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Month: July 2012

Army Showcase: Anto’s Trollbloods

After all the doom and gloom relating to the release of 6th edition, we’ve decided to go with a human interest piece. It’s a little tale of hope for us all. Imagine, if you will, a painter of average quality. Solid, reliable but not great. Let’s call this hypothetical painter… Panto. He knuckles down, practices his craft and becomes very very good.

Now the big reveal. That’s actually a true story. Although his real name, Anto, is slightly more skangerish. After years of fopping about with the Cryx, he took on a new challenge. He went with those Stone Age warriors, the soon to be extinct (yay!) Trollbloods. I’ve only got a tiny portion of the army here but it’s large and pretty.

The first shot is of his Fell Caller Hero. I’m fond of this, as at a glance, it highlights all the effort put into this force. He’s tried to make the blue flesh more lifelike, he’s reflected the shoddy troll metallurgy in the weapons and equipment. Even the clan tartans look authentic.

This is the solo character, Janissa Stonetide with the ability to shape the earth around her. The column on the left of the model is entirely converted from greenstuff and looks suitably craggy. Check out that that chin, you could use it to break rocks.

Here we have a unit of Stone Scribes guarding a Krielstone Bearer. This is included largely to show the basing and quality stonework. The basing looks suitably moor-like while stonework of this quality is actually quite difficult to produce.

We take a closer look at one of the Stone scribes to see the care lavished on the small details from the ragged bandages to the scrolls at his waist.

Something a little higher up the food chain, Captain Gunnbjorn and his ludicrous cannon. In a faction without stubble, he’s managed to grow… something… on his face to represent his incredible toughness.

Remember the careful stonework in an earlier shot, here’s the likely cause of such expertise. It’s a walking mountain. Mulg the Ancient is about four time as large as the Captain and full of little crevasses. Check out the teeth for some really refined work.

All in, all, it’s very easy on the eye and can be seen in all its glory at Conspiracy 2012 (Towncon to our southern brethren) or in Gamer’s Hub on any given Friday.

Preening Dandies: June 2012

Welcome back to the June installment of Preening Dandies, being published in late July. It’s slightly delayed but we have many, many excuses. The entire team has been knocked out of action by their own personal issues.

 I’ve spent the last three weeks hunting the deadliest game through the mountains of Kerry.

 Maynard is busy alternating between fits of frantic writing and black-out drinking.

We believe Welshman is being held by Dagestani insurgents somewhere in Central Asia (this may be true).

And poor Bristolscale7 has spent every waking moment, surrounded by spreadsheets, meditating on pairings in the upcoming Flames of War ETC.

But enough excuses, break out a cup of tea and gaze over last month’s work.

Epic Thagrosh (Hordes)

This month’s entry comes from one of our most prolific painters, after his exploits at Hobocon we were going to call him “Painted an entire Legion army in one night” Lowry but it’s really just a terrible nickname. The grey skin, cloth and armour are all very nice but it’s the blade that draws the eye. That particular shade of green contrasts extremely well with the brass detailing.

Chapter Master (Warhammer 40K)

Newbreed gives us Proximus the posing Rune Priest. He needs to start using a lower resolution camera to show his work in its best light as this photo highlights some patchy bits. But the work on the blade suggests that he might be moving away from the “throw paint at model” approach. Now if he could start produce detailing that doesn’t look like someone spunked on the model’s armour/helmet.

Chaos Space Marine Dreadnought (Warhammer 40K)

I was about to sneer at the sight of another Ultramarines model but a closer look reveals that this war machine has thrown its lot in with the Ruinous Powers. Spikes and Chaos insignia are present along with a … thing…. a weird fleshy squiggly thing, curled up above the cupola. What is that, Sycopat?

 Ironclad Dreadnought (Warhammer 40K)

We see a Forgeworld entry as Welshman sends in his Ironclad Dreadnought. Not satisfied with imitating Sycopat’s choice of entry, he’s begun mimicking Newbreed’s detailing work. Shame on you, comrade, wherever you are. And I’ll also have to grant some grudging respect for the neatness of your paintjobs.

Land Raider Achilles (Warhammer 40K)

The Dark Angels are about to get a splashy new release in the 6th edition starter set but here’s an entry from a Dark Angels player who has been sulking about their lack of cheese since the advent of 5th edition. It’s the infantry-mangling Achilles. The Mechanium type cog looks good and the khaki paint does offset the vast amounts of Dark Angels Green very nicely.

This is a Warheads blog (allegedly) so it’s high time we started ranking people. Here are the scores as they stand.

Preening Dandies
Player Score
Lowry 3
Newbreed 3
Welshman 3
Sycopat 3
Trget 2
Bristolscale7 1
Crazy Aido 1
Nosediver 1

We’ll be doing another roundup at the start of August so get your works into prd@onthestep.net before the end of July. I’ve been informed by our local tech adept that photos above 5MB in size tend to bounce back so keep your entries below that size.

Rules Refresher
1) Each participant may only send in one entry for a given month. You can send in multiple photos of the entry but only one will be used.
2) The entry can be a single model or single unit. The smaller the unit, the more detail in the photo so aim low.
3) The model can be from any game system. If it’s particularly esoteric, we’d appreciate a covering note explaining what it is.
4) The entry must have been finished within that given month. You can’t submit completed pieces from your back catalogue.
5) If you want us to include a link back to more of your work, we’d be delighted to do that.

Getting a Grip on 6th Edition: Terrain

What’s wrong with this table?

It contains six fine pieces of terrain: lovely ruins with some LOS blocking that allow 40k to be played in three dimensions.  It’s more terrain than I ever saw on a table in a 5th edition tournament.  The terrain has also been arranged in a relatively benign manner so no possible deployment zone benefits more than another.

So what’s wrong with it?

 It is wholly inadequate in terms of 6th ed. terrain.  Allies and Flyers are getting all the press these days, but it’s the new terrain rules that I think people will have the hardest time implementing.  “Terrain Density” dictates that every 2’x2′ square of a table receive d3 pieces of terrain.  So an average table should have twelve pieces of terrain.  They don’t have to all be cool ruins as you see above–forests, statues, rivers, area terrain (craters, wrecks, etc.), and unoccupied fortifications are all on the terrain palette.  So take the above table and add six more pieces of terrain to it.  I like terrain, but in my experience many tournament 40k players have always treated it as a nuisance.  Players are eager to start using allies and flyers, but who cares about terrain?

We all should.  For starters, you’re going to need some place to hide from all those flyers zooming around the table with their square flight paths.  The change to a 5+ cover save should also be understood in the context of increased terrain: cover saves are poorer quality (and the new focus fire rules allow you to go after troops in the open) but should be easier to find.  Because cover saves are 5+ now players may now be more welcoming of LOS blocking terrain.  The new deployment types also increase the importance of terrain–who wants to walk the length of a table without lots of terrain?

Terrain is also important because of the new rules for fortifications.  Players alternate placing terrain after fortifications are down.  This means that you can place pieces of terrain in such a way that your troops have a modicum of cover as they approach my Fortress of Redemption.  

Terrain is not glamorous–it’s a tedious part of organizing a tournament and it presents practical obstacles in terms of transportation.  I think TOs right now would have a hard time finding and transporting 12 pieces of terrain per table.  There’s a 24 person 6th edition tournament coming up at Gamers World in September.  I don’t think even the largest shop in Ireland has enough terrain to put down 144 pieces (average of 12 pieces x 12 tables).  In the short term an increase in smaller, poorer quality pieces may be needed.  In the medium term people are going to have to build more terrain (and take better care of the terrain in existence).  Either that or sparse terrain will be the uncommented upon survivor from 5th edition.

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