Thursday 23 July 2020

My Top 8 Games of 8th Edition


We are on the suspiciously lengthy cusp of 40k's ninth edition being released, so I thought I'd give eighth a bit of a farewell article in the form of my top eight games. A bit self-indulgent, sure, but that is the premise of this blog (mostly 40k, mostly for my own amusement) and I'm a firm believer that the best part about this game is the memorable moments it creates, so it's always good to be able to go back and relive those memories in a small way. I strongly recommend anyone out there who plays semi-regularly to keep some kind of record of their games, be it in full battle reports, the lazy blog write ups I do, or just a spreadsheet full of basic details. It's really improved my enjoyment of the hobby since I started writing the blog and attempting to put some kind of content out there to the wider community.

Anyway, 8th was the first edition where every game I played has been recorded in some way (though granted a few of the early games appeared on the Bolter and Chainsword forum with the pictures lost to the whims of the internet.) So it seemed reasonable to go back and pick through the memorable ones and pick a top 8. As it turns out, it was quite tricky, my initial shortlist was 14 games. On the plus side at the end of 9th edition it should be marginally easier! My criteria were somewhat vague, 'top' meaning most memorable, either for specific moments or just the overall feel of the game. I also tried to mix up my different armies and various opponents to get a nice overlook of my time with 8th edition. They are ordered from eight down to one, but it's somewhat arbitrary. Anyway, let's jump in...

This was a cool narrative game (Hold Your Gains from Vigilance Defiant) with a cool opponent (Stig aka Little Legions) with a cool army (the Luna Crusaders). It looked great and had a memorably tight finish. I had a series of great games against Stig last year, but this one in particular stood out to me as an extra step above your standard matched play game.

This was game four of the Grand Tournament heat at Warhammer World in February this year, so as it happens it was one of my last games of 8th. The event was a lot of fun, I had four great games against five great opponents (damn those Repulsor Executioners!), but this one stood out to me as particularly epic. Big stompy robots crashing together, some memorably amusing moments and Lady Helena in the Valiant (#rightdominus) was an absolute boss. 

Talking about big stompy robots - I couldn't leave out this crazy three-way game! Orks vs Orks vs Orks Stompa battle filmed by SorcererDave and featuring The Claw. I do like a good matched play game, but I also love a custom narrative scenario with all the mad special rules we can think of, and this one is definitely the latter. Check out the Robot Wars inspired 'stats' of the combatants, it's peak Ork.

Another game with SorcererDave, and another narrative game that abused the hell out of the 8th edition rules. The forces of the Inquisition delve into the underhive to fight waves of cultists and other nasty chaos things. We did a lot of hacking of the rules to create this very story focused game, but in fairness to 8th, the relative simplicity and flexibility of the rules allowed us to play this game without worrying too much about weird rules interactions. Obviously this is part one of an ongoing campaign (part 2 is currently out there, part 3 is in the planning stage) so keep an eye out and we might get a very memorable narrative game early in 9th edition.

Going back to the earlier days of the blog, and the awesome random doubles tournament that was Double Trouble 4. This was game 3, and my Alpha Legion joined forces with semi-regular opponent John's beautiful Chaos Knights to face a pair of Guard armies with a lot of tanks! It was a cap on a great day, and it seems the last of the Double Trouble events, but it's mostly memorable to me for the heroics of the Heldrake absolutely earning it's keep.

Getting into the top 3, and this one is a big one! Hive Fleet Goliath taking on The Penitent Forge of Winters SEO in a custom narrative scenario. This is far and away my most watched game of 40k, (currently sitting at 101,456 views) and it was a great game for narrative moments and the dice 'telling a story'. It was also the first video battle report I was in, and as such is definitely a memorable moment to me.

Another big narrative game, this time with three Ork players taking on two Imperial players with the Crimson Fists and the Mordian Iron Guard. We set the game on Rynn's World - part of the famous 'last stand' of the Crimson Fists. There were some great moments in this game, but it was mainly memorable for the awesome sight of Orks swarming around the stoic Fists and Mordians, and for having a nice get together with four other cool gamers. Sometimes the general feel of the game and being part of the community is more important than the events of the game itself. That said, it was still a bloodbath of a game!

And here we are at number one, and I think it could only be this game. Part four of an epic narrative campaign against SorcererDave's Cadians (so watch the other three before you watch this one!), and I don't think I've played a game with as high a stakes, narratively, as this. Talking about memorable moments and the dice telling the story - this game had all that in spades. We laughed, we cried, it changed our lives. Everything about the game just worked and the 8th edition rules held up well to allow us to do all this. 

So that's that. I've had some absolutely great games in 8th edition, which has aligned with me starting this blog and trying to get more into the wider community of the hobby. I feel like I should be slightly sad about the end of 8th, but I'm more looking forward to 9th and getting some games in! With lockdown and social distancing being relaxed I feel safer about making some plans to play some epic games and make some more awesome memories. Hope those of you who read this far enjoyed my little look back, and maybe considered doing the same yourselves. Stay safe everyone.

Thursday 16 July 2020

First steps into Turnip28


This one is a bit... weird. Some of you may have seen some miniatures and artwork for 'Turnip28' popping up around the internet, and may have wondered what it is. The simple answer is "It's about turnips", but the slightly longer answer is that it is a wargame/setting being developed by Max FitzGerald, in which a root-based apocalypse has ruined everything and now humanity is forced to rely on sinister vegetables and rusty pre-1800s equipment to wage war on each other in endless muddy battlefields. I think.

Anyway, I was immediately struck with the grim, dark, muddiness of all this. Those that know me might know that I love painting rust and dirt and generally being messy with my minis, and I also love Mordheim, the old Warhammer skirmish game that had such a great atmosphere and is probably to this day my favourite book GW have released. As it turns out, Max was one of the artists involved in Mordheim, hence the similarity in style, and that was good enough for me to jump up. So I got a few sprues (Perry Miniatures' Foot Knights and French Napoleonic Infantry) off ebay and stuck some bits together and got these:

I'm fairly happy that I've captured the essence of the setting and artwork in my style and with some fairly basic conversion work. Here's a quick rundown of how I got this, partially for my own benefit when I get some more and wonder how I did it the first time. Firstly, here's the paint I used and some of the extra 'bits':

The minis were first assembled using the legs/bodies and heads of the knights plus the arms and backpacks of the Napoleonics, with greenstuff haphazardly covered with the filler for mud on the bases and over the back/shoulders. Then tufts were chopped up and added liberally. These guys have a lot of roots with them!

Next stage was to spray them all brown. I thought this would be a good starting point for all the mud and rust. It also had the effect of catching in the tufts to create a more dishevelled, rooty look.

Then of course, painting! Started by slapping on some Ryza Rust over the armour sections, then Typhus Corrosion over the mud and anything anywhere close to mud (so pretty much the whole model). After that dried, the metal sections got a drybrush, followed by a tidy up with a darker brown for stock of the gun, backpack, belts etc, and painting the green for their 'uniforms'. I used the heavy flesh for a nice grubby skin tone, also drybrushing the root/mud, and following up with another heavy drubrush of Earth. Washes over skin and mud with sepia and the metal with black led to the final touches of black around the edge of the base and in some gaps in the armour (noticeably the giant hole in one of the chest plates) and a quick highlight layer on the skin. And that's pretty much that:

Again, I'm happy with how they came out. I decided to go for a more heavily armoured look than some, reasoning that my regiment would be savvy scavengers, picking up armour and equipment from fallen foes as well as dredging it out of the fertile mud of their coastal home town. With this in mind I named them the 69th Mordby Mudcrabs. Now I just need to make more of them...

Hope you enjoyed this little look into madness, stay safe out there!

Sunday 12 July 2020

Eight Days on Reuvengrad Part 2 - Narrative Campaign with SorcererDave


Once more going back to the before times when one could freely visit a friend to play toy soldiers and film it, here's part two of the latest narrative campaign with SorcererDave, Eight Days on Reuvengrad

After the events of part one, Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Ivan Herrick follows up on a lead on the planetary governor's aid who seems to have been cooperating with heretics. He leads a small force of Skitarii from the forge world of Ryza, accompanied by two ancient relic Kastelan robots on a mission to a remote space port in the mountains, where they find the work of the great enemy is already underway...

As before, it's a super narrative game and obviously filmed in the 8th edition ruleset, although I think if you are into this kind of game the exact rules will be of a secondary concern behind the drama of watching the events unfold and the Sorcerer's excellent storytelling. I do hope you enjoy it - having forgotten much of what happened I watched it and found some slightly narcissistic amusement in my own antics! We're both keeping an eye on the Covid situations in our areas and planning to film more as soon as reasonably possible after 9th edition properly drops. I suspect we'll need a few games of 'normal' 40k first though before we feel confident enough in the new rules to totally break them for narrative purposes!

Anyway, watch the video, have fun and stay safe everyone. 

Monday 6 July 2020

Explorator Fleet Helios - Ryza Adeptus Mechanicus and Taranis Imperial Knights - 2020 Update


As promised in my previous post on Pteraxii and Serberys, I took a load more photos of my Mechanicus mixed Imperial force known as Explorator Fleet Helios. Since the last time I took full army photos, I've added the aforementioned new kits, plus some extra Skitarii and an a bonus Tech-Priest, and the Rogue Trader Elucia Vhane and her entourage. I've also improved my skills with the camera in an iPad, so that's nice. Anyway...

Looks like quite a sizeable force now! Of course with 9th coming up, allies won't necessarily be a smart move, but I should still be able to put together some fun and strong-ish lists.

The new boys are integrating well I think. In spite of having somewhat varied schemes they fit in nicely alongside the hilariously useless Ruststalkers.

Skitarii and their warmachine, the Onager Dunecrawler. I've now got 30 assorted Skitarii troops scattered through this army, which makes a nice speedbump if nothing else.

I love my Kataphron Servitors, they are just so 40k, and I think the Ryza paint scheme really shines on them, contrasting with the blue glow of their weapons.

The Kastelan Robots are among the oldest parts of the army (both in lore and in the order I painted everything) and I still have a soft spot for the power fist versions, though I felt compelled to add some 'dakkabots' because they are just so good, even as just a pair.

The Knights of House Taranis! Please excuse the fact that the Armigers are aiming their meltaguns to their immediate right - they are on magnets and I didn't realise I'd knocked them until I was putting it all away! The big ones are Sir Camulus piloting Crimson Storm (He's magnetised, but 'canonically' an Errant) and Lady Helana riding The Defiant Flame! (#rightdominus)

Finally the command section, including my custom Arch-magos (currently unnamed) made from a Tech-Priest Dominus facing backwards and a load of greenstuff and bits. In game he's a Dominus with the Ryza Volkite blaster relic but I think in the new Engine War book there are some fun options of warlord traits and the like to make him stand out a bit more. There's also another could of Dominii (?), Enginseers and the Elucidian Starstriders.

And that's the army. I hope you enjoyed this little look at them. They are probably my prettiest army, so it's always nice to get them on the table. Speaking of which, they may soon be having a cheeky appearance in the 8 Days on Reuvengrad campaign...