Friday, December 31, 2010

New Stormraven and Furioso Sprue Pics!

This just missed Christmas by a few days, but tis the season to be jolly if you are a Blood Angels player. I found these new leaked pics of the Stormraven and the Furioso Dreadnaught sprue from over on Freak Factory.

I have to say, I'm really starting to like the look of the Stormraven. It's ugly in a bad ass bull dog kinda way. I'm looking forward to when the final kit is released so I can pick up a couple of them.

I can't wait to paint one up in black with a red "X" and unleash the Death Company and a Death Company Dreadnaught against my foes. It's really the only way I would ever field Lemartes as I think Death Company with Jump Packs are just too expensive, but that's a topic for another conversation.

Even though the Stormraven is starting to look really cool, I think the real gem is the new Furioso Dreadnaught sprue (picture below). I picked up the Chaplain Dreadnaught from Forgeworld and while I really like it, I like the options on this sprue so much better.

Looks like the new sprue comes with blood talons, 3 sarcophagi (including a Death Company one), a force halberd, and lots of other tidbits. I really like the sarcophagus with the built in psychic hood and all of the sculpted Blood Angels iconography. I have't started on my Chaplain Dreadnaught yet and these new pics are making me consider putting it up on eBay. I wish the pics were a little clearer as it's hard to tell if this comes with the frag cannon and the magna-grapple.

Hopefully these kits go up on pre-order soon so we can get some better pics.

Till next time,
–The Harrower

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chapterhouse Studios Sued by Games Workshop

I was over on Bell of Lost Souls and it looks like Chapterhouse Studios got an early Christmas present in the manner of a lawsuit from Games Workshop. If you don't know, Chapterhouse Studios makes conversion bitz for Warhammer 40K. You can check out their website here.

Games Workshop is suing Chapterhouse Studios for copyright infringement. If you are curious, you can read the filing here. I'm no lawyer, but I am one of the co-founders of Inner Circle which is an RPG company that I ran for several years so I have a fair amount of experience with IP. There's an old saying in the hobby industry, "You aren't officially in the hobby industry until you get sued by someone." That was one thing Inner Circle was fortunate to avoid.

Looking through the filing, it looks pretty bleak for Chapterhouse Studios. It's one thing to create resin kits and sell parts for models. It's a different thing entirely to sell something utilizing someone else's trademarked IP. There's a fairly large thread debating this over at Dakka Dakka. A lot of people like to call Games Workshop the evil empire and all of that, but I have to side with them in this case. While the timing was really crappy, it seems pretty obvious to me that Chapterhouse Studios has benefitted greatly from using Games Workshop's IP and they need to protect it.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Is this another case of Games Workshop throwing their weight around or is this something they should be pursuing? Next time I'll post a brief battle report in a game I got to play against the Space Wolves.

Until then,
–The Harrower

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Here is to everyone having a safe and happy Holiday Season. I hope you all get some sweet miniatures and hobby related presents under your Christmas tree this year and may your dice always roll sixes.

Best wishes,
–The Harrower

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How To: Painting Tarnished Metal

If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed that I've given the blog a bit of a face lift. That old template just wasn't wide enough and I finally got a chance to mess around with the template designer. Being a graphic designer and someone who is used to working on websites, I have to say the new template designer is really slick. Hats off to Blogger as they did a great job. If you run your own blog here on Blogspot, give it a try as there is a lot of cool stuff you can do and it's really easy to use.

For this post, I wanted to do something different and actually work on the hobby side of things. I consider myself a very well rounded gamer. I like painting and converting just as much as I like playing the game or building scenery. I've been enjoying working on the Liber Sanguinis articles, but I wanted to branch out a bit and either do some painting or build some terrain.

A friend of mine from the DED 'ARD Gaming Club brought over one of the Space Marine statues from the Honoured Imperium set. It was unpainted and I bugged him to leave it at my house so I could paint it because I always wanted to give tarnished metal a try. He agreed and it's been sitting on my desk for a couple days. I wanted to paint, but I didn't want to get involved in trying to develop a color recipe and scheme for my entire army, so I decided to paint this statue and do a quick tutorial. Let's get on with it.

Step 1: Prime the model black. Normally I use cheap flat black spray paint I buy at Lowes for like $1 a can on scenery, but I went with the GW spray on this one. 

Step 2: Dry brush the entire model with Tin Bitz. Yes, I said Tin Bitz and damn was I excited too. In my 15 years of painting, I don't think I ever opened this color! This statue is pretty big, so I just stuck with the GW Large Dry Brush.

Step 3: Do another dry brush of Dwarf Bronze. Another color I don't think I've ever used. Never been a fan of smelly dwarves...

Step 4: At this point the model actually looks pretty good and if you go with a lighter hand on the Dwarf Bronze dry brush than I did above, you could leave it at that and call it a day. Dan said he wanted a weathered and tarnished look so let's tackle that.

For this, you need a bluish green wash. I'm sure you've seen pictures of weathered statues before. If not, do a Google Image search. I can't stress enough how reference is extremely important no matter what you are trying to paint or build. I used a mix of about 1 part Dark Angels Green to 2 parts Hawk Turquoise. I applied this liberally over the model and was even adding water directly on the statue to water it down more. You want this wash mostly in the deep recesses and don't worry if you over did it like I did below. We'll revisit that again.  

Step 5: The wash is a little heavy handed, but I can see leaving it like if you want your statue really worn out. I wanted oxidation in the deepest recesses only, so back to dry brushing we go. We are basically going to redo the steps we did before. Do another dry brush with Tin Bitz. Yay, Tin Bitz!

Step 6: Dry brush again with Dwarf Bronze.

Step 7: To finish off the metal, do a final dry brush of Shining Gold.

Step 8: For the final step, we need to finish the plinth which is just straight forward dry brushing. I painted the whole area black followed by dry brushing Adeptus Battlegrey and then Space Wolves Grey. For the skull, I painted it Bleached Bone followed by a Gryphonne Sepia Wash. Once the wash was dry, I applied some direct highlights with Bleached Bone.

Below are the final pics which you can click for a larger image. With about an hour of painting, you'll come away with a nicely painted scenery piece.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Till next time,

–The Harrower

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Liber Sanguinis Week II: The Aftermath

This past Sunday the DED 'ARD Gaming Club got together at my house for some Holiday 40K action. We had 7 people show up and the following armies were presented: Imperial Guard, Tyranids, Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Orks, Chaos, and my Blood Angels. We ended up playing 3 games at once and the Orks player didn't show up until late so we didn't have anyone to log a concise Battle Report, but I'll briefly go over my games.

We played 1500 points and I managed to get 2 games in. If your curious what army list I used, you can check my previous post. The first game I played against Hive Fleet Legion which featured 2 Tervigons, 3 Zoanthropes in a spore, 3 Hive Guard, 2 units of 15 Hormagaunts, 2 units of 15 Termagants, and a Trygon Prime. We playing Capture and Control with 5 objectives and deployed as Dawn of War. It was my first time using Drop Pods and I made a fairly significant tactical error with my Drop Pod which basically bottle necked the rest of my forces. With my vehicles being fast, I was luckily able to overcome my tactical oversight.

The stars of this match were my Land Speeders which toasted a ton of Termagants and Hormagaunts with their heavy flamers. The duds were my Death Company Dreadnaught which got blown up by the Zoanthropes as soon as the Drop Pod door opened and my other Dreadnaught with the twin-linked autocannons which didn't do much of anything.

This was a close fought game which went back and forth until turn 7. An unlucky perils of the warp roll by my opponent caused one of his Tervigons to die, and with no remaining Troops, turned a tie into a narrow victory for the Blood Angels.

Next up I played against the Orks. I'm not going to list everything that was in Rob's army, but it was a stupid amount of models. To say I was highly outnumbered would be a gross understatement. Take a look at the below pics which show my deployment and my opponents. And yes his models did stretch from one end of the 6x4 table to the other. His deployment took so long, I was able to run to Lowes and come back and he still wasn't done!

We ended up rolling Capture and Control with 3 objectives and deployed as Pitched Battle. This was another closely fought game and again my Land Speeders were the heroes of the match having barbecued a ton of Orks and took out his Truck and Looted Wagon. My Death Company Dreadnaught got some vengeance this game and cut down 16 of 20 Slugga Boyz in a single round of close combat with it's Blood Talons. His Ork Warboss with his unit of Nobs basically steamrolled most of my army taking out 2 of my Assault Squads and my Death Company with my Reclusiarch. I captured 1 objective with my sole surviving Assault Squad that came into the game late via Drop Pod and finally forced his Warboss and Nobs to flee due to concentrated fire from my Land Speeder, Razorback, and Death Company Dreadnaught. Another narrow victory for me and I went 2-0 on the day!

In hindsight, I'm really happy with how my army played. I was concerned that my Assault Squads wouldn't be durable enough, but with the addition of the Sanguinary Priests they performed remarkably well and lasted a lot longer than I thought they would. If there was one thing I wasn't happy with, it was the Dreadnaught with the twin-linked autocannons. It didn't make back it's points or serve any real purpose. In future lists I'll probably drop it out and add maybe a Devastator armed with Missile Launchers or a Scout Squad.

I'm off from school for 2 weeks so I should be able to post some more soon. I'll leave you with some additional pics from our get together.

Till next time,
–The Harrower

Farseer Frank and Commissar Rios getting ready to do battle!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Liber Sanguinis Week I: Selecting a Starting Force Redux

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my army and while I think it's fairly solid, I wasn't entirely content with the final list I posted a couple days ago. I uploaded my army to our club forums to see what the guys thought and Farseer Frank suggested I add a Drop Pod for the Death Company Dreadnaught so it wouldn't get shot up while moving across the battlefield.

I liked the idea of the Drop Pod as I could deliver the Dreadnaught right into the thick of the action, but I wanted two of them so I had some flexibility with my deployment so I added another Assault Squad and put them in a Drop Pod.

With the loss of the Baal Predator I wanted more anti infantry and anti mech so I took a third Land Speeder Tornado. Lastly, I wanted some additional long range firepower. Another Dreadnaught with 2 twin-linked autocannons should do the trick. Below is my re-adjusted list. 

Reclusiarch - 130 pts

Sanguinary Priest w/ power sword- 65 pts

Sanguinary Priest w/ power sword- 65 pts

Sanguinary Priest w/ power sword- 65 pts

5 Assault Marines w/ meltagun, power weapon- 181 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun, searchlight

5 Assault Marines w/ meltagun, power weapon- 181 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ twin-linked assault cannon, searchlight

5 Assault Marines w/ meltagun, power weapon- 125 pts
Embarked in a Drop Pod

5 Death Company w/ power fist- 186 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ twin-linked heavy flamer, dozer blade, searchlight

Death Company Dreadnaught w/ blood talons, heavy flamer, searchlight- 171 pts
Embarked in a Drop Pod

Land Speeder Tornado w/ multimelta, heavy flamer- 70 pts

Land Speeder Tornado w/ multimelta, heavy flamer- 70 pts

Land Speeder Tornado w/ multimelta, heavy flamer- 70 pts

Dreadnaught w/ 2 twin-linked autocannons, searchlight- 121pts

Total - 1500 pts

I'll have to proxy quite a few models to go with this build, but the other guys in the club are okay with it. My primary concern is that I don't have enough models and I won't survive a war of attrition. I'm hoping the Sanguinary Priests and some careful maneuvering should be enough to keep me in the battle. We'll see how it goes.

If anyone has any suggestions or tactics on this list, let me know what you think. I'll try and take some pics on Sunday and possibly do a battle report or two.

Till then,
–The Harrower

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Liber Sanguinis Week I: Selecting a Starting Force

Last time, we examined different types of army lists and I was explaining the things I look at when selecting a force. I have maybe a score of games under my belt since the new Blood Angels Codex was released, so I already know what I want to go with. I do want to describe this process for the newer generals out there as starting out with 40K can be pretty overwhelming as there are a lot of aspects to creating ones army.

The first thing you want to examine is how you like to play the game and pick an army that suits your play style. If you make better tactical decisions with an army that is defensive and brings a lot of fire power, you aren't going to play as well with a force that is geared for close combat.

As for my particular play style, I've always played games more aggressively. That's not to say that I'm all offense all the time, but I definitely believe in the old roman saying: fortune favors the bold. I've always preferred elite armies (I'll take 1 skilled warrior over 5 scrubs anytime) and I do like troops with mobility that can react to the ebb and flow of battle and quickly get to where they are needed. Lastly, I prefer close combat. Nothing is more satisfying to me then launching a key assault that breaks the back of my opponent's army and turns the tide of battle in my favor. All that being said, I think you can see why I was really happy with the new Blood Angels Codex. Not only were they the army I started with back at the onset of 3rd Edition, but their strengths suit my play style perfectly.

In our DED 'ARD Gaming Club I have to play against Space Marines, Space Wolves, Eldar, Sisters of Battle, Orks, Tyranids, Chaos, and Imperial Guard. It's a pretty good mix and with that in mind I do want a list that can work effectively against all my opponents. I need to be able to deal effectively with horde armies and have a lot of anti mech when facing Imperial Guard. Lastly, I need a decent amount of firepower for dealing with Farseer Frank's pesky Eldar. We've been playing 1,500 point games recently, so that's the list I'll start with. After reviewing the models I have, this is what I came up with.

Reclusiarch - 130 pts

10 Man Tactical Squad w/ meltagun, missile launcher, power weapon- 240 pts
Embarked in a Rhino

5 Man Assault Squad w/ meltagun, power weapon- 181 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ Lascannon and twin-linked plasmagun, searchlight

5 Man Assault Squad w/ meltagun, power weapon- 181 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ twin-linked assault cannon, searchlight

5 Man Death Company w/ power fist, hand flamer- 191 pts
Embarked in a Razorback w/ twin-linked heavy flamer, searchlight

Death Company Dreadnaught w/ blood talons, heavy flamer, magna-grapple, searchlight- 151 pts

Sanguinary Priest w/ power weapon- 65 pts

Sanguinary Priest w/ power weapon- 65 pts

Landspeeder Tornado w/ multimelta, heavy flamer -70 pts

Landspeeder Tornado w/ multimelta, heavy flamer -70 pts

Baal Predator w/ twin-linked assault cannon, heavy bolter sponsons, storm bolter, searchlight

Total: 1,500

I'm not entirely happy with this army, but I think it'll get the job done. The Landspeeders serve double duty as both anti mech and anti horde. The Razorbacks add fire support and the Assault Squads can definitely hold their own in close combat with the addition of the Sanguinary Priests. The Baal Predator is there to draw enemy fire while the Rhino will go objective hunting. The Death Company and the Dreadnaught lead the charge.

If I had the models, I would probably leave out the Baal Predator and take another Land Speeder Tornado and a Drop Pod for the Dreadnaught. I'm also debating dropping the Tactical Squad and taking another Assault Squad in a Drop Pod. I do like this list as it does give me a lot of options. I'll need to play this out for a few games and see how it goes. So what do you guys think? Does this look like a decent list or does it need some work?

Next time, I'll start talking about putting my models together and get into the approach of building and assembling my army. The DED 'ARD Gaming Club is getting together this Sunday the 19th, so I'll get to put my army to the test. I'll try and take some pictures and possibly put together a battle report for next week.

Till then,
–The Harrower

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Liber Sanguinis Week I: Planning Core Army Selection

My new weekly series needed a name. I wanted something I could use to tag all of these articles, was easy for people to remember, and was creative and indicative of what the articles are about. Liber Sanguinis fits those criteria even if it isn't very creative. Oh well. It'll serve the purpose I need and I don't think it's as bad as the myriad of blood-themed wargear in the new Codex. Bonus: I did find a cool website with latin translations while I was contemplating the name.

The first thing I want to do is decide on a strong core for my army. I've been gaming regularly with the DED 'ARD Gaming Club and playing 40K almost once every month, so I have a pretty good idea of what works well for me and the type of force I want to go with.

Before I go into what I'll be using, I did want to mention a bit on tactics and strategy. I will touch briefly on those topics in this series of articles, but before I do, this advice comes with the caveat that I am not a master tactician. Even though I have been wargaming for over 10 years, I'm not an ├╝ber competitive gamer nor am I yet into the tournament scene. I dabble with mathhammer (running statistics on dice rolls to determine the best outcome), but I'm not obsessed with it.

I consider myself a well rounded gamer that likes all aspects of the hobby and my manta isn't: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." If you guys are looking for that sort of thing (and there is nothing wrong with that type of play as long as it doesn't ruin the fun of the game for your opponent), check out Stelek's Blog, Yes The Truth Hurts. I'll gladly discuss/debate my tactical decisions as I go through this series of articles, but I really don't want that to be the focus of these articles as that type of content is better served by other blog authors out there (like Stelek and Jawaballs) who have experience with the tournament scene.

That being said, there are lots of different types of Army Lists out there that you can go with. Below are just a few of the more popular ones:
  • Foot Slogging: consisting mostly of infantry that "foot slog" or walk across the battlefield.
  • Mech: consisting of a lot of vehicles where your infantry arrives via transports.
  • Drop Pod: a list that relies on deploying the majority of your army via drop pod.
  • Jumpers: a list where your troops are all or mostly equipped with jump backs. This type of lists works better for Blood Angels because of the Descent of Angels special rule.
  • Close Combat: a list where your troops are primarily geared for assault and close combat (my favorite!). 
  • Shooty: a list where your units have a lot of firepower. I think these lists go against what it is that the Blood Angels do best; however, Jawaballs has had great success with these types of lists. Check out his blog for more info.
  • All Comers: a list designed to be able to take on all different kinds of armies. A lot of times you'll see these called tournament/tourney lists as well.
  • Spam: a list where you take a lot of one certain type of unit (ie. a list that uses a lot of Razorbacks is called Razorspam).
  • Horde: a list where you try and cram as many units on the table as you can.
  • There are tons of others. Elite, Offensive, Defensive, etc. but I think I covered all of the important ones and a lot of these are just characteristics of the main type of lists I categorized above.
During this stage, I'm not only thinking about what I want my actual starting force to be as far as an army list goes, I'm also considering a lot of other things. What style of army suits best the way I play? How do I want my army to look? What units do I want to include? What will give me a good competitive list? Next time I'll answer these questions and pick my starting force.

Until then Enim Sanguinius!
–The Harrower

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Before beginning, plan carefully.

So I've had the new Blood Angels Codex since April and I've put together a lot of new models, but I haven't really did much in the realm of painting aside from my 3 Razorbacks. I've been wanting to get more done and get the "Red Furor" on the table.

When the DED 'ARD Gaming Club gets together every month, I've mostly been using painted miniatures I did during my first stint of 40K back in the 3rd Edition days. I definitely like my newer models better, but I'm superstitious when it comes to any type of gaming and I swear that painted models play better. I am also crazy superstitious when it comes to dice, but that's a topic for another time.

I haven't had a lot of time to devote to 40K with the Game Art Degree program I am enrolled in at Full Sail. The classes run a month at a time with no breaks in between and that coupled with a full time job and a wife and two kids doesn't leave much room for anything else.

I've been getting pretty burnt out with all of the work that my classes entail, but I really need to get back into the hobby to get my mind off of things and to help me relax. The XBOX is good for some mindless fun now and again, but I really want to get to at least one GT next year and while I really want to start redoing my scenery collection, it's about time I get my army finished.

My plan is to work on my Blood Angels Army for at least a couple hours a week and to update this blog on my progress. We've all seen the fabled Tale of Four Gamers articles in White Dwarf and while I won't offer as much breadth, I hope I can offer something similar and take everyone along for the ride.

First thing I need to do is decide on a solid core for my army. I'm not uber competitive, but I do want an army that can take on all comers and gives me a good chance to win. Next time I'll go into all the choices one makes when putting an army together from both the gaming and hobby perspectives.

Till next time, Enim Sanguinius!
–The Harrower