Friday, August 30, 2013

Painting Inventory: The End is in Sight

Last night, I finished my second squad of Warp Spiders and my squad of Swooping Hawks. Then I decided to see how much Eldar I actually had. I loaded everything into Army Builder and equipped things as I generally tend to field them. Turns out I have a little over 10,000 points (no Forgeworld) sitting on my shelf and in cases.

Then I decided to take a painting inventory.

Out of my army I have the following left to paint before it is all complete:

9 Shining Spear riders
11 converted Warlock "Jetbikes"
10 Striking Scorpions
5 War Walkers
2 Grav tank hulls
20 Dire Avengers
1 Banshee Exarch
Jain Zar
3 Wraithlords (all three require me to complete their conversions in addition to painting)
10 Rangers
Eldar Aegis Defence Line (8 sections)
Eldar Quadgun
Eldar Icarus Lascannon
12 Windrider Jetbike Riders
4 Jetbikes
1 Farseer
3 Warlocks
Illiac Nightspear
4 Fire Dragons
10 Guardians

118 models.

I kind of want to set the goal of finishing my army by the end of this year. If I did my math kinda right, then that means I need to be knocking out about 10 models a week. Now, I know right away that I will fail this goal. There's just no way with school, work and the holidays coming, but I think trying for this will get me pretty close.

The reason I want to finish my army, other than just having any build I want fully painted right of the bat, is because I want to go through and up the paint level on it. My style right now is high contrast, shiny, clean and most importantly (to me) fast. Once I get everything done, I want to come up with some simple things that I can do to really increase the visual presence of the army. I feel that I have improved dramatically as a painter over the years, but I am too OCD to deviate how my army is painted because it would look too different. Once everything is at the same point, I can go in and start doing more advanced techniques.

From a model perspective, the Eldar truly are a beautiful army, and I want to begin exploring it.

When was the last time you did a painting checklist to figure out exactly how much you had left to paint? Or maybe you know a better way to get targeted and organized. I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Path of the Bonesinger: Storm Talon to Helicopter WIP Pictures

Storm Talon Conversion
Storm Talon converted to Apache helicopter.
I was asked to show the WIP shots for my Storm Talon conversion, so I am complying. I wish I had taken more pictures at various stages but I do have some that show my intent. Sorry if there is some quality issues with the images, many of them were snapped with my cell phone. Next time, I will be more diligent about shooting while working.
And, as requested by Minigiant, I also included some pictures of the box for the model plane I used for bits.

Plastic flatware makes some pretty decent rotor blades.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Path of the Bonesinger: Storm Talon to Apache Gunship Conversion!

Storm Talon conversion to helicopter.

Spellduckwrong here. Well, over the last few days I managed to get a project out of my system. I had been wanting to convert a Storm Talon into a helicopter for months now. Being an Eldar player, however, I did not want to drop the money to get a kit I would never use. One night at the FLGS, a brave soul named Luke just handed me his and told me to do it. That solved that problem. Also, thankfully I had an old WWII model plane in my closet from years ago that had been collecting dust. It was promply sacrificed to the bitz gods and this was my reward. Not bad for my first vehicle conversion, if I do say so myself. Now if I can only get the owner to switch to the Raptors Space Marine chapter, this thing will match the rest of its brothers in arms. I've got some unpainted WIP shots I can post up too, if anyone cares to see them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Serpents In Paradise: Wave Serpents The New Meta

I think its about time we get down to business with the codex. I am plotting and planning for the Michigan
GT as is Spellduckwrong. We do have different ways of doing things though. I am a fan of Footdar and he is a Mechdar kind of Autarch. I wanted to start touching on some of the units and I am going to be starting with the Aspects of Khaine series reboot starting next week.

I wanted to touch on and throw my two cents into the ring about the one unit that seems to be real popular on the net right now and in the tournament circuit. I speak of course about our ubiquitous transport, the Wave Serpent.

So our good old reliable transport has become the internet darling and all the band wagoners are hopping on. I don’t blame them. Several of the Podcasts I listen to have been saying the new Eldar codex is a meta changer. I have to agree. People have been unable to adjust quickly to the new units and how they function. In fact a lot of Eldar players are having a problem adjusting.

I digress though. The Wave Serpent. Armor 12 on the front and sides and 10 in the rear. Fast skimmer armed with a turret mounted twin linked shuriken cannon and a chin mounted twin linked shuriken catapult. Protected by the Serpent shield. This bit is what is making our transport so popular with the younger races. On a 2+ roll all penetrating hits are downgraded to glancing hits. Then in the shooting phase it can lower the shields for a nice blast of energy that is strength 7, pinning and ignores cover. It has a 60 inch range which reaches everything on the board.

The standard load out for the Serpent seems to be holo-fields and scatter lasers on the turret. A chin mount cannon is an option for some, myself included. Basically this means anything within range of the scatter laser is going to get twin linked fire from the Serpent shield.

Shooting at a Wave Serpent is very frustrating now as the holo-fields bump up the jink save to a 4+ or if you actually have decent cover a 3+ cover save. Intervening terrain really doesn’t matter as long as you have line of sight for the serpent shield. SO there is no reason for you not to have decent cover, especially if you move. You should always be moving. Since the shield is a hull mounted you have a relatively narrow field of fire. Keeping the nose pointed at your targets is important.

Now it seems that people are running as many Serpents as they can. Given the points cost this leaves little room for actual troops. The popular thing seems to be using minimal squads of Dire Avengers or Guardians. Granted I am not a top tournament player, but this doesn’t seem tactically sound. I run maybe 4 serpents if I am running a mech list. Many players seem to be using 6 or 7. Minimal squads are easy to wipe out. And completely relying on your serpent shield weapons is not a good idea. You can nay say, but here is why.

The shield is a potent weapon, but it is also the real primary defense of the Serpent. It is a secondary layer in the defense of the vehicle. You have the holo-fields for the added cover save, but the shields keep the penetrating hits from wasting your Wave Serpents. Not to mention the small squads contained within. Shields down means an easier kill. You cannot consistently rely on a cover save. There is a decent amount of weaponry that denies or removes a cover save. Given an armor value of 12 on the majority of facings most heavy tank busting weaponry needs a 4+ or 5+ to penetrate the hull. Given the notoriety of the Wave Serpent you can assume players will adjust for the meta and use more heavy weaponry and have contingencies to protect their units.

Despite armies now having very capable anti air capability, flyers are not as dead as people think. Several flyers in the game are very well suited to laying waste to ground targets. In fact Crimson Hunters and Vendettas are very good at taking out armor on the ground. The former having a knack of being able to get into position on rear armor very easily. Although you can saturate the sky with shield fire, most of the lists I have seen that are Serpent heavy lack anti air. Trying to take out flyers with armor 12 is pretty hard with only strength 7 fire at your disposal. It also makes you split your fire. Granted you may have quantity, but the quantity of fire only really works when its concentrated. Flying monstrous creatures can be a big problem especially when they have access to biomancy psychic powers. Vector strikes from these big guys can really hurt an armored force, especially if you have no way to deal with flyers. Massed fire can force ground tests, but they are no less deadly once on the ground. This forces you to once again divide your fire.

Armour 13 and 14
Ok so yes you have a plethora of strength 7. Well your opponent has been getting pounded at his local shop by Eldar and he has decided to dust off his collection of land raiders. Despite the fact they will possibly be changing soon, probably with nastier options, the land raider is still in use and as the meta has shifted I think we are going to be seeing more of them as it shifts further to compensate for the saturation of Eldar allies and new Eldar players. These guys can deal with the one or two fire prisms you have to deal with heavy armor and then they can then get to work on your fleet of Serpents. The units inside remain protected. This same logic applies to Necron Monoliths, to a lesser extent a well placed Ork battle wagon and Necron Vehicles with its own shielding. Space Marine predators and Vindicators. Vindicators although pretty close range can deal some hurt thanks to high strength and the fact the Serpent shield no longer screws with ordnance. You still get 2 dice.

Don’t get me wrong its an effective strategy currently. I am always looking at my codex and looking at how I can beat it. In this way you develop new stratagems and how to counter what people may do to counter the current meta. Given how fast we have been getting codexs its been really hard adjusting to new stuff and developing counter tactics to new units, weapons and metas. Space Marines coming up should makes things very very interesting to say the least.

Well there is my two cents. I love that the Eldar are feared once again, but as always I have to nay-say and do things differently. I have always approached the Eldar as a synergistic army and I hate to spam it. That said I am trying something I would not normally do just to expand my horizons a bit. I will be detailing “The Guardian Wall” once I have kicked off the New Aspects of Khaine series.

Until Next Time..............

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

War in Sector 135: A Joint Strike and a Hidden Threat

 The Wave Serpent slowed and the rear boarding hatch extended and lowered with a growling hiss, part of its mechanisms had been damaged by crude plasma weaponry earlier in the battle. A squad of Dire Avengers flowed out and immediately took up defensive positions. One of the aspect warriors gave the "all clear" hand signal and Farseer Elros Mithrandir descended the ramp. Before him stood the heavily damaged and still smoking desecrated tower that had served as the Chaos Space Marine base of operations until mere minutes earlier, the Obliterators had tried and narrowly failed to destroy it after it was clear they would be unable to stop their enemies from taking it. The Farseer smiled from within his Ghosthelm as he watched Delbaeth flawlessly leading his team of Warp Spiders along the defensive walls of the Chaos compound, supported from below by valiant Guardian Defenders from the Autarch's own war host. There were still a few small groups of cultists hiding in the recesses of the ruins near here. Some had gone into a frenzy, utterly convinced that their dark gods would give them the strength to repel the Eldar invaders and others lay wailing, paralyzed and lamenting that they had obviously been forsaken. A part of the Seer felt pity for their small, polluted minds, having been drowned in the lies and corruption the forces of Chaos had offered. Swift execution was the only mercy he could offer them. In the distance, he heard a Heavy Wraithcannon discharge, followed by another explosion. It would appear that one of the Wraithknights had discovered something additional lurking on the battlefield. The towering construct must have found its mark because only silence followed.
Though the battle had gone exceptionally well, the victory did not bring the sense of relief that Mithrandir had hoped for. Most of the Chaos army originally stationed on this world had pledged themselves to She Who Thirsts, more than enough reason to strike here with overwhelming force, but the defenders of this unholy lair had not been of that particular persuasion. This meant that there was still a significant threat that remained undetected, and it was at large within Sector 135. This weighed heavily upon Mithrandir, playing on personal fears.
Shaking away the dull echoes of a future nightmare from his mind, he gave a final order to the Crimson Hunter overhead to leave combat airspace and resume aerial recon of the surrounding area. The day was won and only tedious battlefield tasks remained, best to leave that in the capable hands of one of his Exarchs, so the Farseer relinquished operational authority. With the pressure of command temporarily relieved, Mithrandir walked across the blackened, bloodsoaked ground, observing the corpses and strewn remains of the tainted garrison. He reflected on both the past and the present, mostly within the contexts of the likely futures before him. Pausing on the very recent past, his mind drifted to Delbaeth. The Autarch's aggression during this mission was concerning. Mithrandir wondered if his ally had been taking pleasure in murdering the twisted humans and half-Daemons. There was no way to know. Not at this point, anyway.

Once back on Tiarna Cruinne, the Farseer would have much meditation before him. Unfortunately, there was so little time.


A fourth planet successfully taken by the Eldar. No other faction controls more than one, if I remember correctly. So the space elves are really kicking some tail out there on the battle board.

And a special thanks goes out to Grajo for giving me this link to the original artist of this Farseer artwork which was featured in the last post.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

War in Sector 135: Victory, Injury, and a Missed Opportunity

Farseer Elros Mithrandir walked swiftly through the primitive, but admittedly sturdy, corridors of the former Death Korps of Krieg outpost. He was trailed by his battle commanders, senior scouts and most trusted Bonesingers. All reports indicated that the offensive mounted by the cursed forces of Nurgle Daemons the night before had been completely routed with minimal casualties incurred to the defenders. Thankfully, the mechanized wing that was deployed to hunt down the remaining Krieg forces was within range to be called back to bolster the contingent of this mostly barren world.

Mithrandir was not bothered by Nurgle's attack, nor elated by its defeat. This had been foreseen and had played out near exactly as it had been read upon the Skeins. Pulses of annoyance and concern fluctuated through him because of Delbaeth's recent misadventures with the Orks. Mithrandir offered a plan of attack to the Autarch which entailed a powerful strike at the heart of Nurgle's power base whilst most of its forces were occupied with the Krieg world. If he had accepted the mission, Delbaeth could have purged the remaining taint of Nurgle from this quadrant of Sector 135 with minimal Eldar casualties. Unfortunately, Delbaeth was not interested, as he could only see vengeance and Mithrandir did not have time to convince him otherwise since a massive horde of Daemonic energy was moving quickly towards the former-Krieg outpost. Tragically, Delbaeth's tunnel vision had caused many Eldar deaths, allowed Nurgle to regroup, and probably only emboldened the greenskin leader. Perhaps Delbaeth's blind blood lust will be diminished once he's out of the infirmary.

One of Mithrandir's battle staff approached quickly and handed him a report from Tiarna Cruinne. His fist clenched when he finished the short field summary and Mithrandir's eyes narrowed as he spoke to his commanders. "So be it. I had hoped that they would have taken this opportunity to escape rather than attempt to engage our forces. Ready my strike team, I want this over quickly. We do not have the time to let them suffer for their ignorance."

Heading to the vehicle bay, the Farseer stopped and spoke quietly to his personal aide, "If and when Delbaeth awakens from surgery, please extend my condolences for Ti'Fani and give him priority access to my direct communication channel. Ensure he uses it."


This was my attempt at narrative fiction for our campaign. I was jealous of SeerK's entries, so I decided to add my own. Also, that pic at the beginning is my first try at digital coloring. I found a black and white image of a Farseer and colored it to look like my actual tabletop model. I have put the two pictures at the end. I didn't realize how beat up my Farseer model was until I saw the close up photo of it. I guess it needs some TLC at the painting table.

I have no idea who the original artist is, so I can't give credit. If anyone knows, I'm all ears.
Ah, pewter. So durable.

Monday, August 5, 2013

So Many Projects So Little Time

Image by Florian Stitz
I will be posting an update for the campaign Wednesday. Lets just say the continuing battles against BigMek
SkrapKlaw did not go so well this past week. I wanted to give a little update about some non 40K stuff.

As you know we recently added an author to the blog to write about Warmachine. I have picked up about 40 points worth of Cygnar. This is mostly thanks to the swag bag at Adepticon this past year. Then thanks to eBay I picked up a unit of Long Gunners and 2 units of Stormguard. I also got a deal bits trading at Adepticon for a unit of Arcane Tempest Gun Mages. I also snagged a Kara Sloan Warcaster from the shop as they had one sans cards in the used case for $5 bucks.

So I have a nice shooty Cygnar force. I guess I really just need to pick up a couple different Jacks to really get the most out of Kara. Shooty ones. I have my eye on some Precursor Knights and Ol'Rowdy as I also have a Captain Coleman Stryker. I was warned that if I wanted to play friendly games at the shop I was not allowed to use Victoria Halley as a Warcaster. Tournaments is fine, but no friendly games. Which after reading her card I agree. She is kind of broken, especially when I plan on doing a shooting force.

I figure painting bright blues and such will be a good break for me in between painting the horde of Guardians I currently have on the table. So far the block of 40 I have on the table is all base coated and just needs the final layer and a little detail work. This brings the total up to 80 Guardian Defenders. I am going to run the Guardian wall at the Michigan GT in September I just have to figure out the Anti tank portion of the list.

I have several tanks on the table as well. I am building a StuG battery out of the Bridge to Bridge supplement for Flames Of War. I have about 9 StuG tanks and 3 StuH tanks as well as a King Tiger. I need to build a Pioneer Platoon, but I don’t think the infantry I have will be able to do a legal platoon. I may need to pick up a Pioneer platoon box.

I have my Rense System Navy Fleet almost done. One more blister of Frigates, a cruiser squadron, 2 blisters of Phoenix destroyers a dreadnought and a carrier will round out the fleet. I wanted to have it ready for UCON this year as I plan on running an event. I will need more ships though to run the event. Its a good thing the game is pretty inexpensive and most of the guys at the shop have ships.

So I am in full swing for hobby stuff. Its all on stand by at least for this week though as I am finally finishing school. This is my last week of class. Also wish me luck. As I write this I am waiting for a call back for an interview Wednesday. I had a good phone interview with Mahle Industries this morning and I am waiting for a call back for an interview time Wednesday.

Well More updates on the campaign later in the week.

Until then.........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!