Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ere We Go, Ere We Go, Ere We Go, Ere We Go...


Holy crap I won a contest! Now why won't the lottery let me win....doesn't have to be the jackpot, just one of the middling prize amounts, or what about an international trip? That'd be great...

Okay, back to the present, Admiral Drax, one of the original inspirations for my decision to start up my own blog, reached his 500th post earlier this week and offered up a contest. He would paint a unit from a randomly chosen commenter of that post, and long story short, I won that prize (and a mob of my Orks will get to go on an international trip at least)!

Amongst the congratulatory comments were many suggesting I send Drax a 30-50 model horde to paint, however that seems to be taking advantage of an already good situation. Instead I offered Drax his choice: My still-in-the-box Ork Fightabomma or my Tankbustas. Concerned about what international shipping would do to a Fighta, he opted for the Tankbusta mob.

When asking what I would be sending to Drax, my amazing and wonderful fiance Wolfy said: Nine? That's it? You can't even send him an even dozen?

lol, yes just nine. I already have one painted, and being the only all metal mini in the mob, aesthetically it already doesn't match the rest of the bunch, so the differing paint job won't matter. Besides, somebody has to get the thankless task of always dying first.

Drax has painted an awful lot of green in his gaming history, but he's yet to paint an Ork. So dis iz a good'n propa fix to dat! Beyond the green skin, he can do whatever he wants paint-wise. Orks aren't conformists (which is convenient).

As you can see, one is already partially painted which he can either simply finish or start over as he pleases. Another also has a bit of my original and horrid tiger-striped color scheme showing. Don't hesitate Drax! Prime over it and don't look back, lol! Nobody wants to see orks painted like that...

So again, I send many thanks to Admiral Drax, and I look forward to seeing what he does with my boyz!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Eleventy-First Devonshire


Just a quick post as this Memorial Day weekend has been spent primarily on yard work/working around the house. Thus there's been virtually no hobby time aside from my Soviet Quar-tide army rolling over Bob's beleaguered Germans Saturday night.

A detail shot of Lt. Croot and the BAR trooper.

Whilst I don't see any need for anymore Quar purchases for Bolt Action, my return to Britain's Dad's Army is starting to take shape. These little Brits have reclaimed the Vicker's 6 Ton stand-in, and I finally built my odd looking Quar armored car that will probably stand-in as a Rolls Royce armored car (which is unfortunate as I love that vehicle, yet don't have $30 for the excellent model that Trenchworx makes of it). I also have my first squad of Homeguard with a BAR, Lt. R.S. Croot, and a Sniper (who still needs a sidekick to go with him).

My platoon thus far.

lol, these Hobbit minis are indeed tiny (shoulder height to a Grymn!), and I'm thinking that I'm going to need some new detail-brushes to paint them!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My 1st FULLY painted Grymn Militarum squad!


Blue Squad is ready to go!
For me to have a fully painted squad of...well, anything is something of an accomplishment. Currently the Exodites have the most painted squads after the Orks lost all of theirs via the ebay exodus. Whereas, for a faction that has only ever been played twice, in different game systems and where both outings were dismal failures...for me to have any of them painted is simply miraculous!

But, I love my Grymn, so there you have it. 

In fact, my Grymn are about to get some reinforcements via some more Noble Knight Trade-in credit (to be mailed out this weekend). When that arrives I'll have a 25 Grymn Platoon, a veteran squad (which brings up my Gyrmn to be comparable in number to my various IG armies of the past) and an Embittered Noble suffering thru punishment duty (which will count as a: Lord Commissar) to lead them. Add to that an armored Sentinel, a Grymnquisitor and his flunkies, the Garvus Lighter, and a Grymndicare assassin, and while that won't be quite 1k in points, its getting pretty close!

Suck it GW!
Also, as I mentioned in my last Grymn post, I have shredded a hacked Russian Astra Militarum PDF codex. The downloaded PDF clocked in at staggering 398 pages!!! However my Grymn Militarum Codex has been condensed down to a mere 20 pages, front cover included. Sure there's no fluff or artwork in it, but I'm always dreaming up/revising my own fluff for my Grymn and posting it on here. So that isn't required for a codex, especially as there are very few in our local gaming group who care at all about the Grymn anyway.

That and most GW fluff these days (BL novels excluded) are either recycled for the most part from the prior codex, a none-to-descriptive paragraph about a war in which the opposing side was pasted on a timeline, or little more than a marketing driven add-on designed to sell the codex's newest, shiny, and expen$ive additions. In all honestly, I haven't done anything more than skim the fluff in the last few codexes I've bought as in general it was terribly disappointing. As for the lack of artwork? Heh, and how often to you see that complaint about the new-styled codexes online?


Its such a great (and these days, short lived) $50ish value that you get out of those new codexes isn't it?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blackrain: My take on the CDC


A buddy of mine (Rosco) is working on his own mini-game (with the intent for an eventual Kickstarter) called Blackrain. He asked if I would play in another play-test game the past weekend I said sure. in looking thru his force generators and such, I saw that one faction is called the CDC. Yes, that CDC, or rather his post-apocalyptic world's vision of it. The Blackrain FB page has a small blurb on some of the factions, but at the time I was unaware of the page and came up with my own idea of a post apocalyptic-CDC.

Forwarding it to him, Rosco liked it and said a good bit of what I wrote may get written into the game's final fluff (and being a fluff-bunny player in general, this pleases me considerably). Thus without further adieu, here's what I came up with:

Any resemblance of the logo to a poison dart from is purely coincidental...

The CDC Unit Brief:

Far from a benevolent organization, the CDC's intellectual body sees itself as the savior of humanity. As such, when dispatching teams to the field, they have a firm belief in 'the ends justify the means' when it comes to accomplishing their goals. Indeed, aren't a few insignificant casualties a small price to pay if it brings the CDC one step closer to rebuilding a healthy and genetically-stable human society?


The CDC’s field teams themselves are an essential part of operations,  venturing beyond the safety of their fortress-like facilities to collect the raw materials of the CDC’s research. The composition of field teams often vary greatly from one to the next. For routine operations, field teams are usually lead by a scientist, though rarely Directors will also venture outside the wire when the need arises. In general, the leading Scientists are highly trained in a specific subject of study. These dedicated individuals know just what to look for and will stop at nothing to further their CDC research!

Their specialized associates will range from a personal coterie of interns and/or students, to exceptionally deadly bodyguards from the former US military (often with special forces backgrounds), to genetically modified humans from the top secret Darwin Project. These Darwinions are sometimes the whole reason for a field team’s excursion itself, testing whether or not their artificial evolution has resulted in yet another monster…or more rarely a masterpiece! Each team also includes at least a few volunteers who are little more than a cheaply paid street thugs with a CDC name badges.

Volunteers are fiercely loyal to the CDC cause, as in addition to a   regular paycheck, they receive regular medical injections, standardized survival gear, (seemingly) superior weaponry, and better quality rations than could otherwise be had. Little do they know that their vaccinations are often worthless placebos, or else experimental drugs with little known or understood side effects. Additionally their provisions are often of new genetically modified species so that the unsuspecting volunteers and their families provide the CDC with easily acquired long-term studies of their gene-splicing projects and their potential side effects (which are all too frequent). As such, the CDC sees these poor souls as little more than a variation of the common, caged lab rat.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The triple nickel!


For blog post number 555, I offer a battle report for your reading amusement...

After hunting around a bit on our FLGS' FB group, I accepted a challenge to a game of 40k from Neverness. Referring to it as my quarterly game of 40k, I opted for a small allied contingent of Eldar with which to tack onto Wolfy's Fem Fa'Tau.

1500 points, straight up Kill Each Other/Victory Points game (as none of us have the 7th ed rulebook to select an actual scenario), 1k of Fem Fa'Tau backed up by 500 points of old codex Eldar. Facing us were Neverness' Ultrasmurfs and a formation of 4 (WTF?) Imperial Assassins! Speaking of, as he put them on the table, we had this conversation:

So, how many psykers do you have?
None? Really?
Not even a single warlock?
Nope. No guardians just Dire Avengers, so no Warlocks
A farseer?
Nope. This is probably the 1st time since 3rd ed that I've fielded Eldar without  psykers.
Well crap.

lol. We won the roll to deploy and go first. Having done so the Imperium stole the initiative via some assassin trickery and the casualties quickly started to mount on both sides...

My apologies for the shaky photo of the Imperial battle line. Neverness, our combat photographer was no doubt already shaking with fear...
The Taudar's left flank deployment...
...and our right flank.
Turn one saw the assassins advance, with the Vindicare getting first blood after destroying a hammerhead (taking a pair of Dire Avengers with it), whilst the Evesor's rapid firing took a wound off of the Wraithlord.
Not amused, the Taudar gun down the Evesor and Culexus in the ruins, though the exploding Evesor killed another Dire Avenger!
Termies deep strike in and unload on the Autarch's bodyguard, killing an Exarch and 2 Dire Avengers, but they hold their ground under the withering assault!
A precarious deep striking scatter placed my Vyper in a quite dangerous 'don't bump the table' scenario. The result was that the panicky crew was unable to make good use of its firing position behind the Whirlwind.
The Dire Avengers leave the Termies to the Wraithlord who wades in, resulting in a 1st round tie of 1 wound a piece.
Despite moving to safety, the Vyper crew continues to fail utterly. It would be 2 more turns of leaving not a scratch on the tank's rear armor before finally taking it down. Post battle, they were introduced to the Eldar path of latrine duty...
The Autarch and avengers break a tactical squad whilst the wraithlord had finished off the termies. My contingent was racking up the kills nicely, but was down to a mere 5 models...
After wallowing about in terrain for too many turns (Neverness rolled a bucket load of 1's and 2's in a row for difficult terrain), the Smurfs' right flank emerges into the open only to find that the Tau had relocated to good firing positions which were well out of charge range!
The Stealth suits finally arrive on the wrong flank to find it bereft of targets. Thus they commenced graffiti operations with gusto!
Here we see the cold and calculating gaze of the Fem Fa'Tau Commander, as she watches the piece-by-piece slaughter of her enemies...
With the dreadnought's demise the Ultramarines make the call for an evac!
Curiously, Neverness' photos seem to have focused on my side of the board. However make no mistake, the Fem Fa'Tau were kicking ass and taking names on their side too (as was that infernal Vindicare till we eventually managed to kill him)! The arrival of the Callidius and her subsequent removal was a tense moment in particular, with a drone and a pathfinder or two falling victim to her neural shredder before her demise.

The final Tally: 10:5 in our favor! It was a good game overall, but I think there were too many points spent on assassins to make Neverness' army truly effective. Well, that and his inability to get out of difficult terrain and into the fight. Here are his thoughts on the game:

Of the four assassins, the Vindicare was the one that more than earned his points back. Taking out a tank, a battle suit and scaring the hell out of the combined Taudar force, he also drew an impressive amount of firepower in order to take him out. On hindsight, I should have used him to eliminate the Wraithlord, but the urge to obliterate more tanks was too tempting. 

The Callidus should've performed better but I botched her deployment. She got to show off her scary Neural Shredder but in turn the Tau got to show off their firepower. The Eversor put a wound on the Wraithlord with his fast shooting needle gun but again, my deployment of him was a bit too bold and he was gunned down. The Culuxus had no Psykers to hunt but even with power to reduce the BS of his attackers to a 1, he was still gunned down. I think next time I take an assassin it will definitely be just a Vindicare or a Calidus.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Da' Grymn Militarum get a little MOAR DAKKA!!!


I've all but shredded the Astra Militarum codex (its a hacked Russian PDF not an actual book), removing all that there isn't a model for using Hasslefree's Grymn mini line. That said, I did add in one thing, the option for heavy weapons teams to get twin-linked heavy stubbers for 15 points (the point cost coming from Forgeworld's DKK PDF update).

My Grymn have 2 twin stubber teams which I purchased back when I had $$$ to buy whatever the hell I wanted without worrying if I'd actually use it (that period of financial freewill never really existed btw, rather I just acted like it did until the credit card debt became crushing...). Thus a few years later, when The Great Devourer (ebay) has consumed vast quantities of the (former) higher priorities in my my mini collection, this heavy stubber team made it to the front of the painting queue.

Dakka, dakka, dakka!!!
To be honest, I rather like how it came out and can't wait to work on the other team. Now, before anyone (like Screech) comments that there are 3 Grymn on the base, lets face it; the loss of two would render the 'team' combat ineffective resulting in it's removal. Combat ineffective would to me translate to: the lone survivor being in a state of psychological shock and/or running like a mofo for safety!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not in my prior Grymn posts, but the blue on the shoulder pads is a simple and easy way to tell the squads apart. I'm not sure of how many are left in the blue squad, but I ought to be fairly close to finishing them all off! Just have the Sgt. and 1 or 2 grunts left to go I think.

Oh please let them be shooting Grots, it'll be good for their morale!
Speaking of painting, I need to dump the Grymn painted in my original Snow/polar color scheme into some simply green. Sure that color scheme looked good, but it was a real bitch to do. The red armored Grymn however paint up fairly quickly and easily.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bolt Action: A little real life history behind my army's fiction


As mentioned in my prior post, I'm looking to give the British Dad's Army list another go. No worries, it'll still be a Weird War II army (Hobbits this time rather than Quar), I thought I might look a little bit into the History of the Homeguard beyond the cursory reading of it's Wikipedia page.

Adding to that, my last Name is Croot (no, there's no relation to the Tau's mercenary allies) and the family history (or at least what we know of it) says that our family line of the Croots emigrated from England to the US (New Jersey to be specific) sometime in the 1800s. Prior to that its said they came from the Netherlands. However there's all sorts of argument over that on as according to Ancestry the Croots first appeared on record in Devonshire in the early 1500s (seriously, how accurate were records even then, much less earlier than that?). Regardless I hear that Croots are still a dime a dozen in parts of England, whereas the surname is quite rare in the USA.

Anyways back on topic; I googled: Devonshire Homeguard Croot and quickly found two Croots who had served in the Territorial army's Devonshire regiment. True that's the reserves and not the home guard, but its close enough I suppose considering that I'm not recreating an actual unit. Coincidentally, another Croot who served in the Canadian army during WWII also popped up in that google search. 

Sticking with the British, one was a Pte. W.H.L. Croot who died in action, sadly I could find no other details beyond that. The other was a Major Robert Shirley Croot. I found out about him on an old Homeguard Reenactors' forum thread. Devonshire's regiment (or a portion of it anyways) was transferred to India, but he died when the C47 he was on crashed in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Whilst I can't claim to be related to this individual in any way, shape or form, this little bit o' history still struck a chord with me. Following up (you can see the highlighted word in the screenshot below which lead me to the photo at left), I was able (via the internet) to view his grave at the Mazargues War Cemetery near Marseilles, France.

The forum Post on RS Croot.
As such, I've decided to name my forthcoming Dad's Army lieutenant as: Lt. Croot, in honor of this man whom I would otherwise never have known had existed were it not for a miniature game created by Warlord Games. Kind of a curious route to discovery no?

This is from the cemetery's own website.

This all leads me to wonder just how often the game of Bolt Action leads it's players to make these sorts of discoveries…

Monday, May 4, 2015

My First Bolt Action game fielding the Soviets.

Well, the Quar as Soviets...

This photo is here purely because I thought it would look good in the blog roll thumbnail pic...
This won't be so much of a battle report, but rather just a highlight reel. This game was played a few weeks ago vs. Kushial and his newly acquired American army. 750 points, Envelopment scenario, he was attacking (and won quite handily) and it was a good time.

That poor partisan squad (back near the pond) would spend most of the game at a dead run, firing very few shots. Whereas those two pin markers (from the preliminary bombardment) on the tank would render it ineffective for 3 turns or so (rolling high is a double edged sword).  The sniper team would spend the whole game moving around and doing nothing, whereas the AT rifle teams would act like actual snipers themselves (but prove useless vs. the Sherman, go figure).

The *free* inexperienced rifle squad that the Soviets can have. Amusingly their first casualty came from the Commissar behind them, and following that experience you see them here advancing at the fastest possible speed!

My Wily Murican opponent, feeling pretty confident in his army's chances (and rightly so)!

The T26b tries in vain to take out the Murican Jeep. Still, it made for a nice photo op!

Here the free squad finds itself in the unenviable position of having Muricans to their front, and a Commissar and his SMG toting henchquar to their rear.  In case your wondering, no they didn't survive long...

The turns one-thur-5 laser-guided Quar mortar beat the ever loving shit out of this squad (as you can see)!

My first tank dual!!! For some odd reason though I had it in my head that the T26b's light AT gun hit no harder than an AT Rifle (+2 AP). Actually it has a +4 AP!!! Damnit! My mistake resulted in nothing more than a pin marker.

Luckily the Sherman missed my tank, the Quonset hut behind it though, was not as lucky...

One hellova fire fight here! However my poor Quar were coming off the worse for wear in the encounter.

TANK SHOCK!!! Fuck this game has that too?!? lol, well with that many pin markers on them, they fled and were destroyed (no reroll would save them either).

Ya know it seems that every game of Bolt Action, even those which come in as a crushing defeat for me (as in this case), seems to move me a little farther away from 40k. This game is balanced, fun, and requires no wading thru an endless morass of special rules.

As such more 40k has gone the way of ebay, and in return there is a test squad for a possible 2nd go at a British Dad's Army coming in the mail...