Infestation Terrain Preview

It’s been kind of quiet here lately because I’ve pretty much had my head down working on filling orders and designing new terrain pieces. Here are a couple Tyranid-themed pieces (or Zerg-themed, if that’s how you roll) that I’ve been working on. First up is the “Thorn Prime Mini” from Worlds Over Run:


Next is an in-house take on the iconic “Spore Tower,” a staple of Tyranid invasions:

Both of these will be available in the shop soon, and there are a bunch of other Worlds Over Run pieces coming as well, which I’ll post as I work on them.


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.”


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

Swarmlord WIP – Part 1

Behold, in all of his unpainted glory, the raw might of the Hive Mind made manifest in physical form, the Swarmlord! I decided I’m going to change things up a little for my next 40k match, and I’m bringing the Swarmlord along as part of my new list.


I got into 40k partway through 5th edition, right when the new Tyranid codex came out. The Swarmlord made his debut in that codex, but the official model came some time later, when the Hive Tyrant kit was converted from metal to plastic and new bits were added that let you make either a regular Hive Tyrant, a Flyrant, or the Swarmlord. I stopped playing 40k right around the time that 6th edition was released. I didn’t get in a ton of 40k games the first time around, and I’ve never used the Swarmlord in a game before.

I got this model last fall when I picked up a bunch of second-hand monstrous creatures at a good discount*. The guy I got them used a ton of superglue and greenstuff because to assemble and magnetize this model, along with some other extremely sticky substance that left behind a considerable amount of residue. Fortunately, I was able to clean it off with some dish soap and elbow grease.

I didn’t anticipate having to do this much work to get this model ready. Frankly, the amount of time and effort required made getting the discount from buying it used a wash. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any mention of the sticky residue in the auction description.  I’ve been more and more disappointed with eBay sellers lately.

The swords were magnetized, but the magnets in the torso sockets were so crudely placed that I decided to dig them out and clean out the excess greenstuff and superglue. I was originally planning on going all-out and making this a nearly fully-articulated model, but I decided in the end to keep it simple. I did add magnets to where the torso connects to the lower portion of his body, so at least it has one point of articulation, plus it’ll make transportation easier since I can separate the upper and lower portions of the body.


Plus, I can mount the torso on a flying base from one of my screamers of Tzeentch!


*After writing this, I realized that I left the Swarmlord out of that picture that I linked to, but he did in fact arrive with those other guys.

40k Paint & Play – Week 2

So I’ve joined a 40k Paint and Play at my FLGS and played my first game the other day (with last week’s game retroactively counting as participating — Thanks, Matt!). This time around, my bugs faced an army of Salamanders run by Grant in a 1,000 point game.

The view from my side of the table, before all the killing started (or dying, from the perspective of my nids).


Grant’s heavy weapons digging in inside of some ruins.

The game was a blow-out, with me having lost my entire army except for two units of termagants by the end of the third turn, with Grant having suffered only a few wounds to a rhino by that point. I thought I was being clever by having my trygon and genestealers tunnel up near Grant’s land raider, but the genestealers failed their charge and they all got flamed to death by said land raider along with the trygon before their next turn.

And once again, poor Old One Eye got killed before getting to close with any enemy units. I’m starting to think that he really needs to arrive in style in his own private tyrannocyte rather than trying to foot-slog it alongside the rest of the fodder.


They may only be termagants, but these guys got the most kills in this game for me, a rhino and several marines. My only kills of this game, actually.


I conceded the game by the end of turn 3, but we played a little longer to give me some more practice, basically doing drills with basic mechanics to help me get them down better, and Grant was a good sport about playing against a noob.

At this point, another Tyranid player named Luke stopped by and we all talked shop for a bit. He gave me some pointers on play and army construction that I’m planning on trying in next week’s game.

First Game of 8th Edition 40k!

Got my first game of 8th Edition 40k in the other night at my FLGS with my new gaming buddy, Matt. Not only was it my first game in the new edition, but it was the first game of 40k I’ve played in several years (not counting the super stripped-down games I’ve played with my daughter recently), despite my efforts to get back into the game this past fall.

I brought 1,000 points of nids to face off against Matt’s Imperial Guard Astra Militarum (sorry, old habits die hard). I won’t bore you with the details about how one 20-strong unit of termagants died in a single round due to sweeping gouts of flame from a pair of hellhounds, or how Old One Eye, my warlord, tripped over the burnt carcasses of said gaunts, coming up one inch short of the seven he needed charge the hellhounds, resulting in him succumbing to concentrated firepower himself the following turn.


We played on a FAT mat lent to us by Matt. Not Matt my opponent, another Matt. Matt and I used Matt’s FAT mat for our match. (Sorry, I only have the budget for low-brow humor.)


will tell you about the impressive performance of my Trygon, arriving behind enemy lines via underground tunnel (accompanied by a mob of of 16 genestealers, but they were also kind of boring, probably due to me miscalculating and rolling “only” 40 attacks for them when they should have had 64). The trygon managed to inflict a whopping 21 points of damage on an 11-wound hellhound in one turn. This same trygon also managed to shrug off a dozen or more wounds at 3+ against concentrated firepower, taking only a single point of damage by the end of the game. Honorable mention also goes to my other unit of termagants who managed to take down an entire squad of Stormtroopers Scions (damn your neurotic compulsion to rename everything into something you can trademark, Games Workshop!)


The man, er, bug of the hour.


We called the game at the end of round 3. I only had my Trygon and a unit of termangants remaining, while Matt still had most of his gunline intact and along with some of his infantry. Despite the disparity in remaining units, the final score was closer than I had anticipated, Matt with five points and me scoring three.

It was a game that we both enjoyed. It was a good first run with the new edition for me, and both my opponent and the new rules played a significant role in making it an enjoyable experience.