Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metal Model Stripping

Brother C here with another quick update on my projects... I did a model swap with Ross for our club for his contest winning Sammael on jetbike model to use with my new ravenwing list (currently in the works - more updates on that to come in the next few weeks). Sadly... the california blue and the rainbow iconography just weren't working for my current Disciples of Caliban theme. So.. yes.. it was a sad day to have to strip the model, but it allowed me to post a little tutorial on it.

The first step is to find a container in which you can submerge the entire model into. Now Ross had constructed this guy pretty well so I was not able to partially disassemble him. if you can remove pieces of your models prior to submerging, I would recommend it, as you will use way less solution.

Now, you need to pick up a paint stripping solution. Many people online use some kind of car lubricant, but I used what we had laying around.. simple green. love this stuff, and it has many more household uses other than stripping models.. (justify spending the money with your wife :) ). you need to completely submerge the model in the simple green. make sure no parts are above the liquid. if you need to adjust the model accordingly. now, just let that sit for 24 hours and it'll be ready.

You know that old toothbrush you have laying around and your wife keeps telling you to throw it away. well you can tell her you are glad you saved it. honestly everyone online says you need a 'stout' brush with sturdy bristles, etc. well... you don't. you just need an old used toothbrush to scratch this paint off. it should come off like butter. if not, try soaking it longer.. you didn't dilute the simple green did you? this should also release the super glue holding the model together so be careful you don't lose little parts down the drain. simply scrub each piece with the toothbrush until the majority of the paint is removed. note* you probably won't get every little speck of paint off. but as you can see from my pictures, it does a real nice job. let these puppies dry on a paper towel and you are ready for reassembly.

you didn't throw away that left over simple green did you ? for SHAME! its still good. that stuff is potent and it'll take more than one little model to use up all its effectiveness.. save for later use with a nice lid or you can dump out 30% of it and make a watered down solution for plastic model stripping.. that's where this leftover is heading. but that's another topic for another day.

Anything to add?

Is there a more cost effective solution you have used?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I dream of Vulkan

image courtesy of Team Snake Eyes

So Rob and I had a match this past week and he asked me what he thought of his list. I guess he has some tournaments upcoming and he wanted some advice on tweaks. Obviously not completely sold on his list…. So.. I’ve thought about it and here are those thoughts in their current state of maturization..

His initial list for the match.
Codex:SM [operation vulkan drop]
Hq: vulkan
Hq: libby with nullzone and avenger
Troops: 10 man tact squad with MM, Melta and pod
Troops: 10 man tact squad with MM, Melta and pod
Troops: 10 man tact squad with MM, Melta and pod
Troops: 5 man tact squad with las/plas razorback
Elites: ironclad in pod
Elites: dread in pod
Elites: 5 man terminator squad with 3x TH/SS , 2x Lclaws
Fast Attack – Van Vets with jump packs and a TH
Heavy: vindicator

The match was 5 objectives, playing the Eldar battle mission ‘Outflank’. He kept everything in reserve save the vindicator and the razorback and squad. I pushed through with my LR straight at his vindicator. Sadly, I ended up being an inch out of assault range (terrain test for assault) and I ended up losing the entire squad to the pie plate and added support of the razorback (yes, also after not making one dang invuln save too).

However, this is pretty much summed up his killing for the rest of the match. He was able to wittle down another terminator squad and my tacticals, but I ended up tabling him on turn 6. My outflanking speeders took care of the vindicator and razorback. My predators and terminators were able to stifle the dreads and eventually take them down. And the tacticals were no match for heavy bolters and terminators. Our terminator squads actually ended up killing each other, was pretty funny actually. We both had a TH/SS left and both took out the other. Vulkan eventually fell to the torrent of fire from the dakka preds (of which Moros calls worthless for DA – BAH! I say)

So what went wrong for Rob. Well, here are my thoughts. He was playing his list like a Sam-Hainn Eldar. Hoping to sneak in towards the end of the game onto objectives and ‘steal’ the win out from under their opponent’s nose. If rob wants to do this, there really is no reason to have a vindicator as it draws so much fire and since he is only going to have 2 vehicles on the table on turn 1 (enemy has first turn) that’s a Big problem. I just felt like his list had a bunch of toys he wanted to use from the SM codex without a set theme to the army. He almost ended up pulling out the win on me since most of this big stuff came in our turns 4 and 5 which had me scrambling to push him off the objectives. Going to turn 6 was the end of him, he just didn’t have enough to deal with all my firepower. This fact, worries me. In a competitive setting, you can’t simply hope for a stolen victory. You need to own your opponent in order to score maximum points. This also, relies completely on the mission and opponent. If he had been playing a horde army, nids, orks, etc. those pods could not have deployed anywhere close to the objectives.

So.. I’ve done some rethinking of Rob’s list.. and.. here’s what I have come up with.. thanks to the new CLUB owned SM codex I was able to throw together my own version of a vulkan list. I think it still keeps the ‘flavor’ of his original list. What do you think?

Codex: SM [spear of vulkan] 1850
HQ: Vulkan [190]
Troops: 10man tactical squad with MM, Melta, Combi-flamer + Pod [220]
Troops: 10man tactical squad with MM, Melta, Combi-flamer + Pod [220]
Troops: 10man tactical squad with MM, Melta + Pod [210] (vulkan goes here giving you a flamer on this squad as well)
Elites: Ven Dread + Flamer + Pod [210]
Elites: Ironclad + Flamer + Pod + teleport homer [190]
Elites: 10-man Terminator squad (10x TH/SS) [400]
Fast Attack: Land Speeder – Heavy Flamer + MM [70]
Fast Attack: Land Speeder – Heavy Flamer + MM [70]
Fast Attack: Land Speeder – Heavy Flamer + MM [70]

So here’s my thinking.. podding/deepstriking all over the place. So on turn 1 we are still getting our 2x dreads on the field and one of the tact’s pods. Terminators, speeders can either come in off the teleport homer or just deepstrike where needed. Here we are trying to maximize what vulkan can give us. Everything is Twin linked or master crafted. People are going to struggle dealing with that 10man terminator squad and the speeders while there are 30 tacts up in your face and the dreads. I like it. Even though it’s a little light on troop squads. Its against the grain of the MSU’s builds and it will allow for quick adaptation as the game progresses.

Thoughts? Flames?
Scaling to 2k, I would probably either add a libby. Or drop a speeder and add another 10man tact squad.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tank Tactics - A Must Read Article

Hey all... I was going down the bloglist the other day and come across an amazing article by my buddy Hero over at Hero's Gaming Blog. I recommend giving it a read when you have some extra time. You will learn a lot about using those tanks of yours to your best advantage.

I think the best thing about this article for me was realizing that in 40k you have to play in a way that you will lose units, but when you do lose units its on your terms and doesn't make a huge impact on your overall strategy. Perhaps I just need to be ok with "acceptable casualties" :P

Check it out here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hobby Corner – Tweaking the Terminators

Brother C here with an update on my hobbying this past couple of weeks. I’ve been testing out more combinations of terminators with various supporting elements. I have been taking learned experience from my battles at the Cabin Fever tourney, the Berks Spring Assault, the Dream Wizards Team Tournament and some online matches versus Moros, as well as the knowledge base with their ever-popular ‘net-lists’ and needless to say, I’m doing some terminator tweaking.

Now I am not fully committed on the best supporting elements to my terminators but I have figured out that my terminator armament needed some tweaking. I started my terminators with some fluffy ‘sword’ style theme. I wanted swords to be on the shoulder pads for my troops, swords to be on their backpacks and the iconography. Originally the Dark Angels’ knights had only the white sword as their emblem. When the emperor came he ‘turned’ them into his angels. (aka added wings) yay emperor. So.. I wanted to pursue an army that had this ‘sword brethren’ feel to them. I wanted my terminator sergeants to have power swords, my tacticals sergeants to have power swords and I wanted to abuse the iconography of swords.

This however has created problems for me.. problems of efficiency and competitiveness. Now I know that Lancashire has been ‘deemed’ the competitive club as compared to our friends over at the Berks club being more for hobbyists. I don’t know if I buy into that statement as I have played some very competitive people over at Berks and I know a bunch of our guys are hobbyists. That’s either here nor there. That’s another debate on a different topic and probably not for the blog. For me, when the fluff is getting in the way of creating a competitive army, I’m dropping the fluff. Why? I can always curve the fluff to whatever I am building/using. ‘my lightning claws are created from the original sword blades for the Order on Caliban’ type of stuff. I wouldn’t consider myself an ‘uber competitor’ but I surely know that winning matches feels a heck of a lot better than losing them. I can write hundreds of pages of background for each member of my army but if I through down my list against someone who kicks my face in for 2.5 hours, it hurts, and all that fluff bunny stuff isn’t going to make me feel any better.

To make a long story even longer.. I have determined that this is my current most efficient and economic terminator load out that the Dark Angels can muster. (note- this is only for DA, black Templars, blood angels, GKs, Smurfs have different rules and therefore different setups will be more efficient for them)
HQ command squad:

belial – twin linked claws to take advantage of the initiative 5, you want the rerolls to wound here as well. You also MUST take the apothecary and the banner. Why both? Wound allocation sheningans and nothing makes your opponent cry more than FNP terminators with a 3 wound HQ to stack wounds on. Plus the banner gives EACH terminator an extra attack, its like adding 3 additional terminators to your squad.

Deathwing squads: 1x chainfist with stormbolter (note this is for the CF, not the SB as you will probably be firing mostly at armor with your CML) 1x lightning claws (these are MUCH more efficient than the power sword combo even though I love the look of the sword and the fluff as previously mentioned, the rerolling to wound is just toooo dang good.) 2x termies with hammers and shield, these are for soaking up those plasma/melta wounds, and 1x terminator with Hammer, Shield and CML. (note – the CML can be moved around as needed however I have found that putting it on the hammernator is best for my wound allocation style as he is the last one in the squad to receive wounds and this lets me adjust to my opponent as to what I need to have alive, claws, chainfist or hammers. I want the 3 hammers in combat if at all possible but 2 is decent, if I lose a CML and a claw guy, that hurts more. Does that make sense? It has proven itself to me over and over again.

So that’s it.
1x chainfist + SB
1x lightning claws
2x TH+SS

It is efficient, it is economical and it can adapt to a variety of opponents. And there is always a threat to walkers with those chainfists in there. Because DA do not get many of the bells and whistles that other terminators are getting (preferred enemy, furious charge, tank hunters, etc.) DA has to maximize their ability to mix and match their range weapons (CMLs) and their close combat weaponry, (claws, CF and hammers)

So yes, I have been ripping off terminator limbs this week and converting the DA powerfists into chainfists. All should be ready and WYSIWYG for the upcoming Lancashire Wargaming 40k Day.