Sunday, July 31, 2016

Epic 30k - XVI Legion Breachers and Legio Mortis Warhound

Epic 30k reinforcements for the cause of "hope and change"

Continuing with the see-saw posting of Epic 30k work, we are back once again to the Rebel side.  This post includes infantry, vehicles and the first Titan I have attempted to paint in quite a long time! The infantry and vehicles are from the XVI Legion, the Sons of Horus, while the Titan is from Legio Mortis, one of the Titan Legions who sided with the Warmaster in the Horus Heresy.

Achilles Land Raider

Slabs and slabs of armour...
The vehicles are Achilles variant Land Raider tanks.  These vehicles are even more heavily armoured than the "average" Land Raider, meant to support close assaults or fight among ruins and built-up areas (or built-up areas blasted into ruins).

Breacher Marines for the XVI Legion

I expect these fellows will work well together...
The infantry are "Breacher" Marines, a detachment of 20 spread across four bases.  This detachment would be small, meant to augment a larger basic force.  In fact, they will probably work well together with the Achilles Land Raiders and I expect I will pair them up when the time comes for these fellows to see action on the table.

"Scout" from Legio Mortis

The Titan is a Warhound class, a so-called "scout" Titan (hilarious).  It is armed with turbo lasers and a vulcan heavy bolter, giving a mix of anti-tank and anti-personnel capability.

I went with some pretty boring/average markings on this vehicle...

This is the first Titan I have tried to paint in a while, and this paint job is pretty tentative.  Usually the Titan Legio markings feature lots of bands and chevrons of contrasting colours, but I took it easy with this model, opting for basic colours only.

A view of the engine and leg assemblies

In the "Epic: Armageddon" rules the Warhound class Titan is a pretty impressive war engine, even though it is only a "scout" Titan.  I hope to get this on the table sometime later this summer, although I'll want to make sure some Loyalist engines are on hand to keep things balanced.

Ready to stalk the ruins of Istvaan III and elsewhere...

Need to move on to a Loyalist engine now
This batch concludes my little run of Epic 30k - time for some plain-old 28mm 30k stuff. Stay tuned for more, and I hope you are enjoying your summers!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tau Hospitality

While in Winnipeg, I had the chance to have a game of WH40K with Byron, at his place. Steve, a friend of his, came for a visit and provided some precious advice at various moments of the game. I don't play 40K very often, and last time I did was with the 5th Edition of the rules. So I had lots of reading to do before this game.

To give some more context, during the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I painted two 40K armies and since I have been waiting for an opportunity to field one of them. Well, I am happy to report that the Viet-Cron army just had its baptism of fire. Unfortunately, I don't think I will have a chance to play with Greg, who inspired the theme behind the Viet-Cron, before I leave Winnipeg, but I am sure we will have a chance to meet sooner or later for a friendly encounter.

Byron prepared a table with some awesome scenery. Many of the buildings visible in the picture are his creations and I really like how they are linked by small bridges.

I deployed my Destroyers on the right flank, ready to engage a squad of Fire Warriors.

 On the left flank, a group of Viet-Cron Warriors engaged a group of Tau Battlesuits and even managed to scare them away for a few turns. The posters, the billboards and the solar panels really make the city something special.

Right in the middle of the battlefield stood the "Temple of Metal", shooting all around. I thought the thing was invincible...

... so I moved it (it's on the right edge of the picture) closer to the heart of the city, ready to wipe out any target coming within range....

 ... then BOUM! some Battlesuit equipped with an array of fusion weapons blew up my big unit with one well aimed shot. The Spyder is positioned just behind where the "Temple of Metal" was standing a few seconds earlier.

On the right flank, things were going well. Two Battlesuits and the Tau Warriors were vaporized.
A final view of the battlefield. The Tau obviously have a strong foothold in the city while the few remaining Viet-Cron units control most of the forest.  Point wise, it was a Tau victory, but fun wise, it was a blast for both players!

I had a chance to take a look at some of Byron's outstanding miniatures and scenery before heading back to the downtown suite. A cool gaming evening like this is one of the reasons why I always look forward to my yearly trip to Winnipeg.

Cape St-Vincent - 1797

During my yearly sojourn in Winnipeg, I had the chance to share some wargaming time and a few beer with the Winnipeg Conscripts at Casa Violago.

I had prepared a scenario featuring some of my sailships: On the morning of 14 February 1797, a British squadron of 15 ships of the line met a Spanish fleet twice as numerous, with 27 ships of the Line, including the giant Santissima Trinidad. The HMS Victory was present, as well as Nelson, but on a different ship, and he was only Commodore at that time but was ready to break the rules of traditional sea warfare. The scenario was played with fewer ships: the British had 9 ships and the Spanish, 14.

The victory conditions for this scenario were as follow: If, after 10 turns,
- The Spanish have no ships striking colours and 1 or more British did strike colours, the Spanish win an outstanding victory.
- 1 to 5 Spanish ships stroke colours, the British win a marginal victory.
- 6 or more Spanish ships stroke colours, the British win an outstanding victory.
Historically, the British did capture 4 Spanish ships.

The rules I used are a modified version of "Trafalgar" that I called "Trafalgar Redux". The original rules are great, but things start to slow down drastically when more than 5 ships per side are used. In "Trafalgar Redux", many elements of the rules are heavily simplified to allow battle with more ships. For example, the saving throw is replaced by additional boxes on the ship. Firepower is integrated into the ship display sheet. Modifiers for firing are limited to 3 and ships can fire at any point of their movement without penalty. If ships are in column, then they all move as one unit, etc.

From left to right:  Sylvain, shaking dice for the sake of shaking dice, Byron and Brian, proud Admirals of the Spanish fleet. The orderly British column, at the bottom, starts its steady progresion towards the Spanish mass of ships, partly visible in the upper right corner of the table.

Kevin and Dave, the British Admirals, smiling confidently as they listen to all the special rules favouring the British side: Spanish roll for morale for each critical hit they receive, British reroll "1"s when firing, etc. etc. etc.

The HMS Britannia, a first rate, 100 gun ship, follows the HMS Victory towards the thick of the Spanish fleet.  The Spanish Admirals are ready to give the order to fire.

First smoke! Furious exchanges of cannonballs resulted in one Spanish ship already striking colours, as indicated by the red marker. Spanish ships can be identified by their yellow stickers at the back of the base while British ships feature white stickers.

A Spanish ship on fire. But this is nothing compared to the HMS Britannia that will later be lit like a torch. Fire from the hull of HMS Britannia will eventually spread to all the masts and the crew had to work frantically for many turns to get everything back under control. Many good sailors were roasted during the event.

Brian assessing the situation from a standing position. The British are rigorously maintaining their line as directed.

Nelson, who was only Commodore at that time, was the only one allowed to break the British line in order to accomplish something awesome. Here HMS Conqueror (playing proxy to HMS Captain) blocks the line of incoming Spanish ships.

Exchanges of fire are getting more numerous as the the fleets are penetrating each other. I just love how the smoke puffs translate the intensity of  the battle at this point. It is also possible to visualize who is shooting who.
The last turn played. Five Spanish ships had striken colours at this point, meaning a marginal victory for the British. From the point of view of the umpire, the whole battle was very fun to watch, and I think that if the modified rules did not work perfectly, they worked satisfactorily.

In retrospect, I think that the Spanish fleet should have put the big heavy hitters at the front, and give the officers a more central position in the fleet, to help with the morale checks. With the special rules, the Spanish had to keep their ships very close to each others in order to recuperate from striking colours.

No real sailors or miniature ships were hurt during the game, but the same can't be said about the above bottles, only remain of some delicious beer brought by the participants.

Thanks to the Winnipeg Conscripts, Brian, Byron, Dave and Kevin, who were kind enough to push my little ships around the board for a whole evening!

Epic 30k - Achilles Land Raiders for VII Legion

Land Raiders for the VII Legion

A few more Epic 30k bits to share as we enjoy our summer here in Canada.  Just a pair of Land Raiders for the VII Legion, the Imperial Fists, in this posting.  I believe these are the "Achilles" variant of this vehicle - extra tough even by tough standards of the Land Raider vehicle.  Where the classic Land Raider has lascannons on the sponsons, this vehicle sports even more armour, a nose-mounted heavy cannon, and closer support weapons like multi-meltas or volkite weapons on the sponsons.
Front-mounted cannons to support assaults by Legion marines

The added armour and weapons come at the cost of troop-carrying space - each of these Land Raiders would hold only one infantry stand instead of the usual two. These vehicles will assist Rogal Dorn's chaps as they punch in against rebel Astrates positions - I see them being particularly useful in urban settings.
View on the back showing the not-so-carbon-neutral propulsion system

These vehicles meet the key requirements of service in the 30k era - huge treads, slabs of armour and silly guns - perfect!

I hope everyone out there is enjoying their summer and getting a break to relax (and paint more, of course!). I'll have a few more Epic 30k bits along shortly before moving back to the "regular" scale figures.