Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BFG Campaign: The Battle for Arcea

Here's our custom campaign map for BFG, painted on a 16x20 canvas. I used a miniature base to make the circles, and painted on the system labels and warp lanes. This kind of map is easy to make on even a piece of paper, but I wanted something more elaborate and lasting so I whipped this up.

I'll be posting progress on the campaign as it happens.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Space Marine Strike Cruisers Complete!

Finally, the Space Marine half of my battlefleet has been completed.

The names so far:

The Retribution of Angels and
The Restitution of Blood

For short, they'll just be known as the Retribution and the Restitution.

As you can see in the picture above, they look quite nice when paired with the Honor Sanguine

I'm working on a system for labeling the bases, and as soon as I figure it out I'll post new pictures.

Until next time,

WIP Tyranid Cruiser

I've been putting it off for too long, so here is a WIP shot of the Tyranid Cruiser design I have been fiddling with. The nice thing about tyranids is their mutability, which allows me more freedom to get creative in their scratchbuilds.

This cruiser utilizes the "Massive Claws" biomorph that turns the vessel into a vicious pitbull: once it locks it will not let go. This ship's looks kind of remind me of a lobster, though. I imagine that I will only be more justified in thinking so, once I apply the paint scheme of my Hive Fleet to it.

I just got my flying stands in the mail yesterday, so look for more scratchbuilds on the way soon.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Space Marine Battlebarge: The "Honor Sanguine"

My Blood Angel Successor chapter is going BFG! Since my early days, I have envisioned my successor chapter (called the "Sons of Baal") as being a space-born, fleet-based chapter. Now that I am more familiar with the rules and lists of BFG, I decided to make that happen.

Painted in the same colors as the marines, the first Battle Barge Honor Sanguine is able to carry three full companies of space marines easily. This "home away from home" is where a great deal of the chapter's marines spend their time when they are away from the Fortress Monastery that houses the chapter's training and recruitment centers. It is a vessel purpose-built for planetary assaults, but well-armored and well-armed enough to acquit itself admirably in a fleet engagement.

It is soon to be accompanied by two strike cruisers, the Sanguine Retribution and the Vermilion Restitution, as soon as they leave the drydock with fresh paint jobs!

More BFG goodies are sure to come, so keep checking back! I still have been meaning to get around to showing off my Tyranid Cruiser that was scratch-built, so stay tuned!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tyranid Kraken Escort Size Comparison

I've been hard at work on the hive fleet, and I have set down an STC for building Kraken escort ships out of bits. Here they are in their initial stage of production:

Now I got some questions about the size of it... some people were thinking it might be better used as a cruiser. It is about half as long as a Chaos cruiser, so I didn't think so. Pictures are better at describing it though, so you can be the judge! Here is an STC Kraken next to a Chaos Styx Cruiser

I've got more BFG goodies on the way, so keep checking back!
Until next time,

Friday, April 16, 2010

My first step into professional painting

Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of this event, but last night I went to my local gaming store and landed my first painting commission! I was going to be there for several hours, but nobody had brought their 40k to play. So I was sitting there being bored, contemplating on whether or not I wanted to stay, when one of the newer players walked in with his brand-new AOBR set.

He had built his captain using a Jump pack instead of a normal pack. He had already decided that he wanted his space marines to be Ultramarine 2nd Company. He had come into the store to pay another local painter 20 dollars to paint the model. I didn't know that, but when I heard he was going to have the other painter do the job I offered to do it in his absence, if only to give me something to do instead of turning back for home. The player confessed that he was going to pay the guy, but I only insisted on him paying to rent the store paints and brushes so I could do the job while I was there, because I didn't know the next time I would be in town. He did that, and still compensated me for my time by a couple dollars. I was kind of shocked when he told me that he was intending on paying the other painter 20 dollars to have it painted, and I was saving him a bit of dough.

Maybe I should have charged $20.....

I spent 4.5 hours painting it in the store, with the player giving me constant input. The result was a model that he carried around the shop, proudly showing anybody who would look. That in itself was a pretty good compensation, because I was a bit flattered that he thought so highly of the job I did.

Next time I'm taking my camera, just in case.

Is this a step forward for me? Does this mean I am finally crossing over the threshold from amateurism into professionalism? I suppose only time will tell.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scratch-built BFG Tyranid Hive Ship

As part of a project designed to kick-start a BFG campaign that extends into 40k, I decided to scratchbuild a BFG fleet with parts left over from my Tyranids.

First up is a Hive Ship, which is the basis for the entire fleet. It can become a veritable pillbox with 14 hits, and up to 6 spores that act as shields as well as turrets. It also acts much like synaptic control creature in 40k, keeping the lesser vessels' baser instincts in check.

It is the only Attack-Craft capable Tyranid vessel, but due to its customization options it can be more than sufficient at that role. It can take up to 3 Launch bays on each side of the vessel and one in the thorax, allowing for up to 7 squadrons of fighters or assault boats to be launched in a single turn.

It's ability to customize also allows it to be a true-to-purpose Battleship, with multiple pyro-acid batteries or bio-plasma spines. The weapons are short range, but with the extra spores and hits, this beast should have no trouble making it into range.

"What about the cost?" you surely must be thinking... but it is cheaper than common sense would dictate. A "Plasma-boat" hive ship, with effectively strength 14 broadside lance shots (although 15cm range) with extra carapace (+4 hits) and spores (making 6 total) and an upgrade to turn 5cm sooner, costs less than a space marine battlebarge. Don't let this kind of ship get within 15cm, or kiss your ships goodbye.

Next time, we'll go over the next capital ship in the Tyranid Armada: the Tyranid Cruiser.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

BFG Files for AB

If you are a tyranid fleet player, you know that the BFG files for AB stink. There is next-to-nothing in the way of options... especially in hive evolution options. I have re-done some of the datafiles to remedy the problem:


Note: you need to disable debugging in AB 3.2 if you wish to use these files.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

New (beta) Campaign rules for BFG and 40k

I was reading through the BFG campaign rules, and there is no way to incorporate Tyranids into a BFG campaign. I aim to change that. I'm making a new, simplified version of BFG campaigns that can tie into games of 40k if desired.

Here's my ideas on how such a campaign might go, try to stay with me:

Use a sub-sector map from the campaign section of BFG or one of the BFG supplements. Each player in the campaign rolls off, and in order from highest (re-rolling ties obviously) to lowest gets to pick the node that will be their starting node. Nodes that are not home bases are neutral nodes.

Each player rolls off again, to determine first campaign turn. Once the order is set, it remains that way for the rest of the campaign. Then each player takes their turn, in which they can attack adjacent nodes to their node. In order to take a system, the attack undergoes 3 phases: BFG Raid, BFG Planetary assault, 40k Battle, in that order (for the attacker). In his turn, each player make 2 attempts to advance his or her invasion of a system by a phase, or attempt to reverse another player's invasion, of a system that the player (who is taking his turn) owns, by a phase. Neutral systems skip the phase system, and instead determine the success of the invading fleet by rolling 2d6, which counts as one of the two attacks the player can make during his turn.

When rolling the 2d6 to determine if the attack was successful (and thus bringing the system under your control), you are successful if you roll equal to or below the highest leadership score in your fleet. If you roll snake eyes, it is an automatic success and does not take up one of the attacks you can make during your turn. If you roll above your leadership statistic, it is a failure, and you waste an attempt/attack. If you roll two 6's, the invasion is such a catastrophic failure that you can make no more attacks the rest of your player turn, no matter how many attacks you had remaining.

When making an attack on an enemy occupied system, the attack first begins at the BFG raid phase. Roll on the scenario table for raids and play the game that results. The attacker and defender are determined easily; the player commencing the invasion is the attacker and the player defending the system is the defender (duh!). The players then play the corresponding game. If the attacker is the winner, his invasion advances to the next phase. If the defender is the winner, the invasion is pushed back a phase. For example, if a player decided to attack a system, he would then play a Raid scenario against the system's owner. If the attacking player should win, he then has the option to play a second game that is a BFG Planetary Assault mission (since players can make two attacks per player turn). If he should win again, his invasion will advance to the next phase, which is the 40k game. Should he lose, his invasion stalls, and he'll remain in the BFG Planetary Assault phase when he takes his turn next (unless forced back, see below). Since he can only make 2 attempts to advance his invasion per his player turn, he would have to wait until his next turn to attempt to finish the assault.

In a player turn, a player can also choose to try to reverse the advance of an invading force into one of his occupied systems, using one of his 2 attacks for the turn. If another player's advance is at BFG planetary assault or 40k battle into the defender's system, the defender can go on the offensive during his turn to try and oust the invaders. In this case, the former defender becomes the attacker of the scenario. If the player wins, he forces the invasion back to its previous phase. If he loses, the invasion remains at its current phase.

Did I explain that well enough? Obviously this needs embellishing, clarifying, and defining, but I think this is a great basis for tying together BFG games with 40k games. My wife and I may be testing this out soon for ourselves.

Can anybody with experience running campaigns give me some feedback with this? BFG experience would be helpful as well.

Until then, it's late, so I need to turn in.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For Sale: Sisters of Battle

Up for sale, I have the Sisters of Battle that I had purchased for my wife (in a vain attempt to try to get her involved in my nerd-dom). They have been primed, but not painted.

Also for sale, the customized Rhino I built to go with them.

More pictures and the prices can be found in this thread on Dakka Dakka: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/288792.page

I also have for sale a Chaos Planetkiller BFG ship, but that is on ebay for the next 3 days only. Find it here:


I would appreciate any bids or purchase you make! Take care.

Honor Guard WIP

This is a pictorial timeline of a Honor Guard model I am working on. I am by no means a great painter, but I do believe that I have come a long way from the kind of painting I used to do as a young'un. I worked on this model over the course of the day, between watching the kids and other household projects, and managed to do a pretty good job. The Devil is in the details, I like to say.

I pilfered a couple of great bits from the Sanguinary Guard kit to make this model, and combined it with regular SM Assault Squad bits I had left over. I absolutely love the wrist-mounted Infernus, and the head isn't half bad either.

I tried out a couple of techniques with this model that I normally do not attempt. I tried to paint the powersword in a style I have seen around, and I attempted to make the infernus barrel look like it is still red-hot. What do you think?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mephiston Resurrected

I'm sure many old Mephiston models were getting repainted in the last few weeks, and my own model was no different. I had painted him early on in my hobby career, so I now knew many techniques that I could have used to paint him better.

First, I applied sepia washes to all the gold to bring out the color and definition. Then I went to work on his cloak, highlighting up in colors that were more appropriate. When I had painted him last, I had painted his cloak Scab Red, and I thought that simply adding white to your color was how you achieved highlights. Now I know that there has to be some yellow added, otherwise it doesn't accurately simulate highlights correctly. So this time around I repainted it mechrite red, and then highlighted with first a 50/50 mix of blood red and mechrite, then a full blood red. An ogryn flesh wash tied the colors together at the end and brought out the definition in the cloak.

I wanted his inner robes to be a lighter red, so I started with blood red and used blazing orange to achieve the highlights I desired. An Ogryn flesh again tied the colors together and brought out the definition.

I also applied a wash of thrakka green to the plasma coils to bring out definition, as well as repainted all the jewels to make them brighter.

A little photoshop-fu and he was resurrected, ready to do battle!

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let's Talk Tactics: Alternatives to Mechanized

It is pretty obvious these days that Mech is King. King of the competitive scene, at the least. All competitive lists I have seen in the past half-year or so have been at least semi-mech if not completely mechanized. It seems to work, if used properly, but why is it so popular? Let's investigate.

What makes transport vehicles desirable? In the real world, the answer is obvious: it puts a layer of steel between you and the bullets, and gets you where you are going without you having to hoof it. The tabletop reasons are much the same: it provides extra protection for the troops being transported as well as gets them where they need to go faster. Since a lot of transports are not especially durable, it can be assumed that it is more for the second reason of maneuverability rather than the first reason of protection.

Maneuverability, in objective games, allows you to position your troops onto objectives easily. This in turn allows your troops to dig in, utilize cover, break out the heavy weapons, etc. The faster you can take the objectives, the faster you can make use of defensive positions. In annihilation games, maneuverability can let you run circles around enemies. This can give vehicles protection against assaults, or units with longer ranged weaponry can outdistance their foes to stay a step ahead.

So, now that can assume to know what the main benefit of Mech lists, how are some ways we can mimic the benefit?

1st: Fast running- Tyranids commonly make use of this by including lots of units that have Fleet of Foot or Move Through Cover. They can cover the distance quickly from friendly deployment zone to hostile deployment zone, and everywhere in between. This benefits them directly since they are primarily assault-oriented (the units that have those USRs, that is) or close-distance-shooters.

2nd: Deepstriking- Tyranids, SM, and Daemons can all make extensive use of this deployment strategy. The unit can come down anywhere on the field, which has obvious benefits, but the drawbacks can be severe. First, the randomness of the final deepstrike position can prove problematic if you are relying on short-range weaponry like meltaguns. Unless the unit has a "failsafe" rule that prevents mishaps, like the SM Drop Pod, this deployment can be a gamble. Sometimes you lose the bet. It really hurts your strategy when a fully-kitted terminator squad materializes inside a rock and the entire unit is lost...

3rd: Bike or Jetbikes- These units are blazingly fast, especially when used in conjunction with turbo boosters. The downside is that they can be blazingly expensive! They do benefit from some increased durability, but there are also risks involved when navigating any sort of difficult terrain (except for jet bikes). Another benefit is that some of these units can mount heavy weapons like Heavy Bolters or Multimeltas. What is even better is that they can use them on the move, due to bikes having the Relentless USR conferred. These units are great, and White Scars or Ravenwing players will swear by them, but they are just too few in number to base an army on in my opinion.

4th: Jump or Jet Packs- Here is where the Blood Angels come into their own. Somewhat more expensive than their footslogging brethren, Jump packs enable consistent movement at double the infantryman's normal rate. Most jump packs also confer the Deepstrike special rule, making them useful for alternative deployment strategies as well. Jet packs, used by Tau, also confer the Relentless USR like bikes do. The humble jump pack, however, is cheap enough to be widely distributed across an army without reducing its numbers too significantly. Furthermore, with the release of the new Blood Angels codex, it can be added to some very effective units to make a highly-mobile strike force. Sanguinary Guard utilize 2+ saves, and when coupled with Jump Packs this enables them to move from cover to cover quickly, making for some very effective assault units.

What are some benefits to using alternatives to Mech in this current trend? It really depends on your chosen codex and the alternative being used, but here are some common factors:

A) Lots of Mech lists make thorough use of anti-vehicular weaponry. With an alternative list like one of those listed above, those anti-vehicular weapons such as Meltaguns have less effect. They can only kill a single model at a time, normally, and this will not deter a normal infantry unit.

B) You cannot be immobilized or shaken if you do not use transports, meaning that your movement will be a lot more consistent. Your opponent would have to destroy, route, or pin an entire unit to prevent it from moving.

C) All of your units will have an opportunity to fire, not just what can see out a fire point.

D) There's no risk of an exploding transport damaging the units carried within if you utilize an alternative list.

E) You don't give up killpoints for thinly-armored transports.

To be fair, here are some of the downsides to neglecting transports:

A) There is less protection from small arms fire. Even the lightest-armored vehicle is immune to lasgun shots, but the same is not true for most of the alternative unit types listed above. Transports that utilize heavier armor (like the Valkyrie, or the new Storm Raven) are even better off in this department. A Land Raider is immune to anything below S8, which makes them pretty attractive as pillboxes.

B) A lot of transports can mount heavy weaponry and fire them even on the move. It is hard to argue with the payload that can be mounted on a Vendetta, or the new Storm Raven. This makes the transports dual-purpose, which can be a better expenditure of points and a better distribution of the killpoint. It also enables them to support the unit they are transporting by doing more than just drawing fire.

C) In some situations, it can be beneficial to deploy the "transportee" separate of the transport in order to get more units on the table. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as to provide cover for weak units, block LOS to other units, or simply present more targets for the enemy to divide fire between. You cannot do this if you don't have the transports to separate from the cargo.

So with these thoughts in mind, I set about creating a Jump-Pack spam list with the new BA Codex. I intend to utilize the "Descent of Angels" special rule to maximize my maneuverability while minimizing the available killpoints (which is the bane of my mech IG) by limiting vehicle use. Here is what I have so far, based on the models I have:

Mephiston (Has a psychic power that enables him to move as if a jump pack)
Jump-equipped Honor Guard with some upgrades
Sanguinary Guard with some upgrades
3 Assault squads with 2 meltaguns each, full 10 man squads.

That's right, count them... 6 killpoints total, 9 maximum if I combat squad the assault squads. 30 Scoring marines, which is as good as any marine list normally is, and a total of 6 meltaguns and 2 infernus pistols. I can combat the assault squads if neccessary to give me more scoring units, but they're pretty tough in full size squads. This list is definitely designed to drop in the opponent's face and kick the enemy square in the... Baals. Mephiston is a monster all of his own, and I intend to keep him out of sight until I have some supporting units to assist him. He is interchangable with Dante in this list, in case I decide I need the Sanguinary Guard to be scoring or I want to utilize his pin-point deepstrikes. It is similar to a Deathwing list, with a low model count, but it is much more maneuverable and aggressive.

So, in closing, what kind of alternative lists have you come up with to counter the mechanized trend? What reasons do you stick with Mech over an alternative for?

Please, gentlemen, feel free to discuss.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On my table: 4/06/10

I finally got my new Blood Angels codex! My Sons of Baal will finally see some action! But first, I ordered a new Sanguinary Guard kit to go with them. This is a treasure trove for converters and kitbashers, as a single kit provided a complete Sanguinary Guard squad and enough left over bits to bash together a Honor Guard / Veteran Squad with the simple addition of an assault squad box.

I had a single Apothecary model lying around, so I used leftover bits to convert him into the Sanguinary Novitiate for the Honor Guard. The Sanguinary Guard box had 2 extra sets of 5 heads, and an extra 5 shoulder pads, not to mention numerous other bits that are to find their way into my kitbashes.

I imagine that the Death Guard kit is the same. I intend to pick up one of those when I have the dough.

Until next time,

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sons of Baal: Death Company Test Scheme

I've never gotten around to painting my Death Company marines, despite having them for about a year. I finally got around to painting up a test, as well as trying out a new technique: painting the eyes as gems.

Some things are the same, such as the grungy look as if they have been wading through soot, and the over-abundance of gold. I did not want the typical all-black death company, as that seems a bit much to me. I can understand painting the shoulder pieces, and putting an X over them, but to totally repaint the armor just before a battle seemed a bit weird.

Well... whaddya think? How does this scheme fit in with the rest of my Successor chapter?

Until next time,


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