Thursday, 28 September 2017

Dreadtober 2017

It seems all the stars are aligning this year! I’ve been wanting to enter Armies on Parade for a long time, and am making a real effort with it this year. But to coincide with that, Dreadtober has come along. I think this is the third annual Dreadtober event, where participants have to paint a dreadnought throughout October. A great little way to motivate you to finish that centrepiece item (I always love a bit of friendly rivalry).
And of course, my AoP army is one which consists entirely of dreadnoughts! The deadline for AoP is 28th October so it makes complete sense to enter my project into Dreadtober and make sure I get them finished in time.

Horus Heresy Space WOlves

I think there’s still time to get involved, so go check out the blog at:

Brushes at the ready...

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

Monday, 25 September 2017

Curse of the Wulfen

I know, I know, I'm a bit behind the times with this one...

Curse of the Wulfen, both the short stories and the rule book of the same name, were released as part of the War Zone Fenris campaign at the back end of 7th Edition, which culminated in the 13th Company returning to the Imperium, closely followed by Magnus the Red himself.

Despite being a huge Wolves fan, I didn't buy into the campaign at the time. I was fully committed to 30k and the increasingly cartoony miniatures being put out for 40k had completely put me off.

However, the stars aligned recently and I ended up getting thrown right back into this series. I shall tell you more...

Firstly, two friends (both called Gav coincidentally) both gave or lent me the literature from around the campaign. First the novel and short story collection, which sucked me right in. Great writing from both David Annandale and Robbie MacNiven about a story which we've always known just a little bit about. They really fleshed it out and got my inspiration going! Then "Gav 2" lent me the campaign book "Wrath of Magnus", which I enjoyed so much I brought the other, "Curse of the Wulfen", which was even better!

I know I can't use the rules in these books but they are packed to the brim with cool fluff and great artwork. Really inspirational stuff.

Secondly, since Forge World's Horus Heresy Book 7 came along, I've been wanting to convert up a squad of Deathsworn for my Wolves. These guys are the 30k pre-curser to the 40k Wulfen, Marines that have the thousand yard stare as they fight off the feral hunger in their blood after 100 years of battle (and unleashing the curse of the Canis helix when they burned Prospero and angered a planet full of sorcerers).

To build my Deathsworn, I specifically wanted shoulder pads similar to the one on the Geigor Fell-hand miniature. These aren't available separately, but there are 10 included in the Wulfen box. So I brought me a box.

But then I'm reading these novels, reading the campaign books, and there's a spare box of bits upstairs... I can't use the Wulfen in my 30k force and I don't really want to commit to a full 40k army right now, but what was the harm in converting me a werewolf to mix in to my Deathsworn? You know, the guy who's gone completely over the line and there's no way back? There would have been one or two within a legion of 50,000 marines right?

You can see how the self-persuasion goes... I'm sure you've all been there...

So I cracked open the box for a second time, but set me self a few guidelines: there would be only one (showing the limited number of Wulfen in the 31st Millennium); I would mix in some 30k bits to tie him into the rest of the army; I would try and tone down all the extra detail that tends to be present on 40k miniatures but not on 30k miniatures.

And this is the result. He's not painted yet (I'll paint him at the same time as the Deathsworn in a couple of weeks), but what do you think?

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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Army Painting Challenge - Part 4

Sooo... it's been a while but thought I'd provide a bit of an update on eth army painting challenge.
I have to admit that I am still getting distracted! By Shadow Wars mainly, and the idea of owning a  dreadnought army. I've actually added more to the list than I have completed this year now, which was not the idea at all! So, no I have that dreadnought army, there will be no more sticking together until I have at least ticked a few more items off this list.
Re-prioritising the last three months of the year, Armies on Parade is at the end of October, so my Dreadnought army needs to be ready for that!
Things like the Fellblade, Spartan and terminator squads are big ticks and quite close to completion, so I'll target these next. Then the Grey Slayers and Assault squads, to flesh out the troops options for my army. 
I've also brought a couple of new army cases this month, and aim to replace the rest of my old ones by the end of the year. The aim is to get rid of the old Games Workshop plastic ones and replace them with smaller KR Multicase ones, so I only have to transport the army I'm actually using that day to the game, in foam that actually fits the miniatures I now have!
Lastly, I was kindly asked for an interview with the guys over at St Andrews Wargamming. It felt kinda strange being interviewed by a blog about my blog, but I guess that's the world we live in now, and I was very happy (and interested) to do it. an find it here. My wife has a few issues about me saying that 'Space Hulk is my one true love', but I'll buy her some flowers and hopefully we'll be cool again... haha
Things that have been added or completed this period are in red, blue indicates activities already finished/current state

The list for painting (which seems to keep growing):
  • 20 Grey Slayers with close combat weapons - Finished!
  • 20 Grey Slayers with bolters - dry brushed armour highlights and based
  • 20 assault marines - dry brushed armour highlights and based
  • 11 16 terminators - dry brushed armour highlights and based - Finished 5 of them and handed them over to their new owner
  • 1 Forge Lord (Iron Priest) - dry brushed armour highlights and based
  • 4 heavy weapons guys - dry brushed armour highlights and based
  • 1 Spartan assault tank - dry brushed armour highlights
  • 5 Death Sworn - dry brushed armour highlights and based
  • Rhino APC - Finished
  • 7 Boarding marines - detailing started
  • Fellblade - base coated, dry brushed and nearly finished detailing.
  • 3 Contemptor Dreadnoughts
  • 1 Deredeo Dreadnought
  • 1 Leviathan Dreadnought
  • 1 Realm of Battle tile
  • 5 Veteran tactical marines
  • 1 Wolf Lord
  • 2 Apothecaries
  • 10 Deathsworn
Finished so far this year
  • Storm Eagle - re-based (and now sold)
  • Land speeder - re-based
  • 5 heavy weapons guys - re-based
  • 1 Contemptor dreadnought
  • 1 Leviathan dreadnought
  • 10 Tactical support squad with plasma guns
  • 5 Tactical support troops with rotor cannons
The Grey Slayers

How are you doing with your hobbying this year?
Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @errantwolfdave

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Battles in the Rage of Darkness - Game 3

As well as playing a game of 40k this week, I've also been up North to continue the 2017 30k campaign I've been playing.

This time round, me and Rich decided to play a Centurian game, which means we could only have Infantry models. No tanks. No dreadnoughts. no flyers. Just foot slogging marines.

For 3000pts each, we ended up with 200 models on the table between us! Neither of us ended up completing a new model, but I did manage to stick together a squad of Deathsworn. I thought they sounded fun, and they did indeed end up being fun to play with.

Rich brought Pollux and Sigismund to the field, which I countered with Russ and Geigor Fell-hand.

We played Mission 1 with the diagonal set up from HH Book 7. One of the mission objectives was to kill a number of special units which belonged to your enemy. We tweaked that slightly as we only had infantry, so secretly selected 3 units from our opponent's force, which would earn us double points if we killed them.

Turn 1 and 2 were spent moving into firing range. I'd taken a lot of assault troops, combined with 2 squads of Grey Slayers, meaning 6 of my 11 units were crossing the board at 12" movement every turn. I think this exactly what the Fists wanted though as they comprised mainly of Breachers and Terminators. I think they were hoping to pick me off as I crossed the board before the inevitable close combat, but because the Wolves could move so fast, the Fists only managed one round of shooting before the class of grey on yellow.

Turn 3
Turn 3 saw the grey clash with yellow in a very bloody mess! Russ finally made his move, charged forward and slayed Pollux, but the Fists held their own.
The Deathsworn were pretty cool with their stasis bombs, but I was a bit disappointed with the effects of the bomb not really matching the fluff.
The Wolves' Destroyers were also really good this game. Usually the Fists kill them off without a shot fired. This game they decided to reap revenge with their rad-missiles and did a good job of killing off the Fists' breachers.

Turn 4
Turn 4 was the start of the wind down. Up to this point there had been a lot of close combat, but now most of the squads were engaged. Russ moved from the cold dead corpse of Pollux, took three wounds from the overlooking las-cannon squad. and was bravely charged by Sigismund, who managed to actually survive the first round of combat!
The Fists managed to clear away the remaining Wolves straglers from the rest of the board, leaving the main battle around the centre, with Russ and Sigismund duelling it out.
Turn 5, 6 and 7 were mainly spent with Russ duelling with Pollux. I kept fluffing my To Hit rolls, and Rich kept surviving thanks to Feel No Pain from the nearby Medic. Eventually, Russ slayed his foe and the Wolves won by 13 to 12 victory points.

It was a really fun, really close game, which we both agreed we'd play again. From 200 miniatures (113 wolves and 87 Fists) there were less than 20 left!

The big finale is coming before Christmas, so keep an eye out! - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @errantwolfdave

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Necrons vs Space Wolves


This week I had a battle. Not just any battle, but a really cool battle. Note: this is not a battle report par se.

As you'll know, I've been working on a dreadnought army for Armies on Parade. My friend Chris (of Chris Frosin fame) has been working on a Necron army for Armies on Parade. We kinda thought that our armies have very unique themes, so why not face off against each other!

My dreads are geared up for 30k to be honest, so some of their modelled weapons options didn't have 40k rules (like phosphex launchers), but I still thought it would be cool. We played 90 power level. Every one of Chris' Necrons had the 'fly' special rule, and luckily a few of my Dreads had special rules that dealt with flying units.

I honestly thought this would be a complete washout. Last time I played Necrons (admittedly, 10 years ago), I got hammered, so I though that would happen again. And to be honest, the regeneration protocol is still a killer. Unless you take out the whole squad, they can keep coming back.

We played a Fate of Konor battle mission up at Alchemists Workshops in Chester. I played as the defender and Chris as the attacker, which suited our armies best and was quite thematic. The only way for Chris to win was for him to destroy two of the three objectives which I was defending, which he could only do by having more models within 3" at the end of a turn.

I set my dreads up 50/50 either side of the board, protecting 1 objective each, with the third in the middle, hoping to split the Necrons or tempt them into the middle to get caught in the cross fire. Knowing the Attacker gets to go first, I kept my Dreads in cover to try and weather the initial round of shooting. Contemptors can move 9" now so I knew I could jump out at the start of my first turn.

The Necrons had a lot of fire power and could move quickly, but the dreads had a lot of wounds (12-14 each), so managed to weather the storm until Turn 3, when they slowly started to fall from the sustained fire. Chris generally did the right thing, shooting a lot at a single unit each turn in the hope of taking it down, before moving on to the next.

The Deredeo with his lascannons and missile launcher was perhaps a bit wasted against an army with only one vehicle, as were the Grav weapons, but the assault cannons and Leviathan Storm Cannon really battered the destroyers and C'Tan. Sheer numbers of dice meant that I managed to kill a few complete squads in a single turn.

Every time a dreadnought reached 1 wound I was praying that they would explode and take some Necrons with them, but none managed to do that :-(

Chris' chrome scheme looks very pretty by the way. Great paint scheme and some cool conversions to boot. I can't wait to see it fully painted.

All in all, the game was really fun, very thematic and surprisingly balanced. It wasn't the white wash I thought it was going to be, with 2 of my dreads actually surviving until the end! We'll definitely be playing these guys off against each other again, hopefully before Armies on Parade gets here!!


PS - thanks to Gav at Alchemists Workshops for hosting us today. There's a great range of fully kitted out boards and lots of toys on the shelves (we couldn't leave without a few purchases...). I think there is a gaming night starting there too, so make sure you keep an eye on the website! - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @errantwolfdave

Monday, 11 September 2017

Kitbashing Deathsworn

There's little more that I love than a little bit of kitbashng... or a lot of kitbashing... I can't remember the last time I actually built a kit as per the instructions, I've always got to tweak just a little bit to make it unique. Whether that's adding an alternate helmet, a couple of purity seals or a complete mash up of kits, I want something that no one else has.

I've recently been building a squad of Deathsworn ready for a game of 30k in a couple of weeks. I already have some Destroyers for my Wolves, but after Book 7 was released I've set about trying to build the unique Legion units. Grey Slayers were easy enough to build up using my Tactical Squads, with a couple of additions (5pts per power sword you say?! why the Devil not old chap, give me MANY).

The others that took my fancy were the Deathsworn. I liked the sound of the fluff: Wulfen before the Wulfen became Wulfen. Like the Vietnam Vets of the 31st Millennium, Warriors who've seen too much and developed the thousand yard stare. Plus they have some wicked awesome stasis grenades that are so unstable that they have a negative modifier on their retreat move!

There were a couple of things in my mind as I set out to build them:
  • There's 10 guys in this squad but I wanted the option of splitting them in two, so I included two guys that could be sergeants;
  • I'm a big fan of Mk3 armour so there is a lot of that in there;
  • I had two spare Geigor Fell-Hands miniatures so wanted to use these;
  • I love the archaic shoulder pad on Geigor and wanted the rest of the squad to have them;
  • Close assault, so two power fists. I see these guys as a body guard for Geigor and his Fell Hand;
  • I wanted each to have the two-headed icon of Morkai somewhere on their bodies as the Deathsword belong to the Cult of Morkai;
  • They need Wolf Head helmets according to the fluff;
  • I wanted a couple of guys lobbing the stasis bombs into the fray.
Lets take a look at the Sergeant. It all started with him really. I took the Geigor Fell-Hand miniature, replaced one arm with a bolt pistol from the Thunderwolf kit, the other has the axe from Krom Dragon Gaze. The backpack is from the Space Wolves uprade kit and Wolf Helm from the Space Wolves tactical squad. The archaic shoulder pad is the original Geigor one, but I realised the Wulfen kit contains ten of them. The other shoulder pad and sword on the back pack are from the Mk4 tac kit in Betrayal at Calth, and the arms are from the plastic Mk3 tac kits in Burning of Prospero.

What I am trying to stress here is that this unit will be kit bashed from 9 different kits! Plus the Forge World Space Wolves shoulder pads and torsos on some of them. You ne to go hard or go home when it comes to kit bashing iconic leaders of squads :-)

The other Sergeant uses Geigor as a base too, but I switched the torso, gave him a power fist instead of an axe and an alternative Wolf helm, from the Space Wolves upgrade kit. Despite the same beginning, I think the two Sergeants look very different.

I've added two guys throwing the stasis bombs. I don't know what a stasis bomb looks like, and guess they could all look a bit different, especially these warp-tainted versions, so chose to use melta-bombs as my base. There's a couple of variant melta-bomb sculpts out there in different Space Marine kits so I've use two different versions in the squad.

Likewise, I chose two different power fists. I don't mind that all of the axes are the same, maybe these are meant to be the same and are given to the Deathsworn when they join the ranks, a sort of ceremonial axe?

So, that's my kit bashing taken to the extreme. Really happy with these guys. They're base coated and ready for their first game tomorrow (I just want to see if they are as fun as I hope on the battlefield!!).

Any comments?

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

Friday, 8 September 2017

Armies on Parade Part 6 - Vid's update

Vidpui has transmitted another update through the warp, sorry if it's a little fuzzy in translation...

+++Transmission begins+++

When is armies on parade again?

No matter...

So far I've taken stuff out of boxes and put it in one bigger box and named it 'Project Stormcast Armies on Parade 2017'. Catchy title you'll agree!
There has been a lot of thinking about the project though. I'm not doing Cult of Ulric now its not unique anymore lol. Also, the Space wolves thunder wolves look too small for the Stormcast and there's so many lion motifs on the armour that I havent got the drive to convert in to wolves. So that's some time saving right there!

A lot of thought went in to how I'd construct the display board aswell, and I realised to save time, money, and lack of carpentry skills I will just buy a realm of battle board as a starting point and add to it.

Anyways thats where I'm up to, and I have a week left before my holiday so maybe there will be some progress after! 

+++End transmission+++

Vid also started his own blog last month. You should go and check it out, he is an amazing painter:

Seriously, stop reading this and go check it out... NOW! - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @errantwolfdave

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Justin Hill Interview

Well well well, what have we here? That's right, another author interview. It's been a while but this week I would like to introduce you to Justin Hill, author of 40k novels such as Storm of Damocles and the anticipated Cadia Stands, which I'm really looking forward to reading.

You'll also see that this fella is a big fan of the games too, and has kindly provided some pictures of his amazing miniatures, which I've spread throughout the post.

So, without further ado, I'll let you get stuck in!

Are you a relatively new Black Library Author?
I’ve been writing for BL since 2012. I started off with the dangerous adventures of ogre Maneater, Golgfag, and went on to write about 40k. The template for new writers was pretty standard. A couple of short stories, and then a trilogy of novels that would take the character I was working on – Ursarkar E. Creed - from being a line-general to the Lord Castellan of Cadia. 

During this time Black Library’s editorial procedures went through some elaborate contortions and my editor moved positions within GW, and the Creed work was turned into a long short story.

I picked the Cadians again a few years later, and was in the process of writing a novel about the Battle of Tyrok Fields in late 2015 when word came that Cadia was going to fall to Chaos… It meant reworking the novel entirely, but I took some of the characters I’d been working on, and took their time-line forward, and asked myself, what was Cadia like just before it fell to Chaos? 

You were an established writer before writing for Black Library. I like the look of some of the other works on your website too. 
When I was twenty-one I went on the modern equivalent of Bilbo Baggins’ trip to the Lonely Mountain – an adventure that lasted eight years working as a VSO volunteer, travelling through rural China, Tibet, Pakistan and Eritrea, East Africa. My experiences fed into my early writing, which were novels about those parts of the world, and being airlifted out of Eritrea when they went to war with Ethiopia.  

More recently I’ve been taking a new look at the events that led to the Battle of Hastings, in 1066. So far the first two, Shieldwall and Viking Fire, have been published. They’ve been really well received, being Sunday Times and Times Books of the Year. Vikings are just like 40K without the bolters. ;-)

Have you always wanted to write for Black Library? 
Yes! Ever since I read Dan Abnett’s work I’ve been trying to work out how I could join in. 

I loved how Dan turned the camera away from the battlefield, allowing us to put down the las-rifle and look about, and see what the 40K universe world was like in camp, or in transit, or evacuating a planet full of refugees. It was extraordinary to have the table top experience turned into a novel. 

The Eisenhorn and Ravenor novels did that best, I think. And they’re still some of my favourite 40K reading material. It looks into the kinds of places that drive men and women to become guardsmen. I want to do that as well, and to cover aspects of the universe that aren’t covered as well by other writers as well as writing kick-ass stories. 

You write both Warhammer 40k and Fantasy novels, do you have a favourite? Did you play these games before you started writing about them?
I was 16 when Rogue Trader came out and I’ve been collecting and painting Citadel miniatures since before the games came out. I still have my Eldar pirates and harlequins, and a few of the earliest guardsmen who help lead one of my Astra Militarum armies. 

My fave is definitely 40K. As far as playing, strangely, I feel I’m one of the minority of BL authors who actually plays the game. For a long time I was primarily a Fantasy player. Fantasy used to be the ‘serious’ game, and 40K was WarhammerLite™. That changed about fifteen or so years ago, and I started playing a lot more 40K. 

It’s become an increasingly challenging game, which has still remained fun to play. At the moment I’m stuck into the 30K universe, with World Eaters, Imperial Fists, Raven Guard and Salamander armies. I like to play lists that challenge the stereotypes. My IG were an assault list. My IF are a drop pod list, and my World Eaters are stubborn loyalists. 

Did you spend a lot of time hobbying before you had kids? 
Yes… I used to paint two new armies a year – one fantasy and one 40K – as well as make a load of terrain for my local store. I find it difficult now partly because I have four kids… though we recently moved into an old house in North Yorkshire with an acre and a half garden and the house seems to take up most of the time I’m not writing. 

Novel writing only makes it harder, because no matter how good it is, there’s always something you could improve. And I find it hard to stop working on my novels. Deadlines help. And the knowledge that there are other people relying on you delivering. And, of course, the excitement of the next project…!

What have been the biggest changes to your hobby time since they came along?
Well, now I spend more time looking at their models than my own… and while they’re all sitting quietly, painting, I sneak off to write novels. My youngest, Teddy, who’s six is the biggest fan. He goes through my White Dwarf before I do. We play games every now and then. He has the Primaris Marines from the boxed set and has chosen Imperial Fists. Isabella, my eight year old, went for the Nurgle marines. 

It’s a little odd seeing my kids play with these figures. Odd in a cool way. 

Do your kids get involved with the hobby? Did you encourage them to?
I never really had to encourage them, it’s more something they’d grown up with. They’ve seen me painting and it appears natural to them that they should have some toy soldiers too.

My wife and I had something of a whirlwind romance, so we were engaged before we knew some basic things about each other. I emailed her one day and said ‘There’s something I need to tell you about.’ 

She freaked out. She thought I meant I was divorced or had a love-child somewhere. 

‘No,’ I said. ‘It’s worse. I have these small plastic friends. Meet my toy soldiers.’

Most other girls I knew found it a little odd that had to be put up with, like a poor hygiene habit, but Elle was cool. She seemed to love it. ‘It’s creative; its social; it’s imaginative. Go for it!’

At some times in the last thirty or so years in the hobby I have been only painting; at other times I’m trying to win tournaments – and now I’m mainly writing the novels. But this wide variation is all contained within the hobby. There’s not many activities that tick so many boxes. So for the kids there are many ways they can get involved. They can paint. Or play. Or read the books.

8th edition has been great for getting the kids involved. I’ve had all four of them painting up the figures, and we’ll be fighting battles soon. The simplified rules also makes it much easier. 

Who is your favourite character in any of your novels and why?
At the moment I’m writing a sequel to Cadia Stands. It’s the 40K universe after the Cadian Gate has fallen, which brings up a lot of new areas to explore. It’s an exciting moment to be working. A novelist can put their stamp on the universe as it evolves. 

The possibilities make the story-writing more exciting and I like these characters because they’re dealing with that defeat in different ways. Chief among them is Arminka Lesk, a female guardsmen whose breaking new ground. She starts Cadia Stands as a young Whiteshield and has a lot of tough adventures ahead of her.

Thanks for the interview Justin, and again, I am absolutely loving those miniatures... almost didn't post them because they make mine look so bad! :-(

Follow Justin on twitter @JHillAuthor and see if you can persuade him to share any more pictures of his stunning miniatures.

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