Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Building a Conroi

   A couple of posts ago, I said I was going to focus and this is going to look like a massive detour already, but I very much see knights as part of my Sons of Horus collection, that can be used by themselves, rather than a separate collection.

   This knight is Sir Fion, also of House Steinschild, a knight Errant. Like my first knight * each panel has heraldry that means something;
*of many
  • 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 - (spread over both halves this time) of 3 Dragons and a split shield with Suns on.
  • The left shin is heresy era repaired armour.

   The left shin and kneepad is the big change on this knight and shows something I have been thinking about for quite some time. Yes, a knight house would have access to better enginseers and resources, however, if the marine legions are having to do hasty repairs to their armour, the knights would probably be in the same position.

   I want to talk more about the house when I have enough to form an army, but this is a good start.

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Hitting the mark

   One of the things I learnt from the game of Sharp Practise I played at the A Writtle Bit Of Lard was how powerful a unit of British Rifles could be, their points value (3x more than a unit of 8 French line) should have been the give away, but it wasn't. So much as it puts my British army at a much higher points value than my French, I knew I needed a second unit so I could try out bigger games.
   The figures I ordered were, again, from Front Rank Miniatures who are my go to shop for metal Napoleonics, and I used the excuse to pick up a few other models that I have realised I was short of - level 2 and higher leaders mostly. I am still keen to get a few more games of this ruleset in the next couple of months and having more options available should help that stay achievable.

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Dilution Theory

   Anyone that listens to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast will know the phrase 'Dilution Theory' well, but for those that don't, the idea is that the more rulesets you play over the course of a year, the less games of a specific ruleset you get and the less uses a particular collection gets. While my blog title professes a love of the opposite, I am becoming a convert to the theory.
   The moment of realisation was while reviewing my gaming stats* for this year. Of my top 10 most played games, only 4 have been played more than 3 times (and 2 of these are boardgames). Then it gets worse when you take into account that the 12 games of 30K I have played so far this year, means that the game has broken into my top 10 most played games of the whole last 5 years at number 8 of all places. Looking at my individual collections, my Baratheon army, that I spent months painting, has seen the table 8 times and that is one of my most played armies.

*I find them interesting, so don't judge me too harshly.

    So, what does this all mean? While, I know there are going to be more than a few people reading this saying, 'so what? Just enjoy your hobby', and I do agree with that statement, I do also need to focus on what I own and what I enjoy. Ignoring boardgames** and games that I join in that someone else is running, I want to test a 6 rulesets and 10 armies gaming rule. In my head, I want to run this for the whole of 2019, but I suspect that setting 6 games and 10 armies at the start of a year, won't be flexible enough to deal with a year's worth of gaming, so I might review the numbers and/or the time period as I go, but I will try to 'demo' my theory for the last few months of 2018.

**Board games don't count

So my 6 games will be:
  1. Bloodbowl
  2. 30K
  3. Sharp Practise
  4. Lion Rampant
  5. Lord of the Rings (going to include Battle Companies in this)
  6. Going to cheat here and leave the 6th open
My 10 armies will be:
  1. Bloodbowl Humans
  2. Bloodbowl Halflings
  3. Sons of Horus
  4. Napoleonic British
  5. Napoleonic French
  6. Anglo-Saxons
  7. Vikings
  8. Uruk Hai
  9. Mordor
  10. Cheating again, I am afraid.
Let's see how I do. . .

   In other news last night, bouyed up by how simple some else running a game seemed, I organised a game of Sharp Practise with my un-used Napoleonic collection, and it actually went ok. I was much rustier on the rules than I had realised and there were some cheat sheets that the Writtle Warriors used that I really need to get my hands on, but it was really good fun.
   Because of that, I have a handful of extra models in the post to even out my sides a bit but this is a game I look forward to playing more reguarly.

sharp practise 2 south essex game board scenery

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

A Writtle Bit Of Lard

   On Sunday, I went to the Writtle Warrior's Lardie Open Day - A Writtle Bit Of Lard - in the guise of a SEEMs member, so that I could get a game of Sharp Practise 2 and What A Tanker. I have two armies for Sharp Practise and had heard good things about What A Tanker, but wanted to try out both games with someone that knew the rules so that I could decide for myself whether they were any good or not*.

*SPOILERS - I loved them

   The first game I made sure I tried was Sharp Practise 2. I always play the French in Napoleonic games, and this was no exception. Our mission was to chase the British and stop them making it across the table. The forces we controlled were split with the guy I was playing the French alongside quickly taking control of the 4 units of dismounted Dragoons, leaving me to play with the Voltiguers** on the other flank.

**A wise move

   While I did, in the end, lose my units to some determined fire from the 95th Rifles, the highlight of my game was my ambush that made them flee in the first couple of turns and making such a nuiscance of myself for a fair few turns that I stalled the British advance by a very long time.

   The other game I played was an Eastern Front set What A Tanker. I have always loved the little tanks in WW2 and was really pleased when I drew the chit for the Panzer 38t (a brilliant little tank).

   The objective was to take the village, however, displaying a level of tactics that I have never been a part of before, we charged straight for the hill with the intention that you can't claim to hold a village if you have no tanks left. This initially went badly as a plucky Soviet tank drove straight down the unguarded road, flanking us and killed one of our bigger tanks in a single shot. I killed him in a single shot in return but it dented our advance, somewhat.
   With this the Soviets seemed to have cottoned onto our plan and advanced on the hill themselves. Determined to deny us our planned advantage. This was the point that my 38T found himself barrelling towards the lead tank, and crashing into it, instead of shooting as ordered ***.

***I misunderstood a rule


   After being rescued and having the KV-1 finally be able to get a line of sight on my tank, I figured the best thing to do was hide next to it **** before cuing the Benny Hill music and vanishing into the village, leaving a cloud of dust in my wake.

**** which actually worked! 

   I have to say, as a big group game, What A Tanker was a serious laugh. It's not a serious, realistic WW2 simulation but that isn't what it was sold as. It is a set of rules I will definitely be picking up.

Lard-meister himself

   Lastly, while not a game I actually played in, the following pictures are of a Chain of Command game that just had the most spectatular scenery. With civilians and refugees it looked amazing.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 27 September 2018


    In the mind set of doing something fresh, I have gone back to an old, worn project that just needs a bit more love to get over the finishing line, plus, I am really enjoying painting them, my Hervictus 14th.
    While, this year's work on this project has been entirely focussed on the 3rd platoon, these guys were in fact bought a couple of years back for my second platoon and will be fielded as such, the causalities of the mind set of being so close to the end of a project that you can do those last few models anytime you want, before they are subsequently forgotten.

   I have 7 models left in this project* so I am keen to get started on the last step.

*Before I buy more as ever.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Sci-fi Shieldwall

   I've got my first ever weekend gaming tournament booked for the end of October and I am really excited about a weekend away, playing games. However, the last 9 months of always having a 30k model sitting on my painting table, even if it was behind something else in the queue, is starting to get a bit tiring, so I have decided to get the last big unit I needed for my list finished, then give myself a break of a couple of weeks to refresh my palate and let me dive back in again to be finished on time (only a few models left).
   This is the second unit of Sons of Horus Breachers I have finished, although this one is 5 men bigger and is planned to be a solid defensive unit to really just hold that objective.

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Friday, 14 September 2018

3rd Platoon, 3rd Squad

   I had some spare time in the afternoon on Sunday, so I settled down with the aim of putting the base colours, and maybe a quick wash or two, on a few of the last squad of my Hervictus troops so that I could quietly get them down in the evening after work, and then I realised I had not only finished the normal batch of 5, but the full 10.
   By my reckoning*, I have 2 heavy weapons squads of 6 men each left to paint for my basic platoons, plus the odd straggler who might turn up in a bits bag or something where I have had a bright idea, but in terms of getting projects finished**, I am now ever so close.

*As ever, these numbers are liable to fluctuate
**Are projects ever finished?

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


   My hobby output hasn't been up to a huge amount so far this summer, while I blame the heat and a lack of motivation, it also has to do with how busy our weekends have been recently. On the whole, I leave my wife to post about our weekends on her travel blog (thingswelearntin), but every now and again something comes along that feels appropriate to post on this little hobby blog and visiting the site of the Battle of Naseby felt like one of those times.

   I'm not going to go into detail on the battle as there is a wiki page for that, plus loads of other (better) sources, but it was a pivitol engagment in the English Civil war and was a site where both Oliver Cromwell and King Charles were present and it has got me thinking about a potential English Civil War project for later in the year*?

*My copy of Pikemans Lament has now turned up

battle of naseby battlefield english civil war

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Expanding the motorpool

   While I get on with my Hervictus Imperial Guard project, I am also carrying on with my other projects, my Sons of Horus still being amougst these. My 30k backlog has become fairly substantial*, partly because of my lack of motivation over the summer and partly because I had the chance to get a chunk of plastics for silly cheap as they will always be useful, however, this has made the box it all sits in a tad daunting, so I thought I would take the opportunity to get a couple of the bigger models built and painted and free up some space.

*If ever there was an understatement, this is it

    While later in this very post I will explain why I love the idea of land raiders in 30k slightly more than rhinos, these all purpose little transports still hold a very important place in my long term plans for this army.
    This is the second rhino in my army as I am going back through what units I already own and I am now focussing on redundancy and squadrons. My gaming theory always relies on pairs of units doing the same job, you lose one unit and you know there is always a backup, something rhino chassis' do extremely well.

Sons of Horus deimos rhino

   The last despoiler for my despoiler squad. The axe is from a World Eater kitand makes the model look pretty intimidating.

sons of horus despoiler veteran

sons of horus land raider armoured proteus

   I've never been a big fan of Land Raiders in 40k, I love the fluff and the idea of them, but in my head 40k is either small platoon sized armies (my heyday of gaming before I went to uni was all 1000 point games of 40k) where land raiders are just too big, or apocalypse sized games where they almost become too small (?). Step into heresy and all of a sudden land raiders make sense. Gone are the limited numbers of the vehicle that the space marines have access to and gone are the restrictions that they are basically the terminator's rhino - now I can run tactical squads in them if I so wish.
   The next big change to my mind set was the Land Raider Proteus, it was a weird looking tank that I couldn't get my head around when I first got into 30k properly - hence why my first land raider was the more familiar MKIIB -  but the Iron Hands vs Emperor's Children display at Warhammer World really changed my view on the Proteus and the video below cemented my new view that actually, I really did like it (it really is worth a watch).

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Monday, 3 September 2018

3rd Platoon, 2rnd Squad

   It's been a slow summer in terms of hobby (I kid you not when I say I have painted 21 models since May - including the models from the last post), but I feel like I have turned a corner and my motivation is back.
   Of the 35 models that make up my 3rd platoon of Hervictus infantry, the first 15 were on the last post, below I have the next 10 finished and the last 10 are built and just waiting on a quick black spray and their turn on the painting desk, leaving only another 12 specialists and any other odds and sods that turn up. The motivation to get this project finished is currently looking good.

   Thanks for reading

Friday, 31 August 2018

Starting the 3rd Platoon

   Since the start of the year, both Forgeworld and Games Workshop have been doing whole scale dumps of slow selling stock - sometimes putting them into last chance, whilst other times the items are just vanishing from the website. One of the big ranges that Games Workshop removed was their old metal Imperial Guard infantry and as I wanted a 3rd platoon for my Steel Legion I jumped the moment I heard what was happening.
   I didn't manage to get all the support weapons I wanted but the basic infantry platoon's worth of men was the important part being another 41 men to add to my lead mountain*. Up until now, both of my platoons have been identical, this one will be different, however.

*I've heard the phrase Pile of Potential used and might start usin git myself in the future

   While I have other projects jostling for their time on my painting desk, I felt like such a big influx of new models needed to have a dent put into them sooner rather than later, so I have built and sprayed the first 25, with 15 now having been finished. So, here we have the first 10 man squad and the command team of 3rd company.

Steel Legion Games Workshop Infantry Squad Imperial Guard

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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.

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