Friday, October 19, 2018

Death of a Baneblade - 40k 8th Edition Battle Report

Imperial Baneblade 6813 contemplates its final moments amid 40k action ...
Do you have any figures that you must actually dust off before you use them on the table? Last night I had the chance to do just that as Conscript Byron popped over for a game of 40k 8th Edition.

Earlier in the week I had dug out and dusted off my collection of Imperial Guard "Praetorians".  The original plan was for them to face off against Dallas' Ork hordes, but unfortunately Dallas was unable to join us this week. A substitute "Xenos threat" was therefore required. To address this need I went even further into the "old-stuff-I-don't-have-room-to-display-but-can't-find-the-will-to-dispose-of" pile in my basement and pulled out my long-dormant Tau collection...

Starting disposition - the Imperial infantry have secured the staging site of an old mine facility,  while the Baneblade (accompanied by a Chimera APC with a mounted squad aboard); the Tau ambush would come at the right side of the photo. 
How old is some of this stuff? Well, the Praetorians have been part of my collection probably since...around 2009 or 2010. I do not recall the last time they saw action on the tabletop...it may be on the blog here somewhere, but it would have been quite a while ago, back before Dallas moved to his current address.

Praetorian troops take up firing positions.

Praetorian auto cannon support squad ready for action. 
As for the Tau, well, they are even older - you can tell from the photos.  I painted these when the Tau were first released by GW, so this would have been somewhere around 2001-02, something like that.  It was fitting that Byron was able to stop by last night, as we were chuckling at how I had painted these very Tau models to be ready for one of the "WarCon" tournaments he used to run - and that was a long time ago!

Imperial mechanized troops dismount as the ambush begins.
Tau Pathfinders deploy markerlights to ease the targeting of their fellow troops - while Kroot mercenaries cover them up front. 
So - one old collection to face off against another old collection.  I wanted to spice it up a bit...and I thought..."Baneblade!"  Back in January of 2011 I completed one of the (at the time) new plastic Baneblade tank kits.  But it had never once seen action on the tabletop, not once, since that time.  So I thought it would be fun to haul it out and see how it performed in the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40k.

The Tau ambush takes shape...the plastic targeting markers were used to indicate markerlight "hits".
I set up a 6' x 6' table, and made the Baneblade central to the scenario.  The Imperial Force would represent some column advancing toward an objective on a sparsely-populated Imperial mining colony.  The Tau interlopers, while indifferent to the Imperial infantry, were alarmed at the Baneblade, and sent a strike force to eliminate it.  The Tau would have six turns to destroy the Baneblade.

The Kroot decide to eliminate the Chimera with a close assault...would tie up the tank and render it useless for the game...
Byron took command of the Tau, while I played the Baneblade and its covering force of Praetorian infantry.  Both sides were at 70 "Power Levels" in terms of size.

Byron's Tau commander opted for an aggressive strategy, with his XV8 Crisis teams arriving in a drop from their Manta gunship high above the table, and hoping to get a kill with an all-out assault in that first round of shooting. We laughed at how this plan might have been received by the other Crisis Suit pilots..."like, right in front the enemy objective...are we SURE about that?"

Surprise! The Tau Commander, accompanied by two XV8 Crisis Suit teams, drops in to make the kill!

Baneblade commander notes the presence of Xenos power suits...

Meanwhile, Fire Warriors engage the supporting Praetorian infantry at long range. 
It almost worked like that. Byron's drop was dramatic, and did damage the Baneblade pretty badly, but it still survived for a bit. The air filled with firing from exotic Tau weapons, met with shattering return volleys of Imperial Guard heavy weapons and the arsenal of the mighty Baneblade tank. It took four turns, but the Baneblade was eventually put out of action, with the coup-de-grace delivered by the lethal railgun of the Tau Hammerhead tank.

The Company Commander watches developments from his improvised command post. 

More Fire Warriors move into position...

Imperial mortars try and eliminate enemy infantry...
It was a costly victory, in that the Tau lost both of their XV8 Crisis teams in the huge volleys of return fire. The Tau Commander himself was nearly clipped, losing his two shield drones (lucky for him they came along!).  On the other hand, no Crisis Suit pilots would be around to question the Commander's strategy...the losses were regrettable, but I suspect this counted as a "greater good" overall outcome for this Tau Commander...

The end is near for the Baneblade...Tau Devilfish APCs attempt to kill steal...and they would almost manage it!
KaBOOM! The Baneblade is "out of action"!

Tau Hammerhead taking in the spectacle of its kill shot...
"Where did those other Crisis suits go? Oh well...it's for the greater good, after all."
It was a lot of fun to get these models out on to the table, so a big thanks to Byron for stopping by. 40k's 8th Edition has many, many warts, but the setting is still awesome, and the game is still a ton of fun when you play with fun players.  It is great that these dusty old figures can still get some time on the gaming tables. Hope to see folks again next week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Gaslands - Death Race Birthday Game!

Last Thursday (my birthday!!) I hosted the lads for a game of Gaslands. We tried "Death Race" again, we'd played the scenario before but not all the way through, but this time I arranged the "start" in a bit better way. Conscripts Greg, Mike F., Dave V. and myself each fielded a team of two cars (40 cans). Conscripts Byron and Kevin spectated.

The Death Race comprised three gates - the first at top left, the second at centre right, and the third (finish line) at top right. Starting grid is at bottom/centre right of the picture. The gates have to be crossed in order, with each car's weapons activating only after it passes Gate 1.

I rolled the high die and scored pole position for Team Babypoop Brown, so I placed car #56 first on the grid with my #13 Miura directly behind. Mike, Dave and Greg lined up accordingly. Dave's cars were the Plymouth Fury ("Christine") at bottom left and the black Interceptor. Mike had the blue car at top left and the "MFP" Alpine, while Greg gridded the black-and-white camo prototype and the blue buggy.

Car #56 gets the holeshot and screams off towards the first gate.


(Gratuitous shot of a billboard here)

My team got off the line well but there was some chaos elsewhere in the field. Some execrable dice-rolling from Gaslands noob Greg had hime somewhat frustrated off the hop, and hazard markers accumulated rapidly on his and others' cars with some wipeouts happening even before they were halfway to the first gate.

Mike's MFP Alpine takes evasive action off the line!

Had to include a closeup pic of this car - outstanding work Mike!

Team BPB in the lead passing the first gate. The #13 Miura got a screamer of a start and was into 5th gear, overtaking the polesitter before they reached Gate 1.

Behind them, things were a bit hairier with cars pointing in every direction.

See what I mean??

We've skipped ahead a bit here, but what happened was that #13 ended up wiping out into the wall just past the gate, and was turned 180 degrees by Mike. Above we see him moving off into a collision with Mike's blue car. Dave's Interceptor has overtaken both and left caltrops behind.

More caltrops made the gate a bit dangerous!

#56 passes Gate 2. Although he'd taken some fire after weapons were activated, reducing the car's Hull significantly, things were still looking good.

Meanwhile, just past Gate 1, things were a mess. Car #13 had dropped mines but then wiped out again, and was spun around to face his own minefield - awkward. Greg's buggy was definitely making its presence known with HMG up the fundamental aperture of the MFP Alpine. Mike's turreted car sprayed bullets everywhere!

Car #56 crosses the line to earn the win. Dave's "Christine" had done a u-turn after passing Gate 1 and was manouevring to line up a shot at the leader, but missed. The driver of #56 certainly savoured the victor's champagne!

This was a super-fun game. Death Race works better with lots of space on the grid, and as any player knows, the play slows down significantly through collisions etc. when cars are being operated in close proximity. Once the field spreads out a bit things start to rattle along more quickly.

I'm still quite excited about Gaslands and many of the lads share that enthusiasm. Half of the fun is converting and painting the cars, of course, and I need to get back to the worktable on that score!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Reavers for "Adeptus Titanicus"

Anyone call for some Titans? Two new Legio Mortis engines report for duty...
More giant walking machines for wars of the future in "Adeptus Titanicus"! Two Reaver class Titans for Legio Mortis received their finishing touches on the painting table this past weekend. These are new plastic kits available from GW, part of the new range for the re-booted game featuring Titans battling it out during the Horus Heresy. 

The Reaver class Titans are not so large as the big Warlord-class engines, but they are still pretty large and heavily-equipped.  They are front-line war engines for the Titan Legions of GW's 30k setting.

WIP shot - drying in the "goop", waiting for the black base coat.

I painted the torsos and heads separately from the legs.  Felt slower for some reason. 

Nearly ready for final assembly in this photo - just waiting for decals  (and heads).
"Family photo" of Legio Mortis - still waiting for Warhounds at this point, but ready to move out. 
While they do not have quite so many parts as the new Warlord Titan models, these new Reaver kits from GW are still quite involved.  As with the Warlords, the plastic Reaver kits will reward patience and offer a lot of flexibility for posing etc.  The models are faithful recreations of the current Reaver design from Forge World.  This is great, but there are a few elements of that design that make this assembly a little more tricky - the exposed hoses/cables on the legs and on the head of the Titan. The Pictionary-style instructions are not super clear on these at first, but with some careful application of glue, and some patience, you will get them done.  Just take some time, don't rush, and all will be well. 

"Something need punching? We're here to help..."
The models are also forgiving - on one of the new Reavers featured in this post, the "hip" sections of the legs are mounted backwards! Oops...a credit to the tech-priests who blessed the Reaver design that the models can handle some stupidity on my part.

The plain carapace is a nice option, but I struggled to fill it up with markings...will have to try harder next time. 

Power fist ready to punch someone/thing - note the cable connecting it to the body. Do NOT use this stupid fiddly part - you don't actually have to, but I was determined to try and follow the directions on this first effort. 
A huge bonus, in my opinion, for these models is that they come with some variety in their weapon mounts! While there is only a single option for the carapace (the ubiquitous "Apocalypse Launcher" - love the names), you can choose between a close combat fist, gatling cannon or turbo-laser for the arm mounts.  Even better, if you model the power fist, you can choose between an open or closed fist - great stuff, and showing GW at its best, and a stark contrast to the very disappointing weapon selection in the Warlord kits. 

Enough laser power to melt just about anything/one...
On the downside, the weapons are not simple to magnetize, unlike the weapon mounts on the Warlord. Kind of a strange inconsistency from GW, but I guess not that surprising, when one considers (as commenter Amy noted) the "strange and mysterious ways" of GW.  I don't fiddle with magnets unless it is simple to do, so these Reavers are not magnetized, but glued together like a traditional model. 

You also have the option of a very elaborate carapace plate in the model kit - the options are great to have, and certainly the detail on the "detailed" option is off the hook - great job by GW.  I figure this engine will have some kind of snooty crew that feels they are worthy of all the flash up top. 
I am trying to get an "Axiom Battle Maniple" painted for both the Rebel and Loyalist factions in my "Adeptus Titanicus" collection.  The Axiom Maniple has a total of five god-engines when fully deployed - one Warlord, two Reavers and two Warhounds. So that means two Reavers per side. Naturally, once the models arrived, of course I started with the Rebel side first.  Funny how that happens with me all the time...Horus for Hope!

Ready for a walk...
One Reaver is sporting a combo of a power fist and a gatling cannon - this engine will keep moving on the battlefield, peppering the void shields of the enemy engines with the cannon until the range can be closed and the fist used to smash recalcitrant followers of the so-called "Emperor" into powder. 

Dual turbo-laser mounts should hopefully dish out punishment to enemy engines who lose their void shields. 
The other Reaver has a pair of turbo-laser mounts on the arms- throwing out enough focused energy that we can nickname it "The Happy Cooker".  This engine will move into a supporting firing position to help the big Warlord bring down targets who have lost their void shields. The two laser mounts should help cook some big holes in the armour of those who foolishly deny the glory of Horus Lupercal.

"Reactors to full power! Horus for hope!"
As newly painted models, what could possibly go wrong on the table?  I'm looking forward to getting these fellows into action.  But I should probably paint a few more Loyalist engines up first - after all, you need targets to practice on, right?  I will try and get started on the Loyalist Reavers this week...and the new Warhounds should arrive soon too.  Painting reactors to full power! 

Thanks for stopping by the blog, hope everyone has a great day!     

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Knights for "Adeptus Titanicus"

New Knight models for GW's reboot of "Adeptus Titanicus"
A few more models for "Adeptus Titanicus" in this post - a group of Knights (organized into "banners").  These fellows were finished off over the Thanksgiving long weekend, thankfully before I fell into a turkey-consumption-induced coma. 

As I have mentioned before, I have no particular interest in the barmy back story of the so-called "Knight Houses", so I threw together a colour scheme, picked out decals that I liked, and threw it all together over the space of a few hours' painting.  These fellows will fight for the loyalist side in the games.  As loyalists, they believe in a so-called 'Emperor', and are fated to be crushed into dust by the righteous God-Engines fighting in the name of Horus Lupercal, the beloved Warmaster!

An incredible amount of detail on these small plastic models. 
These little plastic kits are well designed, with quite a lot of detail that will reward you if you take the time.  I didn't do that so much - these were fairly quick paint jobs - but one thing that is just so ace about the new kits is the decals! The decal sheets for the Knights are excellent, and I made liberal use of them with this trio. 

"For the Emperor!" Fools...
With these three fellows painted, I have finished all of the combat units from my box set (two Warlord Titans and six Knights). A "banner" of Knights in the new version of the "Adeptus Titanicus"game contains at least three Knights, but can include more.  I do have a few more of these models, but they will wait as for now I am keener on expanding the Titan part of the collection.  

The decals that come with the kits are a huge bonus - there is no way all that would be do-able by freehand painting, or be worth the time even if I had that skill...
Some new plastic Reaver Titan kits arrived late last week to help that along.  I got started assembling the Reavers during the course of the weekend, and hope to have them finished before too long.  The Reaver models are quite nice, and one thing I appreciate is the greater variety of weapon selection available with the Reaver kits.  And one particularly nice touch is the variability of the power fist - the fist can be open or clenched - very cool!

There are a few challenges too - I'm no fan of all the hoses, particularly the hose connections between the weapons (which, strangely, are specific to one weapon and one arm, acting as a limit to the ways you can configure the Reavers).  My advice - just ignore the hoses all together.

WIP showing the new plastic Reaver Titan kits from GW. 
Curiously, GW even seems to realize the hoses for the weapons are dumb, and the instructions give alternate assembly options where the hoses are not used on the weapons.  Of course, the instructions try to convey this using 3D Pictionary-style depictions rather than any clear communication, but you'll figure it out quickly enough.  I have hoses on these first two models, but they will be the last.

There is also no straightforward approach to magnetizing the weapons on the Reaver kit, which is a bit baffling, considering this was done on the Warlords.  It can still be done if you are any good with magnets (see Curt's brilliant example here), but I don't have time to waste flopping around with magnetic nonsense. If the designers make it easy, so be it, but they did not with the Reavers, so the weapons on these fellows will be fixed in place.  

Thanks very much for stopping by!