Tag Archives: Empire

The Stanktini

Because I’m a goof, one of the finds I’m most excited about while digging through the Game Room bins was a pair (one needs stripping) of 1992 Imperial Steam Tanks.

2013-09-04 13.45.00

Why is this?  They’re tiny.  Yes, the wheels are missing, but they don’t add that much height.

No, really. You could probably fit at least one in one of the current Steam Tanks. Like a clanking, hissing Tervigon, you could have a Steam Tank give birth to little baby Steam Tanks.

2013-09-04 13.45.34

My first thought was, “This is so small, I bet I could hide it behind cavalry.” I could do this list as a goof, only up the douche factor by hiding those Stanks behind the block of Inner Circle jerkfaces.

1-2013-09-05 21.26.26

Did I mention how small it was?

2013-09-04 13.45.48

Later, I was talking about it (because, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m excited about the find), and Eric suggested that it might be small enough to run as a Doom Flayer.

2013-09-04 13.46.09

I’m not sure that it is, but it’s definitely right for something ratty that wouldn’t pass OSHA codes.

A Demigryph, FINALLY!

If you look at my Hobby Status log, things are grim.  Nothing since April.  Pathetic.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing anything at all: I just haven’t been sealing the deal.  Not finishing anything.

And, technically, I suppose I still haven’t (that Daemon Prince assembly doesn’t really count, does it?), since I haven’t touched this sucker’s rider… but he’s negligibly easy.  As in the game, the rider’s hardly the point. :)

Anyway, I’ve been jammed up on finishing this test model for the Demigryphs.  I’ve been trying to make sure I’m happy with the paint scheme before I commit to painting another three of these guys.  It had been my hope to enter these guys in the Golden Daemon later this month, but I’m not sure if I’ll have them done in time.  It’s possible, but not likely.

Anyway, since I’m doing something of a a maritime-themed army, I wanted to paint these guys like the were sea creatures.  So, instead of a lion, I went with a seal.  Instead of an eagle, I went for a seagull.

I’m not sure I was effective with the the seagull side of things, but at the same time, I think adding those dark patches to the head would muddy things.

These guys are elite members of the Sons of Manann, hence the turquiose and white armour.  (Mrs. Rushputin: “I thought your Empire guys were blue…”)

Fun fact: I’ve said before that I’m doing zenithal highlighting on this army (and I’ve also said that I probably slap enough paint on these models to defeat the point).  Well, it’s even more stupid and pointless to do on these guys: the point of zenithal highlighting is to make the top lighter than the bottom, but the coloration of seals is deliberately the opposite: they want to look lighter from beneath and darker from above.  So, that means more thin layers of paint all around.  Good times.
I don’t think I’m going to bother with the rider just yet: I’m crackin’ on getting the other three birds painted up and then I’ll knock out all of the riders.
(There’s also a teeny bit to clean up on this guy, but I won’t point out where.)
Since I was so excited to get varnish on this sucker, I went ahead and took a couple of glam shots of him, ’cause that’s how I do). :)

These backdrops remind me that I need to get a new one printed off for this army.  This painting of the Danish coast (which I imagine maps well to the Nordland coast) by Johan Thomas Lundbye is a big part of my inspiration for the army, so it’s what I’ll probably use.

On Battlefoam’s Customer Service – Results

So, you might remember my kinda nuts order into Battlefoam earlier this month.

Well, it showed up this afternoon, I’m ecstatic about it, and figured I’d share the results.

Just about a week after my order, they got back to me with a layout.

I suggested collapsing a few of the filler shapes into each other.  The result:

Well, as I said the trays just showed up in the mail.

The filler for the Demigryph shapes were included: I’ll shave them down after I’ve glued the riders on (when they’ll be needed).

So, as you can see, Battlefoam did an amazing job of taking my heap of requirements and cobbling them together into into some trays that do exactly what I need them to do.  As I said, they’ve got exemplary customer service.

Also, since I was taking pictures and I don’t think I’ve posted it here: this foam topper was a last-minute upsell when I placed my Black Friday order back in November.  It’s based on the display sign I knocked together for the NoVA Open and run through some filters in Gimp. I’m really happy with how it came out, and as I’m working on more display signs, I’m keeping foam toppers in mind.

Empire Helper Cards

How is it that I haven’t posted these here yet? Anyway:

I keep forgetting I have various innate bound spells (Battle Prayers, wizard wagon weapons) until I’ve blown all of my power dice (if I’m lucky; I normally remember them several phases after that).

So, knocked together a couple of cards to print out and put with my various spell cards to keep track of them. There’s one for Battle Prayers, the Luminark, and the Hurricanum.  They should print out to be the same size as the spell cards (3″ x 4 5/16″).

If you’ve got a copy of the Empire book, grab ’em here.  (If you don’t have the Empire book, you probably shouldn’t.)

Rushputin vs. The New Citadel Paints

That might sound overly confrontational.  I dunno.  It certainly turned out more of a battle than I anticipated.

I started these six Halberdiers I don’t know how long ago.  More than a month ago, at least.  Early April.

The new Citadel Paints had just dropped and, because I’m just starting this army, “buy up as many old paints as you can,” isn’t sustainable enough for me.  So, since I’m going to have to start using them anyway, I did just that.


I can’t blame the fact that it took me ~six weeks to paint six dudes entirely on the paints: a lot of real-life excitement popped off in late April and early May (though most of it lent itself to painting more and not less)… but option paralysis and result disappointment really annihilated any momentum I managed to develop.

So, here are the dudes.  They’re painted mostly with new GW paints in place of the old GW paints.  P3 paints weren’t changed.  Notes on the original color scheme can be found here.

Significant color changes are:

Was Now
Blue Basecoat – GW Regal Blue
Layer – GW Enchanted Blue
Highlight – Reaper True Blue
Wash – 3:3:2
   GW Asurmen Blue
   Matte Medium wash
Basecoat – GW Kantor Blue
Layer – GW Caledor Sky
Highlight – GW Hoeth Blue
Glaze – Guilliman Blue
Yellow Basecoat – GW Iyanden Darksun
Wash – GW Gryphonne Sepia
Layer – GW Iyanden Darksun
Highlight – GW Golden Yellow
Basecoat – GW XV-88
Basecoat – GW Balor Brown
Wash – 1:1
   GW Cassandora Yellow
   GW Seraphim Sepia
Layer – GW Balor Brown
Layer – GW Zamesi Desert
Highlight – GW Ushabti Bone
Glaze – GW Lamenters Yellow
Skin Basecoat- GW Tallarn Flesh
Layer – GW Elf Flesh
Wash – 3:3:2
   GW Ogryn Flesh
   Matte Medium wash
Highlight – GW Elf Flesh
Basecoat – GW Bugman’s Glow
Basecoat – GW Cadian Fleshtone
Layer – Kislev Flesh
Wash – 3:3:2
   GW Reikland Flesh
   Matte Medium wash
Highlight – GW Kislev Flesh

So, let’s compare the two paint sets.  In each picture, the hapless Halberdier on the left is the old scheme, the one on the right is the new.

The yellow is more vibrant.  We can attribute that, I think, to Lamenters Yellow.  Unfortunately, it’s a hair brighter than I’d like.  Conversely, the blue is more drab…  in the old scheme the blue was matched well with the yellow.  In the new, the blue’s too dark and the yellow’s too bright.

The skin is particularly bothersome: I just cracked caucasian flesh.  The new scheme just isn’t nearly as good.

The bases are edged differently: Calthan Brown on the left, Mournfang Brown on the right.

(Also, what’s up with the red on the blue feather? Sloppy, Rush!)

The new paints are good, mind you.  I like the way they handle.  I like the additional selection.  I’m extremely disappointed in how they compare to the old paints, however.  I know that they (GW, GW employees) have to say they’re equivalent, but they just aren’t.  To suggest that Mournfang Brown is comparable to Bestial Brown (nevermind Calthan Brown, too) is insulting.

(It looks like my standby killer Scorched Brown -> Bestial Brown -> Snakebite Leather -> Devlan Mud combo’s been broken.)

So, anyway, I’m not happy about it.

Some hobby catch-up

I’ve been keeping myself relatively busy with hobby stuff: painting an endless parade of Halberdiers, wrestling with the new GW paints (which are overall pretty good, but change is dang frustrating), and putting models together.

What I haven’t been keeping up with is photographing that stuff and posting it here.  I haven’t been too bad about getting stuff up on Twitter, but that’s not the same (and it’s never up in time for #MiniatureMonday).  So, here’s a quick catch-up post.

Just over the past couple of days, I knocked out two Great Cannons and a Helblaster Volley Gun.  The crews will follow at some point: they’re extremely low-priority, and I’m hoping inspiration for a scenic base will strike.

Some other club members and I finally got around to splitting a box of Demigryph Knights, which meant I could assemble my fourth.

Just looking at them, it’s clear the Musician’s lance needs to be repositioned; the glue’s already drying.  After I finish the first block of Halberdiers, these guys will probably be next.

Mounted Warrior Priest of Manann

This guy was going to go in Monday’s hobby catch-up post, but I took enough pictures of him and I’m happy enough with him that he gets his own post.

As soon as I decided to start running Demigryphs, it was immediately clear that I needed to run a Warrior Priest with them.  A bunch of nasty baby gryphons hit hard, but Hatred helps make sure they hit as hard as they possibly can.

I’d converted up a few Warriors Priests of Manann on foot already (here and here), and was very happy with them.  The army has a disconcerting lack of conversions in it, for the most part.

Originally, I thought I’d use a special character’s horse… but it turns out that none of them are appropriate or any different from the basic knight’s horse.  So, I turned to the unassembled mounted General model in my bitz tub.

It’s a bit heavy on the Sigmarite iconography, so I had to do some shaving: removed the “SIGMAR”s (to later replace with painted “MANANN”s, replaced the moon with a trident, some twin-tailed comets with fish, and a twin-tailed comet hammer with an anchor.

I can’t get enough of these Flagellant heads as Priest heads.  These guys look way crazier and more dangerous than the bald Sigmarites.

The only unfortunate thing going on here is the shield.  Doing that Crown of Manann the first time and such was a huge pain and I didn’t feel like going through that again.  Since I’m not likely to need two Warrior Priests on foot any time soon, I just ripped the arm off the linked Priest and reused it here.

Empire, after several games…

So, I’ve gotten a handful of games in with the Empire at this point: 1-2 a week since the new book came out.

I’m doing okay with it.  (By “okay with it” I really mean “I’ve yet to lose with it,” but it’s not a point I’d like to swagger over, since several games have been learning-the-new-book games, and there was even a teaching game in there.  That’s very different from crawling to the top of the challenge pyramid with it.)

This is basically the list I’ve been running for the past couple of weeks:

General of the Empire (General) – Armour of Meteoric Iron, Sword of Might
Battle Wizard Lord – Heavens, Lvl 4, Talisman of Preservation

Battle Wizard – Shadow, Dispel Scroll
Captain of the Empire (BSB) – Great Weapon, Shield, Armour of Destiny
Master Engineer – Light Armour
Warrior Priest – Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon, Warrior Bane
– Warhorse, Barding

Halberdiers x33 – Full Command
– Handgunners x10
Halberdiers x32 – Full Command
– Handgunners x10

Demigryph Knights x4 – Full Command, Steel Standard
Great Cannon
Outriders x5 – Champion w/ Brace of Pistols, Musician
Outriders x5 – Champion w/ Brace of Pistols, Musician

Celestial Hurricanum
Luminark of Hysh
Helblaster Volley Gun

Next time I play, I plan on swapping on of the Demigryph Knights for a Witch Hunter with a Brace of Pistols. I like having an ablative Demigryph, but in combat I’ve found I don’t always get him in to swing, and he makes the unit pretty unwieldy to maneuver (225mm wide).  Conversely, I’ve yet to not yearn for that 4+ (Witch Hunter + Aura of Protection) Ward Save vs. unpleasant magic.

For the most part: the General and the Lvl 1 go in one unit of Halberdiers, the BSB and the Lvl 4 in the other.  The Warrior Priest joins the Demigryphs, and the Engineer (obviously)  hangs out by the Helblaster.  Ideally, I place the Cannon near enough to the Helblaster that the Engineer can go support it if necessary.

I vanguard the Outriders up so they have a good angle to shoot at things until they get charged, stand and shoot, and die.  Halberdiers hold back as long as they can.  The Demigryphs hang out on a flank and either push forward really aggressively or hold back to counter-charge or, at least, disincline my opponent from charging where they might be able to countercharge.

The Hurricanum and Luminark move around enough for the whole army.  I’ve had really good fortune in getting them where they need to be to support whatever needs their support just in time.  Ideally, the enemy pushes towards me: once they’re within 24″ the Handgunners and Helblaster open up.

Heavens has been magnificent.  The debuffs it offers goes a long way to helping out my otherwise mediocre dudes (the Wizard Wagons help a lot, too).  Harmonic Convergence on the Helblaster is, frankly, bullshit. So good.  I need to never not take Miasma on the Shadow Wizard.

The Cannon is a cannon.  I’d love two, but I can’t afford the points.  The Helblaster is soooo good.  In one game I rolled one misfire (that the Engineer rerolled) total.  Well before that, I rolled three 10s.  It’s amazing.

I tried Pistoliers instead of Outriders, thinking that their additional mobility would help with War Machine hunting: they’re cheaper, but for a reason.  The lower BS, the lower range, the lower number of shots really hurt.  I love Outriders, however.  Amazing BS, disgusting rate of fire.  Someone at the store (John) suggested (in the last book, but just as applicable now) taking a Champion with a Brace of Pistols: this means that, when they stand and shoot, they always do so at 12″ from the Champion.  Depending on positioning, this means that at least half of your Outriders should be firing at short range.  This has been amazing.

The two Wizard Wagons are so good, I feel like they’re auto-includes.  I don’t think I can say that one’s better than the other, though: they’re both very useful in different ways.  Halberdiers hitting on 3’s (or, if Miasma’s in effect, 2’s) is really, really nice.  The 6+ Ward save runs hot and cold: sometimes it doesn’t do much, other times, it makes the army (within 6″) invincible.  I hate them, though, because they’re going to be nightmares to paint. :(  If and when you assemble them: magnetize those suckers.  It’ll make transport a lot easier.

Demigryphs are really intimidating.  They hit pretty hard, and I’ve been pleased with them.  Hatred from the Priest is immensely helpful.  If they ever FAQ it so Hatred doesn’t affect mounts, though… I’m going to have to rethink things.

New Empire Draft List

So, the Empire book came out over the weekend… and I’m not sure I’m entirely pleased with it.  I don’t hate it, but there’s some oddness in it.  I dunno.  It’s definitely going to take a lot of time for me to process.

My list’s definitely going to have to change a fair amount, but I certainly expected that.  I’m extremely thankful that the Halberdiers I’ve built look to be the Right Choice: Spearmen are cheaper, but clearly worse, Swordsmen are better, but not worth their cost.

I’m not going to try to do a unit by unit or even a section by section breakdown, though: I’m sure much better players than me are doing/have done that right now.

The sad truth is that, with the new book, I’m less enthused about knocking together an Empire army.  My initial motivation was that they did everything I did with my Skaven list, only with better Leadership, better shooting, more reliable shooting, better magic defense and more magic options.  Now… that’s not quite as clear.

Anyway, I’ve started noodling through a list.  It’s probably horrible, but I’ve got to start somewhere, right?  Stop judging me!

General (General) – Shield, Gold Sigil Sword, Ironcurse Icon, White Cloak of Ulric, Gryphon
Battle Wizard Lord Lvl 4 – Light, Talisman of Preservation

Battle Wizard Lvl 1 – Metal? Beasts?, Dispel Scroll
Captain (BSB) – Great Weapon, Armour of Meteoric Iron
Warrior Priest – Heavy Armor, Warhorse w/ Barding, Enchanted Shield
Witch Hunter – Ruby Ring of Ruin

Halberdiers x34 – Standard Bearer, Musician
– Handgunners x10
Halberdiers x34 – Standard Bearer, Musician
– Handgunners x10

Demigryph Knights x4 – Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame
Great Cannon
Great Cannon
Outriders x5 – Champion w/ Brace of Pistols, Musician

Helstorm Rocket Battery
Luminark of Hysh

Core is two buses of Halberdiers.  I don’t waste points on champions, ’cause they’re going to be character-heavy.  Handgunners are probably not as worth it any more, but I really like the models (and have 30 of them).

I’ve got a block of Demigryph Knights instead of Greatswords.  The models are badass, they’ll be able to counter-charge better, and they cost less (shocking!).

There’s still a unit of Outriders in there.

I’m not in love with any of the Lord choices.  Besides the Wizard Lord, none of the choices feel like they offer enough to justify their cost.  So, to make a General feel worthwhile, I’m bloating him up up with a Gryphon and a few defensive items.

I’m taking a bunch of cheap Heroes, ’cause you can do that.  I like to take a baby Wizard, but I’m not sure what I want to do with him in terms of Lore.  The BSB and the Witch Hunter go in one unit of Halberdiers, Battle Wizard in the other.  Warrior Priest goes on a Barded Steed and rides with the Demigryphs; he’s a different type, so no Look Out, Sir! but I figure the army’s target rich enough to minimize worries about that… and if there’s a unit in here that wants Hatred, this is it.

Effectively four warmachines. Two Great Cannons, might be too much.  We’ll see.  The Rocket Battery (and the Volley Gun) have gotten much better, and I already have one painted, so that’s an easy call.  I think I’d rather have a very accurate, higher strength small template instead of the lower strength mortar.  Finally, the Luminark (and the Hurricanum) are best considered War Machines.

I put enough time & money into the dang Greatswords, but there’s just no room in the list for them.  They cost even more than they did before, and I’d have to replace the Demigryphs and something else to make room for them.

The overall idea is to be obnoxious with the War Machines and force them to come to me.  Try to take their charges with the Halberdiers and counter-charge with the Gryphon or Demigryphs.


20120316 Status Update

I’ve gotten bogged down on painting the next batch of 5 Halberdiers… but I’m nearly done.  Should be just some Devlan Mud on a few bits, some static grass and the sides of the bases before this group is ready for the Dullcote.

An astute observer might notice that (most) of them are inverted from the last set I did: yellow tops, blue bottoms instead of blue tops and yellow bottoms.  I’m going to try to get something of an even distribution: sticking with the same color scheme, but distributing it differently.  One of the above Halberdier is halved: there will be a mess of those, and probably a good number of quartered troops as well.

When these suckers are done, I’ll take some better pictures of them.  I hope you guys like pictures of dudes with crazy facial hair, pajamas and halberds: it’s about all you’re going to get outta me for the next several months.

In other news, Casey‘s helping me unload all of the LotR Fallen Realms stuff I’ve had collecting dust in the closet.  He’s been a huge help! (And he’s been posting to his blog with a frequency that shames me, so you should check him out.  FYI.)

Finally, looking ahead to the summer, I e-mailed the Quake City Rumble guys my list to get an idea of how it would comp out on the West Coast: it’s distant enough that I don’t want to make assumptions (and one of my opponents at Blob’s Park kept saying things like, “I was excited about playing [on the East Coast], ’cause you guys don’t care about comp…”).

The response was that it would be comp’d low (but not bullshit low), but that I shouldn’t sweat it because “the average list got slightly over a 1 on average from each comp judge.”  While that says to me the scoring system could use a bit of tweaking (which apparently it’s already gotten: they’re on a .5 scale, now) the key take away was “the couple points you might gain changing the list probably isn’t worth the headache.”

That was precisely what I wanted to hear.  I don’t want to take a BS list, but I don’t want to have to change my list substantially: I’ve got piles of Halberdiers I need to be painting.