Friday, June 29, 2012

Some more speed and some 'Ooomph!'

So I've finished building some extra goodies for my Blood Ravens.
 A Land Raider Redeemer/Crusader and Captain on a bike.  I've been experimenting with Army lists and I've been gravitating toward bike heavy lists of late. But the thought of 18 bikes backed by 6 Attack bikes running point for a Land Raider... lets just say I like that particular image.

As a means to save some cash, and with the price of a Land Raider kit at $75 I need that, I used a rather liberal application of magnets to the kit to allow me to swap the model between a Crusader or a Redeemer. I even added magnets to the sponson mounts to allow me to swap the crusader/redeemer mounts for normal Land Raider mounts should I get those parts.

As an extra addition to my forces I converted a captain on a bike with a relic blade. Off the top of my head I'm very tempted to  run him as a counts as Kossaro Khan. Have to admit, the idea of having my entire army with the ability to out flank... oh... so very tempting.
I took a Dark Angles Raven Wing icon, cut it half, removed the sword and used the wings to bracket the sides of the forward wheel guard. I also added the least Dark Angely fearings I could. I intend to paint these parts in the colors of the Blood Ravens icons to help tie it together.

I mad a banner by cutting a triangle of plasticard and heating it in boiling water a bit so that it would become pliable.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A little scratch building

So, we've all seen 'em:

Thunderhawks! Yup those big aw-inspiring Space Marine Flyers! Well, I'm going to build one! But not right away. I'm still somewhat new to scratch building and have only worked with Plasticard a couple of times so I simply do not feel that my skills are up to the challenge of such an undertaking yet. 

So I'm embarking on some smaller scale scratch building projects:

This is an in-progress shot of a scratch build Razorback and a land speeder.

The Land speeder is about as done as it can be. The plans I'm working from don't translate well from cardboard to plastic and I need to go back to the plans to figure out what I need to change. So far the Razorback seems to be coming along well. I will post more updates on them through out the project.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Battle Report: Space Marines Vs Orks

Battle size: 1750
Mission:  Capture and Control
Deployment: Spearhead

Turn 1: I moved my Razorbacks forward 12", with the support of the Land Speeder Squadron, on the right flank in an effort to draw the Orks further away from their objective, popping smoke to help protect the forward most Razorbacks. With the Razorbacks under cover of their smoke clouds, the Land Speeders opened up on the forward most Orks felling a hand full. First blood to the Emperor's finest!

The Orks were fast to respond to the threat and the lead Buggies quickly roared forward while unleashing their rokkits into the Razorbacks destroying one and forcing its' occupants to bail out of the blasted vehicle. A pair of trukks rushed forward to allow the boyz to surround the other razorback and attempt to destroy it in close combat. Sadly the Nob failed to hit the broadside of a barn. Mid-field, the Lootas took aim at the Land Speeders and let fly managing to destroy one of the troublesome skimmers, tearing off a heavy bolter and shaking the other two speeders. The Tank Bustas raged at the tempting targets of the Land speeders, the targets too far away to be attacked. The Looted wagon attempted to blast the Ironclad dreadnought, but the entombed warrior proved to nimble to be caught in rage of the wagons gun.

Turn 2: Not willing to invite a second round of attacks from the surrounding Orks, the remaining Razorback quickly revved its' engines, reversing and catching the Ork nob under its treads and crushing it death as he attempted to attack the vehicles vulnerable rear armor. Eager to exact Vengeance for the destruction of the first Razorback, the combat squad inside quickly disembarked  and took aim at the Boyz, unloading on full auto shredding several of the boyz on the spot. Their brother squad from the first Razorback quickly added their own firepower to the effort and with the aide of a third volley of fire from another combat squad, they cleared the Boyz from the map. The Ironclad smashed over a barricade to bring it's guns to bear on the first of the Ork Trukk, its' Hurricane bolter tearing through the vehicles armor while it's Melta gun scored a killing strike destroying the ramshackle trukk with a resonating boom.

Showing a bit too much enthusiasm for the moment, the crew of the Looted Wagon hit the gas and sent the heavy vehicle careening forward before they got their wits about them.  The Lootas managed to once again land several telling shots against the Land Speeders destroying the vehicles much to annoyance of the Tank Bustas. Behind a row of buildings the Warboss and his lads stomped throw the debris hoping to get into a good scrap while the characteristic stomp stomp stomp of a pair of Deff Dreads echoed off the walls as the machines lumbered forward eager to join their brother green skins.

Turn 3: Believing they saw an opening for their attack, the Bike squad speed onto the battlefield escorted by the first Storm Talon. The Storm Talon Pilot saw the destruction of the Land Speeders and quickly moved to support his brothers on the ground while the Bikers speed forward out of line of sight of the Wagon. Unable to reach a proper position in time to be of assistance, the Storm Talon took advantage of a window of opportunity to land several assault cannon shots against the Warboss's mob. Behind the mob of Boyz, Librarian Azariah and his Stern Guard brothers came crashing out of the sky in their Drop pod landing on target. The 6 stalwart warriors dove out of the Drop pod and unleashed a combination of poisoned bolter fire and etheric energy into the boyz decimating their ranks but the group was quickly broadsided by the first of the two Deff Dreads. Despite a valiant effort to combat the mechanical monstrosity, the Deff dread claimed the Librarian and all but one of the Sternguard in a combination of Skorcha attacks and piston driven claw attacks.  Across the battlefield, the Bikers gunned their engines and came tearing toward the objective while the combined fire of the kannons and looted Wagon failed to find targets amongst the zooming marines. Hoping to claim an ambush on an approaching Trukk, the Ironclad dreadnought jumped over a ruined wall into the space beneath a ruined building.

Turn 4: The Ladz in the Wagon landed a lucky, not to mention destructive shot and destroyed the potentially troublesome Storm Talon in a single shot, it's debris raining down around the raging Warboss. To his shock, the Ironclad dreadnought was assailed not from within the Truck, but from above as the Boyz had jumped from the trukk into the overhanging balcony and clamored over the Dreadnought's head assailing it from the rear. Landing a telling blow to the vulnerable hydraulics, the Nob was able to smash the machine's legs and bring it crashing to the ground. To the Orks amazement the pilot of the venerable machine refused to die a second time and continued to fight on, crushing the nearest boy in its claw while ripping another 2 to pieces with its' guns.

"HA HA! Can't see me"
Turn 5: Coming into range, the Biker squad unloaded their guns on full auto into the defending Boyz feeling a handful as the second Storm Talon came screaming onto the battle field. The second Deff Dread came smashing and thrashing toward the Space marine objective it's claws and blades whirring as it charged into battle killing a single battle brother and forcing the unit to retreat and regroup. Unable to bring its weapons to bear against the 2nd defending squad, the Dread showed remarkable cunning for an ork and stepped back to avoid a reprisal attack from the missile launcher. This forward thinking failed to save the dread as the immobilized Razorback spun it's turret around and, with a single well placed Lascannon shot destroyed the monster outright. The footslogging Orks quickly retaliated by destroying the vehicle outright. 

The Orks which guarded the objective were un-phased by their losses and surged forward eager to get into it good and proper with the offending bike marines. Though the Marine superior training allowed them to fell several Orks, the sheer number of Orks threatened to overwhelm them and nearly half the unit was killed before the sergeant could sound a retreat.

Turn 6: Recovering from the previous beating, the Biker squad regrouped and prepared to charge the attending Orks on the objective. With a good strong push they could destroy the Looted Wagon and sow havoc among the Ork ranks, contesting the objective and weakening the Green Skins defensive lines in preparation for a subsequent strike from reinforcements. They may well have completed their mission had the Tank Bustas not landed a lucky shot and destroyed the Storm Talon. Robbed of their fire support, the Marines retreated from the battle field, vowing vengeance against the Orks.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Objective Markers

Since I actually started playing games and not just building models I've noticed the need for something, and it's something I don't see mentioned very often.

Objective markers!

A lot of the games I've played have been objective based, where you attempt to control more objectives then your opponent at the end of the battle. Most people I've seen just use dice to mark out objectives. While this works it seems mildly lazy. So I've set about building a set of Objective markers for my Blood Ravens army. Thus far they are nothing more then the Space Marine Casualties from GamesWorkshop. I bought them on the same order I originally ordered the Storm Talon on so I would break $99 and get 6 months to pay it off through pay pal. Over all I rather like the models and hope they will make casualty models for other armies.

The package comes with 3 models of Space Marines in various stages of being killed.
The first marine is shown to be in the midst of a fight, desperately backing away from his attackers attempting to gain the upper hand or drive his attackers off with bolter fire. I painted dripping blood on the armor coming from the bullet marks in the shoulder and painted it as having dripped down onto the torso, the groin and down the marines hips.

The second model is a recently killed commander with a power fist. Nothing particularly note worthy about this paint job.

Finally we have a Space marine corpse. This one has an exposed skull showing he has been dead for a while. I rather like the Ork skull under his leg. I think it adds a fair amount of narrative to the model showing that it was likely Orks that he was fighting when he died. Bonus points because my frequent opponent plays Orks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New 40K Audio Goodies!

So my birthday was last month and has I tend to do these days I ignored it completely. I have little interest in parties and even less interest in receiving well wishes from my family members. That's not to say I don't love them, but when you see them every day and every day is simply dealing with one problem after another from any number of directions, peace and quiet is more highly valued then well wishes.

Still, my mother did manage to surprise me by going to my amazon wish lists, and ordering a series of items for my birthday for me. Now as our lives tend to do, things got busy and I only just today actually received the presents. So I opened the packages as my mother handed them to me and received a rather pleasant surprise of 3 Black Library productions. The "Horus Rising" and "A Thousand Sons" unabridged audio books and the "Raven's Flight" audio drama. Thanks mom!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adding a little speed to my forces

So with the net practically hopping about the upcoming 6th Edition I'm still learning the game in general. I know that's an odd sounding thing to hear from someone like me who's been involved in the hobby for going on twenty years. But it's true. In the previous 19 years of my involvement in the hobby I've played perhaps a dozen games spread across 4 editions. It has only been in the last few months that I've really gotten into playing the game. I am still a very dedicated converter, and that will likely never change.

But I am playing more games now. Presently I'm building a Blood Ravens army. I've got a fairly solid and variable 1,000 point list with enough units I can swap in and out to experiment with different configurations. Today I add a new unit: Space Marine bikers!

 Right now I've got 5 bikers built. One is a sergeant and one has inter-changeable assault weapons. In both the sergeant and the assault weapons, the ability to swap out weapons is made possible by the application of rare earth magnets in the shoulder of the torso and the shoulder of the arm itself.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Black Crusade!

It seems I picked a fantastic time to get re-involved in the hobby. I have joined up with a group of hobbyists from around the world to particapate in the Black Crusade of 2012 a large scale charity Army build intended to raise funds for Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. I'm really excited to be a part of this project and I will post information about my portion of it as I accomplish it. To learn more about the project you can check out the full blog here.

Blood Raven Storm Talon

So, with a completed Storm Talon model built and otherwise sitting on my desk I decided to add it to my growing Blood Ravens army.

I built the Storm Talon with large laser blast effects bits from Armor Cast Cinematic Effects series. Overall I find the Storm Talon a very lack-luster model with nothing really impressive about it. The rules are a bit better, though I think it is still very expensive for what the unit is capable of. AV 11 with a twin linked assault cannon and a twin linked Lascannon for 150 points... I don't know. I think taking a trio of Land Speeder Typhoons for only slightly more point wise offers more fire power and more tactical options. Still I have the model, so I'll give it a shot and see how I feel about it.

So a layer of Mechrite read, a wash of Badab black for the red areas. Chaos Black with a dry brush of bolt gun metal for the metallic areas with a layer of Dehneb stone with layers of Bleached bone for the none areas. We'll see how it works out in game.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gamers Aide: Psychic power cards for Space Marines

So I've been experimenting with using a librarian in my army of late. The versatility of the Librarain has a lot of options and since the psychic powers are free and chosen after deployment you don't have to commit to what they are when you build your army list. So I went to work in Photoshope and created a series of Psychic Power cards. Each card represents 1 power and has the rules for that particular power on the card. Nothing much more then that to it. I've put the card images here in the post so you can download them and make your own if you so choose.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Storm Talon

So, today I'm taking a look at Games Workshop's latest entry to the "Aircraft" category the Space Marine Storm Talon!

Let's begin. I have to say, in comparison to the Storm Raven model I am rather underwhelmed by the Storm Talon. First off, the box is way bigger then it needs to be.

At first inspection of the model, I see that it's entire contents  occupy less then 1/2 of the inner volume of the box. I know it's very petty but this really bothers me. If you look at the Predator model that model fills the box to the brim. And frankly, that's what I was expecting from this model. A predator with wings and jets. The model just doesn't live up to that expectation.

Though in comparison to the Storm Raven, the Storm Talon the part density of the Storm talon is much higher. You can see very little wasted space in this kit so that's a plus.

Now moving onto the finished model.

The model is surprisingly small. Once again I was expecting something more akin to a predator size and mass. Instead the model just seems to be closer to a beefed up attack bike. The engines on the sides of the main body do rotate about 80 degrees so you can make the Talon appear to be flying forward or hovering which is nice considering the rules for the unit. Which leads me to my next disappointment in the model: The "hover jets" on the belly of the craft.

They are literally just plastic thruster nozzles glues to the bottom of the craft. I was really expecting the model to be somewhat more involved with these hover jets. Swivel mounts like the Storm Raven VTOLs perhaps. Instead they are literally just suck on the model.

 The Twin linked assault cannons on the chin mount are my second biggest point of annoyance with the model. These cannons really seem like a throw back to the older style of assault cannons found on the dreadnought and the previous version of the Baal predator. Big, and clunky and not particularly well thought out. Honestly, a single Assault cannon from the Raven Guard or LandSpeeder sprue with a targeting array would have worked much better for this model and I think helped to give it a sleeker profile.

The weapon pods on the side are kind of nice and are over all the best part of the model. They are well designed and look very comparable to the Typhoon launchers from the land Speeder and the missile launcher from the dreadnought, helping carry the idea that all these units are from the same force and share technology. I'm somewhat tempted to adapt the design for a Razor back turret by attack them top to top and mounting it side way: