Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Just rewards.

There are competent staff officers in 72AG.  And politically aware officers.  Ones with a clue.  Which is all well and good, because their leader's pro-civilities are not the stuff of great alliances and super performing teams of enfranchised executives.  However, the smart people he does have are enough to not only keep him out of trouble, but actually make him look good.

4* Gen Zhukov has travelled to Randstad for a medal parade.  Lieutenant Olympus Serverous is to receive his Captaincy and his platoon the Aqilla Mundanis for an action last month in which they captured a witch, who was subsequently handed over to the Ordo Hereticus in one piece.  This selfless example of martial prowess is nothing extraordinary for the regiments of 17 Korps who have been prosecuting 4* Gen Zhukov's war unsupported for six months.  The sort of barrack room chat that the Commissars are keeping a lid on is that the promotion is for giving 4* Gen Zhukov the excuse for a parade and the Aqilla Mundanis is for thawing relations between 72AG and the Ordo Hereticus.  But as noted, Lord Commissar Harris's agents are keeping a tight lid on things.  The promotion and official recognition are for the apprehension of a witch employed by the enemy specifically for the purpose of using the dark arts against the Emperor's soldiers, a step change in the conduct of the war.

The pict-captures show the standard bearers of 17 Korps assembling in the ruins of "Backroad Farm Basillica", which was itself destroyed by a baneblade explosion at the climax to the Battle of Freeman's Square.  Banners of past defenders of the Devos System and those of defeated foes can be seen amidst the detritus of war.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Exchange officers.

A Sequal to this.  Which links to this.  

The 11th (Independent) Sareanian Assault Engineer Company was seconded to the Krieg 19th Armoured Regiment for the Taros Campaign.  However neither unit participated in that campaign, being diverted to Devos IV by Spinward Command on Agripinna.  

The 11th (Independent) Sareanian Assault Engineer Company is a specialist unit whose task is to clear the battlefield of emplacements and obstacles to an armoured assault by a tank formation.  As such, the “company” is considerably oversized[1]; bridging and demolition assets make up the most of its platoons, along with ground surveying, mapping and minefield clearance detachments.  The Company is kept at 150% of its establishment of officers by the Departmento Munitorium.  The over strength officers are dispatched along the wider formation front to advise formation commanders and get a feeling for where the company’s assets will be needed next.  And of course the intention is that these officers are already on the ground gathering intelligence that the unit will need, should it be required.

Captain Ernst Schawt is from long serving mining stock from Sarean’s asteroid belt.  Whilst not a hereditary member of the gentry like officers from some places, he is from a wealthy technocrat dynasty. He has been dispatched to the Cadian 127th as they currently do not have any combat engineering support.   He is a qualified civil engineer with eighteen years experience in the Imperial Guard.

He has taken with him Watchmaster Kluffen, Sappers Griff, Matteus and Kellerman.  Sapper Griff is equipped with a company capacity vox set, to give the detachment the range to communicate with the Company HQ.  Sappers Matteus and Kellerman are toting Melta guns and Capt Schawt and Watchmaster Kluffen are carrying standard guard chainswords.  The Melta guns and chainswords are principally carried for removing obstacles.  Each man carries a lightweight entrenching tool and bayonet obtained from their Krieg hosts.  A lug in the spade blade fits a slotted hole in the bayonet, forming an effective wire cutter. 

The weapons they carry are standard Kantrel pattern items, fitted with Sareanian x3 low light level sights and underslung 40mm grenade launcher.  These items were developed for the Sareanian Light Infantry, who were themselves an offshoot of the Assault Engineer Companies.  Capt Schawt has fitted a sight unit to his las pistol.

IRL:  These are some of the better paint jobs I've managed in the last eighteen years and I'm loathe to let them go.  But go they must.  It's just a bit frustrating that my super canon EOS appears to take pictures of no better quality (of minis) than my Ericsson K810i.  Must need a new macro lense for small thingies...  I hope the piccies click up to allow some degree of magnification.  

The warrior now (Thu 09 May) has decals on it and is awaiting a pin wash.  

[1] The Company is referred to as such because it was originally a company of four platoons.  However, such is the demand for their services that the Company is now eighteen platoons based around what are loosely referred to as Battlefield Intelligence (recce, mapping, surveying and covert observation), Makum (Bridging, field fortifications, roads and drainage) and Assault (obstacle clearance [incl minefields], demolition and dynamic entry).

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Ooh Shiney !

This time, it's money I have already spent !  

Mark Mandragon's latest toy is previewed here.

But I've stolen some pictures for you:

Now I have a limited number (yes, I showed a little restraint) of Eisenkern troopers and hopefully will get a command squad with my batch of APCs.  The little men are destined for something a little special, but the APCs are going into the IG army.  Somewhere.  Depending on how many I eventually get.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Looking at the collection

Ok, I was having a chat with Karitas and planning a little me time (the High Lord of Terror had gone to Newport Pagnell for the evening).

I was enthusing about the value of getting it all out and then packing it all away again.  Now, these days I can only do either the Iggies, or the Forces of Freedom, or my beloved Edlar.  Otherwise it just all gets a bit much.

So I got out the Forces of Freedom; men and women sworn to defend liberty, democracy and the rule of law.  Now, possibly a year ago, maybe a little longer, these guys were all in need of a little tlc.  With thanks to Mr Lee, the army is looking good.  And weighs in with decent mix of rifle platoons and more esoteric units.

Also filtering their way in are the first few Emperor's Children by PVP.  So the ruinous powers are slowly beginning to muscle their way in.

And at Karitas' suggestion, I took a couple of pictures.

Closest to us are the Devos 2nd Regt, then 13th Mech "The Tigers", then some Emperor's Children and then the 99th "Bloodcoats" Regt.  It's the only time there have ever been boots on the kitchen work surfaces.

Similar shot, possibly a little better.  Harking back to a post I wrote about an Army looking good, this is not what I meant.  This many infantry figures looks impressive, as Zhukov (the real one) noted "quantity has a quality all of its own".  But it does not really look like a good army, as there is something missing.  The vehicles.

And this is the pile of vehicles that go with them.  There are some that are not yet built and most of them need re-painting and possibly painting. 

Also, I managed to stick together the remaining iggies for the new iggy army; the one with a lot of rescued escapees from ebay.  

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wow. Nerd rage deluxe.

Sci-fi rivals clash at convention

Trouble flared at a fair hosted by the Norwich Star Wars Club
Police were called to a sci-fi convention after a confrontation between costumed characters from rival clubs.
Trouble flared when members of the Norwich Sci-Fi Club were refused entry to a fair hosted by the Norwich Star Wars Club at the University of East Anglia.
More than a dozen sci-fi fans from both groups, including some in fancy dress, were involved in the confrontation on Sunday after a member of the Norwich Sci-Fi Club attempted to get an autograph from Doctor Who actor Graham Cole.
It is understood the two groups had been involved in a long-running dispute and the hosts had warned their rivals to stay away after comments were posted on Facebook.
Norfolk Police confirmed that they had been called to reports of an assault.
A force spokesman added: "After lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault.
"The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other's way."
Both groups told the Norwich Evening News that they now hoped to put their differences behind them.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Who are you and what have you done with the real Zzzzzz ?

OK.  The Doom of Mymera caused a barclaycard heamorage.  I kept it bottled for as long as possible and then, in Karitas' kitchen, after a couple of hours of collective nerdery, it just all came out and I splurged on a corsair army.  It was always going to happen; FW has that kind of effect on me.

The Raid on Caster Oil Nine made me want a Elysian army.  And an Ork army as well.  But I was in France and able to resist.  The Badab War made me want Spaze Murheens but it soon wore off.

The Fall of Orpheus is a bit like having the pussycatdolls and sugarbabes come on over, strip off and lube up before rubbing themselves all over me; It shouldn't happen, for so many reasons, but I'm enjoying it so much I don't want it to end.  A sort of dirty surprise that I wasn't expecting but is actually quite exciting.  Ahem.

You see, way back in 2007, I wanted an Armeggdon Steel Legion, all IFV mounted, to fight my 28mm wars.  I couldn't find the ASL on the website (who realised that they were 'collectors' items ?) so went looking and found the DKK.  I bought IA5 and was suckered in to the whole DKK and FW thing.  I had all the bits for my Armoured Infantry Coy before I had read the army list :(

So eventually after homebrewing some background, I settled on DKK 19 Armoured Regt from the back of IA1.  Perfect !  I've got my existing army within the TO&E and it includes things I had considered (Salamander scouts, Hydras) but couldn't shoe horn in using any of the Vraks Army lists.

But IA12 includes a list "The Death Korps of Kreig Assault Brigade".  Which would seem to be the natural home for formations like the 19th Armoured Regt (and my collection).  So I (stand by for a shock) am now engrossed in the Army List.  I know, I know, goes against everything I ever stood for etc etc.  But, having found a list I can use with the army I already possess, I find I am engaging with the rules.

So I'm reading rules and not spending money (possibly only because its an Army I already have).  Don't worry, it will pass and normal service will be restored soon.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Behind the lines

Units rotated out of front deployment are used to keep the rear area secure.  Not having an over abundance of manpower, it's what passes for 'rest' for the Divisions of 17 Corps at the moment.

Here a platoon of the Kado 540th patrol the mostly ruined mechanicum district of Randstad.  In happier times (last year) this area spent its time servicing kelp and plankton farming rigs and the occasional trans oceanic mass conveyor.
Here the leading squads of the Valhallan Platoon push through another routine day in the war torn landscape.

 Their progress is being tracked by a cultist sleeper cell.  Their hidden leader quickly lays his plans for an ambush and the heretics swing into action.

 The cultists spring their ambush, using weapons which local law gives them the right to bear for the purposes of self defence.
 The Valhallan squad moves into cover and begins to return fire.  Unfortunately the elevated position of the cultist's heavy stubber keeps their heads down.
 But the second squad are already moving, taking prompt action and keeping moving to outflank the cultist gun position.  But we can see that the cultist's leader has already foreseen this and has pre-positioned a second ambush party.
 The cultists, either deliberately armed with hand weapons or more likely, they just couldn't get hold of auto rifles like their comrades.  Things are not looking too rosey for the Valhallans.
 But units of the Imperial Guard do not work in isolation.  The Cadian 144th have been on Devos IV a long time and were experts in infiltration and stealth before they got here.  Sniper teams have been shadowing this infantry squad.
 And this one as well.
 And the 144ths Weasels (auto cannon Taros) are close by and extremely swift to respond to a call for assistance.
 Soon the streets belong to the Imperial Guard again.
Who themselves make way for the forces of Law and Order, in this instance, the local Adeptus Arbities.
Although, in this time of strife, they tend to patrol in force.  But then, who'd blame them for wanting not to die in some horrid but entirely predictable fashion (considering the presence of cultists) ?

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Fabricator General's bitz box

Dunno if you caught this, but this post is a sort of sequel to this sequel.  but without a new director and leading lady.

Ok, if you're not the sort of demented fool who spends your children's inheritance on resin, then the following may not have occurred to you;  A Forge World Leman Russ uses several bits of the plastic kit; the track sponsons, the lower hull plate and, should you want them, the weapon sponsons as well.

So, given the way the parts are arranged on the sprue, if you are familiar with the leman russ kit, you'll realise that with each dollop of exquisite FW armoured loveliness, in order to allow you the hobbyist to build a tank with all of the possible options, you get a complete plastic kit.

What that means is after you have built your FW LRMBT, you are left with one of these:

Now, hopefully you focused on the grey plastic thing on the table, rather than the tumble drier you can see in the garage.  I got some bitz 'site hull bottoms (four) and the rest can be safely left out, by simply adding in a plasticard reverse glacis.  That's that then, what you really need are track sides.  Can I get twelve sets of Leman Russ track sides off the bits 'sites ?  Not really going to happen.  And I did have a conversation where making my own mold from GW track sides and casting them up was discussed. But I'm not great at that sort of thing,  fortunately, the internet has come to the rescue.  Puppetswar does these:

And one painless transaction later, I've got the parts I needed.  And some freebies as well !  But more on that some other time.  Looking at the photo above, the hull is on the deck (table).  And the whole thing doesn't look kool enough.  After some minutes using the extremely scientific and totally objective method of holding a track section up to the hull and moving it about until I was satisfied.  So I settled on the level as pictured below.  Which is fine, but does leave me needing to find some hull sides.

Like these !  In suitable 1mm polystyrene.

But of course, if there are twelve hulls, then what the tank manufactorum really needs is a neighbour with a CNC machine.

Bonza !  Tanks a go go !  The Devos IV PDF combat brigades are going to get a bit of back up.

But it all stops for BBQ, so these fellas go back in the box whilst Mrs Zzzzzz nips out for salad :(

Friday, 3 May 2013

The look of a WH40K army.

...is often nothing like the look of a real army.  But it's only a game, so that doesn't really matter.  Anyone who has played a THQ game and seen all of those spaze muhreens clomping around in their slightly mad armour will know what I mean.  Those pultrons, those greaves.  it's only that the characters wearing it who believe in it that stops us from dismissing their outlandish attire as preposterous.

The thing is, we know or unconsciously appreciate what makes an army look good.  And its not necessarily a CMON paint job.  Staying with space marines for a moment, our idea of what makes a space marine army  look good has, on some level, to do with unit choices and so on.  I refer you to Karitas' Space Wolves and Pirate Viking Painting's Blood Angels. The ten armies showcased in the Crusade of Fire book illustrate what I'm talking about; well turned out by GW Staff, yes, but also balanced and characterful.

The armies when viewed as whole unit have a believable organic feel; The balance of Dreadnaught, Terminator, Tactical and then the vehicle and character pieces give an impression of a space marine strike force.

A space marine army that is (and this hyperthetical, but you know where I'm coming from) just one Captain and half a dozen or more tactical squads with plasma cannons and plasma guns would look wrong.  I'm certain that for fluftastic reasons one could write a scenario where such a force might be deployed, but it will just look odd when lined up.

Similarly, some of the armies on parade on both GW and BOLS look fantastic (ie fantastically good).  And some of them, whilst very clever and having visual impact, nonetheless look a little contrived. "This lot fight together as an army ?  Really ?"  Again, where a little bit of backstory is supplied then it makes the models hang together.  The trouble is, unless the models themselves are at least in part telling that story, then the army is always going to have that 'slightly odd' rather than 'great army' look.

This is an 'armies on parade' winner; and when you read the description, you can follow the reasoning.  However, when you click the pic and look at it, it's not the ravening carpet of 'nids that one might expect.  So very nice, and I don't want to take anything from the artist (and this is artistry, IMO) but it isn't an army, rather the cast of a horror film.  As a diorama, it's fabulous, but I would suggest that it doesn't feel like an army.

If we look at pictures from 2nd and 3rd Ed armies with their bright, contrasting coloured furniture on their firearms, it looks a little wrong.  Now GW at the time might have been going for the more friendly "It's a wargame, but its not real' look.  But the brighter paint jobs don't really hang together.  Sure, if your seven foot tall freaks are wearing bright blue powered armour then there would seem to be no reason why you wouldn't give them bright red bolt guns, after all, they're neither adding or subtracting from the visibility of the unit. But we need something more.  It's supposed to be grimdark, after all.

Moving on to the Imperial Guard, one thing that is needed is mass.  It's the closest thing in the game to a proper army; therefore needs an amount of manpower in order to look good.  I point to Admiral Drax's Cadians and Col Corbain's Corbainian 1st.  Whilst the interesting bits (ISTs, super heavies, tanks and so on) add, well, interest, without the platoons making it look bigger, the army would look less and hence appear a little odd.   As it is, when assembled, these armies give the impression of a cohesive military force; one that could be deployed for any number of purposes.

So, looking different can also work.  Victoria Lamb's original Preatorian Army, Col Gravis's Preatorians and the harder to find on the internet Mordians painted as USMC . If you follow these links, then you can see, the VL Preatorians are finished to a high standard and could certainly represent a 'real' formation.  However, we have now, after the armour-fest of 5Ed, become accustomed to seeing more non-infantry units in iggy armies and the USMC look more like most people's idea of a modern iggy army.

I think this idea of cohesion is where the Black Legion is a 'win' for the CSM; it allows the full choice of units from the codex (without offending fluffbunnies) and gives a theme to what otherwise could look like an explosion on Mr Lee's paint station (in a bad way).

No idea what started that off, I just had a sudden notion and it all came out.