Monday, 27 May 2013

High Elves, loads of 'em

When the new high elf armybook came out last year, I took my elves down from the attick and sorted them out and took some pictures: they covered the entire livingroom carpet...over 500 metal GW miniatures....maybe there is such a thing as to much mini's? Now all I need to do is settle on a simple paint scheme and arrange an early retirement to paint these models.....

progress on the Romans

A few more pics of my Romans, hopefully I'll manage to finish this army somewhere in the next two weeks and get a game of warhammer ancient battles in. But also because I have a lot lying arround waiting to get painted as well: a Saga Anglo Saxon war band my friend Peter kindly gave me in as a gift, a necron tomb barge and annihilation barge and LOTS of high elves...

1st cohort

2nd cohort

3rd cohort

scorpio's and slingers in the background

veteran cohort

Gallic noble cavalry auxillia

veterans and gallic nobles undercoated and drybrushed

Friday, 10 May 2013

Painting Romans

The last few months I've been painting caesarian romans. I plan to use them for both Warhammer Ancient Battles and Hail Ceasar, although I'll have to find some players for the last set first. the models are fro wargames factory. The quality is reasonable, but the models pale in comparison to Perry or GW plastics. luckily they are dirt cheap, with 48 legionaires coming in at about 25 euro's.

I've painted  three cohorts, two small units of skirmishers (archers and slingers) and three scorpio's. on the to do list are two units of cavalry (Gallic and German Allies), one more normal cohort, a cohort of veterans and a small unit of auxillia infantry. As soon as I manage to get more pictures of of my IPhone, I'll post some closeups and the progress.

The infantry units are 18 man models strong, deployed in three ranks, which gives me a good number for WAB and the abillity to play Hail Caesar with either a slightly reduced frontage or in two ranks.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Doom of Varantis Prime

Ron’s defeat made me quite anxious about my upcoming fight against Peter, I’d lost the first scenario against him so he could pick the scenario as well, but since I managed to win the kill team battle I could force three of his units into reserve, hopefully disrupting his heavy support.

I used the patrol mission force as a base, adding a unit of immortals as troops, two tomb spiders with accompanying scarab swarms (one of which had preferred enemy due to surviving the patrol mission). A unit of destroyers and a sprinkling of crypteks saw my overlords forces completed.

Peter enlarged his platoon with more infantry and a lascannon squad. To support his troops he selected a griffon and a manticore missile launcher. Some penal troops and a sturdy defence line rounded out the force commanded by his chimera mounted company commander.
The guard deploy behind their aegislines in defence of Varantis Prime
Peter chose the Crusade mission, placing his two force field objectives well inside the perimeter of his defence line. He gathered his forces within and around this defensive position, leaving a few units (amongst which the infamous snipers from the patrol) out to his left flank to distract my forces. I forced the Manticore, the mortar squad and his company command in reserve, depriving him from a lot of artillery blasts for the first few turns.
Peter's deployment, with the bulk of his forces within the dfenceline near the arbitus precinct (black building)

the infamous snipers, hidden beneath a small walkway
I placed my in a long stretched line, with the swarms and tomb spiders taking the centre and the destroyers out on my right flank. The plan was to send the scarabs forward towards the defence line in an attempt to keep those units occupied while my destroyers and a teleporting squad of immortals accompanied by my lord would attempt a flanking manoeuvre through the ruins.

My Thin Blue Line aka the Storm of Scarabs
Peter’s first turn saw some sporadic casualties, but most of my troops survived because of the blinding artificial sunlight that one of my Crypteks cast across the battlefield. My lord seised the opportunity to teleport his squad to peters flank and clearly suffered from a distraction during phase out, and thus lingered in reserve for another turn. My scarabs however were able to advance on and assault peters knifewielding penal legionaires and wiped them out in a single round, clearly benefitting from the experience of the  earlier encounter with the humans stored in their combat protocols.

The game winning scarabs hide form return-fire after wiping out the penal legionaires
The next few turns Peter’s troops desperately loosed volley after volley in the advancing necrons, but some spatial distortion obviously scrambled their aim, as only one squad of warriors was seriously damaged, and many of his blastmarkers scattering of target or failing to kill the metal Xenos. In the mean time my destroyers scattered the few units opposite of them and advanced towards the defence line, where whole swarms of scarabs had swarmed over the defences and assaulted the defending guardsmen.
Destroyers advance towards the aegis line

While the scarabs chew through the guardsmen the necron overlord and his immortals phase in again and advance

In the struggle to take the Aegis line my scarabs eventually proved victorious, after which they swept over the remaining defenders reducing the Griffon heavy mortar and manticore to shrapnel. Following the scarabs the destroyers and immortals crossed the lines and wiped out the remaining defenders, leaving the Necrons advancing victoriously to the centre of doomed capital...

The victorious scarabs advance to destroy the imperial armour, hile the Lord duels with a guard lieutenant
Necrons converge on the last remaining guardsmen: the company commander and his orderly
Peter’s friendly army selection saw him try a more defensive army setup that clearly didn’t pay off.  His Hellhound flame tank and Marbo would have been a far more valuable addition to his force than the lascannons and snipers proved to be. That combined with the mistake of deploying the penaltroopers in sight of the scarabs cost him dearly.

All that remains now is to come up with a new mini campaign, perhaps an revenge assault of the Imperium against the Necron Tombworld?

The Battle of Varantis Prime

The last few weeks I played the final battle of the Death of Varantes mini-campaign twice. Once as the imperial guard defender of Varantis and once as it’s Necron nemesis. Both battles turned out to be a fun and fitting end of the mini campaigns and have given me inspiration for a continuation of the story line.

My battle as a guard player against Ron’s Necron hordes was an uphill struggle. I had lost both skirmishes leading up to the big battle, so Ron had the advantage of choosing the scenario and selecting the nature of any objectives in his own deployment zone. I used the Valhallan guard army featured in a number of my previous posts and build up around the patrol, fielded in the First mission. Ron expanded his force’s with some wraiths, a large unit of immortals, some scarabs and destroyers, all led by a Necron overlord joining the immortals.
The battlefield, with the lone unclaimed objective in no-man's land in the top crater
 The table was nearly identical in both battles: a ;long road crossing the table marking the edge of the city ruins, with some craters and defence lines in no-man’s-land giving cover to the advancing alien menace.

Ron picked the Scouring scenario; giving the objectives a random value and making fast attack units scoring. He got to deploy First, placing two  of his troops on home objectives, selecting one to be a force field(increased cover) and the other a targeting matrix(rerolls to hit). His assault troops were gathered on his right flank were he could easily reach the cover of the city edge.
Ron's assault troops, a small unit of necron warriors and the scarabs are advancing beyond the building on the right
I deployed my units in the centre of the ruins, with most of my armour on the right flank, as far away from the fast attacking, armour stripping scarabs and wraiths as possible, and with their sights on the one remaining uncontested objective.
My central defensive position, the large guard squad in front was eventually whitled down to only a few survivors
The battle began with Ron’s fast attack units advancing towards the objective(which turned out to be another force field) on my left flank, guarded by an infantry squad and a special weapon team equipped with a demo charge. Ron’s units advanced into a withering hail of fire, but the surviving models managed to wipe out the Imperial guard defender to a man, a single phasing necron wraith the sole survivor of the battle.
Ron's scarabs secure the objective after a succesfull assault, only to be vapourised by a democharge seconds later
On the right flank my armoured units, supported by a mortar squad managed to stall the Necrons advancing towards the uncontested objective. The destroyers sallied forth to destroy my armour, but failed to notice the five brave roughriders hiding in the shadows of the arbitus precinct house, and where duly cut down by a glorious cavalry charge (Ron really had forgotten about them because he couldn’t see them from his side of the table).
Ron's destroyers, lured close by the PCS Chimera, just before their destruction by the cavalry

Seeing his assault falter and having the troops on his home objective come under heavy fire from my armour and airunits decided to take the gamble and advance with his immortals, but it was too few too late. The battle ended with the guard infantry clinging to their objective’s, securing the city and forcing the lord to phase out back to his Tomb...
Ron's immortals advance for a last attempt to contest the central objective,
while the guard armour secures the objective on the rightflank
All in all the battle went pretty much above expectations for me. In Ron’s defence it must be said that he was suffering from one hell of a headache when he decided on the scenario, and some mistakes in army selection (no transports) and objective placement saw him fighting an uphill battle. Because his assaults came in piecemeal I could defeat them one at a time and keep firing at his remaining troops.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Death of Varantis Revised

Last weekend I replayed the First two scenario’s of my short campaign (see post below). Only this time i played the Necron invaders and my good friend Peter was gallant enough to offer his imperial guardsmen to stand in the path of the onslaught…ahem…

For the first mission, a 400point combat patrol, i took two squads of basic Necron warriors, a swarm of scarabs (6 bases) and a Storm Cryptek as the commander. Peter fielded a rather kind imperial guard list with 1 chimera, used by the platoon command squad, two infantry squads of one which contained  his commissar. Added to this he deployed a mortar squad and a special weapon squad with sniper rifles.

Necron deployment
Guard setup

We set up the battlefield similarly to last time, with Outpost 4-19 in the centre of a 4’by 4’ table. I got the first turn and advanced with my units, holding the scarabs back to avoid having them blasted form the field by the instant-killing multilaser and autocannons. Because dawn had not yet arrived the human infantry was partly cloaked in darkness, and only a few of my robots managed to score a kill. The gauss fire did manage to shave a hullpoint of the command chimera that was advancing slowly up the centre of the table.
The first and last advance of the Cryptk and his guards, maybe if I finish painting them the dice will be nicer to me...
 Next it was Peter’s turn to open fire. Using the faint traces of the emerging dawn one of the snipers took aim at a Necron carrying a large glowing staff, and accurately put a bolt right in one of it’s glowing eye sockets, causing it to fase out immediately (exit stage left for the Cryptek...He’ll be Back...). Subsequently lasgun and heavy weapon fire poured into the unit of Necron warriors that had been guarding the Cryptek. Mortar fire rained down from the skies, and after that torrent of fire only two remained standing. Only to see five of their fallen brethren rise again due to rather efficient reanimation protocols.
The alien menace reanimates!
 Duting the following turns I advanced with my units firing a withering hail of fire into his infantry units and wrecking his chimera with gauss fire. The Scarabs meanwhile crept up the left flank, ready to pounce on the Commissar and his loyal guardsmen. The Platoon commander emerged from the wreckage of the chimera with his flamer bearing retinue, who doused the offending Necrons in promethium. Unfortunately for the brave guardsmen (can you see where my heart lies?) only two of Necrons were destroyed by the fire. The following fase saw my scarabs plunge into combat with the commissar and the platoon command squad die in a hail of gauss fire.
the last brave moments of the platoon command
 Meanwhile the remaining units of Peter’s guard were trying to secure his right flank by firing everything they had at the oncoming Necrons. Three of which continued to advance and clash with the mortar squad. Some rather abysmal dice rolling on peter’s side saw the combat between the two units drawn out over several turns, with the snipers joining in the fray and even an remnant of a infantry squad joining in. Eventually the mob of guardsmen took down the last Necron, clearing their  table quarter just as I killed the commissar and his bodyguard. That had us both at 4 VP (a table quarter each, First Blood for Peter thanks to the deadly sniper fire and a Linebreaker VP for me).
Scarabs swarming the commisar
 The dice gave us one more turn of shooting, but that failed to cause any meaning full casualties. We were about to call it a draw when we realised that Peters snipers were just a few inches away form claiming another table half, and a full turn of movement saw his loyal sharpshooters turn it into a solid guard victory....
The Game winning snipers advancing cautiously into unknown territory

Monday, 11 March 2013

Minicampaign: the Death of Varantis

Last weekend my friend Ron and I started a 40k mini campaign I dubbed 'The Death of Varantis', about a necron incursion on a distant imperial world, garrisoned by a small Valhallan contingent. It's mainly meant as a try-out for a bigger campaign we want to play later this year.

The campaign was to last three battles, each influencing the next:

1. Combat Patrol
Two small forces clash over the remains of a suddenly silent imperial listening station in the northern regions of Varantis. the winner of this patrol gets to choose the scenario for the final battle, and pick any objectives in his own deployment zone instead of randomly determining them. The loser is gets to send a kill-team in the next mission. VP are awarded for table quarters (3VP each). All units that survive this mission will gain the prefered enemy special rule int he final battle.

Outpost 4-19

My small combat patrol arrived at the outpost just before dawn, finding it eerily quiet. in the forest green will 'O Wisps seemed to dance arround, only to emerge out of the darkness and reveal themselves to be hulking metal monsters, carying weapons that could skin a man in seconds and obliterate whole armoured vehicles...
Which is exactly what happened....
The Necrons advance under cover of darkness

I deployed a small platoon with some roughriders and a hydra flakgun as support. Ron had two small groups of warriors, a handfull of immortals and an annihilation barge, which lived up to it's name and annihilated my army, save for a lone vox-operator  and some brave lads under command of Commisar Voss.
mental note: don't bring a Skyfire gun to an infantry fight...

Ron's army was very firepower heavy and having the first turn managed to either supress most of my unit's or kill them outright, and a few failed leadership tests saw my chances of victory evaporate.

'Brave' vox operator Balyushin
So I selected my valorous kill-team , trying to include as many of the survivors from the previous mission, representing the few surviving stragglers and vehicle crew under command of Commissar Voss, trying to destroy a necron communications node. If I succeed I get to force three of Ron's Necron units into reserve in the final battle. All I needed to do was avoid getting bogged down in the permafrost swamps of Varantis....
Commissar Voss and his 'dirty dozen (ten actually)'

My luck had left me however and the first time my boys tried to take down a squad of necron brute's they got stuck combat for close to five rounds, meanwhile giving Ron a chance to acrue Klaxon counters and get his other brutes into position.
The not so killy kill-team at work, trying to take down some necron brutes
Allthough commissar Voss managed to get to the objective through sheer tanacity, he failed to make his gettaway, being gunned down by the alarmed guards and leaving the necron Cryptek in command of the Node.

The necron Cryptek on his node...

Now all that lasts is the final battle for Varantis, to be fought in the ruins of the capitol. Hopefully I'll be able to fight Ron to a standstill, even with the odds against me. I think I need to paint some Glory Boys, because there is little else that can get trhough those AV13 Barges of Doom....