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Monday, July 18, 2016

++++ INLOADING DATAFILE 099 ++++ I played a game! Batch 3 progress too.

It's been about a year since my last 40k game, but this past Saturday was my first league match for the local shop's escalation league. Apparently the shop has 20 players enrolled for the league, and there's another league for beginners as well. For any kind of event that is a great draw, and for a league it's awesome.

My first match was vs Chris, who I've played with on and off for the last 15 years or so. He's playing Orks and I'm fielding 30k Word Bearers. The first week games are 500 points and we were all told to include at least 1 HQ and 2 Troops units. Small points values do tend to advantage certain armies and disadvantage others, I'm honestly not sure if Orks are advantaged or disadvantaged at this small of a points level, but 30k lists have a rough time.  Particularly Word Bearer's due to the need to always take a Chaplain or Diabolist IN ADDITION to your Compulsary HQ choice.  Chris allowed me to ignore that rule for our match, which was kind of him.

I fielded:

  • Chaplain: Combi Plasma, Refractor Field, Artificer Armor
  • Legion Tactical Squad: 20 models, Veteran Sergeant had a Power Weapon and Artificer Armor.
  • Legion Support Squad: 5 Models with Volkite Chargers

He Fielded:

  • Weirdboy
  • 20 Slugga Boyz, Power Klaw Nob
  • 20 Shoota Boyz, Combi-Rokkit Nob
  • 5 Tank Bustas with a Trukk
We played on a 4' x 4' table an didn't bother to place objectives, overall the match lasted between 30-45 minutes.

Here is my army deployed for battle.  I've started building the Support Squad with Volkite Chargers as a part of Batch 3, but I've only gotten 2 of them started so far so I proxied my three other special/heavy weapon models to fill out the squad.  I was just shy of reaching my goal of having every model in the 20 man Tactical Squad at least have his arms on by the start of the League, but only just.  I definitely found that 40mm bases are TERRIBLE for a large footprint unit, it makes it really hard to fit them on the table.  More on that later though.

Here was the table at deployment.  Sadly we got the short end of the play mat, there were three events going on that afternoon so space was at a premium!  Chris had the first turn and he moved up with his entire army, being careful to advance the trukk slowly enough to not give me free shots on it from the Tacticals.

I had expected him to run his squads forwards faster, his holding them back forced me to advance with my Tactical Squad on my first turn.  My shooting was very poor this round, the Volkites failed to score any glancing hits on the Trukk (Despite rolling 6 hits) and the Tactical Squad only killed 3 Shoota Boyz.

On his Second turn Chris moved forwards more aggressively with the Shoota Boyz and the Trukk of Tankbustas, and he pulled a BIG surprise on me by teleporting his Slugga Mob across the table (Just off screen on the right hand side of the Bastion.  His shooting and psychic shenanigans started to pick off my legionaries quite quickly, which was certainly cause for concern.  Amusingly the Slugga mob almost scattered off the table edge, it missed by about 2 inches.

On my half of turn 2 I advanced with my Tactical Squad and I took a risk and split the Chaplain off to hunt down the Trukk.  This caused another issue as with 40mm bases the Chaplain looked like he was still a part of the Tactical Squad despite being nearly 2 inches away from them.

The Chaplain exploded the Trukk with his Combi-Plasma, killing 2 Tankbustas (who failed their pinning test.  The Tactical Squad then blew away the Shootas taking them down to 3 Models.  The Volkites then evaporated (literally) the remaining Tankbustas and all of a sudden the table looked pretty good for me.

The Slugga Boyz were coming in fast though so Chris still had a shot as long as he rolled decently in hand to hand.

I forgot to take pictures of the last turn as it moved so fast.  Chris yelled Waaagh and charged in, using the remaining Shootas to suck up my overwatch.  I got to strike first, and with my Legionaries being armed with additional close combat weapons I butchered 8 Orks before he could strike.  Unfortunately this was where the game really turned on Chris.  He rolled incredibly poorly on his attacks and only caused 5 or 6 wounds, nearly all of which I saved.  His Nob killed 4 Legionaries with his Power Klaw but it was still a lost combat.  He failed his morale and took 4 casualties from the Nob (That rule's current version is TERRIBLE!!!).  In my Turn my Chaplain charged in and challenged the Nob to a VERY one sided fight, all the orks were dead before they got to fight.

All in all it was a bunch of fun and I'm really impressed by the power of a Weirdboy.  I feel that in a unit of 'Ardboyz that Tellyport spell can really shine.  My main takeaways from this match were that Legion Tactical Squads are great all rounders (At least for fighting infantry) and that Volkite Chargers evaporate infantry.  Also as always in a small game its very challenging to recover from a single unlucky turn.

Batch 3 WIP
(Also some info on my process)

Batch 3 is coming along nicely.  I've been using a different approach with this latest batch.  Previously I had fully assembled the entire marine before doing any sculpting work, but this proved to be a very inefficient approach.  Often I'd later find that I had made a small mistake with the posing of the model's legs that made it all look wrong, but it would be too late to go back and fix things.  As it turns out the legs are the most labor and time intensive part of the model to make as well, so it makes more sense to completely sculpt the legs before moving on to the rest of the model.

Just to explain what I mean lets compare the amount of work necessary to make the legs vs making the upper body.  

To make the legs I first need to pin them together ( Pelvis, thighs, and calfs), pose them, and glue them to the base.  

Once that's done I need to make the rubberized connectors for the knees and hips as well as sculpt the feet.  

After that step has cured I either sculpt on the kneeplates or glue them on if I'm doing the Mk VI style lower leg.  The groin and pelvis also needs to be fixed at this point as the master model I made a few years ago has one that's too small.  I plan to fix that in a month or so as the molds are wearing out anyways.  If its a MK VI style lower leg I glue some stamp molded knees onto the calf and blend them with some greenstuff.

That's 2-3 sculpting steps PRIOR to adding any details to the model.  The last step is adding the details, which usually means the banding on the thighs and calfs, the pads on the bottoms of the feet, and the loin cloth.

Now all of these sculpting steps are quite simple, they're just time consuming as they are all small but necessary details.  Now lets compare those steps to making the upper body.

The only major sculpting step for the upper body is to sculpt the details on the front of the chest plate.

Other than that all that's needed is to sculpt the elbow plates on and possibly add ribbing in the elbow joint depending on the position of the arms.

Oh and I need to add the lower part of both shoulder pads as well.  That's it,

One aspect that I glossed over for both upper and lower body work is to fill in gaps and errors in the armor components.  I bulk up the greenstuff I use to make the models by adding flash from the previous model.  This helps save on material but it does result in some unsightly holes in the torso and legs.

The point is the lower body requires 3-4 sculpting sessions, each of which needs to cure prior to moving on to the next step, while the upper body only requires 2.

Starting with batch 3 I've been using the much more logical approach of finishing the legs completely before moving on the upper body.  This has been a bit dull, as the models spend a week only partially assembled, but it avoids errors and has been taking about half the time for each model to be done.  Its also WAY EASIER to keep track of which models are fully sculpted and which ones aren't, which was a real problem before.

Anyways here are the pictures of some of the models in Batch 3 prior to adding their arms.  The entire batch is nearly finished, I just need to add the upper body detail work now.

Mk IV Tactical Armor

I decided to make most of this batch to look like Mk IV Maximus pattern armor.  This had its own challenges, mostly because it had to clean up the legs in a different way than normal.  Usually I clean them up by adding the banding to them, for these models I had to do it while keeping the legs smooth.  This took a lot longer than I had expected.

I'm getting much better at pulling off the poses with these guys now.  Being able to rotate and tilt the chest separately from the pelvis is very helpful, but also just from experience its gotten much easier to achieve a desired look.  This guy's pose I'm particularly proud of in its finished form, watch for that in the next post.

The Rivets on the shins were very tedious to make.  I think I'll order a bunch of 1mm and 2mm plastic microbeads, its challenging to get a consistent effect making the balls from green stuff and this took HOURS to achieve.  Seriously, it probably took about 5 hours to do all the lower legs, it looks great but it was such a pain...

The odd man out helmet wise.  I'm not sure I like this helmet, as much as I've enjoyed some of the Raptor Helmets to date.

Using wires to make the cabling on the chest plate is pretty simple and helps add variety within the squad.

One last thing, as I mentioned earlier this was the first full game I've played with this army, and I found that mounting these guys on 40mm bases does not work very well for playing the game.  It also honestly doesn't look great as the bases are just a bit too large for the models, so its challenging to have them look centered on the base.  When I first conceived of this project and made the initial test models 4 years ago 32mm bases didn't exist yet for 40k, so my only option was to use 40mm bases.

Above I've test fitted the Chaos Lord onto a 32mm base, honestly I think it looks pretty great.  His feet are some of the most widely spaced of any of the models I've made so far and they fit on the 32mm base, so I've decided to rebase all my Legionaries onto 32mm bases.  Unfortunately this leaves me with 60+ 40mm bases I now don't need.  I guess I'll be able to make a rediculous crap ton of objective markers now...

Oh and seriously the last thing I wanted to mention is that I'm now 1 post shy of 100 posts about 40k.  I've got some big things planned for the hundredth datafile.  Thanks to everyone who reads this blog.

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