Thursday, April 28, 2011

Construction ahead

WIP and flash, but a bad picture is better than no picture.
It took me a while, but I found my bag of modeling tools today.  With those in hand, plus EV calling out my "Winter Guard Deathstar" for motivation, I set about assembling a handful of minis today.  Irusk and two Rocketeers broke free of their blisters and stood on their own bases today, making my Deathstar fully operational with the full complement of Rocketeers.  Irusk is no slouch either.  I made a PK Nob and spied a bunch of bits for the next one which will be a replacement for the Nob currently intended to lead the 'Ard Boys.  The Nob joined the Big Mek, but not his force field, on the painting stick.  Finally I had a random Elven mage mini along with a pair of Dark Elf cheerleaders from Blood Bowl.  Everything got their bases plugged with green stuff, ballasting, and priming.  After that I varnished the latest batch of Shootas.  Next on the painting table will be the remainder of the 23 strong unit of Shootas: 5 regular lads, a big shoota, a rokkit launcha, and a PK Nob.  Having a whole squad done will be nice, plus I already have a start on the Slugga mob.  This initial batch of Orks is most of the infantry, so when I finish the 54th Ork I'll be halfway done with the first step.  In closing, I did up a couple of Grey Knight lists the other night, but didn't find anything I really liked.  I settled on a list with Psyflemen, Purifiers in Psybacks, regular Terminators, and a Librarian.  I like most of it except that it doesn't have many scoring units (3) or troops (15) and those units are walking.  I could swap the Purifiers for Strike Squads, but the savings in points don't match the loss in ability even considering that the Strike Squads are scoring units.  I still haven't found a list with a Dreadknight that I like, though I keep looking for one. 

Little post

The part stands for the whole.
While some of my plans for the day fell through, in the end it's mostly been a success.  This morning I decided to build two Nobs, then prime them and the Mek so all the Orks would be ready for painting at any time.  I brought along a whole box of stuff to accomplish this so I'd have everything I needed.  I had basing materials, models, a batch of new paints to go in the paint carrier, and my priming gear.  As I hit the highway I realize I've forgotten my bag of hobby tools, making most of the box riding next to me useless.  Fortunately I had planned to build and prime after finishing the batch of Shootas and I had everything I needed for that task.  I did the metals and dotted the eyes red today, and after a wash they might be finished.  I'd like to go back and reinforce the black, maybe highlight it, and do a final pass for details.  I'd also like to finish painting these Orks so I can get on to painting more Orks.  Considering this batch looks good as is, or will after a wash on the metals, I may just carry on into a new group.  Calling these done puts me at 25/54 for my 500 point list.  None of their bases are finished, but I'm planning to do all that at once, or at worst in two large batches.  I want to take another look at how EV is doing his so that my army matches his and the board, ensuring optimal realism.  Of course the black band on the base will break the immersion, but these things happen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green, White, and Blue

The horde advances.
While I haven't had many painting sessions lately, and the ones I've had have been brief, I'm still making some good progress with the latest batch of Orks.  I just have blacks and metals left to do, plus red eyes and bases.  I'm happy with how the faces have turned out, but the other blue areas can look better.  What I'd like to do is add another layer between the basecoat and the highlight, but speed is a factor in this project.  It looks like EV will have his 500 points worth done in a week or two, so we'll probably give this thing an official start in May.  I have 15 Orks finished, save basing, plus these 10 and another 15-20 that are half painted as well.  I need to make another Nob still and the Big Mek needs priming, but everything else is primed or better.  I hope to finish this batch tomorrow and maybe get a start on another group, or perhaps build that Nob and maybe some boys and then prime the lot so everything I need for the first list is ready for painting.  I'm at 15/54 which means I'll need to average about a model per day, something I think I've pondered before.  The painting feels like it's going faster, plus most of the models have a start of some sort on them, so I think I should be fine to hit the end of May.  What I'd really like to do is paint up another mob of Dethskull Sluggas so I can keep with the one clan instead of mixing in Evil Suns.  This plan would involve using models intended to be 'Ard Boys as regular Slugga troops and I think I want to put a little more time into them, maybe with some checkers on their armor plates.  This approach will obviously take more time than painting regular boys, so I may plow ahead with the Evil Suns and then paint the Dethskulls if I have time left. 

The close-up example.
In various other news, hopefully my Warstore order arrived today or will tomorrow.  I'm looking at adding a pair of Dreads at 750 while maxing out the second boys squad, though Kans are also a consideration.  I have one Dread in the order and will see what that kit is like before I choose between the two walkers.  They'll all be part of the horde eventually, it's just a question of in what order.  I was reading a post at 3++ today where a commenter said that psybolt ammo didn't work on psycannons.  My first thought was "Of course it does," but I didn't see any counter-comments about it.  I grab my GK book and find that the comment is right, psycannons don't get to use psybolts.  At first I was bummed as I lost theoretical S8 psycannon shots, but I'm thinking maybe it's a good thing.  Now I'll save some points by not giving the squads the ammo, so I'm thinking about a list that has a Terminator core with Purifiers in Razorbacks and Riflemen Dreads.  This is the same idea as before except with Psybolted Razorbacks instead of Rhinos.  This also means the list will play different with the Razorbacks rushing to deploy their contents and then lending supporting fire, instead of a moving bunker approach.  Not having psybolted psycannons means the Riflemen are even more important as I'll lost a lot of theoretical S8 psycannon shots.  Fortunately psybolts work on autocannons and heavy bolters, bumping them both up a level in terms of Instant Death.  I'll have to see what such a list looks like.  I liked the one I had before, but it lacked the Dreads and had lots of Terminator Psycannons instead.  A new list is liable to have less Terminators, but it might also avoid the problem of Paladins having 2 psycannons per 5 troops, while the GK Terminators boxes only come with a single psycannon per 5.  Maybe I can squeeze in a Dreadknight too...

Friday, April 22, 2011

The horde takes shape

Roll tide roll.
On a whim yesterday I decided to pull out the Orks needed for my prospective 500 point list, just to see what they look like.  Despite counting a number of times, I still wasn't convinced I had all the models to fill the list out.  Turns out I don't, but the power klaw Nob that I'm missing I already knew about, so it's almost like I'm not missing anything at all.  I grouped all the lads up, using a stunt Ork for the absent Mek and the to-be-made Nob, and took a nice family photo.  What pleased me most about this exercise was that all but 8 of the 53 minis have some color of non-primer on them.  I also found that with a bare minimum of repainting I can field a Dethskull slugga mob.  I'm on the fence about this as it's something I'd like to get done, but considering how much progress has already been made on the Evil Suns mob, and how much I have left to do on the whole batch, this may not be feasible.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A question that should have occurred long ago

How did I miss this?
While poking around the interwebs I came across a throw-away reference to Blood Angel, and Space Wolf, Rhino rushes.  This is a tactic I'm very familiar with from back in 3rd edition, but one I didn't think would work in 5th.  I'm under the impression that you can't assault from a vehicle that has moved that turn, which would mean this "rush" involves racing your Rhinos forward, then taking a turn of shooting before piling out and assaulting.  I believe the Blood Angels had a rule in their 3rd ed codex that let them assault out of a moving vehicle, though I don't have my books handy to check, which made this approach viable way back when.  Since there is no such rule in the current BA codex, I'm assuming that they can't pull the same trick now and have been focused on jump armies as a result.  I've been doodling up a bunch of Rhino based lists lately with the aim of running a mobile bunker sort of list though I'd much rather keep the assault flavor of the army.

Now I'm wondering if I have it wrong.  Fortunately I have my 40k rulebook on hand, plus Ork and BA codices, so I can go check it out.  If things work like I think they might then I'll likely lose most of the day in list writing.

Update: Looks like I was right.  While BA Rhinos are fast, that doesn't let the unit inside jump out and assault.  Trukks will work though being open-topped.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's a small, green world

This is what I call a successful morning.
Because this part of the post goes with the picture it gets to kick things off.  This has been a productive day in terms of volume, if not in finished product.  On the heels of thinking that I should figure out what kind of Orks I have built, and what I still need to build, I combined some of my Ork boxes today.  The storage system for my Orks is complicated, or used to be.  I had two boxes, one for models with some form of paint and one for models devoid of paint.  This morning I switched it up a little and put all the infantry in one box and all the vehicles in another.  While doing so, I discovered that I have enough to fill out a 500(ish) point list, provided that I switch the mob sizes of the sluggas and shootas and that I build another power klaw Nob.  It makes a bit more sense to have a full sized slugga mob in retrospect, so this all has worked out for the best.  I based all the unprimed models, plus the painted ones that are finished.  The spray cans came next, primer for the bare plastics and varnish for the painted ones.  While I would prefer to base things before they get primed, having things already painted and unbased makes that a little tough.  I used a bit less water than usual when mixing the glue, so hopefully the ballast will stick better in this batch.  I also hope that the varnish will keep the ballast in place on the painted ones so I can actually paint the bases instead of just wiping the ballast off with a brush.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I've seen the green light

The (nearly) finished group.
I had an epiphany while painting Orks today: if I don't stop painting them eventually, they'll never get done.  This may seem obvious, but it's a hard step for me to take.  I've mentioned my desire to fully shade and highlight every buckle on a mini in the past, which is a noble goal.  However, it doesn't work so well with a horde army.  As such, I'm about to call this batch done.  I'm considering doing some of the weapon details like the glyphs in red, and they need to be based, but I'm happy enough with the group to call them nearly finished.  They aren't my best work ever, but they'll look fine as a group.  Quantity has a quality all it's own after all.  I hope to get a similarly productive day in tomorrow, though I'm torn between sticking with painting and assembling more boys.  I'll need more shoota boys regardless, and I think I need more slugga boys too.  I'll also need to make up some power klaw nobs and possibly a few special weapons. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blood Angels vs. Plague Marines: The Hat Trick

EV and I had our third round of Blood Angel vs Plague Marines yesterday.  Our lists were the same as last time, but to briefly recap:

Blood Angels
Librarian with Jump Pack, Shield, and Blood Lance
Sanguinary Guard w/ Banner
3 Sanguinary Priests, 2 with Jump Pack & Power Weapon
3 max Assault Squads with 2 Meltaguns and Power Fist
2 max Devestator Squads with 4 Missile Launchers

Plague Marines
2 Daemon Princes with Wings and Warp Time
3 pairs of Obliterators
4 Plague Marine squads in Rhinos with a mix of special weapons and Power Fists

We alternated terrain setup.  I tried to keep my objective close to EV's again, but the best I could do was putting it on the same side of the board as it had to be in my deployment zone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My modest week's progress

What I've done today.
It's been a lethargic week for me.  I've had plenty of time to paint but not the motivation to set my stuff up.  Instead I've made a few poor lists, which I won't subject you to, and some actual modeling today.  I meant to get out the brushes this morning but I found myself making objective markers instead.  Nothing special, just barrels and tank traps, but they're better than the total lack of markers I currently have.  I also decided that Strakhov had lingered in his blister long enough, so I cleaned him up and put him together.  A bit of digging produced another blister, this time with a Kustom Force Field toting Big Mek.  Considering this ork is the center of my forthcoming army I figured it was well past time for me to get him assembled and on his way to painting.  I've glued down little slate bits as you can see in the photo, and I'll get them ballasted too when the glue has had a bit of time to dry.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Campaign ideas

Google returns this for "campaign ideas."
My job is many things, but exciting is not one of them.  This is unfortunate as I'm often bored stupid, but nice in that I have time to ponder and rough in ideas for things like 40k campaigns.  Taking the broad strokes EV and I discussed, namely a webway portal, I laid out the six levels of points we'll be playing and tried to lay a story on top of them that roughly follows the expansions I have planned.  To refresh your memories, the basic idea for my Orks starts with a Big Mek and some boys, then progresses through more boys, walkers, a biker Warboss, bikers, trukk boys, and buggies, in roughly that order.  What I came up with is Ork-centric, but at least it's a place to start.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Painting, Metal, Contemplation

Mmmm, nice green skin.
I'm taking a three-pronged approach to posting today.  First up is the painting recap.  I finally managed to get a decent bit of time in painting yesterday.  Of the boys I have assembled, about half of them are painted to some degree.  I scooped up a bunch of those a few days back with the intention of painting them and made good on that at last.  With the models in differing stages of completion, I decided to treat any existing paint as a base coat and work up from it.  I started at the only sensible place: the skin.  Ork skin is almost soothing to paint somehow.  It all seems to line up naturally with areas for highlighting and shading being obvious, a pleasant change from doing power armor that all but requires a cheat sheet for me to figure out.  Half of the batch looked like it had a heavy green inking over a Goblin Green base, while the other half looked more like a Goblin Green drybrush over a black base.  I started with the first half, which was the darker of the two, and went to town with the Goblin Green.  When they were done, I rolled on into the second half as well to firm up the existing green on them and to try and make the two groups look as similar as possible.  Plus, I like doing ork skin.  After finishing with that shade I got out the Snot Green and made with the highlighting.  In both cases I was trying to cruise along at a rapid pace, content to hit most of what I aimed for and a little splash damage as well instead of trying to get each line and plate done just right.  I'm happy with the results, at least for the moment, and the time invested to do the ten orks was about the same as doing the initial red on 3-4 Blood Angels.  Quite the improvement.  I'm considering a wash or two, either Thrakka Green or the ever-present Devlan Mud, as I think the boys might be a little bright.  Taking a couple days to consider won't hurt anyone, and it'll be that long before I have another good painting opportunity.  I feel a little odd doing Evil Suns boys when my initial batch of orks should all be Deathskulls, but they were already started in Evil Suns colors so I'm just going with it.  I can whack together some fluffy justification later if I really need to.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blood Angels vs. Deathwing: The Rematch

My freshly painted Blood Angels hit the table in anger for the first time this afternoon.  EV brought his Deathwing out and had a table set up with more terrain than usual when I arrived.  Unfortunately I seem to have no pictures with a view of the entire table, just the right 4x4 section.  Nothing much happened on the left flank, hence the lack of photos.  I ran the same BA list I've been using, jump packs and missiles, while EV ran the same Deathwing as before except he armed Belial with a Storm Shield this time around.  We had a standard deployment for once, opposing edges, and played an objective-based mission.  I had considered making objective markers these last few days, but decided that EV has that sort of thing covered.  When I found out he only had 3 I felt a little silly, but we got it figured out for today.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Change of plans

I was going to see if I could finish off the post-game considerations I did from my last game with EV, chronicled in my first ever video battle report, but as I was cruising the interwebs today I found something that I really like.  Heroes of Armageddon is a charity project in the same vein as the Storm Wardens of last year.  This year four "celebrity" painters will be doing armies from the what I believe is the third war for Amageddon, though I don't have my books handy to be certain.  Codex: Armageddon came out at the high tide of my gaming, at least in terms of games played, and concerns a lot of things that I like about 40k (Orks and Blood Angels).  I really liked the seasonal feel of the codex, much like how PP does the leagues for Warmachine, and I always wished GW would do more things like it.  They seem to have moved away from that idea sadly, but it's been on my mind lately while considering orks and now I see this project pop up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ork list shaping up

Just add ork.
I had another epiphany at work last night, that or I'm starting to stroke out.  Assuming the former is the case, an ork list came together for me once I thought to use a biker Warboss instead of a trukk mounted one.  This move does a couple things for me: it frees up a trukk for more boys/nobs/whatever, gives me a reason to use all the bikers I already have, and most importantly it gives me a chance to convert up a Wazdakka, even if I only use him as a Warboss most of the time.  The list still needs some tweaking as I'm not 100% satisfied with it, but I have the basic shape of the thing and now it's all just detail work.  Until I change my mind again of course.  How it stands now:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Green Tide Rolling In

Orkspeak is a problem, but not the problem.
Making Ork lists is an odd experience for me.  Orks are cheap by definition, yet I always seem to quickly run out of points.  Of course I'm hitting this wall with 100+ infantry in a list and my roadblocks are trying to fit lots of dreads and buggies and a big Nobz squad.  It's a problem that needs context, but a problem all the same.  There's another big problem as well, but I'll get to that after some lists.

Last night I had an idea for EV's proposed Combat Squad to Full Army exercise, one that injects a bit of narrative and helps make some sense out of the impending ork horde.  When I started collecting the current batch of orks way back when Codex: Armageddon was the new hotness.  Part of that codex was a Speed Freaks list, and it was with that list in mind that I started building.  The core of my horde, then and now, is boyz in trukks supported by bikers and fast, shooty vehicles.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grey Knights lists: the first batch

Google's version of "Grey Knight"
Having banged around the GK codex for a day now, I've come up with a basic frame and many permutations.  The basic idea is two PA squads in Rhinos, three Terminator squads, two "Psyfleman" dreads (2 twin-linked autocannons and psybolt ammo), and a Librarian.  All the squads have psycannons with psybolt ammo.  The breakdown is such:

165 - Librarian w/ 3 powers (probably Sanctuary, Might of Titan, and Quicksilver)
245 - 5 Terminators w/ Psycannon and Psybolts

245 - 5 Terminators w/ Psycannon and Psybolts
245 - 5 Terminators w/ Psycannon and Psybolts
290 - 10 Strike Squaders w/ 2 Psycannons, Daemonhammer, Psybolts
290 - 10 Strike Squaders w/ 2 Psycannons, Daemonhammer, Psybolts
135 - Dreadnaught w/ 2 twin-linked Autocannons and Psybolts
135 - Dreadnaught w/ 2 twin-linked Autocannons and Psybolts

Friday, April 1, 2011

Orks, Grey Knights, and growing slowly

Ponder powers engage!
EV is beating the slow-growth drum, a tune which I am all but helpless to answer.  While I'd love to do every army available, reality says there are four main options: Orks, Grey Knights, vanilla marines, and Blood Angels.

Vanilla marines would involve implementing the crackpot scheme I have to slowly swap out my existing BA troops with the new, detailed models.  While I love this idea, putting it into practice for this application would require me to paint twice as much stuff since I'd be doing the vanilla marines for the grower, plus I'd need to replace (and paint) the models taken out of my BA army to keep it usable.  This is the most appealing option in that it'd scratch an itch I've had for a while to do a non-standard marine army, one that could be used as a counts-as army but wouldn't necessarily be designed in that way.  I could even convert the models into recently turned Chaos marines, another itch I've had.  Unfortunately this plan would involve a significant investment of both time and money.  As such, vanilla marines are off the table.