Tentacles for the All Father!

I painted some terminators a couple of years ago now. They were re-purposed Assault on Black Reach models I inherited, and then I magnetized the arms that weren’t already cemented on. So right in time for our last game I finished a magnetized Power Tentacle arm!

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I did the crux terminatus  on the shoulder pad a little differently this time too. When I first painted them I conceived that these guys were sort of “no nonsense” and went for a basic color scheme. So their armor is mechanicus standard gray with a black ink wash with the crux being the old charadon granite color. Looks ok, I guess, when you look at it three inches from your eyeball but on the table, when one is playing, it blends in too much and the whole model seems like maybe they are taking their spartan aesthetics just a bit too far.

So for the power tentacle pad I used fenris blue, drowned it in black ink, then relayered with blue.  Highlighted with a bit of lothern blue and then a touch of white.  I thought this might be a bit more noticeable and add a bit of color and interest while preserving my original ideas.  I probably won’t bother to go back and redo the old guys, but going forward I think I like the new crux much better.

 

 

 

“They Came Out of the Storm” Scenario

Our first game was piratical marines using a blizzard to launch a surprise attack on IG in a ruined village.

This is a narrative scenario where one side attempts to achieve surprise by attacking an entrenched opponent in the aftermath of a storm.  Players should cooperate with terrain or have a third party set up the board.  The defender’s table half should contain a village, industrial works, supply depot, trench works, or some other such theme.  The attack’s side should probably contain less terrain, though this depends upon how the list match up.  Perhaps they are attacking out of sand dunes or from the edge of a jungle.

Of course one can vary terrain density depending upon the army and list match-ups to make for a fair game.  For example, a terminator force lining up against defenders who are light on AP 2 weapons may not require any cover at all, whereas a force of light infantry against say a typical Tau list probably should not be forced to walk across a bare board.

Use “Dawn of War” deployment where each player sets up within 12″ of his long table edge. The attacking player automatically sets up and takes the first turn, though the defender may attempt to seize the initiative. Night Fighting takes place automatically on turn one without a die roll. Secondary objective changes are noted below in the victory conditions. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Six objectives are placed in the defending player’s half of the table.  We found it best to set up the objectives collaboratively. This resulted in a more thematic placement and also because it can be difficult to legally set up six objectives on one side of the board if both players aren’t cooperating.

The storm could just as easily involve sand rather than snow.

Infiltration and Scout Moves work as normal but there is no deep striking allowed by either side in this scenario, unless both players agree to it. Thus units such as drop pods, which are required to enter play via deep strike, may be limited in number or even completely disallowed.

The attacker’s outflanking units must be positioned so the entire unit, including transports, are entirely within the owning player’s deployment zone on the turn the unit arrives. (This also applies to units with unusual special rules such as ork kommandos with Snikrot.)  The defender may not outflank units. Other reserves for both players are allowed but they enter play from each player’s long table edge.

Victory Conditions

Players score 3 victory points for each objective they control at the end of the game.  Secondary objectives are as normal except Line Breaker.  If the attacking player has more units completely within the defender’s deployment zone than the defender at game’s end, then the attacker receives one point for Line Breaker.  If the defender has more units then he receives 1 VP.  If a tie then neither player gets a point.  The defender cannot receive points by ending the game in the attacker’s deployment zone.

Alternately, you could play this scenario using the Maelstrom of War missions with the tactical cards, but if you do then I would remove the prohibition against deep striking, and also ignore the scenario restrictions for outflanking.  Otherwise the attacking player may find himself not able to score any cards until turn three at best!  If I did want to play a maelstrom scenario without deep striking, I’d probably use “Tactical Escalation” where the cards each player receives and can hold increases with each passing turn.

Our “They Came Out of the Storm” Games

 Space Wolves vs. IG (1500 Points, August 2015): A bloody game with the marines walking out of a blizzard in order to attack IG positions in a shattered village.  The defenders successfully held until turn five, but Legion VI-XIII was able to turn the battle around with a healthy dose of luck and several well-timed curses laid by a random shield maiden who wandered by to watch our game.

Space Wolf Jump Pack Trio

The new guy is the one in the middle.

After completing my goal of 1000 points of Space Wolves before the end of 2014, I’ve drastically slowed down but not stopped adding to the army.  My goal now is to eventually get to 1500 points without having to use my husband’s Ultramarines as stand-in’s.

The latest addition is an assault marine pictured above between two of his friends, who I completed awhile ago now.  I got a good deal on a couple of boxes of figures because I bought them right before the new ones came out as part of updating the Space Marine codex.  My latest assault marine has seen a few battles now as a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, though once I get the rest of the box done he will probably find himself among the Skyclaws.

As usual I painted his power armor with Mechanicus Standard Grey, followed by a heavy wash of Badab Black, then a dry brush of Administratum Grey.  When I first started my Space Wolves I tried highlighting their armor, but didn’t like how clean and polished they ended up looking.  I wanted a sort of no frills, “rougher” look without doing a bunch of environmental effects like sand or mud.  I found that simply dry brushing the armor gave me the effect I was looking for.

So once I finish up the Skyclaws, I’ll have to decide which of the four projects I want to work on next.  I have a vindicator that has been sitting around half finished for a very long time now.  Alternately, a Stormwolf might be a worthy addition to my forces, adding some needed air support and especially anti-air.  Third, I’d eventually like a Void Claw formation because I usually field a lot of terminators who arrive by deep strike.  I’ve been using the aegis line with a comm relay and want another option for keeping my reserve rolls reliable.  Especially one my opponent can’t potentially use as well.  So I’ll need to paint and magnetize a bunch of lightning claw arms to go on my existing terminators.

Lastly, my liaison officer has been calling on our friends the Ultramarines for devastator help for long enough now.  It is high it is time to load honors and accolades upon my husband’s loyal, blue friends and send them in glory back to Ultramar and paint some long fangs to take the place of these puissant worthies.

Saga of Zeath the Unforgotten

From Phil Kelly’s 2009 Space Wolves codex:  “Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.”

Zeath’s Current and Past Exploits

Spring 2015: Zeath distinguished himself during a series of highly successful raids into the Farsight Enclaves after the legion’s attempts at diplomacy failed.  (“What nice planets you people have, it sure would be a shame if anything happened to them.”)  As a result he was promoted to a full Mystic, which is what Legion VI-13 calls its rune priests.

Circa 2013-14: Survived implantation of Canis Helix Type N, which also saw an increase in his psychic powers and capacity for physical regeneration.  The process also has driven him somewhat mad where he is haunted by daemons both in his dreams and literally on the battlefield, which usually coincides when he is in the middle of hard fighting.

He did well in various skirmishes, raids, and battles and was eventually promoted to a sky claw sergeant.  Not only did Zeath have a talent for jump infantry tactics, the young sky claws respected his daring and feared his anger so they more often than not would obey his orders. Happily, his orders were usually some variation on, “Kill them!  Kill them all!”

Circa 2012: Zeath was a psyker on a Black Ship crippled and raided by ships from what is known in imperial records as Traitor Legion VI-13. When asked his name by his space marine captors/saviors, he said, “Zeath the Unforgotten,” but would never say to what the sobriquet referred.  Not being ones to unnecessarily press into matters concerning a man’s private affairs, the space marines nodded and moved on with their invasive medical examinations.

Some Personal Notes

  • Zeath is a level 1 psyker, level 2 if the “runes are right.”  He will often have powers from either the Tempestas or Daemonology-Malefic disciplines, occasionally both.
  • Note that he doesn’t actively summon daemons.  They just sort of appear when he rages in battle.  Blood with pour from his eyes, spikes will break out all over his flesh, which he ends up ripping out himself after the battle using a pair of pliers (too embarrassing to bother the medics about), and so on.
  • Preferred war gear is power armor, runic axe, plasma pistol and jump pack.  There is no way the ironsmiths will entrust him with anything better.  With all of the teeth, charms, talismans and amulets he wears at all times, if he received a particularly favorable cast of the battle bones from the Invisible Seers then he’ll have “counts as” artificer armor nonetheless due to the power of his faith in forces he neither understands nor even has a name for.
  • He loves the risk of discharging his plasma pistol and will do so even when it would be just as easy to throw a grenade.  He’s been known to purposefully overload the weapon and throw it as an ersatz melta bomb.  (Thus occasionally I’ll pay the points and include melta bombs and give his crazy tactic a chance of working.)
  • On a personal note Zeath has three wives but no children.  He had a pet fenrisian wolf but it turned into a blood thirster due to circumstances best not mentioned and he barely managed to kill it with his force axe while it was messily manifesting.  The daemon ate his left hand but it grew back better than new with little suction cups on the fingertips.  Such are the gifts of the Fates!

Rune Priest

I’ve been working on HQ’s for my Space Wolves lately, and the latest addition to my collection is this rune priest.  I’ve actually had him sitting around for a couple of years, but finally decided to paint him.  My original idea, after all, was to base my marines primarily around models I already owned.  Especially ones that have been sitting neglected for a long time.

I took the jump pack from a Space Marine battle force.  I did magnetize it because sometimes he’ll probably want to accompany a drop pod landing or maybe even ride to battle in a rhino, rather than getting stuck with the usual fate of rune priests — casting buffs on thunderwolf cavalry.

I lost the original, normal power armor backpack that came with the model so it was the Space Marine battle force to the rescue again.  That piece is still in my painting queue though, since I’ve been having fun running him exclusively with the jump pack.

I like the plasma pistol.  It adds a bit of color to a model that is mostly darker, earth tones.  I do have to say as a weapon it is situational at best and hilariously bad at worst.  I should have used a tiny magnet since it attaches at the wrist.  I’ll probably do that when he has an accident and his hand falls off, or gets gnawed off again by some particularly vicious fire warrior.

Thinking about plasma pistols and having fun with how often they blow up during games has gotten me thinking about Space Wolf sagas.  There is a designer’s note in the previous codex which states:

Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.  In effect, your characters will be adding to their own sagas with every new game, which can be great fun.

I’ve been playing this guy for a few games now and we’ve had some laughs over his various and often unsound (game mechanics-wise) antics.  So I’ve been thinking of starting a section on my blog for the “sagas” of some of my characters, and I think I’ll start with this guy, his addiction to the dangers and thrills of gratuitously discharging his plasma pistol as well as his hatred of being put on “thunderwolf detail.”

Here Come the Thunderwolves!

I recently finished painting my second thunderwolf cavalry model the other day.  As cavalry goes, these guys are perhaps a little unusual, but I thought it might be fun to include an iconic weapon of mounted warriors — the lance.  There are no pole arms of any kind that come in the kit, so I took one from a box of amazons produced by Wargames Factory.  I thought about buying some brass rod to make my own, but I had the plastic pike on hand so I decided to use it.

Charge!

For the weapon arm, I used a generic space marine arm that is meant to hold a bolter.  I drilled a hole through it for the lance and used a magnet for the entire arm assembly.  The magnetized arm seemed to me like it would serve several uses.  Being able to remove the arm would make transporting the model to games easier with less likelihood of breaking the lance haft.  Secondly, I can switch it out for a different weapon if I want.  Last and most important, I can pose the arm so I can point the lance in dramatic fashion whenever this guy makes his charge.

“‘From hell’s heart I stab at thee!” and all of that sort of thing.

This is the first thunderwolf I completed quite awhile ago now.  I magnetized his plasma pistol arm and will probably paint up a storm shield arm at some point as another option.  I’ve run him a few times as a wolf guard battle leader, the alpha of a large pack of fenrisian wolves.  Now all I have to do is get a third one painted and I’ll have a minimum-sized, legal unit!

On the move! Swarming past a slightly confused warboss.

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day One): “Return of the Space Communists”

Back in December, I once again made the drive to Sacramento with Mark of the Farsight Enclaves to fight for the Greater Good in the Twin Linked Grand Tournament.  This is a six game, two-day end-of-year team tournament that is a sort of final exclamation point for the team tournaments of 2014.  It is run by Mark Broughton along with many volunteers, and I have to say they all put a lot of thought and effort into making it a fun experience.

Each player fields a 1000 point army with various restrictions from a single codex.  So each team of two players, who are always “allies of convenience” has a 2000 point force, which cannot change for the entire tournament.  Each battle is a custom affair, very different than the usual rules book missions.

Game One: Trying to Bring the Greater Good to Tau and Dark Angels

We all loved the flat-topped, hovering hills in game one.  The goblin artillerists particularly so!

The early stages of the battle featured a close range clash in front of our opponent’s aegis line between the orks and the Dark Angels, who trundled out to meet them.  The orks got the better of the engagement after a couple turns of hard fighting.  The goblin’s mortar fire may not have decided the issue, but it was extremely accurate and helped our cause quite a bit.  We were hoping our two aircraft would also provide further support, but these were neutralized fairly effectively by the marine’s anti-aircraft dreadnought.

Toward the end of the game there was something you don’t see very often:  two riptides fighting it out against each other in close combat.  Not surprisingly to a draw.  (Sadly the picture didn’t come out.)  We ended up winning that battle when time ran out after five turns, and moved on to the next round.

Game Two: It’s a Trap!

The Air Force of the Greater Good has its Great Moment!

This time we faced a Space Wolf & Eldar force that featured three drop pods of infantry on turn one with Eldar fire support provided by a wraith knight and those hated wave serpents, which would be so ubiquitous through the rest of the tournament.

Although our forces tried to bring the much-needed Light of Reason and Culture to our opponents and we fought valiantly, unfortunately this was a tough match-up for us.  Most of the Space Wolves did give their lives in the early going, but by the end of the battle all what was left was our riptide in a corner making a last stand against overwhelming odds.  With his loss all that was left to do was call in for reinforcements and prepare for the next battle of the day.

Game Three: Communists versus Pirates

Right before impact!

Our opponents for the last game of the day were a father/son team of Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively.  This was an interesting game for me because it was the first time either Farsight Mark or myself had faced the new Dark Eldar codex.

This was a hard fought game with both sides taking heavy casualties.  There were a couple of funny moments during the game.  One was when the Eldar shot down our sun shark bomber.  The pilot decided to sacrifice himself for the Greater Good and plowed right into a space dark elf jet fighter and blew it up in a gigantic ball of fire and melted plastic.

Then there was the invincible squiggoth, who the nobz tamed and brought along as a transport instead of their usual but much abused battle wagon.  Their simple strategy was pretty much, “Melta this, hoomies!”  I guess they didn’t count on poisoned weapons though or tremendous volleys from wave serpents.  The beast pretty much shuffled around the board first in one direction and then the other for the entire tournament, not really wanting to get in anyone’s way or cause any trouble, which generally can’t be said for battle wagons.

Super Squiggoth is much friendlier than he looks.

Despite having every poisoned weapon in the world thrown at him, he was the “Squiggoth Who Would Not Die,” even if he ended the fight with only one wound left.

Still, even with the amazing Super Squiggoth and our friend the kamikaze Tau, we still ended up losing a close game.  We had no way to catch or kill the wave serpents arrayed against us, and by the end our opponents were much more mobile than we were and able to position themselves for the win when time ran out.

Next Time: This was a two day tournament so we rested up, consoled ourselves with steak at the local Outback, complained about wave serpents, fed the squiggoth from the in-hotel buffet (no squiggoths allowed at Outback as it turned out), recruited a new Tau pilot, harvested ork spores so we’d have more boyz, and bribed our meks into throwing together more shockingly disposable trukks in preparations for fresh glories on Sunday.

In my next battle report, I’ll write about the second half of the tournament and how we did in spreading the Greater Good throughout the Sacramento Sector.  For the Motherland!

Day Two of the Twin-Linked Tourney is here.