Sunday 9 February 2014

Rogue Trader Land Speeder and other creatures.....

Frustratingly I have managed to come down with a horrid cold over the weekend which has hindered my hobby time as I have been sneezing and sitting in bed drinking tea whilst full of self pity. As such I haven't made as much progress on my tanks as I would like; I suspect Nurgle may have become concerned about my armour and send a nurgling to infect me. As such all I've achieved on the larger models is the initial green coats and the subsequent blacking out of key areas:

I was going to paint these vehicles with my last remaining pot of the now OOP Dark Angels Green in order to allow them to fit in with the rest of my rogue trader Salamanders; however I became worried that I could potentially run out of this precious resource half way through the initial basecoat and so settled on using the current Caliban Green instead. 

This course of action also gave me the opportunity to test out the new spray can version of this paint... Which actually proved refreshingly easy to use. I gave the predator and land raider a spray of this and then touched them up with normal Caliban Green on a large drybrush. I then drybrushed them with Waaagh Flesh before a final edge highlight of Goblin Green. The blacking out was done with Abbadon Black.... I'm already happy with how they're shaping up.

Despite not feeling up to doing too much I decided to focus on the old Land Speeder when I did feel up to it; and so cracked on with this whilst listening to my newly downloaded 'LEGION' audio book....

I actually ended up finishing this model in those few hours where I was sniffling into a hankie, so at least I achieved something over the weekend!

Markings wise I painted the odd bit of armour red to link the crew in with modern techmarines; but I also copied the hand-print symbol out of the 1989 Space Marine painting guide as this was the old symbol for techmarines! This appears on both the crews shoulder pads.

I even managed to dig out one of the old school hexagonal flying bases to mount this lovely old model on. I am really, really pleased with this Land Speeder and I'm looking forward to fielding it in a game ASAP... So here is a final group shot of it leading a force of Space Marines and Imperial Army soldiers on the planet of IKEASHELF.....

Thursday 6 February 2014

Tank Progress......

Well the land raider and the predator have been sprayed black and await their first coat of green paint. So this is how they look now.

Additionally I had a few more rogue trader marine models lying around who desperately needed painting and so I undercoated these bad boys at the same time. In addition to the tanks we now have an original land speeder; a techmarine (for tank repairing) and a librarian...

I shall update you as work progresses:

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Help the Aged....with War!

Sadly my elderly mum hasn't been too well recently and the doctors have told her to get a hobby in order to take her mind off her ailments. She's never really been one for hobbies and so this recommendation has been largely ignored...until now. Today I decided that she would play her first game of second edition 40k; and after much persistence she agreed....which is a double achievement as she hates my miniatures; in fact she spent most of my teenage years shouting 'Are you upstairs with those bloody little men again?' .... I hope my neighbours didn't hear as that sentence could be easily misinterpreted.

Anyway I dragged her into my games room; set up a battlefield circa 1993 and set about challenging  her preconceptions.

From past experience I have learned that war gaming can be a little intense for beginners, particularly when the usual complications occur around different models and weapons having different stats, thus requiring different dice rolls; etc! For us old timers it's all part of the fun; but for a tepid beginner the thumbing through multiple books and head scratching causes boredom and disinterest in a few minutes.

In order to negate this problem I simplified things in extremis.... Both armies would consist of four five man combat squads; all armed with nothing but the ubiquitous bolter. For those of you who've played HALO multiplayer online then think of it as the slayer match where everyone has battle rifles!! Additionally each army needed a leader and this was represented by a lowly Sergeant with a bolt pistol and chainsword. Essentially this simple situation represented two small scouting forces engaging each other across No Man's Land. The objective was kept equally simple, instead of mission cards I said that the goal for each player was to kill more models than their enemy......Easy!

The armies were represented by Crimson Fists controlled by my mother and Battle Sisters (using SM stats) commanded by my good self!!

I also dealt with the initial set up as this can also be a bit intimidating for a new player, and I placed both armies into mutually defensible positions on opposite sites of the battlefield.

Once the troops were in place I gave mum a quick brief as to how things worked and then moved into the game proper. We agreed that I would take the first turn so that she could see how things worked in action. This wasn't massively exciting; some troops moved towards the Crimson Fists whilst those sisters that were in good fire positions stood firm so that they could maximise their efficacy through the Space Marine's Rapid Fire ability.

The battle sisters in the tall ruins in the centre of my line then opened up with a highly accurate volley at their opposite numbers...

And when the smoke cleared, two blue space marines had been despatched to meet the Emperor....

How I laughed; until scant seconds later my mother's Astartes warriors retaliated and scythed down four of my sororitas from one squad....

And another one from a separate unit....bugger

Already things were not looking good for the Ecclesiarchy's shock troopers. Hopefully I would be able to pull things back or face a horrendous defeat at the hands of a pensioner....

As you can see from this photograph I had one of my squads on each flank trying to perform a pincer movement whilst those troops in the centre were acting as bait and bearing the brunt of the enemy fire.

A situation that continued as the lone survivor from the centre squad was gunned down; leaving the army commander feeling a little exposed....

The left hand squad decided that the safest place for them was in close combat and so threw caution to the wind, charging into the Crimson Fist squad hiding in a nearby building....

Only two of the squad managed to make contact whilst their comrades jogged in behind, after a brutal melee the durability of power armour was proved once again and no combatants from either side succumbed to any injuries

The centre battle sister squad again proved their skill at arms, cutting down two space marines that had foolishly crept out of cover moments before. These sisters were turning the tide by themselves, and I decided that should they survive the battle they would likely be elevated to the status of Celestians. 

The affected Crimson Fists then rolled a nine and failed their leadership test, luckily being Space Marines they were merely shaken as opposed to being fully broken...

Meanwhile my squad of sisters who were covering the right hand flank sprinted into the cover of the nearby woods so as to avoid being gunned down like dogs....

The left-hand assault turned against me as the Crimson Fist's leader bundled in to help out his brothers. His chainsword rose and fell, and in a few moments three sisters were dying on the floor, their blood turning the mud into a swamp; they were shortly joined by a fallen Fist.

The blue space marines consolidated into the remaining nuns, who failed their leadership test.... However as they were using Space Marine rules they were also shaken as opposed to broken. 

A further sister in the centre ruins breathed her last as she was slain by a bolt round to the face...

Needless to say this angered her squadmates somewhat, and after they had finished scraping her brains from their otherwise pristine body armour they took aim and cut down two of their aggressors.

Both sides proceeded to lose another trooper to the swirling melee on the left flank....

On looking at the numbers involved this lone sister knew that she was done for, and so said a final prayer to her God-Emperor before getting ready to sell her life as dearly as possible.

The Sister's Commander took a quick pistol shot at the centre Space Marine squad, and amazingly managed to get a kill in...huzzah!

Simultaneously the sisters on the right flank emerged screaming from the woodline and charged into the marines holed up in the ruins....

And managed to kill two space marines in return for one dead sister....

However tradegy struck as a lucky shot from the Crimson Fist's skirmish line ended the life of the Sisters of Battle Commander...such an ignoble end for a hero of the Imperium....

Devastated at the loss of her leader the fighting spirit left the sole survivor of the initial melee, and her weapons fell from her bleeding hands as she allowed the Space Marine Sergeant to ram his chain sword threw her bared throat.

And with this final death turn four drew to a close and the game ended. A quick tally of the casualties revealed that I had in my mother, the shame. I am considering a posting to a penal legion.

Joking aside this was really good fun, even she grudgingly admitted that she had enjoyed it. I found it really speedy to play when I removed all the special weapons and just went down to bolters. I would recommend if you are trying to break in a new opponent to the joys of second edition then it's worth placing some similar limits on your games until they are confident with the basics. It can make all the difference to how much they immerse themselves in it. Then you can gradually start introducing special weapons and characters....

I'm already planning our next game!

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Retro Tanks

Well with yesterday's Stormraven completed I found myself contemplating the need for a new modelling project to fill what little spare time I have available. 

As I surveyed my shelves of miniatures I noticed that my authentic Rogue Trader Salamanders (see earlier posts) were lacking a bit of armoured firepower compared to both my battle sisters and my crimson fists. In light of this I decided to embark on a project that I've been considering for quite a while... Salvaging and renovating a Rogue Trader Land Raider and Predator.

I won these two items on eBay a few years back and have been considering getting around to them for a while. The predator is in moderate condition, already assembled (poorly) but free from paint; though there are the tell tale glue marks of a young and overly enthusiastic previous owner.

The Land Raider however is in a far worse state. It has been previously assembled very poorly, with glue marks and polystyrene cement fingerprints every where. Bits have snapped off (the standard weak spots on this beast.... Lascannons; aerial; etc), and some parts are badly damaged...additionally this poor tank has received a liberal coating of white base paint which my instincts tell me might be "smelly primer"....

I have decided to rectify what I can.... Green stuff and spare bits of sprue are surprisingly useful materiel here.  The predator can probably be saved with a little TLC, but the Raider will need some more intense loving. Despite my misgivings I will leave the white primer in situ as I fear dettol could destroy this venerable old tank!!! (For those eagle eyed observers out there that is indeed the 1989 40K Compendium in the background; I was using it for reference when trying to work out what went where on the Land Raider).

A few hours later and the tank is assembled. You know this kit has really opened my eyes as to the level of rose tinted glasses I possess when remembering the good old days of GW! 

This thing was an absolute bitch to assemble and I mean a real bitch! Granted the previous owner had made my task more difficult with their hamfisted attempts at construction, but this model would have been hard to construct anyway as compared to my more modern kits nothing fits together quite so seemlessly.

Not many conversions here; I've stuck a marine commander in the turret (liberated from an old jet bike model) and replaced the missing plastic aerial with a suitably sized pin... I'll probably add a hand painted banner to this!

Overall this model has already used a tube of glue and a lot of green stuff... 

Anyway.... This is where I am tonight. Hopefully once all the glue and green stuff have set then I will be able to move onto the painting phase!! Normally I like my rogue trader models to look fairly pristine, but given the state of the models I think that I will have to give these vehicles a more battle worn look (like my Crimson Fists) so as to hide the worst of the pre-existing damage.....

Monday 3 February 2014

Marine Gunship!

It seems that my posts are like buses; you wait ages for one and then a load come along at once.

As yesterday's post was a gaming one it seems fitting that today's be a modelling one! 

As of 1500 hours GMT this afternoon I have finally completed a hobby project that I have been working on sporadically for the past few months; and it has been a beast (albeit a very rewarding one!)

I have recently become sick of watching my precious Crimson Fists either walking around the battlefield, or alternatively driving about in their clapped out old Rhinos and so came to the decision that these superhuman warriors needed something a little nippier to traverse the war zones of the dark millennium. 

Having served as a soldier in Afghanistan I am aware how useful dedicated air support is in conflict, and how troops that are airmobile have a degree of flexibility that makes them a real force multiplier. In light of this I decided that my noble Astartes needed the same facility to maximise their power and so I have crafted them a fine new Stormraven Gunship to use as their new chariot.

Yeah I know it's not strictly retro...but it's a bloody cool model and I am actually quite proud of my efforts on this....and hey it's my blog.        :-)

If you're really offended then feel free to squint your eyes and try to pretend its a variant of the "deodorant bottle" grav attack from the Rogue Trader rule book way back in 1987 (how times have changed!)

Anyway here it is...kitted out with missiles, more missiles and some las cannons.... To quote Private Hudson from ALIENS: "Express elevator to hell....going dooooooown"

On a retro-gaming note I am happy that I can slip this flyer into a game of Rogue Trader using the vehicle generation rules; however I also want to squeeze it into my games of 2nd Edition....does anyone have or know the whereabouts of a half-way decent datafax for this beast?

Cheers, see you next time!


Sunday 2 February 2014

Second Edition 40k-Space Marine vs Space Marine

Greetings all! Once again there has been an unavoidable delay between posts; sadly some issues in my personal life and a busy workload has interfered with my blogging activity! However I have had some time over the weekend so I thought I would get back on it with a battle report.

This was a fairly simple game of second edition 40k using my Crimson Fists (led by my wonderful girlfriend) fighting against my brutal Flesh Tearers (more on these guys later). To keep things simple I drew up identical armies from the Black Codex. These consisted of a Captain in power armour with a chainsword and bolt pistol; a terminator squad with an assault cannon; a tactical squad and a half assault squad. It had been a while since we played with these rules so I thought it was best to keep things fairly basic. 

In the spirit of retro second edition gaming I set up a battlefield using the original card ruins; a green gaming mat and some old school lichen. With the war zone established we drew our mission cards from the deck:

My missus and her blue clad warriors drew "TAKE AND HOLD" and so were required to seize an objective (in this case an ammo canister) in the centre if the table. I on the other hand drew "DAWN RAID" which meant my men needed to penetrate the Crimson Fist deployment zone. If we achieved our goals then we would gain an additional 5 VPs on top of those awarded for slaughtering enemy squads.

We set up our troops on the table within our deployment zones. Both of us split the tactical squads so we could get the missile launchers on the high ground whilst freeing up our sergeants and special weapons troopers to sprint for victory. The majority of our armies hid in the available cover which was plentiful. 

Given that we were using a slightly smaller table than usual (I couldn't be arsed to dig my games table out of the shed) our troops were grouped a little closer to together than one would expect).

The Fists took the first turn and set straight about achieving their primary mission. The combat squad with the missile launcher stayed firm in the high ruins so they could use their heavy firepower whilst the remainder of their unit started running through the overgrown ruins on the left of the battlefield. The terminators moved forward more slowly so that they could use their heavy weaponry to maximum effect; the Captain decided to join them. On the right of the battlefield the assault marines jogged forward rather than igniting their somewhat unpredictable jump packs.

Once the movement phase was over the sons of Rogal Dorn let rip with bolters; assault cannons and missile launchers.... And this volley of lead was devastating....

When the cloud of cordite lifted the Sons of Sanguinius had taking heavy casualties with two tactical marines and one assault marine lying dead on the floor; their power armour shredded to pieces. More worryingly two of the veteran terminators had also been slain; their near impervious armour apparently not as resilient as they had hoped. The remaining terminators then embarrassed their chapter further by failing their leadership test and soiling themselves. Luckily Space Marines are tougher than the average Joe and instead of breaking they become shaken instead.

Following that round of butchery the crimson clad angels were ready for retribution. Bearing in mind their objectives the majority of the battle-brothers set forth across the board; though the heavy weapons team remained in place to shoot and unfortunately the shaken terminators could not move towards the enemy so remained in situ. 

The assault marines decided to engage their enemy counterparts and so fired up their jump packs powering 18" across the battlefield. Luckily there was only a little bit of scattering, and they were able to use their additional 4" move to successfully engage. The shooting phase was disastrous and no fists fell to the combined firepower. The assault phase was a little better and the Crimson Fists Sergeant screamed in agony as the whirring blades of a chainsaw churned his enhanced organs into offal.

All that was left was for my terminators to rally; which they did; and then it was back to the fists for turn two. 

Unsurprisingly the heavy weapons fire team remain in place while the terminators and the tactical marines continue to move towards their objective. Once again the scions of the Imperial Fists Legion prove their skill at arms; cutting down three tactical marines from the missile launcher squad and another terminator; whose squad mates again become shaken!!!!! Pahlavi; pussies!!

However in the ongoing melee the Flesh Tearers live up to their fearsome reputation; pulling a blue marine apart with their bare hands and drinking deep of his precious vitae!

The depleted Flesh Tearers realise that they face defeat and so start to take measures to try and regain the initiative; moving forwards and firing their weapons from the hips..... Again to no avail! Missiles spiral off the battlefield; special weapons jam and bolters do little more than damage the paintwork on the cardboard ruins. I'm not going to lie.... I wailed in rage at this point. Subsequently the melee results in two flesh Tearers dying for the loss of another fist.
The terminators once again rally and recover from their shaken state of mind. 

Turn three starts with the Crimson Fist Terminators; led by the Captain sprinting to their objective and seizing it, forming a ring of ceramite all around it. Meanwhile the Flesh Tearers Captain, and his entourage take a volley of firepower in the face leaving one of their number dead on the floor:
The eternal melee continues unabated and another Flesh Tearer is shredded on a Crimson Fist's sword.

The Flesh Tearers terminators are now able to move forward for the first time in the battle and so move into an appropriate firing position so that they are able to shoot the tide of blue holding the centre objective; the two tactical units hold position; cock their weapons and add their firepower to this fusillade. 

One blue terminator finally succumbs to the sea of bullets; falling to his knees as centuries of loyal service are rewarded with ignominious death. The Captain also takes a wound; but staggers onwards. Meanwhile the melee still fails to end; and the Flesh Tearers Sergeant pulverises one of the remaining Crimson Fist Assault Marines with his oversized power fist.

With the conclusion of turn three we decided to end the game and so tallied up the victory points....
Once again I had been defeated (heavily defeated) by my wonderful girlfriend!! It was a strong victory and I have to congratulate her on a really well played game!

Overall this game was really enjoyable; I have been playing a lot of sixth edition recently so this was a little clunky as I had to remind myself of the rules at various points; but once I got into it things can to mover more quickly! I am looking forward to our next game!! Hopefully I might win....or at least draw!!