Friday, June 30, 2017

40k 8th Edtion? Yes We (K)Can(tor)!

Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, ready to take on some Orks!
This week we will be getting together to try the new 8th edition of GW's Warhammer 40k a try.  As we are a bit of a nostalgic bunch at times, for our first game we will be doing a modified re-fight of "The Battle At The Farm", the scenario that was included in the original Rogue Trader rules. We played this scenario back in 2012 as part of our acknowledgement of Rogue Trader's 25th anniversary, so it seems more than appropriate that we would go back to the well of the Rynn's World story for our group's inaugural attempt at the 8th edition of the rules.

This week will be an opportunity to blow the dust (literally) off of my RTB01 plastic Crimson Fist Marines and bring them out for a little battle, which is awesome, but as there is a small sense of occasion, I did want to bring a new figure out too.  I thought the central hero for the Imperial side from the original "Battle At the Farm", Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, would be ideal, so I managed a rush order to Sentry Box and hoped it would arrive in time.

Lots of detail to paint on this lovely sculpt, sadly much of it a bit blurred thanks to my blundering with priming. F*** I hate priming figures and models. SO MUCH.
The figure showed up in the mail Tuesday, and I managed to get it assembled, primed and gave it a very rushed paint job in time for Thursday.  Unfortunately, whether due to humidity or whatever other f***ing gremlins emerge so often to bedevil priming processes for me, the vallejo black surface primer really did a number on the figure, gooping over several spots of detail and generally softening the look on an otherwise lovely sculpt.  Oh well.  That's what I get for rushing. It still looks not too bad, and from a couple feet away it looks more than adequate for the table.

Huge back banner, in case fellow Crimson Fists have trouble finding him...
I really don't care for the Mark VII armour helmets, so I dug a proper "beakie" helmet out of the spares box for this figure, as it ties him well to the other Crimson Fist marines in his command, even though his armour is pimped to the max etc.  I was also sure to use a smaller sized base so he would fit in with the rest of the gang.

Newly painted and spoiling for a fight.  What could go wrong??
While the original "Battle At The Farm" had only a few figures per side (a measure of how much more involved the original Rogue Trader game was), we don't think an 8th edition game with only 15 to 20 models per side will last all that long, so we are bulking the forces up just a little bit.  But the thrust of the thing is still the same - Pedro Kantor and some surviving members of his command are trying to get to New Rynn City to rally the defences against an Ork invasion.  Will they survive? Or will Thrugg Bullneck find his buried treasure and gather a few more Marine skullz for his bosspole? Watch this space for a battle report soon...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bad Moon Orks

I took custody of an old Ork army from a friend of mine. They had been somewhat neglected and I'm in the process of rehabilitating them. I've made several purchases since. After plugging in some numbers with the new index book, I'm starting to think I've overdone it as I'm well over 2000 points and haven't even added in the most expensive units.Yellow is tricky, but I learned a lot about painting it doing working on these guys.

This was supposed to be the start of a new project, but I've been seduced by 30k. Seeing Greg and Dallas assemble MK III models from the Prospero box (Greg should be receiving commission by now) I ordered a bunch of stuff from Ebay and decided to jump in. Ever resistant to change and preferring the status quo, I've opted for Imperial Fists. I figured another Loyalist Legion was needed and they would complement the Blood Drinkers Dallas has painted up for what may one day be a Battle of Terra game. Below is an unfinished test model.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Poll results and New Poll

In our last poll we asked:
"Do you even Team Yankee, bro?"

Thirty-nine of you answered, as follows:

Yes, in 15mm as God and Battlefront intended.
  10 (25%)
Yes, in 10mm or 6mm.
  8 (20%)
No, but I play other Cold War Hot games.
  7 (17%)
No, not interested in the period.
  14 (35%)

So we know that of our respondents, nearly half play Team Yankee (18/39) and almost two-thirds play Cold War Hot games (25/39). The period seems to be more popular than I thought, which is great!

Our next poll takes us back to the poll-arizing (erk) world of Games Workshop:

"Will you buy Warhammer 40K 8th Edition?"

"Heretical" Billboards from TTCombat

I know I've been a bit lazy lately about posting to the blog, but there's an explanation for that... which is that I've been a bit lazy about painting :-(

Conscript Greg, on the other hand, has been on a tear lately with his Thousand Sons and Space Wolves he's been working on from the "Burning of Prospero" box set. Now, this little project can't compete with that at all, but I like to think I'm contributing to the Heresy in a small way.

Awhile back I got some 28mm billboards from TTCombat - a firm out of the UK that makes no end of interesting laser-cut MDF buildings and terrain items. I assembled and primed them one afternoon about 4 months ago... and they sat...

Then one day this week I was consumed by a mania to just get the damn things painted already. They had previously been primed black and dusted with grey spraypaint so all that was needed was weathering... and some actual billboard imagery, of course. So in keeping with the current Heresy rage I came up with a couple of suitable images from the Web. The "Horus for Warmaster" image is from, a custom t-shirt vendor.

The image above was grabbed from Google Images with a couple of our clever hashtags added - "#MIGA" of course stands for "Make [the] Imperium Great Again" :-)

Lots of weathering on these structures - basically an uneven wash of Agrax Earthshade followed by sponge chipping and random streaks of Abaddon Black/Rhinox Hide cut with Agrax (like I said, "lazy")

Now here is where the cleverness really shines. I figured that I might want to swap out the billboard images from time to time - the structures themselves are pretty generic and would fit in anywhere from the 1960s to the 41st millennium. My initial thought was to use neo-dymium/rare earth magnets stuck on the back of the structure, but the ones I had on hand turned out not to be strong enough. So I used some old steel bases I had laying around instead.

The billboard images were simply printed off on a colour printer and...

...attached to some adhesive sheet magnet material from Michael's. (This is the stuff they sell to make fridge magnets).

Et voila... slick billboards for 28mm gaming with swappable images.

Sometimes laziness can be a virtue!

Ahzek Ahriman - Ultimate Archivist

Abracadabra! Azhek Ahriman, First Captain and Chief Librarian of the XV Legion

The last member of the XV Legion from GW's "Burning of Prospero" box set is Ahzek Ahriman, First Captain, Chief Librarian and all-around spooky dude from the Thousand Sons. Last to cross the finish line on my painting desk, but not least!

A very powerful psyker and warrior, Ahriman is one of the most senior officers in the XV Legion - a repository or knowledge and history, as well as a powerful warrior. I see the Thousand Sons as basically archivists with power armour and big guns.  As such, he is the ultimate archivist! He is also at the forefront of the rather dark fate suffered by the Thousand Sons as they succumb to the risks that come from trying to master the powers of the warp... 

Check out the "groundwork" that Ahriman is using to brace himself...

You could paint the "terrain" to be from any Legion, I suppose, but only one Legion will fit the theme from "Burning of Prospero"...

This is a multi-part plastic model from GW.  It is a fantastic sculpt, but the small little bead-like threads on his cool staff are sure to break at some point, so I continue to be firm in my belief that there are no plastic figures which wouldn't be better as metal figures...

A brilliant sculpting job...the post, the animation, it's so well done.  You can feel him gathering the power to unleash some manner of terrible power from the warp...

Grumbling aside, as I said, the sculptors here did a really, really awesome job on Ahriman.  This looks SO much cooler than his (in my subjective opinion) lame and overwrought 40k equivalent (check it out to get an idea of how things turn out for the Thousand Sons). The pose is just can feel him summoning some manner of dire power to land doom upon his enemies! They even provide a little piece of terrain for him to stand on the base...the wreckage of a Mark III power-armoured marine!

Ahriman poses with some other command models from his Legion

This was a real challenge to paint - in a good way!  There is a ton of detail on the figure that will really engage you to push your brush skills.  I tried my best with the chain of glyphs hanging in front of the tabard on his armour...I really wanted to make them appear to be glowing, as the studio painters at GW manage to do...but alas, I'm not a studio painter. I'm still really pleased with the figure overall, however, and I look forward to using this bad-ass in a game some time.

The XV Legion assembles...

The Host of Prospero so far...20 veteran tactical marines, five Tartaros pattern terminators, and one extremely-bad-ass archivist...
With Ahriman painted, the Thousand Sons contingent from my "Burning of Prospero" box set is now finished.  Not only can they defend their home on the GW board game, but this group could also provide the very bare bones of a Thousand Sons force in a game of 30k.  Archivists with big guns and armour! Pretty cool stuff...might have to add some more units to this bunch...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tartaros Terminators for the Thousand Sons

When archivists get mad...Tartaros Terminators for the Thousand Sons

Another set of figures from GW's "Burning of Prospero" box set.  This is a Terminator Squad clad in "Tartaros Pattern" Terminator armour. They are painted in the colours of the XV Legion, the Thousand Sons, from GW's Horus Heresy setting.

Lovely poses on these plastic multi-part figure kits from GW

It seems like there were a lot of dueling notions regarding how best to equip the Terminators - the heaviest of the heavy infantry in the Space Marine Legions - back in the 30k era.  Players are spoiled for choice, with two patterns of armour to choose from (Tartaros or Cataphract) as well as numerous Legion-specialized Terminator units. There are Justaerin units in the Sons of Horus. The Alpha Legion has Lernaean units. The whacko World Eaters have the Red Butchers. The Iron Hands have some kind of crazy monstrosities. Maybe the most awesome, there are the Siege Tyrants of the Iron Warriors.

The Reaper Autocannon is a thing of absurd and magnificent beauty...I just love the look of those bonkers weapons
Another view of the insane Reaper Autocannon...what a nutter of a weapon, really captures the essence of 30k!

The Thousand Sons are in on the specialized-terminator fun too, with their "Sehkmet Cabal" units.

So much choice! I guess a lot of things needed terminating in the 30k era. Once the Horus Heresy got going, the terminating requirements grew to include other Legions!

Another view of the Terminators
Getting back to this specific squad, I find the Tartaros pattern armour still looks ponderous, but is very sleek compared to the slab-looking baroque bulk of the Cataphract pattern armour (which looks super-cool too).  These are plastic figures, and the plastic kit for the Tartaros armour shows GW's designers at their best.  You get a wide variety of weapon options, but best of all, you can choose between the heavy flamer and the insane-looking reaper autocannon, because both are on the sprue! That is a real down-side of the plastic Cataphract models, which only include the heavy flamer option.

This guy aiming the combi-bolter is a favourite...
Prepared for persecution on Prospero...

Together with veteran tactical squads one and two, these Terminators will complete the Thousand Sons troops portion of the forces from the "Burning of Prospero" box set. Up next: Ahriman!

Monday, June 26, 2017

More Troops for Prospero

More defenders of Prospero - archivists with guns!

Here in the Canadian prairies we always like to say summer can be "brief".  Usually we mean three months or so. Little did I realize that it was apparently only going to last two weeks this year...even though "summer" officially arrived last week, we have been enduring a miserable extended period of way-below-normal daily temperatures, rain and generally sh*t conditions...seriously weather, just f*ck off.

Veteran sergeant sporting plasma pistol and that ubiquitous symbol of military officers everywhere - the power fist!

Anyway, it sure has cranked up the painting output at bit! Here is my second squad of troops from the XV Legion, the Thousand Sons.  This is another veteran tactical squad, clad in Mark III power armour.  They have a heavy bolter and a meltagun for support.  These are plastic models from GW's "Burning of Prospero" boxed game.

Meltagunner toward the right, surrounded by his fellow tactical squad troopers

These plastic Mk III figures are just great, a lot of fun to hobby around with and I have really enjoyed painting them up.

Another look at some of the troopers - decals come with the box kit, and are great

Heavy bolter, ready to rip things up on the left. Regular trooper on the right.

Is that lazy lighting in my photo? Or the flash of a shell being fired by the Space Wolves?

These fellows will join the first squad I completed a couple of weeks ago in the doomed defence of their home world from the assault of the Space Wolves and assorted elements of the Emperor's Censure Fleet.  Up next: some Tartaros Terminators.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quiet Please! Sister of Silence

"No magic for you!" Sister Superior of the Silent Sisterhood, witch-hunting warriors of the 30k setting
 Another little 30k bit to post today.  This is a Sister Superior from the "Sisters of Silence", a kind of militant order of warrior women who fight in service of the Emperor in GW's 30k setting.  While they sport ornate armour, weapons and fancy swords, they are marked primarily for their abilities against psykers.  These warriors all share a genetic anomaly that makes them "psychic nulls" - they essentially shut down psyker powers.

With that kind of power, you can see how they would be a big asset to the Censure Fleet sent to bring the Thousand Sons to heel on the world of Prospero.  The warp-fueled powers of the XV Legion will falter with the Silent Sisters about on the battlefield, leaving them only conventional means to try and deal with the Space Wolves.

Capes look dramatic, but they make painting the figure a real pain in the ass

This is a multi-part plastic figure from GW's "Burning of Prospero" box set.  While the sculpt-work is lovely, even incredible, I must say I find the models to be frustrating overall.  It seems that GW likes to be increasingly bonkers with the organization of some of its plastic figure frames.  Where, say, the Space Marine model frames work nicely so you can mix-and-match parts, other frames, like these, are very specific and inflexible. This is really true with the cloaks. These figures basically need to be built with their cloaks attached, making the figure much more difficult to paint than it would be otherwise.

Scrolls and inspirational writings, anti-witch marks and other things seen on these figures hint at the overall setting changes that will be seen in the 40k setting
The other little quibble that gets me is the overall size of the figure.  While the Sisters are no doubt well-trained and equipped for battle, they are still "regular" humans, and should be sized and proportioned in that way in comparison to the hulking, genetically engineered Astrates.  While they are indeed a little more slender in some ways compared to the super-human Astrates figures, they still manage to take up the same amount of room as a Space Marine, and still need 32mm bases.  I hate scale creep...

While they look a little smaller than a Space Marine, the Sisterhood figures are still too large in my opinion...scale creep...

But, my blathering aside, you get the choice of arming the Sisters with swords, bolters or flamers.  And as I said, the sculpting really is remarkable. They should be fun to use in the "Prospero" game, and also be useful for different narratives in our general 30k gaming.

I have only painted the one Sister of Silence figure so far as it is required for the first scenario of the "Burning of Prospero" box game.  You get five of them all together in the box, and I will paint the balance of the squad after I finish painting all of the Thousand Sons models. Hope to have more of that later this week...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Contempt(or) for Prospero

Let's hug!  A Contemptor class Dreadnought for the VI Legion in 30k

More random painting production from my 30k interest/obsession.  This is a plastic Contemptor Dreadnought painted in the colours of the VI Legion, the Space Wolves. This is a plastic model from the "Betrayal at Calth" box game, but given the Legion colours, it will instead be participating in some "Burning of Prospero" games instead :)

The "Burning of Prospero" game box does not come with any Dreadnoughts, but I got the notion from a White Dwarf article published around the same time they released the "Prospero" game. The article included stats and a scenario to include one of these bad-boys on the side of the Space Wolves. I really enjoyed painting the Space Wolves squad for the game, so I figured it would be fun to toss in a dreadnought for them as well.
Kheres-pattern cannon adheres to a core rule of any sci-fi genre - that rotary cannons are always, always cool!
It is armed with a Kheres-pattern assault cannon, a power fist and a little bolter.  Powered by the remnants of a mostly-fallen marine of the Vlka Fenryka, this machine will provide a nice all-around balance of fire support and extra heft for close assaults - the power fist being particularly useful for punching irritating opponents/structures directly in the face.

Power fist, all set to reach out and adjust some attitudes...
The only downside is the posing of the model itself.  GW can do so many things very, very well with plastic, but this kit is not really one of them.  It is set in such a way that basic alterations to the otherwise wooden posing require some modelling work - kinda dumb, and I don't see why that was necessary.   But whatever - it gets the job done!

Veteran Sergeant leads the way - "punch this thing next!"

I am enjoying the look of the grey and bronze on the Space Wolf stuff the more I see it...I had no notions of doing a VI Legion force of any size beyond the squad and character from the "Burning of Prospero" game, but who knows? Maybe I will return from the lake in the fall with a wide selection of loyalists in the grey armour of the VI Legion...

In the meantime, watch for more "Burning of Propsero" bits to appear shortly among some other ongoing 30k efforts...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

30k Battle Report - Travel Woes for Horus' Herald

The elite of the XIX Legion await the followers of Horus...

We played a small game of 30k last week at Dallas' place.  The scenario imagined the Herald of the Warmaster was out making the rounds in some Imperial system, trying to put the facts straight about just what really happened in the Isstvan system - "Ignore the liberal bias in the mainstream news and astro-telepath channels! What can you expect from a publicly-funded and taxpayer-subsidized broadcaster like the Astronomican? They should just call it the Astronomiscam!" He had just completed a public appearance and was en route to his next stop when his party was waylaid by a hodge-podge assortment of loyalist bandits and Horus Denialists. Battle ensued!!

The table at turn one - the Rebel forces are deployed along the bottom of the photo, and would enter via that table edge.  Their objective was to drop of the Herald of the Warmaster at the shuttle landing pad on the top left of the photo. Easy peasy, right? WRONG!
A Slurm machine waits at the base of the landing pad to refresh thirsty shuttle crews
The Sons of Horus had to punch through the loyalist battle line in order to get the Herald of the Warmaster to his shuttle on time so he could make his next public appearance! The escort certainly had the tools to do the job - a Land raider, two dreadnoughts, three Rhino APCs and an assortment of fun infantry (breacher marines, tactical support marines and a seeker squad). What could possibly go wrong?
Deadly Mor Deythan strike team prepares to take their shots
Blood Drinkers with Volkite Calivers prepare a warm welcome

Dallas did such a great job on this Land Raider - always great to see it on the table. Have to say, however, it is much more fun when I manage to kill it
The loyalist cordon was thin, in my estimation.  It had small elements from three different Legions, representing, to our minds, small detachments of survivors and detached-duty forces coming together to try and strike where they can to slow the Warmaster's gains.  Whatever rivalries or jealousies which may have existed between these Legions no longer matter to these guys - what matters is finding a way to fight back! So tragic they could not channel this misplaced energy toward some constructive hope and change along with the Warmaster...

There were two small Mor Deythan squads from the Raven Guard, a tactical support squad, heavy support squad, a dreadnought, Land Raider, a laser destroyer on a tracked chassis from the Blood Drinkers company of the Ninth Legion, and a veteran squad of Space Wolves.  An odd assortment of desperate and delusional warriors clinging to the existence of their so-called "Emperor".

Seeker Squad moving out.  In the end all they would "seek" out was how to be ground into powder...

Seeker squad on the move, covered by the twin Kheres cannons of a Contemptor Mortis those things are deadly...
It was a pretty small cordon - I doubted they were going to stop the Warmaster's Herald.  But in the grim darkness of the far future, it can be a b*tch to connect with your next flight...

Loyalists move a Land Raider forward, and the cowardly pro-"Emperor" fools of course lurk in its shadow...
Legionnaire "Davey Crockett" and a dreadnought ready to blast away at the Sons of Horus...this little cannon would take out my Land Raider - F@##!!!!
Dallas and Indo took command of the loyalist side, while Mike F and I went with the devout and correct followers of the Warmaster.  I was pretty confident.  I mean, what could happen? Lose our Land Raider on the first turn to an amazing shot from the laser destroyer? How likely is that?


Sooo, anyway, it was not a smooth execution on the Rebels' part.  No matter the efforts of our Kheres-pattern autocannons, plasma cannons, or Mike's hard-fighting breacher marines, our task force ended up as junk!

Starts to look ugly in the middle - note the crater at the top of the photo, where the Sons of Horus Land Raider once stood...without it the Rhinos were kind of screwed...
A clash of Contemptor Dreadnoughts! Who would walk away the victor? Note the fallen breacher marine officer to the bottom left of the photo...
The Loyalists systematically took us apart, and without our Land Raider, it was rather tough going.  Sure, we pounded on a few units here and there, but overall we basically walked into a meat grinder - with the Space Wolves in particular extracting a rough toll, even if they lost quite a few squad members in the process.  Mike's breachers and dreadnought made the most progress (getting bashed to pieces for their trouble). The Herald didn't make the shuttle.  He didn't even make it out of his Rhino!

Not ones to wait around, the Space Wolf veterans charge straight at the Rhinos...a series of Krak grenades would sort the vehicles out before long...
Oh man - Horus is going to the pretty pissed that his Herald has been kidnapped by loyalist Legiones Astrates pro-"Emperor" terrorists.  I think the mission to recover him could make for an excellent scenario next time we play 30k. In a fit of pique, I can see Horus calling in some Alpha Legion troops to carry out the rescue, while he vents extreme displeasure at the flunkies in his own XVI Legion.

Alpha Legion on a rescue job. What could go wrong? I'm already looking forward to that!

Big thank you to Dallas for hosting, and to Mike and Indo for coming out to play.  Thanks also to Dallas for providing most of these photos. Somehow I seem to take fewer photos when the Sons of Horus are getting creamed...