New Year, New Army! 2019 edition

Well, you knew this was coming, right?!

After reading the post on the Warhammer Community site, and thinking about what I want to get done in the hobby generally this year, I thought it’d be fun to do something similar, and create a series of posts that will regularly check in on how I’m doing with this year’s undertakings!

I’m going to be doing Nighthaunt this year – while I have a lot of projects on the go right now, some of which I can potentially see getting quite significant as time goes on, I think the whole Age of Sigmar thing has gotten me quite excited for the hobby at the minute. It’s pretty much a new game system to me, as I have only played two games of 1st edition back in 2016, and from what I’ve seen of the changes that have been made over the last couple of years, I might as well have been playing a wholly different game!

I currently have a fair few projects on the go for Age of Sigmar – an army in each Grand Alliance, as it happens! But while I am excited to get moving with all of these ideas, I think the Nighthaunt are where I want to start – not only start painting a fantasy army again, but to start learning Age of Sigmar!

I’ve arranged a small, 500-point game for next week (I know you’re not supposed to play at 500 points), so I’m quite excited about that! The list is intended to be quite straightforward, as I want to gain an understanding of the game, and what I need to do in the game, etc. So I’m trying not to go to fancy with magic or anything just yet. I’ve got two units of 10 Chainwrasp Horde, along with a Guardian of Souls, a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, and a Cairn Wraith.

I’m thinking there will be enough going on between the Guardian of Souls and the Knight of Shrouds buffing the Chainwrasps, then the Cairn Wraith is just hanging out doing his own thing. Importantly, though, I don’t want to use the old Cairn Wraith model, so I’ve got my eye on the named Lord Executioner, who should fit the bill quite nicely.

I’ve also been considering getting some Glaivewraith Stalkers in the list instead, which are the same points cost – it just comes down to the fact that I already have a lot of models in this list that need painting, so I was looking for an easier option!

I like the idea of starting a full army this year, along the lines of taking a Start Collecting box, and then each month adding in other stuff. I’ve talked several times about following the Tale of Four Warlords idea like this, but have never seemed to follow through on things. Well, there isn’t a Start Collecting box for the Nighthaunt (yet!), but the Soul Wars box set sure provides a pretty good starting point! I’ve been doing some research, though, and I think that each of the AoS Start Collecting boxes is roughly around the 500-point mark – there are some, like the Daemons boxes, which are below 400 points, whereas Slaves to Darkness and Fyreslayers are almost 600 points. So I think I’m on the right track, anyway!

This is a very exciting project for me, at any rate, and I’m very keen to see how my force progresses! I’ve painted up the Thorns of the Briar Queen of course, but I’m looking forward to getting a bigger army underway!

The glorious return of the goat-fish-people!

Hey everybody!
That’s right, I’m back to playing with my burgeoning Tau force, after what feels like an eternity where I couldn’t decide where to apply my hobby focus. Truth be told, I’d almost left the hobby on the shelf these last few weeks, and have turned instead to sorting out my garden. Well, that’s now almost finished, but I’ve been keeping myself ticking over through one thing and another, then managed to get a couple of games in last Friday, and so I thought I’d ramble for a bit here once again about my Tau thoughts!

Having had my first game with the army almost a month ago, I’ve waxed and waned a little over them, until having an invitation to a game against another guy at my local GW, Kev, whose Deathwatch I’ve come afoul of before with my Necrons! With their new Codex out, though, I really fancied a Codex vs Codex battle, to see how things pan out.

Spoiler alert: pan out, they did not!

Tau army

My list was mainly infantry this time around, with three units of 10 Fire Warriors, a Fireblade and the Coldstar Commander, along with the Broadside and a Crisis team. We were playing to 1000 points still, and I failed to get the first turn, which basically obliterated most of my army. Kev uses a Corvus Blackstar to stunning effect, and I think my Fire Warriors were just blown off the table before I could blink! He also likes to have a Dreadnought supporting his Watch Master, who affects the entire table for re-rolls in an almost perverse manner. Seriously, it was quite stunning to watch, but really stressful to play!

As the game was over so quickly, we had a smaller, 500-point game, which really played to my strengths as I have so many cheaper units as opposed to the Deathwatch, but while I had reduced his entire army to just the Watch Master, he still managed to kill off everything despite being inches from death. I definitely need to stay away from close combat as Tau!

So what did I learn from my second (and third) games with Tau? 

To begin with, I really need to have that first turn to survive! It’s nothing that can be guaranteed, clearly, but in my third game, I had first turn and obliterated a unit of Veterans between the Fire Warriors and Commander, as well as taking off a decent chunk of Dreadnought. The fire power is definitely there, so it’s something I’d like to really try to capitalize upon, and so I need to either have first turn, or survive to my own turn to retaliate.

Tau Empire Drones

I also need to hang much further back. I play Bork’an Sept, which makes my Fire Warriors with pulse rifles rapid fire from 18 inches, but I still deployed much closer to the centre than I should have! I had two units of Strike Team with a Fireblade between the two, and he never got to help them one bit! (I also learnt that Fireblades grant an extra shot to models within 6″, not units).

Hilariously, Fireblades can buff Gun Drones, which I used to some effect when taking on the Vanguard Veterans. If I’d read the data sheet properly, though, I would have seen that Gun Drones have two pulse carbines, and so I would be rolling six shots each, not three, so it is a little bit sour, that. I think I need more Fireblades in my force…

Gun Drones cost 12 points, whereas Marker Drones cost 10 points. However, Marker Drones only fire a single light, and if you miss with it, those 10 points were wasted. In the absence of a battlesuit equipped with Drone Controller, those Drones are hitting on a 5+, whereas for 8 points a piece, you can get a Pathfinder who will hit on a 4+. No brainer, especially since Pathfinders are the only ones who can take Pulse Accelerator Drones, granting those Fire Warriors a rapid fire range of 21″! Pathfinders are definitely something I should be including more often, especially when they come so cheaply and bring along helpful PAC drones!

I took three Gun Drones and 8 Marker Drones, and I think I need to alter that ration much heavily for the former. I also think Shield Drones are the better option if Pathfinders are in the team. Dashing round to intercept wounds is a much better deal, overall! I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learnt that Marker Drones are doing me no favours, and I need to concentrate on more Shield Drones, with a fair few Gun Drones where I can fit them.

I also need to remember my Stratagems! I can’t remember how many times my Commander has been charged, and for just 1CP I could be using Repulsor Impact Fields to potentially make them think twice about it, if they’re potentially suffering Mortal Wounds. Neuroweb System Jammer is also a good one – especially with the amount of silly buffs Deathwatch get. Putting them back to normal ballistic skill could be very useful! I’ve noticed that, in general, I tend to be quite conservative with my Command Points, and I think I evaluate the 2CP Stratagems much more seriously than the 1CP-cost ones.

Of course, this shouldn’t be an issue, considering I also bring the Puretide Engram Neurochip as my relic, but I continually fail to ever remember it! I think the relics and warlord traits are the two things I always seem to just forget, whereas I really ought to try and put more thought into this stuff…

Speaking of under-valuing things, I frequently get so confused by Grenades that I rarely use them. Certainly, I don’t think I’ve ever tossed a grenade with my Drukhari! Photon Grenades could work amazingly in Overwatch, again potentially dissuading someone from charging if they might have to subtract 1 from their own hits until the end of the phase.

What next?

Photon grenades bring me on to where I want to go next with the force, anyway. I talked a little about a gun-line in my last Tau blog, but I’ve now drawn up a different 1500-point list that I want to work towards. To allow for greater flexibility, I’ve decided to create a Core Army that can then be added to as I like. This core army consists of 1340 points, arranged across two Battalions and an Outrider detachment. In the first Battalion, I have the Coldstar Commander and a Cadre Fireblade, along with two units of 10 Fire Warrior Strike Team (each of which has a support turret with smart missile systems) and a 10-man Breacher Team. The second Battalion has the same three troops choices replicated entirely, along with an Enforcer Commander and another Cadre Fireblade.

The Breachers bring me on to a tangent here, as I was giving them both a turret and a Devilfish transport. It just makes no sense, as I want the Breachers to get a little closer than the Strike Team, given that their pulse blasters work better at closer ranges. However, they are Assault weapons, so there’s no need to give them a transport as I don’t particularly feel like I want them to move too far away from the main line. Instead, I see them as more of a harassment unit, taking objectives where required (more on this later) and also helping to protect the gun-line with For the Greater Good when required.

The Outrider is three full squads of Pathfinders, along with two Ethereals. If I have been undervaluing photon grenades, then I have done the Ethereals a massive disservice! Granting re-rolls of 1s in the shooting phase is massive, especially since I have no plans to move my Strike Teams anywhere!

Looking ahead, I want to get myself a Sun Shark Bomber. While I’m sad they’re currently out of stock everywhere, I would like to finally try some air support for the army, having never tried flyers in a game up to now. While I know it’s not like the Corvus, I would like to see how much damage I can wreak from the skies with this bad boy in the air. It’s also a different type of unit for me to use, and I like that. While I’ve never really gotten into using either a Dark Scythe or Voidraven for my Necrons or Drukhari, I think I’m actually excited to be using flyers here in the Tau!

The Gun Line

I’m currently envisaging a deployment where I have my four squads of ten Fire Warriors, possibly in two ranks of five, with an Ethereal between squads one and two, and another between squads three and four. Ethereals buff units within 6″, so that should work fine. Fireblades buff models within 6″ of him, though, according to the way I read it, though I’ve since been told it is the unit, so I think a similar situation will occur with those. I’m still a bit caught between using the Fireblades as Markerlight hits on 2+ or firing three pulse rifle shots of their own in rapid fire range, so I guess we’ll have to see how I’m feeling when the situation arises!

I’m adding in some Shield Drones to protect the Commanders and Ethereals as well, which I’m thinking to position roughly between the Fire Warriors and the HQs. I’m giving the Fireblades two Gun Drones a piece, so that they can do their thing there.

To bring it up to 1500 points, while the Sun Shark Bomber remains out of stock, I’m planning to include the Broadside and some more tactical drones for the time being, though I think I’ll eventually want a Hammerhead for the heavier support – when playing those games last week, the 6-wound Broadside was quite easily destroyed in a single turn of shooting – great as a distraction, for sure, but I would like a sturdier chassis for the big guns.

Painting Updates!

So that’s my rambling about the gameplay done, what about the painting?

While I do still need to get the Sept markings on him, by and large I’ve finished the Commander! I’m actually really pleased with how he’s turned out – the highlighting on the green hasn’t really come across that well in the photographs, but it looks nice and subtle. It’s taken me far too long to get this guy finished, mainly due to not having a clear idea for the paint scheme, but I think now that I’m more aware of where I’m going with it all, I should be able to get moving with some of the other units I have on the go right now. I did say that I was thinking about doing a sort of Tale of (One) Warlords thing here on the blog, and that I wanted to get the Start Collecting box finished by the end of April, but clearly that hasn’t happened! However, I want to next move on to finishing the first Fire Warrior team, alongside the Ethereal, before then moving on to Pathfinders and a Fireblade. I think if I can do that, having a squad and a character, it should help to keep me occupied by enough variety that I should be able to get through them all quickly enough!

And as regards the future of the army…

 

More Tau ramblings!

Hey everybody!
Yes, that’s right, I thought I’d write another blog post here, rambling about my newfound love for the space communists of the 41st millennium, the T’au! I’ve been busy building up the Start Collecting box, along with a few other bits and pieces on the side, so have been thinking a lot about what it is that has drawn me to them after all these years of having no interest.

Well, let me start with this:

It’s a marketing video for the new T’au range that came out in 2013, so sixth edition, and showcases a host of models that are, to be frank, rather sexy. They’re also virtually all plastic, as well. Within that six minutes of Greater Good, only two of the miniatures shown are finecast – the two named characters – which is always a huge plus to me when looking at an army range.

While I do have some for my other armies, flyers are something that I tend to avoid in game terms, as they don’t really fit with my overall playstyle of wanting to command waves of infantry. However, there is something quite sumptuous in the T’au range of (actual) vehicles, and I find them quite alluring. Okay, that sounds weird, but all of the sweeping lines and rounded corners do feel quite aesthetically pleasing – as much as the Dark Eldar are quite spikey, there are also a lot of sweeping lines in that range, and it’s one of the reasons why I like them so much. While it’s true that all armies share a common design principle overall, some of them just look a great deal better when you assemble them all together than others do. Bravo to the army painting team for coming up with this truly awesome panorama:

I can only hope that I can get my own force looking this good when the time comes! True, I’m not going for the desert camo of T’au ochre, but even so!

Something that I always look for in an army is the cross-compatibility of bits, be they just weapons and heads or anything else. Dark Eldar have this in spades, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed building my force of them so much. While I’m still new to the whole T’au thing, it does seem like the infantry has the potential to have something similar, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can get out of them all as time moves on – I’m still quite excited by the fact the new Fire Warriors kit has three extra legs that I can do something with, I’m sure!!

Battlesuits are probably what most people think of when they think of T’au, and while the idea of a Riptide or two does strike me as rather fun for the centre of my force, I’m more looking forward to getting some Hammerheads in the middle of it all, much like the picture above. That looks like it should be an amazing-looking army!

Speaking of which, I’ve settled on my first 1000-point list to build! Naturally, with the Codex out at the weekend, many of you may wonder why I’ve even bothered to write this up, but I thought it might be interesting to see how the army compares from Index to Codex. So without further ado, here’s what I’m building:

It has the infantry base that I enjoy so much, as well as some vehicles to fly around and do what they do. I’m anticipating being confused by having so many drones zipping about as well, though it does seem to be the thing to pack in as many as possible, and they could be a useful screen, so why not?

I’ll be back next week with an updated look at this list, to see how it fares in the transition from the Index, and whether I can bulk up that Breacher Squad to a full ten-man unit.

Stay tuned!

Tau investigations, part one

Hey everybody!
Following my previous blog, where I very excitedly talked about the decision to start a Tau army, I’ve been reading up a few things about the space communists as I try to get to grips with the units. As with starting any new project like this, the thing that always baffles me most is just what the army is trying to do. I’m not a fantastic strategist, and so don’t always immediately see the synergies among units. It takes a while of reading around things for me to form a plan, and then that becomes the basis of which I can change and adapt as required. Waffle aside, though, I’ve been reading the article series on the Community website that talks about each of the Sept specific traits from the upcoming codex, as well as talking about specific units and what they do now. So I thought I’d talk about that here, and give some vague preliminary thoughts on what I’m going to be doing!

Coming first, of course, we have the T’au Sept itself. I should start talking about T’au, but as with my Dark Eldar, I think I’m too used to the older names. I’ll try, anyway!

I think everybody is referring to these things as Chapter Tactics, basically you pick a theme for your army – be it Space Marine Chapters, Necron Dynasties, or T’au Septs – and you receive an army-wide effect. The tenet of the T’au Sept allows all models from the T’au Sept to fire Overwatch on 5+. I think this is possibly the only thing that affects Overwatch in the game, and it sounds fabulous – just the thing Tau models need, given that they’re primarily a stand-and-shoot army, so end up being charged a lot.

Meanwhile, Bork’an Sept get to add 6″ to the maximum range of any rapid fire and heavy weapons they’re armed with. Pulse Rifles, Rail Rifles, Plasma Rifles – all of these things are rapid fire weapons. Oh, and Markerlights are heavy weapons. Markerlights at 42″? Well, why not! Furthermore, Bork’an have a specific stratagem that allows them to re-roll one dice when determining a random number of attacks, such as the heavy D6 of a Railgun with submunitions. Very nice when you manage to roll a 1!

While most T’au armies don’t want to find themselves fighting in close quarters, the Farsight Enclaves aren’t quite so bothered. I mean, sure, they’re still mainly a ranged force, Farsight himself quite likes getting up-close and personal with his Dawn Blade. Their tenet allows you to re-roll wound rolls of 1 against enemies within 6″, so either during Overwatch or else from Pistol weapons in close combat. Oh, and what was that about the Dawn Blade, it has increased from a mere Strength 5 to Strength 8! Crikey!

Dal’yth Sept is all about being sneaky, and they have the hilarious tenet of being able to claim the benefit of cover, even if they’re out in the open, provided they did not move in any way during their turn. Considering you’ll likely rarely be moving when going for the T’au gunline strategy, this could be very useful – as the article says, it gives Fire Warriors a 3+ save out in the open, which is nothing but useful! Perhaps not something to plan the army around, of course, but a Strike Team that wants to get within rapid fire range is going to be getting perhaps a little too close to the enemy anyway.

Vior’la Sept, the white one you see on the new box art, can treat rapid fire weapons as assault weapons, and do not suffer the -1 penalty for advancing and firing assault weapons. Now, most of the T’au arsenal is assault weaponry, it seems, so this can be incredibly useful for getting away from a steadily advancing force. Fantastic stuff!

As well as all the Sept Tenets, we have had a look at some of the changes from Index to Codex, and while I have no experience of using the Index, it does seem that the Codex has made everything so much better, overall.

Let’s get things straight from the top: a lot of folks are pretty miffed about the change to Commanders. Basically, you can now take only one Commander per detachment, and I think that’s absolutely fine. There was a thing called Commander Spam (ingenious, I know), about which this blog post goes into detail for the Index. While I love the toolbox-HQ, I don’t think I would ever want to take more than one, anyway. I plan on sticking a Cadre Fireblade in there for a second HQ slot if I want that Battalion detachment, or a pair of Fireblades for the Brigade (if I ever get there!) They have some interesting options available, these Commanders, and I think the limit is sensible if GW doesn’t want things getting too out-of-hand.

As they say in the preview, the Coldstar Commander has been much improved by being able to take a wider array of weapons than in the Index. Previously, you’d get a missile pod and burst cannon, and you’d like it. Now, he can take up to four weapons like his Enforcer counterpart, which is quite exciting as he retains the 20″ movement and 20″ advance. Given that the Vior’la tenet can allow him to advance without penalty, he’ll be zipping all over the battlefield with impunity! Hopefully…

I really like the sound of what Riptides can do. Weight of fire seems to be quite important so far in 8th, and adding 4 shots to the heavy burst cannon feels like a nice improvement. Taking a mortal wound from the Nova Reactor in order to add a further six shots feels really nice – and for one command point, you can use the Branched Nova Charge strategem to charge 2D6″ as well, either lining your Riptide up perfectly for the next turn, or else getting him out of harm’s way when you need it most! Oh, but don’t forget, a Bork’an Riptide will be firing that heavy burst cannon at 42″ anyway…

Longstrike, the tank commander of the T’au, is really quite useful in that the Hammerhead Gunship he is poking out of treats enemy models as having +1 Markerlights on them than they actually have. Markerlights are quite the T’au thing, I suppose, in that a model equipped with them can choose to shoot them instead of any other weapon for its turn, allowing another friendly unit to gain some sort of bonus depending on how many Markerlights are on that unit. Markerlight effects are cumulative, and I think the magic number is 5, so only having to shoot 4 times and freeing up another model for another task is quite useful!

The Wall of Mirrors stratagem is an interesting addition that allows you to redeploy Stealth Battlesuits from near a Ghostkeel Suit anywhere else on the board. I can’t quite decide if it would be good to get the Stealth Suits close to the enemy, drop their homing beacon down (which is only destroyed if the enemy moves within 9″ of it, not if it is placed within 9″), then getting something out of a manta hold much closer to the enemy. Everything that goes in a manta hold to begin with (Crisis Suits and Commanders) doesn’t really want to be in melee… I suppose if your Stealth Suits have taken Markerlights, then it would allow you to move them into a better position to fire them? Hm.

All in all, I’m very excited for the new T’au codex, and have been busily building up my army ready to try it out as soon as I can. I’ll be back soon enough with my thoughts on my first army list and, hopefully, reports of how they have fared on the tabletop!

Another New Army!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been struggling with hobby motivation a lot over the last couple of months. I’ve had a lot going on with getting my house sorted and whatnot, which has undoubtedly not helped, but even so, I don’t think I’ve managed to properly finish any single miniature so far in 2018. Which is, itself, disheartening. I’ve had several projects going on, as well, which also aren’t really helping with my motivation: Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Dark Eldar Wych Cults, and then re-starting with my Necrons – it’s all been rather a lot, I feel!

Aside from the difficulty I’ve experienced with trying to decide what to focus on, I’ve found that I’ve lost a bit of skill with painting, having not really done a great deal for so long. This was abundantly obvious when trying to paint the Neophyte Hybrids for my Genestealer Cult,  where the amount of detail on the regular troops was just insane. So I began to cast around for other things to paint, while I built myself back up to all that.

And then I decided to jump on board with Tau.

Tau Empire Fire Warriors

Now, I’m not about to launch into some grand tale about how I’ve always wanted a Tau force. I’ve never really considered them before, as I’ve always just been drawn to other xenos races. I know very little of their lore, beyond the usual stuff about space communists, and I only know that they’re a sit-back-and-shoot style of army.

But I think that new-ness, for me, is what has ultimately led to me getting into them as a force. Back in 2015, I painted up a single Tau miniature for a painting competition at my local GW, and I remember it being just so arduous due to the fact that the models were so small. Well, I’d not been painting for a very long time back then, so I suppose I’m more “into it” these days. Despite what I said earlier about feeling out of practice with painting minis, I feel like I’m up for the challenge, at any rate!

So I’ve gone pretty extensively in on Tau, ready for the new Codex to drop in a week or so’s time. I suppose that can also be a factor here, having something new to look forward to and all the rest of it. While part of me wants to rebel at the notion of jumping on any bandwagon, I think sometimes it’s fine to see something new, like the look of it, and get on board with it, you know? Anyway… enough trying to justify my decision, I think!

I’m going to try my best to chronicle my adventures with the Tau on this here blog, and see how things pan out as I build, paint and play with the new army. I’m still not entirely sure on my colour scheme – not knowing any of the lore is both a good and a bad thing here, as I don’t know what to do for the best! But for now, I’m focusing on building up the contents of the Start Collecting box, and trying to get all of that sorted. I want to do this almost as a Tale of Four Warlords style of monthly updates, but as I’m starting from behind I’ve decided for the first goal to have both the Start Collecting box and one other (probably a Commander) built and painted by the end of April. That should give me enough time to not only get the building and painting done, but also to get to grips with the lore and the army on a more cohesive scale.

I’ll probably post semi-regular updates anyway, but the first major one will be done by 30 April, so keep your eyes peeled for that! For now, I thought I’d share with you the fruits of three days’ labour on the Start Collecting box:

Cult Uprising!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been back and forth on this subject for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve finally found the time to sit down and work out just what I’m doing with my Tyranid/Genestealer Cult army. Remember this?

Tyranids are an army that has appealed to me almost from the start, but I’ve always had something else going on. For 2018, however, I decided to throw my lot in with the bugs, and finally set about creating a Tyranid army. However, I’ve already found myself losing interest in such an enterprise, despite having bought so many of the blighters! I’ve had some bad experiences in assembling a carnifex and a tyrannocite, so thought it might be better to start where this really all began for me, with the Genestealer Cult.

Genestealer Cult

Cultist models have really caught my imagination since their release in the Deathwatch: Overkill boxed game a couple of years back. I picked up the game, of course, and when the range was introduced I did get myself a couple of extra bits, though I’ve been really slow at building them up. Well, no more! I’ve worked out a small, 500-point list to start with, and will be working on that for the next month or so as a foundation to a larger Cult force.

Genestealer Cults list

 

It’s probably not going to be the most competitive list out there, but who cares – I’m excited to put it together and get it painted, which I think, in this specific instance, is the most important thing right now! It uses the models from the Overkill box as a basis, though the Acolyte Hybrids are from the separate squad box released afterwards. In my Ambush! blog, I talked about how good a basis Overkill is for a Cultist army, though I’ve since gone through all of the models in there and notice that the squad sizes are a bit weird: two squads of six Acolytes (which are a minimum of 5 per squad in 8th Edition), and two squads of eight Neophytes (which are a minimum of 10 per squad). I’ll probably be raiding the bitz websites to see if I can bulk these out soon!

The Neophytes are probably my favourite kit in the whole range, and I think I’ll likely be looking at doing more of these in time. For now, I’m mainly using the Overkill miniatures as I already have them built, and eight of them have actually been painted to some degree. However, this list may well change soon as I decide to add in models from the Neophyte kit in due course.

Genestealer Cult

So there we are, 500 points of Genestealer Cult, which forms the bare bones of a Battalion Detachment! In time, I can probably stretch this to 1000 points by incorporating some Tyranid models – I’ve got both Warriors and a Hive Tyrant armed with lashwhips and boneswords, and I think it might be cool to have them in the same army to tie in with the Acolyte leader (and, to a lesser degree, the Primus). Of course, I could equally go the other way and build up the Astra Militarum alliance, having already got some guardsmen and a Leman Russ built and primed…

The important thing, though, is that I start getting this army on the road. So, by the end of February, I intend to have all 531 points fully painted – I may even have gotten in a couple of games with them by then, as well…!

Make sure you come back to check on my progress! And remember, I usually post up what I’m doing over on instagram as well, feel free to check me out there in the meantime!

Another new army!

Hey everybody!
By now, you no doubt realise that I have an addiction to Games Workshop and their little plastic men. Well, we all have our vices. Anyway, while I’ve been both adding to my Necrons, and building up my Dark Eldar, I’ve also been thinking about a lot of the smaller-scale stuff that I have had on the go for varying lengths of time. Genestealer Cults, Deathwatch, and even the regular Space Marine stuff – but first and foremost, I’ve been thinking about making some sort of expansive Imperium army. With the release of the Imperial Agents codex last Christmas, I’ve been pondering all sorts of different combinations of interesting little marginal character-armies, and with the roll-out of 8th Edition, this idea is getting a little more firmly off the ground!

Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii

Back in May, I’d picked up a Start Collecting Skitarii box set, and not long after had built up five Skitarii Rangers. They’d been hanging about primed for a number of weeks, but finally I’ve decided to actually get myself in gear and paint the little blighters! I’d initially wanted to paint them in the Metalica scheme, but decided that I didn’t want the hassle of painting the off-white robes. In the event, I’ve created my own Forge World, which is yet to receive a name, but still! I’d initially wanted to have some very blue Skitarii, to contrast with the usual reds, but as it turns out, these chaps are just kinda muted and grungy. I’d hoped the bases would brighten the scheme somewhat and set them off nicely, but as it happens, they just seem to have added to the overall muted effect! Hm.

The robes have been done with Stegadon Scale Green, with Dark Reaper and Thunderhawk Blue providing the highlights; inside it’s a case of Celestra Grey and Ulthuan Grey, all of the robes then shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade. The pressure suit was done with Eshin Grey shaded with Nuln Oil, and the metallics are the usual scheme of Leadbelcher and Nuln Oil, and Balthasar Gold and Agrax Earthshade. I’d decided against painting the Machina Opus in the usual half-and-half manner, and instead have opted for a golden skull. Might see if I can somehow tie that in to the history of my Forge World at some point. The guns are painted with Rhinox Hide, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and then highlighted with Skrag Brown. The Arc weaponry is Caledor Sky highlighted with Baharroth Blue. Both of these are pretty much the Duncan-approved methods, anyway! The purity seals are Zandri Dust (parchment) and Tuskgor Fur (wax) shaded with Agrax Earthshade. Finally, the eye lenses have been done with Ulthuan Grey shaded with Carroburg Crimson.

Despite the fact that they haven’t turned out as I’d first imagined them, I nevertheless actually really like these guys! I think once I have a proper horde of them on the tabletop, with some vehicles in amongst them, it’ll look really cool, anyway!

So what am I going to be doing with this army?

As I said before, it’s an Imperium Army, and for the most part I’ll be using models that I’ve already got hanging about for one reason or another. It’s broken up into two Patrol detachments, and combined comes to 50 power / 1000 points exactly. Let’s break it down.

Imperium Army

I’ve got a lot of Militarum Tempestus stormtroopers anyway, so thought it would be good to get some use out of them. Two squads of five Scions, flying about the field in a Chimera with a Commissar for inspiration should be useful – by giving every squad a vox caster, I should be able to make maximum use of the Tempestor Prime and his command rod, relaying orders up to 18″ away from him. I mean, in my head it sounds cool, but I don’t know exactly whether it will play out that way!

I bought a bunch of Astra Militarum stuff around Christmastime for my burgeoning Genestealer Cults army, so already have a Chimera and Commissar that are just waiting to be built – I had initially thought about converting the Commissar to be a Genestealer Hybrid, as I wanted my entire Guard to be cultists, but I think that may be a bit too much to bother with. Plus, the Primus is a pretty good Commissar stand-in if I need one! I’ve already built up two squads from a pair of Scions kits, as I was building up the relevant Scions for the expansion to Deathwatch Overkill that appeared in White Dwarf back in the day. Working through each of those models has proven to require a third box, however, to make legal squads, but no matter. I enjoy having the variety of weapons and such, anyway, and they are really quite wonderful kits to put together, after all.

For the Skitarii portion of the army, I only needed to get a second squad of the Rangers/Vanguard kit, and a Sydonian Dragoon. I’d already been attempting to paint some Electro-Priests over a year ago now, so hopefully this will prompt me to finish them off, and the Start Collecting box really is incredible value. I do plan on getting another in time, in part to continue the idea of a wave of Skitarii marching implacably across the table, but those Onager Dunecrawlers have been growing on me as models, and while I’d initially planned on selling that portion of the box, I think I’d like to have at least a pair of the buggers on the table!

The Skitarii portion of the list feels much smaller, but is actually a fairly significant portion of the overall army. While I was surprised at first at how cheap some of the units actually are, I think it would also be quite easy to sink a lot of points into upgrades that, on T3 models, are probably wasted. If building Dark Eldar has taught me anything, it’s to be sparing with the upgrades!!

Before I end this blog, I just want to give a shout-out to Alchemists Workshops in Winsford, who I came across after watching The War Gamer‘s painting tutorials on youtube. I trundled over there earlier in the week to pick up the above bits, and couldn’t believe how well-stocked and how cheap the Games Workshop stuff is! It’s in the middle of an industrial estate, which feels a little weird to me, but I was very impressed! Definitely going to be making that journey again to stock up on stuff soon, anyway!