Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eastcon Tournament Report

Eastcon tournament report: Some of you might have noticed that I seem to have fallen off the face of the planet last week. The reason: surgery. I went in for elective surgery on Tuesday morning and came out with 4 inches of stiches and a pile of drugs. I had hoped to get some painting done during the week since I was confined to my couch. That was not really to be. Between the drugs and the recovering I slept like a drugged koala for most of the week. My wife bought me Harry Potter Lego that I enjoyed a great deal when I was amongst the land of the living (I highly recommend it if you are fan of the books/ movies). I am glad that I had a majority of my nids done before I went in because I got very little done after.

By Friday I was off the codine and I was going through life with the slow and purposeful rule for real. I gave it a go and called my buddy Rojo for a ride for Saturday morning.

Got up tired and sore on Saturday morning and got stuck into Eastcon 2010. Due to a variety of factors Eastcon’s numbers were hit hard this year but 40 players still made the trip including a few interstaters, notably the winner of a major Sydney event called High Lords of Terra.

Round one: Mitch Wragg’s Tyranids. My buddy Mitch had been talking smack since the last time I played him forever ago and smashed him with my tzeentch daemons. As part of this he grudged me in the first round. I obliged. Mitch had a scary list with two trygons, a tervigon, a tyrant, lots of gaunts and lots of genestealers. I honestly though I would not be able to pull this off. The mission was an objective grab with two objectives. I deployed to the front of my deployment zone with all of my army in cover (Mitch didn’t have grenades) and played the waiting game. Mitch moved. I shot…. Blah… blah… first couple of rounds were fairly boring. Then The Doom dropped right in front of Mitch’s army. It syphoned off some gaunts and then more notably it sucked the life out of the Tyrant. SCORE! Same turn Mitch’s Ymgar Stealers were destroyed when they appeared in a set of trees my stealers were waiting in. Game on. I sprung my trap at this point and everything pounded across the board. By the end I had both objectives and more importantly I had not lost to Mitch. Sorry Mitch. I am always game for a rematch matey.

(My Doom of Malantai...)

Round two: Mark Morrison’s Deathguard. Mark Morrison is known for two things. One: he has been playing only Deathguard since his 2nd ed models were new and two: He is the TO of the largest tourney in the southern hemisphere. He is amazingly cool and I have been trying to play him for years. I was very excited. The mission involved a giant volcano in the centre of the board that never “went off” so I will not be mentioning it again. I played fleet the tyranid army around the volcano on both sides and chased a semi mechanized list. Mark brought his guns to bear and brought down my distractions (the Mowloc and the doom) before they did too much. The rest of my army got the job done and I moved on with two wins. As a side note warptime DP’s usually annoy me to tears but with shadow of the warp I was pleased to see one hurt itself by overheating its brain. Happy note number two… Trygons are hideous! I realised after this game that they get to reroll all of their misses because they have two sets of scything talons. YIKES!!

Game three: Steven’s Slaneeshi Daemons. Steve and I had been going to alternate tournies for a while so while he was a regular and had done well in many events, I had never so much as seen him before. He ran a Slaneeshi daemon list with two princes, a KOS, and lots of little fast irritating daemons. To be fair my meds from my surgery had run out during this game and I was miserable. My hands were shaking, I was apparently ashen, and I felt just horrible… Adding to this was an army that robbed me of my assault attacks, was faster than me in and out of cover, and had buckets of attacks with rending. This game was a haze of pain but as the dust cleared at the end of turn 7 I had my trygon with three wounds, two zoenthropes, and three genestealers… (and my very wounded prime). He had the masque. In my last turn I killed three units of daemonettes to take the win. I even charged with zoenthropes out of desperation and succeeded in killing two daemonettes. Hero of this game was the prime with its lash whip and the trygon that ate everything in sight.

I went home… ate… took meds… crashed…

Day 2: Game 4: Cam Auty’s Imperial Fists… AKA Thunderfire cannon spam led my Lysander..

I saw the draw and expected to loose. Marine gunline with 2 thunderfire cannons… OUCH! No cover of any kind to those cannons… Four shots each. Dawn of War, night fire turn one. I got my tervigon and a unit of hormigaunts in his face turn one when I seized the initiative… I never roll that! The rest of my army streamed on. The doom and Mawloc diverted lots of shooting and in the end I held the table. I even took down Lysander in the bottom of my last turn with you guessed it: the trygon. Now I see why people take two! That being said I should have been toasted eleven times to Sunday. Cam was a champ and should have won the game. Sorry man.

Game 5: Dennis’s bike marines. So I get the High Lord himself in game 5. This was over almost before it began. He killed my badly deployed trygon before I even went (holy crap he had a lot of multi-meltas in 27 models) and ran away from me the whole game.
I lost by one kill point but was in his deployment having killed his general and having him crammed in the back of his deployment zone. Null zone was annoying. Dennis was a pro and totally outplayed me. I almost pulled it back but it was not to be… NEXT TIME GADGET!!!

Game 6: Game 6: David’s Marine’s. Played David in my last game at Grots earlier this year and I think he beat my space wolves handily or we tied… either way I wanted a piece of his mech marines. He had Lysander in a pod with sternguard vets, a drop clad, tac marines in razorbacks, two preds, a vindi, sniper scouts, and a pile of landspeeder typhoons. The first couple of rounds sucked as he blasted my nids again and again. (we were playing to kill 75% of the enemy’s models) I pulled back on one side of the board and ran around the far side. A unit of genestealers somehow survived with four models to eat a vindi. The doom ate some tac marines and ate up a HUGE amount of shooting allowing my gaunts and trygon to get stuck in. My Trygon regenerated for the first time all tourney and healed 6 wounds over the course of the game. Best points ever! Hero of the match: One last genestealer who ate two tanks by himself before going down in turn 6. I broke David’s army and went on to win…. I never seem to get to 100 battle points in tournies and was shocked to discover that I had finished on 103 out of 120.
(Here I am figuring out how to stop getting shot)

I was even more surprised when I won… 1st place… Best General (my first ever!) and T.O.’s choice army painting.

Happy kid… Rojo thanks again for the ride man!


P.S. I just found out that the Doom works in my opponents turn and as well as mine... That would have been just abusive...

A marine scout has a bad day. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

It Came from LV 426 (My 1750 Tyranid List)

I have been a huge fan of the Alien movies since I was a kid growing up in Japan. Naturally Tyranids lend themselves to making an army to resemble the monsters from the film. I wanted something that looked like the film while at the same time matched the ethos if the 40K universe.

This in mind, I tried to create a Nid army that relied very little on the shooting phase. I kept away from the most effective shooting units in the book: Tyrant Guard and the Tyrannofex (as tempting as they were). I did want something that as closely resembled the Queen from the Alien movies. I intially considered the Hive Tyrant but I felt the Tervigon matched the fluff of a Queen still attached to her egg sac. I did break my no shooting rule with 1 unit of termingaunts. A queen needs her drones. To make them visiually fit I modelled them as breaking out of their "eggs."
For an HQ unit I used a tyranid prime as a Queen's right hand creation (as seen in some of the movies).

Everything in the army that can has toxin sacs (to resemble acid blood from the films). There are heaps of hormies and a unit of genestealers to resemble the gribbly choppy horde. The Mawloc is there to resemble the Alien sneak attack from the movies.

I added a few units to flesh out the army alittle. I figured I should have a little shooting so I used the Doom and the Zoenthropes to account for shooting without guns (brain bugs so to speak). The Trygon is a synapse creature, a "king" to counter point the weak HTH of the Queen.

40K Ethos: Now you may be wondering how does this fit in the 40K ethos? Here is how. A bio-ship crashes on a lifeless planet (LV 426) and goes dormant. In the Tervigon's (Queen's) description it talks about how they walk the halls "patroling" and protecting the dormant bio creatures.

My theme is this: A Rogue trader and his crew of ex-imperial guard veterens come to inspect a "distress" call from a lifeless planet. They discover the bio ship and looking for plunder (and not knowing what they have found) they unwittingly find the "Queen" and her drones who then awake the hive. Cue the screaming and the gunfire.

*** Incoming Transmission ***

REF: KTV213/ 475-673 Gamma Eplisol - 2 Security/ Priority Level Sender: Rogue Trader Burke Location: LV 426

*** Message Begins:
We were diverted from our course at the order of Imperial command to investigate and unknown distress beacon. We came armed since the signal was possible xenos in origin. It was and we were not prepared.

We discovered a crashed vessel of unknown origin and while exploring the wreckage Sergeant Apone and his troopers stumbled upon what can only be described as a hive of creatures in suspended animation. It appears as though not everything was "asleep." Troopers Ripley and Vasquez were the only survivors of that recon mission that also resulted in the distruction of our only chimera and valkyrie. Our ship seems to have malfunctioned and will not power up to lift off this rock. We sent tech priest Bishop to investigate but he has not returned from the hold of our ship. We have set up defenses within the corridors of our own ship but we are running out of ammunition and men... Please send support soon. We can hear them coming***

*** Message Termnates***

Recommended course of action:
Virus Bomb the Planet from Orbit. It is the only way to be sure.

My List:

Tyranid Warrior Prime with Toxin Sacs, Lash Whip and Bone Sword, with Scything Talons

20 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs
20 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs
18 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs
15 Termagants
11 Genestealers
Tervigon with Catalyst, Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs

3 Zoenthropes
Doom of Malan'tai in a Drop Spore

Trygon Prime with Regeneration

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Playing Aircav Guard.

Well, after spending so much time painting and preparing for tournament play with my Air Cav Guard several people have asked me to throw together some thoughts about using valkyrie based guard armies.

I am a big fan of guard armies in general. Something about random dudes in glorified t-shirts facing super human mutant/ aliens carrying only flash lights and supported by your mates and a pile of tanks really appeals to me. Now… Take away the tanks and replace them with helicopter/ plane things… Still cool. Check.

Now following the theme of an all air cav army leads to some fairly universal tactics and inclusions in the list. As valkyries are armour 12 and move around in formations there are certain items you need to include in your army. The most important is (IMO) is the astropath. He gives you a +1 to your reserves rolls and if you outflank you get to reroll the dice. This is important if you fail the roll to go first. While Air Cav armies can hit like a ton of bricks in turn one if you are going 2nd you can really be taking it on the chin before you ever get out of the gate. Also I am really not a fan of Dawn of War with the planes so in the event of either of those circumstances… I outflank everything. Why? Well it robs my opponent two turns of shooting at my very vulnerable flyers and keeps them guessing where I will deploy. With the plus one I usually get two of my three squadrons in turn one. I will usually get my troops where I want them with outflanking putting troops on the side I want in 4 out of 6 times (not including the reroll). I once even let my opponent take the first turn and outflanked because he had two units of fully tooled long fangs in the opposite corners of the board. I came in on the bottom of two with everything and ate his heavy weapons before they had a turn to shoot. Harsh? Yes BUT if you have ever weathered shooting in a Valkyrie you will learn why it has to be this way.

I equip all of my valkyries with rocket pods. All of them. Why? Because they are fast vehicles they move 12, fire their multi-laser and fire both pods (str 4 weapons are great!). They can also move 12 and dismount the squad inside who can also then fire. So my squadron of three flyers will kick out 6 large blast templates and 9 strength 6 shots. True you are hitting on 4’s but throw enough mud and something will stick. As I run a squad of two valks and another of three… That is ten templates a turn. Infantry armies beware. I made a wolf wing disappear purely from making them take a trillion saves.

What that then leaves is anti-tank. Enter the Vendetta. I run a squad of two at 1750 points. 6 twin linked las-cannons exterminate daemon princes, tyranid big bugs and pop most vehicles beautifully. The downside is that to fire all 6 shots they need to move no more than 6 a turn. I’ll get back to this later when I talk about speed. For the rest of my anti-tank I depend on the Vets I run in my Valkyries and Dettas…

My 1750 list runs a command squad (with astropath) and 6 vet squads. I do have a squad with flamers but most squads run two to three meltas or plasma guns. Coupled with my Commander’s orders (he runs in the squadron of three with a squad of three meltas and a squad with three plasma guns) these guys are the real work horses of the army. When I can I drop all three squads as close as I can to the target and try my best to make the enemy disappear. I get close to destroy whatever it is in the hopes that it does not survive to strike back.

Alpha strike is a key to the Air Cav list. Heaven forbid someone gives me the first turn. I can deploy as close to the enemy as possible and scout move 24 inches forward. Get right into some ones face and wipe out half his army before he strikes. (and pray he doesn’t do the same back in his turn one.) Also people seizing the initiative is really bad (obviously). When that happens… it is really bad for the old valkyrie bomb.

Speed is crucial to the list for the reasons listed above. You want to concentrate firepower on wiping out threats early so you can mop up the rest of the army later. Manoeuvre in such a way to maximise this and prevent as much retaliation as possible.

Onle last note moving 12 is great when someone charges you. Getting on 6’s is great! I was once wiped out by an ork command squad that fleeted into my big squad… Never seen so many 6’s in my life. OUCH!

Anyway… Just a few thoughts. Aircav is a list that hits like a hammer. You have to remember that it is a glass hammer. True it is more resilient than a Dark Eldar boat list but as Han said “Don’t get cocky kid!” Know your strengths and know your weaknesses when you engage and play accordingly.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forgeworld Tallarn Review

Well... It is amazing how quickly Forgeworld sends toys when you spend enough money. Less than a week from making my purchase I had over a hundred Tallarn guardsmen. Lets get stuck right in shall we?

Where to start..? Well lets just say I am in LOVE!

Welll.... They are slightly smaller than regular GW models (much like the Kriegers), so true 28mil. They are not heroic scale. The models have a realistic scale to their bodies especially the hands and feet.

Model wise I was very pleased with the sheer amount of gear each model comes with. Pouches, knives, shoulder pads, holsters, backpacks. Every model has gear. I feel a little silly for buying two packs of extra Tallarn gear. The only extra gear I really needed that I got out of those packs were two demo charges and a couple of extra las-pistols. The longlas variant rifles look great in person. Those rifles especially give the models a unique profile that I really like.

On the downside, those rifles while looking good are made of resin. And are cast by Forgeworld. Don;t get me wrong. I love FW BUT I have had some miscast crap from them over the years. The rifles will be the death of me. Mark my words. Out of the 120ish rifles I got in order... Maybe 20 are straight. I will be breaking those barrels for years to come even after completing the army.

I was worried that when I bought 20 packs of the snipers to use as las gunners that I would be painting myself into a corner pose wise BUT this was not the case. Out of the 3 in each pack, 1 is 1 piece, 1 is 2 piece (legs and the rest), and 1 is 3 piece (arms/gun, legs, head/torso). These pieces are completely compatible with the heavy weapon troupers who are all multipart and variable.

Mold lines wise the models are pretty good. A few packs are ugly but I've had worse with regular plastics. We'll have to see how bad it will be to clean them up with a knife as I am not fooling with resin and a file.

I like how every heavy weapon team comes with a heavy weapons sprue. I now have 15 of every heavy weapon... Cool side bonus to spending so much cash I guess. Too bad I don't have a single special weapon. (Thankfully I have heaps from other projects)... I also got a huge pile of sandbags... Who would have thought. Some of the detail those are cool too. I really like the heavy bolter bags that have a pile of grenades on them.

I have sprinkled some quick dirty photos in my writing to give you an idea of what has come. 8 days to finish my Tyranids... Back to painting. Before that though, I am not regretting my Tallarn purchase (yet) and I look forward to getting stuck into them soon.

Until next time gang!


P.S. I could have mentioned the downside of the price. They are more expensive than the Krieg or the Elysians by a fair margin. But I suppose that price goes without saying when you are buying an FW infantry guard army. OUCH!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taking The Nids out for Their First Spin

Well the nids were finally assembled to the point where I could give them a proper spin. Not quite what I expected but they were a lot of fun to play. I challenged my buddy Wes whose Imperial Fists have appeared on the blog before (yup he paints his Fists with no foundation paints...). He is painting one up for my Space Marine Project as well... Good times.

The Tervigon was a champion. I only have 15 termigaunts but those became animals with furious charge, counter charge, Poison Attacks, AND FEEL NO PAIN!!! HOLY CRAP!!! I need more Termigaunts (my list is in though)!!! Speaking of more... I crapped out 8 termigaunts before the tervi ran dry... C'est la vie...

Well I outflanked my Genestealers who arrived mid-game to eat Wes's scouts and eventually his captain. Genestealers good but not as good as I hoped...

Mawloc's.... Meh... Scattered off and actually wounded my Trygon who was AWESOME!!!

My Prime with a lash whip and bone sword ate his librarian. Lash whip dropping int on baddies before poison gaunts get stuck in... Ooooooo!


Here is Wes's great Iron Clad before My Trygon ate him...

I also have a few shots of my buddy Vince's versions of the Caestus Ram Ships.... Here is the Forgeworld one....

Here are some shots of Vince's... Obviously they are WIP... Vince's ruined building with drop pod inside it can be seen above.

A shot of the new Rat Ogres from the new core box...

A shot of the new Plastic Blood Crushers:

In the "I want it now box" is the new Gale Force Nine Terrain in a box... Especially this little baby. I will be getting this bad dog the second it hits my local. Can't wait!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Would you like your eggs scrambled or poached?

Nuff said really.... I finished 25 Alienid eggs...

As I stated before, got wacky with the Khemri Brown. Hit them with a Devlin wash.... "paneled" them khemri again. Added white to highlight. Added more white for a final highlight...

Here is the lot:

Some close up shots:

I have started the same process on the Drop Spore:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Arcanicon 2011 (Yup I already bought my army)

Arcanicon is the largest 40K tourney in the Southern Hemisphere. It takes place in Melbourne every year (the last weekend in January). I was an Arc regular for a number of years but have been taking a break the last couple of years. After my disappointing time at Cancon (in Canberra last year on the same weekend) I thought I would save myself a bundle of money on travel expenses and stay near to home (and go to a much better tourney environment). Don't get me wrong Cancon 40K was run well but I just did not enjoy myself in quite a few of the games that I played. There seemed to be an air of desperation to win running through a majority of the games. This is not to say that Arc is not competitive because it is. It is just a much more fun atmosphere which is important with that many players. Mark Morrison and his WATT crew go to great lengths to ensure a fun weekend on many levels.

Anyway, I took an infantry based guard army to Arc all those years ago (when it was my first time). I think that since this will be my return to Arc I will bring something out of the old list. I sold my Mordian's years ago and while I love my stormtrooper/ swat guard... I want to do something new.

I have been toying for literally a few years with the idea of doing a Forge World Tallarn Army. What's that you might say? FW Tallarn? They don't make an army of those guys... Well they do make a sniper team and heavy weapon crews. I have a feeling that they were making more of an effort here and had to stop to work on something else. The snipers use rifles that are identical to the regular las rifles. There is enough differentiation in the heavy weapon troopers to convert the rest of the army IMO. It is an expensive proposition (costs more than the FW Krieg models by a fair margin) but that has never stopped me before.

Last night I ordered over 100 of these bad boys...

The las-gunners:

Assorted Heavy weapon guys:

In the meantime I continue to paint bugs... Let see how long FW takes this time. Months last time...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Progress on the eggs

So I spent most of the day sick on the couch watching the Wire, Red Heat, and The Wolfman... I did get some painting in though...
(this is not one of mine)
The eggs are causing me some issues but this is what I have so far... I primed them black and painted them beastial brown... Hit them with Khemri Brown... Washed them with Devlin... I double washed the crosses at the top. And this is what I came up with... Might hit them with a diluted green wash? maybe throw in some black or red? What do you guys think?

Something else I did today:

A picture of my Valkyries at a recent tourney. Yup this was my deployment...

Monday, August 2, 2010

You can find space marines in the darnest places?

So my wife spins trance. I used to spin ska and punk but she beat matches and has pro gear. Very impressive stuff... Anyway... She shows me the back of a record that she is spinning.

Look familiar?

The record is called True Force and it is by Unseen Master.
The front of the album looks like this... It is Drum and Bass apparently...

Any whoooooo back to Aliens... I threw together my Ripley and Newt today (all of my Alien-nid objectives are from the Aliens movie)...

The egg sacs are starting to look more like their Aliens counterparts... They are fairly regualr in size and shape but I like that they are not perfect. They look more organic that way...

Speaking of eggs I have my fist shot of my WIP Tervigon... Yes it is supposed to be the Alien Queen from Aliens... Not sure I like the Egg sac... I think I am going to put a gargoyle or two pulling the sac "up"...

You can see a ripped in half Bishop on the base. yes his green stuff needs fixing... WIP as I said...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Those aren't easter eggs...

Well after some hard thought I have decided to take the Alienids to Eastcon... Eastcon is a 1750 point 40K tourney the weekend of August 21st. I just didn't have the time to paint an entire 1750 point list in three weeks with the time I had available to me...

Here are few progress shots of what I have been up to...


I will be using the eggs as termigaunts. My queen is a tervigon model. It is starting to look look like the alien queen with the egg sac still attached...

All I have done here is to sculpt the general shape of the eggs. I need to add a thin additional layer on the top to add texture and the egg openings. Hopefully there will look like this:

I have also started my objective markers. Here is the rough version of Vasquez...

Work is slow at the moment as I remain sick with some kid spawned flu... I am sooo tired of being sick (its been like two weeks)... Uuuuunnnn... back to bed...

Of yeah... Forgeworld just put these bad dogs up on pre-order: Mark III Marines.... I wants them like Frodo wants the ring... Problem is two fold 1) monies 2) Like I really need another marine army.

Still they are pure awesome (hate the new guns they have for them though...).

By the way... I am selling my High Elves...