Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The next push

   While I carry on trying to get the bases right on my jungle terrain without just ripping them apart and starting again, I thought I would turn my focus back to a more immediate project, getting the army I need for a campaign weekend in October, finished.
    I have submitted my list, my background fluff and a short story (!) for my army, which means I need to build and paint what I have said I will be taking. I am short 25 models, 15 of which are from the same squad, which makes the task a bit easier, but I want to start breaking the back of it now so it doesn't turn into a last minute rush.

   Up first are two characters I need, and another I just fancied building. So left to right we have: an un-named librarian, my preator Captain Bral Trabus and Captain Quinzi Devdan of the 56th company. As part of the list submission process, you need to write a comprehensive background for your army, who they are, why they are fighting etc. This is something I had already been doing but it helped focus it down into something that is tangible and feels solid.

Sons of horus librarian captain breacher

   Next up are some more despoilers for my combat squad. I initially made a 10 man combat squad, partly because I could, and partly because it was this legion that invented the idea, so it just seemed right. However, 10 man squads in 30K are rarely a great idea and having no specialist weapons outside of the sgt, also felt like they were missing out on some of their capabilities.
    So for the event in October, I have said I will take a 15 man squad, with two extra power swords, which meant I needed to start bulking up my squad. At this point it is worth mentioning that I am waiting on the parts to build the 5th of the new men, but the first 4 are complete. I built two with power swords, but I built the other two with World Eater chain axes, while I will get no benefits from the weapon change, they felt appropriate for my combat squad - the Sons of Horus aren't the Imperial Fists or Ultramarines.

The full squad (so far).

   I know most of the people who read this blog don't play games workshop games, but I am after Chaos Marines heads with the top knot on - either the bare head or the one with the helmet. If anyone has spares, I would be happy to take them off your hands - I can pay for postage or the bits if needed. My supply has now run out.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Mechanicus Engineers

   The planet of Hervictus is technically just an hive world but one in which the small scale factories are fast becoming full scale forges run by the Mechanicus. The planet has been home to a small titan legion since the Imperium rediscovered it and in recent millennia this has only increased the Mechanicum's sense of entitlement. The Imperial Guard regiments that she raises are wholly under their sway and even the priests attached that are supposed to look after the men's souls only call the God-Emperor the Ommissah.
    So I had to find some excuses to put some elements of the Mechanicus into my army somewhere.

   The first obvious choice was an Enginseer and his servitors, the battle mechanic of the Imperial Guard. I painted the Enginseer himself in the bright blue robes of the Hervictus Mechanicus but gave the servitors a much more muted tone to show their slave nature.

  While I was building this unit I was hit with a realisation, to the Mechanicus a broken down vehicle isn't just a machine that needs fixing, it is sick, so what's to stop them seeing their human charges in a similar way, why can't they just fix them too. So, I converted a Skitarii with various GW mechanical bits plus a servo-arm from Anvil Industries to make a Mechanicus medic for my men, although, I am not sure this guy is going to bring them much comfort.

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

The lure of the Quest

   One of the main takeaways I had from the Extinction of Thuros was that I needed to try out a knight in a list as they weren't the instant bad opponent creater that I thought they would be. Much as I keep looking at one of the bigger Forgeworld knights, I had actually picked up one of the plastic GW ones just after they were released, so it was time for that to be finished.

   One of the biggest things I like about the warhammer universe is the fluff, so I like to make sure all my armies have some, in this case the knight is called Sir Krohn and he is from House Steinschild, which is on the planet Voyria. I used a made up house, so I could do what I want with them. Because this is a knight and heraldry is a big thing I have tried to get as much meaning as I can into the armour, so:
  • The right shin plate and shoulder pad show the house's allegiance - half Imperial and half to Horus (I have left the armour showing their crusade allegiance)
  • The shield shows the house symbol - the boar on a yellow and white background.
  • The left shoulder pad shows the knight's personal device - the rabbit (probably a hare) with an axe.
  • The left shin shows the house symbol and the knight's personal device together.
   Incedentally, the house's colours and device are loosely * based on the Hufflepuff scheme from Harry Potter after I spent a couple of hours brain storming ideas and looking up famous knights from history with the aim of stealing their heraldry and ended up doing this instead.
*Really loosely - badger not a boar

sons of horus imperial knight 30k paladin warhammer horus heresy

   Considering this was a model I bought on a whim and had sat on a shelf for a couple of years, which me hating the colours I had used on it, I am really pleased with the eventual outcome and I am very tempted to expand this household in the future.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 13 July 2018

Sicaran again

   I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head at the sec and any number of projects that are vying to be finished first but as it is 30k that I'm playing the most (and planning on playing the most) it only makes sense that my main focus remains on it. As I have mentioned before, my Sons of Horus are very much my test bed army, I want to use them to try out list ideas so I know what suits my style and what suits the normal gaming styles I will see, one of the lists I want to try out is using as many tanks as I can fit into my points limit.
   The Sicaran battle tank is fast becoming one of my favourite looking 30k vehicles and the Venator varient is by far the prettiest of these, so I knew I had to try *one out.
*at least

   As per normal, my Sons of Horus colour scheme is fairly understated, as they aren't huge fans of embellishment and again, I've not weathered the tank yet as I want to go back over them all and get a unifed look.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 9 July 2018

Rainforests - how hard can they be?

   It's been a while since I've started a post with a blurb about a new project, so because I can't seem to keep focused on anyone thing for too long, here we go with a brand new project;
   I have recently been travelling around the forests of Costa Rica and it's been hard not to come away so heavily inspired that I knew I needed to try building some. I've not tried to reinvent the wheel and have taken heavily from Sir Michael Awdry, so I won't go over how I made them in any more details than anywhere I have diviated from his method.

   First up, I thought I would go over my inspiration. Costa Rica turns out to have multiple different types of tropical forest*, including; Rainforests, Cloud Forests and Dry Tropical Forests, with variations in between. This has meant I have seen the classic palm tree style forests, forests that look like British forests except for the heat and forests that have plants that would be unbelivable if modelled in 28mm unless you were planning on using them exclusively for sci-fi games.
*Rainforests aren't the be all and end all that I assumed

   My dilemma then came when I tried to put what I had seen into practise, how do I get the sheer range of plants and thickness of the vegetation onto the gaming board and make it survive playing games with. Ideally, I want to have a mix of tree types (for my practise ones I was happy to just use palm trees) but I need to work out how to use other tree types without it looking like I have just put British trees in a rainforest board, but that is a problem for later.
   Ultimately, I am pretty pleased with the outcome of my morning's work, the bases need a certain something but that will come with time I think, although any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

28mm wargaming rainforest scenery board

   As these were supposed to be a test bed for a number of thing, namely; how many more plants do I need to buy, does my idea actually work and can I make them thick enough, I limited myself to 3 bases of trees and a single bit of scatter terrain. In the future I would like to fill a 6/4 board as heavily as makes sense.

28mm wargaming rainforest scenery board
Spot the bird.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Extinction of Thuros

   It's been a while since my last post and usually that just means I've been bad at getting my hobby progress documented, however, this time it's because my hobby achievements have been on the minimal side.
    I have some exciting news about my hobby that I will reveal at a later date, but suffice to say it has made me rethink my hobby priorities for the immediate future*, with the decisions playing out over the next couple of months. Saying all that, I have done some hobby related stuff in the last few days, so with no further ado . . .
*Yeah, I know I do this every few months but this one is big
   First up are the only models I have painted in the last month or so, a 5 man plasma support squad for my Sons of Horus. The honest truth is I don't really need this squad, but the look on my mate's face when I joked about building them was so good I had to follow through and as my other big squad is so heavily worked compared to everything else, it is nice to have a small squad I can fit into lists to give them a break.
   I tried to give the 5 guys as much character as you can get into a basic squad of legionaries; the sergeant has a bionic right hand and an older mark head crest and the squad is a complete mishmash of kit parts to make it feel like these guys have gone through hell. 

sons of horus 30k plasma support squad bionic hand

   Next is an event I recently attended, the Warhammer 30k Extinction of Thuros campaign day run by the guys from the Legion of Lies podcast.
   I signed up for the narrative event right back in February working on the theory that if I had a paid for ticket sitting on my shelf I would have some serious motivation to make sure my army got painted and that I was guaranteed at least 3 games of 30k over the course of 2018, and I am really glad I went, it was a proper blast.
   First things first, as it was a narrative event, the tickets were sold as either Loyalist or Traitor, no weird matchups here, so I duly bought myself a traitor ticket. Then as the games went on the guys would explain what the results so far meant in both the fluff and in game, in this case as the traitors lost the initial round of games it was deemed that they had claimed a foothold on the planet, but had failed to neutralise all of the planetary defences, cue orbital bombardment for the loyalists.
   Your warlord also needed a name and was given his own page in the gamer's packs to fill in as he could advance throughout the day*.
*Mine didn't so much advance as die**
**a lot
   So, my army: I didn't take a particularly hard list, and knowingly didn't, as I was very aware that I wasn't fully clued up on the rules and I didn't want to get something wrong and look like I might be cheating. I was also advised that 30k lists either need to have a lot of vehicles or none at all, as the sheer amount of anti-tank makes having a few pointless, so in my list I had a single rhino that either hid or drove full pelt fuelled by hope.
   The big thing I noticed on the day was how many imperial knights the loyalists had, compared to none on the traitor's side*** and as I managed to play two of them it was a real insight to how a beast like that can change the feel of a game and not in the overwhelmingly bad way I had expected. I am going to do a photo dump of my better photos from the day (I forgot to take as many as I had planned) but they really don't do justice to the sheer quality of painting that was evident at the event **** and it's really made me feel like I need to up my game in the future.
***Not sure why none of us took one but they were so prevalent on the other side
****There was a single badly painted army and that was my second opponent
  The other thing you will notice from the pictures is the fool hardy way I used my assault marines, as they were my most potent anti armour I tended to use them aggressively to neutralise threats early on - this worked better in some case than in others*****.
*****They did kill a knight
sons of horus tournament army infantry 2.5k xiphon
Not my photo but I can't remember who took it.

   With two massive losses and a minor loss it came as no surprise that I won the wooden spoon for the traitor's side - brilliantly named the Best Loyalist. The weird part, and it's something I commented on to the organisers, is that the two big losses were the games I enjoyed the most, the minor loss was merely a good game - probably because I killed a forgeworld knight in combat . . .

Hopefully normal service will resume soon

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Firepower for the Sons of Horus

   My first week and a bit in the new job and is safe to say that it is everything as knackering as I remember it being, with the hour drive's only redeeming feature being that I can catch up on a lot more podcasts. It does, however, mean that at this stage I've not touched a paint brush since my last post, with this post being for another squad that was actually painted before I started the job but that I hadn't done the decals for.
   The squad in this post came about a couple of months ago while I was chatting to my mate Adam from the Legion of Lies podcast in which my list for the event he is running came up. One of the big things I have learnt about 30k is that as the general squad size is bigger for most armies, so you need to up your firepower, a tank that can happily kill 3-4 marines a turn in 40k is a big deal, in 30k it isn't even in your immediate list of things to worry about. So, while I own some great vehicles, I only own single copies of them, so I don't advantage of taking squadrons as a single choice which severely limits my effectiveness. Adam's advice was either buy more tanks, or drop them entirely and take troop mounted AT - so I went for the cheap option*.
   While the two units don't look as similar as I would like, the idea is that they are a single squad split into combat units for tank killing purposes, hence the single model with a sgt's crest, however, they look so different it is going to be a hard sell.
*Also hoping that I might 'waste' some of 
my opponent's AT points

     I am sure you have noticed that the missile launchers carried by the two units are different, this is because the first unit was built using the planned bits from the plastic set before I realised that it was cheaper to buy the underslung resin missile launchers from Forgeworld than it was to buy the 3 plastic ones I needed to do a full 10 men from bits sites or eBay. In hindsight, I much prefer the resin ones, but making the units match is a problem for the future.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Sons of Horus Destroyers

   I've not been brilliant at keeping up to date on this blog recently, but I start my new job tomorrow and I am planning to get back into a normal routine of work, home, hobby, gaming* and blogging as soon as I settle in.
   Until then I have carried on painting the army I plan to use at the 30k event I am attending at the end of June with the aim of being finished before the end of May so there is no rush. Along with the Assault Marines last time, I wanted a full unit of Destroyers to be a big wedge of mobile threat, so I set about doubling the unit I already had and adding an Apothecary.
*I plan to look at what I am gaming and
reassess what I am actually enjoying

The full unit with Apothecary

   I managed to get a game in using both my new units - suffice to say it didn't go well but I got some good photos from it;

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The end is nigh - 30k edition

   It's been longer between posts than I planned as I always seem to struggle to stay motivated with hobbying once I finish a project, however, with the start date for my new job coming up fast it is time to get on with some of my projects.

   One of the things my 30k mates have kept telling me is that legion armies work best with lots of tanks, or none at all, a couple of tanks just die too easily to the compulsory token anti-armour weaponry every list has in it. I plan to add a lot more tanks to my Sons of Horus in the future but in the meantime I am aiming to replace the heavy weapons on the tanks by adding heavy weapon infantry squads to my roster, this being the first of a few.

   The other thing I really wanted to try was assault marines in 30k. Again, everything is bigger and better 10,000 years ago (from a 40k perspective) so a 15 man squad felt like the minimum. Add in a character and apothecary with jump packs and it should pack some serious punch if it makes it to the enemy.

   My Sons of Horus project is very much the testing ground for my 30k ideas, I've been trying out all sorts of ideas with the aim that I can be a bit more concise in what I buy for any future 30k armies* and much as I have been bouncing around all sorts of things a Xiphon interceptor wasn't on my radar until I played Keith from the Legion of Lies podcast and saw one in person** and realised that I had to have one.

*If you read the books you'll understand
why I know there will be more armies
**Sadly, I am aware the top fin is the wrong way round

Thanks for reading

Monday, 23 April 2018

Sharp Practise - tidying up

   Painting Napoleonics has been a labour of both love and hate over the last couple of years but I am now at the point where I have two forces ready for a game*. I still have models left to paint** and I have no doubt that at some point in the, probably near, future I will put on my rose tinted spectacles and add another unit or two to my painting queue, but this is a good point to do a round up and work out a game plan.

*Plus models that aren't needed
**Looking at you Highlanders

   The first models in this post are a mounted British officer (planning on making him a captain) and a line sergeant, both from the South Essex, while the models themselves are from Front Rank. As this point in the project started to get close and I dared to plan my forces, I quickly realised that I was short a sgt and big officer for my British and obviously a captain wouldn't be caught dead walking on his own feet.

   Next up is a French 6 pounder cannon from Warlord games, with an extra crewman and officer from Front Rank. This was one of the first models I picked up for the project as it was a freebie thrown in when I bought my first box of French plastics from Warlord Games at Salute a couple of years ago. I suspect the cannon is a bit too green and needs toning down.

   I always like Skirmish type units, so with French Voltigeurs being so cheap in the rules I figured the only thing better than a single unit was two, plus that justified the Voltigeur officer I had already painted up. The bugler was because the model was too cool not to add.

   Like with my British, I came to the realisation that I was a tad light in commanders, be they sgts or actual officers. The sgt is a grenadier as I had nothing above a private for my two units and the officer is a regular line Lieutenant as my only officer classes were a captain and a Voltigeur Lt.

The full painted French force;
5x Line with capt, lt, drummer and 2 sgts
2x Grenadiers with sgt
2x Voltigeur with bugler and lt
Cannon with lt
Engineers and wagon

While my British are a bit lighter on numbers but are now at the point where they have;
4x Light infantry in line with capt, lt and 2x sgt
95th rifles with lt and sgt

   Now I just need to organise a game, get my highlanders painted and . . . I'm not crossing this project off just yet. I am also, painfully, aware that there are going to be uniform mistakes in these forces somewhere, it turns out that between not every model I bought being obvious on the exact uniform it represents (French Line from Warlord Games - are you pre-1812 or post-1812 etc) and my research not always giving me entirely satisfactory answers on the regiment itself's uniform means I have had to go with my instinct on occasions but with the aim of getting models on the table that are easy to work out from a glance what they actually are, I am pretty pleased with the result.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 20 April 2018

Gangs of (Just Outside) Rome

   While I have been doing a lot of work on my Napoleonic's recently, it doesn't mean that I have forgotten my other big projects for 2018 and Gangs of Rome is right near the top of the big 4. I have 4 gang members and 4 bases of mob already painted, I figured with a couple more gangers finished off I should be in a position to try out the rules.

Left to Right: Publius and Matida.

   With 2 more gang members painted up, I next turned to the scenery they would be fighting over. My Rome scenery collection is far below the required amount to play in the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City herself, so plan B (which was actually my plan A but don't tell anyone) was Gangs of (just outside) Rome, based around a villa estate. If years of watching Time Team has taught me anything, it is that a single villa does an estate not make, so a cheap Roman storehouse from Warbases later and it felt like I could put a convincing board together.

Gangs of Rome scenery building warbases storehouse

   So here we go, Gangs of (just outside) Rome;
   If I am learning a game by myself (i.e. my opponent doesn't know how to play either) I always simplify rules right down to the most basic level just so we can get a feel for the mechanics before adding the game's details back in, so that is what we did for our first game, no mob or denarii. Our first play through ended up (as the pictures will show) being a mass brawl in the middle which turned out to be fun, but ultimately unsatisfactory.

Gangs of Rome scenery board building warbases villa

   I forgot to take photos of the second game but adding in the mob and some coins made a huge different to the game (and I am sure adding multiple levels and more buildings will change the game a lot more too), the mob, especially, are really good fun in the game.
   After trying the rules out at a couple of different complexities this feel like a great evening game, potentially working as a multiple player game too. The combat is bucket of dice fighting on both sides that can be pretty bloodless at times for the effort put in, but fighting and saving added to the pebble out of the bag mechanic mean that you never get a chance to sit down and wait for your opponent to do their thing, which I see as a good sign in a game.

Thanks for reading