Sunday, January 31, 2010

Building a Tervigon: Sketchbook Edition

My Tervigon is nearing completion, and here's the sketches I worked with. I wanted this one to look like the one in the book. My next one will be a radical departure. Anyway, having a rough sketch to work with is helpful. I didn't copy it exactly, some details turned out to look fine on paper, but not work out at all in green stuff. I should have the guy completed by Monday, then hopefully painted up by Friday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Are There No Shooty Characters?

I suppose I had better rephrase this. Why are there hardly any shooty characters? I was pondering this as I thought about the state of my Eldar. 13 years ago, I saw a picture of Maugan Ra in a GW catalog and knew from that moment I would play Eldar. While in his current incarnation he can put out more shots than almost any other model, it's still not a lot of shots. Furthermore, he can't pick out single models, like Telion (one of the few shooty characters).

Image copyright Games Workshop

Most characters are fit for close combat. What's more heroic, a character who sits back and shoots or one who boldly charges the enemy? Also, close combat has the advantage of being able to attack during both yours and the enemy's turn. Shooting is only done on your turn. Maugan Ra shooting (provided you rolled perfectly) could potentially kill 5 models in one game turn, while in one game turn of close combat he could potentially kill 8, 9 if you charged. Plus if he broke the unit he could potentially wipe them out entirely.

In order to make a proper shooty character they need to be able to do one of two things: either be able to ignore cover and armor saves and remove whichever casualties you want with reliable wounding rolls, or put out an insane amount of shots. The Vindicare Assassin can pick his target, but he's still rolling on a 4+ to wound.

Now that I look at the new codices and the coolness of the characters, it makes the Phoenix Lords look even more underwhelming. I'd like there to be characters who are just as deadly in the shooting phase as others are in the close combat phase. Let's hope that when the Eldar are redone, the Phoenix Lords, especially the shooty ones get their proper due.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Better Picture of My Shining Spears

I think I'm finally figuring out how to properly photograph miniatures. Compare this photo to the ones here. On the old one, half of them are out of focus.

All it took was a trip down memory lane to my high school and college photography classes. I'll make a post later showing my setup and what I do to photograph.

Now that I look at it, I really need to redo their bases. That project is going on the back burner until Eldar get updated...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Comic: This Is How It Will Go Down

A rather hilarious comment by Funk on this thread inspired me to make this comic. This is my first time slapping together a comic, please let me know if you can't read it so I can resize the fonts. As usual, click on it for a larger view.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Game With New Tyranids

I got in my first game last night, and I'm not really counting it as such because it was a team game (DA and IG vs. IG, Daemons and Nids, we had an odd number of players). Still, here's what I found out:

Tervigons rock. I had mine in reserve, so they didn't start pumping out gaunts until turn 3, but by turn 5, I had summoned 47 Termagants. One of them even shut down on the first turn I used it. That's over two hundred free points of Termagants, and had we continued the number would have been even higher.

Regeneration is great on your 6-wound creatures. My Trygon got in a fight with Azrael, and while they fought for 3 turns with neither the victor (the game ended before we could see the end of the duel) the Trygon probably would have died without it. The Guard player told me he didn't want to shoot my Tervigons because they would have simply regenerated.

Biovores are decent, but I think they need to be taken in full squads to be most effective. Don't forget to put that spore mine down if you miss by enough! I forgot twice and while it wasn't a game breaker I was missing half the fun of biovores.

Zoanthropes are great, but psychic defenses suck, especially the old psychic hoods. My opponents had one psychic hood but he didn't show up until late game, so I got to attack uncontested for a bit. While I rolled poorly on the vehicle damage charts, I still did enough with only two Zoanthropes to draw lots of fire. That 3++ comes in handy now, until they start bringing out psycannons. Which they did.

Mycetic spores are great. Being able to deep strike with impunity is a power trip. I put a barbed strangler on mine and managed to kill a few guardsmen. The funny thing is that they never bothered to shoot it, even though it was an easy kill point. There were so many other high priority targets that the thing just kept shooting and shooting. I may not take the gun in future games, but I had some points to spare.

Next game I hope to try out a few more new units, then I'll probably settle on a list and focus on that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Completed Ravenwing Bikes

Here they are! Here is a tutorial on how I painted them. These were painted as a commission.

This biker as you may have noticed is a bit unusual. For some reason the original gunner was missing, so my friend replaced it with a scout biker. We couldn't figure out any way to get his arms in the right position without major cutting and filing so I simply decked him out with guns.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ymgarl Stealers

After reading through the codex, I'm intrigued by these guys. They seem like an interesting unit to use, but with a major flaw if the enemy hides in the same terrain. Then I had another idea- what if during deployment you used Spore Mines to saturate the terrain, to keep the enemy out? This may not even work, and it may not be a game winning strategy, but I'd like to give it a try.

I was also thinking about their morphing and when you'd want to use it. What I was thinking is on the charge, use the +1 T morph so you win combat, but not by a landslide. This way the enemy won't run and you won't be stuck out in the open. In the opponent's phase, use a more offensive morph to hopefully wipe out or break them. Once again, I need to test this so it may not even be a viable strategy.

They seem pretty easy to model, the feeder tendril heads from the Genestealer kit are all you need. Anyone had a chance to try these guys out yet?

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Tyranids!

Came home from work today do find my book had arrived! I'm not going to do an in depth unit review, since everyone else in the 40k online community is already doing that. I am going to be hastily finishing up my Golden Bolter entry, then assembling and magnetizing my new Trygon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How To Paint Ravenwing

Here's how I paint the Ravenwing. A note on these bikes, they are a commission, and were given to me in various states of disrepair. With a Ravenwing upgrade sprue, I made them better looking though I couldn't replace the bike's cowls.

First off, prime it black (duh). Undercoat the guns, seat and eyes with Scab Red, the areas that are going to be white or very light colored (such as the headlight) with Codex Gray, and purity seals/parchment/saddlebags with Bestial Brown. Paint the base Bestial Brown as well. In this post I explain how to do purity seals. None appear on this model, so check that post out if you want more information on how to do them. Since you're priming with black, you'll need to undercoat them with Bestial Brown so the Bleached Bone actually stands out.

Now paint the guns and eyes Blood Red.  It may take two coats to appear even.

Paint the saddlebags with Bubonic Brown. It will look terrible, but now wash it with Devlan Mud and you will see magic happen. While you're at it, wash the guns with Baal Red. We'll get to the metallics of the guns later.

Next, go over the white areas with Skull White. It may take two coats to be somewhat even but it doesn't have to be perfect. Make the headlight white, then paint it yellow, followed by a Gryphonne Sepia wash. Then, put a dab of yellow in the center of each section of the headlight. Scroll to the last picture to see a closeup of the headlight.

Now it's time for the metallics. Use Boltgun Metal to get all the trim and weapons, also drybrushing the engine area. This would have been easier if the rider were not glued to the saddle, but alas I did not assemble the model. Paint the frame of the headlight, but be careful because you don't want to redo your highlight. When done, wash the metallics, white and red with Badab Black (don't wash the headlight, you're done with that). Add any decals at this point.

Next, highlighting time! Use Blood Red for your first highlight of the guns, followed by Blazing Orange spot highlights (don't forget a dab on the eyes). I use Chainmail and then Mithril Silver for the metallics. Highlight the saddlebags with Bubonic Brown. For the black, I used a mix of blue and white for each highlight. I don't know my proportions, I just mixed until it looked good. I do remember that there's more blue in each layer so it gets cooler. The final highlight is more of a pale blue than a gray. I used four layers of highlight, but I probably could have gotten away with three.

Finally the weathering. I use the stippling brush and Bestial Brown to make mud splatters. I also use the Tamiya Weathering Powders for the exhaust stains and weapons bluing, you can see the effects in this post.

And that's it! I did the power sword later, you can see it when I post the finished squadrons later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recipe for a Tervigon

After I finish up my entry for the Golden Bolter, I'm going to take a break from the Ravenwing Landspeeders in order to whip up a Tervigon. Here's what I ordered:

1x Oval base
1x Carnifex
1x Zoanthrope
1x Box o' Gaunts

I already have the Green Stuff and some other various bits. This will be the most Green Stuff intensive project I've ever done, so wish me luck!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do You Buy Codices For Armies You Don't Have?

I don't, but I am considering doing it now after reading the SW FAQ. As I was reading it I didn't know what half of the stuff was talking about. It would be very easy for a Space Wolf player to pull a fast one on me. Though I trust most of the people I game with, should that player make a mistake I could be able to correct it. It's better to know your enemy, after all.

The only problem with that is I may be sorely tempted to start said army, thus stretching my already thin gaming budget.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let's Talk Boardgames: Dominion

In a non-40k feature, I'd like to review some of the board games that I play. The first up for review is Dominion.

Dominion is a card game in which you seek to build up your kingdom through your choices. All players begin with the same cards, the choices you make in your first and subsequent turns will ensure that everyone takes a different strategy.

In the game there are resource cards, victory card and action cards. Every game has the same resource cards, but different action cards. The set comes with 25 action cards, and you only use ten per game. That's quite a lot of different combinations.

The action cards are the heart of the game. If you played Magic: The Gathering, consider the resource your lands and the actions your creatures and spells. Of course, actions don't win you the game. In order to win you need to have victory cards. These victory cards do nothing for you during the game (except for in the expansion, more on that later) but are the only things that count at the end of the game. So the objective is not to get the thickest deck imaginable (though there is a card for that) but to balance resources, victory and actions.

The rules are fairly simple and the strategy is deep. There's luck involved but building your deck properly will keep the luck factor to a minimum. The games play in about 30 minutes and creates the "just one more game" feeling.

There are no direct attack cards. There are cards that affect other players, but when such exist they affect all other players. This way no one feels singled out. There are also ways to defend yourself. Attack cards don't deal damage or kick you out of the game, they generally consist of messing with your hand or giving you negative cards. Of course, a relentlessly attacking player might be neglecting his victory building...

Dominion can appeal to the non-gamer as much as the gamer. My wife plays it and enjoys it, though I think for introducing this game Dominion: Intrigue (the expansion) is a better introduction. Intrigue is far more interactive, but I'll cover that in another review. But therein lies one of Dominion's flaws: too many games just end up with four people playing solitaire together. Dominion technically has multiple victory routes, but most games end up going down the same path. The expansions Intrigue and Seaside (I have not played Seaside but I have seen the cards) fix this problem, as my games of Intrigue have all gone extremely differently, far more so than Dominion.

I highly recommend this game. As a former Magic player, this game gives me that same fix but much cheaper. It's deep enough for hardcore gamers and accessible enough for non-gamers. There's plenty of replayability as you only use 2/5 of the action cards that come with it per game (plus you can mix and match expansions for even more variety).

Next time I do this, I'll review the expansion, Intrigue.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Some Planetstrike Photos

Just a small post today, here's some photos of a Planetstrike battle we did last month.

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