Monday, August 26, 2013

Tyranid Thumper: A Battle Report.

References to orks invading are from the preceding battlereport:

Warboss Punchy smiled at his creation.  Upon entering the almost abandoned sector, he had his meks design him a device of the most devious intent.  It would be a signaling device that would attract the Tyranid waves on the outermost reaches of space, trap them in stasis, and be able to be used as a bomb upon his hapless victims. 

It was decided that JYLN-55 would be an easy place to test such a weapon.  A small pod of Tyranids were secured in the stasis pod.  The stasis pod was loaded by grots aboard a "Smart-Bomm," a pulsa-rokkit manned by a grot pilot.  After much waiting, the citizens and defense forces of JYLN-55 were taken by surprise by this terrible new weapon.  It exploded in the atmosphere, and the bugs arrived soon after.

This is the report from their first encounter.

Defense Forces (Imperial Guard Codex)

Warlord HQ (Warlord Trait Coordinated Assault, +1 to assault range)
Kell, Creed,  Heavy Flamer, Veteran Autocannon and Astropath

Platoon Command Squad led by Miguel Quasar with Plasma Pistol.
Flamer, Vox, Autocannon.

Platoon Command Squad led by Marneus Guardgar with Power Fist.
Vox, Flamer, Autocannon.

7 Infantry Squads, variously armed with Grenade Launchers,
Missile Launcher, some plasma.

1 Special Weapons Squad, three Flamers.

1 Heavy Weapons Squad with 3 Lascannons

1 Heavy Weapons Squad with 3 Mortars

1 Veteran Squad with 2 Plasma guns, 1 plasma pistol and a grenade launcher

1 Veteran Squad with 3 Melta guns, 1 bolt pistol

5 Chimeras as dedicated transports that carried the command squads and veteran squads.

3 Hellounds, 2 of them were Bane Wolf variants.

1 Leman Russ Punisher, double heavy bolter sponsons, heavy bolter hull, heavy stubber pintle.  Commander Pask riding on board.

Game Mission:  Emperor's Will (one objective each side).  Dan's Warlord trait was Conqueror of Cities.

I thought Dan was going to leave me his list, but I can't find it now.  I guess I'll grab it from his report when that comes out and post it here.  Some of the Tyranids look the same to me, so I might have some names of those critters wrong.  My apologies.

Initial Deployment.  I deployed the chimera transports on the right flank, then the lascannon heavy weapons team.  A few squads of infantry then the Punisher Leman Russ.  To the left of the tank is a special weapons team with flamers, in front of them some infantry.  On the left flank, two squads of infantry and the mortars.

Dan had deployed some Spore Mines in my backfield, one group I surrounded with the Chimeras.  They detonated to little effect.  The spore mines to the right of the Punisher however succeeded in breaking a squad of Guardsmen that I tried very hard to save, Go to Ground didn't work at all.  4 of them perished and they ran off the board, gaining Dan the First Blood objective.

Guard left flank at deployment.  Infantry squad is hiding in building with lascannon poised for firing.  My objective is seen just past the building.

Imperial Guard Infantry Platoon Squad in the center building.
The left flank advances ahead of the mortars, seen in the background.
Across from the left flank, the Tyranid gargoyles.  These guys would, with the help of the Parasite, wrap up the whole left flank.

The bugs across from my Chimeras and lascannon right flank.  The termagaunts and hive guard.  Swarmlord behind them.
My lascannon heavy weapons team points out the objective.  
It turns out that Dan's objective, directly behind the building in his center, when combined with his Warlord Trait (Conqueror of Cities) and the shield objective give his models a 2+ cover save.  Therefore, every gargoyle flies into it.  Ones that don't make a dangerous terrain test are saved by their feel no pain roll.   My Punisher opens up on the building, scores 22 wounds on the gargoyles.  Only one gargoyle perishes.  Night fight is going on, so nothing else seems to work that well either in my first shooting phase.  

The Gargoyles in their 2+ cover in the center of the board.
Chimeras on the Right flank advance.
Guardsmen in the center advance, as well as on the left flank.  Mortars fire at the center building but do nothing.
Guardsmen approach the center with the knowledge that they will be charged by something soon enough.
Here is what they face.  The 'Nid objective is seen behind the building.

 A lucky break for the Guard was when pods deepstrike down into the building where the Chimeras were deployed on the right flank.  A Trygon Prime, a Carnifex, and a Malwoc drop into the building.  The Malwoc tries to deepstrike onto a vehicle, but scatters off the board.  Unfortunately for the bugs, he gets to be placed by me... and he is placed onto the Hive Guard, killing off two of them after I had scored wounds on each one from shooting.  A lucky break exploiting Tyranid rules that allow a creature to be placed on top of another model.  Funny stuff.

A lucky break for the Guard.  

Here the pod carrying the carnifex and the Trygon Prime are seen deepstriking into the building.  A tight fit, but I guess they make it!  Only the Malwoc didn't fare so well.  The Trygon Prime will end up shooting at and killing almost all of the squad to the left of it except for the grenade launcher in the squad (remember him).  The Carnifex destroys the forward-most Veteran Chimera.

The remaining Hive Guard retaliates and destroys Miguel Quasar's Platoon Command Chimera.  They hit the ground with their Autocannon and begin firing. 


The Veteran Infantry Open fire at the Carnifex that just destroyed their Chimera!  Plasma Guns rain fire upon the hapless 'Fex, which disappears in a bright flash of white-hot death.

The lone grenade launcher after the Trygon Prime attack.  "Sarge, I can see them now... Sarge?"

The swarm moves out from their hiding positions and begins to swoop toward the objective.

Veterans pile out from their transport, and begin to clean out the building using every special weapon they got.  Kell and Creed are in the Chimera on the left, helping out with "hatch fire" and orders.  The orders work well on the monstrous creatures, making the vets shots twin-linked.
CREEEED!  Help arrives.  Two bane-wolves tailed by a Hellhound arrive, and start spitting template death across the Tyranid left flank.  They take out the last Hive Guard and start putting wounds on the Malwoc.
The guard advancing on the left flank.  They hear an unholy scream and look to the skies...
The Parasite has changed direction and is now leading the gargoyles straight their way! 
Meanwhile, back at the objective (which is a booby-trapped exploding objective just to make things more difficult for me) another pod has dropped and Hormagaunts have flooded the field.  Things are getting kinda crowded around here.

Miguel Quasar hold their ground as the gaunts swarm out from the pod.

The Swarmlord tries desperately to destroy the Bane Wolf...

...but instead only removes its chem cannon.  That's okay, it still has a heavy flamer.
Clearing the objective.  Marneus Guardgar's Platoon Command Squad opens up with the flamer on the gaunts surrounding the objective.  He then charges into the fray, but does little before becoming lunch for the termagaunts.

The Command Squads: Marneus Guardgar and Miguel Quasar's flamer sidekicks open up on the Hormagaunts.  The Bane Wolves and the Hellhound round the corner and add more fire to the equation.  The objective gets cleared of a swarm of gaunts in no-time flat.  A great comeback for the guard.  But can they hold?

The Chimera meets up with the Hellhound squadron before unloading on the gaunts ahead of them.
On the other side of the battlefield, the Parasite of Mordax is planting swarms into guardsmen, which burst out and kill more guard.  It is a total loss (the swarms are the black bases, because Dan forgot his :)).  Here, the Parasite and gargoyles chase down fleeing infantry while the special weapons flamer team begins its assault.  It didn't work.  The gargoyles and parasite mop up the guard left flank and begin to round the corner.
Meanwhile- on the part of the board that matters:  Miguel Quasar watches in terror as the last of Marneus Guardgar's Command Squad is torn to pieces.  However, he's bolstered by the Hellhounds and Bane Wolves coming around the bend, avoiding the Swarmlord.  He waves over to the Punisher tank to his left, "come and help out."  The veterans on the right flank begin to sprint to the objective, along with the grenade launcher guardsman (mentioned earlier!) and the lascannon heavy weapons team.  Creed and Kell are still in the Chimera which immobilized itself where it sits on turn one. 
The Punisher cannon begins to shine.  18 gaunts fall.  Even more the next time.  I'm not sure if it "paid for itself," but the Punisher cannon with Pask on board starts clearing gaunts by the score.
Roadblock!  The Guard drive their vehicles across the Tyranid front line, blocking off their advance!

Pask opens up on the Parasite, and finally slays him.
Pask turns again and opens up on more gaunts, clearing the objective from Dan's reach.  Here we see Dan's tired hands removing even more gaunts.

At some point here... at the end of turn 6.  If the game had ended after I cleared this objective, I would have run some troops over to it and actually won this game.  Unfortunately for me, it went to turn 7.  Alas, the misfortune of dice will not spare me either!

Bane Wolf Assault!  The Bane Wolves and Hellhound get destroyed down to one Bane Wolf in the process, but tank-shock and Chem-Cannon their way to clearing the Tyranid Objective of scoring units.

THE FINAL TALLY:  'Nids 2, Guard 1.  Neither of us claimed an objective, both of us earned linebreaker, but First Blood edged the 'Nids up to a win.  It was a bloody, and very long battle, to be sure.  We both sustained massive casualties, and if it wasn't for those Tyranid beasties that reproduce models the guard would have maybe fared better.

Good game Dan!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Boot Black

The last post dealt with the reddish brown coat.  I took some photos of what this did for the scheme of things.

This second coat added brown and crimson tones.  Plenty of the green still shows through.  The next step will be to add some blacks.  I mentioned adding blue before, might as well do so now.  I could do such a thing by mixing up a chromatic black, but instead I thought I'd try something a little bit different.  Maybe some charcoal.  I rummaged around and found my old pastel box, something I used to tote with me into the woods.  In there was some stick charcoal, some vine charcoal, and some conte crayon (amongst other things).  Those pastel sticks might come into play later.  We'll see.

I started by crushing the stick charcoal into the freshly cleaned dish.  I grabbed some matte medium.  No need to make things too glossy.

I dissolved the charcoal into the water, and added the matte medium.  I added a dash of cobalt blue acrylic.   This was tedious, and I don't recommend it.  It created an irregular slurry, and looked like this:

I started using this, but it was too weak.  I needed to add more binder, and more blue.  This is what it ended up looking like.  I could grab a little blue, a little medium, and mix them on a charcoal block.  Then I would dip into the slurry to shade dark areas (armpits, underneath chins, other shadows) on the figures as needed, or to "wash out" where the paint- if you can call it that- was too dark.

Here's how it looked half-way through the night.

Sgt. Sombodi looks over the mess.  From the left:  Cobalt blue, the slurry, charcoal block, acrylic matte medium.
I started making the guns and metal a bit more blue, and the boots mostly black.  Once the charcoal block absorbed enough slurry, it stopped fighting my brush (still that same cheap one from Michael's) and came up a bit more easily.

A bit of a comparison:  Soldiers with the first two coats...
Solders after the boot black.  

Just a bit of black and these guys are looking
more real.  I still have 2/3 of the army to do, so the next step will have to wait for a bit.

Some more men after the charcoal-blue treatment. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Painting the guard, step two.


In the last step of painting I had coated all of my guardsmen with a dark greenish brown, then let them dry for a few days.

Let me comment a bit on the color wheel.  My initial coat was somewhere around 75 - 90, right?  A greenish-brown sort-of tone.  For the next coat I'd like to deepen things a bit, get some warm tones in there as well.  I know that there will be a leather-look to all their pouches and bandannas and what-have-you.  So I thought it would be a good idea to "cross the circle" a bit and add some crimson tones in there.   This is probably more appropriate for humans, we tend to have a red interior.  As if a cue ball on a pool table bouncing off a rail, we find Mid Blue (240), by doing this we form a triangle around the wheel.  I guess I'm sort-of planning to add some blue to the armor of these fellows, wherein they'll look appropriate if I do an allied force with my Marines Errant.

 I rinsed out my color cup (but not really well, I left plenty of paint in there from the first coat) and then moved on to some new paint.  I threw a dab of that same brown in there as a toning-down agent and then grabbed an old favorite of mine: Alizarin Crimson.  Here I have a photo of it on my bench, with the Burnt Umber and the Gloss Gel all in a water bath.

Green wash left in the cup from the last step.

Note the smaller brush.  This one is a small flat from a set Ethmongul purchased for me at Michael's craft stores.  I mention the brushes I use because you don't really need to spend a ton of money on fancy brushes.  They should be disposable tools at these early stages, because you're gonna use them, abuse them, then throw them out eventually anyway.

Here's what I'm doing.  I'm taking the smallish brush and going over the whole figure with the brownish-red tone, mostly brown.  Then I come back with a little bit of gloss and the crimson and add more to any exposed skin areas.  I'm mixing the paint on-the-fly in the center of the dish. When the wash separates on the green, I add a dab of the gloss to re-solidify the binder. 

I'll get all of these guys done and post the results soon.  There's a lot of them.  I'm starting to notice all these modeling mistakes.  Found a guy with two left-hands.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hey whatever happened to...

...that Guard Army you started?

Oi.  That Guard army I had posted about so very long ago.  It was over a year now that I started mustering them together.  I worked hard over time, and even played a few games with them.  Recently they got primed white, and I'm now starting to paint them.

How I paint.

Sometimes I look at GW paints in wonder. I don't know much about them, and they scare me for some reason.   I've owned them, used them for sure.  But I keep falling back on my acrylics.  I tend to "mix my own" with abandon.  My old Ork army even has some watercolors on the Stormboyz (hey Joe, you should probably keep them dry).  Anyways, in the interest in what-the-heck-I'm doing, here's what I'm doing.   If you don't paint your miniatures, you'll probably find this boring, or maybe somewhat of an inspiration to paint.  Either way.

My materials for the first wash.

 I decided I wanted my guardsmen to have a green base of some sort.  I still don't know what final colors they'll turn out to be, but a good, dark wash over the surface of a figure that has been primed white is a step in the right direction.  I grabbed the cut-off end from a seltzer bottle I had lying around (see Big Game 2012 custom terrain for those of you who remember) to use as a dish.  I knew I'd be throwing some water into the paint.  I opened up a beer.   Next, I picked a green tone.  Utrecht Permanent Green is very bright and aggressive.  I toned it down with some Burnt Umber.  This would make a nice earthy tone.  I also dabbed in some Gloss Gel, to give the wash some body when I needed it.  I then filled the bottom of the jar with water, giving the paint a good bath.  Adding water to acrylic paint sometimes makes its binder so loose it separates upon the primer.  A dab of gel will rejoin the pigments together and allow for it to be smoothed back on in a thin coat.  As an added bonus, the gloss will give these shadow colors a nice deep tone in the low areas.  For a brush, I used a round semi-soft bristle that had been left on Lake Drive in Milwaukee for 18 hours and driven over by countless Fox Point commuters.  Note the cracked handle and the dented ferrule. 

Here's what the first wash looks like.

The heavy weapon I figure I'll eventually coat with metallic tones, but for now I'm just getting color down.  The wash drips all the way onto the base, and often onto my hands and then who-knows-where.  I think this works to my advantage.

 I love these beginning steps.  The details of the figures come out so well, right away.  I started relating to them as I was painting them, getting to know my army better.

Oh the carnage.
The washed pieces were put on a styrofoam board and sometimes got hit by stray wash from above.  Oh well, war isn't pretty.