Friday, January 17, 2014

Dragon Warriors - Chaos Space Marines

Hey guys, I'm back with some test miniature shots of the Dragon Warriors that I'm working on.

In case you missed it, I'm building this army for a small paint and play escalation league being run locally.  Since the Dragon Warriors are basically as close as you can come to fallen Salamanders (they are led by a former Salamanders Librarian Nihilan, check out the wiki), I wanted to use lots of meltas and lots of vehicles, preferably walkers.  So I decided I'd start with a Warpsmith, and a Helbrute, and when I looked around, I decided the Black Legion book would serve me the best, since I could take Chosen as troops, and load them out with Meltaguns.  I know the Chosen are not going to be cheap, so a couple units of cultists would provide some cheap objective control in my back field.
The inspiration from an old codex.

I was inspired by a bottle of metallic red paint that my girlfriend had picked up quite some time ago.  I looked at it and was reminded of the Dragon Warrior scheme from an old Chaos Space Marine codex.  It wouldn't be easy, but I could probably pull off the scales now; I was never confident, or patient enough in my painting to think I could do it before.

So I did a quick test pattern on some cardstock, and liked the way it looked.  So a quick basecoat of the Helbrute, some paint and lots of dabbing later I had the guy pictured below.

Camera loses some detail at this size, CLICK IT!

Top view of scales.
Overall, it turned out pretty good.  I think next time I'll try and do smaller scales all over.

So with the Helbrute done, I was decided on a similar scheme for the Chosen, but I had to wait on some bits.  So I moved on to the cultists.  I had wanted something a little more different, so I got some of the Wargames Factory Shock Troopers, and put Cadian arms on them.  This gave me a great militaristic feel that reminded me of the Death Korps a bit.

At first I tried doing the entire trench in red with black trim, and putting scales across all of the red areas, but it looked too busy.  So I tried reversing it, black trench with red trim, and then just do the armoured bits in red with scales, shoulder pads and helmet.

They are all going on custom lava bases made from corkboard.  The first batch turned out a little too digital in the transition, so I'm working on more of a wet blend on the second batch of bases.

Overall I like the way they look, certainly much more eye catching in person, but at least it gives people another idea on what they can accomplish with some practice.

I just got the bits order in to work on converting the Chosen, I'll probably do a quick review of the bits in the next few days.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Overdue update, and Tyranid thoughts.

So it's time for a long overdue update.  Unfortunately I hadn't been doing much table top over the last little while, I've done more board games with the family and some MOBAs like League of Legends and SMITE, but luckily that is changing.  The local store in the Michigan Sault has a decent sized group running, and while they have been more Fantasy oriented, they are running a 40k escalation league (not super heavy Escalation) over the next few months that is geared to be a paint and play league.  So that means more games.

The bad news, my Dark Eldar army is vast and about 75% painted, so I wanted to do something different and build/paint to a ridiculous scheme.  So I'm breaking out the Chaos Space Marines, technically it will be a counts as Black Legion army painted in a Dragon Warriors paint scheme using lots of walkers and warpsmiths.    I've got a couple test minis that I will upload this week, a cultist and hellbrute; hopefully the camera can pick up the scale details.

So this past weekend, I went across to play a warm up games and picked up the new Tyranid codex.  I was excited about this, the Tyranid kits are all awesome to put together and paint, and looked forward to seeing some viable non-Doom lists.  Boy was I disappointed; almost everything in the book took a nerf.  I don't get it, an underpowered book became more underpowered, and while a lot of things saw points reductions, it was offset by increased upgrade costs.
Tyranids, brought to you by Raid!

So I'll start with the things I did like in the book.

  • Sporemines: the player actually moves the spore mines now.  They move and assault, and explode when they get into assault.  I love this, it reminds me of the 3rd edition Scarabs.  Better still, other mines hit by the blast aren't wasted now, they add to the strength of the initial blast.  This makes running them down with tanks a bit scarier.
  • Harpy: This mostly ties into the point above, because it can drop spore mines all game now.  I double checked and it doesn't seem to be once per game spore mine bombs, correct me if I'm wrong.  Also it's an actual bombing run now.
  • DeathLeaper: Overall, worse or equal to what he was before, but it adds some nice variety by putting him into the HQ slot.  Interesting point, he can only ever be shot with snapfire, so no flamers(why didn't all Lictors get this?); now if you have to snapfire your Overwatch will that mean that you cannot overwatch with your flamers?
On the fence.
  • General points reduction: Good and bad, instead of targeting the units that needed the points reduction to make them viable compared to other choices, looking at you Carnifex, they just reduced everything so units that were overpriced compared to the rest of the Force Org choices are still overpriced.  The swarm will get even swarm-ier now with gaunts seeing a 1 pt reduction.
  • New units: I'll give a nod to the fact that they added some new units.  Nice to see, but they seemed too forced either thematically, or visually.  
    • Haruspex has rules that seem to fit with the existing tyranid theme, but the model seems a little too forced.  
    • Exocrine on the other hand, looks awesome, but while the model screams 'BIG BIOVORE' he ends up being something else.  
    • Hive Crone has a bit of both, the model seems a little clunky, and the rules don't really mesh to make it seem like part of the lean, world devouring Nids.  I think the hyper-evolution experienced a hiccup here, it was supposed to be anti-air, but then someone gave it a flamer?
  • Tervigon: Got nerfed really hard, as expected, but no upgrades to bring it back.  Need 30 gaunts to make them troops, no more giving gaunts the benefit of Tervigons biomorphs, Master Level 1 and no option to increase that.  The last one is probably the worst, I would gladly have paid 30-50 pts to make him mastery level 2, it makes it much tougher to get the FNP gaunts now.  These aren't the force multipliers they were for the swarms, I think they will be seen less and less on the table.
The bad.
  • Genestealers: No points reduction, worse Broodlord powers, no new tricks to get into assault and there were so many easy outs; give all Broodlords the option to buy the Ymgarl artefact, give them an invuln save vs. overwatch, allow them to assault from outflank.  These guys needed something, everyone wants to see the genestealers again.  Space Hulk and genestelaer cults, they are as much a core theme in the game as Space Marines.  These guys are what would have sold the Tyranid army and they missed the boat, a big boat full of money.  Lets hope we get some sort of supplement that helps these guys out.
  • Old One eye:  Moved to HQ, awesome, doing nothing to make Carnifex in the army better as an HQ, not so awesome.  Being a worse 'Old One Eye' than the new Haruspex? absolute joke.  So the theorycrafted reason to take OOE before was the crazy regen, but now he regens just the same as anyone else, so with the addition of the regain a wound in combat of the Haruspex they have better regen than OOE.
  • Warrior Prime still no wings:  So the removal of the Parasite seemed like a great reason to give the Prime access to wings and let him run with a Shrike brood to make awesome 'big gargoyles'.  But he was pretty much a cut and past from the last book.
  • Zoanthropes: I know the change needed to happen, 3 individual psykers in a unit made for a lot of book keeping, but I'm not sold on the brother hood of psykers.  I don't think there is enough return on investment to take more than 1.
  • Biovores: Biovores are still great, and the new spore rules are awesome, but I dislike that Biovores are worse with bigger broods.  Here's the issue, the new spore mine launcher determines where the "first template" will land, and if it does not hit anything you place a D3 spore mines.  So 3 biovores can potentially get 1 spore mine, while 1 biovore(or harpy) could get 3 spore mines.  When I first read through I thought it was d3 per biovore, and many will likely see that, but after re-reading it a few times, it was much more underwhelming.
Overall, somehow GW managed to convince us to buy less models with the new Nid book, and with so many little nerfs made the combined army so underwhelming that I think the bugs will continue to live in the closets and dark corners like true insects.