Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ready for Painting!

Hello hive minds!

The next time someone tells you the large forgeworld kits are tougher than you think to put together...believe them. I've been modeling for 15 years, and this was by far the most intricate and time consuming build I've ever done - but it was worth it!

The Heirophant is now ready for priming - I finished putting all the spikes on (and lost 3 or 4 of them) last night, finished greenstuffing gaps and using liquid greenstuff to smooth out some miscasts, and making sure the leg I had to pin and repair was strong enough to support the body (the vice I was using to hold the model as it dried broke off my desk...and shattered the front right leg).

It does seem strong enough to support itself, although I may use a dremmel to give it a stronger central support in the form of a dowel or coat hanger before spraying. Here are some finished pictures, enjoy:

And here are some close ups of the more significant green stuffing jobs that needed doing, including the broken front leg.

More WIP tonight as I spray her down and get stuck in painting the skin up. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hello fellow hive minds!

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last two months - real life has thrown no shortage of tasks my way recently, though they've been mostly good ones with relation to work and my girlfriend.

Simply put I've just not had time to dedicate myself to this project the way i would have liked- but that all changed over the weekend because look what finally appeared on my doorstep...

My heirophant was here!!

The first thing I did was take everything out of the packaging and make sure I had all the pieces in front of me before I began.

Everything had great detail, but there were 3 issues that I ultimately decided would be workable - the tail arrived broken, I recieved two of the same front leg, and the middle section of spikes all along the belly had some serious miscast issues, but all of it ultimately could be fixed with pinning, greenstuff, and using hot water to warp the resin (in the case of the front legs).

I had felt and smelled the release agent on all of these pieces, so I knew I needed to give them a solid scrub with dish soap and a wire brush to clean them before construction could begin:

I figured the best place for me to start the job was by doing the rear vents and the head. Then I'd add the spikes and talons, then move on to the legs to get it standing,  and finish with the tail and gun arms.

Everything from this point on was pinned AND greenstuffed, and there are plenty of gaps that need filling as seen below:

Stay tuned for another update tonight once I get the spikes and legs attached - Cheers all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tyranid Lessons Learned

I thought it'd be fun to go into some of the specific lessons I learned over the last two weeks in playtesting the new Nid book, and touch on some of the specific builds that seem to be most effective from my list building.

The armies that I've faced with my Nids so far have been Tau, Eldar, White Scars, Mech IG, and Tau again. Major lessons learned from each game:

Game 1 - Tau (Farsight Enclaves), Dawn of War, Kill Points
  • Synapse is BRUTAL in this edition; in my first game with the new book, I was way to lenient with my synapse coverage, and ended up paying the price dearly. By turn 3, most of my termagants had abandoned the battle field, and run off the board due to my sloppy coverage.
  • Game ended up a blood bath - I was tabled, but the only thing left on the board for my opponent was a riptide. Psychic Scream flyrants absolutely wrecked his gun line, but broadsides were able to ground them / beat them to a pulp early on.
Game 2 - Eldar (Iyanden), Vanguard, Kill Points
  • Again, synapse ruined me. I didn't add any more synapse to my list, just made a more concerted effort to keep my army within synapse range...and when my opponent was able to pick off my syanpse creatures with wraithcannons and the like, I was left once again to my gant swarms running off the board.
  • This game actually would have been a tie, but I burrowed my mawloc on turn 5, and the game ended without him coming up for air, giving my opponent an additional kill point. Go big or go home I always say - should have left the bugger on the board to secure the draw.
Game 3 - Space Marines (White Scars), Vanguard, Kill Points
  • Synapse coverage was a non-issue in this game. I learned my lesson well and good, and kept an abundance of synapse monsters on the field. The big lesson here was to be aggressive with my swarms in order to distract the opponent and forcing tough decisions.
  • I won the game, in no small part because I gave my opponent too many targets to take on at once. After only a turn of shooting at my termagant swarms and tervigon, my flying hive tyrant got into combat and made short work of both Khan and his squad with his lashwhip/bonesword combo.
Game 4 - Tau (Non-Farsight), Dawn of War, Relic
  • The biggest thing I learned in this game was to be selectively aggressive with my army - I tried the same tactics that worked against the first tau list, as well as against the white scars, and wound up with 2 dead hive tyrants on turn 2 because of it. While they both made short work of a few infantry squads thanks to psychic scream, being shot down by markerlights and subsequently killed by broadsides and ion-tides was a tough pill to swallow.
  • I won the game, thanks to my termagants securing the relic on turn 2 and never letting it up, but the body count was high on my side. I was able to make a 12" charge with a carnifex to lock up and ultimately kill a riptide in CC, but if it weren't for that and the fortunate terrain set up (lots of LOS blocking ruins), his gunline could have torn me up easily.
Game 5 - Imperial Guard (Mech Traitor Guard), Hammer & Anvil, 4 objectives
  • This game was by far my most dominant showing of the 5 games played, due in large part to my opponent being unsure of my army and tentative with his units. This is another game where target saturation and proper synapse coverage made the difference between victory and defeat. The biggest lesson learned here was to commit my entire swarm to a goal, and to view every model and unit as expendable as long as the goal is reached.
  • I won this game as well, decisively.  From turn 1, I committed my entire army to move forward and into his line of chimeras and valkyries and manticores, and was successful because as my hormagaunts, termagants, and warriors died, my hive tyrants and carnifexes were able to pick off vehicle after vehicle and unit after unit, almost surgically, until my tervigon-spawned termagants were able to move forward and secure all 4 objectives.
So far through 5 games, I am 3-2 with the Niddies. My favorite army composition so far, for both how competitive it proved to be vs Tau but also because of how fluffy the army felt, was as follows:
  • Flyrant, 2x Brainleech Devourers
  • Flyrant, Lashwhip/Bonesword, Toxing Sacs (rerolling to wound with an instant death on 6's weapon? YES PLEASE - lookout riptides and wraithknights!)
  • 30 Termagants
  • 30 Hormagaunts
  • Tervigon, Shreddershard swarm
  • 6 Warriors, rending claws, adrenal glands
  • Mawloc
  • Trygon Prime
  • 2 Carnifexes, 2x Brainleech Devourers
The list had a good mix of swarms and monstrous creatures, and allows for a lot of tactical utility.

Carnifexes are easily able to take out infantry and AV12 vehicles with their devourers, and can scratch even AV14 in CC if they can get there.

Swarms of termagants and hormagaunts are great for distraction, holding objectives, and eating bullets so your other models (trygons, mawlocs, and hive tyrants) can get into combat and wreck face.

Tevigons are still rock solid, even with the increase in points and the increased damage to gants within 12". Nothing else can spawn troop choices every turn, and nothing else holds an objective like a fearless T6 W6 3+ SV monster.

Hive Tyrants are as good as they ever were, now with BS4 to make the devourers an even better choice. I like the lashwhip bonesword option bc it lets you take out riptides and wraithknights, he's just as efficient at taking out heavy infantry or infantry in CC as a devourer flyrant (more so in fact, thanks to the +1 attack of having two pairs of CC weapons).

My warriors did nothing in either game I brought them other than die, but it took several turns, and it meant that, again, a lot of other stuff got into the enemy lines unscathed. They have the benefit of being synapse, meaning that even though they're generally viewed as useless by both Nid players and other players alike, your opponent wants them dead, and will likely spend time to remove them if it means the lynchpin in that area of the board is gone.

Again, I really like this book, and I think once the internet calms down in a few weeks people will start to actually look at what it can do - its already being taken at tournaments, and isn't doing any worse than the previous book. Bottom line is, while eldar and tau are a very competitive build right now, Nid players can take solace in the fact that their book is fluffy, has some amazing artwork, is completely unique in the way it plays on the field, and is still as good as any other book that isn't tau/edlar.


Monday, January 27, 2014


While I haven't had a ton of time around my painting desk for one reason or another over the last week, I did have a number of games set up to actually take the Nid book to the table and see what it could do.

Despite the constant whining of the internet, and the hundreds of complaints that "Nids aren't at the same level of Tau/Eldar" and "Why didn't they fix combat?" and "How come none of us are capable of responding like rational adults?", I have found that the book is a ton of fun to play with, and has a lot of options that have proven fluffy, exciting, and a blast to put on the table.

Overall, it feels like the book is on par with the previous rendition - not drastically better competition wise (at least not on the surface), but certainly not worse. Let me break down my thoughts for you.

There is a huge push in this book to run Tyranids in the fluffiest sense of the army - masses of small critters with a handful of large support monsters wading through them as the tide of bodies crashes upon the enemy.

That style of army is not what many Nids players are familiar with, but it is easy to do and it is extremely effective!

Except for the good ol' flying hive tyrant and special characters like Old One Eye and Swarmlord, just about everything in this book, in a good sized or full brood, runs 140-180 points. A brief list of everything that fits that range:
  • Deathleaper
  • Tyranid Prime
  • 3 Hive Guard
  • 3 Zoanthropes
  • Haruspex
  • 3 Venomthropes
  • 3 Lictors
  • 30 termagants
  • 30 hormagaunts
  • 5 warriors (with biomorphs)
  • Hive Crone
  • 30 Gargoyles
  • Harpy
  • 5 Raveners (with biomorphs)
  • 5 Shrikes (with biomorphs)
  • Almost all carnifex variations
  • Mawloc
  • Exocrine
  • Tyrannofex
What this means is that, more than any other codex, Tyranid players can just plug and play whatever units they want at each FOC slot - and we rarely will have the sticker shock of other armies (nothing over 200 points naked) and the end result is that we will have more bodies on the table, whether that be MCs or swarms of infantry or a mixture of both (recommended).

I'll get into detail about the specific lessons learned in my games later tonight. Most of them have been small level games for an escalation league at my local gamestore (Next Dimension Games, check them out if you're in the city of Chicago), but I did manage to get 2 games in at 1850 over the weekend as well.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Defective Births, Tyranid Style

Hey everybody! Tonight I've finally gotten around to uploading some pictures of my completed tervigon (sans basing). Enjoy!

While I love the way this guy came out, I've been having mixed results with him in game - its not news that the new codex is a challenging one, but overall I've enjoyed the variety it brings to my favorite army.

That being said, synaptic feedback has been brutal, as has the random psychic powers- I've found myself being intrigued by things like warp blast and psychic scream rather than taking the safe play of dominion, much to the chagrin of my little termagants.

On the table this week are 30 more termagants, the barbed heirodule, and 2 trygons/mawlocs - I have the whole week to myself after work (the girlfriend is in vegas for a work conference) so I should be able to catch up for this month's goal of 2000 points painted.

Cheers, stay tuned!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Scuttling Swarm

Well, as promised, here's some pictures of my painted flying hive tyrant with bonesword and lash whip:

And with my roommates gone for the weekend I decided to start cracking on the swarm of 53 termagants that were primered and waiting for paint. 

With the new rules for Nids requiring a full squad of 30 in order to unlock tervigons as troops, I'm going to need even more at my disposal than before if the terv spam list remains strong!

Here's my painting desk as I get ready to dive in...wish me luck...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Tunneling Horror

While I clean up, convert, paint strip, and prime all the new models I came into the past few weeks, I wanted to give you folks an idea of what the color scheme looks like and how it will be applied to my up and coming army.

The following pics are of an old Trygon of mine, that I've since gotten rid of, but shows the basic theme I will be going for yet again - acid green carapace fading to black, dark gray skin, green talons/claws, and pink/purple squishy bits (tongues, tubes, etc).

I always try to focus on the two parts of the model that draw the most attention - bases and faces. I've highlighted up the face of the creature to a lighter gray, to give the model some depth. I've also done a three-color highlight on the sand of the base, and included patches of dead grass, snow, and slate to make the model more interesting and finished looking.

Below are pictures of a completed brood of hormagaunts, so you can see that the scheme is even more striking when the swarm is at full strength rushing towards your lines in a headlong sprint!

Stay tuned for more - I should be able to get some models primed tonight, and will have pictures of my first flying hive tyrant live this evening, with more to come over the weekend (I'm not going to be drinking for a few weeks - the holidays were a whirlwind of late nights and whiskey).