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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MJ;-) Project Log: Logan's Hunters Revived!

Having recently moved, and been reunited with my precious Warhammer 40,000 models that were in storage since late-spring, I have now been getting anxious about a triumphant return to the 40k hobby - particularly the gaming side of it.

I'm sure I'll dabble in a few one-off games in the near future; however, my first "milestone" for 40k gaming is an Invitational Tournament coming up in November. 2,000 point armies for this one.

{on a side note, this tournament is the 2nd annual one where players battle for the "coveted" Warmaster trophy. RussN. took home the trophy last year, so is hosting the next one as he tries to defend his title against almost a dozen other gamers.}

So, 2,000 points. What to do, what to do...

Ah! I know!!! Get my Space Wolves Terminator army out, and get it all ready for the event!

Piece of cake. Only 27 Terminators and 3 Drop Pods to paint up. About 5 weeks you say? No problem... (at least, I hope not)

So its looking like I need to average one squad per week. Doesn't sound too difficult, but my first squad is already showing some weak links. Primarily, my "assembly line" style of painting doesn't transpose as well to units who are made up of differing models. Its more of a "7 Tactical Marines + HW + AW + Sgt" kind of methodology. Not so much a "Termie1 + Termie2 + Termie3 + Termie4 + Termie5" kind of way.

So for now, no pictures for you! I see looking back through my older two Space Wolf Project posts revealing my "secret" and then detailing their assembly, the pictures there are of bare plastic. I'm mid-way through my first squad at the time of this posting. So I hope to roll out another post in the near future showing their primed-washed-drybrushed base, and then start showing off finished units as they get done.

Until then, hang tight - more posts ARE on the way!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Warmaster Horus and new Knight Titan


Saw a couple of posts around the Blogasphere today about the good ole Ronin Primarch miniatures, so I figured I'd post a picture of where my Warmaster Horus is at the moment. He's assembled and pinned. He came with a different right talon, but I replaced it with Abaddon's awesome bit.

While at Toys-r-Us shopping for my son's birthday/Christmas, I saw a new line that Lego is putting out. It's called "Hero Factory." Like Bionicle from a few years ago there are several different sized lines. The $20 line is the biggest, and they are awesome! I picked up the one called Von Nebula. The legs and arms are fully articulated; as articulated as any titan model I've ever seen. Here are some pictures:

At attention (with a Farseer for scale):


Now, in what I call "Forgeworld's Bloodthirster" pose:

Titan 2

I need to get him in a shot with my Towering Destroyer Knight and with my Warhound. He looks a lot like a knight, but is a lot bigger. I plan on replacing the arms with a turbo laser on one side and some sort of CCW option on the other. I will be filling in the open areas and making it look more 'closed-up', but I think it is a great place to start. If a model can be posed that dynamically, it surely will look good with a better paint job on it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Enigma of Noise Marines (or How do You Plan a New Army?)

Having recently finished reading the Horus Heresy novel FULGRIM, I’ve been inspired to build a Slaaneshi-themed CSM army. But I’m a budget-minded kind of guy with limited financial resources at hand.

Good news for me, though. I have a bunch of Black Legion stuff ready to take the plunge into the World of Excess, so technically, I already HAVE most of what I need. (insert evil cackle here)

Recently, I turned to fellow DFIR posters MattP (our resident CSM guru, particularly in relation to Slaanesh and Khorne cults) and MikeT to discuss what I saw as the “Enigma that is a Noise Marine."

What’s the mystery about them?” you ask? They’re Chaos Marines dedicated to the worship of Slaanesh!” you say

Yeah. I get that part. What the enigma is to me, though, is the marriage of the Mark of Slaanesh (increased Initiative stat) with shooting-oriented special weaponry. The former only comes into play in close combat, where the latter only comes into play in the shooting phase. In essence, 50 percent of the time, Noise Marines are “wasting half their abilities” that make them unique.

So back to my point… When it comes time for me to plan out a new army, I turn to two places. The interwebs, and my close 40k friends who know the subject. Further, I put MORE stock in the latter than in the former. You see, I’m a fluff gamer. I like to build and play for the story behind the force. Crushing Face at tournaments is not my Modus Operandi. I have much more fun loosing with a fluffy and story-driven force than I do winning with a point-and-click internet list you see at most tournaments.

After several email back-and-forths between the three of us, it dawned on me that these communications do a good job of showing how I plan out a force, and so thought I’d share that mindset with our good readers.

It’s a bonus that the communications also give one some insight into The Enigma That Is A Noise Marine...

MJ;-) starts with:

I think I'd like to whip up an Emperor's Children / Slaaneshi themed CSM force. My goals are thus:

  • Primarily re-purpose and re-paint my Black Legion minis as the basis.
  • Keep "new acquisitions" to $100 or less.
  • Given the first point above, this will be a fairly fast/assault oriented force since it'll feature some raptors and bikes.

Theorizing about a list, it seems like the other 3 cult units are fairly straight forward tactics-wise. Khorne = assault, 1kS = gunline, and Nurgle = jack of all trades.

But Noise Marines aren't so straight forward __to me__. The increased Init for MoS is only beneficial in close combat, but noise weaponry seems to favor more of a gunline tactic.

To this, MattP replies:

Your observations on the Mark of Slaanesh not meshing with the Noise Marine weapons is 100% accurate. The best thing for someone who wants to play Emperor's Children to do is to wait for the next version of the codex. ;-P

Seriously, though. If you are inspired by FULGRIM take a look at my SYMPHONY OF PAIN [apocalypse] data sheet. I think it illustrates what the EC legion became after that music concert and the battles that followed.

So, strategy. When bringing Noise Marines, the idea is to maximize your Blastmasters. In the previous version, I would bring Havocs so I could have four per unit. In the new version, that's illegal, so you just bring min-sized Noise Marine units. The enemy tries to silence the Noise Marines with assault troops, so I usually put a good champion in there. He'll have a good initiative and will likely go first, so give him a power weapon.

Regular Noise Marines have trouble with 2+ saves and AV14. The way I used to normally beat that is just with volume of fire. I'd try to bring at least one Noise Marine squad with 10 Sonic Blasters. That will take down most min-sized Terminator squads and will utterly destroy things like Genestealers or regular Ork mobs. The problem is that this unit costs a lot more than it used to, so it isn't worth it. Chosen with Plasma Guns or Melta Guns or possibly some obliterators will be a better solution to 2+.

Did that help?

To this, MJ;-) replied:

> MattP wrote:
> Your observations on the Mark of Slaanesh not meshing with the Noise
> Marine weapons is 100% accurate.

Clearly the combo of MoS and Noise Weapons are not a good mesh; however, it seems like Noise Marines are STILL very good close combat troops. Assuming a squad of 10 men, Noise Marines are 20 points each and get +1 Init and Fearless; CSM with MoS are 17 points each and only get +1 Init. Where the CSM version excels compared to the NM unit is in the ability to take assault/heavy weapons.

MikeT joins in on the conversation...

I'm no expert at EC, but here's some TheoryHammer...

While MoS and the noise marine unit don't seem to mesh directly I think you can still make a mean army. The noise marines offer superior firepower with a great BS. Weight of fire should be your target with these guys. As MattP noted, even terminators fall when they have to make enough saves. My Lootas will attest to that, although they require A LOT more luck to pull it off.

Sonic blasters are effectively storm bolters, which are awesome. Blastmasters make EC the only cult unit that can actually take a real heavy weapon (effective missile launcher) that's also a poor-man's heavy bolter. Creating overlapping fields of fire shouldn't be a problem with these Noise Marines.

And they're still init 5 with 2 attacks. Give the champion a power sword and anyone who charges is going to get hurt. Or run champion-less to save points. OR stick a couple of squads in rhino's since you can dump out and still get 24" of fire and your champ can spray with an AP3 flamer.

I'm not as sold on the blastmasters as MattP (but what do I know, he's the expert). They’re great, but very expensive (40pts!).

So the NM are your gun line. The "hammer". They should throw non-stop punishment at any non-mech units from turn 1.

The "anvil" will be all your other non-NM units. All the other squads in the army will be pulling close combat duty. Since they all get init +1 they'll be mean. As many power weapons as you can manage. Forget fists. For high strength CC you'll be looking to a Daemon Prince. CSM /w MoS make good close combat troops.

Throw in a Las-Pred for that hard to crack armor

How about this?

  • Sorcerer /w wings and Warptime (or some other single, direct action power. Even doombolt would be nice to save some points)
  • 10 NoiseMarines no champ Blastmaster
  • 10 NoiseMarines no champ Blastmaster
  • 10 NoiseMarines no champ Blastmaster
  • 10 CSM MoS Champ /w power weapon Rhino Melta Melta
  • 10 CSM MoS Champ /w power weapon Rhino Melta Melta
  • 6 Raptors MoS champ /w power weapon Flamer Flamer
  • Las/Las Predator

Keep in mind I have no idea how any of this would actually work...

MattP replies:

> Mike T wrote:
> Sonic blasters are effectively storm bolters, which are awesome.
Blastmastwers make EC the only cult unit that can actually take a
> real heavy weapon (effective missile launcher) that's also a
poor-man's heavy bolter. Creating overlapping fields of fire
> shouldn't be a problem with these Noise Marines.

I wanted to clarify, even though I'm sure I don't really need to. The new Blastmaster is S8 AP3 Heavy 1, Blast. That makes it more like a Plasma Cannon than a Missile Launcher. Unlike the Plasma Cannon, it causes Instant Death on Space Marines and, importantly, Necrons. You'll miss that extra AP against Terminators, sure, but a Plasma Cannon cannot penetrate a Land Raider no matter what you do.

> MikeT wrote:
> I'm not as sold on the blastmasters as MattP (but what do I know,
> he's the expert). They're great, but very expensive (40pts!).

That's the kicker with the whole list that you propose. Yes, they are very nice, but they're also expensive as heck. You just cannot get as many good units if you stick to Mark of Slaanesh only. Yes, a CSM squad with the MoS is not as good an assault unit as Noise Marines are, but Noise Marines are not as good in assault as Berserker are.

If you want a good, worthwhile CC unit with the Mark of Slaanesh, then you are stuck with Daemonettes. Oops. ;)

(note from MJ: ZING! Good one, MattP!)

I think Mike's theory list is a good list, but you can make a better one with cheaper non-MoS units from other places in the codex. There's only so far that you can go down the single-power-path before you choose to reduce your losses over the background.


So that’s where we stand at the moment. The conversation continues, and maybe I’ll toss in an update to this topic in the near future, maybe… But in the meantime, what have we learned from it all?
  • Noise Marine Units should either play the role of close combat (i.e., no noise weapons) OR the role of gunline troops.
  • Blastmasters are good, but you pay through the nose for them.
  • Pure cult CSM lists hamstring themselves by adhering to the fluff too much

Friday, September 3, 2010

Eldar Super-Super Heavy Acrylic Tank

Finally made some progress on my super-super heavy Eldar tank hull. I called the last one a Star Dragon. The Star Dragon was cut out of wood, which was very messy, had terrible texture, and was very uneven. This new one is out of 0.22" clear acrylic. It is very smooth. The only trouble that I had with it is, as it is clear it is difficult to tell which side you are working on! I glued together the port half, and then started in on the starboard. After the first pieces of the starboard half were drying, I noticed that I had glued them together backwards, making a second port half!

I was very dejected, since I had cut these pieces out on the laser before my back surgery and there was no way to get back to the laser since I've taken so long to recover. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to finish it. I was so disappointed that I didn't even put the pieces away. I just left them on the table.

Skip forward a month or so. My back and leg are still keeping me away from the laser. I was using my fret saw for something else, and figured it couldn't hurt to try to cut the starboard pieces apart. At the worst, I'd ruin the pieces that I'd already ruined. Anyway, as the pictures above show, it worked! It was a lot of effort to cut apart, and even more to sand the previously glued surfaces, but it was better than waiting for the TechShop to get a handicapped elevator.

So, there's a picture of my new Farseer, standing on the bridge of his new tank. If I decide not to put a turret on it, then I could get a nice desk and an entertainment center on it for him to entertain visiting Seer Councils during battlefield drills. I was calling this hull a grav yacht, after all.