Monday, December 31, 2012

More ARC Indecision... BLAH!!!

So the school year finally ended and after about of week of eating and sleeping I have started coming up for air.  I got a good game in the other day against my old club mate Mikey and two good games in against another old club mate Adam "Ratboy" Jones (Thanks guys!!!).  I had a great time in all three games and each served as a mini test run for possible Arcanacon army lists (40K 1200 points).  I ran wolves against Mikey and assed a victory in a game that I was getting killed in. I used marines against Adam in game one and infantry guard in game 2.

Now wins and loses aside it is important to look at the bigger picture...  Now the wolves got pounded by long range firepower and the wolf scouts were all but useless.  Grey hunters are great but not as good as last edition.  Now...  I think I might have to rule them out as an ARC army mainly because it would require a massive amount of painting camp marines to match and according to the ARC pack you get comp hit for duplicate unit choices.  Three grey hunter packs would be a hit unless I got silly with making them different.  Meh...

The marines suffered from a brutal amount of bad luck.  That said marine scouts with sniper rifles were great...  Scouts with bolters... not so much...  Tactical squads I liked even less...  The librarian was fun but I rolled badly for his powers.  The terminator squad were good but the razorbacks with assault cannons were not.  Overall I feel like though I had a pile of shooting, it really lacked range and due to bad dice... it did next to nothing.  Once again... BLAH!

Now.  The guard.  Now for regular readers and people that have seen me around in tournaments over the years me playing guard is a regular occurrence.  I like the idea of guard.  Normal dudes fighting the worst the galaxy has to offer with little more than a pea shooter and a flak vest.  Those guys are the real heroes of the Imperium!

I ran a foot guard list which at 1200 points had something like 128 warm bodies on the board.  Which is weird because I built the army around what I had (I was looking forward to adding more stuff) and found that 1200 points covered the army perfectly.  What was weird is that I can't shake the feeling that I do not have enough guys on the table...  I really just dislike the 1200point level I think.

Now I ran one blob of 50 guys with power sword sergeants and melt guns with a chaplain.  This unit with power axes would be AMAZING! I think a few auto cannons to snap fire at flyers with while advancing on ground targets would work better than the old melta guns...  I had a few auto cannon/ grenade launcher squads on one flank with a platoon command squad with an auto cannon.  I loved this unit!  They made a mess of rhinos and applied long range pressure where it mattered.  A company command squad behind the army ran back and forth issuing necessary orders that really boosted the effectiveness of the army overall... and with 4 plasma guns, it really made a mess of the infiltrating chosen squad that appeared in my flank!

The guard were GREAT!  The problem is that I am not sure I want to play with that many models in such a tight time span.  I really struggled to play with my skaven earlier this year for similar reasons but in their case there lots of extra rules to remember.  I have been playing guard for so long that I don't have that problem.  Still do I need that headache in a tournament that I am already struggling to find motivation to attend.

If only I could figure out how to make my wyche cult work...

Any wisdom gang?  I could use some ideas!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Best Christmas Gift EVER!!!

Well...  On Christmas Day in front of close friends and some family...  I bent down on bended knee and asked my lovely girlfriend, Kirsten, to marry me.  She thankfully said "YES!!!" and sooo we are happily engaged to be married (probably some time in 2014)....

I know this has nothing to do with Wardollies per se but I thought a) it is important and should be mentioned and b) I might be really happy/ excited and I thought I might show off a bit!

Here is a quick shot of a similar ring to the one that I proposed with:

Kirsten's has a blood red stone and is darker metal:

And here are a few shots of us over the last nine months of our relationship:

More hobby to resume soon...  Thank GOD for school holidays!!!

I wish all of you a VERY happy holiday season and a FANTASTIC New Years!!!

Thanks for reading...  Hope to see more of you in the coming year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Official Deathshroud Models!

Another Christmas is upon us and for another year Forgeworld has again released portions of a new release in an advent calendar like arrangement.  In previous years we have often seen models in terminator armour as this release.  This year it appears to be no different.  Unsurprisingly, (due to the popularity of the range) this year’s models are also from the Horus Heresy series.  They have finally dropped the final pictures of a pre-release unit…  Mortarion’s bodyguard unit: Death Shroud.

When reading the Flight of the Eisenstein I LOVED the description of these guys.  Terminators sworn to silence who carry massive scythes who are always within 49 paces (7 X 7...  number of Nurgle...  etc...  Hey I like it!)  from their Primarch.  They are chosen from the rank and file legionnaires and their deaths are faked.  They give up their identity and become part of this faceless brotherhood.  AWESOME stuff!

Now I am very excited by this release for a couple of reasons.
1) Deathshroud are cool!
 2)  I assume that Mortarion will come out around the same time as his bodyguards.
3)  I am looking for a cool model for a new Typhus for my plague marine army.  With a very little conversion…  I think I am set.

I like how the armour these guys are wearing are a cross between the two ranges of terminator armour that Forgeworld make (while still nodding stylistically to the GW Typhus model)…

I will be buying a set of these guys as soon as they release.  Count on it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yet Another Look At The Horus Heresy: Book 1

Well, like most of the blogging 40K world I went out and as an early Christmas present to myself I bought the newest Forgeworld book: The Horus Heresy, Book 1…  

Now I could bather on about the high production value of this leather bound beauty or the Aquila metal corner protectors. I could talk about how nice it is to have a proper Crusade/ Early Heresy Era Marine list with lots of new rules, characters and toys…  I could even talk about how we finally get rules for Primarchs…  But I am not going to. People seem to be doing that enough on the internet.  The HH book 1 is amazing and is well worth the price.  I would have loved the new 40K campaign book to be this good (did I say that out loud?)…  Sadly it is not, but that is another topic of discussion.
The Hounds Of The Emperor

What I would like to discuss is some of the background that is included in the legion sections of the book.  Not only do we get a good pre-heresy look at each of the 4 major (original) chaos legions: Deathguard, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children and of course The Sons of Horus; We also finally get a really good look at the nature of each legion pre-Primarchs.  Sure these guys were created in one of the 20’s image and certain aspects of style and temperament of their “fathers” manifested itself into the character of the legion (Early World Eaters were still shock/awe assault troops used against the worst of foes) but it is interesting to see how things changed as the Primarchs were discovered.  I especially like the history of these early legions, battles fought and early colour schemes and original names.  I also enjoyed reading about how those legions changed with the introduction of gene-fathers and later with the onset of warrior lodges and the heresy... 

The Death Guard were originally The Dusk Raiders and The World Eaters were The Hounds of the Emperor.  As a huge fan of the old Index Astartes articles, I would have bought the HH book for this background information alone.

The Dusk Raiders
Another thing that I REALLY enjoy about the book is the detailed description of the Istavan 3 battle/war.  The play by play in a non-fiction setting is really enjoyable to read (IMHO).  There are maps, pictures, and character profiles from both sides of the conflict.  I especially like how there are playable characters for both the traitors and the loyalists with mini-histories detailing how these characters got to the battle.  I was excited to see “black shield” special characters as well (Garviel Loken anyone?).  I am really looking forward to seeing who they put in book two! 

Finally it included a Mechanicum allies list.  I am really hoping that we will see this expanded in the future.  I would love to a full/dedicated list with accompanying models and vehicles.  But that starts to get into the realm of wishful thinking…  Or does it?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Second Hand Fun... Or Look What I Found at a Used Table

So I am a regular customer of Mind Games in Melbourne's Inner City.  They carry a wide range of products from a variety of companies in fairly decent stock levels.  What can I say... I like to support the local guys....

Anyway I dropped in last week to see what was new and as usual I stopped by their used table.  Now this is usually a pile of models that have seen better days and often sport horrific conversions/ paint schemes.  Think toys from the bad kid's room from Toy Story.

To my surprise I found a few baggies of mostly finished models that might work into to super over highlighted guard army.

11 marines with a variety of weapons, 5 terminators, and a Librarian...

They are generally very well painted and with a little work I think my guard will get the counter assault punch it desperately needs in the form of space wolf reinforcements...  We'll see though... Anyway here they are as they appear today.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The End of The Squats as a Race... or Why does GW Hate Certain Armies

A few months back a good old friend of mine gave me his old Rogue Trade Ork army seen here:

At the same time he gifted me with the rest of his collection.  It includes RT era: Eldar, Guard, Tyranids, Marines, Chaos Terminators, Adventurers and quite a few squats.  Now most of these armies are very small and some do not include enough models to make legal units let alone armies (he loved to paint and hey, armies were MUCH smaller back then).  These were awesome to have but were essentially unplayable until I started really looking at the allies rules in 6th...  More on that another day (when the rest of the models arrive in the post from my parent's house... Two or Three weeks... I hope).

Anyway this got me thinking of Squats and I recently ran upon this a few times on the old interwebz.

This is from a variety of forums and blogs...  I believe it is accurate...  And it explains why Squats went the way of the dodo...

Originally Posted by Jervis johnson 
I know I shouldn't get drawn on this... but... can't... resist 
Seriously, a couple of points just so you can have an informed debate based on the real reasons that Squats are no longer available. Be warned, it is going to be hard reading for people that like the Squat background. 
First of all, Squats were *not* dropped because they were not selling well. There were then, and are now, plenty of other figure ranges that sell in the sort of % quantaties that the Squats pulled down, especially when you look across all of the ranges produced by GW rather than just those for 40K. 
No, the reason that the Squats were dropped was because the creatives in the Studio (people like me, Rick, Andy C, Gav etc) felt that we had failed to do the Dwarf 'archetype' justice in its 40K incarnation. From the name of the race (Squats - what *were* we thinking?!?!) through to the short bikers motif, we had managed to turn what was a proud and noble race in Warhammer and the other literary forms where the archetype exists, into a joke race in 40K. We only fully realised what we had done when we were working on the 2nd edition of 40K. Try as we might, we just couldn't work up much enthusiasm for the Squats. The mistake we made then (deeply regreted since) was to leave them in the background and the 'get you by' army list book that appeared. With hindsight, we should have dropped the Squats back then, and saved ourselves a lot of grief later on. 
Anyway, the Squats made it into 2nd edition, and since we were doing army books for each of the races, we started to try and figure out what to do with them. Unfortunately we just couldn't figure out a way to update them and get them to work that we felt was good enough. The 'art' of working on an army as a designer is to find the thing that you think is cool and exciting about an army, and work it up into a strong theme. This 'muse' didn't strike any of us, and so, rather than bring out a second-rate product simply re-hashing the old background, we kept doing other army books instead, with stuff we did feel inspired by. 
Now, while this was all going on for 40K, we were actually doing some rather good stuff for the Squats in Epic. On this scale there was a natural tendancy to focus on the big 'hand-made' war machines the Squat artisans produced, and this created an army with a feel that was very different to the biker hordes in 40K. However, this tended to reinforce the problems we saw in the Squat background rather than alleviate them, underlining what we *should* have done with the Squats in 40K.  
In the end (and it took years to really get to the roots of the problem) this led to a realisation that we were going to have to drop the Squats in their 'Squat' form from the 40K background. There was little point having a major race that we weren't willing to make an army book for, and their inclusion in the background meant that people kept asking us when we'd do a Squat Codex. Instead we decided that we'd write the Squats out of the background by saying that their Homworlds had been devoured by a Tyranid Hivefleet. This would give us the option in the future to return to making a race based on the Squat archetype for 40K. This race was given the name of Demiurg, and a certain amount of preliminary work was done to get a 'feel' for what the race would be like. At present the only hint of the Demiurg in 40K is the Demiurg spaceship for BFG. However, we do have this race 'in our back pocket' as a possible new race for 40K, or an interesting character model in Inquisitor, or whatever. So far the Demiurg have lost out to other projects, and it may be that their time never actually comes, as they will have to win through on their merits, not simply because we once made some Squat models in the past. At present, I have to say that it is more lilely that they *don't* make the cut than do, as there is a certain predudice these days to simply taking races from Warhammer and cross them over to 40K like we did in the early days, so it may be that the Squats/Demiurg end up remaining a footnote in the history of the 40K galaxy. Only time will tell... 
I'll finish off by saying that whatever we decide to do 'officially', there is nothing stopping players with Squat armies from using them, either in Epic or 40k for that matter. There is no GW 'rule' against using old Citadel Miniatures, as long as you use them with exisiting army lists and in a way that won't cause confusion for other players. I recommend taking a positive stand by saying "Have you seen these cool old models? They're called the Squats and GW used to make them back in the late eighties/early nineties. I love 'em, so I count them as Imperial Guard and use them with the current rules..." Put like this I can't imagine that anyone would stop you from using your army. 
Best regards,
Jervis Johnson
Head Fanatic

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Pictures of the Stealth Marines (where camo meets weathering!)

A few weeks back I posted pictures of a marine army I had bought to relearn how to play 6th edition 40K.  I had a number of comments on the paint job of the army and requests for varied and closer pictures...  Your wish is my command gang...

Here are some shots of the army: (which is BEAUTIFUL in person! Thanks again Buddha!)

For more Photos and a list of models please see the following blog post:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Figure Transportation Idea (Small Reaper Case Review)

As some of you know, I have lived in Melbourne Australia for close to 8 years now.  For that whole time I have lived in or immediately around the Melbourne CBD.  This means I have primarily lived in small apartments and shared houses and generally that I have avoided owning a car at all costs...  

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE to drive.  I do it whenever I can.  But after spending most of my life living in the States I have never gotten over how expensive car ownership costs down here. As a result, I generally don’t drive.  I recently had my class figure out my bike commuting distance and I ride an average of about 4500 kilometres a year (not including all the riding I do when I am not getting to and leaving from work).  This means that I often travel with toy soldiers either on my bike or on public transportation.  When moving whole armies or terrain this starts to get difficult due the volume of crap that one needs to carry in this hobby.  I needed a more viable transportation method on a smaller scale.  Something that was bike friendly.

Enter the “Figure Carrying Case” from Reaper miniatures.

Is it small?  Yup. 

I needed a case that would easily fit into my Crumpler Courier bag.  It not only fit like a charm but there is room for rulebooks/ army books, dice bags, tape measures and templates (and my lunch!).  Perfect.  Now at this size you will never fit an army’s worth of models but for specialist games like Necromunda and Mordheim it is the perfect size.  It would also work (in my case) beautifully for carrying a unit or two’s worth of models to a mate’s place for painting nights.  

You can see it’s capacity here:

With larger models:

Next up… Is it durable? Yup!

I am fairly rough on my bike and on my gear when riding and I have kicked the crud out of this case in the short time I have owned it.  That said it looks exactly the same now as it did a few months ago when I bought it.  Generally, the foam inside protects models well and holds different sized models in place in a way that prevents figs from rattling around against each other (a recipe for chips and disaster).  My only gripe is with the foam insert that divides the two halves.  It is fairly flimsy.  While this prevents rubbing and breakages when the case is closed, getting the case closed sometimes causes issues.  The two sides fold together when closing the case.  This leads to some dexterous maneuvering with fragile models in order to close it without models spilling out or banging into one another.  It is an annoying design flaw in an otherwise dependable product.

Is it expensive?  Surprisingly no!

This little baby retails for something like $16 US (or $18 here in Australia) which compared to GW’s cases is unbelievably cheap! Mind numbingly so!  For a product of this quality I think that Reaper could have charged $30 easily and still had a good deal.  Not that I am complaining!

Overall I am a very big fan the of this little gem of transportation gold.  Does it fit everyone’s needs?  Probably not…  Does it fit my needs?  Absolutely…  So much so that I have already bought two. 

Til next time!


For those wondering this is what the Reaper website has to say:

This carrying case is the same hardshell plastic case that all of our boxed sets come in. With two layers of rugged eggshell foam, you'll be able to transport your figures with ease and in Reaper style! Size approximately 9" x 10.75" x 3".

One more size comparison...  Here it is on top of a Marine Codex.