I already have a Malignant Plaguecaster model for my Death Guard army. But, like many others, I think the model doesn’t match the awesomeness of its rules.
I’m working on a Death Guard list that uses the Poxmongers Plague Company. I’d like to have a model carrying the Poxmongers exclusive relic, the Ironclot Furnace. This relic is supposed to spout some sort of smoke that helps protect one unit of Daemon Engines. So, I felt the model carrying this relic should look like it’s producing smoke.
I saw the Master of Possession model and the flaming skulls on its back made me think it was a great model to be converted to a Malignant Plaguecaster with Ironclot Furnace. But, I would add some personal pizazz with flickering LED’s and creative use of clear resin and diffusers.
I started by drilling out 3 clear resin skulls and one clear resin flame from Zinge. I drilled them so I could put an LED inside each of them.
Then, a lot of soldering later, all 4 were wired up for lighting.
I also replaced the model’s head with a Plague Marine head, so it has the same Mk.3 feel as the rest of the Legion. I drilled out its eyepiece and hollowed it out to put an LED in too. Now its eyes light up!
Instead of my usual, bulky 24AWG wires, I used much smaller 28AWG wires. They were much more fragile and difficult to work with. But, with an infantry model rather than a vehicle, I needed to use these smaller wires.
I’m particularly proud of the base. I wanted it to represent undead plague zombies and suggest the Plaguecaster was a sort of necromancer. This base has the torsos of a new Plaguebearer, old metal Plaguebearer, and a Poxwalker. I wanted them to look like they were bursting out of the ground.
I also replaced the tip of the Master of Possession’s staff. The symbol is from an old metal Plaguebearer banner.
I spent a lot more time than usual shading and edging this model. I think the quality is pretty good. The skulls even look good with the LED’s off.
I got the First Strike Warhammer 40k Starter Box several years ago. I painted the Space Marine models quickly, but the Death Guard models stayed in the box for years. Something about the COVID-19 pandemic got me thinking about plague, disease, and the Death Guard / Nurgle models. And, since I was prettymuch where I wanted to be with my Imperial Fists tournament list, it seemed like a good time to try something new.
For those that don’t know, in the fictional Warhammer 40k universe, Nurgle is the Chaotic Daemon god of disease, decay, death and destruction. Death Guard and the Poxwalkers are thralls or servants of Nurgle. Seemed a bit appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And The Hooded Goblin friendly local gaming store (FLGS) was running a painting competition, so it was even more incentive to paint them up real good. And, the Rhino won me second place in the category!
So, I actually have 4 different batches of models painted for 3 different categories:
Squad of Death Guard Marines and Poxwalkers
Large: Myphitic Blight-hauler (vehicle)
Character: Daemon Prince of Nurgle
Large: Death Guard Rhino “The Goober Uber”
Death Guard Chaos Space Marines and Poxwalkers
I wanted to really push my painting abilities with this new little project. So, I decided I would try all the “tricks” of contrast paint and washes. And using a brand new very fine brush for details helped too.
I started by making really fancy bases. I bought a box of 340 skulls, so I put 3 skulls on each base as a nod to the Nurgle symbol. The bases for the Space Marines even feature bodies of fallen foes, like a Dark Angel on one, and an Imperial Guardsman on another. And then each base got some “texture” from Milliput putty.
The Space Marine models were even more detailed than the Poxwalkers. I used a similar formula to the Poxwalkers. But I added shading of Death Guard green on armour, and lots of brass-looking parts I painted Balthasar Gold. And I actually did use Dark Angel Green contrast paint for the body on the base.
I’m really happy about how they turned out. I kind of begrudge having to paint more. I did such a detailed and careful job on these that I realize I will have to spend a lot of time on future to finish the squads if I want to keep up the quality.
I bought this on a bit of a whim. I had so much success painting the Death Guard models, I thought I’d try it with a vehicle. And the Myphtic Blight-hauler model is actually pretty cheap as far as Games Workshop models go, and looked pretty fancy.
But, as with all of my favourite models, I wanted to add some electronics to really make it stand out. I decided the “eye” in the front would be a little more sinister and used a red/green/blue flickering LEDs from Zinge. And in the multi-melta I put two yellow flickering LEDs. Getting them IN the barrel of the gun was quite a trick. I had to drill a lot of small holes, but then it still wasn’t enough room, so I sort of expanded the gun and filled in the gaps with Milliput.
The model was actually quite a bit smaller than I expected, and I didn’t have room for the batteries to be in the model. So, I put them and the switch in the base and masked it with a lot of Milliput.
The base features a dead Space Marine like the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines. This time an Ultramarine because I had lots of Ultramarine decals to use. It was actually one of the bodies ripped out of the Land Speeder for Da Red Gobbo project.
The paint was similar to the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines above. But there was a lot more “organic” parts, so those were done more like the poxwalkers using lots of Magos Purple.
It was kind of liberating to paint such “dirty” models. The imperfections of using putty actually resemble the “fleshy” parts of the models. And pooling and splotches in the armour look grungy, which is a feature. A far cry from the clean, prim and proper loyalist Space Marines.
I am overall super-happy with how it turned out. I’m considering getting two more to make a full squad!
Daemon Prince of Nurgle
I got a Lord of Contagion model on eBay, but I wasn’t too excited about its rules and use in the game. I was much more excited about potentially adding a Daemon Prince with Wings to my list. But the Nurgle Daemon Prince model doesn’t look so great to me. So, I made a conversion!
I started with the Lord of Contagion model. The head is from a different Death Guard Chaos Space Marine. I added wings I plucked off of a Tyranid Gargoyle. And the “malefic talon” is a lightning claw pilfered from a Space Marine Terminator model from the Space Hulk boxed set. The rest of the Terminator is a corpse on the base.
Painting this guy took quite a bit of time. He’s a BIG model too! I used prettymuch the same colour scheme for the Space Marines. Magos Purple was the main colour for the wings and cape. The “green fire” from the censer hanging behind him is many layers of Biel-Tan Green shade.
Death Guard Chaos Space Marine Rhino “The Goober Uber”
I started this project almost by accident. I was thinking about how much I enjoyed painting the Blight-Hauler. And I realized that if I was going to every play with the Death Guard Marines, it might be nice to have a transport. Well, I have two or three Rhino hulls lying around, so I decided to try my hand at another conversion.
So, I’m starting with a very old Ultramarine Razorback. This is one of the first models I painted back in like 1997. I actually base-coated it yellow already in anticipation of adding it to my Imperial Fists.
I had a lot of fun “decorating” the tank. I don’t have a Chaos vehicle upgrade sprue, so I improvised. I used the original bulldozer spikes as trophy racks. Then many skulls from the aforementioned skull pack to adorn the doors and front. And LOTS of Milliput for tentacles and some sort of brain/puss thing growing in the back.
The Lord of Contagion model I converted to the Daemon Prince had an icon of sorts that I removed to make room for the wings. I attached that to the top of the Rhino with magnets, and I think it looks pretty sharp.
I posted the above “work in progress” picture on a Facebook group. Someone commented that it looked like someone waiting for his Goober Uber. I think that name is going to stick.
The colours are the same idea as the oher models in this post. I was surprised how good the Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint looked on flat surfaces like the tank. The tentacles were especially fun to do with Magos Purple, because the contrast paint really highlights the “imperfections.”
Overall, I’m quite happy with my little Death Guard collection. I’m itching to buy more, but I have most of the Death Guard side of the Dark Imperium box to paint. I am just not looking forward to having to paint all of them so well!
In Fall 2019, Games Workshop’s Christmas Marketing was centered around the (re-)release of Da Red Gobbo model. It’s a Gretchin/Grot revolutionist, who in this iteration has a Santa-like motif. I haven’t painted an Ork since 2nd Edition, and currently had no Orks, and had no plans to get any Orks, so I thought I’d safely ignore the whole thing.
In late November 2019, I went to my local Games Workshop store (now called Warhammer Heartland) to buy some paints and supplies. The gentleman there said there would be a painting competition and events for Da Red Gobbo model. I wound up buying Da Red Gobbo model.
I got home, looked at my pile of things to get tournament ready, and yet decided to start painting the Christmas-themed gremlin thing.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to win “Best Painted.” I know there are much, much more talented painters at my local GW store. But, I know my strength lies in creativity and electronics. So I put my creative juices to work .
I dug through some models that have been languishing in a box and found a Space Marine Land Speeder that I painted back in my 3rd Edition Days (circa 1997). That got me thinking that this could be a Grim Dark Santa Sleigh that Da Red Gobbo and “Da Revolushun” commandeered. I had a couple of Grots lying around that came with a model I bought second-hand. I decided those guys would be the co-pilots.
I had some garlands and trees left over from a terrain piece I started and never finished. And, to light-up Da Red Gobbo’s star and flame to his gun, I went to my stockpile of Zingeflickering LEDs and transparent flames.
Then, a trip to the store (mostly Dollarama) for supplies. I found some ornaments that looked like Christmas Gifts would were almost the right scale for the sleigh. I also found a necklace that had light-up Christmas lights.
I felt like It needed to be more than just a creative conversion and lights. It needed MORE. And so the piece de resistance was adding festive music! I went to Wal-Mart and greeting card that had the electronics to sing “Jingle Bells” with chipmunk-like voices. Perfect!
First, I had to break down the Land Speeder: Rip out the Space Marines, chop off the “spoiler” on the top to make room for the presents, and drill a bunch of holes for the electronics wiring. I felt kind of bad mutilating the marines, but they would get life again… as bodies on enemy bases :p
As for the Red Gobbo, I decided I wanted to have the option to remove him from the Land Speeder, so I hid the battery and switch in an extra-large base I disguised as a Christmas present. His “Icon of da Revolushun” has a star at the end. I replaced that with an LED and made a translucent star around it so the whole star would light up. From the muzzle of “Kustom grot blasta” I wired a flickering LED inside a translucent flaming lens.
The hardest part was probably the music. The circuit board and speaker were actually quite large, about the width of the Land Speeder, so I couldn’t fit it inside. It did fit below, and in the final product you can’t see it unless you turn the vehicle upside-down.
Painting the vehicle, naturally it had to be red for Santa, and because “red wunz go fasta.” The plow in the front is really for a tank, but Santa’s sleigh transitionally has some sort of plow. The candy cane striping makes it festive. The sharp pointy bits make it grimdark.
With a final festive nod, I named it “Slay Ride”
I entered it into the painting competition at the Games Workshop Heartland Town Centre store and won for Best Conversion! Yay!
For an upcoming 2000 points Imperial Fists list, I decided I wanted to include a Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought model. 1d4chan calls it one of the best models Space Marines can field. It is from Forge World, and a discontinued model, but I was able to get one from eBay. It didn’t come with arms, but fortunately I had one for sale. I also bought the Imperial Armour book so I could legally use it in tournaments. I’m a little concerned that the Forge World units will be getting new books soon, but hopefully I can make use of that rulebook I bought.
The popular meta is to give it two close combat weapons (CCW), or a CCW and twin-lascannons. But I didn’t feel like I could put a motor on either of those. So, it has the option to take an assault cannon, which I see as a rotating gatling kind of gun, which would be fun to motorize.
I started by going all out with the lights. First, the four exhaust ports at the back would have the flickering flames that worked so well on my hellhounds. I use these flickering LED’s and transparent flames from Zinge Industries. I also wanted the eyes of the “skull” head to light up. Unfortunately, instead of drilling out the eyes, I drilled out the whole skull. Fortunately, Zinge had a solution for that too: A Transparent Flaming Skull.
I had an oversight putting the skull light and flickering lights on the same battery, because the light for the skull drained so much current that both lights wouldn’t work at the same time. So, I re-wired them onto different batteries but the same switch.
Finally, the motorized assault cannon. This was SO much harder than I thought it would be! First of all, the arm space I have to work with is tiny. Fortunately, I was able to find a motor that would fit in the arm. It’s meant to make cell phones vibrate. I broke 3 of them trying to get it wired correctly. Then, I realized the CR1220 batteries didn’t have enough power for the motor and weight of the “gun barrel part”. So, I added a CR2032 battery.
That left me with a spare switch and battery in the base. I wired that to a light in the front of the base. I think I’ll use that to indicate if the Chaplain’s canticle is in effect for that turn.
I’m very happy with the end result. I can’t wait to bring it to a tournament, and when someone says “it would be even more awesome if the gun worked.” Then I’ll hit a switch and watch the jaws drop!
I shared this on a few Facebook groups, and below is my favourite comment:
I started this year with the question: “What would a high-level bard be like in the #Warhammer40k universe?”
I figured it would be some sort of grimdark heavy metal band. That idea was galvanized around the special Noise Marine model that Games Workshop released in late 2018. But, I play loyalest, Imperial Forces, not Heretical Chaos corrupted fiends. I didn’t imagine many Codex Astartes compliant Chapters would wield electric guitars on the battlefield. But, then it struck me: The Legion of the Damned! They’re on FIRE already!
As for the rest of the band, I painted up a Sister of Silence as the drummer. It seemed appropriate; she won’t speak, but percussion should be right up her alley. And an old Primaris Psyker of mine with a fire motif is up front on vocals.
I called the band “Sophie’s Choice”. The name had several connotations: First of all, we call our infant daughter Sophie. And there’s the book and movie called Sophie’s Choice. And then there is the rather morbid decision ( the eponymous “Sophie’s Choice”) that is in the book and movie centre around.
Then I thought, this band can’t just sit in the corner of a battlefield; a high-level bard in the 40k universe would be riding on a parade-like float. Their “stage” is Mad Max-esque tank with skull icon, built-in speakers, and flame motif. It is a conversion featuring a Chimera and many parts from the Galvanic Magnavent terrain kit.
And they are performing in a packed stadium with spotlights.
But it wasn’t enough for me to just have this vehicle: It needed a whole display. So, I made a display board that would look like a stadium. It would hold an audience!
Sophie’s Choice are performing in a packed stadium. VIP’s are in the stands. The pit is packed with spectators. Spotlights are being carried my sentinel walkers.
I also entered this display as a diorama in the painting competition for Sword and Brush.
The screaming baby face is my infant daughter, who is named Sophie, after all. I wonder what she’ll think about that someday…
My family and I even wore matching shirts for “Sophie’s Choice: Galactic Tour 42019”
I wasn’t able to be there for the judging because I was participating in a concurrent tournament. When I set up the board, it got a lot of buzz. But I was a little disappointed that it didn’t get any awards. There weren’t even any photos of it on the official Sword and Brush photos of the competition.
Another change I made was to have my “Crusader” models act as the stage security. These “counts-as Crusaders” are actually heavily modified old Adeptus Arbites models carrying riot shields.
I was a bit disappointed. During the tournament, many people remarked on the flickering flame LED’s on my Hellhound tanks. I got the parts from Zinge. Since people liked them, I put them on the “Party Bus” too.
I entered the upgraded display board to #armiesonparade at my local Games Workshop at Heartland Town Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
I was surprised and honoured to win “Best Themed Entry” and “2nd place overall”!
I brought the display board to a local tournament in November 2019, and to my surprise I won best painted! I know my models aren’t super-well painted, but I think the concept and flashy lights impressed a lot of people.
How do I top this for next year? I have some plans already… 😉
Josh brought a pretty shiny red Eldar force. I don’t remember exactly what he had, but something like:
Farseer on a bike
10 Dark Reapers
Shining Spears on Jetbikes
5 Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent
3 war walkers
This was a madcap adventure of a scenario!
There is a Mechanicus Character (who I’ll refer to as the Techpriest for the rest of the BatRep) who has valuable information. He is protected by four Kastellan Robots. He’s trying to run from the centre of the table to a corner. The Techpriest can’t be shot, targeted by psychic powers, or suffer mortal wounds. He must be subdued in the fight phase. Once subdued, he can be carried around like The Relic, but if the carrier is slain, he recovers with 1 wound and continues his escape attempt.
I didn’t like the tiny deployment zone. It was only 6″ wide, and most of my tanks are that long. It didn’t give me much ability to “bubble wrap” my tanks.
Eldar Turn 1
Josh got first turn, and immediately did some trickery to get his shining spears into close combat range with 4 of my tanks. They have a long move, then Josh used a psychic power that let them move AGAIN! He skewered my wyvern, took 10 wounds off of Pask, and consolidated into a hellhound. I hate the way people can consolidate without overwatch….
This put me on my heels, and gave me flashbacks to many first turn tablings had before. He got his war walkers into close combat with the Kastellan Robots and tried tying up the Techpriest target.
Guard Turn 1
My turn to strike back. I dropped my “Bullgryn bomb” into the fray in the centre with the Kastellan Robots, Techpriest, and War Walkers. I drove a wounded hellhound towards his wave serpent, as a sort of suicide run; I was counting on in exploding and causing some havoc.
The rest of my troops skewered the Shining Spears that were embedded in my deployment zone.
The bullgryns managed to beat down the War Walkers and Subdue the Techpriest.
Eldar Turn 2
We were both excitedly invested in the game now. Josh was also double-fisting beers at this time, which I think made him more excited.
He threw almost everything he had at the fray in the middle. He blew my Valkyrie out of the sky, but somehow, one of my Bullgryns survived with 1 wound!
Josh deployed the Wraithguard from his Wave Serpent and shot at the wounded Hellhound. As expected, it exploded and took some of the Wraithguard with it!
Guard Turn 2
This turn is a scene that I think would make an epic movie. My last remaining bullgryn made a run out of the middle dragging the Objective with him. I covered his escape with two hellhounds and a taurox.
I really wanted the last Kastellan Robot to kill my Ministorum Priest in Close Combat so I’d get another narrative objective, but, regrettably, the 4++ save saved him.
With my shooting, I managed to finish off Josh’s wraithguard.
Eldar Turn 3
This is a continuation of that epic scene. Josh used the same psychic trickery to get some jetbikes in front of my retreating bullgryn. Somehow, he still survived! I picture about 20 shurikens embedded in the Bullgryn’s slabshield.
Josh used some psychic powers to debuff my Hellhounds, then destroyed them with the dark reapers and D-cannons. The ensuing explosions finished off the jetbikes, Priest, last Kastellan Robot, and the last bullgryn. Very explosive!
However, that means that Techpriest gets back up with 1 wound!
Guard Turn 3
Both Josh and I were desperate NOT to let the Techpriest get away because we would BOTH lose. This is where things got desperate.
I had an infantry squad heading to get a Narrative Objective by waiting in the escape corner. Instead, I charged them into combat with the Techpriest, and surprisingly, their bayonets subdued the target and I reclaimed the objective.
I also started sprinting my Company Commander and last remaining Infantry squad towards to objective from the corner. I got some very favourable advance rolls with the “move, move, move” order.
Eldar Turn 4
Josh brought whatever he had left to the Techpriest, including his farseer on jetbike, and a couple of characters. He managed to kill off my infantry squad, so the Techpriest was free, again!
Even more desperation: Company Commander and last squad of infantry try to chase down the target who has awoken again!
Guard Turn 4
My guardsmen and company commander were able to charge the techpriest, but unfortunately could not subdue him. The 2+ save was pretty good against my AP0 attacks. Should have given the Company Commander a better weapon than a chainsword.
Eldar Turn 5
Josh swept in and removed my infantry, and claimed the objective. That was about it for the game since I had no infantry left to try to claim the objective.
I can imagine the scenario as the Eldar explain what happened to their superiors. Something about the Mon-keigh interfering and trying to take their target, but ultimately they succeeded.
I could have conceded the Relic earlier and tried getting more narrative objectives. But, shooting for the moon made it more exciting.
I mused about making a post like this after my experience at Astronomi-Con. Between this and three other tournaments, I’ve had a chance to try out most Stratagems available to Astra Militarum. Command Points (CP) are increasingly rare, so using them wisely is important. Some Stratagems some are awful, and some are great, especially in combination. I’m going to try to categorize and collect them. They are presented in what I think is best to worst.
Keep in mind that in an FAQ, you can only use each stratagem once per phase. This is especially tough on the Command Re-roll and Vengeance For Cadia!
Prepared Positions – 2CP This new one appeared in BIG FAQ 2 and I’m a big fan. It means if you go second, your whole army (except Titanic units) still in your deployment zone get the benefit of cover. I have been decimated SO many times from having the second turn, and this helps protect the second turn’s army a bit. Can still be combined with Take Cover for 1CP to add +1 to your saving throw. Guardsmen or Conscripts are now wearing power armour for their first turn!
Command Re-Roll – 1CP This gem from the Base Rule Book means you can re-roll any single dice for 1 CP. It still is life-saving (or life-taking depending on the circumstance). Use it to:
save a model from a bad grav-chute drop
re-roll a charge distance
protect against perils in the psychic phase
re-roll a critical armour or invulnerable save
get that hit or wound you desperately need
An FAQ limited this to once per phase, so need to be vigilant of when to use it each phase. I often use it to re-roll explodes for Hellhounds (if I want it to explode).
Defensive Gunners – 1CP
Your vehicle can hit on overwatch on 5’s or 6’s instead of just 6’s. Very handy to protect your tanks. In some cases, heavy weapons were hitting on 5’s anyways during your shooting phase. So, here’s a chance to shoot just as well but in your opponents turn!
Vengeance For Cadia!- 1CP
Against Chaos, all day long, every shooting phase and overwatch. You get to re-roll to hit AND WOUND against Chaos models until the end of the phase with that unit. Pairs well with Defensive Gunners for vehicles for another 1 CP.
Imperial Commander’s Armoury- 1CP/3CP
For 1CP you get an extra relic, which is always handy. Better spend points on this to get the Laurel’s of Command rather than spending 1CP per turn for Inspired Tactics. for two additional relics it costs an additional 3CP, which may not be so great.
Take Cover! – 1CP
I like this one. Any unit gets +1 to their saving throws in the opponent’s shooting phase. Vehicle get a 2+ save. Guardsmen get 4+, or 3+ if they are already in cover. It may not save a unit that’s in the line of fire, but it will force your opponent to invest more fire into that finishing that unit off.
Superior Intelligence – 1CP
Miltarium Tempestus exclusive stratagem. If an opponent sets up a unit from reinforcements within 12″ of a Militarum Tempestus infantry unit, you get an out-of-turn shooting round on that unit with -1 to hit.
I like this, but I don’t know how often you’ll be able to use it. It’s one of those you need to make sure you remember you have. You’d be out of rapid-ire range for hot-shot lasguns, but rapid-fire plasma, melta, hot-shot volley, and plasma pistols are all getting in their extra shots. Infantry only, so the Taurox prime just sits there.
FOR SELECT SITUATIONS
Insane Bravery – 2CP
From the base rule book. Automatically pass a single Morale test. 2CP is rather steep, but if it means a unit doesn’t run off an objective, it may be worth it.
Fight to the death –1CP
A little like Insane Bravery above, but not auto-pass for Morale. Instead, you roll a D3 instead of D6. So, if your guardsman squad lost 4 or less guys, this does result in an auto-pass.
Inspired Tactics – 1CP
An Officer can make an additional order or tank order. Was great when you could CP farm back so many of these. Now, it may be wise to use sparingly.
Overlapping Fields of Fire – 2CP
Cadian exclusive stratagem that adds +1 to hit a unit after it has suffered an unsaved wound. It’s for that unit you’ve nicked and really want to finish off. I like that it can negate -1 to hit shenanigans that many lists have. And it stacks with re-roll stratagems like Aerial Spotter and Vengeance for Cadia. But 2CP can be high to use more than once in a game.
Viscous Traps – 1CP
Catachan exclusive stratagem. If an enemy successfully finish a charge to a Catachan unit (which could be a vehicle) wholly on or within a terrain feature, on a 4+ that unit receives D3 mortal wounds. D3 isn’t that many, but might be a nasty surprise for that Demon Prince that just charged you. Only works on one unit, so it doesn’t have then area of effect that Fire On My Position does.
Counter-Offensive – 2CP
From the base rule book. Lets you “interrupt” the flow of the fight phase and have your model fight after an enemy that charged has fought. Situational, but handy if you know you’re going to get smacked and need to hit the other unit first.
Officio Prefectus Command Tank – 1CP
A Leman Russ and all units within 6″ get Leadership 9. More valuable since the nerf to Commissar’s Summary Execution. Handy if you have a Leman Russ already which you plan to wade into the fray surrounded by guardsmen. But 1CP for an auxiliary detachment and an Inquisitor gives you Leadership 10 (and probably a psyker).
Crush Them! – 1CP
Astra-Militarum vehicles usually have impressive strength (S6-S7) a WS 6+ and at best 3 attacks with no AP. This stratagem lets them hit on a 2+. Beautiful on a Baneblade; kind of lackluster on anything else unless you really want to Crush something.
Mobile Command Vehicle – 1CP
The rules for transports in 8th edition nerfed them pretty hard. If a unit is in a transport, they are technically off the battlefield, and none of their special rules or auras can apply. This lets your Officer in a Chimera (not Taurox) issue orders from within the safety of a Chimera, which is nice, and boost the range of their order as if they were near a vox-caster (the target unit needs a vox-caster too). If you are spending points on Chimera’s at all, this may be used a little.
Jury Rigging – 1CP
Vehicle heals 1 wound, even without a techpriest! But can’t move, charge, or pile in (guard vehicles don’t do that often anyways). Nice for getting up a line in the damage chart if it improves your ballistic skill. Would have been nicer if it was D3 wounds.
Go! Recon! –1CP
Scout Sentinels move 2D6″ in the shooting phase, but then can’t shoot or charge. Can use it even if the sentinel advanced in the movement phase. So a sentinel could theoretically go 9+3D6″ in a turn averaging around 22″. That’s a pretty fantastic move if you want to grab an objective or something.
Aerial Spotter – 2CP
A Wyvern or Basilisk can re-roll failed hit rolls in this phase. Nice effect, but a bit of a steep price for one model getting the re-rolls.
BAD and UGLY
Grenadiers – 1CP
Your whole infantry unit can use grenades during shooting or overwatch. I’ve used this on overwatch a few times and it’s really disappointing. Each model gets D6 shots, that still only hit on 6’s. And it’s equal in punch to a lasgun. Might as well save your CP and take 2 shots per model with the lasgun.
Similarly, on offence, you’ll average about 3 shots per model. Rank Fire at that range gives you 4! Save your CP for something else.
Fire On My Position – 3CP
If a slain unit had a vox-caster, on a 4+ you can rain down D6 mortal wounds for each unit 3″ away. Unless there’s a cluster of 4 ore more units within 3″ your unit which died, you won’t get much out of this. And 3CP is asking a lot!
Preliminary Bombardment – 2CP I have found this one very underwhelming. Statistically, I should get a wound once on every 6 units… doesn’t usually work out that way. I’m lucky to get even 1-2 mortal wounds from this whole Stratagem.
Consolidate Squads – 1CP
I feel like this is a trap. Consolidating squads is nice for orders to go further, but it also means that “battleshock” in the morale phase will be more painful. The meta right now is for multiple small units, and this goes the opposite direction.
NEVER USED, PROBABLY NEVER WILL
Vortex Missile – 3CP
I don’t have any Deathstrikes, and so have never used this. But 3CP seems pretty steep.
What did you think of this list? Should some be higher? Lower?
I attended Astronomi-con for the first time in September, and I don’t know why I haven’t been going for years!
It’s definitely a different kind of event in ALL the best ways. I understand why people go to tournaments to WAAC (win at all costs), but I think Warhammer is more fun when it’s narrative and trying to tell a story. And I think that’s the real joy of the hobby that Mike and Christian have been able to distill into this event.
I finished the tournament with 2 ties, 1 win, and 2 losses. No awards for me, but as my first time, I think I’m pretty happy. I expected a narrative event, but people still brought lists that were TOUGH and POWERFUL. I suppose you don’t want people taking it easy on you.
I plan on writing battle reports for many (if not all) of the 5 battles. But this may be a good summary for the whole thing.
I should note that BIG FAQ 2 dropped the day before this tournament, nerfing the FAQ farm that Astra Militarum used to enjoy so much. I quickly switched out my Warlord’s relic, but I definitely felt the lack of CP.
I was going to write a fluff piece about how this Cadian regement (the 77th) “liberated” a planet, but had no Cadia to return home to. So, they took this abandoned garage as their new home.
And really, I wanted to cram as many vehicles as possible into a list because I like them, and they’re hard to kill.
I used the special Astronimi-con “narrative detachment” (2-3 hq, 4-5 troops, 1-2 Elites, 1-2 fast, 1-2 heavy, 0-1 flyers) for +10 CP.
My army for all five games was the following 90 power list.
Company Commander with Boltgun, Grand Strategist, and Relic of Lost Cadia (Warlord)
Knight Commander Pask in Executioner Leman Russ with Plasma Sponsors, Lascannon, Hunter-Killer Missile, Storm Bolter and track guards
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, Lascannon, and boltgun for sergerant
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, and plasma pistol and power sword for sergeant
ministorum priest with laspistol and chainword
3x bullgryns with Slabshield and bullgryn maul
2x hellhounds with heavy bolter, storm bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile and track guards
1x hellhound with heavy bolter, storm bolter
2x basilisks with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
wyvern with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
-Valkyrie with Lascannon, Multiple Rocket Pods, and 2x Heavy bolters
2x taurox with 2x autocannons and storm bolter
The Bullgryns and Priest were in the Valkyrie and used the tactic that is apparently called the “Bullgryn bomb.” The Valkyrie can move up to 40″, and then the transported units inside can disembark at any point of the movement path, as long as they are 9″ away from an enemy. Then, it’s a regular disembarkation, so the troops inside can move their usual 6″. So, these 3 big angry bullgryns wind up 3″ away from a priority target on turn 1. They really do hit like an avalanche of muscle, with 3 attacks each (4 on the bone ‘ead), +1 attack each on the charge, +1 attack each from the priest = 16 S7 attacks, hitting on 3+, -1 AP, 2D each!
Many things I learned during this tournament:
Hellhounds are THE BOMB! Literally and figuratively. The 2D6 auto-hits are a wonderful trick. There are so many things that reduce the already pitiful accuracy of guardsmen so having something automatically hit is lovely. Especially with overwatch!
I even took out a flyer, with flamethrowers! Does’t sound right, but given how the hitting mechanics works, this is how to do it.
And then, when they run out of wounds, they explode on a 4+. I think I did more damage with my hellhounds on my opponents turns with overwatch and explosions. I literally used that tactic on purpose in my 4th game, driving a hellhound into the middle of his rush and expecting him to blow it up, only to have the bomb decimate all the nearby units.
I’m going to bring 3 hellhounds with EVERY list I make from now on. Perhaps the only thing is that I would try to use Catachan doctrine to re-roll a random dice; the Cadian doctrine, though nice, didn’t synergize well with the aggressive nature of the hellhounds.
The aforementioned Bullgryn Bomb worked well, but doesn’t last long. Even with a 2+, at T5 they go down a lot faster than my tanks. I may substitute an additional Bullgryn for the priest in future lists; I’d have the same number of attacks. Or do a Crusader bomb instead and buff them with a priest and psyker to give them 2++. Crusaders are only S3, but 30 attacks at AP-3, re-rollable 3+ to hit will make a dent, and probably be more survivable.
The Valkyrie in my bullgryn bomb was a bit of a let-down after it dropped it’s troops. The Multiple Rocket Pod was a big let-down. I should have stuck with the hellfire missiles, which are cheaper. The heavy bolters achieved nothing the entire tournament. Lesson, keep the Valkrie cheap.
Indirect fire artillery is awesome! My two Basilisks were wonderful for beating up on whatever target I wanted, from anywhere on the board, no line-of-sight required. I have a model for a 3rd Basikisk I should built and paint soon. The Wyvern was great at erasing infantry units too, but not as good as hellhounds. The thing I need to continue doing is to keep these artillery protected in the back behind layers and layers of the rest of my army.
The Cadian doctrine was good, but mathhammer says Catachan is slightly better; and MUCH better if I plant Sergeant Harker nearby.
Knight Commander Pask is a MONSTER! I can honestly say that about half the damage I caused through the tournament was from this one model. Some of my opponents knew that right off the bat and aimed to remove him quickly. He’s SUPER expensive, but ridiculously damaging, even on overwatch. If I bring him again, I need to keep layers of bubble wrap to protect him.
The Taurox’s were good… not great. The beauty of the Tauroxes is that they’re cheap; only 4 PL. In points, would I rather have two Tauroxes, or a Leman Russ?
Their autocannons did a whole lot of nothing. Hitting on 5+ when they move doesn’t help. The storm bolters ironically forced more armour saves. It’s nice that they protect my squishy troops from first round massacres. And T6 3+ with 10 wounds is a pretty good bargain for 4 PL.
In power level games, all the upgrades are free, so I should continue to abuse that. Hunter-Killer missiles for everything. Track guards wherever I can find them. A put Augur Arrays on my list, but never used them. I should even include dozer blades to improve the ramming accuracy for my tanks (hits on 5+ instead of 6+).
Now that I have a feel for the zany Astronomi-con scenarios, I would probably want more “shenanigans” that can more around quickly and/or deep strike. I’m thinking Sly Marbo and/or Scions. Many narrative objectives required the Warlord to kill something, sometimes in close combat, but my warlord was equipped for hiding in a corner shouting orders. Maybe I should finish that Celestine model I’ve had for a while. She can easily move 24″ in a turn, and would buff my guard with a 6++.
And, I need to use Command Points (CP’s) more carefully, or generate more, or both. I wasted a lot of CP’s on useless strategems. I may write a blog post about which CP’s are worth it, and which COMBOS work really well.
And it is worthwhile to generate CP’s cheaply. I think a battalion of Scions should be a go-to for every list I do now. A Tempestor prime, Primaris Psyker, and three scion squads is just 14 PL for 5CP!
All in all, I loved ASTRO, and want to register for next year already! I’m even thinking of new ideas for my display board and narrative things to get more points in those categories.
This is my first post in a LONG time, but I think it was time to dust off this old blog. And I felt this was definitely worth sharing: My display board won two awards at my local Armies On Parade.
DISPLAY BOARD HISTORY
The story for this display board starts at my first tournament over two years ago. I showed up to my first tournament with no display board at all. At that tournament, I displayed my army in the plastic tub I brought it in. I didn’t even know that display boards were at thing!
In 2017, I also attended the same Lords of War Tournament again: The 40k Classic. I had idea of using a a tool holder as some sort of castle. The castle was well-received. I used the “game mat” from the 8th edition “First Strike” starter kit , and although it served is purpose, it was bit of a “cop out”. The castle had a digital photo frame that played “Imperial propaganda”, but someone said seeing the buttons broke the suspension of disbelief. And someone suggested the “castle” needed more detail.
BUILDING MY 2018 DISPLAY BOARD
The highlight of my 2018 was going to be the Astronomi-con event. I liked that it emphasized the hobby elements rather than just competitive tournament play. The event had a lot of points for narrative and display, and thus, I needed to get going on a display board.
I started with this early prototype for a display board that folded into a case, and gave height.
I enjoy playing with a lot of tanks, so I wanted my display board to have roads. My first thought was to have some sort of tunnel on the lower level. The lower level later became a garage, which seemed vehicle appropriate.
The prototype also had a sort of bridge, but that didn’t make it into the final design.
A lot of display boards are made from styrofoam, but I didn’t have a foam cutter, and I was told that spray paints would dissolve foam. And since I’m much more familiar with wood, I started with a big slap of 1/2″ thick MDF. I cut the pieces in the store using the circular saw, but my calculations didn’t account for the thickness. So I had to do some rougher cuts with a handsaw.
There was another piece I made to extend the lower level.
The board had hinges I took off of a dollar store box. The top was meant to fold over for nice transport. But, because of my imprecise cuts, it didn’t fit quite well. I later filled in the gaps in the build with wood filler.
With the base built, it was time to start decorating and adding the theme. I added cork board as the roads. They have a kind of texture that already simulates asphalt. I made the “sidewalks” with plasticard, and then used a spray paint for the even texture. I did a thick coat of paint over the cork boards.
The MDF wood looked kind of cheap. I decided to try to stain the wood. I had NEVER done this before, but found that it produced a wonderfully rich-looking effect. It was a messy process, and I’m glad I wore gloves! And, the wood filler I used to cover the imperfections made it look like it was meant to be.
As some of my readers know, I like to add a lot of electronics to my tanks. I wanted my display board to have some too. This board was going to feature a lot of lights. I also wanted the option to power it from a plug, which was a first for me. And, I added a fuse for the first time, because I didn’t want this board to catch on fire if I did something wrong.
Last thing to do was dress it up. I printed some photos of “diamond steel” for the floors of the garage. And then printed A LOT of “Imperial Propaganda” photos I found on the internet. I scaled them to guardsman size, and put them all over the board. The posters probably got a lot of attention at a recent tournament I went to. There was a sticker of Saint Celestine in a chibi-style by The Great Geraldo. And, I added some graffiti touches that were kind of meta-meme worthy like “Cadian Stands” and “Rowboat Girlyman”.
So, why is it called Sophie’s Garage? The garage part should be obvious. And Sophie is what my wife and I are going to name our first daughter, who’s due in about a month.
Even though the model has nothing to do with the army, I really liked the work I did on the 40th birthday White Dwarf Model (Grombrindal), so he seemed to make a nice cameo behind the glass.
When I was preparing my board a couple of nights before Armies On Parade, my wife noted that it looked kind of like a military parade for a fascist dictatorship. I thought that seemed thematically rather appropriate, considering that Warhammer 40k’s Imperium of Man could be considered quite dystopian.
At the last minute, I printed out a couple of slips of paper that said: “Push the buttons. They light up and make sounds!” I think that may have been one of the most important additions, because people were apparently really impressed that my tanks had electronics in them.
There were a lot of great entries. I was proud that I won two certificates:
MONSTERS AND MACHINES
BEST THEMED ARMY
There were some really good entries, so I’m not surprised I didn’t win a medal. But winning two categories made me feel pretty happy with my work.
Only one year until the next Armies On Parade. Should I just tune up my board a little? Or something completely new?
I know my painting will probably never rival that of really good players; I need to keep with my strengths of electronics and tricks. Perhaps a board with a water feature? Like real water with a waterfall and an electronic water pump? And steam? And better use of the LED’s?
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first tournament, the Lords of War 40k Classic. I posted my list here. I will write detailed battle reports later, but this post will capture my initial thoughts.
In brief, I’ll just say I had a great time, and look forward the next one. It renewed my interest in the hobby, and has inspired me to continue playing.
The crowd was very friendly; mostly young, all white men. There were a couple POC among the tournament organizers, but mostly very white. Milling about before the tournament, people were friendly, and genuinely interested in the hobby and excited to talk about their armies and the game. There was a variety of people from students to bank managers, many guys were married and some even had kids (this was their guys day out). The Legion that hosted us had ample parking and great Air Conditioning. I also liked the vibe that there was a bar downstairs and many people bought a beer and brought them up to sip during the tournament.
I played 4 games and thought I acquitted myself admirably: 2 wins and 2 losses. After one win I felt accomplished. The second win was a surprise and at that point there was nothing that was going to make this day bad. Well, I got massacred in the last game to an ultra-competitive player.
A few players complemented me on my Chimera/Rhino conversion combination thing. One guy was so excited that he took lots of pictures because he was going to “steal the hell out of this idea.” I was quite happy to oblige.
Company Command Squads issuing their Senior Officer Orders of Ignore Cover or Bring It Down are devastating: My CCS with 3 meltas was a monster-killing beast! It took down a Riptide, and one-shot killed a Vindicator!
Flamers were beautiful: There were a lot of cover-camping units, and the heavy flamers auto-hit and ignore cover. And in many cases, if the Chimera’s flamers didn’t work, there were more inside.
My vehicles are hard to kill: Surprisingly, my tanks all took a lot of beatings, but few lost hull points, and even fewer were destroyed. Having such quantity meant the damage was usually spread around.
Leman Russ Tanks were worth it: Each of my Leman Russ tanks were about 150 points, but I wouldn’t have traded them for anything else. They could move 6″ and fire everything with impunity, and unloading my Exterminator with lascannon and sponsor heavy bolters was my way of saying I wanted something to die! And the Demolisher’s S10 AP2 large blast was the baseball bat I needed at times to batter tanks. And, their AV14 armour held up surprisingly well to most barrages. Keeping them facing the deadly threats helped, a lot!
The Wyvern is amazing! It became the highest priority target in my army in almost every game. My first opponent destroyed it in turn 1. After it decimated infantry squads in my 2nd and 3rd games, it was also their highest-priority target. That worked to my advantage in some ways because it drew their forces into a trap.
Long story short, twin-linked, 4 large blast barrage, re-rolling to wound was ridiculously good. I want another Wyvern!
Expendable guardsmen and expendable: The redundancy of that statement was quite on purpose. The blob squad of 20 guardsmen was kind of an afterthought for me, but proved to be valuable in a way I didn’t expect: Yes, the autocannons had a bit of a punch and drew attention, but I got an equal punch from my Taurox. This blob squad in cover was the first natural and obvious target for each of my enemies. The squad wasn’t worth much, but drew a lot of fire while my more dangerous units maneuvered. In the end, it didn’t bother me to lose them
Finish off units: In my first game, I missed out on a lot of points because several units still had 2-3 models, or a vehicle had 1 hull point less. I should concentrate on destroying something and then move on. Part of the success in my second game was mopping up objective-claiming units, as exemplified in using my warlord’s Chimera to chase down a lone Kroot and heavy flamer it to death.
Don’t let the opponent set the terms: I made the mistake of waiting for my opponent to come to me in my first and last games, consequently I lost both games. In my second and third games I moved out of a bad deployment zone and outflanked my opponents.
Gets Hot Sucks: The S7 plasma didn’t have much impact on the game, probably because I was trying to keep my Warlord safe. And at one point, they both fried themselves on overwatch! Without some form of twin-linking or Preferred Enemy to mitigate 1’s, I don’t feel like it’s worth it.
Medic not worth it: The feel no pain (5+) granted by the medkit didn’t save one model in my command squad. Another plasma or a flamer (or two) would have been a much better investment.
Don’t fear Close Combat: Guard are pretty lousy at close combat, but in some cases, their numbers help out. The last daemon army I faced had a ridiculous cover save, but if I charged them instead I could have gotten bunch of blows in because of higher initiative and no overwatch.
A quantity-based, horde-like army is great in theory and practice, but not practical. Most armies at the tournament had less than 30 models. I had 75 infantry, 8 tanks, and a massive plane! I needed two containers to bring just 1500 points! And setting up and moving models is a drag too. I might as well have had old-school Warhammer Fantasy movement trays and square bases!
I need a display board. I discovered that this was a thing only a few days before the tournament. I almost bought a cafeteria-like tray from a dollar store right before the tournament, but decided to use my case as a makeshift display board. It didn’t work too well. And It would have been nice to display my army nicely.
Several players shared their lists made with Army Builder which was really nice because it listed the stats and special rules of each model. I have never played against Tau or Chaos Daemons, and didn’t know their stats, so it was nice that they were there without me having to root through their codex. I’m thinking I’ll model my next list for sharing using the rules for Adepti-con as critera, and Army Builder lists from my opponents as templates.
There were chairs at the tables, and I should have sat more. My legs hurt by the end of the day.
Lunch at 2:15pm is a drag. I’m glad I brought snacks to get me through until then. I scooted out for lunch to get a KFC sandwich and I ate it much faster than I should have.
Tables are kind of crowded, so there isn’t really anywhere to put down your display case and/or codexes and such. In my first game there was an empty table beside us which was great, but in my last game we were in the middle of two other games and kinda stuck.
What’s next for me?
I want to join another tournament! I want to play more! It was all a good experience, and I like the honesty of paying to be there: Going to the store to play feels like I’m free-loading or something.
I think I need a display board. There were great ones at the tournament, and I’d like to have one that reflects me and my army. The scoring guide for Astronomi-con helps, but there are also SO many examples online of things that work too. Maybe I can be crafty and make a display board that can also be a carrying case…
I think I’m done painting Guard for a while I may paint one or two more melta infantry, but that would be it. I have a lot of options: Inquisition, Arbites, Space Marines…
But I saw a Tempestus Scions army at the tournament and was intrigued. The Taurox Prime is pretty awesome…
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