Monday 29 October 2018

DreadTober: Imperial Knight Errant Progress

Hi folks,

With the end of of DreadTober looming, it is time to take stock of what I have managed to achieve. My plan was to complete an Imperial Knight Errant, which is a member of my "Walls of Ithaka" army list. Constructing the figure itself took me two weeks, mainly due to work commitments. During the past week I have managed to prime the top half of it and complete the upper torso parts, but the legs, weapons and shoulder armour are still unprimed. I doubt that I will get much more done before the deadline, but I feel that I have made a good amount of progress.

I spent a lot of time making sure that the rear detail was completed to the same standard of my last knight. That took a surprising amount of time, though I knocked it over much faster than the last time.

The first completed member of the army was "Perseus" Intrepidus, in a modified House Feardrakken scheme (below, so you can see what I am aiming for). That project took me about 18 months to finish, on and off. The main painting effort only took a couple of weeks, but it was during the Christmas holidays, so I had plenty of time to burn. With that in mind, I was never particularly confident that I could get a whole Knight finished, from sprues to display case, in October!

Once the shoulder pads are done, which will require some free-hand work, I feel like the project will be past the 50% completed mark. For the right shoulder pad I am going to paint a stylized image of a minotaur, to fit the knight's name, in the same way that Persues has a Medusa. That will be my next post on the project, if all goes well!

See you across the table,


Wednesday 10 October 2018

Tyranids: Hive Fleet Numereji TO-DONE!

Australian Rainbow Serpent by Susanne Iles

Hi folks,

YAAAAAS!!! A few days ago I added the final touches to my 2000 pt Tyranid Army. This army has been boiling away since 3rd edition, in various different guises, but this is the first time I can honestly say that it is finished*. The list uses the Jormungadr rules, to represent a burrowing, ambush-orientated, force of snake-like creatures. I have managed to choose or convert 36 Nids with snake bodies to help reinforce the theme.

The army is inspired by Australian aboriginal legends of the Rainbow Serpent:

"Dreamtime stories tell of the great spirits and totems during creation, in animal and human form they molded the barren and featureless earth. The Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges as it pushed upward. The Rainbow Serpent is known as Ngalyod by the Gunwinggu and Borlung by the Miali. He is a serpent of immense proportions which inhabits deep permanent waterholes. Descended from that larger being visible as a dark streak in the Milky Way, it reveals itself to people in this world as a rainbow as it moves through water and rain, shaping landscapes, naming and singing of places, swallowing and sometimes drowning people; strengthening the knowledgeable with rainmaking and healing powers; blighting others with sores, weakness, illness, and death."

Aboriginal Dreamtime: The Rainbow Serpent by Jack Eidt (2012)

I have also tried to inject some of my love of the movie Aliens in there as well, if you look closely enough...

The paint scheme takes some ideas from a snake we have here in Australia called a Fierce Snake, otherwise called an Inland Taipan. We don't get Fierce Snakes around where I live (we get everything else!), but I have seen them at Taronga Zoo and love how they have a black head to absorb more energy during the winter months. The scheme also takes some cues from the Dog Alien in Aliens 3.

Warlord's Retinue

My Warlord, a slither-slogging Hive Tyrant armed with a heavy venom cannon and Reaper of Obliterax, is attended by a Malanthrope and 3 Tyrant Guard armed with rending claws. The Tyrant Guard were converted from the old metal 3rd Ed. Ravenor figures.


The Formless Maw

I know Lictors are not the most competitive of choices, but I love them and they are a cheap way of filling the Elites slot of this Brigade detachment. This snakey-squidface also happens to be the Combat Specialist in my Lictor Kill Team. Named "The Formless Maw", he is an absolute bullet magnet. He was pieced together using an old Ravenor body and scything talons, as well as arms and head from a Venomthrope

The Brains Trust

I have always loved Zoanthropes and they are as killy as hell. This unit and supporting Neurothrope have caused a lot of casualties in the games I have played. At the very least, they can be relied on to hold up a flank OR attract a lot of fire (thus protecting something else). The models include a 3rd Ed. metal Zoanthrope as the Neurothrope and three other generations of figures; though it may look like there are only two types, one is metal, two are finecast and three are brand spanking new plastic.

 The Swarm

My troops choices include a brood of 20 Termagants with devourers, which I have used to delete quite a few enemy infantry units in their time (usually after emerging from a Mawloc hole). It also includes 12 Ripper bases for grabbing objectives and 8 Genestealers for, well... whatever. I don't think I have ever written a list with so few Genestealers, but there you have it.

Two are behind you...


The main focus of my Fast Attack slot is the nine Aliens-themed Ravenors that I finished last hobby season. Using the Jormungandr deployment strategy, I can use these guys to tunnel some nasty infantry into forward positions. Zoanthropes are a fun choice, adding some target saturation woes to the frontline, if I can find room for all of those bodies. I also have two Spore Mine clusters. Originally for area denial, these guys are also a nice cheap unit to fill out the Brigade.

The Big Bugs

As I mentioned before, I have a Mawloc for tunneling units or distraction. They have always been something of a hot mess, but I love the idea of them and they fit the theme really well. On the rare occasion this guy has been ignored, he has done quite a bit of damage in close combat. I also use a Trygon for tunneling and adding a bit of extra might up-front. I have experimented with using a Trygon Prime and reducing the number of Genestealers in the list to 6, but, like the Mawloc, he doesn't tend to last long either way. My final Heavy Support unit is an Exocrine; I use a Scythed Heirodule as a "counts-as" model. The Heirodule is both too expensive to use points-wise and too expensive money-wise ($260 AUD) to have sitting on a shelf gathering dust.

That's it! I feel a really deep sense of accomplishment having finally finished* this army and look forward to playing some friendly games with it. From the few experiences I have had with it, I know that playing the objective is key and that I'm going to have a lot of casualties early in the game. Once they get into range though, and the deep striking tunnelers deliver their brood buddies, it brings the pain. Strike it off the to-do list and pass me the stamp, this 2018/19 project is TO-DONE!

See you across the table,


*LOL... as if!?

Saturday 6 October 2018

Kill Team: Big Trouble in Little Tokyo

Hi folks,

The Trooper, Sgt Waz and I had our first go at the new edition of Kill Team yesterday. I picked the Core rulebook up last week in Sydney, knowing that the trip home was going to take 2+ hours (my train line was closed for rail maintenance). At our weekly Pathfinder session, we did some planning and figured out that we could easily scrape together a Killteam or two within a couple of days. After finishing my Zoanthropes, I kitbashed two more Lictors using Venomthrope parts and some older bodies (a 3rd Ed. Lictor and Ravenor).

By the time the game rolled around they were still WIP, but good enough for the tabletop. Sgt Waz brought a team of Salamander Primaris Marines and The Trooper brought a squad of Deathwatch marines armed to the gills. For the first game we decided on a Search & Rescue Mission, using a combination of Kill Team and Infinity terrain (Sushi Shop style!). The damsel in distress would be represented by a suitably discrete Infinity HVT (below).

As the defender I placed 5 objective markers around the center of the board. On a 6+, one of these would be revealed as the HVT (high value target). If she was not found by the end of the game, the rescuers, Sgt Waz's Salamanders, would be the winner. Otherwise, the player with the most models within 2" of her at the end of the game would win.


Sgt Waz set his force up to contest the roof top objectives in the first turn. I set up in cover, with one Lictor close enough to contest the centre-most objective.

Turn 1, the Salamanders rushed the roof tops and cozied up to two objectives. Three also rushed the centre objective. I sent my scout Lictor deep up the left flank with the use of its Level 1 Tactic and my Fire Team and Combat Lictors up the centre, close enough to 3 objectives to trigger rolls. My Leader hung back, as I wanted to keep producing the extra CP and had a plan to take out the Salamander Leader to establish a CP advantage.

We started rolling for the objectives and as (bad) luck would have it, Sgt Waz revealed the HVT on one of the rooftops, farthest away from my Kill Team. Thankfully, Lictors are fast. We spent some time shooting at each other, and my Combat Lictor took a wound. Overall, though, I was happy with the survivability of the Lictors. Even against a dedicated sniper, they were proving hard to hit.

The second turn was dominated by shooting and charging. My combat Lictor was reduced to 1 wound thanks to some lucky overwatch fire, so I needed to pull some shenanigans to get his attacks in.

Having lost initiative, there was a good chance he was going to be killed during the first close combat attack. To force the Salamander's hand, and potentially reap a bloody benefit, I used the Decisive Strike tactic on my Fire Team Lictor, allowing him (potentially) to fight before anyone else. I was then going to use my Combat Specialist's "Up and At Em'!" tactic to get his hits in as well, all against the flow of initiative and hopefully saving him from harm for another turn. All of those attacks were also going to be against the Salamander's leader. This forced Sgt Waz to use Decisive Strike as well, which he pulled off by rolling a 6 to beat my 5!! Nooooo!!!


The Intercessor sergeant cut down my Combat Specialist before it got a chance to do anything (not even take a flesh wound!). In response, I killed him with a wicked sweep of the adjacent Lictor's grasping talons (2 damage pops Primaris real good!). I used the Feeding Tendrils tactic to recover two CP. My scout Lictor also cut down a Reiver.

Following the carnage of that assault, the Salamanders fell back towards to the objective. I advanced my three remaining Lictors 14" into cover, in position to make a move on the objective next turn. Unfortunately, their claws stuck up just high enough to get shot at.

The next turn my Lictors popped up and moved up to the HVT, firing flesh hooks wildly. The return fire killed my Scout specialist outright, and at the end of the turn I mistakenly rolled to see if my team was broken. I actually needed to lose another Lictor, or have one receive a flesh wound, to trigger this. I failed the roll, which would effect my ability to hit for the remainder of the game. Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't made this mistake; I blame it on first-game-itis.

During the last turn I charged and threw everything I could at the Salamanders, but I just couldn't hit and Sgt Waz rolled some good saves. In return, he reduced my Lictors down to 1 wound each, which I leveraged to spray caustic blood everywhere, causing some mortal wounds. It still wasn't enough though, and the Salamanders won the game with 3 models within 2" of the HVT (I only had 2). So close!!!

We had such a good time playing that we immediately started talking about setting up a campaign and recording experience. I have already changed my list to make the bog-standard Lictor a Veteran Specialist; after starting way out in the open, charging forwards right up the guts, taking out the enemy leader to avenge the Combat Specialist he nearly saved and being there right at the end to nearly steal a win, I feel it deserves a little something special as a reward. Hopefully next time there won't be so many "nearlys". I'll also be keeping a look out for a certain Salamander that thinks he's special... Nubari Rhoshan; looking at you :-) I'll post some pics of my finished team and their backgrounds a little later.

See you across the table,


Friday 5 October 2018

Tyranids: Zoanthropes TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

...and just like that, it's done. These three Zoanthropes are the last models I need for my 2000 point Jormungandr army. I have painted them in the same scheme as the rest of my Zoanthropes, resisting the urge to excruciate over details because, again, I really just want to get the things finished. The Trooper recently bought a painted Blood Angels army, with plenty of the new units in it, which we are all chomping at the bit to get it on the battlefield. Now, at least, I have enough points painted to give them a challenge.

They were fairly quick to knock together, weighing in at about two hours for the brood. The longest time was spent blending and highlighting the brains. The last step was a clear gloss varnish over the head armour, which all of my nids have. It doesn't show up too well in the photographs, but the glossy, black beetle look is quite striking on the tabletop.

The full brood has 6 of these guys now, lead by a Neurothrope. I'm planning on getting them close with the Jormungandr tunneling strategy and piling on some mortal wounds. In the last game I played they survived for quite a long time, even when there was only 4 of them to start with, and caused plenty of damage.

My next challenge be to fit the whole 2000 points worth of models in the same photograph! That's tomorrow Marc's problem ;-)

See you across the table,


Tuesday 2 October 2018

Tyranids: Ripper Swarms TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

This is the end product of the great ripper hunt that I did a few weeks ago. I am not going to lie, painting these guys was some kind of torture, but I have always loved these little guys. The wifey used to call them "scribblets" when they first appeared and I have always had a few bases of them in my army. Now, though, they help me to fill out a full Brigade detachment of Nids.

I didn't spend too much time on each base; undercoating in Leadbelchers, adding two sepia washes, tidying up the Leadbelchers armour plates, painting the heads black and highlighting them with The Fang, then painting the eyes (very quickly) and adding some Tamiya Clear Red gore effects. I wanted these little fellas to really look like they have been eating.

So that is the last of my Troop choices completed. To wrap up this project,at long last, I just need to paint three Zoanthropes. After that... who knows. A four lictor Killteam sounds like fun ;-)

See you across the table,