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Monday, May 26, 2008

Warp Spiders

Just painted up a much needed Fast Attack slot for my Eldar army. A group of 10 that move like Jump Infantry, fire 2 shots each (strength 6, no less) and then can move 2d6" afterwards is awesome. Since the gun range is 12" if you do not warp 2d6" you can get charged in the enemy turn. This after-shooting-warping-phase will do really well to keep you out of harm's way yet be a major thorn in your opponent's side.

On to the Exarch. I chose the Powerblades and Dual Death Spinners configuration. This should be no surprise to fellow collectors as it's the only Exarch configuration they make a model for. In the future, I do want to convert a Spinneret Rifle version (if anyone has pictures/ideas for a conversion to do this, please let me know). So, as Exarch this bad boy comes with Withdraw and Surprise Assault. Withdraw is useful in the instance that you do get caught in melee while you're buzzing around your opponent's flanks. Withdraw allows you to immediately fall back 3d6" from combat (opponent is not allowed to try and catch you, they can only consolidate) at the end of a combat phase. They do not specify YOUR combat phase, which means you can withdraw at the end of the very combat phase your opponent charged you in ... ready to shoot again in your own turn (and possibly charge THEM). Surprise Assault gives your Warp Spider unit the ability to Deep Strike (Because the Warp Spiders are classified as Jump Infrantry, they can always deepstrike without paying for the Surprise Assault. So there you go, I saved you a few points in your list. Thanks Blaise).

I used Citadel's Foundation paints to get the reds to come out so nicely given the black primer layer. Citadel's normal reds (and yellows) tend to be a bit weak, and need to be worked up in layers usually. I love the foundation paints. The normal armour highlights I wanted to be softer than I've been doing with my Eldar models. Instead of the harsh edging I wanted to do a slightly brighter red glazed on to the edges (same technique for the Powerblades). The whites (helmets and Exarch webbing) were done using Space Wolves Gray as a base, then brought up similarly to the reds using a watered down glaze of white to give it a "cool" white.

EDIT: Look what someone sent me:

It's a photoshop cut-together of some different models as a proof of concept for a Spinneret Rifle conversion. I really like the first option, combining the bodies of a Dark Reaper with the Spider Exarch, attaching the distinctive Death Spinner barrel to the end of the gun, then the Power Blades to that as some sort of energy focuser, maybe? I don't know, but it looks longer (for the "rifle" aspect) and still distinctively Warp Spider. Cheers to whoever put this together, I don't know who the original author was.

Edit #2:

Below is a pic sent my way by a very generous anonymous commenter. He decided to keep the Power Blades and instead attach an older style Dark Reaper gun to the dual-spinneret slots, then replace the reaper head with the spinner head. It looks great. Hopefully this will give you guys good ideas on how to easily make your own Spinneret Rifle Exarch.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Scorpion Exarchs

Never satisfied with just one option, I made all three Exarch variants for my Striking Scorpions. The Chainsaber'd Exarch was a small conversion. He has the usual right handed Exarch Saber that comes with him (sword+claw has same sword) and the left hand was the arm from the Biting Blade, but with a normal Scorpion's sword attached (and cleaned up with a little Green Stuff). While reading through the entry, I found that the Chainsabers option comes with "gauntlet-mounted twin-linked Shuriken Pistols." Well damn. I fished some spare bits out of my bitz box for the two pistols, and Green Stuff'd a wrist-connection to look similar to what's on the Dire Avengers sprue for their Exarch. I think he came out looking pretty damn good.

Ok, pro's and con's:

When taking an Exarch with your Scorpion squad, you equip him in a manner to best suit the role you want your Scorpions to achieve. Also, each equipment set is better against different enemies. Low-med toughness and low-no armor? Chainsabers all the way. These guys allow you to reroll failed rolls to hit. Combine that with the twin-linked shuriken pistols and he greatly bolsters the effectiveness of the Scorpions. The Chainsabers set is great for low armor horde armies. Swarms of gaunts (even 'stealers, though you'll take heavy losses as well) mobs of Orks, Imperial Guard, Fire Warriors, other Eldar.

Facing high toughness, med-low armor? Biting Blade. This set sacrifices one attack compared to the others, but you get +1 Strength for each successive hit. Note that you already count as having a S4 due to the Blade itself. 1 hit? S5. Get 2 hits? They both hit at S6. Three hits? S7. Did you get all 4 hits when on the charge? You lucky sunuvabetch, that's 4 hits at S8. But, still no armor penetration, which brings us to our last configuration:

Sword+Claw. This is great against high armor enemies (though really, aim your Banshees at them), but because of the sword he becomes the best choice for versatility. He can do nearly anything, where the other two are a bit specialized. Something to be said for him also ... Gauntlet mounted Shuriken Catapult. He can fire it and still attack in melee with the Claw.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Eldar, The Ork and The Cabinet

Went down to IKEA this weekend with the intention of getting a display case for my various armies (the dilapidated shelf hanging precariously above my painting desk got too crowded.) and returned victorious! Bask in her white-wood and glass majesty! It took me a good couple hours to assemble the thing, which left me little time to finish one of my painting projects. IKEA really is the grown man's Legos. I stare at a flimsy instruction manual looking for "the long plank with 16 holes down one side" in order to fit those holes with wooden pegs, then attach it to the back of a T-shaped plank also with 16 holes down the side.

Anyways, I've also re-based my Eldar as well as my Orks. The Eldar are on an Autumn-colored grass, scattered rocks and orange leaves. Orks are on a sand and rock mix with various scorch marks and wet-stains to look like oil-spills/pools of dried blood. I wish I had the Dark Angels done too, but the sheets of plasticard I need have been put on backorder.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gray Matter

I had mentioned the multitude of assembled-yet-unpainted stuff awaiting me ... well here's the Tau and Chaos assembled stuffs. Bask in it's gray and unfinished glory! Also, a closeup of my first Chaos Lord. Bolter-Melta combi-gun, and a Daemon weapon. Yes, I broke the arm off of an old and poorly painted Abaddon model (keep your old models!). I will repaint it in a purplish-yellow (hard to imagine, I know, but you'll see) in an attempt to make it look like none of the god-specific colors. I will be making a few Lords kitted out in various ways for the 4 powers (as well as some additional Sorcerers) ... but all in due time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I picked up the new Chaos Daemons Spearhead box a bit ago. Sifting through the figs has left me all giddy. Beasts of Nurgle, the New Soul Grinder, Bloodcrushers, Daemonettes, Bloodletters, it's all awesome.

The Codex:

Reading through the codex and planning out possible strategies was much more difficult than usual, due to the setup for how daemons work.

First of all, the entire army Deep Strikes. In a way, that's awesome because your opponent has to fully deploy their units before you do. It will leave them in a tricky situation. Do they deploy spread out and risk your entire force concentrating on one area at a time? Do they clump together in a corner and risk the multitude of templates that daemons can lay down? The drawback to this ability is that only half of your army will come in on the first turn, so you have to split your army in two ... and even then you have to roll to see if the half you want comes in first ... or if the ruinous powers disagree with you and have the other half come in. After the initial wave, the other half undergoes normal rules for reserves.

There are plenty of cool units, options and upgrades to choose from. My collector's nature works against me here, as a preliminary tally of what I ideally would like to have to maximize on army building possibilities puts me at near 6,000 points worth of stuff. Meh, it'll be a fun ride.

Greater Daemons. They're great, and have a good variety to choose from. Also, you have 3 special character Greater Daemons (sorry, no Slaaneshi) to choose from. Frankly, though, I find them a bit lacking in that I can build a very similar "Do It Yourself" greater daemon for much less points.

Heralds. Ok, unlike with the above, I cannot make a herald anywhere near as cool as the 4 special character heralds they supply you with. Can not. Lets start with Skulltaker. I can build up everything nearly to the same effect, except that his WS is higher ... and he has the ability "Skulls for the Skull Throne!" which is unavailable to a DIY herald. This ability changes his Rending to 4+ instead of only on 6's. Also, one wound from a rend result kills the model regardless of Toughness. He has decapitated them. That's ridiculous and cool. Next up, The Masque. She has the ability "Eternal Dance" which allows her to use her Pavane of Slaanesh ability 3 times. She alone will allow me to move a good chunk of my opponent's army as I will. Epidemius. This bloke is way awesome with his "Tally of Nurgle" ability, which gives escalating benefits to anyone bearing the mark of Nurgle depending on how many kills they got. benefits include EVERYONE getting Feel No Pain, weapons being Poisoned, Poisoned weapons wounding on 2+, all weapons counting as power weapons. Yeesh. Lastly, but certainly not least, is The Blue Scribes, the herald for Tzeentch. I can build a similar herald, but two things I cannot do. First, there is a chance that the herald will be able to cast the same spell twice in one turn. Can be way beneficial. Secondly, they have access to nearly every spell in the codex (even Slaaneshi and Nurglesque ones), allowing you to always have the most appropriate spell for the situation.

Soul Grinders. They're vehicles. Other than that, they're pretty damn awesome. I still wish they were Monstrous Creatures, but oh well.

Daemon Princes. These are likely the most customizable units in the codex. I'm quite pleased that they decided to put them as Heavy Support, because compared to the Greater Daemons, they're more of a supporting role. Back in the Chaos Space Marines Codex, they were your big baddie that flew around and terrified your opponent. Now, it's the Greater Daemons that do that. These guys can't really do anything that a Greater Daemon can't, and even then can't do it better. So, rather it makes sense to equip them to compliment what you already gave your Greater Daemon(s) to make a more terrifying combination of things. An example of this is the ability Pavane of Slaanesh. It's technically a shooting ability, meaning it will deny your Daemon the Fleet ability in favor of moving your opponent d6". If your intent is to assault them, the end result is the same; either you fleet d6" or you Pavane your target d6". Unless ... you have a nearby Daemon Prince with Pavane. Then you could have the Prince Pavane the target d6" and your intercepting Greater Daemon can Fleet. Or Pavane the target closer to your Bloodthirster. Anything near that is dead anyways.

Sorry I don't have any pictures for you all, I haven't assembled the box yet. I have a ton of Eldar, a ton of Chaos Marines, and a ton of Tau assembled and ready to paint. They called "dibs" too, so it's a bit out of my hands.
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