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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrating The Apocalypse Part 4: The Big Game

Greetings and felicitations to my fellow Chaos brethren. Welcome back to the latest edition of Chaos Corner. It's been a wild time for us 40K players, hasn't it? We just keep getting lots of goodies, with no signs of letting up (rumors of Black Legion supplement incoming). Whew!

First off, I got the Apocalypse book from a week and a half ago. While some of the data sheets are similar, this really is a different beast from the old Apocalypse edition. There's lots of new rules, randomness, several missions, Finest Hour, Divine Intervention, Unnatural Disasters, and a lot more. A game of Apocalypse is a bit more complicated than the previous edition, some of which is great, some of which is a bit too much book-keeping. However, the best thing about the book is the emphasis on "this is a guide... do what works for your game". Thus, not every single rule MUST be followed... Apocalypse is meant to be a huge, fun, experience. Something the group doesn't like? Get rid of it. The group has a new idea? Give it a go. They even give you additional ideas to try out. The book is really good, with lots of art, some fluff (Warzone: Armageddon), and lots of formations.

So, the GW store "near" me had an Apocalypse game the day the book came out. I decided to go, and I brought with me a ton of Plague Marine stuff, including my Titan and Baneblade. I brought nearly 7K points worth of stuff with me- I wasn't sure just how big this game would be, nor did I know what others would bring.

Well, we had two sides- the forces of good (Tau, Grey Knights, Blood Angels, and a small contingent of Necrons) on one side, and the forces of disorder on the other (my Plague Marines, Iron Warriors, Orks, and some odds and ends). I was made the warlord of our side, and Typhus was the leader. Hahaha... not a good start, huh?

A ton happened in this game, so there's no way I could give you a play by play, so I'll just get to the highlights:

The store manager, Ian, was calling the shots for the game and started by giving the forces of good a Baneblade (called the "Bling-Blade" based on its gold paint job). and it fired immediately, causing a great deal of damage to my Titan. I could see how this was going to go, my Titan would be target number one.

The forces of good went first, and it took a while, no doubt (that's what happens in a game this size). Their heavy weapons target my Titan constantly, with Tau Tiger Shark air craft taking the last of its hull points. There was the requisite huge explosion, and many Plague Zombies died, but that's what they are for. Indeed, a lot died in their shooting phase overall, but heck, there was a lot on the table. Further, lots of marines deep striked in that turn as well (terminators and jump packs, including Dante jumping in near my forces).

I thought we'd have our revenge in our shooting phase, but it was 50-50. My Baneblade got revenge for the Titan though, destroying a whole swath of Tau- men, battle suits, and vehicles. My Vindicators also blew holes in the advancing Necrons and Tau. On the other end, I threw in all the zombies I had to halt the oncoming advance of the combined Adeptus Astartes forces- they did their job, despite the heavy losses they took from the Titan explosion. I fired a lot at their Dreadnoughts and of course I tried to kill Dante- I wounded him, but I simply couldn't kill him.

Lots of Grey Knights were lost due to the Unnatural Disaster!
Removing the Grey Knights
After they were all removed.
Now, all of that (ONE turn) took hours. Holy cow! Well, now it was turn 2, and games master Ian selected me as the "Master of Disaster". He desperately wanted me to do "Total Collapse" from the Seismic Disaster table. So, I rolled for one random table segment to be destroyed (it could have been my side or theirs). I rolled quite well- it was their side, and I killed a TON of Space Marines- I think I must have killed 1K points worth just like that. Whoa... maybe that's too powerful? But it was fun, though.

Thus, their 2nd shooting phase was next- they decided to target a lot of shots at my Baneblade, and once again their concentrated fire destroyed it- with lots of Orks getting the burn on that one. A vindicator of mine was destroyed, as were 2 of my dreadnoughts. My zombies were still brawling and drooling, though most of them were dead by now (again). Sadly, Dante still lived; and we got the Bling Blade down to 1 Hull Point. We only had 1 Heldrake (I left mine home since I wasn't sure about carrying it on top of everything else), and they had several planes, so we had a hard time dealing with their air superiority.

Dante lived, despite the firepower I threw at him
Sadly, we did not get to have much of our side of turn 2, as the store was closing in a bit, and we had to clean up. The forces of good won, and I'm pretty sure they would have won even if we got more turns.

Overall, it was a ton of fun. The super-heavies now have hull points, and since even glancing hits take a hull point away, you can see that it is easier to get rid of the super-heavies now. However, that goes for both sides- so it is even. I see the need for more air/anti-air, at least for Apocalypse. I'll need to work on more Heldrakes for my Plague Marines. Ultimately, I am very glad I participated in the battle, despite the loss.It was a lot of fun, and seeing so much total destruction was great. I also got to play with a cool group of guys too, which only makes it better. The Necrons, Iron Warriors, Blood Angels and the Grey Knights were particularly well painted, which made the battle even more fun. The forces of evil may have lost this battle, but the war goes on...

As Dr. Claw always said "Next time, Gadget... Next time!!!"

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Celebrating The Apocalypse Part 3: Plague Marines Assemble!!

Hey There my crazy chaos fanatics! We're back with another installment of our celebration of the upcoming release of Apocalypse. I can't wait to get that book- I was always a sucker for Apocalypse, and the stuff I've been hearing about it makes it sound really good. 

I am also excited about going to my Games Workshop store and participating in their Apocalypse battle, "The Destruction of Kanthar IV". My Death Guard must venture forth once more, spreading disease and horror on this feeble imperial world. Now, as the day of battle draws near, I need to select my forces- I had to get them out and ready to go.

As I decided to do this, a question hit me- just how much should I take? That led to a bigger question- how many Death Guard Plague Marines do I even have? Oh boy... this is going to be a lot tougher than I thought!

With that, I decided to bring up all of my Plague Marine stuff and check. All of a sudden, as I brought the Army Transports and foam trays up from my basement, I realized that I had way more than I thought... My wife was right, I have enough Plague Marines (in dollar terms) to fund our future child's college education. 

After bringing it all up from my basement, I decided to put it all out on the table- yes, ALL of my Plague Marines, all assembled. I really have never put all my Plague Marines out on the table as a showpiece (even in my bachelor-Apocalypse I did not use every single Plague Marine). 

As I was putting them out, I decided NOT to put out my Nurgle Daemons, my Plague Zombies, or my Traitor Guardsmen. I'm undecided over whether I'll take them to battle on Saturday, but for this display I would put out only the dreaded Plague Marines of Nurgle and their various war machines. 

After I put them all out, I just stared at it all. I can't even begin to tell you how much in terms of hours, paint, putty, cash, and blood, sweat, and tears I put into this army. I am, as you may know, doing a Khorne Bezerker army, but I know that it will never get to this level. No way. My Plague Marine force is truly legion size (and I had 7 squads of troops to boot- bless Nurgle!). 

I have been assembling this army for years. 10 perhaps? I started Dark Eldar in 2000, and I transitioned to Plague Marines I think in 2003? Now I can't quite remember, but it has to be nearly a decade. Looking at it all, I am pleased how the whole army is tied together. I have used various paint schemes (and different paints!) over the years. Indeed, my painting style has evolved over time- I have a stronger eye for detail, I have gravitated to darker looks, etc. Yet, the army does indeed look like a cohesive whole. They are the colors of rot and decay; of disease and despair. So, some look the same, others look different, but at the end of it, they look like a single army, under a single banner. I sat looking at the whole army, awed. 

I am not awed because of my "skills" (such as they are). I just can't believe how it all looks together, knowing that I built them all up, converted, and painted them (my friend Pete did build a couple of the trickier ones- the Titan, the Drop Claw, and the strangely huge defiler- but I did paint them). I sat looking at the whole army for several minutes... I was just shocked at seeing them all at once; my brother saw it and said that it looked like something from a White Dwarf article. Wow. This army has been 10 years of my hobby life, and to just see it all there was amazing. I am proud of my work, warts and all. 

Perhaps at one point I'll go into a little more detail about some of the units--- like how my displeasure at the GW Plague Marine sculpts led me to create my own, using putty, guitar wire, and nails for their spiked helms. Or how I used plastic bug toys to make my Raptors- bug heads and clear plastic wings that I used green ink on. Or how my Land Raider was partially inspired by a Raider conversion shown in the 3rd edition Chaos Codex. Or how my brother and Pete found the Nurgle Lord on Palanquin at a Bitz Wagon (anybody remember those?) and got it for me while I was stuck working on a report for graduate school. Or how about that defiler... the one Pete and I dreamed up long before they had Soul Grinder? 

I could go on and on, as so many of those models, paint jobs, and ideas have a story. Perhaps I will expound on them one day here at Chaos Corner (my original reason for starting this blog, after all... which I never quite got around to). At any rate, I'll let the pics speak for themselves. 

Mortarion himself has come forth...
I'll let you guys know how the battle goes on Saturday. I hope that you are going to be enjoying the Apocalypse this weekend!

Until next time...

Celebrating The Apocalypse Part 2: A New Rhino and Dreadnought

Hey there everybody! As promised, I'm back with part 2 of my celebration of the upcoming Apocalypse release. It came across the wires last Saturday- my "nearby" Games Workshop store is doing a big Apocalypse battle this upcoming Saturday called "The Destruction of Karthanax IV". I have decided that it is high time that the Plague Marines of Nurgle march forth again, bringing disease, decay, and death to all who oppose the might of Grandfather Nurgle and his chosen son, Mortarion. Thus, my Plague Marines will be taking part in the destruction of that poor, puny imperial world. (Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh).

So, deciding that my Plague Marines would once again see battle, I decided to add a a couple of new things to my army. Nothing special, just a couple of new units- making their first appearance at the big game. Thus, I was painting on a schedule (something I seldom do); I wanted to finish these 2 units in time for the big battle.

The first was a Rhino. I currently have 3 Rhinos. Two of them are older- when I was first starting the Plague Marines in the early 2000s. The third looks pretty good, to be honest. However, I have a ton of Rhinos still to assemble (even after doing the 2 Rhinos for the Khorne Bezerkers), so I decided to do a new one for the Plague Marines. While I know the "Rhino Rush"is on life support in 6th, I figured a new Rhino couldn't hurt.

I decided to go crazy with the gross factor on this one. I used green stuff to make huge intestinal guts to fill up the top hatch. How did I get it recessed in there without it falling? Ah ha! I used one of the larger rectangular bases for fantasy (maybe it came with my Tzeentch Chariot?). I cut off a piece so it would fit in the Rhino and bam- instant area to lay down the guts while still making them appear as if they are also within the Rhino. I made them all red and bloody, and I even put an extra Nurgling in pulling at it.

I decided to do the same thing for the rear of the Rhino. I left off the back ramp and put guts in there too- I even made it look like the intestines were running down from the guts in the top. Again, I put in a Nurgling, just to have some fun. With the red paint job, I even used P4 Red Ink and GW Gloss Varnish and presto- bloody guts worthy of a Romero movie.

For the rest of the tank, I decided to take it easy, as the guts were the centerpiece. I used Forge World Death Guard doors of course. I also put in a driver/gunner. I decided to give him a spare Plaguebearer head- so he's nice and mutated for Grandfather Nurgle. The paint job was a a base of Deathworld Green, followed by a wash of Camoshade, a stippling of straken green, and a subsequent wash of Agrax Eathshade (which may be the most ubiquitous shade for all things Nurgle, now that I look at it). While the Rhino turned out a bit darker than my other Rhinos, I'm down with it because it still fits in with the rotting Plague Marine aesthetic.

The other new unit is the Plague Marine Dreadnought (I just can't call it a Helbrute!) from Forgeworld. I have been sitting on this guy for a while, not sure how to paint him. I decided to go with a variation from the Rhino- I added Waywatcher Green Glaze to it, thus making him look more green. A bunch of his body was also rusty metal- which I did by paining on Mournfang Brown, with subsequent stippling of Troll Slayer Orange and Ironbreaker, followed by a wash of Eathshade- a really nice, dingy, rusty look.

I am particularly proud of the work I did with it's topside- the dead body, the slime, and the Nurgling pulling at the body. All over the model I used Warpstone Green and Moot Green for slimy areas or holes on his body. For some of the sores, I used Ungor Flesh with a yellow glaze- it looks like oozing pus. I also made some of the sores bloody, naturally.

The only problem with the model was the damn banner. It is a nice piece, but the banner pole is so fine that I snapped it off several times. It is just so fragile (as is the banner on the Plague Marine Sorcerer- broke that like 5 times too). I used the method described in the latest White Dwarf for the skulls on the banner and the base itself- Zandri Dust, with a wash of Eathshade, and then building up from their with drybrushing of Tyrant Skull and the like.

Now, that means I have 3 Dreadnoughts for my Plague Marines. I certainly won't field all 3 outside of Apocalypse games too often, but hey, I'm glad I've got the option now if I want to. And the Forgreworld Dreadnought is a fantastic piece, a great addition to my evil forces.

Well, that's all for this posting. Hope you like the pics. For the record, I finished both in 4 days. I realize I can paint faster if I put my mind to it... I think the need to paint it in time for a big game certainly helped to motivate me. Anyways, I'll be back later with more Apocalypse by the weekend.

Until next time!

Celebrating The Apocalypse Part 1: The Plaguereaper

Hey there Chaos lunatics and fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back with another posting. Now, Apocalypse for 40K is right around the corner, and man am I stoked for it. I have always loved the concept of Apocalypse, even though I don't always have time to fight such a huge battle. The idea of throwing everything I've got onto the tabletop is just amazing, and the games I have played were always very exciting. I am looking forward to the return of Apocalypse, no doubt. To celebrate, I'm going to do a small series of posts about my armies and Apocalypse. So, let us turn to... The Plaguereaper!

After buying the Apocalypse book, I simply fell in love with the Plaguereaper. It was as if GW knew that I was a die hard Plague Marine player and that this tank was just for me. At this point, I certainly did not have my Titan, and this would have been the biggest kit I had ever put together or used. I was dying to get my dirty, plague-infested little hands on it.

However, my hopes were slightly dashed upon getting the model- how in the name of the Powers of the Warp was I going to make the bloody thing? That mutated barrel? The cauldrons of green goo and slime? I stared at the picture, and then at the model... I had no idea how I was going to do it.

Sadly, I was partially defeated. I tried several options (spray can tops come to mind), but there was no way I could make those cauldrons on the side- so I had to nix them. It was too bad, as I really liked the idea, but I simply could not see any practical way to do it (I still don't know how GW did it, as they don't look like any piece from their collection, though I could well be wrong). It was not to be...

However, I did win a different victory. How the heck was I going to do the gun barrel? To build it up with all green stuff would have taken forever. Luckily, my friend Pete had a great suggestion: use that brown tape and make huge bunches of it and put them on the barrel. Then, put a thin layer of putty across the surface to solidify it, then sculpt and add more putty as needed. Boy was he right- the gun barrel turned out perfectly. I even used claws from the Chaos Spawn set to make the muzzle/mouth.

Naturally, my Chaos-Conversion habit pushed me to do more with the tank. I added slimy tentacles at the front and back (just a few, not too many to detract from the rest of the tank). I added skull symbols from the Chaos Shrine set (3, to be exact, making a symbol of Nurgle on the front of the Baneblade).

At the back I covered over the Imperial symbols and engine with some putty work, making the engine look alive with an eye and mouth and tongue. Eww. I also added some putty growths on the tank, to make it look part alive or infected with unnatural growth (I care not- as long as it looks suitable of Nurgle). I even added a small banner on the back of the tank. Looking at it now it appears too small- but at the time I liked it.


As for the color, I had been doing my Plague Marines more with (at the time) Rotting Flesh, giving them a brighter look. I know there was no way it would work on the Baneblade, so I went a bit darker, a bit more green. To me it's fine, as the forces of the Death Guard are rotten and are at all stages of decay. Indeed, the Baneblade is a great centerpiece of my Death Guard, and the fact that it looks slightly different only adds to the overall look of the army.

So, I hope that you've liked the pics and everything, and I hope that you are as excited for Apocalypse as I am. I'll be back soon with another post to commemorate the Apocalypse this weekend!

Until Next Time...