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!


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.


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.


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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Salamanders WiP

Hey everyone,

Just a couple quick pics of what I've been working on.

First off - a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer. I need to scrape away some glue residue. Wait, what's that? No sponsons or hatches...?

Behold the power of magnets!

Here, we have 27 Space Marines armed with Bolters. Bolters aren't attached yet to make the painting process easier, but you get the idea. In the back row, you can see 5 Terminators armed with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields. Shields are to be affixed to the terminators after painting.

A work in progress Rhino. The right hatch on this badboy is magnetized, while the left one is glued on because I failed to think in advance. -_-
I still have to paint the indicators and headlights.

A closeup of the Rhino. Painting battledamage is thoroughly frustrating, but even a little bit of it goes a long ways to adding some character what would otherwise be a green box.

Space Marine Goals
  1. Complete all my conversion work by the beginning of August.
  2. Have everything based and primed by early August.
  3. From there, paint at least 300 points a month.
  4. Show off the pics.
  5. Cleanse the heretic.
C&C on the Painting/Assembly welcome!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Squirrel Fish's Eldar Army Complete!

Hey all, like I promised, here are the final pics of the Eldar army. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mechanized Armies - My Thoughts

It's been a while since I've posted, but life keeps us down in the form of obnoxious internet and computer related problems. But lo! They have been fixed.

I just read one of Goatboy's posts on BoLS and everything he says is really right on the dot. If you haven't read it, read it. It's worth the time.

I played a nice big multi-player game the yesterday at 3000 points each; Eldar/Tau vs. SM/SM/Dark Angels Double-Wing. The game was Kill Points with long table edges. I was expecting to get have terminators and drop pods down my throat almost immediately, but I was wrong. My Tau ally and I deployed first, placing down our immobile elements (Dark Reapers and Broadsides) in big firing lanes and then all of our tanks (1 Wave Serpent, 1 Falcon, 3 Devilfish and 1 Hammerhead) and our other mobile units (Seer Council, Crisis suits) near the middle of the table in order to respond to our enemy's deployment. Our infiltrators (Rangers and Stealth suits) sat down near the middle of the table on elevated ground for commanding fields of fire.

As our opponents deployed, my Tau ally and I looked at each other with a "...Really?" look on our faces. There was not a single troop transport on their side of the board beyond a single Land Raider Redeemer. Nearly all their models were going to be foot-slogging it across the board, with the exception of a squad of Ravenwing Bikers, Pedro Kantor + Huge Honor Guard in the Land Raider and a Ravenwing Land Speeder. Heck, even Captain Sicarius was gonna be making moves on foot.

Needless to say, our side won the final battle some 9-10 kill points to 4. However, I feel strongly that the reason is not because we used cheesy lists or because the odds were just stacked in our favor. I think it's because we had very few static elements in our respective lists - everything that wasn't sniping or toting heavy weapons was locked in a troop transport for quite some time before seeing the light of day (in the case of a Fire Warrior squad, never seeing the day at all).

Random Reader: "But Squirrel Fish! Transports give up kill points! It's not worth it!"

NO! It is worth it, even if it can give up a kill point. Even in a Kill Point game, the lone Rhino or Chimera or Wave Serpent allows its squad to choose its battles; the when and the where. By being able to maneuver around the battlefield, you can bring your fire to bear on your opponent's weak points and straggling squads. If their army is turtled up or is advancing as one solid column, your superior mobility gets you to their weak side, where you can spectacularly crush them.

However, for sheer metagame reasons I do like my long range anti-tank weapons. The current environment says that melta is the weapon of choice for special weapons teams and they're right. The only downside is that you have to be right up in their face to use it and more than likely, that melta-squad is gonna bite the dust the following turn.

Because of this, I still insist on keeping a few shots of some longer ranged anti-tank weapons on hand. As delicious as that 200+ point Leman Russ looks to kill, your first target should be the enemy's troop transports. If you cripple/hamper the enemy's able to respond to your own movements, the rest of the game becomes simply dissecting their army.

Anywho, this has turned into a much longer post that I had originally thought out. Next time, pics of my completed Eldar and pics of the WiP Space Marines.

C&C always welcome!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Tutorial: Combi-Melta

It's time for CONvergance down in the Twin Cities and I find myself taking a break in order to share how I make my Combi-Meltas. A minor update on some things: my Wave Serpent is finally completed, meaning that my Eldar army is (relatively speaking) complete! My Salamanders WIP is coming along as well. I have one Tactical Squad and two rhinos fully built, the Rhinos are also magnetized so I can swap out the hatches at my whim.

Tutorial: Combi-Melta
If you're like me, you don't have the money to buy a dozen or so Combi-Meltas from the Commander sprue. So here we go, a combi-melta from the tactical sprue!

X-acto Knife
Super Glue
Greenstuff (optional)

Step 1) Clean both the meltagun and boltgun of any moldlines. If you like to use your pin vise to make holes in the barrels, do this now.

Step 2) Take your bolter and make the following cuts. Keep the part with the muzzle and the grip.

This is what you should have left over:

Step 3) Take your Meltagun and remove a small portion of the cabling closest to the barrel.

This should be your result:

Step 5) Dry fit both parts together; if there's odd gaps due to weird angles on the boltgun, file those down until the pieces are nearly flush. Use your superglue and adhere the two pieces together. Optionally; what you can do is use greenstuff to strengthen the hold and to fill in any weird gaps that might be there.

And there you have it, a simple combi-melta right out of the Tactical Squad box.