Saturday, July 13, 2019

40K - Name Plates

Recently while putting together my Adeptus Titanicus models I looked into getting some name plates to attach to the base.

I came across a UK company VERSATILE TERRAIN that makes them to order. You can visit their website here


Malys (Troupe Master) & N'jal (Solitaire)

I wanted to try them out before I had the big war engines' name plates made so decided to get them made for my Harlequins and Dark Eldar.

The plates are 3D printed and come in a light grey plastic. To the naked eye there is no evidence of striations.


You can order whatever names you want. They come in a variety of sizes, in different types of font and different plate options. I chose a recessed plate with a gothic font option.

I clipped them off their printing frames and then blutacked them to a stick to airbrush.


You can see that they have crisp detail

They were undercoated black with Badger Primer and then I sprayed them with Retributor Gold.


I then washed them with GW Nihilakh Oxide before a drybrush with Vallejo Old Gold. The final treatment was a light wash of the lettering with GW Seraphim Sepia to provide shadows.

Really happy with the way they came out. I think that they provide a way for your characters to be identified for you and your opponent.


Who Hasn't Wanted to Call Their Spiritseer "Moonsong"?


The Cat Lady Herself


And EVERYONE'S favourite, "Khloe" with her Vexator Mask.




Thursday, July 11, 2019

40k Addressing List Problems

One of the things I most like about wargaming is the problem solving aspect.

Earlier in the year I basepainted my Harlequins so I could take them to play in the doubles at Adepticon. I had a few practice games and found that they weren't really clicking.



The key reason for this was that the damage expectations I had for my infantry shooting were not meeting what I saw on the table.

One of my key philosophies when building a list is to keep things simple. Some people like to have a tool for every job....."cough" Biting Blade "cough"....just in case but the method I use is to build a unit, limiting variability, and then adapt tactics to maximise potential.

Each of my 3 Harlequin Troupes was kitted out the same - 2x Caress & Fusion Pistol, 3x Blade & Shuriken Pistol. Essays have been written online as to whether the Caress is better than the Kiss and the answer is, of course, it depends. Following my KISS model (no pun intended), I decided on using only one and that was the Caress.

So armed with 3 identical Troupes I ventured onto the table......and was disappointed 😢

My squads never did what they were supposed. You think two Fusions would wreak havoc....but it doesn't.

So I fell back on Mathhammer to find out why? If you check out the banner above you'll see a link to a Math Calculator for 40k. This was written by Jack Dunn. For those young ones among you, Jack of the similar surname terrorized local 40k players between 2001 and 2011. His last competitive games was the 2011 Masters where he came out of an 18 month 40k hiatus to win the event beating Charlie St. Clair 20-0 en route (even then Venom Spam was a thing). And he knows maths....and numbers....and things.

Shooting at a T5-7 target with a 3+ Save, two Fusion Pistols have a 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds (3.42).

Given the target a 4++ and the 50% chance drops to 1.99 wounds (2.79)

So the numbers are good, yeah? No 4++ 4 wounds likely, 4++ then 2 wounds likely....I can live with that. But what are those numbers in the brackets? That is the standard deviation expressed in wounds....and standard deviation = variability.

These results are telling me that I don't have to move too far from average to have a really good result or a really bad result (zero wounds). Essentially it is saying when you have two Fusion Pistols it really is little more than a crap shoot.

So how do I insulate myself from that? Add more Fusion Pistols. By doubling the number to 4 Fusion in each unit, I double the expected wounds....seems right.

No 4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.95 wounds
4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds.

However the big change is in the standard deviations (read variability). These are high than for 2 Fusions but not double - 3.95 and 4.83 respectively. While still variable, in relation to the number of expected wounds that variability has decreased markedly (relative to two Fusion).

Who would have thought? Roll more dice get less variability in outcomes....it's mathematics people!

But this increased certainty is great in wargaming when you are relying on units to do a specific job. I now have far greater confidence that I will get the outcome I want and/or a bad result won't be disastrous.

Armed with this I modified my list by adding two more Fusions to each Troupe. Across the army the cost was a Starweaver jetbike (itself very variable with a weapon that had D6 shots).

Since making the changes I have noticed far more certainty around the impact of their shooting which allows me to tailor strategy accordingly.

Far less Sad Panda face.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

40K - The 2020 Fields of Blood New Zealand Open

Here is the Players Pack for the 2020 FOB NZ Open

The event is being held 21/22 March 2020 at the Cossie Club, Upper Hutt in Wellington.

It is a five round 2000 point ITC Mission/Scoring event with round times of three hours.

Tickets go on sale 1 August 2019 (details in the pack).

The venue is fully licenced with a multitude of food options both at the venue and in the immediate vicinity.

Hopefully it will scratch your competitive urge.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

40K - The Long War 3 Results

The Long War 3 was held yesterday at the Warlords. This was 1750 points ITC 3 Rounds and we played missions 2,3 and 6.

The results were as follows:

Rank Player Army Battle
1 Pete Dunn Harlequins 3101
2 Simon Smith Imperial Knights 3075
3 Dave Hodgetts Astra Militarum 2066
4 Nathaniel Pihama Orcs 2065
5 Cody Parlato Necrons 2054
6 Jordan Green Chaos 2047
7 Aaron Wilson Eldar 1065
8 Sean Sullivan Imperium 1065
9 Hagen Kerr Astra Militarum 1050
10 Paul Knieriem Imperium 1042
11 Alastair Helm Tau 53
12 Kent Jackson Space Marines 39

Best Sport went to Nathaniel with 3/3 Best Opponent votes while Best Army went to Aaron's Eldar.

The next The Long War is on the first Saturday in September.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

40K - Army Selection at FoB NZGT

The audience for this missive are the attendees at the upcoming FoB NZGT. 

This event is very much billed as a hobby event where the winner will be the best all round hobbyist. So what does that mean? 

To win the event you will need to score highly in each of the four categories - Battle, Army Presentation, Sportsmanship and Army Selection. Battle is scored on table, Presentation via a checklist, Sports has a default setting and then there is Army Selection. This will be scored by me....so yep, purely subjective. 


SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

I have said that to score well for Army Selection you need to bring an army that maximizes the enjoyment of both you and your opponent. The army should be themed - in line with what I expect an army in the 41st Millennium to be, representative of its faction’s distinctive traits - and should avoid spamming of the best units/load outs in the Codex. Notice, I said Codex...singular. Any army will always score better if it drawn from a single codex versus one from multiple sources. 

Army Selection scoring is not en vogue in these days of entitlement. However, FoB NZGT has been clearly positioned as a hobby event and given the size of the field it is unlikely that you will win the event without scoring well in all four categories. Is that fair? Hell Yeah! This event does what it says on the tin. 

Last year I think that there was some doubt that I would follow through on my directives on how to get a good Selection scores. Although I made it clear what my expectations were if you wanted to score high, I received lists that were very strong. In a number of cases, I contacted people and told them that they would score low. They opted not to change their lists but after the event one of those contacted complained that he had scored so low!

So be warned - The same Sheriff is in town in 2020. By all means bring a strong list but don’t be surprised if you score less than those that don’t. Also check the Players Pack, a good Selection score does make a difference. The event still provides a lovely trophy - “Bloodthirster” - for the person who scores highest in Battle Points. 

Now I am not going to provide indicative scoring for your lists prior to the event. However I will provide a guide by scoring the list I am taking to Call to Arms which is also 1500 points. 

Harlequins 
Masque: Soaring Spite

HQ

Troupe Master - Warlord, Skystrider, Caress, Fusion Pistol
Shadowseer 

Elite
Solitaire - Cegorach’s Rose

Troops
Troupe- 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 3x Caress
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 3x Caress
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 2x Caress 
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 2x Caress

Fast Attack 
Skyweavers- 5x, Haywire & Glaive 
Skyweavers - 2x, 2x Haywire, 1x Glaive

Dedicated Transport 
4x Starweavers - 2x Shuriken Cannon

So the army scores well because:
• Harlequins
• Single Detachment
• Single Faction
• Single Masque
• Lots of Troops

Loses points because: 
• Lots of Fusion 
• Hard hitting Solitaire

Overall I would score this as probably a “6” on the “Crimes Against Pete Army Selection Scale” with the possibility of being a 7 depending on what else turns up. 

Remember the scale is 1-10 and I tend to use the lot! 

My final thought is that while last year there might have been gripes over specific individual scores, there was general acceptance that there weren’t many (any?) lists more than +/- 1 point from where they should be or deserving higher scores RELATIVE to their peers. 

40K - The Long War III Army Lists

This weekend the third of The Long War series is being hosted at the Warlords. Three rounds, 1750 points ITC missions and scoring.

You can download the list here


I'm taking 1750 points of Harlequins - and just Harlequins. I don't expect to trouble the scorers but they should be a lot of fun.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Deathwatch "Strike Force Tibbius" - Charity army for sale

The army that the 40k Community has built to raise funds for Glen Tibbles who is fighting cancer is now up for sale on Trade Me. You can access the auction here.



The army comes to almost 4500 points. It includes:

++ Brigade Detachment +12CP (Imperium - Deathwatch) [285 PL, 4272pts] ++

+ HQ +
Chaplain [5 PL, 72pts]: Bolt Pistol
Librarian [6 PL, 101pts]: Force sword, Plasma pistol
Librarian with Jump Pack [7 PL, 121pts]: Force sword, Hand Flamer, Jump Pack
Primaris Watch Captain [6 PL, 92pts] - Powerfist and Plasma Pistol: Plasma pistol, Power fist
Primaris Watch Captain [6 PL, 88pts]: Power sword; Master-crafted auto bolt rifle & bolt pistol
Watch Captain [7 PL, 124pts]: Chainsword, Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer
Watch Captain Artemis [7 PL, 130pts]
Watch Captain in Terminator Armor [7 PL, 120pts]: Storm Bolter, Thunder hammer
Watch Master [7 PL, 130pts]

+ Troops +
Intercessors [12 PL, 220pts] - 6x Intercessor: Bolt rifle; Sergeant: Bolt rifle, Power sword; 3x Reiver: Combat knife
Intercessors [5 PL, 94pts]: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher; 4x Intercessor: Bolt rifle; Sergeant: Bolt rifle, Power sword
Veterans [19 PL, 249pts] - Veteran: Stalker Pattern Boltgun, Storm shield; 4x Veteran: Boltgun, Storm shield; Veteran: Combi-melta; 2x Veteran w/ Frag Cannon; Veteran w/ Infernus Heavy Bolter; Watch Sergeant: Boltgun, Power sword
Veterans [11 PL, 100pts] - 5x Veteran: Boltgun, Storm shield; Veteran: Boltgun
Veterans [13 PL, 144pts] - Black Shield: 2x Power sword; 5x Veteran: Storm Bolter, Storm shield; Veteran: Power maul, Storm shield
Veterans [9 PL, 100pts] - 5x Veteran: Storm Bolter, Storm shield

+ Elites +
Dreadnought [7 PL, 114pts]: Assault cannon; Dreadnought combat weapon w/Storm Bolter
Primaris Apothecary [4 PL, 68pts]
Terminators [29 PL, 253pts] - Deathwatch Sergeant w/- Power Sword and Stormbolter; 2x Terminator w/- Chainfist and Stormbolter; 1x Terminator w/- Power Sword and Stormbolter; 1x Terminator w/ Power sword, Cyclone Missile Launcher and Storm Bolter; 1x Terminator w/ Heavy flamer, Power fist
Vanguard Veterans [19 PL, 194pts] - Deathwatch Vanguard Sergeant: Lightning Claw (Pair); 1x Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw (Pair); 8x Vanguard Veteran: Bolt Pistol And Chainsword
Venerable Dreadnought [8 PL, 140pts]: Heavy plasma cannon; Dreadnought CCW  w/- Heavy Flamer
Venerable Dreadnought [8 PL, 152pts]: Twin lascannon; Dreadnought CCW w/ Storm Bolter

+ Fast Attack +
Bikers [5 PL, 92pts] - 1x Biker: Power maul, Twin boltgun; 1x Biker: Power sword, Twin boltgun; 1x Deathwatch Biker Sergeant: Power fist, Twin boltgun
Bikers [5 PL, 99pts] - 2x Biker: Power sword, Twin boltgun; 1x Deathwatch Biker Sergeant: Thunder hammer, Twin boltgun
Bikers [5 PL, 93pts] - 1x Biker: Power sword, Twin boltgun; 1x Biker: Twin boltgun; Deathwatch Biker Sergeant: Meltagun, Twin boltgun
Bikers [5 PL, 75pts] - 2x Biker: Twin boltgun; 1x Deathwatch Biker Sergeant: Twin boltgun
Inceptor Squad [10 PL, 177pts] - 2x Inceptor w/- Two Plasma Exterminators; Inceptor Sergeant w/- Two Plasma Exterminators

+ Heavy Support +
Hellblasters [16 PL, 264pts] - 7x Hellblaster: Plasma incinerator;Sergeant: Bolt Pistol, Plasma incinerator
Land Raider Crusader [17 PL, 286pts]: Multi-melta, Twin assault cannon, Two Hurricane Bolters

+ Flyer +
Corvus Blackstar [12 PL, 236pts]: Auspex Array, Hurricane bolter, Twin assault cannon; 2x Stormstrike Missile Launchers

+ Dedicated Transport +
Rhino [4 PL, 72pts]: Storm Bolter
Rhino [4 PL, 72pts]: Storm Bolter

++ Vanguard Detachment (Imperium - Officio Assassinorum) [10 PL, 170pts] ++

+ Elites +
Culexus Assassin [5 PL, 85pts]
Eversor Assassin [5 PL, 85pts]

++ Total: [295 PL, 4442pts] ++

If you want a fully painted Deathwatch army and to help a good cause, please - bid large and bid often!



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Citadel Contrast Paint - "I Have A Use for You"


This Saturday GW are releasing their new Contrast Paint range. GW have promoted the new paints very well, creating hype in the past month. There have been a numerous video reviews online and in the last three days I have watched over 20 of them.

I'm going to say upfront I am not a big fan of the finished models I've seen. There is the odd 1-2 that compare with other painted models GW promotes but generally I find the finish washed out and lacking in colour saturation. I suspect that this is a consequence of them being largely pigment in matt medium.

My view is that there are two markets for these new paints:
  1. People who generally don't paint their models and will use these paints because it speeds up the process. 
  2. People who will find a specific niche use.
The first is commendable and will lead to more painted armies on the table but without wishing to sound like a paint snob - I am a functional painter at best -  the quality of the paint job compared to the current average will be lower. I think as you stray from small organic models to Monsters/industrial/armoured models the paint job gets exponential worst.

The second use is where most people who currently paint their minis will be interested. I believe that these paints work well on organic models lacking armour plates - horrors, humans, plaguebearers, nurgling, grots etc....but largely restricted to skin. Do they achieve better results than a coloured spray plus a wash...I don't think so but they are probably quicker. Where they do look to have specialist utility is as washes over metallic undercoats - I have seen some very nice Alpha Legion effects created.

To test this theory I went into my local GW this morning and checked them out. I was particularly interested in skin tones so directed my activity towards that. I was able to paint a poxbringer undercoated in the recommended Grey Seer. This is the cooler of the two primers.

This is the fruits of my labour. First up, the paints flow really well and this was all done with a medium wash brush. I was encouraged to put the paint on liberally, but I was trying to achieve a muted skin so I was more controlled. The flesh on the torso/head is painted in Darkoth Flesh straight from the pot. As I said I worked it around rather than slapping it on.


This gives a closer view. I think the effect is very good and the Contrast Paints appear to be a very good way to paint large areas of flesh quickly and importantly act as a base for further non-Contrast work. There are two other Flesh colours - a human one "Guiliman Flesh" and a Dwarven one "Fyreslayer Flesh".

I also played around trying to create a realistic crab claw effect - "Flesh Tearer Red", "Blood Angels Red", "Magos Purple" and "Skyish Purple". I think that I may be better served with traditional Citadel Paints but we'll see.


The final thing I did was to mix colours into the Darkoth Flesh to try and change the hue - I wanted a cooler purple/bluish skin. The legs are painted that way but the effect is marginal. I think this will be a more successful use once we get hold of some of the medium.

So I can see a use for them - outside the need to get grey plastic coated quickly - and I will be looking to use them in the next few months. I have 100+ of the Juan Diaz Daemonettes I have put off painting because of the amount of flesh. This looks a great way to get a functional base on them before I start with traditional Citadel Paints.

I'm picking up a spray primer, 2-3 pots of paint and some of the medium on Saturday.

Monday, June 10, 2019

40K - The Solar War

Recently I purchased the audiobook of the latest Horus Heresy novel "The Solar War". This is the first in the Siege of Terra series and sees the Heresy accelerating towards its culmination.


It has taken the series 13 years to get to Terra - longer than it took Horus - and at times the books have meandered. The two least enjoyable storylines were the "Person" narrative and especially anything to do with the Shattered Legions.

I'm pleased to say that I really enjoyed this book. Certainly felt it was as good as anything that has gone before and surpasses my other favourite books - The First Heretic, Betrayer and Pharos.

Why is it so good? It is conflict on a macro scale. The assault on the Solar System is many faceted and we have the invaders and defenders trying to second guess each other in punch and counterpunch.

I don't want to give away the plot but the scale and breadth of Horus's invasion is breathtaking. The narrative is written from the different viewpoint of the main protagonists but none know the entirety of what is unfolding.

Well worth a read/listen - the series is back on track.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hobby - Jentastic's Brush Cleaner

While I was at Adepticon I picked up a pot of Jentastic's Drunken Brush Goop from one of the vendors. I think it was about USD 5-8.


Prior to this I had been using Masters Brush Soap for cleaning my brushes and found it really good - so I wasn't strongly motivated to change.

This is described as a "natural brush cleaner and conditioner" (though I don't necessarily believe it is made in Arizona by unicorns). I've been using it over the past couple of months and it is phenomenal - it is really, really good. Recently I had switched from my workhorse Citadel brushes to Windsor & Newton Series 7. I had received them as a Xmas present from the boys so I felt motivated to look after them.

I use the "Goop" about once a week with a little warm water and rub the brush against the palm of my hand. It suds up and you'll notice any pigment is removed from the hair. I keep going for 5-10 minutes, rinsing the brush and reapplying the Goop and you start to notice flecks of dry paint coming off the brush. It seems as though this does a deeper clean and removes any residual paint in the bowl of the brush and I suspect down to (possibly in the ferrule). It is quite amazing what comes out of a supposedly clean brush. Cleaning definitely takes the W&N brushes back to new.

I've also used it on my Citadel and Army Painter brushes. It certainly appears to breathe new life into them and these are the workhorses I use for basecoating, terrain etc.

I can't recommend this highly enough. It is likely that you'll need to source directly from the USA as I suspect it is a small scale manufacture.

Buy some....and get me some more while you're there 😀