Monday 24 July 2017

'nids part 217 - Genestealer Hybrids - environment suit highlights

I mentioned something about counting chickens... I know it's been over a week since my last post, don't worry I'm not going to apologise, I'm just going to blame Lewis Hamilton. I know it's not hobby related but I had the opportunity to go to the British Grand Prix the other weekend [it was a Christmas/Birthday gift] and in some respect the lead up, night away and nights after put serious brakes on my hobby momentum. To be fair though it was an unbelievable experience, I'm still recovering from the assault on the senses.

That's not to say I haven't been painting, I've done all the Stonewall Grey highlights and then all the white highlights. At this stage there were just five Neophytes left to highlight and the process had proved less than satisfactory.

In my last post I'd identified picking out the ridges was less precise than I'd hoped but the white highlights might mitigate where I'd failed. Sadly that didn't quite bear fruit, most of the white highlights are just not fine enough. I really don't know what the problem is here. I think the Army Painter white I use is sufficiently thin, any watering down just results in the paint bleeding into the grooves.

But even unthinned you can see it's far from defined. I was also beginning to struggle with my eyesight, trying to pick out the ridges and I think perhaps I've reached the the limits of my skills, which is a little disheartening, although I can live with it.

At a distance they'll look fine but given the time I spent trying to be neat I really hoped for better results. Adding in general fatigue and another forthcoming trip away even completing these before the end of the Hobby Season just became a challenge. I'm still going to work on both the Acolytes and Neophytes where possible but I'm pretty sure as the deadline looms I'll switch focus to the Acolytes - there's less of them and the Tyranid elements are familiar and so should be straighforward.

That said I'm far from giving up, I certainly don't envisage the self-sabotage to the 2015/15 Season that I did with the Ravenwing Land Speeders. I still think there's plenty of time to finish both Acolytes and Neophytes but eventually committing to one will most likely guarantee a success with a chance of completing both, rather than jeopardise the whole enterprise to complete both...

Anyway, I've got all my orange highlights done too, next it's red...

Thursday 13 July 2017

2000/1500pts battle report - Tyranids v Astra Militarum - The Meat Grinder

What the flip?! Narrative play?! GW is like some insidious infection convincing us of 'new ways to play'. Well we will do a narrative game but we'll do it with good old fashioned matched play points values thank you very much! Ben had suggested the Mwat Grinder mission, he had 1,500pts of Astra Millitarum and Otty and I had 1,000pts of nids each to set up on Ben's new Winter terrain board. First up my Carnifex went down in the stream bed - why not, it's not like it hampers movement anymore.

Ben countered with his rather well-endowed Basilisk provocatively placed in the woods, ooh,er.

Tervigon next, followed by Hellhound.

Termagants and Wyverns.

Otty laid down the three Hive Guard.

Snipers in the tree line.

And this is the way you deploy in 8th - everyone in the foxhole - BUNDLE!

Otty deploys Genestealers, Tyrannofex and Broodlord in the centre.

Valkyrie holds the guard centre.

Tfex and Broodlord ready to kick off, bear with me I started to enjoy taking pics as they looked pretty cool.

Ratlings in the trees. I realised pretty quickly Ben's trees are probably the best way to represent woods in 8th. A big base to show the area, tall trunks so you have plenty of scope to arrange miniatures underneath and full foliage at the top to give the 'tree' structure. I was super impressed.

Ben is going first but I roll to seize, fail and we rashly expend a command point to re-roll and we snatch the initiative back!

Everything bundles forward, with most of the terrain in our DZ offering no impediment - although watch out for all that tanglewire in front of the guard line later in the game.

My Hive Guard try to take out one of the Wyverns, I do a few damage but not enough to impact it's performance.

The Biovore also tries, hitting on 5s because it moved.

But I got a 1 for it's Mortal Wound roll...

As the narrative mission rules allow for any of our number to come back on if they die - what is our disadvantage in this game? I throw caution to the wind and deploy the Trygon and Genestealers.

Otty's Hive Guard take 9 wounds off the Valkyrie!

Given how far forward the Hellhound deployed it then paid the price.

It was swamped with Stealers - illustrating that the streamlined play gets extremely finickity  - Genestealers tipping over or their claws holding each other at bay and preventing you positioning them as close you can so not all the brood get within that 1"+1" of a model. It's far from streamlined and then you'll have your opponents saying some aren't in because those stealers will just wreck pretty much anything with weight of numbers...

Which they did! End of turn 1, one hour of play done!

Ben's turn the Valkyrie moves up and deploys his Vets, they take a few wounds off the Tfex[?].

My Tervigon became a prime target, taking 10 wounds. An artllery bombardment did some serious damage in this respect. So much for it's armour save and Tenacious Survivor - I need Venomthropes/Malanthrope. Another hour to fit in Ben's turn 1 and he only moved the Valkyrie and vets!

 The Tfex moves to take out the vets.

The Trygon slithered through the woods but out of Synapse it would shoot/charge the Ratlings without intervention. The Genestleaers also were going to have to negotiate the tangle wire, halving their charge...

I don't know whether this was a good idea or not but the Termagants with their re-roll 1's to hit and wound took the Ratlings down to their last [half]man, the Carnifex blasted him to pieces with Bio-plasma.

This allowed the Trygon to focus on the snipers but left the Genestealers witout a target in range. Meanwhile the Biovore hit and rolled 1 for Mortal Wounds AGAIN!

Tfex and Warriors removed all but one of the Vets from the battlefield, thr Valkyrie suffered some more wounds but was still flying by the end of the turn.

My Hive Guard were out of Synapse so they had to fire on the squad in the right hand fox hole - killing five! Otty's Genestealers meanwhile slaughtered everything in the remaining foxholes, Ben's Warlord,  and Commisar, then consolidated forwards.

The Trygon managed to scythe through the Snipers with ease and moved up towards the Basilisk.

The Valkyrie snuck up behind my Hive Guard and Biovore.

He took half the wounds off the Biovore.

But it was the Tervigon on only 4 wounds he could secure a pyrrhic victory with.

While the Trygon and Genestealers were about to inflict horrible damage on his artillery.

The Tervigon had to go.

And perhaps the Stealers [OK I was just taking pics now, not even relevant to the order of play]

The Tfex and Warriors surrounded the last Veteran.

The Left flank was about to be over-run

So finally the Tervigon was targeted

And I had to make 3 saves!

She could not survive.

He popped, taking six Termagants with her.

And at 12:30am we called it. Ben had wanted to stop earlier but with the Tervigon so close to popping I wante dsome satisfaction for him. Ultimately he was outnumbered from the off, we also got an orbital bombardment which wounded a few at the start of the game and although we never returned any models we had that advantage too.

But we still had a good game, it was Otty's first and we're still discovering how certain things make little sense or contradict the 'streamlined' headline we're being beaten about the face with - see the difficulties regarding assault mentioned above. I'm definitely beginning to get a better feel for my nids - replacing my choice of a Trygon with a Trygon Prime seems sensible - that synapse will really important.

I'm also looking forward to playing against a more mobile force instead of a static gun-line. I know it's pretty much the narrative mission but even with our enhance movement there were still a lot of models who did very little during the game because they never got into range. Even so how would that have impacted the length of the game... So much for quicker games too. Maybe it's still early days and we're referencing the rule book quite a lot to try and get it right but things are really slow, even if a lot is actually happening.

Anyway, bring on game 3

Wednesday 12 July 2017

eBay purchases I shouldn't regret

It's a dangerous thing to trawl eBay the day after pay day but in fairness I don't think I've gone too overboard. I managed to pick up this bike and bits for two attack bikes for just £5.99! I'm thinking they might look cool on some Dark Vengeance bikes although I can't decide, given the DV bikes are leaning to one side, if I should re-pose the bikes or have the side cars cocked in the air like a puppy fit to burst :) Still, I'll need to get the DV bikes first but I thought this was too good a deal to pass up, the banner, extra rider and clear base just bonuses.

I then went looking for Tyranid bits. I had a plan in my head to convert some monstrous Deathspitters and some extra Scything Talons magnetised for bare-bones Screamer Killer Carnifex. I came across this auction for 'Warhammer 40k bits Tyranid bitz joblot Metal Broodlord' which had Deathspitters - check

Scything Talons - check.

Various Termagant weapons, meh, OK, whatever.

And then these...

I suppose this must be the Broodlord then? A metal Hive Tyrant. Now the interesting thing is, I have a sets of plastic Hive Tyrant legs and extras not used when I made my Flyrant and another sprue the same from another bits purchase. Essentially I had everything to make a Tyrant and this auction was at 99p with one bidder and 20 hours to go. OK we all know that was going to change and it did. My winning bid was £10.51 with £4 postage, which I still think is good value and I got the added adrenaline rush from the auction closing. Sure I'd always imagined I'd get a 'start collecting' box to fill out my 3rd Tyrant slot and remaing Gargoyles but as we no longer have that formation theeres no point. Also three Tyrants is less of desire with more unit options available but this on it's own I think is worth £14, thanks to the bits already in my collection.

But also a couple of plastic Termagants, plus two original metal gaunts. 4 Hormagaunts and some Hive Nodes [always useful]there were even some Carnifex heads, a carapace and Crushing Claws!

A load of carapace armour pieces, Flesh Hooks and six Rippers and whatever that metal thing is in the middle [ironically some Zoanthrope back vents that would fit the ones missing on my second Zoie!].

Plus extra Deathspitters to add to my conversion plans. Spinefists - I couldn't give a F*#~ about pistols zero use to me, they'll join the rest of them - perhaps I should just make a reclamation pit with them in ;)

And the final bonus in thiss haul - Genestealer heads and look at all those feeder tendril heads! I could sell those individually at £2-£2.50 each. But with 4 of them I'll put together a Brood that matches the one I already have and then swap it out for a brood of their own.

So a little over £20 for a lot of bits that actually is worth far more than it initially seems.