Thursday, October 17, 2019

Imperial Fist Command Squad

Painting has been slow the last few months for a variety of reasons and I've spent most of my time on side projects that have been gathering dust for years. As such my 30k Legion project has been delayed. With the changing weather I decided to complete the last infantry models I have for the Imperial Fists. I have almost 5000 points painted, but I've lacked a large HQ unit. My terminator Centurion has been in an acting Praetor position for a while now and it's time the force had a proper HQ. The command squad below are the last infantry models I have for the Fists. After this I have some Rhino's, Stormraven and a Fellblade to finish, but I'll be holding off working on those so I can hopefully finish my Adeptus Titanicus maniple.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Long Weekend Painting Frenzy Part 1 - Team Yankee Canadian Mechanized Infantry

Reinforcements for the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in "Team Yankee"
We just finished another unique Thanksgiving weekend here in Winnipeg. I use the word"unique" because our province was hammered by a sever snow storm through Thursday and Friday.  While terrible winter conditions are something most Manitoba residents are used to, Thanksgiving is just a touch early for that sort of thing - when snow does arrive at that time of year, it tends to be the wet, heavy sort which brings down trees and power lines.  As I type this, thousands of residents remain without power, and it could be a week or more before the power is restored.

Mechanized company command stand (and an M113 for the group to ride around in).
For my part, I was very fortunate - while my lights flickered, the power stayed on, we did not lose too many trees on our property, and I was able to spend Thanksgiving with family because our pickup truck can drive through almost any weather conditions. But since there wasn't much else to do, I was also able to paint like a madman through the whole long weekend!  Building on the ADATS from last week, one of the items I finished was a mechanized infantry platoon for my "Team Yankee" Canadians.

I first started painting Canadians for "Team Yankee" back in January of 2018, before any of Battlefront's models or rules had been released. So my initial Leopard C1s were a mix of models from the Plastic Soldier Company and an outfit called "Armies Army" - a niche outfit which had also released an insanely complete collection of infantry, M113s and Lynx vehicles

The bulk of the infantry platoon, with their M113s in the background. The blue flowers denote the platoon command stand.
The casting quality of Battlefront's metal infantry models continue to be, at best, average, but at least the range is complete and still available.
This was all months before Battlefront had released their Canadians, and I was a keen early adopter. My Canadians have already participated in some fun games of "Team Yankee", but my force is a small one, and I am looking to bulk it up for some bigger games.  Sadly "Armies Army" no longer exists, and its fine products are nowhere to be found...while I do have left-overs from my initial order, they won't be enough to bulk up my tabletop forces very much.  But it's 2019 now, and Battlefront's (very complete) range is now established and available!

Supporting weapons for the platoon...a .30cal MG team (almost straight from WW2) and a 2-man 60mm mortar team. It's old school, but it all helps hold back the Warsaw Pact forces...
The photos in this post show a complete Canadian mechanized infantry platoon and their 4 M113 APCs for transport.  There is also a Canadian infantry command stand, and a separate M113 for the company commander.  The models and figures are all from Battlefront - but the decals are from my "Armies Army" haul and a specialist 1/87 decal provider (I like the over-sized Canadian flags on the vehicles...).

M113s...missing that iconic road wheel on the front (something the Canadian vehicles always seem to have in photos) but hopefully the little over-sized Canadian decals give enough "Canadian content" for the models.
Another view of the M113s...not my favourite Cold War vehicle by a long shot, but you will not find many NATO forces without them...
I always find the M113 to be a bit of a tough slog to paint - they are not inspiring vehicles - but I credit Battlefront for an overall amazing kit in terms of options to build your M113s into a wide assortment of of the variants used by NATO forces.  The Battlefront infantry sculpts are also good, but I do prefer the "Armies Army" ones in terms of quality - the sculpting and casting was just better with "Armies Army".  But full credit to Battlefront, their range is very complete - and you can still order from it, so it's great to see them supporting their range and their game.

With these reinforcements, I can now field multiple elements in my "Team Yankee" Canadian forces - a mechanized infantry company and a Leopard C1 squadron. While my gamer-lizard-brain will always immediately speculate about further expansion (a third mechanized infantry platoon, maybe to represent the combat engineers, would be nice, as would more TOW launchers, and the Leopard C1 squadron could use a couple more tanks) for now we have some additional variety in terms of options for our "Team Yankee" gaming.

Thanks for visiting - and stay tuned for more Long Weekend Painting Frenzy Output

Friday, October 11, 2019

Canadian ADATS for Team Yankee

Canadian ADATS for "Team Yankee" - models from Battlefront
My butterfly-like painting path has wandered back for a time to the 1/100 scale vehicles of Battlefront's "Team Yankee".  I have added some more "Canadian Content" to my collection, additional support for my 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in the form of a pair of "Air Defence Anti Tank Systems" - the ADATS launchers.

Patrolling the skies AND the ground!
What are these funny-looking things? Why, they take out planes, helicopters AND tanks! Mounted atop a modified M113, these systems are supposedly able to provide protection against both enemy aircraft AND enemy armour. That seems...a bit unusual to me? Seems like something the Tau would use in 40k. I did not realize a missile system from the 1980s could take on a dual-role like this.

Leaving aside the technical aspects...would it really have been possible to do both of these things at once in a modern Cold War battlefield? It seems to me that watching the skies and being ready to protect air space is a whole different kettle of fish from watching the ground to the front and preparing to engage enemy armour...

I believe there was a platform attached to the sides of the modified M113 which could be raised so crews could service the launchers.
The important thing is, we didn't need to find out! Yay! Whatever its "realistic" viability, in terms of playing the "Team Yankee" game, the Canadian forces will rely a lot on these odd-looking constructs. The Leopard C1 has a very difficult time of it going toe-to-toe with Warsaw Pact armour, so the big-time AT hitting power of these weapons is a welcome addition to the lineup.  The Canadians' in-house ability to defend against enemy air assets is also extremely limited, so the ability of the ADATS to provide anti-air cover is a huge asset.  If you are playing the Canadian Forces in "Team Yankee", the ADATS is your friend for sure!

Track those targets!
When the "Free Nations" supplement came out for "Team Yankee", I thought the addition of the ADATS was pure fiction, but Conscript member Hugh pointed out that he had seen them in his time serving with the Canadian Forces - so these things really did exist at one point and served in the Canadian Forces. I also chuckled when I saw that the procurement of the ADATS was yet another example of how modern Canada has been utterly unable to execute almost any serious military procurement without either political incompetence, corruption, or other general stupidity (and disgraceful treatment of our service members). Thank goodness Canada's power projection these days is mostly centered around virtue-signalling.

It is Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend - so I hope all of you out there have a great weekend (and if you are in Winnipeg, that you survive the horrible weather).  Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Bolt Action 28mm Waffen-SS MG42 teams

Recently we've been playing a bit of Bolt Action WW2 skirmish. Warlord has created some interesting "campaign" material to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. One of these campaigns pitted Canadians vs. Waffen-SS and since Conscript Frederick was eager to get his Canadians into action and I have lots of Waffen-SS troops, it seemed like a natural for Thursday night gaming.

Of course, whenever you get out an old army to play with, you find that there's more stuff you need to paint... in the case of my Waffen-SS, it's medium machine-guns that I needed... so I ordered two guns with crews from local stockist Legions IV Hire.

They painted up well. I tried my best to match the camo colours I used when I painted the rest of the army (maybe 15 years ago??) and the result was... OK. For the record, the colours I used to paint the smocks were (in order):
  • base: MSP Driftwood Brown
  • next: Driftwood Brown with some thinned craft black and a drop of Doombull Brown
  • then: Mournfang Brown
  • lastly: Doombull Brown, washed with Reikland Fleshshade
Basing this bunch was a bit challenging since I painted the models separately. I ended up texturing the base, leaving untextured spots where the models would be stuck down. Then I primed the bases black, stuck down the models, and filled in the untextured parts with texture gel. After that dried I painted the bases and added the flock.

They turned out OK in the end and acquitted themselves reasonably well in the last game. The Bolt Action models are quite nice and I may get a few more specialists from them to add to my Waffen-SS force.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Adeptus Titanicus - New Warlord & New Big Guns

New big Titan, new big guns for AT18!
"Adeptus Titanicus" is about big stompy machines and big guns. With this in mind I'm pleased to share some photos of a new Titan and some new big guns as I slowly  expand my collection of models for the re-booted version of GW's "Adeptus Titanicus". The photos shown here depict a major boost for loyalist forces of Legio Giphonicus with the addition of a new Warlord Titan as well as a wide assortment of new weapons for the loyalist Princeps to choose from.

The newer multi-part plastic Warlord Titans from GW are really amazing.  They are not simple to assemble or to paint, but it's worth it in the end! Here is the latest addition to the collection, and it is showing off the new combos that are available as well.

"Standard" Armament - Apocalypse Launchers and Volcano Cannons

New addition to the War Griffons collection.
Here is the new beast sporting the "basic" weapon load - twin Apocalypse Launchers on the carapace, and Volcano Cannons on the arms. This is the weapon selection that came with the Warlord models in the original release of the game.  In terms of variety, it is uninspiring.  In terms of game effect, well, it is a potent combination. The Apocalypse Launchers are probably the best weapons in the game when it comes to knocking down the void shields of opposing God-engines. The Volcano Cannons, meanwhile, are almost certain to cause serious damage on enemy Titans once you knock out those shields. 
Another view of the incredible detail on these new Warlord models.
There are drawbacks to this weapon load. As blast weapons, the Volcano Cannons cannot make "called shots", so delivering that final coup-de-grace to a stricken enemy is not so easy.  The Volcano Cannons are also power-hungry - each one draws a lot of power from the reactors on the Titan, and over a couple of turns of firing the Volcano Cannons your reactors can start to run really hot, putting the Titan itself at risk (which never seems like a problem until your reactor melts down...).

To address these drawbacks - and give some variety to the players - there are new weapons available to alter the weapon load!  Let's look at some of those.

Carapace-Mounted Paired Laser Blasters

Close-up of the carapace-mounted paired laser blasters.
These are alternative weapons for the Warlord Titan carapace mount.  They are not quite so effective at knocking down void shields - although they certainly contribute to those efforts - but where the Apocalypse Missile Launcher has little chance of harming an enemy Titan once the void shields are knocked down, the Laser Blasters have higher strength and can melt the enemy armour.  

A view of the swapped-out apocalypse launchers on the ground.
The blasters themselves are part of a secondary weapons frame that was initially released with an alternate Warlord Titan boxed kit. The reaction to this packaging choice from the gaming community was...passionate.  GW relented and ultimate put the frame for sale on its own earlier this year, so those who already had Warlord models would not have to buy another whole Warlord just to get more weapons.  The frame is great, because it has even more weapons for you to select for your Warlord Titans, such as the...

Sunfury Plasma Annihilator

Let's take the whole "Plasma Gun" thing to the biggest possible level....
Not a "plasma lighter", "plasma cannon" or a "plasma helper"'s a "Plasma Annihilator"! Gotta love Adeptus Titanicus! This essentially is Titan-sized version of the weapon carried by your trusty Space Marines in games of 30k and 40k.  It doesn't hit quite so hard as the Volcano Cannon, but it brings the pain, and you can go for extra power by pushing the reactor if you wish.  The same frame that provided the Paired Laser Blasters gives you two of these weapons.  It also gives you an...

Arioch Power Claw

No matter how big you are, sometimes you need to punch the enemy...
A Warlord Titan is a God of the battlefield!  It can level city blocks in one casual blast from miles away! But...there are just times when you need to take care of things "up close and personal", even if you are 10 stories tall.  For a Space Marine Captain, you have a power fist.  For a Warlord Titan, you have the "Arioch Power Claw"!

For the aggressive Titan Commander that likes to see their work carried out up close, the Arioch Power Claw delivers! You won't even need to worry about your enemy's void shields if you maneuver close enough to bring this thing to bear on your foe.  There is a trade-off to be made...while this weapon can devastate your opponents up close, your God-engine needs to survive the approach in the first place. The Warlord Titans are not exactly nimble, and if you equip your Titan with this weapon, you are sacrificing long-range hitting power for something that will not contribute until you are toe-to-toe with the enemy.

Still, it looks cool...and I can think of a few Fawcett Avenue gamers who would, given the choice, opt to include this weapon on their Warlord Titan.

Mori Quake Cannon

The "Mori Quake Cannon" - blast your enemies AND shake them all around!
Even more Titanicus-Good-Times await with the "Mori Quake Cannon".  This weapon has big hitting power and, because it is not a blast weapon, it can be used to make "called shots", targeting a specific location once the enemy's void shields have been caved in.  It has a more-than-decent chance to cause damage to any location of an enemy Titan.

But wait! There's more! The traits of this weapon don't only damage your enemies - they disrupt them, causing movement penalties for the enemy engines and even altering their facing, messing with their deployment and maneuvering plans.  A nice bonus, and good chance for mischief.

This weapon is from Forge World, and so is cast in resin. Forge World also released the....

Macro Gatling Blaster

THIS should be fun...
Have you ever wondered what a cycling-gatling-type cannon firing 150mm shells would look like? So, apparently, did the Adeptus Mechanicus! Behold the "Macro Gatling Blaster", which brings Princeps the joys of high rates of fire and a decent weapon strength.  As we all know, "gatling" = "awesome".

Why not have two of them?
This also a release from Forge World.  I liked it so much I got two of them - one for each arm - just in case one of the guys wanted to roll a Warlord with two of these things mounted up:). You might see in the photos that the painting finish on one of them is a touch challenged - this stemmed from a spray-priming incident (f*** spray cans!!!).  I just painted it up anyway, and will chalk the whole thing up to "battle damage".

Vulcan Mega-Bolter for Reaver Titan

Vulcan Mega Bolter on the carapace of a Legio Griponicus Reaver Titan.
The Warlord Titans are not the only ones getting new weapon options.  I finished a warp missile rack last week, and now we also have the carapace-mounted "Vulcan Mega-Bolter". Almost sounds like an Ork named it...

Not the fanciest-looking weapon in the arsenal, but a real threat to the void shields of enemy engines.
This weapon will not do too much damage to enemy god-engines, but it is great for stripping void shields, setting enemies up to receive devastating kill shots. It's all about team work...yes, teamwork is still a thing, even in the grim darkness of the far future!

Loyalist Warlord Titans on maneuvers...
Updated "family photo" of the loyalist forces...six Titans and two Banners of knights...not bad...
Now that I have given a large boost to the loyalist side of my Titan collection, I expect I'll turn to the Warmaster's side of the conflict...but reliable intelligence indicates that some fellow Fawcett Avenue gamers have purchases some new Titans themselves, and that some of these may be for a Titan Legio that supported Horus...stay tuned for more on that!

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Knight & Reaver Weapon for AT18

Some AT18 painting - another Cerastus Knight Lancer and a new carapace weapon for a Reaver Titan.
In my last post about painting, I mentioned I was staying in 10mm, and I sort of consider the new Adeptus Titanicus model range from GW to be any rate, after finishing those few small Prussians, my brushes have returned to Adeptus Titanicus subjects for the past couple of weeks.  Here is a Cerastus Knight and a Warp Missile Rack for the carapace mount of a Reaver Titan.

Cerastus Knight
The Cerastus Knight is one of the newer models GW have released for their Adeptus Titanicus re-boot ("AT18").  When it comes to the "fluff" of the story, the Knights are not of great interest to me, but the models are really lovely and the Knights can play an important role in the game.  This specific Knight will join two I painted earlier this year to form a full-strength banner of Cerastus Lancers.

This may shock you...
Each Cerastus Knight seen here carriers a shock lance and an "Ion Gauntlet" (a power fist for Knights, essentially).  They are intended for close combat on the AT18 table.  They are able to move fast and if they survive to get close to their opposition, the shock lances could deliver a nasty surprise to even the mighty Warlord Titans.  They will also do well putting a beating on banners of opposing Questoris Knights.

I can't say enough about the excellent decal sheets GW has released for AT18. They are very nice, and really help finish a model, especially the Knights, which are often sporting heraldry of their various "houses".
There are other weapons available, in theory, for the Cerastus Knight chassis, but for now the shock lance and ion gauntlet are the only models out there. I assume the flame cannon and bolt cannon variants will arrive as either separate model sets, or as upgrades from Forge World.

The Ion Shield, which is capable of delivering a short-range "shock blast".

The shock lance...another short-range weapon, but can be very deadly on the table if the Knight is in the right position...
My loyalists now have the support of two different Knight banners - these fellows, and a full strength banner of six Questoris Knights.

Warp Missile Rack
GW's support for AT18 has been hit-and-miss, but they are gradually releasing a greater variety of weapons for the Titans in the game.  Selecting different weapons load-outs for your Titans was always a fun aspect of the original Adeptus Titanicus game - and while the new Reaver kits at least have a touch of variety in their weapon loadouts, Forge World has augmented the choice out there (for a price, of course) by releasing Warp Missile Racks designed to fit the carapace weapon mount on Reaver Titans.

A one-shot deal, mounted in the carapace mount of a Legio Gryphonicus Reaver Titan.
The Warp Missile is a fun, whacky, weapon.  Basically the missile flies at the enemy Titan, goes briefly into the warp in order to avoid any void shields, then returns from the warp just in time to hit the target Titan.  In essence, this weapon gives you a chance to land a critical hit on an enemy God-engine even while your target's void shields are in rude health. Yikes! This weapon has a lot of disruptive potential - I look forward to seeing the players try it out on the table!

Another view of the Warp Missile Rack.  The missile itself can be removed to show it has been fired (and presumably has caused trouble for the Warmaster's minions...).
While I am not hobby-savvy enough to figure out how to magnetize the arm weapons on my Reaver Titans, it is very easy to magnetize the carapace weapons, and so it is easy to swap out the Apocalypse Launcher and/or Laser Blaster to mount this thing on top.

Reaver Titan and Cerastus Lancer banner - you can see the Cerastus Knights are pretty tall for Knights (it's all relative in the grim darkness of the far future).
There is a nice variety of weapons available out there now for your Titans.  They are not cheap to acquire, and GW has managed to package this in a fashion that brings to mind the ridiculous process TV signal-sellers use to flogging channel packages, but they are out there now, and even seem to be in supply.  As I said above, choosing weapon loadouts is, for me, part of the fun, so I hope to share some more progress on different weapons for my Titans soon.  And, of course, more Titans at some point...

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

30k Battle Report - No Hope For The Hydra

"Alpha to omega!" A Preator from the Alpha Legion (name redacted) leads his detachment into action against the loyalists of the VII Legion during 30k gaming last week.
Conscript Mike F stopped by last week for a 30k game, and here are a few pictures to share from the battle. Both of us enjoy the Black Library novel "Praetorian of Dorn" (it's a great book, go read it!). While the specific battles from that book are not something I can re-create at this point, we still thought it would be fun to pit the opponents from the story against each other. So some of my Alpha Legion forces would battle against his Imperial Fists.  We set up a small game, using the fan-built 8th edition of 30k.  The "Power Level" for both sides was 70.

A view of the deployed forces on the first turn...
The table was 6' x 4', an arid setting (maybe some isolated part of Terra?) with a communication-relay set amid some ruins.  The key was to secure this communications relay objective.  You could do this by moving into contact with it. But there was another way to win: wiping out the opposing detachment! It's 30k, after all...besides, the Alpha Legion wouldn't want any witnesses.

Deredeo class dreadnought covers the approach of the XX Legion.
The carnage arrived rapidly.  The sons of Alpharius made short work nearly all the members of Mike's tactical squad.  The firepower from my Deredeo Dreadnought was impressive, and things seemed to be going well! But that would not last...

Alpha Legion seeker squad - "Headhunters" - move out.
Wait a minute - who invited these guys??? The elite of the VII Legion teleport to the battlefield...
And then...the Imperial Fist terminators arrived on the scene.  I hoped my Praetor, together with some Lernean Terminators and the squad of 10 Headhunters would be able to cut them down to was not to be.
Where did the seeker squad go?? Eliminated by VII Legion Terminators...
Alpha Legion Preator confronts the Imperial Fist elite...
It's all-in with the Terminators...if we don't stop these guys, we don't stand a chance...
The VII Legion Terminators first BBQ'd my Headhunters.  The Alpha Legion Preator charged in, but could not bring down his opponent.  The assistance of the Apothecary kept the Alpha Legion commander around a bit longer, but you can only get whacked by a chain fist so many times and still expect to be around...and so the Alpha Legion Preator fell in action.

The Apothecary could only do so much...
Meanwhile, my Alpha Legion tactical squad, after losing their Rhino, found themselves facing both a Leviathan Dreadnought and a Contemptor Dreadnought.  The covering fire from the Deredeo Dreadnought was insufficient, and they were soon wiped out.

"Hey, we're moving in on the objective, great news!"
"Oh no! Two huge dreadnoughts! Hope we can hold out!"
Suddenly there is only one survivor in the Alpha Legin tactical squad...
Overall, a loss for the Alpha Legion. Or was it? Surely this was all part of some greater scheme...

The covering fire had no effect...
Mike's collection of Imperial fists looks amazing! He does a great job with the yellow (always a tricky colour) and it continues to expand bit by bit.  This was the first time I came up against a Leviathan Dreadnought, and it was...pretty unpleasant! Melta-bombs were not going to stop that thing...I love the 30k setting, and 30k gaming. While a bit more luck on the dice would always be preferred, this was a fun game - many thanks to Mike F for visiting and bringing his fantastic VII Legion forces out for a spin!

Hope everyone out there has enjoyed the final days of summer. The fall has now arrived - and the countdown is on toward another Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge...