Saturday, 18 March 2023

Speed Painted Orks


Here's another couple of smaller projects that I finished up recently, both of them quick and dirty, but very fun, paint jobs on some Orks! First up, 'Spongechop', slightly converted Warbikers:

Though a little more work was done after, these were essentially done with the 'slapchop' method -  washes or contrast paints over drybrushed models, except that I used the mighty sponge instead of drybrushing, giving a bit of a different texture to the final result:

Here the post sponge stage - I initially sprayed them black, then brown zenithal, then sponged on leather, bone and finally off-white. As you can see this has picked out the raised areas and added texture, while leaving the shadows very dark.

And here are the same models after a coat of contrast over most of the model. I went Militarum Green for the skin, Snakebite Leather for straps, Skeleton Horde for bones and tusks, Flesh Tearers Red for some details and then Black Templar mixed with medium for most of the bikes. I left some of the clothes and deeper areas of the bikes un-contrasted as they were already dark and essentially the desired colours. I added more detail, including a bit of a metal drybrush and some Ork Flesh contrast to the recesses of the skin to get the finished result seen above, but I think they'd 100% be usable at this stage if you wanted a nice quick job.

In a similar vein, the next project was another Ork model painted in a similar style - a Painboy. This was another of those discord one hour speedpaint challenges, so I thought it would be the prefect excuse to test the techniques used on the bikers above against the clock! 

I'm very happy with the results once again, especially for an hour's work. I wasn't initially very happy with the Ork skin with just the contrast over the sponge work, so I added some extra highlights to make it pop out a bit - though the skin on the grot worked very well with the lighter plaguebearer flesh and a bit of ork flesh shading. The sponging is absolutely ideal as a base for all the dirty Ork clothes and rusty metal though which was all easily achieved very quickly.

Anyway, hope you like these boyz, thanks for reading, and stay safe out there!

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Burning Sands 3 - Adeptus Titanicus Tournament Report


It's been a little while since I've been able to play some AdTit, and Grim Dice provided the opportunity to do so with a tournament on a day that I wasn't at work! So I jumped at the chance (or more accurately, I bought a ticket), and tried to remember what I was doing. It has to be said that matched play has kind of passed me by in Titanicus, so I had not actually seen the Matched Play Guide until I bought it for the day, so I wasn't really expecting to win anything. That said, Titanicus is a narrative focused, very swingy game so I was expecting some silly chain reactions and huge explosions and the dice generally causing carnage.

I was running my Mortis engines, and decided to keep it fairly simple with an Axiom maniple, all guns and no melee (I've seen it's strong but it's always gone badly for me), with fairly minimal upgrades aside from some corruption on the Warlord to make it even tougher. I did make the mistake of taking the Warmaster's Beneficence upgrade on three Titans, and then forgetting to use it in every single game!

Anyway, the first thing I noticed when I walked in was that the tables looked really cool. A few borrowed bits from 40k scale stuff but also a lot of appropriately sized city buildings set out on appropriately coloured matts. Not the default L ruins of 40k tournaments at all!

First game was against Stuart (I think - I didn't take photos of the score cards for this one so memory is a bit hazy on player names) with a beautiful Mechanicus Knight force, full of lots of scary guns with loads of templates and some nasty melee options. We both had to grab an objective in the opponent's corner but also kill or protect certain units for secondary points.

The game was a total bloodbath, with neither of us achieving out primary objective and only one Knight Lancer and a few Armigers surviving. A narrow loss based on secondary points but a very enjoyable time! Highlights for me were an over eager Warhound getting surrounded and then exploding, the Warlord shrugging off massive firepower in the first couple of turns with some unreasonably good void shield saves, and then the Melta cannon Reaver doing some serious work with fusion shots on knights melting through them!

Game two was against Dave (again - I think!) with a stunning Legio Solaria Warhound based force. We both had to retrieve an objective from the centre line, while also eliminating certain enemy targets.

Again this was carnage, with a lot of chain reacting catastrophic damages, including my melta Reaver getting a magazine detonation to hit four or five other titans and both my Warhounds getting engine kills by picking up the pieces. In the end we both achieved our primary objective (in spite of the Dire Wolf trying to stun my warhound carrying it) but I was unable to finish either of the priority targets, compared to losing my secondary one, so once again a close loss.

Final game was against Gordon (pretty sure this time - recency bias) with a cool melee focused traitor titans list. For the final game our objectives pretty much boiled down to kill each other.

Good use of stratagems (and poor from me) allowed the enemy engines to close in without taking too much damage and get into the perfect positions for some melee action. I wiped some Knights but this one was much more one sided as the chain fist Reavers chopped through my forces, eventually ending with my last Reaver collapsing onto my last Warhound, hilarously destroying it as well. Tabled for a solid zero points.

With that, I secured the coveted wooden spoon (in this event taking the form of a tub of gravy, obviously) and some good experience going forward. Regardless of results, I had a great time. Titanicus is always a bit of a laugh and the 'competitive' game is still fun with a lot relying on the dice rolls. Not to say of course that I wasn't outplayed - I was, but in AdTit the dice can turn an absolute stomping into an exciting, and potentially close game. I would definitely go again if I can get to the next one, and hopefully I can play some more in the not too distant future! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe out there.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Video Boarding Action Battle Report - Tyranids vs Space Wolves


Back with another Narrative Wargamer YouTube battle report! And this time, it's with the new-ish Boarding Action rules - though rather than using expensive, probably out of stock plastic terrain that neither Tony or myself own, we made a battlefield with card Necromunda and Space Hulk tiles. With that in mind we picked a thematic match up with my Tyranids taking on not-quite-terminators, in a mostly Gravis armoured Space Wolf force. The Wolves were kindly lent to Tony by fellow Narrative Wargamer Podcast contributor, Chris of the Unrelenting Brush.

In any case, after their kin inflicted a minor loss on the Tyranids, the Space Wolves were on the hunt, venturing into a space hulk looking to burn the nest, but the Nids were certainly not going to go down without a fight, especially as they were able to employ specialist organisms bred for this kind of battle. This would most certainly be a brutal, close quarters battle of ceramite against chitin...

I really enjoyed the differences here between a regular 40k game and Boarding Action. It really felt a lot more tactical than a normal 500 point game of 40k which usually goes one sided very quickly in my experience. The terrain and various changes to actions and overwatch etc meant there was a lot more thought going into how to negotiate the battlefield and it helped kept units alive a fair bit longer. I hope that comes across in the video, and you enjoy it - and maybe it'll inspire you to give it a go as well, especially if the barrier to entry has been access to the official terrain. 

In other news however, that won't be the last time my Tyranids will feature on the Narrative Wargamer channel. Much as Chris did with his Space Wolves, I am lending Tony my Tyranids for some months, and there is at least one more game in the pipeline featuring them...

Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Tempest of War Battle Report - Death Guard vs Aeldari


Another Tempest game, again at 1750 points. As I said before I am trying to play mostly Tempest to see out 9th ed, and as part of that I am planning on attending a 1750 point Tempest event run by Wooden Spoon Wargaming soon. As such, this is more or less the army I'm planning on taking - Death Guard led by Mortarion

Now, fair warning, my battle reports are usually pretty vague and focus on the main thrust of the battle rather than all the details. I also find that Tempest is a little harder to remember in detail because of the revolving secondaries. And this game was over a week ago at time of writing. So what I'm saying is it's mostly going to be pictures!

That said, it was a good looking game as it was against Sharpy, who always puts on a good table, and his Aeldari, which are always a bit of a mix of classic space elf units. For this one he brought a Farseer and an Autarch leading Warlocks, Guardians, Warp Spiders, Shining Spears, a couple of units of Rangers plus their jet bike equivalents the Shroud Runners, Dire Avengers, a War Walker, a unit each of the Wraith constructs and the centrepiece - the Avatar of Khaine. His Craftworld traits were to reroll a wound roll once per unit per phase, and to get +1 to hit after a unit has lost a model - which is very nice on those tough Wraith units.

Arranged against them were my Death Guard forces, running as Mortarion's Anvil as usual. The big lad was of course here and the warlord, but I chose not to splurge too heavily on pregame CP to dish out a load of traits and relics elsewhere. Here it's a battalion and a super heavy aux, but this list will fit into the Arks of Omen detachment if it's in use.

HQ: Lord of Virulence (Acidic Malady), Malignant Plaguecaster (Plague Wind, Curse of the Leper)

Troops: 7 Plague Marines (power fist, blight launcher, sigil, two plasma guns), 2x 10 Poxwalkers

Elites: 7 Blightlord Terminators (combi plasma, blight launcher, flail of corruption), Helbrute (fist and multimelta), Foul Blightspawn (Revolting Stench-vats, Viscous Death)

Fast Attack: Foetid Bloat Drone (Fleshmower), Myphitic Blight-hauler

Heavy Support: Plagueburst Crawler (entropy cannons, rothail volley gun)

Lord of War: Mortarion (Miasma of Pestilence, Gift of Contagion, Putrescent Vitality, Warlord, Gloaming Bloat)

Deployment was a pair of opposing triangles with a bubble missing in the middle, 9 inches around the centre. The mission was to hold one, two and extra points for claiming an objective with an action - which was a bit of a problem with me since most of my troops can't do actions (a revision of this list might add in some cultists for this reason). I choose to keep the Terminator armoured units in reserve in case some appropriate secondaries came up, with the Eldar left the Warp Spider and Shining Spears to sneak through the webway.

Aeldari got the first turn and moved up to take shots. Nothing really died apart from some Poxwalkers but the Shroud Runners got in some sniper shots at the Foul Blightspawn, reducing him to one wound. With the Avatar marching up the middle it was obvious there was a challenge issued...

Which Mortarion gladly accepted! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Elsewhere I moved out to try and get towards some objectives, with the Plague Marines engaging some Rangers and smashing them off a point. Shooting was fairly ineffective with the combined firepower knocking off a Wraith construct or two.

Not too many points on offer here, but the big duel raged on, with the Avatar skimming a few wounds of Morty but dropping by half himself.

Turn two saw the Aeldari use their speed and tricksy ways to surround the Death Guard, pouring fire into the units on the flanks. Wraiths caused heavy damage and threatened to take objectives...

But more significantly the Shining Spears made it into melee with a strands of fate 6 to tie up the PBC and steal my backfield objective! Morty eventually slew the Avatar (though it fought on death to wound him further) but the Aeldari's champion was just a distraction to allow the rest of their forces to spring the trap!

In DG turn two I drew the 'Behind Enemy Lines' card and decided to drop my Terminators into the corners to grab some points and pressure the Eldar back lines. Morty stomped forward and dispatched the Dire Avengers, while assorted shooting dealt with the Shroud Runners, but I was unable to shift the Spears or Spiders.

The Lord of Virulence gooped all over Guardians and charged the Rangers, but I messed up here as due to the funky deployment zones this actually took him out of the zone and meant I didn't score the secondary. He didn't even kill all the Rangers on his first go!

As the game wore on Morty basically cleared a bubble around him, but the Eldar were tenaciously sticking to my back lines and denying me load of points. In particular those Shining Spears just refused to die to close range Entropy cannons.

The Terminators failed their initial charge on the Walker, eventually killing it a while later, but wasting their chonky ObSec presence in the far corner of the board - a poor move deploying them all the way over there.

In the end I wasn't able to cycle through a series of secondary objectives that were tantalisingly close to achievable, but the stubborn space elves weren't having it. 

Dramatically at the end the remaining Aeldari forces made a play for Assassinate, reducing Mortarion to a single wound, but he survived. With the too-late Terminators finally adding their firepower the Eldar were all but scoured from the board (aside from a couple of the cheeky Aspect warriors fighting over my objective), but the points told a different story, something like 90-45 to the Aeldari.

Having recently said Tempest produces really close games, I guess this was bound to happen! Still, it was fun and though not tight in the points it did allow Mortarion to do his thing in his first game, which was cool. Also, lots of lessons learned for the future - primarily regarding those Terminators and their deployment (probably best start on the board) and the chasing of marginal objectives rather than discarding them.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Stay safe out there!

Monday, 23 January 2023

Tempest of War Battle Report - Tyranids vs Space Wolves


First 40k game of the year! With the Grim Dice Crusade League wrapped up, and the new GT mission pack out but not really available anywhere, it was time for good old Tempest of War, a format which is probably cementing itself as my favourite way to play 9th edition. Sadly due to work, Christmas stuff and illness I wasn't able to arrange the last game of the Crusade league (I ended up pretty much dead centre of the pack in the overall rankings) but I was now able to play my scheduled opponent Neilson and his Space Wolves, so we made it happen. Since he was looking forward to a bug hunt, I brought my Tyranids, and we had a nice 1750 point game (because his 2000 point army dropped a lot in the recent points adjustments!).

With the new points costs in play I took the opportunity to run a whole load of stuff I'd not taken much and leave out some of the things that were previously such good value. I ran Behemoth as usual, keeping the adaptive trait and fitting into a battalion. The Swarmlord was, of course, my warlord, and I spent one extra CP on another trait. 

HQ: Swarmlord (Catalyst, Paroxysm, Synaptic Lynchpin), Broodlord (Onslaught, The Dirgeheart of Kharis, Alien Cunning)

Troops: 3x 10 Termagants, 2x 3 Tyranid Warriors (talons, 2 deathspitters, venom cannon)

Elites: 2x 10 Genestealers, Haruspex, 3 Tyrant Guard (talons)

Fast Attack: Mawloc (adrenal glands, biostatic rattle), Trygon (adrenal glands, pincer tail, Dermic Symbiosis)

Neilson's Space Wolves were an essentially all Primaris force, heavy on infantry, and as such he had quite a few units. He spend a few CP at the start to kit out his characters and to place the Eradicators into reserve. He had a Captain (aka Wolf Lady), Librarian (Rune Priest), Lieutenant (Wolf Guard Battle Leader?), two units of Intercessors, Assault Intercessors, two of Infiltrators, two of Reivers, Hellblasters, Las Eliminators, Eradicators, Suppressors, Flamestorm Aggressors, a Redemptor and some doggos. It's a lot of stuff at 1750, but I was looking forward to not having to worry about Armour of Contempt!

Deployment. We were playing Vital Ground, which is increasing points for holding your home objective, any middle objectives and then your opponent's objective. It also scores extra points for killing units, which we didn't forget this time! The twist was that we placed an additional no man's land objective, meaning scoring that middle points bracket should have been fairly easy. Deployment was long edge triangles, but we both had forward deploying units, and we both had some stuff in reserve - the Rievers and Eradicators vs the big snakes.

Space Wolves got the first turn, and immediately moved up to cause some damage. Not a mega shooty army, the long range heavy weapons reached out to damage the Haruspex (who fixed some of it with Rapid Regeneration in my turn) and then the dread went brrrrrt with the Gatling cannon and a load of genestealers went away - though two remained in synapse range to frustrate. In melee a unit of Intercessors charged Genestealers in one of the central ruins, cutting down several but losing three to return attacks. Some secondary points were scored for claiming three objectives, but no units yet killed.

Tyranid turn one saw very little shooting, but a brutal counter punch to claim the middle. The Haruspex gobbled up the remaining Intercessors that had charged the Genestealers, while the Swarmlord and his guard cut down a unit of Infiltrators who had strayed to close to grab an objective - this netted me some points both for the kill and for the secondary card to claim an objective from the opponent. I also had to kill units in melee and kill 30 wounds worth of stuff which were well under way.

Space Wolves once again marched forward, but only one of their reserve units came in, Reivers on the flank looking to shift my two Genestealers hanging on to the objectives. They had secondary points on offer for killing units in the shooting phase, so between the Redemptor, and Aggressors a unit of warriors fell, leaving the Broodlord clear to be blasted off the board as well. Firepower also damaged the Haruspex once again but it remained alive. 

Those Reivers made their charge and displaced the 'stealers, who fought on death out of spite and killed a couple of them in return. Four more wounds for my tally.

Nid turn two, and it was monster time. The Mawloc burst up to cause some mortal wounds right on the Wolf home objective, while the Trygon found a gap right in the corner. The Haruspex regenerated again and went after the Dreadnought, while the Swarmlord and Guard flanked the ruin to get onto their objective - in this turn the Guard were made ObSec by Swarmy.

In the shooting and psychic phases not a lot happened, though importantly the Warriors hit the Suppressors to proc the Shard Lure stratagem and give the Trygon an extra dice to charge in. All the other charges were made, and the killing commenced. The Haruspex dropped the Redemptor to a single wound, though sadly was crushed in response. Swarmlord and the Guard both reduced their respective Intercessor units to just the sergeant. Finally the Trygon did kill the Suppressors to finish off my three melee kills!

Onto Wolves turn three, and the Assault Doctrine. Thanks to my melee butchery, they didn't hold their own objective, so lost some points there, but had an opportunity to gain some back in secondaries, with Assassination - kill the Swarmlord...

The reserves arrived to put pressure on the Termagants on my objective, while the Eradicators marched into their own deployment zone in order to get a nice close shot at the Swarmlord, while the Frost Axe wielding Wolf Lady lined up for the killing blow.

Unbelievably, only one of the six melta shots caused a wound, which was saved by the Swarmlord's psychic shield, leaving the Space Wolf warlord with a lot to do!

Elsewhere, the wounded Redemptor and Aggressors poured fire into the Trygon, then charged in, but in an impressive displace it split attacks to interrupt and kill both the Dread and two Aggressors, then passed a whole load of Dermic Symbiosis invulnerable saves against the power fist attacks.

In the big duel the Wolf Lady failed to do any damage, but passed all but one invulnerable save to survive and stick around.

In Tyranid turn three and beyond the fight for the centre was looking good for the Nids, while the flanks were going the way of the Wolves. The Mawloc kept the Eradicators busy/dead for the rest of the game while the Swarmlord eventually took down the enemy general in the grand duel (Neilson took this photo btw, I just thought it was pretty epic so I borrowed it.) The Trygon killed off the Aggressor but then perished to Eliminators and character support. Crucially the Reivers took out the Termagants on my home objective on the second attempt to net a bunch of points. By the end of the game it was looking very tight.

Tallying up the scores, with ten for painting, it ended in an incredibly narrow Space Wolf victory, 79-77. 

So first game of the year, and first loss. But really, it's nothing to complain about because it was another great, tight Tempest game. My last three have now been a two point loss and two dead draws, so that goes to show the system is well designed to create nail biters. With tenth edition probably on the way in the summer, I'm not sure quite how many games I'll get in before the end of ninth, but I fully intend to make most of them Tempest games if I've got any say in it! Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, and stay safe out there.