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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tzeentch Daemon Weapon

I was painting up some CSM last week, and decided while I was at it, to attack a project I had been meaning to do for a while; My CSM Lord already has three magnetized daemon weapons (undivided, Khorne, and Nurgle). It was time for change...

The Tzeentch daemon weapon has gun stats as well as melee abilities, so I was hoping to find something that looked like a cool gun. What I settled on was the old metal Kai Gun that came with an older Chaos Terminator Lord:
My only problem with it is that it's a right arm, and the options in the latest codex have the weapon replace your melee option (which I've modeled on the left arm).

...out comes the hacksaw:

I'm not very good at greenstuff, but I'm ok at filling seams and doing small-scale stuff. All I did here was flip the shoulder section around so it will work as a left arm (I also drilled a hole for a magnet):
Now the only thing that still bugged me was that little circular joint near the elbow that typically sits on the outside of the arm, so I greenstuffed one for the other side (this is about as ambitious as I get with greenstuff:

Here's the finished product:
and attached to the model:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tau Fire Warriors

For Troops selections, Fire Warriors are one of two options (The other being Kroot Carnivores). They are also the more popular of the two by far, so expect to see a lot of them.

WS:2 BS:3 S:3 T:3 W:1 I:2 A:1 Ld:7 Sv:4+

From what you can see above, I'm sure it's no surprise that Tau suck in melee. What they do excel at is ranged shooting. They cost 10 points a model as well, so you can easily get a good number of guns on the field.

Pulse Rifles: 30" range, S:5, AP:5, Rapid Fire
These guns are awesome, and at S:5, you have some ability to take out light vehicles (especially at rapid fire range). This is one of the two reasons Fire Warriors are awesome at shooting. The other reason is their ability to benefit from shooting at a unit tagged by a Markerlight. One of the benefits you can choose from a Markerlight is to have your Fire Warriors fire at +1 BS. BS:4 (with Marker Lights), 30" range, S:5, Rapid Fire? 10 points/model? That's pretty hard-core.

For 10 points, you can upgrade one of your Fire Warriors to a Shas'ui (sergeant). He gets +1 Attack, +1 Leadership, and access to the Infantry Wargear list. The extra attack isn't worth it, but to have your squad benefit from a Ld: 8, as well as the capability of a drone/markerlight/etc. is probably worth the extra 10 points.

Photon Grenades: +1 point/model. These are defensive grenades, negating an assaulting enemy's charging bonus attack. I may get some flak for this, but I'm not convinced this upgrade is worth it. They suck in melee anyways, this just seems like postponing the inevitable. The benefit doesn't carry past the initial round of combat either, so it's not effective in the tarpit sense... I don't know. Assuming a 10-man squad, photon grenades cost 10 points. What else can I buy for that? A Markerlight for the Shas-ui. A bonding knife and a target lock...

EMP grenades: +3 points/model. These are used when assaulting vehicles. Roll a 4 or 5 to damage for a glancing hit, and a 6 for a penetrating hit. That flat out sucks for how expensive those are. 30 points? That's as expensive as an XV25 Stealthsuit!

OK, let's check out some non-standard upgrades only available if you upgrade a Fire Warrior to a Shas'ui...

Markerlight: You can equip your Shas'ui with a Markerlight for +10 points. That's not bad for how awesome Markerlights are. Only downside is that the squad that contains it cannot benefit from it. Only another squad can benefit from it (since it's not a Networked Markerlight).

Bonding Knife: 5 pts. Allows regrouping even if below half strength. For 5 points, I'd take this. The better the chances I can keep my guns operational and on the field, the better.

Blacksun Filter: 3pts. Awesome for nightfighting... which at the moment only applies during the first round of a Dawn Of War mission setup. Hopefully there will be more nightfighting in the new Missions book, and this piece of wargear will actually become useful.

Drone Controller: Free. Allows you to take one or two drones. You just pay for the drones you want.
Gun Drone: 10pts. BS2, Twin-linked Pulse Carbine. Pulse Carbines are 18" Assault 1 versions of the Fire Warrior's rifles. Twin-linked helps to offset the BS 2. Great for added fire at mid-close range and while mobile.

Marker Drone: 30pts. BS3 (due to an equipped Targetting Array), and a Networked Markerlight. The Networked Markerlight means the Fire Warrior unit it is attached to can benefit from the Markerlight.

Shield Drone: 15pts. It has a 4+ Invulnerable Save.
Multi-Tracker: 5 pts. This would enable your Shas'ui to fire two weapons in one turn. An example would be if you bought him a Markerlight as well. He would now be able to fire both his Markerlight and his Pulse Rifle.

Target Lock: 5pts. Enables your Shas'ui to fire on a different target unit than the rest of the squad. Also useful if you have a markerlight.

One last option available to a Fire Warrior team is to replace all of their Pulse Rifles with Pulse Carbines for free. Pulse Carbines are 18" range, S:5, AP:5, Assault 1, Pinning. Again, I'm not totally convinced of the worth of this option. Pinning can be useful, but really only for enemies with low Ld. I do like the 18" Assault, though. This gives you a bit more range when on the move compared to the rifle (...though the full rifle gives you 2 shots at 12").
A unit of six carbine equipped firewarriors can be a useful 'sacrificial' unit when you want to rapid fire the assaulters to death. So few mini's mean your attacker is bound to succeed (which you want). The assault 18" weapon and the chance of pinning makes them just annoying enough to provoke the charge. (Suneokun of Pathfinder)

How to use your Fire Warriors

One method I've seen used often (though it's gone a bit out of favor due to the whole mechanized movement in 5th ed.) is the straight-up gunline. 12-man ,standard equipment, Shas'ui, Bonding Knife = 135 points. Put them in cover with a good lane of fire and fire away. 30" range is a big deal. If you have points to play with, give them a Marker Drone for added support.

Another great tactic/setup I've seen (and used) is 12-man, standard equipment, Shas'ui, Bonding Knife, Devilfish = 215 points. Mechanized and mobile, you are able to respond to threats easier. A great tactic I've seen used (lovingly called the "Fish of Fury") is to move your Devilfish up to ~3 or 4 inches in front of an enemy unit. Disembark your Fire Warriors (all exiting the rear access point, within 2" of the back. The Devilfish is 6" long and as a skimmer (as long as it's not wrecked or using it's landing gear) will not block line of sight. This puts your Fire Warriors in Rapid Fire range, as well as puts a vehicle in the way that (assuming the enemy would want to assault) will prevent them from getting into melee. They would have to go around the Devilfish.

While I like squads of 12, Suneokun prefers squads of 9. 12 isn't always the best, unless you are deploying in devilfish. 9 firewarriors will break after 3 deaths, the same as twelve. But 4x9 gives you four scoring units with decent firepower and the same breakpoints compared to 3x12. Plus 9 FW and a Shas'Ui are 100pt (makes the math easier). (Suneokun of Pathfinder)

Bryan prefers to use Kroot, so his Fire Warriors have a much smaller role on the field. FWs are ok...but i run mine as 6 man squads in a fish...they move around and contest and control objectives. (Bryan)

Any tactics or insights you have that I haven't covered? Drop in a comment and I'll add any viable comments to the review (with credit given)!

Monday, November 30, 2009

No One Likes Veggies and Dip

Boy, this one took a while for me to finish. It's a two pager, as picasa won't allow any image taller than 1600 pixels...

A 3, a 5 and an Ace? I'd be pissed too. Hope those other two cards were also aces... though he probably would have waited until after this hand to go berserk if they were...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Space Hulk Mission 3

Time for another round of Space Hulk with the wife. She seems to have the sneaking suspicion that I may have not been giving my A game in the first 2 rounds, and has decided that a mere cup of tea is not high enough stakes!

Should I lose this round...
I vacuum the house. Should I win, she makes me some gingerbread cookies. And I loooove Katie's gingerbread cookies, so it is definitely ON!

Here's the setup:
She gets 10 terminators in two squads. Sgt. Lorenzo's squad begins in the corridors to the north-east. Sgt. Gideon's squad begins play in the southwest. Her goal is to escort a C.A.T. (which is currently with Sgt. Lorenzo's squad) off the board at Sgt. Gideon's starting zone. With 10 terminators, and me only getting 2 blips/turn ... I'm not so sure about my chances with those cookies...
Katie sets up her models.

Turn 1:
Sgt. Gideon moves to cover the genestealer entry points immediately to the west with a liberal use of command points and even sets him to Guard. Brother Omnio stands as backup, while the rest of the squad moves to secure the mid-section of the board. Gideon and Omnio must hold this area, or Lorenzo's squad will have a hard time getting the C.A.T off the board here.

Meanwhile, Brother Noctis takes the charge. Brother Scipio holds the C.A.T.

My first blip is placed in the mid-section. I see this as my only chance to really stop this mission is to flood the mid-section with genestealers...
But I can't let the wife know that. ;) I've thrown a single genestealer blip to lurk down by Gideon just to keep her attention split (Since Gideon is within 6 squares, the blip must lurk a turn before entering the board).

Turn 2:
Sgt. Gideon and Omio hold position. The rest of the squad plow onward. I throw my genestealer at Gideon and the valiant sergeant promptly makes its face explode.

Katie positions Brother Noctis to cover the north corridor. I allocate one of my two blips to the midsection. Each one is lurking behind a door or at an intersection.

My second blip was placed down here, mainly to keep Brother Zael and Goriel's attention.

Turn 3:
I've thrown another blip into this stalemate with Goriel. He positions himself to allow Brother Zael to move onward.
As with the first two turns, my other blip is in the mid-section. I anxiously await Sgt. Lorenzo and Brother Scipio to arrive carrying the C.A.T. >:)

Turn 4:
Lorenzo and Scipio set up in the room and open the door. I throw another blip in the midsection. The tension is certainly rising. I also have my two blips in the south charge Brother Goriel, so Katie isn't completely focusing on what's going to happen with Scipio and Lorenzo...

Down by Sgt. Gideon, I've placed my second blip of the turn to lurk there. I don't want her feeling it is safe to have him help out the middle.

Turn 5:
Gideon's squad approaches, and Scipio and Lorenzo hold, waiting for the assistance. I chose to strike now before Gideon's squad could fully assist. While Scipio's Overwatch took out 2 genestealers, the third got him and took him out. Sgt. Lorenzo took out the offending xeno, but was then falls prey to a hideous roll. He parried my high dice (a 5, which re-rolled to a 4), and rolled a 1 himself! Guard allowed him to reroll, but again he rolled a 1! Alas! Sgt. Lorenzo is no more! The genestealer moves to engage Brother Zael!

Turn 6:
Brother Noctis wheels south and sets Overwatch, fearing the worst! A newly allocated blip races down the north corridor unmolested! He's right behind you!

Brother Zael is creamed!

With enough mahem going on here, I allocate another blip to lurk by Sgt. Gideon again. I want to try and overwhelm him.

Turn 7:
Sgt. Gideon lasts this round holding off the tide (he stalemated with the front stealer).

We rolled a 2 to determine who moves the C.A.T. 1-3 means the genestealer player moves it ... and I moved it north west ... into the den of the genestealers midsection. This is going to be hard to recover...

Turn 8:
Brother Noctis falls to the swarm, beset on both sides. Brother Goriel moves to hopefully recover some of the mess. Blips now flow freely from the location he was guarding.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Gideon destroys 5 genestealers, only to be felled by the sixth. Brother Omnio uttered a curse and destroyed the foul thing with his Storm Bolter.

Turn 9:
The genestealers are waiting behind doors. At this point, time is on my side. Every turn gives me two more blips. Katie realizes this and moves Brother Valencio to the door, and sets overwatch. The C.A.T. roll goes in my favor again, and the little treaded crazy moves further out of their reach.

Brother Goriel clears out a few of the beasts, but gets into close combat with one...

Turn 10:
and doesn't last long. Brother Valencio takes out the first genestealer who opens the door, but jams and falls to the second. This is an unholy day.

Turn 11:
Even Brother Leon falls! Brother Deino sets up in the corner to deal with the horde, while Brother Omnio leaves his post to assist. Fresh blips pour from where he was guarding! The exit is cut off!

Turn 12:
Brother Omnio realizes his mistake and wheels around, setting Overwatch. Foul, crafty xenos!

Turn 13:
The horde overwhelms Brother Deino (seriously, just check out how many have been grouping up here! There's a veritable congo line of blips back there!).

Turn 14:
Omio wheels around again! He can't decide which direction to watch! A blip closes from behind!

Turn 15:
Brother Omnio moves to set himself in a corner. All enemies to the front, his last stand will be made here! The Emperor will find no claw marks at his back, only thousands of spent Bolter casings and tyranid carcasses before him, finally laid low by some lucky stealer in the back!

... not really. He jammed on his first shot and died without killing a single genestealer.
You lose! Good DAY, Sir!

Aaaaaah, yes! My prize! Omnomnomnomnomnomnom! ^^

Monday, November 2, 2009

Step-By-Step Dark Angels Dreadnought

Now I finally have a normal Dreadnought in addition to my Venerable Dreadnought. The prime difference between them is that this one's got options. The venerable was done before I had really figured out ways to make them interchangeable.

Ok, The pieces for this particular build came from a few different places. Most of it was from the standard SM Dreadnought Box. The DA bits all came from the Ravenwing vehicle sprue (sarcophagus plate, leg plates, some scrolls and the DA icon mounted on top). The last bit that's new is I snagged a Multimelta arm from the Black Reach box set. There's only a little bit of magnetizing going on (and I'll show it specifically). All the arms actually fit snugly "dry" on the arm pegs with the sole exception of the Multimelta. The hole in the arm is too small. get out a drill bit that's large enough and make it bigger. It'll fit eventually. ;)

Step 1: Basecoat
Also pictured, the package of plasticard that I get for the base.

The only magnetizing on this model is to switch out the Storm Bolter with the Heavy Flamer on the Close Combat Arm. Above, I've highlighted where the magnets are. I go over the "how to" in these posts (part 1, part 2). The magnets used are a 1/16" diameter disc magnet (1.5mm). You can find it here. It's the smallest size they carry over at Gaussboys.

What I've done (as I know it's a bit hard to see) is replaced a section of the arm's "tab" with the magnet, and drilled a hole within the slot of the weapon. I've made a diagram to hopefully illustrate this better than I can describe:
This way the pieces still fit together in a slot-tab fashion with the addition of a magnet.

Step 2: Basecoat mix 2:1 Dark Angels Green : Knarloc Green
I have an interesting method of getting a Dark Angels finish. As with most of the effects I do, I want to build bright, then darken with a wash. I've tested a lot, and found that for what I want, a 2:1 mix of Dark Angels Green and Knarloc Green will give me the desired effect. Also, the addition of Knarloc means the paint will be nice and thick, ideal for a basecoat.

Step 3: Gretchin Green drybrush
This is the highlight step of my typical 3-step process (basecoat, highlight, wash). I'm focusing mainly on edges here, and avoiding the flat surfaces.

Step 4: Boltgun Metal
First up, all metal parts get a basecoat, but in addition (because this is a vehicle) I've very lightly drybrushed in specific places over the green to get some weathering in before the wash.

Step 5: Shining Gold

Step 6: Badab Black wash
Lay it on nice and thick, you want to bring that bright green down to an acceptable tone. I realize this may be brighter than some are used to for DA (partly due to GW's inconsistent depictions of their colors over the years/codices), but this is about the shade that I have come to like for them.

Step 7: Dheneb Stone Basecoat
For all scrolls and skulls.

Step 8: Mechrite Red Basecoat
For all purity seals and miscellaneous parts you want accented in red.

Step 9: Blood Red drybrush

Step 10: Fiery Orange highlight

Step 11: Devlan Mud wash
This is on both the Dheneb Stone stuff, and the red stuff.

The reds are finished, now we're going to go back to the scrolls and skulls.

Step 12: Bleached Bone drybrush

Step 13: Skull White drybrush
much lighter than the Bleached Bone. Feather it along scroll edges and around the "face" of skulls, i.e. the eye-sockets and jaw.

Step 14: Gryphonne Sepia wash
This should be applied strategically (as opposed to covering everything) to the mid-tone areas near the Devlan Mud creases. Try to stay away from edges where there is Skull White, this isn't meant to tone that down.

Ok, next up, I've got a Multimelta and a Heavy Flamer that I want to try a trick on. I want some heat corrosion on the barrels.

Step 15: Devlan Mud wash
Cover about 2/3 of the barrel's length from the tip. Typical heat corrosion goes from the metal's base color to brown to indigo to black at the very tip. We want to leave some room for those other two colors.

Step 16: Leviathan Purple wash
Cover about half of the barrel's length from the tip.

Step 17: Badab Black wash
Cover the last third of the barrel's length from the tip. Voila!

Next up, there's a technique I've been using on my whites that I first crafted on my Ravenwing Bikers. it's a cool white, meaning we're going to work up from a blue.

Step 18: Shadow Grey Basecoat
This is as dark as it gets.

Step 19: diluted Skull White
There will be two total Skull white steps. In this first one, the paint is diluted to still show some of the blue underneath. This is applied very carefully to only the raised areas. Also, I leave a tiny bit of the Shadow Grey alone in areas I want to appear very deep.

Step 20: Skull White
This time the paint is not diluted. In the case of the feathers, I've only put this on the last third of each feather, to leave the blue showing through on the rest. Also, you may have noticed I applied a freehand wing on that large blank space on the dreadnought's front, and hit the missiles.

Next up, targeting lenses...

Step 21: Enchanted Blue
Enchanted Blue is still in production, I just still have an old pot of it.

Step 22: Deadly Nightshade
Ok, Deadly Nightshade is not in production anymore... technically. They basically made it a foundation paint and called it Necron Abyss. It's equally as usable in this step.

Step 23: Ice Blue
A small rim of Ice Blue on the opposite side as your Necron Abyss (Deadly Nightshade).

Step 24: Skull White
A tiny spot of white in the middle of your dark area for the actual reflection point of your light source.

Step 25: Chaos Black
Barrel holes and script on scrolls. My dreadnought's name is Remiel.

The models is ready. On to the base...

Step 26: cut out the plasticard
I've drawn a circle on the backside of the plasticard with a pencil and the base itself, so I can easier cut it out with my scissors.

Step 27: PVA Glue and basing material
I used some GW gravel. typically what I do to these is place some glue on the base, pour some gravel on the base... let sit... shake off loose/excess gravel back into container... apply watered down glue over the gravel. This will keep it sturdy.

Step 28:
I want the gravel to resemble crumbled ceiling/infrastructure, so I'm painting it Codex Grey

Step 29: Skull white drybrush
on the gravel.

Step 30: Fun with Washes! :D
Ok, I'm going for a look of an old tiled floor left to nature's devices for a while. This also was the result of a lot of testing. The mix I use now is a 3:2:2:1 mix (Water:Devlan Mud: Badab Black: Thraka Green). I only wanted a touch of green and brown, and I flood the base with it. I actually want it to dry unevenly with some rings/discoloration. So while wet, I will touch some diluted Thraka Green or Devlan mud to an area and let it spread as it will. I'm sorry I don't have separate pictures for all that, but it must be done pretty quickly so that it doesn't dry before you're done.

There you are! Glue him down and you're set!

What do you think? Did you find this useful? Any tips or tricks that you use that are similar? Maybe suggestions for me (some area where you feel I could improve)?

Thanks for reading :)
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