Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Six Things I Learned about Playing Apocalypse

Last Friday I played my first Apocalypse game. I was definitely fun, but more than anything it was a learning experience. I thought I'd share some of my observations.

First off, let me explain how I came to participate in this battle. A friend of mine suggested to his gamer friends that we all take a day off of work to have a huge mega-battle. I was skeptical at first, but eventually gave into peer-pressure.

We had seven people total. We ran two boards: one 6'x4' and one 8'x6'. I partnered up with another Chaos player named Dan against Brian's 4,000pts of Orks. The other table was an alliance of Necrons, Tau, and Eldar with an Imperial Callidus Assassin for good measure. This unlikely union faced off against a team of Tau and Imperial guard.

Unfortunately, we got stuck on the small table. Here's a picture of our forces after set-up:

I'd like to point out several a couple things. First off, Brian's excellent scratch-built stompa. Also, remember, all those trucks and what-not were full of Orks.

Bottom line, it was a slaughter. It really was a green tide.

OK, so here are 6 things I learned in this first game:

1. You need to build an Apocalypse Army. Dan and I basically threw together a force from what miniatures we had available whereas Brian had a huge, well-defined force. The Orks were an Apocalypse Army: Chaos was two 40K armies. This goes hand-in hand with my next point...

2. You need to use Datasheets. Brain was using three: Speed Freaks, Mek Stompa, and Skullhama Battle Fortress. We had none. I've been working on a tide of spawn, but it's not ready. Neither of us had anything to really threaten those killer units.

3. Know your ally. This is not to disparage Dan, who I met five minutes before we started playing. He was a real cool to play with and a nice guy (and his army, unlike mine, was completely painted). I just wish we could have coordinated before hand so that we had a sense of what we were doing. A ten minute discussion before the game probably won't cut it.

4. Play fast as possible. Seriously, games like this take a long time. I think generally, I play pretty fast. I make decisions fast and I move from phase to phase as quick as possible. This means I probably make a lot of mistakes, but I'd rather see more things actually happen during the course of a game than think about what could possibly happen over the course of a game.

5. Know what you're fighting for. This is complicated and I plan to write more about this in the future. Plus, the basic point applies to regular 40K games as well. I think game-playing is so much more enjoyable when you are playing to a story or background. Maybe I'm just a RPGer at heart, but I don't find pointless destruction entertaining. This is not to say that I don't find the strategic challenge of 40K fun. I do; I just like more.

6. Apocalypse is about planning as much as it is about playing. I have to say I got away with very little pre-game work. Still, the guys who organized this put a lot of work into getting people, tables, models and terrain together. Plus Aaron was nice enough to open his home to us. He even provided coffee and a deli tray:

My hat goes off to the all the people who planned this day-off event.

I hope to play more Apocalypse in the future as time allows.

Here a few more pictures from the game:
ORKS!! And...

More Orks!

Here's a picture of the backside of the only fully-painted unit I fielded. OK, I need to go paint now...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Give Thanks for Updates!!

OK, these pictures aren't the best, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't update my blog before going away for Thanksgiving.

Here is the second unit of Thousands Sons. The sorcerer needs a little more gold, but all the rubric marines have their base gold (which is a 1:1 mix of Vermin Brown and Shining Gold)

Here are my unmarked Chaos Space marines. They're going to represent Space marines that have recently rebelled, so I've mixed a lot of loyalist parts in.

This was one of my birthday presents. Thanks again guys.

Here are the first four chaos spawn I've made. I tell you, making spawn is fun! I could just make spawn for the rest of my gaming career, seriously.

Game Store Update and Sale!

As mentioned in my last post, there is a new store in town. I got to visit a couple of weeks ago and it's looking good so far. I heard they've added a couple of tables, so that's even better.

I thought about it later. This is probably the first game store with gaming in Chicago in nearly 10 years. The last one I can remember was Third Eye games, and close down a long time ago.

Anyway, Galaxy America is having a Thanksgiving sale. Here are the details.
In the spirit of the turkey, we are having a sale this Wed., Fri., Sat. and Sun. (closed Thursday) 10% off on everything in the store (several baneblades in stock), 5% off special orders, and a few specials including a SM Battle Company marked from $450 down to $400. Also, LOTR is 15% off. Our 2 full-sized gaming tables are up and running and terrain options are constantly expanding. You can find us at:

4318 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, IL 60641

Wed-Sat: 2-8pm
Sun: 2-6pm

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hazzah!! A New Store!

There is now a game store in the Chicago city limits. Yes, I'm as shocked as you are. It's called Galaxy America and it's on Irving Park Road. Check out this forum post.

Also, I called the place today, they were super friendly on the phone. I'm planning to check them out on Saturday, so I'll report back.

As far as the regular painting blog stuff, I've done so much lately, but have no pictures to prove it. Recently, I've built a full squad of Chaos Space Marines, a Thousand Sons Predator, and four Chaos Spawn. Basically, my loyal readers, I owe you a lot of pictures.

In other news, I finally got a chance to play the new codex. I have to say, that I like a lot of the way the new list plays. It was nice to be able to include a unit of relatively cheap CSMs along side my Thousand Sons. Also, those AP3 bolters are nice against Sisters of Battle. Wounding on 3, with no save? Nice.

I'm not going to say much about spawn yet, because I think I got pretty lucky my first game. I rolled well enough to get a first turn charge. The two spawn broke a unit of Imperial guard, effectively taking them out of the game. My opponent, Anton, committed three death-cult assassins to taking them out. The spawn took out two before falling to the third. Not a bad performance, but like I said, I think I got lucky.

Force weapons are nice, too. My sorcerer was able to take out his Cannoness with one wound and a psychic test. Too bad his Inquisitor killed my HQ in the same turn. Also, when that one remaining Death cult assassin charged one of my units of sons, she didn't last very long.

I lost the game, but it was the closest game I've played against this particular opponent. I really need to get my sons some Rhinos, too. They really need to be kept away from close combat. They also need a commanding firing position to blast away at the enemy.

I'll keep posting about this as I get more games under my belt.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thoughts on Army building

I've actually built and painted quite a bit since my last blog post, but I haven't seem to have found the time to take any pictures. However, I hate the thought of a week going by without a post, so I decided to write about something else on my mind.

I've been thinking a lot about the way in which people go about planning their armies. There are countless ways to go about this, I've found two general philosophies pretty common. One is to build a force in small, playable chunks. The other is to write a goal list (for example a 2,000pt tournament list) and build your army to that goal.

I've been trying to build with the second philosophy in mind. Long ago, I wrote a 1,850 (or so) list that was something like this:

HQ - Tzeentch Sorcerer on Disc
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Horror/ Flamer Demons
Troops - Horror/ Flamer Demons
Heavy - Defiler
Heavy - Defiler
Heavy - Lascannon Predator
Fast - Screamers

Every model I was working on would be part of this list. I found ti difficult, however, to write smaller lists with models from the larger list. This became quickly evident when I started playing the escalation league. We started at 300 points, which basically bought me one squad of Thousand sons. this was compounded by the fact that there were a lot of restrictions on what you could buy at various stages of escalation (see the rules here).

Another thing that threw a monkey wrench in the works was the fact that a new codex came out while I was still int he midst of building my army. This meant that my "goal list" was no longer valid.

Plus, with the new codex, there is a lot more freedom with which units I can add to my army.

I decided to adopt a new policy in regards to my army building. Instead of thinking of my army as points, I would just think of it as a series of modeling projects. I then created a new goal list based on the modeling ideas I have banging around in my head. It looks something like this:

HQ - Tzeentch sorcerer on disc
HQ - Renegade Lord in Terminator Army & Lightning Claws(Unmarked/ Undivided)
HQ - Tzeentch Demon Prince
Elite - Chosen of Tzeentch (w/ Meltaguns)
Elite - Chosen of Tzeentch (W/ Flamers)
Elite - Renegade Termiantors
Elite - Chosen of Slaanesh (Power Weapons, Power Claws)
Elite - Possessed of Slaneesh
Elite - Dreadnought (Slaanesh themed)
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Thousand Sons Squad w/ Sorcerer
Troops - Renegade marines (Unmarked/ Undivided)
Troops - Renegade marines (Unmarked/ Undivided)
Troops - Renegade marines of Slaanesh
Troops - Noise marines
Troops - Summoned Demons (Horrors)
Heavy - Defiler (Close combat)
Heavy - Defiler (Reaper/ Havoc)
Heavy - Lascannon Predator
Heavy - Vindicator
Fast - Raptors of Slaanesh
Fast - SPAWN!!! (About a dozen, I figure)

Whew! that should keep me busy for about 10 years. Granted, I could never field all these units in one game (unless it's Apocalypse of course). Still, it's a nice way to keep all the things I want to do organized.

Plus it gives me flexibility. I can field a renegade force with Thousand sons allies, or I can field a renegade force with Slaanesh elements. Or maybe just a dark allegiance of Tzeentch and Slaanesh. We'll see if I work some Khorne or Nurgle in at some point as well.

Is this modeling-based approach to army building practical? I'm not so sure. I know that this is the way that my mind works, so it will make the building of this force, a lot more enjoyable.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why can't Tzeentch get Apocalypse love?

I haven't bought Apocalypse,yet, but I've been paying attention to the news and rumors about it. So far, all the Datasheets I've read are pretty cool (I would buy several Tide of Spawn boxes if I could afford them).

The one thing that kinda burns me is that there are no Tzeentch specific Datasheets.

On the Apocalypse book itself, there is the Brass Scorpion (Khorne) and the Plague Reaper (Nurgle). Fine, they promised that more Datasheets would follow and the website, so no big deal.

Games Workshop just released more Datasheets (at this point only on the UK site). What do you know, another Khorne sheet (Maelstrom of Gore) and another Nurgle sheet (Zombie Plague).

Don't get me wrong, those sheets are awesome, but why no Tzeentch?

Edit - Since I posted this yesterday, GW has removed the datasheets from their website. Hopefully they'll be back soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

C:CSM Review?

I was planning on writing a lengthy review on the Codex: Chaos Space Marines. I've wanted to write a review for a codex for a long time and figured that this was my chance. The problem being of course that the thing has been out for almost a month now. I started writing the review and realized I wasn't saying anything that hadn't already been said ad naseum on dozens of forums.

Anyway, I won't bore you with a long-winded re-cap of the pros and cons of the new codex.

I will say, however, that I love this new list. It's so much more flexible! while it was nice to get bonuses for doing a purely Thousand Sons force, just adding one random non-Tzeentch unit would make the whole thing fall apart. Now, I can add anything I want!

Needless to say, this alters my plans for this army dramatically. I plan to add some vanilla renegades, havocs, some Emperor's Children Noise Marines, and some Slaneesh-marked possessed. Who knows, down the line, I may even add some Nurgle themed troops.

This doesn't mean that I'm abandoning the Thousand Sons. It does mean however, that to do all the things I want to do with this army, I'm committed to chaos for a long, long, time.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


This will be quick, but I'm now finished with all the layers of blue.

More later...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Third Edition Chaos Retirement Party!

A couple weeks ago, I took a trip over to my friend Art's house to play a game of 40K. We actually met before hand to Games Workshop Oak Park so I could pick up a copy of the new Chaos Codex.

In some ways, I considered the game that followed a retirement party of sorts for the 3rd edition Chaos Codex (and good riddance!). I purposefully wrote a list that used as much 3rd edition stuff as possible. My list looked something like this:

HQ - Sorcerer Lord (Mark of Tzeentch, Disc, CCW, PW, Demonic Aura, Personal Icon, Familiar, Bolt of Change, Twisting Path)

Troops - two 9-man squads of Thousand Sons (Free Aspiring Champion and Icon, Champion armed with PW, familiar, Doom Bolt, Bolt of Change, and two Thralls)

-Two 9-man units of Demons (5 flamers and 4 horrors)

Heavy - Defiler with consecrating warp fire and mutated hull

Fast - 5-man unit of screamers

I unfortunately don't have Art's list nor did I take very good notes. what follows is pictures and a brief synopses of the game.

Here's a picture of the board set up:

We played secure and control with 5 loot counters. Since we were using such a 8x4 table for a 1200 point game, most of the loot counters ended up in our respective deployment zones. There was plenty of room to keep them 12" apart without having to go into the middle of the board.

I deployed most of my force(the defiler, and both units of sons) in the large ruins closest to my right flank. I deployed my HQ on my far left. I was hoping to use him to go tank hunting w/ Bolt of Change.

Pretty quickly, I realized two mistakes. Since I had tried to cram three units into one building, I had created a great target for Art's Basilisk, Leman Russ, and Hellhound. Also, as strong as my lord was, he was basically all alone on the left flank.

In the first turn, my HQ destroyed a lone Sentinel, but then was wiped out by a direct hit from the Russ. TheBasilisk then destroyed half of one of my son squads.

The rest of the game was very back and forth. My screamers performed very well for what will probably be their last outing. I used them to charge one of his large squads from behind. The guard broke and fled, but since the screamers were behind and flamers/horrors were in the front, they were wiped out.

I also have to commend Art's supreme commander. He was brave enough to charge a unit of flamers and caused enough wounds to force an instability test, sending the rest of the unit back to the warp.

In the end, Art held three objectives and contested one, while I only contested one. Good game over all.

Here are some more pictures:

Above is the only picture of my own forces I managed to take. my two units spent most of the game sheltered in this building against Basilisk shots.

Art's Command squad in their post-battle prayer meeting.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quick Update

I've been super busy this week, but I couldn't let a week go by without an update. So above is the only miniature related work I got done this week. It's my HQ for my Thousand Sons Army. I attached his right arm with a magnet for easy storage/ transportation. I'm especially happy with the way the halberd came out (hereafter referred to as "the can opener").

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tip of the WeeK

I've been making a point of trying to post every Friday (or Thursday if I was away from a computer on that day). Unfortunately, I sort of blew my load earlier since I posted that big update on Tuesday.

So today, for consistency sake, is a painting tip for you.

The Painting Notebook!

A lot of people like to keep a notebook in their painting area to keep track of their painting projects. It's a good place to make lists of tasks that you can cross out as they're completed. It's also a good place to take notes on painting "recipes" so that you can re-create them later.

I only mention this because is used to be really good about writing in my notebook every time I mixed a new color or decided on what colors I was going o paint a particular area.

Then I got lazy and can't for the life of me remember how I did certain things previously. This is problem since I'm on my second unit of Thousand Sons and I can't remember how I did certain parts of the first unit. Luckily I have this blog. Now I just have to go back and search it for my old gold recipe. Still, if I had just kept up on that damned notebook...

Anyway, that's my tip of the week! There may be more next week.

In the meantime remember, if you're working on a very long term project where you can potentially forget something important later down the road, take notes!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Enchanted, Pt. II

Well, I'm finished with the Enchanted Blue stage of Squad #2. sorry, but these pictures came out terrible. I think I had my exposure set wrong.

Anyway, time to break out the Ice Blue!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Now for Something Slightly Different...

Well, it's not a Thousand Son, but it is Chaos. With the way this new codex is organized, there is really no reason for me to stick with a pure Thousand Sons army. I've decided to add contingent of Renegade Space Marines.

This is the first test miniature that I made from some spare parts I got in a bits trade. I want my force to represent a force of marines that has recently turned to chaos, so I plan to use a mix of Chaos and loyalist bits. You may notice on this miniature that one shoulder pad and the chest plate come from the loyalist sprue.

I have a ton of left-over bits from both my space wolves and my thousand sons. I'm hoping that this expansion will be a cheap one since I'll be using stuff I already have.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Ash Waste Setting for Necromunda

I recently popped over to the Specialist Games Website and noticed that they recently posted rules for setting Necromunda games in the Ash Wastes. The supplement can be found here, but fair waring, it's a 128 page PDF and may take a while to load.

Basically, this supplement adds vehicles to the game. I haven't given it a good read yet, but from the looks of it, the authors transplanted the GorkaMorka vehicle rules over to Necromunda. This could be very cool.

... And why you're visiting the Specialist games website, why not read the setting I wrote, Alevan Town (second place winner of the Necromunda settlement competition).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm Enchanted

I'm on Enchanted Blue, that is... What I mean to say is the layer at which I'm at is Enchanted Blue... on my second squad of thousand sons. But only these five guys.

Whatever. I'm kinda out of it.

Here's another picture at a slightly different angle:

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have a couple new blogs that I've added to my links that I'd like to point out.

First off, my friend Aaron has started a blog to showcase his many painting and sculpting projects. Aaron's a great sculptor, so I'm sure we're going to see a lot of great conversion projects from him.

On the other end of the gaming spectrum, Bill Kim, the winner of the 2007 Chicago Warhammer 40K Grand Tournament, has started a blog talking about strategy. Since I'm kinda dumb when it comes to basic strategy, I'm looking forward to reading this.

While on the subject of blogs, I've been a big fan of Bell of Lost Souls since around Adepticon this year. Then, I meet these guys at Adepticon and they were super cool. I've been secretly hoping that they'd link me from their site and recently, they added me to their blog roll!

I felt terrible when I realized that I hadn't added them to mine. Oops, bad form on my part. That has been corrected.

Thousand Sons HQ Update

Not much has been happening on the Thousand Sons front. I've been painting slowly, but nothing that would be that interesting to anyone. I'm still in the early stages of the models.

I have however done some work on my Sorcerer HQ.

Look, I glued an arm on:

The other arm is complete, but I'm waiting on an order of magnets that I need to attach it.

The picture above is generally what it will look like when I glue the head on and put him on his base. This picture makes me realize that this base is way too tall and I'll have to trim it down a bit. Also, I need to take a picture of it someplace other than my cluttered desk. The camera has a hard time focusing on the mini with all that junk behind it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Can I get a codex?

I've been reading a lot of forum posts lately about the new Chaos Codex being released in September. The thing that shocks me is how many people already claim to own copies of the codex. One person on Warseer even went so far as to start a post titled, "Better late than never: My review of the Chaos Space Marine Codex."

Better late than never? The thing hasn't even been released yet!

Back when I had an independent retailer I could go to, it wasn't uncommon to get things like this early. The store would get the preview copy and instead of letting it sit on display, the owner would sell it. I can only assume that something similar is happening to all these people who claim to own a copy.

Then again, maybe they just bootlegged it.

Anyway, I just want to make an appeal to the Internet and its fine denizens:

Can I get a chaos codex? Please?

No, I don't want a bootleg PDF version. I want an honest-to-goodness, hold in my hand and flip the real pages, Chaos Space Marine Codex.

Can someone do that for me? Does some one out there have mad Games Workshop hook-ups that they can pass along?

I've been blogging about chaos for a while now. Doesn't that deserve something?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Why the Hell Did I Buy This?

This pile of bits is from the "Mega Bits Grab Bag" that I ordered from the Battle Wagon Bits when they were closing operation.

I can't say that it was completely worth it. I got a few cool things that I proabaly won't have ordered if I didn't get them here. There's some Elf archer bits, a Tomb Kings standard top, three goblin shamans from Battle for Skull Pass, a complete markerlight drone, and some dark angels bits. Come game night, I'll probably be trading most of this stuff away.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Chicago GT Report

Te results from the Chicago Grand Tournaments have been posted. My friend Anton was nice enough to write this extensive report of his games. I would have published this earlier, but I somehow overlooked it. Sorry.

Anton plays a fierce Tau force and he placed in the top 25%. Here's his report on the action:

I didn't take any pictures, but I can give you a brief battle-report of my games:

Game 1: Iron Warriors
mission: Annihilate

12 Terminators, 3 Predators, a Defiler, and some other random ickyness. Only 2 6 man marine squads for troops. I stuck him on sportsmanship for that, but only one notch, and I told him about it.
Overall, I was worried about this being my first game, and having never beaten iron warriors, I thought I was headed for the bottom of the barrel. However, I did a good job of limiting his fire-lanes, I refused flank the hell out of him, so only 1 or 2 tanks had shots in a turn, and while I didn't manage to destroy many of the preds (only immobilized one), I did make short work of the 12 man termi squad and they ran off the board after being taken below half. He didn't spread out well, and I used my mobility to my advantage.

Result: Minor Victory that should have been major because I forgot i got points for my scoring units left.

Game 2: Crusade Marines (various chapters, actually written up that way and well painted, not just thrown together)
Mission: Objective markers

Really friendly. I sat down and his wife was there, and I thought I was playing her for a second. Probably the most easy going and chatty of my opponents. Very basic set up. Lots of 6 man las-plas, 2 dreads, 2 speeders. Very nicely painted. Hadn't played 4th edition much, and I mopped him up. By turn 4 he was off the board except for one dread, and a squad of marines. Did a very good job of using a squad to claim 2 objectives. Tricky. In the end, he didn't have enough scoring units left to claim a victory. I used fish of fury which upset him a bit. I demoralized him completely after that, and after sinking 48 pulse rifle shots into his terminators, he was all but done. The rest was pretty much mopping up. He played a good game though, and his wife and him were very interested in the game and discussed tactics and armies with me the entire game. She was just starting a sisters army and since I am doing the same we were talking penitent engines, repentia, and seraphim all game. It was actually her suggestion that got me to take the engine against scott last monday (so you can blame her for the cheating!)

Result: Victorious slaughter

Game 3: Tau
Mission: board center

I was kind of excited to be playing another Tau player. Much different build than my list. 4 static firewarrior squads, 12 each (but no marker drones), sniper drones, a hammerhead, 2 squads of three crisis suits w/ pods and plasma, a pair of broadsides. He placed the broadsides to one side with a good field of vision. I knew I'd have to sink a hell of a lot of firepower into them to drop them, so I ignored them completely. Limiting their shots as best I could and focusing on everything else. I think that basically won me the game. I infiltrated the Kroot into the woods in the center, but they got picked apart fairly early. I had much more firepower to bring to bear on everything else. We both rolled HORRIBLY this game. More ones and twos than I've ever seen... But it was horrible on both ends... I was able to use my dropped skimmers as cover to advance my suits in the backline. It was kind of an accident, but I couldn't have asked for a better strategy. He dropped one of mine, and I dropped one of his fish, and I used them to block line of sight from his broadsides and other suits and advanced on one side and used my firepower (which wasn't superior at all in this game), and picked apart the firewarriors in cover. The suits were tricky. I only managed to kill one squad, after catching them out in the open and frying them with railgun shots. I deepstruck my drones and almost managed to kill his ethereal with them. Had I done that, I think I would have gotten a major or maybe a slaughter. Only caused one wound on the little bugger though. He tankshocked my broadside off the board... That sucked... but it was kind of funny. I have never seen anyone else use tankshock in a tournament setting, but it's not a bad strategy/technique. Certainly worked for him. I was the only player who beat him, and I think he ended up being the highest scoring tau player, so this was a proud moment for my army.

Result: Minor Victory (I had a lot of stuff in the center at the end of the game, he had nothing).

Game 4: Ultramarines eq.
Mission: Table quarters

At first, I couldn't figure out where the hell all his points were at... he had 3 squads of 6 w/ las-plas, and 2 devastator squads, one attack bike squad, one w/ missile launchers, and one with heavy bolters. I scared him into setting up his HB devastators behind cover. He had two beefed up librarians w/ retinue, and uber powers... It was a bit ridiculous. I made the mistake of not realizing that one was still scoring, and that cost me a major victory... I thought the missile launcher devs would be much more brutal, but I ended up almost ignoring them, and it paid off.

He hid the attack bikes behind cover, and I knew I'd have to do something about it. I deepstruck my commander and managed to kill one, but not the other. I thought i was fucked and he'd get a last turn grab (I took first turn because i had too much in LOS of his lascannons), but I managed to vaporize it with a hammerhead railgun shot on turn 4 when I flanked him. I also vaporized one of the librarians with a railgun when he got too close to my broadside. The broadside took a ridiculous amount of fire, and he had a vendetta against it, which probably cost him the game in a way. He all but ignored my hammerheads for the more lightly armored devilfish and the broadside. They took maybe 2 or 3 shots all game, and were free to flank the less manned side of his board. I picked apart the closest las-plas squads, and got myself into a great shooting position. He sent the terminators into each quarter, and they got chewed up on both sides. He was a weird superstitious guy and had all his dice set to sixes and in nice rows. He also over-measured a lot, but all in all, neither the superstition nor the long moves helped. I only managed to get a minor victory because I thought his other terminator squad was below scoring and didn't sink enough fire into them on the last 2 turns.

Result: Minor Victory

Game 5: Undivided Marines
Mission: Recon

I went into this game a bit cocky, I'll admit. Recon? I thought I had it in the bag. My mobility had won me at least 2 of my games so far, and I didn't think this was going to be a problem. Boy was I wrong. The guy was the Las Vegas GT winner, and it showed. He played an excellent game, lined up like 10 lascannon shots so that I couldn't hide (it was one of those shitty lava boards), and managed to drop my 2 hammerheads by turn 3. At that point, the game was effectively over. He caught my refused flank, and matched it with a ton of marines. I took first turn and tried to pull a switch and move to the other flank, that was almost empty except for a squad of havocs. Had I been able to pull it off, I think I would have had the game, but he just had way too much firepower to bring to bear on me. Stunned my 1st hammerhead on his first turn, immobilized on the 2nd, and destroyed it on the 3rd. My shooting was abysmal the first turn. I dropped one marine I think. I should have deepstruck all my suits... But I figured he'd have to come to me... He did, but by that point, I had almost nothing left on the board.

My only complaint was his ridiculous lords... on bikes (T5), 4 wounds, 2+ save, 4+ invul. Immune to insta-kill, and feel no pain on every wound... This was the only game I felt completely outplayed though, and he timed everything well. He didn't make a single mistake, and played a great game against me. He got a slaughter out of me, for my only loss of the tournament. He played super fair, and got a deserved victory out of me. I should have deep struck my suits, and not tried to refuse flank him... He was by far the best player I played all weekend, and caught everything I was doing and countered it well. I was going to dock him for the lords, but he played such a stand up and honest game that I gave him the 10 for sportsmanship anyways. At one point he was arguing with me about something that was going to help me (Attacking skimmers that haven't moved, I still think he should have been able to hit them automatically, but he insisted he needed 6's), and it was nice to play someone who wasn't trying to get something over on you (I know we've all had our share of those games). By turn three I was fighting for a minor loss... but didn't manage to hold on.

Result: Slaughtered

I had a great time at the GT this year. The games were spaced well apart, giving you a break and not making you feel rushed. My main complaint was some of the uber-powered characters, and really unbalanced lists I played. You couldn't score them anywhere but sportsmanship, and I felt bad docking someone on that if they played a fair game. Also, they need to do away with the shitty lava boards... terrible.

I did much better than expected. I wanted to be in the top 25%, and I think I made that easily. I'm not 100% sure though, because of my slaughter the last game. We'll see when the results are posted.

Thanks for the report, Anton.

Nick Baran had this to say about his Grand Tournament experience:

I was 2 people's favorite opponent. That's the only reward I get out of those stats. I got an average painting score with the army they have directly linked on the GW site to their "What we are looking for" painting examples. I feel slightly hurt.

Also, the tournament winner, Bill Kim, has started his own Blog. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Slow and Purposeful

The title of this post doesn't only apply to the Thousand Sons, it also describes my painting habits. I paint at least one day every week, I just paint slowly. Oh well, the tortoise beats the hare, right.

Anyway, ever since I've started this blog, I've wanted to have some good progress shots. I have to say that this is a lot more challenging than I expected. First off, learning to take pictures of miniatures is an art in itself. Besides that, I can't figure how people get consistent poses from shot to shot to show progress.

Below is my attempt.

When I started my second squad of Thousand Sons, I decided that this miniature was going to be my example. This first shot is with only the black undercoat:

This one is after the midnight blue is added. Midnight blue is very dark, so it doesn't show up very well:

Finally, the latest step, Regal Blue:

Next up, Enchanted Blue. Watch this space.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Back To Work!

All right. Enough about Games Day and all that noise. On to more Thousand Sons goodness. Above is my first of what will probably be several rhinos.

I've also done some work on the base for my sorcerer lord riding a disc of Tzeentch. This has been a bit of a headache. When I first put it together, it looked like this:

I want it to look like my lord is riding a flat-topped floating rock over a ruined urban scene. I'm not crazy about Games Workshop's current Disc of Tzeentch. I was also partly inspired by this piece of Tzeentch-themed scenery.

The problem I had with it was that the post looked odd in front of the buttress. If the flying post (or do I call it a "flight stick"?) isn't supposed to be there, it will look super obvious if it was in front of one of the main elements of the scenic base.

Anyway, I was pretty annoyed so I tore the whole thing apart and re-positioned it. I even drilled a hole through the buttress so that the flight stick would be even less obvious.

This is how it came out (sorry for the blurry picture):

The hole didn't come out as straight as I had hoped, so I'm hoping some paint will hide the imperfections.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chicago Games Day Coverage

This title is a little misleading since I didn't actually attend Games Day. I was hoping people would come back and fill me in on the details and give me pictures. The only one that actually did was John, and he's already posted them on his blog.

Also, I've been overwhelmed with the amount of Internet coverage on this thing, so it's probably makes more sense for me to point people to what I think is the best. The Fly Lords of Terra have a ton of great pictures. There's also this thread on Warseer. For more of a downer, there is a major bitch session going on at Adeptus Windy City.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Chicago Games Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Chicago's Games Workshop Games Day. For the first time since they started doing these in Chicago, I won't be attending.

I have mix feelings about this. While I like saying that I went to games day, I usually walk away trying to convince myself that it was worth the ticket price. Except for last year when I volunteered and walked away wondering if my time was worth it.
I think the problem with Games Day is that it seems to be tailored to young kids new to the hobby. The hobby for me has never been about screaming "Waaaaagh!!" When I started it was about being alone inhaling paint fumes in my mother's basement.

Anyway, I'm not here to go on about the relative merits of Games Day... but let me say this last thing...

I have to commend Games Workshop for having a combat patrol tournament for free at games day. I don't think I have the stamina to do a two day long grand tournament, nor do I want to pay the money for it. But a handful of 400pt 40k games? Sign me up... next year.

So, no I'm not going. I'll be in Missouri floating down some river in a canoe.

Have no fear! I have agents who will be attending on my behalf (and buying me forge world stuff). They promised to take pictures for me. Hopefully, I will have some kind of report for all of you on Monday.

The Adeptus Windy City Crew from Games Day Chicago 2006

Update: Games Day hasn't even really started yet and people are already posting pictures of it on Warseer!! Craziness!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

R.I.P. - BattleWagon Bits

I was just thinking the other day how I don't think I had sufficiently given props to Battlewagon Bits for giving me a free t-shirt at Adepticon. I was thinking this because I was wearing said t-shirt; something I've only done twice since Adepticon.

Then I heard the news that they're basically ceasing operation and I felt even worse. The guys working the booth at Adepticon were super cool. I bought some of the new (at the time) Dark Angels bits and they threw the t-shirt in for free. I was even more shocked when they actually had it in medium! A gamer t-shirt in medium is a surprisingly rare thing.

The on-line gaming retail giant The WarStore will be taking over the operation. They seem to have their act together, so I'm sure everything will run very smoothly.

Anyway, this may be a delayed thanks, but I did appreciate the freebie.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Battle of the Blogs III

Once again, this weekend My Thousand Sons clashed with John's Ultramarines from Plastic Legions. We decided to write up a joint battle report. He's also posted this report at his site. We each wrote our own turns a la White Dwarf. I tried to make it clear below who's saying what.
Also, John took some awesome pictures. All of the in-game shots here are his. For added visual interest, I've posted some close ups of my Thousand Sons unit #1, as requested.

My Army list

I have to admit, I hadn’t prepared for this game ahead of time. In fact, for some reason, I thought that we were playing at 600 pts. When John told me 700 pts, I threw a list together without much thought.


Chaos lieutenant Sorcerer - Derg Corra Amnon (156 pts)
Mark of Tzeentch
Power Weapon
Bolt of Change
Wind of Chaos
Demonic flight


Thousand Sons Squad 1 (271 pts)
8 Rubric Marines + Free Aspiring Champion - Corracol Serrano
Power Weapon
Wind of Chaos

Thousand Sons Squad 2 (271 pts)
8 Rubric Marines + Free Aspiring Champion - Rohm Dutt
Power Weapon
Wind of Chaos

As you can see, all my spell casters have Wind of Chaos. When fighting marines, it’s a necessity. Also, I’ve named all my characters here for fun.

John's List

Ultramarines (695 pts)


Captain Brother Septimius

Power Weapon
Plasma Pistol
Iron Halo


Alpha Squad-
Sgt Brother Tiberius
9 Marines
Plasma Gun
Missile Launcher

Rhino Transport

Beta Squad
Sgt Brother Octavian
9 Marines
Plasma Gun
Missile Launcher

Fast Attack

Assault Squad
Sgt Brother Cato
-Terminator honors
-Power Fist
-Combat Shield
5 marines
Plasma Gun

John - I wanted to get my Assault Squad into CC with Scott's 1st ASAP, my eagerness cost me big time. basically the plan was to get the Assault squad engaged, Alpha Squad gets objective while Beta provided range support... Nice plan, zero execution.

Scott - Take and Hold is absolutely my favorite scenario. Once a unit of Rubrics gets in the center of the board, there is almost no dislodging them.
Since both my Rubric units are basically the same, I deployed one on the left flank and one on the right. I positioned my HQ behind squad #2 on the left.

I knew that John’s Assault Squad was going to cause a lot of problems for me, so I made them target priority #1.

John won the first turn and so it began...

Turn 1

John - Movement-Rhino pulls up toward the lander clear its stormbolter clear shots on Scotts second squad. Alpha Squad with my Commander attached moves up near the transport using it as cover against the open squad. Beta Squad stays put and will fire a Krak missile a scott's second squad. Assault Marines deployed behind a hill fly over the hill into the open toward scotts 1st squad(this was very dumb, I will regret this later and need to learn how to use these guys properly)

Shooting-Rhino fires at squad two, causing 1 wound which scott saves.Beta Squad- fires Krak Missle at Scotts second squad. It misses.

Scott - I knew that I’d have to start getting a move on if I was going to get to the center of the board, so I made Slow and Purposeful (S&P) rolls for both units. I wanted to have squad 1 hang back since John’s assault marines where heading toward me on the right flank but I was afraid that I’d be plagued with bad S&P rolls so I figured just move them up. I also moved my Sorcerer Lord from behind unit #2 toward the right flank for support.

In the shooting phase, unit 1 opened up on the assault marines, causing 6 wounds. John saved all but one. I didn’t think that was good enough, so I sacrificed the thrall and shot Doombolt again, taking one more down. A Bolt of Change from my sorcerer claimed one more. This was enough to make the unit fall back. Ha! I wasn’t going to be charged next turn.

Squad #2 didn’t have any marines in range, so the Aspiring Champion fired Doombolt into the side of the Rhino. The shot was good enough to immobilize it. Hmm, this new Aspiring Champion is already showing promise…

Turn 2

John - Movement-Rhino- immobilized..chooses to fire rather than self repair. Alpha Squad- Holds and Fires into advancing Ksons. Beta Squad Holds and Fires at Scott. Second Squad Assault Squad - Holds stays in cover.

Shooting-Rhino- Fires stormbolter- misses. Alpha Squad- 8 shots, including Krak Missile and Plasma Gun land 4 wounds on scotts 1st squadhe makes all his saves. Beta Squad- fires a Krak and second squad- misses.

Scott - This turn’s moves were basically me moving all my units forward. Unit #2 got a crappy 2” for their S&P roll. That was still not enough for me to target John’s unit hanging back on his right flank.

Shooting wasn’t as impressive as the previous turn. I managed to cause only one casualty on the unit containing John’s leader. Unit #2 Stunned the rhino but kept it’s eyes on that unit far off in the wastes.

Turn 3

John - Movement-Rhino- immobilized..chooses to fire rather than self repair. Alpha Squad- Holds and Fires into advancing Ksons. Beta Squad Holds and Fires at Scott Second Squad. Assault Squads- flies towards scotts advancing squad.

Shooting-Rhino- misses. Assault Squad- fires pistols miss and flamer causes 1 wound.Alpha Squad- lands 5 wounds, plasma gun kills one wounded Chaos Marine, scott saves the restBeta Squad- another Krak missile misses, I did not land one the whole game.

Assault-Critical error... my distance to charge is short by 1 inch!!! My guys are now sitting ducks, lesson learned here.

Scott - Wow, my sorcerers must have cast some kind of hex on John’s Plasma and krak missiles. I truly am blessed of Tzeentch.

Anyway, More slow moving. I position my Sorcerer HQ right in front of John’s unit w/ his HQ and let rip with Wind of Chaos. Four marines were consumed by the dread fire of Tzeentch!
Unit one eliminated the last remnants of John’s assault unit and I breathed a sigh of relief.
My HQ then charged the recently decimated unit of Ultramarines and cut down three more!

Turn 4
John - Movement-Rhino- immobilized... chooses to fire rather than self repair. HQ/ Squad 1- in close combat. Beta Squad- holds and fires.
Shooting-Rhino- fires misses. Beta Squad- entire squads blasts Scotts second squad with rapid fire bolters, plasma gun and krak missile I roll a 13 attacks, Scott's Ksons scoff- my plasma comes up 1 with a gets hot, I fail the save and die, my Krak misses again and all the bolter shots on come out to 1 wound on one soldier after saves.AssaultHQ/ Alpha Squad Close Combat- land 1 wound on his sorcerer lord.
Scott - Movement in this turn is pretty minmal as my HQ Sorcerer is locked in comabt with John's Alpha Squad.
My Squad 2 manages to take John's Beta squad down to three marines.

The Assault phase is tense as our two HQs face off. We pull a Superman/ Doomsday and kill each other simultaneously. I was hoping that my general would do a demonic dance of victory over the corpse of Captain Brother Septimius, but at least I took him out.

Turn 5 (Note - both my and John's notes seem to be fuzzy from here on out.)

John - Movement Rhino- immobilized/ Crew Stunned. Alpha Squad- Shoots then Assaults. Beta Squad- advances and fires.

Shooting/ Assault-Alpha -I can't make out my notes here but either my Sgt's pistol or the assault lands some wounds. I kill one Chaos Marine here. Beta Squad- Bolters fire, I cause a wound here to the other squad.
Scott - I was shocked when alpha squad charged me. I mean, I know I suck at close combat, but that was a brave effort from those marines.

Anyway, we pretty much called the game at this point. Or as John, said, "The Thunderhawk comes down and rescues the last three marines standing."

Fair enough.

Final Recap

John - Wow, some my worst dice to date. I could barely do a thing and failed alot of saves.The highlight of game for me was the commanders taking each other out in a brutal close combat.I personally cant wait for the new Chaos Codex. While AP3 bolters sounds like hell, facing troops with only 1 wound will be nice change in dynamic.

Great game Scott...your revenge was served warm and cold and with a shovel!.

Quote of the day, from Scott after my 6th miss with a Krak missile- "Stop calling it a missile, call it a rocket as missile has the word MISS in it!" So true my friend. Next time- the Ultramarines counter attack.
Scott - I can't complain much about this game. It went smashingly well for me. I think my list could have been a little better. I probably didn't need to buy both my squads Wind of Chaos since neither of them got close enough to use it. I could have spent that money to give my HQ a better edge in close combat. I'm working on a Disc of Tzeentch right now which could have probably swung that last assault in my favor.
Also, John's Army looks great. I only had about 30% of my points painted and my leader looked pretty silly flying around without arms. I really need to try to get more painting done.
PS - Here's one more close up shot. More on the way, I promise.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thousand Sons Squad 2

And so it begins again! I was going to start this post with some pictures of the demons I've worked on lately, but then I realized that I've taken almost no pictures of them. I think that's because I've gotten so frustrated with them that I can't bear to look at them more than I have to. I'll probably use some of the models in some capacity, but for now, I'm concentrating on my core.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this second squad of Thousand Sons. Since I don't have to test out my paint scheme, this unit should go a lot faster than my last one.

I learned one thing with my last unit that I've done differently in this unit. I based the models before I primed them. Last time, I waited until the very end to glue rocks and such on the base and then had a very hard time trying to paint around the legs and tabards.

In the squad above, I've started to apply the Midnight Blue to the areas of the armor that are going to be blue. The pictures don't show much since Midnight blue is so dark, almost black.

Ok, so not much to see at this point.

Here is the first stage of the Aspiring Champion/Sorcerer.

A random Thousand Sons Marine.

Finally, a Son with only the black undercoat.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Campaign Report

As I've mentioned previously, I've been involved in a campaign for a month or two now. So far, my army, "The Eye of Prophesy", is undefeated.

Below is a re-cap of my first four games. Note that we are doing an escalation from game to game. You may notice that some of the armies I describe aren't legal under standard 40k force organization. We started at 300 points, so there are rules dictating what we can take.

Game One - vs. Aaron's Imperial Guard (The Tarsus 88th)

This took place on one of the city-fight nodes on the campaign map. Since we had just stated the campaign, we weren't really ready for COD rules. We used lots of buildings but no stratagems. The game was a take and hold.

Aaron had three Imperial Guard Veteran Squads and I had one full squad of Thousand Sons and a unit of screamers.

Early in game, Aaron made the mistake of leaving one of his squads out in the open. I made them fall off the board just from shooting. The screamers showed up pretty quickly but didn't do much. Aaron shot them down pretty quickly. Fortunately, this caused one of plasma gunners to overheat and die. In fact, I think three of the plasma guns he had in his force died do to overheats.

Once I got in the center of the board, there was no dislodging me. I just blazed away with my bolters and brought his other two squads below scoring.

Game two - vs. Aaron (again)

This time Aaron attacked me at a node that grants me a free thrall when I fight a battle on it. He was able to afford more scary guns (Missile launchers) this time around and I had an extra screamer.

He was a lot smarter about placing his units this time and I was a lot smarter about my screamer's fall back move.

This one was Recon, if I recall. This one was a lot closer, but the end result was the same.

Game three - vs. Anton's sisters of Battle (Order of the Amethyst Shroud)

As a Space Wolves player, I played against Sisters of Battle a lot, so I was keen to test my new army against them. Anton took two small sisters squads and a stormtrooper squad in a chimera. He also had a heavy hitter in the form of a Callidus assassin.

Now, I've played sisters before, but never an assassin. I had no clue about the flamer template weapon that works on leadership. WTF!?!

Needless to say, I had my Thousand Sons packed pretty tightly when she showed up. I lost both my thralls and about three marines.

Luckily, I was sort of prepared. I had given my Aspiring Champion a familiar. He had Doombolt and Gift of Chaos. When my turn rolled around, I quickly turned the assassin into a chaos spawn.

Later in the game, I managed to charge the spawn into the side of the chimera and immobilize it. Nice tasty victory points for me.

Game Four - vs Anton's Sisters (again)

At the end of game three, Anton astutely pointed out that I had broken the rules by including my invulnerable save demons. Oops! My bad.

For game four, I decided to not take any demons. This time around, I had a full unit of Thousand sons and a smaller one with just the Aspiring champion and three rubrics.

It was take and hold again. I really like this mission because if I get a full unit of rubrics in the center of the board, it will take a lot to dislodge them.

This time, Anton had a unit of seraphim and two units of sisters, both with heavy bolters. Despite the may times I've played against sisters, I had never fought against seraphim. I have to say, they were a surprising unit. Combined with some of the faith points mo-jo (as some say, faith points bullshit), they put some hurt on one of my units.

Again, the assassin showed up and did some serious damage, and then I promptly turned her into a spawn.

I turned the sister superior of the seraphim into a spawn, too, but as I only have one spawn model, she just disappeared.

This one was close, but I pulled it out in the end.

Here are a few pictures taken on campaign nights:

This is a map-based campaign, and this is the map.

Jason, Nick and Eric contemplate their moves.

Nick's Orks take to the field.

Anton's Witch Hunters and Mike's Eldar battle over "The Tower of Knowledge" (not pictured).