The rise of albion- a 40k campaign

Me and a good friend, Lee have talked about a campaign for ages and we are finally getting around to it. Fought between his imperial guard and my skitarii force, our aim is for 6 games culminating at a 10k game at warhammer world. 

Game 1 is a small 500pts game, then each game escalates.  The winner of each came can stipulate the following game. It’s collaborative process with the game more important than the winner.

The plot of our story is a simple one. The once prosperous agricultural world of albion has hit hard times. A calamity damaged a lot of the farm land making it inhospitable.  The ‘dead zone’ has something living in it. The once loyal guard regiment has found a new ally to help the world survive.

Who are they? Did they cause the calamity? Why is the inquisition suddenly intersted? 

Also on the planet is a small number of skitarii who are protecting the admech priests that tend the massive farm machinery.  Who side are they on and will there links to the Ultramarines be needed?

So that is our campaign.  We both have busy lives, so the games will be spaced out. I am growing my army over the year and lee is working on his new ‘allies’

As we progress I am adding new scenary to my collection as well. I have a pump station, church,  macro cannon and sector imparilis to paint up. Each battle will be closer (and more built up) as the fighting gets close to cities.

I’ll be blogging on each game with Lee and I adding background to the armies and planet as we go.

Till then watch the dead zones, something is lurking. 

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Reaver blog 4-getting ahead.

With the main body done only 3 tasks remain.  Head, crew and weapons. The head and 4 ‘human’ crew were done together.
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The head is in 2 parts. Top armour and the rest. The rest is in several parts assambled using super glue very little weight sits on this part so normal glue is fine.  I pinned the the neck joint for extra strength.

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To keep the top armour in place I used 4 magnets. It only needed some help to stay in place, so it was easy to use small magnets. They are 3mm x2 mm  disk neodymium magnets.
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The top armour was painted the same as the rest of the armour,  but I had found a nice image of true messengers titans with bisected head colour so I went blue and white for the head. The symmetrical pattern is a standard design on imperial titans so it’s a nod to the old classic design.

The head itself is single blocky part with 1 panel glued on. To this are 4 pipes and the crew. They 3 crew were treated as individual  models for painting. The rest of the head was easy to paint.

The ‘eyes’ (multiple lense clusters’) are awesome parts. I really enjoyed painting these. In the kit is a perspex sheet to make the covers.  I have never seen a reaver that has used these and I did not break a tradition.
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Once painted the crew were glued in and then I jb welded the neck in place.

The head adds so much to the model, the extra time spent paining it added to over all look.

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Once done it was on to the mighty techpreist.  This is a great model this is almost totally hidden. But I did it anyway! Build wise, the techpreist is really fiddly. The arms are very fine with a small joint. The are so thin they bend while being painted. He was painted in the colours of my skitarii force from forgeworld world Gantz, home of my titan legion. My aim is to build a small force of admec to support the titan and for an up coming campaign. 
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Next up the weapons. 

Since you been gone…

ok, it’s been a while since my last blog, but I have been busy. Real life has been do that thing where it gets in the way, but it’s also presented an opportunity.  Work on our home has continued and we are now 6 weeks in to a 6 week build, so basically half way!  We think it will take another 8 till we can move home. This has reduced my gaming and painting, but I still got some work done. 

Painting

My last blog was on the additional 2 captains and these are finished. Next up was the completed land raider command tank. I still need to finish off the driver, but wanted a change. I have finished my 6th company champion and returned to painting veterans. I have made a start on my vanguard on foot. 2 are done with a 3 rd started. I am loving the poses, and the are coming on well. They were built befor the new codex, so have limited weaponry. 
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Continue reading

Command and control 

I do like a good project. With the new codex, I am trying to avoid buying loads of new stuff, instead adding models I have always fancied painting. I still have a good chunk of troops to paint, but the odd new model won’t hurt. 

Using this approach I have decided to add two new captains. One from 1st company, the other, the Lord high executioner, captain of the 8th. Both have models available, but for various reasons, are ideal. So, it’s project time and I am converting up both. 

Captain Agman of the 1st company

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I have Terminator captain already and he is a great conversion, done a few years ago. Armed with a stormsheild and a Greek style spear (count as a lighting claw). I used loads of scibor bits and he looks rock hard, but in game he’s expensive and doesn’t match the look of my current force. 

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Time for a new captain me thinks. I like the captain model in the strike force ultra box set. He would make an awesome 1st company captain, but he is selling for silly money on eBay (£35) and I am not spending silly money on any model! So the hunt was on for a new model to convert. The current range is really good and the current plastics have great movement. I was drawn to the captain in the deathstorm box set. While a blood angle, there was not a huge amount of blood angles iconography. So I needed to change a few bits to make him a bit more regal. Weapon wise, I wanted a gladius for 2 reasons. 1-cost. I wanted a cheaper model, so power weapon and Storm bolter (130pts) 2-I don’t like striking last! In A squad of 5 terms with powerfists/chainfist the extra attacks from a thunder hammer aren’t game changers. The Head was a easy choice. The 1st company leads the veterans., so old and experienced were to of the list. The new ultramarine upgrades pack the perfect head with a bearded face and a laural. I added a ultramarines icon on the leg and the odd purity seal, topped him off with an iron halo from the terminator kit for the classic term captain look and he’s done. Cheap and cheerful will plenty of character. Total cost was £9.25 for the captain, inc postage, and the rest from the bits box. 
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Painting I wanted an über regal look. So reds and golds were important. The new legion decal kit, bought for another project, helped as well. I just need to sort the base out. Still playing with ideas for this one. 

Lord high executioner.

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GW do a great model for the 8th company commander. I have a a few issues with it, but it’s a nice model. Firstly, it’s finecast. Not the biggest fan of the god awful product. I hate the idea of getting multiple crappy versions till I get a usable model. Secondly, I think it’s a it grim for my army. My ultramarines are ‘glorious’ not ‘grimDark’

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I had legs of the of plastic librarian left over and planned to add the torso from the old plastic commander  with a vanguard jump pack. However, then GW teased the new ultramarines upgrade sprue. The torso of that kit was awesome so plans changed. 

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I used head that looks like a company champion form the upgrade kit, a shoulder pad and the torso. The arms are just leftovers as are the weapons. The sword and shield combo looked ok so I stuck with that. I know the power axe is ap2, but as said earlier, I hate the I1 rule! I wanted to jumppack to stand out and bought the blood Angels guard jump pack. Leaving the wings on this time, I gave him an angelic look. 

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Painting wise, I really wanted to limit the colours. With blue, white and gold being most prominent, with any accents in grey (company livery) this led to a mooted colour scheme that looks quite ‘glorious’  the base was a fun idea. I trimmed the edges off the librarian base and stuck it to a 32 mm bars, green stuff to smooth the join and cove as per normal. This added height and make his stance easy to sort. 

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Cost wise I have spent very little. The upgrade sprue was £8, with most of the parts left over. (Head and both weapons used on the 1st company captain) legs, back, weapons and arms all from the bits box and the jumppack costing £3. 

So, there you have it. 2 new captains, total cost just over £20, both unique, both fitting my current force and both fun mini projects. I hope you like them!

Till next time. 

The relocation painting challenge

We are having some work done on the house and it’s going to take around 5 weeks. It is so much work, we are having to move out. They are ripping out floors, walls and windows, so we will be without water, power or heating. We are moving into the inlaws home while they tour the south of France in a caravan. 

So while I am out of the house, my painting will be more of a challenge, but I need something to help me chill out during what is going to be a stressfully time. To this end I have decided to challenge my self to to catch up with a few projects. All need to be ultramarines as that limits the amount of paints I need. I have some units to do and a couple of new bits to add to my army. I am challenging my self to paint the following in 5 weeks. 

  1. Command tanks. (Currently around 5%)
  2. Command squad standard bearer and company champion, both on bikes (around 25% done)
  3. Attack bike (unstated)
  4. 5 vanguard on foot (under coated)
  5. 8th company captain (unstated) (stretch target! Don’t think that I’ll get to this one!)

This challenge will help me to stay focused and to take a good chunk out of my to paint pile! The codex has made me want to add to my armoured force, with stalkers, whirlwind, vindicators and predators all on my must get list. However, I really don’t want to be added any new kits until I have painted what I have! (Ok, pipe dream, but I can try) I also want to move most of the army onto 32mm bases. Not because GW say I must, but because I think they look cooler on 32mm over the 28mm. 

Well that’s my plan. Now you can all sit back and watch me fail spectacularly. Till then, see you across the battlefield. 

Big Mar and cheese. 

one of the biggest changes to marine codex was to finally elevate chapter master calgar to a Lord of war. In addition to his new position, he also gets the buff all ultramarine player have been waiting for. The gauntlets of ultramar (2 power fists with under slung two linked super bolters) have finally lost the unwieldy rule! The means he can finally live up to his true potential. 

On the charge he will now get 6, s8, ap2 attacks fighting at i5. This makes him a beast in combat, added to this, he retains eternal warrior, 2+ armour, 4++ save and the ability to just pick his warlord traits. 

I have both versions of the calgar, but he rarely gets used. To celebrate the changes, I have decided to revisit my version in articifer armour. I was never really happy with his banner and his base needed some work. I have decided to make a new, better back banner rather than fix the current one. I wanted something more personal, but also had the standing he deserves as the chapter master. Base wise, he needed a 32,m base anyway, so I decided to go for a raised up cork base to give him a bigger stance. 
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Banner
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Initially I started with a plastic back banner from the command squad. This was topped with the new standard topper from the new upgrade kit. I added a laural from the terminator kits. I then sculpted some rope to add more regal featuers, to hold this in. Place I used 2 smaller skulls. The loose ends were normally caped off with tassels, however, to reflect his endless war against the tyranid menace, I used a left over claw. With an extra purity seal, the build is done. Paint wise, I went for the star field look I have been using a lot of late. I added the white to enhance the regal look. The central decal is from the legion decal kit. This project failed. 
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I wrote the above to show the effort I put in, but it really didn’t look right, so plan be was much simpler. I stuck a topper from the sternguard kit and painted it. This worked really well and I am really pleased with the outcome. Simples really works some times.
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The base is a simple cork build. I keep it clean so as not to distract from the model. 
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I hope you like my refreshed version of the ultimate space marine. Just for comparison, here is the terminator version. Till next time, see you across the battlefield. 

Hidden gems of the new space marine codex

The new space marine codex has hit the shelves last week. Lots has been said about the big changes, but I think some hidden gems have been missed. Here are my top 5.

Beware of the mighty vanguard

The price reduction bat has hit many units and lots of talk has been about the drop for centurions and terminators. However, with the vanguard, the drop is hidden, but is huge! The unit cost is unchanged, but look at weapon changes. 

Power weapons and lightning claws drop to 5pt. Yes, that’s 5pts for a power weapon! Or a pair of claws for 10pts! That’s a saving on 20pts or the cost of whole vanguard! Power fist and thunder hammers take a 10 points drop each. That makes a huge difference to to the use of these weapons for me. I can see a them make my list more often. 

The heroic intervention rule has also taken a boost. Gone are the challenge rules, in are reroll to charge distance and ignoring disordered charges. That will deal with those pesky tau grenades! 

The stalking horse

To me the stalker in the last codex was a waste, a cool model with poor rules. The new version however improves this. It (finally) gains interceptor. While they drop too heavy 3, they can still split fire (firing 6 times 3 at each target) or are effectively twin linked at heavy 3 at a single target. All shots are now at bs 4. The old robotic slave shots at bs are gone.

They also gain ignore cover when in a squad of 3. This is so cool. Effectively ending jinxing skimmers! A squad of 3 will be a fearsome vs some lighter armies. Tau will still be tough, but elder and dark eldar will come to fear the stalker. 

On your bike! 

The subtle change to the mounted assault rule is quite a fun. In the old rule it was that if you took your captain on a bike, then 5 man bike squads are troop choices. A lot has been made of the fact that now 3 man bike squads, however, a more subtle change is that it’s no longer just captains. Any independent character can take a this option. This mean my mounted librarian will getting an escort!

Holy gladius! 

The ‘basic’ formation is the gladius. You must take a single Demi battle company, (basically HQ, 3 tactical, 1assault, 1 heavy support) and 1 other ‘Formation ‘ (lots to choose from!) will give you the gladius formation and access to 3 chapter tactics. As an ultramarines play, I already get 3, this means in 7 turn game I can use one every turn, and 1 tactic will get used 3 times. (1 for scions of gulliman, 1 for a Demi battle company, 1 for gladius) the tactical tactics allow tactical squads reroll to shooting and assault. That’s effectively twinlinked 30 marines! 

Dread squads

The idea of a squad of marine dreads is tempting. The ven and the basic dread both have take a price drop on the weapons, the ironclad is largely unchanged. All have gain attacks, now having 4 each. Taking advantage of the squadron rules, these can become a real force in the marine army. 

That’s my hidden gems of the new codex. I am still getting my head around the whole new concepts, and the new format. I hope you find this missive of use. I am off to paint up some vanguard! Till next time, see you across the battle field. 

Command and conquer-the new hq tanks

This is a new one for me. Hq choices that are vehicles? Sounds interesting,  but it does throw up a few new questions.

For those that don’t know, warhammer world has a special edition box set, only available at the gw store at whw.  The set is a modified land raider and rhino. The set includes all the rules and back story of the new tanks. Parts wise,  you get a full landraider and rhino kit and an extra sprue of new stuff.

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The kit is really nice, presented in a big, lavish box. You get a full landraider and rhino,  2 equipment sprues,  2 sets of new ultramarine decals (not the a4 sheet Just released, but a small a6 card) instructions /rules sheet and the upgrade sprue. The new upgrade sprue is stunning.  The level of detail is great and has some stunning new part. The captain parts in particular are great. It comes with 3 heads, 3 shoulder pads, the best plastic back pack I have seen and some great arms. The vehicle parts are just as nice and ooze details. If you like  your marines blinged up, then this us for you.

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Background
These tanks form part the command of a spacemarine force and the landraider is commanded by a captain.  The rhino, known as a primaris is the link up with fleet, hence the huge radar dish, while the landraider excelsior is a mobile hq facility. They act together to coordinate the marine task force.

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Rules.
These tanks are bought as a pair. Costing 400 points for the 2 and taking a hq slot.
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They differ from their parent vehicles in some ways, but have the same basic stats. Weapons change a bit, the inclusion of the grav cannon on the landraider being the big change.

The get a load of new rules as shown below, but the real strength is the partnership working. This really supports good  play and it’s not just dump the on the table and the will work.

The tanks offer a mixed bag of uses and genrally fill lots of roles. Both are transports (rhino 6, raider 10) but are really designed for this role.

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The Rhino is the best strategical system. Each turn you can bring on a unit from reserves or once a game bring down a massive orbital strike. (S10, ap1, 7″ blast, Ord, barrage). You can also support units with 3 ‘servo skulls’ per game. Each one gives a buff once per game. Defensively you get a twinlinked plasma gun, but remember, the orbital blast must be shot at the same target as the pg. (Unless you give it split fire from the landraider -more later on that) the rhino also gives the landraider +1 to BS making all shots hit on 2+ most being twinlinked.

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The landraider is the beast of the pack and is a real game changer. Weapons wise you get the twin lascannons and a grav cannon with the grav amp. It still keeps the spirit of the machine so you can split fire as with normal landraiders.

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You get a better save that ignores stunned and shaken results it also gives a 6++ save. Skills wise you can give 1 “unit” from the same detachment one of a list of usr.

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You can apply this rule to any unit within 12″ of the raider (18 if you buy a staff of command upgrade for 10 pts). This gives a lot of options that can be game changes and with some thought you can build lists around this. For example you can but a squad of 4 Las cannon Devs and give them skyfire and to make them an aa unit.
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You can also allow one squad to fire normally rather than snap fire, even in overwatch. I will just let you take that in. You can make units unchargeable. Grav cents in particular gain from this.
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To get some of the some of the buffs you need to stay close to the tanks, making your tactical use of the army, which is something I like.

Game use
As I described there are lots uses but it does leave me with some questions.

First off, how does the warlord work? If I take this as a my only hq are both the warlord? What about slay the warlord do you need to kill both?

Challenges are also intersting. Can you challenge a tank? It gives you few rules questions!

Lots of people are comparing these to the fw command tanks. I can see the links bit they are different. To me these are a better but more expensive option.

Modeling
These tanks are a great kits and will be fun to build. They are easy to convert up with kits available and the forgeworld tanks are a great start. The damocles is a great version of the primaris, just the plasma guns need be to built.
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The landraider is just a blinged up st raider. You would be able to use cent grav cannons to make the new weapon. The captain is easily sorted and add a small radar. Some fantasy banners would make a great rear banner. If you have spare razor back heavy bolter you could easily make this landraider in to a basic version.
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It is a shame that these are exclusive releases. They are a great kit and I love the look of them.the additional sprue is a stunning kit. The details are amazing and the kit is well designed.
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I am going to take a long time on painting these. I post updates as i go. Till then I hope you found this post of use.

See you all across the battlefield!

Project TWV-Tyrannic war vets

With the release of the new forge world kits for the ultramarine so, I am planning a project. I really like the tyrannic war vet models, but a squad of ten you end up with a lot of similar models. So I want to make up a unit of these models that is unique and varied, but also really challenges my skill.

The plan is simple, the delivery however will be complex and difficult.

Components

To make these models I need to mix plastic and forgeworld. So here is my component list

  1. Head- mk4 preator upgrade
  2. Torso-mk4 preator upgrade
  3. Legs-sterngurd legs
  4. Arms-mixed sternguard and tactical squad
  5. Shoulder left-plain plastic basic pad (to take tyranid bits)
  6. Shoulder right-mk3 ultramarine from forgeworld
  7. Weapon-sternguard bolters
  8. Trim-Phobos bolt pistols and pouches
  9. Trophies-various tyranid bits
  10. Chains-1mm fine chain

Design

My plan is to build them mixing FW ultramarine kits with plastic sternguard kits. The arms arms are mixed from sternguard and the plastic. A couple of the tactical arms are held in great firing pose and I wanted to use these.

To really ‘tyranid’ them up I want to add some trophies. This will be a mix of tyranid parts on the bases (32mm) and personal trophies on the shoulders/guns and backpacks. I want these to be subtle and not massive parts, so things like claws, armour plates and bio upgrades will be used. The sgt will have a larger part, maybe even a head?  To attach these parts I an using a fine (1mm) chain. I am not used to using this and it will be a challenge to accomplish this and I need to be careful not end up looking like a chaos marine. I need to keep them clean and use plenty of purity seals. They will be finished off I will use the veteran assault decals from the ultramarine legion transfers.

Bases

The bases will be 32mm with a built up cork base and use the ‘nid parts to dress them. I might try to use some hormagaunt claws as the beginnings of tyranid spore towers growing out of the base.

Conclusion

So thats my next big project. I have most of the bits now, some bought, some from the bits box. I am waiting for the forgeworld parts. This project is going to a great fun to build and I need to learn some new skill. The chain work will be great fun to learn. Making the trophies will also be a challenge to keep the clean.

Leading from the front

Now, some options in the marine list bug me. As an ultramarine player, uniformity is my thing, and these little glitches annoy me (well, in a gaming sense anyway) . Here are some examples

-squads of 10 marines can be broken in to combat squads of 5 right? So why are centurions, attack bikes and land speeders in squads of 6 or 3? 

-why can take bikes as troops if the captain is on a bike, but assault troops or terminators as troops if he is equipped with a jump pack or terminator armour? 

-Why can’t a terminator captain take a command squad in terminators. 

-why can’t assault marines use more special weapons?

These things will not change, but for my force , I want to make these issues go away. I am starting with the terminator command squad. Just for the look of my army I am making a 1st company command squad in terminator armour. The 5 man squad  will ultimately just be a terminator squad, but look cool while doing it. 

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The plan is simple. Using a whole bunch of bits I will make a chapter champion, apothecary, standard bearer and basic 2 marines. I have picked up a cheap squad on eBay as the core. In unbound lists and friendly fluff based games, I will used them as a command squad with consent from my opponent. 

Here is how I made them 

Chapter champion

Using a left over deathwing command squad terminator chest and head, I will bling up the sgt.
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The dark angles bits have been removed and a skull has been added to the center of the chest. Adding a few bits and I have new champion. 

Apothecary

Easy to sort this one, just used the bits from the

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deathwing command squad apothecary. I will add some big purity seals from the attack Bike sprues. In game he will be a normal squad man with a chain fist. 

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Standard bearer. 

This one took a bit of thought as the standard really throws out the weapons. The standard was made from a grey knight hand holding the ward stave, a short brass rod and the standard from the command squad. But it means no weapon. I have had to add the Stormbolter some how. I found a Unused grey knight stormbolter and decided to try and mount it on the powerfist. This worked for me and I am happy with the look. 

Standard marines

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Easy to build these really, but the options took some thought. I only get 1 special weapon and as I don’t have any cyclone missile systems in the army, it was a obvious choice. The last guy is the most basic, so I just went for a basic one, I need to try and make him pop. So I added some purity seals. 

So there you have it. 1st company command squad, in terminator armour useable from the standard codex. 

Time to get these painted up and then ready lead the 1st company. I now have 55% of the 1st compan and growing slowly. After these, it’s back to the 6th company. 

Till then, see you across battlefield.