Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mid-Week Ramble: Model claustrophobia?

Lately you may have noticed a trend in my posts: they are dealing with games that involve a very low model count.

I appreciate the game of 40k, I do find it enjoyable, but the slow erosion of points in the codexes is forcing me to keep expanding my collections with every new codex release of one of the armies I have. For instance, I had a nice little list of Tyranids based on Space Hulk 'stealers with a couple of carnifexes... The rumors are that the cost of units have been so reduced, that they probably will not even cover half of a standard 1500 point list now. So, I am forced to buy more models.

It was the same way with the Guard. Infantry were just so freaking cheap, I had to buy more models. Now, this was mainly my fault because I got pulled into that codex for the awesome tanks. I love a good tank.

OK, now to my point: Where do you draw the line, and say "I'm not going to buy any more models for a while"? I just finished buying the models that I hope will bring my Tyranid force up to legal standards in the 1500 point range (a hive tyrant to replace the broodlord that was normally my HQ option, and 2 boxes of gaunts) and it cost me just under a hundred dollars. Can I expect this every time a new codex gets released for one of my armies? What about my Blood Angels, which are my largest force (running around 3700 points if you include my papercraft warhound titan)? What kind of devilry can I expect from GW to nerf my units and force me to buy more?

It was kind of sad, for those of you that remember my first Apocalypse battle report, to see the number of IG infantry desperately trying to fit in their deployment zone. That wasn't even all the infantry, either! I had forces in reserve, and they still didn't want to fit without being packed like sardines!

This sinking feeling is what encouraged me to start seeking alternative ways to stay immersed in the 40k universe. I think I finally hit something with Dark Heresy RPG, as it deals with few, if any, models. I am also having quite a bit of fun converting models that have individual flavor, for use with the game. Since I frequently spend my free time on the computer anyway (mainly due to time constraints or the inconvenience of dragging out all my modeling and painting supplies), I have found it a fun hobby to pour some creative energy into. I can write scenarios, game aids, or player handouts and save my work right in the middle if something else demands my attention. It makes it pretty easy to manage my time.

So does anybody else have similar feelings? Does anybody else dread playing their favorite armies, just because their model counts have climbed so high? This is why my main force is Mechanized IG, because I just can't stand moving all those infantry anymore.

Who knows, maybe GW is planning on movement trays for 6th edition.


Monday, December 28, 2009

WH40k Role Play: Dark Heresy

I recently acquired a copy of the 40k RPG by Fantasy Flight Games: Dark Heresy. It puts the players in the position of acolytes to the Inquisition, inducted and sponsored by an Inquisitor. I wanted to get some people involved in this, so I made up a little scenario that would use the Space Hulk tiles for the "dungeon maps".

I have posted the document on the dakka forums here:

Any comments / criticism would be appreciated, since I am a new GM and need some help refining my scenario creation!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Car trouble, and FOW for sale

Rear brakes finally have had it in the family vehicle... and we need to work so I am trying to raise money fast to pay for repairs. I would appreciate all of you historical WW2 gaming fans to check out my ebay auction on my old Flames of War rulebooks (a great WW2 game by Battlefront Games) at

Thanks for helping me out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fox's INQ-28

Yes, I have recently made an attempt to get into the now-out-of-production specialist game of Inquisitor. For those who have not heard of the game, it is a skirmish-level game based on the forces of the Inquisition. "War-bands" of a few characters per player compete in a near-roleplaying fashion. To make things totally fair, there is a GM just like the original version of Warhammer 40k: Rogue Trader. In tribute to the great Molotov of the Conclave forums (as seen here), I have converted a couple of characters in the 28mm scale (Inquisitor is made to play in 54mm).

First up is an Astartes, next to a power-armored Inquisitor. I simply used an extra pair of Terminator legs to make the Astartes taller than his counterparts. This character will NOT be used in my warband, but if I run any campaigns in-house he may be a boss-adversary. The Inquisitor in Power Armor is a model I have had for a while, but have never gotten around to using it. This seemed like a good opportunity.

Next, we have a model I converted for my wife to play as. We settled on a name and background, which I might go into later on a new post. To summarize, she is an Enforcer for the Inquisition, also known as a Ward.

The last picture is of the character I intend on using for myself: a Veteran Imperial Guardsman Sergeant. He is equipped with a slick carbine version of the lasgun that I whipped up. I used the Pig Iron head with the gas-mask that I have used for all my Guardsman veterans, so it can fit into my regular 40k games somehow if I wish. Take a look:

That's it for now. This should keep me occupied until the new Tyranid codex arrives!

Until next time,

Project Updates: 12/22/2009

As you can see, my bug-infested scratch-built bastion is coming along nicely.

I also have been working on a Christmas present for my son, who is almost 2. I am making him a plaque for the door to his room. This is the most grim-dark the wife would permit :P -

In a moment, I'll post the recent undertaking I have been attempting.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

WIP: Tyranid Bastion

I've been making a bastion lately for use with Planetstrike games (or just as cool scenery) and I found a great way to make a bastion look like it has been infected by a Tyranid plague.

You can find the templates for making a "mini-fortress" (which looks close enough) on Warseer forums, and they are created by the user "Bugbait_nz". I would like to thank him now for the plans! They work great.

How I am doing it differently: I used hot glue, baking powder, and pva glue to create a cracked effect coupled with vein-like growth on the fortress. You could also paint this to look like an overgrowth of foliage. The only unfortunate side effect of the method I used is that the piece has to be completely dry of pva before you use any sort of spray paint to base coat it, otherwise it causes unsightly cracks in the paint. Easy fix, but a little bit of patience pays big dividends with this project.

I have some painting to do on it, but as soon as it is finished I will upload better pictures!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sabol Designs Combat Mat

My Christmas present has arrived in the post today (aside from Modern Warfare 2, which has been eating up a lot of my time as it is), and I must say I am quite impressed with it! I got the "Sands" version, which through certain retailers can be much cheaper than the "Plains" version.

The mat is fairly thin, being about the thickness of felt with a backing not unlike that of an floor-rug. The design is amazingly 3-D realistic, and looks great from anything over a foot away. Up close, you can see the resolution of the photo used to create the illusion of texture, but that is to be expected. The mat folds or rolls back up very easily, but lays flat with minimal curling at the edges! It measures exactly 6' x 4', so it is perfectly-sized for normal 40k games. It's nice to have a change of scenery from the normal City-fight based boards I use.

It has a slightly reddish-yellowish tint to it, which suits the paint scheme for my bugs perfectly. I think I am going to make this their theme, and base them to match this awesome mat. 55 bucks got it to me shipped, from Go check them out, I heard supplies are limited. It sure beats a piece of carpet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Titan Update 12/14

Most of the basic shape is hashed out out. A bit static, but being my first big project I decided to keep it simple. I ended up constructing a Double-barreled Turbo Laser and a Vulcan Bolter for the armament.

Titan Update 12/13

I'm off to bed, here's what I got done today!

Any ideas as for armaments? I plan on using it in my MEQ army, combating mainly horde or mech armies. I want it to be able to hurt a super-heavy if need be, though.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On my project table: 12/13/09

Yup, I have reincarnated the Papercraft Titan project. Thanks to the templates that Ron hosted on FTW, I realized that it was a cheap way to add 750 points to my Apoc forces. I got started on it right away.

So far, the money I have spent on this project = $3.14 for 2 pieces of Schedule 40 PVC.
The cardstock and ink I already had, as well as a roll of masking tape, scissors, a hobby knife, and balsa wood sticks.

I'm still deciding how to base the "counts-as" Valkyrie I converted for non-competitive games... as soon as I do, I'll post pictures.

Until next time,

Yup, caught the Apocalypse fever...

...and no, I don't mean Fallout-style.

I've started building super-heavies to add to my forces for Apoc. I was walking through a department store the other day, and my son pointed at a toy collection that was at his eye-level. I looked at the age recommendation on the box before seeing anything else, and noticed that it was well above his age (when they are this little you should be careful with what you let them play with). I then saw what it was... a full military playset, complete with helicopter, tank, humvee, and a couple action figures with weapons, all for 15 bucks. I let him get it, with the agreement that Daddy would get all the toys with pieces that he could choke on (he's only two, so that part was not difficult). He got the action figures, the humvee, and the gatehouse, everything else went into my loft. (Insert evil cackle.)

Yes, I am as big a kid as my son is, but the conversion ideas were already in my head. Today I turned the helicopter into a Valkyrie, and the tank is a Superheavy tank now, thanks to the careful addition of some weapon bits from my bitzbox.

Here are the results of the tank conversion (forgive the crummy pictures, I was late for a Christmas party when I took them):

Please note the armament: A main cannon (vanquisher or battlecannon, I can't decide), a co-axial autocannon, a hull-mounted plasma cannon, and a missile launcher.

This is the rear access point I made for the vehicle. I wanted the vehicle to be able to transport the CCS if need be, so I left the rear platform intact to give it additional deployment space when the models disembark.

I used the VDR rules (from WD's Chapter Approved 2004) to create a vehicle that is comparable in cost to that of a Baneblade. Its stats look something like this:
BS-3, AV F-14 S-14 R-12, Structure Points-3, Transport Capacity-10.

It has a lot of blast templates, which will be useful in throwing down against any horde armies. It also has a lot of low AP, good against MEQ. Lastly, I am thinking of making the main cannon a Vanquisher-type, so that it has a decent anti-vehicular weapon to use against other super-heavies. Alternatively, I could make it a Destroyer weapon, but that would significantly increase the tanks cost.

I need your help! What should I do for the main cannon of this tank?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My First Apocalypse Game

I played my first game of 40k Apocalypse today, and I wrote a summarized Battle Report to mark the occasion. I also got some snapshots of the game in progress, as you can see here. Read on!

ARMY LISTS (approximate)
Chapter Master with Artificer Armor, Relic blade, and Boltgun
Chaplain with Terminator Armor
Captain with Terminator Armor, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
Terminator Squad (10) with 2 Assault Cannons
Terminator Squad (10) with 1 H. Flamer, 1 Assault Cannon
Scout squad (5) with Heavy Bolter, Teleporter Homer
Tactical Squad (10) with Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Plasma Pistol
Tactical Squad (10) with Plasmagun, Plasma Cannon, Plasma Pistol, in drop pod
Tactical Squad (10) with Flamer, Lascannon
Venerable Dreadnought with Extra Armor
Bike Squad with 2 Meltaguns, Sgt. Power Sword
Assault Squad (5) with Sgt. Power Sword and Combat Shield
Assault Squad (5) with Sgt. Power Sword
Predator Annihilator tank with Extra Armor, Pintile-mounted Storm-bolter, and H/K missile

Company Command Squad with Lord Castellan Creed, Medic, Regimental Banner, and Voxcaster
Commissar Yarrick
Stormtrooper Squad (10) with Plasmagun, Grenade Launcher, and Sgt. Power Sword.
Ratling sniper team (4)
Ratling sniper team (3)
Guardsman Marbo
Platoon Command Squad with Voxcaster, Medic, 2 Flamers
2 Infantry Squads with 2 Voxcasters
Platoon Command Squad with Voxcaster, Missile Launcher team
4 Infantry Squads with 4 Voxcasters and 3 Flamers
Veteran Squad with Demolitions, Grenadiers, 3 Meltaguns, in a chimera with a dozerblade.
Veteran Squad with Demolitions, Grenadiers, 3 Grenade Launchers, in a chimera with a dozerblade.
Veteran Squad with Demolitions, Grenadiers, 2 Plasmaguns, in a chimera with a dozerblade.
Armored Sentinel with Lascannon, HK Missile, and Smoke Launchers
Leman Russ Vanquisher with Knight Commander Pask, Lascannon, H. Bolter sponsons, dozerblade
Leman Russ Executioner with Lascannon, Plasma Sponsons, dozerblade

TURN 0: Pre-game

-Time limit set, game started at 10 PM and ends at 2 AM (Had to wait for the kids to be in bed!).
-Imperial Guard declare Strategic Asset: Flank March
-Space Marines declare Strategic Asset: Precision Strike
-No Man's Land and Terrain Configured
-Imperial Guard deploys first, gets first turn.
-Imperial Guard holds 3 Vet Squads in Chimeras and Sentinel in reserve, along with marbo.
-SM hold Terminator squads in reserve, along with a drop pod of tactical marines.

Game Board, Pre-Deployment

After IG Deployment

After SM Deployment

-IG moves aggressively, and takes out the dreadnought on the first round of shooting.
-IG Mortars fail to inflict significant damage.
-The Vanquisher also snap-fires at the Predator through cover, successfully destroying it.
-SM position their troops to strike, bounding the assault squads into assault range.
-The Chapter master calls an Orbital Strike on the Executioner, which hits, but fails to penetrate the tank's thick armor. Other shooting is only minimally successful.
-SM attack with much vigor, their assault squads ripping through a pair of infantry squads. The squads manage to retreat to a safe distance without being caught in a sweeping advance.

The Front Lines, Turn 1

Sniper's Lookout

End of Turn 1


-IG reinforcements arrive: a Chimera with the Plasmagun Vets and Guardsman Marbo. Due to Flank March, the Chimera comes onto the table in the enemy deployment zone.
-IG sweeps infantry aside with massed FRFSRF orders. Both SM assault squads perish in a fusillade of lasgun fire.
-The executioner destroys an entire combat squad in a single salvo from its main cannon.
-Marbo tosses a demo charge, killing three out of five marines in a combat squad. Sniper fire takes out the other two, removing them from the objective.
-SM reinforcements arrive, a single drop-pod of tactical marines as well as a Captain in terminator armor with a thunderhammer and storm shield. The pod marines take an objective.
-The bikes boost hard in a gambit to contest one of the IG-held objectives in the IG deployment zone.
-A lascannon shot shakes the crew of the chimera that just came on-board.

The Chimera Flank-Marches

He's Right Behind You!

End of Turn 2

TURN 3: Last Turn
-The remaining IG reinforcements come on-board. Flank-marching enables them to take key positions and secure more objectives.
-The shaken chimera tank-shocks a lone lascannon gunner from the board.
-SM Biker's gambit did not pay off as they were gunned down by combined fire from a stormtrooper squad and an infantry squad.
-Combined sniper fire wounds the captain in terminator armor.
-SM opposition is eliminated from another objective.
-Fire from multiple sides eliminates half of the drop-pod squad. A scattered shot from a plasma sponson strikes the drop-pod, and by stroke of luck, detonates it with a 2” blast radius. This causes 4 wounds to the remaining squad members, of which only 2 wounds are saved by armor. The squad's morale breaks, sending them fleeing from the objective.

Biker's Gambit


End of Turn 3

With the time limit reached, and only 2 scoring units left in the SM army vs. the 11 scoring units left in the IG army, the SM player concedes. Deepstriking SM might have been able to shake a few defenders from objectives, but with the IG holding 4 out of 6 objectives and contesting 1, there was little hope of pulling even a tie out of this one.


A game of this size is fun, but to really experience Apocalypse, you have to either formations or superheavies. Otherwise, it is just a really big 40k game.

With that in mind, I am now currently researching ways to scratch-build various vehicles. Of course, if anybody has an extra Baneblade they wouldn't mind giving me for free, I would be very willing to oblige you!

Well, it's nearly 3:30 in the morning here, and my wife probably is expecting me to come to bed sometime tonight, so I guess I'll leave it at that.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tyranids will be here very soon now... here is the list I am currently using for my 1500 point Tyranid army, based on exactly the number of models I have:


+extended carapace
+toxin sacs
+implant attack
102 Points

Genestealer Retinue (5)-
+extended carapace
+toxin sacs
+scything talons
135 points

Warrior Brood (3)-
+adrenal glands (WS)
+extended carapace
+toxin sacs
+scything talons
108 points


Genestealers (10+7)
+extended carapace
+scything talons
+toxin sacs
459 points

Hormagaunts (8)
+extended carapace
+adrenal glands (WS)
+toxin sacs
112 points


80 points


Carnifexes (2)
+adrenal glands (I)
+adrenal glands (WS)
+extended carapace
+reinforced chitin
+bonded exoskeleton
+spine banks
+mace tail
+toxin sacs
+barbed strangler
+scything talons
+bio plasma
+toxic miasma
+flesh hooks
502 points

Total: 1498 Points

Ok, now my question is, will I be able to keep this list in the new edition? I have heard that gaunts are getting their points halved (or at least reduced). However, I think there is going to be a new kind of Lictor called a Death Leaper that is more expensive points-wise. With the carnifexes' biomorphs... well that's anybody's guess as to whether or not those will still be legal in the new edition. I guess I'll just have to wait a month and find out!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Project Update: 12/06/09

I got a bit more done to that Broodlord. As you can see, he is decent table-top quality but I have some cleaning up to do on it. For the rest of the day, however, I plan on working on the Carnifex and Lictor you might have spied in the background of the last image I uploaded.

Until next time,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Project Update: 12/05/09

I started painting the 3 big tyranid creatures I had left, a Lictor, a Broodlord, and a Carnifex. This is step one, after priming anyway.

I also promised pictures of my new cabin that my wife and I bought. It is only 4:30, but it is dark already, so this was the best I could manage but here you go! Also included is a picture of my loft, where I store my hobby supplies.

Ahh... it's nice to have some time to do a bit of painting. The Broodlord will look pretty good I think when it's done. Well, I'm off to continue painting! Expect more updates soon!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rising from the ashes, and a campaign map

Hello folks, by now you can pretty much see that I am back up and running. Due to some issues at work and home, I am now back to being Mr. Mom to the kids while the wife goes to work to earn the bacon. You know what that means... I might actually get something accomplished for once!

I did develop a prototype of campaign today, based off of a map. Here is the map I used:

Using pushpins, I used certain colors of pins to denote corresponding force sizes. I went with forces sized at 500, 750, 1000, and 1500 points. Each player then gets an agreed-upon amount of pins of those colors. My wife helped me playtest, and we used two pins of 500 points and two of 750. We agreed that if two pins of the same color occupy the same square on the map, then they could combine into a larger force. I.e., the two 500 pins could combine into a 1000 point or the two 750 pins could combine to a 1500 point force. To denote who had what pins, I colored all my pins with a permanent marker so we could tell the difference.

Much like a standard 40k game, each side got a long "table edge". To see who deployed first, we rolled off a standard 6-sided die. Whoever gets the highest result gets to choose who deploys first. We then took turns deploying the individual pins in one of the squares along our edge.

Once all the pins were deployed, the person who was first to deploy takes the first turn moving all his/her pins. A pin can move one square in any direction per player turn. A pin can occupy the same square as a friendly pin only if both pins are the same color (aka the same force size). If this happens, the two pins MAY combine into a pin of the appropriate force size.

To attack an enemy force, simply move a pin so that it occupies the same square as a hostile pin. At that point, campaign play stops and a regular game of 40k is fought to determine the winner of the battle. Use any of the standard 40k game-types to play the game. It adds a little character to play terrain that is similar to what is on the square of the map where the battle is taking place!

The loser of the game removes his/her pin from the map. The victor now claims the square. Play continues until only one player's pins remain.

This is obviously a very simple way to run a campaign. I am currently testing some things to improve the campaign, but I thought I would share the basics that I have so far.

Well, that's it for now! Until next time,


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