Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Macharian Crusade - Colonel Ackland

Colonel Ackland is a Cavalry Officer who fought with Crassus' Fifth Army during the Macharian Cruasde, this conversion is based on the Colonel-Commissar Gaunt model with an WFB Empire Outrider horse, with legs, lower torso, arms and pith helmet sculpted from green stuff.

Rules for Colonel Ackland can be found on page 55 of the Macharian Crusade Campaign Mini-Dex produced by and available for download from the Bell of Lost Souls at;

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

New Years Hobby Resolutions

I've seen a few of these post's popping up on the 40k blogging community and thought what the heck, why not! I could certainly try to make a few promises to myself for what hobby 2009 holds in store - though knowing full well that like most resolutions these will probably last about a month, oh well!

1 - No new armies. I've enough unpainted and assembled plastic, metal and resin to keep me going for quite a while, besides the never ending Praetorians, Orks and Space Marine 40k armies are all awaiting work, and I'm also about to delve into Epic Armageddon with an Imperial Guard force, the promiss is that until one or more of these three is finished I won't start another collection.

2 - Finish what I've started. I've several projects which are languishing uncomplete, the Leviathan, Praetorian Roughrider and Guard conversion kit components, Malcador, Baneblade and Warhound are all noteable examples, I'll try to finish at least a couple of these projects before succumbing to one of the other moutain of idea's which are circling around in my head.

3 - Painting Practice. I'd really like to spend some time improving on the standard of my painting, some things I'm very happy with, others need alot of work, I'd like to aim to turn out a really nice display piece for Games Day this year, just need some inspiration. And practice. And possibly an open enough mind to try harder to follow other peoples advice, I can admit that I am perhaps too stuck in trying to make things work my way before trying what others suggest.

4 - Blog! I'd really like to try an update this blog a bit more, maybe a couple of post's a week rather then the current quiet period followed by a mad rush of a half dozen posts in a short period of time.

5 - Terrain. I've always tended to play games either at the local shop or events. I'd really like to get a small collection of nice terrain together, something modelled nicely to match my armies. It's easy to overlook terrain in favour of adding that nice new unit, but some themed terrain can be really cool, it also opens up a new place to play (or at least a new place to play where your not fighting over little china houses, salt shakers and book shaped hills!).

Thats what I'm gonna try and stick to this year, go on, I challenge you, what will your New Years Hobby Resolutions be?

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Orks Drift 2

The Praetorians return victorious from Orks Drift.

Infact despite the fact it was still great fun the whole event was something of an anti-climax, there was a slight problem, obviously the local Ork Warboss is'nt trusted by his fellows (or perhaps the Orks are infact scared of the Praetorian's! ;) ), but we ended up with only the stores Ork army, so the scenario changed somewhat. The Orks objective was instead to destroy a mobile Chapel, built by the Exeter store manager Dan Luke, this piece of kit is essentially the Fortress of Arrogance minus Yarrick and with an Exorcist Launcher added as well as a transport capacity. I'll try an do a detailed post about this vehicle at some point in the future as I rather like it.Photobucket

PhotobucketThe Orks, all of which would recycle continously (including the Skullhamma, but excluding Special Characters who would later return as normal Warbosses), could attack from two ends of the battlefield, with the Praetorians covering one end and the other Guard armies the other. The Praetorians deployed in a nice thick line (yes not the most sensible of deployments, but it's a fun one, especially when the Skullhamma started it's first turn wiping out the equivilient of an entire Platoon!), ready to blunt the Ork attacks, all of which headed up my side of the table for the first few turns!

The Praetorians Infantry lines held against repeated waves of Orks, but each wave got a little closer, stripping a few more Guardsmen away until finally things reached a head with Ghazghkull and 15 Nobz reaching the lines intact while Captain Caine was jumped by Snikrot.PhotobucketPhotobucket

PhotobucketHowever Caine somehow managed to best his opponent, cutting down the Ork Kommando Boss Snikrot while the Nobz under Ghazghkulls command were first whittled down by firepower before a full squadron of Roughriders slammed home, this first wave dented them, while a second full squadron fell upon them in the following Imperial turn finishing the job, including Ghazghkull.

With that turn the Orks changed ends, making an all out assault on the other Guard forces arrayed against them, the bloodied but unbroken Praetorians holding the line on their side of things in case the orks returned.

The Ork assaults made much better headway against the other side (and it is rumoured that in the later stages of the assault an Ork Warboss with a Pith helmet lead the Ork forces), however time ran out in the end just as the Guard lines om the other side began to collapse, the Imperium won this day, but as anyone who's fought the Orks knows, they'll be back, just as greeen and twice as ugly!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Night Before 986996.M41

It's not olden, it's golden!

Merry Christmas all!

'Twas the night before 986996.M41, and all through the station
All there was clear, there was no abomination.
My helmet was set on the desk to my right,
On the chance that I was to need it that night.
The guardsmen were ensconced, asleep in their beds,
All the tanks too were safe, secure in the sheds.
Marines in the barracks, some manning the wall,
Assured me that the bastion never would fall.
When out in the yard there arose such discord
I grabbed up my bolter and unsheathed my sword.
Away to the window, I ran to take aim
As the marines around me all did the same.
My bionic eye turned the night into day
Allowed me to see, and to seek out my prey.
When what did my loyalist ocular show,
But an ancient conveyance, knee-deep in the snow.
The vehicle was pulled by horned quadrupeds
And a fiery red nimbus glowed from the sled.
The driver was mighty, his eyes full of scorn,
Dressed all in crimson like a servant of Khorne.
I gestured for other to shoot without pause,
For I was now certain this was Santa Claus.
"Fire Marines! Fire Guardsmen! Fire Ogryn and Ratlings!
Fire bolters! Fire lasguns! Fire mortars and gatlings!"
"You in the courtyard and you men on the walls!
Now blast away! Blast away! Blast away all!"
But all through this maelstrom the evil one flew,
Past plasma and bolt shells and frag that we threw!
And then, to my horror, I heard on the roof
The vile cavorting of each decadent hoof.
Screaming my orders, I spun quickly around,
As down the chimney shaft it came with a bound.
I saw its eyes glow, its vast stomach gurgle,
Bloated and fat, like a deamon of Nurgle.
Blinded by anger, I attacked with a scream -
Charged into battle with my brave space marines.
As we thundered towards him, closing the rift,
He reached in his satchel and pulled out a gift.
Then it tossed the vile boxes - I fell in a stoop,
As they arced through the air at me and my troops.
The wrapped missiles fell short, and plopped at our feet,
Our morale was quite strong, we did not retreat.
But the marines paused - our charge was disrupted,
They picked up the gifts and were quickly corrupted.
For each box contained a chaotic present -
The marines (damn their souls), found them quite pleasant.
A bolter, a flamer, a new power fist,
The Claus gave to all, and he checked off a list.
It moved through the station and left in its wake,
The sound of bright laughter and the stench of fruitcake.
The others succumbed, but it failed in its goal,
For to me it gave only a small pile of coal.
The station was lost, I could only instruct
The bastion computer to set self-destruct.
I failed to kill him, for I saw as I fled,
The target escaping, quite safe in his sled.
I heard it cry out as the base burst into light,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Captain Caine - Draft Special Rules

With the second battle of Orks Drift little under a week away my thoughts are turning to formalising some sort of characterful special rules for Captain Caine, the commander of the defence. During the first battle he was a Heroic Senior Officer with tools from the armoury - which served him fine until he was jumped by the local Ork Special Characters the so called 'Waaaghhh Team' - he copped it in short order. Now thats not to say he should be some sort of combat monster, that would'nt fit, but perhaps a few additions to mark him out from regular officers for the purposes of the scenaio?

Captain Caine 90pts

WS4 - BS4 - S3(4) - T3 - W3 - I4 - A3 - Ld9 - Sv5+

Wargear: Heirloom Power Sabre, Plasma Pistol, Medallion Crimson

Special Rules:

Independent Character
Leadership Rule (as per IG Codex)

Heirloom Power Sabre - A Master-crafted power sword which hits with S4 (included in profile), that also counts as a trademark item.

Stand Fast - Captain Caine is Stubborn and confers this ability to any unit he joins.

Fix Bayonets! - Captain Caine benefits from Counter-assault and confers this ability to any unit he joins.

Hows that sound? The idea is to have a support character who improves the abilities of the regular guardsmen around him, he relatively nasty in assault for a Guardsmen, but is still fragile - left unsupported he wont last long.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Christmas Workbench and Orks Drift 2

I'm lucky enough to work in a school, which means I'm also lucky enough to benefit from most of the school holidays, including the Christmas Break, crappy weather means lots of time to spend on the hobby so it's time to lay out a plan of what I want to get done in the next few weeks.

First on the list will be continued work on the Warhound, I'm aiming to have the legs painted by the end of the break and the upper torso assembled, as we've a large 50,000point Apocolypse Game planned for the end of January it would be a great chance to roll out the beasty, even if it suffers from new model syndrome and thus dies spectacularly in turn one before it does, well anything! I had planned on commissioning someone to build me a Mars Pattern Twin Turbo-laser as the model comes supplied with Plasma Blastgun and Vulcan Megabolter and I'd like to up-gun the Vulcan a little, but as is I think I may have a crack at it myself after all.

Colonel Ackland will of course be also on the list along with the Malcador, both of these models are so near completion yet not seeing any love that it's criminal, so expect to see developments on them soon, Ackland taking priority.

Next up I need to revisit my Heavy Weapons, in light of future developments I need to rebase all of them onto 60mm bases, I'm torn bewteen simply remounting them or knocking out some 60mm movement trays of sorts with the Heavy Weapon fixed and slots for the crew's bases, any thoughts on how best to do this would definately be appreciated!

3rd Platoon of D Company needs painting to bulk out my Infantry numbers sufficiently, though that'll probably be more of a long term project, likewise I'm hoping to crack on with my tanks, the three tank Basilisk battery I started assembling a while ago is crying out for finishing, and I'd like to get at least one more Russ finished given I've got all my Conqueror turrets from FW now - that said I'd also like to do some more variant Turrets, the Executioner needs painting (and I'm keeping my eyes open for another Imperator Titan Plasma Cannon (if anyone has such a piece sitting in their bits box I'd love to hear from you!), and I'd like to knock out some Demolisher, Exterminator and Vanquisher alternative turrets.

Phew, thats rather alot actually, not so much of a plan as an epic wish list still nows the best chance I have to crack on, so crack on I will!

In other news the Orks are once more massing for an assault on the Drift, and Captain Caine will once more be leading the Imperial Guards defence surrounded by his trusty Praetorian's. Last time the battle was fought the Imperial Guard edged a narrow victory, but this time there really could be thousands of the green skinned blighters - so I'll tell you one thing, we'll be opening fire long before we see the red's of their eyes!

If your located in the region why not come along and bolster the Guard lines, or if your an Ork player to swot the red boyz down!

Orks Drift 2 will be fought at Games Workshop Exeter on the 27th of December.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

FtW Round Table - Which came first, the army or the list?

Specifically I'm wondering: once I get the whole modelling and painting thing down, should I just grab models willy-nilly (with at least an idea of what an army should contain) and then cobble together a list from what I have, or should I first make up a real army list and then buy models accordingly?

Which came first, the army or the list?

An interesting question, not least for me because I feel I’ve approached the subject from both directions, with different armies. The first thing I’d say is I don’t think there is a right or wrong way too approach it, to me it depends entirely on what particular side of the hobby (if any specifically) brings you the most enjoyment, you should then take that aspect and build your army accordingly.

For myself my first army is of course the Praetorian’s, I’d say they were something of a labour of love and the collection reflects that. The primary reason that my collection consists of what it does is because both the models appeal to me greatly in terms of looks (so the modelling, converting, painting side of things) and theme. The theme of the army in this case is a combination of the normal stalwart Imperial Guard and as you’d expect from an army like Praetorian’s a strong real world historical aspect (suffice to say when I was younger I loved reading about military history and watching things like Zulu and Sharp – indeed both is still true today).

What I include in the collection therefore are things which obviously fit with the theme of the 19th century historical aspect, Roughrider Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry, and things which I feel can fit with the same historical aspect given the futuristic setting such as Armoured Cavalry and Heavy Tanks borrowing from more recent 20th century history – most specifically how WW1 & WW2 technology might have been used in the 19th century setting. However by those means there are things I wouldn’t include without some good justification, for example the idea of Grav-Chuting Praetorians dropping from the sky is something I’m very very unlikely to ever adopt, likewise my Storm Trooper equivalents, the Life Guards are not going to be seen flying in special forces style from a Valkyrie.

Of course that covers the collection itself, an individual army list will consist of things drawn from that into something effective, but even then I always try to stick to the theme, for example my background has Praetorian Infantry companies at 110 Officers and Men, a number taken from British Infantry companies at the time of the Zulu War, to fit those into a IG Platoon Structure that’s a Command HQ, and three Platoons each of a Command Section and three Infantry Squads, so whenever possible I’ll take a full company, or at least full Platoon Sections from that Company in my lists.

My only ‘complete’ army (well they need some painting still but that aside!) the Sisters of Battle, are a purely list driven force, I play in a lot of tournaments, and this is reflected in them being a tournament army, and were always intended as such. They have a the single fixed list, which I’d like to think I know how to use, knowing what it can do and what it can’t do. I don’t think by any means that it’s an overpowered or cheese-mongering force – that’s not my style – but it is designed and collected to be competitive in the tournament environment. I do like the models, I do like the Sisters of Battle as an army, otherwise I wouldn’t of picked them, but that is not why I collected them in the way I have.

Finally there are my new boys, the Orks, I’m collecting these because I’ve always had a soft spot for Orks, because the new models are really nice, and with Assault on Black Reach I had the option to get hold of a decent core of troops very cheaply – oh and they are of course the arch-enemies of the Praetorians! This army once it’s complete I see as being very much model driven, I’ll get the models I want and have and put them together into an army, that’s going to mean a good chunk of foot slogging boys, some Nobz in a Truk with a Warboss, some Deff Dreadz and Killa Kanz because I love the models, some Storm Boyz and probably a few other fun bits – just because I can! I don’t expect to collect more then a couple of thousand points of Orks, nor do I intend on spending loads and loads of time converting and painting them (though that’s more down to wanting to spend my time working on my first love, the Guard), but it’s a fun army that I’m really looking forward to collecting - I probably really should read the army book at some point!

So, to answer the question, is the thing you get the most enjoyment from the collecting the models themselves, the hobby aspect - the modelling and painting of an army, the background and theme, the actual game itself or perhaps any combination of these? Whichever single factor or combination of factors is most important to you in collecting that specific army – and it may well be that as for me that will change from army to army – should give you your primary direction in what you add to your collection.

If the models are the most important thing – collect the models you want and build a list around them.

If the background and theme gets you going – use that background material and theme and collect your models around it.

Is it the hobby aspect that inspires you – then model, convert, sculpt and paint the models you want and build your list around these.

If it’s gaming that does it for you – then your probably going to want to collect an army based on sensible or even tournament geared army choices, create your list and start collecting towards it.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Plastic Shadowsword Emerges

Well that finally settles all doubt on the Plastic Shadowsword, this picture appears to be from a german issue of White Dwarf, I came across it on Warseer, however first credit appears to go to "Anung Un Rama" on DakkaDakka.

Excitingly according to a translation of the text below the picture by Darnok on Warseer,

"March will see plenty of new Apocalypse releases""


"the best thing about it: this is only one out of six superheavy variants, that you can build with parts from the box!"

We can only speculate on what those might be, but that must surely include at the very least Shadowsword (Volcano Cannon), Stormsword (Hellhammer Cannon - by IA:Apocolypse) and Stormblade (Plasma Blastgun). There is also the possibility of the Stormlord variant of Super Heavy Assault Transport (Transport Capacity and Vulcan Mega Bolter) as appeared in Apocolyse:Reload, this has been heavily rumoured with a number of CAD images also spotted, it seems likely that this would also be one of the options fromt this kit.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Venatio Accipiter (Part 1)

Ah I can't seem to settle into doing one project at the moment, maybe the Warhound will finally settle me down for a bit, I've spent the past couple of days cleaning and assembling the legs. As you'd expect with FW it's a bit of a job, certainly Titans are'nt for the faint of heart but I think I'm getting the measure of the beast - though I've not tackled all those pistons yet!

As it stands (hmmm) the legs themselves are assembled, but here it's hips are merely pinned in place and not glued (hence the giant floaty hand), I'm torn between painting the legs seperately first or doing the whole lower portion in one hit, will have a think though I'm pretty sure doing them seperately is probably the best plan. The next couple of weeks promiss to be rather busy however so it's quite possible I wont get to do anything much more until my christmas break now - even that could be busy though time will tell.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

'Ere We Go Boyz! Itz da Waaagh!

Da boyz is gettin restless like, an those pansie hummies, da red boyz, needz a crumpin so itz time to start da Waaagh!

In other words it's time I got off my backside and did a little to my long wanted Ork army - what better as an opposite number for the Praetorians? They wont be anything particularly fancy, infact I'm planning on using them to experiment with dipping, they are'nt taking a front seat quite yet either, just I wanted to firstly do something towards them and secondly, well, they take up less sprue off the sprue!