Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - Not a Bad Hobby Year After All.

With very limited time available for the hobby, it seemed at first that 2013 was going to be the worst year in a long time as far as my personal wargames hobby is concerned. Funny enough, it turns out that this is yet more proof that fact and perception are often-times at complete odds with each other.

The fact is, I actually did more painting and hobbying in 2013 compared to 2012 and 2011. I did play less games, and attended less events, but the personal hobbying was not too shabby at all.

I guess the highlight would be the completion (finally!) of II Catachan Rgt's Air Mobile Detachment (a.k.a. AirCav), an army that actually started with much fervor with the first Valkyrie completed in 2009, but got completely derailed as I finished off several other projects in between. But largely thanks to the first Throwdown earlier in the year, the project was given a huge kick and restarted with gusto! And now, version 1 is done! I've got version 2 on the cards, but I'll wait for the new codex before doing more work on them (it might turn out I'd have to use the army as a counts-as Elysian list if some of the rumors are true - but we'll see).

So in 2013, I actually finished:
- 36 IG aircav infantry (almost all converted)
- 1 Col Straken
- 1 Uriah Jacobus preacher
- 1 Astropath
- 3 Vendetta
- 1 Valkyrie
- 1 Basilisk (happy with the simple conversion for this guy)
- 1 Crimson Hunter
- 6 Eldar Jet Bikes (in one (long) intense hobby session, I might add)

On top of that, I started (but obviously did not finish):
- 1 Eldar Warlock on jetbike (actually, this guy is almost done - maybe another hour or so)
- 1 Ilyic the super Pathfinder
- 1 Dark Reaper Exarch (converted from bits + OOP Eldar warrior)
- 1 Nephilim
- 1 Helbrute
- 1 Heldrake
- 6 Ravenwing Black Knights
- 5 Ravenwing Command Squad Black Knights
- 30 Deathwing Terminators (including command)
- 23 Dark Angels Space Marines (including command)
- 1 Officer of the Fleet

It's not too shabby, given the circumstances.

Now on to the lowlights. I guess the worst part of my hobby year was actually missing Legio's big move to its shiny new premises at Hobby Forge. That was a real bummer. The next one has to be the fact that this was the first year in a long time that I did not play in a tournament. And this was in a year with a bumper crop of tournaments! And I just realized that my proud 6th Brandenberg Imperial Guard never left the shelves all year! That is something that must be rectified this year!

Anyways, I'm not going to dwell in doldrums so early in the day. I am looking forward to 2014. The first project in mind is a quick revisit of Master Ahriman and the Thousand Sons. I'm looking to finish up my first ever Heldrake, the 1.5 models left to paint to complete the Favored Rubric Terminator squad, and the awesome Land Raider that's been WIP for 6 years (I think). After that, it's a bit more work with the Ravenwing - finish up the Black Knights and the Command Squad, and add 3 Land Speeders to the army.

We'll see how far that takes me. Here's hoping that I don't get TOO over-distracted (e.g. WW1 Brit-themed IG with steel helmets, fixed bayonets and tanks that look like Malcadors ... or a Thunderbolt (or two) ... or an expansion of the seedling of the Tzeentch daemons in my collection ... or a 28mm Napoleonic army ...)

Cheers to 2013! Cheers to 2014!
Happy New Year guys!
Keep them dice rolling ...


After much procrastination, my Thousand Sons finally received much-needed air support - a Heldrake. It was orginally to be armed with the Hades autocannon (partly because all Heldrakes are Baledrakes and Ahriman thought he wanted to be different). But let's face it, the Baleflamer thing is just too good!!!!

This will be painted after the Thousand Sons termies are done. It will be a b***h to paint, but I'm looking forward to it.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Infantry for 1850 Air Cav RTD!

All infantry for the 1850pts version of my AirCav list are now ready to dip - in fact, the 23 models have been dipped this morning and are currently going through air-drying for the next couple of days. I'll be off on Christmas break, and when I come back they'll be matt varnished, based and brought into battle! Fully painted at last!

This version of the 1850pt list has a Basilisk in it, which I painted for the Legio Throwdown earlier this year. I built another 1850pt list which incorporates an infantry platoon, and without the Basilisk, to keep to the light infantry operating deep in enemy territory theme. This would need a few more infantry and heavy weapons teams to be painted.

But that will have to wait. The first project for 2014 would be back to my Thousand Sons - the last 1.5 termies from the squad of 9, the Heldrake and a Land Raider.

Merry Christmas, and keep rolling them dice!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

AirCav final squad RTD!!

Yes! The last squad for my AirCav is now RTD (Ready To Dip)! Next, I need to finish the standard bearer (which is about 50% done), paint the preacher, the astropath and the officer of the fleet (in fact, for 1850, the officer of the fleet is not in the list). And then we do a nice big dipping session for the last 2 squads. Then matt them, finish up their bases, finish the 4 flyer bases I forgot to do, and it's finally done!

Then it's back to the Thousand Sons!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

AirCav second last squad RTD

The second last squad for the AirCav is now RTD (ready to dip). This is exciting indeed, as the last squad is now around 20% done. After that will be the standard bearer (50%), preacher, astropath and officer of the fleet, though for 1850 games the fleet officer will stay in his ship aloft. Then I'll dip the lot, finish their bases and four flyer bases and the army will be done! Immediate additions after that will be the 3 crewmen from the Basilisk, and maybe some heavy weapons teams and platoon command for a different version of the army. But that's later. Right after this version of the AirCav is done, I'm going to finish up my Thousand Sons termies, a Land Raider, and then 12 Ravenwing Black Knights. 2014 will start with a bang!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Baptism of Fire for the Air Cav ...

,,, and it was a bloodbath! For the IG, that is.

A few days ago while painting the last few of the AirCav dudes, I realized two things - the army is more than 80% done, and I don't have many opportunities left to actually game in 2013. So it was decided that the WIP army will go into action last Hobby Night.

First battle was against Subhan's Necrons in a Big Guns Never Tire fight. And it was awesome indeed. I didn't know what to do with the 3 squads that I must deploy on-table (the list was designed in 5th ed, and was designed for the whole army to come in on turn 2, with nothing deployed at turn 1), so I bunched them up in a corner of the field near an objective. When the flyers did come in on Turn 2, one Vendetta squadron immediately came under fire from the Necron's interceptor quad flak weapon. The flight did not flinch, did not evade and the lead Vendetta lost one hull point to a glancing hit. First turn fire from the flyers was not bad, destroying one of his skimmer tanks, and immobilizing and almost destroying one of his walker things (in my excitement, I forgot to target the other skimmer tank thing). The Valkyries unleashed their rockets on the flak battery, killing 6 aliens.

Turn 3 onwards, everything kinda went down hill. Despite the Officer of the Fleet's presence, both Necron flyers came in, shaking destroying one Vendetta, as well as the Valkyrie escorting Straken's ride. In the meantime, I wasn't doing much damage to his army, as the Necrons in the center kept coming back, and the rest of the shooting was also not very well done.

The AirCav really suffered from its infantry being split-deployed, and I was never able to get the infantry together. One of my squads was in a Vendetta that suffered locked velocity, and had no choice but to grav-chute in (luckily they survived). As a result, the Necrons were able to pick off the infantry piece meal. The one saving grace was Straken's nasty squad, which killed 2 tanks in close combat. I conceded in Turn 5 as it was clear that I was running out of troops and not hurting the xenos much.

Vs Tau was much worse. Skyfire and Interceptor units were everywhere, and by the end of Turn 2, half the flyers were gone, and I had the same problem with getting the infantry together.

Some real good lessons were learnt. I will need to figure out how to make sure the infantry fight together and not be spread piece meal like in the first 2 fights. I have some ideas, and I'll be trying it out next time. I've also built an 1850 version of the list. This is simply adding the Basilisk which I painted for Throwdown earlier in the year, and taking out the Office of the Fleet (still got 5 extra points, will figure that out another time). This also means I'll need to paint the crew of the Basilisk - should be fun, with a Nam firebase feel to the artillery crew in mind.

The Hobby Night ended with my Eldar Windriders avenging the AirCav by beating the Tau in a brutal Relic fight, in which both sides suffered some pretty heavy losses.

Looking forward to finishing this army before the year is out!