12/22/2010

Riders of the Storm

The past two weeks I've missed game night at the Whiz. Hopefully next week I wasn't scheduled another closing shift at work so I can attend.

Colleges are letting students out on vacation, I believe, so perhaps there will be more opponents now/soon.


I've completed building my Rhino and Land Raider Crusader. All I have to do now is prime and paint them. Painting them is going to be the biggest drag, though. I've never been a fan of painting vehicles due to their immense size and how many coats of paint I have to slather on them.

Hopefully, much like with my Drop Pod, the Foundation paint base coat will help speed things along.

The Whiz is having a tournament on January 1st, titled "New Acquaintances", which is based around bringing new units to the field you got during December (presumably as a holiday gift). I've been wanting to use my Land Raider Crusader, but I doubt I'll have it fully painted by then.

Oh well. Only time will tell.

12/11/2010

Review: Ultramarines DVD

To start with, the trailers truly don't do the movie justice. That being said, it's a pretty good movie in what I can only hope to be the first of many.


The good:
The voice acting is very well done. The script seems well written, but with Dan Abnett authoring it I expected no less. The general feel and mood of the environment gave it an authentic "grim, dark" setting which felt very 40K.

The bad:
It's pretty short, running less than 80 minutes. Because of this, the plot felt very simple. The film's pace moved slowly and quietly at first, then to a more "natural" flow, but never really reached a satisfying climax.

And yes, the graphics are sub-par to today's standards (even THQ's short cinematics for the Dawn of War franchise were far superior). The biggest graphical downfall, in my opinion, was the terrain of the planet. It seemed as if they made it a rocky desert to save on the budget it would require to make a lush, colorful world, as if they just made a light brown ground texture and tossed in the occasional oddball rock formation to add scenic "flavor". The terrain gets much better and more detailed once the sign of Chaos is discovered though.

Overall, it's a great movie to watch if you're a fan of 40K, but don't expect anything more than Marines versus Marines... which could get very boring if they continue with this theme.

Score: 5/10

12/09/2010

Simple Survival

In the past week, I've bought and assembled a Land Raider Crusader. I decided to give it a multimelta, just to add a bit of anti-tank weaponry, making it a true killing machine.

I also played a threeway battle on Tuesday against Tyranids and Daemons. I didn't take any pictures of the Daemons, unfortunately, but I did manage to get a few good shots of the Tyranids.

Deployment.

After annihilating the Hormagaunts.

Remember the Assault Squad? The Hive Tyrant devoured it.

Considering it was a 2,000-point battle, we only got to the end of turn two, so it was too early to name a victor. However, I did lose my objective, and the Daemons were able to contest the Tyranid objective.

I look forward to priming and painting my new Land Raider Crusader and Rhino though. Soon my infantry will have all the transports they could ever want.

11/30/2010

Choke

Late last night I finished one of my bolter-wielding sergeants. I got to use him in a game today, which I ended up losing.

It was a 2,000pts match against Black Templars. Their independent characters are seriously nasty units. My real downfall was basically forgetting a bunch of special rules (like my commander's orbital bombardment), and to do certain things (like shoot with my assault squad and charge with them).


Three of my models broke tonight, too. One of my assault marines fell onto the floor, and busted at the torso and his backpack popped off. It was a rather clean break, which was so easy to fix. My Land Speeder Typhoon's antennae snapped off, as well as one of its missile launchers, which sucked, so I had to reattach those. And another Land Speeder's ball socket for the stand broke right down the middle.

I've repaired all of them... I hope. The Land Speeders are my biggest worries, as those are some tough fixes.

Eh, now to work on another sergeant and some other models (Terminators, mostly). I am contemplating getting a Land Raider Crusader though, considering I have $10 worth of gift certificates for the Whiz. Although, I still want to do some terrain in the meantime.

Anyway. We'll see what happens.

11/23/2010

O' Death

After a long, long time playing my Assault Squad with the same configuration, I've finally realized its major weakness: lack of a power weapon.

Sergeant Zack
Sure, it holds its own in melee and ties units up for a turn or two, but it doesn't really seem to do much against monstrous creatures or independent characters. And why? Because it had always consisted solely of chainswords.

But not anymore. After some surgery, I removed the sergeant's chainsword and replaced it with a power sword. The conversion was nearly flawless. I always get so nervous doing such operations, but the end result is usually worth it.

Now though, my squad can actually do more damage for an additional 15 points. And yes, I didn't give him a power fist because it's an additional 10 points for what I consider essentially a tar pit unit. Plus I hate power fists.

Tonight I did manage to get a game against Jesse's Chaos Marines though, and our annihilation match ended in a draw. It was a close battle, initially Jesse had the lead by three more kill points than me. The table turned about halfway through, though, and I got some lucky kills.


Oh, and I also earned a $5 gift certificate at the Whiz, so I hope to apply that to a purchase soon too.

Until next week!

11/16/2010

Nightmare

After a week from Hell (lost my computer, car, and second job), I'm finally back on track. And to make the comeback relatively better I won tonight's game at the Whiz. Unfortunately, I went slightly unprepared and completely forgot to bring my camera.

But here's the details: In a spearhead annihilation match, the Red Dragons went up against a splinter fleet of Tyranids. It was probably one of the best games I've performed in, tactically speaking, in a while.

My opponent brought a Hive Tyrant, Tyrant Guard, Hive Guard, Carnifex, two squads of four Warriors, about two dozen Hormagaunts, and a Death Leaper.

By turn five, I had killed all but three of the Warriors, the Tyrant and its Guard.

Just massed amounts of firepower was my trick, and allocating target priority appropriately.

Right now I'm working on painting up some more sergeants, as I have too many equipped with chainswords. I strongly prefer to play WYSIWYG, and I only have two sergeants that have standard bolters. The other four or five all have bolt pistols and chainswords. One of the models is halfway done, but I'm pretty sure I'll make a couple more just to be safe.

I've been too busy lately to do anymore terrain work, but I still hope to get some of that done soon. I absolutely love terrain, quite possibly more than the actual figures themselves. Once I get free time again, I can guarantee there will be some progression on them.

I'll update again next week (probably).

10/26/2010

Sun Doesn't Rise

After a month of missed 40K nights at the Whiz, I was finally able to attend this evening's. Last week I had car trouble, so Jesse came here instead and we played on my gaming table.

Tonight, however, I went to the Whiz and was pleasantly surprised to find my friend Rob there with his Witch Hunters. It had been about six months since we last played each other, and I must say his tactics have improved significantly.


I didn't take many pictures tonight, but I did manage a photo of my Predator tank he took out in the first turn.


I was, fortunately, able to take out a very large chunk of his infantry thanks to my Dreadnought via Drop Pod, deep-striking Terminators, and melee combat.

By turn five, though, he actually managed to wipe my forces from the board. It's been a while since I've had my army tabled, and apparently it was his first time doing it.

I'll have to work on my list and tactics for next time. I seek vengeance!

10/18/2010

Planet X

Sorry for the long wait on an update on here. Things have been rather hectic, from work to home to the girlfriend. And I've missed the last three weeks of gaming, which has sucked.

Anyway, here's a shot of the few Planetary Empires tiles I've painted up so far. I'm creating the homeworld of the Red Dragons, piece by piece. If anyone should want to "invade" it, be my guest! I think it'd be rather fun trying to thwart an assault on my chapter's home planet.

Welcome to Planet X

That's six tiles down, only another 44 to go! I enjoy painting them though; they're easy to paint and fun to think up ideas for each one. I highly recommend the Planetary Empires expansion for anyone curious about it.

Well, hopefully I can get to the Whiz tomorrow night for some gaming. My coworker Jesse said he'd most likely be going, so I'll probably be facing his Chaos Marines again.

9/28/2010

Terminators Ready

At 4am today, I finished my squad of Terminators. Just in time for today's 40K match against my coworker Jesse's new Chaos Space Marines army.

Terminator Squad Invictus

Sadly, his Chaos Terminators killed mine with ease. I saw this coming, though, considering his squad was all equipped with power weapons and I had mostly power fists. They still did well though.

But I did win today's battle (2-1). It was a Seize Ground, Dawn of War setup. I basically started off with two objectives in my deployment zone, so I mostly just positioned gun lines and held the objectives as he charged.

For the past few days now I've been painting up my Planetary Empires tiles. I'm creating the home world of the Red Dragons, which I hope to portray as a lush, vegetation-covered world. Since most Space Marine chapters are drawn from death worlds, I've decided to instill a population of deadly predators into its fluff.

I had two Hive City tiles, but unfortunately I lost one of the spires, so it looks like I'll only have one Hive City to start with until I can order another set. But so far, the tiles look amazing. I'll post pictures of them soon.

9/21/2010

Battle Hymn

Had a good game at the Whiz tonight. We played a 2v3 game, with the Red Dragons and a Black Templars army battling Orks, Tyranids, and Tau. I can honestly say we crushed them. By turn two, we had wiped out nearly all of the Orks and a good chunk of the Tau, with the majority of our own forces remaining (almost untouched).

Invading Orks!

Melee with an Ork Warboss.

Orks are gone!

Highlights of the night were:

-Commander Shinra, accompanied by a combat squad of three standard Marines (two were killed prior by shooting attacks), slaughtered three Tau battlesuits in the first round of melee.

-Dreadnought Larry in Drop Pod AMB arrived directly beside a squad of 15-or-so Ork Lootas, opened fire and killed seven of them with his heavy flamer and another two with his assault cannon.

It was a lot of fun, and can't wait 'til next week.

Oh, and I'm nearly done with my Terminators. All that's left is the gun, sword, helmet and (gold) markings on the Sergeant's suit. Cannot wait to start fielding them soon!

9/01/2010

The Suffering

I don't know what it is lately, but I've been quite inspired to create new HQ units for the Red Dragons. I'm currently designing and building a new captain, with:
-Relic blade (S:6 power weapon)
-Artificer armor (2+ armor save)
-Storm shield (3+ invulnerable save)
-Digital weapons (re-roll a failed to-wound)
-Meltabombs (S:8 + 2D6 armor penetration)
-Jump pack (12" movement, able to deep strike)

He'd be expensive points-wise but an absolute monster in melee (WS:6, I:4, A:3, W:3). Not sure on a name yet. I need to bits order a few pieces to complete him anyway.

As I posted before, I finished Captain Killmatic. As you can see here, he could be counted as having either dual power fists, or a pair of lightning claws, but it looks like I'll be counting him as the former for five S:8 attacks on the charge.

Last night I played an annihilation match against mechanized Imperial Guard. I lost (6-4) but mostly because I came ill-equipped against IG. I don't think I've ever faced them before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Honestly I thought he'd have more infantry on foot rather than all in vehicles.

But I can't put this off any longer: I seriously need to add meltaguns to my army. Sure, I have a multimelta that I could use, but I don't have any regular meltaguns. My lascannons are great vehicle killers, but they're so expensive and beause they're heavy weapons it hurts a squad's mobility. I also need to start equipping meltabombs to sergeants and HQs in general. Using krak grenades works alright, but meltabombs would be much more effective.

I'm still painting up my Terminators and terrain.

Overall, I'm impressed with everything I have going on and how much I've been able to do so far. Not too bad on the productivity meter, I think.

8/25/2010

Danger Zone

These past few weeks have been rather slow with productivity:

I finished assembling my Rhino. I decided to add dual storm bolters to its hull, for maximum firepower during movement.

I'm done painting Captain Killmatic. Pictures are coming soon.

I've done a little more painting on the Terminators and some scenery.

I'm teaching my coworker Jesse how to play. He chose Chaos Marines as his force, and already has a frigload of models.

I went to the Whiz on Tuesday for the campaign but I think it's essentially dead. When I showed up, there were a couple throwdown games going on, a bunch of people building models, and a few more just hanging out. I think the main reason for the lack of battles was the immense amount of rain we've been getting. It just sours the killing mood.

But in general, I haven't been able to play much lately, or do any significant painting, due to work and a hectic life.

Hopefully with the next update I'll have something better to post about, with pictures.

8/09/2010

Everybody Scream

Saturday's megabattle went really well, despite losing due to having to end it early. It took about seven hours to get to the end of turn three. Had it gone on, my team would've won.

Here are some highlights.

My army's deployment. I held a Dreadnought in a Drop Pod in reserve. With all this firepower defending, I really thought we had a chance of eliminating the advancing hordes before they reached the objectives.

The Ork and Tyranid threats were very intimidating. Thankfully I didn't have to deal with the Stompa, or hundreds of Orks. This is only a small portion of the full Ork tide on this table.

Unfortunately, I did have to face a bunch of big Tyranids and mechanized Orks.

Surprisingly, the Imperial Guard's Baneblade was mostly useless, killing only a few units before the mechanized Orks destroyed it.

Although we did manage to take out a considerable amount of the enemy, they still overran us and ended up capturing the objectives. Had we gone on to a turn four, or more, my ground units would've opened fire on the enemies above, and then some Valkyries full of Space Wolves would've been hot-dropped right onto the landing pad to take it back.

8/03/2010

One Step Closer

Well, a lot of things happened since my last update.

I took part in another installment of the summer campaign at the Whiz last Tuesday, and faced off against Necrons. It was my first time battling them, in a Planetstrike mission, and I'm happy to report I won. It was incredibly close, and I had an amazingly lucky first turn.

With my initial bombardments, I took out most of his Destroyers (I think he had about nine originally, and was then reduced to about three before using the We'll Be Back rule).

During deployment, my opponent put all of his Warriors into two bunkers. When the game started, I used the strategem 'Teleport Barrage', and took out nine of his Necrons from one bunker (leaving only four within). The other bunker held 14 still, but I was quite happy using this tactic.

Then, to add insult to injury, I was able to actually destroy one of his two Monoliths while still on the first turn. That made me overjoyed.

The rest of the game was pretty much just me trying to phase him out. I wasn't entirely satisfied with this win due to how close the game ended; I really wanted a crushing victory more than a close-call. Oh well, I'm not complaining!

In other news, I bought some new primer for my models. I decided that $15 was too much for a can of Games Workshop's, and even $12 was too much for Battlefront's, so I bargain shopped at Wal-Mart and came across a can of black Krylon: Fusion for only $4.34. I've been using it, and it works (and looks) exactly the same as Games Workshop's but $10 cheaper! So glad I got it.

I've also been painting my Terminators, some terrain (gun emplacements and barricades), and a model I've been working on for years that I call Captain Killmatic. He's a secret project, and only two other people have ever seen him. When he's done, people will love him. He's one of my best conversions yet.

On Saturday there's going to be a "megabattle" at the Whiz, for people to bring 2,000 points worth of their army (or multiples of). Registration is at 9am, so hopefully I'll be attending. And next Tuesday continues our campaign.

But that's about all for now, I think. Later.

7/14/2010

War is the Answer

Here's a grim battle report:
10,000-point Apocalypse battle
2,000 points per player (5v5)
16' of table
Antagonists control two super-heavies

Antagonists: Dark Eldar, Necrons, Orks, Orks, Traitor Guard.

Protagonists: Blood Angels, Imperial Guard, Red Dragons (Space Marines), Soul Drinkers (Space Marines), Tau.

After such a long, insane game, I can hardly remember the details of the battle. I learned, however, to never again field my army across the whole board. It's just too confusing and can mess things up, especially if the other sections start acting like independent games and deviate their turns ahead of, or behind, the rest.

I do remember the highlights of the night though:

Chaplain Voytek valiantly (or foolishly?) threw himself into a nearly endless tide of Orks. He managed to take down three of them before his inevitable demise. His entire 9-man assault squad had been obliterated by a super-heavy before getting into close combat.

Reaper landed on target, blew its hatches and Dreadnought Steve charged out with his heavy flamer and assault cannon blazing. He took out a significant amount of Orks (can't remember how many) before getting blown up.

Squadron X3Z arrived via reserves at the last minute and killed at least half a dozen Orks. Unfortunately, there were just too many of them. The squadron was eventually destroyed, one by one.

Commander Shinra amazingly fought off an assault by nine Wyches without suffering a single wound and inflicted three casualties! Sadly, he died after being attacked by a fresh squad of Wyches later on.

All in all, it was a great game. I knew we were doomed from the start, but it was worth at least trying. Next time I hope to field my Terminators. Thankfully I have two weeks to finish painting them.

7/07/2010

Throwing Fire

The past few nights I've spent re-painting my earlier models. When I first started my army, my paint schemes were erratic and inconsistent.

I've touched up Commander Shinra, Librarian Dante, and Chaplain Voytek.

I also completely re-painted my missile launcher Devastator Marines. For some reason, long ago, I decided that Marines wielding missile launchers were going to have reversed color schemes from regular infantry. Where normal troops have black, they have red (and vice versa) except for the shoulder pads and helmet.

It never made sense for me to single out missile launchers from standard or other heavy/special weapons troops, so I brought them in line with the other heavy/special weapons Marines.

So, at long last, here's my paint scheme system, which is based on rank:

   Terminators: Solid red with gold helmets.
   Sergeants: Solid red with normal helmets (black grills).
   Assault Marines: Red and black, with normal helmets (black grills).
   Heavy/Special Marines: Red and black, with normal helmets (black grills).
   Standard Marines: Red and black, with normal helmets (silver grills).

However, my three HQs have unique color schemes. Typically they follow the red and black combination, but with many more decorations, commendations and eccentricities. They're "independent characters" for a reason!

In other painting news, I've completed a second Terminator. Only a few remain now. I'm actually surprised at how quickly I'm getting them painted. Plus, they look really good. I should have them finished in a matter of weeks, possibly even before next Tuesday's campaign!

Well, I'm going to do some more painting tonight. Maybe I can finish up a third Terminator. I doubt it, but who knows.

6/29/2010

I Want Your Violence

So tonight I took place in the current campaign being run at the Whiz. It was 1,000 points each player, and essentially protagonists versus antagonists. Our teams of five were split, with 2v2 on a space hulk and 3v3 at a military base. I was recruited for the latter on the antagonists side. Since my teammates were Daemons and Orks, the Red Dragons were declared traitors for the battle. The enemy consisted of Tau, Salamanders, and Blood Angels.

The part my team didn't know was that the result of the space hulk could very well impact our battle. My army took a heavy toll because of this, but we'll get into that in a moment!

To start with, here's the shot of the space hulk table. It was rather impressive, and extremely lightweight (made of foam). From view screens and radar displays to control stations and consoles, it was a very well done board.

This is my army's deployment, for the most part. I had another tactical squad that arrived via outflanking on the other side of the board, and was utterly useless. The green Imperial Guard tanks represented empty vehicles. The two objectives were a Lightning and a Thunderbolt, with a Valkyrie as an objective tiebreaker should we have needed it.

This is about halfway through the game. As you can see, my assault squad took quite a few casualties to plasma weaponry (friggin' Blood Angels!). The crater near the middle of the field was from my Dreadnought blowing up a Blood Angels Dreadnought.

Here you can see my Dreadnought has charged into melee against the three remaining Blood Angels after shooting them with an assault cannon and heavy flamer. At the top of the picture, Daemonettes and Kroot fight for the Thunderbolt objective.

My Dreadnought takes out another Blood Angel, but the most noticeable thing about this picture is how my squad of 10 marines in the previous shot were reduced to only three. Yes, my army suffered seven casualties from an orbital bombardment launched by the space hulk! Even worse, this meant our separated teammates had lost the battle on the other board.

At the end of the battle, we won. It was a very tense, close game. I guess by capturing both the Lightning and the Thunderbolt, they'll have parts to play in the next game. I had a lot of fun, and look forward to the next step in the campaign (two weeks from tonight).

6/28/2010

Watch 'Em Fall

So here it is. After years of sitting around, collecting dust, I've finally painted one (of eight!) Terminators.

It was surprisingly quick and easy, actually. Once I figured out the helmet dilemma, the rest was simple.

I've learned, though, that of the couple dozen paints I possess, most have dried up or become "muddy" in texture. Most I never even used once. I feel foolish, in retrospect, for buying all these paints and just letting them expire. It was an obvious waste of money, too.

But now I know better. I'll need to replace a bunch of my paints soon though. And just the other day I bought a pot of light green paint but I know it will be put to good use on some of my terrain pieces.

Anyway, tomorrow night I'll be at the Whiz. No idea if I'll play a game or not, but it should be fun either way.

6/27/2010

The Body Count is Growing

So I finally figured out what I'm going to do for the Terminator helmets. As shown below, the helmet will primarily be gold with silver for the mouth grill.

With this scheme, the eyes can maintain the same red as the rest of my army's infantry, while the gold adds to the prestige of the model by subtlety standing out.

I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to paint the models' right hands red or black. Since my army's colors are red and black, I think it'd be wise to leave a little black (aside from the "soft/joint" parts of the armor) to help blend in. On the other hand, I think it might look good red too.

My biggest concern is that the Blood Angels chapter (which my army is always confused for) makes the left hands' powerfists black, and the right hands red. I don't want to make it seem like I'm playing off their scheme (reversing it). I have a hard enough time as it is getting my army accepted and recognized as a chapter of my own imagining.

Anyway, my first Terminator is nearly done, so I'll probably post a picture or two of it tomorrow.

6/24/2010

Preparing for Termination

This week has been a disappointment in terms of any gaming. Sunday I worked all day, and Tuesday I worked all night. Luckily, my manager told me today that next Tuesday I have off, so I should be able to attend 40K night at the Whiz.

I began painting my Terminators this week. I still don't know exactly what I'm going to do for their helmets, but I plan on painting their bodies in the mean time.

I have eight Terminators in total, but right now I'm focusing on the four regular Terminators, Terminator Sergeant, and Terminator with assault cannon. The last model I'll paint is the Terminator Librarian. I don't know if I'll bother painting the Terminator with heavy flamer though.

I've begun craving painting scenery pieces again too. It helps break up the monotony, I find. So I'll probably do up some of the aegis defense line walls, or possibly the Planetstrike automated guns.

Anyway, I'll update again once more progress has been made.

6/15/2010

When Worlds Collide

Before I really get into this blog update, I'd like to take a quick moment to note that in the past 36 hours, I've only gotten an hour of sleep. I am exhausted beyond words.

But, despite starting my new job this morning, on only an hour of sleep (if you can even call it that), I decided to check out the Whiz tonight for its official 40K evening.

It was absolutely packed. There must've been 10+ people playing, with two Apocalypse-size games going on: a massive Planetstrike battle and a big Cities of Death match. The picture embedded here is from the latter (4,000 points, 2v2).

I was way too tired to join in or play a separate game, although I did bring my army just in case I was able to shake off my sleepiness.

I'll definitely be going again next Tuesday, hopefully with a lot more rest.

Unfortunately I was too busy with my girlfriend during the weekend to visit the Whiz on Sunday, and I've had an off-and-on toothache for the past few days which has kept me from doing any hobby stuff.

However, I'm still working on my Terminators right now, but rather unsuccessfully with imagining a color scheme. In particular, I'm having trouble with their helmets.

But I can't think straight anymore, so I'm going to sleep!

6/07/2010

Fear the Reaper

I finished reading the Horus Heresy: A Thousand Sons novel and have moved on to the Grey Knights omnibus. After reading A Thousand Sons, my animosity for the Space Wolves has increased tenfold. I've never liked them, and now I really, really don't like them.

My Drop Pod is finally completely done, inside and out. I'm quite pleased with the outcome, and so thankful all that painting is over. I'll feel much more comfortable now fielding it as a Dreadnought transport (hence the lack of seats/straps). I also gave it a name: Reaper.

Now to begin work on some Terminators and a Rhino. Terminators first though, I'm friggin' sick of doing vehicles at the moment.

Since the guys have been absent the past three or four Sundays, I've decided to switch to Tuesday nights. Tuesday - being the official 40K night at the Whiz - is guaranteed to have other players present, and I'm yearning to get my wargaming on.

6/04/2010

Overview: Spearhead

Yesterday I picked up the new expansion, Spearhead, and I must admit it's pretty good.

Many players seem to be complaining that the datasheets for the formations are all online. Who cares? The main rules are what's important. For only $9, what did they expect? Even Battle Missions - which was such a letdown - is $25.

The parts I like most are the three new missions and the three new deployment types.

Since they're official, I'm going to try to integrate them into my gaming group's regular games. Considering the normal roll off is done on a D6, and there's now a total of six mission and six deployment types, it only makes sense to include them on the deciding rolls. The new D6 roll offs would be as such:

MISSIONS
1: Seize Ground
2: Capture & Control
3: Annihilation
4: Breakthrough
5: Lightning War
6: Vital Objective

DEPLOYMENTS
1: Pitched Battle
2: Spearhead
3: Dawn of War
4: Counter-Attack
5: Cauldron
6: Escalation

I'm particularly a fan of the new missions and deployments because having only three of each (from the main rules) can get stagnant rather quickly. Not less fun, just too bland.

Plus, I've always enjoyed the concept of battles using the short sides rather than the long sides. It allows for an additional 2' of tactical maneuvering on the board. Just seems better to me.

This Sunday I'll be going to the Whiz again; see what the guys think.

5/28/2010

Memento Mori

I just finished painting this statue, which I have dubbed Lord Nero. I've been working on it (off and on) for about a month now. I knew from the moment I laid eyes on it (and the broken Aquila), I had to have it. When I finally had enough money to buy it, I went to the Whiz and they had only one box left. I really lucked out on that one.

Lord Nero was the former Chapter Master of the Red Dragons before being slain in the Fall of Medusa V campaign. Prior to his death, he had led the Red Dragons through countless campaigns over several centuries.

In M41, the Red Dragons descended upon the world of Arachnos VIII after receiving a distress call. Once planetfall had been made, the Red Dragons were soon confronted by awakened Necrons. Despite quelling the Necron threat, the toll on the Red Dragons had been great; Lord Nero personally lost his right hand from the slash of a Destroyer Lord's warscythe. Eager to fight again, his hand was quickly replaced with a bionic.

In M42, the Red Dragons were called to the doomed planet of Medusa V. Tasked with staving off enemy forces so the Imperial citizens could evacuate, the Red Dragons successfully prevented Chaos Marines from reaching the evacuation sites. In a heroic last stand, Lord Nero met his demise battling Lucius the Eternal, just as the final transport left ground.

5/22/2010

War Cry

Tomorrow morning I shall awake and unleash my wrath upon my foes. None will survive, and nothing will be left standing. All will perish and be in ruins by day's end.

Well, if I don't roll ones all day, that is.

It's been about a month now since I've gamed with the guys. I've been so busy with the girlfriend, and the last couple Sundays the guys weren't there. Hopefully they're at the Whiz tomorrow.

My Drop Pod is damn-near done. I just need to paint the inside of the doors. I've been having difficulty with thinking of a color scheme for it. Looking at images in Games Workshop books, and from players on the Internet, there's so many schemes and themes.

I'm not a fan of the yellow and black "hazard stripes", mostly because I think it's common sense that doors which are literally blown open would be dangerous.

The scheme of the Ultramarines Drop Pod might fit better, though, with the army's primary color framing around the sides, and a dirty metal on the walkway. It would also be quite easy to paint, which is another factor that has me leaning towards this coloration.

Also, I've been anxiously awaiting my copy of the 2010 Forge World catalogue. I've put in two requests for it now, starting a couple months ago. Either the demand for them is really high, or the U.S. postal inspectors are quite thorough with foreign mail.

Well, we'll see how tomorrow goes. Wish me luck, because the dice gods know I need it.

5/02/2010

Two Birds

Gaming today was really fun. I met a new player at the Whiz: Matt. He plays Tyranids and Eldar, and has painted most of his models (the Eldar especially well).

Josh, Garret, and Chris were also there today, but Chris was way too hungover to play, plus I guess he left most of his Chaos Marines at home by accident.

Given the circumstances, Josh, Matt, Garret and I all decided to play a two-on-two match (1,000 points per player, team-shared Force Organization Charts but with the exception of each player guaranteed an HQ and two Troops). The match type was Seize Ground, and the deployment Dawn of War.

It was Garret (Tau) and Josh (Eldar) versus Matt (Tyranids) and me (Space Marines).

Needless to say, it was quite interesting to play against the new champion Garret and my nemesis Josh in a single game. Not only that, but Matt and I won!

I have to admit our success depended mostly on the fact that our tactics complemented each other very well.

The one thing I've noticed most of all in two-on-two games is that they tend to split the board into two different games. Usually it becomes one player against another, almost like there's separate games going on but sharing the same board. We used that to our advantage.

Matt's Tyranids went after Josh's Eldar, and my Space Marines went up against Garret's Tau.

At first, Garret's Tau damaged my force pretty badly by taking out two of my three Land Speeders and killing off some of my infantry. Vengefully, however, my army struck back and took a bite out of his force.

And, in an epic fight, Commander Shinra fought in a five-turn melee with Commander O'Shovah plus his Crisis Suit retinue.

I was incredibly impressed with my Commander's performance in the combat, as not only did he single-handedly take out all three of the Crisis Suits in two turns, but when it came down to just Shinra against O'Shovah, they dueled for three turns before managing to actually kill each other simultaneously! It was an amazing battle, and ended tragically but triumphantly.

And speaking of Garret, I'm thankful I was able to play him today, as tomorrow he's moving back to Long Island, NY, for the summer. Apparently he's only in the area for college. This is a shame for three reasons:

    1) He'll remain champion, uncontested, for the entire summer.
    2) I didn't get the chance to take any pictures of his Tau, which are painted a pretty badass black and red (his color scheme is almost the polar opposite of mine).
    3) I won't be able to battle him again for a while.

The pro to #3's con is that I have all summer to practice. Perhaps by the fall I'll have honed my skills and become a better general? Only time will tell.

But today was a lot of fun, and it was a good game. And did I mention that my team won?! To take down the champion and my nemesis at the same time is truly a great feeling.

Tomorrow night I'll be going back to the Whiz, since it's painting night and I know the guys will be there. I might play a game, but I also might paint. My Drop Pod needs finishing, and I've grabbed a few primed but unpainted models that I want to get done as well (Terminators and a couple heavy weapons Marines).

Until then!

4/26/2010

Nemesis

Tonight I went to the Whiz. I didn't arrive until roughly 5:30, so I only had a couple hours to actually game.

Josh and I played a 1,250-point Annihilation match, and I lost (6-4).

I actually used my Drop Pod though, and was satisfied with the tactic of deepstriking a Dreadnought onto the battlefield. Unfortunately it didn't arrive until turn three, and there was really little for it to do aside from shoot at and assault Eldrad.

When I got to the Whiz, Garret was playing a demo game of Malifaux with the store owner Chris. Sadly, he really wanted to play against me tonight but there was just no time for it. I'm sure we'll battle at some point, but considering he's been crowned our gaming group's new champion, I'd be little more than easy prey for him.

My agenda now is to finish painting the Drop Pod and to complete my Rhino, then prime and paint it.

However, I have a headache at the moment, so I'll probably start on that stuff tomorrow night.

4/25/2010

Down with the Sickness

For a little over three weeks now, I've been incredibly sick. It started as... I don't know what, to be honest. I was dizzy, light-headed, and literally bed-stricken. After that, I got bronchitis and a head cold. Now the bronchitis is over, but the cold lingers (albeit nearly gone).

I was so sick, I actually got nauseous from looking at my models. It's the weirdest thing. My friend Dave thinks it was possibly caused from subconscious thoughts of the paint and glue fumes.

So, I have done nothing with my models.

However, after receiving a $10 gift certificate for the Whiz last week, this weekend I bought the new Honoured Imperium scenery kit and built it, and just before getting sick I mostly built a Rhino. Once the Drop Pod is done, I'll continue working on the Rhino.

Today I was able to play a game at the Whiz, too. It's nice having a job that's merely Monday through Friday, leaving weekends off. I played against Rob's Witch Hunters army in a 1,250 points match. I felt pretty comfortable making a 1,250 list, it was my first and I liked it much better than the too restricting 1,000-point games we'd been playing before.

The match type was Seize Ground, the setup was Spearhead. It was a really great game, despite my loss, and it was so close. There were three objectives, and Rob captured one, and I held two until his Callidus assassin contested one and a single Seraphim contested the other. We ended on turn five, and had it gone to turn six, I definitely would've killed the Seraphim and Callidus and won the game. It all came down to the roll of having a sixth turn. But what a close, well-done game. I enjoyed it very much, and so did Rob.

Tomorrow night I'm going back to the Whiz to play against Josh's Eldar. It'll be nice to face my nemesis again.

Also, I finished Ravenor. What a really good book. I recommend it, but only to someone who's read Eisenhorn. Now I'm reading A Thousand Sons, which is also pretty good so far.

Oh, and there's a new guy to the group: Garret. He seems like a pretty cool dude, and after watching him play a couple games I could tell he's experienced and knows what he's doing. He has a nicely painted Tau force. I look forward to battling him.

I'll update again tomorrow night.

3/29/2010

Omnislash

Blind. Ignorant. Stubborn.

These are the words I'd describe myself as being in the light of Games Workshop's "Foundation" paints.

Released in 2007, they gained positive reviews from the gaming community and praise from the painting gamers. I remained skeptical, stuck in my old ways.

I have now seen the error in my judgment.

After getting absolutely exhausted (and bored) with doing so many coats on repetitive parts of my Drop Pod, I decided on Sunday to check out the Foundation paints. They were, in essence, my last hope to getting this thing finished in a timely manner.

Looking at the selection, I noticed there was only one red color, Mechrite Red, which was somewhat of a maroon (similar to Scab Red).

Once home, I grabbed my Whirlwind as a test model. When I had painted it years ago, I only did one barely-there coat on the underside. I figured a place like that would rarely see the light of day anyway.

I put it on the table, upside down, and brushed a layer of Mechrite Red on it. I was astonished that it did as others said it would: it completely covered both the red and the black from my previous attempt in just a single coat.

Now, mind you, the Mechrite Red is much duller than the Blood Red that I use, but as an undercoat I was very impressed!

I was immediately wanting to apply it elsewhere, and moved back to my Drop Pod. Within 45 minutes, I had completely covered all the blank spots intended for Blood Red with the Foundation paint.

I was amazed, excited, and motivated.

Judging by how much I've accomplished in less than 24 hours, I estimate all of the red should be done by Friday.

Words cannot describe my enthusiasm right now.

3/27/2010

Cut 'Em

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Whiz, and hopefully the guys are there. I went earlier today and the place was packed with people playing various game systems.

I also made use of my $5 gift certificate by purchasing The Grey Knights omnibus. I look forward to reading it soon. My only problem is I have roughly 200 pages left of the Ravenor omnibus, and then a bunch of Horus Heresy novels after: A Thousand Sons next, Nemesis in July, The First Heretic in August, and Prospero Burns in January of 2011.

With a release schedule like that, it'll be tough to fit such a thick book in there.

I'm sure I'll find the time somewhere.

Tonight I'm heading out, so I'll pack my stuff for tomorrow before leaving for the night. That way, when I wake up in the morning half-dead, I won't leave anything behind.

And no, the Drop Pod isn't complete yet. Getting closer and closer, though. It's going to be so exhilarating deepstriking a Dreadnought behind my enemy's front lines. I can imagine the look on my opponent's face when the Drop Pod lands, my Dreadnought charges out - guns blazing - and annihilates his infantry. I can't wait!

3/25/2010

Careful What You Wish For

As much as I wanted a Sunday to come up as free for gaming, I didn't foresee losing my job. Well... it's not so much I lost it, as I gave it away. Long story.

But anyway, I have a couple interviews lined up, so I should be all set. In a brighter light, it looks like I'll have some resting and gaming time available to me now.

And I suppose I'll be attending the Whiz on Sunday for game-day. Also, I was informed I have a $5 gift certificate awaiting me there, so perhaps I'll make use of it.

I'm excited, although my Drop Pod is still in the works. I'll be happy just to see the guys again.

3/16/2010

Pass the Brush

Here's an updated shot of my Drop Pod.

I've done the wings, the fins, and the inside's floor. Yes, the paint job is very sloppy right now (I'll re-touch the messiness later) but the progress is apparent. Now I just need to do all the doors (which will be yet another repetitive paint job!) and the storm bolter ceiling gun.

I'm probably going to have to buy some more red paint, as I have quite a bit more to apply. I'm down to roughly 25% in my pot, but thankfully have a full backup. Still, with how many coats it takes to cover just one side, it's better to be safe than sorry.

This picture was taken with my new camera, the Kodak EasyShare C160. The previous picture was from my old camera, the Sony Mavica FD-100.

3/14/2010

I Stand Alone

Well, let me start by saying I'm friggin' exhausted. After only getting three hours of sleep last night and working five hours this morning, I was only partially disappointed when I showed up at the Whiz and none of the guys were there - which is quite unusual, considering the last gaming session I attended had over 12 people.

But, I'm sure it was the weather that deterred everyone from showing up today. It's chilly, windy, and raining.

So, like I said before, I'm not terribly disappointed. I'm tired as hell and the weather is just overall nasty.

I have to work next Sunday, so I'm not sure when I can do another game-day. We'll find out soon enough. Until then, just gotta keep working on the Drop Pod and tactics.

3/10/2010

Fire Your Guns

Despite having to work this Sunday, I lucked out and only have to be there 'til 2pm, so I'll be stopping by the Whiz immediately after. Thankfully it's directly across the street, so I'll have a few hours of gaming... or at least hanging out with the guys.

I took a brief break from painting the Drop Pod, but it was mostly credited to working so much. What little time to myself I've been granted lately has been used to either sleep or lethargically lounge.

Today and tomorrow I have off, so I plan on doing a lot of painting in the evenings. It probably won't be done by Sunday, but I can always try.

I need time to study anyway. With the defeats I've suffered lately, I need to sharpen my skills. These past few losses recently were absurd and showed blatant overconfidence and foolish ignorance on my part. I won't let this happen again.

Also, on Saturday I grabbed the Battle Missions expansion. It's pretty disappointing, in my opinion. The missions aren't that great, there's very little inspiring artwork/photos, and absolutely no fluff. It just doesn't feel up to par with the other expansions. Oh well.

3/01/2010

Don't Stop Believing

I just realized I haven't gamed in almost a month, and I don't have any Sundays off in sight. The month is still young, though, so there is hope.

My Drop Pod is really getting closer to completion, and I'm getting excited about it. The repetition of the fins and numerous paint coats is a pain in the ass, but nearly done. Once the red is finished, I can finally move on to my favorite part of painting: the intricate detail work. Highlighting silvers, adding gold touches, etc.

By the time I have a Sunday off, this thing should be done. And with an appointment to file my taxes being March 11th, I'll soon have spare money to spend on new hobby supplies.

Oh, and speaking of new hobby stuff, I pre-ordered the Battle Missions expansion at the Whiz, and I get paid this Thursday, so when it releases on Saturday I should have a copy of it waiting for me!

Also, I ordered a mini rule book from eBay. In my opinion, no tabletop wargamer should be without a pocket-sized edition of the main rules.

I'm still playing Guild Wars and working on my World of Warcraft TCG deck, but they're not interfering, so there's no need to worry about getting distracted. So basically, good stuff.

2/15/2010

Overload

Time for a status update on here. I had to work on V-Day, and this upcoming Sunday I'm also working, so it seems it'll be at least another week before I can get back to gaming.

Ironically, this is actually a good thing because I need time to paint.

My coworker, Rich, has sucked me into the World of Warcraft TCG, and I've been slightly sidetracked with that. In addition, my friend Dave has helped me get back into Guild Wars by kicking my Fallout 3 addiction.

Despite juggling these games, I've still been painting my Drop Pod for the past week. Doing coat after coat of red is really irritating, but it's progressing. I know that this unit is what my army needs. It really is the missing piece of the puzzle.

In other hobby news, I've recently been contemplating conversions with the release of the new Ironclad Dreadnought and the upcoming Venerable Dreadnought. I love Dreadnoughts in general, but the bits on these sprues are so tempting. I absolutely love the Ironclad's chainfist and the Venerable's powerfist. Plus the Venerable has three new badass heads that are interchangeable with standard Marines!

If only I had more time and money...

2/07/2010

Crushed

I did two games today. I've never done so poorly in battle before. It was absolutely atrocious.

First, I played a 1,000-point Seize Ground match against Chris's Chaos Space Marines.

The deployment was Dawn of War, which was fine, but I'm so used to Annihilation matches that I didn't select my force very well for capturing objectives.

Also, I made a bad decision by putting my Chapter Master on the table as my initial HQ choice, rather than my Librarian.

There were three objectives on the table, and I got to go first. I had two objectives captured, whereas Chris had only one... and then his winged Daemon Prince flew in and single-handedly obliterated all three squads of my troops within four turns.

Ending score was 2-0 (one objective went uncontrolled).

The second game was against my nemesis, Josh and his Eldar. This was almost equally pathetic in my performance. Deployment was Dawn of War again, and the scenario was Annihilation. At 1,000 points, I really didn't have much to work with. And it showed.

Almost all my shots missed, and Josh's Fire Prisms slaughtered entire squads of my Marines. Just one of his shots, for example, vaporized nine Marines in a 10-man squad.

The final score was 5-1 (KP).

I'm definitely not happy with the results today. My army's performance was horrible. My unit selection was also bad. And I learned that I'm certainly not good at all with 1,000-point battles. It's just too restricting. I'm content with 1,500 but I'm comfortable at 2,000 or more.

On the bright side, Josh decided not to move to North Carolina... so this leaves us with ample rematch potential. Also, tomorrow is Rob's birthday so I bought him a blister pack. He chose an Inquisitor Lord from the Daemonhunter range, which is actually a pretty badass model.

I have Wednesday off, so I might go to the Whiz and game again.

Until then, I'm going to re-analyze my performance today and find the errors I made. And continue painting my Drop Pod.

2/06/2010

Dukes Up

Tomorrow is game day, and I'm anxious.

There are many components that I'm considering changing or adding in my army list. First, the addition of my Drop Pod. And second, taking my Predator Annihilator and swapping the lascannon sponsons for heavy bolters... or just removing sponsons entirely.

See, the problem I have is my Predator is expensive (anywhere from 130 to 190 points!) and it seems to become a fire magnet the moment the game starts. Usually, it doesn't survive long enough to see turn three.

So I'll be experimenting with heavy bolter sponsons, and no sponsons, to see if this makes it more viable in combat... or at least makes its points back.

You'd think three lascannons (one of them twin-linked), each with a Strength 9 shot and 83% chance of hitting (3+ on D6), would be able to actually damage an opponent's vehicle. Most of the time, it barely makes a dent.

So my first priority is to work on my Predator, which is clearly the weakest link right now in my army.

My Dreadnoughts have performed pretty well, but I don't ask much of them anyway. They're fairly expensive, but have so much to offer on the battlefield: good WS/BS; can carry an array of heavy weapons, move their full 6" and still be able to fire them all; able to Run; have a Strength 10 powerfist, not to mention all enemy close combat attacks are made against its front armor. Their only weakness is their relatively low armor values (12/12/10).

I'm going to try different tactics tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. I think Josh will be there, and it'll be his last day before moving to North Carolina. Hopefully we can get a game in... I just want to win once against his Eldar. Just once.

2/03/2010

Let the Blood Rain

Lucky for me, my work schedule for next week has been posted and I have Sunday off again. It looks like I'll be at the Whiz this weekend.

If there's one thing I learned from my game with Rob, it's that I really need some kind of deep striking unit. And so, my Drop Pod awaits completion.

But unfortunately, this past week I've been too focused on Fallout 3 and haven't touched my Drop Pod much, if at all. It needs so many coats of paint... it's difficult finding the motivation and effort to start.

I'm sure the drive to finish will hit me soon.

Tomorrow night after work, I'll start the lower portion of the Drop Pod. I doubt it'll be done by Sunday, but I need to get it completed... or I'll just end up getting mowed down.

1/31/2010

Victory

When I arrived this morning, the guys were already playing two one-on-one games. Chris was playing against his brother John, trying to teach him the game, while Jared's new Space Marines and Rob's Witch Hunters faced off. Steve wasn't able to attend today.

After Rob and Jared finished, I played a 2,000 points match against Rob's new Tyranids.

It was chaotic, to say the least.

We started the game with my army in full display... and the only unit Rob had on the field was his Hive Tyrant. The rest of his army was deploying via deep strike. Oh joy.

I took a few shots at his Hive Tyrant, a couple hit but nothing wounded... and then the Mycetic Spores began to fall.

By turn three, almost all of his army had arrived... and landed with accurate precision. My Marines fought off the majority of his infantry: they basically shredded most of the Termagaunts and Genestealers with their bolters, double tapping every chance they got.

Using psychic powers from a unit of Zoanthropes, Rob was able to destroy both of my Dreadnoughts. Thankfully for me, though, all of the attacks he targeted at my Whirlwind and Predator failed.

Soon after, my Assault Squad made a mockery of his Zoanthropes.

On the other side of the battlefield, my Land Speeder Squadron inflicted two wounds (out of four) on his Carnifex, just before the hulking beast charged into a Combat Squad and annihilated four of the five Marines. The lone survivor, a sergeant, failed his morale check and was forced to fall back - thus saving his life! If he had passed the test, he would've been the killing machine's next victim (making the game a draw).

The final score was 3-2 (KP). It was a great game, and I look forward to our next battle.

1/30/2010

To War

In preparation for tomorrow's battle, I've packed up my models and gaming aids. I also grabbed the Canoness for Rob, as well as a Servitor-Scribe Skull and an alternate heretic pilot for a Penitent Engine. I'm sure Rob will enjoy these bonuses.

As predicted, I was unable to complete the Drop Pod in time, so I won't be bringing it. I never play with unpainted models. It's a rule I have.

But, I am excited for tomorrow. I know Josh won't be there, but Rob, Steve, Chris and Jared will. We might end up doing an Apocalypse game... which would be awesome.

Who knows. All I know for sure is I want to kick some ass tomorrow, rather than get my ass kicked.

Wish me luck.

1/29/2010

Final Strike

In a couple days I'll be at the Whiz with the guys. I found out yesterday that Josh is sadly moving to North Carolina in a couple weeks. Permanently.

So our group is down an Eldar player, but he's selling his Tau to Rob. Playing against Josh was always fun, and unfortunately he'll be leaving undefeated against me. Every time I'd faced him, he'd win the battle, but only by a couple of kill points (I think the scores were 8-6 and 5-3). I really wanted vindication.

I've been trying to paint my Drop Pod in preparation for Sunday, but it doesn't look like I'll get it done in time. I've got the top "fins" and parts of the inside done, but none of the detail work. And what's worse, I completely forgot how difficult it was to paint red. Seriously, it takes like six coats. Oh well. It's roughly 35% done, so it won't be much longer.

From talking with Rob, he's building up his Tyranids force with the new codex. I'm also giving him a Canoness for his Witch Hunters army. He has one currently, but got frustrated when building her and decided to attempt welding her together instead of using glue.

Not a good idea, apparently.

Luckily I had a Canoness model in a blister pack collecting dust, left over from an ex-girlfriend, so I'm going to be giving it to him this weekend. I gave him my Broodlord about a year ago, and he put that to good use, so I know the Canoness won't go to waste.

1/28/2010

Counter Strike

An overview of my hobby world.

I'm 26 years old and have been in the hobby since early 2006. I remember the first time I saw the Games Workshop store in my local mall. The very moment I caught a glimpse of the models on display in the windows, I was immediately interested. After talking with some of the staff, and playing a demo game, I was hooked. That day, I spent about $110 of my tax refund money on getting started. Clearly, GW's marketing strategy worked!

Years later, I find myself collecting the annual Forge World product catalogues to track my time in the hobby.

It took me a little over three years to finish my 2,000 points army. Counting spare models for variant lists, I probably have around 3,000 points worth of a fully painted force.

My gaming group is quite diverse in our armies of choice:
  Mike (myself) - Space Marines
  Rob - Tyranids and Witch Hunters
  Josh - Eldar and Tau
  Jared - Imperial Guard
  Chris - Chaos Space Marines
  Steve - Chaos Space Marines

We play standard games; I have yet to play a Cities of Death, Apocalypse, or Planetstrike game (despite having all of the books). I anticipate trying these expansions soon.

You can usually find us at the Whiz on Sundays and Wednesdays.

1/27/2010

Initial Strike

Well, this is my first blog on here, so I guess I'll explain my reasoning behind this account.

I use MySpace and Facebook frequently but - since most of my friends on those sites have no idea what Warhammer 40,000 is - it's pointless to write updates on them.

Plus, I want those accounts to be about my life in general, and this one to focus on the hobby aspect exclusively.

I'll be posting WIPs, gaming updates, event plans, battle reports, and thoughts on hobby-related news.

If you want to know my thoughts on politics, religion, my job, marital status, etc., then visit my personal pages. I won't discuss those here.