Thursday, 20 July 2017

Shadow Wars: Necrons vs Eldar Vs Ad Mech


Last night saw the opening game of a 3-player Shadow Wars campaign. Myself and the other two players have been working on our kill teams for the last couple of weeks. We all chose to paint up something new, so to begin with, last night saw us reveal the work we'd put in.

Sadly, I didn't get a close up of the Eldar, so I'll make sure I do that next time. Gav had done a fantastic job of painting the diamonds on his miniatures. That's one of those paint schemes that has always put me off even having a go...

The 3-way game rules are pretty similar to the 2-player rules with an added 2d6 roll at the start of each turn to see who goes first, which really spices things up.

The aim of the mission was to collect the promethium barrels from the centre  of the board and take them back to our corner.

We each set up 12" from a corner and started to tentatively make our way towards the barrels.

I'd selected 3 guys with basic weapons, my Alpha was set up for close combat and then I spent a lot of points on a guy with a really expensive sniper rifle. This scenario was ideal! I moved him up to a position overlooking the promethium cache in the middle of the board.

Turn 1, 2 and 3 also saw me trading shots with the naughty Necrons (who looked fantastic in their chrome paint scheme, great work Chris!).

I think it was Turn 4 when the Eldar pounced, grabbed three barrels, but subsequently got taken down almost immediately. This will be why everyone was hanging back then... In Shadow Wars, if you go down but someone is within 2" of you, they can help you back up. unfortunately the entire Eldar team got put down, which saw them spend the rest of the game dragging themselves to safety...

With the Eldar down, it was left to the Necrons and Mechanicum to try and snatch the loot. I managed to grab one barrel, and as I tried to get that off the board, the rest of my team spent the remaining turns shooting at the retreating Necrons, who had grabbed three and were making a dash for their corner.

After two turns of tactical retreat I accidentally won the game. With the Eldar down and choosing to fail the Bottle Test on Turn 6, and the Necrons grabbing 3 barrels to escapee the board, it meant that I was the last player on the table and by default, the winner.

The one member of my team that went down in the game managed to recover. However, and more interestingly, one player from each of the Necron and Harlequin teams rolled 'captured' on the table, which means I got myself some prisoners! In terms of Promethium, I gained 3, the 'Crons got 3 and Eldar 1. You need 15 to win the campaign, so the difficult decision is, do you keep that in your bank or spend it on a Special Operative next game?

In summary, the 3-player game wasn't unbalanced from what I can see and it was very 'busy', none of the turns were without any action. We had an objective and so that was our focus. The Eldar may feel a little different about 'balance' considering they all got taken out as soon as they headed for the promethium cache, but I didn't feel like both of my opponents were ganging up on me.

I'm looking forward to Game 2, which is going to be a three-way rescue mission as the Necrons and Harlequins try and rescue their captured team members. Not that there will be much left of them once my Enginseers have stripped them of their Xenos tech...

Lastly, you might have noticed a little less posting from me lately? That's because I have been in the middle of completing my Doctorate. The great news is that I passed with only a couple of amendments to make, which I plan to do over the next week. And that leads straight into the next heads up; you probably wont hear from me for a couple of weeks now, but when I get back I'll be diving straight in with a couple of posts about my Armies on Parade plans (are you entering this year?).

If you need to fill the void left by me over the next two weeks (I know you'll miss me), make sure you check out the latest adventures of Abaddon and his space cat, or musings from the mighty, Gemmell Award winning Gav Thorpe (and make sure you congratulate him on this fantastic achievement).

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Friday, 14 July 2017

How do you pick your army?

It's a question that comes to us all, how to pick an army?

The first question, I guess, is, what is the army for?

Is it for painting? Is it for playing with? Is it for a particular event? Is it for collecting for the sake of collecting?

I've had armies that fit all those titles, but first and foremost I'm a painter. I generally convert and paint cool miniatures, and then try and make them fit my army... which is probably why I generally lose. What do you mean a squad of lightning claw equipped veterans are useless against tanks and boarding shields?! Surely the coolest miniatures win? No? oh, ok then...

Heavy bolters are great yeah?

Then I guess I'm a collector. I used to have to have at least one of every unit in a codex. I don't have time or space for that these days, but that's how I used to do it.

These days I like to paint with a fully painted army if I can. I'm finally at the point where I can actually field the army I want with fully painted miniatures, but it's taken about 3 years to get that core 3000pts fully painted. I keep getting distracted by cool conversions, 'taking a break from infantry' to paint a tank or three, or more recently by mini games such as Shadow Wars: Armageddon.

What do you mean he wasn't part of my
original 2017 army painting challenge?!

But now I have that core painted and I am playing a lot more than I used to, I'm definitely choosing what I paint so that I stand at least have a chance of winning. It's ok if I lost that one game that I played every year, but I'm playing one game or another at least once a month now, and I don't want to be losing 12 games a year! So the next think I paint will be aimed at giving me a competitive advantage.

However, there's also the mini projects. As I mentioned, I'm about to play quite a bit of Shadow Wars, so I had to paint up a legal army. It's only 4 or five miniatures, but still, it's time taken away from painting my main Space Wolves army... The Mechanicum do look cool though, and it's given me a chance to paint something new. So I guess this army kinda ticks all the boxes: it's cool, there's one of every unit and I'll be able to game with it!

And lastly there is the dreadnought army I'm painting up. I've chosen the army primarily because it will look awesome!! But I have picked the miniatures based on whether they will be cool or not. Plus it is something completely different to paint. I started out trying to get 12 dreads into the 3000pts, but that has shrunk to 10. But still, a whole contemptor dreadnought army is gonna be cool! And might even win a game...

 So, how do you pick your army?

 Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Shadow Wars Painting Progress - 14/07/2017

Ah man, it seems like I've made no progress this week, but actually I look at these photos and think that actually, I've made a load of progress!

I'm really liking the way the colour scheme for these Mechanicum guys has turned out, so much so that I've given it a shot on my Primaris Marines too.

I'm not sure the Mechanicum will be completely finished in time for their first campaign match next week, but they have more than the three colours I promised I'd get on them. And then I remember this is only the core force! there's another 9 guys (specialists and recruits) to paint for next time...

I've also finished all the blocking out on the Space Wolves Terminators I'm painting for a friend, and my rhino is pretty much there now too. What I really need is some Agrax Earthshade, I've run out!!

I've also nearly finished this guy... after 3 years!! My wife will be happy :-)

What have you guys been up to this week?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Monday, 10 July 2017

Hobby Progress - 10/07/2017

I was thinking to myself that I hadn't had a lot of hobby time recently but then I started writing this progress report...
Finally finished sticking together my Shadow Wars army... got their first game next week so they need some paint on them now!

I also sat down and took some pictures of my miniatures to send off to White Dwarf. They needed a white background and I tend to use black for all of my blog photos. Here's a couple...

Me and my son have been playing some games. He's been setting up terrain and rolling dice to make things move anyway, so that definitely counts! It's really interesting to see his imagination and what sort of mechanics he applies as the game develops. I find this really cool anyway.

He also helped me stick some miniatures together, selecting all the parts for me to cut and glue (can't trust him with a scalpel yet...) and then painting it up himself. (shout out to @_barefootdragon for these bits)
I got my hands on some Primaris Marines and stuck those together. I'm not convinced by that Sergeant's pose. Even before I chopped his hand off and replaced it with a power fist, he kinda looks awkward. However, these miniatures are so easy to put together and so easy to paint too. I could quite easily paint up the whole box set!

Not got a name for these guys yet, going to do a Space Wolves successor though, hence the wolves bits.

However, I do want them to be completely different to my 30k Space Wolves, and continued the theme for the Mechanicum Shadow Wars squad. Here's my two test pieces.

And lastly, here's a look at my project table... I'm currently painting some Terminators for a friend, the rhino for my 30k Wolves and then the Primaris and Mechanicum guys... I've got two weeks to finish this lot before I go way for a while, wish me luck!

What have you been up to? What do you think of the Primaris/Mechanicum colour scheme?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Friday, 7 July 2017

Battles in the Rage of Darkness - Game 2

Once again on a Monday evening, myself and Rich convened at Dave HQ for the second battle of our campaign (overview here).

I've got to say before I begin too, that this was the first game we'd played with 100% fully painted armies. Rich and I had both been working on these armies for a number of years now and it's always been a challenge to manage 'real' life and 'hobby' life, so having the armies that we wanted (not just what we happened to have painted) fully painted up was a real pleasure to play with.
This was a 1500pt Zone Mortalis game, played on a 4' x 4' board. The set up this time was quite ad hoc:
  • Set up in diagonal corners, 9" from the centre point;
  • There were 3 objectives, worth 2VPs each - you just had to touch them to claim them;
  • There were 2 non-player units who appeared on a tile when someone entered that tile. To randomise this, each time someone entered a new tile they had to roll and on a 6, the unit appeared. We then had to roll against leadership to try and win them to our cause, if we lost, they got a free Overwatch shot at us. Thereafter they shot at the closest unit each shooting phase;
  • Winner was the person with most VPs by turn 5.

Set up
We set up in diagonally opposite corners, each placing one objective and then a third objective in the middle.
We used blip counters, one for each of our units plus two additional blank counters for extra spice. It was also fun using the new scatter terrain I've painted up since our last game as additional cover.
I won the roll for my Wolves to go first...

Turn 1
Turn 1 saw both sides furtively move their blips about to stay out of line of sight... The scatter terrain really helped break up the large open areas without making them feel just like more corridors.

Turn 2
Turn 2 saw the Wolves and Fists both reveal several squads and the two waves of yellow and grey crash into one another!
The Grey Slayers galloped forward but were hit with a lot of over watch fire before failing their charge. When they did get into combat later, the Breachers managed to slay the rest!  
 You can see here that the first of the mystery squads appeared. They didn't manage to fire but the tactical support squad managed to kill two of their own in the return fire by rolling two 1's...
The Space Wolves rumbled forward/ Even the Leviathan failed to kill many. Breachers with an Apothecary are pretty much invincible!!

The Imperial Fists Leviathan started shooting and knocked out one of the Space Wolves' dreadnoughts!

Turn 3
Turn 3 was pretty similar to turn two to be honest. The Wolves charged forward only to be brought down by over watch fire. Those that did make it into combat struggled to kill anything due to the invulnerable save from various rules. The Boarding shields on the Fist's breachers also meant they lost their bonus attack for charging (and we won't mention that I forgot I'd selected 'Pale Hunters' for my army, which meant we gained an extra attack on the charge).

These Fists were truly like the stone fortress they prided themselves in building.

There were a few challenges between Characters though, all of which went the way of the Fists. Again, I probably forgot a number of special rules...

After collecting the objective, my second Contemptor went off to make light work of the second mystery squads that turned up.

Another challenge between mighty heroes!

You can basically see that Turn 3 was where all the action was!

Turn 4
Turn 4 became a bit of a mopping up exercise for the Fists

My Contemptor did manage to take down a few Breachers but, but not as many as I'd have liked.

Turn 5
In all honestly, all that was left for the Wolves to fight for in Turn 5 was their dignity and little bit of honour as they laughed into the faces of those that killed them.

But then, finally, two giants collided and all the world paused to watch them do battle...
The Wolves Leviathan crushed the Fists Leviathan in the first turn of combat with his snippy claw, and then faced a new foe as the Fists Terminators charged in to avenge their fallen brother! Three went down but the remaining veterans will live to fight another day! 
 And that's how the board finished up. I'd managed to grab two objectives but there is still a sea of yellow within the damaged ship's corridors...

Rich won this one, so collects another Command Point for use in the last game.
The Imperial Fists Legion rule Stone Gauntlet makes it really hard to kill these guys. I've decided that next game I am going to have to stop focusing on being nice and fluffy and really try and bring some pain.

Next game is 2500pts 'Centurion' style (no units with wheels or tracks) on a normal 4'x4' board. - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent