Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Sky is Falling. Wear a Helmet.

So I've been keeping up with all of the new Tyranid Codex rumors and have been hearing this and that about Carnifexes in broods of 1-3, the Trygon/Mawloc, super-powered Tyrants, cheaper (and more powerful) Genestealers, something called a Harpy and blah blah blah. 

This. Happens. Every. Single. Codex.

The sky will fall and everyone freaks out about how over powered the newest dex will be. Frankly, I've heard nothing that is truly concerning or cannot be planned around. I'll get a copy of the codex and I'll look it over. Not to start playing nids or to complain forever about the gross injustices and codex creep.

Instead, be proactive about this change. Find the weaknesses in this codex. Is it time for plasma to make its return - due to the difficulty of hiding something as large as a trygon in cover? Powerfists will appear in just about every single squad that can equip one. And finally, weapons and abilities that inflict instant death (S10 Pie Plates, Force Weapons, Skulltaker, Wraithcannons, etc) will be somewhat popular again due to the loss of Eternal Warrior. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wisdom of the Ancients

First post in a long time - college has been kicking my ass there and back again. The next two weeks will probably be even worse, so my posting will be finicky.


Anywho, everyone knows that I love dreadnoughts.




Pictured above are my three dreadnoughts. The middle one was made from the standard Dreadnought box set. The one on the right is an Assault on Black Reach dread with the stormbolter swapped out for a heavy flamer.

The one on the left is yet another Assault on Black Reach dread that I converted to look like the Forgeworld Mk. IV Dreadnought that I oh so adore. I trimmed down the front of the sarcophagus, used a terminator chest piece and converted a "beakie" helmet to fit inside the headpiece. I then used some guitar wire to run some power cables from the Terminator chest piece into the base of the sarcophagus. There is yet another heavy flamer conversion and all that is left to do is to devise some sort of covering for the cabling.

Now for what I'm most excited for and what will probably be the centerpiece of my Salamanders army. I found a deal on eBay that I could not pass up and miraculously won. While it isn't the Mk. IV Venerable, it still a gorgeous model.

The Forgeworld Chaplain Dreadnought




Game wise, I'll probably end up running it as a Venerable Dreadnought. Modeling wise, I have the Chainfist arm from the Ironclad dreadnought arriving in the mail and all I need is a right arm to slaughter foes from afar. More than likely, I'll just use the assault cannon from my Dreadnought kit in order to get use out of the Venerable's BS-5. Having never worked with resin before, I'm kind of excited but know better than to jump on in. I'm doing my research and will definitely have to work slow.


Cheers,
Squirrel_Fish

Monday, November 16, 2009

Project Planning

Thanks for all the replies to my last post. I'll throw out some of the ideas I've had going on in my head. More than likely I'll try and balance out a mix between these options and hope that I stick to it.

1) Monthly Quotas
- Basically, the idea is to get 400 to 600 points (army building points, that is) worth of hobby done each month, whether its painting, assembling, converting or whatever. The time span is set so that I have to stick to it, but the points are flexible so I have some wiggle room in case of a tough month due to the demands of the music department/

2) Painting Points (Kudos to Harreh from http://mattsminiatures.blogspot.com for this one!)
- Basically the last idea, but using smaller numbers. I'll give various models a score and whenever I complete a said model, I add that score to my total. The total is how much money I'll allow myself to spend on the hobby. This is more of a short-term idea rather than a long-term thing since eventually you'll find yourself with so little points you can't buy a blister back. Instead, I might make the total poitns the amount of money I can spend on things that isn't in my army or armies.

3) Another Army
This is something I've been contemplating for quite some time. In one of my previous posts, I had talked about considering Dark Eldar as another army and had gotten quite excited about it. Needless to say, once I drew up a 1500 point list, I facepalmed at the idea of having to buy 7 Raiders and 3 Ravagers. However, another idea that I've had is to do an all Scouts Space Marine army. Yes, it's more Space Marines, but it's just something completely different than what anyone is expecting to see. Any opposition to seeing the Ultramarines 10th Company? The reason why I'm choosing the boys in blue is because I would hate to have to do a hack job on converting Sergeant Telion and because I feel there's too much Ultramarine hate in the world. The vanilla marines need some lovin' too!

4) Commissions
Highly doubtful since my painting/converting skills are no where near the level that many the other painters in the FTW coalition, but hey - if I can get them, they'll keep me enthused, sate my desire to paint different schemes/models, and help fund my addiction.

Cheers,
Squirrel_Fish

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Open Forum: Finding the Time to Hobby

It's been a long week for me - I've had two band concerts last week and 2 jazz concerts this week, so it's been rehearsal after rehearsal on top of all of my usual school work. I've been getting home at like 11:00 pm on a fairly regular basis now, doing homework or studying and then hitting the sack at 2:00 am for more classes at 8:00 am. Even if I had the time to do anything, I'm not sure if I'd have the energy for it.

Basically, I've had practically no time to work on anything 40k related. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem - we all lead busy lives and I envy the people who have time to get in a game or a few hours to paint on a bi-monthly basis or (heaven forbid) a weekly basis.

How do you find time for the hobby? Is it whenever you manage to get an hour or two of free time? Do you schedule it? What motivates you - commissions, contests, or just plain fun?

The floor is yours 40kers.
Squirrel Fish

Friday, November 6, 2009

Must Have Units - Eldar Farseer


Whether on foot or mounted on a jetbike, the Farseer is the lynch pin of the Eldar army. If I am playing my Eldar army, I will always field at least one of these guys. With a plethora of nifty psychic powers and a badass Seer Council Bodyguard, it's hard to see why you wouldn't field one of these guys.

Due to the specialist nature of the Eldar army, I feel that the Farseer is necessary due to his ability to augment any one of those units that is likely going to fail at its objective. Those Banshees not going to do enough damage to Terminators? DOOOOOOM! Do you need that Land Raider gone this turn? Guide your Fire Dragons and you'll guarantee that it'll be a pile of slag. Powerfist about to charge into your Wraithlord? Mind War him and chuckle as he bleeds out of his ears.

Most Farseer's run Doom and Fortune as their psychic powers - this gives reasonable flexibility with offensive and defensive support - allowing you to help out in just about every situation. Try not to buy more than two psychic powers since all it does is make your Farseer super expensive and you don't get to use the third or more power.

Jetbike or no? I find the jetbike to be particularly useful due to the +1 Toughness and the 3+ armor save (without which, Psycannons would leave my Farseer a smoldering crater) but understand that you will be walking around with a 160+ price tag in a fairly high cost army as it is.

- Runes of Warding: BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY! In a world where Jaws of the World Wolf, Murderous Hurricane, Lash, Fortune, Doom, etc etc are powerful game changers, you need to be able to shut them down.

- The Warlock bodyguard. They can add a whole lot of hurt in the form of Destructor Spam. 10 Point heavy flamers? I'll take that. They add a lot of ablative wounds to your Farseer and, when combined with Fortune, are super hard to crack due to a 4++ rerollable save (or 3++ if you buy jetbikes). Now, the Jetbiking these guys is going to be a costly endeavor. They will each cost more than a terminator and in order to be effective, you're going to need 5-6 of these guys. But man, is this a killy unit...

Eldrad Ulthran
If I'm going to talk about Farseers, I feel a little obligated to talk about this guy. King of the Farseers, he gets 3 psychic powers a turn (if he's not in CC), can use the same power twice due to his staff, wounds on a 2+ with no armor saves and allows you to redeploy some of your forces after the both sides have deployed, meaning you can have first turn and a reactive deployment. He's a powerful character - use him wisely since he is darn expensive. Can't have a jetbike unfortunately. :(

Cheers,
SquirrelFish

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dead Man Walking




As my last post suggested - I love Dreadnoughts.

To me, there is nothing more fantastic than a warrior who has been maimed, crippled or should otherwise be outright killed but refuses to die. Instead of euthanasia or accepting a non-combat role (a much worse fate than death), the Space Marine takes on the mantle of the Dreadnought - a machine weighing several tons, more heavily armored than most APC's, and armed to the teeth in deadly weapons. Sure, there's the drawbacks of having to essentially hibernate for centuries at a time or risk going insane due to being kept alive in a near death state and not being able to enjoy things like food or drink, but hey. For the Emperor.

I always find a way to field one of these things - even when it's tactically sound to field a different unit (like more Terminators or another Land Raider).

Vanilla Dreadnoughts

They're cheap and they have plenty of options for varied roles. These are similar to tactical marines in that they can be flexible in all aspects of warfare but can specialize to a degree.

1) Dreadnought with Multimelta, Heavy Flamer and Drop Pod - 150 Points

This is a fairly common set up. Having both a Multi-melta and Heavy Flamer allows your Dreadnought to engage either infantry or armor after exiting the Drop Pod. The short range of both weapons is largely negated by the Drop Pod. It's a fantastic (and relatively cheap) Dreadnought to use if you need an "In Your Face" anti-everything unit that your opponent will be forced to deal with.

2) Dreadnought with two Twin-Linked Autocannons - 125 Points

The Rifleman. This thing is made to slaughter light vehicles (Rhinos, Land Speeders, Raiders, etc) and man it is good at it. Against AV 11 or 10, you can expect it get 2 or more glancing or penetrating hits. Field two or three of these things and you can pretty much guarantee your opponent will be walking across the board. You won't be able to kill squat in CC, so stay far away and just unleash flak. Once you start facing AV 13 though, you're at an uphill battle, which brings me to the next choice.

3) Dreadnought with Twin-Linked Lascannon and Missile Launcher - 145 Points

This is the Dreadnought to use (at range) against heavier armor. It's less effective against lighter armor due to having less shots, but you're more likely to do something against AV13 or 14.

4) Dreadnought with Twin-Linked Lascannon and Heavy Flamer - 145 points

This is actually my favorite vanilla dreadnought. You have the power of a longer ranged anti-tank weapon as well as a crushing close range anti infantry weapon. Keeping the close combat weapon allows you to use this Dreadnought as a jack of all trades - if you need help in any field, this is there to help you out (but is not likely able to handle it all alone).

5) Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer (125)

Cheap and slaughters infantry gloriously. Try to aim him at heavier targets.

Ironclad Dreadnoughts

AV13 and Move Through Cover go a long ways to helping this thing survive. Unlike the other Dreadnoughts, a Drop Pod is practically mandatory or else you will spend most of the game running towards your target. Due to the close combat leanings of this guy, there is only one way I would field an Ironclad.

Ironclad Dreadnought with Heavy Flamer, Seismic Hammer and Drop Pod - 180 Points

This is the most common (and in my opinion) the most effective Ironclad. Have this baby drop down turn 1. If you are within the 6" melta range against a critical vehicle - do it. Otherwise, pop smoke launchers and wait for a turn. If your back is against the drop pod, it becomes exceedingly difficult to kill this Dreadnought while smoke launchers are up. If you survive, then charge forward, melta/flame whatever is juiciest and start tearing in with your giant fists o' fury. Frankly, vehicles should be your priority target. S10 and +1 on the damage chart from the Seismic Hammer makes a mockery of just about every piece of armor. If you have extra points, consider adding Ironclad Assault Launchers. Grenades are nifty for everyone.

Venerable Dreadnoughts are the expensive, survivable and more skilled big brothers of the vanilla Dreadnought. Due to a higher BS, I can easily encourage using some of the non-twinlinked weapons. You can field any of the vanilla dreadnought builds with this guy, but he can get really expensive, really quickly.

1) Venerable Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer - 185 points

BS5 Plasma cannon is mmm delicious. The Heavy Flamer (notice a trend?) allows you to crush anything that gets too close to your lines. This guy should gladly tear into elite infantry and has the option of firing into light vehicles. Keep him near the middle of the table so he can lend his might wherever needed.

So that's Dreadnoughts in a nutshell. I hope you consider fielding one of these armored behemoths next time you play. I know I am :P

Squirrel_Fish

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Justifying the Purchase


Picture Courtesy of Forgeworld



I love dreadnoughts. I just loooove them from both a fluff and game standpoint. If I could afford it, I would totally run the 6 Dreadnought Space Marine army.

However, having just finished painting one, I just realized how boring they look. It is literally a box with arms and legs. So, I've been tempted to get the Forgeworld Venerable Dreadnought (seeing as how the GW is a 3 pound chunk of multi-piece pewter - we all know how much that sucks to work with) because it's a model that just screams its presence on the tabletop and really says "I am a hero reborn."

As much as I love how cool looking this model is - I'm not sure if I can justify it's purchase. I currently have three dreadnoughts (1 regular, 2 AoBR) and the actual likeliness of me running the 6 Dreadnought army is slim. I don't even feel great about spending $12 on the Forgeworld Dreadnought arms, even though I really want to use Mortis pattern Dreadnoughts.

Everyone has a favorite model. What do you go crazy about when it comes to this hobby?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making the Right Choice



Following up on my previous post about having a choice in your army - I want to explore why you choose your army (or your second or third army).

Now, the following items can be done in any order and will weigh different for each person.
Assuming money is not an issue (which it probably is, this is not a cheap hobby! More on this later), you should consider how the army...

  • Plays
  • Looks
  • Feels

Consider how it plays. Do you like moving lots of models or being capable of out maneuvering the foe? Do you enjoy the feeling of throwing down huge amounts of dice at a time? If you're a new player, you might have some issues finding out what army strengths you favor. In my experiences, your FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) will have several armies that you can play with in order to learn or if you want to try out a different army. Pay them a visit and see what they have in store.

Everyone has their own aesthetic taste. Needless to say, this will affect some people's decision more than others. Do you like how a certain army looks over another? Is it the models themselves that you enjoy or the GW-eye candy color scheme? Look at lots and lots of miniatures from different armies and different painters and see what catches your fancy. Now, a lot of people may give me some flak for this but I recommend buying a blister from two or three armies if you can't make a decision. Usually, a blister pack is pretty representative of what you can expect for the rest of the army. I know before I started Eldar and Salamanders, I spent a huge amount of time going through the Coolminiornot.com galleries looking for anything that was just gloriously inspiring.

Are you always the good guy when you play video games? Do you just hate the idea of people acting perfectly in line? The fluff behind each army is probably an indicator to whether or not you'd enjoy it. So far, I haven't met a single goodie-two shoes who would enjoy purging plastic life from the tabletop while screaming "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" It could happen, though.

Now, I'd like to know why each of you chose your specific army? What attracted you to the cry of Khorne or the Path of the Seer or to heed the Wolfcall?

Squirrel_Fish

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

Or is it just the vocal minority just being particularly vocal? I've been sick for the past two days, lying in my death bed and whatnot, hoping that this illness that's been spreading around campus isn't gonna mutate into the zombie plague.

Other than sleeping and studying for my midterm tomorrow, I've been reading quite a few forums have come across a rather common consensus.

Everyone on the forums thinks that their codex blows. That's right. Everyone (with exception to the Space Wolves players who are still on their honeymoon). All across we have complaints from Chaos Marine players, Ork players, Space Marine Players, Eldar players, Tyranid players and whatnot about how there are so many things wrong with their codex, every other army has it much better than them and how it should be GW's priority to release a new codex for their army to fix all their problems and make them the uber army of 5th edition 40k.

Why is this? Well, I think that it's just a whole lot of hodge-podge steam venting from a very vocal minority. These are the kinds of people who will go into every thread and every forum hijacking the thread into "Sisters of Battle need an update" or flaunt their own superiority for choosing to play with an outdated codex. I don't really see why they have to do this. Frankly, you CHOOSE your army and before making a $300+ investment in models, you presumably understand the decision you are making. No one is forcing you to play Sisters, Daemonhunters, Dark Eldar or Necrons. You made the decision.

Yes, the Chaos Space Marine codex was effectively castrated fluff wise in terms of army building. Most players are going to accept this and realize that it also opens up tons of army building options. Yes, the Witch Hunters codex is old and harder to play. But that is the nature of anything with a metagame. As the metagame evolves, some options get left behind and some options become awesome. Your army will never be on top forever (I remember the fall of the Dual Biker Nobz list to the IG - a list that was supposedly fool proof in execution).

To sum it up - every player has a choice in the army that they play and should choose it carefully. When starting an army, you should realize that the game will change and evolve as new armies and codexes are released. No army will be perfect forever, no strategy is unbeatable. We play a game that is as quick to change as the seasons.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Jawaballs' Contest Submission

Hey folks, just throwing these pics out for your judgment.







Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making the Outdated Usable


Image Courtesy of Games Workshop

You know what I've got? Army fever. Not for the new Space Wolves. Furry Marines never really peaked my interest. Rather, my interest has been captured by the armies that were "left behind" in the edition change. Namely, the Dark Eldar.

The reason why I want to give the pointy hats a try is that the tactical side intrigues me. I find the glass cannon gamble rather exhilarating, so I'll throw together some builds and hope for the best.

Now, the few Dark Eldar players out there tend to be very vocal about how much their codex is outdated and not particularly competitive. It most definitely is outdated, but I'd argue that it still has a reasonable amount of competitive bite.

  • The metagame is currently leaning heavily towards mech based builds and a dependence on Melta-suicide teams as the premiere anti-tank option, meaning that if you're shot down, you are within striking range.
  • They have the fastest, cost-efficient (not to mention flimsiest) troop transports in the game. The Raider is 55 points, but is still very effective. Move flat-out turn 1, put an expendable Raider to block LOS to your Archon's Raider and by turn two, you'll have a very scary Dark Eldar Lord lopping off heads, kicking ass and taking names (and slaves, lots of slaves).
  • The ability to spam enough Dark Lances to make an armored company cry.
  • Wyches make the assault troops of all other armies throw down their weapons and give up.
  • Last but not least, arguably THE most killy character/retinue/unit in the game - the Archon with Incubi can throw out a huge amount of high initiative power weapon attacks that will more than likely cripple the enemy before he can even swing back.
As with all codexes, you've got to keep in mind what is effective and what isn't. Seeing as how a good 60% of the codex is worthless in this day and age, we've got to make do with what we have. I'll share some builds and other opinions later. For now, sleep.

Squirrel_Fish

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cake, Baseball and Space Wolves

Last weekend was my birthday, so I spent most of it celebrating as opposed to working on homework which was put off. Today was the Twins vs Tigers where every nerve and emotion in my body was tugged around like a teddy bear at a daycare center. Anywho, time to show you what I've been up to in the past week. Here is the (mostly) finished Brother Goriel for Jawaballs' painting competition. I still have to get him on a base and varnish him, but the varnishing will probably wait until after I take the final pictures.







Now, I got the Space Wolves codex in the mail last night (No FLGS out here in the Minnesotan Tundra) and took the liberty of making a couple lists. And I've got to say it doesn't live up to the hype for me. Sure, you can field four uber psykers and some super killy troops. Sure, you can field an all-terminator army. But I don't think it will be enough. If you do max out the super killy units (whenever it's discovered), you're reducing your model count by a huge margin making it even easier for more balanced armies to just table you with even one or two lost units.

Now, JotWW is a super cool psychic power. But by getting more than 2 rune priests, you're going overboard. Remember - JotWW does not affect vehicles. What style of army is 'in' right now? MECH! Every tactical marine/commander/Khorne Berserker/Plague Marine/Sorcerer will just laugh at you from inside their Rhino. And oh wait, you spent about 500+ points on just four models? Meaning that couple lucky missile launchers or whatever can just finish you outright. That's fantastic.

Remember back in the day when Nob Bikerz were the king of the world? Well, think of that, only instead of two squads of Nobz, you have 3-4 squads of Marines. Marines are easier to kill, lucky you...You just need to stay out of arm's reach or failing that, feed the Wolves a unit and finish them off next turn.

C&C welcome,
Squirrel_Fish

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brother Goriel - Blood Angels Terminator Update

With very little homework, work and practicing needed for tonight, I got some more work done on Brother Goriel for Jawaballs' Blood Angels Terminator Contest.

As a solution to highlighting red, I've been using a highlight of elf flesh, followed by the lightest highlight of bleached bone. I'm considering adding another layer of highlights just to make it really pop out.







Some touch-ups and final details (blood drops, various gems, the genestealer corpse) and then I will probably call it a finished model.

As always, C&C welcome.

Codex: Necrons and What We Expect/Need



As some of you may or may not know, my first 40k army was actually Necrons. I started playing them late 4th edition because I loved the fluff and how the fit into the Grimdark that is the 40k Universe. Needless to say, I got kinda fed up with how well they actually performed and moved onto the Eldar. A recent conversation with a friend, however, got me to thinking what we can expect/hope from the next update of the Codex.

1) Price cuts across the board - everything is much more expensive and not as effective as the equivalents in other armies. When it gets to the point where so called  "elite" armies are starting to outnumber the Crons, we have a problem.

2) Effective close combat unit(s) or reducing the impact of CC - the army is particularly vulnerable to assault simply because Necron Warriors just can't compete with other units in assault - heck, even the Tactical Marine laughs at us. This can be solved by allowing smaller squad sizes for Warriors (to reduce the loss of a sweeping advance), making our current 'cc' units effective (Wraiths, Flayed Ones namely - no power weapons? Wtf?) or by just outright making us harder to kill in CC.  On another note - I'd like to see Pariahs gain the Necron rule. The pinnacle of alien technology and it can't self-repair? Laaammmeee.

3) More varieties in the HQ slots rather than a 300+ point C'tan or plain Jane Necron Lord. I personally would like (in addition to the Necron Lord) options that change up the FOC - seeing as that seems to be very 'in' with codices as of late. I have concepts of the Flayed Lord (allows Flayed Ones as troops choices) or the Pariah Lord (Pariahs as troops choices) in my head as well as things like Machine Lords which make the entire army more durable.

4) Ways to get from point A to B quickly. 5th ed. being such a objective focused game, movement becomes even more important and footslogging it across the field/floating six inches a turn doesn't work well at all. APC's don't make much sense for the Necrons, who should be using something a little more mysterious in nature. Thus, I envisioned something that I call the "Gauss Gate". Imagine something the size of a Drop Pod Deep Striking in. Once it arrives, units coming in from Reserve may treat a Gauss Gate as your table edge. Units may 'enter' a Gauss Gate in the same fashion as boarding a vehicle or entering a building. The unit is removed from play and return the next turn from any Gauss Gate they choose and may reroll any of their failed WBB saves. Think of this mechanic like the Monolith (whose gate will also be considered a Gauss Gate). These things will cost a pretty penny in points and will also be somewhat fragile compared to the rest of the army.

5) Removal of phase out. No, it isn't a balancing factor seeing as how you can wipe everything off the board and be victorious. It's easier to kill stuff than to keep stuff alive.

6) Overall streamlining of the rules. WBB turns to FNP (and the Resurrection Orb negates the negators of FNP), Gauss becoming more efficient (wounds models with a toughness value on a 6 and count as rending vs Vehicles, maybe?).

7) Cost efficient, effective anti-tank. With Gauss being unreliable now, there has to be an effective way to field some heavy weapons without paying half the army for it.

Those are pretty much my main points. I know there are other things that can be improved, but this would be a great start if GW got on this *hint*hint*nudge*nudge*.

C&C welcome, as always.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blood Angels Terminator - Jawaballs' Painting Contest

Hey folks,

I'd just like to show you some of my WiP pics for my submission to Jawaballs' painting contest. I decided to go with this particular model since I felt it showed the sheer tenacity of the Blood Angels and their refusal to accept defeat. Men die, heroes live forever.

Primed and Basecoated



First Coat of Red




Rear View



Things will only stand to get more red from here. I'm also trying to experiment to see what I can use to highlight red without getting pink or something that looks super orange.

C&C welcome, as always.

Squirrel_Fish

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Free Hand and Photography

Hey guys,

Back from a long week-end of rehearsals and tuba-playing. Just showing off what little I managed to get done before I had to leave in a hurry.

This is my first attempt at some larger free hand. Be gentle with me!







A question I'd like to pose to you guys - how do you take pictures and what do you insist on using?
My camera is a Sanyo 5-megapixel...thing. It's been in the family for a while and I took it to school with me and I use my roommate's camera because mine frustrates me to no end.

My camera


My roommate's camera



As you can see, the color difference is HUGE. The second picture is very clear and all the details are present - whereas my photos are hued differently. What do you recommend doing for photo's on a budget?

Squirrel_Fish

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I've Been Up To

So I've been at college for a solid three weeks now and have gotten little to none done (seeing as how I'm taking 19 credits and am a music major, that's not surprising -_-)

Anywho, here are some pics now that I got my camera working. Unfortunately, said pics still suck because I can't afford a nice camera.

This is the Tau Battlesuit 'Helios'that I slapped together a little while ago. It still needs some touch-ups to ease up on the highlights and cover up some slips, but overall it's done. I wanted to add some glowing effects from the lens, plasma rifle and multi-tracker a lot more prominent.





Next, some of the Salamanders that I've been working on.


Tactical Squad Flamers - the different colors on the trim of the right shoulder pad designate which squad the marine belongs to.

Now, for all of you folks out there with lower end cameras, how do you get decent pictures out there onto your blogs?
As always, C&C welcome.
Squirrel_Fish

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Staying on Top of Projects

So me being me and being easily caught up in new projects - I picked up a squad of Space Marine Scouts, the first piece of my next project - the Ultramarines 10th Company.

However, this puts my Warhammer queue up to:
24 Tactical Marines (Bolters/Flamers)
3 Multi-Melta Marines
3 Tactical Sergeants (needs assembling)
8 Sternguard Veterans
1 Sternguard Sergeant (needs assembling)
4 Terminators
2 Rhinos
1 Razorback
1 Predator
3 Dreadnoughts
1 Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer
Everything from Space Hulk
5 Space Marine Scouts

So I pose this question to all of you out there - how do you stay on top of projects? Is there some sort of magic button that encourages you to paint faster than you buy or plan projects? Is there some other motivation in it for you (commissions, contests, ToP's)?

The table is yours,
Squirrel_Fish

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sacrificing Units - The Who, the When, The Why

I'm home from school for labor day weekend and I managed to get in a game against one my friends - who was running his tyranids.


The game was killpoints and I won 8 to 1. Despite this, I still learned quite a few things, mainly when or why you would sacrifice units.


Who makes a good sacrificial unit? Any unit that you have redundancy in or is otherwise not a huge loss when it dies. This can be anywhere from a combat squad of Space marines to Space Marine Scouts to a squad of Guardsmen being led by a Commissar. The consideration you have to make whether or not the unit can easily be broken in combat. I feed my foe Rhinos once my use for them has dwindled. Which leads me to...


When do you want to do this? This is the hardest part to judge - if you know for sure that the unit you feed your opponent will die on his turn, you want to give him the charge or the opportunity to light your guys up. That way, when it rolls over to your turn, you can get some revenge kills in. However, if your unit is tough enough that they can withstand one turn of assault (or he just can't do enough damage to kill all of them in a single turn), then you should charge him on your turn (assuming you have the opportunity). You deny him some attacks, meaning that (hopefully) you'll survive til your opponent's Assault Phase, where he will finish you off and leave himself an open target for your vindication. Now, if you plan on assaulting with your sacrificial unit - you want it to be hard to break. The worst thing that can happen is that your squad gets wiped out or caught in a sweeping advance, allowing your opponent the opportunity to shoot/assault with impunity at your other targets. If you plan on passively feeding him a squad (ie. bait) then make it as easy to kill as possible.


Why? By sacrificing a unit, you can buy yourself time by drawing the fire/assault away from your other units. A common example of this is a squad of kroot hiding in woods and screening the fire warriors behind it. The enemy's assault troops will have to deal with the kroot before they can tear into the fire warriors. Alternatively, by putting a lone (yet somewhat juicy) target away from your other units unsupported, you have a piece of bait that you can use to lure a unit or two away from the main hustle and bustle of the battle.


Those are my 3W's for today. C&C welcome!


Squirrel_Fish



Friday, September 4, 2009

SM Special Characters and Chapter Tactics

It's made pretty clear in the SM codex that when there are two characters with the "Chapter Tactics" rule, you must choose which one is active. Now, what I want to ask is if you would consider worth it to take two of these characters.

I've been considering adding more Terminators to my Salamanders army (what can I say? These things are hella fun to paint and assemble) but want to avoid using another squad of assault terminators since I'd have to get another Land Raider to chauffeur them around in. My issue though is that regular terminators don't quite have enough 'ooph' unless fielded en masse or are...

Fielded with Captain Lysander. For 200 points, you get a 4 W Eternal Warrior with a S10 MC Thunder Hammer with Termie armor and a Storm Shield. That's not all folks! You get a +1 Cover save to a set of ruins of your choice and you get the fantastic Bolter Drill rule, meaning those Storm Bolters are now pretty awesome! However, I've gotten some criticism, saying that it's a waste of Lysander's Chapter Tactics. I say - who cares? He (and most of the Space marine characters) are a bargain for what you pay for. If I wanted Terminator armor, a storm shield and a thunder hammer on a regular captain, I'd be paying a solid 170 points. For 30 more points, I get another wound, rerolls with Bolters in his squad, eternal warrior and a better cover save. Worth it.

So my next 1750 list is gonna be this:

Vulkan
Lysander
Terminator Assault Squad (5 TH/SS)
Terminator Squad (Cyclone Missile Launcher, Chainfist)
Tactical Squad (Flamer, Multi-Melta, Sergeant Power Weapon/Meltabombs)
Rhino

Tactical Squad (Flamer, Multi-Melta, Sergeant Power Weapon/Meltabombs)
Rhino
Tactical Squad (Flamer, Multi-Melta, Sergeant Power Weapon/Meltabombs)
Rhino
Land Raider Redeemer (Multi-Melta)
Total: 1750



C&C?

Squirrel_Fish

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hammer Units - Size Matters?

So I got in a game with my roommate today and after losing three TH/SS Terminators to small arms fire (and another one in CC before , I got to thinking - how big should the "hammer" unit of an army be?

The larger the unit, the more costly (duh), but you also retain a lot more bite even with a few casualties (while in say a 5 man unit of Terminators or 4 man Seer Council, losing one or two of them HURTS).

What's your opinions?

On a side note - I finished painting my first Terminator yesterday and am working on basing it today. As soon as I get my camera back from the shop (this weekend) I'll throw up some pics.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

List Theory - Unbalanced Lists

When most people build lists, they go for a very mixed and balanced approach. However, most codexes have the potential to throw enough bodies or armor at your opponent to frustrate him beyond belief. I am, of course, talking about the Unbalanced List.

The Unbalanced List is not necessary an overpowered or broken one, simply one that aims to maximize a certain strength in order to completely minimize or make ineffective the impact of a balanced list.

By removing one or more elements entirely from your list and using those points to further enhance another element, you create the unbalanced list. Examples are the Imperial Guard Armored Company (a couple infantry squads, command squad - all in Chimeras, and then more Leman Russes than you can shake a stick at.), the Ork Horde, Nidzilla, Elfzilla, IG Infantry spam, Dreadnought/Kan spam, and so on so forth.

The idea is to completely overwhelm your opponent's ability to nullify your strong point (Kill their templates, anti-armor weapons or fast movers) and then just clean up everything else. The beautiful thing is that even it takes you two or three turns to wipe out your opponent's anti-armor (and you lose one or two pieces in the process), you still have enough armor on the board to be a credible threat that they might not even be able to deal with effectively.

What are your thoughts on the Unbalanced List?

Squirrel_Fish

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Key to Winning - Playing Disruptively

Alright, first off - I'd like to preface this by saying I'm a little frustrated with myself. I was working on 'this' post last night, closed my computer, woke up this morning and started moving all my stuff to the my college apartment, which is a three hour drive from home. After finally unpacking everything, I finally got back to writing this and accidentally closed the window, losing a good page of material. -_-

On to the topic - playing disruptively. When most players write an army list, they usually have some sort of game plan in mind, whether it's to fly around and pick up the win/tie on turn 5 or to throw enough kill your way to table you by turn 3.

Whatever their strategy is, your strategy becomes to counter it in a suitable fashion, making their tidal wave of bloodthirsty killers wash harmlessly against the beach, and then laugh maniacally as you kill it dead.

The first (and probably most important step) is to look at your opponent's army and to understand the role of each unit in the army:

1) What can each unit do (alone or with support)?
2) How much damage can take before it's relatively ineffectual?
3) When/where is it strongest (early game, late game, in your face, at a distance, in cover, out of LOS, etc)?

The faster you can do this, the better. No one likes to be kept waiting for 20 minutes to start a game just so you can plan a Machiavellian victory.

Then, ask yourself these questions in order to gauge your weaknesses. Is your army particularly vulnerable to shooting or assault? Is it mobile or static? Is it tough and resilient or are you wearing tissue for armor?
When you're done, prioritize the enemy targets. Your goal is to nullify your opponent's strengths, while simultaneously covering your weaknesses.

1) In just about all cases, I make it my first priority to cripple the opponent's ability to respond to you by wiping out his transports (or if there aren't any, then his other mobile elements). Turn one, I leave only my durable units on the board, while the fragile elements usually stick back in Reserve.

2) After his mobile elements are either crippled or destroyed, your goal is to destroy or nullify the greatest threat to your army. If it's a shooting unit, assault it or use some LOS creatively (Rhino walls are a common tactic) to try and negate some hits.

If it's an assault unit, you have three options. You can either shoot enough bullets at it to make it a nice pincushion, give it a speedbump, or ignore it. The key to a speedbump is that your sacrificial unit (volunteers please!) HAS to die in the opponent's charge. That way, you're free to shoot the snot out of him next turn. If he kills you on your turn, then his assault squad can continue to hack n' slash through another unit. The last option is harder for many armies to pull off - you have to either negate their speed or just be naturally faster than them and play a giant game of cat and mouse.

3) Play Clean Up - On the last two or three turns, you can consolidate your objectives, mop up any other targets of opportunity and play conservatively. The faster your army is, the later you can jump onto objectives.

In a nutshell, that's your battle plan. Assess, Destroy, ????, Profit.

C&C Welcome
Squirrel_Fish

Monday, August 17, 2009

Space Hulk!

Image Courtesy of GW

Being relatively new to the hobby (3 years now), I've heard many good things about the original Space Hulk boardgame, but have never had the pleasure of actually playing it. Needless to say, as soon as it was officially announced and preorders were optional, I put in my order without thinking twice. :P

I know there was a lot of griping and speculation on what the "Mystery Box" was and I'm sure quite a few people are upset and disappointed that it didn't contain what they wanted (I heard someone wishfully hoping for a plastic Thunderhawk. Yeah, right) and are now complaining and calling GW liars and frauds and other unsavory things.

Not to sound rude, but they can deal with it. This is a game that many of the younger generation of tabletop gamers have not experienced and would otherwise never have the chance to play it. From what I hear, quite a few people started playing 40k because they played one or two games of Space Hulk.

Complaints that I've read are the fact that the models are not on standard 40k bases and that the terminators are covered in Blood Angels iconography. I can understand why GW could've done otherwise and why it is the way it is.

By providing the standard 40k bases in Space Hulk, GW would basically be alowing people who have Space Hulk to use those models in 40k. On the offhand, there's a whole 'nother slew of problems that come into play then - such as possible mold limitations (assuming that the model was molded attached to the base) and how the bases would get attached (I know I was frustrated with the pegged foot deal from AoBR).

It would've been pretty easy to make the Terminators with non-chapter specific iconography, but I imagine that GW wanted to make sure the re-release was as similar to the first edition release (with some rules/miniature polishing) as possible in order to maintain that nostalgia factor for the 20 year anniversary.

Basically, I'm hoping that people will get over the fact that Space Hulk is meant to be a STAND ALONE board game, not a great deal for some Terminators. I know that when I get my box, I'm gonna play a few rounds, and paint those Terminators in all their Blood Angels splendor, stick'em in some packing foam and put'em right back in the box until the next time I play and have a great time.

What are some of your opinions on the rerelease of Space Hulk?

Squirrel_Fish

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Army Envy, Model Fever, etc



I'm sure we've all had it at some point or another. We play against an army or see a new model and we think "Oh, man I want that."

I know for me, this happens all the time. I have the unfortunate tendency (due to being a college student in the off-season) to make an army list (or two or three) a day using different codices. While I do think it's fun and it helps me understand what to expect from each army, I always get that desire to build or collect that specific army.

Three lists that I've done recently are a Sisters of Battle army (triple Exorcist & Callidus Assassin :D), a Thousand Sons army and a Space Marine Scout list and have seriously had to resist the urge to start buying (even though my Salamanders aren't even near completion).

Fortunately for me (or if you'd prefer, unfortunately), I have little to no money to spend on Warhammer at the time and that's my deterrent from dropping into model fever.

What do you guys do to resist the urge to buy new models?

Squirrel_Fish

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Surviving the Tournament

So I was at my first tournament today at Misty Mountain North in Burnsville, MN. This was my first tournament experience and I rather satisfied on how I did, given my casual army building (1 win - 2 losses). I wish I had kept the missions just for reflectionary purposes.

Should there be interest for some mini-bat-reps, just leave a comment and I'll consider working on them. No pics, unfortunately, as my camera is still on the fritz.

Seeing as I'm dead tired after the assembling marathon last night (4:45 PM to 3 AM and then 7:30 am to 8:45 am) and the shindig today, I'll give an abridged version of my lessons and expand on these in later posts (I always keep saying I'll do that, don't I?)

Lesson 1) Be Prepared Physically, Mentally and Morale-ly (I know, not a word.)
I got very little sleep the previous night. The first match, I was being powered by a muffin, a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of Frappucino. It went well, actually, but as soon as my energy peaked off, things felt like they were going poorly for me. Even after the lunch break, my second and third match felt terribly taxing and I just was not feeling confidant. Keeping all three up is probably the key to enjoying these events.

Lesson 2) Understand the Metagame
So guess how many Space Marine players there were? Guess how many of those ran Vulkan? Basically, understand what you're facing

Lesson 3) Build the list for the Event
This was my biggest fault. I normally play in the 1500-1750 or so point values and this tournament was at 2000 points. Instead of writing a list specifically for 2000 point games, I just added on another 250 points that really didn't fit anything (mainly because I didn't have the money to spend or more models and had to make due with what I had...).

Anywho, the moral of the story is prepare, prepare, prepare and prepare some more.

Squirrel_Fish





Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sternguard Veteran Completed

Hey all,

It's been a long week for me with work and trying to help my friends out with their armies.
I have a friend who (in the last week and a half) has purchased two Tyranid Battleforces, a box of Gaunts, a Hive Tyrant and a Tyrant Guard. Unfortunately, he's still got two more Battleforces coming in on Friday and everything has to be assembled by Saturday for the Tournament. On the plus side, I've figured out how to magnetize a Carnifex.

Anywho, I managed to put together my Predator and magnetize all the sponsons and turrets.
Unfortunately, my camera is on the fritz, so no picture worth uploading. :(

However, here are pics of the Sternguard Prototype fully painted and based.






As always, C&C Welcome

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Salamanders Sergeant Bamf




Something I finished working on early this afternoon - Salamanders Sergeant Bamf. For my WiP Salamanders army, I ended up having a few extra bodies to toy around with and hopefully make some awesome looking dudes - this was the first of them.

I learned a few things when working on this. This model was the first time I got to use the Citadel washes and I have got to say I'm in love with them. I tried using the Salamanders transfers on the left shoulder pad, but the curvature of it made it a huge hassle and I've decided to abandon it for now. Free handing it is an option but is a bit of a stretch for me. The plasma glow was a bit of a test for me - I wanted to try something new and a bit more difficult. I'm rather satisfied with it although it would've looked much more interesting had the plasma pistol been in his right hand.

C&C welcome as always

Monday, July 27, 2009

Misty Mountain North Tournament

Hey folks,

Misty Mountain North, one of the bigger game stores in the Twin Cities area, is hosting a 40k Tournament on August 8th. I'll be there along with at least one of my friends, who will probably be playing his 'nids.

Anyways, we're supposed to bring a 2000 point list to this shindig - something that I'm not accustomed to at all. Using every single Eldar model at my disposal and tooling up all of them, I managed to barely come up to that total.

  • Farseer w/ Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, Jetbike, Singing Spear and Runes of Warding (173)
  • Warlock x3 w/ Jetbikes, Destructor x2, Embolden & Singing Spear (163)
  • Autarch w/ Mandiblasters, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun & Warp Jump Generator (125)
  • Dire Avenger x10 w/ Exarch, Dual Shuripult, Bladestorm (152)
  • Wave Serpent w/ TL Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones, Star Engines, Vectored Engines (190)
  • Guardians x10 w/ Scatter Laser, Spiritseer Warlock w/ Embolden (131)
  • Pathfinder x5 (120)
  • Fire Dragon x6 w/ Exarch, Dragon's Breath Flamer, Crack Shot (113)
  • Warp Spider x9 w/ Exarch, Dual Death Spinner, Power Blades, Withdraw (240)
  • Falcon w/ Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields, Spirit Stones, Star Engines, Vectored Engines (220)
  • Wraithlord w/ Bright Lance, Eldar Missile Launcher, Flamer x2 (155)
  • Dark Reaper x5 w/ Exarch, Tempest Launcher & Crack Shot (217)
Total: 1999

This is by no means an optimum list - it's what I have and I'm gonna have to make the best of it (being a poor college student and all). I can see some ups and downs - I have enough contingency in both anti-horde, volume of fire and anti-tank to be able to bear the loss of one (maybe two) units and make it out okay. As I look at what I've put together, shooting is going to be my strong suit - but against IG or Tau I will have to get in their face with my more mobile elements.

If I had some handy, I'd totally throw another troops choice in - I guess I'm just gonna have to be really efficient with how I take/contest objectives.

The Autarch will be attached to the Warp Spiders and they (along with my Seer Council) will be problem solvers - they'll fly back and forth and cover my lines from assaulters by putting enough shots into a Doomed unit to kill them twice over or they (along with the grav tanks) will fly forward and hammer away at units.

I'm actually rather happy with the presence of the Dark Reapers. In 5th edition they haven't been very powerful due to the onset of mechanized armies and cover saves abound. However, I feel that there's enough high-strength long range shooting pop a few transports turn 1 or 2 and then pound away at power armored dudes.

Things that I will have to watch out for:
  • Drop Pod lists - Following Fritz's example, I will keep everything in reserve in order to hopefully nullify any advantages that the first strike will give them.
  • Nidzilla - I can barely kill 4 TMC's as it is, 7 or 8 will probably make me cry like a little girl.
  • Dual Lash + Oblit Spam - The only thing I've got going for me is Runes of Warding and hopefully enough shots to kill Daemon Princes/Sorcerors in one turn.
  • Nob Bikers - If the metagame has truly taken them out of the picture, I won't have to worry. But once again, hopefully I have enough high strength shots and volume of fire to take them out before they take me out.
  • Horde Lists - I've sacrificed a bit of volume of fire in exchange for some Bright Lances, so I'll have to be very careful about where my flamer templates are on the board.
  • AV14 spam (Tri Monolith, Land Raider Spam, Leman Russ Spam etc) - Hopefully, get up close with the Seer Council and all my fusion guns while blasting away with Bright Lances.
As always, C&C welcome.

Playing Nice - The Way to Win (In Life)?



Above is a Tau Battlesuit that I put together for gits and shiggles. I'm probably going to end up giving it to my girlfriend, seeing as she likes the Tau, wants to learn 40k but has no income that can be used on the hobby.

Anyways, onto the topic - playing nice. I'm not talking about good sportsmanship (although that's another topic to talk about at some point), I'm instead bringing up the idea of 'casual' play, the kind of play where you just sit down, have a drink with your buddies and laugh as you decide to conga-line 20 some Ork Boyz across 3 objective markers.

I've felt recently that (with the exception of Chaos Dan), many of my friends just haven't been able to offer me an interesting game (in 1v1 situations) and it was only last night that I've realized why.

Anyone who has read my blog a bit knows that I don't get to play much at all. In order to make up for this, I like to read lots of battle-reports, tactical thoughts and theory. However, while I do this in my spare time out in the far off plains of Minnesota (I go to school out there), my friends are doing other things. So while I'm spending my time keeping up with the meta-game of 40k and the latest army builds/counters, they're off playing Halo or something. Compared to them (and in complete contrast to my own opinion), I'm a hardcore player and tend to bring some pretty tough lists to the table.

JWolf from BoLS had an editorial a little while back that brought up the question "What's the most important thing to you?" and my initial response was "To have fun with my friends" yet I've completely forgotten that. I had become one of thoes "Win at all costs" guys who spends way too much time maximizing his odds when his opponent's are playing an army made of 2 battleforces. Instead, I got caught up in the competitiveness of the game, crunching numbers, banging out lists to maximize effectiveness and it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that neither my friends nor I were having fun when I would repeatedly insert my foot into their posterior.

So effective immediately, I'm changing the way I play with my friends. Unless they ask me to go balls out or if it's a tournament, I'm gonna play around with weaker/stranger lists see if they work (or even better - if I can make them work).

Couple of Concepts that I have:
  • Space Marine 10th Company (Scouts and etc)
  • Craftworld Iyanden (Yriel, Wraithguard units, Wraithlords etc)
  • The Pinning Army (Rangers, Dark Reapers, lots of Eldar Missile Launchers)
  • Swooping Hawk Pogo (Autarch/Baharroth or Autarch/Autarch, Swooping Hawks x3)
  • Master of the Forge/6 Dreadnoughts
As always, C&C welcome!

Squirrel_Fish

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sternguard Prototypes Update


So I got my Dark Elf Corsair cloaks in the other day and spent most of last night trying to figure out how to fit them onto Space Marine backpacks.

Here's a couple shots on how the first came out looking.

C&C?




Edit: Added a rearview shot of the cloak

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Playing Aggressively - The Key to Winning?

So I managed to get half a game in with my friend Chaos Dan yesterday before it started raining (he had the brilliant idea of playing in his backyard, so we had to call it quits). Anyways, I noticed that the one thing that he does differently from everyone else is play aggressively.

Just about everyone else I play with has a rather passive or timid playstyle - they tend to sit down where they are and rarely do anything to turn momentum in their favor. In 5th edition - this doesn't get you anywhere. By giving your opponent slack and by not keeping pressure on him, you allow him to gather his own momentum and turn the game around through either cunning (better positioning to attack) or sheer force (waiting for reserves).

By playing aggressively, by pushing where your enemy's army is weak or by making good use of whatever advantages you have, you're effectively denying your opponent the ability to fight back and you can continue to push to victory with relative ease. It's a simple idea - keep him on his toes and he won't be able to mount an effective counterattack.

Just don't get carried away with killing the ene- BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! *ahem* See? Keep a level head and think about what you're doing - if it's the bottom of turn 4 and you hold/contest no objectives, there's a huge problem. You're better off guaranteeing the win by securing more objectives than by trying to table the opponent.

Now, what do you do if you're facing an opponent that's equally aggressive or even more so? Play reactively. Many of you have probably read Way of the Water Warrior but if you haven't, do yourself a favor and read it as soon as you're done with this post. Should your opponent gain the upper hand (or start with it), the best thing you can do is to try and deny him of his advantages. Vulkan list? Stay further than 12" away and keep blasting away. Imperial Guard? Move from cover to cover until you can get into CC or disable their armor. Orks? SHOOT THEM HARDER and deny them the charge. If you can halt their momentum or at least make it ineffective (I'm looking at you, 3 Ork Boyz Mob!), then take what you have and strike decisively in order to turn the game around again.

Thoughts?

Anywho, that's my rambling for the day. I have a band concert (it's tuba time!) later tonight, so I've got to get ready for that. I'll leave you with two pics.

I got bored and slapped this badboy together. Sergeant Bamf, wielding bolt-pistol and plasma pistol. I decided to add mini-bayonets as a compromise to myself (I originally was thinking dual chain-swords for SLASHY-DAKKA action).

Vulkan He'stan. I caved and ordered this badboy. I'm glad that the spear came as a seperate piece - I'll be reposing that thing for sure. A disappointment though is the weird fire-banner on his backpack. That thing feels like it'll snap off in a breeze.