Saturday, 1 May 2021

Hobby Diary Part 5: Iron Snakes and Blood Angels vs Chaos Daemons (1500 points)


Hi folks,

Last night I had a 1500 point game of 9th Edition 40K with Sgt Waz and The Trooper. Wade and I each had 750 points worth of Space Marines. Wade had some of his usual Blood Angels, including Mephiston, Hellblasters, Agressors and Intercessors, as well as a Librarian Dreadnought. I know from experience how fast and hard the two psykers could be, so I was happy to have them on my side for once. I took my Iron Snakes, including my Master of the Forge, Relic Contemptor, Intercessors, Sternguard with combi-plasma and an Eversor Assassin. The Master of the Forge and Contemptor have proven to be a powerful combo in previous games, so I wanted to get some more practise in with them.

We never quite know what Sgt Waz is going to bring to the table. He is often painting new armies for close friends/family and will sometimes bring something weird along. I was thinking that he may bring some kind of Chaos Marine soup with Abaddon, marines and maybe even a Knight. So when he rocked up with a full Daemon World army I was not surprised by my surprise! The list had a large Slaanesh contingent supported by two large blobs of Bloodletters (led by U'Zhul the Skulltaker). The Slaanesh contingent included several medium sized blobs of Daemonettes, with a Keeper of Secrets, Shalaxi Helbane (a Keeper of Secrets special character) and Syll'Eske, a daemon prince/daemonette duo that doubles down on buffs, fights twice in the fight phase (usually at the start and at the end, unless you target them for shenanigans) and a whopping great strength 8 axe.

We decided on the Eternal War Mission "Hold the Centre", with four objectives arranged in a Z configuration, with two down the centreline. Victory point are gained progressively, 5 per objective controlled to a cap of 15, with a bonus 3 or 5 points up for grabs if you can perform an action at one or two of the objectives along that centreline. The Trooper and I started to formulate strategies and deploy accordingly. Which was a complete waste of time. 

You can see my Iron Snakes to the left, positioned to hold an objective, direct fire through the gate and flank/take the high-ground with my Intercessors, with perhaps a late game capture of loose objectives. The Blood Angels had a small force anchored by Mephiston holding a centre objective, and a potent left flank in position to challenge an objective in the back field. I deployed my Eversor in a position that would help deny the Keeper of Secrets from blocking this force. I didn't have any idea at this stage just how damn fast they are...

Sgt Waz won the first turn and after moving his forces, it was clear that we would be receiving charges on turn one, in our deployment zone. My tactic with the Eversor worked, meaning I had two greater daemons heading my way. I judged that I would probably have better luck firing overwatch with my Intercessors, and with the help of Bolter Fusillades, managed to cut the incoming Daemonettes down a bit.

Everything except the second Keeper made its charge roll. The daemonettes hit me first, taking down some of my Intercessors, but nothing too bad. I immediately burned two CP to choose the next fight and got my Contemptor to hit Shalaxi, causing 9 wounds. The return attacks brought my Drednought down to 1 wound, which I considered a win! I lost two Sternguard to Daemonette attacks and the Blood Angels Intercessors were cut down by the axe of Syll'Eske.

The Daemonettes on my flank failed their morale check and, being below half strength, suffered two more deaths due to attrition. It just shows how fragile they are, despite being so fast and deadly. I would have been really happy with the result, if I hadn't remembered at that moment that I still hadn't even had a turn yet and I was stuck in my deployment zone trying to strip wounds off two Greater Daemons.

As our first turn started, Shalaxi used a special ability to paralyse Mephiston for a turn. With my Contemptor under the effects of the Witstealer sword, and my Master of the Forge really not cut-out for close combat, our reasonable options for dealing with these huge threats were all but spent. The Master healed 3 wounds on the Dreadnought, which I hoped would see it through another round of combat. I fired A LOT of pistol shots, whittling down even more daemonettes.  My Eversor, now the only friendly unit likely to ever make it out of the deployment zone, headed for a pack of daemonettes in the middle of the board, taking a few out with his pistol and then charging later in the turn. Wade's Blood Angels poured out as much firepower as they could, while his Librarian Dreadnought grew psychic wings and charged Syll'Eske. Shalaxi destroyed my Dreadnought easily, Syll'Eske copped a bunch of wounds but gave a lot of punishment in return. The Eversor dodged all of the daemonette attacks and took down 7 with its Neuro gauntlet.

During Sgt Waz's turn, Skulltaker charged my Eversor, Shalaxi and the second Keeper of secrets attacked the Blood Angels and the close combat phase was brutal. The Eversor died, blew up and took three Bloodletters and two Daemonettes with him. The two Keepers wrecked everything they touched, though the Dreadnought Librarian did cause some wounds before crumbling under the weight of over twenty unsaved wounds itself. Syll'Eske never made it out of that combat; having a less than inspiring save was their downfall.

In our second and last turn, my Master of the Forge stepped out and took off the last wounds from Shalaxi, with his FLAMER of all things. Try as we might, we just could not take down the second Keeper of Secrets. If it fell, the handful of Hellblasters, my remaining Intercessor and the Agressors may have been able to get some victory points over the next two turns, but with that monster stomping our backline, we were ready to call the game.

The game was fun to play, and I can see that it is possible to bring an army like this down, but it was a complete rout for us, the moment the armies were chosen. Small boards certainly do make the game go faster, but several armies gain a huge advantage form this, and Slaanesh daemons are one of them. They have high movement, can advance and charge on the same turn, and their Greater Daemons are very hard to take down due to their de-buffs and saves. I would definitely play against them again, but perhaps on a bigger board! MVP award this game goes to my Eversor Assassin: 12 individual kills and the closest we ever got to contesting an enemy objective.

See you across the table,



Thursday, 29 April 2021

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Dark Angels Predator Annihilator TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

April has been a particularly hectic month, in which I have been navigating a whole bunch of family and work commitments. Don't get me wrong, most of it has been great, but it has pinched most of my hobby time. I spent two weeks on holidays at the beach, a couple of days in the mountains running a school camp and a week with my wonderful sister just catching up. Somewhere, in the midst of all that, I managed to finish this Predator off for the challenge. 

This model was lying in way too many parts in my bitz box, after a moving house catastrophe about 10 years ago. To see it all (well... mostly) restored makes me very happy. It was originally a gift from my sister, back when I was 14 years old, and it was a regular feature in my armies for a long time. There are a few things I still need to touch up, but for the sake of meeting the deadline, I'm calling it done.

I have posted some photos of it in the 2nd Edition Facebook group, and people seem to really like the positioning of the hunter-killer missile. I remember when I went to do the conversion, my main motivation was to stop it from drawing too much attention! By mounting it on the hull it helps to preserve the classic silhouette of the Predator. The only thing it is missing is the classic stormbolter mount on the hatch. Amazingly, Jon from the 2nd Ed. Challenge has offered to send me one; I think we have set a record for the lightest trans-pacific bitz postage! Once I receive it I will be replacing the hatch, hopefully in time for the reveal at the end of the challenge.

Here are some final shots:

And here is a photo of the tank squadron I have built up so far. I would love to have an old Whirlwind one day, but that will have to wait for a special occasion. I am eBay cold turkey for the foreseeable future!

See you across the table,


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Hobby Diary Part 4: Armour in April and Holiday


Hi folks,

The past couple of weeks I have been on school holidays, staying at to different locations on the south coast of NSW. Lake Tabourie is a place my family has always gone to; the past 58 years anyway. It was also the place where I learned how to play 40K back in the 90's, using cardboard cutouts on a camping table! I didn't bring any hobby materials with me, apart from some Magic the Gathering cards to keep up my MtG Friday appointments with The Boi. Because of this, I have not had much to report in my hobby diary. Now that I am at home, I have been busy stripping, reassembling and painting my old school Predator Annihilator for Armour in April and the 2nd Edition Army Challenge. 

This model was a gift, of sorts, from my sister. When I started painting 40K figures she sent me some money for my Birthday one year. It was significantly more than I had ever had control over in my life! I had a lot of sensible things I could have spent it on, even from a list-building perspective, but ultimately decided to sink it into a Predator Annihilator. I never regretted the decision; this monster has been the end of several Eldar Avatars, Grav Tanks, Greater Daemons and Ork Warbosses in its time, including Ghazghkull Thraka TWICE. It broke really badly two moves ago, so it is well overdue for the love its gaming record deserves. Enough talk, here are some WIPs: 

See you across the table,


Sunday, 4 April 2021

Hobby Diary Part 3: Monster March TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

Monster March has come to an end I managed to get my Forest Dragon finished just in time. To achieve this I had to graft a more modern elf rider onto the old metal legs. I kept the classic Wood Elf shield with the S shaped glyph on it, but swapped the spear for a Sisters of the Thorn wand. I imagine that would be a more useful weapon to use from the back of a dragon. I used a bunch of bright colours on the rider that I wouldn't use, inspired by some artwork of the elf-like Sitha from Tad William's Memory Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, which I love. 

I painted the hair a very dark brown, which was a suggested by my daughter. Apart from that, I used a lot of metallics, but tried to match them with the colours of the dragon as much as possible. Overall, I am very happy with how the project has turned out. It has earned a prized position on my daughter's model shelf, with the rest of her Wood Elves.  Here are some final photos:

See you across the table,


Saturday, 20 March 2021

Hobby Diary Part 3: Monster March and Razorback TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

Last night I added the final touches to the Razorback I have been working on for the 2nd Edition Army Challenge. I added a whole bunch of decals. Unfortunately, most of them have left some kind of water mark around them, perhaps from the adhesive spreading. I am not sure at this stage whether it is worthwhile trying to get rid of it, perhaps by sealing the decals with a setting agent. I may try it on a small section. Otherwise, I am very happy with how it has turned out and really excited to use it in a game. The combination of lascannon and plasma guns is really fun.

As soon as I finished the Razorback I got cracking on the Forest Dragon. It is going to take a special effort to get it finished in time, but with 11 days left, I think I should be able to do it justice. I have started working on the base early as well, as I can see it is going to take a bit of time to add all of the components that I want.

See you across the table,


Saturday, 13 March 2021

Hobby Diary Part 2: Monster March and 2nd Edition Army Challenge


Hi folks,

Just a quick post today to document my progress, as I am literally busy painting. This week has been excruciatingly busy at work and next week will be no different, so I have to get as much done now as I can!

I have added the first layers to my Forest Dragon for #MonsterMarch, including a nice blend on the wings. Tomorrow, I am hoping to get the head and neck section done, which should help me understand how the rest should look. In fact, once the head is done, I feel like I will have broken the back of the project. It has the most colours that I need to execute, due to the horns, eyes, teeth and open mouth.

Apart form the wings, the project is at that stage where it looks like rubbish! I know that the greens will get brighter and more defined, the tan will get deeper and warmer, and the horns will get colder and blended dark towards the tips. The open mouth will contrast against the green nicely too, but all of that stuff is just in my head at this stage and it drives me a little crazy. Ah well, keep at it I guess!

The Razorback is really close to completion, though I think I am going to have to attempt to free-hand as I don't have the characteristic Razorback decals. A stencil is probably the way to go about it.

I need to make sure that I remember to paint the hatches, which I kept separate to make the gunner easier to paint. I also need to give myself enough time to do the decals, as they are going to take quite a while.

See you across the table,


Saturday, 6 March 2021

Hobby Diary Part 1: Monster March and 2nd Ed. Army Challenge


Hi folks,

Every Saturday I am going to try and publish one of these Hobby Diary posts. With so much stuff going on, I think a quick post to show some work in progress will help keep me sane. This week I have started some work on an old 1995 vintage Forest Dragon for Monster March. I have had this one since I started going out with Jen, and we have been together for 21 years now. So it is definitely time to do it some justice. This first week has been spent just cleaning the model up and pinning the hell out of it. I'm hoping to prime it tomorrow.

I have also primed and added the first layers/blends to a Razorback for the 2nd Ed. Army Challenge. I can't express who much of a joy it is to be working on this model. It is such an iconic model of that edition, with some really neat details and opportunities for splashing some colour. 

I don't have any new photos, but I am also still painting the Van Diemen's World heavy weapons squad for my mate Wade. they are taking forever, but in a good way. I have also popped the lid on Laurie's Valkyrie and Marauder. I'll have to invest some time this week to add some more details, just to keep them moving towards completion. Below is the reference image Laurie sent me to use as inspiration; smokin' hot.

Thats it for now. Let's see if I can carve out some regular hobby time over the next couple of weeks.

See across the table,


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Old Stuff Day!


Hi folks,

Happy Old Stuff Day!!! With the second round of the 2nd Edition Army challenge just starting and me already hitting up ebay to get ready for round three (and maybe four...), my hobby space is literally awash with nostalgia at the moment. There will be plenty of posts about that stuff sooner or later, so I thought today I would post some links to old blog posts from my favourite 40K blogs. Go check them out if you have a chance and leave them a comment! To start with, if I may do so, I'll draw your attention back to the early years of this blog...

Old School Gaming

It is hard to believe that it has been 6 years since the last Battle for Nurgle's Cookbook. This is a scenario that I have tweaked many times since 3rd Edition 40K, and played many times with heaps of different people. I hope you enjoy this two part battle report as much as we enjoyed playing it! Maybe it is time to have another go at it.

Part 1

Part 2


I usually go here for a healthy dose of old school, but also happened to stumble across this... amazeballs... Lord of Skulls conversion.  

Chucking Monkeys

Last year I posted about the Nids on this blog, and I still can't get over them. Check out this stealth Mawloc (if you don't chuckle into your hot beverage, I don't think we can be friends anymore).

1st Legion Chronicles

So this post is not old by any stretch of the time/space continuum but, hell, if I can't give old school Dark Angels some love today, when can I? 

A Butterfly's Hobby Tally

XarfaiEngel's Uruk Hai projects have been a real inspiration. They have kept me dreaming about what I could be doing with all of the Lord of the Rings models I have stashed away!! It also makes me wonder how many other bloggers are LoTR collectors, and whether it would be worth a community challenge at some point...

262nd Death Korps of Krieg

As an honoured DreadTober alumni, it seemed fitting that I repost this gem from 2016, a magnificent Deathwatch Venerable Dreadnought!

Confessions of a 40K Addict

If you have been in the hobby as long as I have, you will know that it expands beyond just the collecting of miniatures, beyond even the buying of paint. There are tables too. And shelves. And display cabinets. Lights (sooo many lights). Sometimes, even a shed (and a dehumidifier...). Check out Dave's marvellous Man Cave project and go searching for the updates! It is an exercise in carving out a hobby space for yourself and protecting it against the elements.

Well, I have reached the point where I am falling asleep in front of my laptop. I have spent about 4 hours going down the blog rabbit holes of a bunch of my favourite blogs. If I didn't mention you today, I'll try and make it up to you during the year. You are all fantastic and a constant inspiration to me!

See you across the table,



Monday, 15 February 2021

Squaduary: Termagants and Van Diemen's World Vets


Hi folks,

The past couple of weeks (or has it been months??) I have been slogging away at a Van Diemen's World Veteran heavy weapons squad for my mate Wade. They were meant to be a Birthday present, and then a Christmas present, and now here we are half-way through February! I love painting them, but they are hard. It is just a really intense project. At the moment I am working on the heads, which have taken 1-2 hours each. I'm hoping that once that is done I will feel better about it all and push through to get them finished at last. 

"Stone the flaming crows, son!"

To give my eyes a break, I also painted a Hive Fleet Numereji Termagant brood for #squaduary. You can hardly see the pigment going on, so it really is a leap of faith when you sweep that paintbrush. After a few coats though, the reflectivity builds up, and if you turn it just so... well... take a look for yourself.

Rainbow serpent, indeed.

I had an Assault Intercessor squad planned for squaduary as well, which feels a bit like madness at the moment. But I achieved more difficult goals last year, so maybe I'll crank them out as well to add to my Iron Snakes (the finished ones... remember?).

See you across the table,


Saturday, 30 January 2021

2nd Edition Army Painting Challenge: 1500 point Army TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

What I couldn't achieve in 25 years, I have finally completed in 6 months!! I feel like I have been preparing my whole hobbying life for this project and now that it is done, I feel the most profound sense of peace. As I have been saying throughout the challenge, many of these models were gifts from my family and friends as I was growing up. Many had been stashed away in bitz boxes, particularly my dreaded "too hard" box. Now, I think I have finally done them justice. 

During the next round of the challenge (starting in March) I will be painting some more Dark Angels, many of which I have purchased off eBay during the COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully, I will get a chance to paint my collection of special characters as well; it would be good to include some more robes in this army! I have even started digging up some classic Tyranids, just in case there is a 3rd round of the challenge. Until then, here are some final pics of my completed projects.

See you across the table,