Friday, 6 February 2015

A completed army...kinda

 January has been a productive month. I received a few extra toys from friends and family at Christmas and this has spurred me to get some painting done. Far too often in the past I've received gifts only to leave them unpainted and sometimes unused altogether;

Scattered through out you can see pictures of my work. You'll have to forgive the poor photos, the camera on my phone died and I'm having to use my inferior tablet camera. Dave from Zen and the Art of Miniature Painting is coming to visit at the end of the month for another weekend of gaming and I'll try to snag his camera to get some decent shots of the whole army.
My Trygon I brought in early 2010 after my house mates at the time bought me some Games Workshop vouchers. I've used it in a handful of games, back before I vowed not to play with unpainted miniatures, but it remains unpainted to this day.

My Tyrannofex and Tervigon I received for my birthday in 2012. I had to go and check my twitter just now to remember the year and the accompanying tweet contained the words 'best get painting'. Almost three years on and I've just got one of them painted and they've never seen the field of battle.

We all have our grey plastic piles of shame, this is not unusual. It's one thing to buy yourself new miniatures and not get round to painting then, but what's played on my mind of late is that other people spent money on some of my miniatures for me, and I've just let them sit there unused. Now while my family may not be able to tell one Tyranid from another, I can, and it's made me feel ever so ungrateful for the gifts I've received.

Well no more.

While some of these older gifts still lay unpainted for now, I vowed this year to get my new miniatures painted as quickly as possible and sure enough within a month of getting them, all of my new miniatures from Christmas were painted, and I even managed to get a little more done.

My Hive Tyrant, finally finished. I have already finished his base. Expect better pictures soon, along with his Tyrant Guard, which I only now realize I have no pictures of

Before I knew it my Tyranid army has reached 2000pts of fully painted miniatures. And it feels good, really good, not only to get a full army completed but also to get new miniatures that move almost directly on to the painted pile and not the grey plastic pile.

I say completed, but this army is never going to be really completed. About this time last year I wrote a post cataloguing my painted and unpainted miniatures, and those of you that remember that will probably realise I still have a lot of unpainted Tyranids. And this is before you take in to account all the new models I want to get. This army was created, after all, with the intention of becoming an apocalypse army.

Having reached this mile stone, however, I thought it might be a good time to take a quick stock check of how many points I've still got to paint and of how much progress I've made over the last year.

My two Zoanthropes and Broodlord, which I painted last year
Counting nothing but the WYSIWYG upgrades and using the latest codex, at the start of last year I had 637pts of painted miniatures. I'm not counting my Hive Tyrant in this even though he was fully base coated. It doesn't sound a lot, but this little lot accounted for over 50 miniatures, being made up mostly of gaunts. Including the Hive Tyrant, this left me with 3026pts worth of miniatures to paint.

In 2014 I finally finished painting my Hive Tyrant after it languished in base coats for almost two years. I also painted my Broodlord, two Zoanthropes, three Tyrant guard and this January I painted my Tyrannofex. This accounts for 753pts taken from my unpainted pile.

In addition I painted my aforementioned new miniatures last month; two Tyranocytes, 12 spore mines, two Mucloid spores, a further two Zoanthropes and a Neurothrope adding a further 465pts on to the painted pile.

My second Tyranocyte and Spore mines. Once again all bases have been properly finished now
For those not doing the math as you go, this gives me 1855pts of painted miniatures. With a few upgrades here and there this brings the army to 2000pts. Of cause this still leaves me with 2273pts to paint but this no longer feels so bad. 

Roughly 700pts of this is simply Genestealers, of which I'm in no rush to paint, and about a further 700pts is made up of just four monstrous creatures, which no longer seems so daunting now that I've got five under my belt.

As I mentioned earlier, I've got a weekend of gaming planned at the end of the month, so I'll get to put these guys in to action then. I'll let you know how they do.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Playing My First Games of 7th

Photos shamelessly stolen from Matt and David

This past weekend David over on Zen and the art of miniature painting visited me in Cardiff. With  Matt (find his twitter here) and Craig in hand the four of us went over to Firestorm games to play some long over due games of Warhammer 40k.

I'd like to say this was the first time we had all played 7th edition but in truth it was more than that. Craig hadn't played a game of 40k in about 16 years since he was a teenager; Dave hasn't played in over a decade (although he's played other games such as when he and I played Battlefleet Gothic earlier in the year which you can read about here); Matt played a game of 6th edition with me a couple of months ago but before then it had been 4-5 years since he had played; and then there's me, who has the most experience, yet only managed to get a whole 5 games played in 6th edition.

Now in one weekend I've managed to get in more than half as many games of 7th as I did in 6th, and I have to say it was a blast.

I played 3 games. The first was a 1000pt battle against David's Dark Angels. The second was a 500pt game against Matt's Orks. And the final game was a 2v2 match up; Craig's Eldar and Dave's Dark Angels, split 500pt/1500pts respectively, vs 1000pts of my Tyranids and the same of Matt's Orks.
My second game against Matt, there'll be no battle report of this one. Just be happy to know I won.

I'm not going to write up battle reports for these games, David is writing some up for our games so I'll leave that to him and you should keep an eye out on his blog for those. Instead I wanted to share a few thoughts on 7th edition.

A couple of caveats first though. As I've already mentioned I only played 5 games of 6th edition and obviously the changes from 5th to 6th were far greater than those from 6th to 7th, so in many ways I'm still absorbing the changes from 6th.

Also, we were all playing with 'starter' armies and by that I mean they were very basic, so there were no allies, no flyers or flying monstrous creatures, there weren't even any vehicles between us. This wasn't because of any rules or restrictions we had set for ourselves before hand but simply that we don't own or havn't painted these models yet.

This is no doubt a great way to start playing, keep it nice and simple and to be honest I think it made for some great games, however it doesn't make me ideally placed to comment on the rules associated with many of these miniatures, especially as these types of units were arguably effect most by the rules.

As such many of the nuanced changes in 7th are probably lost on me and so I'm going to keep this brief.

I've only been a couple of times but Firestorm is a great place to play with some fantastic scenery

The first thing I want to say is that every game was great fun. I immediately thought this in my first few games of 6th edition too. To me 40k had become stale, but 6th and 7th has freshened it up making it a great rule set to play with a bunch of like minded friends.

One of my favourite changes is the change to scoring units. I remember when they changed the rules so that only troops could score objectives. It was a way to get people to take more troops, to discourage people from taking bare minimum troop selections and to get people to take armies that looked like the fluff intended. Once again you saw Tac Marines, the troops that make up the majority of a chapter, on the battlefield again. And the change was largely welcomed.

In time though it was clear this wasn't a perfect solution, it took choice away from a game that's supposed to be all about choice, and soon, into every codex crept the ability to modify the force org, to take elite units as if they were troops, so now you could take that all terminator army, and every army would have lots of troops even if they weren't actually troops choices.

The change in 7th is quite an elegant solution to the problem and now I've see it, I find it difficult to understand why no one had thought of it sooner. Now all units are scoring, so take whatever you want, however troops choice are now better at scoring and will trump any other type of unit when it comes to taking objectives. So now we want to take troops choices rather than feeling like we should take troops choices.
This is a pic from deployment on the final game.

Looking at the Ork and Grey Knight books too it seems the ability to modify the force org is being removed too, which is fine as the rules for taking whatever you want are included in the main rules now under the rules for unbound armies, and by extension adds more value to bound armies.

The biggest change it seems to me is with the psychic phase. And to be honest I'm not sure what to make of it at this point. Part of me wants to say it's almost useless, I had real trouble casting powers but I'm not sure if that's just because I'm not use to it yet and haven't worked out the proper number of dice I should roll to cast a power.

Being Tyranids I have lots of Psykers. My 1000pt army has a Hive Tyrant, Broodlord and two single Zoanthropes giving me and addition 7 dice. Only one other player had any psykers and that was Dave who just had a librarian giving him 2 extra dice. I thought I'd dominate the psychic phase and perhaps that was my problem. I'm use to the fantasy magic system, it's a lot easier to weigh the odds in your favour when you're combining the dice together but when you need say two 4+'s it's a lot trickier.

In the final game, I found myself often in the position of having lots of dice but having only a few powers to cast, so I split my dice evenly, using 4-5 dice per power to try and force through powers and make it more difficult for the enemy to deny the witch. As it turned out that wasn't the issue, and in 3 turns I suffered perils for the warp 4 times and only managed to cast one power.

I find it interesting that the psychic phase is clearly influenced by the fantasy magic phase, yet it changes it in unusual ways. I don't like that when you suffer a perils of the warp the powers doesn't still work despite rolling high enough to cast it. I think here they should have borrowed from the old psychic system and said a double 1 or 6 suffers perils but on a double 6 the power still goes through assuming you've met the warp charge needed. I'm glad they didn't include things like irresistible force it's just jarring to me that when you need two 4+'s two 6's are bad. Even simply saying perils occurs on a double 1 and the power doesn't go through makes more sense to me.

As I say though I need to try it out more. I like that all the powers are in one place now and not spread out over several phases. That is definitely a welcome change.
And from the other flank. Be sure to check back on Dave's blog for the battle report on this one

One last thing, the final game we used tactical objects. It was great fun and made for an interesting game although I can see potential problems. First right off the bat we instigated a house rule that if it was impossible to complete an objective you were allowed to redraw it. Even after this one game I realised this house rule needs to be clarified and I'm not sure how best to do it. Obviously if you draw an objective that says shoot down a flyer and there's no flyers in the opposite army you should be allowed to redraw, and in this example I'm leaning towards saying you can redraw if there had been a flyer but it had already been destroyed by the time this card was drawn .

However, what if you draw an objective which you can complete at the time, but subsequently becomes impossible to complete? Should you be allowed to immediately redraw or should you have to wait till the end of your turn to discard it as normal? In our game for example, their side drew the mission to muster a psychic power, but before they could complete it their one and only psyker was killed. We allowed them to swap it out in this instance but I think it was leaniant for us to do so as they had had one or two psychic phases to try and get it.

Aside from that I can see how the random nature of the missions could cause very one sided games. I had heard this problem from people on the internet when 7th came out, so when after the first turn our enemy had scored 4 victory points with basically no effort and we had scored none, I began to worry. As it turns out our game was very close, on our second turn we immediately caught up and scored 4 or 5 victory points and the game ended 9-10 in the end, but I can see how there's a definite potential for one sided games.

Having said all that the objectives were very fun, and several times forced us to change our plans on the spur of the moment. Dave will be writing that battle report up soon, it was a good one and I'm looking forward to reading it myself.

I don't think I'd want to play every game like that, it did slow the game down, particularly where we didn't have the cards which meant there was a lot of paper work involved, but it was fun none the less.

That's all I want to say right now, it was a great weekend of gaming and has definitely reinvigorated my hobby spirit, so hopefully I'll have more painting and gaming progress to share with you soon.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Dabbling in Fiction

Back in 2011 I took part in a Battlefleet Gothic campaign. I can't remember all of the details but it was a narrative campaign, and I was a little late to the campaign joining near the tail end. I think I only played about 3 games at the time and only two of those were strictly part of the campaign.

As it was a narrative campaign many players wrote short narratives either in the lead up to a game or post game from their admirals perspective. So I followed suit by creating a short introduction to my fleet and I thought I would share it with you today.

I've never written any sort of fiction but I'm quite proud of what I came up with. I think I had recently read First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and I think some ideas were heavily borrowed from there and other Black Library books.

I did intend to follow it up with a post game story and I'm kinda sad that I never did. But my fleet is still technically the same fleet. I maintain the same 1500pt roster, all my ships are named as well as my fleet commanders so you never know I may pick the  story up again one day. I even have a ton of 40k Chaos Marines which I intended to paint up as Word Bearers and still might at some point.

To give a bit of context the battle was an escalating engagement against the Dark Eldar near the planet Tanais, which I believe the Dark Eldar had just taken control of in their previous game against the Imperium.

The Holy Torment and Glory of Chaos win a crushing victory against Dave's Imperial Fleet a few weeks ago.

The Bringer of Truth translated into real space approximately 37.4 standard minutes behind the bulk of the fleet.
'The rest of the fleet has assumed standard search parameters, Admiral Torvus reports no sign of the Imperial fleet'
'How can that be?' The Crimson Lord growled 'Our scouts reported heavy concentrations of enemy ships not three days ago'
'er I...I'm not sure my Lord' Stuttered the startled Comms officer. The men and women occupying the bridge of The Bringer of Truth were all members of the Kor Tal and could be considered the elite of the elite by any human standards. But even they could be cowed by the presence of the Chaos Marines they served alongside, not to mention the Crimson Lord whose visage pained the eyes and whose mere proximity could force the weak to vomit despite themselves. The Bridge officers of the Kor Tal were selected for that role largely based on their strength of will that allowed them to function for such extended periods within the presence of the Crimson Lord.
'Get that fool Torvus to transmit the fleets sensory data to us immediately'
'Yes my Lord'
Admiral Torvus, an accomplished man and True believer of the Word. He had his uses. But he's only Mortal. Yes, not even a Space Marine, his incompetence is to be expected.
Not quite immortal himself, yet he could hardly be described as mortal either, the separation between Daemon and Marine had been a line impossible to distinguish within the Crimson Lord for millennia.
'Data coming now sire, Litany of Hate is detecting a number of burning hulks, several escort sized vessels and at least one cruiser sized, in close proximity to the planet Tanais'
Someone has beaten us to it
'Glory of Chaos is picking up what looks to be several civilian vessels in the outer reaches, and we're attaining several anomalous readings across the fleet'
The Crimson Lord surveyed the data for himself, someone had indeed been here and driven the Imperial fleet away. No doubt troops were fighting for control of the planet at this very moment. This planet is destined for the Word. Thousands of years worth of experience told the Crimson Lord that this engagement had not happened long ago. The enemy is still here. But what was this enemy. Lets see

To an outsider the Crimson Lord appeared to enter a trance, closing his eyes he allowed the power of Chaos to flow through him, the Daemon within him feeding on the emotions around him. He could sense the discipline of his bridge officers, yet the fear they felt for him, reaching out he sensed the thousands of other souls toiling within the Battle Barge, he could feel his Acolytes and Word Bearers, their eagerness to bring the Word to yet another deluded planet of the Imperium pleasing to him. The Daemon pushed out beyond the confines of the ship, travelling the waves of the Immaterium he could feel the emotions emanating from the other vessels in his fleet, their positions impossible to locate in this manner, yet the Crimson Lord recognised them clear enough. Now the petty human emotions, no doubt coming from the ignorant he had come to educate and unite with Chaos, and then...Yes something else entirely, sadism, disgusting pleasure, far beyond that which a human or even the more depraved members of Chaos could produce. Lofty, immeasurable arrogance, yes this was what he sought.

His Eyes opened
'Druchii' the Lord Spat
The officers on the bridge exchanged worried glances, they had been expecting battle sure, but against the Imperial Navy. The Eldar was a whole different style of warfare, their technology would have them chasing ghosts while their own ships would slip past undetected to attack their stern.
'No, this is a blessing' said the Crimson Lord sensing the change in mood of his crew 'The population of Tanais has been abandoned by their Imperial overseers, thousands of their members butchered by this foul xenos, they will be far more open to the teachings of Lorgar, their binding to Chaos will be even more expedient. This truly is a gift from the Gods. We must repay them.
The Crimson Lord stared out into the void, invigorated by this renewed sense of purpose
'These, Druchii, have run and they have hidden from our masters for over ten millenia. Slaanesh wishes to feed upon their souls and we shall hand them to him'
'My Lord, the fleet are detecting vessels'
'Excellent, order all ships to converge on their position. Our enemies will fight, and they will lose, and destruction will be visited upon them, for it is written.'

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Dark Pact Revisited

Back in July I wrote a post about The Dark Pact, a Horus Heresy themed Tale of 4 Gamers type of affair. This is a follow up post to that one, so go and give it a quick read to remind yourself of what it's all about before reading this one.


Ok so that would be all of us then.

As you can probably guess by a lack of posts since the last one, the Dark Pact has kinda petered out. Unfortunately I think this a pretty common occurrence with this type of thing. Everybody is so pumped and excited when a project like this starts but the enthusiasm soon dwindles as the project roles on and life gets in the way. If anyone has any good tips for maintaining momentum within a group please leave them in the comments below.

I was intending to writing another post at the time of the second deadline. However, as only Craig and I had managed to meet that target there seemed little point. Since then Matt and David have caught up as well so I figured that it was about time I got you guys updated. Incidentally we've seen nothing new from Mog or John so there'll be no update there.

VI Space Wolves XIV Death Guard- Rob

 I realise I never posted Robs first months offerings in the original post, as he hadn't finished at the time of writing. If you've read the last post you'll see I made a big joke about how Rob constantly changed his mind about which legion to take, so it's no surprise then to see he ended up with painted Death Guard in the end.

I would complain but he's done such a good job on these that it's hard to. Unfortunately it looks like he's out of the Dark Pact for good. So there's no 'month 2' offerings. I keep trying to tempt him back and you never know I might be successful one day.

The 4 of us who are left (me, Craig, Matt and Dave) haven't given up on building Heresy armies altogether, we're just not following regular deadlines. Unfortunately cost is the main barrier at the moment. As it happens though we're all building regular 40k armies at the moment.

XIII Ultramarines - Dave

I only have pictures of 3 of Dave's Marines. I'm missing the other two although I'm sure he's finished them.

I'm betting he never got the chance to photo the other to what with the moving to Australia malarkey
 As always you can read about Dave's adventures here on his blog. If you've kept up-to-date there you may have seen him post pictures of his new Heresy miniatures a few weeks back.

He's recently moved to Australia for a couple of years and he's working on some Dark Angels at the moment, although he's had to make some hard decisions about what miniatures to take over with him. He's also threatened to GM some games when he gets back, so we've all got about 2 years to get some armies built in preparation.

XII World Eaters – Matt

2nd Month models
Army so far
Matt got the second half of his squad completed a little before Christmas. He's currently working on some 40k Orks. I had two sets of the Black Reach Orks lying about which I sold to him (I'm sure I'm going to regret getting rid of them one day) so he's using them as a basis for an army.

XVI Sons of Horus - Craig
2nd Month models

Army so far
 Craig got his Justaerin finished on time although I say he cheated. The rules stated you have to paint 5 models or a unit. Justaerin can be fielded in units of 3 so technically he's fine but I know he has two others he intended to paint but didn't.

He also broke the spirit and point of the project by buying too many miniatures. One of the things we wanted to do was to only buy little bits at a time and paint it before buying more. I believe me and Dave have 5 basic marines unpainted, while I don't think Matt has any. Craig on the other hand has his two Justaerin, 3 Jet bikes, 5 basic marine and 5 assault marines...I think I've got that right.

He's also getting in on the regular 40k action by starting an Eldar army. Me, Craig and Matt all reside in Cardiff now so once they've got a few hundred points painted up we'll be getting some games in and I'll be sure to write about those games here.

I'm also hoping to get them to guest write a post once they've got some models painted...although I've not told them that yet.

VIII Night Lords – Me
2nd Month models
Army so far
So I say I win the Dark pact as I was the only one to get 10 models painted when they were suppose have been painted. If you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen me post these pics on there last year when I painted them.

I've been toying with painting a new legion. The new Night Lords rules in Massacre are cool and all but something doesn't sit right with me. When I think about how my army is going to grow, I realise it's not going to grow into want I envisioned from a Heresy army. It's difficult to explain and perhaps I'll write another post about my thoughts on it at a later date.

I think one of my problems is that I don't like the models for the Raptors. If they release some awesome models for the terror squads it may pull me back in.

I've got 5 Heresy marines unpainted and I'm tempted to paint them as another Legion as a test. Even then several legions are winning me over, although Imperial Fists are currently in the lead.

I'm going to be working on my nidz for the foreseeable future anyway so the issue is fairly mute at the moment.

So I'll leave it there, hopefully we'll see a further return to the Dark Pact, we've not given up on it entirely.

If you like the post be sure to comment and share it with your friendsTill next time...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Week in Hobby 19/1/14

This is the 2nd in what I plan to be a regular segment on the blog. Each Sunday I'll be summarising my hobby and gaming activity during the week as well as providing a glimpse into the week ahead. I'm still not totally sold on the name of this segment, so it may change and suggestions are welcome.

The Blog round up
First a quick summery of this weeks blog posts. On Tuesday I posted the Tyranid Gallery
a picture heavy post with many pictures of my painted aspiring horde.

Then on Thursday I posted The Swarm Evolves the second part to the previous weeks
The Swarm Approaches, a kind of before and after look at my Tyranid army with the new Codex being released in between. The post also contains some pics of some old games from 2012.

My hobby week
I have to admit, my hobby week has been a slow one. I started playing Minecraft again after seeing some cool lets plays, and boy what a time sink that game is.

All week I've been saying to myself that I need to do something just so I have something to write about today. And today I did just that.

First up I needed to sort out my painting table. While the table itself has been set up in my new house since I moved in, my paints, brushes and other tools have all been sat in boxes. In fact my painting table has been used primarily as a desk since I moved. Recently it's housed my laptop and it's become my writing desk. Well it was time for that to change.

I realised earlier today that this has been a hindrance mentally to picking up my paint brush and I was suddenly reminded of an old blog post I wrote 2 and a half years ago Good habits and getting distracted . Particularly the section on establishing a painting area and the benefits of having a dedicated painting table.
My painting table, relatively clutter free and ready to paint Tyranids

So now once again my painting table is organised with everything I need for my Tyranids close to hand making it so much easier to sit down for a quick half hour session when I get a chance.

What's more I actually put the table to good use today and spent a couple of hours working on my Hive Tyrant and I think it may be finally finished after waiting 18 moths in a half painted state. I still need to finish up the base and in fact as I'm just waiting for the Nuln Oil wash on the base to dry I figured it would be a good chance to write this post.
The finished Hive Tyrant with just the base to finish and after looking at this pic, perhaps a couple of touch ups
Going back to a point I brushed over earlier (excuse the pun), I want to add that it was a great motivator knowing I had to write this post today and I wanted to have some hobby progress to show. I can't guarantee that I'll have hobby progress every week but in those weeks I don't I can guarantee there'll be a heavy air of shame about the post.

The Week Ahead
Hopefully I'll get another 2 blog posts up during the week. I want to update you on The Dark Pact and I haven’t decided what the other article will be yet. I'm not sure to what extent I'll stick with the Tuesday and Thursday schedule either. I definitely want to maintain the Sunday post, I just don't want to get burnt out on the blog by forcing myself to commit to three articles each week. Like I said last week this is still very much a work in progress.

As for my hobby week, I think next on my painting table will be my Broodlord and two Zoanthropes. I figure they should be relatively quick and easy to get out of the way. After that more Termagants. I'm think another 12 to get the unit I have up to 30, and will probably aim to have 10 of those armed with Devourers.

Not saying I'm going to get all of that done, but that's the order I'm tackling things.

And that's it for this Week in Hobby.If you like the post comment and share it with your friends

Till next time... 


Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Swarm Evolves

 This is a relatively long post, so grab a coffee and get comfortable. (Tea would be acceptable as well if)

Last week I compiled a list of my current Tyranid models and their values under the old Codex. With the release of the latest Tyranid codex at the weekend it's time to update those values and consider how my army has changed.

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be any sort of master tactician. While I've played 40k on and off since 2nd edition, I've only played a handful of games with 6th edition, and I've never played in any real tournaments for 40k (in fact I've only even played in one and that was for Warhammer). I tend to play for fun and much prefer the narrative side of the game.

Bare in mind as well that I've not played any games with the new book, so what follows will largely be first impressions, also any sort of analysis will be very much focused on my own specific army rather than the book as a whole. So don't expect a complete review of the book.

First up will be the basic numbers of the overall army before I talk about any specifics. Remember these numbers don't include any biomorphs, just weapons.

Old Codex
New Codex

Unit QTY
Unit QTY
Points difference
Fast Attack
Heavy Support
So first up you can see that overall my army decreased points wise by almost 300 points or 8% which is pretty good. I could add a Harpy and Hive Crone for those points or just one of those in a 2000pt game or so.

There were a lot of points decreases across the board, however there were a few noticeable exceptions. The Ripper Swarms collectively went up 39 points and the Genestealers' scything talons also went up adding 32 points to their total. Both of these increases make me less inclined to want to take them/paint them, especially when other troops choice have gone down, and it's not like I'm short of other troops choices and I already talked in the last post about how I have too many Genestealers anyway.
To break up the article I'm adding a few unpublished pics from some old games.
The Tervigon also went up by 25 points. Technically it went up by more, but mines got crushing claws which went down in price giving a lesser net increase. I've never used the Tervigon in a game before so it's difficult for me to comment on how it's rules have changed, but the internet is largely crying that this unit has been nerfed heavily. I'm looking forward to trying it out from a blank perspective, so I can judge what it's like now without any real reference to what it use to be like.

Talking about crushing claws, their rules have changed quite a bit going from adding D3 attacks to adding 1 strength and giving the armour bane special rule. I quite like the change. Looking at the model for them, I never understood how they were supposed to grant the model extra attacks. Now they have rules that allows them to crush stuff, like you would think crushing claws should.

Having said that I armed my Tervigon with crushing claws precisely for the extra attacks to take advantage of the smash rule in 6
th editition, which halves your attacks rounding up and doubles your strength. Modifiers such as those given by the crushing claw would be applied after. So with 3 attacks, with crushing claws you'd always choose to smash because you'd get S10 with 3-5 attacks anyway. With the new rules for crushing claws, they're not quite so perfect for the Tervigon. At least now it's not always going to be a no brainer to choose to smash or not.

The first couple are from my game with Paul on 3/7/12. I don't think this Farseer lasted much longer

Now lets talk about some units that have got cheaper.

Starting with the Troops Hormagaunts have got cheaper, although if you kit them out with adrenal glands and toxin sacs, like I use to, they stay the same. I equipped them with both for the nice combo of being able to re-roll to wound against T4 models on the charge, which with the quantity of attacks normally would do a decent amount of damage. With the change to scything talons however, I'm consider taking the Hormagaunts without any upgrades and taking advantage of their base reduction in points.

I was always in two minds about whether I should take all the upgrades or take twice the number anyway. Even with the upgrades they still die as easy and a unit rarely gets into combat fully intact anyhow, so perhaps more is better, especially now they can run faster as well.
Termagants have seen some nice changes too in my mind. Not only are they also cheaper but they can take devourers for less as well, making that unpainted unit of 20 with devourers that I have much much cheaper. It took me a while to notice, but you can also mix and match weapons in units now, so the idea of taking say units of 30, 10 with devourers becomes quit appealing. The cheaper fleshborer models making an effective meat shield for the more expensive devourer wielding ones.

The ability to mix and match weapons affects most units now opening up some interesting possibilities. Tyranid warriors for example. While on the surface they didn't really change, the ability to take just one or two lash whip and boneswords, rather than kitting out the whole unit with such an expensive upgrade again creates more options and possibilities to consider.

I know Tyranid warriors have their flaws, but I like them, I remember when a Tyranid army was basically Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers and Carnifex and to me not including them in a Tyranid army is like not including Tactical marines in a Space Marine army or Ork Boyz in an Ork army. So anything giving them more options is fine by me.

For me though the big one where being able to mix and match weapons really matters is with the Carnifexes. I built my Carnifexes before the last codex, before they could form units. I didn't want them to all be the same (in fact I didn't want any 2 units to be the same) so I armed them differently. So imagine my disappointment when you could combine them into units
only on the condition that they were all armed the same! Units were also incredibly expensive, a unit of 3 with no upgrades would set you back 480 points.

These last two are from my game against Ben's Necrons at the Poole GW store 17/7/12
Now finally I can include all 3 of my Carnifexes in the one unit. Not only that but they are collectively 145 points cheaper. I'm definitely going to see about getting these guys on to the board. Even under the old codex I wanted to try out a unit of Carnifex, but that involved buying new ones. Now I have no excuse.
My Zoanthropes and Tyrant guard got a decent price cut as well. Many of the elite choices did, like Lictors and Hive Guard...but I don't own those models yet. I havn't worked out any lists yet but I'm thinking the Tyrant guard may make it in now. A Hive Tyrant with a full set of Tyrant guard is a pretty solid unit. It's quite a pricey unit but now it's cheaper it's probably worth another look.

The options for the Hive Tyrant have changed quite a bit too. I use to take him with an Armoured shell, giving him a 2+ armour save. This is no longer an option so I'm going to have to think about what upgrades to give him and to be honest this is one unit I've not fully explored yet.
I got well and truly owned. Strangely I don't have any pictures of that stage of the game.

There's one more thing that stuck out to me, and it's an upgrade not a unit; adrenal glands. These now provide fleet as well as the furious charge special rule they had in the last book. This is an upgrade that a majority of units can take. Now I know the rules for fleet may not be as good as they were in 5th edition, (or it's debatable at least) but for an army that needs to get across the table, I can see myself taking these for every unit that doesn't already have fleet, in particular I'm thinking about the Carnifexes and Hive Tyrant.

Right that's probably all I want to talk about for now. There's definitely more I could talk about but I've gone on just about long enough and these are just the things that jumped out at me. My next task is to draw up some army lists for some small 1000pt games using what I've got painted so far and to see what they're like in practice.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tyranid Gallery

I'm still working on the promised second part of last weeks article The Swarm Approaches I should have that up on Thursday. In the mean time I wanted to post a gallery of my painted Tyranids so far.

Some of these pictures I may have posted on Twitter around the time I first painted them but that was a long while ago now, plus I wanted to collate them all in one place for posterity. They're ordered chronologically based on when I painted them.

In the future I may update this post as I complete more units or if I can figure out how I'll create a separate area of the blog where I can store galleries.

I will create a painting guide at some point for these too. When I do I'll update this post to include the link to that here.

Initial Test models

The colour scheme is surprisingly easy to do. It was inspired by Citadels new paint range when that was released 2 years ago

Obviously the scheme for the bases was decided on later

These last two models were another colour scheme I was considering.

While I really liked this scheme I decided on the yellow and blue mainly because it was more striking

Gaunts lots of gaunts 

Note: This is the same group of Termagants photographed from 3 different angles

I really wish I had already painted this many

Big time...

There are 18 Termagants and 18 Hormagaunts painted here. They're a funny number because 4 were used for test models.

And it really bugs me that they're not an even 20. An extra 2 models for each unit is a priority.

Fun fact: I painted all 38 in one big batch...never again will I batch paint with that many...I wanted to rip my eyes out

Tyranid Warriors

6 Warriors with Death Spitters and a barbed strangler. You might notice some odd specks on their carapace.

That's the snow, the powder got everywhere, like sand from a beach. I've cleared it off the models now.



My first go at a monstrous creature. After all those troops I decided I needed a treat.

I really love this model. I'm particularly proud of how I've posed him.

Although I did that several years before I painted him

 Group Shot


These are the majority of what I've got painted so far

I really like how these guys look as a swarm. The yellow and blue works well in large numbers

I'm looking forward to the day I can cover a gaming table with these critters

Fun Fact No.2:
I went for snow basing largely because I had some GW snow lying about for years and wanted an excuse to use it



Once I painted these I obviously decided they didn't warrant another set of group shots. They also only got 1 photo compared to 2-3 for all the other units. I'm sure they feel under appreciated and thus under perform in battle to spite me

 Work in progress Hive Tyrant


Yep, if you've paid attention to previous posts you may have worked out that this has been a work
in progress for about 18 months. He also only gets a portrait photo rather than a proper landscape one.

I don't know what the Genestealers are grumbling about