Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Eastern Push, Part 3

Over the weekend I had a few hours to sit down and get to work on the models I will need for this list.. and to watch The Thing.


Mostly I watched The Thing, and ended up carrying on with the assembly the following day. Everything in the picture above was assembled (with some part swapping on the Necromutants and Necromutant Leaders for more variety) but eventually I ran out of bases.


Of course, I am also 5 space zombies short. I found my old kickstarter stuff in a box and helpfully I had left it all on the resin frames. Everything, that is, but the Undead Legionnaires. For some reason I had cut them all off and tossed the parts loose into the box. I think I will leave the assembly of the last five for another day..


Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Eastern Push, Part 2

One of the great things about a 500 point list is that they are relatively inexpensive to do, with many starter boxes coming in at around 400 points, with a single purchase (a character or a support squad) easily taking you across that 500 point line.

The Eastern Push is no exception, and can be built from the Dark Legion starter box, with the addition of a Nepharite of Algeroth, a box of 5 Undead Legionnaires and a box of 5 Necromutants. If you do that, I'd recommend using the spare Necromutant Leader model from the starter as the Squad Commander for the Necromutant squad - just remember to put him on a 30mm base! That then frees up a single regular Necromutant to act as the Squad Commander upgrade for the Undead Legionnaires.

Speaking of the troop squads, how will they work in this list?

The Necromutants are relatively straight forward - an 'elite' troop type squad that comes in at 19 points per model - almost double that of an Undead Legionnaire! They are decent in close combat, better at range (Ranged Skill 14 with an assault rifle that can get 2 shots, both at strength 12), and have good durability with tough armour (24) and a built in 1 in 4 chance to survive a wound thanks to Heal (5). They don't have a lot of abilities, unfortunately, but they should do a good job of protecting Quinzel while she's hanging out with them.
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The Undead Legionnaire squad, however, is the workhorse of this list with a massive 17 models to manage during their activation. On paper they are shooty but slow, with a speed of 4 and the inability to Run, Rapid Fire or go on Sentry. They aren't fantastic shots either, with a Ranged Skill of 11 but they ARE cheap, and are allowed to field a lot more special weapons per 5 models in the squad than the basic troops of other armies. However, with the correct support, Undead Legionnaires can be extremely resource card efficient and are able to move across the table with surprising speed.

For starters, we have the basic Necromutant who is an addition to the squad and can act as the squad commander. Simply by having him the in the squad, we push the base speed of the space zombies up to 5. Next we have the Necromutant Leader attached to the squad. His passive ability Whip says that Undead Legionnaires beginning their activation within 6" (which should be the whole squad as long as he is in the middle) gain an extra point of speed, bringing them up to 6. He also has two Dark Symmetry powers - one to curse the squad the Legionnaires will shoot at (so that up to 3 casualties in that squad that turn will immediately rise again as Undead Legionnaires) and another to buff the strength of all weapons in the squad, making it easier to achieve those casualties in the first place.

Finally we have the By My Will ability possessed by Quinzel. For the cost of 3 resource cards, nearby Undead Legionnaire squads can make perform a free Walk action. Thus a typical turn will involve activating Quinzel and her retinue first, casting Cleansing of the Void onto the Undead Legionnaire swarm, then using By My Will to make them advance 5". Then when the Undead Legionnaire squad get their own activation, they can Walk again - this time 6" - and all fire. This is equivalent to all models in the squad running (normally 2 AP) and then shooting (1 AP), which would require the use of 17 resource cards under normal circumstances. This is why we want as many HMGs in the squad as possible. Quantity will surely win the day!

But how about the army itself? Luckily, I had a spare Dark Legion starter box laying around, plus a Necromutant blister I hadn't opened yet. I have a Nepharite of Algeroth model too (because he's a great looking model that really matches with his art work) but sadly he is already built and painted. So instead, I will be using my Kerheela model. Granted she's a Nepharite of Illian, but there's nothing wrong with a little variety! Finally, I'll need some more Undead Legionnaires as you only get 10 in the starter. I have about a million of them from the Warzone kickstarter but I have no clue where they are (and besides, the newer ones are MUCH cleaner sculpts and look far less fiddly to assemble). I'll have to order them in, along with some extra Secret Weapon bases for them all. But this is what I have so far..


Friday, 1 December 2017

Another project? Sure, why not

So today, one of my colleagues on the Warzone playtesting team said something blasphemous like "Undead Legionnaires are rubbish*" and I took that as a challenge to prove him wrong.

Mich Cie and I are currently running a small contest over on the Warzone Facebook group, and I figure what better way to prove my colleague wrong - who is, in fact, Mich Cie - than by doing it publicly? So here we go with my own 'entry' into the contest. The challenge is to complete a thematic 500 point force and when it comes to the Mutant Chronicles setting, what's more thematic than an endless horde of space zombies marching on a beleaguered defensive line?

Giant shoulder pads you say?

Well, okay, apart from that.

Yeah, that's right, space zombies.



Now, the rules of the competition say that the list must be legal (for standard OOC - I should add that part) but it does not have to be competitive. However, I don't see why we can't do both! After punching a few numbers into a calculator, this is what I came up with: The Eastern Push!

Characters:

Nepharite of Algeroth (90pts)
--Devouring Darkness (5pts)
--Cleansing of the Void (15pts)
--Total: 110pts

Necromutant Leader (50pts)**
--Bringer of Dark Tools (Free)**
--Portal of Undeath (20pts)
--Total: 70pts

Troop Squads:

Undead Legionnaire Squad
--15x Undead Legionnaires (150pts)
--1x Necromutant Squad Commander (19pts)
--6x Valcheck HMGs (48pts)
--Total: 217pts

Necromutant Squad
--5x Necromutants (95pts)
--Total: 95pts

Army Total: 492pts

That's right. Not a single Razide!

Now, I will be honest. I started out with two max sized Undead Legionnaire squads but although I could *just* about fit in the Nepharite, the addition of the Dark Symmetry powers really started to chip away at those squads, with compromises in weapons (fewer HMGs) or zombies (10 per squad would still be okay.. right?). But while I loved the idea of fitting up to 33 models into a 500 point list, I could see that it wasn't going to work very well on the tabletop.

The point Mich made was that Undead Legionnaires need a lot of other models in the list to really make them work and they rely heavily on Dark Symmetry buffs to make them more effective. As a Bauhaus player I know all about this because the same thing is often said about Hussars.

So, I dropped the second squad in favour of some bodyguards for my Nepharite, who I am calling "Quinzel".

Quinzel has three jobs in the game.

1) Don't die.
2) Push the space zombies forwards and keep them on their feet.
3) Stab vehicles until they stop shooting.

One of the problems this list will have is a low number of activations, so Cleansing of the Void is an early game spell to give the Undead Legionnaire squad some resiliency to all that fire they are going to have to soak up. Once the zombies have mostly fallen to pieces in the late game it can be cast on her and her retinue instead.

Devouring Darkness ticks the box for "Always be debuffing" - a mantra every Dark Legion player should live by. Casting D type powers doesn't cost DL spell casters any action points so even a cheap one like this is worth taking. If Quinzel is engaged by one or more capable CC enemies or worse yet, a character, you can get this pseudo attack in for free - potentially stunning your opponent - before you make your own CC attack.. and stunned models are hit in CC automatically. Nice.

Next we have the Necromutant Leader, who will be attached to the Undead Legionnaire squad, with both Bringer of Dark Tools and Portal of Undeath. The latter is a mechanism to help replace space zombie casualties by raising the enemy models from the grave, while the former will be essential if we actually want to kill some enemy models in order to turn them into space zombies.

32 shots in one activation sounds great (like.. Kodiak great) until you remember that 27 of them are at RS 11, and will almost certainly be over half range. By boosting the strength of the squads weapons, we are at least minimising the number of shots that hit but fail to penetrate the target's armour.

ST 12 on the 9 Kratach ARs
ST 13 on the 6 Valcheck HMGs
ST 14 on the 2 Belzarach ARs.

Not too shabby!

Next time I will briefly cover the two squads and start the task of gathering up all the miniatures I need for The Eastern Push!

* He may not have actually said that.
** The wrong points cost you say? Hm..

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Another little project off the check list

I finally got around to sending off my vehicle wound tracker designs to Troll Trader a few weeks ago and I received the templates today. A few things seem to have gone awry with the cutting process but I can still totally make something usable out of these..


Somehow the hole didn't get cut, so I drilled it out. Note to self, drill it out before you glue the two halves together so that you can sand it down properly afterwards..



The long rectangular nameplate was supposed to be kept, but it seems like they threw it away with the rest of the cut outs! Doh! I made one up from a few layers of plasticard.


This had the added advantage that I could 'test' the idea of the wound tracker being made from acrylic as well, with the idea being that whatever colour the rest of the tracker was, the nameplate would be in opaque white acrylic so the player could write on it.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

More putty..

I added some interior details to the passenger compartment (two Cap Light Infantry backpacks and an M50 assault rifle) then finally took the plunge and glued the front and back sections together, rendering the interior more or less inaccessible for further painting.



After that, more milliput, and more sanding once that dries. I'm so close to actually being able to start painting the exterior!




Monday, 11 September 2017

Almost there

Interiors done, ready for for final assembly of the fuselage and then we will see what gap filling is required above the cockpit and below the passenger compartment.




Sunday, 10 September 2017

I see a grey helicopter and I want to paint it black

..but I cant. At least, not yet.

I finished filling the gaps and then re-doing the intentional gaps between the panels, theb sanded down the Milliput so that it is hopefully smooth enough that it will blend in with the resin once painted. Spent a little while trying to hot water bend the landing gear into the right shape as well as the passenger compartment floor on both halves. It looks straight now but I guess I will find out when I try to glue it together.



However, I've decided I want to paint the interior and the easiest way to do that is to paint it before glueing the two halves of the fuselage together. This is complicated by the fact that the two points where the parts join will both have gaps that need to be filled and sanded, which would make a mess of a primer coat if I put one down.

So Ive primed only the interior for now, which I will paint tomorrow. Then I can perform the necessary putty work and sand it, mask off the interior and prime the rest of the LARC..