Posts Tagged 'warhammer 40k'

Black Templar: A Third Army for Me, I Guess?

So, yeah: I’m building a small Combat Patrol force of Black Templar Space Marines now, because I am mental. If you’re not familiar with the Black Templars, they’re a chapter of the Space Marines that broke off from the Imperial Fists after the Horus Heresy, when the nearly-crippled Imperium of Mankind was trying to split up the remaining Space Marine Legions into smaller Chapters, so as to more easily nip that whole civil war thing in the bud, if you will. The Black Templars swore an oath to destroy the mutant, the heretic and the alien and since their founding, they have been on a non-stop 10,000-year crusade (or even multiple simultaneous crusades) to do just that. They technically don’t even have a home planet or main base of operations on some world; their main base of operations is their fleet of battle barges, strike cruisers and whatnot that are always on the move. These guys follow the ABC: Always Be Crusading.

Figure 1: a Black Templar Marshall and Emperor's Champion tear some stuff up

The fluff is cool and all, but the main reason I’ve chosen this army is because of the modeling and painting aspect, as is usual for me. Sure, they’re Space Marines (and there are a lot of Space Marines out there) but these guys have such specific iconography that I really dig. Their armor is mostly black (‘natch) with white shoulderpads and a little red and gold as accents, specifically on the veterans. Everything has got the cross on it, which is also a cool thing about this army: there’s an inexpensive upgrade box you can buy that just has tons and tons of cool bitz to make your Space Marines really look like Black Templars. It comes with specific shoulderpads, bolters, chainswords, tabards, helmets, even doors for your Rhinos and Landraiders, and all of it is covered with Black Templar iconography. For a pretty low price, you can get your troops kitted out quite nicely with a lot of custom bitz – special stuff that would cost a lot of cash if you were to buy the resin upgrade kits from Forge World.

Figure 2: Hey man... nice sword

Do I need a third army? Well, technically I’m not planning to build a whole full-blown army of Black Templar, just a much smaller Combat Patrol force. I already have enough stuff for my Tau and Chaos Space Marines to easily build 2000-point armies for each, so I don’t plan on going down that road again. That being said, the Tau are supposed to be getting a new codex rulebook sometime soon, between the next six months or a year. When that book comes out, I’ll check it out and if it doesn’t impress me, I could easily see selling my Tau army on eBay or something. Sure, they’re easy to build and paint, but there aren’t many cool options and the modeling is kind of dull, honestly. Chaos and Black Templar speak to me more as a modeler, I guess.

So that (and a little gamer A.D.D.) has caused me to place a small order for some troops and a few small vehicles. I played three games of Combat Patrol this weekend with different Black Templar lists, and I learned a few things, which is good. I’m sure you’ll see more on this blog as I progress forward with this plan. However, there’s a wrinkle: there’s a Combat Patrol tournament coming up on Saturday, January 21st, and I want to play in it. But, I need to make a decision – am I going to play the same list of Chaos Space Marines I played back in September, or a totally new Chaos list? Or am I going to try to crank out Black Templars in time? Or will the Tau make an appearance? I really have no idea at this point. Stay tuned, I guess.

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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.

Adepticon Videos (Including Dan Abnett) and Two Combat Patrol Wins

The last of my Adepticon 2011 videos was posted at Beasts of War on Sunday. We filmed an even dozen of them over three days. It was a great convention and I got to interview vendors with cool new products, a couple of great authors, and some interesting characters. I’m already looking forward to next year.

My interview with Dan Abnett

Here are the links to the videos from this year in chronological order:

Adepticon is a great convention for a bunch of reasons, but I really like it because of the focus of purpose: It’s all about miniatures, and pretty much nothing else. In a world of gaming conventions having to try to appeal to all kinds of gamers, it’s great to attend an event this big where we’re all on the same page.

Two games of Combat Patrol played on each of two Sundays in a row? And two wins for me in a single day? Either I hit my head and imagined it all or I actually pulled off two wins on this past Sunday. I tweaked my Chaos Space Marine list a little bit after asking for advice and thinking and scheming:

9 Chaos Space Marines, 1 x Meltagun, 1 x Flamer
Aspiring Champion w/ Power Weapon
Rhino
w/ Havoc Launcher
245 points

6 Chosen Chaos Space Marines, 3 x Plasmaguns
153 points

398 points total

I first played John’s Space Fists. They had littered the battlefield with my bones the last time we played, and he had tweaked his army list a bit to take out some unnecessary fluff. We played with a single objective marker this time, and used modified scatter rules to see where it would end up. Luckily for me, it ended up pretty close to my deployment zone, so after John went first (as he always does), I rushed out my Rhino full of marines and had them deploy in cover near the objective. I had used my unit of Chosen to Infiltrate before the start of play and though they were a bit beat up in John’s first phase, they still did a bit to annoy one of his rear echelon gunline units. The rest is a bit of a blur: My Rhino exploded and the troops that had jumped out started taking fire. They eventually got into assault with a group of John’s Fists and my Aspiring Champion with his Power Weapon started finally doing his job. He and the rest of his unit took out one group and then met up with another group right by the objective. When the smoke cleared, my Black Legion were still standing. Well, two or three of them were. Unfortunately, they were the only troops I still had on the board, while John still had a couple of gunline units with many big guns still mostly untouched. However, they were pretty far away from the objective, and my measly survivors were within the needed three inches to hold the objective… and it was the end of turn five. That meant that we had to roll a die to see if the game ended now or moved on to turn six, and as it turned out the game ended right then, which made me the winner winner, chicken dinner.

I’ll be very honest here: If the game had gone on to a sixth turn, I would have absolutely lost in the first shots of John’s shooting phase, and I would have left nothing but a wet stain on the landscape. Luckily for me, the game ended at the end of turn five and I had played the objective and stayed in the three inch radius required to keep it and John didn’t have enough guys forward to contest the objective. Otherwise, the game would have gone to him; he’s a better player (I have less than ten games of WH40k under my belt) and his Space Fist list is pretty damn brutal. But overall, it taught me something important: Play the Objectives.

In the second game, I played Ted’s Imperial Guard again. His list was identical to last time, except he’d swapped out the lasguns the majority of his veteran troopers carried with shotguns. Again, the objective scattered over to my side. I got to go first and placed my Rhino and declared my Chosen would be Outflanking instead of Infiltrating this time. My Rhino ran up, popped smoke, my Chaos Space Marines hopped out, his snipers got shot at a bunch (but they took it much better this time), his Chimeras rolled up on his turn, the usual stuff. There were a few stand out moments: When my Chosen got to come in on turn two (as I hoped) on the side of the board that I had hoped and got into a big battle with one of his Chimeras, destroying its weapons and messing up its troopers. When his other Chimera exploded, killing outright a few of the troopers inside. When my Aspiring Champion waded through his troopers, splitting them in twain with his Power Weapon. And finally, when Ted’s last scoring unit (the empty Chimera with no remaining weapons) tried to Tank Shock my last few forces sitting on the objective at the end of turn six, and my meltagunner responded with a Death or Glory attack that ended up destroying the Chimera and killing him in the process. That was a good game. I’ll have to make sure to remember to paint up the meltagunner extra nice to honor his achievements.

So, all in all, I won two games that day and learned some important lessons. I’m looking forward to making a few small tweaks to my list and playing again. I know I won’t be playing in any tournaments at Adepticon next year, but I might try my hand at a tourney at a local shop some time soon, if I can get some more games under my belt.

Crooked Chaos

I got a lot of work done in the Nerd Bunker this weekend (with the help of my lovely wife) but I’m not ready to show off my progress yet. So instead, I’ll show you the Chaos Space Marines Rhino troop transport from Games Workshop I’ve been (poorly) building lately.

Nearly built Chaos Space Marine Rhino

Having never put one of these specific kits together before, I didn’t really know which pitfalls to look for and avoid. My first army was Tau, so I was pretty familiar with the Devilfish platform, but the Rhino platform is quite a different animal. If I had bothered to do some research online, I may have discovered some helpful tips, like don’t bother to put in the inner bulkhead, or if you do, make sure to not glue it in crooked.

Really pretty crooked

When one glues the inner bulkhead in crooked, one gets a crooked Rhino (see above). There’s pretty much no other way to get around it. It annoys me a little bit, but I figure that it is a Chaos Rhino, so if it was all clean and straight and well-kempt, then that would be out of character for Chaos, wouldn’t it? As it stands currently, I’m nearly done, I’m just planning on adding some greenstuff for ‘Chaos corruption goo’ and some glue and baking soda mixture for ‘rusty moldy ick.’ These are technical terms, I admit, but I’m not the kind of guy to talk down to my audience.

Generally, it turned out okay, and I’m hoping things warm up a bit outside pretty soon so I can start spray priming in the garage. My sprayroom’s ventilation system isn’t installed yet, so I don’t want to use the rattlecan in the house until it is. I’m planning on trying the old ‘hairspray and salt’ trick with this Rhino’s paintjob, and I’ll write a blog post about that as I go through it step by step.

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.

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!

Secret Project REVEALED

Now, I’ve been a fan of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 universe since I was first exposed to it through first edition Space Hulk circa 1991 or so. We played the hell out of Space Hulk and I would pour through the booklets that came in the box and read all of the fluff that they used to fill out the pages. It was dark and weird and gothic and I really dug it.

As I may have mentioned here before, I got some friends to teach me 40k a few years later and I really didn’t like the rules for several reasons. Mainly, my problem was that the number of figures needed on each side to play a simple game was way too many. I was a poor college student and didn’t have the money for that many figures for my army. Also, I was an extremely slow painter and it would take forever for me to paint that many figures. And anyway, I had videogames to spend stupid amounts of time and money on. So that, as they say, was that.

Luckily for me, our friends at Games Workshop were able to keep me interested with Warhammer 40k videogames like Chaos Gate and Dawn of War, both of which I enjoyed immensely. And luckily for them, I did finally start to play some tabletop sci-fi skirmish games, and found that I could buy some groups of  GW figures (usually on eBay) for cheap and use them in my skirmish games. Therefore, through the mixture of these two things and the 40k novels of Mister Dan Abnett, I stayed interested.

Fast forward to my late thirties, and I now can save up a bit of money and purchase a 1500-1750 army without eating ramen noodles for six months. Also, I’m a (slightly) faster painter than I used to be and I don’t spend nearly as much time playing videogames as I used to (a big help) so the stars were aligned, to be sure. When a friend started trying to convince me to build an army so his Blood Angels army had someone to destroy and defile, I finally tipped over the edge and purchased an army for the glorious Tau Empire.

For the Greater Good, indeed.

Why the Tau, you ask? I generally like shooty armies, the Tau look cool and paint up quickly, and since I’m not a competitive player, I’m okay with the fact that the Tau aren’t the new hotness, tearing up the tournaments from coast to coast. Plus, I just always thought they were cool.

So, what’s the plan? We’ll the army has been purchased. I constructed torsos, legs and feet for all of the Crisis battlesuits (except the Broadsides, they showed up last) and trimmed flash and mold lines off of them, too. Now I’m starting to work on magnetizing the Crisis battlesuits so I can swap the guns really easily. However, I’m now thinking that I want to build a 500-point list and then build and paint that  so I can start playing small games sooner, therefore I have to nail down what that list will be so I know what to paint.

There’s one small monkeywrench in my plans: five weeks from today, I’m going to have to collect every single thing that my wife and I own and put it in a rented truck, drive it across town, and then unload it out of that truck and into a (mostly) empty house. As you may guess, this may slow down my plans for tiny, plastic world domination, but I’m going to try really hard to keep at it and play 40k with a painted army before the end of the year. That’s my goal, but my measure of success will depend on how many points that army is going to be. Is it possible to play a 50-point game?


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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