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June 30, 2007

Open Thread June 30th-07


Hi everybody! Here is an open thread for all of you you to have fun with.

First a little official news: Mkerr has WON Warseer's Best Sci-Fi Tactician of the year! A huge round of thanks goes out to all of our readers who pushed us into the winners circle. We could not have done it without you. THANK YOU!

Now to direct today's thread a bit, I've noticed that we have had several thousand downloads of the Logo Sheets over the months, so BoLSs would love to see what all you intrepid modellers have been up to. In the weeks ahead, we plan on highlighting certain folks who have done outstanding work with the Logo Sheets, so if you have something you want to show off to all of us, throw up some links so we can all gawk at your uber coolness! Logo sheets stuff, titans, whatever you are working on at the moment, lets see it...

June 29, 2007

Challenge League Special Character Rules (Part 4)


Here are the Orks!

Note: The rule requiring an Ork army to include a Warboss is suspended for the League. Ork armies may select a Warboss, Painboss, Weirdboy or Big Mek as their General. If a Painboss, Weirdboy or Big Mek is selected as the Ork army's General, it may not include a Warboss.



Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:

  • +1 WS
  • +1 BS
  • +1 A
AND choice of ONE from this list:

  • Big Boss: The Warboss is the largest of his kind. He gains +1 to his Strength and Toughness characteristics; 30 points.
  • Goin' Kommando: This sneaky Warboss has the Infiltrate and Slippery special rules. He must accompany a mob of Kommandos and may not wear mega armor; 15 points.
  • Looted: This Warboss has looted a Power Weapon as a troply of one of his many kills; 15 points.
  • Kunnin': One of the most kunnin’ of his kind, the Warboss can reveal his plans once set-up is complete but before first turn is determined. The kunnin' Warboss may re-deploy D3 of his Ork units; 20 points.
  • Storm Boss: The Warboss may be equipped with the Jump Pack. He must accompany a Stromboyz Mob; 20 points.
  • Sure Footed: The Warboss (and any unit he joins) has the Slippery special rule and may not be Entangled; 10 points.
Big Mek

Choice of ONE from this list +10 points:
  • +1 WS
  • +1 BS
  • +1 T
  • +1 W
  • +1 Ld
  • 5+ Invulnerable Save

Choice of TWO from this list:

  • Bolt-on Big Fixxa: The Big Mek in Mega-Armor may also be equipped with a Bolt-on Big Fixxa. This contraption counts as a Techmarine Servo Harness (two servo arms, plasma cutter, and flamer). He may fire both harness mounted weapons or one harness-mounted weapon and one of his personal weapons. If equipped with Mekboy's Tools, the Big Mek may re-roll the result a repair attempt. The Big Mek using a Bolt-on Big Fixer may not be equipped with a Kustom Force Field; 30 points.
  • Red Paint Job: If the Big Mek's armor is painted red he can Fleet in the Shooting phase instead of shooting. May not be used if equipped with Mega-Armor; 15 points.
  • Spikes and Blades: Enemy units that attack the Big Mek in close combat and miss potentially wound themselves on the Big Mek's armor. Each failed hit in close combat causes a single S3 hit to the attacking unit. Wounds caused by Spikes and Blades do not count for combat resolution; 15 points.
  • Teleporta: The Big Mek has access to a “state of the Ork” teleporta. The Ork player may choose D3 units to be held in Reserve and enter play by Deep Strike using the Deep Strike scenario special rules even in missions which do not normally allow Deep Strike or Reserves; 25 points.

Choice of ONE from this list +10 points:

  • +1 WS
  • +1 BS
  • +1 W
  • +1 Ld
  • 5+ Invulnerable Save

AND choice of ONE from this list:

  • ‘Urty Wurks: The Painboss has access to Combat Drugs (Chaos Codex, Book of Slaneesh); 25 points.
  • 'Uge Bonesaw: The 'Uge Bonesaw is a two-handed Power Weapon. Roll D6 at the start of each Assault phase the Painboss is in combat. On a roll of 1 the Painboss suffers a wound (saves taken as normal) and may not attack as he fights to control the 'Uge Bonesaw. Any other result is the number of additional attacks available to the Painboss; 30 points.
  • Joos Injectors: A Painboss may improve his Cybork bodyguard with implanted Joos injectors. When charging into close combat, the unit rolls 2D6" to determine their assault range. The distance is not reduced by Difficult Terrain. If the result is an 11 or 12, a model is removed as a casualty as the Joos wreaks havoc on his already ravaged body; 20 points.
  • Indomitable Will: Due to years of experimenting on himself, the Painboss the Feel No Pain universal rule. He also has lost the ability to taste Bananas; 20 points.

For this character, use the stat line and base cost of a Painboss (except Ld8). The Weirdboy is an Independent Character and may be accompanied by Cybork Bodyguard (as per the Painboss). A Weirdboy may NOT take items from the Ork armory.

Note: A Weirdboy does not suffer Perils of the Warp, but instead suffers a Strength D6 hit if he rolls a 2 or 12 on his Psychic test as the barely contained energies build up to cause an 'Eadbang. Like all psychic powers, only one Weirdboy psychic power may be used per game turn.

Choice of TWO from this list +10 points:

  • +1 WS
  • +1 T
  • +1 W
  • +1 Ld
  • 5+ Invulnerable Save

Choice of TWO powers from this list:

  • Blazin' Fist of Gork: This psychic power used instead of shooting. If successful, designate a target unit and place the flamer template so that it is at least partially over as many unit members as possible. The whole template must be in range and line of sight. Roll to hit once, using the Weirdboy's normal BS. If you hit, then all models partially or wholly under the template are hit. If you miss, they are each hit on a roll of 4+. The Blazin' Fist of Gork has the following profile: Range 24" Strength 6 AP 4 Assault 1/Template; 25 points.
  • Da Waaagh: This power may be used at the beginning of either player’s Assault phase. If the Psychic test is passed all Ork mobz with a model within 12" count as Initiative 4 but may not Waaagh. This effect lasts until the beginning of the next player’s turn; 25 points.
  • Mork Wants Ya!: Nominate one Ork mob within 12" of the Weirdboy; this mob may move D6" in the Shooting Phase instead of shooting; 25 points.
  • Psychic Vomit: This power can be used in the Weirdboy's Shooting phase instead of firing a weapon. As normal, the Weirdboy must pass a Psychic test in order to use the power. It has the following profile: Strength 2D6 AP D6 Template/Assault 1. Note that the Strength of the attack is determined by rolling 2D6 and the AP value is determined by rolling a D6. Roll once for the Strength and AP of the attack each time you shoot; don't roll separately for each target you hit. If the Strength is 11 or 12, then the attack has no effect; 15 points.
  • Pulsa: The Pulsa psychic power is used in the Weirdboy’s Assault phase, at an effective Initiative of 1. If the Psychic test is passed, place the Ordnance template anywhere in contact with the Weirdboy. All models, friend or foe, touched by the template take a Strength 5 hit with armor saves take as normal. Wounds caused by the Pulsa do not count toward the combat result; 15 points.
  • Roar of Mork: This psychic power is used at the beginning of the Weirdboy's Movement phase. If successful, all enemies with LoS to the Weirdboy make a successful Target Priority test to target an Ork unit other than the Weirdboy's unit. If the Target Priority test fails, the unit must shoot at the Weirdboy's unit instead of their intended target (even if this would be out of range). The Weirdboy may only use this power if joined to an Ork unit. This effect lasts until the beginning of the Weirdboy's next turn; 25 points.

As always, we'd love your feedback on our rules for the Greenskins!

Next Time: Necrons and Tau...

Legio Astraman Logo sheet


Hi Everybody, I have had a fun week with my newly arrived copy of Adeptus Titanicus from way back in 1988! I've been going over many of the Titan legions from the box and picking another good looking scheme for the Loyalists. I settled on the Legio Astraman (The Morning Stars), with their lively green carapace color with yellow/gold trim and white and blue detail piping. So without further ado here is the link to the PDF file for the Legio Astraman 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 a 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 would plan on drilling in a nice medal rod bannerpole atop the missile launcher on a 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.


June 28, 2007

NEWS: Baneblade sighting!


After years of denial, GW has released this image for the upcoming Chicage Games day. It looks like the Plastic Baneblade is on the way folks. Good thing Mkerr is going and he's taking his camera...

June 27, 2007

Challenge League Special Character Rules (Part 3)

We got a couple of emails asking that I skip ahead to the Chaos rules, so I'll put off posting Hero Dreadnoughts until later (perhaps I'll combine them with the "named" Daemon rules...). Without further delay, here are the Chaos Space Marine rules.


Lord, Sorcerer Lord or Daemon Prince

Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:
  • +1 WS
    +1 I

AND choice of ONE from this list:

  • Blessed by Khorne: On a player turn in which he charges, the Khornate Chaos Lord and all members of any squad of Khorne Berzerkers he has joined are filled with rage and may re-roll failed rolls to wound; 25 points.
  • Blessed by Nurgle: The Chaos Lord of Nurgle is swarmed with a blessed plague of insects. The Nurgle Lord and all members of Plague Marine squad he has joined always counts as being in cover when charged and gains a 5+ cover save against shooting; 25 points.
  • Blessed by Slaanesh: The Chaos Lord of Slaanesh has mastered the perfect strike. A model that does not pass a saving throw when wounded by the Chaos Lord suffers two wounds instead of one; 10 points.
  • Blessed by Tzeentch: The Chaos Lord of Tzeentch can use this psychic power at the start of the movement phase instead of moving normally. The Lord and a single squad of Chaos Space Marines (or Terminators) with the Rubic Sign within 6" of him are removed from the tabletop and then immediately placed anywhereon the tabletop per the Deep Strike rules. This power may be used even if enemy models are in base contact with any of the models affected (the enemy models are left behind); 25 points.
  • Daemon Master: The Chaos Lord automatically pass tests to control daemon weapons when an enemy is wounded; 10 points.
  • Fifth Column: Aided by a pervasive cult of supporters, the Chaos Lord can slow the advance of his enemies using subterfuge and sabotage. Once per turn the Chaos Lord can force his opponent to re-roll one Reserves roll (successful or not); 20 points.
  • Gifted by the Gods: The Chaos Lord may spend an extra 50 points on Daemonic Gifts, but may only spend 100 points on wargear from the Armory; 10 points.
  • Scholar of War: May re-roll the die roll to determine who goes first; 20 points.
  • Vanquisher of Rivals: The Chaos Lord with a Mark of Undivided Chaos has conquered many of his rivals and taken trophies from them. The Chaos Lord may be equipped with ONE item chosen from the armory of ANY Chaos power, for the cost of the item plus 10 points.

As always, we'd love comments (including anything we missed).

Next Time: Orks!

Ork Family Photo

I was reorganizing my army storage and decided to get a family photo of all my orks while I had them out. It comes to about 350 models and 8400 points.
It has a core of 55 slugga boys, with 10 shoota boys, 10 flash gits, 40 ‘Ard boys, 10 stormboys, 10 bikes, 40+ gretchen , 6 trukks, 7 buggies, 3 battlewagons, 1 looted basilisk, 6 killa kans, 1 dread, 9 big guns with crew, 16 kommandos, 10 tank bustas, 9 cyborks, 14 feral ork huntas, 10 feral ork wildboys, 5 boar boays with a super cyboar warboss, 11 big shootas, 7 rokkits, 11 burnas, a fighta bomba, a old armorcast gobsmasha, a battlefortress, a squiggoth, the gargant and lots and lots of nobs, mech boys, grot oilers, slavers, docs and warbosses. Once I add in wargear and some of the unpainted models, it should go well beyond 9000 points. The orks will be ready for Apocalypse!

June 26, 2007

Challenge League Special Character Rules (Part 2)


This section covers the special rules for Black Templars, Blood Angels, Dark Angels and Space Wolves. The goal with these chapters was try to capture the flavor of the army (as well as some of the abilities granted to them by their special characters). We also jumped at the chance to use the Watcher in the Dark figure for Azrael.


Commander, Chaplain or Emperor’s Champion

Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:
  • +1 WS
  • +1 A (Emperor’s Champion only)
  • +1 Ld (Captain and Chaplain only)
AND choice of ONE from this list:
  • Cenobyte Retinue: The Chaplain leads three Cenobyte Servitors that carry an ancient and powerful relic. These follow all the normal rules for Cenobyte Servitors and, so long as at least one of them is alive, the Chaplain counts as having a Sacred Standard; 30 points.
  • Indomitable Will: Imbued by an unbreakable faith in the Primarch, the hero of the chapter has the Feel No Pain special ability; 20 points.
  • Only in Death does Duty End: Once the Emperor’s Champion has lost all of his Wounds (even if caused by a weapon that causes Instant Death), do not remove him from play. Instead take a Leadership test and if this is passed, the Champion fights on with 1 Wound remaining. If he loses this wound remove him from the table. At the beginning of each game turn for the rest of the battle, the Champion must make a Leadership test. If he fails this test, he is removed from play; 20 points.


Company Captain, Chaplain or Librarian

Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:
  • +1 WS (Company Captain only)
  • +1 Ld (Chaplain and Librarian only)
AND choice of ONE from this list:
  • Ancient Relic: The character was honored with the care of an ancient Blood Angels relic. The relic may be carried by an Honor Guard Standard Bearer instead of a Company Banner. All Blood Angels units with a model within 12” of the Relic may re-roll failed Morale and Pinning tests. In addition, all models in the Standard Bearer’s unit add +1 to their Attacks. Honor Guard only; 25 points.
  • Indomitable Will: Imbued by an unbreakable faith in the Primarch, the character has the Feel No Pain special ability; 20 points.
  • Red Thirst: The Blood Angels Company Captain and his battle-brothers are consumed by the Red Thirst. Any friendly unit of Blood Angels within 12” of him count their opponents as a preferred enemy; 15 points.

Company Captain, Chaplain or Librarian

Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:
  • +1 WS
  • +1 Ld (Chaplain and Librarian only)
AND choice of ONE from this list:
  • Ancient Relic: The character was honored with the care of an ancient Dark Angels relic. The relic may be carried by a Command Squad Standard Bearer instead of a Company Banner. All Dark Angels units with a model within 12” of the Relic may re-roll failed Morale and Pinning tests. In addition, all models in the Standard Bearer’s unit add +1 to their Attacks. Command Squad only; 25 points.
  • Deathwing Captain: A Captain in Terminator Armor may be upgraded to a Deathwing Captain. He gains the Furious Charge ability and may take Deathwing Terminator units as Troops as well as Elites. Company Captain only; 15 points.
  • Ravenwing Captain: A Captain on a Bike may be upgraded to a Ravenwing Captain. He gains the Scout ability and may take Ravenwing units as Troops as well as Fast Attack. Company Captain only; 15 points.
  • Watcher in the Dark: The Dark Angels Company Captain has attracted the attention of the mysterious Watchers in the Dark. If the Captain reduced to zero wounds, he is removed from play instead of being killed, whisked away by the Watchers. His opponent scores only half Victory Points for killing the Captain instead of full points; 10 points.


Wolf Lord, Rune Priest, Wolf Priest

Choice of ONE from this list +15 points:

  • +1 WS (Wolf Lord only)
  • +1 W (Rune Priest and Wolf Priest only)
AND choice of ONE from this list:
  • Battle Frenzy: The Wolf Lord and his battle-brothers are consumed by their thirst for battle. Any friendly unit of Space Wolves within 12” of him count their opponents as a preferred enemy; 15 points.
  • Berserk Charge: On a player turn in which he charges, the Space Wolf hero and all members of any squad he has joined are filled with berserker rage and may re-roll failed rolls to wound; 25 points.
  • Wolf Brother: The Wolf Priest may be purchase twice the normal number of Fenrisian Wolves (up to eight) to accompany him. Wolf Priests only; 10 points.

Again, we'd love to hear your feedback on the rules (please leave them as comments so I can address them here as opposed to email).

Next Time: Chaos Space Marines...

June 25, 2007

Challenge League Special Character Rules (Part 1)


This Summer Bell of Lost Souls is sponsoring a local challenge board league (a War Without End variant). To spice things up we've decided to include some special customization rules for each army's General (we were inspired by the very cool, but relatively unused, Medusa V character customization rules).

Only a single character may be customized and that character becomes the army's General (there will be a headhunting prize). Our goal is provide some color and some fun abilities without completely compromising balance and background. Each day for the next week or two, I'll be posting each army's character customization rules. So without further delay, here is part one of the Space Marines rules...


A. Commander

Choice of ONE from the following list for +10 points:
  • +1 WS
  • +1 Ld (Captain only)

AND choice of ONE from this list:

  • Trophy Rack: The Commander understands the power of grisly trophies. All enemy models require a 5+ to hit the Commander (and any unit he has joined) in shooting, but their hatred of the Commander gives them the Preferred Enemy ability when attacking the unit in close combat; 15 points.
  • Master Strategist: As long as the Commander is alive and on the tabletop, he may choose to add +1 to each Reserves roll; 15 points.
  • Personal Standard: Any unit that is joined by a Commander with a Personal Standard gains the Counter Attack ability and +1 Attack on the turn they are charged; 20 points.
  • Scholar of War: May re-roll the die to determine who goes first; 20 points.
  • Strike Cruiser Support: The Commander may call in a Preliminary Bombardment from an orbiting strike cruiser; 15 points.
  • Tyrannic War Veteran: This Ultramarines Commander has learned painful lessons in defeating the Tyranid threat. He (and any unit he joins) gains the Preferred Enemy (Tyranid) and Counter Attack skills. In addition as described in the Tyrannic War Veterans entry, any Heavy Bolter in the unit may use the Hellfire round option and the squad gains the ability to use Krak Grenades as close combat weapons. Ultramarine Commanders only; 20 points.

B. Chaplain

Choice of ONE from this list:

  • Death Mask: Any enemy unit with a model within 6" of the Chaplain suffers a -1 modifier to its Leadership; 10 points.
  • Inspiring Battlefield Oratory: Once per game, at the start of the Chaplain's Shooting phase, the Chaplain may inspire his battle-brothers into a frenzy. Instead of shooting, any unit with a model within 6" gains the Fleet ability for that turn only; 20 points.
  • Indomitable Will: The Chaplain has the Feel No Pain special ability; 20 points.
  • Personal Standard: Any unit that is joined by a Chaplain with a Personal Standard gains the Counter Attack ability and +1 Attack on the turn they are charged; 20 points.
  • Voxcaster: The Chaplain's Honour of the Chapter special rule is extended to units with models within 6" of the Chaplain; 15 points.

C. Librarian

Choice of ONE from this list:

  • Clarity of Vision: The Librarian's visions are particularly powerful. If a Summoned or Deep Striking unit enters play within 4D6" of the Librarian (roll when each unit enters play), both he and any joined unit may immediately take a "free shot" at them. These shots are taken before the enemy unit moves, as an exception to the normal turn sequence, and the shooting unit counts as stationary. Aside from this, the normal shooting rules apply; 10 points.
  • Personal Standard: Any unit that is joined by a Librarian with a Personal Standard gains the Counter Attack ability and +1 Attack on the turn they are charged; 20 points.
  • Psychic Backlash: If killed in close combat, the player controlling the Librarian may remove any single model in base contact with the Librarian (no saves of any type are allowed). Models without a Leadership score are immune; 25 points.
  • Psychic Beacon: The Librarian may use his powerful psychic presence to act as a beacon, aiding his allies and confusing his foes. The Librarian may choose EITHER to re-roll the Scatter die for any friendly unit entering play via Deep Strike once per turn OR he may force his opponent to re-roll the Scatter die for a unit entering play via Deep Strike or Summoning once per turn. The Librarian chooses at the beginning of the game; 15 points.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the rules, especially if you feel that any of them are poorly priced or unbalancing. Your feedback will give us a chance to modify the rules before the league starts.

Next Time: Chapter Specific Rules...

June 24, 2007

Tactica: Mech Eldar pt. II


Alright everybody, welcome back to the second half of my Tactica for Mechanized Eldar. Here we are going to focus on some general tactics to hopefully help make you successful on the battlefield.

Fire Focus
An old maxim, but no less true with time, "Shoot it til' it's dead!". This is true for all armies but especially M.Eldar. If an enemy squad is reduced to just the heavy and special weapon, then you might aswell not have shot at them, because they pose just as much threat to your army as they did before you fired. If this means using half your army to kill a single unit, then so be it (hopefully it won't come to that). This makes choosing your targets especially important. Go for units with the most heavy weaponry/ units worth the most VPs. Picking off independent characters is one of my favorite things. Your opponent may not have made him your closest target, but that doesn't mean your movement cannot achieve this.

Use your speed to focus your fire. Remember, theres not a single thing on the board that is beyond your grasp. Realize this, and you have already won.

Don't allow the brunt of an enemy army to come down on you, use your speed to pick it apart piece by piece. The key here is to do maximum damage with minimal repercussions (i.e. return fire). Optimally, if I am shooting at a unit, I don't want return fire on that tank from more than three units, not counting the one I am shooting at [because it will be dead :) ] Achieving this can be difficult. Utilizing area terrain can help, aswell as the range of the enemies weapons. I figure under isolation I would also throw out one of my favorite tricks. Essentially it is Fish of Fury except with a Wave Serpent and bladestorming Avengers. For those not familiar with the tactic it invloves dismounting out of the back of a skimmer transport, shooting, and using the body of the vehicle itself to prevent a counter-charge. The Avengers are better at this than Tau for two reasons: the Avengers have longer ranged guns on the dismount and the hull of the Serpent is longer than that of a Devilfish. Hence, Serpents of Shuriken was born.

Objective Handling
This is the armies greatest strength I believe. They really will suffer in non-objective based missions such as Seek and Destroy. The speed and invulnerability of Falcons means that you should be able to claim or contest any objective in any scenario. When that fifth turn comes around remember that twenty four inches and put your Falcons in position for the sixth turn steal. Also, choosing first or second turn can be a double-edged sword for M.Eldar. If you choose to go first your tanks will be glancing only all game, but you will have to endure the sixth turn shooting to hold your objective. If you go second then a tank may be shot down, but you will have an uncontested objective grab. Considering all of this, I usually take first turn, but it really is up to personal preference.

Hope you enjoyed!

June 23, 2007

Open Thread June 23rd-07


Hi everyone. Here is an open thread for Bell of Lost Souls feedback. We've been at this for over six months now, and have tried out a lot of varied topics.

So let us know what you like, dislike, or any other comments and feelings about the blog. Do you want more Painting Tutorials? Battle Reports? Tacticas? Titan Stuff? Logo Sheets? We cant tell what you like the most if you dont't tell us.

So step right up and give us a piece of your mind!

PS... The Polls are almost closed, so please throw some votes for Mkerr our way on the Warseer Forum Awards if you can. Thanks!

Best Sci-Fi Rules Lawyer

Best Sci-Fi Tactician

June 22, 2007

NEWS: Upcoming Chaos Minis


We've all been waiting for a while for some pics to start dropping across the net of the upcoming stuff for the new Codex: Chaos Space Marines, and it looks like GW has opened the floodgates!

Take a gander at these models, then go back take another look at the Spawn and Possessed, WOW!!!

June 21, 2007

Imperial Guard Armor in a Combined Arms Force


As an Imperial Guard player, most of your opponents will focus most of their attention on your vehicles. You are best served by having that attention focused on your vehicles as heavily and as long as possible. To do so, I offer 3 basic principles: Range, Pain, and Position. These are all interrelated, and I will discuss the relationship between them as well.

1. Range - Simply put, a shaken tank shoots nothing. Where practical, fire at your opponent from outside of his effective range. The best defense isn't armor, it's not getting hit with anything dangerous. Note that range includes making your tank harder to be hit by deepstrikers as well as considering what is already on the table.

2. Pain - A tank that isn't hurting anyone may be forgotten. Hurt your opponents in some way at every practical opportunity, even if you're just blocking LOS, get your tanks into the action. If your playgroup uses Imperial Armour, a Griffon with Infernus shells is the best pain-per-buck against any non-fearless army.

3. Positioning - Place and move your tanks so that they must be considered by your opponents. Often, a Leman Russ placed near the center of the board as your first heavy will cause a cautious opponent to deploy poorly. Even a strong player will have to respond to a Leman Russ in the center of the board, and this creates lots of opportunities for your other weapons to be more effective. Droptrooper Sentinels can strike at the rear and sides of opponents with devastating effectiveness. If there is adequate cover, hide a Basilisk in the far corner. Many opponents will charge to get inside the 36" guess range; anticipate this and use your support vehicles and infantry to turn this maneuver into a slaughter.

4. Putting it all together - If you're any student of military doctrine, you know about overwatch and enfilading fields of fire, and all that sort of hullaballoo. And you can pretend all of that applies to 40K, if you want to. However, I think one basic rule applies to the use of IG vehicles - look for the best way to concentrate pieplates, templates, and normal shooting on something, shoot it until it is dead, then shoot something else.

Use the Basilisk to drive your opponents out of their defensive holes, then batter them with battlecannon (or, if closer, try 3 HB sponsons and a pintle heavy stubber), fry them with Inferno cannon, and take potshots with flanking Sentinels. I cannot overstate how nice drop Sentinels are; it costs no points and the option to drop them has won me several games against good opponents.

Remember that your tanks are very shiny, but most of your points will be in your men. It may be better to offer your opponent a shot at a Leman Russ, if this means the squad doesn't fire at an advancing infantry squad.

Buildout Advice - This is how I tend to take my vehicles onto the field. I don't find extra armor worthwhile for some of them.

Leman Russ Battle Tank

3x heavy bolters
1x heavy stubber pintle mount


Hull heavy flamer
extra armor


Indirect fire


Hull heavy bolter
extra armor


closed crew compartment
Doctrine: Drop Troops


Infernus Shells

June 20, 2007

Modeling Workshop: Rivets

One of the nice little details you can add to scratch built vehicles is rivets. Over the years I have seen many different way to make them, some simple, some quite bizarre. I’ll be discussing three of the more common ways to add rivets to your models.

The Chop and Glue Method

This method involves making individual rivets by chopping long sections of tubing into small pieces. One of the more common sources of tubing is the old rhino guardrails. The ones that go along the top of the old rhinos and breaks all the time.

Take the tube and cut it into 1mm sections. You can then glue these on your model as rivets. The problem you face with this method is that the rivets are not always the same length and it is difficult to glue them on. I have used tweezers I the past to make sure they get in the right place.

The Hole Punch Method.

For larger rivets, you can take a hole punch and some thick plasticard. Collect the ‘rivets’ as you punch them out of the plasticcard and glue them on. It is much faster than the previous method and all the rivets are the same size. The down side is that the rivets are larger. I use a heavy duty punch. It stands up much better to the thick plasticard and you can get a smaller punch size.

The Ice Pick Method

I recently discovered this and have had wonderful results with it. To put rivets on a piece of plasticard, take the card and turn it over, then push down on the backside with your icepick. Do not put so much pressure as to push all the way though and make a hole. The goal is to make a small dimple on the other side. I also place my plasticard on a rubber mat, it has a better give than the hard surface I usually work on.

Just to give you an idea of how much faster this is, I can do one rivet in about a minute using the cut and glue method. With the Ice Pick method, it takes less than 5 seconds.

As an aside, apparently wal-mart doesn’t sell ice picks anymore. The guy selling the butcher knives said that ice picks were a safety risk. Go figure.

June 18, 2007

Vote MKERR!!!


Its that time of year folks, the Warseer Forum Awards. Our own Mkerr has been nominated for:

Best Sci-Fi Rules Lawyer

Best Sci-Fi Tactician

You've read his TACTICAs, you love the blog; so go click through those links and help bring home some glory to Bell of Lost Souls.

Vote Early, Vote Often ;)

TUTORIAL: Death Guard in 7 Easy Steps


Hi everybody!

I've recieved a lot of requests for information on how I painted my Death Guard Army so here is how you do it.

First of all, you cant get a decent result if you don't have a goal. That goal for me was the image of a "Pre-Heresy Death Guard" from the Index Astartes article in White Dwarf. The overall uniform color is a dirty white with obvious field wear, and medium to dark green trim. The look you are trying to achieve is a slightly "roughed up" feel, so drybrushing will be appropriate, but you should layer on lots of very tight detail work on top of it, to make the final product still have a crisp clean look. The goal is to make the rough white seem "intentionally sloppy" not give the impression that you are a bad painter.


I use standard GW paint, with a small amount of "secret ingredients". Here they are. I use Tamiya color for my base coats of white and green. This is because Tamiya paint gives decent opacity coverage, and more importantly dries to a very thin finish that does not easily obscure detail. My technique uses several drybrush layers so having very thin coats of paint is important.

Secondly I use technical pens. In partucular, the Micron .005 black liner is used for all the black lining, with limited use of the FaberCastell brush pens to get into tight irregular areas the metal tips of the Micron's can't reach. These things are a godsend, are cheap, and should be in every painter's toolbox.

Step 1 - Basecoating White

OK, we are off. For this tutorial we are painting a Mk.IV Maximus Devastator marine wielding an autocannon. First things first. Paint on 2 coats of white over the entire marine. Pretty straight-forward. Let this dry before proceeding (at least 1 hour).

Step 2 - Brown Wash

Now, we apply "the sludge". This is a wash composed of the following proportions:
  • Flesh Wash Ink: 6 drops
  • Black Ink: 1 drop
  • Dark Brown Paint: 1 drop (for "texture" to help the mix stick to the paint surface)
  • Water: 12 drops
Mix up an lot of the stuff in an empty paint pot if you plan on making an army. You will need lots. Apply this liberally to the entire white surface ofthe mini. Putting on to much is better than too little. Make sure you get into the crevasses you will not be able to easily reach with a brush later. Let this dry COMPLETELY (overnight).

Step 3 - First White Drybrush

OK, your brown wash is now completely dry. Go ahead and drybrush a light coat of your initial white paint back over the entire mini. Be gentle and dont overdo it. No matter how long you waited, as you drybrush the white on, it will begin to mix with the "dry" brown wash and give you a dirty white 1st coat of drybrushing. It will not be pure white. That is exactly what you are looking for. Let it dry before proceeding (30 minutes+)

As a side note, I know what you are thinking at this point. "Bigred, you jerk, I went through all this trouble and my mini looks like a sloppy disaster." You are correct, but don't give up. This is the phase at which your mini will look its worst. It will only get tighter and better looking from here on out. You have already finished the hard part!

Step 4 - Final White Drybrushing & Basecoating Secondary Colors

Now go ahead and put on 2 more quick layers of white drybrushing. Each should be gentler than the previous one, and give you a lighter more pure white result. You should now have nice pure white on the topmost areas of your mini.

Once complete, go on and carefully paint in block-color basecoat green on the backpack and raised shouldpad trim. This may need a minor retouching up with a second coat of green in some areas. Black goes on any weapons and the rubber joints on the backsides of the knees, groin joints, and inner elbow and wrist areas.

Step 5 - Black lining

Here is the Secret Ingredient! Grab that Micron .005 black liner and carefully paint in the cracks defining all the armour plates on the mini. This includes any high relief or inset detail, such as helmet vents and protuberances, panel lines along equipment pouches, the backpack, you name it. If you hit areas that are very recessed or curved and the metal tip of the Micron pen will not reach, use the light or medium grey Faber Castell brush tip precision pens to get in there. Its better to use a series of the lighter grey strokes to build up to the level of darkness you want instead of going too dark and regretting it.

Step 6 - Detail Work

Now is the time to go in and add all the smaller details in other colors to the mini. You should hit the Eyes and Purity Seals now with Blood Red. I detail the black areas with a light Chainmail Drybrush and finish the weapons with limited crisply defined areas of Tinbits, Mithril Silver, and Shining Bronze. Drybrush the green areas with a lighter green as you see fit, and crisply paint on limited areas of the lighter green on "high" areas of the green shoulderpad trim.

Finally, this is the time to go in with white one last time and tidy up any stray spots that still look "too sloppy" from the previous drybrushing layers. You will know them when you see them.

Step 7 - Decals and Basing

You are pretty much done. Go ahead and cut out your custom Death Guard Decals that you have printed out, and apply them to both shoulderpads (Logo on the left, Roman Numeral or whatever you want on the right). I highly recommend the use of Micro-Sol for this process.

Finally, finish the base per your liking, let your masterpiece dry, and protect it with a Matte Varnish spray. Its off to battle for your finished Legionairre!


I hope you all enjoyed the tutorial, and have a lessoned fear of working on a white army. They are among the rarest color of army seen on the tabletop, but there is really no reason for them to be. Have fun and good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.

June 16, 2007

Tactica: Mech Eldar

Well a Tactica Mech Eldar may sound unneeded. With the groans of cheese I am faced with in these parts, you would think the army just played itself. However, the army is pretty helpless if not played with a caring touch. Here I will address the primary tools a Mech Eldar player must use to succeed.

Deployment is incredibly key, as with any army, but one mistep here can literally lose you the game on the first turn. Always concetrate your forces, ideally behind area terrain, and preferably on one flank. If any of your vehicles have to be exposed, make sure they are ones with holo-fields, thus making the chances of them being destroyed first turn smaller.

The Ghost Flank
This is a tactic I use quite often. Essentially you deploy your entire army on one flank, and the opponent deploys in reaction. You then use your speed to completely redeploy your army to the other side of the battlefield. The aim here is to catch your opponent off-guard, and hopefully befuddle any ideas he had planned going into the first turn. This is especially effective against any sort of combat oriented army or any slow armies. I use this tactic the most against Nidzilla armies.

Army list
So the army has alot of tanks, but what else do you stick in there? Not all the units in the Eldar book compliment this sort of list, so I'll go through what I consider the best.

Jetbikes/ Jetbike Farseer- The speed of Jetbikes matches the army and if you are not interested in Wave Serpent mounted Avengers, then they are a perfect fit. They are also very cheap troop choices. Jetbike Farseers are really a boon to the list. The fact that transport mounted Farseers cannot cast their beginning of turn psychic powers is what really make this build effective. Also their IC status will protect them in most cases. Always use their 6" jetbike assault move to make sure they are not charged.

Rangers- Rangers are, in my opinion, the one effective foot troop unit that can be used in conjunction with a Mech Eldar list. They provide the army with good counter-infiltration and are quite resilient when placed in good cover. Their one downside is they give the oppponent a 'focus' in your army. That is, something static which they can sink their teeth into.

Vypers- Some people use them, some don't. Personally I don't. But I do see some uses in them. Personally if I were to use them it would be with minimal weapons hiding behind area terrain until the last turn in order to grab an objective (more on that later).

Aspect Warriors- Well you have to fill your Falcons with something. Really just do to taste, although Fire Dragons are always a favorite. Also Swooping Hawks/Warp Spiders can provide some nice quick infantry support.

And lastly, no matter what anyone tells you, three Falcons is not abusive! It is what makes your army what it is. Without three Falcons you are not playing Mech Eldar, so be proud!

Alright, thats it for now, next time I'll come back at you with general tactics including fire focus, isolation, and objective handling...

June 15, 2007

TACTICA: Tau Empire (Part 1)


This is the first in a series of Tau Empire tactica articles featured on the Bell of Lost Souls. Now, before you go into this with high expectations, I have two disclaimers. First, you will not become a Tau Master overnight. The Tau army takes a lot of practice and work to be successful. Second, this is only one of the tools you will need to improve your game. What works for me may not work for you, and there are lots of other great ideas out there. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.

When BoLS asked me to write a Tau article, I started reviewing what was already out there. For those that don’t know, Advanced Tau Tactica has a wealth of information out there for both beginning and expert Tau Empire players. Instead of starting at the beginning and going through the codex, I’m going to assume you’ve already done that. Instead, I’m going to cover some of the most overlooked Tau Empire units, and show how you can use them to create a fun and competitive army.

Our first often overlooked unit is the Ethereal. Most people focus solely on the negatives of this unit, and it’s hard to blame them. If your Ethereal dies, all Tau units must take a Morale test or fall back. Seems pretty bad, right? It doesn’t have to be though, and it can be easily mitigated. The benefits of the Ethereal far outweigh the drawbacks. He gives you a reroll to Morale tests on any Tau unit with a line of sight to him, and that can be valuable game winning ability. Note: you are allowed to re-roll any Morale tests, even successful ones.

Also the Ethereal makes any Tau unit he joins Fearless, so you don’t have to worry about them running away! As an added bonus, the squad that he joins can be cheaply upgraded to an Honor Guard, giving them +1BS. Firewarriors with BS4? I’ll take it! Now, how can you mitigate the nasty Price of Failure drawback? My favorite way is to use Shas’O Shaserra (Commander Shadowsun). She’s a great commander and her Command-link Drone which allows any Tau unit within 18” test on her hefty Ld10.

Editor’s Note: Since you don’t take the Morale test until the beginning of your next turn, and you can usually predict when you are going to lose your Ethereal (thanks to the Fearless Honor Guard). Use this time to get your Tau units into area terrain (halves your Fall Back distance) or mounted.

An Ethereal works wonders in a gun line Tau army. Drop him in the center of your line as a solid anchor, and you can better control your flank movements when the fighting gets thick. Surprisingly, he also works well in a Mech Tau list. Your Honor Guard is taken just as a normal infantry unit, with all the same options, which means they get that nice little Devilfish. “Fish of Fury” with a BS4 Honor Guards is brutal!

Although decent combatants, few players found Kroot viable choices under the 3E rules. Kroot Hounds and Oxen took up valuable Fast Attack and Heavy Support options and provided little in return. The changes to the structure of a Kroot unit opened up some interesting possibilities. The Kroot are the most vicious close combat squads in the Tau Empire. With up to 20 warriors, Infiltrate, 3 WS4 S4 attacks on the charge, and Fieldcraft make this squad a must have.

They do have a few drawbacks. With no armor save (or a minimal 6+), they can’t stand up to much abuse. But with some planning, this is easy to minimize. Just put them in woods. Instantly, you go from no save to a 4+ invulnerable save! All for only 8 points a model make that a steal. Another way to deal with the lack of an armor save is to force your enemy to put his big, bad Power Weapons and Force Weapons up against them. You won’t get an armor save against those weapons anyway, so his points are wasted, and you’ll get a decent number of S4 attacks back. Kroot may loose the fight, but they’ve tied up a squad and allowed you to deal with other threats, redeploy, and prepare for the oncoming bad guys.

Editor’s Note: Don’t underestimate the lethality of the Kroot Rifles either. They don’t have the same targeting restrictions as other units in woods. This allows them to shoot through 6.1” of wooded terrain while remaining out of your enemy’s line of sight. In our neck of the woods, we call these pieces of area terrain where Kroot can fire out but can’t be see "Forests of Fury".

They are obvious choices for gun line Tau, but they also work well in a Mech Tau army. They Infiltrate (as long as you don’t take a Krootox), and can hold a flank using Fieldcraft and require only a little support from other parts of your army.

Editor’s Note: Kroot are amazing at denying Infiltration locations to your enemy thanks to the Fieldcraft ability. Since they can be deployed deep into wooded terrain, they can be placed 12” away your opponent’s army but their ability to see through woods prevent enemy models from being placed with 18” of them.

Vespid Stingwings
Vespid Stingwings are one of the new entries for the fourth edition. These guys are usually hit or miss, but depending on your play style they can really work for you. Their high price allows only a few of them. It’s best to keep them in cover or out of line of sight until you get a nice juicy squad close by. Then pop out, use your Neutron Blasters to soften them up, support them in the shooting phase with Firewarriors and then mop them up on the charge. Next turn, get back into cover, rinse and repeat. You’re not going to want to just throw these guys out there without support or they’ll get eaten up. It might be a good idea to pair this squad up with a Kroot squad. Working together these two units can take on just about any enemy unit.

Editor’s Note: Vespids are surprising fast and agile thanks to the Fleet of Wing and Skilled Flyer abilities. They should always be in area terrain. Don’t be shy using their 12”+6” of movement to jump from area terrain to area terrain. If you can’t find a unit to shoot, they are excellent for mopping up an existing combat in area terrain (i.e., so they benefit from their Initiative 5).

Sniper Drones
The last unit I’m going to go over is the Sniper Drones. This is another new unit for the codex, and another one that I love. At 80 points per team, and up to three teams take up a single Heavy Support choice. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to place them into a mech tau army, but they fit beautifully into the gunline. These guys are probably best in a hybrid tau army, when you want a nice firebase to strike out from. The railrifles are probably the best new weapon in the codex, and are perfect to take down marines with. Combined with the firepower from the rest of your army, these drones will make a name for themselves by the end of the game.

Editor’s Note
: Sniper Drones are fantastic pinning units in the Tau Empire Codex. Since each team will cause a Pinning check with a wound (relatively easy with 3 BS4 S6 AP3 shots). Used with a few Markerlights, these 36” weapons can keep just about any unit in place.

That’s all for this time. I hope that my thoughts on a few of the lesser used items in the Tau book give you a few new ideas of your own. The Tau list is a versatile and powerful one, no matter what items you take. Stay tuned for the next installment, I’ll go over the special characters, and how they can work for you.

Author: Until recently Surgency was serving the Emperor as a member of the elite Tallarn Desert Fighters. Correction, he served the Emperor as a member of the US Army in Baghdad. Same thing. We’re happy to announce that he’s home just in time to enjoy the heat of summer in Houston, Texas. Now that he’s done playing with real guns, he’s back to playing his Tau Empire army which he refers to as the “best thing since sliced bread”. Look for Surgency on the Warseer tactics and general forums!

June 14, 2007

Rules for Play: The Imperial Guard Infantry


Everyone loves the Guard for their tanks, but tanks aren't what win games. The billions of common footsoldiers in the Guard capture countless worlds and defend almost every world in the Imperium.

Basic Principles

1) Get in cover with shooting units.
2) Play for objectives.
3) The tactical defensive is crucial.
4) Doctrines.
5) Concentrate fire.

1) Get in cover. Find cover and use it. Keep mortars behind cover. Anticipate the enemy's likely routes of advance and get in cover to block these. You know that your lascannon will miss half the time, but your opponent knows it will hit half the time. As simple as this is, I see lots of Guardsmen set-up in the open to maximize their fields of fire. This is fine for MEQ, but suicide for IG.

2) Play for objectives. The IG can win any game with objectives if the player is focused on the objectives and has slightly favorable luck. However, you can't win in the same fashion that a MEQ would. For example, consider the Take and Hold. As this mission is generally played, someone gets their uber command sqaud on the objective and slices up all comers. This won't really work for the Guard. I favor reducing my enemy to no scoring units to contest the objective and having a weaponless Sentinel (or some equally inoffensive unit) in range to win. Remember that your squad heavy and special weapons are generally expensive decorations, and maneuver to win objectives rather that taking a few generally ineffective shots.

3) The tactical defensive is crucial. This means infiltration, the Macharian Cross, and EARLY aggressive maneuvering matter a lot. Yes, the Guard can shoot a lot, but generally the first couple of turns you have fewer targets than you'd like in range, and if you sit still your infantry squads may be unable to contest any objectives, and thus can be ignored by your opponent.

4) Doctrines. Always take Iron Discipline. Always take Drop Troops. Sharpshooters tends to net you nothing on an infantry platoon through an average game, and makes heavy weapons and support weapons teams too attractive to enemy fire. Close Order Drill is great, and worth it if you can spare the points. Light Infantry makes you faster in cover and provides infiltration, which is huge - it not only lets you get better positioning, but further lets you set up troops after all normal deployment is complete. Hardened Fighters can be good, but requires finesse and Commisars or Priests (or both) to be truly effective. You may find a need for Ratlings, Ogryns, Storm Troopers, or Grenadiers. Die-Hards can also be put to good use in certain circumstances.
Cameoline, Carapace Armor, and Chem inhalers are for losers, and an IG army with any of these is destined to lose almost every game against competent opponents. Mechanized is pretty, but too brittle to win.

5) Concentrate fire. The Guard depends on volume of fire to accomplish goals, not single high strength shots. This means you prioritize targets and goals (i.e. 'I'll shoot the Dreadnought until it is at least shaken',) and do this until you've accomplished your goal for the shooting phase, then turn everything against your next target. Deciding which units to fire with first is important, and a lot easier if you keep your target priorities and goals organized. It may matter more to kill a single assault Marine in range of one squad than to kill a Land Raider in a different part of the board this turn, but you have to think about what you're doing before you pick up the dice.

Advanced Tactics

1) Find the keystone and kick it out.
2) Galipoli = bad. Stalingrad = good.
3) Sparse command weapons.
4) Hardened Fighters + Advisors = Dead MEQ.
5) Aggression.

1) Find the keystone and kick it out. Most Marine players, all Chaos players, and a high percentage of other players have a keystone unit, a tooled-up command squad being the most common choice. Drop a truck on this unit, every chance you get. Ignore everything else to kill this unit, and let half of your army die to kill it if need be. Yes, Ordnance is very good for this, but so are plasma rifles on drop troops. Small stormtrooper squads are ideal choices for this mission.
2) Galipoli = bad. Stalingrad = good. If you're going to charge, use as much cover as you can and bring every body possible. A charge that sees 40 of 50 Guardsmen killed and their opponents wiped out is a winning charge. Sending 5 squads forward one at a time to be defeated in detail sucks.

3) Sparse command weapons. Command squads are already valuable targets to your opponent. Yes, dropping 5 guys with plasma weapons right next to your opponent's Terminators and blasting them down would be awesome. But more often than not, what will happen instead is that your command squad becomes a higher priority target, and every wound costs a special weapon. One special weapon is fine. Two is too many.

4) Hardened Fighters + Advisors = Dead MEQ. Everyone knows the IG has to stay out of close combagt with Marines. Sure, Roguh Riders will countercharge, but otherwise, guardsmen avoid close combat. An infantry squad with Close Order Drill, Hardened Fighters, and a Commisar with a powerfist can really help with this problem. Plus, I love hitting Marines on a 3 and wounding them on a 2.

5) Aggression. Fortune favors the bold. Everyone expects the Guard to form a massive firebase and sit back. This can win games against some opponents, but in many games the objectives will be unattainable by a static gun line. Unless your opponent is obliging, he can hide most of his forces from effective firepower and rush out in the last turn to win the game. Aggressive play prevents this outcome.
Remember that Faith in the Emperor matters more than anything else. Grab your T-shirt and Flashlight, and charge.

June 13, 2007

Ork Gargant, Part 3

Well, here he is, the finished Ork Gargant.. Overall, it was a much simpler project than some of the other conversions and scratch builds I have done. I think the round shape and keeping the small details out of it helped a lot
I went back and forth on the ammo drum on this gun. I t needed something large on the bottom to add some bulk and features. I was afraid it would look a little too much old-west/six-shooter.

The soopa-zzap gun definitely has a different feel than the other big guns. Thanks to mkerr for providing all the juice box straws.
The belly gun was literally made from spare parts I had sitting around. I like that slightly offset and raised position better than the one on the original Armorcast gargants.
Finally, I have the engine. Again, a simple design, but gets the point across.
Hey, how’d this guy get in here? I’m embarrassed to say that I made this stompa many many years ago when I first started playing orks. We’ve come a long way since then.

June 11, 2007

Legio Tempestor Reaver Complete


Hi Everybody,

Here she is, finished at last. It took about a week of solid work, but the Stormlords Reaver is ready for action. She is painted in her Heresy-Era traitor scheme, so she is still bearing the logos of the Collegia Titanica (who thought THEY were the true heroes of the Imperiaum) and her original Forgeworld of origin (Esteban III). She had struck the Imperial Aquilla and is flying the Eye of the Warmaster.

But enough talking, here are the pics of this traitor terror.

If you have any comments or questions, please ask away. Now I need to get her based to match the Imperial Reaver and it will be time for some action on the tabletop!
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