Wednesday, 23 August 2017

'nids part 219 - Genestealer Hybrids - moar details and highlights

Another boring task that needed addressing - Bonewhite chips on the bases. I'm not sure if it's apparent but I did try and do less of them, partly because it's so tedious but also because I imagine fewer wraithbone chips in and around the heavily industrialised areas of Ferron Proxima. Whether I have limited their inclusion I'm not sure. But I did put some Free Radical Collective logos on the kilted pair of Acolytes.

They came out really well considering. Not sure I'm going to do it on all the hybrids, space becomes limited and they're already busy as hell.

I also added all the blue highlights to their uniform.

It's more apparent on the Neophytes and you can see how they match up with the Primus

A few more highlights on the skin tones and subsequently added some groovy flushed, veiny back of the skull similar to the Aberrants, which have come out pretty well. I also painted ll the tongues red but flitted off before completing any of the highlights - highly unusual in the OCD way I paint. Eyes and teeth have also been done.

I'm not sure how consistent that sits with the Acolytes and Purestrain Genestealers though:
  • Purestrain - Bonewhite rear cranium, red fleshy mouth and face, turqouise chitin crest
  • Acolyte - Red fleshy rear cranium, mouth and face, turqouise chitin crest
  • Neophyte - Red fleshy rear cranium, various skin tones on face and crest
  • Abberant - Red fleshy rear cranium, various skin tones on face, turqouise chitin crest
  • Magus/Primus - Red fleshy rear cranium, various skin tones on face, turqouise chitin crest

Maybe the purestrains have the bonewhite bit as a stronger substance, then with the first and second gen hybrids that material is replaced with all flesh [the red bits] then the Neophytes mutate the red skin into the natural skin tones of their heritage, with the skin covering the forehead crests, allowing them to blend in with the populace. The Abberants meanwhile are mutated further so the crests aren't covered in skin. Equally the Magus and Primus have exposed crests because of their exalted status and given they're so shadowy in the background they're never seen so their overt mutations are less important in exposing the Coven.

All that's left is claws, talons, anything black, all the little headlamps that have been started with some orange, toxic green elements and then the Neophytes guns need some work. Then base edges, varnish and all the other special FX - gloss varnish, Tamiya Clear Red X-27 etc. I'm almost certain these can all be To Done by the end of the Season but the blog posts themselves are struggling to fit into my current schedule, we'll have to see how that works out.

Monday, 21 August 2017

'nids part 218 - Genestealer Hybrids - environment suit highlights

You may recall this time last year I was actively sabotaging my Hobby Season goals by avoiding the Land Speeder Typhoons that were so close to completion. This year felt like history was going to repeat itself but it's fatigue more than mindless ambivalence that is putting my new goal at risk. I've managed to overcome the mundane nature of the cultists but unusually by abandoning any sense of a plan! I'm literally flitting from one element to the next without consideration of following it through to completion. That may well bite me at the end but it has brought renewed vigour and purpose.

As such all the highlights are done, although I might want to add a few extra touches to the red

I then added all my Tyranid Chitin highlights and have waethered all the Acolyte weapons with Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust.

As much as the plan was to reach a point where I focussed predominantly on the Acolytes I'm still very much bringing the Neophytes along with them, they just happen to be a few steps behind in the likes of weathered weaponry...

At this stage I should have been working on the Acolytes but given the potential obstacle of the variety of skin tones still to do I saw it as a bit of a challenge to highlight all those heads and hands.

You can just about make out the highlights on the turquoise skinned hybrids, I carried it through with all of the skin tones, but I was less confident doing the dark skinned guys, not sure why, I think its the challenge I face every time I do it with the Dark Angels.

Having varied skintones was always going to be a problem reconciling with my hive fleet colours. I think I've managed it reasonably well but I also know this force is incredibly busy looking, an unholy riot of colours and variety. It disappoints me a little I wasn't able to make it more simplified but it does reflect the ragtag nature of the force at the least and if I wanted them all the same I've done that already with the Tyranids themselves...

Friday, 18 August 2017

2000pts battle report - Tyranids v Dark Angels - Game 5 - North West Open

The North West Open Tournament @ Wargames is an ITC format competition using the following rules pack: ITC 8th ed Combined Arms Missions. Each mission was rolled for randomly before the game and we were then all told which one to play.

Game 5 low down:
  • Scenario 4 - The Scouring [check the rules pack linked above for all the details]
  • Search & Destroy deployment
  • 1 Eternal War Objective and 2 Maelstrom
Moving down the tables I was on table 26 with only one pair below me and my partner Colin Mill's Dark Angels. However, it turned out the two other players were 'no shows' and as such I'd managed to reach the bottom table - we were indeed fighting for the Wooden Spoon! The added bonus for me was seeing how Dark Angels fare in 8th. Colin had a vehicle heavy list [all lists are here], Razorbacks, couple of Predators, two Dreadnoughts and two Las Cannon Devastators with Azrael to buff his nearby units behind that ruin in the top left.

I got first turn and rolled hold objective 1 and 2 for Maelstrom which meant I could swap them for hold 3 objectives. It's a bigger gamble but the rewards were 3 VPs instead on a max of 2. It was doable as all three objectives were within [Death] spittingdistance of my DZ. I mean it was a competitive decision, I felt I had a 65-75% chance of success given the bodies on the board but failure would push me into Wooden Spoon territory. I couldn't ignore the chance, to do so would spurned the gift, so I went for it.

Flyrant and Carnifex moved on one of the Razorbacks, but no First Blood in this game! The Flyrant was spectacularly inneffective against the tank. He really needs a Melee weapon if I'm going to play him like this. I think further insult was added by possibly being killed by Colin in his following turn, he doesn't appear in any further pictures.

I thinned out the Devastators in the Ruins opposite my DZ but the 2 remaining wouldn't break.

The returned fire by killing the Tervigon. Support from the Predators were surprisingly effective, their Auto Cannon was particularly brutal, propmpting me to consider moving my own one further up my 2017/18 Hobby Season To Do List. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to pull me off my objectives and I gained 3 VPs in my turn.

Colin had inadvertanly positioned his units in such a way as to make my Trygon tunnel really difficult to place. I coudl certainly put them down, just nowhere to take benefit of their deployment, with trees and choke points all around. However, I'd drawn objective 1 and 2 again so a second chanc eto convert that to 3 objectives. The odds were prety even in success now. Without the Tervigon the Trygon and Genestealers could soak up the fire while everything else secured the three objectives.

The Carnifex attempted what the Flyrant had failed to do and were equally unable to complete the task. The fact their Thresher Scyth tails is only S4 the reason for their inability to wound the tank.

And therefore paid the price as the Razorback fell back leaving them exposed.

And one Carnifex went down.

The Trygon Prime was also felled but my line stayed true and I was able to secure another 3 VPs in my turn.

I drew hold objective 2 and kill a unit. I'm not entirely sure what went down in this turn 3 [our final turn, believe it or not]. I know I ultimately scored both Maelstrom objectives. I think the Razorback got destroyed, I couldn't quite get the last Devastator in the ruins and my remaining Genestealers tried to assault the two Razorbacks in the woods, not sure how many survived but the end of the game I'd won 8 VPs for Maelstrom [thanks to the three objective gambles], we tied the Eternal War mission on 4 VPs each and I got Linebreaker for my Carnifex while Colin Scored Big Game Hunter and Slay the Warlord - final score 13-6 to me - a win!

Because of the win I was out of the Wooden Spoon competition and I was convinced Colin had been successful but he actually lost out on that 'accolade' by one VP. I suppose it's no surprise to discover that Colin's experience was limited, this may well have been his first five games of 8th if I recall but his sportsmanship was awesome and such a genuinely friendly bloke, his kilt was also particularly special :)

There we have it, five games, one win, about right and Martin [owner of Wargames] did say, with no disrespect, that I'd found my place. The third floor was by far the most relaxed, even Aceface said it got progressively tense the higher up the tables [the lower down the building]. Every game was a treat, every player was a true gentleman of the hobby and as you know I did come away with Best Army and £50 to spend which will cover the Tyranid Codex and perhaps go towards an Exocrine if they ever return.

I think as a 'make or break' for 8th it's been apparent in my reports and comments that I still have reservations. It's such a change that it's clear I can't continue to play 8th as I have 5th, 6th and 7th. Bottom line Tyranids are competitive and I currently am not. Whether getting better at the game can be achieved without that need to be ruthless that seems to predicate success I don't know.

The ITC format was interesting in the Maelstrom missions only scoring in your subsequent turn - this certainly led to some tactical thought to ensure you would still score your points after your opponents turn. But beyond that I think tactics in general have taken a huge hit. I keep referring to the first turn - regardless of missions it seems you have to decapitate as much of your opponent as you can because they're sure as hell going to do that to you. Once you've blunted their force you have room to deal with whatever tactical missions are on the cards.

I confess I'm not sure how this is different from me always striving for First Blood. but that can be achieved with just one unit, however small and a wrecked Rhino isn't exactly ruining your day. Purge the Alien missions have always been my least favourite missions but it seems like this forms the core introduction to how 8th games pan out. Maybe there's a little more finesse I'm missing because I'll admit my grasp of how to approach games is sorely lacking. But this is still coming to terms with 8th and so long as my mates are still invested and I'm still having fun, which the NWO provided in abundance I'll be there. Next stop - Nevermind the Blog Wars.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

2000pts battle report - Tyranids v Astra Milliwhatsit [TANKS!] - Game 4 - North West Open

The North West Open Tournament @ Wargames is an ITC format competition using the following rules pack: ITC 8th ed Combined Arms Missions. Each mission was rolled for randomly before the game and we were then all told which one to play.

Game 4 low down:
  • Scenario 6 - Secure & Control [check the rules pack linked above for all the details]
  • Spearhead Assault deployment
  • 1 Eternal War objective and 2 Maelstrom objectives
Day two and after three losses I moved down to table 26, but I was so happy as it was Red Planet BASE! It would transpire my opponent was a 'no show' and as there were two missing I was matched against one of my Double Trouble 2 partners and Birthday Bash Veteran Rob Nathan. However Rob was not bringing his White Scars this time, he'd brought TANKS! and bucket loads of them, including a Shadow Sword! With such a destructive weapon on the board I didn;t see much point in putting the Hive Guard in the Bastion. I assumed as it was such a big target it would be knocked down pretty smartish.

So everything huddled behind the hills, if not in cover at least attempting to be out of sight. Unfortunately not out of sight enough as the Bastion was ignored and the Shadowsword put it's shooting into the Tervigon in Rob's first turn.

Luckily it's weapons weren't quite fired up and the Tervigon survived on three wounds.

The rest of his tanks drew their aim at my Carnifex.

Stripping off five wounds...

and then the last three to score First Blood and most likely a Maelstrom point.

My turn and I had to hold Objective 2, just in front of the Bastion and kill a unit. The remaining Carnifex Advanced, supported by the Flyrant. I targeted the nearest Leman Russ think I managed to degrade it to just a few wounds but ultimately couldn't complete my kill a unit Maelstrom mission.

The Tervigon and Termagants also Advanced, with the Brood Mother replenishing any casualties from the first turn of shooting.

But their progress did not go unnoticed and the Tervigon was shot to pieces.

The Carnifex too was judged an immediate threat and reduced to 2 wounds...

and then none like it's sibling. My push forward was being blunted pretty effectively.

With less threats on the board Rob had opportunity to focus on the Bastion, stripping 13 wounds off it!

As my assault diminished I tried to hunker down, retreating my Malanthrope to bolster my defences and score both objective 2 and have 3 units and no enemy units in my DZ. I knew how devastating the Guard shooting could be and having the Bastion, Hive Guard, Rippers, Warriors, Termagants and Malanthrope gave me double the units I needed for a bit of redundancy.

While my push forward added a further distraction when the Genestealers and Trygon arrived in their tunnel. 
But before I sent in the ground troops the Flyrant tried to assault the super heavy but they were waiting for him and the Volcan Cannon overwatched him like an insignificant fly.
The Genestealers failed their charge and the Trygon need a charge of 8" to reach the Shadowsword and I typically rolled a 1 and 2. So I used a command point to re-roll the 1 hoping for a 6

and only went and got it!

The Trygon managed to take it to 9 wounds, or do 9 wounds, not sure, but Rob said it was equal to the most amount of damage it had received in all the games, unfortunately not half as successful as it should have been.

Rob retaliated by destroying the Bastion.

The reveresed out of the combat to shoot the Trygon point blank, then mop up the Genestealers with ease.

We tied for Eternal War objectives, both holding our own and scoring 4 points each but Rob had the Maelstrom mission for 8, First blood and Slay the Warlord for another 2. Final score was 14:4 another loss, but another great game and nice to pair up with Rob again. This is the great thing about the hobby and these tournaments, gettign to see the same faces again and catching up.

As much as I'm enjoying the games, at this stage I'm a little disappointed about how bad I'm playing. I don't honestly think it's the 'nids, they just feel like a tool I don't know how to use. I think I'm actually going to be in with a shout for Wooden Spoon which would be an achievement of some sort but although it might be coming across as 'protesting too much' about not winning the fact is I don't mind losing so long as I gave it my best and right now my best is pretty rubbish. Still, on to the last game.

Monday, 14 August 2017

2000pts battle report - Tyranids v Necrons - Game 3 - North West Open

The North West Open Tournament @ Wargames is an ITC format competition using the following rules pack: ITC 8th ed Combined Arms Missions. Each mission was rolled for randomly before the game and we were then all told which one to play.

Game 3 low down:
  • Scenario 1 - Retrieval [check the rules pack linked above for all the details]
  • Dawn of War deployment
  • 1 Eternal War objective and 1 Maelstrom objective
Moving down from table 22 to table 24 I was matched with David Woods and his Necrons. Unfortunately I didn't take too many pictures so it's a bit difficult to work out what went on. Additionaly I think this was David's first ever tournament and third game of 8th edition so we spent a lot of time trying to get things right. I believe I won first turn but importantly you should note I totally messed up deployment. My big mistake was putting the bastion between those two ruins. In particular the two storey building meant none of my Monstrous creatures could be deployed inside as they had to climb up one side and down the other to get out as you can no longer 'pass through walls' by barging through with a difficult terrain test! Insead my Tervigon was forced into the single storey ruin on the left. Anyway, I drew Maelstrom objectives 1 and 2, which was possibly by my Bastion and where I brought the Trygon and Genestealers in, hoping to live to my turn 2. I was sure I killed something in turn 1 but it may have just been weight of fire into the Doomsday Ark to strip away all but 5 of it's wounds, at least it degraded a bit.

In return the Genestealers and Trygon were wiped off the board! This would deny me securing both objectives in my turn. The Flyrant was also wounded enough to reduce it at least one, if not two tiers of damage [they're really not that good, or I'm not using then correctly].

I scored my 1VP and drew Objective one and kill a unit. The Doomsday Ark was my best chance [even though it's Living Metal had repaired one of it's wounds]. The Flyrant swooped forward and I was able to take it down. Additional damage was wrought on the Warriors and Immortals.

But most of them got back up again in their turn leaving me back where I started.

Unbelievably, considering my results, throughout most of the day my dace rolling had been obscenely good. Quite often statistically improbable, which made me wonder just how bad a results I could have had. This I think was a series of saves, FnP and Tenacious Survivor results for my Flyrant leaving him still on the board.

This gave the Flyrant the opportunity to assault one of the Doom Scythes, whose Death Ray was laying down all sorts of hurt with abandon. Unfortunately without any melee weapons I could only take it to 5 wounds left [which it would repair one - Living Metal]. Meanwhile the Carnifex and Malanthrope mad eit into combat but I couldn't kill a unit

Flying off left the Flyrant exposed and ultimately it was plucked from the sky. I think my conga lined Termagants managed to secure me the Eternal War mission and I got Line Breaker by deploying the Rippers in that Ruin in the back of the board where they couldn't be seen [which is why I left them in there overnight!] I ended with 9 points but David got 11 with Line Breaker, Slay the Warlord and Big Game Hunter and the Maelstrom Mission win. Surprisingly my unit with the highest Power Level for Big Game Hunter was not the Flyrant, Trygon or even the two Carnifex but my Genestealers!

Three games, three losses but again a really good game and David and I had a lot of fun. I totally screwed up my deployment, which highlighted another problem with the way 8th works now. LoS blocking buildings/ruins are so important nowadays to actually offer some protection for larger creatures/vehicles, but those pictured above serve up a massive nightmare for movement. Granted creatures/vehicles have so many more wounds now that the idea of protecting them further seems greedy but they're still dieing in droves because heavy weapons are more destructive and small arms have chances to damage even when there used to be none.

Anyway, it was a great game and I was ready for day 2, perhaps that wooden spoon could be mine...?