Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silent Blog, Not Wholly 40k

 Pardon the weak pun in the title

Sigh. I hate starting my posts by apologising, but its been over a month since my last post so I guess I am a little bit sorry :) So why haven't I been posting? Well I haven't played a game of 40k in months with no sign of the drought ending any time soon. And after working hard painting my Russian Imperial Guard I lost traction on that project. Haven't painted a Space Marine in a couple of months. Hey at least I have picked up the 6th edition rulebook.

So what I have been doing? Playing Android:Netrunner, deckbuilding Netrunner, browsing Netrunner forums and resisting starting a Netrunner blog. I absolutely love this game, the latest LCG from Fantasy Flight. But I've in general avoided posting about it here as this has always been primarily a wargaming blog, and I don't want to spam you all with off topic card game crap :)

That said, I am getting the 40k itch again. I want to play 6th edition games with my Crimson Fists! As a father of two I struggle to find the energy to organise a new playgroup and get out there. I guess  I am going to have to make time for it.

One thing I've been considering is starting a 750 point league at Good Games Melbourne on Wednesdays. I actually love playing at this points level because you have to think on your feet and cool stuff happens. Perhaps I'll get that off the ground in the new year.

Otherwise I have recently bought a couple of good board games so I could post reviews of those. I'll also post a toolbox Space Marine list I have been working on recently. Perhaps I'll get some painting done over the summer holidays and have some pretty pics to post!

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all my loyal readers and I hope you have a happy year of gaming to come in 2013.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Resurrecting my Plague Marines III: Army Lists

I'll tell you what; building armies with this new codex is a refreshing change - there are plenty of options! Here is something I am confident I would love to play.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Resurrecting my Plague Marines II: The Unpainted

Following on from my previous post, here I am going to go through my unpainted / unassembled Chaos Space Marine models. These forces have been gathered from bargain purchases off Wargamer AU in the four years since I built the original army. These reserves have been patiently awaiting their chance to be unleashed on unsuspecting enemies and spread a little pestilence.

In general I love the assembly and modelling part of the hobby, but the level of detail I have gone to in this army makes some of the tasks a little onerous. Still with a new codex (well I don't actually have the codex but its starting to look like I'll have to pick it up) one can find the patience and energy to do what has to be done :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Resurrecting my Plague Marines I: The Painted

Well, well, well. A new Chaos Space Marines codex sees the light of days. Four years ago (or something to that effect) I was just getting back into 40k. I had harboured a fondness for the followers of Nurgle for a long time, and made the commitment to start a Nurgle army. My idea was to theme the force around a Chaos Sorcerer and his immediate retinue, supported by a horde of plague animate zombies brought back to life by the Sorcerer's will.

By the time I had got my shit together and bought a couple of CSM boxes, the new simplified codex wa released and my plans were in tatters. The best they could do was vary my zombies as Lesser Daemons, which didn't really work thematically. They (and my chaos lord) didn't have Feel No Pain damn it! I love my FNP. I built that force up to around 1200 points, before my "el cheapo" Crimson Fists force started to dominate my hobby time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Android: Netrunner Initial Thoughts

It finally arrived! I walked into Good Games Melbourne during lunchtime on Tuesday. Looking around and lo and behold - a bunch of large brown boxes labelled Fantasy Flight Games. The first had something about Star Wars minis, so I threw it aside. But there underneath was what I have been waiting for all these weeks, "Android: Netrunner" in bold print.

From there it was easy. I grabbed the guy from behind the counter and forced him to open the boxes. I then waited patiently whilst he called his boss for a retail price. $55 later, and the box was mine. I think I was probably the first person in Melbourne to own a box.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Android: Netrunner: The Eternal Wait

You know that unhealthy feeling when you start to get obsessed with a game? Spending all your waking hours:
  • writing army lists / deck lists
  • cycling repeatedly through every related web forum, waiting for new posts
  • studying spoilers to memorise stats
  • talking about it to people who don't care...
Well I got it bad for Android:Netrunner -  and I don't even have the game yet! I have been walking to my FLGS each day at lunch, and asking the same question - "Netrunner?". The answer is invariably no, but the exercise is good for me. Just recently the answer changed to something like "We expect the ship in Sydney any day now", then "The boxes are in customs", all the way to "In a trunk on the way to our warehouse and should be in tomorrow" (that was today). I wrote a haiku to capture my frustration:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tau in 6th Ed: Crisis Suits (POST FAQ!)

I dropped an article one week ago going through the Tau crisis suit armoury options and unit configuration options in detail. Then, after all this hard work, Games Workshop release their now famous Warhammer 40k 6.1 Ed FAQs, screwing up several of my analyses and ruining a couple of tactical options that I was looking forward to trying out on the table.

However I can't complain because (A) they at least reinstated target locks to their former glory, and (B) these FAQs are fair, balanced, and the best thing to happen to 40k since, um ... OK I dunno. Maybe the Ork codex. Whatever, choose something that you liked. So instead here is the revised version, with original text scored out when no longer applicable, and new coolness added.

Oh yeah, not relevant to this article but disruption pods now give shrouding! Thats a 3+ cover save for all Tau vehicles which have 25% cover. Just saying :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

40k Rulebook and Codex FAQs Summarised

This is just me copying and pasting the interesting looking entries from each FAQ, without large amounts of thought. It the ruling was obvious to me I didn't bother. Take it for what it is.

My general impression is "well done', this is a positive and well thought out update, something that we all wished for I'm sure. Some of the cheesiness of 6th edition has been toned down - Fateweaver, Tau drone characters - leaving Flyers at the top of the cheese mountain.

You can find all the FAQs on the Games Workshop site.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: 28mm Russian Heads from West Wind Productions

I'm building a WWII Russian themed Imperial Guard Armoured Company. Its taking me a while, but one of the blockers has just been overcome - my Russian heads from West Wind Productions have finally arrived. West Wind have a line they call their Separate Heads System, where most of the heads they make for 28mm lines are available separately.

Firstly, let me complain about how long these tool to arrive. They took a LONG TIME. Checking my emails, I put my order in on 23rd June and was informed they shipped from the UK on 5th July, two weeks later. They arrived OVER FIVE WEEKS after that, on 10th August. Don't expect swift service here folks.

At least everything arrived as ordered.  I ordered 80 heads with helmets and 20 with caps. They come in packets of 20, with four connected to each sprue, cast in white metal. There is also a colourfully illustrated catalogue, that sadly has no pictures. Duh! There aren't any pics online either, I had to go sight unseen and that doesn't help sales folks.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tournament: Judgement Day 7

So I'm back and recovered from a day of 6th edition 40k action at the annual Judgement Day tournament. This 750 point tournament is hosted by the Western Suburbs Wargaming Association, and this was the 7th year of its operation.

I had just finished painting this army the night before. A bunch of rats from the Warhammer box set painted up as Horrors and Nurglings, lead by the big man Kai-rat Fatecheeser himself. The display board was a plate I bought from a $2 store on the way home from work the night before, covered with air-drying clay, and spray painted and dry brushed in the morning. Here's the list:
  • Fatecheeser
  • 6 Horrors with bolt and icon
  • 5 Horrors with bolt
  • 5 Horrors with bolt
  • 4 Nurglings
  • 4 Nurglings

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quick Update Before Judgement Day: Army Pic

Well time to jump into the car and head off to Judgement Day once more. Here are the boys all ready for transport. Not really ready for my first 6th edition game...

I'm promise I'll take photos! Tournament report coming.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Netrunner: A Classic CCG is Reborn

Along time ago in 1996, after Magic had created a brand new genre of gaming, a new CCG was popping onto (and often out of) the market every time i visited my local gaming store. One of these, a little game called Netrunner, was written by none other than the creator if Magic himself - Richard Garfield. It was themed on cyberpunk style corporate hacking, and in an original twist it was 2 player asymmetric, with one player taking on the role of the Mega-Corporation, and the other playing the insidious hacker breaking in to the network.

Netrunner was quite a revolutionary game bringing bags of new tech to the SCCG genre. However it also suffered from issues in balance, and it was discontinued relatively quickly. This is one of those games that the players have never let die, and the crew on http://www.netrunneronline.com/ have apparently worked to balance existing cards, as well as release their own virtual expansions online. The game obviously inspires loyalty in its players.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

40k Squeaky Daemons

Kai-Rat Fatecheeser!

I'm going to the Judgement Day 7 tournament on August 4th, less than three weeks from today. They are going to be running 6th edition, of which I have not even seen the rulebook. I'm not going to buy the big rule book (its $120 is Australia!) so I pretty much will have to learn the rules from the internet. That should be fun.

However in order to keep myself on my toes I have decided to build a new army for the event. Its a stupid idea I have been playing with in my head for a while - building a budget Chaos Daemons army using only the skaven models from the Isle of Dread box. My original idea was to model Horrors by taking a basic skaven model and replacing the hand weapons with sculpted flames, so that each rat's hand appears engulfed in fire. The flames would be painted blue/green/yellow to look magicky.

The next logical step is to use the Rat Ogre models as Daemon Princes. Also with their hand on fire to represent the good old Bolt of Change. I had done a couple of test scupts of fire when I was thinking of building a fire themed Ork army, with Wierdboys on fire and Lobbas with flaming ammunition. So I knew it was possible.

I've got a set of moon-themed resin bases that I won at Judgement Day 5, which I am going to use mainly because I have all the right base sizes. My idea in painting them is to keep the colours drab, paint the flames and eyes bright, then have a have a stab at object source lighting. Might not be a good idea to do that in the next three weeks though! I guess they will be lucky to get three colours in the time available.

I have a few more ideas to round out the army. I have some Giant Rats that will work beautifully as Nurgling bases. The LotR Warg models will make a perfect Flesh Hound - everyone needs something to deal with the ubiquitous Grey Knights right? Finally the skaven two-rat special weapons teams should be convertable into Flamers with a little thought.

Thank the lord that Judgement Day aren't requiring list submission before the even. I have a heap of list ideas though I need to settle soon if I am to make sure that everything is painted. I'll leave you for now with the two examples of lists I am thinking of taking:

Squeaky Daemons (750)
Herald of Tzeentch - We are Legion, Master of Sorcery, Bolt of Tzeentch (95)
8 Horrors - Bolt of Change, Changeling (151)
5 Horrors - Bolt of Change (95)
5 Horrors - Bolt of Change (95)
8 Nurglings (104)
Daemon Prince - Mark of Tzeentch, Daemonic Flight, Master of Sorcery, Bolt of Tzeentch (210)

Squeaky Daemons with Cheese (749)
Fateweaver (333)
5 Horrors - Bolt of Change (95)
5 Horrors - Bolt of Change (95)
5 Horrors - Bolt of Change (95)
8 Flesh Hounds - Fury of Khorne (130)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Probability of Failing Charges (including Fleet!)

Sadly with the demise of my local club I haven't been able to get in a game of the new 40k, so I haven't had much to post. I will say that I love most of the changes in theory, except the god-awful wound allocation rules and the game balance fucking of the flier rules. With all the new rules and dice rolling I thought I could help out by calculating the probabilities of a very important new mechanic.

Random charges have got to be up there in the list of most controversial changes in the new edition. Personally I'm on the fence, but then again I only play shooty armies. It's pretty harsh for assaulting armies to fail a charge. The rules now are that units roll 2d6 to determine their charge range (after a 6" move). Saving your jump pack for the assault allows you to reroll the dice. Fleet allows you either reroll both dice or just reroll one of them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pre-Review: A Game of Thrones LCG

There is a group of people at my work who have been playing games after work on Fridays. I think it all started when I brought in Bang! one day, and since then I have also had success with Carcasonne, Settlers and Battlestar Galactica. Now four of us have put together $15 each to buy the "A Game of Thrones" living card game.

I've always thought that the workplace provides a great environment for getting into a CCG. The reason is that by only playing with participating workmates, you can easily control the available cardpool and this keep costs low. Well an LCG is a little different but I assume the same general principals apply - there is no need to buy all the little expansions when no-one else is either. New cards will come through trading, and buying the occasional expansion to be shared amongst the plaayers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Podcast Reviews - Mantic + 40k

I have three new podcasts up for review this week. Interestingly two of them are Mantic related, which has been so rare up until now as to be non-existent.

Before I get into the reviews, just a quick note that The Overlords podcast has finally switched to a biweekly format. This is great news for me, as I had dropped them from my subscription list strictly due to time constraints. They are back on now and I enjoyed hearing those familiar voices.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The M42 Project - A 40k Alternative

I should have posted this a long time ago. I want to bring to the attention of all my readers the brave and original efforts of the crew at the M42 Project. This site is an attempt to build a set of balanced, simple wargaming rules in order to provide a directly competing alternative to the behemoth that is the 40k rulebook.

The site's progenitor is Sandwyrm, one of the contributors to The Back 40k; an excellent 40k blog that I have been following for years. I always liked his content there and so when he dropped the bombshell that he was making a serious attempt to write an alternative rule set for his 40k armies it got me excited. I quickly subscribed to the new blog he set up to document this endeavour.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life Sized Space Marine Armour and then some

Sometimes people do amazing things. And then you meet some dude named Thorssoli. This gaming legend has done the most awesome thing that a 40k fanatic could ever do - he's gone and built himself his own full scale Space Marine power armour suit!

Actually he's making a whole bunch of them, even one with a heavy bolter AND the custom backpack. They stand 8' tall for christ's sake! Of course words fail to convey even an ounce of the ability this guy have. Have a look for yourself!

Want the full story? Then do what I have been doing over the past few months - start on page 1 of his forum blog and keep reading.

The Forum

As I am apparently terrible at providing in-depth articles at the moment, I thought I'd try to spam you with a few little things like this until I am inspired to write something with more heft. Anyone else nervous about 6th edition?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

List Evolution: Imperial Guard Tank Company: Part 2

 Having just blogged about my existing projects, I was inspired to revisit my Tank Company and move it forward. From a painting viewpoint it's a relatively easy project. I intend to mainly paint the models with sprays and washes, and won't be too worried about the details.

However I'm theming the army on WWII Russians, so I have acquired some tank rider models to attach to the Russes - probably using magnets. I also intend to replace all the Cadian heads with Russian heads from West Wind Miniatures. Its going to take me a while to get around to ordering those, but meanwhile I can move forward with painting the tanks.

What I'm really happy about is the new list I have come up with. It's always been my goal to squeeze 6 Leman Russ into a 1500 point list. My earlier versions were hampered by trying to include Pask and mechanise the troop selections, reducing me to only 5 Russes which was dissatisfying.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New and Old Projects

I'm about to start assembling and modeling on a new 40k army, and I'm getting pretty excited about it. This will initially be a 750 point force hopefully ready for this years Judgement Day around August. The great thing about this project is that the total cost of the models is only going to be $30! How is Plague Marine going to perform such a feat? Well there is going to be a lot of sculpting involved; by the end of this I should be a master a sculpting flames and painting object source lighting. That's all I'm going to say for now, but you should see more once I complete a test model.

Anyway this lead me to sit back for a second and ask the question: exactly how many projects am i juggling at the moment?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WIP "Young Helbrecht" Sneek Peek

For an upcoming campaign, I'm painting and adding new models to my Crimson Fists army so that I can play a 3000 point all deep strike list.

I'm going to need a Helbrecht counts - as; and it just so happens that I have his headless body, with distinctive back-slung combi-melta, lying in my bits box from. Well that made this project easy. I had to cover his bionic arm with green stuff as he hasn't lost it yet - that happens at the culmination of the campaign!.

The final touch really glams up the model. There were a bunch of cherub-held cloaks in the bits box at Battle Bunker so I grabbed one. I think it makes him look cool.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Still more 40k podcasts!

The TCP Podcast (link)

Over a year ago now, I wrote a review of The Codex Project (TCP), a website dedicated to the development of fan codices and rules for 40k. Obviously as a developer of fan rules myself I was intrigued. I tried to get involved on the site but it was something I didn't really have the spare time for. It's hard enough developing content by myself without having to do it by committee.

A year later, and it appears that TCP encountered issues similar to my own. The original potential has not been realised. However, Big Jim an Stucarius (Jeff) have now started a TCP podcast, with the mission of discussing alternatives to the published 40k rules and codices.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Necron Abyss Conspiracy

I now have around 6000 points of Crimson Fists, of which around 4000 points are painted. I start with a coat of Necron Abyss across basically the whole model. It's a great color - dark but still visible, and as close to purple as a blue can get whilst staying manly.

So imagine my horror when, listening to the last episode of the Turn 8 podcast, the host drops the bombshell that Necron Abyss and Regal Blue (a disgusting blue reminiscent of Ultramarines) both map to the same foundation colour accordin to Games Workshop.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

British Parachute Company - Pics!

I've been a lazy photographer for many months now. But I have not been so lazy at the painting table. So now that I have finally got off my butt and taken a few photos, I would like to proudly present my 1500 points of British Parachute Company all painted and varnished. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

List Evolution: Space Marine Bikes

I've wanted to play a bike list for ages - since I first saw White Scars in a white dwarf many years ago. I love elite (read - cheap) armies and I'm sure that such a mobile army would be a new and welcome challenge to figure out. Problem is that bikes may be elite but they sure aren't cheap - $18 each here in Australia (or something ridiculous like that).

Until recently I had only managed to scrape together 5 bikes for my crimson fists. At the ARC Bring and Buy I picked up 5 chaos bikers for $5. I had to then scalpel and file off all the spiky bits and Chaos glyphs. Then I picked up 4 Black Templar bikers for $25 on WargamerAU. So suddenly I am getting close! But how to play them?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What Up With The Plague

Hi. Long time no see. It just doesn't seem that I have the time to post regularly at the moment, so sporadic will have to do. Also, I really suck at photographing minis, mainly because of terrible indoor lighting. I've got a bunch of minis to show you, but need to organise a photo shoot. Looks like this post is going to degenerate into me telling you about the projects I have been up to recently.

Firstly I have bought the 3rd edition Flames of War rulebook and am in the process of reading this tome. Its full colour, beautifully illustrated with a massive index. The inside cover map is beautiful. And it comes with a free army list book. Expect a review when I have finished it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Any Ideas for my next Fan Codex / Chapter Approved?

Seems like I have the itch to work on another army list or supplement for 40k. I have some ideas but am not really committed at the moment. Currently I am considering the following, but I'm open to suggestions:
  • Chapter Approved - Salamanders
  • Savage Orks
  • Squats
  • Beastmen Guard
  • Movie Marines
What would you like to see me produce?

I've also created a new page to store links to my current collection of Alternate Rules for 40k.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Podcast Reviews: 40k and Flames of War

Hi loyal readers. I've got a couple of new 40k podcasts to share with you. In addition, with the blogs recent expansion to include Flames of War, I have included a review of every podcast that focuses on that system - of which there are two!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brief Tournament Report: Arcanacon 2012

For those that don't know, Arc is a huge 40k tournament in Melbourne, with 150 spots available this year - which is a reduction on previous years! Its the largest and longest running tournament in the southern hemisphere, and very difficult to get a ticket for as they sell out in hours. I was lucky to get my hands on a ticket reserved for Battle Bunker club members - thanks Diffey!

Once again I took my hybrid Tau out to play with the big boys - list is here. There were three Tau players in total, playing relatively similar lists. A new team had taken over the tournament and although there were a few delays and confusions they managed to get us over the line in the end - I don't envy them the task :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

British/Polish Parachute Company (1500)

I've been making good progress with my Paratroopers - pics to come shortly! Ive moved on and bought anti-tank guns and artillery, and have HMGs an Mortars on order. As my forces slowly build, it has become time to settle the 1500 point lists that I want to aim for.

Both these lists come from "A Bridge Too Far", which is the only briefing book I have. The first list is incredibly defensive, a true Parachute list. The second list lets me play around with recon and tanks :) Both lists are accompanied with a brief explanation of why I chose the units in question.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FoW vs 40k: Writing an Army List

As a 40k veteran dipping my toes into Flames of War, with what I assume is a 40k-centric readership, it seems a good opportunity to write a series of articles comparing elements of the two systems. I know I would have found such content invaluable during my preliminary investigation of Flames of War. If nothing else, it is an opportunity for the reader to increase their FoW literacy.

Building an army in Flames of War is superficially similar to 40k. Firstly you pick a briefing (40k: codex); then take the mandatory HQ and platoons (40k: units); choose additional platoons to taste; then fill up the remaining points with upgrade options. Of course whilst doing this you need to make sure that you maximize the synergies between units, and ensure that your selections can handle tanks, infantry, transports and aircraft.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Templars vs Necrons Campaign

Have you seen the campaign in the recent White Dwarf, pitting Necrons against Black Templars in a series of four battles? I have recently been challenged by Battle Bunker Joel, our resident Necron player, to participate in the full set of games against his robots with my Crimson Fists Black Templars.

This will be a great opportunity to have some fun with 40k, and might provide some motivation to buy and/or paint up a few extra models. It's also going to be a great source for some blog content. I'll make sure I take lots of pics of the games to share, and a report on the highlights and outcome of each battle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trading by Forum: WargamerAU Buy Swap & Sell

I have often heard from both podcasts and blogs the bad experiences people have buying second hand models from forums and eBay. I wanted to share with the world some of the great experiences I have had buying 40k models from the Buy Swap & Sell forum (BSS) on the WargameAU site. I also have a few ideas on why we on this forum have had a better experience than the average.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tau List for Arcanacon (1200 pts)

I'll be at Arcanacon in three weeks (28th January) and lists need to be in by midnight tomorrow so for those of you attending who are as lazy as I am PULL YOUR FINGER OUT. Download the player pack here.

I have been working on a 1200 point for a few weeks now. Basically a streamed down version of my usual 1500 point list that I have a lot of experience with now and am starting to master :) This is what I had up to this point:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Powerfist Tactica Link

I couldn't help but share this very clever tactics article with you all.

The White Scars blog is expanding of late and this is probably one of the new posters. This is top quality stuff and something that will improve my game with tactical marines no end.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tournament Scoring: Weighting & Normalisation

It's common in battle point tournaments for a player to receive a score in several categories - usually a subset of battle, comp, painting and sportsmanship. These scores are then added together to provide an overall score.