January 30, 2010

Quick and dirty: 6 easy steps to paint gaunts


I thought I'd share how I paint my gaunts/gants, as I made some pics during I painted my last 3 termagants. As I mentioned before, I wanted to get the huge amounts of gaunts painted as quick as possible but thereby not compromising the quality of the paintjob too much.
So here's how I do it:


1.) Assembly of the model, cleaning of mold lines, obviously. After that I glue on some stones or rubble onto the base and cover it completely with PVA glue. Afterwards I prime with ArmyPainter's "skeleton bone" primer. But you can use a white primer and paint the whole model with bleached bone. But by using bone primer I spare one step. 

As a sidenote on primers from ArmyPainter: you have to shake them really well (I mean several minutes!), heat it up a bit by holding it into hot water. And after priming hold the can upside down and spray until no colour comes out to clean the nozzle. I didn't do that with my first cans and the nozzles always got clogged with dried colour before the can was half-empty. 

2.) I paint the carapace with knarloc green and the base with khemri brown (foundation colour)

3.) The stones are painted with adeptus battlegrey and some random parts of the brown base are painted with rotting flesh, that shouldn't be done too evenly. While that dries I paint some details like the tongue and the joints with tanned flesh. When the base has dried some drybrushing with dheneb stone brings out the details of the stonerubble.


4.)   Afterwards I wash the whole model (not the base) with a lightly thinned mix of devlan mud and water (about 3 parts devlan mud and 1 part water)

5.) Usually I leave that to dry over night, but I think an hour should be enough as well. Then I paint the edges of the carapace with terracotta with uneven brush strokes.

6.) The last step is to glue some static grass onto the base and give the carapace an even coat with 'ardcoat for a glossy finish. Some thinned white on the teeth and the magazine of the weapon give some additional highlights.

That's it. Quick and not too dirty. 

January 27, 2010

Some musings on the new Tyranids and freshly painted Eldar

Hi guys,

when checking any of the "big" W40k community forums at the moment you can´t really come around big discussion on the pros and cons of the new Tyranid Codex. With most of the rumored rules being known before the Codex has hit the shelfs, there was already a big crowd of long time players seeing the end of the world coming because the almighty Carnifex has fallen in the pit of overcostedness, while many others really anticipated the really "fresh" feeling the new list has in comparison to the 4th edition codex with its focus on Devourer-TMCs.
From the test games I had against the tyranids I also like to add my 10 cents to this discussion: From the point of an Eldar player the codex really feels like a new experience to play against - big horde armies are a real problem for Eldar players and so I really feared to be bogged down by a giant mass of screeching bugs. Interestingly the test game felt quite different - sure a horde list can also be viable, but the list really gives you targets from every category. Not only you have to be aware of small bugs and TMC, but you also need  a different appoach to kill big units of multiwound Warriors. Eldar can muster quite a big number of S6 weapons (War Walker, Warp Spiders) and these really are more efficient than one would think when used against Warriors but also against T6 monsters. In the test game a unit of Pathfinders also really suprised me with laying down 4 wounds on an Trygon , due to lucky rolling on my side. The small ones will be the job for units of Dire Avengers but here Eldar players really have to be carefull not to be overrun by big units of Hormaguants, which have a high I (Aspect warriors beware !) and lots of attacks for low points. Together with several possibilities to add some S8 weapons Eldar should be able to at least weaken or kill some of the big beasties before they hit the line.

There I think Eldar will really start to struggle : With one exception (the Reroll-It Seer Council of You-Can´t-Kill-Me) most Eldar units are really fragile and depend on doing a lot of damage before the enemy retaliates. I think lash whips will be the bane of units like Banshees and Harlequins. Damaging monstrous creatures worked quite well, in the test game but mostly through initating multiple combats together with weaker units (Tervigons together with Gaunts for example) - hitting just the little ones really can give the big one more fearless-wounds than he can handle. Here the Seer Council also has the really big advantage of just needing a 2+ to wound even the mightiest of creatures, which will further increase the use of big Warlock units with a Farseer. I wasn´t able to test Harlequins until now but they should also be quite efficient against non-lash whip TMCs but will be overwhelmed by Warriors or Gaunts. The Wraithlord proved to be quite efficient with its 2 S8 weapons and the two flamers when things get personal. His big problem will be the amount of poisonous units in the army - while in the test game he died to a Carnifex, so I can´t really comment on this but I don´t think he will win any combat against Toxin Sac carrying things (almost everything is able to do this in the Codex) .      

So much on my opinions on Eldar against the new Tyranid Codex.  And because my New Years pledge was to first paint all my Eldar stuff lying around before painting anything new I also started to again take up the banner of proud craftworld Alaitoc and painted some models again. Here you see the first of my squadron of scatter laser War Walkers :

I also painted the limited edition Wraithbone Singer (will be used as Farseer - hopefully GW adds some rules in the next Eldar codex for this guy) I still had lying around :


I really like the dynamic pose of this model and the picture just does it no justice. To finish my Eldar to-do-list I still have to paint 2 War Walker, Prince Yriel and my FW Avatar (yikes). So still a lot to do before new stuff comes to town ....

I will also write some word on my opinion on Chaos Daemons against the new Tyranids the next days.

January 24, 2010

Meet and greet: Newly spawned Tyranids

After all of the playtesting and actual playing with the new 'nids, let me return to the hobby part. Over the last weeks I finished some more bugs for my growing, but yet nameless hive fleet (more to all the names flowing around my head later).
First of all, the little critters are now under the unrelenting will of the hive mind, relayed by the powerful hive tyrant:

And of course a Tyrant is such a fragile existence, he needs some company for his protection: One tyrant guard is finished as well

As you can see I equipped him with a set of scything talons instead of the bonesword/lashwhip combo. The one and only reason for it being that I absolutely dislike the way how the bonesword is modelled! I'm not getting warm with the idea, a creature like this wields a real sword, with hilt and pommel... So I gave him the, in my eyes, way more cooler looking talons from the monstrous creature sprue. Rules-wise the other combo is better and so Trotzki mentioned he wouldn't have any objections against it if I fielded him with these biomorphs.

For further control via synapse and for serious anti-tank firepower, one of three zoanthropes is finished:

And as I was lucky to get a box of space hulk, I thought I needed to paint the broodlord. This mini is soo nice compared to the metal one and partly justifies to purchase space hulk just because of this model.

And of course he needs some buddies for the next thrashing in your neighborhood:

Finally I broke of the crushing claws of the carnifex and replaced them with another pair of scything talons. 25 points for d3 attacks more are simply not worth it...

Ok that's it for the moment with new models. Currently I am working on ever more termagants, the second tyrant guard and it itchs me to get started with the trygon I bought last week.

January 15, 2010

Tyranids: Test-games

So with the codex hitting the shelves tomorrow, I want to recapitulate the last games I had with the new tyranids and I thought, I'd share my experiences.
The first game was against space wolves and my 1750 points list looked something like this (I lost the paper where I wrote it down so just a mere summary):

Hive Tyrant
- venom cannon
- bonesword and lashwhip
- tactical insight
- 2 guards

2 zoanthropes

2 hive guards

3 warriors
- 2 pairs of scything talons

3 warriors
- rending claws

3 warriors
- deathspitters

2x15 termagaunts, no upgrades

20 hormagaunts
- adrenaline glands

10 genestealers with 1 broodlord

trygon alpha

We played with 4 objectives, deployment dawn of war. I deployed the tyrant, all termagaunts and the mawloc, the hormagaunts would outflank (tactical insight) as would the genestealers.
So I won't go into detail of the game, I rather tell you how the units performed.

The Tyrant: I am not sure about him. He isn't particularly good but he isn't bad either. He soaks a bit of firepower and can do something with the venom cannon. But he is slow and in this game he didn't reach close combat.
At this point I considered to take him only with close combat weapons and let him run.

Zoanthropes: Funny, are considered a great thread and therefore are taken down in no-time. But their 3++ save is really annoying for the opponent, it took 4 tl-lascannons and a lot of small arms fire to kill them. I think you need more than two.

Hive Guards: Nice. They didn't do that much in this game, but they aren't too expensive. So next time I'd take more.

Warriors: I really think they should be kept as cheap as possible because they die pretty quickly when they are shot at. But they are needed to keep the synapse (at least in this list). In close combat they aren't too bad but nothing astonishing. Rending claws are disappointing, re-rollable to-hit rolls are better in my eyes. The death spitters aren't bad too. More a choice of taste I think.

Termagaunts: 15 is a good number for them I think, they soak up some fire and stay "functional". In close combat they suck, so I would give them toxin sacs. Great choice for their points.

Hormagaunts: I regretted the adrenal glands. Admittedly they took out a rhino but they got beaten pretty hard by the ensuing close combat with the disembarked space wolves. Next time with toxin sacs. But I have to say I like the greater speed of the hormagaunts compared to their little brothers. Their special rule ("flink" in German) nearly guarantees a 5-6" running distance which makes them really fast. Ok leaping would have been better, but hey, you can't have everything. I know, the so called internet-wisdom will probably come to the conclusion that termagaunts are the better choice, but I think the 2 points more you spent for the hormies are worth it, for you gain 1 attack and re-rollable 1s on the to hit roll. And to be honest I don't think the fleshborer will be used to often on the termas. So more speed is great for the part of the gaunts who want to get into grips with the enemy or charge the enemy's objective. A mix of both will be fine I think.

Genestealers: Disappointing. Very disappointing. I was able to charge a 10 men squad without any casualties by fire...and they lost close combat after 2 turns. Very sad. They used to be so good but they went the way of the Dodo.... The broodlord is nice with his psychic power where one model in base to base contact cannot strike (the power fist in this case) but he didn't do much too.

Trygon alpha: I think the alpha is not needed. Better save the points or give the basic trygon other upgrades. Otherwise he is nice. Very nice and very destructive. I think he is somewhat a must have now.

Mawloc: Meh. Just meh. To depend on the deviation of his deep striking to use his template weapon is bad (remember that you have to place him like every other unit which deepstrikes, so he has to stay away from enemy units by 1". You cannot deepstrike onto units and use his template!) I always deviated away from units and had to place him instead of the template. And then he simply gets beaten to pulp. I don't think he is worth it. Better take the trygon for a few but well spent points more.

After my first game I was a bit disappointed about the performance of the tyranids in close combat. I lost really every single one. I thought the 'nids are said to be a close combat army. Ok, space wolves are great in hand to hand combat (4 attacks on the charge with re-rolls to hit hurt). But it was my first game, so what do I know of 'nids. Heads up and right into the next game.

With my first experiences made, I designed a new list:

- scything talons
- bonesword and lashwhip
- tactical insight
- 2 guards

2x2 hive guards

3x3 warriors
- see above

16 hormagaunts
- toxin sacs

2x15 termagaunts
- toxin sacs

2 trygons
- adrenalin glands

- 2 pairs of scything talons
- adrenaline glands

The idea behind this list was to offer as many as possible juicy targets to the enemy so that he is some kind of overloaded. But each "juicy target" destroyed should not lead to a collapse of the entire list. And I want more close combat than shooting.

Next game was again against the same space puppies. This time my army worked so much better than before. I deployed everything this time except the trygons which would deepstrike.
I won this game with 3 to 1 objectives.
Outstanding were the trygons! They are real beasts, especially when they appear together as few armies are capable to take down 2 TMCs with toughness 6 and 6 wounds in just one round of shooting (and I was able to keep them out of charge range). Ony trygon suffered 4 wounds, the other one none. They wreaked havoc over 3 turns and one survived till the end. 7 attacks on the charge with S7 and re-rolls to hit are pure awesomeness, equals 5 to 6 dead marines. Even Arjak wasn't able to take both of them down.
The toxic gaunts are better too. They put out significantly more damage than without. Take toxin sacs!
The carnifex is ok, but nothing more. But he fills his role in offering another target you cannot ignore on later turns.
Again the hive tyrant is so average that I am not sure about how to use him properly. And I forgot to choose and use his psychic powers...so I can't say anything here.
Overall I was pleased with this list and so I made only light adjustments:

Hive Tyrant again with venom cannon
Warriors all with death spitters

With this list I played against Trotzki's daemons and against Clausewitz who fielded my tau. Against the daemons I managed a draw and I lost against the tau, mainly due to some mistakes I made during deployment and movement and bad luck.
This list performs really well and is quite balanced concerning shooting and close combat and has a nice mix of horde and big bugs.

So this will be quite that what I am going to paint in the next weeks/months. Except that I am going to change the elite section. I ordered 2 more zoanthropes so I am going to try a brood of 3 of them. And three warriors will retain their pair of scything talons as I modelled them this way.

Hopefully I have time at the weekend to take some pics of my bugs I have so far. Currently I am working on the hive tyrant and his guard. Since the last photos I finished 8 stealers, the space hulk broodlord, 8 gaunts and a zoantrope.
That's it for the moment and I can't wait to get my hands on the real codex with hopefully nice fluff and pics.

January 4, 2010


"Im afraid of energy weapons!"

I got some more games in with the new Nid codex and wanted to share my experince with you guys.

I played against Trotzkis Eldar at 2000p and against Orkz at 1750p. I wanted to test some units I havent used to far and try certain ideas.

Against the Eldar I used 2 units of 3 Hiveguard´s, they did their job and put some hurt on the Eldar flyers, Falcon´s are still a pain. If you play against mech alot this unit is really worth their points, 6 str8 shots at bf4 for less then a naked Carnifex....gooood.

I also used 2 Trygons with regeneration, they killed one Serpent sucked up the shooting from the whole Eldar army and then died. Partly because I couldnt make a single saving throw and partly because, Shinning Spear´s kill Trygons! Ok nobody uses them anymore, but they kill Trygons, for real! ;)

Tervigons are still awesome, but keeping the Gaunts in 6" is getting harder if the game gets tougher. I still firmly believe 2 is the magic number. I tried 2 Gaunt units with 15 models each, worked good. Perhaps I scale it down to 10 in the next game and see if it still works.

Carnifex killed some Eldar with his heavy Vennomcannon, killed a Phantomlord and then died to Dire Avengers and Guards in melee, the Hivemind will surely not respawn this one!

In the end i lost with 1:0 objectives, mainly because I got caught in the game and decided not to sit behind a forrest the whole game, was alot of fun though.

Since i know my Ork buddy used the big tanks alot lately, I brought 2 units of 2 Zoantrophes in Capsules. I got played a bit here, the Orkz brought only one big tank and 6 pickups! The Zoantrophes  managed to kill 3 pickups, beat a 10man Orkmob in melee and 2 actually survived. But failed to kill the big tank, with 8 friggin str10 ap1 lance hits! :(

For fun and giggles I used 3 Mawloc´s, which turned out to kill the Waaghboss´s ride, the tank and some Orkz. They failed their hit and run check and died to clawz. Mawloc´s dont like str8 energy weapons.

I scaled the Termagaunt´s down to 10 models, still worked. Since it was a Annihilation 15 would have been better, but I was trying to get some points back. Tervigons still rock, nothing to see here.

I wanted to use 2 winged Tyrants, with 2 tl Dev´s and Injector, its so expensive its not even funny anymore, cost more then a frigging Land Raider. While it still works, its just too much points for what it does.

My actual plan was to overload the enemy with ton´s of targets shocking right onto them, it kinda worked.  I suffered from some horrible rolls, but I managed to squeeze a draw out in the end,  11:11 killpoints.

So let me recap:

1. Tervigons are great, nothing new here 

2. twinlinked Devourer Flyrants still kinda work, but are way too expensive 

3. Orkz with claws/Shinning Spears kill Mawlocs/Trygons

4. Zoans in Capsules kill Tank, 2 units of 2 each should be enough

5. Hiveguards rock against mech and they cheap 

Were planning to play some more tomorrow and i really want to test some Alpha Warriors and Harpy´s. But since Managarm is also longing for his first test games, I might be playing some Marines or Tau and see how they deal with the new threats from the Nids.