Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Dark Angels - Drop Pod[s]

I'm not sure if I was otherwise affected by Rory Priest's last comment on the drop pods:
"I do think they should really be approached in ones from what I have heard/read."
But as it was I did stall for a while on this, it's odd really as the process is highly predictable and although I can't say I feel the need to gnaw my own face off as I would a dozen Genestealers there is something emotionally null about it. I don't dread it or fear it but it just fills me with no pleasure whatsoever as I finish shading the inner parts of the fins.

The other sides have also been done but I now need to find a way to blend the colours, the highlight is too olive looking. Usually I use my Dark Angel green Valejo paint, if it's not shaken it has a semi-opaque glaze quality that will help blend the stippled highlights and enrich the darker greens. I'm a little hesitant though as I fear it may obscure the black shading, part of me wants to get the Citadel Green Glaze to achieve the same result and be more consistent so I'm waiting for my next opportunity to get some.

In the mean time I went on to highlight the doors. The stippling is not looking great at this stage. From experience I would have applied the £1 craft acrylic to simulate a rougher cast surface that would have meant my stippling would pick up the extra detail and not need to be so perfect, like my Imperial Knights.

Unfortunately this had already progressed so far I didn't want to go back to such an early stage and with the knights they had another coat of spray over the top to try to seal the art paint onto the model. Now I had to decide about the black shading on the doors and how to apply it. Then I'll be at the same crossroads as the fins for blending the greens.

Therefore with decisions to be made I moved onto pod number 2. Hopefully while I focus elsewhere a decision can percolate in the back of my mind while my efforts are more productive elsewhere. So I move onto the bronze, can I recreate the success of the original?

I manage to get the Gehenna Gold and Brass Scorpion on. The stippling is a bit more chunky than pod 1, less realistic but I don't think it's any worse for it. I've some sepia washes to do next to deepen the tones and then I can work on the greens and sync pod 1 and 2 together in the process.

This was a long slog to get here but I did flip between a number of projects, projects that I don;t want to be working on as the pods are the primary goal; but they're all on the list I just don't want to get sidetracked from the next thing I have planned after the pods. I fear I may get too attached to the things I'm doing to keep my mojo up and not get back to the next big thing I'm hoping to do. That said I'll still be sharing the supplementary efforts over the next few days, lots of exciting things after a period of seeming inactivity.

Monday, 5 December 2016

1500pts battle report - Caledonian Highlander 5 - Tyranids v Tau

Peter Lennon was my final opponent of the tournament, also with Tau but a slightly unique list with only 1 Riptide, it's almost as if he thought a Highlander event was about bringing just one of a particular type. That said he also had 2 Remora, 2 Tetra, 2 XV9 Battlesuits some Kroot and Farsight with his gang.

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC TRBroodlord
The HorrorPsychic ScreamThe Horror

The low down:
  • Eternal War missions
  • Maelstrom missions
  • Hammer and Anvil
  • I think I won deployment but asked Pete to deploy first and failed to seize on a 1!
  • Warlord Trait -Warlord and 3 units get infiltrate
  • Not sure about night fighting. 
Unfortunately I lost the most important dice role of the game - getting to deploy Infiltrators first. Peter positioned those Stealth suits the other side of the Factory ruins effectively blocking off my options to capitalise on my 5 Infiltrators. The best I could do was bunch up on the flank  halfway up the board and my Genestealers just 3" out of my DZ.

Peter had the advantage of the high ground and cover.

Peter lines up the Malenthrope with marker lights and he suffers 3 wounds before he's even moved. Luckily everything else was left unmolested.

With the weight of fire from all the Devourers the Riptide just couldn't last and was readily dispatched. This may have been First Blood and probably a Maelstrom Card too, things were looking good with the major threat out of the picture.

Kroot came on at the back of my DZ

The Remoras zoomed on, dodging through the ruins...

their targeting systems locking onto the Flyrant...

...putting 3 wounds on the conduit to the Hive Mind, despite jinking.

Farsight and his gang appeared behind my advance force.

They would not suffer the Tyrannofex to live and executed him with precision, the Malenthrope was also destroyed.

The Flyrant swooped across to take cover behind the rocks.

I actually think he may have died from a Perils, I think that's the Perils result of a two, which is a wound with no saves. Stupid winged flappy thing!

Meanwhile the Genestealers had only just made it into the Factory - lazy gets! But I think they did secure objective 6 for me.

Which did them no favours as they were cut to ribbons by the XV9s and Stealth Suits.

With no airborne targets left the Remoras focused their attention on the Hormagaunts holding objective 5.

They thinned their numbers but Farsight was nearby to mop anything else up.

The Carnifex came under fire from the Battle Suits on the building but their armour was ridiculously ineffective against the Tau weaponry.

That wasn't the end of their woes and the remaining Carnifex took another two wounds.

Farsight, rebel that he is assaulted the Hormagaunts.

They got wiped out with the Termagants next on his list.

The gaunts swarmed together, putting two wounds on his retinue.

The battlesuits systematically dispatched gaunt after gaunt

But the weight of number brought two of the suits down leaving Farsight and one bodyguard.

The XV9s faced down 8 spawned gaunts but however hard they tried they could not eliminate the last one as it skulked int e shadows.

The last Carnifex headed towards the Tau line unawares the last Remora had targeted it from behind.

The Carnifex was brought down and suddenly my entire flank had crumbled, so much for that good start!

The Tyrannocyte arrived deep in the heart of Tau territory, it's cargo of Rippers stealing the objective out from under the Battle Suits but it's Deathspitters limited in effectiveness against the Tau armour.

Meanwhile back in my DZ the Kroot had moved to snatch objective 2 away from my Tervigon. It was repeatedly casting dominion to keep the still engaged Termagants from bolting from Farsight.

With only one bodyguard left the suits could fight in close harmony using Farsights enhance Weapon Skill to hamper my ability to hit. He still took wounds but the brood was thinning each round of combat.

Eventually the Kroot contested objective 2, turn 5 came and the game ended. I think another 20-0 defeat after differentials [I socred points in the game but when you look at the difference Pete gets 20 points and I got zero for game score]. I thought I had a chance of the wooden spoon but Sandy must have had another bad game as he went away with the rather impressive trophy, £15 voucher and jar of lollipops.

With time left on the board, I know, me not going to full time! We played out the Farsight combat I was curious to find out if the Gaunts could prevail. Sadly they didn't, with Farsight cutting them all down - amazing, Tau succeeding in assault. I'm sure the Tervigon would have Miasmic Spit the Kroot off objective 2 and joined the fray at some point. But overall it was amazing to witness the nids just crumble so quickly with the loss of the Flyrant.

Another great event attended and five excellent games with genuinely pleasant individuals. The perception beforehand was the Caledonian events breed a more competitive atmosphere and although the Highlander format attempts to make it less WAAC there were clearly some very competitive builds. Of course I spent most of the tournament down on the bottom tables were just getting a win was challenging all round. I have to say not having any aspirations of progress it's so much more relaxed and enjoyable. I always play my best but if my best isn't good enough then I'll have a darn good time losing! I think this marks a new dawn in my appreciation of the social aspect above and beyond the competitive side, as evidenced by the selfies. I know it's a bit cheesy regardless of the results it's the people that count and the shared experiences, here's to the next event!

Friday, 2 December 2016

1500pts battle report - Caledonian Highlander 4 - Tyranids v Tau

Day two and I've managed to drop to the bottom table, what's even more shocking is my opponent Sandy Grant has brought Tau! It's not like he's even brought rubbish Tau with two Riptides, three Hammerheads and three Skyrays! How he's ended up on the bottom table is beyond me but I was pretty comfortable in the idea that I was going to lose this game, I mean I was going to try but that Wooden Spoon trophy was close.

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC TRBroodlord
The HorrorPsychic ScreamThe Horror

The low down:
  • Eternal War missions 1 objective each worth 6VPs
  • Maelstrom mission
  • Dawn of War
  • I think I went second and deployed second again
  • Warlord Trait - 3 enemy units make a pinning test first turn
  • Not sure about night fighting
The forces of the greater good and the great devourer face each other.

With some Kroot hiding in some ruins.

Sandy's first turn brought about a wound on the Tervigon, I think he also wounded the Tyrannofex as well but for the most part it was pretty ineffective.

In response the swarm surged.

The Flyrant managed to take out a couple of battlesuits but despite the cover on top of the bastion he was wiped out by the combined fire from the Skyrays and marker lights ensuring he couldn't hide. He fell to first blood and slay the warlord.

With the Tyant gone the Malanthrop continued to urge the Tyrannofex and Carnifex forward while the Tervigon remained protecting the Hive.

The Tfex must have killed another Battlesuit, I think his Acid Spray failed but the Stinger Salvo may have succeeded.

The Tyrannocyte landed in the ruins by the Kroot, with the Rippers disembarking to the first floor. Unfortunately only 1 or 2 Kroot fell to the Deathspitters on the spore pod. I knew I had a Maelstom card for objective 5 so killing the Kroot was a must to secure the objective.

Having taken four wounds it didn't require much for Sandy to finish the Tyrannofex off.

For no other reason than the fact I'd struggled tofind somewhere to Infiltrate the Stealers I'd decided to Outflank them, this turn they cam on, rolling the left flank but would they survive to impact the game.

This would certainly help, my last Carnifex managed a 9" charge into the Skyray squadron.

Blowing it up, I think killing a stealer in the process.

The Riptides seemed to be doing more damage to themselves, overcharging, than I was but still managed to get three wounds on the Carnifex.

The Malanthrope was targetted with marker lights, stripping his cover and leaving him easy prey. The spawned gaunts are still in Synapse range of the Tervigon so at least they're not stuck with Instinctive Beahviour next turn.

I now have a quandry, I have the Riptides, Skyrays and the Battlesuit Commander left and my Broodlord and a Genestealer to assault. For some reason I think the Riptides are the best option, the Skyrays won't have them locked in combat and the Battlesuit will die and they'll be exposed again. All I need are some rends and I could take one or even both of them down

All I get is one wound on them.

I then decide to conga line the big brood of gaunts while moving the spawned gaunts up to swamp the Riptides, although I think I must have failed their charge move

The Rippers pass their IB test [or fail and eat themselves] I still have a Maelstrom objective 5 but I also have a Maelstrom Card that gives me a point for Linebreaker this turn. So I realise I can get Secondary Mission Linebreaker and Maelstrom Linerbeaker for 2 points by ignoring Objective 5 for 1. The Tyrrannocyte meanwhile heads for the objective, but I think it was too far away to claim it. It does however cause the Kroot to break and run.

However, it draws the wrath of the Hammerheads.

Who blast it into smithereens.

Big brood of Gaunts manage to get into combat with the Riptides, the spawned gaunts must have been killed, probably by the Skyrays who are about the only thing left not in combat.

The Broodlord manages to get a couple of wounds on the Riptide but somehow manages to evade all it's return attacks.

Another round of combat and the Broodlord survives yet again, the Riptides just do not have the Weapon Skill to hit it. Sandy and I go to divvy up the scores and somehow I've won, thanks to controlling both Eternal War objectives. The Tervigon on the Skyshiled is sat above mine and the ObSec Broodlord controls Sandy's.

This is the face of a guy who has just had victory snatched from him thanks to an inability to remove one wound from a Broodlord. I have to say this was an awesome game, I think there was a level of incredulity about just how unlucky the Tau were for Sandy. I mean he did a good job killing a lot of my army but it was just that last squabble over his objective that swung it. But that was down to a series of unpredictable events - the random choice of outflanking, the random target of the Riptides and the sheer inability to hit the damn thing in combat. By rights that Broodlord should have been dead but instead it won me the game.

So I was going up a table and Sandy was looking towards the Wooden Spoon trophy.