Monday 28 August 2023

Armada: Don't Call me Short!

 The second fleet I'm painting up for Armada are the Abyssal Dwarfs, these will be for Mr T to play and will pair nicely with the Ambush force already completed if/when we decide to do a land and see campaign.

In general the Abyssal Dwarf navy has a nice mixture of long range indirect fire and boarding focused ships. Whilst not the fastest fleet overall they do have the Hellforged Engines special which allows them to balance greater manoeuvrability against the chance to cause self-inflicted damage by pushing their engines over the safe limit. The Abyssal Dwarfs don't field any Tiny or XL ships so everything is every Small, Medium, or Large.

First up we have a pair of Angkor, named after a KoW mortar unit it is no surprise these boast a large indirect weapon up front and decent broadsides. One thing that is noticeable for the AD is the cost of their ships tends to be comparable to one size up of most other fleets. They are also generally tougher than comparable sized ships in other navies, so can take a real beating.

The studio paint-jobs depicted all the skulls in bone colour but I fancied something a bit more bling for the AD so broke out the gold. This is the first outing for the Army Painter speedpaint metallics, which I really liked. I wasn't getting much of a contrast but the paint really flows nicely onto the models.
The Infernox boasts a mighty CS 7 for boarding actions along with it's massive gold skull so absolutely wants to get in close and mix it up in boarding actions. I think we could have some bloody actions with my Twilight Kin also looking to get in close and initiate boarding.

The Decimator also wants to get in close but rather than boarding it wants to set the enemy ablaze. I've not really checked out the fire rules yet but my expectation is that being on a wooden ship that's burning is probably a bad thing that you want to avoid. It also has a good CS for boarding actions so certainly isn't a one trick sea-pony.

The cheapest and fastest ships in the AD fleet the Blacksouls are useful for filling out the last few points and chucking in the way of enemy ships to run interference. I think their speed could also be useful in scenario play for seizing objectives.

The last ship (for the moment) is the Katsuchan and this again concentrates on the long range indirect fire support. This has two forward firing IDW's and the chance to cause extra damage on the enemy when rolling doubles to hit at the expense of setting itself ablaze.

That's all the ships painted thus far, it's certainly much more straight forwards painting up ships without sails so perhaps the next fleet will be Trident Realm's.

Sunday 20 August 2023

Armada: Small Ships

Having worked through almost all the larger ships I now moved onto the small ships and flyers.

Needlefangs are Tiny ships fitting on 30mm squares and their main benefit seems to be the Attrition special which adds 1 point of damage onto a friendly ships shooting damage whilst within 6". This benefit stacks for each Needlefang within 6" of the shooting ship. For reference a Light cannon does 1 point of damage normally and a Heavy 2.

The models are supplied to go two on a base but they are pretty big and one works fine and gives you twice the options.

The Banshee is a Small support ship and whilst not tough itself it's main purpose is to hinder an opponent in boarding melees. It's Banshee's Wail special incurs a -1 to hit in boarding actions for any ship it's grappled with. So the idea would be to get it into combat with a big hitting enemy and hope it lives long enough for support to arrive.

Lastly (for the moment) we have the two flying units available to the Twilight Kin. Flyers are slightly unusual in that they can only attack enemies they directly fly over and can only be attacked by those same enemy units. 

The general opinion is they are best suited to picking off weakened enemies that have seperated from the main fleet.

This is the entire fleet painted up so far, I have one more Butcher to paint but I'm going to work on some of the Abyssal Dwarfs first as a change before coming back to that one.

Sunday 13 August 2023

Armada: Ramming Speed!

First up this week are a few rock formations for our ships to avoid / crash into. Rocks don't have a grounding zone like islands so if you hit one then I think you just get stuck, so best avoided then.

I've also completed some more ships to add into the fleet, the two smaller ships are Impaler's and the larger ship is a Soulbane.

As you might guess from the name the Impaler's specialise in ramming the enemy, ramming is a fairly damaging act for both the ships involved but importantly is does slow down both the vessels involved. This could be a good tactic to allow your larger but most likely slower ships to catch up with (and board) faster enemy ships. 

The Impaler is a pretty cheap ship so I'd expect to see at least one in any fleet.

The Soulbane is a large main battle ship which doesn't seem to be packing lots of guns but does have a good combat strength for boarding. Probably it's more important for it's Ensnare special rule which gives other ships within 6" a +2 on boarding roles. Boarding roles are skill tests with normal crews requiring a 5+ to pass and veteran a 4+. Being a veteran crew costs 10% extra but it does give so other bonuses so for your hard hitters it looks like points well spent.

One of the upgrades any Twilight Kin ship can take allows them to take Barbed Harpoons which allows an attempt at grappling no matter what the enemy ships speed. Normally if a ship is going at full speed (speeds are anchored>Stead>Battle>Full) it cannot be grappled. But with this being an unmodified 4+ to succeed you are probably better off slowing an enemy down and trying to get the Soulbane's aura in play.

I also took delivery of some 3d printed ships from Bristol Independent Gaming who are retail printers for Mantic Vault. The detail is good and the models came in at about 1/2 - 2/3 of the Mantic resin so it offered a decent saving. I'm looking forward to painting these up once I've completed the TK & AD fleets.

Sunday 6 August 2023

Armada: New Raiders

The Twilight Kin are renowned raiders and slavers in the world of Pannithor and as such they like to get in close enough to seize enemy ships and plunder the booty (and people) on board.

The first of the ships to leave dry-dock for this new project are the Butcher and Assassin/Heart Seeker.

Not having yet played a game it's hard to talk about the tactics and stats for the individual ships but I will run through them quickly
Weapons come in four types, C (close), L (Light), H (heavy) and IDW (indirect). Light weapons do the least amount of damage with Heavy doing more damage over a longer range and Close doing the most but at a shorter range. IDW are more likely to miss than hit but do good damage when they do hit.
Ships then have four stats, M is move distance in inches (most ships get to move up to 3 'steps' in a turn), Nv & SP are a measure of the ships durability and CS it's combat strength in boarding actions. 

There aren't many faction resources around yet but Scarhand Painting has a good blog which suggests the Twilight Kin ships have good speed and manoeuvrability and plenty of close range guns and boarding strength.
First up are some pictures of the Butcher (which I actually painted second) which is a large ship with a reasonable number of C guns and a good CS. No doubt any Butchers will constitute the main brute force in a TK fleet.

All the Armada models are resin and whilst the sails are moulded onto the main masts the little side sails are separate and also the front triangular sail is as well so I had a fair few bits to glue together once painted was complete. You could glue the sails on first but I think that would make painted a more difficult task.

The second ship is the Assassin/Heart Seeker, which is a dual kit. I opted to make the Heart Seeker variant as it looked a bit more interesting but it could be used as either. At present the only way to buy another to make the Assassin version is to buy a full £40 box and as the other models wouldn't be that useful I'm going to wait and see if they appear on the Mantic Vault for 3D printing. 

Whilst only a Medium ship both versions pack a good C punch up front and boast a respectable amount of CS. The Heart Seeker looks like a good deal for an extra 3 points if they can be found in your list.

The nice thing about Armada is the low model count for a fleet, so much in the same way as Deadzone it doesn't really take much effort to get a force on the table.

I've also been painting up some of the extras needed for the scenarios, in this case a couple of Kraken and Vortex stand-ins.

The Kraken features in a Capture the Giant like scenario that has seemingly been borrowed from KoW: Vanguard. That was one of my favourite scenarios which was generally very chaotic as the giant rampaged across the table. The models come from the Mythic Battles board game I backed on Kickstarter a few years ago. The vortex is used in a scenario which sees points awarded for being close enough to harvest it's power but also at the same time being dragged in towards the vortex with instant destruction awaiting any ship that touches it.

I've now also taken delivery of the Abyssal Dwarf ships and these look much easier to deal with than the TK ones. With no sails they should just be a case of gluing together and painting. I've also ordered a few 3D printed ships for use in some of the other scenarios in the book from a local store, Bristol Independent Gaming. They've signed up as a retail partner for Mantic Vault so if the prints turn out to be good then I may pick up some more in the future. They've not put the prices up on their site as of yet but the ships I ordered worked out to be 1/2 - 2/3 the cost of ordering from Mantic.