Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WIP Wednesday - Tau Empire XV-88 Broadside Suits

I've been working on this dynamic duo quite a bit over the past few days. The one one the left is a bit further along, I've just finished doing the grey edge highlighting on him. One thing I have noticed is that if I'm not careful the edging just rubs off with mild handling. Does anyone have any tips to prevent this please? Maybe varnish?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Apocalypse Incoming!

So there rumours and leaked pics of the updated Apoc expansion have been around for a few weeks now, starting with these two -

The Khorne Lord of Battles looks a little strange from that angle, but fro a different side it looked like he's got all kinds of chaosy shit on his back to fill the 'gaps'. The huge necron megalith looks amazing. It's rumoured to be a Tesseract Vault, definitely badass.

Next to arrive were the shots of the new Space Marine leaders. I'm hoping these don't replace the old kit, and can exist side by side.

I think that all of these are going to look great in my marine army. The Lord Executioner looks like he's come straight out of the Space Marine video game, the Master of Relics has got some great details, but I'm not sure on having a skull on both kneecaps! the Master of Rites and the Master of the Marches both look very gothic and 40k, really enjoying these ones.

Finally it's some terrain, and all of these are meant to fit in with the Wall of Martyrs / Imperial Defence Line.

They each look really cool, the size of the gun on the Aquila Strongpoint is huge, the Firestorm Redoubt looks very much like the existing bunker, and the Vengeance Weapons Battery is really cool to have scattered along the defence line.

So that's all I've found so far. It's looking really pricey, and it's a dead cert that those space marine masters are going to be finecast. Cheers!

Terrain Tuesday - Imperial Defence Line

I've made some small progress on my Wall of Martyrs over the past week, getting one run of the actual trench bits fully painted. Here's how it all looks together.

That leaves me with two more long stretches to finish and a handful of the 'caps' for the ends. I'm hoping to have it all finished in time for the launch of apocalypse, which is rumoured to have some new scenery that fits in with the Imperial Defence Line.

Thanks for looking, stay tuned next Tuesday to see if I get any more done!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Battle Report - An Unexpected Foe - Tau Empire v Eldar 1500 points.

The recon cadre advanced slowly on the mysterious plains, forming a three pronged pincer with the elite Crisis suits held back ready to deep strike at the first sign of trouble. Sub-commander shas'o'Taal was sure that through boldness victory would be achieved, no matter what.

As all units moved forward, the first signs that this was no ordinary place appeared. From out of nowhere an old imperial bastion opened fire. It's massive quad gun intercepting the fast moving Tau as they manuevered into position. The Piranha was moving too fast for it though and the heavy shots zipped past. All units were now on high alert, knowing that they might have walked straight into another Chaos trap. It was the eagle-eyed spotter of the lucky Piranha that was first to dismiss the fear of more warped Astartes. Hazy and somehow not quite there, but visible all the same, loomed a War Walker construct of the Eldar. A brace of fusion blaster fire emitted from the Piranhas nose and it glanced the delicate biped but did no serious damage. He was fully visible now, appearing on every Taus' tactical displays. Hammerhead commander MisStrike, ready to make up for his sub-par performance in the previous conflict charged up his formidable main weapon and the energy beam lanced towards the walker. The shot connected and it detonated, totally destroying the Eldar machine. The ensuing blast was catastrophic, catching a nearby Dire Avenger squad that had been hidden from sight. The Exarch and two of his men were incinerated or lacerated by the shrapnel and fell on the spot. Tank commander MisStrike had redeemed himself.

Not wanting to be miss out on the fighting, a unit of Fire Warriors disembarked from their Devilfish, forming up around their Ethereal to protect the wise but fragile leader from the ravages of war.  From their position they could see the ghostly outlines of heavily armed Eldar perched high on a nearby ruin. Their pulse rifles were lacking in range, but the more heavily armed Broadsides had more than enough power in its twin-linked heavy rail rifle to take a shot. The shot connected, and the last that was seen of a Dark Reaper was his body tumbling off the building.

The impressive XV104, not deterred by it's failure to wound the nearby Rangers fired up its huge jet pack, leaped a vast distance to try and circle around the enemy close by. Unfortunately it wasn't far enough. More units than were initially visible moved in the confront the towering mech. Warp Spiders using their warp jump generators crossed the battlefield at a frightening pace, and between them, the Dire Avengers and Rangers, soon had the Riptide at critical levels. All that was left to do was for the last remaining War Walker and the almighty Avatar to unleash their arsenal, and the latest innovation in Tau technology was wiped from existence.

On the other side of the Eldar outpost things were not going in the Taus' favour either. A spirit controlled Wraith Lord had made his presence felt with a burst of shooting that immobilised the empty Devilfish. It was now a sitting duck and the Fire Dragons made short work of the still skimmer. Four shots penetrated it's hull causing a massive detonation, charring a couple of the nearby Fire Warriors in the inferno. Lit up by such an intense fire the Ethereal's bodyguard were targeted by all surrounding units. Incredibly quick Jetbikes rounded the corner and the Dark Reapers, recovered from the loss of a brother, made short work of over half the remaining squad.

Realising that drastic action needed to be taken before all was lost, sub-Commander o'Taal gave the order for all XV8's to enter the fray. Two units of aptly named Crisis suits, one of which consisting of him and his bodyguard, deep struck hard and aggressively in an effort to stem the tide of destruction these Eldar were wreaking. His first action was to bring the formidable weaponry of their suits to bear on a unit of Howling Banshees lurking in cover. With a swift verbal command he activated his Multi-Spectrum Sensor suite and the hail of fire was too much for the Banshees. When the dust settled only the Exarch remained. Within a split second the Broadside unleashed hell with his SMS obliterating the last traces of the aspect warriors.

The other XV8 team, more suited to tank and monster hunting, had the Wraith Lord in their arc of fire. The technology inside the shas'vre's Puretide Engram Neurochip allowing them to mortally wound the spindly construct but ultimately failed to put it down for good. Realising the imminent danger of a swift counter attack all six suits jumped as far as possible out of the danger zone, time would tell if it was far enough.

Around the central kill zone minor altercations were continuing. The Fire Warriors and inspiring Rthereal attempted to take out the Fire Dragons that had so far severely hampered their progress. Despite the Ethereals' invocation of the elements they were unable to find their mark amongst the base of the ruined building. The remaining firepower of the Tau was similarly ineffective, sometimes glancing a lucky hit but failing to make any meaningful contribution to the battle.

Retribution for the Tau upstarts boldness was swift and thorough. In every direction death was to be found. From the two Stealth suits mown down by an emplaced weapon in the Eldar fortification, to the deadly Dire Avengers obliterating the tanking hunting XV8 Crisis team. But the most grievous of all the damage dealt was to come from the Warp Spiders. Able to easily target the bulk of the XV8-02 Iridium armour since the accompanying gun drones had already succumbed to fire, they pounced and by the time they were done, the once proud sub-commander was no more. His final thoughts were that he hoped he had given his life to the greater good.

Without proper leadership the morale of the Tau dropped heavily. Their grand plans seeming to crumble before their very eyes. The final member of the Stealth team being taken out by the Eldars' own stealthy Ranger unit. Attempting the avenge the death of the cadre leader the SMS of the distant Broadside lit up the skies as the projectiles screamed towards the Warp Spiders. Two were slain in the ensuing blast but the squad remained, taunting the enemy with their presence.

What remained of the cadre was crumbling fast. They'd lost too much to be able to hold their ground and put up a decent counter attack, but without the command of a high ranking leader to order a tactical retreat, the only thing they could do was to cling on as long as possible and attempt to deal as much damage as they could.

The Piranha, skimming around the edge of the battle field managed to loose off a lucky fusion blast taking out the lone War Walker but nerves had got to the remaining Tau. Their attempts to take down the fearsome fiery Avatar of Khaine had failed miserably, and his unstoppable and frighteningly fast advances soon made short work of the Devilfish nearby. The flittering Warp Spiders continued their dance of death through the devastated cadre and struck the final blow against the XV88 Broadside still standing his ground.

As the metal suit buckled and twisted, falling to the scorched ground the battle was over. The Tau had suffered a grievous defeat at the hands of such a mystical and enigmatic foe. From way up in orbit, reports were flooding in to commander o'Ralais chamber. He would not forget this slight on his honour or let it rest. He would plan better, harder, and be prepared for the next inevitable encounter in his mission to annex the planet of Thrask.

Army Lists for 'An Unexpected Foe'

We'd agreed to play another 1500 point game. I was addamant in my mind that was the size of list I'd been working on and revising. Sunday morning rolls around and I start to pack my things ready to go. I check my Moleskine, I check on Evernote, I can't find the fucking list anywhere. I'd apparently only got as far as a 1000 pointer! I quickly threw together another 500 but wasn't too pleased with it. Oh well. So here's what I ended up with.

Commander with 2 bodyguard. Armed with missile pods, a few drones and iridium armour.
An Ethereal.
3 squads of 12 fire warriors.
6 path finders.
A 3 man stealth team.
2 Riptides!
2 XV88s, armed with each option.
A railhead.
Cadre Fireblade.
Sunshark interceptor flyer.
I think that's about it, it was a while ago!

My friend was giving the brand new Eldar a whirl. The codex had come out just the day before but he'd managed to do what I couldn't and plan properly! Here's what he took from the lovely new codex.

An avatar, with a few boosts.
5x Rangers.
3x Jetbikes.
10x Dire Avengers with Exarch upgrade.
6x Howling Banshees with Exarch upgrade.
6x Fire Dragons with Exarch upgrade.
7x Warp Spiders with Exarch upgrade.
4x Dark Reapers with Exarch upgrade.
2x War Walkers with some stuff.
A Wraith Lord!
And finally a bastion with a Quad Gun.

Definitely more of an Aspect Warrior list than the Craftworld style I'd faced before. Fun times ahead!
Next up is the narrative battle report we forged...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Terrain Tuesday - Imperial Defence Emplacement

In a shocking flurry of activity I have another completed bit of kit, that's two in two days! As with the Immortals yesterday, I've had the Wall of Martyrs set for a while, since Christmas in fact. Here's the latest finished section.

While I was painting it I'd completely forgotten how I'd done the metal 'shields' on the other one. Convinced they were gold I ploughed on, then when taking the next photo realised I'm going to have a mix and match effect, damn! So here's everything I've got finished from the big box so far.

Hopefully ready for next week will be one of the defence line trenches, watch this space!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Miniature Monday - Necron Immortals

Yes, I've finally finished some models instead of just building, undercoating and slapping on the base colours.

I'd had these Necron Immortals sitting on their shelf for quite a while. All the metal work had been done long ago, I just needed to do the green and black on the guns to finish them. Why hadn't I done this sooner! As with all my Crons they're fairly basic but look ok as a horde when all together.

So that was my first #MiniatureMonday in ages. Fingers crossed I can get something done for next week too.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Prelude to An Unexpected Foe

The Eldar had for the longest of times been a dominant, albeit secretive presence in the Caerphillax Sector. On many worlds the Eldar remained shrouded and obscured from view and from the sensor arrays of space faring ships either travelling through the sector or in orbit around various planets. On some worlds where their presence had been discovered war was breaking out.

One such world was Kotheous, with recent confrontations with a small but deadly Space Wolves contingent. However on Thrask the mysterious xenos were hidden, for the time being. A nearby outbreak of fighting was of no immediate concern to them, their reasons for being on the planet were to serve a higher purpose and the squabblings of less educated races were of no consequence to them.

In the surrounding plains of the star port, Aun'Li and his ethereal comrades, still having to make do without the great but heavily injured o'Ralai, were heavily consumed with the replenishment of their battered but righteous cadre. Common Tau doctrine stated that fortification of positions was not a feasible strategy, and so advance parties were sent out in all directions to observe the Gue'la they had landed on the planet to absorb into the greater good. Despite the victory they had just achieved, tensions were running high and no one wanted to be the one who failed to spot another attack from the foul forces of Chaos. Possibly due to this blinkered focus, or the outstanding stealth capabilities of the Eldar, but none of the Eldar rangers or scout jetbikes were spotted. Their heat signatures and engine noise kept well hidden by ancient knowledge of technology.

As the Tau advanced, the concealed Eldar kept close watch, observing to see what the latest visitors to Thrask were up to. They weren't looking for a conflict but were on high alert just in case lethal force had to be employed. Nothing could stand between them and their mysterious objective they'd worked towards for so long in the Caerphillax sector.

Devilfish crested the peak of yet another rocky outcrop to be confronted with further plains. The landscape of this world was proving to be rather mundane, not that it mattered when there was a population to enlighten and envelop into the greater good. That being said, something didn't look quite right about this particular stretch of low land. Everything appeared too perfect, and repetitive, almost like a painting rather than real life. To a casual passer by, or a lesser race, this would probably have gone unnoticed. Quick bursts of communication erupted over the internal comms feed, and while most agreed that there was no cause to slow the advance, a concession was made that the wide area should be approached from all angles, the speed and manoeuvrability of their vehicles and equipment enabling them the easily approach the picture perfect plains from all sides. That was the first mistake the Eldar would punish them for...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Battle Mission - An Unexpected Foe

This is the second mission of the mini campaign. It's meant to simulate an attacking force discovering a well hidden defender. Some tweaks might be needed to give the attacker some help, as the defender gets to start in a strong position. Or, if like me and you like a challenge go for it as is!

Choose armies as per normal, with the exception that no Fortifications may be taken by the attacker.

The battlefield is a non-standard layout.

As per the main rulebook, any fortifications are placed first. Then set-up remaining terrain either by consensus or using the random method.

Before deploying their forces, players should first roll for their Warlord Traits, and then deploy.

The deployment map is as follows:
The defending player deploys his force in the centre of the table (red zone). The limits of the deployment zone are 12" from the table edge.

The attacker does not deploy their force. Instead, he must roll a D4 for each unit. That indicates which board edge it moves on from in the first turn (yellow zone).

The attacker always has first turn.

This mission uses variable game length.

At the end of the game, the player who has scored the most Victory Points wins the game.

Primary Objective
For every 50 points of a unit that has been completely removed from the board 1 Victory Point is awarded.
eg. 60 points of a unit killed but unit still on board = 0VP
200 points of a unit killed wiping it from the board = 4VP

Secondary Objectives
Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood.

Each defending unit begins the game with Stealth and Shrouded. Once that unit has been shot or assaulted for the first time it no longer has those USRs (unless it has them anyway).