Friday, December 7, 2018

Bloodbath at Orks' Drift! 40K Battle Report

A few weeks ago, Founding Conscript Curt was in town so we decided to host a Thursday game that he would be sure to get a kick out of - a 40K 8th edition smackdown pitting Conscript Greg's amazing Praetorian Guard against my all-metal all-Rogue-Trader-era "Red Star" Space Orks.

Of course we had to call the battle "Bloodbath at Orks' Drift!"

The idea was that the Praetorians were defending an outpost and some ruined buildings on some forsaken planet or other that had been overrun by Orks. The outnumbered (but sadly not outgunned) Praetorians had to hold out against overwhelming odds to defend the outpost.

Praetorian lascannon battery (!)

Lots of heavy weapons in the Praetorian force. They are obviously believers in the "bigger gun theory."

Conscript Curt and I took command of the Ork horde. We had three large units of Boyz as well as some Tankbustas in a trukk, two Deff Dreads, a unit of 10 Stormboyz, and a Boss in Mega-Armour with a Mega-Armoured retinue... and of course, Da Red Barun!

Deff Dreads followed by Mega-Armoured chaps.

Da Red Barun cruising for a target.

Trukk with Tankbustas.

Imperial Commanders Mike F. and Greg.

Ork bosses me and Curt!

Da Red Barun and his extra-shooty plane evaporated a Praetorian heavy weapon squad in a pink mist.

The green tide flowed across the battlefield in the classic "Headbutt of Mork" formation.

The Stormboyz did not do great in this outing - Praetorian shooting wore them out to the point of ineffectiveness. They did manage to take out the Ratlings though - but just barely!

Greg's Ogryns were tough opponents.

Praetorian commander pondering his next move.

 
I'm not gonna go into great detail on the battle itself as frankly, we're more about the social interaction and spectacle than who wins or loses. (This is especially true if I'm on the losing side). Suffice to say that the Orks did not succeed in wiping out the Praetorians as was required to fulfill their victory conditions. However, we did have a ton of fun playing with some models that hadn't seen action for some time, and that was cool. But I guess I shoulda brought out the Stompa after all! :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Renegade Bomb Rats?!?

For my birthday this year my wife bought me two sets of Anvil Miniatures' superb little bomb rats. Each comes with four cute little rodents strapped with explosives, jerrycans, artillery shells, etc. I thought that these fellows would be a great addition to my 40K Chaos Renegades army (some Renegade content here, here and here).

The paintjob on the rats is pretty straightforward - Mournfang Brown fur and Cadian Flesh muzzles, with the explosives and webbing in shades of red and tan respectively, the whole washed down with Agrax Earthshade.

Love these guys!

Their Renegade handler is painted in the standard Renegade style with field-grey tunic and camouflage pants. The pointing arm is from a Cadian Heavy Weapons box. The other arm is a GW part, but with the "controller" hand included with the rats pack.
 

I'm not sure what rules we'll use for these fellows if they ever make it into a game, but in any event they're certainly a fun and quirky addition to the army!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

More Soviets for Team Yankee - Hinds, Shilkas, Acacias and Infantry


Unfortunately my painting (as well as blog posting) hit a bit of a dry spell over the summer, but I'm trying to make an effort to turn that around. This starts with picking up a paint brush. This week I've finished some models for my Team Yankee Soviet forces that I wanted to post. Conscript Greg has more Soviets than we'd ever use in one game, but already having painted West Germans and British, I wanted to have a small "opfor" that could ally with Greg's in a large game, or that could even stand for itself if Greg's models aren't available. I started with the excellent Yuri's Wolves boxed set and have continued from there...

I picked up two Hind attack helicopters, just because Hinds! The Battlefront models are awesome of course and embody the extreme menace of these Soviet death machines!
 
The anti-aircraft defence role for the battalion is filled by two ZSU23-4 "Shilka" vehicles. These models aren't from Battlefront but are some excellent and inexpensive models from Zvezda. It's somewhat fiddly to assemble the guns, but other than that the kits are great, and represent excellent value for money, especially when compared with Battlefront's premium pricing.
 
The latest addition is a battery of 2S3 "Acacia" 152mm SP guns. I'm a sucker for SP artillery and knew I wanted to add either these or the smaller "Carnations"... the sheer size of the pieces, plus the availability of special "Krasnopol" ammunition tilted the choice in favour of the 2S3s.

Wicked!!

Of course the big hump to get over when painting the battalion was getting the infantry company done. Awhile back I'd bought Battlefront's "Motor Rifle Company" pack to paint. These are really nifty models. They come on sprues and are made of semi-hard plastic. Downside is that they can be slightly bendy, but this is outweighed in my mind by the fact that they require NO cleanup, they're lightweight, and they are relatively inexpensive. You get enough figures in the pack to make a whole Motor Rifle Company with attached AA, plus a significant number of extra figures - the Company is 79 figures but I reckon you get nearly 90 in the box.

The company includes nine RPG-7 stands.

A large base with the attached SA-14 "Gremlin" AA missile team.
 
Large bases also accommodate the two included PKM light machinegun teams.
 
 
 Ten AK-74 assault rifle teams make up the bulk of the company.



Plus the battalion commander brandishing his pistol of course!

The infantry received a basic paint job as I really wanted to just get them done. The base uniform colour is GW XV-88 (ugh) with web gear highlighted Zamesi Desert. Helmets and ordnance is Catachan Green. Rifle furniture is Mournfang Brown. Skintone is Cadian Flesh. After the basecoating the whole model was washed with Agrax Earthshade.

The models were glued to popsicle sticks for painting and once completed, were superglued to the supplied bases. I really like how Battlefront now mold their bases with holes to accommodate the round figure bases, making it much easier to position the figures and do the groundwork on the base.

Of course, being that these are "motor rifle" troops they do require "motors"! I picked up two boxes of BMPs last weekend on a Black Friday trip to the States and that should give me just enough, when added to the two I've already done up. After that, another five T-64s (also Black Friday booty) should pretty much finish up the battalion.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Prussian Jaegers for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870


28mm Prussian Jaegers for the Franco-Prussian War from Wargames Foundry.
My painting efforts this fall have been fixed primarily on GW's 30k/40k setting, driven in particular by the launch of the re-booted "Adeptus Titanicus".  But my 28mm Franco-Prussian war project still grinds on in the background! In between bouts of building and painting new Titan models, I would be sure to paint a few Prussians - just to keep in practice, and to help move that project ever-closer to the finish line.  The few figures here-and-there over the past month have finally added up to another unit for the collection - Prussian Jaegers.  

Newest Prussian recruits on maneuvers in my kitchen...
These are 28mm castings from Wargames Foundry, sculpted by the excellent Perry Brothers. They are just lovely castings to paint.  As with the other formed units I have been painting for this project, there are 24 castings in total - 20 in the formed unit, and four individually-based models to be placed on the table when the unit is maneuvering in a mixed-order formation with a skirmish screen to the front.
Love the splash of green for the Prussian ranks!
I had previously painted some 28mm Jaegers previously for the skirmishing portion of my 1870 collection, but these fellows represent the first "formed" unit for my collection.  

My recollections on the Prussian OOBs of 1870 are a touch fuzzy, but I believe each Prussian corps included a battalion of Jaegers.  I won't be doing any corps-sized games in this scale, but I still I wanted to include one in the force to give the Prussians a dash of a different colour among the ranks - some nice green to break up the waves of blue. I also like the old-school-ish look provided by the shakos - these troops have a bit of a Napoleonic look and feel to them still. 

A bit of variety among the poses.  The Officer certainly seems calm and cool, while the musician is giving it his all with the horn! 
The individually-based models out front are used to represent a skirmish screen. 
My goal remains the same - to play a game of Black Powder set in Franco-Prussian war using formed units.  It won't be one of the major engagements or anything like that, but rather a smaller scenario, enough for the gang on Thursday night to have some fun. The Prussian side of that plan is coming together nicely, as the collection now includes six formed infantry units, an artillery piece, and a unit of Dragoons (which could be split into two smaller units on the table). That's a fair amount of bits to take the Prussian side in a small but engaging game, particularly if we engage in some "recycling" of units.  A few more command figures, and the Prussians will be ready to go. 

My collection of Wargames Foundry Prussians to date...
Over on the French side of the ledger, I still have only two formed units of infantry painted - indeed, the first figures I painted when I started this project last year - and a lone Mitrailleuse. Certainly the Franco-Prussian war went very badly for the French, and any scenario we attempt would want to reflect this, but it would be a bit much to expect this small group to hold out against the Prussian lot.  The next edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is approaching, and I hope to use the Challenge to dive back into the French side of things once again.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A Trade And Another Hound For The Titan Pack

"Lucius Pattern" Warhound Titan for Adeptus Titanicus - a 3D print model. 
Some more painting desk progress for GW's rebooted "Adeptus Titanicus".  This is another Warhound "scout" Titan. Its size and combat role are similar to the Warhound I posted earlier this month, but you will note this model looks a little different - and that's because it is! This is a "Lucius Pattern" Warhound model.  The "Lucius Pattern" is a variant in style only - its function and game stats are identical to the current, more classic "Mars Pattern".  It "scouts" (LOL), and is the quickest and most maneuverable of the God-Engines in the Titan Legions. 

WIP photo - about 3/4 finished. You would never guess I managed to smash one of the legs while putting this together!
This is not a GW model, but rather a 3D print courtesy of my great friend Curt! He dropped the components off during a visit to Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago, and I hurried to get the model assembled and painted.  It is sporting loyalist colours of Legio Gryphonicus

Curt gave me the parts for this model in a trade. I painted up a "Mars Pattern" Warhound for Curt in exchange (see below). Since the trade model for Curt was a loyalist, that left a loyalist "hole" in my assembly of Warhound models.  So this "Lucius Pattern" one was designated for the loyalist collection on my shelf. I do try to keep some parity between the opposing forces in my collection... 

The Trade In

Here are some photos of the "Mars Pattern" Warhound I painted for Curt.  He wanted an engine for his Demi-Legio Cerberus, so I tried my best to match his colours.  This was armed with turbo-lasers and a plasma blast gun. 

"Mars Pattern" Warhound Titan - designated for service with Demi-Legio Cerberus, deployment to the Regina sector. 

Curt will no doubt pop this sucker to a higher level, but I  hope he is pleased with his new addition!
I do not come close to the dramatic groundwork Curt likes to use on his Titans, so he is probably going to have to work this model over a bit - but I hope it serves with honour in the ranks of Curt's collection!

The Lucius Pattern Warhound

With the trade done, Curt duly left me the parts, and I got to work!

Vulcan Mega-Bolter and plasma blast gun, a useful combo in the Adeptus Titanicus game.
The "Lucius Pattern" used to feature in earlier Forge World sculpts of Titans. Back when there was still an official "Epic" game, Forge World supported with some products, including "Lucius Pattern" Reaver and Warhound Titans - designs which matched the very last metal Warlord Titan models GW ever made.  The "Lucius Pattern" Reaver was a dreary looking affair, but the Warhound, on the other hand, was quite cool.  In particular, the techno-hound shape to the head is brilliant - it looks industrial, to be sure, but somehow it still evokes the feeling of a loyal, devoted hound, on the scent of a target, in the company of a loyal master, ready to serve. 

The new Titanicus launched months ago, but the Warhounds were nowhere to be seen, and stayed that way until recently. Being clever, innovative and impatient, Curt managed to score 3D print designs required to create some of these models for the new "Adeptus Titanicus".  They look AMAZING, so I'm quite thrilled I was able to snag one for my own collection - particularly in light of the fact that a 3D printer is something I will never own, touch or bother with myself.  It will be cool to have this touch of variety in my own Titan collection. 

Legio Gryphonicus decal visible on the lower leg. 
3D prints are certainly interesting, and I am quite fortunate to have a couple of great friends who are messing around with the things to create some neat stuff. There are still some flaws and challenges that come with 3D printed items which, in my view, still hold them back from being totally "ready for prime time" (or at least, on the 3D printers that regular people can buy).  The main issue would be the little print lines which you can still make out on the surfaces of the model.  There are also some surfaces (ones which seem to touch the 'plate') that come off quite rough, even after some extra preparation.  3D printed stuff requires a fair bit of extra preparation compared to the more conventional plastic models. 

What I cannot fault, however, is how much these 3D prints can bounce back from near-catastrophe with a bit of super glue.  In the preparation of this model, there was a disaster which involved the model falling from its base, hitting the floor, and shattering!  I was furious at myself, of course, but some superglue fixed everything right up. Phew!

Love the animation of the legs in this model. 
Even with the issues of lines and rough edges, the 3D printed stuff out there in the hobby world continues to improve all the time. You do see a lot garbage being put up for sale (to give an example, there has been a rash of WW2 stuff advertised on TMP's front page recently which looks just awful) , but the core of it is really starting to take off. 

Furthermore I find it is the creativity, speed and agility of the people out there with the printer devices and the files to use them to be truly impressive.  They certainly put the indolent, dim-witted buffoons of an entity like GW to shame. While the cartoonishly incompetent GW "marketing" folks shelter in their own mental Maginot Line with their lawyers, the people who truly enjoy and support the 30k/40k setting are out there churning out brilliant, creative stuff at a rapid pace.  I mean, look at this model! It may have some flaws, but it appeared so soon after "Adeptus Titanicus" launched.  Meanwhile GW, a shareholder corporation with large (not infinite, I know, but quite large) resources, has barely managed to get its own Warhound kits to market months after the re-launch of the core game.  Are the GW kits nicer? Sure, definitely. But GW's analogue business pace is laughable and out of touch with the pace and passion of those who truly sustain its products.   

And then there is the story of the pending upgrade/extra weapon kits for the Warlord and Reavers...but that is best left for another post...

Poor thing...doomed to be fighting for the "Emperor"...so sad...
Returning to the subject - as I said, I'm quite pumped to have one of these!  Many thanks to my friend Curt for providing the model.  I hope the fellows at the Fawcett Avenue gaming tables will enjoy having it stalk around the battlefield in some doomed effort on behalf of the so-called "Emperor"...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Isstvan Clash - 30k Sons of Horus vs. Death Guard

Byron's Death Guard jet bikes prepare to make their stand amid the ashes of Isstvan III.
Back in the fall, I was itching to get a game of Epic 30k in, and Byron was kind enough to oblige me.  Through this time my hobby mojo has still really been "in" to the broad 30k setting and the Horus Heresy (whether through Adeptus Titanicus, Epic or with the standard scale). So last week I was really keen to play a game of 30k in standard scale (using the fan-created 8th edition rules). Once again Byron was ready and willing to participate.

The battle lines are drawn - the glorious legions of Horus Lupercal assembled on the left side of the photo, while rag-tag pro-Emperor terrorists clog the table on the right side...
Byron has an excellent collection of 30k Death Guard (seen throughout this blog, and on Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge blog), and it is always fun to see those beautiful figures on the table.  They are a fine demonstration of Byron's great skill not only with his airbrush, but with the various filters/coats that he has used to achieve a very chipped and worn effect that looks absolutely fabulous.  Byron brought his lads over last Thursday night for a game.

Byron has done a fine job on his Death Guard collection.  Note the Volkite Culverins on that heavy support squad. Volkite weapons are not quite what they were in the 7th edition, but still...OUCH. 
My Praetor (white cloak, centre) prepares to lead the attack. 
I set the scenario on the ruined world of Isstvan III, location of the outbreak of the Horus Heresy and site of one of the Warmaster's most notorious atrocities clever victories.  In this battle, Horus and his fellow rebel commanders have kicked off their betrayal fight for freedom by trying to purge their own Legions of those who would not toe the line.  As such, on Isstvan III you can have intra-legion conflicts that would pit forces otherwise associated with a unified front against the Emperor against each other instead.

The Death Guard lines await contact...
In the story of the Horus Heresy, the initial wave of Death Guard had been sent down to take out the main defences on the outskirts of the Isstvan III capital city (known as the "Choral City").  Warned of the impending betrayal by Captain Garro, many of these Death Guard troops on the surface raced to seal themselves up in bunkers and fortifications they had just captured from the rebels. They survived the virus bombardment, and once the bombardment subsided, emerged on the ruined surface of the planet...as Horus landed troops to finish off these pockets of survivors, the Death Guard made an effort to move into the ruins of the Choral City and join up with the survivors from the other legions and simply hold out as long as they could. 

XVI Legion prepares to move out.  Note the heavy support squad hunkered behind the Rhino...they would have a disappointing outing...
So for our game last week, Byron's Death Guard forces would represent loyal marines who, having suppressed the rebellious regime on Isstvan III, were then betrayed and abandoned on the surface, bombarded from space and,  once it was clear they had managed to heroically endure said bombardment, were subjected to a ground assault...at a power level of 90, his forces represented a blocking force, looking to hold out while larger groups of their comrades escape to join fellow surviving loyalists in the Choral City. 

A 20-man tactical squad races forward. 

Contemptor dreadnought spearheads an assault, and a 15-man assault squad prepares to join the action. 
I assembled a similar power level force from the Sons of Horus, tasked with smashing these delusional followers of the so-called "Emperor" and preventing them from linking up with other survivors to perpetrate further acts of reactionary pro-Imperial terrorism...for rules, we used the fan-created 30k 8th edition stats and lists.  Remember that GW made the (somewhat bewildering) decision not to formally do an 8th edition for 30k...but the 30k community filled that gap in like...five minutes? Anyway, they did fine work, and we took advantage of this.

Death Guard jet bikes arrive to help stabilize the loyalist line...
And look, this game wasn't complicated.  Work was busy for both of us, and we were not about to tax our minds with a complicated game. This was a nice line-em-up, light-em-up game! My brave and honourable troops of the XVI Legion moved as quickly as possible to get to grips with craven Horus-deniers on the other side.  Surely we would wipe them from the table?

Well, not so much...over four turns of 30k mayhem, both sides pounded each other to pieces.  My 15-man assault squad and my kill-stealing very brave Praetor were the stars of the game for the Sons of Horus.  Of course, only two models were still around from that assault squad by the end of the game, but they did good work.  The Sons of Horus Praetor, for his part, cut down (or, depending on your perspective, "kill-stole") quite a few enemy tactical marines, before using his plasma pistol to score the final wound against one of Byron's Contemptor dreadnoughts...which duly EXPLODED! Mortal wounds all around!  Great stuff!  The Praetor eventually succumbed to combined fire from surviving loyalists. Having fallen bravely in the Warmaster's honour, his name will be inscribed on some motivational deck plate somewhere on Horus' ship, the Vengeful Spirit.

The XVI Legion Praetor..."edges in" *cough* to help in the close assault...
On the "needs improvement" file, I was excited of course to debut my new Sicaran combat tank.  But this was a newly-painted vehicle and...well, it went the way of newly-painted vehicles.  The Sicaran cannons shot up of lots of loyalists, but in the end my tank was blasted to bits.

The Death Guard dreadnought has just one wound remaining...the Sons of Horus Praetor draws a bead with his deadly plasma pistol, and...
KABOOM! Where did everyone go? Mortal wounds all around, including a couple on the Praetor himself...
The biggest disappointment was my heavy support squad with lascannons.  I was counting on those guys to take down some of Byron's heavy armour, but the only thing they managed to knock out was their own sense of self-worth...awful rolling...back to school for them!

Boy...that 15-man assault squad sure took a beating...
For Byron's side, his collection is tremendous, but in particular I just LOVED the jet-bike squad. He has them mounted on custom pill-shaped flying bases, and they look SUPER COOL. We found the rules penalized them a bit (the penalties for shooting heavy weapons when moving are a deterrent to zipping around the table - that seemed odd) but oh man they were neat on the table - and tough to bring down!

Surviving members of Byron's heavy support squad look to mop up a few more of their betrayers...
There were very few models remaining on either side when the game concluded - very apropos for 30k in my opinion. The loyalists payed a dear price, while Horus would surely rage at the heavy losses and delay incurred in what should have been a boring "mop-up" operation! Time for some new commanders in the Legion! I would say it was a loyalist victory.

Thanks again to Byron for the game - I just love the 30k setting, and it was great fun to push some Legion stuff around the table once again.  Hopefully Isstvan III will be a setting we can return to again soon.