Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Reapers a' Reaping?!?!!

Which day of Christmas was it that Santa gave 10 Dark Reapers a' Reaping? I do not think that was in the song, but they have certainly joined the Dead Tau Project! So today was very productive with my starting and completing the 10 Dark Reapers. I also got a base coat of green on the Wraith Lord. I will be switching back and forth between the Wraithlord and the Dark Reaper Exarchs over the next couple days.

Lets take a closer look:

I used the Cool Tone Black Armor painting guide in White Dwarf 360. I added in a purple wash to tie the models together (armor to guns). Overall I think it came out good, but the real test will be comments from my opponents and normal gaming partners. I will be particularly interested to here the comparison between the pictures here and how they look on the table.

On my last post I received a question about my bases from Old Shatter Hands from the Tau of War blog (a great blog I follow). The question was
"The only quesiton I have is why you left the bases unpainted. do you intend to paint the flock or not? "
I started the army basing using the Tau bits, then painting the actual black bases with Dheneb Stone. Over this I covered the bases with Sand, as the goal was to represent the DTP fighting on a desert world. Recently I have begun to regret my decision to leave the sand unpainted and only seal it with purity seal. Unfortunately, I am so far into the project I have been hesitant about the amount of work required to re-prime and paint all the sand bases. At some point I may change my mind, but for now I am sticking the the theme as it keeps the army consistent.

So I will be headed out to the Iron Fist League 4th quarter tournament in Woodbridge this Saturday. It was pushed out due to snow, but it looks like everything is a go for the rescheduled date. It will be a 3 game 2000 point tournament, with the field looking very heavily filled with Marines. I will do my best to remember how the games go, and will post some type of recap regardless of how shoddy my memory is.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reinforcing the Dead Tau Project

First let me wish everyone in the blog-o-sphere a very Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday was as relaxing and enjoyable as mine was. While I did not receive any GW for Christmas, I had a wonderful day with my family and enjoyed watching my children open their gifts.

Today I turned my mind back to the Dead Tau Project and chose to get some painting done. I have put a serious dent in the models on my painting tray and grabbed some pictures to show off to all the readers out there. Lets start with the bad boy that leads off this blog post, my new Striking Scorpion Exarch with biting blade. He is modelled up splashed with the blood of the Kroot he just hacked apart.

Next we move on the the 5 additional Scorpions in his squad. I have painted them all splashed in blood as well, as I feel it fits their bases along with the close-combat orientation of the unit. This is similar to how I painted my Banshees. For the Scorpions I have used a variety of Kroot bits, thus my earlier comment about how bad the Kroot are for DTP bases.

We move on the the additions to the wayward DTP rangers. I will typically field these gents as pathfinders, so that's the pricing I am using to the right for them. I know Fritz has some opinions regarding their use as objective holders, which is well worth the read. I do not use the rangers often, so will need to play with them more to really gauge how they work best for me. First we take a look at all 12 of the rangers together.

Then we take a closer look at the reinforcements.

And then we come to a new HQ joining the crusade, another Autarch. I was inspired a couple weeks back to assemble this Autarch and put him together. As those who follow realize, he has sat on my paint tray for a while and I am happy to complete him and get him into the case! This Autarch has the typical weapon load-out of Fusion gun, power weapon, and Mandiblasters. He does not have any additional kit, keeping him cheap and fit to join any foot-slogging unit on the ground or in their wave-serpents.

I am closing out this post with a quick peak at my painting tray to see whats left. the DTP heavy slots have a strong expansion coming in the next couple days with 10 Dark Reapers plus Exarchs along with a Wraithlord! You can also catch sight of the white primed Winged Exarch in the back next to the long suffering Eldrad.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Veritable Host of Long Range Death

An excellent day of crafting has come to a close. I have to admit, I am enjoying my vacation so far. I went into this 2 week break with a couple primary objectives:
  1. Complete my first play through of Dragon Age: Origins
  2. Paint my Office
  3. Paint a big chunk of the Dead Tau Project
So, first off I have completed DA:O. The game is fantastic and the end was very very good. I played through as an Elven Mage, and played out the end scenes with Alistair, Leliana, and Wynn. I am actually looking forward to playing through this a second time with a different origin path.

So, onto the Dead Tau Project. Today was a very productive day for the DTP. As any followers can see from my list on the left, I have a whole load of models assembled and based. I came to a stopping point tonight as I wait for the green-stuff and glue to dry completely before I prime them. As a quick list:
  • 1 Wraith Lord with magnetized weapons and a sword (wielding the sword and can mount 2 weapons)
  • 7 new Rangers
  • 3 Dark Reaper Exarchs (1 Tempest Launcher, 1 Missile Launcher, 1 Shurican Cannon)
  • 10 Dark Reapers
  • 1 Scorpion Exarch (Biting Blade)
  • 5 Scorpions
I still have Eldrad, my Winged Farseer, and a new Autarch on my tray for painting. The Autarch has the base coat down, and needs washes and highlighting. Eldrad and the Winged Farseer are primed and waiting on base coats.

I find myself becoming frustrated as I make the bases. Kroot are horrible for basing the DTP, although I have tried using them a bit for the Scorpions. With the Fire warriors, I have success with the shoulder pads and helmets, along with a couple weapons. Overall, I would like to find some new options for basing, that are simple yet create some variety for my army. I will say that for larger models (Walkers and Wraithlord), the Stealth suits are actually better than crisis suits for basing. The Crisis suit jet pack on the back is tough to carve apart to make the Crisis Suit lay down. This is not a problem in appearance when using the stealth suits, which split apart in a fairly simple way.

Thats all for tonight. I will get pictures up in (what I hope is) my next post, once I get some of these models painted up.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Warlocks, War Walkers, and Maugan Ra the Bad Ass - Oh My!

Its been a productive week so far, with my completing a set of models. In addition to the ones I have pictures of below, I also was inspired with an idea for my Fire Dragon Exarch with Dragon's Breath flamer. I did not grab a picture of him unfortunately.

What I did grab pictures of was my Seer Council Warlock, my new War Walkers (with 2 full sets of magnetized weapons), and I was able to paint up Maugan Ra. First we have a front and back picture of the Seer Council Warlock. This model represents a Warlock on Jetbike that I will be using for my Jetbike Seer Council. In the previous blog post I posted pictures of this warlock along with the Farseer with wings. I have received the 4 additional wings to build the models to bring the squad up to 5 Warlocks. Work will start on those soon, but in the interim here is pictures of the completed Warlock.

I also completed assembling and painting my War Walker squad. To be fair, this was more of an urge that resulted in me pulling out the three walkers and my Wraithlord. The Wraithlord still sits disassemble, but the walkers are complete. This kit took about 45 minutes to assemble the first model, then the second and third came down to ~20 minutes each. Painting took a little bit longer, but they paint up fairly quickly. I am very happy with the Crisis Suit legs/Smoosh and the Stealth Suit crush modeled onto 2 of the bases. In addition, I was able to assemble nearly 2 complete sets of magnetized weapons. The only weapon that I do not have a double pair of is the Shurican Cannon, which I do not expect I will field as much. My standard build (at least for now) seems to be Scatter Lasers, with Star Cannons as my second choice. Now I am all set for combat patrol missions (Rapid Fire in January and Adepticon in March)!

Joining Yriel in my display case is that Eldar Bad Ass who traveled into the Eye of Terror (using Abbadon's 13th black crusade as cover) and piloted a whole craft world back into normal space. I painted up my first Phoenix lord, Maugan Ra. Eventually I plan to have a full set of the Phoenix Lords along with Yriel and Eldrad in the case. They are not being modeled to represent the Dead Tau Project, but to stand on their own for when I feel like playing with them.

That's all for now!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seer Council for The DTP???

*image thanks to Republic90 on Deviant Art

I have been thinking for a while about the Seer Council on Bikes (referred to as a Seer Council from here on out). Fritz from "The way of the Saim-hann" has written several nice tactica for them here on BoLS and here on his blog. Many players swear that the Seer Council is critical to winning tourney games with an eldar army.

I have not played with a Seer Council previously, for a number of reasons. Recently I tried them out for 1 game and did horribly with them, especially considering the build I used was ~500 points of my 1500 point army.

So, why have I not used them if they are so popular lately? Let me go through a couple reasons.
  • First, in order to make a seer council, you must modify up models to make them fit. There is no stock model for a warlock or farseer on bike. In addition, I really like the current GW models for Farseer's and Warlocks with the robes, rune armor, and helmets.
  • Second, I have felt that the Seer Council, on bikes especially, was not a good fit for the Biel Tan craftworld which I play. A big honking seer-council on foot is great for Ulthwe, and a big squad of bike mounted Seers is great for Saim-hann. Biel Tan really had their own militant slant on things which always relegated the seers to the backfield and support rolls.
  • Third, I just was not convinced I wanted to put a massive pointed unit like the council into my army.
Well, here I am changing some of my thinking and considering further if I should build a seer council. I decided to go ahead, as I also had an idea for how to make them look cool, different, and fit with my fluff (both the DTP and the Craftworld Fluff). After looking at my test models, I am going to build 4 more Warlocks along the same lines and have a Seer Council composed of 5 Warlocks and 1 Farseer. This will still come in around 500 - 600 points, but I will have the option to use them. In addition, I can always use the warlocks for my bike squads, as the bases will fit.

For this mod, I am sticking to Jetbike bases, as this will be important for overall play. I wanted something that was dynamic and showed the DTP warlocks in the midst of battle, as I think anyone on the Biel Tan craftworld would be expected to fight. Here is the Farseer and warlock I built for my test models.

Farseer (Bike Seer Council)

Warlock (Bike Seer Council)

The picture actually helped me pick out some of the green-stuff bubbles still drying and I was able to smooth those out after taking the pictures. I plan to paint the wings on all these models a blue/blue-white to represent psychic-generated wings.

Overall, I think they look good enough to move forward with the other 4 warlocks. I welcome comments and thoughts.

Lastly for today (2 posts today, nice.....) I noticed on updating my completed list on the right that I have cleared the 3000 point mark with my painted army. I feel this is some kind of milestone, although I am not sure what. I am excited to see how much more I get done before I stop in January to do my 2 year wrap-up and status check.

Thats all for now.

December blows in with Guardians!!!

*image thanks to Ratgash on Deviant Art

As a self-proclaimed hater of Guardians, why would I put a Guardian as the lead picture of the post? Well, I have gotten some more painting done and also finally have the pictures to put up. Pictures today will show my new Fire Prism's, some objective markers all painted up, and my Wave Serpents on their tank bases! Thats right, for the Beil Tan this is where we find the Guardians in the army.

First we have the Prism's. I have two painted up and added to the army and have played a couple games now with 1 of them. Unfortunately, in both games I used the Prism it was shaken all game until it was blown out of the sky. I will keep putting it in my list to see how it does when its not drawing all the fire on the board.

Overall I think they look pretty good. I need to put magnets on the bottom so they can get their own Tank Bases. This brings us to the Wave Serpents. These have been posted before, but I am now up to 4 Serpents and their bases are complete.I have some touch-up to complete on one, but overall I like their look.

The lighting on these is from my display case.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had picked up some objective counters from Bartertown. I finally got these painted up and they have made an appearance in several games so far. This is also the first time I have used transfers, and its clear I need to do some work on my skills using them.

And I thought this objective needed a separate picture of its own.

Lastly, I have some pictures of my Farseer with the Source Lighting paint job. This was painting I did during my Seattle trip, with a great deal of help from Evan at the bunker.

Thats it for this post. I am glad December is finally here and hope to get a fair amount of hobby done this month.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Long time Slacker, Recent Poster

Its been a long time since my last post, a little over a month in fact! Things have been crazy lately, but that's the same for everyone, isn't it? I have gotten to the place where my work travel for the year is done, except 1 more day trip to NY. Overall, this time of year should be good for my hobby, as I can generally carve out some time during my work day (I work from home when not on the road) to do some modeling or painting. On the other hand, Assasins Creed 2, Dragon Age Origins, and MtG for the Xbox call to me and conflict for my hobby time.

So, the big question is what I have been up to and whats new? I have a load of stuff on my painting/modeling tray, much of it started and underway. The projects that are likely to roll off first are 2 new Fire Prism's and a new Wave Serpent. As a matter of fact, I just completed one of the Prism's an hour before writing this. I need to figure out where my wife hid the camera so I can get some pictures up. Lists to the left and right have been updated appropriately. As a note, I have passed the 3K mark on for a painted army, taking the typical options I play with (not maxing out options). I think thats some type of milestone! I tried to do a quick add-up of my complete collection, and I think I still have another 4K or so to go, just with what I already own. I am going to have to decide when I am going to end my Eldar Exclusivity and start on my WHFB High Elves. Probably not until after Adepticon next year.

I was very excited about a month back (shortly after my last post) and got started on my Avatar project. This came to a halt as I realized I want to document the conversion and painting step by step. This is certainly a goal to have complete before the end of December, although it may wait for significant work until my end of year vacation.

Outside of modeling and painting, I have been somewhat active in games and doing a lot of reading. I got a game in with Jay a couple weeks back that was enjoyable. Kill points, and I was trying out a small jetbike seer council (1 farseer and 4 warlocks) for the first time. I figured I needed to try this unit out since it is the "hotness" according the the internet tourney players. Personally, it did not work for me, but I need to give it a couple more chances. From a modeling standpoint, I think I will model up a "Jetbike Seer Council" although it will be highly modified and not on bikes per-se. I have a great idea and will use jetbike bases to make sure the foot-print works out. Even if I end up not using them as a seer council, the models should look good and I can use them as warlocks for my bike squads.I have the bits for the first 2 test models, so those are in the plan and on the workbench.

A couple weeks back I was out at the local GW store and ran into a couple guys who have played 40K since 1st edition. We all ended up heading out to dinner and I was fascinated by thier stories of the changes to the game over the years. In addition, one of the guys has been a die hard Eldar player form the beginning. After listening to his stories and his memory of the fluff, I became intrigued enough to troll ebay for a number of items. First I am still looking for a copy of the 1st edition Rogue Trader 40K rule book. Second, I grabbed 3 old white dwarf's, with 2 having arrived. I picked up White Dwarf 171 and 172, which have write-ups on the "new releases" of 2nd edition Eldar models and an Eldar vs Orks battle report. I have enjoyed reading the fluff in the magazines regarding the Eldar. I also found, which is fantastic and provides references for the Eldar fluff, along with reposting some of it. I may post some of the old rules and snippets over time if they catch my fancy.

On another note, two old friends of mine have returned to the 40K side of the hobby. Those of you who have followed my blog a while may remember me mentioning Trevor and Jen in this previous post. Well, Trevor dug his Tau out of hiding, and started painting/repainting them again. He came over the house a couple weekends back and I walked him through a 5th edition intro game, rolling out the basics and changes to him. Then again, this last weekend, we headed to the Baltimore Bunker with his wife to play a couple games and introduce her to the 5th edition changes. Overall, I am happy to see them back in the hobby. Jen's 5th edition intro with her Witch Hunters was brutal, with 3 of my tanks and 3/4 of my army dead or fleeing at the end of turn 2. I ended up pulling enough back together before the end of the game to not get tabled while teaching her the new dynamics of 5th. The two games vs Trevors Tau renewed the old rivalry, with both being fairly bloody games for both sides.

I will also be attending Adepticon next year in March. I have everything nailed down (hotel, registration) and am registered for the Friday combat patrol game along with the Sunday 40K championships. I plan to get in Thursday and head back home Monday, after everything is over. My plans include catching up with the Dice Like Thunder guys, possibly crashing their podcast (again) and just gaming as much as possible over the weekend. I am currently debating driving vs flying out. If I drive, I can make time to drive into Chicago (which I love) and grab breakfast at Lou Mitchell's downtown. Its well worth the drive, but I cannot bring myself to pay the ~$50 in round-trip cab fare to go in and out for breakfast! In addition, if I drive I do not have to worry about bringing my armies on the plane. On the other hand, Driving is ~12 hours, where flying is less than 5 including the wait at the airport.

Thats it for now, I need to go and find the camera to grab some pictures of the new tanks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seattle Bunker and DTP on the Road

I am on the road again, which I think I mentioned in an earlier post. This time I am out in Seattle and stopped by the Seattle Bunker to hang out, paint, and get a game in with one of the Freebootaz.

So here is another picture from my (now) world-wide travels and pictures at GW on the road. This is my bad hair day at the Seattle bunker. I want to send out a focused thank you to Evan at the Seattle Bunker. I had a great chat with him around closing time, and he is a great guy. He also gave me some incredible help on source lighting the "glowing hand" on my Farseer, new pictures to be posted when I return home.

So while out here, I was lucky enough to get a game in against Commissar Prower from the 40K radio forums. We played a 1500 point game with the following lists.

Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Runes of Warding, Spear)

6x Fire Dragons
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL SCan)
9x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Executioner, Warshout, Acrobatic)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missiles)

9x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Bright Lances)
3x Jetbikes
w/ 1x SCan
3x Jetbikes
w/ 1x SCan

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

Commissar Prower's list (as I remember)
2x Infantry Platoons (55 models each) with lasguns
1x command squad with commissar
1 squadron of 3 bassilisks
1 deathstrike missile
1 special weapons squad (5x) with 3 flamers

With hills in the 4 corners and a good spread of terrain, we rolled up a kill point mission with spearhead deployment. C. Prower deployed everything on the table, with the deathstrike and command squad on a his hill in the back corner. I deployed the Farseer and Banshees in their wave serpent and the dire avengers in their serpent, both near the middle of the table. Everything else was in reserve with the Spiders deep striking.

After unsuccessfully trying to seize initiative, the game was underway. C. Prower pushed forward with his big squads, and I did the dance trying to position my Serpents to unload their cargo in an advantageous fashion. Overall this was a great game with some very good moments.
  • Turn 3 when my Banshees launched into combat with the nearly full strength infantry platoon (with no doom). The Banshees carved up 12 guardsmen and survived the 30+ return attacks. The guardsmen broke and were run down.
  • C. Prower's Deathstrike missile launched turn 5, hitting the middle of the table but only wiping out 1 bike squad.
  • Dire Avengers jumping out of the Serpent and blade storming an infantry squad. Only killed a handful and took a face-full of "1st rank fire 2nd rank fire" in return. After 90 return shots, only the Exarch successfully survived.
  • Final combat between Bike squad and the command squad. At the end of turn 5 the Commissar strikes down 1 GJB with his power sword and the command squad runs down the unit as they flee.
At the end of turn 5, we were tied. C. Prower had killed my banshees, 2 bike squads, and a Wave Serpent for 4 kill points. I had killed the Deathstrike missile, Flamer squad, and both large infantry platoons for 4 kill points. At that point there was 5 minutes before the store closed so we called the game at a tie.

So, its work for the rest of the week, then a red-eye flight back home Thursday night. Overall, its nice to be able to get a game in while on the road.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Warhammer World Tables

I got a good game in this week versus Jay's new ork army. It was a completely devastating loss, but the overall game was enjoyable. I am also scheduled for a challenge game today versus one of the IFL members Dark Eldar. I am looking forward to this game, as I believe he is playing a Witch Cult army. I have never played against DE, although I used to play them myself. It should be a fun game.

I am also headed out to Seattle on the 13th, for the trip that was canceled earlier in the year. My challenge still stands to any of the local Seattle 40K readers. I have time on Tuesday and on Wednesday when I could get a game in. I would love to bring my army along and play a good 1500 point game or two.

That's not the primary purpose for this post however. I wanted to get up a couple pictures of the Dead Tau Project on some of the more impressive tables at Warhammer World. I brought along my Farseer and one of my Dire Avenger Exarchs to take pictures of on the tables there. I have to admit that the 3 big tables were certainly awe inspiring. Each was 12' x 8' and had incredible terrain on it.

Here we have the DTP posing on the "Demo Table" in the Warhammer world Store. Incredible Cities of Death terrain built onto a fantastic table!

Here is the table. Looking close you can make out the DTP models.

Close-up of my DA Exarch

And the Farseer.

Next we ahve the "Apocolypse Tau" table. This was just used as terrain for a game so when the previous game finnished they cleared off much of the table. The Tau terrain looks great. You should recognize this from the picture in the apocolypse book on page 74.

I really enjoyed posing my models on this table. It was fitting to my army theme! Here we have the DA Exarch on the top of the Tau Tower.

And the Farseer near the shield generators.

Here we have an incredible Imperial Temple that was shown in a White Dwarf (I believe). I am having trouble finding where this was, so if anyone out there remembers the WD issue or the book its in, please let me know. This terrain was simply incredible, easily filling a 4x6 table on its own.

And here is a close-up of our DTP friends leaving the temple.

And finally we have the "Assault on Terra" table. This was simply incredible.

There were two "chaps" on the table fighting through a large battle for most of the time I was there. They were very generous to allow me to interrupt thier game toward the end of the day and snap a couple pictures. As a note, they were playing an 8000 point game (4K per side), and the table did not look cramped.

That's all for now. It is my intention to get on this weekend and post about my recent games (both vs Jay's orks and tonight's game vs DE). I also ask that anyone interested in playing a game while I am in Seattle let me know.