Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grey Knights: Hybrid MSU

It seems like everyone on the blogosphere is putting GKs into list-building mode and spewing out their ideas. Some of it looks solid, some of it looks like crap. Today I'm gonna show off my version, and we'll see where it ends up. I'm looking for some serious analysis in the comments to let me know if I'm just not getting it, but so far this looks promising.

The list comes first, with my thoughts afterwards:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Psyched up for Grey Knights

There's no need for me to really show off pictures, as GW has done all the work for us there. Head over to the GW Website and take a look through the Grey Knights list. Lots of cool things there.

What I can tell you is what I plan on doing with them in reference to my current Space Marine army, which I currently use with most space marine codices from time to time (though I mostly stick to Dark Angels). You see, back when I started playing about 3 1/2 years ago, I specifically set up my army to make use of multiple codices, including Witch Hunters and Daemonhunters. I even established my chapter's fluff based around the idea that space marines, guardsmen, and even power-armored humans fought together, and the entire chapter was high on psychic potential. The decision was completely gamist, but I came into the game to play. The universe is awesome, but the gameplay is what keeps me coming back.

The chapter's name is Platinum Angels, and they are a 3rd-founding successor of the Dark Angels. Their homeworld sits near a warp rift that for a time engulfed the planet. This has caused mutations and increased psychic potential, but also a natural resistance to warp phenomenon. I figure my chapter's almost as adept at fighting off demonic incursions as the actual Grey Knights :)

With the update to the Grey Knights and the removal of ally rules, I won't be able to mix Dark Angels with them anymore, but that is fine. I didn't do it often in the past, and the new rules might be too good when mixed with the recently updated Deathwing. I can do almost everything out of the GK book alone though!

What I WILL be doing, however, is grabbing up all the special weapon bits from the new GK stuff as I can. I have a set of 30+ robed veterans with magnetized arms that would perfectly fit as the elite power-armored GKs if I can get the weapons needed to be WYSIWYG.

A large chunk of my terminators are also magnetized, so I don't see any problems sprouting up there. They even have customized helmets that look like the older GK ones. Everone always asks me where I got my plastic Grey Knights when they see my models.

What I plan on purchasing immediately are the following models:

2 Nemesis Dreadknights
1 Grey Knight Terminator Box

With these bits (and some customization work) I will make a squad of Paladins and some fancy 'monstrous creatures'. I plan on sculpting up some robes for the paladin terminators. I'm unsure on the dreadknights; a part of me really wants to make at least one of them transform into something :)

My customized Belial model will serve just fine for Draigo. Since he is also magnetized I can easily equip him with sword and shield. This reminds me that I need to get pictures of my primary army pieces up. They are definitely coming soon, I just need to spend the time on getting that lightbox set up.

What stuff are you guys looking forward to? Do you see any pitfalls in my plans to integrate yet another codex into my space marine collection? As always, my stuff is going to be completely WYSIWYG. A couple special characters might have 'counts as' special weapons, but it will be very easy to tell what everything is. While I don't necessarily agree with the responses I got, I did learn a lot from my attempt at using Craftworld Eldar with the DE Codex.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Works in Progress: Ravenwing Bikers

As you are all likely aware from my recent post on Death Hammer, I am adding some Ravenwing Bikers to the list. About a year or so ago I stripped the paint off of all of my bikes when I decided to update them to my new painting style.

Now that I am actively using them in a list, I have serious incentive to get paint applied to the models. Tournament use is my number one motivator for getting models painted, and it's easy for that to happen when you purchase up more than 13,000 points in the span of only 3 years.

Below is the first squad which I have painted for this. Each one was done over the coarse of last week. I am waiting on some new resin bases from Iron Halo to completely finish of the squad, but it gives a good look at what is coming up for the army.

The pics are kinda low-quality. I'm gonna set up a better area for photographs and get my whole tournament army photographed. This was just a white towel draped over a chair to give me a good surface for the camera to work with.

In the test games since the last tournament, the bikers have performed very well, and complement the missile output almost perfectly. I've had them beat up some Tyranid MCs, ignoring the Feel No Pain bestowed by Catalyst. I've also had them run up against chaos space marines and adequately deal with plague marines and armor while my missiles dealt with the infantry. So far I'm very happy with their performance.

Give me your thoughts on the look of the bikes. I'm going for high quality tabletop. The technique is quick to paint but looks pretty good. I could spend a lot more time to get something amazing, but I'm just not that patient.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

40K for Newbies: Remembering how it all began

Huntsville has had a large gaming crowd for as long as I've been here. We've consistently been home to players considered top in the world for many CCGs, including Magic: the Gathering, SW:CCG, ST:CCG, and LOTR:TCG. When I started playing 40K a little over 3 years ago, I had no idea exactly how many miniature wargamers the community had, but I soon found out: we have a ton.

The biggest problem in Huntsville, however has been a lack of a place to play. Lots of people just set up games at their homes or get access to the 1 or 2 tables at the local HobbyTown. Recently, however, the owner of The Deep, our local comic and CCG shop, has widened his stock to include miniatures and is now allowing some games to be set up in his store.

What this means is more exposure and an influx of new players for the most popular games (Warmachine, 40k, Fantasy). Talking with some of these newer players last night I realized just how different things are for me now that I am very well established in the game. It's easy to take large point values for granted. What I got to thinking about was how to adapt what I've learned for teaching newer players and to make their experiences as they increase in points all the more awesome.

I remember starting with 1000 point games, as many armies are just too inflexible or expensive to run at only 500 points and still use the FOC. Still, this is the points value that many players first get to rolling their dice on, and it's good to figure out what works at each points level.

For instance, I have a strong feeling that Mech Eldar can work very well at the 1000 point range. You can easily field 4 grav tanks (2 wave serpents, 2 prisms) and a few vypers and really have a nicely balanced force. This army is much more effective at the limited points level where its efficient vehicles can really shine.

So what I am going to be doing as I work up my new Grey Knights army is grow with them, but emphasize the importance of army planning, list building, and tactics the whole way. I figure I can use my vast space marine collection to set up some proxy games and allow these newer players to explore how they would like to expand their armies as well.

I don't quite have EVERY option available to space marines, but I do have most. I'm a little light on jumpers and scouts, but am rock solid on most other things. I even have stuff set up to use multiple codices, so I should really be able to help these guys out. It looks like it will be a lot of fun.

I've decided that for the first bit of 500 points I'll probably be using Eldar. They have several viable tactics at 500 points and once removed from their wave serpents will be relatively easy for opponents to defeat. It'll help reinforce the need for anti-transport and suppression weaponry as well as show how durable a squad gets when thrown in some armored transports.

I could see the store setting up 1000 point tournaments that would be fun and fast-paced. It'd be awesome to get through a game in an hour and run a 4-round tournament in under 5 hours. I think such an environment would do a lot to helping even veteran players develop their deployment, list building, and time management skills.


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