Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Painting Deathwing, Part 3

Painting Deathwing, Part 1
Painting Deathwing, Part 2
The Completed Deathwing

Ok, our third and final installation on how to paint the Deathwing. We'll start with how I paint the symbol on since GW hasn't made Deathwing decals since 2nd edition. I know there's a fan decal sheet out there but I didn't want to do it that way.

Step 1: Paint a thin red line to delineate the position of the sword. The sword has a break in it near the bottom, mark that with your line. I use Scab Red for this part.

Step 2: Now flesh out the sword. Keep the quillions of the sword close to the body, my mistake on the early ones was making them go too far out. Don't worry if you mess up, after you're done with the sword get out your white color and clean up your lines.

Step 3: Now add the frame for the wings. I had to switch models for this photo, you can see that I haven't cleaned up the lines yet. The inside lines for the wings go as far down as the break in the sword, the curves are a quarter circle and the outside lines of the wings are the same length as the inside ones.

Step 4: Now thicken the lines and add the other lines to the wings. I find this the hardest step, getting the angles just right. If you mess up it's fine, once you're done use your white to clean up the red mistakes. It may take more than one coat.

Step 5: After it is all cleaned up, use Blood Red to highlight. You don't need much but it really helps bring it to life.

So that's all for the symbols, now here's how I do the scrollwork and Purity Seals on these models.

As you can see this guy is laden in scrolls and seals. As mentioned before, I use regular Bleached Bone straight from the bottle (not my thinned out mix) for the scrolls themselves. I wash them with Gryphonne Sepia, then highlight with a Bleached Bone mixed with a bit of Skull White. Lastly I take a very fine sepia-colored pen (I use a Staedtler, but Micron is a great line as well) and do some Latinesque writing. For the purity seals I just do a big letter than a bunch of scribbles. For the larger scrolls I write a bunch of Latin type words. There's plenty of websites that can give you great words like fortius, fidelius, mortus and so on. Be sure to include the serifs! If you really want that "authentic" feel, change all the letters "U" into "V." Not necessary but I do it after having seen lots of Latin writing through my various art history classes. Some Latin scholars will point out that there's much more to make it "authentic" but that's good enough for me. Besides, High Gothic isn't actually Latin anyway.

Here's the lightning claws squad. I still have to finish their bases. I used the Baal Red wash to make their claws look a little bloodstained. I just finished up the thunder hammer terminators, only 5 guys left!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sharing the Hobby With Your Kid

Happy Father's Day everyone! I've seen quite a few other blogs talk about how they share the Warhammer hobby with their children and thought I'd join in the fun today. Especially since my one year old girl has discovered how much fun Daddy's toys can be!

Since it's summer break and I'm a teacher I thought I would be able to get a lot of painting done. Not so! If I try to work while she's awake, she comes straight to my table with a big smile on her face and begs for me to pick her up. I can't say no for two reasons; firstly how can anyone say no to someone so cute and secondly she shakes the table violently until I do. Even when I'm not there she sometimes wants to play with them.

She has learned about how to stand on her tippy-toes thanks to Warhammer since that's the only way she can reach what's on the table. The learning begins already! I have my own desk in the back room but there's better light on kitchen table, plus I don't like feeling isolated from the family while I paint, and also I have no room to work on my desk since it is covered in bitz and half-sawed apart models. This exposes me to the curiosity of my child.

While she's up on my lap she loves to rearrange all of my paints. She picks them up one at a time, looks at it and then sets it down. She does the same for the models but she has a crushing grip so I move those out of her reach. She can surprise me though and strikes like a cobra to grab models that I thought were out of her reach. I have to handle these hostage situations delicately, if I try to take it away she reacts by biting the object she's holding and crushing with her vice-like hands.

She probably knows that there's stuff inside the paint bottles, but she hasn't been able to open them. I have trouble opening them too, especially the Citadel Washes. I must remember to thank GW for the built-in childproofing.

Hopefully this fascination continues years down the road and I can play some games with her. Games like Warhammer, Magic and D&D can bolster math, reading and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, it will be a fun activity that we can share together. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pry a Terminator out of her hands.

PS: Don't forget to call Papa Nurgle today!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shining Spears Are Awesome

I hear a lot of negativity about the Spears, and while I too have not had a ton of success with them last night everything changed. I took a squad of 5 plus an Autarch for a friendly game and they dominated. To start, I held them in reserve and got a good roll for them to come in the second turn (Autarch helps with that). My opponent had a Dreadnought and scout squad in my deployment zone (we were playing capture and control). The spears flew in and since they are a big unit (big base sizes) I managed to charge both the Dreadnought and scouts together.

while I didn't destroy the dreadnought I did manage to destroy two weapons. Meanwhile, I wiped out the scouts. I survived the return attacks and while I couldn't hurt it in his assault phase since my haywire grenade failed, I simply used Withdraw and got them all out of there.

Next they assaulted a combat squad in his deployment zone and wiped them out. They got assaulted once and actually lost a guy in that but managed to withdraw and charge back. They took some shooting casualties and lost a guy charging into difficult terrain but the Autarch and Exarch survived to the end of turn 7. Their final body count was 5 scouts and 20 tactical marines.

A jetbike Autarch is a beast. He can get 6 S6 power weapon attacks on the charge. He can carry a fusion gun or a reaper launcher (either one results in dead marines). Supported by a squad of spears there is not much that can resist.

However, I don't think my experience is typical. Most of the time you will charge into a squad, devastate them and then get shot to pieces. This didn't happen too badly to me because I exploited some deployment mistakes. He wasn't able to bring all his heavy weapons to bear because I put a lot of terrain between us.

Anyway, Shining Spears are a scalpel among scalpels and really aren't for every battle. They're a hard-hitting "fun" choice. They're fast and deadly but can be very vulnerable in the shooting phase. I'm going to use them a bit more and see if I can still get some good mileage out of them.

Next game I think I am going to take Swooping Hawks, even though they suck. I used to love them back in the crazy days of 2nd edition and I want to love them again. I'll have to build a list around them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's 1k List- Eldar

This is the list I'm taking to tonight's game. I'm going for an entirely mobile force but without being a "hard" list. So here's what I came up with.

Autarch on Jetbike with Laser Lance, mandiblasters and Fusion Gun
3x Guardian Jetbikes with cannon
3x Guardian Jetbikes with cannon
3x Guardian Jetbikes with cannon
5x Shining Spears with Exarch and all the trimmings
3x Vypers with EML and cannons
Fire Prism with Holo-fields and spirit stones, cannon

The plan is to reserve everything (depending on who goes first). The Vypers and Prism are going to stay at range popping vehicles and try to lure him out of cover, at which point the Spears led by the Autarch will break them. If he takes a Land Raider the Autarch is going to make a banzai run and pop it with the fusion gun or 6 S6 lance attacks.

This list has a solid core (jetbikes, vypers and prism) but the spears make it more of a fun list. I would never run them in a tourney. I painted them all up and whether I win or not I am going to use them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting Deathwing, Part 2

Painting Deathwing Part 1
Painting Deathwing Part 3
The Completed Deathwing

Phase two of my series on how I paint the Deathwing. Now that the basecoat has been established we begin picking out the details.

Step one is to undercoat the details black. In this case I paint the icons and weapons black. Most of the time, I leave the skulls bone white, though you can make them metallic if you wish.

Step two is to paint the metallics. I do the icons with Boltgun Metal on the outside, and Burnished Gold on the inside things. Try to be careful not to get paint in the crevices, but if you do we'll wash it later. Below you can see another example of how I do the Boltgun Metal/Gold combo. At this point I also highlight the areas that are going to stay black with Boltgun Metal to make them look scratched and used.

Paint the wings on the chest Dark Angels Green. I also paint the weapons housing green. I've seen it also painted red, I chose green because it helps unify the army.

I then do the wax portion of the purity seals in Scab Red and the parchment in regular Bleached Bone. Some models have other parchment on their armor, this too is given Bleached Bone. After this, I give the parchment a wash of Gryphonne Sepia. Now wash the metal areas with Badab Black and the gold with Devlan Mud, and touch up any armor areas that may need re-washing.

Time for the eyes. I do this with my first highlight color, a bit of yellow mixed with Dark Angels Green. The way I do it is I get my brush wet, dip it in the color and try to remove most of it from the brush. Then I gently dab it on the eyes. If you did it right, the color flows into the cracks of the eyes leaving the raised surface automatically highlighted. This doesn't work on every type of model, but it does wonders on Terminators because of the way their eyes are shaped. I then highlight the rest of the green, then do a second highlight with an even lighter Dark Angels Green and a lot more Sunburst Yellow.

Now I finish highlighting everything else. I use Mithril for the metal highlights and Blood Red for the purity seals. I use the highlight colors for the lenses above the model's helmet using the same technique as the eyes (both red and green). For the parchment, I use a bit of bleached bone mixed with skull white. Not quite as light as the armor color, but close. I then use pure white as the highlight for the bone colors.

The next part of this tutorial will cover finishing touches and bringing the model to life, including how to paint the Deathwing symbol. I'll also have more pictures of the final product in better lighting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Auctions: Mordians and Metal Catachans

Just put up two more auctions- Mordians and metal Catachans. I had to strip the paint off these guys which is a real pain. But I think the arms on the metal Catachans are a lot better than the Orky arms of the new ones. And the Mordians are a classic and rare army.

These were sitting in my sort of bitz box and I found them recently and figured I'd put 'em up on Ebay. Oddly enough, the Mordian squad has 11 guys and the Catachan squad has 9. I must have lost one somehow, but I'm not sure where the extra came from. I never played Imperial Guard, but a friend did a long long long time ago. I have a bunch of other random old figures I should throw up on Ebay as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tyranids in Capture and Control

Last night I played a 1k game against Space marines, the game was Capture and Control with Dawn of War deployment. The objectives were on opposite ends of the table. I took an experimental no-Genestealer list. My goal was to field as many bodies as I could, as many monstrous creatures as I could and to capitalize on the new and improved Deathspitters. Here's what I took:

Dakka Tyrant with Psychic Scream
Tyrant Guard
5 Warriors with talons and Deathspitters
17 Termagaunts
17 Termagaunts
16 Hormagaunts
1 Sniperfex
1 Talon/Barbed Strangler fex

My foe took (as far as I remember):

1 Chaplain leading an assault squad
2x Tactical squads with flamers and plasma cannons
2x scout squads
1 Dreadnaught in a drop pod

He dropped the Dreadnaught on my objective in the first turn and marched his assault squad on, wiping out my Hormagaunts who only inflicted 2 casualties in return. The next turn I shot up the 'naught with my Warriors and Sniperfex. Took me two turns of shooting to drop it. My gaunts were held in reserve and marched on around turn 3, and went into a mad dash to reach their objective as I realized my fatal mistake. The game ended on turn 6 and if I had one more turn I would have reached his objective. He only had 3 scouts left on the table and they held the objective for a draw.

This is a common situation in Capture and Control; I played a game against Daemons where he only had 3 Daemonettes guarding his objective with everything else dead but I just couldn't reach his objective. I have also lost 90% of my force but prevented my opponent from contesting my objective by surrounding it with a mass of gaunts. Can't kill 'em all!

While thinking about this I came to the mistakes in my plan. Since Tyranids have no transports we have to rely on footsloggers. In a game where the objectives are at opposite ends, you have to make your decisions in the deployment phase instead of pulling a Fritz (last turn turboboosting jetbikes to contest objectives). For Tyranids, we have choices that can handle this, here's what I think the best options are.

Flyrant: Big and expensive, also very fragile. He can deep strike or fly around and contest. I don't think he's the best option because of his expense and fragility.

Leaping Warriors: Since they don't have fleet it is probably not the best option to use them in this capacity. Sure they can charge 12" but in my opinion they are best delegated to shooting.

Outflanking Broodlord/Genestealers: Probably the best option. However, the chubby Broodlord can't fleet so make sure he is used with caution. Regular Genestealers outflanking are fantastic- the only caveat is to make sure you take multiple broods. Outflanking relies on luck and if you roll poorly you'll be a long ways from home. Stealers are still our best option as they are fast, T4, and can utterly destroy a unit guarding an objective. Make sure they have a follow-up brood in case things don't go your way.

Hormagaunts: Very fast, but fragile. If you use them they need to be supported (especially because most of the time a 12" charge will take them out of synapse range). Lictors make great support because of Feeder Tendrils, but more on them later.

Regular Gaunts: If you can get them there without them dying on the way. They're best for holding home objectives and just getting in the way. If you plan on using them to take the objective they need to start on the table, not in reserve (which was my mistake).

Lictors: A chancy choice. If they appear too early they won't do much good as they'll be killed before turn 5, but if they appear late they will probably work very well, depending on what's guarding the objective. I have had low success using one, I think in future lists I will try and run a pair to see if that improves their chances, along with trying to get some other broods in CC with them as well to benefit from Feeder Tendrils.

Raveners: Fast charge but very fragile. If they deep strike they are vulnerable for a turn. If you go with them, multiples are the way to go.

Gargoyles: Probably an excellent choice, but they are so expensive! I don't actually own any for that reason. Plus I hear they are very top-heavy. Rumor has it they'll be made in plastic but I'm not holding my breath. For now I will deal without them.

These are the units I feel stand somewhat of a chance at seizing the objective in Capture and Control. But first and foremost, it comes down to your deployment. Had I put my Termagaunts on the table at the beginning they could have reached the objective. I had my Carnifexes acting as fire magnets, but I just didn't have enough time to reach his flag. Keep the objectives in mind, not just killing everything that moves.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Ebay Auctions- Tallarn and Mini Rulebook

I just put two auctions up on Ebay, one is a classic Tallarn squad and the other is the mini-rulebook from the Assault on Black Reach set.

Check 'em out!

Soon I'll be putting up a Mordian squad and possibly the old classic metal Catachan squad, once I get the crappy paint job stripped off them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Small Game Recap

So last night turns out that the store does have some bigger tables. Furthermore, they are expanding in a couple of months and they'll have even bigger tables there. We played on a 5x3.5 table. Being a 500 point game it was quite open. Here's what I took and what he took:

Space Marines
5x Scouts
10x Marines
1 Chaplain
1 Thunderfire Cannon

10 Dire Avengers
3 Jetbikes
1 Farseer + doom
6 Banshees
1 D-Cannon

I took the D cannon because I figured that on a small table the limited range would not be an issue. As it was, I never got to fire a shot because he stayed out of range and destroyed it around the 4th turn with a Thunderfire Cannon shot. It did keep a bit of firepower off my troops though. I think I can use them as area denial since no one wants to come near one.

His Thunderfire cannon did the most damage of everything he had, it killed 3 banshees, an Avenger, and took out the D cannon. I tried taking it out with my bikes, but it's a tough nut to crack with a 3+ cover save thanks to the Techmarine. A little more firepower would help.

My banshees suffered some really bad rolls and didn't kill too much. They were wiped out by the Chaplain. When I charged the combat squad led by the chaplain, only one banshee actually managed to hit, and of course failed to wound.

In all, I won 3 objectives to 1 (my Avengers formed a long line that touched two objectives while the bikes held the third). I think what did it for me was I have learned that giving up a turn of shooting in order to get a better position pays off a lot better in the long run. In a small game every unit counts, and I think I was better able to maximize what my units did.

Next game we play we're upping it to 1,000 points. I will be playing as Tyranids. This should be interesting because the smaller the game, the harder time Tyranids have because Synapse becomes an issue.

Now we're working on strengthening the 40k community in this area. With the Northridge store closing and the stores in Santa Clarita closing, this is the only place to game in the valley. There's a small club at the college that says I can't play with them because I'm not a student (for insurance reasons, blah blah blah) but we can try and steal their players and get a league going. There's more players out here, finding who they are and getting them out will help us to get a strong wargaming community our here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Playing Smaller Games

Recently, a new store opened up here in Lancaster (CA) called Battle Grounds. They are the only gaming store around. The only other nearest one is about 45 minutes to an hour away in Santa Clarita. This store is small, and just getting started. Tonight, they will host what I think is their first 40k game ever in their eight months of being open. About a month ago, the owner put out a list of people who have contacted him about playing 40k, making me realize that there's other people around here who play. I'm no longer alone!

Unfortunately, their tables are kind of small. They're set up for Magic and other board games, not for Warhammer. But I'm not going to let that stop me! Instead we're going to play some 500 pt games. Generally, we agree that 500 pt games don't need an HQ as part of the FOC, only two troops choices. Planning these lists made me realize the game gets a little trickier at small points.

Here's the three lists I wrote up:

10 Dire Avengers with Exarch, Power Weapon, Shimmershield, Defend and Bladestorm.
1 Doomseer (Farseer+doom)
6 Banshees with exarch & executioner
3 Jetbikes, one with cannon
1 D cannon

This list takes advantage of the small table space. D-Cannons are awesome, but their short range is their only limitation. A small board will help mitigate that weakness. The Doomseer lets the shuriken catapults in the army do the maximum damage. I gave the Exarch the powerweapon and shield instead of dual cats because with a small board, I fear that they would get assaulted easily. Those upgrades would help them survive. I normally mechanize my Avengers, these upgrades are to help them guard an objective.

5 Pathfinders
3 Jetbikes (with cannon)
3 Jetbikes (with cannon)
6 Fire Dragons with Exarch
5 Banshees with Exarch

This list is my specialist list. The Pathfinders can get a 2+ cover save, a tough cookie in a small game. The bikes can run around nabbing objectives and generally harassing the foe.

12 Guardians with Scatter Laser, warlock with conceal
3 Jetbikes with cannon
1 Doomseer
5 Swooping Hawks with Exarch
1 D-Cannon

This is my "I'm not really trying" list. I want to love hawks, they were fun back in 2nd and I want their glory days to return. Their problem is they're not sure what they want to do. Are they anti-vehicle, or anti-horde? They're also very fragile. I think if their guns had one more shot, and if their blast template was either increased in strength or number of blasts per hawk in the unit (why not give them one small blast template per 2 hawks?) they would be more useful. Anyway, more on them later.

While writing these lists, I realized that most of the normal game types would be weird with such a small points game. Any objective based mission probably would end in a draw as most lists only have two things that can possibly score. The death of one means you'd have to really scramble to avoid a draw. The only standard mission that would work is Killpoints.

Well, I'll see how tonight goes and report tomorrow.

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