Parcheesi 40K: Khorne vs. Ultramarines

My husband and I like to play Parcheesi off and on as a quick, low commitment way to get a little gaming in when the mood strikes us. It often works out for some reason that my dice tend to fall so I have late game zergs where I roll a lot of doubles and hence get to cover a lot of ground quickly with my pawns. I often play the green pieces and when this strangely ubiquitous phenomenon begins I have taken to “Declaring the Waaagh!”*

This gave me a spur of the moment idea: why not use our long-neglected Warhammer 40K pieces to play Parcheesi?**

I decided upon a tetrad of bloodletters, including one with a horn and of course their Banner of Hate probably constructed from the flayed skins of their victims. My husband used four of his Ultramarines he painted some years ago. The fact he had a missile launcher made me a little nervous but at least it wasn’t a flamer or that scary Assault on Black Reach captain!

The Ultramarines took an early game lead by getting two marines into the home square as you can see below.*** However, the forces of Khorne had some rather Tzeentch-like tricks up their sleeves where they posted themselves on the blue safety squares in an attempt to take the skull of the unfortunate banner sergeant.****

The Ultramarine banner sergeant turned out to be tricky as space marines in general that chapter in particular are known for. Thanks to some well executed maneuvers and dice tricks he was able to avoid my blue square snares and post himself with his colleague in a protective blockade. Unfortunately for the bad guys, my tricky Tzeentchian-Khornate bloodletters had a very strong position with a blue square blockade of their own with one of their fellows (top left corner) waiting to pounce.*****

I’m sad to report that despite everything, my daemonic blockading plans fell flat and both marines were able to escape past my red home row unmolested. (Note the position of both marines in the picture below relative to the picture above.) My daemons have to move up into the home row toward the home square so anything past that is safe territory for the Imperium.

It is a tight game. Two marines are already in the home square but the balance of my forces are a bit closer to home. Still, I’d say at this point it is a small advantage to my husband’s squad.

In the end I had my usual late game zerg but then so did the Ultramarines. Happily, the Khornate good guys won but it was a close thing: the last marine was in his home row only two squares from victory. So the game was almost as near a thing to a draw as you can get in Parcheesi.

The marines failed to close the warp portal before a massive incursion of Khorne goodness vomits into real space. The imperial fall back plan of Exterminatus fails when their bombs are possessed by daemons. Their primitive machine spirits become existentially enraged so the bombs immediately launch themselves toward the nearest highly populated worlds. Perhaps in a future game of Parcheesi 40K we’ll see if the space marine fleet can catch both the daemons and their own rogue bombs in time!


* I wish I could claim credit for thinking this up but it was my husband who first mentioned it, harkening back to our old 5th edition 40K games of marines versus space orks that always seemed to end somehow in my guys moving absurdly quickly all at once, overrunning his forces in a painful but mercifully short episode of buckets of dice being rolled and sanguine massacre. Actually it didn’t happen all the time: I think my husband forgets all of the times where his guys shot half my army off the table by turn two but hey I’m probably biased.

** The older 25mm bases worked well for doing this. I don’t think the newer 32mm bases would have done the trick because they are too big for the squares.

*** Sweet, sweet victory is achieved by getting all four of your pieces into the home square before your opponent does. Given the You Go/I Go nature of the game, a tie is not possible though I do remember a game I played as a child where my opponent got mad and flipped the board and tried to declare it a draw. She wasn’t the nicest of losers and sometimes used the same pernicious tactic in Candyland.

**** The blue squares are “safety zones” where pieces are safe from capture by the enemy. On the white squares, you may capture an enemy piece by rolling a number that allows you to end your move on the opponent’s square, sending him back to his home circle. Skulls for the Parcheesi Throne!

***** A blockade is formed by having two of your own pieces on a square. Neither your own nor the enemy’s pawns can move through a blockade. A blue square blockade is stronger still, because when you move a piece, breaking the blockade, your other piece is not vulnerable to attack. It is a common tactic to try and capture an opponent’s pawn by denying it the ability to move by means of a blockade, and use another piece behind to threaten a capture.

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 1 of 2)

My thoughts turned (as they often do, especially when I’m buying another box of undead or demons or something) to the fact that most of us already have a box or closet or garage full of unpainted plastic and wouldn’t it be nice to chip away at that mountain, even if only symbolically?  Thus the Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge was born.

We have twenty-two artists, who contributed pictures of their work, this time around.  As you will see, this post is quite long.  So I decided to split the round-up into two parts.

If you click on the various pictures and such, many of them will take you to the painter’s website.  Click on the galleries to see larger versions of the pictures.  (As usual there are a few Easter Eggs here and there.) Thank you to everyone who participated and I will get the second part out just as soon as I can.

Who better to place in the vanguard of this month’s offerings than a squad of Mcmattilaminis’ nicely painted space marine scouts with shotguns led by the sergeant with a big fist?

I like the basing skulls, particularly the orkish one.

Mcmattilaminis reports that he did quite a bit of work modifying these guys.  He used Scion heads, which I agree look good on these guys.  I also appreciate his nod to tradition in having the sergeant eschew wearing (or even carrying) a helmet.

I thought the backpacks were a nice touch too and added a lot both from an aesthetic and gaming standpoint.  (These also came from the Scion box.)  They look good and if you use these scouts in a game they can pay the points and have camo cloaks or if you’d rather not, well, they’re rolled up and stowed.

Nice job on the camo cloaks.

Mcmattilamini also presents three orks, which seem like they’d make suitable enemies for our scouts.  I like the weather and armor chipping and the orange is pretty.  Plenty colorful too.  The freehand work on the helmets and shoulder pads and the little “evil sun” on the boy’z shoulder pad on the right are all nice touches.

I like how he uniforms aren’t identical …

… but still appear unified along the same theme.

Mikeland82 from Starship Vorenus writes that “from 28th Feb through to the end of June I would buy no new minis, and focus on the backlog.”  In other words he’s going to paint the crap he already owns.  Good man!  He made excellent progress for May as the gallery below illustrates.  (You can also see some larger pictures of these models by clicking on the gallery or still larger yet on the round-up post in his blog.)

My personal favorites are the Last of the Mohicans figures.  I remember these miniatures from a Muskets & Tomahawks game I played at a convention some years ago.  I also like how Mike based them so they are carefully advancing through the tall grass.  The brown roots evoke memories of wetlands for me because I’ve hiked and hunted many times through exactly this kind of thing back in my ancestral stomping grounds of New England.  Never met any Mohicans but I’d occasionally meet a Penobscot.

Turning toward the gigantic now, we have Lordcommandereloth’s, of Eloths Endeavours, mighty “Stick Man” with a giant sword that his wife bought him for their 5th wedding anniversary.  As he reports, this is most appropriate since this the wooden anniversary.  Good thinking indeed on both their parts!

A lot of interesting stuff going on with this highly impressive centerpiece ent.

I think LMC did a brilliant job.  I particularly like the bark and all the many details, such as the red shelf mushrooms, the sword and staff, the leaf loincloth and of course the base.  L.C. Eloth says that he did the bark by basing with a cream color, washing with dark brown and then dry brushing progressively lighter colors ending with white.  Smashing.  Did I say that I liked the bark yet because I really do?

In addition to all of this arboreal goodness, I found some interesting work-in-progress posts as well:

Next up is that rather prolific painter, Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box, with, well, lots of different things.  Imagine, for a moment, that you have been challenged to play a game with whatever figures you can paint in 30 days.  The game is Mishmash 40,000 where your force is more effective and you unlock key capabilities by putting together something like what we have below.

Azazel's April 2020 Wrap Up Photo

I respectfully submit, Gentle Reader, that this is a power gamer’s list for Mishmash 40K!

If you would like to know more about these miniatures, I’ve included a list of Azazel’s individual posts.  Something I find interesting about reading his site is that he enjoys working on older pieces and one gets to see some unlikely and obscure items from the past on his blog.  From more or less left to right (more or less) from the above image:

As Azazel pointed out, a few things he painted didn’t make it into the above group picture.  He painted two of the “industrial pallets” from the Battlefield Accessories Set, of which I only see one.  His Slaaneshi Champion, from 1988, who has been sitting neglected for maybe 20 years never made it into the picture and neither did a respectably large collection of cages and chains.  I don’t know if it is just me, but do you think perhaps there might be some sort of dark prince-based connection here?

Azazel's Wizkid's Cages

I definitely could come up with some interesting house rules for this terrain.

Azazel's Champion of Slaanesh

Twenty years and now a fully painted Slave to Darkness!

Azazel's two Reiksgard Foot Knights

“Reiksguard Knighrts, your Emperor is calling!”

We turn now from ancient miniatures cast during the mists of time and left sitting on desks throughout dark antiquities to a painter, who is making her debut on the pages of this blog, and exhibits her art using the non de plume of The Little Elf.  Her work can be primarily found at Double Down Dice, where she is assisted by Faust.

I like Little Elf’s choice of colors for Her Little Pony.  One wonders what the pony’s name is and what magical powers our equine friend exhibits?

Faust’s offering is another Blood Bowl entry, well, sort of.  He is planning to use the prosperous fellow below as a “dwarf coach” for his team, though I agree with Faust that Coach could also “do double duty as a merchant, noble, etc. for other games.”  Whatever the case, surrounded as he is by all of those chests of treasure, Blood Bowl seems to be treating him well.  What more could any dwarf want?

Faust said that the gold bands on the chest are lighter in the picture than in person.

Speaking of the chests, Faust reports that he used Contrast paints for the wood, “which was nice and quick.”  He used Army Painter Light Tone shade for the metal parts.  I liked how the wood turned out and the word “quick” got my attention as it always does, so I asked him in the comments what he used for paints.

Faust wrote that he used Gore-Grunta Fur Contrast for the open chest, Wyldwood Contrast for the darkest one, and Aggaros Dunes Contrast for the lightest chest.  “Washes were only used sparingly towards the base on most of the chests.”

Thanks, Faust, I’m definitely going to give this a try on my two Etsy chests!

Glad the painting challenge helped you get this guy done!  I like the cloak.

Next up we have The Introverted Hermit, who some of you might know as (among other things) the Monday Maker of Mandalas.  This month she completed some interesting (and useful speaking from someone who plays D&D with a grid map) bases and bunch of “miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months.”  Sounds like an ideal project for the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge!

Here we have our Stone Golem friend, who made its debut in the advertisment for the upcoming May Miniatures of Magnitude challenge.  I would say from the expression on its face, some treasure robber is going to have a bad day.

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

Love the mean, glaring expression.

As for the treasure this lithic chap is guarding, I.H. helpfully supplied some treasure bases, including this one and some more in the gallery …

The Introverted Hermit treasure base

I think my 3rd level Fighter could retire with all of this loot.

… and being ever-helpful, there are also some bases of bones, entrails, and such in the gallery just in case things go awry for any plunderers of ancient wizards’ towers.

Last and not least, just in case our adventurers don’t run afoul of bandits, gnolls, bugbears, mind flayers, bat swarms, and trolls, plus make it past the stone golem, there is this Mummy Captain and/or Lord as a suitable end boss.  In addition to dual-wielding a couple of khopesh-looking blades, the good captain/lord may also have defenses and powers formed from the dreams/nightmares of the intrepid DM!

The Introverted Hermit Egyptian theme skeleton

“Join me in death, vile mortals!”

Continuing down the black road of eldritch magicks, undeath, darkness and perhaps even “vile mortals,” we have another Reaper offering from Dave at The Imperfect Modeller —  the aptly named Marise Greyshroud (and friends).

The Imperfect Modeller Marise Greyshroud front

One wonders what the writing on the sword says.

I must say that Dave has been doing a good job of marketing for Reaper between their fun miniatures and his great painting skills.  Last month his wizard caused me (or perhaps ensorcelled me, who knows?) to go over the their website, make an account, and put a bunch of their miniatures onto my nascent wish list.

Besides being nicely painted, Queen Greyshroud (or perhaps Greenshroud?) would certainly make a meet sovereign for some wraiths I started assembling.  Yet more grist for the mill of my Reaper wish list?

Ghostly Ink Sketch from The Imperfect Modeller's Marise Greyshroud 125 wide

I think it is best, before I hand the good folks at Reaper all my credit cards, to perhaps plane shift over to the more solid ground of Napoleon and the 19th Century, courtesy of Marvin at Suburban Militarism.  For April, he undertook the fairly ambitious project of completing these 28 figures representative of Napoleon’s Old Guard.

Twenty-eight Old Guard in 1/72 scale by Strelets.

Marvin says that he liked how the miniatures had interesting “facial features which seem to give each pose character.”  He goes on to opine:  “Perhaps my favourite is this fella below who seems to be casting a quizzical glance askew.”  (He is speaking of the soldier in the largest image on the right in the gallery below.)  I wonder if the grizzled veteran can’t help but think of all that has happened over his years of service and wonder how it all could have come to this?

The “this” I’m referring to is of course Napoleon’s farewell address before he leaves for his exile to the Isle of Elba in 1814.  Marvin has put down some sand and arrayed his Old Guard into a hollow square in front of his 18th Century country house that has also seen duty as an ersatz palace.

“Soldiers of my Old Guard, after 20 years I have come to say goodbye!”

Here we have Napoleon Bonaparte.  The figure below also comes with the Strelets kit, which I think is a nice touch.  Marvin, as a painting guide, “settled on some portraits of him wearing a grey overcoat and the uniform of a colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval,” and including “a silver medal with a red ribbon” he often wore.

L’Empereur Himself!

All quite well done, I’d say, but Marvin wasn’t done yet.  No, not by a long shot.  He decided to make a Youtube video, “Napoleon leaves for Elba”.  This link will take you directly to the video, where you can leave Marvin a like if you wish.

You can also access the video from his page or see a non-video pictorial transcript of the farewell.  Marvin was kind enough to allow me to post the video here as well.

We say farewell (or bon voyage perhaps?) now to Napoleon and hoof it west, hop a boat, hoof it west some more and finally hop into our moves-temporally-while-staying-in-the-same-place time machine from France to the Aztec Empire.

Mark Morin recently purchased a bunch of miniatures that were from the ’70s to the ’90’s, including a bunch of Badger Games Aztecs.  He originally didn’t have a “fully developed concept” for them, but then he “volunteered to write a supplement covering the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th Century,” and thus he had a reason to paint up his miniatures.  Let’s begin things with Mark’s novice warriors.

Mark Morin Group shot of 12 novices

I’m sure what the novices lack in experience they more than make up for their enthusiasm.

Mark reports that “a major aspect of warfare of this period was the overriding need to take captives.”  A novice could advance to veteran status by taking suitable prisoners.  (You can read more about what he has to say on the subject here.)

Next up are the veteran eagle warriors.  These guys and the novices represent the beginning of what Mark hopes will someday be an impressive force of 150 painted models.  I like how colorful these Aztecs are, so I agree that many warriors would look very nice on the tabletop.

Mark Morin Eagle Warriors advancing close up

Veterans on the run brandishing their tepoztopilli (spears).

I fondly remember the days of lead miniatures so it comes as no surprise to me that Mark wrote that the spears were “spaghetti-like” and “vulnerable to bending.”  I liked his solution, which was to put a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the weapons, which made them less bendy.  That is a great idea that I’m going to remember.  Mark details the process he used here if you are interested.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for his 150 warrior horde. 

Tarmor of Dragons of Lancasm, who is “married with four chickens,” completed five Reaper miniatures this month.  He hasn’t been painting as much because he’s getting ready to play Shadowrun, but five is “more painting than I’ve achieved any other month this year!” so it sounds good to me.  Heck, I would count five as a darned good month in my household so well done, Tarmor!

Dragons of Lancasm front view

I like Mal’s glowing, green eyes.

The miniatures represent, from left to right, “Reaper 03893 “Mal” Catfolk Warrior, SW76 Mon Calamari, SW26 Bossk (trandoshan bounty hunter), SW77 Engineer, & SW27 Weequay.”

Dragons of Lancasm back view

Looks like the Star Wars contingent isn’t getting along very well at the moment!

He plans on using the Reaper Catfolk Warrior as “one of the player characters” in his D20 Gamma World game.  The other Star Wars figures were produced by West End Games/Grenadier as part of boxed sets in 1988-89, and he purchased them back then.

Glad to see you were able to get some of those vintage figures you’ve had sitting around painted up!

Dragons of Lancasm Catfolk Warrior Reaper 03893 ink sketch 150 wide

Obliterators are used to endings (or ending peoples’ lives, rather!) so I think a pair of these guys are a good place to close out part one of our round-up.  The Word Bearers are strong over at Dreadaxe Games as is evidenced by first a helbrute and now this fanatically gruesome (or gruesomely fanatical?) pair offered up for our spiritual edification and enslavement. 

Dreadaxe achieved his obliterators’ “mad pink” flesh by base coating with Rakarth Flesh, which he washed with Carroburg Crimson.  He “added Cruchii Violet to the recesses and some of the more bulbous areas of the skin for a bruised, infected look.”

On that happy note so ends Part One of the April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.   Part Two will be about as long as this offering and I will publish it as soon as I can.  I hope you have enjoyed our little journey through space, time, and the imagination.  So we won’t say goodbye quite yet to our painting challenge but instead au revoir!

Napoleon doffing his hat stylized ink sketch 200 tall from picture by Suburban Militarism

Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge! (May-June 2020)

Time for another painting challenge!  This time the idea is to paint at least one model that represents a creature, machine or terrain piece that is on the larger side.  Aircraft, daemon engines, tanks, giants, trains, cavewomen riding mammoths, ships, and beasts that are great, writhing masses of tentacles, eyes, and maws that tumbled down from the stars or crawled up out of the sewer all will find a home in this challenge.

(Note that if you click on the pictures,  they will take you to the artists’ websites.  I’ve included some examples below of projects that would work for this challenge.)

Part of “Clean Oceans” mural on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, California

Rules of the Challenge

  • The challenge closes on July 3rd, 2020 at midnight (last place on Earth).  The project must be completed, but if you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • Models must represent a creature at least the size of an ogre or small giant.  Machines must represent something that is at least as large as a medium-sized armored vehicle or single-seat aircraft.
  • Terrain pieces and dioramas are also welcome.  (See examples below.)
  • Any scale is welcome.  The miniatures can be small but have to represent things that would be large at 1:1 scale.  Also, there is nothing to say it has to be a miniature.  If you want to paint a mural, put a coat of paint on your house, refinish a good-sized piece of furniture, those would all count too as long as it is a painting or staining project.
  • Projects can be works in progress at the start of the challenge or you can begin something new.
  • You can complete one model or as many as you want.  Basing is great, but is optional.
  • Questions, comments, ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

If you paint small models during the challenge that would strongly fit thematically with your larger miniature, you can include them in a group shot.  For example, if Azazel painted an APC, like the one pictured below, and also painted some suitable space marine passengers to go along with it, he could include the marines in the group shot.

001001 Citadel Rhino Plague Marines Iron Warriors

Rhino APC and space marine rides by Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box.

Dioramas are also welcome for the challenge.  In these cases the whole is greater than the sum of its parts so you are not required to include a large creature or dominating terrain feature, although you may.  Pat included a good-sized wall in his “Desert Attack,” but the diorama would have qualified for the challenge without the wall because there is plenty going on here without it!

“Desert Attack” by the eponymous Pat of Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s

A single building will qualify for this painting challenge.  Dave built a Wells Fargo Way Station as part of of diorama, but the building alone would qualify too.  As you can see, he went to the effort to model the inside as well.  (Click on the image to see the outside of his building and the overall diorama.)

Inside of Wells Fargo Way Station by Dave at The Imperfect Modeller.

Wudugast’s rat-ogre and its slightly smaller friend would both qualify for the challenge.  If he painted the ratman, with the spiked club and shield, on the far right during the challenge, it would fit thematically with the others and he could include it in a group shot (like the one below) if he wanted.

Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

Wudugast’s “rat-ogre” (left) and friends from Convert or Die.

Aircraft, like this representation from WWI by John, could fly into the challenge.  Any sizable machine or vehicle from any historical period as well as from milieus that only exist in the imagination are fair game.

2017_0716_15482000

Amercom Albatros D.V in “Airforce, One” by John of Just Needs Varnish!

Miniatures that represent towering statues or impressive golems that might guard forgotten ruins or await orders from a dread magician are appropriate …

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

… as are mighty warriors (reptilian and otherwise) riding fearsome dinosaurs!

Scar Veteran riding a repurposed Allosaurus by Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald.

Trolls can come in many shapes and sizes and fortunately a lot of them can stand eye to eye with an ogre.  Some have interesting professions and hobbies too, such as playing in death sports, football leagues, or both at the same time.

My friend, Dave’s, troll and accompanying goblin cheerleader.

As for me, I hope to finally finish a pig demon-looking thing that a friend asked me to paint for him so long ago now that he apparently forgot I still had the miniature.  Heck, I forgot about the pig demon too until I happened to find it when I was organizing my hobby room/office.  So this challenge will push me to put pig demon toward the top of my painting queue and get it back into my friend’s hands before the end of the Aquarian Age!

With then still WIP poxwalker #18 to demonstrate scale.

The pig demon is my first priority, but maybe I can squeeze in Becky the Bloat Drone here too.  If so, my post-Heresy Death Guard forces will wax mighty indeed comprising this daemon engine and a full 20 zombie squad (hopefully) of poxwalkers.  Let the galaxy tremble!

Becky: Failing painting challenges since 2017!

After this painting challenge ends, I’m going to take July off from running painting challenges. Azazel has written that he might be doing a Jewel in July challenge for 2020 and if he does I’ll be painting for that.

Until next time paint on!

 

Fight On! From D&D Vol 3: The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures ...

 

Daemonkin vs. IG, Dark Angels & Officio Assassinorum (2000 points)

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017

Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system.  Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages.  There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror.  Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines.  This is one of many desperate actions.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 board

Imperial armored forces cautiously take up positions surrounding the warp rift.

Captain L. Danielus  and I played the Warp Rift scenario.  This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule.  As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.

The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment.  In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though).  The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain.  An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces.  Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 warp rift

It isn’t too active now, but soon deamons will come screaming from the living stone!

The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium.  A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions.  Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys!  Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.

Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae.  Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 devastatorsjpg

Dark Angel devastators take aim.

Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible.  Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator.  Blessings to the Strong!

Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field.  Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second.  As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand.  A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter.  He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.

The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help.  They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn.  It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.

IG and friends vs Deamonkin March 31 2017 Deathwing Terminators

Death Wing terminators teleport in to challenge the deamonkin terminators.

Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin.  In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective.  He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin.  A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective.  To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?

The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number.  The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun.  Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight.  He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation.  The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.

Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire.  Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 chaplain and tactical marines

Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective.  It exploded like a malevolent volcano.  Marines were thrown back in all directions.  The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later.  The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.

So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium.  The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved.  Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured!  Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.

The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

Yul Brynner King and I

Let Hate and a halfway decent set of abs be our armor!

Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for.  Who knows where he will strike next?

IG bullet point graphic

Tentacles for the All Father!

I painted some terminators a couple of years ago now. They were re-purposed Assault on Black Reach models I inherited, and then I magnetized the arms that weren’t already cemented on. So right in time for our last game I finished a magnetized Power Tentacle arm!

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I did the crux terminatus  on the shoulder pad a little differently this time too. When I first painted them I conceived that these guys were sort of “no nonsense” and went for a basic color scheme. So their armor is mechanicus standard gray with a black ink wash with the crux being the old charadon granite color. Looks ok, I guess, when you look at it three inches from your eyeball but on the table, when one is playing, it blends in too much and the whole model seems like maybe they are taking their spartan aesthetics just a bit too far.

So for the power tentacle pad I used fenris blue, drowned it in black ink, then relayered with blue.  Highlighted with a bit of lothern blue and then a touch of white.  I thought this might be a bit more noticeable and add a bit of color and interest while preserving my original ideas.  I probably won’t bother to go back and redo the old guys, but going forward I think I like the new crux much better.

 

 

 

“They Came Out of the Storm” Scenario

Our first game was piratical marines using a blizzard to launch a surprise attack on IG in a ruined village.

This is a narrative scenario where one side attempts to achieve surprise by attacking an entrenched opponent in the aftermath of a storm.  Players should cooperate with terrain or have a third party set up the board.  The defender’s table half should contain a village, industrial works, supply depot, trench works, or some other such theme.  The attack’s side should probably contain less terrain, though this depends upon how the list match up.  Perhaps they are attacking out of sand dunes or from the edge of a jungle.

Of course one can vary terrain density depending upon the army and list match-ups to make for a fair game.  For example, a terminator force lining up against defenders who are light on AP 2 weapons may not require any cover at all, whereas a force of light infantry against say a typical Tau list probably should not be forced to walk across a bare board.

Use “Dawn of War” deployment where each player sets up within 12″ of his long table edge. The attacking player automatically sets up and takes the first turn, though the defender may attempt to seize the initiative. Night Fighting takes place automatically on turn one without a die roll. Secondary objective changes are noted below in the victory conditions. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Six objectives are placed in the defending player’s half of the table.  We found it best to set up the objectives collaboratively. This resulted in a more thematic placement and also because it can be difficult to legally set up six objectives on one side of the board if both players aren’t cooperating.

The storm could just as easily involve sand rather than snow.

Infiltration and Scout Moves work as normal but there is no deep striking allowed by either side in this scenario, unless both players agree to it. Thus units such as drop pods, which are required to enter play via deep strike, may be limited in number or even completely disallowed.

The attacker’s outflanking units must be positioned so the entire unit, including transports, are entirely within the owning player’s deployment zone on the turn the unit arrives. (This also applies to units with unusual special rules such as ork kommandos with Snikrot.)  The defender may not outflank units. Other reserves for both players are allowed but they enter play from each player’s long table edge.

Victory Conditions

Players score 3 victory points for each objective they control at the end of the game.  Secondary objectives are as normal except Line Breaker.  If the attacking player has more units completely within the defender’s deployment zone than the defender at game’s end, then the attacker receives one point for Line Breaker.  If the defender has more units then he receives 1 VP.  If a tie then neither player gets a point.  The defender cannot receive points by ending the game in the attacker’s deployment zone.

Alternately, you could play this scenario using the Maelstrom of War missions with the tactical cards, but if you do then I would remove the prohibition against deep striking, and also ignore the scenario restrictions for outflanking.  Otherwise the attacking player may find himself not able to score any cards until turn three at best!  If I did want to play a maelstrom scenario without deep striking, I’d probably use “Tactical Escalation” where the cards each player receives and can hold increases with each passing turn.

Our “They Came Out of the Storm” Games

 Space Wolves vs. IG (1500 Points, August 2015): A bloody game with the marines walking out of a blizzard in order to attack IG positions in a shattered village.  The defenders successfully held until turn five, but Legion VI-XIII was able to turn the battle around with a healthy dose of luck and several well-timed curses laid by a random shield maiden who wandered by to watch our game.

Space Wolf Jump Pack Trio

The new guy is the one in the middle.

After completing my goal of 1000 points of Space Wolves before the end of 2014, I’ve drastically slowed down but not stopped adding to the army.  My goal now is to eventually get to 1500 points without having to use my husband’s Ultramarines as stand-in’s.

The latest addition is an assault marine pictured above between two of his friends, who I completed awhile ago now.  I got a good deal on a couple of boxes of figures because I bought them right before the new ones came out as part of updating the Space Marine codex.  My latest assault marine has seen a few battles now as a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, though once I get the rest of the box done he will probably find himself among the Skyclaws.

As usual I painted his power armor with Mechanicus Standard Grey, followed by a heavy wash of Badab Black, then a dry brush of Administratum Grey.  When I first started my Space Wolves I tried highlighting their armor, but didn’t like how clean and polished they ended up looking.  I wanted a sort of no frills, “rougher” look without doing a bunch of environmental effects like sand or mud.  I found that simply dry brushing the armor gave me the effect I was looking for.

So once I finish up the Skyclaws, I’ll have to decide which of the four projects I want to work on next.  I have a vindicator that has been sitting around half finished for a very long time now.  Alternately, a Stormwolf might be a worthy addition to my forces, adding some needed air support and especially anti-air.  Third, I’d eventually like a Void Claw formation because I usually field a lot of terminators who arrive by deep strike.  I’ve been using the aegis line with a comm relay and want another option for keeping my reserve rolls reliable.  Especially one my opponent can’t potentially use as well.  So I’ll need to paint and magnetize a bunch of lightning claw arms to go on my existing terminators.

Lastly, my liaison officer has been calling on our friends the Ultramarines for devastator help for long enough now.  It is high it is time to load honors and accolades upon my husband’s loyal, blue friends and send them in glory back to Ultramar and paint some long fangs to take the place of these puissant worthies.

Rune Priest

I’ve been working on HQ’s for my Space Wolves lately, and the latest addition to my collection is this rune priest.  I’ve actually had him sitting around for a couple of years, but finally decided to paint him.  My original idea, after all, was to base my marines primarily around models I already owned.  Especially ones that have been sitting neglected for a long time.

I took the jump pack from a Space Marine battle force.  I did magnetize it because sometimes he’ll probably want to accompany a drop pod landing or maybe even ride to battle in a rhino, rather than getting stuck with the usual fate of rune priests — casting buffs on thunderwolf cavalry.

I lost the original, normal power armor backpack that came with the model so it was the Space Marine battle force to the rescue again.  That piece is still in my painting queue though, since I’ve been having fun running him exclusively with the jump pack.

I like the plasma pistol.  It adds a bit of color to a model that is mostly darker, earth tones.  I do have to say as a weapon it is situational at best and hilariously bad at worst.  I should have used a tiny magnet since it attaches at the wrist.  I’ll probably do that when he has an accident and his hand falls off, or gets gnawed off again by some particularly vicious fire warrior.

Thinking about plasma pistols and having fun with how often they blow up during games has gotten me thinking about Space Wolf sagas.  There is a designer’s note in the previous codex which states:

Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.  In effect, your characters will be adding to their own sagas with every new game, which can be great fun.

I’ve been playing this guy for a few games now and we’ve had some laughs over his various and often unsound (game mechanics-wise) antics.  So I’ve been thinking of starting a section on my blog for the “sagas” of some of my characters, and I think I’ll start with this guy, his addiction to the dangers and thrills of gratuitously discharging his plasma pistol as well as his hatred of being put on “thunderwolf detail.”

The Emperor’s Shield

“Captains!  Another centennial contest is upon us, and we shall once again determine who is best suited to be the Emperor’s Shield.  The Lords of Terra welcome you to Olympus IV to test your mettle against your fellow Adeptus Astartes.  These battle exercises help to hone the skills of all our chapters for their eternal war against the xenos pestilence and the scourge of Chaos.”

I recently participated in a mirror list tournament at Endgame in Oakland, CA.  Thank you very much to TO Adan for organizing and running the event.  Also, thanks to First Captain Reuben of the Mythic Angels for tactical advice, loan of a squad of his honored and ancient assault marines, as well as logistical support transporting my chapter to the Alameda Sector.

The list everyone played was:

Headquarters
Captain in power armor with power sword and bolt pistol.
Librarian in power armor with force staff and bolt pistol. He was level 2 and his powers were Iron Arm, Endurance, and Smite.

Troops
Two units of ten tactical marines. The sergeant had a chainsword and bolt pistol. Special weapons were a flamer and missile launcher. Each squad had a rhino with a dozer blade as a dedicated transport.

Elite
Dreadnought with an assault cannon and power fist with a built-in storm bolter.

Heavy Support
Predator with auto-cannon turret and lascannon sponsons.

Fast Attack
Land Speeder with heavy flamer and multi-melta.
Five assault marines. The sergeant had a plasma pistol.

Game One: Assaulting the Green Marines’ right flank.

Adan assigned chapter tactics and the first game was Ultramarines. We were also allowed to pick warlord traits, but we could only use a specific trait for one game. I picked Master of Ambush and used this to concentrate my forces somewhat on my opponent’s right flank. This was the only game where the trait had much of an effect on the battle.

The idea was to take one of his backfield objectives, which was behind good cover, and have one of my combat squads with the missile launcher hold this strong position and blast away. I’d have threats coming from my own side of the board as well so I could swing around and subject whoever was in the center of the board holding the important objective there to a (hopefully) withering crossfire.

Things worked out but not nearly as well I hoped. My opponent did have to direct a goodly number of his forces to react to the outflank, but it turned into a bloody stalemate. I did win the game decisively, but mostly because of Chapter Tactics: Good Luck. For example, my assault marines deep struck but ended up in a bad position where they got tied up by a dreadnought. They lost a couple of marines, failed their morale check and promptly ended up 16″ back where they were in prime position to kill a land speeder threatening my forces. After that they joined in on the final attack on the center position. My predator won the tank duel that lasted three turns, and so on.

Still, sometimes as the saying goes it is better to be lucky than good and I had my share of it in this tournament. In any case, it was a very fun game and I hope to play the Green Marines again someday soon.

Game Two: Close quarters in the Zone Mortalis Light!

The board for this match was very interesting in that it was what Adan called “Zone Mortalis Light” in the middle, surrounded by thick ruins. Again we were fighting for objectives and I believe we were Raven Guard. The rules for the ZML were no vehicles except the dreadnought could enter and the walls went up to “infinity” so you couldn’t shoot or move over them. Also, our flamers were twin-linked against any unit inside the zone.

As might be expected this was a very tactical game inside the zone. Both sides were doing their best to maneuver so they got to be the ones charging. Outside the zone it was a bit more of a free for all with my rhinos tank shocking all over the place and our heavy units trading fire. My opponent pulled off a great move when he blocked off one of the entrance to the ZML with both of his rhinos. Right in the face of my advancing forces! He also pulled off some late game unlikely but exciting charges against my tactical marines covering one of the ZML entrances.

This was a hard-fought game where by the end our captains ended up dueling each other to a draw. However, my land speeder, despite immediately immobilizing itself in a ruin when it deep struck, did manage to cripple both Adan’s predator and his dreadnought. More good luck. This allowed my dreadnought to pick his way unopposed into the ZML, where he did good work supporting my infantry and holding the central objective.

Game Three: Imperial Fists assault marine on the attack!

The last game was a first for me: I’ve never played on the top table at a tournament before. The terrain was fairly sparse and we were fighting for kill points. A couple of forests and several large hills. We were Imperial Fists this time, which suited my opponent because that was his preferred chapter!

The early fighting mostly came down to a long-ranged battle to control a long firing lane between two hills. My opponent won the roll off for table sides and wisely deployed his predator in a forest at his end of this lane. This allowed him to control the action there, supported by both his missile launchers. My response was to use the hills for cover as best I could and counter-attack. We both tried to turn each others’ forces around a plateau on my far left flank. This ended up in a somewhat bloody draw. He had a small advantage in the fighting, but I got first blood when his deep striking speeder landed too close to my forces.

My opponent had the early advantage overall mainly because he had control of the firing lane. My speeder was able to pull off a very risky drop right behind his predator. I hoped to destroy it with my multi-melta but had to settle for shearing off one of its lascannons.

This was a very close game that came down to the final turn. Things were looking bad when his assault marines drove back my supporting infantry and stunned the walker with a lucky plasma pistol shot. His librarian jumped alone into an empty rhino and moved flat out toward the fighting to help finish them off. If he succeeded my opponent would cement his victory.

Instead, my other, less harried missile launcher squad managed to wreck the rhino as it moved across the contested firing lane. From there the librarian jumped out and continued on his way. My dreadnought recovered and pushed back the assault marines, despite being covered in krak grenades. Another shot, either by my predator or a missile launcher (I forget) and the librarian was dead. With time running out I was up by one kill point. Tough game against a very good opponent. Honestly, I felt like I was fighting off balance for most of the game.

A memento for the chapter’s trophy room.

First place was the plaque seen above and a nice gift certificate, which I used toward buying a new predator. Although the ancient predator I now possess, pulled from a lake by orks and then rescued by the Space Wolves or Ultramarines (depending upon who you ask) has given me good service, it has burned far too long in the crucible of war. Its machine spirit deserves an honorable retirement or at least a good, long rest.

So, all that remains now is to add a gold ribbon to my Wolf Standard and go back to fighting all of that xeno pestilence and Chaos scourge!

It isn’t every day …

I played in a tournament last weekend where a bunch of space marine chapters were engaged in a friendly competition for the “Emperor’s Cup”. All of the players had to take the same space marine list. The game was three rounds and each battle took place in a different environment — vacuum, underwater, and with high winds.

I had a lot of fun, but the thing that impressed me most was the centerpiece terrain on our table for the first game. It was made out of (among other things) a Necron tesseract vault, and it had a switch where you could make it light up. Very cool!