Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aspiring Champion of Chaos

I've finally got my painting groove back! Sometimes it's funny the models that inspire you when you are in a painting rut. I've really been trying hard to get some painting done on my character minis for my Reapers and Wolves, but just wasn't making any real headway.

Then I was sitting here yesterday and this Aspiring Champ model just started screaming at me to be painted. Who am I to argue with the powers of Chaos!?!

Well as you can see he is painted and I am working on the other three Aspiring Champs I had sitting next to him.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini-dex update info 1/23/10

Hey guys, sorry the January update is running a bit late. Here is a list of some of the Changes that will go into the update, I'll be posting on Monday.

(In addition to the Wargear listed on pages 81-88 of the Codex Chaos Space Marines)

Demo Pack: They may be relatively small and compact, demo packs are extremely destructive. Usually used to breach the wall of enemy fortifications, they are also fantastic against enemy armor.

Warp Conductor: The Psychic Hoods that the Apostles of Malevolence possessed during the Great Crusade have been long since discarded as they had fallen into disrepair. Leaving the forces of the Soul Reapers vulnerable to the psychic powers of their foes. This has been the case until recently, on Ehdan the Dark Mechanicus uncovered an ancient STC for a warp conductor. It was used as a dampening field to keep warp fiends from being able to manifest. The Dark Mechanicus have reworked the design to fit into the mounts for the old Psychic Hoods.

An Apostle that possesses a Warp Conductor may nullify any psychic power on a 4+ that is used within 12 inches of the Apostle. Additionally if a 1 is rolled as a result, the Sorcerer suffers a S7, AP2 attack.

Psychic Powers

All Apostles of Malevolence may use one psychic power a turn. The only exception is if they have been upgraded to a Master of Sorcery, and then the Apostle may attempt to use two powers a turn. All psychic powers are used following the rules given in the Warhammer 40,000 BRB.

Apostles of Malevolence may choose from the following Powers found on page 88 of the Chaos Space Marine Codex:

Warp Time
Wind of Chaos
Gift of Chaos

Chains of Torment: The Apostle creates small warp rifts under his foes, launching ethereal chains that rend flesh to the bone in an attempt to drag the targets into the warp.

Chains of torment is a shooting attack that may target any non-vehicle unit, with the following profile:

Range 18, Strength 6, AP 5, Type: Assault D6+1, Pinning

Added to the HQ section of the CSM codex replacing the Sorcerer entry on Page 93.

Apostle of Malevolence
Same stats and options as the Chaos Sorcerer minus the Marks of Chaos, with the following additions.
Upgrade options:
Master of Sorcery: 20 points
Warp Conductor: 15 points

Psychic power: Chains of Torment 25 points

We are still debating the addition of Chaos Cultists, but may add them to at least get your take on the idea.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking back on 35 years of Wargaming: part two

The nineties brought sweeping changes to my gaming scene, with my first career. I struggled for a couple of years getting in more than a game or two a month. One thing I didn’t struggle with was keeping current on my miniatures purchases and painting!

I didn’t get my gaming groove back until just before the release of second ed 40k. While second ed was a train wreck in some ways it was brilliant in others. I had moved to Tuscon Arizona and did not know many people there, but that all changed when I found Games Unlimited one of the local game shops. It became my home away from home, if I wasn’t working I was there playing games. This was the most gaming I had ever done; I was getting in 1-2 games 6-7 days a week. I was in full on geek mode and I was getting my game on!

Then it happened the first ever codex release Space Wolves; my beloved Grey Marines from my early days of Rogue Trader got dipped in the background Awesome-sauce and got the first ever codex!

I had always liked Jess Goodwin's sculpts since I got my first Ogres in the mid eighties, but after getting my hands on the new SW models he climbed to the title of favorite Sculptor; he remains there to this very day!

Gaming terrain started to make broad sweeps in the 90’s, with GW and many other companies releasing full color card buildings. GW took it a step further after the release of Necromunda, a great game BTW! They release full color card and plastic bunkers and out posts using the bulkheads created for Necromunda.

It was a great time to be gaming, in the late 90’s GW released 3rd ed 40K. At first it felt bland and oversimplified, but once we dug into it found it to be much more elegant than we initially thought.

Now I just want to clarify, although I have not mentioned much about WFB, I have consistently played it as I struggled through every incarnation until now. My passion has waned for WFB a bit, as the last two editions became a battle of what feels like nothing but (SCR) Static Combat Resolution. My Dwarfs have faired very well through all the editions but My Chaos has been hit pretty hard. You see the problem is that I like Chaos Warriors and they just aren’t what they used to be in the world of SCR.

Since the turn of the Century the thought of using terrain that we used in the 70’s and early 80’s is just plain hateful. Wargaming as become much more visual that it once was, most games have also become much more streamlined.

While GW still struggles with the proper balance of rules and streamlining they are capable of doing it properly as shown by War of the Ring. I have to give credit to Battlefront Miniatures for being the best example in my eyes of streamlined game balance with Flames of War. It has to a large extent replaced WFB as my second go to wargame.

Currently if it isn’t already apparent I am hugely into 40k and play at least twice a week.

The thing I find most interesting over the years is the change in tables and rules systems. With tables becoming more elaborate and rules becoming simpler and streamlined. Funny how the times change.

Next time I’ll look at the changes in Miniatures and Painting over the last 35 years.

Big Jim

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Soul Reapers project update 1/17/10

While I am finishing up my Wargaming through the year’s retrospective, I figured I’d give a quick update on decisions made about the Soul Reapers Mini-dex project.

First up is that ‘We’ as in my gaming group has decided that I should not put up the final product until after the Blood Angels codex is released. This is so we can make sure that the points of the Soul Reapers are appropriate. So this puts the finalized Mini-dex up in early May.

Right now we are not charging for the Fear is for the Weak special rule, but when I do the January update this coming week we will be adding one point increase per model in the army that gets access to the rule. This is relenting to feedback from codex Marine opponents.

Second up on the plate, we will be replacing the Sorcerer entry in the Codex CSM with an Apostle of Malevolence entry with a few new powers and options.

Thirdly, Xusia will be getting a couple of slight tweaks.

The fourth item in the hopper is the return of the 3.5 Chart for Chaos Dread Crazed results.

Fifth, Zombies go to an Apocalypse Data sheet and Heretics/Cultists make a return to the project.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking back on 35 years of Wargaming: part one

Well it’s my 40th Birthday today and I am looking back at all the fun I’ve had in our wonderful little hobby; boy have I seen some sweeping changes. Over the next few days I’ll be covering the changes I have seen come and go in the hobby of Miniature Wargaming.

My Pops, Big Jim SR was and is a Wargamer, so I have literally been rollin’ them bones for thirty-five years. My first ever game was against my Pop, I was five and just basically rollin the dice. It was Ancient Egyptians verses Ancient Assyrians. I actually beat my Dad and he did not let me win because my Mother still loves to tell the story to rib him on occasion. So for the next few years I was basically a dice monkey for my Pops, going with him to play and getting to hang out with the adults.

I started to really ‘get it’ about the time I was eight, I understood the rules and started to understand the strategy involved in a game. This was also the time I started to paint models that weren’t a mishmash of colors. This was also about the time my Pop moved from 25mm minis to 15’s, how unfair was that on a new painter!

My Dad sold all of his 25’s to help make ends meet and fund his 15’s. I cried when he sold the Assyrians and Egyptians; I know it’s sappy but I was eight and they were always our go to armies for a game. Now at this time miniatures were pretty basic with very little fine detail, but there was this company called Mikes Models. They were putting better detail in their 15’s than most companies were putting in their 15’s.

Terrain in the late 70’s and early 80’s left a lot to be desired. As sometimes tables were just a huge piece of Butcher Paper with terrain features drawn on. A Cadillac gaming table used broken up corkboard for hills and Lichen on felt for woods. I gotta say we still had fun even though the terrain was bad.

Nineteen eighty-three was a break out year for us. There was a brand new model railroad shop that opened right next to the grocery store that we shopped at, and after one trip in my Pop had big plans. He had been working through his ‘Nam’ issues through wargaming the conflict. He wanted to educate the local gaming community about the war. So he undertook the task with the help of my little brother and I of building a fully 3-D gaming table to help showcase the game. It was something that we had never seen done before.

When we were bring in into the Games Caucus (now Kublacon) the Organizer stopped us. She was so impressed she moved our event from one of the gaming rooms to the middle of the Dealers room. She then asked if my Pop could run the game during the day on all three days of the con; which he did.

That same weekend I won my first ever-painting competition with the original Harry the Hammer mini from a young Citadel Miniatures!

This was also the year my Pop brought Warhammer FB back from a business trip to England. I have been playing ever since. We played for many years amassing large armies and really having a good time! Then came the divide in gaming between my Pops and I where I really came into my own, as he was getting back into ancients. In Nineteen eighty-seven Warhammer 40000 Rogue Trader was released. My high school buddies and I were hooked! It was the OMG moment for Wargaming, Plastic multi-part miniatures. That’s right history was made with the epic release of RTB-001 plastic Space Marines!

That’s enough rambling for now, next time I’ll bring it up through the 90’s to today. Then I’ll cover miniatures and painting over the last 30+ years.


Big Jim

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Army Theme and basing

I'm considering ordering some of the fantastic Ancient Ruin resin bases from Dragon Forge. The original thought was to just use them for the Character models of the Soul Reapers, befitting their search for the ancient temples that contain the Artifacts of Salmora. The bases look so nice I am considering using them on a third to half of the Soul Reapers army. I may even mix in some of the Lost Empires Eldar-ish bases too.

The only thing I worry about is will it look good with only about a third of the army based this way. Now I would mix the bases into existing squads and units. It also makes for some interesting ideas for a tourney display base.

So what do you guys think? Should I just stick with the Character models or go whole hog and scatter a bunch of them throughout the army?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Best way to handle Tournament Bye Rounds

Ok guys, I'm putting out the call for your help once again. I'm helping formulate a standard way of running a bunch of upcoming tournaments. The goal is to them be among the better run a scored events out there. So I'm sure there will be more aid needed in the near future.

What is the best way to handle bye rounds in a tournament?

Full points?

Half points?

Have access to an "on call" player, with an army ready to play?

I really appreciate all comments and feedback!


Blood Angels Reboot in April!

Gw have officially announced that the Blood Angels will be revamped and released in April!

Taken from the newsletter:
"Incoming! Blood Angels

This April the Blood Angels will be re-launched with an all-new Codex and range of plastic and metal miniatures. One of the oldest and noblest of all Space Marine Chapters, the Blood Angels have stood fast against the enemies of the Imperium since the Great Crusade and it was their Primarch Sanguinius, who laid down his life to aid the Emperor against Horus in the final hours of the Warmaster’s rebellion. The new Codex explores the background and history of these superhuman warriors like never before, and contains new artwork depicting some of their greatest battles and most powerful champions.

The Blood Angels have always been a powerful close combat army and have been made even deadlier thanks to a range of specialist wargear, the ability to field Assault Squads as Troops choices, and more Dreadnoughts than any other Space Marine Chapter, including a Death Company Dreadnought and the fabled Furioso Dreadnought. The Sons of Sanguinius will be deep striking onto a tabletop near you this April – now’s the time to practice painting red."

If they have good Psycher options this my solve my 'Counts As' dilema for the Soul Reapers on the competitive scene. Also if the really can also run more dreads than anyone, I would love to have a horde of Forge World Chaos Dreads! So if these two things happen expect a ton of BA related info here on GiF!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Soul Reapers lists for the 2010 Tourney scene 1 Chaos & 1 'Counts As' goodness

As the 2010 Tournament season is almost upon me, I need to make a decision on what Codex I will be using for the Soul Reapers to do battle.

First up I have a 2000 point list from the Chaos Space Marine Codex.

HQ 250
Xusia (counts as Ahriman)

Elites 185
4 Terminators with 3 combi-melta, Reaper AC, 1 Chainfist, Icon of chaos glory

Troops 894
10 Chaos Space Marines with 2 meltaguns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

10 Chaos Space Marines with 2 meltaguns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

9 Chaos Space Marines with 1 Plasma gun and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power weapon and combi-plasma
Rhino, extra armor

8 Lesser Daemons

Fast attack 268
6 Chaos Bikers with 2 meltaguns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist

Heavy Support 395
2 obliterators

LC sponsons

Dakka Predator
HB sponsons, Havoc Launcher

For 1850 Drop the Dakka Pred and one Combi Terminator.

Here is a 2000 point list of Counts as Space Wolves. I'm considering this for a few reasons. The main one being I want my new Wolf army to be my painting showcase army and that is gonna take a long time to complete.

HQ 405
Xusia (counts as Njal)

Sorcerer (counts as RP)
Master of runes, Tempest, Living Lighting, Chooser

Elites 212
4 Wolf Guard
3 Combi-Melta, 3 Power Fists, 1 Frost Blade

Lone Wolf
Frost Blade, Melta bombs

Troops 775
5 Grey Hunters
Power weapon, Melta gun
Razorback TLAC, extra armor

5 Grey Hunters
Power weapon, Melta gun
Razorback TLAC, extra armor

8 Grey Hunters
1 Plasma gun, Power weapon
Rhino, extra armor

8 Grey Hunters
1 Melta gun, Power weapon
Rhino, extra armor

Fast Attack 292
8 Fenrisian Wolves

3 Soul Crushers (counts as Thunderwolves)
Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, 2 Melta bombs

Heavy Support 310
6 Long Fangs
5 Missile Launchers

Dakka Predator
HB sponsons

Dakka Predator
HB sponsons

For 1850 drop the Sorcerer/RP and add a Hunter to the Melta Rhino Pack.

Xusia update and the Concept Reaver assault troops

This is what I am shooting for with the Reavers. I've gone with a quasi Skull helmet so I can use them as counts as Berzerkers in games outside of the club.

I'm pretty happy with how the Heavy Flamer Reaver turned out!

Here is a quick update on Xusia. His cape is about halfway done, I still need to do the right side and clean up the edges. I am quite happy with how the belt is shaping up, next I'll be adding the gemstone. I really need to figure out where I got that metal left handed holster from.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Krüg the Beheader Mk II: The Plan

I just thought that I would share my ideas for the second and final version of Krüg the Beheader. While I really like my original model, I want a more imposing looking monster when it comes to Warlord Krüg.

With my B-day approaching fast, I've been asked what I'd like for a gift. So I got to thinking, and decided to have Lord Zhufor ordered from Forgeworld.

Look at that comparison shot, he's a Beast!

Now I had refrained from ordering this model originally as he is covered in World Eater and Khorne Icons, but after receiving the following two illustrations from Menzies.

I decided I could make him work. After all Krügs ultimate goal is to reunify the World Eaters, so why not still display the original Legion badge with the crossed Reaper Scythes over it. I will turn the Khorne Icons into crossed Reaper Scythes.

This time Krüg will have a two handed grip on the Daemon Scythe Golornagoth, I will be using the arms and staff from the extra Njal Stormcaller I got for Christmas.

Krüg will probably lose his twin-linked bolter unless I can come up with a way to wrist mount it that does not detract from the overall feel of the model.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Soul Reapers Playtest Feedback 1/04

Three weeks in and I have 10 playtesters from around the globe giving the Soul Reapers a thorough shake down. Thanks to all of you actively playtesting the Mini-dex, I appreciate the feedback.

So far the Icons playtest favorite is the Icon of Eternal War. Although about half of the playtesters would prefer that it was just the Feel no Pain rule as written in the MRB.

Apparently there is a bit of an uproar from Loyalist Marine players over the addition of Fear is for the Weak at no cost. Oddly over the ability to regroup if under 50%. The suggestion so far is to add two points per model for the rule. I have trepidation about doing this for the reasons I have explained in the previous posts. I may relent in the PDF update on the 15th, but if I do it will probably only be a one point increase.

In the Jan 15th update we will be adding the Rage Zombies to the playtest list. We will be adding an updated Chaos Dread Crazed Chart. We may also be changing the Sorcerer HQ entry to an Apostle of Malevolence entry with a few new Psychic powers added in.

We have also decided to extend playtesting through March, with the final product being released at the end of April. Between the 6 months of closed playtesting from our group and this 3-month open playtest will give a total of 9 months of playtesting total.

Keep sending in the great feedback guys!


PS: Menzies is still cranking out great Artwork for the finished Mini-dex.

He has also started his own Blog for the 512th Cadian: the Harakoni Warhawks. So please go check it out and give him a warm welcome to the Bloggoshpere!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Modeling Xusia the Sorcerer: part 1 Mock-up

Here is a quick mock-up WIP for the Soul reapers SC Xusia. There is still tons to be done; he's going to have a broad belt like the ones you see on Space Wolves, a flowing cape and I've got a couple of nifty ideas for the exhausts on his powerpack.

So far I have used parts from a Dark Angels sgt, WFB warriors of Chaos, Khorne Zerkers, basic CSM's, the Chaos Lord and the Staff head comes from Sauron from the LotR range.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

GiF VidNet goes live!

This is me messing around with movie maker, it's not much more of a testing of features than anything else. I need to familiarize myself with the program as I prepare to start doing videos to help promote the blog. I'm hoping to get the first Battle Report up after Monday nights gaming session.

No refunds for the minute and a half of your life it takes to watch the vid!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year: GW 2010 Rumors

Lets start the New year off with some juicy GW 2010 and beyond Rumors, hot off the presses at Warseer. Thanks to Stickmonkey for these tidbits!

"Yesterday I got to look at some of the new WIP items for 2010 and beyond. A lot of it is already out there, (Ork Dreads). Some of it has been seen. I got permission to mention some of the items, but not a lot of specifics or specific release details.

Obviously a lot of this just strengthens rumors that are already out there. And some of it looks very rough, as in 3ups with lots of notes for changes.

I'm struggling to hold back and just dump specifics."

* New GK Terminators 3ups (5 poses, 1 HQ/leader)
* New Daemonhunter/Witchhunter concept art
* New DH/WH vehicles/support
* New Ork dreads
* New Marine models for a specific chapter
* New SM concept art
* New DE models (these are sweet, and I'm not a DE lover)
* New DE concept art
* New Guard tanks/artillery
* New Necron MC sized model
* New Necron concept art
* New Ork vehicles
* New 40k concept art and 3ups tied to a future Codex release
* A lot of the Missions book tie in releases

I can't wait to finally see what Jess Goodwin has done with the Dark Eldar.