Monday, 29 August 2011

Praetorian Chimera (Part 4)

Almost there. I realised there was a distinct lack of Searchlight on my Chimera, and given how useful I've found them of late after experimenting with a fully mech list lately I knew I ought to model them on.

I had left one side of the turret deliberately empty as I didn't fancy using the stock hatch mounted searchlight from the vehicle accessory sprue. Originally I thought about making a box to mount it on this location, but then I realised I had several Space Marine ones. It took a little modification and pining, but I've now settled on this.


The searchlight, and belly, are now painted, so I've just got a few markings to add and a little weathering powder for a slightly dusted look around the tracks and I'm done! Not quite sure whats going to be next, possibly five more Roughriders, though a Helhound, and Basilisk/Medusa are also sitting on the bench patiently waiting for some attention. I've also made a start on several sculpting projects which will probably see the light of day soon.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Praetorian Chimera (Part 3)

Following a little bit of an unsuccessful rush to get the Chimera finished for the 40k Online tournament this weekend just gone, I've done a little more to it today. Only the underbelly of the tank remains to be done in full now, and then the final details, marking, a little light weathering and some smoke launchers.


I always intended to fit my Chimera with only Gatling Bolters (Heavy Bolters), however in these days of mech even I use Heavy Flamers, they can be just too good to pass up. So I've decided to opt for a switchable solution. I decided that adding magnets at this late stage would be a bit tricky because of the way I've done them. So instead I've drilled a hole and am using rod to secure the weapon in place. The result is very satisfactory, and far less hassel then trying to retrofit magnets. I'll get the Gatling Bolter done alongside the other remaining bits and pieces.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

2011 40k Online List

HQ

Company Command Squad inc. Autocannon, Standard Bearer @75pts

Lord Commissar inc. Power Fist @85pts

ELITES

Psyker Battle Squad inc. Overseer, 5 Psykers @70pts

Sly Marbo @65pts

TROOPS

Platoon Command Squad inc. Autocannon @40pts
Infantry Squad inc. Lascannon, Plasma Gun @85pts
Infantry Squad inc. Lascannon, Plasma Gun @85pts
Infantry Squad inc. Lascannon, Plasma Gun @85pts
Infantry Squad inc. Heavy Bolter, Grenade Launcher @65pts
Infantry Squad inc. Heavy Bolter, Grenade Launcher @65pts
Special Weapon Squad inc. 2 Flamers, Demo Charge @65pts
Heavy Weapons Squad inc. 3 Lascannons @105pts

Veteran Squad inc. 1 Plasma Gun, 2 Meltaguns @105pts
Chimera @55pts

FAST ATTACK

Valkyrie inc. Multiple Rocket Pods @130pts

Roughrider Squadron @55pts

HEAVY SUPPORT

Manticore @160pts

Leman Russ inc. 3x Heavy Bolters @170pts

Leman Russ Demolisher inc. 3x Heavy Bolters @185pts

1750pts

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Almost Praetorian IG Novel? A Review of Imperial Glory by Richard Williams


The observant, and you'd had to have been really observant, might have noticed a year or two ago that there were faint mumblings of the Black Library releasing a book from their successful Imperial Guard series centered on Praetorian's. Suffice to say at the time I was quite rabid about it, and went in search of the truth. In doing so I was able to get in touch with the author who had pitched the idea, Richard Williams, who at that time had just seen success with 'Relentless'. Richard was good enough to reply to the ravings of this particular mad man, and confirm that while he had indeed wanted to write such a novel, and had pitched the idea, it had sadly not been given the green light. Instead he was given the green light to write about another lesser known regiment, though at the time, understandably he was'nt able to go into any more detail.

I completely forgot about this in all honesty, with all that life tends to chuck at us, until I received a PM from Chosen Man, the Imperial Guard forum moderator on 40k Online. In his message, amongst other Praetorian related shenanigans he dropped in a bombshell - had I read the new Black Library novel, and that it was virtually Praetorians. I did a little digging, having been utterly out of the loop with Black Library releases since I started my OU degree last year, and realised that this was Richard Williams new novel, named Imperial Glory and centered on the Brimlock Dragoons. As I was about to head off for a long weekend away I picked up the book as a e-book (my first as it happens) and read it with almost inappropriate haste! What follows are my thoughts, though I've kept the spoilers to an absolute minimum!

The novel focuses on the story of the Brimlock 11th, a veteran regiment, composed of the remnants of hundreds of others - 10 million men, reduced to just a handful of companies. At the end of a long campaign they are dispatched one last time to a frontier colony, a world whose inhabitants have tried to escape Imperial rule only to find their new home invaded by every bodies favourite xenos, the Orks. The regiment includes Light Infantry, Armour, Artillery, Sappers, Armoured Fist Infantry (following the little established background of the Brimlock Dragoons which was introduced for the Third War for Armageddon), and brilliantly some aloof, and elite Cavalry. It is a regiment of courageous and (mostly) disciplined soliders, lead by its Officer class. Though of course we have some specific interesting personalities, such as junior officer, Carson, his career stunted because of his tendency to kill the wrong people as a renowned duelist, the thief 'Mouse' and his opposite the almost clean cut company colour sergeant 'Red'. We also have the Major Stanhoope, an Officer with an addiction, the loyal and friendly Ogryn, and the mysterious 'Blanks' who remains a mystery until the very end.

After the prologue, which introduces some of the key characters, and sets the scene as they reach the end of the current campaign, the book rapidly build ups and tells the story of the 11th's campaign against the Orks in some detail. While continuing to seamlessly build upon the characters, slowly introducing us to their past, and motivations. It is well written, and though this takes fully half the novel, it did not feel drawn out.

Throughout the novel, there are occasional interludes, which a number of Black Library authors have taken to including. Imperial Glory is I think the first time I've really felt they were successful, they each depict something of a flash back, explaining brilliantly the characters motivations and actions at the appropriate moment, as well as horrendously showing the darker side of Imperial discipline; one savagely reminiscent of the Indian Mutiny. One in particular also alters the progress of the story with a dramatic twist, but one which is utterly appropriate.

However, there are a couple of things I was'nt quite so fond of, the depiction of an almost super human Storm Trooper was a little OTT, though fun none the less. The penultimate scene also felt a little rushed, with little details given towards certain climatic ends, while focusing just on a single element of the storyline. That said, to do otherwise could of left for a confusing conclusion jumping back and forth through separate stories. I wasn't overly fond of how the Orks were depicted as dealing with vehicles towards the end either, it felt a little too convenient, I feel I'd have preferred to have seen them mob them instead.

That said the Ork's were overly depicted nicely, with a good mix of the normal Orkish 'duff em up' mentality, mixed in with some seriously bestial cunning, particularly from the Warboss. The idea of 'new spawns' also worked well given how the novel was written, had the Orks been shooting back it just would'nt have worked quite the same.

It's here we come to the crux, is this a Praetorian novel in disguise?

Is Brimlock the new 'code word' for Praetorian?

Well the answer is 'maybe'.

Certainly if you closed your eyes, and imagined that Brimlock read Praetorian you could read Imperial Glory as the almost perfect depiction of how many of us imagine the Praetorian Imperial Guard, right down to tea stained helmets (its in there!). There are many similarities, ranked up, officer lead Volley Fire is regularly used by the Guardsmen, several times they are ordered to 'Fix Bayonets', the units, and characters, and the intra-unit rivalries. Many of these simply would'nt fit in the depiction of many other regiments.

However, these similarities could simply be based upon the same historical sources, with obvious nods to the Zulu War with an objective named 'Chard', bombastic Colour-Sergeants, the comparisons which could be drawn between Native combatants, both human and loyal to the Brimlocks, and the opposition in the form of the Orks who as depicted, and armed, fit in with the stereotypical native warrior of the age of empire. In Stanhope there is also perhaps a nod to the actor Stanley Baker who both stared in and produced the classic war film, Zulu.

The truth is, only Richard Williams really knows the answer, and to be honest I'm not sure we need one, because whatever it is, this is a damn fine read.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Another Bust - Napleonic British Guardsman

Earlier in the summer I recovered a mold for a Parliamentarian Infantryman, and casts of a Royalist and Napoleonic Infantryman. Pieces which my grandfather sculpted, molded and cast decades ago. The day after I first posted about that I went back to my grandparents and discovered that he thought there was another mold in the bin... so back to the garage I went.

After a half hours of digging (not pleasant), I found another mold. This one for a British Napoleonic Guardsman - though I've not got around to a better identification then that yet. This mold was in far worse state, as well as the customary gunk it had several holes and having warped in storage.


I cleaned it up as before using a mild detergent. The holes meanwhile, I was able to largely patch up with the aid of some rubber silicon, the deformation was more of a problem. The picture of the cleaned up mold giving a pretty good idea about it.


The first cast attempt (top) did'nt work out too well, I used a different plaster this time, and despite following the instructions discovered that it dried out far too quickly. By the time I had finished pouring it was already setting, perhaps because of the large quantity. I mixed up a new batch and increased the water content. My grandfather felt well enough to watch this pull as well, so I was very pleased when it came out successfully.


The piece still suffers a little deformation, the right cheek is to prominent, the busby on the same side above the ear, and the left cheek meanwhile are both sunken - the nose also needs some work. My plan for this one is to re-sculpt it a little, before creating a new mold from this master. Hopefully I'll get to this next week.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Small But Perfectly Formed - Or Why I'm Collecting Another 40k Army

A year or so ago I parted with my Sisters of Battle force, this 1500pt tournament army was collected largely as a way to play something different, as a change of pace from my regular Imperial Guard armies. However, in selling it, partially in a move to get myself focusing on the Guard more again I've found myself facing an old foe, perhaps one which is bigger then I recognised previously.

It can be a damn pain the in arse to move around a big, and heavy all metal army.

I love the Guard, don't get me wrong, but when I'm rushing around after work before a club night I've often found myself passing up taking anything 40k. This is because it becomes a chore to pack up an army in the travel cases from their normal storage. Especially when even if I do then take them, I don't always end up playing 40k as I've increasingly found an interest in other systems like Dystopian Wars from Spartan. The other thing with an all metal army (and I do like metal armies more then plastic as a rule), is it chips if you look at it funny. This is frustrating to be honest, I like to get the Guard out and play a good game, but I loathe checking over all the Guardsmen when I get home to touch up the chips.

So I find myself here again, preparing to collect another army.

I'm going largely plastic this time to avoid the chipping issue. I'm also going smaller then ever before for me, my choice has been to go with the Deathwing. I've never played an army quite like this before, so it should be interesting. Its also a cheap option, nearly all the models for the army are the old plastic terminators, meaning its so far cost me less then £50 with only a few more models needed.

Am I a 'traitor' to the IG for doing this? Are my reasons perhaps slightly wussy?

Possibly. But I'll tell you what, I'm looking forward to pick up an play games in the most literal sense, and that is quite a liberating thought.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

FW Death Korps of Krieg Army List for Praetorian's?

I received an email a couple of days ago from a regular reader, mk6marine.

I just recently came across the rules for the Death Korps of Krieg Siege Army. Have you ever experimented with the list and ran your Praetorians that way? Considering the limited time between the Zulu Wars and WWI, I don't think it is much of a stretch to think that Praetorians may have adopted the tactics of their brother Death Korps (whom each are patterned after). If you haven't even seen the list, it can be downloaded from Forgeworld. They include some special rules which give +1WS (which i feel caters to a block of Praetorians with bayonets fixed), regrouping under 50% (Rourke's Drift comes to mind), and no negative leadership modifiers in close combat (again, that last man standing mentality). In my mind the Krieg mentality of a lot of infantry with artillery support and maybe some cavalry is perfectly in line with the victorian themed Praetorians. Just curious as to your thoughts. Feel free to post this on your blog to see if there are any fellow Praetorians who may have tried it.

Forgeworld have been good enough to publish an updated version of this army list on their website as a free download, the original having been printed in the Imperial Armour series. You can find the download, and others, at, http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/News/Downloads.html

The list uses a small group of special rules, which are essentially updated versions of the 4th Edition codex Iron Discipline, Die-hards and Hardened Fighters. These allow units to always regroup when within 6" of an officer, confer the Stubborn USR, and add +1WS respectively. Which in my mind do indeed seem appropriate to the Praetorian theme of an army lead by its officers, with a strict discipline which see's them standing against the odds. Oh - and with a Bayonet. I used the two former rules myself back when we had those lovely Doctrines.

With the list you do lose a few units though, Ratlings, Ogryns, Enginseers, Priests, Veterans, Chimeras, Pyskers, Special Weapon Squads, Sentinels, Valkyies, and all the artillery type vehicles. There are some serious drawbacks amongst that little lot. While they don't scream 'Praetorian', some like abhuman auxiliaries are a nice touch, Priests also fit right in if you've ever seen Zulu (and if not, why not?), and Special Weapons squads are clearly Engineers. More pressingly perhaps, from the perspective of game play ,the loss Veterans, Chimeras, Pyskers and Valkyries especially is potentially acute. These are without doubt some of the most commonly used units in competitive armies, and with good reason.

However, you gain towed artillery, Roughrider Command Squads, Engineers and Heavy Weapons platoons amongst others, all of which are definite boons amongst others for creating a themed list. The towed artillery especially fits in perfectly with the theme of Praetorians, and look every inch the part, both light field pieces like the Thudd Gun (a personal favourite of mine, even if I've never used one) and heavier guns like the Earthshaker carriage. Likewise Heavy Weapons platoons work well for batteries of field guns - though it has to be said regular Heavy Weapons squads work just as well. Roughrider Command Squads are great thematically as well, for leading a massed cavalry charge, warriors on horseback fitting in perfectly with the ethos of the army unlike some other regiments. The Engineers meanwhile, sit in the place of Special Weapons Squads. However, as independent units, even with extras like the Hades Assault Drill, they don't quite fill the gap of Veterans.

I can certainly see the appeal of using this list for Praetorians, the special rules sit nicely, as do the extra units. However, several of these extra units, like the towed artillery, can be used anyway with the regular Guard codex given opponents permission - which you would need to use this list anyway. There are also special rules like the Death Riders bionics save which don't quite make sense for Praetorians.

So the question is are the units which are not available to the regular codex, and the special rules that important to creating a themed army? Modeling aside, is the result when using this list more thematic then a regular codex list, perhaps with some extra units? Further are the restrictions of the Krieg list, the lack of access to some of the Guards 'best' units, worth this?

I've not quite made my mind up yet, but what do you think?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Update - Cavalry Kit For Sale


Just a quick update, in the nick of time the second batch of casts have arrived so I've now over a hundred Roughriders in stock again. I don't anticipate a third order anytime soon however. You can order the kits via Paypal from this page.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Cavalry Kit For Sale


Right that its, the kits are ready to go!

I only have 40 in stock at the moment, if these do run out the Paypal check out will not proceed. However, I do have another batch on order which I hope will be arriving this week.

If there are any question or queries, or if stocks do run out and you'd like to place an order anyway for when the second batch do arrive you can contact me at the below address.