Posts Tagged 'plague marines'

Painting, Playing, and Tournamenting

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not a word.

Anyway, it’s been a pretty long time since my last post, but it hasn’t been because I’ve been slacking. Things at work have changed, so I’ve been considerably busier on that front. I’ve been working later and even from home in the evenings here and there, so my time has been at a premium.

Generally, I’ve spent it pretty well, I think. I had a Warhammer 40,000 Combat Patrol tournament in January, and I wanted to run a different Chaos Space Marine list than the one I ran at the last tourney. Therefore, I needed to paint ten Khorne Berzerkers (which I had never painted before) in time for the tourney so I’d have a new list.

My January Combat Patrol list

The tournament went okay. It was five rounds, and I had a win, two losses, and two draws. I had never used Khorne Berzerkers before (pro-tip: try and use a unit type that you’ve never played before at least once before a tourney so you have a vague idea what you’re doing) and they worked well in some situations. In nearly every round, my Rhino troop transport only made it one or two turns before being immobilized or out-and-out destroyed, so it pretty much was business as usual on that front. I got to play five games in a day and against people and armies I don’t usually play against, so I look at it as mission accomplished.

I also was finally able to get in a game of Flying Lead from Ganesha Games with my man Lee. We had not played it in a long time, so it was also a bit of a re-learning experience as well. We got together at my place in the Nerd Bunker and played on one of the smaller 4×4 boards.

My AT-43 figures jockeying for cover

It was just a simple game of elimination. No objectives, no secondary or tertiary bonus points, just a simple game of killing everyone on the other team. It started out slowly, with the both of us trading shots to little effect. I started to do some work, knocking down a few of his guys and making them seek cover. I had three soldiers in my squad who had the Stealth special rule, and they were giving Lee some problems. Then, the tide turned, my dice betrayed me, and Lee made some really smart moves, charging my stealthed soldiers and wiping most of them out. Then he sniped my Leader, which caused a morale check for the guys who were still left… and then things pretty much ended. It was a good time and I’m hoping to get together and play more Flying Lead, and hopefully teach a few other people the game.

Then, it was already time for another Combat Patrol tournament at my local gaming store (they’re trying to run more tournaments this year; I think it’s a good idea) and, as usual, it seemed like time to try yet another list. This time, I wanted to bring two squads of Plague Marines and a squad of Havocs (heavy weapons specialists) so I needed to paint five of the Plague Marines (one with a plasma gun)  and three of the Havocs (all in Black Legion colors: a missile launcher and two heavy bolters) in a week. I didn’t need to paint all 15 guys in the list as I was able to use five Plague Marines and two Black Legion from my current group of painted figures. Also, this time I wasn’t bringing a Rhino.

They're not the 'Dirty Dozen,' they're the 'Unclean Fifteen,' I guess

This was only a three round tournament (since it was on a Sunday) and I played against an Ork Killer Kan list (known around these parts as a ‘Kan-wall’), a Dark Eldar list run by my good friend and painter extraordinaire Samson, and a ‘vanilla’ Space Marine biker and scouts list. I got pretty badly mangled by the Orks (though I did take out a few Killer Kans); Sam’s Dark Eldar beat me in the screwy mission goals, but I blew up all three of his crazy-ass flying pirate boat-things, so that made me feel better (seriously, I think it was the best game I’ve ever played against him); and though I beat the Space Marine biker player in the mission goals, there were so many weird secondary and tertiary bonus points and objectives (that he accidentally ended up claiming) that we ended up tying the game in points, so it was scored as a draw.

It was still a generally decent time, but it is starting to make my want to play some large, “normal-sized” games soon. Combat Patrol is a 400-point list per player; usually 40k is played with army lists ranging from 1500 to 2000 points per player. As soon as I get my two Chaos Vindicators built (I started on one of them on Sunday night and it’s more than half done) then I’ll be able to field a 1750 point list. They won’t be painted, but they’ll be built and I can start playing friendly games with people and use lots and lots of toys, like the aforementioned Vindicators and a Daemon Prince and Terminators and all kinds of cool stuff. I’m looking forward to it, I just wish there was more time in the day to build and paint and play (and blog) more.

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The Real 2011 in Review, and a Look Towards 2012

2011 was a great year for me in many ways, and I feel blessed for my friends and family and my life in general. 2011 was a pretty good year for my hobby gaming, and since that’s what this blog is about, I’m going to go over it here.

GAMING
I played a good deal of Warhammer 40,000 this year. By my best count, I played 31 games of 40k this year. Most of them were Combat Patrol, and some of them were in tournaments but it’s still a decent amount of games. Over all of the games this year, my average was certainly under .500, but I figure I’m still learning, so that’s not too bad. In 2012, I’d like to play even more, and I’m pretty sure I can accomplish that, especially now that the Nerd Bunker is at least partially set up and ready for play.

I also played some Dwarf King’s Hold (mostly with Lee) and enjoyed that. I wish I would have played some Space Hulk this year, but that game stayed packed away in the weird annex off of the Nerd Bunker. I also didn’t get a chance to play any Song of Blades and Heroes or Flying Lead this year, other than running a bit of SoBH at Fire and Ice last February.

GAMING – HOPES FOR 2012
I’m planning to play more Warhammer 40,000 this year, at home in the Nerd Bunker, at other people’s houses, and at game shops / tournaments. I know Chimera Hobby Shops (both Appleton and Fond du Lac) is planning to run a 40k Combat Patrol or Kill Team (an event smaller point game, just 200 points with special rules) tournament at each shop each month during 2012, on separate weekends, so if I can’t make it to Appleton one weekend, I can still maybe make it to Fond du Lac the next weekend. Or maybe both!

I also really want to play some different games, as well. I want to get back into Song of Blades and Heroes and Flying Lead from Ganesha Games. I want to play more Dwarf King’s Hold and Space Hulk because they’re fun to play – yet, as board/miniature game hybrids, don’t take as much setup and time as some full-blown ‘real’ miniatures games.

I’m also working towards some other skirmish-type miniatures games, like Warmachine and Infinity and MERCS and Hell Dorado and Mordheim. What’s great about these games is that I can frequently put together two forces (as they’re small) and then invite someone over to play and teach them the game and have figures for them to use. That’s a bit more difficult with the bigger army-style games.

PAINTING / MODELING
I got a good deal more work done on this front this year than I did in 2010. As far as miniatures are concerned, I built and modeled more this year versus last, and even painted a little more than I did in 2010. I started a new Warhammer 40k army (Chaos Space Marines) and built quite a few troops and a few vehicles. I was able to get 10 of the standard Chaos Marines painted and six of the Plague Marines, enough for a fully-painted Combat Patrol army at a tournament in September. I finished painting a unit of Kroot for my Tau army, and I started a small army of Black Templar for Combat Patrol. The Black Templar force is now about 20 troopers strong, and a couple of vehicles (out of four) have been started. So, over all – I did okay on the painting and modeling front, quantity-wise. But how was my quality?

I like to think that my painting is currently the best it’s ever been, and I’d like to make sure I progress from here. Three main things have helped my painting this year: I started using a wet palette to thin and mix my paints, I started attaching my models to old pill bottles when painting so I had a nice handle to hold the miniature for painting without actually touching the model, and I started using my airbrush.

Nurgle Chaos Lord conversion

I wanted to start using an airbrush last year to help with priming my miniatures (specifically in winter, when it’s too cold to prime models outside with a rattlecan) and using it for basecoats, shading, highlighting, and painting terrain. I’m happy to say that I was able to use it for all of these things this year, and it’s really made a difference. Once I finally got the room cleaned out and a decent work surface and some good lighting, things came together pretty quickly. It’s great for priming, as it uses very little paint and you don’t feel wasteful just priming one model. Basecoating, shading, and highlighting are great with it, too. Colors can be laid down and blended very easily with an airbrush, which gives the models more depth and really improves their look. Overall, I’ve painted some of the best figures I’ve ever painted this year.

PAINTING / MODELING – HOPES FOR 2012
My main hope is simply to get more done and to improve more in my speed and quality. I have a lot of figures built right now, so there’s no reason I won’t start priming and basecoating them in smaller batches and then just get to work. I have a group of 10 figures built for a Combat Patrol tourney near the end of the month, so they’ll be my next big project. You’ll see more about them here in the coming weeks.

CREATING
I talked about starting some sort of podcast or PDF e-zine or something this year, and none of that has really happened. Mainly this was due to other projects taking up my time, one big one being the work I’m doing at Beasts of War. I did a dozen or so interviews at Adepticon this year (a great, minis-only convention outsid of Chicago) and about 18 different pieces at Gen Con, and I finally started making some videos at the end of the year from the studio I built in the basement, the Nerd Bunker. I’m doing the ‘writing’ (such as it is) and the shooting and the presenting and even the editing, and I’m really enjoying it and the response has been really good. I’m looking forward to doing more Nerd Bunker videos in the future (as of this writing, there’s one that just went live, I have one nearly finished editing here, and two more to shoot planned for this weekend and the next week) and I’ll be returning to Adepticon and Gen Con this year, so you can expect more interviews and news from me.

I also shot a simple video for our gaming club (and our friend Ted who is in Afganistan) of a bunch of us competing in a Combat Patrol tournament at Chimera in September. That was also a lot of fun to shoot and edit, and got a decent number of views, especially thanks to a link from the guys at Beasts of War.

CREATING – HOPES FOR 2012
Again, it’s just more: we’re planning for more interviews and segments from Adepticon and Gen Con again this year, and I’m planning on doing a lot of videos from the Nerd Bunker. I’m also hoping to do more gaming club videos and probably revamp the gaming club website, trying to offer some articles about how to do some beginner things in the hobby to help newer people out. We’ll see how it all falls together.

BASEMENTING
The Nerd Bunker got a lot of work this year. Two of the three main walls were completely primed, painted, and detailed. One wall (the longest) is 3/4 prepared, scraped, and primed. However, there’s been a Herculean cleaning effort and there are now three tables (two 4x4s and one 4×6) set up for gaming and the studio for the Nerd Bunker videos is ready, so I feel pretty good about the progress.

Speaking of tables, this summer my good friend Eric and I built a 4×6-foot gaming table outside in the driveway. A few weeks later, my lovely wife helped me bring the pieces in and we put it all together. It’s a monster, and very sturdy. It makes me very happy and I’m glad for all the help. It has been gamed on a few times already in 2011, but I think it’s going to get much more of a workout in the coming year.

BASEMENTING – HOPES FOR 2012
I need to finish up the final wall, and then do a little wiring so I can bring my computer downstairs and get that whole deal all set up. I also need to set up my painting table so I get my painting supplies off of the workbench. It will be a good idea to get some shelves set up, as well. Then it’ll just be putting stuff up on the walls and getting an old couch and maybe a chair, and I’ll have a cozy little bunker to call my own. I’m looking forward to it.

IN CONCLUSION
It was, as I said in the beginning of this post, a great year and I am thankful for it. I got a lot of things done that I wanted to, I
learned new things and progressed my skills in the hobby (at least in painting if not in gaming and winning). I got somewhere around 80,000 views on YouTube (50,000 on just Gen Con videos alone) and started working in earnest with the Beasts of War lads. I look forward to what 2012 brings and hope to be able to progress and do more. I also hope you can do more this year and that everyone has a successful 2012. Thanks for reading!

Zombies in Spaaaaaace!

I attended a fun, pre-Halloween event at Chimera Hobbies & Games in Appleton on Saturday the 29th. It was called ‘Zombies in Space’ and all I knew going into the event was that each player was supposed to bring up to 150 points of Warhammer 40k troops, no vehicles. I assumed we’d be fighting zombies, so I figured I shouldn’t need heavy, vehicle-killing weapons so I just brought six Plague Marines: five with standard loadout and one was a “technician” (scenario-specific figure worth five extra points) with a flamer.

A lot of people showed up. Evidently this is an annual event and it’s getting more popular.

A lot of zombie-lovers, or zombie-haters more specifically

This year it was played on the Space Hulk tiles. Since the GM was planning on 10 players and 21 showed up, this made things even a bit more cramped, but it still scaled quite nicely. The players were all on the same team in the first mission, and we had a few objectives we all had to try to hold. There were tons of zombies all over the board, and if one of a player’s models died, it then sprang back up as a zombie. It was tough going, but eventually we beat the first mission.

My squad of plague marines, after cleaning up some zombies

The second mission was quite a bit tougher. We split up in to two teams, with each team trying to fight their way through to get to the center of the board and the teleporter off of this ship. Of course, there were many zombies and the entire other team to worry about. Plus, the ship was falling apart from the outer edge: each turn, each of the two GMs (Nick and Jason) would randomly pull a few tiles off of the outer edge of the ship. If there were figures on that tile (zombies or players) then they were lost to space.

Long story short, my intrepid yet putrid plague marines fought through a pile of zombies and got into the main room in the center of the crumbling ship, full of even more zombies and turret defense guns. Due to a botched run roll of a ‘1’, I was only able to get my technician with the flamer to the teleporter. All of the rest of my squad was cut down by the defense turrets.

My only survivor. John decided that his swiftly moving crotch would make an excellent backdrop

However, my technician was the first figure for either side to actually get to the teleporter. Very few from either team actually made it. By the end of the mission, we only had three and the other team only had four survivors, but we won because it was based on the percentage of surviors, not the number; the other team ended up having many more figures on its side than we did. And since I fought through it all and got the first figure to the teleporter, I won a zombie-killing shotgun as a prize.

Sweet over/under suction-cup shotgun for killing very weak zombies or for sticking to the fridge

It was a long day but it was still a lot of fun. I knew a bunch of the players, but there was an equal amount there that I had never seen before. I saw a few nicely painted minis and won a neon-colored shotgun. And I killed 30+ zombies over the course of the two missions. Who says gamers don’t live a full life?

Finished Plague Marines

Yesterday was Labor Day in America, and I did do a bit of labor while I was home from work on a Monday: I mowed the lawn, I raked the yard a bit, and I finished my Plague Marines for the Combat Patrol tournament this upcoming Saturday.

Touch Me, I'm Sick

I like the way they turned out; they’re subtle. I wanted them to look a bit moldy and rusty and dirty, but it still wanted them to have the Black Legion gold and black shoulderpads. The rust wash that I applied worked out pretty well, but not as well as I had hoped. In my mind, it was going to be much brighter and stand out more in the crevices, but maybe that would have been too much, now that I look at them.

Two 'akimbo' style plague marines and my first plasmagunner

I didn’t try to get too detailed and fall prey to the dreaded “paint each piece of detail a different color” because I wanted them to look as if they were covered in a layer of something, and that something is something that you don’t want to get on you. I still did some little details like the skulls and arrows and hoses on the backpacks and the weird bumpy icky things on some of their leg armor, but I mainly tried to let the many layers of washes and drybrushing speak for themselves, I guess.

Chainswords and pistols

They’re been sprayed with Dullcote matte varnish and I’ve decided to not add any glossy “wet” looking bits to this batch. Maybe the next group of Plague Marines (this is less than half of what I eventually want in my entire Chaos Space Marine army) will have some “wet look” sores or other generally icky bits that I’ll brush on with a gloss varnish after the matte spray has dried.

Another labor that I undertook during my Labor Day weekend was the priming of the next five ‘regular’ Chaos Space Marines for my overall group of ten for the tournament, and I finally used my airbrush to prime and highlight my crooked Chaos Rhino. The airbrushing went without incident and the effect turned out pretty well, but that’s more for another post.

Plague Marine Update

I’ve been working on the Plague Marines that I need for an upcoming Warhammer 40k Combat Patrol tournament that I’m playing in on September 10th, and they’re coming along pretty well. They’re starting to get close to done; I’d say they’re at 70% or so.

The group of them are getting a bit closer to completion

Their weapons and bases still need to be painted, obviously, but their main armor and whatnot is mostly done, minus some details here and there and a final, all-over rust wash to really make them look a bit dirty and gross.

Next step: painting the weapons

There are a lot of layers of Games Workshop washes on these models, from brown to sepia to green to even purple in some areas. There’s a bit of drybrushing here and there and some watery metallics (like on the trim of the shoulderpads) to act as old, tarnished gold.

Next, I’ve got to come up with a good color scheme for the marines’ bolters and chainswords, then I’ll try out the rust wash (video tutorial from Awesome Paintjob) for the first time and then be ready to hit ’em with the Testors Dullcote, which I still find to be the best clear matte varnish spray, even if it does probably change your DNA if you inhale it.

Starting Plague Marines

There’s another Combat Patrol tournament coming up in early September and I want to play in it. However, I want my figures painted this time. Last time, I got a 1 (out of 50, I believe) on my painting score so I want to improve on that. I suppose doing any painting at all should help raise that score, but I’d like to do a little bit more than that.

So this weekend I decided to start work on the Plague Marines from my list. I’ll either have five or six of them in my list, depending on my final decision, so I figured I’d paint six of them just to have my bases covered. I believe that I picked up all of my Plague Marines from the mighty bitz seller at Adepticon, so many of them were pre-built or previously mostly built. I got six good ones together, added basing texture to their bases so they matched my other Chaos Space Marines, and took them out to the garage to prime.

Primed Plague Marines, and yes, that plasmagun does seem to be made out of wood

I used the Khaki color of the Krylon Camouflage spray to prime and basecoat the models all in one step. As usual, the Krylon worked great, making a great color layer that takes paint amazingly. For those who don’t know, Plague Marines are followers of Nurgle, the chaos god of disease and decay. Because of this, they generally have all of the diseases and like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, this makes them very tough. Due to their condition, I want them to look dirty and decayed and sick, therefore I’m starting with a dull tan (the Krylon Khaki) and started layering dirt and filth on top of it.

Starting to look dirtier

After the primer had dried and after a quick drybrush of the highlight areas with some Bleached Bone from Games Workshop to give them some depth, I went to town with the Gryphonne Sepia wash, also from GW. The wash fills in and darkens the crevices nicely, and also darkens the overall color of the model. If you want to see the difference in color (before / after wash), look at the weapons in the above photo as I didn’t add wash to them. After brushing it on pretty liberally, I set them aside to dry.

Now these figures are downstairs drying and I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do next. There’s going to need to be some green on these guys for general pus and sickness, I guess. Do I completely cover them in a Thraka Green wash, or just apply it in specific places? Also, I’m thinking about doing another edge highlight / drybrush, either with Bleached Bone or some kind of straight while color. Should I do that before or after the green wash? And maybe a bit of yellow somewhere, to look like infection? I want to make sure I get it right, because I’ll be adding at least another dozen Plague Marines to my overall army, and I want to make sure I have the paint ‘recipe’ nailed down so that I can keep them all looking mostly the same.

I’ll update these and also show you my progress on the Lost from Hell Dorado that I started before Gen Con. They’re nearly done.

Lastly, speaking of Gen Con, my last post was about the stuff I brought back from the convention. You would be amazed at how many hits your blog post will get when you title it ‘Gen Con Booty‘.


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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