Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Alpha Legion Praetor

Hello - my name is...Alpharius...?
 Some more meandering painting progress from the lake.  This is a Praetor from the Alpha Legion, building on the command figures I painted a few weeks ago. Most 30k gamers will recognize the figure as the plastic Ultramarines command model from GW's "Betrayal at Calth" box set. I was not crazy about this model, but since I have accumulated a couple of those boxes, and I thought I would try putting at least one of them to use on the table.  I don't have any Ultramarines on the go at present, so I decided I would paint him up in the colours of the XX Legion, the Alphas.

Chain fist for...solving problems...yes, that's it..

The figure is sporting Cataphractii terminator armour, carrying a fancy "combi-weapon" that is both bolt gun and melta gun, as well as a nutty chain fist for that more up close and personal work 30k Legion commanders are expected to handle.

The decals from Forge World really came in handy on this figure

As I said I was not crazy about this figure. For starters, Space Marines should wear their helmets - it's dangerous out there! And there is something about the sideways angle of the pose that is at odds with the ominous armour and big guns.  Seriously, when you are that big and well-protected, just turn around and face whatever it is, and shoot it!

Whacky cloak? Of course! It's 30k, after all...

On the plus side, the ornate details on the armour are nicely done, implying a higher rank without anything too over-the-top, and providing a lot of spots for decals and Legion icons, allowing you to customize the figure to the Legion of your choice (assuming you don't wish to be painting the lame dopes of the XIII Legion).

More view of the real-estate on the armour for the decals from Forge World
The side-angled focus of the pose is not my thing, but he is certainly looking dramatic overall, what with the cape and the fancy weapons. Based on the practices of the XX Legion, I think we can assume this fellow's name is...Alpharius?

Up next, some more grunts for the XX Legion...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Infinity... and beyond!

For my last game in Winnipeg, Byron treated me with an introductory game of Infinity. I have read a few battle reports on this blog and I was intrigued by the game system. Furthermore, I am myself a big fan of Japanese anime and the game is obviously inspired by shows like Bubblegum Crisis, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell, or Blame. So reasons were many to try this game.

Byron set up a cool urban terrain with buildings he made. Games are usually played on a 4' x 4' area, but this one was a bit smaller.

For the first basic scenario, we both had three basic troopers. I set up one of my guys on the roof providing cover fire to his buddies moving forward. Everything just felt right.

Here is a ground view of the battlefield. The game is only three turns, but there is always lots of action. While one player makes his units execute orders, the other player must be attentive for any opportunity for reaction fire.

For the next scenario, I took command of a Panocean squad which included three regular trooper, one elite, one sniper, one close combat specialist and one commando. All these figurines were masterfully painted by Byron.

The objective was to claim the central building by being the last and only side standing on the roof. One security guard had to be "pacified" in the process.

Panocean troopers looking over the buildings at the 500' enemy commander.

The game uses "real" line of sight. So the little guy in the red circle could shoot at my guy in the foreground.

Troops supporting each other, getting ready to advance into the building.

We played three games in about 3.5 hours, and each scenario was providing the right feeling about fighting on the street with fire weapons, as well as a good dose of anime cinematic. All-in-all, it was very fun and I am even considering collecting a faction. But for sure I will be looking forward to play Infinity again and come back to Winnipeg next year for more discoveries and fun.

Thanks again to Byron for a great opportunity to try a new game that I truly appreciated.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Elysians VS Viet-Crons

"For our game this week we will crack out the 8th edition 40k rules and return to the unfortunate Imperial planet of Toxo IV.  This time, trouble has emerged in the equatorial jungle sectors, with a number of attacks reported on Binary Petroleum transportation facilities.  Planetary militia forces sent to investigate did not return, and scraps of surveillance footage transmitted from servitors shortly before they were destroyed showed only an ominous visage of a deadly Necron warrior, but of a sort never seen before in the Imperium... Binary Petroleum executives called in some favours with senior Imperial officials in the sector, and the Imperial Guard has now despatched one a regiment of Elysian Drop troops to the area." (Blurb by Greg)

"Our Khommunist Leader, His Rivetness Ho-Shi-Minh of the Hanoi Dynasty, has been suffering from metallikh rheumatism for a few aeons. “Research and Innovation” detachments have been sent to various locations throughout the galaxy to find a cure. A reconnaissance group dispatched to Toxo IV found containers full of a smooth substance called “Imperialum Foetidus ad Puppim” (at least, that’s what the label said), that, according to the group commander, could be used for a full immersion treatment for all Viet-crons suffering the debilitating condition of metallikh rheumatism. Plans were laid to develop the location into a spa with full robotic maintenance services when weak flesh creatures interfered."

During the 2016 Painting Challenge, I painted a Viet-Cong style army of Necrons, with rice-straw hats, sepcifically designed as potential opponents to GregB's Elysian army. For about two years now, GregB and I have been planning to have our armies clash in style in a jungle setting. Dallas was kind enough to host the game and prepared a terrain with palm trees and the appropriate scenery. ByronM joined me in directing the Viet-Crons while DaveV, Dallas and GregB shared command of the Elysians. We used the 8th edition of the rules.

Greg's awesome Elysian army. That's a lot of cool vehicles. Note the amazing jungle terrain prepared by Dallas.

The Viet-Crons, eager to fight the battle against the enemy that inspired their creation.

The Viet-Crons had to defend three objectives. Two groups of Warriors as well as the Flayed Ones were kept in reserve while the rest of the army deployed in the middle band of the table.

[Cue the "Ride of the Valkyries" by Wagner]. All the Elysian transports entered at the same time, trapping the Viet-Crons in the middle. A few support Elysian elements were airdropped and took position in the surrounding cover. Just for this outstanding opening "scene", I had to admit that it was worth painting the Viet-Crons.

The Wraith quickly took care of some snipers hiding behind the palm trees.

The Flayed Ones mowed down a group of heavy stubbers.

With the simultaneous entry of all the flyers, there was action everywhere! Imagine rocket explosions against the Monolith and strafing runs against the impassible Viet-Cron Warriors. Dallas fired 40 shots against a group of Warriors, but a combination of luck/unluck resulted in no losses for the Viet-Crons. Tough little buggers.

 The Destroyers are guarding the approach to the Monolith.

 A view from one of the flyers. Multiple rockets were shot at the Monolith, but thanks to the "Living Metal" special rule, the huge structure was able to self-repair some of the damage.
 Menace in the sky and chaos on the ground. Elysian troops are trying to break through.

 Transports are unloading courageous troops into the fray. What could go wrong?

 Viet-Crons are pounded with missiles and harassed with close assaults. I must admit my troops are quite resilient, and it takes a lot to decimate a unit. Then there is the "reanimation protocol" that brings back units from the dead. Very handy and apparently very annoying to the opposing side.

A group of scarabs engaged some weak-flesh Elysians. The little bugs proved their worth more than once.

Heavy combat near the Monolith. The Lychguards would eventually catch up to one of the flyers and crash it down.

A view of the intense battle near the Monolith.

The final shot of the battle, showing lots of de-activated warriors. At this point, the Elysians had too few ground units left to claim more than one of the three objectives.

Imperial News Network (INN)  sent reporters for live coverage of the "Cleansing of the Xenos" mission.

The Elysian commander pointing at a weak spot in the metallic structure, just seconds before a particle whip separated the atoms in his body.

All in all, I had a lot of fun playing this totally crazy battle, with combat and explosions all over the place. The cinematic of this game was on par with any Viet-Nam war movies. Thanks again to all those who participated.

Piloting School

I had an opportunity to try a game of "Check Your 6!" at DaveV's last Wednesday and in addition to DaveV, I had some great instructors to help me for my first flight: Rob, Bill and KevinH. The scenario was inspired by the very first encounter during the Second World War, in 1939, between 9 Luftwaffe bombers en route to sink some British Navy ships in the Firth of Forth in Scotland and 6 British early Spitfire I's.

The 9 JU-88As in formation. As the Spitfires were getting closer, the bomber groups would get closer to each other and provide a dense defensive coverage.

My two Spitfires, "V" and "C", with green pilots. I was told by the veterans to hold my fire until the last to save my ammo.

Pilot Bill wondering which pub the squadron pilots should go to for celebration after this engagement.

The Spitfires engaged the bombers from their left flank. However, despite repeated strafing runs, the bombers were undamaged, and the Spitfires had to fly behind the enemy formation.

 DaveV, satisfied with the outcome of the battle so far.

One Spitfire down! This is not good. Also, because I had green pilots, one of them ran out of ammo very quickly and had to rush back to the base.

My Spitfire "V", steadily approaching a damaged bomber...

... Now having moved behind, ready to shoot at point blank. Steady... Steady...

From the cockpit, the pilot of "V" can see the rest of the German formation.

Daka! Daka! Daka! In the simultaneous exchange of machinegun fire, my plane was damaged but Spitfire "V" managed to shoot down a bomber. Yay!

Meanwhile, as the bombers were approaching the British Navy, there was intense combat and two Spitfires as well as one bomber were shot down. At this point, DaveV declared a victory for the British, because enough bombers were damaged to make them abort the mission. It was a tough battle, but very enjoyable and fun.

I really like "Check Your 6!". The rules are intuitive yet they let you feel the subtle differences between the various aircrafts of WW2.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

From Iron, Cometh Strength - Heresy-Era Iron Warriors - Part 1

Continuing our group's collective Horus Heresy madness, I've now made a start on my second Legion project. Having amassed a reasonable force of IX Legion Blood Angels, I wanted to collect a Traitor legion, just for some contrast (not that Greg's Sons of Horus hordes need any reinforcement!)

So, which to pick... one of the things I enjoy about the Heresy background is its grittiness. It's really the antithesis of the "cartoon" GW aesthetic of the 1990s and hearkens back to the grunginess of John Blanche's work. And who are the grungiest of all the Traitor Legions? Well, that would have to be the siege masters of the IV Legion - the Iron Warriors.

I also have to admit that ease of painting was another major factor in my choice. And what could be easier than the blackened iron and hazard striping of the Iron Warriors? On with the show...

First up is a group of random character types - Praetor and standard bearer, Lochagos (Captain), and Ypolochagos (Lieutenant) in Cataphractii-pattern Terminator armour.

The Lochagos. Really quite a nice model. Unfortunately mine was miscast around the sword pommel so I had to add a new one with greenstuff. Turned out OK.

That firearm of his is mental eh!!

Praetor and Legion standard-bearer. The banner was the subject of some consternation. I'd originally thought of freehanding a boar, horse, or some other traditional Greek subject like you'd see on an amphora. However I ended up getting lazy and using a couple of decals from the excellent Forgeworld Iron Warriors sheet, and adding an "epsilon" and "IV" for some unit/Legion identity.

The Praetor is an excellent model. I've painted one for my Blood Drinkers also but to me the pose and weapon really suits the siege masters of the IV Legion.

Cataphractii Terminator character. Not sure how he's gonna fit in but he's painted now.

Of course, you can't have an army of all characters. You need some troops as well, and here's the first lot - a squad of 15 Space Marines in MKIII armour.

The IW decal sheet includes some nice skull insignia which I used on the left pauldron. The decals settled nicely around the compound curve with the aid of copious amounts of Micro-Sol. Hazard stripes freehanded on the power fist.

Single vertical yellow stripe on the right pauldron was shamelessly lifted from the excellent Iron warriors painted by the Apologist.

The majority of the squad are plastics from the Prospero box, which are excellent. A few of them are resin Forgeworld models, but fortunately they blend in very well with their later plastic counterparts.

The assault squad are all resin. They're "OK" but some of the anatomy seemed a little ropey in the arm department, like the arms are a bit too long. Not really noticeable unless you're really looking for it though.

The squad has some further distinction in the form of yellow stripes on the left pauldron as well as the right, and the skull insignia in black.

Contemptor Dreadnought... this is from the Calth box. I re-posed the legs slightly for a bit more dynamic pose.

Legion-ified with some hazard striping as well.

I also painted an Iron Warriors Contemptor, using a spare melta-arm from a Calth dreadnought.

The plastic arm fit the resin dreadnought with only minor surgery required.

So that's the first bunch of IV Legion troops done! Still lots more to come, including Rhinos, a Medusa, a Typhon tank... plus Breachers and Iron Havocs, and more tactical marines... Siege Tyrant Terminators, a Storm Eagle... certainly more than enough to keep me going over the winter.

Oh, and just for posterity, here's the infantry paint formula, in order of application:

Basecoat: Leadbelcher
Gold trim: Brass Scorpion
Pouches: Doombull Brown
Yellow stripes: Averland Sunset highlighted Yriel Yellow
Chipping on stripes: Mechanicus Standard Grey/Black mix
Nuln Oil wash
Reikland Flesh wash on the gold
Eyes: Temple Guard Blue

Bases: Dryad Bark/Mournfang Brown/Steel Legion Drab drybrush

Cheers and remember, "Iron within! Iron without!"