Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ravenwing Land Speeder #1

This took way longer than I thought, and in the end I had to rush it through to make sure I finish it and that it doesn't end up in my burgeoning KIV pile :)

I realized that this is actually the first ever Land Speeder that I've done. My previous encarnations of the Ravenwing were all exclusively bike armies, and I never got around to painting the old Master of the Ravenwing Land Speeder model before the jetbike version came out.

I assembled 3 of these, making up 1 squad, and I also realized that I had 2 versions of the kit. 1 was the old one with the issue of the warped hull. The other 2 were from newer sprues that solved that issue. And I must say I enjoy those better.

The crew helmets and Ravenwing shoulder pads are actually extras from the Black Knights. No, these aren't Black Knight speeders - I just think they look better :). The Ravenwing icon on the front hull is from the Dark Angels vehicle sprue, I think.

I must admit painting this I remembered why it took so long to finish my Ravenwing army in the first place. Painting black is not the most exciting thing on earth. Conceptually, it should be fast and easy, but hey ... So it's pretty basic - Citadel black spray, Shadow Grey line highlight - up to Space Wolves Grey. Mechrite Red missiles, Gunmetal on the metal parts, Gold on the heavy bolter ammo. Agrax wash for the metal parts. The insides of the jet nozzles got an extra blackwash. Standard decals. Done.

Up next on the Dark Angels, in order of personal importance to me: 2 Land Speeders, 6 Black Knights, 5 Ravenwing Command squad, Nephilim, 20 DA marines, Rhino, Predator, Aegis Defense Line with Quad gun.

But what's being organized right now are 11 IG models + heavy weapons: 6 heavy weapon crewmen, 3 autocannon (plus 3 heavy bolters that I can switch to if need be), 2 heavy flamer men, 2 snipers, 1 Major Winters with bolter. Now that sounds like a very tempting distraction :)

Keep rolling them dice.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Last Hurrah of 6th Ed!

So it came to pass that 6th edition became the one with the shortest life ever. There have been all sorts of whining, complaining, fear, doom, gloom and overall trepidation about the coming of 7th. The good thing is, there have also been a fair amount of optimism of late. I happen to be optimistic. Which is why I needed to have a last game on 6th before confining that book into my ever-growing archive of rules of past ages.

My very first game with 6th edition was with my Alaitoc Ranger Force, so I thought it appropriate that my last game in this edition would be with the Ranger Force too. My opponent was the insidious traitorous Eldar corsair Hak'im, who chose to ally his renegade Wild Riders with the Dark Kin. His 1850pt gang of cut-throats was made up of:

- Farseer Hak'im, with singing spear on jetbike
- Warlock with singing spear on jetbike
- Dark Kin Archon scum
- Jetbike squad - 6 Eldar with 2 shuriken cannon
- Jetbike squad - 6 Eldar with 2 shuriken cannon
- Dire Avengers - 5 in a Wave Serpent
- Dire Avengers - 5 in a Wave Serpent
- Dark Kin Warrior scum - 5 in a Venom
- Dark Kin Reaver jetbike scum - 6 with 2 blasters
- Vypers - 2, each with 2 shuriken cannon
- Crimson Hunter with Exarch
- War Walkers - 3 with full load out of scatter lasers
- Fire Prism

The Alaitoc Ranger Force was led by Illic Nightspear himself:

- Illic Nightspear
- Farseer with singing spear
- Pathfinders (5)
- Rangers (5)
- Rangers (5)
- Rangers (5)
- Rangers (5)
- Striking Scorpions (10) - with Exarch w claw
- Warp Spiders (8) - with Exarch and twin-spinners
- Crimson Hunter with Exarch
- Swooping Hawks (6) - with Exarch w Talon
- Wraithlord Agaith
- Wraithlord Pikarid
- Dark Reapers (6) - with Exarch w missile launcher, fast shot and flakks

The battle was Purge the Traitor Eldar Alien Scum, and we played it on Hobby Forge's lovely winterscape table (with a nice amount of ruins and woods), with Hammer & Anvil deployment and Night Fight.

I won the roll and proceeded to deploy one Wraithlord on each flank, roughly 24" from each other,. Between them were the Warp Spiders, spread out in line and masked by ruins. Everyone else infiltrated, except for the Scorpions (my Outflankers), Swooping Hawks (Deep Strike), and Crimson Hunter.

The traitor Eldar were deployed in a long line deep in their deployment zone. The Farseer and his jetbike squad on the right, with 2 Wave Serpents to their left, the Vypers, then the other jetibike squad, then the Venom and Reaver jetbikes, the War Walkers, and in the extreme left and deep in their deployment zone, the Fire Prism.

Then my infiltrators moved in. The tall 4-storey ruins in the center right and closer to my lines was filled to the brim with Alaitoc kinsmen. The top 2 floors were occupied by the Dark Reapers, Illic and the Farseer, the floor below became a Pathfinder warren, and the ground floor was taken up by Rangers. My deployment zone had woods in each flank, and a Ranger squad occupied each. The last Ranger squad deployed forward, behind the tall ruins in center right. They couldn't occupy the ruins as that would take them too close for infilitrators. The idea was to use the first movement phase to creep into the ruin and act as a speed bump against the enemy.

But. The renegade Eldar managed to seize the initative! I fear that forward Rangers squad is all but toast.

Lucky for me the enemy had deployed conservatively, and was not in an optimal position to bring his firepower to bear. Also, Night Fight was really helpful. His allied Reaver jetbikes sped forward and turbo-boosted right into my lines, lopping off some Warp Spider heads as they did so. Concentrating firepower on the Warp Spiders, the War Walkers, Wave Serpents and Venom opened fire on them too and by the end of the turn only half of the Spiders remained. The Farseer's jetbike squad on the right turbo-boosted deep into my territory, while the other jetbike squad took potshots against the forward-most Rangers, who had really good cover. The Fire Prism's fearsome blast against my Rangers in the woods scattered harmlessly away.

I must say I was really lucky to have lost only 5 Warp Spiders and a Ranger after losing the initiative. The Dark Reapers' Guided missiles rained their brand-new S8 missiles into the nearest Wave Serpent, blowing it up in a fiery explosion. A couple of surviving Dire Avengers and the Archon bailed out into the crater, only to be peppered by sniper fire, wiping out the Dire Avengers. Illic had tracked the speeding Farseer on the right and put a sniper round into him. Wraithlord Pikarid peeled right and advanced against the Farseer's jetbike squad, his 2 flamers engulfing the nearest bikers in searing Eldar flame. The surviving jetbikes held firm, and the mighty Wraithlord waded into them, calling out the enemy into a challenge. The plucky enemy Warlock answered his challenge and narrowly avoided death. Wraithlord Agaith in the meantime advanced against the enemy Reavers. The surviving Warp Spiders had jumped behind the Reavers and killed a couple of them before Agaith smashed into them. The 2 survivng Reavers managed to fall back. The forward Rangers and the Rangers in the woods on the left shot up the other jetbike squad, killing half of them. They broke, and narrowly missed fleeing off-table.

The renegade Eldar firepower was still strong, as I had not even begun shooting at the War Walkers. The Archon, who had survived the Wave Serpent wreck, sought shelter in some ruins to the right. The Venom moved forward, disembarking its Warriors into the large ruin, intent to fight off the Rangers occupying half that ruin. But the enemy had seen how deadly the Dark Reapers were, and focused nearly all their firepower on them, killing everyone, including Illic and the Farseer. The rallied Reavers sped forwards again, managing to kill yet another Warp Spider. In the ensuing assault phase, the Warriors in the building attempted to charge the Rangers, but failed to reach them. Wraithlord Pikarid mashed the Warlock, but also took a wound from his cursed singing spear.

Screaming into the battlefield my Crimson Hunter opened fire on the surviving enemy Wave Serpet, easily blowing it apart. Again, the surviving Dire Avengers tumbling out of the wreckage were picked off by sniper fire and wiped out. The Striking Scorpions arrived from their outflanking manouver, gunning down the Archon as the strode onto the battlefield. More sniper fire poured into the Dark Eldar Warriors, wiping them out. In my deployment zone, the surviving Warp Spiders shot at and charged the Reavers, to no affect. Wraithlord Pikarid mushed another 2 jetbikes, but thanks to the enemy Farseer's leadership, the held firm still.

Then the enemy Crimson Hunter dived in, opening up on my jet. There was no way my Crimson Hunter could have survived the attack, and the jet disintegrated in a hail of pulse laser and bright lance fire. The War Walkers and Venom opened fire on Wraithlord Agaith, scoring a wound against the mighty construct. On my right, the Vypers and surviving jetbikes shot up my Striking Scorpions squad, cutting their number by half. They actually broke and started to fall back! In the assault phase, Wraithlord Pikarid dispatched yet another jetbiker. The combat between Warp Spiders and Reavers was well-matched, but one Reaver succumbed, leaving the lone survivor to face 2 angry Spiders.

The situation was grim. Both sides had lost much of their forces, and I had lost most of my anti-tank capability. Wraithlord Agaith advanced towards the War Walkers. The Rangers in the woods on my left did not have any other target, and lent supporting fire for Agaith. Miraculously, a well-placed sniper round took out a hull point and scatter laser from one of the War Walkers. Agaith waded into the enemy War Walkers, destroying 2 but took another wound himself. On the right, my Scorpions rallied, and moved into better cover, while supporting sniper fire took out most of the jetbikes bothering them, leaving a lone survivor. Wraithlord Pikarid smashed the last of the jetbikers, leaving the Farseer to face him alone. The Warp Spider Exarch was felled in the melee, but his surviving Aspect Warrior stood firm.

Now the enemy guns had fallen much more silent, with only the Venom, the Vypers and the Fire Prism being the major threats. The Vipers and jetbike survivor, supported by the Venom, gunned down the remaining Striking Scorpions. In the Assault Phase, Wraithlord Agaith easily ripped apart the last War Walker. Wraithlord Pikarid took another wound from the enemy Farseer, and he prepared to deliver the deathblow to the renegade psyker - and rolled triple 1s to hit.

Wraithlord Agaith strode towards the enemy Venom, holding his fire as he wanted to charge forward and destroy the enemy light craft with his own bare hands. Charging forwards, his initial hammer of wrath impact did not get past the Venom's invulnerable saves, and all his attacks failed to harm the skimmer. The Swooping Hawks deep striked far into enemy territory aiming all their fire at the lone surviving jetbike, but failing to kill it. The bike was then felled by concentrated sniper fire. The Rangers in the woods on the left had no targets, and shot at the enemy Crimson Hunter, with a lucky shot glancing the enemy flyer. Then the enemy Farseer cleaved Wraithlord Pikarid in two, while the Warp Spider and Reaver remained locked in combat.

The Farseer charged forwards into the nearest Ranger squad in the woods ahead of him, easily wiping them out in close combat as the Rangers tried to flee. Wraithlord Agaith was easy pickings for the enemy flyer, blasting him apart with pulse laser and bright lance fire. And still the lone Spider and Reaver remained locked in combat.

The enemy Farseer became the primary target for 2 Ranger squads and a Pathfinder squad, and while he jinked his jetbike madly in an effort to evade the concentrated sniper fire, the deluge of sniper rounds was too much, and he fell. And in the closing moments of the battle, the Dark Kin Reaver got the better of the last Warp Spider, emerging as the sole survivor of the drawn-out melee.

That was simply quite an epic battle and totally close run. My Alaitoc Ranger Forde scored 12 VPs, including First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker. The renegade Eldar-Dark Eldar force scored 11VPs, including Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker. The Ranger squad that was deployed up front, and whom I thought would have given away First Blood when the enemy seized the initiative - actually survivied the battle.

Bloody. A fitting end to 6th Edition.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Finally got these guys done a couple of days ago. It's the last stop before I dive into Throwdown (hopefully). Though if there's any truth to the rumors about daemonology in 7th ed, I may need to paint 4 more daemons of Tzeentch.

This pack of Horrors started off calmly and methodically enough, but ended in a rush when I realized I need to get moving on my Throwdown Dark Angels. Not to mention the additional models I need to bring my AirCav up to date.

I'm happy with how it turned out anyways. And now I'm itching to play a game with my Thousand Sons and their Tzeentch daemon allies! Hmm, perhaps I'll do just that next week. And I also need to field my Alaitoc Ranger Force as well, as a last hurrah for 6th ed ... so much hobby, so little time.

Anyways, after this it's on to finish up the Land Speeder squadron for the Dark Angels. It's not difficult, but it's not the most exciting either. But they do look sweet.

Keep them dice rolling!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Might of the Emperor's Hammer!

Friday's gaming session was pretty cool, trying out updates to my existing IG armies that I haven't tried yet.

First off was my Mechanized Infantry list. Writing this I realized that this is actually the first time I'm running a mech infantry detachment not entirely made up of veterans. Company Command with Master of Ordnance (first time trying this dude out), a Priest, a Primaris Psyker, one platoon of infantry with Command and 3 squads and lascannons and plasma guns (the 3 squads blobbed up with the priest), a veteran squad with 2 plasma guns, all infantry in Chimera (the veterans' Chimera equipped with heavy flamer in the hull), 2 Vendetta, 2 Leman Russ and 1 Leman Russ Executioner.

The enemy was a very mobile and hard-hitting Eldar force. The mech infantry were completely outclassed, outgunned and outmanouvered. One thing I did learn was that the Master of Ordnance is an awesome Advisor! For so little points, you get a large blast template raining down on the enemy. Love it! Also, I do need to try out my old mech infantry style with veterans fighting mounted on Chimera. Funniest bit of the game was when the priest took out the Wraithknight in close combat (well, Smash is good, and the beast was down to 2 wounds).

The second game was to try out updates to my AirCav. With the new Codex, I took out the Basilisk (was never intended for the list in the first place), and added a 2iC squad (Major Winters) who now has the Regimental Standard, a Master of Ordnance, an Officer of the Fleet. Without bodyguards, Straken's squad is now reduced to 5 guys plus a priest (all in Vendetta, works out nice). Since Straken's squad is relentless, they get 3 plasma guns, and his old medic stays in the squad (all that plasma might just hurt). The 2 squads that fly in with Straken are each equipped with 2 meltaguns, a heavy flamer, and a vet sergeant brandishing a power sword. The 3 squads starting on the ground with Major Winters now have heavy weapons - 2 squads with autocannon, 2 plasmaguns and a sniper, and the 3rd squad with missile launcher and 2 meltaguns.

This was against the same Eldar army and was a close loss. Again, the Master of Ordnance proved himself really valueable (and insanely heroic, calling down his last barrage on Eldar jetbikes just 8" south of his position). The heavy weapons and snipers work out nicely. I'm still not sure about the missile launcher though. Might just switch it to another autocannon, though modeling a missile launcher team advancing into position is nice too. The heavy flamers are awesome!!!! Now I need to find some points and upgrade at least one of those squads to Demolitons. I think the Officer of the Fleet can be released - he's got very limited value (and I prefer my own kitbashed models to the GW one). Funniest parts of this game was when a crashing and burning Vendetta ploughed straight into an Eldar War Walker, obliterating it. Next turn, a crashing and burning Crimson Hunter ploughed straight into an Eldar Vyper, obliterating that one too.

I didn't get the time to try out my Armored Company again, but that's fine. I had 2 awesome games!

Next gaming session, I'll try out the tweaks to my AirCav (hopefully with the additional models done), and my veteran mech infantry.

Keep them dice rolling!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hydra Ready for Battle!

I love this model! And now it's ready for battle, in support of the Leman Russ of the Brandenberger IG. I did completely forgot about the camo-netting, which should be quite fast once I get some gauze.

It's been quite awhile since I painted armor (or anything) for my Brandenberger IG. I think the last thing I did was the Manticore some years back. So I kinda felt my way through this one.

I started with a few coats of Tamiya German Grey spray, then went ahead to paint in the details like the weapons, lights, stowage, etc. I actually forgot to put on the storage when I was assembling this. Then I put on the Iron Cross decals, and gave a coat of Tamiya Matt Clear over the decals.

I painted in some Bestial Brown trailing down from the rivets, and Leadbelcher chips. Then in true Brandenberger armor style, I gave the whole thing a healthy black wash. After that some liberal drybrushing with Vallejo English Uniform and the tank was basically done.

The crew uniform was in Vallejo German Field Grey, with German Grey helmets, and Mechrite Red shoulder pads (they are artillerymen after all). All in all, pretty simple job. I'm happy with how it turned out.

Next up will be finishing up the Pink Horrors, then we dive full force into the Throwdown, starting with the Land Speeders for the Wild Card!

Keep rolling them dice!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Throwdown Day Zero!

And it begins! After much agonizing over what to paint for the Throwdown I've finally settled on this 1500pt Dark Angels army. The original list was to be a 'purist' 3rd Battle Company - no Deathwing, and no Ravenwing elements. It had Tacticals, Assault Squad, Devastators, Land Raider, the works. But it also had like 60+ models to paint (including the b**ch to paint Land Raider).

And then the IG codex came out, and the mood for painting Dark Angels really sapped away. I even got distracted from my half-done Pink Horrors to paint the lovely new Hydra (almost done now), and lined up several IG models to paint - 9 infantry and weapons teams for an updated AirCav, 1 psyker, 1 priest and 1 lovely new plastic commissar.

But I managed to pass my own Ld test (of 5) and decided to build a Throwdown list that has models I really want to paint, and with a smaller number of models too. It so happened that I had black-primed 3 Land Speeders, 6 Black Knights and a Nephilim for my Ravenwing. And those models were all part of the original 2014 project list. So I kill several birds (black ones) with one stone by including them in the list. Now the list has fewer models, AND I get to paint most of the models which I'm supposed to add to my Ravenwing army.

So here it is, 1500pts Dark Angels:

Company Master - w artificier armor, Lion's roar and power sword (bare plastic)

Tacticals - 10-men, plasma gun, plasma cannon,  vet sgt w power sword and plasma pistol (bare plastic)
Rhino (on sprue!)
Tacticals - 10-men, plasma gun, plasma cannon, vet sgt w chainsword and plasma pistol (bare plastic)

Black Knights - 6 Knights, 1 ravenwing grenade launcher, Huntmaster w power sword and meltabombs (black undercoat)
3 Land Speeders (black undercoat)
Nephilim (black undercoat)

Predator - all-lascannons (on sprue!)

Aegis Defense Line - with Quad gun

Let's go!