Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Another Army: Jo's Iron Warriors

I've always believed that miniatures are not only a fantastic creative hobby, but also a very communal one. Ideas always bounce around and inspire other hobbyists to do something different, even I have been known to plagerise ideas off other hobbyists (one example is my Harbinger of Despair using a Cairn Wraith for it's base). It is for this reason I've decided to start a new section called Another Army which showcases other peoples armies to inspire and to show off, and to kick things off I present to you all Jo's Iron Warriors.

Jo's Iron Warriors are a prime example of a fluffy army, everything has been modeled in accordance to the army's background, from basic conversions to add flavour to completely new interpretations of existing units.

No Iron Warriors are complete without vehicles!
Jo's vehicles are a typical example of any good Iron Warrior army, with plenty of black/yellow strips, extensive use of metals, iron helmets (see the Dreadnought) and plenty of weaponry!

Iron Warriors Dreadnought
Iron Warriors Rhino with plenty of missiles!
Heavily armoured Land Raider

What has really captured the imagination for Jo's Iron Warriors, however, is the introduction of Warp Smiths in the Chaos Codex. However, with the Iron Warriors lack of Daemons, Jo opted to go for a more Astartes look for his Warp Smith rather than the writhing daemonic tentacles look.

Iron Warriors Warp Smith

However, the highlight of Jo's army for me is his interpretation of Iron Warrior Plague Marines. Again, with the lack of Daemons in the Iron Warrior background, Jo decided to go with a very fluffy reason as to how he could fit these units into his army. His solution was bionics and lots of them to represent their higher toughness and feel no pain special rule. Brilliant!

Bionic Iron Warriors used as Plague Marines

Hopefully you've all enjoyed this post and maybe even got some inspiration. Hopefully I will be posting some more about other armies over the next few months as well as my regular posts. Until then, see ya all!

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Kinnemorne Project

So after having the big painting project that was Cato Sicarius, hanging out in the final days of Wood Green and cracking some heads open in Dread Ball, I've decided to make a start on the Kinnemorne Project to keep in line with my 2013 resolutions.

Essentially this post is a run down of my plans and the challenges I face with the army. Being a Song of Ice and Fire inspired army I knew that Bretonnians are the way to go, what with their love of heraldry and it's knight theme. I did debate which house to go for, did I go Lannisters and have an army of houses to choose from? Or how about the North Men with their Dire Wolves and connections to the Night Watch? How about the forces rarely done like Stannis Baratheon's host with Davos and Melissandre? I decided that all these are far too easy to think of so I decided to do something completely different to the usual Game of Thrones style Bretonnian armies. I am playing in a campaign set in Westeros at the moment and we're playing our own house in a time set just after the Blackfyre Rebellions, and so I figured... why not do an army of Kinnemornes? I could paint up miniatures of all the characters and find a role for each of them in the army.

The basic background for the Kinnemornes is that their house is loyal to the Targaeryans and are a major fleet power in Westeros who benefit from being a fairly rich family. During the Blackfyre Rebellions, a branch of the house turned privateers to help the throne, but such an act had to be condemned by the king and so this branch was disowned but allowed to live on the family's lands, albeit as peasants with no access to the families castle or rights. Family on this side of the family tree are identified with the prefix "Barr" before their family name and a red line through their heraldry. Incest is rife between them as they attempt to keep the bloodline "pure". With the exception of the Barr Kinnemornes, the house is generally held in high regards in the Seven Kingdoms.

The family's heraldry is a black shield with a gold chevron divide and 3 ships above, to symbolise a fleet of ships sailing on a sea of gold. The house motto is "Head On!" (although some jokes go around that it is realy "Threat? Opportunity!"). Kinnemornes are typically identified by brown-blonde hair and blue eyes.

An attempt at freehand heraldry
So that's the background out of the way, I will be attempting to fit all the player characters into the army, living and dead. I've been wondering where to fit them all in, I've come up with most of their roles but I'm a little stumped on others. So, without further ado, here is the cast roll:

Tyvian Kinnemorne
Status: Alive
Standing: First born of Lord Kinnemorne, Heir to the House
Description: Tyvian is the first born child of Lord Kinnemorne and heir to the house. In his father's stead he can often be seen treating with potential allies and ensuring the house keeps it's honorable standing in Westeros. Unlike the other characters in the campaign, Tyvian is not played by a single player, but instead acts as a hive mind of all the players.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Tyvian is the perfect candidate for my Bretonnian Lord.

Gwynt Kinnemorne
Status: Alive
Standing: Youngest child of Lord Kinnemorne
Description: Gwynt is the youngest son and last male in line to head the house, a fact that he is very glad about. He is an expert in horse breeding and riding and is often in the stables taking care of them rather than with human company. Gwynt has recently wed as well.

Bretonnian Army Choice: It was decided that Gwynt will be the champion in a regiment of Knights of the Realm.

Meera Kinnemorne
Status: Alive
Standing: Daughter of Lord Kinnemorne
Description: Meera is the tom boyish sister to Tyvian and Gwynt. An expert in archery and throwing daggers, although no-one is really sure where she learned these skills.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Not sure, possibly a Peasant Bowman Champion.

Maarz Barr Kinnemorne
Status: Unknown
Standing: Woodsman and Bandit from the Barr side of the Kinnemorne house
Description: Maarz was reviled largely due to his incestuous birth and his Barr status, he was forced to turn Bandit from necessity and was a habit he found hard to break. He was allowed a chance of redemption after saving the house Septon and travels with Tyvian and Gwynt. He redeemed himself freeing slaves. He was last seen fending off guards in a burning building as it caved in on itself, most presume him dead but this is unconfirmed. He was a decent bowman. Also, we didn't realise his name was "Mars Bar" until 3 years into the campaign.

Bretonnnian Army Choice: Peasant Bowman Champion.

Cadfael
Status: Deceased
Standing: Swordsman dedicated to the Kinnemorne house
Description: Cadfael was one of the most deadly swordsman in all of Westeros, often winning duels without so much as a scratch. He is heralded as a great hero in the house, but the truth is much darker. He was killed by Gwynt after he attacked the party due to blackmail, but not before seriously injuring Maarz, killing Nigel and hurting Ashelon (see below for the latter two).

Bretonnian Army Choice: As a symbol, I decided he should be a Grail Reliquae.

Septon Garrick
Status: Alive, seperated from party
Standing: Septon in service to House Kinnemorne
Description: Septon was sent with the party originally as a Septon to teach the the Kinnemornes in the way of the Seven. He decided to stay in one of the towns along the way to Kings Landing.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Tricky. Either a Damsel (for the wizardry) or, as suggested, Paladin Banner Bearer.

Maester Aidon
Status: Alive, seperated from party
Standing: Maester temporarily in the service to House Kinnemorne
Description: An old Maester temporarily placed in the service of the house. A brilliant man with an eidetic memory.

Bretonnian Army Choice: With his mathematical knowledge, Aidon will be part of a trebuchet team.

Nigel Perseval Characature
Status: Deceased
Standing: Squire
Description: Nigel was created as a move between character to make communication between other characters and was briefly taken over by a player. He was cut in two in Cadfael's final moments.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Nigel is being considered as "scenery filler" for another model.

Ashelon
Status: Unknown
Standing: Hired sword and ship captain
Description: A giant of a man hired by the Kinnemornes for free as they found and returned his family bow. He and Maarz formed a sketchy friendship in which Ashelon knows Maarz is lying 90% of the time, but it was due to Maarz stepping between him and Cadfael that stopped Ashelon from possible death. He has since been clamped in irons and shipped to be a slave.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Possibly a Men-at-Arms Champion.

Ser Greenfield
Status: Alive
Standing: Knight of the Greenfield house, currently working with the Kinnemornes
Description: Ser Greenfield was originally employed by a slaver that worked against the Kinnemornes for yet unknown reasons, but has since switched to working with the Kinnemornes. He is an expert jouster.

Bretonnian Army Choice: Either a Knight of the Realm/Grail Knights Champion or a Bretonnian Lord with the Vow of the Joust.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Review: Dread Ball

So today I ventured down to Enfield Gamers tonight to speak to one of the guys at Mantic Games and to try out one of their Kickstarter star games: Dread Ball.

Now, I have a lot of love for my typical Games Workshop games, but lately I've been wanting to branch out and try a few other miniature games and I've been eying this system for a while, particularly with my love of the sci-fi genre as a whole and with the whole fantasy football genre expanding exponentially nowadays, I thought I would go ahead and get infected with miniature football fever!

For those who don't know Dread Ball, the idea of the game is to get to your opponent's coloured areas (shown above in red, but the other side is white) and shoot to score a goal, pretty bog standard really. However, it's not merely that simple! There are three zones, each has it's own sweet spot marked by a big target icon. If you shoot from the sweet spot, you accrue more points and the zone furthest away rewards even more points than the other two. This makes the game much more tactical, do you go for the safe bet, or do you go for big points at the risk of being stopped?

There are 3 types of players for each teams, some teams only contain 2 of these types - Blockers, Strikers and Jacks. Blockers get extra dice for beating people up as well special rules for doing so. Strikers are your quick footed "pick up the ball and run for it" type and get extra dice when performing these actions. Jacks are a jack of all trades, master of none and can perform both roles but not especially well. It's a lovely mechanic and one not unfamiliar with Blood Bowl players.

All skills and tasks are rolled on D6s, in most cases players will roll 3 of them each time, but this number can be modified depending on the situation, for example a Blocker gets +1 to attacking other players and another +1 for performing a moving strike, but any rolls of a 6 will allow you to roll an extra dice and further 6s will allow you to roll  yet another dice (I went from 4 dice to 8 in one strike using a blocker!). To make things even more interesting, the game also uses a card system which can do or be anything and range from fan counters, free actions, interception actions and even events that completely change the dynamics of the game!

But for me, the highlight of this game has to be the pure amount of cheating you can do and get away with (if you're lucky) in this game, it's covered everything in this way! You can do anything you want with actions, but if your opponent catches you out he can call a foul and potentially kick your players off the pitch, for example I rushed an extra player on to the pitch (legally you can only have 6, I had 7) just to beat up a striker on my side of the board. Yeah my player got sent off, but I beat down their player. You can also stomp downed players and potentially kill them, which can be good or bad depending on how lucky you are.

To reinforce this sense of being caught out as it were, there is also a referee and an "eye in the sky". The eye always means you can be caught out, but you're more likely to be caught if the referee is nearby. This gets really hectic and fun considering players move the referee at the end of each turn.

All in all, it's a fantastic game, better than Blood Bowl in my opinion as it's more tactical (the players don't reset position each time a goal is scored for example) but the game can be laughably quick if players are particularly unlucky which can be infuriating in a tournament (my second game was 3 turns long before my opponent hit the points limit and won, I only got a single action for example) but if it's not too short, the game is a hoot. Regardless, I highly recommend going out and buying it, and if you're umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting this or Blood Bowl, remember Dread Ball is also cheaper!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The day Wood Green closed forever

All pictures in this post have been taken by fellow Wood Green customer Michał Chmielewski and everyone whose faces are visible in the pictures have given expressed permission to be posted on this blog.

Today was a sad day for the hobbyists in my area as the Wood Green store in London fell victim to the financial crisis hitting the world and closed it's shutters for the last time at 5pm. But that's not to say that the store meekly entered the warp, oh no, it went out with a bang as we had one final party to end with just a day before.

The day kicked off with a repeat of last year's birthday event "Warhammer 40cake", where people built some cakes in the shape of cakes and use the codex rules for them in a massive battle. One person even decided to have infantry made from jelly babies mounted on chocolate buttons, but many were cakes cut and shaped into rough tanks with the odd chocolate finger or swiss roll added to simulate cannons. However, my favourite by far was the Ork Gargant made from pretty much every confectionary under the sun, including wafers, liquorice all sorts, chocolate icing, white chocolate shaped armour plating and, in a stroke of genius, solid milk chocolate molded using actual plastic sprues to make the molds.Victory never tasted so sweet!

After Warhammer 40cake, then started the special Dungeon Brawl game, where people made their own miniatures after paying to raid the store's bitz box and played in a unique game run by a good friend of mine (the same guy whose birthday it was in december). I didn't get a good look on the game, but I can tell you all the dungeon was sneakily hidden below the board that Warhammer 40cake was played on...

Ninja Board Appears!
At about 4pm, the store ran an auction that took credits built up during the Winter Crusade. Credits were gained by buying products in store. I had accrued roughly 200 in my collection and I had watched enough Storage Hunters to get some auction tips. There was plenty on offer too, from huge bitz boxes for 40k and Fantasy, plenty of posters, battle boards, limited edition miniatures and pictures usually only available at Games Workshop HQ, such as the one to the right. Unfortunately I didn't win any of those pictures but I did score a bunch of Warhammer Fantasy posters and the limited edition Games Day Blood Angel released last year with some surprising help from fellow hobbyist. I was very touched.

At the end of the day, the painting contest entries were ready to receive their judgement. The contest had to be split into several categories as an explosion of last minute entries burst into the cabinet! There were 6 categories, 3 for under 18s (Single Miniature, Unit and Vehicle/Monstrous Creature) and 3 for over 18s (Single Miniature, Unit and Vehicle/Monstrous Creature). Of course my Dark Angels Librarian was entered into the over 18s Single Miniature and came second to a Slaaneshi Lord that was entered earlier that day. So close! But I have to hand it to the guy who painted it, it did look beautiful and I congratulated him on coming in first in the category.

The over 18s Single Mini first place entry
A beautifully painted Nurgle Drone
My Librarian is second from the left at the front

That was all the staff had prepared for the penultimate day for the store, however, we as a community had other plans. A few weeks before hand, I commissioned a friend make some purity seals just for them, but that wasn't all. I managed to get some messages from the community, got them put on to parchment paper and framed them as a momento of the staffs time at the store.

Steve (left) and Manager Matt (right) receive their gifts
We are very happy to say that Steve and Matt have found new stores to work in and they both start Tuesday. Steve, an old college friend of mine and an amazingly awesome, funny and insane guy with an epic beard can be found at the Oxford Street Plaza store in future. Manager Matt, a great manager and an even more awesome guy can be found managing the Covent Garden store from the 19th onwards. If any of you guys are ever in those areas, drop in and say hi!

And so now, we must say good bye to the Wood Green store. I want to wish Matt and Steve the best of luck in the future!

One last thing: I got one last game in at the store today against a Chaos Space Marines today and won 10-0. Just thought I'd throw it out there!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Tale of X Gamers: Captain Cato Sicarius

Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines
Second Company
Captain Cato Sicarius

Having been born into one of the ascendant noble houses of the world of Talassar in the Realm of Ultramar, Sicarius was trained in martial combat as soon as he was old enough to wield a blade, as is the way of the Talassari nobility. This tutelage in the ways of war was only reinforced by his later induction and training amongst the Ultramarines Chapter. When he was recruited into the Ultramarines, Sicarius earned commendation after commendation and rose swiftly through the Chapter's ranks. In the decades that followed, he served as Sergeant and then 2nd Company Champion before ultimately assuming the command of the 2nd Company himself.

Only the most accomplished of warriors could hope to command the Ultramarines 2nd Company and Sicarius rose to that challenge as he had to all the others in his life. All Astartes make use of the lightning assault as their preferred combat doctrine, but Sicarius refined this tactic to near-perfection and often committed his forces to combat with only the briefest appraisal of the tactical situation. In another man, such haste might seem reckless or unwise, but Sicarius possessed an unparalleled ability to adapt to the chaos of war and proved capable of easily marshalling his forces and seizing the advantage in almost any combat situation. Sicarius' assaults always took a fierce toll amongst the foe, in both numbers and morale, and left then open to defeat. Even other Astartes were often left in awe by the sheer speed with which Captain Sicarius could analyse and then react to a rapidly-evolving tactical situation.

After being raised to command of the 2nd Company, Sicarius' first combat action took place during the Dantaro Campaign. In the course of his service to the Chapter, Sicarius earned a wide variety of battle-honours, including the Imperial Laurel after the Crusat Minor Planet Strike in 733.M41, the Honorifica Valorum after the Battle of Dyzanyr, and the Valour Crest following the Battle for Fort Telendrar. Amongst the political positions awarded to Sicarius as a high-ranking officer of the Ultramarines was that of Grand Duke of Talassar, his homeworld, and Suzerain of Ultramar in 849.M41.

In time, Cato Sicarius' very name became a byword for Imperial victory, a legend that came to the ears of allies and foes alike far beyond the borders of Ultramar. At the close of the 41st Millennium, the Ultramarines 2nd Company always draws the most dangerous missions assigned to that Chapter and Sicarius is believed by most Ultramarines to be a fitting heir to become the Ultramarines' Chapter Master and Lord of Macragge when Marneus Calgar finally passes to join the Emperor. This sentiment amongst his comrades probably does not sit quietly with Severus Agemman, the Captain of the Ultramarines 1st Company and the current Regent of Ultramar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phew, took me a while but he's done! As per the rules of A Tale of X Gamers, my first unit/5 models (this counts as a unit) has to be fully painted by the 1st March and I made it with plenty of time to spare! The background is also compulsory for all unit entries into the project and has to be at least 200 words, so here is Sicarius's background.

Now the question is do I hop straight on to my next entry or do some Necrons/Bretonnians? Decisions decisions...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tutorial: Painting Shiny Yellow Gold

Gold is always a tricky colour to paint and recently I have been experimenting with yellow golds to use in my Ultramarine army. Here is how I will be doing all my Ultramarine golds from now on, I find it has a brilliant yellow tint to it which is perfect for second companies! Here is what you will need:

Averland Sunset
Seraphim Sepia
Auric Armour Gold
Agrax Earthshade
Runefang Steel
Biel-Tan Green Shade
Druchii Violet Shade

Steps 1 & 2

Step 1: Basecoat the entire area that you want in a slightly watered down Averland Sunset - cover all the areas with a nice coat, even in the recesses, we will fix those shortly.

Step 2: Wash the entire area with Seraphim Sepia. This will give you a nice outline to work with in the next step.

Step 3

Step 3: Paint a layer of Auric Armour Gold onto all but the deep recesses. I find that this is done straight out of the pot as the paint is fairly thin in itself, and the original basecoat will really bring out the colour and shine.

Step 4

Step 4: Put a wash of Agrax Earthshade in the recesses only. This will give the gold real depth and make the colours pop out.

Steps 5, 6 & 7

Step 5: Paint a gentle highlight of Runefang Steel on to where the light would catch the gold.

Step 6: Wash all the gold areas with a light wash of Biel-Tan Green.

Step 7: Finally, wash all the gold areas with a light wash of Druchii Violet.

The finished article!

After that, you're done and you can go have a victory sip of coffee or tea or whatever you're drinking. You deserve a break!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tabletop Wars in Cambridge

Just a quick update about my fellow hobbyist and member of my hobby group who owned the blog Badab War in Cambridge. I say that in the past tense because he has renamed and readdressed his blog and this, in turn, has been updated on my blog roll and will henceforth be known as Tabletop Wars in Cambridge.

Thanks for your time, normal service shall now resume!

Painting Contest Entry: Word Bearers Aspiring Champion

Following my resolutions set at the start of January, I had forced myself to commit to every one of my Hobby Group's painting contests, which quickly became a bad move as this month was Chaos month! Fortunately a friend had a spare Marine to paint so my entry was made for me. I decided to paint it in the style of my favourite First Founding traitor legion... the Word Bearers.


The miniature took a little under half a week to paint due to all the fiddly details spotted all over the model. I decided to attempt the method I used to paint my Dark Angels Librarian, but using reds and oranges and painting on the inside of the brass outlined armour as well. The result was a furiously infernal look which I came to be proud of. The face on the left shoulder was also blended using pinks as well to make it look merged to the armour.

The metal was painted with a straight basecoat of Leadbelcher with a wash of Agrax Earthshade and highlighted with Runefang Steel to give it a dirty, rusted look. The bone, however, was painted with a basecoat of Steel Legion Drab, layer coated with Ushabti Bone and highlighted with Scar White.

To add a more infernal and daemonic look to the model, I painted all the tubes purple to make it look like the armour is possessed and the Marine favoured by the dark gods. I also elected to paint the brain on the backpack as flames (partially to test out a technique for future projects) by base coating it with Khorne Red and working my way up through oranges and yellows, adding the more yellow colours at the base (Note to 'Eavy Metal, if you look at a fire, it's at its brightest at the base). The tabards and fabrics were painted in exactly the same way as I painted them on my Librarian.

I even decided to free hand my own Word Bearer Chapter Symbol. It didn't come out perfect but hopefully it came out well enough. Finally, the metal was painted with a basecoat of Tin Bitz, washed with Agrax Earthshade and finally highlighted with Gahenna's Gold.







And there you have it, one Word Bearers Aspiring Champion! Wish me luck in the forthcoming contest!

Resolution Counter:
2/12 Painting Contests Entered

Battle Report: Necrons vs Tyranids - The Rematch!

As you may rememb10er, my first battle report was against my friend's Tyranids who smashed me... twice. Then the other week we joined forces and after 4/5 turns, we both got smashed. Yesterday, I was due a game with Imperial Guard, but the battle didn't happen to I challenged the Tyranids to a rematch. With some new units under my belt and in a larger battle, I was intrigued to see how well my metal warriors would do this time...

The Army of Aeons Past

HQ
  • Necron Overlord with Gauntlet of Fire, Phylactery, Resurrection Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs, Phase Shifter & the Phaeron upgrade (220pts)
  • Royal Court: Harbinger of the Storm with Lightning Field & Harbinger of Despair with Veil of Darkness (95pts)
Troops
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 10 man unit with Gauss Blasters (170pts)
Elites
  • C'Tan Shard with Swarm of Spirit Dust & Gaze of Death (255pts)
  • Deathmarks: 5 man unit (95pts)
  • Triarch Stalker with Heat Ray (150pts)
Fast Attack
  • Canoptek Wraiths: Unit of 3, Whip Coils (135pts)
Heavy Support
  • Monolith (200pts)
  • Annihilation Barge (90pts)
  • Canoptek Spyder with Gloom Prism & Fabricator Claws (75pts)
Total: 1,745 points

The Devouring Swarm

HQ
  • The Swarm Lord (280pts)
  • Hive Tyrant with Wings & Twin-Linked Devourers (Brain Leech Worms) & Ancient Adversary (285pts)
Troops
  • Termaguants: 16 man unit with Devourers (160pts)
  • Hormagaunts: 16 man unit (96pts)
  • Tervigon with Cluster Spines, Catalyst & Toxin Sacs (185pts)
Elites
  • Deathleaper (140pts)
  • Zoanthrope x 2 (120pts)
  • Hive Guard (150pts)
Fast Attack
  • Gargoyles: 12 man unit with Toxin Sacs (84pts)
Heavy Support
  • Tyrannofex with Acid Spray, Cluster Spines & Thorax Swarm (Shredder Beatles) (250pts)
Total: 1,750 points

Terrain and Special Rules

We decided to do something a little different to your average game when it came to the terrain. Instead of rolling and alternate placing, we decided to do it in the following way:

First of all both me and my opponent picked up 3 pieces of terrain. We then placed all the terrain we had wherever we wanted without the opponent watching where we place them (obviously we'll know on our next visit into the room).

We then did this over again, this time picking up 2 pieces of terrain and the next time picking up 1.

Once this was done we mutually agreed on moving some pieces of terrain and even added some to make the battlefield look varied and pretty. To add a bit more variety, we decided to add a few house special rules to some of the terrain pieces. We picked 4 pieces of terrain for this: The Underground Entrance, the Toxic Pool, the Chemical Plant and the Industrial Container.

The Underground Entrance: This piece of terrain counts as a normal ruin with a 4+ cover save. In addition, reserves may use the door to enter the board, counting as disembarking from a stationary vehicles.





The Toxic Pool: The pool counts as Industrial Ooze. In addition, the pool is so toxic that the pool also counts as dangerous terrain for any unit moving through it.






The Industrial Container: The container follows the same rules as fuel containers, however, the explosion uses a large template due to it's size and it's contents.





The Chemical Plant: The plant counts as a ruin that confers a 4+ cover save, however, if a cover save is made using this piece of terrain, the shots may set the building alight! For every cover saved made, the shooter gains an automatic hit against the plant. It has 3 hull points and an armour of 10 all round. If it loses it's last hull point, every turn roll a D6. on a roll of a 1, it explodes in a radius of 2D6" with a Strength of D6+2 and an AP of D6. If you score an explosion result on a penetrating hit, it explodes automatically!

Whoever causes the hit that makes the Chemical Plant explode also gains a single victory point.

Deployment

Both rolled for deployment and I won the roll off meaning I got to deploy first. The mission was chosen as The Crusade (bog standard objectives) and the deployment was chosen as Vanguard Strike (diagonal deployment). My Warlord Trait was rolled as Inspiring Presence which, considering my entire army is Leadership 10, was rendered useless. I decided to keep my Monolith and Deathmarks in reserve, setting my foot troops on the main bulk of my deployment, whilst my heavier troops (the C'Tan, Annihilation Barge and Wraiths) were put along the edge of my deployment, with my Wraiths acting as a shield. My Spyder was moved between my Immortals, Warriors and Triarch Stalker to add some psychic protection to the bulk of my force. The plan was to combine my fire power in one one lump to eradicate oncoming forces.

The Tyranids were luckier in their Warlord Trait by rolling Night Attacker and enforcing Night Fighting on turn 1. Deathleaper also reduced my Overlord's Leadership to 9. The psychic powers rolled were Life Leech, Enfeeble, Haemorrage and Iron Arm on the Swarm Lord, Paroxysm and Leech Essence on the Flying Tyrant, Catalyst and Crush on the Tervigon and Warp Blast and Warp Lance on the Zoanthropes, a fierce collection against my Necrons. Synapse creatures were spread out along the line with the bulk of the army directly opposite to my own and the Tervigon and Flying Tyrant down the other end of the table, almost certainly to spawn more troops and to fly into my flank. It was very much a deployment for me to fear. The Tyranids attempted to seize the initiative and failed, giving me turn 1.

Turn 1

As is usual, very little happened on turn 1. With Night Fighting in effect, the cover saves were plenty for the Tyranids giving them the advantage. The Annihilation Barge, C'Tan and the Wraiths moved around the flank before the Wraiths got knocked down to a single model from shots made by the Flying Hive Tyrant. The Annihilation Barge unleashed it's shots at the Tervigon, stripping a single wound from all the tesla fire. The Tervigon responded by spawning 8 Termaguants to add to the fray that proceeded to charge and wipe out the last Wraith, losing only a single termagaunt in the process. Finally, the Flying Tyrant shot at the C'Tan and stripped 3 wounds from it, leaving it on 1 life remaining and putting my shard in a bad position.

Meanwhile the bulk of my army advanced forward, walking over the rubble, the gloom prism adding some psychic protection, the Triarch Stalker adding targeting. Shooting resulted in 2 dead gargoyle and the returning fire from the Hive Guard killed 3 Warriors, 1 returned from the dead.

The Warriors remain implacable.
The army continues forward.

Turn 2

On rolling for reserves, both my Deathmarks and my Monolith turned up. Utilising the Underground Entrance, my Deathmarks emerged and chose the Tervigon as their preferred target and the Monolith Deep Striked deep behind enemy lines. The Deathmarks, at such short range, they rapid fired at the Tervigon, stripping 2 more wounds from it, leaving it still with a whopping 3 wounds! Little did the Deathmarks know, however that the Deathleaper was stalking them all the way through the tunnel and appeared directly behind them. The Tervigon spawned some more vicious Termaguants and launched a combined assault at the Deathmarks, destroying them all in a single combat round despite the 2+ to wound from the Deathmarks!

The Monolith lands.
The Deathleaper appears from the Underground Entrance.
Meanwhile the C'Tan, using it's Swarm of Spirit Dust launched an attack at the nearby Termaguants before proceeding to charge them. The C'Tan killed a total of 3 of them but the toxin sacs carried by the termaguants allowed them to kill the shard, causing an explosion that killed all but 1 of them. The Annihilation Barge turned and shot at the Flying Tyrant, stripping a single wound before the Flying Tyrant flew over head, blasting at it's back armour with an almighty 6 penetrating hits (yes, 6!) causing it to explode!

The Annihilation Barge squares off against a Tyrant.
Back at the main battlefield, the Immortals, worried by the advance of the Tyrannofex, opened fire alongside the Warriors and the Triarch Stalker, stripping an almighty 3 wounds off it but not doing enough damage to save the nearest squad of Warriors being annihilated by it's attacks, killing the whole squad, but the Harbinger of the Storms rose up to fight again. Meanwhile the Termaguants armed with Devourers utterly annihilated the Immortals in a single round of shooting, leaving only the paranoid Overlord left to fight for glory. The Hive Guard also were able to immobilise the Triarch Stalker. The battle lines already looked utterly demolished by the end of Turn 2 and hope was already beginning to seep out of me, but I still had some tricks up my sleeve...

The battlelines look totally blown apart.
The Hormaguants swarm out of the Chemical Plant.

Turn 3

With some hope still remaining, I unleashed my master plan. My Harbinger of the Storms fired at the Hormaguants, scoring two wounds, both of which were saved by the Chemical Plant's cover save, which was exactly what I had hoped for. With the cover saves made and my staff having the haywire ability, I rolled to try and explode the plant, which would have caused mass devastation to the enemy army if successful. Unfortunately I took two hull points off it, not enough to even set it on fire, damn! The Hormaguants got in close enough to rip the Cryptek to pieces, 3 Hormaguants dying in the Lightning Field. Meanwhile, the brave Necron Overlord charged the Tyrannofex with the Spyder. The Tyrannofex, succumbing to the Mindshackle Scarabs brought itself down to 2 wounds, allowing the Spyder to destroy it with it's smash attack. Result!

The Overlord looks onward to the Swarm.
Meanwhile the Monolith transported the remaining Warriors to their position. They proceeded to shoot at the Zoanthropes killing 1 and knocking the other to a single wound before they Warp Lanced the Monolith, exploding it and killing 4 Warriors. However, before this the Monolith shot it's Particle Whip at the freshly bred Termauants, killing all but a single model! The Tervigon and Deathleaper moved in for the kill and wiped the squad out in a single combat.

The Tyranids walk off victorious.
Meanwhile, the Flying Tyrant moved around and was shot by the Triarch Stalker, reducing it to a single wound and sowing panic in the opponent. Predictable the Stalker was shot back and was wrecked by a tonne of glancing hits. The Swarmlord, seeing only the Spyder and the Overlord left to deal with. With that in mind, it charged but succumb to Mindshackle Scarabs, but it's Iron Arm ability and lucky invulnerable saves kept the Swarm Lord alive, despite rolling 2 lots of double ones for Psychic Tests earlier in the game.

Clash of the Titans!

Turn 4

The Spyder charged the Swarm Lord, adding it's might to the Overlord, but the Swarm Lord resisted the Mindshackle Scarabs and split it's attacks, killing the Spyder Outright, but the Overlord survived before a unit of Termaguants entered the fray. In response, the Overlord challenged the Swarm Lord to a dual which he had to accept, shielding the Overlord from Hormaguant death and, regardless of the re-rolls given to the Swarm Lord, the Overlord continued to live! Here's how it looked at the end of the turn...

The last stand!
 There was a turn 5, but I won't report on that, I think you can all see how this all turned out. I'll get my coat...


Final Victory Points Tally
Tyranids: 11
Necrons: Tabled!

Victory to Tyranids!

Post-Mortem

I can learn to hate these Tyranids, haha. Every time I play them I get tabled which almost never happens otherwise.

Oh where do I start with this battle? Well let's start with the Tyrannofex. They are disgusting at short range, it destroyed a whole squad in a single round of shooting and, when teamed up with 16 Termaguants with Devourers, you can expect to lose two squads a turn which is just horrible. Plus that's a lot of wounds to try and take off in one game! Don't get too close to these, it just spells trouble.

Let's move on to Tervigons. I hate these guys, it spawned two squads that took objectives because they had a single model remaining each, and the 6 wounds make them hard to take down, and my Deathmarks didn't help much in that either! I think when you take this and the Swarm Lord into account, I need to find ways to take out the Synapse Creatures, but there were loads I didn't know where to begin!

Now my own troops. My Spyder's Gloom Prism, as per usual, didn't nullify anything, I kept rolling under 4's as always which is just aggrovating, but luck's all part of it. However, they do make excellent back up melee troops being Monstrous Creatures. I will keep this in mind for future games. I'd like to also try a Spyder with a Particle Beamer too...

The Triarch Stalker performed admirably and I definitely think they do the best in a support position when trailing your Immortals/Warriors. Just by hitting they can give you twin-linked weapons and it's Heat Ray can cause serious damage to big models. They caused a fair few wounds to the big monsters which was definitely something I will remember for future games!

Finally, the special rules for the terrain we made gave the game some great tactical options, for example, if my Harbinger of the Storms exploded the Chemical Plant, I may well have gained an unexpected advantage, the fact Hormaguants swarmed through it could have worked out beautifully for me... but unfortunately luck wasn't on my side.

Next time Tyranids, next time...

Resolution Counter:
2/12 Battle Reports Written

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Triarch Stalker Complete!

Well that's one more towards my 3,000 points goal for my Necrons! I finally got some time to paint the pilot seat and the Heat Ray underneath. Can't wait to test this bad boy out, who shall be the first victim? Bwahahahaha...

My precious...
I decided to paint the Stalker up like a giant version of my Canoptek Spyder. The main body is painted in exactly the same fashion. The pilot was a new challenge, gold isn't my strong point, but a little bit of Golden Griffon dry paint touched it up nicely, especially considering I didn't realise it was a dry paint when I bought it. The Praetorian's face was also painted a non metallic white to give the impression of a death mask (Ulthuan Grey is the best colour for painting white!). I also used a red painting technique I used for this month's painting contest model, which shall be revealed next week. Oh, and of course I added the typical gold on blue iconography that's typical of my Necron dynasty.

Next project... Cato Sicarius...

Resolution Counter:
1890/3000pts of Necrons painted

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tale of X Gamers: Ultramarines Prologue

Prologue - The Blighted Land

They were too late. Cato Sicarius, Captain of the Ultramarine's Second Company could see this as soon as he stepped off from the Thunderhawk Gunship. It smelled of decay and death, blighted land spread from the Imperial Compound. This is not possible, we came as soon as we could

 "Brother-Sergeant Vandar" he called to the Marine stood nearby, "Scout the perimeters. This may well be a trap and I do not intend to lose more men this day." Vandar gave a short bow in acknowledgement. "Yes Captain" he responded before marching away to find his brothers. Sicarius drew his plasma pistol and his Talassarian Tempest blade and rallied the rest of his force. "Brothers, on me. We march into the mouth of hell, let us make fear itself fear the Emperor's wrath!" The call was received with cheers and calls for the Emperor as the company marched through the decayed gates of the Imperial Compound. 

Alongside the Captain strode the the first Tactical Squad Solinus, the most experienced men in the Second Company in siege warfare. Their experience in the field will be invaluable should the Great Enemy be lurking. The auspex carried by Brother Otho began to bleep. "Captain, there's a life sign coming from that building." A life sign in this desolate place? "Brother-Sergeant Octavian, you and your squad cover me, this could be a trap." 

Cato Sicarius was not only a Space Marine, but a Captain of the 13th Legion Ultramarines and the Grand Duke of Talassar besides. He knew no fear, whatever was lurking in that building would taste his plasma pistol before it could lay a putrid finger on him. As he advanced toward the Imperial Bunker, a lone guardsman staggered out of the archway, his face looked melted with decay like a candle lit on one side, and his eyes wept puss. He collapsed by the door. "By the Emperor, I thought my eyes deceived me" he weezed. Sicarius sheathed his blade and knelt beside the guardsman. "What happened here soldier?" At this close a range he could see the man's eyes were milky and pale. "It was... one of them. A traitor with... green and... festered armour. He slew countless..." The guardsman coughed and hacked, fighting the disease within him. "They rose... again... he led them north... the dead..." 

How could we not have known? Sicarius's personal vox rung in his ear. "Captain" the voice addressed, it was Vandar. "A ship has just left planetside. There were... countless men, all plagued. All... dead. The entire regiment smelled of the Warp." The Captain cut off the transmission. "What is your name soldier?" he asked the guardsman in as gentle a voice as he could manage. "Johnson... Farrick Johnson" came the response. "You have fought bravely in the name of the Emperor. Your name will forever be remember guardsman Farrick Johnson, and your death shall be avenged." 

Farrick's head suddenly exploded in a shower of blood, puss and bone fragments. Sicarius got to his feet and turned to see Octavian reslinging his bolter over one shoulder. "Brothers, we are needed elsewhere. We leave immediately." So, him again. 

We will track him down, and this time he shall not escape.

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So what do you all think? If you're wondering what all that was about, A Tale of X Gamers is more than just about collecting a brand new army and starting from the ground up. It's about forging a story, a narrative, to direct your force along the campaign. The above story was inspired by my fellow Tale of X Gamers player's choice in army (you can read his post about it here). Of course with my choice being Ultramarines, it'll be very restricted as to what I can make up, but I love writing and I enjoy a challenge. The Ultramarine side of the campaign I have decided shall be told in the perspective of Captain Cato Sicarius, whom I dug out of my old miniatures and he's hardly touched! I also found an out of production Sergeant who will represent Sergeant Vandar of the 5th Tactical Squad Second Company, who was mentioned in the above prologue.

I was also naughty and bought a Tactical Squad and some conversion bits from Anvil Industry (still in the post) to help me achieve my Roman theme. I will keep you all updated.