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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Surprise Project! - Custom Ork/Astra Militarum codex

Hello all!

I've been working on this for quite some time and I'm happy to finally be able to post pictures.  My buddy Steve plays Orks and 'Umies...  er... Astra Militarum.  I decided that I wanted to make something nice for him for Christmas since he routinely puts up with my nonsense.

Enter...  the fancy, shmancy Kustom Kodex!

I went back and forth on what to include and how to make this work, but finally decided to use an Arc System notebook from Staples.  I picked one up in green leather and got to work.

The cover had to be appropriately Orky, so I cut and glued some plasticard.  I weathered it, but actually decided to scale back a bit on the dripping, so I washed a bit of it off.  I didn't take a pic though!  So, know that there is less dripping in the final product.

I also added the following...

  • Codex: Orks via copy/paste/editing of the ePub files (which I bought for this project)
  • Codex: Astra Militarum via the same method
  • A section of Army Lists with blank paper for more lists
  • A section of Painting Guides using the guides from various White Dwarf mags
  • and a section of blank paper for notes
This was intended to be a Waaagh Journal of sorts and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Here are some more photos.  My intention is to make myself a Necron/Tau version next.

As you can see, it turned out pretty thick!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Zombicide Season 3

I got my Kickstarter copy of Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue a little early.  It wasn't supposed to come in until February.  Evidently, the warehouse was getting pretty full, so they sent out early shipments to the American backers.  I still have to wait until February to get all the various add-ons and extra backer awards, but it was nice to be able to play an early game.

My wife and I like to play board games together and as a group with friends, but I'm WAY too competitive.  To paraphrase a favorite author, if life were an elementary school run by well meaning people, my report card would say "Kris is a nice boy but doesn't play well with others."  I know this about myself.  So...  it's nice to have a cooperative game where if one person wins, everyone wins.

I've only played through the tutorial mission once, but am planning on playing through some more soon.  Here are a couple of photos of the game in action.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the game, you and your friends control a group of 6+ survivors who have to achieve different objectives.  Each turn, and also when certain game triggers occur, additional zombies spawn at certain spawn locations.  Zombies are controlled by the game.  They always move toward the loudest room and always attack anyone in the room with them.  The objective of the tutorial mission was to get all of the survivors to the helicopter in order to escape.  It was very easy, but I think the point was to learn the rules and not have a challenging game.

I'm really looking forward to the add-ons arriving in February.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Shenanigans

I wanted to post very quickly letting you all know that I still take this blog seriously, but that I just don't have much time to post today.  Christmas and it's related responsibilities are eating up all of my free time.

I did get a copy of Shield of Baal: Exteminatus, and I would expect that you will be seeing a review of the Necron parts next week.  It has some pretty cool stuff in it.  In the meantime, here are a couple of pics from the book to show some of the new style.  I particularly like the first one.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Xmas!

You'll get a quality post on Friday.  I'm visiting family for the next day or two.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reader WIP

One of my readers, Mark Griffiths, sent in some pictures of a Necron Scarab Base Work in Progress he's currently working on.  I think this is a great use of one of the Space Marine casualty models and might have to steal the idea for one of my future bases!  I really like how dynamic this looks.  It really makes you feel like these Scarabs are swarming and taking down a poor Marine.

Check out his Tumblr as

In other news, I should have some cool new things to show you guys in a couple of days once Christmas has passed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Super Duper Secret Project

I have a secret project I've been working on for a couple of months now.  It's ALMOST done.  I can't wait to post some pictures.  I would have been posting WIP pics the entire time, but it's a gift and I don't want to risk the person in question checking this blog.  Since it's a Christmas gift, I'd expect to be able to post pics in a week or so.

Stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Building 7th Edition Army Lists Isn't That Hard

Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition has been out for awhile now.  It was released on May 24th of this year.  That means that it's been out for almost 7 months now.  People still can't figure out how to make an army list.

I'll explain.  I read a lot of forums.  In 6th Edition and early, there were always tons of posts saying "do you think this list is good".  Now, there are tons of posts saying "can I even take these things".  People appear to have no idea how to build a list in the context of the new edition.

I think a few things are going on here.  Before I give my opinion, I'm going to quickly lay out how to build a list so that everyone is on the same page.

You first choose Battleforged or Unbound.  If you choose Unbound, you literally take anything you want.  You still have to make legal selections in each unit, but your entire army could be composed of Ork Killa Kans if you wanted.  You pick your Warlord and you're good to go.  If you choose Battleforged, things are a little more complex, but in my mind, still pretty straightforward.

For a Battleforged Army List, you simply take as many Detachments and Formations as you want.  You can take any kind.  If there are any restrictions, they will be listed in the Detachment or Formation text.  As an example, your Warlord can't be selected from an Allied Detachment.  You do not have to take a Combined Arms Detachment.  You can make a list out of all Formations if you want.  This seems pretty straightforward to me.  It's a departure from previous editions, but it's not overly complex.

Now that I've given an overview of how making an Army List works, I want to touch on what I think the issues are.

First and foremost is that people hate change.  Change is hard because it usually requires at least a little effort.  Under 6th Edition a player would have a standard "force org chart" and up to one "allied chart".  This is no longer a thing.  Again.  This is no longer a thing.  7th Edition completely changed how lists are made.  There is no such thing as a standard force org chart.  When people say this, they are really referring to a Combined Arms Detachment.  So, 7th Edition list building is tough because it requires a person to forget everything they know about list making.  As a rule, retraining someone is harder than training someone.  Existing players tend to have more issue with 7th Edition list building than new players do.

Secondly, GW is garbage at writing rules.  If I take a Combined Arms Detachment and then take an Inquisitorial Detachment, they are allies with each other.  It's fair to say that they are allied detachments...  all lowercase.  An Allied Detachment (uppercase) is a specific type of detachment.  It doesn't help that allied detachment and Allied Detachment mean different things.  It makes it very confusing when talking to other people about list building.  Would it have been so hard to call this 1HQ/2Troops Detachment something else?  Maybe they could have called it a Reinforcements Detachment.  Look at me!  I'm writing rules that make sense.

Lastly, the Tournament Scene is a nightmare.  The majors tournaments seem mired in 6th Edition.  They make house rules that require a Combined Arms Detachment and allow for one Allied Detachment.  This not only undermines the intent of being able to play with whatever models you want, but makes a number of Codexes unplayable.  You can't fill a Combined Arms Detachment with Codex: Legion of the Damned, Codex: Inquisition, Codex: Militarum Tempestus or Codex: Imperial Knights.  You can't fill an Allied Detachment either.  They have their own special Detachments.  By restricting how lists can be made in competitive play, tournaments create a de facto standard on how "secondary market" events are played.  If your local store uses Tournaments as a guideline for how to play, then the players are likely to adopt that standard if the store has an active event schedule.  It muscles out certain types of legitimate lists.

To conclude, I don't think anything is going to improve until GW realizes that a large segment of their customer base wants clearly written rules that don't change dramatically and are airtight enough to lend themselves to a rigid, competitive environment.  I hope the current Games Workshop gets the message and gives us what we want.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Necrons Incoming

I know the various blogs have been going crazy with rumours lately, but it looks like some solid leaks are starting to come out.  The conclusion of the Shield of Baal Campaign, Exterminatus, definitely has new Necron rules as can be seen on the below image.  If you look closely, you can also see what looks like a brand new Lord/Overlord on a 40mm base.  Looks like the Necrons in Exterminatus belong to the Mephrit Dynasty.

The Necron Warriors LOOK new, but actually aren't.  White Dwarf #46 has the conversion used to make these as well as an example of what the finished model looks like.  I totally recommend doing this.  One box of Immortals will give you enough bits to convert a full box of Warriors.  Just make sure to make Tesla Immortals!

Lastly, I'm pretty excited about this new book, Devourer, coming out.  It's nice to see some Black Library love where the Necrons aren't just moving targets for Space Marines.  Supposedly this one will have some actual dialogue between the Mephrit Necrons and the Blood Angels.  I'll be reading it soon and I'll post my thoughts.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Necron Terrain

Not much time to post, but I wanted to post some inspiration pics!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Poorly Written Rules, or the Case of the Terminator Biker

I enjoy a good rules debate.

I enjoy comparing what the authors most likely intended with what they actually wrote on the page.

Essentially, I enjoy pointing out issues that most likely need an errata.

One such instance I've come across recently involves the Space Marine Chapter Master.  Chapter Masters have an option to take items from the Special Issue Wargear List.  They can take a Bike.  The Bike has two restrictions.  The first is that it is mutually exclusive with a Jump Pack.  The second is that it can't be selected my models in Terminator Armour.  The Chapter Master has a second, later option to choose Terminator Armour.  The Armour has no restrictions.


1. Choose Chapter Master to fill an HQ slot.
2. Give Chapter Master a Bike.  He doesn't have a Jump Pack and he doesn't have Terminator Armour at the time of the option selection.
3. Give Chapter Master Terminator Armour.  There are no restrictions here.
4. You now have a Bike riding Terminator.
5. ...
6. Profit!

Now, we have a couple of things going on here.  We know that options are selected sequentially and that the next option can't be selected before the first option is resolved.  We know this from the "Biker Special Weapon" issue.  Bikers have an option to take items from the Special Weapons list, but they don't have a Melee weapon to trade in.  GW added an errata allowing them the option to swap Bolt Pistol for Chainsword.  This option has to fully resolve for the Biker to choose a Special Weapon.  Hence, options fully resolve and resolve sequentially.

The second thing going on is that the codex places a restriction on Terminators that they can't select Bikes.  There is no restriction on Bikers saying they can't take Terminator Armour.  This is kind of like how O'Vesa (a Monstrous Creature Independent Character from the Farsight Enclaves Supplement) can join another, non-MC IC...  but no other IC can join him since he's an MC and IC's can't join MCs.  The action is allowed in only one direction.  Bikers can put on Terminator Armour, but Terminators can't hop onto Bikes.

I'm certain GW didn't intend this, but it's there in black and white.

I don't think I'd ever do this, and I wouldn't allow it during an organized play event such as a tournament, but there are plenty of fluff reasons this could happen...

Is it that unreasonable to believe that your Chapter Master is riding a Chapter Relic Bike?  An up-armoured beast with a built-in forcefield and the ability to teleport onto the field?  Granted, the 5++ is worse than his 4++ and he'd lose the ability to Sweeping Advance, but it's a valid fluff reason.

I don't know...  just some thoughts.  GW really needs to do some community play testing or hire a technical editor.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Necrons Canoptek Scarab Swarms Batch #1

I had some free time on Sunday and decided to go through and repaint some of my old Canoptek Scarabs to match this new color scheme.  I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  Here's the old scheme for comparison.  It's certainly not bad, but the eyes don't really pop and the Scarabs themselves sort of blend into the base.

Old Scheme...  kind of plain!
For the Nihilakh Dynasty, I made the legs and head silver, the body the aged turquoise and the eye a nice glowing green.  I'm much happier with the results this time around.  I feel like they really pop now and just look better on the table.

I was able to complete eight of them so far and have another eight to go.  I'm planning on acquiring more and doing some little vignettes...  maybe have them crawling over broken Dreadnought arms or Rhino armour plates.

Canoptek Scarabs

Canoptek Scarabs
And finally, we have a shot with the finished Destroyer Lord so you can see how these look in comparison.

Canoptek Scarabs with Destroyer Lord for comparison

Friday, December 5, 2014

Forgeworld Necron Options

I'm seriously considering investing in a nice centerpiece model from Forgeworld for this new Necron venture I'm working on.  My main thoughts are either the Tomb Stalker or the Tomb Sentinel.

Tomb Sentinel

Tomb Stalker

I do like the Canoptek Acanthrites also, but they would never work as a centerpiece.  They would look amazing with an all Canoptek/Cryptek army, but they won't really stand out.
Canoptek Acanthrite

I do have a couple of reservations.  The first is related to the second.  The first is price.  The Tomb Stalker is 41 GBP and the Sentinel is 48 GBP.  This is roughly 66 and 77 USD respectively.  This really isn't that bad, considering it would be a major component of the army.  I could get over it if not for the second reservation.  Quality.  I have never purchased a Forgeworld model with satisfactory quality.  I've purchased some obvious recasts off eBay before... with amazing results.  Forgeworld can't even match the quality control of the bootlegger recasters.

I'm hesitant to buy from the recasters.  I don't like supporting that sort of thing.  At the same time, Forgeworld is difficult to buy from for an American and sells a suspect product, so I don't really want to buy from them.  I REALLY wish they could work out their quality control issues.  On top of that, the recasters represent a 20-30% price cut with free shipping.


I'll make a decision after Christmas most likely.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coolest Necron Conversion Ever!

Necron Tie Fighter!


I did not do this, but may very well have to take some inspiration from it.  This is awesome.  Granted, based on the bits I see in there, this model probably cost $200 or so in conversion parts.  I see at the very least a box of Wraiths, a Monolith an Annihilation Barge and leftover bits from some Grey Knight guns.

I'm not sure who did this, but there were some other photos google found from the same guy in a random forum post somewhere.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Necron Priming Party

It's beautiful outside today.  To take advantage of the day, I sat outside and ASSEMBLED models.  I use all caps to convey the quantity of assembling I did.  Now I'm having a priming party.  The first batch is drying outside right now.  I try to do this every year when winter is starting to creep up so that I'll have stuff to work on while there is snow outside.  I have a hard time finding good places to prime in the winter.  I live in a smallish apartment, so things like garages that have a little heat aren't an option for me.

Anyways, here is what I'll have to work on by end of day.

2x Necron Lords
Illuminor Szeras
Vargard Obyron
C'tan Shard (Nightbringer)
Doom Scythe
12x Necron Warriors
6x Canoptek Wraiths
Canoptek Spyder
Annihilation Barge

And some pics...