Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Combat Patrol ideas


Last year I went to the 40k Meltdown tourney in Knoxville, it was fun, but the points vs. time allotted was off meaning none of my games (all of which were hordes vs. my horde) went beyond turn three. This year rumor has it that the meltdown will be a 'combat patrol' tourney presumably based on the Adepticon version (just google it). The possible exceptions are that they're thinking of allowing FW army lists with the restrictions of: no super heavy tanks/creatures, no flyers, and you actually have to have the rules needed (that last bit is a no-brainer, except locally we have some of the 'I got this scanned codex off of the internet' types).

My first thought was the Vraks Renegades!

• 20 man blob of workers rabble
• heavy weapons platoon (1 force org. slot) consisting of:
no frills command section, 2 lascannon squads, and my 2 quad-stubber sabre platforms.

Lots of guys, lots of firepower, and lots of LD issues. The workers rabble has LD of 5, the rest I won't know till the very beginning of each game.

Second thought was the Exodites (and a trimmed down 'cliff notes' version of their accompanying field guide).

The problem with Exodites is, if you don't have lizards on the table, you're doing it wrong. Five Dragon Knights & a 'naked' Warlock clock in @ 200 points. All that leaves room for then is either a large Guardian blob, or a small Dire Avenger squad & my scatter laser Guardian squad. Still viable though...

My third thought (and by far the easiest) is Da Orks!

In WWII the LRDG would (via trucks) deploy self contained patrols out into the field. In 40k, DLWDG can ALSO deploy a self contained 'kombat patroll' mounted in trukks. So fluff-wise its already a 'win'! Plus, having almost 1850 points already painted, the variety of Orky kombat patrolls that I can come up with is just bedazzling! One possible list could be:

• 10 shoota boys, w/rokkit launcha, nob w/boss pole
• trukk w/red paint & armor plates
• x2 (but separate choices) Deffkoptas w/twin-rockets & buzz saws
• looted wagon w/boom gun, big shoota, armor plates

(Please excuse the recycled photo)

Just a quick note: I'm heading outta town on an unexpected trip (which is why this post is kinda early). So my next post probably won't be till about this time next week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A weekend with friends...

My friends Donna & Dwana came up for a quick visit from Florida this past weekend. We had a great time, and aside from showing them some of my minis on Saturday to try and explain this hobby of mine (about which they were quite curious), it was a gaming free weekend.
Dwana & I

Hopefully I'll have something hobby/game related for you all later in the week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh, the Indignity...


As an additional point boost to my BFG Ork fleet, I've been using a converted FW transport as the 'Gubernatorial Cruiser' Acheron belonging to the infamous Herman Von Straub (using the GW Rogue Trader rules). Von Straub disappeared in the aftermath of the 2nd. war for Armageddon & returned with his Ork 'allies' in the 3rd war. Thus, our games have been taking place during those intervening years where Von Straub was MIA.

The FW transport is modular, and so adding in an extra section, it was about the size of a Dauntless light cruiser. It also has launch bays for transports & such. With the Ork fleet I initially used it as the standard RT cruiser, but that had too much firepower for the model used. Then I tried it as a Defiant class light carrier for a while, but scratched that as it got confusing with the 'you can shoot these bombers, but not those fighta-bommas'. The Defiant class also has the +1 to defense in boarding actions due to it's narrow ship corridor, in the Achreon's case, Von Straub had so many luxury accommodations installed, that boarders simply couldn't find anything of value to damage.

So, using the Smotherman 2.0 formula (BFG's unofficial VDR found @ Port Maw which sadly, seems to be deceased), I stripped out the launch bays (those on the model itself were for luxury craft only) and kept the same armament making the Acheron a 'Gubernatorial Class' (which was a woefully undergunned light cruiser) from there on out.

After our last game I figured I'd paint & sell it (hard to see detail on a primed black mini). I popped off two of the chopped portions & reassembled it as an escort carrier. I made an escort carrier out of transport leftovers some time ago, and it sold for enough to cover both the transports! However after painting it last night, I decided that I liked it enough to keep.

So dumping Herman down to a mere escort (it does have two 'Xenos' escorts atwell, though they look rather Imperial to me) I thought 'Oh the Indignity', and thus it was named. I've learned in the past that an Escort carrier sucks (as does a Gubernatorial class cruiser for that matter), and using it as such would bring back the fighter confusion again. So, relegating the launch bays to luxury craft once more, I'm currently debating whether to use it as a Defense Monitor or a Q-Ship. Both are normally very situational, but we're pretty lenient in ship classes fielded.

Of course if it continues to epically fail for no gain as the Acheron in all of it's various forms did, it will eventually go the way of ebay.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Running a day late...

Notta whole lot in this post, but as you can see I finished my Hardy Aller, still really liking this model! It looks a lot more like a 'real' tank than the usual GW types. While on the subject of Heavy Gear, I would like to give a shout out to Robert Dubois @ Dream Pod 9. I needed one particular bit to make my Bear into a Mauler Bear, but its only available with either the Grizzly or weapons pack blisters. However I didn't want to spend $20 or so (plus shipping) for one bit. So I sent an inquiry to the DP9 store & he hooked me up with a special order for that one part (totaling $5 with shipping). Very cool!

Also, I know the Orks haven't gotten much coverage on here of late (despite the blog being named after them). Fear not, they're are out there fightin' behind the scenes (most of them anyways). The WHFB O&G army has gone the way of ebay. I wasn't impressed with the plastic Savage Orcs which I was hoping to be 'wowed' by and I couldn't really generate any interest of my own in 8th ed., despite the buffs to horde units. I tried to make myself like the new edition. Really. But to no avail, so off they went.

Da Long Wayz Dezert Groop took to the field (a desert one fittingly) and pasted a CSM army this past weekend. It would have been a good game, except my opponent went for a 'quick cigarette' and disappeared for 30-40 minutes (and couldn't figure out why I was pissed when he finally returned). I should've packed up & left as I was so pissed off, that I didn't care about the game @ that point.

And last night 'WAAAUGH Orkbar' met the 13th fleet of Cadia head on. Things looked to be going the Ork's way early on but, there are only so many point-blank warp/plasma core breaches one can take before the table turns into a sea of blast markers. In da end it wuz a good scrap and we called it a draw. Da crippled battleship Red Orktober & one Onslaught survived on my side, and the almost crippled Emperor class battleship Indomitable survived on the other.

Probably won't play again till next week, and I'm not sure if anymore painting will get done in the next few days. I have friends from out of town coming for a visit this weekend, so I need to clean up the ol' bachelor pad.

This may just be a single post week, will have to see...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hardy Aller

Well as you can see my Hardy Aller that I mentioned in the previous post arrived yesterday! It was more or less a resin copy of the older metal mini which I had some years back, but the new kit had options to make the different variants as well as added stowage. For a resin kit, there was no warpage, virtually no mold lines, nor any gates that needed to be trimmed from a horribly inconvenient place (ya know, like this). To be safe I washed it, though it looked to have already been cleaned of the mold release.

Why is it that Forgeworld kits can so rarely (if ever) be described like that?

Anyways, the only complaint I had on this mini was the placement of the Heavy Anti-Aircraft cannon (HAAC). It was supposed to be placed along side the Medium autocannon (MAC) cupola. While granted these are on top of the main turret which itself can turn in any direction, it seemed oddly stupid to have side-by-side turrets (not to mention it doesn't look like the HAAC can elevate). At first I tried mounting it on top of the MAC turret but that looked dumb as well, so I sacrificed one of the turret side mounted light machine guns (LMG) and mounted it on the side. That eliminated the arc of fire/gun elevation issues and looks better than the original turret position as well. The HAAC turret really looks like it was added as an afterthought.

Anyways, its a pretty mini (makes my CEF/PAK hover tanks look like crap) and I hope to get it painted up this weekend. I'll paint it in the same manner as the gears, and then hide it from Murl till I get my WFP army built up enough to let me use it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A few Heavy Gear minis


Okay, just a warning, if you don't play heavy Gear, this post won't make too much sense due to the bedazzling array of anachronisms (something that Heavy Gear is known for).

One of the problems that I think we've been having in adjusting to the Heavy Gear rule set is balance. I've been running either the CEF or the PAK (which are two sides of the same coin really). The CEF/PAK's primary combat vehicle is the light hovertank, which has good weapons, good armor, and incredible speed which makes them difficult to hit. The rest of my army is made up of FLAILs (for the CEF, kinda like battletech Elementals), hover APCs mounting heavy rocket pods (essentially more light tanks for the PAK ) and GREL infantry for both (who tend to wander around the backfield and do...not too much.

However usually by about turn two, Murl (of the apparently defunct 13th Cadian blog) is having to turtle up while trying to concentrate the fire of his Gears against my tanks which are already running amok in his backfield. It kinda brings to mind the Chaos demon army in 40k, where it takes the initiative by its very design, and dictates game play thereafter. Gears are very versatile, but compared to tanks (of any sort) kinda fragile.

So, I've started a Western Frontier Protectorate army. The WFP is the backwater of the northern leagues (nations) in Heavy Gear's primary setting, Terra Nova. They field a lot of older/obsolete machines, and if you use the WFPA list, you have to build a fluffy army! As I'm a 'fluff' guy, that's quite appealing! I could just make a generic northern list calling it the Northern Guard (their version of NATO), but that's no fun.

So, using the $$$ from some ebay sales, I ordered a blister of Bear/Den Mother/Mad Dog R's, a blister of Bobcats, and an Aller main battle tank (I'll get to that in a bit). The blisters are 2-packs, so I built two Bobcats, one mauler bear (still need a specific gun for it, so it's not painted or pictured below) and one Mad Dog R. The Mad Dog R ('R' is for 'refit'. In the fluff, it uses the legs from the Bear as the original design was heavily flawed, and generally caused the original gear to be a failure) was the WFP's first and only real attempt to build their own indigenous gear, so it's kinda required I think. It's a good, if basic fire support unit (its the large gear pictured below).
The two smaller ones are Bobcats. The Bobcat was the first dedicated recon gear fielded by the northern factions. Its more or less obsolete now, but the WFPA still fields a large number of them. Actually the WFPA fits my gaming M.O., as its a 'horde of mediocrity' rather than the 'uber elite bad guys' that is the CEF/PAK.

I painted the left shoulder of each to give a visual aid on squad separation. The Mad dog in red, and the Bobcats in blue (though the delvan mud & black drybrushing from the rocket back-blasts have largely obscured that). They're painted catachan green, with Knarloc green, Gretchin green and Tau Sept Ochre splotches. The swathed in devlan mud, followed by bleached bone drybrush, and black drybrush (around weapon ports). I think it gives them a dirty & beat up look which is fitting.

I also mentioned that I purchased an MBT earlier (it has yet to arrive). The WFPA fields the 'Hardy Aller' which has a HAAC and a BIG FRIGGIN' GUN in place of the normal Aller's LPL & Heavy Rail gun. The difference in effectiveness is marginal. I think it's one of the prettiest minis in the game and couldn't resist. Unlike hovertanks, Terra Novan tanks are tracked, slow and easy to hit. However the Aller carries so much armor, it doesn't much care.

Problem is, I don't yet have an army to build around this tank, so I'm sure that Murl will be borrowing it meaning in the short term I'm more likely to be facing this nightmare, than fielding it!

I can see tank duels in our future with gears & infantry more or less playing as a circus sideshow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Upgrades for Renegades part 2


Well as I mentioned Monday, I've added a veteran squad to my renegade IG. On a whim (like so many gaming related purchases) I pre-ordered the Cadian hazardous environment torsos from FW along with the renegade weapons arms. As expected the renegade arms fit pretty well without any real need for modification as they're meant to be used with the standard Cadian torsos. One problem with all of the Vraks models, is that the token veteran squad has always been hard to differentiate from the regular grunts (usually I had to point out that the unit had three special weapons as opposed to the usual one). In the remnants of my loyalist IG for example, the vets all have shotguns. While I could have done the same sort of thing with the renegades, periodically I use the FW Vraks list, where anybody can have las/autoguns, shotguns, pistol/CCW, etc. So that wouldn't mark them out so much. However with the extra large rebreathers along with the standardized armor & helmets (Imperial markings removed) these guys will definitely stand out!
I didn't add any of the little accessories to these. There are a few knives, grenades, and a bunch of lasgun charge packs. I remember thinking 'why would they give me these when everybody has an autogun?' Where it then occurred to me in hindsight that its probably because these weren't intended to be renegades with autoguns. One guy does have a lasgun as an autogun snapped in half. It was one of the held out in one hand types, so there wasn't a second arm point to securely glue it. It was way to small to attempt to pin.

I also rather like the Sgt. mini. Running forward, an autopistol in either hand, one of which is held kinda sideways in home-boy fashion, it brings to mind and old piece of Necromunda artwork showing a juve in a similar pose (sorry, couldn't find the picture I'm thinking of via google). I used the vox torso for the Sgt., so rather than an antenna, I added a spike with a skull on it. The metal spike could potentially act as an antenna, and I figure that the skull had belonged to a psyker, thus helping him commune directly with the Chaos gods!

Screw the chain of command!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Upgrades for the renegades...


Kinda busy today, so just some quick updates.

Taking a bit of time off from the nonstop Exodite building, I've turned back to the renegade IG. That army has never really crested the 1500 point mark, as I was always selling off older units I didn't like as they were replaced with FW conversion kits and whatnot. Having run out of the less favored units, its now time to bring them up to our 'normal' army size of 1750-1850 points.

The first of that is the Manticore above. The launch apparatus and even the front hull insert aren't yet glued in place, as that would have left too many inaccessible places to paint. The launcher itself is designed to move up and down, though it'll probably be glued into the launch position shown when all is said and done. Later in the week I hope to have pics of my new renegade vet squad, the last parts of which arrived just this past Saturday.

As for the Exodites, they got their FLGS debut also this past Saturday in a 2 vs. 2 game. They fought alongside their darker brethren which now can account for that splinter rifle that's carried by my Dire Avenger Exarch. These were the first of the new DE minis that I had seen in person, and they really are quite pretty. The army was painted in bronze which worked rather well for them as well (sorry, no pics). While we gave a good accounting for ourselves, things did not go the Eldar way, and the battle was lost. However I got many compliments on the army and a few for the field guide too. So all was well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vyper -> Finished!


Well, I finished this up last night and I'm rather pleased with the final product:

The view screens of both the pilot & gunner were given a layer of 'ard coat to look shiny like glass though that's hard to see on the pilot's view screen as the cockpit canopy is glued in place. Kinda reminds me of the Sentinel in that I painted up all that detail that'll never be seen. No fogging on the canopy either! That's probably not as much of a concern on this kit as the back of the cockpit is open to vent the glue vapors.

I had to finally just put it down and say 'done' because there seemed to be an endless array of little touch ups. A lot of the little imperfections are usually covered up when I make my tanks dirty, however I can't do that with the Siam-Han (not even bugs on the windshield, damn that holo-field!) It also feels kinda frail. Then again it is an Eldar model. Its probably no more so than an Ork trukk, rather I'm just used to painting rhinos. So the frailty is symptom of not being shaped like a cinder block.

This post is a bit early in the week for me, because tonight I'll be playing BFG, Heavy Gear tomorrow night, and Dark Heresy on Friday. So there won't be a whole lot of time for painting, taking photos and the like.

After the fact edit: in honor of 'old stuff day' check out this post. It was always one of my favorites as it easily demonstrates my lack of concern for the infernal concept of 'metagaming'.