Monday, 30 June 2014

Sisters Of Battle

Following on from the Inquisitorial stuff I did yesterday, I spent much of today fiddling around with the few Sisters of Battle that I have, and doing up the one RHINO that I have for them. Had a fun few minutes converting the meltagun to fit onto the automated turret dome where the other bolter used to sit!

The pig-Latin ('High Gothic') on the driver's armoured box reads 'Fidelis et Furor', which translates - very roughly - as Faith and Fury. Quite fitting for the militant nuns of the Imperium of Humanity's quasi-Catholic gothic space church!

After that, I re-equipped my Canoness with an inferno pistol, as her bolt pistol just isn't purifying enough for the sort of sinners she'll end up fighting. You know, like tanks. Or Dreadnoughts.

Then I rebased and touched up the few Celestians that I've got. I went over to Games Workshop's website to see how much it'd cost to bulk the little force up to a skirmish group and nearly fell off my chair when I realised the figures are now averaging about £5-7 each! eBay it is then...

Speaking of eBay, even more stuff has gone up for sale now, including a Brian Nelson Orc Big 'Un Command Group, a Vampire Counts Corpse Cart, some Dark Eldar and some fully painted Valhallans. Have a shufti!

Sunday, 29 June 2014


One of the best things about rebasing old figures is that it makes them seem new and fresh. It's also good to see how quickly my idea of basing all my 40K figures in the desert brings them all together. I may have to do a bit of repainting here and there, but my Inqusitorial retinue really looks the part. Before they were all based in classic NW Europe style green, which is great, but something about desert basing just screams "science fiction" to me.

It's probably got something to do with Tunisia...

...can't think why.

Well, actually, an Inquisitor on the left, her Interrogator (trainee) on the right.

Paradisan* Imperial Guard officer and Defence Force SNCO on the left, Inquisitorial Stormtrooper Bodyguard Detail on the right (note grenade launcher, because sometimes when engaged in close protection you need to be able to give people the high explosive good news).

Portia and Staria, assassins from the upper levels of Hive Tertius on Varangia. No target too well protected for this duo!

L-R: Qunaya Snorisdottir, Squat pilot and mechanic; Jokaero weaponsmith; Primaris Psyker of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica.
L-R: Savant; Scribe-servitor; unknown? possibly servitor.

I painted up both the servitor/mutant with the red hood and massive sword (it's bigger than the Psyker or the tall Inquisitor in black armour!) and the pink-haired abhuman pilot/scoundrel type today, while my son, T, who is five, added this terminator in camouflage to his list of painted figures:

He then used the pot of sand as a mini-sandpit for his Lego figures. And why not?

Finally, there's yet more stuff for sale on my eBay. Go here to have a look and see if there's anything you might like: fully painted Haradrim? Malus Darkblade? Codex: Dark Angels for a tenner?

* The (surprisingly named) Paradise-class world Paradiso is a matriarchical society; men are not allowed to serve in the Paradisan armed forces and are never drafted into the Paradisan Imperial Guard regiments.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

More Slimming Down, And Research

Well, I didn't do any more on the Division Azul, but I did become aware that the figures I've bought are correct in all but two respects.

First of all, the Blue Division apparently never got issued jackboots. They were issued ankle boots and gaiters. ARRRRRGH.

Secondly, I'll be needing to model a few of them with their blue shirts turned out over the collars of their field grey tunics. I searched high and low for evidence to support this, and found...

...this. The machine-gunner appears to be the only man in the boat to have turned his collar out, and every other photo I found showed only Blue Division men with their shirts worn as per uniform requirements, i.e. inside their tunics. Which is a relief, as it means I can ignore that particular bit of green-stuff madness. Even better, I found this photo:

Which purports to be Div Azul men marching up to the Krasny-Bor front. Note the large number of visible jackboots. O joy! O fortuna! No need for green stuff after all! Success! Obviously this means that the blueshirts, er, 'appropriated' jackboots as often as they could, and it appears that some of them either never bothered or couldn't find any in their size.

In searching for pictures of Blue Division troops displaying both ankle boots and blue shirts, I came across this interesting little gem:

There's a Wordpress blog post about it here, and it's available on Amazon here. He seems to have also written at least two bande dessinees about the Spanish-American War, called Terre Libre and De Sangre Y Ron Mi Cuba. WHY can't we get stuff like this published in English?!

Anyway, what I have been doing, however, is lots of e-Baying - stuff for my friend JY, and stuff that's mine that I want shot of.

So... if you're in the mood for some Dark Angels, Space Marines, Urban War, Lord of the Rings, Orks, Dark Eldar, Flames of War, or anything like that, head on over to my eBay profile here and have a trawl through what I'm selling.

I'm still umming and ahhing over selling my Dark Eldar army - the Kabal of Thorns - in its entirety, which consists of:

  • Archon (converted)
  • Archon's Court (mix of manufacturers and figures)
  • 4 Incubi (kitbashed)
  • Venom
  • 2 Haemonculi (old, 3rd Edition metals)
  • 9 Wyches (new)
  • Raider (old, 3rd Edition vintage)
  • 44 Warriors (one squad of 20, two of 12 - all 3rd edition plastics with some conversions and kitbashes mixed in)
  • Beastmaster (plastic kitbash) with Donorian Clawed Fiend
  • Beastmaster (plastic kitbash) with Razorwing Flock
  • 3 Reaver Jetbikes (3rd Edition, kitbashed)
  • Talos Pain Engine

What I am selling from my Dark Eldar are five new Mandrakes, five old 3rd Edition Mandrakes, a Finecast Haemonculus, and two old 3rd Edition Archons, as well as two 3rd Edition Warriors with Shredders and a pile of Warriors and Wyches still on the sprues. The two Archons for sale look like this:

I think I may as well keep the army listed above, it's reasonably small, easily finished (ahahaha) and will take to the rebased desert scheme quite well, I think. Plus it has an innate tactical theme - a firebase of Warriors backed by the Archon's Court and the Haemonculi with their Talos, and a flanking force of Wyches and Archon supported by the Reavers and Beastmasters. Around about 1500 points-ish I think. Assuming I ever play 40K again that is!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Cara Al Sol...

...Los Camisas Neuvas!

Today I started building my Division Azul platoon for Chain of Command. The figures are the Warlord Games' plastic 'Blitzkrieg' German infantry 1939-42, and are pretty characterful. Reasonably easy to build, and ingenious touches like the one-piece pouches are great. I'm splitting them into three squads, each with a different set of poses - one standing firing, one charging (with grenade-throwing and bayonet) and one prone and kneeling, firing. So far I've made up a mere handful of men, but here they are on my painting table:

Yesterday evening I went with JY to a wargames and games club based in Coventry, where I played a very nice chap called Kevin at X-Wing. His tactics weren't brilliant, and I beat him 100-59 with my TIE swarm, and then we swapped sides and I beat him 100-0 with his X-Wing/Y-Wing flight. Here's the turn-by-turn pics from the first game:

 Setup - Obsidian Sqn in their usual two flight groups side-by-side. Note the Y-Wings in the Rebel centre and the X-Wings off to starboard.
 End Turn One: Obsidian Sqn and the Rebels move in, no-one in range. Asteroids ahoy; time to move.
 End Turn Two: I made a serious error here. 'B' Flight moved 2 Forwards rather than 3 Forwards, which meant that 'A' Flight ran into them. D'oh! However the Rebels were not in a position to capitalise on this; ion turrets hit O5 but Obsidian Sqn firing knocked an ion turret off one of the Grey Squadron ships.
 End Turn Three: The furball begins! TIEs manouvering as best they could; O5 causing some problems as it drifts under the effects of the Ion blast.
 End Turn Four: O5 goes west, but so has one of Grey Squadron and now I outnumber them 2:1 and have concentration of firepower too.
 End Turn Five: The Rebels break, my TIEs strip them of their shields as they lose formation.
 End Turn Six: Howlrunner down! But so is the second Y-Wing, and the X-Wings are separated.
 End Turn Seven: O2 has managed to K-Turn himself in front of one of the X-Wings - an error of judgement on my part. Miraculously he only took two damage rather than go BOOM.
 End Turn Eight: One X-Wing down, one to go, but O2 has gone. I now have a 4:1 advantage, but not for long...
 End Turn Nine: Another TIE breaks up under the punishing firepower of the X-Wing, in return for a point of hull damage.
End Turn Ten: And that's all she wrote. Outnumbered 3:1, the last X-Wing is shot down and the day belongs to the Empire. Score: 100 points to 59.

In the rematch I flew the Rebels as a single flight, splitting into two elements each of a Y-Wing and X-Wing about half-way through. Kevin's lack of experience with a TIE swarm told; he flew them in a ragged line which meant O2 and O3 (both PS5) were on their own and dispatched by turn three, followed shortly thereafter by Howlrunner (PS8) which then meant the PS4 Rebels were shooting first and able to concentrate their fire on a small number of fragile TIEs, often at ranges 1-2, maximising their shooting potential and minimising the TIE's agility advantage. The result there was a whitewash; I destroyed Obsidian Squadron for no losses (although I was down to one hull point on one of the Y-Wings)! I think Kevin may be a tougher opponent next time; he certainly had a pretty solid list!

The club were a friendly bunch and I took some photos of the other wargames going on in the same room:

 The "two Petes" and their Romans-versus-Britons DBA game in 15mm! I think the Romans won but I'm not certain.

 Simon and John setting up for their second X-Wing game. Interceptors versus B- and Y-Wings.

Gary and Tony, playing Pulp Alley! - a race against time to stop the Dastardly Nazis getting away with a Death Ray! No idea who won but lovely terrain, nice models and by the sound of it a jolly fun game.

Oh, and tonight I introduced SB to X-Wing and had a couple of games of Magic: The Gathering. Tomorrow, more Division Azul and probably a bit more X-Wing, because why not!

Ten Hours Of The Imperial March

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was intended to have been posted just before I left for Tunisia. I hit 'Save' instead and then forgot about it. AHURR DURR DERP-A-DERP.

I had a quick game of X-Wing (what else) with JY tonight - I took Soontir Fel with Push the Limit, Howlrunner, and four Obsidian Squadron TIE/ln fighters against Wedge with Swarm Tactics, a Rookie X-Wing pilot, and two B-Wings with Fire Control Systems.

I managed to get two turns' flying in formation then I made a critical error and broke my TIE pack in two seperate directions. This enabled JY to get his two X-Wings and surviving B-Wing onto the tail of Howlrunner and Obsidian 5, blowing them outta the sky! This really screwed my game, or so I thought, but luckily Baron Soontir Fel proved he was the best pilot in the Galaxy by going on to survive the game, helping to shoot down both Wedge and the Rookie, and outflying the last B-Wing who managed to K-Turn off the board!

Today I get my Firespray and another Interceptor. I'm excited.

Oh, and the title? Well, I played this while we were gaming:

JY was not best pleased!

And just because I could, have some fiction:

Kinlochan Highway, Aderaband Province, 06:15 Local Time

Lieutenant Posbrak spat a phlegmy clump of dust over the side of the Chimera’s turret and sighed. His little patrol group, Sierra-Five, had left Fort Terek an hour ago, with the first rays of dawn breaking over the horizon. Since then, nothing but dust and a faint, half-hearted drizzle, that simply made the dust sticky. The dull olive and grey green foliage that ran - thick and miserable in the heat - alongside the highway meant that he was relying on his scanners and the mad Lifeguard Sentinel driver racing on up ahead for even the most basic information about his surroundings.

He upped the gain on his goggles’ built-in magnifier, and raised himself higher in the turret to see what lay ahead. He could just see the curious gait of the old, white-and-purple Sentinel as it loped along half a kilometer ahead, almost lost in the haze of heat, rain and dust. Other than that; nothing. Turning, he looked back along the road towards the rest of the patrol. The crazy Aderaband militia sergeant was sitting, cross-legged, between the heavy stubber and searchlight of his unit’s Rhino, his comrades lounging against the sides of the top hatch, their lasrifles pointing in all directions as they gazed listlessly around them, squinting against the weather and the omnipresent summer dust. Further back still came the rest of his platoon – a single Chimera with seven men in. It was buttoned up, its turret rotated to face the way they’d come. He grimaced. 

Not even half way into this patrol and he was concerned about hitting mines on the way back into Terek.

Suddenly, there was a soft plang against the turret hatch by his head, and he jerked back, cracking his spine on the rim of the turret. A bullet! Then - another, whak, into the turret armour, and he dropped into the safety of the fighting compartment, half-shouting, half-screaming into his vox-link, “Contact! Contact! This is Sierra-Five Actual, I say again, contact! Wait one! Over!”


So in the month since I last posted, I've been to Tunisia (hot, dry, amazing), and amicably split from S.

Both of which have pretty much killed my modelling and painting. I've still managed to get a few games in, and there's a new shop opened in Leamington Spa called BAM! Comics, which is very friendly and deserves your support.

As to what I have been up to, well...

I've played a few games of X-Wing, losing some and winning some, played Firefly: the game (and lost), won a game of Talisman, and joined a games club in Coventry with my friend JY (his uncle and two lecturers from his college attend, and he had no idea, which is pretty funny).

Oh, and I finally got some Germans to paint up as Division Azul troops to fight my Soviets. Except, as I discovered, 30 figures isn't quite enough to represent a full-strength Wehrmacht-organised infantry platoon from 1942. I need another 19 figures for that - another 10 man squad, a platoon CO, platoon sergeant, three runners (one with a sniper rifle), a sanitats, and a 5cm mortar team of three. Ah well, it's a start!

Anyway, here's some pictures:

 A game of X-Wing against JY, early on, before I lost both TIE bombers by being run over by the Dodonna's Pride (the big bloody thing on the right!), and before my Lambda managed to pop Wedge(?) with its heavy laser cannon. My interceptors are busy looking cool and dishing out the pain.

Arrrgh! The death of Iorek the Shamed, my Dragon Age pen-and-paper RPG character, to a Shade, on the road from the Lothering graveyard. Poor sod. He slaughtered his way through a graveyard full of demon-possessed skeletons, only to run up against this thing against whom his battle axe was not effective and his mighty armour useless. So he fought, and died, after realising he couldn't escape. Still, it means I get to make a new character! Happy days!

 Setting up a game of X-Wing at BAM! Comics (£2.50 an hour to use a table, not each, per table. Jolly reasonably priced and you can play anything you want; there was a game of Magic going on behind us and then that turned into Conquistador). Me with Obsidian Squadron and JY flailing about trying to write a list.

 The forces. Seven TIE/ln versus two X-Wings and two A-Wings.

 Setup. Two flights ('A' on the right, with the blank space behind O2, and 'B' on the left, O4-O7) against one. Prepare to die, Rebel scum!

 End turn one. Moving in for the kill.

 End turn two. At this point I've lost O4 to X-Wing fire, while the A-Wings' assault missiles both missed, doing (thankfully) no damage at all to my closely packed TIE swarm.

 End turn three. One A-Wing downed, a few bumps as my 'A' flight run into the X-Wings which are now neatly on the tail of 'B' flight who had run into them earlier on, trapping them into facing the wrong way... aiee!

 End turn four. Bloody asteroids! Amazingly I've only lost one other TIE but I don't like these odds of 5:3...

 End turn five. I'm facing the wrong way with everything, and his X-Wings... aren't. Curses!

 End turn six. Predictable results really. Now one-on-one with TIEs against barely damaged Rebel ships; there's no way out for the remains of Obsidian Squadron now!

 End turn seven. Another TIE's bitten the dust. Still three rebel ships. The end is nigh.

And that's that! Taken milliseconds before the surviving TIE disintegrates under a hail of cannon fire from the X-Wings. A well-flown victory for JY, helped enormously by bad positioning and terrible dice rolls from me.

 Rematch. I got my own back in a 150 point game immediately afterwards where I took two Black Squadron pilots, Vader, and three Interceptors led by Baron Fel. This is the point at which JY gave up, having had all his X-Wings destroyed for the loss of one TIE, and the Falcon about to go down under a hail of fire.

A game of Talisman with CH! He took a monk who became EEEEEEVILLLL really early on (and became massively strong, a base attack of 22!), and I ended up with a thief who snuck into the Valley of Fear and seized the Crown of Command despite nearly dying along the way. Yipes! I love this game and really must get some of the expansions. And paint the figures. Must paint the figures.

And a game of Firefly in progress with SB, NR, NV, and AC. AC won, damn his eyes, but at least I got to fly in the 'verse and I was very nearly the winner. Very nearly. I just misjudged things a teeny weeny bit and ended up having to sack Inara from my crew! Sad times!

I have done some other bits and pieces, like some work on an Eversor assassin, starting to repaint the Rhino from the Aderaband Home Defence Militia, and that sort of thing, but really since I got back from North Africa I've just been gaming.