Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eldar Dark Reaper Conversions: Continued

Amazing what a little motivation can accomplish.  I got two more models assembled today, including my secondary exarch.

What's a secondary exarch?  If I decide to run a squad of four and/or decide not to give my exarch a tempest launcher or EML, I'll likely be using this model.  But if I want to run all five, or give my exarch a bigger gun, then I'll use my primary exarch (not yet built).

Reaper #3:

Obviously I like to play with photo editing software...  These models are not yet painted, all colors added through digital shading.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Eldar Dark Reaper Conversions: WIP

Here are the first pair of my new "Black Phoenix" Dark Reapers.  I'm planning to make four, plus a fifth exarch model.  This has been a project on my list for some time and I finally decided to get something done late last night (didn't go to bed till 1am, had to get up at 6am... bad idea). 

My original concept was to use Dark Eldar Incubi bodies for these.  But my first, last, and only experience with "Fail Cast" was those incubi, and they were such a mess that I decided not to bother with them.  Instead I went with the DE Warriors (which I have also used to make my Fire Dragons).  I wanted that armored, thorny, scary look, but bulkier for the Reapers, thus the original Incubi plan.  Still, I think these worked out pretty well. 

The heads are from the new Fantasy Dark Elf Executioners.  Love these heads.  My original idea was to use actual skulls, which I may yet go with for my exarch; we'll see.  They still didn't look "big" enough so I added the little thorns behind their heads, which add height and count as their Reaper Range Finders.

Their weapons are DE dark lances.  So here's my fluff/theory on those:

Rather than being "reaper launchers," which fire a cluster of miniature missiles (which is still cool), I think of these more like man-portable (or elf-portable), rapid-fire railguns.  They use magnetic propulsion tech similar to shuriken weaponry, but instead of flinging ninja stars, these fire tiny explosive javelins at an even higher velocity.  Thus the range, strength, and AP of the weapons.  And if you equip them with "starshot missiles"--the Eldar krak version--those javelins are made of denser material that pack a greater punch and do even more damage when they explode.  Thus the weapons are more like this:

Dark Reaper "Death Wind" rail rifles:  RNG 48" S5 AP3 Heavy 2
* armed with "Dread Storm" rail ammo:  RNG 48" S8 AP3 Heavy 1, Pinning 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cult of Me: Tuesday Teaser

The Thorne Legacy is featured this week on Michael Brookes's blog Cult of Me.  Brookes is an executive producer with a major UK games developer (hmmm...!) and writer, and Cult of Me is a very interesting and fun blog to follow!  To check it out and get a preview sample of Legacy, click here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Another Audiobook Giveaway

I now have free download codes for A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley. A Long Walk features four gritty tales of mystery, horror, and crime-noir, as read by Mr. Gardner Goldsmith. And you can download and listen to them FREE.

How? Just send an email to jdbrink888 (at) gmail (dot) com and request a code.

And if you enjoy them, or even if you don't, you might feel inclined to leave a brief review telling others what you thought of the book. Either saying it was a fun ride, or warning others to avoid it. Whatever your reaction. (Of course, you don't have to, but maybe you'll feel compelled to do so in return for two hours of free entertainment...)

Friday, February 7, 2014

CFKT II: Crimson Fist Kill Teams part 2

I can spend hours coming up with kill team combos and cool black-ops characters to fill the most important spots on the roster.  Here’s a few characters I came up with so far (by no means an exhaustive list):

Warhawk.  There’s nothing in this sector that walks, crawls, or dies that the scout sergeant Warhawk hasn’t cut down from afar.  His rebellious streak is expressed by his red mohawk hairstyle, his mean streak by his deathly silent sniper rifle.  Scout sergeant with camo-cloak, sniper rifle, and Guerilla Spec: Preferred Enemy special rule.

Big Chuck.  Chuck should have been dead a hundred times over by now, but he just keeps coming.  He’ll walk right out of cover, his heavy bolter “Betsy” belching death across no man’s land, screaming right along with her.  Either a Tac or Sternguard marine upgraded to Heavy Bolter.  Options are Weapon Spec: Split Fire, Indom: Relentless or Indom: Feel No Pain.  (I’ve used Relentless and next time will go with Split Fire – there are few single KT models that require all three heavy bolter rounds to bring down.)

Frenzied Freddy.  An assault marine with zeal bordering on the Khornate, brother marine Frederick Kruger wields two terrible chain swords to get the job done as messily as possible.  Assault Marine or Vanguard Vet equipped normally with the Combat Spec: Shred special rule. 

Sergeant Maverick.  A grizzled sergeant with frontier flare, Mav is a two-gun pistolier known for making quick decisions and quick work of his enemies.  Sergeant or Veteran Sergeant with two plasma pistols (or one and a grav-pistol, I suppose).  Probable Kill Team Leader.  

*  *  *

My buddy J and I actually played a couple short games of Kill Team last weekend. 

Game 1 was my Crimson Fists (sternguard and scouts) vs his Word Bearers (chosen and cultists).  Once we were set up it pretty much became a shooting match, which I had the advantage in.  My snipers and a missile launcher scout were set up in a nice nest in the ruins while my sternguard maneuvered around and switched ammo as appropriate.  Even under cover of darkness, the sternguard left no save available to their prey, spraying dragonfire rounds (no cover save) at cultists and vengeance rounds (AP3) at Chaos Marines, while the snipers (led by Warhawk) picked off the enemy one by one.  The loyalist marines only lost a few models while wiping out the Chaos incursion to a man.

Game 2 we switched up: my Dark Eldar (scourge and true born) vs his Space Wolves (grey hunters).  This was a king of the hill game and while I was trying to be sneaky and subtle, the Space Wolves just formed an armored walking line on their edge of the deployment zone and strolled right up onto the hill.  I figured myself a goner from the start but by the end of turn two it looked like I might very well win!  My poison-throwing elves killed almost half his force, but once my Draco leader got into close combat, I found out that a power weapon is a waste of points in the hands of a delicate dandelion-eater.  Even with me generally rolling very well and him rolling pretty bad, the Space Wolves took and kept the hill and killed all the pesky Eldar.

Kill Team is fun, fast, and furious, but I couldn’t go to just playing that.  KT is kind of like the celery hearts in the produce section of the grocery store: it cuts out the before and after and gets right to the good part.  The disadvantage of this is that purifying your 40K game down to just the action reduces the strategy, planning, and finer points of game play to just about nothing.  (Well...  yes and no, but it's certainly a smaller, faster, more immediate game.)  Sometimes I want that, but not all the time. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

CFKT I: Crimson Fist Kill Teams (part 1)

With the revision and republication of the 40K Kill Team rules comes a second wind for me in playing my Crimson Fists.  (Well, the new codex helped a little bit too.)  Actually, Kill Teams offers a new opportunity to play a lot of different armies, even more so than the Allies rules, because you can make small 200 point teams without having to invest in 2000 point armies. 

Some of the things I like about Kill Teams:
   * Running small squads of special ops bad asses.
   * Being able to field a team from every conceivable army without investing a lot of money in them.
   * Same for painting: A good way to motivate myself to paint is by specialist team.
   * The new rules for specialists is well done, categorizing and limiting certain abilities across the team.
   * Creating characters.  Characters is my favorite part of any game, so having a team where potentially everyone can shine and I can grant unique abilities to create even shiner characters is great fun for me.

The units I will likely draw from for a Marine Kill Team:

   Troops: Scouts.  These guys are perfect for the black ops role, and are the cheapest unit point-wise, so they compliment the more expensive guys for squeezing two units into 200 points.

   Troops: Tac squad.  Well obviously.  Nice thing about this 6th ed codex is you don’t have to take a full squad of 10 to get a special weapon.  And the models are slightly cheaper points-wise, so you can get more of them in your budget.
   Elite:  Sternguard.  My first choice (next to scouts), as they come with specialist ammo.  Perfect for adapting to different scenarios in a spec-ops role.
   Fast Attack:  Assault marines.  Jump in, tear ‘em up, jump out.  And, like the CSM codex, we can now arm up to two with special weapons, making them way more flexible.  So in a squad of five, three (including the sergeant) can have special weapons.
   Fast Attack:  Vanguard vets.  For a slight point increase (only 10), you can upgrade those assault marines to veterans.  And every model in the squad can be uniquely armed, which is way cool, but also expensive.  Plus I can still equip some with jump packs for a mere 3 points, but not be obligated to make them all jumpy.  (That’s my interpretation anyway – they’re all individuals and it says “per model” so...)
   Dedicated Transports:  Razorbacks and Land Speeder Storms fit well here, especially the Storms.  Though they suck up a big chunk of your 200 point budget.  (Of course, you and your buddy can always agree to boost that budget to 225, 250, or whatever.)
   Another possible Elite: You could also take a full Legion of the Damned team, which would be cool and even fluffy to run alone, but since they can’t deepstrike in KT...  Not my first choice. 

In part two I’ll come up with some characters and list possibilities.