Saturday, 27 August 2016

Hobby Season Review: 40k Addict TO-DO list

Hey gang,

Like many other blogs that take part in Dave Weston's Hobby season I have decided to do a review of my targets one year ago and see where I am now! First lets have a look at my original list of goals:

Original Goals

1. Build 20 more Jump Death Company

2. Paint 35 Jump Death Company and 1 Death Company Drop pod

3. Paint the remaining 20 neophytes for my Black Templars

4. Paint the 5 vanguard veterans for my Black Templars

5. Paint Grimaldus and his servitors

6. Pick a new army to start that has synergy with my Blood Angels (probably space marine)

7. Buy and start painting said army (probably a mix of ebay rescue bids and new purchases)

8. Start converting mechanicum or Tau models out of all the bizarre models I have picked up with this in mind (includes evangelion figures and some warzone resurrection miniatures).

9. Attend 3 tournaments as opposed to the 2 I attend this year (would have been 3 if Fluffageddon had gone ahead!)

Overview

I actually did pretty well from this list!! We can discard 3-5 immediately mind you as I ended up selling the Black Templars fairly early on as I felt that the general quality of painting was quite far behind my painting as I moved forward. 

1-2 though were nailed with my fully completed Death Company army competing at Hero For a Day but a week ago :)! 6-7 Was started and completed with my Dark Angels, though I have since sold them off as well! Though I made a decent chunk out of that army and was very happy with how it turned out looking, I'm just very bored of painting spehss mehreens! 

8 didn't so much happen as I just bought a mechanicum army from forgeworld instead so that'll only get a half mark.... 9 I fully achieved though attending 3 tournaments and a charity event in Hero For a Day so I'm pretty damn pleased with that!!

So that gives me a grand total of 5.5/9 so well over 50%!

After 6 months I revised these goals due the appearance and disappearance of armies in my collection (butterfly!) so I set some new goals at 6 months!


6 Month Goals

After a pretty stonking start to the year I tried to be ambitious with my future goals:

1. Finish the 6 final Death Company 

2. Paint all my remaining blood angels = 1 drop pod, 5 Sanguinary Guard, 6 Vanguard Veterans, 10 Scouts, 1 Chaplain, 2 Librarians 

3. Paint all my Ravenwing = Dark Talon, Sammael, 3 Ravenwing Bikers 

4. Build remaining models for Dark Angels that I own = 5 Deathwing, 3 squads of 5 tactical Marines, Company Command squad and 2 x Veteran Squads 

5. Build the entirety of the Alpha Legion = 20 Veterans, 1 Fire Raptor, Finish the Leviathan + Drop pod, and a converted Autilon Skorr 

6. Build and Paint my 30k Mechanicum to a finished but not weathered standard = 4 Castellax, 9 Thallax, 2 converted Magos, 2 Thanatars 

7. Attend Vanquish 2016, Hero for a Day, Double Trouble and Fluffageddon 

8. Place in the top half of any tournament 

9. Place in the top 3 of a painting competition


Overview

1 is folded into the original goals so I'll discount it for this tally and it'll be out of 8 not 9!

2 was a complete fail as I have sold a lot of my excess blood angels including my painted redwing. I still have the converted Sanguinary Guard mind you and they will be getting a death company treated colour scheme at some point!

3-4 failed and sold off! Just bored!

5 was actually completed and painted apart from the flyers so that was good! But again sold off due to weak concentration and other distractions!

6 was smashed out of the park with a full 3000 points of mechanicum being built, converted and painted :)

7 did well with all but fluffageddon being attended and that was supplanted by an excellent Horus Heresy weekend event run my good mate Dan Evansv :)

Surprisingly for 8 I managed a decent top half finish at Vanquish despite failing to complete my final game due to illness, I also managed to come second in the painting competition and then win a category at Alex Brown's Double Trouble! 

Of all my completed achievements it is placing well in painting competitions that gives me the greatest source of pride I must admit. My ego enjoyed it very much!!

So that's a 5/8 for the second section!


Overall and the Future

Overall I managed a pretty good 10.5/17 for the last 12 months of hobby effort! Though I think that number is deceptively high as I can't help but feel I erred on the side of keeping my goals low rather than trying to really push myself!

Well have no fear, as you have no doubt been aware if you have followed my blog at all recently I have my hands mightily full... With the Solar Auxilia, Imperial Militia, and Harlequins all becoming armies in need of building and painting! I also have commissions in hand to get painting on with! Plus side projects of single miniatures lying around to try and do. 

So look out for a post next week detailing a pretty extensive list for the next year, no revising half way this time. In the Game of 40k you win or you die there is no middle ground ;)


Peace out,

Rob

Friday, 26 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Lancer

Good afternoon,


The penultimate review of the Cerastus frames, with just the Atrapos left to go. The Cerastus Knight Lancer has been around for some time now and it looks great still! I would say it is the most different of all the Cerastus frames and also argue that it is the hardest to use, but pays dividends if used well.


Stats

The Lancer comes with the basic Cerastus stats line of :

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Lancer has two very unique pieces of equipment:

Shock Lance (melee) - D AP2, Swiftstrike

Shock Lance (Shock Blast) - S7 AP2, Heavy 6, Concussive

The Swiftstrike special rule grants +1 initiative on the charge for the lancer. This weapon is obviously designed to be up close and personal ASAP. I5 D weapons in the charge with 5 attacks on the charge is enough to make anyone weep (joy or terror depends on viewpoint).

Six shots hitting on 3's that will wound and ignore armour for most models on a 2+ is pretty gnarly as well. The short range of this weapon does make it trickier to use and much like the Castigator its got a powerful ranged attack that is its ONLY ranged attack.


Ion Gauntlet Shield - The wrist mounted shield of the Lancer offers superior defensive capabilities in combat but restricts its location placement and as such you can NEVER place the shield at the rear of the knight where it is most vulnerable.

This shield grants a 4++ invulnerable against shooting attacks to the front or side arcs and also grants a 5++ invulnerable in close combat. ADDITIONALLY gargantuan creatures and super heavy walkers are at -1 to hit in close combat, which with a WS4 means most will be hitting you on a 5+.



Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

I love the aesthetic of this knight and it has really focused rules compared to other variants. It is absolutely designed to be a giant killer. If you were playing 40k then this is the kind of knight you would send after a Wraithknight with its I5 D weapon, 5++ in close combat and -ve modifier to hit for the wraithknight.

In 30k you are primarily going to be wanting to send this against other knights as it will receive those benefits against it. In the absence of an opposing Imperial Knight I would send the Lancer against high value deathstar like priority targets, but avoid being over confident, most primarch will be able to destroy a knight in 1 turn or 2 turns most of close combat, unless your rolling hot on those 5++ saves.

In many ways the lack of ability to raise your shield to the rear means you can't be blase with your placement as you might be with other knights. It is imperative that you consider your back facing and cover saves, with your back to LoS blocking terrain for a 4+/5+ cover save, or even back facing against the board as you make your way up to the enemy.

A first turn run for a potentially 30" move (23" average) is I fell almost a necessity to try and guarantee a second turn shoot and charge. Though this will obviously depend on your deployment style.

Overall I would say it is the joint "weakest" of the knights with the Castigator, though to call them weak is much the misnomer. 

Peace out,

Rob

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Alternative Death Watch Parts - Anvil Industry

Hi Gang,

With the dawn of a new age and the release of the deathwatch I thought I would ring the bell for one of the smaller independent companies out there - Anvil Industry. 

These guys have always been brilliant for conversion pieces for space marines but that becomes even more so when you consider Deathwatch and the aesthetic of being a specialised Xenos Kill team. Below are some highlights from their range that I think fit perfectly (and in the frag launchers case deliberately) into a Deathwatch setting:

Heavy Weapons

Everyone loves to splash gore around right!? Well now you can spread death and destruction to the Xenos foes with these bad boys!


Yes this does seem a convenient time to release this, but for the price and how cool it looks its an easy way to equip your whole veteran squad with frag launchers and destroy EVERYTHING!



Or you could go full terminator with the mini gun! A great stand in for a heavy bolter or assault cannon if you ever need one!




Because chain feeds makes your weapon shoot more accurately, got it!?

Small Arms Fire

Sometimes when it comes down to it, a single well placed round will do the job of an army:


For when you really want that extended magazine look....


Or for when it just HAS to be a curved magazine!


What you don't hear coming can't hurt you right....Right!?


1 to the head and 2 to stay dead!


Close Combat Weapons

Look into the whites.. err greens? Yellows? Many possible colours of their eyes as they die!

Well well well, I wonder what this kind of glaive could stand in for?



I love this mace and you could easily pass it off as a massive hammer such as can be selected in Deathwatch!


Speaking of double handed hammers!


Finally when having a big weapon just isn't enough and you need to stick a gun on it ;)


Overview

As you can see, Anvil have a lot of your Deathwatch weapons covered if you want to personalise your army or aren't willing to pay through the noise from bits sites for special weapons! Go check them out by clicking on the weapon titles which are links :)


Peace out,

Rob

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hero For A Day - A Rousing Success!

Hello!


This weekend just gone I attended a 24 hour charity gaming event in support of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group run by the gent that is Nick Thrower at The Burning Eye. There were 10 people in attendance in two team of five and boy did we have a blast!

Here is a picture of us at the start:

Right to left I am 4th with the arms raised

And about 2/3 of the way through:

Note the source of caffeine in my hand....

Sadly no picture of us at the end when we were truly spent! The total by the end of the night was somewhere around £1300 which I think is a good show for 10 sweaty guys in a parish hall pushing models around!!

Mike from St Andrews Wargaming will have some great battle reports coming up from his games which I was in one of so head over to check his blog out if you want to see how deranged we became in our tactics as the hours rolled on! Due to the start time of midnight on friday we all ended up being awake for nearly 48 hours!!!

You can still give to this good cause if you want by clicking on this link here :)

Peace out,

Rob

Monday, 22 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Acheron

Good afternoon,

Today's post is the second in my Cerastus Knight class reviews and focuses on what I think is the most competitive of the 4 available - the Acheron. Not only is this night extremely good, but like all the Cerastus frames it looks bloody brilliant!


Stats

The Acheron comes with the basic Cerastus stats line of :

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Acheron has two fantastic pieces of equipment:

Acheron Pattern Flame Cannon - Hellstorm S7 AP3, Ordnance 1

This is a 16.5" template, effectively giving you a 28.5" range with the weapon when you consider the 12" movement of a super heavy walker. This will TOAST any marines or 3+ save bikes with aplomb. 


Reaper Chainfist - D AP2, Melee, Machine Destroyer

Ho Boy! Here is the D! Not only is this the D but when you are rolling on the Destroyer Table against any target with an armour value then you can re-roll any rolls of a 1! Vastly increasing your chances of just obliterating vehicles through hull points.

IMPORTANTLY the Reaper Chainfist also has a built in twin-linked Heavy Bolter. This means you can toast one target with your hellstorm and then charge another that you shot the Heavy bolter at. This gives you a level of target saturation lacking on the Cerastus Castigator.


Ion Shield - 4++ against shooting attacks with the facing declared at the start of the shooting phase as usual. You know it you love it.


Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

The Cerastus frames in general have relatively low ranges so they really do work well with an aggressive playstyle to get the best out of their weapons. The hellstorm template will mulch through any 3+ astartes easily, but you will need to be within 10-12" to get the best out of the template with the fat end covering the unit.

The acheron is more prone to getting tar pitted with large squads like 20 many fearless techthralls. Even with stomp he will only kill 7-10 a turn on average with attacks and stomps (as they should be able to wrap all aroun him with a pile in after charge and after additional 3" after combat over). Thats a 2-3 turn tarpit!

So keep this monster away from fearless blob squads and storm shields (D in 30k allows invulns but forces a re-roll if succesful), and don't expect him to be able to take on Primarchs at all!! Vulkan would mess this guy up no problem as would Anacharis Scoria.

You are designed to take out 3+ saves and pretty much any vehicle their is that is 6HP or lower and even a baneblade in one turn if you are a lucky son of a gun.

Peace out,

Rob

Friday, 19 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Castigator

Good afternoon,

This beauty comes from the most excellent Mordian7th.blogspot.com :)

Todays post is the beginning of me doing a run down of all of the Cerastus Class Knights that are available for use in the Horus Heresy, though obviously these are also available for use in 40k. I only really intend these reviews to be pertinent to 30k as I have greatly dialled back my 40k participation. Though Deathwatch has piqued my interest I must say with modelling opportunities abound!


Stats

The castigator comes with the following stats line:

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting A weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Castigator has two fantastic pieces of equipment:

Castigator Pattern Bolt Cannon - 36" S7 AP3, Heavy 8

Error in the code - reboot - it is twinlinked! on average (and without cover) you will be blowing away 6-7 marines a turn with this beauty.


Tempest Warblade - S10, AP2, Melee, Deflagrate, Sunder, Tempest Attack 

The Warblade is not a D weapon, which is a good thing in my book! With a re-roll to armour pen you are unlikely to come away empty handed even against a landraider, and with 5 attacks on the charge you have a decent chance of blowing a Spartan or at least seriously crippling it. 

The real beauty here is the fact that Deflagrate will allow you to roll an additional number of wounds equal to each unsaved wound taken by the enemy, so basically melee volkite. However when you combine this with the Tempest Attack it gets tasty. 

Tempest Attack lets you forgoe all normal attacks and instead opt for an Initiative step 2 attack that AUTOMATICALLY hits every model in base contact with you. Against power fist or thunder hammer terminators you are going to hit all of the one in base contact automatically and wound on a 2+. If they fail their invulnerable and die then you get to roll again with deflagrate! At S10 this will also double out any pesky 2 wound termies (looking at you Firedrakes!)


Ion Shield - 4++ against shooting attacks with the facing declared at the start of the shooting phase as usual


Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

Unfortunately the Castigator suffers from one big flaw, and that is its lack of a secondary weapon. This means you have to charge the unit that you shot at which if it is regular marines will likely already have taken a pounding! 

Because of this I think it is advisable with the Castigator to send it after priority targets, don't mess about and get in the enemies face, this might also mean that for the first turn you actually run in the shooting phase. This is particularly advisable if you are playing hammer and anvil and your opponent has deployed far back. 

The Castigator has decent ranged attack but it does the business in close combat and you should be sending it after giant squads, tough squads, initiative 1 squads and vehicles to tear them to pieces. I think it could be very easy to have the castigator faff about and do very little. Make sure you pick targets and run them down, indecision will not go well with this knight. 

Peace out,

Rob

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Basing the Solar Auxilia - The Importance of a Good Base

How do?


When I started back in the hobby some 4/5 years ago now, I really underestimated the importance of basing. I thought about the model first and only, almost in isolation. As I've progressed with my hobby basing eventually became as important as the miniatures themselves. 

This was not a quick realisation, my death company have OK bases, but it wasn't until I started my Dark Angels and Mechanicum that I really put a concerted effort into my basing to help make the miniatures "pop" and fit a certain theme. Bases will make your miniature look better and vice versa!

With both my Mechanicum and now my Solar Auxilia I have been doing my bases the Dave Weston way, which is to get them all done separately without the miniatures glued to them. This helps a lot with not swamping the feet of a miniature with sand or snow and letting them sit on top of the base rather than sunk into it. 

The Solar Auxilia as you may have seen from my previous posts have been painted on sprue or blue tacked to a blank base. For the second squad I took some pictures to show the progression of my bases at a few stages:


Here the bases are just painted black. After this stage they were drybrushed a few grey colours for the flagstones before the surrounding bases was painted and highlighted brown, given a wash and then flock and barbed wire glued on:






Already with this you can see how much the base comes to life. Because I want mine to be properly Grimdark I then covered them in two tones of blood and washed the grass loosely to make it look muddied and browned:








And here are some picture of the Veletaris axe squad on bases like these:


I think if you design a base to fit your miniatures style and give them a proper theme you will always end up with a better looking miniature. Don't think this is me saying flocking your bases is bad! It isn't, BUT if you are striving towards the best looking miniatures you can produce as part of your hobby, as it is with mine, then I strongly suggest you take a good look at your miniatures and decide how you want them to be based BEFORE they are stuck down on a base. 

Peace out,

Rob