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.