Sunday, 30 July 2017

WIP: Home-Grown Mastodon

The Mastodon is one of the largest land vehicles available to the Space Marines, and now their evil cousins can take one of these mountains of ceramite. But with a pricetag matching its size, I thought I'd have a go at building my own.

And I had the perfect donor vehicles. I had a leman russ and two thirds of a land raider doing nothing usedul, and with some wider tracks looted from baneblades and Blood and Skulls Industry, this formed the basis of the tank.

Next was to block out the hull. The giant tank is mainly plasticard, build around the four track units. So far I've only build the basic structure with no details. I plan to skin the tank in armour later down the line.

I've also started two of the main weapons. The first, the Melta array, is a Knights melta cannon turned on its side. With little work it is the perfect start.

Next, it's the soulreaper areay. I had a spare hunter cannon, so with a mult-barrel tip from a hades autocannon, it formed the perfect count-as.

It is still early days, but I can see it coming together, slowly, but surely. The next step will be the front. I want to keep motovated, so I'll make a start on the front doors and the rest of the melta array.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review: Tabletop Tyrant Skirmish Case

Having enough carry cases seems to be a big issue for me at the moment. So with some free Amazon vouchers and half an hour, I looked round for some cheap and cheerful carry cases. So today, we're looking at one of the budget options from Tabletop Tyrant.

The model I have is their smallest one, the Skirmish.

 At around £12 (which varies from around £12-15 dependjng on the foam chosen) is less than half the cost of my usual go-to KR case. It's also much smaller, about the size of a small shoebox. This makes it perfect for new starters with small armies, or even experienced players with small games in the week, who don't want to carry a much larger case where half the models are not needed.

In terms of box quality it certainly feels like a shoebox. It's quite cheap feeling corrigated card, and doesn't have the same sense of stength KR card cases do. It also arrived pre-damaged, despite being delivered inside two other boxes. It will holdup during normal use, but don't expect it to survive a quick shower or light drizzle. It looses a few points here.

The foam is a bit better. It is sturdy, firm, and feels quite good. You get two sheets of foam for models, and a thin topper sheet to protect the top layer. It also fits the case well, with no rattling. It's not the most securely put together though: each piece of pluck is only held on by a tiny amount, so whilst easy to pick out, there is a risk of separation of pieces under heavy use.

The case was advertised offering a capacity of around 32 models. With the pluck foam configuration, you only get about 28. The pluck foam, whilst customisable  is incredibly inefficient. Without the use of a knife, about 50% of the remaining space in the tray is foam, when you take out single blocks with a 1 block separating gap.

I had to resort to modifying the slots as it was so wasteful, and it now has much more potential. With some minor surgery, I could easily fit 20 standard infantry models per tray, and the second tray can fit my more unusually shaped models. As it is a small case it's not suitable for tanks or monsters, unless you cut up the trays. I managed to fit a lot of daemons, including:

  • 20 pink horrors
  • 10 blue horrors
  • 10 brimstone horrors
  • 4 flamers
  • 1 exhalted flamer
  • 1 herald
So you can fit a decent amount in, if you are willing to do a bit of customisation to the foam sheets.

If you are after a small  cheap case, then the Skirmish is an alright option. If it wasn't free by technicality I would go for another brand, but if you do choose Tabletop Tyrant, it's certainly suitable for the job, and with a bit of cutting and slicing can be much more efficient in the use of space, allowing you to fit a decent sized infantry army in.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thoughts on: Index Chaos

With 8th here, I now need to think about how my army will now play, what I can get for my points, and what combos I might wish to try.

The chaos index is an essential for the new edition, but the beauty of it is every non-forgeworld unit is in it, marine, daemon and knight. It’s great from a cost perspective; only having to by one book instead of two (plus datasheet). It’s also relatively small and compact which saves you carrying three hardbacks, and it makes it so much easier to reference when everything is in one place.

It also has a lot more synergy potential, in that the keywords replace a lot of the older criteria for buffs and abilities. Whilst limiting in some aspects, it makes the game a lot faster and easier to follow. You check an ability, check if the unit has the right keyword, done!

I’ve only had a few small games, so i haven’t really tried out any new combos, but I’ve picked our a few units you may be seeing more of in chaos lists, ane certainly in my lists and worklogs:

  • Possessed- with a 7” move, they are now one of the faster on-foot units in the book, and with ap-2 claws and mutations, they are also pretty nasty in close combat. The d3 attacks isnt the best, but a buff from a nearby tzeentch herald for +1 strength*, plus the power that grants +1 strength, toughness or attacks, makes them very good (the powers affect TZEENTCH DAEMON units, and possessed have both these keywords. The rules clarify both unit and faction keywords are functionally identical, faction keywords are more for creating battleforged lists)
  • Defilers- yes, defilers. With a ton of wounds, automatic 1 wound regeneration every turn and decent weapons, we may soon see more of these crab-like constructs, as well as their smaller daemon engine brothers
  • Scarab occult-still as tough as ever. Now with 2 wounds and bolters that reduce terminator armour to a 4+ and get twice as many shots than jn 7th,  I plan to have a lot of fun with these
  • Helbrutes-no longer the runt of the litter in terms of unit choice, with a decent 8” move, 8 wounds and good combat prospects, I may have to drag a few of these along to each game

If i have a criticism is that as a Thousand Sons player, the choice of powers is very limited, going from over 20 to 4. Whilst the powers are nice (free extra move, mortal wounds and +1 to hit) I do like variety. Maybe this will be addressed in future publications.

So all-in-all it’s a big change to my usual experiences of the game. Most of it is for the better though, and it’s only really the psychic powers that bothers me (anyone want a copy of the heretech discipline cards?). I am really looking forward to trying out new exciting combos and I may not have considered or even been able to use before.

I’ve also recently received a copy of the Forgeworld chaos index which is full of even more shiny toys, so expect a review of that book in the near future.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

8th Edition Early Observations

With 8th only a few weeks away, it's time for me to think about how my army will work. My local GW had all the index books, and the main rule books, to have a look at before ordering. I only had a quick read of the books and one observation of a practice game between Orks and Tyranids, but here are a few of my initial thoughts:

Thousand Sons are so much more durable*

*Against damage 1 at least. Both Rubrics and Scarab Occult get +1 to their save against damage 1 weapons, basically giving them a 2+ save against lasguns, and allowing the units to effectively ignore the first point of rend.

Relics are gone

As far as I could see, at least. All the entries have access to a range of standard options, but I couldn't see any of the classic (or even new) daemon weapons, relics, and trinkets. I suppose it makes things a lot simpler (and cheaper) but it does meant my burning brand Warpsmith is now redundant.

The psychic phase is much more streamlined

A lot of the randomness has been removed from the psychic phase. Chaos has gone from at least a few dozen psychic powers to about 4 (and maybe a couple of god specific ones for daemons). Whilst it does limit the options available, the new powers are pretty good, including a free extra movement and mortal wound-inflicting spells.

Magnus is a beast (still)

He goes up from 7 to 18 wounds, is strength 16 (as there's no caps on these values anymore) gets +2 to casting and denying powers, and can fly pretty fast. He's still expensive, but he should still be able to go toe-to-toe with any unit, HE can still turn stuff into spawn too (but only models with the CHARACTER keyword now...)

We're going to get MANY more Forge World toys

As well as the main Chaos index, I've pre-ordered the Forge World equivalent. At only £15 (not a typo, genuinely £15!), Chaos will have access to even more heresy tech, including Deredeo and Leviathan Dreadnoughts, Sicaran Venators, Scorpius Whirlwinds and the titanic Mastodon. I definitely have to make one of these now! I do have a spare Land Raider and a few Russ/Rhino hulls I could salvage...

I for one am looking forward to this next edition, and over the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you all my plans for the army, including variant formations and forces, from Sekmet Conclaves to Tzeentch robot battlegroups to rival the meanest Nidzilla forces.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Iron painter challenge: live

Good morning folks! The 12 hour Iron painted challenge has begun. Check back throught the day for live updates.

8:30. Go!

10:50. Most of the boxes are built, and one contestant is already painting!

12:20 painting has begin! Most of the forces are built, and some players are beginning to lay down basic colours.

15:40. Getting closer, less than 5 hours to go!

17:15- first atmy is nearly finished! (Nurgle daemons)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Iron Painter Challenge: The Preparation

This Saturday sees me and nine other local gamer take on the Iron Painter challenge: 12 hours of non-stop building and painting. Today's post details my plan, and what you can all expect.

Each contestant has to choose a Getting Started box set. I've chosen to go for Scions: I like the heavier armour they have over the Imperial Guard, and the Taurox is a fun kit, even if it has it's fair share of haters.

As you know I can't leave anything stock. On top of the challenge itself, I'm adding an extra degree of difficulty, ensuring I convert every single model, including the Taurox.

The theme I plan to go for is 'Mad Max 40k'. It's an idea that's been bubbling away for a while now, but I have an excuse to make a start on it. I plan to have the scions look somewhat like the wastelanders of the outback-based movie franchise. We are allowed to raid bits boxes, so I plan to utilise a few choice bits. The main parts I'll be using are:

  • Helmets from the Dark Eldar Scourges and Sisters of Silence
  • Weapon arms from the Genestealer Cultists box sets.
  • Couple of Chaos Icons
And for the Taurox, this beast....

 This is a custom, blown V8, perfect for any reclaimed post-apocalyptic vehicle.

It's a bit of a light post for now, but you can expect much more this Saturday. I will be posting live throughout the day, both here and on Facebook, so make sure you're signed up. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Workshop Datalogs: April 2017

April has been a fun month, and with a far improved workbench setup I've been motivated to actually work on something.

I ordered a couple of paint racks, which have massively freed up space on my desk. Most of the paints i had sidnt fit on the existing racks I had, and so would clutter the desk.

As well as that, I now have a more comprehensively organised bitz box, with everything I may need in one extensive system. Each section has been broken up into weapons, limbs etc, and is colour coded depending on the model (blue is space marine, red terminator etc.). This should mean finding parts for cool conversions will be much, much easier. Now, onto some acutal models...

So first up, some Shadow Wars. I had a game yesterday against a Dark Eldar gang, as part of a local campaign. The mercenaries did great, and have earned me a few promethium caches. Since one of my cultists died in the fight, I find myself in need of some new warriors. First up joining the ranks is another chaos marine with bolter and telescopic scope. Something you will all agree is much better than a cultist, this guy should add some more long ranged punch.

And for even tougher fights I have this brute of a Terminator. Built off a slimmed down Centurion, this model oozes menace and power (and with a 3+ save on 2 dice, why shouldn't he?). Armed with a combi bolter and power fist, he'll show up every now and again to really take the fight to the enemy. I will have to be careful with him though, as the Bounty rule means my opponent gets bonus promethium if he is down or killed at the end of the game.

In terms of normal 40k, I've also been at work adding two new spawn, either for use in a unit, or when enemy models are mutated in the psychic phase (I'm yet to top a riptide though...)

Finally, we have a Maulerfiend in the works. I had to do a conversion, mainly because I stole the exhausts for the Typhon. The new pipes are made from plastic tubes, spare exhausts and melta barrels, and have a more mechanical and sleek appearance.

That's it for today, but feel free to keep yourself up-to-date on the Facebook page.