Shelfari Shelf

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nagash the Unbroken

I just finished reading Nagash the Unbroken, and while in general I loath warhammer Fantasy, the Time of Legends books have been great reading. Furthermore, the one aspect of Fantasy I love is Nagash's storyline. I think if Nagash returned to Fantasy, I would as well. But, I fear he has been resigned to the old days of herohammer.

So Nagash the Unbroken is written by MIke Lee of Mallus Darkblade fame. He's a great writer, and I would love to see him venture into 40k territory. If you have read the first Nagash book, then definitely read this one. If you haven't read either, than definitely do so. This book covers the period where Nagash is wandering the shores of the bitter sea and the simultaneous events in Lahmia.

Ultramarines Ironclad Dreadnought

Here is my second Ironclad dread. This one is built with hurricane bolters and a chainfist with built in heavy flamer. I also added a couple of brass etched pieces for detail. The company number, dreadnought number and a pair of Ultramarine insignia have been added.

I decided not to add the hunter killer missiles this time, purely for aesthetic reasons. I also added one of the honor scrolls from the venerable dread kit.

This dread marks the beginning of the final few dreadnoughts I need to build for my chapter - only seven left to go - and with the new venerable dread kit, there is almost too many combinations for me to consider for the remaining few.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gav Thorpe's Raven's Flight

To audio book, or not to audio book, that is the question. For many avid reader's, audio books are looked down upon, maybe even with disdain. I know I share that feeling to some degree. Why listen to a book when you can savor the words as you read it yourself? Hence the discontent with the BL's decision to release some works as audio books rather than in print. Then again, there is also the question of price - I paid $17 for Raven's Flight, and at the same time picked up the new Henry Zhou book for about $9. Which seems like the better deal?

Unlike some audio books, which are a dry reading of the prose - Raven's Flight was more of an audio drama. Sound effects and the narrator's use of infection to give each character a different voice and character. While I think gav Thorpe is a moderate to mediocre author at best, his works are usually entertaining. I think the audio format set out in Raven's Flight suits Thorpe's writing well, and this audio book nwas well worth the price. For fans of the HH series, I would definately recommend it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chaos Rising

The new Dawn of War II expansion came out last Tuesday, and I was able to pick it up on Friday this week. Ever since it's been pretty hard to split my hobbying time between modelling - I've had to do a lot of that lately since I painted everything I already had built and primed - and video gaming. Chaos Rising is a great follow on to Dawn of War II. It adds a corruption track, so your marines can turn towards Chaos, or resist and stay pure in the Emperor's Light. So far it's been a hard balance, as some tasks require you to risk corruption just to accomplish them. The art and cinematics continue to be great as well. If you liked the first, most definitely pick it up. If you haven't played either before, I can't more strongly recommend them. It's great for that 40k fix when no one is around, and best of all, you can port your character info and stats from the first game into the expansion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thousand Sons list

So I have been contemplating a Thousand Sons army, and have been unable to really decide what is fluffy/thematic and what isn't. For example, the fluff states that there are only two kinds of Thousand Sons - rubric marines and sorcerers. So The 1k Sons boxed set would make up the main kit - providing the troop choices for the army. I would want a chaos lord, probably in terminator armor because I like that model kit. A squad of chosen in terminator armor as well to make up a retinue. But could I dare to take havocs or raptors? Are they even worth it. I've spent days trolling through Bolter & Chainsword's Thousand Sons forum, and really can't decide. I mean it's not like they are the Ultramarines, with a long, tried and true way of building an army. So I'm unsure of what to do, and even if the army would be worth building. But I have loved the Thousand Sons since I started playing back in '92 and keep putting off building an army. I suppose I could always make the army my own, with only a core of Thousand Sons. I guess this bares more thought.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Legion of the Damned

Though I bought a squad of Legion of the Damned during the first release round, they've sat primed on my desk for a while. Pretty much through all of the projects I've displayed on this blog (and a couple that is still haven't gotten to). Today I finally got around to painting them and even surprised myself by being able to finish them as well.

Though I still need to do some detail work with a Micron pen, the LotD are pretty much done. I think the level of detail on the daunted me for a while. That and a series of releases that drew my attention more - I'm still contemplating picking up another venerable dread.

This is the second LotD squad I have, the first was an original 2nd edition squad. I think at some point I would like to do a third squad using the other models that were released in the second wave. Plus I wouldn't mind being able to field the apocalypse formation GW created as well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ultramarines Venerable Dreadnought

Last week I purchased the new venerable dreadnought kit, which I'm sure everyone who has a Space marine blog has either talked about, is talking about or will talk about. So here is my offering. I decided to give the kit a pre-heresy build, and used the chest piece that hearkens back to the Visions of Heresy art books from the HH card game. The same with the head and the close combat weapon arm.

The addition of the banner from the Ironclad adds a bit more heraldry to the model,and is one of four brass etched pieces form the Forgeworld Ultramarines brass etched sprue on the model. I opted to keep the inscribed battle honours on the knee pad and chassis as well, though I opted to cover them up on the Plasmacannon arm.

The dreadnought number is displayed on the plasmacannon arm, along with the addition of terminator honors and a purity seal. On the close combat arm I choose to model the heavy flamer, as well as add an Ultramarines symbol and the company number.

All of the writing and fake writing is done with a .005 micron pen, I find it to be more controllable than a brush at that level, though my handwriting is naturally messy so it makes it a smidge hard sometimes. To finish of the model, I based it with fine and large slate pieces from the GW basing kit, and a large resin piece. I also added a small bit of razorwire

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Battle Missions: Blitzkrieg, Ultramarines vs Howling Griffons

Sunday I was able to play a game with HuronBH for the first time in a while. I've been on a losing streak of late, and since he is the only person I usually have time t play it's pretty demoralizing. This was a commemorative occasion, as he was coming out to see the house my wife and I bought back in December as well as play some Battle Missions. You can see the skyshield platform is part of the terrain as well. We opted to just roll a d66 and ended up playing Blitzkrieg.

Sadly, neither of us had armies set up for this mission, as it is designed around fast vehicles, and especially the ork truks zooming in for the win. I decided this would be my last game with the second company for a while (at least until I rotated through the companies and showed off the whole chapter) and took all of the models from my previous post, in addition to three tactical squads, a devastator squad, Sicarius and a Command squad.

Arrayed against me were HuronBH's Howling Griffons, which I believed comprised Kossaro Khan and a command squad with a Veteran armed with a power fist and one meltagun; a landraider carrying 5 assault terminators with storm shield and thunder hammer and led by a librarian with a force weapon, storm shield, avenger and null zone; a squadron of two typhoons and four tactical squads with meltaguns and either a missile launcher or multimelta.

Huron's two Typhoon's were able to come on from reserve due to Blitzkrieg's special rules and moved full out. I then manuevered my speeders so that my Typhoon could take a shot. I pen'd twice, immoblizing and stunning. Due to the squadron rules, one of Huron's Typhoons was destroyed, the other shook ignoring the stunned result.

Turn two saw all of my reserves save for the dreadnoughts coming on the board. Asd they were on foot, it made running a key element of my strategy. It also made turn two pretty ineffectual in terms of shooting as I had to rely on my landspeeders once again. I did get some lucky shots in, destroying Khan's razorback though.

My landspeeder squadron did quite well for me, despite losing one in turn three and having the multimeltas shot off the other two. I was able to contest Huron's objective for two turns, and only by not moving them on turn six did I lose them to assault and hence, lose the game.

Huron became quite good at immoblizing his tanks on difficult terrain. Above, his first victim was the Landraider. Later he also immobilized two rhinos as he sought to contest the central objective.

I spent much of the game pouring fire into Huron's assault terminators, knowing from previous games (and my own usage) that they can be nasty and hard to remove. I slowly whittled them as they slogged toward the center.

Painfully, the two plasma cannons in my devestator squad both overheated on turn three and died. This was a dagger to my shooting, as it would have forced Huron to hide in his rhinos until he had to come out of them. But alas theyb died without a shot fired.

I backed off the center on turn four, realizing I wouldnt have charge range and wanting to preserve the initiative of charging for myself. Instead I peppered the squad holding the objective down to only one meltagunner, who was killed on turn seven when the central scrum finally ended.

The low point of the game for me was when Kosarro Khan killed Sicarius in one go. Especially since Sicarius's riposte only did one wound. On the bright side, and much to Huron's chagrin, I was able to win the combat thanks to the company banner and the killing of some of Khan's bodyguards. However, just like this game, it went on too long for me to have a strong chance of winning.

Below are the final scenes of the game. I was unable to destroy his Typhoon, something I should have tried earlier in the game to deny him the fast contesting ability speeders offer marine players. I was also unable to end the central combat early enough to matter.

This is probably a long line of losses for me against Huron in 5th edition now. Excuse time - he has become a regular tourney player, and has a regular gaming crew he plays with; while I have played less and less over the last couple years and become more of a modeller, painter and collector. I guess it shows. I did learn how potent squadrons can be in 5th, as well as the efficacy of torrent of fire against uber terminator squads.

Another nugget from this game, Battle missions is really intended for fun, campaign style, not random play. I think it will truly shine when both opponents decide on a scenario ahead of time and plan accordingly. On a final note, taking pics of games is quite annoying in translation to a blog post. I much prefer HuronBH's video style. This might just convince me to buy a bigger memory card for my camera time will tell.

Updated 2nd Company

One of the goals I have for showing off my Ultramarines a company at a time is to also update the older models in the collection and possibly replace models that are dated or don't fit with my current conception of the army. To that end, I've gone and updated the 2nd Company landspeeders and dreadnoughts this month.

I started out by giving all of the skin tones on the pilots and crew of the landspeeders a wash of Ogryn Flesh. Then all of the yellows got a new base coat of P3 Sulfuric Yellow. This was followed up with a coat of Golden Yellow, a wash of Gryphonne Sepia, another coat of Golden Yellow and a highlight of P3 Cygnnus Yellow (though Sunburst Yellow would achieve the same effect.

Next I applied a wash of Devlan Mud to all of the reds and all of the metallics. In some cases this also meant adding metallics to some of the models to create a more uniform look to them - for instance all of the landspeeders now have metallic thrusters, instead of some metallic, and some black and metallic. A coat of Chainmail was then dry brushed over top of the metallic. A coat of Blood Red, followed by a highlight of Fiery Orange was then applied to the reds.

Finally, I applied a wash of Asurmen Blue to all of the Ultramarine Blue. In many cases, these landspeeders were from my earliest attempts at painting and lacked depth (shading and highlighting) whatsoever. After the wash, they got a coat of Ultramarines Blue, then a 50:50 mix of Ultramarines Blue and Ice Blue (I keep a paint pot of this pre-mixed, it helps when you know you will use it in more quantity than a one off mix would). Finally, a highlight of Ice Blue is applied to the model.

I also cleaned up the transfers that were starting to flake and painted over the carrier film that was showing on the model. Now a days, i don't really use transfers, so it's not something I worry about much, but they are great for a beginner. That's about it for this group. Next up will probably be something everyone is going to be blogging about - the new plastic Venerable Dreadnought. Mines being primed, so hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to show it off.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sons of Guilliman

This weekend I was able to finish a long standing project from my painting table; a tactical squad from Assault on Black Reach.version of the Sons chapter symbol. I definitely like the ease with which I can replicate a fairly decent table top To go along with this, here are some pics of the rest of the army.

The nascent army is mainly AoBR with a little help from the Chaos Terminator Lord and some other bitz. The head is from the Dark Angels infantry sprue, and the arms are the lightning claws from the Chaos Terminator Lord.

The terminators only have a cyclone missile launcher added on to give them a bit of a punch.

The dreadnought is straight out of the box with only the addition of a forgeworld brass etched number. One of things I like about this army is the blue versus white contrast, and how it enables me to practice painting white without making it monotonous.

Finally, the purpose of this post is to show off the newly finished tactical squad. My goal is to have at least 1000 points of the Sons at some point. Which probably means adding another tactical squad. In which case it will probably be las plas.