Monday 30 October 2023

Chaos Rising

   At some point soon we plan to wind up the Fratribusia Campaign as even good things have to come to an end, which has left us talking about what the plan for next year is. The two Imperial players are still building their first armies, so it makes sense for them to stay the side they are, which meant the two Tyranid players would be the opposition. We spoke about a Badab war style campaign of Space Marine chapters but I think we have settled on going fully Chaos.
   While the plan at the moment seems to be to stick to Combat Patrols for the first phases of the campaign, it is the perfect excuse for me to tidy up the last few units of Chaos in my backlog - this unit being one of those.

Ignore the guy at the back with the Heresy era Dark Angels pad . . .

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Saturday 28 October 2023

More Cult Troops

   When it came to building the 2rnd squad of Neophytes I was a touch frustrated that the Combat Patrol build is not the weapons I would have picked if given free reign*, but I noticed that the version of Goliath** leaves you with 2 extra Neophytes left over. So I used those bodies to allow me to take extra options without ruining my Combat Patrol.

*Combat Patrol is a set of "balanced" rules from GW that allow proper games to be played using the contents of a single boxset, but they have set weapons and upgrades that have to be taken

**More to come later

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Monday 23 October 2023

The Cult's Muscle

  While starting on the second squad of Cult Neophytes, I found myself slightly distracted and painted the unit of Aberrants instead. These guys are the most mutated regular troops that the Genestealer Cult have at their disposal and are seriously tough in combat. All the advice for bigger games is that a 10 man unit of these is a must have - so there is a risk of another box in the future.

   I painted these the same as the unit of Neophytes, with the only difference being that I went a bit more nuts with the green washes to emphasis their mutated nature.

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Saturday 21 October 2023

The Cult Rises

   One of the things I wanted to do with the Fratribusia Campaign was have an element of Genestealer Cult doing what they do best and to allow a bit of variation from the endless swarm - for both sides really - but both time and money meant the idea kept being pushed back. I had planned to just do a small force probably just for Kill Team, as that is what I think they would do best in this campaign, however, I popped down to Games Workshop to pick something up for another project but when I found they didn't have it, I decided to pick up a single box of cult figures so I could test a colour scheme. My local GW is one of their smaller stores, so it turned out they only had 3 GSC boxes in stock - none of which I was after. I ended up chatting to the manager and he very much upsold the Combat Patrol box.
   The Combat Patrol boxes are normally a really good deal and with the GSC one you get 4 units, a tank and a character for almost the price of the tank and a single unit, so I figured it was worth a punt.

   The first unit I painted was a regular squad of Neophyte Hybrids*. These guys are the most human looking of the cult with most of them passing a human if slightly bald and having an pallid skin tone - with the cult taking over some mines this didn't seem like an issue to me. I went with a bright orange work suit and white PPE to suit their working environment, plus it really breaks up the green and bone I've been painting a lot of recently.
   I kept a lot of the details from my Tyranid force, the skin has a green wash instead of my normal flesh wash just to give it a slight edge, then tongues are the same purple too. The more mutant the cult member is the more of my Tyranid colour scheme will come out.
*sticking with my theory of paint the regulars first

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Thursday 19 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 15

   Another unit I speed painted for a game during my paternity leave was my Zoanthropes - or brain bugs. These were another unit that I loved the look of in 3rd edition but always found were out of my price point as individual metal models.

   One of the things my brother and me had found our Tyranids were struggling with was confidently destroying tanks, we could kill a tank or two by the end of our games, but killing early and easily was beyond us. Asking online, there were a few answers, but a unit of Zoanthropes was always in the top 2 responses, so a unit was purchased.

   These guys were painted in time for our big 4 player game and put right at the point where the Sisters of Battle had deployed all their vehicles, so did they do their job? I have to say, yes they can damage tanks pretty well, but that they don't just pick a target and kill it as I had hoped. 

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Sunday 15 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 14

   I'm still quick firing the stuff I painted either before going on paternity leave or the very few bits I painted during it, so that newer stuff can be posted in close to real time again.

   When the new Tyranid models went on preorder a month or so ago, my brother and me were seriously excited - 10am on the Saturday as soon as the email arrived we were making plans. The reason for the excitement was that my brother's ideal way of playing Tyranids is with Vanguard organisms - i.e. Lictor breeds and Genestealers.

   We already had 12 Von Ryan Leapers (nicknamed baby lictors in our campaign), and we are covered for Genestealers, but it was fully grown Lictors where we had our big gap. On the day he ordered himself a single Lictor, I did the same to help his numbers, but as I owed him some money, I also ordered him an extra one - giving us the maximum 3 you can run in a single list*.

*He's since ordered a Death Leaper but that's a different story

   My one was built and painted fairly quickly, as a single medium sized** model is a quick afternoon of painting, with the result below.

**for Tyranids anyway

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Saturday 14 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 13

   The Haruspex is a model that once I saw it in the Tyranid range, I knew I had to have it. Then I saw the amount of attacks it has and added it to my watch list. In the end my in-laws offered to buy it as a birthday present, so I ordered one from Wayland Games and waited two months for GW to deliver one to them*.

   It ended up arriving 3 days before a big game I wanted to use it in, so a quick build and quicker paint job later and this was the result. The one thing I am really enjoying from a painting side of this whole project is how my 4 colours seem to swap and change in dominance using the slightly vague rules I've put in place for myself. Some models the green is dominant, others its the bone or red, but this model is definitely purple with the bone.

*I gather GW has been doing some work on their warehouse systems and lots of delays have been caused

Tyranid Haruspex green painted

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Wednesday 11 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 12

   Carrying on the project from Bigger Bugs Pt 10, is the other Carnifex from the boxset. No idea why these guys come in boxes of 2 when they share no sprues at all, but hey. This one is the other half of the first Carnifex I bought with all the guns, while I enjoy the sheer amount of dice you roll in the shooting phase, once it hits combat it just has nothing to go back with. My plan is to boost the big gun with a second, then give some combat ability. This means the original one takes the damage, so that by the time there is only one of the pair left, its the one that can deal best with the mid-late game combats.
   I tried mucking about with the waist joint on this one to make it look like it is rearing up. Its not a huge difference but when you have multiple versions of the same model on the board, any variation is a good idea.

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Tuesday 10 October 2023

Warp Storms, Monster Swarms And Uprisings

   The campaign for Fratribusia had a little hiatus while we waited for our number 2 to be born, but once he had arrived and the initial dust had settled, we started to organise some games to fit around child care*.

   The first games played were against my Tyranid playing brother, so I took the role of the Imperium again and we got to testing out his new army idea which was a vanguard force comprised of Lictors and Genestealers. We used the mission of the month from White Dwarf and got on with the games.

   The fluff for the mission is that the Imperium is currently split in half and warp storms breaking out in normal space with no warning, the sheer amount of bloodshed in the path of the current Tyrannic war has meant that the warp storms are appearing with increased frequency. These can lead to daemonic invasions but they are more likely to lead to a decrease in moral as the nightmares and the feeling of dread hit the troops.

*many dice were stolen by roaming toddlers

   What we learnt from the two games was that the way he plays his vanguard army means if he gets first turn, he shout be able to win the game, if he goes second, the game is over by turn 3. . . Hence the quick 1st game allowing for a second.

   With that game out of the way, we focused on the first game to include all 4 players in once place - which we called The Battle of Arccaster**. I've been trying to send a bit of fluff be it a message between Imperial forces or an update on how the campaign is going when ever it felt appropriate to try and keep the other players enthusiastic about the campaign. I've included the ones about this game below.

**randomly generated online

While Operation Thunderbolt has inflicted serious damage to the Xenos invaders, the successes were neither numerous or decisive enough to lead straight to an Imperial victory.

The hive mind has regrouped and a number of key Imperial locations have been hit in retaliation.

One of these is Arccaster, where a sizable Tyranid swarm has broken through the human defences and is about to launch their attack. The imperium of Man has scrabbled every available person able to wield a gun to try and block this assault.

Will it be enough?

Today is the battle for Arccaster

The sheer majesty of 5 Carnifexes advancing in a row was something else

The battle for Arccaster on the 24th day of the invasion was a major turning point in the fight for the survival of Fratribusia. 

While Arccaster itself didn't hold much importance for either side, what it symbolised did. By holding back the Tyranid push, albeit as great cost to both the Order of the Fallen Angel and the Ossurary Brotherhood chapter with the 3rd company losing nearly half of its current strength, the hive mind was thwarted in what should have been a show of its great strength.

While the populous of Arccaster was saved from immediate death, it is worth remembering that tens of thousands of xenos are still arriving on Fratribusia daily. The invasion is far from over.

   As you can see, it didn't go well for the Tyranids. If we are being entirely honest, until turn 4, the game was ours to lose and it would have taken a monumental mistake to lose it, but somehow we managed just that.

   At the same time the Battle of Arccaster was being fought the otherwise hidden Genestealer Cult*** started their uprisings. Whole mining towns had been going quiet in recent days but the Imperium put this down to vanguard organism attacks. When a combat patrol of the Order of the Fallen Angel were attacked by miners, however, the truth became clear.

***coming to a blog near you in the near future 

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Monday 9 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 11

   I'd been saying for a while that I liked the idea of bulking up my Warrior units and in the space of a week I had a box gifted to me by my brother and I picked a box up from a new local hobby shop I found. I split the new models between the two current units and used the opportunity to fix a couple of mistakes.

   Reading online, it sounds like big units of Warriors was the meta in past editions and while that's not something that is high on my thoughts when I look at taking a unit, it has to be said I don't think they are all that good in 10th at the moment.

   On the other hand, two big units of 6 look imposing and are really good fun to march across a battlefield.

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Sunday 1 October 2023

Bigger Bugs Pt 10

   Carnifex number 3, which is going to be Fran├žois' brood mate. Fran├žois has been struggling to kill tanks in the last few games despite being my anti-tank carnifex, so with two in a brood, doubling the heavy venom cannons but adding a pair of crushing claws, which I'm hoping will be massive tin openers.

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