Thursday, 9 August 2018

Hobby Pitfalls - 10 Things Not to Do!

This picture has nothing to do with the topic. I'm just resurrecting a classic. Jessie and Chester said it best.

So, when you've been around this hobby long enough you see some junk and some stuff; I wouldn't recommend it!

Hobby Pitfalls - 10 Things Not to Do!

1) Don't leave your paintbrush tip down in the water pot!

I know that water pot looks like a nice clean place to leave your paint-covered brush, but leave it in there too long and the water is going to seep into the bristles and wreck them. If the brush is tip down, the contact with the bottom of the pot will splay everything out and leave you with a useless twig headed with something that looks like the ass-end of a witch's broomstick.

Wash it out in the water, re-point the head and then put it back in the little plastic sleeve it came in for next time. You'll thank me for it later.

2) Don't leave bare metal/plastic/resin showing because you were going to paint it grey/metal anyway!

I actually remember an article in an old White Dwarf advocating leaving the new "white metal" on show as it was such a nice metallic tone. I've seen the same thing with plastic though, and occasionally I see marines that are supposed to be grey in bare plastic with one or two yellow details painted on. I feel like it shouldn't be necessary to pint it out, but don't do it. Don't even think about it. Are you thinking about it? Train your mind!

If you want grey, use a grey primer and then paint over it. Trust me the finish is going to be a lot less embarrassing, and you'll be able to effectively add washes and things to get a better tone too. Plus, that sprue-grey isn't fooling anyone.

3) Don't touch someone else's models without asking!

People can be quite particular about their models, and they don't necessarily want your sticky peanut-butter sandwich fingers all over them!

Lets be honest, people's miniatures have a lot of their time and effort put into them, so it makes sense that they value them. Even the crappiest battered and chipped grot might be their favourite, so remember to be respectful.

4) Don't be a bad sport!

We've all seen it. That guy who gets all bent out of shape and upset when he loses. You don't want to be him, it's embarrassing and takes the fun out of the game for everyone.

Worse than that though, it the guy who cheats, and who everyone knows is cheating, and who then brags about all the games he's won. Well, I've got a news flash for you buddy; everyone knows and they're not impressed, so knock of that junk right now!

5) Don't think that you need a wet pallet and a Windsor and Newton Series 7 to paint!

I encourage everyone to try everything in painting, but conventional internet wisdom seems to boil down to telling everyone that they need to be using a Series 7 and a Wet Pallet. How this myth got started, I'll never know, but I have absolute faith that the people recommending this stuff have never actually painted a model to a standard that would be deemed acceptable even among 12 year olds.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with either item, and I'm painting with a Series 7 detail brush myself. The thing that annoys me is that this isn't beginner stuff. You don't need expensive brushes and techniques to get a good finish. If you're just starting out, you'll probably knacker your first brushes anyway, and you don't need a wet pallet or a Windsor and Newton fancy pants brush to learn how to apply basecoats, washes and maybe have a go at dry-brushing. The rest can come later.

6) Don't think you can't paint out of the pot!

Open up that pot. See that little thing in the lid that looks a bit like a tray. yeah, there's nothing stopping you from adding in some water to the paint right there and then painting with it. Heresy? I call it living on the wild side. It's how we did things in the 90s and you too can learn this master level secret technique. Paint with your honour and you will win.

I did it. Dare to be different.

7) Don't do freehand without thinking!

"Yeah dude, I was thinking of freehanding like a wolf or something right across his face … and then like a blazing sword right across the shoulder guard … with lightning bolts and junk".

Stop right there weekend warrior, that sounds like a bigger mess than Giorgio Tsoukalos' hairdo. You need to plan things out and then draw them out before you approach that model with the paint brush, or you're about to make a big mistake. And if you suck at freehand, then don't do it. It works for me.

8) Don't build large resin models without pinning them!

Should be a given, but pins are really essential for large heavy parts. Resin tends to be expensive and fragile too.

9) Don't buy more than you can handle! (and don't fall for those new releases!)

Easier said than done, I know that much. You need to have  reasonable chance of finishing this stuff. I always see people clambering for the next box-set, but next week's set is last week's forgotten memory or unfinished project. Don't get tricked into backing yourself into a hobby corner as it can cause burnout as sure as anything else. Nobody likes to look at their huge "to do" pile and realise they'll never see the end of it. I've known a lot of people who end up selling unopened kits by the dozen for armies they never even started, and all it does is cost them money and cause misery.

That said, sometimes you need a change of pace, or just deserve a present. Just try to be sensible about it!

10) Don't buy competitive units just because they're powerful! 

The rules change so often that it really is pointless to power play like a freak unless you're a dedicated tournament player. After a long time in the game, I've seen a lot of armies hit eBay 5 minutes into a new edition because they were created only to abuse an obviously under costed unit. Remember the Dark Eldar Venom Spam? If you don't, it's probably going pretty cheap right now. Just remember to pack them full of Trueborn with blasters!

The good thing about a balanced force is that as the power levels of different units wax and wane, the force tends to remain more or less level and perfectly playable in any edition.

11) Don't use exclamation marks on the end of every sentence to try to make an impact!

If you've made it this far, I salute you. You've run off the bottom of actual advice and reached the reflective part of the article where I consider my own writing style..... Not really.

Y'know this week, I was walking to work. I look down the road, and there's a car full of stuff parked up by the pavement. As I approach, I notice a few things on the ground. It looks like makeup or something. A few more steps and my eye follows this trail of so called "breadcrumbs". Then I see it. Right in the middle of the footpath; this big honkin' flesh coloured dildo just flappin' about in the sunshine. It's times like those that inspire me to write Bungo. 

Ok, not really but it did happen and it was weird. Well, the flapping part was pure artistic licence, but the rest is true.

Oh, and number 12 would've been - Don't make 40k/Jamie Oliver crossover memes! (No matter how diabolically delicious it may seem at first)

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Steel Legion Basilisk Complete

There's just something about the Basilisk that really speaks to me; maybe it all started years ago when I used to stare at pictures of them in White Dwarf as a kid. Regardless of where it started, I've always had a fascination with the tank, so I knew it was something I wanted to add to my Steel Legion force as soon as possible.

I know that they make an Armageddon Pattern Basilisk, specially for the Steel Legion, but I've never liked the closed crew compartment. Speaking of crew, I plan to paint up some more soon to stand on the back, as a Basilisk just never looks quite right without them. And that one guy is looking a bit lonely.

For this model, I followed the same scheme that I used to paint my Deathstrike the other month. I wrote it all out in a full tutorial, which I'll add a link to for anyone interested:

To round out the artillery, I also have a Colossus that I partially batched with this Basilisk. I'm not rushing to finish it as I think it'll be a little too powerful for the 500 point games that I'm planning to start with. I have to say that with these tanks, I've really been enjoying the weathering process, and it has been fun to be able to get some nice results pretty quickly.

For some reason, this camera angle made the crewman look like he came out of Epic or something... so tiny!

You can see the weathering quite clearly on the white stripe

The only thing I don't like about the Basilisk kit is the strange hole that seems to be left in the back. Someone tell me if I'm wrong, but I couldn't find a thing in the instructions either time I've built one, and I ended up rigging up a fix with an armour panel and a few spares. It really doesn't show and was easy enough to do, but I can't help feel like you shouldn't have to do it anyway!

So, that's another tank down for my burgeoning force; bringing the total to 32 infantry, 3 sentinels, and 2 tanks. On the painting block currently, I have the aforementioned Colossus, an Artemia Pattern Hellhound and the crowning jewel of the planned 1000 points; A Malcador!

WIP fresh from my painting table

Monday, 6 August 2018

Steel Legion Sentinel Squad!

3 sentinels all finished and ready to roll for my Steel Legion! I've always really liked the Sentinel kit since it came out all those years ago. Sure, there have been a few updates, but I've wanted a unit of them ever since I can remember, and now I'm living the dream!

For the weapons, I went with Lascannons and hunter killer missiles. Their battlefield role is clear; hunt some tanks! How good they'll be is still in question, but as a moderately priced option that is fairly robust, they fall into that bracket where they'll be likely to be cost effective even as a distraction. They also help fill a bit of a void in the army, so it's several birds with one stone.

Design wise, I wanted them to look like a squad and not just 3 disparate vehicles. Running with the idea, I decided it would be fun to make a command sentinel (pictured in the centre). I thought a flag would be cool, and handily, I had an Anvil part from the regiments range handy that was perfect for the job. It is mounted on a thick metal rod too, so it is nice and stable out the top there.

I used the missile launcher flipped in reverse with the searchlight mounted on it to build some kind of extra arm/scanner module. No idea what the function is supposed to be, but I imagine it broadcasts orders to the other sentinels or tracks battlefield movements or something.

On the subject of searchlights, I wanted to have every sentinel be slightly different, but still look uniform, so I moved the searchlight locations on each one to give them a slightly different look. I knew they'd be blue as well, so it makes them a more obvious thing to change in the weathered scheme where small things might get missed.

I also added in the red and white stripes that are featured on all of my tanks. It seemed like a good way to lift the scheme a bit and give them a bit more oomph visually. I added a bit of yellow too with some of the symbols to match the uniforms of my troops.

Hunter Killer Missiles anyone?

Just to prove I painted the backs too! (you might be wondering if I did when you find out how long I spent on them)

The urban bases match my infantry. I cut and glued all those bricks by hand! I think I missed my calling in brick laying...

As far as painting is concerned, I used exactly the same method I used for my tanks, which is detailed here:

The funniest thing is that I actually painted all 3 of these in a batch across the space of a single weekend. It wasn't even that full on either, and I feel like I've really hit my stride with the Steel Legion scheme. I was worried when I started them that the way I painted the tanks wouldn't translate too well onto smaller models, but I'm actually really happy with these sentinels. One of the driving forces behind my Steel Legion is for the army to be used a lot in battle, and I think these are going to be an option that I'll take a lot!

They look nice with the force too. I've finished a lot more than this, but it just shows how they look together. I'll put some proper photos of the basilisk up soon.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Bungo the Barbarian, Chapter 21 - Adventure Mart Upstart

Not far from the beach, Bungo and Shallica had stumbled across a strange hut seemingly at the entrance to Turdmondaz. The weary travellers’ alarm had soon changed to amusement when they realised that it was one of many chain stores that were always placed handily right in front of all major dungeons. The sparkling neon lettering emblazoned above the threshold proudly read “Adventure Mart” in bold capital letters. In their exhausted state, the building had an almost unquantifiable draw; an oasis of sorts for travellers.
As they approached, the magically enchanted doors opened by themselves and beckoned them in. The interior was bright and clean; with soothing music being played by a tiny harp playing fairelf from somewhere nearby. Needless to say, Bungo had already ruined the cultivated calm of the retail environment by traipsing a large quantity of beach sand in with him. His arrival was also punctuated by a loud bang as he knocked a stack of shoddy discount wands on the ground. They rolled across the floor in a clatter of soon to be broken twigs as Bungo’s oversized boot carelessly ground them into the carefully applied linoleum.
“Welcome to Adventure Mart, can I take your order?” A nervous looking shop goblin shuffled round the front counter. He looked at Bungo expectantly with shining eyes; ushering him towards a shelved area where an eclectic selection of goods were displayed. Bungo’s attention was soon caught by an oddly bulbous vial filled with a bubbling red liquid. He eyed the item with suspicion; picking it up in one oversized hand and sniffing it incredulously.
“I see you have a keen sense of self-preservation. Our life potions are guaranteed to keep you fighting fit for longer, with their patented dual-guard action.”
The salesman continued enthusiastically; sensing a potential sale in the making.
“For only 3 more Chromes you could upgrade to the latest edition; Health-Up Diamond Magnum. Its special whitening formula really does wonders to restore your natural lustre.”
Shallica’s eyebrows raised almost imperceptibly with concern. Bungo uncorked the concoction; wafting the unfettered potion under his nose.
“This is just grape juice.” The barbarian rumbled the words quizzically, before sticking his finger down the glass bottle to taste the mixture. His massive digit stuck fast in the finely turned ornate bottleneck. He struggled for a moment, before trying to nonchalantly move the item out of eyesight of the shop-clerk while feigning interest in another product. A short while later, the sound of broken glass could be heard from nowhere in particular; followed by some tuneless whistling.
A bead of nervous sweat ran down the shopkeeper’s brow, and he shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot trying to think of something to say. A moment passed in silence, until he followed Bungo’s disinterested gaze to the clothing aisle, and he took the opportunity to move towards products that weren’t so fragile.
“Maybe you’d be interested in these hand-knitted Derpo-pants. They were a limited run” he paused mid-sentence “or at least we haven’t had a shipment for quite some time. Their sporty design really gives great air flow”. He held up the threadbare fatigues gingerly; trying to position them to avoid the wide yellow-brown stain that was spattered across the crotch. Shallica made a muffled gagging sound as she threw up a little bit in her throat.
“Go on, give them a try”. The clerk held up the item; wafting it towards Bungo and Shallica seductively. His only reply was a sharp horrified screech from Shallica that cut the organised calm of the shop like a knife, followed by a loud bang as she scrambled to hide under a nearby table. The she-demon’s hissing face appeared from under the tablecloth a moment later; snarling like a feral feline surrounded by wolves.
“Maybe not” rumbled Bungo, swaggering further down the aisle. He stopped briefly to inspect a murky green jar that was labelled with the words “Pickled Hero Sausage”. As he stared, several meaty objects loomed out of the slimy depths; accompanied by what appeared to be a reptilian eye and some shoelaces. Bungo grunted approvingly before stuffing the item down the front of his leather pants and walking on.
The shop clerk was oblivious to Bungo’s banditry, as he had spent the last few minutes trying to coax Shallica out from her hiding spot with little success. Resigned to the fact that she was unlikely to come out any time soon, and with a face covered in spittle for his trouble, the clerk turned back towards Bungo; only to see him staring out the shop window with an intense look on his face.
“Something’s coming”. The words had gravity to them, and almost as if on the command of some strange magic, an ominous rumbling sound could be heard approaching steadily.
The noise seemed to build to a vibrating crescendo as it got closer, and the whole Adventure Mart started to shake. Several potions were dislodged from the shelves by the din; intermixing the heady stench of strange spices and grape juice into the sensory overload. As the volume increased a multitude of jabbering screeching voices could be heard.
“It’s here!” Bungo sounded unusually excited; his deep baritone was barely audible over the din. A heart beat later, the wooden shop wall exploded in a shower of splintered wood as a colossal steed broke through carrying a small terrified figure on its back. They skidded to a stop in the store; followed by a swarm of angry raging butt-goblins with weapons bared.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Battle Report - Steel Legion Vs Tyranids!

I haven't played a lot of games lately, but when my new army project reached a fully painted 500 points, it seemed like the perfect time to get them on the field. Handily, my brother Ed from BERZERKERBLADE is always up for a game, and Tyranids vs Guard had always been a favourite of ours.  He picked out a suitable 500 points of the gribbly xenos filth and we set the scene; an all out mashup in the shadows of an abandoned manufactorum. With that intro out of the way, as Craig Charles used to say "Let the Wars Begin!"

The 13th Armageddon Reserve Company Arrayed for Battle

The Armies:

The Armageddon 13th Reserves:

Commander Kastoph Greede, Power Fist, Plasma Pistol (Company Commander, Laurels of Command, Ex-Gang Leader Warlord Trait).

Sub-Commander Consuela Bananarocha, Bolt Pistol (Company Commander)

Infantry Squad, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Sergeant with Bolter

Infantry Squad, Sergeant with Chainsword

Infantry Squad, Sergeant with Chainsword

Basilisk, Heavy Flamer

Deathstrike, Heavy Bolter

Thoughts on the army, well it's everything I want and more. Well, except for the Deathstrike which I fully expect to be completely useless. In fact, I'd be surprised if it actually goes off. It's rather expensive in points too, at about 150, so a massive chunk of the army. I'm fielding what I have painted though, so I'll have to make do. The other thing that concerns me is a bit of a lack of anti-tank (or maybe anti-monster). I basically have the basilisk and the one missile launcher to get that done, unless Greede reckons he can punch the enemy to death. Basically the plan is to fire a lot of lasguns and hope that the strobe lighting causes his monsters to have an epileptic seizure or something. If that doesn't work, maybe they'll try to tar pit everything. As they once said in Dynasty Warriors once "Men, fight and die with honour!"

Alien Menace from Beyond the Stars:

Winged Hive Tyrant 2x scything talons, pincer tail, adrenal glands (ymgarl factor, monstrous hunger, Catalyst, The Horror)

11 Hormagaunts

11 Hormagaunts

3 Tyranid Warriors, adrenal glands, one rending claws

Carnifex, Scything Talons, Bone Mace Tail, adrenal glands


Well, I have to admit that I'm not sure how well I'll do. The flying Tyrant is a serious piece of monster, and I'm not packing enough to stop it before it can do some serious damage. There's also the Carnifex to contend with and plenty of troops. I guess my strategy will be to pound on them with everything I've got and hope that the Deathstrike goes off and takes out at leas one of the monsters. It would be nice if the Missile scored a few hits too to back up the basilisk which is definitely going to be doing some heavy lifting. This is one of those fights that could turn into a real meat grinder. He also had that Lictor too, which could be a real fly in the ointment later on; especially with the artillery out the back.

On the upside, as Ed was struggling to fit a second HQ in, he only had 3 command points to spend.


We decided to play Malestrom, so 6 objectives were placed on the field. As usual, we placed them roughly evenly on the 4x4 board; with an emphasis on putting them in and around the terrain. You can see some of them below (the light green plastic counters). We then took turns deploying. I went with a fairly standard layout for guard (the old gun-line). I put my missile launcher in the top of the tower and then deployed my men to get the best lines of fire that I could. Handily, the Basilisk and Deathstrike both have indirect fire, so I put them at the back of the field out of the way.

Ed deployed in a similar line with his units bunched behind terrain. The hive Tyrant can be seen opposite the Deathstrike with the carnifex at the other end of the line and the gaunts in the middle. He finished deploying first. We rolled for first turn, which I won, but then he seized the initiative. I was really hoping to flatten some stuff with the Basilisk too!

The hideous alien menace can be seen on the left! Seen on the top right are the shorts that Ed wore throughout the battle.

The imperial lines. Commander Greede is just off the bottom left of the photo. Consuela's flag can be seen in the mid field.

The Tyranid lines. Pretty much a monster on each end and a big wad of troops in the middle.
Tyranid Turn 1:
After seizing the initiative, Ed got first turn. He drew his objective cards, and handily realised that 2 of them were easy enough for him to get. Objective 5 was in the Oil Derricks in my deployment zone, but he was headed that way anyway.

True to form, he moved everything forward and advanced at full speed. The Hive Tyrant can fly, so it sailed across the field and advanced to land mere inches from my first infantry squad. It was also in spitting distance of both Greede and the Deathstrike.

With no real shooting to speak of, he skipped to the psychic phase and used catalyst on the Hive Tyrant to get Feel no Pain, and then used Smite; which killed 3 guardsmen. Talk about too close for comfort! It was right up in my grill, and like I said in the intro, I wasn't packing the right guns to put it down before it would be able to trash a good portion of the army.

Steel Legion Turn 1:
Time to blast some aliens off the field! Well, it was always going to go this way, but it didn't help that all 3 objectives I pulled out were basically impossible as they related to objectives in Ed's deployment zone.

In my movement phase, I walked my squad forward from where they were defending the Oil Derricks so that they could get into rapid fire range. As I was using the Steel Legion doctrine, I could rapid fire at 18", but I wanted to make sure they were well in there.

I then went on to the shooting phase, I used my commanders to spread about a full set of "First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire"; increasing my lasguns to raid fire 2. I was at short range too, so it resulted in a lot of shots per unit.
Anyone getting this classic Metal Gear reference?

I opened up into the Hormagaunts with all 3 squads; battering them with a storm of lasers. I split fire with the missile launcher and grenade launcher as I went too; aiming those at the Hive Tyrant. The Hormagaunts took massive casualties, and one unit was wiped clean off the field. The second unit of 11 was reduced down to only 5 models. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, the MISSile launcher lived up to it's name and hit nothing but air. The grenade launcher followed suit. I had also split fire by throwing a frag grenade at the hive tyrant from Sergeant Kurn, but I rolled 1 shot and then it missed.

I switched over to the Basilisk and the Deathstrike. As the Deathstrike couldn't even attempt to fire it's actual missile yet, I shot the heavy bolter at the Tyrant to no effect. I then fired the basilisk at the Tyrant too. I rolled a 1 and 3 for the number of shots. I decided to use a command point to re-roll the one hoping for more shots, but I got a 4. So it fired 4 shots. Between a 4+ invulnerable save and Feel No Pain, it was almost impossible to get anything through, and after all was said and done, I only managed to put one wound on the thing! I'd also fired Greede's plasma pistol at it to no effect.

I ended my turn. All in all, it was pretty decent, and I cleared a lot of troops off the field, but those monsters were bearing down on me fast!

Tyranid Turn 2:

The Tyranid swarm moved forward at a pace. Ed pulled the objective of killing my Warlord, so he jumped the Tyrant over my squad and prepared to charge Greede (I was hoping to use heroic intervention to put his power fist to good use, so I was a bit disappointed!). The remaining Hormagaunts moved up onto the bridge with the Warriors in tow.

His Carnifex moved up right in front of my squad down near the derricks and then he declared his charges. The Tyrant charged Greede and the squad next to him, the Hormagaunts charged the squad on the bridge and inevitably the Carnifex charged the squad at the Derrick.

Overwatch was mostly ineffective, although I did manage to bag a pair of Hormagaunts on the bridge. Ed made all of his charges, and there was nothing left to do but fix bayonets and prepare for the worst.

Ed decided to fight with the Carnifex first. I was quite lucky, as it actually fluffed most of its rolls and only killed 2 or 3 guardsmen. Not a bad result, and a few more turns like that would see it out of the fight for a while. I burned 2 command points to interrupt Ed's combat attacks. I then went to the combat where the Hive Tyrant was fighting Greede, and Kurn's squad. I attacked with Greede; trying to put the power fist home. With his ex-gang leader trait, Greede had an additional attack and +1 to his wound rolls. He managed to get 2 attacks through; resulting in a respectable 4 wounds. Not bad. Unfortunately for the big man, he was then squished like a puny yellow bug by the massive monster.

In the mid-field, Consuela used Heroic Intervention to jump into the combat. Ed's Hormagaunts had somehow failed to cause any casualties, and the suffered 2 in return; reducing them to a single model. All in all, things seemed to be going OK, but I'd lost my general and Ed was running away with the objectives.

Ed had also dropped his Lictor onto the field this turn down by the Oil Derricks and had claimed another objective with it.

Steel Legion Turn 2:

One thing was sure, I needed to get out of combat and start shooting again if I wanted to stand a chance. The Tyrant was still bearing down on me hard, and still on its top profile. The carnifex had only lost one wound.

I pulled out of combat with the Tyrant and the remaining Hormagaunt. I then used Consuela to use the order "get Back in the Fight" to turn my men around and open fire again.

Kurn throws another grenade and his men lay into the Tyrant. This time, he rolls up 6 shots, but even then, the Tyrant avoids damage once again. Nothing unexpected there, but for a 40 point unit, they're slugging like they mean business. Next comes the Deathstrike, which needs a 6 to fire the missile; which it fails. Not too worried about that as there really isn't a good target for it and the Tyrant is too close to my units to fire it safely anyway. I fire the Heavy Bolter at it anyway, but again nothing happens.

Then, I have a moment that changes the game. I fire the Basilisk at the Tyrant. I roll up the number of shots and get 6. Then, I get 4 hits. After all the saves are done, it takes 6 wounds straight through! Reducing it down to one. With the Carnifex tied up on the other side of the field, things start to look up. I fire the remaining unit of guardsmen with the missile launcher. Again, they manage nothing, but thanks to the split fire, they kill off the last remaining Hormagaunt; clearing the bridge. They're still at full strength too.

The fight with the Carnifex continues, and it kills a few of my men, but they stand fast. I have 6 left of them going into Ed's turn, so I doubt they'll be able to hold much longer. He still has the Tyrant though, and I'm really hoping it'll die to some lucky overwatch or something. 

I have an objective that I'll score if I can kill a model with over 10 wounds too, and I haven't got a single point yet, so I'm really hoping to bag that Tyrant.

Tyranid Turn 3:

The Tyranid turn begins, and this time Ed's serious; and by that I mean he realises how dangerous the Basilisk is and sets out to destroy it. He moves the Hive Tyrant up right next to the Basilisk, and he also moves the Lictor towards it; sandwiching it between the two for what's sure to be a tough combat phase for me.

The Tyranid warriors move up to engage Consuela and the squad with the missile Launcher. In Ed's Psychic phase he uses smite on the basilisk; clipping a few wounds off of it. He then casts Catalyst on the Lictor in an attempt to absorb and overwatch from the heavy flamer.

He declares a charge on the Basilisk first with the Lictor. I overwatch with the heavy flamer and roll a 6 for the number of hits. The Lictor melts into a pile of slag. Damn, am I glad I spent the points on that weapon! The Tyrant then charges, and I fail to get any hits on it with overwatch.

In the combat phase, Ed's Carnifex squishes 4 men, and ultimately, the unit fails their morale and the last two are removed; freeing up the Carnifex again. The Hive Tyrant crunches down on the Basilik and knocks off every wound but one on it. It's turning into some kind of 1 wound showdown at the back of the field!

Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures on Ed's turn, so the ones I have are from the end of my own movement phase after I tried to escape with the Basilisk.

Even with only one would left, the Tyrant really does a number on the Basilisk!

The Carnifex kills the last of my infantry unit, and is ready to put the hurt on the rest of my force. 
Ed's Tyranid warriors also charge in and kill 5 of my missile squad. They take one wound off of Consuela too. I kill the closest models, and we end up separated. I have to burn some command pointes to keep the unit in the fight.

Steel Legion Turn 3:

Another cinematic turning point represented by a handful of dice
In my turn 3, I disengage with Consuela and run back towards my two remaining half-squads. I run away a bit with the basilisk as already pictured above.

I then open fire on the Hive Tyrant with Kurn's Squad. With some really good shooting, they manage to get 3 wounds through on the beast, but it saves them all on its armour. Then I make the roll that changes the game. I need a 5 or 6 to fire the Deathstrike and I actually make it.

Ignition in 5...4...3...2...1...

The colossal rocket takes to the air; targeting the exposed Carnifex. I roll up the number of shots and get 10, which translate through to 8 mortal wounds. The Carnifex is helpless to stop the weapon, and disappears off the field in an atomic mushroom cloud!

The scene as it plays out through the lens of a Mechanicus orbital installation.
To top it all off, the Deathstrike then firs its Heavy Bolter and kills the Hive Tyrant. I honestly wouldn't have thought it possible, but there you go!

I fire the remaining models from the missile launcher's unit at the warriors. They cause some damage, but not enough to put any of the warriors down.

From this point on the game will be a rush to the finish, as I still only have one objective. I have slay the warlord and first blood but points wise, we're at 3 to 7, so if I can't table him then I'll lose on objectives. The Basilisk and Deathstrike are mostly out of it too as the Basilisk is too damaged to be of much use and the Deathstrike has already spent its payload.

Tyranid Turn 4:

Ed's only remaining unit is his Warriors. They change direction and charge Consuela and the unit of 5 men next to her. In the combat that ensues, they take another wound off of Consuela; leaving her with 2 wounds, and they kill another two men from the infantry unit leaving it with 3 men.

In the back attack, they lose a few wounds which kills one of the warriors and leaves another one injured.

The field at the start of the Tyranid Turn
Steel Legion Turn 4, Tyranid Turn 5 and Endgame:

In a desperate bid to get another objective, I limp the Basilisk onto objective 5 and score the only other card I'm going to get.

I disengage with my squads and fire the missile squad and the heavy bolter into the remaining two Tyranid Warriors; killing another one.

In Tyranid Turn 5, Ed charges the Missile squad with his warrior and kills another 3 men, but it takes 2 wounds in return; leaving it on only one wound. In my turn 5 I disengage from the combat and fire everything I've got at it, but fail to would. I then take aim with the Deathstrike and chip his last wound off with the heavy bolter, and it wins me the game. At this point, if the game had lasted one more turn, Ed would have the opportunity to win on objectives. We even rolled a dice to see if the game would've ended and it turns out that it would. All said and done, it was a victory for the Legion, but it was a damn close thing.
The last remaining warrior stands alone at the top of the tower; until a hail of shells dislodges it!

Steel Legion Victory


Steel Legion: 4
Tyranids: 7

Post Game Thoughts:
Well, that was a close game; just the way I like my games. If it had gone one more turn, I would've lost. It was a battle with a lot of pivotal moments too; in particular the Deathstrike firing when it did and taking out the Carnifex really saved me. The Basilisk doing so much damage in one volley to the Hive Tyrant was an equally a game changing moment.

In my first turn, I thought I might just get steamrollered by the monstrous creatures; especially when I fired everything I had at the Tyrant and only took one wound off of it. I guess it just proves that old adage about sticking to your guns. Neither of the forces were designed to be particularly competitive, and I still think the Deathstrike is quite poor for 150 points, but it really did its job in this battle.

As far as tactics go, Ed said that he regretted not trying for a turn 1 charge with the Hive Tyrant as well as not attacking first with it in the fight with Greede. I'm pretty sure he might have won if he had killed Greede before he could strike with the fist as I wouldn't have had enough firepower to take the rest of the wounds off of the Tyrant in the late game.

On a different note, I hope you've enjoyed this battle report. I don't write too many of them, so leave a comment below if you want to encourage me to do more! (they just take so long!). 

I also hope you enjoyed the miniatures and terrain on show. I painted all of the terrain too, and most of it is from TT Combat's laser-cut MDF range.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Steel Legion Infantry Squad Finished

I just finished this squad for my fledgling Steel Legion force. I've been playing with the camera again too to get some dramatic and dynamic photos. I've also taken some stock shots on a black background so you can get a clearer look at them. The black seems to make the yellow of the jackets look a bit too strong. I did want them to be a bit more vibrant than usual though so they would stand out on the battlefield.

This has been quite a fast scheme to paint, and I estimate that they've taken me about an hour each. I've tried to keep the scheme fast because I'll need to paint a lot of models to get to the end of the army, and it is a force that I'm intending to use for games, so speed was an important consideration.

I remember the Third War for Armageddon Campaign that was fought in White Dwarf and all the battle reports from the time, as well as the global campaign that was fought. It has directly led to this project, as it gave me a real love for Steel Legion and there's just something awesome about how nostalgic it all feels. I've used Death Korps models, as they are a bigger range and nicer than the older (and now a little dated) Steel Legion models, but I still want to keep as much of the original feel as possible. For this reason, I'm planning to use a lot of the older units on the field, and plenty of things that were in Epic, and I have the same nostalgic feeling about. For that reason, I've started working on a Basilisk and a Colossus to back these boys up.

I also painted up a unit from Anvil Industry's Regiments range for them; giving me a total of 20 painted Infantry and the Deathstrike. Not a bad start, but I'll need at least 40 men to really get them going, and I need to finish some other vehicles as the Deathstrike is a bit lacklustre rules-wise at the moment, so it'll need some backup to get the job done!

I actually painted these 10 men in the space of a single weekend, so here's hoping I can keep up this level of enthusiasm.