Posts Tagged 'kroot'

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.

Mobile Painting Studio

So yesterday, my good friend whom I eat lunch with most weekdays told me he wouldn’t be available for lunch tomorrow, as he had an appointment. Therefore, I’d be eating lunch alone on Thursday. I thought about bringing something to read or something to do, and then had a revelation: lunchtime would be the perfect time to try out my Mobile Painting Studio.

On the left: my Mobile Painting Studio. On the right: my lunch.

My friend Sam uses the same type of setup, and after seeing him carry his paints and supplies around, I remembered that I had a tacklebox just like that in the basement somewhere, filled with old WizKids MechWarrior: Dark Age figures and dead spiders. Last week I dug it out, dumped all the figures and random ick out of it (it spent several years outside on our back porch, so it was very dusty and had been inhabited) and threw it in the tub. I cleaned it out mostly and set it out to dry.

It’s now filled with all of my miniatures paints (Citadel, Reaper and Vallejo paints, not the bigger, cheaper paints you get from Hobby Lobby and use for terrain) and brushes and hobby knives and wet palette and I even use one drawer just for carrying the miniatures I’m currently painting. It’s seriously handy, especially when you don’t currently have a proper place to paint (my painting table is all folded up and stored away for now in the Nerd Bunker) and if you carry your paints and such to places to paint, like when I go to the Tabletop Minions meetings on Tuesday nights or if I go to paint at a friend’s house.

In a future blog post, I might even go in-depth into what went into the creation of the Mobile Painting Studio, so you can get some ideas and build your own. Keep an eye here for more details.

And how did my lunchtime painting go? I nearly have some Kroot ready to go and ready to show you. A little more work on the bases and a little drybrushing on their weapons and they’re all done.

Holidays with the Tau

It’s been longer than I hoped it would be since my last post, but I’m still trying to get settled after the move, the holidays and more work in the Nerd Bunker. It has slowed down my modeling progress, to be sure. I was going to make another post about the Nerd Bunker (as work has been progressing) but I didn’t want to do two in a row about it, so instead, I’ll show you some work-in-progress shots of one of the few actual modeling projects I’ve been able to work on.

Since I don’t really have a proper place to work at this point and it’s cold and lousy outside, I really can’t prime or spray-basecoat any built models. However, I still wanted to keep moving on with painting my Tau Empire army, so I enlisted the help of a friend.

My friend Sam Lenz is a professional miniatures painter, so I contacted him about paying him to prime and basecoat 12 Kroot and four Tau Pathfinders for me. We worked out a price, I dropped off the figures and he did the work quickly and got them back to me so I could then start doing the detail painting and the washes and whatnot.

Four Tau Pathfinders

These guys were primed black and then airbrushed with a basecoat of Khemri Brown from Games Workshop. Once I got them back from him, I started washing them with Baal Red. I wanted to keep them subtle, as they’re kind of like the Tau version of scouts. I kind of envisioned them as being from a red world (if you’ve seen my Firewarriors) so they’re actually kind of camouflaged. I need to finish up the bases and then they’ll mostly be done.

A dirty dozen

These 12 Kroot warriors were also primed black and then airbrushed Khemri Brown. After that had dried, Sam used a Delvan Mud wash on all of their skin bits. I haven’t even started working with these guys yet, but they look pretty cool already, so I think they’re going to work out pretty well. I just need to figure out my color schemes for them. I think I might try making their headspines in a purple or something like that. Maybe a purple color at the base, and then a middle blue towards the ends and then Bleached Bone right at the tips. That could be pretty cool.

I’m glad I’m able to keep painting even while my workspace is under construction. Momentum is an important thing for me in miniatures painting, so if I wouldn’t have been able to get my built minis primed and basecoated for another few months, it would have caused some serious issues with my eventual success.

Speaking of success, I have two main goals right now: Finish the Nerd Bunker and finish my Tau Empire army. I’ve always found that big projects like that go ‘quicker’ for me and are more likely to get finished if I can have some mini-milestones along the way. With the Nerd Bunker, these milestones will be getting the walls painted (which I will be working on again tonight) and getting my spray room finished so I can set up my airbrush and compressor. As a milestone for the army, I’m working to build a decent ‘Combat Patrol‘ 400-point list, so I can at least get some gaming in and start training myself to play right. I’m getting close on that milestone, too. Check here for more in the following weeks.

Finished Tau Firewarriors

A few weeks ago (before moving into the new house and all of the activities that involves) I finished my Tau Firewarriors. I now have 12 standard Firewarriors (with pulse rifles) and two “leader” Firewarriors with differently painted shoulderpads. This allows me to field two squads of six standard Firewarriors, or two squads of six standard Firewarriors with leaders, or a full squad of 11 standard Firewarrirors and a leader, or a full squad of 12 standard Firewarriors, etc. You get the idea.

A bit of a gaggle

They turned out pretty well, I think. Using the colored spray primer from Duplicolor, and the quick orange spray from above, they painted up pretty quickly. I can’t stress this enough when painting a big squad or many figures for an army: write down your recipe for the figure. The “recipe” is the steps you take to get it from start to finish. You paint yourself up a test figure or two, and make notes as you go, step-by-step. Include names of paints and how many coats. Did you drybrush this step, and where? This really, really helps if your memory is as lousy as mine, and probably even if it isn’t.

The red-orange avengers for the Greater Good

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out for how quick and easy they were to paint up. You gotta love the Tau, with their smooth surfaces and simple details. No skulls. No wings. No skulls with wings. Just easy lines and a generally monochrome nature, if the official artwork and fluff is to be believed. Perhaps I’ll post my step-by-step recipe for my Firewarriors at some point so you can see how quick and easy I ended up making them.

As a side note, I need my photos to get better. I don’t know if I need to redesign my lightbox for taking photos, or if I just have to get my settings dialed in a bit more, but the photos just aren’t quite where I want them, yet.

And now, what am I working on? Kroot, of course. For those not in the know, the Kroot are mercenary “savages” that work for the Tau (kinda) and are much, much better at hand to hand fighting than the shooty Tau. They’re unarmored and wear little more than skins and very little else. They carry longrifles that also double as slashing clubs, and they’re the descendants of bird-like reptiles or something like that. They look cool, and the models are neat. In game terms, they’re the speedbump that assault armies will have to plow through before they can properly defile my poor Firewarriors / Crisis Battlesuits / Hammerhead tanks and whatnot in hand-to-hand combat. Hopefully the Kroot sacrifice will allow my shooty troops to get at least one more shot off at their foes before they get sawed in half, but we shall see.


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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