Sunday, October 31, 2010

Minstrels vs Space Marines 1500

This is definitely one of the better games I've played in awhile, both because my opponent gave a great match and because I was able to execute a plan start to finish.

Happy Halloween!!

Hope everyone has a great Halloween! And please, let us not forget the reason for the season: placating the restless dead, reveling in ghoulish delights, and performing the occasional vivisection on a random passerby.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Skull Rhinos: 1 of 3

So I've been working on my Khorne rhinos, trying to find a way to make them distinctively "Khorne-ish" while still having them try into the army as a whole. Green stuffed speaker-faces were the norm for my Noise Marine rhinos, so for my 'Serks I decided on, what else, skulls.

First off a disclaimer: I totally cribbed this idea from The Vanus Temple. I make no apologies as this guy's stuff looks sweet and it was just the effect I was looking for. So here's how to do it.

First, spray some cooking release on the sides of your rhinos. Grab a hunk of green stuff, roll it out flat, and then press it into the quarter panel areas. With the oil sprayed on, they should (gently) peel right off.

Next, take some skulls that you've glued to the end of something and press them into the still wet green stuff. Let these pieces dry at least overnight, until they've cured good and hard. In the meantime, you'll want to wash the oiled rhino in hot soapy water so that your primer will stick later on.

Once the molds are ready, spray them with some cooking release and push a layer of green stuff on top of them. Then, carefully peel off this new layer. I then set the pieces onto wax paper and trimmed them with a wet knife. This part takes some practice and patience, but is worth the effort. When the green stuff becomes firm, but not yet hard, gently place it into the quarter panels and use a knife or sculpt stick to press it in Don't be surprised if you have to do a little trimming.

And there you are, rhinos with great looking skulls of the sides. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out an plan to use this effect on other models in my Khorne army.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to Strip Paint from Plastic Miniatures

So I wanted to do this as a video, but I’m still having trouble getting my video cam to talk with my computer. It’s a pretty simple process however, and pictures will have to suffice for now.

Here I have 4 jetbikes that I picked up off of eBay. The seller noted they he picked them up second-hand and that they were “painted amateurish at best.” He wasn’t kidding.

There are a variety of substances you can use. I prefer brake fluid as its 1) cheap 2) not terribly smelly 3) gets the job done quite nicely.

The soak is simple: put the minis in, make sure they are covered in the undiluted fluid, put a lid on, and leave them be for about 2 hours.

When you go to pull them, you’ll want to use gloves. Scrub them all down with an old toothbrush before you do any rinsing with water. If you use the water in between, it ruins the effect of the solvent and you have to re-soak.

As you can see, the solvent gets about 98% of the paint off, with no damage to the actual miniature. If the mini has been primed and then painted, you may need to re-soak again to pull the primer off.

All in all it’s a easy process that takes minimal time. Brand new 4 jetbikes run $60. I picked these up for $16, and by the time I re-prime and paint no one will be the wiser.

M[e]n of War

For my berserkers, I wanted a look that was distinctively ‘assaultish’ but still matched the theme of my army. With this in mind, I used pieces from space wolves, the berserker box and regular CSM. This kept the models in theme with my Noise Marines, whilst still giving them a more vicious edge. I also added some green stuff hair onto a few of the models in order to further tie them in with my death metal themed noise marines.

No official decision yet on the color, but at this point the typical Khorne colors of red and brass are out. I like the look on it’s own, but standing next to my lavender guys, they’re not going to mesh well. I’m thinking just a simple dark grey and black scheme with the same purplish skin I’ve used for the marines. That should make them different enough, but still cohesive with the whole. As a added bonus, my ‘khorne’ rhinos will be able to do double duty with my strictly Noise Marine builds, hopefully giving me more flexibility with both armies.

The objectives were made out of some extra bits. I figured, as much time as I spent painting the army, it’s a bit silly to sill be using poker chips and quarters some objectives.

Finally, I’ve gotten the airbrush that my sister sent me out of the closet and started reassembling it. I’ve got some (hopefully) good idea for my next couple tanks, but more on that later.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Like a Cross between Reincarnation and Cannibalism

So I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a thing for bits. Sure every gamer doesn’t mind trimming a few extras off the sprues every now and then, but I’m slightly more thorough in my approach to leftovers. I keep it all. Every last damn head, weapon accessory, combat knife – you name it. Hell, I even chop up the damn sprues themselves, because well, you just never know.

And that’s just on the intake side of things. Bits in my collection are subject to their own kind of First Law of Thermodynamics – they are never created nor destroyed, only stripped down and recycled back into my boxes like a used human battery ala The Matrix.

Problem is, after awhile your “bits box” becomes so full that searching through it is an inaccurate and unwieldy process. About 4 years ago however, I struck onto a solution for my little grey, plastic woes.

You can buy organizers like these in the electronics section of just about any hardware store for around $10. Trust me, you are going to make that $10 back many, many times over.

Besides the obvious extra piece here and there for the occasional conversation, you can actually build entire units from scratch if you are organized and fastidious enough with your bits. Take this weekend - I managed to build 16 Berserkers completely from scratch.

Similarly, you can low-ball bid items on eBay that most people won’t touch, because you know that squared safely away in your closet you have just the piece to fix that.

As an added bonus for us slightly compulsive personality types, these bits boxes (or “The Archive” as I affectionately refer to my cache) allow nearly endless cycles for organization and reorganization. Should you organize by function, i.e., right arms, left arms, torsos, etc. or are you the ‘thematic’ type, i.e., chaos-like bits, undead things, etc.? Go wild, its your party.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The "Chaoszilla" List

Yeah, I know, another damn list and its been months since my last battle rep. My 40k involvement has as of late been a lot like a 14 year old boy’s sex life: full of speculation and short on consummation. So it goes, I guess.

Anyway, I was thinking about ways to try and make a Noise Marine list that could smash face, when I came up with this idea. Its based off the infamous prior Tyranid codex’s “Nidzilla” list, and though it’s a quark list to be sure, I think it could pack quite a punch if used properly.

The “Chaoszilla” List

Daemon Prince w/ wings, Warptime, MoS (160)

Chaos Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, DCCW w/ H flamer, extra armor (120)
Chaos Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, DCCW w/ H flamer, extra armor (120)
Chaos Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, DCCW w/ H flamer, extra armor (120)

8 Noise Marines w/ champ, doom siren, P-fist, sonic blaster x 5
Rhino w/ extra armor, combi-melta (300)
8 Noise Marines w/ champ, doom siren, P-fist, sonic blaster x 5
Rhino w/ extra armor (290)
8 Noise Marines w/ champ, doom siren, P-fist, sonic blaster x 5
Rhino w/ extra armor (290)

Defiler w/ cc arm x 2, DP (150)
Defiler w/ cc arm x 2, DP (150)
Defiler w/ cc arm x 2, DP (150)

TOTAL 1850

So the general idea here is to create a wall of Defilers and Dreads that act as a screen for the rhinos and the Daemon Prince. Hopefully the combination of smoke launchers and too many targets coming in too quick will help the big guys make it to the enemy’s lines. If they get blown up however, its likely that the rhinos will have survived which is still as win: I’ve seen Noise Marines backed by a champ and doom siren hit, and it ain’t pretty. As a bonus, they can easily jump out of the rhinos w/i 12” of an opponent and torrent the shit out of them.

As a complete aside, I know Princes are out of favor, but I figured one would go well with this list both thematically, as well tactically. He’s literally a monster, he adds some much needed anti-tank, and with 6 Defilers and Dreads running amok, he should be able to find some cover.

Possible challenges I forsee with this list are playing against null deployment lists that are able to split my forces (esp in objective games), as well as Tau and IG gun lines that sit on their back board edge and pound me with heavy weapons. Needless to say, going second against one of these lists might make for a quick game, as the limited movement of the Dreads (and you don’t want to get ahead of them into their LOS) means I can’t effectively reserve everything and hope to dash onto the board. Even so, those CC defilers can be surprisingly resilient (DP and two CC’s mean they don’t stop unless you utterly wreck them), and with wings on the Prince and the kill potential of the Noise Marines, a savvy foe is not going to have more than a turn or two to dedicate to monster duty anyway.

As a final bonus, I’d only need to add a Defiler and a Dread to my existing models, meaning this list really isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Now all I need is time to go play…

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Time For Love, A Time To Beat Face

This is what happens when people are allowed to Listhammer in an unrestricted manner. Sooner or later, they reach that threshold where they are unable to contain their miniature wish-listing to the realm of mere speculation, and they end up buying a new army.

And by “they” I mean me especially.

So goes with my new project. Eldar and the Noise Marines have given me a lot of joy thus far, but both armies lack the certain visceral satisfaction one gets when they run an entire army across the board at full tilt and then smash face for 3-4 turns. Don’t get me wrong, there’s also something darkly rewarding about dancing skimmer tanks around the board for an entire game while your opponent’s prize troops run around sweating in their power armor, but sometimes its nice to be playing the guys your opponent runs away from.

So here’s my test-list as of right now, still a WiP:

Kharn (165)

Chaos Dreadnought w/multimelta, CC arm w/ H. flamer, smoke, searchlight (120)
Chaos Dreadnought w/multimelta, CC arm w/ H. flamer, smoke, searchlight (120)

7 Berserkers w/ Skull Champ, P-fist
Rhino w/ extra armour (237)
7 Berserkers w/ Skull Champ, P-fist
Rhino w/ extra armour (237)
7 Berserkers w/ Skull Champ, P-fist
Rhino w/ extra armour (237)

5 Terminators w/ Lightning Claws (2), H. Flamer, Combi-melta (2), IoK
Land Raider w/ DP (455)

Chaos Predator w/ TL autocannon, TL lascannon spons, DP (150)
Chaos Predator w/ TL autocannon, TL lascannon spons (130)

TOTAL: 1851

Because I want to keep my forces as flexible as possible, and because having an interior decorator for a mother lends a certain amount of OCD into an armies color scheme, I’m going to paint these guys mostly black and grey. (I mean, could you image ‘red’ Khorne guys standing next to my ‘lavender’ Noise Marines? I know this is ‘Chaos’, but there are limits people…)

The dreads are there for two reasons. 1) I like dreads and have been jones’n to use one. 2) If you read the rules, they aren’t as shitty as everyone makes them out to be. As long as you keep the side by side and on a flank (remember front firing arc), the chances of catastrophe aren’t unbearable. In the meantime, they’ll draw a bunch of fire away from the Berserkers, and if they don’t, well that’s two multi-melta dreads that are going to be piling into the enemy’s lines by turn 3. Besides, if they do shoot each other, that’s kinda cool too. This is a Khorne list after all, and Khorne has never been the discriminating type when it comes to skulls.

The plan is as simple as only an all assault list can be: rhinos and dreads rush forward, landraider and preds work on cracking open some tanks so that my ‘serkers can get at the sweet vittles inside. If a one flank starts to get into trouble, the landraider drives up and squirts five Khorne terminators on the problem.

That’s the theory anyway. More to come.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New! Improved! Still Inferior!

A visit from my brother-in-law and fellow geek a few weeks back gave me the chance to dust off the old Eldar and play them against my Noise Marines (who were proxy’ing as Ultramarines, to their horror). The experience kinda made me nostalgic for the little buggers, but alas, my current forces were still a far cry from optimized (two words – Foot ‘Dar). Back to the closet they went.

Some good eBaying fortune this weekend has changed that. Thanks to some shrewd deals, I was able to raise enough funds to get the bits needed to finish some of my skimmers and even muster some jetbikes.

With that said, I’ve cranked up the strategy oven and baked up a new Eldar list. This may not be the ‘best list ever’ but I’ve good a good feeling it will make for some interesting gameplay. Without further ado:

Eldrad @ 210

Autarch @ 90 (Fusion Gun, Power Weapon)

10 Storm Guardians @ 237 (Fusion guns x 2)
1 Wave Serpent (TL EML, Spirit Stones)

10 Storm Guardians @ 237 (Fusion guns x 2)
1 Wave Serpent (TL EML, Spirit Stones)

6 Guardian Jetbikes @ 152 (Shuriken Cannon x 2)
1 Warlock @ 53 (Jetbike, Embolden, Singing Spear)

5 Harlequin Troupe @ 122 pts (Close Combat Weapon x2; Harlequins Kiss x3; Fusion Pistol x2; Shuriken Pistol x3)

5 Harlequin Troupe @ 122 pts (Close Combat Weapon x2; Harlequins Kiss x3; Fusion Pistol x2; Shuriken Pistol x3)

Vyper @ 70 (Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon)

Vyper @ 70 (Scatter Laser)

Falcon @ 175 (Pulse Laser, Scatter Laser, Holo-field)

Falcon @ 175 (Pulse Laser, Scatter Laser, Holo-field)

Fire Prism @ 175 (Shuriken Cannon, Star Engine, Holo-field)


Now for some explanation: Those well-versed in the internet lists are probably asking, “Where are the fire dragons?” Fire Dragons, Schmire Dragons says I. First everybody has them, which makes them boring and predictable. Second, Fire Dragons are essentially a high priced suicide squad. What this means is that the Eldar player is trading tit-for-tat with his opponent when his ‘tits’ are for more over-priced then his opponent’s ‘tats’. Marines and guard do the some melta-squad thing far better, cheaper, and with actual troops, should they survive. True, my BS 3 guardians with only 2 fusion guns may not be able to hit the broad side of a barn, but they can’t exactly be ignored either. And hopefully, with 10 of them they may even be able to take some fire before going down completely.

Besides, I’d rather engage heavier targets at range, which is what the Eldar should be doing anyway. For this role, the two Falcons ‘guided’ by Eldrad and a Fire Prism should do nicely. What’s more, anyone getting too close to the rear of these is going to get some angry clowns dumped on them. These guys can more than handle the 5 strong MSU units running about, as well as put a dent in a full sized tact squad. While 5 harlies won’t likely takedown a dedicated assault unit, they will put enough of a hurt on it that my Vypers, Falcons, and Eldrad (via Doom) can take care of the rest.

Some final thoughts: I’m going with an Autarch again for two reasons, one his fusion gun will give a much needed boost to the harlies pistols and fighting ability. Second, I intend to use his Master Strategist to effect a ‘Beta strike” on most of my opponents. I’ll do doing my usual dodgy Eldar tricks by reserving everything, but hopefully, with the Autarch I’ll be able to bring in a large faction of my army at once on weaker flanks, shredding side and rear armour in the process.

As for Eldrad, well what’s not to like about him. He can sit in the transport most of the game and guide the pulse lasers (which as us BS 3 armies know is essential), he can help shut down enemy psychic powers., or in a pinch, he can get out and doom the bad guys and fortune the good ones.

Of course that’s the theory. Looking forward to seeing what it actually does on the board.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Death's Darling

After a few late nights of listening to non-stop death metal and "Dancing Queen", my Land Raider is finally finished. I've named her "Death's Darling". Can't wait until I give it a go on the table.

Next up will be some yet-to-be-purchased Predators and Rhinos. Probably because I've been spending waaay too much time reading YTTH. Until then -

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Centaur Bikers

As part of my generous and completely selfless desire to make sure all Imperials get access to as much melta goodness as possible, I've added some bikers to my list. You can't really tell because my picture is shitty, but the bikes are converted and use a sort of centaur type (bike-taur?) model.

I'm almost done with my Land Raider too...