Friday, 17 May 2019

1750pts battle report - Imperial Knights & Dark Angels v Tyranids

Otty had a free evening and wanted to arrange a game but that created a problem as I wanted to run my Knights for convenience but I was certain Otty's Tyranids would be on the road to a hiding if I did. Once again I looked at some of the narrative missions but as it turned out we went with the same mission I played with Liam - the Echoes of War mission in Vigilus Defiant called Forlorn Charge. It was Knights and Freeblades versus Ork Stompas, Morkanauts and Gorkanauts. It compressed the Knights into a 2'x2' corner with the 'Orks' creating their 'scrap city' and deploying first. There were also benefits for running a Fortification network and some additional stratagems.


What we did was swap out the Ork elements for Monstrous Creatures. This wasn't too bad really as victory conditions were for my Knights to destroy all his Knights and buildings for a Major Victory, Minor if I killed more than were left alive and Defeat if it was any other result. Otty went with 2 Tyrannofex, Old One Eye and 5 Screamer Killers, a Harpy, a Trygon and a Trygon Prime and a load of Hive Guard which we put in his Bastion with a Quad Gun. All in I think he had around 2,000pts [not including the Bastion].

Otty deployed the terrain and put the Bastion [gaining 3CP extra] in his back corner out of reach of my Knights with the Hive Guard inside. The Tyrannofex and Harpy offered support.

But he deployed the Carnifex right opposite me just 12" away. Now the mission stipulates I would get first turn but I realised with his Carnifex that close my Knights would stomp all over them so I gave him first turn. Tyranids had raised a barricade across the battlefield to slow my advance down.

The Tyrannofex shot at the Lancer, doing some damage with the Harpy. The Hive Guard were out of range. Otty's scratchbuilt Spore Pods almost look like they've just disgorged the monstrous brood, they did however form sufficient obstacles to prevent a straight run at my Knights.

So charge distances were not a sure thing at least.

Out of the 6 Carnifex OOE and 3 others were the only ones to make their charge. A bikes took mortal wounds from the charge, then Lady Pettorini was battered, first one Screamer Killer taking off 3 wounds, then another taking 3 more. Then Old One Eye ripped her to pieces with 18 and thus illustrates our lack of experience. OOE should have gone first and then I should have interrupted, but I forgot and Otty was systematically going from left to right instead logically going from best to worst.

To cap it all I eagerly wanted to blow up, hoping to use the Noble Sacrifice stratagem but was reading the Valiant Last Stand, which would have allowed me to attack if I didn't blow up and I got a 6, so it blew up anyway! I could have re-rolled and then used the strat but it was all so farcical. Bikes died in the explosion a Carnifex took 5 wounds, OOE and another 1 and the final one 6. Ser Ellenbogen and and Armiger also took damage.

With the Carnifex being the immediate threat I repositioned, with the Ravenwing falling back, Ser Ellenbogen vaporising one Carnifex and the Warglaive taking another. I charged the three remaining monsters and killed OOE, but Otty used the strat to attack before he dies - putting wounds on my Knights. He then used the interrupt strategy too! Suddenly my combat phase was Otty's and yet more wounds went on the Knights, the Lancer was down to 13 at least.

It was not enough though and Warglaive and Ser Ellenbogen wiped the Carnifex from the face of the planet, just the last remaining Carnifex in that corner. It was quite surprising how ineffective OOE was this turn, to which I think I recalled in the first round we'd been doing 2's to wound on the Knights when it should have been 3's.

My second Warglaive had tried to bring the Harpy down but failed due to being damaged. The Harpy returned the favour in Otty's turn 2 over-flying the Knight and leaving Spore Mines in my DZ.

But with Heavy Venom Cannons the Armiger couldn't stand.

 Bursting from the ground the Tyrgon and Trygon Prime were possibly going to stall my advance and allow the Tfex another round of shooting. I think the second Warglaive was their target and I burned a re-roll to keep it's last wound and force the second lot of shooting on it.

It took the brunt and fell, sacrificing itself to leave the larger Knights [mostly] unmolested.

Ser Ellenbogen smooshed the Carnifex and moved off, with neither of the Trygon's making their charges - the Tyranid barricade proving equally disruptive to it's own as well as the Knights.

But not in my turn as the Lancer stormed behind one Trygon and Ser Ellenbogen went for the Prime.

Inevitably the Tyranids couldn't stand against such titanic opponents and both Knights consolidated toward the remaining monsters and Bastion.

The Tyrannofex were not to be steamrolled so easily though and took all but 1 wound off the Lancer with their Rupture Cannons and the managed to take it down with a single Stinger Salvo wound that I failed to save. With the Lancer gone Ser Ellenbogen couldn't make the charge to the last Tfex [the other one shot by the Thermal Cannon]. And with that we called it a night, I'd secured a minor victory with the Carnifex gone anyway.

Thankfully Otty felt like it was a good game but clearly it was very one-sided in favour of the Knights, despite:
  • 250pts+ extra
  • a free Bastion
  • first turn advantage
  • Deployment map having just 12" no man's land
  • OOE wounding on 2s instead of 3s
  • forgetting to 'interrupt'
It just illustrates the advantage Knights have over some other factions [or in general] and taking into account I'm not a good player too! Next time I'll go back to Tyranids as I think there are learning opportunities for us both if we run the same faction, much the same way as I learned things when Liam and I both had Knights. With hindsight the Hive Guard were wrongly positioned in the Bastion, if they'd been in the crater behind the Capillary Tower they'd have been double shooting each turn. Also the Trygons could have been on the board with the Carnifex or on my other flank to force me to split my army up. Again that 12" No Man's Land and first turn could have been used more to Otty's advantage. Hindsight = 20:20!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

What GW should do - Space Ghosts

Now the thing with a blog is quite often you have an idea for a post and then sit on it. I've 20 draft posts, a dozen of which are probably posts I should just finish/publish so I don't have their ugly 'draft' status staining my dashboard, so here's one I prepared earlier, much earlier!

In case you didn't know I've bought Citadel Miniatures and GW products since the late 80's. I also have a blog, it's quite cool you can view it here. Those two facts alone qualify me to make 'suggestions' to Games Workshop and their subsidiaries in how they can grow their company/improve their products. On many of the forums and social media platforms you see people theorise, or usually ask, what GW will do next or what new faction they'll create. A while back I was struck by a vision of one such faction. To be fair it's not a great idea and I'm sure when GW announce something wholly new we'll be super impressed, but I was compelled enough to put it down on [digital] paper and then couldn't be bothered to publish but now I've bit the [mass reactive] bullet and I give you - Space Ghosts!

Sometimes GW creates something that is pretty darn special, exceeds expectations and potentially creates even further things. Case in point the Lord of Plagues - this model is an absolute classic. I'd love to know where it stands on the most popular figure sold numbers. John Blanche himself must have hundreds!
Courtesy of Games Workshop
And this success eventually spawned some similar models to try and capitalise on it's awesomeness - we got the Putrid Blight Kings. Models that bore a passing resemblance, following the same aesthetic but growing your unholy filthy horde. Not forgetting Gutrot Spume and the Lord of Blights.

Also in Age of Sigmar they learned a lesson from this with Spirit Hosts - these were undoubtedly awesome and commonly used in 40k too.

They must have been successful because they eventually got their own faction - evolving into the stunning Night Haunt. And that even brought new technical paints to the table too!
Which begs the question - what the flip are you talking about Dave? Well, in a few months time we will have every Codex complete for 8th Edition 40k. The Sisters will be due in 2019, blessed be the faithful who waited for that Blue Moon but after that the Universe is their oyster. Age of Sigmar has shown true creativity in bringing new armies - Kharadron Overlords and Idoneth Deepkin for example into their worlds. So what of a new and different army for 40k? Well this is one of the questions that  gets bandied about all the time and I had a sudden idea to take the highly successful fantasy ghosts and why not make 'space ghosts'? But not so much ghosts as a purely energy based army, beings of non-corporeal power.

 You could extrapolate the Night Haunt into angular lightning beings, again the recent Malign Sorcery spells show just how cool and exciting that sort of abstract shape can be. And all those lightning bolt style extrusions would be snapped up loads to kitbash Psykers using their powers! I know as a concept it's kind of lazy - GW will no doubt eventually come up with something that is totally unique and awesome but I just thought Space Ghosts would be pretty cool. When I originally wrote this they hadn't even come up with the Skaven spells but lo-and-behold that sort of angular lightning effect was something they'd already begun to explore

What do you think could be next?

Monday, 13 May 2019

GW Manchester Battle of the Brush - April - Squads

Following on from March's Battle of the Brush [or 'Tale of our Warlords', as it's also known], April's category is Squads. I entered Garrek's Reavers, and also Steelhearts Champions, so I could make up for my missing January entry. My goal is just to achieve the 12 entries over the course of the year and as you can see the standard is exceptional each month so the competitive aspect will be tough, hence why I'm just along for the ride. The top 3 are in order - Idoneth Deepkin justifiably taking this month's honours.

Tidy Necrons coming second, with their red glowy eyes and Scarabs.

Khorne Chaos warband was 3rd.

These Sylvaneth were awesome yet again. If I was doing Age of Sigmar I'd go Sylvaneth [having previously thought it'd be Flesh Eater Court].

Ad Mech

House Delaque

Space Hulk Genestealers



and more Squigs.

Very bright Wraithguard.

Some old skool cool Dwarves.

Witch Elves

Stormcast dudes in bronze.

And Hive Guard.

And on the way back I managed to get a nice snap of NOT the Lady of Winterfell!

Large miniatures for May, so I best crack on with my Sanctum Imperialis.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Terrain is everything - TT Combat Gothic Ruins MDF kit - Red walls.

In amongst everything else I further procrastinated by getting the  TT Combat Gothic Ruins primed. I had sprayed it black with some cheap £1 store matt black. Then I mixed some black masonry paint with PVA, some of my finest sand and some powdered plaster/wall filler.

This gave me some texture to the flat walls. Red Oxide zenithal base coat was next and then stippling/drybrushing with Vermillion art acrylic.

Shading and verdigris areas to pick out next, hopefully less drama than the Sanctum as I'm far less precious about this.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Dark Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 5

With both the Sanctum Imperialis and my Ravenwing Dark Shroud as priorities the Sanctum took preference when I balked at the Speeder, so when the Sacntum became troublesome I used the fact I had to patina the building to simultaneously do the same on the Speeder. Not that it'd likely weather in these areas [maybe the grav plate holds moisture in the up-wash...?].

But this was another example of 'misdirection', like how my Mum used to give us veggie-burgers with sausages just as a way to have more vegetables on our diet. If I'm going to push on with one troublesome task I may as well do the same on another project.

At the very least it's one less thing to do, to make it easier when I pick it up in earnest. Thankfully the thought of painting the black meant I was not easily distracted from the Sanctum.

I'll get back onto this when the Sanctum is complete but small steps. I think the controls and touch some of the metallics up will be next. I won't mention how I think the verdigris on the engines a little too much, the last hting I need is another crisis of confidence - just get stuff done and move on!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Terrain is everything - Sanctum Imperialis - I'm getting there, stains n'all

I cannot believe how much this colour choice is challenging me. Luckily after a plaintive appeal on twitter [as well as feedback here] I had enough reassurance from these pictures to keep going.

I mean I still had reservations but folk liked them and ultimately the decision has been made what direction these were going in, that's inevitable now. It was just actually doing it, like magnets sharing the same poles opposing each other.

And instead of taking the big piece to this stage I actually took the medium piece to the next stage - adding shading and stains ot all the rivets and edges with the result I am much happier with where this is at now.

Although the turquoise is still very much in your face that shading on the right hand side is working so much better than the non-shaded left in the pic below.

These three sections, plus the front and the two sections from the small corner piece [more on that later] were shaded in one sitting, so now I have a measure of how long that will take.

I added staining to all the rivets the next night. I still need to do some addtional shading on it but I needed to pick out the red glass finials on the roof so the shading can be applied to those as well. I also felt the doorframe needed to be more akin to the older copper than the newer brass/bronze.

I also picked out the glass in the buttress lights but I've no idea how thats going to work - Tamiya Clear Red X-27 dries super quick and I'm not sure it'll play well with those small areas. I'll no doubt have to touch up afterwards...

The corner piece got grunged up, not much left to do on this apart from Bonewhite chips on the base and some of the debris inside.

I might have had to tidy up some turquoise smudges, but thinned Rhinox Hide covered the worst of it. I'll blend some red in so it makes it fully masked.

The big piece was also taken to the full verdigris with all the finial and lights picked out. Stains and shading next which is just laborious and will make everything work but because it;s a couple of nights work and I've been feeling a bit tired of an evening I've just not got back onto it for a couple of nights. Time for another push.

Returning to my Photoshop concept I wasn't too far off. A little lighter perhaps but I've already identified the shading will help tone it down and it'll better match this when it's done.

I was reminded the other day that this ruin was built coming up 12 months ago. That sound pretty bad but it's not like I haven't worked on other projects or had other prioritiesn not to mention I've had longer projects.

It will be nice to get it complete though, it just requires that push on all the shading, then pick out some interior details and all the lights/glass followed by varnishes. I keep thinking it's half a dozen session's work or so and at this stage it's just doing it...