Friday, December 30, 2011

The temple of Skulls


Just a quick post. Last night I tried out what is easily the cheesiest list that I've fielded since 2nd. ed. 40k.

Why yes, they were Grey Knights, why do you ask?

Anyways, my sister & brother-in-law gave me the Chaos Temple of Skulls for Christmas, and being largely one piece (there only a half dozen parts aside from the base), I just put it on the table straight out of the box.

The picture above is of the end of the game, and indeed the only one I thought to take. We figured out that over the course of the game, 1776 points of GK & SW fought (and for the most part DIED) on the temple!!! The photo was taken @ game's end with a SW lord, a WG termie & 2 grey hunters left facing the last 2 Paladins of Grand Master Matt Fucking Ward's 'God Squad'. Its has been determined that the temple belongs to Khorne as much blood flowed and many skulls were taken upon it.

We also learned that when 2, OP & broken Deathstars collide in an epic HTH combat, you actually end up with a fair fight!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Divinity


Okay, so my Christmas break (blogging wise) was a bit longer than anticipated. I wanted to have SOMETHING to post other than 'look! I got even more toys for Christmas!' Anyways, while perusing Hoard o' bits for some bases last week, i stumbled across a Dwarven dirigible from Dreadfleet. It was kinda funky looking, so on a whim I got one along with my bases. Yesterday it arrived, and after adding a few bits, trimming the smoke stacks, a quick paint job (gotta love BFG for that fact alone), behold! I give you: The Divinity!

Its kinda cute for a BFG ship...

Now, in one of our Dark Heresy campaigns, I play an Adept-turned-madman, the 'living Imperial Saint' Boris Sevastopol. Currently his team is traveling thru the warp enroute to...somewhere (I don't recall where as its been quite sometime since I played him). However our GM has mentioned that a possible future outcome for him would be to place Boris at the helm of his own Imperial Crusade! Were this to come to pass, then odds are our Sister Secunda (among others) would go out of character & physically assault our GM! However the 'Divinity' is the ship I see as the vehicle for Saint Sevastopol's 'crusade'.

The Divinity was a tramp freighter known as the Sprite, and operated on a contract to contract basis, always teetering on the edge of financial oblivion. With neither a navigator nor astropath, it was limited to calculated warp jumps of no more than four light years, which further constrained her captain's (and owner's) dire situation. Desperate, a contract to smuggle Ghostfire pollen from Icanthos was accepted, and proved to be the Sprite's undoing.

Boarded & impounded, with her crew imprisoned and owner executed, the Sprite & her crew seemed destined to be crushed within the Imperial legal machine. Now just why the Inquisitor (known only to me as 'Omega') took interest in the Sprite is a mystery. Perhaps it was nothing more than a personal amusement, or rather he saw it as a creative way to eliminate a few loose ends (or is it loose screws?), perhaps it was an abuse of his power, or he was merely enjoying the perks of his position, regardless, Omega took ownership of the Sprite, her crew and rewrote their destiny.

With a few well placed donations, Omega was able to secure the official (and uncirculated) pronouncement of Sevastopol's elavation to 'Living Saint'. The Sprite's crew would be returned to their ship with Sevastopol as the highest moral (Hey! Stop laughing!) and religious authority aboard, indeed he was given absolute power (within the confines of the ship anyways) and a battalion's worth of penal troops (the Munitorum always has a surplus of these) which was to be led by Sevastopol's long time Inquisitorial teammate, the incredibly corrupt Arbitrator (or is that traitor?) Colonel Gentleman. Declared to be the 'tip of the spear' on a new crusade to liberate the space beyond the Koronus expanse! Saint Sevastopol's new ship the renamed Divinity would be this spear tip, to be followed on by the rest of the crusade fleet.

That was Omega's story anyways... Saint Sevastopol gathered his new minions, and made a glorious speech (he thought so anyway) telling them of the glories that awaited them. However no one aside from Sevastopol himself believed that a crusade was forthcoming, instead seeing the speech as the rambling diatribe of a lunatic, and their forthcoming journey as a death sentence (it is believed that the esteemed colonel Gentleman was too inebriated at the time to care). Asking if any of those present wished to not join him, Saint Sevestopol was pleased to note that not one man moved from his place! Truly his righteousness was proven! He then dismissed all present to prepare for immediate embarkation. Unbeknownst to Boris, the Inquisition did offer an alternative to joining this futile effort. That being a trip out of the nearest airlock. The human psyche being what it is, the chance to live a bit longer, and perhaps to save themselves via a savior pod later on (all of which were secretly welded into the hull & rendered unusable by Omega's order) is better than a miserable death now.

Leaving without any fanfare (Boris as per his usual, was too caught up in his own grandeur to even notice) the Divinity left for the Koronus expanse and was never heard from again...

Not a bad story for a ship that's not much bigger than the peg it sits on eh?

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Quad Sabre Platform


Some years ago I ordered a Forgeworld Sabre defense platform with quad heavy stubbers (i.e.: 2 twin-linked stubbers). It was little more than an amusing (to me) waste of a heavy support slot (why would anyone take that over a Leman Russ?). Indeed I even mentioned it way back here under that same concept, wasting points. Six S:4, AP:6, twin-linked shots with a 36 " range, and a loader with a lasgun who functions as little more than ablative wound (the Sabre uses artillery rules). When fielding a heavy weapons platoon in my Vraks army (led by a command section with another single heavy stubber team), I'd place it deep in my deployment zone, and blaze happily away at anything it could remotely hurt within range. In general my opponents would ignore it unless they'd run out of other targets, or the game was going badly for them where I'd then get the 'I'm going to kill that stupid thing just cause you like it.' type of comments.

Wanting another, my friend Screech got me a second Quad Sabre last year for Christmas (I think) as he figured it was the least worrisome thing that he'd have to face on the table. Not a bad train of thought. However, it then became twice as effective...
At some point i realized that vs. just about any MEQ army (which is to say, most armies on the table), my Sabres function the same as long ranged & accurate bolter fire. Whether a bolter or a stubber, MEQ get a save anyways. However now pumping out 12, 36" ranged, twin-linked shots, they were starting to mow down marines via the 'death by a thousand paper cuts' method. Long Fangs really don't want to split their fire @ some Sabres, but have little choice when the stubbers are all pointed at them! The Sabre battery went from an amusing diversion to something fairly high on the target priority list. I know Murl's Nids often rank these as priority target #1! Something about their ability to mow down gaunts I guess...

Then the conversation (often with Screech) turned to:

I need another one for a full battery.

No you don't.

Sure, think of it, 18, twin-linked shots!!!

Umm, no.

No really, it'll be awes-


-but, i...


So as Christmas approached, Screech was in a quandry. Not knowing what to get me aside from a third Sabre, which he wanted nothing to do with. Asking if I wanted ANYTHING else, I asked for 'something for my Aurora scouts'. I won't ask someone to give me gift that they're absolutely loathe to have me field. So instead he gave me a Landspeeder Storm, something of a 'must have' for an all scout army! While he is curious to see what it can do, a BS:3, opened topped speeder full of scouts didn't seem to be all that worrisome to him (note his initial thoughts on the 2nd sabre...) as landspeeders are kinda rare around here for whatever reason.

Then last week I was perusing ebay looking for nothing in particular, when I spotted a quad sabre (sans the loyalist IG gunner). Just for the hell of it, i placed a bid. Becoming the high bidder (at my max bid) I bumped my bid up another $2 (which was still about $10 below retail), figured I'd lose the auction & promptly forgot about it. That is until I got the 'Congratulations, you won!' email from ebay!

So now I have both a landspeeder storm for the Auroras, AND a full sabre battery for the renegades, mwuhahaha!!!

Also I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! My Mom will be flying in Wednesday, so I'll be too busy to post till after the Holiday.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Songs of Our Ancestors


One of my Christmas presents to me this year was the skirmish style rule book for the Quar, called Songs of Our Ancestors or 'SOA' as its often referred to on the Zombiesmith forums & website (I also bought another dozen Quar minis). SOA is a nice little book, the rules seem simple enough, though I'll probably have to read through them several times for them to soak in as I generally suck at understanding rules without actually playing the game. Seems like its designed to be a 'beer & pretzels' game of about a dozen minis per side.

The book is full color through out (not bad for a miniscule mini game company), and easy enough to read. It doesn't have the jam packed with info feel of say, the Heavy Gear Blitz rulebooks, where acronyms for essential tidbits of information are seemingly impossible to find when you most need them.

In addition to the basic game rules, SOA has rules listings & stats for the three original factions: the Royalists (the old guard fighting for their kings & countries), the Crusaders (who are trying to take over the world with quite a bit of success) and the Partisans (who's actions have probably done more to grind the Crusade to a bloody halt than the Royalists would like to admit). A fourth faction has the Kryst, have since been introduced but it isn't in this book. I believe the Krysters (NOT Krystians...) are somewhere between royalists & Partisans, and are desert dwellers...I think. Something like that.

In addition there are also several scenarios listed as well including recommended forces for 'historical' engagements. Kinda reminds me of a Forgeworld book in this regard, except that SOA didn't cost $85, nor do the recommended forces cost literally thousands of dollars each! Indeed, Between SOA & a dozen Royalists and another dozen Crusaders, I think I have roughly $100 invested (if that). I've yet to read any of the scenarios (or close to half of the book yet), however skimming thru I found that one of them has the 'intoxicated table' at right. I've not seen one of those before! Yes, SOA is definitely a beer & pretzels game!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My new Standard Bearer.


So when deciding what to paint yesterday, I was spoiled for choices. Indeed, of just my new stuff I had: my new bastion, the GK Paladins, Chaos Terminators, more Mordheim guys, more Quar.....ummm, no. No in the end I decided upon something that I really can't use right now, nor will I in the next few months (if ever). Instead I decided to paint the lone standard bearer for my theoretical Empire army.

Now my intention from the start of my Stirland Mordheim warband (and continuing onto the army), was for (as usual) a dirty & grubby look. Kinda like the look of the armies in the movie Braveheart, rather than the clean & pretty fops like you would see in any of the myriad of Three Musketeers movies. As you can see, the standard bearer above reflects this.

'Wash the flag?! Isn't that what rain is for?'

I thought the Wolf Rampant decal off of one of the Space Wolves decal sheets, and the number '7' worked pretty good for the flag as well. Its doubtful that any aside from the army's leaders would actually know what a '7' actually means though, but I didn't feel like adding just the usual scribbles to represent writing.

Continuing with this theme, I also finished up Hans Gruber. He came out pretty good I think, and he'll take his place at the helm of the Stirland Deserters. In the Empire army, he'll probably end up as a 'Gold Sword' champion or something. Yeah I know that he doesn't have a sword, but in game terms that's irrelevant.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Thursday morning updates


Just a quick post today, as not much worked on this week (beyond the mini below) is all that photogenic. Black primer has a habit of doing that. First off, Murl gave me some GK Termie 'test models' that he had played around with. I'll use them along with (now) Grand Master Matt Fucking Ward as his accompanying Paladin 'God Squad'. I've had a few requests that I play something 'competitive' or to field a 'deathstar'. Well, careful what you wish for...

I also started assembly on some CSM termies. I received a gift card (also from Murl) to the FLGS and so picked a squad of them up. They're a boxed set that I've avoided due to its stupid cost, but the gift & coupon combination eliminated that problem for me.

Lastly here is a WIP photo of my Mordheim Captain Hans Gruber. He just needs some drydrushing, touch ups & basing. I got the book that he's standing on (as well as another militia box, and some other assorted bits) cheap on ebay. Neverness has been complaining that he wanted to play me in WHFB but I had sold my O&G army before he could do so (the fact that I had the army for years is apparently irrelevant). So Having a theoretical opponent (rumor has it Murl has an all Goblin army somewhere), I was pondering a smallish, say 1k or so Empire army. Currently, I have to my guesstimate, about 600 points, so adding in a wizard, some artillery & another regiment box ought to do it I think. Nothing firm on that yet though, as I haven't seen ANY progress on Neverness' Empire army in quite some time...

Monday, December 5, 2011

A drop pod for my Dreadnought


This weekend Murl gave me a 3rd (or possibly 4th) hand drop pod that he got for next to nothing himself. It was almost fully assembled & unpainted which probably is why its been so under utilized and instead just passed around. The drop pod kit is (like so many) a kit that needs to be painted as its assembled. When he got a hold of it, the doors were all glued shut, though he popped them open. The interior contained the stormbolter & central console but none of the passenger restraints.

Rather than infantry, I intend to use this for my Aurora Chaplain Dreadnought. So I popped out the console bit, and in doing so, one of the side spars popped off as well. The opening of which was easily the size required for a dread to exit. However the now missing spar didn't align with the glued in place stormbolter, so I removed a second spar with some difficulty, to remedy that.

The spar that came off first will be replaced after painting as without it, access to the interior will be easier. Being that this model has already been around the block a time or two before paint was ever even a consideration, Its paint job will be decent, though nothing on par with Neverness' drop pods.

Anyways, the removal of the center console made a mess of the floor, and the removal of the nub over which is sat was even uglier as you can see. So I cut a circle out of a failcost blister pack (a BFG flight stand was just the right size), and sanded it a bit to scuff it up so paint will stick to it. Note the blood on the blister pack: remember kids, exacto blades are sharp! It still isn't pretty, however once primed black & dry brushed over with boltgun metal, it ought to be more than adequate.

All of the spars are needed whilst in flight, however once on the ground & the doors open, one spar needs to release as well (via explosive bolts I would imagine) to allow egress of the dread from the drop pod. So I cut down a strip of metal & glued it into the recess in which the top of the spar fits. I then drilled into the spar and added a magnet. This bulged out the spar a touch and the groove into which it goes had to be widened accordingly. Once the magnet was set I used Warfrog's Baking soda & superglue method to fill in the gaps, and scraped the residual glue from the face of the magnet. As you can see in the left photo, I can hold the whole pod by just the magentized spar, so it'll hold just fine once it all painted up.

On a differnet note, gaming front, last week as a good week. Wednesday night the Aurora 10th met Murl's Deathguard head on and fought them to a draw. I fielded 2 scout crewed (BS:3) predators, which both survived untouched (though required multiple fixes by my techmarine) and gave a good accounting for themselves. Later on Saturday, my Exodites took to the field of battle @ the FLGS. After much reluctance, Screech was convinced of building a 'mere' 1300 point list. In doing so Arhiman & the Thousand Sons took to the field and were promptly swept aside with just 11 Exodite casualties suffered! So much for my 'this army was built just to look good, rather than be effective' theory...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stirland Deserters


Well I finally got a hold of my Empire free company (or as i call it, the Mordheim Warband in a box) and a few characters. I've shelved my original idea for using a Marienburg list as the militia guys don't look nearly as foppish as I would think they should to fit that theme (I had considered a Sollund theme as well, but they use the same colors as many Marienburg scheme's that I've seen so I just shelved it). True no matter where you go in the Empire there seem to be miserable looking peasants Marienburg included, I thought I'd just go with my usual favorite of Stirland using the Reikland list. With my premise being that they're army deserters, or perhaps a border garrison gone rogue.

In the heraldry of the empire book it shows Stirland's armies in their often mismatched & dirty uniforms, and often using their own personal weapons. Quite often these are axes as they're more versatile than swords. So first i have three warriors (in lieu of Swordsmen) with axes light armor & shields (need to get those, as the militia box doesn't come with any).

Next up, I needed some archers! Stirland is renowned for its archers apparently (taken again from the heraldry book), so that fits well with the BS:4 for the archers in the Reikland list. You get LOTS of archer bits in the free company box, however no arrow/bolt quivers what-so-ever. I know they aren't technically archers in an empire army, but it struck me as just odd. I was going to call them the 'one-shot-wonders' but technically I already have one of those, just by a different name.

I'm of course referring to this guy. He was intended to be a hero rather than a lone Henchman, however I didn't have the Mordheim book with me at the time, so I didn't realize till later that heroes can't get blunderbusses (which is a one shot weapon). Also, I guess its the wild blond hair or something, but for whatever reason he brought Nick Nolte to my mind. Now it only takes a quick google search to find one of his infamous mug shots, and they're...well, ugly. He's neither a skilled swordman (he's armed with a club as well), nor an expert marksman given his choice of firearm and the effects of a blunderbuss are likewise ugly, so.....Nick Nolte it is!

So who's in charge here anyways?

This is easily my favorite Empire character mini. Nothing exemplifies a knight on the downward spiral, as one who cannot go without a bottle of booze! Of course he needed a good German sounding name, and something that would also fit into the mold of the evil mastermind who frequently sends his minions off to their inevitable doom. So I gave him the name of a favorite old movie character: Hans Gruber. Unfortunately for Hans, he has a great weapon which means he strikes last & has only his heavy armor to protect him. Considering how Screech's identically equipped champion fared against the Skaven for his first few games, I'd say ol' Hans will be hitting the ground as often as he will that bottle!

I had hoped to use a bunch of Halberd wielding henchmen as well, but that was a misguided concept. I guess I was spoiled by dirt cheap (not-so) giant rats & barely equipped vermin kin in my Skaven warband. One warrior with light armor, helmet & halberd is 65gc! So, I decided to just use the middle guy as a sergeant (champion) instead. Needing a name for him (and coming up blank) I went with Karl, who was Gruber's 2nd, in Die Hard.

So, there are my Stirlanders for Mordheim, I'll post them on here as I paint them in the future.