Saturday, 31 December 2016

089. End of 2016, Orks state of play, Overkill and Prospero...

So that's that for another year.  2016, where'd all that time go.  Scrap that...Where's the first half of my leave gone!  For all my best intentions, I haven't maximised my available time over the last few weeks and the Orks are still in a WIP state - although to be honest, I'm still mighty chuffed at how far down the process I managed to push 50 miniatures.  With Christmas, time spent with the family, working on the Titan, building other miniatures, the incessant high heat and humidity we've been having lately (it's been so humid lately some of the washes on my Orks have reactivated making painting a nightmare and leaving the miniatures tacky), painting the main living room/dining/kitchen in the house (so I have done some painting, just a the wrong scale!), and general laxness, I just haven't had the drive to sit at my desk and paint.
Stormboys WIP
So what state do the Orks find themselves.  The skin across the board is all done.  Today, I finalised all the teeth and claws which helps to frame the face and hands on the minis - creating that triangular focal point experts in colour theory and other hobby know whats like to talk about.  The metallics and armour is also all done barring last minute touch ups at the end.  It's more a case of whats left to do!
-Odds and sods - cables, fetishes etc.
Lootas, Burnas and Boys WIP
More Boys WIP
For something different - more Boys WIP!
All in all, I should be well able to get them finished before I go back to work in around a fortnight.  After these are off my plate, choices open up before me as to what to tackle next. Sitting on the shelves of shame are four other armies, already at a state where I don't really need or want much to add to them:

- Ultramarines - I have so many Marines its just not funny (around 200 in total!), built up over many editions of the game, and comprising the majority of the Marine range (excluding goofy things like Centurions and flyers).

- Space Wolves - A nice compact sub 2,000 force (lacking any of the drastically goofy stuff - Wulfen and Murderfang I'm looking at you!).

- Imperial Guard - Another large force (large on body count - its a foot based Infantry Company with attached Battalion heavy weapons and Specialists) built two editions ago and lacking some of the newer kits (and non-the-worse for that!).

- Chaos: Lost and Damned - Plague Marines/Nurgle Daemons/Traitor Guard.

As well as the actual forces I've deliberately collected, built and shaped to a uniform plan established in my head over the years, I have other sub-units like the Titan, my Primarch collection and other odds and ends (the new Codex: Imperial Agents notionally has a whole shelf on the Shelves of Shame comprising random stuff I'd collected for looks alone that would now be fit for purpose according to that book!).  Add in the few additional Ork models I have accumulated over the last month and there is plenty of choice for what to start on next.  With the Fall of Cadia looming, maybe the time is ripe to devote 2017 to my Lost and Damned, although I'm equally drawn to the idea of pushing on with the forces of good and really trying to make a dent in my 'Grand Army of the Imperium' collections.

One thing I am certai of, is that I go into 2017 without any plans to buy much in the way of minis unless GW really pulls a blinder and unleashes something truly epic on us all.  Off the top of my head, the only thing I think that would make me reach for my wallet to buy (as opposed to releases that make me drool but not hit the 'must buy now' part of my brain), would be a model of the Emperor, or a really well done, multi-part plastic Necromunda box set re-release.  

While 2017 is looking god for the wallet, the final months of 2016 was decidedly not!  In addition to the Ork deals I've previously posted about, I also found myself spending on some more dregs for the Lost and the Damned, as well as picking up a copy of the Burning of Prospero.
Oooh so shiny - Burning of Prospero - an eBay steal!
The Dort continues her education (under my direct supervision) getting in on the 'cutting' of the Prospero sprues (or at least the empty sprues).  She informs me this piece of sprue is in fact a Motor Bike which she wants to paint next time I let her near the 'Dad paints'! 
After finishing up the superb master of Mankind by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, the lure of a squad of the Legio Custodes was too great to ignore.  The Burning of Prospero box contains a smorgasbord of minis, and once I did the calculations on it, I convinced myself that it was cheaper in the long run to buy the whole box and part out what I didn't want, than try to find a competitively priced squad of Custodes on eBay or the buy/swap/sell pages.  I managed to find a lovely lass from my home town of Middlesbrough selling the box on eBay, which including shipping, set me back only $150.  This compares to the retail in Australia of $265. When I onsold two of the Mk3 sets to Ray, it brought my actual buy price down to $90 - a total steal, or so I told the missus!

That $90 spend got me my squad of Custodes, a squad of Sisters, a squad of Tartaros for my boys in blue, and a squad of Mk3 which I plan to kitbash with the FW Deathguard upgrade set to make a unit of Plague Marines for my Lost and Damned, as well as 'Not Bjorn' who'll do nicely as a Wolf Lord for my Wolves, and Ahriman who'll sit well with my random assortment of 30K goodies.  Not a bad result at all, particularly when considering that going by other recent releases, GW is likely to charge around $100+ for the Custodes alone (Cataphractii from the previous Calth box cost $115 a squad here!).
Beautiful, beautiful minis - I've built based on the rule of cool - apparently you can't take a Halberd and Shield in game - pfft to that!
'Not Bjorn' and Ahriman - fantastic sculpts and cleverly cut on the sprue.  The cherub is a bits box build I did on the side while organising my bits collection.
The miniatures themselves are astoundingly beautiful, although terribly fiddly and fragile. The Sisters are the worst culprits of this, with one part (the splayed hand) having fingers around 0.5mm thick and 1mm long just asking to be snapped off - the Dort has been warned not to touch those!  The Custodes and Sisters are also designed to go together in very specific configurations, with arms in particular being cut to match only certain shoulder pads/forearms/hands/torsos etc.  
Another non-viable squad build - these girls are oh so delicate - they'll snap parts simply looking at them funny
You can ever have too many Terminators of varying flavours!  Again, built on rule of cool and maximising bits use - In game they'll count as wielding Storm Bolters ad Fists, but I'll be damned if I wasn't going to pimp out these guys with all the bits of cool on the frame
My other recent purchase has been a small order to see off the last of my planned build of the Lost and the Damned - the Deathguard upgrade sprue to make Plague Marines and a FW Plague Hulk, as well as some Daemon Plague Drones.  When that order arrives, I will have everything I desire for the forces in my collection (leaving each built force matching the planned forces I've designed in my head), leaving me, as I say above, with options for 2017 and beyond (the pile of built - surely the best part of the hobby in my opinion - and as yet unpainted miniatures having finally crested - much to the delight of the missus).

Talking with Ray about the beauty of the Prospero box made him drop a line about having a copy of Death Watch: Overkill; something he had completely failed to mention in any of our other hobby chats. That led to an impromptu catch up where we (that is to say I) ogled the beauty that is the Genestealer Cult models Ray has been accruing (including some from his impenetrable closet/shed of shame hearkening all the way back to the early 90's) and the equally fantastic Death Watch character models, before sitting down to run through the first mission of Overkill.
Rays shed of doom throws out a copy of Death Watch: Overkill for us to have crack at - its a really fun little game.
The mission calls for any four Death Watch Marines to be pitted against an unrelenting wave of Cultists (spawning at random using a shuffled deck of cards), victory coming to the Death Watch should they kill 25 Cultists, or the Cult if they could down two of the four Marines.  Ray hadn't built the Marines so I went to my (now renamed Imperial Agents shelf) to blag four older metal/plastic hybrid Death Watch I'd built years ago corresponding to the Blood Angel, Dark Angel, Space Wolf and Chaplain cards from the game.  the tiles were laid out according to the guide, and the dice rolls began.
Chaplain Cassius - I love Chaplains so he was always going to be one of my four
I had painted Dark Angel and Space Wolf Death Watch Marines in my collection already so these guys were no brainers
And the plucky Blood Angel - again, I had a Blood Angel in my collection so this made sense.  This was him off the board after being wounded, and subsequently succumbing to his wounds
Like Space Hulk (which we both own - Ray multiple copies!), this game does not follow the normal rules for 40K, instead each character having a set of stats corresponding to their weapon load outs which give them certain range bands within which they can do things, as well as special abilities unique to each character.  All actions are resolved with a D6 dice roll trying to beat a set number.  For example, say my Chaplain Cassius was within the 'Assault' range (using a flexi range finder that comes with the game - not a tape measure) of some Cult troops, I could choose to either wade in with my Bolt Pistol and Crozius, rolling three dice and wounding the targeted cultists on a 3+, or fire one round ( a single dice roll) from my bolt pistol, wounding on a 5+.  If I caused a wound, the opposing model could attempt to save (6+ for a Cultist) unless the attack had the Cleave special rule which ignores armour.
Cassius and the Angel starting to get surrounded - the Angel would fall to that cannon wielding cultist to left of shot.
Tactical choices were necessary based on where you placed your figure within the rectangular deck sections, and how many targets were in front of you.  For example, rolling three dice seems preferable to one, but a) you needed to be within the right range band to get that attack (the three dice one) off, and canny placement of figures by your opponent could see your target outside that range, and b) the weapon special rules may grant a better advantage.  For example the Blast rule on the one shot Bolt Pistol allows you to roll to wound any figure in the same target section you are shooting into - so when Ray packed seven guys into one section, it made more sense to shoot the Bolt Pistol than to try for a close combat attack (seven chances to wound v three)!
Cassius fighting on alone after the Angels fall, as more Cultists rush onto the board
In the end I hit the magic number (25) in the third round.  I'd read previously the early missions favour the Death Watch, and that proved true here.  The game turns favour the fluff driven mechanics of the Marine player - that is in the course of a turn, the Marine player moves first, then the Cult player moves, then the Marine player uses actions (ie attacking), then the Cult player uses their actions, and then the Marine player gets another action sequence!  Plus Marines still had a 3+ armour save (2+ for Cassius), and notionally had two wounds to the cultists one, and could use either if their action phases to heal themselves.
The Wolf and the Dark Angel hunting for targets down empty corridors - although they won't stay empty for long.  i'd split my four Marines into two sub units, with each sub unit having a close combat focused chap (Cassius in one and the Wolf the other) and a support person (the Angel for Cassius and the Dark Angel for the Wolf).
Cassius and Drenn (the Wolf) were monsters in all phases, with Drenns Berserker ability (allowing me to run and attack in a single action phase) coupled with his three attacks with Rend ability really catching Ray out.  Cassius claimed seven kills and Drenn nine helping me win the game; although Ray did manage to take down the Blood Angel with a Mining Laser shot (ignores armour saves).  We played on after the third turn to see how far the Marines could go.  Drenn lasted another two turns, taking six more Cultists with him before falling to a Seismic Cannon, while the Dark Angel accounted for another three cultists (on top of his earlier three) before being mobbed and falling to five shotguns at close range. Cassius survived until we had to stop so I could go pick up the Dort from Childcare; the Chaplain taking another five Cultists down. Ray also killed two of his own Cultists with a Blasting Charge trap which had accounted for one of Drenns wounds.  So in total, over five rounds I got 39 kills to Rays three - not too shabby.

So 2016 ends with a bit of a bang, and not a whimper.  I may not have gamed anywhere near as much as I'd have liked, but there's always next year for that!  I've painted a huge amount of Orks (even if they aren't all finished), and amassed a wealth of additional minis to languish into future years on the shelves of shame.  I've had a laugh with the lads, and enjoyed immensely following along to the broad range of blogs I frequent.  Thanks to all who have dropped a line here, the community wouldn't be what it is without that kind of discourse between hobbyists the world over.

Cheers all and happy hobby going into 2017,



  1. "When that order arrives, I will have everything I desire for the forces in my collection...." I say that every time I log out of pay pal.

    Impressed with your year, FM, lets hope the next is as good.

    1. Thanks so much Z for stopping by and saying hello on my posts - it's always a pleasure to see the alert of a comment from you.

      My collection is nothing compared to yours! And the missus just rolled her eyes when I told her I didn't have any other purchases planned - she knows me too well it seems.

      All the best to you and Mrs Z in 2017 mate.

  2. A lovely summary. Looking at all those beautiful Orks, I think you can be very proud of this year no matter how many projects slipped by. Happy new year.

    (Can't wait to see those Guard! Old is good...)

    1. Cheers Ed. I'll get a completed army shot done when these guys are finished - the Ork horde really does look good (if I do say so myself) en masse in is fully painted glory.

  3. Nice looking orks you have there, Frothing Muppet! That is a ton of models to be painting at once. Sorry to hear about the humidity causes problems for you.

    GW has been on a roll releasing tons of great stuff that I did not know that I wanted. 2016 saw the release of tons of great kits and releases from GW, and looking back on it, my brothers and I did not buy most of them (Silver Tower, Genestealer Cult, Burning of Prospero). I feel like it is only a mater of time before some of the Genestealer Cult stuff will be used for converting stuff.

    1. I totally hear you on the new releases. I made it nearly two years between major purchases, drooling over many of the new kits but not buying myself, but finally caved at the last on Prospero and a few smaller Ork things. GW is putting out unbelievable stuff at the moment across the 40K ranges which is really hitting my nostalgia button and bringing up fond memories of my younger years. The beuaty of being part of a broader local group is that invariably someone in the group has picked up most of the newer stuff so we can get together to appreciate the kits/games still.

      For me personally, the AoS aesthetic (and scale changes) and move from infantry blocks have put me off that range/game system. Re-reading old WD's recently put me in mind to look into 9th Age or other Warhammer Fantasy simulators more than reach for AoS; although, without a doubt, there are some beautiful models in the new AoS range - the new Orcs for a start have real menace as you highlighted on your recent post.

      Thanks again for stopping by throughout the year.

  4. Fantastic year of hobbying for you! While not finished all the orks you wanted, you did an admirable job and are well on your way to completing them. Your wip ork boys and stormboys look great (I can't even imagine trying to paint that many models at one time!). I am also really impressed with your work on the warhound titan. It is great you are making time to work on it. Such a model deserves to be completed!

    I have so many assembled and unpainted armies myself. The biggest force I have assembled and unpainted is a Dark Eldar army that I started when the army was redone years ago. Someday I would like to go back to them and convert and paint some new units (though thus far none of the models in the army are painted...).

    I have heard a lot of the board games GW have been putting out as of late are really enjoyable. I have yet to play any of them yet. You had the right idea to just used previously assembled and painted Deathwatch models. I think that is what I would need to do to play any of the games they are releasing now. Aside from Blood Bowl (and Lost Patrol) all the games come with leagues of models such that I would never be able to assemble enough to actually play...

    Keep up the great work. I am looking forward to seeing what the new year brings. :)

    1. Cheers Adam - it has been nice seeing more of your painted works appear on your blog this year - although the owrk you lads do on your bare conversions is always great to see as well - the care and attention to detailing always blows me away.

      I love the act of building the minis, turning the frames over and looking for the right bit, and striving for interesting poses across the units and individually. the painting has always been a secondary aspect - although as a teenager when I gamed much more frequently painting was pushed along so I didnt have unpainted minis on the board! As I got older, with other demands on my time, I gamed less and so the build and collection part of the hobby really took hold. Amassing the 'force' I designed in my mind became the goal, not necessarily painting it.

      The Dark Eldar redesign from Jes was totally brilliant at the time - it was really hard not to dive into that army, although back then I was solidly in the camp of the Imperium and collecting a Xenos force was a step too far. It'd be awesome to see what kind of Cabal you could come up with and how you could convert some of your own up with that unique Wier flavour.

      The little mini games GW have put out have proved more fun than I'd imagined - it shows they can write quite tight little rule sets for a range of settings when they put their mind to it. Overkill was a blast, and Prospero looks to be another great alternate - the use of D8 and D10 dice are a brilliant mechanic. Looking through old WD's from the 90's, GW appeared to almost have that Google 20% system in place, where the designers could spend some of their time doing other, non core things. Lots of little WD games were spawned then, as well as larger things like Mordheim, which was previewed in WD and beta tested over a number of issues with the public. They really seem to be heading back to that state which is a positive in my view.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  5. Those Orks look fantastic - awesome stuff man! Really looking forward to seeing your Prospero minis!

    1. Cheers Mord - I'm looking forward to trying my hand at the Custodes. As I mentioned on yours. I reckon I will try and work some white or silver onto them to break up the gold but I'll wait and see when I get round to painting them.

  6. Good lord man, you've a lot on your plate to get ready for the coming year(s).

    Always very cool to drop by here and see what you're working on mate. Good to see you are still enthused and excited to keep hammering at those enormous projects!

    2017 Down Under is going to be a good one!

    1. Cheers Dai. I do think I've gone over board sometimes looking over the shelves of shame, but they have been cut down over the years through different army sales.

      All the best to you for 2017.