40k Paint & Play – Weeks 3 & 4

I got a little behind with my summaries of my Paint & Play games, so I’m doing a double for this post.

Week 3
In the third round, I faced off against the poster boys of 40k, the Ultramarines, led by none other than the biggest space marine of them all, Mr. Bobby G (aka, Roboute Guilliman). My opponent Brett expressed some concern at the start of the game about the line of bugs that were staring down his marines, but they proved to be unfounded. We played the “Relic” mission which, combined with our deployment zones resulted in a starting setup that I like to call “yelling distance for angry neighbors across apartment buildings.”

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The battle lines at the start of the game. Turn 1. Before any units had moved.

 

Brett went first and managed to shoot my Carnifex into oblvion during his first turn. The game played out fairly predictably, with my bugs charging towards his line of marines, attempting to get into melee, and getting shot up in the process. I deployed my trygon and genestealers behind his line on my first turn, but they also mostly got shot to pieces by overwatch fire, with the ones that made it into melee proving to be largely ineffective.

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What was left of my army, not long after the start of the game.

 

Despite losing most of my army fairly early in the game, I was going to make a last-ditch effort to use the Swarmlord’s Hive Commander ability to have the remaining termagants capture the relic then retreat back to my side of the table, forcing Brett’s units to chase them down and possibly surviving long enough to steal a victory. Unfortunately, the Swarmlord, perhaps in a moment of desperation, was overzealous in his attempt to channel the power of the warp and rolled double 6’s, melting his brain, along with his last remaining wound, in the process. Not only did he die before getting to use his Hive Commander ability on my termagants, but as an added bonus, the unleashed psychic energy managed to kill a few of them too. It would have been perfect if they had been just a little closer because then the Swarmlord’s death throes would have caught them as well, possibly killing off the rest of the unit, but you can’t have everything, I suppose. With only a few termagants remaining and Brett’s entire army still intact, I conceded the game.

 

Week 4
In Week 4, I faced off against George and his Tzeentch army, a welcome change after three weeks of playing against various Imperium armies. We were back to using points to determine the victor for this game. George deployed his units of pink, blue, and brimstone horrors in layers around his Lord of Change and dug into some craters, awaiting the Tyranid onslaught.

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I picked off a few cheap models during the early shooting phases, slowly carving away the cheaper screening units providing cover for the more valuable ones behind. My trygon arrived behind enemy lines as usual, this time bringing a unit of termagants, while the rest of my foot-sloggers advanced. A moderate-sized unit of termagants equipped with devourers is able to lay down a respectable amount of firepower, and they managed to decimate a unit of horrors on their first turn.

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I continued to chew through George’s fodder during my shooting phases. George maneuvered a unit of Screamers of Tzeentch to tie up my hormagaunts, but the bulk of my force continued to advance, and the Swarmlord, genestealers and trygon were fairly effective once they were able to close for melee. At one point, George informed me that it felt like I had his army on the ropes. I didn’t have a good enough grasp of his army to accurately assess the situation myself, but I took his word for it.

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However, my trygon eventually succumbed to the sheer number of smites that his various units were able to pull off in the psychic phase. In an effort to tie up more of his units and get an extra round of melee, I ran the Swarmlord ahead of his tyrant guard retinue. He did a decent amount of damage to the Lord of change, but was left more susceptible without the unit of guards being close enough to absorb wounds for him. It came down to a slugfest between our two heaviest hitters, but the Swarmlord was the first to fall, despite the tyrant guard having caught up to him and absorbing a total of six wounds.

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I was actually able to quickly kill the chaos spawn that was created in the wake of the Swarmlord’s demise at the hands (talons?) of the Lord of Change. I had scored a good number of points by this point in the game, but the tables began to turn quickly. I’m blanking on the exact final score, but it was a moot point because George managed to wipe out the remainder of my army in the final moments of the game, tabling me and thus winning the game.

 

Takeaways from this game:

  • Learned more about more effective positioning with swarm armies.
  • Learned more about effectively using cheaper units as screens for more valuable ones.
  • Lack of synapse is less punishing in 8th edition, but being able to choose targets for shooting instead of having to default to the closest one can have an impact on the game.

 

 

My copy of Clank! arrived today

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In between dinner and bedtime (our daughter’s, not ours), we sleeved and prepped the game as a family, and my wife and I got in a few rounds of play, with the girl spectating off to the side. Our first impressions of this game are good. It’s always a plus when I find a new game that my wife genuinely enjoys. We would’ve played more, but my daughter protested the idea of missing out on “discovering the game together as a family” (her words) so much that I promised her we’d wait until tomorrow morning so that we could all play it together.

Blast Crater Preview

Some ork boyz taking cover in one of the new blast craters that I’m working on. More pics forthcoming as I finish the rest of the pieces and add them to the shop… soon. The “Cinema” filter in Photoscape really added some interesting color depth to this pic.

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Side note: If you’re not into digital image editing using Photoshop or GIMP but want to be able to easily do some basic edits to your photos, you should give Photoscape a try. It’s a free download, pretty intuitive with a low learning curve, and it can handle just about any type of basic edit or tweak.

#100: Sir Conlan

For my 100th post I thought I’d wax nostalgic for a bit about one of my all-time favorite miniatures: Sir Conlan, from Reaper’s tabletop miniatures game, Warlord. The game itself has been dead for some time now, but they still sell the miniatures. Most of the sculpts are fairly high quality, and there are some standouts, but to be honest, most of it is the standard stuff that you’d expect to find in a range of fantasy minis. All of that aside, Sir Conlan holds a special place in my gaming history.

In the fall of 2004, I found myself at a Hobbytown USA in Pittsburgh, PA. At that point, I had been away from any serious tabletop gaming for several years. I was staring at a display wall of metal minis, many of which were part of something called “Warlord.” The blister packs contained not only the minis, but colorful cards with an image of a painted version of each miniature as well, and on the back was a a list of the figure’s stats and abilities. While I had painted plenty, I had only dabbled in miniatures games before, but I was genuinely intrigued by the Warlord minis, and I chose Sir Conlan as my first purchase.

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Sir Conlan 2004 (metal version)

I painted Sir Conlan over the course of the next week or two, at the same time trying to find out more about Warlord. I was already familiar with Reaper, but I didn’t know that they were making a fantasy miniatures game. I soon acquired the core rulebook for Warlord and, over the next several months, got a few games in with my wife and some of our friends. Sir Conlan was from the Crusaders faction, so that’s what I started collecting and painting. I didn’t have many official Warlord minis yet, so we proxied about 90% of our armies.

I also got back into playing D&D with a short-lived campaign that one of my friends ran during this time, and I liked the Sir Conlan miniature so much that I used him to represent my character, a half-elf fighter/mage. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was close enough to work.

Today, while I still have a good portion of my collection of Warlord minis, it’s considerably smaller than it once was, and I haven’t actually played Warlord in several years. It’s a fine game, and I’m sure I’d enjoy it if I played it again; but the reality is that gaming is a social hobby, and it’s much easier to play games that already have an existing player base and not one that you have to build yourself.

Although it’s in my past now, I owe a debt of gratitude to WarlordLooking back, I can pinpoint the exact moment of my serious return to gaming; it took me several years to get as deep into tabletop gaming as I am now, but getting into Warlord, beginning with Sir Conlan, is where it started.

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The plastic Bones version, painted in 2016

Ruined Arcane Archway + WIP video

This piece is a 3D printed model designed by Devon Jones at Masterwork Tools. I tweaked the original model slightly, removing the square tile base and replacing it with a STUB (Scatter Terrain Universal Base). I also scaled it up to 147% (nothing magical about 147% per se, it’s just that maximum size I could make this piece and still have it fit on my print bed as a single piece).

The top of the archway comes as a separate piece. There are actually three different styles of columns and tops you can choose from which you can mix and match. I like this piece quite a bit. There’s sharp relief in between the bricks and the other details, but it still printed without any problems and required only minor cleanup.

I also made a WIP video showing how I painted and finished it. You can find the original model here, or purchase an unpainted or fully finished version here! Thanks for the awesome model, Devon!

Swarmlord WIP – part 2

I talked about my start on the Swarmlord in a previous post. Of course, where would he be without his retinue of Tyrant Guard? Probably arriving via Tyrannocyte, but that’s for another project.

I’m participating in a Paint & Play at my FLGS, where I picked up a box of these guys the other day. In addition to playing games, we’re painting our armies in 500 point chunks. The Swarmlord plus three Tyrant Guard armed (get it, “armed?”) with crushing claws weighs in at just under 500 points, so I’ll throw in a couple of spore mines to top it off. Now that this first batch of models is assembled, on to painting!

I also made a short video talking about these guys some more.

Dynamic Hills bundles now available!

Starter and Deluxe bundles for the Dynamic Hills terrain set have been released! Shown here painted and finished in the “Broken Ground” theme on a matching gaming mat. The mat measures 6’x4′, which I think belies the actual size of some of the terrain pieces. The second pic has some miniatures included which help give a better sense of scale.

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And a bunch of action shots, because action shots are cool: