Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Elucidian Starstriders


Following on from my previous post about my wondering of eBay and where that can lead, I thought I'd share another of my wondering thoughts. 

As I've mentioned several times, right now, Kill Team is my main focus and while I do t get to play all that much, I really like the game and the options it give you. One of those options is the opportunity to use various characters and teams from several other GW boxed games, namely Blackstone Fortress and Kill Team: Rogue Trader. For every day casual play, I really don't need any of these games or the models. However, I quite like some of fluff behind them and the opportunity to mold it to my own ends, basically, I like the thought of kit bashing my own versions to fit my own theme. 

As a collector of Imperial factions, it's only the Elucidian Starstriders (from Rogue Trader) that have caught my attention. I like the idea of the team, having lots of special characters that I can kit bash up to my own tastes, obviously keeping them as close to the original idea as I can so that it's obvious what they are. However, there are some down sides to the team. The biggest on is that it's a 100 point team with no options to add more models or to change wargear. While I don't think that is a big issue for what I want them for, I would like to add in some different models, namely the ability to add in more voidsmen. I would also have like the option to change some of the voidsmens weapon, maybe switch out laspistols for chainswords or lasguns for shotguns, something that would add some extra dimensions to the team. I understand why they haven't, seeing as they are set pieces from a game, which come with a set wargear list. As  things stand though, there are no options and so I will look to build them as they are. 

Talking of building, I have a few ideas. I have numerous Catachan models floating around and a few Cadian ones as well, although these are all push fit, easy build types and not easy to customise. For the voidsmen this might be alright but a better idea would be using the Scion bodies I have, although I think I've only got 4 of them and there are effectively 5 voidsmen, including Voidsmaster Nitsch. I think I have enough bits that I could bash together a pretty reasonable looking force, using mostly Catachan parts to give a much more ferrel and lower tech look bit still be coherent. My only issue would be the dog, Aximillion. I don't have anything I could use now and I wouldn't want to use a dog anyway, I'd want something different, maybe feline or more beastial, maybe giant rat or even spider, something more suited to the back water scheme. I also have a number of AdMech bits spare, which might be useful for making some of the characters or even adding some tech to the voidsmen. Either way there are some possibilities for bashing this lot together. The real question at the moment is whether I want to or not.

One thought that I did have was to add in some other models from the Blackstone Fortress range. Although on closer inspection the choice is actually fairly limited, as only Pious Vorne, Rein and Raus and Gotfret De Montbard. There is also X-101 and UR-025 but these are both AdMech units and cannot be taken with other forces. The former can all be taken with guard units and Vorne and Montbard can also be taken with Sisters. The rest of the Blackstone Fortress models appear to all be commanders and so not much use to me.  Unfortunately, the Elucidian Starstriders themselves are neither Guard or Sisters but there own faction and so can not be paired with any additional characters. This sort of put another spanner in the works and makes it even less likely that I'll bother to build the Starstriders although I may think about building Vorne and Montbard for my guard team or Inquisition team for some combat support.

Building these two should be quite easy. Vorne can easily be built with a separate flamer and chainsword or it should be fairly easy to combine the two to form a weapon more similar to the original. I'll probably form the body out of Catachan parts to reflect the 7+ armour save! Montbard will be formed from Scion bits for the armoured look and probably borrow a sword and shield from some marines. I'll probably build these guys, mostly because I can and not because I would actually use them. 

While I was wondering this post and how to build the units here, White Dwarf 454 was released, containing rules for Sister of Silence in kill team, so I thought I'd tack them on to the bottom of here! Now, SoS ( as opposed to SoB) only have 3 units, those armed with bolters, flamers and swords and so I would not need to form a full 20 man kill team to have an effective roster. By my calculations, a basic usable team, with leader and 3 specialists, would also need 5 bolter armed Sisters and the most expensive would only need 3 swords instead of bolters. I have decided that, should I do a team I would have a Prosecutor Superior as leader, a sniper Prosecutor, a Demo Witchseeker, a Zealot Vigilator Superior and Combat Vigilater plus 3 Prosecutors, 2 Witchseekers and 2 Vigilators, for a team of 12 and enough options to cover most situations. This should work out quite well as my Sisters of Battle team should be about 16 strong, which should mean that I have enough with 3 boxes of Sisters to make the two kill teams. 

I figure that I can build the Sisters of Silence team with Sisters of Battle, painted up golden and possible with some extras of eBay, like heads. It's not like I've got enough teams to paint and play with, so I don't know if I will get around to doing a Sister of Silence team but I will keep some Sisters of Battle spare in case I do. 

Up next and probably filling up most of the next few months will be 9th, not just looking at the rules but also my thoughts and feelings on the game, my armies and where I think I'll be going from here!

Friday, 22 May 2020

A crazy idea......

So, the other day when I was browsing eBay, which is pretty much a daily occurrence at the moment, I came across something that piqued my interest somewhat. On this occasion I was just flicking through 40k related items, from miniatures to terrain to random game related items. It was one of these game related items that caught my eye, namely Space Hulk Tiles. 

Now, I'm not planning on buying some tiles, mostly as they are quite expensive for what they are (on eBay anyway) and because after a quick search on Google, I've found a whole host of tiles for free. Only problem is that they are PNG files and not PDFs, so I'm going to have to convert them all to PDF, so that I can then modify them,as the few that I have done this to have not "printed" the same size. Do far they have ranged from 3.5 inch squares to 2.1 inch squares. Ideally I would like to have them at 2 inch squares, as this seems to be a good size for playing. 

This process of converting and resizing is going to be pretty time consuming but should not be very complicated, as it should just be a case of printing to PDF from PNG and then reprinting at a lower percentage to get them all to be the same size in the end. Once this has been done, I'll look at combining the files and getting multiple bits on to one sheet and then printing. Once this is done I'll stick the price tag to card and then cut them all out to give me lots of playing pieces to use. Now, I won't do every PNG file, as I have several duplicates, as in I have 6 different types of 3 square long corridors and 8 different 2 and 4  square long corridors, when I'll only need one of each type. 

The plan is to have a few corridors but mostly lots of rooms, including several big rooms. This is for a couple of reason, the first being that I don't want to limit who can fire to much. Yes, it will be limited, due to the terrain and such but if the maps just long corridors, then one the front person will get a clean shot, the couple behind might get a bit of a shot but everyone else can't see any thing. This is also one of the reasons that I want the corridors wider, so that more models can see and shoot, in addition to the fact that models on 32mm and especially 40mm can't technically fit in the original corridors. The second reason I want more rooms than corridors is because I want this to have a more arena feel and less of an old skool space hulk feel. Another reason for more rooms, especially larger rooms, is to enable scatter terrain to be placed, giving cover for obscurement. 

Hopefully if I manage to get all this sorted I should be able to create a versatile, modular game board that packs away pretty small and neatly. It should also, hopefully, give some good games.  

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

List building apps

I will start this post with a promise. I promise not to let this post turn into a rambling whine about how crappy all the various list building tools are. Now that's out the way, let's get on with the rambling whine about all the crappy list building tools!

On a more serious note, there are several list building tools out there, some are game specific and some are very generic and I doubt that I will cover even a fraction of them on here but I hope I've covered the main ones. For me, the list breaks down in 3 ways; list building apps, computer programs and manual systems. Now, I am aware that apps are computer programs but for this list, apps will be programs specifically designed for list building and computer programs will refer to programs adapted for list building.

Let's start by listing out the various options;

List building apps;

Kill team companion
Kill team manager
Kill Team command roster
Army builder
Codex Commander

Computer program;

Various Excel spreadsheet

Manual systems;

Pen and paper

As you can see there are lots of apps and not many other options, although I probably could find dozens of Excel based list building tools if I really wanted to and I suppose that for fairness I probably should have but I haven't and as such I'll be pretty general when talking about them.

Personally I use list building apps partly to actually build lists to play with but partly to brain storm options and possibilities or to just play around with list for the fun of it, such as how many infantryman or how many command points I could manage in 2000 points ( 42 if I remember right).

When I started using specific programs for list building, I started with the Lone Wolf Army Builder. While I haven't used this program in a long time, it still seems to be a very good program. I always found it clear and easy to use, with all the options and relatively few errors. However, it had and still has one big issue for me, you can't get it on Android. I do pretty much all my hobby on my phone, so not being able to get the program on my phone instantly dumps in on the "no use pile".

The led me to Battlescribe, as it solver that particular problem but I have found the program not to be as good and quite often having wrong or incomplete information. In addition I have found that it can be very slow to load and use and can suck the life out of your battery. While it is a good program to use, these issue mean that I get frustrated with it and quite often end up having to double check my lists with other sources.

With the release of Kill Team, I sought out apps that could help here and while Battlescribe does have kill Team, I decided to try other apps and came across Kill Team Manager. This was a brilliant app. It had everything I needed in one package, which was easy to use and accurate. I loved it from the first time I used it and all things Kill Team went on Kill Team Manager. That was until Elite's can out, and since then it's been rubbish. Crashing all the time, units you can't use or delete, as it causes the program to crash and with the latest update, it's now even less usable as it's removed some of the previews for units, so you can't see what there equipped with with out clicking on them, which can be very tedious when planning new teams or rosters. It annoys me so much now, especially as it was so good.

So with Kill Team Manager going weird I was on the hunt for another app to use and I came across two, codex Commander and Kill Team Companion. Now Codex Commander looked interesting but it doesn't have a Kill Team option, so it wasn't any good for that but I thought I'd give it a go for 40k proper and to be honest, I wasn't very impressed. It was not very intuitive or simple to use, maybe if I spent more time on it I would have got a better understanding of how it all worked but it really didn't grab me at all, so the app got deleted and I moved on. Kill team Companion on the other had looks very good and lots of people seem to be very impressed by it. It's not a stand alone app, as it requires information to be imported from Battlescribe, so you still need that app as well but once the information is in there it's very simple to use and you can even assign pictures to the various entries. The only downside seems to be that one the information is in you can't edit it. So if you don't set your specialist at the beginning you can't change things around later. There may well be a way, I might just not have figured it out yet but apart from this it's a pretty good app to have.

Lastly, the is GW's very own Kill Team Command Roster. Now I'll included this in the apps list but it could just as easily fit in the computer programs list, as it's an online program accessed only via the companies website. Now I know that there are a lot of people out there who do not like this program, I have found it to be pretty good but not perfect. For starters there is a lot of information on there, such as the campaign resources counters and arena objective options. Now you could just ignore all these quite easily but it's still distracting. Other than that it does have some good features, namely the ability to name your men, without having to type it all in and all the squad info as well. However, it is let down by the fact that you need to have the internet to use it and as I write often play around with lists when out and about, including placed with poor or no signal, this is a bit of an issue. The other issue that I have found in the past and the main reason I have not used this in a while, is that I've often had trouble saving, loading and exporting the rosters. When I did use it I found that most of the time the process just froze and caused the page to crash, needing to reload and loose all of the data I'd entered. The other issue Ive found is that some of the data seems to be missing or incomplete, such as names for custodian guard or for several guard options. If  the program was available off line in app form, I would probably use this as my first choice but as it is, I don't use it at all.

While I was trying to find suitable apps for kill team, I have also tried other methods, all of which I have tried have been Excel based spreadsheet systems. Now, I have tried several over the years, over half a dozen and I have not found any that I liked very much. Most of the had issues, ranging from corrupt pathways or menus, wrong or inconsistent data and poor navigation. They also all suffer from the fact that you cannot easily update the information when FAQ's and Erratas come out. That being said, I have recently acquired a sheet for kill team, titled Elite Kill Team Command Roster, which I found through Reddit. I've had a little play around and from what I've seen so far, it looks quite good, although I've only been looking through my phone and think that it would be significantly easier to use on a computer. I am hoping to get a chance to play around properly one day soon but with all the kids around, finding a quite 5 minutes to play on the computer isn't easy! There still seems to be the usual issues, as in there, are actually several versions of the sheet, as new updates and expansions become available.

Lastly, we have the old classic, pen and paper. This seems to be one of the lost arts these days, actually getting a pen, piece of paper and the rule book or codex and writing a list out in long or short hand. I still do this on occasion, usually after I've played around with a list on one app or another and am modelling up any additionally required units, so I don't have to keep going back though the whole list again and again. Most of the time I don't bother with this, as it's too long winded and I keep changing my mind. It's a shame really, as its nice to look at when your all finished, that is until you notice a mistake and then it just becomes a page of squiggles.

So, after all this, where am I? Honestly I don't really know, I really thought I had it sussed with Kill Team Manager but now I'm left flicking back and forth from one app to another. Does anyone else have any alternative suggestions or tips for things I'm missing?

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Kill Team storage solutions update

Just a quick one  ago this week, as Iive been busy with DIY projects, namely the kids playroom but a while ago I  posted about my new storage solution for my Kill Team teams. Well, I decided I liked it so much that I bought another one, only this time it's blue!

Said blue box!

This box is the same size, 5 trays high, as the pervious box (there's only 3 trays in the picture above as my son nicked off with the other trays). 

The 5 trays will be filled with my other kill teams, namely a layer for Tyranids, and a layer for grey knights. One layer will house two marine kill teams and another will house the scouts and third marine kill team. The last will house the chaos team. This should mean that I have at least half a tray empty which is good because I have 5 Deathwatch models (the Vanguard vets) that still need a home, plus a Bullgyrn for the guard. They may we'll be others at some point but nothing's planned, even so, some extra space is nice. I'll post up more pictures when I've finished.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

On the paint table......

With the final couple of touched added to the Eagle Knights Kill Team, it is time to move on to the next project, which also happens to be a Kill Team. This team is also a marine team, but dedicated more to longer\medium range fire power.

Initially I for planned for this to be a Space Wolf inspired team, using the Space Wolf chapter tactic. However, with the Eagle Knights team using the Blood Angles tactic and really having the option for taking the Space Wolves tactic without any penalty to the overall effectiveness of the team, as both are active in the fight phase, where the Knights are designed to be. Therefore, this team have ended up being designed for a lot more longer range fire power, with a number of storm bolters and bolters, with some support from a missile launcher and plasma gun. There is however some combat ability with several lightning claws and chainswords in the mix. This has given me a little issue though, as I don't know which chapter tactic I will be going with yet, but it will be either Imperial Fists, Salamanders or Raven Guard.

The two test models, more or less finished, although I'm not 100% happy with the finish on the leather items.

The "paint table"

The paint table is currently an old tea tray which has enough room for my selected paints and brushes.

The current work load.

So, this is the full team, assembly for painting. Front rank is two jump pack vets for some fast assault along with a Sgt with storm bolter and sword. Middle rank is the two Tactical Gunners with plasma and missile launcher plus vet with plasma pistol and sword. At the back it's another Sgt with claw and storm bolter, a Tactical and Tactical Sgt, who double as Medic. They have been primed and based with the main areas of yellow blocked out all the units (the vet and missile Gunner have now been done) Next up is adding some details, such as black weapons and armour bits and silver highlights, oh and rebaseing all the models to the newly arrived 30mm bases.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

More BA kill team updates

Following on from the post last week, he is another update to my BA Kill Team. This one takes the form of a minor conversion, rather than a paint job. One of my two tactical Marines in the kill team has been designated as the units comms specialist and while I was digging through my bits box for some chainswords for a fellow club member, I came across my spare Scion bits, including the vox pack. This got me thinking about the Horus Heresy Master of Signals.

There are parts of thus model I like (the pack) and parts I don't (the weird head) but I've wanted something similar for a while, basically since I decided to do a Marines kill team. As the Eagle Knights will be my main marine kill team, I decided that it had to be the comms specialist from that team that got the treatment, although the at this stage I had no idea what said treatment would actually be. It was only on finding the Scion vox pack that I realised I could actually achieve what I wanted, as all the catachan vox packs were no good for what I wanted (despite the fact I have loads of them!) 

The model chosen for the overhaul was Brother Rafael Amuto, on the right below. Mostly has it looks like he's holding up some sort of devise to his ear (yes I know he has a helmet on!) which was a knife at one point but has long since been lost. 

Brother Rafael Amuto on the right

The idea was simple, cut and splice together a marine pack and Scion vox pack to form a signals pack. It didn't work out quite as easy as that. Cutting down the vox pack and adding on the bottom of a marine power pack was pretty straight forward. The vents were a little more challenging however. At first I thought about just going with one, on the list, as the right has the speaker unit but it just looked unbalanced. So I went with the classic two, but getting them to sit evenly and look right was challenging. For the right one to sit properly on the pack, even with some modifications, meant the left one looked low and having the left one at the correct heigh mean there wasn't space for the the right vent. In the end I had to do some extra snipping and compromise, so the left is slightly higher than the right but not noticably so.

A close up of the pack

As you can see, the pack isn't perfect and if you do look really close you could probably see where the bottom section isn't quite on level but overall I really like the way it has turned out. It looks like a proper pack, not just a guard vox on a marine. The different antennas give it a nice feel as well, although the big speaker probably is not required for Marines, I imagine that it would be used to broadcast messages and encouragement to near by allies or threats to enemies.

Wide angle of the pack

A shot of the front. Nothing has changed round this side.

In case anyone was wondering, he's the fluff for Brother Amuto:

Brother Rafael Amuto is an ebullient character. The youngest of the force, he still rejoices in the Emperor's work and is always Keen to impress his elders with his ability and zeal. Amuto was chosen, not for his combat prowess but for his technical know-how and is relied upon as the main vox communication from the squad to the rest of the company and beyond.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

BA Kill Team update

A short while ago I showed off the Blood Angels kill team, or rather the Eagle Knights Kill Team and all but one model, the Sternguard Sergeant Redolpho, was painted and pretty much ready to deploy apart from finishing off the base. Well that has now changed.

Sergeant Redolpho on the right, resplendent in black primer.

There have been a few changes to my original concept, mostly in cosmetic areas. I originally intended to have a metallic style helmet, similar to the vanguard vets bronze\gold helmets but when thinking about it I decided to go with a similar colour to the devastator squads, as the Sternguard are considered more of a support unit for the Eagle Knights. Not being an actual devastator unit, it couldn't be dark blue, so a quick rummage through the paints and I came up with the Calgar Blue. He also sports the standard squad marking on his pack, with a blue vent. The only none standard part of the model is the foregrip of the boltgun, which is painted up in a bone colour, which is explained breifly in the updated fluff below and will be expanded upon in future posts.

Sergeant Redolpho, now resplendent in the orange of the Eagle Knights


Pack and boltgun

Vulture Legionnaire Decanus Nicodemus Redolpho, or Sternguard Sergeant Nicodemus Redolpho, is not quite so charismatic. A serious and stern and some what  dour man, he is nonetheless an excellent shot. Armed with his special issue boltgun, he was recruited to the team for his ability to eliminated targets at range, in even the most cluttered of environments. Nicodemus' boltgun has a rather special grip, made out of the bones of his first kill as a Legionnaire, that of a Tyranid warrior.  He is also armed with a power fist, although he generally uses this for punching holes in walls (to shoot through) and less for fighting, preferring to keep at arms length from his quarry.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Keeping busy during these difficult days.

We, like many others, have been through a period of self isolation, with a number of us exhibiting high temperature. Luckily none of use seem to have been too affected and it appears that it may we'll have been due to something other than Coronavirus but I suppose we won't know any time soon. Anyway, that's not the point of the post, this is;

Yep, I've been playing  a few games with the youngsters. I don't remember exactly how may games we've started, as I quite often have to bail halfway through due to one reason or another (usually the littlest one waking up from his nap). Some of these games have been really very good games, such as the one where 4 chaos Marines and 6 cultists took on 3 terminators and a marine, which ended with the last chaos marine managing to take out the last terminator and another game, with my blood angles (below) against Militarum Tempestus Scions, with that too going down to the wire and one marine being left on the field once all the dice had been rolled. This would have been very different if the power fist equipped Tempestor hadn't  fluffed all his attacks.

Some of the games got a little bit over the top, with huge numbers of troops, heavy weapons and a ridiculous number of dice rolls!

Strength in depth!

Front rank, fire!

These games often only got a turn or two in before boredom set in and things got very silly or the plot was lost but it kept us occupied for a few minutes.

We're just two weeks in to what could be a very long period, in my opinion we're going to be like this until the kids go back to school  in August! I suspect that there will be many more games played yet!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Best laid plans and all that..............

So in the words of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' me, Gand aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but green An' pain, For promis'd joy!", Well, ok, that might be a bit dramatic but the sentiment is there.

Last weekend my wife, daughter and youngest were supposed to travel south to a baton twirling tournament, her first ever tournament, which she was quite excited about. I think the whole thing about getting dress up together, you know, doing hair and make up in the morning and getting on all the shiny sparkling dresses appealed more to her than the actual tournament but then she's still just a little girl, so I can't blame her for that. Anyway, off the back of that they were going to spend the week at the in-laws, while me and the biggest spent the week at home while he finished off the school term. We would them join them once the school term had finished, meaning g we would have had a week at home together and we had a plan, well, the little man had a plan and I had a plan and at several points the plans overlapped, which was fine by me.

My son's plans basically involved spending time after school painting and playing kill team, going down the club on Sunday (last Sunday as you read this) and also getting my guard army out to look at. My plan on the other hand was a little more complicated and was due to occur once the young man had gone to bed.

My plan

One thing that's missing of the list is basing my models, even though I don't actually know how I'm going to base my kill teams yet. I was planning on going to the club as well and doing a few bits and pieces with the young man after school but the main effort was going to be getting as much done as possible once he was in bed.

However, with all that has been going on in the world, the young ladies tournament was cancelled, flights were cancelled and holiday put on hold and instead of doing DIY during the day and modelling at night, I'm trying to keep 3 little ones busy all day and looking after the little one most of the evening, with zero hobby time. I've played a few games with the little ones, although they have been on a very modified rules set.

 I'm hoping to get some painting done at some point, if we can get the little one down for a few hours in the evenings.

Life at the moment is, as I'm sure it is for a lot of us, in a constant state of flux and we're pretty much taking it one day at a time right now and I sincerely hope that all who are reading this are health and safety and with a bit of luck and common sense we will get through these troubling times. 

Monday, 2 March 2020

Old stuff day

So it's that time of year again, Old Stuff Day. Now, the idea of Old Stuff Day is to showcase some of your older posts, ones that you do t think got the credit that they deserved but it's also to showcase other posts from other bloggers, which you also think deserves recognition.

So, I went back through my posts to see what old posts I might like to showcase and it was an interesting experience! I started this blog over 5 years ago! One of the first posts was about my eldest starting nursery! As I sit here cradling my youngest while my eldest is at school, the middle child is currently at nursery but will be starting school in August. Yet one thing hasn't changed, as I'm still talking about a lack of hobby time!

It was really hard to actually pick a post or two to put up on here, however, I think I've found one.

When 8th was the next big thing in the GW pipe line, I did a series of posts about my thoughts and hopes for various factions going forward in to 8th. The two guard posts, about the guard themselves a d another post about the Militarum Tempestus, who had been split to make them a stand alone subfaction. The two posts have since become my two most viewed posts, where as the one I did for the marines has languished somewhere near the bottom if the views pile. So dispite the fact that it has absolutely no relevance to the current game or anything else, here is my choice for old stuff day;

Now, I would also like to take this time to point people in the direction on another blog, one that sadly seems to have gone out of print, so to speak, Cadia's Creed. Now as I said there hasn't been any updates since the release of 8th but I wanted to highlight it none the less, as it was the first blog I really started reading and as the inspiration for finally getting my own blog going. So, for a bit of personal nostalgia on old stuff day;

Friday, 28 February 2020

It a state of mind.

It's been a while since I've put some of my hobby thoughts, so, with little else to post at the moment, I have decided to put pen to paper (kinda) and let my thoughts and ideas spill out for your amusement.

It's not just a lack of stuff to post about that have led to this post but also some recent developments from GW, namely the previews from the Las Vegas Open. In terms of 40k, there weren't huge numbers of things  shown but there were a number of new AdMech units, the Pteraxii, the Serberys Sulphurhounds and the Serberys Raiders. Place these alongside the other recent AdMech releases, the two tanks and the planes, there is now a whole range of new AdMech units to get excited over. Or rather it's a whole load of units I should be getting excited over but just can't. It's not that I've lost my hobby mojo or any of my love for 40k but my desire for new shiny things has dulled slightly.

I think part of the reason is due to the new primaris unit. Now don't worry this isn't going to turn in to a rant against primaris units, even if the lore does suck but its more to do with the fact that I have one almost complete Blood Angels army and a Dark Angels army primed ready to paint and now both of them are effectively defunct. I put a lot of love in to the armies, especially the BA one and now there in a box in the loft and will no doubt stay there for many years to come. I plan on getting a new marine army at some point but not until more primaris units have been released, ones that are more inline with my ideas for a fast, aggressive, close combat army.

The other reason I think my enthusiasm has wained is due to the fact that there have been very little guard releases lately. Guard have always been my favorite army and they haven't been any new models recently, despite two units being released\previewed that have got me annoyed. The units in question is the GSC Atalan Jackals and the AdMech Serberys. Why have they annoyed me? Simple, because where are my Rough Riders? I'll not turn this into a rant about rough riders either but needless to say, they removed such an iconic unit from the game and then released 2 others that are basically what rough riders should be........ Anyway, right now, if it's not about the guard, I'm not really bothered.

There is also the fact that I'm still really into Kill Team, even if I haven't Played in months. I love the small scale of the game and I've built various teams, several guard and marine, plus AdMech and chaos. I'm also going to get sisters at some point in the year. It means I can have all the various armies that I want, without the huge out lay for models and without needing as much time to paint them. The there is the fact that the games take only a fraction of the time to play and, in case you haven't guessed already, time is a big factor these days. With 3 kids, including a very active toddler, getting time to do anything is a rarity.

I still love the game and everything around it, this blog is testament to that, as this blog was started way back when my eldest was just about to start nursery (some 5 and a half years ago now!), as a way to stay connected to the hobby when I didn't have time to paint or play. These new units do excite me, as they show what's capable from GW and show new ideas and thinking. Plus there's no doubt that they are stunning models, full of detail and character. I would still love to have shelves full of painted armies, imperial ones anyway but as I struggle to even paint o e model properly these days, full armies is a bit far fetched.

Ultimately I think this is what's killing the enthusiasm for the wider model range, lack of time. Long term followers of the blog will probably have noticed that the armies I've planned over the years has dwindled and I've got none planned at the moment, only a few to finish. I will get time to paint and play again soon, when is another question but when I do, I will no doubt make every effort to catch up on my armies and want to buy every shiny new thing that's released.

Now, I've read through this a few times and no, it doesn't make much sense and there's little structure to the post, partly as this was just a wondering through my thoughts and because I wrote this in several sitting when I could grab 5 minutes, meaning half the time I'd forgotten what I was writing or thinking. I thought about amending it all but in the end just though I'd leave it as it is, to show that when it comes to the hobby these days, my mind is all over the place and there's never time to site a collect my thoughts properly. One day there will be, just not today.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Greater Good pt2

Following on from my post last week, this is the second half of my look at the new Imperial Guard rules found in the lastest Psychic Awakening book, the Greater Good. This post will focus on the Militarum Tempestus rules. This will mostly focus on the new Doctrines for the Scions, turning them back into a full fledged force in there own right, similar to how they were in 7th.

There are some good options here and some that aren't quite so good.

First up, for no other reason than it's the first picture blogger put in and it just happens to be the standard Doctrine, well almost anyway. This is slightly revised as it goes from generating an extra hit roll to a straight extra hit. While extra hits are good, in theory though it's only going to come in to play at less than nine inches and it doesn't solve the main problem with Scions, there short range.

In contrast, this does exactly the opposite, adding that much needed range. Adding 6 inches to the range of all rapid fire weapons brings hotshot lasguns up to the range of the volley guns and more importantly, brings the rapid fire range up to 12 inches and means that you can now reach out and touch targets from deep strike. I do like this doctrine as it does fix the biggest issue for me, the lack of range.

These guys are the current poster boys for the Tempestus Scions and their doctrine is a little odd. Firstly there are two parts, the only one that does. Secondly, the first half has a very specific effect, as it effects heavy type weapons, of which the Scions have only one, the Volley Gun. Now, does this signal a change and we might be getting heavy weapons teams for Scions? I doubt it, which I guess is why we get the second part, that when exiting a transport, they get a +1 to hit. This is pretty good, bringing there hit rolls to a 2+ when they disembark. However, it then does limit there options for deployment as the majority of the time they will gain no benefits from the doctrine. They only way to run these I think is from a taurox or more likely a Valkyrie and drop them point blank range, with a command squad full of volley guns.

This is probably the only doctrine that I don't really understand. To my mind, you are going to be running these guys against Marines (of both varieties) and they have both high leadership and ways to re-roll that leadership, so the effect of moral is lessened. Where this trait would be best is in lower leadership big squads, such as guard, eldar guardians, Tau fire warriors, chaos cultists and the likes, where two or three casualties will cause the squad major problems in moral but then these are not really the primary targets for hotshot lasguns. I'm really not sure about this tactic and it's the only one I don't see how I could use.

Again, this doctrine confused me at first but once I'd considered it for a while, it does make more sense to me. It brings the lasguns and pistols up to AP-3, where I think they should have been all along ( well they were S3 AP3 under the old system), putting MEQ's under more pressure. In addition it brings some much needed AP to things like bolt pistols and flamers, as well as grenade launcher. This really does help these weapons but it does push these forces in to two different directions. While it does help with there primary role taking out Marines, it also means that they are better at taking out Guard equivalent units with grenade launcher and flamers. If your going up against chaos with a mix of Marines and cultists, then these are the guys to take.

The last doctrine is very similar to the first but with a minor adjustment. Instead of granting extra hits on 6's within half range, the extra hits are generated when targeting the closest unit. This means that you could generate extra hits at any range, just as long as it's the closest unit your shooting at. While it's always useful to get extra hits, this doctrine does push you to target the closest unit in order to get any benefit from the doctrine, so you are probably going to have to choose, closest with benefits or proper target without.

In addition to the doctrines, we also got new relics and warlord traits, one for each regiment.

The relic we're given is for the Thetoid Eagles and is a replacement for a hotshot laspistol. Not only does it double the number of shots but also increases the range. What attracts me to this pistol is the simple fact that every hit causes a mortal wound, removing the second weakness of the hotshot weapons (first being range), their strength (S3). Definitely a good relic in my opinion.

The warlord trait is from the Kappic Eagles and ties in well to their doctrine. More often than not your going to deploy these units from transports and they are generally going to be quite dispersed, giving your warlord a 24 inch range for voice of command and the option to issue orders from inside a vehicle means that you can keep him in contact with other units very easily and not need to expose him unnecessarily. I think this is a good trait to have for these units, however unless your running a pure Scion list, I still wouldn't have my warlord in the Scion detachment.

Lastly we have a couple of stratagems, two of the eight universal stratagems that are available to the Scions. In addition there are 6 regiment specific stratagems, one for each regiment.

I don't know what the other stratagems are yet but this one is very, very good. Being able to drop just 5 inches from an enemy units from a Valkyrie,without having to worry about loosing anyone is amazing and will be used pretty much Everytime anyone deploys units in Valkyries. Now, the big question I have, is how does this actually work. I can see it working two ways right now; firstly, you select the flyer and a unit inside gains the benefit of the stratagem or secondly, you select the flyer and every units inside gains the benefits. The way I read this, every you select the flyer and every units on board (with aerial drop) gains the benefit of the stratagem, meaning you could load up a Valkyrie with two command squads and a tempestor with command rod, drop them at point blank range and unload. Now the 5 inch is key, as it puts you in to melta  range for those sweet damage rolls. In addition, I would assume that this will combine with the Kappic Eagles trait as well for a +1 to hit as well, meaning g you'll be hitting on 2's, with potential rerolls from your tempestor. This is going surpise a number of people.

This another good stratagem and can tie in well to the previous stratagem as well. Whether Dropping in you character with something like Old Grudges, or just bolstering a flank with Draconian Discipline, the options are all good and for a CP this is pretty much a must take. 

From the previews shown here, there are a couple of combinations that really stick out to me. The aforementioned Kappic Eagles doctrine combined with Precision Drop and a Tempestor with Progeny of Conflict, using Old Grudges and issuing the Take Aim order to two command squad. This will give you two units of 4 special weapons, hitting on 2's, rerolling 1's and rerolling wounds. Whatever you hit is going to have a really bad day. Yes this is a one hit wonder, but the units probably aren't going to survive until the next turn anyway, so it's a case of hitting the priority target hard and doing everything you can to make sure you eliminate it. Another way to run the Kappic Eagles would be to load up in Taurox's and using the warlord trait and their doctrine, charge forward before disembarking and unloading while the warlord issues orders from the safety of a transport. The final way I think you can think to run things, from what we've seen so far anyway and that's to use the Lambdan Lions or psion jakals , use a Valkyrie to drop in a large squad with flamers or grenade launcher just behind an enemy squad, using Precision Drop to get in flamer range and then go to town on the unit. This would work best on large squads, such as conscripts or a full squad of warriors, or something similar. 

While we still have a lot to see, this is shaping up to be a very good addition to the Scions and maybe a sign of the Militarum Tempestus gaining there own codex again, or more likely a codex supplement, along the lines of the recent marine supplements.

Friday, 14 February 2020

The greater good

So it has come around to the turn of the guard to get some goodness from the Psychic Awakening series. To be honest I haven't taken much interest in this series, as I don't really like supplements and the whole extra rules and such that come with them. I liked the whole point that 8th was going to be a streamlined system with out needing 20 thousand books to play. Ok, so that's a bit of an exaggeration but at the rate were going it won't be for long.

For this review, I'm not going into the full details, which are up on many sites and YouTube as well (check out Winters SEO for a good review on YouTube). This will just cover the Warhammer Community page releases and my own thoughts in the new stuff. Also this post will just cover the main guard releases and not the Scions, which will be in the next post.

First up the new Regimental Doctrines. We saw this in the Space Marine codex, where you could customise your chapter tactics and we all expected the system to get rolled out to all armies eventually and here are the guards version. While not as numerous as the marines, the guard have 12 options to choose from and the two that were previewed we're Gunnery Experts and Disciplined Shooters.

Gunnery Experts effects vehicles from your army and enables you to re-roll the dice when determining the number of shots a weapons has, such as the LR Battle cannons D6 shots.

The other doctrine we get is Disciplined Shooters, which enables units to effectively rapid fire out to 18 inches, weather than the standard 12 inches and as is pointed out in the Community article, combined with the First rank, Second rank order could see an Infantry unit shoot four shots out to 18 inches, so somewhere between 24 and 36 lasgun shots for a regular Infantry squad. 

Both of these Doctrines have been seen before, one with the Catachan and the other with the Armageddon Steel Legion, so are not new but being able to swap and change the two parts does make quite a difference.

We also get previews of some of the new options, namely Jury-rigged Repairs and Combined Auspex.

Jury-rigged is a nice little option, giving your units some more durability but I'm a little underwhelmed by this doctrine. Gaining back one wound will not make that much difference in most cases and I expect there to be better options out there

Combined Auspex allows you to fire overwatch on a 5+ for vehicles that are close to other vehicles. However, I'm not sure planning your whole strategy around getting vehicles charged is a particularly good idea.

So far these are a mixed bag, I would like to see what the rest have to offer as I think that these could be very useful indeed. I run a very Infantry based army, so having a doctrine tailored purely to Infantry would be better than what is out there at the moment. However, whether it's worth loosing the other bonus's such as warlord trait and stratagem, I'll have to wait and see.

Another addition to the tool bag are Tank Ace's. These can be used instead of a traditional warlord or for a 1CP stratagem you can include a tank ace in addition to your warlord (or have two tank Ace's). Now from other sources I know that there are different types of Ace's, from tank to support and super heavy Ace's, so lots of choice.

Again, we got a taste of some of the options with Weapon Expert and Steadfast Leviathan. 

This option is for one of your Leman Russ variants and could be useful on pretty much all of them, however I think it will be most useful on the likes of the Punisher, to give it some AP or the auto cannon to push it up to ap-2 and in to battle cannon challenging range. This may sound odd but a battle cannon is S8 AP-2 Dd3 and with this the auto cannon would be S7 AP-2 D2 plus the battle cannon is d6 shots vs the auto cannon is 4. I don't know how it will mathhammer out but it looks good to me.

Steadfast Leviathan is another good trait for a super heavy tank ace. If your running an armour heavy list, this could be very useful for boosting your super heavy to new levels, think of a Valhallan baneblade spitting death in all directions right up until the moment it dies itself. How this ties in with the new Doctrines we will have to wait and see but there is a lot of potential here.

Last up are a couple of new stratagems, I don't remember seeing how many there were going to be but there are three here, two from the Warhammer community post and one from their Facebook page.

The first, splash damage, looks like a good one. Yes, it's a bit situational, as the target unit needs to be in cover, but when your auto hitting, being able to re-roll wounds is great and can really pile on the damage.  

Next up is Strike First, Strike Hard and for me this really shouts to be used on a unit of scout sentinels. I say this because I see it going something like this; take 3 lascannon scout sentinels, deploy the unit last, in a position towards the front of the line, as close to a target as possible. Use the scout move to get the unit in to a perfect firing position and then stay still turn 1 movement. Open up in the shooting using this stratagem, taking the hit roll from a 4+ to a 2+. Yes wounding can be a problem but pick the target carefully, say a rhino or a squad of 3 aggressors, and you've a good chance of a kill. Armoured sentinels could also be used but they suffer from the -1 to hit for moving, meaning they would be hitting on 3's. Not a massive difference but enough. 

Lastly, we have this from Facebook.  Shield of Flesh is used when a Infantry squad is the while it is next to a squad of bullgryns. If the bullgryns are closer, then a -1 applies to the hit roll, as though you've got to shoot past\through the bullgryns and their Shields. The best use for this I can see is to protect a valuable unit, either a character being sniped or something like a plasma command squad, which you don't want to loose early. Combine this with "get down" for a bonus on a save and the target unit could become quite hard to shift.

Overall there looks to be a number of good options in this book but there also looks to be some not so good options. I think until we actually see all the option for the new Doctrines, relics and warlord traits that are in the book it's had to say if this will be a must buy for people. I won't be buying it, regardless of how much of a must buy the book is, as I will just wait until the new guard codex comes out. Next up are the new Scion rules that are also in the book and in my view are the more important and exciting bit of the book.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Wargames Atlantic - death fields Les grognards

Quite a while ago I answered an email to take part in a survey, related to miniture wargaming, although I can't remember who the survey was being run by. Anyway, as a result of the survey, I got a promo code for getting a one of a selection of promotional model sprues. There as a small diorama, some ancient warriors, second world war models or a set of sci-fi models. As you can imagine I went for the sci-fi option, mostly as I had hoped to use these figures as a sort of command unit, maybe make a supreme command detachment or something out of them.

The actual figures are from Wargames Atlantic and are part of there Death Fields sci-fi range. It's a very small range at the moment, consisting of options only two box sets, the Raumjager Infantry and the Les Gorgnards. I received a single sprue of the Les Gorgnards, consisting of 3 bodies and various weapons, the exact sprue I received can be seen below. If your interested in the boxes themselves, the link below will take you to the Wargames Atlantic site.


So what exactly are the Les Grognards? Well there supposed to be french troops, inspired by the various periods of french military history, from Waterloo through to the various Indo-china wars, all mixed with a does of sci-fi weapons and tech.

Above and below are some of the pictures from the website, showing the various options available.

There looks some interesting options available, however I didn't receive the full line up, just one sprue, which has all of the weapon options on but is missing a lot of the head options, as it contains only three heads. I haven't yet tried to build the models, as I'm not entirely sure what I'm actually going to do with them as my initial idea won't work. This is because of the options available to me on the single sprue.

The sprue I received in the post.

As you can see from the sprue above, I received a selection of weapons, including 3 rifles, 4 special weapons (what could pass for a plasma gun, melta gun, flamer and grenade launcher), a pistol, a sword arm, a couple of grenade arms and a pointing arm. The thing is, both the pistol.and sword, plus one of the grenade arms are right arms, with the pointing arm and a grenade arm being left handed. All the other weapons are two handed, none of which really seem to be positioned on the models like there being held comfortably with just one hand. This is a bit of an error or oversight to me. Now, I know that these figures aren't built specifically for 40k and other systems may have different rules but not being able to equip a Sergeant or officer with a pistol and sword seems like an oversight. For me this setup on the sprues is also problematic, as I was hoping to be able to build 3 officers or even commissars, but I'm an arm short at the very least. I've been holding off building them for the moment until I have tried cadian arms on to the bodies or possibly some of the spare Dreamforge Eisenkern arms I have, which I think will probably fit better, although they may look a little bit odd. The special weapons also look slightly odd to me, namely the "plasma" gun. It just doesn't look right to me but it is quite hard as there are no images of it on the website. I can see the flamer and the grenade launcher but not the plasma or laser gun, which is annoying.

The additional sprue that comes with the main box

The second sprue, the heads sprue, which comes in the main box set contains 7 types of head, which with the other 3 means there are 8 types or 24 heads per 3 bodies and as you get 24 models per box, that's a staggering 192 heads per box. It would have been nice to get the extra heads but 8 can understand why they only sent the base frame out. To be honest, saying that there are 8 different types of head is a bit misleading, as really there are just 4 types but each head comes in two versions, with or without a gas mask. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice touch but it's not really 8 different types.

As I haven't built these guys yet, it hard to give a final judgment but from what I've seen I'm not overly impressed with the models. Some of that is down to personal taste, as I don't like the design of some of the weapons, namely the "plasma" gun and what I assume is the "melta" gun, which looks a bit like an eldar fusion gun. I also don't like the scale of the models, which is far more true scale than the heroic scale used by GW. It gives it a very flimsy look to it but that's just as I'm use to the GW way of doing things, if your more of a bolt action player, you'll probably not even notice. The plastic used also feels of a lower quality but I don't know if that's just as I've got a promotion copy or if it's the same on the retailed version. I will really need to put them together to give a definite answer but from touch and sight, I'm not impressed.

However, 25 pound for 24 models is a good deal even more so when you buy multiple packs, getting down as low as 19 pound a pack if you buy 10, although why you'd want 240 guardsmen is a mystery to me, well ok maybe not. Still, personally, I wouldn't buy these models as they just don't appeal to me.