Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Logistics of 40k

"...amateurs study tactics; generals study logistics..."

-Author unknown- (to me anyways)

So every week, we all have the same dilemma, how to transport our armies to the FLGS (or whichever venue in which you play) and back again, intact! While not often discussed, this aspect of the hobby, is as integral to gaming as is dice, miniatures, rule books, etc. There are a myriad of products out there, many work well, while some, not so much. They are all however, far better then the old days of tanks in a box with the foam from the blister packs in between (if anything), and minis in plastic tackle boxes or the old rectangular Chessex cases (which I admit to still using).

A problem with the cases produced by the various companies out there, are that they don't work together, but rather in competition with one another (as it is so with any product). Here is what I use though, some of which isn't the typical set up. Not so much as thinking out of the box, but rather thinking of other boxes...

First off, the GW mini case.

Old, tried & true, i have 4 all of which were picked up 2nd hand or on clearance. GW has since come out with newer, larger types, but they're quite pricey.

Next the Sabol cases. Whomever invented these should be knighted!

Note: there is an IG case in there, a friend is borrowing my Basilisk this weekend, and i don't have a case for the Red Trukk yet.

Third (and far from the norm), the fruit of the month club boxes!

My uncle in Pennsylvania periodically signs my Grandparents up for the fruit of the month club for Christmas, and the boxes that they come in are perfect for artillery, IG weapons teams, lootas & odd shaped minis. Army lists, codexes, templates, etc fit in above the top layer of foam. Best of all, they're FREE! (to me)

So here we have it.

I'm at a loss on the Matilda, it just sits on the seat of my truck.

So what to do @ this point? Credit for that goes to my friend Murl who spotted this little gem @ Office Depot for about $25-$30 a few years back (stickers not included).

I think its intended for files or something. It folds up for storage when not in use.

it folds out easily, and the top is a good place to set your army up, before deploying without cluttering up the game table.

Up to two standard GW mini cases will fit, but only one is needed here. Its almost a custom fit!

Next come the Sabol cases...

Again, the deep tank trays will stack up to 2 deep while on top of the GW case.

Put the top on, the fruit boxes over that and are held on by a bungee cord, and I'm ready to go!

...and it even has wheels!

There are four of these in use in our local gaming group.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mustering for war...

One of our local players has been prepping for the Ard Boyz tournament here of late. He had kinda dropped of the face of the Earth for a while, and then came outta nowhere with a beautifully painted Ork army! (sorry, no pics of it) Its all red, clean bright & has a nice cohesive theme (the polar opposite of mine). I haven't played against his Orks, but was looking for something different & dropped him an email today to see if he wants to play. Despite several in the area, I rarely face an Ork Army around here (hint, hint...I know you guys are going to read this...), and would like to see how my DLWDG would stack up vs. a prospective Ard Boyz 'kontenda'.

I think he's been playing around 2k points, so I built a list accordingly, but checked the Ard Boyz 2010 roolz, and saw that it's point limit is set to 2500 points! So, going back to da' list, I pretty much hit the wall at 2250 points. I have a few random boyz I can scrounge up, and can proxy 4 Mega-Nobz (I only have 1 'Eleet' slot open after 2250pts) if he wants a full 2500 points (assuming he can play this coming weekend).

So I pulled Da boyz out, checked my math (which is always debatable)and lined them up for a group shot...

Ta Dah!

All told there's 74 Orks, 33 Grots, and nine vehicles, of which only 23 models aren't painted (about a third of them Grots)! This is very dangerous territory, as my loyalist IG army is about 5 minis short of a fully painted 1750pt. list. If I understand it correctly, having both fully painted Ork AND Imperial Guard armies at the same time (my WHFB O&C army is about 75% painted too) is like breaking one of the seven seals of the Apocalypse! Personally though, I think its more a sign of the abysmal economy. Paint is cheaper than new minis!

Anyways, Da Boyz iz ready, and if he can play on Saturday, then Orks WIN!

An' dats all dat matters!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trolling for ideas...

Not too much on the hobby front this week. I guess that not going to the game shop this weekend knocked the minis down the priority list a few notches. I have been looking for ideas for the Marines Malevolent. I've been trolling around the internet & reread portions of Salamander to refresh my memory of them, about 30 pages worth. Most of the MM's fluff is centered around Captain Vinyar's 2nd co. Here's what I have thus far:
Marines Malevolent Background info

Old armor/weapon types, armor often looks like a patchwork of repaired types. Bolters with drum fed ammo clips

Known to use Tarantulas

Known to use Whirlwinds

No librarians in command positions, dislike of librarians in general

Rivalry with salamanders, accused to have been stalking the strike cruiser Vulcan’s Revenge in order to exact retribution. Blows struck between Tu’shan & Capt. Vinyar on Armageddon.

Logistical support partially achieved via scavenging, they’re borderline pirates

In general considered to be hostile towards humans, and have a severe superiority complex, often also called (quoted from many fan based sources) ‘just a bunch of dicks!’

Limited resources due to many enmities, including Mechanicus.

Capt. Vinyar’s strike cruiser is named Purgatory, has dark & shadowed interiors

Vinyar described as vain glorious, hostile & utterly ruthless

Frequent use of teleporters/homing beacons (of an antiquated design)

Lots of newly acquired Mk VII power armor & bolters from derelict mechanicus ship

Will kill imperial citizens without compunction to achieve their goals

2nd co (Vinyar’s) cleansed Ymgarl of genestealers (according to Battle Standard aboard the Purgatory)

Among Xenos skulls & chaos helms they have a Black Dragons helm as a trophy on board the Purgatory

Will not fight as allies to Black Dragons

Armor is salvaged from fallen battle brothers & worn to honor memory

Often paint skull like images on the face plates of helms, like a chaplain’s helm, though often cruder in form.

Terminators use outdated patterns & Twin bolters (old Space hulk Termies?)

use extortion to achieve goals

2nd. Co includes Sgt Lorkar & Techmarine Harkane

Again, most of this comes from Salamander, but is a good start. Aside from trying to get the flavor of the army, I've been scrounging through the bitz boxes (consolidating a few) for old marines, setting them in some Simple Green for a few days & then scrubbing them clean. I won't need too many, as the army will be predominantly scouts. I found:

1 in Mk II Crusade armor

1 in Mk IV Maximus armor

1 in Mk V Heresy armor

1 in Mk VI Corvus armor

2 in Mk VIII Errant Armor

1 Techmarine (the helmetless one looking into the auspex)

The Mk VIII is listed as a newer rare type (perhaps it was mixed in with the scavenged Mk VII armor?), often worn by officers as a sign of rank. I've always liked that style, and will probably use one of them as my 10th Co. Captain. One has had its Imperial Aquila crudely filed off (former Red Corsair I'd venture to guess), so will probably use the other. I don't really have any bolters with drum magazines, but I have a ton of old 2nd. ed. bolters, so that'll work I think. The narcethium bit was a disappointment though. A portion of it was filed off to fit a nonstandard model, so may just have to bit order those parts from the warstore or something. A bit more paint has made it onto another scout, but that's about it.

Kinda slow going, but such is the way of new armies.

Monday, April 19, 2010

...and so it begins...

With the universal approval of the Marines Malevolent, I picked up a Scout squad and started painting some test minis. I was going to start off with a shotgun squad (I always liked shotguns as in the old codex they were more effective when the scouts beat you with them rather than when actually firing the weapon) BUT, one broke as I was cutting it from the sprue. Not wanting a mixed weapons squad, I instead opted for Bolt Pistols & close combat weapons.

As you can see I haven't gotten too far. I usually finish a mini off with some dry brushing for added depth & to dirty them up a bit, so that they look like they're on campaign. I forgot to get some decal paper at my FLGS this past weekend, so the dry brushing will have to wait. The Sgt. will be the one with the chainsword, and the guy with the servo skull will be designated as an aspirant for the Adeptus Mechanicus/Techmarine. Not sure how to paint his armor, all red or maybe just a red shoulder pad, red arms with black torso? I'll figure it out at some point. I have several servo skulls, so will have a few sprinkled throughout the army (maybe one or two in blue armor as Librarium aspirants too).

Actually this weekend was more about Orks. Admuarrals Orkbar & Ballsey led their little fleet of Ork ships to victory in their first game of BFG. I learned a few things during the game: (1) eavy gunz sound questionable on paper, but are devastating once in range, (2) Brute Ram ships are all about psychological warfare. They scared the hell of my opponent but didn't do any more than inflict 2 points of damage via ramming. The implied threat they carry are worth it though, (3) Fighta Bommas while a nice concept, aren't necessary to table the opponent (once the eavy gunz are in range) which was good as I only managed one 'reload ordinance' order due to consistently rolling 'box cars' for leadership, (4) one warp core or plasma breach in a game when the fleets are close together is bad. Whereas FIVE are REALLY bad! (virtually all of my escorts died from these).

I also got a hellova deal on a box of Killa Kans. It had a $10 off sticker on it, GW stuff was 10% off, and I had a $5 off (on a purchase of $25 or more) coupon, the $5 & $10 off don't stack, but I needed primer which as a result I basically got for free. How could I resist? Yeah I need more Orks like I need a whole in the head (and eavy support no less, I already have like 6 eavy choices!), but GW stuff on sale is kinda like spotting a unicorn.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Space Marine Conundrum.

What to do, what to do, what to do...

Well, like most people it feels like I've played space marines forever (though unlike most people, my first 40k army was IG). Over the years I've fielded (in no particular order): Silver Skulls, Desert Wolves (home brew chapter), Red Talons, Black Talons, Ultramarines, Skittles (Crusade SM army), Red Corsairs (back when they were mostly multi-colored with defaced loyalist heraldry), Iron Hands, Space Wolves (twice), Flesh Tearers, Iron Warriors, Blood Eagles (home brew CSM), Angels of Redemption (a bitch to paint!), and currently the Dark Hands. Umm, yeah I think that that's everybody. If I'm not a repeat offender, then no one is!

So I'm sure that by now you'll not be surprised to hear that I'm kinda bored with marines, and not sure where to go with them. 2 weeks ago I fielded an 1850 list of Dark Hands that was pure infantry (and not using all of it), and later that week I wondered, 'well just how many points of DH do i have?'

Answer: 3100+ points!

Hello ebay, how are ya? No more Catachan Green & black for me, tired of that. I announced that I was going to sell them while at the game shop last weekend which was met with loud & immediate protests and outrage. Indeed I was told, point blank (and more than once) that I was 'just stupid' for selling that army. So, bowing to public pressure (for once), I pulled a few Termies off of ebay, and let the rest with bids go. So my now pared down DH army rolls in somewhere between 1800-2000pts. Still quite respectable, and fieldible.

I had intended to get rid of all of them barring what couldn't be easily repainted as Imperial Paladins (more on them in a bit) and my Predator, which was going to be retired to a permanent place in a display case.

I got an Honorable mention at the Atlanta Gamesday with the above tank a few years back (it made it onto GW's website, though not the White Dwarf) and as such, it'll never be sold. Probably the closest I'll ever come to a trophy.

I've never fielded more than a handful of Imperial Paladins, usually as allies to the Inquisition (till that army went onto ebay leaving me with just random inquisitors & retinues). The Imperial Paladins, like the Dark Hands have an official color scheme, name & icon, and nothing else, allowing me to do with them as I please. Borrowing heavily from the remnants of the DH, they were going to more or less fit my usual SM template of slow, methodical, foot slogging marines that win through brute force & attrition. In fact, pretty much all of my marine armies have used this methodology aside from the 'rhino rush' Desert Wolves and (somewhat oddly) Iron Warriors.

No, we're not Blue Templars! We're the Imperial Paladins!

Of course the whole reason I was aiming for the IP (lol, with those initials & the blue paint, I can already hear the IP police jokes coming) for really no other reason than I like this Predator. Painted more or less as a one off 'for the hell of it' model, the only other things I have painted is a captain (who tore a bloody swathe through the Blood Angels last weekend) and a single sergeant. A few marines are base coated, but that's it. A buddy of mine last week suggested that I do something different with the IP, than just my usual set up.


Well, I've always wanted to do a scout company, lets try that. I know there are arguements all over the internet that are both for and against scout armies but so what, I want to do itI It'll be fluffy, screw effective (which is true if my DH scout sniper squad is any indication). Keeping my captain, cherry picking a few base coated marines & the painted sarge for a command squad (found a narcethium pack in the bitz box and a Librarian too). So that'll cover HQ, I have a primed AoBR quad-autocannon dread (yes my cheap dread is now just as expensive as a normal one) and techmarine for Elites. I'll fill the troops & Fast attack slots with scouts of various descriptions and for heavy, I'll just use the above Predator. Just with a BS of 3, as its a 'training tank' crewed by scouts.

Sounds like a plan...but...with so few painted minis for the Paladins, I could just sell them too, and start from scratch.


Having no fluff kinda leaves me in the dark on where to go with them, so I was thinking of what chapter's fluff really appealed to me that I've never fielded before (I don't go the math hammer/shiny new codex route when picking, either pretty color scheme/minis or fluff is the deciding factor). After a bit, the only name that popped into mind, was the Marines Malevolent.

-evil grin-

In the 3rd war for Armageddon, they got their first bit of fluff and showed a serious sense of pride & ego. Collateral damage? What collateral damage? There was also rumor that blows were struck between their Captain & the Salamander's Chapter Master. Then came the 1st Salamanders novel (SPOILER ALERT), in which they were in my opinion, the BEST part of the novel! (are they in the 2nd by chance?) Their role was limited but pivotal in the end, and well...they weren't only borderline Pirates, but REAL bastards in that book, no other way to describe it. {:-D That's quite appealing when I think of it! And with all of the newly acquired power armor from the Arx Tyrannis, they certainly need some scouts to fill them. I also have several marines in old armor types (which is appropriate) to use as the Captain & command squad (and to tie in the Armageddon fluff, the Whirlwinds would have scout crews with BS3).

So, build an army around a pretty blue tank? Or go for the black and yellow Bastards that are all but hated by the Salamanders?

Dunno what to do.....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some more random stuff...

Hello all,

Well, after working on it piecemeal over the past few months, my red Ork Trukk is finally finished! I kinda screwed up the gunner a bit. His head is positioned so that the arm supporting the big shoota almost completely blocks his line of sight. However with a BS of 2, its really rather immaterial as to whether an Ork can see his target or not before pulling the trigger.

On the Heavy Gear front, I've completed my first LHT-71. Well, actually this is my 2nd, the first came out so well, that approximately 24 hours after receiving my PAK starter army, it was bathing in some simple green to remove a bad paint job! The starter box didn't have any decals, and in trying to make my own, the numbers were too really be legible, so I opted for some I.G. numbers.

...and lastly, a bit of a correction on the Triceratops cast. It came from a museum in North Dakota (the name of which escapes me), whereas the actual Triceratops fossils on loan were from the Discovery Museum in the Shenandoah. Yeah I know, boring but should be noted.

I had Friday off, so I went to the Museum, and managed to drybrush the entire skull! It took me roughly 5 hours to do. The staff seemed to be pleased though, so it was worth it! They hope to have the whole skeleton ready for assembly in December. I think that i can do that, maybe. There sure is a lot of casts in the collections hall!

Here I am at about the halfway point. The top part of the snout & horn in back have yet to be drybrushed at this point, so you can sorta see the transition in color here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

THIS will squash your Stegadon like the bug that it is!

Remember the 'and now for something completely different' post from a week or so back? Well, it turns out that I had no idea what I was talking about (although my PAK starter box did arrive today!!!) as my new project is far more aptly described as such. I vaguely touched on it in the last point of my last post, and the project has been approved! And its at this point that I shall wildly diverge from the gaming topic...

So what is it that I'll be drybrushing? A life sized resin cast replica of a Triceratops skeleton! (Much like the one below)

Copyrighted by Nielseno, used without permission.

Now, as you can see, this is ANYTHING but a miniature! Indeed, I'm wondering as to just what I may have gotten myself into!

I suppose I should explain how this has come about. I've been a volunteer at the Gray Fossil Museum since before its inception (originally volunteering at ETSU's Paleo department, in the basement of Brown Hall on the ETSU campus). The museum itself opened up in the early Autumn of 2007. It should also be mentioned that the Gray fossil site has only prehistoric animals dating from 4.5 to 7 million years ago. No dinosaurs of our own, we have some gators & lots of turtles though!

Photo free to use under creative commons, by Paleoclipper used without permission

Recently they've received a resin cast replica of a Triceratops from the Discovery Museum in Shenandoah Virgina (I'm pretty sure that's the correct museum, there are two with similar names in the Shenandoah area), to display on a semi-permanent basis (I say semi, as I am really unaware of the duration aside from quote: 'a long time'). The skeleton was excavated in Hells Creek Montana, and one of our lab technicians was on the original dig, and has previously volunteered at the Discovery museum.

Anyways, it came to the Gray museum prepainted, however it was rather light in color, and the staff decided to repaint it (the fossils discovered in Gray are of a much darker color, and I think that is why it struck them as needing new paint). After base coating, the staff was having difficulty highlighting the pieces, using acrylics (mixed & then applied via wadded up paper towels with the excess immediately wiped off if I understood them correctly). I suggested drybrushing & did so on a small portion of a test piece. The collections assistant lit up and asked if I'd do that to an entire piece (a vertebrae) which took me about 30 minutes to do. Well, they loved it & now I'll be drybrushing the whole thing! Lol, to date the largest piece that I've ever painted was an Armorcast Shadowsword. Drybrushing isn't too technically a skilled process, so I suppose the real challenges will be consistency & the potential danger of monotony.

Well, I don't start till Saturday (I'll take some photos of the skull, as I'll be starting on that first). In the interim, I have some new PAK hover tanks & GREL infantry to attend to!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A few random tidbits.

Sorry, no cohesive theme this time around (assuming that I ever had one in the first place)...

First off, I painted my 'Not-So-Big Mek' today. It came out pretty good I think. I painted his bike yellow as its the only one in my army (no more bikes are planned), so I figured he was probably of the bad moon mindset.

'Cuz a propa Bad Moon gotz iz own ride, an' dozzint need ta hitch a ride in annuver boy's trukk.'

Second, the guys at the Bell of Lost Souls have been gracious enough to add me to their blog alliance! BoLS was the first blog that I started to follow, Corbana Prime inspired me to give blogging a shot and From the Warp put me on the map! I'm continuously amazed at the variety of nationalities of the gamers/hobbyists that have visited my blog (even more so after adding a page hit tracker earlier this week).

Third, I've volunteered for a dry brushing 'project', though its still pending administrative approval. Not sure if I'll be allowed to post WIP photos or not, however I'm both excited by the prospect while daunted by the scale of it! (the scale being life sized!) Yeah I know that's rather vague, but I'll have to keep it at that for now I think. Technically its not a 'hobby' project, but I've honed my dry brushing skills over the years on an endless variety of minis. So if its a go, hopefully they'll let me post some pics on here.

That's all for now I guess, so brace yourselves, Monday is almost here! (unless your in Australia in which case you're likely to already be wading through it) {:-(

Friday, April 2, 2010


So, how much stuff can you put on an Ork Warbike & yet still have it still be mobile? Turns out, quite a bit. Now, I've always avoided bikes because I can't seem to roll higher than a 2 when it comes to armor saves. When I first started using ebay, my SM bikes were some of the first to go.

This bike however, dunno where/when I got it, has been on the shelf for years, on the table...only once that I can recall. I tried to give it away @ one point, but the new Ork bikes had just come out, so that was a no go. So I started fiddling with it on & off. I've decided on making him into a 'Not-So-Big Mek'. He'll hang back & wait for a vehicle to break (which won't take long) and then turbo boost over to fix em' up!

I've removed the hideous guns that stuck way out, replacing them with big shootas from the old trukk. Added a bed roll, Mek's toolz from a Gorka Morka Spanner (mek), and a big choppa from a Gorka Morka Nob (just in case something outflanks an' needs a good stompin!). A Forgeworld glyph is on the back, a targeting crosshair on the front and he's gotta little back pack from somewhere. The best part is his grot oiler who's ridin' shotgun. I have a rounded Calvary base coming as well (I got it when I an ordered econobox mini case [PERFECT for BFG fleets] from the Warstore). I'll start painting on this this weekend.