Friday, August 18, 2017

Elysians VS Viet-Crons

"For our game this week we will crack out the 8th edition 40k rules and return to the unfortunate Imperial planet of Toxo IV.  This time, trouble has emerged in the equatorial jungle sectors, with a number of attacks reported on Binary Petroleum transportation facilities.  Planetary militia forces sent to investigate did not return, and scraps of surveillance footage transmitted from servitors shortly before they were destroyed showed only an ominous visage of a deadly Necron warrior, but of a sort never seen before in the Imperium... Binary Petroleum executives called in some favours with senior Imperial officials in the sector, and the Imperial Guard has now despatched one a regiment of Elysian Drop troops to the area." (Blurb by Greg)

"Our Khommunist Leader, His Rivetness Ho-Shi-Minh of the Hanoi Dynasty, has been suffering from metallikh rheumatism for a few aeons. “Research and Innovation” detachments have been sent to various locations throughout the galaxy to find a cure. A reconnaissance group dispatched to Toxo IV found containers full of a smooth substance called “Imperialum Foetidus ad Puppim” (at least, that’s what the label said), that, according to the group commander, could be used for a full immersion treatment for all Viet-crons suffering the debilitating condition of metallikh rheumatism. Plans were laid to develop the location into a spa with full robotic maintenance services when weak flesh creatures interfered."

During the 2016 Painting Challenge, I painted a Viet-Cong style army of Necrons, with rice-straw hats, sepcifically designed as potential opponents to GregB's Elysian army. For about two years now, GregB and I have been planning to have our armies clash in style in a jungle setting. Dallas was kind enough to host the game and prepared a terrain with palm trees and the appropriate scenery. ByronM joined me in directing the Viet-Crons while DaveD, Dallas and GregB shared command of the Elysians. We used the 8th edition of the rules.

Greg's awesome Elysian army. That's a lot of cool vehicles. Note the amazing jungle terrain prepared by Dallas.

The Viet-Crons, eager to fight the battle against the enemy that inspired their creation.

The Viet-Crons had to defend three objectives. Two groups of Warriors as well as the Flayed Ones were kept in reserve while the rest of the army deployed in the middle band of the table.

[Cue the "Ride of the Valkyries" by Wagner]. All the Elysian transports entered at the same time, trapping the Viet-Crons in the middle. A few support Elysian elements were airdropped and took position in the surrounding cover. Just for this outstanding opening "scene", I had to admit that it was worth painting the Viet-Crons.

The Wraith quickly took care of some snipers hiding behind the palm trees.

The Flayed Ones mowed down a group of heavy stubbers.

With the simultaneous entry of all the flyers, there was action everywhere! Imagine rocket explosions against the Monolith and strafing runs against the impassible Viet-Cron Warriors. Dallas fired 40 shots against a group of Warriors, but a combination of luck/unluck resulted in no losses for the Viet-Crons. Tough little buggers.

 The Destroyers are guarding the approach to the Monolith.

 A view from one of the flyers. Multiple rockets were shot at the Monolith, but thanks to the "Living Metal" special rule, the huge structure was able to self-repair some of the damage.
 Menace in the sky and chaos on the ground. Elysian troops are trying to break through.

 Transports are unloading courageous troops into the fray. What could go wrong?

 Viet-Crons are pounded with missiles and harassed with close assaults. I must admit my troops are quite resilient, and it takes a lot to decimate a unit. Then there is the "reanimation protocol" that brings back units from the dead. Very handy and apparently very annoying to the opposing side.

A group of scarabs engaged some weak-flesh Elysians. The little bugs proved their worth more than once.

Heavy combat near the Monolith. The Lychguards would eventually catch up to one of the flyers and crash it down.

A view of the intense battle near the Monolith.

The final shot of the battle, showing lots of de-activated warriors. At this point, the Elysians had too few ground units left to claim more than one of the three objectives.

Imperial News Network (INN)  sent reporters for live coverage of the "Cleansing of the Xenos" mission.

The Elysian commander pointing at a weak spot in the metallic structure, just seconds before a particle whip separated the atoms in his body.

All in all, I had a lot of fun playing this totally crazy battle, with combat and explosions all over the place. The cinematic of this game was on par with any Viet-Nam war movies. Thanks again to all those who participated.

Piloting School

I had an opportunity to try a game of "Check Your 6!" at DaveV's last Wednesday and in addition to DaveV, I had some great instructors to help me for my first flight: Brian, Bill and KevinH. The scenario was inspired by the very first encounter during the Second World War, in 1939, between 9 Luftwaffe bombers en route to sink some British Navy ships in Scotland  and 6 British early Spitfires.

 The 9 Do-17 in formation. As the Spitfire were getting closer, the bomber groups would get closer to each other and provide a dense defensive coverage.

 My two Spitfires, "V" and "C", with green pilots. I was told by the veterans to hold my fire until the last to save my ammo.

 Pilot Brian wondering which pub the squadron pilots should go to for celebration after this engagement.

The Spitfires engaged the bombers from their left flank. However, despite repeated strafing runs, the bombers were undamaged, and the Spitfires had to fly behind the enemy formation.

 DaveD, satisfied with the outcome of the battle so far.

One Spitfire down! This is not good. Also, because I had green pilots, one of them ran out of ammo very quickly and had to rush back to the base.

My Spitfire "V", steadily approaching a damaged bomber...

... Now having moved behind, ready to shoot at point blank. Steady... Steady...

 From the cockpit, the pilot of "V" can see the rest of the German formation.

Daka! Daka! Daka! In the simultaneous exchange of machinegun fire, my plane was damaged but Spitfire "V" managed to shoot down a bomber. Yay!

Meanwhile, as the bombers were approaching the British Navy, there was intense combat and two Spitfires as well as one bomber were shot down. At this point, DaveD declared a victory for the British, because enough bombers were damaged to make them abort the mission. It was a tough battle, but very enjoyable and fun.

I really like "Check Your 6!". The rules are intuitive yet they let you feel the subtle differences between the various aircrafts of WW2.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

From Iron, Cometh Strength - Heresy-Era Iron Warriors - Part 1

Continuing our group's collective Horus Heresy madness, I've now made a start on my second Legion project. Having amassed a reasonable force of IX Legion Blood Angels, I wanted to collect a Traitor legion, just for some contrast (not that Greg's Sons of Horus hordes need any reinforcement!)

So, which to pick... one of the things I enjoy about the Heresy background is its grittiness. It's really the antithesis of the "cartoon" GW aesthetic of the 1990s and hearkens back to the grunginess of John Blanche's work. And who are the grungiest of all the Traitor Legions? Well, that would have to be the siege masters of the IV Legion - the Iron Warriors.

I also have to admit that ease of painting was another major factor in my choice. And what could be easier than the blackened iron and hazard striping of the Iron Warriors? On with the show...

First up is a group of random character types - Praetor and standard bearer, Lochagos (Captain), and Ypolochagos (Lieutenant) in Cataphractii-pattern Terminator armour.

The Lochagos. Really quite a nice model. Unfortunately mine was miscast around the sword pommel so I had to add a new one with greenstuff. Turned out OK.

That firearm of his is mental eh!!

Praetor and Legion standard-bearer. The banner was the subject of some consternation. I'd originally thought of freehanding a boar, horse, or some other traditional Greek subject like you'd see on an amphora. However I ended up getting lazy and using a couple of decals from the excellent Forgeworld Iron Warriors sheet, and adding an "epsilon" and "IV" for some unit/Legion identity.

The Praetor is an excellent model. I've painted one for my Blood Drinkers also but to me the pose and weapon really suits the siege masters of the IV Legion.

Cataphractii Terminator character. Not sure how he's gonna fit in but he's painted now.

Of course, you can't have an army of all characters. You need some troops as well, and here's the first lot - a squad of 15 Space Marines in MKIII armour.

The IW decal sheet includes some nice skull insignia which I used on the left pauldron. The decals settled nicely around the compound curve with the aid of copious amounts of Micro-Sol. Hazard stripes freehanded on the power fist.

Single vertical yellow stripe on the right pauldron was shamelessly lifted from the excellent Iron warriors painted by the Apologist.

The majority of the squad are plastics from the Prospero box, which are excellent. A few of them are resin Forgeworld models, but fortunately they blend in very well with their later plastic counterparts.

The assault squad are all resin. They're "OK" but some of the anatomy seemed a little ropey in the arm department, like the arms are a bit too long. Not really noticeable unless you're really looking for it though.

The squad has some further distinction in the form of yellow stripes on the left pauldron as well as the right, and the skull insignia in black.

Contemptor Dreadnought... this is from the Calth box. I re-posed the legs slightly for a bit more dynamic pose.

Legion-ified with some hazard striping as well.

I also painted an Iron Warriors Contemptor, using a spare melta-arm from a Calth dreadnought.

The plastic arm fit the resin dreadnought with only minor surgery required.

So that's the first bunch of IV Legion troops done! Still lots more to come, including Rhinos, a Medusa, a Typhon tank... plus Breachers and Iron Havocs, and more tactical marines... Siege Tyrant Terminators, a Storm Eagle... certainly more than enough to keep me going over the winter.

Oh, and just for posterity, here's the infantry paint formula, in order of application:

Basecoat: Leadbelcher
Gold trim: Brass Scorpion
Pouches: Doombull Brown
Yellow stripes: Averland Sunset highlighted Yriel Yellow
Chipping on stripes: Mechanicus Standard Grey/Black mix
Nuln Oil wash
Reikland Flesh wash on the gold
Eyes: Temple Guard Blue

Bases: Dryad Bark/Mournfang Brown/Steel Legion Drab drybrush

Cheers and remember, "Iron within! Iron without!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sons of Horus Reaver Attack Squad

Horus for hope! Reaver squad for the XVI Legion

More painting from the lake, a group that I was very pleased to finally get under the paintbrush! This is a squad of Reavers from the XVI Legion, elite troops from the Sons of Horus.These figures were a Christmas present from Dallas...from some time ago...they have been primed and ready to go for over a year, but have waited in line throughout the various tics and flights of fancy which affect my painting direction.  As I departed for the cabin this summer, I vowed that this would finally be the year where I would get them done...

Hand flamer, useful for cooking those who deny the power of the Warmaster!

In 30k each Space Marine Legion has some fancy, specialized troops meant to represent their unique "character", their dispositional traits which set them apart among the 18 Legions and show their genetic ties to their founding Primarch lord.  The notions of Legion "character" make me chuckle, as they often end up similar despite the best efforts of the writers at Forge World. But it is kind of funny in the case of the XVI Legion, as their Primarch, Horus the Warmaster, comes across as a smooth-operating diplomat and thinker as much as he does a heroic warrior.  Yet the disposition of the XVI Legion, the Marines who bear his traits and are functionally his "sons" is rather different - brooding, bitter, short-fused and aggressive. They are basically Space Marine versions of the character "D-FENS" portrayed by Michael Douglas in the 1993 movie "Falling Down".

How about a hug for Horus? Reaver Chieftain ready to lead the squad.
These Reaver sculpts portray that side of the XVI Legion well! They are quite...pointy...sort of ominous.  The figures are equipped for short range work, sporting pistols, grenades, a hand flamer and an assortment of mean-looking axes. The leader has a power fist for the sort of punch-you-in-the-face work that often comes up in the 30k setting. I'm kinda worried about the longevity of those axes...resin is a terrible material for weapons like that on a wargame table...

Nice iconography on many of the figures, add to their specialized aura
Grenades and packs of extra ammo add to the rough, pointy-edge look of these troops
Like other infantry units in 30k, Reaver Squads can actually be a healthy size, up to 15 models strong. And while the kits come equipped with pistols and close combat weapons, the rules allow for a startling assortment of weapons to be equipped.  They can also take jump packs! How fun would that be?  Might be something to explore as I continue to collect 30k forces...

I painted the shoulder pauldrons red and gold to help them stand out more, and give them a bit of a look of elite status

For now this small band of five angry Legionnaires will take their place among my XVI Legion chaps and look to chip in here and there for various close action roles.  As newly painted figures I'm sure they will cover themselves in glory for the Warmaster at their first opportunity on the table!