Tuesday 10 October 2023

Tyranid and Guard Projects


I recently worked on a couple of small army projects for some discord friends in far away lands, a small force of Astra Militarum infantry and and addition to the xenomorph inspired Tyranids.

So since I had them both here together, and they have since gone to live in different continents, I took a pic of them fighting over my painting desk! Guard vs Nids is a classic match up after all!

Anyway, lets have a quick look at the forces, firstly here's the Nids, consisting of the Leviathan set and a sneaky Lictor!

Having already painted my own Leviathan Nids, I knew what to expect here and luckily this scheme didn't need a whole lot of extra work for all the extra gnarly carapace bits these bugs have got. The Lictor is new to me however, and it is a rather impressive kit with a lot of options, there's the three core builds but a whole load of variety you could add in. I built this one more or less as per the instructions.

Next up, the Guard, a load of infantry and characters to join a tank force under construction, led by a man on a big horsey!

This lot were mostly painted by the 'Sponge-chop' method which I think has worked rather well at quickly painting through a whole load of troops with contrast and providing some interesting texture to them. 

So there we go. Both the recipients liked their armies, and I hope you like them too! Thanks for reading and stay safe out there.

Saturday 9 September 2023

Turnip on the Docks


It's been a muddy, rusty, horribly twisted time for my wargaming recently. It was all about Death Guard recently, and then last weekend I had some Turnip28 fun! I took my 69th Mordby Mudcrabs to the Turnip on the Docks event, and had a very rooty time.

The event was held as a rather cool venue in Grimsby I'd never heard of before - The Great Escape, actually found on the docks themselves. Apparently it's a bit of a community project with help from all sorts of places, which is cool, and there has been a lot of work going on to make this weird old building look, well, weird and old? It's very cool.

Having played a game against Chris, who was somewhat responsible for this event, I kind of knew what I was doing going in. Luckily it seems there's a lot of people who also have lovingly built armies of horrible little turnipmen and also have not played many actual games of it before. In fact it was a very newbie friendly vibe, with very little emphasis on the tournament aspect of things.

In Turnip28 there are no points costs, you just take a number of units of set sizes based on the number of Snobs (officers) you have - each one brings a unit apart from your 'general', the Toff who brings two. You then get to select a 'cult', which is the equivalent of a faction, giving you bonus rules and sometimes special units.

I took the cult of Stranglin' Harry's Wretched Recruits - which feels kind of like the 'default' faction. They get tougher snobs and a bit of a bonus for doing a series of tactically sound things like shooting units that can't shoot back or taking an objective. I took a unit of Brutes (heavy infantry) a unit of Fodder (pretty much what you'd expect) and a pair of units of Chaff (skirmisher/snipers.) With hindsight I think I could have done with an alternative unit than the second Chaff that had a bit more staying power, but that is all I had built.

The gaming itself was made up of five games, roughly an hour each, with a couple of 'basic' scenarios followed by some extra silly ones. I shan't go through too much detail, but once we'd all got a grips on the rules the games really fly by, I was finished early in all five games having been largely wiped out!

Game one was against the cult of the Leech Lovers - they get to heal from killing in melee, and every turn both sides take a load of damage, presumably from all the leeches. It was a monumental failure for my boys, after the Brutes charged a unit of Bastards (heavy cavalry) in the flank and all died to the return attacks.

Game two was against the Uprising of the Louse - they get a huge 'Tall Man' effigy that influences the game in weird ways and can summon a rabble to fight for them. Fortunately for me this had no effect on our game. Unfortunately for me my Toff lost a Toff Off (duel) and a unit of Bastards cleared their way through most of my lines for another loss.

Game three was against some... worm guys? They were using the rules for The Feast of Charybdis - normally a force of crab riding burrowers but here that was represented by a giant mole. This was a special scenario, the Siege of Piss Castle, which may or may not have been inspired by a local landmark. I was able to knock the enemy Toff off his seat on the 'castle', but the rest of my forces struggled to keep on top of the worms and their mole, leading to a third loss.

Game four was against a pig themed March of the Proboscis - normally they get an elephant, instead they had a giant pig. The scenario featured a giant root monster that wanted to kill both players, was super strong and represented a special victory condition - kill the beast to win! I cunningly allowed it to savage the pigs and managed to charge in at the end to finish it off and win a game! During the game my Toff won a duel - part of the rules for this suggest you should put your Toffs on the highest point of the board for a dramatic fight, so they stood on the monster's back!

The final game was against the Slug's Lament, who focus on their heavy infantry and get an extra unit that turns up late and weary. We were fighting over a giant root-whale that had vomit us up, meaning the forces arrived in stages in the middle of the board, meaning the fighting started instantly. Once again my poor lads were out-muscled, but they did manage to kill off all the enemy geese!

So after all that I had won just one game out of five. However I did pick up some bonus points for rooty things like winning a Toff Off or having a Snob fail a dangerous terrain test. This meant I managed a respectable eighth place out of twelve, and (as with everyone) received a little bag with a selection of Napoleonic and 3D printed bits for the next Turnip project. Hurrah!

Overall it was a really fun day, both in playing a lot of this intentionally silly (but surprisingly deep) game and meeting a load of interesting, creative people. I really hope I can do more of these in future - I understand it was well enough received that a sequel is in the works for February 2024, so hopefully you'll be able to read more about it then.

Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!

Thursday 7 September 2023

Death Guard at the Grim Dice Tournament


Been a little while since I've updated here, and since last time I wrote about my Death Guard toughing it out in tenth edition, I thought I'd continue with a brief overview of the Grim Dice Tournament, and maybe some bonus Death Guard content at the end!

The event itself was a pretty standard 2k one-dayer with about 12 players. I took a list featuring Mortarion running up the middle and a series of small units to try and play the missions, including three Blight-haulers, three units of mostly melee Plague Marines, two lots of Blightlords, a single Plagueburst Crawler (if I had more I would definitely have taken more), Rhino, Bloat Drone, Tallyman and a load of cultitst and poxwalker chaff. At time of writing the balance update has just come out so this list now would have an extra 250 odd points and a powerful new army rule, so I'm well aware I was playing as the underdogs!

First game was against Tim with Chaos Daemons. It was a high scoring win for the Death Guard, 93-89, only a few points in it. The army did what it was supposed to do, spreading out and hoovering up points, while the Daemons slowly murdered everything, but couldn't quite catch up.

Second game was against Robin and his Orks, started fairly even but Mortarion got beaten up badly by Mozrog Skragbad (which I wasn't too sad about too be honest, that guy should be pretty beefy!) and the game went drastically downhill from there. I think the final result was 93-53 to the Orks. My opponent here was a younger member of the community, and I think it's worth saying in case he reads this, I was impressed with both his tactical ability and his Orky spirit!

Last game was against CJ and his Necrons. This one went downhill pretty quickly, Mortation got stuck on the terrain then died fast, while the rest of my army was unable to compete with the 'crons either in their damage or their defences. This game above the others really highlighted the flaws in the index for me - they just can't deal with heavy firepower or really tough targets. Or at least they couldn't - the balance pass might have given them a big boost there. I don't remember the exact score but it was 90-40 ish.

In the end I managed to get roughly in the middle with the highest score of the one-winners. A little disappointing to have the games get progressively more unbalanced as the day went on, but I was ultimately happy to have won a game here. Looking back now on the day of the balance update it does throw it somewhat starkly into focus, the list I would have taken now would have been significantly larger and dramatically more dangerous. Regardless of results, I still had fun, it's always nice to have a day throwing dice!

And as for that Death Guard bonus content - I had a bit of a desire to have a big stupid tank to go with the collection, so I dipped into the Heresy range for this one:

The Typhon Heavy Siege Tank! Kind of like a big Plagueburst Crawler right? In any case, it was a lot of fun to paint up a big dirty rust bucket of a warmachine, using all the weathering techniques I've picked up over the years.

The Lord of Virulence approves! Now I need to play a game with legends allowed. Luckily most of my opponents seem to be pretty cool. Legends let legends use legends! Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe out there!

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Death Guard in 10th...


So Death Guard. They aren't in a great place in 40k right now, and a lot of people have been fairly salty about this. Personally I'm not really one of them, to me Death Guard are not good, but they still kind of do what I feel they should and with GW re-writing rules for the entire game there was always going to be a few winners and losers on the balance front. With that in mind I have decided to plow on regardless with running Death Guard for the first chunk of 10th ed, until the Tyranid codex comes out at least. 

With that in mind I put a minimum investment in to playing the army - I bought the data cards and a few cheap deals off eBay, and got to playing some games and figuring out how to play the new edition. I managed to sign up for a Grim Dice tournament at the end of the month so I think my goal is probably to take Death Guard and win one game, but we shall see how that turns out. In any case, the new additions included a trio of Mephitic Blight-haulers, the most adorable of daemon engines, which I have painted up with lots of help from the sponge. 

Anyway, first game with Mortarion and friends was against Tom's Adepta Sororitas. I took the Primarch of course, with assorted vehicles (all I had at the time) and big blocks of Blightlord Terminators, melee Plague Marines and shooty Plague Marines, all with full character support. Basic plan was to smash into the middle with Morty and the Terminator block, while the vehicles got positioning and objectives.

It wasn't a totally embarrassing defeat, but the Death Guard were fairly comprehensively beaten. I learned that the big blocks just aren't that tough, even with character support, and I also severely lacked in cheap chaff units to score secondary objectives. Finally I learnt the power of overwatch when Vahl's unit took a huge chunk out of Mortarion with their multimeltas after he landed within nine inches of them.

Second game was shortly after with the same list and a rematch from one of my latter games of 9th against Sharpy and his Aeldari. This game featured Servo-skull objectives so it was a fun one to learn how to try and score the secondaries better.

This one ended pretty close, but another loss. The Eldar snuck ahead at the end thanks to swooping hawks pushing the objective around unopposed. Mortarion once again killed the Avatar (though it did take him a long time to do it) but the DG were once again not quite tough enough to get away with big units walking around in the open.

I decided to split my 10 man units up into smaller ones in order to hide them better and focus on the objectives. Without the big blocks I also dropped a bunch of characters in order to sneak in some Poxwalkers to do the annoying chaff thing.

Third game with the DG was against Mixtapir and a load of mostly Primaris Space Wolves. Like me he had decided MSU was the way to go so there were a lot of small units running around.

This time the list actually worked really well. While I know Space Wolves are also struggling a bit in 10th it felt like I was very rarely blocked out of scoring by a bad card draw or units being tied up with killing stuff. Mortarion flying up the middle as a big distraction kind of worked - the enemy decided to ignore him and focus on the light vehicles to get some easier kills and as such he got stuck into their front lines, and then back lines! For the first time in 10th (and possibly 9th as well?) I scored the full 100 points (I think the SW got 60 in the end, so not a completely one sided game).

The fourth and most recent game was once again against Tom's Sisters, now with Knight Armiger allies. We both had a lot of units to play with and it was the servo skull mission again so it would be all about pushing forward.

This game was really, really close, ending with 10 points in it. My forces did a great job of occupying the middle board and Mortarion took a hilarious amount of firepower from the Imperial forces. MSU worked great with lots of trading on the flanks, but I was once again undone by Vahl and her warsuits, eventually clearing their flank and escorting a servo skull into my deployment zone in turn 5. The various flaws of the Death Guard were pretty apparent in the end game here - struggling to remove enemy armour and their infantry lacking the famed survivability you might think they should have. None the less a well contested game and an encouraging sign for the future!

So, four games in an 1-3 with the DG, but lots of lessons learned and some close games so I'm feeling confident that I can get something out of them, so I think I will persevere to the tournament. On a practical point I have the cards for them and I've now learnt most of their rules, plus it has been a lot of fun painting up more dirty plague dudes!

Anway, thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed! Stay safe out there!