Friday, April 29, 2011

Back to Warmachine

It's been, well, since before I started this blog that I last played a game of Warmachine, and to keep things from getting repetitive Demitra and I are pulling out our respective armies and once again going at it. Today's army focuses on ranged combat, with every model able to shoot (and damage) high defense/high armor targets.
Today's 35 point army consists of:

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane (+5 Warjack Points)
-Defender Heavy Warjack (9 points)
-Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1 point)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 points)
-Hunter Light Warjack (6 points)

10x Long Gunners (10 points)

Stormblades (5 points)
-Stormblade Officer & Standard Bearer (3 points)

3x Stormcaller Stormsmiths (3 points)

The Stormsmiths will focus on Warjack disruption, along with officer sniping. The Journeyman Warcaster & his Hunter will dismantle enemy heavy warjacks as they attempt to close. The Long Gunners are the perfect blend of accuracy and power, able to wreck heavy Warjacks as easily as they can pick off high defense infantry. The Stormblades will be held back, waiting to inflict the killing blow on whatever survives the army's firepower.

Finally, there's Siege. Between Reinholdt's "Reload" ability and the Defender, Siege and his Battle Group can crank out three blast markers a turn. Perfect for ferreting enemy units out of cover!

We'll see how this army stands up to Demitra's "Winter Guard Deathstar" army, as I'm going to refuse to advance on him and make him come to me for a change.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Big, Bad Skaven

Whole Lotta Skaven Goin' On
 Well, the 2,250 point Skaven vs. Orcs & Goblins showdown has been made official, and a date has been set. This Friday there will be a clash of horde armies, and I may be fighting uphill in terms of sheer volume of models. "Why?" you may find yourself asking. Simple. I'm taking every big model I own. "Why?" you may again ask. Well, either I've never used them before, or I forgot some of a given model's rules, leading to it under-performing in previous battles. Plus, big honkin' models are just cool. The only model I'm unsure about is the Screaming Bell, as it seems counter-intuitive to place my non-fighty general directly in harm's way. Luckily, as long as the Screaming Bell itself does not get wrecked, the unit pushing it is Unbreakable. Added to the impact hits the unit will cause, plus the inclusion of three sledgehammer close-combat units. Now, I'm not too sure how this army will preform as it's got a bunch of unknown factors in it, but there's enough to this army that I am sure of to make me comfortable enough with it to field it.

"But what is actually in this army?" you may well ask.
"You ask too many questions," I'd reply. Then I'd rattle off the following army list:

1x Grey Seer (General) with Screaming Bell, Power Scroll, Ironcurse Icon (480 points)

1x Chieftain Battle Standard Bearer with Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Preservation (120 points)
1x Warlock Engineer with Warplock Pistol, Doomrocket (53 points)

44x Clanrats with shields, full command; attached Poison Wind Mortar (283 points)
40x Clanrats with shields, full command; attached Poison Wind Mortar (265 points)
40x Skavenslaves (80 points)
40x Skavenslaves (80 points)

7x Gutter Runners with slings, Poisoned Attacks (126 points)
6xRat Ogres; 4x Packmasters (272 points)

1x Doomwheel (150points)
1x Hell Pit Abomination with Warpstone Spikes (250 points)
1x Warp-Lightning Cannon (90 points)

As you can see, I dumped a lot of points into Rare units, and kept my Heroes to a minimum. Really, all that's required of Skaven characters is to have a commander and a Battle Standard Bearer to keep your low-leadership rats in line.

That's all for this army list, as I don't really want to give away my tactics until after the battle, but let's just say that no flank is safe from this army.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Dark Eldar Evilness

Well, my second Raider is done, this time with a decal on the posted image. I'm sticking with the standard Dark Lance armament to give my squads the ability to take on multiple target types. The Lance combined with the squad's Splinter Cannon will hopefully allow me to open up APCs at range and thin out the contents as they close on me.

The more I think about, the more likely I am to drop the Raiders for my Incubi and instead go with Venoms. Of course, this is dependent upon weather they are released in the next Dark Eldar wave, as I'm not about to spend $70-90 per 5-man transport for the pleasure of converting one out of a Raider and a Vyper (plus whatever bits I have to order online).

Next up are my Incubi. I decided to go with the same green armor the Warriors wear. I'm thinking about giving the Klaives (their big, giant swords) black blades, as the bronze I've been using just doesn't look intimidating enough to me.

Supposing I do go with Venoms instead of Raiders for these guys' rides, they'll be split up into three squads of four rather than two squads of seven. The remaining points would then be juggled around to include a third Haemonculus.

Last up is my first Haemonculus. All of them will be armed with Liquifier guns. He's also armed with some sort of claw weapon, but rather than invest points into a weapon he should never get a chance to use, I'm counting it as a regular close combat weapon rather than, say, an Agoniser.

That's it for my painting progress over the last few days. I still have a second Haemonculus and eight more Incubi to paint.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and pick up a third Haemonculus before the next wave of Dark Eldar come out and potentially make the models I'm currently using to represent my army's HQ choices obsolete, and making them impossible to purchase again.

I'm not about to panic-buy again, though. I'll wait until I but my Ravager if I do pick him up, thus getting myself free shipping without having to drive over to my local Games Workshop. Until then, I'll see what a Venom-based Dark Eldar force would look like. Honestly, I think I'll like it more despite losing 2 Incubi.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gaming in 15mm: Hordes of the Things

Hordes of the Things is a free to download 15/28mm army level game set in any fantasy universe you want it to be. This is made possible by dividing unit types into broad groups such as Heroes, Spears, Magicians, and Knights. Pretty much every conceivable regiment can fit under one of these headings. Armies consist of 24 points, and elements range in price from 1-6 points. Regiments are represented by strips of models which represent amassed units of infantry, the size and shape of which represent their training and bravery.

My primary reason for this article, however, is to show off my armies. They're destined to collect dust, as nobody around here plays the game, but I enjoy making and painting these armies.

I'll begin with the Arthurian army mentioned in the last post. The army consists of a Hero General (Arthur), a Magician (Merlin), 4 units of Knights (Knights of the Round Table) 2 units of Riders (squires) and 2 units of Shooters (archers). This is an aggressive army which favors wide, outflanking moves and army disruption, The Hero General excels in combat, but has to be careful not to get stranded away from the rest of the army, lest he be overrun by peons. The Magician is good for taking out enemy heroes, as his ability to bespell them removes them from the board unless the controlling player forgoes activating 6 units in the same turn (which is a very big deal).

Next is my Viking army. The diversity of Hordes of the Things allows for historical armies to clash against fantasy ones. This army consists of a Hero General (Jarl), 4 units of Blades (Axemen), 2 Warbands (Berserkers), 4 Hordes (Bondsmen), and 2 units of riders (Cavalry).

This army benefits from a coherent battle plan, focusing on disrupting the enemy battle line while keeping the Axemen organized by harassing the flanks of enemy formations with the Riders, and sacrificing the Hordes to prevent enemies from doing the same to them. The Warbands and Hero are for providing a sledgehammer to break up prolonged combats.

Next up comes standard fantasy fare- Dwarfs. This army has a Blades General (Dwarf King), three more Blades (Clansdwarfs), three shooters (Crossbows), Three units of Knights (Bear Cavalry), and a Hero (Dwarf Prince on Bear). The reasoning for placing the General in the Blades unit is to represent his slow nature and less than stellar close combat capability (he's getting kind of old...). This is a sturdy, slow moving army designed to grind with an enemy army and come out ahead. The Hero is again the hammer to the dwarf line's anvil. The fact that he's not the army General allows him to take risks that Arthur could not.

...And now the armies get a little weird. These are the "Accursed Getinmabeli", savage pygmy women compelled to eat men. The army is made up of a Hero General (Matriarch), a God (Tiki God), 3 Spears (Spearwomen), 2 Warbands (Axewomen), 2 Shooters (Archers) and 2 Lurkers (Blowpipers). This is an infantry based disruption army. These warrior-women want as many forests on the table as possible to compliment the speed and terror effect of the Warbands and Lurkers. The God is the ultimate disruption unit with his ability to appear almost anywhere on the board and massive combat capability. The fickle nature of Gods makes the model a bit unpredictable (he may leave at the beginning of any turn), but until he leaves he's a force to be reckoned with.

My final army gets really weird. This is the army of the Penguish Civil War. Yes, that is an army of penguins armed with icicles and snow balls. This represent the pike and shotte nature of an English Civil War army made of Penguins. The army consists of a Rider General (a Seal Cavalry Officer), 3 more units of Riders (Seal Cavalry), 4 Shooters (Penguins with Snowballs), 2 units of Spears (Icicle Pikemen), and a Behemoth (Polar Bear). Yes, I know that Polar Bears are arctic creatures, not antarctic. It's a spoof army, so give me a break. Honestly, I've never used this army, or considered how it would play. It's just a nifty army I wanted to show off.

That's it for my Hordes of the Things armies. I may post a short, solitaire game report in the future, but don't hold your breath...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Doing the Unthinkable

Well, after a long wait, my box from G.W. finally arrived today. Actually, it arrived a few days ago, the rental office just didn't tell me (*grumble grumble*). While putting together my Incubi and Haemonculi a thought donned on me. I just don't stand a chance against a mini Green Tide (54 Orks) at the 500 point level. I may have to (gasp!) tailor my list.

Now, this is a practice I despise. An army list should be built to take on all comers, not to disassemble your opponent's carefully chosen, modelled, and painted army. To me, tailoring your army to face another is heresey- metagaming in it's worst form. The counter-argument is that it's just good tactical sense, and I can understand that way of thinking, I just strongly disagree. Now, I come from the side of the game that walks into his Friendly Local Game Store and  just grabbs a table and an opponent, whips out his army list, and goes at it. The side of the game that plays tournaments, and therefore has to build an army to face any threat. This, I believe, is how the game should be played.

I have faced opponents who think differently. I have had army lists pulled out of a big binder, each tailored to play a specific type of army. I have faced opponents who have built their army lists while looking at what my army consists of. This second type is one of the lowest forms of gaming in my opinion- just barely above cheating and rules-lawyering.

I don't want to be that second type, but the army I will face is so extreme that I simply have no other way to have any chance at winning. I cannot hope to prevail against that many Orks in close combat, and with a single Splinter Cannon and a handful of Splinter Rifles as fire support, I just don't think I have any way to thin out the horde before it de-mechs me and procedes to beat the hell out of my poor Wyches and Incubi. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I present my revised 500 point list:

Haemonculus with Liquifier Gun

4x Incubi

10x Kabalite Warriors with Blaster & Splinter Cannon; Raider
10x Kabalite Warriors with Blaster & Splinter Cannon; Raider

Now, those with knowledge of the Dark Eldar Codex will notice that I didn't totally tailor my army to face a Green Tide. I still have Raiders, I only have two Kabalites (and they're carrying Blasters), and I kept the Incubi! Yes, I built the best army I could out of what my army will one day become. The inclusion of the Haemonculus with the Liquifier Gun in the Incubi is theonly real "anti-horde" tweak I included, and they're likely to just get charged as soon as they fire their weapon (or simply torrented off the board with Shootas). I still don't hold out much hope at the 500 point level, but I have a lot more than I did before.

In painting news, I started my second Raider. This one doesn't have all the chains attatched to it the first one did, and it's a lot more spikey as it was purchased with the Incubi in mind. I'll have pictures up as soon as I'm done painting it.

I also finished a project I've been working on for a while- a Hordes of the Things army. This time I've been working on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I purchased a bunch of Splintered Light Miniatures' Romano-British range, and painted them up a suitably heroic blue and silver. A little aquarium shop castle is the representation of Camelot under seige. Again, I'll have pictures up soon, it's just been a little tough putting up images lately (thus the picture of the Haemonculi greens rather than my actual models).

Hmm... Maybe I should do a whole post about Hordes of the Things. It would be a good chance to show off some more miniatures that have never seen the light of day (aside from the occasional sunbeam that reaches my display case).

No matter what, my next post WILL contain more pictures, and it should be up tomorrow (providing I can get some time in with my netbook).

Finally, to wrap up this semi-epic post (sorry for the wall o' text) my Plague Marines pulled another one out against Demitra's Blood Angels. Sweet, sweet revenge for the total drubbing of my poor, pathetic Deathwing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Return of Chaos

Answering Demitra's call for a game, the choice has been made. My forces return at the 1,750 point level- this time my Plague Marines.

My battle plan stays pretty much the same. Advance with the Daemon Princes and Rhinos with Flamers & Meltaguns. Squat on an objective with the Plasma Gunners, and wreck face with the Obliterators. The Obliterators will once again be deployed normally, as deep striking them not only loses me a turn of shooting (at least) with each squad, it potentially drops them right into the teeth of assaults.

I somewhat fear for the safety of my Darmon Princes, as I really stresssed to Demitra last time that he NEEDS to shoot them dead before they hit his lines...

This hopefully will take the heat off my Plague Marines and Obliterators, allowing me to thin the Assault Squads before they hit my lines. I trust my Plague Marines to beat the Assault Squads in close combat, I just worry that there may not be enough of them left to grab objectives. Of course, if we roll up Kill Points, that changes everything to a flat-out rush across the board under Obliterator fire support.

Here's hoping for revenge for the last game. My Plague Marines are lined up and ready to go on their cookie sheet. It's go time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dark Eldar and Torrents and Skaven

More and more I've been considering Demitra's and my relative 500 point armies, and I'm fairly sure it's safe to say I'm boned. I have one asset in my army, and that is mobility. 54 bodies with a 5+ Invulnerable save against my shooting (my only hope against his sheer volume of bodies). This leaves my main weapon, a squad capable of pumping out 21 shots on the move, wasted. The fact that all it takes is a single model within 6" of the Big Mek's Kustom Force Field (and both mobs easily will be) to gain this save is the biggest issue.

I've considered strategies, the biggest of which is avoidance and thinning the herd followed by the glorious charge, and there's one big problem with that. The "Green Tide" army has the answer to the Dark Eldar's one biggest weak point; torrenting attacks in assault.

If you don't know what "torrenting" attacks is, it's the concept of attacking so many times that the target must eventually fail its save. With a whopping Toughness of 3, Dark Eldar have very little chance of standing up to the massive volume of attacks the Orks will crank out. Then there's the shooting. Lots of Strength 4, 5, &8 shots will likely stun-lock my transports (which at 500 points cannot afford Flickerfields) if not simply downing them and leaving my warriors stranded.

So what, then, are my options? The most likely one is dropping the Incubi. They're a pretty big point-sink which, while very good at what they do, will likely fail at their mission. On the charge (and with a Raider and the Fleet Special rule they'll probably charge) they'll kill, on average, 5 Orks. Sure, this does mean the Orks will have to wipe out the unit to win, but through sheer volume of attacks they shouldn't have too much problem. After the assault any remaining Incubi lucky enough to have survived the Ork counter-offensive will likely only down a fraction of an Ork apiece.

Wyches are also a liability. They're great at tarpitting enemy units, but Ork Boyz are even better. The Wyches also have the liability of not being Incubi. Incubi are Strength 4, which allows them to wound Orks on a 4+, Wyches need a 5+ to wound. Again, Wyches are vulnerable to being torrented off the board, and with their low Toughness and worse save, will be handily dispatched.

This is not to say I won't try to defeat this army. I will. I just know that I'll be going into every game at this (and maybe the next) point level fighting an uphill battle. The Ork army simply has to saunter up to objectives and squat on them.

What, then, is my answer?
Well, I can't stand tailoring my army to deal with my opponent's, so that's out. I mean, sure, I could re-write my army to include no incubi and nothing but Raider-mounted Kabalite Warrior squads. That would address the bodies issue in a hurry. Against other armies, however, (and I do build my armies to take on all comers) all those Poisoned 4+ shots would kind of fail to do much damage.

I actually think my army fails to realize its true potential until the 2,000 point level right now. I think it's the Incubi's fault.
Clocking in at a hefty cost per model, they are consumate killing machines. They offer a ton of average (let's face it- Strength 4 is average in 40k) strength attacks, and with Feel No Pain granted by the Haemonculus who starts the game with them, are very, very good at offing elite units. This makes them an elite unit good at taking out elite units, which sort of ends up as a wash in my book. Well, I have other answers for elite units- Dark Lances. Lots of Dark Lances.

I am, however, at a loss as to one major aspect of my Incubi- They're the reason I started Dark Eldar in the first place. I'll have spent nearly $100 on miniatures which will do nothing other than collect dust if I switch them out of my army. They're just so damn cool.

The only real options left open to me are either sucking it up and taking it on the chin (kinda like my Deathwing, who are now in permanent mothballs after 4 consecutive complete massacres) or re-structuring my purchasing / army composition system. This only really works if Wracks and Venoms are included in the next wave, and then only if the next wave comes in the next couple of months. It's looking sort of grim for my ol' Dark Eldar, eh?

In other news, my Skaven have been challenged to a showdown with the new Orc army list, a gauntlet that once thrown cannot be ignored. I've been hearing a lot about the new Orc list on my podcasts, and I must say I'm not too intimidated. This may be folly on my part, but they still suffer from Animosity, they're still on big (25mm) bases, and they're still fewer in number than my Skaven (thank you 2 point slaves). As long as we don't roll up the stupid "Watchtower" scenario again, I'll be just fine. Now all I need to do is pick an army list.

I really want to go with a Screaming Bell, but with the Grey Seer on top, that's an awful lot of points in one place...

I may just suck it up and go with this list. It's one that I've theory-hammered pretty long and hard, and it has several models I've never used before. In the end, however, it's down to what models I have room for in my car, as the core of my army already takes up three figure cases!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Strategic Assets

We're finally on our way!
Well, my Incubi / Haemonculi order's status just changed from "Being Processed" to "Dispatched", so I should be able to get started on them pretty soon.

My focus lately has been on the "Strategy Deck" for the campaign Demitra is so keen on running. I like the idea of all the battles being linked by a story, and I'm eager to contribute in my own way. The idea is to employ a deck of normal playing cards to bring variety to some otherwise mundane battles. after each game both players will draw a card and consult the chart for which cards mean what. The winner of the battle then gets to draw a second card and decide which of the two cards he'd like to keep. This gives the victorious player an edge without overpowering the loser.

Cards can be played at certain times during the battle to give a small edge to your army. Things I'm considering are "play this card at the beginning of the assault phase to give a unit Furious Charge this turn" or "Play at the beginning of the game to turn all daytime turns into Night Fighting and vice-versa". These cards can swing the tide of the battle, but not unless played at the right time. Certain cards would cancel out the effects of others, for example any card of the same suit cancels out the card played.

Things are still in the get-go stages, but once I have the deck fully sorted out I'll be sure to post the rules here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

2,000 Points of Pure Evil

My usual over-thinking has spawned yet another army list. I was looking at some tournament results and got to thinking about what kind of army I'd take to a tournament. As most tournaments have stepped up to the 2,000 point mark, I decided to add 250 points to my existing army. Here are the results:

-2x Haemonculi with Liquifier (120)

-7x Incubi; Raider with Flickerfield (224)
-7x Incubi; Raider with Flickerfield (224)

-10x Kabalite Warriors with Blaster, Splinter Cannon; Raider with Flickerfield (185)
-10x Kabalite Warriors with Blaster, Splinter Cannon; Raider with Flickerfield (185)
-10x Wyches with Shardnet & Impaler, Haywire Grenades; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider with Flickerfield (230)
-10x Wyches with Shardnet & Impaler, Haywire Grenades; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider with Flickerfield (230)
-5x Wracks with Liquifier; Venom with 2x Splinter Cannons (125)
-5x Wracks with Liquifier; Venom with 2x Splinter Cannons (125)

Heavy Support
Ravager with Flickerfield (115)
Ravager with Flickerfield (115)
Ravager with Flickerfield (115)

Total: 1,993 points

The two squads of Wracks are there for crowd control. The two Liquifiers are weapons even Space Marines need to watch out for, and the 12 shots coming out of the raider will make large units sweat.
Of course, with my luck when the model kits for these units come out (rumor mill says next wave) the Wracks will come with only a single Liquifier, and the Venom will come with the standard loadout of twin-linked Splinter Rifles and a Splinter Cannon, leading to no small amount of conversion needed. That or hitting up Battlewagon Bits before the prices go nuts.

Squad Complete!

Victory is mine!
Well, I finished that accursed Raider last night, I hope you'll agree it goes with the squad without being "too green". I'm debating adding a Dark Eldar rune decal to the sail, as right now it's just a big field of purple.

The next step is deciding what style of accents to add to the miniatures' bases. I have the static grass shown in the picture, as well as some "dead" looking static grass, and some blended turf.

Once that step is completed, it's on to varnishing. There's debate here as well. Do I go with a "satin" looking varnish to keep a touch of shine on the minis? Do I go with good ol' Testors Dullcote to totally eliminate shine? I'm just not sure what Dark Eldar armor should look like.

I'm glad to have put this much of a dent in the army already, and now it's just a waiting game. My order for Incubi and Haemonculi is still processing, so it may be a while before more of a dent in put into painting these guys. I may need to go grab another Raider to keep my hands busy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

From Humble Origins

Having taken the plunge and started my Dark Eldar, I have decided to chronicle the progress made so far. I stopped by my local G.W. and picked up the very first unit for my army, an Kabalite Warrior squad and their Raider. I've been reading up on the Dark Eldar background to get me into the mood to paint up these insidious warriors, and so I just couldn't wait to get home to bust open the box.

Luckily I have a slow job, where come 9:00 or so at night there are a total of maybe five or six people who come past my desk. This gave me an opportunity to crack open the Kabalite's box and check out what's inside. I'm pretty impressed at all the detail in the miniatures, but I must say I was disappointed in one thing. There are only five sets of legs repeated twice. Now, I know that Space Marine players would kill to have that much variety in their army, but this was a minor annoyance. The bigger issue for me came up during assembly.

Each set of legs comes in a front and back half, all of which have to be matched up. I, like an idiot, just began clipping and filing models without checking the instructions. Whoops. Luckily I had only gotten through three sets of legs by the time I realized this. Having corrected my mistake I managed to assemble all the pairs of legs and attach them to their bases before having to pack up to go home.

The next day I found the same issue with the arms that I had with the legs- each was specifically paired. This time, however, I had checked the frame's numbering before hand. For the most part the arms went onto the now assembled torsos easily, though I did have some issues with the Splinter Cannon.

This brings up another issue I have with the kit- not enough Splinter Rifles. When assembling your models it seems that you must include at least a single heavy and special weapon trooper in the squad, which makes me glad I didn't go with my original squad loadout of ten warriors with only a Dark Lance. I'm just glad I wasn't forced to put together a Sybarite to lead the squad.

After putting together the relatively agreeable Kabalite Warriors came the rough part- the Raider. This little beauty was a hassle to put together from start to finish. It seems that Dark Eldar vehicles are universally made of fiddly little bits. I think the only part of the model that didn't give me some sort of hassle was the ram, because that came as one big piece.

Basing the warriors was a breeze. A little slightly thinned Elmer's Glue-All, a dip in the ballast, and voila! The Raider (of course) gave me some issues. The glue didn't want to coat the base of the flight stand evenly, giving me spotty coverage, so I had to spend quite a while applying several passes of glue before the base was evenly coated. Once this was accomplished I sprinkled ballast across the base and luckily got a perfect coat the first time. Hooray for small miracles!

Having completed assembly of the miniatures, it was outside to prime the miniatures. I have a can of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer I used on a previous project with great success, so I sprayed down the minis. The primer worked perfectly with one exception- it didn't get absorbed into the ballast. It coated the tips just fine, but I ended up having to go back and coat the bases with thinned Chaos Black.

Now it was on to some quality time with my miniatures. I had intentionally saved up several podcasts, including the latest D6 Generation in order to have plenty to listen to while painting. As it was a day off from work, I figured I could put a dent into the minis. Turns out I almost finished them!

It's taken me the last three days to put the finishing touches on them, but I hope you'll agree they turned out well. I wanted the models to be from my Batttlefleet Gothic fleet, which I painted in the same colors, so they're pretty bright. You may also notice that their skin is brown instead o the usual pallid color described in the book. This is because I took the color scheme directly from a Dark Elf army I have in storage. I based the skin color on the Dark Elves in Record of Lodoss War. Since Dark Eldar are just Dark Elves in space...

In the end I'm happy with the way the squad turned out. I'm not looking forward to painting that Raider, but at the end of that black rainbow is the pot of gold that is the Incubi I just mail-ordered. Here's hoping for a great looking army in the end!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Death (of) Metal

Well, after a total rout for my Deathwing, I decided to re-focus my sights on my Dark Eldar. Problem is, it seems that Games Workshop is moving away from making metal miniatures. This led to more than a little panic from me. You see, I'm an old-school gamer who likes his metal miniatures. There's a reassuring heft to them which makes them make more of a *thunk* when they hit the table rather than the sad little *thwip* plastic models make. They're more durable as well (especially when properly pinned) and have a tendanct to break a lot less (short of inconsiderate jerk "friends" bending Eldrad's staff and snapping it off- but that's another post entirely). In the end this led me to quickly grab the boxes of Incubi and the two Haemonculi I'll be needing for the army.

What's the worst that can happen with G.W.'s supposed switch to some other material? Resin. This stuff is a giant pain to work with. Molds shift, flash is nightmarish, and you can't use side-cutters on certain parts as the miniature may snap in a place you didn't want it to. The mold release is a greasy mess that takes a fair amount of effort to remove, and many times miniatures the size of the minis being replaced by this switch will come warpd or worse yet not totally set and all sticky (happened with a bunch of my Forgeworld Rhino Doors). Worse yet, cleaning the model. Resin needs to be cleaned with a knife as the dust it leaves behind is a very aggressive cancer causing agent.

Unless they come up with some new Super-Resin, I'll attempt to avoid the miniatures as much as possible and stick with my "classic" metal minis.

What if they take an alternative route? What if everything goes to plastic? Well, this isn't much of an improvement for me as plastic, despite being so wonderfully detailed these days, is soooo easily breakable. Have you seen the shardnets on the Wyches? I'll be lucky to have them last a month with the abuse they recieve in play. My Raiders are even more of a concern. That's a lot of model to be resting on top of that thin little plastic rod. I cringe every time I move my model, and it hasn't even seen play yet. I'm considering breaking the flight stand just to run a pin through it before some jerk busts it in the middle of a game.I left off as many of the trophy racks and chains as I could, wanting to leave off anything that could snap off and leave me with a busted, ghetto looking miniature. I don't build and paint these minis to have them get broken, and I want to keep them intact for as long as possible.

My next post should be all the progress I've made with my Dark Eldar. I'm liking the way they're coming out so far.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm All In

It has truly been a whirlwind of Dark Eldar recently, hasn't it?

Well, that whirlwind continues. Today, on my way to work I decided to go ahead and grab a box of Kabalite Warriors and their Raider. I may or may not be clipping them off their frames around 9:00 - 10:00 tonight. You know, once everything goes from quiet to dead. I've decided I'm definately going for Splinter Cannons and Blasters for my Kabalites, as this makes them anti-horde capable. The reason for this purchase is to get a grip on how the army's paint scheme will go. For now I'm positive all cloth will be purple, and the bodysuits will be black. As far as the jade green goes, I'm just not sure. I may use it as an accent on the armor, I may paint all the armor plates on the models green. I may even reserve the green for a certain area of the model only. What is clear is that I'm sticking with my original paint scheme.

Assuming I get the models together tonight, the priming will occour tomorrow, weather permitting. I'll be under certain time constraints, so it's unlikely I'll be able to put a major dent into painting the minis, but I hope to get at least one color laid down. You can be sure I'll keep updating the blog with pictures as the project gradually comes together.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Little Dark Eldar Armies

Get it? Little Dark Eldar?
Well, I've settled on my starting point for my Dark Eldar Combat Patrol (assuming that is indeed where we begin). the list contains:

-4x Incubi; Raider (148)

-10x Kabalite Warriors; Raider (175)
-8x Wyches; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider (170)

This comes to 493 points, and forms a solid core for future expansions. The Incubi and Wyches create a powerful assault / counter assault force, while the Kabalite Warriors are a solid firebase. Three Raiders give me all the anti-armor punch I could need, as well as high mobility. Again, I'm somewhat concerned about the prospect of hordes, but the Wyches and Incubi should be able to handle whatever the splinter weapons fail to kill.

A month or so after, the army should look like this:

-Haemonculus with Liquifier Gun (60)

-5x Incubi; Raider with Flickerfield (180)

-10x Kabalite Warriors; Raider with Flickerfield (185)
-10x Wyches with Shardnet and Impaler; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider with Flickerfield (210)

Heavy Support
-Ravager with Flickerfield (115)

750 points on the button. I haven't expanded my army beyond this point, as there is as of yet no need to, but I'm liking the way things are looking.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Over-Thinking It?

These dudes vex me.
 Perhaps I'm over-analyzing my army at this point, but I'm thinking that a Blaster / Splinter Cannon armed Kabalite squad would serve my purposes better. The squad would be more flexible (which does go against my theory of squad specialization), but it adds a degree of much-needed anti-horde capability. Two fewer Dark Lance shots isn't exactly a game-breaker, and the Blaster is still a Darklight (Lance) weapon. The added bonus is the Assault 4 / Heavy 6 firepower of the Splinter Cannon. That's some pretty withering firepower, and it'll have both hordes and Monstrous Creatures sweating. The point cost is identical, and it allows for wound-allocation trickery (...and the useless weapon will take another plasma gun wound).

My army is really missing those big volleys of shots, and despite Incubi being masters of butchery, I just can't rely on them even making it into combat. Should they make it into combat I've also been warned that they may simply kill too much, leaving them exposed for shooty retribution. Really all I can rely on is my opponent's army walking after me, as those transports will be as wrecked as possible on Turn 1.

I must say, the prospect of running a grand total of 65 models, the infantry being 99% Toughness 3 and the vehicles topping out at Armor 11 / 11 / 10 (Open-Topped) is a bit intimidating. I used to be really good with my Cryx army though, and the concepts are the same, so hopefully I'll be able to wrap my head around the tactics required to run this army.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Run Through The Gauntlet

Well, I finally broke down and joined DakkaDakka. The reason I did so was to run my Dark Eldar list past some people who actually play them. Turns out I was close to the mark, but not quite on. Without further ado, here's my newest list:

-2x Haemonculi with Liquifier Gun

-7x Incubi; Raider with Flickerfield
-7x Incubi; Raider with Flickerfield

-10x Kabalite Warriors with Dark Lance; Raider with Flickerfield
-10x Kabalite Warriors with Dark Lance; Raider with Flickerfield
-10x Wyches with 1x Shardnet & Impaler; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider with Flickerfield
-10x Wyches with 1x Shardnet & Impaler; Hekatrix with Agoniser; Raider with Flickerfield

Heavy Support
-Ravager with Flickerfield
-Ravager with Flickerfield
-Ravager with Flickerfield

It's a pretty compact army, and I'm not too sure how it'll do against horde armies, but it's mobile. The army will (of course) be a bit more expensive cash-wise, but it at least looks like it'll pack a bit more punch.

I'm not too sure how I feel about dropping the Archons for Haemonculi, but the fact that they have access to the template-dropping Liquifier Gun is a reassurance against hordes. Plus they start the Incubi out with a Pain Token (whatever that does- I really need to buy the Codex).

Here's hoping this list will bring me victory. Now to trim it down to 500, 750, 1,000, 1,250, 1,500, and 1,750 point increments.