Saturday, April 25, 2009

No pictures on this post, as the camera is not quickly available.

Today I watched LoTR: Two Towers, Dark Knight, and 40K Radio Live tonight. Thats right, a whole lot of sitting around and being lazy today. This was a great thing for my painting and modeling!

I have completed the following:
WaveSerpent is painted
4 Biked are painted
Bike bases are modeled and painted
Bike Riders are assembled and primed.

So, this leaves magnetizing and painting the Waveserpent weapons, and painting up the bike riders. This is a fairly large leap forward with completed model. As you can see from my "Queue" list on the left, my list is shrinking and I need to line up the next squads. I am not going to add the models to my "Completed" list to the right until I get the riders completed and the weapons magnetized.

Pictures will follow later this week when I return from my NY trip on Monday. I will be playing in a 40K Mega-battle with 1500 points of Nids tomorrow at the GW Sterling shop, which should be interesting. I know there will be at least 3K of Nids and ~4K of IG.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Swordwind take to the field!

Last night at the local IFL game night, the Eldar Swordwind took to the field. Now, first let me say that I have played some small games against my son. While he and his orks are good to play against, I am still earning 5th and he is learning from me.

So, with that said, last night was my "First" night out with the Eldar army. I define this as playing against opponents who grasp the game, provide a challenge, and are as familiar (and in this case more familiar) than I am. Overall, I have to say I feel it went well with 1 win and 1 loss.

So the list I took was almost everything I had painted:
Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Guide, Spirit Stones, Witchblade)

5x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Executioner)
5x Wraithguard

8x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missile Launcher)
8x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, Power Weapon, Shimmershield)
5x Pathfinders

9x Warpspiders
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)

1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, TL-SCat)
1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, TL-SCat)

Game 1 vs Dark Angels

I played Rich's Dark Angel Space marines for Game 1. While I do not remember the whole list, he had a couple squads of bikes, a couple combat-bikes, several squads of terminators, a land speeder, and a named character (Belial?).

We played a Seize Ground mission with 3 objectives. The objectives were spread across the center of the board to my right, with 2 in trees and the middle one in the open. Our setup was Spearhead.

Overall the game was interesting. I had a load of questions as I eased into 5th edition, and that slowed things down a bit. Overall, I had a strategy but it was not overly effective. I left one of my scoring units out in the open (to get shot up), did not account for flamers enough, and overall I let Rich take the fight to me. I also had the bad luck of having all of my units who were riding in a tank become pinned when the tanks wrecked (which all 3 did).

At the end of the game, I did not feel that Rich had let me have an easy time (perhaps he did, I will know in the coming weeks), and it was a well-fought loss. I made several mistakes, but I feel that my army is versatile enough to recover from most mistakes. As I gain more experience with 5th edition, and field units that are better fit to my army and play-style, I can see the game becoming more competitive.

Record: 0-1-0

Game 2 vs Blood Angels

Game 2 had me across the table from Jay's Blood Angels. That’s right, for my first 2 games I faced 2 Space Marine armies, albeit not codex chapters. For this game we played Capture and Control with a building in opposite table corners as the objectives. Jay was kind enough to roll several times to avoid another Spearhead game, landing us with a Dawn of War deployment. This was interesting to me do to the restrictions around what can and cannot deploy.

Jay's army was 1 Razorback, 1 Rhino, 1 Death Company, 1 Chaplain, 1 Devastator Squad, a Dreadnought, and several assault squads. One of his assault squads deployed with the Rhino, forgoing their jump-packs.

For this mission I chose to deploy my Pathfinders and my DA - Shimmershield squad as my 2 troop choices, with no HQ deployed. I kept 1 Falcon and the Warp-Spiders+Autarch in reserves. I held the Wave Serpent + DA-2xSCat + Farseer, Wraithguard, and 1 Falcon + Banshees to deploy on turn 1.

Let me say that Jay's dice truly hate him, and this affected the game some. I want to feel bad, but I did get to see what my army can do when things work correctly, which was a nice thing. I will certainly feel worse for his rolling in future games!

The game really broke down along pretty simple lines. Jay held his building with 1 assault squad and 1 non-jump squad, with the rest of his army on the other side of the board pushing toward my building. I held my building with the Pathfinders and DA + Shimmershield, along with walking my Wraithguard toward the front of the building to provide some cover and a nasty speed bump. I sent the Waveserpent + DA and the Falcon + banshees straight down the board toward his building. The other Falcon and the Warp Spiders floated around the board harrasing his moving units.

Highlights of the game were as follows:
- Warp Spiders deepstrike in, unloading on a marine squad and wiping them out
- Warp Spiders lock in combat with the death-company, survive combat, hit&run, and take pot-shots at the smoked dreadnaught
- Bladestorm into a doomed unit holding his objective. Unit reduced to 1 marine who fails his moral check and runs.
- Banshees charge a doomed assault squad, Exarch+Executioner misses all hits, and squad still kills over half the assault marines.
- Dire Avengers + Shimmershield holding a charge from the Rhino-Assault Squad through 2 turns.

At the end of the game we realized we had only declared the building as objectives (~8" square bases) when we should have picked a spot inside the building. I had 1 unit of pathfinders within my building, with the DA and Marines in combat just off the base. He had 1 Marine in his building, with my Banshees inside the building as well. With this being the case we decided it could be either way (Draw or My Win) and agreed it was a win to me.

Record: 1-1-0

The Army

In a previous edition (3rd), there were Eldar units I never left home without. Specifically I always fielded the 6 man squad of Firedragons, a Wraithlord, and Warpspiders. I had never fielded Banshees in my previous army, always defaulting to Scorpions for my CC squad.

In this edition, specifically in these games I fielded an army that I have not played enough to become familiar with. I had units I had not previously fielded and I was missing key units that bring me comfort. Overall, this was not a problem. The Eldar of 5th edition still seem capable of handling any threats. Even in my losing game, I can see where my mistakes were and what the difference would be should I not make those mistakes again. I certainly need to get those favored squads onto the table, as they are at least AS effective as before, and may possibly be MORE effective. I have shuffled (in my head) my order of assembly for the army with an aim toward getting my Firedragons on the table sooner than later.

Let me also say, I love my Eldar. I do not regret crating my previous army and playing other armies. I was on a strong winning streak with them and I have enjoyed the game without playing them. At the end of the day, I do love my Eldar and its nice to be back playing them. Until thier Dark cousins make an appearance, I will comfortably settle back into my Eldar groove.

On Painting

There was a comment during the night that I should seriously consider fielding unpainted models to play with. I do not even have to consider this for a second.

"um .... not just no, but hell no!"

I am certainly no Golden Deamon level painter, or master crafting converter. I did make a promise to myself that I would not field unpainted models for this army. In addition, I am strongly anchored in the thought that I have no desire to field un-completed models for games. My Eldar army is a labor of love, and a point of pride when I am able to put them on the table. Every model is not only painted, but also modified in some way to represent a struggle against the upstart Tau. Be it body-parts on the bases, Combat scenes for the leaders, or something as subtle honor-blades on backpacks, there is a lot of detail and work that goes into my models before the hit the table. I know this makes the game more enjoyable for me, and I believe it increases the level of enjoyment for my opponent.

Now, don't misconstrue what I am saying. I do not expect that my opponent’s armies be fully painted. I do enjoy playing against fully modeled and painted armies more, but I refuse to drop to that level of Hobby Snobbery where I demand to play against a fully painted army. My choice is a personal choice around my hobby, and specifically this army.

I do have to admit that I feel a sense of pride and validation when nearly everyone who walked by last night took a moment to look at my army and comment on the painting and modeling. For that matter, all the comments appeared positive!

On 5th Edition

Overall I enjoy 5th edition. I will reserve complete judgment until I get a fair number more games under my belt, but on initial impression it seems well put together. I am certainly looking forward to playing more!

As a note, I came home last night and was very amped about working on my army. As long as I can keep this energy and excitement up there should be updates more often on my army progress.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Completed Banshee Unit

I completed the Banshee squad, along with another Exarch with Mirror Swords. I rushed these a bit and feel that I will want to touch them up long term. For now, I am crossing them off my list and moving on to the completing my Jet Bikes and Wave Serpent.

Banshee Exarch from the side

Banshee Exarch from the Front


I am headed out to GPC tomorrow to play some 5th edition games. I am going to create a 1500 and a 1750 list to take with me. Should be interesting as I am clearly still learning 5th edition. Also, it will be a full game return to the Eldar, which I am looking forward to.

As an update, my progress is as follows:
*Complete* 1 Autarch with jump pack, mandi-blasters, fusion gun, Power weapon
1 Avatar (Forgeworld)
1 Farseer with swords
3 Warlocks with swords

*Complete* 9 Howling Banshees
*Complete* - Exarch with mirror swords
*Complete* - Exarch with Executioner
*Complete* 5 Wraithguard
5 Firedragons
- Exarch (weapon load-out TBD)
4 Harliquins with Kisses
- 1 Shadow Seer
- 1 Troupe Master

*Complete* 9 Dire Avengers
*Complete* - Exarch with Twin SC
*Complete* 9 Dire Avengers
*Complete* - Exarch with Power Weapon/Shimmershield
*Complete* 5 Pathfinders
4 Guardian Jetbikes
Guardian Jetbikes w/ shurican cannon

Fast Attack
*Complete* 9 Warp Spiders
*Complete* - Exarch with twin Spinners and Power Blades

*Complete* 2 Falcon Grav Tanks
4 Dark Reapers
- Exarch with Tempest Launcher
- Exarch with Shurican Cannon

1 Wraithlord with Magnetized Weapons
3 War Walkers with Magnetized Weapons

*Complete* 1 Wave Serpent Grav Transports with Magnetized Weapons

1 Wave Serpent Grav Transports with Magnetized Weapons
*Complete* 1 Bonesinger (Farseer or Warlock substitute)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

40K Radio - Dead Tau Hamlet

"To be or Not to be.... that is the question"

.... "I say not"

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on a model for the 40K Radio podcast. Well, for those listening to the Bar episode 40, you can hear me call in and update the guys on my progress. The Dead Tau Hamlet was sent off to Spencer in today's mail, he should receive it this week. This was a fun model to put together and I may end up constructing something similar for my own force. This was painted up to his army's color scheme and basing.

I also got work done on my own bases for my remaining Banshees, but did not get the Banshees completed and mounted. I am nearly there, but ended up having to jump off to run some errands this afternoon. I will be getting those completed this week and pictures posted of the progress.

As for gaming, I was sick this past week and did not make it out on Tuesday to play. I need to get my Eldar onto the table, in some level of play. Hopefully I can get things coordinated this week and get some games in on Tuesday.

I want to point to one of the links on the left ------> over there, specifically Jen's painting projects. My friend Jen has finally updated her blog and posted some fantastic pictures of her Lizard army.

Well, I am off to a Mega-battle tomorrow (today? its after midnight) with my WHFB dwarves at the local GW store. I am looking forward to a relaxing mega-battle, even if it is against vampires.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Book Review - Hell Forged

Now for something a little different. I know some may be surprised but I actually read on a very regular basis, especially when I am traveling for work. Recently I completed Hellforged, the latest book in the Soul Drinkers series.

Overall, let me say that I really liked this book. The ending caught me off guard and I will be anxiously awaiting another book in the series! So:
Overall: Typical Pulp Fiction (Easily read)
Action: Wow! As with most Souldrinkers series, this had lots of action
Interest: My interest in this book is very high. (see details below)
Coverage: Renegade Space Marines, Loyal Space Marines, Mechanicum, Necrons
Recommendation: Very High

So the primary action in this book takes place in a series of battles involving the Souldrinkers, the Mechanicum, and the Necrons. There is some fantastic interplay between these three and very well written battles both in space (between ships) and direct conflict between the armies.

There are a couple things in this book that really set the tone for 40K for me. I may be a bit slow, but for the first time I gained an appreciation for Renegade Space Marines who are not servants of Chaos. When the Chaos Marine codex was released for the game, I was having a hard time understanding why it was not focused on the Traitor Legions. I finally have an appreciation for renegade space marines, who are still loyal to the Emperor but not to the Imperium. The Souldrinkers are a fantastic example of this. I have to admit that the Souldrinkers are quickly moving up the ladder to my favorite chapter! The more I read of their books, the more I think about starting an army of them!

I also enjoyed the deeper look into parts of the Mechanicum that this book provides. After reading a series of books that deal with the Mechanicum (Titanicus, Mechanicum, etc) another look at the mechanicum is welcome.

I have also noticed that Necrons have been involved in a couple books released over the past couple years. Dark Apostle (released Sep 2007) and this book both have well written scenes heavily involved with necrons. Reading through this book and noticing the terminology used leads me to believe that the writer (Ben Counter) was provided insight into the future release of the Necrons. Personally, I do not think its a reach to expect some of the representation of Necrons within this book to be pointers to how the Necrons will be in the new Codex.

Overall, for anyone interested in Necrons, Space Marines, Renegade Space Marines (not chaos), this book is a very strong recommendation! Also, anyone looking for a good 40K universe book to read should pick this up.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jet Bikes

Wow, 2 posts in 1 day.

So as I was able to find some gaps in my work-day, I took advantage of the benefits of working from home. I have undercoated (green) my wave serpent and 4 jet bikes. I also have 75% of my Banshees complete. I need to:
* paint up the bases
* clean up the banshees armor
* complete the swords, gems, and pistols
* mount them on the bases.

In the interim, here is a WIP picture of a Jetbike. No rider yet, but I am playing with some painting tricks using washes.

Now that the WHFB Winter League is over, I should really make time to get out and learn to play 5th edition against opponents other than my son. I met an excellent group of players through the league and nearly all of them prefer 40K. I figure this is a good group to start back with!

Dead Tau for 40K Radio

So for those who listen to the 40K Radio podcast you know that one of the hosts (Scott) has a Tau army, which he constantly refers to and drives the other host (Spencer) crazy. On one of the recent bonus episodes, Spencer announced a contest for somone to model up a "Dead Tau" which he would then mount on his microphone.

Well, this is right up my alley! While working on my Bikes, Banshees, and Wave Serpent I went ahead and assembled an additional Eldar and a dead tau. I like to call this my Eldar Hamlet.

I am going to paint it up with Spencers paint scheme (purple/grey) and send it in.