Monday, July 29, 2013

Eldar Wraithlord Conversion: In Progress

I disassembled my old-school metal wraithlord ("Eldar dreadnought" at the time of it's original production) a few weeks ago with the intention of giving it a makeover, and finally this weekend I got to spend a little time on it.  Not a lot, as you can see, but it's coming along.

I was thinking that I'd have to cut it up and pin it back together to get any kind of posing out of him.  I'm sure you've seen plenty of these models, basically standing straight-legged and almost straight-armed--not a very dynamic look.  In fact, looks like they all failed their Wraith Sight rolls (which don't apply anymore, btw).  But, fortunately, cutting him up turned out to be unnecessary.  The slightest bend applied to the lead legs gave him enough flex to suit my needs without being obviously disfigured to the casual observer.  (His other leg is attached to a base--not pictured.)

His arms and armament are the second major modification I'm working on.  What do you suppose this is going to be...?

And finally his "back pack" or "rear weapons manifold" or whatever you want to call it.  That will be my biggest challenge and I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to pull it off yet.  It probably won't be anything miraculous but I want it to be more than what he came out with originally.  I'm playing with Dark Eldar vehicle and reaver bits to see what I can do.

I'd like to think I'll paint him up once everything is done and then blog the finished product (I don't plan to repaint what i have, just the new parts and slight makeover), but we'll see how things work out... (Unfortunately, as time becomes more and more of a valuable commodity, this hobby gets less and less of its share.)

Happy hobbying!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lonely Lone Wolf Conversion

I know, I know.  I still have the Heavy Support section of the new Eldar Codex to finish up in order to complete my review.  But that's the biggest section of all and I have had my hands pretty full recently with publishing a novel and all (which is at this moment available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo, by the way).  So while I'm tying up the loose ends on getting my book out into the world, I thought I'd blog something short and sweet: my converted Space Wolf Lone Wolf that may or may not ever bloody his frost axe on a battlefield...

The storm shield is a very very old round fantasy shield from a model I've had since I was 10 or so (used to represent my D&D fighter -- probably not of GW make) with a wolf icon from the Space Wolves kit glued on -- fit perfectly.  The shield itself was not (is not still) actually glued to the man's hand yet, here held on with some putty.

He may end up being part of my feral space wolves unit (khorne zerkers).  Or who knows, maybe I'll run a Space Wolves ally contingent someday with my crimson fists (I do still have an unassembled metal Canis model).  I'd actually really like to run SW allies as tainted wolves along side my chaos marines.  (Forgeworld makes some awesome "skin wolves" werewolf models I'd like to use as thunder wolf cavalry.)

Friday, July 19, 2013

25% Off for New Fantasy Novel Download

After twelve years of development, including the last four years of writing and rewriting, I have FINALLY published my fantasy novel!

And the timing couldn't be better because throughout the month of July is doing a summer reading sale which I have volunteered all my books for.  And don't worry, no matter what format you prefer, Smashwords has it.  From now through July 31 the e-book versions of my new novel Tarnish (sale price of $2.99, damn good for what would be more than 400 pages in print), the novella The Prince of Luster and Decay (a Tarnish prequel for sale at only $1.49), and the short story trio A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley (also a steal at $1.49) are all 25% off the regular price.  Just click the titles above for direct links.  And if you prefer to get your books through, all three are also available there (just at regular price).  I am also working to get Tarnish into paperback and hope to have that done in a couple weeks.

And if you like what you see/read, spread the word!  And once you've read them, don't be shy about writing a review to let me and any prospective readers know if the book is worth their time and money.  (Hopefully it is.)
ENJOY and THANKS for the support!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Eldar Fast Attack Review: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bombs (part 5)

To me, this new take on Eldar really lends to the "fast and dirty" Eldar army I want to run.  The Fast Attack forces, therefore, are a big element for me and I expect to use two or three of these options in every game.  Specifically Hawks, Spiders and Lancers (shining spears), but I know a lot of folks will be fielding flyers as well.  So let's take a look at these swift and true warriors (through my own filtered helmet lenses).

Swooping Hawks --  I'm very pleased with the way Hawks have evolved.  I rarely ever took them before because they simply weren't worth the points.  If I expected to play Guard or similar light infantry and vehicle-heavy forces, they'd be quite useful, but since it seems like I've played marine-derivative armies 80% of the time, they were never expected to be very useful.  But now...  For one thing, like other aspects, their warrior powers have been integrated standard, so they can Skyleap as much as they like and do so without scattering.  This no-scatter is huge for me because I was always afraid of landing in a bad way.  Their grenade pack also got a little more useful and logical in its new details, including using a bigger blast template with more models.  And their lasblasters have upgraded to three shots per turn (assault 3 from assault 2), another nice upgrade to make them more tactical.  And the Exarch's sunrifle has become AP3, giving them a little anti-marine potential, though now only shoots 3 shots rather than a whopping 6.  The main thing I'd liked to have seen that they lost is the old Intercept ability -- I'm thinking "Swooping Hawks can engage zooming flyers in close combat, hitting on 6s."  Without Intercept they've lost some of the cool aerial combatant feel, but they're definitely better than they used to be.

Warp Spiders -- Every aspect takes one aspect of warfare and exemplifies it.  The Spiders are an assassin unit, hands-down.  They move like lightning across the board, pop into existence, unload a wave of razor-webbing at S6 (strangely, if the target is I3 or less it's S7) and potentially AP1 (on wound rolls of 6), and them disappear from retaliation reach n the same turn.  They kill, period.  Equiping your Exarch with a Spinnerete Rifle guarentees his AP1 shots, and giving him fast shot and/or marksman's eye makes him an even deadlier assassin.  There is also the option of gearing the Exarch for melee combat but I think this is a mistake -- I know from past experience, he's not a combat specialist, and if used right Spiders can almost always avoid entering combat.  You're best bet (IMO) is board-hopping hitmen.  It's also worth noting that they are no longer jump pack infantry but jetpack infantry.  The difference?  Relentless for one.  And it means that they can move 2d6 inches in the assault phase (which they used to anyway, they just weren't called jetpack).  They're special warp jump happens in the move phase (if you choose to use it), so in one turn they can: move 6+2d6" in the Move phase; battle focus a run of upto 6" (rerollable as fleet); and then move 2d6" more in the assault phase.  Crazy.

Shining Spears -- I always liked these guys but they, too, used to be so damned expensive.  A unit of 5 geared out with exarch and all was about 250 points.  Ridiculous.  And they attracted lots of firepower as the enemy was usually smart enough to fear a jetbike squad with S6 power weapons, thus they get shot to hell before I could really make good use of them.  So now they come standard with Skilled Rider (nice, especially in 6th!) and Outflank.  I'm very excited about the notion of them outflanking onto the board and taking out select vehicles and monsters with their S6 laser lances.  My personal vision for my unit is making some "Wild Riders of Kurnous" (fantasy wood elf unit) using customized DE Reavers -- the shining spear models are kind of static and lame.  This too will be a staple unit in my new Eldar regime.

Vypers -- I used to have a vyper model.  Never put it together, sold it.  Kind of regretful now.  The old version was definitely not worth the points, being a 50pt open-topped AV10 model that didn't even come with a weapon!  Now, mostly due the the 6th ed changes like jink saves and new fast vehicle rules, you could really kit out some vypers to be fast mega-firepower.  It would get kind of expensive, but say a vyper with a scatterlaser and upgraded shuriken cannon (twin-linked with laser lock rule on the SL), plus holofields becomes a mobile weapon platform with 6 S6 shots and a 4+ jink cover save at 85pts (pricey though).  Make it a squadron of them and you've got fast-moving death volleys (but you're paying for them).

Crimson Hunters -- Again, I'm not a flyer player, but these guys are pretty cool.  In this new 6th edition age of flyers, it's cool to have an aspect dedicated not only to flying but being a flyer hunter.  They specialize in taking out enemy flyers and are equipped to do so with 2 brightlances, a pulselaser, and the Skyhunter ability which allows them to reroll to pen against flyers.  I would be tempted to take one just to get rid of those pesky enemy flyers.

Hemlock Wraithfighter -- Another unique Eldar take on the flyer, this one is the F-18 of the Damned.  It incorporates the ghosts of the fallen, making this a more reliable and fearsome aerial weapon.  It's weaponry can be anti-personnel or anti-armor (2 blasts of distort power -- S4 AP2 that instant kill and always penetrate on 6s), along with powerful psychological warfare.  All morale checks (friend or foe?) with 12" must be rerolled and it has the psychic Terrify power, which can make a unit subject to Fear from anyone you send against it.  This is a very cool and very Eldar weapon -- deadly in the most unconventional ways.  (Hmmm...  wouldn't mind running one of these either.  Aw hell, let's face it, there isn't a unit in the book I don't like!)

(Again, art stolen shamelessly from around the internet.  I'm a cyber-pirate.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Superhero Story for Free Download

If you've visited this blog before you may have noticed a change or two along the right-hand column.

This icon is new:

This icon is gone:

Want to know the scoop?  Check out my writer's blog Fugitives of Purgatory to find out.  In the meantime, if you'd like a quick, fun, noir-styled superhero story, check out Puppet Theatre.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Eldar Elites Review: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (part 4)

The Eldar Elites!  Well, aren't all Eldar elite now?  With the change of the basic Eldar statline (see my comment on my Troops review), all space elves are superior of mere humans.  As they should be (c'mon, they're all inhumanly agile and a thousand years old).

Anywhoo, the Elites list is where most of my favorite heroes hang out -- the Aspect Warriors!  Actually, with this new codex I'm leaning more toward the Fast Attack section for faves now.  The the Striking Scorpions are still here, and the Harlies, as well as many other great choices.  Let's take a quick look (quick because they haven't really changed much).

Howling Banshees: I hear folks complaining that they got worse.  I don't think this is the case.  They just didn't quite get the boost that every other aspect got.  So yes, in comparison they kinda got the shaft, but not really.  Their main boost is that Acrobatics became run faster, an additional D3" (used to be counter-attack but you had to pay for it).  That's okay, i guess, they can get to cover and close in faster.  But...  Not really that helpful.  Still sporting the power sword and new and improved shuriken pistol.  Their masks make more sense now too, reducing the enemies Init by -5 rather than making the banshees Init 10.  Same general effect (they are going to go first 95% of the time--remember their Init is 5) but more logical.  The downside (but also still logical) is that they only get this when they charge.  Used to be "first round of any combat".  Not anymore.  The exarch's executioner did what i was hoping it would, which is became AP2 under the new melee AP system, and is still S+2.  Warrior powers for the alpha chick is mostly for dueling, including disarm, which is kinda cool (init-base roll-off, prevents opponent from using his best melee weapon for this phase).  My general impression: as I said, didn't get worse, really, but didn't get much better either.  The girl in the group gets excluded from the boys' game again.

Striking Scorpions: Still my fave unit. They have finally come into their own as being the naturally stealthy and sneaky hunters they were supposed to be before. They got fleet back (as they should, they're still Eldar) and all have Move Thru Cover and Stealth, which were warrior powers before. This is the best thing about their upgrade, as with all the aspects -- the very aspect nature that made them what they were now comes standard; you don't need ot pay extra points for one exarch model and more for his powers to grant them all their aspect abilities. So major changes for the scorps: natural hunters now. Mandiblasters make a little more sense now: auto-hits at Init 10, S3 AP-. I was pretty happy with the extra attack from last edition, but then you were taking a chance on the dice. This is a very acceptable change. Weapons are slightly better, with scorp chain swords now S+1 and AP6. Exarch weapons got cooler, most notably the Claw, which i don't see anyone turning down anytime soon. Basically retains the powerfist effect but at normal initiative. I've already used this to deadly effect.   And (if memory serves) chain sabres became rending, which is cool.  The exarch's warrior powers are kinda cool now with Monster Hunter. Stalker is kinda weird (roll off to backstab which = rerolls to wound) but i'll take it. Overall, very happy that scorpions became the deadly hunters they were always supposed to be.

Fire Dragons:  Pretty much unchanged, except that they cost more points, which is hard to argue with.  A squad full of meltaguns is unseen in any other army.  These are your tank hunters.  Caeful not to send them on a suicide run for kill them, though (done that too many times).  They kick butt but attract a lot of fire too.  'Nuff said.

Harlequins:  Again, vitually unchanged.  Which disappoints me.  They were good before, and I can't really think of too many changes I'd like to see, but I'd like to have seen SOMETHING new.  What did change is that the Shadowseer has to roll a psyke check for Veil of tears, which is back to being a 2D6x2 range check rather than a cover save.  This is good and bad -- no longer auto but could negate firing on them all together.  What I'd have liked to see change is some of their weapons.  The Kiss as a rending weapon is okay, but...  It's a blender for the guts, it should be Instant Death I think.  Or a toughness test or death, or something.  Not sure what, but rending doesn't seem to quite cover it--it works okay, but seems to me it could be better.  Also the Shrieker Cannon -- again, unchanged.  It's a shuriken cannon that causes targets to explode -- should be better than just pinning.  The ammo is toxic, make it 3+ poison.  Or... or SOMETHING.  Pinning just doesn't seem to cover it.  Lastly, we STILL don't have a Solitaire!  The description box of them is really cool, and maybe makes it even harder to come up with rules to cover their strange role, but I'd like to see you try at least!  They did include a strange artifact in the codex tho that seems geared for making a Solitaire.  I already plan to address this in a later post: how we might make our own.

Wraithguard/Wraithswords:  I don't really have much to say here because I'm not a Wrathy-player, but GW certainly invested most of their Eldar changes into the Wraiths for this edition.  They are pretty damn cool.  Badass statline as before, new options for D-flamers and AP3/AP2 weapons and even invuln save options.  Even did away with the wraithsight limitation, their only achilles heel.  They are the new black, i guess.  Though they are still short-ranged and will still attract a lot of fire.  If anyone's had any experience with them, please share in the comments!

Wave Serpent: I might as well address the DT here as anywhere.  I haven't used one yet, but my first impression is -- they're still 120 points for our only Dedicated Transport!!!  We got crapped on again here.  Marines can have THREE DTs for that amount of points.  Wave serpents can now project their energy shield, not sure how effective that will be but I've heard some folks excited about it.  And they can now take holofields as well (which only add +1 to their jink saves, not as super-duper as before).  I really would have liked to see a venom-like DT, something small and quick and affordable.  No such luck.

(Art stolen from various sources via Google search -- bravo to the artists!!!  All save the Harlie image -- that was derived from the original white dwarf featuring Harlies back in the 80s (and altered by someone else for their own codex rules) -- i HAD to run that.  Wave serpents stolen from Mordian 7th's blog...)


Monday, July 1, 2013

Suspicious Growth: Chaos Obliterator Conversions

The Obliterators are an awesome Chaos asset and on my standard list I carry a pair of them.  The GW models, however...  They are kinda cool, but also kind of cartoonish, and definitely expensive (especially the last gen metal ones).  So I made my own.

Somewhere along the line I rescued some old metal Chaos Termies from a bits bin.  I have four bodies and arms, though the arms are gathered up in a baggie in *my* bits bin.  Of the four, I planned on making 3 oblitz and my own Typhus.  That Typhus conversion is on a long list of modeling projects to get to "some day".  Right now I have two oblitz made and won't be getting to a third anytime soon, mostly because 2 tends to be enough for me.

So the primary components are: old metal Chaos Terminator, Space Marine Devastator arm, and greenstuff.  Here you can see I snipped up a marine multimelta arm.  The oblitz's other arm is from the Chaos Possessed Marine kit.  I then used greenstuff to make cover the joining and mutuate the guy.  Easy-peasy.

I made the first one a couple years ago (has it really been that long???) and have long since primed him black.  The paint makes it harder to make him out in the pictures but you can see he has a marine Heavy Bolter arm with cool ammo belt running from his tentacle-opening in his back.

I have a plasma cannon waiting to be stitched on if I ever feel the need to make a third.  Three would be devastating but two does the job just fine, especially considering they take 2 wounds and have a 2+/5++ save--they tend to have a lot of endurance and deliver just the right kind of firepower at just the right time.  I love my oblitz.