Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cancon 40K (small Tournament review)

Soooo Cancon ran this last weekend with 108 players (40K) and 41 players (Fantasy). I opted at the last minute for 40K as the fantasy player pack came out so late. I took my old fav Imperial guard. More specifically I took 7 Valkyries in an all Aircav list. It was the exact same army I took to Killcount earlier this year.

Because I had the army done six months ago I did spend time re highlighting the planes, adding details to the foot troops and making objectives that did things. One played "Flight of the Valkyries" and the other two lit up with LED lights. Exciting new directions for me and my hobby.

Drove up and got stuck into three good days of gaming (8 games over 3 days)... I will spare you the blow by blow but day one I came close to tabling my 1st two opponents before running into Dennis Fung and his big bug list. Dennis is the reigning High Lord from Sydney and I always seem to struggle against him. I pulled the tie and was pleased heading out of my first day...

I did get too excited at this point and didn't get more than three hours sleep. This killed me as I ran into top tier players with hard lists and I started to do dumb things like deploy with charge range of bezerkers... Chaos aside I did play mech guard lots and just struggled with missions. It was a painful day.

Sleep did come eventually and I was kinda rested for day three. I beat tau in game 7 and tied a beefed up Deathwing in game 8 (the new faq really helps the old deathwing out!)...

I ended in 11th which was fine BUT I did somehow win my very first best painted prize.

I need to somehow need to figure out how to stop my opponent from seizing the initiative from me as it was the bane of my play day two....

Here are some great pictures of Dennis Fung's beautiful Tyranids....

His army ran with two tyranofexes that truly ruined my day... Had those not been there it would have been a totally different game.

It also had two Tervigons with minimum gaunt support, the doom in a drop pod and other painful items.

Our mission was to get in each others deployment zones. His tervigons got into mine and spawned unit after unit... I was not a happy panda. As Always Dennis played things beautifully.

I hope to get more pictures up soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A plea for 8th...

Well, it is the end of January and while that means that I have to go back into the classroom, it also means that two of some of the biggest Warhammer fantasy tourneys have occurred here in Australia. Dogcon (in Sydney) and Cancon (in Canberra). Traditionally Dogcon is one of the biggest in the country hands down. It is a 6 game tourney held in high regard by those in the scene. Cancon on the other hand runs with smaller numbers (70ish) but is an 8 game marathon over 3 days. This year (due to the upheaval in the Aussie Warhammer scene) numbers for both events were way down at 43 and 41 respectively.

Cancon ran with the 8th ed rules mostly intact (hills were counted as unlimited height and missions were played for points with bonuses for people who reached the mission objectives.

Dogcon on the other hand ran with a number of rules changes notably with a controversial rule change in the magic phase. The TO decided to have miscasts happen on 2 6's as usual BUT in order to get irresistible force you had to get 3 6's. This rule was introduced to curb the abusive magic phase (as it is scene by the organizers). While it has been widely applauded by dogcon participants online I thought I would weigh in with an alternate view.

I think that changing the fundamental magic rules (or any real rules for that matter) is a mistake. Sure it gave the Dogcon players the results wanted (a nerfed magic phase) but a tourney just down the road having an equal number of players (Cancon) ran the rules as written and they were fine with no complaints.

Magic did not win the day in every game and a completely non magic army won overall. (Beastmen for the record)

Now players in the scene are beginning to wonder if the teir system/ limits that were so rampant at the end of 7th edition should be used in 8th edition to "balance" the game.

I think that it is way too early in the process to introduce limits and tiers to a system that people are still figuring out. Many people are stuck in their 7th ed or early 8th ed mindsets about how army lists should be won to win. Generally there is some logic to this as you go with what you know. (not a bad thing) however people are discovering other ways to make the game metagame work for them.

Chris and Nick took armies that fly in the face of lots of 8th ed internet logic. No magic (Chris), lots of chariots (Nick), etc... We should comp as we see fit for now expecting that along the way that we will break a few eggs and learn from our mistakes.

When 40K switched to 3rd ed it was a mirror of what is happening with fantasy now. Mass rage and lots of people quitting and an immediate desire to understand the game as we had the old game. It took over a year of constant play before things came around and the game was a great step forward. I attended three GT's in the following year and as the year progressed the way people played changed. This process can only occur over time. We can't expect to change our ways of thinking instantly.

I strongly urge people to be patient and to leave the game alone and to play in new and weird ways until we figure this thing out. Limits and Tiers monkey with the game design as much as changing other more basic and fundamental runs. Both Nick and Chris smashed people using armies from perceived (by internet wisdom) as weak books (Beasts and war machine less orcs and gobbos).

Comp "hard" lists but let them roll as people figure this stuff out. With the New edition 8th is seeing a massive influx of people (in victoria at least)(Like me for example) and comp gives us a good guide when designing lists.

Do us all a favor and leave the game alone while we figure thus thing out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tales of Action (A free pulp adventure game)

Every wanted to lead a band of adventurers through a dusty trap laden tomb or fight evil nazi mutant apes to save the damsel in a dress? What about battle the mad scientist and his doomsday robots.

Adventures like these inspired me to try my hand at writing a skirmish style game. Set in the 1930's/ 1940's pulp action era the rules will go hopefully where you wish. I am in the process of getting miniatures together and designing a few adventures and pseudo army lists. Would love your feedback...

You can find the game by clicking the Tales of Action tab at the bottom of the page or by going to the link below.

I would like to thank Drew Mclean, Tim Beaty and Jason Rife for their time and contributions in tweeking the game so that it is playable. Any other feedback would be great! Cheers!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Assembly Line.

For regular followers here I don't think this will be a big surprise but every project I do involves me "assembly" line painting my entire army. What does this mean? It means I will assemble and prime every model in my army at one time. I will then paint every model of that type at once. One color at a time. Why would I paint like this as it is soul destroyingly tedious.

1) It is faster. I have a very short attention span and the only way I can ever truly get a project done involves cranking something out (usually for a specific event or tournament). By sticking with one brush and one paint I save time switching around finishing one model. In the case of washes I also rarely have to wait for them to dry because I am working of the other models of this type. For example, I was priming 42 Space Marine scouts yesterday. By the time I was finished washing the flesh on the skin the first model I washed was dry enough for my to start work on the fabric of his uniform.

2) I don't forget steps. Sometimes when you are painting legions of toy soldiers you can be painting something and realize that something got skipped on a model (a pouch, a highlight etc,,,). I find that when I assembly line paint things I do this less often. I line up my models and a paint and work on one til it is done then I grab the next one.

3) Consistency. When you paint everything together using the same paints and mixes of paints everything matches. All 115 of my imperial guardsmen match (including their camo) because they were painted at the same time. I am a sticker for this. I recently finished my old pot of flesh wash and used Devlin Mud on my Sons of helvis troopers. It is a much different animal than the old washes and now the Gold on my non-noise marines doesn't look anything like the Gold on my noise marines. I am in the process of trial and error to fix this BUT it means that since I am out of the old inks that half of my army will not match the other half. NOT GOOD especially if one of the painting questions for a tournament is "Does this army look like one consistent force."

Yes it is boring, but I fight this with good music, movies and audio books. Some people who do this reward themselves with character models and vehicles in the middle of their painting sprees. I don't even bother with this. I know it is a horrible way to paint and it is why I have at least 4 projects sitting in drawers mid-paint but when it works it works. It just takes discipline and the ability to do something else with your mind. Not to mention nothing in the world feels better than looking up and seeing a finished army after the last coat.

Hope that helps....


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tournament Report. One Dayer Number Two... (and some great Thunder wolves!)

I played in a 2nd one day tournament last weekend. After taking first with wyche cult I decided to finally take out some of my new Blood Angels on day two. The 2nd tourney was held at Realm Of Legends outside of Melbourne. Their tables are beautiful and numerous. I highly recommend you check them out!

I took Blood Angels (1200 points). Chaplain with jump pack with 8 jump marines with a Sanguinary Priest with pack, 2 rhino mounted assault squads with fists (one with a flamer and the other with two melta guns), a tac squad with a las-cannon and a plasma gun in a razorback with twin linked las-cannons.

After sweating my terrible army the day before I was looking forward to the 2nd one-day event to determine the last golden ticket for Arc. There were two events on the day and I opted for the one for those who had a ticket (I was doing this for practice after all).

Day two has hosted by Realm of Legends. Game 1: Craig and his beautifully painted Space wolves (pictures littered throughout this post). I had only seconds to take shots of Craig’s army so they are not idea shots but WOW do they look good. Craig if you are reading this I would love to post more and better pictures if you have any!

Anyway: Craig had grey hunters in a pod, hunters in a rhino, hunters on foot, two speeders with rockets and multi-meltas, thunder wolf cavalry and a thunder wolf lord. The mission was modified kill point where you got to pick which units were worth more points. I deployed in one corner around a bunker. Craig set up across from me. Our game was played on only three feet out of the six feet wide our table was wide. It was brutal. I popped his rhino early and made him walk to me. He moved up and I got eager and sprung my trap too early (assault marines on foot and the jump marines combined charging his rhino squad and a speeder). What I needed to do was let him get closer with more so I could charge several squads a once. As it was his counter assault kicked my ass over several turns. My support units got held up when their rhinos were immobilized by terrain AND then got held up by poor terrain rolls. I set up a 2nd line to make Craig come to me but my initial wave held too well and these troops never got to strike. Game ended and Craig won handily.

Game2: Adam Jones and his sisters. Adam is one of my best mates. He stood with me as my best man when my wife and I renewed our wedding vows. He is an ace dude who won best sports the day before. As I said Adam brought nuns with guns. He had a jump canoness, two rhino sisters squads, two foot sister squads and 2 exorcists. We were playing a secret mission (I love these). You got your mission and had to choose which two objectives you were going for out of a list (objectives, kill points, assassinate the general, etc). You then had to tell your opponent your objectives except one of the objectives could be false. LOTS of fun. I chose capture the main objective and capture the 2nd objectives as my goals and I told Adam my actual missions as I thought he would figure I would be going for kill points.

I huddled around cover while he motored around the side of the table at me. Cover saved me from vicious exorcist fire until my general and his unit dropped in Adam’s backfield and tore stuff up. Adam’s dice really did leave him high and dry in this game. He was failing armour saves left right and centre. In the end I had what I needed and he did not. Should have been a much closer game. Adam as always was a champion gentleman. I would like to point out that if there had been a “best sports” trophy on the day Adam would have won it with a perfect score.

Game 3: The president of the Ringwood Club, Brenton and his Black Templars. My memory is starting to get funny here but he had a high marshal with lightning claws, the champion, two rhino squads, a tac squad to sit on the objective, a venerable dreadnought and a squad of terminators with tank hunter. He had to get my objective and I had to get his. I moved up but not too far while he come close. I made him get closer by shooting at him. He failed a crucial assault through cover roll leaving his marshal and squad to get triple charged by my jumpers, an assault squad and a combat squad. I wiped them out to a man. He tried to counter with his champion and squad BUT failed his charge through cover roll! I repeated the charge with the same results (but his champion ate my priest). My other assault squad took down his terminators with shooting support from my razorback and las-cannon combat squad. I tabled his army in turn 5. Had he made either of those charges it would have been a very different game.

Soooo with a loss and two wins I ended up in 2nd place. (I was shocked!) Nidzilla came first and thankfully I didn’t play that list or I would have been pasted early. My angels would have been a very bad match up against those bugs. I think that Blood angels are a good army as long as you don’t get silly with their special gear/ units/ characters. Meph is sick. While I have a huge BA army I refuse to use that guy in friendly play.

Anyway. Thanks for sticking around and reading this! ☺

P.S. Here are some great WIP shots of Craig's AWESOME wolf cav. Hope to get proper picts of the whole army for an army showcase soon. Hope that gives you an idea of how much work went into grinding out the Canis model so it could be rebuilt. Took something like 5 hours with a dremmel. OUCH! They look seemless on the board which is the highest complement I can give a conversion.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tourney Winning Wyche Cult Army Showcase.

Here is the army that I used in the first 1 day event. Read more about it here:

I took a pure Wyche cult. I don;t make a secret that I think that the old wyches are better than the new ones sooooo I stuck with the old models. The army revolves around 4 squads of 9 wyches and one unit of 7 blood brides. The army is lead by a succubus with an agonizer. Should have taken an archon BUT hey it worked... I should stop complaining about it!

You can tell the squads apart by their hair color.

The agonizers are gloves and all of the squad leaders have green poison on their weapons. (It is how to tell them apart)

The Blood Brides with the sucubus... The general is the modified Kruellah The Vile. I have a soft spot for this particular model because when I first interviewed for GW years ago she had just been spun for the first time by the American forge. I was given one as a gift after my interview. She did not come out for at least another 6 months after that.

I wanted my raiders to look different from everything else I had seen and I really wanted to model night shields on them and have them be WYSIWYG. So I measured the dimensions on the raider/ravager model and made a shape of the perfect size. Then I added bitz sealed it and covered it in foliage. I sealed the foliage and let it dry overnight. Primed everything back and lightly sprayed grey. Painted everything else up.

I love em but they are stupidly fragile. The one with the blades along the front belongs to the Blood Brides.

The ravager has smaller wings and dual weapons on front so you can tell which one is which.

Battle for The GOLDEN TICKET (Tourney Report) (Wyche Cult)

Well I survived….

As I stated in an earlier post, this last weekend was home to two one day tournaments to determine the last two “Golden Tickets” to the largest tourney in the southern hemisphere: Arcanacon. I should be clear as I had regular readers of this blog asking me on the weekend. As a former champion of Arc I had an automatic ticket in the first place. While I think that Arc is the best run tourney in the world hands down I stopped going three years ago for a variety of reasons. 1200 points did my head in, etc etc… The main reason is that I let the pressure get to me. After winning arc the first two times and after being the first person to win it twice the pressure got to be a bit much. The last time I won I spent 6 months constantly thinking about how to outdo last time. I also had people asking about my plans and if I was going to win again… blah blah… It stopped being fun. So I stopped going. If you can get a ticket though Mark and the boys run the best tourney going around. YOU should go if you can.

That being said I am SUPER proud of my two Arc champion skulls.

Anyway. Two different stores held two separate events to play off for the remaining Arc tickets this weekend.

Day 1: Battle Bunker: 1200 points: One day event.
I took a stupidly soft, themed wyche cult list. 4 wyche squads of nine (a few with agonizers and 1 with power weapon), 7 blood brides with haywire grenades (and a power weapon), a ravager with 3 dark lances, and a succubus bare except for an agonizer. All the wyches were mounted in raiders.

Nothing but wyches, no beastmasters, reavers, or hellions, and no shadow field.
(Click to enlarge pictures)

Game 1: Chris Cousins with his Thousand Sons. Ironically the first game I played with the wyches was against the guy who helped me finish them. It was a single objective each mission where I had to get his objective and keep him off of mine. I rolled a pain token for each of my squads with my combat drugs. This was huge for me as most of Chris’s army was firing AP 3 bolters all the time but now I got feel no pain against them. I got into combat in turn two and bounced a wyche squad off his wounded daemon prince who caught and killed the lot. Whoops. Maybe I was in trouble. It turned into a massive tarpit combat in the middle with shooting around the sides. In the end I was able to overcome his inv saves and widdled him down to three marines. Sadly two of those marines were next to his objective so the game ended in a draw. I contested his objective and he did not take mine. I did make up the 2ndary objective though so Victory to me.

Game 2: A different Chris. Eldar with Eldrad. Modified kill points. This game was a haze of pain. My dark lances couldn’t hit a thing and I deployed badly. Chris kicked the stuffing out of me the whole game. I got 75% of a wyche squad into eldrad’s squad and made them run off the table. Overwise I got pounded for no real return. Eldrad was worth 5 kill points though so I won by one point ONLY because the game ended after 5 turns. Chris deserved to win this. I did not!

Game 3: Harley and his Crimson Fists. Harley had a thunderfire cannon, a pred, a vindi, a razorback with heavy bolters, assault termies with librarian. I was screwed. I got turn 1 and Harley bunkered in the corner. After my last game I didn’t expect anything from my dark lances. In turn 1 I destroyed the cannon, blew the turret off the razorback, and stopped the vindi and the pred from firing. In fact the pred never got to fire and the vindi only got one shot off all game. I got reroll to wound for my combat drugs that made my agonizers vicious. I rolled well to boot. It was ugly. I won.

At the end of the day I pulled the win overall and walked away with another ticket to Arc. Ok I didn’t. I passed it to the next player down and got an army’s worth of back-2-basix bases for my Sons of Helvis.

A few words here. Don’t EVER do wyche cult unless you want to loose. I fluked my way through this. To be done properly beast masters, a proper archon with shadow field, a void raven, and other goodies should be used to make this list work. I will be experimenting soon. We will discuss. Anyway.

Here is a shot of what my night shielded raiders looked like. I was going for a dark cloud covering things up "look." Even though they do look a bit like penguins... (Thanks Chris for the mental image.) I do like how they turned out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sons of Helvis Ride Comeback Tour (These are not your Daddy's Noise Marines)

The Sons of Helvis Comeback Tour

I have done a number of chaos marine armies over the years. I have done none more often than slaaneshi marines. My favorite of these is my "Elvis" themed marines. The entire army is based on a wedding present from the Master of the Hobby Blog Himself.... Dave Taylor:

I took my "Elvis" themed noise marine army to Arcanicon (the largest 40K tourney in the southern hemisphere) and got best chaos army four years back. I have been sitting on them since. Was looking through my cupboards and I found the little Helvis model (not the daemon prince) in a pile of little pieces. "That is a shame," I thought and started to reassemble the army (we moved and the models didn't like that too much). The daemonettes are long gone and four squads of noise marines an army does not make. I retried building the army last year to pretty good success with some sculpting help from the formidable Tim Beaty and Fabio Van Der Meir (spelling?). I had to give up the army due to timing and a new job but I think I will revisit it a bit and see what I can get done. If anything it should be good for a laugh and a fun read (I hope).

Here is the 4 year old Arc army at the time:

I want an effective build while still generally following my theme. I also really wanted to add a few CSM units I have never used. I decided to give a sorcerer and a pred a go this time around (last time I tried bikes and a vindi).

Anyway... This is what I had planned to use at Cancon last year as a 1750 list.

Colnel Paaakaaa "The Colonel"
Chaos Sorcerer with the Mark of Slaanesh and the Lash of Submission

Aaarinn "Helvis" Priestly "The King of the (Ragna)Rock"
Greater Daemon

Tupalow leading "Hounds of the King"
6 Noise Marines with 4 sonic blasters, 1 blastmaster and a champion with a power weapon

Ringu leading "The Memphas Maphia"
10 Chaos Space Marines w/Banner of Slaanesh, 1 flamer, 1 plasma gun and a champion with power weapon in a rhino

Kid Khaled leading "The Heartbreakers"
6 Noise Marines with 4 sonic blasters, 1 blastmaster and a champion with a power weapon

Elvez Priestly leading "Taking Care of Business in a Flash" in the Lisa Marie
6 Noise Marines with 3 sonic blasters and a champion with a power weapon in a rhino

King Creole leading "The (Hound) Dogs of Lust"
10 Chaos Space Marines with Banner of Slaanesh and 2 melta guns and a champion with power weapon in a rhino

"Screams of the Devoted"
5 Chaos Terminatrs with Banner of Slaanesh, 1 has a power fist, Champion has lightning claws, 1 has hvy flamer
3 have melta combi weapons

Lisa Marie II
Predator with Twin Linked Lascannons

Roaaaadie (The Techinal Support)

I am basing alot of the iconography of my army on this Elvis symbol:

(the symbol means "Taking Care of Business in a Flash" and was Elvis's personal logo. He had it on the back of both of his planes, on a bunch of his bikes, on the butts of many of his pistols and on diamond encusted rings he gave to his closest friends. The so called "Memphis Mafia." Think a Hillybilly Ratpack. )

As a result I am free hand sculpting lightning bolts on every shoulder pad in the army. The tanks will get the actual
logo... Tim is helping me with a logo plate and I am kicking around the idea of green stuff molding a few copies so the tank match. Might recast a few in resin. Still debating with a few people who know this stuff better than I...

The logos I have done look like this:

They start as a circle of green stuff that is relatively circular and flat.

I waited a little for the putty to harden a little (easier to work with) and then just cut out lightning bolts one hard angle and one straight line at a go... Since I took this picture I decided that I really didn’t like a few of the wonky pads and I redid them. Yes, that is a boob on the black marine on the right for those with sharp eyes... Lots of little symbols and silliness added...

You can see some of the extra sculpted helmets in this picture...

More to come...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big 40K Weekend

So Arcanicon is around the corner. It is the largest 40K tourney in the southern hemisphere. Last year they had something like 200 plus players. This year because it is the last time that "War All The Time" is running the event they are limiting numbers. A small cozy 140 players! Apparently the waiting list is as long as the player list! YIKES! To help those who have not gotten a ticket there are two, one day events this weekend where you could possibly win a "golden ticket." (Willy Wonka Style)

I have opted out of Arc this year as I don;t sleep for months before hand BUT I do want to get in on the fun of two one day tournies in a row. As I really don;t want to win (and as I have played one game in 6 months... of 40K) I thought it would be a great time to monkey around with different lists.

Day 1: Saturday: Dark Eldar... I know, I know... I can hear the booing from here. Or maybe that is the wheels on the bandwagon turning I hear groaning. Either way in last edition I had a very successful very brief run with a badly painted wyche cult. I wanted to bring them back. Unfortunately between 5th ed and the new DE book the ol wyche cult ain't what it used to be...

%^*& it. I am going to give it a go. my 1200 point list revolves around 4 squads of nine wyches, 1 squad of 7 blood brides, and 1 ravager... All squads are mounted in a raider with a dark lance. A few power weapons and agonizers aside that is it. Except for HQ. Now everyone and their dog is taking an archon and/or special characters (in not hemo coven lists). I am taking the never talked about sucubus. Yup it is a poor choice but it is themed. All wyches all the time and it is what I have...

Here are a few dirty shots of the troops while their water effects dries. Many thanks to Chris Cousins who helped me to get this project done in next to zero time. I will take more photos on the day.

Day 2: Blood Angels: More groans... I know... I am taking another list that is a little left of the norm. tac squad in razorback, a couple of assault squads in rhinos, a chaplain with priest in 7 jump packs. Ok, not that left but hardly abusive. Never used the Angels before and I am pretty excited about it.

I will get closer photos on the day. Til then this is what I have.

We'll have to see how we go.

Back to raiders...