Monthly Archives: November 2011

What’s Next

So, I’ve decided Necrons are a no-go.  The games I’ve played with them haven’t felt right, and what little inspiration I’ve found for painting them is wholly uninspired.  Holding out for the rumored Tau update (I’m super-pumped to revisit Tau, my first army, but I can’t bring myself to do it this side of an update) feels like the smarter move.

But, I’ve got to work on something and, more pressingly, my birthday and Christmas are coming up, so I’ve got to have something hobby-related to put on a list.
So, I’ve decided to move on the Empire thing that’s been rattling around since late August.  Pajama pants and feathered hats, here I come!
I took advantage of TheWarStore‘s Black Friday sale to load up on some battalions, and I’ve assembled another test model to fiddle with.  
The key to what I want to do is nautical-themed, “Fist of Manann” type army.  Nautical iconography and such.  The only decision point I’m hung up on is whether I should do them as a Marienburg force or a Nordland force.
Initially, I’d decided on Nordland.  I’m starting to rethink that, though.  Googling around for ideas turns up a disconcerting number of swastikas (seriously, WTF Norway?), and reading deeper into the fluff turns up that Nordlanders tend to assert Sigmar- and Ulric-worship aggressively to try to make up for their mixed-Norscan heritage… which undermines the Manann thing I’m going for.
Marienburg hits all of the points that Nordland was supposed to hit (which makes sense, given that Theoderic Gausser claims rule over it), but without the bumpkinhood that comes with Nordland.  They’ve don’t lose any of the nautical conversion potential, and their independent, mercenary nature offers room for some more creative conversion.

On the other hand, Nordland lets me paint up a Bill the Goat.

Anyway, I need to noodle on this a bit.

In the meantime, the a first cut of what I look to be running is:

Arch Lector of Manann – General, Heavy Armor, Sword of Might, Shield of the Gorgon, Van Horstman’s Speculum
Wizard Lord – Lvl 4, Shadow, Seal of Destruction, Crimson Amulet

Battle Wizard – Lvl 1, Beasts, Dispel Scroll
Captain of the Empire – BSB, Shield, Armor of Meteoric Iron
Master Engineer
Warrior Priest – Heavy Armor, Shield, Warhorse, Barding, Biting Blade, Obsidian Amulet

Halberdiers x39 – Musician, Standard Bearer
– Archers x15
– Free Company x15
Knights of the Albatross x9 – Musican, Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame
Swordsmen x30 – Full Command
– Archers 15

Great Cannon
Great Cannon

Steam Tank

I’ve no illusions that there’s room to improve this.  What I’m starting out with looks a lot like my Skaven army… but with better troops, better, more reliable shooting, more magic options and stronger magic defense.  There’s no Plague Furnace equivalent in there, but… this is a start.

Arcane Fulcra!

I’m still rattling around, unsatisfied, with a Necron paint scheme that’s fast but isn’t terrible.  At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m just not going to bother.

As a change of pace, I decided to knock out the Arcane Fulcra I put together back in July, when they came out.

Painting notes follow the picture dump.

Magewrath Throne!

Balewind Vortex!

I tried a lot of weathering here.  For the most part, I think it worked out.  There were definitely some problems with the Throne, though: the verdigris wasn’t thin enough and it definitely obscured some detail.

For what it’s worth, I tried zenithal highlighting on these guys.  I don’t think it shows, though.

– GW Bestial Brown
– GW Shining Gold
– GW Burnished Gold
– Verdigris wash

I mixed GW Goblin Green, VMC Light Turquoise, VMC White, water, rubbing alchol.  No good ratios… just go thin!  I brushed it on heavily and then immediately dabbed the heck out of it with tissues.  I think this bridges a good gap between verdigris-as-stuff-that-pools and verdigris-as-exposure-to-rain, which is sort of what I took away from this.

– GW Tin Bitz
– GW Boltgun Metal
– GW Mithril Silver
– Rust wash

Rust Wash
This is a mix of GW Dark Flesh, GW Blazing Orange, P3 Armor Wash and water.  Again, it’s all eyeballed here.

Natural Rock
– Ceramcoat Charcoal
– Apple Barrel Pewter Grey
– Ceramcoat Quaker Grey
– Wash: 3:2:2:1 – Water : Badab Black : Matte Medium : Devlan Mud

Carved Rock
– P3 Cryx Bane Base
– P3 Cryx Bane Highlight
– P3 Hammerfall Khaki
– Wash: 3:2:2:1 – Water : Devlan Mud : Matte Medium : Thraka Green

In case you haven’t noticed: the 3:2:2:1 wash mix is my special sauce.  It turns the wash into more of a glaze, which makes the colors its washing over richer and more interesting, and cutting the wash 2:1 one color to another produces really neat results.

Also, this is a flip-flop from how I’ve been doing terrain.  With the rest of my stuff, the Cryx-based colors are the natural colors and the more pure grey is for carved rock.

Finally: hot-damn, I’m still totally in love with the Cryx Bane Base / Cryx Bane Highlight / Khaki progression.  It’s such an interesting, natural color.

I did miss a spot while keeping wash even, though: :(

– P3 Meridius Blue
– VMC Light Turquoise
– P3 Arcane Blue
– VMC Light Blue
– Turquoise wash

Turquoise Wash
I really need to figure out how to replicate this, because I plan on using it extensively when I revisit my Tau army.  It’s P3 Turquoise Ink, a lot of water, a lot of matte medium and a little GW Asurmen Blue.

– GW Dark Flesh
– P3 Menoth White Base
– P3 Morrow White
– GW Devlan Mud

Anyway, what do people think?

More HDR

Nothing fancy here: when I took the Gremlin / Necron photos on Monday, I thought I’d try some Fantasy-themed HDR / backdrop  photos.

Necron Test Model

So, I knocked out a Necron test model over the weekend.

I don’t like it.  I don’t think it works at all.

The highlights don’t work well.  The model’s boring.   It looks odd.  The proportions look off thanks to the black / bone contrast.

The face looks creepy, but just doesn’t work.

I’ve been thinking about how I need an “I don’t give a fuck” army, where I get to see how the other half (folks who just want to play and don’t care about the hobby aspect of the game) lives.  It just takes me so damn long to paint an army, it gets frustrating, you know?

I thought Necrons could be that army: I think they’re neat, but I’m not emotionally invested in them or anything.  That’s why I thought maybe I could get away with something so explicitly unoriginal.

Also, holy poop, I’m terrible at wet-blending.

Back to the drawing board!

Gremlins, Batch 2

Well, I finished up the Gremlins I’ve been working on.  (I’d have finished them last weekend, but I ran out of Bestial Brown and it took me forever to remember to buy more.)

Here they are:

And more fiddling with backdrop/terrain/HDR:

Necron Test-Run

I got in a test game with the new Necrons on Tuesday.

Here’s the list I threw together.  I’m sure that it only bears passing resemblance to any Necron list I’d be playing six months from now, but I’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Necron Test List – 1,850

Nemesor Zandrekh

Triarch Stalker
Triarch Stalker

Warriors x20
– Cryptek – Eldritch Lance, Solar Pulse
Warriors x9
– Cryptek – Eldritch Lance, Gaze of Flame
– Ghost Ark
Warriors x10
– Ghost Ark

Fast Attack
Canoptek Scarabs x6
Canoptek Scarabs x5

Heavy Support
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Canoptek Spyder x3 – Fabricator Array, Gloom Prism

I proxied everything with AT-43 Therians, which wasn’t terribly inappropriate (though they were all on bases that were too big).

I ended up playing against Ashley‘s Slaaneshi Daemons.  It was pretty brutal: I wrecked them pretty badly.  That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise: these Necrons are really hot when it comes to zapping infantry… and she had a lot of infantry.  I’ve got to get in a few games against Imperial Guard to see how it copes (if at all) with a parking lot full of transports.

Some observations:

  • Nemesor wasn’t a whole lot of use here.  The special rules didn’t make a huge difference, and she didn’t have enough units with special rules to take a way.  I opted to not Deep Strike anything, so that didn’t make a difference, either.  I’m curious to see how he fares against armies that leverage special rules more, though: he seems like a really good choice.
  • The Triarch Stalkers were amazing.  A double-tapped multimelta’s not bad, but making everything else twin-linked became a little obscene.  We can pray that Tau Markerlights are this effective.  What’s better than 50 gauss flayers shooting at a unit?  50 twin-linked gauss flayers.  Zap.
  • Ghost Arks were pretty sweet.  She had a hard time cracking through Quantum Shielding, which meant they were pretty safe, and they belched out an obscene amount of fire.
  • Scarabs did okay, despite the fact that there was no armor for them to munch on.
  • Annihilation Barges were okay, but I’m not sure how useful they’ll be against armor. The Tesla rule was pretty dang crazy: at no point did I not get at least one Tesla hit.  So, with 5-8 (yeah, that happened) S7 shots, I should be able to handle transports with them at least.
  • Spyders didn’t get the chance to do much: I need to work to keep them in range of the scarabs.
What have other folks’ experiences been with the Newcrons so far?

Gremlins WIP

Man, I really need to bang out a write-up about Dragon Wars (short version: had a great time!), but I haven’t had the time.
I have been working on some Gremlins: the guy who bought the Gremlin crew I put up for auction a few weeks ago asked if I’d knock out a few more models to fill out the list.  So, that’s what I’m working on.  They’re coming along much faster than I thought they would; I really need to just block out a day to wrap them up.  
Anyway, here are the WIPs:

The Worst Thing You Can Do at the Table

It’s okay to hope your dice roll well.  It’s okay to hope your opponent’s dice don’t.  (You have my permission.)  What’s never okay is to shout out that sentiment while your opponent is making a roll.

Shouting “FAIL!”  “ONES!”  “DIE!” “MISFIRE!” (all things I’ve actually had shouted at me) or anything along those lines isn’t actually going to make that result any more likely.  The only thing it’s going to accomplish is make you look like a complete asshole.

This is a jerk shibboleth to me. If someone does it once, I give them the stinkeye.  People get caught up sometimes, though; I judge… but not a lot.  If my opponent does this once, I’m having a bad game.

Twice, though?  Twice is repeated behavior.  Twice is a pattern of douchebaggery.  I generally call opponents on it if they do it a second time.  “Really?  Really?!?! Did you actually just cheer for me to fail that roll?”  If my opponent does this more than once, I’m having a terrible game and have absolutely lost my cool.

To their credit: I’ve never called someone on this and not have them apologize for being a jerk.

While I wouldn’t begin to suggest that I see this happen regularly; it’s happened to me a handful of times, and I often hear about it happening to other people.

(I try to cheer for my opponents to roll well… I’d rather win a game because I won it, not because my opponent blew some crucial roll.  And, if they do blow it, I’m quietly thankful, not celebratory.  Of course, I also tend to feel pretty bad about total bullshit rolls on my part.  Stupid shame-based religious upbringing.)