EPIC Dark Angels – Army Pics

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3rd & 5th Companies of the Dark Angels Chapter, with Deathwing and Ravenwing support

Hey guys,

As some of you may know I have been painting up my Epic Dark Angels off and on for ages now. I painted a fair amount (mostly infantry) about two years ago, then slid away and stopped for ages. I recently picked them up again and painted some more for the Into the Breach tournament I went to, and that gave me the impetus to finally get them finished (3.5 years after I bought them…).

So, I am rather proud to present the fully painted army for you all. That’s 7,500pts of Dark  Angels, made up of the full 3rd and 5th Tactical Companies with support from the 1st Company Deathwing, the 2nd Company Ravenwing, and various tanks from the chapter Ironwing. It has pretty much got everything a Marine army can have, only missing a Thunderhawk Transporter from the available formations (hard to get hold of, not such a nice model imho, and I’m tactically unsure about it), and gives me the option to run a variety of different 3k or 4k lists.

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3rd Company in Drop Pods, with Deathwing and Ironwing support

I have really tried to go to town with this army, trying to do justice to the beautiful forumware models and sticking to the background of the Dark Angels. This does partly explain why the army has taken me so long to complete, but also it gives me an army whose paintjob I am reallly quite proud of. Adding the little grass tufts was the last step and  really sets off the darker palette of the bases and models, while I quite like the brighter tone of red that I used on them.

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5th Company in Rhinos, with support from the Ravenwing and the 10th Company Scouts

I think the time and attention has really paid off, and works well with the elite feel of Marine armies in EPIC. Just look at how few models make up 7,500pts, compared to say Orks or Imperial Guard, or even armies like Eldar. This highlights one of the reasons I love EPIC – the armies play and look like how they should do in the fluff. Marine armies are TINY in comparison to most other races, but still manage to throw their weight around!

A couple of things to add though – normally when playing Marines, you need some form of AA cover, provided by Thunderbolts. I already have a fair few painted Thunderbolts so these will sub in from my Imperial Guard army for now, though I would maybe consider trying to find some good Storm Talon or Xiphon Interceptor stand ins just to keep the Marine look. Another aspect is that most effective Marine army lists run with at least two Warhound Titans (they need the speed, firepower, and engagement triggering effectiveness of the the titans), and while I get kinda grumbly over this, I do eventually want to pick up two of the Forgeworld Warhound Titans to go with this army. Probably painted in a nice light gray and yellow Legio Gryphonicus scheme for contrast with the dark green and red marines.

I’ll be putting up some more posts in the near future showing some closer in pictures of the various formations, but if you click on these pics they do get bigger so go have a look. Otherwise I feel the army is done – all it needs now are a few more games to prove itself!

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The Inquisition War Trilogy

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Hi guys,

Just a quick post this time. I have just recently finished reading the book series ‘The Inquisition War’, a very early series of books from Black Library, and wanted to seriously recommend them to anyone who is interested in the older, and more esoteric, background of the 40k universe.

In the kind of spirit of the more well known Eisennhorn and Ravenor book series, but pre-dating them by quite a bit, the Inquisition War series follows he exploits of the Inquisitor Jaq Draco as he and his companions investigate heresy and fight across the galaxy. In keeping with the early date of the book, the fluff is very much of the time period, being somewhat more adult in nature, and exceptionally crazy compared to the more modern writing coming out of Black Library.

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This attitude is nothing but good however, harking back to the days of Rogue Trader. This includes a pretty central role for Squats, interesting differences in the inner workings of the Inquisition especially regarding the Ordo Malleus, and a very interesting and humanising take on an Imperial Fist Space Marine. Also, the figure of the Emperor plays a very critical role in the storyline, but is presented in a pretty shocking and intriguing way. I won’t spoil things, but it is probably not the way you have thought about the Emperor, and adds a whole new dimension to him.

Having said all that, the storyline is excellent and deals with some of the more interesting aspects of the 40k universe, and with some convincing plot lines. Split across three books, Draco, Harlequin, and Chaos Child, the story visits a great number of places, including Terra (and the Emperor’s throne room), the webway and the Black Library, and a very trippy account of a Daemon world in the Eye of Terror. The series is also the source for much of the old Illuminati / Sensei Knight / children of the Emperor fluff, which I find wonderful.

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Basically, what I am trying to say, is if you have a liking for early 40k fluff go and read the series. It was a great read for me and totally unexpected as I had never heard of it before. It is available on Amazon as a trilogy, from Black Library as three seperate digital books, or there are .epubs floating around on the internet (but shush….). There is more info on Lexicanum here too.

Now go read!

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BFG – Scratchbuild Ad-Mech Fleet 4

explorator_fleet_kx-557-vHi guys,

I’m back with the last post (for now) in this Adeptus Mechanicus fleet series, this time with the Lunar Class Cruiser, Scientia.

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Super easy conversion work this time, remember the fleet was just a little side project to use up some badly paint caked cruisers and to complete my BFG fleet selection. Leaving one of the lance batteries off gave me space to add some spars and miscellaneous mechanical bits and pieces, plus adding some extra aerials, makes this one of the simpler models in the fleet.

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The other side has been left alone, and the whole ship has been roughly painted in the same scheme as the rest. in the Ad-mech fleet you can upgrade all 30cm weapons batteries, so in the fleet list this ship takes that upgrade, but otherwise remains plain. Nothing fancy here!

All that is left for this fleet is the addition of a battleship, which I have decided will be an Oberon class. Three reasons for this: I think the varied weaponary (lances, batteries, and launch bays) kind of suits the Ad-Mech, having some more launch bays in  this fleet will be useful as I only have the single Dictator class, and the Oberon is a battleship class I don’t have in any of my other Imperial fleet lists. To this  end, I bought an Ad-Mech battleship from a certain place on the internet, and have assembled and undercoated it ready for painting. I think I will probably put more effort into painting it reasonably than I have with these ships, so it should eventually make an appearance up here.

Thanks for following along all!

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Into the Breach! – EPIC Tournament

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Hi guys,

So as you might be aware I have not really been playing much of anything lately, having packed up my stuff a while ago and since moved to London. Since then I have been pretty busy trying to find a job and with some writing, but recently I found out that there was going to be an EPIC tournament called “Into the Breach” at Dark Sphere Gaming in London yesterday. I figured it was a good excuse to a) play some games b) meet new people and c) find out where I could continue to get games in London in the future. I just didn’t want to finish last…

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Well I went yesterday, and I have to say it satisfied on all three counts! I played three games against a variety of lovely people, met even more nice people, and have found out where my best chances for getting some specialist gaming in the future are. I took my Dark Angles, playing them just as Codex Marines, with a full Battle Company and no Thunderhawk or Warhounds… So not exactly stellar, but fun to play.

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My first game was against a lovely chap playing Steel Legion – four(?) Mech Infantry Companies on his side and two Warhounds drove me to a very convincing loss. I just couldn’t shift any of the infantry out of cover and mucked up a couple of decisions early on, but some last minute maneuvering maade it 3-0 rather than 5-0.

My second game was against a guy called Charles, playing Ulthwe Eldar with some Revenant titans and a lot of Guardians. His was a very nice army, that promptly steam-rollered one of my flanks, the Revenants basically deleting a Marine formation with every activation. My Terminators bounced off them in an engage and theere wasn’t much more I could do. Luckily I was able to push up on the other flank and hold it to a 2-1 loss. I was getting better!

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My third game was against another army I had never faced – Knights! Played by the lovely Alun, they proved a really interesting list to face with plenty of firepower and resilience. I played much more aggressively in this game, slammming my Landspeeders and Scouts up into the Knight’s faces, which seemed to pay off as a number of formations were broken. I quickly learnt to try and knock them off while broken as they are not fearless and came incredibly close to killing off the BTS. Sadly, I kind of mistook the end of turn 2 for the end of turn three and was a little careless in going after things, which came back to bite me as we ended in a score draw.

Still, I had managed to avoid the ignominy of finishing last or losing all three games (just!) and had a total blast of a day. Sorry I didn’t manage to get any in game pics, next time I will. Otherwise hopefully some of the newly painted Dark Angels will do for now. Now all I need to do is crack on with painting up th last bits and pieces of my Dark Angels (Land Raiders, Predators, Vindicators, Thunderhawks, Bikes)!

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BFG – Scratchbuild Ad-Mech Fleet 3

Hi guys,

Back again, with another of my converted Adeptus Mechanicus ships. This time is the turn of the Deus Inimicus, a Gothic class cruiser.

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Deus Inimicus 1

Again, scrappy painting with some simple additions to try and sell th ad-mech nature of this ships. This time I used some brass wire and a few of the EPIC rhino dozer blades to tart up the ship hoping to give the suggestion of the Adeptus Mechanicus gift of “Advanced Shields. This gift means that weapons using the gunnery table suffer a right column shift when firing on a vessel equipped with Advanced Shielding and Lance weaponry firing on this vessel only score a hit on a roll of a 5+, which is a pretty deceent bump in survivability for a ship like the Gothic that wants to be within 30cm to fire its lances.

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Deus Inimicus 2

In the context of the list, this ship packs a fair punch with five lances at 30cm, and is still firing 3 of them when crippled or on some of the special orders. I also plan on equipping this ship with special torpedoes for some variety and because I think they fit with the wacky nature of the Ad-Mech.

Just another simple post!

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BFg – Scratchbuild Ad-Mech Fleet 2

Hi guys,

Another delyed post I am afraid, but this time I am back with my converted Ad-mech fleet, built out of some horrible painted Imperial Cruisers I had laying around.

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Sanguinem, Tyrant Class Cruiser

This time is the turn of the Saguineem, the Tyrant Class Cruiser in the fleet list. With the weapon battery upgrade available to the Adeptus Mechanicus, this ship, while expensive, does throw out  fair amount of firepower. Of course, it also has its free dorsal lance as well.

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Sanguinem, Tyrant Class Cruiser

As you can see, the paint scheme is exactly the same as the previous ship, sticking to the black, dark gray, and dark red. The convrsion on this ship is pretty simple, using some of the old Titan arm connectors to build a bridge or docking arm from one section of the ship.

There are a couple more ships to come, but I still neeed to paint  up the battleship – hopefully soon!

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BFG – Scratchbuild Ad-Mech Fleet 1

Hi guys,

See I told you I wasn’t dead! >.<

More seriously, I am moving to London so all of my models and books etc are in storage and my hobby time has slowed down somewhat.

I did, however, have a couple of spare Imperial cruisers lying around and decided with a little bit of work they could make up a rough and ready Adeptus Mecahnicus fleet. They weren’t in great condition though, coated very thickly in paint and lacking some small bits and pieces. This meant I was quite limited in what I could achieve but given I wasnt terribly interested in the Adeptus Mechanicus and these cruisers were spares, I am not too fussed with the rough and ready outcome.

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Ferrum Dei

The fleet is just going to be a little 1,500pt list, with a single battleship and a varied selection of cruisers.

Veneratus 9         100 RR                   50
Oberon BB w/ Augmented Weapons Relay    370

FERRUM DEI Dictator           255 Nova                20

SCIENTIA Lunar              215  W/B                10

SANGUINEM  Tyrant             220 W/B                10

DEUS INIMICIS Gothic             215 Special Torps       20
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Just a nice straight forward and well rounded list that uses my four spare Imperial cruisers and an Ad-Mech Battleship I previously bought.

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Ferrum Dei

As you can see, the Imperial Cruiser has been left relatively unscathed as I couldn’t do much with the thick paint covering. I added some “Ad-mech” style things (on the side fin, on the prow, the crane thing) and added on a Nova Cannon. Having both launch bays and the Nova means when I Reload Ornance both should be ready to go. I also added the extra lance turret on the dorsal spine – all Ad-Mech cruisers get a FP 1 60cm lance as part of their cost.

A rough drybrush with gray, then some dark red and silver as contrast colours. I chose to add some bright yellow (and orange on some ships) to highlight their more “industrial” look.

It is amazing what you can make out of some really rather rough cruisers!

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I’m not dead…

I’m not dead, I promise…

I have been stupendously busy recently and haven’t played a game of anything in months. Partly it is getting ready to move to London, and partly it is dropping out my local games club as people moved on to different games.

I have been painting a little and I am still reading lots of GW books (currently going back through the Gotrek & Felix omnibusses!) but most of my stuff is currently packed up and will be for the next month or so.

I will try and pick up posting again though and have been looking into a games club in London.

Thanks all!

Epic Eldar Tactica – Hit and Run

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Hi guys,

Second post in the Epic Eldar Tactica series here – this time looking at the second of the two special rules that apply to the Eldar army. This special rules deals with just how fast and maneuverable the Eldar army is.

Hit and Run:

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So, once again, there are two parts to this special rule which are both vitally important to remember if you want to be playing the army to its full potential. The first is quite interesting as it allows the player more choice than is normally the case. As I am sure you know, in Epic an Advance move allows a formation to move once and then shoot with no penalties, while a Double move allows a formation to move twice and then shoot with a -1 penalty to hit. The Hit and Run Tactics rule allows the Eldar play to choose when during the action to fire – meaning the formation could fire then move, or, with a double, move, fire, and move again.

This is really quite important – it means I could take a unit, like some Revenant titans, and move from out of cover and out of range, into the open and into range, fire on the enemy unit, and then hop back to my original position. This helps to protect my units from return fire, while making it very diffuclt for the enemy to pin me in place and land any shots on my formations.

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Obviously some units benefit more than others from this rule, with those with high speeds and long range weaponry being the most benefited. Think of using your Fire Prisms to pop forward, shoot, and the pop back, or using your Cobras to fire and then scoot behind cover.

The second half of the special rule is, I think, the more important and more powerful half. Given what we discussed on the Farsight post here, the ability to move your full move distance after winnning an engagement is huge!

What this does is to makee the type of rolling engagements discussed in the last post even more powerful, by allowing you to use your full move distance to set up the next engagement with the first formation in support – effectively allowing you to use that formation twice in one turn.

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Say I am planning on using my Farsight special rules to retain three times in a row. I activate my unit of jetbikes on a 2+ to advance to within 15cm of the enemy formation of Leman Russ, and shoot with a few of the Vyper’s weapons, killing nothing but laying two blastmarkers. I then retain with my Warlock Titan on a 1+ (would be 2+ because of the retain, but a Warlock has Farsight), move it 20cm, and engage the Leman Russ. Because of the blastmarkers I am already 2 up on them in Combat Resolution, and easily win aainst them as Leman Russes are pretty rubbish in engagements. I win, and the remaining few Leman Russ withdraw. I then use my 20cm consolidation move (full move because of Hit and Run Tactics) to move within 15cm of another enemy formation, say a Mechanised Infantry Company, preferably behind it or preferably a formation that already has blastmarkers. Then I use my triple retain (Farsight rule), to activate another of my formations, Aspect Warriors in Wave Serpents on a 2+ (usuallly 1+ but now takes the -1 for retaining) to engage the Mech Inf Coy. With the Warlock Titan in support (and possibly crossfire) and lending its Firefight dice to the combat, the Eldar should easily win the enagement again, wiping out a second enemy formation with no possibility of the enemy responding.

You can see in the example how the full move allows the Warlock titan to reposition itself, and effectively be recycled – being used fully in more thn one engagement per turn. This is far more difficult to pull off with only 5cm of movement after an engagement, but works wonders on speedy Eldar formations like jetbikes and titans.

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So, hopefully these two posts have shown just how powerful the Eldar special rules are individually and how they work together to produce some truly amazing combinations. Honestly, learning to use these trick of maneuvre and planning, though it takes a while, turns the Eldar army from a mediocre one into a pretty formiddable foe.

Learn to use them, learn to plan for them, and learn to anticipate and build your strategies around them!

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EPIC Eldar Tactica – Farsight

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Hi guys,

So to begin the EPIC Eldar review I want to take a look at the Eldar army’s two special rules. Now it is pretty hard to overstate just how important thse two rules are to playing the army – honestly, if you forget about them, or find yourself never using them, then you are playing the army at half-strength. These rules ARE the the Eldar army. The one I want to look at today is the Farsight special rule.

Farsight:

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So, if we split this up into its two parts we can begin to see how this is a very powerful rule for the Eldar army. The first half, allowing you to retain without penalty when using a formation with a unit with the Farsight rule in it, is a big deal. It removes the penalty that you normally have to take when using the very powerful retain action – this means that you remove any extra risk when choosing to retain, which in turn allows you to either maneuvre twice, or to launch devastating combined assualts by prepping (laying blastmarkers on them by firing at them) and then engaging an enemy formation which is now at a disadvantage in the ensuing combat (-1 for having blastmarkers, and possible -1 for having more blastmarkers than your assualting formation).

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Now there are only two units in the army that have the Farsight special rule – Farseer stands, included as characters in Guardian formations, and the Warlcok Titan. These play pretty wildly different roles in the army, and we will look at the way they work in more detail on their own posts, but both serve very well as the engaging formation, being big and tough enough to take on opposing formations as the second activation of a retain and win.

The second part of the special rule magnifies this focus on maneuvre, mobility, and the concentration of force. What it does is allow the Eldar player to retain the initiative twice in a row, once a turn. This means the Eldar player can perform three actions, in a row, with the opponent able to do nothing about it. That is huge! By now we should all know the importance of the classic EPIC maneuvre of moving a unit up within firefight range, prepping the opposing formation by firing on it, then retaining with a second formation to engage the prepped formation. This allows you to concentrate your force (two formations against one) and stack the odds in your favour (supporting fire and blastmarkers).

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The other important thing to notice is that the two rules combine – that means that if the third activation chosen by the Eldar player is a formation that includes a model with the Farsight rule, then it does not take the penalty for attempting to retain. So lets think this through:

Activation 1: 1+ activation Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent double up to within 15cm of an enemy formation and the Wave serpents shoot at it, laying two blastmarkers.

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Activation 2: 2+ activation (as it contains a Farseer) Guardian formation in Wave Serpents engages the enemy formation, with the Dire Avengers in support. With the 16 4+ FF attacks in supprt and being 2 up in combat resolution from the blastmarkers on their opponet, the Guardians are VERY likely to win. Using their Hit and Run special rule (to come!) they mount up and move a full 35cm to position themselves behind another enemy formation.

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Activation 3: 1+ activation (due to farsight rule) of a Warlock Titan to engage the second enemy formation, with Guardians in Wave Serpents in supprt and providing cross fire. This will mince pretty much anything.
Now obviously these formations etc can be different, and the enemy is unlikely to play ball quite so much with you. However, hopefully it demonstrates the massive potential of the Eldar “triple retain” and the way in which this can totally change the face of a game for very little risk. With Eldar formations being a mix of 1+ and 2+ activations, you can chain together a number of very powerful actions with very little risk of failure.

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So, yes, Farsight is  vitally important rule for playing the Eldar army in EPIC and one of the ways I think the Eldar army really plays as it should – fast, reliable, maneuvreable, but delicate and precise. This feeling of “playing like the fluff” is something I really appreciate in EPIC and although other armies have that feel (space marines being incredibly elite. for example, or Orks being an unruly horde) none have it to the exent of the Eldar list.

Thanks,

Gus.

 

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