Friday, 28 August 2009

Magneto the Carnifex and other painting photo's

By Suneokun

Here's 'Magneto' in all his glory, following the advice of other players, I magnetised the Carnifex (which was remarkably easy). He therefore now has lots of interchangeable weaponry of goodness. Here he is with his 'standard loadout', the awesome barbed strangler and scything talons...

Next up, I've completed a unit of 12 Kroot, backed up by two Kroot hounds and a Shaper. I decided these boys where niggled at me and hence their diabolical performance in the Apocalypse "Battle for the Pub" game. 15 Kroot (47 S4 attacks) versus ten Thousands Sons (10 attacks) and the Kroot where killed and ran off the board ... so hopefully their finished paintscheme will mean a more visual (it's important for Kroot to be bright to 'attract' enemy firepower) Kroot will serve me better...

I also finally got round to finishing the last two Tau WV15 Stealthsuits I originally got back in my (£125 for £25) Tau purchase in December 08! These three usually accompany my Fusion Blaster XV25 as an anti-tank version of my 5 man, 5 gun-drone team.

Last but not least, I've been continuing with the 'green-theme' and building some DeathGuard Chaos Marines. I'm a big fan of the models, and was blown away by Ants Forgeworld Deathguard terminators (literally, actually) when they arrived with Typhus in our latest APOC game. I'm putting together a squad for Gladiator (150pts per team) battles... here's the Sergeant:

Friday, 21 August 2009

Three Tanks in a box sir ... suits you!

By Suneokun

Apologies for the lack of 'in progress' painting and modelling photo's, but my camera's in Cornwall (along with the whole family) for the week...

And while the cats away the mouse has blown the GW budget ... purchases complete, and the credit card is pleased (or is that the CC company?). Just to update, I've bitten the bullet and bought the core of my armies Heavy Support Sections.

To recap, I've purchased one Demolisher Kit, One Hellhound, a Basilisk and Two Chimeras for the Guard. The Tau have benefitted from two Broadsides and two SkyRay Missile Boats. Finally the Tyranids haven't been left out as I've also purchased two Zoanthropes and a second Carnifex.

That tidy lot amounted to £208, thanks to the fellas at GiftsForGeeks. Saving me just under £50 on GW retail prices...

Now, as you're probably aware, my second 'new' love after converting obscure models is magnetising big models. My Carnifex 'Magneto' has multiple option available! As such I was delighted to discover the following about building the SkyRay, Demolisher and Hellhound variants ...


Tau Example: By using the smart missile system secondary weapon on the SkyRay, I can build a SkyRay, GunHead, IonHead or even an SMS Devilfish. All these variants can be put together with magnets (or even just lowly bluetak!) allowing me to adapt my army lists nicely to massed Fish-of-Fury attacks. Fast flanking Skyrays or a couple of Gun Heads/Ionheads.

It simply amazes me that GW include all the bits for every Tau tank in one box - the SkyRay. Why buy anything else? This means I can operate an anti-aircraft unit for Apoc AND hammerheads AND IonCannons or more devilfish ... brilliant!

Imperial Guard Example: By simply leaving all the heavy weapons loose (they fit in snugly enough after painting), I can convert the Demolisher and the Hellhound into any combination or variant I'd like. A much preferable option!

This avoids the obvious problem of 'choosing' your variant from the options available. Allowing you freedom to tailor your force to the enemy.

My existing Russes are set up how I like them, one as an anti-tank gunship and the other an a anti-personnel option mazed out with Heavy Bolters.

Conclusion and Question?

Are there any other 'multi-tank' options out there, and if so, share them with us for a while... over to you.

Friday, 14 August 2009

2nd hand Blog - One Previous Careful Owner

Dev's Original Graphic

Just a quick note to mark the passing of a stalwart contribution to the W40k Community. My brother, Devilin, has stepped back as administration controller of Pathfinder. Increasing commitments at home and at work gave him less time to enjoy the game ... and like all hobbies, you need fuel and a little stoking to keep things alive.

Needless to say, the door is always open Dev, if you wish to return. Please join me in thanking Dev for his contribution to the 40k blogosphere!

For everyone else, I hope the transition will prove seemless - you may have already noted some small changes. Onwards and upwards, gentlemen.

Painting Update - In the Round...

By Suneokun.

Just a quick (ish) update to confirm the models now completed. I'm drawing near to completing all my Guard ... am 6 Kroot and a few XV15 suits off completing the Tau (so far) and am miles away from getting anywhere near finishing my Tyranids... here's the damage so far at 20 months of painting...

  • Cadian Style Al'rahem Conversion
  • Commissar Yarrick
  • 1 Company Commander (lead)
  • 2 standard platoon commander (Chainsword and bolt pistol)
  • 1 PF Platoon Commander (converted)
  • 12 Lead Stormtroopers (Grenadiers now?) painted.
  • 78 standard cadian guardsmen, including 6 sergeants, 5 plasma guns, 3 meltaguns, 3 Grenade Launchers and 3 Flamers, one medic and one standard all painted.
  • 18 Catachans, comprising 1 Vet Squad (led by Harker Conversion) and a series of bodyguard and platoon command models all painted
  • 20 Conscripts Painted
  • 17 Heavy WEapons teams (1 to go)
  • 6 Roughriders (painted) 4 to go.
  • 3 Ogyrns (painted) 3 to go.
  • 9 Ratlings (need repainting).
  • 3 Sentinels
  • 2 Leman Russ
  • 2 Chimeras
  • Ethereal
  • 2 Crisis Suits Commanders
  • 3 Crisis Suits (2 painted)
  • Broadside Battlesuit
  • 6 XV25 suits Painted
  • 1 XV15 suit painted (2 to go)
  • 25 Fire Warriors Painted (11 to go)
  • 9 Pathfinders Painted
  • 12 Drones painted (9 to go)
  • 1 Devilfish Painted (1 to go)
  • 2 Kroothounds (need painting)
  • 6 Kroot painted (6 to go)
  • 1 Shaper painted
  • Broodlord.
  • 15 Genestealers painted (7 to go).
  • 19 Termagaunts (16 to go).
  • 8 Hormagaunts (16 to go).
  • Lictor painted.
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors (6 to go).
  • 1 Flying Warrior (coverted), one converted, one yet to build.
  • 1 Converted Gargoyle (9 more conversions to go).
  • 2 Ripper Swarms painted, 1 built but unpainted, 5 more to build.
  • Carnifex painted.
  • 1 Deathguard (5 to go)
This leaves me with over 100 models to paint and convert at various stages ... good grief. That said in the last 18 months I've completed 296 models (ignoring size) in the last 20 months. This means I've been averaging 14.8 models completed a month. On that trend I should complete the current bunch in just over 6 months.

I've turned away from Tyranids for the moment - mainly because I haven't been fielding them much. In spite of the pile of models I bought in April and since (A tyranid battleforce, Tau battleforce, 2 Kroothounds and a Deathguard Squad - I've painted most of the Tau, the Tyranids are progressing (although I think it's the number to conversions and all that purple thats put me off!) and the Guard are entering the final stages.

Time to plan my next purchases...

Upcoming Purchases

As is obvious from the model selections above, I'm very keen on getting the men on the ground before I start forking out for the big tanks. This has the added advantage of only adding a few models to the to do list (12 in total) while offering me some really fun firepower. These are the upgrade plans for each army:

Imperial Guard: I'm going to avoid buying a shiny new Valkyrie for the moment and concentrate on purchasing more big guns and Chugs for my mobile infantry. While the Valk is a superb beast, its a little overpowered for my preferences. Instead I'm going to invest in the bargain basement Chimera - point for points the best APC in the game.

  • Leman Russ Demolisher - completing off my 2 Leman Russes with the interchangable weaponry of this superb kit.
  • Hellhound - I love hellhounds and the upgrade to fast makes this tank a must. Plus the new kit has interchangable weaponry like the Demolisher boxset.
  • Chimeras [2] - Chugs are what my mobile infantry is all about. Forget your flash harry Valks and Vendettas, my infantry wants to get there on mass and on time!
  • Basilisk - The nerfing of weapons teams has provided me with two key changes. Firstly, I'm going to convert my 6 heavy bolters into lascannons, since the 36" heavy bolter is FAR too vulnerable. Secondly I'm convinced that BIG GUN are the way to go, and as such am traversing the ordinance route.

Tau: With the manpower largely fulfilled (although I would like more Kroothounds) I've decided to buy tanks and Big guns. Strangely I don't like Hammerheads. I find them frustrating in that they are effectively a low powered battlecannon or a poorly aimed broadside... hence:
  • Skyray Missile Boats [2] - no I haven't gone mad. The idea behind purchasing skyrays rather than Hammerheads is two fold. Firstly skyrays are fast, able to move flatout -18" and effectively shoot (albeit via other peoples markerlights), two skyrays will give me two powerful anti tank and anti personnel tanks capable of harrassing the enemy. I envision my Skyrays zipping forward to engage the enemy flank at 24" range, supporting devilfish unloading troops and able to unleash up to 12 S8 shots in a turn at an opponents rear armour. When facing landraiders, I can convert the skyrays to devilfish - giving me a total of four devilfish, two with Smart Missile Systems.
  • Broadside Battlesuits [2] - The broadside is where the antitank firepower of the Tau excels. Three of these boys give definite deterrance and if accompanied by my 15 man Kroot pack, will give me a secure anti-tank unit of three broadsides in the backfield.
Tyranids: Apart from investing in a Flying Hive Tyrant from forge world, the Tyranids are more or less where I want them. The following purchases are to fill up the heavy support slots.
  • Zoanthrope [2]: Two Zoanthrope will offer me a cost effective, highly dangerous unit with the advantage of a Synapse creature with a 2+ save - not to be laughed at!
  • Carnifex: A last magnetised Carnifex finishes off the bunch.
So what do you think of both the progress so far and the purchases planned?

Let me know.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

And now for something completely different...

In the spirit of self promotion, I've started a new blog:

"Electric Fence in Suburbia"

It's not 40k, but it is about a pressing issue of our times - CATS!

Personally they bug the heck outta me, but I'm open to a dogfight, or catfight on the subject. Either way, If you'd care to peruse my early stage blog - feel free to dive in to comment.



Monday, 10 August 2009

BATREP: Pub Conquest!

Our mighty pincushions line up against the EVIL horde!

By Suneokun.

This was my fourth Apocalypse game, and things were starting to fall into place for many of the players around the table. Subsequent to the previous games, we'd learnt the following things:
  • Deploy close together, there's nothing wrong with point blank range and starting 24" apart guarantees carnage from turn one.
  • Don't bother with strategic assets. Perhaps for more experienced players this was essential, but for the most of us strategic assets are ridiculously overpowered. Denying flanking/deeps strike wholesale.
  • Don't fear close combat monsters... after all there's always another band of unlucky plebs to throw in the way.
With this in mind, I was ordered to attend with 2000pts of the army of my choice. I decided to field my Tau, who could just about field 2000pts.


Apart from my own diminutive force, 7 other armies made up the forces on the battlefield. They were as follows:

Forces of Good
  • Mark: Wielding Superheavies AND 3 Vendettas, Marks Imperial Guard.
  • Dustin: Railgun Heavy Tau with lots of kitted out Crisis Suits in a huge Apocalypse formation.
  • Jack: Originally bringing grey knights, Jack flipped back to his normal space marines to avoid Deamon spam-death. Jack took control of the Superheavies too.
  • Suneokun: Overall commander (for my sins) and bringing lightweight Tau with many Stealth and Crisis Suits.
Forces of Evil
  • Adam: Awesome Ork force including Gazza, Big Meks and a borrowed Stormlord.
  • Ant: Chaos Marines of all factions, including Typhus and Teminator Bodyguard and multiple Rubix Marines squads.
  • Dave: Monstrous Creatures abounded with Dave Deamons, Soulgrinders and even a Brass Scorpion.
  • Penfold: A simple force ... 5 Eldar Grav Tanks, an Avatar and A HUGE *#^^?# Eldar Revenant Titan - good grief...
Synopsis: The Superheavy tanks are evenly matched, but the Revenant gives the Evils a real boost. That said, although the evils have DS Termies and Deamons they lack the deep strike potential of the Tau and Guard Fusion/Melta weapons...


What follows is an extremely partizan view of the Apoc battle, like Ciaphas Cain I'll ignore the titanic firepower and gigantic prizefights going on (many because I wasn't involved in them) and focus on the strategic capture points - which the Tau played a brilliant role in capturing.

Troop selection - Tau

My main tactic was to field a 'non-threatening' force. The idea being that most of the gigantic vehicles would be involved in trying to batter eachother, and I could slip in quietly.
The core of the force was built around two squads of nine firewarriors. These I equipped with EMP grenades - expensive, but I was very aware of the lack of penetrating AT firepower these units held. Plus I felt that the goal of the fire warriors was simply to make as much of a nuisance as possible. I gifted both the squads with a pathfinder devilfish to enable their movement.

After reading throught the Tau tactica I struck out with a Vectored Commander complete with Flamer and Plasma Rifle. My plan was to use him like a mobile pester power. He could run in, shoot things up at close range and then 'hopefully' batter the survivors into mush with his 4 S5 attacks.

Secondly I took a Shas'O and Bodyguard. These guys were kitted up for a mixed role, giving them good AT and AP firepower. Two gundrones would cover their backs, and the little addition of a 'kamikaze' to the 'expendible' double flamer member would mean that any close combat these guys failed at would end with a nasty S8 AP3 large blast surprise for the attackers.

Next I chose a single fusion blaster and missile pod Monat. He would hopefully play tank hunter, using his move-fire-move abilty to avoid returning fire.

The next option was simple. I selected 2 Stealth teams, one of four members and one of five. The four member team gained a couple of drones and a fusion blaster and were sent off for a deep strike. The other unit of 5 burst cannons were accompanied by a huge number of gundrones (10). This uber-unit would strike fear into the hearts of the enemy and hopefully cause some real problems.

On the heavy side I selected two teams of pathfinders with a rail rifle each and I also got a Broadside with two gundrones, a marker and a shield and the ability to move AND fire.

I quickly constructed 12 Kroot, 2 Kroothounds and a shaper. These boys would flank and cause some misery.

Finally, to soak up the points I took my vaunted Ethereal (who is very good at dying) and 8 bodyguards.

Setting up

The Battlefield, in Classic "Gifts for Geeks" tradition, was about as non standard as it was possible to have it. Effectively a giant U shaped board with each commander's BASE deployed at each end of the U stalk. These represented the first two of five objectives, with the warhammer pub the hotly contested objective on the front line.

In either corner lay objectives, for the 'evil' deployment zone this was placed squarely on the newly released landing platform. The good side had to stump for placing their objective on an abandoned shrine ... exposed and vulnerable.

A Battle of Three Parts

The following battle report is broken into three sections:
  • The Evil homebase defence
  • The Good homebase defence
  • Middle Ground
Each section describes a different part of the field and reflects the action well.

PART 1: The Evil Home Base Defence

The Evil base (a bunker complex) was being held by two squads of Thousand Sons Rubix Marines and a group of Havocs. In addition, one ShadowStorm and one BaneBlade Superheavy held sway over this side of the board, both equally capable of launching a brissling counter attack against anyone foolish enough to try and assault this complex.

The Evil players started out well, but were unable to bring their weaponry to bear on the stealth suits (thanks to their 2D6x3 invisibility), subsequently 4 crisis suit teams dropped in on the Thousand Sons and the most isolated ShadowStorm. Weathering the incoming fire from lascannons and heavy bolters they managed to reduce the Havocs and Rubix marines down to 2 models. At this point (Turn 2), the uber-stealth squad arrived and devastated the remaining models. Greater Deamons and bloodletters attempted to intervene, but fell quickly to the Tau burst cannons and S7 missile pods (everybody got their assault autocannons? Yes...good!)

The bunker complex was subsequently held by a mixture of crisis suits, stealth suits and Kroot (which had infiltrated into a convenient wood nearby). The uber-Stealth unit was devastated by an uber-pieplate from the Chaos Baneblade, while the shadowsword was picked apart by missile pod (YES missile pod) and Fusion Blaster shots to the rear and exploded. The remainer of the battle (Turn 3-4) was spent trying to destroy both the Baneblade AND the Eldar Revenant Titan which had turned its attention on its home objective. But more of that to follow in Part 3...

Conclusion: objective captured by the forces of Good.

Part 2: The Goodie ( Home Base Defence

With the guards, space marines and Tau tanks rushing into the zone for Part 3 ... it was left to the Ethereal to hold the bastion against all comers. Next to him were the 'other' Tau firewarrior squad with their transport. Further across the board a ShadowSword Skulked (is that possible?) ready to exchange blows with the other two superheavies. Additionally, a broadside battlesuit and some pathfinders held the left flank.

"Five Falcon Grav Tanks at 6 o'clock, call in the Vendetta's boys!"

Synopsis: The first surprise was that the five falcons flew the whole board length to target the shadowswords rear armour. Despite withering brightlance fire the Superheavy survived. Following this, the Guard Vendettas went to work, managed to stun, disarm and even down 4 out of 5 eldar battletanks (reroll to hit being really usefull when you need a six!) The remaining 2 Falcons then rammed the hapless devilfish. The devilfish suffered a stunned result, but one of the falcons was immobilised! subsequently, one of the grav tanks was taken out ignominously by the devilfish's two gundrones (rock'n'roll!) and the firewarriors finally took out the immobilised tank after two turns of EMP bating...

Meanwhile a series of Deamons turned up behind the superheavy and met sustained fire from fire warriors and pathfinders. The Ethereal had more on his hands, as an enormous Soul Grinder appeared in front of his bastion. Going to ground saved all but two of his squad and they held together like glue. Popping their heads up in time to see Marks Vendetta's do the double and pop the Deamon-machine with ease. With the Grav tanks destroyed and the Soulgrinder gone, the Good side home objective was secure.

objective held by the forces of good.

Part 3: The Battle for the Pub (and other titanic struggles)

For your convenience I've divided this battle into one of scale.

Part 3 MACROBATTLE: The Eldar Titan proved a devastating foe. The Good superheavies and railgun managed to destroy the Brass Scorpion (much to the owners chagrin, he'd only just forked out for it!) and the Big Mek in battlewagon behind. The rest of the army proved ridiculously durable. The Eldar Titan simply shrugged off those hits that landed, and it's D weapons (instant-penetration) reeked havoc in our superheavies on the offensive. To make matters worse, Penfold had the best run of deviation rolling I have ever seen, missing maybe two shots the entire game. First to die was the Stormlord, followed closely by the Baneblade. By the close of turn 3 only Tau railguns and one immobilised Leman Russ stood in the way of this monstrosity.

"Like Shooting Monkeigh in a cage, eh Boris?"

At this point, the Eldar titan was distracted in a timely manner by the capture of the Evil Home Base by Tau forces. An adventurous Crisis Suit Team (err...mine actually) got a rude shock when the Eldar Titan Leapt 36" and then Assaulted the crisis team. Some stunning rolling resulted in all the members being killed with no comeback - how's that for overkilled!

The Titan then went to work on the Bunker complex, flattening the structure and killing a few Tau and kroot. The Baneblade brought the pain then, forcing half the defenders to go to ground by the start of turn 3. Luckily for the plucky Tau, the 3 Vendettas came to the rescue, managing to destroy one of the Eldar's Pulsar and immobilise the giant walker. Furthermore, the Vendetta's disgorged 3 squads of melta toting veterans and the combined arms of Vet and Vendetta proved too much for the beleaguered giant and its structure points failed.

Only a single Ork stormlord had survived the superheavy faceoff.

Part 3 Microbattle: With the superheavies dishing it out above their heads, the man sized minitures prepared for a titanic battle. First casualties were, typically, the guard. Pummeled by incoming (albeit inaccurate) Ork fire, they weathered at point blank range. Pushing mud from their eyes, they could see a squad of 10 ork bikers bearing down on their pulped defences. With a hum of technosourcery a Tau Devilfish flew over their lines and deposited 9 firewarriors in a defensive screen in front of the warbikes.

The Tau Firewarriors (foolishly) jump out from behind the Guard - "For the Greater Good!" never ever normally works as a tactic...

The combined fire of the firewarriors, devilfish, Tau commander and remaining guard heavy bolters brought the Ork Bikers down to 4 bikes (thank goodness they weren't Nob Bikers ... otherwise the Guardsmen would have been on their own and lumped it!). To top it off the bikers then charged the 9 Tau and the firewarriors suceeded in drawing the combat. Then to add injury, they proceeded to whittle down and eventually beat the ork bikers (at Toughness 5 I add) in hand to hand. The remaining 3 firewarriors then ran up to the Stormlord and proceeded to jam EMP grenades in it's tracks until hunted down by 12 Ork boys!

Adjacent to the 'Pub' the 'close-combat' Tau Shas'O lived up to his name. Blasting apart an Ork Trukk with his plasma rifle and flaming the occupants, he then charged into close combat. 2 Orks and a Nob stood in his way. For a nervous moment I worried about that Powerklaw, but the Shas'O came good - dispatching a whole truck full of Orks single handed - Nice!

This success held up the advance to the left, but on the right - the guardsmen were less lucky as GazzaGhul battlewagon poured into combat and Gazza Warrghh the boys over the baracades. All looked desparate as all guns (including the Shas'Os) whittled down his retinue. Still Gazza shrugged off fire and stormed through the barracades, pinwheeling guardsmen behind him. Only the timely intervention of sacrificial guardsmen squads managed to keep Gazza distracted and thankfully away from the backfield objective.

Less lucky were the defenders of said objective, a squad of stalwart sternguard (apt really) veterans. Facing down a Skulltaker on Chariot and a group of Felsh Hounds, none other than Typhus and a whole contingent of beautifully painted forgeworld Deathguard terminator jumped on them. They were met by a uncannily accurate baneblade cannon shot at point blank range, killing two - but alike to Gazza, soon Typhus was stomping around the backfield trying to catch any vehicle or unit he could.

Despite throwing everything at these two uber characters (and you don't get any more Uber then these two) the combination of FNP, 2+ saves and Eternal warrior was too much for the small arms and railguns alike... in spite of this, Mark did a brilliant job distracting both the eternal warriors with guardsmen carcasses while AT THE SAME TIME whittling away any supporters or dangerour units. As such at the end of turn three, the supercharacters were having far too much fun to worry about challenging an objective.

The Rubrix Marines of the Thousand Sons were less worried. Following up behind the chaotic orks (which makes the chaos marines look pretty tame to be fair) they were ambushed by a large band of kroot. Despite their numbers and plethora of attacks at S4, the kroot were roundly punished by the marines in the worst showing ever (clearly they resented the fact I had painted them yet) and quit the field in a rout. The Thousand Sons subsequently held the pub ... which must have been a dissapointment for the gretchin staff as they weren't hungry or thirsty .. Ever.

The Shas'O managed to avoid most of the conflict and jumped at the last moment to contest the pub at the end of round four - toasting a few Thousand Sons in the process.

Meanwhile the lowly Devilfish lost it weapon on the way into contesting the Platform and along with a single vendetta contested the final objective.
Final Score: Goodies 3 objectives, Contested 2 objectives, Baddies 0 objectives.


Despite a valiant effort by the forces of evil the combination of tau mobile firepower and the outrageous squadron of Vendettas proved too much for the base attackers and defenders. The Vendettas were certainly the squadron of the game, proving again and again how effective 9 tainlinked lascannon can be in your backdoor (IE:VERY).

A big shout must go to Mark and Jack for holding up Dave, Ant and Adam (Adam Ant?) in the centre and playing pincushion for penfold's Revenant. I especially applaud Mark's genius distraction tactic on the superheroes in the middle.

For me, I really enjoyed how the Tau performed overall. Unlike to character they proved much more effective up close and personal, throwing themselves into the thick of it and rising dazed from the other side, delirious with survival. They're casulaties were only topped by the guard, but with the superheavies outgunning eachother - the manueverability of the Crisis suits proved very handy (18" per turn at a push) and on a large board they attracted little enough attention to succeed.

What would have happened if the Eldar Titan had decided to charge our lines on turn one would have proved quite different. As it was, our tactic of effectively ignoring it and shooting everything else proved sound.