Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Monday 29 May 2017

STuG progress.

As promised, views of the two options next to the BoS on a rainy bank holiday weekend.  I do like it when the weather behaves itself. 

You can clearly discern the chunky and realistic options.  I had undertaken to show you the options and here they are.  What is not really illustrated here is that the three options provided by Mastercrafted (see previous post), marry up very well to two of the sizes of plastic pipe I use (10mm and 7mm).  It might be serendipity, a cynic might simply point out that when building models to a given scale, the sizes of things like weapon calibres will fall between a certain range.  But taking a second look at the designs Mastercrafted has provided, one can imagine that they were chosen to not impede scratch built modifications.

In the end, I've gone for the 7mm barrel, mounted using one of the Mastercrafted weapons, but without the battle cannon muzzle; all three are now all glued up.  I'm hoping to get some paint splashed about at some point in the near future.  First I need track guards for two of these and six other chimera chassis vehicles - I wanted the warchimera ones again, but they are OOP.

So here we have a particular take on the Chimeradon - in game terms, a battle cannon toting Salamander with an armoured cab.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Mastercrafted STuG

Ok,  So some while ago Sir Tainly posted an additional vehicle for his Blood Pact.  And pretty soon there was a small cabal; Mordian 7th, Da Masta Cheef and me, all beating on the door of Mastercrafted.co.uk; incidentally the very same company who produce the Hellghast helmets I spent some time looking for.

Being a good sport, Ben agreed to cast some up for us.  I'll refer you back to my previous post where I discussed what a reasonable Infantry Support option for the Iggies might be.  This is my chosen option.

The castings (yes I bought more than one) are clean, with the only flash being on the back of the weapon options, from whence you'd have to clean it up anyway.

The material appears to be dense enough and despite being a solid lump of resin, the design is so well balanced that it does not tip over backwards, which was the thought that crossed my tiny mind when I first opened the package.

And it's square.  Or 'true' for those of you with an engineering bent.  It's impressively simple and I find the aesthetic quite pleasing.  There are three weapon options, all appropriately scaled to the model.

The stubby howitzer version:  looks good on the model, but not what I'm looking for.

The medium sized version.  If you wanted to (and I won't put this idea in the heads of Iggy players, that might mean unnecessary expenditure) depict a salamander with a fully armoured superstructure, then adding an autocannon barrel to this option might be a decent option.  There, good job I didn't say that out loud.

The biggest option.  In providing three options, what you're given is the option to vary the look and therefore, on the tabletop, the purpose, of the vehicle, depending on what you interpret it to be armed with.  It's entirely suitable for magnetisation, although the resin would be harder to work than the plastic.

The WYSIWYG option,  Now the problem with these short barrelled options, is that the muzzle brake is directly in line with the driver's hatch.  So I'm minded to get out the ol' tube and extend the barrel so that the muzzle brake is actually in front of the vehicle.

So I'll mock that up at some point and get it on the Brick of Scrutiny so you can have a look.

Thursday 11 May 2017

Imperial Guard Infantry Support Options

OK, With 8th just around the corner, I thought I'd disambiguate the existing options vs their points cost to decide which is best.

What ?  Nah.  Back to reality:

The support options for Iggies are based on the two available chassis: because of the development costs for plastic models, despite there being almost infinite variety available in the fluff, we're stuck lookin' at these options.  Indeed, they are the only ones in the codex, so there we are.

We've got the Griffon and Wyvern, which are mortar carriers.  Good solid options, pleasingly their on table performance seems to match the fluff; there were both M113 and FV432 mortar carriers back in the day, before the users of those weapon systems veered away from High Intensity peer vs peer warfighting towards COIN operations.  So there's a strong raison d'etre for these.

Next, the HellHound, which can be superb on the table top,  Flamethrower tanks were actually widely used by the Allies in WW2, mostly in bunker clearances.  Crocodile tanks are perhaps not so popular now as we try to convince someone (ourselves) that setting fire to people is somehow cheating, even in a war.  A lot of iggy players will invariably find a way to shoe horn one of this into any list, and with good reason.

Image result for Forge World hellhound

The Devil Dog is not an exposition of the Hellhound, it is a different weapon system using the same chassis, its purpose (anti-armour) is quite different.  The problem I have with this is the ludicrously short range.  People who go tank hunting at ball throwing sort of ranges use hand held weapons; RPGs, bazookas et al.  If you're going to go to the bother of making a tank hunting AFV, it needs range.  TL Las cannons are much more likely.  Predator = Good, Devil Dog = Bad.

Image result for devil dog tank

The BaneWolf is another weapon with no widely reliable real world equivalent.  Since the end of WW2 there have been loads of NBC related AFVs for front line soldiers, but these have all been NBC defence and NBC recce.  I know that the Warsaw Pact did trial large blowers for delivering chemical weapons, but quite frankly, using artillery or aerial bombardment seems so much more sensible. Especially if the type of goo you are squirting is the best ever thing at dissolving exactly the type of vehicle you're using.  Arty Bombardment = Good, Bane Wolf = Bad.

Now we get onto assault guns - the STuG option.  The Thunderer and fundamentally impossible Demolisher are engineer tools, not infantry support weapons, so we'll park them for another day (ha ha, see what I did there ?).

Epic had three vehicles which did not appear in WK40K:  The Chimeradon was a Chimera mounting a battlecannon. Whilst the Epic one had the battlecannon in a turret and still carried an infantry squad, if we smack the bejesus out of this concept with the sensible stick (ie no Demolisher-esque dimensionally challenged turret, and infantry outside on the ground where we want them, not Tardis'd into an AFV) then the BattleCannon (72", high strength, pie plate etc) all of a sudden looks like a proper assault gun:

"In 1935, Colonel Erich von Manstein proposed that Sturmartillerie (assault artillery) units were to be formed and used for direct support of infantry divisions. They were to be equipped with assault guns mounted on tracked chassis. Used to accompany the infantry into the attack, the assault gun’s main aim was to knock out pill-boxes, machine gun nests, anti-tank guns and other obstacles.  They were simply to replace the horse-drawn artillery pieces, while offering speed and protection."

So whilst non-Iggy players might cry "Foul !" this has a better basis in reason than the bonkers Devil Dog and Bane Wolf.  Looking at the quote from Achtung Panzer, out of the options available to the Iggy player, the Battlecannon toting Chimeradon is the way ahead; both in the leathality and survivability (due to the range).

The Chimerax was Chimera with a quad mounting turret with four Multi Lasers.  I'll just wait here whilst you go back and read that again.  Go on.  Still breathing ?  Ok,  Now we have a plastic Hydra model for AAA duties and so on, which would seem to be the natural niche for any vehicle armed with multiple multilasers.  With the troop capacity it still needs a good whack with the sensible stick. We'll remove the troop carrying capacity, which basically leaves us with a multilaster armed hydra.   It is entirely likely that some Forge World somewhere builds its hydras with multilasers. For one, it saves having to crate tonnes of autocannon ammunition across vast interstellar distances.  Entirely plausible, IMHO.

It's got multiple multilasers, what more d'ya want ?

The Chimerro is basically the Bradley M3 version of the Chimera.  For those of you who are struggling to place it, the Bradley M2 is the IFV variant - autocannon turret, hull firing points for the squad inside, why, it could almost be Chimera !  That's the M2 version, moving on to the Chimerro;  The "Scout" Bradley M3 is a cavalry, not an infantry platform - it has a reduced troop carrying capacity and a clever gizmo which means that the crew can re-load the TOW (in 40K - HKM) from inside the vehicle.  I don't think it's actually a TOW missile any more, but you get the picture; in this configuration, the Hunter Killer Missile fires every turn, it's not a one shot wonder.

I think that this is also an entirely logical Chimera variant and I can see no reason why either GW, FW or a 3rd party aftermarket manufacturer has not done one.  (I know, Drax).

And now, having run through the tracked options, we're back to the Armoured Sentinel, which, as I said before, is actually for tank hunting in close country; dense woods or urban environments, not actually 'reconnaissance'.  So as you'll remember from my post about recce options, these are also an infantry support option.

Well, that's my reasoning behind the STuG option; but the STuG is the next post.

All pictures ripped from the internet with absolutely no thought for the owners.  Soz. 

Monday 8 May 2017

Chimera Chassis Sprues redux.

You'll remember this, of course.

So not poo-pooing the naysayers, but look what arrived today:

Which is nice, the first three of what will hopefully be many.  £32 for three, certainly better than buying a huge number of Chimerae and ending up with a huge pile of bits left over.

Thursday 4 May 2017

Macharian 203rd

More progress - figures you've already seen, now with paint on. 

Macons prefer to live in large extended family groups; despite these families being matriarchies, Macon society is rife with machismo and their attitudes to women are that they are either mothers or sex objects (either unattainable or otherwise).  Those enlisted into the PDF might be viewed to have swagger in excess of their conscript role.  Those PDF units selected for transfer to Imperial service tend to be picked for their level of enthusiasm for the Imperial Creed, rather than military role, operational readiness or any other criteria. 

Macon civilisation has its roots in scattered fishing communities around Macharia’s bounteous oceans.  Waves of immigration and industrialisation gave rise to the society that spawned the soldier who eventually the legendary Lord Solar Macharius.  His passion and self-belief came from being a Macon; his generalship he learned later, off world. 

Now a shrine world, Macon’s still live in what amounts to small tribes or clans.  Now their Machismo shines from the shadow of Macharius’ shrine; the need to live up to his promise has made the religiously inclined Macon Regiments more deeply devout.  It has also encouraged them to ensure that they perform in their allotted battlefield role.

The Macharian 203rd Line Infantry were raised as six individual PDF Battalions who were the 128th mechanised infantry brigade.  When the transferred to Imperial service, they were rolled into an Astra Militarum scale regiment and re-numbered as their (re-named) world’s 203rd tithed regiment.  The have spent seventy four years (slide time, only five years real or subjective time) in transit nearly getting to one war zone or another.  Devos IV is their first actual deployment – by Inquisitorial writ, they are to backfill the place in 903 Div left by the non-event of the Preatorian 5th

So whilst 3422AG desperately needs infantry assets, Comptroller Bellormus picks his fights wisely, this is not one which needs fighting, there are plans in place to plug that hole.  And the Inquisitorial writ is based on a clear need to bring 903 Div up to strength before the main push into Xyphonica.

17 Korps now has two formations with unusual funerary rites. The Macons embrace, for reasons so obscure that not many Macons know why, immediate cremation of their dead.  This goes down to individual soldiers carrying small flasks of accelerant so that their comrades can fire their corpse before they are cold. There arn't many medicae in Macon units and they reserve their few heirloom flamers for their attendant Ministorium Preists.

As you can imagine, this penchant for immolating their own casualties during engagements can cause consternation amongst their allies.  But it's deeply ingrained in their version of the Imperial Creed and who would dare gainsay the illustrious sons of the Glorious Lord Solar himself ? for are they not the inheritors of his military legacy ?

The 203rd are fresh and eager to get to grips with the enemy.   They are keen to retain their particular traditions, even here in a new war, as a part of a new army, on a new world.  It remains to be seen if their quaint tradition of setting fire to their casualties lasts that long.

With the closed society of the Death Korps killers, who are inclined to keep their distance from everyone else; their funerary rites are  not common knowledge to the rest of the army.  With their historical connection to one of the heroes of the Imperium and innate cultural swagger, the Macons are a lot more convivial.  There is a chance that the unusual habit of a famous high profile might influence others.  72AG would not want the immolation of possibly live, recoverable casualties spreading.  It's not keen on such a practice as it is.

The bravado of the Macons makes them, at least now, at the beginning of the campaign, primed, trained and ready to be the shock troops of the attack on Xyphonica.

And so another 2600 souls strut onto the Devos IV stage.

Defending the Brick of Scrutiny against all comers.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

OOooh Look ! Judge Dredd goodies

This at my Friendly 'Local' Comic Shop :

That's however many issues of the Judge Dredd Magazine in sequence from issue 1 for as high as it goes.  There's quite enough there for any Judge Dredd aficionado.  For about £60 plus postage.  So quite possibly worth the postage if even you live across the pond.  Or in the antipodes.  Or Ulan Bator.

Here's their fb page. https://www.facebook.com/comicconnectionsUK/ 

If you are interested and fb is problematic, pm me.