Sunday, 22 February 2015

Neurovenom

Meanwhile, back in the warm, uterine embrace of the Hive Mind, more servants of The Great Devourer have been spawned.  


The Neurothrope is a new unit which sort of replaces the Doom of Malantai.  Except not really.  In fact, just about the only similarities between them are that their special power happens to be called Spirit Leech and they both have big heads.  But I was never expecting the Doom to make a comeback anyway and the Neurothrope is a nice little tip of the hat to the old fella.


The venomthrope is presumably remodeled in plastic to replace the old failcast.  And a fine replacement it is too. 
Not sure I'm ever going to use the Neuro or Venom in games. I mainly used the 'thropes in singles either to add cover or as a synaptic link.  Then Forgeworld introduced the Malanthrope with does both of these jobs, has T5, 4 wounds, regeneration and only costs 85pts.  I haven't taken any other kind of elite units since.


Still, who doesn't want a Zoanthrope with his spine sticking out of the back of his head?  I mean how awesome is that?  And the Venom is just mint.  I had to own one, there was never any question about it.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Wraithlings

Canoptek Wraiths are now even more OP with the release of the new Necron codex.  Therefore it is necessary to spam the shit out of them.  Unfortunately I only have 9 of the models and 3 of those are the old metal versions (I call them Wraithlings).  They're about half the size of the newer plastic and look stupid when mixed in a unit.  Plus, they don't have whip coils.  However, needs must as the devil drives...


To be honest, I painted them to try out some new products.  I can only field 6 Wraiths in a 'Canoptek Harvest' formation and I don't have enough Spyders to field 2 Canoptek Harvests.  I'm not even sure you can use two in a 'Decurion' detachment.  Its all very confusing for someone who just likes blowing up toy soldiers.  I have to admit that I got my army list composition completely wrong on my first couple of attempts and ended up letting Battlescribe work it out for me.  Thank the Star Gods for Battlescribe.


I suppose I could just revert to a normal combined arms detachment but you need a bloody good reason not to want the command benefits and formation special rules of a Decurion.  Anyway, enough of that nonsense.  On to the products.  The real reason I painted them was because I wanted to try out AK's Heavy Chipping Acrylic Fluid and GW's Agrellan Earth technical paint.  And I wanted to do it fairly quickly on models that I didn't really care about and could be dropped in paint stripper if it all turned to custard.


In the end I was very pleased with the Agrellan Earth. I pinched the idea from Tripwire who had already pinched the idea of yellow Necrons from me so I guess that makes us even (although he paints better, the git).  It is piss easy to use and produces a neat effect.  I put a wash of Earthshade over the dried coat and then drybrushed with Tallarn Sand but you probably don't need to.  The finish is a bit crumbly though, so I thought a wash would 'bind' it together more.  Maybe I should use matt varnish just to be sure.


You only need one coat and it neatly covers the hideous nature of my old 'emerald green' bases.  In fact I'm even more pleased with the Necron Warrior I tried it out on next.  The Wraiths were already based with a sand mixture which made the cracks in the paint much smaller.  The flatter texture of the Warrior base makes for a more 'chunky' look.  I now feel confident enough to rebase the entire army without losing my mind.  (Still not doing it on the Nids though.  No way, mate.)


The Heavy Chipping Fluid I'm less happy with.  I didn't use an airbrush, as per instructions, so maybe thats why it didn't work.  I had to put 5 coats over the top of it before the paint stopped reacting with the chipping fluid and going all icky.  The 'cocktail stick delicately dipped in water' method of distressing the paint didn't work at all.  I used a nail in the end.  I figured that the model was made of metal anyway and the effect I was going for was metal showing through the paint. So I just gouged it out.  I don't think I'll be using Heavy Chipping fluid again but nothing ventured, nothing gained and I still love AK's Light Rust weathering effects which were also applied to the Wraithlings.


I suppose I'll have to finally paint my Tomb Blades now.  Aside from the fact that they are a mandatory inclusion in a Decurion detachment, they are ridiculously cheaper than their previous incarnation.   A kitted out Tomb Blade in this edition with Shadowloom, Particle Beamer and Shield Vanes costs 23 points.  In the old codex that would set you back 50 points.  Nebuloscopes (now a measly 1 point) give you 'ignores cover' rather than BS5 but you can easily get BS5 for free by putting your Tomb Blades near a Triarch Stalker.  Madness, I tell you.  Its like the exact opposite of the reaction I had whilst reading the new Tyranid Codex last year.  The more I read it, the more interesting and joyful the experience becomes.  I am a whore.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Harness the What?

So I'm confused.  Having just bought my Necron Datacards, I noticed Objective 56 which reads:


Am I going mad?  Do Powers of the C'Tan count as Psychic Powers?  Is this all a cosmic joke?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

GWF Smackdown - Shrikes vs. Wraiths



Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight's Battle of the Paint Station pits the mighty Tyranid Shrikes vs. the All New Canoptek Wraiths!

In the red corner, weighing in at 140 points, we have 'Charlie's Angels'! Three Shrikes with mixed loadout: Pair of Scything Talons, Pair of Boneswords, Lash Whip and Boneswords.  All 3 sport Rending Claws.

In the yellow corner, fresh from the codex update, weighing in at 129 points, we have 'The Rusticrons'!  3 Wraiths with Whip Coils.

Well Jim, it certainly looks like an interesting fight this evening.  Of course, nobody likes Wraiths with their massively frustrating 3++ invulnerable save and poxy strength 6 rending attacks.  However, it appears that GWF have made attempts to balance this cheese by increasing the cost of the glorified repair 'bots to 40 points each.  Having said this, the cost of their wargear appears to have dropped dramatically.  Correct me if I'm wrong Jim, but doesn't that actually make them cheaper?


Why, yes Ron, yes it does!  In fact, in a controversial move at the weigh in, the Rusticrons eschewed all ranged weapons in favour of whip coils, making them 11 points cheaper than their adversaries.  It looks like we won't be seeing any 'kiting' shenanigans in this fight and the metal killers want to get down and dirty.  Close combat weapons only tonight, folks!


Absolutely, Jim!  It smacks of overconfidence from the Rusticrons.  Those Tyranid Boneswords with instant death rolls on a 6 are the bane of multi-wound models.  Their rending claws, whilst normally a great addition, will have absolutely no effect however.  Wraith Form sucks.  Of course, we are completely impartial.

Correctamundo Ron, whereas the 'Crons will get to rend the 'Nids.  Lets not forget that the new codex has increased Wraith toughness to 5 as well.  Those Shrikes will need 5s to wound while the Wraiths only need a 2.  Surely thats going to make a difference?

We'll just have to find out Jim!  And here they come! Right into the melee! No charge rolls or preamble whatsover!  Its a straight up slug fest!  'Miss Lash Whip' hits first with her massive initiative 7!  Aaaaannd whiffs completely.  But whats this?!  The whip coil Wraiths also have swiftstrike and that puts them at higher initiative than the remaining Shrikes!  They hit! They wound! No rends, but the Tyranids only get 5+ saves aaand they fail them all!  Fortunately they have 3 wounds each and they stay in the fight.


But wait, Ron! The remaining 'nids get ONE extra attack each.  Hey, having 4 arms, two pairs of melee weapons, a prehensile tail and razor sharp teeth has got to count for something right?  Right?  So here we go, 4 attacks each, hitting on 3s!  They hit and they wound. Oh my, one is an INSTANT DEATH wound! Not looking good for the metal mickeys now, hey?! ... Nah, they saved it...


On to round two Jim.  Miss Lashwhip hits and wounds! Another 6 on the wound which will instantly kill her opponent!  He needs to make this save...   and does.   I'm beginning to see a pattern here, Jimmy my boy.  Now its the turn of the whip coil boys.  Some hits there.  More wounds and a rend.  Twin Boneswords is down to 1 wound and needs to make her 5+ save!  Ooooohh, she's down!  First blood to the Necrons!


Holy Cow, I didn't see that coming Ron!  There's one Shrike left at initiative 4 and she hits!  She wounds on a 6!! Use the chair! Use the chair!! Instant death, baby! No, wait, shes only got scytals, Godsdammit.  Another wound on the Wraiths but they are all standing.

Ok, Round 3 and the Shrikes are down a player. Only one Wraith still has his starting wounds.  Miss Lashwip hits but fails to wound.  The 'Cron boys now have more weight of attacks... and they make it pay!   Two rending attacks!  Oooh, thats gotta hurt, another Shrike down.  And they have nothing left to come back with.

Well it looks like its curtains for Charlie's Angels, Ron.  Round 4 and Miss Lashwhip gamely fights on, causing another wound.  She's ducking and diving but the hits keep on coming.  A nasty uppercut there, he slips past her defences. Bam! Its all over.  3 - 0 knockout win to the Tomb Kings in space....


Wait a minute Jim, that aint right.  Lets replay that fight again.  <Fast Forward>  Necrons win.

Aah, lets try giving the Tyranids the charge, Ron.  <Fast Forward> Necrons win.

Emperor's Balls! Lets give all the Nids lash whips and boneswords.  <Fast Forward> Necrons win.

F*@% it!  Again!  <Fast Forward>  Yeeeeah!  A Shrike win!  The Tyranids finally proving to be effective speed bumps for the relentless Necron war machine!

They don't even taste good, for Emprah's sake.

Ok we'll be right back after the break.

You will paint ussss now!  Wait! Are we already painted?!

Charlie's Angels


The Shrikes are finished and I finally have a 'winged host'.  Well, actually, I don't have any sky slasher swarms and come to think of it they aren't troops anyway, so it would be impossible to field a fully winged, battle forged, Tyranid army.  The fast attack slots would be a bit crowded too.

Good morning, Angels

They took a bloody age to paint and I got a bit carried away with the bases, but I'm pleased with the results.  I'd forgotten what a pain in the arse it is to paint wings.  God forbid I ever want six or nine of these things.  The cost in Vargheist parts alone would render me bankrupt.

I think this one is Farah Fawcett
The 'face mask' was an idea I stole from Bloodtyrant over on TTH.  A really clever little conversion using gaunt shoulder pads and a bit of green stuff.  You can see how he made it here .

Her chin spike has a straw in it, allowing her to feed.

The finished models are quite large (these are on 50mm bases). They tower over normal warriors; about twice as tall.  Of course, whilst this might be aesthetically pleasing, it basically means they die more easily in games.  You must suffer for your art.

Raziel, you are worthy...
Not sure what to tackle next.  I could start building/painting the humongous backlog of Nids.  Or I could pick up the Necrons again. The more I read the new codex, the better it looks. I think I'll let the dice gods decide and stage a fight between 3 Shrikes and 3 Canoptek Wraiths.  Winning army stays on the painting table.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Shrikes WIP

For someone who professes to dislike Tyranid Warriors, I seem to build and paint enough of them.  The latest batch are from the Deathstorm box which I only bought for the Spawn of Cryptus, so I fully expected them to stay on the sprue forever.  I had considered making Shrikes but was vaguely holding out for Forgeworld to reinstate their resin wing conversion kit.  Of course, that may never happen so the Warriors were stuffed in a box somewhere amongst my growing collection of unfinished guilt trips.


But Alistair had other ideas and gifted me a set of Vargheist wings a couple of weeks ago.  Just enough to kitbash all three Warriors.  Coincidence?  It must have been. I hadn't mentioned it to him, but Alistair seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing what I want to convert before I do.  Its quite worrying really.  Once I started, I really got into it and the new, larger bases (50mm as opposed to normal 40mm) allow for more of a display to be built.  I don't hate the new base sizes but I'm definitely not going to re-base my entire army.  There is just no way thats ever going to happen.  Unfortunately, it raises the problem of what to do with new models.  I might buy more Necron warriors at some point and having a mixture of 25mm and 32mm bases will look awful.  I guess I'd just have to buy 25mm bases separately.


Anyway, I got some interesting poses out of my free wings although one set appeared to contain two right arms.  I wasn't about to start complaining since they were free and all but it did seem odd.  Nevertheless, I checked the GW site and two 'right' arms are actually left + right, just put together in a weird way.  I guess the bases in WFB must fit snugly together during a game to represent rank and file, so they have to tuck the wings in.