March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up!

I thought it might be fun to organize a painting challenge where you could paint nearly anything you wanted.  Thus the Might & Magic Painting Challenge was born.

You can click on the various pictures and galleries.  Some will take you to larger versions of the pictures.  Others to the miniature on the artist’s blog or some other page related in some way to the miniature.  There are a few Easter eggs here and there for readers who might be interested in such things.

Thank you very much to all of the kind people who participated.  I had a lot of fun checking out your art and looking at your pages, and I learned a few things along the way too, such as some tips on painting tattoos and skin tones, and a little about the Italian navy.  If I left anyone’s miniatures out, please let me know and I’ll update the round-up with your work.  Ciao!

Cat Familiar Ink Version 100 wide

The first completed model that came howling out of the wilderness before mid-March was Hearteater from the inconceivable Wudugast of Convert or Die!  I love his jawbone axe and agree with Wudu that he is “ready to lead his followers on a hunt into the wilds of the Bloodwind Spoil.”

Love that jaw bone axe!

Toward the end of the month, Wudugast also completed a Blackstone Fortress Traitor Commissar.  As it common practice at Convert or Die!, our good Commissar was graced with a somewhat painful, at least for Wudugast so I understand, head swap.

Instead of being merely fallen to Chaos we have this happy fellow, who looks slightly drunk to me (on power, ardent spirits or perhaps both?) and certainly more than willing and capable of “leading his regiment on a capering daemon dance into damnation” and infernal alliteration too.  Good work if you can get it, for sure!

The second offering for the month that came in was the “mighty Helljack” Kharybdis by Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord for his “Cryx force for Warmachine.”  Silver Badger reports this lovely, tentacled monstrosity is “focused on melee” and has an “amusing ink spray,” which I suppose keeps with the whole nautical motif of this helljack’s namesake.

Here we have Kharybdis with its bonded warcaster, Aiakos.  Argentbadger (I keep wanting to type Ardent rather than Silver) tells those of us who are uninitiated into the mysterious of Warmachine that you don’t have to play them together in a game but the helljack  “does get a slight benefit from being in Aiakos’s battlegroup.”  I’m sure those who would defy Cryx are glad for that!

Dave, who produces the outstanding blog,  The Imperfect Modeller, writes that he likes “painting all sorts of figures but none more so than the occasional wizard,” and I’d said it shows with this magician from Reaper Miniatures named Vinharis Tenspire.

The miniature has a lot of details and Dave does some great freehand work, which really adds a lot to a piece that was already pretty awesome.  The striped hat, the starburst designs on the hem of his robe, writing on the bits of paper tied to his staff (magical notes or perhaps simply reminders to pick up milk?), and so on.  The little familiar is cute, and there is so much going on with the base.  He looks like he’s casting a spell probably from the middle of his sanctum or secret laboratory that seems in utter chaos with all of the papers, books, jars of dubious, past experiments and so on scattered every which way.

Dave paints all sorts of different types of miniatures (he strikes me as a bit of a polymath) and I especially like his dioramas too.  As I type this he is currently working on a waterfall piece that is shaping up to be quite spectacular.

Turning from the fantastic to the historical, we have John and his fine historical miniatures blog, Just Needs Varnish!  He decided to share with us some recent additions to his 1/600 and 1/700 WW2 Italian Regia Marina coastal forces.

John’s new forces along with some of his older ships.

My personal favorite of John’s new naval forces is the colorful Driade.  Perhaps this is because, as John points out, there “is the somewhat tenuous link to magic … since dryads are tree nymphs and this is the closest I’ll ever come to painting something that, to me, could be considered magical!”

Or maybe it is just the colorful lifeboats and whatnot?  I think I like John’s rationale better.  Whatever the case, I enjoyed checking out John’s coastal forces and learning a little about some of the ships of the Italian navy during WW2.

Driade, a Gabbiano scale corvette” in 1/600 scale.

Lince, a Spica class torpedo boat (small destroyer)” in 1/600 scale.

Turbine, namesake of that class of destroyer, in 1/700 scale.

Minesweeper and two torpedo-armed motorboats, 1/600 scale.

From the Italian Royal Navy we shamble over to Mcmattilaminis, who has a blog of the same name, and his lovely poxwalkers!  He decided to experiment with Games Workshop’s Contrast paints and these pictures are the result.  (He also lists some interesting Contrast paint Youtube videos in his poxwalker post that might be worth checking out.)   I think his living dead turned out grand and I’d be proud to plunk eight or nine thousand of these rotters on the table in a friendly game of 40K.

I quite like the Easy-to-Build Poxwalker sculpts.

Mcmattilaminis sees poxwalkers “as the lowly embodiments of Nurgle’s might, and there’s at least a little magic involved as their disease-ridden bodies are blessings from a [the!] plague god.” I quite agree and given how dangerous poxwalkers can be in large numbers, I’d say they embody both Might and Magic quite nicely indeed!

My favorite weapon of the bunch is the grenade flail, lol.

Next up is this bruiser, an ogre painted by Faust of Double Down Dice.  I have to say that this guy is ugly in all the right ways.  Faust reports that his ogre is named Morg N’ Thorg and like almost all star players is a freelancer.  In Morg’s case he “will play for just about every Blood Bowl team out there.  Except for the Undead, who he hates.”  Faust also notes that this guy doesn’t play for peanuts so he doesn’t see a lot of use in games because he costs a lot of points to field.  (Now we know how he comes by all of that gold!)

This guy pretty much embodies everything that is right about Blood Bowl, lol!

I wonder if the team gave him the number 100 because he said, “Morg N’ Thorg want biggust nummer onda teem!” If Blood Bowl is anything like the National Football League the numbers normally only go up to 99, but if someone were to object and I were one of the coaches, I’d say, “You tell him he has to give up his number!”

I didn’t think so.

It isn’t as far a journey as you might think from the hot-blooded pitch of Bloodbowl to the cold-blooded jungles of Lustria.  I’m sure Maenoferren22, Potentate of (3D) Printing, Lord of Lizardmen and owner of the blog Bogenwald would agree.

We offer, for your consideration, a Scar Veteran riding a re-purposed Allosaurus.  Maeno said that he “decided to give him a spear as he is on a big bloody lizard and a little sword wouldn’t reach anyone on the ground.”  Seems legit to me and what is more, that is pretty cool spear so there’s that too.

One wonders where that Allosaurus originally came from….

I thought Maeno’s dino harness came out looking good.  He used green stuff for the straps and then made the decorations by fashioning molds out of molding paste then putting green stuff into said molds.  I like he end result and I agree with Sir John, who commented in Maeno’s “Lizards and Moulded Greenstuff” post that the sculpting “looks like it’s all meant to be there!”

I have happily followed Azazel’s Bitz Box for quite some time now, and what strikes me the most about his work is how when the painting bug hits him, he can churn out vast quantities of high quality work in a very short amount of time.  Apparently Azazel learned about my painting challenge with two-and-a-half days to go, so he painted up this ginger-haired Mantic dwarf berserker lord.

I was curious how Azazel did the tattoos.  I liked how they looked somewhat faded as real tattoos might over time unless you are careful of them.  (I somehow don’t see a dwarf berserker lord remembering to rub lotion into his body art and making sure he doesn’t get too much sun, but you never know.)    Azazel told me achieved the tattoo effect by using a Vallejo paint called “Periscopes,” which he thinned and mixed in a touch of flesh tone.

Nice, but Azazel wasn’t done yet.  He also finished this Rackham Forest goblin chieftain from Deuteros Games and posted it on the last day of the challenge.  Azazel reports that this was a fiddly model with a lot of detail and “it would have been so easy to continue stretching out the painting time for another couple of years,” but he wanted to finish it in part because of the painting challenge.  Glad I could help in some small way, and I think your goblin looks great as is!

Azazel Goblin Chief and Berserker March 2020

This could be a real donnybrook!

Finally, we wrap things up with the rust monster and four dwarves I decided to paint for the challenge.  I purchased these miniatures from an Etsy seller who calls his shop NorthernIcewerks.  I enjoyed painting them very much and plan on using them in games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in my first painting challenge.  I’m doing another challenge for April with the catchy name of Paint the Crap You Already Own!  What project(s) are you going to be working on?  I’m thinking I might finally get Poxwalker #18 done at long last.

Paint Water Cat asks, “What are you painting for April?

 

Mystery of the Mega Mek Armor: 1 of 4

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: February 17, 2017

We played a 1500 point Orks versus Orks game where as it turned out my opponent’s warlord was the mega-warboss-with-the-lucky-stikk or MWLS for short.  We both ran a single Combined Arms Detachment.  My opponent convinced me to also include a Painmob formation since I had included the models for it.  Rather sporting, I must say.

The mission was Maelstrom War: Deadlock, which is the one where each player gets less cards with each passing turn.

What started out as a seemingly typical ork brawl between elements of Waaagh: Hungry and Waaagh: Derrius ended in something far different as we’ll see.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Board

Early stages from the fight.  I like how the white lines neatly mark our deployment zones.

My forces got out to an early lead, taking key positions in an effort to break the tactical stalemate.  The other (bad) Orks countered by blunting a slow motion Charge of the Light Walkers up the center.  Still, Waaagh: Hungry built up a big lead that was going to be hard to beat, especially given the nature of our mission where each side relied on dwindling supplies.

My nobz attacked on the left flank and were stopped by an impossibly strong, giant ork in a strangely cobbled together suit of heavy mek armor.  He pretty much was able to take on all eleven nobz by himself and easily win.  What few survivors there were left had no choice but to run for it or die uselessly.  Our left flank crumbled.

Fortunately, crack Hungarian artillery kept our positions from being completely overrun.  Mortars pounded infantry bunched up in the aftermath of close assaults, while supremely heroic goblin kannoneers punished cautious meganobz, all the while dueling Derrius’s keen-eyed flashgitz.

Still, the situation was fast deteriorating and becoming desperate.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Sneaky Git and the Red Git

One sneaky git tries to ambush another.

With the enemy warboss rampaging toward our lines, someone had to do something.  No one was exactly volunteering to confront this seemingly invincible titan, so Lieutenant Scarbag Flashboy, the last survivor of his squad as usual, knew he had to act.

The situation was all confusion, smoke and screams.  Flashboy knew the most important thing at the moment was information.  He shrugged off his crippled rokkit pack and concentrated on remotely piloting a drone carrier ahead into the fiery chaos.  It was rigged with a camera and piled high with explosives.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Cautious Meganobz

Cautious meganobz pick their way forward.  A feller could get hurt out there!

Flashboy was astounded by what he saw in his video screen from the drone’s vantage point.  The enemy warboss’s suit was obviously a cobbled together abomination of corrupted Tau technical genius and evil mek madness!

Pistons shrieked with each of the mega armored boss’s steps.  Shoota fire pattered against his armor like light hail.  Even direct artillery hits ricochetted harmlessly, though this did put paid to more than a few of his boyz, much to the behemoth’s amusement.  Even energy weapons fire was absorbed by a sparking electric field.  This only seemed to make him stronger.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Killa Kanz Stall

Flashgitz turn the center of the battlefield into a walker scrapyard.

The lieutenant tapped a few keys with a shaking head, sending a video capture to higher headquarters.  He’d done has much as he could for now.  It was time to look to his own precious lilly green hide.

To Flashboy’s horror he saw the warboss point a snapping power klaw at him.  Zog!  He had thought himself well concealed.  His drone was still on the move, though it was taking sporadic hits from cowering shoota boyz, as well as being rocked by friendly mortar fire coming from who knew where.  It’s left tread was damaged and looked in danger of coming apart at any moment.

He punched the drone’s Self Destruct on Impact button and sent it trundling directly at the warboss’s back.  It was a sort of slow motion race as the damaged probe struggled to catch up with its ungainly target.

Flashboy rolled out from the shell crater and hustled behind a friendly battlewagon-turned-pillbox, which had lost its front axle.  Its crew opened up on the advancing warboss.  Their chattering machine guns made a lot of noise but had little other effect.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Lobbas in Ruins

Mortars taking the measure of distant infantry.

There was a massive explosion.  The boss had torn the battlewagon in half with his dizzying collection of power weapons, and some sort of short ranged plasma cutter array.  Predatory growls boomed from his vox caster.  Flashboy was thrown clear.  Dazed, he crawled under some of the burning wreckage.  Ammunition from the destroyed APC cooked off in the heat and flames.  Everything was obscured by thick smoke.  His titan opponent was surrounded by the gleaming nimbus of his force field.  Without this protection nothing could stand in the midst of this atomic wreckage and live.

The boss’s laughter stopped.  There was an explosion, even larger than the first, and screams.  Scarbag Flashboy had no idea what happened or how he later found himself in a ship’s medical bay, agreeing to give a painboy most of his teef to sew his legs and part of his left arm back on.  A young tau nurse shook her head and silently busied herself with the needless task of sterilizing a hacksaw.

Perhaps the drone had done its job after all?

Of the enemy warboss and his strange battle suit there was no sign.  Other than the lieutenant’s video capture, of course.  One thing was for sure, he knew that Warboss Hungry, as a close ally of the Greater Good and honorary Shas’O, would not stop until he solved the mystery of the mega mek armor.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Warboss and Boyz

Mega Mek Warboss and boyz surge over a hedgerow.  Note Flashboy’s drone scout.

So the MWLS gave me an idea.  Why not take advantage of him unexpectedly turning up into a sort of four game narrative campaign of sorts instead of just a one shot deal?  I’ll put the campaign up in a future post and link it is this one, which will be the first game of the series.

It was a good fight and a close one.  A battle that definitely highlights the maxim of never giving up.  Especially with the Maelstrom missions.  Although my opponent rolled double 1’s with his lucky stikk and killed off his own warboss inches from my deployment zone, which was unquestionably the high point of our game,  he did manage to squeak out a 13-12 victory point win despite my achieving the all important First Blood in addition to the aforementioned seemingly insurmountable early  battle lead!

Still, thanks to the indomitable senior lieutenant, higher command is in possession of some very interesting intelligence.  One wonders what the Earth Caste will have to say about all of this?  As Warboss Hungry likes to say, “Wot’s all dis den?”

ork bullet point graphic

Imperial Guard vs. Orks (1500 Points)

Santa Cruz Sector, December 14, 2016.

So I played my first game of 40K recently at Mythic Games in after taking well over a year off.  It was Guard versus Orks. Eternal War Scenario: Big Guns Never Tire.  Some pictures from our game:

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Manticores deliver an interesting and indisputable form of Detante.

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Boyz piling out of their wrecked trukk: a pretty common sight for these guys.

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Outflanking mechanized infantry on the attack.

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Tearing the turrets off of APC’s and throwing them with lethal effect at the disembarking infantry.

Daemonkin, Necrons and Orks (1000 Points)

Warriors freshly awoken from their (apparently not) eternal slumber.

Necrons

  • HQ: Lord with resurrection orb and staff of light = 75
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130

Khorne Daemonkin

  • HQ: Herald = 55
  • Troop: Bloodletters (8) = 80
  • Fast Attack: Flesh Hounds (5) = 80

Orks

  • HQ: Weirdboy (level 2 psyker) = 70
  • Troop: Choppa Boyz (22); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, one rokkit = 151
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (23); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, two big shootas = 191
  • Troop: Gretchin (11) = 38

This list uses two Combined Arms Detachments, with either the Orks or Necrons being the primary force.  The Daemonkin are allies.  The overall warlord could either be the psyker or the lord.

Interestingly (and who knew?) Khorne heralds are apparently consummate diplomats.  The Orks and Necrons don’t trust each other and optimally tend to keep their distance during the fighting, whereas the daemons are free to mingle with either side.  I suspect that the Orks intuit that they and the horned boyz both just want to “get stuck in”.  As for the Necrons, they probably find Daemonkin behavior extremely predictable and so their actions don’t play merry hell with logical calculations and circuitry.  Certainly can’t say that about the greenskins!

Khornate gribblies encounter the Imperium of Man

I’ve played my Terrible Trio now a few times in casual games and they’ve done alright.  Win about half the time and that is what I’m hoping for.  My general 40K list building philosophy is if I’m winning or losing more than about half the time against my regular opponents of similar skill and luck, then something is wrong with my list and it either needs to be toned down or toughened up.

The “desperate allies” thing can be a challenge, so what I usually do is deploy the Necrons first, often lining up against whatever armor my opponent plunks down if I’m setting up second.  Then the Orks rank up after that with the daemons either deep striking or deploying to take advantage of terrain or something I see in the set up.  One common theme is I use the khornate forces to protect the Necrons from close combat.

Why play this odd combination?  Story-wise it is easy to justify almost anything.  The real reason is I haven’t been painting Daemonkin very long and I wanted to use my painted models in games.  In general, playing with models I paint is the engine that keeps me painting.  As for the Necrons, someone gave me a bunch of models, which I’ve put into the paint stripper and have been slowly refurbishing.  Ditto on not having enough to field a proper army.  So I team up both factions with my main painted forces — the Orks.

Orks vs. Orks: Archeotech Hunt

Ethereal Mark and I decided to play the Archeotech Hunt Scenario with 1000 point ork lists.  The idea was that two big meks belonging to the same Waaagh! heard about an area rich in exotic technology ripe for the plucking.  So both meks gathered together their henchmen and snuck off … only to find their hated rival staring across at them!

We implemented a number of rules specifically for this game:

  • The warlord must be a big mek.
  • A warboss cannot be fielded by either army.
  • Big Meks and meks have the Objective Secured rule themselves, but they do not confer OS onto other members of their unit.

The boyz clash early in the fighting.

Early Game: Ethereal (or Big Mek, rather) Mark’s tankbustas sped their trukk into a ruin and blazed away at my battlewagon and deff dread.  He also began tightening a circle around my army with large numbers of boyz to my left and skorcha buggies backed up by a squadron of deffkoptas to my right.

My plan was to counter attack with the force field-protected battlewagon full of boyz supported by my walker, cut down his bold encirclement, barrage his large troop concentrations with my heavy mortars and carry off all the archeotech, then lord it over all of the other big meks … especially my rival with his fancy, yellow mega armor!  Unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite that way.

Mark’s tankbusta trukk barely weathered the fire from my battle wagon and other assets.  This allowed him to go on the attack and assault my wagon, blowing it up.  I had a bit of luck in that only a couple of the 20 choppa boyz were killed. The tank killer orks were not done yet and managed to immobilize my walker and then rushed in to finish it off, only to fall victim to its huge, snapping claws.  Still, they did finish off the dread but were now a spent force.  They had done very well all things considered!

Mark’s tankbustas had seized the initiative, throwing my forces on the defensive from which they never truly recovered despite some last ditch attempts at heroics.

Mid Game: Despite the efforts of my mortar goblins Mark’s circle was tightening.  My single deep striking deff kopta and small squad of jump orks did manage to rocket into a good position behind his forces.  As Mark later pointed out, this caused a delay while he secured the objectives in his rear area, thus slowing down the encirclement of my forces, which allowed my big mek to lead a brave counter-attack!

A meganob, looking victorious in yellow.

End Game: My warlord, seeing that all was nearly lost and that the bravest greenskins in his miserable warband were a bunch of goblins, decided to force the issue.  Leading a still large force of shoota and choppa boyz, they climbed over the smoking wrecks of enemy skorcha buggies and picked through ruins toward Mark’s advancing big mek with his boyz.  Mark’s big mek oozed confidence and was resplendent in yellow mega armor.

My leader tuned his force field to Waaagh!, raised his lucky red wrench on high, and called for the charge.  Although my boyz did inflict decent casualties among the enemy orcs with their dakka, the ruins and distance were too much and the charge failed.  The Mega Mek’s forces held despite losses and advanced into the ruins firing their weapons and building up for a counter-attack.

My brave mek made a sudden decision.  Despite still having a goodly number of willing fighters around him not to mention a enraged nob with a power klaw, he suddenly threw the whole thing up and ran from the battlefield before either group could get stuck in.

That pretty much put paid to the battle with Mark’s mega mek firmly in charge of the archeotech site and his rivals either dead or fleeing.  He won a resounding victory!  My cowardly big mek was never seen again.  Rumor has it that the aforementioned nob krumped him later or possibly my ork engineer hightailed it to parts unknown.

Happier Days, Circa 2013: Deploying into Anti-Air Formation

As a bit of a post script, the heroes of my army, the plucky artillery goblins, spiked their guns and hopped down escape tunnels that they learned how to construct from the artillery mice.  Better to live to fight another day rather than end up some nob’s lunch!

Steel Legion & Officio Assassinorum vs. Orks

The orks have seen a lot of battles versus the Imperial Guard, especially lately, though this is the first time we’ve lined up against this particular officer.  We played 1500 points and decided upon the “Big Guns Never Tire” scenario from the Eternal War series.  The goal here was to hold objectives at the end of the game and destroy your opponent’s heavy support units while preserving your own.

He had two battle tanks as his heavy support.  Other vehicles included four or five chimera and a valkyrie gunship with embarked storm troopers.  His troops were all (or at least mostly) veterans with those scary-looking german helmets and gas masks.  (We imagined that our battle was a small part of what happened during the Third War for Armageddon.  Perhaps the vindicare assassin was dispatched to kill Ghazghkull Thraka, who apparently was elsewhere.) The orks opted for a slight variation on Colonel Fixit’s Command Group list.

An ork rok hurtling in for a landing accounts for the over exposure in this picture.

Early Game: The orks had more than their share of luck in the beginning stages, which sort of set the tone for the evening. They charged ahead and despite a hail of battle cannon shells, laser fire, and volleys of grenades all of the ork vehicles were still rolling.  No one was more surprised by this than the greenskins.

Guard tanks exchanged fire with ork artillery, causing light casualties among the zzap guns.  The humans maneuvered, stacking their armor and mechanized infantry on their right flank to meet both advancing squads of trukk boyz.

Things look bad for the Vindicare Assassin but he’s all right … for now.

Mid-Game: The imperial right flank crumbled with surprisingly light ork casualties.  By the time the greenskin troopers were a spent force, they had broken through and wrecked the command chimera, Den Mother.

A valkyrie gunship reinforced the battle and along with the assassin tried to stop the nobz battlewagon rolling down the center of the field.  The half track shrugged off multiple lascannon hits, but a turbopenetrator round finally blew off a wheel and temporarily stopped the wagon.

Meanwhile a strike squad of ork jump infantry rocketed into the fray, surrounding the assassin. The assault sergeant popped a red flare and called in an air strike.  Captain Daniel, the Steel Legion company commander, ordered a nearby squad of veterans to focus fire on the stormboyz and eliminated this distraction, though the storm nob took cover and guided in the aircraft for as long as he could. The assassin, laying on his back behind some 50 gallon drums, managed to score a perfect if unlikely shot right into the MIG 15’s engine as it flew over him. Trailing oil and black smoke, the pilot returned to base his strike mission (as far as he was concerned) completed.

Looks cool but the real reason is I forgot to pack my flight stand. 😦

End Game: Despite the heroics of the vindicare assassin, a late gravchute insertion attempt by the storm troopers, and the coolness under fire of Captain Daniel, there was no stopping the orks this time.  The ork big guns fell silent.  Artillery goblins watched through periscopes and field glasses, chattering excitedly back and forth on their radios, as a greenskin ring of infantry closed around the remaining imperial platoon.  In the end the assassin spent his seventh life and died to a stray nob shoota bullet as he bravely held his position awaiting an extraction order, which never came.  Someone at the Office of Assassins will want answers to some hard questions!

We ended the game with the orks in possession of five of the six objectives and both Steel Legion heavy support tanks were burning hulks.  Hopefully the rest of the Third War for Armageddon doesn’t go as badly for the Imperium as it did here today.  Otherwise Commissar Yarrick is not going to be pleased!

Colonel Fixit’s Command Group (1499 Points)

Colonel Valentina Fixit with Warboss Hungry, circa 2012.

  • HQ: Big Mek with kustom force field and Fixer Upperz = 100
  • HQ: Painboy = 50
  • HQ: Warboss on a bike with a power klaw = 110
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (12), rokkit, nob with boss pole and klaw = 129
    • DT: Trukk with rokkit and reinforced ram = 35
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (12), nob with boss pole = 99
    • DT: Trukk with big shoota and reinforced ram = 35
  • Troop: Gretchin (11) with runtherd = 38
  • Elite: Nob Bikers (3); 1. slugga & choppa, 2. big choppa, 3. power klaw = 165
  • Elite: Nobz (9); 1. boss pole & klaw, 2.-3. big choppa & shoota, 4. shoota/skorcha, 5.- 9. sluggas & choppas = 212
    • DT: Battlewagon with kill kannon, extra armor, and reinforced ram = 155
  • Heavy Support: Lobbas (3) with six krew  = 54
  • Heavy Support: Zzap Guns (3) with six krew and three ammo runts = 78
  • Heavy Support Kannons (3) with six krew = 54
  • Fast Attack: Dakkajet with three supa shootas = 130
  • Fast Attack: Stormboyz (5) with nob = 55

This list uses the codex Ork Horde detachment, mainly so we can have three HQ’s.  Sometimes Colonel Fixit takes charge of the tactical situation and is the warlord.  Other times the colonel concentrates more on the technical details (keeping the battlewagon running) and leaves the overall prosecution of the battle to the biker boss, usually a powerful lieutenant or captain.  What he lacks in survival instincts he more than makes up for in enthusiasm and lethality.

Happy lieutenant posing for the orks back home on his then brand new motorcycle, Spring 2014.

Like most of my lists, this is meant for casual games where over the last few years it has done quite well with some cinematic victories and (dare I admit?) defeats.  I’ve had to make some changes when the new codex came out, the most notable one being the painboy is now an HQ choice and not an upgrade character in a nobz squad.  I added the airplane when flyers first came out because the Sovietesque orks would certainly want to get their little green hands on a MIG 15 if they could.

Also, the warboss got his bike when I received a Forgeworld kit for a Christmas present back in 2013, and I thought he might need some nob bikers to lord it over so I added some.  I took out some of the boyz when troops became a little less important for holding objectives.  In any case, with the Ork Horde detachment my troops are no better at holding objectives than anyone else in my army so perhaps more bikers are in the works?  Only time will tell.

Saga of Scarbag Flashboy

From Phil Kelly’s 2009 Space Wolves codex:  “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.”

This seems like a lot of fun to me, so I’ve decided to start keeping tabs on some of those figures of note who emerge from our battles.  Will they stand forth and become heroes or as so often happens shine brilliant but then like a flickering star fade too soon … forgotten in the empty spaces between Eternities?

Scarbag began his career in Waaagh! Hungry with the kommandos, but soon undertook missions with the rocket troops as well.  He quickly rose through the ranks and holds the current rank of Senior Lieutenant.  While capable of great patience and subtlety, his preference is for dashing exploits and daring, lightning strikes.

The lieutenant is highly admired by his men.  Most of them don’t understand half of what he says, but he is pretty good at translating his plans within plans to something like, ‘Go dat way an’ krump stuff.’

Most boyz consider Scarbag a proper ork so they obey him without question though membership in his squad is seen as a dubious honor except by the most fanatic.  While there is always sure to be a good fight it is not unusual for Scarbag to be the only survivor.  Still, if you die then you’ll go out with a flash and if you live then there will be teef, growth hormones, and glory all around.  What more could any greenskin ask for?

Rivals and subordinates who challenge his authority often have strange `accidents.’  Coincidentally, these happenstances usually take place right when the unfortunate comes to blows with Scarbag.  Their shoota jamming, power klaw cables coming disconnected, falling down a fifty foot pit full of electrified, poisoned metal stakes and a booby trapped rocket packed rigged to explode that just happened to be a few feet from where they were fighting and so on.  Accidents happen.

Can you find the 27 hidden ork kommandos?

MOST RECENT EXPLOITS

Mystery of the Mega Armor (Feb, 2017):  Flashboy captures vital information on a mysterious enemy warboss, who is unstoppable in his strange high tech suit of mega armor.

Curse of the Red Git (Dec, 2016): Scarbag’s and his stormboyz’ attack on a manticore goes horribly wrong courtesy of an evil deffkopta pilot.  Naturally, the good lieutenant vows revenge.

First Battle of Aptos-III (May 2015): Sisters of Battle were assaulting a fuel dump and refinery as a lead up to a general advance.  Flashboy and a small squad of rocket orks rocketed behind enemy lines where they caused much mayhem.

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.”

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day One): “Return of the Space Communists”

Back in December, I once again made the drive to Sacramento with Mark of the Farsight Enclaves to fight for the Greater Good in the Twin Linked Grand Tournament.  This is a six game, two-day end-of-year team tournament that is a sort of final exclamation point for the team tournaments of 2014.  It is run by Mark Broughton along with many volunteers, and I have to say they all put a lot of thought and effort into making it a fun experience.

Each player fields a 1000 point army with various restrictions from a single codex.  So each team of two players, who are always “allies of convenience” has a 2000 point force, which cannot change for the entire tournament.  Each battle is a custom affair, very different than the usual rules book missions.

Game One: Trying to Bring the Greater Good to Tau and Dark Angels

We all loved the flat-topped, hovering hills in game one.  The goblin artillerists particularly so!

The early stages of the battle featured a close range clash in front of our opponent’s aegis line between the orks and the Dark Angels, who trundled out to meet them.  The orks got the better of the engagement after a couple turns of hard fighting.  The goblin’s mortar fire may not have decided the issue, but it was extremely accurate and helped our cause quite a bit.  We were hoping our two aircraft would also provide further support, but these were neutralized fairly effectively by the marine’s anti-aircraft dreadnought.

Toward the end of the game there was something you don’t see very often:  two riptides fighting it out against each other in close combat.  Not surprisingly to a draw.  (Sadly the picture didn’t come out.)  We ended up winning that battle when time ran out after five turns, and moved on to the next round.

Game Two: It’s a Trap!

The Air Force of the Greater Good has its Great Moment!

This time we faced a Space Wolf & Eldar force that featured three drop pods of infantry on turn one with Eldar fire support provided by a wraith knight and those hated wave serpents, which would be so ubiquitous through the rest of the tournament.

Although our forces tried to bring the much-needed Light of Reason and Culture to our opponents and we fought valiantly, unfortunately this was a tough match-up for us.  Most of the Space Wolves did give their lives in the early going, but by the end of the battle all what was left was our riptide in a corner making a last stand against overwhelming odds.  With his loss all that was left to do was call in for reinforcements and prepare for the next battle of the day.

Game Three: Communists versus Pirates

Right before impact!

Our opponents for the last game of the day were a father/son team of Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively.  This was an interesting game for me because it was the first time either Farsight Mark or myself had faced the new Dark Eldar codex.

This was a hard fought game with both sides taking heavy casualties.  There were a couple of funny moments during the game.  One was when the Eldar shot down our sun shark bomber.  The pilot decided to sacrifice himself for the Greater Good and plowed right into a space dark elf jet fighter and blew it up in a gigantic ball of fire and melted plastic.

Then there was the invincible squiggoth, who the nobz tamed and brought along as a transport instead of their usual but much abused battle wagon.  Their simple strategy was pretty much, “Melta this, hoomies!”  I guess they didn’t count on poisoned weapons though or tremendous volleys from wave serpents.  The beast pretty much shuffled around the board first in one direction and then the other for the entire tournament, not really wanting to get in anyone’s way or cause any trouble, which generally can’t be said for battle wagons.

Super Squiggoth is much friendlier than he looks.

Despite having every poisoned weapon in the world thrown at him, he was the “Squiggoth Who Would Not Die,” even if he ended the fight with only one wound left.

Still, even with the amazing Super Squiggoth and our friend the kamikaze Tau, we still ended up losing a close game.  We had no way to catch or kill the wave serpents arrayed against us, and by the end our opponents were much more mobile than we were and able to position themselves for the win when time ran out.

Next Time: This was a two day tournament so we rested up, consoled ourselves with steak at the local Outback, complained about wave serpents, fed the squiggoth from the in-hotel buffet (no squiggoths allowed at Outback as it turned out), recruited a new Tau pilot, harvested ork spores so we’d have more boyz, and bribed our meks into throwing together more shockingly disposable trukks in preparations for fresh glories on Sunday.

In my next battle report, I’ll write about the second half of the tournament and how we did in spreading the Greater Good throughout the Sacramento Sector.  For the Motherland!

Day Two of the Twin-Linked Tourney is here.