Friday, April 30, 2010

Five folks to look at

In case you haven't poked around on my profile to see who I follow, here's a couple of folks with some interesting counts-as armies and conversions that you may not have seen before:

Gates of Morpheus - a Swedish DKoK player who's also working on an interesting Dark Angels army using the Space Wolves rules.

Forge 40K - I love any Traitor Guard, and his using some converted LoTR figs looks interesting.

Hungry Ghosts - A Chaos Guard army, using old RT squat figs? Doubleplusgood.

My Little World of Dementia - One of my (relatively) local players, lots of variety on his site plus dig around for his AdMech IG.

Plasticfish Online - Did I mention that I like Traitor Guard?

Tournament Options

There's a local tournament coming up soon I'm going to try to attend, but not sure what to take. My IG won't be done by then I'm pretty sure, so primarily the choice would come down to one between my Word Bearers and Orks. 1850pt tournament.

Word Bearers:

Daemon Prince

Hvy Flamer
Extra Armor

Aspiring Champion w/twin lightning claws
Power fist/Icon of Chaos Glory

Icon of Chaos Glory
Champion (Twin LC)
Combi-bolter, PW
Combi-melta, PW
Combi-melta, Chainfist
Combi-melta, Powerfist
Heavy Flamer, Powerfist

Aspiring Champion w/Combi-flamer,Powerfist
Icon of Chaos Glory

Aspiring Champion w/Combi-flamer,Powerfist
Icon of Chaos Glory



Heavy Support
Defiler (battlecannon, reaper, hvy flamer)

Heavy Support
Daemonic Possession


Big Mek (ride with Trukk shootas or meganobz)
Kustom Force Field, Bosspole, Eavy Armor

Nob w/PowerKlaw, Eavy Armor, Bosspole (cigar and stikkbomb grot)

Battlewagon w/Grot Riggers, Armor Plates, Grabbin Klaw, Reinforced Ram, 2xBig Shootas

10xGrots, Runtherd

30xBoyz (Shootas)
3xBig Shootas
Nob w/Big Choppa, Eavy Armor, Bosspole

Nob w/PK, Bosspole
Trukk – Rokkit, Ram

12xBoyz (slugga/choppa)
Nob w/PK, Eavy Armor, Bosspole
Trukk – Rokkit, Ram

11xBoyz (Shootas)
Big Shoota
Trukk – Rokkit, Ram

Fast Attack
Nob w/ Power Klaw and Bosspole

Fast Attack
2xKoptas w/TL Rokkits

Heavy Support
3xLobbas, +2 ammo runts (piles of ammo)

For an oddball option, there's also my Tau ambush force:

Hmm, seem to have overwritten their list. Well, the gist of it is:

Three groups of stealth suits - 2x6, 1x3 which has one guy with fusion gun
2x10 Fire Warriors, photon grenades, one squad w/emp grenades
4x12 Kroot
2xBroadsides w/shield drones
2xSniper Drone Teams
2x6 Vespid

Everyone who can be bonded, is.

Thoughts on which I should take?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Renegade Dilemma

So, as is my custom, I've been neglecting the army I currently have on the painting table to think about future ones.  The current army occupying my thoughts is my eponymous band of renegades, the Sons of Taurus.  A group of Minotaurs Space Marines bitter over being slighted over the spoils of the Badab War and corrupted by captured texts and prisoners, they fell to Chaos.  Realizing that they would always be second to the Legions if they committed to one of the major Powers, they found a lesser power to serve, Hashut.  He would protect and empower them, and they would work towards increasing His power and glory.

But what codex to use?  Therein lies the Renegade Dilemma.

Codex: CSM is an obvious choice, especially for those further along the path of damnation and well versed in the ways of the warp.  You get access to all that chaos goodness like daemons, daemon princes, possessed, defilers, oblits and cult troops.  But there's a lot you give up once you leave the light of the Emperor, like Whirlwinds, Thunder Hammers, drop pods, scouts, speeders, and two out of three flavors of Land Raiders.  Not to mention all of your Storm Bolters start acting funny.

For the more recent traitors though, perhaps Codex: Space Marines or one of the variant SM books is a better way to represent them.  With some creativity, these books could also be used to represent some pretty chaotic things too.

Of course with some planning and extra models, you can make an army that can switch from book to book as desired - power armor is power armor, a bolter is a bolter, a Rhino is a Rhino and so on.  But I think I'd rather commit to one book.  But which one to use?

Codex: CSM would let me use a fantasy minotaur for a Daemon Prince (like bsmoove made for his Arrugginiti ), summon daemons and so on.  I could go for cult troops, icons, even experiment with things like Fabius Bile's enhanced warriors.  It would seem the natural way to go for renegades, but I would want to do something a bit different with them as I already have two other CSM forces (and plan on some Deathguard someday too...).

Codex: SM would be the other natural way to go.  Lots of tactical options, dreadnoughts that aren't crazy, and the opportunity to defile some land speeders and attack bikes.  But could one of the variant marine books work better?

Dark Angels...could be good for some renegade options, but doesn't feel right for these guys.  Maybe for an all-Terminator version...

Space Wolves are pretty close to the basic CSM, with Grey Hunters having BP/CCW/Bolter.  With Mark of the Wulfen you can have possessed equivalents in each squad, they have some nasty psychic powers, and the Thunderwolf Cavalry could be used for CSM versions of the old Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaurs.  It's a tempting option.

Blood Angels - psychic dreads, FNP fearless nutjobs, a DP-wannabe, it has potential for a chaotic force, but I don't know if it's right for these guys.  But Seth could make a fun captain for a future Space Sharks force...

Black Templars - some potential, with falling forward to represent a good bit of traitorous rage and/or desperation.

Perhaps someday I'll actually get around to making the Sons of Taurus.  It's been a decade since I originally planned them, maybe it's time soon.  Once I get my IG finished and Traitor Guard done, and figure out which codex to use for them maybe they'll be next on the project list.

Do you have renegades of your own?  If so, how did you solve your Renegade Dilemma?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Terrain - some links

Terrain!  That extra ingredient to go along with your lovingly painted armies.  You wouldn't want those little masterpieces to have to keep taking cover behind drink cans and stacks of books would you?  Of course not!

Before heading to the links, let me say that I think the best terrain is that which you make yourself.  It's going to be unique, have lots of character, and be CHEAP.  Flip through some of the GW terrain books, or cruise the web looking for ideas.  A good place to start could be Terrain from Junk.

But for when you have more money than time, there's a lot of options out on the marketplace these days. GW themselves are making a lot, but there are other options too if you're looking for something different.

Amera makes a wide range of vacuum-injected plastic terrain.  It's extremely lightweight but still tough.  I bought a number of their trench sections a while back, and have been extremely satisfied.  As a bonus, if you have multiples of the same trench piece, they stack easily making storage a breeze.

CNC Workshop is an outfit in Australia putting out MDF terrain and terrain starters.  I don't have any of their terrain yet, but have a number of their Troop Landers and can attest to the durability.  At the top of their homepage you can select from a variety of currencies.  Be sure to check for package deals!

Armorcast may not be making Titans anymore, but they still have a wide range of stuff to litter your battlefields with.  Some cool vehicles too if you're looking for some alternatives to regular Marine or IG type tanks.

The Warstore carries a range of terrain products from different companies (and of course tons of figures too).  A couple of examples:
  • Ruined Columns from Battlefront/Gale Force 9.  Heavy, and heavy duty.  These sets come pre-painted and are ready for play right out of the box.  They have other kits too, poke around!
  • Pegasus has some good gothic styled buildings and ruins that fit right in with 40K.
  • Sabol has some good looking mats to put out as tabletops that look pretty good for a reasonable price.  You can see a review of the desert one at Table Top War.
There are also some folks selling good homemade stuff themselves on ebay or through custom commissions, such as enjar.  I have one of his pieces and it looks great and is very solid.  The desert terrain seen on the Sabol mat in the Table Top War link is also his work.

So there's some things to get you started!  Feel free to share your own favorite terrain links in the comments!

(image from

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drama: Nerdrage Edition!

Image from the awesome .

If you bounce around to different sites and blogs you've probably caught at least a part of it. The member-measuring and sniping at other sites that seems prevalent in a number of places. Dakka vs. BoLS vs. DLT, YTTH vs. CF, etc.

To paraphrase Rodney King, can't we all* just get along?

*except of course for those Warseer wankers.**

**I keed, I keed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brush hit Paint! Film at 11!

Grad school has been sucking up my hobby time, but I actually managed to spend a few minutes last night painting belts and straps on my IG! It wasn't much, but it's progress. Bunch of papers and projects coming due in the next few weeks so won't be doing much else, but we'll see how much time I have during Summer session.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The End of the (NMM) Affair

Recently Darkwynn posted over on BoLS about retiring his "Leafblower" Imperial Guard list.  I've recently come to a similar point:

The End of the (NMM) Affair

Right before the recent con I was excited about getting a chance to see all my old friends such as Mongo, Cowboy from the Village People, Chico, Tito, Groucho and many others. I had no idea what I was walking into...

What I wasn’t expecting was to have people come up to me and give me a big high five and go "Thanks man, you ruined it for us!" At first I was genuinely confused. Then someone took the time to take guide me around the hall and point to all these tables. What did I see? NMM 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, okay I stopped counting after 5 but was still a lot. This didn't even take into account the heavily blended paint jobs out there. I thought to myself okay, this could have just been one of my friends who said this and it will be out of the norm. Nope, six other people came up and wanted to say either “thank you” or “you ruined it for us”. So it got me thinking and over the weekend and the long drive back home I decided to write this article.

 I am sorry for having helped to popularize NMM.

Now some people are going to ask “what the heck is NMM?” and some others are going to scream bloody murder on this article but this has to be said. The paintjob I designed was meant to blend everything to the fullest extent and exploit the color palette for what it could do. Silver, gold, copper…they all got the treatment.

The problem with this paintjob is no other technique could truly compete with it in the minds of some painting judges.  From lighting effects to highlighting nothing could stand against it. It had a psychological effect on a lot of painters by crushing them so completely that many just put their brushes down. In the sense painting with NMM opens the thought of "why am I not just using metallic paints?"

Therein lay the problem.

Remember the first time you truly got into this hobby? Did you get in it just to say to yourself “awesome I can take six hours to use nine different colors to paint a simple blue?” Was it instead because you thought a certain premixed paint was so cool? I have heard hundreds of stories of people thinking that Shining Gold was one of the best metallic paints they’d ever seen.  When it came to paint judging they often left disappointed.

My point is you picked this hobby to paint things using appropriate colors.  No one likes to hear that their silver, using actual silver paint, is a worse silver than some guy who used six different grays and whites.  I totally felt like a douche in some painting competitions. I met Pablo in a recent one - he was one the nicest guys I have ever met and just a great person all around.   Now, when I crushed his paintjob I felt bad the whole time. He had such a pretty army with such normal looking metals it made me feel bad to let them get shafted on painting scores. He couldn’t even get past the first cut because of the blending in my paintjob. Once you take the fun of using the actual appropriate colors from other painters how much fun is left for you to enjoy the hobby?

Now some people are going to say, “Well, it’s a competition - who cares? You’re there to win!” Okay fine, if you want to bring it to the Golden Daemon sure, but doesn’t it make you a better painter if you win with a metallic paints?  Hyper-blended paintjobs detract from the hobby in my view. Sorry I said it, might be taboo for the week, or month but sorry it’s true. Players are moving away from the fun of the paint range into blending escalations of I need to take 100 steps to paint this stupid chain mail.


Why not - people who feel that they need to win or compete will do it. Blood Angels are out and what question did a lot of people in the community flock to? How can we do NMM all over those Sanguinary Guard in time for the next event?  Even our group started to talk about it and missed the point of painting. What happened to let’s have fun painting toy soldiers?

In our local area we have painting competitions which some people have a hard time understanding the point of it. I know one person who tries to paint his swords with metals and fails every time coming back with yet another "no hold bars version 2.0 paintjob". Competitions also have a responsibility to bring people into the hobby and offer even new painters something fulfilling for their entry fee. It’s great to see events where painters beaming with pride show off figures with real heart and soul.

When an outsider or newcomer looks in and sees two grown men yelling over two figures source lighting and how someone will get owned in this xyz painting competition, how does that help bring in new people? I had a friend who I have been trying to get into the hobby for awhile and he said point blank, “Why? I don’t want to get my butt kicked in for months at another hobby especially when I can’t use the actual color on the label to paint that color.  What’s the point?”

Where is this going?

This is my call to action to people out there who read this, as I am doing it myself. Paint figures you’re taking to a painting competitions, paint them around the love you have for the paint ranges available and be proud of it. I am starting up my Beefeaters again and creating it around the Iron Warriors. I am going to do a paintjob that I have fun with and paint to have a good time. If I come out on top, awesome, if I don’t oh well no big deal.

Now, if you still want to take that NMM paintjob to Games Day to super inflate your ego sure go ahead, but promise me this when you take it to the game store for the weekend you don’t show that figure to the new guy or random people. Because when you overblend and they didn’t even get a chance to move to highlighting or washes, it’s not good for you, it's not good for them, and its not good for the hobby. Instead, even if only for one day, paint with the most appropriately labeled colors you can think of, and paint for the love of the figure, background, and the hobby.

~I will be painting with NMM one last time for the Nobel Prize in Miniatures Painting this summer in Oslo.   I was invited after having two high scores from Clash of the Titans and the Championship at Chaka Khan.  Afterwards I will be retiring NMM  - never to be painted again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Old Forum Reboot

While it wasn't one of the ones that got me back into 40K - sites like and the Maelstrom did that - and it was never one of the big dogs on the block like the Bolter & Chainsword, Dakka Dakka or Warseer, The Eternity Gate quickly became one of my favorites.  It's had a number of really great posters over the years, and its smaller size has kept the signal-to-noise ratio a lot higher than on a lot of the big sites.

From its heyday back in 2005 or so it's experienced a decline in activity, though a core of (IMO) pretty cool cats remains.  It was recently decided to streamline and reboot the site, clearing out a lot (but not all) of the old topics and combining sub-forums to keep things a little more active.  If you're reading this blog, you obviously appreciate good online content ;-) so come check it out, join up and help build a high-quality, low-junk forum.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

MechHammer 40K, state of the metagame, what's to blame?

So the current common wisdom for 5th ed 40K is that mech is king.  There are a number of common explanations - cheaper transports in newer books, improved vehicle survivability in 5th ed and less punishing transport rules.  

Consider an army like the Imperial Guard.  A bunch of T3 5+  save guys.  Should they go around on foot, or take a relatively cheap armored transport with two built in heavy weapons and the ability to fire up to five weapons out the hatch?  It seems like a pretty obvious choice, but should it be?

Are there other considerations outside of the rules that lead to some builds being "king"?  Can we as players do something about it outside of our own army lists?  If so, would it really matter?

For example - terrain.  Are the boards we play on too mech-friendly?  Would denser terrain and more dragon's teeth on the field help fight the trend?  Or would it just give rise to builds featuring skimmers and indirect fire as the new kings?  Do standard missions/deployments contribute?  What else?

What do you think could be done to mix up the "meta", to allow for a variety of armies and builds to be competitive at all levels, other than changes to the base rules or codex rules?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Victory is Mine! (Part 2)

Fresh off my winning a blog contest prize last month, I win another!  Over at Table Top War Magilla Gurilla asked for help naming his Chaos Marines, and a number of cool names were offered up.  He decided to run a poll contest to see what people liked, and one of my suggestions, the Hounds of Hati, won!  As a prize he's sending a basilisk and some 'cursed' dice.  This was especially nice since when we offered help there was no talk of a contest or prizes.  Cool to be rewarded for what you were going to do anyways!  Since I've been the beneficiary of a couple cool contests lately, I think I'll see about doing a contest of my own, maybe next week.  Stay tuned.

Once I get this bassie and the traitor marine from the earlier contest I'll have a couple more projects to work on.  The traitor marine will be joining five others I have and forming a Noise Marine unit for my Sons of Horus, a gaudy, overpriced (mostly due to the Blastmaster) backfield objective holder unit.  The fate of the basilisk is up in the air.  Use it for my Merkan 76th IG?  My upcoming traitors?  Either way, keep it as a basilisk or convert to something else?  Alternatively, use it as a looted wagon for my Orks? 

Any thoughts on what I should use the basilisk for?
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