Re-Based Beasts of Nurgle

Today didn’t start up well, I stayed up way too late, or more accurately couldn’t sleep so I kept getting up to look up things online or in the Big Red Book.  So as a result I slept in or just lay in bed for hours…

The first thing I did when I got up besides check my email and this blog’s stats was to start updating the index page at nurgle.muschamp.ca.  I’m committed to this blog and painting more non-Nurgle stuff, I just had to drop back into Nurgle mode to get 1500 points of demons on the table by Sunday, but after tomorrow I’m going to be working on some non-Nurgle Chaos Space Marine stuff and then back to terrain, Van Doos, Servants of Decay, and zombies.  Mmm Zombies…

I’ve been putting my newly painted models on Flickr, but now I think I may put up a pile of old pictures of older but still well painted models or just use my new photo set up and the almighty iPhone to take some fresh snaps.  I like my old Flickr integration in iPhone as I could add all the tags before uploading, hopefully Apple fixes that as they put the third party app makers out of business.  Anyway now one random miniature photo, from Flickr, appears on my Nurgle homepage.

Much more work was getting the RSS feeds to display. The age of static HTML has come to a close, the fact I still have 100s of static HTML pages online is a testament to my stubbornness as much as anything.  I could move all the content into a CMS such as WordPress.  I’m not even hosting this blog myself or paying to have it hosted, why bother, the few plugins and tricks I can’t do on WordPress.com don’t really take anything away form the blog.  Before I was more of an IT guy, now I’m just over-educated and unemployed.

We’ll see if these small changes result in more traffic to my Flickr photos and this blog.  Nurgle.muschamp.ca was a lot of work over a long, long, period and even though it doesn’t have much PageRank it still does fairly well in Google.

Beasts Of Nurgle

The Beasts are basically done, the Plaguebearers are still ranked up on the shelf where I photographed them.  I think I’m going to have to put them in a miniature case, probably the biggest one I own, not because the army has such a high model count, it doesn’t, because the beasts and Demon Prince are odd shaped and fragile and fitting them and 40 Plaguebearers in a small case would require custom foam I don’t have the time to do…

Slim finds a new home
Slim finds a new home

I’ve got a number of cases but I think someday I’ll buy another as Battlefoam is making some really useful custom foam inserts.  I think if you put a lot of time into your army and you want to play anywhere but your house you’ll eventually want to invest in the best case you can.  I used to make custom ones myself, but now there is so much foam out there from pluck and pull to these custom cut ones.

Well time to get going, I’ve been at home too long, we’ll just make room to photograph the Beasts and Slim and I’m outta here.

There turned out to be enough room in Sabol Designs pluck and pull tray that I’d fitted into a Charon Skirmishpack to carry two tanks for what turned out to be West Coast Mayhem.  That is the case I’m using to transport my Daemons as I bought some vehicle and bike/cavalry foam too for it, but it also holds a hundred plus man-sized or even bigger based daemon-sized models which is doubly important when your model is all metal.  Only about four of the models are multiple pieces though, most are solid.

Slim snug and safe
Slim snug and safe

While re-basing the Beasts I freshened up some of the guts with spare GW Blood Red and Reaper Master Series Clotted Red, along with my custom red-black ink based wash.  I’m pretty pleased the paint job on Sluggie (the green one) has held up as well as it has, the flesh is drybrushed and the paint job over 15 years old I think, one of the oldest models with the original paint job still serving in the Diseased Sons warband. Though very, very, very rarely does it see the table.  ;-)

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2 Down, 22 to Go

Paint PaletteI finally finished the second modular trench terrain tile.  This is tile D2.  The last few days I haven’t been productive.  I’ve slept in a couple times instead of getting up early to read the paper, paint, watch the world cup, and of course look for a job.  I’ve now been unemployed for three months.  I had an interview recently, but it wasn’t a slam dunk, so I have to wait and see and keep looking and applying to other jobs.

I’ve put a lot of effort into these trench tiles but I have to switch to my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army.  It will once again be Chaos Space Marines.

The second tile looks big because it is four inches wide, too wide.  I did things in a slightly different order, I also used some new materials.  I tried out cork rubble and pre-made plastic sandbags.  They came out looking too smooth, I don’t like it.  Next time I use them I’ll probably put a dusting of sand on top to give them some texture and variety.  Either that or run a board along the top, both are realistic. Affixing Trench Sign

I put a little more ‘stuff’ scattered around this tile, but I think I need even more inside the trench.  I might try painting it first then gluing it down, though to get that half buried look, you need to glue it down before most of the grit.  I also think next time I’ll have less grit inside the trenches and I’ll leave bigger spaces between the planks.  I experimented a bit with rust techniques using different pigments, but still also using Rust Brown Ink and Foundation Orange both diluted with water.

I tried to get a yellower canvas color on the sleeping bag or rain cover that is sitting on one of the rocks.  I used Iyanden Dark Sung and Gryphonne Sepia for the most part to achieve the color.  I’ll test it on an Imperial Guardsmen soon. Finished Tile Number 2

Not all washes are an improvement, one of mine had too much ‘rusty red’ in it or I should have started from scratch rather than trying to lighten the previous wash…  Anyway I’ll just have to start from scratch with the lightest orange rust pigment I have.  I need even more little cups on my palette.  I’m just waiting for the last few washes and coats of paint to dry then I’ll have up some photos.

So far no comments on this entire blog, but I’m not getting any search engine traffic or basically none, which is odd because the Greening the Inner-city blog gets some and it had mostly linking to it early on, but it must have more variety of incoming links.  I’ve posted links to the odd forum and on the Lead Adventure Forum and the Miniatures Page there is a little discussion about this project, but it is mostly me talking to myself as usual. Looking down the trench

I had to put on my “Music to play 40K to” mix as my downstairs neighbour has lately taken to playing loud crappy hip hop.  I have by far the louder stereo so I now have Rage Against the Machine of all things…

Slightly Higher Res shot showing details

Taking and holding trenches in Warhammer 40,000

So now that I’ve finally started work on my modular trench battlefield, I’ve been thinking, how best to take and hold trenches, or more succinctly which armies and units would be best for the task.  My goal with the battlefield is to take Warhammer 40,000 back to its World War One influences, alas I fear no amount of carving foam will stop skimmers, jump infantry, or deep striking.  To that end I think Codex Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies will do the best on this board and the mission that will go along with it.  Those armies are quite versatile and have access to skimmers with transport capeability.

But what about… Eldar and Tau they have skimmer transports?  Eldar in particular with all their specialized troops may do a pretty good job of taking entrenched positions, but holding them?  Eldar are supposedly not geared for a war of attrition.  As for the Tau, even with Kroot I’m not sure they would do a very good job at storming the trenches.  Now Orks and Tyranids, they can send waves of troops at the enemy, but digging in defensively really isn’t their forte.  Deamons are a total wild card and the specialty marine codices, which are getting a lot of love online, mainly bolster the offensive capabilities.  Lots of jump troops may gain you the enemy trenches but holding them plus your own defensive positions?  Space Wolves might do better than Blood Angels at this type of thing due to the awesomeness of Long Fangs and Grey Hunters.

While giving this all some thought I even wrote up a Codex Marine 1500 army list and looked at more obscure chapters, but since I’m trying not to buy any new minis, starting a new army, even Marines is out.  So the question then becomes what can I do with my existing armies and their rule books to make them more effective on the battlefield I’m building?

My trench table is destined for next year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  You could say I’m starting early, or you could say I’m starting too late for this year’s Astro…  I currently have two painted armies in my display case, the Diseased Sons and their non-Nurgle allies the Nefarious Fire plus my old, old Ork army.  The orks will see the table top again, but optimizing them for a mission isn’t a priority, just getting the units legal again is the priority.  This year I am running Chaos Space Marine at Astronomi-con Vancouver, but next year I planned to run the Servants of Decay from Imperial Armour 7.

No one seems to be using that list or building an army for it.  The regular Imperial Guard Codex is too good, most people are using it for their traitor guard too.  Not me, I like to be different and I’m not afraid of a challenge.  I made a quirky assault oriented list, knowing full well that WS2 and WS3 troops with questionable leadership doesn’t sound like an elite offensive force.  While thinking how hypothetical armies would do on a hypothetical battlefield in a hypothetical mission set 40,000 years into the future, well I decided maybe I should adjust my proposed army list.

I wrote out another list, selling back some things, adding others, but I continued to avoid the option of taking plaguemarines.  I wanted a pure traitor guard force, even though taking plaguemarines would save me money an painting time.  Plus when I looked at other army list I recognized the need for elite assault troops to gain the trenches, but for my own army I was trying to make due with Rabble and Rebel Militia.  Finally I said enough is enough, lets throw a squad of ten plaguemarines into the mix.  Plaguemarines aren’t cheap pointswise, I had to sell back Rabble and Plague Zombies, as well as eventually removing my Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices over the course of tweaking the list.

Non skimmer Fast Attack I think will just get bogged down in the mud.  Jump Infantry might work, I intend to try it with my Chaos Space Marine army, but they too could die crossing no man’s land.  Getting rid of my lone heavy support choice may seem odd, but if you’ve read the army list, the command HQ can take a pile of heavy weapons teams.  I’d already maxed out on mortars before I even thought about making my list more effective on the battlefield I’m building.  Hopefully I won’t miss one or two extra heavy weapons a turn.

The army list I ended up with has Plaguemarines leading the assault.  They are supported by Rabble and Militia men.  The Plaguemarines might be able to breach the defenses and/or tie up the enemy for a turn or two allowing the Rabble and Militia to advance.  I bought my militia squad an armored personal carrier, figuring it was worth a try.  If it gets stuck, they just get out and walk.  The plague zombies I feel will make better defensive troops.  They are Fearless and harder to kill, but they are slow.  I think they work better occupying space, though they can tar pit the enemy too, if in sufficient numbers.

Before I added in the Plaguemarines, my command squad were my best assault troops having two models with WS 4, whoo hoo! Alas they are few and they aren’t armored.  I bought them an APC too, but they may be better served getting out and hunkering down.  I now forsee using them as a counter assault force.  The leadership they potentially provide to the rest of the troops on defense necessitates them being placed centrally.

I just counted and my proposed 1500 point Servants of Decay army list with the 10 Plaguemarines, has 14 models with WS4 and 18 models with BS4.  My Rabble alone have more models than that, they are WS and BS 2, booyah!

My mortars will go in my trenches or behind them.  Massed mortar fire isn’t popular in 40K, but I’m still going to try it.  It is historically accurate and with a little luck could pin the enemy in their trenches allowing my Rabble and Militia men to advance across the battlefield.  Also to be used in a defensive role are the best troops available to a Rebel Militia commander, the Disciples of Xaphan.  These are basically veterans with superior moral and access to a wide variety of guns and equipment.  They have BS 4 unless they take a heavy weapon in which case their ability to aim magically decreases.  This is an odd quirk of the list, it is impossible to get heavy weapons with BS 4.  I think regular guard can do this, or through orders or special characters or something can improve their aim.  Regardless, even with the addition of the plaguemarines, I’m still treating my Disciples as an elite unit.  They are basically my sharp shooters.  They’ll be deployed with the best field of fire and will pick off advancing enemy infantry.

That’s about the gist of it.  Assault force of plaguemarines supported by Rabble and a few Militia men.  Doesn’t sound too intimidating, most armies should either be able to out shoot my army or out class it in close quarters fighting.  That’s the lot of traitor scum I guess.  Even sending out almost 50 models into no man’s land I’m not too confident I can take the enemy’s position.  Sending that many models to attack which is both likely necessary and historically accurate leaves my sharp shooters, my mortar, and my command HQ defending my lines, plus of course zombies.

“Using zombies to bolster your line” by Muskie McKay coming to Osprey soon.

I gave a go at making a Chaos Space Marine army list that might excel at trench warfare, but I’m going to experiment some more with it.  Astronomi-con allows the use of Imperial Armour rules so that makes things a little more interesting.  I still think Marines and Guard will be best for this mission, any one else have an opinion?

My Top 10 old hobby posts

Although I decided to start a dedicated hobby blog, I also decided not to import all my older hobby related postings from my personal blog into WordPress.com, instead I give you this top 10 list for the benefit of anyone stumbling upon my work for the first time.  Greatest hits particularly in the top ten format are popular with websurfers so read on McDuff:

10: Painted Goblin Command

9: Night Goblin Command

8: Painted Nurgle Miniatures

7: Four More Finished Models

6: Still Painting Test Models

5: Fresh Recruits

4: Blogging, Painting, Slacking

3: Phantom of the Rock Opera

2: Painted Nurgle Forgeworld Dreadnought

1: Top 10 Diseased Sons Chaos Space Marines