Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - The Death of Paterswold Campaign

A rare conjunction of planets and I was actually able to get a game in over the past weekend! A heresy-lovin' friend of mine has been participating in the Death of Patersworld global campaign being hosted by the lovely folks over at AUS30k and invited me to take part via a game of Zone Mortalis. I readily agreed and dug out the lovely Bug Hunt Corridors I'd picked up from a Kickstarter run by Fantasy Arc, which has sadly sat unused in the Closet of Doom since I assembled it almost three years ago. Well overdue to get some use!

I experimented with a few configurations and settled on a reasonably symmetrical layout, just to keep things fair. I was playing a force drawn from the Imperial Fists I'll be taking to Adepticon, while my opponent brought his oh-so-heretical Word Bearers. He had strength of numbers and overwhelming psychic superiority, but the doughty warriors of the Imperial Fists would know no fear!

Things started to go sideways for our boys in yellow almost immediately. As the defenders of the facility, the foul Word Bearers had control over the security systems meaning the Fists were forced to cut open each locked door, only to find their duplicitous brethren had also mined the corridors!

The sorcerers called down units of pink horrors to assault the loyalist lines, but each time the warp filth were cut down by the blades of the Templar Brethren. I was really impressed with their capability on the table - the combat squad of five cut the 10-man units of horrors down in a single turn, two turns running (the foul sorcerers having resummoned them)!

On the right flank, the Gal Vorbak lay in wait for the Fists, though they were slightly stymied by their own booby traps. Just goes to show what cowards that the Traitors truly are!

Going up the middle, the Templar Brethren are equally stymied by the fact that they don't carry any equipment capable of cutting through the bulkhead in front of them. Setback!

The tactical squad had no such trouble, as the sergeant's power fist makes short work of the door. The sound of approaching traitors for both hallways ahead were met with the calm activation of the squad's vox operators transponder...

With a crackle of ozone and a swirl of displaced air, a unit of Terminators coalesces in a teleport beam, landing with pinpoint accuracy thanks to the tactical squad's communications. Crisp and precise, and would make Rogal Dorn proud. With practiced ease, the terminators' plasma fire slew a pair of the traitorous Word Bearer terminators before they knew what was happening.

On the left flank the Imperial Fists strategem was revealed, with a second unit of Terminators coalescing behind the Gal Vorbak in a textbook ambush. Nearby shelling caused a stifling dust to pour through the facility, confusing target locks and reducing ranged weapons fire a near impossibility.

Suddenly, disaster! In the raging battle outside, a wayward macrocannon shell fell upon the facility causing a massive structural collapse! Thousands of tons of rubble rained down burying loyalist and traitor alike, with a bare handful of the courageous Imperial Fists surviving the destruction. The fickle Ruinous Powers withdrew their protection from the Word Bearers who were also ravaged in the collapse, but sadly the spine of the Loyalist assault on the facility was broken. Undeterred, the survivors gathered themselves and launched a final attack. The brave warriors of the fists were never heard from again, though it is assumed they died valiantly fighting.

The game was a blast, though the Fists failed to accomplish their objectives in the time allotted (dice roll ended the game at turn 5). At the end we both joked that the most dangerous opponent was the terrain itself, and awarded the collapsing facility 2nd place by virtue of kill points!

Next up, a bit more build time, but not what you might expect!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Volkite and Plasma and Melta, oh my!

Another hectic week I'm afraid, but did manage to sneak in a little hobby time here and there. I had quite a bit in a half assembled state as I'd run out of heads and was eagerly awaiting a box of joy to arrive from FW, bearing the newest book Inferno as well as a number of upgrades and add-ons for the burgeoning Thousand Sons. The box was waiting on my doorstep earlier this afternoon and after some frantic soak and scrub I managed to finish off a couple more squad builds for the force!

First up is Tactical Support Squad Tolbek, armed with Volkite Calivers. I've always loved the good ol' Martian heat beam, but this is the first time I've actually done a unit of them. I enjoy making ridiculous sound effects in-game, so I'm looking forward to saying "CHOOM!" in upcoming games (being the official volkite noise).

Next is Heavy Support Squad Khalid, bearing plasma cannons, and wearing the heavier Mk.III armour which I thought suitable for them. The Thousand Sons also gain the option to upgrade any plasma cannons to Aether-fire ammunition, which grants them Soul Blaze. "FOOM! Crackle, sizzle, pop..."

The final bit of the building frenzy is the first of three Javelin Attack Speeders. They're kitted out for tank hunting, swapping out the default heavy bolters for Multimeltas (leftover from the pintle mounted weapon sets I'd picked up for the earlier Imperial Fists, fortuitously), and rocking a twin-linked lascannon. This one vehicle throws out both the "HISSSSS!", and the all-important "FREEEEM!".

Updated the painting chart, and realized I'd forgotten to en-capitate the Sky Chariot riders, but was pleased to note that with 3 exceptions the bulk of the army is in hand and well on the way to viability for some test gaming and painting (once we get a break in the chilly weather to primer, that is).

Speaking of gaming, I'm actually getting a game in over the upcoming weekend (GASP!) trying out some Zone Mortalis for the first time, on some kickstarter terrain that I'd built ages ago but never actually used. Should be fun, I'm playing a force drawn from the Imperial Fists for Adepticon, and will be facing off against some heretic Word Bearers. Pics to follow!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Sekhmet Terminators built, and a test model!

Been a very busy week at work so not as much hobby time overall as I'd hoped, but I did manage to spend a few evenings gluing my fingers together and banged together the first five models for the two Sekhmet Terminator squads!

In the newly-released book from FW, one of the bespoke Thousand Sons units are the Sekhmet Terminators, bodyguards to the legion commanders and powerful psykers in their own right. First up are the five combi-plasma-toting Tartaros variants - They aren't allowed to have any heavy weapons, but I figured a bit of plasma is the next best thing! Interestingly the sergeant doesn't really get much in the way of wargear to differentiate him from the squad, so I'm planning on doing an alternately-colored helmet on one of 'em to mark him out.

The Sekhmet are also given the option of taking Cataphractii armor as well, and as I had some extra bits left over from the previous project, five of them ended up getting built as well. I utilized the unused combi-bolters from the Tartaros set, as well as a few leftover heads on 'em which I rather like the look of! This unit is going to be a tank-hunter team with a mess of Chainfists - My favorite terminator weapon by far.

While I was about it I pulled out a few models that never quite gelled in the previous force, the counts-as Skyhunter Jetbikes, in the guise of some techno-chariots (which all too soon will undoubtedly become full-blown disc-riders). The chariots were more or less done but I never got around to building riders - easily rectified, or so I thought! It was at this point I realized I ran out of heads for the power armoured blokes - Luckily I'm placing an order for the new book this weekend, so there will undoubtedly be a few other resin goodies making their way into the cart (much to my wallet's dismay no doubt)!

Been fiddling around with test models to try out some color schemes recently as well. I'm rather enamored of the metallic red that FW has been showing off of late and wanted to give it a shot with this force. Still dialing in the scheme but I'm reasonably happy with the way this one turned out. I need to do a bit more on the pin-washing front to give the armour a little more depth. It's pretty sloppy as this is just a leftover test model I'd thrown some paint at, but overall I'm kinda digging how it's looking! Feels good to be working on my favorite Legion once again!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Army on parade before shipping off to a new battlezone...

A bittersweet time has arrived, and the most recent version of the Thousand Sons are going up on the auction block. That means it's time for a set of send-off pictures, and I so liked how the shot of the Imperial Fists turned out at the local GW shop, I took the Sons down for a photo shoot!

I will say that these have been my favorite incarnation of the Thousand Sons of the three I've done, definitely felt they were a nice cohesive force and the mix of bits and kits gelled nicely. Weighing in at about 3000 points (depending on which characters and wargear are chosen, it was designed as a "Pride of the Legion" force, so the veterans and terminators also counted as Troops choices and they performed well on objective missions (since all of the infantry were scoring).

Fun mix of characters, with several sorcerers, and several champions and praetors in various marks of armour. Quite liked bastardizing a couple Deathwatch models for parts too, the Blood Ravens librarian was rather cheeky!

The Terminators were a mix of Wargame Exclusive kits and the plastic Cataphractii, and bear a striking resemblance to the upcoming 'real' FW variants. Will likely do another set of this style of kitbash for the upcoming version of the force, as I have a mess of bits left over to do so! The Contemptors are the one part of the army that I'm already feeling a twinge of sellers remorse over, so there will definitely be a couple more in the new force too, and I especially am looking forward to the new Osiron variant!

The veteran squad always performed admirably, and as already shown I'm doing a pair of vets in the new version, though I am switching up to dual meltas as the missile launcher never quite performed well on the tabletop for me.

Similarly, the assault squad always did well, and I'm planning a 20-strong unit coming up. Though I loved the winged sergeant, his pose never quite clicked with me, so the new variant should hopefully be a bit more dynamic. Seriously considering doing the whole squad with wings next time...

The lone 10-man tac squad ended up being a bit of a gap-filler in this force, next time around Sergeant Hesyre is getting the full 20 brothers and be upgrading from a Rhino to a Storm Eagle as well!

The pair of armoured Proteus Land Raiders always caused consternation among my opponents and always performed well. Their lack of an assault ramp is thought of as a detriment by many, but it's Rule of Cool for me all the way - the Proteus just looks cooler than the Phobos pattern to me. At the moment I'm thinking a lighter/faster force next time so the next force doesn't have any big tanks, but my love of the Proteus means it's only a matter of time before I add one to the army...

The other bit of incipient sellers remorse is the Damocles command Rhino, really enjoyed how the kitbash worked and will likely beg one of my UK buddies to pick up another set of the command tanks from WHW at some point. All in all a very pleasurable project to work on, and I'm all the more excited to get stuck in on the new version using all the awesome new bits and kits that have come out in recent months, not to mention all the cool new stuff previewed at the recent Heresy Weekender!

At the moment the army is up on eBay, and includes Battlefoam trays for the lot (and at the buy it now price I'm including the PackAIR they fit into as well). Unfortunately due to the way shipping and whatnot works these days I'm only currently selling the army on there to stateside buyers. It would likely cost $250 or more to ship overseas which is a shame - it didn't used to be so extortionate. That said, if you are interested and you're overseas drop me an email and we can discuss the options.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Tactical Squad Hesyre, or Deja Vu all over again

It feels good to be back working on my favorite Legion, and all the more so knowing that in a few short weeks I'll be able to get my hands on the rules after all these years of waiting!

A bit more build time - The cornerstone of any self-respecting Legion is the humble Tactical Squad, and the cornerstone of every one of my Thousand Sons forces has been Squad Hesyre. This take on the army may just have my favorite incarnation of them as well! The squad is armed with additional close combat weapons, making them proto assault marines and as such these guys will be entering the fray via the assault ramp of a Storm Eagle - I've definitely felt I've played too defensively with the last few incarnations, so I'm building a force with an eye towards taking the battle to the foe!

The ever-faithful Sergeant Hesyre has always had a spot of bother with the Flesh Change, and I'm really happy with how the pose this time around turned out - I can almost hear him saying "Aw hell, THAT can't be good..."

I took a little time to go through the box I've been tossing bits and kits into for the last six months and penciled together a list of what I had, and added in a few things that were revealed at the Heresy Weekender. I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised to find it's already essentially spiraled out of control pushing 6000 points. On the up side it's almost all sunk cost at this point, with the exception of the the assault squad everything on the list is already in hand and the Castellax and Magnus haven't even had a rumored release date so no outlay for them. However, I promised myself I'd get some models out the door before I bring any more in - expect to see an "items up for sale" post over the next week or two as I sort through finished projects (or projects that I'm finished with, a subtle distinction)...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Out with the old, in with the new!

With all the awesome news and pics of all the Thousand Sons goodness coming out of the Heresy Weekender, it is time to re-evaluate the army. As with most projects there's usually some little thing that's nagged at me about them - In the case of the recent incarnation of the army, it's that the bases don't match up with the ones I've used on the Prospero Spireguard. However, I recently found a caster who does some rather awesome bases that match up nicely with the Spireguard and I picked up a whole mess of 'em. Of course that means the logical thing to do is throw out all the effort on the last take on the Sons and start again, right?

The next incarnation of my Thousand Sons will be a late-heresy force. I'm envisioning an army set post-Prospero but prior to the Rubric of Ahriman, where the legion is beginning to unravel both figuratively and literally - a bit more flamboyance in the bling, a bit more in the way of mutations showing up, and the influences of the Primordial Annihilator beginning to make their mark as they've done with the other three chaos god-aligned legions in the later stages of the heresy. Leading the charge on the new force is the first of two Veteran Squads (as I'm quite liking what I'm hearing on how they'll function in the upcoming book), using a mix of the new plastic Rubric Marines, backpacks from the Betrayal at Calth set, and Achean shoulder pads from FW.

The sorcerers for the force I sort of envisioned in increasing levels of craziness. This mostly-reasonable chap will be the L1 variant. A little blinged out and with some subtle Tzeentchian iconography but otherwise fairly 'normal'.

I quite like the Corvidae/Divination cult, so the second-level sorcerer really pushes the bird theme, as though the cult ethos is starting to make itself apparent on the form of the armour. Both of the cloaked backpacks are just held on with blu-tac and the moment and will be painted separately.

Lastly I wanted an interesting centerpiece Praetor for the force. The as-yet-unnamed leader of the army lost his legs in the Burning of Prospero, but rather than submitting to bionics he uses his considerable telekinetic powers to hold himself aloft. This model was a blast to build, and is based on the lower half of the new Changeling model, I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to build a sorcerer using the bits!

Next up on the building mat are the second squad of Veterans, and then the first of two twenty-man tactical squads. They'll be a bit more reserved overall, using the Mk.IV Calth bodies, and the FW Achean upgrade shoulders and heads, but I'll need to make another FW order to get all the relevant bits for the second twenty dudes. Of course with all the amazing new kits they've shown off over the last couple days at the Weekender I have a feeling I'll be making several orders for new kits over the next few months!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Heresy Era Imperial Fists - Adepticon Army 99% complete!

Made a big push over the last few days to get the Imperial Fists army for Adepticon complete, and took them down to the local GW shop for some army shots on their tables!

Very much a points-dense force mostly built for compact air travel than any on-the-table tactical reason. Very pleased with how they look all lined up, though - I was worried about the colors but I think it strikes a nice balance between the black and the yellow, as befits their veteran status.

For characters and theme the army is based around Sigismund and the various veterans of the 1st company. The big S will be joining the unit of Templar Brethren, and a vanilla Consul leads the Tartaros terminator contingent (very much there to make up the points).

The biggest point sink in the force but one that I just had to include, the Templar Brethren and their transport clock in at 605 points. Are they worth that many points when the resin hits the table? Probably not, but I really dig how they look and the Rule of Cool wins out for me every time!

Carrying on with the veteran theme, it's hard to go wrong with a mess of terminators! The ten-man Tartaros squad is a character-killer unit, intended to deep strike in, plasma the heck out of everything nearby, then pile in the following turn to mop up. At least that's the plan! The Cataphractii are intended to be an honor guard for the Contemptor and provide him backfield support. The Contemptor is there for light anti-air and horde coverage, plus it just looks darn cool!

Finally are the two units of Veterans. They each have a pair of Heavy Bolters, and between them they'll be throwing ~40 shots a turn that hit on 2's, and Rend on 6's which is pretty darn nasty! Dakka dakka dakka!

Couple side shots of the tanks, really happy with the big fists on the Rhino top hatches, though let's just say I'm glad I had four to work with, totally made a hash out of the first one I'd tried! The tanks and dread got a little light weathering here and there, didn't want to go overboard as I envision the Fists strive to keep their equipment looking nice but a little scuff here and there gives 'em some personality.

Definitely felt good to get the whole painting chart flipped over to green! Now with this force out of the way and packed up for the event next month it's time to turn my attention to other projects. The news coming out of the Heresy Weekender has me chomping at the bit to get back to my beloved Thousand Sons, and there's a fairly major shake up in my plan with them.

...Let's just say it includes the statement "My current Thousand Sons army is going on the auction block and I'm starting anew. Again." Hah!