Saturday, 16 November 2019

November Workbench

It's been a pretty busy week, mostly prepping to start running a 5e DnD Curse of Strahd campaign for the lads. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm taking the opportunity to prep more seriously than I did for our last 5e campaign.

Strahd looks like a really interesting campaign as it's not a straight dungeon-crawl and allows for a nicely constrained open world. I really like the thread of a plot that runs through it that's generated by the DM before the campaign even starts as well. Our group is also trying to be more role-play-y which I am super excited for and definitely suits the campaign and the setting. One day, maybe, I hope to be able to run a 5e Dark Sun campaign but in the meantime, Ravenloft, my other favourite setting will have to do. And if this one goes well, which I hope it will, I'd really like the party to carry on with these characters. There's a charm to being able to do that.

I have been doing a little painting this week on the side although nothing all that serious. I've started on a Squat model I got from Victoria Miniatures as a bonus when I ordered my Permitted Abhumans. I've just got most of the basecoats and initial washes on at this stage but he's coming along nicely.

I've just realised that unless the new Inquisition list really adds something special for Acolytes, I should rebase him as the Squat Bounty Hunter for Necromunda. Probably should have thought of that earlier...

The other model I've been working on is for one of our RPG groups upcoming games in 2020 - blogger Pelarel has picked up Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4e. We've played earlier editions a few times but 4e looks like it might really have kicked it up a notch in playability, which is cool.

The last round we played I was a Wood Elf Mage, a character that felt a little bit out of place in the pre-Age of Sigmar Warhammer Old World. I did enjoy the wizarding though so have decided to go a bit old school / a bit new school as part of trying to get more role-play-y.

This fabulous mini is from Hasslefree and will be played as an Amber Wizard. With that in mind, I've deliberately tried to limit myself to a palette of orange, red brown and yellow, with only the grey and bone as necessary colours outside that palette. The head is going to eventually be Leopard-print (!) and I've got some amazing reference photos for yellow feathers that I'll see if I can replicate.

The Amber Wizard should be a challenging character to play in a group RPG as they are generally loners and somewhat non-conformist. That should provide some opportunity for some interesting interactions and conflicts with the other players though and give me a really clear steer about what a character would do in a certain situation.

Next Time
It's club day again. Quite what that means is anyone's guess. I might try out my 55 point army for our end-of-year Flames of War competition or Pel and I will get in a game of Zone Raiders and I'll batrep that out carefully. With a bit of luck, I might have finished up these two models by then as well.

Saturday, 9 November 2019


It was club day yesterday and it was a hoot of a day doing silly stuff. I played a great game of Warmachine with Tank in which he complained, well within reason, that I kept "Menothing" him. Which I did. Because that's what I do.

Tank ran his Cephalyx Operating Theatre and I broke out Kreoss2 and the Exmplar Interdiction Force. It wasn't much of a force, with Bastions and Seneschals.

The Menoth line advances
The monstrosities attack
Kreoss surrounded! 
This was where we ended - the Bastions charged from out of shot into Exulon Thexis and gave him absolutely what for! It was a close game and only thanks to a couple of poor rolls on Tanks part when his super Drudges didn't manage to kill Kreoss2. Once again, we remembered that Warmachine IS a good game.

Also, finally, Zone Raiders! McBeth and Pelarel played a game and I rulebooked for quick reference. We replayed the scenario from the quick start, but with all the rules this time, on Pel's new terrain from local NZ makers, Titan Terrain. It's lovely, BTW. Modular, cleverly designed and entertainingly detailed too.
Pink hair. Good camo. 
Sneaky ninja!  
The Reclaimers reclaiming
In a staggering reversal of the last game we played, nothing died. Ever. The lads went for several turns without doing so much as a wound until McBeth started connecting with Pel's VERY lightly armoured snipers who basically couldn't save. He also managed to save a couple of king hits from Pel's ninjas too to eventually take the win. 

It was a good lesson in army construction, model building, as well as how a few of the rules interactions we didn't have in the quick-start missions, especially how the exposed and crossfire rules work together. We did a post-game review of sorts and picked up some of the things we chose not to do - like the asymmetric missions and AI-driven on-board enemies. I think this is going to be a really interesting game once we get really stuck into the details.

I'm keen to do a full-detail batrep of this sooner rather than later but we need to have a couple more learning games to get the rules down fully. I think I would say though that McBeth walked away with the comment "a much nicer game to play than Infinity" and I would absolutely concur with that opinion. It does make me want to pick up a few other Infinity models to complement my collection though.

A few other pics! 

I've been meaning to chuck up a pic of Scotty's Imperial Fists. That yellow is amazing and the insane amount of work and skill that Scotty has put into painting them is evident.

The Shining Spears are blinded by the yellow! 
 Also, Tank and Richard (see Musings) played some Black Seas. I am sturdily resisting the siren call of the game but I will be the first to admit that it looks very good on table.
Mizzen the Mainmast! Keelhaul the Spinnaker!
Tank and Scotty also had a game of Warmachine. Scotty, using Mercenaries, managed to "Menoth" Tank again but this time he prevailed when Constance, even loaded up with souls, couldn't breach the armour of Cognifex Cyphon.
Those two Drudges did the business! 
Next Time
I'll post a couple of painted minis I think. Amzaingly while I have hammered through the models over the last twelve months, I'm suddenly staring at a bunch of primed models with no real work started on them! I'm looking forward to actually getting paint on models for a change.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Pooch's October update

Not entirely sure how another month has already gone past.... but there it is. Did I paint things?

You bet I did!

1. Paint a new 40k army (On track)
Since I finished the last of the infantry last month, this month was the first batch of tanks. I have.... many tanks to get through!

This batch of tanks includes two of the old metal Griffon tanks, recrewed with Death Korps mortar gunners. I got them cheap off the local trading facebook page, which I was super stoked with. The Griffon itself is basically awful, but the model totally suited the trench warfare aesthetic. Likely these will be used as Wyverns in game terms.
Looking cool!

And a better shot of the internal with the crew and stowage
But that's not it.

One of the weirder things that Forgeworld have produced is the Cyclops demolition vehicle. Simply put, it is a wee little remote controlled bomb, which hoons around and then blows up, like the Goliath or Bogward demolition carriers used by the Germans in WW2. I got it into my head that it was ideal that I had some for my trench warfare army, and what better to use as one than actually using a goliath?

Brooom broom BOOM!

A better shot to show the scenic bases
2. Create a table of terrain to support a game (Completed)

3. Make a modular piece of terrain (Not Done)
Errr.... still not done.... guess I had better hurry up with this given I have a couple of months to go!

4. Paint a naval fleet (Completed)

5. Finish something for an army I haven't used in a year, and take it to a tournament (Completed)

6. Buy a starter box and paint all of it (Completed)

7. Paint every miniature for a game I own (Completed)

8. Paint a Space Marine Hero each month (On track)
No issues here with running close to the end of the month for this guy, and in fact finished two of them!

The first is one of the models from the Space Marine Adventures box, a cool as running figure with bolter slung and knife out. The second is the truly excellent plastic Chaplain figure, a suitably imposing and impressive model to inspire my Storm Lords to victory!

That running pose is so cool!

Slung bolter!
Is that it? Heck no! You might have seen this in McZ's narrative campaign update, but I also made a Drop Pod to kick the Storm Lords out of! So iconic for the Space Marine way of war, and it's a great kit to boot. Even buying it second hand it was nice to paint, and suitably easy to actually paint (flat panel white isn't my forte however).
Doors closed

Doors open! Had to put in the hazard stripes....

9. Paint a stand alone force (Completed)

10. Update and improve a table of terrain (Completed)

11. Paint something Napoleonic (Not done)
Ok, so I need to make some serious progress here too....

12. Finish something I should have last year (Completed)

Progress on Morty continues really well, so well in fact that he now has a head, and arms! Next month will be finishing him off. I am REALLY happy with how he is coming together....

Bad photo, great pose

He is biiiiiiiiiiiig

Next month? Finishing Morty! More Krieg tanks! Another Space Marine Hero (or two). I should probably make some progress on the two categories I haven't even started too....

Saturday, 2 November 2019

The Return to Frostgrave

It's been a tough couple of weeks for productive anything. The amount of work to paint an entire Imperial Guard army for a tournament has drained the painting-fu somewhat. But I have finished the last model for my third Frostgrave wizgang (see here for a definition of that ridiculous word) made up of classic GW Tzeentchian warriors and Beastmen. The Captain is the latest addition. 

The Wizgang Exec - Apprentice, Wizard and Captain
Man-at-Arms, Knight and Templar

Treasure Hunter, Tracker, Barbarian, Archers

Thieves and Crossbowdaemen
So that's the Chaos Wizgang. Super old school. If I'd been able to find the right generation of Horrors, I'd have been even happier but I do like these models.

And finally there's this little guy. I found a post I put up here in 2016 about getting around to painting him and I finally did. He's a super basic, old school Forest Goblin musician and will, at some point, come to the table as a bard in my Orc and Goblin warband. Because what is more orcy as far as music goes than a one-tone drum being hit with a bone???

Boop boop boop
Frostgrave 2 is due out mid-next year and I think we're all looking forward to giving it a blat. In the meantime, we've got some plans to play a bit with a couple of our own little tweaks in advance of the release. Amazingly, I still have one other wizgang that I'm still trying to finish - I'm retouching some Khemrians I picked up in the UK 10 years ago...

Next Time
It's club day next weekend. I don't know what's on the plan at this point but next week will be a batrep of whatever we wind up playing. It might be Warmachine or maybe Zone Raiders. Or something completely different. 

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Post-tourney reflections

Anyone who knows me knows I don't take gaming at all seriously. I like to pretend on occasion and have occasionally graced the top tables where the magic has come together but that's as much about being lucky as good ;)

I have just finished a 40K comp where I came 21st out of 32. Not staggering by any stretch and not quite reaching my usual spot of gloriously mid-table. But I went into this comp with a really good headspace and it made for a better weekend. It was serious ITC and I knew full well I was taking a fluffy Guard list with no real idea what I was doing.

So why play? It got the army painted and it taught me a lot about how to play Guard. And that was what I set out to get from the weekend. I did not expect to win a game (and I only won one, and only on points) but I wanted to take some lessons about how I could get the best out of a fun army that didn't have all the choices commonly found in competitive Guard armies. And that's what I got. And I know there's a couple more cool things I can add to enjoy using this army more. Pushing Bullgryns out of the back of a Valkyrie is going to be on the agenda...

Also, I meant to take lots of photos. Totally forgot. But I had a great game to finish up against a Grey Knights and Knight army driven by blogger Scotty's Padawan Apprentice and he reminded me to take photos. I didn't take remotely enough to batrep the game, but I have a few great moments. He drove the Knights and Knights really well and aside from a few shocking die rolls, comfortably tabled me on turn 5. Some pics of the hilarity:
In the distance you can probably see the silhouette of the OTHER Vindicare. He shot first. 
This was turn 2. Yup. 2. That Leman Russ on the right was basically dead and those Guardsmen? Lets say it didn't go well. 

Assassin-based revenge...

At the end of the game, Canis Rex limped onto the Objective. 
It was a close game that I techincally won on points despite being utterly smashed! Grandmaster Voldus survived on one wound (no thanks to my Ratlings. Again.) as did Canis Rex. My Primaris Psyker tried SO hard to Psychic Maelstrom that Knight off the board. SO HARD. But no. And he was stomped by the Knight for trying. It was a really enjoyable game against a great opponent. It bookended the great game I started the weekend with.

To close, I also got some painting votes. Not many, but some. And that's never happened before and I'm super proud of that. It's not a stunningly painted army but it is tidy, to a good tabletop standard, and it's well finished with transfers and basing and it looks like a cohesive force. I'm really quite pleased about that. :)

Next Time
That's a really good question. I've been so focussed on the Guard that I don't know what I'll be working on for the next week. We've been talking about Frostgrave again and I've got a couple of models that have been screaming out to be done. I think it might be their time.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Finishing touches...

Despite having an event coming up, I've had to really force myself to get to painting! A few early morning starts have helped to cobble together a paintjob on some classic Stormtroopers:

They're black and red in advance of the release of revised Inquisition rules in next month's White Dwarf. I'm optimistic they might become an actual list choice. Plus I really needed to not paint something green! 

They came second-hand and getting the original paint off was a real challenge but worth the effort as they are quite fun. Also, gotta love that weapon loadout. Not optimal. But then, when have I ever done anything that remotely resembles optimal? 

And here's the whole army ready to go for next weekend: 

The Valkryrie had to come off it's base to fit in the photo! Anyway, 1750 points of Guard is a lot - I'm putting nearly 80 infantry on the park I think. 

Next time
A comp report on how it all goes and some photos of the best of my games. I have low expectations of success but then that's never been the point of these things for me. I'm done for deadlines I think at that point so it might be back to fun projects (although slightly bitsy I suspect) for the rest of the year. 

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Inquisitio, Pars Duorum

+++ Command Post, B Company, 377 Krieg Siege Regiment +++

She heard the 'Incoming' call from the sentries on the high ground. Still alert. That was promising.

The Cadian column, such as it was, marched into the Krieg encampment around the Astropathic Choir buildings and stomped to a well-drilled halt. Under her broad brimmed hat, Inquistor Miranda al-Ghraile of the Ordo Xenos let her lips curl into a small smile. She enjoyed being in the company of Cadian troopers. Their determination and drill showed how good they were as soldiers and their discipline left them unusually resistant to corruption for regular mortals.

Their Colonel spoke surprisingly softly to a junior officer who promptly set about dispersing the Cadian forces into defensive positions alongside the troopers of Krieg.
From their midst, the Inquistor strode into the Krieg CP. She grabbed the first officer she saw by the lapels "where is he?" she demanded. He stammered and and gestured to the rear.She heard him shouting something about power packs before she saw him. "Aldo! Stop brutalising that man. Ammunition is in short supply planet-wide."
After a moments silence he responded. "Inquisitor al-Ghraile. I thought I sensed your black mood on this world. Why are you here?"

"Show some respect, Aldo. YOU asked for MY Ordo's help. We're here."

He sneered. "You are here, Miranda, and that is not much use to me when we are beset on all sides by the perfidious Xenos and the ancient enemy." Her vox-link chimed, as if on cue, as a jet black Thunderhawk Gunship circled around the Krieg encampment before landing on the boulevard alongside the CP.

"No. Aldo. We are here..."


The stench of putrefaction rolled over the lines. The Kriegsmen, in their gasmasks, appeared not to notice too much but the Cadian sergeants began giving orders to their men. Vox units across the lines began to chatter as sentries spotted a wall of walking corpses, shambling alongside a wall of jerkily animated silvered warriors. Inquisitor al-Ghraile conferred briefly with Sergeant Androkles of the Deathwatch. "Options, Sergeant?" she asked. "We will attack, Inquisitor. There are no other options."

"Are the Astartes...advancing?" Signifer Welham seemed utterly confused as Kill Team Androkles  stepped out of it's prepared positions and advanced on the enemy, bolt rifles blazing. Next to him, Aldo tore the vox from the hands of the Cadian Colonel. "MEN OF CADIA AND OF KRIEG. THE ENEMY IS UPON US." he bellowed. "IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD EMPEROR OF MANKIND YOU WILL HOLD THIS LINE!" Heavy weapon fire erupted along the Imperial Guard line and the troopers cheered as the Corrupted Knight was felled by concentrated fire from the House Hawkshroud knight, Arcus, and lascannon and missile fire from the Guard lines.
As if from nowhere, a Valkyrie transport whizzed overhead, it's rocket pods strafing the ground ahead of it, as a platoon of Tempestus Scions leapt from it's rear door. They dropped on grav chutes, firing into the Necron rear as they descended. No sooner had they touched down and taken cover in a nearby shell crater then a scream rent the air.

With almost pinpoint precision, a red and white drop pod hit the ground and disgorged a squad of Adeptus Astartes from the Storm Lords, led by an Epistolary of their chapter. The Librarian saluted the Tempestus Sergeant with his Force Stave as his battle brothers gunned down the first of the Necron's overseers and turned their fire on a second.
The Necrons slowed as their leaders were slaughtered by the combined might of the Storm Lords and the Militarum Tempestus while the Cadians blazed away at their front lines with accurate and effective lasgun fire, blunting their forward advance. On the Imperial left, the plague-ridden zombie swarm continued their shambling and to their rear the gross and distended forms of a platoon of Death Guard Heretics and the hulking mass and wings of a mighty daemon.
As the zombies closed on the Imperial lines, Krieg assault Sentinels and Kill Team Androkles turned their fire on the putrescence, hoping to hold it back. The Deathwatch could only look on as the Daemon Prince thumped it's enormous wings, leapt through the air and fell upon the Krieg lines with an unnatural rage. The troopers held, thanks only to the exhortations of Commissar Vhen, who found himself the unfortunate target of the daemon's wrath. Vhen fended off the beast with some skillful swordplay and leapt clear as the Hawkshroud Knight turned it's mighty autocannons on the daemon prince and turned the beast into a disgusting pool of filth.
Darkness fell over the Storm Lords and Scions as another fallen Knight stepped onto the boulevard over their heads. Shouts went up across the Imperial lines as heavy weapon fire turned on the knight. Inquisitor Aldo directed the Guard autocannons to fire on the Necron flier, recalling his experience days earlier on the Imperial Cathedral forecourt. The fallen Knight turned it's wrath on the Scions while the Necron leader's foul technologies brought down many of the Storm Lords. As the befouled knight turned back to the Imperial lines, almost as one, the three Imperial psykers turned their minds to the task and felled it with their combined mental fortitude, before Epistolary Camedes and his remaining battle brothers were taken by floating Necron horrors.
Inquisitor al-Ghraile watched in horror as the foul pestilent zombies pulled down another Sentinel and tore open it's cabin to get to the pilot. She drew her sword and looked around. "Commissar Krause? Shall we?" Krause answered by drawing her own blade and the two  charged into the morass of plague-ridden foulness. Hacking about left and right the zombies fell under the swords of the two black-clad heroes. Suddenly, the ground shook as another corpulent daemon prince dropped from the skies and began laying about itself with an enormous rusty sword...


As dusk settled on Gurija Hive, Gnaeus Aldo looked up as he heard the roar of Thunderhawk engines for the second time that day. From it's rear door stepped a single Primaris Space Marine, clad in jet black armour, offset by the white shoulder pauldron that marked him out as an Apothecary. The Marine walked slowly and carefully among the dead, occasionally kneeling for a time, before storing a small vial on his belt and moving on.

The Apothecary stood for a final time, cradling something small and broken. Aldo realised he was carrying the body of Inquisitor al-Ghraile. He lifted his aching body and limped over to where the Marine was standing. "She fought with honour this day, Brother Apothecary, and will be celebrated in the annals of the Ordo Malleus." The Primaris looked down. "Thank you Inquisitor. Her loss will be felt at Pykman. Now, where are my brother Storm Lords?"

Aldo gestured off into the darkness. The Apothecary stared for a while, then turned on his heel and strode off without another word, presumably to perform the last rites of the Adeptus Astartes on those brave brothers of the Storm Lords chapter. As he watched the Deathwatch Marine's armour merge with the darkness, the Inquisitor realised what this victory had wrought.


Narrative Campaigns? 
Amen to these. Scotty ran a slick campaign with some great custom missions and some excellent little add ins. Everyone who played it enjoyed it and it was a pleasure to play some really casual and fun games against a variety of lists and opponents. When playing casually, 40K plays really well at low points values.

I think our club will be seeing a few more of these in the new year. Goodness knows, there are enough games we can play that allow for campaigns and pretty much every skirmish game on the block has all the necessary bits. So Necromunda, Frostgrave, Dracula's America and probably another 40K one could all easily find their way to the calendar.

Next time
Some classic, early 2000s GW metals for 40K are currently on the painting desk and I'm hoping I'll have my first ever 3D printed model to paint!