Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PAINTING: Points mean prizes

It's traditional at the end of the year to look back at what you've achieved and to look forward to the coming year. Over my next few blog entries I plan to look at each aspect of my gaming life in turn and talk about what happened this year and and what I plan to do next year.

First up is painting.

In 2008 I painted:
  • 36 infantry models
  • 1 Monster
  • 3 vehicles
  • 1 Superheavy vehicle
According to the formula outlined below my score for the year was 91.

Not bad going. But it could be better.

Now I'm signed up to the Warseer Tale of 40k painters pledge I should continue to finish painting models at a respectable rate. They will be Blood Angels until August when I should have a full 2000 points finished. At that point I'll have a decision to make; press on with my Marines until I complete the lot or switch to painting Orks. At the moment I'm leaning toward the Orks but I'll make the final decision nearer the time.

Scores on the doors
In order to motivate myself in 2009 I'll add a running total of models painted to each of my painting blog entries and I'll try to beat the 2008 score. As I'll undoubtedly be painting models of all shapes and sizes across a range of games systems I'll need a series of categories to be able to compare them.

At the bottom of the scale will be an infantry model, such as a Space Marine or Chaos Warrior. Next will be cavalry or bikes, then come large models like monsters or dreadnoughts. Further up the scale come vehicles and the largest models of all will be Superheavy vehicles.

The formula
I obviously won't be painting exactly the same proportion number of infantry, cavalry, monster and vehicle models so I need a way to compare one set of models to another. Here is the formula I came up with.
  • Infantry = 1 point
  • Cavalry or bikes = 2 points
  • Monster or Dreadnought = 5 points
  • Vehicle = 10 points
  • Superheavy vehicle = 20 points
My aim for 2009 is to score 100 points or more.

Dogfaces and Wolves
I've added another Imperial Guard game to my battle reports blog and you can scope it out here. It was a great game against Wayne's Space pups.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GENERAL: Howay the lads

This is just a quickie before I leave to go to the match (Newcastle v Liverpool).

I've put up another game involving my Imperial Guard over on my Battle Reports blog. It was yet another game against Gary's powerful Chaos Space Marines army. Could I do any worse than my last two games with the Guard? Read on to find out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

GENERAL: Hounded

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and ate too much and drank too much. I know I did and I'm still devouring the leftovers now.

Even if you don't normally bother reading my battle reports I'd advise you to take a quick peek at this one. Reading it back it would have made me laugh out loud - if it hadn't happened to me. I wouldn't believe the unlucky chain of events if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

It was a game with my new Imperial Guard army versus Gary's Chaos Space Marines. This was back in the day when the Daemons were part of the Chaos Space Marine list. It was also in the days when units could consolidate from one combat to the next. This game alone shows the reason why that rule was changed.

The horror, the horror...

Monday, December 22, 2008

GENERAL: Atten-hut!

As promised here is the first of a whole host of Imperial Guard battle reports. All these games were played with my newly built and lovingly painted Cadians which were released around 2003. As far as I can remember most of these games were played when the book was released just before the introduction of 4th edition 40k. Aaahh, the good old days of rhino rush and consolidating from combat to combat.

I'd love to go back to my Guardsmen one day as I like the standard of painting and modelling I put into them, I still have some spare models to add to the army (and a painted but as yet unplayed Baneblade) and they will have a new codex early next year. Lets hope Games Workshop make them competitive because as these battle reports show, the poor old dogfaces have been struggling for years.

All this reminiscing made me dig out my old Imperial Guard models and I found quite a haul. I could potentially make a decent sized Praetorian and Catachan army with the models I already own, and I could also make a start on a Renegade IG army too. My instinct at the moment (and I have already changed my mind several times regarding the Praetorians in even the short lifetime of this blog) is to flog everything bar the Cadians and Renegades. This would generate more income for my New Model Fund and at the same time allow me to focus on my existing armies better.

Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GENERAL: I'm too old for this...

Well, I survived the Christmas party, but only just.

I drank three pints of lager, 10 bottles of lager and had two double Jack Daniels. I paid for it this morning when I had to get up for work at 7:30. Ooof.

I was good for nothing all day except going on the bacon buttie run. I'm rounding off a bad food day by ordering a Chinese takeaway tonight. I really need all those carbs. Honestly.

Anyhoo, this is the last Daemonhunters battle report I can port over from my old, defunct website. It was a memorable game against Gary's fledgling Eldar army. In this game he managed to scrape together 1400 points of pointy ears versus my 1500 points of Ordo Malleus. To help balance the game I suggested Gary choose the mission. Good stuff.

Imperial Guard games will make up the next thirty or so battle reports I'll be reposting. I guess it's a good time to be refreshing them just ahead of the rumoured Imperial Guard codex release in March.

Will I be able to press on with my Blood Angels or will the Guard grab my attention?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

GENERAL: Falcons...bah, humbug!

Here we go again with another Daemonhunters battle report. This was an encounter with Gary's Eldar army. Reading it over again I began to remember where my hatred of Falcons came from.

There'll be nothing from me tomorrow as I'm at work and then straight out on my big Christmas party. If I survive the night I might be able to eke out some gaming and blog time at the weekend.

Here's hoping!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

GENERAL: Pointy-eared elves everywhere

I'm starting to feel like I'm taking control of things again. My Christmas shopping is all but done and the presents are wrapped, my parties are organised and my work is mapped out until the holidays. I love it when a plan comes together.

Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in some hobby time soon.

Meanwhile, I'm still counting down the Daemonhunter battle reports and here is the third from last. It's a game against Gary's fledgling Eldar army.

Monday, December 15, 2008

GENERAL: Yellow snow, yellow snow, yellow snow...

The decorations are up, the house is tidied and I'm now ready for Christmas. Just one more six day working week to go then I'll have a few days off. That means I should have some hobby time.

My plan is to concentrate on getting the Brass Scorpion conversion finished, using some of the techniques shown in the IA Modelling Masterclass book. Most of the really big areas are done now so I'll be able to concentrate on the details and get regular if small updates up on my blog.

To accompany those I'll be linking to more Daemonhunters battle reports on my dedicated blog. I have four more of them I think and then I'll be starting to share my Imperial Guard games. I have somewhere in the region of thirty of those which should take me well into February.

Check out my latest Daemonhunter game here.

In the longer term I need to go back to my Blood Angels for the Warseer Tale of 40k Painters Pledge. I have a squad of 10 Assault Marines in the works and then some more vehicles.

I also plan on actually completing my gaming table. This has remained in bubble wrap since the building work I had done 18 months ago but with my Super heavies done I'll need a decent Apocalypse sized table to play on. I already have three 4 foot by two foot sections done but the fourth section will give me that crucial 8 foot length and some cool trenches to fight over. It'll also encourage me to finish all those terrain pieces I've been hoarding for ages; craters, the crashed shuttle terrain, a Forge World Chimera wreck, trees and hills.

I'm really stoked about getting all my painted models on one table but I'm struggling to get Gary interested - he still hasn't taken his Apocalypse book out of it's wrapper. At least I'll have a few months to wear him down...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GENERAL: Up with the larks

I woke up at 5.00am this morning wide awake. Is there such a time on a Sunday? It could have been for a number of reasons; the bottle of red wine I drank, I accidentally left the central heating on, I slept for over 10 hours the night before, I was stressed.

Whatever the reason, I got up and watched a documentary on dogfighting (the planes not the animals) which made me want to break out my unpainted Aeronautica models. That lead me to leaf through my Imperial Armour Modelling Masterclass book and in turn made me want to revisit my Cadian Baneblade. No, I told myself, finish the Brass Scorpion first. And what about my Blood Angels?

Just as I was considering breaking out the paints I remembered I had a battle report still to write. It was my final game using my Warriors of Chaos against Gary's Dark Elves before Christmas. So I typed it all up and had it finished by 9.00am. A productive day already.

For the rest of the day I'm planning to tidy up in readiness for the Christmas decorations which will go up this afternoon. I'll be doing that while keeping one eye on the Newcastle versus Portsmouth match on Sky. After that I'll hopefully be packing up my eBay sales for postage on Monday. You can check out the auctions here. The item that will appeal most to readers of this blog will probably be the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer which is selling for a measly £5.75 as I write this. A real bargain.

Adieu for now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

PAINTING: Blood for the Blood God!

All good things must come to an end and after a good few blogging days I hit the wall. My pre-Christmas fitness regime is taking it's toll, work has been hectic and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Harrumph.

Nevertheless, I managed to scrape some gaming time together yesterday and settled in to do some serious painting. I put the Blood Angels to one side to concentrate on my Brass Scorpion conversion.

The first thing I did was slap some Mechrite Red onto the armour plates.

I built up the red with Red Gore mixed with Blood Red. I didn't want to have the bright, clean red I have on my Blood Angels so I washed the surfaces with Gryphonne Sepia. Looking at the photographs now it is clear that I need to highlight the hard red edges to make them 'pop.'

I was planning to stop there as I had a battle report to write up but I pressed on, trying to make some significant progress on the model.

My next task was to highlight all the black parts. This wasn't going to be a traditional grey highlight - I wanted something more sinister and degraded.

Instead I took some Chainmail and dabbed it on all the hard edges. I was trying to simulate wear and tear. This Mantis stalk tank has been in a few skirmishes already.

What a long and tedious job it was! I couldn't believe just how much detail there was and the sheer surface area I had to cover.

The end result was worth it, though. All that detail, which was previously just lost in matte black paint, leaps out.

The model is now at the stage where I'd be willing to play it in a game - all the main blocks of colour are done - but there are loads of little details that are still to be painted. You might be able to spot them in the photographs, things like the stablight eye, the cabling, the trophy poles and further weathering.

Still, I've achieved a lot and the end is in sight. I'm really tempted to forget all about my Blood Angels for now (knowing that I have the Death Company and Chaplain up my sleeve from last month) and go full steam ahead to finish my super-heavy. There's a balance to be had from simply getting the model done and getting it done well - after all it is the biggest and most comprehensive conversion I've ever done.

Monday, December 8, 2008


My mood hasn't improved too much since Saturday as I've missed my deadline for posting the results of my painting pledge on Warseer. It's especially infuriating and ironic as I actually finished painting the models weeks ago but held them back specifically for the challenge. I've just been so busy and the odd time I've tried to post on the thread Warseer's forums have had server issues.

It means I've had to play a joker - you get two for the year - and I get a 'free' month. I'll have to post two months worth of models in a future month to earn that joker back.


Anyway here's the latest in my collection of Daemonhunters battle reports. It was a memorable game against a nasty Tyranid army.

Pilgrim out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NEW MODEL FUND: Gold Library

In my last financial round-up I mentioned I would try to put some stuff up for sale on eBay to build up my kitty for new models. I followed through with that promise and listed three items; two graphic novels and a Black Library background book. I was amazed as the bids came whizzing in and the Sabbat Worlds Crusade book in particular raked in an impressive haul. I made £74.89 in just one week.

Get in!

That made me rifle through my other books for similar items and I came up with nine things; eight more graphic novels and another Black Library background book. You can check everything out here. I'm hoping I can add a substantial sum to my war chest by this time next week.

So how does my fund stand at the moment?
  • Total income from sales (and my penny jar) £626.67
  • Less models bought £537.12
  • New model fund £89.55
That's a very healthy profit - the best shape it's been in in a long time. It has obviously been helped because I haven't bought any new models either. To be honest I can't imagine buying anything new at all until well after Christmas, presuming my heavy hints of model-related pressies haven't fallen upon deaf ears.

PS - You may have noticed that I've dropped the category of sellers fees from my figures above. I decided it wasn't necessary at all and instead I've incorporated the fees in my income from sales figures.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

GENERAL: Owen goal

I'm in a foul mood because I'm just back from the match where Newcastle threw away a two goal lead. Why am I surprised?

Just to cheer myself up I've posted another Daemonhunters battle report up over on my battle reports blog. This was another very fluffy game against Jamie's Blood Pact army (using the Imperial Guard list). I wish I'd taken photographs at the time because it was a beautifully modelled army.

I'll be back tomorrow with an update on my New Model Fund.

Friday, December 5, 2008

GENERAL: Basilisk on Fire

The Kings of Leon were fantastic, thanks for asking.

Here's another battle report featuring my Daemonhunters. It was a fluffy game against Wayne's Lost and the Damned army.

I always enjoyed playing against Wayne. I wonder where he is now?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

GENERAL: Daemonhunters resurface

This is just a quick blog before I head out to a surprise 40th birthday party and then on to a Kings of Leon gig.

I was going through my old battle reports, wondering which ones to add to my battle reports blog when I came across some more Daemonhunters games that I'd missed. They date back to 2003/2004 and third edition 40k. Over the next few days I'll be posting them and linking to them from here.

First up is a fight against Gary's short lived Ork army. Check it out here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PAINTING: Painting pledge month 4

Here is my contribution to month four of the Tale of 40k Painters painting pledge (try saying that fast). I actually painted these models a while ago for the Gauntlet tournament but I held them back so I didn't exceed my monthly points limit on the pledge. That meant I could spend a little time painting my Brass Scorpion instead, but it will be back to the Blood Angels from now on.

The photographs aren't great because the light was terrible (ahh - British winters) and the flash which I had to use has made the highlights super harsh. Anyway, enough of the excuses, here are the Death Company.

Drum roll please...

Chaplain and five Death Company marines

Although I own ten Death Company models I chose to paint just five and the Chaplain. This would give me a legal squad, would make it easier for me to allocate points to the challenge and allow me to paint each type of marine in their own batch. Five of my Death Company marines came from second edition while five were the newer Death Company models. I went with the older batch of models first. They have metal bodies with plastic arms. There are lots and lots of little conversions on the models which I did many moons ago.

Chaplain Diavolo

The Chaplain was a newer addition to the unit, chosen when I got rid of my Death Company rhino and switched to jump packs in 3rd edition. I didn't want to cut up my old Chaplain Avernus so I had to make a new one. For some reason I gave him a plasma pistol which is not very useful in the game. Ho hum.

Death Company marine with powerfist

This model has had a skull cut in half and moulded onto his shoulder pad. He also carries a powerfist which just represents rending in the current rules.

Death Company marine with powerfist

Another powerfist which was really nasty in previous editions. He has bones glued in a cross on his shoulder pad.

Death Company marine with power axe

This marine has had skeleton arms attached to his own power armoured arms.

Death Company marine with powersword

You can see the bone additions really clearly on this guy.

Death Company marine with chainsword

Anyone remember hand flamers?

Four month group shot

Wow, the models are starting to look like an army now. I haven't varnished these guys yet following last month's frosting disaster. I hope to write an article on the whole frosting phenomenon at some point and I'll probably do my Death Company for that.

I'm not happy with the photographs at all, but I hope to remedy this by next month. Speaking of next month I need to decide on what to paint. Assault marines are high on my list as they count towards the Troops choices of my army and can thus claim objectives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TACTICS: Space Marines versus Chaos Daemons

In a recent thread over on The Warhammer Forum I offered some advice to a Space Marine general playing against Chaos Daemons. Having used my Blood Angels against Gary's Chaos Daemons in six very tough games I thought I had something to add. I also thought I'd reproduce my thoughts here so they are preserved for posterity.

I've played half a dozen games against a Daemon army with my Blood Angels and I've done best when keeping virtually all my army off the table in reserve. It negates the deployment advantage Daemons normally have because you get to see where they set up which means you can target isolated squads. It also means you can refuse a flank and effectively put some of his units out of the game.

Take the second turn when you get the opportunity so he has more of his units on the table and you get the vital last turn to grab objectives.

In one memorable game I set up one combat squad with a missile launcher on the table to try and tempt the Daemons toward my lines then hit them with my firepower and combat ability from reserve. Of course, my army had Death Company with jump packs and units in Razorbacks and Rhinos, but regular Space Marines could still pack a decent punch if the daemons are within 18" of your board edge when your reserves come on.

If the Daemons don't go for the bait straight away then your superior shooting should force his hand later.

Just be careful to compete for the objectives as the game progresses.

A unit of 10 marines should be dropping at least 3-4 Bloodletters with one round of shooting, 5-6 if you can get the flamer template on them. Concentrate on shooting each daemon unit until it is completely dead, then move on to the next.

If you can, get the Dreads into close combat with his Bloodletters and other lesser daemons. Most of them can't even hurt the Dreadnought so they'll be stuck there just getting killed. That should leave your Tac squads more room for manoeuvre. Fearlessness works against the Daemons here and you can munch through them surprisingly quickly.

The alternative to using reserves is to castle your forces. This suits a more static, shootier Space Marine force.

Deploy everything on the table at once if possible, all in one small area at the corner edge of your deployment zone. That makes it dangerous for your opponent to deep strike within 12" of either board edge. If you don't leave big gaps between your units he won't be able to land right next to you and he'll be taking a big risk by deep striking with 12" of you. That means he'll probably come in between around 18" away from your lines in a big clump of units.

You should split the Tactical squads into combat squads and put the missile launcher half on the outer edge of your lines. They are going to die horribly in the service of the Emperor. Make sure you keep enough space between each unit so that the Daemons can't assault two units at once.

Everything else will be behind. When the Daemons assault and kill the front line you move all your squads up and barbecue them with your flamers. They should be quite nicely clumped following the close combat. Alternatively you can throw your own units into assault, especially the Dreads and Termies. Sure you're pretty much guaranteed to lose 15 Tac marines but then you get to choose the assaults the round after.

This tactic will only work if you have better shooting than the enemy and again you should be careful to keep an eye on the turn so you have enough time to claim objectives.

Monday, December 1, 2008

GENERAL: Rot, glorious rot!

I'm back from the gym and just have a few moments to direct you to my latest Warhammer Fantasy Battle game report. This was a 2000 pointer using my Warriors of Chaos against Gary's dastardly Dark Elves. I tried an experimental Nurgle marked list while Gary tried out a fighty Lord. Read the full battle report here.

Okey dokey - I'm off to make dinner.