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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week's Progress ... and other stuffs

Sorry about not posting for a good 2 weeks. The wife and I are shopping for a house, so that's been stealing a lot of our time. Gotta find one with a room large enough for all my 40k stuff. ;)

This weekend I spent a whole lotta time painting. I'm ready to pass out from this marathon quite pleased, and I think you'll see why:

Finished that Diresword Exarch.

Painted a twin Shuriken-Catapult Exarch while I was at it. :)

Finally got the hang of that snow basing. Starting with a white basecoat really helps. Also, after the snow-flakes are glued down, I followed up with another layer of watered down glue on top of the flakes. It ended up flattening it a bit and making it look like they're actually on snow instead of Splenda. ;P I painted 5 Tau in celebration of this.

My wife bought me this Big Mek for Christmas. I would always rave about him and show her pictures of him off the online store. He's got such character. I love this model.

I finished the paint-a-thon by making 10 lava bases, and painting up 10 Khorne Bloodletters. The hell-blade scheme is inspired by one of the pics from the Daemons Codex. There was a scheme that made the blade look like the heat was coming from the hilt and was inside the blade itself. It was a smouldering kind of look and I thought it perfectly captured what a "hell-blade" would look like.

I got this look through a few steps. The blade was first based in Solar Macharius Orange, then some Skull White was put around the hilt and edges to lighten it up. I then coated the blade in Sunburst Yellow (GW's yellows are really weak, which is why I used Skull White first, so it would be a bright yellow). The blade should look very bright, and if you're going for a flame-scheme, this is a good place to stop. Next, I used Baal Red wash, keeping it away from the hilt and some edges, then coating the last 2/3 of the blade (you'll notice in the final pic, the end edges should be orange). This took a few layers to get it deep enough. Lastly a few layers of Badab Black along the flat of the blade, again keeping away from edges. Keep hitting it with the Badab Black until it's dark enough for your tastes.

The Daemons themselves were a quick process. The skin was Mechrite Red, followed by a heavy Blood Red drybrush, followed by a light Solar Macharius Orange drybrush, then a Devlan Mud wash.

Now, I'm basically the 40K posterboy for ADD, so it should strike you as significant that I assembly-lined a 10 man squad. I normally don't have the attention span for that kind of thing. I had read Ron's post a while back on FTW about how anyone can assembly line if you set aside the time specifically for it, do not allow yourself to be distracted, and stick to it. This finished unit is a testament to that... and also gives me a lot of hope given the imminent release of IG which I've pre-ordered like a typical GW-whore. ;) ... and I've also ordered some BFG, so you all will get to see that soon too. I certainly don't make it easy on myself, do I?

I've picked up a few more arms for my SM Terminator Captain. Double Thunderhammers! Woo!

The left hand was, of course, converted using a normal thunderhammer and a Termie powersword arm.

Yeesh, what to paint next...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Can She Do It?

The other day as I painted some Tau Firewarriors quietly at the dinner table, my wife informed me that she's set her sights on a new goal: Beating me at my own game.

Clearly the gauntlet had been thrown, and I could not back down from such a challenge. Prepare yourselves! It is time to choose a side! Are you Team Darksol, or Team Wifey?

750 points
The Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Dawn of War

Katie chose my beloved Dark Angels, playing them as normal Space Marines. Everything you see is WYSIWYG with the exception of the Termie Assault Cannon. She couldn't afford one, so it counts as a normal Storm Bolter- Power Fist combo. She'd also read my recent SM Librarian post and wanted to put that learning to the test. Her powers? Null Zone and The Avenger.

My army of choice would be Chaos Space Marines. She's new to the game, so I thought I'd keep things MEQ on both sides for simplicity's sake. Chaos Lord has standard Twin-Linked Bolter and Power Weapon. Thousand Sons Sorcerer has Doombolt. The Rhino does not have a Havoc launcher (couldn't afford it). The 5-man in the back is a unit of Chosen with 4 of them having Power Weapons and the other having a Meltagun.

I win the roll-off, and cede first turn to her. She chooses the above corner, and sets up her Tactical Squad around her objective with an attached Captain.

Her Scout Squad is deployed just to the left of that (after I had deployed my side).

I am going for a very aggressive tactic from the beginning, and so have deployed my objective relatively close to hers. My Chaos Marines with Glory Icon set up around it. Thousand Sons in the Rhino, and Lord in the back.

We're ready to go.

Aspiring Sorcerer Tekmet's transmission to Champion of Khorne: Memnar,
Dated 1.065.322:

Lord Brahm's presence is insufferable, and my talent wilts under his command. Today we engaged some more of the Emperor's dogs. It is strange that I did not see you among our ranks this day; they are your favored prey. No doubt because your god believes their skulls worth more, or some such nonsense? I had at least been afforded the use of our Rhino. Out the window I could see the lay of the land. The world was sickeningly colorful; a healthy kind of sick. My retinue had been sluggish of late. Must remember to look into cause later... forgive me, I ramble.

Katie's Librarian and Assault Squad enter the field near her Scouts and move forward. Some rolls for night-fighting from her Scout squad fail, and it is my turn.

Rhino forward, CSM forward. The Lord hangs back for the Chosen to arrive, then attaches to their unit. My initial idea here is to throw out the Rhino for her to focus on. The Thousand Sons will pop out rapid-firing while the CSM move unmolested forward to hopefully take the objective. The Lord and Chosen with Meltagun are going to attempt to counter her Terminator Squad.

So far, she appears to be taking the bait. her Assault Squad moves forward alone, and a few shots are fired at the Rhino to no avail. Bolters can't touch AV11.

On my turn, the Thousand Sons come out (perhaps a bit prematurely) and utterly destroy the Assault Squad with rapid firing Sorcerous Bolts. My Sorcerer's Doombolt is nullified by the Librarian's Psychic Hood. CSM and Chosen advance. The Rhino moves forward in order to get directly between her Terminators/Tactical Squad and my Thousand Sons. The Thousand Sons are my best anti-Space Marine I have.

Our time upon us, we exited our transport in order to neutralize their close-combat specialists. It was no challenge, though I felt an odd and familiar tugging through the Warp. Another presence denied me access to the twisting energies. This would be remedied in short order. How else can I be expected to do my work? Feh. Are you still incapacitated? I was told your system shut down in order to purge a strange toxin.

Katie's Terminators rush the empty Rhino. 1 Glancing Hit and 5 Penetrating Hits. Crazy enough, the Glancing Hit causes an Immobilized, and all 5 Penetrating Hits roll 1's and 2's! Bad dice!

Lots of stuff going on here. It's the bottom of the Third Turn. My CSM advance and rapid fire into the Librarian. He cannot stand up to the massed Bolter fire. My Sorcerer, now free from meddling Psychic Hoods, fails his Psychic Test! Thankfully, only rolling an 11 and not getting a Perils of the Warp. The Thousand Sons fire into the Tactical Squad, causing minimal casualties due to Cover Saves. My Chosen and Lord successfully assault her Terminators after missing (!) the Meltagun shot. Tragedy strikes as I roll like an all-time loser and only cause one wound. She claims 4. The dice have spoken.

In Turn 4, her Scouts claim a Thousand Son and her Tactical Squad takes aim also at the Thousand Sons, to no effect. Bad rolling is on both sides, at least. My Lord claims 2 more Terminators, but takes a wound himself (from the Sergeant) and loses his last Chosen.

My CSM press forward and annihilate the Scout Squad. The Thousand Sons reduce the Tactical Squad to nothing and cause a wound on the Captain thanks to some bad armour save rolls. The Lord fails spectacularly to cause a single wound, then recieves a Power Fist to the noggin. Instant Death!

They fell like flies, Memnar! I laughed aloud that you might hear what you were missing, but alas! That one hideous thing you craved more than the skulls of our former brethren came to pass while we fought that day. The great Lord Brahm is no more; struck down by a loyalist's powered fist. Oh the crimson and pink spray! His revolting and continually mocking face was obliterated in exactly the fashion that you used to tell us it would... only not by your hands. You have been denied, my friend. I wonder if Lord Brahm's last thoughts were regarding your strange absence. Anyway, despite this setback, the original plan still moved forward without him. Is it possible something you ate disagreed with you? I do hope your condition wasn't inflicted.

Turn 5, Katie's Captain amazingly stands and shoots! He is defiant to the last. The Storm Bolter does nothing. Her Terminators turn their attention back to the Rhino. She really hates that Rhino, but again fails to kill it.

My thousand Sons put the Captain to bed, and I move the CSM to take the objective. At this point, my plan is to intercept the Terminators in close combat with the Thousand Sons to prevent them from contesting the objective ... but I decide to lay into them with the CSM Bolters anyways (assuming I won't do much) and annihilate them both!

The last of the foe vanquished, we set to our work. This world was now defenseless and it's burning destruction would serve as a death toll to the Hive Worlds that depend on its constant supply of food.

With Lord Brahm dead, the great Warmaster's Council set to assigning a replacement. There was much talk of you, Memnar. I imagine if you had strode into the meeting with fresh Marine helms hanging from your loin-chain you would have garnered much praise and support. So fortuitous for me that only your absence was noted. The Council's selection was for someone much more reliable. I hope you will attend next week's raid. We assault Cirinth Prime. Do wake soon, won't you?


Lord-Sorcerer Tekmet

Victory: Mine! I gloated heavily while she made me some tea (my prize).


Well? How did she do? Give my wife some advice for next time: tips, tricks, what-have-you. I've already told her what I would have done differently in her position, but the more advice the better. I only ask that you be nice to her because she's only played a few games. Ever. Her actually playing 40K with me bodes well for my future happiness, and I don't want her discouraged ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend Progress

This weekend I finished painting an Ork Trukk for my Evil Sunz Boyz. Now they got somethin' to cruise around in. You can bet they're happy.

Reposted from the comments section:

Here's the process I used on the Trukk:

Everything metal(even if eventually painted red) is based with Tin Bitz.
Any areas that will be painted red are painted with Mechrite Red. This is followed by a heavy drybrush of Blood Red.
Next, Iyanden Darksun for anything Yellow.
Now, it's time for the Boltgun Metal. Get your nasty brush out. Drybrush heavy on the Tin-Bitz areas, and lightly on the red and yellow areas.
Give the entire thing a heavy Devlan Mud wash.
Basecoat the actual rubber tire areas with Charadon Granite, follow with a Badab Black wash.
Last step is to take whatever color your "dirt" is and drybrush that over the tires, along the front, bottom and back of the trukk. My "dirt" color was Solar Macharius Orange, as I'm basing my Orks on a Mars-ish landscape

Now these Tau models I had painted some time ago. I'm re-showing them because I experimented with re-basing them:
The snow stuff comes in a large container from Woodland Scenics. Note to self: put some white paint down on the base before adding snow next time; we want it to look like actual snow, not the mush you find at the side of the road on a semi-snowy day. =/

Last but not least, I began work painting my other two Dire Avenger Exarchs. This is the Diresword Exarch. Of course, I'm not done highlighting the blues yet ... I got distracted on his sword and basically went through to completion on just the blade before turning in for the night.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Space Marine Librarian

Special Characters aside, the Space Marine Librarian is one of your 5 basic options for an HQ selection (1 of 4 if you count Captain and Chapter Master as basically the same). At 100 points, he is priced exactly the same as the SM Captain, the SM Chaplain, and the Master of The Forge. These are the main options we will be comparing the Librarian to.

WS-5, BS-4, S-4, T-4, W-2, I-4, A-2, Ld-10, Sv-3+

Looking at the stats alone, the Librarian and the Chaplain are evenly matched. The Captain appears better suited for close combat with a higher WS, W, I and A value. The Master of The Forge looks better suited for long range with a lower WS, and a higher BS than the Librarian. We're seeing some early role-defining already.

Wargear/Special Rules
The SM Captain's Wargear Options only further his role-definition as close range. This is not to say you could not build him to be a mid-range, but that his options allow him better utility in close range than the other HQ options.

Conversely, the Master of The Forge's options only further his role-definition as mid-long range. Taking the Conversion Beamer especially will make him long range, as you will want to be further than 4 feet from your target to maximize that gun's power.

Now, down to the Librarian and the Chaplain. The Chaplain's equipment and options seem to direct him towards a close-mid range offensive support. He's geared for close combat, and bestows any squad he's attached to both Fearless and Liturgies of Battle, which allows them re-rolls to hit in their first round of an assault.

Librarians appear to be the most versatile of the options. This is mainly due to their large selection of Psychic Powers. Their uses and abilities vary so drastically from each other, that you could find your Librarian filling any number of roles on the battlefield depending on which two you choose.

Your best option here if considering taking a Librarian is to build out the rest of your list first, then decide what role you want him to take, and equip him accordingly.

Comes Standard
Force Weapon: This is a Power Weapon with an extra Psychic Power built in. If you inflict an unsaved wound on any multi-wound creature in close combat, you can attempt to inflict Instant Death. This requires a Psychic Test, as a normal power, and counts against your limit of powers/turn. This is a great tool that will allow your Librarian to help out in assaults, especially against other characters.

Psychic Hood: This tool allows your Librarian to fill a very specific defensive role against enemy Psykers. If any enemy model within 24" of your Librarian passes a Psychic Test, you can declare that you use your Psychic Hood. This is a roll-off between your Librarian and the enemy Psyker. D6+Ld. If you beat your opponent's score, the power is nullified and does not take effect. Fun to note: The Psychic Hood can be used once each time an enemy model uses a psychic power within range. Multiple Eldar Farseers? You can attempt to nullify EACH POWER one by one.

Psychic Powers: You get to choose 2 powers from a list of 9. For free. They do not cost you anything to take. I'll go over each power in a bit.

Epistolary: Normally a Librarian can only use one psychic power per turn. Upgrading to an Epistolary (+50 points) will allow you to use two psychic powers per turn. 50 points is a hefty price to pay, and keep in mind that you can only use one psychic "shooting attack" per turn, so to really maximize this, at least one of the powers is going to have to be a support/utility power. My advice to you is to decide what to take for the rest of the army, then decide what role needs filling/bolstering. Take a Librarian and choose a power to help him fulfill that role. Lastly, decide if you really need a second power. Will it help him in the role you need him to fill? Will it allow him some versatility that you feel is necessary?

You can replace his boltgun with a Storm Bolter(+3 points), Plasma Pistol(+15 points), or a Combi-Weapon(+15 points). Also important to note: You cannot both fire a ranged weapon and use a Psychic "shooting attack" in the same turn, so make this choice wisely.

Terminator Armour: Depending on what else you give him, the cost varies. If you are planning on taking a psychic "shooting attack," and think you'll be using that instead of any gun, you can take Termie Armour with no gun for only 25 points. This is the cheapest that any basic HQ can take Terminator Armour. You can also take Terminator Armour with a Storm Bolter(30 points), a Combi-Weapon(35 points) or with a Storm Shield(40 points). Be careful taking this route as your HQ is getting mighty expensive.

He may alternatively take a Jump Pack(25 points), or a Space Marine Bike(35 points). Mostly, I would suggest taking one of these options only to allow your Librarian to better attach to an Assault Squad or Bike Squad, though there are some other more interesting opportunities that lie with taking one of these options...

Psychic Powers

There are 4 "shooting attack" powers and 5 support/utility powers. Let's cover the "shooting attack" powers first.

Range 12", S-4, AP-2, Assault 4. At AP-2, you're looking at a great anti-Elites power. Assault 4 can really do some devastation to an opponent's heavy-armored infantry. Also at 12" Range, any unit he's attached to can really let rip with Rapid Fire weapons. I'm thinking specifically of Sternguard Veterans here, as they can really help to maximize this role. Consider taking Epistolary and a second power of either Gate of Infinity, Null Zone, or Force Dome depending on if you think this unit would benefit most from better mobility, possibly denying inv. saves, or survivability, respectively. Another possibility is to take a Jump Pack and attach him to an Assault Squad or Vanguard Vets. Smite would serve to soften up your target pre-assault.

One useful role I've used with my Librarian in the past is take him as an Epistolary attached to a Tactical squad. Gate of Infinity gets them close to the Enemy, and then Smite and normal shooting attacks will help cut through enemy troops. (Wanderer787 of Dawn Crusader Chronicles)

Machine Curse
Machine Curse is a 24" Range power that only affects Vehicles. While useful if you are expecting a mechanized force, this power seems a little underpowered compared to the others simply because it only causes glancing hits (it does cause them automatically, though, regardless of the Armour Value).

The Avenger
Template weapon, S-5, AP-3, Assault-1. This is another good power to give a Librarian attached to an Assault Squad or a Vanguard Vet Squad, given the range. Template weapon gives the added bonus of ignoring Cover Saves, so this is a really choice pre-assault power.

Vortex of Doom
Range 12", S-10, AP-1, Heavy-1, Blast. This is extremely powerful, and also slightly unreliable. Note that a failed Psychic Test will result in the blast marker being placed ON THE LIBRARIAN, with no scatter. This unreliability makes it somewhat less beneficial to attach him to another unit. A Vortex of Doom Librarian seems better off solo.
The short Range and Heavy-1 also make this power very difficult to fire off effectively as an infantry unit. This is where an interesting choice of wargear can come into play. Both Terminator Armour and Space Marine Bikes can fire Heavy weapons even if they moved during the movement phase.
Given that you might be taking a Librarian with this power solo, giving him Terminator Armour isn't such a bad idea. He can stomp around mid-field and fire off his Vortex of Doom as many times as possible until your opponent eventually takes him down (and your opponent WILL be gunning for him, especially if solo). If you're the uncaring type of commander, you can attach him to a Combat Squad, giving him some meat-shields to allow him another round or two.
A Space Marine Bike offers another interesting combination. This Librarian seems more of a suicide-bomber. Run him deep into enemy territory and terrorize your opponent, affording the rest of your army less resistance in doing what they need to do. Make sure your marines have wished their Battle-Brother well before he goes roaring off into the sunset, as he'll most likely not return. This ability tends to make your opponent focus-fire with extreme prejudice.

Now, on to the Support/Utility powers...

Force Dome
For an entire turn, your Librarian and any unit he is attached to will receive a 5+ invulnerable save. This is great for adding just a little bit of survivability to a unit which will most likely attract heavy fire in an attempt to neutralize your Librarian. In addition to adding survivability to a possible assault-role, this could also do well attached to a Troops selection, providing assistance in holding an Objective.

Gives your Librarian the Fleet special rule and an Initiative of 10 for the duration of that Assault Phase. Attached to an Assault-oriented unit, this would help out immensely in such a role, especially against Elite units or other high-Initiative opponents. If taking this route, consider upgrading to an Epistolary and taking Might of The Ancients as your second power.

Might of The Ancients
This gives you Strength 6 (and 2D6 for armour pen) for the remainder of that Assault Phase. Lemme think here... An Epistolary with this and Quickening (assuming standard equipment, and that you chose Bolt Pistol) would be doing 3 attacks (4 on the charge) at Initiative 10, with a Strength 6 Power Weapon. Huh.

The Gate of Infinity
You can warp anywhere within 24" as if you just came in via Deep Strike. This ability does extend to any unit your Librarian is attached to, with the added possibility of you automatically losing one model as a casualty if you roll doubles on a scatter roll. Given that this warping will deny you the ability to assault (acts like Deep Strike), if you take a unit with you, it should probably be a shooty one, like Sternguard, Terminators, Legion of the Damned, or even just a Tactical Squad. Especially useful if you do attach to a Tactical Squad to attempt a Turn 5 jump to an Objective that is un-claimed, or attached to anything in a Turn 5 jump to contest a claimed Objective.

An interesting thing to try with Gate of Infinity is to have several drop pods with locator beacons in your army, which allow you to deep strike unerringly if you're close enough to the pod.

Doing it that way lets you jump around from place-to-place without any worry that you'll randomly deep strike in the wrong area. If you combine it with other deep striking stuff, like termies, you could have an interesting setup for an army.(Pcrackenhead)

Null Zone
All enemy units within 24" of the Librarian must re-roll successful invulnerable saves for the remainder of the player turn. If used in conjunction with another ability or an anti-Elite role, this could do some serious damage. I can think of a few units that would really have a hard time with this (Farseer, Warlocks, anything from the Daemons army; seriously, the inv saves are all they have!).

Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius
Tigurius is our Libriarian Special Character. At 230 points, he's quite the investment, so make sure you really want him before you take him. Let's see what you get for all those points:

Master Psyker: He has ALL the above listed spells. All of them.
Gift of Prescience: You can re-roll any Reserves rolls, even successful ones.
Hood of Hellfire: It doubles as both a normal Psychic Hood and allows him to use THREE psychic powers per turn.
Rod of Tigurius: A master-crafted Force Weapon, allowing him re-rolls to attack.

... and that's it. In all other respects, he is just like a normal Librarian. ( that I think about it, that's kind of like saying "Other than his god-like powers, he's just a normal human." Silly of me.)


My purpose with these reviews is to simply provide all you 40K enthusiasts out there with a collection of thoughts and uses for each unit; i.e. how is it useful, and in what way? I do not claim to know everything or be perfect in any way, so if you feel that I have made a mistake or overlooked some important factor in any of these reviews please feel free to leave a comment. If I agree that it is important or you point out that I have made a mistake, I will adjust the post and give credit to the poster that prompted the edit.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Painted Chaos SM Rhino

Time for a little Choas SM love. After how successful my Chaos Terminator Lord turned out, I suddenly had the itch to paint up more of my Black Legion. Abaddon would be proud. ...or he wouldn't care, depending on his mood and/or how many noobs he's pwn'd that day. He strikes me as having a similar personality to those hard-core video-gamers who make it their job to go out of their way to grief people in game, constantly mocking the Imperials over his vox-caster. >:)

The black paint-job here is similar to what I did on the Lord. Basecoat of Charadon Granite followed by a heavy Badab Black wash, then edged with Codex Grey. All of the gold was Shining Gold followed by a heavy Devlan Mud wash.

"I don't think we have enough heads on our tank!"

The red here was just a Mechrite Red followed by a Devlan Mud wash.

I found a nifty list of Latin phrases on Wikipedia. From what I had seen in the various canon, Latin looks to be the "High Gothic" language used by the Imperium... plus it just looks cool emblazoned on tanks/armour and such. Vivere Militare Est translates as "To live is to fight." I've found some other cool even more chaos-y quotes in there for my future Chaos vehicles...


"Lrn 2 play, Commissar."

"For the Greater Good, lol."
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