Saturday, January 2, 2021

Project Completed: Blood Angels Collection

 It is uncommon for a hobbyist to look at a project and go, "Well that is done and I am not going to add to it." But shockingly I have reached that point. At the beginning of the pandemic I took a model kit, the Blood Angel's Tactical Squad, that I had laying around and decided to try some new techniques in both painting and modeling. Pushing my skills some but not going over the top, just fun and exploratory. That single model kit grew into more kits, friends donated kits to the purpose, and before I knew it there was an entire army of models waiting to be given paint. I took the challenge and faced it head on looking to do my best model by model and complete it before the end of the year. The last model was finished mid December and now I've had a chance to take pictures of them all. Please allow me to share them with you here and I hope you find them pleasant to look at. 

Brother Adamantus, Librarian Dreadnought 

Cassor the Damned, Death Company Dreadnought

Captain Karlean, 1st Company Captain

Lieutenant Caseyus, Death Company Lieutenant

Squad Raphaen, Death Company Squad

"Deliverance", Rhino Transport

"Furious Retribution", Baal Predator

Squad Eladinaeus, Tactical Squad 

Lexicanum Varsinus, Librarian in Terminator Armor 

Squad Alphaeus, Terminator Squad

Squad Gideon, Terminator Squad

Squad Lorenzo, Terminator Squad
The collection consists of models from Games Workshop of course including the models from the Space Hulk Board Game (fourth edition, 2014) and models from the Deathstorm battle box (2014) creating a very elite force within context of Warhammer 40,000. One of the models, the Death Company Lieutenant Caseyus (named for my common battle foe Casey) is a custom kitbash model, a very low level kitbash but still within that realm. 

Regarding painting techniques I tried three different methods for the various wings on the models by varying wash types, dry brushing and detail painting feathers. Also I varied scroll colors, washes, and dry brushing with edge highlighting. I tried to add mild weathering, something that showed activity, but didn't over whelm the model. The red armor color was achieved by priming the models white, painting them completely with Model Color red, washing with Carroburg Crimson from Citadel, then over brushing with Mephiston Red from Citadel. I was really pleased with how the color came out and the pictures don't really do it justice. As a final application I gloss coated them, literally something I have never done for another army. Normally I only flat clear coat but this was all about experimenting.

I mixed up the base work myself with a blend of spent tea and ground oregano that was glued over a black back ground then later a mixture of glue and water (about 1 to 4) soaked over it to secure it well and remove some of the softness to it. It turned out to make it look like ground after a heavy rain, nice bonus. 

Modeling wise I took the time to drill out all of the barrels of any firearms, remove mold lines well, and drilled out the exhaust stacks of the armored vehicles. A few of the models were recovered from bad condition and it took some love but eventually I got them to a point it was acceptable. 

Game wise it comes to just under 100 power level at 97 and 1,945 points making it a large army to play with. Strategically it is a terrible army >lol< really all elite and suicidal units with a single standard tactical squad to do the scoring work. On one side it's hyper aggressive with three deep strike capable terminator squads, three deep strike capable heroes, and a deep strike (well low orbit strike) capable death company. It has a lot of psychic power but none of the battle clergy which would benefit the Death Company. The armor is just as aggressive with a flamer heavy battle tank and dreadnoughts. It is a lot of alpha strike that if it fails to soften or scattered the enemy enough for scoring units to do their job it will be hard fought.  

Completing this collection was a pleasurable endeavor and I am thinking about doing another such challenge to my skills. Nothing so large and probably fantasy oriented. 

More battles coming soon. All of January will have Adeptus Titanicus titans marching across Casey's basement, pictures will be provided, an accurate account? Probably not. :)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Fantasy Warfare and Science Fiction

 Starting to explore the game of Age of Sigmar. I lamented the death of Warhammer Fantasy Battles within the context of the publisher and my own game community. People here have an aversion to orderly combat and feel they are getting more out of running two collection of models directly into each other. Meh, I mean I like that too, but it would be nice to have some maneuver on occaision. 

I digress. 

I've been collecting Age of Sigmar because the models are still primo and I am a sucker for fantasy war fare. Age of Sigmar is strange for me to play, it is more similar to Magic the Gathering than war gaming maybe, I don't know, I'm just old.

Anyway here are some photos of my recent game, again in no specific order. I only took photos of deployment and a few in game. We tended not to move about once we were set in battle so it was not much to photo. 

As you an see my friend has a Karadron Overlords collection and he is quite the painter. His collection is just a little over 700 points but it is hard to fight. I'm finding nurgle plague bearers are not as tough as you'd think and the gunships are strong for their points. It didn't help that of 10 spells I only cast 4, one unbound by him, and 2 were mystic shield. None of my offensive magic worked. I'm working on painting terrain pieces to add to the table as we go and he is going to be adding some new model.

I really need a great unclean one!

Also recently I have begun exploring Eve Online, something I haven't gravitated towards mostly because I find paying high monthly fees to play not good for my life style. No shade on the process, I just know I won't pour a hundred hours into it a month. Eve Online is a high science game and I am enjoying the nature of it's play. I'm not a fighter pilot and I don't have to be and it's very soothing. That isn't much to say but in case you were wondering about it there is some feedback from an old war gamer. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

War...war is eternal

I am finding the ninth edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules most enjoyable. But frankly I attribute this more to my opponent, Casey, than to the rules. I am a firm believer the players make the game not the game makes the fun. I will also give some credit to the rules that enable us to play an easy game and well enough written it doesn't devolve into a war of attrition always. Below is a collection of photos from two battles. No real order I just enjoy looking at war game photos and figure others are the same. Sorry for a lack of battle report, I just didn't have time to take notes or write one. Please enjoy my collection of photos and the feeling of the game being played. Also, should you have any feedback please feel free to do so :)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Disposition of Forces: The Tactical Squad in Warhammer

Warhammer 40,000 8th and 9th edition have done a lot for the game, its player base, and its fun level for the majority of the player base. I take all the Warhammer games for what they are; ridiculous dice fests with pretty toys and absurdly fun story to relax and enjoy. People who take the equipment depicted and fantasy politics seriously confuse me.

Do not ever, I repeat, DO NOT EVER argue with me anything about this fine model:

The Invictus Tactical Warsuit model is the epitome, NEY the POSTER CHILD of Warhammer as a hobby. An impractical work of beauty with a machine gun in a holder and a pilot behind some sweet roll bars. If you are seeking logic, please go elsewhere, as logic has been left as an orphan on the doorstep of the Schola Progenium and raised to hate the xenos and purge the heretic. But I digress...

I've been playing a lot of battles recently and one of my favorite units to use is tactical squads because I dig combined arms military tactics. I'm having a mixed bag of results with them though and their versatility may have accidentally been hamstrung to the point that there is effectively only one way to use them. 

I think of tactical squads with four applications:

1. the full squad role: Ten models that take and hold a position using their firepower to either draw the enemy, deter the enemy, or shoot at stuff because why not. I'd classify this as the least flexible of the uses of this unit and they are either going to be standing on the field at the end of turn 5 or died on their hill.

2. the combat squad dual role: Effectively splitting the squad into two roles; one focused on holding a position and one on assaulting the enemy. The heavy weapon would go with four bolt guns while the sergeant and assault weapon would aggressively move through the battlefield. 

3. the full squad with transport role: The full unit would ride onto the field in a rhino to fill gaps in the plan as needed, take objectives, complete mission actions, or even just draw the enemy away. 

4. the combat squad dual role transport role: Basically the defensive combat squad holds a position and the aggressive one mounts up to attack the enemy, the transport giving them greater speed to reach locations they are needed. 

..but I believe that now there is only number 3 in the game for best tactical results at this point in the meta. Firstborn forces are so soft, within context to their big brothers, that eliminating a combat squad is not a lot of work. The game has been moved to a very bloody meta, which is fine it isn't a criticism its an observation. But that means that your sweet 1 wound tactical marines are gonna eat it pretty quickly. Ten of them seem to have staying power and enough shooty bits that they make an impact but a five man combat squad seems to vanish the minute your enemy turns their attention to them, and their offensive power is insufficient to make a solid impact unless you are fortunate.

With something like six games under my belt in the new edition with tactical squads I can safely say my deployment will always be with rhino and will not see them broken up unless there is specific gain to it, meaning points towards winning or points towards cool such as a sergeant charging a carnifex because FUCK YEAH!. That is why I play the game after all, winning is cool, sticking a chain saw sword thing into the guts of a tank bug monster with crab claws is waaaaay cooler. 

Frankly good ole James Workshop should just sell them packaged with a rhino, I can't imagine a situation that it isn't a better options. The rhino is an affordable transport in relation to the transports for the primaris marines, both real and imaginary currency. Yeah it doesn't come festooned with guns but it comes with enough. You max out an Impulsor you get 4 guns, you max out a rhino you get 2 guns and a single shot super missile. The ratio of cost by points/power rating/DOLLARS is 3 rhinos for 2 Impulsors, it's a fair trade off no matter how you look at it. 

So the TL:DR of this article is this: the tactical squad with rhino is how it should always be configured until things change. The cost is amiable, the strategic use is superior to all other options, and the effectiveness is likely above its logistical investment. 

All this stands until like October when the firstborn get 2 wounds. 

Side Note: There is technically a number 5. above I refuse to utilize: that of filler. It is not uncommon for 5 man bolt gun wielding tactical marines to be used to fill a slot to gain more command points, and at 75 points to fill the slot it was affordable in the Astartes sense. That is not as much a thing in the new edition, but it was in 8th and it was embarrassing to see. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

New Hero Quest is a kick starter and I hate that...

 Small post. 

The new Hero Quest by Avalon Hill/Hasbro (so Wizards of the Coast), is announced and it looks fantastic. They have stuck well to the original design and play style while adding updates for modern fantasy designs (which is a mixed bag for me but good in general). 


It's a kick starter, or Hasbro Pulse, which is the same. I am deeply offended by how the game production community is garbage now thanks to kick starter design being used by large companies. Small companies and independents, go, I love it for that. HASBRO does not need to be given 1 million dollars but us up front to make this game. 

Here is the link, I in no way look down on people for buying from companies in this way. I never knock the consumer. But i'm deeply disappointed that such a large company would be so cheap.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Monographs, Building Up Forces, The Pandemic Experience

If you think I am doing nothing in the midst of this responsible isolation from humanity to discourage the spread of a dangerous virus, you'd be wrong. While holding off on my fantasy battle game plans I've been adding to my collection of models, role playing on Roll20, and reading a bunch. Probably very similar to many of you.

Here are a few photos of things from my work desk that are under construction;

A mysterious knight under construction...
Mechanicus forces being based...
Skeletal hordes being raised from the dead...

My pandemic experience has resulted in a large number of models being painted. I am normally a fairly productive painter maybe producing a about a dozen models, or one large model, a month but this has been off the hook. An entire collection of Blood Angels, all kinds of daemons, model airplanes, model tanks, adeptus titanicus tiny big robots, half a dozen imperial knights...and more. 

I also write short stories off and on but I've been considering writing what is called a monograph. Specifically one about clerics and holy men in the fantasy role playing genre. I enjoy playing clerics in Dungeons and Dragons and in war games, when that is possible, which is very rarely. I love the aspects of religion and theology in a fantasy setting and I feel that clerics are fairly multi-dimensional and afford a large variety of role playing opportunities beyond the mechanics of their play. 

While I am certainly no scholar I am a competent writer and have played rpgs for 35 years. I think it would be fun to put together and essay of my thoughts and observations about this part of the hobby. Maybe referencing different rules sets and how they reflect divinity, religion, and the influence of gods. If I do I promise not to  make it a blog post but I will probably provide a link to it as a blog post. 

The use of Roll20 during this pandemic has gotten me exploring what can truly be thought of as digital miniatures and digital dungeon tiles. Dugeondraft is an alpha developed map making software aimed at the various online tools. Let me share a map with you...

...using the application I made this map for use in a role playing game but it could just as easily be printed off for use. This has me thinking how to combine indoors and outdoors action for skirmish based war gaming. 

Anyway, just wanted to share some with my blogger buddies. I take great pleasure in exposure to your hobby life so I hope mine brings you a little fun as well.