Friday, May 29, 2009

Local Gaming Stores

I just want to give a shout-out to my local gaming store. Adventure Games and Comics, in Wasilla AK, who always cuts me in on the latest deals. He always gives me a deal on the latest GW paints and accessories, and he knows me by name. If you are ever in the area you need to check out his shop. They have tournaments for 40k there once a month, and they generally get a good turnout. Average is about 8-10 players per competition. The competitions are usually pretty easy-going, with players being scored on battle-points only.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mostly packed up

Well, with Move-Day just a week away, I had to come up with a new way to transport all my minis. Being a poor fellow, I did not have the dough to afford an expensive Army Transport or equivalent, and I needed a lot of spaces, so pre-cut foam was out. But I wanted foam, being the safest for the minis. What to do?

I looked around. At my local department store (Fred Meyers) I found sheets of material similar to the memory foam that they use to cover mattresses. A large sheet of 1.5" (big enough for a full-size bed) ran only 13 dollars. I picked up a sheet.

Many of you have seen the crates that soda products are delivered in. I found a gas station throwing them out, and asked for a few. I took only 3, but now I wish I had taken more. They measure approximately (depending on the manufacturer) 11"x18" and 4" deep. Perfect!

Using my hot wire cutter recently purchased, I cut out appropriately-sized sections for the models, and put the piece in the bottom. A solid piece over the top, and the tray was secure. Also, the crates are stack-able, since the 3" of foam doesn't quite reach the top enough to push the next one off.

I may include a tutorial and pictures on it later, but I can't remember which box I put my camera in! Just thought I would share to inspire.

Until next time,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Terrain Piece: Derelict Firing Position

Has it been a week already? Well, sorry about the product review I was supposed to do yesterday. Packing took up most of the day. Today, however, I was able to put together a nifty firing position. I think this will be the new standard for my firing position pieces, I will have to make a few more of these after I move.

You can see it unpainted in the picture above. The design is inspired by a tower-topping piece utilized by a fellow named Bugbait over on Warseer forums. I had to modify it, though, to make a more stand-alone version of the piece.

I didn't get any WIP photos, but I'll try to walk you through it. It was pretty simple, so you shouldn't have any problems.

Materials you will need:

5mm Foamcore (I haven't tried corrugated cardboard yet, but it might work. I suggest Foamboard though).

Sharp Utility Knives or Hobby Knives (and a parent to go with them if you are a yung'un.)

My Templates (See pictures above, print out with no modifications to size)

Gluestick (For adhering the templates to the foamboard)

Hot Glue Gun- Low Temp (For the adhering of pieces)

Masking Tape (For sealing edges)

PVA Glue, some fine sand or ballast, and black craft paint (For the texture and basecoat)

Granny Grating (Optional: used for flooring in the firing position)

Step 1:
Print out the templates and glue them to the foamboard. Using the SHARP utility knives, cut out the pieces as precisely as you possibly can. !!!Ignore the corner pieces!!! I thought I would need them but I ended up not needing them. Save yourself some time and don't cut them out. Also, you don't need to cut out the piece on the left of the second page. The center piece from the first page's base, as well as the center piece from the second page's piece will be sufficient. The 2nd piece on the 2nd page is there just in case you mess up the 1st page's base cutout like I did.

Step 2:
Glue the pieces labeled "Long Side" and "Short Sides" to the INSIDE of the base, not on the top. Align them so that they are standing on the piece's long side. Use the tape to seal any edges that you can. Glue the angled supports to the beginning and end of each of these boards, with the notch fitting over the boards. On one of the long sides, cut a gap appoximately 1" wide (25mm) and glue the angled support pieces to the inside edges of these shortened pieces (still facing outward).

Step 3:
Use the long, rectangular pieces that were unlabeled to create baseboards for each short wall. Cut them to fit in between the angled supports. Use the hot glue to glue them down, then use masking tape to taper off the baseboard to the short wall, as well as any exposed edges.

Step 4:
Glue the top (on page 2) to the angled supports. The supports may stick out some, but not too much to be noticeable. Fill this gap with hot glue or tape if you desire. Glue the center of the roof piece to the center of the base piece to create the removable roof. You may need to trim down the roof center piece to make sure it fits properly after texture is applied. Continue to tape edges. Place the entire piece on a base now. For my base, I just cut out an equal-size piece of foamboard.

Step 5:
Mix up a solution of glue, plaster patching powder, paint, water, and fine sand/ballast in a disposable container (like a whipped cream or butter container). Using an old brush, glob the stuff on there. I did the roof separately, to cover both sides. Refer back to my old foamcore building tutorial to see an example of what the consistency of the mixture should be. It should be almost wet enough to run, but not quite. The black paint is really just there to darken the mixture and eliminate the need for a basecoat of paint. If you prefer, you can skip the paint and apply a separate basecoat later. Glue down the granny grating into the bottom if you desire.

Step 6:
Wait for it to dry! After it is done, you may need to sand the removable roof in order to make sure it still fits in there. You may also paint it easily with a drybrush of grays that successively go to white. Some Modge-Podge for sealant will help keep the piece looking the same as the day you painted it!

If you don't follow this tutorial to the letter, don't worry about it. I didn't. Have fun with it.

Until next week, FoxPhoenix signing out!

Friday, May 22, 2009

FoxPhoenix Update: New Diggs

Yup, I am moving again. Hopefully this time it will be for the better! Expect sporadic updates in the next couple weeks, as I am moving the 3rd of June. Once things settle down, however, I should have even more time to devote to the little plastic men!

I have been using the hot-wire foam cutter to make myself some cheap figure cases lately, in preparation to the move. I suppose it might make a decent sunday tutorial for you all. For now, I guess this is all you get. Until next time!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let's Talk Tactics: Creating SM Lists for Cities of Death FAQ

There is a tournament at my friendly local gaming store (FLGS) this weekend, and it is a 1500 point cityfight competition. It will be battle points only, so we will skip painting considerations and dive straight into the tactics!

In Cities of Death, most game types require you to "occupy" a building in order to get the win. Buildings themselves become the objectives, and you will find your units battling fiercely to repel attackers as well as furiously throwing themselves upon defenders. With the advent of 5th edition, the mechanics of these city-fights have changed somewhat. Before 5th, there was a complicated list of scoring units and stipulations on what units could occupy buildings for the win. Now, only troop choices can occupy buildings as scoring units, and only other scoring units can contest a building's occupancy.

Begin the FAQ mode:

Q: What does this mean to your army list?

A: Troops. Lots of them. For some of the veteran players, that prefer to minimize troop choices and take the max in elite, fast attack, and heavy support, this method of list building can be contrary to what they are used to. For us SM players, it means either a lot of scouts, or a lot of tactical squads. Leave your bike lists at home, as the limited maneuvering room will limit their effectiveness in this kind of battle.

Q: So we now know to take tactical troops. Can you be a little more specific?

A: Yes, I can! Take your tactical squads in the full allotments of 10 troopers per squad. Using combat squads can double the number of scoring units, and give you greater flexibility with their combat roles. For example, you can delegate your flamer or meltagun to one combat squad, and your heavy weapon to the other. Do NOT use combat squads in killpoint games, however, because you double the amount of kill points for each squad.

Q: What special/heavy weapon options do I need to take with them?

A: Take weapons based on your opponents list, if you have that information available. Meltaguns/multimeltas work fairly well against armored lists in the tight confines of a city board. For anti-horde work, nothing digs troops out of cover better than flamers. For anti-horde heavy lifting, try a heavy bolter. If you want more general-purpose weaponry, if you don't know what list you will be facing, I suggest flamers/missile launcher combos. The missile launcher can be effective against either light armor or infantry hordes, and the flamer is best for negating cover saves. Additionally, the flamer/missile launcher combo does not cost any additional points to a full 10 man squad, making it the most cost effective option.

Q: What other units work well in city fights, to support my troops?

A: I like my SM cityfighting lists to be infantry heavy. It is kind of hard to get your vehicles around in cityfights, and there are various stratagems that can make it even harder on you (i.e. anti-tank obstacles). With infantry, you can slow them down but rarely stop them. I like to take dreadnoughts for heavy hitting power and tough armor. The multi-meltas really work well in the city fight environ for taking out armor, but they have enough assault capability to dislodge units from buildings. Taking a flamer instead of a storm bolter is helpful to that end. Assault marines really shine in cityfights too, where their advanced mobility and lots of cover lets them get real close without taking a lot of fire beforehand. Terminators are my last choice, but sometimes fit the bill for some heavy shock troops to dislodge tougher opponents holed up in buildings or ruins. I rarely deepstrike units, as this can lead to epic failures with all that terrain scattered about.

Q: What's your cityfighting list look like now?

A: I'm still working out the various kinks and numbers, but I'll post that later today if I get time.

Q: Why do you ramble on about this junk so much?

A: Just trying to help!

Q: You suck at this.

A: That's not a question!

What other tips do you SM players have to add to this?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Terrain Piece and Late Saturday Product Review

I have been out of town this weekend, so my Saturday product review is a day late. All the same, let's get on with it.

This week: Woodland Scenics Hot Wire Foam Cutter

I spent the better part of the day in the garage playing with one I purchased recently. I've not quite got the techniques down, but the actual product is sound.

Most of the advanced terrain-builders already know that Styrofoam is the way to go when it comes to making cheap terrain. The problem lies in cutting the stuff. Saws can sometimes be too coarse, making a huge mess and scattering little bits to the four winds. The beauty in a hot-wire cutter is that by using heat, it creates no mess. Unfortunately, the side effect of this is that noxious fumes tend to be released when cutting the most common forms of styrofoam (polyurethane sheets). Thus, all hot-wire cutting should take place in a highly ventilated area, such as directly outdoors or in an open garage. Also, as always when working with any hot instruments, burning yourself is always a hazard. Use ample caution.

I picked this up at a hobby shop for about 27 USD. It was on clearance, luckily. I imagine you can get it for more or less, depending on where you are located.

The basic usage for the cutter is simple. You attach the wire to two positionable-posts on the guide, and you can start hacking away for some rough cuts. Alternatively, you can use the posts to adjust the angle of the cut by inverting the cutter on a flat surface and feeding the piece to be cut through it like a jigsaw. There are some attachments available to purchase, such as a different bow and guide to make more accurate straight cuts. I will be needing to purchase one of these...

As for the Sunday Terrain Project, I didn't have time to actually do anything, but I dug up some articles for you to peruse through. I found these on a website I frequent, "".

Here is one that is similar to my foamcore ruins, but more intricate and advanced. I thought some of my readers might appreciate the link:
Foamcore Ruins

This article on making building wall molds for resin casting out of art foam (38 cents a sheet at walmart) was interesting too. I will have to try it.
Art foam wall molds from craft foam

Last but not least, I have a lot of left-over sprue. Here is an article on a very novel way to use up that sprue! I may have to do this to get rid of some of it.
Sprue Vegetation

Hope you all had a great weekend! Now back to the grind!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Campaign Development: The Battle for Mercy Port

I have been asked to put together a campaign for my local gaming store. While I love the challenge, and am humbled by their trust, I am a bit lost. I have never run a tournament or campaign before, so how do I go about creating a new one from scratch? Well, I gave it my best shot. Now I throw it to my readers to go over and hopefully point out my errors in judgment. I need your help!

The picture of the map I made is included with this post.

Here is a copy-and-paste of what I have so far:

The Campaign Rule Basics:

The basic rules can be used with or without the advanced rules section detailed below, making for more/less complicated campaigns. Tailor it to your gaming group's needs!

Each player involved in the campaign chooses a single army. The player will play that army exclusively throughout the campaign, so choose wisely! Players can change lists between rounds, but they must meet standard force-organization requirements for their army.

Each player is delegated a territory from the map. If there are more players than territories, then randomly-selected players will not receive territories. Instead, they will receive a single chance, for each randomly-selected player, to attack players with territories to take theirs (driving the defendant player off-world if they lose the territory). These players can attack any territory on the map with this chance.

If there are more territories than players, divide the territories as equally as possible between the players. If there are an uneven-amount of territories for each player, all players roll off to determine who gets the extra territories. The highest roller gets first pick of the territories, the lowest roller gets 2nd pick. The remaining players who did not receive bonus territories, if there are any bonus territories remaining, repeat the roll and pick process until all the territories are claimed.

To attack a territory (aside from the randomly-selected territory-less player chance-attacks), the territory to be attacked must be adjacent to the territory owned by the attacking player. The results of the attack are settled using 1000 point games of WH40k, with the winner of the game claiming the territory. In the case of draws, kill points determine the victor and the claimant of the territory. The defending player may not decline to the battle, but he or she may choose the scenario objective of the game (i.e. kill points, capture and control, etc.).

The campaign lasts for a set number of rounds (usually 5). In each round, each player can make a single attack on an opposing player's territory using the rules described above. Players that have no territories at the end of the round (due to being one of the randomly-selected players that could not win one away from another player, or losing all owned territories to opponents) they are forced Off-World.

Off-World players can make attacks on any territory on the map, but they receive a penalty of -200 PV to their attacking force. If they win a territory back into their possession by the next round, the penalty is withdrawn. If they own no territories by the end of the campaign, they score no points.

At the end of the campaign, the winner is determined by the player that possesses the most territories. If there is a tie, then the player who has won the most rounds is the victor. If this does not resolve the tie, the players must play a final game to determine the victor. Note that this may result in a 3-way battle! This final game is 1250 points standard, utilizing Kill Points as the objective, to simulate the final clash between the largest factions on the planet.

Optional Advanced Rules:

Territories can have different effects to the defending player based on their type. These effects are listed below:

Hab-Blocks: The defender gains an additional 50 points to his or her list for the battle.

Docks: The owning player receives an additional 50 points to spend on wargear for the battle.

Coastal Park: Two infantry units from the defending player's army gain the Infiltrate special rule for the battle.

Industrial Zone: The defending player gains an additional 100 points to spend on wargear for the battle.

Highway Intersection: The defending player gains an additional 100 PV to be spent on NON-infantry (that includes jump infantry!) units only (i.e. tanks, transports, bikes, skimmers, etc.) for the battle.

Bridge to Spaceport: The defending player receives an additional 200 points to his or her list for the battle.

Fortified City Center: The defender may spend an additional 100 points on wargear.

These effects only take place for the owning player's defensive battle. They have no affect on attacks into other territories. This may make it hard for players who have been forced Off-World to take a territory, so if these rules are in effect the -200 point penalty to Off-World attacks should be dropped in favor of territorial bonuses.

Optional Advanced Rules (cont.)

An alternative way to play the campaign is that players can keep a single list through the entire campaign. The player's list should be 3000 points instead of the normal 1000, but the player can only ever commit a maximum of 1000 points to a game. In this campaign, units that are destroyed do not automatically come back the next round. For each unit lost in a round, the player may check to see if the unit can be returned to active status (able to be played) before the next round starts. These checks are made at the end of the round, after all battles for the round have been concluded.

To make a check, the player rolls a D6, and consults the table below:

1, 2, or 3 Remains destroyed/irrecoverable.

4 or 5 Returns to active status, but at half strength (Half number of models for squads, half the maximum wounds for ICs, vehicles begin the next game by rolling as if hit by a glancing hit with no other modifiers).

6 Returns to active status with no penalties.

This roll can be modified by the territories the player owns after all the battles have been concluded in a round. Special territories can make it easier to recover casualties or bring in replacements for certain types of units. They are:

Docks, Hab-Blocks, Costal Park: +1 to Infantry unit rolls only.

Industrial Zone, Highway Intersection: +1 to Vehicle, transport, bike, or skimmer rolls only.

Fortified City Center, Bridge to Spaceport: +1 to any roll to recover a unit.

These territorial effects are not cumulative, so if a player owns more than one territory he or she may only ever gain a maximum of a +1 modifier to this roll, and only if he owns the appropriate territorial bonus to the unit he or she is trying to recover.

If a player in this campaign cannot build a list that meets the Force Organization requirements from the units he or she has in his or her master roster, then that player is eliminated from the campaign. This is to help regulate the number of elite/heavy support/fast attack units in the game, and put the focus on troops and their HQ units.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like Christmas in July... Except it's May....

I am waiting for another shipment of bikes to come in, but while I wait, I have received another AoBR set in the mail. This set will be used to bolster my space marine force as well as my ork horde. Today I assembled the SM contents, and tomorrow I likely will assemble the ork contents. I am undecided yet if I really want an ork army on standby. I like my SM army a lot better, as I see it as having a lot more sophistication than an ork horde. SM lists can be tweaked to counter a certain army or tactic, making them jacks-of-all-trades. Unfortunately, this has the side effect of being masters of none. Orks, on the other hand, specialize in assaults. They are very strong in this regard, but lack in shooting power. They are good at what they do, arguably one of the best, but they do not have the flexibility and the finesse that a SM list has.

Therefore, I have considered painting my ork army to sell. You've seen the pictures of my Warboss, do you think this scheme has any marketability? I know better than to think I am anywhere near professional quality, but I think I could get a slightly better value for a painted ork horde simply because painting an ork horde is a pain.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Modified Motivational Model Math Method (Quint-M)

I have been trying to motivate myself to not only paint my models, but assemble them as well. I have seen many people come up with "points" systems to motivate themselves to paint, such as this one from Lone Pilgrim (

Infantry = 1 point
Cavalry or bikes = 2 points
Monster or Dreadnought = 5 points
Vehicle = 10 points
Superheavy vehicle = 20 points

But this does not have anything about assembling units. The emphasis is on painting. Right now in my to-do pile for assembly lies the entire contents of an AoBR set, 3 SM Bikes, an extra 20 ork Boyz, and an extra 5 nobz + warboss. That comes out to a total of: 10 tactical marines, 5 terminators, 1 dreadnought, 1 captain, 3 SM bikes, 40 ork boyz, 10 ork nobz, 2 ork warbosses, and 3 deffkoptas. That is a considerable undertaking, and I think they merit points. Therefore, I am going to use the following system to rate my progress in a month:

Infantry = 1 point every 2 troops
Independant Characters = 1 point
Cavalry or bikes = 1 point
Monster or Dreadnought = 2 points
Vehicle = 5 points
Superheavy vehicle = 10 points

Infantry = 1 point
Independant Characters = 2 points
Cavalry or bikes = 2 points
Monster or Dreadnought = 5 points
Vehicle = 10 points
Superheavy vehicle = 20 points

I now will refer to this method of motivation as Quint-M (like quantam but pronounced quint'im). I will post a new entry in the sidebar to track my monthly progress using this method. I added an entry for independant characters, as it doesn't seem right to only attribute 1 point for them. I spend a lot more time on an independant character than I do on a single tactical space marine.

I don't expect anybody will use this method, but if you do, I hope this motivates you to assemble your models as well as paint them!

Monday Shout-Out: MacPac51

I want to take a moment to inform you of my favorite E-bay dealer: MacPac51. This E-bay store has always given me a good deal, and has treated me fairly and with respect. They answer all my questions thoroughly and quickly.

They don't deal in bits, but they deal pretty much exclusively with NOS (new on sprue) products. They ship it to you without the box, so there's less to throw away and you save on shipping. In fact, you save a ton on shipping, because most items ship FREE as long as you live in the US. So sorry, all you guys across the pond, they don't ship internationally. For us US residents, it's a great deal.

Even more so because all of their products come in at MSRP or below. Usually below. I get all sorts of stuff at 20% or so below retail, which is great.

You may think: "Yeah, but I bet their shipping is slow as molasses, seeing how it's free."

The truth is: it is priority mail! I ordered some stuff on the 5th of May, and it showed up the 11th! That was 6 days shipping, including a weekend! So really 4 days. That may not sound real fast to you, but living in Alaska, that is phenomenally fast shipping.

If you haven't yet, give them a shot. I am always pleased to deal with MacPac51.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Product of the Day: Granny Grating

Everybody who has been making their own terrain for a while has probably come across this stuff at some point. It sells for about 2 USD for a pack of several sheets at most department stores that carry stitching/sewing supplies. It is commonly used for cross-stitching or embroidery, but we know it for a different purpose.

It makes okay fences, especially the thinner plastic varieties, but for it to hold paint it needs to be lightly sanded on both sides. What it really shines at is making floor gratings. Again, it needs to be sanded to hold paint, but the end result looks pretty good.

A less commonly known use, that I thought of today, is a screen. I never can find a sifter when I am digging up dirt from the driveway to use for basing material (who wants to buy ballast anyway?), and the wife never appreciates it when I do find one.... of hers.

The sheets are fairly large, so will cover large bowls easily. Pouring the collected sample through filters out most of the stuff that is too large for model basing, making the so-called "Granny Grating" double the bang for your buck! If you don't have at least a few sheets of this in your hobby supplies, go get some now! It's only two bucks, that's about the same price as a 20 oz. soda! This product is well worth the minimal investment.

Friday, May 8, 2009

FoxPhoenix: Mr. Mom?

I know.... Today was supposed to be the deadline for the webzine. Unfortunately, this task is a little too large for me to tackle right now, with my wife going to work. I have assumed the mantle of "mommy" in her absence, and hobby time has definitely suffered. Therefore, the new date for release of the webzine will be June 1, 2009. Sorry, folks.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Let's Talk Tactics: Space Marine Biker Lists

Due to the bids going high on some of my products on ebay, I have yet again began looking to expand my SM lists. Something that has got my attention as of late is the rules for fielding an entirely mobile force via the special character Kor'Sarro Khan of the White Scars. Of course, you can have any chapter and use a "counts as" biker for the Khan, but I would think it would have to be appropriately modeled.

A sample of the SM Bike madness:

Kor'Sarro with his bike Moondrakkan

6 Squads of SM bikers, as troop choices, with +3 Bikes and Attack Bikes with Multi-meltas

This list runs you just under 1500 points at 1495. In a 1750 or a 2000 point list, you could fill 3 Fast Attack slots with more biker units, or give the troops special weapons like meltaguns. This sounds like an absolutely deadly list to use against some IG treadhead lists.

Think about it: You have got so many bikes zipping around with high toughness, decent armor saves, and TL bolters. Then add in the attack bikes with Multi-meltas, and you have a formidable fast-attacking force. Further add in meltaguns for each squad, and you have a truly fearsome tank busting list.

Some downsides:
A) The cost of buying so many freaking bikes. The thought alone makes my wallet wince. If you calculate that at the current price for a boxed set of 3 is 45 dollars, you can assume 15 dollars a bike is a fair estimate, if you consider that shipping will probably cost as much as you would save by buying at discount. You have 36 regular bikes, + Khan, + 6 attack bikes. The regular bikes alone would cost around 540 USD!!! Ouch! You still have the attack bikes and Khan. If the attack bikes are 20 (which is a very lowball estimate) you still end up tacking another 120 USD onto that 540, then another 15 at the least for a Kor'Sarro Khan. Grand total being 675 USD! At that cost, do you know how many AoBR sets you could buy? You could buy probably at least twelve, giving you 120 Tactical Marines, 12 Captains/Masters, 60 Terminators, and 12 Dreadnoughts, plus another 240 ork boyz, 60 nobs, 12 warbosses, and 36 deffcoptas! Kinda puts things in perspective, huh?
B) The lack of long range weaponry. Almost every single weapon in this list is limited to 24 inches or less. Your average board usually isn't longer than 4' wide, or at least mine aren't, so with a turboboost of 24" you can usually fill this gap pretty quick. But what if you don't get to go first? Then you can get picked apart by some opponents who are quick to grasp the idea.
C) The lack of numbers. You will get eaten alive by hordes, who will soak up your attacks with ease. I am thinking of boyz spam lists, which can be as heavy as up to 240 boys in a 1500 point list. Of course, that kind of horde is not going to have very powerful attacks, but with that many bodies of troops, that player won't need them. Quantity has a quality all of its own.
D) No Chapter Tactics. This means no choosing to fail morale tests, because Khan's special tactics overrides this. This may be a minor drawback to some, but to others it limits their tactical usefulness.

Some upsides:
A) Outflanking the enemy- a squad or two can be held back in reserve to outflank later in the game. With the short-range hitting power of melta weapons, this can ruin somebody's day if they have been keeping that armor at hull-down behind that hill!
B) They have turboboosters. This allows them to go a mind boggling distance across the board, as well as gives them additional protection from shooting that turn. They can't fire weapons that turn, but if you find yourself far away from any juicy targets, then this can turn the tide.
C) They also have higher Toughness. A higher Toughness allows them to absorb a bit more damage than your average tactical squad. This doesn't work in all situations, and they still can be instant-killed, but it does help get them close enough to shoot those guns.
D) Potential for LOTS of melta weapons. At 2 meltaguns and 1 multimelta per squad, this build allows you to really pour it on. Mech' armies will cry as your fast bikers pop open their transports like soda cans dropped down a flight of stairs.

Well, that should give you some food for thought on using SM bikes. At serious peril to your income, a biker list would definitely be a joy to play, even if not the most competitive list out there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Buying frenzy!

Due to some of my old miniatures finally selling, I now have some free funds to add to my two armies: My Sons of Baal (BA codex) and my Blood Axe Klan (Orks). I am now waiting on a few things to arrive in the mail:

1 AoBR set (yay for more cheap orks and space marines!)
2 mobs of 9 boyz + 1 big shoota
1 mob of 5 nobz + warboss
3 SM bikes

So, I guess I better get crackin on what I need to have painted. Once the new stuff gets here it will put me even farther behind if I don't!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Let's Talk Tactics:SM Anti-horde

Arguably, some of the most effective armies out there right now consist of hordes. Orks and IG are foremost in my mind, and each take a different kind of tactic in order to win against them. Orks have the combination of numbers, toughness, and assault capability, whereas Guard horde players have numbers, shooting capability, and more numbers. Therefore, some minor adjustments to your SM list can specialize to one or the other.

Ork Hordes:
Weaponry with high-strength blast templates are better for orks due to their higher-toughness than most units. Plasma Cannons, Demolisher Cannons, and even the standard Missile Launcher can be of use here. A Whirlwind launcher might be decent if stuck in a back corner, but I wouldn't bet on it surviving long if your enemy has any sort of flanking units like Deffcoptas. Decent strength teardrop templates are also great, but generally you don't want to be that close to them because they will assault the crap out of you. If you do find yourself in that assault range cordon, then be sure to try to get the assault first before they do. This will rob them of the benefits of furious charge, and might save you from some casualties. Against a primarily-horde army, there is one more trick you can try: Heavy Armor. This is the bane of the normal boyz squad, as they can barely scratch its thick hide. Throw in some Dreadnoughts for support, preferrably standard or venerables with missile launchers or plasma cannons, and you have a pretty tough nut to crack. Keep on the lookout for weapons that can crack it, however, such as a Zzzzap guns, shokk guns, killcannons, etc. Nothing ruins your day like watching a LR and its dreadnought companions going up in smoke in a single shooting turn from your enemy. Wave goodbye to over 400 points of your list!

Imperial Guard Hordes:
Luckily, most IG troops are not tough like the ork hordes. Unfortunately, they have a TON of shooting firepower, even if it is those crappy Lasguns. Because they have to shoot, at least that means they are pretty static and cannot move around and run about if they want to bring that shooting power to bear. Your SM have good armor, so taking cover will not protect you unless you are completely out of LOS, so don't bother. Instead, charge in! Blood Angel and Black Templar players can have a field day with it. BA DC squads can shrug off an amazing amount of fire, and their rhinos are especially effective at getting them across the board quickly. Better yet, get a LR! Get your DC into one of those bad boys and assault them right into the front lines! A chappy and his Liturgies of Hate will keep you thumpin' heads left and right. Get those VAS jumping in the fray too, with their multiple attacks! The more contact you can make, the less the IG can shoot. Get some teardrop template weapons in your Tactical squads, so they can fry on the charge. Be wary though, if you fry too many IG before you can initiate assault contact, that leaves you open for a short range barrage of fire from nearby units!

Some tips on things to avoid:
*Heavy bolters are a win/lose. They generally can't hit as many targets in a round of shooting as a regular blast template. On the other hand, they are slightly more powerful than a frag missile blast, so it can be useful in some instances. For the points though, it is usually safer to use the ML since it can fire Kraks too.
*Try to cut down on expensive options. More bodies will help close the gap, and give you more offensive capability in the long run. I generally limit my HQ option to just the Chaplain, and leave my special characters at home. The SCs are usually super-expensive, and they can go down quickly if they get caught by a horde. Use the points to put in another squad of marines, or a vehicle that won't be easily penetrated.
*Be wary of your plasma weapons, for the usual reasons.
*Avoid high-strength, high-cost, single shot weapons such as lascannons. Unless the horde army has vehicles, and you want that unit to be specifically Anti-tank, then leave your Lascannons at home. They don't have the potential for wounding hordes for the cost. This means you are better off leaving you Predator sponsons at home if you don't have the heavy bolters for it.

Can you think of any other effective anti-horde tips?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


First off, I am sorry I have not been posting as regularly lately. Combination of life, working on the new webzine (self-imposed deadline for mid-May), and still trying to do hobby-related things has slowed down my posting rate a bit.

Life: My son has been sick a lot lately, which means I have been required to pick him up from daycare early a lot. This is quite a hassle, since I live 45 minutes one-way from the daycare, so it is at least an hour and a half round-trip each time I have had to go get him. I have also wasted a lot of time in doctor's offices, only for them to tell me it is a viral illness that they can do nothing about. I find that hard to believe, seeing as he runs a 103 degree F temperature almost every day for the last week... But luckily Motrin or Tylenol brings the temp down for a little while. Today he got up at a wonderful 3 AM and refused to go back to bed, much to my wife's and my dismay. Oh well, who needs sleep?

Webzine: I have been working on a tutorial on building a Cathedral terrain piece using mainly cork tiles and a hot glue gun. Makes for interesting work. I would post it on here, but why would you read my webzine then???

Hobby-related: I have been working hard on painting up the Ork contents of the AoBR set. So far, I have all the green flesh-tones done on all the orks, and now I am just painting their garments and weapons. I have the warboss done, and am chipping away at the Nobz Mob. I decided to do a slight variant of Blood Axe clan, giving them an urban camoflague pattern, and adding in red accents to liven them up. Sometimes it makes it look kind of cluttered, like on the warboss, but I can paint it quickly which is more important to me at the time. I plan on purchasing another AoBR set in the next month to make a 1000 pt Ork list that I can build from. I already purchased the new codex for them yesterday, and have started throwing around ideas on how to put together my next army.

I will continue to plug away at that webzine. I know you all are anticipating its arrival, so vote on the name for it if you have not already so I can finish the title page early! As of right now, it is a tie between Hobby Bucket and FoxPhoenix's Hobby Monthly, so break that tie!


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