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Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Bloodbowl Teams

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back with yet another spine-tingling installment of Chaos Corner. Today though we have something a little different. As the title says... lets see some Bloodbowl!!!

When I got into Warhammer in the late 1990s, I wasn't THAT serious about it. I bought a few models here and there- Vallhallans, Mordians, Tyranids. My friend Pete introduced me to Warhammer 40K, but for those first couple of years I wasn't as serious about it- I just bought what looked cool. Well, I remember going to a hobby store in this early phase of my hobby career and I saw the original Bloodbowl game. I thought it looked awesome, but I didn't have the money to buy both 40K and that, so I opted for the 40K. I would go back to that hobby store many times, and I never got Bloodbowl- then it was gone. As I got more and more into 40K, I always regretted not getting the game.

Now fast forward a couple of decades- the recent re-release of Bloodbowl was really a thrill for me. I picked it up from my local hobby store the day before Thanksgiving. I put them all together ASAP and played a Thanksgiving Bloodbowl game with my brother. It was a bit complicated but also a lot of fun.

I spent the month of December painting the orks and the humans. As I stated in my last blog, I was having a tough time enjoying the hobby (or anything else), but Bloodbowl actually kinda got me back in to painting frequently again.

For the Orks, I decided to go for Mephiston Red for the armor plates. I like how the red really pops without overwhelming the model. It also contrasts very nicely with the green Ork flesh. I did their shirts black with a grey highlight, and the pants were Zandri dust with lots of washes to make it look really filthy.

I added to the Orks their team numbers on both their front and back, so that they can be identified on the field. Not only is that football realistic, it will also allow me to say "Number 1 is a catcher/blocker/whatever". This way the models don't always HAVE to be that particular type.

As for the humans, I decided to do purple armor plates with gold trim. That's because my High School team colors was purple and gold, so I figured why the heck not. Besides, it is very different from the red and green Orks. I did make their pants tan as well, but with far less brown washes so that they appeared cleaner than the Orks.

For both teams, I used Stirland Mud for the bases. Then, in a first, I decided to put tufts of grass on their bases (thus looking like part of the field that has become messed up and muddied by the game). The tuft is from Army Painter. I liked the look so much that I would then put tufts on my Thousand Sons. The Army Painter stuff is really good, with many different varieties of tufts (grass, tundra, etc).

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to play a game since. I am hoping to soon, as I really enjoyed the game and I really want to see my models on the field. As Theodore Roosevelt said:

"Don't flinch, don't foul, and hit the line hard"

My next post will undoubtedly be more Thousand sons (I'm working on 10 more Rubric Marines now). Until next time...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Long Time No See and I did a bad thing... LOL

Hello Chaos fanatics. I know I haven't posted in quite a while. I have had some issues these past several months and they started to catch up with me, so I stopped blogging. However, its a new year and time for a fresh start. So, I figured I'd come back in style. Naturally, I have been working on 40K- AND I have been bad. Yes, perhaps bad. Perhaps weak. You know me by now... how could I resist the lure of NEW Chaos? The lure of... The Thousand Sons!!

Why the hell not? I have Plague Marines, I have Khorne Daemonkin... so why not the Denizens of the Planet of the Sorcerers too? Looking at the models, it is clear that GW have outdone themselves. The whole line is great- the Rubricae are just wonderful- I have always loved the look of the Thousand Sons but had no desire to do metal models anymore... Now, they are plastic and they are great. They have that Egyptian / Thousand Son look, and they have SO much detail. They are truly amazing.

 Equally awesome is the Scarab Occult Terminators. It is great to see real, honest to Tzeentch Cult Terminators. They look great and really match the army look while also being distinct. The Exalted Sorcerer kit is fantastic, with so many options and with interchangeable parts with the other kits that its frankly mind boggling. Finally, there is Magnus himself- Daemon Primarch stalking the galaxy. Wow. We certainly live in interesting times in 40K, huh?

So naturally I could not resist. Funny enough, the Thousand Sons came along just after my birthday but before Christmas- my friends and family got me plenty for both occasions: 4 boxes of Rubricae, 2 boxes of Terminators, Ahriman, 2 boxes of Exalted Sorcerers, 1 box of Tzaangors, and of course, Magnus himself. I also received 2 boxes of Horrors. So, that means I haven't bought anything, besides the book Wrath of Magnus. Not a bad way to build an army.

So, I started with a box of Rubricae. They go together quite easily. You *could try to do different poses, but as they are all automatons animated by Tzeentch and dust, they are methodical and relentless, so no fancy poses are necessary (in fact, the idea that they are posed the same is part of the appeal). Once assembled, I sprayed them. I did NOT want to spray them gold, as GW did in their video, as I DO NOT trust the Metallic Spray Paints nearly enough to try that. So, I went tried and true and sprayed them black.

The armor was painted Thousand Sons blue (which is a vivid but not overwhelming color). I did highlights with Ahriman Blue. Both blues are very good additions to the paint line overall. As far as the armor trim, I used Retributor Gold. Then I shaded with Earthshade, with some highlights in Auric Gold.It is true there is a TON of trim, and that takes the longest on the model to get right (along with cleanup, etc.). Indeed, the gold drove me crazy, but not crazy enough that I'll dare to attempt spraying them all gold. No Chance In Hell.

As far as the headpieces, I painted some of the lines with Celestia Grey as a base, then I added successive layers of yellow. The light grey base really helps in painting the yellow. The alternating blue lines I did Teclis Blue followed up by Deep Sky Blue (from Vallejo).

With the taberds of the regulars, I did Celestia with lighter grey highlights, with Nuln Oil in the recesses. For the Sorcerers, I painted their taberds/cloaks with Screamer Pink, with Nuln Oil in the recesses followed by by Khorne Red highlights. The deep crimson echoes back to their original red armor, before Tzeentch got a hold of them.

For the eyes, I did Celestia followed up by the new green gemstone paint. As far as the stones go, I did either Evil Sunz with orange highlight followed by red gemstone, or I did layers of green followed by the green gemstone paint again. I must say the gemstone paint really makes those parts pop.

Finally, the part that I really thought that truly came together was the bases. Knowing their enemy is the Space Wolves (and my friend Joe has an ice table and may well be starting a Space Wolf army), I decided to do arctic bases. I did Astrogranite, followed by the blue wash. Then I drybrushed a light grey. Once that was done I began to put the new GW snow effect on in big clumps. Thus, the land is mostly frozen, but there is some tundra underneath. Finally, I put little tufts of Tundra Grass from Army Painter to finish the effect. The blue and gold contrast very well with the white snow, and the effect of these slow moving, almost possessed suits of armor slowly walking across the snowy wastes, is complete.

Ultimately, both the Rubricae and the Occult Terminators came out well- they look like they are in the same army, but still different enough. I particularly like the Sorcerers leading them- both from an aesthetic and  fluff points of view. While I have to build up the army's bones more (more troops), I can't wait to paint the Exalted Sorcerers. They will be visually striking, no doubt.

As far as games go, I don't know how they are really going to do. Magnus is a beast, but is unaffordable in smaller games. Sadly, so is the rest of the army. The points are out of control, way too high. A Rubric Marine dies just as easily, and while the inv sv is nice, they will fall in bolter fire just like cheaper marines. The inv sv doesn't justify the high cost. The terminators are also expensive, and to make it worse they can ONLY have AP3 swords, which means they will suck against other Terminators or Special Characters (I really don't get that decision at all).

The only solution to the cost problem is to bring either Tzangors (or Cultists) or ally with Daemonic Horrors (which is fluffy, but boy will that be a lot to paint), in order to make a bigger footprint on the battlefield. Obviously, this is just my estimate, as I have no experience with them on the tabletop. I NEVER play with unpainted models, so it will take me a bit longer to field anything.

In any case, I intend to continue on with the bones of the army. I have already started the next batch of 5 Rubric Marines. My goal is to finish another 10 men squad, another squad of terminators, and then do some of the Exalted Sorcerers. Then we will see where we are at and I can go from there. I can't wait to see a whole army of these guys.

I'll post again as soon as I finish more, which may be a bit (damn that gold trim).

Until Next Time...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Chaos Grippes (Brief) and DEATHWATCH!!

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back with a new installment of the ongoing lunacy of Old Man Chaos! LOL

First, I want to say a big "I told you so" regarding Traitor's Hand. I don't like saying I told you so (Wife? Why are you laughing at that? You know I NEVER say "I told you so"... that's you're department), but... it was pretty much what I predicted. I posted that blog BEFORE the leaks came out.

Sadly, I knew all too well that Traitor's Hand would not come close to helping Chaos Space Marines. It is, at best, a band-aid. A band-aid for a freshly amputated limb ("Tis just a scratch"). While there are some decent formations, it just isn't at the level of Space Marine formations (or, indeed some others). It is just a resounding "Meh". I even played a game against my friend Joe using some formations- his Dark Angels wiped the floor with me pretty much. It was hardly a contest. Joe said that when I take Mechanicus, he sweats, and even a win for him is closely fought. Against CSM, he wasn't too concerned, and he took a fairly conservative approach against them. So sad- the mighty Chaos are so low.

Now, there might be hope. Recent rumblings have proven true- Magnus the Red Daemon Primarch is being bandied about, as are new Thousand Sons. Now, while I don't have 1K Sons, anything that Chaos gets that's good will make me happy. If it is a 1K Son Codex (a la Khorne Daemonkin) I could get behind that- KDK is a fun book with some nifty special rules, and KDK is a solid army on the tabletop. If 1K Sons get the same treatment I'll be thrilled. Maybe Plague Marines could happen too?

Anyways, I have been working on some Deathwatch forces. First off, I have always loved the idea behind the Deathwatch- Space Marines from wildly different chapters working together under the auspices of the Ordos Xenos... great hook for storytelling, and I have enjoyed their Black Library stories. Particularly the current The Beast Arises story, which delved into the origins of the Deathwatch! (If you haven't read the series, you should. There are a few clunkers, but overall its been a great story).

From a modelling standpoint, the Deathwatch are nice too- they are Space Marines but with a bit more variety. The different shoulder pads add color and personality to the army. They are uniform, yet distinct. Visually, the Deathwatch are a lot of fun.

My wife had bought me the Deathwatch Overkill board game when it came out last spring. The models in that box are fantastic. I really was excited and put the entire box together very quickly. But, as often happens, I didn't get to paint them for a while. Other projects, real life, etc all got in the way.  So they sat for a while.

When the Deathwatch codex was released at the end of the summer, I quickly scooped that up. Yes... I was sorely tempted. After all, I already have a good start with the Overkill box- what's one more squad? Or a Drop Pod? Or... Well, you know how that goes. I now have a new army.

However, I do TRULY intend on keeping it small, for two reasons. First, from a fluff perspective, they rarely go out as a full-blown army (unlike Grey Knights). They are usually smaller strike teams, using sneak attacks and guerilla warfare to hurt the enemy. Second, I plan to use them as allies to my Mechanicus. My Cult Mechanicus forces can use allies that have Drop Pods, Razorbacks, and air support from a Corvus Blackstar. I don't need a huge army. Just a couple of troops with fast delivery methods; by fast, I mean in a vehicle, which AdMech simply don't have access to for some strange reason (after all, don't the Tech-Priests repair and maintain these things? Seriously).

My plan is to have two squads of varying size. One squad will focus on close combat (Thunder hammers are nice). The other squad will have shooting with special weapons- the frag launcher in particular could be quite nasty- deploying from drop pod and shooting the rear of the enemy at close range... yeah, that's nice. My AdMech need that.

After reading the Codex, I'm not sure the Deathwatch are the most viable army. They are more costly than average Space Marines, and don't have access to key pieces of SM units and equipment. However, as an ally, they are a nice fit with the AdMech I think. I'll have to try it out at some point, once I have enough built and painted, that is.

So, that's my latest. Hope you enjoyed this look at my Deathwatch. I will certainly post more as I finish them. Now I must go... A squad of Deathwatch don't just paint themselves you know.

Until Next time!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The State of Chaos 2016 Edition- Rants and Predictions

Hey there Chaos fanatics. I know I have been gone a long time. I had a bit of a "problem" over the summer, and as a result I haven't blogged in a while. I have been painting, though not at the same rate that I have in the past also. It's been a bit rough, but now I'm back.

 Like I am sure we all have, I heard last week about the new Chaos Space Marine supplement, Traitor's Hand, as well as new psychic powers and a new Kharn the Betrayer (awesome model, one that I am looking forward to painting. Big time.). Now, I know some Chaos fanatics are chomping at the bit. I am excited too, though I am much more guarded and cautious about it. In fact, I doubt that the book will really help us Chaos Space Marine players very much. Indeed, the cards seem stacked against us. So, I decided to come out of hiding and offer my 2 cents about CSM and my hopes/fears for the Traitor's Hand book. 

The state of Chaos Space Marines, as most of you know, has been rather poor for some time. CSM have been quite neglected for what feels like millennia. It is widely known that the forces of CSM are no longer feared. In fact, they have become something of a joke, which I know we Chaos players take very personally. We spend so long converting and painting and molding our models, and it sucks that "Joe Blow" Space Marines can kick our asses seven ways from Sunday. How the mighty have fallen indeed. At any rate, I thought I would blog about my thoughts and frustrations just as the new book approaches. With that, let us examine the state of the problems CSM players face right now, in no particular order:

(Note: This rant does not address Khorne Daemonkin (which is a solid book), only the regular CSM book)

1) Units are over-costed for what they do (except Plague Marines perhaps). They therefore have a smaller footprint and lower model count (unless you're doing cultist spam- in which case the book should be called "Chaos Cultists" and not CSM). You can bet that if you run a CSM force that you WILL be outnumbered (no matter who your opponent is), but without a significant advantage or mechanic to overcome that numerical inferiority. GW needs to either lower the points costs or give CSM MORE special abilities to compensate. 

2) CSM is lacking in some of the "advancements" in weaponry, like Grav. I say "advancements" because while Grav weapons are relatively new game play wise, Grav and other weapons have been around since the Great Crusade. Why on earth don't CSM have these ancient weapons? Perhaps they might be rarer, and they certainly won't have the Grav Centurions, but you mean CSM can't steal some Grav guns/cannons in their attacks and raids to supplement the ones left over from the Heresy era? Come on.

3) CSM lack drop pods- which puts them at a severe disadvantage against Space Marines. Again, this makes no sense fluff wise or game wise. How do CSM NOT have drop pods? These were a staple of the Great Crusade (Istvaan drop site massacre anyone?)- how do CSM not have them in the 41st millennium? And if you are doing more recent heretic CSMs (like Crimson Slaughter, the Purge)- surely they would have them too, as drop pods ARE what SMs do in the 40K era... I really don't get this one.With all the new shenanigans with "free" drop pods and the like, well, it puts CSM behind the 8-ball. I don't necessarily want "free" drop pods, but let use use them. Oh, and NOT the FW one that costs a bazillion dollars- let us "Chaos" out regular drop pods.

4) Lack of Formations is a major sticking point for me. SMs get formations that are each better and more outlandish than the last. Seriously, between the SM codex and the recent Angels of Death supplement the SMs have SO many great formations to choose from, each with nifty bonuses. What does Chaos get? Hmmm... Up till now, not much. Yes, I hope the Traitor's Hate book fixes this, but if you have seen the few other CSM formations that have been done till now they are but shadows compared to other factions formations. What besides the Sorcerer Cabal has been good for CSM? (And Chaos Daemons fare little better- I have to have 90 Blue Horrors to field a Tzeentch formation. 90! Are you fucking kidding me?). CSM needs solid Formations to catch up with everyone else.

5) Chaos gets NOTHING for free (besides Chaos Focus for psychic powers). Nada. Zilch. I have played SM players tacking the decurion and I can't stand it anymore. Free Rhinos, Drop Pods, and Razorbacks have really fucked things up. Free?! My friend Brian simply takes free Razorbacks (pays for the Las) and Drop Pods- he wrecks havoc every single time against almost every opponent because he gets in for face quickly with the drop pods, fires a ton of las shots, and because the transports are free it means he has points to spend on other things. For a 2,000 point game he figured that he used about 400 points in transports. He had a 400 point advantage. How is that fun or fair? (And the Chaos Boon table is too random and too situational to count as a free bonus as opposed to free transports)

6) There are many specialist units that aren't actually "special" at all. Warp Talons are supposed to be fast, hard hitting close combat units, but they don't pack any more of a punch than other units, and they are so damn expensive so what's the point? Maulerfiends are close combat wrecking machines, but their weapon skill is lousy, and their base attacks are too few. Mutilators suck big time too. Chosen are good but far inferior to Sternguard or Command squads. I could go on , but seriously, the specialized units are anything but special.

7) Again, compared to their SM counterparts, CSM get shafted on army-wide tactics. Ultramarines get to chose from 3 doctrines (and can re-use them if they take the decurion). Iron Hands get FNP, Fists get Bolter Drill, etc. Sure, Plague Marines get FNP, but at a premium cost. Iron Hands get it for free. I don't want what they have, but give me some equivalent, for free.

8) Chaos characters must challenge is a great concept in theory. Its fluffy and fun. But again, when enemy characters are usually better equipped or have better special rules, far too often my champion dies. What is the point? This one is a minor problem, but still blows.

9) Chaos have rules that HURT the Chaos player. Like becoming a spawn. Getting hit by your own Daemon weapon. Daemonforge. Helbrute rage. Once again, I get the fluffy idea- they have traded their souls for power, and that entails risk. I get that and love it. But the "bumps" they get are not great- For example, Daemonforge allows re-rolls, but at the end if you roll a 1 you get wounded. Oh, and it only can be used once. Now, if it was every turn I say the risk is acceptable in exchange for what it can do- you could dole out a ton of damage but also risk dying. But once a game? Not that helpful considering the risk. How come Ultramarines allow everyone to re-roll ones for a turn without harm?

10) Chaos needs an improvement in their HQ choices. Compared to more recent HQ entries for SMs, the Chaos HQ choices are lackluster, at best. Sure, Typhus is a beast, and Kharn can be brutal, but besides them, what other HQ really works? Biker Lord truthfully, and that's about it. We need them to get beefed up a bit- better special rules or weapons options. Also, the Dark Apostle and the Warpsmith should be 1-3 per choice rather than 1. Being only 1 limits you greatly.

So, those are my 10 problems with Chaos as of September 2016. Now, I feel that Traitor's Hate is only going to be a band aid at best, as it cannot possibly be able to address too many of the big problems, as the book is only a supplement. Nothing short of a complete overhaul and new Codex can even begin to surmount the problems that this past edition has given us. A campaign supplement is not focused on that at all, actually.

So what will Traitor's Hand give us? We will get a couple of formations that, my gut tells me, won't be that helpful or special compared to SMs. There won't be any new units. No legion rules. No drop pods. We will have a decurion (which Cult CSMs will not be able to utilize), but I doubt we will get the luxurious SM treatment. My sad prediction is that Traitor's Hand will be cool for fluff, but poor (once again) for actual gaming. Have you seen some of the formation bundles that GW has on their website? It looks like things we have seen before (Malestrom of Gore), and things that are useless (yet another half-baked attempt to see Possessed with their Favoured of Chaos bundle).

There are some positives though. First, rules for a Chaos Knight. This is a nice plus, though I do not think Knights are be all and end all. I do like the idea of having that option though. The other thing is that Predators and Vindicators will be in formations of 3. This is really good, and is what SMs have in that respect.

I want to have hope that Traitor's Hand will make me want to play regular CSM again, but I have my doubts... Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong and will have to eat my words. I wouldn't mind eating crow if that means CSM are feared once more. I don't want a "win" button- I just want to see CSM stand toe to toe against all comers again. As of right now, we cannot do that.

Until next time...