Monday, April 30, 2012

K-9 Team


Yesterday's Morristown tournament was cancelled on account of a magic tournament instead (bleh). While new to the 40k thing, that shop needs to communicate better with their player base (a generic FB page with not much in the way of specifics doesn't work). I know of at least one of our local guys was going out there to play 40k (its about an hour drive) as none of the rest of us have any of his contact info. The only reason damned near a half dozen of us didn't go was due to an email to me from rogue.trader.voril, with me texting the rest. Unfortunately I didn't get his message till i had gotten home from our FLGS, some 10 hours after it was sent or else I could've saved that one guy the trip. I know several of the other players there come from about an hour in the other direction, so I'm curious as to how many people showed up only to find that they wasted their time & gas...

Anyways, It was just a normal painting day as despite the beautiful weather, we're in the full blown pollen nightmare season, so I really need to minimize my time outside until the hay fields are all mowed down. That usually happens around Memorial day making it one of my favorite holidays!

Not in the mood to paint my protomech horde as I still don't have any of the record sheets to use them. Or rather, I have some alternate variant record sheets, but their weapons fits leave me wondering 'what were they thinking?' By the way, check out Hive Angel's battle report for the CBT game we played last week here. Setting aside Battletech, I opted instead for Sven's lost wolf, which had arrived the week prior.

It came out pretty good I think. Of the various poses that GW made, I like this the most. I added a Space Wolf colored bolter & chainsword to the base just for the hell of it. Just in case anyone wonders who this little critter used to belong to. Plus the wolf was positioned so that one of the paws touched the chiansword allowing for a second point of contact to be glued, for additional strength.

Looking good so fur!
I also finished up 2 more of the Tyrant's Legion Mercs who will be accompanying this beast and started base coating the squad leader. I ought to have a field-able force soon, though tanks will be a serious issue for Legion until I get around to building the sentry guns (and I still need to get one more to field the minimum of three).

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fighting to the bitter end...

...and bitching my way to victory!

In the past, I've accused (and rightly so) Hive Angel of sometimes being a 'shitty winner' (as apparently the Imperial Guard isn't supposed to engage the Blood Angels till they're in HTH combat, but I digress...). Well, last night it was my turn  to be the one 'bitching most of the way to victory' in our game of Classic Battletech. The odds seemed long of me even surviving, much less making a Pickett's charge-like run into the teeth of 3+ missile boats (felt like I was invading the Capellan Confederation), grabbing a scout/spy, and then running all the way back off my table edge with him (in effect having to move length-wise across the map twice). Having preset mechs with crummy pilots didn't seem to help.

Despite these odds, I did actually achieve a decisive victory. I'll leave the battle report to Hive Angel as he was taking copious notes. Instead I just wanted to mention my rearguard mech, the Dervish (which, like everything I had, was still proxied with a Heavy Gear).

In the past i was always fond of the Dervish, however I ran a newer version with an Artemis fire control system which greatly improves missiles on target, something last night's mech was sorely lacking! On the rare occasions it actually hit, I'd fail on the cluster table and few missiles would actually land on target.

However hanging back to provide fire support, and then later on to allow my other mechs to achieve victory my Dervish it sacrificed itself for the cause. As you can see from the record sheet at right, despite walking away, there wasn't much left of it!  SRM ammo dropped from each arm to eliminate potential internal ammo hits! The LRM ammo hoppers ran dry in the last turn! Armor on the right leg & arm gone! The left arm & torso completely torn away!

By the end of the game it's combat effectiveness was reduced to little more than a stumbling medium laser! If you've ever played Battletech, then you can probably imagine the kind of slugfest that caused such damage! Indeed in the last round the Commando simply fell apart as its last (and only remaining) point of center torso internal structure gave way...

Many of you may be wondering where this sudden interest in such an old game has suddenly reemerged from. Well, to be honest, despite the high number of casualties in a game of 40k, its still hard to beat the bar room brawl feeling of a handful of Battlemechs slugging it out! In 40k, you hit, you wound, 90% to the time, the model just dies. In CBT, you hit, you damage, and 90% of the time after that first hit, it struggles on! (unless we're talking light mechs vs. BIG guns, then that number drops considerably) Indeed, three of Hive Angel's mechs were in just as bad, if not worse condition as my Dervish above (my Grasshopper was the only mech to fall during the course of the game).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Death by a thousand laser cuts!


With the local semi-resurrection of Classic Battletech in progress, I needed some forces to replace what was lost in my grand sell of some years back. All that survived that was a lone Maxim IFV, and my proxy infantry platoon (or company if I use each base as a platoon, which makes more sense on a hex map) using old EPIC IG. Lets be honest, when the minis are that small, does it really matter? The Maxim & conventional infantry are usable by everybody, and just about as useless to all as well. The Maxim has some nice variants though, whereas conventional infantry is more or less 'filler'.

Not wanting to just field the same sort of tank heavy formations as my previous CBT armies had, my initial purchase was instead a swarm of Clan Protomechs (a cross between Elemental infantry & baby battlemechs).

Left to right: Roc, Minotaur, Centaur Protomechs

 The basic unit for the Clans is a 'star' (squad) containing 5 'points' (units). For protomechs, 5 = 1 point. I have 10 Minotaurs & 5 Rocs (with 25 ER medium lasers between them, hence the post title), and 5 Centaurs (which have LRMs, SRMs, and an ER micro [useless] laser each). I'm thinking of them as the Battletech version of the Chinese human wave assault. For the 5th point, I figure I can use either a platoon of conventional infantry in the Maxim, or my token mech, the Corvis.

In general I don't buy 'ugly' mechs, and in that regard, the Corvis is questionable at best. However as it was designed as a close infantry/armor support mech, I figured it fit best. Also it would probably serve as a private kind of hell for the pilot to be the star commander of a 'combined arms' star. Not even the Hells Horses who are my favorites of the Clans like to mix Stars in such a way.

While the Horses aren't too fond of Protomechs aside from the minotaur, I'll be painting them as the Omega Galaxy, which is formed primarily from former Clan Wolf & Ice Hellion warriors. So a more exotic allotment of protos ought to be fine. It also makes the Corvis act as something of a minder to keep the rest of them in line with the Horses' doctrines.

 Anyways, here's my little army (sans maxim & infantry). Not much storage space is required (one of battletech's virtues). I plan to get a single Inner sphere mech lance as well for when we play pre-Clan invasion era games. I've been bouncing around various ideas, but basically I'm looking for  mechs that have been around a while & thus have a multitude of variants to fit whatever time period we're playing, as well as to allow for some variety with the least number of models.

So far I've settled on a new sculpt Stalker (surprise) which has always been my favorite mech, and will be my lance leader. A Cicada to run as scout, in much the same as I used to use Locusts (except the Cicada can mount standard & ER PPCs), and am currently leaning towards a pair of Dragons/Grand Dragons (same mini for both types) which I am also fond of. Previously I had the old Stalker sculpt & the rest in the shitty plastics of the Total Warfare set, so none of those will be exact replacements of what I had before.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heavytech? Battlegear? What...?


Last week, Hive Angel and I tried out Battletech for the first time in years. About 10 for him, and 4-5 for me. Using preselected 3025 mechs from an old scenario pack with 'experienced' pilots (4/5 mech pilots are more or less a bunch of scrubs that just graduated from a mech academy and thus actually lacking in any experience...). Indeed, it was relatively early in the game when I determined that one of my mechs had fired 180 long ranged missiles, and only 18 of them had actually connected with their target (and not all at once)!

We just kept it simple omitting jumping (which we soon came to regret), torso twists, piloting rolls (though I don't think either of us managed to inflict 20+ points of damage on anything in one round, my Cicada should have made some as it spent all game hauling ass) and internal critical hits. As it was we had to call it as it was getting too late to continue, and ending more or less in a draw with one heavily chewed up mech/gear per side & all the rest being either slightly dented to completely untouched. It was fun though and a good refresher course in good ol' CBT.

As the mechs (one lance per side) were all proxies, I used my Heavy gear minis to at least keep us from having to remember who's proxy was who's. Considering that in their respective universes, mechs would easily steamroller gears, my guys felt pretty good hitting above their weight class!

The unrivaled MVP of the game however was the 'light forest hex # 0312'. Not one shot (NOT ONE!) that passed thru this hex EVER connected with whatever was on the other side! Range, speed, volume of fire, none of it mattered. Hex 0312 is simply the stoutest piece of light forest in the Inner Sphere! As Heavy Gear is set primarily on the desert world of Terra Nova (and the desert is where most combat takes place), there is little doubt as to why my Gears were so easily thwarted. As for Hive Angel's Battlemechs? Well, I think we just chalked it off to those 'experienced pilots.'

We may give it another go this week, not sure what my schedule looks like yet as I just got back from a 3-day weekend with the family and that's juggled my schedule around a bit.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Help find this lost wolf! There's a reward...

...a 'reward', yeah...that's what they'd say to get you looking. If you actually found him, then the best you'd get is some 'thought for the day' along the lines of: 'Your duty to the Emperor was reward enough.' Or something similarly lame.

It seems that after so many years without any arms to hold the leash, poor little Sven lost his pet wolf. Luckily for him we've found the mutt. The problem is, is that our calls aren't going through! The rogue psyker says he just keeps getting a message saying 'we're sorry, but calls from the Maelstrom have been blocked.' WTF? We're just trying to

So, as you may recall from a few posts back. I was painting up some of the original IG stormtroopers to be used as Marauder mercenaries for my cobbled together Tyrant's Legion list. In addition to just the pseudo-IG vets that make up the bulk of the unit, Marauders are allowed to take two 'brutes' as well. Brutes have a stat line that is roughly similar to an Ogryn, the the main differences being (as I recall) one point less of strength, toughness and ballistic skill. In return for that the gain rending. While the brute theoretically has a las/auto/shotgun, with a BS of 2, its easily ignored. Three wounds & rending are the whole reason to take them.

Forgeworld hasn't made any minis for the marauders or their brutes as they've intentionally wanted them to be a bit open ended, allowing you to use what you want. Given that the models I'm using are so 'clean cut', using something like the WHFB Nurgle Lord (unfortunately) isn't feasible. The Current Orgyn models are ugly & overpriced, as were their predecessors. The original Ogryn looked the best, but due to their rarity on ebay, they're even more expensive!

...and then...

While perusing ebay for ideas, I saw the wolf above. Really the only stipulation that FW has required for brutes is that they be on a 40mm base, which the Fenrisian Wolves come with. Seeing the opportunity to both solve my problem and mock several of my regular opponents, I ordered the one above, and will hopefully soon be able to show Sven just what a real Fenrisian wolf can do!

Monday, April 16, 2012



So, as you all know, this blog is named after my Ork army. However Orks make just about as rare an appearance on here as they do on the table top. Having an old speed freaks set up (with the attached objective camping Eleet Grot Mount'n Duvishun) I can't count the number of times a dozen boyz hopped out of their trukk, opened fire and then charged into a unit of Space Wolves who made their counter attack check & then eviscerated the Orks before I ever got a chance to make an attack. (that was a hellova run-on sentence!)

According to 'teh interwebz' the only way to play orks is with cookie cutter list of 20-30 man mobs, 4 battlewagons w/deff rollers, 2 meks with KFFs, and nob and/or nob biker wound allocation shenanigans. None of which I really have though i can mix/merge mobs to get a 30 ork unit or two. My battlewagon on the other hand was built (using a WWII Matilda) for the old dex and so mounts a zzap gun. Amusingly it matches the Matilda's WWII profile quite well in that its slow, heavily armored, has a crappy gun, and da boyz like to ride on top.

So, after such a crummy week last week, I figured I'd drag Da Long Wayz Dezert Groop out to the Morristown bi-weekly tourney. If they got pasted as expected, would just fit it with the rest of my week. When the pairings were announced, my opponent was already predicting his doom as he assumed that I had brought my gun line renegade IG again. Despite their mediocre record & having only brought them to Morristown twice, they're apparently a quite feared army. That in and of itself is something I'm a bit proud of when again 'teh interwebz' insist that unless you have all chimelta vets & vendetta spam (in the words of the 11th company podcast from their IG overview) 'you're doing it wrong'.

Anyways: da boyz.

My opponent had SOBs and was pleased to hear that i had Orks. His roommate also plays Orks, and he knew how to deal with them. Not sure of his roommate's list preferences, but it is something similar to the above I believe as he commented on how nice it was to see an ork list that didn't fit the norm. Regardless whether it was my odd (in this day & age) speed freaks list, the fact that I had a fully painted ork army (which is something of an oxymoron), or rather the dice gods cursing his dice (which he quickly joined in with), but da boyz actually won a tournament game! Second round vs the necrons didn't go so well, though it was kind of back & forth as to whom was winning, till da boyz just folded towards the end. However as it was the same opponent with whom our game in the previous tourney got cut waaay short, so this made for a good rematch which we both enjoyed.

Below I have several photos of the first round, or to quote Rommel 'I only photograph my victories.' I had only taken one photo of the second game & it didn't come out too good. That's a shame as my opponent had a really nice WIP triarch stalker conversion made out of a ghost ark that I would've liked to have shown off on here. Oh well. So here's a bit of a recap of the Da Groop's victory:

Right & left show my initial deployment, with da eleet grot mount'n duvishun holdin' da ork totem (objective) on the hill. The center shows my turn 1 bonsai charge, except for the armorcast looted wagon which rolled a pair of 1's for 'don't press dat!' & promptly immobilizing itself.

Judging by the position of the armorcast looted wagon (da grot rigger got it mobile again), I believe this is turn 2. Damned thing rolled a 1 for 'don't press dat!' all the way into turn 3! It damned near drove off the other side of the table before the crew unstuck the gas pedal! In the background you can see Da Masta Cheef himself & his boyz have just dispatched an exorcist (green dead rhino). The preacher & 3 death cult assassins, having pureed 2 deff koptas were advancing away from the kans & looted wagon whose shooting had already cost them heavily, and way in the back Masta Blasta & his shoota boyz were stuck in with a bunch of sisters (that whole flank got bottled up after 2 deff koptas' got off a turn 1 charge that popped a rhino). None of those photos came out sadly, too much caffeine = blurry photos. That unit accounted for 10 regular sisters, as well as 10 seraphim with my mega armored mek Masta blasta being the sole survivor!

With his mob shot & flamed down around him my warboss, Da Masta Cheef was now all on his own and summarily charged by a preacher, 3 death cult assassins, and another squad of seraphim! 2 full turns later, after taking 2 wounds, and wiping out the seraphim, the preacher and assassins made a run for it! He proved just too tough of an opponent for the sister's horrid dice rolling!

The sisters' last desperate bid to get to da totem was thwarted by da kans who proceeded to play 'rock da boat' with their rhino. While failing to kill it, by this time it was turn five & the ladies within were disinclined to exit to their doom, and the game was won!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'll send three squads to help!


My personal life has been rather abysmal here the past few days, and as such, I've had little want to put paint to brush. While mini painting can be a good escape, sometimes it just isn't good enough. Two more Stormtroopers-turned-Mercs have been started, but are anything but photogenic in their current state. Murl's wanting to play a game tonight, but i dunno...not sure if I even want to bother with the FLGS or Morristown this weekend.

Anyways rather than (continuing to) cry on my blog I'm instead going to plug another one. Adam (a.k.a.: Banner Elk Gamer, BEG, [now] Hive Angel [Angels get hives?] & Hivefleet Banner Elk) has started his own gaming blog: Send Three Squads To Help.

As he is a Blood Angel player, he will no doubt use that as a platform from which to spew the misguided propaganda that is common to followers of the Corpse God. lol.

So give him a look & yes rogue.trader.voril, that was your cue to troll away like you two used to do so often on TNwargamers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The old guard has gone merc!


So along with the thunderhawk & stormlord hulls (the latter of which has been passed onto the Bink, who is rather fond of building stuff) rogue.trader.voril passed to me some old, OOP IG storm troopers. Actually I paid for these unlike the others. Several were missing backpacks, however due to the number of IG & IG-like armies I've had over the years, I had a large pile of spares handy. Here are the first few:

Two are as yet unflocked as you can see. I ran out of clear coat which helps in keeping that stuff on the base, so I figured I'd just wait (I'm outta glue too, but 50+ miles round trip to the FLGS for just those 2 things makes little sense). Anyways, i went for a desert scheme instead of my perennial favorite: all green. I intend to use these as Marauders (mercenaries) in my Tyrant's Legion army. As all of my other IG are in varying shades of brown, these guys won't stand out too terribly. I think I might give them My SWM Rapid Assault vehicle to use as a Chimera as well.

Marauders are essentially IG veterans with a few exceptions. First of all they're elite choices (I think FW saw Cruddances's mistake there), and rather than BS:4, they're WS:4. Which is kinda odd given that you can't give them 2 CCWs with the exception of the Marauder Chief (sgt.). However once engaged in HTH, that does make them far more survivable than reg. IG vs. the ubiquitous SMs who will be expecting to hit on 3's. They also get one of three vet abilities for free rather than paying for it as the IG Vets do. Murder Cultists (something HTH related, but these guys look too civilized for that), Hereteks (carapace armor), or the one I think I'll use: Stalkers. Stalkers have acute senses, stealth & move thru cover. Given that these guys are supposed to look like old SAS troops, I think that fits them perfectly.

However unlike the SAS, Marauders are just 'in it for the money'. That means, as soon as the fail a leadership test, they can never rally as that would likely reduce their chances of collecting that paycheck (and nicely off sets the free vet upgrades). They may also take up to 2 special weapons (no heavy weapons even though I got an autocannon team with this bunch) and up to 2 'brutes' which are essentially ogryn with rending. FW left it kinda open ended though so you can convert whatever you want so long as its on a 40mm base. I was thinking of maybe converting one or two from some ogre kingdom bulls...if I get around to it. The Chief also gets some nice upgrades, blurring the lines between sergeant & officer.

I have a Sgt, 1 meltagunner, the AC team, and about 8 of the grunts above. I also picked up another half dozen grunts on ebay for $10 (which is surprising as these tend to go for ridiculous prices on ebay). So all I need is another Sgt. model & a special weapon (beyond that it'll just be too expensive) and I'll have 2 good sized Merc. units. I was thinking of maybe seeing if I could remove the AC team's autocannon barrel & replace it with an IG's heavy stubber from one of the pintle mounts, if so then that would work for a special weapon even though it might look kinda funky when mounted in the old style IG gun carriage.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's the triple word score of Thunderhawk?


Last weekend rogue.trader.voril gave me a partially constructed Space Marine Thunderhawk that was made entirely of a heavy grade plasticard! While still quite basic, as you can see its very well done! He didn't build it himself, rather a friend of his who unexpectedly passed away a year or so ago had started it but never had a chance to finish the build. Not seeing himself finish the model, he turned it over to me to see if I can/will. Even if only for a terrain piece.

The weapons shouldn't be too hard using parts from various GW kits, and the canopy can probably be done in plasticard & just painted over in lieu of using transparent plastic as there is no interior detail. The engines however, will be the hardest part. I believe he said that valkeryie engines were tried but were too small. I was thinking of perhaps a pair of valk engines per side, mounted one above the other where the engine joins the fuselage... It wouldn't fit the exact standard, but as there are local variations of everything else in the 40k universe, it ought to work...maybe. Voril also gave to me the basic plasticard structure of a stormlord. I doubt that I'll do anything with that & instead will try to find a good home for it.

In other news, rather than play our usual Wednesday game of 40k. Adam decided that Tuesday evening was an excellent time to lock himself out of his apartment. Thunder, lightning, torrential rain, what time would be better? So I went & picked him up and back at my place we played Scrabble while waiting for his roommate to get home. It was a good bit of fun for an impromptu gaming session, and I won which made it even better.

Never had the letters to fit 'Thunderhawk' on the board though...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday's menu: Salted Warcaster

I can only assume that he's served with cheese...


Sell, my salt experiment on Lt. Moen is complete and the verdict is....I dunno. It does look all good & rusty, but it was really kindova pain in the ass to do. When it came time for me to remove the salt it quite often didn't want to come off, so i had to brush harder which in turn took some of the paint off. Or in a few places when it did come off (whether for the reason above or otherwise) it took the primer with it down to just the bare metal, so maybe this technique is best used on just plastic?

(sorry for the grainy photo, my camera isn't the best on focusing in so close on tiny minis)

The tutorial I used demonstrated the technique on an old rhino, which has large & flat surfaces. So perhaps this technique is just best for such models, or more likely, its best to try it on less detailed models till you get the hang of it, and only then do you try it on a highly detailed infantry model like this...

In person it looks pretty good though, and for a one off 'throw away' paint job, it came out fairly well I think, while satisfying my random urge to paint a warmahordes mini (and I do get that urge on occasion).

I showed this to Murl & the following (and inevitable) conversation took place:

Looks good, we should play.


Oh come on...




At which point I got a dirty look & he handed the mini back to me, lol.