Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finished Kodiak (And 100th Post!)

This is Stuck Between Station's 100th post!

I had a race this morning which meant that all day yesterday and during the afternoon today I had a lot of time to paint. I also had a lot of time to scan the internet, which is how I ran into Col_Festus's blog First Rank, Second Rank.

He's been starting up a Khador force and the two 'jacks he's painted up so far are weathered very well. Weathering always makes me nervous (why risk ruining a perfectly good model?) but I've been meaning to work on it and after seeing Col_Festus's stuff I had to give it another try.

You can click on the images to get a much larger view to see the weathering.







I used a sponge from a blister to apply the chips. I chose black to chip on the red and green armour and silver to chip the black fists. I went a little heavier on the fists since they'd probably see more wear and tear.

I like how the black chipping turned out but I'm not so convinced about the fists.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kodiak WIP 1

I've found a little time over the past few days to get started on my second Kodiak.



He's not much to look at now but I've done most of the ground work (iron, brass, and green) and now just need to soldier through the basecoats of red. Once those are done the highlighting goes quickly and then touch-ups and the base are all that's left.

I'd love to get him done this month (so this weekend) but I'm not sure I'll have the time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kommandant Irusk

Here's my third painted warcaster - Kommandant Irusk.





I'm not as thrilled with this model as I was with the Butcher but I think he turned out alright. I painted the green part of his coat (the dress?) three different times before I was satisfied with it and I had some trouble with the black piping too (perhaps a precursor to the fun of painting a squad of Deathwatch).

I don't anticipate using him anytime soon since I'm still working out how to play with the Butcher but it's nice to have the option if I want.

Just a reminder, my ebay auctions are up and running for a few more days so if anyone needs some cheap Vostroyans, Chaos Space Marines, Ork Kommandos, or the new Imperial Guard codex they should pop on over and take a look.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cleaning Off My Shelf

I've been looking at my shelf recently and decided that several little projects I had planned were never going to get off the ground and should probably be sold off. With that in mind I put some things up on ebay:



Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Vostroyan Firstborn Squad
I had planned to paint these guys up as display pieces but have recently lost interest in the models.



Warhammer 40k Ork Kommandos
Same problem as the Vostroyans above, there just isn't time to do these the way I'd like.



Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine Attack Squad
I bought Cypher the Fallen Angel and thought these would make a good retinue for him - I'm keeping Cypher but these guys are on their way out.



Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Codex
Somehow I ended up with two copies of this when it came out last year.

I'd love for these models to go to a good home so if you're interested or know someone who might be please take a look.

In other news, I know I've been pretty bad about posting recently. I've been quite busy outside of hobby time lately and will continue to be so for the next week at least. I've been working on another 'jack for my army slowly and am putting the finishing touches on another warcaster, so look for them in the next few days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Very Deathwatch Side Project

I'm an easily distracted hobbyist.

I get caught up in hype and excited when new models come out. Most recently I was looking through White Dwarf 360 (the Tyranid issue) and came upon the article about the new Legion of the Damned models. I'd seen them online and resisted the urge to buy them right away but something about this article had me itching to buy and paint them.

Realizing that I don't need more Space Marines sitting on my to-do shelf I started thinking about what I could do to scratch this itch. I wanted something that I could use with my Crimson Fists but that wasn't actually part of the chapter. What did I come up with? Deathwatch.

There aren't any in-game rules for the Deathwatch but I figure I can use the models as Tactical marines or Sternguard. My plan right now now to do a squad of these guys using my bits box and the old Ultramarines, Space Wolves, and Blood Ravens I have collecting dust. I'll end up with a nice squad of interesting models and will trim down my pile of stuff.

Goals for this project include:
  • practice freehand by doing each chapter's icon
  • learn how to paint black
  • use this planned distraction to help keep me focused on painting my Khador
  • have some fun
  • learn some new techniques and practice some others (blending and painting faces are two I can think of right now)
  • experiment with resin bases
I'm going to work on each model one at a time and when the opportunity presents itself. Right now I've started on the sergeant, who is armed with a power sword and plasma pistol. He's going to be from the Crimson Fists because they're my favorite. Here's where he is right now:




Pretty much everything on him is WIP at the moment. I'm enjoying what I've done this far, although I'm getting closer and closer to when I have to do the black armour. More to come.

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Games With The Butcher - Part 3 - Success! (and more Failure)

I got my first win this weekend! I was playing against a Circle player using Baldur, a warlock I've never faced before.

Baldur
+Feral Warpwolf
+Pureblood Warpwolf
+Woldwarden
Druids + UA
Blackclad Wayfarer
Lord of the Feast


Baldur the Stonecleaver - image from Privateer Press

There were six heavy 'jacks and beasts on the table and it looked to be a slugfest. His Druids are almost impossible to shoot when they have their clouds up and the UA has a nasty anti-magic spell that made it tough to get good use out of Full Throttle.

Butcher's feat turn wasn't as devastating as I had hoped but it was enough to tip the game in my favor. After a long and bloody fight I came out with the win when a Kodiak charged Baldur.

My second game was against another Circle warlock I hadn't seen, pKrueger.

pKrueger
+Pureblood Warpwolf
+Feral Warpwolf
+Woldwarden
Druids + UA
Lord of the Feast
Warwolf


Krueger the Stormwrath - image from Privateer Press

This game was over for me almost before it started. The Circle player had the first turn and by the time my second turn came around I was in serious trouble. He had some fantastic dice rolls on two Chain Lightning spells and the Pureblood's spray attack and they combined to kill two Great Bears, Orin, Kell, and my Widowmakers - I started my second turn 10+ points down without having killed any of his models.

I did my best to hold on and be a nuisance but it was only a matter of time before the Woldwarden caught up to the Butcher and took him out.

Thoughts
In my first five games with Butcher I am 1-4. That doesn't seem very good on paper but I've only been horribly destroyed in two of those losses (this weekend's game against pKrueger and my first game against eHaley) and I'm starting to get more comfortable with the Butcher and the list in general.

The major issue I'm having is keeping Butcher safe. Since he has a medium base the only place he can hide is behind my 'jacks which opens him up to be slammed. I've been thinking about taking out the Widowmakers and Orin to add in Boomhowler and Co. to provide some medium bases for Butcher to hide behind.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Product Review - Armory Black Primer

Recently I finished off a can of Games Workshop black spray primer and needed some more. I had planned to pick up a can at my local store but when I got to the rack I saw another can next to the GW one called Armory Black Primer.


Armory Black Primer

I was about to pass it on by when I noticed the price tag - $5.00. Considering that the GW spray can right next to it was priced at $15.00 I decided to take a chance and bought the Armory can. So far I haven't been disappointed.


a marine primed with the Armory

I've used it on a few models thus far and had good results. The only difference I've noticed is that Armory spray has more of a matte finish than GW's. The primer doesn't fill in or obscure any of the details (which you can see on the model above). My only complaint is that when I was using it the spray was very strong and actually blew some of the smaller bits around.

I think that given the choice, I'd pick Armory over GW for my black primer. In my experience thus far the two products have been pretty much even on quality but with GW's primer being three times as expensive I'll be reaching for the Armory primer in the future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tutorial - Making Your Own Warmachine Tokens

Warmachine games have a ton of things to keep track of. Warcasters can cast upkeep spells that buff your models or debuff the enemy models and they can cast single turn spells that do the same. On top of that many of your units and models have their own spells and abilities to help themselves or your army or make life difficult for your opponent's army. Even in a small points game a single unit can have several effects on it at one time which can make it tough to know exactly what's going on.

The normal solution to this problem, unless you have a particularly sharp mind for details like this, is to use tokens. Each time a model has something used on it that changes its base stat line or abilities an appropriately labeled token is placed near it so everyone knows what's going on.

Some companies make custom Warmachine and Hordes tokens for each warcaster. They come in little packages and have a token for each spell the 'caster has and tokens for the 'caster's focus. Here's a photo of some Gale Force 9 tokens that I bought for Sorscha:


pre-made tokens

Here you can see that Sorscha has three focus remaining (the little tokens on her left) and that she has a spell in play (the larger token on her right).

These are great game aids but, at 5 to 10 dollars a pop the cost can start to add up if you're buying one for each 'caster you have. One of the guys at my local store has a cheap and effective way of making his own tokens which I've started using.

He takes those little circular labels that you find on stuff at garage sales, writes the spell's name on them, and then sticks them on pennies. Easy!


some labels with a nickel and penny for size reference

The labels that are 3/4 of an inch in diameter are just larger than a penny and just smaller than a nickel so you can take your pick. For a typical 'caster, the cost breaks down like this:

A pack of 1000 labels - 5 dollars
Five pennies - 5 cents
Total cost for one 'caster - $5.05


The Butcher and his new tokens

The best part is that when you get a new 'caster or unit with new spells you just grab a few pennies and you're all set. One package of labels should last you your entire Warmachine career (unless you decide to get different colors for different factions) and you could probably find the requisite pennies on the sidewalk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Games With The Butcher - Part 2 - Moderate Success

Two more games with my new Butcher list this weekend resulted in two more defeats, but I'm getting closer to making it work. My list was:

Butcher of Khardov
+Kodiak
+Kodiak
+Spriggan
Widowmakers
Great Bears
Kell Bailoch
Orin Midwinter
Manhunter

My first game was against the same Cygnar player from last week. He was running a similar list:

Epic Haley
+Squire
+Lancer
+Defender
+Ironclad
6 Trenchers
Stormblades + UA
Gun Mage Captain Adept

Deployment was similar this game. Trenchers up front, Stormblades on my right hand side, 'jacks and Haley behind the Trenchers. I put my shooters and Manhunter on the right, the 'jacks center with Butcher, Orin, and the Great Bears just behind them.


Epic Haley - image from Privateer Press

Turn 1
He moved the Trenchers and GMCA up and took out Kell and two Widowmakers. Everything else walked forward and Haley put Deceleration on the Trenchers.

My three 'jacks ran forward with Butcher and the Great Bears behind. Butcher put Fury on the Spriggan and Iron Flesh on the Bears. Orin zapped two Trenchers and the Widowmakers shot two more while the Manhunter ran down the right flank.

Turn 2
Haley moves up and feats, getting everyone but my Manhunter and two remaining Widowmakers. She also casts Telekinesis twice, turning the Spriggan around and moving the Ironclad forward. Something tags one of the Great Bears and the Defender deals six or so points of damage to Butcher. The Ironclad slams the Spriggan, hoping to slam it over the Greatbears but he rolled a 1" distance and didn't do much damage.

Under Haley's feat I move the Great Bears to engage the Lancer, the Spriggan and one Kodiak to engage the Ironclad, and the other Kodiak forward. One Widowmaker gets the GMCA and the Manhunter moves to threaten the Storm Blades. Orin zaps the last two Trenchers.

Turn 3
Haley casts Telekinesis again, moving the Spriggan and Kodiak away from the Ironclad, who charges Butcher and leaves him with a single health box. The Storm Blades assault the Manhunter who manages to dodge three of the four blasts before being pasted on the fourth.

My first feat turn! Butcher casts Full Throttle and feats. He attacks the Ironclad twice and nearly trashes it on his own before letting the Spriggan finish it off. The Kodiak not near Butcher charges the Defender, hits it quite hard on the initial attacks, and threw it into the Stormblades. The throw wrecked the Defender and managed to kill three Stormblades and the Widowmakers killed two more. The Greatbears rolled horribly, even with four dice on each attack, and couldn't finish the Lancer.

Turn 4
Haley put a fully boosted hand cannon shot into Butcher and ended the game.

Conclusions
This game went a lot better than the first, and had Butcher had a little more life I probably would have won. He was down to his Squire, Haley, a badly damaged and engaged Lancer, and four Stormblades who were way out of position. My Great Bears would have finished the Lancer and all three of my 'jacks were fully operational. As I think about it now I may have been able to protect Butcher by having the unengaged Kodiak move between him and Haley and Vent Steam to create a cloud to block LOS. She may still have won but it's something to think about for next time.

The second game was against Skorne.

pMorghoul
+Titan Cannoneer
+Titan Bronzeback
+Cyclops Savage
10 Praetorian Swordsmen
6 Paingivers (don't know if they were one unit or two units of three)
Immortals
Ancestral Guardian

I deployed the same as I have been. He set up with Morghoul, the Titans, and Immortals in the middle with the Swordsmen, Cyclops, Guardian, and Paingivers on my right.


Titan Bronzeback - image from Privateer Press

Turn 1
The 'jacks, Great Bears, and Butcher run up. Orin zaps two Swordsmen and the five snipers kill another six.

The Skorne army moves forward as a group. The last two Swordsmen run forward to engage the Manhunter and Great Bears. The only real action came when the Cannoneer shot and killed Orin.

Turn 2
I try to free the Great Bears by shooting the Swordsman but three shots miss him and hit my Bears instead. The Manhunter kills his Swordsman and one Great Bear takes care of his while the other two charge the Cyclops but don't kill it. The other snipers take care of a few Immortals and the Manhunter kills the Ancestral Guardian. I get a little indecisive with my 'jacks, not wanting them to be charged and not wanting to work on the Bronzeback who had Admonition on him.

The Immortals come in to engage one Kodiak and the Spriggan but don't do much damage. Morghoul pasted the Manhunter and the Cyclops took out a Bear. Morghoul then sprinted away and feated. The Cannoneer put some damage on Butcher and the Bronzeback continued to threaten on my left side with Admonition.

Turn 3
Butcher feated and cast Full Throttle but held back from the melee. One Kodiak and Spriggan wiped out the Immortals and the second Kodiak charged Morghoul but couldn't hit him even with the boosts.

The Bronzeback wrecks the Spriggan and the Cannoneer wrecks the Kodiak near Morghoul. The Cyclops finishes off the Great Bears.

Turn 4
My last Kodiak moved up on the Bronzeback, who ran away due to Admonition. It had to run towards Butcher, who charged and killed it. My Widowmakers ran to engage the Cyclops so it couldn't threaten Butcher.

The Cannoneer charged Butcher and killed him.

Conclusions
I think I was too conservative this game with my 'jacks. The first turn I was very aggressive and took control but then I stopped and he gained the momentum. I may have been able to survive the Cannoneer charge if I had cast Iron Flesh on Butcher (DEF 17 is quite a bit harder to hit than DEF 14) - something to remember for next game.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Games With The Butcher - Part 1 - Failure

Here is the list I've been using in my first Butcher games.

pButcher
+Spriggan
+Kodiak
+Kodiak
Great Bears
Widowmakers
Kell Bailoch
Orin Midwinter
Manhunter

The first game was against a Cygnar player using eHaley. It was generally agreed by the regulars at the shop that this guy was a very talented MkI player who had yet to play with the MkII rules - I can say now that he's a very talented MkII player as well.

eHaley
+Squire
+Lancer
+Defender
+Ironclad
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages + UA
6 Trenchers
Gun Mage Captain Adept

Deployment
He deployed with Haley and the 'jacks centrally-ish, the Gun Mages to the right of that (from my perspective), and the Trenchers and GMCA in front of everyone.

I lined my three 'jacks up across from his, with the Butcher, the Great Bears, and Orin behind them. The Widowmakers and Kell set up to take shots at the Trenchers and the Manhunter was on my right flank to threaten the Gun Mages.

Turn 1
On his first turn he moved the Ironclad and Lancer towards my left flank, ran the Gun Mages from right to left to avoid my Manhunter, and advanced the Trenchers and GMCA. Haley cast Deceleration to protect the Trenchers. The GMCA tried to kill Kell but missed.

On my turn Kell killed the GMCA with some good rolls and the Widowmakers killed four Trenchers causing the last two to run away. My Manhunter ran deep down the right flank, hoping to be a distraction or catch the Gun Mages. The 'jacks all ran forward with the Great Bears and Butcher. I put Fury on one of the Kodiaks and Iron Flesh on the Great Bears.

Turn 2
The Ironclad and Lancer continued to work their way onto my left flank. Haley feated and, thanks to the Squire, caught everything in my army but the Manhunter and Widowmakers. She also put Deadeye on the Gun Mages. The Gun Mages advanced and were able to knock down all three of my 'jacks with their magic bullets and put Orin out of his misery.

I didn't have much to do on my turn. He used Haley's feat to cause a huge pile up in the middle of my 'jacks, the Butcher, and the Great Bears. I was able to take out a few Gun Mages with the Widowmakers and continue to threaten on the right flank with the Manhunter.

Turn 3
I wasn't paying attention to how far down my left flank the Lancer and Ironclad were and had moved Butcher into a bad spot on my turn. Haley gave 3 focus to the Ironclad, arced Telekinesis to move Butcher into position, and then charged the Ironclad in for the win.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Widowmaker Marksman

jack frost from the PP forums posted a spoiler about the new Widowmaker Marksmen

"same as widowmakers except +1 rat stealth vanar liberator same as widowmaker rifle except +2 pow has camo sniper swift hunter (after killing with normal ranged advance up to 2inches) leadership widowmakers: when in this models command range widowmakers gain swift hunter"

and

"1 more point than a wardog"

If the rumors are true, we're getting a solo who looks like this:


image from Privateer Press

Widowmaker Marksman
FA: 1, PC: 2, small base
SPD 6, STR 5, MAT 4, RAT 8, DEF 14, ARM 11, CMD 8

Advance Deployment?, Pathfinder?, Camouflage, Sniper, Stealth, Swift Hunter

Leadership Widowmakers: When in this model's command range Widowmakers gain Swift Hunter.

Weapons:
Vanar Liberator
RNG 14, ROF 1, AOE -, POW 12
Sword
POW 3, P+S 8

The spoiler wasn't clear on whether this guy has Advance Deployment and Pathfinder. jack frost starts off saying that he's the same as Widowmakers with the following differences, but then lists some abilities that Widowmakers have. Who knows.

There was some unhappiness on the forums about this guy. I think a lot of people were hoping for a more powerful gun and what they got was a model who costs as much as two Widowmakers but doesn't, on first blush, out perform them.

I think he's a pretty cool model. He increases the range on Widowmakers by 2" (14" for the shot, then move back 2") and there isn't much that will catch them from 16" away. He certainly doesn't put out the hurt like two Widowmakers do, but you're paying a little extra to make them a better unit.

Generally I put my Widowmakers in cover somewhere, and between cover and Camouflage this guy will be sitting at DEF 18. Add Stealth into that and you have a very survivable problem for your opponent to deal with. Since he's hanging out alone he'll be harder to hit with scattering AOEs and he can't really be shot at directly because of Stealth, so it's going to take some focused resources to silence his gun. Again, he doesn't have the same killy potential as two Widowmakers but if my opponent has to divert a combat unit or 'jack to come over and deal with him I think he's earning his points.

RAT 8 (or 10 with aiming) is going to his DEF 15 (17 with aiming) on normal rolls, and POW 12 will deal 5 points of damage to ARM 14 on normal rolls. I say 5 points because that's what many pesky solos have for health. So, on normal rolls, this guy can be killing DEF 15-17, ARM 14 solos on his own. With higher ARM solos, he can team up with a few Widowmakers to get the job done, something 4 Widowmakers can't always do.

Finally, for 8 points you can get Kell, the Marksman, and 4 Widowmakers and assign 7 points of damage wherever you'd like. That's more than a column of damage on even the biggest 'jacks and enough to decimate a unit of infantry. Pretty awesome.

I'll probably try him both as a substitute for Kell's 2 points and in addition to him for a big sniper contingent.