Sunday, September 24, 2017

Death Guard Hell Blade

Week 5 of the Fate of Konor campaign was set on a water world, and as such, the theme emphasized flyers and fast attack units. My Death Guard had struggled much in the campaign scenarios that required the attacker to move swiftly across the board. Because of this I realized something more was needed to capture this ocean planet for Chaos. 

I decided to scratch-build a chaos hell blade to get myself a fast harrier. It seemed simple enough to get together, and most of the construction was accomplished over a weekend. 

Ironically, me, my wife, and kids all got sick that week, and I missed the entire round. So even though the model was built and spray-primed black, it was somewhat lost in the bustle of taking care of the family. 

So something like a month has gone by and I decided to get back to finishing it up.

I've got the basic color scheme down, with a couple washes done to dirty it up.

I'm going to go in and bring out the details next. Definitely want to spend time getting the cockpit glass looking nice since it's such a focal point.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Renegade Rough Rider Reboot

Years ago I got laid off my job, my wife was starting law school, and we could no longer afford to pay rent. We ended up having to move into my in-laws' house. It was a tough time. Money was short. I remember kitbashing some cavalry for my renegade guard army at the time. I never really got the opportunity to finish them. I just didn't have the budget to get the bits I needed. This month, after a very long hiatus, I am happy to revisit this project.

It's been a crazy ride. These models take me back.

Today I picked up some 60x35mm oval bases, and I think these are the best fit. They were originally mounted on 40mm circles, but were spilling off the edges pretty bad.

Plasma guy arm courtesy of the Tempestus Scions kit.

Can't remember where the lasgun with strap came from. Maybe Catachan Infanty kit.

This is my favorite guy. Head is from a Warhammer Age of Sigmar Ogres kit.

I still need to do some tidying up work. Probably need to sculpt some straps and a few more bits to tie it all together. The spears are all different, so I need to sort out some suitable explosive tips that look the part. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Heretic Jones

I built a non-combat vehicle a few weeks back as a sort of exercise. Inspired largely by the galvanic servohaulers kit, I wanted something that looked industrial for my chaos renegades force. I opted for simple and mostly harmless, and thus was born Heretic Jones, and his mildly daemon-possessed light carrier.

Heretic Jones is dedicated to the chaos god of slacking-off off and not getting horribly obliterated. Because of this disposition he manages to get by without anyone else really noticing him. 

Once, Heretic Jones' supervisor tried to press him into combat as a counts-as Centaur, but during deployment he was suddenly nowhere to be found.

I want to make more of these.

Keep on truckin'

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Macharius Vulcan Camo Netting

I decided to try something new over the weekend. Inspired by the Forgeworld Masterclass piece on how to make camo netting, I decided to give it a shot. My Macharius Vulcan seemed like a good candidate for the experiment since it's larger than the standard 40k vehicle, and there are plenty of large, flat surfaces to muck around with.

Since the wife went out for a ladies' night, and the kids were in bed I was free to queue up some youtube tutorials and take over the family room for the evening.

I distressed some medical gauze and soaked it in a mix of water, PVA glue and paint. After that I hung the gauze to drip dry for a few minutes. I added some wire hooks on the Macharius to hold the netting. Next I rolled up the gauze and stretched it onto the hooks. That was the fun part. It was a mess, but I didn't mind. Painting will come later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ship Profile - Aquan Stingray Destroyer

For today's Firestorm Armada post I want to look at the Aquan destroyer class Stingray, discuss its aesthetic, compare and contrast it to other Aquan vessels, and speculate on its design development.

A gamer at our local club was complaining about the Stingray a few weeks back. This diatribe mostly focused on its rules and stats in the game, which I have no strong opinions on either way. But as a parting shot he criticized the ship's aesthetic, saying that it does not even fit with the rest of the Aquan theme.

I've been mulling over the look of the Stringray since that conversation. While it is certainly different from other models in the Aquan line, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It has a more classic sci-fi feel to it. I can't put my finger on the exact reference in my memory, but there's a hint of nostalgia surrounding it. Maybe something from an old video game from the 80's. For now I'll call it the retro look.

The Stingray is definitely Aquan. It sports beam crystals on the wings and dorsal bridge. Forgive me, I don't know their actual term. Beam emitters? It also has the ion projector crystals used for non-FTL thrust. Correct me if I'm wrong, but off the top of my head I thought I read in the Alliance of Kurak book that all Aquan ships use human-invented FTL technology for interstellar travel. I'm not sure what FTL technology actually looks like.

In contrast to other Aquan ships, the Stingray's scalloped hull almost gives a sense that it is aerodynamic. I think this is more of a form over function decision on the Spartan designer's behalf, which is fine. Fortunately we have actual examples of Aquan atmospheric flyers through the Planetfall range of models. All examples of those are more flying manta ray in appearance, so the Stingray is defintely the odd duck out. It is actually comparatively slow in Firestorm Armada with a movement of 7" which may support the form over function theory.

My in-universe speculation is that the Stingray was one of the first dedicated warships that the Aquans developed in direct response to piracy and raiders. It seems like the sort of vessel that would patrol supply lines, sowing mines, and reaching out at long range to discourage opportunistic privateers.

The Snapper corvette may have also been developed alongside the Stingray destroyer as the hound sent in to flush out game, driving it into the hunter's waiting guns. The two ship types have more in common aesthetically than any other Aquan vessels, which could still be coincidence.

Will we see future Aquan ships in the style of the Stingray? I would welcome it. Spartan has said all previous iterations of these models are canon, and one can see a tip of the hat to old design cues in newer ships. Something to think about.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Firestorm Armada Battle Report - Make New Friends!

Game 3 of our club's narrative Firestorm campaign saw the Aquan fleet stumble upon an inhabited world in the Archadian Gate. Eager to make allies in this disputed region of space, the Aquans would need to be careful with how first contact was handled. Not wishing to provoke the world's inhabitants with a display of force, it was decided that the majority of the fleet was to be held in reserve. The flagship and a modest gunship squadron would make for a space station orbiting the planet.

Suddenly, an enemy fleet of the most reviled Directorate was detected in a patch of anomalous gaseous beyond the space station! (Relthoza ship used as proxy for the station)

Before the Aquan commander had time to understand the nature of the attack it was already over. The Directorate hit the Aquan battleship with a torrent of cyber warfare. Sensors that monitored temperature and pH levels inside the ship began receiving erroneous data and responded by attempting to compensate.

The results were catastrophic.

The crew inside the Aquan flagship, so intent on making contact with the space station, had been caught unprepared for what any more experienced Aquan officer would recognize as basic Directorate tactics.

In less than 30 minutes, Directorate forces boarded the Aquan flagship unopposed. The crew had been incapacitated, some dead, others dying. The lifeblood of the ship had been poisoned...

A monstrous Directorate battle station emerged from the veil. Some smug corporate hacker aboard would be getting a raise and promotion by day's end. The local system inhabitants had witnessed the entire scene, and must have been horrified. For they proceeded to answer each of the Directorate fleet's hails with volleys of torpedoes.

The remainder of the Aquan fleet shunted in at this point. The scene unfolding before them gave even the most stalwart among their crews pause: their flagship dead in space, Directorate forces swarming the gunships, and a battle station looming in the middle distance.

The local inhabitants and their world were an afterthought-- set dressing-- to the greed and ruthlessness of the Directorate.

And moments later the Aquan reserves were crushed as yet another capital ship fell to the Directorate onslaught!

Appalled, the Aquan corvettes turned their torpedoes on the captured ship to deny their enemy this one satisfaction...

Aftermath: It was a rough game for the Aquans. I was outmatched by a superior opponent, and realized this pretty early on. At that point I decided to go into learning mode and see what could be salvaged as events unfolded.

On the list of pros, I managed to make first contact with the inhabitants of the planet. They must have felt sympathy for me because my opponent kept failing his contact rolls!

Looking to the future I'd like to get my guardian shoal fleet painted up soon and hopefully take a run at landing on that planet...

Monday, June 5, 2017

Firestorm Armada Battle Report - Memorial Day Weekend 2017

I got together with longtime gaming buddy, James, for a game of Firestorm Armada during the holiday weekend. It was a leisurely afternoon at the local gaming club, and I decided to document our game. We agreed on 1200 point fleets, and a straightforward battle with no objectives or battlelog beyond annihilating the opposing fleet.

James's Relthoza fleet consisted of a battleship with 2 frigate accompaniment, 4 Nidus frigates, 4 Widow frigates, 3 cruisers, 3 heavy cruisers, and a battle station. His admiral was on the battleship. He decided to hold the station and a squadron of frigates in reserve, so they're not pictured above.

My Aquan fleet was an Oannes heavy carrier with Sulis accompaniment, 4 Isonade frigates, 2 Shiva gunships (also with a Sulis), 6 Snapper corvettes, 4 Chimera frigates, and a Nectridea carrier (held in reserve). My admiral was stationed on the battle carrier.

Turn 1 started off with me playing Drives to Maximum on my corvettes and heavy carrier. The corvettes immediately jumped out to put pressure on the left flank.

The Relthoza deployed within the safety of some asteroid fields and were content to bide their time. Aquan torpedoes sailed wide as the clutch of stealthy spiders grinned in the darkness.

On the right flank some Aquan Chimeras ranging out on picket duty suddenly picked up hard returns as Relthoza frigates suddenly shunted in.

The Oannes heavy carrier and her Sulis moved up on the left, not quite making it into the relative cover of a gas cloud. Interceptors spilled out of her launch bays to protect the fleet.

Turn 1 ended with very few shots landed as the Relthoza menace remained cloaked and out of reach.

Turn 2 began and I decided to give the Isonade cruisers Power to Shields and push them up the center. Sure enough, this drew the spiders out.

 "The Relthoza battleship emerged from behind the bilious debris fields, decloaking to reveal her horrific splendor. Frigate carriers disgorged interceptors. These swarmed about her girth like a cloud of gnats. 

More Aquan torpedoes sailed towards the Rethoza battleship, but few survived the gauntlet of point defense and interceptors to cause significant damage."

The Isonade cruiser squadron ate a lot of shots on Turn 2, and even with +1 to their shields took losses. My corvettes jumped out of the gas cloud and laid in with their torpedoes. And there were some Sulis trick-shots that continued chip away at the Relthoza battleship. That thing is a beast.

 My frigates on the right flank managed to get in, broadside some stuff, and then die. 

My Nectridea carrier came in on the right board edge and scattered horribly into the Relthoza corner. I made a mistake and should probably have shunted it in. Even with Quick Launch, its bomber wings were too far away to have a meaningful impact on the game.

Down one Isonade cruiser, with another taking damage.

His Relthoza battleship laughed off torpedoes, beams, and stinging Sebrutan insults...

Down to one cruiser. I started picking on his carrier frigates to remove the Relthoza interceptors.

The board as of turn 3. I tried in vain to get that Nectridea carrier across the board.

Oh.... oh... the Relthoza battle station just shunted in at this point. This could not be good. 

And then the battle station proceeded to blast everything.

On turn 4 my Oannes heavy carrier succumbed to its wounds.

The battle station punched my Nectridea carrier in the face and all but crippled it. 

As my line collapsed I finally destroyed the dreaded Relthoza battleship. Too little, too late!

At this point I decided to call it. My surviving ships were in much worse shape than his. Victory to James and his Relthoza fleet!

Aftermath: This was my second 1200 point game and I learned a lot. Battleships are tough! His absorbed 4 turns of concentrated fire from most of my fleet before going down. That seems crazy when compared to my squishy carrier tier 1's. That said, I purchased the Aquan patrol fleet box so I'll be looking forward to deploying my own battleship next time.

I need more practice when it comes to bouncing shots off of the Sulis arrays, combining AD, and using energy transfer on my beams. 

James is a great opponent and I had a blast. Gotta also give a shout-out to all the other guys in my club who are enthusiastic and great at teaching this game.