Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sideproject - Valkyrie Down

Last October I picked up a partially built Valkyrie on eBay for $25.  It was an as is auction, meaning it was missing a sprue. When it got to me it was really only missing a few pieces, though it was enough that I couldn't use it in the IG army I was building.  I didn't mind at the time, because I love bits and you never know when you are going to need 95% of a model to do something.   I finally decided a few weeks ago what I wanted to use it for.  I'm going to make a crashed Valkyrie terrain piece.   I'm going to turn this....

Into this....

While listening to the witty banter of Nathan Fillion I assembled the remaining parts of the Valkyrie to be able to then destroy it.   The previous owner had obviously never heard of trimming the sprue before assembly and there are some pretty big gaps in the hull.  I tried to continue with this method of assembly to make it look like shock damage, we'll see how it comes it out.  I finished up the assembly of the model and now I need to work on details. 

I'm going to build the pilot, gunner and door gunner out of a combination of skeleton and the actual model pieces to make it look like they crashed, fought off some attackers, and then were killed. I'm thinking of picking up a bunch of heavy bolter casing pieces online to add on the ground around the door gunner.  I'm also planning on making the canopy appear shattered (you can see the clipped frame of the cockpit) and smash in the front of the model ( I am missing a piece of the bottom of the nose, as you can see) to cover up missing pieces. 

When I'm done it should make for a nice center piece for gaming.  I'm sure I'll be tossing my objective tokens on it every game I can.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Too Much Awesome

I've mentioned before how my gaming time gets infringed upon by other hobbies. Like an 19th century nobleman I just can't have one mistress.   I often feel the pull and have to pick which of my interests grabs me.  I tend to suffer from a bit of "whats new gets my attention" syndrome, though I've done better in the last few years.  Occasionally I have to pick among a few things going on what to spend my limited amount of free time on.  This weekend is going to be brutal.

Warhammer is having a big weekend, as Adepticon is taking place in Chicago.  While I never would consider actually going, getting sucked up and obsessively following blog and forum coverage is a natural choice.  This year should be really interesting as guys at The Independent Characters are broadcasting the final table.  I watched their test games and it looks like they have found a way to make 40k into a spectator sport.

The next event to grab my gnat like attention span is Wondercon.  Its a comicbook convention held annually in SF. A friend introduced me to it three or four years and its become an annual tradition.  Usually there is a panel or two about some piece of pop culture we partake in, but mostly we go to see the crazy cos players and see all the ridiculous-ness that comes from a comic book convention.

The last event is that it is the opening weekend for one of the two professional paintball leagues this weekend.  This event I've always wanted to check out and never gotten around to it.  Normally there is not much coverage until after the fact on forums/you tube/magazines but this year is a bit different.  ESPN is actually covering the event, on ESPN3's website.  Not exactly on sports center, but still pretty cool.

I'm not sure yet how I'm going to spend my time this weekend during this rare perfect storm.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Faith No More

Spent Saturday night painting up a few replacement models for the Raptors army as well as getting a game in.   I was also inspired to put brush to model, as I had ordered a missile launcher conversion from Irondog Studios.  When it showed up on Thursday I spent some time to finish up some Black Reach termies to build two.  I'll talk about the resin conversion pieces in a separate post, but the short version is I liked the look of them.  I had primed up a modified terminator as well as the Black Reach captain I was going to use as the Raptor's chapter master.

A few notes about the paint job the Raptors are wearing...

The army wasn't painted by me, it was painted by a good friend who is a much....much better painter.  I do want to put that on Front Street, I don't want any semblance of trying to take credit. No shenanigans like the 2010 Grad Waaagh here. The army was done by him trying paint up right before a Dundracon a few years ago and the rapid painting techniques employed to finish the models in a hurry look better then what I put out when I take my time.  So matching the look was going to be a challenge.  I was able to approximate the look of the models and finish most of the terminator and the captain model in the afternoon/early evening so we could actually get in a game that night. 

Without going into a ridiculous level of detail ( I hate battle reports in most cases, because they seem so self absorbed) I did take a few pictures and had some thoughts to share about the game.  My buddy (the same one who painted the Raptors) had brought his Sisters of Battle over to my place for a game.  We played at 1850 as I had wanted to try the Raptor list I was running.  The list I had included:
  • Lias Issodan (Raptors Chapter Master from IA9)
  • Assault Squad, ten strong with 2 flamers
  • Terminator Squad, 5 strong with a cyclone missile launcher
  • Two Sterngaurd Squads, 5 strong with 2 missile launchers and 2 combi-meltas
  • Four Tactical squads, 10 strong with a flamer and missile launcher
  • Two Devastator squads, 5 strong with 5 missile launchers
The basic idea of the list is to sit on objectives/blast the opponent.  It sometimes works, but usually runs into trouble in assault.  I've found basic marines are pretty good at not dying, but terrible at actually killing anything. 

We rolled up a spearhead deployment with annihilation as the mission.  I ended up getting to pick my side but the Sisters stole the initiative.   It turned out to really cost me, not getting the opening round of shooting.  His list, as you can see had many transports.  By the end of the first turn he was on top of me with only one transport popped.
The next few turns saw the Raptors getting whittled down one or two squads at a time.  I thought my assault squad could finally take the fight to the Sisters after both of my Dev squads getting cooked (along with my HQ) by marauding Sisters of Battle.

Regretabbly that didn't happen the way I had hoped, and my assault squad got stomped and made a beeline off the board.  Emperor's finest my butt.....
At this point my entire left flank had been crushed as the Assault Squad ran off the board, the Terminators got crushed (I failed 4 saves in one turn) so I fell back into the building, and tried to pick off what I could to get some KPs.  The Sisters moved up and began to return the favor.
The game went on for one more turn, I was able to pull out another kill point but the sisters got two more.

At the end of turn six I rolled a one to end the game.  Although the game ended with 9-6 it was a bit of a deceptive score as my opponent really shwacked me well.   The sisters had lost a few squads and a few transports but I was down to 3 of my original squads.  The Raptors were combat ineffective.  It was a fantastic game for me, even though I lost, as I got to play a round against the Sisters and learn how faith points work.  I also have to give anyone who plays the army credit as that is a painful army in the wallet.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Title Shot

Last Saturday I went over to one of my friends house and met up with him and another friend I game with.  Spent a few hours chatting about 40k and other things, we hadn't seen each other in a while.  After grabbing some dinner we decided on who would play.  I don't get to play as much 40k as my buddies so I bugged one of them into playing me a 1500 point game. 

Not to go on a side topic, but I really like 1500.  The game plays really nice there, and I think its more of a sweet spot then 1850. At 1500 you just have to make more choices in your unit selection.  In 1850 you can have a large death star unit, lose it, and it doesn't affect you army that much.  If you lose a big death star unit in a 1500 list it can be 40% of your army. 

I had brought my IG, which are a modified leaf blower list as well as my Raptors, a codex space marine force.  As I had been reading the Badab War stuff I decided to throw down with the Raptors.  I also wanted to try using their Chapter Master, Lias Issodon.  He's nice in that his chapter tactics swaps combat tactics for stealth as well as he shoots the sternguard ammo.  The Raptor force that I have was built by my buddy as kind of a proof of concept, its mostly built from AOBR models.  It's got 6 tac squads, 2 Devastator squads,1 Assault Squad and 1 Termie squad (Shooty termies with  a H. Flamer).  The army takes advantage of the free M. Launchers and Flamers at max squad size.

We played an objective mission and due to the armies lack of mobility, and the fact my opponent was playing a Nurgle list it turned into a stand and shoot.  I honestly didn't think the army stood much of a chance, I just wanted to play it. My friend I was playing is a pretty good player and using a pretty good army, he used this list to win a good size tournie in So. Cal last month. To say he plays a lot and does well is an understatement.  But the gaming gods didn't go his way that night..... not to bore the reader with a turn by turn account but the game ended up going my way.  I just boltered and M. Launched his army to death. 

It was a great learning experience for both of us.  I think I pulled it off for two reasons.  One, getting stealth for an all infantry army is crazy.  Having your army get three up cover saves is just nuts.  Second, the volume of fire this list puts out can be incredible.   Combat squadding some of the units to use as tar units so I can get a turn of rapid firing onto a few units was quite effective.   I did learn that bolters just don't do squat to plaguemarines though. Krak missiles are much more effective. 

I won't talk about my second game that night where I played my other buddy at 1000 points and got massacred. Nope...not going to mention it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Plethora of Gaming

After many months of not doing a ton with my models I had a rather gaming filled weekend. Since I haven't had a ton to write about lately I am saving the gaming and new gaming space stories for later.  I'm just going to talk about my purchase that kicked off the weekend.  My fiance and I took our son out to dinner and on the way I swung by a Games Workshop store and grabbed Imperial Armor 10, which includes the concluding details of The Badab War. I was really impressed with this one, it lived up to Forgeworld's high quality content in the preceding tome.  My only complaint about it was the price increase.  While the book was the same size as 9 the price went from the already crazy $75 to $90.   At that price it was still worth the price of admission though if I didn't already have 9 there is no way I would have picked up both.  I did appreciate Forgeworld including a slipcase for both books included with ten.  It did make for a very nice way to display the books on my shelf of gaming books.  I don't know about most people that have picked them up, but the urge to collect them has made the Imperial Armor books that much more attractive.

The content held up and I really did how these two books go into the details of may chapters that we have little details about from Games Workshop.  If you haven't cracked one open you should take the chance.  For those that are only looking for new strategies to win games, look elsewhere.  For those looking for more details into the very expansive universe of 40k it was an unapologetic view into what happens when one of the Emperor's Finest falls from grace and the methods taken to bring the worlds lost back into the fold.  

I also really appreciate that Forgeworld includes a nice poster with each of the IA books.  This one was no different and included a very large (3' by 5'?) poster  double sided poster.  One side included a hand drawn map of the affected area of the rebellion and the other the included space marine chapters.                               

In my next post I will discuss a very interesting game I played on Saturday and my quest to organize my garage into a more effective gaming and storage space.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Not the last temptation

I'm not doing a very good job of avoiding the GK temptations.  I was able to take a peek at the new codex and I'm even more intrigued.  GW has managed to create a somewhat unique new marine army.  I know there are a lot of polarizing views about the models (especially the dreadknight) but I really dig them.  That doesn't help my problem either. 

I could try and pick up just the codex and a box of models to paint up, but I don't think that will do anything more then delay the inevitable. 

I should rush and at least finish up some of my Blood Ravens before these guys come out, while I know there is no hope of me finishing my IG before I pick up some GKs there is some chance I could finish up my newer (I got them in November) Blood Ravens models.  15 assault troopers and 5 TH/SS terminators is not so tough. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've got to resist my urge to pick up some GK's. I've got an an IG army I still haven't finished painting (I've sworn I'll finish it during my son's swimming season, we'll see...) and over the last six months I've been trying to trim down the armies that I have.  I didn't have any trouble resisting the DE release in October, but I'm having some trouble this time.

I like the models, the fluff is okay, but what really grabs me is the play of the army seems"fun". I like how they have a lot of unique weapons you don't see in other lists, but you still get a lot of MEU.  The allure of playing a 2+ heavy list is going to be tough to resist.   Most likely I'll pick up the codex and be able to resist the shiny new army syndrome that I have been able to suppress in the past, but I don't know if I am strong enough. I've been telling myself for a while I won't fall prey to that most cliche of gamer behavior and pick up a new army when it comes out (at least until the tau come out, but I played them in 3rd before my leave of absence).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rumors and Stuff

I finally picked up the dice this last weekend after a three month drought.  Family life and Work had sucked up most of my energy recently.   I love 40k but it is a hobby that takes effort.  It takes work to paint, work to assemble models, a time commitment to play and those are things I have had much of lately. 

Upon finding myself with an entire weekend of no responsibilities, thanks to an empty house, I decided I would jump back up on that horse.  I played a pretty fun 2k battle on Saturday that I was pretty happy with.  I only lost 8-5 in the game. It had been going my opponents way, but Fear of Darkness'ing a few units off the board in the last turn helped me turn a crushing defeat into just a normal defeat.  

Trying to decide what to work on next, I think I'm going to work on my Blood Ravens. I've got some jump troops and SS/TH termies to paint.  While I have an entire IG army awaiting my brush its just frustrating having a mostly painted army.