Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Epic 30k Game at Legions Maxximus (Lots of Photos)

"Let's shake hands!" - Titan vs. Titan in Epic 30k action at Legions Maxximus

This past weekend in Winnipeg we were very pleased to participate in Legions Maxximus, a local gaming and hobby event that has been growing in prominence here in Winnipeg thanks to the support of local retailers and hobby enthusiasts.  We hosted two demonstration games at the event.  Here are some photos of the first game - Epic 30k!

Loyalist forces for the scenario
Horus for hope! The Rebel forces for the scenario...

The scenario pitted the hard working advocates of hope and change from the 16th Legion, the Warmaster's own Sons of Horus, backed by Titans from Legio Mortis, against the delusional followers of the so-called "Emperor" from the VII Legion, the Imperial Fists, and hapless Titan crews from the Legio Gryphonicus.

The forces were equally balanced, because they were identical :) This was a demonstration game, after all, and the main goal was to give the players a taste of some of the different vehicles and troop types as well as an opportunity to blast away with Titans.  We played the game using "Epic Armageddon" rules.

The 6'x4' table with deployments and objectives marked
The table was 6' x 4', with three objectives.  The opposing forces entered along the opposing short table edges.  The goal was to hold the majority of the objectives prior to the conclusion of the game.  It would end after six turns OR once one side had five of their force elements destroyed or broken.  With all of the big guns on both sides, I had a pretty good idea which would happen first...

Hey - the Alpha Legion is already here...what are they up to?
Also present on the table from a small detachment from the XX Legion, the Alphas. Their purposes was unknown to either side...just the way the Alphas like it...basically, neither side trusted them, including their supposed allies in the Sons of Horus, so a secondary objective was to try and contain the Alpha detachment ("secure" them in Sons of Horus parlance).   If one side or the other made contact, well we would see what might happen...on to the photos!
War engines of Legio Gryphonicus lead the way for the loyalist side...
Armour from the VII Legion follows the Titans
Legio Mortis engines race to confront their hated rivals

Meanwhile, the Sons of Horus deploy from their Spartan carriers to capture an objective
A loyalist Warhound leads an advance along the flank - and takes cover behind a building! Typical...
The Imperial Fist Land Raiders boldly advanced to open fire on the Legio Mortis engines - they would knock out the void shields on one of them!
The Sicaran detachment from XVI Legion comes under heavy fire
The VII Legion Land Raiders received heavy return fire directly from the rebel titans...the remnants of the detachment fall back under fire
The Imperial Fists launch a bold assault, closing to point blank range to knock out the opposing Land Raiders with grenades, power fists and other goodies...the unfortunate, yet brave Sons of Horus Land Raiders would be wiped out...
The XVI Legion, however, had a second tier of support lined up...a Fellblade and a Knight detachment ready their guns for the Imperial Fists
Contact! The players on both sides, inspired by Dave's passion for aggressive play, had their power-fist-equipped Titan charge right at each other, a fine climax for the game
KA BOOM! The rebel Titan ripped the loyalist engine apart, but did so in such a dramatic fashion that its reactor melted down and the resulting explosion obliterated the Legio Mortis attacker as well! Classic 30k!

So it was a close-run game, with a suitably apocalyptic ending - two Titans destroying each other in a brutal close attack!!  The loss of the Titan was the final nail in the Loyalist attack, representing the loss of a fifth force element, and they withdrew, leaving the ground to the rebels, who themselves had lost one Titan, seen a second one severely damaged, and seen heavy losses among other detachments.  Well fought everyone!!

Epic remains as one of the finest rule sets GW has ever produced, allowing a large encounter featuring everything from foot-slogging tactical marines to massive Fellblade tanks, to Knights and all the way to Titans!  

Loyalist troops, backed by armour, secure one of the objectives

Sons of Horus forces keep an eye on the Alphas...

Rebel Knight household units advance
Ouch! It was a tough outing for the loyalist Knights...this formation would break under withering fire from XVI Legion Fellblade tanks
Thanks to Dave V, Russ, Russel and Nathan for joining us to play.  A huge thank-you to Dallas for playing and helping set up and run the game as well! 

This was, I believe, the third year for the Legions Maxximus event. It has been growing from modest roots into a significant gaming event for hobbyists in Winnipeg and the surrounding area.  With the support of the Manitoba Model Soldier Society (see them on Facebook here) as well as local hobby retailers like Maxx Collectibles, Legions IV Hire and the Winnipeg GW store, this event is improving every year.   In addition to gaming, the members of the MMSS were on hand to provide tutorials on painting, while the keen model builders of the IPMS were sharing their tips on model building.  The MMSS was also staging their 40th anniversary show (congrats to them!). There were a number of different demonstration games, from fantasy to sci-fi to historical. Participants could try different games and learn about how to paint the figures - and take home one of their own!  Very well done.

In all, it was a great hobby event, and we had a great time participating. I'm already looking forward to next year!   Watch for more photos from our "Team Yankee" mega game that followed the Epic 30k game...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Painting Challenge Submission 18 - More Epic 30k Stuff

In the grim darkness of the far future, we've got any size of equipment you might need for your war...
Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has concluded, so I have only a few more things to share here on the Fawcett Avenue Blog. In the final hours of the Challenge, I really wanted to focus my painting efforts, something I'm terrible at, but there were some external drivers helping me along.  One is that our group is hosted an Epic 30k demonstration game at a local hobby event here on the weekend, so it was a good time to get some stuff done for use on the table.  A further motivator along that line of thinking was JamieM once again tossing last minute sandbags in our 30k painting duel!

So with that motivation, I decided to continue on the painting path from the previous week - more Epic 30k stuff!  This week my submission covers almost every size available to that "scale" of game, running the gamut from foot sloggers to another pair of towering Titans!

Alpha Legion tactical marines - while my 6mm freehand is not quite as sharp as Byron's, I managed to get some markings on to most of the shoulders and vehicles!
We'll start with the smallest ones first - this is a Space Marine tactical detachment from the Alpha Legion.  During this edition of the Challenge I started painting a new force of Alpha Legion troops for my 28mm-sized forces, and I have enjoyed the colours and the backstory of that particular Legion so much I thought it would be great to have them for Epic as well.

Command troopers in the (blurry) front

Alpha Legion motor pool - a pair of Rhino APCs, each capable of carrying two stands of infantry
Two more APCs, along with a command variant in the left of the photo
 The tactical detachment is the basic building block for any Epic Space Marine force, so I thought it would be a good element to paint first.  There are 40 little marines here, as well as transport for them - four Rhino APCs.  There is also a command-variant Rhino to provide some command & control assistance and serve as a ride for the command figures which I hope to paint further down the road.

Moving up in the size department we have a group of four Knights.  The 30k/40k setting does not lack for large walking things with guns, and the Knights have their place on the spectrum of those vehicles.  As you can see, they loom over the infantry, but pale in size compared to the Titans, so they are on the smaller-end of the walking-terror-scale of the dark future.

Four Knights - walkers with a nice assortment of weapons to choose from
Knights are organized into semi-feudal households, with a backstory that is too lame to even try to explain.  The bottom line is that, as with the rest of the Imperium, the Knight households divided during the Horus Heresy, with some embracing hope and change with the Warmaster, and others sticking with the so-called "Emperor".  With this group finished we were able to have some Knight vs. Knight combat in Epic 30k this past weekend.

"Paladin" variant on the left, "Errant" variant on the right

I had no specific Knight household in mind, just wanted some different colours from my first bunch, so they could be opponents on the table
Even though they are "small" (you know, relatively), Knights still provide a big punch on the table, forming an extremely mobile and versatile force that hits pretty hard.  While GW has made these available as models in 28mm scale (and it is one of the nicest new kits GW has ever issued, just beautiful) the Epic setting provides the room, scope and proper context required for these things to really be fun on the table.  There is an astonishing variety of weapons assortments, and whatever you choose, these things will have a good time stalking around, terrorizing enemy tanks and infantry.  But they will have to watch out, because in the grim darkness of the far future, there is always something bigger...

Like Titans!  I painted two more to add to the group from my previous submission (see that post for explanations on the colours and Legions involved).  To maintain rough strategic parity in my Epic 30k collection, there is one for the rebel side and one for the loyalist side.

Reaver class Titan from Legio Mortis
Reaver class Titan from Legio Gryphonicus
These are Reaver class "medium" battle titans.  In addition to a slightly more artful carapace than the ones from last week, these ones are also sporting close combat weapons! Because in the grim darkness of the far future, it doesn't matter if you are 10 stories tall and armed with weapons which can level entire city blocks in one shot - you STILL might have to PUNCH something.  Don't worry, the engineers of Mars have got you covered! Behold, the titan-sized power fist - it's silly, and I love it!

Large close combat fist for extra-smashing duties

Still sporting a big laser cannon and "apocalypse" launcher for more conventional fun
Equipping your titans with close combat weapon systems is something of a gamble in the Epic game.  The power fist comes at the expense of mounting one of the other, very useful and terrifying weapon systems.  This sucks early in the game when you wish you had one more volcano cannon shot to bombard the enemy.  A further consideration is that the fist is only useful if you are close enough to punch the other titan, so you have to basically charge forward and get to grips for it to be worthwhile...

A view of another close combat attachment

This Titan is also sporting a scary-as-hell plasma can only fire every other turn, so the crew can spend that time moving the Titan closer to whatever needs to be punched while it powers up between shots
On the plus side, if you bring your titan into close combat with another one and succeed, the results tend to be immediate and rewarding, as a Titan that is unsuccessful in a "close combat" tends disappear in some manner of spectacular explosion - indeed, so spectacular the Titan which defeated it risks serious damage itself! Did I mention I love how warped all of this is...?

Titan maniple from Legio Mortisi now ready for action! The big guns for a better universe! Horus for hope!
I felt both sides should have one Titan sporting a close combat power fist.  There are several gamers in our group who display the proper level of aggression to make the most of them on the table!

Titan maniple from Legion Gryphonicus, ready to defend the so-called "Emperor" to the bitter end...deluded fools...
So, in total this includes two Titans, four Knights, five 6mm sized vehicles and 40 6mm sized infantry.  Some decent Epic 30k momentum as the conclusion of the Challenge loomed, and great stuff for our game at Legions Maxximus! Stay tuned for more on that later this week...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Rangers and Magos Dominus

First of all, I can't believe it's been two years since the first onset of "Titan Madness" - the mysterious malady that struck me and Conscript Greg and compelled us to buy and paint two Armorcast Reaver Titans.

At the time, I had idly mused over picking up some of the new Cult Mechanicus models as an adjunct to the big Titan. "Not only should you do that, it would be irresponsible not to!" Greg helpfully remarked. So after two years, I've finally finished the Rangers, and a Forgeworld Magos Dominus (Tech-Priest proxy) to lead them to battle.

First, the Rangers. These are pretty cool models but there are definitely some tricks to keep in mind when painting them. For one, I would recommend following Duncan's (GW YouTube painting wizard) example and paint the inside of the cloaks before anything else. Otherwise you'll end up making a mess of the painted legs.

Although my Reaver Titan is painted in the colours of the Legio Metalica, I opted for the traditional Martian treatment on the Rangers. I think it's just my aversion to painting white, but I reckon the iconic Martian livery suits the models best. The red cloaks are painted Mephiston Red, washed with Nuln Oil (along with the rest of the model), re-highlighted with Mephiston then highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet.

The metal bits were painted Leadbelcher, with the gold parts done with Brass Scorpion highlighted with Balthasar Gold.

One cool thing about the Rangers is that your squad of ten gets up to three special weapons - along with the Transuranic Arquebus (above) I built both other ones - Arc Rifle and Plasma Caliver.

Of course, the rest of the... lads(?) carry the standard Galvanic rifles.

Rather than spend $43 on a plastic Tech-Priest (!) I opted to spend about the same amount on a Magos Dominus from Forgeworld. The great thing about these Cult Mechanicus types is that their weaponry isn't really that recognizable, so pretty much anything can represent anything.

The Magos was pretty easy to assemble and a snap to paint. I used the same colours as the Rangers, except that I painted the "candy shell" a darker Khorne Red and weathered it a bit with the sponge.

I actually agonized somewhat over what size base to use. The model was supplied with a 40mm round but it seemed a tad weedy considering the size of the model. However the 60mm seemed excessive so I went with the 40.

Anyway he's done so I can get on with the next things - a Kastelan robot maniple and Onager Dunecrawler! I figure with that stuff done we can play some smaller Rogue Trader-type games. Looking forward to getting these on the table! 

Byron's Painting Challenge Theme Week Submissions and Results

One of my goals every year when entering Curts Analogue Painting challenge is to try and get better at painting.  We can all learn and improve over time, but it takes a lot of time to paint the best we can, so most of us don't do it often.  I try to paint my best for the theme week entries that Curt has throughout the challenge, and see if I can do some new things on them.

My goal in the theme week entries is to come in the top 5 each time, as past that you really have no control.  As with shows like the Golden Demon or Crystal Brush (of which I will never even qualify for either!) the top group are all amazing, and then which wins comes down to the judges preferences of the day.  Any of the top 5 are really good, so even though this is a much smaller pool of painters, that is my goal here as well.  If I can get into the top 5, I have done well.

This year I managed to win 2, place 2nd once, 4th once, and 6th once over the course of the 5 themes.  Not bad considering 1 of those pieces I decided on 2 days before the closing of submissions (obviously the 6th place).  So, almost met my goal of top 5 each time, but I think 2 wins can almost let me count the 6th as ok, right?  It is the closest I have come so far, so I think I can safely say I am getting better, which is what I am aiming to measure anyway!

Theme week 1 - Armour - Sedition Wars APC (5th)

This one was a very cool piece to work on, and while the photos wash it out a bit, it still shows very well considering that it is mainly white.  I used a lot of tips and tricks that Greg shared from his learning from Tacobat about hard edge highlight and shadow.  I really thought it would place better than it did, but oh well.

Theme week 2 - East - Arena Rex Egyptian Gladiator (1st)

This is probably one of my best pieces yet.  I finally learned to do NMM correctly, and learned that it is in no way worth the damn effort.... I also tried different skin tones, and glazes to a much higher degree than I have done before.  I even tried crackle medium for the base for the first time.

Theme week 3 -Terrain (Home) - Middle Eastern Compound (6th)

I had so many plans for this theme week and kept delaying them and eventually ran out of time.  So I just grabbed some of my Middle Eastern MDF buildings, coated them with stucco and painted them up.  Nothing fancy, but I needed them done anyway. Over all though, pretty sad from a guy who loves making terrain!  In my defense though I had just forced my way through several Napoleonic regiments!

Theme week 4 - West - Chinese Rail Crew from Malifaux (2nd)

I was pleasantly surprised with this entry, both in how they came out and how they were received.  I played around with a super fine airbrush tip to do all the flesh on these figures and I was really happy with the result.  It was a new way to do something so small, yet worked very well in my opinion.  It was also probably a very good thing I didn't win, as I was the sponsor for this round and gave away a western MDF building to the winner.

Theme week 5 - Movie character - Mary Poppins & Bert - for Kim (1st)

A really fun set of characters to paint, and one that I used a new glazing method for the dress on.  Apparently I have been going about glazing all wrong in the past (according to an excellent new painting book by Arsies anyway) so tried to learn the "correct" way (I am sure there are many ways that work just fine, I just mean correct according to the guide I read).  The results were super smooth on her dress and the faces.  I was very happy with the result here, and another of some of my best figures (I think).

Overall, I am pretty damn happy with how my entries did.  The only slacker being my 2 day terrain project, which was my own fault, and I am actually lucky it came as high as it did!  Oh well, until next year, were I will try to learn more and improve my painting level yet again.