Monday, February 28, 2011

Why I love Devastators, part two

Dipping my toe into counts-as.
Part two of why I love Blood Angels Devastators, especially the missile launcher flavor, starts with a fear of nothing, or perhaps fearlessness.  The so-called "Rifleman" dreadnaught, armed with a pair of twin-linked autocannons, is often advanced as an alternative to devastators.  A Rifleman can put out an equal number of shots (4) as the Devastators can, and the twin-linking means all of those shots are likely to hit, whereas one or two Devastators will probably miss per turn.  The Rifleman can also shoot while moving, so terrain will cause less LoS problems since the dread can adjust itself without losing a shooting phase.  Cost is always a factor, points-wise, and the Rifleman shines here.  Vanilla marines can get a pair of dreads, pumping out eight shots per turn, for 250 points.  Thorough readers or those with a sharp memory will note that this is the same price as a Sternguard squad with missile launchers and just 20 points more than a single missile launcher Devestator squad.  The accepted wisdom is that models with an armor value, like dreads, are more resilient than models with a toughness, like infantry, but I think that's situational and is a point I'll address in a bit.

Why I love Devastators, part one

These guys...I love these guys.
Starting time for this post is 11:40 pm.  I want to state now that the day doesn't end until I go to sleep.  This also may well be the first of a two parter.

I love my missile launcher Devastators.  They are the stand and shoot portion of my army, a task they accomplish with aplomb.  The missile launchers are cheap and can take on armor or infantry.  Krak missiles will negate power armor and can penetrate armor 13, while frag missiles are useful for clusters of targets.  When combat squaded into two units with two missile launchers, they can effectively split their fire.  The "filler" marines with bolters act as extra wounds for the missile launchers and can add some mid-range fire when the opportunity arises.  The long range on the missiles means they can generally fire on turn 1 and will be able to cover most of the board. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Varnishing in progress

Improvised painting stick and drier in one.
I managed to snatch a very few minutes today for hobbying.  I pulled the second batch of assault marines off their painting holders and stuck them to my now-standard paint stirrer covered in masking tape.  One nice afternoon, and a few minutes later, resulted in some shiny marines. I didn't do the bottom black strip on the bases yet because I wanted to get them varnished and didn't have time to get the paint on and let it dry.  I'm more concerned with getting the models ready for decals, and having written that just now reminds me that I didn't varnish the two rejects from the first batch, though only one needs to be prepped for a new decal.

I also went by Michael's this afternoon to look for the decal additives.  I talked to a guy who looked like a gamer, but didn't know what I was looking for.  I poked around near the models, but found only Testor's enamels and superglue.  I also looked by the Pinewood Derby stuff, but no luck there either.  I'm considering going to the not-so-friendly local hobby store before work tonight, but am on the fence about it.

In the further future, meaning tomorrow, I hope to get a start on the last of the assault marines, but that may be a long shot.  More reasonable goals include twiddling with lists and starting on some backup posts.  While I feel a little weird discussing a list I got from someone else, the first idea that came to me was breaking down the Blood Hammer list and how I (should) use it.  This will be good for a couple posts, which will be a start.  A short post for today, but a post all the same.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tweaks I came up with late last night

Is this the answer?
I picked a bad time to start posting more, but poop happens.  I may fold under the pressure someday, but day one is not that day.  Instead of buckling like a belt, I'll be pulling my socks up and getting on with it.  Today's post is about the Blood Angels list I play.  I run what is effectively the "Blood Hammer" list that's all over 3++ in various incarnations.  I have some small tweaks to my list, but the core is the same: jump assault troops backed up by missile launchers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yesterday's news today

So close I can taste it.
The second batch is now (mostly) finished, thanks to a heroic bit of drive last night and this morning to get them done.  I finished all the actual painting last night, save one ring at the bottom of the base.  I'm holding off on this so I can keep the minis on the medicine bottle tops and handle them as little as possible.  This morning I did the static grass and Micron pen-ing, the latter of which I did a pretty horrible job of.  All that remains is that bottom bit of base, decals, and varnish.  A trip to Michael's is in the works to look for decal solvents/setters, though I'm not sure when I'll be able to go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Last night and this morning

Group progress, I has it.
I finished the "whites" last night and did the chapter badges to boot.  I'm getting close to the end with this batch, close enough that I might get there tonight.  If you exclude basing, and discount that all the jump packs are unprimed and that a few of them need greenstuffing.  This is a very achievable goal, provided I finish blogging and get started soon.  The only problem is I like having some of the pictures be off to the side, like this one, but am loathe to not have a paragraph cradling the photo like a caring mother.  This naturally requires extra time writing, not to mention things to write about, and the problem only compounds the more pictures I have.  In a situation like this, where I want to turn out something quickly but have half a dozen pictures, it's a concern.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I've Done Today

Quick photo dump while I take a break.

~270 points

270 points gets you a unit of 5 Sanguinary Guard[200] with a Chapter Banner[30], 2 Power Fists[20], a Plasma Pistol[10], and an Infernus Pistol[10].  Did you ever wonder what you could get for those 270 points, give or take a bit?  I did, and I came up with 23 (mostly) plausible uses.

220 - Astorath the Grim
225 - 10 x Assault Squad w/2 Meltaguns, Power Fist
250 - 10 x Tactical Squad w/Lascannon, Meltagun, Combi-melta, Rhino
250 - Mephiston
255 - Lemartes w/ 3 Jump Pack Death Company
255 - Stormraven w/Typhoon Missile Launcher, Hurricane Bolters
260 - Land Raider Crusader w/Multimelta
260 - 2 x Predators w/Heavy Bolters, Extra Armor
265 - Honor Guard w/4 Meltaguns, 3 Storm Shields
270 - 3 x Land Speeder Typhoon
270 - 7 Death Company w/Jump Packs, Power Fist
270 - 7 x Bikers w/MM Assault Bike, 2 Meltaguns, Combi-melta
270 - 6 x Terminators w/Cyclone Missile Launcher
270 - 10 x Devastators w/4 Lascannons
270 - 3 x 5 Scouts w/Missile Launcher, Melta Bombs
270 - 5 x Vanguard Vets w/3 Power Weapons, 2 Storm Shields, Power Fist
270 - 2 x Dreadnaughts w/double Autocannons, Extra Armor
275 - Reclusiarc w/Jump Pack, 5 Assault Marines w/Power Weapon
275 - 10 x Death Company w/Power Fist, Rhino
275 - The Sanguinor
280 - 2 x Furioso w/Extra Armor
290 - 2 x Vindicator
290 - 2 x Baal w/Heavy Bolters

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The decal debacle

I thought this post would be finished by now, yet I hadn't even started until just now.  I'm actually feeling more like sleeping than writing for once, so this will be a short/sparse one, heavier on pictures than on text.  As per last time, I attempted to finally finish the first batch of assault marines the other day, with mixed results.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adventures with decals

Yesterday I decided to finish the first batch of Assault Marines, really finish them, get all the details, varnish them up, pull out all the stops.  I painted all the little bits that I had missed or avoided the first time around, did squad markings, and applied static grass last night.  I decided to put on chapter badge decals and seal them up this morning.  I got an early start on the day, early-ish at least, in hopes that I could have all the varnish applied before noon so they would have plenty of time to dry.

The beginning of the end?
I'm not an absolute amateur when it comes to decals.  I've used them before, and with success, but as I was moving around winged blood drops this morning I realized I had never used a transfer that big before, nor do I think I have applied a decal to a curved surface before.  You can probably guess where this is going, and you're mostly right.  The decals didn't sit quite right, and the edges were very visible, all the little problems decals cause.  I got them to good enough status, then brought out the varnish.  I'm in the midst of the second coat of gloss, and the decals look pretty bad.  They've come up at the edges, and the wings look like they're far too close to flapping away for comfort. 

Things have not gone well with the decals.  Not quite as bad as the great zeppelin debacle of 2010, but bad enough to put a sour finish on models that I am otherwise very pleased with.  I'm holding out hope that the varnish will help things out, but my skepticism grows with each passing minute.  I'd hate for these decals to spoil the whole models, not just for those models but for the ones that come after as well.  It took me long enough to get over my reluctance to finish models with these guys as it is, so if finished them also diminishes them then I'll be that much more hesitant to finish others in the future.  And that's not good eats.  I'll have a more complete post about this process when I'm all finished with the varnish.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Khadoran Ground-Breaking Machine Breaks Sometimes, Like Today

The power armor rematch went much like the first match did: a violent curbstomping of the guys in bloody red by the guys in sickly green.  In a fit of tactical genius, I completely ignored the strategy I laid out earlier today and instead decided to run around and give EV many opportunities to shoot my poor troops.  The Daemon Princes wrecked shop as expected, but the Vindicators were a non-factor.  Of course there were no Vindicators as EV had replaced them with Obliterators, who tore me up real good.    While my dice were out to lunch, in the end I can only blame lack of fire discipline and changing plans mid-stream.  The Plague Marines are a tough nut, despite what the internets have to say about Chaos Marines, but I'll figure them out eventually.

In happier news, I made a video of this afternoon's massacre.  I've seen video battle reports around and thought I'd give it a shot.  While I like the old fashioned text and picture report it's good to try new things.  I had hoped that there would be a time savings, but between editing and uploading I probably spent about the same amount of time doing the video as I would have writing up a traditional report.  Granted some of that time was spent learning how to use iMovie, and a still unfamiliar Mac, so the process may speed up a bit with repeated attempts.  I had to fight the urge to insert paragraphs into the video, but I'm a writer at heart rather than a director.  Enough of that though, on to the show.

edit: The video has a very few NSFW moments, mostly me cursing dice and models.

Further adventures in time-delay posting

When this post drops I should be up to my hips in Plague Marine parts as a marine on marine rematch rages between my Blood Angels and EV's Death Guard.  My list will be very different from our first clash, though it will probably be the same as the list I took against his Deathwing (aka my standard list).  I'm considering swapping out an assault squad for a tactical squad, mostly to hold objectives with in case we roll an objective heavy game, but also to keep my still unsealed assault squad from hitting the table.  While I want to play with the minis I've put so much time into, I'd rather not have them damaged in the process.  I doubt that will happen though, so I'll probably stick with the list as it stands.

As for strategy, I plan to turn my Devastators on the Plague Marines.  While I won't insta-gib them, thanks to that blasted toughness 5, I will negate their armor save and FNP along with it.  I have melta guns aplenty to deal with armor, though I'm likely to take a round of shooting from massed Vindicators.  Not a pleasant thought, but not one I have a counter for other than deep striking, which I'm not set up to do properly, or relying on 5+ rolls from any missiles that hit.  Neither plan fills me with confidence, so screaming across the field is what I'm going with unless terrain an EV's deployment offer me a more attractive alternative.  What I won't be doing is taking a roundabout route like I did last time, and I hopefully won't be getting charged all over the place either.

As tough a nut as the Plague Marines are to crack, it's the Demon Princes that worry me the most.  I have no good answer for them or effective counter.  They have high toughness, lots of wounds, an invulnerable save, and strike before anything I have in CC.  Oh, and they reroll nearly everything.  My best option would be to shoot them, but I doubt I'll have that luxury.  I guess I'll mostly try to stay away from them and take potshots, then attempt to finish them off with a charge.  Hopefully EV will keep them on different sides of the field so I can concentrate on one and ignore the other.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Something a little different

     I keep meaning to do a weekend-of-disappointment recap, but haven't quite mustered the drive for it yet.  I got out the camera intending to take a picture of my LPC group as it stands (perhaps 35% complete).  Instead I fished a wizard out of the Simple Green vat to see how it looked.  I was surprised in a couple of ways.  Initially I thought the plastic had started to melt, but it turns out that was just the paint waiting to slide off with a nudge.  Or so it seemed at first...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A bit of housecleaning

I went through past entries this morning to consolidate the (former) HMcT/EV split, changing all references to the former into the current tag.  I don't think I missed anything, but one never knows.  I also noticed a bunch of formatting and grammar/spelling issues.  While I corrected the ones that I saw, I'm sure there are many more that I didn't notice.  As the (theoretical, though actual in about a month) holder of a BA in English this pains me greatly.  I hope to go through and fix anything that I missed, but with hockey looming there isn't time to do so now, and honestly this is an off-the-cuff blog that I don't really edit, or even proofread that often.  While this lack of QA is deplorable, it is what it is.  At least the tags should all agree now, so there's that.

I also found the beginning of a post from a while back.  I thought I had finished it off and posted it, but clearly I forgot about it.  I'll look into incorporating it into my next real post.  I hope the edge of your seat is comfortable because I know that's the only place you'll be until this rediscovered gem drops.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Message to grasp: You have exceeded your reach

     So I kinda shot my mouth off yesterday with the whole "I want to nearly finish this batch" thing.  While not surprising, it's still disappointing.  In my defense I got a much later start on the painting day than I expected, and had less time to work with as well.  I managed to finish the helmets, if not the helmet's details, and got some black work done as well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A day of accomplished goals

     I started painting the second batch of assault marines in earnest yesterday.  I had done the initial Bloody Red pass on 2.5 of them over the weekend, and with the LPC deadline coming closer every day I needed to start making some real progress.  With that in mind over in my LPC WIP thread on the Bolter & Chainsword I said that I wanted to get the red ready for highlighting, which was an ambitious but realistic goal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Done, but not done done

     I think I'm calling the first three assault marines done, or at least almost done.  I still have to do the eyes, which I managed to forget, and chapter badge transfers.  And bits-n-bobs.  And jump packs.  But that aside, they're close enough to done that I'm going to start working on the next batch.  I've been very happy with the results, I just wish I could get them done faster.  I actually had a very nice moment earlier today while trolling some forum, looking at someone's minis and thinking "Man, I just want to be able to produce something like that."  When I kept looking, noticing details and approaches and whatnot, I realized that I had produced models just like the ones I was looking at.  I guess you're so familiar with the flaws in your own work that it's hard to see past them at times.  On to the pictures.