Monday, December 18, 2017

Warhammer 40k: Chapter Approved Planetstrike or The Rise of Hammerfall/ Mission 1

Jason from Headwound minis came by with his Nurgle forces and we played the first in the series of Planetstrike missions from Chapter Approved. We talked for a bit beforehand on how to organize games into a narrative campaign of sorts, linking them into a story that should drive both our play and building/painting while at the same time seeing us willing to improvise a few things here and there for the sake of fun play and good stories.

We kicked things off with Jason getting a points credit in the fortification spending I did, on top of my 1500 points of Valhallan garrison. In the end, I took a Firestorm Redoubt, Imperial Bunker and some freshly painted Defense Line (old Forge World pieces.) I also took a mixed list of Valhallan trooper squads with Heavy Weapons/Assault Weapons, Company and Platoon Commanders, Special Weapon Squad with Flamers, Officer of the Fleet, Master of Ordnance, Techpriest, Command squad with rocket launcher and Company Standard, Hardened Vets with Meltas and Heavy Flamer in a Valkyrie, Wyvern, a Hellhound with  Inferno Cannon and 2 Lemans, both Vanquisher and stock.
Somewhere in the driving snows was the Eversor known to local officials as the Ghoul of Hammerfall.

Jason brought a dripping mixed bag of Typhus + zombies, Poxwalkers, Drone, Plague marines, Maulerfiend, Daemon Princes, Nurglings, Cultists, Plague Drones, Blight Hauler and a Nurgle Sorcerer who waited all game to show, but given the game was conceded on Turn 3, it mattered very little. We didn't take elaborate notes or take tons of pics so I'll summarize via words and images.

The opening Chaos bombardment thinned the Valhallans unlucky enough to be caught outside in the open. Vehicles on the move had their suspension rocked, crew shaken, and some minor damage as well.

The fortifications stood fast and once the bombing stopped and the icy winds cleared away the smoke, a hazy image of Typhus emerged from a seething black cloud of flies, which churned around the ancient Nurgle lord. He was close enough to the leading Vanquisher such that the accompanying plague zombies washed over the hull before the driver could skid to a halt and reverse, as the panicking gunners wracked and traversed their weapons towards the surprise threat.

Plague Marines and the Blight Hauler emerged from the ruins near the farthest defenses, and lurched at the passing tank convoy. Fire washed between the forces and the Valhallans sent everything they could from the snow-clad bunker walls, out into the shimmering gale, as Nurgle forces teleported into the fray. Sweeping lines of Icarus lascannon fire swept against the emerging Nurgle forces to little avail, even as Nurglings swarmed in through the Imperial back lines to claim objectives.

Above, the hovering Valkyrie  struggled to keep station in the sheer, as it loosed lascannon and braces of frag rockets into the roiling Poxwalkers, who were suddenly in among the terrified guardsmen, who each wheeled around to receive the charge and abandoned their covering fire into no-mans land.

A violent series of airburst explosions strolled across the battlefield as the Wyvern crew mechanically fired with trained speed at a truly insane field of battle, while men fought for their souls, even as sickness started to overtake them, their weapons defiantly blunted the Nurgle advance.

The Leman convoy slewed about and broke their line of advance as they tried to shake loose the undead and blashemous which clung to hulls and reached in through viewports with sloughing, dead limbs. The Techpriest, incensed at the damage done to the Vanquisher, rushed out of the redoubt, and initiated combat repair protocols on the large battle tank. The Hellhound set the bulheads afire as Poxwalkers, zombies and newly-risen Valhallans twitched and writhed in prometheum. A mix of Orders and Strategems wielded by Captain Gloval of the Valhallan 554th created furious resistance until the calamity.

While Typhus flanked the wounded Vanquisher and slew the Techpriest in single combat, the Maulerfiend and a Daemon Prince thundered through the warzone, straight against the front ports of the redoubt, even as the quad lascannons speared them with thunderous blasts that vaporized the snow fields before them. With surprising speed, the Warp things dug and melted their way to the inner chamber of the fortification and triggered the plasma-furnaces atop the power grid. With a catastrophic chain-detonation, the redoubt exploded and unleashed scything shrapnel and concussive waves, which crushed everything in a wide area of effect (11" radius damn it!!!) Many Valhallans on the ramparts died instantly and not one Valhallan was left unwounded in the blast zone. The Imperial back had been broken.

As Typhus himself gained the Imperial deckwork, and his ranks of zombies swelled by the minute. The Valkyrie spent all ordnance onto the conflagration that was the base, helpless to stop the violent end to the ragged remains of the ordered Valhallans. The burned hulks of the Maulerfiend and Daemon Price clambered from the electric fires and burning craters as the Imperial Bunker nearby collapsed, the occupants just escaping in time to be dissolved by a looming Daemon Price astride the trenchwork, tall in the soot and snow.

Spent, the ice squall which had covered the battle with freezing sleet seemed to ebb away and be replaced with a miasma of steaming offal pools, fire, and charred Imperial equipment. Those men lucky enough to escape into the forest past the clearing soon fell where they hid, and even as they quickly stiffened in the sub-zero temps, their lungs wheezed and popped with thickening warm ichor as fever burned out their skulls, and the Warp reached for them... one by one.

Stay tuned for more Chaos invasion with Chap App Planetstrike!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bushido Best of the Web #2 and Other Game Updates

I got another Bushido Best of the Web for my recent Bushido board, checkout the link. You can see I did the usual elevated legs feature so there is room for cards, books, figs under the board and it generally makes it nicer to sit and look at, even with LOS checking. I had to spend a lot of time with the trim cut outs around the water features and I definitely learned a few ways to do this better next time, when it comes to trim and finishing.

I hang out on the Bushido the Game group on Facebook, if you are looking for an active, fun scene for all things Bushido. Join us!

I talked with Odin at GCT about the board, which was really, really cool (thanks Odin!) and I used the voucher I got from him to order some 4Ground hovels for the board, which should be sweet and in shortly. I have been wanting to build a board with "teddy bear fur" for some time, so I can start by playing with the fur roofs 4Ground supplies, meant to look like hay or thatch.

Let's see, what else have I been up to?

I made a pig sty for Bushido. Why? Why isn't everyone, really? It is a simple piece that adds difficult terrain, breaks LOS and adds theme. Don't know why but the second I got into Bushido I said I am building a sty. My buddy John said I need to make a drunk villager in there with the pigs. I think I will.

40K: Been played 8th and really loving it, but like a lot of things, not playing it enough. Trying to cast up some custom Chimera turrets and build out two non-heavy weapon squads for some lower point/high-agility objective takers. Oh! Both are armed with Plasma Rifles, having been sent to me as a gift by my buddy Major Downer over at the Imperial Guard Message Boards. If you play Guard in 40k, go check out that community. Thanks for the figs, Major!!!

40K Defense Line: I bought the Imperial Redoubt to go with this old set of Forge World defense line I have had forever. Not really into finishing this all at once but I am chipping away at it. So much Nuln Oil...

Valhallan artillery tractor: This is a Dust model lightly modded to be a light errand lorry. Again, this is a theme piece and looks good with the Valhallans, especially equipped with a handy snow plow for managing the airfields of Hammerfall V.

Scatter stowage/containers: My buddy Joe at Rocketship games offers 3D printed terrain and this set is particularly awesome for 40k, so I did up a set. Joe has a Kickstarter running called Kolony, you should check out. It features great printable terrain suitable for 40K and Infinity. I backed it, so should you!

Valhallan Barracks: I added in some DUST quansets as barracks to boot, easy adds and really dress the board well. Note that I used super glue to add acetate windows, simply letting the fumes of the glue "frost" the windows. I love efficiency. You could also spray the acetate with Dullcote but this was faster and more fun just to see the random frost patterns set up. 

I also snagged a Banebalde kit for US$75 which I should probably build soon. The club usually has an Apocalypse game in January. I guess I should order a second set of sponsons? Gotta get the new Codex to see what load outs there are.

Strange Aeons: Picked up some classic Ral Partha Vampires! I remember lusting after these at the Willow Grove Mall in Pennsylvania in the 90's. glad I finally got my hands on them for Strange Aeons games, not that anybody has a Threshold team strong enough to cope with the Nightstalkers.

Stuffed Fables: I am dying to get this game and paint up that stuff. So, hopefully soon. PDF of rules are free online already! Check it out at Plaid Hat Studios

Imperial Assault: With Legion looming in the distance it is easy to forget I have a lot of IA to paint and play with. At a family function I got into a conversation about Legion killing IA; I don't think it is going to happen, if anything, Legion may drawn in players that don't end up caring much for the scope and hobby demands of Legion games and maybe they go IA, and enjoying that much more. We'll see. I will likely want to start the IA queue for this after I see Last Jedi (got my tix already!)

Robotech: I haven't done much here but pulled out the last of the Regults I need to do to get the base missions going. Looking forward to playing this and painting up some Zentradi female power armor too. I have had this game too damn long to not have played it. Sigh.

As always, follow me on Instagram for more frequent posts on Yeti doings: sarcophagi_yetisyell

Hope ya'll are productive and having fun!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Instagrammed: sarcophagi_yetisyell

I filled up my modem with interweb fluids to the top and I am moving onto Instagram:


Find me there for WIP pics on stuff I have going on.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

8th Edition 40k Thoughts: So Far... So Damn Good

Valhallans defend their supply fields from infiltrating Chaos forces on Hammerfall V.  Captain Gloval personally leads the defense of the control tower while the mysterious Eversor assassin known only as The Ghoul of Hammerfall lurks nearby, waiting in the dark to punish the wicked, the alien and the abhorrent. 

This past weekend I had probably a too-huge game of 8th edition 40k with my buddy Jason at Headwound minis. He brought his immaculately converted and painted Nurgle forces upon which I would cut my teeth (ew,) as they properly ransacked my Imperial air base in a bold dawn-to-dusk raid. 1500 points and several hours later I was feeling pretty damn satisfied that my Valhallans were properly bloodied and performed to themes very well. Better, I felt like I had the hang of a game new enough to me that I bother to say it with feeling.

I will post up a batrep shortly (still sorting out the Photobucket debacle) but wanted to share some thoughts on how this game went, given I have been staring at 40K in recent years through the store window, despite owning a bunch of stuff and having played it previously for a very long time. Others have done a way better job at pro/con'ing this edition, like my pal Joe, so I leave it to them for the long form. On the below, my view comes mostly as a Guard player wading into the new rules.

Story: The game was full of dramatic story-inducing moments that came from play outcomes. YES. I think that correlates to the Indexes and how they are all unique in appreciable ways and also, the simplified ruleset. Universal Special Rules of last edition are gone, and while I get that their algebra helped organize features and functions of units well across lots of different play, like competitive to casual, especially through a TO's eyes, it seemed dull and bookish to me. I play great games like Bushido, Imperial Assault, Strange Aeons, Robotech... these games have story in their play and feel unique as you navigate through your game and it helps if they not so cumbersome. I didn't feel that in previous 40k editions, it felt like an Advanced Philosophy class trip, lost and plodding through an endless swamp and debating the whole time about Jungian Star Wars themes. The current indexes and rules have what seem like a lot of fun options that breathe some anima into the people, place and things involved. Isn't that the point? Reading Dan Abnett to replay those conflicts?  Give me the damn story and you can keep your the tourney complexity. More on the Index in a sec.

Army Building: Still cumbersome compared to other games. Was sorta hoping GW gets stats and costs on one page. Still perplexed why there is Battle Forged play and other mode, it isn't like they give you distinct Campaign and Skirmish modes like FFG's Imperial Assault, but a sit-down over a cup of tea gets it done. Costs were reportedly up this edition but my old 1500 point force came in about the same. What I noticed most coming back to the game was the wargear options are all gone from the index, so while I couldn't spend a last few points on Carapace armor or Master Crafted weapons, I was inherently avoiding the pitfall of previous editions: wargear splurges. All that aside as a positive, it did force me to drop heavy weapon options in squads if I wanted to squeeze in another Sentinal or what have you. Tough choices as usual but easier to get to the table and the Index has enough ability that comes with the basic costs, including commonly used squad-level gear like vox, standards, med kits, etc.

Index Staying Power: Remains to be seen but the counter-culture habits I live by are alive and singing Glee's cover of Born to Run when I consider that I could happily play out of the free ruleset along with Index Imperium 2 and Xenos Index 2, maybe forever. One of my best friends Pete at Not Snakes Gaming noted that 40k is no longer competitive and as I agree with that I also give thanks for it. I want games that feel right to characters and situation. As far as Astra Militarum, Chaos and Orks go, Indexes feel right to the character of the forces, situations and games I want. Codex releases may change things like complexity and dissonance with who you think your army is, but I am content playing these Indexes instead of a Codex, if I prefer one over the other in the end. Finally, a good value from GW with each book around US$25 and including what equals several codex to boot.

Terrain: Just weird, these terrain rules. The game now boils down to LOS and if you simply have it or not. Cover saves don't seem to be factoring unless you are talking Characters by themselves and I think that does speed up the game a bit. So terrain effects are dead? Yes! Wait, unless you use Fortification rules in Imperial Index 1, then it seems like a U turn in the face of easy. I love building terrain more than any other part of this hobby. I am a bit perturbed since I took pride in building terrain that reflects play. A few weeks ago Joe mentioned all of this terrain rule jazz to me and I joked it sounds like Privateer game's norm of flat mousepad terrain. Seeing GW releasing what equates to the same thing in their boxed forces makes sense now, given how terrain rules read. So be it. Building LOS blocking terrain can be fun too.

LOS: Sorta weird. Facing and fire arcs are gone (unless you are a Valkyrie pivoting to go Supersonic for some reason) and said Valkyrie was clipped by a Nurgle Vindicator who fired backwards at me without pivoting. Did not see that coming. Also, getting LOS on a pile of Plaguebearers by the Leman Russ tread  was weird as well. Just gotta get used to that.

Movement Phase: Fine.

Psychic Phase: Interesting, must explore more.

Shooting Phase: Easier. Sorry, I guess seasoned players may balk and say what difference is there really but I will tell you it is way easier for me to learn and also to teach to my son, so that means something. Statlines are verbatim now, good when you have to keep your short term memory filled with other bits of episodic and particular rules, etc.

Melee Phase: Finally a melee phase where I feel like I have some game in the options, even if it means choosing the order my Valhallans are slaughtered, since after all, their job is to die to slow things down, not win hand-to-hand. Players alternate choosing which side of their side of melee fights is cool. Having a say means I have some initiative in how things die on both sides. I like that, especially as a guard player.

Morale Phase: Again, good. I was never a fan of all the modifiers some games pile on, especially over large forces and games. This seems fair and leaves me options to get more shooting in after falling back. Good.

Game Speed: Lots of debate on this point. I believe my experienced brethren when they say the 8th changes do not really speed things up but I do think the play is cleaner and not as prone to operational mistakes that can change the outcomes. THAT is something I like a lot and something I attribute with speed. A short game filled with re-sets and backtracking from complicated play feels slow to me.

So overall, not bad at all. I give it an A-/B+ for how the state of the game stands and what seems like GW listening to at least some of the customer base on what they want. Looking forward to getting some more GW to the paint bench and more 40k in the books (be that Index or Codex.)

Batrep soon! Bye!


Friday, May 5, 2017

40K: Valhallan Governor/VIP

I had a request from my buddy Joe over at my gaming club PAGE, asking to borrow a model to represent a VIP objective like a Political Officer, Planetary Governor or some such, for the upcoming Sword Sworn 40K narrative event on May 13th. This is from the same guy who runs 40K narrative events at NOVA, so, plan on a good time if you are in the Philly area:

Sword Sworn: Long is the patience of the Emperor's enemies, waiting in the dark to strike at his most glorious heroes when the time is ripe. Now that moment has come for the vaunted Swords of Dorn, as one of their recruitment worlds is besieged and all their allies are called to its aid!

I have a few models that would work for a VIP already, sitting around moldering in my Valhallan collection, but I thought a dive into the bitz box would be fun and a fast aside from Bushido.

Original GW model. The cape made it onto my Valhallan Col.
Parts: The parts for this were a Solar Macharius body, slightly trimmed and cleaned, a right arm from the IG tank sprue (do they even make that anymore?) and a standard Astra Militarum left arm with a totally vintage 1980's Imperial Guard hand; almost all of these bitz are OLDER THAN MY 12 YEAR OLD SON. Weird.

After my club runs the Sword Sworn event and I get this guy back I will add a holstered bolt pistol to his right side, maybe counting him as a Senior Officer or even an Inquisitor.

The Build: I painted him up in matching colors for my Valhallans with base colors, what I call underpainting and then finished with my custom water-based stain for finishing. Check out the Valhallan tab to the left for more examples of painting with stain if that interest you, I have posts on that going back years.

Total time for this VIP was 2 hours from assembly to priming to paint and basing. Pretty dang fun. WIP pics:

Base colors down, ready for underpainting
Shading and highlights are really geared towards augmenting the toning and colors the stain produces
Dried stain, DulCote and basing

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TTCombat: Yu Pagoda Finished (For Now)

Part 3 is found here. She's done for now. All-in-all this was a very fun kit. A few closing thoughts on the build: This is a high-quality kit, worth the price, even to the US from the UK. It is well-designed and sturdy, and sections lift off clean during play. With building, it pays to take your time with the kit and listen to yourself about how you want to modify it, if at all. That said, even unaltered it is beautiful. And imposing! This will dominate your average game of Bushido, with a 11"x11" footprint. Verticality will have to be a house rule in some cases, depending on the game system but for Bushido, well, we will have to have a batrep and see how it changes the game. Lastly, after the roof was together, I plan on running a bead of dark caulk underneath where each of the roof tiles meet, to strengthen it just a bit, and keep flex from warping or popping the tiles; just a suggestion.

I am really looking forward to some Bushido games with this... well done TTCombat!