Getting started with 40K! (Particularly for Orks and Tyranids)

A couple of cracking chaps (@CronosTweets and @Kevuit on twitter) who are new to the 40K gaming side of the hobby asked a fascinating question – how do you get started in the hobby?  How do you learn the rules, and more importantly, have fun?

Well, thats actually a surprisingly difficult question to answer, as 40K has made itself increasingly hard to get started with.   Its not something I’d noticed until I thought about it, but where you used to have starter sets with increasingly complex missions introducing you to the ruleset, now you chucked a bit more in the deep end.  After silly numbers of years playing, that’s great for me, and starter and campaign sets give me updated rules and cheap minis …. but they aren’t so good at teaching you to play.

So how do you get started, particularly if you like an army that isn’t found in a starter set, like Orks and Tyranids in this case.

Well (and many may disagree …), I’d suggest planning a narrative set of games designed around the models you have that separately explore the different phases of the game to get used to the way your core units move.  Here’s a few examples.

AMMO PROBLEMS!

Running low on ammunition and biological proteins, the orks and the tyranids desperately need to avoid combat, pick up supplies, then get back to the lads/spawning pools.  

Each of you dice for table edge (winner picks, other deploys facing him) pick a objective token, and place it for the other somewhere on a 4x4 board with whatever scenery you choose.  No combat is possible (no psychic, shooting or assault, though you can run in the shooting phase), but you have to run to your token, and back off your table edge.  First one off is the first to rearm, and will get to deploy first in the next mission!
TAKE OUT THE BIG UNS

Both Orks and Tyranids are led by biguns, though it has more of an effect on tyranids.  Pick a small force with a few MCs or walkers and some simple troops, with a range of longer range anti tank weaponry.

Ensure roughly the same points value and numbers of MCs and Walkers, and score a vp for each big un taken down!  This can illustrate the effects of the synapse rule for the tyrannies, and is a fun way to test out the shooting phase.
RIP EM UP CLOSE

Go for 500pt horde type close combat forces, and simply Warrrgh or chitter into it!  remember to try to concentrate your forces and defeat the enemy in detail where possible.  Its especially fun if no ones really shooty - get stuck in lads!

I think you get the idea – the narrative makes the simpler game more fun, and each one teaches you the basics of the game, so as you combine the elements, you don’t slow down too much or feel overloaded.

Stick with small points and fairly plain units to start with.  You want to understand the basic abilities of your units before you start modifying them.  Making a unit invisible can be great … but not if you don’t understand how they move or can be positioned.   Introduce new abilities and phases slowly, and take into account not just your learning speed, but your friends – if you speed ahead, they can be discouraged, or you can actually miss some basic understanding that throws you off.

Formations, data slates and codex supplements offer another layer of complexity – I’d steer clear of this to start with until you have the basics hammered in enough to allow you to actually enjoy expanding the rules.  No one, and I suspect even the games designers fall into this too, can keep up with the complete range of rules, expansions, campaigns, codexes, codex supplements, data slates, white dwarf extras and bonus formations in start collecting packs.  Don’t even try – just remember you can always ask to see you opponents list and codex if something seems very odd!  Just add the bits that seem fun – its a not a prescriptive system (with the possible exception of high end competitive tourneys!)

One thing we introduced in my gaming group at the time was a take back system!   If we introduced a new edition or game, we’d have a number of take backs a game as we got used to it.  We’d drop the take backs down as we played until we didn’t need them any more.  Its a great learning tool!  If you moved a unit and then realised in the shooting phase you actually wanted them to stay still because of a heavy weapon, use a take back to move them back!  We restricted it to your own turn, and started with 6.  If you got challenged on a rule and were in the wrong, you could use a takeback.  It didn’t generally upset the game, but made those silly mistakes from a lack of understanding a lot less fatal and the games themselves more fun.

Big games can be fun, but they are slow, and the less familiar with the rules you are, the slower they are!  Start small.  500-1000 points is a great range for a reasonably battle without packing in every rule in the whole codex!  500pts is particularly good for learning phases, and the Combined Arms Detachment – a HQ and 2 troops minimum is a fantastic starting point for balanced encounters.

The key is to play with enthusiasm, lose with grace, win with humility, and generally just enjoy the whole affair.  Don’t get too hung up on getting the rules perfect game one – learn them over time.  In my case, thats generally just as they update to another edition … 😀

With Orks, you probably want to get used to vehicle and walker rules quite early on.  With Tyranids, monstrous creature rules and synapse rules will be quite important, so narrative games focused around those will help you learn quickly.

Both armies play well hurtling forward, but there can be a surprising amount of positional importance for such brutal forces.  Charge genestealers into flamers and they will be toast. Get them into close combat though, and pretty much any force will get torn up!

Try to avoid very cheap forces, as they’ll bulk out the time of learning games early on.  Hundreds of grots can fit in a 1000pt army.  It won’t be fun moving them all, especially when flicking frantically through rules books.  Keep it small and punchy, and mix it up with different units to get to grips with all of them – that’s when your list building and understanding of how to use units together starts to really get more effective, and formations then start making sense.

Attack of #HobbyADD – Infinity, Malifaux and 40k in between…

Well, as always, I am suffering from #HobbyADD, but at the moment I think its a particularly advanced case! I’ve almost completed my #WAACPainting entry – the models are done – I just need some decent photos for an entry.  I’m looking a knocking up a quick display board to take the photos on. So, current projects (in no particular order)!

1)  Infinity Nomads!  I’m very excited about Infinity!  It looks like an amazing system, and the skirmish nature means I don’t need to assemble and paint huge numbers.  Plus nuns with guns – my battle sisters can stride onto a new battlefield.  I think I can hold off until Ice Storm though!

2)  Malifaux I have a Lady Justice crew half assembled (I still need to put the Death Marshalls together.  Interesting system with the card deck, and fascinating fluff and gorgeous models.  Only problem is that I keep eying up Viktoria’s crew and Gremlins….. Hopefully I can stick to my guns (of justice!)

3) 40K – Sisters of Battle I need to paint about 2 models to “finish” my Order of the Argent Shroud, and about 6 models to “finish” my Order of the Verdant Garden.  So close….

4) 40K – Imperial Fists This is my current “Churn em out army”.  I do like the Sons of Dorn, and these will probably be my standard go to 40k army for a while.  Assault terminators and forge world pads on the way to bolster a Lysander charge 🙂

5) 40K – Pirate Orks Pirate orks.   What more can I say?  I have a fair few Orks from Assault on Black Reach, and Stormclaw may be lurking for an upcoming birthday.  I’ve also got RTB02 ready to be repainted and take the field.  Add some Flash Gitz, and Cap’n Kipp’s Freebootaz could be ready to go!  Its a heck of a lot of models though, so I may end up holding off here.

6) 40K – Dark Craftworld Dark Eldar I have a reasonably DE force in need of some TLC.  I’m really tempted to reorganise it as a fallen craft world and paint it in aspect colours – Striking Scorpion green for Incubi, blaster wielding kabalites as fire dragons, kabalites as Dire Avenger blues, Wyches in howling banshee bone and so on.

7) Ax Faction minis for fun I’m looking at using some of these as Inquisition forces too, so not purely just for fun.  Cracking sculpts on these.

8) 40K – Fallen Angels This army has been lurking for ages and been bolstered by the DV set.  Totally unpainted for over 7 years….. I really should at least prime them!!!

9) 40K – RTB01 Crimson Fists Army Ah, my beloved Crimson Fists!  Painstakingly gathered from eBay to replace an army that got lost on a train years ago.  The plan is to recreate the classic Rogue Trader front cover.  Navy primer is ready to go!

10) 40K – Ultramarines More marines!  I actually have a fairly decent collection of ultramarines, some primed, some badly painted.  I’m just missing a HQ force here really!  Ironclad dreadnoughts and bikers recently added to the increasing forces.   I now have a complete enough force not to worry about these!  Counting Ultramarines as done!

11) 40K – Crimson Slaughter I have a reasonably solid force of CSMs in red and gold, perfect for the role of Crimson Slaughter.  With the addition of the Crimson Slaughter specific models from the DV set, this would be a great little force (possibly in need of a bastion or helturkey for anti air).  Just the CSMs from DV to paint here, though a fair few khorne beserkers need some finishing too.

12)  X-Wing Not started here, but a good guy locally loves it, and wants to play.  I love Star Wars, so I suspect mistakes will be made here 😉

13)  Armada If I like Star Wars star fighters, running a fleet as an admiral????  Yeah, this is happening.

14) DnD 5e Absolutely love everything I’ve seen for this so far!  Just wish digital versions of the core books were coming out as space is an issue.

15) 40K – Space Wolves My first 40K force back in the 80s!  The storm claw set has sucked me back in.  I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the recent vehicles, but the current character modelling is amazing.  Definitely to be painted in grey instead of the rubbish modern light blue though.  Will probably just be an allies force rather than a full blown 1850pts army.

16)  40K – Blood Angels Really struggling for enthusiasm here!  I have some really quite nice chapter leaders painted up, and some gorgeous terminators from Space Hulk to paint.  I have primed basic troops, and unbuilt death company and sanguinary guard.  Just not feeling too enthused, particularly without a current codex.

17) 40K – Silver Skulls Loads of unbuilt models for this, and they fit with my long term plans of having a range of silver armies sharing some vehicles with magnetised logos with my Order of the Argent Shroud and Grey Knights.  Need to work out the skulls for the shoulders and a quick effective paint scheme here!

18)  40K – Eldar Loads of unpainted Eldar, and loads of painted ones! Recently bolsters by  Eldrad, a new Avatar and some warlocks.  I need to sort out some effective fighting forces here – I think painting the remaining ones is quite low down the list.  Really tempted to add more wraith warriors at all levels though ….

19)  40K – Tau My Tau are pretty much done with a reasonable force.  There are a couple of options half painted that I’d like to finish off, and perhaps add some broadsides and riptides, but generally these are pretty low on the list as they have a fully painted force!  Ticking these off the list as have a sorted out painted playable army matching all my main criteria.  Not ideal, as could do with slightly different options, but cool.

20)  40K – Grey Knights! New codex due out, decent force already, and only a couple of things needed to be finished or assembled to finish them off!  Also awesome with the new psychic phase.  These guys may well be seeing the table again soon.  Dreadknight is tempting me!

21) 40K – Imperial Guard Valhallans Pretty much sorted out and ready to go!  Not great paint jobs, but OK enough to get by.  some basing of heavy weapons needed here.

22) 40K – Imperial Guard Cadians Ouch.  Loads of men, not much paint, and pretty much every heavy weapons squad needs to be rebased.  Lots and lots of work, not much enthusiasm at present 🙁

23) 40K – Legion of the Damned I have 15 Legion to be painted to use as an allied force to other Imperial types.  Struggling to get enthused though.

24) 40K – Deathwatch I have a 10 man squad with custom pads (both DW and a range of chapters), heads, guns, all ready to be assembled!  Must get around to building and painting these.  Very excited with my Inquistions types.

25) 40K – Inquisition I have a load of models from a range of manufacturers to put together as my Inquistion force.  Female paladins as crusaders, floating psykers, daemonhosts, the lot!  Very cool and good allies for almost all the other Imperial forces.  Quite excited, but as I haven’t started they are quite low down the list.

26)  40K – Tyranids I’d love to get this army finished to at least 1850 points!  They look gorgeous, and are easy to do.  I’m struggling motivation wise here as I basically need to buy a fresh army to make them playable with tervigons, more termagants and flying MCs.  I have genestealers aplenty to paint.  Hmm.

27) 40K – Necrons I have a fully painted army of these bad boys – rubbish in the current game, but fully painted and ready to go.  w00t!!!!  Could do with some newer models, but not loving the new fluff anyway. Counting these as done for now!  I have a complete playable and painted army all sorted out.  Not great, but done!

28) 40K – Militarum Tempestus I have a reasonable number of Karskrin Stormtrooper squads here.  No new stormtroopers, but enough to work well with inquisition or guard voices quite effectively!  None really painted, boo hiss!

29)  Scenary! I have a huge amount of scenery to assemble and/or paint.  From an Imperial City to Altars of Chaos, it’d look amazing on my battle board.  As it doesn’t affect my actual games too much though, difficult to find the time!

Sooo, 29 reasonably sized projects, and possibly a few more kickstarter bits to go too.  Ouch!  #HobbyADD indeed!

Warhammer 40K model options … Without going to Games Workshop

Let me start by saying I love Warhammer 40K.  I love the universe, the Black Library books and authors are fantastic, and the game is generally fun, interesting, and has evolved in interesting ways (even if there are enough quibbles with the rule set to start a fresh Horus Heresy!)

However, I’m not as keen on GW as a company these days.  I’ve personally found some of the employees of GW to be pushy, unpleasant, and of an aggressive opinion that GW can do no wrong.  Everyone makes mistakes, so that tends to wind me up!  Suing authors for using  the term “space marine”, a term that predates GW by a significant margin is not exactly great work, for example.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at alternatives to GW models for various forces in the 40K universe.  These are just my opinions as to what you could use the models for, rather than what they are being sold as – you may disagree, or feel they’d be better as something else.

Chaos Space Marines

I’ve never found much in the way of alternative Chaos Space Marines.  It’s a very iconic look, which doesn’t lend itself to alternatives terribly well!

However, Evilcraft do a fantastic set of Chaos looking troops in power armour with bolt pistols and bolter style weaponry.  Very cool, and ornate enough to be used as chosen if you just wanted some specialist models.

Puppets War do quite a good range of conversion bits, much of which is suitably spiky for the forces of Chaos.  In terms of straight models, they have a great squad that work work as a Raptor Squad.

They also have a reasonable number of troops that are probably better guard proxies, but would make OK cultists.  They also have some cracking zombies, for Nurgle plague zombies.

On the zombie front, Hasslefree Minis do a great, and cheap, set of zombie plastics.

 

And finally on the zombie/cultist front, Mantic Games do a great range of plague zombie marines:

Raging Heroes have a cracking model that could be could as a Nurgle general.

Zealot Miniatures do a model I think would work well as a chaos spawn.

Scibor do a small range of Chaos terminator types, which could be could for chaos lords.

Chaos Demons

Raging Heroes do some amazing Preying Mantis models, which would make fantastic Daemonettes.

They also do a great demon option for a Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon of Khorne.  You could probably get away with the smaller version as a Chaos Lord in a CSM force.

Puppets War do some good demons too. I love the thought of fielding Plague Bears instead of Plague bearers!

Avatars of War do fantasy models, but that isn’t a problem for Daemons!  They do a couple of cracking models that would make amazing Heralds of Khorne and Nurgle.

Maxmini do a fantastic line of Nurgle style demons, from Greater Demons:

Through smaller plague bringers, which would make a good herald:

Zealot Miniatures do an interesting Greater Demon of Khorne style model:

Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard are the closest thing in the 40K universe to standard human soldiers, and so are probably the easiest army to find decent alternative models for – for the infantry, anyway!

Mantic Games have their Corporation Army range, which are perfect guard replacements on the whole.

Interestingly, I’ve seen their Veer-myn line os space rats used for very effective chaos guard!

Dreamforge Games have a great range of stormtroopers that work well for Tempestus Scions, or maybe as veterans.

Statuesque Miniatures do some really cool female resistance fighters that would work really well as cultists or irregular guard.  As well as squaddies, they do a few special weapons, heavy weapons, snipers and commissars

Raging Heroes don’t currently produce many models. but are launching three full female guard army lines, loosely matching Steel Legion, Valhallan and Penal Legion Imperial guard lines.  At the moment, they do a small number of female officers which are great as commissars or custom commanders.

Victoria miniatures do a tremendous range of guard alternatives, as well as bits for customising any GW troops you may get.  If you want a custom regiment, or decent female troops, this is the place to go.  Their Arcadian rifles look absolutely cracking models.

Puppets War do a few squad options, but I’m not amazing taken by them, to be honest.  What I love, though, are their rough rider options, on motorbikes with lances.  Its something that has come up in the novels a few times, so it’d be good to see on the table.

Scotia Grendel do some interesting lines from the old VASA and Urban Mammoth games, which could easily be adopted for Imperial Guard.  Here’s one of their VASA squads, for example.

Maxmini do some great catachan alternatives, female alternatives, and a few space ogres for some Ogryn fun.

Mad Robot Miniatures have some brilliant conversion parts, but you can get complete guard squads in various looks.  Decent Valhallans are always a bonus these days, especially if you have most of an army already!

Space Marines

Mantic Games have a line of Enforcers.  While quite a different look from the traditional space marines found in GW, the equipment ties up quite nicely.

Puppets War have an interesting range of heavy armoured troops that would also do quite nicely, including strike (power) armours, and terminator armour in a range of configurations – even bikes and vehicles.

Scibor do some amazing marine style models.  Most of them match to more extreme versions of the various Space Marine Legions inspirations – Spartan for the Imperial Fists, Roman for the Ultramarines, Celtic for the Space Wolves, and so on, though there are some more unique ones, like egyptian options too.

Hitech Miniatures do some really interesting models, and again, break into groups that match the SM legion inspirations – more extreme than the very similar GW ones.

Kabuki Models do a great line of possible Primarch alternatives.  Less appealing now Forgeworld are producing official models, they are still gorgeous pieces in their own right.  Here is the Castellan Knight.

Eldar

I’ve never really found any good third party Eldar like models in army like levels.   That may change when Mantic Games get around to releasing their Asterian line of Space Elves!

Chapter House Studios do some great commanders on jet bikes, and also do a unique aspect warrior squad – Warp Stalkers – that looks like it’d run as howling banshees.

Dark Eldar

Raging Heroes are the current queens of the non GW Dark Eldar!  Not only do they have a really lovely female archon, succubus, and squads of “blood vestals” which are perfect for Wyches, it looks like they’ll be expanding their line in the future too!

Orks

Orks are tricky.  There aren’t generally huge numbers of space ork alternative models out there, though there are fairly large numbers of passable alternative vehicles.

Mantic Games do offer a large line of Marauders which would work well for Orks, both infantry and light vehicles.

Raging Heroes do a fabulous sci-fi ork warmaster, which would be amazing as your army warlord!

Puppets War do a fantastic range of Orky vehicles and planes, like this:

Adepta Sororitas

Well, I’ve never found any great models here for ladies in power armour.  Heck, its almost impossible to even get them from GW!

Having said that, it looks like Raging Heroes are planning on producing some nuns with guns options in the future – look here!

There are a couple of options that can be adapted from Privateer Press – Protectorate of Menoth.  I really like the Daughters of the Flame as Death Cult assassins as part of an Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave.  Picture from Firestorm Games.

In addition, I think the Harbinger would make a brilliant alternative to Saint Celestine:

Imperial Knights

There’s only one real alternative to Imperial Knights out there – and that’s DreamForge Games Leviathan!

Necrons

There aren’t huge amounts of Necron alternatives out there either, unfortunately.  The best selection I’ve seen is from Puppets War. which has a reasonable range of things, like an enormous cyber spider (scarab) swarm.

There’s a C’Tan alternative too

And a couple of vehicle and canoptek spider options.  No basic troops at the moment though.

Squats

Well, there are a few options for the die-hard squats fan still.

The first is Mantic Games, whose Forgefather range is pretty extensive, and just the sort of thing you want from your Space Dwarves!

The second option I’ve come across is Hasslefree Miniatures range of Grymm.  You can’t beat some of these models for character:

Tau & Tyranids

Unfortunately, I’ve never come across anything that really works well for these!  There are a lot of Mycetic spores for Tyranids out there – but GW axed them from the codex.  Tau is a very unique look – there are some female Tau kits from Zealot Miniatures, but no full squads I’ve come across.  Some people have used Robotech type models in place of the crisis and riptide suits, but thats a step further away from the Tau models than I’d go normally.

Hive Fleet Kipper arrives

Well, my work sorting out my various armies has continued onto the Tyranids!

Unfortunately, I have fewer painted Tyranids than most of the other forces, and can muster only 1300pts of painted gribblies!  I’ve included the full unpainted forces (a solid 3000pts) here, to illustrate the full potential scope of the Tyranid threat.  Its a fairly simple paint scheme, though – desert yellow base, red wash over non-chitin, yellow chitin, dry brushed red, then a few details.

With two hive tyrants (I have metal wings that I may use to convert them to “flyrants”), some old school tyrant guard, tyranid warriors, lots Genestealers, Termagants, 3 Zoanthropes, Hormagaunts, a Lictor, Raveners, Biovores and spores, and a carnifex, there are plenty of options for lists.  Unfortunately gargoyles must be fielded in units of 10 – I have 9 metal ones!

No anti air hits pretty hard these days, though.  Aegis defence lines or a hive crone might be needed, and possibly an exocrine or weapon heavy carnifex may also be needed to make it more workable, and it sounds like a venomthrope is almost essential to absorb incoming firepower.

I worked out as a minimum to hit 1850 pts, I need to paint:

  • 2 broodlords
  • 1 termagant
  • 2 hormagaunts
  • 3 biovores
  • 1 carnifex
  • 2 Zoanthropes

So just 11 models to hit my minimum completed army specifications!

My thoughts on the new Tyranids Codex

Well, having read through the new Tyranids codex, I’m not terribly impressed.  Why, you may ask?  Well, there are several reasons, and they aren’t generally related to the army list performance – until you take it for a spin, you really can’t tell whether its good or bad.

What are the main flaws for me?

1)  The fluff

The sixth edition codices have done a phenomenal job on the whole pf pushing the background of 40K another step forward.  The Space Marine codex was particularly good, as was Tau Empire.  This codex? I didn’t feel I learnt anything new about my Nids!

Where did they originate?  Were they originally a bioweapon, and if so, who created them?  If they are all part of the same hive mind, rather than a different mind for each fleet, why would Tyranids fight each other?  All the other races have a certain amount of rivalry or dissension built in to explain internal conflicts in the game, whether it’s ancient hatreds or just training exercises.  If each hive fleet was a unique mind, then competition for resources covers it – one mind fighting itself seems a bit silly.

How many more waves are there likely to be?  How widespread is gene stealer infiltration?  Has Kryptman discovered anything new to give the Imperium a chance?  Why would Necrons without organic parts be of any interest to Tyranids who are only interested in biomass?

I don’t know!  I feel the same fluff was thrown up again, rather than added to or reworked.

2)  Irritating Model Choices

One of the cool options for Tyrannids was the Drop Spores – effectively living drop pods for units that would act as living weapons too.  GW never produced a model, but many people built their own or bought alternatives from third parties.

This option is gone from the list entirely.  That’s rubbish, and a bit of a kick in the teeth for a more dedicated long term player.  I’m not dedicated enough to have done that, so it doesn’t affect me directly, but it does annoy me – I liked the whole concept of living pods fired from the hive fleet – its a key part of the Tyranid art and imagery in various books.

3)  The list itself

I haven’t tried it, but there are several choices that just feel lazy in the list to promote the new models.  My current list is a close combat monster … which isn’t ideal for the paradigm in 6th … but is totally helpless against flyers.  What have we to counter fliers now?  Well, not much except take our own new flyer model.

Its not a total surprise, but I’m really disappointed, as I felt that biovores and spore mines would be able to work in that role – imagine if spores were particularly effective against flyers as they bobbed around.  It’d be fun as flyers would need to try to bank around the spores, biovores would become much more useful, and it’d feel very 40k to have to dodge living floating mines!

So yeah, I feel that whether or not the whole list is effective, the construction of the army list itself was phoned in.

Worst 6th edition codex release so far – I’ve really enjoyed reading every other release.

New Years Hobby Resolutions!

Well, 2014 has begun, and with it a whole slew of resolutions that I’m sure I’ll break 🙂

I’ve decided that I need to get more done hobby wise, but trying for a fixed “x amount a week” just isn’t going to work, particularly with a little baby girl who is gifted at scuppering plans 🙂 With that said, my goals for 2014 are to:

“Finish” two 40k armies!

That sounds easy, doesn’t  it?  For a finished army, I have decided that I need to have – a kill team, a 1000pts list, a 1500pts list, and an 1850pts list, with all the models painted to a decent standard.  The lists will overlap – that isn’t going to be 4500pts of models, but that should get me to the point where I’m happy with an army I can pick up and play.  Should be very doable if I can fit in some hobby time occasionally and restrain my hobby ADD 😉

My current army I’m working on is Imperial Fists.  After that, well, who knows.  Probably either smurfs or fallen angels, now the Cypher data slate is out …though the new tyranids look interesting ….

I have a lot of finishing work to do on a range of armies, so if I can beat two, great!  If not, I think finishing 2 armies is doable.

Sort out my scenery!

I have a lot of scenery that needs to be sorted out and assembled, including 40K cityscapes, towers of sorcery, chaos altars and so on.  Getting it sorted, and at least a tabletop quality paint job will make any games I can fit in a lot prettier!  It’ll also help me getting my hobby gear generally sorted!

Work out my 40K Campaign System

As part of my work to refresh my programming (and learn javascript/jQuery), I’m also putting together a campaign generation system.  Its quite fun, and should also work to spice up individual games too!

Blog more often!

I really want to stick close to at least one post a week!  If nothing else, it’ll keep me focused on getting some gaming done 🙂

Hobbying after a munchkin!

Well, the arrival of a small bundle of joy (or wee,spew and poo, depending on how much sleep I got), has had a pretty major impact on my hobby time, but I do want to keep up to date with the dabbling in the gaming hobby that I’m managing!

First, I’m reviewing all my existing models and armies.  I’m going through and trying to put the following basic points values together for each force:

1000pts core force

This is the main army list for each force.  These models will form the core of any army based around the force.  I am building this force to have no more than 1 HQ, 2 Elites, 2 Fast Attack, 2 Heavy Support and 4 troops.

1500pts expanded force

This is the 1000pt list expanded to 1500pts, sharing the same base models.  You might find some extra upgrades like melta bombs or a few extra troops in an existing unit as well as completely new troops.  Again, I’m trying to limit this force to 1 HQ, 2 Elites, 2 Fast Attack, 2 Heavy Support and 4 troops.

500pts allies force

This is a totally separate 500pt allies detachment, using up to 1 HQ, 1 Elite, 1 Fast Attack, 1 Heavy Support, and 2 troops.  These are separate models from those used in the other lists.

Hopefully the artificial force org limits on the other armies now make sense – if I add the “allies” list to the main force from the same codex, I still have a valid force org, and it gives me the following options:

1000pt forces ready to go!

1500pt forces ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go = 1500pt force ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go = 1500pt force ready to go!

1500pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go = 2000pt force ready to go!

1500pt force + 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go= 2000pt force ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go  + 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go = 2000pt force ready to go!

While there’s a lot of games played at 1750 or 1850pts, the majority of the games I play tend to be at the 1500 or 2000pt marks.

The other interesting thing I can do with this is have a self contained “allies” force for various small forces I’ve collected, would like to collect or want to reduce.  I have some Imperial Fists that look reasonably good, but at the moment I’m not that interested in collecting a full Imperial fists army, for example.  I’m going to set up a 500pt allies list of Codex: Space Marines for them, so I can either field them with other marine forces as part of the main force org, or actually as allies with Imperial Guard.  It means I can get use of some of the painted models I have without needing to collect a full army!

There will probably be some limitations too – Sisters of Battle tend to be very expensive models in terms of price, but quite low in points, so you need to use more force org slots for them!  I probably have to stick to just 1000pt and 1500pt options for them, and use the complete force org.

On my first pass through organising my armies and models, I’m using only existing, prebuilt models where possible (I do have a small plastic mountain, particularly for marines, but don’t have time to sort them out at the moment!).  Where I can’t build a legal army (I suspect this will be true of my 3rd edition necrons, for example), I will work out the minimum number of models to get a valid list.  Not necessarily a good list, but valid lists, and actually assemble the models ready to play in preset KR multicases.

That also gives me fixed lists to paint and sort out, in achievable numbers.  Again, I’m not going to be looking for Heavy Metal type painting – just rough and ready tabletop.

Once I’ve finished my first pass through the armies, I’ll look at how to expand out the lists to make more fun lists, not just valid ones – I suspect some of them will be absolutely terrible to play! 🙂

My next post will list the rough armies I need to sort out!

Interactive Army Painters

I thought I’d update my post from ages ago about interactive army painters.

Bolter & Chainsword has an amazing set of interactive army painters available, letting you plan out a general look and feel for models before you try them. Its no substitute for trying a model or two, but does let you think about your colour choices!

The best painter is for Space Marines, unsurprisingly

There is another one for Terminators.

and for the Sisters of Battle.

You also have Chaos Marines.

The Tau – Fire Warriors.

and Orks.

There is a painter program that handles both tau and eldar – its simple to use, but not as flexible as the Bolter and Chainsword options here.

Although its a little over complex and fluffy, there is a great Tyranid painter program here

Haven’t been able to find any for Imperial Guard, Dark Eldar, or Necrons though. One suggestion is to use the Dawn of War army designer, and take a screenshot of the outcome.