The Fleet

Last year, for another great painting event (the Call of Chaos), I chose to do something different and prepare my Battlefleet Gothic stuff. With the appropriate upgrades (i.e. Warmaster and the obligatory Mark of Nurgle) it would be just shy of 1850pts and a viable fleet, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to paint something outside of my normal scale and scope. The roster and stages of completion are below!

Death Guard Battlefleet – 1850pts

1.       Styx Heavy Class Cruiser – 275pts

2.       Acheron Class Heavy Cruiser – 190pts

3.       Chaos Devastation Cruiser – 190pts

4.       Chaos Devastation Cruiser – 190pts

5.       Chaos Devastation Cruiser – 190pts

6.       Chaos Devastation Cruiser – 190pts

7.       Chaos Murder Class Cruiser – 180pts

8.       Chaos Murder Class Cruiser – 180pts

9.       Chaos Idolater Class Raider – 45pts

10.   Chaos Infidel Class Raider – 40pts

11.   Chaos Infidel Class Raider – 40pts

In the fitting-docks:

BFGFleet

Basecoating (I went with an all-over black for uniformity, before the usual white, in a sort of zenithal manner):

BFGFleet Undercoated

I then did the usual colour blocking (green trim and metals):

BFGFleetWIP1

An initial wash:

BFGFleetWIP2

I proceeded to weather, base and detail, before finishing:

BFGFleetFinal1BFGFleetFinal2

The warp roiled as the prows of the fleet cut through it. They knew their purpose: driven with the clarity provided by ten thousand years of fighting their cause. They had been called by Chaos, and answered the Warmaster’s summons for the next Crusade with their void-borne fury. 

 

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Orbital Assault

The next project for the painting table sees a selection of flying models land, including the Daemon Primarch Mortarion himself, and a number of Drop Pods in the form of several Dreadclaws and a Kharybdis:

Vow 1 Mortarion Drop Pods

These will as ever be multi-functional, for both my 30k and 40k Death Guard, and offer a very direct method of transporting the Legion into battle!

I’ll also be working on things I can potentially deploy within them, including a lot of the great new Death Guard plastic models, and a few other supporting bits in the form of a Librarian/Sorcerer and a Leviathan:

Vow 1 Leviathan and New Death Guard

I have a separate Dreadnought Drop Pod and standard Legion Drop Pods for Tacticals to come at some point as part of the Orbital Assault list, but there’s plenty to be getting on with here. The intention is to do this all in the traditional paint scheme I tend to use – with a few twists to account for the mutations on the new Plague Marines.

Cognisance

I became conscious that I hadn’t posted an update to this blog in ages – and felt that this should be rectified! Since the last post (April 2016), I have not been inactive in the hobby – and have plenty to show, both Death Guard and otherwise! With the recent release of Codex: Death Guard and the new Edition of Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition), there is an entirely new range of lovely models to build and paint, including the Death Guard Primarch, Mortarion himself, in plastic. This should mean in due course I’ll be getting lots of the newer sculpts painted up in the traditional scheme in order to get them ready for the tabletop.

From a gaming perspective, this has mostly been dominated by games in the Horus Heresy, including a few narrative campaign weekends, such as Throne of Skulls. My Heresy-era Death Guard have therefore have become suitably battle-worn, to match their paint-scheme, and have grown yet further. The next project for them will be an Orbital Assault Drop-Pod list, as I’m looking to flesh out possibilities for running different Rites of War depending on the game or the event. To complement my Death Guard, I’ve been working through a number of Mechanicus/Mechanicum elements, which have been suitably themed to have potentially questionable loyalties, as to whether they may or may not be Hereteks… as not everything’s allegiance is binary…

This aspect of the hobby began in early 2016: I started initially with Skitarii Vanguard, putting together a core of six units – one of which will have three Plasma Calivers, and the rest will have three Arc Rifles:

In order to get a correct number of Arc Rifles, I bought extra from the Kataphron sprue – and with a cut Radium Carbine, and a small piece of plasticard, we were in business!

This progressed quickly, as I look to paint them in a Ryza-based scheme: the use of orange would appropriately tie in with my Death Guard, as well as being a lovely bright colour! After construction, I looked to get things sprayed grey (including a few other notable additions, such as the Dominus and the Kastelan Robots) to go with the pre-built and sprayed Ruststalkers and Infiltrators (which lurk in the back of the photograph…):

SkitariiSpray3

Working then from a base layer of orange on the Vanguard, Robots, Datasmiths and Dominus, it was good to get the main colours on and blocked, before starting to work in on the lovely details:

SkitariiOrange4

Metals and their first wash:

SkitariiWIP5

Carbines and bases:

SkitariiWIP6

Starting to pick out details:

SkitariiDetail7

En masse:

SkitariiNearFinal8

Then, wanting to venture further into the Heresy side of all things mechanical – I picked up some initial bits to start off with and to form the core of the army:

MechanicumStart9MechanicumFirstBuild10

I then worked on a larger selection of robots, in a variety of sizes. Some Kastelans:

KastelanWIP11KastelanWIP12

A mixture of 30k Mechanicum: Thallax, Castellax, Ursarax, a Domitar and a Thanatar, and associated Datasmiths and Priests:

MechanicumWIP13MechanicumWIP14

I’ve also focused on thematic basing, which I believe captures a suitable ‘Martian’ or technical off-cut style, completed with broken cogs and gears, a few tufts of hardy grass, and set around the Ironearth/Ironcrust Technical Paints:

MechanicumBasing15

A close-up example:

MechanicumBasingFinal

To lead them, I added and started to paint a Magos (to be used as Scoria for competitive games), and added another Thanatar for fire support:

MechanicumAdditionsMechanicumAdditionsCloseUp

Here are a few WIP photos of Scoria:

ArchmagosScoriaWIP2ArchmagosScoriaWIP3

It was around this time that I added (yet) another Thanatar, and kept trying to keep everything cohesive, by tying in similar spot colours among the overarching scheme:

ThanatarManipleWIP

Here’s a photo of the (ever-)growing Cohort:

MechanicumArmyWIP

With a couple of pictures of the Thanatars complete, next to their master:

ThanatarManipleCompleteThanatarManipleComplete2

To make sure my Legio Cybernetica Cohort remain legal, I did require some more Castellax to fulfil the core of my army, so had to bulk that up further. I tried to match those armed with four Dark Lances, with four more toting Heavy Bolters:

CastellaxWIPCastellaxWIP2CastellaxWIP3CastellaxWIP4

As well as then thinking about the other things to start adding, such as an additional Magos Dominus and some Tech Thralls:

CastellaxWIP5

For a Bolter & Chainsword event, Loyalty and Treachery, I also pledged to add a number of further options, including Vulturax, Krios Venators, and more Thralls. A few photos of them in progress are included below!

LoyaltyTreacheryWIPLoyaltyTreacheryWIP2LoyaltyTreacheryWIP3

For my Thralls, I wanted to pick out all the details as they are such great models (despite their relatively low points cost on the tabletop!). I’ve picked out all of the cables in different colours, and used these to help tie them in with the rest of the robots. I chose to do these in yellow, rather than orange, just to reflect both their semi-human nature and to be reminiscent of Hazardous Materials suits. A quick progress photo:

LoyaltyTreacheryWIP5

More final details:

TechThrallsWIPTechThrallsWIP2

The support cohort together as completed:

LoyaltyTreacheryComplete1LoyaltyTreacheryComplete2

Having completed this, I now have somewhere in the region of 4,000pts of Mechanicum (and a reasonable amount of Mechanicus, to be totalled), which has expanded into quite a sizeable amount of support units. Bar the Vulturax and the Krios Tanks, I’ve been able to magnetise a case to fit all of the above Mechanicum in – with a quick example shown below too:

MechanicumCase

It has made things very usefully portable! I’ll follow this blog-post with a few photos of it in action: it plays very differently to the Death Guard within the Heresy setting, and will hopefully be a useful contrast and supporting element in future. With the new Forgebane boxed set having just been released, I’ll show some WIP photos of the Armigers, before looking to turn my focus back towards the Death Guard. Until next time!

Continuing to Escalate!

Following my initial vow, our Escalation forces have rumbled on – and I found myself needing to add another 500pts already! Although there’ll be quite a few things that I’ll need to paint in due course, I thought that given the games so far have mostly been Zone Mortalis, it might be nice to add some close-range punch. As such, for my next two vows, I’ve opted to do two Terminator squads – one armed with near basic weaponry, and the other, more lethally, with paired Lightning Claws…

Two more units to vow as part of the B&C’s Loyalty and Treachery:

Vow 5 – 5-strong Terminator squad, with combi-bolters and Power Fists, Heavy Flamer and two Chain Fists.

Vow 6 – 5-strong Terminator squad, all with Lightning Claws

The thought of adding these to my already rather sizeable Cataphractii contingent was too good an opportunity to pass down – and potentially using a load in either ZM, or in future definitely appealed. The aesthetic of their armour very much suits everything I like about the Death Guard – so happy to get more of these fantastic models built and painted for the cause. Armament wise, I’ve gone for two distinctly different squads, in order to fill up the gaps in my current Cataphractii – namely, Chain Fists and Lightning Claws! This ensures I do have a variety to choose from, as and when required.

A photo of them prior to painting:

LampTTermis_zps3jxyc345.jpg

Here’s my first WIP photo, blocking out main areas of colour, such as shoulder pads, ptergues and trim:

BaCTermisWIP_zpsxeltiz49.jpg

And finally, the finished product!

BaCTerminators_zpscjbej6p7.jpg

Glad to have that complete! I’m unsure what I’m going to paint explicitly next, but I think it’s worthwhile considering a 2.5k list and working towards playing more regularly. Watch this space for plans and actual painting!

Otherwise, I’m thinking ahead to things I both need and want to do more broadly. If you’ve ever wondered, this is what a couple of hundred Mantic Zombies look like clipped off the sprue…

ManticZombies.png_zpszrra1lsk.jpeg
One of the next projects!

That Escalated…!

I’m lucky enough that my local club and clubmates are running a 30k Escalation league, allowing for a relatively slow grow project – which suits me perfectly! It allows me to work my way through a lot of lovely Heresy models, and get them looking ready for the tabletop. Combined with the B&C’s Loyalty and Treachery, I can work on a number of units – as well as being able to paint some larger things outside of the Escalation league, to really progress all things Heresy-esque.

I’ve gone with the following 500pts to start – whilst this may not see the table particularly frequently, it begins to fill the void in my 30k army: that of Troops! I had previously invested in some of the nice frills, such as Contemptors and Terminators, so to return to the ‘bread and butter’ of Legion-based armies is great:

Legion Chaplain – with Artificer Armour, Melta Bombs, Plasma Pistol – 115pts
Legion Tactical Squad – with additional CCW, Sergeant with Melta Bombs and Power Fist – 190pts
Legion Tactical Squad – with additional CCW, Sergeant with Melta Bombs and Power Fist – 190pts
495pts

Pictured below are the models all on sprues:

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And they look lovely when built:

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And with one eye on the future, I also built some Terminators:

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As I wanted to do something outside of that, I wanted to also paint the Death Guard’s gene-sire, Mortarion:

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Who I’m very pleased with:

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Now, I’ve finished my initial vow too:

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With a couple of close-ups:

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Lots of progress to report on at least – and on to the next thing!

 

 

 

Taking the Legion to war!

I rarely get enough time to play currently, and so when the planets aligned to allow me to take part in my local club’s summer tournament, I leapt at the chance to put some models on the table and roll some dice! However, with the list submission date already passed, I was having to bring something together quickly, without the possibility of really testing it prior to the event. I pulled a list together of things that I thought would be fun or enjoyable to play with, and were things that were painted relatively well so that at least I would have a visually cohesive force, that would hopefully be able to dish out (some) damage. Although I had the possibility of drawing from any current 40k Codex, or indeed 30k, I wanted to play with the most recent Chaos Codex – no allies, frills or gimmicks here! At least ‘ob sec’ wouldn’t be a problem – but building to a 1650pts limit was also another inherent challenge to face. The list I went with was:

+ HQ (230pts) +

Chaos Lord with Lightning Claws, Mark of Nurgle and Sigil of Corruption – 120pts

Sorcerer with two additional Mastery Levels – 110pts

+ Troops (672pts) +

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Melta Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword, with a Rhino – 214pts

+ Fast Attack (340pts) +

Heldrake with Baleflamer – 170pts

Heldrake with Hades Autocannon – 170pts

+ Heavy Support (405pts) +

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

1647pts

So I had a list – but I also hadn’t properly played Seventh Edition, and I felt it would have been poor form to show up without at least running the list through. I was lucky to find an opponent who, the night before, would put the list through its paces with a list involving a lot of Deep Striking Terminators. It was a great introduction to 7th proper, against a tough list – but I felt that the Death Guard acquitted themselves well under the circumstances, grabbing several objectives, and summoning reinforcements effectively through some Daemons! I’d dealt a lot of damage, and was probably in the ascendency when the game ended: but it ended in an 8-8 thriller draw. Certainly, I felt better about going to a reasonably competitive tournament with a list that I had road-tested, even if I couldn’t make any changes to it!

On the morning of the tournament, I felt positive that I would at the very least make a competent opponent for whomever I faced, and was very much looking forward to at the very least becoming more adept with the latest edition. Seeing everyone else and their superbly painted and modelled armies was a great boost, and I was definitely excited to play on tables that were fully painted and covered with an assortment of terrain. There were three games to be played over the course of the day, the first was ‘Big Guns Never Tire’, deploying as per Hammer and Anvil. The second, ‘Crusade’, would follow the Vanguard Strike deployment. The third, The Emperor’s Will, would deploy as per Dawn of War.

My first game was against an opponent with a Tyranid force, with lots of big creatures, and so at least facing him down the table would perhaps give me slightly longer to hurl demolisher shells at him. In terms of the objective placement, I knew that I would have to fight into the centre of the board, but I had to hope that I could make a sufficient dent in his forces first. In hindsight, I probably didn’t concentrate enough fire on his larger creatures, with a Toxicrene threatening my flank considerably. Despite summoning two lots of Plaguebearers, and a Great Unclean One, I simply couldn’t chew through his stuff fast enough. Despite having no shooting attacks, the distance narrowed and once in combat, there would only really be one winner. Forgetting my reserve roll in the first instance was probably not ideal – but I would still have struggled, either way!

A photo of the action:

DGTyranids

With the scoring adjusted, taking into account the tactical objectives achieved and kill points, I lost 17-3. But, a superb opponent meant I had great fun, and it was good to play an army that I rarely see gracing tables!

After this game, we took a break for lunch, and had to set up our respective armies for display. I was very proud of my army, and it looked as follows:

DGArmy

DGArmySide

The loss ensured I would be on one of the lower tables, and thankfully, in terms of moving my stuff anyway, I remained on the same table I had played my first game on. My opponent had lost their first game, and I now faced a combined Imperial Guard/Iron Hands army, with two Forgeworld Vultures, with twin-linked Punisher Cannons, that would, in turn, cause some serious damage to my army.

Deploying on the diagonal was certainly a different experience, and perhaps in hindsight I could have chosen the other corner of the table and set my army up more defensively. But, I came for a scrap – and I wanted to show how tough those Plague Marines really were! Regrettably, failing to wipe out a Vanquisher that threatened most of my army early on meant I couldn’t then respond to the Drop Pod landing within my midst. Two Perils of the Warp attacks robbed my Sorcerer of the chance to manifest into a Daemon Prince, which may have secured a failing rearguard. My Lord spent most of the time running between bits of difficult terrain, and I was grateful that his Leman Russ Executioner destroyed itself, having chewed through more than enough of my left flank. Then, the Vultures entered and things became messy. Throwing twenty re-rollable dice at anything is going to ruin people’s days, and I didn’t really have a counter for them. The game finished with my Lord and a lone Plague Marine having finally got to combat and torn the opposition apart, sitting on an objective that counted for nothing. Regrettable! If I had remembered that, I probably would have placed that one out the way – rather than attempting to sit on it for most of the game. When the transports went, getting so few Plague Marines into combat was going to be a nightmare, and sadly I didn’t have the numbers to weather the storm.

My left flank (note, the far left is actually my ‘dead’ pile…):

DG/IG Battle

When I had things left on the board:

DG/IG Battle 2

When things went:

DG/IG Battle 3

This battle scored me a generous 19-1 loss. I’d killed a few things, but the cards were cruel, and entrenched objectives were unobtainable. Holding that one objective that was worthless was also an error!

I knew that for all my hard gaming, running 0-2, I would probably be in the bottom few. To be playing in the ‘wooden spoon’ match was pretty much what I had expected, but I was determined to claw this back! My army certainly had performed well in certain parts, and I hoped to get the synergy right in this game against Liam’s Dark Angels.

It started well: it always does. I’d set up in a way that meant I could get in close early, and hopefully hold the objectives long term, and racked up a healthy lead with some lucky cards, and some good rolling.

First turn - DA/DG

Summoning two Plague Bearer squads early on was useful, and despite being forced to deploy in the corner, it did offer additional protection for my rearmost objective.

Summoning

However, whilst I was casually marauding my Lord and retinue behind enemy lines, two Terminator squads teleported into the midst: and then proceeded to carve into my back line. The sheer fire-power they put out coming in (another great Formation that was used very effectively) meant that however much damage I would be causing to the rest of his army through my Vindicator and Lord, it was being reciprocated in kind through the parts of my army left behind on objectives.

Deep Strike!

That said, most of my army continued to fight nobly – and it was a fantastic game. With spates of luck and terrible/good rolling on both parts, it meant that when the game ended, both sides were thoroughly battered. That healthy lead I had built had crumbled when I was no longer able to hold objectives, and Liam racked up a win of somewhere in the region of 30 points to my still impressive 18, resulting in a 16-4 victory to him when adjusted. It was great fun, and although I still had my Lord, a Plague Marine and two Heldrakes, it would have got little better thereafter. Regrettably, such a loss secured my prize of the ‘wooden spoon’ for a last placed finish, and I was awarded a new game to try!

Marvel Dice Masters

All in all, it was a fantastic day – and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In future, I think allying with Daemons for the benefits of Summoning would be appropriate, given that I tended to rely on that for the fun factor on this occasion. Or, more Troops may have helped… perhaps swapping out a couple of Vindicators for Maulerfiends may have also helped – but nonetheless, for not being able to play-test and tweak prior to the tournament, I’m very happy with how it performed and most importantly, how seventh edition plays in general. Hopefully, will be the first of many games over the coming months!

Mantis Creations Kickstarter Cases

I’ve been a big fan of Kickstarter over the last few years, backing probably twenty-odd projects, and have generally been delighted with the result – and I can safely add another to the list.

Mantis Creation’s Kickstarter for Model Storage funded in August 2014, and although it’s taken a little while to get the rewards after the campaign outstripped the predicted levels of interest, I can tell you that the wait has been worth it. I went in quite high, for eleven cases in total – lured by the fact I could choose all of my own foam. In hindsight, perhaps I didn’t even choose as widely as I could’ve – but I focused on the amazing 56 model infantry trays (four to a box… massive storage!), as well as the heavier infantry, a set of Bikes/larger models and some pick and pluck to fill the remainder. I know some people were very adventurous – and if there are such options for a future one, I may look into this too! Was very pleased to find it exactly as requested (minus one topper, not a huge deal!) – and superbly packaged, delivered safely by DHL – thank you!

I’ve got a case from nearly every major foam/bag/storage solution on the market over the years… Games Workshop, Battlefoam, KR, Figures in Comfort… All in varying sizes, with different trays, for the myriad things I’ve collected over my lifetime. I’d liken these boxes probably closest to KR’s – they’re made of what looks and feels like hard cardboard, but clearly built to withstand, and with a carry handle made of plastic. The foam itself is robust: it’s hard to compare to the other brands that are out there, but it’s somewhere between GW’s and Battlefoam’s products – it retains shape well, and is definitely harder than some, but with more give than others. It is kiss-cut down the middle, so I can theoretically halve it, and mix and match more depending on my needs. Each can take up to about 140mm worth of trays – which is sizeable, roughly four depending on each tray’s depth!

The boxes themselves have the great Mantis logo on, and look incredibly professional:

Unboxing

The 56 infantry trays are superb – perfect for a Space Marine, or 28mm equivalent model – a Plague Marine and Von Schill modelling this:

56 Infantry Tray

224 models in a single case?! Two companies worth?! Ideal!

The heavy infantry trays are perfect for those larger models (Terminators, etc.):

Heavy Infantry Tray

And the Bike Trays are great too – I’ll probably also utilise these for larger models (maybe even move my Deathshroud here!) – comfy:

Bike Tray

I’ve not posted pick and pluck photos – simply because I’ve not put anything in them yet! I’ll update it when I do – probably for my Tantive, Transport and Lambda…

Rather than the sort of pallet they were delivered in, I thought it might be worth showing the stack of trays:

Tray Stack

I don’t think my collection will ever be tidier once I’ve finished putting them in here!

To conclude, it was definitely worth the wait – Tyron’s put together a superb campaign, and his second will no doubt be just as good. The quality is worth it, and I absolutely cannot argue at the price for what I’ve got! Definitely keep an eye out for future campaigns and this company!