Thursday 28 February 2019

Monster March - Return of the Hierophant Bio-titan

If you've been hanging around here long enough (you poor souls), you may recall my ill advised foray into the world of titanic units. Specifically the Hierophant Bio-Titan. Basically I made a start painting the thing about two years ago but it never got finished; you can read more about that escapade here.

Basically the state of things right now.
As you can see from the photo, I banged a few basecoats on it (no mean feat with a beast this size) and that was as far as it got.

Well, it's March and that means Monster March! Run by Path of an Outcast, this event is meant for participants to build and paint (or otherwise finish off) a suitable monster within the month. So, my intention is clear, I will finish painting the biggest of all monsters for this month's pledge!

Tune in next week for an update and to see if my paintbrush has been worn down to a nub.

Monday 25 February 2019

The Grand Army of the Mechanicus!

I've been meaning to post up some photos of the current state of my Adeptus Mechanicus forces for a while and finally got the chance to snap a few over the weekend. Without further ado, I am proud to present, the Grand Army of the Mechanicus!

Still needs more Skitarii.
If you read this blog regularly, you will have seen this lot come together over the last couple of years. Currently the army stands at 3500 points and I have plenty more models still to build and paint.

The knights have been a great addition to the army.
The list is still very top heavy and feels like it needs a lot more infantry. To that end I plan to paint up some more Skitarii, some Electropriests and another squad of Infiltrators. Hopefully that will help balance things out a bit.

I think the colour scheme has translated well across all the models.
The most recent HQ choices in the army.
From a personal standpoint; having a large, nicely painted army is something I've wanted for a long time. Ever since seeing the armies displayed in White Dwarf every month when I was a teenager (Fred Reed's Howling Griffons anyone?) So, getting a collection like this together is enormously satisfying. I can't wait to add more to it this year.

I have plans to add another Onager or two.
Despite wanting to add many more Adeptus Mechanicus units; the Imperial Knights have been immensely satisfying modelling projects. In the queue to be built and painted I have a Cerastus Knight Atropos along with another Armiger Warglaive. The Atropos in particular I am very much looking forward to because I absolutely adore the model.

General's eye view.
I also have a few Mechanicum 30k robots on the back burner. Rumour has it that these will get rules for 40k in the future and it will be excellent to add these gorgeous models to the collection. In particular, I have a Thanatar Siege Automata which I would love to have painted.

That's a lot of green robots.
Anyway, that concludes this little self-indulgent ramble. Here's to the next 3500 points!

Thursday 21 February 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Sicarian Infiltrators Part 3

What a week it's been! Excellent progress has been made, but not necessarily in the direction I expected. First up, I finished painting my squad of five Sicarian Infiltrators from the kill team box set.

So stealthy.
As I've said before, the Infiltrators have been an absolute delight to paint. I will definitely do another five or ten of these in the near(ish) future. I'm really delighted to have another squad of infantry to add to my army as well. Some of you may know that my current collection is a bit top heavy (what with all those knights!) so adding more little dudes is a must this year.

Really happy with the Princeps too.
I got a bit snap happy with these guys last night, so here are a couple more photos showing them off.

Bunged a transfer on there, just because.
I'm in love with these pink swords.
But that's not the only thing I have to report this week! As most of you know, my goal was to paint the new Tech-Priest Manipulus from the kill team box as a new HQ for the Adeptus Mechanicus. Well, behold!

Erm, that's the wrong tech-priest.
Ok, some explanation is in order. I've mentioned in a couple of posts that I'm currently doing a 'tale of four warlords' with a few of my buddies. January's target was to paint a patrol detachment which I failed because I didn't finish the HQ.

Don't concentrate on the finger....
I had started painting the Dominus shown above though. So, once I finished the Infiltrators I was left with a choice. Either, start the Manipulus and potentially have two part painted tech-priests by the end of the month. Or, finish painting the Dominus and see what could be done with the Manipulus in the remaining time. You've probably guessed by now I went with option 2.

Really looks like he's preaching in this shot.
I had a lot of fun with this guy too. I went for a kind of colour invert; using beige on his robes and green/brass for his armour. I think he fits well with the rest of the forces whilst still looking suitably different to my other painted Dominus.

I have also made a bit of progress with the Manipulus, but it's just some shoddy basecoats at the moment.

I've been really pleased to take part in Squaduary this year which is run by the excellent Stepping Between Games. The amount of progress made by all the participants has been really inspiring and I'm thrilled to be able to contribute.

Tune in next week for a final post and to see if I manage to finish another tech-priest!

Friday 15 February 2019

Battle Report! - Warhammer 40k, Necrons vs Adeptus Mechanicus

Just a quick write up of a 1000 point battle I had at my FLGS last night. This was against my good buddy Rich and his terrifying Necrons. We were using matched play rules and playing the Cleanse and Capture Maelstrom mission which has become a staple of our games nights.

Many of these models were used during the battle.
Apologies before you read any further; I didn't take any photos of our game, nor have I included any maps past deployment. I have inserted some bad memes informative images to break up the inevitable wall of text; but if you want to bail out now I won't take it personally.

Rich was playing Mephrit Dynasty which gave all his guns an additional -1ap under half range (scary!) and took the Battalion detachment below: 

Necron Overlord (Voltaic Staff, Merciless Tyrant)
Cryptek (Canoptek Cloak)
Cryptek (Canoptek Cloak)
C'tan shard of the Nightbringer (Antimatter Meteor, Transdimensional Thunderbolt)
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
3 Destroyers including 1 Heavy Destroyer

They used to be so scary.

Against this merciless tide of steel I had my very own battalion of robots. I was playing Forgeworld Graia (because I like it) and my 1000 points looked like this:

Tech-priest Dominus (Anzion's Pseudogenetor, Magos Biologis)
Tech-priest Enginseer
10 Skitarii Vanguard (3x plasma caliver)
6 Skitarii Rangers (2x arc rifle and Alpha with taser goad)
Skitarii Rangers (2x Transuranic Arquebus and Alpha with power sword)
5 Sicarian Ruststalkers (Transonic Blades)
5 Infiltrators (Power Swords and Stubcarbines)
Onager Dunecrawler (Neutron laser and 2x Heavy stubber)
Onager Dunecrawler (Eradication Beamer and Heavy stubber)
Sydonian Dragoon (phosphor serpenta)
3 kataphron breachers (Arc claws and Heavy arc rifles)
6 Fulgurite Electropriests

So, an interesting matchup, although it was clear from the outset that I had far more bodies and wounds on the ground than my opponent. Would the toughness and resurrecting abilities of the Necrons be enough to even the odds?

We set up on a 6' x 4' board using Dawn of War deployment. Rich got the first placement, but I had loads more units than him anyway so he got +1 to the first turn roll off. Even so, I managed to win the roll and Rich failed to seize the initiative.

Deployed for battle.

The Necrons had castled up at the back of their deployment zone in a tight huddle. I had spread my units out more and had my faster moving ruststalkers, infiltrators and dragoon on one flank with my Skitarii Vanguard on the other. I had used my Servitors, Onagers and Dominus to make a little castle of my own in the middle.

Rich had left the destroyers in the open so after some shuffling of various units I opened fire with both Onagers and my servitors. When the dust had settled, the Destroyers had been reduced to a smoking crater. Most of my other stuff was out of range but I did manage to snipe a Cryptek (using my Arquebusiers) who came back to life using the Resurrection Protocols stratagem. I had an excellent card draw this turn which included Overwhelming Firepower, Supremacy and Defend Objective 5 all of which I was able to score. Unfortunately I was only able to get 1VP for Supremacy but it still left me on 5VP coming into my turn two.

A succinct summary of turn 1.

I don’t think Rich had expected to lose the destroyers on turn one and he seemed a bit shaken, but gamely played on regardless. The entire Necron army moved forward but most of their guns were out of range. A few gauss shots were fired which killed a couple of skitarii rangers but that was it. Rich had also had a terrible card draw and failed to score any objectives. From memory he discarded psychological warfare.

On turn two I moved my ruststalkers, dragoon and infiltrators onto the flank; obviously a brilliant tactical gambit (actually I think there was an objective out there that I needed.) I had also moved my plasma vanguard onto the opposite flank. It wasn’t really intentional, but it looked like some sort of genius strategic manoeuvre. At any rate, I shot a unit of warriors off the board with my Vanguard, Onagers and Servitors. I also sniped another Cryptek (who promptly came back to life) and that was my turn. Due to some more lucky card draws I was raking in the victory points, I ended turn two on 7VP.

Sadly for the Cryptek, he wouldn't get the chance.
Rich’s turn two and the c’tan came into play, unfortunately, his powers are basically like super-smites and the closest units were all skitarii. He managed to wipe out a unit of Skitarii rangers and the necron warriors added their fire to kill a few more skitarii from other units. My snipers were reduced to two models but passed their morale check (with a command reroll). Rich had another terrible draw this round but did at least manage to score a point of his own for Overwhelming Firepower.

In turn three I was looking to get a shot with the neutron laser into the c’tan; which would prove decisive if I could get it off. Unfortunately there was a unit of warriors in the way so they would have to be removed. I managed to kill three of them with the Eradication beamer. The servitors hadn't charged their batteries and whiffed big time only felling one. 

The vanguard opened fire along with the infiltrators and managed to bag five leaving just one lonely necron guarding the c’tan. Only one of my snipers could fire this turn (due to having to move the other to maintain coherency) so I lined up the shot (using the Protector Imperatives stratagem for +1 to hit) and promptly missed. With that, I fried the remaining warrior with the neutron laser and the c’tan was left unharmed. I also got a charge off with my ruststalkers into the last unit of warriors and killed a couple. Much to my surprise, they managed to kill a ruststalker in return! So with that, the turn ended.

Haha! What a dork! Oh wait.....
The Necrons were getting a bit thin on the ground, but basically the remaining characters and c'tan all lined up to charge into the ruststalkers. The c’tan fired off its power but pathetically missed on a 1. Then he charged in. The c'tan made it easily but the rest of Necron middle management failed. 

In a show of terrible rolling the dreaded Nightbringer managed only one kill despite hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+. Basically he got 3 hits, 2 wounds and I made a single 6+ invulnerable save. In return, the ruststalkers managed to put two wounds on the c’tan. The remaining Necron warriors bonked their gun butts against the ruststalkers ineffectually.

In what would prove to be the final turn (my turn four) I tried to line up my guns to target the Necron characters but to little avail. The skitarii vanguard were able to shoot a cryptek though and my snipers accounted for the other one (even though I had already killed both of them once). 

I managed a bunch of charges though, the Sydonian Dragoon into the C’tan and the Electropriests and Infiltrators into the Necron warriors. The Infiltrators and priests managed to kill all but one of the Necrons and then it was time to fight the c’tan. 

The dragoon managed only two wounds despite using conqueror protocols and getting six hits. I did however get a lucky roll with the Ruststalker Princeps' chordclaw dealing two mortal wounds. With that, it was down to the remaining ruststalkers to see if they could chip off the last two wounds. From nine attacks I managed an impressive four wounds (no mortals though). He failed two saves and the mighty Star God was slain. To add insult to injury he didn't even have the decency to explode. With only two models left on the field at this point Rich conceded.

After Battle Thoughts:

So, a fun game which unfortunately led to an early concession. Rich is a great guy and we will undoubtedly have several more games in the future.

Several of my games have gone this way recently and I am at a bit of a loss to explain why. I know my local meta is very casual; but I don't consider myself a competitive player. The list above is pretty much what I would take to any game (although I change it every time so things don't get stale) and I don't think it's super competitive.

I'm also not egotistical enough to think that I'm just a better player than my opponents. It just seems that Adeptus Mechanicus are very powerful in my meta right now. This could definitely be due to playing 1000 point games; I am aware that at a 'low' points level some factions just play better and I think Ad Mech may be one of these.

Anyway, I'd always rather have a game that results in a close loss than an easy win. I don't want to have to shelve my Mechanicus because I love the models and have worked really hard on the army recently. Equally, I don't want to do my opponents the disservice of throwing the game or making bad tactical decisions.

Congratulations if you've made it to the end of this massive ramble, please, leave your thoughts below. What can I do to make the game closer and more enjoyable for my opponents?

Thursday 14 February 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Sicarian Infiltrators Part 2

Well, it's been a bit of an odd week this week. I have made some great progress with the Infiltrators but haven't taken too many photos, so this will probably be a short, and somewhat wordy post.

Nevertheless, this is how they were looking on Saturday.

The gangly gang.
Since this photo was taken I have managed to get a fourth member of the squad finished and made a start on the Princeps. But unfortunately I negelcted to take further progress shots so you will have to make do with the same photo from a different angle.

I'm starting to feel seasick.
It's an absolute blast painting these guys, I'm enjoying it so much that I can definitely see myself doing five more in the not too distant future. First though, I have to get the Manipulus painted up.

I did manage to get the Infiltrators on the field last night for a game against some Necrons. The squad performed fine, but didn't manage many kills themselves. I think in all, they accounted for half a squad of Necron warriors. Still, I like to think they are more of a strategic unit than one possessed of raw killing power. I might write it up as a short wordy battle report if anybody is interested (comment in the comments!)

All of this by the way is part of Squaduary, the annual painting event held by Stepping Between Games in an effort to bring more colour to the tabletop. I absolutely love these monthly painting challenges, so thanks again to Rory for running it.

Tune in next week to see the (hopefully) finished squad and find out if I've managed to overcome my fear of painting the Manipulus.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Sicarian Infiltrators Part 1

Well, one week down and what a week it's been! I've been making some excellent progress with my Infiltrator squad and have already painted two of them.

Looks super stealthy.
Following the fun I had painting the power sword for my Skitarii Ranger Alpha, I couldn't help but go for a full squad of guys with power swords. I'm really enjoying knocking out a bit of quick and dirty blending on these blades and I think it will make the squad look really distinctive when they hit the tabletop.

All of this, by the way, is part of Squaduary. Run by Stepping Between Games, Squaduary is a community event to encourage all of us to delve into the grey pile of shame and get some more colour on our battlefields. This will be the third year I have participated and I expect to be just as pleased with 2019's squad as I was with the previous two. You can look back fondly at my previous efforts here.

Dodgy work in progress shot.
As mentioned in my initial pledge, these guys form part of the Theta-7 Acquisitus kill team box which also includes the brand new Tech-Priest Manipulus. I haven't yet made a start on painting the Manipulus yet but I did manage to get him built last weekend. I have to say that the amount of detail on the miniature is staggering and he will prove to be a challenging and exciting model to paint. I want to get his retainers out of the way first though.

More dodgy WIP.
That about sums up my first week of Squaduary 2019. Tune in next week for more pink power swords and hopefully a Sicarian Princeps to lead this pack.