Saturday 31 August 2019

The Boss

Another week and more Marauder progress has been made, this almost completes the Strike Team options. So far I'd only completed one commander so it was good to welcome two more into the team.

Each commander has a special ability they add to the team which can be used with the 'Splat' result on the command dice. The Splat is the rarest result with only a 1 in 6 chance of being rolled. 
The Commando Captain is widely considered to be one of the best commanders around with his ability to roll two extra command dice (Tactician 2) and his special Tactical Genius ability which allows the team to spend a Splat to take and then use one of the enemies command dice (move, shoot or fight results only). He also comes with Combat Team Training which means you never lose the ability to re-roll command dice which normally happens when you have lost over half your team.

The Warlord is a more straight forward melee mincing machine, his Green Rage special allows him to designate a model to gain Frenzy (4), this allows you to re-roll up to 4 dice in a melee, including exploding dice that have missed. He's a great leader for any melee heavy Strike Team.

I also completed some more Commando models, two with the normal Rifle only build and then one each of the Claw & Ripper variants. The extra melee parts are metal so this makes the models rather top heavy which makes them a bit unsteady on their feet as the bases are quite small (25mm).

I'm not sure I'd pay out the extra for the upgraded Commando's as the beauty of them is the low cost and their decent stats.

The last unit is the Sky Scraper which has only one official model for the mercenary version. This unit suffers in a couple of ways mostly I think because of the size of it. In Deadzone you use a true line of sight system so if you can draw a LOS from any part of your model to any part of the enemies model (including the base) you can shoot. With this model being so high it will be a real bullet magnet.

Official Model

The other issue is that this is a Specialist which competes for that slot with better units and Aerial Deployment whilst it lets you drop into any square at the start of the game doesn't then  give you any tactical maneuverability bonus like Jump Pack does.

But as I had loads of Commando models and some old 40k jump packs I made a couple up in case they get a boost in a future update.

So that's the team almost completed, I've got a few more models to finish off and then I can start getting serious on the Undead.

Monday 26 August 2019

Let it Rain! (Fiery Destruction)

As well as getting a game in this week and watching the cricket and then listening to the cricket I've also completed some more painting.
I've pretty much rounded out my Deadzone Marauders with the completion of another troop type and the heavy hitting suit wearing specialists.

The Mawbeast is a fast moving melee dog some of whom have had chainsaws medically inserted in place of their mouths. I'm not sure how they eat and given the fact that dogs love to lick themselves I presume they have a very high rate of self-inflicted death. But for 12 points you get a fast, hard hitting melee troop which is perfect for getting in the enemies face or moving around a flank.

It would have been nice to get a couple extra of these in the boxes in place of some of the  Goblin snipers so I may need to buy a couple more if I go with a roughly planned Mawbeast and Goblin only force. The Mawbeast comes in a suicide bomb Specialist version as well but with the Specialist spot being so much in demand with lots of great options I cannot see them ever being fielded.

The other units completed are the two mech-suit variants that drew me to the Marauders in the first place. The Ripper suited Marauder is again filling a Specialist slot and the Rainmaker is generally considered to be one of the best shooting units in the game.

The models themselves are packed with detail and the Rainmaker belt feed comes in a solid piece so you can change the arm position and cut the belt to length to make it fit. You also get a fair few bits of rocket and other kit to glue on making them look really tooled up.

The Rainmaker has a ranged weapon for every occasion and would for me be an auto-include in any list as it can deal with massed infantry as well as single high armour targets.
The Mauler is a couple of points cheaper and comes tooled up for face punching and cutting things up. He's not as flexible as the Rainmaker but can step in to keep your power dice re-roll if the main commander should die due to his Tactician (1).

Once again the contrast paints made these a quick and easy job to get done and I think for the effort involved they look really good.

I also sorted out the rest of my bases for the Death section of my Undead, this allowed me to base up the cavalry who I had already painted.

These are planned to be used as Soulreaver Cavalry who currently occupy the extremely heavy hammer spot in the Undead lists. I don't think I would ever take a Troop so have based them as a Regiment.

My suspicion is that they may come down in price in v3 as I think they will be losing De 6+ which I think will become extremely rare. But if they retain 20 attacks hitting on 3+ with some Thunderous Charge & Crushing Strength they will be a force to be reckoned with.

The Soulreaver units are not shambling so they do have the advantage of moving more quickly across the table under normal circumstances but they cannot be surged. That does mean however that whatever surge is in the army can be concentrated on other units.

So two units completed so far with another Regiment of each and the commander to finish off this section of the army.

Sunday 25 August 2019

A Tale of Two Forts: Pillage

The fourth big battle in the ongoing campaign was Pillage which sees 4 + D3 objectives being placed on the table and then one victory point being awarded for each uncontested objective being held at the end of the game.
The Salamanders had changed their army up again with some shooty chaff making way for melee chaff and the Horde of Primes being replaced by Ancients on foot.
Both sides equipped a caster with Blizzard with the aim of getting some long range wounds on the enemy.

With a concentration of objectives in the centre of the board both sides setup with the heavy hitters front and centre and their faster troops on the same table edge. With the Salamanders taking the first turn to edge up a little the Herd made sure they had gotten into charge range across most of the front.

The open table edge saw a more cautious approach though the Salamander caster with Blizzard managed an impressive 10 hits with its first cast.

The second turn saw the Salamanders take out the Herd chaff and also shoot the Giant Eagles off the board scoring 11 hits with the second Blizzard cast. In turn the Herd got some good charges in and wiped out both of the dangerous mounted Ancients regiments but fail to route anything else. The Nightstalker Doppelgangers finally managed to get a charge in against something tasty and wiped out on regiment on their own.

Both lines had pretty much closed at this point so it settled down into a bit of a grind. I was also feeling rather unwell so didn't really concentrate enough on taking pictures.

The Salamanders had the edge on the grind in the centre but both sides rolled low on nerve tests so it probably went on for a turn longer that required, especially with the Herd rolling two sets of snake eyes in one round.

But whilst that was going on the Herd had cleared their left flank and started to move back into the middle of the table looking to seize control of enough objectives to gain a victory.

As the grind pretty much came to a close with wounds mounting up on both sides the Salamanders held three objectives but the Herd where closing in.

The last turn saw the Herd holding two objectives to the Salamanders one with two being contested so victory went to the Herd.

This means that the Herd lead 3 v 1 in the big battle stakes so we agreed to move straight onto the final Siege game as the next battle. The Herd will be on the offensive so I need to have a look at the best way to knock walls down with the troops I have available. That will probably be the last Kings of War v2 game I get played before v3 hits.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Going Commando

Marauder Commando's make up the backbone of any Marauder Strike Team and the cheapest leader you can buy is the Commando Sergeant. He prefers to be up close and personal with a good fight stat and a short range pistol.

You can tailor your Strike Team around the special ability that the leader brings and the Sergeant allows you to spend a special power dice to re-roll any test for models with the Commando type. So if you include him you should bring plenty of Commando troops with you.

The basic ranged choice for the Marauders is the Commando who can be equipped with extra melee weapons at a cost but the basic Orc is a very solid choice.

For the color scheme I've gone with  green and purple for the uniforms with the basic troops getting a majority green and the specialists (mostly) getting a majority purple outfit. I've done these again with the contrast paints which went on in the same way as the Goblins and then the Vallejo pigment to complete the model. Some of the paints seem to work much better than others out of the bottle so the brown, blue and green are excellent but I think the purple will need to be thinned out a little next time. Unfortunately you cannot really see the end effect until the paint has dried.

Commando's also come in a Specialist variety with a choice of either Flamer or HMG weapons. My personal preference is the Flamer for it's ability to attack everything in a square and set it on fire.

The Flamer does have a short range however which the HMG does not suffer from which would allow the HMG Specialist to hang back and lay down fire over a reasonable are of a board.

Another model that can reach out is the Hulk, he's a big fella with a bigger gun which ignores even the heaviest of armor. As the weapon has the Heavy rule he cannot move and fire so again finding a good piece of high ground and sniping away would be his best bet.

Next up will be the other mech-suited Orcs which will almost complete the painting on the Marauders. The great thing about a skirmish army is how quick they can come together.

Something else which came together quickly (see what I did there?) are the Soul Reaver infantry for the Undead. I hadn't planned on getting them based up but then got a little over-excited and thought I would see how they looked.

As always some things work and some don't. I had bought some white bushes and grass clumps but when I got them onto the base with the black static grass the effect was too jarring so I pulled the bushes off and painted over the grass clumps.

If I was to be critical then the models could start a little darker but I really wanted them to stand out against the base so started fairly light. I do have another regiment to paint so I may do those starting on a black undercoat rather than grey.

So that's one unit down for the new army with a few lessons learnt for the next ones.

Sunday 11 August 2019

Marauder Strike Team: Goblins

Hot off the press this week are the first of my Marauder Strike Team for Deadzone. I went with the Goblin models first which consists of the Bolts/Grunt Bot model I looked at the other week and the Goblin snipers.

Across the starter and booster boxes you get seven snipers which is far more than you would ever need to field. Snipers count as Specialists in Deadzone and you can only field one per normal troop recruited.

As many of the juiciest units are specialists (including the Grunt Bot) that slot will be at a premium as it will likely be filled with units like the Rainmaker / Mauler suits or Commando Specialist.
But if you are looking for a cheap unit to hit hard at range then the Sniper can fill that roll at the expense of a poor survive stat and no real fighting expertise.

With these models I wanted to try a few things out in preparation for the Undead army so this was my first go with GW Contrast paints and Vallejo Weathering Pigment. The contrast paint worked really well and I spent some time pre-shading the models which I think helped. The big mistake I made was to undercoat the whole model in gloss white which made getting the metallic's down more difficult. On my next batch I will be undercoating in grey as normal and then brushing over with gloss white on the non-metallic areas. This should help the contrast flow off the high points and pool in the recesses.

I also tried the contrast paints over a metallic base and I really like how it works on the silver, the green over bronze worked less well on the big model than on the test one I did so I will be switching over to painting it on silver. The bronze did work well with the purple contrast on the ends of the flamer as it left a good burnt metal effect.

With the weathering pigment I mixed it into some thinner medium and brushed on the resultant paste, once this dries it leaves the pigment behind. I should have applied it a bit lighter to start off so the Grunt Bot looks to have been in a sand storm but after some trial and error I was able to produce a more subtle effect.

So as always when trying something new it didn't quite work the way I expected but lessons where learnt and hopefully the next batch are even better.

I also completed the painting for the Soul Reaver Infantry I stuck together last week ready to be based up. As I'm liking the way these look I have also started the base today and hope to see how it all goes together by the end of next week.

These chaps also saw me trying out a new source for decals, I'd been trying to find some decals to use but was having trouble until I searched on Ebay and it kept suggesting nail decals.
After a quick look it looked like these where just water-slide decals so I placed an order to test them out.

I'm pleased with the result gained with these as they are very similar to those produced for wargames though maybe on slightly thinner paper. With the vast range available from many suppliers I can see myself looking for decals from this source again.

And finally there was a bit of excitement on Kings of War v3 front with the pre-orders being released so I've bagged a copy of the rules and now just need to wait for October, at least we have something to look forward to in that month now.