Saturday 29 December 2012

Death Company Tactics for 6th Edition: Weapons/Wargear/Chaplain?

Ever since the 6th Edition rules were released I have always run a squad of Death Company in my Blood Angels Army. Why? They are the hardest hitting and most survivable squad in their own right without needing Characters for special weapons, Sanguinary Priests for Feel No Pain, and random Psychic Powers for re-rolls when charging into combat when using a Chaplain.

Come at me bro!
Let's have a quick look at their strengths and weaknesses:

Weapon Skill 5, hitting on 3+ against most troops
'Furious Charge', wounding on 3+ against Toughness 4 on the charge
'Feel No Pain', now 5++ but still helpful and can now be taken against low AP weaponry
'Hidden' Special Weapons, as much like Black Templar, Power Weapons/Fists cannot be Challenged
'Rage' Special Rule, now +2 Attacks on the charge!
Grenades allow charging into Cover (many dedicated assault squads lack this option!)
Jump Pack Dangerous Terrain Tests now allow Armour and Feel No Pain saves.
'Relentless', allowing them to shoot Rapid Fire Boltguns and then charge!
Fearless, they will never run away, nor do they take extra wounds in combat in 6th!

Non-Scoring Troops
No Invulnerable Save
Expensive options inc Jump Packs
Minimal mobility without a vehicle or Jump Packs

Even a small number of Death Company can win games.
Here they are pulling the Marines off the objective in the final turn!

Compared to 5th Edition these guys have lost a little in Furious Charge now only giving +1 Strength not Initiative, and Feel No Pain reduced to 5++ instead of 4++, but the new 'Rage' rules which made them too expensive for a unit the enemy can lead around with the proverbial carrot, not to mention having them move into dangerous terrain with Jump Packs and die, are now changed to +2 Attacks with no downside!

Having always run them with Jump Packs until recently, they can get very pricey in points and still die just as easily as normal Tactical Marines with Toughness 4 and Power Armour (3+). My standard outlay, mostly dictated by the box set, is as follows:

5 Death Company, Jump Packs, Power Fist, Power Sword 215pts

With 5 Attacks at Weapon Skill 5 and Strength 5 on the charge, and Jump Packs to get them there, they quite often make all the difference in a game, as long as you are not throwing them against Terminators or wasting them on a 'tarpit' unit where they will get bogged down and slowly die. Deploying them via Deep Strike with only 1D6" scatter and a re-roll to their Reserves roll (due to Blood Angel special rules) is also a viable tactic, provided you are patient and set up a well timed charged. As a 'Linebreaker' unit with Feel No Pain they have often won games for me just by hiding in a corner late game (not at all cowardly!).

Charging an existing combat ensures no Overwatch fire against your Death Company

Boltgun vs Bolt Pistol/Chainsword?

This is a difficult one, in 5th Edition I always assumed that being an assault based unit then any extra attacks, striking at Initiative 5 due to Furious Charge, would be the best possible kit to get the job done. Now with Initiative 4 you are likely to lose models in the first round anyway, why not have the opportunity to do some damage with shooting first, then charge in using the Relentless special rule. Add in the doubling of Overwatch effectiveness, and the ability to contest and Objective or Linebreaker position with a 24" threat range and the decision is not so clear cut. I have recently experimented with some Boltgun Death Company on foot, and although the opportunity is there, rarely has their shooting proved effective except to prevent their own charge from happening due to Random Charge Length and the model removal rules. Once in combat too, the loss of one attack can make the difference both on the charge and in future turns' damage output. Lastly, why are you outfitting Death Company to receive a charge? Boltguns. You're doing it wrong.

"Jazz Hands"

Another reason for taking a 5 man squad is the ability to use a Death Company Dreadnought. With Fleet, 'None Can Stay My Wrath' and a pair of Blood Talons, this guy can reliably get into combat and make mincemeat out of large infantry squads, being careful of those Power Fist sergeants (less common now in 6th Edition). Dreadnoughts in general are going the way of the dodo due to Hull Points, and non-fearless squads can now elect to run away if they cannot win a combat, so a little more play-testing is required before this guy becomes a staple of my force. Even with a drop pod he must endure a turn of shooting before getting stuck in, ceding the advantage to your opponent and easily preventing him charging into combat as he can be charged, shot at, or moved away from. Either way you are losing the initiative and probably the game.

It's all about options! (The Dreadnought is a less than ideal opponent!)

So how do you line up those charges to make the most out of a Death Company Unit? Careful deployment, whether starting on the table or arriving from reserve, and patience. Moving through terrain is now an option as you can take your armour and Feel No Pain saves against dangerous terrain rules, while still using your jump pack movement. With pre-measuring now allowed there should be no excuse getting these guys shot up. You know the distance to the enemy, and you (should) know their range and their likely target preference. I find it best to use a 'tarpit' unit to hold up the enemy, whether it be Terminators or Imperial Guard. This mitigates the chance of losing bodies due to Overwatch, and guarantees you will get your extra Rage attacks and re-rolls (with a Chaplain) as you will be the one doing the charging!

There are some situations where even Death Company can't help you...

"On a player turn in which he assaults, a Chaplain and [his squad] can re-roll failed rolls To Hit. Models in a Death Company can also re-roll failed rolls To Wound."
Liturgies of Blood p42 Blood Angels Codex

So, like with most options in any of the news codices, we can multiply the effectiveness of a unit by adding a character, and with Death Company we have two options that drastically change the role of the unit.

Chaplain: 100pts. Invulnerable save for Challenges, pulling off power weapons and the like from pulping your squad, and the obvious re-rolls as mentioned above. Still costs the same as another 5 Death Company though, and if you are using a large squad then re-rolls are moot as you will probably wipe out the enemy anyway and then die just as easily to torrent fire. At Initiative 4 you could look at the option of a Power Fist as this guy will be swinging the same time as the Death Company but has the 4++ to protect him.

Reclusiarch: 130pts. If you are running Blood Angels as your primary detachment, then chances are this guy will be your Warlord, eliminating the "should I just take more Death Company?" question. Librarians are just too squishy to give away the "Slay the Warlord" Victory Point. At Initiative 5 I would be unhappy with anything but his stock Power Maul and weight of attacks with re-rolls on the charge to get the job done, no  matter how useless AP4 will be against most squads you want to be charging. At Ballistic Skill 5 it becomes worth it to take an Infernus Pistol in case the enemy hides away in tin boxes.

Getting charged is pretty much the last thing you want to have happen...

A little Math-Hammer...

So when should you spend the points for re-rolls on the charge? At minimum squad size of 3, adding a Chaplain seems dangerous indeed as you have little options to prevent him taking hits from shooting due to model position or sheer weight of wounds from some weapons, and paying 5 times a single model cost to have 3 others re-roll seems like bad "Math-Hammer" indeed.

Basically we need to calculate points "efficiency" when building the unit. With the ideal outcome being number of wounds inflicted when first charging, assuming all models get into base contact, we want to know the minimum amount of models or points spent to make a Chaplain effective. With the assumption of Bolt Pistol/Close Combat weapons, no Jump Packs (15 pts for 1/2 a wound due to Hammer of Wrath?) or Power Weapons due to cost, a non-Chaplain squad puts out 11.11 wounds per 100 points spent, against a WS4/T4 opponent with 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound for a 5 man squad.

Adding a Chaplain changes this fixed ratio of 11.11/100, being as low as 11.85 Wounds for 160 Points at the minimum squad size (7.41/100) or as high as 13.94/100 when spending 340 Points to achieve 47.41 Wounds on the enemy unit. The minimum squad size to make a bare Chaplain effective is 7 Death Company, putting out 27.65 Wounds for 240 Points, narrowly beating the 11Wounds/100Points target. All of this excludes the Chaplain's attacks but he will be issuing a challenge against the enemy character to reduce their damage output. For best sqaud damage output at an efficient points cost, leave the Chaplain at home.

My opinion? For 240 points you can buy up to 12 Death Company and have a squad that will last longer against shooting, hang around longer in combat, and had the ability to equip some of the only non-character Power Weapons in the game.

Concluding Notes

One painfully obvious thing I have left out of my blog post is the discussion of transports. Having no Rhinos in my army I cannot comment on their use, suffice to say that anything which reduces the chances of Death Company getting into combat, such as jumping out/bailing out of a metal box, should be avoided. Despite being a one turn charge in wonder now striking at the same initiative as most opponents these guys will not be ignored by your opponent, so whatever they are inside probably won't make it very far. Drop Pods are great for positioning deep inside enemy lines, with this scenario being the only in which you would consider Boltguns, but why are you spending 20 points a piece to drop vulnerable models with no special ranged weaponry away from the support of the rest of your army? The other option, and only viable option other than Jump Packs or footsloggers, is the Stormraven. An Armour 12 'Fast' 'Assault' vehicle that is a 'Flyer', and mounts additional ranged weaponry that can be rapidly re-deployed? Yes please. As far as points cost vs efficiency for this guy, that's for another blog post once I have a few games under my belt. Thanks Santa!

This will keep me busy for weeks!

UPDATE: You can see the latest on my Stormraven Gunship on my "Current Projects" Page!

Saturday 22 December 2012

Hobby: Quick and Easy Weathering

Many painting methods require hours of patient layering, mixing, and subtle techniques to achieve look that may, to the untrained eye, appear only 10% better than the equivalent wash and dry-brush technique. I always end up spending hours on a single model that looks a million bucks at the end of my nose only to find the detail gets lost in a squad, let alone on a table top full of scenery, dice, templates and rule books. 

(Half of this is of course colour palette, but that's a whole other topic!)

WIP Primaris Psyker (left) and 'weathered' AEGIS section (right)

In an attempt to reverse this trend I have recently started painting my AEGIS Defence Line, a perfect excuse to try some painting techniques where the end (a good looking model) justifies the means  (quick and dirty methods). Any mistakes will be easily hidden once all sections are finished and placed end-to-end.

Perfectionist on the left, Quick and Easy on the right.

My first 'section', on the left, was a dismal failure. Mixing paints, multiple washes, edge highlighting, a first ever attempt at chipped paint, and an evening's hobby time spent on one twelfth of a piece of scenery! My next section on the right was a lot quicker, as shown below:

Brown Wash, Cream Highlight, Grey Chips. Done.

As in any form of painting in the last thousand years, the key to making features look realistically three-dimensional is the shading, highlighting and perspective. Since models already have their own perspective, we can enhance this by adding shading and highlighting, in this case through the easiest forms by washing (for shadows) and dry-brushing (for highlights). As shown above, the process for making the model appear both weathered and more realistic are very simple, all in about 5 minutes (less drying time of the wash). Trainspotters will notice an additional layer of black wash, applied after the dry-brush. I also saved time using Games Workshop's Texture paint to add some sand/muck details to the lower edges.

The other extreme: the gun alone probably took me 3-5 hours!

For myself, whenever I use these techniques the end result looks very messy as I lack patience, preferring to go back over any wash with layer colours, and build up highlights with a fine detail brush until I am cross eyed and hunched over like Igor. Anything that saves time and looks great is a win!

Optional Extras

Now that I had a great looking model, I couldn't help but add a couple of extra details. These probably took the same amount of time as painting the steps above, but serve to draw the eye away from some of the messier darks and lights on the rest of the model. They can also tie in colours from the rest of the army and make a more cohesive army/fortification when on display.

A big thank you to Tale of Painters for their inspiring models!

Update: You can see my follow up work with Pigments here!

Sunday 16 December 2012

Hobby on a Budget: 10 Imperial Guard for $10

Following on from my Zombie! Guardsmen post, I have finished another handful of cheap Imperial Guard using the Wargames Factory Zombies! boxed set. I actually ran out of helmets and ended up using some Instant Mold to make some more. I haven't run out of Lasguns yet but it's only a matter of time.

The Zombies! box set allows for quite a number of poses.

Same from the back. Guy on the left has the original helmet.
 So far I have used one third of a CAD$22+tax Zombie Horde box set, a few bases, weapons, leftover bits and some green stuff here and there as part of the kit-bash. I would say the Instant Mold comes under the same category as paint and brushes, making this Imperial Guard squad very cheap indeed!

Complete Squad, ready for braiins!!
 You may have noticed I am not that good at getting everything in focus, as I am using a point-and-click camera. Things have improved slightly with the addition of a bespoke 'light-box' but even then I am using nothing but the kitchen light to bring out the colours. Your suggestions on better pictures are greatly appreciated!

 Thanks for reading, see you next week,


Sunday 9 December 2012

Gaming: 6th Edition Battle Report BA/IG vs BT/TAU

 Last week I took some time off work, and used at least half of that day to play the largest 6th Edition Warhammer 40,000 game I have tried since the new rules were released in June. 6th Edition has brought a number of big changes, including Flyers, Psychic Powers, Fortifications, Mysterious Terrain, Allies, a new set of Objective based missions, and an extra detachment above 2000 points. This game included all but the 'Flyer' rules-set, and each one was critical in determining the winner!

The following is my first 'Battle Report', I have tried to keep things short and sweet for those already familiar with the rules, and introduce those less familiar to some of the intricacies of the new rules. Important points are underlined for speed readers! Comments always welcome.

The Armies (2,500 points):

 Blood Angels 'Jump Troop Heavy' list included two Librarians, a Reclusiarch, Assault Terminators, 2 Assault Marine Squads with a Sanguinary Priest, Death Company on foot, Death Company with Jump Packs, Land Speeder Typhoon. Imperial Guard Allies were represented by a Primaris Psyker, Company Command, Ratlings, Penal Troops, Infantry Platoon with Autocannon and Missile Launcher teams, Armoured Sentinel and an AEGIS Defence Line.

My opponent's Black Templars had two Rhinos with close combat Marines, a Bolter equipped Marine squad, Assault Marines, a Chaplain in Terminator Armour, an Emperor's Champion, a Captain equivalent, two Dreadnoughts and two Land Speeder Typhoons. His Tau Allied detachment consists of Fire Warriors, a Hammerhead and Commander in a Battlesuit.

Mission: The Scouring.

"Both side are sweeping through the area, tasking recon units to identify sites of strategic importance. However, not all sites are of equal worth and victory will go to the foe that can secure the most valuable sites and cripple the enemy's ability to locate others." p129 WH40K Rulebook 6th Edition.

The main part of this mission is a maximum 6 primary objectives, spread across the table, whose strategic importance are not known until after armies are deployed. Additionally, Fast Attack units are scoring, in this case the Typhoons, his Assault Marines and my Sentinel (which I forgot was Fast Attack!).

Critically, Victory Points are given to the opponent if your Fast Attack unit is destroyed!


In 6th Edition, Fortifications are deployed before armies, objectives and even scenery is placed on the table.
In placing my AEGIS Defence line semi-centrally and slightly forward of my deployment zone, I hoped to control more of the board and then be within striking distance of objectives in the later turns.

In this mission the objectives are placed alternating between players, and then the models are deployed with only the location of the objective, not it's value, know. There are six objectives, with randomly assigned values of 1,2,2,3,3,4 Victory Points revealed once the game begins.

Black Templar Deployment. Land Speeder on 6th objective not shown.
In placing objectives, and then through deploying, my opponent gambled on a couple of easy grab Victory Points away from my Fortification, and utilised a 'refused flank' deployment to hopefully isolate my Imperial Guard and then cut down the Blood Angels as they arrived from reserve. His light Tau infantry squads hugged the terrain for cover, and his Rhinos prepared for a frontal assault of my lines.

Detailed Deployment, Imperial Guard and Assault Terminators.

As Imperial Guard and Blood Angels are 'Battle Brother' Allies, I deployed my Librarians with my IG troops, and used the Assault Terminators as escort for my Primaris Psyker. Battle Brother Allies allow psychic powers to be used across the whole army, to devastating effect as we will see later. My Blood Angel Assault Squads remained in reserve, and I could be more aggressive with them as they were troops, and therefore scoring units, but would not give up Victory Points like my opponents Assault Squads, who were Fast Attack.

When objectives were revealed, my opponent's gamble didn't pay off and we rolled up the two lowest scoring objectives on his side of the table. My AEGIS Defence Lines, however, was now within range of 8 out of a potential 15 objective Victory Points.

Fast Attack units from both sides have been placed in or behind cover, or hopefully out of range of enemy guns. In 6th Edition, pre-measuring is allowed, so there is no excuse for bad deployment as you can always know exact threat ranges from ranged weaponry. Critically, one of his scoring Land Speeders was deployed on the highest value objective close to my lines for early first turn shooting, but this left it open to retaliation.

Turn 1:

Rhinos move forward, Typhoon holds objective at top right.
The Imperial Guard failed to seize the initiative, giving the Black Templars a chance to seize the First Blood victory point. A poor roll on the Mysterious Forests table saw three Fire Warriors die to a Carnivorous Jungle! The other squad moved up toward an objective partially hidden in front of my lines. The Rhinos surged forward in the centre and the remaining troops on his right flank began their long march across the board.

Lots of out-of-place units have to re-position!
The Tau, Dreadnoughts and Typhoons all opened up on the Quad Gun, destroying it with ease. Arms went in the air, grins were proudly displayed and fists clenched, until we checked the rulebook and determined that being a terrain piece, Fortifications are not a 'Unit' and therefore do not give up First Blood. I allowed a couple of units to retake their shots, and lost a Terminator and a couple of Guard instead. Not the great start he was hoping. In previous games he has wasted his entire first turn trying to destroy my Ratling snipers with camouflage cloaks, only to have one survive and spoil the fun. They remained untouched this time.

Imperial Guard Response
In response I moved up to the AEGIS Defence Line, and loaded up on Psychic powers, casting "Presience" on the Lascannon (allowing re-rolls To Hit), took some pot shots at the Firewarriors with the Quad Gun and used my Company Commander to order "Bring it Down" on the Autocannons against his Rhinos, popping one of them for First Blood Victory Point. I had also used "Enfeeble" (-1 Toughness and Strength) on the Fire Warriors but instead opted to fire my missiles (who Ignored Cover due to the "Perfect Timing" psychic power) at the exposed Marines. Together with the Rapid Fire Lasguns and Bolters, the Chaplain's squad was now less than half its starting strength. The Lascannon from the Company Command took out the lone Land Speeder Typhoon on the objective. My "Magic the Gathering" play style  as my opponent has termed it, showed how powerful basic units can be when bolstered by Imperial Guard orders and/or Psychic Powers.

Blood Angels/Imperial Guard: 2 (First Blood+Fast Attack Units Destroyed)
Black Templars/Tau: 3 (Objective)

Turn 2: 

Black Templars move forward, Terminators Deep Strike in.
In their second turn, the Black Templar/Tau forces moved up to secure objectives with their troops (The Land Speeder the only one to actually capture this turn), and rolled well enough to have their Assault Terminators arrive by Deep Strike, despite the presence of an Officer of the Fleet in the Imperial Guard detachment. This presented many small units (or MSU) for the Imperial Guard to shoot at, whilst setting up multiple charge opportunities in the following turn. Once more, all un-engaged Black Templars moved up on the far flank, with little effect from their combined shooting due to insufficient range and/or cover provided by the AEGIS Defence Line.

The only charge was horribly successful, with all five Death Company dead.

In response to the Black Templar reserves, all of the Blood Angel jump pack infantry arrived with re-rolls and minimal scatter due to Descent of Angels. They immediately removed two Terminators thanks to AP2 Plasma Guns, and placed more than twenty "Feel-No-Pain" power armoured bodies right next to the highest value objectives, and away from the main firepower of the enemy force, and a second hard-hitting squad of Death Company ready to counter-charge in the deployment zone. The Black Templar Terminators passed their Leadership check, and move toward the closest enemy as per their special rules. This guaranteed they were in range to be charged by the Blood Angel Terminators, who also tied up the Chaplain.

Blood Angel Terminators hold the worst of the Black Templar units away from the Imperial Guard.

6th Edition at it's best: 42 Lasgun shots with re-roll to hit makes a mockery of Power Armour.
In the shooting phase, the Imperial Guard orders and Librarian Psychic Powers combined allowing an immense number of wounds against the Black Templars, who lost more than half of the second Rhino squad. The Quad Gun took a hull point off the Dreadnought, while the Sentinel who lost its gun to enemy shooting hid at the back. The worst news of the turn was the loss of the Primaris Psyker to his second 'Perils of the Warp' wound in two turns, this time a double six on the new dice!

With three psykers on the table this was bound to happen!

Blood Angels/Imperial Guard: 2 (First Blood+Fast Attack Units Destroyed)
Black Templars/Tau: 4 (Objectives)

Turn 3: 

Black Templar/Tau units arrive piecemeal to assist. Tau Battlesuit weapons ignore cover!
Turn 3 saw maximum movement from all free Black Templar and Tau units. The Assault Marines finally made it across the board to challenge their namesake, the Rhino repositioned to block Imperial Guard shooting at the Fire Warriors, and the Dreadnought moved up to take pot-shots at the Quad Gun, only to fail his charge. The Assault Marines also failed their charge, leaving them dangerously exposed.

Dismal rolling from the Black Templars see the Guard take down more Marines.
With the last of the Rhino-based Black Templars finally able to assault, they crash headlong into the Imperial Guard lines who, with the assistance of "Prescience" carried over from last turn, proceed to embarass the Emperor's Finest, leaving the Emperor's Champion effectively 'tar-pitted' in combat. The Chaplain too is bogged down by the Blood Angels' 3++ invulnerable saves.

Assault Marines doing what they do best, removing scoring units and challenging objectives.
With not many targets to shoot at, most of the Imperial Guard focus on the Dreadnought bearing down on their lines, taking off another Hull Point and an arm but failing to stop it. The Blood Angel Assault Marines do their worst on the Tau Fire Warriors, following up with a comprehensive combat by the use of 'Furious Charge' thanks to the Sanguinary Priest, and taking the objective. The combined charge also sees off the last Rhino. The other squad pulls their punches against the Black Templar jump troops, so as to remain in combat for the next Black Templar turn. Still, the high value objective is in the other direction!

The Death Company and Blood Angel Terminators, both aided by "Prescience" thanks to two Librarians using the "Divination" Psychic Discipline, make short work of the remaining Terminators and the Chaplain, taking the "Slay the Warlord" Victory Point and swinging the balance of the game massively in their favour.

Blood Angels/Imperial Guard: 6 (First Blood+Fast Attack Units Destroyed+Objective+Warlord)
Black Templars/Tau: 3 (Objectives)

The overall shot shows how spread out the Black Templars are.

Turn 4: 

With their units rapidly disappearing, the Black Templars consolidate their positions on the objectives, the Tau providing long range support. The Quad Gun Operator is taken out by the Dreadnought, and the Emperor's Champion finally wins combat and seeping advances the whole squad, only to remain stranded in front of the majority of the Imperial Guard. The Assault Marines die (giving up a Victory Point).

Dreadnought makes his way into the fray, killing the Librarian manning the Quad Gun.
In the Blood Angels turn, the Platoon Command move up to take the objective behind the AEGIS Defence Line, while The Land Speeder positions for a better shot on the Dreadnought. The Death Company used their mobility to reach the Quad Gun in case additional firepower was required on the Dreadnought.

The combined firepower of the Land Speeder and Imperial Guard removes the immediate threats to the objectives.
It was at this point that the Victory Point difference (Now 7-3) got to my head, and instead of holding tight on the objectives, I moved the Assault Squad containing my Reclusiarch out from the objective and into the open to try and charge his commander (which failed). I also forgot to move the other Assault Squad at all, leaving them dangerously exposed and not at all near an objective!

More Tau die to the Quad Gun, this time manned by Death Company!

Blood Angels/Imperial Guard: 4 (First Blood+Fast Attack Units Destroyed+Warlord)
Black Templars/Tau: 3 (Objective)

Turn 5: 

With Turn 5 being possibly the last turn given Random Game Length, the Black Templars played smart, aiming all their firepower at the Assault Squads to deny last turn objective grabbing. They were so successful, they not only reduced one squad down to a man and the Sanguinary Priest, they also took down the Reclusiarch, gaining the "Slay the Warlord" Victory Point. The second Black Templar Captain also moved up to contest an objective, whilst the Fire Warriors move toward cover but are still exposed.

Victory Points are tied at the end of Black Templar 5th.
With the wake up call duly noted, the Blood Angels played for the mission. The Penal Troops, who had auto arrived on Turn 4 by outflanking, made their way toward the '4' objective, ending up 1" short after a poor move through cover roll, but still counting toward the "Linebreaker" Victory Point! The surviving Assault Marine jumped back to capture a '3' objective, and remain out of line of sight. The Death Company, who cannot score, move up to assault the Black Templar Captain, but fail their charge (even with re-roll for jump packs!). The Terminators make the last kill of the game and take out the Tau Tank using the Quad Gun.

The game ends of turn 5 due to a '1' being rolled!
With the last Assault Marine taking the '3' Objective, and the Platoon Command holding the '2' Objective uncontested, the final score doesn't do justcice the close battle of the final turn, and costly mistakes made by both sides.

Blood Angels/Imperial Guard: 10 

First Blood(1)+Fast Attack Units Destroyed(2)+Warlord(1)+Objectives(2+3)+Linebreaker(1))

Black Templars/Tau: 4 

Objectives (1+2)+Warlord(1)


As with all games of Warhammer 40,000, playing for the objectives dictated the result of the game. Had the higher value objectives been rolled up closer to the Black Templar lines the Blood Angels would have had to work a lot harder for the win. With static positioning behind the AEGIS Defence Line, the Imperial Guard simply reacted to the enemy units rather than forcing the enemy's movement. It was only through the use of Psychic Powers and Imperial Guard Orders that the lowly Guardsmen were able to hold off the Black Templar charge, a charge only necessary given the objective locations.

All in all, an excellent example of how the new Fortifications (placed before deployment), Objectives (rolled for after deployment), Mysterious Terrain (which prevented the Tau hiding in the forests), Psychic Powers and Allies (which allowed poor quality troops to win unmatched combats), changed the way Warhammer 40,000 plays in 6th Edition. Flyers are coming, watch this space!

Thanks for reading, as always comments are welcome. I hope you enjoyed reading my first Battle Report.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Hobby: How to paint eyes.

I've often been told it's the small things that differentiate Golden Daemon winners from the 'also ran' entries. While I won't even pretend to be any where near competition winning standard, painting judges at gaming tournaments in the past have commented that although my armies have been painted 'well', usually in the 24-25 rang out of a possible 30 (the last 3 points go to the top ten in most instances) it's the small details that have been missing. Eyes, drilled weapon barrels, and a lack of army-wide conversions or freehand details have been the main culprits, as well as consistency of painting. Having played Orks in the past, it is tiresome painting 100+ models at a high level! Today I will attempt to address the first point: Eyes.

Stages 1-4

Full credit goes to my close friend Leigh for introducing me to the painting of eyes, his characters always seem to have more emotion or 'character', if you will, and I have attempted to copy his methods here.

Beginning with a near finished model, shown on the left (Stage 1), definition of the eye socket is made with a generous dab of your preferred black paint (Stage 2). I water mine down a bit and even use it around the edge of the face while I am at it, if required. (Stage 3) adds another generous amount of white for the eyeball, leaving a small border of black for definition. The angle of the white can be used to describe emotion, if you are that keen, and size is always larger than you think! (Stage 4) a tiny dab of black is added to the centre. I actually use a larger brush for this as it tends to have a finer point that some of my detail brushes. You definitely don't want to water it down in case it runs. I made a few errors in the above example, and have touched up the eyebrows and eyelids with a little flesh tone. If it all goes pear shaped its very easy to start again!

Wargames Factory Zombies! with GW Imperial Guard, centre.
The closeups are a bit garish, but the end result really adds to the overall model, as shown above. I have used the same technique to add some 'life' to my Zombie! Guardsmen from last week, above and below:

It's a amazing how much character is added with the eyes (or shades!)
Apart from the raised arms, the Zombie! Guardsmen actually turned out quite un-undead, so much so that I used them as Penal troops in my last game. My opponent didn't bat an eyelid until I showed them up close at the end of the game. It's probably because the look more undead from behind:

Now I need some more I.G. helmets to finish the squad.
Thanks for visiting!