Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wow, that's bigger than I thought it would be...

...words rarely said by gamers after an online purchase and likewise said by no woman ever and invariably on a completely different topic, but that's a subject for a different blog, not this one.

I was perusing teh inerwebz looking for something to use as a machine gun (MG) variant 10ton APC for Battletech (the actual mini is kinda hideous). The MG variant has 4 machine guns and no troop capacity, making it a dirt cheap militia scout tank. Going forward to the Jihad era you can swap the machine guns for light machine guns for no point differential, getting twice the range for half the damage. At least that's what I was aiming for...

The 6mm listing pic.
The 15mm version's listing pic.

Lots of metal for $14!

I had no idea on the size of the mini as the actual listing's pic is about 1.5" square on screen and not too detailed. Actually I was going off of the 15mm version's listing photo. Given the price of (2) for 2.5 GBP I figured they'd be tiny. A lance of four, with shipping came out to about $14 which is on par the usual Battletech blister pack of two tanks (ebay seller price wars usually drop that average drop by $1-2).

This is on a 1" grid.

Perhaps I should send these to Ground Zero Games to use for their listing...

Scale is always a bit vague and anything but consistent when it comes to CBT minis, but as you can see below, side-by-side with a 60ton Bulldog tank, this won't pass as an APC one 6th that weight!

I'll most likely glue the turrets in place so as not to lose the tiny things!

So...not sure what type I'll use these as, but here are the most likely candidates:

First up: it could easily pass for a Tokugawa were it not for the minuscule turret. That said, mucking around in Skunkwerks I found that if I move the Tokugawa's SRM-6 to the front, it doesn't effect the BV making that an option.

The another likely candidate is the Schiltron C. Weighing in at 80 tons, the C variant dispenses with the bulky missile launchers and just mounts four large lasers in its also minuscule nubbin of a turret. The internal C3 master computer will be wasted, but not utilizing that again has no effect on BV and only wastes 5 tons, so no real loss there. Schiltrons are also packaged individually in their blister packs which really makes this a bargain substitute!

Or, I could just use it as a Hetzer variant. Let's face it, that mini is just an ugly box with a fixed forward weapon mount (quite fitting if I glue on the turrets) and despite this minis's size, a good bit of it is wheels and suspension, so if anything that's less of a stretch than the 80 tonner above.

Guess I'll have to ponder it some...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Salamanders Vigilator


Not sure if I like the finished result or not, but at the very least this guy will stand out from the crowd (painted, primed and even bare plastic)! Vigilators are the covert operatives of the 30k space marine legions. They come equipped with cameleoline, be it in the form of a cloak or more rarely coating their armor as in this case.

Cameleoline (why is it not just spelled/pronounced chameleon?) replicates the surrounding terrain enabling the wearer to blend in. Space Marines with camouflage? Who'd a thunk it? In-game I believe it just confers stealth, so its not all that useful. Still though I thought I'd give it a try. The result:

Overall brown/desert in color, with portions of his armor picking up the green of the vegetation, as well as the black on his weaponry (the latter of which didn't translate too well via my camera). 

Here he is next to a regular bolter grunt.

Yeah, not sure about it to be honest. Of course covert operative or not, no self-respecting Salamander of rank would dare go into battle without some 'bling'. Thus the gold trim and the both ornate and impractical (when it comes to concealment) backpack. He's armed simply with a bolt pistol, bolter with specialized ammo and a master-crafted chainsword because...well, why not?

Given the number of minis in the queue to be painted, he'll stay out of the Simplegreen for the time being which will give it time to see if his paint job grows on me or not...


Just as a forewarning: Da Masta Cheef turns a whoppin' 42 (wtf?!?) this week! Family will be in town and I'll be attending the local NASCAR race this coming weekend (for the 1st time in several years), meaning this is likely to be my only post this week and there might not be much next week either.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mk III assembly is complete!


I finished putting together the last of my Mk III marines meaning all of my Salamanders are now assembled (well, barring of course the Dreadnought which is in a state of permanent disassembly). But anyways these last few will flesh my tactical squads out to 10 each, and my tactical support squads to 6 each-one with flamers and the other with meltaguns.

One of these is not like the others...

Going off of prior experience (only one game, but it worked quite well) the meltagunners will be accompanied by my Praetor and apothecary and will ride in the rhino. Kinda like a pseudo-command squad. The flamer squad meanwhile is left to hoof it across the table. Never a good thing for a short ranged unit. 

Note the discreet armor of
the Vigilator...
The flamer squad will from now on outflank with my Vigilator who was upgraded from a mere grunt in my last post. The Vigilator Centurion has always been a favorite of mine, despite my abysmal track record with the type. He has scout which allows him to outflank, and he passes that onto whichever squad he joins if I understand it correctly (teh interwebz is full of Vigilator and friends outflanking in a Landraider suggestions so I'm assuming I do).  

Vigilators also have a 1-time, pre-game sabotage attack for an added bonus. Its never amounted to much but there’s always the possibility of that paying for him before he even reaches the table! Their specialized ammo is kinda meh, but will at least give his attached unit a token attack beyond bolt pistol range.

Now, its back to the endless painting queue…

Monday, August 7, 2017

Alls quiet on the hobby front...


Just another week filled with time-consuming reality left little time for hobbying. I did manage to assemble two more Salamander tactical grunts at least.

They could actually work as sergeants, but I don't need anymore of those.

The one with the auspex keeps making think he'd make a good sergeant. However the little scrubby brush helmet bit has gone MIA and...well, what my army really needs is basic bolter grunts, not superfluous sergeants. So perhaps that missing bit is for the best...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Primaris Space Marine problem...


Whilst rumors spread of lone individuals, squads, and in one case even a whole company of Primaris marines kneeling before the Dark Gods and swearing new allegiances across the bloody battlefields of the Imperium. War is already raging amongst the ranks of the Ordos Hereticus and Malleus. Doubters and believers alike exchange gunfire and lies daily as they desperately seek the their own versions of the truth... 

Are Roboute Guilliman and Belisarius Cawl, both the Master and Commander of the Primaris marines, the saviors of the Imperium in these desperate times? Or, with the proliferation of their so-called monsters across the stars, are they in truth the architects of its total destruction? 

lol, I'll bet you didn't think I was going to take that initial query into this direction did you?

Monday, July 31, 2017

New Recruits!


A few weeks back I got a minuscule *bonus* from work, and before it was consumed by the great maw of daily expenses, I ordered another Mk III tac squad for my 30k Salamanders. Whilst I’d have preferred Mk IV marines, the Mk IIIs were about $4 cheaper so that’s what I got. 

The first four of ten...which sounds like something from the Borg collective, lol.

In my Sally’s battlefield debut, Bob let me borrow close to 30 marines to flesh my army out to 1500 points. I did appreciate that, but would rather just use my own minis. This squad filled the holes in my roster that the painted Alpha Legionnaires left on their exit. True, I won’t be fielding any 20-man tac squads anytime soon, but I can at the least hit the 10 man minimum. Likewise my Fire Support Squad’s also back up to the 5-man minimum. 

I added Vexillas this time as well. I didn’t use those when fielding the Alpha Legion, as they were always trying to conceal their true identities, so have squad level banners didn’t seem appropriate (though I suppose they could have been used for misdirection as well). That and I figured they’d snap off at some point. Hopefully the latter won’t occur with these (I’ll keep ya posted).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Rainbow Warriors FINALLY see combat!

Ya know, I was starting to think they'd never see a game of Kill Team assuming people were afraid of losing to the Rainbow Warriors of all chapters. Turns out I was wrong and following dinner, myself, my Beloved Wolfy, Bob and Screech convened at the FLGS for a game.

I forget the scenario's name, but we each set up in a corner, and had to roll to see which of our team's members would be outflanking (the average was 3), and there were 3 center objectives. Here are some of the highlights and my pseudo-bat rep.

All 7 of these didn't set up on the table top. The front 4 were in my rhino, with the back 3 outflanking.  

Unsurprisingly, the Fem Fa' Tau set up shop in a ruined tower...

The 1st of the outflankers! One of Screech's Scions arrives in my backfield...

...make that three!

Whilst Wolfy technically only had 1 outflanker, it was her Piranha, which promptly detached its 2 drones. For all of her shooting however, only Screech's team leader 'Mr. Clean' fell.

Bob's Deathwatch sniper,  positioned in the closest thing to a bell tower as our terrain had. Impossible to reach with anything but ranged weapons, he would spend most of the game trading ineffectual fire with Wolfy's Crisis suit. 

My scouts dispatched all 3 of Screech's outflankers without loss. Notably, the former fucking Aurora scout sniper killed the Scion gunning for him with a damned krak grenade! As usual, his sniper rifle would prove useless, all game long...

A Grenade launcher toting scion immobilized my Rhino and the marines within fanned out, with 2 moving into what would soon become a corpse strewn ruin...

Double outflanking attack! Seriously? Taking a Rainbow Warrior from behind with a flamer? Hell, that's part of the Initiate hazin-uhh...indoctrination rituals. Needless to say no marines were injured in this fiery attack. 

Screech, approaching an objective marker enmass...

Speaking of, the Fem Fa' Tau, no longer content to just hang back and blast everything in sight, moved in force towards the closest objective on the other side of the table.

Despite heavy casualties (for Kill Team), the first round of Cadian removal operations from the ruins is complete! Screech however, was not amused.

Where the fuck did that guy come from?!? Shit! Now Bob held the 3rd objective. Note:  The blue things in the background are Bob's dice in motion. 

The 1st of Bob's Deathwatch outflankers arrives, this one with his heavy bolter-combi-lamer (no, not a typo). He stirred up a  bloody hornet's nest by shooting the Fem Fa' Tau, who promptly schooled this fool in the ways of massed firepower! 

My Rainbows try unsuccessfully to remove the Scions form the fortress in front of them. Apparently the looming (but weaponless) piranha was too much of a distraction...

'Destro' leads the Scions' 2nd wave into the ruins!

After a multi-faction firefight and close combat, it came down to these two. Much to my annoyance, rather than Green Arrow (my leader), the Scion would be the last one standing!

The last of Bob's outflankers arrives and summarily guns down my sniper. Considering my general dislike of scout snipers, I had mixed feelings about this event. 

Whilst my rhino continued to blaze away to no effect, and one of my 2 surviving scouts lurked in the background, Bob's Deathwatch succumbed to their training turned their sights on the Tau. 

Despite triangulating bolter fire are seemingly all directions, they couldn't remove all of the fire warriors from their objective before the game ended (although they came damned close!). 

Well that was fun! At game's end, The Fem Fa' Tau's team leader was the only one standing, all 4 kill teams were 'broken' and everyone except me held an objective. However when all was totaled up, Wolfy got the win due to 1st blood. It could've been a tie in truth, but none of us could remember who inflicted the casualty that 'broke' my team (i.e.: took em below the 50% mark).

As for my Rainbow Warriors, given that this was their battlefield debut, in general I was happy with them. I only had 2 survivors-both scouts and the rhino with a single hull point left. I can't think of anything offhand I'd have done differently, other than to maybe not have my missile launcher armed marine outflank. That said, the weapon was master-crafted and did at least damage the piranha before Screech gunned him down.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fort Kudzu

'Fort' probably isn't the right word...its more like a bunker, outpost, or given the radar dish, listening post. Regardless, this works well as a piece of terrain, or possibly even an objective for Battletech. These are resin pieces made by a little (and fairly local) company called Xmarx.

As you can see, the kudzu is slowing taking over...

An Urbie for scale.

Having the water tower so close to the bunker itself is a bit suspect. Blocking the fields of view and no real need to be so close for access, it leads one to wonder if its really just a cleverly disguised K-1 Dropshuttle, ready and waiting for a quick evac...?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Despite the new 8th ed 40k, the malaise continues…

Dunno why…well I do actually.

Primaris Marines, the prototype sketch...

The whole ZOMG!!!! GIRLYMAN IS BACK AND THE ULTRAMARINES ARE SAVING THE IMPERIUM SINGLE FUCKING HANDEDLY WITH THEIR NEW PRIMARIS MARINES THAT EVERY OTHER CHAPTER IS GLADLY ACCEPTING BECAUSE THEY’VE ALL BEEN BLED DRY (but not the Smurfs, because they’re the best, as usual…), etc.. Yeah thanks Matt Ward, you can stop writing now. The 12 year olds you’re butchering 40k’s decades long backstory to appeal to don’t have the attention span to read beyond the first page or so.

lol, 'regular' marines, Angry Marines...I guess its all the same now.

And then there’s the new models, which Deathguard aside is all primaris marines, all the time! The basic grunts look fine, but all of the other Primaris models range from ‘meh’ to just flat awful in my opinion. A Tau Ion cannon mounted on an overweight dreadnought? What’s not to like about that? Plenty actually…

The fact that the ‘regular’ (aka: obsolete) marines have been so quickly shoved aside by GW in their ravenous attempts to get everyone to BUY MOAR!! Just makes it all the more disheartening. 

Sexy Daemons are not kid-friendly, but have you met my little pikachu-what? That's already copyrighted?!? Fuck. Guess we'll just stick with calling 'em nurglings...

Then there’s the new Deathguard and their dopey looking poxwalkers. Bleh, are they all corrupted Primaris marines, or is everything getting bigger-Guardsmen included? Don’t get too happy with ‘true-scale spess mareenz just yet folks…wait till something Xenos or IG gets released first. Also, while GW felt that Nurgle apparently needed more cowbell, I am not a fan of the new plaguemarine design aesthetic either. They’re more ridiculous than the ‘dancing’ Khorne Berserker poses!

But, but the Orks! What about Da Orks? I hear you ask…

'af our minis iz 20 years old! Ork can't
even count dat high...
Yes, I enjoyed my one game of 8th ed and its benefits to my Orks, and I believe that they’re really big winners in the new ruleset, but…personally there’s no want to paint more boyz. Even painting the one with ROKKIT PISTOLS!!! felt something like a chore before I was finished with it. Will I finally build my fighta bomma as I had initially considered doing after that first game?Don’t hold your breath. Hell, I haven’t even picked up at my Xenos 2 book since that game, other than to put it on the shelf afterwards. 

No, not really relevant, but it made me laugh!

Nor I have looked into making a Fem Fa’Tau army list (no I’m not using the new ‘spelling’ of Tau, fuck GW’s craven need for copyrights on everything!). I don’t think my Beloved Wolfy would be interested in one even if I had. Kill Team (and possibly Shadow War) aside, I think she’s more or less done with 40k.

Wait! We're called WHAT?!? now???

Then their are the Eldar, another faction which was ‘renamed’ for copyright-ability at the expense of decades of existing branding. I’ve not even looked into their rules, even though they’re easily my largest 40k army at this point. 

I think I’ll keep plugging away at my 30k Salamanders and Outremar for now. Rogue Stars and Battletech when variety is needed and as for 40k? I have no clue what its future holds for me at this point…

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Salamanders Legion, in the fluff...

...were very slow to recruit new marines. So, can I use that as my justification for only finishing one, already half painted mini since my last post?

I tried to put flames on his shoulder pad, but it seemed like a lot of effort for only a 'meh' quality result. As such I don't think I'll try that again soon. :-/

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Some Salamanders & Friends


As a reward for their victory this past weekend, the 3 Salamander bolter grunts have made it into the painting queue. I realized after base-coating that two of their bases were plain, so I had to go back and add stuff, hence the odd colors on those bitz.

Ack! My cell phone's flash cast these in a really harsh light!

The one with the red shoulder pad will be a Sgt., who has a 'master-crafted bolter'. Previously, master-crafted bolters just got a scope, a lick of gold paint or something like that. However with the advent of the Primaris Marines, their bolt rifles are a great way to make an upgraded bolter stand out a bit from just the 'regular' variety.

Ugh, the flash was even worse on these two!

I also finished painting another Grymn in the more normal-ish uniform and armor colors. I'm basing them (which includes rebasing the first) the same as I am both the Rainbow Warriors and the Salamanders. This will allow them to be used as allies in some form or fashion in the future.

Monday, July 10, 2017

There's nuthin' like a good ol' fashioned blood bath!


This past Saturday I played  1500 point game of 30k with Bob. As my forces are a bit thin in the ranks, especially following the departure of the Alpha Legionnaires, Bob offered to lend me up to 30 bolters grunts. I used most of em, and at the start it looked more like a shattered legion than the Salamanders. However Bob turned on the hurt quickly, and the loaners were the first to go! We opted for a simple kill point game with 2VPs for destroyed units plus the usual secondaries.

What follow's is my usual photo dump/pseudo battle report.

My multi-colored left flank.

...and my right. The rhino contained my Praetor, Apothecary and a tactical support squad equipped with meltaguns and a Sgt. with a Powerfist.

Luckily I only had 1 landraider full of Cataphractii termies to deal with this time. A 20 strong tac squad filled out Bob's right flank. A rhino full of Autocannon equipped Devastators, a praetor with accompanying command squad and 10 breachers held the middle, and...

another 20 strong tac squad and the very scary Sicarian whirlwind was on his left. 

The lines draw closer...the Sicarian already gutted my tac squad on the right in the first turn, whereas Bob's other tac squad (not pictured) suffered almost as heavily on the other side due to massed bolter fire and flamers (over the course of 2 turns). 

My rhino sped forward, bypassed the breachers on turn two, and deployed my melta marines for a decapitation strike on the Iron Warrior praetor and command squad. 

The fearsome Devastators disembark in the center, ready to reinforce...well, prettymuch everyone.

The Covenant of Fire rights of war makes all Salamander melta weapons master-crafted. The problem of course comes when you roll three 1's to wound. Bob's Praetor took a wound, but had eternal warrior, leaving him singed but alive. 

Well this is going to suck! And boy did it! Overwatch did nothing and despite taking down 2 Iron Warrior cataphractii in close combat, the Salamanders lost at least 3-times that number and fled. They rallied shortly thereafter but the cataphractii and landraider simply blew the survivors off of the board. 

A second round of meltaguns finished off the command squad and after the charge & challenge, both Praetors broke out the recaff to BS whilst doing absolutely NOTHING to one another over the course of several rounds of close combat. 

Likewise, massed fire reduced the Iron warrior Termies to just the sgt., and once again the charge & challenge resulted in the two sgt.'s flailing about fruitlessly with AP 3 weaponry for a few turns.

What was left of my Flamer squad finally charged what was left of Bob's one tac squad...

Luckily I was rolling good, and the lightning claw equipped Sgt. sent em running!

The breachers wade in and my Sgt. with powerfist called his out for a challenge and summarily died! 

Finally! I got lucky and Bob rolled a snake eyes on armor saves and his warlord was killed!

Bored waiting for the pointless termie close combat to end, the devs pivot and slaughter my last few flamer marines whom had just done the same to the tac squad they had been fighting. 

Despite losing my last 2 melta grunts, the breachers fall back from my Praetor and Apothecary. 

My termie sgt. finally killed his opponent, and the termies avenged the flamers by bathing the devastators in fire and then charging, wiping out the survivors!

On the other end of the table, lots of shooting resulted in little aside from the loss of my predator and several Iron Warrior tac marines. . The two depleted squads, would remain locked in combat for the remainder of the game...

My ragged survivors out of close to 60 marines!

At the end of 6 turns we tallied it up, almost as an afterthought as I had killed more units plus had all 3 secondaries, though I don't recall the exact number of VPs. It was a bloody game and out of Bob's force, whilst all 3 of his vehicles survived, his infantry horde was reduced to just 5 tac. marines, vs. my lone rhino and about a dozen marines. Yup, attrition warfare at its finest! The game was a lot of fun and I look forward to more games of 30k in the future.