Monday, May 30, 2011

Hobby Retrospective - Billboards

Unfortunately due to some home renovations, my hobby loft has been more or less unbearable, and as such I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I would have liked to these past few weeks. So, that means it's time to poke through my photo archives for post fodder for another Hobby Retrospective!

I got a few emails about the terrain from the recent battle report and people seemed to get a chuckle out of the billboards. I'm a big fan of adding little humorous touches to the battlefields (especially when playing Necromunda), and I'd thought I'd show the other billboards in the collection.

Long ago there was a 40k webcomic called 'Lost In Space', and I made a few faux-advertising billboards using the characters. After I'd printed them out, I used a spray adhesive and monted them on some thick card stock. Later on I thought I'd try my hand at painting them, as well. Mixed results, in retrospect I should have just used colored markers.

It's not all strictly Imperial propaganda - advertising is all about targeting the wider markets!

Of course, the Inquisition, a group which concerns itself with rooting out wickedness and heresy obviously should have the most racy billboard...

Last but not least, the Slurm billboard. As I'd mentioned in an earlier post, I really think Slurm fits right in with the 40k universe. Just don't mention it to the Ordo Xenos.

Today's Hobby Retrospective brought to you by Thompsons Teeth - Tell me that's not a smile you can trust!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Battle Report: Adeptus Mechanicus vs. Sir Biscuit's Crusade Marines!

A week ago Saturday Sir Biscuit and I settled in for a 3000 point battle, his Crusade Marines vs. my Adeptus Mechanicus. We took a bunch of pictures, rolled a bunch of dice, and a good time was had by all! Over the last week we've collaborated on a battle report (Sir Biscuit's comments in red) and here's how it turned out!

Table Setup

Setting up the table took place several days before the actual game, and is described in detail here (

Sir Biscuit: That is one hot table.  This kind of board is actually my favorite kind to play on, as it has a lot of line of sight blocking, making the game less about target priority and more about maneuver.

I spent some time clearing off one of my side tables to give me room to hold the models pre-deployment, and also to have some space to place the inevitable casualties. The army in question was as follows:

The Armies


Mordian7th’s Legio Cybernetica Explorator Force

Archmagos Veneratus Kane
Archmagos Prime with Iron Souls Protectors Retinue in Termite Tunneler

5-strong Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniple
5-strong Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniple
Myrmidon Magnus Assault Engine

12-man Hypaspist Maniple in Termite Tunneler
12-man Hypaspist Maniple in Termite Tunneler
6-man Electro Priest Maniple
4-man Servitor Maniple (non-scoring)

Heavy Support
Ordo Reductor King Russ Maniple – LR:MBT, LR:Vanquisher, LR:Executioner
Ordo Reductor Rapier Laser Destroyer


Around 10:30 Sir Biscuit arrived and he set to laying out his forces prior to setup.

Sir Biscuit’s Crusading Marines

Marneus Calgar (Terminator armor)
Librarian in Terminator Armor, Storm Shield, Null Zone, The Avenger

Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought
10-man Terminator Assault Squad in Land Raider Redeemer (Half in redeemer with Calgar, half on foot with Librarian)

5-man Tactical Combat Squad in Las/Plas Razorback
5-man Tactical Combat Squad in Las/Plas Razorback
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino

Fast Attack
3 x Land Speeders

Heavy Support
3 x Vindicators

Sir Biscuit: It's a bit odd, but has all the hallmarks of your standard competitive marine list, in a collection stretched to 3000 points.  Built to shoot the hell out of the opponent while they deal with the terminators, and the full Tactical squads can easily mop up surviving weakened units.



We decided on playing long table edges with 5 objectives, and Sir Biscuit won the roll-off for both the objective deployment and the first turn setup. It was at this point I realized that my army was seriously skewed to the Elites and Heavy Support choices. With 5 objectives to hold and only three Troops choices to do it with (and in the face of a passel of Space Marines, no less), I knew I was going to be in for a beating. No fear though, as I always say – “I may lose the battle, but my opponents will know they’ve been in a fight!”

Following a bit of a mix-up about combat squadding and reserves, Sir Biscuit deployed his entire force on the board, with his Redeemer holding the center board providing AV14 cover to several Rhinos and Vindicators. His left flank was held by the pair of Razorbacks, a Dreadnought and another Vindicator, while his right flank was a bit sparsely-defended by the trio of Land Speeders, half the Terminators, and the remaining Rifleman Dread.

Once the marines were deployed, I laid out the defending Adeptus Mechanicus forces. Unlike the Marines, I had a significant amount of reserves, with all three Termite-equipped units and the King Russ Executioner remaining off-board to start. The center was held by the Vanquisher and standard King Russ (the tanks are bought as a Maniple, but may deploy and act independently), as well as one of the Robot Maniples and the Rapier Laser Destroyer which took up a position in one of the ruined buildings. On my right flank Archmagos Veneratus Kane, his attendant unit of Servitors and the remaining Robot Maniple took up an overwatch position. On my left flank the Electro Priests began working themselves into a frenzy in the shadow of the Myrmidon Magnus.

A failed attempt at seizing the initiative, and the game began!

Sir Biscuit: I won the roll off for objectives, which was actually pretty huge.  What was even bigger was that Joel placed his 2 on the same side as my 3- when I won the roll off I got to deploy practically on top of 4 of the 5 objectives.  That meant that Joel had to shift me; not an easy task given the terminators and large amount of Tactical marines.

There were only really 2 streets that lead to me, and I made these my choke points.  In the middle I had my raider, terminators, and full Tactical squads, enough to repulse an attack and claim the 3 objectives there.  On the left I concentrated a large amount of firepower, I wasn't sure I could claim that objective but I sure as hell wasn't losing it.  I conceded the right objective from the start, as I was much better off focusing my force.  I only deployed a rifleman dread over there (to take advantage of good open angles) and the land speeders, which could rapidly redeploy.

Turn 1

In the center, the Marine Land Raider and Rhinos rumbled forward in an attempt to gain cover from the Ad-Mech’s guns, while one of the Vindicators peeled off to cover the objective on the right flank. On the left flank the Land Speeders soared overhead to a position atop one of the few intact buildings in the sector. A torrent of Lascannon and Assault Cannon fire washed the Rapier Laser Destroyer out of its cover in the ruined building, but otherwise the spirit of the Omnissiah watched over the forces of the Machine God and no further casualties were sustained.

With an earth-shaking rumble, a pair of Termite tunnelers erupted from the ground near the objective on the right flank, dozens of Hypaspists taking cover and drawing a bead on the Marine interlopers and destroying one of the Vindicators with hissing beams of Melta fire. The two King Russ tanks rumbled forwards, the Vanquisher detonating one of the fragile Rhino Transports, scattering marines in all directions. Archmagos Veneratus Kane turned his conversion beamer on the Land Raider, but the mighty armor of the vehicle protected it from harm. On the left flank, Robot Maniple Psi Phi unleashed a hell storm of heavy weapons fire, accounting for a trio of Marine Terminator casualties. The Myrmidon and Electro Priests moved up toward the objective nestled within the Shrine of the Aquila.

Sir Biscuit: This was a solid turn.  I expected Joel to force one of my flanks more, but he deployed kind of spread out, which gave me a lot more freedom to pick my targets.  He was light on antitank, so I wasn't too worried about the Redeemer, and I used it as a shield in the center to protect my advance.  On the left, I just shot what was in range and tried to stall the advance.  I definitely had the momentum at the end of the turn and Joel was really going to have to take out some of my bigger threats fast if he was going to come back.

Turn 2

On the left flank, the Land Speeders attempted to move to a position where they could bring their weapons to bear on the lightly armored sides and rear of the King Russ and Myrmidon. Unfortunately, one of the skimmers managed to foul its thrusters on the roof of the building and would remain stranded there for the remainder of the game. The other two speeders moved to position but failed to damage either of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ vehicles. On the right flank the remaining pair of Vindicators opened fire on the Hypaspists sheltering around their Termites. As inured to the sights and sounds of artillery and explosions as they may be, the savage destruction wreaked upon the two units was more than they could bear and one unit of the survivors of the shelling fled towards the safety of the nearby buildings. Marneus Calgar contemptuously dismounted from his Land Raider to deal with the surviving Hypaspists and slew several before they, too, fled from the God of War. while the remaining Terminators were disgorged and began working their way towards the threatening King Russ Vanquisher.

In the center, the remaining Termite bearing the Archmagos Prime and his retinue of Iron Souls Protectors surfaced, and the Iron Souls regretfully turned their plasma weapons on their Terminator-clad brethren, annihilating all but one of them. Unfortunately, the wrath of the Omnissiah backlashed on the Iron Souls and one of the plasma gunners was killed as his weapon overheated spectacularly. Archmagos Veneratus Kane glanced a hit off the side armor of a Rhino, stunning the crew into insensibility.

Sir Biscuit: The biggest advantage Eternal Warrior characters have over their peers is that they can reasonably detach from their squad and go smash something without worrying about getting splatted.  Calgar wasn't needed to add more overkill to the terminators, and he alone could handle my melee needs on the left flank.  (Mostly, to deal with the robots, but forcing a lot of fleeing soldiers was nice.)  The remaining terminators in the raider I shot right up the middle- enough to kill the robots and ensure that he wouldn't be advancing until they were dealt with.

The termites really came up in a bad position- they had cover but you don't want to be bunched up around your vehicle when you're facing 3 Vindicators.  They didn't have a chance of taking the flank on their own, and they crumbled to the return fire they were facing.

Turn 3

Marneus Calgar crashed into the Robot Maniple on the right flank, easily rending several of the 10 foot robots limb from limb, though taking several grievous wounds in the process. The Land Raider Redeemer unleashed a torrent of flame over the Iron Souls who had so devastated its passengers, slaying nearly all of them and driving the Archmagos Prime back from the flames. The sole remaining assault Terminator strode confidently towards the Vanquisher, but the mighty armor of the vehicle was proof against his attack. The Landspeeder continued its attempt to find a weak point in the side armor, but the prayers to the Omnissiah kept the war machine safe from harm. The Vindicator on the left flank attempted a shot at the King Russ, but the shot was deflected and fell well short.

The standard King Russ reversed into cover after coming under fire from the Vindicator, and instead trained its weaponry upon the Land Raider looming in front of it. However, the favor of the Omnissiah began to wane, and the adamantium skin was proof against the shells. On the right flank the King Russ Executioner rumbled into play, demolishing several barricades and unleashing a scintillating hail of plasma fire, but this too was either absorbed by the armor of the vehicles or spalling off in the intervening cover.

Sir Biscuit: With almost all the heavy weapons destroyed, the only real threat to the redeemer was the Vanquisher, and I do not fear BS3.  At this point, Joel had to get a lucky shot or the middle was lost to him - and the 3 objectives that it contained.  I simply had too much stuff ready to kill any advancing unit.  His offensive on my left was being contained, and the middle was breaking.  Things simply weren't looking good for him at this point.

Turn 4

In response to the plasma tank threatening the right flank, the Marines moved their vehicles forward and took the Executioner under fire with both Vindicators and the Lascannon on a Razorback. The Executioner weathered the fire, but on the left flank the Vanquisher was not as lucky. With a mighty blow, the tank was destroyed by the Thunder Hammer of the sole remaining Assault Terminator. In the center, the punishment continued with the remaining Leman Russ being shaken into immobility by the Assault Cannons on the Land Raider. Marneus Calgar rendered the last of the robots down into scrap metal , though at a terrible cost to his own health.

On the right flank, the Myrmidon and Land Speeder (both immobilized for some time, scant inches from one another) continued to fire upon one another rather ineffectually, while the Electro Priests continued their movement towards the objective. Archmagos Veneratus Kane, incensed by the destruction of his Legio Cybernetica cohorts, began moving forward to exact his retribution upon the unsuspecting Calgar. The remaining tanks and infantry of the Adeptus Mechanicus exchanged desultory fire with the Marines, but to no real effect.

Sir Biscuit: haha, the myrmidon and the speeder.  Those guys could go all day!  Not much to say about this turn, at this point I was running a bit amuck.

Turn 5

Through the simple expedient of destroying everything in sight, the Marines moved towards the final mop-up of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For lack of a better target, Marneus Calgar spitefully destroyed a Termite, while the Land Raider blew the main Battlecannon off the King Russ in the center. Several marine unites moved into position to capture their objectives and settled in to defend them.

At this point Archmagos Veneratus Kane exacted his revenge, targeting Marneus Calgar with his Multi-Melta. There was a roar of superheated air, and the mighty lord was reduced to steaming ashes, his archeotech armor no match for the terrible energies turned upon it. Though the Electro Priests managed to capture their objective, the Archmagos signaled the retreat in the face of the Marines bearing down upon them.

Sir Biscuit: At this point, Joel winning would have been impossible.  I simply had too much armor on the table, and I controlled all the lanes of advance.  I do find it funny though, that Calgar died while almost none of my other big threats did.  Hope those objectives were worth the chapter master's life!


Though the game would have gone another turn after 5, I conceded the game to Sir Biscuit at this point. I was down to a single six-man scoring unit (the Electro Priests) where Sir Biscuit had thrice that in unscathed tactical squads. All in all it was a great game, though it definitely pointed out some weaknesses in the army list that I brought. In the future I will likely only run a single unit of Robots as they are extremely expensive and the points would be better spent on more Troops. The Termites performed admirably, but were let down somewhat by the standard Hypaspists they carried into battle. I think that for future games I would fill the Termites with Praetorians (more resilient and better armed) and run the Hypaspists on foot to screen vehicles and occupy buildings instead.

It was really nice to play a game where the vast majority of the models were painted, and I’m looking forward to doing so again once I get the Kabal of the Crimson Woe finished up this month!

Sir Biscuit: Joel is always a pleasure to play, and I did really enjoy the game.  His list was definitely weak against mine, simply because he didn't have enough anti-armor spread through the list- most of it was mounted on single units, the robots, rapier battery, and vanquisher, so once I had sniped those I pretty much had the game in the bag.  It really shows the importance of not overspending on single big units, and spreading out to have lots of cheap, light antitank.

Ideally, Joel should have come at me from one of my flanks.  When attacking an opponent in a position of strength, you should concentrate force and try to make a breakthrough, instead of spreading across the field and going for control.  Reserving the Executioner was also a mistake, as I had nothing that could deal with AV14 at 36", and it would have been quite nice to have firing in the first few turns.

Definitely a good time though, and I'm looking forward to once more fighting the Kabal- last time, we butchered each other down to 4 infantry models per side!  I'd like to thank Joel for all his hard work and for putting the game together as well.  (Now if I can just figure out a way to steal that awesome table...)

...And that's a wrap! I jokingly referred to the game as "Tournament Powergamer vs. Fluff Weenie", but that's meant in the best way. Sir Biscuit is a fantastic sport and a patient and gracious opponent, and while I've been painting and playing 40k for more years than he's been alive, he's undoubtedly the superior player and I always learn a lot about 5th edition by playing against him (5 editions of rules tend to get jumbled up in my mind). His points regarding my army composition are all quite valid, though to be fair it was more down to fielding the models I had painted than any particular cohesive army synergy. While I went into the game with a plan, and executed my turns according to the plan, it turns out it wasn't a particularly good plan! Nevertheless, I enjoyed the game thoroughly and after all, isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

Thanks again to Sir Biscuit for a great game!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award? Obviously they've never seen how I usually dress...

Hello folks! I have been away from the blogosphere for several days, and in the interim it appears I've been nominated for a Stylish Blogger Award by several awesome bloggers. I wanted to take the time to thank all of you for the nomination - Klaus from Dei Greci John from John's Toy Soldiers, CounterFett from All Things Fett, Musings of a Smurf from, well Musings of a Smurf, and #2501 from Musings of a Metal Mind (that's a whole lot of musing!). I'm honored that the folks responsible for such amazing work think that my little corner of the web has some worthy stuff on it. Thank you all! I'm always pleasantly surprised by the overall positive feedback and sense of camraderie to be found out in the blogosphere, and I'm proud to be a part of it!

The rules;
    Thank and link back to the person giving you the award
    Share seven things about yourself
    Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award
    Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.


Some things about me:
1. I've been painting and playing 40k since 1987 with the release of 1st edition, prompting me to realize that 40,000 isn't just the year in which our favorite game is set, but it's sadly a decent estimation of how much money I've spent on the game in the last 24 years!

2. I play the electric bass in a prog rock band. We know we're never going to be big rock stars, but it's great fun and a wonderful creative outlet.

3. I have terrible hobby ADD. Just when I'm getting close to finishing an army I HEY LOOK AT THE NEW MINIS! GOTTA HAVE 'EM! Sigh...

4. In addition to the occasional game of 40k/Necromunda/Killzone, I run a Rogue Trader campaign for my local gaming group as one of the games for our twice-monthly RPG gatherings. On the opposite weekends I play in a D&D campaign that a friend runs for us. It can't all be bolters and chainswords after all!

5. Over the years I've probably spilled more paint than has been painted onto my miniatures. My hobby desk is covered in multi-colored spatters!

6. I'm a Colorado native and have yet to find a place I'd rather live than here. It's hard to beat 300+ days of sunshine a year!

7. fnord.


Other blogs who I feed deserve some recognition - Granted, a number of these blogs have been nominated already, but they're ones that I find the most inspiring!

A Gentleman's Ones - Brian has created some of the most awesome looking terrain that I've seen in a long time, using simple household materials. In addition, his Book Wardens are beautifully painted and have an awesome backstory.

Admiral Drax - Admiral Drax was the inspiration for me to get into blogging in the first place, and is a constant source of inspiration with his guard.

Cyborg Trucker's Roleplaying and Wargaming - More awesome conversions, not to mention his work with a C&C machine is epic!

Dreamforge Games - The most beautiful resin-cast steampunk titans I've ever seen. Hands down. My wallet is DOOMED.

From the Warp - Not only is it chock full of amazing articles by Ron, but the blogrolls are a constant stream of amazing!

Galaxy in Flames  - Killzone. KILLZONE! If you haven't played it, play it. It's awesome.

Le blog de Bigdaddy - (In french) One of my favorite resinworkers, Bigdaddy was the sculptor of my Knight Paladin.

Musings of a Metal Mind - His Adeptus Mechanicus and Tyracrons are things of terrible beauty. Some of my very favorite conversions of all time are to be found here.

Ricalopia - I am blown away by the painting style and color choices, absolutely beautiful conversions as well.

The Anarchy of Anton - Another top notch converter. I based my Venoms on his designs, which went together like a dream!

The Magnet Pro - As a fellow Ad-Mech enthusiast, I'm really enjoying the fandex and conversion tips Lantz has been sharing.

The Warmaster's Revenge - Beautiful paint jobs, tutorials, and interesting color palate ideas!


Thanks again to everyone who nominated me, and thanks to all of you listed above for all the awesome inspiration you've given me over the years!

I'm working on the battle report for the game I hosted last Saturday, but here's a teaser of how things went... Heh.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Battle Report - Adeptus Mechanicus vs Space Marines, Part 1

The game is afoot! I received confirmation that the game against Sir Biscuit would be proceeding as planned, and given that the next few evenings are being assailed by Real Life(tm) I decided to set up the table last night and snap some shots of it over my lunch hour today.

To absolutely no-one's surprise, I've set up an urban-themed table and I decided as all the miniatures are to be painted (painted miniatures should gain Preferred Enemy over un-painted miniatures, dammit!), all the terrain ought to be painted as well. When setting up a city, I generally start by laying down a crossed section of road at a diagonal to the long edges of the table, place a series of buildings in the intersections, then lay out the next section of roads to form city blocks. Another set of buildings followed bu more roads, etc. until the table is sufficiently covered. Similarly when I use rivers or hills, they are always placed first, followed by roads, then buildings - this helps to ensure that the table looks 'organic',

I find the diagonal set up not only breaks up sight lines across the table, but also ends up giving the impression that it's just a section of a larger city. I brought out a few buildings that I haven't used in a while - mostly pieces we use for Necromunda. Bless those old plastic bulkheads! I also like to include several levels of cover. For the game on Saturday, the intact buildings will provide a 3+ save, the ruined buildings 4+, and the craters 5+. There are also some smaller barricades which provide a 6+ save but are destroyed if moved over by any vehicle. I have a further set of craters I'm hoping to have painted by Saturday to represent my vehicles as they are inevitably destroyed.

I like to include some little humorous decorative bits to the tables, and I would imagine that Slurm would fit right in to the 40k universe. Of course, the Ordo Xenos may have some issues with their production methods...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adeptus Mechanicus - Explorator Force Psi Phi Army Shots

One of the best things about hitting a painting goal is being able to get a good shot of the army, and so I pulled out all the models that were part of the 3000 points that I've been working on of late:

Explorator Force Psi Phi gathers for battle! The army is light on numbers but heavy on firepower, the force is geared towards setting up multiple overlapping fields of fire with the Rapier Laser Destroyer, Robot maniples and King Russ battle tanks, which cover the advance of the Hypaspists and Protectors that arrive via Termite Tunneler.  The Electro Priests are generally used for backfield objective holding and the Myrmidon and Archmagos Veneratus provide mid-field fire support and close combat threat against flanking enemies. The King Russ tanks each have their specified roles - The Executioner with its massed plasma fire is a Terminator-killer, the Vanquisher is a tank hunter more than capable of punching a hole through a Land Raider lengthwise, and the standard Russ variant carries a trio of Heavy Bolters and a Battlecannon for dealing with massed infantry.

I'd set up a painting chart to track my progress for the 3000 point army, and I have to say it felt good coloring in those last few green boxes!

A couple close-up(ish) shots of the army as well - all in all I think it turned out rather well! Well, except for some obvious focal plane issues on the part of my photo-taking.

Of course, this is just about half of the actual final planned army. There still remains a further 3000-ish points worth of models and bits in boxes in the Closet of Doom. Granted, a goodly chunk of those points are tied up in a pair of Knights and an 800 point Ordo Reductor Ordinatus Minoris...

I'm definitely feeling as though I'm back in fighting trim as far as painting goes, and finishing of this 3k has got me excited to knock out the next 3k worth of models. In fact I'm just getting ready to kick off a month of May-hem (get it?) wherein I plan on finishing off 3000 points worth of Dark Eldar over the next month. This is important, as if I can get them painted and sold before the next wave of DE models arrives, I can avoid being dragged back into the pits of Comorragh (i.e. I won't be tempted to buy more models)!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adeptus Mechanicus - Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniples complete

Victory for the forces of the Omnissiah - as of this moment, the 3000 point army I'm intending to use in an upcoming battle is now complete! The last unit to be finished was the second of two Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniples.

The second maniple includes one each of the five original Robots released way back in the day. From left to right: Crusader, Conqueror, Colossus, Castellan and Cataphract. I wanted to paint them up in a different motif from the first maniple, and went with a blue/grey scheme with yellow panels on the right thigh and left shoulder. I was going to go with yellow and black hazard stripes, but they ended up looking poor so they were taken back to a solid yellow instead.

The first maniple I'd painted a while back got a few touch-ups to bring them in line with the new ones (notably the color of the visors/power cables), and was re-based from the old grey rubble to the new dirt and grass motif. It occurred to me while doing so that there are a few odd models in the army that will also require the re-basing treatment, but thankfully it's less than a dozen all told. Once I get them all re-based, I'll pull out all the miniatures and get a full army shot!