Friday 30 October 2015

New Tau

Well, what can be said about the new Tau? Well one thing is for sure, my love of the Tau remainds unchanged, i.e. I still hate the little buggers.

I'll not bother going through a full review, as I don't really care for the units and there are some nice round ups out there already and they will do a lot better job then I ever will. So what can I say? The new formation, the Hunter Contingent, is stupidly powerful, as would be expected, with some amazing special rules, namely the ability to combine their fire and also the bonus' of markerlights. the sub formation, the Hunter Cadre, is also pretty good, although it sufferes from the same issues as the other formation,in that it forces you to take certain units, although with the choices that Tau have means that they don't suffer much. The formation itself is pretty easy to see which way people will go, with Kroot and Vespids being left on the side line again, and 3 min units of Strike or Breacher. With the new rules for some units making them even more OP, Riptide for example can be taken in teams/squadrons of 1-3, and you can take 1-3 units, so possibly 9 Riptides, the story is the same with Broadsides as well. There are also a load of +1BS bonus' being handed around in addition to marker lights.

So, lots of super powerful monstrous creatures with lots of powerful weapons, twinned with markerlights to boost BS and remover cover, plus being able to combine fire power and ML bonus' means that they are going to be annihilate anything they shoot at.

And all this before we get in to the Auxiliary units! Which include deep striking and relentless Broadsides and Riptides (Retaliation Cadre) and hitting vehicles on rear armour (Stealth Cadre), bye bye Leman Russes,

And then how can we forget the new units! The Coldstar suit, Ghostkeels and Stormsurge. The Ghostkeel will just be a pain in the arse to deal with, but I'm not to worried as I have the ability to ignore cover, which is its biggest strength and the Coldstar suit will also be a pain, but again I should be able to deal with that with ignores cover and hopefully making it kill itself on a grounding test. The Stormsurge however, is a different story, especially if it plants its feet. With all that firepower it will quite easily destroy a large part of my army in no time at all. I mean 2x 4D6 missiles at S5 AP5, so on average that will be 28 shots (working on an average role of 7 on 2D6), that pretty much everything apart from a LRBT being destroyed, twice a turn, before you get to the main weapon! So yeah, its going to be a pain. It really will be a case of trying to destroy it before it gets itself planted, which I think will be nigh on impossible with my guard and hard even with my SM forces.

And with the very few nerfs that seem to be going around, Tau just got super powerful and are well up there with the Eldar and leave the rest of us floundering in their wake, ok, so SM 'dex isn't bad, especially with a full company, but the guard are going to struggle these days.

Well, there were rumours that guard were going to get an upgrade sometime soon, but I haven't heard anything else on that recently, so well see. Personally I hope that some of the other codex's get some love, mostly Chaos and Ork, as I think their the weaker ones at the moment. Some would say DE but personally I think there last codex was rather good.

If you want a proper codex review, I would suggest looking at the Elite 40k blog - although there aren't many full reviews up yet.

Friday 23 October 2015

WIP list

Well, I thought that I would post up my work in progress list, well lists as it actually is. I have several lists in my WIP folder, 6 in total, one foe each of my armies. The three list here are my main lists and the ones that I'm planning on finishing first, in order of priority.

This list is for my Hjaltland LI, and is probably the most complete army that I own.
As you can see its all pretty colours, well, they do actually mean something. Green is complete apart from a trip into some Army Painter Quickshade, the orange is primed and/or partially painted, yellow is modelled but not primed. Red is a model I own but is incomplete or not made and blue is in need of stripping and starting again or at the very least some TLC to get it table top ready.

So, as you can see, there is a fair amount of green on the board, with a fair bit of orange, although a lot of these models are part painted, mostly with just metallic parts to paint up. This should turn the fair bit green pretty quickly, when I actually get around to painting. The only red part is the Valkyrie, which is still sitting in its box, and has been for well over a year, waiting patiently for the day I finally build it. When it is built it will have rocket pods rather then missiles, mostly because the missiles are pretty much useless.

I would really like to get this army finished, as it would be my first fully painted army, however, my main hobby focus right now is my MT/Dagr Ormr list, as shown below.

This currently the main focus, with 2 boxes of Eisenkern Panzerjager's and a Eisenkern Command Squad box, on the work bench. A few are modelled, mostly the command elements and all the special weapons, even the ones marked in red above. The other red models are wip, a few are sitting with out arms ready for the modified lasguns, and the rest are still in pieces waiting to get the complete torsos glued to the completed leg sections. The lasguns are also in progress, and hopefully they'll be finished by the time this is posted. As for the vets and command squad listed, (and the ratlings) they are in so that I can form these in to either an elite heavy IG list or use the IG as an allied detachment to a MT detachment/formation plus it makes up the points. However, this list may well change, as I have extra scions, and I will be building each squad up to 9 men, including 2 special weapons and a vox. So in order to field all the models, a few things will disappear, mostly the MoO, ratlings and Lord Commisar.

On the right you will see some unshaded boxes, for the Taurox and Tauros, which are on the wish list from Anvil Industries, in the form of the Republic assault vehicle and the Unity Council APC. It maybe a while before they grace a table top though!
Lastly, this is the Eagle Knights list, and as you can see there is a lot of red. The yellow units, Priest, Vanguard and Assault units were modelled for KotN15, the rest are still in boxes/bags awaiting building/modifying. As this army has a slight Chaos trend to it, I've got to combine some chaos stuff with loyal stuff to make the models, but the main problem is few if the chaos heads work with the assault packs. Mostly the 'ears' on the helmets get in the way of the inlets on the packs, so its either standard heads or some shaving is in order. The Rhinos need some love as well, probably stripping but maybe just an overpaint?

So there is a little bit of work to do. The LI list shouldn't take a lot to complete, just painting time and the MT list is the main focus at the moment. Which leaves the EK list languishing at the bottom, although its still above the other 3 lists, the Hrossey Mech, the Emperors Disciples and Dark Guardians, all of which are pretty much red with some yellow. I'll try and post them at some point just so you can see how bad the state of my modelling really is!

Friday 16 October 2015

Battlefleet Gothic

Now a recent wonder through the internet and I came across a few interesting things, most notably and the purpose of this post was Battlefleet Gothic. Ok, I didn't just discover BFG, I remember it when it was stocked in store, along side the likes of Blood Bowl and Epic. What it did do, get me thinking about a few conversations that I've had recently about Fantasy Flight Games taking on the licence for Specialist Games from GW.

Now, I've looked at Drop Fleet Commander and Firestorm Armada, but they don't tie in with anything else I have and I don't really want to buy more models for more games. Ive thought about BFG in the past, and I've always had the same idea, I would love to tie in all the systems, namely BFG, 40k and Epic in to one big campaign/army, i.e. for my Hjaltland LI I would have a fleet in BFG (prob only about 750pts), a 40k army (about 2000pts) and then an epic force, containing what is in the 40k force plus some bigger units, notably super heavies and fliers (possibly about 3/4 thousand points).

The idea would be to play games over all the systems, starting with BFG. This phase would act as the initial contact, with one side trying to make a beach head in a system while another side tried to prevent this, there would be bonuses and penalties depending upon what happens.

Phase two would be based around 40k, with the ground beach head, again with bonuses and penalties as a result of the game. the game would then move on to phase three, which would be both epic and 40k scales, switching back and forth depending upon what happens.

An example of this would be an Imperial force enters a system to retake a planet from Chaos, a BFG combat occurs, with the imperium taking heavy casualties but winning, as such they would get a bonus for winning, i.e. choose deployment/setup, maybe mission type, but get penalties such as being restricted as to what forces can be fielded, to represent the destroyed/damaged BFG fleet. The Chaos player would also get similar penalties/bonuses based on his BFG performance. Again, after the landing fight, the Imperium lost, then in the next phase it would be Epic but setup/mission would fall to the Chaos player and the Imperium would again be restricted in units where chaos wouldn't be, (although points would be matched).

The game would go back and forth like that with 40k games to represent things like taking particular objectives such as tactical relays, comms stations, space ports supply dumps, etc all containing bonuses for the winner and penalties for the looser plus extras for what happened during the battle. Things like supply dumps would mean that lost special weapons (see below) could be reissued from the supply dump stocks, space ports would mean reserves could be called in easier (maybe +1 to reserve rolls). The BFG fights would also occur at random times to see if players can bring down reinforcements to replace losses or even to maintain the space they control.

Through out the game casualties would be taken and as in real life some would be lost. I would do this on a dice roll, something like on a 1 they die, 2-3 injured and miss next battle, 4-6 recover and can fight. The result would apply to both epic and 40k, this would mean that some units would be fighting under strength during the battle, maybe deploying with only 7 marines instead of 10. This would apply to individual models, but one bonus for the winner could be choosing which weapons are maintained, as they control the battlefield and can recover lost weapons, but the looser has to take whatever the dice decree. i.e. the winner looses 5 marines, including a flamer and heavy bolter, both of which die on a roll of 1, but as he controls the board, the weapons can be passed on to a surviving member of the unit, but the looser who lost a Chaos marine melta gunner, who also died on a roll of 1, cannot pass the weapon on, it is considered lost on the field. The only exceptions that I can think of are for warlords, who can be replaced by another HQ/character unit, after all an army still has to have a leader and sgt's who could be replaced by loosing a normal troop unit, however any upgrades could only be carried over by the winning side. Multi wound models would also roll for every wound and not just the once, meaning they would have a greater chance or survival, but would only gain back the number of wounds up to there starting value, any rolls of 1 would permanently remove the wound. Say a Chapter Master on 3 wounds (??) looses two in a battle, he would roll two dice, getting a 1 and a 3, meaning he must miss the next battle and can only ever have a max of 2 wounds for the rest of the campaign.

I agree there would be a lot of issues to iron out but that's the idea. I suppose it could be a very short campaign or a very long one depending upon what happens, but in theory, one side should start gaining the upper hand, as while points would remain even, one side would be getting to pick units and one would have to deal with what they have, but there would also be the issue of injured or dead soldiers impacting units, so it should never get too lopsided. Afterall, being able to choose your units is all well and good if most of your units are understrength.

The main down side to all of this will be that players would have to have all three system and all the same models across 40k and epic, and it would take a lot of time to organise and play. This whole thing also relies on FFG actually releasing BFG or Epic, while BFG is likely, Epic isn't, which is a shame.

Friday 9 October 2015

Green Stuff

Well, a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was planning on doing some moulding in green stuff to finish off my box sets of Eisenkern Panzerjagers. This was due to the fact that the set comes with 4 sets of extra legs, extra arms and heads, all to add options. All that's missing from the pack are the extra bodies and backpacks. Previously, it hasn't been a problem, as I have added in vox casters and also some packs from a GW Scion box, in addition to adding in some spare Cadian bodies that I had lying around. However, I've run out of Cadian bodies and I don't really feel like robbing the bodies from the Cadian models as then I would have the opposite problem of on bodies for the Cadian legs. I have also modelled all of the vox casters and used up all my other cool packs, all one of them that I had. Therefore, I was a few packs down, not as many as I initially though, as I had a couple of spare packs. In the end I had to mould 4 bodies and 2 packs, and also I needed to mould up some extra mags for the HS lasguns.

The 4 moulded bodies

The 2 packs
So I forked out for some instant mould (aka, Blue Stuff, although mine was white) and a strip of Green Stuff. At first I was quite nervous about the process, but a few YouTube videos later and I was fairly confident that I could achieve something reasonable. So I gave it a go, modelling up one body and one pack. The moulding process was pretty simple, stick it in hot water and the wrap it round the piece being moulded. It took a few attempts to be quick enough to get the mould done to a standard I was happy with, as most of the time when trying to get one part moulded tights, another bit got pushed loose, but we got there in the end. One other issue I was worried about was getting the two half's of the mould square, but this seemed to be cured simple by the process of pressing the instant mould to the shape causing the instant mould to become irregular enough that when the top piece was applied it meant that the two went together nicely.

The green stuff was easy to work with, as long as you keep things wet! it was very evident when you were mixing it up and your fingers dried out and it gets very sticky. This is where the main issues arose though, the first cast of the body turned out to be far to thick as I put in too much green stuff and couldn't squeeze enough out to get a good mould, the same happened with the pack as well, but to a lesser degree. I changed the process for the next few, filling each half of the mould and then pressing together, this worked better, combined with using a G-clamp on the last few, meant that I the final few casts were pretty good, although they were still a little thicker than the originals. In addition, the moulds were not perfect, as in a few places there was some extra material, this was mainly on the packs, by the antenna part, but this was easily removed.

The extra thickness can be seen on the arm mounting points
You can also see the extra thickness on the packs

The detail on the original was well reproduced though and I think when painted on the table top it will be hard to identify the green stuff parts from the originals, so overall I am very happy with the results. I will be using the process again at some point to reproduce extras and possibly for a few other rare or random parts that are hard to get hold of, but I wound be trying to reproduce entire armies, its far to much work and there is a lot of flash and mould lines to clean afterwards.

Would I recommend the process, yes, I would, but like I say, only for a few little bits and extras. One thing that did surprise me was that all of the detail on the original models was reproduced, as they are very detailed models.

The details on the front of the chest plate. Although not quite as good as the original, but still very good.
Also the details of the vent on the side of the pack. The bolts/lugs on the bottom of the pack didn't come out as well, but their still there.
Also, I would like to note that I am in no way advocating illegally reproducing other peoples work as I respect the original sculptor and all the work that goes in to the modelling process. If I still lived in England I would have taken a quick trip down to the local bits shop (Graham's Wuerkshoppe) and picked up some more Cadian bodies, but living up north means that I don't have that option and the cost of bits on eBay is just silly. So this was a last resort, and I will be purchasing more boxes in the future, rather then just copy, as I would like to see more Eisenkern boxes in the future.

Friday 2 October 2015

The 40k rumour mill

Well, the 40k rumour mill is in full effect again after an eternity of AoS, well, ok, maybe not an eternity just a few months.

So, what's been doing the rounds? well, we all know now that Tau are up next with more cheese suits.  I still haven't seen much, mostly cos I haven't been looking, but from what I've seen, its the same old stuff, just getting rehashed or getting bigger with more guns. I don't mind, its what happens, after all look at SM's and Centurions.

Tau are still one of my least favourite armies, and it will be interesting to see what happens to them, both in terms of rules and points as I think both need adjusting. It will also be interesting to see what happens to there FOC, as this is bound to get a shake up. I personally have no idea how the Tau are formed apart the castes, so I assume that there will be various formations formed from these casts based around a main Fire Caste detachment. It will be interesting to see and may well show if GW have changed anything again.

What's more interesting is the other rumours, that about Chaos and AM. Although these seem pretty far out at the moment, early next year from what I've seen. So what's likely to happen? Well, chaos needs some work and while people don't like the Khorn Demonkin book, I did, and think they should do the extra books. The main think I thing chaos need more than anything, maybe even more that a points adjustment, is fearless or at least an equivalent to ATSKNF. In the end, I think they will be in a similar vain to SM's, with there own twists, maybe this is where we will see the various gods coming in to play, with different "chapter tactics". but who knows.

The main one that interested me however is the AM rumours, as you'd expect. I don't think that there will be new units, it wasn't long ago that we got some new toys, and I cant see any spaces for new units. What really interests/worries me is the new FOC. What will happen? I assume that the whole lot will be based around a infantry company, with supporting elements.

So, what do I mean? Well, I can see a central company structure as a compulsory choice, with options for vets or a platoon. with detachments of armour (Russes), artillery (Wyverns), AA (Hydras), etc, etc. with all of the benefits of taking 3 of each. I can also see there being a few cool set-ups, such as Wyverns with a Taurox in a similar vain to the Wirlwind/Speeder set-up.

While I'm looking forward to some of the possible formations, I am worried about what its going to do to my armies, as I think it will require a complete rethink, ala the new SM codex.