Archive for February, 2011

Dark Eldar Destruction and the Rise of Chaos

On Sunday, I played another little 500-point Combat Patrol battle with Sam. This time, he brought his brand-spanking new Dark Eldar to the battle. And I do mean spanking. I’m still having some trouble sitting down.

Holding the hill that they would soon stain with their own blood

I’m not going to get too much into my list here, but I had a Commander in a battlesuit, two other Crisis battlesuits, a Devilfish with nine Firewarriors and a group of a dozen Kroot trying to infiltrate up the side. Came to 495 points. I deployed first and got first turn.

Sam had three vehicles. Two had troops inside and one was a gunship with no troops. I don’t know diddly about Dark Eldar units, so I can’t tell you more than that. I can tell you that at the end of the (quick) battle, all I had left was the Devilfish and one battlesuit. He had only lost two figures, which were Wyches, I believe. I think the Devilfish had finally landed a shot to cause those two deaths, otherwise I would have been completely skunked.

I'm glad they look cool, because otherwise they were completely useless

Long story short: The Tau are supposed to be a “shooty” army. In comparison to the new Dark Eldar, I would have to disagree. Everything I deployed had a Ballistic Skill of 3 (meaning it only hits on a four, five or six on a D6) and the Dark Eldar all seem to have BS 4 (meaning they hit on a three, four, five or six on a D6) which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it’s actually the difference between hitting 50% of the time or 66% of the time, which is sort of a big deal. Also, I had a vehicle that, if it sat still, could fire seven times in a turn (Burst Cannon is Assault 3 and Smart Missile System is Heavy 4). Sam had a vehicle (it was the one that destroyed most of my battlesuits and all of my Firewarriors) that, if it sat still, could shoot twenty-four times in a turn. At Ballistic Skill 4.

Shooty army, indeed.

So anyway, that’s the way Games Workshop works: The newest codex is always super-duper overpowered and everyone else cries foul or switches to the new armies, and the circle of life continues. You either deal with it or don’t play their screwed up ruleset. However, I do have an option.

I went a little eBay crazy a few months back and bought a second army – Chaos Space Marines. I bought troops and Berzerkers and Terminators and Rhinos and Vindicators and a Land Raider, plus some other stuff. Now, I know what you’re going to say: isn’t their codex just as old as the Tau codex? And actually, it’s not. But nearly as old, yes. However, I still think that Chaos Space Marines are a more capable and versatile army than the Tau, and they look pretty cool, too. So I’m going to start working on my Chaos Space Marines and leave the Tau be, for now. I’ll play some more Combat Patrol with Sam to keep my practice up (but I’ll prefer if he brings his Orks next time) but I’ll be working full bore on the Chaos Space Marines and preparing to Let the Galaxy Burn!

And, if Games Workshop plays it like I suspect they will, then when they release the new Tau Empire Codex, rumored to be released sometime in 2012, then my newly minted Firewarriors (now with BS 8, pulse rifles that are Assault 10 with a range of 60 inches and at Strength 9 AP 2 and with three wounds each), will be ready.

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Twelve Kroot Finished

It’s been more than a week since I last posted, and that was a bit longer than I wanted to go between posts. However, I have many things to show you.  I have ‘leveled up’ in two areas recently: in the ‘finishing 12 Kroot’ area and in the ‘taking better miniatures photos’ area. Below, you may bask in the fruits of my labor:

The Dirty Dozen, called that because they are actually quite dirty and there are twelve of them

The Kroot are fun to build and fun to paint, mainly due to the extreme amount of customization possible with their sprues. Beyond all of the head, arm and body options, there are tons and tons of accessories. Besides all of the different pistols and knives and grenades available, there are also tons of bags and satchels and who-knows-what.

Three Kroot warriors

I knew I wanted to keep their skin tones pretty dull, so they were originally primed black and then airbrushed Khemri Brown, leaving some of the black to show through and act as built-in shadows. After they were dry, they were then washed with the magical and powerful Devlan Mud wash from Games Workshop. This makes every paint job better, really. Especially if you’re a novice painter like me.

Three more Kroot warriors

One of the strengths of the Kroot kit is also one if its weaknesses: due to all of the possible customization and added on parts and such, they take a long time to build. However, they look pretty cool when they’re built. Then, of course, with all of that detail, they then take a long time to paint. However, they look pretty cool when they’re painted, so there’s that.

A view of some of the great customization options

Since I kept their skin tones so dull and neutral, I decided to make sure their head plumage was quite colorful as a contrast. I went with the strong blue tone to complement to warmer skin tone. Also, some of the warriors have decoration in their plumage, so to really call those elements out, I made them orange (the exact opposite, or complementary color on the color wheel) and I think that worked out well. Lastly, since the Kroot are not really a professional military force with the matching equipment fetish that usually entails, I figured it would be a good idea to switch up colors on a lot of the little details, like rifle straps, satchels and the like.

Some of these guys remembered to bring their lunch

All in all, I think they turned out well and they were basically a fun time to paint. However, I’m not sure I’ll be building and painting the other 12 that I have on the sprue (which came in my other Tau battleforce box) because I’m not sure how actually useful they are in battle and I don’t know if I’m going to end up having room for them (and all the other stuff I’m planning on building to get to a 1500 point Tau army) in my Battlefoam bag. So I guess we’ll see, but I am glad I got to finish these guys.

Other than the four Tau Pathfinders I need to finish painting, I don’t really have anything else built right now, which means I’ll be taking a small break from painting. During that time, I’ll be working on three things: magnetizing my Crisis Battlesuits (which I’ve never done before), working on the Nerd Bunker (natch) and getting ready for running some Song of Blades and Heroes at a local convention at the end of the month. It’s always good to stay busy.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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