Necron Triarch Stalker
The Necron Triarch Stalker

With a battle close at hand a new Triarch Stalker creeps from the forges. These units sound like they would be pretty useful, but I've taken them in the past and it's never survived the first round of shooting to really check them out. So maybe if I bring two...

Landraider targeting a Necron ghost ark
Battle 2000pts Necron vs Marines

I put my current project on hold to crank out two necron flyers and a command barge for a game I had the opportunity to play. I probably should have just kept working on my painting project. The game couldn't have gone much worse. I built a list to be very fast that could strike across the board quickly and powerfully. The army I faced was designed for first strike on turn one.

The game started off with my necrons in a big block to provide cover for more important units with buildings and less important units limiting the field of fire available to my opponent. Not having the first turn against this opponent's army proved to be costly in deed. Using one drop pod and a special rule for death wing terminators my opponent was able to bring in all his reserves on the first turn right in front of my block of troops (except for a flyer that came in just at the right time to deal with my flyers one at a time). The fire from the flamers and special bolt rounds by the sternguard in the drop pod was devastating to all troops unlucky enough to not be in some sort of transport. I also misunderstood the swipe attacks from chariots and my two command barges (the reason I brought them and set them up the way I did) paid the price. One only getting to try it once and the other being brought down without getting to try it at all. Again combined with my in ability to roll dice (3+ inv save x 4 - result 3 1's and a 2...really?) I think I past 4 armour saves the entire game. Yes, I did get some luck with a courts repair rolls, but they were really just an annoyance to my opponent that they kept getting up rather than being any kind of threat.

Another nail in the coffin was my reserves. I had a substantial part of my army in reserve to drop in on my opponents door step like he did with me, but Necrons don't have the ability to do it in turn one like marines, so all my troops really good at fighting at the mid-range drop were not on the board to counter his drop. So all my long range and fast weak units took the punishment from the first strike. Even with the warlord trait to re-roll reserve rolls I had a strong unit in a flyer transport that couldn't come on till automatic reserves (stupid dice).

I really spent the game trying not to get tabled. Just as my last unit would be about to die I would get something from reserve to come on. Resulting in my opponent's entire army able to focus fire as units came on the board. All the points on speed ended up being wasted with his units all showing up on my door step. To have a chance I really should have used my speed to run off to a corner of the board and hide till I could get more of my troops on the table, but that wouldn't have been very Necron like so instead I get to add another loss to the Necron army column. Really tough when you have the same game plan as your opponent, but your opponent ends up swinging first.

Current Project
Current Project

My current project is experimenting with an airbrush to see if it can help speed up my painting process. So far, yes it's faster and more interesting than using a brush. I did have some issues with the wash, it's so thin the air coming out with the paint just pushed it around to the backside of the mini. I am going to try turning my psi down and moving the airbrush further from the model to see if that helps.

I used the airbrush for the basecoat and the red wash base on these 6 models. I have added the black by brush to 3 of them, the third needs another coat. I am trying to decide if I want to try to add the orange and yellow with the brush or spray. I ultimately want to use the spray, but having just started using it I'm not sure my skills are up to the masking and control challenge yet. Might do it anyway...

I have not had many opportunities to play 6th edition yet, but in the last battle I was introduced to flyers by my opponent. These things are nasty.

Since most lists don't yet have ground based anti-air weapons in them they are very difficult to take out. Having to get 6's on the to hit with weapons that have enough strength to damage even the medium armour of some flyers can be difficult. Unfortunately the only twin linked weapon I had on the board was taken out before the flyers came in from reserve. I had two choices, spend a lot of firepower trying to take down the annoying things, or ignore them and hope they didn't do to much damage before I secured a victory. Based on my legendary ability to completely beat the odds with dice almost every time in my opponents favor, I decided that ignorance is bliss. The fight was marine versus marine and stayed fairly close even with my opponent and I getting a few of the 6th edition rules incorrect. If we had been playing to complete annihilation I would have been in trouble, but as it was I played to the mission and my opponent barely pulled off a last minute push to tie.

I expected flyers to be a lot like skimmers that carried a lot of firepower around, but having a glass jaw. With the requirement of snap shots to hit + jink that was not the case. I am definitely going to have to add some flyers to my list, even if they are only used to take out opposing flyers. Having a unit that can run completely across the board and wipe out large groups of troops with relative impunity is just too strong to keep ignoring.

I am sure it will all get fixed over time as new codex come out to balance out the flyer threat, but until then a few errata would be nice. Something like all weapons with the flexibility of shooting each armies equivalent of frag/krak gain the ability to shoot an anti-air round as well at full BS. Looking at the dark angel codex, adding that to the flexibility would be my guess as to the easiest and fastest balancing method. Unless of course they want to sell more of the relatively expensive flyer models before the fix goes in, since the balance now is to bring your own flyers, then of course just add in ground based anti-air as codex are released.

Either way I have some flyers I need to get put together so I can join in the aerial fun. Second edition has always been my favorite edition, but 6th edition could be promising.

Tyranid Hive Fleet renamed to Furies. In Greek and roman mythology furies were the female spirits of justice and vengeance. They were especially known for ferocity in individuals that killed kindred, particularly matricide. To go with the name change I've also included a short back story for it. The name isn't a perfect fit since the furies focused on individuals that killed their own family members, and the hive fleet focuses on hunting down enemy that defeated Tyranid kind especially any that harmed a Norn Queen. Not a perfect fit, but I like it. I also get the imagery of fire in my head when I hear the name furies which go with the paint scheme. (Might have something to do with reading Codex Alera: Cursor's Fury as well)

6th Edition, cool

  • Pre-measuring
  • characteristic modification order clarification
  • wounds front to back
  • intervening cover save downgraded
  • random charge range
  • partial unit in cover options
  • snap fire
  • look out sir
  • overwatch
  • pile in by initiative

My Main computer used to update my website died. As you can imagine it has slowed my updates considerably. I have made a few small updates to the tyranids page with more models getting finished. I've also magnetized half of my currently assembled Hive Tyrant. The bone sword had come loose and rather than just gluing it back on I embedded magnets in it, during the process the scything talon on that side also came loose so it also got magnets. I didn't want to pull off the other arms just to add the magnets so until the glue crystallizes and it always seems to do so, he will just be half swap-able.

For the magnets I'm using are NEODYMIUM Rare Earth Magnets from K&J Magnetics. I have had a lot of good luck with them...when I get the polarity right. The Hive Tyrant was the first time I've tried using them to attach a metal piece to a metal model and I was very pleased with the results.

The bond between the magnets is extremely strong, considering the surface area involved. I've found that it's best to use the widest, flattest magnet possible when using the magnets. The thin part means you don't have to drill as deep into the model and the wide part allows as much surface area as possible of the magnets to touch each other. This of course allows for the best bond. The magnets don't have to match in size, though I normally do match them up, but if there is room for an 1/8" magnet on the body, but only a 1/16" magnet on the body part, then the two will still work fine. Again I caution, get the polarity correct, the bond that holds them together is equally strong at keeping them apart if you get it wrong.

Since I'm embedding them into the model is very difficult and destructive to undo a polarity mistake. The mistake is easy to make. In the first case you could just guess which way the magnet should go, always a bad idea. Sure you have a 50% chance of getting it right...but you also have a 50% chance of getting it wrong. Secondly you might be using a third piece as a stand in for matching up the polarity, and the piece your using is wrong. The third issue leading to polarity problems is that the magnets are really strong, and quite powerful. If your pin drill is to close after you have figured out the polarity and applied glue, the magnet can leap over to the drill and you lose which side is the correct polarity. Sind you've already applied the glue time is a factor so you do the best you can, and sometimes get it wrong. The small size also means when you're taking the magnet off of your test magnet to find the correct polarity side or as your putting it in the hole you drilled for the magnet, it can flip on you without you seeing it...or thinking you saw it flip when it didn't. So basically there are a lot of reasons you can get the polarity wrong, so be as careful as you can.

I wouldn't say I've worked out a full proof system of working with the magnets, but I'll write up a small article with photos and such on the method and process I follow. I'll also let you know where I've had issues in the process and to use caution.

I have also played two games since my last post, and although I lost them they were fun. Both games were planet strike with me as the attacker with the nids. Yes, nids are great at the role, but the number of bastions on the board really limits what your monstrous creatures and zoanthropes can focus on until they are killed. That combined with very few long range high AP weapons means that armies like marines are going to always get their armour saves in the shooting phase.

In the first game my monstrous creatures suffered from having to pause to kill the bastions. Because they couldn't follow up into hand to hand combat for cover, and the marines inside didn't count as moving in their turn for shooting heavy weapons, I took a ton of high strength fire that didn't allow armour saves every turn. This lead me to lose a lot of my big bugs early. With three bastions to kill my big bugs were just exposed out of assault for too long. My opponent did a great job on focusing on one big bug at a time so regeneration couldn't help me. Then adding the fact that the big guy had to be covered 50% to get a cover save, things just didn't go well. My opponent took much better advantage of the planet strike rules than I did and deserved the win.

In the second game, I was also the attacker in a planet strike game, but this time I also got one bastion. I wasn't expecting to be up against four bastions that the defender controlled as well, but you play the cards your dealt. In this game the defender only had to hold one bastion at the end of the game to win, so time was against me from the get go. Lady luck did show up several times during this game. Unfortunately she was very biased in my opponents favor. I set up great putting my bastion close to two of the defenders bastions so my zoanthropes could sit inside and blast away at two of the bastions allowing my big bugs to go after the far away bastions. My opponent took a gamble and had just the right weapon to deal with my bastion in his first turn, without losing any time shooting at my big bugs (drop pod squad with melta guns landed next to my bastion and popped it the defenders first turn). Next I had to deal with a character that just would not die. They were in terminator armour, but you would have thought with approx 17 armour checks a turn a few ones would be rolled. I also lost a 20 model squad by one squad in one turn. Again just a case of dice rolls doing much better than average. With my opponent making very few if any mistakes that I saw and lady luck teaming up with them I had a really rough game.

More Updates to the Tyranid section: Now with the entire Hive Fleet Colossus listed (might have a few more, but you'll get the picture)

New Section Opened - Tyranids

Project Hive Fleet began in January. Looks like it took a challenge for progress to finally to be made on the gray bugs of doom. The challenge is to paint one legal unit a month with at least three colors. Not meeting that goal costs the offender $1.00. So far so good, I've got three squads painted and a fourth doing very well already this month. Here are some glimpses of Hive Fleet Colossus.

Even before the new codex came out I was loving playing my bugs. Now it's just that much more fun. We are starting a new campaign and I can't wait for the challenge. Though I've been lucky enough to win several of the past games my normal opponent is starting to catch on to my tactics and come up with some extremely tricky tactics of his own. Once the defeats start, there will most likely be a landslide effect for a little while, but luckily the hive mind learns even from its defeats. Another thing about the bugs, the more wins they get, the more biomass they get to consume, the harder it will be to push them back. Even in the worst case, as long as there is someone to eat, they will never be completely destroyed.

I guess that's a theme of the last two armies I've started collecting. The immortal robot warriors that just keep getting back up, and the never ending stream of biomass. No matter what you throw at them, they just keep coming.

With the release of the Blood Angels Codex though, it will be very hard not to play the army that got me into the hobby in the first place. I'm just having to much fun with the bugs that on the rare occasions I get to play the hive mind won't let me even think of bringing anything else to the table.

Question 10: Who was the first to openly turn to Chaos and turn traitor to the Warmaster?

Answer 9: 3+ on 2D6 . [Any Marine Codex ]

Question 9: What was the armour save for a terminator in second edition warhammer 40,000?

Answer 8: His ring. [Abnett, Dan (2000). First and Only]

Question 8: What item was Ibram Gaunt given by his uncle to remember his father?

Answer 7: Twin-link assault cannon and heavy flamer side sponsons. [Blood Angels Codex ]

Sorry for the lack of posts, but all I can really say is GenCon. I took a painting class at GenCon, unfortunately it wasn't how to paint faster, it was how to paint better (and even slower than I already do). I learned a ton, such as, when mixing two hobby paints together you sometimes get this awful brown color. Well that's due to the number of pigments in the paint. If you mix more than 6 of any pigment you get that brown color. So one tip was to buy some single pigment latex artist paints so you know exactly what color your putting in and a much better idea of what should come out....unless the hobby paint your mixing it with happens to already have 6 pigments.

Something I wasn't planning on was meeting Dan Abnett. He wasn't even at the author signing area. He was at a booth which carried, among other things, many different black libraries and GW material. So I now have a signed copy of First and Only. I'll be reading it next as soon as I finish The Da Vinci Code.

I was tempted by several of the deals on more mini's but I held back and my wife and I ended up buying a set with a TON of reaper master series paints. Let's put it this way, it was our big purchase for GenCon.

I also got to try out WAR as mythic was there with a playable demo. It was a pvp arena against the other players currently demoing at the con. I was doing horribly till I found out that my guy had earned a ton of new abilities, but no one had leveled him up to activate them. Well after that I did extremely well. It was a lot of fun and reminded me a lot of World of Warcraft PVP. Granted I probably only played for 40 min or so, and it was just a pvp arena. There could be more too it later, but I had a lot of fun. I'm looking even more toward it now than I was before.

We tried out and purchased a lot of board games. I think my favorite was Shadows over Camelot. There are very few board games that are co-op and this is one of them. I know I don't have the L33T skills for board or computer games, so I prefer to co-op and go against other players or preferably the computer. That's not to say I don't like player vs player stuff, I just prefer to work as a team than as an individual.

Question 7: What is the standard armourment of a Baal Predator?

Answer 6: AP2 and AP1 at the center. It's one of the only template weapons you can snipe with. You must place the hole over a target and even though your opponent can move it, they must have the same number of models under the template to do so. That makes it a little trickier to not take that AP 1 hit on your character cowering in the squad. [Necron Codex ]

Question 6: What are the two AP values for a particle whip?

Answer 5: Garviel Loken [Abnett, Dan. Horus Rising ]

Work has pretty much stopped on the Tyranids as I make and repair my SCA armour for one of my other hobbies. Hopefully I can get the armour finished and my working room cleaned back up in a week or two in order to continue work on the Tyranid Swarm.

Question 5: Who was the Captain of the 10th Company of Luna Wolves?

Answer 4: Standard Template Constructs [Abnett, Dan (2000). First and Only]

The work on the tyranids continues, slowly but surely....but mostly slowly.

Question 4: What is the technology behind things like bolters, rhinos, and lasguns that the Adeptus Mechanicus maintains a near-monopoly of and rewards well for finding?

Answer 3: 3 (The rule for taking Carnifex as elite units doesn't apply until the game is 1500 points or more) [Tyranid Codex]

The Tyranids have started to take shape. I am opting to completely finish down to the basing each package at a time. That way I have finished models I can start taking pictures of to get a gallery going here, rather than taking pictures of all my stuff and saying "work in progress" like all my other armies have and continue to be.

Question 3: How many Carnifex are allowed in a 1200 point game using one force organization chart?

Answer 2: The Blood Angels [Blood Angels Codex]

I found out yesterday that the company making Warhammer Online is being sold to Electronic Arts and they will become EA Mythic. At this point it really could go either way. EA has a lot of money for publishing and a lot of success with their games. The down side is that they could buy Mythic for Dark Age of Camelot as well as the under development Warhammer Online and let the people behind these games go. I am hopeful that EA will do the smart thing and keep the people that know how to run an MMO on board and just back them financially. It does mean that Warhammer Online will be able to compete with World of Warcraft, something it would have had a hard time doing financially. According to someone I know that visited Mythic prior to E3, EA had tried to buy them before E3 and the deal fell through. They were quite surprised to see that EA came back and ended up buying them. The theory is that the first deal Mythic turned down in the end because it wasn't good enough or secure enough for them. After E3 and the rave reviews Warhammer Online got EA came back with a sweeter deal that Mythic accepted. Too much is unknown at this point, but we'll see. You can't make a good game just by throwing money at it, but maybe a good game can be made better or at least marketed better with the added finance.

Question 2: What first founding chapter suffers from "The Black Rage"?

Answer 1: The Tower of Angels [Thorpe, Gav (2003). Angels of Darkness]

Today I saw a cool book in the game preserve. It was quiz questions based on the 40k universe and the tabletop game. I like the idea so I'm going to be asking one quiz question a week. Note: I did not buy the book nor are any of these questions from the book, but there will probably be similar questions both here and in the book. The following week I'll ask a new question and anwser the previous week's question. I'll start out with at least one a week, but try for more. To sort of keep an archive of the questions I'll post the new question/answer here and move the old one to its own section. These questions can come from official games workshop and/or black library content.

Question 1: What specific structure survived the destruction of Caliban?

Well I'm way behind on my website here. I need to finish up some of my models so that I can take pictures of them and replace the banners and graphics on this page with my own models instead of the pictures from the games-workshop website. I am going to start writing some content for the website even though the graphics aren't done yet. That way I can at least have some stuff out here. Mythic recently released a video (I believe it will be the intro video for the game) for Warhammer Online. I downloaded it from fileplanet and it really has me excited about the game. It may even be enough to pull me away from my current MMO, Dark Age of Camelot. On the warhammeronline website they have a lot of really nice screenshots from the game. It looks like it's going to be spectacular from the graphics side. I am really hoping I can get in the beta testing for it. They said they will be taking beta testers from dark age and I've beta tested for them before so I'm hopeful. The game isn't scheduled for release till sometime in 2007 so it will be a while before they do any beta testing. It has also interested me in Warhammer Fantasy. I know there is a new rulebook for it coming out in the fall, but I bought one of the current ones anyway. I figure even if it doesn't look like a game I will end-up playing I will at least know some of the background story and be more familiar with the world for when the MMO comes out. I have also started doing some research into what armies I would want if I do decide to play it. I'll explain more in an article....woot, content :D

As many people know Warhammer Online is currently under development. I am really looking forward to this MMO game. Although I play warhammer 40,000 and not warhammer I think the game should be a lot of fun. The project involves two companies I am very familiar with, Games Workshop of course has all the intellectual property and designed the wahammer universe and Mythic Entertainment is making the game out of the intellectual property. I am familiar with Mythic from the MMO I currently play, Dark Age of Camelot. There is not a whole lot of official information out yet, but I do like the things I'm hearing so far.