In 40k news, following on from the release of the Dark Eldar we are looking forward to what 2011 will bring. The Sherriff’s most recent newsletter gave us a taste of what to expect. Since the foul Xenos have been given some extra strength anyone who knows anything will be aware that there is a Space Marine release on the horizon… after all a new army has some new special rules, better come up with something that can ignore the majority of them!
In part i jest, in part I do not. However, on the horizon for the start of next year are reinforcements for the current strawberry stylings of mankind’s finest flavour of the month Space Marine Chapter, the Blood Angels. After the wonderful aesthetic of the elegant Dark Eldar it’s time to reveal to the public what happens when someone takes an expensive Forgeworld kit beats most of it into pulp with a baseball bat and then stick some parts from a discarded Airfix kit to whats left. Of course I refer to the current pictures of the Storm Raven doing the rounds on the Internet. For those too lazy to look for themselves I’ve included the pic below;
While rumours are pointing to the Necrons being redone early next year I wouldn’t put money on the Sherriff not trundling out another flavour of zealous, 80’s shoulder-pad styled, inter-planetary, pimp hand, super men before we see another alien release… after all, in the far future of the 41st Millennium, elite Human Troops outnumber everyone else 10 to 1!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, no posts for ages and then you get two posts within moments of each other!
For various reasons that are frankly none of your business, I took Monday off from work. Being one of the minority in our gaming group that actually works a proper week I normally don’t have the luxury of slobbing around, so Gribblin, Servitob and I decided the best way to spend that time was to crack out the 40k armies and have a bit of a rumble.
I spent Sunday night writing up some new lists as we were going to be playing with 1000pts lists. I knew that Servitob was going to be using his Blood Angels for the first time, so I put a pen to paper and came up with a Space Wolves list as well as a bit of a try-out Ork list. I’ll post up the Ork list I used first as these are the guys I went with against Servitob.
Big Mek – Shokk Attack Gun and Cybork Body
3 Mega Nobz – 2 Combi-rokkits
30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
5 Flash Gitz – Shootier, More Dakka
Never used the Gitz before but thought about giving them a try, after all, 24″ Str 6 Assault 2 guns seem like a good investment before looking at the potential of the D6 AP. This is also the first outing of my 30 Boyz mobs, going with all Shootas as well, sure I lose the 1 attack from the slugga Boyz but hopefully this will be balanced by the much better shooting capacity on the way over.
I let Servitob pick his table edge and go first, we rolled a Seize Ground with 4 objectives and Pitched Battle for deployment. Servitob then placed a Vindicator, Baal Predator, Death Company Razorback and a normal Razorback and that was it. Understandably it took me a little longer, everything I had went on the board meaning at the start of the game I outnumbered him over 15 to 1. I failed to seize the initiative (not that I really wanted it though). Servitob rolled his tank army forward, the Baal Predator opened up on the Big Mek who lost a wound (he was deployed in cover) and the Vindicator scattered to kill 3 Boyz. in return the Boyz all moved forwards supported on the right flank by the footslogging Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz. The Lootas sat at the table edge in my deployment zone minding their own business. The Big Mek didn’t blow himself up (for a change) and rolled 8 for the strength of his shot and even though he hit the Baal Predator he fluffed the penetration roll, in hindsight I should have picked on the other vehicles rather than the AV13 Predator.
Due to an appalling memory I can’t provide a blow by blow for the rest of the battle, however, here are the highlights of the game, there are effectively 2 objectives on each half of the table, I held my two from turn two through to the end. Hail of fire from the Lootas takes out the gun on the Vindicator, it stays put the whole rest of the game. Five tactical Mariness plus a Librarian disembark from their Razorback, the vehicle then tank shocks the Mega Nobz. I pass the morale test and then proceed to Tiger Uppercut the Razorback wrecking it. The Mega Nobz went into the Librarians squad and focussed on the Psyker, he took a couple of hits and was Instant Deathed. The Nobz were then seen off by the power fist wielding sergeant but their job had been completed. The Flash Gitz generally shot stuff up before dying to the Marines, the Power Fist did for them but it didn’t help when fighting the Marines that I forgot they are Nobs and have 2W each….
The Death Company Razorback pulled a hand brake turn in front of my right most objective and disembarked. I then charged a squad of Boyz in there and after a flurry of attacks they were all dead before the Nob even got a chance to swing, good work Boyz.
Servitob forgot to roll for his Terminator for 3 turns, when he finally did they arrived right in front of the lootas. A nice juicy target of 6 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Marines watched as the whole of my surviving Orks (by then the Mek was dead as were the Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz) turned around and shot, first the Lootas then the two Boyz mobs, in the end only a single Terminator was left and then got raped by the two Boyz mobs charging into close combat.
All that was left was the untouched Baal Predator and a Razorback. Servitob had moved everything back away from my army leaving me sat on the two objectives I’d held since the beginning of the battle. Once again my Boyz didn’t let me down, they kept plugging away and even with a lack of ranged armour busting weaponry pulled out a decent win. Sure, Servitob’s list wasn’t great, even so Orks have a problem popping high armour unless they make it into combat and fast vehicles zooming all over the place aren’t easy to hit. It was a fun game though and has given me things to think about for army composition in the future.
The second game saw me take my Space Wolves against Gribblin’s almost never seen Tau. This could not have gone more differently than my previous game. Again, here’s my list;
5 Terminator Wolf Guard with various weapons, incl Heavy Flamer
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns and a Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasma Guns and a Power Fist
5 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons
We rolled Annihilation and Pitched Battle, I took a table edge and deployed first, Gribblin managed to seize initiative in a game where it really cost me not going first. First turn I lose half of the Plasma Grey Hunters, can’t pass a 3+ save at all, my dice have deserted me. Njal gets headshotted by the Hammerhead at the top of turn 2, will put him in a squad next time, if I take him again at all. My Long Fangs hit often but cannot roll more than a 1 or a 2 on their penetration rolls, and whatever I roll is saved by disruption pods anyway. Meltagun Grey Hunters kill off Pathfinders in close combat then get shot up in the following turn leaving a single Meltagun armed Grey Hunter alive on the table, in an action that sums up how the game went he moves behind a Devilfish, hits the rear armour with his gun, penetrates and rolls a 1. I call the game there at the end of turn 5 without rolling for another turn, I have 1 kill point to Gribblin’s 4. The Terminators got shot by Battlesuits and then died in combat to Kroot…. very embarrassing, lots of 1’s for armour saves there.
It was all over rather quickly. Every time I sit down to 40k I always sit there in awe of the advantages other armies have over me and worry about my weaknesses, however, even at the very worst of times my Orks have never let me down. Sure the SAG Mek likes to blow himself up and I haven’t won all my games, My PK Nobs may miss most of the time with their attacks but overall the army seems to perform well for me. I think it’s time to evict the Space Wolves and focus more on my Greenskins, at least until the new Dark Eldar codex arrives. If those models are good then everyone already knows they will have a new army to face, if not however, I think I have a very green future ahead of me.
Not so long ago I wrote about my initial experiences with a painting system called ‘The Army Painter’ (here)
Well, I’ve been experimenting further with this system for the benefit of all of our regular reading and painting googlespiders and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. So without much further ado or fanfare may I present to you my latest speedpainting creations:
The actual technique hasn’t changed much:
1 ) Spray sprues with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (ooh I love these sprays)
2 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
3 ) Assemble models
4 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges, black bits of armour etc)
5 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)
Shake off excess Don’t bother with shaking it off as per official instructions. I have learned that this often leaves a fat coat of dark tone in inappropriate places. I have taken to (much to the amusement of Mrs Serbitob) attaching the model to a long shoelace and spinning quickly it around my head in the garden to remove the excess. A five second spin seems about right. Any more and too much quickshade ends up on the house and not enough on the model.
7 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
There’s a real close up for your inspection. Again, they’re never going to win Golden Demon, but this technique is super fast. I reckon a total time of 5-10 minutes painting per model. Regular marines are even faster because you can paint the bolters seperately and you don’t have so many fiddly emo black bits / emo skulls / emo seals / emo gold bits that the death company are so fond of to paint in.
When I figure out how to speed base I’ll let you all know!
A lot has been said around the internet and gaming community recently about Games Workshop’s latest release, Codex: Blood Angels. The aforementioned sayings tend to run along the lines that it’s overpowered, imbalanced and made of win. My favourite comment so far has been from a chap at Bolter and Chainsword who said:
“The new BA codex is so overpowered that holding it will give you and your friends within six feet Feel No Pain and Furious Charge in real life.”
But is it really all that bad? I got my grubby power fist on a copy last week…
In a word… no. Sorry to disappoint everyone who likes a good stab at GW, but I don’t consider it all that bad. However, it does do the codex creep to a small extent, and is slightly better than Codex: Space Marines.
For example, Assault Marines now become a troops choice, and thus scoring units. In addition, those assault marines have a one in six chance of gaining furious charge and when they deep strike they will only scatter 1D6 rather than the usual 2D6 of regular assault marines. So they are mildly better, at the same points cost. The downside? They lose Combat Tactics. Aww heck they can live without that!
Tactical marines remain the same as their regular brothers, but again have a one in six chance of gaining furious charge, and lose Combat Tactics. This I think does hinder Blood Angels slightly, as for these guys Combat Tactics is actually a pretty useful skill. In addition, the plethora of special characters with their funky little rules is gone, which may be to the detriment of bigger armies.
Another mild difference is in command squads. The regular squad has an apocathary who grants his unit feel no pain special rule. The Blood Angel equivalent costs the same AND gives squads within 6″ feel no pain AND furious charge. A mild improvement which is typical of this Codex.
The big difference however, is with vehicles. All vehicles, except the Land Raider (which can deepstrike), count as fast. In addition, Blood Angels seem to have more choice in dreadnoughts, with the twin lightning claw and librarian options making people go weak at the knees. The snazzy fast attack Baal predator adds an extra option that regular marines don’t get. There are points differences, and Blood Angel vehicles do cost a little more. But heck, their Rhinos now move 18″! The biggest potential ‘Whoops we didn’t think of that’ moment for Games Workshop in this codex has to be making the vindicator fast. A bargain at only 30 points extra! This now makes this pokey little tank a serious threat to everyone. Even if it doesn’t actually destroy anything it’s psychological impact is going to be immense.
So to sum up… Codex: Blood Angels is not overpowered. It’s a jaunty fun, novel, power armoured roll in the hay roughly in line with other space marine forces. It is mildly better and has a few minor improvements over Codex: Space Marines with very little in the way of extra points cost. In a competitive sense I personally think that it has made vanilla space marines a little obsolete. The only reason I can see for taking a Codex: Space Marine force to a tournament now is that either you love Combat Tactics (which is a good skill), you want to use Thunderfire Cannons (which lets face it, are a little bit delicate) or you rely on one of the special characters for force wide special rules.
It might be time then to get your glitter out and sprinkle it on your brothers then!
I’ve always a fan of speed painting, as you regular reading spambots will be aware. This week I decided to try a system called ‘The Army Painter’ by some guys form Denmark. I visited their website by chance and noticed they had a tutorial on painting Blood Angels and cooking bacon. Seemed simple enough, so I bought the stuff and gave it a try.
Overall impressions: Great! Bearing in mind I put zero effort whatsoever into these, they’ve turned out to a decent gaming standard. Yes they’re never going to win Golden Demon, and yes all the pro painters will sarcastically say ‘Hur hur yeah it looks like you put no effort in…’ and no, the bases aren’t finished, but heck, I got five miniatures for about fifteen minutes work, and these are above some of the standards I’ve seen in my gaming adventures.
1 ) Assemble marines without bolters.
2 ) Spray marines with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (really impressed with the spray)
3 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
4 ) Assemble models
5 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges etc)
6 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)
7 ) Shake off excess
8 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
9 ) Apply decals with decal solvent, paint base
10 ) Apply two coats of ‘The Army Painter Matt Varnish’
Things I have learned –
– You’ve got to be good with spray techniques for best effects. I think I overdid it a bit and applied a big fat coat. The instructions specifically say spray at point blank range but in future I will probably take more time and apply two or three light coats.
– Games Workshop shoulder pad decals are not fit for purpose. I’ve always had problems with these. Nice flat decal, nice rounded shoulder pad. I thought I had conquered this problem by using decal solvent, but it’s still a pain in the butt. Are moulded shoulder pads the future?
– Spray varnishing is very technique sensitive. I went for the point blank heavy coat approach and ended up with some wrinkles on the models. I will be spraying long range and lightly in future!
Overall, I think ‘The Army Painter’ system has massive potential. The products are of very high quality and work as described. However, getting the best results seems to be very technique sensitive so lots of practice is advised. I will continue to use this system as it allows me to get my forces looking decent with minimal effort. More time for gaming!