators, Rhino

That's about 38 models total, 18 scoring bodies with potential to expand that by a squad or two.

I had a chance last night to paint up every single stormbolter in the regular guys. It went a lot faster than I expected. Up next is re-tooling the terminators weapons to the black power weapons, build a new Rhino, and finish up the bigger weapons on the squads.

The last big project is the Stormraven's base. That's a Sunday afternoon. Its coming down to the wire but I think I'll be able to get everything done in time! This weekend though, going to Baltimore Comic-Con with my roomie. There's going to be one more post before the Open with the class photo, so until then, keep painting!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Checklist for NOVA and more!

NoVA is three weeks away! I'm crazy excited if you can't tell. Now its crunch time to get everything painted. I have at least three-colors-up on everything except for one model. earlier this week, I put the finishing touches on my vehicles so at least they'll make beautiful wreckage. I consider that a fairly impressive feat. That's three dreadnoughts, three rhino chasises and a stormraven.

The big issue I have with painting a big scale army is the repeating the same model over-and-over again. When I was originally planning to do a Coteaz list, everything was different from the piece before it so variety was great. The gratification factor is a lot harder when you paint up 40 guys in just steel color with a few aspects to stand them out. But I am very pleased with the results, which makes a huge difference.

Here's my to do list in terms of painting for the 27th:

[] Grand Master Mordrak (built but needs painted)
[] touch ups on some of the dreadnought pieces (cloth and what-not)
[] books on the strike squads and termies (deneb stone > brown wash > highlight bone)
[] olive for the stormbolters (about 20 or so, again paint and wash)
[] power weapons for the Interceptors (4 of them)
[] base the stormraven
[] paint the strike squad bases

So not a crazy lot to do but its not a single weekend project. I suspect I'll be able to get the stormbolters done this weekend and Interceptors on Monday, Mordrak on Tuesday. The thing that will take the longest is going to be the bases for the troops. I might try to find a way to use the airbrush to get the base color down but they're all mounted already. I'll have to find a tricky way of painting them without a lot of overspray. Or I just use a giant brush and hope for the best.

The terrible thing is that I'm already excited to get going on my Blood Angels! I decided that I would go for a Raptors color scheme. I picked up the Badab War and immediately wanted to do one. It won't be exactly like the one in the book but its in the spirit. I'm basing the army around the time right after the Badab War, so scouts and vets (the new guys and the guys smart enough to duck). I know they're technically a Raven Guard chapter but I really like the flexiblity of the Blood Angels codex. The Dawn of War II army painter is helping a lot in determining how they're going to look. Right now, its an olive body with red-ish brown boots and a desert yellow trim. I'm already geeking out about doing a campaign with them.

To hold me over, I started up on some of the BA models to get my brain cooking. There was a recent painting competition at my local GW so I threw in Commander Dante since I was on a metal painting kick. Here's a good shot of him at the judging. Unfortunately its at a weird angle, but I'll get more shots of him once I have more of the army painted itself.

No joke, first power weapon I've done like that, and I love it.

Well, that's about it for now. My hobby time is planned out for the next couple of weeks leading into the NoVA. I'm thinking about signing up for the Painting Tree. If you haven't heard, its a service that connects painters to clients for commission work. I've done a few commissions in the past and really enjoyed the work. Plus I get to try out new techniques, color schemes and models. I'll definitely link it up here if I decide to sign up. Take it easy, folks.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NoVA List - First Play Through

I may have nailed down my NoVA Open list. It's got a good balance of torrent-o'-fire and gets that punch delivered effectively. Testing now is absolutely required after my first game with it. The best part: I almost have it all painted! Last night I put some finishing touches on the weather for my Stormraven and began weathering the rhino based transports.

Without further delay, here's the breakdown:

Grand Master Mordrak - 200
Ghost Knights w/Halberds x 4 - 160

Librarian w/one power (Might of Titan) - 155

Strike Squad x 5 - 100
-Psycannon - 10
-Halberd - 5
-Psyback - 50

Strike Squad x 5 - 100
-Psycannon - 10
-Psyback - 50

Strike Squad x 10 - 200
-Psycannon x 2 - 20
-Halberd - 5
-Rhino - 40

Vindicare Assassin - 145

Stormraven w/assault cannon and multimelta - 205

Interceptors x 5 - 130
-Hammer x 1 - 10

Psyfleman Dread - 135
Psyfleman Dread - 135
Purgation Dread (twin-linked Heavy Flamer//Heavy Flamer, Psyflame ammo) - 130

Comes in at exactly 2000 points. It took a long time to consider what I was going to run in my HQ slots, because that will dictate the rest of the army build. The Grey Knight HQ's have a lot of great abilities but sinking too many points into them will result you getting stomped flat fast. The Librarian offers fantastic defensive ability and aguments your troops into absolute monsters. Originally, I wanted to run a regular Grand Master but the build I had was almost the same amount of points as Mordrak. Mordrak gets +1 WS, MC Hammer, an extra attack, and an extra wound. The Ghost Knights already have Stealth, so attaching a Librarian with Shrouding is pointless unless you feel like you'll have your units really close together throughout the game. And the Ghost Knights can be adjusted down below 5 man starting squad. With Mordrak taking wounds, he can potentailly bring them back.

The Grand Master's abilities with Grand Strategy fit my play style a lot closer than just the Librarian. The Librarian is included there to really provide a hood and the Might of Titan. Sancturary would have been nice, but with the squad kitted out with Halberds I'll be hitting first at STR 6/I 6, following it up with 4 STR 10 hits. I tried to figure out just how many wounds this unit could effectively take before its lost. If going at best luck (taking one wound at a time, and judging that I could roll a D3 to pull in more Knights) it could potentially take 13 failed saves before being wiped out. 13 wounds on a 6 man squad that could evolve itself into a 9 man squad if your dice like you. To me, it covers the best of defensive and tactical decisions to get you a leg up early and often.

Troops are the basic Strike Squads. Yeah they die like Space Marines, but as my opponent said, you still gotta be able to kill them. Two 5-man and one 10-man feels pretty good. My last list had regular terminators, but the Ghost Knights are filling in for them well. Ghost Knights can't capture but they can tear through enemy troop choices well enough.

My Psyflemen Dreads are sitting pretty again as just really annoying firebases along with the assassin. The Dreads are able to fire every turn and draw fire away from other targets like the Stormraven. Stormraven is stock to save points and carries the HQ's and the Ghost Knights up the gut. Plus it has the Purgation Dread underneath it. The Purgation Dread is quickly becoming my favorite Dread. The Raven can clear that distance it needs to cover in order to be effective and then start wrecking face. Against a horde army like Orcs, its the MVP easy after torching more than 12 orcs in one shooting phase.

The Interceptors are the one element that still gives me a little pause. When they work, they work great. But they also seem to be the first thing to die. Even with a Stormraven in the face of the enemy, Interceptors seem to be a better soft target. That's 140 points that I could invest differently. They may get swapped out later for something else.

My opponent over the weekend was my roommate playing a double Big Mek list with a couple of Dreads, Battlewagons, a lootas unit, a few 20 boy units in transports, and a huge Nob squad. I got him down to pretty much half the Nob squad, one Loota, and a Big Mek with the Nobz left.

Lessons Learned:
Might of Tian is no joke. Getting the boosted damage die lets you grind through walkers. The only thing that was troubling the Ghost Knights was a huge Boy squad that was a thick slog through. I did manage to pull an extra Ghost through during that combat, which made a big difference in the next round of combat.

Nobz are also no joke. I tried assaulting the Nob squad. There's the mistake right there. I activated the force weapons to try to double them out quickly, but I failed the leadership test. We calculated out that his squad got five kill points: the Interceptors, a 5-man squad, a Psyback, a Psyflemen Dread, and the Assassin.

The biggest factor for me was getting Scout on the Stormraven. Getting into the enemy lines by the first turn can screw up whatever plans he had. I went second which was actually better because I got my cover save from the Scout move and then dropped out the next turn.

Sorry for the long post. Now all I need to do is to get a few more games in with this list and I'll feel tactically ready for the Open. Once I get everything full up painted, I'll post the 2011 Class Photo.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Battle Overview - 2000 GK's Test List

I finally managed to get in a game with the list I posted last time. Overall, I was pretty pleased with how it went. Of course, things could have swayed back and forth depending on our rolls but I think it was a good impression of how the list is designed to play like.

2000 points against a standard shooting Space Wolves list: 3 rune priests, 3 long fangs (two with Las, one with Plasma), 3 tactical squads with 10 men each with a Power Fist, Melta, and Combi-Melta in Rhinos, small Wolf Scout unit, and one Dreadnought with Assault Cannon to flavor, served chilled over ice.

We roll off and I choose to go first. Termies loaded up in a Stormraven, Psybacks spread out a little bit with their Riflemen escorts, Vinnie in a tower and Calli in reserve.

First turn = first mistake. It was my first time using the flyer rules in a regular game, so I had heard from one of our rule-lawyers (who is usually wrong) that if its a transport that moves flat-out and get immobilized-turned-to-wrecked, you lose the squad. Well, with a troop choice, an HQ, and a Heavy Support loaded into it, I wasn't going to risk that. Post-game I looked it up specifically and that only happens if its on your phase (like if you landing in rough terrain and take a dangerous test). So I only move 12" to fire my guns and not risk the crew. What I should have done is blast forward with all power to engines and start chewing up Long Fangs.

Either way, turn 1 consisted of me moving up the line, and destroying most of one unit of long fangs, popping two of the rhinos, destroying the weapon on the third, and preventing the dreadnought from shooting. Not bad if I do say so. I realize I should use the Vinidicare more for HQ sniping at this point but he was dead the follow turn, so "Ooops".
----He responds back by destroying the Stormraven and trying to soften up my Interceptors and Termies. Plasma Cannons shuffle back into position and a Tactical Squad moves forward.

Turn 2, Purgation Dread saunters up, some of my Strike Squads get out of their rides. And the Callidus drops in. The Dreads rock it out with their shots out, bringing the last Rhino to a stand-still and killing off a few Long Fangs. The Purgation Dread is close in so it lays down template 1 and tags 5 marines, template 2 does the same. 10 wounds turns into 8 dead marines. Hot damn! I charge in, kill one more marine, and low-and-behold the power fist kills him with shot straight to the face. The Callidus dropping rolled a 5 for the number of hits (right on!), and then only killed one Long Fang (awwwwwh). The shredder template got another but the unit didn't panic because of the priest.
----His turn equaled some more shooting and at everything that could bleed. Callidus took shooting from two units to get rid of her. The Long Fangs she lit up had only one Lascannon left and she managed the 4++, but didn't see the other Lascannon from the Tactical Squad behind her. Doubled out. His Wolf Scouts came on the board and assaulted my weakened Interceptors. The Hammer in the unit kept it real and prevented a total wipe out from the unit.

Turn 3 = Shooty-McShoot-Shoot. Dreads doing their thing, Termies walking up, and the Interceptors getting a support charge from a Strike Squad to help out. I'm slowly whittling away at their numbers but there's a lot left, so I need to start focusing down. I manage to miss almost completely the lone Tactical Marine with the Power fist.
----Power Fist guy rolls in and pops one of my Razorbacks (the Lascannon one). This guy has more than made up his points in punching out a dreadnought AND a transport. I end up getting some Plasma to the face and lose another transport.

The rest of the game was dancing back and forth while keeping the troops alive. Once a full unit passed the mid-field line, my Termies jumped it but I lost my Librarian to Perils of the Warp from casting Hammerhand, of all things. The game ended with my opponent being up by one kill point in the last turn. A rough, long-fought game but a fantastic test run.

Time for lessons learned:
Two Riflemen Dreads = Required Gear.
Again, still impressed with their performance. They lasted the entire game with 3 Long Fangs on the board. The Purgation Dread did incredibly well, but my opponent had a bad phase of armor saves that happened on that shooting phase so we'll see how he goes. He might just become a third Riflemen thanks to magnets.

Halberds on Strike Squads are worth it.
The Strike Squads are cheap and upgrades are expensive. One or even two guys with Halberds make a huge difference when fighting grunts. The Justicars with 2A (3 on charge) make huge differences in terms of on coming attacks. I might expand to include one more guy in each unit so I have more wounds to throw around.

Be prepared to lose ANY Assassins you bring.
All the Temple Assassins are crazy killy, so they will be a priority. Vinnie did great and Calli drew fire. After a few more games, I will have to figure out if I want to swap out the Callidus with a Clexuss Assassin, and utilize him as a counter attack unit to support the other squads once the line is crossed.

I'm hoping to get at least one more game in this week. As for now, gotta try to finish the bases and get three colors my tanks. Weathering is probably going to start up this week too. If there's enough time, maybe even finish painting the Assassins too. Stay cool out there, Internet, cause its sweltering in Virginia.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2000 GK's and the Callidus

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a Grey Knight list that doesn't feel like a carbon copy of another. I had a pretty strong 1500 list with an Inquisition focus, but at a bigger level I feel the Knights themselves can be a lot stronger overall. I think I might have something solid enough to do some damage while keeping the opponents attention all over the place. 

The current idea is to have multiple targets with each pairing being a threat, that if ignored, can put a unit down or at least tie up their attention. 

Librarian (force sword, Warp Rift, Might of Titan, Sanctuary, Shrouding) - 170

Vinidcare Assassin - 145
Callidus Assassin - 145

Terminators x 5 (4 halberds, 1 cannon, 1 hammer) - 225
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Psyback - 165
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Psyback - 165
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Lasback - 195

Stormraven Gunship (twinlinked assault cannons, multimelta, no other upgrades) - 205
Interceptors x 6 (1 cannon, 1 hammer) - 176

Riflemen Dread with psybolts - 135
Riflemen Dread with psybolts - 135
Purgation Dread (twinlinked heavy flamer // DCCW with heavy flamer, psyflame) - 130
[I think that gives me like 9 points left over, so Searchlights for everyone! Yay!]

Note: You're about to read me working through the list with some strategy and logic behind it. Just a heads-up.

So the general layout would stick the Librarian with the Terminators in the gunship. Rocket around or straight up the gut to create a sense of urgency. Slap the Purgation Dread in the back to get it across the field quickly. The trick is just clearing that 24" gap between the lines. Once its on their side, the Dread is just going to cause as much havoc as possible. The gunship only really needs to survive maybe two rounds of shooting to get over, but with the mass of missile launchers out there, gotta test it out some movement strategy. 

Interceptors pick the weak flank and either jump along or try an ambush an exposed unit. I'm debating on the cannon or the incinerator for them but I think from turn 1, the cannon will give me a better chance overall of doing damage. They can buddy along with another unit as a supporter rather than a solo unit. 

For anti-tank, the two Rifleman Dread, LasBack and good old Vinnie. Plus the multimelta on the gunship and the Librarian being able to Might of Titan should help support that and psycannons all over the place. So on a good turn, from range being able to pop potential 5 tanks of various armor values, I'd feel pretty safe. On a bad turn popping at least 1 to 2 should be enough to get the Psybacks and Strike Squads together to fire up.

For each Strike Squad and their Razorback, I can buddy up a Rifleman or the Vinidicare to assist in limiting the field. With three Dreads helping out, I also get the Reinforced Aegis and a Psychic Hood flying around. 

Now the only thing that might look out of place here is the Callidus Assassin. I think she's been given a rough time with the new 'dex but I think I might have figured her out. She drops in all sneaky-like within 3" (but not within an inch) of an enemy unit and is placed there. She has Stealth so cover is awesome, but dropping her into cover using deepstrike causes a Dangerous test. 4+ invul, and a FNP at a 6+, she actually can reasonably land in a terrain piece with a unit and survive. That is if I'm remembering my Deep Strike rules correctly (please correct my logic if you know differently). 

So she's landed, d6 STR4, AP2 hits on the unit. Just hits, so you take the raw number and try wounding. Against something like a Long Fang squad, you have a decent chance of removing a few from the squad (if you get lucky, you could actually cause a panic check in the movement, and then again in the shooting phase). Now you're stranded with a template weapon close to a squad that just lost a few guys. Everyone is trashing this template but I think it can really do some harm. The big deal is that its STR 8, AP 1. Sweet! But it works against LD instead of Toughness. Lame! or is it? 

Now, follow me here. If my logic is correct: similar to a unit that has a mixed toughness values you would use the hit individual model's value. To wound you use the LD value of the models hit instead of toughness. So slapping this template down on, say a Tactical Squad, you would be rolling against LD 8 for the grunts and LD 9 for the Sarge. My understanding of leadership is that the Sarge's LD is used specifically for tests, but the value stays the same in terms of the profile. So Sarge is gone on a 5+ and grunts on 4+ (barring invul saves, of course). No cover saves because of the Template rules. A small 5 man marine squad would have something to fear, but imagine lining up against a bigger unit. 20 guard unit, that template could do some serous hurt. 

If all of that logic stands up, the Callidus is pretty powerful and not as situational as most people think she is. I really wished they covered her specifically in the FAQ, because subtle differences in wording can make or break her easy. 

If she gets charged by the unit she's been blasting, at I7, she should be able to reduce the amount of attacks coming in and has the 4++/6+ just in case. Hit-and-Run gets her out of dodge with an I7 on your opponent's turn and you're free to finish off the unit with firing your next turn. More likely, she'll get shot to hell, in which case she's absorbing the fire of at least one unit away from the rest of the army. This is all based on a good target being available to bomb out and you roll with reasonably good luck. So, slightly situational, but if you haven't popped a transport with that much fire by at least turn 2, then you have other problems. If anything, even having the Callidus in your army provides you with an advantage in the mental game. Until she comes in, any unit out of a tank is at risk. 

My goal this weekend is to get a game following the list above in the NoVA primer set-up. I need to get as many games as I can before that weekend so I'm ready to go. 

Let me know what you guys think. Is my logic around the Callidus wrong? Is the Stormraven not worth it? Find a way to reduce points and add more units? Is she really going out with him? Is she going to take him home tonight? Sorry, radio's playing. Till next time, folks.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Future Project

Getting back into 40K in a big way now. I've always been a staunch supporter of Xenos and Fantasy but I have to admit; I'm having a blast painting up some Marines for a change. I've actually been reading into the newer Codicies and enjoying the fluff. Again, didn't see that coming.

With the NoVA Open on the way and my Grey Knights nearing completion, I've already queued up my next project.

Blood Angels.

I only played against them once or twice, but they have loads of character. I'm digging on Death Company way hard. Plus, they can actually make a well-rounded flexible force without a lot of sacrificing. What really got me was a piece I read about the Grey Knights working in tandem with Blood Angels. Afterwards, they mind wipe the BA's and send them off. As a background to the army, I want to base it around this idea and have some of the color scheme possibly translate over to the BA's as well. My GK's have a steel body but the heraldry is olive/cream colored, so maybe a split red/cream or even split olive/black down the center line of the models. Really like the 50-50 color schemes because each model really pops and you get to flex some painting skills.

The current boxes I'm looking to get consist of:

Dante x1
The Battleforce x1 (its got a transport and 3 troop choices, great deal)
Sanguinary Guard x1
Assault Termies x1
Death Co. Dreadnought x1
Baal Predators x2
Drop Pod x2

Its a pretty penny to drop on this (~400 bucks) but here's the plan: I want to get all of this by either returning models I bought and never opened for store credit OR funding it by selling off some of my old fantasy stuff. I have about 4 fantasy armies including a full painted, fully based 2500 point Skaven army. Fantasy is just not holding my attention these days and it takes up too much space. And the boxes of stuff I never opened were usually painting projects for fun or just cool models. I might also try to pick up some painting commissions as well. The idea is to get up around 2500 points with either models I already have (mostly transports and older metal HQ's that fit in most Imperial armies) or a minimal amount of money.

No real important reason, I just want to see how I can build a fun army on a limited budget and getting a little creative with the resources already provided to me. I'll post up on the status of this little journey as I go along. Hopefully someone can glean some information or some cost saving tricks from it.

Stay tuned for a basing tutorial in the next couple days. Happy on-coming July 4th everyone!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hobby Update and the NoVA

So I haven't done a hobby update in a while so I thought I'd share what I've been working on. As you can tell, I recently got back into 40K in a big with the Grey Knights. They were one of those iconic groups that can really stand out on a table if given the right treatment. My airbrush is getting a real workout. Enough to the point that I used the Vallejo Air Brush primer and it actually clogged my cup.

My new place doesn't have a good place to use the airbrush outside so I've made a little studio in my bathroom. Ghetto, I know, but nonetheless effective. Absolutely required: mask and fan running at all times. Not so much for the fumes (using acrylics) but I want to keep my lungs fresh.

I just signed up for the NoVA Open last night and I'm bringing the GK's this time. Last year I did Fantasy with Lizardmen but I want to really develop as a 40K player. One of the units I want to run is a solid 10 man unit of Terminators with the Brotherhood Banner. I've never really run a big unit with that high a save, so I'll need some practice for sure before August. Right now, its looking like 10 guys, 2 psycannons, the Bro-Banner, and all Halberds/Swords/Hammers, maybe Psybolt Ammo too if I find the points.

Since a unit like this comes in just shy of 500 points, I really want to have them stand out. Originally I was going to airbrush them up, but with all the details I was afraid of losing the nicer bits. I decided to hand paint the base colors and build the reflective layers manually.

Grey Knight Terminators - Class of 2011
Now if you know me, you may have noticed something I did very different here: I actually based my goddamn models for a change. I hate basing, especially static grass. I somehow always make a mess or inhale something. I need child proof containers or something.

More of ground level shot of the Boys
I'm actually really proud of the bases. I wanted to make the terrain a bit ruptured and rough. Terminators look kind of boring just walking through fields of grass to me. They're made with a combination of resin molds, regular hobby sand, and baked clay tiles that I broke up by hand. 
A little better detail on the basing
I'll toss up some better quality photos once I track down my DSLR camera (its gotta be in a box around here somewhere). Painting the bases was an adventure. Start with a dark grey base coat > dry brush Graveyard Earth > mix up some Vallejo slate gray weathering powder with water and spread liberally all over > once dry, hit it with Devlan Mud > let dry, do another dry brush of Graveyard Earth this time around the edges > finish off with a nice dry brushing of Pale Sand by Vallejo and you're done. 

I'm going to be running some Dreads in the list too. Here's some work in  progress shots:
My rifleman dread
This fun guy was a breeze to convert. If you're playing GK's and you haven't yet, shell out the bucks to do it.
A shot of the arms. The basing is the same for the Terminators
My second Dread - Twin-linked Heavy Bolter w/Psybolts
I got the Forgeworld Dread and magnetized the arms. I have the other one but I still need to get him fully assembled. He'll have a swapable Rifleman/Purgation pattern. 

Like I said, I'll get some more detail shots up once I dig out my better camera. I'll throw up a tutorial on my bases too. Until next time, let me know what you think!
--Mr. Blank

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's big, grey, and doesn't like you?

If you guessed Grey Knight Dreadnoughts, then you probably cheated somehow.

Everyone's favorite death-dealing coffins are back in a big way for the Grey Knight codex. What is it that makes them that strong? In a word, Fortitude. Fortitude is a nifty little psychic power that lets you ignore Crew Shaken and Stunned in the movement phase. With a leadership of 10 designated to vehicles in the codex, you can consistently pass this test and keep those Dreads moving. Now everyone, including myself, has been pitching the Psyfleman Dread (a Dreadnought with two twin-linked autocannons and psybolts ammo). I recently ran this guy at a local tourney to great success. He comes in stock at 135 points, so its difficult to not find room for him in each list. A lot of people are running three of these guys for heavy support, but we also have the option to run a Venerable version in the Elites section. True that does increase the cost but if you want to run a whole firing line of Dreads, its possible.

Let's start with the stock model:
Melta-Dread: Multi-melta//Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with Stormbolter = 115 points
As basic as it comes, one shot from the main arm and two from the back up. The general upgrades work well with this one except for psybolts. No point in throwing down 5 points for two shots. Venerable or Regga-Dread? Regga-Dread works if you're strapped but a few more points can make it infinitely better at whatever role you would have it for. Venerable version could actually be worth it with 170 points. Better BS means that MM is hitting more often, but as I said, a few more points and its a lot better than the one pip of BS.

Psyfleman Dread: Two twin-linked auto-cannons, Psybolts ammo upgrade = 135 points
Fantastic buy. Way easy to convert. Loooooooong range and twin-linked means you'll be hitting something every turn. There is a good feeling when you invest in a unit/model that gets to roll dice every turn and does something meaningful, even if its to keep vehicles out of one section of the field.

Gunslinger Dread: Twin-linked heavy bolter//Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with stormbolter, Psybolts = 125 points
Ten points less than the Psyfleman with one more shot but at a weaker strength. So why run this guy instead of just another Rifleman? The Dreadnought CCW. Fortitude allows for movement up field, 3 twin-linked STR6 and 2 STR5 shots can wound most anything save the heavier tanks. Rolling up on a unit, you'll be able to assault them in CC as well. Don't forget that Dreads in this codex are still nasty buggers in CC. Venerable or Regga-Dread? This guy I can actually see being an effective Venerable Dread. With BS5, you'll hit almost every single shot, and if someone does get that lucky result on the damage chart to immobilize or destroy a weapon, knocking it down to a lower one frees you up to keep barreling forward. This guy and the next one I haven't had a chance to play yet but I am looking really to it.

Purgation Dread: Twin-linked Heavy Flamer//Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with heavy flamer, Psyflame ammo = 130 points
Two templates at STR 6, one of which you get re-rolls on. Want to get rid of that Genestealer unit creeping up on you? Get yourself in the right position and just melt some faces. The Close Combat Weapon will make sure that you can defend yourself in CC. The STR6 flamers are actually strong enough to pop some tanks too. Then you assault the tank and tear it up. Venerable or Regga-Dread? Probably sticking around the Regga-Dread. The Re-roll on the damage chart would benefit this one the most because he needs to be up close where all those friendly Melta guns like to play, but he loses the major benefit of the increased BS.

Ranger Dread: Missile Launcher//Twin-linked Lascannon = 150 points
Stand in the back, keep firing. Fills a similar role to the Rifleman but a bit more expensive for the low-AP. The launcher's alternative firing mode can help with anti-infantry but only a little. This one is designed to make tanks cry. Venerable or Regga-Dread? Probably Regga-Dread again. The higher points cost is hard to justify but the higher BS helps a lot. Plus anything that's penetrating it is probably also long range, so a lucky re-roll keeps it in the fight and relevant to the battle at hand.

There's a few other stock options, like the Assault or Plasma cannons, but I don't see them assisting or making the other Dreads worse options.

Now there is one other thing that bears mention: Reinforced Aegis. This covers other unit close by (I believe somewhere in the range of 6" to 12") with a psychic covering. If a psyker goes after a unit in the area, they take a -4 to the leadership. That's pretty solid against even LD10. If you throw in an easy psychic hood, you got some pretty solid defense there.

Hope this was helpful, even if its a little late. Next up, a 2000 point list or some henchmen combos. We'll see. Catch you next time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tourney Result and Grey Knight Discovery!

So I can say firmly that I am very pleased with the Grey Knights. I play in a local tourney run in the local GW by a buddy of mine. 1500 points with the list I had in the last post. It was a knock down, drag out fight every step of the way but I had a blast the whole time.

The set up was single round elimination, so you go until you lose. I ended up having a bye for the first round then immediately got thrown into the fray.

Round 1: Jay with Necrons
This is the first time I've ever played against Necrons. I was trying to figure out how they would capture objectives with only a few scoring unit types. It turns out its because they are irritating to get rid of. We'll be Back and a Monolith tricks can make things really annoying. The pivotal moment came when the jetbike guys flew up, hit Coteaz's Chimera and popped it. I lost a bunch of henchmen from the blast then they panicked and ran (leadership 10, BTW). His plan was to escort them off the board. My plan was to take the Purifers I had close by and smash them into tiny pieces. My plan worked. Riflemen Dread did his duty and shot up something awful every turn. Kill Point mission: Win by 2. By The Way: deep striking interceptors near a Monolith = terrible idea.
Match MVP: Purifers. Two Psycannons and an Incinerator within assault range is dead nasty (Yo!).

Round 2: Brian with Meat IG
I have played lots of games with Brian but never against him. Multiple heavy weapons teams, a huge blob unit that went across the board, PBS with Overseer, and a flyer with a vet squad in it. First turn, I lost both Chimera and had to walk my henchmen up. It came down to me being able to shoot better and not get within range of specific squads with my head down. My Rifleman got up into some terrian piece up high and started sniping out heavy weapons. It got a Kill Point every, single turn. Brian managed to kill a Purifer with a single Psyker with a low STR, AP1 shot. It was pretty amazing, honestly. On my last turn, I finally managed to get my jump troops to leap over a building and assault the far right side of his huge blog unit, pulling them entirely over away from an objective. One troop unit sitting on an objective, another there, and my last unit freed itself from a separate combat and massarced over to a third. Finally swung a vehicle over to contest his objective: Win 3 to 1.
Match MVP: Rifleman Dread. How can he not be the MVP getting a KP every round? He's going to need a nickname if he keeps this up. Possibly a pith helmet and a monocle, too. Don't put it past me.

Round 3: Final against John's Blood Angels
John is a very experienced player who won a recent local tourney in the area. A very strong list indeed: Death Co in Rhino, 4 man bike squad, 2 preds, another rhino with assualty unit and a chaplain, a tactical squad, and a razorback squad. I knew it'd be uphill the whole way, but the crowd had died down a lot so it was just me and him on the tables to duke it out with Thomas (the TO) watching. Kill Point Mission. I take the first turn to deploy out. First shot of the game from the Rifleman - pop a full rhino, kill four of the ten marines and make them walk. Execellent opening shot. The Dread kept up the firing the whole game and made the other vehicles stay back and safe. Fortitude is amazing. Most of the time you can rely on a couple shots at least stopping a vehicle from firing. Yeah, not so much. Pivotal moment: Coteaz's henchmen squad lose the chimera, start up walking towards the 8 man Death Co rhino with my hit squad protecting incoming fire. I lose their transport, Death Co walk up and assault the henchmen and the hit squad. Here's where things got bloody: Coteaz triggers Sancturary (2 Death Co drop), 3 Death Cult Assassins with Coteaz's Hammerhand (since he's Mastery 2, I got both powers off), kill off 5 or so more Death Co leaving the Chaplain by himself, Chaplain targets Coteaz and murders his face, Fearless wounds kill off the Chaplain. That's an 8 man Death Co with a Chaplain killed in the turn that THEY assaulted. Later on, Thomas commented he knew I had something up my sleeve, "No one walks TOWARDS Death Company." The rest of the game was a ranged fight for the most part, just trying to kill off his massive squads with my small ones. Final result: Win by 2 kill points.
Match MVP: Henchmen. 3 DCA's doing their thing is gross. The unit I built could not only charge well, but take the punch and be a threat with Melta. Its going to require a little tweaking to optimize (dropping Arcos, sorry guys), but it could become the best unit I got soon.

So I ended up winning my first solo tourney. It was a great time with some pretty memorable moments. I promised John another game sometime because I feel I got crazy lucky and he couldn't make a FNP roll to save his life (literally, I guess). What helped keep me afloat was any time I had a unit out of a transport, I had to use terrain and LoS blocking correctly. One turn over extended and you give a kill point or two, that's the game there.

Lessons learned about Grey Knights:
-Never drop Interceptors in through Deep Strike. Really now, everytime I DS'ed they got murdered that turn. I lost a lot of points by over reaching the survivablity of power armor and it put me behind 272 points in most games.

-Riflemen Dreads are going to be crazy popular. If you're  playing GK's and you haven't gotten one converted, do it. This guy will more than make up his points. Fortitude will keep him firing and moving every turn. The amount of attention this guy gets is unreal. Since I've always been a fan of them, I think I might do a post on the Grey Dreads soon.

-Purifers are deadly until the very last man. Move 6", use the Incinerator, Assault, Purifying Flame. That's one model who caused about 7 wounds by himself. If you have a Purifers unit with an Incinerator in it, make him the last to die if you can get an extra turn out of it.

-Psycannons are no joke. Extremely shocked how well these things work.

-If you run henchmen, go for balance, not spam. If I had gone for just DCA and Crusaders, I would have lost out on a lot of killing potential with the Banishers and Warriors with Melta guns. Go for what you're comfortable with them doing and build to that. The DCA spam will not survive: I don't care what the Internet says.

With all of that being said, I am now building a 2000 point list. Following my non-traditional build standard, it will again be a mix of Grey Knights and Inquisition. This time around the focus will be on the Grey Knight side of the equation. Updates to follow.

Until then, thanks for sticking around. Roll high.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grey Knights/Inquisition 1500 pts.

There's been a big trend of Special Character lists that rely on the one-trick the character brings to the table. In a tourney coming up on Saturday, I'm running a Coteaz list. The big reason for this is the point limit is only 1500 points. I like to have a little bit of a barrier to throw in some bodies for when we start hitting late-game strategies.

The main idea with this list is to have solid, cheap troops and support them with vehicles and power armor. So here's the breakdown

Coteaz (duh)

Xenos Inquisitor
-power armor
-power sword
-rad grenades
-needle pistol
-servo skulls x 3
This guy designed to compliment Coteaz in another unit. Five attacks on the charge, stubborn, and has an AP 2 pistol. Once he's in range, pretty solid performer.

Purifer Squad - 6 man
-Psycannons x 2
-Incinerator x 1
-Hammer x 1
-Halberds x 2
Razorback w/Heavy Bolter and Psybolts
Classic unit. Can support or fight aggressively against most things. Dump the infantry out and create a nice little fire base that will go until the last man.

DCA x 3
Crusaders x 2
Arcos x 2
WAR w/Carapace Armor and Melta x 2
Banishers x 2
Chimera w/dozer
I made two units exactly like this. Now, I know a lot of people are going to question the Arcos and the Banishers. I like the Arcos to be honest. I think that any of them that get a chance will tear though things. The Banishers have the big chainswords too. The reason I've set the units up like this is that they have an advantage in every phase of combat. Melta guns inside of a chimera are plain annoying. Combine this with the two IC's into those units and they will likely stick around for a while. DCA's are very, very strong and useful but you hit dimishing returns on the unit if you take 12 of them. DCA's tear up, then the Crusaders and Arcos with the WAR if they're still in it. Finish it off with the Banishers and you're set. You can easily fight it out regardless of when you are going in the assault round.

WAR w/Carapace Armor and Plasma x 3
WAR w/Carapace Armor and Hot-shot x 3
Razorback w/Assault Cannon and Psybolt
Fast shocktroop unit with a good support transport and the ability to melt faces. Hot-shot wounds are icing on the cake. Roll forward, blast, duck for cover. I think this unit turned out to be within the 150 point range. I might have to invest in more units like this later on.

Fast Attack
Interceptor Squad - 7 man
-Hammer x 2
-Falchions x 5
-Psybolt ammo
A relatively expensive unit at 272 points, but will reek havoc in the backfield. Skulls will assist with the landing. Psybolts will let them pop lighter tanks like transports. Most jump infantry can get the charge on a unit if played correctly. On the charge, the unit generates 14 STR5 shots, 15 attacks at I4, and 5 attacks at I1. Power weapons and Hammerhand included with that can be pretty nasty.

Rifleman Dread
Tried and true. Its hard to pass up a cheap tank popper when everything else is so expensive.

Its not a typical list. I had a chance to test it out last week and I was happy with what I found. It can take out big nasties, tease out units in mid-range, and handle blob units. The main power is coming from the shooting phase, and being a Tau player as well, I'm OK with that.

I think the only real way to find out if the list is strong enough is to get it out in the field and try it. After Saturday, I'll let you know what I learned. Until next time, roll high, duck low.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nemesis Force Coma

Oh man, its been a while. So here's what's been going on for me:

insane amount of job related stuff
holiday stuff and family trips
moving into a new apartment
and just adopted a dog

Busy is an understatement. I think in the last 6 months or so I've gotten in about 5 games. Recently I've been going through a revival of my gaming spirit. Painting for the last 6 months has left me itching for a few fights and a wargaming wishlist item actually came true: Grey Knights released.

I had always liked the idea of a special forces version of the Marines but the book was so outdated and the models all metal made it difficult to bridge that gap away from Fantasy and my 40K Tau army. In addition, I dig the whole concept of a future Inquisition.

So yep, you guessed it: I am definitely an agent of Formosa. I managed to find the Coteaz model at a FLGS before the re-release. Since the model count is so low in the GK book, just throwing Coteaz down gives you the options to double the count fast with cheap units. Customizable henchmen units and new (old) models can give the army a really fantastic look on the table.

I've gotten one game in so far with the new book and a tourney in May. I dig the models, dig the strategies I've been developing, dig the painting that's come out of it. I dig digging.

Stay tuned, and I'll throw up what I'm thinking at 1500 points for a mixed GK/Inquisition list.