30 September 2009

Starting the Waaagh - two takes on 500-point Ork forces.

'Oi lads!

First, let me apologize for the lack of recent updating. I spent over a week in bed with our wonderful new strain of Influenza, while helping my girlfriend recover from an emergency appendectomy.

But even while resting, I've been doing some work. I needed a break from my power-armored forces (all three flavors of Dark Angels, plus Executioners for the Badab campaign), and decided to re-start my Orks.

I haven't done anything with non-Epic Orks since Gorkamorka was in publication, so that should tell you something. Those Gorkamorka days, combined with a few sets of Black Reach Orks, gave me what I felt would be a great core for a new Evil Sunz army. As with all things, I started with 500 points:

HQ: Mek with twin-linked shoota, power klaw, bosspole (Black Reach boss model)
Troops: 4 Nobz with Big Choppas (Trukk with Red Paint and Wrecking Ball)
Troops: 9 Slugga Boyz, Boy with Big Shoota, Nob with Big Choppa (Trukk with Red Paint)
Fast: 3xDeffkoptas with Rokkit Launchers

I'm fairly certain that I was already under H1N1's thrall when I made this ridiculous list. You're reading this correctly - only 16 greenskins at 500 points. But it seemed like a good enough idea for me to get painting:

I like the basic color scheme... it only took me three days' recovering time to paint those 500 points. In any case, last Friday evening I was able to put this army list (and I use that term very loosely) to the test against my buddy's Cadians. And by Cadians, I mean two full platoons and a barebones Leman Russ. The results, as you can well imagine, were completely laughable.

As I mopped several green puddles from the streets of my ruined city, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I should be more concerned with numerical superiority at low-point games than with mobility. I shelved my fresh new Evil Sunz, opened my cabinet, and dug through my Rogue Trader and 2nd Edition plastic Orks.

I didn't want to repeat the same scheme and theme with two radically different model sets, so I decided to build my Orks 2.0 as Bad Moons. A lucky eBay find landed me about sixty well-painted Rogue Trader boyz, which gave me this scheme (along with a dozen others):

I'm going to retouch the yellows and browns with modern Foundation paints, and redo the base once I finalize my new desert-table scheme. Other than that, I'm more than satisfied with this appearance, and will use it to produce my Bad Moon army. The new 500 point list:

HQ: Mek with Shokk Attack Gun
Troops: 29 Shoota Boyz (3 with heavy shootas), Nob with power klaw
Troops: 8 Slugga Boyz, 1 Boy with heavy shoota, 1 Nob with big choppa (Trukk with red paint)
Troops: 18 Grotz, Runtherd

60 greenskins at 500 points. I playtested it against my own 500-point Executioner list on Monday. The results were far more satisfying than using the glorified Gorkamorka mob from last week's sessions, and each 500-point increment I add to this force will include one more shooty mob. I have over a hundred Rogue Trader boyz to use in this army, along with tons of great 1st and 2nd edition models (two original plastic Battlewagons, some old Power Armor Nobz that will be my Meganobz, etc). An unsatisfying portion for now is the Grot Mob. In terms of models, I have eighty 2nd Edition mono-pose Grots... and nothing else. And the Rogue Trader boyz are so much more high-tech in terms of clothing and equipment (compared to modern Orks) that the new Grots would look out-of-place. For 3-point models, I think I'll allow boring to win. My test scheme for the Grot Mob:

Nothing fancy - Black spray, Adeptus Battlegrey drybrush of the entire model, Boltgun drybrush of the blasta, Gretchin Green on the face, ears, and arms, and Iyanden Darksun on the helmet and belt. It'll never win a Golden Demon - but the entire thing, from the time I picked up a brush to the time it was done, took less than five minutes. So it will be very easy to knock out a mob or two of these as I rebuild my army.

Tomorrow's post will feature the development of my 1000-point army, along with some conversion goodness. Stay tuned!

07 September 2009

Fog of War Expansion Preview: Force Selection

After some debating, this is the trial version of the Fog of War force selection rules (extract from the in-progress book):

Fog of War uses a variable army size for each mission. These are deployed in increments of 500 points, with a total army size of 3000 points. The first 2500 points should be chosen from a single codex, but may use allies when standard rules permit (Inquisitiorial ally rules, Kroot mercenaries, etc). The army is constructed as follows:

  • 500-point Vanguard (explained below).
  • 1000-point army. This army must combine the Vanguard with a 500-point addition to create a legal army (one HQ and two Troops choices).
  • 1500-point army. This force must be a legal army (one HQ and two Troops choices) and include the Vanguard. This can be accomplished by adding 500 points to the above 1000-point army, or by creating a completely different 1000-point addition to the Vanguard.
  • 2000-point army and
  • 2500-point army. The remaining additions are restricted only by the standard Force Organization Chart, created however the player desires.
  • 500-point addition which will create a 3000-point "apocalyptic" army. This remaining addition can be chosen freely, and may include flyers, super-heavies, additional units from the army's codex (or codices), or units from another codex (subject to the Apocalypse ally rules).

Vanguard Composition

The Vanguard is the core force used in all Fog of War missions. It consists of the following units:
  • One mandatory choice from Troops
  • One mandatory choice from Troops OR Elites
  • Maximum 1 HQ unit
  • Maximum 1 vehicle with a total armor value over 33 (sum of front, side, and rear values).
  • Other units can be chosen from any Force Organization Chart entry, subject to the above restrictions.

Sample Army - Dark Angels

Vanguard: Belial, Deathwing Squad, 5-man Tactical Squad in Rhino
1000 points: Vanguard plus Vindicator, Ravenwing Attack Squad, and Devastator Squad
1500 points: Vanguard plus Interrogator-Chaplain, Mortis Dreadnought, Deathwing Squad, Ravenwing Attack Squad, and Land Raider
2000 points: Vanguard plus Interrogator-Chaplain, Deathwing Squad, Tactical Squad with Razorback, 2 Ravenwing Attack Squads, Devastator Squad
2500 points: Vanguard plus Interrogator-Chaplain, Mortis Dreadnought, Two Deathwing Squads, Tactical Squad with Razorback, 2 Ravenwing Attack Squads, Devastator Squad, Land Raider, and Vindicator
3000 points: 2500 points plus Deathwing squad and Land Raider Prometheus

03 September 2009

Eight terrain pieces in one day

I don't have an Epic post for the day, as I was distracted by a new personal record. Today I assembled, primed, and painted eight pieces of terrain in one session. Obviously these were small and easy, but I think they were much-needed additions to my modular Cities of Death battlefield system.

Until today, I had been using a jigsaw to cut my MDF hardboard bases. Today I discovered a much simpler way using a mini-hobby saw and sanding sponge - it worked well enough that I may post it as a separate tutorial. Rather than using my own hardboard, all eight bases for today's projects were scrap and offcuts from the CNC Scenery Australia tiles. Some of the tiles, especially the straight roads, left pretty usable chunks of hardboard.

The project list for today:
  • Straight wall section from Cities of Death buildings
  • Stand of Games Workshop barrels
  • Two piles of city rubble (my usual mix of ground sprues and aquarium gravel)
  • Two Games Workshop tank traps
  • Two Games Workshop personnel barricades
The straight wall section had the most detail, and even it only took me 45 minutes to paint. Black basecoat, heavy blue drybrush on the walls and rubble, rusty steel on the skulls and chains (tin bitz basecoat, tin bitz/boltgun mix drybrush, boltgun light drybrush) and a Bleached Bone drybrush on the skeleton.

The barrel stand was basic rusty-steel, and the rubble piles were drybrushes of the usual Wal-Mart craft paints that I use on most terrain.

I'm getting far more comfortable with my rusted-metal effect. I'll have to get a better picture of it later, along with a tutorial.

01 September 2009

Space Hulk - Then to Now

As a fun break from rules development and painting, I broke open my shiny new copy of Space Hulk and assembled the miniatures. The pictures that Games Workshop published showed just how breathtaking the new miniatures are, especially to veterans. For those who haven't seen the older models, I thought a side-by-side would bring everything into perspective.

Librarian... 1st vs 3rd Editions

Sergeant... 2nd vs 3rd Editions

Heavy Flamer Terminator... 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions

Terminator... 1st, 2nd, and 3r3rd Editions

Anybody who hadn't decided whether or not they will buy this game... buy it. This is just a sample of the Marine models. The Genestealers are fantastic, the board, counters, and templates are rock-solid and attractive, even the dice are unique. I wish I had an old version of Space Hulk to compare boards and counters... maybe their prices will be driven down with the modern release? Only time will tell.