Geek Out Studio’s First Commission: Dark Eldar Wraith Knight

Today is a big day. I sold my first commissioned miniature. I technically finished it yesterday, but I’m making a policy that my commissioners get to see the final product first before the rest of the world does. With out further rambling here it is:

Wraith Knight AI was commissioned to assemble and paint an Eldar Wraith Knight for a Dark Eldar army. The model was purchased from yoymart, which I wouldn’t really recommend. Prepping this guy to paint took almost a week and a half. Construction proved to be a challenge too since the model was a resin re-cast, and the resin used was brittle. Most it was put together using 5 Minute Epoxy Resin.

Wraith Knight CPainting was another challenge. Since I can’t really find color matches for the Dark Eldar colors, I had to use the GW colors. Those don’t really like going through an airbrush. I basically had to take apart and deep clean my airbrush with each color I used. The shield, head, and weapons were thankfully done with airbrush paints, so that was a relieve when I got to them.

Wraith Knight EThe things that I’m particularly happy with and that I’ve gotten the most compliments are the shield, jewels, and base. The jewels were done using various colors of blue mixed with glaze medium. Once they were done I went over the jewel with Tamiya’s clear blue, but I also put a gloss coat on it to make it shimmer a bit more. The base was easy to make, and the first thing I had done. I used a piece of pine bark for the rock. The snow is made by mixing white glue with some Woodland Scenics Soft Flake Snow, and the ice cycles are clear plastic rods that I melted and pulled apart over a candle. Those where the tricky part because you know fire is hot.

Wraith Knight DThis is also the first time I’m using my light box. It’s a DIY light box, so there are thousands of tutorials out there that shows you how to build one. The picture didn’t turn out as well as thought it would. I personally think the model looks better in person than in this picture. The commissioner would probably agree since him and his girlfriend sat for a few minutes just turning it around and looking at it. I think I might need to play with the lighting or the back drop to produce the pictures I want.

As always, let me know what you think.

My Hopes and Fears of Warhammer 40k 7th Edition

warhammer-40000-rulebook-6th-ed

It’s a good chance that many of you have heard the news today. With the removal of the Warhammer 40k rulebook from Games-Workshops site, it’s become apparent that 7th edition is really on its way. So far there’s been a huge swing in opinions, speculations, and rants about this. The rumor that 7th edition was being released sometime this summer has been floating about since about Christmas. I’m sure there was a group that thought it wouldn’t happen. This edition has only been out for little under 2 years (I know because I was in the hospital receiving a kidney transplant when my brother got his copy of 6th edition in the mail). However, there was a portion of the community that thought that if this did happen then it would simply be a 6.5 edition. I was one of those. I still am too a certain extent. This article is simply a long draw out way for me to get my own personal thoughts and opinions together about the “What ifs” that 7th edition might bring.

For the most part, I enjoyed 6th edition. I also really enjoyed 5th edition. I will admit that there are parts of 6th edition that gets under my skin. I will admit right now that I don’t know every comma and period of the rule book. However, I am not one of those that think 6th edition is a complete wreck. I’ve enjoyed the new mechanics that have been introduced: Overwatch, Random Charge Distance, Warlord Traits, Fliers, etc. And yes, I’m even happy with Escalation and Strong Hold Assault. I know this makes me a very odd duck, but these add a flare and grand-ness that reflected the universe. If 40k is anything, it’s Big and over the top, and in my mind a lot of the new mechanics tried to capture that. Having said that, I’m not above acknowledging that 6th edition could use some fixes.

So why do I have misgivings about the approach of a new edition of 40k?

My misgivings started when it became evident that the psykic powers that were listed in the main rule book were also taken down. For me, this bothers me as I enjoy using Librarians in most of my army. They are a great way to buff parts of my army when I need it. I will also admit that I love using Prescience; however, the times I dabbled with my Death Guard Chaos Space Marines I enjoyed using some of the Biomancy powers. In my mind, the removal of the universal psykic power cards can upset the enjoyment I have with Librarians. While I certainly hope they will re-release the cards bringing all the powers up to the level of Divination and Presience, Games Workshop’s track record for doing this is not very good. What I fear is that GW will revamp all the powers but make them weaker than what they are now. My hopes are for the update to reward multiple play style be it assault heavy or shooting heavy. I hope the speculations are true that the new edition is just a repackage of 6th edition with Escalation and Strong Hold Assault wrapped into it. Maybe they will even put it in black and white that Forgeworld is legal or official. I hope for a lot of things; however, the nagging part of experience and history keeps popping up in mind to tell me that this may not be true.

I know a new edition will not help getting rid of many of the things I think players face on a daily basis; Net lists and Deathstar units were around in previous editions. A new edition will likely not fix the imbalance with most the army codices. I’m afraid that a new edition will only make those imbalances even worse. Tau is powerful not because of what the main rulebook says, but what the rules in their codex says. A new edition could curtail the problems that players have experienced with allies, but I believe that the box has been opened and may not be easy to close. Yes, there is a small part of me that feels this is a money grab and causes me to take another step towards the camp that loath Games-Workshop. Is this an edition that could be easily handled with FAQs and Erratas?

I survived the cross over from 5th edition to 6th edition. My collection is large enough that only an absolutely complete over haul of the whole game with Space Marines being changed in ways that I can’t imagine would affect me. I don’t want to seem like I’m whining or ranting. The fact is that I’ve come to enjoy using units that I haven’t used before or in sometime. A new edition could see those units go back into my box until some other edition. There’s also the simple fact that I’m lazy. I have, in my mind, only begun to get a handle on my play style and tactics, and I really don’t feel like doing that again.

I really want to hear what you have to say. Do you have the similar hopes and fears as I do? For me, I think only through dialogue can I get a grasp on what really is bugging me with the coming of a new edition.

 

Did I Fall Off the Planet?

Oh my lord! Almost a year with no new content. That has to be a sad state. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been busy behind the scenes with a variety of projects. Add on top of that the juggling act of having a job. I’ve been doing a lot of gaming over the past few months. Some of it not Warhammer 40k. I’ve been sucked into the world of Infinity, Song of Blades and Heros, Flames of War, and Full Thrust. There’s a local Infinity escalation league starting next month that I’m jumping in on, so I’ll try and be good and start adding more actual gaming content. There’s also the small fact that I’ve been getting a very big project up off the ground. What is that you ask?

Drum roll…

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I’ve started a commissioning service that focuses on props, costumes, and miniatures. Right now you can check it out at Geek Out Studio’s Facebook page. It probably won’t be long until I get a proper web page for it along with Youtube channel. Naturally, content from this site will no doubt morph into including more content for Geek Out Studio.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a commissioning service for some time; however, it wasn’t until Pensacon that I decided to take the plunge. Most of my time over the winter was devoted to putting together my and my wife’s costume. Mine fell through and my wife’s costume almost did too. However, we managed to pull it off. Here she is in her RWBY cosplay as Ruby Rose.

Ruby RoseRuby Rose CosplayDuring the build of her costume I was getting a lot of praise from people, and when I showed them my miniatures, the praise just grew. Most of those comments were along the lines of I should do this professionally, or could I do something. I was also inspired when I ran into an old friend from high school. She was making a career of following her love and passion, so I figured I had no excuse.

Just my Warhammer peeps don’t feel like their being left out. Here is a small collection of my miniatures that recently won a handful of prizes at the Blue Angel’s Scale Model and Miniatures Expo. The pictures really are bad, and I’m in the process of making a light box. Just humor me and keep an eye out for better ones.

Dark Angels RhinoDark Angels SquadDeathwingRavenwing Storm TalonRavenwing Storm Talon topThese last minis aren’t Warhammer, but I think they’re easy to look at.

ShowgirlsI run a handful of these as my war band for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of projects on my table, so I’ll have plenty to go over through the next few days. Thankfully, I’ve been moved to part time, so I can devote more time on working on Geek Out Studio and my blog. Right now though, I trying to organize and clean the chaos that is near and dear to all of us: my work area. As all ways, if you have questions or comments leave them down below.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Tactical Squad

Legion Tactical Squad

The tactical squad is the backbone of the Space Marine Legions, and the force by which the Great Crusade has re-conquered much of the galaxy. Thousands of these heavily armed and armored superhuman warriors, trained for battle in the harshest of environments and the deadliest of war zones, have crushed the enemies of Mankind time and time again. The tactical squad is a flexible combat unit able to attack or defend at will. The tactical squad can assault heavily fortified positions, hold and defend strategic objectives, or slaughter an enemy completely with little challenge.

Before we look at the options, we need to note that the Legion Tactical Squad has a special rule called Fury of the Legion. Basically, it means that as long as there are at least five guys in the squad armed with bolters or bolt pistols can fire twice during the Shooting phase so long as they did not move, arrive via Deep Strike, or disembark from a vehicle during earlier in the turn. The down side is that they can’t Overwatch the turn the use Fury of the Legion, and they can’t shoot next turn.

Options

Add an additional 10 men This is an option that can go either way. You won’t really find a transport for them, but with 20 marines walking, they’ll probably reach whatever they want.
Replace bolter for Combat Knife or Chainsword Not worth it even if it’s free.
Take an Combat Knife or Chainsword This option cost points, but is the way I would go. However, you really mainly want these guys shooting.
Nuncio-vox Nice little piece of equipment. It gives you basically a teleporting homer, and barrage weapons can draw line of sight from the unit with one. I would take one.
Legion Vexilla Another handy piece of equipment that allows you to re-roll failed Moral test. I would strongly consider taking one.
 

The sergeant can replace his bolter with one of the following.

Combi-weapon Very good choices to take since you don’t really give up your bolter, but you do gain a special weapon.
Plasma pistol I’m in the camp that Plasma pistols are not that great.
Heavy Chainsword Why take this when you can keep your bolter and get a regular chainsword for 2 points? Not worth it.
Power weapon A possibility, but I would still rely more on the Fury of the Legion special rule to chew up a squad before assaulting it.
Power fist A viable option considering just about every person that can issue and except challenges, including sergeants, in this book can have a 2+ armor save.
Single lightning claw Given the points and the fact you lose your bolter for it, I wouldn’t take this.

The sergeant may take the following:

Melta bombs I always take some if I have the points
Artificer armor It’s cheap, and you’ll probably see everyone else’s sergeant with it. I would suggest taking it if you have points.

Build Options

Whether you use a 10 or 20-man squad, the builds for this unit are limited but straightforward. Most of the builds will be broken down between how the sergeant is decked out and whether or not to give everybody in the squad a close combat weapon.

Option 1

Legion Tactical squad, Sergeant with chainsword and artificer armor, and Nuncio-vox.

A basic build that resembles how tactical squad are generally run in normal 40k. For a 10-man squad, this build comes out to 172 points. If you add ten more guys, it will be 20 points more expensive.

Option 2

Legion Tactical squad, sergeant with artificer armor, Legion Vexilla, Nuncio-vox, squad armed with close combat weapons.

This build is loosely based on the Space Wolves Grey Hunter squad. They’ll do well in the shooting phase, and they’ll stand their own in close combat in the assault phase. The Legion Vexilla is added to allow you to keep this squad in close combat or moving and shooting. For a ten-man team this build comes in at 210 points.

Option 3

Legion Tactical squad; sergeant with power fist, combi-weapon, and artificer armor, Nuncio-vox, Legion Vexilla, squad armed with close combat weapons.

This build is meant to be a bit more rugged and get into fights. This unit would do well in the middle of your army not necessarily leading the charge but helping support some of your elite units. If there were a piece of equipment you could go without, it would be the Nuncio-vox.

Conclusion

The Legion Tactical Squad is a tactical squad. I personally don’t like to bedazzle my tactical squads. For me, these guys are grunts; however, it’s going to be these guys that win you a game. It’s best to give them just enough war gear to make them durable, effective, and deadly. You’ll probably get more mileage out of them if you keep all the options and toys down to a minimum.

Books, Books, and more Books: My Journey Exploring Other Game Systems

Rulebooks

I swear I’m starting to feel like that new song “I’ve Been Away for Too Long”. However, this time it is for good reason. As you can see by the picture and by some of my newer posts, I’ve been exploring other game systems, broadening my horizons if you will. This of course means I’ve been doing a lot of reading and getting in some trail games. I have to say that I’ve been very pleased and excited, so I’d like to take a moment to go over what I’ve found and enjoyed. Now, this is not going to be a detailed review of each and every game system that I’ve read so far; instead, it’s just giving the broad strokes and impressions that I’ve had thus far with the systems that I have read and tried.

 Full Thrust

This game’s rule set is not pictured because you download and basically print it off. By many, this game is considered the gold standard for tabletop starship battles, and with the death of Battlefleet Gothic I figured it’s a good place to start. I did play a couple of games of Battlefleet Gothic last summer, but I personally felt there was something missing. I maybe the only person that didn’t particularly like the models, so I didn’t take to the game like I do with most tabletop games I play. However, I still wanted to play a tabletop starship game. After searching around, I found Full Thrust. It took until the beginning of this summer to actually sit down and read the rules. Fortunately for me, there was a game convention demoing the game the next week. The short of it is that I love the game. It has the freedom to do whatever you want, but the best part is that you can use whatever miniatures you want. Do you want to build and put down a Space Marine’s battlebarge with escorts? Go right a head. There are plenty of weapons, hulls, and tech to do a good job at representing a battlebarge. The mechanics of the game are smooth and allow for a fast game play, as it doesn’t do the Warhammer standard of I GO-YOU GO. If you’re looking for a good tabletop starship game with a very strong and active community, then I would suggest giving Full Thrust a try.

 Dust Warfare and Bolt Action

My brother and I have been hunting for a game that would do a bit better in rewarding and simulating good use of tactics, tactical thinking, and maneuvering. We figured a World War II game would achieve this goal fairly easily, and would give us the added bonus allowing us to indulge our other interest: history. However, we would like something that would allow us to add a bit of Weird War II aspects to the game. I learned of Bolt Action when I watched a demo video of it on Beasts of War, and just by watching the video I was compelled enough to buy the rulebook. Reading the rules I’m really interested in starting this game. One of the good things about the game is that weapons and vehicles are given a generic title. A heavy machine gun for example has the same stat and does the same damage if it’s in a German army or United States army. This makes it easy for adding more custom or “weird” units like mechs to the game. I can pay the point for a Tiger II tank and just say that it’s a Tiger III walker. It doesn’t suffer penalties for moving through rough terrain, but doesn’t get a bonus for moving on roads.

I got Dust because of the oh so pretty mechs they have, but also for the fact that it is a Weird War II game. This past weekend I went to a demo game of Dust Tactics, and had an enjoyable time. Now the rulebook I have is for Dust Warfare, which means that Dust Tactics is a separate game that uses the same miniatures and much of the same mechanics. From my experience with the demo game and how it was explained to me by a few people, Dust Tactics is somewhat like Heroclix in that you have a game map and units have base stats, weapons, and abilities and you go to town. Dust Warfare is more in line with a traditional tabletop war game; however, from my reading of the rulebook, it’s basically Dust Tactics with a few more things added. Units still use the same stats, abilities, and weapons that come on their card, and there is no upgrade mechanic in the game. I’m probably going to pass at least on Dust Warfare. I think Dust Tactics is fun little system to give me an excuse to play with little plastic army men and an even better excuse to buy the lovely models that go with the game.

 Tomorrow’s War

I’ve been told and have read it in a few places on the Internet that a good alternative to 40k is Tomorrow’s War. Similar to Full Thrust, it allows the player to custom create their army. Of course the biggest seller for me was the fact that Space Marines in Tomorrow’s War play almost exactly as they are portrayed in the fluff: nigh unstoppable killing machines on two legs. Now, I haven’t played a game of Tomorrow’s War yet as I’m still reading through the rules, but there are a few things that have me a bit gun shy about the game. To begin with, there is no points system in Tomorrow’s War. I’ve read across the Internet that there is a points system in the works, but the last update about it that I’ve seen was from sometime last year. In its place, Tomorrow’s War is more scenarios based where the number of troops is explained in the scenario. This is interesting as it helps to create a more narrative game, but there are not really any guidelines for creating your own scenario. Plus without a points system, there’s no easy way for two players to meet and play a quick game without having to hammer out a few details before hand. The other thing that is leaving me a little disappointed about the rules is the lack of detail. There’s not a way to get down and detail an army or unit beyond saying my unit is Tech Level 1, Troop Quality D8. The rules put an emphasis on the soldier and not his gear. I find this hard to go with, as it’s the combination of the soldier and his gear that can make or break an army, an engagement, and even a war. I’m holding out on this game, as I believe there is something special in. I just haven’t found it yet, and would love to hear from more veteran players. If anything, it seems like a good jumping off point for doing some home brew things.

 Apocalypse

I finally picked up my copy of Apocalypse. I have always had the thought that Apocalypse was 40k should be. Titanic armies clashing in bloody gore filled battles that engulfed entire planets. This edition doesn’t do much to change what was fun about the previous Apocalypse game. You still are allowed and encouraged to put you whole 40k collection on the table and play. There are a few changes that I think are for the better and I’m interested in seeing how they play out. To begin with, there is the change in the way formations are assembled and used. Players are not restricted to pay additional points to field a formation. They just have to do is put the models down that make up the formation. The formation is treated as one unit for deployment, but afterwards, units in the formation my act independently. The turn order has changed and is something that I’m interested to see. From what I can make of it, the turn is an almost free-for-all where everyone moves, shoots, and assaults at the same time. Afterwards, everybody breaks for a meal and come back to do it again. This seems to be a push by GW to help Apocalypse games go quicker: taking only a day to complete a game. I for one hope these turns out true. Most importantly, the rules for Space Marines are lose enough to allow the use of Heresy era Space Marine legions with little trouble, which means I need to get cracking on continuing my Horus Heresy army list tactica. Overall, there are a lot of little things that I think will add some flavor to the game, and continue to make Apocalypse a game of pure fun and ridiculousness.

 Other Rules I’m Looking

This by no means is the only set of rules that I have or plan to play. As you know from earlier post I have Deathwatch, and have been trying to get a proper campaign going. It just hasn’t come together what with trying to coordinate six peoples’ schedule. I’m also interested in picking up Flames of War, as it seems to be a very good system to represent a large army and battle. Basically, not having the crowding issue that Warhammer tends to have. Speaking of Warhammer, Warhammer Fantasy has peaked my interest after going through a quick demo game, but that’s probably going to be a back burner deal as I already have 40k taking up a lot of space in my office. Let’s not forget Infinity. That’s a game I’m really keen of starting. There’s also Malifaux. I wasn’t so much interested in the game as I was the miniatures, but with 2nd edition coming out next month I may give it a try. I’m also looking at a few other games that are in the vein of Tomorrow’s War and Weird War II: Secrets of the Third Reich, Stargruntz II, Gruntz, Nuts!, and Dirtside.

The most eyes opening experience about reading all these different rules is seeing how some games are more refined, streamlined, or stronger that GW’s in certain ways. The most liberating thing about this experience has been the fact there is not a prerequisite to purchase the publisher’s miniatures. Aside from Dust Warfare, many of the rule systems that I have read either don’t have a miniature line, or they do have miniature line but it’s set in a genre that hundreds of other companies produce models for that genre: the World War II games. Talking with people, I have begun to understand better some of the criticism leveled at GW. I also am beginning to see that there maybe some brainwashing going on with the GW community. That’s not to say that I don’t still enjoy 40k and enjoy playing with 40k players because it doesn’t. 40k is what introduced me to tabletop gaming, and it’s been the game that played for years. I truly am a fan of 40k. I’m just beginning to develop a taste for other things. As always, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Studio Update: What’s Going on Behind the Scenes

MechanicumWell things have been a bit slow around here. The biggest problem with me not posting in the past month is that I’ve been fighting sinus problems. I don’t know if it’s an infection or my head is just clogged with snot. Anyway, I have an appointment with an ENT later this week, so I should get some answers. The weather here has been another contributing factor. I believe we are going on our fourth week of rain, which is not helping my sinus issues. This also put a bit of a “damper” on some of my painting as I can’t get outside and do any airbrushing. Finally, there’s the fact that I’ve been sucked into a few new games including Deathwatch. Basically, I’ll break down all the things that have been going on into a couple of sub-points.

I’ve Been Sick

I’ve haven’t been sick for a whole month, just the last two or so weeks. Who would want to do much of anything when they have to constantly blow their nose and still have enough gunk in their head to clog their ears to the point of near deafness? Not me. I’ve also been trying to find a job during this time. I love my hobby, but the funny thing is that it requires money. The sole motivation for me getting a job is so I can buy more toys. Sadly, I think I’ll find a job when both my head clears and the rain decides to stop, which at the current rate of things is never.

New Games

This has sucked up what time I have when not sleeping of medicine or job hunting. I have quiet enjoyed it too. For starters, Pelicon was held here at the end of June where I had the opportunity to try a couple of games I’ve been eying: Infinity and Full Thrust. I’m going to go ahead a jump into the camp that everyone else that has tried or has played Infinity has jumped into. That is that Infinity is a cool and fun game. It’s not as complicated as I was thinking it was going to be. The demo game I took part in only last maybe an hour, but in that time, I got a good feeling for how the game would work. The guy that was putting on the demo is working on growing an Infinity community here in Pensacola. Given the number of people who tried the demo, that community seems to be on its way to becoming a reality. The people at Bobe’s Hobby House is looking at starting to carry the miniatures, which I’m all for since I like to support local businesses whenever I can. In the same vein of new games, some of you know that I’ve gotten into Fantasy Flight’s Deathwatch. So far my friends and I have just gone through very basic “training” encounters where we are just trying to get a feel and understanding for the rules. I’m happy to say that we all feel comfortable enough to start a proper campaign, so starting this coming weekend, we’ll be starting one of the campaigns provided by Fantasy Flight Games. Naturally, I’ll post a campaign log. Finally, a new game that has truly sucked me in is Full Thrust. If anyone at there still has Battlefleet Gothic ships or plays Battlefleet Gothic, I would suggest giving Full Thrust a try since GW pulled support for Battlefleet Gothic. What can I say about Full Thrust? First it’s a great and solid set of rules that has the largest group of players. The last update the rules received was in the early 2000’s, but the community as add numerous updates since then. A couple of key points that draw me to Full Thrust is that the rules are general enough to allow just about anything as evident by the variety of custom rules or expansions, the rule set for creating ships is logical, fair, and an absolute blast. I’ve spent hours coming up with a variety of ship designs. For Battlefleet Gothic players, I think this could be a great thing to have and try. Battlefleet Gothic players can kit their ships out to better represent what they read in the fluff. A Space Marines’ BattleBarge could be the monolithic cathedral of power that it was meant to be. Finally, the most interesting mechanic that I felt was really lacking from Battlefleet Gothic was the use of fighters. Full Thrust provides a very robust fighter mechanic that allows players to use more modern naval tactics. Case in point, my first game I participated in my fighters did more damage, destroying one ship and severely crippling another, than my main ships did. You can check out the battle report on my second battle on The Miniatures Page. To give you a heads up, I was the Colonial Fleet from Battlestar Galactica.

Upcoming and Ongoing Projects

I really need to get back to updating more often I know. The nice thing with getting into more games is that I’ll have more topics to post. For starters, I’ll be making a player’s handbook for all the players that will participating in my Deathwatch campaign. It will basically be a condensed version of the main rulebook that way they can look up all the different traits, talents, weapon stats, weapon upgrade, etc. themselves without waiting or fighting over my single copy of the rulebook. Naturally, I’ll post a copy here for people to look over, give criticism, or download and use. There’s the standard painting work that I’ll be doing. If I can get a job, I can drop some money on a airbrush booth, a good photo booth, and equipment to post some tutorials. With Apocalypse out, I’ll really hammer away at completing the Horus Heresy army list as I can see a lot of people using heresy armies in the upcoming Apocalypse games. Along those line, I find a great tool the other day while wondering Dakka. Unit reference cards that you can make for you Warhammer 40k units. Even as a veteran player, I think this idea is great and plan on using them in with my armies. You can find more information on the cards here. I’ll try to get a couple up in a while to show you what I’m talking about. In the area of Full Thrust, the start of my own Colonial Fleet came today.

Battlestar Pegasus BoxBattlestar Pegasus

The Battlestar Pegasus is from Bad-Azz Resing Model Kits, and she is beautiful (keep in mind the box was full of packing peanuts when I opened it). As you can see, there is no flash on any of the pieces, and from my look over, there is also no warping. You can also see that she’ll live up to her nickname of “The Beast” as she’ll probably come in at almost 8 inches once constructed. I also received a sample of fighters from Jim Fox of Fox Miniatures. I only have a couple, and they are too small to photograph right now. If you want more information you can email him: fox@foxminiatures.com. Naturally, I’ll posts updates on construction and other aspects of my growing Colonial Fleet.

In Other News

This may still be making its way around the tubes when this get posted, but Bolter and Chainsword suffered some hard drive failures, and suffered further set backs when the new drives failed to mirror. Currently, there is donations being accepted as Brother Argos pays for and is the only technical support Bolter and Chainsword has also suffered personal problems over the recent months that is hampering the speedy recovery of the site. You can read more on Bolter and Chainsword’s Facebook page, or check out Bolter and Chainsword’s site. I have personally found Bolter and Chainsword to be one of the better 40k forums where the people are a bit more laid back.

As always, I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Deathwatch Kill-Team Assembles: Watch Captain Sepheran Decius

830px-Chapter

Sanguinary Priests of the Blood Angels and the Angel of Mercy for the Deathwatch

Watch Captain Sepheran Blood Angel ApothecarySepheran grew up on the prosperous hive world of Felmir; however, he very rarely saw the splendor and opulence of the grand theaters, gilded banquet halls, and towering cathedrals that made Felmir famous. For Sepheran and his family, the dark, putrid hovels and allies of the lower hive were their home. It wasn’t by cruel fate or unfortunate that found Sepheran in the squalor of the lower parts of the hive, but rather a choice and mission of mercy taken on by his parents.

Sepheran’s parents were talented healers. They could have their pick of a high position at any of the illustrious Apothecariums of the upper hive or even a private appointment to any of the numerous noble houses. However, it was Sepheran’s farther who believed that the Emperor’s mercy and healing was a gift that should be shared. Against the wishes of his family, Sepheran’s farther took his young family down into the lower hive, and effectively severed ties with his affluent family.

It was in an environment of hardship, squalor, and death that Sepheran spent his childhood. It was against this backdrop that Sepheran also watched his parents bring a glow of peace and happiness. His parents turned no one away, and Sepheran learned and appreciate the value of human life. Through his mother’s family, Sepheran was able to receive the education any other noble would. However, he learned quickly to hide it from his peers. Even though his family gave medicine and healing to the unfortunate of the lower hive, most of the populace still held contempt for Sepheran and his family and their wealthy background. His parents also brought him up in the mysterious of medicine both out of necessity and pride. By the age of ten, Sepheran was able to provide basic medical attention to friends and people who needed it. This only helped to sooth some of the animosity and tension that Sepheran experienced on a daily basis.

However, the violence the lower parts of the hive are known for finally crashed into Sepheran’s little world of existence. Sepheran lost both his parents when they refused to become the personal medics of the violent gang lord Cort. Sepheran escaped enslavement by heading for the surface where servitors and Arbite officers would not allow Cort or any of his gangers to travel. It was during his flight that Sepheran decided to make his way to the Baal and attempt the Journey of the Aspirants. Using his grandparents’ name and his medical training, Sepheran made the long journey to Baal.

His natural disposition to the mysteries of the Apothecarium made him a natural candidate for further training and induction into the holy order of the Sanguinary Priests. The Sanguinary Priests were moved by his compassion and solemnity with any task or patient placed in his hands. Corbulo, master Apothecary for the Blood Angels, took Sepheran under his charge as Corbulo felt Sepheran embody many of the angelic qualities of their noble primarch. Sepheran became a stickler for the rites and recitations of the Apothecarium. While most apothecaries take their duty seriously and look on the duty of collecting a fallen brother’s gene-seed with quiet reference, Sepheran took these duties to a more personal level. After fashioning a blood chalices of his own, Sepheran took to inscribing the chalice with the name of any battle brother he tended to in their final moments while at the same time filling it with a few drops of their precious blood.

Blood Angel AssaultIt was the assault on Zoran that Sepheran earned notoriety: for good or bad. Members of the Alpha Legion infiltrated and caused an up rising on the frozen planet. Along with Sepheran, elements of the 3rd and 5th company were dispatched to quell the up rising. During the fighting, Sepheran would render aid to many of the civilians that where unable to evacuate. Many of his battle-brothers, having the mentality that any civilian or human present was a rebel and possibly touched by the ruinous powers of Chaos, saw this behavior as weak and foolish. Sepheran’s commanders had mixed feelings. Some believed they reflected the noble and angelic nature of Sanguinius, and that the Blood Angels are the protectors of all of humanity. Others felt Sepheran’s actions where at best misguided and over zealous. Hoping to atone for his deeds, Sepheran sought out the Deathwatch where he continued to render aid to any that needed it.

Through many selfless actions and harrowing rescues, Sepheran gained the attention of many of the Watch Commanders. Feeling that some of their Watch Captains focused too heavily on the threat to humanity, the Watch Commanders raised Sepheran to the rank of a Watch Captain hoping that those around him and below him will remember that it is the people who make up humanity that the Deathwatch was created to protect and help. Since then, Watch Captain Sepheran has always made it a priority to first protect and rescue people before plunging into the darkness of battle and the horrors of the void.

Watch Captain Sepheran Decius’ Character Sheet

PensacolaWarhammer Has Joined the Deathwatch: Fantasy Flights Deathwatch RPG

Deathwatch RPG

This has been a long time coming. Ever since I saw the first 40k RPG, Dark Heresy, I had always wanted to RPG as an Astartes. Eventually, Deathwatch came out and fulfilled my dreams.

It’s taken me a long time to finally break down and buy the Core Rule book. I’ve never had any experience with a tabletop RPG. The closet thing I came to was a single game session of Mutants and Masterminds. I also never really had a gaming group large enough to play a game. Then finally, I’ve never been a GM, and didn’t know if I wanted to play or GM.

Well, my gaming circle has expanded enough to finally take up the game, and after reading the rulebook; I wonder what made me nervous. The core mechanics are a snap, and somewhat like the core mechanics of the standard 40k game. You move X distant, you shoot using your Ballistic Skill, and then you see if you wound (how much damage you do). Again, for someone who has no previous tabletop RPG experience, this is a nice easy mechanic to pick up. The skills are treated the same way. All the skills correspond to one of the base characteristics like Ballistic Skill or Fellowship, and a player just has to roll equal to or below to pass.

So, with a group of five players and me as a GM, my group will begin playing they’re first campaign of Deathwatch some time next weekend or the following. During that time, I’ll be posting character backgrounds and sheets along with a “campaign log” (basically the story with me acting as the narrator) with awards/honors and experience points at the end of each mission. I hope you come back and follow “The Liberation of Avalos”. As always, feel free to leave questions of tips on the forum on here in the comments.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Techmarine Covenant

Again I find myself lagging in keeping this tactica updated on a regular basis. It’s been a wild couple of months. Between kids’ birthday parties, beginning to do yard work, and actually working on the miniatures that I love to write about, it’s hard to find the time to maintain the blog. However, I will continue, so none of you have to worry about things going anywhere.

 Horus Heresy Techmarine

The Legion Techmarine is a vital member of any of the Astartes Legion and their Expeditionary Force. These Astartes demonstrate from an early stage an aptitude and intelligence for machinery that mark them for induction into the rites and secrets of the Mechanicum. It is because of this that Techmarines have dual loyalties to his legion and the Mechanicum. It is the responsibility of Techmarines to maintain the production and flow of war gear for the legion while personally providing repairs and construction service for the legion’s more specialized pieces of equipment. Legion commander deploy Techmarine to the front lines of combat to make sure that key pieces of war gear remain operational until the end of a campaign.

Options

Nuncio-vox A nice option to take since it can serve two purposes: Homing Beacon and line of sight for barrage weapons
Augury scanner Another nice option since it can serve two purposes: shut down Infiltrate and giving a unit the Interceptor rule
Master-crafted bolter Cheap and reliable and a good option to take where ever the Techmarine is placed
Combi-weapon A better option for getting a bolter, but combi weapons do better in packs
Volkite charger On par with the bolter but will have better results if put in a squad that has multiple Volkite weapons
Plasma pistol Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it
Graviton gun This weapon has some nice rule, but the problem is that it is a Heavy weapon and only has an 18” range. Probably wouldn’t take it

 

Melta bombs The poor man’s power fist: cheap and cheerful
Conversion beamer This suffers the same drawbacks as the Graviton gun. It’s a Heavy weapon, so you can’t move and shoot
Rad grenades I would take these as they will be a benefit to any unit that the Techmarine joins
Thunder Hammer A must. The Techmarine comes with a power ax. If you’re going to be going last in combat, might as well have x2 Strength behind you.

 

Cyber-familiar                                       A must in order to get an Invulnerable save

 

Take up to 4 Servo-automata They’re a good option since they can be used as meat shields and increasing the Techmarines repair roll
Servo-automata Lascutter The cheapest Close Combat option. If you want to upgrade them take this.
Power fist Too expensive for a model that is meant to die
Flamer A good option, but if your opponent has gotten that close to your Techmarine, you’ve done something wrong
Rotor cannon Another good option for ranged fighting as it gives you a Salvo 3/4 . Just don’t expect to much of it

 

Build Options

I have always found it hard to justify taking a Techmarine. There just are so many better options that I could spend the points on. This holds true for the Legion Techmarine; however, there are two points going for the Legion Techmarine of the standard Codex Techmarine: he’s cheap and you can take 3 for one choice. Even with those two points there are only a few load outs for him.

Option 1

3 Techmarines, Rad grenades, Thunder hammer, Nuncio-vox. This build comes to 250 points. As I said, it’s a bit pricy for my taste. However, this build is mainly meant to ride around in transports and keep the transport alive. The weapons are there to help whatever squad is disembarking from the transport. You could spend a few extra points and give an Augury scanner, or substitute the Nuncio-vox for it. If you take the Augury scanner you would probably want him walking, so him and his squad can fire at whatever is Deep Striking. It goes without saying that if he were walking you would want to tack on the Cyber-familiar too.

Option 2

3 Techmarines with 4 Servo automata, Rad grenades, Thunder hammer, Nuncio-vox, Augury Scanner, and Cyber-familiar. Servo automatas are upgraded to have Lascutters and two Rotor cannons. This is the full package build and should be clear the most expensive way to build this guy. This build doesn’t lend itself to join squads very well either, so the three Techmarines will be in their own Rhinos cruising around the battlefield looking for things that need to be repaired. They have enough shooting to soften up a target, and decent AP values and strengths for any close combat that may happen. However, as I said earlier, if you Techmarine is getting assaulted or looks like he will get assaulted, you’ve done something wrong.

Conclusion

The Techmarine is not one of the better units available in the book. Most vehicles are strong enough to survive on their own, so taking a Techmarine is just for insurance. It takes up a valuable Elite choice slot that could be used for Terminators, Dreadnoughts, or other better choices. I’m sure there are some people out there that take a Techmarine all the time, but for me, I just don’t see it.

Pensacola Warhammer Update: Busy Busy Few Weeks

Things have been a bit hecked around here over the last couple of weeks. With spring settling in here in Florida, I’ve been getting out and taking care of Honey Do’s around the yard, and spending some time with my other favorite hobbies: video games and reading. I’ve also been hard at work on my miniature. More importantly, I’ve been exploring other table top and hobby games. Recently, I’ve been giving the new X-wing Miniature Game by Fantasy Flight a go. All around it’s not a bad game: cheap and affordable, easy to learn but hard to master, and nice quality minis. I’m not going to knock it. It’s fun, but most of my games have devolved into ring around the rosey with what fighters are left after a turn or two. I’ve also begun to explore Infinity and Malifaux. I haven’t played a full game yet, still reading and trying to understand the rules, but they do seem to be very interesting. I’m particularly drawn to Malifaux because of the minis, and the fact that it’s steam punk, magic table top game.

Back on the Warhammer front. I did get a game in where my brother and I both played Daemons. It was the first time the either of us played the army, so the game went fairly slow (we only got two turn done in a couple of hours). My basic impression was that the codex is interesting, but I don’t know if will be competative. Each of the Chaos gods seem to fill a particular role. Nurgle is good for survivability and buffing units with Biomancy. Khorne is an assualt hammer, Tzeentch is the shooting element of the codex, and Slaanesh is a fast assault element. The biggest draw back to the Daemon army is keeping track of the psychic powers and gifts that every other unit has. I almost felt like I had to make a character sheet for each unit. Still the army was fun and would be enjoyable for casual, friendly games. I can even see it adding a bit of flare and spice to armies that want to take them as allies. I just don’t know if I’ll choice Daemons to become a major stand alone army in my collection.

Still on Warhammer, I picked up the Tau codex this weekend. I haven’t had a lot of time for it, but quick browsing has me a bit interested. I’ll hold my judgment until I read the codex more and see what the Imperial Guard codex is like. As I’m a Space Marine player, I know I can take Tau as a Battle Brother allied, but the idea of Space Marines being chummy with xenos just doesn’t settle right with me.

Stay tuned as I’ll continue to go over the Horus Heresy and maybe even begin going into the codices.