Friday, May 31, 2013

hyv3mynd's Hectic World - Painting, Playing, and Prepping

I'm going to throw a lot at you this week.  The approaching summer brings on the "slow season" for my day job.  On the horizon also is Parkhammer '13 which is the first official "event" of The Grand Strategery, the gaming club founded by authors of this blog.  While it's not a formal tournament, it will be a fun day of gaming and barbequing with friends and family.  DaBoyz have also announced the dates and venue for their 2013 GT so I'll toss in some list ideas for your review.

First off is a tutorial/WIP for my Sorceror of Tzeentch.  This model was chosen to be the focus of a painting competition at Parkhammer.  This will be my first entry into a painting competition (aside from trying for "best painted" at local events) and I'm pretty excited to spend some serious time on a single model.  This portion of the WIP will also serve as a tutorial for airbrushing small infantry models.  Since it's a competition model, I'll be taking steps that I normally wouldn't when painting an entire army.

First, I drilled and pinned the individual parts.  I normally airbrush assembled models, but this time I want to make sure it's very clean and minimize overspray.  I primed black lightly and patched the rest with vellejo black.  I'm finding black is the best primer for airbrushing if you want to work it into your shading.

Next, I isolated the flesh areas by masking with poster tac (bluetac or a generic version).  The first pass of color was a 50/50 mix of black and camo green.  I know tzeentch usually features blues, pinks, and purples, but I don't want this army to be a rainbow so all models will feature the same palette despite their deity of choice.  This airbrushing pass covers the widest angles and fades from the horns on the head down to the toes of the feet.

The next pass is pure camo green, with less coverage than the first and higher angles (from where the top of the model would be) leading towards zenithal highlighting.

I finished this step with a 50/50 mix of camo green and white airbrushed onto the face, fingers, and rear leg joint.  This pass was fired from the highest zenith.  It's hard to see on such a small model, but layered over the previous coats, it creates highlights and shadows in the fine details like cheekbones and fingers.

With the flesh tones done, I removed the poster tac and masked off the flesh so I can work on the armor without ruining what I've done.  My first color layer on the armor is dark fleshtone.

With the same method I used on the fleshtones, my next pass was with a 50/50 mix of dark fleshtone and white from a higher angle.

Then I finished with pure white just on the highest points.  If you look closely at the chest and right arm, you can see shadows forming from black to brown to white thanks to airbrushing from increasing angles.

Skipping ahead, I've used the same process to add yellows to the staff and blues to the loincloth.

And here's the model assembled.  All painting thus far is with the airbrush.  The reason I wanted to show this process is to showcase how airbrushing can make basecoating models quite quick and easy.  If you look closely at the hands, you can see how the individual fingers have been shaded and highlighted just by using 3 different colors and airbrushing from different angles.  The next steps will be washes, glazes, wet palette blending, and dry brushing.  I'm going to keep those steps under wraps until after the painting contest so I don't spoil the surprise!

Next up are a few shots from a demo game.  Grubnards and Crimthaan ran a 40k demo day at the local shop to try and interest new players.  They also brought along some painted forces to showcase.

Some of Grubnard's Eldar.

And his Tau.

Some of Grubnard's CSM and Crimthaan's Crimson Fists.

While they were running small demo games and chatting with passers by, I ran a 1500pt game against a friend who wanted to take my Tyranids for a test drive.

I used the Typhus list I took to Syracuse in April.  I built him a TAC list with flyrant, hive guard, 30 gaunts, tervigon, warriors, and tyrannofex.  He wasted no time coming at me with the flyrant which easily handled my maulerfiend with smashes.

My jugger lord came over and put 3 wounds on the tyrant with his daemon axe, but ate a smash and went down.  My spawn escorts never landed the final wound and also went down to smashes.

I got a little revenge when my possessed rolled up the ap3 mutation and finished the wounded tervigon, but it was too little too late.  My friend had me down to 2 models (Typhus and an Aspiring Champion) by the end.

It's actually a lot of fun to pit two of your own armies against each other, especially with another person taking charge of one army.  You learn a lot about how to handle potential pairings and possible tactics to try in the future.  I'm a staunch proponent of practicing as much as possible, and always learn more from losses than wins.

As stated in the beginning of this post, DaBoyz announced their annual GT so my gears have started turning towards a final GT list.  It seems they're dropping comp scores for a second year in a row so I want to try a list with more repetition than I normally use.  Here is the core of what I'd like to play:

Herald of Tzeentch + ml2, locus of conjuration
Zombies x30
Zombies x30
Horrors x11
Plaguebearers x10
Spawn x5 + MoN
Spawn x5 + MoN
Maulerfiend + lashers
Bastion + quad gun

This comes in at 1519 so I'd have about 330pts to play with.  Plaguebearers would take the quad gun on top of the bastion and have 2+ cover.  Horrors would be inside the bastion to use the av14, hvy bolters, and throw out flickering flames with prescience from the herald.  Spawn and maulerfiends would lead the offensive push with Typhus and zombies behind to mop up.

I'm still torn with how to use the last 330pts.  Some things I've considered are:
Plague Marine melta hunters in a rhino - even more scoring fearless bodies
Obliterators - more long range firepower and flexibility
Land Raider + 10 zombies - another av14 target with a cheap, fearless scoring unit
6 plague drones - another fast assault unit that can glance any vehicle and tarpit/contest late game
CSM bikers w/ melta - another fast vehicle hunter unit

What do you guys think will complement my core list the most in a non-comp GT setting?


  1. Nice job on the skin tones for the sorcerer model. I can't wait to see the final version. As for the Da Boyz list I would definitely include a 3 man squad of Oblits with MoN. They are a nice "swiss army knife" for the army. I know you hate hearing this but consider the Heldrake ;)

    1. Yeah I like the potential flexibility with the oblits either deploying to hold the backfield or deep striking to aid my fast assault units.

      The heldrake is a no-go. It just bothers me too much. The model causes auto-hits that ignore cover when it arrives and ector strikes. It causes auto-hits with the flamer that ignore almost all armor and all cover with rerolls to wound. It's immune to every assault unit if it never hovers and almost every ground based shooting unit. It's got an invuln so it never needs to jink and can regen hull points too? Too much of an auto-include bandwagon unit that takes no skill and no to-hit rolls ever. Sorry to rant on them but that unit bothers me way too much.

  2. Something to watch out for would be tau players removing your cover save on those plaguebearers on the building. Especially if they are manning a quad gun. Other than that I am always a proponent of scoring units, T5 FNP scoring units being one of the better choices. Smart opponents know to target them, and with Tau and now Eldar being much better at removing cover, pinning and psychic buff/debuff I am trying to rely less on cover and more on either transports going really fast or better protected units.

    I do like the list and I think you have great potential. What do you think of the new venue? Some of us are stoked to be playing in a swanky resort this year!

    1. I think tau targeting the 'bearers to remove cover would be a poor choice since they retain the 5++ for being a daemon. And if they do, that means they aren't shooting the spawn and zombies right? Tau are fast but so are the beasts and fiends so I'd think they would be forced to targeting them first.

      After the games of the last few months, I really do wonder if 80 fearless scoring bodies is enough. My first choice in list design is always the "toys" and I've maintained a losing record in 6th ed due to never having enough scoring bodies left. With this list, I want to try something different for myself. It's spammier than my other lists have been and I want a ridiculous scoring base. More zombies wouldn't add much killing power to what the list has, so it comes down to CSM, cultists, plague marines, or daemons. Typhus making a big mob of shooty cultists fearless would be fun. Plague marines offer the best special weapons. More plague bearers wouldn't do anything, and more horrors only buy 1 more warp charge.

      I like the idea behind the venue, I just wish it wasn't so much further for me now. My schedule between working days while my wife works nights, and playing pass the baby between me, her, and the grandparents, is so strained that the extra travel time could keep me out of the team event (best case) or even the whole event (worst case). I just have to start things in motion now and hope the stars align in November. Either way, I'm going to keep painting like a fiend so the army is finished by then rain or shine.

    2. Well I sure hope it works out scheduling wise for you!!! I like the list, as far as my opinion on what you should add, using the list i took to the last tourney i was in as a reference i say you need the firepower, your list IS scary fast, but you need stuff taking out enemy vehicles to reduce the amount of firepower your front lines take in 2nd and 3rd rounds before and after my vote would be some variation of soulgrinder and oblits

  3. Plague Marine melta hunters in a rhino
    -- With only one rhino, it will likely fall turn 1 for first blood. I think this is only useful if you're running a large number of them (3+)

    CSM bikers w/ melta
    -- If you're going to go this route, I'd get a nurgle (or Khorne Lord) on a bike with them. It would be like 6 nurgle bikers (2 melta guns) + Lord (nurgle + LC + PF) which could move up with your Spawn and the Lord could jump between the three units if necessary.

    -- You don't really have any ranged firepower, so these would probably be best with mark of nurgle. You'd still have 90 points to play with for more PB/Spawn/PH or another unit of zombies in reserve

    Land Raider + 10 zombies
    -- An interesting option. No assault doors doesn't really matter but I think you'll often be stuck only shooting one lascannon and a heavy bolter due to LoS. Oblits would probably be better

    6 plague drones
    -- I really like these units but I think they work better with slightly different choices of allies, GUO deep striking and some of those nurgle El choices that can counter assault (forgot the name)

    I'd say oblits or the bikes would be the best choice.

    1. Thanks for the unit by unit reveiw, it help me visualise the flow of the army better.

      I agree on bikes and oblits since I love my toys. Here are some interesting spin-off ideas:

      6 bikes + MoN, melta x2, pfist, melta bombs + 26 zombies = 330pts. Fast melta hunters and more scoring.

      3 oblits + MoN, 3 spawn + MoN = 336pts (shave 2 zombies). Shooty goodness + more spawn to convert. Yes pls!

      5 bikes + MoN, melta x2, pfist, melta bombs + maulerfiend w/ lashers = 325pts. Two more fast units that hit hard. Is 3 maulerfiends too much or even better than 2?

      Or your suggestion for a biker lord + bikes? I've already invested 310 out of 1850 on HQ's, should I invest more in the edition of "boots on the ground"?

    2. For me, I'm still working on building my Chaos army, but have got some games in with them with heavy allies. My heavy supports are 3 oblits, 4 missile havoks and 4 autocannon havoks. I really want to use the maulerfiends, but the AV12 is a bit scary. I'll probably have to try proxying them with terrivgons or something. With that kind of speed (3 maulers, 2 5xSpawn and 1 bike unit) it's going to be very different for the other player to target your scoring units and the bastion. I'd say that's definitely something to try in practice games.

      At 1850, 4 durable units of scoring is probably enough, so I'd skip the first option unless your practice games proves that wrong.

      The Oblits and Spawn are a good option too.

      I see your point about the lord, but I like that unit too much. Mine will have a murder sword (I know it's not the best) and act as a good denial unit. I've tried a murder sword in one game, and my opponent said he was extremely worried about it (Marked a Wraithseer). It was on foot, so it didn't really get the job done.

    3. My only hesitation on 3 maulerfiends is "too many eggs in one basket" syndrome. An army with enough fast anti-tank (crisis suits w/ fusion, etc) can probably handle 3 maulers easily.

      5 bikers + 2 melta, pfist, melta bombs, MoN
      2 oblits + MoN

      That way I add some fast shooting and long range shooting, bolstering my backfiend and offensive push at the same time.

    4. Yeah, that probably sounds like the best idea.

  4. I would tend to stay away from running the PB's on top of the Bastion - the Horrors are already inside it and score so the Plagues would be redundant in some ways. Wht about a squad of Havoks on the Bastion, with one manning the quad gun. That gives you an awful lot of auto cannon shots.

    Another good option is a Soul Grinder with Vomit - S6 AP 4 torrent flamer and it can Deep Strike to keep up with the Mauler's.

    1. IDK man. If I deploy one objective 6" to the left of the bastion door and one objective 6" to the right of the door, the horrors can disembark left first and the bearers next to the right. I can effectively grab 2 objectives late game out of one building assuming the building survives. I have enough zombies to bubble wrap it from deep striking melta and av14 with as many effective hull points isn't easy to kill at range when the maulerfiends are rushing forward. I have, on the other hand been on the fence about ADL vs bastion. If I run the ADL I would want my tzerald on a disc instead of on foot, with ml3 to keep divination buffs on the spawn or fiends.

      I did mull over a soulgrinder too. I love the nurgle buff for 3+/2+ cover on an av13 than can regen hull points. Tzeentch fits my army theme tooI wouldn't use the flamer as it would probably target the models in range of the spawn and fiends, and I wouldn't want to spoil their assaults. The battlecannon and str10 shot are appealing, but again he would need prescience which means the herald cant be in the bastion, which means on foot with a disc and ml3.

      So again the questions would be:

      #1) Soulgrinder + MoT, warp gaze + disc/ml3 on herald, ADL instead of bastion, 3 plague drones + champ, greater reward (or 30 more zombies/ or 4 more spawn). Souldgrinder w/ prescience is respectable anti-air, drones add speedy support and ap2 to my forward push.

      #2) Soulgrinder + MoN, phlegm + disc/ML3 on herald, ADL instead of bastion, add a third maulerfiend. So 4 daemon walkers can be intimidating. Interesting also would be a grimoire on the herald to give a maulerfiend a 3++? Worth it or no?

      Which way would you go with the soulgrinder?

    2. Also

      #3) Soulgrinder + MoT, warp gaze, disc/ml3 herald, ADL instead of bastion, oblits x2 + MoN. This adds a lot of high str shooting and anti-air potential between skyfire and prescience. Str10 grinder and str8 oblits aren't shoddy in assault either.

    3. I actually like to run a Grinder with pretty much any mark except Nurgle. While the Nurgle mark does provide Shrouding - losing the ability to run and the ability to sweep opponents is a huge hit. In my games of 6th with the new codex (and the old) I have found Grinders to be very resilient as is. They really want to shoot as they advance - maybe even Deep Striking in - so they can get stuck into CC with opponents that have no real way to hurt them.

      I really look at the Autocannon anti-air option on the Grinder as a bonus feature that might ground a FMC, but is not really designed to do much damage. Paying 170 points for 3 autocannon shots is a bit expensive. Instead, I would run him with Phlegm or Vomit. Warp Gaze is a S10 shot and I ran it in 5th edition, but templates hitting at full strength and Phlegm being ordinance makes it much better now.

      I would keep run the Grinder as MoT, Vomit and go with that and add a third Maulerfiend. I think the Grimoire on the Herald is definitely worth it - you can also just drop the portal if you really need more bodies.

  5. Thanks for all the feedback guys, feel free to add comments to the sub-lists as I'd like to proxy test several versions before I make a final decision. With 5 months to go, I want to make sure I make the best choices. Think I was 19th in '11 and 14th in '12 so my goal this year is to make top 10 overall.

  6. I myself would put that lord on a disc and throw him in with 9 screamers and try to fit in a soulgrinder of nurgle.