Archive for Games Workshop

Tallarn Veterans

Posted in 40K, Minis, WIP with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2014 by stingersix

I have finished the core infantry squads of my Tallarn force. Three squads of Veterans and a Command Squad. I still need to build out three more Tauroxes for their transport, then it’s on to the supporting units. Much more to come!

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Clubbing baby seals

Posted in Blather with tags on October 4, 2013 by stingersix

Here’s a question. When you want to introduce someone to a new game, and sit down to play with them for the first time, do you let them win so as to not discourage them and bring them back to the table?

With good friends whom I know well, I do my best to win, play fair and teach them the game at the same time. I will give advice about the best moves to make, or present the potential outcomes of an action so they can choose what to do.

When I teach a game to someone I’ve never met before, usually in my capacity as a representative of the store, I definitely go easy on them. I do much the same thing as when I’m teaching a friend, but with a stranger, I will sometimes make a sub-optimal move. But for the most part, I’m less invested in winning the game than I am teaching it and showing the other person a good time. If they tell me to cut loose, that’s fine and I’ll do my best to win. I just feel that when you’re trying to show someone a good time, crushing them utterly doesn’t help toward that goal. The goal is teaching the game, not winning.

I’ve been on the receiving end of the baby seal clubbing, and it has soured my experience and put me off a game or two here and there over the years. Only human I suppose.

All that said, it’s not like I win a lot of games anyway! πŸ˜›

The Legion walks again!

Posted in Battle Report, Blather, Games, Nostalgia with tags , , , on August 30, 2013 by stingersix

Had a game of Epic yesterday for the first time in a long long time (this one was for you, Bruce, you old warhorse)! Looking at my old models, I can see how far my painting has come over the last 20 years! But the old minis still hold up well and it all looks awesome set out on the table. I was very rusty with the rules. but as we played, it all started coming back to me. I absolutely love the grand scale – it’s like playing Apocalypse in 40K, only a lot more manageable! Infantry die like flies, whole tank squadrons get wiped out in one go… fantastic!

The Rising Sun Chapter of the Space Marines and the Legio Tempestus face off against the Death Guard led by Mortarion and the World Eaters near an Imperial city on the edge of the badlands.



Marines of the Assault company get to grips with a squadron of Chaos Land Raiders and are counter-charged by Bloodletters! In Epic, Assault Marines can actually kick ass!


Grey Knights take it to Mortarion! The demon Primarch’s plaguewind killed one stand before it burned itself out. In the ensuing combat, the Grey Knights almost took him down, but Mortarion destroyed the Emperor’s finest!


The Chaos Banelord Titan skulks behind a building. Good thing too, because when it finally emerged into the crosshairs of the Loyalist Warlord Titan…


ENGINE KILL! The resulting explosion destroyed a nearby building and entirely wiped out the World Eaters swarming at the traitor machine’s feet! AWESOME!


Ah, what a game! Many thanks to my friend Stephen for playing – it was fun to introduce him (he was 3 years old when I first started playing Epic) to an old game that laid the foundations for much of what 40K is today. Certainly Epic Space Marine was one of GW’s best designs. Too bad they’ve killed it off. But, as long as a game is being played it is never dead. In the far reaches of the galaxy, the armies still clash and the Legions still walk!


Random musings on 40K

Posted in 40K, Blather with tags , , on August 24, 2012 by stingersix

I’m going to hold forth a few opinions about 40K 6th edition here. First, I do not consider myself an expert on the 40K game by any stretch. I only have a grand total of twelve 5th edition and five 6th edition games under my belt. That said, I am an experienced gamer, and my history with miniatures gaming, including 40K, goes back 30+ years now (geez), so at least my opinions are informed by this experience.

First, I’ll say I really like 6th edition a lot, much more than 5th. The new game has a lot of tools geared for the way I like to play miniatures games, which is basically as 3D representations of a story. Yes, I’m Mr. Narrative gamer. For this reason, I think I find myself liking a lot of the things the more competitive 40K players dislike. I’ll comment on each.

Allies – Love it. And I like the way it was implemented in 6th. The “tiers” of allies and the way they work together was a smart move and it encourages either going into a game with a narrative, or supports developing one out of the game you’re playing. With allies you can certainly and more easily set up a game inspired by, say, one of the 40K novels. For example, I’m reading Know No Fear right now, and there is a great battle scene with the Ultramarines, Imperial Army (not Guard yet) and Adeptus Mechanicus on one side, and Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Daemons and Cultists on the other. This scene got me thinking about how to make a similar 40K scenario.

RCL (Random Charge Length) – Doesn’t bother me at all. Lots of minis games I have played have something similar. Stargrunt does and yeah, I’ve blown a a few charges in that game too. War is hell. The way I see the RCL question in 6th is, how much of a risk are you willing to take? If you simply play like you did in 5th and close to 6″ before charging, you will probably get in. Sure the dice may hose you, but the law of averages is on your side – you’re more likely to roll a 7 than anything else on 2d6.

Similarly, if you start your charge at a greater distance, well, that’s a risk/reward thing. You could try for a 12″ charge but really, you probably won’t get it. If you do, it’s awesome, right? Again, you most likely won’t. But ask yourself, in what situation would you take such an outrageous risk as that? Maybe the last turn of a game, and it’s the only chance you have of getting a dedicated CC unit into action where it might help? Sure, go for it. You declare, survive the overwatch, roll 2d6 and…wow, you got a 12! You’re in! You and your gaming buddies will remember that one won’t you!

Now, I understand how discouraging it is to be within, say, 4″ and roll snakeyes, leaving your dudes standing there like a bunch of chumps. But again, it was an unlikely result. And more than that, you can build your narrative from it. The Bloodletters were all set to rip into the IG, but they bricked and rolled snakeyes. What could explain that? Maybe the IG guys held them off with the strength of their faith in the Emperor? Maybe they did their regiment’s equivalent of a haka dance? Or maybe it was just the viccisitudes of Chaos? You decide.

RCL is like life – sometimes you suck, sometimes you rock.

Overwatch – Absolutely love it. Lotta 40K players seemed to have shat themselves when they first heard of this. But overwatch fire is a staple of many other wargames and I looked forward to it being in 40K. Nothing in 5th bothered me as much as watching a line of enemy troops come at me and not being able to react in a sensible (i.e. blasting them) way when they charged me.

Overwatch in 6th sounds scary but hey, you still need to roll a 6 to hit. Naturally this makes overwatch fire from large units more likely to cause damage and I’ve seen some moaning about this too. But my reply is, then why the hell are you charging a huge unit without thinning it down some first?

Overwatch in 6th instantly made the game more tactical and I like it. Overwatch and RCL also kind of go together. Say you declare your unit is charging from a distance of 6″. You lose a couple guys to the resulting overwatch fire and now your closest unit is 8″ away. In 5th, your charge was stopped right there, since you could only charge 6″. But now, when you roll for RCL, you still have a chance of getting to grips with the bastards.

Other observations – Seen a few comments about Power Fists being less useful now. I dunno, I had my Captain squish an Eldar Avatar’s head with one in a game a couple weeks ago, so they seem pretty good to me.

Same moaning about Power Swords being AP3. “They can’t kill Terminators!” So what? Hit the Terminators with something that can kill them! Terminators still die if you force enough saves on them. And that complaint sorta assumes that you’re always facing Terminators with your Power Sword armed units. These weapons will still ruin your day. I know I don’t want a unit of say, Bloodletters, getting a charge off on any of my units that isn’t a Terminator (which is most of them)!

Challenges – Perhaps the most ‘cinematic’ rule in the game and I like it. A few months back, Adan and I played a game that was set up to get the leaders of each army into personal combat with each other. We had to contrive that clash, but now, the rules encourage and support an event like that! Yay!

There are ways to mitigate challenges. If your opponent doesn’t declare one, you can. You can throw a scrub against the challenger as a sacrifice. But my approach at the moment is, challenge accepted! Go for it! Get that awesome fight going! If the scrub wins the fight, wow, super awesome! Plus this – if I issue a

challenge to your unit and you have a badass IC, and you decline the fight with that IC and send a scrub in his place, well, you may tarpit me or win, or whatever, but I still get to taunt you for having your IC run for the rear! Sure, there are times when having some other character take the challenge makes sense, but yeah, you big chicken, you knew you just couldn’t hang. πŸ˜›

Vehicles – Still don’t have enough games in to tell one way or the other, but I don’t think the changes to the vehicle rules are so terrible. Lotta people say vehicles don’t last as long but so far I see them lasting about as long as they always have. Some gripe that massed infantry fire from certain armies (like Necrons) will blow up vehicles. Well, if that big squad of ‘Crons is shooting at my Rhino, they aren’t shooting at my Marines and I’ll be seeing them soon enough.

I’ve already had the majority of the vehicles I’ve brought in my 6e games survive the entire battle. If anything, hull points seems to have prolonged their lives.

And being able to shoot on the move, yeah, I love it. Doesn’t matter if I need to roll a 6, I can still open up. Should’ve always been this way, as far as I’m concerned.

So, to sum up, I’m a fan of 40K 6th edition and the change it brings. As a “narrative” gamer, this new edition has a lot of things in it that I like. I am having fun with it and that’s really what I want to do most. I expect to play this a lot in the years ahead.

Rising Sun Chapter – Captain and Chaplain

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , , on September 15, 2011 by stingersix

I’m not going to say these are “display quality” (even though I’ll be putting them in my display cabinet, but the Captain and the Chaplain I have been working on since the beginning of August are now done, and I do think they are some of my best efforts to date. Both represent something of a step forward in terms of my modeling and painting technique.

The Captain is the first mini that I have magnetized. I went all-out and did all his weapon options (still have two arms to go, but hey…). Magnetizing minis was a bit of a cloud to me at first, but I read up on it and took the plunge. Turned out to be pretty easy and I’m probably going to put magnets on a lot of 40K models from here on out.

The other thing about the Captain that I like is how the heads came out. I’m still working on his face-masked head but the helmeted head and bare head look good. I was especially worried about the kumadori design on the face – it’s hard to do and easy to mess up. I also didn’t want him to look like some sort of Chaos warrior. But I don’t think he does and even the close up pics don’t show too many flaws.

With the Chaplain I think I’ve gotten a little better at doing zenith lighting effects. It’s hard to see in the pics but it’s there. I’ve gotten better at it not perfected it! I was working with black too, which was also a bit of a challenge. Two things helped a lot in this regard, master painter Finn Kisch’s tutorial on painting black and a bit of advice I read somewhere that said painting black is less about painting the black itself than it is about all the other details on the mini. This was true for the Chaplain and I’m pretty happy with the results, in particular the Japanese writing on the scrolls and purity seals.

The writing on the scrolls I did with a Sakura 005 Micron pen. It was impossible to get perfect characters that small, but I was actually trying to write in Japanese. I pulled some samurai death poems and whatnot from some books I have and put those on, though you really can’t read them, even if you can read Japanese. The seal on his left shoulder is kinda legible though – it says 【不名θͺ‰γ‚ˆγ‚Šζ­»γ€β€Death Before Dishonor”. Just the sort of sentiment a Space Marine Chaplain should promote!

Now, pics!

More Space Marines and…something old…

Posted in 40K, Minis, WIP with tags , , , , on July 25, 2011 by stingersix

Hmm, no posts for over a month. But I have been busy. Just about finished off that Space Marine Battleforce box I picked up last year. All that’s left are five Marines and the Scouts, which I have half-finished. Some pics for you.

First up are the Assault Marines. These came out nice and I want five more to fill out the squad.

No, I didn’t forget to paint the kanji on their left kneepad. Rising Sun Chapter Marines don’t get that final character on their armor until they finish/survive their service in the Assault Squads and are assigned to a Tactical Squad – at which point they paint on the final character (you’ll note their Sergeant has all four).

Next is a Rhino. I have another one painted pretty much exactly the same way, only the driver’s hatch is closed on that one.

The Scout Sergeant, and another WIP Scout, which I’ve included to show the kabuki style kumadori facepaint. Each Marine in my force that is bareheaded has a different pattern.

Finally, this ugly critter, a Genestealer Patriarch from around 1992 that I originally bought for Space Hulk. I dug him out of the box where he’d been lurking for the last 19 years, dumped him in the Green Stuff to strip the old paint (a Genestealer model in a glass jar full of green liquid looks kinda freaky!), and re-painted him over a weekend. Still ugly, but looks a lot better now!

Five Epic Armies

Posted in 40K, Minis, Nostalgia with tags , , on September 6, 2010 by stingersix

Looking at my blog stats, the consistently most popular post is the one I did last year about my old Epic Space Marine collection. It shows up in the weekly top post stats every week. Over 2,300 views. Impressive.

I love that old game and though I haven’t played in years I would at the drop of hat.

But there is one secret about that post I haven’t let on – those seven pictures were only the tip of the iceberg, part of a set of 44. If you want to see all of the pictures I took of my Epic Space Marine forces, click this link! Enjoy!

Just reminded myself…

Posted in Blather with tags , on June 2, 2010 by stingersix

…why I haven’t played much GW for so long. I priced out that 1500 point Space Marine force I’ve been thinking about, and as the numbers added up, found myself rolling my eyes. If I bought it all at full retail, plus shipping and taxes, it’s just over $400. This is for a small force too.

There’s no way I can buy all this in one go, not without my wife strangling me with my own guts. If I bought it all at once I’d never finish painting it either, so eBay here I come!

Rising Sun Space Marines Tactical Squad

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by stingersix

I’ve finished my Space Marine Tactical Squad. Managed to get a few pics before my camera battery died. I’ll get some more up after I recharge it.

Overall, I’m happy with the results. The camera reveals a lot of flaws up close though and age is catching up with me – I feel like I had steadier hands when I was younger, and I know my eyesight ain’t what it used to be (painting minis for 30 years has ruined my eyes, probably…)

Really liked the Reaper paints and I will be buying more when the time comes.

Now, pics!

Here’s the whole squad. I think my updated paint scheme for the Rising Sun Chapter works well.

Kill Team A – You can see the Sergeant here. This was my first stab at executing the kumadori – the kabuki-style facepaint. I can do better I think, but as a proof of concept, I think this works and I can do more of it.

Kill Team B – I do like the flexibility of poses of the current Marine minis – the guy pitching the grenade for example.

Here’s another shot of our pitcher

Kumadori – The Japanese style of kabuki face painting is called kumadori. The pattern here is that of a traditional kabuki hero named Watona. I guess this is Sergeant Watona then. The kanji on the black banner is γ€ŒεŠ›γ€chikara, or strength.

Up close – Ugh. Up close it doesn’t look so hot I guess. But for a tabletop model, I think it’s all right. In kumadori, red stripes indicate a powerful hero, a symbol of virtue and power. Light blue can be used to signify a ghost or spirit. Greys and browns represent animals or other monsters. I’m going to try to keep this in mind for the future, and each mini I do this for will have a different kumadori design.

So, again, I think they look fine for the tabletop. Not the display quality I thought I would achieve, mostly due to impatience and trying to use unfamiliar techniques. But I’m satisfied with this and I plan to build a whole 1500 pt. force of the Rising Sun Chapter.

Now to get started on the Rhino!

Old dog, new tricks

Posted in Blather, Minis with tags , , , on May 12, 2010 by stingersix

As I work on these new Marines, the first 40K minis I have painted in almost 20 years, I’m realizing how much my painting style has changed. The realization came about when I tried to incorporate some of master minis painter Finn Kisch’s advice into my technique. I should say I totally understand what he suggested, but actually doing it turned out to be harder for me than I thought. Finn uses a layering technique I think, one that gives very nice results when executed properly (especially by him!).

This made me think about my own technique – what is it actually? I never really thought much about it, I just did it, but what do I actually do? Looking at the Space Marine models I painted back in 1991, and the ones I painted just last week, I can see what I did then and what I do now.

So, to compare, here’s one of the Marines I did in 1991.

Way back then, I primed white…with a brush. Why didn’t I spray? I don’t know. At that point I had been painting minis (with any amount of technique) for about 4 years, and I always primed white. Anyway, I then basecoated and as I recall, I liked to use washes a lot, followed by drybrushing. I did that on this Marine here. As you can see, there’s not a lot of depth or detail. I did not blackline or do edge highlights that didn’t get on there from the drybrushing.

I also liked to do a lot of wet blending, which you can see if you go back and look at my Epic scale minis, particularly the Titans. Didn’t do any blending on this Marine though. I had also not discovered inks.

Somewhere down the line, I switched to priming black using a spray. I still used washes but not as much, and started using inks more (especially after I received a Citadel Mega Paint Set as a present around 10 years ago- yay). That led me to use blacklining, which some say is outdated, but I like the look of it. I won’t use it for everything but for hard surfaces like armor, it works for me. Still drybrushing for highlights but not as much (I really used it a lot in the past). I also began using thinner basecoats and doing more layers and edge highlighting. That’s pretty much the style I’ve used up until recently, like on this Cybertech Bunkerbreaker:

I think I started blacklining things maybe five years ago. Again on this one, not a lot of edge highlights, and I don’t do wet blending anymore.

So, I got those Marines and had a chat with Finn and tried to apply some of the techniques he laid on me, and some that I’d been dabbling with but not really gone whole hog on yet, namely layering and shading with different colors, and hard edge highlighting.

Obviously, I still need lots of practice. Layering with multiple colors is gonna take me some time to get right. I also tried the highlighting to a degree I haven’t done before. I know it’s not an advanced technique, but for some reason I hesitate to really work it. I also need to get better at figuring out the lighting angles. Anyway, I do like the way this Marine came out:

So, interesting to see how my painting style has changed over the years. As a side note, it’s also interesting to see how the Space Marine minis have evolved – they really are better and more detailed than the old ones, IMHO.