Monday, August 30, 2010

A Fun Trick With the Lore of Life

I discovered this during my first game of Fantasy this weekend (playing borrowed Bretonnians). I am probably not the first to discover it but I haven't seen anyone else post this so here it goes. Take a wizard with the Lore of Life, and give him/her a Power Scroll. You'll need to have at least eight dice in your pool for this to work. Use two dice to cast Throne of Vines, then use the Power Scroll to cast The Dwellers Below. You have a 90-something percent chance to get doubles which gives you Irresistible Force, but you can ignore the miscast on a 2+ with Throne of Vines.

It is by no means guaranteed and you shouldn't wrap a strategy around it but it is a good combo, especially against hordes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kill-Team Tournament After-Action Report

Yesterday we had the long discussed KT tournament. All in all we had some tough games and some tough lists. The format was swiss pairings, double elimination. We had ten players. Here's what I brought:

2x Hive Guard
3x Warriors+Barbed Strangler

One Hive Guard had Scout, the other FNP. The warrior with the BS had Stealth. The army had 5 models and 14 wounds.

My first match was against a Space Marines player. He had 5 Terminators with Storm Bolters and one with a power weapon. No matter how many shots I poured into him he just kept advancing. Finally I started to force some 1s and dropped enough just as they approached my lines, taking out a Warrior in the process. They failed their Leadership test and I won.

Round two saw me against IG. The player had brought thirty something guys with three mortars. He deployed out of LoS and started shooting the mortars at me right away. I had the Barbed Strangler Warrior up high and managed to get a few that way, but the Hive Guard really shined in this mission. I was able to take out his Mortar squads efficiently thus removing my biggest threats. All that remained were the flashlights. Even then I just couldn't take them out fast enough with their cover saves (they piled into area terrain). I thought the Barbed Strangler would be king but with cover it hardly mattered. The timer ran out and I won due to having killed more points.

Round three was the final round, me against the other undefeated player. He brought Orks. His list had three Lootas, one Deffkopta and the rest Shoota Boyz. This was the toughest match of them all. My dice were with me in the beginning when I dropped two of the Lootas and a mess of Boyz, but once again I just couldn't kill them fast enough. For me the game came down to a set of rolls. He had two Boyz in the open and I hit both with my Hive Guard but rolled double 1s for wounds. Then I defeated his Kopta in CC with my Warrior, and to catch it just had to roll anything but a 1. Of course, you can guess what I rolled. Time ran out and he took the win. I ended second.

Now that I think about it, it's unfair to say that the game came down to a few rolls on my part. I made one little mistake not getting my Hive Guard behind some terrain (trusting to T6) when I should have just moved. My opponent also rolled poorly on his to wound rolls, had he done better it wouldn't have been very close at all. He played very well and had a good combo of numbers, toughness and volume of fire.

I had a lot of fun and in a bit of confession, it was my first tournament after 13 years in this hobby. I hope it's not the last as I had a lot of fun trying to stay on top of my game.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poll: Should I Start a New Fantasy Blog?

So I'm going to start playing Fantasy once the Island of Blood comes out, and I'm asking all my loyal readers if I should start a new Fantasy blog and keep just the 40k stuff here. As far as Fantasy goes, I'll probably be posting batreps, and showing off my handiwork. Furthermore, I'll probably talk about speed painting as I intend to learn how to do it with my Skaven.

40k will still be the dominant aspect of this blog, it's my main game and I'm not stopping playing it. A reason to separate the blogs is that I may work on Fantasy in waves, so you'd get a few weeks with mostly fantasy, then back to 40k and so on. I could try and intersperse them but it all depends on what I'm working on with commissions and such. I also already have a sweet name picked out so that's another reason to keep them separated.

A reason to keep them together is, if you don't like reading Fantasy posts, don't read them! Suscribe to the RSS feed and simply mark them as "Read" in Google Reader. Furthermore, I don't know if I could really keep two blogs going with regular content. I can barely keep one going with at least one post a week, especially on slow weeks where I just plod along on commissions.

The poll is at the top right, go ahead and vote! If you'd like to explain your reasoning, please do so in the comments. I'll leave it up for two weeks or so until September 4th when the IoB comes out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Upcoming Kill-Team Tournament

So my LGS is hosting a Kill-Team tournament next week. The owner wanted to to KT because we have a lot of new players and he wants everyone to be able to participate. After careful playtesting we came up with some other restrictions for the tournament. Here is our FAQ/Format restrictions. It's pretty much set in stone at this point but I would still appreciate feedback for future events.


Nothing with an armor value may be chosen.

Nothing with greater than three wounds may be chosen.

No unique units may be chosen (such as Marbo or Deathleaper)

Universal Special Rules must be chosen during army building (they must be on your roster).

You may not assign the following Universal Special Rules to your models (if they already come with it, that's fine): Swarms and Turbo-Boosters.

In the interest of time, models that are all going the same general direction may share the same "Run" roll, though the controlling player does not have to do so. If you do this, you must declare which models are going to share the roll before rolling.

All "specialists" (the three models with the bonus Universal Special Rule) must be clearly distinct. This can be something simple like a piece of colored tape on the base.

When splitting fire, you must declare all targets simultaneously. For example, if I have a Heavy Bolter, I can't fire the first shot and see if it kills its target before I declare the next target with the second shot. I have to state how many shots are going at each target at the same time.

Q: Do squads have to deploy together and then move off separately, or do they deploy individually just like they were their own units?

Since each model is its own unit, they don't have to start off in coherency.

Q: How do things like Orders and Exarch powers work, and other "benefits the squad" type rules?

Powers affect only models that stay within 2" of the character granting the upgrade power.

Q: Reserves aren't used in the KT scenario. What about a unit that must start in reserve such as a drop pod?

If a unit must enter via reserves, it deploys normally at the start of the game.

Q: When half the Kill-Team is gone, what if there is no model remaining on the table with a LD value?

Use the "standard" leadership of the army. Space Marines would be an 8, IG and Orks would be a 7, Eldar would be an 8 and so on. (This point is moot as vehicles are not allowed in this tournament.)

Q: What if your last models are fearless?

They still have to take the leadership test. It's not a morale test.

Q: If one of the models has the Stubborn rule, does that affect the roll to determine if you lose?

No, Stubborn only affects Morale tests, and the final roll is a Leadership test.

Q: Since you can split fire, can you assault a different model than one you shot at?

No. You can only assault models that you shot at.

Army Specific Questions:

Necrons: The Phase Out rule is not used.

Tau: If you buy a squad of pathfinders, you do not need to take their transport.

Eldar: The Skyleap Exarch power is not used.

We originally decided to take Troops only, but it was kind of dull and certain armies had major advantages over others. Then we decided to go with no vehicles after a couple rounds of telling games, one player took a Vendetta and no one could touch him. He simply moved away from everything, because he was so high up he had a clear LoS to everything. The best strategy for taking him out was to kill the troopers he had, so he just put half of them inside the Vendetta and that pretty much ended it.

We then made the armor restrictions to nothing with a total armor value of all three sides 33+. I took three dual cannon Vypers and was untouchable. I was putting out 18 S6 shots per turn. I won all my games, the worst damage I took was I lost a weapon.

Finally we settled on no vehicles but with the standard KT FOC. After our testing this proved to be the best.

I'm taking Eldar but I don't want to reveal my list ideas just yet! I've tried out a lot of combinations and I still want to try a few more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: The Army Painter Spray Black

I picked up a can of this stuff as the quest for a good black primer has been eluding. The GW Black primer is excellent but I was hoping for something a little cheaper. None of the local hardware stores carry black primer (they used to when I was a teenager) and the only place I could find it was at an auto shop, but the stuff was horrendous quality an would simply dust off.

A while back I tried Armory primer and that stuff was terrible. It made my guys look like they were covered in black aphids even when I followed the directions on the can perfectly. I know I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with that brand which is sad because the price is right.

I decided to give The Army Painter a try. It is an excellent primer. That's really all I have to say. It goes on even and coats very well. It doesn't obscure detail and dries quickly. I was handling it within minutes, flipping the pieces over to coat the other side. Within a minute or two it was dry to the touch and I could move it. Granted, where I live has almost 0% humidity but that's still really fast. With other primers I can wait for hours to be able to even flip it over.

I'm considering switching my white primer brand of choice to the Army Painter. Granted, it's only a couple of dollars cheaper than the GW stuff but I'm loving the quality. Now I really want to try their colored primers. I'm already planning on using their brown for my Skaven.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Frequent Internet Spelling Mistakes

I think I'm going to make this a regular feature. Here's one that's been bugging me. Note the spelling:

This is VoilĂ :

Note: It is very difficult to illustrate "voilĂ ." It's a French expression which means "there it is."

This is a Viola:

It's a musical instrument slightly larger and lower in pitch than a violin.

Listen, you don't even need to include the accent, just please don't mix up your vowels. I'm not trying to be some kind of grammar Nazi, everyone makes typos. I'm trying to correct people who simply don't know the difference.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I have Selected a Fantasy Army

Don't worry, this blog will not turn into a Fantasy blog. After much consternation, debate and deliberation I have finally selected a Fantasy army. This is the longest I've ever given to this thought process, as in the past I've mostly selected my army on first impressions and impulses. This time I carefully considered the models, the aesthetics, the labor costs, the army lists, and the playstyle. I thought about what I want in an army and which armies had it. So, the army I have selected is...

Skaven. What I want in an army is mobility, warmachines, and magic. True, Skaven don't have cavalry but their basic move is faster than average and they have ways of getting where they need to go. They have crazy warmachines and they have some unique and potent magic effects.

Also, with the new Island of Blood set I should be able to get a pretty sizeable army for a relatively low investment. My best friend plays High Elves so we're planning on swapping our sets so that will give me about 1400 pts for less than $100. I plan on using the Army Painter brown primer, quickshade, and GW foundation paints to get them painted as quickly as possible.

I used to hate the old Skaven models. They were pretty uninteresting and dull but with all the new kits I'm just amazed at how far GW has come. The Screaming Bell and Doomwheel kits are amazing. All the models in the range look fantastic.

So why not Lizardmen? I used to play them, and the Stegadon is a beautiful kit, but I'm concerned with how the army plays in 8th. I think I would have liked them more in 7th, but while I still like them I kind of have a "been there, done that" feeling with them. That won't stop me from picking them up later...

I looked at the other armies and while I'd consider starting up several of them I think it's good for me to play something totally different. I need to move my own cheese, if you would. I've always played leadership reliable armies (Eldar with most everything a 9, Tyranids with widespread Fearless, Lizzies with Cold-Blooded and Wood Elves with high L) so I'm going to have to think differently. I've never had strong warmachines in Fantasy before. Even though the Misfire charts are devastating, I think the carnage they wreak will be worth it.

So my first purchases will be the Army Book of course, then IoB when it comes out, brown primer and quickshade. By the way, have you seen the new IoB miniatures? I haven't seen this on any of the major rumormongering websites, but GW has been putting them out daily for a while. Here they are.

As I said in the beginning, this won't turn into a WHFB blog. 40k is still my main game (though I haven't actually played 8th yet, so that may change). I may start a separate blog for my Skaven, or I may just post pictures here and there.

Friday, August 6, 2010


This wraps up a series of commissions from a single client, though it's not the end of my queue. I painted this model in a different way than suggested, going for a more muted color scheme. The client wanted him in the rust red colors of the Adeptus Mechanicus so he could use him as a Techmarine. Originally all the areas that are black would have been Dark Angels Green since that's the client's main army, but it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas so I went with black. There's a lot of tiny little details on this figure.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Gets Hot" Marine

I made this for a local painting contest. The contest was to take a standard tactical marine and paint it. Conversions were legal, so I decided to make the classic marine from the Plasma Weapons demotivator. You know the one. I didn't have the proper right arm so I used some pins and greenstuff, as well as a metal plasma gun so he is pretty arm-heavy. I used Dark Angels colors because I'm the most familiar with those. This is going to a friend when he gets back from his overseas deployment.

I attempted glow effects but they didn't come out the way I wanted them to.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another (small) Note on Pronunciation

I've started listening to a few podcasts and one thing is bugging me. Okay, picture time:

This is Calvary:

And this is Cavalry:

Notice the position of the "L" when pronouncing this word.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Help Me Pick A Fantasy Army

I'm going to get into Fantasy. I'm just having a hard time settling on an army. The new edition shakes everything up. So I figured I'd put it to the blogging community to give me a hand.

I played Fantasy back in 5th edition, I started with Wood Elves and then went to Lizardmen. I traded away all my Lizzies for Eldar and I only had like three WE models so I'm pretty much going tabula rasa here. Here's all the armies of Fantasy and what I'm thinking:

Beastmen: There's not much of an appeal to me. I think a lot of the new model kits are pretty great, but it's just not my aesthetic style.

Bretonnia: I like the idea that each knight should be painted differently, but the army in general doesn't appeal to me. Plus, I already know at least two guys who play them.

Daemons: Once again, there's no appeal for me. I don't like the theme of Chaos armies so they're out.

Dark Elves: Of all the evil armies, this one intrigues me a bit. I am slightly tempted by this one, but I'm not quite sure. They just seem too fragile.

Dwarfs: I like their warmachines but I'm not a fan of slow armies. I am pretty intrigued though by a full shooting army. I don't even know if it's a good choice, but I kind of like the idea.

High Elves: Can't play them. My best friend plays them and we have a long-standing "eternal battle." Even though we don't live in the same state anymore and won't play against each other very often, it's still a point of pride. Plus they just don't appeal to me.

Lizardmen: Now we're talking. I love dinosaurs. I really like this army but I have a couple of concerns. Firstly, I love the Stegadon model but I hear that it's not as viable in 8th now because cannons can wipe out the whole thing in one shot. Secondly, I've heard that terradons aren't as effective against warmachines as they used to be. From what I've read it's all about big blocks of saurus now and while I do want a block or two of them in my army, I also want other choices to be viable as well.

Ogre Kingdoms: No real appeal here.

Orcs and Goblins: I've never had any appeal for playing orks of any kind.

Skaven: I am slightly intrigued with them now because of all the new models and how I will be able to get them for cheap. I'm just not looking forward to painting a horde army. Plus I don't know how much I like the mutated/diseased theme.

The Empire: I don't want to play "just the humans" in Fantasy.

Tomb Kings: There's quite a bit of appeal here. I like the undead theme, and how they're a neutral army in the Warhammer world. They're also getting redone soon from what I hear, so I am leaning in this direction. I'm just jealous that the VC get better looking skeletons.

Vampire Counts: Great looking skeletons! But I don't dig this army very much, I've never been very keen on Vampires in general.

Warriors of Chaos: While I think the block of standard Chaos warriors is one of the most fearsome looking blocks in the game, it's Chaos so it's out.

Wood Elves: I absolutely love the fluff. A bunch of Elves who just want to be left alone. They represent nature at its most harsh and cruel. I have a problem with two things however. Firstly, I don't like the half-helmet thing some of the models have going on. It looks good on the heroes but not on the troopers. Secondly, from looking at the army book it seems that they just don't have any "punch." There's nothing that really deals out a lot of damage. No hammer or deathstar unit. Rumors speak of them getting updated so I wonder if I should hold out for that.

So if you've got any advice for me, post a comment! Tell me how 8th is treating your army and help push me in a direction.

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