Monday 29 January 2018

Squaduary 2018 - Wargame Exclusive Kataphron Destroyers

Well, it's that time of the year again (if you can say that about something which has only been around for two years?) That's right, Rory over at Stepping Between Games is encouraging us all to paint up a squad of some sort during the month of February. Does he desperately need the motivation of his fellow hobbyists? Or is he just a civic minded chap who wants to help us all cut down on our unpainted piles of shame? Some questions are best left unanswered, after all, a curious mind is a heretical mind.......

At any rate, I digress. If you didn't grasp from that rambling paragraph, I will once again be taking part in Squaduary. Last year I managed to get through a small squad of Skitarii Vanguard and to be honest, I was pretty pleased with myself. This year I will be trying to expand my Adeptus Mechanicus forces again by adding a squad of Kataphron Destroyers.

As some of you may know, I have built and painted a squad of Kataphron Breachers for my Mechanicus previously. To be honest though, I'm not totally in love with the models, even with some minor modifications. So, in order to add something a little different to the army, and provide me with a fresh challenge, enter Wargame Exclusive with their Kataton Destroyers!

Now that's pretty badass!

Wargame Exclusive have been on my radar for a while but I could never really justify buying their miniatures. Then Black Friday came along and these guys were 20% off and well, the rest is history.

Having the models in hand, I have to say that they definitely live up to the images on the website. The details are crisp and there is very little flash that needs to be trimmed off of the components. The only issue that I have is that ideally I want a squad armed with plasma culverins and cognis flamers (because I like to burn things). So some weapon swaps and some minor conversions will be necessary to get things the way I want them. I will also be increasing the base size because I think they will look a little odd perched on a 40mm base (even if the ones supplied are nicely sculpted).

So there you have it, my Squaduary pledge for 2018. Three Kataphron Breachers armed with plasma culverins and cognis flamers. Will I succeed? Or will I be cast down in failure? Only time, and this blog, will tell.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Necromunda - Painting and playing

I may have mentioned somewhere that I was lucky enough to receive the new Necromunda box set for Christmas and split it with my brother, Blazmo, of Tabletop Apocalypse. We've both been building and painting the gangs and managed to get our first games in last week. I have to say it was an absolute blast!

Hoyt Bennett of the Bennett Brothers
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get any of my gangers painted for their first outing on the tabletop. But the excitement of playing the game spurred me on to finish painting my first gang Champion; namely Hoyt 'Bulky' Bennett, pictured above.

For those who aren't familiar with the new Necromunda, a starting gang is made up of a gang leader and can include a number of gangers, juves and champions up to the value of 1000 credits (basically points). This usually gives a gang size between 6 and 10 models. Juves are basically wannabe gangers who are inexperienced and poorly armed but learn quickly and are cheap to hire; whereas Champions are experienced fighters with powerful skills and with access to better weaponry. Hoyt himself is armed with a mighty Renderizer (ok I know it's a converted chainaxe but it's close enough) and a stub gun; both of which he failed miserably to use on his first outing as he spent most of the game pinned and rolling about on the floor.

The semi-painted Goliath Champion menacing an Escher ganger
The game itself is very dynamic as gangers variously get hit, pinned, wounded and eventually taken out of action. As with the original Necromunda, there is a lot of laying your models face down/up to show the state of their various injuries. So long as you're careful though it doesn't seem to cause them any harm.

The boxed game includes a number of boards which can be used for zone mortalis style play. Something both Blazmo and myself thought we would avoid but which was surprisingly enjoyable to play. So much so that we will probably use this format for most of our games. The game also comes with a set of scenery (mostly bulkheads and barricades) which can be seen pictured above. Big thanks to Blazmo by the way for painting all the scenery in record time and making our games all the more immersive.

Peakaboo! I couldn't resist this photo.
If you've read much about the new Necromunda online (or N17 as it's often called) you may know that there are a number of rules errors in both of the source books (Underhive and Gang War). Games Workshop have advised that an faq is imminent but until it lands it is probably best to play the game with a series of gentleman's agreements in place (much like the original ruleset!) Still, it hasn't spoiled my enjoyment of the game any; if anything, I think it encourages people to play more in the spirit of the game.

Hoyt again.
Painting wise, I've really enjoyed breaking away from the grimdarkness and trying to paint some bright, cashing colours in more of a second edition style. With this in mind, I've gone for a nice lime green paired with a red spot colour and some hazard striping. I'm not totally happy with the hazard stripes but you only get better at these things by doing them! So I'm determined to put some on every member of the gang. The base was inspired by Blazmo's excellent terrain with a rust/verdigris style that works nicely for the underhive.

Also Hoyt.
As for the future? Well I'm working on painting my gang leader at the moment and I sincerely hope to get more games of Necromunda in soon. Check back soon for more updates.

Thursday 4 January 2018

Painting an Adeptus Mechanicus Sydonian Dragoon

Welcome back! Hope you all had a pleasant Christmas and New Year and got plenty of toy soldiers from Father Christmas. I know I certainly did! Over the holiday I cracked on with my painting and managed to churn out another vehicle; namely a Sydonian Dragoon for my Skitarii/Ad Mech.

Taser Lance. Hyaaaa!!
I pretty much adore this model (along with the entire Skitarii range). The style has had a lot of thought put into it and gives it a really unique look. However, if memory serves, it was a complete bitch to build (although my memory is a bit hazy as I built it a year ago). Given my recent experience with painting an Onager Dunecrawler in sub-assemblies I dearly wished I had done the same with this at certain points during the painting process.

The other option with this kit is to build it as an Ironstrider Ballistarii, but I prefer the look of the Dragoon so that was the obvious choice. The kit is designed to be built with the lance mounted vertically but I had a feeling this would be horrible for transport so I changed it to a downward angle.

Check out those lenses!
On the tabletop the Dragoon has proven to be pretty brutal. The Mechanicus stratagems combined with the taser rule has seen it put out nine strength 8 hits on the charge more often than not. Good for clearing out infantry and smashing vehicles too. Not only that, it's cheap as chips at 68 points; a total bargain!

I swapped the head with a Vanguard Alpha.
I'm perilously close to 1000 points of fully painted Mechanicus now, with only the Neutron Laser from my Onager Dunecrawler to go. Here's hoping I get a sudden burst of painting enthusiasm and knock it out soon.

If only I hadn't got another two Dragoons for Christmas!