Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Pico-Size Project

Well, after the rush to complete some Napoleonics through the new year, it's time for a new, and hopefully much quicker, project. Rummaging through the pile-o-stuff in the basement, I found my stuff from Oddzial Osmy - 3mm scale modern armour and infantry. I had been reading a bit about the 1973 Yom Kippur War lately, and it clicked that a scenario in 3mm from the Sinai in 1973 would be the perfect short project. I got started over the long weekend (and after all, with the rain and the "spring" like freezing temps, what else was there to do?). Here are some pictures of "test" figures.

The Modern Spearhead rules include a scenario pitting an elite Egyptian armoured brigade against Israeli armoured reserves in the Sinai near the canal late in the 1973 war. I thought this would be a good "target" scenario to start with. Here are some T-62s - the rounded base equals a command stand.

We have gamed previously using these super-small figures. The detail is great - incredible, really, considering the scale, and the figures paint up fast. The depth of the range is really something too - they have almost every relevant tank, armoured vehicle, aircraft and helicopter. Dealing with the distributor Pico Armor is a breeze, with excellent customer service. It's also great price-wise - 15 tanks are like $4 US.

I still love the GHQ stuff for Spearhead, but this scale has several advantages. One thing that is neat about the small figures is that you really do have a tank platoon on the base. Another is that you can represent a much bigger battlefield on the same scale of table - you can play a game on a smaller table, or a bigger game on a normal table.

The scenario features a total of six battalion-sized units on the table - four Egyptian and two Isreali. All and all about 54 bases on the table. I'll do a little project tracker on the blog to help keep me moving, and post pictures as I go. Right now I am still doing "test" figures. I have pretty much nailed down the Egyptian colours. I am still struggling, however, with trying to get the right colour mix for the "field gray" the Israelis used in 1973. Watch for more progress in the blog.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Armies on Parade: Eldar for Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2011

I had my camera out for Astro, so I decided to take some pics of my current Eldar Swordwind tournament force.

Here is the entire force on its display/movement tray:


The two HQs below are converted from, respectively, a Banshee Exarch and a Warlock. They are removable from their display bases for gaming. Yes, I actually bought an entire box of Khorne Berzerkers just to use as victims and battlefield detritus.


Below are two squads of Dire Avengers and their skimmer APCs. The yellow-helmeted Dire Avengers were painted by Conscript KevinH several years ago. They ride in the oldest of my Wave Serpents - note the diamonds painted on the hull instead of triangles. Kevin and I painstakingly cut out diamond shaped airbrush masks from tape. I later found a triangle-hole-punch, using Post-It Notes for the masks (so as to not lift paint).

All my Wave Serpent tanks are Forgeworld resin conversion kits. I like their look better than the current plastic models. The turrets are magnetized to easily swap for other weapon options. The models use magnets for mounting to their flying bases. I still have 3 unbuilt FW Wave Serpents in my stack of unbuilt kits.


Below are a third Dire Avengers squad, and the Fire Dragons. For the Dires, a third scoring unit instead of my usual two gives a few more options for objective-based scenarios.

The big Dragon squad is a "fire and forget" weapon that I try and hold onto for as long as possible - once they dismount and blow up something they're pretty much toast.


Deep striking Warp Spiders are fun to play. Conscript BrianH painted them for me for my birthday one year. The unit won "Best Sci-fi Unit" for him at GenCon awhile ago. They are the best painted Spiders I have ever seen.


Vyper squadron. Converted from two-seater jet bikes into a single-seater and two unmanned drones. Great for harassment and blocking enemy movement.


Lastly, a Night Spinner artillery tank. Armed with huge versions of the Warp Spiders' mono-filament web weaponry, the model causes more annoyance than actual damage - good for channeling and interfering with enemy movement.


Psychic power tokens - WFB models used to mark units with Fortune (re-roll saves) or Doom (re-roll wounds). I envision Eldar powers as based on their Spirit Stones and the essences that lie within.


Objective markers - various models that an Eldar force might think worth fighting over. The Sister of Battle is from the Dark Eldar model of Asdrubael Vect's barge.


Including other painted models such an an aircraft and a super-heavy tank, I can probably field 4,000 points of Eldar for an Apocalypse game.

The actual list I used for Astro is as follows:

Asurmen's Academy: The Return of Ancient Days

Ciara Lorcáin - Farseer (Doom; Fortune; Runes of Warding)

Saoirse Riagáin - Autarch (Banshee Mask; Fusion Gun; Power Weapon)

Blood Redeemers - 5 Dire Avengers
Peacemaker – Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones; TL Scatter Lasers)

Companions - 5 Dire Avengers
Fencing Master – Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones; TL Scatter Lasers)

Old Guard - 5 Dire Avengers
Ancient Whispers - Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones; TL Scatter Lasers)

Fate's Tears - 8 Fire Dragons
The Kid – Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones; Shuriken Cannon; TL Scatter Lasers)

Breaking Waves - Vyper Squadron of 3 Vypers (each w/ Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon)

Dream Weavers - 4 Warp Spiders
Soul Hunter – Exarch (Death Spinner x2; Powerblades)

War Prayer - Night Spinner

Total Roster Cost: 1498 points

Very fast list, with lots of Strength 6 firepower and resilience through hiding behind tank armour. ( Oh noes! Strength 6 spam! Skimmer spam!)

The list was designed for the upcoming Las Vegas GT. However, I pressed it into service for Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2011. As it turned out, even with sold-out attendance I was the only Eldar player at the tournament. Perhaps this is due to the relative age of the Eldar codex and all the shiny new toys available now, like the recent Grey Knights release.

Batreps to follow.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Nid Flu" Strikes Hive Fleet Nostromo

Two weeks ago Conscript Indo brought over his stunningly painted Nurgle army for a game of 40K.  I threw down with Hive Fleet Nostromo, the threat level was 1500 points.  A bit small for my liking as I prefer to bring out lots of gribblies and the Nids are quite spendy.  Still fun though, I had painted some new models and (surprise) they were about the only ones that did anything...

Here's some of Indo's Chaos Space Marines.  The paint work and custom bases are just gorgeous. 

 Chaos Dread and the Obliterators... those guys are nasty.

 Initial dispositions.  The game was a straight-up kill point match.

 Nostromo's MVPs... Hive Guard.  As you can see they are the old 1st generation Tyranid Warriors with Chapterhouse heads.  they did great, killing Indo's Daemon Prince in a single round of shooting.  Unfortuinately I think that represented Nostromo's only kill point scored...

 Beautiful Forge World Dreadnought.

One of Indo's typical rolls on the night :-)   Long story short, the Hive Fleet got owned big time.  Good to have them out again but 1500 points isn't their strong suit.  Stuff is just too expensive, it seems.  Anyway all good fun and great to see Indo's army on the table!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2011 - Army Showcase

This weekend, April 30- May 1, is Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2011. Hard to believe this tournament series has been running now for a decade! There are several players from out of town (Toronto ON, Windsor ON, etc.) plus a slew of locals.

Here's some of the armies that I was able to see during yesterday's proceedings (Day One of the two-day tournament).

Dave S' Nurgle:




Mario R's Ultramarines ("Best Appearance" winner; check out the NMM on his Techmarine Commander):





Brock J's Chaos Daemons ("Best Army" winner; check out the corrupted Eldar tech used to create daemonic engines of war):



Alex B's Orks (he wasn't able to finish all his new vehicles):



Greg R's Salamanders:




Jim B's Red Scorpions (check out the groin-kicking models):



Chris B's Dark Eldar (mostly painted by his wife!)


Mike D's Sisters of Battle:



Fabio F's Nurgle Chaos ("Best Single Figure" winner - the Daemon Prince):



Dustin F's Grey Knights:


Graeme B's Grey Knights (all Paladins - a 16 model battle force!)


Dave T's Slaanesh Chaos Daemons:






Lance M's Salamanders (love the hat!):








Nick I's Space Marines ("Best Army List" winner; check out a page from his custom codex!):





Chris H's Orks ("Best General" winner):


Kevin N's Imperial Guard (his armoured vehicles are parked below the camo nets: