Tuesday, 28 November 2017

I'm here!!!!!!!!!!


Greetings sinners!
It's been a while since I posted and the ever increasing number of emails asking if I'm okay has reached critical mass (thank you for everyone's concerns). So I thought I better put everybody's mind at ease and give some insight to my absence.....


Friday, 10 November 2017

Big brother is watching.

Hi all,

Last time I left him like this;


That was a month ago so let's see some progress. First of all, a quick speil about my intentions for the model. As a khorne player and something of a fluff bunny I limited myself to the traditional colours, red, black and brass. Then I was conscious that my warband is The Red Tide which informed the basis of the colour scheme. Finally, whilst not the majority of my collection, berzerkers are THE iconic warrior for khorne in 40k. To that end I wanted the Kytan to basically look like a giant berzerker. As the base colour is red, my go to choice for primer and base coat is Halfords red spray primer. Fulfilling both jobs, primer and base coat, it really is a great start and I use it for all my khorne stuff.


Here we are after the base coat spray and some work on building up the tones and highlights followed by a series of glazes to blend it all together. The glazes were a combination of GW washes, sepia and crimson, mixed with their Lahmian medium. I think the medium is better than water in that whilst it thins the washes it doesn't dilute the colour intensity, if that makes sense. Anyhoo, several glazes later I was ready to move onto the second biggest chunk of colour, the metals. Here's the start;


With one or two details that aren't metal I then pretty much finished the model and must admit, skipped taking more pics as I wanted to get him finished. Also, as I don't have a permanent photo set up I just went ahead and finished him. As far as the base is concerned he joined the ranks of The Red Tide currently ravaging the hive world of Great. As such he's on a ruined concrete, rusted metal kind of affair. I also picked up one of the new GW skull sets. Now, I'm no fanatic GW fan boy but I have to say this box is one of their best releases of recent times. OK, enough waffle, here he is, Gorkhaan, Destroyer of World's.









So far, in game, he's performed very well. So far he's taken on Mortarion and killed him in one round, stopped an Imperial knight in its tracks before chopping it into pieces and almost single handedly taken apart a Necron army.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Hjá

Greetings brothers,

A new face to Gary's excellent blog!

I'm very proud and excited to have been asked to contribute to the blog so before I start bamboozling you with my wit, wisdom and other things beginning with W I figured I'd introduce myself.

Real name is Alex West and I've been playing 40k for about 22 years now.

I'm a member of the Cold Steel Mercs and a long time player of Space Wolves. Since they went all icey wolfy mc ice freeze wolf my interest in them has faded (I prefer the heresy executioners background personally) and the twisted side of my personality is drawn inexplicably to the Night Lords.

I'm finishing off my wolves at the moment to make them usable in 8th edition, until they get a new codex anyway, and then I'll be indulging my dark side with the Night Lords.

So I'm a mix of loyalist and chaos really!

I'm also helping organise our new range of tournaments geared towards players who prefer a tactical challenge instead of looking over the table and thinking 'Oh I've won!' or 'I may as well go to the bar'.

Shameless plug: http://elementgames.co.uk/event-tickets/CSM-NatChamps17

I'll share more in the future but thought I'd pop in to say hello and remember...

The night is dark and full of terrors, we have come for you!

Alex




Saturday, 14 October 2017

Everybody needs a big one...

Hi all,

Remember this guy?


I finally got around to renovating him (I'm going with 'him', it suits him). First task was to dry fit the parts to see what pose he was originally in and then to see what, if anything, could be changed. Some of the parts were pretty well fixed. So much so that I was wary of applying too much pressure to separate them in case I damaged or broke the pieces. 
Quick break for a mini-rant. It really amazes me sometimes that people are willing to spend tens and sometimes hundreds of pounds on models, especially Forgeworld models, and then treat them with such contempt. This model costs £90 pounds new. When I got him he was in bits (see above picture), parts not cleaned up, a half arsed, unfinished paint job, and with so much superglue residue all over him that it took me the best part of three days to get him ready for more work. Ok, rant over.

I then got on to removing the old paint. I discovered this stuff a couple of years ago and what a revelation it was. Cheap (around £2 a bottle from Super drug,  in UK), quick and easily disposable.  

It strips paint in a few minutes. After soaking in a cheap tub for around 10 minutes and with help from an old toothbrush the paint just slides off.


A good wash with soapy water and allowed to dry overnight followed by a final clean up in the nooks and crannies with the point of a craft knife blade and I was ready for assembly.


The Red Tide are currently collecting skulls on the hive world of Grent, in the Bellopheron Sector of the Segmentum Pacificus. As such my model collection is based for an industrial/urban theme hence the ruined metal bits and pieces on the base. I tried to align the gatling cannon with the direction the head is looking in (the head was one of the pieces welded in place) with the axe ready for action once he's finished shooting the crap out of something. The right leg was another fixed piece when I got the model so I had to pose him as though he's stepping over the rubble. Here he is, ready for painting.








Next time we'll see the beginnings of the paint scheme (hint, my warband is The Red Tide).

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Times They Are A Changing


The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

B. Dylan, Ancient Terran.


Monday, 21 August 2017

Terrain Tile 2 - The Winchester


Greetings Sinners!

Things have been a bit slow around here just lately. I've been waiting (im)patiently for 40k to settle down and for GW to release the required FAQ for the Chaos Space Marine Codex.....thankfully the wait was worth it and it won't be long before I'm busy beavering away on my Castigators once again.

I haven't been completely idle though, for the last couple of weeks I've been immersing myself in the background of my small corner of grimdark. For me, 40k has always been about the background and the atmosphere that it invokes rather than crushing my opponents into the dirt. With rumours of Necromunda finally coming to fruition and Shadow Wars and Path to Glory occupying my thoughts I turned, once again to building more terrain so that Rob and I can kick off with our Path to Glory campaign.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

8th edition and the joys of Ebay

Hi all,

I must admit to not having got hold of the new chaos codex yet so I'm only talking about my brief experience of chaos in 8th from a fairly narrow view point of Khorne from the index. I have heard that there are some errors in the book so maybe I'll hold off until another, hopefully correct, print run comes round.

If you have been playing chaos long enough you should remember when cult units were originally only allowed as elites (2nd, maybe 3rd edition). Then came the ability to unlock them as troops, usually through a named character or a Lord with the same mark. Most,  if not all, players liked this as you could have entire armies of Berzerkers, Noise Marines, Death Guard or Thousand Sons. Now we're back to them being elites only (so far, come on Chapter Approved, who knows what 'alternatives' will be allowed?) and much wailing and gnashing of teeth can be heard throughout the land. Personally I don't think it's all doom and gloom. With the new detachments now used for army building we can still have cult heavy lists with the Vanguard detachment (3 to 6 elite choices).
I may be biased but I think berzerkers have come off ok. With vehicles being generally more durable and therefore able to get close to the enemy, assaults are more achievable and reliable, from a Khorne point of view at least, with an Icon of Wrath (re-roll assault distances). Chain axes at 1 point per model are a must have, never mind pistols. +1 strength gives berzerkers 2 attacks at S6 and 2 attacks at S5 (from the chainsword), hitting on 3s and fighting twice each fight phase (not just you're own) means berzerkers are back to being the pre-eminent assault troops in the game.
My current favourite set up is 8 berzerkers, 7 with chain axes and chainswords, champion with powerfist, Icon of Wrath. 3 of these and either Kharn or a Lord (points dependent) coming out of a Spartan should break most enemy forces in a turn or two. Throw in some support from Maulerfiends and/or Bloodslaughterers and watch the skulls fly. I realise some people frown on FW stuff but my gaming buddies and I like using them and have no problem facing them.  To that end;

The vagaries of EBay.

Caveat emptor and all that. I saw an ad for a Kytan Ravager  (Kytan daemon engine as was) on offer for £45, bargain. It turned up like this;


So it looks like a WIP series coming up, before I get to use him.

See ya all soon.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Reader's Army - Latori dell’Odio


Greetings Sinners!
I have another fantastic reader's army to share with you. A warband from the XVIIth Legion, the bearer's of the word and keeper's of the Faith.......

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Scale Creep is causing Havoc


Greetings Sinners!
As I mentioned in my last post, I need some Missile Launcher Havocs for a doubles tournament that I'm attending at the end of the month. I actually thought I still had some from 3rd Edition and was somewhat disappointed to discover only one of them had made it through the 17 years since I last used them; and even that one had taken a bit of a beating.....Still it had lasted much longer than the two Ex's that had been and gone :-)


Friday, 7 July 2017

Between A Rock And A Hard Place


Greetings Sinners.
It's been ominously quiet on here just lately. I am (just like most people) still adjusting to 40k 8th edition and while there is plenty to like about this edition, the glaring issues that concerned me when GW previewed the game have come to pass and  have left me feeling stuck between the proverbial solid objects.....

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Reader's Army! The Fabulous Host of Lord Fangorio


Greetings Sinners!
Today I have something special for you. A wonderfully sumptuous army painted by one our readers, The Scientist. He has been a long time visitor to the blog and it is with the greatest of pleasure that offer up these images of The Fabulous Host of Lord Fangorio.
So without further ado, I hand you over to The Scientist......


Monday, 19 June 2017

First Blood, First Impressions

Greetings sinners!
It's here.......The long awaited 8th Edition went on sale and like a bunch school kids, four of the Cold Steel Mercs queued up after midnight to get our sticky little hands on the rule books. Our plan was simple, get the books, retire to our hotel and scour the pages so that we could play our first game as soon as Element Games opened on Saturday morning......Alas, we aren't school kids any more and before we joined the queue, we had several pints and more than a few bottles of red wine before the midnight hour. With rule books in hand, we retired to our rooms well lubricated and promptly fell asleep......Oops!


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Wait Is Almost Over


Greeting Sinners!
After what has felt like an eternity, the official release of 8th Edition is just a few days away. I say official because most of us downloaded the rules nearly two weeks ago.
For me, 8th Edition has been something of a mixed bag. The game mechanics appear much stream-lined and far more elegant than 6/7th, which has long been overdue.
Alas, what Our Lady gives with one hand,she takes away with the other claw. The loss of the Legion rules has taken a little of the shine off of this new edition for me, but I'm hopeful that we won't have to wait for too long before GW releases a Codex with more flavour. This lack of flavour will only be temporary and it certainly won't stop me enjoying all that 8th has to offer, but there is one thing that has eclipsed any concerns I might have over the potential abuse that Detachments could bring or the loss of my Grande Cavalcade or Legion rules and this one thing has pretty much destroyed my hobby mojo.....The Primaris Marine.......


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Terrain Tiles - A Skirmish Game Project


Greetings Sinners!
With 8th Edition still four weeks away, 40k has taken something of a back seat just lately. For all of the snippets GW have released, there is still too much unknown to help me focus on a particular army project. Will I need more transports? Will Noise Marines be any good? Will Chaos Independent Characters be feasible? Will my beloved Castigators be overshadowed by the new scale of Primaris Marines and Plague Marines? I just don't know.
Fortunately, I still have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime.
Our Path to Glory campaign is keeping me and Rob entertained and I'm enjoying it so much that I haven't even opened my box of Shadow Wars: Armageddon.
With my attention firmly focused on Path to Glory, I have been busy building terrain for our games and trialling out the rules so that I can post up battle reports for the Blog. Of course until I paint the terrain, and get the layout of the battlefield sorted, I haven't been posting much.
While playing our games, Rob and I have been discussing the best layout that we can use and I've come up the idea to use 12" x 12" tiles to mount the terrain on.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

First 8th Edition thoughts



Time for me to step from the shadows and reveal myself as the Universe's puppet master, King of neuro-linguistic programming, whisperer of forgotten dreams and the small voice in your head that says ‘go on, do it’.


That's right ‘The Mitch’ here bringing you ramblings from the Tzeentch side of the cosmic double bed. Now I need to make it clear that my Chaos collection is one built around Thousand Sons and Tzeentch marines rather than daemons although I do have a few Daemon Princes and Magnus the Red has mystically appeared in my collection - who can follow the threads of fate eh?






With 8th edition 40K just around the corner and GW teasing us all with daily tidbits I am still not sure what to think. The pioneer in me says ‘just get on with it and embrace the new’. The experienced wargamer in me keeps saying ‘Its not what I would have done’. Whatever happens, as an elderly gamer I have seen several editions come and go; whatever 8th edition is like, one thing is sure, I will still be playing 40K.

So what do I think so far? Im carefully optimistic. The game will be different but it will give us new challenges to consider. I am very happy that GW have taken a good hard look at the Alliance table and are working hard to simplify the factions. The new character rules that mean they cannot join units and cannot be targeted unless they are the nearest target will make for some clever tactical movement. Simplifying game play has been at the heart of the reboot and that I agree with wholeheartedly. One aspects that I am not so sure about is the morale rules for units being shot. I would have preferred the mechanism to cause units to fall back rather than lose miniatures. In my experience taking the position of units out of a player's hands makes for more interesting games BUT frustrates players immensely as they are used to being the Gods of all they survey. Having units move involuntarily adds an element to the game that I think 40K has always missed.

And now I’ve seen this!



This data sheet clearly shows how new factions will only benefit from other units with the same faction name. In addition, in most cases The Thousand Sons get a 2+ save with a 4+ invulnerable which feels right and differentiates Rubric marines from regular marines. What is missing is any detail about points, but I'm using them at my next event however many points they cost.
Will they be game winners? In  some ways I hope not as I want to enjoy my games and that usually means a close, hard fought and tactical (skilful?) game. Will Chaos be better? Will the forces of doom be at the level of the infamous version 3.5? Will  the envisioned ‘Generals handbook’ with annual updates improve game play over the years? Will history end if Eldar are still ‘top race’?



Tzeentch knows the answers to all these questions but she’s not saying...at least not until June 2017, and then all she will say is 'I told you so'.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Khorne and Slaanesh, who would have thought?

Hi all,

Now that the dust has settled and Gary has shown you all how the weekend panned out I thought I'd chime in with my own views. Rather than do detailed battle reports (Gary has done a brilliant job of that) I'm just going to briefly go through them and we'll see what's what.

Firstly, let me say that this was the first doubles event I've ever been to. I've done team events before but never teamed up with anyone for each game. We're both from the north of England, travelling to the south coast for a weekend seemed slightly mad but it was worth it. Not just for the unexpected success we had but the whole experience was simply great fun, from going to the wrong hotel and getting a little tipsy (ok, really quite wobbly), to playing great games against people we had never met before but would be more than happy to play again.

We initially thought we might struggle, given that we had decided to take armies we would have fun with rather than 7th edition optimised lists. There were plenty of lists that were right up there with hard core tourney armies but also plenty of others that, whilst tough, were more friendly. There may have been an element of luck in who we were drawn against but that was fine by us

Our good buddy Steve called a grudge in the first round which we felt honour bound to accept. This turned out to be a mistake given that the deployment was Hammer and Anvil and they had a very shooty combination (Tau and Ynarri). There was simply too much distance to cover before we were shot up. When my Bloodthirster was D shot off the table before he even swung his axe we knew it was all over.

Spot the Bloodthirster

Spot the Bloodthirster now...

Next up were Mark and Sam.  On arrival at the venue we were a bit early so we had a look around at the armies people were setting up.  There was a fantastic looking Ork army that I thought would be great to play, just for the sheer spectacle of setting up against it. Lo and behold Mark and Sam were the players of said army. I've always thought Orks are the perfect army for conversions, the more ramshackle the better. Mark and Sam had some fantastic models, especially the bigger trucks. Their army also had a lot of potentially very effective shooting, with two big units of Lootas in battlewagons.

Gary and I both thought we had a chance in this one, given the Orks propensity for getting stuck in and so it proved. The result properly reflected the game, getting the win was the icing on the cake.

Martin and Tristan's combined Tau had the potential to repeat our first game, ie shoot us off the board. Their decision to deep strike half their army helped us a lot. Before their reserves turned up we were all over them. Combined with some of their reserve units suffering mishaps we could comfortably take on their units on our terms.

After more drinks on Saturday evening and much banter regarding team placings Sunday morning rolled around. We were initially drawn against an Imperial Guard/Skitarri combo and again thought we should have a chance with our much more mobile force against the somewhat static Guard fire base.  However fate intervened with some players having to drop out forcing the TOs to rejig the table order. Our new opponents were fielding Skitarri and Grey Knights, a much more difficult match up. The Skitarri half contained a Sydonian Dragoon formation that could outflank from turn one, with two big units that could do some serious hurt given the chance. This gave rise to Gary's accusations of, shall we say, reluctance to engage the enemy. I maintain that, rather than charging hell for leather across the table, we needed to be aware of the threat of the outflanking units. To that end I held my 'thirster and Prince back, ready and waiting.



However by the time our flank was clear it was too late in the rest of the game. Dreadknights and Grey Knight termites are too effective against daemons, which is as it should be. Well played Rob and Callum.

Back down the table order we went. I always maintain that our opponents are on the same table as us for a reason, be it bad match ups or bad luck. When Charles and James told is they were fielding combined Ynnari and Dark Eldar our hearts sank a little. Better mobility and firepower plus psychics, against which we had no defence, meant that, on paper at least, this could be a bad match up for us. Hammer and Anvil deployment limited their room for manoeuvre so we lined up and went for it. Apart from their Wraithguard, the enemy shooting proved to be ineffective allowing us to do our thing. Our assaults finished off unit after unit and we ran out the convincing winners. 


You already know how we fared overall so I won't repeat it all. Suffice to say it was a brilliant weekend with our awards being an added bonus. I was first inspired by Khorne as originally (ie Rogue Trader era) Khorne was more about martial ability, honour and pride, not just mindless violence that that is today's take on him. I still maintain some of my decisions were based on how I saw the tactical situation at the time, not the yellow streak that will never see my models because it doesn't exist 😲.

I think our opponents enjoyed the banter between Gary and I, being very receptive to how much fun we were having, in defeat as well as victory, not least the unusual alliance between the ancient enemies.

See that, that's Khorne and Slaanesh that is...



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

1st Confrontation Alliances - The Pride of the Gods


Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

Greetings Sinners!
A bunch of the Cold Steel Mercs made the long journey south to the sunny climes of Havant for a doubles tournament held by Confrontation Events. Neil, Iain and myself travelled down together, stopping for a quick coffee at Michael's and continuing on to Havant.
Everything was going swimmingly, we arrived at our destination without any problems and piled out of the car, straight into the pub opposite the hotel. After several pints, we phoned my fallen brother, Steve to see how far away he was from joining us. We were delighted to hear he was 10 minutes away. After another couple of beers, we phoned him again asking where he was, only to be told he was outside the hotel looking for us. We told him to look across the car park and he would see us sat outside the pub......"Err.....lads, we're at the wrong hotel!......Oops, can you come and pick us up Steve because we've had too much to drink now?"
So not the best of starts then.......


Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Red Tide

Hi all.

As Gary mentioned, the stars have aligned to bring forth an unholy alliance. We both managed to get the same weekend off work (shift work - bah, humbug) and decided to team up for a doubles tournament.

Although my primary collection is my Red Scorpions I have, for a long time (longer than I've been collecting the Scorps to be honest), had a Khornate force for both fantasy and 40k. I fell out with fantasy years ago during 5th or 6th edition but always maintained some berzerkers and rhino APCs. Two or three years ago I was bitten by the chaos bug again and started expanding my collection. Not long after, the Daemonkin codex was released and personally I thought it was a really good book. Not for its power or competitiveness but for its very fluffy approach. Prior to its release the only way to summon khorne daemons to the table was by using sorcerers and this never sat well with me or, I think, the wider khorne player base. With Daemonkin we could get daemons without the hated magic (sorry, psychics) in a very Khornate way. The blood tithe mechanic really encapsulates what Khorne is all about. As your army dies or enemy units are destroyed, your army gets tougher. Let's all shout together - KHORNE CARES NOT FROM WHERE THE BLOOD FLOWS!

Very early on in my renewed devotion to the blood god the Cold Steel Mercs held the inaugural Champions of Chaos weekend. Most, if not all of us, have a chaos collection of greater or lesser size so we decided to battle it out to see who's top dog. Unfortunately for me (or Sladic more accurately - more on him shortly), I finished in last place and endured the humiliation of being locked in the Guilded Cage for a year (a real cage. Sladic was ritually locked in a small ornamental bird cage at the end of the weekend). He's been trying to redeem himself ever since.

So here we are. Although my collection is now quite reasonable, the Alliance tourney is 2k points of which each player has only a thousand points to play with. Gary and I decided not to be too strict in our list building, going for an overall theme rather than detailing what we should take.  We're going for a fast assault force. We realise that the psychic and shooting phases are where it's at in 40k at the moment but what the hell, it's all about the fun, right? Also, Khorne and Slaanesh! What could go wrong?

                                         ____________________________________________


...Sladic stood in the shadow of the throne, his wings furled, his horned head bowed. He dare not look up. He could feel the fury and anger buffeting him as though a storm raged about him. The sea of skulls stretched to the horizon all around, rising to an impossible mountain of bone before him. Atop the mountain,  sat on an enormous chair of brass and iron, Khorne pronounced his judgement.

'For your failure you will bet set a test. My servants have never before been so humiliated in the Trial of Champions. You have been raised to immortality not as a reward but so that you may endeavour for all eternity to try and please me. My thirst for blood and hunger for skulls is endless and there lies my amusement. You must reap such a tally that my appetite will be sated. We both know this can never be done yet you must try. Further, there is an added condition...'

Despite his fear Sladic could not help himself, the words were uttered before he could stop himself;

'You're fucking joking!'

The echos of the Blood God's laughter followed Sladic to the mortal realms. He hears them still.

Sladic, Ascended. Daemon Prince of Khorne, warp forged armour, daemonic flight, Goredrinker. 250




Gharkuul, the High handed Slayer. Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage. 275

PDF squads 1 & 2 (8 cultists each) 58 points each

Gorepack;

Red Claw - 3 chaos bikers, 1 melta gun (replaces twin linked bolters) 86

Red Fang - 3 chaos bikers, melta bombs for champion. 81

The Blood Hunters - 12 Flesh hounds. 192


Army shot

A thousand points on the nose.

Gary will no doubt be doing a round up of the weekend, maybe I will add some insights. I've known Gary for quite a while now, I'm sure at the very least we'll be having some rum inspired fun. 

See you soon.








Friday, 14 April 2017

1st Confrontation Alliances - The First and the Last.



The Great Game
The Realm of Chaos, is not merely the home of the Dark Gods, it is their battlefield, the arena of the great game of supremacy. The Chaos Gods are constantly at war with one another, vying for power amid the immaterial planes. Despite their myriad differences, the great Gods of Chaos have the same goal; total domination.
From time to time there arises a being, place, objective or event in the material universe that attracts the attentions of the Gods of Chaos. So important is this new element, so desired or so dangerous, that all rivalries are put aside in order for Chaos to take advantage of this opportunity.
But the dark Gods cannot stay their meddling hands, as their Champions march forth, the dark Gods pass down rituals to bind their cohorts.
And sometimes the ritual is of great import: "No Weapon, Iron or Steel shall you use, nor any Wooden Shaft, but only the natural Claws and long Fangs that we have given thee." And sometimes the ritual is petty and beneath contempt: "No Blues shall be worn, nor shall the Mauves and Purples be seen upon this field." In the immeasurable minds of the Dark Gods there is purpose that cannot be guessed and schemes unfathomable to the limited mind of mortals.
And the ritual shall be agreed, and it shall be binding, even unto the least creature, even unto the greatest.
Martial pride, knownst unto the first God, knownst unto the last. "You shall not use the Dark Magicks or Words of Power. And you shall bring unto me the greatest number of Souls I am due." So speaketh Khorne and Slaanesh. For when the Dark Gods have spoken, none can gainsay their word. And the battle shall begin......