Archive for June, 2012

Versus the Tau Empire

I played against Josh and his Tau down in the Nerd Bunker. Tau was my very first army when I first started playing Warhammer 40k. I built and painted a bunch of them (mainly Firewarriors and Kroot) and then discovered that though they might build and paint pretty quickly, I wanted more modeling opportunities and general bitz and customization. This caused me to switch over to Chaos Space Marines (which put spikes and skulls on everything) and I haven’t really looked back. However, I still remember much of the Tau codex, so I may have been more familiar with this opposing force than any other that I’ve fought in the Nerd Bunker.

At this point, I don’t remember what the mission or the deployment was. As it turns out, this game was played back in April (just after Adepticon) and my notes are limited and I only seem to have three photos. I apologize in advance for a bit of a light batrep.

I won first turn. I moved up my troops that were on the table (I had reserved my Daemon Prince, Uncle Tickles, my three Stupid Terminators, and my three Obliterators because I didn’t want them to start out on the table due to his superior shooting) and tried firing my Vindicators, which were out of range, as usual. I just didn’t get much done. Josh, on the other hand, wrecked one of my Vindicators by using his Markerlights (kind of like laser targeting) and used his big Hammerhead tank to wreck the other one. Then he wrecked the Rhino full of Berzerkers with missile pods. For those of you scoring at home: I didn’t even hit stuff on my first turn, and the Tau wrecked two of my tanks and one of my personnel carriers on the first turn. It was looking grim on the first turn, which is always good.

Does this die look cocked to you?

On the second turn, my Daemon Prince and Stupid Terminators Deepstruck in to Josh’s back lines. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much once they got there. The Daemon Prince only put a wound on a single Tau Battlesuit and the Stupid Terminators dropped in front of Josh’s Broadsides (fancy battlesuits with twin-linked rail guns) and all three tried to fire their one-shot combi-meltas into them, hopefully taking them out. Of course, the Stupid Terminators completely flubbed this attack, wasting their combi-meltas and not doing anything but waiting to die in Josh’s turn, which is exactly what they did. Luckily, my Chaos Dreadnought (Zoidberg) hit one of Josh’s Hammerhead tanks and caused it to become Shaken, so it couldn’t fire for a turn. Unluckily, Josh’s Firewarriors unloaded a ton of fire (probably why they call them Firewarriors) into the Daemon Prince and he couldn’t make saves to save his life (literally) and he died. Josh killed some of my regular Chaos Space Marine troopers with some random fire and then turn two finally ended.

My Daemon Prince about to take a whole bunch of Tau gunfire to the face

In turn three, my Obliterators and Uncle Tickles (my Chaos Lord in the Terminator armor, the dual Lightning Claws and the winning personality) finally showed up to the party, and tried to get to work. While they were strolling onto the board, my CSM troops wasted some shots on Josh’s Broadsides and again did nothing. He was masterful at making 4+ cover saves on this day. Luckily for me, his luck didn’t hold out forever, and the Obliterators (with their long-range weaponry) finally popped one of his regular Battlesuits, and caused the other one to break and run off the board. I finally had a killpoint! However, Josh had five, and was about to get more. On Josh’s turn, Uncle Tickles died in a hail off gunfire from a bunch of Battlesuits and some of the Firewarriors. The evil Broadsides shot up a few more of my CSM troops, but they didn’t break. Josh’s Kroot also tried to shoot up the CSM guys, but they lived through it. Lastly, the non-Shaken Hammerhead aimed his big, scary railgun at poor old Zoidberg, but he luckily missed.

On my turn 4, my Plague Marines were able to Immobilize one of Josh’s Devilfish transports with their plasmaguns. Zoidberg shot back at the Hammerhead that fired at him last turn, and destroyed the railgun on it, effectively neutering it. The Obliterators all flubbed their shots at the Hammerhead and were awarded no points. The Chaos Space Marine troops completely screwed up their assault against the Kroot and at the end, the last figure in the unit (the Aspiring Champion) decided to give up his aspirations of being a Champion and run away like a little girl. Luckily, I did get a bit of work done in this turn: my mob of Khorne Berzerkers brutally charged a pair of Tau Gun Drones and the poor drones couldn’t make their saves against 25 wounds and they died. Sure, it was overkill, but at this point I had to take what I could get.

So many Wrecked vehicles

On Josh’s turn four, his Kroot laughed at my cowardly “Aspiring” Champion as he aspired to run off the board and shot at him as he ran, but they didn’t kill him. Josh’s remaining Battlesuits ganged up on my beloved Obliterators and killed one, leaving two. His Hammerhead and this other Devilfish killed off half of my unit of Berzerkers, who were still high off of their triumph over the two measly Gun Drones. Things were winding down.

Here’s all I have written down in my notes for my turn five: “Nothing. No shots landed.” So things weren’t looking good for me. On Josh’s turn five, his Battlesuit Command Squad killed off my last two Obliterators, leaving me with very little left.

Either we rolled to end the game at the end of turn five or we just called it, I’m not sure anymore and my notes became nothing but swear-words and something about “commie fish-cows” or something. Some people like to say that the Tau are an underpowered army and that is frequently true in close combat. However, their guns are some of the best in the game, as I rediscovered in this particular battle.

Proper Photos of My First Chaos Space Marine Squad

I took these photos of my finished Chaos Space Marines quite some time ago, but they’ve been sitting on my hard drive, unedited, ever since. I’m not sure what took me so long, but it’s probably one of those “out of sight, out of mind” issues. The photos were in a folder and I nearly forgot about them.

The big class photo

As you can see, I went with a Black Legion paint scheme. I worked hard to make the black not too black, yet also not grey. I also wanted the black to be a “warm” black, instead of a “cool” black. A quick rundown of my process: I prime them black, then dust them from above with a layer of medium grey. This builds in some highlights and shadows. Then I drybrush Codex Grey on the upper bits to add even more highlights.

Three Chaos dudes with bolters

I then put a GW Devlan Mud wash over the whole model to darken up the armor, and it also adds a “warmish” cast to the dark areas. This warmer cast mixes quite well with the gold trim and the bone-colored horns and whatnot. The trim on the legs is mainly all GW Bolt Gun Metal, which is a dark silver metallic.

Two “special” troopers (plasma and melta) and a regular one in the middle

The metallics are all washed with either Devlan Mud (mainly for the gold) or Badab Black (for the silver trim on the legs and the silver on the weapons) and then highlighted with the same color again after the wash dries. I’m still a pretty slow painter, so it takes me a long time, but I’m pretty happy with the results.

Three more “regulars”… a bit boring

I finish up with the same basing technique that I’ve used all throughout this army project. It ends up being a bit of a “cooler” grey ash effect with some jagged rocks thrown in for good measure. These guys have served me well since September 2011, when I actually got them finished in time for a Combat Patrol tournament. It was mainly my own forgetfulness that has kept these finished photos off of the blog until now. Unfortunately, I’m in a bit of a holding pattern on painting my Chaos Space Marine army right now, because the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 will be coming out in early July, and a new codex book for my army should be coming pretty soon after that. The issue is that I don’t know if they’re going to disband any of the units I currently use or add crazy-useful new ones or what. Therefore, I pretty much wait. And play games. And build more terrain.

Nerd Party in the Nerd Bunker (including grilled meats)

From time to time, an email starts going around amongst a bunch of guys I’ve known for a long time. Dates get discussed, plans and tactics are hashed out, and eventually (usually around 11 a.m.) a bunch of guys start showing up at the Nerd Bunker for a day of Warhammer 40k and other things, whatever they may be. This happened again last Saturday, and a fine time was had. We decided this time to try and have a few big three-on-three Combat Patrol battles on the big table.

Josh has his Tau deployed

The first battle was Chaos (me), Tau (Josh), and Imperial Guard (Rick) versus Necrons (Ben), Space Marines (Karl), and  Orks (Evil Steve). Ben’s Necron force included the new Wraiths, which are right bastards and we were all scared of them. They absorbed a ton of fire as they stalked ever closer to our front line.

3 versus 3 Combat Patrol makes for a pretty epic battle, somehow

My Chaos Space Marines were mostly lined up across the board from Steve and his Orks. I was feeling pretty good about this, as I had two heavy bolters in my unit of Havocs. Heavy bolters will usually chew up a unit of lightly armored Orks, however my dice were terrible and I only killed a few and soon they were upon me. Rick and Josh worked over the Necron Wraiths and they finally died, but we were looking pretty weak.

My Chaos Havocs were holding it down, until they were overrun by Orks

Eventually, it became clear that our side could possibly win if my lone squad of Plague Marines could spread out enough to still stay in coherency (two inches between figures) and be within three inches of two separate objectives (they could), and if Josh’s lone Tau gun drone could fly close enough to one of the objectives that the other team held so that we could contest it (it could), and then the game had to randomly end on turn five. If it went to turn six or the dreaded turn seven, then our carefully constructed house of cards would come tumbling down and we would all die horribly, as per usual. Luckily for us, at the end of turn five, Rick rolled a die to see if the game would end (it would only end on a 1 or a 2 result) and it did. We actually cheered, as we snatched victory from the sticky maw of defeat.

Battle makes one hungry for meat, it seems

It was then time to grill many meats. It was raining a bit, but that didn’t stop us from firing up the coals and getting our carnivore on. There was steak, burgers, brats, and fancy ribs brought by Ben, who is a professional chef when he is not the general of an unstoppable Necron death machine. We then retired to the basement to fill our stomachs and talk shop.

Eventually, it was time to play a second game. Karl had to leave, but Black Tom had arrived with a 400-point group of Lamentors (Space Marines) in tow. The second game ended up being Chaos Space Marines (me), Tau (Josh), and Necrons (Ben) versus Imperial Guard (Rick ), Tau (Evil Steve), and Space Marines (Black Tom). This scenario was Capture and Control, so we each had a single objective in our deployment zones. The less said about this battle, the better. The game ended early, as our team was nearly unstoppable (due to some pretty lucky rolls, to be fair) and the fact that we really, really dug in on our objective. It was going to take an act of God to get two squads of Plague Marines, a squad of Firewarriors and three Battlesuits off of our precious objective.

Between the Plague Marines, the Firewarriors and the Battlesuits, I think we have this objective held

All in all, it was another good day in the Nerd Bunker, and it really inspired me to switch gears for awhile and get some terrain done. I have so much of it, but so little of it is painted, and I want to try to fix that. Plus, switching up things like that (going from painting figures to working on terrain) helps reduce gamer burnout.

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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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