Posts Tagged ‘40k’

New tables for 500 point event…

Posted: February 7, 2011 in 40k, Gaming, Terrain
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Recently, I participated in a 500 point private event which was a ton of fun.  One of the best parts about it was that I got to do tons of work in setting up tables for the event!  The tourney organizer (mad pat of LegioXVIII) gave a lot of freedom in the tables, with only a few rough guidelines (4’x’4, with up to 50% terrain)…which meant tons of creative opportunity!!!

Of course, I had plenty of terrain already… but after my best friend and I started looking at things, we wanted to make the tables have definitive themes, and of course have them be both cool looking and fun to play on, a tall order indeed!

Our Ideas

The call was for 4 tables, with maybe one alternate so we decided to come up with a few cool ideas.

  • City battle – the shattered remains of an abandoned city.
  • Alien Colony – a pastoral scene with hills, trees, a river and a few pre-fab buildings.
  • Battlefield – a ruin and crater strewn landscape with the remnants of many battles
  • Desert scene – a rocky desert scene, complete with outcroppings and palm trees (ok,  I like desert).

Next up: New terrain!!!

We NEED to make…

So, not being satisfied with the multitudes of existing terrain, we decided to work on a bunch of stuff; either new pieces, or extensive upgrades to existing ones.

Key goals were to have tables which met the following criteria;

  • Stable – we didn’t want things to fall apart at the smallest bump – this inspired the layout, and the table foundations.
  • A consistent theme – I wanted the tables to “look” like a place…that kind of made sense, with little mis-matching of pieces.
  • Gamer friendly -We worked hard to arrange the play area so there was a table border (only 6″) where players could put their drinks, dice, etc. down.
  • Functional – the tables needed to not hinder nor aid any particular style of play…this was a tough one, but overall we met it.
  • Looking good -I wanted them to look good, visually; from balance and composition to color and detail.

After MUCH painting, cutting, spraying, stapling, taping, hot glue (OUCH!!!!), cursing and caffeine we had a ton of new pieces!  not everything was of final quality (flocking, shading, etc.) but the the tables looked great…

Desert Planet

Desert Table

This simple table was a lot of fun, and perhaps the one with the least amount of terrain.   It has a lot of variability, several vehicle paths and a decent amount of cover but not so much so as to be a LOS nightmare.  There was a lot of last min prep on this one, and while the base coats were done, several of the pieces just did not get the detail painting we wanted.  The big hill in the middle (it’s construction is worth of a post in of itself) was a lot of fun to prep, and quite the centerpiece.

I got to play a few games on this table and it was a lot of fun.  One lesson was that the hill center hill needs a lot of work; gamers either want flat areas for models, or sheer cliffs…anything in between and players will want to place minis on them!!!   Ever seen gymnastic orks?  Yeah all that.

So, while the pieces on this table still need work, over all it was a bit hit and played pretty much as intended.  One thing, after looking at the pics, I think I am going to make the two large pieces (the big rectangles in the pic) more natural…maybe.  When I get free time….in a few years…

Here are a couple of other desert table pics;

Ruined City

Buildings, Generators and machinery oh my!

This table was the most incomplete finish wise, with several pieces (including the ground itself!) not detailed out.   One really cool thing about it was the fact that we offset the streets at an angle….too many times I see city type tables and they are too….square?  anyway, you get the idea.

One thing about this table that was universally liked was the mat, it is a textured roll out gaming mat with a ton of detail!  I got it from zuzzy miniatures, and can’t wait to finish painting it (only managed a heavy wash before the game).

This was one of the few tables I did not get a chance to play on personally…then again, we are looking to set up some dedicated city fights soon…

One interesting note; two of the pieces on this table were throw’aways from another event I was in, and I took them in and refurbished them quite a bit and added a ton of details…they were great pieces when I got them, and had a lot of fun making them “my own” so to speak.   Also, one of the pieces…my best friend made out of parts from a discarded pool vacuum and a urinal insert…go figure.

A few other shots from the Ruined City

Ruined Building

Industrial Piece

Unfinished ruin









The idea for this table was to create something that actually looked like a war zone; tanktraps, barbed wire, craters, wrecks, and more.   One of the main pieces we wanted to use was the crashed flyer from an old 40k set.  This table was very popular for both tits appearance, and the tactical choices the terrain imposed upon the players.

Battlefield Table

A few of the terrain features on this table were made specifically for it.   The tank traps (which were used as impassible terrain) were made from large scale sprue and foam bases.  The razorwire was from armypainter, and worked out fairly well (the guys who make the colored primer).  One of the craters was from the GW crater set, primered black and dry-brushed with layers of grey and brown, to try to match the overall color scheme.  The wrecked flyer was a personal favorite of mine (wrecked imperial anything is 😉 and a lot of fun to paint up.

One of the other tank traps was from a gw accessory set, and the remaining crater and terrain pieces we had in stock (some still need work, but were close enough for this game).  The board was covered in a grey sheet, with some black wash sprayed over it, and a lot of brown paint stippled on it to add color and to break up the solid colors.

One note; due to a combination of the scenario played and some very rare dice rolls, I played one of the most bizarre games ever; my tau made a heroic charge across an entire table toward a cowering army…of orks.  Go figure.

Unfinished Ruin

Crashed Lander

Cool Wreck

Debris and TankTraps

Battlefield pieces







Abandoned Colony

This was by far one of our favorite tables to set up, and play on.  All of the players agreed that is was terrain heavy, but played remarkably well and looked great!

Colony Table with TREES!!!!

Components included; green sheet with some color on it, painted electrical boxes to represent pre-fab colony buildings, a modular river with a home made foot bridge, foam hills and out rocky outcroppings and TONS of trees!!!!

One of the comments that a lot of players make is with the abstract nature of a lot of 40k terrain; specifically trees and foliage.  Due to some getting ahold of a bunch of cast off holiday trees, we had an idea of creating a table with enough trees to use for real cover and LOS blocking.  We ended up putting the trees on the colony table…and even in playing it, it was great!

Here are a couple of other views of the colony table…

Ground View

Com Station

Com Station

Overall the event was a lot of fun, and we now have some great new terrain….still a lot of work to do to finish out several of the pieces. I will try to put up pictures as more of them get completed…





Charging Tau, Hidden Orks…

Finally, a picture of the “Charge of the Tau Brigade…” where a bizarre deployment and mission twist combined with a badly calculated risk (who would have thought 16 of 18 lootas would hit?) I ended up trying to salvage a first turn potential defeat with an exceptionally agressive strategy…my tau charged the orks….who hid in cover.  One of the funniest comments of the game was when my friend the Ork player made this observation about his Orks hiding from a Tau charge; “It hurt their green souls…”.  I am glad I did not give up on this one (too many times we players predict an outcome too early), as it was a very close and very fun game…

Tau Turnabout...

I almost pulled it off…I lost by the roll of a single die at the end of turn 5….considering my oponnent got his victory condition on the first roll of the first turn, that ain’t bad…

Dave the gamer…


On the Road Again…

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Modeling, Uncategorized
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The Road Fire Warriors…er…

Tau of Cadre Marriott

So, as some may know (or not, really) my day job involves me traveling quite a bit, which has a lot of cool parts to it; I get to see lots of awesome places around the country and rack up more air miles than a company of Elyssians.  One drawback to this, is that while I don’t mind being on the road, I DO miss being at home with family and friends.

Including my little plastic guys…who desperately need a real paint job!  My solution? Bring em along (the plastic guys, my friends don’t fit in my carry on…we tried).  They don’t take up companion tickets and with my streamlined packing skills I can bring a bunch of minis and some paint along while on the road.

I can’t really travel with glue or files and knives (ya think?), so assembly it out, but with some careful planning and careful packing of my “liquids” bag, I can actually get a lot of painting done.

The reaper paints in small bottles travel well!

First thing, I try to pick out a bunch of models which are in similar stages of paint job, so I can kind of work on them assembly line style.  This can either be a dozen fire warriors, or one week, I brought three skimmers.  One thing; no airbrushing, so everything had to be primed and basecoated already…so, detail work only!

For the less travel inclined, airport travel rules say all your liquids and gels have to fit in a one quart ziplock, and be in containers less than three ounces.  While this is a challenge for many travel novices, for us veterans we can cram little containers in there like Boyz in a trukk.  I get about almost a dozen of my paints in there; while not enough for some serious graffiti in the restrooms in Pittsburgh (you would not believe), its plenty for painting minis in your hotel room.

A few pointers

  • IF security asks about your little bottles, tell them “They are water colors, I am an artist”  They might not know what the hell acrylics are.
  • You can use the disposable in room coasters for paint pallets
  • Make sure to set up near the lights or windows, so you an see.
  • Don’t use their towels for cleaning brushes…they get testy at that.
  • Try to keep your little bottles cleaned up when you are done…room service might freak out if they think you are running a meth lab.
  • Take along a good assortment of brushes; you don’t need to keep em in your bag, put them in you luggage.

So, the next time you might be on the road but need to paint some minis before an upcoming event which you spent all of your free time making terrain for (who dat?), bring your colors and plastic men (or bugs, etc.) along for the ride….


Recently there was a post on one of the awesome Tau boards I frequent (ok, so maybe not THAT often…), second sphere.

Someone was asking about either using Fireknife suits (missile pod, multi-tracker and plasma rifle) vs. Helios suits (plasma rifle, multi tracker, fusion blaster).

Basically, a lot of the people preferred the Helios, as it is very specialized.  However, you look at a LOT of tau lists out there, and the plasma/missile pod is one of the most common builds.  Why the two points of view?

Because one is a multi-role suite the other specialized.

  • Fireknife – AP2 plasma combined with long range AP4 Missile pod.  It can shoot at light transports and monsterous creatures at long range, gets a single plasma shot at mid range (24″) and a second plasma at 12″.  This is a all around good suit.
  • Helios – AP2 plasma with AP1 fusion blaster. At 12″ this thing puts out three very nasty shots…you can melt vehicles with it, and kill termies.  Very nice.  Very specialized.  12″ is very dangerous as it can put you at risk for a lot of things.
Single role and specialization VS. multi role and cross functionality.
Specialization refers to a unit being : anti infantry / anti tank / blocking etc.
Muti role is when a unit can do more than one function.
(for example, many consider a hammer head with a rail gun to be BOTH anti infantry (sub-munitions blast) and anti tank (rail shot).
I can tell you this, multi role functionality has a lot more room for error in a list and is more forgiving if you lose a unit early one (either due to player error, or bad dice, or a nasty deep strike …what ever).  This can be very helpful for a player who is still building up their experience level.
Where as, if you can set them up well, specialized units will always excel at their given role.
So it is a choice of do you want more versatility or more effectiveness with a higher level skill required to implement?
Try both, see what works for you…
May the dice be with you.

Well’ be back…

Posted: August 3, 2010 in 40k, Necrons, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Ode to the Necrons

Recently I got to play my first (finally!) game with my Necrons. Yeah, Necrons. I got hooked on them after reading a friends Codex, and picked up some cast offs on ebay…and eventually got a game!
So, to give another friend of ours whom we recently sucked in (“here, take these marines….”) a good practice game, a few of us set up a casual game over the weekend. 2000 points a side. My two friends (the newer one, and an old vet in our group) each brought 1000 points of marines, and I had 2k worth of my T1000s. I had suspected the old rustbuckets would be a different game for me (I usually play my beloved tau) and I was not wrong.
The first thing one of my friends noticed was my lack of models…oh sure, I got plenty of Necrons (hey, you …wanna buy a wraith?), I just had no idea what 2000 points looks like…and it don’t look like a lot.
Of course the fact that I had smack daddy Nightbringer on the table (oh, you gotta play him, at least once) did not help the point total any. In fact, I built my list more focusing more on getting stuff out to play than I did any kind of real cohesive force…mostly.
We ended up with spearhead and capturing an objective in each other’s corner and had a grand ole time on the battlefield tonight. The game was a blast, with a lot of cool moments, and some great patience from my friend Pat (hi pat!) as I was learning Necrons and our other buddy was still learning (smart guy; just new to 40k).
I won’t bother with a complete batrep, but will detail out a few fascinating events, and my learning from playing with my robots of doom.
1 – No transports and where did they put their objective?
Well, the other guys stuck their objective on top of a tall tower….with a thunderfire cannon. On the other side (well, duh dave) of the board. Looking at my guys not being fleet of foot (literally) and me having about as many transports as a guy stuck in Boston trying to get a rental car (every 30 min? really?) I decided to not even bother to go for their objective. Ironically, neither did they. No troops on theirs…they made a bold move to come get mine…muhahahhaha.

2 – Reserves are not always your friend.
I started the game with a group of warriors and some scarabs in reserve. My theory (at the time…aren’t theories fun) was that I might need extra warriors in case mine died, and the scarabs could deep strike and mess with their back field. Well, the warriors had to come in via monolith (fascinating rule, dat) and my scarabs came in on the last turn…which means as you can’t assault on the turn you deep strike, I basically used them as a blocking unit. Of course, on the other side of the board…in what turned out to be a big “oops” the guys put their only las cannons in reserves…and never made the roll. Ouch! Once I managed to identify the other high strength weapons on the board (a multi melta and a power fist) my ctan had a field day….

3 – Um, there is a Mr. Death here…

Oh, you are gonna get it now...

Ah, the Nightbringer…all 360 lovely points of him. My first impression is that this guy is just nuts powerful…and I was not too far off there. His toughness of 8 makes him VERY hard to damage, but he has a fairly weak save, only 4+…sure, its an invul, but its ONLY a 4+. With 5 attacks and being a big baddy (bypassing all defenses like a determined paparazzi) he is a CC killing machine. I think if I ever face one in the future, you HAVE got to hit this guy with everything you got BEFORE he makes it into assault… Is he nasty? Yep. Is he too good…hmmm…personally, I think is for the most part balanced…I mean…360 points? Dang..thats a trygon prime and the horse he rode in on.

4 – Wraiths…oh yeah!
Ok, these necrons on a stick (well, a spine maybe) are just neat. Move like jet bikes and very durable thanks to their good toughness and 3+ invul. However…without power weapons, or disruption fields…they are not very powerful offensively. Don’t get me wrong, a great addon to any amy…but without the ability to even get more powerful assault upgrades, keep them running from dreds! Very specialized unit…so have to play them smart to get their cost back.

5 – We’ll be back…again, and again…
Ok, I got lucky and made a lot of my we’ll be back rolls…and that was the coolest thing ever. Also, the ability for the monolith to suck up a squad hoover style and give rerolls, yeah, that was quite the bomb as well. Very useful trait. I am thinking if I face these guys with my tau, the lords are going to be railgun bait…right after that pesky…

6 – The temple of DOOM!
Ah, the monolith…how I love thee. Sure, it’s a ton of points, not really a transport and got immobilized with a lucky shot from a krack missle…but dang, that’s things just cool. Splaying hot fields of green death and able to move (sort of) troops around…very useful. In fact, once I realized the las cannons were in perpetual reserve and I took out the melta, this baddy had a field day…until I got popped with a missile launcher and immobilized. But hey, Necrons happen…

7 – Calling Mr Heavy…
So, three heavy slots is not a lot for necrons. Why you may ask? (ok, its rhetorical). Because all of the choices (and there ain’t a whole lot of choices in a Necron army…) are very good. I already covered the big black box above, so that leaves me to the Heavy Destroyer and the Tomb Spider. One of the biggest changes that supposedly beat Necrons with the nerf bat in 5th edition, was that their main anti-vehicle trick (getting glances with Gauss weapons) no longer could destroy tanks. Was this a huge deal? Well, see how many folks still play Necrons. Go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait. Anyways, there are not a lot of las cannon quality weapons in their arsenal (as opposed to the swarm of las equipped razorbacks I saw the other day….dang!), which makes the Heavy Destroyer VERY valuable, and I ain’t just talking their massive 65 point cost either. So, you gotta have em, and keep em alive….which leads me to my next heavy unit…(no pun intedned).

10 – Da Roach of Death!
So, I was wondering just how useful a tomb spider might be; I mean, their basic role gives better chances for Necron self repair rolls (longer range, and can repair more nasty damage). I picked up one of these guys, and made sure I kind of shifted all my fronts around so he was in range of several units. Did it make a difference? Was it a good plan? No, yes. What? Well… Between my opponents not making the reserve rolls for THEIR ONLY LAS Cannon and my ruthlessly killing their only melta and power fist…it turned out I did not need any of the spiders uber pit stop prowess. So, a waste of points? Ask the termies who deep struck right behind them. Yes, papa roach is a monstrous creature. He managed to finish off a squad of deep striking termies so well it was awesome. Ah, my broadsided weep (see my write up of my BT game in the HTUD tournament).

So, overall we had a lot of fun, and I managed to get a good flavor for the Necrons as did my buddies; to their credit none of us never knew what he little rustbuckets were capable of before the game. Overall, I really like them…who doesn’t love a marine save with essentially feel no pain (about the equal of the Well’ be back effect) thrown in. I do want to try some of the tricks of the Necron lord next time (it’s a long list) and still have to see what is up with the Pariahs and Flayed ones (I had some of the ginsu guys in my game, but they did not get a ton of encounter time – the jury is still out). Until next time, keep them dice rollin…