Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Problem with Painting Genestealers - Advice Needed!

Well somehow it's been over a month since I posted. I've been trying to change my order of priority when it comes to my free time. It used to be that hobby work came after blogging but I've tried to paint when I've got spare time instead of blog. Less content for you guys but it does mean that I should hopefully have some painting progress to share with you soon. What I have managed to do is get the gaming garage tidied up so I can get the airbrush set up. That's allowed me to prime and basecoat my entire army for DT3 in the Mechanicus Standard Grey I'm using for the flesh. It's the first time I've used the airbrush for priming and I'm never going back! I got through a whole pot of Vallejo black primer but considering I can buy 4-5 pots for the price of a can of Chaos Black Spray I'm sold.

Anyway, onto the point of the post, Genestealers. So far I've painted a test Termagant and Hormagaunt and then a set of Ripper Swarms. I'm now having to decide how to apply my scheme to larger models. I'm dreading the big monsters, particular the wings of the Tyrants but for now I'm painting the 'stealers. Thus far I've done the drybrush and wash on the whole model so I'm onto the pink stage. The big question is, how much pink is right? Allow me to explain.

I see genestealers as different to the other Tyranid creatures as they aren't directly affected by the will of the Hive Mind. I'm therefore happy for them to look different to the rest of my army but at least sharing enough of the scheme to tie them in. Take a look at the GW website though and you get this shot:

In my scheme, the white/pink bits would be grey/black with blue tinged black claws and a small pink flash of chitin on the head (purple on this model). Trouble is they'll look a little blank in comparison to the other creatures (see the test Hormagaunt below):


Having said that, the flash of pink on the head might be enough when combined with the bright green I'm painting the tongues. They'll certainly be great at striking from the shadows since they've pretty much shadows themselves! The other alternatives are to go down the route the Space Hulk 'stealers of Hive Fleet Hydra take:


That would mean pink heads for my 'stealers. I suspect that would be a bit much, particularly when combined with the pink hands/feet. Take the following from Garfy on Tale of Painters:
To me the pink is a bit too much here so I don't think it's really an option. The final option is to paint the top of the torso in pink. A bit like Garfy's above but with the rest of the body grey. Take a look at the following to see what I mean:


This way, the majority of the model appears grey in my scheme since they're mostly legs! The "carapace" on the top of the model would be pink (plus the bit on the top of the head). It's probably the most logical option as it follows the scheme of the gaunts/rippers pretty closely. It's difficult to know where to stop with the pink though as there aren't really clearly defined "plates" like on some of the other Tyranid creatures. For example, do I stop above the tail or carry on all the day to the coccyx (or whatever you want to call it)? The model below shows what I mean pretty well (except ignoring the extended carapace which I'm not a huge fan of):


Compare that to the red guy above and to Dave Weston's genestealers over on 40K Addict shown below:

Notice that Dave's done quite a mixture of different styles across his. It makes for easy differentiation between units and Ymgarls etc.

Well, I'm going to sleep on it but in the meantime I'd love to hear what you lot think I should do. Tomorrow I'll probably do a test model with just the spot pink on the head as that's going to be the easiest to achieve and won't need painting over like pink heads would if I don't like it. It's times like this that I wish I had any talent with Photoshop (or indeed owned a copy!) so I could test these things out without as much physical effort.

Anyway, comment below and let me know what you think I should do. Can't believe how quickly time's ticking away towards DT3 and I've still got a lot to do. There are still tickets available by the way........

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Tyranids for Double Trouble 3 and Painted Ripper Swarms

In the spirit of Double Trouble 3, I decided I should make a push to get my Tyranids ready for the event. Before I get into my meagre progress, head over to the DT3 page for more details of the event and to buy your ticket. If you're on Facebook you should also get yourself into the DT group where I'll post updates.

Right, with the shameless plugging out of the way, let's look at what I'll be taking. This list is provisional because I'm hoping to grab a second Tyrant before then but here's what I have for now:

874pts of Tyranids (Patrol Detachment (Behemoth))
Hive Tyrant (adrenal glands, wings, scything talons, devourers, Ymgarl Factor)

16 Genestealers (3 flesh hooks)
3 Ripper Swarms
3 Ripper Swarms

Trygon Prime (adrenal glands)
Trygon Prime (adrenal glands)

Pretty low model count (25) for a Tyranid army but the idea is that if my partner deploys everything I'll be able to keep everything off the table at the start of the game. Obviously I can deploy the Tyrant and/or Rippers if my partner has reserves too. The combination of the Behemoth adaption and the adrenal glands should give me a pretty solid chance of getting into combat with most of my units. That's why I've kept the scything talons on the Tyrant too. It gives him that bit more punch in combat. The big blob of Genestealers should cause problems for my opponents and I'll be hoping to hit them with Catalyst from the Tyrant if I can. The Rippers are obviously just to drop in and grab objectives.

Bear in mind I've never taken Tyranids to a tournament and haven't really played many games with them either. There's no deep tactics involved in the list. It's just get into combat as early as possible and smash face. Rinse. Repeat. Still, if anyone has any tips/suggestions feel free to comment.

Given that this is my new army for 8th edition, I've obviously not got much of it painted. I've got Scott's Tyranids to borrow if I want but I'd prefer to use my own models if I can. We've got an old sofa in the middle of my garage at the moment which still hasn't sold so I'm unable to get to my airbrush. That means I'm currently using my hobby time to frantically assemble all of the above. It's actually a pretty cheap army. I've bought two of the new Start Collecting sets to add to the previous one with the Tyrant. I managed to get a second Swarm box from eBay for a reasonable price which will give me enough Rippers. I did a quick tot up of the points I've got so far and even at a conservative estimate I've already got 3,000pts!! Not sure I'd be fielding 160 gaunts at any point but I can't imagine them every being cheaper than they are in the Swarm box so I figured I'd capitalise.

You might remember my test model (above) was the only thing I'd really managed to get painted so far. Well, with the airbrush not an option I didn't fancy painting much but figured the Rippers wouldn't suffer much from using a normal brush. The Swarm box gives you 20 individual Rippers and they give you five 40 mm bases. It seems daft to me to put five on a base and then not have enough to field three units of 3. I've therefore gone with four per base which I still think looks decent. It's not like you pay much attention to them in a game anyway, they're usually stuck on an objective and forgotten about.

Enough waffle, here they are:







They're far from perfect and still need their bases finishing off but I didn't want to throw any more time into them. The only thing I might go back and do is a pin wash of Nuln Oil into the recesses of the carapace to give them better definition. Bit paranoid it'll ruin them though. I'm happy with how the colour scheme translated to these guys but I'm concerned about how it'll look on one of the big guys. I've built one of the Broodlords from the new Start Collecting box to give me some idea but I might just be better painting the Tyrant. My worry is that the pink will be too much on bigger panels. I'm intending to use the airbrush to give a bit of a blend to it but I'm not sure how successful I'll be with it.

Anyway, it's progress at least. I've built up all of the 'stealers and five more Ripper bases (only need one more though). One of the two Trygons is built and the Tyrant is in bits waiting for magnets. Hopefully I'll have the building done by the weekend and then, assuming this f***ing sofa has sold I'll break out the airbrush and get some basecoats on everything. I might try out some blue-tac masking to see if I can airbrush the pink on too. At this point I'm pretty confident I can get everything done for DT3. How is everyone else getting on? Would people be interested in a series of posts highlighting other people's progress?

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Double Trouble 3 Tickets are Now Available!

Somehow another month has passed since I last posted but I need to post today to tell you all that tickets are now available for Double Trouble 3! They're still £17.50 and give you three games of 40K with 9 different people! More details and info on how to buy tickets can be found on the DT3 page here.

For those of you not familiar with the Double Trouble format, allow me to explain. Double Trouble is "doubles with a difference". Most doubles events have you finding a partner ahead of the tournament and working together on a combined army list. Well at DT3 you'll not need to find a partner because everyone gets a different partner in each round. All you need to do is bring an 875 pt list (more on that later). Each round you'll get a random partner and then play against another random pairing. That means you'll play with/against 9 different people over your three games.

I know this format might seem like a strange one to some people but there were good reasons for doing it. Firstly, doubles events are often a problem with people who don't have a regular gaming partner. They're also tricky for those who have an odd number in their group. A potential solution would be just to take all the players without a partner and assign them one. Trouble is, if you get paired with someone you don't like or with a list that doesn't work with yours then you're stuck with them for the day. At DT3 it'll change every round so you're never stuck with the same partner or indeed, opponents.

This high degree of randomness obviously makes for an event that is more social than competitive. I know lots of people who've been put off the tournament scene by the larger events where they might come across a filthy list in all three rounds (or even five rounds in a weekend). To me, the draw of the tournament scene is playing different people from across the country and share a common love of the game. I met people at my first ever event that I'm still in touch with today. Obviously I like playing to win too but I try to tailor my lists to the atmosphere of the event instead of trying to win at all costs.

I'd hope that anyone who's been to the previous two Double Trouble events or even any of  the eleven Blog Wars/NMTBW events will tell you that I believe in giving out a ton of prizes in the free to enter raffle. I'm a great believer in keeping tournament prizes to a minimum. It seems there was criticism of some of the ITC events in the States having large cash prizes that encouraged a higher proportion of filth. There's little stopping you bringing filth to one of my events but you're not going to win a huge prize as a result.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. I'll post some more details of the event (including the scenarios) in the coming weeks but you've got just over three months to get your armies ready. I'm hoping to have my Tyranid force ready too so I'll be posting updates on my progress.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Where Have I Been for a Month?

Somehow it's February 6th (probably 7th by the time you read this) and this is my first post of the year. My last post was on December 27th last year which and I'm fairly confident this is my longest stretch without posting in the little blog's history.

I was tasked with redecorating the lounge which took up a big chunk of my free time. Not only that but when we bought new sofas the old ones had to go somewhere while we waited for them to be picked up on Gumtree so one of them is still in the garage. That's made it very difficult to get my airbrush set up and make a start on my Tyranids. Obviously I could lay down the basecoats by hand but I'd feel like I was wasting time by doing it with a regular brush. I really should've been doing more assembling/magnetising but once I'd finished decorating I didn't have the energy. The lounge is finished now though so I'm hoping the sofa will go soon and I can really get stuck into my Tyranids. The good news is my Dark Angels finally sold on eBay and are on their way to San Diego, CA. That means I have some funds to build up my Tyranid collection. Problem is, they're not in stock anywhere!! I've got a swarm and three start collecting sets (one old, two new) to be going on with though so I'm in no rush.

On the gaming front I've been a lot more productive. Matt and I have started a Star Wars Armada campaign using the Corellian Conflict set. It's far from perfect but it gives us a good excuse to get plenty of games in. We've opted to field two fleets each rather than try to find another couple of players. That means using pretty much our entire collections. We only have one of each ship too excluding the latest wave and with the exception of the Nebulon and Corvette which we both have (Matt from the core set and me from the individual expansions). I've been using Rebels with Matt obviously playing as the Empire. It's been difficult to build fleets using just a single upgrade per ship but it's fun using pretty much everything in my collection over the two fleets.

It's not been going so well though. I won the first game with Dodonna's fleet taking out the ISD during a Hyperlane Raid after an awesome flanking manoeuvre from the Mon Karren. The other game that round was a close loss for Ackbar to Ozzel with Defiance eventually falling to Matt's superior squadron support resulting in the loss of a base. In the second campaign turn Dodonna tried a ballsy attack on Corellia but the additional squadrons made it an uphill struggle from the start. Whilst the Mon Karren was again lethal, killing the raider and carrier (which was already scarred), the whole fleet was eventually annihilated in the final turn. The game had gone wrong pretty early on when I failed to activate the Yavaris and lost it as a result. However, I couldn't retreat because of the Interdictor so I had to let it happen and try to take as many Imperial ships with me as I could.

Matt followed up with a Show of Force. The ISD was much more effective this time around and was pretty much solely responsible for both the assault frigate and Defiance going down. I ended up retreating my remaining couple of ships but Matt did manage to get one of the bases before I did. This left me with two heavily scarred fleets and nowhere near enough resource points to rebuild either. The only option was to retire both. The problem with this, and to me the flaw in the campaign structure was that Matt was now able to easily repair his scarred ships and build two fleets worth 500pts. That means the third turn would be my brand new 400pt fleets against Matt's fully upgraded 500pt fleets. I can't imagine that will go especially well.

We're going to test out how one-sided it is in the next couple of games but then we'll probably reboot the campaign now we both have a better idea of what we're doing. We're far from experts when it comes to Armada and we're still learning what works well with every game. I'm certainly going to have a larger proportion of squadrons in my fleets. I think I'll try one fleet with two MC80s and the other with multiple small/medium ships. At least I get to redesign my fleets from the ground up and hopefully not repeat the mistakes I made the first time.

Once we'd played a couple of games of Armada we decided to have a 1,750 pt 40K game. I was keen to try out the Tyranid codex and Matt wanted to see how his BA had fared in their book. The list I cobbled together was based around two Trygons tunnelling up with genestealers in tow and using the Behemoth adaptation to hopefully get most of them in combat. It worked pretty well with four of the six units I had in charge range making it into combat. That was a body blow to the Astartes who never really recovered from the initial charges. It helped that the Tyrannofex was able to down the BA land raider in a single volley too! I eventually won the game but frankly neither of us particularly enjoyed it. I'm probably barely in double figures of games played in 8th but I really hoped the codexes would reinject some of the flavour that the indexes removed. That's not how it feels though.


Obviously it's always been a game about rolling dice but it somehow feels too random. We may not have death stars anymore but what we have instead is spam. Perhaps it was the juxtaposition of playing Armada just before but 40K felt overly complex and frankly not as fun as it used to. In the past a real meat grinder of a combat heavy game would've been exactly what we wanted from 40K. That's what we got but it somehow wasn't fun. I really can't put my finger on what's wrong with 40K but maybe it's more about me and how little I've played it recently. Maybe it'll grow on me again.

In the meantime I'll still enjoy the hobby challenge of painting up my Tyranids and I'm also going to run Double Trouble 3 in June so maybe an event like that will rekindle something. More details on DT3 to come soon and I'll hopefully put tickets on sale at the same time too.

Oh and we also got in another Scythe session a couple of weeks back and we're playing again on Friday. It's a totally awesome game that feels different every time you play it and is incredibly satisfying to win.

Anyway, that'll do for now. Hopefully it won't be another six weeks before I post again!!

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