Sunday, October 31, 2010

Skaven Pumpkin

The Great Horned Rat watches over this house!  Too bad I couldn't make the fire green.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zombie 40k Rundown

Tuesday night we ran my new and improved zombie 40k Halloween extravaganza!  It's a mix between every zombie movie/game ever and Mario Kart.  And 40k.  Have a read over those rules before you read the rest of this post.

We had 14 players on one 6'x6' table.  We decided to have 3 escape vehicles to prevent overcrowding.  As the game progressed I had to rewrite the rules to make sure the players on the edges weren't being punished.  That's when I added the zombies rising from their graves in the center.  All my new and improved rules are in the link posted above.

Everyone kept the game moving quickly despite having 14 players, and we were able to resolve the zombie phase by having everyone do their stuff at the same time with another player rolling for the zombies.  Everyone helped move the zombies because they follow their own rules.

It was a lot of fun.  I took a Broodlord and one Stealer, thinking I could just chop my way forward.  It was somewhat effective, and I was in the lead at one point but I kept getting swamped so that's when we decided that the zombies scatter.

We also reduced the zombies to T3 as opposed to T4.  I was afraid of being short of models so that's why I made them T4.  If you run this event and are short models that's a good way to stretch them out.

The Ork Boy Tag Along was originally a guardsman with a flamer but our main guard player didn't show up so we switched it to an Ork.  I think it's funnier that way.

In the end, the Dark Eldar won.  Yes, the new Dark Eldar.  He took Wyches and that 2D6 attacks one, and chopped along.  Despite S3 versus T4 and FNP he still did really well.

One of the Ork players took out most of an Eldar team and a full IG team when they hit the 18" zone, and then he was promptly wasted by the zombies the next turn.  We all had a good laugh about that.

Writing rules is hard!  This isn't a serious attempt at game design, but even then it's quite challenging to make yourself clear.  I'm not too concerned about balance but that was a bit tricky in designing the powerups.  I wanted them to be powerful but not game breaking.  I may nerf the Chuck Norris one but no one rolled it.  I may create a new chart with 3D6 to make even more crazy items.  The trick is to keep it simple, but fun.

If you've run a similar scenario or run mine let me know how it went.  This is a living document.  I need as much feedback as I can get to make this event as fun as possible.  I'm going to run it again on Walpurgis Night (basically a springtime Halloween), hopefully I can get it ironed out well by then.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween 40k Zombie Night, The Return of the Revenge

Like all horror movies these days, my 40k Zombie adventure just keeps coming back with more sequels.  But this is the reinvention of the reimagining.  I updated the rules from my original version to be more streamlined and squad-based as opposed to who has the best HQ options.

Here they be.  This is not exactly how we ran it last night, I have updated the rules based on feedback during the game though it still needs a bit more work.

Army Selection:

You have 75 points. There is no minimum requirement for squad sizes (so an
Eldar player could take one Fire Dragon, one Striking Scorpion and so on). Only
three of these can be "upgrade" characters, like a sergeant or an exarch, though
that model may take an upgrades allowed without counting for further "upgrades." No more than two can have "upgrade weapons" such as a heavy or special
weapon that isn't standard equipment. For example, a Space Marine player takes
3 Marines and a Scout. He can upgrade one into a sergeant with any weapons
normally allowed, and two more can have special weapons normally allowed by
their codex entry.

After selecting your team, you may assign one Universal Special Rule from the
standard rulebook to any one squad member.

For codices like SM or IG who purchase squads as groups, some math will be
involved. Divide the points cost by the squad number to get the individual
points cost of each squad member.  If upgrade characters are included in the cost of the squad, you may upgrade the squad member for free.

You may select team members from any Force Organization slot except HQ. Only infantry models may be selected.  No dedicated transports are allowed.

Your squad must remain in 2" coherency, and are treated as a single squad.

Setup and Objective

Set up the board with the normal amount of terrain for a 40k game.  Ruins and graveyards make great terrain for this mission.  If you have a large amount of players you may need to either split into two tables or widen the current table.  The players should have to cross about 6' of board with enough room side to side so that everyone isn't clustered together.

The goal is to reach the escape helicopter (or truck or whatever). The first squad (at least one guy
alive, obviously) to be within embarking distance at the beginning of their movement
phase wins (so you have to survive one round before you can win).  If there is another unengaged player within embarking distance you may not embark.  You must duke it out with the other player as there can only be one.  There should be one escape helicopter per 5 players, spread out evenly along the back board edge.  Each escape helicopter is guarded by a boss zombie.

Turn order is determined randomly.  Each player will move, shoot and assault, then pass to the next player.  When all players have gone the zombies take their turn.  There's no need for a zombie controller as the zombies are on autopilot.

Movement Phase: Players who fled from combat will automatically rally and may move, shoot and assault as normal.

Shooting Phase: You may not shoot another player's squad, unless that squad is
within 18" of the escape chopper. After that all bets are off and the squad
that is within 18" may fire at any squad that has fired on it in a previous
turn. If the closest unit is in close combat randomize non-template hits.

Zombies only ever take a 5+ cover save as they do not actively seek cover.  They get this cover in all the normal fashion, from terrain or from a player shooting through another unit.

Assault Phase: You may not join another player's assault. Consolidate moves
are taken on a D3 instead of D6 (we found super killy assault units unbalanced as they can just consolidate for an extra D6" per assault phase). You may however assault another team if they are within 18" of the escape helicopter, but if they are already in an assault you may not assault them. 

If your assault involves multiple squads of zombies, for simplicity's sake you don't have to say which squad you're attacking.  Remove casualties from the smallest squad first (you get more powerups that way)

No one in the squad is treated as an Independent Character, treat wounds as you would for differently armed models as normal.

After all players have gone the Zombies will move.


Zombies come in squads of 5. There should be about two squads of zombies per
player, deployed in a spread out fashion. Their stats are as follows:

WS2 S3 T3 A1 W1 I1 LD5 Feel No Pain, Fearless, Rending

Zombies only have two phases, the Shamble Phase and the BRAAAAAIIINS phase.

Shamble Phase: Killed zombies will respawn in groups of 5 during this phase, before rolling to move the zombies.  Roll a  D6 on the following chart to see where they go.

1:  Starting table edge
2:  The table edge to the left of the starting edge
3:  The table edge opposite the starting edge
4:  The table edge to the right of the starting edge
5:  Scatter 3d6" from the center of the table.  Zombies deepstrike like a drop pod and will move out of the way of obstructions.  They will move and assault with the rest of the zombies as normal.
6:  The player who is furthest from the chopper chooses a result 1-5 on this chart.  Further rolls of a 6 will go to the second furthest player and so on.

Zombies moving in from a board edge will enter in line with the nearest unengaged player.  Subsequent entries in the same phase on the same table edge will move in towards the second nearest, and so on.

Zombies will move 2D6 to the nearest target. All zombies on the
board move the same distance but at their own relative targets. If this move
brings them in base contact with a player squad they count as assaulting. The
poor squad then responds to their charge.

Zombies will join a current assault if they can fit.  If they can't fit they will instead move towards the next nearest target.

If a player kills the last member of a zombie squad, or kills the last member of a player squad (only whomever removed the last model, doesn't matter who did all the work) he may roll on the powerup chart.

BRAAAAINS Phase: Zombies assault during their movement, we just combine it because they don't shoot.  They receive +1 attack if they charge as normal. They have Rending to represent the danger of infection.  If zombies win combat they will attempt to pursue as normal but will not consolidate.

The Boss Zombie:  The boss zombie does not move during the shamble phase as normal.  It will only move if a player moves within embarking distance of the escape vehicle, and will automatically assault that squad.  If there are multiple squads that meet this requirement randomize which one it assaults.

WS3 S4 T4 A3 I2 W3 LD6 5+ Armor, Feel No Pain, Eternal Warrior, Fearless, Rending

It is of course perfectly legal to move your squad and escape in the vehicle while the other player is off fighting the boss or another player.


Should your squad be destroyed, you may respawn in your turn no closer than 6" behind the
furthest player, but it can be anywhere on the board (as long as you are 6" further away from the choppa than the current furthest squad).  You lose all upgrades and powerups earned during their previous lifetime.  If you wish you may play a new team.  When you respawn you may roll on the powerup chart.  You may voluntarily suicide your squad at any time to respawn, but if you do you may not roll on the powerup chart.


If you kill the last member of a squad (zombie or player, this also includes killing the boss zombie, and also includes wiping them out due to Fearless rolls) you may roll 2D6 on the powerup chart.

2:  Zombie Bile:  You are treated as the only target for the next Shamble Phase.  If two or more players have this then the zombies will move to whomever is closer of those players.  If another player is in the way of the zombie movement, the zombies assault that unfortunate unit as they just happened to be in the wrong place.
3:  Banana Peel:  In your next turn, you move as if through difficult terrain.
4:  Ork Boy Tag Along:  An Ork boy has decided to join you for some reason.  He is armed with a pistol and a choppa and is treated as a member of your squad for all purposes.
5:  Duct Tape:  Whether it's a chainsaw taped to a kayak paddle or a duct-taped-over-under gun, you may give one model either +1 attack or +1 shot per turn.  Permanently.  Until you die.
6:  Chainsaw:  The ultimate zombie close combat weapon.  One model may be equipped with this item.  Requires 2 hands.  Hits on a 2+, and if it hits instantly takes a wound (no saves or FNP) off any zombie in close combat.  If you roll a 1 the chainsaw has run out of fuel and is discarded (but any hits you got in this round still count, if you roll a 1 and get a reroll it does not run out of fuel unless you roll another 1).
7:  Medpack.  May be saved, one use only, you may carry any number of these.  You may ignore one suffered wound.
8:  Shotgun:  There is no better tool in an zombie invasion.  One model is armed with it, and that model does not need to have a ballistic skill.  The shotgun has a range of 6" and hits on a 2+, instantly taking a wound off a zombie with no FNP or cover save applicable.  It is an assault 1 weapon.  If shot at a player it is treated just as the Imperial Guard version of the shotgun.
9:  Super Mushroom Speed Pack:  You may carry up to one of these in your squad.  When activated all members in your squad may add an extra +1 to all their movement, which includes movement, running and assaulting.  The squad's initiative is also increased by 1 for that turn.
10:  Defibrillator:  Counts as a Medpack but may be used to bring back one model in your squad who has previously died.  If that model had multiple wounds only one is restored.
11:  Sweet Aviator Shades:  In the next Shamble Phase, zombies will ignore your squad for the purposes of the closest target.
12:  The Blessing of Chuck Norris:  Your squad receives the blessing of the Great Red Bearded One until the end of their next turn.  Your squad may reroll all rolls they make (if they already have a reroll they can reroll that reroll as Chuck is that awesome).  All shooting counts as AP 2 with no cover allowed and all assault counts as power weapons.

If you are the furthest player from the board edge, you may add +1 to your roll.  You may roll the dice before deciding whether or not to add the +1.  You may also switch out any rolled result for The Blue Shell.  If you pick The Blue Shell you may move the player closest to the escape vehicle back D6" away from the vehicle.  If they are in close combat, the whole combat moves with them.  If your roll on the powerup chart is because of a respawn, you may not select The Blue Shell.

Okay, that was a long read!  Tomorrow I'll post how the adventure went.  Have a read-through and let me know if I missed anything or any suggestions you may have.

Monday, October 25, 2010

WHFB: Don't Forget!

The most difficult thing for me right now in Fantasy is remembering all the stuff that's going on.  I played a game last night in which a highly annoying unit of 30 White Lions with a BSB and level 4 Life Mage just would not die.  At one point I got them down to 4 models, but the mage just used Regrowth and got them back.  I could have slowed this down but I made a crucial mistake.

I forgot that even if you don't have any casters you can use power dice in your phase to dispel effects.  I could have been using that to shut down the Throne of Vines so that he could have cast fewer spells that round.  So if you run out of casters, make sure you make the most of it and dispel what you can with your power dice.  You only have to meet the base casting value which for Throne is 8.  If you're a Dwarf player you especially cannot forget this.

On a side note, Life magic is proportionately better the more expensive and elite your troops are, which makes it perfect for High Elves.

I also forgot that the Storm Banner affects fliers.  He shouldn't have been able to fly his eagle around but I completely forgot that.  It didn't matter as I chopped it up pretty quickly.  I also did all my shooting before remembering to check if the Storm Banner ended.  It did, but if it hadn't I would have had to redo the whole shooting phase.

It might be helpful for me to write a little cheat sheet so I can remember things like "ring the Bell" or "Storm Banner is up" and such like that.

Also, we had a Temple of Skulls and I had a Warlock Engineer get up to S6 and 3 wounds before he got greedy and was sucked into the warp.  Too bad he never got to fight, but his Doomrocket took out tons of guys.

In other news I've got a huge backlog of commissions.  I'm working on two Venomthropes.  After that I've got a huge pile of Dark Angels tanks.  Furthermore, my second child should be born sometime this week.  Busy busy busy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Island of Blood Command Groups

Here's the command groups for the Island of Blood.  There's a lot of pictures and the weather outside was partially overcast with winds so the light was constantly changing.  I was too impatient to wait so the photographic quality is not my usual standard but since it's Skaven we'll just blame someone else for casting Howling Warpgale outside.

I don't know how this guy can hold his standard up.

I particularly like this musician model.  I painted the rat a light gray because it reminded me of the Grey Seer on the Screaming Bell, so this is kind of a parody of that model.

I need to figure out a way to make the markings more visible with the black and white.  I may need to designate a circular space or something.

The hardest part wasn't the quartered scheme but making sure the runes were in the same place on opposite sides.

I used a touch of a verdigris wash that I mixed myself on the bronze bells (and champion helmets).

I've only painted a few of the rank and file troops.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Completed Doomwheel

Of all the models I have ever painted, this one was possibly the most complex.  There are so many surfaces, inside and out that make this a difficult model.  I had to pretty much paint everything separate from each other.  I'm still not satisfied with the base, I need to add some stuff to it as it is kind of boring. 

I considered rusting up the blades but I kind of like it as is.  I can always go back and add it.

I'm also not satisfied with the banner.  I may end up redoing it later.

Interior detail.  I tried a glow effect on the eyes.  It came out better than my other attempts but I still need practice with the technique.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Frequent Internet Spelling Mistakes: Horde vs. Hoard

Here we go with one of the most frequent mistakes.  First off, this is a hoard:

And this is a horde:

Now if you're hoarding hordes, that's horrible.  Don't be a horde hoarder.  And don't mix the two up.

Images shamelessly stolen from teh Interwebz, the Ork army is from Dakka and it is pretty great looking!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bowie In Space?

So while the entire blogrolls of FTW are clogged with people posting and reposting the latest Dark Eldar rumors and such, the latest batch from BoLS featured a character named Duke Sliscus the Serpent and described him as "Bowie in space,"  This is the first thing I thought of when I read that:

But it all still leaves several questions.  Can Bowie settle down on one army list or is he always making ch-ch-ch-changes?  Is his Fantasy army Goblins?  Does modern love get him to submit his lists on time?  The list goes on.  What else would Bowie do in the grim darkness of the far future, besides re-invent himself every decade?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vendetta With Aquila

This Vendetta was another commission.  This is the first IG vehicle I've ever painted.  The client requested tabletop quality with an Aquila on the wings, leaving the colors up to me.  I didn't build it (you can still see some mold lines), just painted it.  The canopy is also a bit crooked as the pilots are a bit off, but the client said he'd fix it.

I went with the blue and gold because I had accidentally bought a pot of Necron Abyss and figured I might as well get some use out of it.  I highlighted it with Royal Blue and Ultramarine Blue (another accidental wrong color).  The Aquila is Shining Gold with Burnished Gold highlights.  By the way, don't try and paint gold over blue without some kind of basecoat.  I should have basecoated it either Iyanden Darksun or Tausept Ochre.  It took about 4 coats to get the gold on right, and it still is patchy in places if you look up close, though it looks fine at tabletop distance.

I didn't use a stencil, I just freehanded the Aquila.  You can see that the left side is slightly different from the right.  Were I going for a higher standard I would have corrected it.  It was very difficult.  I'm no stranger to freehand but this goes down as possibly the hardest I've done.  A lot of the difficulty was the symmetry and the fact that it's such an established symbol.  It probably needs more pinions but I couldn't really fit them.  The other thing that made it difficult as I said before was the fact that it took many layers to get the color on.  If I ever do another freehand metallic on a strong surface I'm going to be sure and do a proper basecoat.

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