Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dardreg Gargant: Hobby Hiatus Pt 1

Hello blogosphere.  I have been away for quite some time.  This article is not going to be about the Codicier’s delicious models or tactics.  If that is all you want, then I salute you, and you can come back on Friday.  This article is going to be about the elemental struggle to stay in the game.  It happens to everyone at some point.  You work too hard, suffer an injury, just get wrapped up in video games, or whatever.  At some point you look at your models and your paints and think, “What is it all for?”  That is what this article is about: my personal experience struggling to maintain my hobby.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Product Review: Sunlight Lamp

While I was moving, one of my desk lamps was broken. I'm a firm believer in painting with multiple light sources to eliminate shadows. It's just as important when photographing models, so I needed to pick up a lamp ASAP.

Until now, I've always used standard lamps with compact fluorescent bulbs (I find they produce a whiter light than incandescent bulbs). These aren't great but they are cheap and readily available. However, while looking for a lamp, I found this. It's a lamp that purports to mimic natural sunlight for just under $25. The replacement bulbs are pretty affordable too, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Elites Part 2


Dreadnoughts became a bit more limited in this edition because grenades now hit them normal weapon skill in assault. Therefore, units with krak grenades and meltabombs will quite quickly bring down a Dreadnought in assault. Therefore, their firepower is now their most important role.

The two most commonly seen load-outs for a fire support Dreadnought are twin-linked lascannon and missile launcher (better for taking on heavy armor) or a pair of twin-linked autocannons (better for light armor and pretty reliable for hitting fliers). The plasma cannon is worthwhile for taking on heavy infantry. The assault cannon and multi-melta are too short ranged for a dedicated fire support Dreadnought, and the twin-linked heavy bolter lacks the punch you need.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Devastators

I've been away from my painting desk for about a month and a half due to traveling and moving, but my painting desk is set up now and it's back to work. For my first project, I grabbed three more Ultramarines Devastators and painted them up.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Elites Part 1

Terminator Squad

The standard (or Tactical) Terminator squad provides a good mix of firepower and assault ability. The unit carries storm bolters and power fists (or a power sword on the Sergeant), and can carry an assault cannon, cyclone missile launcher, or heavy flamer to augment their firepower. A chainfist will allow them to reliably deal with any vehicles.

Terminators should primarily be thought of as a firepower unit. They produce a great deal of firepower on the move when armed with either the assault cannon or the missile launcher. Avoid the heavy flamer, as the Terminators really should be applying their firepower at range rather than rushing into assault.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Model the Griffon Heavy Mortar?

As some of you may know, I'm building an Imperial Guard detachment to supplement my Blood Angels. One of the models I want to use is the Griffon, but Games Workshop no longer makes a model for it. It's supposed to look like this:

There are some options. Forgeworld has a Griffon and a Bombard, which could stand in for a Griffin or Colossus. However, at roughly $71 and $93 respectively, they are both expensive models. I was looking for something more reasonable. Another option is to convert a Basilisk model by cutting down its main gun. It's serviceable, but I was looking for something more unique.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Dedicated Transports


The Rhino was a very common feature of Space Marine armies in 5th Edition, but it’s less required now. As discussed in the Tactical squad entry, most infantry now move and fire well without needing a transport to close with the enemy. The Rhino’s role is limited to protecting the squad inside from fire (particularly overwhelming anti-heavy infantry fire such as plasma cannons and Flamers of Tzeentch) and moving the squad quickly across the field (which it does better now that it can move 18”). One or two Rhinos may be worth taking in order to take objectives from your opponent, but they definitely have a downside. Rhinos are an easy kill, and they make it very easy for your opponent to pick up First Blood. If you take some, keep them hidden until First Blood has been scored.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Troops

Tactical Squads

Tactical squads, despite their ubiquity, have been much maligned as pretty lackluster. In 5th Edition, they were fairly survivable but that was about it. They didn’t produce much medium range firepower unless they stayed still, and even then they didn’t do too much. They needed to close to within 12” to really let loose, but then they would get charged and they were pretty pitiful in assault. This meant that they needed a Rhino to get close and a Sergeant with power fist in order to give them some bite in close-combat. This resulted in an expensive squad that couldn’t do too much compared to similarly priced units from other slots.

I am happy to say that these days are over. In 6th Edition, Tactical Marines really shine as a Troops choice. This is almost entirely down to the fact that rapid fire weapons can now move and shoot at full range, though being able to snap fire heavy weapons on the move helps too. Overwatch, combined with Tacticals high rate of close-ranged fire, makes them less vulnerable to assault. A Tactical squad puts out reliable medium range firepower while moving, allowing them to contribute to the battle from Turn 1. This means that they don’t have to have a Rhino anymore; it provides more mobility and protection, but they’ll fight just as well without it. In addition, the new challenge rules mean that Sergeants probably won’t add much in assault. Against more dangerous characters, the Sergeant will be challenged and killed before they can swing. Against weaker characters, the Sergeant will be challenged to prevent him from killing multiple models. In my experience, arming a Sergeant for close-combat is almost never worth the points. If your Tactical squads are in assault, another squad with better close-combat capacity needs to bail them out.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Special Characters with Chapter Tactics

Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists

Pedro Kantor has the standard Chapter Master stat line and rules, and carries a power fist and extra nasty storm bolter. In addition, he replaces Combat Tactics with Stubborn and makes Sternguard squads scoring. Finally, he gives all squads within 12” +1 attack.

Kantor is great for a Sternguard heavy army, as he allows you to take minimal Troops choices and still have a strong scoring presence. This produces a strong shooting army, but his other rules sadly don’t work well with that. Stubborn will keep your units in assault, when you would really prefer them to fall back so that you can shoot the enemy. His +1 attack bubble will help his squads in assault, but the squads that he normally is paired with (like Sternguard) don’t do much in assault even with an extra attack. I prefer to pair him with at least one Terminator squad, who really benefit from the extra attack.

In my experience, Kantor’s biggest weakness is that he is easy to kill. With only power armor and an Iron Halo, he can be killed by power swords before he even swings his power fist. Even against other foes with power fists, I find that Kantor and his opponent usually kill each other.

Though Kantor has some conflicting special abilities and isn’t too dangerous on his own, he is reasonably priced for what he brings to an army. When commanding an army designed around his abilities, Kantor is extremely useful.

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