Sunday, August 25, 2013

BFG is Awesome!!!

After more than 3 years of routine patrols, anti-pirate actions, and a couple of small xenos cleansing operations, Battlefleet Farquhar fought its first large scale fleet action since the Arenxis campaign.

After some sweeping real and warp space manouvers, the battlefleet translated into real space abreast of Jeff's Nurgle fleet. His fleet had a tough roll for sub-plots, and translated right into a meteor shower, with a couple of ships severely damaged. My sub-plot was to rescue an Imperial spy hiding aboard the Horrific. And being a pretty standard gun-line IN fleet, I would need to board the enemy ship!

I must admit my deployment was quite bad, straddling the fleet with the various squadrons too far from each other. My weakness is in ordnance - I have only 1 carrier with 4 launch bays, whereas Jeff had 2 carriers with 6 or 7 launch bays. So I should have really clustered together to bring my gun superiority to bear. To make matters worse, in my first turn my first attempt to order Come to New Heading failed - and I really needed that to bring my carrier and light cruisers, which were on my far right flank, back to the rest of the fleet.

Anyways, I won't go into much detail here. Some highlights was my over-successful salvo to soften up the Horrific and prepare it for boarding. Essentially, the enemy ship was hit by both Nova cannons in my fleet, immediately crippling it. The next turn, Jeff successfully withdrew the Horrific from the battle!

Jeff's escorts were aggressively employed, delivering a torpedo alpha-strike on the Dominator squadron. Combined with assault boats and bombers, the Dominator-class cruiser Intrepid was crippled in a single round of fire. Return fire from my Sword frigates, combined with the cruisers snd the battleship Redoubtable itself destroyed all but one enemy escort from both the enemy escort squadrons.

The Redoubtable locked on to the enemy cruiser that was damaged pre-game and was fighting without a bridge, and reduce the ship to a hulk. But return fire and further swarms of assault boats soon took its toll, and eventually both my Dominators were burning, and all 3 Sword frigates were destroyed. It was time to bug out and save the rest of the fleet.

That was quite the brawl. I think I made 2 fundamental mistakes. First, my deployment was too spread out and it halved my fleet's effectiveness. Second, my biggest weakness was the enemy's superiority in launch bays, and it was the repeated assault boat and bomber strikes that eventualy won the day for him. I should have focused fire on the carriers and tried to even out the balance in ordnance.

At any rate that was a lot of fun. My fleet lost 2 Dominator crusiers, and 3 Sword frigates. Jeff's fleet lost 8 escorts, 1 cruiser and a crippled Horrific. Like I said, that was some brawl.

I had a 40k game after that - my Windriders vs Faizal's revamped Space Wolves. With 5 drop pods, and termie, Long Fang and wolf cavalry support, it was quite a formidable army. I managed to use the Windriders' speed to switch flank and stay out of range of the Long Fangs to be able to deal with the deep striking mon-keigh one at a time. It worked, and the Eldar won, though I lost 2 tanks, the Dire Avengers and 1 jetbike squad.

I'll be out of action for the next couple of weeks. But definitely looking forward to see how my Eldar will do against the new Space Marines!

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Flight of the Valkyrie!

With Valkyrie 07 ready last night, all flyer transports are now done for Straken's Air Mobile detachment. Only 2 squads, 2 advisors, 1 preist and half a standard bearer to go and the 1750pt army will be ready. But that will have to wait until the later part of the month when I get back home.

I've been working on possible expansions to 1850pts. The immediately available version is to drop a few heavy bolters from some of the Vendettas and put in the Basilisk which I painted for the 2000pt version of the army. But what would actually be fun is to include Sgt Harker, plus 2 missile launcher and 1 autocannon teams into the squads. That would work nicely.

Anyways, Valkyrie 07 was done pretty fast. I guess after doing 2 in quick succession, the 3rd one didn't require much guidance and referring back and forth to the earlier models. Plus, there are no extra FW bits to fuss about.

Ivan asked me in our forum about what technique I used to paint these guys. I don't know about technique, but these are the steps:

1. Citadel Black spray undercoat
2. Tamiya OD Green spray basecoat
3. Drybrush Citadel Camo Green (I kept stocks of the old ones)
4. Paint crew: uniform (Citadel Knarloc Green), helmets (Citadel Castellan Green), face (Citadel Tallarn Flesh), metal bits (Citadel Leadbelcher), belts & gloves (Citadel Snakebite Leather - precious), visor (Citadel Abaddon Black base, highlight w Citadel Regal Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Ice Blue, and white dots in the corners). highlight green parts with Camo Green, wash with Citadel Devlan Mud
5. Paint cockpit: joystick & controls (Citadel Leadbelcher), assorted lights (Citadel Blood Red, Bright Yellow), gunner's display (same as visor as above, but with cross-hair painted over the screen, as weel as suitably random dots and squiggly lines on the screen - both done with Ultramarine Blue, and White on top)
6. Paint nose Citadel Abaddon Black, light drybrush Citadel Mechanicum Grey
7. Paint the various lights in nose and a couple more to the left of the cockpit and on the wing roots. I use blue for most of them (same as visor above), except for the one sticking out on the top of the nose, done in red (Citadel Abaddon Black base, Bright Yellow diagonally on lower half, then Blood Red on top and blended out, finally the obligatory White dot in top left corner)
8. Paint metal parts. For mine - turbine fans, jet nozzles, piping on top of engine, bolts on undercarriage, gun barrels. All in Citadel Leadbelcher. For the heavy bolters, base Citadel Abaddon Black, edge highlight Citadel Mechanicum Grey.
9. Paint the yellow bits - base in Citadel White - a few thin layers. Then Citadel Yellow - a few thin layers.
10. Paint in the detail for the AirCav logo in the nose with Citadel Abaddon Black
11. Wash metal bits with Citadel Devlan mud. Some areas like jet nozzles more liberally than others
12. Weathering - stipple Citadel Leadbelcher all over the aircraft. I tend to overdo this. I'll have heavier weathering where paint scratches are more likely to happen - door edges, hinges, etc. Also weathering bolts and bolt holes seem to work well too
13. Apply decals. For my first ones, I prep the areas with Citadel Gloss Varnish first, then apply the decals. Then dry. Then apply Mr Mark Softerner. Later on I use Tamiya Mark Fit, which is pretty cool. The decals are from 2 sheets - the numbers are from the standard IG vehicle transfer sheet, the littel Aquilas are from the Baneblade transfer sheet.
14. Glue on weapons. Just realized that for the first two there were a few more steps - I actually painted the passenger compartment interior and the gun crew. Got smarter after that. lol
15. Couple of (light) coats of Tamiya Clear Matt spray
16. While waiting to dry, I paint the canopies. Most of it is sprayed Tamiya OD Green while on sprue. Then after assembling, I touch up with Citadel Castellan Green. Then edge highlight Citadel Camo Green. Then apply Citadel Leadbelcher weathering. Usually the middle of the left side of the canopy is weathered heavier, matching the fuselage weathering earlier - this is where the crew climbs into the cockpit.
17. Glue the canopy pieces onto the fuselage
18. Take pics and blog!