What's worse?

What could be worse than a Space Marine Legion that fell to the Chaos powers and rebelled against everything they once respected? We don't know, but it was probably pretty bad.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Apocalypse Projects Updated

As noted before, I was unable to make the big Apocalypse game last weekend. A side effect of this is that I was unable to show off my new big models!

Here's my new Warlord titan, in a close up showing his upgraded sensor suite and chaos markings.

The Planetstrike Comm Tower looks like it belongs there.

Here's my WIP Fire Lord. It's a custom Thunderhawk with Flamestrike Cannons in the front sponsons. The skull is from PetsMart.

I haven't shown a completed engine yet, so here it is:

Lastly, I've finished my first Silver Tower. The paint is WIP (otherwise known as "late the night before a mega battle), but I like it. There's the (not very) old Chaos Terminator Lord on the veranda.

It is actually taller than the Warlord, including the antenna array.

I can't wait to use them myself!

Apocalypse Personal Objectives

Over the past weekend Apoc-Eclipse (a super-set of DFIR) ran its semi-annual unlimited-point Apocalypse game. You can check out the basic army lists and other scenario information here.

As one of the organizers I design a set of individual victory conditions or personal objectives. This gives every player or sub-faction something else to strive towards besides just trying to win the scenario itself. Sometimes these big games are so huge that it can feel like an individual with a small army won't be able to affect the outcome. If you can achieve your own personal objectives, then you can feel that you did well.

My theory when making these up is that I take a lot of effort to look at what the player is bringing. We don't restrict anything, so when you have all the options in the world the units that show up must be important to you. I like to make the minor victory conditions something that you should be able to achieve if you put some effort to it. The major victory conditions are much more difficult and should only be achieved if you do very well.

Of course, "the best laid plans" and all that. I ended up spending all day Saturday in the hospital with my first kidney stone (courtesy of a doctor's brilliant idea that calcium supplements would help my bad back). I missed the game and the personal victory conditions were skipped to avoid unnecessary complications.

I've decided to post the victory conditions that I came up with here along with some notes. I hope that they may inspire you when you start to make up a new scenario for your group to play.

Individual Victory Conditions
Imperial: Ultramarines
Calgar has assumed control over this failing campaign, much to the chagrin of the other commanders. Show the rest of the Imperial forces why the Ultramarines are the Emperor's Finest.
Minor Individual Victory: Claim more objectives than any other individual Imperial force.
Major Individual Victory: Claim enough objectives for the Ultramarines to win the game without needing the assistance of the other Imperial forces.

MattP: We had two very large mechanized Ultramarine armies attending. I figured it would be nice to give the strong infantry units something to do.

Imperial: White Swords
This planet has caught the attention of some of the most infamous devils in the Imperium's glorious history. Rid the universe of this filth. Let the light of the White Sword guide you.
Minor Individual Victory: Kill at least four named Chaos characters.
Major Individual Victory: Kill at least three named Chaos characters in close combat.

MattP: The White Swords are a custom chapter created by Curt, one of Apoc-Eclipse's organizers. Their background has lots of anti-daemon aspects down to a custom Apocalypse-only item. The army doesn't have many Apocalypse units, but it is important that everyone feel the grandeur of the battles!

Imperial: Silver Skulls
An ancient device that raised the interest of the Silver Skull's master tech marines has been uncovered on the battlefield. Claim it quickly!
Before the start of the first turn, pick one objective in the Chaos deployment zone and announce it to the group. This is your major objective.
Minor Individual Victory: Ensure that no Chaos unit claims this objective.
Major Individual Victory: Silver Skulls units claim the objective.

MattP: The Silver Skulls are also a custom chapter created by a local player. I am not as familiar with their background, but I do know that they are very mechanized and have a Thunderhawk Gunship. I felt that this would be a good match for an army that specializes in strike tactics.

Imperial: Squat Guard/Daemonhunters (Any)
The reports are true. The foul daemon-god Nurgle has sent his generals to fight on this battlefield. Purge the unclean!
Minor Individual Victory: Kill four Nurgle special characters (Typhus, Mortarion, Epidemius, Mabras, Mamon, Necrosius).
Major Individual Victory: Claim the Trophy Kill of the Death Guard Primarch Mortarion?s corpse.

MattP: I usually try to make a few of the objectives about directly engaging the enemy. I knew we had a strong Nurgle group coming with a lot of special characters and the Daemonhunters would certainly be targeting the Primarch Mortarion anyway!

Imperial: Eldar
The threads of fate have wrapped around the ancient enemy's neck. Weave them into a noose and throttle the life out of the despicable creatures.
Minor Individual Victory: Destroy two of the Slaaneshi titans.
Major Individual Victory: Destroy Slaanesh's Lash, the Pleasurelord Titan.

MattP: The Eldar player was borrowing three of my Eldar titans (Phantom, Warlock, Revenant). I know these are very powerful units, so I thought it would be best if he was directed to attack my own forces with it. I'm used to getting shot with my own models anyway...

Chaos: Nurgle
Papa Nurgle demands a sacrifice, preferably one on a planetary scale.
Continue to keep Epidemius' tally, even if he is banished to the warp. When dead or off of the table, Epidemius? bonuses are conferred at totals 10x of those used when he is alive.
Minor Individual Victory: Take the tally to 100.
Major Individual Victory: Take the tally to 200.

MattP: What do you do if more than half of your Chaos players are playing Nurgle? What does Nurgle want on the planet anyway? The best answer I could come up with was "death." With a Plaguereaper, a Daemon Primarch, and just about every special character I felt that 100 was an easily manageable total. Epidemius has the biggest bulls eye painted on his slimy back, so there's got to be another reason to keep the tally going.

Chaos: Vraks/Undivided
Your madness knows no bounds. If you can't have the planet, then you'll ensure that no one else will!
Your Troop units have the Corrupt and Despoil strategic asset. (From Apocalypse Reloaded: If they are in base contact with an objective during the assault phase and not in combat, they may remove the objective from the game.) If any friendly or enemy unit is within 6" of the objective, they can prevent you from destroying it, so ask nicely.
Minor Individual Victory: Destroy at least five objectives.
Major Individual Victory: The number of objectives destroyed is enough to win the game.

MattP: We were expecting several Chaos players who weren't deeply devoted to one of the major cults but were, instead, closer to the Codex description of warbands. I could easily see them acting on a mission within a mission just laying waste to the battlefield itself.

Chaos: Titan Legions
Finally, opponents worthy of your wrath!
Minor Individual Victory: Damage every enemy super heavy walker.
Major Individual Victory: Ensure that the enemy possesses no more than 20 structure points worth of vehicles.

MattP: I was bringing a lot of super heavies, and if I turned the guns on the enemy infantry it would not have been pleasant for either side. I wanted a victory condition that required me to target the opposing super heavies.

Chaos: Tau
It is difficult to understand the stubbornness of the humans. They resist a simple trade agreement simply because it crosses borders through their empire, and tighten their grip on the systems in question like a snake. As is known, the way to kill a snake is to cut off its head.
Minor Individual Victory: Kill at least four Space Marine Commanders or Captains.
Major Individual Victory: Destroy the Ultramarines Masters of the Chapter with your own units.

MattP: This is the Chaos version of the anti-Nurgle one from earlier. It is a good idea to get the Tau motivated to hunt down enemy units since it is otherwise so easy for them to castle-up and hold a defensive posture.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Apocalypse Sized Building Pt 2

Part one of this post covered cutting and assembling large scale buildings for an apocalyplse battle

This post will cover the final steps in getting the buildings ready for battle. Step one was taping the window pattern onto the buildings. I used blue painters masking tape as it's easy to pull off and wouldn't damage the black paint. This part of the task took a couple of evenings and quite a bit of tape.

Once the buildings were properly taped I painted them with grey primer. My initial plan was to use the airbrush and give the windows a base in grey and spray offset highlights in each window. I was hoping this would simulate reflected sunlight. Time did not allow for this so they just got a basic single coat.

Once the paint dried I was able to remove the tape. I think they turned out well!

Man that took alot of tape!

If I make another set I'll improve a few things. I'll take more care in cutting and assembling the boxes. Possibly make a jig to help line things up.

I'm considering texturing the walls and/or roof using spray texture. Flekstone or a similar stone effect.

Airbrushing effects for windows and ageing would help give them a bit of personality, as would signage, graffiti, and imperial decrees.

Templates for the windows may be faster than tape. That saved time may be taken up by touchup due to underspray. Experimentation would be required.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deathguard & Apocalypse


Come this time on Saturday, Yours Truly will be deeply involved in trying to slaughter the False Emperor's lapdogs and the evil Eldar scum helping them.

In other words, I'll be playing my Deathguard this Saturday in a massive game of Apocalypse hosted by our local apocalyptic group APOC-ECLIPSE (wargaming so large it will block out the sun).

I've signed up to field about 10,000 points. Almost all of this is Deathguard/Nurgle in nature; however, I do plan to field about 1 or 1.5 k points of Black Legion to fill-out the points.

This post will discuss some of what is included in my 10k force.

Previously, I posted about the construction of my PLAGUEREAPER model. Well, I wish I could show you a picture of it painted. But its only primed. But paint will be going on that monster tank this evening (and tomorrow evening, and probably even friday evening...). So I hope to post a separate piece on that once it is finished.

Fellow DFIR poster MattP is being gracious enough to loan me a few models. Primarily, MORTARION, Daemon Primarch of the Deathguard.

Matt's got a stupendous model for Mortarion (shown here), and an excellent set of rules for him as well.

I highly doubt my lower brain form will do these rules justice, but I at least hope to remember half of his nasty tricks during the day.

Then there is Typhus (not my picture of Typhus, this is one from AEROPLANE posted as a WIP at Librarium Online HERE).

I've offered to let DFIR poster MikeT take him instead, but haven't heard back from Mike. Typhus has been my main HQ over the last several months. All the internet bitchers will tell you just how junk Typhus is, particularly pointing out his lack of Eternal Warrior.

Bah on them!

MOST 40k Special Characters aren't Eternal Warriors. I've found that Typhus is definitely worth his points, and if anything, puts the fear of Nurgle into my opponents when they see he's about to deep strike with 7 Nurgle Terminators...

Another Special Character joining my force is one I made up myself. His name is Mabras, and I don't currently have a picture of him; however, HERE is his datasheet. This guy's rules started quite a while back, probably in the fall some 6 or so months ago. He started as a home-made version of the Necrosius character in Imperial Armour 8 (Seige of Vraks III). But three major versions later, and he had really taken on his own style. Since the model is a converted Fabius Bile (all weapons swapped and most of the backpack "instruments" removed) that still has the two "tubes" on the back, I wanted to create an attack consisting of a two-part contagion that once mixed, pretty much vaporizes infantry in close proximity to Mabras. Check out the Purgatis Contagion rule on his datasheet (it took a lot of help from MattP, CurtF, and MikeT - THANKS GUYS!!!).

Moving away from characters and whatnot for a moment, let me talk about that little do-dad over to the left. That's a picture of a Vortex Grenade - the limited edition marker that was released along with the first Apocalypse book.



And so far (knock on wood), it hasn't scattered back on my own models - partly due to good scatter rolls, and partly because once I unleash it, I get my guys the Hell outta there!

Formation-wise, I have TWO Chaos Terminator Doombringer Annihilation Forces. They both come with scheduled bombardments as well as precision strike strategic assets. I also have an Armored Spearhead (3 Land Raiders) and a Predator Assassin Squadron (3 Predators). Both of those are technically SM formations, but there's no reason in our Apocalyptic world why Chaos can't use them; after all, MY Deathguard are pretty smart chaps, and know a good tactic when they see it used against them...

Speaking of Deathguard, I'll only be bringing a measly 47 Plague Marines (five squads with five rhinos). But I do have a good mix of miniatures. 20 are the OOP metal ones, 17 are Forgeworld Deathguard, and 10 are the "current" Citadel Plague Marine miniatures.

For my Black Legion contingent, it is small, but potent. Abaddon, Terminator Lord, Terminators, bikes, and a Winged Daemon Prince. Theoretically, I could make a 3rd Doombringer Annihilation Force out of the Black Legion, _OR_ I could field the formation "Abaddon and the Lords of the Black Crusade." But I've already got two of the former and fielded the latter a couple Apocalypse games ago. So I'm going to skip them this time around.

So I'm looking forward to it. Like the Apoc-Eclipse events always are, it should be a blast!

I'll see if my mind is not too mushy afterwards to post a vague report of the event. Plus MattP will post all the pictures we take to our GALLERIES (cough**DFIR post**cough, MattP). I should also be able to post some pictures of my PAINTED Plaguereaper too!

In summary, here's my "nutshell 10,000 point list":

Mortarion + 10 Nurgling bases (retinue)
Nurgle Lord w/ Daemon Weapon
Black Legion Terminator Lord
Winged Daemon Prince
47 Plague Marines + 5 Rhinos
32 Terminators (in 2 Doombringer Forces)
15 Terminators (in the 3 land raiders)
10 Black Legion bikers
3 Predators
3 Land Raiders

Bring it, you Imperial Pukes!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Apocalypse Sized Building Pt 1

Hello everyone, this is my first post to DFIR. I'm the 3rd leg of the triad and finally shook off enough lazy to do some work.

I volunteered to make some big buildings for our upcoming Apocalypse battle. I mean BIG BUILDINGS. The requirements were that they needed to block some line of site to titan sized models. That's big.

Having only a week to get the job done I suggested that we just paint some cardboard boxes and leave it at that. We could do something more elaborate next time. Everyone seemed OK with that. When I actually got started I wasn't satisfied with the size and shape of the boxes I had around the house. I also noticed that I had a pile of foamcore sheets that I had scored at AC Moore when they were on sale months ago ($1.00/sheet!). So I decided to assemble the buildings instead.

Here we see a small pile of foam core after cutting. There was lots and lots of cutting. Notice the tiny-tiny glue gun at the top of the picture. That tool was WAY too small for this job. It managed to survive the experience but I see a larger glue gun in my future.

Painters tape (easy remove) is a must. Using an angle square I lined up the pieces and taped them together so I could really jam the glue gun into the corner. Also, beer helps.

Step one complete. A square! The majority of my Saturday was spent doing this a few times. The first couple were a major pain as I worked out the kinks in the process then it went pretty smoothly.

The first off the assembly line was a simple skyscraper. It took longer than you'd think... This model has a 12x12 inch base and is around 20 inches tall. There are gaps and other imperfections but remember this is a quick project. No going back. Whatever comes together gets used. In any case I'm learning for some future build where I'll actually go for perfection.

After two of the basic sky scrapers I got bored and decide to try something fancier. Not too fancy mind you. I took the pieces for the tall skyscraper and cut them in half. This produced 8 12x10 pieces. I assembled one set at 12x12 and another at 10x10.

The 12x12 formed the base. I attached a lid that was flush (OK, mostly flush) with the top then put the 10x10 flush with one side to create an offset tower.

I managed to crank out 4 buildings over the course of Saturday in between other family activities. Sunday was for painting. Here we see the whole family together and ready for spraying.

OK, not quite ready for spraying. If you're not familiar with foam core, it's two pieces of poster board with Styrofoam sandwiched between. Styrofoam and spray paint do not get along. The propellant from spray paint will dissolve the styrofoam. If I spray them they way they are now, the exposed ends of the foam core will get eaten away, which will be both ugly and reduce the strength of the model.

Normally what you would do to create a polished model is glue strips of paper along the corners creating a very nice finished look. That would take forever so forget that. Another technique is to paint over the exposed foam with water based paint. This provides a barrier so the spray paint doesn't directly contact the styrofoam. This is the techinique I'll be using. To make it go even faster, I'll be using an airbrush.

I used blue craft paint because that's what I had handy. I figured the black spray paint would cover it up so the color doesn't matter. This proved to be somewhat incorrect so next time I'll be using black.

Dang taggers! Disregarding those hooligans from DFIR you can see in the above picture all the exposed edges of the foam core have been sprayed blue. For the airbrush I just thinned down the craft paint with water and sprayed along the exposed edges.

That was dry almost immediately so I was able to move right on to spraying. I ended up going through 3 cans of black spray paint. All the foam edges survived intact. The picture below looks pretty terrible but the buildings themselves look much better. This was taken outside in the bright sun so there are a number of photographic issues.

The building on the left is not mottled, although that would be a spectacular effect. Those are shadows from the tree above. The bright spots on the other buildings (grid effect) is due to glare from the sun off the paint. While there is a slight grid visible on the finished product you really have to look for it under normal lighting. Once the windows are painted on you won't be able to tell at all.

One issue I did have was with my blue edge spray. Some of the edges were rough enough that getting the black spray at all the required angles was difficult. Some of the edges still have some exposed blue. Not enough to be a problem but enough to be irritating to me. Next time I'll play it safe and take the time to find some black paint.

Next blog will cover masking and window spray.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Apocalypse Game Signup

Hey, check out our web page to sign up for our Apocalypse game. Thanks!


Matt P

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MJ;-) Project Log: The Terminators

Sheesh! How dare Real Life get in the way of my addiction, um, I mean Hobby...

So when I last posted, I had revealed my sparkling-new project - an all-terminator Space Wolves army. I call it "Wolfwing" here since that is how most folks on the interwebs refer to such an army, but I dislike that nomenclature. I think I prefer Logan's Hunters, but I digress...

Today, I want to go through the bulk of the army's construction. THE TERMINATORS!

(cue dramatic music crescendo here)

As I pointed out earlier, I had acquired just over 25 terminators. Ten were Assault on Black Reach (AoBR) snap-togethers, five were a box of fancy new Wolf Guard (WG) Terminator models, and eleven were Space Hulk (SH) terminators. In essence, these acquisitions left me with two major tasks.

One. Kit bash the 10 AoBR and five WG terminators into 15 Space Wolves Terminators.
Two. De-Blood-Angel-ize the 11 SH terminators.

Part One

Turns out, the first task was rather easy, and very rewarding. In a nutshell, what I did was snapped the AoBR torso fronts onto their models and then used WG arms and shoulder pads to wolf them up a bit.

The WG box set had several extra arm and weapon options, so I was able to fully kit out the AoBR minis and then only had to revert to a couple of the AoBR arms for some of the WG termies. The concept here basically equates to:

AoBR Body + WG Arms/Pads = SW WG Terminator
WG Body + WG Arms/Pads or AoBR Arms = SW WG Terminator

The AoBR terminators utilize a peg-and-hole to attach the arms, but the WG arms don't have the necessary hole. No problem, just cut off the peg from the AoBR terminator.

Here is where I realized one of the beauties of the AoBR models. The "regular" terminators come with a slightly-raised circular area on the shoulder and the arm then has a circular recess to marry the join; the circular nature of the join allows you to rotate the arm up/down as you want. Guess what? The AoBR terminators ALSO COME WITH THAT RAISED CIRCULAR AREA!


Cut off the peg on their shoulder, and voila, "normal" terminator arms perfectly join onto the AoBR shoulders.

Did I already say "SWEET!"?

About the only WG models that were built completely out of WG parts were my Arjac Rockfist, my Assault Cannon Terminator, and my Heavy Flamer Terminator. For Arjac, I added a Chaos Terminator Lord's cape and also a Space Marine Seargent's backpack banner - I will use the latter to hand paint an anvil symbol in the circular area and include some Runic words (probably "Arjac" and/or "For Russ").

So, a couple of evenings of work, and there we have it. 15 mixed-and-matched Terminators that all contained some level of "Wolfyness" in them. Awesome.

Part Two

Going into the second phase of the Terminator project - that of de- Blood Angels -ing the SH terminators, I have to admit, I was a bit anxious and even a little scared. Several reports on the internet I had read led me to believe that doing this task was going to really push my meager modeling skills as the SH terminator models were variously described as "dripping with" or "chock full of" Blood Angels symbolism.

I guess the reports weren't "wrong" per se, but I think I over psyched myself, so in the end, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. In a few instances, I decided that removing a blood drop icon would be to hard, so just left it (what's wrong with a couple tear-drop symbols after all). And after I primed the models, I actually noticed that I *MISSED* a few - even a few that were blatantly obvious and easy to reach/remove. Oh well, what's wrong with a couple tear-drop symbols after all...

One bonus presented itself with Part Two. The fine details of the SH terminator models often include battle damage scars. Nice. Not so much because I like the look of battle damage, which I do, but moreso in the sense that if I somewhat butchered the removal of a Blood Angels icon, it just adds to the whole "battle damaged" theme.

Part Two-Bee

One other task was necessary to make the SH terminators ready for my Logan's Hunters army - that of removing them from their SH bases so they could be attached to the Dragon Forge Resin Bases I acquired for the project. I decided that the SH terminator kneeling down and ripping up the floorboards would be my sacrificial lamb, I mean Test Subject. So with my trusty hobby saw - one of those nice fine-bladed, fine-toothed hobby/jeweler's saws - I set to work SLOWLY cutting between the soles of the feet and the rest of the SH base material. My Test Subject came out rather well. But as anticipated (and hence why this specific SH model was chosen as the Test Subject) the whole "ripping up the floorboards" just wasn't going to work with my "parched earth turned frozen tundra" base scheme. Lucky for me, the SH terminators number 11 (insert Spinal Tap pun here), so I could afford one sacrificial lamb and still end up with ten usable SH Terminators. What removing that model from its base made me realize, though, was that this part of the task was going to be fairly easy also.

All told, I spent one evening freeing the SH Terminators from their bases, and one evening snaping/gluing the SH terminators together (in other words, I actually did "Part Two-Bee" first and then did "Part Two" last).

The current status of my Logan's Hunters project is farther along than my blogging seems to indicate. The 25 terminators are attached to their bases and they have been primed (Krylon gray - a fairly dark-to-medium shade of gray), washed (Citadel Badab Black wash), and had their first layer of drybrushing (Delta Ceramcoat Rain Gray) applied. My three dreadnoughts and two characters (Logan and Njal) have been primed. My two Land Raiders will have to wait until after an upcoming May 22 Apocalypse Battle before they can truly convert over to the good side; I need those two Land Raiders to remain painted in a black scheme for my Armored Spearhead formation.