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.