Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another 40k Battle Report - Lite

Well, we played another game the other day, still with our 715 point forces. This time we had to capture the enemy objective while holding our own. Since you can only hold objectives with Troops choices and we each only have two Troops choices it was an interesting match!

So we're doing another training mission, Skodi the Wolf Lord and his two packs of Grey Hunters, accompanied by Loki the dreadnought are helping train a group of guardsmen, bent on eventual revenge against Xeno hordes.

Light on the pics because we're really still focusing on learning the rules. Here's a Sentinel-eye view of the starting set-up, take note of those guardsmen.

Because you can't see them much from this view! They're well out of sight of my boltguns =) I have one squad of 8 at my home objective. The other is with Skodi the Wolf Lord, they're going to charge up the side. Loki, the dreadnought, is ready to tromp on down and take out anything he can find. I set up my objective last, so put it close to opposite my brother's so I wouldn't have so far to walk, wanting to get into close combat as quickly as I can!

Here's the end of Turn 2 and as you can see, there's a green marker on Skodi - he's already taken a wound! Those metal guys you can see are Stormtroopers (I think) and they caused a single wound to the squad, I allocated it to Skodi, figuring he'd save it! He didn't =( Oh well, more where that came from!

Also in turn 2, Loki was sniped by an impressive shot from the Sentinel, waaaaaay over on that hill with a lascannon! The shot hit and penetrated the armour, then got the result "immobilised" which is 4 on a 6 point scale. My venerable status allows me to force a re-roll, I figured that the odds were I'd get a better result. Oops. A 5 was rolled - destroyed! Before he got to do anything! That's about 165 points there! Lots of laughs at my optimism for the game so far, my dreadnought gone and my Wolf Lord wounded!

Now my pack is closing in on his base. His commander told the troopers to First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire! Giving his guardsmen extra shots. His stormtroopers also rained down shots, their hotshot lasguns ignore my armour! I learned in this game that cover is important, as you get a saving throw if you're in cover. Four of the Grey Hunters went down to lasfire!

I didn't take photos of the next turn because I was too excited =) I got into close combat with the remainder of my pack. I almost completely wiped out his guardsmen, the rest were chased off the board. My consolidation roll let me get right up to his command squad. My squad used their banner, letting me reroll all 1s. My wulfen rolled a 1 for his number of attacks, but the reroll was a 6!

My brother's sneaky stealthy guys came up around the side and took out one of my defending guys.

My return fire saw them off quickly! In the meantime, however, his guardsmen were getting closer on the other side.

In another astounding array of shooting, my attack pack were wiped out! Plasma and melta weapons took their toll, all those armour ignoring shots took me down quickly. Fortunately the terminator armour on Skodi saved him. Still, it meant I could no longer contest the objective! Of course, neither could my brother, as I'd killed all his troops too =)

Skodi charged into the command squad and the melee continued for a few turns!

Meanwhile the guardsmen attacked my base, with the sentinel still sniping away, soon I only had three left alive! They passed their leadership roll, so stayed at their post. 

 On the other side of the board, would you believe it, in a nailbiter, down to the last wound fight, Skodi fell to the leader of the guardsmen after killing the rest of the command squad! I was embarrassed except that Skodi had almost single handedly killed two whole squads =)

My other pack used their banner and took out the other squad of guardsmen in some amazing rolls! I lost one guy, but the remaining two stayed put!

And then we rolled for the end of game and that was that! My last two troops were at the objective, so technically I won the game! If the game had continued I had another squad of stormtroopers, a sentinel and the commander to face, yikes! Just as well it was this mission and not a wipe out one!

Things I have learned - 
Do not needlessly walk in range of lascannons.
Do not ignore the benefits of cover.
Do not underestimate lots and lots of dice from weak guns.
And probably other stuff too, but baby is awake! Glad he let me get this typed up! Gotta go, but promise more action soon =)

Monday, May 16, 2011

... Wins the Race

Well, here I am, a day ahead of schedule! Due to a completely unexpected 2 hour nap from the little munchkin I've now done a very simple basecoat on two eight man squads!

Squad A in arrowhead attack pattern...

And Squad B in copycat formation...

As you can tell, totally uninspiring job so far, but they are far better than just all black! Next I need to drybrush the bases grey, oh, and do a similar paintjob on their leader too!

But not today, anyway, there you go, some progress being made, just veeeeery slowly =)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Slow but steady...

Haven't been up to much save being a stay at home dad with a baby who doesn't sleep much during the day! He averages about three 25 minute sleeps a day, which, obviously, isn't a lot of time to do anything else!

On the odd occasion that he naps for longer I've been trying hard to undercoat-paint a marine a day. This involves blacking the base, Fenris Grey on most of the marine, Boltgun metal on the metallics, Astronomican Grey on the bits that will be other, lighter, colours like the fur and bone bits. It's really rough and ready so lots of bits that will swap colours as they are finalised later, but it's still better than leaving them plain!

Slow, but steady progress...

So that's one complete squad of 8 and half of the second squad done. I've just received my final assignment for the semester, so I may not get one a day done, but will still try to get the second squad finished by the end of next week.

If I get the four marines done I'll give the leader the same treatment and then I'll have the 715 point army at least looking a little better than all black!

The Fenris colour is a terror to work with, you shake it to mix it up well, but it seems to separate into two different liquids fairly rapidly. Hence you can see (maybe you need to click on the picture for the full sized one) that they often look slightly different in colour, some much darker than others.

It's just the undercoat, and the Shadow Grey that will go on top of it will be pretty uniform, but it's unusual I think! And not so bad, they're Space Wolves and individuality is encouraged =)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Conversions - Chainfist conversion, combi-melta, combi-plasma.

As promised, here are my super easy conversions.

Firstly, making a right handed chainfist.

I wanted a chainfist and storm shield guy, as you saw on the previous page, but the storm shields and chainfists provided are both left handed!

So with options for converting either to a right hand, I wanted the pose you saw, so went for a right handed chainfist.

It was so super easy.

You just get the chainsword you want from the Space Wolf sprue - I chose one with a wolf head because it was easy to cut along the marine's hand in a neat, straight line and had maximum length of gluing potential.

Choose any chainsword, doesn't have to be right handed for the right handed chainfist.

Then choose the Wolf Claw you want from the Space Wolf Terminator sprue. Now carefully chop off the claws. The one I chose (not pictured) had a nice straight line of claws, all the better for gluing on the sword part.

Choose a right handed wolf claw for the right handed chainfist, the less curvature the better.

And voila, a chainfist. Super, mega easy with a total minimum of fuss.
Here it is from the inside.

And from the outside.

Next up the combimelta or combi-melta or combi melta, not sure if it's hyphenated or what. Anyway, I got the pack of metal melta guns from GW so that I'd have a nice supply of them. Not having played 40k or having a previous army I don't have bitz like some people do! It was cheaper to get 5 from GW than buying individual bitz from ebay or bitz websites - some of them are stupidly expensive.

Anyway, firstly I clipped off the melta barrel from the front of the gun (red). Then I used my clippers and some filing to cut away the part shown in green. This was tricky and I didn't do a very good job, the clippers warped the metal a bit, but hopefully a bit of paint etc. will stop that from being way too noticeable. I'd recommend cutting and filing instead, though it might take some time.

Next I glued the barrel back on, but down where I'd cut that section away (green). Then I added bolter bits from a bolt gun (red). I put the ammo feed bit underneath, the muzzle tip above the melta bit and the clip ejector bit on top.

Voila, combi-melta. Oh, you can also see the washers I glued underneath the mini to help with weight imbalances caused by the metal gun. Some people have found it difficult to get an arm that can hold the gun appropriately and cut off the stock/brace bit at the back. I just used one of the arms that is normally reserved for holding one of the big axes/hammers instead of an arm for a bolt gun. 

For the combi-plasma I used a storm bolter. It already has two sides, so was easy to adapt. On the bolter side of the weapon I just added an extra muzzle tip bit to make it a bit longer to match the plasma side.

Then I just got a plasma pistol, cut off the part shown in green and used some careful cutting and filing to remove roughly half of the storm bolter. Once it was shaped to fit I just glued the plasma pistol part into place. It was a bit messy so I added a wolf skull (red) as decoration to hide the rough part of it.

So there you go. Pretty easy, pretty cheap conversions, no drills, saws or anything fancy like that!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

First Warhammer 40k Game Battle Report: Training Mission 1

Well, the title sort of lies a bit, this won't be a real battle report - we're still learning the rules!

It plays very differently to the Lord of the Rings. There are bigger distances for starters! You get to move a lot more, and with guns you deal damage so much further away!

It's a much faster paced game in a way because of that. Some of the guns have a range of 48"! That's the whole width of the board! Without really knowing what we were doing we probably made lots of mistakes, but we tried our hardest to read through the books as we were going.

The rulebook is actually really useful (at least we found it was) as it goes through the rules in the order that you play the game. I had what, to me, was a huge advantage. My Space Wolves are (at our level of playing - total newb) point and click devices, you run them at the enemy and then smash them in close combat. No subtlety required, they play essentially the same way as my dwarves! My brother, however, with his Imperial Guard has lots of rules, different types of units and a completely different playstyle is required!

So my learning curve won't be anywhere near as steep as his. And I know that these are all total newbie statements, but that's okay, 'cos that's what we are! Please don't be insulted if you're a 40k player and I'm oversimplifying things too much =) I'm sure we'll get the hang of it all eventually.

Anyway, onto the game. I didn't take notes as I had a small baby in my arms a lot of the time and, as I said, we didn't really know what we were doing.

The Space Wolves force, lead by Skodi, has met up with the Imperial Guard remnants on a remote planetoid. Colonel Ivanski is leading his squad back to his home sector on a mission of revenge and liberation. Skodi finds this to be a completely honorable task and, knowing that there will be plenty of fighting to be had, offers to engage in training missions as Ivanski is leading a group from different squads and trying to knit them into a cohesive force.

The first training mission will be a simple all out attack to test weapons (non-lethal at this stage) and allow Ivanski and his men to get used to receiving and carrying out orders.

Most of the troops aren't in proper uniform (ie. we haven't finished painting them yet). The Space Wolves split their forces into two marine squads (with Skodi leading one) and Loki all covering a different part of the field.

Squad A, a pack of eight. One Mark of the Wulfen, one Wolf Standard, one Meltagun, one with Power Weapon and four with the standard layout.

Squad B, another pack of eight, same as A but with no power weapon, Skodi attaches himself to this unit with his Tactical Dreadnought Armour and Dual Wolf Claws (and a melta bomb - the five points made our squads both 715 points).

Loki sets up on the far side.

The guard also spread themselves out. Some infiltrators move to outflank Loki, who is up against them, a Sentinel with armour and a laser cannon and a squad of 10 guard. Squad B and Skodi have no-one near them, so they just move up towards the center. Squad A heads forwards towards some stormtroopers, a squad of 10 guard and the command squad. Their boltgun fire "kills" a couple of stormtroopers, the return fire from them and the guard take out a couple of the pack.

Loki finds out why it's a good idea to be venerable! He is hit by the sentinel's lascannon, it hits, penetrates the armour and would have made him explode (rolled a 6!) but his venerable rule makes for a reroll and it's a 1! Yay, Loki keeps on going =)

Squad B shoots at the stormtroopers, killing one, Squad B then assaults into them, wipes them out and consolidates towards more Imperial Guard. The "casualties" help each other up and head to the sidelines to cheer on their squads and open a keg of beer, thoughtfully supplied by Skodi's pack.

We learned from this just how devastating a charge of Space Wolves can be, wow that's a lot of dice to roll! Even good armour can't save from that many rolls!

Here, assuming we've been doing things correctly, we find out that a venerable dreadnought is immune to most of the Imperial Guard weaponry. There's a single melta-gunner in the squad (who missed) and the lascannon on the sentinel did exactly the same as last time! (A hit, a wound, a six, then a 1 after the reroll! - thank goodness I payed that extra 60 points for venerableness.)

Loki's heavy flamer, meltagun and close combat weapon sent the entire squad off to the sidelines in a couple of turns of combat. We learned that having your guys in a long line is a bad idea when the enemy has a flamethrower!

Here's the end of turn 3, oh, that's something else different... in the Lord of the Rings SBG you do your moves each, then both shoot, then both do close combat. Here one person does all three phases before the next person gets a turn. It's quite dramatic to move, shoot and charge into assault in a short span of time while your opponent just has to sit there!

After the Imperial Guard received orders to First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire and something like 21 lasergun shots, a heavy flamer etc. all I had left were two marines. They passed their leadership test so didn't run away, although space marines have some rule that we didn't get to about that. These two are a Wulfen guy (lots of close combat attacks) and a power weapon guy (ignores enemy armour).

The two marines took out almost all of the Guard, but on the next turn they were shot too many times to recover. Instead Skodi detached from his pack and took out the remaining Guard himself. Not before taking a wound from a random laser gun. On the other side of the field, Loki multi-meltad the sentinel.

Amusingly, the Guard fired six plasma shots that game, of them, four of them overheated and killed their users, one of them overheated but was saved. Such incredibly bad luck from the powerful weapons!

Here's the last photo of the day. My squad charging the command unit. Another oddity here as you move as squads, so with the majority of my guys in the squad in difficult terrain, we played that the unit still had to make a terrain roll to get into close combat. Which they did, and made it, and wiped out the last of the Guard.

Well it was fun, and quick compared to an SBG game with the same number of models. I learned that the Imperial Guard shooting, especially under orders, can be really devastating due to the sheer number of dice being rolled. The Guard learned that charging towards Space Wolves isn't the best move, which, again, is very different tactically to playing LotR SBG. 

We also have to learn the distances etc. I kept moving way closer than I needed to sometimes just because I was unsure of distances. Not a big problem seeing as how I wanted to be in close combat, but something to think about when wanting to shoot.

Also we found out how tough vehicles are to common troops, you really need some heavy weapons to crack them open!

Anyway, we'll be playing again for sure, and hopefully getting better with time and practice!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wolf Guard apply here...

I've had some free time over the weekend and today. Monday's are my child-free day and usually I have uni work to do, but I finished my assignment early so had some hobby time today!

I've been busy too!

Finished off my Wolf Guard, which means all my marines (except the scouts) are done now! Well, they're assembled anyway!

So here they are for your perusal...

If they're a bit dark, try clicking for the larger picture (assuming you care that much!)

Here is Etako Ironfist (also known as Etako One-eye). Yes, it's Etako in the far distant future =)

He still has his trademark fist, and also a combi-melta, a follow up post will have details on the combi-weapons and conversions I've made.

Etako will be leading one of my Grey Hunter packs.

Here's another one of my Grey Hunter pack leaders. He's nameless at the moment, but don't worry, I'll get to all that =) He has a thunder hammer and combi-plasma. Both squad leaders are standing on a small bit of cork and may have a little lava underneath them. They also have a little back standard thing to help differentiate them easily from the troops.

Here's one of my terminator Wolf Guard. He has the iconic thunder hammer and storm shield. He's the "striding forward purposefully" model feet. I found a bit of gravel with an incline that matched the angle of his feet and so now instead of leaning forward, he's climbing up a slight incline. I quite like the pose. (But I would, wouldn't I!)

Here's my cheapest termie (for use as a squad commander in a pinch with my third, ranged, troop squad). He has a standard storm bolter and a wolf claw.

I already posted Ocsar previously, my Assault Cannon and Frost Sword terminator. 

And here's Skodi, the leader of the pack (I hope you don't all get the old Shangri-La song stuck in your head when you read that) without his cape on at present. I know I've made life hard for myself by putting them all together before painting, but at least here I've left the cape so I can paint his back and the cape! Don't get me started on how I'm going to do a half-decent job on the marines, but I was just so eager to get them put together!

And lastly my fourth Wolf Guard terminator, or possibly my Lone Wolf. I really love the Lone Wolf concept for another Elite slot. I may even make him a secondary leader, a Wolf Guard Battle Leader. My brother will be playing Imperial Guard (you can see some of them in the background) and has some Sentinels and soon some tanks. So a chainfist might come in handy! How I built this one will be in another post, but it was simple and looks pretty cool.

But the coolest thing (IMHO) is that I lined him up so that he's looking right through the gap in his shield, as though he were blocking a lascannon shot or something. I tried to get the shield so it covered as much of him as I could from this angle. Behind him is his wolf companion (the Wild Warg Chieftain). It looks remarkably similar to some of the Fenrisian Wolves in the codex.

The IG troops in the background are my team effort with my brother to both have an HQ and two troops choices finished so that we can actually start playing!

Anyway, I really, REALLY love the terminator models, always have. Oops, baby is crying...