Friday, September 22, 2017

Yu Jing: Beyond Red Veil

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I very recently completed some 32mm scale reinforcements for my Yu Jing combat group for Infinity: The Game.

The Operation: Red Veil boxed set had provided me with my initial force, enough for just under 200 points of troops, which I used at a tournament in August. There are several approaches to expanding such a force to 300 points (a longstanding tournament standard). I could get lots of cheap troops, or just a few elites.

Follwoing the thoughts of @GentleBen on BoLS, I chose to obtain and paint a Guijia TAG , the Guijia's pilot,  and an allied JSA (Japanese Sectorial Army) doctor and a JSA combat engineer. The figures were chosen for their Looks Cool Factor, and the fact that it was a minimum number of additional models to paint.

Corvus Belli has very recently come out with their own Beyond Red Veil expansion pack, which I have duly split with Conscript MikeA. Don't know when those figures will get painted.

Modelling:
Generally, I used my usual zenithal highlighting of airbrushing white over a black base, then glazes of acrylics, and finally details and blending with oils. Secret Weapon washes and Vallejo weathering powders completed the Dragon Forge Design resin bases. The figures were protected with Tamiya semi-gloss spray.

Gujia TAG
A TAG is a Tactical Armored Gear - they combine the benefits of an augmented heavy armor and a heavily armed walking vehicle. This particular Corvus Belli design is very similar to the armoured suits in Ghost in the Shell.

Like my other Yu Jing infantry armours, the orange armour plates used many. many thin glazes of GW Fuegan Orange. The "black" under-suit is comprised of glazes of dark blue acrylic shade (GW Drakenhof Nightshade) or indigo oil paint (Windsor & Newton) over the zenithal highlighting. All the ehe edges and hot spots are brought up with pure W&N titanium white oil.

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Five 1/4" rare-earth magnets are sunk into the TAG's resin base, to hold it safe in a metal box for transport. The model is solid metal, so it weighs a lot.
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Below, I sharpened the cutting edge of the sword blade with a file. After zenithal highlighting, I used glazes of GW Baal Red on the sword blade.

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Below, I obtained unit and faction decals from Plast Craft Games. After initial painting, I glazed the shoulder pads with Future floor polish, then used decal setting and softening solutions  to conform the decals to the rounded surface.

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The battlefield wreckage comes with the kit. It's the head and torso of another faction's TAG. That type of walker is a remote, pilot-less vehicle. I added GW Blood for the Blood God to simulate spilled transmission fluid.

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Below, a size comparison of the TAG and its pilot. If the TAG is destroyed or hacked, the pilot might, on occasion, get out and continue the fight.

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Guijia Pilot
The pilot is a neat little figure. Of the four models, I spent the most time on her face. Undercoat used the Vallejo face painting set, then details/blending with oils.

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This figure posed the most difficulty for pinning. The heel of the wedge shoes are very narrow. I ended up drilling holes along the length of the feet, and bending the wires straight down into the resin bases.

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The box art imagines the pilot with much more revealing clothing. I painted the figure as if it was wearing a full-body cooling suit, like in Battletech.

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JSA Doctor and Engineer
The doctor and combat engineer allow for more battlefield specialties involving  healing injuries and fixing busted-up powered armour.

Left below, I used another Plast Craft faction decal for the engineer's armband. I glazed it with Tamiya Smoke to provide some shadows.

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Below, the only thing that marks this figure as a doctor is the small Red Cross I painted on her cap badge.

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Below, all four models together:

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Below, my original fighting force,  plus an Imperial Service Judge:

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Some in-game photos with Kyle's Pan Oceania forces:

Kyle set up his forces to immediately Dominate two objective markers. His heavy and medium infantry were set up to rush toward the one in the middle of the table.

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All I had to contest the mid table objective was a TO Camo Ninja. Fortunately, it Dominated the objective for the first two turns...

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... with the support of the TAG which advanced and covered some of the approaches to the central objective. Lucky dice rolls gunned down the PanO Father Knight (a heavy infantryman) and an elite  Nisse.

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A remaining Nisse braved the TAG's fire, knocking it down into unconsciousness, and Dominating the objective during the final turn. The Yu Jing Engineer managed to somewhat repair the TAG, and the game ended with a narrow Yu Jing victory.

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These figures are beautifully sculpted. They make a great addition to my slowly growing Yu Jing collection. Next in the painting queue are some samurai, then a force of Infinity PanO, led by the clone of Joan of Arc(!), to give my Yu Jing someone to fight!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rhino APC for 30k Alpha Legion

Head-hunters from the XX Legion on maneuvers with their new APC

Another little bit of 30k painting - this is a Deimos pattern Rhino APC. Capable of carrying 10 marines (never quite looks like it can fit 10 of anything, actually, but that has been an enduring mystery of this model for many years), these vehicles are a mainstay of any Space Marine force.  And while the Legiones Astrates in 30k have access to all sorts of troop-carrying terrors, from Land Raiders to Spartans and more, the humble Rhino is still a core part of moving Legion Marines around the battlefield.

Front panel features door-ish looking plates, while a pair of bolt guns are mounted up top - just like the original Rogue Trader era models for this vehicle

Had fun with the hydra-themed decals for this Legion, although getting that one centered on the top hatch was tricky, and it doesn't look quite right - very Alpha Legion, I guess...

The Deimos pattern model is a conversion kit from Forge World, applied to the current 40k plastic rhino kit (which I'm trying to stock up on before they cancel them to replace it with more garbage "Primaris" kits but that is a rant for another time).  The design is really nice, an homage to the earliest version of this plastic model from the Rogue Trader days.

Main access ramp at the rear of the APC

These vehicles are not much for weapons - just a pair of humble bolt guns up on the turrets - but they do a great job ferrying the Marines around toward their objectives on the gaming table.  I find they do an even better job in the 8th edition of the game, as vehicles linger much longer on the table, even under heavy fire, under the newer rules.  Great news for the fellows catching a ride!

Not sure how 10 guys with that kind of armour fit in there...an enduring mystery of GW...

Close-up of the side hatches...again, the design is a faithful tribute to the original RT-era model
This is the first vehicle I have painted for my Alpha Legion forces.  I have a few more cued up in the painting line, of course, but they may wait for a while, as I have turned my painting attention back to a project that is about 29,000 years earlier on the historical clock...hope to share more soon about that!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Alpha Within, Iron Without - 30k Battle Report

Alpha Legion Headhunters move out toward their objectives inside the loyalist base at Paramar V

Over the past several months there has been some continued expansion and escalation in our 30k collections.  I'm a huge 30k nerd of course, and with my painting spirits animated by fun books likes "Legion" by Dan Abnett and the amazing "Praetorian of Dorn" by John French, I have been building up the Alpha Legion forces I started back during Curt's most recent Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Dallas, meanwhile, has started painting up some troops from the IV Legion, the rugged, dependable and so-oft-abused Iron Warriors.  After returning from a wonderful visit to my cabin in Sault Ste Marie, I was pretty psyched to get all of this newly painted stuff out on the table for a scrap.  Dallas obliged, hosting a 30k game last week - here are some photos!

View of the table as the game begins - the Alphas have appeared from their various vehicles and crates, and they must reach the slurm machine near the Mechanicum node at the top right of the photo.

Of course, both the Alpha Legion and Iron Warriors fought under Warmaster's banner in the Horus Heresy, so a game pitting the two collections against each other called for a bit of nuance within the setting.  Fortunately, Forge World itself already provided a handy backdrop for just such a game - the fall of Paramar V, as profiled in "Horus Heresy Book III: Extermination".   The Alphas are tasked to capture this world, and an isolated group of Iron Warriors, unaware of the Warmaster's rebellion or Perturabo's decision to join it, are caught up in the assault, joining the Mechanicum garrison in a final defence.  Thus are the Alphas thrust into battle against some of Perturabo's sons.

Lernaean Terminators prepare to move out.

Heavy support squad, backed by an apothecary

Besides, the Alpha Legion's motives are always so complex and opaque, they could conceivably be pitted against almost anyone...

Iron Warriors despoiler squad moves to reinforce, arriving down a corridor on the base
Kyr Vhalen positions his small blocking force, anchored on the very tough dreadnoughts

The main story of the fall of Paramar V, a vital mechanicum and fleet re-supply depot as well as a critical communications link, is one of a big-time ground assault.  But I wanted to have a bit of Alpha Legion flavour to the game.  The Alphas are notorious for deception, trick plays, underhanded moves and infiltration. So I suggested something along those lines to Dallas in the context of the fall of Paramar V.

Alpha Legion Praetor and his familiar try to inspire progress on the assault

The table would be set up to represent the interior of the facility, a maintenance hangar-type area.  Weeks prior to their assault, the Alpha Legion had connived to send a shipment of "damaged" vehicles from the XVI Legion to the base for repairs. As these were vehicles and associated supplies from the Warmaster's own legion, and the launch of his rebellion was as-yet unknown, these vehicles would a) not be inspected closely, and, b) be placed somewhere important.  When the time came for the assault on the base, a large team of Alpha Legionnaires would spring from these vehicles and associated "supply crates" to launch a critical blow from inside the defences, having essentially mailed themselves behind enemy lines.

IV Legion Deredeo dreadnought lays down heavy fire
The defenders would include Dallas' Iron Warriors, bolstered by some 40k Adeptus Mechanicus models standing in to represent the Mechanicum garrison on the base (no reason these cool models can't be in a 30k game).  The Alpha Legion force was overwhelming, larger than the combined defenders by about 50%.  The challenge for the attackers was the isolated location of their objective - a slurm machine in which Alpha Legion operatives had pre-placed and hidden a critical device that would, once activated, shut-down the automated shields and defences of the base.  They would have to move flat out to make it there in six turns...

The Alpha Legion's heavy fire group tries to take down the enemy dreadnoughts

For rules we used the new 8th edition of 40k. I am aware that GW has made the (absolutely baffling) decision to maintain 7th edition for the Horus Heresy gaming, but as is so often the case, the fans of GW's games tend to be as much or more nimble and competent stewards of the game than GW itself.  Fan-driven and created 8th edition rules for the 30k setting have appeared in amazing short time, and we made use of these for our game.

Iron Warriors look to block the dreaded Lernaeans...

Frederick, Indo (aka "the voice of Alpharius") and Mike A played the Alpha Legion attack force, while Dallas, John and Mike F took command of the defenders. Battle was joined!

Dallas' fantastic Mechanicum models were part of the doomed defence
The Alpha Legion troops sprung from the various vehicles and crates in which they had been hidden, and swarmed towards their objective.  The defence of the loyalists was anchored around a trio of Iron Warrior dreadnoughts - one Deredeo class and two Contemptors.  They all fell in glory, but took a number of Alpha Legion troops down in the process. 

Tough outing for the IV Legion! The Lernaeans reduce the 15-model Despoiler squad down to three survivors...ouch!

The stars for the Alpha Legion side included their own Deredeo dreadnought (wow, those things are amazing), their heavy support squad equipped with missile launchers (scary enough in the 7th edition, even more vital in the 8th edition and the new way that vehicles and dreadnoughts take damage) and the Lernaean Terminators, who carved a pretty bloody swathe through the defenders. I have never seen Terminators be so effective on the tabletop...

KABOOM! An Iron Warrior dreadnought explodes after sustained abuse.

The defenders suffered near total losses, but after six turns the Alpha Legion strike team had not yet reached their objective, so it was a phyrric victory for Kyr Vhalen and his defenders of Paramar V - although poor Kyr Vhalen got hit by multiple krak missiles in the final turn, so was not really in a position to enjoy this bitter success.

EDITOR'S NOTE - upon reflection, Kyr Vhalen, as a character, wasn't a legit target for the missiles, with that big tactical squad right nearby.  Oops.  We'll chalk that up to more Alpha Legion trickery...

The Alpha Legion strike force surges ahead

Contemptor dreadnoughts put a beating on an Alpha Legion tactical squad

The Lernaeans step in to finish the opposing dreadnoughts

Of course 30k/40k as a rule set continues to boast a number of large flaws, but as a not-too-mentally taxing game it is a lot of fun to roll out for the group. I have really started to enjoy the 8th edition (after a bit of a bumpy start) and I think, in particular, the 8th edition of the rules will be a lot of fun for 30k players out there.

Kyr Vhalen finishes the game as a recipient of multiple krak missiles...looking back now, I don't think he could have been targeted as he was a character...but that is the Alpha Legion for you, always sneaking around the rules...

Thanks to the guys for playing and to Dallas for hosting.  Was great to see his Iron Warriors and Mechanicum guys out on the table, and I hope it inspires further painting and collection escalation on his part (and keeps Mike F going on his Imperial Fists).  Outnumbered and mounting a last stand, it was a pretty rough scenario for the Iron Warriors.  Once Dallas gets more of them painted, we'll have to set up a game where they enjoy a bit of a more balanced chance.

Alpha to omega! Horus for hope!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Imperial Fist Legion Tactical Squad

I finished my second unit of Imperial Fists. Progress has been slow with this project, though not for a lack of painting. The Mark III armour is very challenging in general and the yellow makes it worse. I am quite happy with the results however. Dallas asked if I was going to weather them up. I initially balked at this as it took so long to paint the yellow. I changed my mind after considering the state of the loyalist legions during the Horus Heresy. Considered from the Imperial Fist point of view, they are in seriously deep s#!t. 3 Legions nearly destroyed, 3 legions apparently building a new Imperium in Ultramar (terrible book by the way) and the Space Wolves and White Scars off doing God knows what. The Imperial Fists are pretty much it and I can see them being tasked to help put out every little flare up in Segmentium Solar, in addition to trying to re-enforce Terra for the inevitable apocalyptic invasion by Horus. Sending their armour off to the cleaners is probably on hold for now. So after some research on Youtube I came up with a weathering strategy that I think worked well. I used weathering powders for the lower legs and feet. Yellow armour is very unforgiving with weathering powder. Too little isn't visible on the model, but too much and it looks like they're wearing thigh high leathers. I think I found the right balance.




This was originally supposed to be a small army, but a never ending stream of packages from Canada Post have made it anything but. Still not equal to the traitor forces accumulated by Greg, but with Dallas' Blood Angels and some Shattered Legions' we should be able to have a Battle of Terra game in the new year (probably not the new year.) Next up is a 20 man Tactical Squad.