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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dead men walking.

     Quick update on my plans for the week and some progress on painting. Still very busy with work and school sadly but enough about that. Currently trying to finish up the above Krieg command squad so I can have the army ready to field soon. I have a large list of things I plan to order from FW this weekend including IA12 and enough krieg infantry to be able to field them finally. Might also order some palatine blades and MK-IV marines for my pre-heresy emperor's children. Ordered some purple army painter paint and primer and I get it this weekend in the mail so will be testing that out to! So yah! lots of post to come!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sentinels of Terra ( Supplement Review)

     Okay, so a bit of a break from blogging as most of my shifts this last week we're 10-12 hours long and I had school and whatnot. So not a lot of hobby time sadly. But now it's a new week and I want to give my thoughts on the Sentinels of Terra supplement that was released Saturday! I would like to start by saying I think it's awesome, and will elaborate from there.

Fluff:
     First off with all supplements the main thing is the fluff. People complained about Black Legion because it didn't "Fix" the Chaos Space Marines. That's not what these are intended for though, so getting past the fact you may be able to enjoy these books. The Sentinels of Terra expands on the fluff of the Imperial Fist, mainly the third company from the training of Lysander to the Fall of Malodrax and the 13th black crusade of Abaddon.

     The main portion of the fluff though starts with a focus on Lysander's hatred for the Iron Warriors due to his capture on Malodrax. This makes him go all zealot mode and start kicking Iron Warrior's left and right when one day his old nemesis shows up to cause problems. Lysander hunts Shon'tu to Taladorn and engages the Iron Warriors on the ground with what ends up costing the Imperial Fist, mainly the third company, a lot of legionaries. This causes the 3rd companies acting captain, Sergeant Garadon, to complain to higher management and getting Lysander a temporary demotion to third company commander to fix the thing he broke and send him on a crusade against some orks.

    As most stories seem to have, there is a happy ending with Shon'tu defeated, Garadon now officially the 3rd company captain, and some new guy is the chapter master cuz Vladmir Pugh died. Lysander was suppose to be made chapter master by Pugh who wanted to step down. But after Pugh died, Lysander didn't feel he war ready for the position and let it pass to Vorn Hagen of the 5th company.

Rules:
     The rules aren't anything to major in my opinion. The 3rd company uses "Lysander's Bolter Drill" instead of that used by other companies. This however is really awesome because instead of re rolling 1's you get to reroll 1's and 2's if your within half of the bolter weapons full range. Other rules involve taking Devastator Centurions as Elites and Heavy Support, and taking Assault Centurions as either Elite or Fast Attack. Just in case you wanted to fill a 2K list with the things! Also 1 tactical squad can have it's Sergeant upgraded to Garadon for 75 points. Garadon has a power fist, his pistol (Spartean), and normal other wargear but he has a captains stat line. Sadly to prevent this from being crazy OP, he also moves the squad to a HQ slot.

Warlord Traits:
     Lysander keeps his Warlord trait from the SM codex, Garadon has no set trait. This means you get to roll on the table for him, and oh what a table it is. Roll a 6 and get a free Orbital Bombardment shot (same one chapter masters have) or Roll a 2 to give him It Will Not Die. All the warlord traits revolve around killing or defending fortifications or being offensive or defensive. The main issue with this table is if you get a offensive trait for a game your using a strategy around defense, then it won't be of as much use. Also the traits further promote the Imperial Fist player using fortifications because dang it Dorn loves his castles.

Relics:
    The Relics are probably the most interesting thing in the book from the standpoint in fluff. All the 3rd companies characters are named and represented in fluff, but how do we make rules for characters with out making a bunch of characters? Make a piece of wargear that belongs to that person! The only difference between Garadon and a normal captain is his pistol, the Spartean which is a bolt pistol with master crafter and ignores cover. The rules for what would make each of the Companies leaders special are attached to their weapons. A chaplain only crozuis, a Librarian only set of bones to carry around, a standard, Garadons pistol, and a extra special Auspex used by the company techmarine. Given these you can represent any character in the book and the ongoing story! It's awesome, and I hope they do this with more of the chapters/companies/legions.

Stratagems:
    Planet strike was built for these guys to have stratagems. It's a siege enthusiastic army. Other then that I haven't really had a good chance to look at these.

Alter of War:
     3 generic missions you can play with your Sentinels of Terra against any opponent and I 5 more representing the major battles from Teledorn to Malodrax. If you ever wanna play a mini campaign you could probably use this.

Overall I really enjoy this book and I intend to do more reviews of things like this as well as getting more game reviews out! I might Review SoB but I might also wait until Iron Hands supplement or Codex: Inquisition.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Forge World Chapter Tactics update.

    Forge World has just released two new pdf's on their site (free) with Chapter tactics for several of the chapters supported by them, and updates to all the Space Marine characters from those chapters and many others. According to each pdf these rules should be considered official but FW also reminds people to explain their chapter tactics/model rules before hand.
http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Downloads/Product/PDF/C/Charcterupdate.pdf
http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Downloads/Product/PDF/F/FWchaptertactics.pdf

The following is kind of odd as the Space Marine codex doesn't allow chapters to mix characters from the core book, even Lysander and Kantor are labeled in Army List as separate chapters. This does give the Iron Hands a fluff friendly character to use for a chapter master type figure.

"Where characters from a named Chapter have the Chapter Tactic of another Chapter (for example, Vaylund Cal of the Sons of Medusa, who has Chapter Tactics (Iron Hands)), they may be taken as part of a detachment representing a different Chapter that has the same Chapter Tactic (for example, Vaylund Cal could be selected as part of an Iron Hands detachment), but are assumed to be that Chapter’s ‘version’ of that character. This does not affect the unique nature of these characters and only one of each may be included in any army."-Characterupdate.pdf



Chapters that now have official chapter Tactics or are assigned chapter tactics: (For those who can't read the pdf or are to lazy or just want a summery)
Red Scorpians (Unique)
Carcharadons (Unique)
Howling Griffons (Ultramarines)
Lamenters (Blood Angels)
Fire Angels (Ultramarines)
Marines Errant (Ultramarines)
Raptors (Unique)
Exorcist (Undetermined)
Mantis Warriors (Unique)
Executioners (Unique)
Angels Revenant (Unique)
Red Hunters (Unique)
Star Phantoms  (Unique)
Minotaurs  (Unique)
Sons of Madusa (Iron Hands)
Novamarines (Ultramarines)
Fire Hawks  (Unique)
Astral Claws  (Unique)

Characters that got updated:
Lord High Commander Carab Culln (Red Scorpians)
Magister Sevrin Loth (Red Scorpians)
Tyberos the Red Wake (Carcharadons)
Chaplain Dreadnought Titas
Lieutenant Commander Anton Narvaez
Captain Tarnus Vale
Lias Issodon
(Raptors)
Malakim Phoros (Lamenters)
Captain Mordaci Blaylock (Novamarines)
Captain Pellas Mir'san (Salamanders)
Bray'arth Ashmantle (Salamanders)
Master Harath Shen (Salamanders)
Ahazra Redth (Mantis Warriors)
High Chaplain Thulsa Kane (Executioners)
Captain Zhrukhal Androcles (Star Phantoms)
Vaylund Cal (Sons of Madusa)
Knight Captain Elam Courbray (Fire Hawks)
Captain Silas Alberec (Exorcist)
Lugft Huron (Astral Claws)
Captain Corien Sumatris (Astral Claws)
Armenneus Valthex (Astral Claws)
Arch-Centurion Carnac Commodus (Astral Claws)
Lord Asterion Moloc (Minotaurs)
Chaplain Ivanus Enkomi (Minotaurs)

     Not all FW characters appear to be here (Veteran Sergeant Haas), but as you can see it's a good size update and the characters that are missing will be added in as soon as FW is able according to FB. Most of the chapters are successors though the Salamanders seem to benefit the most from this update as far as first founding chapters are concerned. I'm still very happy (and Impressed) that FW would release the rules and chapter tactics for 18 chapters and 24 special characters (and counting?) for free as a PDF. If you want the fluff though you need to buy the books. Saying these are official updates and making them free will also help the argument of these being tournament legal.




Saturday, October 19, 2013

Imperial Fist 3rd company banner


     Finally having an image for the third company banner made me really excited. I've had a banner sitting in my bits box for a while waiting to be painted but didn't want to just make something up. So I waited for Codex: Space Marines to see if the Imperial Fist section of book would have the 3rd company banner. But it didn't... So I decided to wait for Imperial Fist to get a supplement. I thought it would be a while but it ended up not taking long at all. In fact I only had to wait for the preview. So today after about 3 hours of trying to paint the best I can, I have my 3rd company banner!

So I started by priming the banner skull white and then
dry brushing grey into the area's where I needed the red
back drop to be darker, adding more grey the farther out
I got.


After adding the grey I painted a single layer of red over it
all creating a decent fade effect.


Then I outlined in black to darken the edges more.


Then went over about 75% of the black with red to make
it more subtle.


Added yellow, this is the Imperial Fist after all.


Painted trim and purity seals.


Added details to the bottom of banner. The purity seals
block the section that would have the laurels.


Added the banner for the chapter name.


Started blocking out the marine.


Finishing the rough block out of the marine.


Marine all colored in!
     In this picture I kind of messed up the lettering. I hate trying to paint lettering, It never even tries to be easy. But apart from the Letters on the banner and the chapter Icon on the shield there is not as much fixing up as I thought I'd have to do. probably finish this and maybe build the banner carrier quick before I go to work.




Sentinels of Terra trailer from GW.


I guess GW put out a trailer for the Sentinels of Terra! The video is cool as unlike most trailers it actually shows some of the books contents!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sentinals of Terra up for pre-order!


     Sentinels of Terra are finally up for pre-order so I decided to grab some of the pre-view pages posted from the digital editions and ipad listings. I really like the chapter banner and will have a fun time trying to free hand the whole thing. This supplement just from a fluff standpoint by showing iconography and banners will really help me add to the feel of my army from a fluff stand point. I couldn't be happier.




Lysander doing what he does best. Hammering things.

The epic banner!



Iron Warrior are always at fault... 




Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sisters of Avelorn painting

     Finally got up the motivation today to start working on my fantasy army again. I don't use it often but I'd like to start playing WFB more.  Also the Sisters of Avelorn are some of my favorite models from the newer High Elf range. They fit the role of Silvermoons "Rangers" in my army very nicely. The above picture shows my progress from when I started today, getting the bases colored and all the browns done.


Random shot of some banners I've been free handing.
Not really as nice as I'd like, so will probably clean them
up some later.

Next on the sisters I moved onto painting the green parts
of the armour. Going along each model with one color is a
lot faster then just doing them one at a time. I think.

Gave the group leader her bow. Just need to paint the helm
on the base now.

All ranked up! Just need to touch them up and add the
bows. The bows are all based yellow and just need  the
orange and red to look more fiery.

     After these I plan to paint the other 14 swordsmen of Hoeth I have. I like the plastic models that come with the starter for them and they look cool painted as Silvermoon "Blood Knights". The only thing that might fit the role better is the Phoenix Guard, which someday I might get more of. But right now I want more archers.


Review: Space Hulk

   

I would like to say first off that I have never played the board game Space Hulk or the card game Death Angel, so I have no frame of reference for the video game version on Steam. That being said I would like to start off by saying I enjoy the game. You command what seems to be up to 10 terminator marines from the Blood Angels chapter (2 squads) in an attempt to clear a large space hulk of Genestealers or something.

     The game play is very simple and easy to understand by the time you finish the 3 tutorial missions and establish "The Beach head" on the Space Hulk. Each terminator has different weapons (mostly stormbolters actually) and can move around in the very thin and claustrophobic cor doors as needed. The game is turned based with each Terminator getting 4 action points to spend per turn and some "command points" to spend on actions for who ever needs that one more little thing.

     The combat is all dice based with the computer generating a random value that could be anything from a 1 to a 6 (d6 essentially) and if you roll high enough the other thing will die! A 5+ is needed to kill Genestealers though I think a power sword makes it a 4+, not sure what the hammer does. Also the Assault cannon and flamer can hold entire hallways at bay on their own so you can use them to hold enemies back pretty well while you advance. Close combat I avoid like the plague because the odds are generally in the Genestealers favor.

    The game seams to have plenty of missions, especially since they released the bonus 3 free ones here not to long ago. So you should find yourself pretty well occupied. I haven't tried the online multiplayer yet either so that might be fun? Looking for a level editor if that exist I have no idea. But would be pretty cool.

     Not a lot to say on the story front that most don't already know. All your favorite Terminators are here from the board game from Claudio to Lorenzo and Zael (Zael is the best). All of them once again stuck in a space hulk that according to the trailer for the game, managed to kill all but 52 members of the Blood Angels chapter. Either an over site on the developers part or a certain chapter master really messed up. Also why are Genestealers always on space hulks? Why is it never Chaos of sorts or some random Dark Eldar who just decided it would make a nice vacation home?

     Decent enough graphics, somewhere between DoW II's and Space Marine the games. My only complaint is now that I've worked in the unreal engine enough myself, I can look at a game and tell it was made in UDK just by the lighting the way reflections work. I can't explain why but there is this weird wonkyness to them I can't seem to understand.

     So yah, I like the game, if you liked the board game or you just like board games in general you will enjoy this. The strategy aspect can be quite challenging at time in my opinion, but that's good. Just hard enough to keep me on my toes really. I'm really looking forward to the Space Wolf DLC that is suppose to come out in next month or so. Sad it's only suppose to be 3 missions but it's space wolves! Also I feel like I should come up with some easy to understand number rating system. But can't think of a clever way to do it at the moment.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kings of War - Basilean

     So I got some Basilean units from my friend who backed the Kingdoms of War kick starter. The models in the pictures and art work looked cool with the Angels reminding me of the ones in Diablo 3. So when the ability to trade for the units to start this army came up I took it and immediately went home to start work on them. Then after about 20 minutes I stopped trying.

     Most of the army consist of a "Plastic Resin" that fits together horribly. If you look at it it's very similar in look and feel to the resin material used to cast those green plastic army men you get for a few bucks at Walmart. I could look past this except the details aren't very sharp. This I can get past because the models are still very cool, except because of the cheaper materials to keep cost down, the models don't fit together well. Almost every model will probably have to have the arms heated in water and bent a bit just to fit properly. It's very aggravating and has really put a damper on this project.

     The only models to consist of plastic are the men at arms which are just fine. I don't really mind them. It's not GW plastic but you get 40 in a box for £33 and that's pretty decent. So I don't really have much to say on this.

    Lastly.... The commander or HQ type models are all metal. This isn't an issue for the ones that use 200mm square basis but for the 2 angel HQ's (who are awesome looking) it's a pain. I don't currently have the tools to properly pin any of the bits to these models together so for the time being they will be left unpainted. Also I think the 2 angels way more then my cat. They're pretty hefty models.

   All in all I still like the model design's, but Mantic's attempt to make a more affordable and simpler alternative to WFB shows. For the most part I think it made me realize how good GW miniatures are as far as quality, bits, and options go. That's not to say GW was always this good though or that they don't still occasionally release a pain in the arse model to build. But they have definitely gotten good at what they do. Curious now to see the stuff from the Deadzone kick starter when that arrives in November I think?



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: Tomb Raider (2013)


     The first of hopefully many reviews I plan to do for Games (Video, board, tabletop, etc) is of Tomb Raider (2013), and I will try and do one every Thursday. Tomb Raider is a reboot of an older franchise that has become stale and focused on the wrong things. Instead of focusing on the platforming and unique environments, the game focused on characterizing Lara Croft, and by characterizing I mean giving her larger breast and shorter shorts. Oddly enough this did nothing to improve sales. (Go figure...)

     The game focus's on Lara's first real adventure in search of an lost island called Yamatai on a large ship with various other supporting characters. While following a hunch that the island may be in the "Dragons Triangle" (vermuda but worse), the ship is split in two, and she gets stranded alone. While she has some experience and training in surviving such scenario's, this is the first time she's actually been in the situation that required said training. Lara is more vulnerable in this game, and not so sure of herself in the start. She's also not the "bad ass" soulless character that just shoots everyone that some of the other titles tried to make her. The only issue this creates is she seems to hate the idea of taking another life in the cut scenes from the start, but during the actual combat, she just mows them down without a second though. I feel like the game could have benefited from stealth game play in large area's....

     Anyways, upon exploring the island a large group of (mostly) organized inhabitants in the form of crazy, zealous, religious fanatics keeps trying to ruin Lara's day and making a mess of things. Her best friend is kidnapped by some mysterious Matthias guy for unknown reasons (avoiding spoilers) and Lara has to figure out the mysterious of the Sun Queen so her and her friends can escape the island. Which by the way is inescapable because of some crazy storms that magically surround it for some reason or another that has to do with the before mention Sun Queen. (again no spoilers?)
      

    The games combat and platforming sections are very well done. It is harder to kill all the opponents if they're attacking you back in my experience making stealth a necessity. Again though, can't stealth past sections without killing anyone most of the time. This kind of brings Lara out of character, but I digress. The game does have plenty of collectible items that you can run around the island to collect, motivation being achievements and upgrades for your weapons. After you beat the main story though you don't seem to ever use your weapons. Not that I've seen yet anyway.

     Platforming in long sections can be fun as a lot of the jumps and swings flow together and link up pretty well. I didn't find myself having to much issues with controls on this either, having never died because Lara misunderstood how left I wanted her to turn. I really enjoyed going back around for the achievements and climbing everything. Especially the coast area with all the broke ships.

     Graphics I don't feel like are something worth noting in a game these days unless they're exceptionally well done. This game's characters though are done well in this regard as you can easily tell by their facial expressions and animations the mood they're in.  The rest is just above average for a 360 game. Which isn't a complaint as much as it is just a fact. But I'd like to keep reviews more to the game play aspect of things if possible.

     All in all I really enjoyed the game having not played a tomb raider game since the first one on PlayStation, and I look forward to see where they take the reboot from this point onward. Definitely recommend for people to rent at very least, but who does that these days honestly...





Space Marine chapters and WYSIWYG

     So one thing that just annoys the crap out of me is counts as armies. Now that's not to say all counts as armies are bad. Running a custom Adeptus Mechanicus army as Tau or IG or w/e is fine. Nobody can get those models confused with anything, especially if done well. But a big issue recently that came with Space Marines is "Counts as *insert chapter here*" armies. I'm an Imperial Fist player, and I have always run Lysander. Yes it was tempting at times to make a Vulkan "Counts as", especially against orks and nids, but I like to play based on fluff and those rules just don't fit the siege theme I wanted.

     To an extent fielding your Ultramarines as Iron Hands goes against WYSIWYG. The book clearly labels things like special characters for what chapter they go to in the army list down to the chapter icon. Giving Pedro Kantor a Crimson Fist icon shows that while he has same chapter traits as Lysander, they can't be fielded together. This also in my mind pushes out using them in successor chapters, custom or otherwise.  I don't want to have to explain that my Imperial Fist army uses Imperial Fist chapter tactics at every tourney. That should just be obvious by the color and chapter symbols.

     Now beyond just the counts as in the Space Marine armies, people who do things like run Chaos Space Marines as Blood Angels to use Khorne Berserkers as Death company. All these have their own clearly defined rules and asking your opponent to just forget that and try and remember what each of your counts as is instead of isn't can get tedious. Chaos players seem the most prone to doing this since they resent their codex for whatever reason (no idea), and are mad they don't have an equivalent to chapter tactics. This I can sympathize with. You might not want to wait for GW to release supplements for Iron Warriors or Night Lords. But running them as Space Marines? That's not Chaos, that is heresy against Chaos. (Iron Warriors as Imperial Fist is extra heresy)

     Yes I do cherish fluff over rules, and I know someone will disagree with me on this whole subject. But it makes for good debating material.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To much painting to little time....

     To say I have a lot of models to paint would be an understatement. I have about 1000 points of High elves, 6 Leman Russ tanks, a basalisk, DKoK command squad, Vulkan, a bunch of CSM's, my sternguard, and about a dozen other Imperial fist marines to paint among other things. While also trying to work and go to school, painting just keeps getting set back more. Oh well.... I make a little more progress each day.


Primed and started painting the rest of Vulkan. Why I
own this model yet I don't know.


Started getting these guys finished tonight as well. Soon
I'd like to get some Grenadiers for them so I can ally them
to my Imperial Fist.


The new Lysander model I'm working on. My old one
suffered a horrible accident...
     Another thing I'd like to mention is my intentions to right Game reviews not only for Video Games, but occasionally traditional and table top games as well. The first review will be up Thursday and will be focused on a video game. In fact all reviews will probably go up on Thursdays. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Space Marine Centurions

     So since I haven't posted in a while I best post something now. Last Tuesday I picked up a box of Centurions to equip with Grav-cannons/amps because I'm sick to death of dealing with Chaos Terminators and Obliterators and as far as I know these can help put some pain on those. Also I wanted the models because I think they look cool. The pictures in this post are taken slowly over the course of several days as my arm is still in the later stages of healing. But enough talk! pictures!




One thing you will notice is these sprues are packed full.
I only used the grav weapons so all the Heavy bolters, melta's,
flamers, lascannons, and drills are all still available for future
conversion fodder. The melta guns and flamers can easily be
held by a marine as well, so if you need weapons for
Salamanders....


How the space marine wears the suit. Seeing this it makes
more sense.


Another angle of legs.


Size of model compared to a Sternguard, these guys
are big.


Random body half built.


Size comparison shots again! This time with a terminator
as well.


Bigger shoulders mean better marine!!!!


All units built and primed. The waist and shoulder pads
aren't glued so it's easier to paint.


The yellowing...


Sergeant done. Accidentally put Hurricane Bolters on him,
he was suppose to get missiles while other guys go bolters.


Squad finally starting to look finished.


Done! mostly... Still need wash and more transfers.
Random detailing stuff.
     Apart from taking a while to paint, I enjoyed building these and can't wait to test them. Next box I get though I will have to try and magnetize them so I can alternate through all the options they come with. So many bits I don't know if I'll ever use....