Thursday, January 30, 2014

War Panoply Complete

I have finished the sprites for all the units (shown in Ulthwe and Iyanden colors).  While I didn't do all the weapon options for the Hornet like I did for the others, I'm ok with that.  I think in most circumstances people would go dual pulse laser anyway.

Ultimately I've created options and really that was about the main goal.  The above shot shows all the units in two different schemes and shows variations for some of them (weapon types on the vampire, lynx, etc).  If someone were intent on recreating a game of Epic this force is ready to go, or for 40k, in which case there are some extras.

To be completely honest it always surprised me that Forge World didn't release a Storm Serpent or Void Spinner.  They seem like pretty low-hanging fruit and real no-brainer conversions with the chassis available fromt the Cobra and Scorpion.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


One of the things I've liked about the Eldar backstory is that their society doesn't see a difference between men and women in the roles that they fulfill.  Yet females have been woefully under represented in the model range, especially since there are no Female sculpts among the Autarch, Farseer or Warlock models.  In a lot of cases this means modelers attempt to rectify this disparity, often with varying degrees of success, by using Green Stuff.

I, however, was lucky enough to have a spare Banshee model (the 3rd edition anime style, which I don't mind so much as some other folks) to craft an Autarch with Shard of Anaris thanks to some spare bits I had kicking around. Here she is as a work in progress state before I added in the last bits of green stuff to blend the model together:

here it is completed and painted:

I've tested this model a couple times and haven't yet gotten into combat, but the Fearless boost from the Shard of Anaris has been excellent.  I know that normally Eldar don't have shields that act as forcefields, but in this case I felt like it really fit the warrior aesthetic.  In fact I liked the look so much I considered adding them to all my Autarchs, but in the end only added it to the Jetbike Autarch, which I'm still redoing.  I went with the Avenger Catapult simply because I like the price, and I think it adds a lot to a unit of Dire Avengers on foot.  I think there are other cases where the Fusion Gun would add more and already have it modeled on appropriately.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tanks Ahoy!

After some deliberation I decided I would just complete the Super Heavy Tanks for Eldar and added in a revamped Cobra, Scorpion, Void Spinner and the Storm Serpent.

With this step done all that's left for me to complete are the Fire Storm, Hornet and Lynx.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unit Spotlight: Fire Dragons

I've been a huge fan of the Fire Dragons since they were redone back in 2006, and despite the point bump from the prior dex I still think they are a fantastic unit, and seeing the 3+ save return (from 2nd Edition) I think it makes them more likely to survive the decimation of their target (I often found exploding tanks were as much of a threat, and occasionally more of a threat, than my opponent's units).

I've used the new codex and new rules as an impetus to touch-up the squad.

The first step here was tweaking the Exarch.  I like 6 models because it can be deployed from a falcon and allow me to heavily increase my firepower.  When paired with Vectored Engines and the unit's Battle Focus ability you can close in on opponents incredibly quickly.  It's one of those situations that when you're obliterating enemy units turn 1 with a unit that only has a 12" range you can see the real strength of the dex's internal design.  But in 5th and 4th I was more of a fan of the Dragon's Breath flamer.  In 6th I'd been running the pike build more often (using an old 2nd edition exarch model) until the new dex.  With Fast Shot not effecting the flamer it settled in my mind that I had to convert over to a pike for regular usage, so I did some barrel swapping and can put out a hideous amount melta-death on the move.

In the picture above you can see the efforts of my new dedication to redo the bases of the force and make a unified army theme that carries across all the models, in this case a white bit of wraith stone showing the unit is reclaiming its ancient empire.

I've also been inspired by the shrine banners in the new codex and so I've been going back and redoing the banners to both reflect the new aesthetic and maintain my army's visual theme with the black and bone marks for Ulthwe.  Hence... the banner for the Exarch is from the Shrine of the White Wyrm:

When using this unit it's important to remember that they always need support.  When lighting up a building or vehicle they'll generally take it out on their own, but dealing with the occupants is something you'll need lots of support to help the dragons survive.  When you need to take down a Wraithknight or Riptide the unit is a solid choice, but probably won't be able to take it down on their own.  Treat them like a clean-up unit finishing off the last three or four wounds in one strike.

Also, all though this is generally redundant knowledge, know your enemy.  Don't expose yourself to take down a Farsight Enclaves crisis suit command team with dreams you'll wipe them off the table, because T5 preventing Instant Death from your weapons, plus 4++ force shield saves (I was surprised it was that high an invul) means you can easily dish out zero wounds at a time you were expecting to vaporize your target.  Oddly a unit also benefits from any access to Monster Hunter so Karandras can be a nice attachment depending on what force you're facing.

Especially in the new edition it's important not to use the squad as a suicide unit, instead getting as much as you can out of them and use them to drive your opponent's placement on the table.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Progress

My luck with getting a game in has been poor lately.  I've tried two games against a local Tau player, but we've been timed out in turns 2 and 3 respectively in very close games.  It's rather frustrating, but in some ways it's a nice way to get intimate knowledge of what Farsight Enclaves can do without giving up my end game, when Tau tend to start to thin down if you've survived their committed firepower. Facing T5 4++ command squads is very frustrating though, especially in smaller games.  Also, being forced to face them down on a 4x4 board (the one that's been available) makes things that much tougher since you're essentially always in range of everything and your only hope is to use LOS to the best of your ability.

In other news I've been progressing well with sprite creation completing Revenant Titans (Due to the colors on the models I went with two pose variations, one for Saim Hann and Iyanden, and the other for Ulthwe and Biel Tan.  I made them capable of swapping between Pulsars and Sonic Lances, added in the Warp Hunter and Vampire, with the Hunter or Raider variations available.  I still have to give it the center line option, because I forgot about it until right now, but I'll get around to it -strike that, I've already added that center line pulsar option-.

In the mean time... a pic because it happened:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tank Fight!

I managed to add in Cobra Super Heavy tanks and I made some adjustments to the right arm of the Phantom so it would better line up with the control hex (center it rather than having it on the shoulder).  Testing adding the units myself has been a help to that end as I can test the comparative sizes and ease of use on where the hex lands.  Here I've shown them in both Ulthwe and Iyanden colors.

Little by little I get faster at this progress and feel it's a great way to deepen my Photoshop CS knowledge.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Double Post!!!

Whilst setting up the site I forgot to mention my most recent progress:

Occasionally I'll write a classic style Battle Report using the Vassal40k system, but I've found many of the sprites, especially for Eldar, are pretty lacking.  So I've been working on tweaking a few of them.

As you can see I've replaced the Nightwing and Phoenix Bomber sprites, making them much more accurate for scale.  I've also added a Phantom Titan sized appropriately (the above pic is a "6x4 board") and even managed to give it every weapon option (I magnetized my titan and kept swapping the parts so it's all in there).

It was a very frustrating process trying to make sprites that swap parts, but the flyers were easy.  Though only Ulthwe is shown, I also made altered colors for Iyanden, Biel Tan and Saim Hann.  For whatever reason Vassal doesn't include Alaitoc items, so I just skipped them.  I even made multiples of the Phantom for those Craftworlds as well.  Soon enough I'll work on some of the other Super Heavies and other units and then submit them so other people can use them as well (and it is really amusing to me that if they get adopted into the program people all over the world could be playing with my models!

A New Beginning

Well, after a few years of posting Battle Reports and posting comments on sites like Warseer, Dakka, WargamerAU, Apocalypse40k, 40kOnline and BoLS I've decided to kick my comments, painting pics and videos onto a separate blog wherein I can share thoughts on being a mediocre, yet determined hobbyist and some of the trials and tribulations of gaming, and have a home for my Battle Reports and other hobby things I post about.

Some gaming history about me:

I got into the hobby at the tail end of Rogue Trader, answering the Siren's Call of  the original craftworld models.  After more than 20 years of collecting and playing, with a force of over 15,000 points total I still consider my Ulthwe army incomplete and I'm constantly working to improve what I do have.

Hope you enjoy what you find.