Monday, February 13, 2017

Broken Silence

Hi all,

Been some time since my last post, mostly a mix of winter doldrums, painter's block, and a life that just seems to keep getting busier.  That said, the boy and I got in a Kill Team game yesterday ( our first game in AGES), and had ourselves a fine time.

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Note the new bridge on the right - thanks Secret Santa!


It was orks vs marines, with an objective based mission.  Cub ha first turn, but thanks to my (randomly determined) leader ability, I stole it ;)

I used the opportunity to push forward my deffcoptas, and seized the first objective.  Objectives in this scenario are "mysterious", ie., they have a randomly determined characteristic that's not determined until someone moves to control them.  In this case, the outcome was anti-climactic, as objective 1 turned out to be entirely mundane.

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On his turn, Cub moved up his marines, taking over the objective closest to his deployment - which, rather than a dud, turned out to be a bomb!  We'd be rolling at the end of each turn to see if it went of, something that let to a fair bit of hilarity as the game proceeded.

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On my turn, I took the third objective, which turned out to generate a mysterious cloaking field, and got a point for first blood, when one of my deffcoptas sniped a marine.  Adding insult to injury, one of my gretchin (unpainted, no less) took out one of Cub's marines.  That little guy is getting painted post haste ;)

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On his turn, Cub started to turn the tables, taking out a Deffcopta, bringing in an outflanking force, and cutting down the presumptuous grot in a hail of bolter fire.

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Thing now started to get hectic.  Both kill team had closed to close range / assault distance, and models were dropping all across the table.

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Marine armor began to turn the tide.  Cub did a good job focusing fire, and thinning out the ork swarm.  I lost my other Deffcopta, several orks, and most of my grots.  He seized the second objective, and by turn 6, had me below my break point, which meant I started to bleed models quickly.

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As it was, I squeezed out a win (3 points for 1 objective, leader kill, and first blood, vs Cub's 2 objective points), but things were very much going his way - had the game gone on another turn, he'd almost certainly have had it.

Cub had fun, and seems to like Kill team.  I might see if we can find some kind of capaign / team xp rules to use, as they're often fun.  A high point for me was getting the new bridge into the game - it was my present from Ian and Cath's Secret Santa this year, and is very much the business.

Hopefully this'll break the slump, and I'll be posting a little more frequently than once every 3 months ;)

FMB

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bloody Thank-yous

Hi all,

First, I need to say a big "thank you" to my Blogger Secret Santa, who appears to be disconcertingly organized.  I received a package in the mail a few days back, and so far, have resisted the urge to peek, despite the fact that I haven't the foggiest idea what might be inside.

In other news, I finished (for now, might tinker a little later) with my Khorne Lord on Juggernaught for my growing AoS Bad Guys army.

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Vahkos, Lord of Khorne.



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I was thinking about adding some flock or static grass, but don't know whether to go with muted tones, or some green for contrast.


I've been quite chuffed with this guy on the table-top, and have liked the model since I first saw it years ago.  I put some topcoat on it, as it's Finecast and a bit fragile, but that seems to have washed out some of the shading.  Hence the potential revisit in a bit.

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I love the little goat beard effect.


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His axe isn't quite as scary as the foot Lord, but it does the job.

Not sure what I'll paint next.  I've had a hankering to revisit the Hanoverians, so maybe some infantry there.  A change of pace will be nice.

FMB

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Learning. For the Lady.

Hi all,

I took the opportunity this weekend to bring my Bretonnians to a 2000 point AoS "narrative" day held at the local G-Dub.  We'd been warned in advance that the scenarios would be from the narrative campaign sections of the various books, rather than the matched play scenarios (which presumably are designed to be a little more balanced).  I had to scramble a bit, as the Brets have changed a little since the release of the General's compendium, but ended up running the following list:

Allegiance:  ORDER
Battle Trait:  Defiant Avengers
Hero:  Louen de Leoncour 
-          General
Hero:  Damsel on Pegasus 
Hero: Bretonnian Lord on Steed
-          Arcane Relic:  Obstinate Blade (+1 Rend stat)
Hero:  Damsel on Steed
Hero:  Paladin Standard Bearer 
Battleline:  16 Knights of the Realm (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter) 
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman) 
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman) 
Artillery:  1 Field Trebuchet 
5 Mounted Yeomen (Warden, Trumpeter) 

3 Pegasus Knights (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter) 

Both Louen and the big unit of KotR were a bit of an experiment.  I'd never taken Louen before (never bothered in Oldhammer, and in AoS haven't played big enough games).  He's hitty, and has a terrific passive ability (makes Free People immune to Battleshock), but a bit fragile at 10 wounds.  Having the knights in a big unit turns them from fairly mediocre into decent hitters (doubles their attacks), but they still rely heavily on charging, something that I would struggle with a bit in the games.  We ended up playing three games, each with fairly entertaining scenarios rules, and I went 1-2 for the day.

Game one was against Stormcast, using a battlescroll that I think the Cub used in our most recent game.  It basically allows the army (or at least most of it) to deepstrike.  He had a mix of Liberators, Judicators, Prosecuters, Retributers, and the Paladins with the big swords (which I think look cool, but of which I never remember the name. For heros he had the Knight Azyros (super-sniper / assassin), the other winged hero with the lantern (which lets him control the deepstrike to a greater degree), a Lord Celestant on foot, one other that I can't recall, and a Hurricanum.

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Had to borrow Puddin's camera for the day, but couldn't figure out how to make it focus.


The scenario had us struggling to move a boundary back and forth.  It moved randomly once a turn, and if you damaged or killed the opposing general.  It also offered benefits if you were fighting in your territory, but as we both forgot to use them, it was moot.  Having learned about the potential awfulness of a Stormcast unit (or army, in this case) showing up in your backyard, I bubbled up, with a ring of scruffy peasants around my shiny knights.

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It was a good thing, too, as turn one, my opponent dropped a metric crapton of stormcast in my rear.  The peasant bubble meant that he'd have to charge my chaff units, hopefully giving my harder-hitting knights time to regroup, and get in a charge.

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Initially, the plan worked fairly well, especially as my opponent couldn't seem to roll to save his life.  Never seen so many bad rolls in one place at one time.

I manged to break away, but sent the regular Lord back on a suicide run to hold up the stormies until I could regroup.  Ordinarily, he's pretty choppy, but evidently the bad roll disease was catching, and rather than laying waste to a unit of stormcast (which he's done pretty reliably in the past), he ended up whiffing.

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Of course, they couldn't kill me either ;)

Things were looking pretty good, until I managed a turn where two key charges (Louen into his backfield and my knight block into his flank) both flubbed, despite a reroll.  This left my Banner Paladin high and dry (and quickly dead), and gave him the chance to fly in his Prosecutors, tying up my knights (who again, couldn't roll to save their lives).  He bought enough time to swing his army up, concentrated his shooting on Louen, and ground me down.  First loss.

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Game two was against Seraphon / Lizardmen.  The scenario had my opponent start with only a third of his army on the table, with the rest to come on turn 2 from a predetermined (but secret to me) table edge.  My goal was to eliminate his starting units, his was to stop me.  He began with a unit of Temple guard, some kind of Saurus hero, and a Dread Saurian (super-giant dino beasty) on the table.

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I ringed him, with my peasants as a screen, in case he took the first turn (which he did).  Turns out, his Saurian moved quicker than I had expected, and he managed to move out past my archer screen, then charge in behind it at my knights.

He tore them up some, but in the meantime, I sat my two damsels about 17 inches from his Temple Guard, and poured Arcane Bolts (and my horse Lord) into the unit.  The Guard are able to get pretty ridiculous armour saves (basically 1+ with a couple of buffs in effect), and ignore lower levels of rend.  The Mortal Wounds inflicted by Arcane Bolt get around this, and my Lord habitually carries a magic sword that boosts his rend stat to 2.  In the meantime, the rest of my army poured damage into the Dread Saurian.  Over two turns, it was enough to eliminate both before his reserves poured on to the table.

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His reserves consisted of a mass of Sauraus and Skinks, along with a hero on a carnosaur, but at that point, I just needed to kill the hero left from his original forces, which I did at the top of turn 3.  My game.

Game 4 was against a monster-heavy Sylvaneth list.  I flat out played this wrong.  The scenario was a variation on the ritual - one of my models was being sacrifices, and I had essentially as many turns as that model had wounds to stop them (by killing the model running the sacrifice - in this case, Alarielle).  I gave my opponent a peg knight, as otherwise I'd be losing a hero, and figured I'd need them all.  What I should have done in this game is used the treb and my damsels to pound Alarielle from turn 1.  Instead, I let myself get drawn into a broader tactical fight, using the aforementioned units to try and clear a road for the rest of my army.

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My army swoops in to save their fellow knight.


This was a bit of a mistake, as in addition to two fairly big units of treekin, he had two of the big treemen (including the special character Durthu), and Alarielle herself, who's a top-tier SC and a complete bad-ass.  The big treemen ended up posing a real problem, as they operated under armour saves comparable to the Templeguard, and healed to boot.

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Against  the woodsy castle.


This turned into an attrition fight between me and a bunch of stuff I didn't have the tools to kill.  That would have been okay if I'd concentrated my ranged ability on the target, but I was distracted.  This one I was just straight up outplayed.

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Turns out, he has a thing that kills my guys and turns them into a forest that kills me.  Yikes!


On the plus side, his paintjobs, and especially his basing, were fantastic.  The bigger models had pools, moss, flowers, little spiders, all kinds of crazy details.  Just lovely stuff.

Overall it was a fun day.  I found gauging the charge distance trickier than I'd expected, although the basic plan worked pretty well.  The use of chaff screens, in the first game especially, was key, but I found myself a little underwhelmed by how the knights worked.  My Lords seemed to underperform, my knights, while decent, never really got off the mass charge that would make them shine.  Part of the issue was that they need to be a large unit to get the extra attack, but getting a large unit completely stuck in turns out to be fairly difficult.  They are decent, but they aren't chaos knights, and the relative lack of buffing synergy is an issue.

On the other hand, it was great to get my Brets on the table.  I might bit the bullet and try out some lists that go all-in on knights.  There's a formation that costs something like 1300 points, but it leaves room for some wizards and trebs, so maybe we'll give it a shot.

FMB


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Kn-iggits

Hi all,

I've managed to get a few things finished over the last couple weeks.  First up is another "updated" Bret knight, with the old metal riders on a modified new-style plastic horse.

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The plan with these guys was to do them in Space Marine colours.  The last one was Dark Angels, this one Blood Angels, though I'm not happy with how the heraldry turned out.  The idea seemed funny when I first considered it, but it's starting to pale a little.  I told the Cub I'd do one in Salamanders' colours, so I'll do that much, but after that, we'll see.

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I also had the chance to finish up one of the Khorne Chaos knights.

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While the effort to get things done for Armies on Parade did motivate me, and I get through a fair whack of painting, I also found myself rushing, and cutting corners.  With the pressure of the deadline off, I've slowed down, and am taking my time - which also means I'm enjoying the process more, and doing better work.

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They're not the best I can do, but they're pretty solid table top, and I'm much happier with this outcome than what I crammed in before the deadline.

Next weekend there's an event at the G-Dub I'm hoping to attend - points-based, but narrative play.  I put together a few more of the Bret modified knights, and will be taking a mostly-painted 2000 point force - pics on that to come.

FMB

Saturday, October 22, 2016

First of a new (old) breed.

Hi,

All the AoS stuff of late has had me going back to my Bretonnians.  I rebased them on to rounds / ovals over the last week, and got around to finishing another knight - one that's been sitting on my shelf half done for quite some time.

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Old school meets new school.


There's actually a fair bit of conversion going on here.  I have, through a variety of trades / eBay purchases, a reasonable stock of some of the older metal Bretonnian models.  The trouble is, those figs are all on the 5th edition horses, which are notably smaller than the current models (take a look at my Prophetess compared the to knights in the picture below).

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Dainty horse for the damsel.


The difference is enough that I wouldn't want to use the different horses in the same unit.  The downside is that the older models came with alternate heads for the horse, often with funky decorations that matched the helm crests of the riders.  So I dug out my razor saw and files, and got to work.

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An angelic presence?


The overall effect is pretty subtle - unless you know the Bret model range, you're unlikely to pick up on it, but I know what's been done, and I'm chuffed to be able to use the old models (which I love) in a way that's compatible with the more recent stuff.

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But maybe a little dark, and broody.


Keen-eyed observers may recognize where the colours and heraldry come from.  I had a cheeky idea to do up a unit of these converted models with strangely familiar iconography, to those suitably initiated into the G-Dub mysteries ;)  As it turns out, I need to get a bunch more of these painted anyways.  The points provided for Brets in the General's Handbook, while welcome (since GW no longer supports the line, bothering to do this at all is appreciated), are clunky - units are bought in atypically large chunks.  Taking more knights is hardly a big problem, however, and it's an excuse to paint more knights.

FMB

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Army on Parade. Well, squad, anyway.

Hi all,

So, Armies on Parade has come and gone at the G-Dub, and sadly, I didn't get the Khorne force finished in time.  The 6 or 7 weeks I've had to paint (since finding out about the date and deciding to paint up the Khorne starter) just wasn't enough time.  That said, they're a heck of a lot closer to finished than they've been for most of the last year, at least some of them are done, I've played with them in two tournaments and against the Cub, and ended up picking up some more stuff to add to the list.

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Bloodsecrator.  Pretty much auto-include in a Khorne mortals force.


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Bloodsecrator backside.  Baby got back.


What's done so far is pretty fair as table-top goes, but I did find myself burning out a little on batch painting, and wanting to slow down and do better work - I'm going to want to go back at some point and pick things out a little better, especially on the metals.  GW's new gloss washes are killer for getting things to the church on time, but they're not a replacement for focused painting.

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Bloodwarriors.


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Rear view.  Flash has taken the shine off the brass a little.


The Bloodwarrior unit, slightly expanded from the starter box, is complete.  These fellas have been growing on me as I've gotten a little more practiced with the Bloodbound.  They're a pretty solid counter-punch unit, benefit from all the buffs the force can bring to bear, and have a few nasty surprises for anyone that takes them out.

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More Warriors.


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As I was working exclusively from the starterbox sculpts, there's a few minor conversions in here - mostly arm and weapon swaps.  The bannerman is a kitbash with bitz from the Chaos knight sprue.  Still deciding what to do as a symbol on the flag - a Khorne mark may be enough, but who knows, I might get ambitious.

We did at least go to the Armies on Parade event, and both Cub and I brought a few models - enough for him to qualify for the participation pin ;)  There were some standout forces on display, including a killer table sporting a Seraphon stepped pyramid, and one of the best weathering paintjobs I've ever seen in person.

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Doesn't show, but this was a stellar paint job.


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Seraphon table.


Cub and I are thinking about doing a joint display for next year - either orks vs. marines, or Khorne vs. Stormcast.  With a little more lead-time, we might even get things done in time ;)

FMB