Thursday, 30 December 2010

One Year Old :) & Painting Motivation


Happy Birthday Blog

One year ago I started this blog, and it's been a very pleasant and interesting experience. I've really enjoyed interacting with other bloggers and being inspired to try out new ideas from the comments I've received and other blogs I read. So to all of you that have commented or just popped by for a browse - thanks.

As I move into my second year of blogging I want to improve my blogging. One thing I've noticed is that I can sometimes be erratic with my blogging, from 11 posts one month to only 3 another. I try to average 4 or so posts a month, but I'm going to try and have more of a schedule, which means I'll start planning posts in advance more.

However you're the readers, so what do you like and what would you like to see more of ? Is it battle reports, going through my thought process when I build a list, tactics and unit commentaries ?


Another thing having a blog means is that everything is caught in black and white, and it clearly shows up that I haven't done anywhere near as much painting as a wanted this year.

It's always hard when you look at all the grey plastic and metal and think how long it's going to take to get the army fully painted.

Some steps I done recently that has helped me are:

  • Having a clear space set-out. The picture above of my desk used to have my laptop on it, but now I leave the models I'm converting/painting out. Having the models sitting there staring at you really inspires me to get at least something done each night. Tonight I took apart an old razorback I bought from ebay in readiness for repainting in the colour scheme of my space wolves.
  • Try to get a bit done each day. Even if it's only half an hour, it all adds up.
  • Mix it up to stop me getting bored. It can be really be a put off when it's the 13th marine in a row you're painting. On my desk is a rhino I'm in the process of repainting, a grey hunter squad I'm in the middle of painting, 2 Vypers that are being converted into Venoms, and even a Ravager that is being converted. Having different tasks mean I can mix and match to always keep it fresh.
These are my best tips on how I keep motivated. Have you got any good tips to share ?


Sunday, 26 December 2010

[Warmachine] In the service of the Creator


Firstly seasons greetings to all, I hope you've had a nice time. I had a great relaxing day with the family.

My Menoth Army Grows

My Menoth army has been slowly growing, so much so that I've nearly filled the small Army Transport case that they're in. I think I've nearly got everything I want to get (as if gamers ever stop). I just want to add some Wracks (to complement Reznik, and give the High Reclaimer extra focus), a Reckoner (cause they seem cool) and Vilmon (to compliment my 2 paladins).

Although I bought Rhoven and his bodyguards I've never been able to build a list where I'd be tempted to put them in so I'll probably sell them on ebay, but if anyone thinks that's a mistake do pipe up.

Here's a list of what I have so far:

High Reclaimer
Epic Kreoss
Prime Kreoss

3 Crusaders

2 Revengers
2 Repenters
1 Redeemer

10 Flameguard
6 Delivers
6 Errants
5 Bastions
6 Choir

Knights Exemplar Seneschal
2 Paladins

If I add the reckoner I think I have the models to do various balanced army lists. Do you think I'm missing any crucial elements that something I have can't partially make up for.

Another strange points to my collection is the lack of unit attachments. In most cases when I'm building a list I find that it's better to have more models that have the sometimes situational ability of a unit attachment. Maybe this comes from playing 40k where I'm ruthless in deciding whether to spend points on upgrades. So far in my games I haven't felt that having an unit attachment at the expense of having a smaller army would have been better. Has you playing experience shown you otherwise ? Other fractions unit attachments I can see their worth, but the ones of the units I have seem very meh to me.

The 35 pt list I've been using has performed well, and I think it's more my tactics than the list that needs to improve. Here's the list I'm using let me know what you think of it, particularly any weakness I may not have had exploited yet:

eKreoss -6 pts
2 Crusaders 12 pts
10 Flamerguard 6 pts
6 Errants 5 pts
6 Delivers 5 pts
5 Bastions 8 pts
6 Choir 3 pts
Reclaimer 2 pts

Too Much Aggression Can Kill

My local club had the last week of it's warmachine campaign. To get more games in the last week was just mangled metal, so I took eKreoss, 2 Crusaders & the Fire of Salvation. As I expected it was nasty being on the end of enemy shooting without having any response.

However the biggest learning I got was losing both games I played because I was too aggressive with my warcaster. The temptation to get your warcaster stuck in, especially when they have nice melee skills (such as eKreoss' P+S 14 armour piercing attack), should be avoided in the early game at all costs.

In my second game I was against a Khador list using a Witch with 2 shooting heaviers and a light arc node. I ran the Fire of Salvation into melee range of both the heavies (otherwise they were just moving away and shooting every turn), with a +2 Arm buff I was hoping he'd survive. Next turn I feated and charged one crusader into one heavy and eKreoss and a damaged crusader into the light jack. Kreoss did 19 points of damage to the light jack with his charge attack, and finished it off with the second bonus feat turn attack, leaving the damaged crusader with nothing to do. The other crusader and the damaged fire of salvation with lots of focus did a number on the 2 heavies (killing one and damaging the other significantly).

Although it was nice to do nice damage with the Kreoss the light jack was no threat with a crusader who would get 3 attacks (auto hitting) next to it. Kreoss should have only moved up far enough to make sure he was in feat range. Because of my aggression, even though I was "winning" the game (I had an untouched crusader, and 2 damaged heavies against 1 heavily damaged heavy), my opponent was able to get a charge on my caster with his and with full focus kill him off for the win.

Next steps for the Army

My local club are starting up another campaign in the new year, so I'll be able to get in more games, and there's lots of interest in warmachine at the club with about 8-10 players wanting to plat in the campaign.

I've also bought come resin bases for the army to match the initial battlegroup I bought off ebay, so I'll be working on getting the army painted over the next year (click here to see the company that makes them). Over the next year, as well as painting up my Menoth I'll be starting my second warmachine fraction which is Cryx. As I've got my Menoth in a state where I can play vaious army lists I'll be only assembling what I'm painting for the Cryx to give me an incentive to get them painted.

I'd love to take my Menoth to a tournament next year, but I'll have to see if there's a local one (suggestions appreciated), however my main tournament playing will be with 40k next year.


Saturday, 11 December 2010

[Dark Eldar] Thoughts on the Venom

[This pic is from a blog showing how to convert a venom,
please go to the bottom of this post for a link to it]


I've been considering what has worked well in my first few Dark Eldar games, and discussing the various units with my mate whose also restarted playing Dark Eldar.

I was concerned about the lack of infantry firepower I had in my list. Most of my firepower came in the form of dark lances, which are great against tanks but overkill against infantry. In my test games my assault units were forced to assault almost untouched enemy units as I didn't have the firepower spare to soften them up first.

I was also didn't feel like the warriors were really pulling their weight, and were only in the list to fill out the troop choices and give me access to another raider dark lance. I thought that if I stripped the warrior squads down to 5 models I could probably fit in a very small unit of Trueborn with the warriors and Trueborn all in venoms. So let's take a look at the Venom.

Comparing the Venom to the Raider there are two main differences. The first is the transport capacity is only 5. As I mentioned previously I don't think incubi at only 5 models are effective, and other assault units need to bigger. Therefore we're left with Trueborn and Warriors that can use them best. The Trueborn can be mini sniper squads with 2 dark lances or can get up close with multiple blasters. The warrior squads in venom are less effective than Trueborn, but have the advantage of being cheap scoring units.

The second main difference is the armament. The Venom has a cannon and can get a second one for only 10 pts. Being defensive weapons both cannons can be fired after moving 12". This can add a lot to softening up enemy infantry squads before wyches charge them, plus it makes monstrous creatures cry.

So let's look at what changes I can make to my current army list to fit in the Venom. I liked the performance of everything in my list apart from the warrior squads so let's lose those:

10 Warriors with Dark Lance, Blaster, transported in Raiders with Aethersails is 190 pts each, so I have 380 pts to play with.

As I'd be worried dropping down to only 4 troop choices let's replace these with:

2 units of 5 Warriors with Blaster each transported in a Venom with a second cannon at 125 pts each, leaving me with 130 pts left to play with. Note that if you don't like warriors, you can have 5 wracks with a liquifier gun for the same cost.

3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters in a Venom with second cannon comes out at 146 pts putting me 16 pts over. In my list I was able to find the points by downgrading an Agoniser to a venom blade and using a spare point I was below the points limit.

So I've lost 4 dark lances, but gained 3 venoms to add anti-infantry and 3 Trueborn blasters to partially make up for the loss of dark lances. I also have more mobile warrior squads. I've lost some models (6 less), but have added an 11th vehicle.

My hope is that the list is more balanced between anti-tank and anti-infantry. My only gripe is that the heavy support has to be 3 ravagers to keep the number of dark lances up to a respectable level (14), meaning my lovely converted Talos doesn't make the list.

My revised list looks like this:

Succubus - 85

Haemonculus - 55
Venom Blade

6 Incubi - 132
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

3 Trueborm with Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

9 Wracks - 90
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

9 Wyches with Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

10 Wyches with Hekatrix with Agoniser - 130
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

10 Wyches with Hekatrix with Venom Blade- 115
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

5 Warriors with Blaster - 60
in Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

5 Warriors with Blaster - 60
in Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Total: 1748 Pts, 70 Models (including 11 vehicles), 14 Dark Lances, 6 Splinter Cannons & 5 Blasters

Let's me know what your thoughts on the Venom and/or my revised list are ? What do you think is the right balance between Dark Lances to kill tanks and Splinter/Disintegrator Cannons to kill infantry.

Now I just have to think up the best way to convert the Venom. The picture at the top of this post is from another blog which showed how to convert one from a viper and a raider. Click here to see the blog post.



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