Sunday, 29 January 2012

Magnificent Seven - What a Day !!

The Magnificent Seven tournament has been and gone.  It was a fun tournament, and I got in 7 great games, most of them were also very tough games against good generals.  Because of the comp rules baning large blast templates there were a lot more Orks than expected, and there was a nice mix of armies.

Over the day I faced:
lFoot Necrons
lBlood Angels (Assault marines and Bikers)
lSpace Wolves (Grey Hunters x2, 2 Cav, Long Fangs with 4 Missiles, Scouts)
lFoot Orks
lMech Orks
lSpace Wolves (Grey Hunters x 2, Long Fangs with 4 Missiles, 4 Cav)
lMech Grey Knights

There were custom scenarios which on the whole I thought worked quite well, and were a nice change.  Different obectives to shake things up, but not too confusing to eat into playing time.  However I did think they favoured assault based armies and armies with a lot of mobility.  This didn't affect me much, but some armies such as Guard or any gunline would have been seriously impacted.

How did I do ?  Well you'll have to wait till during the week for follow posts on how I did in the battles :)


Friday, 27 January 2012

Here there be Dragons

Finally I have got my Dragon Warriors (my own chapter which uses the Space Wolves rules) up to the point where I can take them to the Magnificent 7 tournament tomorrow.

Better pictures and a write up of how I do will follow shortly. The list I'll be using is in the post earlier this month.

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Speeding Up Painting

You have the tournament looming close, and you just want to use that new unit that you think would round out your list perfectly.  How can you speed up that painting, given as we all have a limited amount of free time that we can commit to painting ?

I find myself in this exact situation, although I have to finish painting four units in the next nine days, and I have to summit my army list for the tournament I talked out in my last post today, well yesterday now as I'm a bit late posting this up.

These are some small changes and learnings I have made to ensure I have a chance of hitting my deadline.  This are not tips on how to paint to your best quality, but how to speedup getting a unit painted, so some of these tips are not for those looking put out their best work.


If you're painting in the evenings like I am you need a good light source.  Ideally you should use daylight bulbs, as normal bulbs can give a yellow glow meaning that when you check out your masterpiece in normal daylight they don't look as good as you imagined when you finished them the night before.

Also it is best to have two lamps from different directions to avoid shadows.  Be mindful to keep the lamps far enough away, because otherwise the heat from the lamps will dry out your paints much quicker meaning you have to get more from the paint pot more often.

Painting the Visible

If you like me you've probably spent hours over all the models you've painted trying to squeeze paint brushes through small gaps to paint a part of a model you can only see if you look at the model from an obscure angle that no-one will ever see.  You must stop yourself doing this.  Concentrate on the areas people will see, face, chest, shoulders etc.  It's much better to finish more models than be happy that every small detail is done on a fewer amount.  This is particularly important if you are painting an army and have a deadline to meet.

Painting those hard to reach or see areas will add nothing to the overall appearance of the model, but will seriously increase your painting time, especially when you consider the touch-up required on other areas you might accidentally touch.

Standard is your Friend

Try to use standard colours rather than shades you mix up yourself.  Having to mix up just the right shade over and over again will cut into painting time.

If you do want to use your own special colour.  Write down the colours and proportions used, and create the colour in bulk using a mixing pot.  Not only will you always have exactly the right shade every time, but you will save loads of mixing time.

Let Friends / Family Know

If you have a tight deadline like I have, let you friends and family know that you are busy each evening that week.  This will avoid (or at least lower the risk that) your other half will request a romantic evening on the coach watching the latest RomCom, or friends organising the party of the century.

Alternatively organise something for after you finish you painting deadline.  It will soften the blow that you won't be available while your painting, and it will give you something to look forward to while you paint.


Make a schedule to keep you on target.  This will give you a target to aim for each planning session.  Be careful to leave gaps in the schedule which you can use to catch-up if you fall behind, because things happen in real life which come above painting which have to be done (in my case I have to prepare for an job interview).

Drastic Measures

Lastly if you are really up against it, you can leave some techniques to later, eg. you could come back to your models for the last highlighting sections etc.  Once you've got a portion of your army done it will inspire you to set yourself another target to get more of the army done and/or go back and add a layer of detail to the models.

My space wolves are progressing slowly, but the remaining weekend I have left for catch-up and I only planned basing for next week means I have a good chance of getting them to a level I can use them at the Magnificent Seven tournament:
The are bit too red to me, but I'm hoping a snow base will balance the colours nicely.

Please share your ideas on how to speed up painting.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Smaller Point Tournament Leads to Army Choice Decision

I haven't been to any tournaments that use small points values (eg. < 1000).  I've been tempted with a couple of double tournaments, as I have found nothing gets me focused to get some units painted than an upcoming tournament that I want to use them in.  Therefore when I heard about the Magnificent 7 tournament I just had to sign up.  600 point singles tournament, 7 games in one day.  The number of games would also be excellent for getting to know a new army, plus  I really wanted an incentive to make a start on my (mainly red & blue) Space Wolves.

However Space Wolves aren't my only option.  I've really been enjoying my Necrons, and I've recently painted up (minus the basing) 2 converted crypeks, an overlord and a command barge:

Also available are the irrepressible Dark Eldar
[my razorwing would not be able to be used in this tournament due to it's large blast missiles :( ]

Magnificant 7  is 600 points, and uses simular army composition rules to Combat Patrol, however it had a few extra restrictions to try and make a more balanced field, plus it would have timmy comp (excessively OTT lists would be asked to be revised).  Here's a few of the extra rules:

  • No HQs: This would affect my necrons the most as they would be able to access a Royal Court
  • Quantum Shielding:  It had been ruled that Necrons could use vehicles with Quantum Shielding, but the shielding would not be working for the tournament, and the vehicles would not get any points reduction for the tournament
  • No large blast weapons:  With the smaller armies it woul have been nice to include a whirlwind or razorwing jetfighter to help deal with hordes, so I'd have to include a couple of flamers to help agaist hordes instead.
  • A maximum of 3 vehciles (and only 2 can be the same).  This hits my Dark Eldar the hardest, as ideally I would have liked to have a ravager, 2 raiders and a venom.
With the army restrictions in mind here's the three lists I game up with:

Necrons 600 Points

5 Necron Immortals (Tesla Carbines) - 85
5 Necron Immortals (Tesla Carbines) - 85
5 Necron Immortals (Tesla Carbines) - 85
9 Canoptek Scarabs - 135
5 Canoptek Wraiths (3 Whip Coils, 1 Particle Caster)- 210

29 infantry (52 wounds), totalling 600 points

The list has no ranged anti tank, relying on the wraiths and scarabs in combat.  Also having small squads of immortals means that they are more likely to be wiped out entirely in a phase and therefore not get a RP roll.

Although the list includes the assault elements I have enjoyed using (Wraiths & Scarabs) the rest is just standard troops.  It doesn't (mainly because it can't) include the other interesting units I have (or would like to) use such as an Overlord on a Command barges, Annihilation barges, or a Cryptek with Veil of darkness to teleport a troop unit around.  This is probably a critic of all 600 pt lists because the troops make up a much more significant proportion of the army.

Next up is my Dark Eldar list:

Dark Eldar 600 Points

10 Wracks with 2 Liguifier guns - 120
   transported in a Raider with a Shock Prow - 65

10 Wyches - 130
  incl Hekatrix with Agoniser
transported in Raider - 60

5 Warriors with a Blaster - 60
5 Warriors with a Blaster - 60

Ravager (3 Dark Lances) - 105

30 infantry & 3 vehicles totaling 600 points

Without an Haemonoculus the wracks remain elites, meaning the warriors were essential to give more troop choices.  However the restriction on vehicles meant that two small units were required rather than the more effective one unit in a venom.  The list is very agressive, and would have to go in reserve in most games that it is going second.

Without incubi or rending razorwing flocks in the list I decided to upgrade the venom blade I normally give to my hekatrixs to a agoniser for this game. Sometimes you just need to be able to deny MEQ/TEQ their armour save.

Overall I think the list could do well, and they are the army I am most familiar with at the moment, however it would be a shame to not use this tournament as an oppportunity to use a new army.

And lastly here's my Space Wolf list:

Space Wolves

Wolf Guard (3) - 84
1: Powerfist & Combi-melta (joins the first Grey Hunter squad)
2: Combi-flamer (joins the second Grey Hunter squad)
3: Basic chainsword & pistol (joins Long Fangs)

8 Grey Hunters with Meltagun & Standard - 135
   transported in Rhino - 35

8 Grey Hunters with Flamer - 120
   transported in Rhino - 35

2 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Frost Blade - 125

3 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers - 65

24 Infantry & 2 transports, totalling 599 points

This list seems quite balanced.  The frost blade inclusion instead of the usual powerfist (or thunder hammer) is because there will be less vehicles and because they would be great against scarabs and toughness 3 characters.  Also with such a small unit it would be much more likely to die before a powerfist could swing at the initiative one step.

After all my diliberations I have provisionly choosen...

My Space Wolves, however as you can see they are no where near.  The two rhinos are done, but apart from that only one model is up to the stage where I can base it.  The last week, and the following two weeks will be an exercise it doing as little as possible so I can get the army down.  It is really hard to move away from a model, knowing I want to do more on  it, but if I don't do this I won't get the models done.
My aim will be to get the models done, but return to the models as soon as the tournament is over to paint more detail and add highlights.  It will be a tough challenge, but at least it will get me started on getting my Space Wolves updated for the new edition and new codex.

If I don't make it, the other armies are waiting in the wings to take over for the tournament.  My current thinking is that my Dark Eldar will get the nod over my Necrons if my Space Wolves don't make it.

The army list subimission deadline for the tournament has been extended to this coming Wednesday, so please feel free to comment on the army lists or anything else I've mentioned.   Now back to painting...



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