Thursday, June 29, 2017

Progress, progress, progress!

A short post to share recent progress as June comes to a close.  I'm pretty excited to play the new edition of 40K and after fielding my Deathwatch in my first game the bug to continue the progress I started last fall is back! What I realized I was lacking was BIKES! In the first codex, I didn't get how they really fit into Kill Teams, and they couldn't be used standalone in the Deathwatch formations/detachments. Now in the new edition, they are back as a sanctioned stand alone unit for Deathwtach, plus add a new ability to kill teams they join - shooting in the same turn the unit withdraws from combat, which normally is not allowed. I had the White Scar model from kill team Cassius, so five more would allow me the option to field two minimum units of three, or break one unit up to mix with other kill teams, etc..

Deathwatch Bikers WIP

So of course I had to buy a box and get them assembled.  I went heavy with the hand weapons as it seems a waste to run them with just the bolters on the bike. I may regret that when playing with points instead of power levels, but we'll see. The group above is led by a Dark Angels Ravenwing biker as a nod to my long time favorite Space Marine chapter. In all, I included members from the Dark Angels, Iron Hands, White Scars, Ultra Marines and Black Templars chapters in this squad.

Deathwatch Bikers WIP

So far I have only gotten as far as priming (Vallejo Black Primer) and base coating the armor (Abaddon Black) with the air brush. The I took a break to put some flesh on the Ork boyz! Basecoat and the first shade/wash layer in the picture below. I'm using the paint recipe form the GW painting guide for Ork boys. Not being a dedicated Ork player, I saw to reason to break with cannon and innovate here. I just want some simple, but good lookin' boyz to field.

Shadow Wars: Armageddon

And not content there, I decided I needed a little more Shadow Wars terrain for my Mechanicum Sector; shown below in all it's emergent glory...

Sector Mechanicus Terrain WIP

Plenty of terrain for games of Shadow Wars now, and plenty of interest to spice up the occasion 40K game board too.

Sector Mechanicus Terrain WIP

The tile on the bottom right of the photos is the new work in progress.  Based on the Ferratonic Incinerator kit, I need to pick up another walkway sprue on eBay to give it a little more dimension on the second story (including more railings).  In order to have the third bridge to connect tiles, I had to sacrifice two of the walkway/gantry pieces that come with that kit. I also laid down a few more sections of promethium pipes on a couple of the tiles to give more cover at the ground level as well. 

I'll stop here with six Sector Mechanicus tiles to compliment my existing set of six Imperial Sector tiles. Plenty of great terrain now...and really where will I have the time to paint twelve tiles anyway?!  Well...'ll get it properly based, and primed black anyway...then we'll see where I end up.

That's a lot of hobby for me.  I expect another painting session tonight to round out June.  I'm still torn between painting kill teams and Deathwatch...and terrain...plenty of variety anyway.  Hopefully some more games will come too!

What projects are you looking forward too this summer?

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

On the Workbench [June] - Shadow Wars: Armageddon

So what has been going on this month?  Not as much hobby as I'd hoped, but I did get some games in for the first time in...over a year?  Too long. The new 40K is here!

Warhammer 40K Objectives WIP
The new set of Objectives Ready for Primer

I was able to play two Shadow Wars games and one game with the new Warhammer 40K rules.  These games used time I would have otherwise put into my projects so progress (and posts for that matter) is understandably thin this month on that front.

Shadow Wars was as much fun as I expected and I very much enjoyed using my new terrain.  The rules, ironically for a small skirmish game, seem more numerous and complicated than 40K now!  What a switch.  The Death Korps saw action first as they stumbled onto a small force of Necrons.  This being the first game of Shadow Wars and my first game of any sort in quite a while, I played poorly so I won't look at this game as a fair test of the Astra Militarum in Shadow Wars.

I was out positioned and out shot from the beginning and so this game never really developed. I bottled after losing four fighters down or out. I was interested to see that even after losing, I got one promethium and to standard 100 pts for improving the team. My existing list was a mix of shooting and hand-to-hand capabilities. After seeing the Orks beat up (see below) I'm having second thoughts on how the Death Korps should equip themselves.  I believe I need more ranged weapons and strategy, but we'll see.

Next up were the Orks which got tabled after a brutal head-to-head clash with a group of Harlequins. My Ork list was more shooty, but Harlequins move fast and you don't get much shooting time, or so was my experience!  When I did shoot (and I did shoot a lot where it was possible), it made no difference due to poor Orky ballistics, cover (and its effect on to-hit rolls) and the Harlequins naturally good saving throws.  Not a single wound was scored after many, many dice rolls.

They fared a little better in hand-to-hand.  They still never scored a wound on the Harlequins, but they at least stayed on combat for several turns.  I felt there were chances where the dice could have rolled different and change the course of the game. Doubling up on harlequins fighters wasn't enough.  Probably needed four fighters on one Harlequin to brig them down. They have SOOOO many dice to throw during combat...even when I felt I got good rolls, the Harlequin fighters would be two or three points better.  They had trouble wounding the Orks which help the team fight it out, but the Orks simply couldn't hit the tricksy Eldar players either. In the end, the team passed a couple bottle rolls and in the end went down to an Ork. This was a test game, not part of a campaign, so I wasn't concerned about losing fighters.

The new edition 40K game was also very fun.  My opponent and I threw together power level lists using a 50 power level max. As a sample game, we didn't use detachments and just picked what seemed to be a reasonable mix of fun units.  This part of the new rules was very cool as I got a list together in ten minutes from my existing Deathwatch collection and we got right to gaming.  We only got two (maybe it was three) game turns in before we had to call it on account of time, but it wasn't because of the 40K rules.  We simply didn't leave enough time for a game following our previous Shadow Wars game.  We of course went slow having not played the new rules before and being rusty in general - though in this case, not having played 7th in quite a while was probably a benefit as the new game is just very different.

I was pleased to see my Deathwatch dreadnought deal death and absorb far more punishment than would have been possible in earlier editions.  Looking back, I forgot to degrade his performance in later turns as he suffered more wounds. Teleporting in terminators is coo again.  Much more fun to place models in a position of choice and to relatively act normally. A unit of death watch terminators was very effective against Eldar foot sloggers...the game was tied when we closed.  I'm not sure I would have managed a win had it gone on to a normal conclusion.

So...what's on the work bench?  Well, I put some base color on the Orks, and hit up the Death Korps long coats with the air brush...

Base Coating the Orks

Painting the Death Korps of Krieg Great Coats

I should have some more progress to show on the Shadow War teams soon.  I am really looking forward to returning to the Death Korps, I even spent time last night reviewing the paint recipe again. Orks are a fun change too.  I'd like to get these two teams painted before getting too wrapped up with continuing 40K projects inspired by the new rules...oh and all the terrain! :) Much to do...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ork Boys WIP Part 2 - Testing the Paint


So my first ever Warhammer 40K army was Orks from the Second Edition.  I played them into the Third Edition, then gave them up for Dark Angels, and later Tyranids, Tau, and, well, everything else, really! :)

With the new Shadow Wars: Armageddon game, I have an opportunity to play with the green skins again without investing in a whole army, and I knew I must given that the models came with the game and were just sitting there waiting to be built!  It has been fun to go back to the drawing board and look at painting Orks in the context of everything we do now versus my own pale skills of the past and what was done in the mid-90's with miniature painting in general.

I wanted to make the Ork team something special in my collection, so I set about painting two test models that are going to be add-ons to the kill team where necessary and not part of the core nine the team begins with. This really grew from the fact that the boxed set allowed me to build 11 models, and not through any grander strategy on my part.

Here are close ups of the boys, one with Choppa and Stikk Bombs, and the other a simple shoota.

I need to spend more time managing white balance with my photography.  I think the blue background and grey plastic are a challenge for the auto settings on my iPhone photo app.  But anyway, there they are...simple enough, no frills on these base test models!

I wanted to get comfortable painting Ork flesh since pretty much all of my other armies for 40K have little or no flesh apart from the odd helmet-less head. I just don't paint skin all that often!  So after reviewing a few online tutorials and checking a digital copy of the Citadel Painting guide for Orks, I chose my test recipe and purchased what I needed. Then I finally got stuck in and laid some paint down...

I like the results on these models quite a bit.  I really got into the faces, and had fun with the Deathskulls war paint motif. This choice pays homage to my original 40K Ork army which was also drawn from the Deathskulls clan.  These looters are a perfect fit for scrounging about in the ruined hives of Armageddon.

Close Up Face
Wot are ye lookin' at, umie?!
Light is bouncing all around in this close up - I'm very certain there isn't blue paint on the teeth of the model, for instance.  I really enjoy the features of these sculpts and how they come alive under a little paint.  At the end of this session, I was satisfied with the results and feel ready to move forward.  I'll finish these two boys up, but I'm pretty confident painting the rest of the surfaces here since they are treated pretty much the same as I've done on various pieces in my collection.  

Until next time,
Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shadow War Ork Boyz WIP and more...

Progress continues on Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and kill teams.The new edition of 40K looks very cool and I know I have to make as much progress as possible before I am compelled to put this aside and launch myself into the new rule set. I'm certain to feel the tug of my existing armies and projects as models find new life in the changes to how everything is fielded.

This week I assembled my Ork Boyz from the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set.  While I blinged them out with some kommando gear from Forge World that I casually picked up while completing my collection of soon to be OOP books.  I honestly can't get enough of the Forge World books!

Shadow War: Armageddon Kill Team WIP

I've not yet played a game, but I hope these Boyz do well in the rules.  I'm thinking I'll play a few mock games on my own to get a feel for the rules and shake some things out.  I can test out how these brutes do against my Space Marine and Astra Militarum kill teams for now.  I haven't played or modelled orks since Second edition when they were my first ever 40K army!

The boyz will get a primer coat asap, then it's off to the hobby store for some Ork colors I don't generally use - primarily greens for the skin. I think Harlequins may be next up on the kill team to-do list...then maybe Genestealer Cultists or Skitarii?

The Shadow War terrain tiles got some love too.  The plastic is mostly glued up and all the bling has been added.  I originally left off most of the extra bits until I was sure I had settled on the final arrangement of the major parts. After priming, they will get glued down to the plywood tiles and the final ground cover and whatever else laid down and primed as well.  Though looking at things, I may need to hold off and paint the under sides before gluing things down to their final places. I can see it will be hard to reach a lot of the cool fine details in this stuff.

Shadow War: Armageddon terrain WIP

This terrain looks sooo good next to the Sector Imperialis pieces.  With a fun battle mat underneath, this is really the dream terrain I've been envisioning for years.  I'm afraid the foam core set from years past will be permanently retired now.  I will keep the fond memories of building, painting and playing many games on it, though!  I'll have to retire them with a post here to commemorate all the hard work that went into producing them.  They were my very first major scratch-build terrain project. 

Shadow War: Armageddon terrain WIP

Below is another scenic tile I'm playing with using the remaining containers and Promethium Generator.  It adds some variety and cover...not sure if it stays or gets reconfigured yet.  I like how it looks along with the crane and container tile visible in the pictures above.

Warhammer 40K Terrain WIP

The full table is coming together and I look forward to settling on the final configurations for the tiles so it can all be primed and based for play.   As much as I'd like to have it all painted up, the reality is that these pieces will see many games before I get everything painted.  I have some ambitious thoughts about getting a bunch of relevant paint together and going full gangsta with the air brush for a couple sessions to lay down some colors to an easy table top standard.

If successful, this approach might make the table look better until I make time to get all the details down for each tile...something that may very well never happen in my life time given the many other projects I have now and possibilities yet to come.  I have added six tiles to the five or so building tiles I already head.  Getting all the base colors and some simple washes down would go a long way towards insuring the pieces are consistent and remain so over time, too.  So much to paint!

So until next time...

Cheers and happy gaming!