Sunday, 30 April 2017

40K Battle Report: Dark Angels vs The Fallen

Hi folks,

It has been a long time since my last game of 40K and I have been feeling a distinct urge to get more involved in the gaming aspects of the hobby. Sgt Waz is usually happy to oblige when it comes to such things, so we organised a game that would let him try out his new Fallen collection. I have played one game against Cypher back at the start of 4th Edition, in which I came nail-bitingly close to catching the mercurial gunslinger. With very little knowledge of the Fallen special rules, I set about writing a 1055 point list that would fit Waz's request for an "infantry" battle; his collection isn't capable of taking down heavy vehicles yet.

I opted for a diverse force, including a Tactical Squad (plasma gun, lascannon), Scout Squad (sniper rifles and heavy bolter), Devastator Squad (plasma cannons), Assault Squad (power weapon) and Deathwing Squad (heavy flamer, power sword, chainfist and lightning claws). Leading the Deathwing Squad was Belial, allowing them to teleport onto the board without scattering. Bolstering the other infantry units, I had a Librarian in Terminator amrour (psychic mastery level 2) with the Mind Worm and Maelstrom of Misery psychic powers.

Compared to my "Variety Pack" army, Sgt Waz only had access to the nascent heart of a Fallen force, which included three squads of marines (two plasma guns per squad), Cypher and a mysterious Chaplain figure who would play the role of Warlord. The capabilities of the squads were limited, but adequate for the task of deleting MEQ's. With two attacks and two close combat weapons, they would also be pouring on the attacks in assault.


The first nasty surprise! After the roll for deployment, in which Sgt Waz decided to deploy first and go first, he chose to infiltrate two of his squads and outflank with the last. That left me facing an empty board, going second! With six objective markers to cover and the high chance that I could set up in the middle of a trap, I set up in the center of the board in a tight formation. This would make it hard for infiltrating Fallen to find range in the first turn, whilst giving me the best chance to capture and hold objectives in the middle of the board. My assault squad was deployed near an objective, but still in range to counter assault units threatening the main body of my army. They were also poised to capture other objectives on the far side of the board. My scouts infiltrated last, setting up in cover with several objectives and other terrain features in range. By the time I set them up, the terrain feature I was hoping to put them in originally was crawling with Fallen.

Turn 1: The Fallen

The Fallen infantry converged on the center of the board, closing the range to my Dark Angels. The Fallen hidden in the rock spire took some pot-shots at my tactical squad, causing the first casualties.

Turn 1: Dark Angels

I moved the surviving Tactical Squad members forward to clear the Fallen from the center objective, pouring boltgun fire into them. The plasma cannons of the Devastator squad killed another four of them and the scout snipers killed one more. At the end of the turn I had pushed them back far enough through casualties to cash in a Strategic Objective card for 1 VP. My Assault Squad redeployed towards the center of the battlefield to either counter charge Fallen going for my Tactical Squad or take the objective next turn.

Turn 2: The Fallen

Sgt Waz failed his reserves roll and continued moving on the center objective and bringing my infantry blob into rapid fire range. My Tactical Squad was reduced to two marines, including the plasma gunner, who fell back towards my board edge.

Turn 2: Dark Angels

I passed my reserves roll and figured I would be a pretty poor Dark Angels player if I didn't have a solid craic at capturing Cypher. I dropped my Deathwing Squad and Belial behind him and let rip. After the shooting round, both Cypher and the Chaplain were down to 1 wound! So close...

In the preceding psychic phase my Librarian cast Maelstrom of Misery which, combined with the plasma cannons of the Devastator Squad and sniper Scouts, wiped out the first Fallen Squad. the Librarian also lost a wound to Perils of the Warp.

Turn 3: The Fallen

Sgt Waz passed his reserves roll and brought his last Fallen squad onto the flank behind the Deathwing Squad and Belial. Cypher broke away from his squad and bolted away to engage my Devastator squad. The shooting phase and following assault was brutal. Caught between two squads and a Chaplain, I lost the Deathwing Squad and Belial, my Warlord. But not before the traitorous Warlord Chaplain himself was cut to pieces. All I can say is that a large squad of Fallen backed up by a Chaplain deals out an awful many hits in close combat...

Meanwhile, Cypher hit my Librarian with 2 plasma pistol shots and a bolt pistol shot. The Librarian passed two saves on 5+ to survive the plasma shots, but the bolt round got through.

Turn 3: Dark Angels

My Assault squad jumped across the river and captured an objective, giving my an extra VP. I had no doubts that at the current range, Cypher was going to cause all kinds of problems for my backfield, with very little there with any hope of capturing him. That in mind,  I decided to gun him down with the Tactical Squad's plasma gun. Rolling for his capture, none of my models were within the required two inches, so he mysteriously disappeared. This eliminated any chance of me scoring the 3 VP for his capture, but also removed a great threat to my gunline. Does that make the plasma gunner a hero or a villain?

Turn 4: The Fallen

The Fallen immediately sought revenge, taking out the plasma gunner with return fire. Having defended objective marker 1 for two turns, Sgt Waz scored a handy 2 VP. His second squad started moving across the board towards my Assault Squad.

Turn 4: Dark Angels

I moved my Assault squad back to take control of an objective (scoring 1 VP) and increase the distance to the nearest Fallen Squad, with the hopes of securing a VP for Line Breaker. My last Tactical Marine ran to Objective 4 with the hope of sneaking some VP in the last turn. Meanwhile, my Devastator marines and Scouts killed the last Fallen on my half of the board, denying them any chance of Line Breaker.

Turn 5: The Fallen

Ahhh, the best laid plans... Sgt Waz's Fallen shot my last Tactical marine, killing him and earning an easy VP! Damn those objective cards can be tricksy! Thankfully, that was all he had left in him.

Turn 5: Dark Angels

My last plasma cannon took a shot at the Fallen and overheated, killing my marine (it was bound to happen eventually). The Scout squad, which had been so dependable all game, whittled the remaining Fallen squad down to four traitors, which was a great effort. At the end of the turn we rolled to see if the game would continue, but this turn proved to be the last. In a final act of defiance, my Assault Squad gave me a VP for Linebreaker, as I had been planning for. Unfortunately, the damage had been done through Strategic Objectives; my inability to force The Fallen off their objectives early in the game, loss of Cypher and simple bad luck with my own cards had cost me the game!

Final VP

Dark Angels: 6
The Fallen: 7

Playing against The Fallen with Dark angels is great fun, adding a whole new dimension to the game. Every shot fired that involves Cypher and every close combat encounter with him adds to the mythology, pushing you to choose more aggressive tactics. Cypher is not great at close combat, but getting into close combat with him is hard. He just shoots and shoots and shoots and shoots. The Fallen themselves seem to be a Jack-of-all-Trades unit. They can get in your face fairly easily but are not really what you could call a Deathstar unit. I would like to see how they go with more special weapons in the mix, or some powerful close combat weapons. Their ability to infiltrate and outflank adds a significant "fog of war" aspect to the game; you don't really know where they are all going to turn up, which allows them to dictate the terms of the engagement. Exactly as it should be, I guess...

See you across the table,


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Van Diemen's World Devils: Battlewagon TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

Today is ANZAC day; a day of remembrance in Australia where we honour the men and woman who have served in the armed forces. In case you aren't familiar with Australia's military history (I wouldn't expect you to be), our soldiers have served in many conflicts in support of the Commonwealth and other allies, and the defense of many nations. When an Australian travels through Europe, they are rarely far from hallowed ground; we are buried everywhere. To honour them, I have been working on some Van Diemen's World Devils for the past 12 months, an Imperial Guard regiment that strongly borrows from the iconic image of an Australian "digger" in a slouch hat.

Like the previous ANZAC day, I spent a bit of time working on my Van Diemen's World Devils and managed to get their transport finished. I started work on the "re-looted" battlewagon last year, in a frenzy of conversion work. Today I added the finishing touches to the driver, Colonel Clancy, the twin heavy bolters, exhaust and rear assault hatch.

Here you can see the layer of 'ardcoat I have applied to the "roo-shootin'" lamps. No kangaroos were shot during the creation of this battlewagon.

I added carbon scoring to the exhaust to maintain the dirty, weathered appearance.

The rear of the Battlewagon includes the assault hatch of a Black Templar Landraider. With Australia's convict history, it was fun to imagine they had "acquired" the hatch and put it to good use. I am sure they will give it back some day.

The troop compartment got a few more highlights, 'ardcoat on the computer screens and some splashes of Tamiya Clear Red: I thought if I was honouring sacrifice I should provide some evidence of sacrifice. Probably just a flesh wound...

Colonel Clancy is named after a character from "The Man from Snowy River", Clancy of the Overflow. Described as one of the greatest horse riders, he is the only one to encourage The Man from Snowy River as they prepare to chase the colt from old Regret:

"But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, "That horse will never do
For a long a tiring gallop - lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you."
So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend -
"I think we ought to let him come," he said;
"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred."

"He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen."

I love this part of the ballad, because it foretells what is to come. Clancy seems like a good bloke, so I made him the inspiring Colonel. The miniatures face also looks eerily like Jack Thompson, the actor who played Clancy in the film.

"Coo-ee- won't YOU come?"

The transport joins a small force comprised of a female infantry squad and Commissar. Next time I see my mate The Trooper I'll be passing them all on to him, to add to his Australian themed Imperial Guard (Astra Miliwhatsits) army.

Lest we forget,


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

30K Painting Competition: Death Guard Marine Progress 1

Hi folks,

In my spare time, I have been dipping my toes into 30K. This has mainly involved digging through my bitz box and separating out all of the MkIII bits that I have left over from my Iron Snakes sternguard. There were just enough bits for me to scrape together this tactical marine for a painting competition being run by the Google+ 30K community. All of the entrants have been assigned a random Legion to paint: I drew the Death Guard. I am a big fan of the book The Flight of the Eisenstein, so this pleased me no end. Painting-wise, I was hoping for Blood Angels, but this will give me a great opportunity to work on my weathering technique.

I didn't have any MkIII legs, so I scrounged some from a Devastator sprue. The boltgun is from an Attack Bike sprue and the head is an old Masters of the Chapter piece. I even drilled my first barrel!

I haven't decided what to put on the base, though I have a nice big pile of skulls that I think will go well.

So this guy gets added to the top of the to-do list, as the 30K community is one that I really want to support. I have three other projects that are also hovering up there at the high priority level, one of which I will finish tomorrow (...or go crazy trying).

See you across the table,


Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Weekly Review: Imperial Knight Progress

Hi folks,

After spending a few months not wanting to do anything, I realise I have been a bit manic the past couple of weeks. I'm bouncing from one project to another without getting anything finished and every project brings with it its own compelling motivation. This week I am going to make a more concentrated effort to finish some things off.  Last week, I was still rolling with the punches...

On the Table

I made a big effort to paint a Dark Angels Devastator squad for a game I had planned. I nearly got there before real life caught up with me! They still need some serious green highlights and basing work, but I am pretty pleased with the progress.

After running myself into the ground trying to get this squad ready, I couldn't stomach working on them tonight, so instead I made a start on my Imperial Knight Warden's base. You can compare what I am doing with the original plan here.

Under the Knife

I have been pushing the construction of my Imperial Knight Warden forward, to the point where I can start spraying the under-structure and work in some washes/glazes. All of the external armour panels are going to be painted separately, which should give me a better handle on them if I want to do some free-hand designs.

I have also been adding some combi-plasma weapons to my Command Squad. I have been swapping a lot of plasma weapons out of my Dark Angels army, to provide a bit more balance to the damage output. The Command Squad will be one of the exceptions though, taking advantage of the Apothecary to survive some more of those failed Gets Hot rolls.

On my Mind

This week I agreed to a challenge on the 30K Google+ community forum, to paint a 30K marine in a random Legion scheme (yet to be announced). I am really looking forward to giving it a krak; it's not like I have anything else to do...

In other news, I had a great game of 40K a few nights ago, which I am busy writing up a battle report for. Here's a sneak peak:

See you across the table,


Saturday, 8 April 2017

The Weekly Review: Interromancer Build Complete

Hi folks,

What a whirlwind this week has been. Parent/teacher interviews expanded my working hours this week to 14 hours a day for a couple of days. That last hurdle before the holidays seemed like it was a mile high! Today was my first real chance to do anything hobby related, so I kicked the day off with some Dark Angels conversions for an upcoming game (!) and added a few more details to The Trooper's Van Diemen's World Battlewagon.

On the Table

The Battlewagon had a lot of weathering and details left to do, so I started with the wheels and tracks. To tie it in with the infantry, I have used the same colour I used on their bases (Steel Legion Drab) to dust the tyres and tracks. I then added a highlight of Ushbati Bone, to add even more contrast. I finished it off with some Runefang Steel highlights stippled into the centre of each track wheel.

I also picked out the computer screens and ammo in the Battlewagon's tray with some spot colours. I still need to add the some carbon scoring to the exhaust and paint the twin-heavy bolter and driver assemblies: that's tomorrow Marc's problem.

Under the Knife

My hobby tools got a real workout this morning. To start the day, I converted some Eviscerator swords for my assault squad using parts from Victoria Miniatures. The process involved obtaining and drilling some cross guards from powerswords on the old Ravenwing sprues. I then drilled out the Eviscerator blades and pinned them through the cross guards and into the hands of the marines. The result was quite sturdy and I think they look wicked.

I had to re-drill this hole, as it came out in the wrong place!

Next, I pieced together a real Frankenstein's monster of a Dark Angels Librarian. I am calling him the Interromancer. This guy contains parts from every stratum of my bitz box, from a 3rd Ed. shoulder pad to a Grey Knight force rod and Dark Vengeance backpack.

On my Mind

Early next week I am going to be playing a game against Sgt Waz, showcasing the Fallen Angels (and my ham-fisted attempts to capture them). This will be the first 40K game I have played in about 12 months, so I have been very busy writing army lists and making sure I have all the right models. I am really hoping I can get the Interromancer finished for the game! Tomorrow we are all meeting up to watch the latest Sasuke (if you don't know what this is, do yourself a favour and find out), so I don't see much painting getting done. Then again, stranger things have happened...

See you across the table,


Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Weekly Review: Belial TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

In an unexpected twist tonight, I actually got something finished!

On the Table

I have been tinkering away at a couple of figures for my mates, and in between coats of paint I have been adding details to my Belial model. Sgt Waz gave Belial to me a while ago, mostly painted but in need of some detail work.

To finish it off, I repainted the sword, storm bolter and feathers, followed by four extra layers on the armour. The robes were beautiful already, but I added another highlight to top them off.

Under the Knife

I spent a bit of time this week prepping a lance of old school Unseen Battlemechs for KuriboGoomba. The main task was to back fill the hex bases with green stuff, ready for painting. These 'Mechs are going to be painted in a Comstar scheme: clean white with some metallics.

I also worked a bit on Old Six Eyes, for my Tyranid Hive Fleet. I'm hoping to add some glazes to this model and my Tyranid Warrior Kill Team whenever I get a chance, now that my other side project (Belial) is finished.

On My Mind

I would be lying if I didn't say holidays were on my mind. This term at work has been incredibly busy and emotionally difficult for a host of reasons: not least the death of one of my students after a short battle with cancer and the death of my dog, two weeks later, again after a short illness. I have a week to go before I can drop my bundle in spectacular fashion, though that week will include two 6 hour parent/teacher interview nights (basically double shift, 14 hour days). On top of that I have about 20 hours of marking to do. It is going to be hard to get anything done hobby-wise, but there is always hope! In preparation for being a little more competitive with my Dark Angels, I bought myself a Deathwing Command kit which I will be building as Knights with an Interrogator Chaplain.

I'm sure the extra command bitz will come in handy at some point ;-)

See you across the table,