Posts Tagged 'Sam'

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.

WarmaHordes with Sam

So I met with my friend Sam at Chimera in Appleton on Saturday morning to play some WarmaHordes (Warmachine / Hordes) and see how it turns out, with both of us being pretty new to the game. Sam has played more WarmaHordes games in general than I have, and this was actually my first game (I think) under the new Mark II ruleset. We played a 25-point game and had local expert Jason along at the beginning to help us out.

I was playing Khador, and had three warjacks (Juggernaut, Destroyer, and a Decimator), a unit of four Widowmakers (snipers), a Manhunter, and my warcaster was The Butcher. Sam was playing Hordes and had a Trollkin (I think that’s what they’re called) list with more than twice as many figures than me, because he had more troops and fewer warbeasts (the Hordes version of warjacks) than me. We set up, and with Jason’s help we started the fight.

Sam's award-winning troll dude assaulting my painted Destroyer and unpainted Decimator

I won the first game, though I didn’t think I was going to. Sam changed his list up a bit, and then the second game I lost rather badly. I have to admit, I still don’t understand a lot of the rules and the tactics, and some of the rules that I do seem to understand seem wrong to me. I’ll keep at it for awhile, and see if my mind changes about it. It seems to me that the game is all about the alpha strike, and I don’t think I’m very good at that. In the mean time, I’m going to try to finish painting up some of the figures I already have.

Starting the Widowmakers

These are the Widowmakers, sniper units that didn’t do a hell of a lot in the game. I want their overcoats to look like old, worn, almost dusty leather. Therefore, I airbrushed them a dark brown and then dusted them from above with white. After that was all dried, I dulled down the white and warmed up the brown with a wash of GW’s Gryphonne Sepia wash, as I thought the Delvan Mud wash would be too dark and get rid of the dusty nature I was trying to acheive. Next I’ll start working on faces and then picking out details. I’ll let you see how they turn out when they’re done.

Airbrush Lessons and Terrain Painting

Multiple Golden Demon-winning painter and good friend Sam and his brother John came over on Saturday to show me some airbrushing tricks and best practices. I learned tricks on cleaning my airbrush, how to properly mix color and how to apply and blend that color on the model you’re painting. I learned a lot and put some of it into practice before Sam left. I’m really looking forward to trying it out on some figures soon (probably USCR guys from MERCS) and another Chaos Rhino or two and some terrain, of course. So, so much terrain.

Sam working on a Blood Angels Land Raider (for my friend Eric) while explaining the finer points of airbrushing

However, between coats of color on the Land Raider he was painting to show me examples, we stalked about the Nerd Bunker to find something for me to practice airbrushing. I usually have a bunch of primed or half finished projects lying around. One thing we did find (but decided not to airbrush) was a statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain set from Games Workshop. After looking it over and discussing how to best paint it, I got to it.

A work in progress, but it's looking good so far

It’s turned out pretty well so far, especially the green patina effect on the bronze statue. I need to paint the base of the statue to look like stone, and then do a few touch ups with a wash in some of the darker areas, but then it’ll be done. Maybe, if I ever get a second one of those statues, I’ll do a step by step tutorial about it if people are interested. Also, I’ll make sure to take fancy photos of this project when it’s all done.

Glittery Death and Some Redemption

Just a quick post about a few games of Combat Patrol I played this Memorial Day weekend. I started really poorly and then improved.

First, I played against Sam and his dreaded Dark Eldar again. I tweaked my 400 Chaos Space Marine Combat Patrol list to (hopefully) counteract what I assumed he’d be bringing to the table. I brought five Havocs (instead of the six Chosen I usually run with) and armed them with a normal bolter marine, a missile launcher, two heavy bolters and a lascannon. I was going to try to keep them in cover and hopefully reach out and pop his speedy (but delicate) vehicles. Due to the costs of the heavy weapons in the Havoc squad, I had to reduce my normal CSM troops squad from 10 (including Aspiring Champion) to nine, but I added in an Icon of Slaanesh to raise my Initiatve so I wouldn’t be so outclassed when I got into combat with the tricksy Dark Eldar. (Spoiler alert: This didn’t work. At all.)

Long story short, Dark Eldar went first, and killed everyone in my Havoc squad except the lascannon guy. I fired one shot from him in my shooting phase and exploded one of Sam’s transports, killing a few of the Dark Eldar riding inside. That was, frankly, the last cool thing that happened on my side for the rest of that game. Quite unnecessarily, Sam’s dice were on fire that day. The battle report in my head is just snippets of glitter cannons and crying and gnashing of teeth, and then it was over. Another win to the Dark Eldar.

My Chaos Space Marine squad, preparing to rush slightly forward

Later, I got to play against Mike and his tryout list of generic Space Marine Scouts. He proxied a bunch of Sam’s old Ultramarines, Orks and Plague Marines and took to the field, infiltrating his entire force. I set up next because I was going second, as usual. Things went much better for me in this game, and I had switched back to my normal CSM 400-point Combat Patrol list. My dice rolling got slightly better (although I did get several Gets Hot! results in a single roll with with my Chosen plasma gunners, luckily they passed their armor saves) but at the end, I had won the secondary and tertiary objectives, while we had a draw for the primary objective.

I need to start texturing bases of my Combat Patrol forces really soon, so I can get to priming and then painting. While I’m working on that, I’ve discovered that if I finish a few more larger pieces (Chaos Dreadnought and a Daemon Prince) I’ll be able to start playing 1000 point battles with the stuff I’ve built. Maybe I can get finished on both of those pieces (they’re both started) this weekend, if I have time.

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.

First Warhammer 40k Game in a Long, Long Time

Actually, it was basically my first Warhammer 40,000 ever, as far as the 5th edition rules were concerned. The last time I played, the rules were in their 2nd or 3rd edition, so it was a pretty new experience for me. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last weekend, I got together with my good friend Sam, miniatures painter extraordinaire, at his brother’s house. We got together so he could teach me the rules and get my feet wet (or re-wetted) in Warhammer 40,000. We were going to play a Combat Patrol battle, with only 500 points for our forces. I brought my Tau, and he brought his Orks.

My Firewarriors have this hill protected, believe me

I had 10 Tau Firewarriors in a Devilfish transport, which was missing some pieces and unpainted. I had 10 Kroot who were only mostly painted. I had a Crisis Battlesuit Commander and two ‘Fireknife’ Crisis Battlesuits as well, who were not only unpainted, but didn’t even have arms, weapons or heads! I felt like a shlub fielding unpainted and unfinished models, especially against Sam’s exquisitely-painted Orks, Nobz and Killa Kans. However, if I waited until I had fully finished forces to actually start practicing and playing, it would be a damn long while before I got some games in.

We started slow, so I could get the cadence of the play sequence. By the time I started to get the hang of it, my forces were mainly little blue stringy bits found at the bottom of a few smoking craters (the Tau are generally blue under their armor). However, I had learned some of the rules and the sequence, so that helped a lot.

After that initial game, Sam’s friend Alan stepped in and brought 500 points of Imperial Guard against my plucky little band of half-painted Tau. This game went much better for me, both in my understanding of the rules and in my strategy. The result of this was that I wasn’t immediately destroyed, and actually fought back and did some decent damage. Alan pointed out a few tactics that would have worked a bit better for me, and I was much obliged.

Generally I learned a lot and it made reading the rulesbooks so much more informative. Reading the rules is great and necessary, but for me, it helps so much more if I can get someone with a grasp of the rules to help me put those rules into practice. After the first game, things were starting to make much more sense to me, and rules that seemed to be arbitrary before started to take on marked importance.

So, I’m looking forward to playing again soon, and I know Sam wants to try out his new Dark Eldar against my sad little Tau forces, so I hope we can get back together soon. These games really helped to spur me forward and they’re also giving me even more of a push to keep painting!

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.


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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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