Thursday, May 5, 2016

Raven Guard Heavy Support - Autocannons Galore


Some heavy hitting support for Corax's fellows...
Ten guys with autocannons? Ten guys with autocannons.  Gotta love the Horus Heresy!

Work has been pretty nuts lately, diverting me from much hobby time for painting (much less gaming).  But I whittled a gun out of a bar of soap, bluffed the guards, and managed to get a few things finished.  Here is a Raven Guard heavy support squad armed wall-to-wall with autocannons.  The Marines are wearing Mk III armour.

Embossed shoulder plates add the perfect touch as always
I had finished a few of these guys for a Rogue Trader game we played not that long ago (although it seems like ages ago), but managed to round out the whole group of ten models just recently.

Sergeant with crazy comb and crazy gun

The original autocannon models called for the ammo can to be mounted off the back of the Marine armour, with a kind of belt feed mechanism working around to connect under the front of the weapon.  While possible in theory, the reality of the models and of Forge World's "quality" (great sculptors, wonderful designers, but clearly they don't give much of a sh*t about consistent casting) was such that there was not enough heat guns, boiling water and fast timing in the world to get even a single model assembled that way, much less ten of them.  So I just cut them up and mounted the ammo cans right below the autocannon.

I like the little targeting device they include for officers...

I like how it turned out - makes the gun even more impractical looking, which in turn (to my mind at least) makes it look like something the Imperium would have approved. "Sure, nobody can really use this in a practical way, but these are Space Marines we are talking about - commence production immediately."

Practical weapons of the 30th millenium...

Continue to love the MkIII armour - the best models out there!
The tactical usefulness of this unit will be, well, "interesting". They will blow away things like Rhinos and bikes - fun!  But mostly I just like the crazy appearance.  It underscores the dark, armed excess of the heresy setting and the Space Marine Legions.  Why send one guy with an autocannon, after all, when you could send ten? I mean, do you love the Emperor or not?

Ready to make a stand on Istvaan...

Stay tuned for more reinforcements for the Raven Guard..

Monday, May 2, 2016

Necromunda "Not-Delaque" Slicks from East Riding Miniatures




As readers know, Conscript Dave has organized a Necromunda campaign that's now in full swing. While I already had a ton of painted Cawdor/Redemptionist gangers, a campaign always provides a nice impetus for a new painting project.


As far as Necromunda factions, I always thought that the Delaques were super cool, what with their trenchcoats, shaved heads and John Lennon glasses. However, when I looked into getting the GW models, I got a bit of a shock... prices have increased quite a bit on that OOP stuff. So I looked around for some alternative models, and found these: the "Slicks" from East Riding Miniatures in the UK. 



ERM actually sell a pack of all 7 variants of Slick for the low price of 7 English pounds. A veritable bargain compared to Delaques from GW that might exceed that amount for a single figure!

The Slicks are cool, but I did do a bit of conversion work to make them my own. For the gangers above, I added extended barrels and flash suppressors to their autoguns.



The juves in the gang are equipped with pistols, of course. The ones provided by ERM are rather weedy and lacking in detail, so I swapped in some more impressive shootin' irons for them as well.



Juves are identified in this gang by the large probational "J" on the backs of their coats. Once they're promoted to full ganger status they'll be entitled to wear the plain black PVC version.




For the "heavy" with flamer, some more extensive conversion was required. Both of his arms were cut off (!) and arms from the GW Astra Militarum heavy flamer model were grafted on. I think it turned out rather well.





This is the base model for the flamer conversion above, which I also use for juves. Again, weapon swaps are done with GW weapons. The fellow on the right is a new recruit to the gang; he joined to seek revenge for the death of his brother (a full-fledged ganger) who was killed by Spyrers in the first campaign game. He carries his late brother's autogun even though he's not able to use it!



I kept the painting very simple for the gang, both because I needed to get them into action in short order and because I'm lazy ;-)



Flesh was painted a bit lighter than my normal mix, with a slight reddish undertone cast achieved with a wash of diluted Chestnut Ink. The PVC trenchcoats have Leadbelcher hardware washed with Nuln Oil, and highlighted with Leadbelcher and Mithril Silver. Weapons are done with Leadbelcher/Nuln Oil as well. Finally the coat and eyepiece lenses are given a generous brushing of GW 'Ardcoat (gloss varnish).



The gang leader, Slick Plashkin (each gang member has some not-so-clever punning name - Slick Derringer, Slick Astley, etc.). He carries a boltgun that he's used to good effect in the first two games.

These guys have been quite fun to play with so far and my only regret is that I didn't buy more - I might need to hire more gangers. Oh well, ERM's still in business and the postage charge wasn't outrageous. They also have some other cool stuff that can bulk out an order...


So many thanks to Dave for providing the impetus for this fun project. It turns out that the boys are doing OK on the tabletop as well so that's always a bonus!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Iron Within, Iron Without - 30K Iron Warriors Test Models

Well, it's safe to say that around these parts, between the Betrayal at Calth boxed set frenzy and general Forgeworld crack addictions, the Horus Heresy is raging on. So it is therefore perfectly sensible for me, despite having armies of 40K Black Templars, Rogue Trader Howling Griffons, and Heresy-era Blood Drinkers/Angels, (plus Deathwing and Plague Marines too) to start another Space Marine army.

Step forward the Iron Warriors! The fourth Space Marine Legion to be raised in the First Founding; cold, calculating weaponsmiths; siege and heavy weapon specialists; and legendary all-around hard nuts, the Iron Warriors have a lot going for them as a Traitor Legion choice for Heresy-era gaming.  Not to mention that, as long as you like hazard stripes, the paint scheme is absurdly simple, fast-painting and awesome looking!

So I've taken the plunge into "the narrative of hope and change" as Conscript Greg would say, and have started collecting and painting a IV Legion force for our Heresy games. First up were some test models - a MKIII Space Marine from Forgeworld (seen here) and a MKIV armour from the Calth boxset (farther below).

I am a huge fan of the MKIII armour. It has a brutalist aesthetic that to me, just captures the Horus Heresy so well. The model was primed black and painted GW Leadbelcher, with gold bits picked out in Balthasar Gold. Hazard striping was done with Averland Sunset highlighted with Yriel Yellow. The whole model was washed with Nuln Oil, and the gold bits washed again with Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with Leadbelcher and Balthasar. Some chipping with black over the yellow and light powders finished it off.

Although I have to admit that the MKIV suit isn't my favourite-ever Space Marine armour, the models from the Calth box are awesome nonetheless. This one assembled very quickly and accurately and looks great.

I painted him using the same technique as the MKIII.

His right shoulder pad is also left blank for application of some IV Legion insignia later.

I have two Calth boxes and five MKIII suits for a command squad, so that should pretty much do me for Marines. I reckon 30-40 Tactical Squad Marines and 10 Iron Havocs with lascannons, and perhaps a 10-man Tac Support squad or even Assault Squad made with Forgeworld accessory goodies. Ten Cataphractii Terminators of course, done up as Siege Tyrants with added missile racks, likely from some third party vendor. There's two Contemptor Dreadnoughts in those boxes too, along with an Iron Warriors body on the way. I have some Praetors about that could go Iron, as well as a MKII Command set with banner and leader-type coming. Vehicle support will be sparse but powerful to start with anyway, as I've ordered up a Legion Medusa (hopefully a better kit than the Armageddon pattern vehicle) and the irresistible Typhon heavy siege tank for some serious line-breaking.

"Iron within, iron without!" :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fantasy from Otherworld and Ral Partha


 
In preparation for my game at PrairieCon in June, I've been working on some fantasy figures. One of the murder hoboes intrepid dungeon adventurers in the game will be this wonderful fighter from Otherworld Miniatures.
 

I love that the Otherworld dungeon-crawlers are fully kitted out with gear. It gives them a kind of versimilitude that's often lacking in fantasy figures.



 
How about these guys for a throwback? Dated 1984 on the bases, these amazing Ral Partha Chaos Warriors hold their own over 30 years later, and that's how long these castings have been sitting in my box waiting to be painted. Better late than never, and they'll give the dungeoneers something to think about.



This model is one of my favourite fantasy figures of all time.



Completely bad-ass!!



His sidekick is pretty cool too. I love the full helm look.




This fighter of unknown manufacture was plucked from the obscurity of the bits box. He seems to be kind of an analog to the Otherworld fighter above - same style of helmet anyway. He'll be the fighter in the "other party" of adventurers in my game.
  

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"


This is another of my favourite RP sculpts from back in the day - the Jabberwock. Still holds up well nowadays and it'll give the dungeon adventurers something to consider.



So that's the start of the fantasy painting binge. Still have about seven more adventurers to paint but I can generally knock off one a night if I'm on it. I'll just have to make sure not to get distracted by the next Horus Heresy project...


Monday, April 18, 2016

Poll Results and New Poll




Our last poll asked, "GW has released plastic 30K models in the new "Betrayal at Calth" game. Will you buy it?"


35 of you responded; here are the results:


Yes, I'll pick up one. (9 votes, 25%)

Yes, more than one! (4 votes, 11%)

No, not interested in 30K (22 votes, 62%)

So a little more than one in three respondents intended to get their Calth on.

The next poll is in keeping with the GW theme:

Did you buy Games Workshop's new Limited Edition Imperial Marine last weekend? 


Register your vote up in the corner! /






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Necromunda League - Necromunda By Night

Last Thursday was a great start to our newly-formed Necromunda league (the League Rules are available here). Barry, MikeA, and Dallas came out with their gangs to fight the first scenario of the narrative campaign, Necromunda by Night. It's mostly based upon a Necromunda scenario pack used at Adepti-Con a few years ago.

***
Scenario 1: Total War

Your gang has been tasked by a local miners' guild to eliminate a creature that’s been nesting in one of the newly-abandoned domes. The creature only leaves its lair during lights down and its lair is very well concealed, so it is imperative to kill it before darkness descends.

***

Each player chose how many gang members they wish to deploy at the beginning of the game. A Bolt Action order die was placed in a cup for each ganger, using different colours for each side. The players then took it in turn to nominate a specific point on the table and picked out one die from the cup. The picked side then placed a figure on the specified point. This continued until all fighters in the cup were placed. Any fighters not placed at the beginning of the game moved on to their player's table edge during Turn 3.

Lighting conditions were getting worse each turn:

  • At the beginning of Turn 2, vision range is reduced to 36”.
  • At the beginning of Turn 3, vision range is reduced to 24” and models may claim partial cover if within 1” of a full cover structure or terrain feature.
  • At the beginning of Turn 4, vision range is reduced to 16”, models may claim partial cover if within 1” of a full cover structure or terrain feature, models may run and hide, and may not use the Fast Shot, Marksman, or Rapid Fire skills.
  • At the beginning of Turn 5, all the above restrictions apply and models count Fumbles as double in HtH combat.
  • The dome becomes fully dark at the end of Turn 6 and the game ends.

The objective was for either gang to kill the creature BEFORE THE END OF TURN 6! Whichever gang successfully killed the creature would win.

At the beginning of each player's turn, I rolled a D6 for each friendly fighter on the table. On a roll of 6 (adding +1 if the model is Down) , that model would be the first to encounter the creature. The creature model was placed within 4” of that model, in a random direction (scatter die). On each player's turn before the Shooting phase, it moved towards the closest model and attempt to charge into HtH combat (if target is under 6"). The opposing player made any applicable rolls for the creature.

Instead of using a "monster" figure, I used a model I had never actually used before in a game; a Bretonnian Sorceress that I had painted back in the late 90's!

She had the following profile: M5, WS5, BS0, S4, T4, W2, I6, A2, Ld10
She counted as armed with a Sword and a Massive Club. The creature had a 5+ armor save.
The creature counted as never able to be Pinned, and never suffered from Psychology effects.

I confess that I liked the idea of the creature being monstrous only in its disposition, not its appearance.

***

Barry's Cawdor faced off against MikeA's Spyre Hunters first. IIRC, Both sides fielded 5 fighters. The creature was revealed almost immediately by Mike's Spyrers, who were decimated by it and Barry's hot-shooting gang. The Spyrers bottled out, retreating off the table, but the Cawdors took it on the chin from the creature, failing to down it.

***

At this point we remembered we had camera phones, and Dallas and I took pictures of our own game.

Dallas and I faced off, his newly painted House Delaque (conversions of figs purchased from East Riding Miniatures)  vs. my own Spyre Hunters. Dallas fielded 7 gangers, while I fielded all 5 fighters. Dallas' leader took the high ground on top of a 3-story building, while the rest were spread out. The Spyrers were mostly by the train or near the restaurants/shops.

image2

First turn I swung a spider-like Malcodon onto an overhead walkway, into close assault with a Delaque armed with a rifle.

image1

image5

The Malcodon made short work of his opponent.

Camera Roll-1044

My Orrus took cover behind the dubious protection of a planter.

image3

Other Delques tried to move into position against him, so the Orrus ended up retreating into the wine store to gain cover.

image4

The creature appeared by my other Malcodon. Moving away behind the mag lev train, the Malcodon set up a shot with his webs at the creature, with a Yeld flying down from a flat car in support.

Camera Roll-1040

My careful movement was to no avail, as the creature struck down both these Spyrers, plus a Jakara that tried to attack her in the subsequent turn.

Below, the creature stands victorious!

Camera Roll-1043

Meanwhile, my remaining Malcodon  was shot and put Out of Action by fire from a Juve and the Delaque leader, sniping from above.

image6

Finishing off three(!) of my Spyre Hunting Party, the creature turned her attention to more of Dallas' Delaques, who couldn't seem to draw a bead on her.

image8

After making a couple of Bottle Tests, my sole remaining fighter, an Orrus, made a desperate charge against a wounded Delaque Juve, putting him Down. That forced a Bottle Test on Dallas, whose leader failed, and thus the disheartened Delaques fled the field!

image7

The creature was too far away to get into contact with my Orrus before the end of Turn 6, so we called the game.

***

Suffice to say, no one's gang slew the creature! There is a resulting three-way tie for Campaign Points. Barry, Mike, and Dallas each received 5 Campaign Points for their respective Draws. Barry and Dallas received a bonus Campaign Point each for "Game Hunter" (one of their models made one successful shooting attack at long range this scenario), and Mike got a bonus point for "Expert Tracker" (one of his models revealed the creature on Turn 1). As Arbitrator (player/referee and host), I received no Campaign Points.

By the end of the mini-campaign, the player with the most Campaign Points will receive an unpainted Goliath gang provided by Conscript Kevin. The Nightrider Award (for the best gang painted by one of the other players, awarded at my sole discretion) will be a Hired Gun model that I am in the midst of painting. A WIP shot can be seen below:

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It's been fun to play these small-scale games, where every shot and every casualty counts. In the post game phase, one of the Delaques succumbed to his wounds, but was replaced by a Juve. The story is writing itself, as Dallas said the dead Delaque's brother has joined the gang, seeking revenge!

Some of the guys couldn't make it out last week, so there will be a few more folks playing Scenario 1, as well as the rest playing Scenario 2 this week. I look forward to more games in the under-hive!

Monday, April 11, 2016

30k Battle Report - Drop Site Party on Istvaan V!

It's time for a change! The XII Legion readies to finish off the dupes of the false "emperor"

Over the past couple of months I have been painting up some Raven Guard for further 30k mayhem on the table.  It's not a very big force at this stage - about 40 figures, no vehicles or dreadnoughts.  Not quite enough for a game of 30k under the current rules, but I was really keen to get them out on the table for an initial bloodletting.  So we decided to play some old-school Rogue Trader instead!  Dallas was kind enough to host the game two weeks ago, and set up a table for us.

Sons of Horus heavy support squad - locked and loaded
XVI Legion moves into a blocking position

The scenario was set on Istvaan V - home to the infamous "drop site massacre".  So you already know up front how this was going to end for the Raven Guard...the scenario featured the small Raven Guard force - two 10-man tactical squads, a 5-man support squad with autocannons, and a Preator and some bodyguard and command figures.  They realize they have been betrayed, and as their Legion brothers are massacred around them, this group looking to break out and escape into the hills.  They were trapped by a mix of Sons of Horus and World Eaters.  The Raven Guard would start in the middle of the 6' x 4' table, and their objective was to exit as many Marines as possible off of either short table edge, representing survivors who would head off into the hills and begin the guerrilla campaign against Horus.

Raven Guard survivors gather around a crashed shuttle, and prepare to make a break for it
XII Legion tactical troops take up a blocking position
It would not be easy. The traitors outnumbered the Loyalists almost 2-1, and featured a number of daunting weapons, including a support squad with five heavy bolters, another support squad with five multi-meltas (!) and a support squad with 10 volkite calivers! I tried to set expectations for the Loyalist players accordingly, reminding them the battle was known as the "drop site massacre", not the "drop site stalemate" or "drop site surprise win"...

Some heavy support for the World Eaters

Raven Guard heavy support lines up on some targets

Conscripts Dave and Dallas played the Raven Guard, while Indo and Mike F. took command of the enlightened followers of Horus. And as I said, we used the trusty old Rogue Trader game engine, but I did make a few adjustments - the toughness of the marines was increased to "4" from "3", and the basic save of Marine power armour was increased to "3+" from "4+".  Basically, we were just reflecting the "current" stat values of the marines in the old game.

Praetor prepares to confront XII Legion command

Covering fire! Autocannons try and buy time for the Raven Guard escape

And so the "drop site massacre" was on! The Raven Guard opted to break en-mass towards the World Eaters, wary of the heavy bolter squad from the Sons of Horus (remember, in Rogue Trader, heavy bolters are "following fire"...). Dave and Dallas used their autocannons for covering fire. Dave's Raven Guard Praetor led his command group into a direct confrontation with Indo's World Eaters Centurion and a smash-down featuring duelling veterans, standard bearers and leaders ensued.
A pitched battle, there is no mercy...

The Centurion for the World Eaters takes a lot of wounds, too many for the medic to do anything about...


Indo's multi melta vapourized a number of Raven Guard troops, and the Sons of Horus (although pleased to let Angron's clowns bear the brunt of the fighting) picked off a number of the retreating Raven Guard.  Mike F had a bit of a rough outing with the heavy bolters, so they were not as devastating as I expected them to be, but Dave and Dallas were also careful to avoid them to the extent they could...

Dallas' tactical squads make a break for it, led by the Company Champion
The Sons of Horus mop up...ouch...

The Raven Guard commander and his entire retinue fell heroically in combat, although not without killing nearly all of the World Eaters' command (the surviving standard bearer would be in for a promotion, assuming Angron wouldn't get mad at him for some random reason and kill him too).  The Raven Guard heavy support troops also fell, although not before taking several traitors with them.
The close assault between command groups grinds on...
With only one survivor when it's all over...

Dallas lost one whole tactical squad in the fighting retreat - many to Sons of Horus bolters and heavy bolters.  But his second squad managed to (mostly) skirt the ominous multi-meltas of the World Eaters and slammed into a World Eaters tactical squad blocking their escape.  Over several turns of tough close fighting (remember, you could use your pistols in close combat with Rogue Trader), the Raven Guard punched their way through...by the time we called the game, eight Raven Guard (out of a starting force of 31) escaped.  I assured Dallas this was a decent outcome, and his survivors now represented like 20% of the Legion's active combat strength...they would head for the hills, join their surviving Primarch, and wage a dark and difficult guerrilla war against their betrayers...

Crash! Dallas' tactical troops look to break through...

I just love Rogue Trader, warts and all, and it was a lot of fun.  The guys approached with the proper spirit - particularly Dallas and Dave, looking to take as many traitors down as possible.  While this game would have been a very, very small game by the current standards of the rules, in Rogue Trader this was actually a very, very big game, and we managed to get it done.  Looking back, I should have increased the movement of all of the marines to 6" from 4" just to speed things up a bit.  But overall, I loved it.  I particularly like how the close combat is generally a grind, particularly between two evenly matched opponents.  Even the more heroic figures - the Preator and the Centurion - didn't just automatically kill everything they touched.  It was a great fight.

The Raven Guard overwhelm Angron's troops to make their escape...or, some of them do, at any rate

Thanks to the guys for playing - great for the Raven Guard to get their first game in! Big thanks to Dallas for hosting - and for putting the table and terrain together! I do really need to get some more vehicles painted, but one thing at a time...