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May 31, 2007

Tactica: Rhino

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This article is not only about driving rhinos, but they seem to be the most common these days.

Call it “Offensive Driving”, “Rhino Precision Driving Teams” or just plain silly, there is an art to moving transports, especially empty ones, around the table. The most obvious is the mobile wall.

After a transport has unloaded it’s cargo, keeping the transport between the troopers and enemy fireteams blocks them from taking shooting damage during the next turn. In a similar manner, plugging holes in terrain is also a good use for these walls on wheels.

When moving more than one rhino across the board, it is a good idea to drive one backwards. Yes, I said backwards. Placing 2 rhinos end to end, butt to butt, keeps their 10 armor rear from being exposed. It may look a little strange, and get a raised eyebrow from your opponent, but it works. Note, however, it may be a good idea to restrict this kind of move to the tournament and away from friendly games.

Always be aware of your exit points and remember the 2” disembarking rule. Being able to assault a unit 14” away from your (non-moving) vehicle has paid off more than a few times.

In objective based games, the front of your Rhino can be one of your greatest weapons. Just last week I used tank shock to push a tac squad out of range of an objective. They don’t have to fail their moral test to be pushed back. Just make sure you are lined up correctly the turn before; you wouldn’t want to force one or 2 of his models closer by accident.

May 29, 2007

Legio Tempestor Logo Sheet

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Hi Everybody, I have had a fun weekend preparing for the arrival of my 2nd Reaver!!! I've been scouring the net and going waaaaaay back into my early 1990s stuff From Adeptus Titanicus to dig up background on a good looking Traitor Titan Legion (The Legio Tempestor; The Storm Lords). So without further ado here is the link to the PDF file for the Legio Tempestor Banner/Logo sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logos in Adobe Illustrator.

I would print out two copies on highgloss color printer paper, cuting out two pairs of banners for your titan, then glue them together to make matching double-sided banners.




Next print out a single copy on decal paper for the logos that are embossed directly onto the titan (the princeps rank badge and the titan-model badges for the lower legs.)

The sheet has instructions on where you hang them from your models but there will a bit of creativity involved in getting the top-carapace legion banners strung up. I'm planning on drilling in a nice medal rod bannerpole atop the missile launcher onthe reaver.



In any case, enjoy and I wish you titan fanatics the best in using this set for your forces. For the Warmaster!!!

-bigred

May 27, 2007

Odds and ends

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I'm right between big projects right now. I am working on aquiring one or two pretty big and cool minis to add to the pre-heresy collection (more on that later), but they haven't arrived yet, so that leaves little old Bigred a bit bored.

So without any excuses between me and some "spring cleaning" work, it was time to return to my Blood Angels and start getting them cleaned up and ready for the new White Dwarf codex.

The obvious place to start is with my 2nd ancient Rogue Trader assault squad. They never got moved over to jump-packs, and well... its time.

I hope to get this squad all cleaned up by the end of this holiday weekend so I can get back to painting up some cool stuff... if the cool stuff ever shows up in the damned mail!!!

-bigred

May 23, 2007

TACTICA: Death-Cult Assassins

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"The Blood of Martyrs is the Seed of the Imperium."
-- Holy scriptures of the Ecclesiarchy


It's amazing how a single new idea or viewpoint can change the game overnight. For me it happened when a veteran Witch Hunters player named Ouroboros discovered a new way to use Death-Cult Assassins. Sadly, the original post has been lost but his more recent and most excellent DCA Tactica is required reading for all WH players. Ouroboros was the first player to truly master the potential of Death-Cult Assassins. I only hope that I play long enough to help another player in the same way. Thanks again, Ouro! You rock!

DEATHCULT 101.
Death-Cult Assassins are, point-for-point, the most reliable and effective Assassins in the game. They are Fearless, Infiltrating, 2 Wound, WS5, I5, S4, 4-Power-Weapon-Attacks-on-the-charge maniacs with 5+ Invulnerable saves. For 40pts, they are one of the best bargains on the table.

If this article accomplishes nothing else, I hope to establish a collective noun for Death-Cult Assassins. A gaggle of geese, flock of flamingos, a pride of lions and ... a demise of Death-Cult Assassins. That's my favorite so far. If you have any suggestions, leave them as comments.

WHEN TO USE A DEATHCULT ASSASSIN.
A demise of Death-Cult Assassins can work in any Imperial army, but they are most effective in Witch Hunter and Daemonhunter armies where multiple Elite slots can be spent on additional Assassins. Combining DCAs with a Culexus or Eversor (or more DCAs!) multiplies the effectiveness of the unit dramatically. Every Imperial player should own three DCAs; every Inquisitorial player needs a minimum of six.

Like the Eversor, the best time to use Death-Cult Assassins is when you want your opponent more focused on his deployment zone than on yours. Used with a strong shooting army, Assassins in his backfield forces your opponent to keep his assault forces in his deployment zone to fend off the assassins or risk being rolled up by them. This gives your long-range weapons and extra round or two of shooting.

It's rare to see Death-Cult Assassins used as allies in Imperial armies, which is a shame. Since Imperial players can only take a single Elite ally, they tend to select a flashy Imperial Assassin over a less exciting Death-Cultist. I hope that this Tactica proves that DCAs are a viable alternative to the popular Callidus and Vindicare Assassins.

DEPLOYING YOUR DEATH-CULT ASSASSINS.
The single most important key to using DCAs effectively is deploying them properly. If you deploy them badly, they'll be completely wasted. In this section I'll discuss the three most common deployment scenarios.

1. Opponent has no close combat infiltrating units.

2. Infiltration is not allowed.

3. Opponent has scary infiltrating units.

Scenario #1: You are facing an opponent with no dangerous infiltrating units (he may have a unit of Space Marine Scouts or Eldar Rangers, but nothing that can assault your army). This is by far the most common circumstance and the best case scenario for your DCAs. In this situation, deploy your Assassins on a flank 12.0001" away from you opponent (preferably 6.0001" into area terrain). Place them all on the same location, but there's no need to put them closer than 3" to each other (this will discourage the odd barrage). Resist the urge to go after multiple targets, your Assassins are much more effective working as a team.

Note: Always deploy your Assassins on a flank and never in the middle of the board (even if there's a "perfect" spot). Flanking minimizes your opponent's shooting (fewer units will have range and LoS) and it makes it difficult for your opponent to counter-attack. If you have a fast army, then use the refused flank tactic. This is extremely difficult for a less mobile opponent to counter.

Scenario #2: In Alpha missions, the Infiltration special rule is not allowed. In my experience, the vast majority of games use Infiltrate but you don't want to get caught with your pants down. No worries; you have the best counter-attack unit in the game. And if there's an objective nearby, few units are better at keeping them clear of enemy models than DCAs.

In this instance, you want to deploy the DCAs near the location where you think your opponent is most likely to assault or in a location where the Death-Cultists can help you secure an objective.

Note: I typically put my DCAs behind a piece of terrain away from units likely to be targeted with indirect fire. Death-Cultists as counter-attack are fantastic if you are facing Deep Striking Terminators.

Scenario #3: If your opponent is using an all Infiltrating based army (Imperial Guard Light Infantry, Infiltrating Chaos Space Marines, Ork Kommandos, Kroot, etc.) or an army with large Infiltrating assault units, then you'll want use your Death-Cult Assassins to deny deployment locations to your opponent.

By spreading out three DCAs, you can grab three prime Infiltration locations. This forces your opponent to choose a less favorable location (sometimes you can force your opponent to deploy his Infiltrators deep into his own deployment zone). In this scenario, your Assassins won't have a huge impact on the game but you've dramatically slowed down an all-Infiltrating opponent.

Note: Allowing your a lone DCA to get assaulted can backfire by giving your opponent's unit a Massacre move toward your army. It's best to keep them out of assault and harrass shooting units (or even AV10 armor) than to let them get assaulted.

Dirty Trick #1: All-Infiltrating armies are seasonal, especially in clubs where Gamma-level missions are the rule. Here's how to discourage it: take a Culexus and 6 DCAs. Deploy your army widely to prevent enemy infiltration in your deployment zone. Then use your DCAs to narrow your opponent's infiltration choices (it's pretty easy to force him into a very small area). Then concentrate your Culexus and remaining DCAs on one location to break his units. Losing infiltration will most likely cost him the game because his badly deployed infiltrators will be too slow to engage your army. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

I used this tactic in conjunction with a Death-Watch Kill Team (Librarian with Fury of the Ancients). I managed to keep his entire army pinned for several turns. Then my DCAs hit en masse. They won combats and their reduced LD forced them to fail their morale check. So my DCAs swept them or escorted them off the board. I was able to destroy 2000pts of my opponent's army with less than 1000pts of my own models. After a few of these games, the all-Infiltrating armies became less common.

HOW TO USE DEATH-CULT ASSASSINS.
Using Death-Cult Assassins is a lot like using an Eversor, so take a few minutes to go over that Tactica. To quickly summarize, your targets are infantry units (stay away from things that you can't hurt or that can leave combat), determine your goal before you deploy them (have a plan), don't assault units protected by cover and don't get caught out in the open (the two fastest ways to lose your DCAs).

Unless you are playing a non-Ordos army, DON'T use Death-Cultists alone. Combine them with other Assassins or Infiltrating units. I prefer to use an Eversor but the Culexus is also effective, as is more DCAs. Nothing makes a veteran player sweat like staring down 9 DCAs.

Note: Remember that each DCA is a separate unit. That means you need to roll Difficult Terrain check, Massacre checks, etc. individually. This is easy to forget.

Death-Cult Assassins attract a lot of shooting. At first glance this seems to be bad (T3, 5+ save, can be targeted unlike an IC), but you can use it to your advantage. Since each DCA is independent, the most a unit can do is kill a single DCA. For 40 points, DCAs are pretty tough to kill (2 wounds and a 5+ Invulnerable), but if he's lucky and kills one all he nets is 40 points (probably a lot less than if he shot at one of your other units).

Note: Make sure to ask your opponent which DCA he is targeting. Once he realizes that he can only kill one (and that it has 2 wounds and a 5+ Invulnerable save) he will usually change targets.

If you do get a wounded Death-Cultist, make sure he isn't the closest target to your enemy (generally by making sure another DCA is closer). This forces him to take a Target Priority check to target the wounded Assassin. This is a great way to spread wounds around without losing combat effectiveness.

DEATH-CULTISTS IN ASSAULT.
After deploying your DCAs, the next most important key to success is mastering the assault. Just like with deployment, you need to know your goal before you assault. There are two ways to use DCAs in close combat: in "tie-up" mode or in "sweeping advance" mode.

If you want to "tie-up" the enemy unit without destroying it (e.g., you don't want to get shot on your opponent's turn), then put all of your DCAs close to each other and assault on an extreme edge. This will clear the killzone at I5 (often eliminating your opponent's attacks) and prevent a Sweeping Advance. Since you Pile-In first, this lets you continue to control the momentum in the following assault phase (allowing you to set up a Massacre move into another nearby unit). If he falls back, each DCA can consolidate in a different direction.

In "sweeping advance" mode, the goal is to make sure that your opponent keeps models in base contact with your DCAs. I do this by assaulting models that he doesn't want to remove (special weapons, icon bearers, ICs, etc.).

Let's take a demise of six Death-Cultists as our example (I'm still liking the collective noun). Each of the DCAs is a separate unit. So each of them rolls for difficult terrain separately (nice when you "really need a 6"), each of them assaults the closest enemy not engaged by a friendly model, etc. Moving the DCAs into Assault takes great care. If you aren't careful, you may prevent one or more of your Assassins from getting into base contact (which is bad). As a rule, you want to move the DCA furthest from the combat first. This maximizes the number of models you can engage and allows your DCAs to penetrate deeper into the enemy unit.

Note: I rarely put my DCAs in contact with an Independent Character when I charge (unless I think I can kill it at I4). This denies the IC attacks in the round you charge. No need to give those pesky ICs any advantage.

Once you have your DCAs in base contact, you have to remember that each one is a distinct unit. That means you have to use the Multiple Combats rule (BGB, p45) to determine each of the Assassins killzone. This gets pretty confusing when your six DCAs are assaulting multiple enemy units.

Resolve your attacks one Death-Cultist at a time. This may be a bit frustrating, but it's important. In this case, you are resolving 24 attacks, four at a time. Make sure your opponent removes casualties from the correct killzone. Don't worry if he removes one touching another DCA; all of your attacks happen at I5 so as long as there are enemies in the killzone, you will get all of your attacks.

In most cases, you are hitting on 3s and wounding on 4s. With 24 attacks, this will kill 8 MEqs on Inititiave 5! Nasty. If your opponent has any attacks back, he must put those attacks against a single Death-Cultist that is in base contact with his unit. So if you are assaulting a single unit, the most he can kill is one DCA. This almost guarantees that you win the close combat.

Note: There's a tactic in my Culexus Tactica called "Bag of Hammers". If you plan on taking DCAs, it's worth a read.

WINNING CLOSE COMBATS WITH YOUR DEATH-CULTISTS.
If you assault a single unit with multiple Death-Cult Assassins, you will win the close combat. Almost 100% of the time. So it's important to know what to do when you win.

If there are no enemy models in base contact with your DCAs, then your opponent will make a morale check (remember each DCA counts as two models for outnumbering). If he fails, he will fall back.

DIRTY TRICK #2: If you have multiple DCAs in a close combat and your enemy falls back, split off one of your DCAs to "escort" the unit off the board. Keep the DCA within 6" of the enemy and he can't regroup. Have your other DCAs go after the next unit. It's annoying, but effective.

If you won close combat and you still have DCAs in base contact with your enemy, you get to try a Sweeping Advance. Your opponent rolls a d6 and adds the unit's Initiative. You roll a d6 for each Death-Cult Assassin and add 5. If any of the results equal or exceed the enemy unit's result, the unit is run down. This is how DCAs win games.

Note: Remember that "if a unit takes enough wounding hits in one Initiative step to cause one or more wounds on every engaged model, the attacking player nominates one engaged model to make the first save" (Armor Saves, BGB p41). Since all of your attacks happen at Initiative 5, this can be useful against an enemy with Invulnerable saves.

CONCLUSION.
Death-Cult Assassins are a fantastic addition to any army. They are fun and reliable and very deadly. I hope this has given you a new look at an old staple. If you have any stories of your experiences playing with or against DCAs, please leave them as comments!

Next time: Daemonhosts...

May 22, 2007

Ork Gargant, Part 2

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A lot has happened in the last week on the gargant front. Most of the modeling has been completed and I've started into the painting.

I started with a green head on top of a weathered red body. Unfortunately, this made it look like a giant strawberry of doom...not exactly what I was going for. I went back and decided to cover large areas in checks. I'm not done putting on the checks, but you can see where it is headed.


Still on the plate is attaching the jaw, finishing out the engine on the rear and adding a balcony next to the belly gun where orks can sit and taunt from.
Bigred and I sat down with the VDR rules and came up with some stats for the gargant using the epic rules as a guideline.
Monstrous war machine, lumbering. 14/13/11 armor. 8 structure points, 6 shields. Eye of mork (zzap gun) Soopa Zzap gun (same stats as the plasma gun on the warhound) and 2 Soopa Big guns (short-range earthshaker with 3 shots). It will also be able to transport 10 orks. This puts the gargant in the 1500's points.
BigRed and I are planning a game sometime in the near future to let our titans face off. Something in the order of 2000 points + titans. We'll take lots of pictures of the event.

By the way, you can click on the image at the top of this post to get a larger version of the picture.



May 21, 2007

Blood Angels: 3rd Company and support elements

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With the impending Blood Angel frenzy coming our way from GW, this is as good a time as any to take a look at my very first army. The Blood Angels.


This army was started the same day I picked my copy of Rogue Trader and my first 40k purchase ever: the RTB-1 boxed set of 30 beakies for $29.99. The first 3 tactical squads of the 3rd Battle Company, have been fighting in the name of the Emperor since 1988.


Over the editions, my interest in the army has waxed and waned, but they are never forgotten. In time (early in 3rd edition) I completed my long-standing goal of finishing out the entire battle company. The terminators come from the original metal boxed set from the early 1990s, along with some dudes thrown in from spacehulk.


All I can say it thank God, I picked the "red marines" from the color plates in the Rogue Trader book to collect. I could have chosen Rainbow Warriors...whew!!!


The army breaks down as follows:



HQ:


Commander Dante

Cheif Librarian Mephiston

Sanguinary High Priest Corbulo


Commander (3) Foot, Jump pack, Terminator

Librarian (3) Foot, Jump pack, Terminator

Chaplain (2) Jump pack


Apothacaries (3) Foot, Jump pack, Bike

Techmarines (2) Foot w/Servo Arms


Third Battle Company:


Tactical Squad 1 (10, Missile Launcher, Flamer)

-Rhino


Tactical Squad 2 (10, Missile Launcher, Flamer)
-Rhino


Tactical Squad 3 (10, Missile Launcher, Melta)
-Rhino


Tactical Squad 4 (10, Missile Launcher, Melta)
-Rhino


Tactical Squad 5 (10, Heavy Bolter, Melta)
-Rhino


Tactical Squad 6 (10, Heavy Bolter, Melta)
-Rhino


Assault Squad 7 (10, Plasma Pistol x2, Jump Packs)

Assault Squad 8 (10, Plasma Pistol x2, Jump Packs)


Devastator Squad 9 (10, Plasma Cannon x4)


Devastator Squad 10 (10, Las-cannon x4)


Support Elements:


Death Company (17, Jump Packs)


Honor Guard (5, Plasma Pistol x3, Jump Packs)


Honor Guard (5, Flamer x2, Foot)


Terminator Squad 1 (5, Assault Cannon x2)


Terminator Squad 2 (5, Heavy Flamer, Cyclone)


Terminator Squad 3 (5, Terminator Assault Squad)


Scouts (6, Heavy Bolter)


Bike Squadron (4, Attack Bike x1)


Armoury:


Dreadnought (3)


Baal Predator (2, Heavy Bolter Sponsons)


Land Raider (1)


Land Speeder (2, Multi-melta)


Whirlwind (1)

May 19, 2007

Size Matters

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I finished up the basing on the Reaver. I put it on a 12" wood plaque and decorated it with a ruined urban theme using the plastic ruins from the old 3rd edition boxed set.

I thought everyone would enjoy one nice large "Family Photo" of the budding titan family with some other minis thrown in for scale.

And you all thought that dreadnoughts had large bases...

Enjoy everybody! That should wrap up the titans for a while, so its back to gameplay, battlereports, and TACTICAS for me for a bit.

May 18, 2007

Weekly Games: The Reaver takes to the field!

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I told you guys that I meant to get the Reaver into battle as soon as possible, and I have accomplished my goal. I got in 2 games last night at Battleforge Games, and they were both great.


The Games


Game 1:


Secure and Control; 2000pts, My Reaver and 3 Death Guard tactical squads on foot face Mkerr's new Blood Angel 45-man all jump pack army.


Turn 1: The Reaver punishes the advancing army slaying over a dozen.


Turn 2: Blood Angel forward squads have engaged my infantry cordon and are threatening to over-run them.


Turn 3: My infantry is completely overrun and Death Company are swarming at the titan's feet, (inside of the void shields), and are slowly ripping it to pieces. In vain, the Princeps destroys some of the more distant 2nd wave squads that are outside of it's 12" minimum distance.


Turn 4: Its all over but the crying... With all weapons destroyed, immobilized, the Death Company breach the Reaver's Plasma Reactor and destroy it setting off a 25" RADIUS explosion, which takes several Blood Angels with it.


Mkerr Blood Angel Victory!


Game 2:


4000 pts, My existing Army and Mkerrs are joined by Bulwark's Doctrine Marine Force and I am joined by the "Mighty Tim" and his glorious 2000k point mixed marine force.


Turn 1: Both armies advance and inflict about a dozen casualties apiece on each other. Mostly its our Devastator squads trying to kill each other.





Turn 2: The Reaver reserves in, and begins to inflict serious damage to one flank of advancing Blood Angels, in particular butchering the rending Death Company (I'm not letting them do their nasty thing again). Bulwark drop-pods 2 venerable dreadnoughts into our home quarter, and Tim swings into action to keep enemies off of the Reaver.


Turn 3: The Reaver again punishes a Blood Angel assault squad that is getting dangerously close, and the Death Guard infantry line hunkers down in cover to await the impending charge. Tim's assault squad sets up in front of the titan and behind the Death Guard to countercharge into the surviving Blood Angel assaulters.





Turn 4: Firing again and again, the Reaver and Tim's support Whirlwind fire have effectively broken the back of the assaulters and there are only a handful of Blood Angels alive on the field, led by the "Unkillable Commander Dante", and a particularly irritating Apothacary who is tending to him.


Turn 5: Mkerrs army is in ruined tatters, but the defensive effort to hold back the Sons of Sanguinius has put our forces on a defensive footing. Despite The Mighty Tim's and my best efforts, that dastardly Bulwark has survived the battle so far virtually intanct and is clustered out of LoS in every quarter. We make a valiant push to take territory, but it is to late.





Mkerr/Bulwark VICTORY!!! They lost by straight victory points, but they gained a +2000 point advantage due to 2 uncontested quarters. What an Awesome Game!!!!


Thoughts


Being a Princeps is HARD WORK. The primary hindering aspects of the Reaver are:

a) 12" minimum distance for all its weapons.

b) Lumbering Vehicle makes it very slow and telegraphs its intentions to the enemy a turn in advance.


Titan are absolutely lethal, but represent the strongest example of combined arms in the game. Used alone without infantry support, they are very vulverable to fast infantry who can get "under the guns", and blaze away. You MUST have elements of your army dedicated to the role of keeping that 12" zone around the titan clear of enemies.


Secondly, the titan is very slow and has to effectively plan out its moves well in advance. There is an art to knowing when to hold position, when to advance unexpectedly, and when to pivot and redirect your fire onto a new flank. I think I will need at least 4-6 more games to really get a feel for using the Reaver in games effectively.


Design Notes


We are taking an informal poll:


Which statline do you think most represents the massive top missile launcher on the Reaver. Our design goal is to make the weapon a large area infantry killer that is of medium strength value against vehicles. It should be a barrage weapon to provide the titan the ability to deal with "lurking" targets out of LoS.


Option A) Range G12-72" S:7 AP:3 Ordinance/2 Massive Blast (the 7" template), Barrage


Option B) Range G12-72" S:6 AP:4 Ordinance/4 Large Blast (normal ordinance template), Barrage


Option A gives 2 very large chaining templates which deviate and are lethal to all but the most armoured infantry.


Option B gives 4 chaining odinance template which tend to cover a larger area, but are less lethal to elite infantry.


We haven't decided which better reflects the design goal we have set, so please tell what you think.

May 15, 2007

Angels of Redemption Logo Sheet

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I have been noting for a while that GW does a great job of covering the major 1st Founding and select 2nd Founding chapters with their decal sheets. However, there are a number of great looking 2nd and later founding chapters who get a good amount of back-story and have great alternative uniform colors that never have had decals produced for them. In the interest of promoting diversity in the Marine community and encouraging players to branch out beyond the "big 4", I have begun producing logo sheets for some of these other chapters who I think look great and have no GW decal support.

With the recent release of Codex: Dark Angels, here are the Angels of Redemption. These guys are a 2nd Founding Dark Angel chapter. They all have really cool half green half off-white armour and look fantastic on the tabletop. They have wonderful moody Unforgiven fluff. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

The thing about decal paper is that it is clear by default (instead of white), so the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. Its is odd, but gets the job done.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

Please feel free to leave comments if there is a special Marine Chapter you would love to collect, but have no GW decal options, and I will see what I can do.

-bigred

May 14, 2007

Ork Gargant

1 comments

To most people, this looks like an ordinary stack of upside-down bowls. But to an ork Big mek, this is something very dangerous. With all the work BigRed has been doing on his reaver titan, I didn’t want the orks to feel left out, so I spent the weekend wandering the aisles of Wal-mart and Home Depot looking for misplaced gargant bits. I know what you are thinking, “Why start another big project, when you haven’t even finished the battle fortress yet?” Well, for no other reason than I felt inspired to do it.


I like the look of the old school armorcast gargant, the ones with the rounded bodies. The newer squared off ones just look like the mek wasn’t trying hard enough.
Originally, my bowls stacked up to over 16 inches. Much too tall for your average gargant. I did some work removing the lips of the bowls and brought it down to a respectable 11” tall. When I add the feet, it should be just over 12”. Perfect.


The first major hurdle was creating a convincing looking gun at the 40k scale. From the start I decided to keep the level of detail lower than I did for the battle fortress, else I never get it completed. PVC pipe is a great foundation for scaled up titans, but you have to make sure it doesn’t look like you just glued a bunch of plumbing pipes together.


Liberal use of plasticard, or in this case, For Sale signs, helped a lot. I got lucky and found a 2” pipe adaptor that had an octagonal end on it to make the tower turret with. A 2” pipe coupling also makes a great drum magazine.



Don’t ask me how that guardsman got in this picture.



For the armor plates, I used the thinnest garage sale signs I could find. This stuff was nearly as thin as a sheet of paper. It bent very well over the rounded form of the bowls. As you can see, I am still in the process of armoring up the gargant. At this stage it looks like a cross between a Dalek and Aunt Jemima. I hope to have the rest of the armor done in the next few days and then start on the soopa-zzap-gun arm.


May 11, 2007

Project: Reaver Titan - Part 2

4 comments


Well, it's been a week of burning the midnight oil. I spent a lot of research time figuring out what iconography a titan carries as well as designing and printing out my Legio Metalica Logo Sheet in both banner and decal form. But at long last... She Lives!!!!







Rather than blather on about the titan for a while, I'll let the results speak for themselves. I have included a few pics of detail insets to highlight some of the custom logos and how they are hung, as well as some "Great Crusade" shots of the Titan with some of Pre-Heresy Death Guard for scale comparisons.






If you have any questions, or comments please feel free to post them. Enjoy and I wish you luck on any of your own Titan projects in the future.


My next step is to start in on the diorama base... the 12" diameter base!!!

May 10, 2007

Welcome - Open Thread

4 comments
With all the new folks stopping by, I wanted to welcome everyone to the blog. Pull up a chair, check out our articles and enjoy. We have lots of cool articles coming in the future, and if you see anything that strikes you, feel free to leave comments or drop us an email. From all the Fly Lords once again, welcome!

May 9, 2007

Vehicles of the Adeptus Arbites

3 comments

Adeptus Arbites are essentially the Imperium’s police force. They are not so much a local police force, most planets and systems have their own, they are more interested in making sure the Imperium’s laws are followed. Closer to a FBI or secret police type setup. Anyways, For my list, I needed three types of vehicles; Chimeras, Rhinos and Exorcists.

My chimera is pretty standard. No modifications were needed. I went with the dark blue and silver/black paint scheme to match the rest of the army. There is a company that sells custom decals, so I bought a set with roman numeral sevens; the precinct number of my arbites.



For the rhino, I used one of the older Sister’s of battle rhinos as a starting point. I removed the emblem off the front with a dremel and used the standard Rhino doors, rather than the sister’s ones. To give it a little more bulk, I put some of the track guards form the new IG vehicle accessory sprue on the front. I also put a new storm bolter on the top.


The Sister’s pipe-organ style exorcist looked completely wrong for my arbites. I wanted something bulky and armored to represent the long range tank of the arbites. I started with a chimera body. Instead of the lasguns, I placed a strip of plastic behind the holes and painted it a dark grey. It was an easy fix and doesn’t look too bad.


For the exorcist missile launcher I ordered the new whirlwind launcher sprue from GW. I took the missile pods and removed the center support piece that seperated them. I then rotated the pods 90 degrees and glued them together. Some sanding of the railings was required to get them to fit well. I then glued the pods to a round base and glued a small rod vertical to the bottom of the base. The rod goes in the hole on the top of the chimer and the round base fits perfectly over the old gun turret spot.

As you can see from the pics, I havn’t finished painting all of them. I hope to have them done sometime in the next 3 years.







INTERVIEW: Andy Hoare

2 comments
The kind people at Sub Rosa have gratiously allowed us to publish their exclusive (and fantastic!) interview with Andy Hoare. Many thanks to our friend Slaw and everyone at Sub Rosa!

Sub Rosa: From the Black Library Author Index we know you came to work for Games Workshop in 2001. Looking back at these six years - don't you miss those mysterious "proper jobs" sometimes? How did work for GW meet your previous expectations?

Andy: I definitely prefer games design to pensions administration! In terms of expectations, there’s certainly a big divide between what we do and what people think we do – it’s actually a lot of hard work ;-)

SR: Is Games Workshop run by professionals or hobbyists? Or are they just professional hobbyists/ hobby professionals? ;)

Andy: Both – there are hobbyists at every level. Some start out that way, others come in from elsewhere and develop a love for the hobby once here. You can be a good accountant and a good hobbyist remember, as many people with jobs outside the industry will know.

SR: What part of your work for GW do you like the most?

Andy: There’s nothing like starting work on a new army list, but talking to people about a brand new book is always extremely cool.

SR: You're an author or co-author of many games supplements and articles, too numerous to mention them all here (our Top Three: Kroot Mercenaries List, Codex: Witch Hunters, Cities of Death, in no particular order). Which one would you choose as your favourite one, or the one you are most proud of - and why?

Andy: Well, the Kroot Mercs do hold a special place in my heart, as they were the very first project I was given on starting work here. It was a case of “here’s the new Tau codex, they have these friends called Kroot, make a variant list for them!”

SR: The latest WH40k release is Codex: Dark Angels, with an army list built in different way compared to generic Space Marines list and even to Black Templars. What was the idea behind the final version of the DA list?

Andy: I think by now Jervis has explained his reasoning for the layout of the list, but I can certainly reiterate it. The list structure is an evolution, an attempt to rationalise the list within the bigger picture of the game as a whole. In the case of the Dark Angels it’s fairly strict, as they are a chapter with very specific background. The overall plan is to rationalise all the lists, so each sits comfortably within the system.

SR: What is the chance that next WH40k marines codices (BA, SW, rumoured SM Redux) will follow the pattern (e.g. simplifying wargear, Combat Squad rule etc.) of C:Dark Angels? Or was it only a "DA special" design?

Andy: I’m sure it will, though perhaps not quite so strictly as the list would have to cover all ‘codex’ chapters.

SR: There's quite a large discussion over many hobby message boards after Jervis Johnson's seminars on this year's Adepticon. According to what JJ said, the GW philosophy of supporting three main games changes significantly. What worries the most players, is the possible lack of support for variant armies without their own army book or codex. Let's take Kroot Mercenaries as an example - they have full list, now available as pdf from GW site. But as such they would not get an update, unless they get their own codex, which is unlikely. Do you guys at the Studio have any idea how to deal with these flavour-adding lists? We must admit that it would be a great loss for both WH40k and WFB to allow playing only "vanilla" lists.

Andy: We have a solid plan for them, which you’ll hear about over the next few months ;-)

SR: How do you see the problem of balancing army lists? Is that some kind of Holy Grail for games developers? What does "balanced army list" mean to you?

Andy: It all depends on what you want out of a game, and as every gamer wants something different you’ll never achieve something everyone considers balanced. For some, the game is a simulation, to others it’s all about gameplay. Some prefer the narrative element and others just like to have fun with crazy army builds. Somewhere amongst all that, we have to find a point we consider balanced. To be honest, the fewer variables, the more balanced the system, but you have to be careful not to strip out all the fun!

SR: What's the story behind developing a codex/army book? Is it more like collective brainstorm or lone wolf's work? How do Studio members are assigned to particular tasks?

Andy: It’s a complex process, and it starts with long-term strategy. Contrary to popular belief, the developers don’t decide what’s being released next – it’s decided according to the needs of the business, the systems and the resources available. We generally hear that a book is coming up about two years out, and take part in the early stages of the longest part of the process, which is the planning of the plastics. The actual writing time is around three months, with a whole load of playtesting, re-writing, editing and text going up and down the chain and being seen by a lot of people whose opinions really count. We spend most of our time planning, whether its taking part in project, art, graphics, layout, miniatures meetings and a whole lot more.

SR: How do you calculate point costs? Is there any mathematical formula?

Andy: There are too many variables in a system as open and potentially complex as 40k for any formula to stand up to much scrutiny. Far better is to assign the value that feels right and playtest it in as many different situations against as many different armies as possible, and to keep refining it that way.

SR: What is your opinion on tournament style of play and so called "comp scores"?

Andy: It’s not the style of play I personally favour, but it’s a very important part of the hobby. If the organisers feel they need comp scores to cater to the particular tastes of their players, then that’s their prerogative.

SR: Tom Kirby, chairman of GW wrote in preamble to 2006 Financial Results: "(...) out there in the world is the gene that makes certain people (usually male) want to own hundreds of miniatures. We simply fill that need - it's not new (we didn't create it). What we do is make wonderful miniatures in a timeless and culturally independent way and sell them at a profit. Everything else we make and do is geared around that end. The games and stories provide the context for the miniatures (...)." Does it mean that games and background developing is always one step behind the miniatures, so that you are given a bunch of new models and are told: "Write some rules and fluff for them"?

Andy: Don’t confuse the business model with the practicalities of development. In the big picture, the miniatures are the most important element, but when it comes to actually producing a codex and associated range, the designers, artists and writers all work together.

SR: Writing new background: is it all from your head or do you search for inspirations? Where may these come from?

Andy: We tend to zero in on an archetype, and then build it up from there. The inspiration can come from anywhere, and that’s one of the strengths of 40k and Warhammer – different factions can take inspiration from all over the place, and the setting is broad enough to accommodate it, meaning everyone can find something they identify with.

SR: The latest rumours about upcoming Blood Angels WD release say that "the new fluff will emphasize the BA's progressing descent into madness and the degenerative effects of their gene flaw" (source: Warseer rumour thread). How are changes and new entries into the Dark Millenium background decided?

Andy: I wouldn’t believe everything you read on the ‘net ;-) As far as changes go, anything that gets changed has to come from, or be approved by, our head IP guy, who has been doing what he does since the beginning, so its never done lightly (if at all).

SR: In our opinion, background books like Imperial Armour vol. III: Taros Campaign or Tactica Imperialis present that in-depth look so much-desired
especially by many hobby veterans. Is it hard to put such a level of details into so dense background? Can we expect more releases like this?

Andy: One of the things that Forge World and Black Library do is to fill-out the area the Studio can’t, simply because they’re too niche. To answer your question on whether it’s hard to write, in some ways it’s easier, as you’re really concentrating on something you feel inspired by. In many ways writing the big picture stuff is harder, as you have to explain such a lot.

SR: During the last few years we could see some radical changes in the White Dwarf contents. Now it seems to be designed more for beginners and therefore less for experienced hobbyists. This makes veterans feel a little bit unsupported. What's the GW's look on this?

Andy: White Dwarf had to go back to basics, but is broadening out a bit now the core mission is sorted. Don’t forget though that most people in the hobby right now have been playing for less than a year or two, so we need to make sure they have a good grounding so they too can become veterans. Expansions such as Cities of Death and models such as the Vostroyans have been created especially with the veterans in mind, and there’s plenty more of the same planned.

SR: Summer Campaigns: there's been quite a few since Armageddon, with colossal 2003 Eye of Terror and its WFB counterpart, 2004 Storm of Chaos as a milestones. I must say last year's Fall of Medusa V can be viewed as slightly disappointing, mainly due to foreseeable ending, smaller space for player's activity and lack of real background impact, compared to EoT (although it brought many great releases like Vostroyans, Eldar Rangers, Ork Kommandos, Cities of Death buildings and the CoD book itself). What is the planned direction for developing campaigns (especially fluffwise)?

Andy: The ending was indeed predictable – we said from the beginning the world would die! The question was how it would happen and who would earn glory along the way. We’re actually trying to get ourselves into a position where we can run worldwide campaigns every year without having to explain in background terms why every army is fighting in the same place at the same time. The worldwide campaigns really stretch the background, unless we limit them to just a few races (and exclude half the players) so we’d rather not do that. So, to answer your question, we’re refining the format, making it better each time, but the emphasis won’t be on moving the background forward.

SR: Privateer Press, Rackham, Moongoose Publishing - world of tabletop games is not only Games Workshop anymore. How carefully do you watch their actions, do you take a closer look at their own solutions?

Andy: As Games Workshop has grown, the hobby as a whole has grown, so everyone has a larger chunk of the pie. I’d be working for the wrong company if I said I didn’t think our stuff was the best, but I’m really happy to see other companies do their own thing and appealing to the people that want that thing. In terms of keeping an eye on them, of course we look, we work in the same industry and know some of the people involved, but we still have to have the courage of our convictions and confidence in what we do.

SR: Do you still enjoy gaming in your spare time, after six years of working games for life?

Andy: I don’t seem to get as much time as I’d like, but yes, and my Imperial Guard army has recently passed 8000 points!

SR: What are your favourite armies in WH40k and WFB? Do you also play LOTR?

Andy: In 40k I’m focussed on Imperial Guard, but also love the Sisters of Battle, the Iron Warriors and several others. In Warhammer I favour Lizardmen and Beasts of Chaos, though I’ve been tempted by both Ogre Kingdoms and Wood Elves. I play LotR, but don’t have my own force, though I really like the Warg Riders…

SR: Could you pick your most favourite miniature, the one for the no-man's island? My opinion on converted Kroot Tracker riding Cold One you know already...

Andy: That’s asking a lot! Probably Saint Celestine, as Jes did an amazing job on the miniature, which came from a John Blanch concept, and it was the first Special Character I wrote the background and rules for.

SR: Some personal questions, if you don't mind: what kind of music do you listen to? Your favourite - if any - book, car, sport team, alcohol? What place on Earth would you call yours? Are you going to visit Poland during 2012 European Football Championship? We invite you wholeheartedly :)

Andy: Music is Johnny Cash, as well as psychobilly and horror punk bands like The Meteors, Psycho Charger, Zombina and the Sketetones, the Horrorpops etc, but also some industrial stuff like KMFDM. Books, I read a lot of military history but also Robery E Howard, Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin and Black Library novels of course. Car – I’d love one of the Chrysler ZZ Top style ones, but can’t afford it! Alcohol is Tequila. Place: Brighton beach in summer as the sun comes up :-) Sport, I don’t really follow any one sport, but thanks for the invite!

SR: What do you think about, looking at the Daemonette Models? ;)

Andy: How on earth did Juan sculpt the chains so finely ;-)

SR: Lastly, onward to questions you surely can't answer, but we have no choice but to ask or else we'll be eaten alive by our readers: How many 40k codices can we see released this year? Are they Orkses and Chaos? Is there a plan to include Lost and the Damned list into Codex: Chaos? Codex for each Chaos God and Undivided as the fifth: true or false? One Assault Cannon for Termies squad: true for every future SM release? What about Codex: Apocalypse? Will we really see plastic Baneblade and Stompa? Will there be stand-alone Codex: Alien Hunters or one monstrous Codex: Inquisition?

Andy: All will become clear in the fullness of time :)

SR: Thanks for your time and effort! We are very happy that you've agreed to talk to us. We hope to repeat it someday. Best wishes from all Sub Rosa staff!

Andy: Many thanks to you too!


For the complete interview check out the article on Sub Rosa (a fantastic Polish 40K site).

May 8, 2007

ARMY LIST: Emperor's Children

4 comments

Hello everyone, I want to share the first of many upcoming armylists I use. This is my Emperor's Children list at 2000pts.

Army List

HQ
Daemon Prince
-- Dark Blade, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Steed of Slaanesh,
-- Combat Drugs, Personal Icon, Daemonic Strength, Daemonic Aura;
182 Pts

Possessed
-- Daemonic Talons, Icon,
-- Aspiring Champion with Doom Siren, Daemonic Mutation, and 2 Chaos Hounds,
-- Rhino (Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers, Dedicated to Slaanesh);
314pts

TROOPS
6 Noise Marines
-- 4 Sonic Blasters, Blast Master, Icon, Infiltrate,
-- Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Strength, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Power Weapon;
178pts

6 Noise Marines
-- 4 Sonic Blasters, Blast Master, Icon, Infiltrate,
-- Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Strength, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Power Weapon;
178pts

6 Noise Marines
-- 5 Sonic Blasters, Icon, Infiltrate,
-- Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Strength, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Power Weapon;
173pts

6 Noise Marines
-- 5 Sonic Blasters, Icon, Infiltrate,
-- Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Strength, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Power Weapon;
173pts

6 Daemonettes;
90pts

6 Daemonettes;
90pts

HEAVY SUPPORT
Defiler
-- Battle Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Reaper Autocannon,
-- Indirect Fire, Mutated Hull;
205pts

Defiler
-- Battle Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Reaper Autocannon,
-- Indirect Fire, Mutated Hull;
205pts

6 Noise Marine Havocs
-- 4 Blast Masters, 1 Bolter, Icon, Tank Hunters, Aspiring Champion;
212pts


Summary
We are talking about the Emperor's Children here so fundamentally, the list shoots. The Noise Marines, Havocs, and the Defilers, set up a gunline to deal quickly with enemy threats (with direct or barrage fire) while the Daemon Prince and the Possessed advance to take distant objectives supported by the Deamonettes.

If mid-field objectives are needed, the Noise Marine and Havoc squads are fully capable of advancing while laying forth torrents of sonic weapon firepower.

The squad sizes are small (6), so there is an aspect if brittleness to the army. The Mark of Slaneesh makes the squads fearless however, so even crippled squads will lay down fire until they are completely wiped.

In assault situations, the Noise Marines are no slouches as they are equiped with the MoS and frag grenades, meaning they generally go FIRST against defenders in cover even if charging. The power weapons on the ACs really come in handy there.

I hope you enjoyed it.

May 7, 2007

Legio Metalica Logo Sheet

2 comments



Hi Everybody, I have had a busy weekend with my Reaver scouring the net and going waaaaaay back into my early 1990s stuff From Adeptus Titanicus to dig up background on my Titan Legion (The Legio Metalica). So without further ado here is the link to the PDF file for the Legio Metalica Banner/Logo sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logos in Adobe Illustrator.

I would print out two copies on highgloss color printer paper, cuting out two pairs of banners for your titan, then glue them together to make matching double-sided banners.


Next print out a single copy on decal paper for the logos that are embossed directly onto the titan (the princeps rank badge and the titan-model badges for the lower legs.)

The sheet has instructions on where you hang them from your models but there will a bit of creativity involved in getting the top-carapace legion banners strung up. I'm planning on drilling in a nice medal rod bannerpole atop the missile launcher onthe reaver.


In any case, enjoy and I wish you titan fanatics the best in using this set for your forces. There will be further Titan Legions (including traitors) in the future.

-bigred

May 4, 2007

Project: Reaver Titan

0 comments

Did someone call for backup???

For those with sharp eyes, you will have noticed that waaaaaay back when I first started the blog, I put up a pic with every mini I own. Well in the back of that photo was my ancient Reaver Titan.

Did I mention I LOVE titans? Being an old time Adeptus Titanicus/Epic player they always have a place in my heart. I picked up this one from Armorcast over a decade ago, rushed it through a slapdash basecoat and pretty much forgot about it for years (although the "lost Fly Lord" Mos has taken her for a spin at Adepticon 2 years running).

No more...

With Forgeworld working on their Reaver, that means formal rules are on the way, and I have a funny feeling that with Apocalypse coming this year, I will have an easier time getting her in the field.

Just as with the Eldar Revenant, I will be blogging the upgrading, basing, repainting and heraldric upgrades I give to the Reaver.

First things First. Some Basics:

Titan Class: Imperial Reaver
Titanica Legio: Legio Metalica (The Iron Skulls)
Name: Majestic
Commander: Princeps Senioris Ichabod Kheirr

I think thats a good start.

-Bigred

May 3, 2007

MISSION: Adapt or Perish

0 comments
As part of a series of new battle reports (keep your eye on the blog!), we're creating a cache of new missions for veteran players. The first of these missions is Adapt or Perish; download it here:

Adapt or Perish (5MB PDF, requires Adobe Acrobat)

This mission is designed to be quick to learn, but difficult to master. The Sudden Death objective is a very subtle element that allows you to play the game differently with different armies. We find this one of the most re-playable missions in 40K.

We'll be updating the blog with more and we'd love your feedback so we can improve the missions we design. If you have any questions or if anything is unclear, please comment.

Iron Hands Logo Sheet

7 comments
I have been noting for a while that GW does a great job of covering the major 1st Founding and select 2nd Founding chapters with their decal sheets. However, there are a number of great looking 2nd and later founding chapters who get a good amount of back-story and have great alternative uniform colors that never have had decals produced for them. In the interest of promoting diversity in the Marine community and encouraging players to branch out beyond the "big 4", I have begun producing logo sheets for some of these other chapters who I think look great and have no GW decal support.

After going over the GW marine decal sheet, I realized the Iron Hands are missing. So here they are along with 2 clan symbols! These lovers of the Machine-God have wonderful background fluff. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

These decals give you a bit of choice. I put a thick black edge around the logos and clan symbols, so you can use EITHER the clear or white decal paper for these.

CLEAR PAPER: If you use the clear decals, the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. It is odd, but gets the job done.

WHITE PAPER: If you use the white paper, you will have to cut the decals out carefully with the black border being the edge of the decal. Apply them to whatever surface you wish (it can be a dark surface). You may need some minor touch-up painting around the black edge to make sure the transition is smooth.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

Please feel free to leave comments if there is a special Marine Chapter you would love to collect, but have no GW decal options, and I will see what I can do.

-bigred

May 1, 2007

Ork Battlefortress, Part 7

2 comments
The modeling phase is just about complete. It is still missing some glyphs on the sides as well as the driver and the rokket crews, but the fortress is ready to roll. I was surprised at how much better it looks with just a basecoat on. Several people over at the-waaagh.com mistook it for the forgeworld model.

The refitted zzap guns have had their turrets attached with magnets so they can be rotated and swapped out with lobbas and kannons. There is still some debate on the end of the barrels. It may still look a little thin. I’ll paint them up and see how they look before any decision is made.
I counted somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 rivets on the beast. I am glad that step is over. I’ve had to go over them several times, rubbing them with my fingers, to make sure they were all attached well. Same thing with the knobs on the roller.

The cab still looks a little plain. I’m going to put some glyphs on either side of it, but I’m still not sure that will be enough. I could go back and rivet the top section more, but that may be overdoing that theme. The other thought I had was to put the rokket launchas on the sides of the cab and make the observation deck a true observation deck. Put an ork or two up there looking through binoculars.

I’ve said all along that I have been scared to paint this thing. I’m not sure my skills can do it justice. This is a mockup of my first thought of what the painting should be. Last week I painted the red and started on the check-work on the side armor. The dark red worked very well. Over the dark basecoat (it is actually much darker than it looks in these pictures) the red has the perfect tone I was looking for. The checks, on the other hand, don’t.

The small check-work along the rivet beams on the side armor caused most of the problem. The small pattern disrupted the rivets and totally hid them. So all that work I put into them cannot be seem. On top of that, because the rivets stick out, it breaks up the clean lines of the checks and makes them look messy. I’m afraid I’m going to have to strip the paint off that side of the battlefortress and start over.

I think I’ll leave the larger checks along the top, they look well, but replace all the thinner strips with a simple metal coat. It will be a much less intricate look, but it will bring out the rivets and make the whole project look more robust.

Any thoughts for improving the cab are welcome. Right now I’m leaning towards doing the very top section of the cab in large checks, mini cooper style. We’ll see how that works out.

I’ll post again once some good painting progress is made.


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