Friday, March 28, 2014

Batrep: Blood Angels + Knight vs Khornate Chaos Marines, 1750 pts*

This is my 2nd outing with the Knight, and since it's been bloody ages since I've scribbled down a batrep, I figured it's high time I did. My opponent for this scrap was David, who was rather bravely fielding a very fluffy Chaos Marine list: (almost) pure Khorne! Anyway, a quick look at the lists.

My Blood Angels:
Librarian with plasma pistol and force axe (Powers: Prescience and Scrier's Gaze)
5 Assault Marines with Infernus pistol, meltabombs, and a meltagun in a Land Raider Redeemer with multimelta
5 Assault Marines with Infernus pistol, meltabombs, and a meltagun in a Razorback with lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun
5 Assault Marines with Infernus pistol, meltabombs, and a flamer in a Razorback with lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun
5 Scouts with sniper rifles, a missile launcher and camo cloaks
2 x Stormraven Gunships, each with hurricane bolters
Baal Predator with heavy bolter sponsons
Knight Errant

Warlord Trait: Strategic Genius

All ground vehicles were also upgraded with searchlights. Nothing complicated here, just a Knight Errant marching forth with mechanized Blood Angels in support. A pair of Stormravens covers the air support, and a Baal Predator is there to make a right nuisance of himself. Bitter experience has taught me that 1 Stormraven is never enough, and putting anything in there without an invulnerable save is a horribly risky move. At this points level, the Stormraven is a serious investment in points, and 1 cannot be relied on to do what needs doing.

*ADDENDUM: On closer inspection of my list the next morning, I realized that I didn't actually have points to field the Baal Predator. This is quite an embarrassing oversight on my part. Sorry, David. Still, given the performance of the Scouts (or lack thereof), this battle played out evenly enough to give some insight on the use of the Knight Errant, so I'm still leaving this batrep here.

David's Chaos Marines:
Kharne the Betrayer
Khorne Daemon Prince with wings, power armour and Axe of Blind Fury
8 Berserkers with a power axe for the champion, in a Rhino
8 Berserkers with a power axe for the champion, in a Rhino
8 Berserkers with a power axe for the champion, in a Rhino
Vindicator with siege shield and daemonic possession
Vindicator with siege shield and daemonic possession
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War

Yeah, *almost* pure Khorne. But seriously, who in their right mind would field Obliterators and not give them the Mark of Nurgle? This is one of those lists that looks really characterful on paper but, in 6th edition 40k, is insanely difficult to play. Between the Berserkers and Kharne, that's nearly 700 pts of close combat lethality, but with only Rhinos to get them across the board and only 8 bodies in each squad, it is not going to be easy to put their skills to use.

Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll to go first and took first turn. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

Seeing as I was the one here with the bigger guns and troops in nice fast transports, I decided on a strategy of mauling the enemy at range, keeping the Knight close to the centre to threaten any attempt to grab the relic and, of course, brutalize anything worth shooting at with that lovely thermal cannon. In its first outing, the poor Knight was nuked when it lost 4 hull points to a single melta hit. As such, I was especially wary of the 2 Vindicators.

Ordinarily I would outflank my Baal Predator, but I could see this was a game where I wanted to inflict as much ballistic violence as possible, and so opted to have it start on the board, so I could fire as many guns as possible for as many turns as possible.

So, a simple mission with a simple plan. Read on to find out how it played out...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Taurox! How about NO...

Well, the pics and the rules have been doing the rounds on the Internet, and frankly, I'm far from impressed. It just looks to me like the Taurox simply doesn't add anything to the Imperial Guard, excuse me, the Astra Militarum, at all.

Nice model, though. That said, in terms of what it costs in real world money and hobby time versus the tabletop benefits, it's really nothing to shout about. Compared to the trusty Chimera, it has fewer fire points and weaker armour. The Taurox Prime is significantly better, boasting superior speed, weaponry and ballistic skill, but... soddit, I think I've got better things to do with my money.

Oh, yes, please! Well, maybe. I've always loved the fluff for Stormtroopers, but felt they weren't cost-effective enough to stick in a list. Also, there had never been suitable plastic Stormtroopers, until these guys came along. Looking at the rules for Scions, I'm honestly not convinced they warrant a squad in my army. Yet.

So, long story short, the new models are nice, but rules-wise, they simply don't add anything to the Astra Militarum (that I'm willing to invest time and money on). I will wait and see what Codex: Astra Militarum brings. For now, I'm holding on to my money.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

House Raven goes to war!

Aaaand here it is!

So, I took the big beastie to war today, pairing him with my Blood Angels. It wasn't an optimal list, but soddit, I just wanted to pop the knight on the board and see how it rolls. It was awesome. As someone who's fielded a Hellhammer in Escalation games at 1,750 pts, the Knight is a somewhat different experience. It is a very clear and palpable threat, but nowhere nearly as spectacularly destructive as the Hellhammer. And with only 6 hull points and max armour value of 13, it's really not that hard to kill. Anyway, I'm gonna be experimenting more with it. Here's what I have to say hobby-wise about some of the most recent touches.

The decals are awesome. Excellent quality and they go on like a dream. These bigger ones on the shoulder pads, however, will need some knifework to get them in place, and a touch of paint to finish.

The rocks on the base are actually bits of broken glass. Picked up a bag of the stuff from some petshop. They're for aquariums, apparently. I use them when I need particularly nice rocks. Here's how they're done...

First off, a coat of black...

Drybrush with Dawnstone or Codex Grey...

Final drybrush with Ulthuan Grey and that's that.

Truth be told, there's still a little work to do on tthe Knight, but hell, he's ready for battle. Game-wise, I think it's absolutely awesome. A beautiful centrepiece model that allies seamlessly with all my Imperial armies. Hobbywise, a joy to build and paint, and I'll be adding little bits to the base, touching up the highlights and perhaps get some weathering done over the coming weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

WIP: Imperial Knight, Part 3

Not much to mention, painting-wise. Just a LOT of tedious line-highlighting to get through, one armour plate at a time. I do, however, have something to say about the decal sheet.

The quality is really something else. This is by far the finest sheet of decalsI've ever laid eyes on. Follow the tips on GW's video and you really can't go too far wrong.

However, I have one gripe. The back of the manual shows you which crest to put where and guess what? The size is WRONG. Here it can be seen that the row marked '3' is, according to the manual, supposed to be placed on the banner between the legs. Well, as you can see, it doesn't bloody fit. Suffice it to say, I was most annoyed by this.

Regardless, I soldiered on and after applying a few more decals, I think the banner looks rather good. Still... that damn crest is vexing...

Undaunted, I also saw fit to adorn the back of the banner somewhat. Nothing fancy, just a couple of decals and a little text...

Here's a closer look. Some of you may recognize that the decal in the centre of the cog is in fact taken from the Space Marine Vehicle sheet.

And here's where we are now, 9 days later. Pleased, I am :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

WIP: Imperial Knight, part 2

So, I devoted all of this weekend's hobby time to the Knight, who is certainly deserving of a name, as soon as I think of one. Here's my progress so far.

Don't let the armour plates fool you; they're held in place with Blu-tack. Only the one covering the top of the head has been deemed sufficiently complete to be glued into place. As for the others, there's a lot more to be done.

Here's a closer look at the carapace. I'm paying extra close attention to this, seeing as it's the most visible part. After I line highlight all the red with some Trollslayer Orange, I can start applying decals.

The little green window was done by painting successively smaller crescents of Dark Angel Green, Warboss Green and Scorpion Green in the lower right corner, followed by a dot of white in the upper right corner. Note that the transition between Dark Angel Green and Warboss Green is quite large, so that took a little blending.

The Cog Mechanicum's white bits were done in Ulthuan Grey, followed by a wash of Nuln Oil, then layering again with Ulthuan Grey. I line highlighted with a little Ceramite White on the edges. The black bits are just black with line highlights of Codex Grey. The brassy bits in between are simply Dwarf Bronze washed with Devlan Mud.

All the rivets were washed with Nuln Oil then highlighted with a dot of Ironbreaker. Tedious, but I kind of like the effect.

Doing the chainsword's stripes as black on yellow was definitely easier, as I didn't have to worry too much when applying the coats of Iyanden Darksun necessary to achieve a solid yellow. After that, it was a simple matter to pick out the stripes, then brighten the yellow with Golden Yellow.

The armour plates are all going to be blacklined with Nuln Oil, then line highlighted. A pretty arduous process, but I think it'll be worth it. Here's a closer look comparing two armour plates, before and after blacklining:

Anyhoo, after the detail work is done, decals! After that, final touch-ups and we're ready for WAR!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

WIP: Imperial Knight

2nd biggest model I've done yet, but by far the most detailed. Honestly, in terms of the actual modelling and painting joy there is in the Knight, the price (relative to a Baneblade) strikes me as really rather fair. Anyway, here's what I've done so far...

I did the chassis in pretty much the same way as prescribed by the GW video. First, I coated everything in Leadbelcher, then drowned the whole thing in Nuln Oil. I only washed once, though. Didn't see the need to wash twice. After that, a quick drybrush with Ironbreaker to give it a little more depth. The pistons were picked out as per the video, painted with Ironbreaker then washed on each end with Agrax Earthshade. I also picked out selected bits in Warplock Bronze, washed with Agrax Earthshade, then drybrushed with Dwarf Bronze.

The base was painted with a somewhat more thorough version of my usual technique. First, a few coats of Mournfang Brown, then drybrushed with Iyanden Darksun, then once more with Screaming Skull.

 All the red bits were picked out in Mephiston Red and line highlighted with Trollslayer Orange.

The chevrons are all done in Iyanden Darksun on a black background, then coated again with Golden Yellow. This can take several coats, so be patient, thin your paints and keep applying coat after coat after coat until a solid yellow is achieved. 

I'll be experimenting with the reaper chainsword; I'm going to try black stripes on a yellow background. Pics later... 

This bit is going to take a lot more work. I want the stripes to be bold and neat, which means a reasonable degree of symmetry. If you're going to do this with an old-fashioned brush like me, I recommend marking out your stripes, like so... 

A bit of careful work with Iyanden Darksun later, and here we are!

Stay tuned. More to come as it progresses...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Knight, knight, knight!

Ok, so I couldn't resist getting started on the Imperial Knight, and the Blood Angel Tacticals are gonna be put on hold for a while. Story of their lives, really. Anyway, to business...

The kit is absolutely excellent. The pieces fit together beautifully, and there were barely any mold lines for me to file or scrape off. That said, though, the Knight is a fairly complex model, and to make life easier when the time comes to paint it, a little forward planning is in order.

Painting-wise, the components can be divided into 2 main parts, i.e. Carapace, and everything else. The carapace will form the most visible part of the Knight, bearing its colours and heraldry, so it's best to leave those unglued for the moment and only glue them on after they've been painted. Here's a nekkid Knight.

Here are a couple of pics of the shoulder joint...

It's worth noting that if you glue on the pauldron (big shoulder armour plate-thing), it is actually quite impossible to slot the arm in on those plastic tabs in the previous couple of pictures. Think about the final pose carefully. I recommend gluing the arms in position.

I wanted my Knight to have a reasonably boombastic base. The thing was, the knight's legs only come in one sensible position, with both feet flat on the ground. Usually, if I want a somewhat nicer base, I'd use some corkboard to simulate rock, then pin the model in place after painting the model and base separately. Thing was, with the Knight's feet... well, see for yourself.

Yep, nothing to pin. So I decided to just use my plain old standard technique. First, glue the model on the base...

Then cover it with PVA glue and sand...

And then, I plan to proceed as usual, using the usual colour scheme for the base that I use on my Blood Angels. If figure that, at that size, I'd rather go with a simple base to begin with and embellish it as time goes by. Kind of like how I put trophies on the bases of certain models after particularly notable victories.

So, with the model assembled, next came spraying. My weapons of choice:

And the result so far...

Well, of course it's going to be red; what did you expect? Since I've decided to take this opportunity to do a little freehand work, I'm gonna paint this in the colours of House Raven. Stay tuned, more to come soon...


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quick update

Been a while since I posted anything, so I'm just gonna leave an update on what's been going on.

First off, I've been involved in a big game of Apocalypse. 10,000 pts and 3 players a side, with an Armageddon theme, i.e. Orks vs the Imperium. As elected Warmaster for the Imperials I spent a hell of a lot of time planning and plotting how to annihilate my Orky foes, and to fit the event, I had kitbashed Tycho here.

Ooh, what's that, Tycho? Got a new trophy for yourself, I see! That pretty much says everything about how that Apocalypse game went... :-)

For the game I had also assembled a couple of gunslinger sergeants. Those of you who have looked at the Blood Angel codex a little more closely will note that Blood Angel Assault sergeants can wield 2 pistol weapons at once. So, for 240 pts, I can deep strike 4 melta weapons with the Blood Angels' signature accuracy. Sounded good to me, and especially lethal in games of Apocalypse, where the Precision Coordinates Strategic Asset pretty much guarantees these guys will be a position to seriously hurt something. Honestly, though, paired pistols are just too cool not to take. I just wish models were allowed to use them in close combat in the same way as Cypher.

While scouring my collection for stuff to field in the big Apoc game, I noticed poor old Sgt Gideon from Space Hulk. Dug him out and am currently working on finishing him off.

I've been a bit naughty with Gideon. He really hasn't seen all that much combat, let alone against Tyranids, to warrant the placing of that lovely trophy at his feet. Still, at some point he'll make a lovely Terminator Captain. Just a couple of final little touches to go. And when he's done, I've lots of Tactical Marines that still need my attention. And when *they're* done...

In case there's any doubt at all on what's in the box...

Oh, yes... It'll be quite some time before I get this guy operational, though. That's what I've been working on, and now I've gotta get back to work, so, I'm-a sign off here.