Saturday, 28 September 2019


So I know I said last week that blogger Pel and I would be trying out our first Zone Raiders game but to no avail. Sadly, he had family commitments and couldn't make club day so we'll postpone that game for another day. Instead, I joined Tank, McBeth and McBeth Jnr for a couple of rounds of Aeronautica Imperialis.

A review of sorts
Let me preface this by saying I wanted to hate this game. I wanted to hate it so much. I wanted to complain about the hex based map, clunky mechanics, the sameness of the game, the stupid scale of the models and all sorts of other things. I wanted to hate it so I don't have to buy sweet sweet 10mm scale Corvus Blackstars.

And I can't. I can't hate it at all. This game is a hoot. It was great fun, full of flavour and very slick. I'm not going to go through the mechanics or anything like that but I'll point out the things I enjoyed about the game and the things I didn't (spoilers: there's only 2)

The game is pretty straight forward - I go, you go - with a couple of tweaks to the turn order depending on circumstances. The players determine manoeuvres and then zoom their planes about, going faster or slower, gaining or losing height (and speed as a result). You pick your manoeuvres before you find out who's going first and if you get it wrong, this is the result:
The immediate aftermath of that shot was the Fury being shot down and the Thunderbolt taking three Ork Dakkajets in revenge. It was an astonishing round of shooting that kept Tank and I in that game! 

Anyway, a further point about the moving - the manoeuvres give you so much flexibility with how and when you perform your turns and things that the dogfights are really just that. It feels odd at first but once you get used to the abstraction, it's excellent for gameplay. Compared to the durdling turns of something like X-Wing, it's a much more exciting way to play too.
Getting your manoeuvre choice right! 
The flavour is definitely embedded in the game. The Imperial planes are well armed and tough, trained for manoeuverability and mid-range combat. The Orks are stupid fast, lightly armoured and very heavily armed for close range combat. Ork Dakkajets are 25% faster than Thunderbolts but the Thunderbolt pilots have access to some quite shenaniganery turns that the Orks can't do. Ork Bommers are insanely heavily armed and quite a lot faster than Marauders which are much more brickily traditional.

Finally, the models are amazing. It's very easy to pick the Thunderbolt Fury from the Thunderbolt just by checking out the nose guns. The detailing is clear and they look genuinely like scaled down versions of the 28mm equivalents. The ball mounts for the planes also let you tip your planes side to side or up and down to go along with your neeeeeooorrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmm noises
Thunderbolt (left) and Thunderbolt Fury (right). Note underslung nose guns.
Are there some negatives? Yes. The scale still annoys me. <rant> I get that it's the same scale as Adeptus Titanicus. I get that 10mm gives you some opportunity to make some really beautiful models (GW are SO good at this and I've already said, but it bears repeating, the models in AI are amazing) but can we just admit that Epic scale games are coming back. Please? Apocalypse is fine (and we will be trying it in 6mm in 2020. Stay tuned for that) but FFS. </rant>

The only other bugbear is an old chestnut. It's currently a two-faction game and there are only five or six available models for it. It feels like it has all the design space to add in all the flyers from the regular 40K universe and from Forgeworld but they aren't there and there's been no evidence, one way or the other, that the game is going to go wider. I assume it will - GW has some great models in this space - but I will wait and see before I leap into this particular game.

Also, I played a game of 40K with McBeth Jnr yesterday. It was rough for him without enough serious AT to scare a Leman Russ (until some Grey Knight Paladins ripped it a new one) and his saves were just dire which is funny when you're the Guard player shooting down Space Marines with flashlights. Anyway, the highlight for me was this:
Something something walk me closer something something
In which Inquisitor Karamazov spent umpteen turns fighting Black Templar assault marines. The Throne of Judgement's Stompy Feet stomped good. He at least survived where Greyfax was cut down easily by the Emperors Champion and my third Inquisitor died to Storm Bolters. Yep. Grim.

Next Time
Goodness knows. I've still got dudes to finish for Warpstorm and I've managed to acquire some original Imperial Guard Stormtroopers who need stripping (and repainting for that event) so I need to crack on. I've also recently acquired a very nice Druid from Hasslefree who will be a character in an upcoming run at the Warhammer RPG dropping in as an Amber Wizard.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

September Workbench

Finished things! 
This is my first ever Leman Russ. And damn was it fun to put together and paint. It's a great kit. And, much to my delight, it even survived having the sponsons snapped off, taken apart and put back together once I realised I'd put the multimeltas on the wrong sides. Ugh.

It's an Eradicator, which is widely regarded as utter trash in game, but that muzzle break is basically the coolest thing on a tank ever. So I put kill markings on it. I had to fit a dozer blade on it because it's meant to be a kind of bunker assault tank and a dozer blade is most correct.

Works in Progress

I'm also midway through the last two vehicles I'll need for Maelstrom or Warpstorm or whatever the heck the thing I'm playing in at the end of October is called.

This is the lascannon Sentinel, who is the sergeant for the squadron of Sentinels I'll be fielding. They're kind of terrible but they a) look amazing and b) at some point I will ripple fire Hunter-killer missiles at something. It won't go well, but the mental picture will be awesome!

This is my second Leman Russ - with ALL the plasma. It should be fun. Or terrible. I can't decide. But I will have a Tech Priest Engineseer following it around fixing it up after my inevitable rolling of loads of ones.

I have also acquired a second-hand Basilisk. It's in pretty good nick and will definitely work for me. I've already removed the commanders hatch and patched the gap in the heavy bolter. I'll replace the hatch with a new one and add the necessary heavy stubber that goes on ALL cupolas.

The rails off the back are completely gone, as is the ladder. Blogger Pooch is hooking me up with the back rails off his Hydra that he hasn't used and a ladder as well and I've got all the bits to make up some crew. I'm also going to put a rear facing dozer blade on it because it's an SPG and an SPG should have a recoil spade.

Next Time
Blogger Pel and I have tentatively scheduled our first proper game of Zone Raiders so I'll batrep that and add a few thoughts about the game - especially with list building being a thing we need to do.

My first couple of read throughs of the full rules have been really positive and the gaps that have been filled from the demo version we played look REALLY cool. A game that has asymmetric missions to set completely different sets of mission objectives for each player is super cool.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Aid Unlooked For


+++ Transmitted: M41.999 +++

+++ Inquisitor: ALDO, GNAEUS LEPIDUS +++

+++ Security Level: SCARLET +++

+++ START +++

Gurija Hive remains under siege. Imperial Forces are retreating on multiple fronts. The Ancient Enemy presses on all sides and the Xenos continue to take advantage of our weakness. The Hive has lost many resources but defensive buildings still hold. 

On this day, I have led soldiers of the Cadian 33rd into battle against the foul, inhuman Necron and defeated him. In an effort to acquire intelligence about our enemy's plans I commandeered Delta Platoon of II Company, Cadian 33rd. We attacked the Necron in the urban areas in front of the Imperial Cathedral. 

The Cadians Attack
The Cadians advanced across a wide frontage and poured accurate fire into the Necron. The Imperial Guard's anti-infantry weapons were largely ineffective, except against the heavy weapon wielding Necrons who fell with suspicious ease. I note that, despite excellent shooting from their anti-armour weapons, the Xenos flyer's shielding appeared impervious to our most powerful weapons, ignoring direct hits from even lascannons! 

The Legion of the Damned Arrive!
We were unexpectedly aided by the appearance of the Adeptus Astartes known as Legionem Damnatorum. They emerged from the dark on our left flank and attacked the Xenos. They slew many Necrons and extensively damaged the Necron flyer. The Necron attempted to stall the Astartes with explosive insectoid robots but they were summarily demolished. My attempts to contact the Space Marines went unanswered. They seemed content to attack the Necron and I was content to leave them. 

Facing down the Annihilation Barge
The Cadian infantry on my right flank were assailed and nearly wiped out by insectoid swarms and would have been destroyed if not for the timely and heroic intervention of Commissar Eckhardt and an autonomous Ambot bought into combat by the Cadian captain. Their possession of non-standard issue tech has been noted and will be reported.  Our Sentinels and permitted abhuman snipers turned the enemy flank as the Necron redeployed to fight the Astartes.

Gnaeus Aldo leads from the front! 
I successfully led the Cadians and their command squad into the heart of the Necron infantry and slew many, although despite our efforts they continued to rise from the dead. They retreated and we continued to charge, taking intensive fire as we assaulted.  Many Cadians were lost and I myself was wounded by their alien weaponry, even my Tactical Dreadnought armour was inadequate protection from their foul technologies. 
The Cadians bayonet some Necrons!
The Necron attempted to dislodge the mysterious Astartes even sending in their leader to destroy the mysterious Marines. Despite my inability to contact them, they withdrew from the Necron, bolters firing, and a crack shot from one of the Guard Sentinels felled the Necron leader. 

The Legionem Damnatorum secured the intelligence while the Cadian soldiers finished off the Xenos horde. The Cadians have performed adequately. I have personally commended Signifer Welham for his recovery of the Cadian standard, despite serious wounds and I have suggested to Lieutenant Arctura that he reprimand the platoon's mortar crew for their poor fire rates. 

I expect reinforcements from the remnants of Epsilon and Zeta Platoons to hold my position before we assault the Cathedral. I have set what cogitators I can access to decoding the intelligence and will report it's contents provided we can maintain an Astropathic link. 

The Imperial Guard reports our victories are few in this hive. I have sufficient resources to face the Ancient Enemy should he appear. I have heard that our own Chamber Militant has entered the fray against the Ork but we are ill equipped to face further engagements with the WAAAGH or the Necron. My report is also enclosed to ORDO XENOS and to the nearby Fort Pykman of the Deathwatch for their information should they be able to intervene. 

+++ END +++

Next Time
That was fun! Again! Anyway, I've got three vehicles and a squad of dudes to paint before a 40K comp in late October so I'm focussing on those but Pelarel and I are plotting a game of Zone Raiders with the full rules in a couple of weeks so I might need to do some work for that. Also, I need to get stuck into my last pile of M60s for a big game of TY coming up but oh! the IDF Sand. 

What should you take from that? Painting post next week. Battle report the week after. 

Saturday, 7 September 2019


Lazy blog title FTW! Lazy blog all round really. It's been a bit of a busy week and I haven't had a lot of hobby time due mostly to indulging in other hobbies!

I did start on my Damned Legionnaires this week and ripped through the black and base colours for the not black quite quickly: 

The nine base colours
and worked through one to the end to see how he came out: 

Pretty happy with how he's come out too. Having the flames carved into the panels does make them easier to paint, especially when you're a touch lazy. This was probably one of the easier ones to do and he took a couple of hours, so the rest present a bit more of a challenge. I'll work through them one at a time and aim to have them all done by next Saturday.

While I was faffing around I also got this beauty built:

This is my second Russ for my Guard army for Warpstorm here in October. The mega-plasma is a bit silly but I quite like it. I'm waiting on an accessories sprue that Tank picked up for me over the weekend to finish it off (stubber, commander, spare fuel tank and and doodads) but it will act as my big scary wreck stuff tank rather than the other assault oriented Russ.

Next Time
A report from Inquisitor Gnaeus Aldo of the Ordo Malleus on the ongoing Imperial defence of
Gurenja Hive - it's Narrative Campaign day 2 and as Pooch is not going to be there, I thought I'd turn my hand to an attempt at the narrative report of games 3 and 4.