vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

After Action Report.

I had a game of 40K last weekend. The first one since, well, early/mid 5th edition, which makes it roughly 5 years, I'd say?
It was with someone I've never played with before (Maarten), who had an army I've never dealt with before, Imperial Guard (or should that be Astra Militarum, these days...).
My Orks got chewed up hard! But nonetheless it was quite an enjoyable afternoon playing 40K.

So, about the game:
I don't recall exactly what we both had in our armies, we each had 1250pts of our respective forces.
I do recall that I faced an infantry platoon, a lascannon unit, a mortar section, a self propelled mortar, as well as a Leman Russ tank, a Chimaera APC, and a Valkyrie full of veterans with scary guns.
I had my 20-strong mobs, one shoota, one slugga (they rode a Battlewagon), a unit of Trukk Boys, My MegaBoss and his three MegaNob mates, some Lobba Mek Guns, 2 Skorcha trakks and my Lootas.

Here's how our deployment looked from my end:

First turn my Lootas got hit by mortar fire. Hit hard... The entire unit was obliterated in a single shooting phase!
This set the pace for the entire game, really, Maarten used his shooting phase quite effectively.

Another example is here:
The end of the Movement phase, turn two I believe. In my first turn I had rolled my vehicle phalanx up the bridge, intent on taking the objectives that were clustered around it from the imperial guard, well, ... guarding them.  As you can see a Valkyrie just swooped in...
After that shooting phase (and attendant leadership tests for losses. I'm not sure I like the new Mob rule...) the Battlewagon carrying 19 slugga boys and a Nob and the Trukk right behind it, carrying 11 boys and a Nob had evaporated, leaving only the Nobs of the two units. My Stormboys unit (on top of the bunker in front) had been halved, with the irate Nob killing off the other half trying to restore fighting order... 3 Nobs were left on the bridge, where my armoured phalanx used to be...
It was impressive to see, even it did present something of a challenge for me the next turns. ;-P

 Eventually, I managed to get what was left of my Orks into close combat. But by then they were simply too few to really turn the tide. They acquitted themselves well though.
In the end the game was a lot closer that it seemed to me. Despite having less than 10 models left on the field, I had only lost 7 victory points to 9. (Could have been closer, hadn't I prematurely discarded a certain objective card. Oh well...)

So, my first taste of 40K seventh edition, and with a skilled and pleasant opponent to boot.
So what did I think of it?
The core is still the same as before, so no surprises there.
It's nice that vehicles are nice and robust now, it really invites you to be more free and aggressive with them. Which can backfire, as I experienced in this game, but hey, you don't play Orks if you're worried about the occasional plan blowing up in your face. :)
Having had no psyker of my own in this game, I'm postponing judgement on the psychic phase until I've had a more active role in it.
I really like the new dynamic objectives! It kept us both engaged and active throughout the game and presented some interesting puzzles to solve each turn. It forced us to act and think dynamically. Very nice.
I'm sure the game could be optimized further, and no doubt there is already imbalance inherent, and will only get worse with progressive codex releases. But for a friendly game among reasonable people (who despite this still manage to like the 40K setting)  it suffices nicely.

What I took away from this game for my army:
I really have trouble cracking armour with my Orks. The people I used to play with all had fairly infantry-focused armies, myself included, so this has never been a priority for me. Oh, and flyers are dangerous, I should have more than one unit capable of dealing with them.
It was fun playing against an army that doesn't wear power armour, your attacks actually feel effective! :D

And finally, after last weeks indecision, this game put me firmly back in the green hobby wise! I've been painting on the second half of the Meganob unit, doing some converting on my Nob bikers (though the first model for the unit is yet to be completed) and have been going through my stockpile to see what armour-cracking options I already have and could paint.

Until next time!

zaterdag 23 augustus 2014

This week's activities

I played the game with my son I mentioned last post. I didn't have the time to rework IHMN/ItEN as I had planned. Instead I grabbed the Movie Marines rules (from an old White Dwarf), selected the Sergeant as my son's character and chose a corresponding amout of point's worth of Orks.
I then used whatever of the 40K rules I could remember... ;-P

Here is the set up:
Our brave Space Marine started on the little grey square on the left (right below the red cup).
His mission was to reach the large square with the checkers and Imperial Aquila, where he would be extracted by allied Imperial assets. In his way were two small squads of Orks, each led by a Nob.
They were in dispersed formation as they were searching the area for him...

Pretty soon he ran into the first Nob:
Who proved to be a fairly minor delay (Movie Marines are absolute monsters!)

Shortly after, the Orks had set up a firing line in ambush:
My son did the proper Space Marine thing, and charged right into the nearest Orks.
By charging from one gaggle to the other, he managed to systematically dismember the various greenskins.
He was nearing the extraction point, he only needed to get past the last two Orks and the second Nob. That second Nob however, had a Power Claw. This would be interesting.

The final combat was tense and fairly close fought over two or three turns. The Nob managed to knock a single wound off the Marine, before perishing himself. (Did I mention Movie Marines are very, very tough?)
Injured but undeterred the brave Marine stepped onto the landing pad for extraction.
My son won. But more importantly, we both had a lot of fun!

I've also been painting every moment I could, trying to get the Meganobs out of refurbishment for the game tomorrow. I didn't manage to get paint on the newly built ones, but I did get the three older ones finished:
Sadly I forgot to take pics of them pre-refurbishment for contrast...
But before upgrades they still had old-fashioned Goblin Green with green woodflock basing, they lacked banner poles (or in the case of the rightmost one: a trophy pile), and they were a lot less yellow. In fact, you had to look closely to see they were Bad Moons at all! The only yellow they had was on their shoulders plates, and maybe a stray armour plate elsewhere. They also only had a single shoulderpad each. Plus, during rebasing I've put 1mm plasticard shims under their feet to make them match a bit more, size-wise, to the new plastic Meganobs.
They were clearly the result of the 40K 3rd edition image of Orks, when they were mostly bare-metal scrapheap dwellers in appearance.
Since them I've come to appreciate a more colourful Ork, largely due to my growing appreciation of the old Rogue Trader and second edition Ork background and worldview. I still find the current all-yellow Meganobs, as shown in the most recent Codex, too gaudy though.
It makes them look too toylike, takes out the menace. Plus, it just seems like lazy painting to me ("Oh, Bad Moons? Just paint everything yellow, slap some black flames on.") I believe Ork models deserve a bit more thought and realism (and less uniformity!) than that.
Hence a large part of my Meganobs remains bare, dirty metal and I tried to make sure each had different armour plates picked out in yellow.
Additionally, by not going all yellow, I retain the option to make, say, my Warboss or a MegaMek stand out by using more yellow still.

Oh, and one thing I really miss on GW's recent paintjobs is the use of Orky Glyphs, apart from picking out the random ones that are molded in. I always try to add a few on each model, that express how that particular Ork sees the world or himself. For example, the middle one has the glyphs "Unki" and "Dur" on his shoulder, meaning "strong or big" and (in this context) "armour". Clearly this Ork revels in the size, power and resilience of his armour.
In contrast the rightmost one has his upper arm plate marked with the runes "Rukk" (attack. charge) and "Nar"(command, crew). He clearly values his elite shocktrooper status and elevated position in the chain of command.
Finally the leftmost one has a "Mor"( wild, feral, ancient) glyph as a banner, showing his pride in his veteran status and his viciousness. He has seen the need to paint a "Flash" (flag, banner) glyph on it, to show he is one of the Warlord's bannermen, his inner circle.
Now, who said Orks are thoughtless, uncomplicated creatures? ;-D

Here are a few more views:

So, now to sit down and finish reading the new edition of the rules for tomorrows game...

zondag 17 augustus 2014

Decisions, decisions...

So, where am I at, hobbywise?

Before my vacation, I was cheerfully focused on my Orks. During my vacation I had fun painting a character for the Iron Kingdoms RPG. A nice little palate-cleanser before returning to work on my Orks, right?  .... Wrong.
I've been back for over a week now, and my interests are so over the place, I'm getting nothing done...
The fire to work on my Orks has died down to embers. I'm looking at my stash of IKRPG-suitable figures, because I had so much fun on the one, I'd like to do more of them. And because they share a setting, I've been looking at my Khador stuff as well.
I got Space Marine last week on a Steam Sale (I've been eyeing that game since it was released but it was never for sale at a price I found acceptable. Until now.) My son saw a bit of me playing it, and thought it was very cool. But he can't play the game yet. So I am contemplating if I can throw together a tabletop skirmish game of Space Marine with him before the end of his summer holidays (So, effectively, sometime the coming week.)
Which means I'm looking at my notes for a IHMN/ItEN mash-up again. And, because of the game's graphics and character design, I've done some more on my True-scale Space Marine test model. Which is part of my Inq28/=I=Munda project. But for the marine, I need parts from my box of marines for my 40K/Space Hulk Howling Griffons. So those have been dragged out as well.
And to top it off, next weekend I've committed to a game of 40K. For which I need several miniatures I pulled apart for refurbishing before my vacation. So I really should be finishing those. Oh, and read the latest edition of the rules, as it will be my first game of 40K in over 4 years...

The sane, sensible thing to do, would be to ignore the distractions and knuckle down on those refurbishment mini's and start reading the rules.
But with all the ideas and various enthusiasms floating through my brain, I can't find the focus.
Such a fun, relaxing pastime, this hobby of ours... ;-P

See you soon, hopefully with some progress to report.

zondag 10 augustus 2014

Rosy the Riveter meets Tony Stark...

Or to use the proper terminology: A female Ironhead-Field Mechanik for the Iron Kingdoms RPG.
(Or, according to TVtropes: a "Wrench Wench"...)

Here she is, without her signature equipment:
 Just carrying her most basic toolset, nothing more...
The model is Privateer Press' Dirty Meg mercenary solo. She's unconverted, so I can still use her as such.

And here she is with her signature equipment, a.k.a. her "Field Workshop":
This is the more involved of the duo of miniatures, both painting and conversion-wise.
The body is from a Privateer Press Khador Field Mechanik Officer, with the shoulder plates replaced with those of a Rhulic heavy Warjack. I bought a second Dirty Meg from which I carefully sawed her head and the big mechanical contraption she carries on her shoulder. The latter is mounted here, on her left shoulder:
Additionally, I carefully carved the index finger from the model's right fist, and sculpted a pointing finger in it's place.

Here is a size comparison between the two versions of my Mechanik:

She doesn't have a name at the moment, as I built her mainly for the fun of it, instead of for a clearly planned character I or someone will be playing. Hopefully, someday I'll get to find out who she is. ;-)