Saturday, 23 May 2015

Lord Commissar Cheese

A bit of touching up and my third, cheesy Flyrant is finished.  I was never really stoked by the standard Flyrant pose, even though I love the model.  It suggests the beast gliding over the battlefield like some sort of demonic valkyrie, but most of the time you can only see its back during a game and have to crouch down for a closer look at the business end.

Said 'A' to 'B', "I don't like 'C', his manners are a lack.  For all I ever see of 'C' is a semi circular back"

So I converted Swarmy with his arms thrown back, allowing me to fully appreciate his ghastly smile.  Even this wasn't ideal and several opponents commented that he looked like he was getting shot rather than displaying his manliness.

The Dakka Flryant. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every monkeychuka in the room, accept no substitutes*
*your mileage may vary depending on codex used, play style, strength of enemy armour and dice rolls.

Damn.  I want my flyrants to be pouncing, not gliding or flapping.  So Commissar Cheese is an attempt to address that.  I even added a couple of hapless Imperials to make it absolutely clear.

Trooper Septimus Clegg survived this fateful encounter and went on to become the most decorated Scion of his regiment, rising to the rank of Tempestor Prime.  In the years to come, he always instructed his batman to pack an extra set of undergarments in the field kit.  Subordinates would often intone (out of earshot) that 'he shat himself for The Emperor'.

Having played 3 Flyrants in a tournament I now think its the only way to run them.  But the 40k arms race continues apace and I'm sure people will just take more Imperial Knights until the game devolves into a grimdark version of Pacific Rim.


 I suppose I could build and paint another two Flyrants and run all 5 in a Hive Fleet Detachment plus CAD.  But I wish to retain my sanity so I think 3 is the limit for me.

To be honest I might have burned myself out on this one and I need to take a break.  It was converted and painted in 2 weeks at the same time as the Mucolids.  I pretty much did nothing else except go to work and sleep in the fortnight running up to Maelstrom VIII.  Time to do something else, less taxing, for a while.  I hear the siren call of video games beckoning me again...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Floaty Balls of Death

More like Flimsy Balloons of Derp when they deepstrike mishap, but they're cheap and cheerful and fun to play.  This was my first attempt at sculpting with Milliput.  I can safely say that the stuff is hard wearing, given the number of times I dropped them during the tournament.  I did bolster the tentacles with 1mm brass rods, so that must have helped.

I found Milliput less versatile than Green/Grey stuff.  Trying to get a smooth, consistent finish was difficult.  It doesn't hold it's shape as well as epoxy resin when its still wet.  On the other hand, when I tried to reposition a tentacle which was nearly dry, I snapped it.  I guess I just need more practice but I wasn't particularly happy with the finished result.

I was also rushing to finish and converting/painting a Flyrant at the same time (which wasn't complete when I went to Maelstrom VIII, but nobody noticed. ha ha!).  Not a good time to start experimenting.  Anyway, they're done now.  I just need to weight the bases to make them more stable.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Maelstrom VIII

The paint was still drying when I went to bed in the early hours of Saturday morning but, blow me, my Maelstrom VIII list was finished.   May I present 'Floaty Balls of Death':

Mostly Harmless

My list consisted:

Hive Fleet Detachment
3 x Tyrannoctyes - Venom Cannons
3 x Hive Tyrants - Wings, Electroshock Grubs, Devourer w/brainleech x2
5 x 3 Ripper Swarm
1 x Lictor
1 x Venomthrope
3 x Shrike - 1 Lashwhip & Bonesword, 1 Twin Bonesword, 1 Scytals, 3 x Toxin Sacs

Sporefield Detachment
3 x Mucolids
3 x 6 Spore Mines

Hivestorm (Firestorm) Redoubt - Comms Relay, 2x Quad Icarus, Void Shield

I might as well come right out and say it; I got my arse kicked. Again.





Other awards
Sean Sullivan

Carson Turnbull

Wil Hoverd
Adepta Sororitas/Flesh Tearers/Imperial Knights
Executioner (Most Slay the Warlord),Umpire’s Award - Death of Fluff
Glen Burfield
SM: Blood Angels/Imperial Knights

Robert Ransom
Chaos Daemons

Scott Engerbretsen

Nathaniel Pihama
Tau: Farsight Enclave/Imperial Knights

Craig Stewart
Astra Militarum/Imperial Knights/Space Marines


David Hodgetts
Berserker (Most First Bloods)
Ryan Lister
Tau/Imperial Knights/ Grey Knights
Umpire’s Award – Liquorice Allsorts
Alex Neil
Necrons/Imperial Knights

Kevin O'Leary
Astra Militarum/Inquisition

Aaron Twose
SM: Imperial Fists

Jordan Green
Khorne Daemonkin/ Chaos Space Marines
Vexilla (2nd Best Presented
Mike Talks
SM: Iron Hands


Deon Adamson
Grey Knights/ Assassinorum
Living Saint (Best Opponent)

Luke Forrest
Aquila (Best Presented)
Adam Neather
SM: Dark Angels

Nigel Ritchie


Cameron Talks
Astra Militarum

I believe the internet term is 'roflstomped'.  The fact that I had played zero practice games didn't help.  Failing to read the players pack (apart from the rules on painting) was another demerit.  Subsisting on 5-6 hours sleep a night for the past week practically destroyed my short term memory and in game 5 I made the worst mistake I have ever made in a game of 40k.  I had a great time!

Necrons, Tau and Knights made up a large proportion of the winning armies. (Nathaniel Pihama vs. Sean Sullivan)

The tournament rules specified Primary, Secondary and Tertiary missions in every game.  Primary was the standard Eternal War mission (worth 10 battle points).  Secondary was Maelstrom (worth 6) and Tertiary consisted of the secondary objectives from normal missions (first blood, slay the warlord etc. worth 4 points).  So it was entirely possible to tie a game, even if you lost the primary mission.

Cry Havoc! (Jordan Green)

It took me until game 3 for this to actually sink in.  In retrospect I think its a very good mission pack and gives you something to play for even in the direst of games, since your battle points count towards your overall score.  It was possible to win the tournament without winning the most games (I think).  I would definitely play this system again.

How can I possibly find Blood Angels desirable?  Perhaps if Wryth paints them (Glen Burfield)
My first opponent was Adam Neather playing Dark Angels.  He detonated my Hivestorm Redoubt in turn 2, boiling everything inside it alive.  We were level pegging for most of the game and tied on the primary mission.  However, I was an idiot and killed his Dreadnoughts for the 'Big guns never tire' victory points only to discover that they are Elites and not Heavy Support (cue: hysterical laughter).  He  got 1 more secondary Maelstrom point than me and First Blood too, so I ended up losing 11-9.

The Sons of the Lion (Adam Neather)
The Redoubt was a bit of a liability to be honest.   I only took it as a safeguard for my 'reserve bomb' army.  Since the majority of my units are meant to deep strike in from reserve, there's a very real possibility that I can be tabled in turn 1.  But it really wasn't worth it this time around (the contributing factor to my 20-0 defeat in game 5).  I only faced one flyer in the tournament and killed it with Flyrants. Additionally, interceptor is not actually very good against Drop Pods.  It doesn't so much 'intercept' them as cough weakly at the assaulting units after they have already disembarked.   I should have just taken a defense line for the Comms Relay and brought something more 'killy'.  Oh, and the void shield was a waste of time.  I consistently forgot to regenerate it.

Sturdy marines (Aaron Twose)
My second round opponent was Aaron Twose.  His Imperial Fist army seemed fairly unspectacular at first glance.  But that bolter drill tactic is pretty cool in large blocks of marines and they had heavy weapons practically falling out of their arseholes.   I dealt with his drop podded veterans and librarian but I didn't have an answer for  terminators consistently making their saves.  I'd also never faced Centurions before and they had blasted 2 Flyrants out of the sky before I realised the danger.  I was soundly beaten.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. (Cameron Talks)
My third round was against Cameron Talks who had brought a mind bogglingly large Imperial Guard footslogging army.  I just kept killing them and killing them and there were always more.  Quantity is a quality all of its own, as they say.  I was laughing up my sleeve at his Rough Riders.  Right up to the point where they nearly won him the game.  I beat him on the primary mission but he won secondary and tertiary so we ended up with an amicable draw.

All in the valley of death, rode the six hundred (Cameron Talks)
It was a good battle and his strategy of throwing countless bodies into the meat grinder is very true to the image of the Imperium in the 41st millennium.  However, it took him forever to deploy so I think he was a bit sick of it by the end of the day.  Having played Tyranid horde armies in the past, I feel his pain.

Hard as Nails (Kevin O'Leary)
Fourth round opponent was Kevin O'Leary and more Imperial Guard.  He had some absolutely brilliant Bullgryns and some stunning conversions.  The mission was Relic and was a standoff really. We spent the entire game shooting each other off it.  I scraped a win on Secondaries.  My Rippers were great for the Maelstrom secondary missions.  Quietly grabbing objectives via deepstrike and keeping a low profile.  They only resorted to cannibalism occasionally.

This is how Tauroxes should look (top). Kevin could give lessons in converting them (Kevin O'Leary)

Venom cannons on Tyrannocytes are hilarious.  About a quarter of the damage they did was to themselves or my own units.  I didn't encounter any problems with the 'instinctive fire' rule.  4 out of my 5 opponents agreed that all of the guns could fire because it was a Monstrous Creature.  The other player let me shoot them all as long as I could draw line of sight from the end of the gun.  The stupid ITC ruling that they are vehicle mounted weapons didn't come up.

He's beind you!!!  Oh, no he isn't! Oh yes he is!
Mucolids and Spore Mines were pretty hit and miss.  They regularly mishapped and either had a terrible accident or my opponent placed them 12 km away from the battlefield proper.   Moving only 3", they were easily avoided and died in droves to small arms fire.  I found they worked best defensively, at choke points with a Lictor homing them in.  Some Spore Mines did manage to take a hull point off a Land Raider once.  Not that great, but they make excellent distraction units and the entire Sporefield detachment only cost 135 points so I'm not complaining.

No Mercy (Ryan Lister)
My final round was against Ryan Lister and his licorice allsorts list. This was where I made the biggest blunder of my entire 40k tournament career (such as it is).   Looking at his Riptides, shunting Dreadknight, Imp. Knight, Broadsides and 1st round deep striking Grey Knights, I was frankly shitting myself.  He won the roll off for first turn.  The terrain was reminiscent of a football field.  If ever I was going to get tabled turn 1, this was it.  My Nids' worst nightmare come true.  I deployed the Hivestorm Redoubt so far back in my deployment zone that it nearly fell into my lap.  I buried some rippers in the cellar of a ruin where even I couldn't see them (insurance) and hunkered down with the Shrikes and Lictor.

What was I thinking?  

The tactic worked and I survived turn 1 but it was apparent that my fortification was not long for this world.  So I had a brilliant idea!  I would jump off the battlements and exit the building!  When it detonated, the previous occupants would be completely unharmed!  An unfortunate oversight on my part was that Ryan had 2 units of outflanking Kroot which promptly arrived on the correct side of the board and occupied the fortification.  My Hivestorm Redoubt was now a fricking Taustorm Redoubt.  Yay me!

To add insult to injury, I no longer had a Comms Relay and as my reserves began to arrive piecemeal instead of the intended blitzkrieg, my own bloody Quad Icarus Lascannons intercepted all my flyers, with sickening results.

I swear this Imperial Knight is grinning. (Ryan Lister)
My Flyrants had been excellent all weekend.  Moving in formation around the board, reacting to emergencies and often devastating opponents with 36 twin linked devourer shots.  I found a use for every one of the Psychic powers they rolled during games (well, except for Onslaught).   But they were no match for intercepting Riptides and friendly fire.   They still managed to kill the Imperial Knight despite my incompetence but the whole affair was embarrassingly awful (thankfully, Ryan is a gentleman and didn't rub my nose in it).  A 20-0 defeat.

I think I'm in love (Alex Neil's Necrons)
Shrikes were the most surprising of my units.  In all honesty, I only took them because they look nice (yeah, yeah I was blatantly gunning for best painted).  However, I have discovered that they make decent 'full-backs'.  I hid them in or behind the redoubt in every game.  They sallied forth to counter deep striking units or provide synapse cover or tarpit something nasty and they did it very well.  Many of my opponents had never seen Shrikes before and someone asked me if it was a new Tyranid kit!

Objective complete
So, all in all, a good weekend.  I met some great people, played some interesting games and Hagen Kerr hosted a very professional tournament with some of the best, most dense terrain I've ever seen (my game 5 was an exception, but it was still a great board).  I won best painted which was my primary goal.  My secondary goal was to win 2 games which I failed but that is entirely my own fault.

I am now going to sleep for a month.