Thursday, October 28, 2010

Building a Warlord Titan

Hello again. For the past couple of years (on and off, obviously), I've been working on a Warlord Titan. I've been taking the odd photo here and there (not quite enough for the blog just yet), but I did just finish the head today. I figured I'd share.

Warlord Titan head
Head of a Warlord Titan

I designed the titan after the "Lucius" pattern from the Epic 40,000 range. I also decided to add a couple of extra details like you'd see on the Mars pattern warhound and reaver titans from Forge World. The head sits at about 3.5" and is made from plasticard, with smoothed portions on the jowls and head portions done in Bondo auto-body filler.

Comments are more than welcome, as always. What do you think of the color scheme?

-Jordan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Elysian Army List

At the suggestion of Admiral Drax, I've posted my 2,000 points list for my Elysian army, along with how the army is designed to work and personal commentary. Enjoy!


Elysian Captain
Alpha Company Captain
"Archangel"

I've always been a huge fan of doing things the way they "should" be done. Horde Death Korps, foot-slogging Death Guard, 36" tall Warlord Titan; you get the idea. When I saw the table of organization and equipment for the Elysian 23rd regiment in the back of Imperial Armour 3, I thought to myself "now that would make a great army!" The list is designed to represent that TO&E in addition to being a competitive and reasonably well-balanced force on the table top.

HQ
Company Command Squad 97
+Bolt pistol
+Power weapon
+Melta gun
+Homing beacon
+Krak grenades
+Melta bombs


TROOPS
Infantry Platoon 1 469
Platoon Command Squad 67
+Bolt pistol
+Power weapon
+Plasmagun
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs
Infantry Platoon 2 469
Platoon Command Squad 67
+Bolt pistol
+Power weapon
+Plasmagun
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Platoon 3 469
Platoon Command Squad 67
+Bolt pistol
+Power weapon
+Plasmagun
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 103
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Plasma gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs

Infantry Squad 98
+Aux. grenade launcher
+Melta gun
+Demolition charge
+Melta bombs


HEAVY
Vulture Gunship 165
+T/L Punisher cannon
+Flare/chaff launcher

Vulture Gunship 165
+T/L Punisher cannon
+Flare/chaff launcher

Vulture Gunship 165
+T/L Punisher cannon
+Flare/chaff launcher


In total, the list actually adds up to 1999 points.

Starting with the requisite HQ choice, I took a Company Command Squad for just that reason: I had to. Thanks to Robin Cruddace, HQ options for the Imperial Guard are more useful and less of a point-sink as they were in editions past. The ability to issue orders is nice, but with how scattered about a drop troops list gets, that perk usually just ends up going to waste. When I roll for reserves second turn, my HQ is always the first thing I put down (mostly because commanders having their boots on the ground first is super fluffy) and roll scatter for. I stick him right next to a big enemy vehicle like a Land Raider or expensive Russ variant, order his squad to "Bring it Down!" and roll up the lone melta shot to which I have access. Usually, my Captain blows something up, but doesn't ever see the end of a battle...Sorry, Sir!

Troops are something I love. To be honest, I don't feel comfortable with fewer than 100 infantry models on the table. This is the reason I have three infantry platoons, which means a whopping 15 scoring units. Not only do they give me a lot of strength to spread around the table, each squad is equipped to do maximum damage. In every squad, there's a demo charge (Str8 AP2, Assault 1, 5" Blast, One Shot) and a special weapon, either a melta gun or plasma gun to crack open armor and transports. Additionally, Sergeants have under-slung krak grenade launchers and melta bombs. If I could stick more special weapons and a demo charge in the platoon command squad, believe you me, I would.

What I like to do with the infantry platoons, if I can, is to drop in 2 platoons as early in the game as my reserve rolling will allow to break open enemy transports and armor and make way for the Vulture Gunships to eliminate the infantry. I like to hold the third platoon in reserves as late as I can. This lets me bring in 45 extra bases into the battle after most of the hard fighting is done in order to claim or contest as many objectives as I can, last minute.

The Vulture Gunship is just about the only worthwhile heavy support choice in Imperial Armor 8's Elysian drop troops 'dex. Everything else is either silly (in the case of a squad of tarantula sentry guns) or plainly illegal for regular games of 40k (the Imperial Navy support options come to mind). I chose to arm them with twin-linked punisher cannons. 20 shots, re-rolling misses makes for a lot of hurtin' on just about any opponent that isn't above T5 and helps mitigate my sometimes awful luck when it comes time to roll the dice. 24" range is a bit rough, but the ability to deep strike makes up for that minor shortcoming. The flare/chaff launchers let me make my opponent re-roll "immobilized" results on the damage table, which is useful, if only because I don't have anywhere else to spend 30 points productively.

Ideally, the vultures come in late game. Having 2 or sometimes 3 death-spitting gun platforms showing up just about wherever I want them makes for a hell of a time for my opponent. Their main purpose is to hang back and rip enemy infantry to shreds. In the case of MEQ, it forces marine boys of all stripes to take a bunch of armor saves. The punisher cannons are also pretty useful for hitting armor 10 (armor 11, too, if you're feeling really lucky), if they don't have anything better to shoot at.

I built a list specifically to beat a Tyranid player (a very good friend of mine) that features vultures with twin-linked rocket launchers and hunter killer missiles. Certainly useful for ignoring the big bug's armor save of 3+. I haven't had the chance to play him yet, but the variant list throws the deep striking tactics for a loop. As they say, "adjust fire and move on, hooah."

This army is definitely fun to play. It makes for a very unpredictable game. With demo charges in every squad, my list has become the bane of MEQ players where I play. Hordes, I have some trouble with and the only other IG player at my club has beaten me soundly every time we've played (although I'm pretty sure his chimeras are blessed by the devil).

The list is definitely a strong one. I find that my biggest weakness is the dice rolling, especially the scatter dice. That tiny little cube is the linchpin of my entire strategy and army mechanic. If that bugger ends up mad at me for the day, there's nothing I can do about it but try not to cry too much as I take it up my fourth point of contact. More than one of my matches has been foiled by some lousy scattering throughout the entire game, putting me less than an inch out of range for a great melta shot or demo charge toss. Let's also remember the fallen troops who have been made victims of their own demo charge scattering back onto them.

On the whole, I really love my army. I love the way it operates, and even when I loose, I usually give my opponent a game to remember. This army is definitely for players who like taking risks and living on the edge. After all, if you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room!


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading my tirade about my army.

Until next time,
Jordan

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Elysian 907th, WIP

This is a long time in coming. About two years ago, I started working on an Elysian Drop Troop army. I bought just about all the models at once (a look at the FAQ for IA:8 tells me I still have to replace some special weapons with lasgunners). Only recently have I started really disciplining myself and getting the army in any semblance of a playable shape.

Seen here are some pictures of the Elysian 907th Airborne Regiment, A company "Archangels." Their motto is "Into Hell!"

The concept behind the army was to make an Elysian army to match the TO&E from the back of Imperial Armour 3, where the Elysians first featured. I imagined the army being freshly founded and sent to war, doing their organization strictly by the numbers because of their collective practical inexperience.


Platoon command squad
Elysian Platoon Command Squad


Lieutenant
1st Platoon's junior officer (Lieutenant)
Elysian regiments often use helmet stripes
to denote officers, both commissioned and otherwise.


Plasma gunner
Plasma gunner
Although unstable and potentially deadly to
the user, plasma guns are excellent for destroying
lightly armored transports.


Vox caster
Vox caster
This trooper carries his platoon's vox caster,
enabling his commanding officer to stay in
contact with the rest of the squads in the platoon
and effectively issue orders.

For an Imperial Guard player, command squads are a lot of fun to do. Officers have access to better, more ornate weaponry and equipment, which makes conversions an absolute blast. These guys, however, were done up just like the rest of the army, largely due to a lack of customization opportunities offered by Forge World's Elysian range. There are a couple Cadian IG bits floating around the army, but most of the time, because of GW's "heroic" scale, the accessories look enormous on the drop troops.

Vox casters used to be something neat to take. Back in 4th edition, a vox caster used to enable guard players to bounce their Commander's leadership stat (usually Ld 9) all over the table. Now, they just give you a re-roll for failed Orders checks within the issuing officer's (or character's) command radius. It's not a bad option, but I can't really justify spending that extra 5 points per squad on something I'm never going to use. Unfortunately, I had built and primed almost all of my drop troops before the new codex came out in Imperial Armour 8 and don't feel like having to rework and repaint two dozen extremely fragile resin models.


Infantry Squad
Elysian Drop Infantry Squad
Infantry squads form the backbone of Elysian airborne regiments.


Elysian sergeant
Squad Sergeant
Elysian sergeants are responsible for leading an infantry
squad into and out of battle. They often carry special equipment
like single-shot grenade launchers and melta bombs.


Sergeant stripe
Note the red stripe. This sergeant has earned
veteran status. Criteria for veteran status varies from
regiment to regiment (number of jumps, kills,
years in service, etc).


Elysian plasma gunner
Infantry squads benefit greatly from
the firepower of a special weapon.


squad voxcaster
Infantry squads have vox specialists to
remain in contact with their commanding
officer. This vox unit is compact and
well suited to airborne missions.


Demo charge
This trooper carries a demolition charge.
"Demo charges," as they are often called, are shaped
high-explosives capable of ripping even the toughest-
armored troops to shreds.

Although rare and reserved for explosives specialists in regiments
originating elsewhere in the Imperium, demolition charges are
quite common and necessary in Elysian regiments, due in
large part to their lack of armored support.

Working on the infantry squads was fun for all of 20 minutes. After a while, working with fiddly little resin bits over and over again will wear on anyone. Forge Worlds infamous quality control (rather, the lack thereof) reared its ugly head more than once during the process, and I had to do an Imperial ton of filing, green stuff work and redo more than a dozen lasgun barrels. All things considered, I'm very proud of the result, and seeing 90% of the army fully assembled and laid out is an extremely rewarding sight. I can't wait to get the rest of the company done.

Painting the models wasn't nearly as frustrating, thankfully. I tested out a bunch of color schemes, and once I found one I really liked, I spent a lot (too much) time and money trying to make the process as painless and simple as possible. In the end, the process goes like this for every single model in the army, including vehicles:

i/ Prime the models with Army Painter's Skeleton Bone primer.

ii/ Paint the armor plates, boots and straps with GW's Graveyard Earth.

iii/ Paint the lasguns, other weapons and visors in Chaos Black.

iv/ Paint the hoses and other appropriate bits in Chainmail.

v/ Repeat steps iii then ii to clean up any mistakes you may have made.

vi/ Clean up the model with Bleached Bone.

vii/ Wash the entire model with Devlan Mud.

viii/ Do up the base with Graveyard Earth and flock with sand.

ix/ Varnish with Testor's Dullcote.


Vulture
Vulture Gunship
Vultures can be armed with a wide array of weaponry, from armor busting rockets and racks of missiles, to the fearsome punisher gatling cannon. Everything the vulture gunship sacrifices in armor and durability, it makes up for tenfold in mobility and versatility.

The Vulture Gunships got done up the same way as the rest of the army. In keeping with the "freshly founded" concept, I decided not to embellish any of the regiment's aircraft. The model is assembled just like the instructions say, the only exception being that I magnetized all of the weapons mounts (including the nose-mounted heavy bolter). Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the magnetized mounts or weapons; I'll have to do that for next time.

All told, the list consists of the requisite 5-man senior command squad, four platoons of one command squad and four infantry squads apiece, and three Vulture gunships for 2500pts games. To play 2000pts games, I just drop one of the infantry platoons.

As always, I hope you enjoyed the photos and explanations.
For the Emperor,
Jordan

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Warhammer 40,000: Invasion

Invasion 40,000 bumper
Click the image above for a downloadable .pdf version

War in the 41st millennium is rarely confined to a single planet. Conflicts within the Imperium of Man often rage across the several systems and beyond. To bring this grand scale into our games of Warhammer 40,000, I made up this expansion to simulate a large campaign taking place within a sub-sector of Imperial space.

This project got started about half a year ago, going through multiple revisions and plenty of neglect, but I think it's finally ready to share with the rest of the Warhammer community.

I think you'll all enjoy it. If the link to Scribd, where the .pdf is hosted, doesn't work, let me know, and I'll email you a copy directly.

-Jordan

Enforcing Imperial Law

Here's a fun conversion. Adeptus Arbites, the enforcement division of the Adeptus Terra are responsible for ensuring Imperial law is followed on each planet. I made this model for my character in a game of Dark Heresy some time ago. These guys are easy enough to do, all you need are some plastic Space Marine Scouts with your choice of weapons and a few Cadian Imperial Guardsman's heads. Sculpt a face mask like you see in the photos out of Green Stuff, glue everything together, let it dry, and you're good to go!

Arbite front
Adeptus Arbites are keepers of the peace
on Imperial planets


Arbite side
Side view


Arbite rear
Rear view


Arbite logo
The clenched fist logo is painted
on this Arbiter's shoulder pad


WIP Arbite
A shot of an unpainted Arbiter

Hopefully, this will inspire some really neat conversions.

Yours, as always,
Jordan

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Assembling the Fleet

In preparation for an upcoming Battlefleet Gothic/Warhammer 40,000 campaign my local gaming club is running (rules developed by yours truly), I've decided to get to work on the more than 10,000 points of Imperial warships and extras I've got sitting around my workspace, begging for the brush. So far, the results are pretty good, if I may say so, myself.

Without further ado, my progress so far...

Imperial Fleet

Apocalypse class battleship
Apocalypse-class Battleship, Cairo
A large and robust but ponderous craft, its impressive array of lance batteries is perfect for destroying capital ships with deactivated shields


Apocalypse battleship, head-on view
Head-on view of Cairo.


Apocalypse battleship, three-quarters view
3/4 view


Dominator-class cruiser
Dominator-class Cruiser, Bane of Olima
Cruisers are the work horses of the Imperial Navy. This variant can lay down a withering torrent of firepower


Dominator 3-quarter
3/4 view


Dominator cruiser pair
A squadron of Dominator-class cruisers


Gothic-class cruiser
Gothic-class Cruiser, Saint Enodoch
Gothic-class cruisers are equipped with lance batteries and the dreaded nova cannon, making them perfect for hunting enemy cruisers


Gothic cruiser squadron
A squadron of Gothic-class cruisers


Firestorm class frigate
Firestorm-class Frigate
Frigates and other escorts act in a supportive role for their larger fleet-mates


Firestorm frigate squadron
While named, many Imperial escorts are put in squadrons and referred to by their group designation


Cobra class destroyer
Cobra-class Destroyers
In terms of displacement, the Cobra-class destroyer is the smallest warship in service to the Emperor. These destroyers are used in large squadrons to launch waves of torpedoes


Imperial fleet at muster
An Imperial warfleet at muster. Click above for a full sized image.


Space Marines

Space marine strike cruiser
Astartes Strike Cruiser, Puritas,
in service to the Adeptus Astartes Red Scorpions

Strike cruisers are warships in service to the Adeptus Astartes, the mighty Space Marines. While capable of self defense in space, Astartes warships are best suited to planetary landings


strike cruiser three quarters
3/4 view


strike cruiser name
Name painted onto the base of Puritas


space marine escorts
Escorts in the Red Scorpions chapter's fleet


Space marine fleet
A small Astartes interdiction fleet. This group is capable of bringing an entire company of Space Marines into battle.


Well, folks, that's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates as the days roll on.

All the best,
Jordan

Starting to Blog

I've always found it very curious the nouns that become verbs, "blog" being one of my favorites, second only to "google." Nevertheless, my name is Jordan, and this is my Warhammer 40,000 blog. Hopefully you enjoy it.