Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Zombie Summoned Lesser Daemons

"The Plague Marines marched relentlessly on, ignoring the hail of fire. Behind them came a shuffling army of corpses. Summoned from the grave to do the bidding of Father Nurgle, the Plague Zombies shambled towards the enemy lines, hungry for the flesh of the living."

-Account of the battle for Hive Primus, Eads, taken for the forbidden tome "The Ascension of Morbus the Foul"

I just put the finishing touches to the last of my zombies last night. There's actually 20 of them in total (to be used as two units of 10), but only the first half are in the photo.

For each group of 10, I just speed painted through them and I didn't want to spend too long getting 20 of them finished. Once they were build and primed, probably each batch of 10 took about 2 hours from start to finish. I did the bulk of the skin in green by just drybrushing Orkhide Shade and Gretchin Green straight over the black undercoat. From there it was just a case of painting the clothes (mostly greys, blacks and the occasional blue) and other bits, a wash and drybrush on them. Individually they pretty ordinary but they look quite good as a unit.

Whilst the latest Chaos Codex lost some of it's flavour (like Legion variants, proper daemons etc), at least with summoned lesser daemons you can get some of it back. As there's no official model for them you can interpret them how you wish and to fit in with the feel of your army. They could be done as sleeper cell commandos for an Alpha Legion army, or fanatical cultists for a Word Bearers army for example.

Game-wise the unit essentially has the stat line of a marine, but with 2 attacks and a 5+ invulnerable save. They are armed with a single close combat weapon. Summoned daemons must arrived by deepstriking with 6" of an icon, but (and here's the cool part) they can assault on the turn they arrive. This means you can threaten anything within 14" of an icon if you take the correct number of them. A unit of at least 8 is ideal, a 8 means that when you place the first model and surround it with the next one (6 in a circle), the 8th model must go in a second ring touching the first. The edge of this 8th models base is now 8" from the icon and can charge 6". This could be a nasty surprise for someone.

Hectic month

As you can tell from the paucity of posts on the blog, December has been a pretty hectic month, with work, preparing for Christmas, kids, family etc etc. In fact I haven't picked up a paint brush or a dice for about 3 weeks (though I did manage 2 games of Pandemic).

I just need to put some finishing touches to the last of 20 zombies I'm using as summoned lesser daemons for my CSMs (pics hopefully later this week). Santa was very kind to me this year, so I've not got the following in painting queue:

1 SoB Excorcist
1 Immolator
10 Battle Sisters
1 Ogre Kingdoms Battalion (6 Bulls, 4 Ironguts, 4 Leadbelchers, 24 gnobblars)

This is on top of the load of stuff that is sat undercoated waiting for finishing.

I was planning on 2010 (at least the early part) being Fantasy focussed, but I may be playing in a 500 point 40K tournament in February which I'll need to prepare for. I am possibly going to play Witch Hunters in that tournie, so I'll need to get ready for that both painting and gaming wise.

Normal blogging service will be resumed soon hopefully.

Friday, 11 December 2009

White Dwarf UK 361 contents

The new White Dwarf arrived today, so here's a run down on it:

-Cover: Tyranids
-New releases: Nids and Legion of the Damned
-Nids Codex design notes
-Skaven scenarios by Jeremy Vetock (13 of these obviously)
-Legion of the Damned background, with some example lists which include the Legion of the Damned
-LoTR tactica on the armies of Evil men
-Battle report is Tyranids vs Salamanders (with a surprising result)
-Army masters is Colin Grayson's Skaven (some example of these models were in last months Blanchitsu)
-Jervis is back with a beard and a new Standard Bearer article
-'Eavy metal masterclass on Legion of the Damned
-Army workshop on Tyranids. There's also a pic of two Centigors which look like new models for the forthcoming Beastmen book.
-Modelling workshop on how the huge Bastion in the battle report was built
-Next month: Plastic Fell Beast, Beastmen.

The back cover is nice, with the Eldar Phoneix lords surrounded by a huge horde of 'Nids.

Monday, 7 December 2009

New year, New Army

After Christmas, I'm starting an all new army. In fact, an all new games system. As you can probably guess from the picture, I'm starting a Fantasy Ogre Kingdoms army. Having never played Fantasy before, this should be interesting. I chose Ogre's simply because they are my favourite miniatures in the Fantasy range, and I'm well aware they are considered to be a little underpowered.

If anyone has any blog links for good Fantasy blogs, and Ogre's in particular then please let me know in the comments.

Of course, I'm not neglecting my 40K armies. I'm aiming for 2010 to be the year of the Witch Hunters. I'm getting some more Sisters for Christmas so I should have about 1200 points of force org legal troops after Christmas so I'll hopefully get some games in.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Quick and easy Witch Hunters objective marker

This is a quick marker I put together to find a use for the excellent two headed cyber eagle I didn't use when I was converting my Inquisitor Lord:

The eagle is simply mounted on a rock made from milliput which was sanded. This piece could also double as a familiar if I'm short of them (I've got three already so it seems unlikely).

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Ruined Fortress Wall Terrain Piece

Another terrain piece completed, this one was quick and easy to do:

This club terrain, so I've made it pretty generic so it could be used for WFB, 40K, LoTR, Mordheim etc. It's made from 2" high density foam which was cut to shape using a hot wire cutter. I then scored into the foam the brick lines using a ball point pen. All that was left was to coat it with sand/PVA, and base it. I've flocked the wall itself in places to make it look like it was more weathered.

To give you an idea of scale, here is a Battle Sister squad advancing through the ruin (complete with Photoshop effects):

As you can see, it's easily big enough to fit a tank behind and block LOS.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Temple of Skulls Completed

The York Garrison Temple of Skulls is now finished, and here it is in all it's glory:

Assembly of the kit is easy, there's 3 skulls and 2 pillars to glue together, most of the piece is a single unit. One thing to watch is there is a massive line where the skulls you've glued on don't quite sit flush with the back half of the skull. I tried to cover mine will green stuff with limited success, but if you take your time a bit and file the GS flat you should be good. The only other work I did on them was to paint the earth bits with a PVA/water/sand mix to give them a bit of texture.

This was one of those paint jobs where I knew how I wanted it to turn out, but I just didn't know how to get there. Roughly it was something like:

1- Painted the whole thing grey (I used household paint, the shade is a bit darker than Codex Grey)
2- Drybrushed the whole thing pale grey (around Fortress Grey shade)
3- I wasn't happy at this point. I drybrushed the earth parts Tausept Ochre, twice
4- To take the highlights down, I washed all the stones of the temple in Gryphonne Sepia. This gave them a weather look
5- Washed the earth parts in Devlan Mud. Now it started to look better
6- Drybrushed the earth parts Tausept Ochre again, followed by a top highlight of Rotting Flesh
7- Painted the star in Brazen Brass, Skull White and Scab Red/Bestial Brown for the pupil.
8- Picked out some of the human skulls in Astronomicon Grey -> Gryphonne Sepia -> Bleached Bone.
9- Added runes to the temple floor. I thought the Chaos followers would decorate the temple a bit so I put some runes on the floor stones. The runes I took partly from Liber Chaotica, partly I just made up:

I went for a seperate stone for each god, and one undivided (top right) and tried to alter the rune style for each god, so the Slaanesh runes (on the left) are mostly sensous curves, whilst the Tzeentch runes (bottom second from left) are complicated and intracate. The runes were done using a 0.5mm pen.

10- Added some flock in cracks, broken tiles etc. I used a green/brown flock to make the grass look like it was struggling to grow.

This is a great terrain piece, and pretty enjoyable to paint up as well, and given it was mostly drybrushed and washed after the first coat, pretty quick

Friday, 20 November 2009


Me and a few guys from work are growing moustaches this year for Movember to help raise awareness and funds for men's health - specifically prostate cancer.

What many people don't appreciate is that one man dies every hour of prostate cancer in the UK, more than 35,000 men will be diagnosed this year and that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Facts like these have convinced me I should get involved and I am hoping that you will support me.

To donate to my Mo, you can either:

* Click this link http://uk.movember.com/mospace/495257/ and donate online using your credit card, debit card or PayPal account. You can either donate to me (Chris) or donate to my team, either is good.

* Write a cheque payable to The Prostate Cancer Charity - Movember, referencing my Registration Number 495257 and mailing it to: Movember - The Prostate Cancer Charity, First Floor, Cambridge House, Cambridge Grove, London, W6 0LE.

Movember is now in its third year here in the UK and, to date, has achieved some pretty amazing results by working alongside The Prostate Cancer Charity. Check out further details at: http://uk.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs.

Thanks for your help everyone, any donations are very gratefully received.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Eversor Assassin

After neglecting my Witch Hunters for so long, I decide to pick up the brush and start working on them again. I've had this Eversor assassin sat primed on my painting table since summer so he was a prime candidate:

The top photo has come out a bit blurry. Overall I'm reasonably pleased.

The skull helmet he's wearing was done using my new favourite method for painting bone. This was based using Astronomicon Grey. This was followed by a wash of Gryphonne Sepia which turns it into a very pale bone colour (I'm increasingly fond of Gryphonne Sepia). I put a Badab Black wash into the teeth and eye sockets to deepen the shading. Once this was all done, a quick highlight with Bleached Bone and he's done. I would think you could use a similar method for batch painting skeletons, spray them pale grey, wash and then drybrush Bleached Bone.

For the power sword, I did attempt to do some lightning effects on it, as has been shown in the last three White Dwarfs, but it just looked totally crap so I just went for a blue to black fade effect and then gloss varnished the blade. If anyone's got any tips for painting very thin, fine lines I'd love to hear them.

Friday, 13 November 2009

My next terrain project

A Temple of Skulls. This is club terrain, so it'll be used for Fantasy and 40K but it lends itself pretty well to 40K.

I'll post updates as I do them.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

New blog: The Standard Template Construct

Just a quick one to tell you about a new blog startup called The Standard Template Construct. It's been started up by Roleplayer from the 40K Radio Freebootaz (I'm a Boota myself as well). Roleplayer is a great painter and hobbyist so expect some good stuff over there. The blog aims to:

"...quickly develop into a one-stop location for up to date hobby news, tips, photos, and articles relating to the three major Games Workshop hobbies, their specialist games, as well as a few other hobby related things."

There's a couple of other Bootaz involved as well so if you've enjoyed the Freebootaz webzine, expect stuff of the same standard. Go and check him out, hopefully he'll be joining the FtW family as well.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Apocalypse lessons learnt

NowI've actually played a game of Apocalypse, I thought I blog a little about some thing I'd try and do if I were running an Apocalypse game. There's a From the Warp collaborative post about Apocalypse which I would refer you to for more on this topic.

So, some things I picked up on:

1- Know who is playing in advance: If you knows who going to turn up, what they're playing and how much stuff they've got in advance, you can decide how to split your teams up, or split into multiple tables.

2- Keep it equal: From the game last weekend, one of the Imperial players had 8000 points of Marines, which was more than his three other teammates put together. This meant he was constantly in-demand in different parts of the board as his army was being shot at, assaulted etc which slowed things down a bit. Conversely, one young player had only a small 1500-2000 point Marine army so alot of times he was left with little to do. If all the players have roughly the same amount of points, everyone sees the same amount of action.

3- Formations and superheavies: Having a 40K army and turning up with it will put you at a disadvantage against someone who has taken time to build formations, or who has super heavies. I thought my 35 Plague Marines would be pretty handy in a fight, until a single destroyer strength template landed and killed 14 of them. On the other hand, facing of against the Imperial army who had two Masters of the Chapter formations (giving them 8 additional strategic assests) put up at a serious handicap. If you can build some formation up, then do it. Similarly try and balance super heavies on both sides if you can. We didn't have any titans on either side in our game, but I suspect these would be quite unbalancing.

4- Enjoy the carnage: Don't get hung up on rules disputes or arguements, just dice off to decide, or let a third party decide. Remember Apocalypse is about having massive battles, having fun and blowing up loads of stuff.

Monday, 9 November 2009


On Saturday, I played in York Garrison's Ten4Ten Apocalypse event and it was seriously fun. Just seeing that amount of miniatures and that amount of carnage made it for me. This event was the climax to a campaign which has been running each week for the last couple of months or so.

The teams were around 15K points per side, with 4 players on the Imperial team, and five on the Disorder team.

The Imperial team consisted of a mix of Space Marines, Grey Knights, Black Templars, Guard and Sisters of Battle. They also had 5 Baneblade chassis tanks, and 2 Masters of the Chapter formations.

The Disorder team consisted of a mix of Chaos Space Marines (that was me who acted as team captain), two Ork armies, Space Wolves (evil for this game), and Traitor Guard. We had a Doomsday device, a Baneblade variant and 2 Gargantuan Squiggoths.

We had an independent GM overseeing things, and the GM was in charge of objectives. He placed three fixed objectives on the table after deployment. Each side also had a number of secret objectives to complete. For our team, we had to destroy 3 Land Raiders, destroy a Baneblade in close combat, and take the entrance to a bunker which was on the table. For the Imperial team they had to destroy 3 Basilisks, kill a gargantuan squiggoth in assault, and take a landing pad in our deployment zone. Now, killing 3 Basilisks is easier than killing three Land Raiders, but bear in mind the Basilisks were right at the back of our deployment zone. Finally, each army had a general character which was an objective for one side or the other depending on whether it was alive or dead (both ended the game alive in fact). We used 4th Edition objective holding rules.

The final quirk was that there was a load of Inquisitor games running simulatenously. Depending on who won these, there would be bonus strategic assests awarded to either side. The GM was also free to award assests as required.

This was the table we played over, which was 3 6'x4' tables:

It was possibly a little small for the points we had, as some players arrived late after we'd already starting to setup, although the small size meant we were on top of each quickly so the carnage could begin as swiftly as possible.

We bid 18 minutes to setup, and ended up setting up first and assumed we'd get the first turn. Unfortunately, the Imperial side stole the initiative which left us on the Disorder side on the back foot given we looked to have a truck load less models on the table, and we had setup assuming we'd be going first. The table looked awesome after deployment:

A marine's eye view:

Ultramarines, Black Templar, Guard and Sisters hold the Imperial right flank, faced with the evil Space Wolves and my Chaos Space Marines. You can see the heavy concentration of Imperial armour as well. The bunker we were trying to take is at the end of the road. In the centre, a general BT/GK and Marine advance continues. There was a particularly brutal unit of 10 terminator with Lightning Claws, a terminator Librarian, terminator Chaplain, and a Chapter master here:

Orks and Grey Knights clash in the centre of the board during Disorder turn 1. On the left is a squiggoth with a Rhino hull howdah. The Grey Knights had a Captain in their unit, and destroyed the Orks and the squiggoth easily. The following turn they were annhilated by Orks, Guard and a Defiler:

One of the Imperial secret objectives was to destroy three Basiliks on the Disorder side, a task made much easier by the unexpected gain of the Flank March assest from the Inquisitor game. This meant we had a load of Grey Knights and BT terminators supported by Marine terminators suddenly appear at the rear of our army and minced the Basilisks. Later in the game, Orks led by Gazghkull Thraka, arrived and extracted their revenge.

The combat was fierce around the central objective of the board. This was about turn 3. The Imperials had clear control of this objective by the end of the game after I'd fed 7 Plague Marines, 5 Chaos terminators, a Chaos Sorcerer and 20 Lesser Daemons into the meat grinder.

One of the static objectives was only held by a handful of Grey Knights by the late turns of the game, who were forced to face their nemesis, a Daemon Prince of Nurgle supported by Ork boyz. This objective was finally held by Disorder despite some hairy moments in the last turn:

Serious carnage by the start of turn 5. The game ended after this turn:

Death on a massive scale. By the end of the game, I still had 2 Daemon Princes (one of whom was hiding as he was the general), my Doomsday device and one Plague Marine from a 3300 point army.

We used a number of amusing assests which the GM sprung on us. On the Disorder side we got the Rok 'em Boyz assest from Apocalypse Reloaded. This is where the Ork hulks in space starting throwing meteors down. These scatter D6 feet which was entertaining. They always scatter unless you roll a hit and a 1 which I managed to do with the first one (we got 3). They're a 10" balst destroyer hit when they land. One took a structure point off an Imperial super heavy, one destroyed a Land Raider, a squiggoth, some other infantry, and the last one killed 12 of my newly arrived Plague Marines.

The Doomsday device proved pretty amusing as well, it was a turn highlight to see what it would do. I activated it first turn (making an outrageous demand of course), and then rolled a 6 which meant it started firing straight away. Over 5 turns I got 4 Apocalyptic Barrage(4), S8, AP3 shots and 4 S10, AP1 10" blasts. I could have done with it going super nova towards the end of the game as the only things near it were Imperials. For some reason, no one shot at the thing for the whole game despite it being a very obvious target.

Anyway, the final result was a draw as we ran out of time at the end of turn 5. Had some dice rolls not gone our way, the Imperials would have won it at the end, and a sixth turn would have seen them take it I think. We both completed two of our secret objectives (both the destroying/killing things ones), and held one static objective each.

The overall campain result was a victory for the forces of Disorder, as we held more planets than the Imperials.

I'll probably post some more things I learnt from the game later in the week.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Witch Hunter Army Progress So Far

I've been neglecting my Witch Hunters army these past couple of months whilst I concentrated on getting my Chaos Marines up to Apocalypse scale. As the modelling and conversion work is now done of those CSM's, I thought I'd take stock of where I was with my Witch Hunters. I've been working on this army for waaaay too long and it's not even a legal list yet. I'm aiming to get it to a legal status after Christmas. The things which have radically slowed me down are:

1- I paint really slowly
2- Sisters of Battle seem to take an age to paint, especially with the colour scheme I chose
3- The army costs a fortune. One Battle Sister squad in a Rhino is £40, and it doesn't even give me the special weapons I wanted

Here's some pictures of the army in it's current state:

I reckon it's probably about 1000 points or maybe a bit less (this is the list I'm working towards though I've done more models than I need for the list).

Canoness Sister Katherine the Pious and 2 squads of Seraphim.

Battle Sister squad and Rhino (here's some detail on the VSS conversion), along with a priest and Death Cult Assasin. There's an unpainted Eversor lurking in the background.

Inquisitor Lord Titus Flavian
and retinue.

I'm planning on adding another Battle Sister squad in a Rhino and an Exorcist post Christmas which will mean I'm only another BSS squad and Exorcist (and 3 Sisters with Heavy Flamers) short.

I was reading a good post over on Santa Cruz Warhammer earlier in the week about using Photoshop on pictures, so I followed some of the steps just for an experiment:

Just a test, but it looks quite cool. There's lots more effects available in Photoshop for me to play with in future.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

WIP Nurgle Doomsday Device

This is the complete build of my Doomsday Device for this weekends Apocalypse game. As you can see it's not painted yet, and probably won't be before then.

There's not much guidance on the Doomsday Device datasheet as to how big one of these things acutally is or even what it might look like. I guessed it must be pretty sizable, given it's a super heavy, AV14 all round and has 3 structure points. You can see I've included a Plague Marine to give you an idea of the magnitude:

Pretty monstrous. I wanted to give the idea of a giant cauldron of pus and filth which would erupt is a geyser of unplesantness once it was activated. I thought a cauldron on it's own would be too small so I've made it into a big cauldron on top of a Nurgly tower. The materials used are a sweet jar, a washing liquid ball, a ton of GS and milliput, some bitz, guitar wire and cocktail sticks.

I've got as far as undercoating it, though the undercoat looks like it needs a touch up in places:

Hopefully, it going to cause some serious devastation in the Apocalypse game.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

My Must Have Unit: Chaos Chosen

Ron over at From the Warp is putting together one of his excellent collabrative posts, drawing on the collective wisdom of the FtW bloggers. This time it's about which unit you never leave home without. For me, that unit is Chaos Chosen.

Chaos Chosen are an elite choice for the Chaos Space Marine list. They have pretty much a standard Chaos Marine profile, with the exception that they are Ld 10. Each is armed in the standard way for CSMs (bolter, bolt pistol, CCW, frag grenades and krak grenades), and a single Chosen marine costs 18 points base, which is 3 more than a basic CSM marine. So what are the big things that makes Chosen so useful?

1- They can Infiltrate, giving them setup flexbility and the outflank ability
2- They can have up to 5 special weapons

These two points means that Chosen can really put out a large amount of damage to an unsuspecting opponent.

I run mine in a unit of 7 with the Icon of Nurgle, though this is more for fluff reasons that maximum efficiency. I arm them with 3 flamers, and two melta guns, and put them in a Rhino. I normally outflank with them. The weapon load out I use, for me, this gives them a real diversity to deal with anything that they come across. It means they can pop a battlewagon one turn, and then jump out and roast a mob of boyz with their flamers for example. I normally keep them in the Rhino for as long as possible as they can fire both melta guns from the fire points (check the CSM FAQ, you can fire two people from the fire points) and only take them out of the rhino if they need to flame some stuff, or the rhino gets destroyed. Using the fire points means I can threaten armour at up to 18" down each table edge, forcing my opponent into the centre. All in all this unit has never let me down yet.

The subject of Chosen came up recently on the Freebootaz forum, so I'll repeat some of the other points raised there (and mainly credit HotPanda for his input). There seems to be plenty of variation in special weapons preferences, with some preferring 5 flamers, some preferring the high firepower of 5 plasma guns. A good point was made about the synergy between Chosen and summoned daemons. A forward infiltrating unit of Chosen with a cheap icon can make a useful point to summon lesser daemons down so that the daemons can be in assault very quickly as you can infiltrate close to the enemy. Similarly, an infiltrating or outflanking unit of Chosen with a Champion with no gear can make a good and cheap entry point for a summoned greater daemon.

Just some ideas here then for the use of Chosen. There's plenty more, like 4 pairs of lightning claws and the Mark of Khorne for example.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

WIP Nurgle Troops

Some more WIP shots. First up is my next completed Plague Marine squads, done in my Blind Dead Plague Monk army style:

They're made from standard Chaos Space Marines and green stuff. I've used the Renegade Milita heads on these from Pig Iron Industries and they're a little on the small side for the bloated bodies. I had to bulk out the heads using GS which is covered by the hoods.

These last ones are nothing special, just 20 zombies I'm going to use as summoned lesser daemons:

What could be cooler than having your army summon a zombie army to the battle field? :)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

WIP Nurgle Daemon Prince

Things have been pretty manic this last couple of weeks as I've been living with my in-laws whilst we were having some home improvement stuff done. I've managed to get a bit of modelling work in, so I thought I'd share some pictures.

First up, this is my all new Nurgle Daemon Prince:

He's still a little WIP, so I need to smooth out some of the green stuff around his waist. It's really there as I had alot of trouble pinning the top half to the bottom half (I cocked it up somewhere along the process) so the GS on the waist is just giving that joint more support.

As you can see from the first shot, he's got a pretty majestic wing span. The wings are from the LOTR balrog, and those things are huge. They were a little too big for the skinny Nightbringer body, so I used my dremel to reduce them a little. I cut off a big chunk around the base of the wings, the part which joins to the body, and carved away some of the wing membranes to reduce them down and make the wing look a little more spiky. The wings are still pretty big, but they do look like they'd actually be able to lift his body if this were life size.

The arms are taken from the chaos spawn kit, and I was going for an insectoid look for him. My original plan had been to retain the scythe arm the Nightbringer comes with, but with that on, he still looked too much like the Nightbringer and that was what I was trying to avoid. After rooting through my bitz box and trying out various combinations with blu-tac I went for the insect legs.

The face and eyes are still WIP, I might flatten the eyes out. The eyes are intentionally two different sizes, and I was going for the fly-like compound eye effect. The mouth tube has come out slightly differently than I had originally envisioned, but I'm reasonably pleased with it. He kind of looks like the Imperial Spy from Star Wars...

...which is a look I quite like :)

The remaining steps are to neaten up the waist GS, smooth the eyes or make them into more rounded domes, and then he's ready to be painted.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Smog 1888

I was browsing through the Maelstrom Games online store yesterday looking at Malifaux stuff (love the miniatures, I'm pretty interested in that one). Anyway, Maelstrom are carrying a new miniature range called Smog 1888 from SmartMax who I think are a French company. There's a big chunk of fluff beind the minis which you can read on the website, but basically it's set in an alternate Victorian London where magic and other wierd stuff are prevalent. Looking at the background it put me in mind a bit on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the books, not the film).

The miniatures are really nice looking miniatures, I've shared a few here, though you can see lots more on the SmartMax store. The one downside to these from a 40K alternative perspective is that they are 54mm in scale. Check them out if you're interested.

Shamrock the Great and his prestigious cabinet:

Mei Lung and the Opium dragon:

Dr Proteus Treves:

Jeremiah Crow (my personal favourite):

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Boardgame Overview: Pandemic

Last weekend, I was in HMV with some vouchers to spend. Now HMV is not what you'd describe as game store (besides video games), the only games they really have are Simpsons Monopoly, Scene It, things of that ilk. Not much to tempt a more serious gamer, but for some reason they had several copies of Pandemic in stock, so I spent my vouchers on picking this up (also got The Batman Series 1 on DVD for my son, he really like that series and to be honest so do I).

Pandemic is a board game from Z Man Games and as it's name suggests it's about disease, or rather the prevention of it. The game is for 2 to 4 people, and each person takes on the role of a certain specialist within a disease control team. As you're all in the same team, the play is pure cooperative, which makes it a nice game to introduce non-gamers to as you can easily help them along.

As members of the disease control team, you need to travel the world balancing your play between curing diseases in individual cities, and finding cures for diseases. There's 4 diseases to cure and that's the win condition. The board is a world map you move your pieces around on:

Each turn you get four actions which can be things like moving to a different city, finding a cure, building a research station and so on. Each turn in the game, the diseases spread represented by little wooden cubes of various colours.

The fundamental mechanic in the game is card management. The player cards in the bottom left have the name of a city on it, and each city has a different colour. You use these cards for a couple of things: to move to other cities by discarding a card of that city, or the city you're in, and to discover cures. To discover a cure, you normally need 5 cards of that colour, then move to a research station and spend an action to discover a cure.

Each player takes on a different role, and each role has various abilities. For example: the Scientist only needs 4 cards of one colour to discover a cure; the Medic can remove all blocks of one colour in a city when he performs the Cure action (you normally only remove one block of a colour). By working together and playing to the strengths of each role is the key to winning.

The game is easy to play and understand, and being a coop game it's easy to teach. I've played it a couple of times with my non-gaming wife and she's picked it up quickly as the mechanics are simple (unlike when she played Last Night on Earth) and is enjoying it. The game plays quickly, last night's game was done in 40 minutes including setup time.

So I'd recommend Pandemic if you're after a quick, entertaining game to play. It'd be an ideal game at Christmas as although the age is recommended as 10+ I think younger players could easily grasp this.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Pure Fun Battle

I played a couple of quick 750 point games this past week, which were just intended to be pure fun games. My opponent had lent his army to someone else who just wanted to try out 40K, so he just pulled out the only stuff he had left in his army case which turned out to be Marneus Calgar and 10 Terminators including a sergeant, an assault cannon and a heavy flamer. I was short of an opponent so he agreed to play me with these models.

I quickly toted up 750 points of Nurgle Chaos Space Marines, and it was probably the list I'd take regardless of the opponent:

Daemon Prince, Wings, MoN, Warptime
7 Plague Marines, including a Champion with a power fist, one melta gun, one flamer
7 Plague Marines, including a Champion with a power fist, one melta gun, one plasma gun

There was no mission, we just decided to run eat other and beat each other to a bloody pulp until there was only one of us left standing.

We actually played through the game twice. In game one, the Vindicator wore down the approaching marines, before they got into assault. Once there the daemon prince and Calgar slugged it out until Calgar was dead.

Second run through, I played more aggresively and got a second turn charge in on the terminators with my flying Daemon Prince who subsequently died (power fists make him cry). Calgar managed to advance close to me and destroy a Plague Marine squad before the other squad gunned him down.

A couple of fun throw away games, and we had a good laugh playing them at some epic luck like Calgar making three invulnerable saves in one throw, and epic fail such as Calgar's orbital bombardment scattering 10" of my Vindicator, hitting two Plague Marines and then rolling double one to wound.

Apocalypse prep has slowed over the last few days, as I'm having a new kitchen fitted so I've been staying with my in-laws and therefore away from my minis. I've done most of the GS on my new Daemon Prince, and he's looking good. Unfortunately, the pinning on his waist is poor and so I need to redo that.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Feverish hobbying

Please don't confuse my lack of blog updates with a lack of hobbying, quite the contrary in fact. I'm trying to get ready for an upcoming Apocalypse game on 7th November with my all Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army, so I've been building and converting as much as possible over the past 10 days or so.

So far I've built:
-20 zombies which will be my summoned lesser daemons
-Converted 7 Plague Marines in my Blind Dead style (more on these below)
-Half finished a daemon prince conversion
-Started building my doomsday device
-Clipped off and cleaned up enough parts for another 7 Plague Marines

So I've made some pretty solid progress, and I'll definitely have all of them finished and built by the 7th, but I'm just not going to have time to get them all painted.

The zombie kit is a nice kit and there's plenty of bitz in their to use for future Nurgle conversions.

For the first squad on Plague Marines, I've bought some of the Renegade milita heads from Pig Iron Industries. I'd seen last week or so an excellent Lord conversion over at Santa Cruz warhammer which used the heads from Pig Iron so I picked some up. They look really nice, and I got 20 for £4.40 which is pretty reasonable. The only thing I've found with them is that they are a bit on the small side for my Plague Marines, especially as I'd bulked out the bodies of them so much. I've build up the head a bit more with GS but a couple still look a little small.

The daemon prince is based on the Necron Nightbringer which is a pretty popular conversion basis for one of these things. He's winged with the balrog wings from GW, which are absolutley vast. These are great is you've got a big model to put them on (like the sweet Nurgle DP over at Dark Future Games) but the Nightbringer is a skinny fella, so some wing customization was necessary. I've also used different arms and there will be some substantial GS work on him.

Nothing is really in a state for pictures yet, but I'll share some photos once they get a bit further down the line.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Army Inspiration: What's yours?

As you'll know from my last couple of posts, I'm working hard on expanding my Nurgle Chaos Space Marines to include a couple of extra Plague Marine squads. It's been a long while since I converted the first three squads, so hopefully these newer ones will come out looking better. Here's the first squad I completed in mid-late 2007:

My painting, green stuff skills, not to mention my camera, have improved since then, but you get the idea of how they look.

Anyway, I wanted to blog a little about how I arrived at the look at finally settled on for these marines, and what inspired me to do them this way. There's inspiration aplenty in Codexes, rule books, Black Library novels to inspire, but I took my idea from elsewhere.

I wanted my Plague Marines to look like devotees of Nurgle, his most loyal followers, and I thought a monk-ish look would suit them. There was a couple of things that inspired me for the look. The first was unsurprisingly Skaven Plague Monks from the Fantasy range. I liked the hooded and cowled look these models have.
I wanted a more deathly rotting look to them, and so drew influence from the Spanish zombie movie The Tombs of the Blind Dead from 1971. The zombies in this film are undead templar knights and have a really distinctive look compared to other zombie films:
Filthy, rotting, cowled, monk-like, these were a strong influence on the look for my Plague Marines.

What was the influence for your army?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Nurgle Progress

I've been feeling really motivated since my last post to really get down to work on getting my CSM's up to Apocalypse size. My first thing to finish was this Nurgle Rhino, currently the ride for my Chosen:

I've also started work on my next Daemon Prince, which is a conversion from the Necron Nightbringer. He's just drying after pinning and basing but I'll post pictures once he gets a bit further on. I've also started putting together a Plague Marine squad as well.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Preparing for an Apocalypse

We're playing a campaign currently on club nights, and I got my first game in last night as part of it. It's a fairly simple structure, with two teams "Good" (Imperial, Eldar) Vs "Evil" (Chaos, Orks, Necrons etc). The Imperial hold a number of planets in one sector, and the evil team is fighting to wrest control from them. Each planet has a points value according to it's value, so a forge world might be 12000 points, but a barren moon might be 2000. The points value is how many points of games the evil team needs to win to take control of the planet, so the barren moon could be capture in 1 2000 point game, or 4 500 point games. After each game, your units can get extra skills, experience provided they lived. That's the system, but there's also a Battlefleet Gothic portion as well, where BFG fleets battle for control of the space around a planet.

In last nights match-up, I played 1500 points of Chaos Space Marines, and took on 3 young players who had 500 points each which was a mixture of Imperial Guard and Space Marines. The mission was capture and control. Setup was pitched battle, and the Imperial side setup first. I was feeling relatively confident, there was nothing in the opposing force that was worrying me to much, with the exception of some Space Marine terminators and some scouts with sniper rifles and Telion high up on a building (power fists and rending weapons make Plague Marines cry).

Now this match is part of the campaign, and last week the evil team had taken the first planet and rolled onto invading the next one. However, the BFG battle between Chaos and Imperial was still raging, so the Imperials still held the space around the planet. This doesn't stop the invasion but it means the Imperial got a number of orbital lance strikes to use, 6 in total to spread between all the tables. These things are S9 AP2 ordnance barrages. I'd forgotten about this, and of course, I setup packed in behind cover. Before the game even starts, the orbital barrage arrives and hits my packed in troops, and naturally doesn't scatter, killing an entire squad of Plague Marines before the game even starts!

As you might expect, this put me on the back foot from the kick off, and as I'd declared my Chosen were outflanking I was starting the game almost 500 points down on my opponents. Fortunately, I managed to pull a draw out of the bag, with my objective firmly controlled by a Plague Marine squad and a unit of Catachans holding the opposing objective having shot my Daemon Prince's last wound away who had been contesting it. My Chosen didn't arrived until turn 4, and the game ended on turn 5 as we ran out of time. Possibly had we gone to 6 or 7 turns I could have got them as far as the opposing objective and killed the Catachans around it, but it ended in a draw.

Anyway, the climax of the campaign is an Apocalypse battle in November. Likely this will be more than one Apocalypse battle rather than one large one, so I need to get prepared for this. There will be no minimum force size requirement I wouldn't have thought, but I would like to get my Chaos army up to the 3000 point Apocalypse minimum. Currently, I have just over 2000 points built and painted, and I have a Daemon Prince and at least 2 more Plague Marines squads to give me another 600 points or so. I'll probably try and get either another PM squad or some obliterators, or maybe some lesser daemon to found it up to 3000 points. Once I'm there I'd ideally like to have a Super Heavy, ie a Plague Reaper but this might be just to many minis in too little time to get painted. I've just been flicking through the Apocalypse Data sheets on the GW website, and I'd forgotten all about the fairly recent Doomsday super heavy. I could probably make something suitably Nurgly for this, mwahahahahaha!

So here's the list of units that need building:

-Daemon Prince
-2 Plague Marine squads
-Doomsday Device

...and the units that need buying:
-More Plague Marines
-Lesser Daemons (I'm going to use zombies for these)
-Plague Reaper

Alot to do, wish me luck!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Re-rolls and probability

I noticed this interesting post over at The D6 Generation yesterday. It's from a listener who writes about the probability of scoring a certain number on a D6 with and without a re-roll, so for example when firing a twin linked weapon. You can read the way the binominal probability works in the post, but I just wanted to share the most important part, the probability table:

2++ = 97%
3++ = 89%
2+ = 83%
4++ = 75%
3+ = 67%
5++ = 56%
4+ = 50%
5+ = 34%
6++ = 31%
6+ = 17%

+ = w/o a reroll
++ = with a reroll

Let's take an example. Say a Chaos Terminator with a twin linked bolter (rapid fire, twin linked) and a Space Marine Terminator with a storm bolter (Assault 2) are both firing at a target 10" away. Both are BS4, and both weapons are the same strength and AP.

Each shot from the Chaos Terminator has a 89% percent chance of hitting, and so has a 79% chance of hitting with both shots (0.89 x 0.89).

Each shot from the Loyalist Termaintor has a 67% chance of hitting, and so has a 44% chance of hitting with both shots.

So on pure stats, the twin linked bolter is better at this short range. Of course, at more than 12" the storm bolter would get an extra shot perhaps giving it the edge there. Being in terminator armour, the unit can still charge after firing it's bolters.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New White Dwarf contents UK 358

The new White Dwarf arrived yesterday, so here's a quick run down of what's in it. No surprises that it's Space Wolf heavy this month.

  • Cover: Space Wolves (same as the Codex)
  • New Releases:
  • Codex: Space Wolves (£15 3/10/09)
  • Space Wolves Wolf Pack (£20 3/10/09 can built 10 Blood Claws, Grey Hunters or Wolf Guard)
  • Wolf Guard Terminators (£25 3/10/09)
  • Space Wolves Battleforce (£50 17/10/09, has 2 Wolf Packs, 5 scouts and a drop pod)
  • Canis Wolfborn (£25 3/10/09)
  • Njal Stormcaller (£12 3/10/09)
  • Lukas the Trickster (£10 3/10/09)
  • New Mega Paint set (47 Colour paints, 18 Foundation Paints, 8 washes, full set of brushes, PVA glue, flock (4 tubs) all in a figure case £150, out 17/10/09)
  • Some new Harad and Easterling LoTR minis
  • Space Wolf Design Notes
  • War of the Ring: Harad
  • War of the Ring campaign with 3 new scenarios
  • Fantasy tactica on using special characters
  • Battle Report is 2000 points of Space Wolves VS Chaos Daemons
  • Hobby Essentials: Modelling snow
  • Jervis' usual Standard Bearer
  • Ideas for kit bashing Space Wolves
  • Dave Thomas' favourite miniature
  • 'Eavy Metal masterclass: Space Wolves
  • Master modeller: custom scenery created by the studio.
Plenty of 40K stuff, particularly if you like Space Wolves.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines VS Orks

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I've been really busy with work and stuff. In fact, I've only managed 30 minutes of painting in the last ten days. I did get a couple of games of Last Night on Earth with my brother-in-law which was fun, and last night was regular club night.

I got a 1500 point game in against an Ork player. My list was my current Nurgle Chaos list. My opponent was running an Ork horde list, which isn't a particularly good match up for a small elite all Nurgle force. His list was something along the lines of:

Warboss with big choppa, with 5 Nobz in a trukk
10 Tankbustas with a couple of bomb squigs
5 Burnas
10 including a Nob with a power klaw Sluggas in a trukk
20 including a Nob with a power klaw Shoota boyz
20 including a Nob with a power klaw Slugga boyz
15 including a Nob with a power klaw Slugga boyz
3 Deffkoptas
3 Warbikes
Squiggoth which was carrying the tankbustas. This could have been a baby Squiggoth.
2 Deff Dreds

As you can see, he was running a squiggoth (just a little one) using Forge World rules which was fun, and it was only a friendly game so I was happy to let him (the squiggoth isn't on the picture below, there wasn't an icon for it in Vassal).

The mission was a straightforward annihilation with the spearhead deployment. I opted to go second. At deployment, things looked something like this:

I figured that to deal with this many Orks I was going to have to use the two large blast templates from the Defiler and the Vindicator to take out as many as could before they close to me, as well as denying as many kill points as possible. I also wanted to concentrate on some of the smaller units which would be easy to take down (like the bikes, the burnas, the Deff Dreads) rather than trying to wear down the big units of Boyz. As usual, I held my Chosen in reserve to outflank.

I setup well back in my table quarter to make the Orks cross the table in front of my big guns. My opponent setup as close a possible to me ready to get to grips with me.

Early Turns: The Orks rushed towards my lines, and one of the trukks sped into the top right corner of the map. My first round of shooting saw shots from the Vindicator and Defiler scatter, and killed 14 Orks from two of the mobs. The rest of ones of those squads thought better of the battle and legged it off the table. My Daemon Prince saw the chance of a kill point and crushed the trukk, forcing the boyz out and killing a couple in the wreckage. The Orks responded by rushing the Daemon with boyz from the trukk, the Warboss and his nobz, killing him. Everyone else advanced, with the warbikes charging the vindicator and destroying it.
My Chosen arrived from the flanks, close to the Warboss and blew up a trukk from the safety of the rhino. My Chaos dreadnought killed the warbikes, avenging the death of the Vindicator. Things looked pretty evenly balanced in these early turned.

Mid-game: The Warboss and Nobz saw the chance of a kill point and destroyed the Chosen Rhino, killing two of the occupants in the resulting explosion. The Chosen responded by repositioning themselves to maximize their three flamers, fired on the Nobz and Warboss, killing all of them. At the bottom centre of the board, one of the Deff Dread got into combat with the Defiler, a combat which lasted three turns and saw the Defiler just limp out the winner.
My dreadnought managed to stay sane through the whole game, and spent a couple of turns killing first the tank bustas, and then the deffkoptas who charged it in close combat.

Late turns: The shootas, the remains of a slugga squad, a deff dread and the wierdboy got into assault with a Plague Marine squad which they took two turns to finish off. Once this was done, the remaining half dozen sluggas boyz got shot to pieces by the Plague Marines in the rhino. This gave me enough time to kill the squiggoth with a Plague Marine squad and the Dreadnought. The dreadnought rounded off a storming game for him by killing the remaining burna boyz. Up in the top corner, the Chosen were defeated in combat and broke towards my table edge.

The game ended on turn 5 with a win for me. I'd scored 9 kill points to me opponents 5.

Overall, it was a fun game. My HQ, elites and heavy support saw most of the action, scoring 7 of my 9 kill points. They really blunted my opponents attack, so that by the time he got to my troop choices (which are tough in themselves), I'd taked the sting out of his attack. My Chosen proved their value yet again, taking 3 kill points themselves. The dreadnought worked well in this game as well, as he stayed sane for the whole game making him a cheap and versatile unit.

Against a big horde like this, target selection was important as there were a number of units which were softer and easier to take out. Had he been running a large scary unit (like Nob bikerz, or he'd beefed up his Nob squad a bit more), this would have been much more of a distraction to me, as I know I'd have been tempted to pump shots into a unit like that which was tough to kill.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Credit where credit is due

If you spend much time on GW forums you often see the same gripes and complaints coming up again and again. Two popular ones are:

-GW FAQ's take too long to come out and don't actually answer the questions people are most frequently asking
-White Dwarf is not very good

Over the past week or so, a couple of things have happened which address these (well a little anyway).

Firstly, the new White Dwarf is actually pretty decent (UK WD 357). The Space Hulk battle report, though really an advert for Space Hulk, is improved by Jervis' analysis of each players actions, the Rok campagin report was pretty interesting too. The Fantasy double's tournament report was quite good and the tournament style battle report between the guys from the Bad Dice podcast was interesting and not something I've seen in WD before. Now one swallow does not make a summer, so this it remains to be seen whether this trend is going to continue into future issues.

The other thing was the release on the Imperial Guard FAQ. Not only has this come out pretty quickly after the Codex (3 months or so), but it seems to answer most of the questions I've seen asked about the IG codex, such as whether hotshot lasguns can use the FRFSRF order, can orders be issued to allies. It also has a direct impact on Codex: Witch Hunters as there is some clarification on what units can be take to ally with Witch Hunters. I think a couple of the choices there are a little odd (for example Sentinel variants are allowed, Leman Russ variants aren't), but none the less it's clarity and it's welcome.

And it's good to see the Deathstrike Missile launcher now has an unlimited range, I'm sure it's previous range of 960" was not enough ;)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Completed Sisters of Battle Rhino

I managed to find some painting time over the weekend to put the finishing touches to my Sisters of Battle rhino for my first completed sisters squad. Here it is:

It came out OK in the end. I started fairly poorly by cocking up the priming of the model with a new primer which seemed to go on watery then like tar which will teach me not to shake the can enough. The model is done with my standard SoB base mix of 2:1 Scab Red:Scorched Brown and then I drybrushed it with Scab Red and Red Gore to pick out the edges. I finished the upper most parts with a drybrush of Kommando Khaki which is the accent colour on the front which added a final highlight I was rather pleased with.

The turret with the sister in it is not glued in, should I ever feel the desire to run the vehicle as an Immolator I can put together the Immolator turret and place that on top.

Friday, 4 September 2009

How many flamers are too many?

Jabberjabber over at Warpstone Flux this week posted up his latest monthly army list challenge which are always entertaining ways to waste time at work ;)

You can read the details over there for yourself, but in a nutshell, it's for a 1000 point legal list to attack a drifting space hulk populated with a genestealer cult, including both 'stealers and human followers. As the action is aboard a hulk, nothing bigger than a terminator is allowed. You can read my entry, based on Codex:Witch Hunters in the comments on the post. Basically, I went flamer crazy, figuring that would be the most useful thing to have onboard a cramped spaceship. I managed to get 15 flamers and 6 combi-flamers in one list which wasn't bad (plus 8 heavy bolters and a load of hellguns).

Jabberjabber made a comment that he was tempted to draw up a CSM list, so I thought I'd have a go with that just to amuse myself really. Based on the restrictions imposed by the challenge, plus with the added plan to squash in as many flamers as possible, I came up with:

Chaos Sorcerer with Wind of Chaos [130]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]

Total: 1000 points.
Flamer total: 30 flamers, plus one template psychic power.

Now that's alot of flamers! Any other Codexes which can get in more flamers?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Inquisition: Know your Ordos

I guess most 40K fans could name the three main Ordos on the Officio Inquistoria, but they are not by any means the only ordos. Let's look at the main ordos:

Ordo Malleus: The oldest of the Ordos, they are charged with combatting the daemon without, the manifestation of Chaos in real space. They are also charged with hunting down rouge inquisitors (the daemon within).

Ordo Xenos: The Ordo Xenos is charged with the investigation, and if necessary, destruction of alien species. Both Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and Gideon Ravenor are members of the Ordo Xenos.

Ordo Hereticus: The Ordo Hereticus hunt down the enemy within, the unsanctioned psyker, the mutant and the heretic.

Though these are the main ordos, the members of each Ordo have pretty wide ranging remits of investigation. If we take Eisenhorn as an example, we see him investigating trade in forbidden artifacts with aliens, a Dark Eldar cult (at the start of Malleus I think), hunting down a rogue inquisitor, chaining a daemon, breaking open a heretical Chaos cult, amongst other things.

Besides the main Ordos, there are numerous unanmed Ordo Minoris which have other, more specialized, tasks. For example:

Ordo Sicarius: This Ordo is concerned the watching over and monitoring the Officio Assassinorium to ensure it is not corrupted again, as occured during the Wars of Vindication.

Ordo Sepulturum: A small Ordo based close to the Eye of Terror, they investigate the source and combat the effects of the warp-spawned diseases, in particular the Zombie Plague which struck voraciously during the 13t Black Crusade. You can read more about this in Inquisitor's Thorian Sourcebook which is a great resource for those of us who are interested in the Inquisition. Sepulturum is latin for burial, presumably chosen as the zombie hunting Inquisitor's a responsible for returning zombies to the grave.


Marshal Argos
has commented with a couple of other Ordos I wasn't aware of, so here's some more detail.

Ordos Helican: These are well covered in the Eisenhorn trilogy, the Ordos Helican was the ruling body of the Inquisitorial Ordos in the Helican subsector.

Ordo Obsuletus: Ordo charged with investigating paranormal phenomena such as the Legion of the Damned.

Ordo Hydra: A branch of the secret Illuminati faction covered in the Inquisition War trilogy (I haven't read this myself). Many of its members are Inquisitor's.

I've also found the Ordo Militum, charged with monitoring the Imperial Guard and other Imperial military forces.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Imperial Name Generator

Jabberjabber over at Warpstoneflux posted earlier this week about Daemon name generators, used to help you with ideas for naming your daemon's to fluff up your army. Pretty cool, and like he says there used to be one on the GW website that I can't find either.

But, what if you're not a servant of the Ruinous Powers, and what some ideas for naming your Space Marine captain, your Cannoness, your Comissar or your Inquisitor? Well, over on the Dark Heresy website, there's a name generator for generating Imperial Gothic names for either gender, in different formats. Try it if you need some inspiration for naming your Imperial characters.