April 30, 2016

40k State of the Game Survey

Found this online today very interesting reading.  Its a bit light on details about the methodology so as an academic I'm not entirely trusting of the results - the sample size isn't that great for example and participant self-selection tends to skew results - but its still extremely interesting nonetheless. Now just imagine for a minute if GW did something like this or even just paid attention to it.  You can get the results and access to the full report here.

Some of the findings are what you would expect e.g. spending habits but there are a couple of interesting ones:

  • Advertising responsible for 5% of players getting into the game, but zero players with less than 5 years experience.
  • Hobby stores ability to get new players into the game has been declining.
  • Older gamers spend the most money, not new players.
  • 50% of all spending is done online
  • 91% of respondants play 40k video games which is notable only for what it says about the respondants in the survey sample.  I would suggest that this figure would be significantly lower across the 40k population as a whole.  The 91% reflective of this being an internet survey.
  • 64% of players use non-GW paints, but not necessarily exclusively.
  • A majority play now defunct games such as WHFB & Mordheim, only 21% play Age of Suckmar most within the new gamer bracket.
  • No one seems to like GW much outside of their fluff and miniatures.
And finally surprise surprise Eldar are the best of Chaos the worst (+ Sisters) armies.

April 29, 2016

WIP - Blood Thirster of Insensate Rage

Making progress on this guy.  Base coats and first wash done.  Started doing highlights/layers on selected areas starting with the chest area.

KD Blood Host - Holy Crap D Bloodthirsters are fun!!!

Last two games of our local summer league last night up against a Grey Knight Psyker we hate Daemons list and a "Look everyone has a melta and massive flamers" Salamanders list.  For both games I was using the Blood Host I'm planning on taking to Maelstrom which included my recently assembled Bloodthirster of Insenate Rage.  Details are a little hazy due to lack of sleep recently so I'll just post pictures to tell the story.  Either way both games were complete blood baths, and boy oh boy are D Weapon Bloodthirsters fun in combat....
He hit me first with Force if I failed I died - I hit him 2nd with D if he failed he'd die... ummmm
As you can probably tell from the Blood Thirster I've started the painting process.  Base coats and initial washes have been done and the basing is largely complete as well. Just layers and highlighting left should be done in a couple of days.

April 26, 2016

Online X-Wing simulator

Thanks to one of the New Zealand X-Wing Facebook groups I'm in I came across this really good online X-Wing simulator last week - Squad Benchmark  It allows you to build lists for all the factions and fly them against other opponents either human (on the same PC I think haven't explored that option yet) and more importantly a computer AI version.  You can build your own lists and those of your opponent or pre-select from a range of lists provided by the site.  These lists include Top 10 lists I assume based on those found in actual competitions.

The game screen - map in the middle, team rosters to either side.
Simple controls for picking actions & making attacks etc
The sites easy to use the game mechanics all work reasonably well and it's a lot of fun to play.  I've spent most of my time on it the last few days practicing against some of the form popular Top 10 lists of the last 12-18 months e.g. Y-Wing TLT horde & the Bro-Bots.  Some mechanisms don't quite work so you can't for example deliberately fly your ship into an asteroid which is quite useful at times, take back bad moves (which would be useful for a site thats about play testing lists), and the scale of the map isn't perfect so I've flown a few ships off the edge because its not quite right.

Combats easy - you have the option of accepting the random dice rolls or "cheating" and changing the results

But if you can't find an opponent for the table for a game have a few on the site it works and its a good way to pass the time.  If your an X-Wing player/fan check it out...

Age of Sigmar getting points now?!

It appears that GW has "listened" to the public and decided to modify Age of Suckmar for competitive play by returning to a points based system.

Nice idea but it's 12 months too late for me and the local community which was gutted by the death of 8th Ed WHFB. Points are nice but it's not going to get me playing the game, it won't restore the local tournament scene and it won't reunite a Fantasy community that has fractured into several camps only one of which (KoW) in my opinion has the critical mass to be nationally sustainable.

Those camps btw are (1) AoS players (2) 8th Ed players (3) 9th Ed (4) KoW and (5) guys like me who've quit fantasy altogether.  Good luck getting them back together especially guys like me after spending a year sucking all of the enthusiasm and enjoyment I once had for the game out of me.

Now if they adjusted their pricing then I'd believe they were listening to people

April 24, 2016

WIP - Pinning the Bloodthirster

Models fully assembled so pins went in this morning and the BT was pinned on his base.  Surprisingly hard to drill into the skull footing on the model but it should be secure now. Painting next once I get some more Mephiston Red and Drakenhoff Wash

April 23, 2016

WIP - Bloodthirster of Insenate Rage

Budget wise I shouldn't have gotten him but I got a very good deal and I'm impatient so why the hell not.  The kit is another example of GW excellent workmanship and the gulf between their plastics and those of other manufacturers.  Trickiest thing about assembly was getting the tongue into the mouth the rest of it fitted together cleanly and easily.  The balance of the model was quite good as well with the majority of the torso and both legs assembled it stood up on its base without any form of assistance.  
Initial assembly the model is standing up without any form of adhesive or support
The kit though does allow you  to build all three versions of the Bloodthirster if you work the pieces carefully and magnetise the different weapon options.  But I went with the Great Axe of Khorne bearing BT of Insenate Rage because I like the look of that one the most.  Basing wise I opted to go with putting him in flight using the skulled/flaming base as I like the look of it and had plans for how to make it look good.  

April 22, 2016

Khorne Blood Host vs. Tyranids & Iron Hands

Two more games last night.  The first against a difficult to face Tyranid force complete with 4 Hive Tyrants all of which were flying meaning I needed 6's to hit them and my close combat orientated army was largely powerless.  The 2nd was against an Iron Hands force utilising the new updates which included altered Warlord traits, buffs to their FNP saves and changed objectives.  

Game 1 vs. Tyranids
Took me a turn to realize that a combat army orientated for Melee won't last long vs. an army whose key stuff is all swooping.  Havoc Launchers were proving effective though...

April 20, 2016

Khorne Daemonkin Blood Host or CAD @ 1500?

Thanks to a mate with UK connections I'll be getting a Bloodthirster earlier than expected and a lot cheaper too meaning I'll be able to take one and a Lord on Juggarnaut to Maelstrom in June.  The BT turns up on Thursday so I should get 7 weeks of gaming in after that and possibly 10+ games to practice with it.  Getting the BT early also means taking a new list to the event - but the question is do I go with a CAD or the Blood Host??
The Blood Host gives you some amazing benefits principally the free tithe point each turn and access to the Gorepack + Slaughtercult combo.  But it lacks objective secured troops which given the scenarios being used I'll need at Maelstrom and it fields less bodies.  So two options swinging in my head right now.

CSM Display Board finished + some Plasma gun dudes

Finished the display board as you can see its pretty simple so well below Adepticon standard but it works for me.  If I get the cash I'm already working on building a larger version complete with terrain and buildings.  Darkened up the paint job by washing it with Ink before giving it a light white dry brush so the colour matches the bases of my figures.  No flock or grass tufts added to it as they would get lost amongst all the figures once they are on there. Also finished - for want of anything else to do - the 3 Plasma Gun CSM I had sitting around.  Rushed a bit but they're table top standard at least.

April 18, 2016

Chaos Rhino finished... nothing left to paint

Finished my Rhino this morning (benefits of being home with kids for holidays) which is good, but also bad as I now have nothing left to paint.  Or rather nothing left I want to paint as I'm not counting the 3 Plasma Gun armed CSM I can't be bothered finishing.  Display board pretty much done as well, will finish it tonight after giving it a wash to darken it up this morning it still requires ash and grass tufts.  But miniature wise I'm all done and fighting quite hard to resist the urge to buy anything else for a few months...

April 16, 2016

Khorne Daemokin Blood Host vs. Biker Orcs @ 1500pts

Pictorial report of my 2nd match from last week against another Orc horde this one full of bikes and jet bikes.  Deployment meant we were playing along the length of the table and some lucky cards allowed me to grab an early TO advantage.  We were using the rules from the upcoming event in June so some the TO decks were cut in half and most had been modified e.g. D3 cards gave you an automatic 2 points.

The more I play KD the better I'm getting and I seemed to play this one smarter than previous matches - but the lack of that Blood Thirster or even Maulerfiend hitting power is starting to show.  KD either need lots of bodies to die which kind of necessitates taking a CAD as you can spam lots of Cultist units or having to kill stuff in combat.  Problem is the CAD lacks the Tithe bonuses of the Slaughtercult and Blood Host which are just too good to turn down.

Either way this was another enjoyable game that reinforced my preference for KD over CSM and that Orcs are definitely an army I'd consider starting at some point (if I had the money of course).

April 15, 2016

Daemonkin Blood Host vs. Orcs @ 1500pts

Two more games of my local summer league again last night and once again the Khorne Daemonkin Bloodhost found itself facing off against hordes of Orcs.   Two very different games the first against an infantry horde army full of shooting, the 2nd against a very mobile tough force consisting predominantly of Jet Bikes and Bikes.  Nothing exciting about the Blood Host this week - people complain about Possessed but I actually quite like them.  Gave all the Rhinos Havoc Launchers just because...

Blood Host
Slaughter Cult - Core Detachment
w. Plasma Pistol, Blood Forged Armour, Sigil of Corruption, Power Weapon
9 x Cultists
9 x Cultists
10 x CSM
w. CCW, Melta, Melta, Rhino, Havoc Launcher
10 x CSM
w. CCW, Melta, Melta, Rhino, Havoc Launcher
5 x Possessed
w. Rhino, Havoc Launcher

3 x Bikes
w. Melta, Melta
3 x Bikes
w. Melta, Melta
5 x Hounds
5 x Hounds

War Machine
1 x Hellbrute
w. Powerfist, Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta

Absolutely loving the Blood Host - getting that free Tithe point every turn combined with the Slaughtercult's free tithe bonus makes them extremely effective.  My goal each round was basically to give myself at least 4 points so I could give the whole army Apocalytpic Fury for +1 A and the army wide Feel No Pain.  If I had the models I'd spam Blood Crushers and Blood Thirsters but honestly +1A on MoK 2 hand weapon Cultists is just nuts, helps when Possessed role a 5 or 6 for their ability as well.

April 13, 2016

WIP - CSM Display Board lava pits & Rhino

The practice attempts with the Vallejo Still Water worked out pretty well so I started work on the lava pits for the display board this afternoon.  Product takes 24 hours to dry properly but after only 4-5 hours the results are looking quite good.  Application is fairly easy although a key tip is that the paint you use to colour it needs to be thin or it won't spread effectively.

Lava looks better in person
The process involved pouring the stuff into the area you want covered and letting it settle for a bit. Then start dropping your colour in following the usual process of dark to light shades.  Don't add a lot just a few drops here and there then swirl them around with something to get the desired effect.  For the base colour I used a popsicle stick to spread it right through.  For the shading I used smaller amounts of paint and spread them through with a match stick.  Blowing on the Still Water also seems to work and the product flowed nicely when I tilted the board which helped things mix.

The craters look good but I'm not sold on the areas that spread over the surface they don't look as realistic - if they haven't improved by morning I'll scrap them off and redo them like the rest of the board.

April 12, 2016

WIP - CSM/Khorne Daemonkin Display Board & CSM Rhino

A few more supplies arrived today and I also managed to pick a couple of more up allowing me to make some additional progress on my CSM/Khorne Daemonkin display board.  Paint has gone down its just basic poster paint with a few extra layers dry brushed on with each layer getting slightly lighter as I use less gray and more white in the mix.  Vallejo Still Water also turned up meaning I can start work on the lava areas hence the red areas on the board - needed to give a good base colour.  Have started a couple of tests with the Still Water to get the product right before I put it on the board.  Trick appears to be getting the amount of colour you put in just right.  It does do some interesting things when you mix the colours though which holds promise of a good result.
Display board after painting and dry brushing - still needs the lava and I'm debating whether or not to flock it with the Ash and Grass Tufts I use on my CSM miniatures

April 9, 2016

Chaos Flesh Hounds & Obliterators completed + extras

Finally finished these units yesterday (well finished minus some grass tufts which haven't arrived yet) which means I officially have no units left to paint just a few minor odds and ends (3 Plasma Marines & 15+ Roman Legionnaires).  Army starting to take shape for Maelstrom in June - Juggarnaut Lord should arrive by then but I won't be getting anything more till Christmas.  Ordered some Vallejo Still Water to help create lava stuff for my Display Board.  If it works well I'll start redoing some of my unit bases as well especially the big stuff.  Finishing touches on the other models included decals on my Bikes hence more pics of them and I felt taking a new on of my Contemptor as well as the models cool.
WHFB Chaos War Hounds work well as KD Flesh Hounds especially at NZ$55 for a box of 10 vs. NZ$95 for five standard Flesh Hound models - really need another 10 at some stage

April 8, 2016

CSM vs. White Scars Dbl Demi-Company @ 1500pts

Seriously some armies get really cool stuff.  Hoping that any new CSM codex gives us some variation of the Chapter Tactics & Formations that Space Marines get - Legion Tactics for Word Bearers along the lines of Forgeworld would be grand.
Deployment and opening scout moves - I've massed most of my stuff on the left with Cultists and Obliterators hanging back to hold objectives.  His stuff is mainly toward my centre and right flank
Only one game last night due to small turnout and people having to leave.  Up against Simon and a White Scars (I think) list full of a lot of tricks. Opted to try out a vanilla CSM list as I had finished painting my Obliterators and wanted to use them.

Chaos Space Marines CAD
Lord w. Bike, MoN, Black Mace, Sigil of Corruption, Combi-Melta, Gift of Mutation
8 x CSM w. CCW, Bolt Pistols, Power Sword, Rhino, Dirge Caster
8 x CSM w. CCW, Bolt Pistols, Power Sword, Rhino, Dirge Caster
10 x Cultists
10 x Cultists
5 x Bikes w. MoN, Melta, Melta
3 x Obliterators
3 x Obliterators

Simon had a load of Razorbacks, 4+ units of scouting Bikes, drop pods, heavy weapons teams and other nasty stuff with Grav guns everywhere.  Getting Turn 1 he had most of his army up in my face after scouting and even more dropping behind me.  Turn 2 the rest came on and it was not looking good.  Oh and his list had the ability to booby trap buildings and terrain making them dangerous terrain for all of my guys - but not his.... joy!!
Forgeworld turrets on GW vehicles look exceptionally cool although they were carrying Heavy Bolters not the Laser Cannons depicted.
Meanwhile in one of the nights other games these 4 bad boys turned up
4 Knights = 1500pts apparently
Lucky for me Simons shooting turned out to be horribly ineffective during the first turn and with so many of his units running in close to mine I had a lot of targets to choose from.  One unit of Obliterators had a lot of fun with its heavy flamers and first blood went to me.

Looks good so far - until the Grav Gun squads dismount and half the Cultists die from moving through dangerous terrain - serves them right for fleeing though 
Raptors are cool but 1/3 of them got munched when this drop pod with Grav gun guys in it landed next to them and blew them away followed by the Razorbacks behind them.  
Seeing their CSM masters get chopped up filled the Cultists with indignant rage and they charged through the dangerous terrain to assault them killed 4 but the last one hung on...
I had 2 Objective 6 TO cards so we all went that way plus it was a good place to hide from all of his shooting until that was 2 drop pods landed next to us and 2 units of Bikes scouted on to the rear.
Always helps to remember whats in your list - forgot that my CSM Champions had Power Swords and more importantly that each Rhino had a Dirge Caster meaning no overwatching with 6"...
Obliterators hanging - against overwhelming firepower
Biker squad duel T6 for the Nurgle guys kept them alive but...
 Time for a challenge - my Lord vs. his as we both had the Slay the Warlord TO it was obviously meant to be.  Problem is the Black Mace has unwieldy so you go last and Simons guy had a weapon that caused instant death on a "6".  Guess what he rolled... thats right a "6"... guess what I rolled on my 4++ invulnerable save.. thats right a "3"... joy.... stupid unwieldy
HA HA Grav Guns fail to hit anything and get chopped up by CSM - Dogs on the left are SM Bikes they get munched too.
 While I was killing stuff Simon had an army with 15+ Objective Secured units in it vs. my 6 and by Turn 3 had secured all of the objectives wracking up 18 points in the process to my 4.  The game was pretty much as there was no way I could catch up not when 1/2 his army wasn't even engaged, and in fact didn't need to be and I was fast running out of bodies.
Last throw of the dice...
In the end it was an enjoyable game but all I could think about the whole way through was "imagine how many Blood Tithe points I would have right now" and "Unwieldy GRRR"... Khorne next week...

April 5, 2016

WIP - CSM Obliterators, Flesh Hounds & Display Board

Minor progress on a few items.  6 Obliterator's nearly done just need some final dry-brushing and washing.  As a unit they're really good but the models aren't that great as the sculpting and detailing is very messy at least IMO.  Have 5 metal versions now (plus one unassembled) and 3 failcast - interesting to discover that the 2 I already had have been heavily modified.  Benefits of buying 2nd hand I guess.  10 Flesh Hounds have had a base coat and initial wash only.

Display board is going slowly after seeing the pictures coming out of Adepticon 2016 I've seen just have much further I could take it. Unfortunately mountains of terrain especially buildings are not possible budget wise but I did have a go at adding some craters which turned out quite well.  Easy process whack some Polyfilla down stick a round object in the middle and then shape the edges.
Ran out of poster paint hence the 1/2 coverage on the grey base coat
The craters were meant to be shell holes but after building them I realised that to make realistic shell holes I would had to make the whole board thicker/deeper and put the holes into it as they wouldn't sit on top as they do. So I'm going to turn them into lava pits instead having just found a great tutorial on how to do it.

Am looking at some alternative terrain pieces including 1:35 scale WW2 model kits, still have couple of months to go till Maelstrom so no rush right now. No gaming this week unfortunately due to other commitments.

April 3, 2016

WH40k CSM Rhinos updated

Did a slight repaint on my 2 Rhinos today to darken them up and get them looking more like my Land Raider.  Repaint didn't involve stripping and starting again although I did consider it.  Basically the original paint job was too bright and rather flat.  To fix them up I gave them a good wash with Drakenhoff Nightshade and some watered down highlights with Mephiston Red.  Dry brushing with Vallejo Gun Metal to give them a slight worn out look and finally a few transfers and they're all done.

Borrowed an idea off Glen Burfield from the blog Wrythhold (well worth a look btw) and photographed them using one of Forgeworlds HH novels as the back drop.  Going to do that with all my miniatures from now on as it looks good. Writing on each vehicle was achieved using a standard small nib writing pen from a local stationary store.

April 2, 2016

WIP #2 Chaos Space Marine display board

Bit more progress on my display board.  As I like Daemonkin I opted to build a Khorne emblem in the middle of it.  Materials are popsicle sticks glued down. Extra polyfilla put down to smooth out edges.  Not sure how I'll paint it either metallic or blood red.

Board all covered and dry ready for undercoat
Closer look at the symbol
 Also on the painting table are the 6 extra Obliterators that arrived yesterday from the UK.  Good times all round