Hobby Update – Space Marines – Squad: March!

You can normally tell when I’ve not managed to get any game time in, as there seems to be a direct correlation between no games and my hobby output.

This is the case at present, though I do have a game on Friday. Unsurprisingly this is 40k. Why unsurprisingly? Well the second correlation I’ve noted is not only does my hobby output increase but it is normally directly related to the game system I’m about to play, especially if it is a new(ish) system for me. It’s probably the big kid / new shiny toy syndrome. It happened with Blood Bowl when I painted the Norse team in record time and it’s happening again with 40k.

It helps that my paint scheme is rather simple and it will be interesting to see if the enthusiasm to paint Marines continues after my first game of 8th ed.

It also helps that Azazel keeps throwing out challenges to motivate me, in this case ‘Squad: March!‘ and I’m pleased that I’ve actually managed to complete another one well in advance of the end of the month.

But ramblings over, this is my first completed unit of original Marines.

The eagle eyed of you will note the missing shoulder pad on one of the models. No idea how I missed that! I’ll have to dig around in my bits box. You’ll also note the differing base sizes. I have two units of Devastators that each came with the different sized bases and I just painted the ones with the load-out (las Cannon’s) I wanted to use on my upcoming game.


Paul Bonner illustrations

I have to admit that I really like black and white sketches and pictures. It’s probably a throwback to my utter lack of talent in that respect.

Whilst I can’t claim to have any kind of extensive knowledge on the ‘fantasy’ art world, there are a couple of artists who jump out at me.

If I were to name my favourite fantasy artist it would probably be Alan Lee. His work in the Tolkien world is just phenomenal. It just bought the whole world to life and it was always his b&w illustrations that attracted me the most. His art is Tolkien’s world personified.

However some of the earliest works that caught my eye and influenced my childhood were from Paul Bonner. His sketches regularly appeared in White Dwarf towards the end of the 3rd Edition fantasy and there was a certain crispness to them and the expressions captured seemed so much more realistic that other artists.

So with that preamble our of the way, I’ll share some of my favourite illustrations from him. Ones you rarely see when searching online for his work (including a sketch of elves. I mention this as he is renowned for rarely drawing/painting them).

The picture of Muenchbek is probably one of my all time favourites but I also love the wardancer in the final picture.

I’ll have to throw out a mention to davekay and his scent of a gamer blog who inspired the idea for this post as it is definitely not my normal fare.

Hobby Update – Space Marines

++++++ Report to Inquisitor Marleck on the Shadow Sentinel Librarius ++++++

For hundreds of years it has been assumed that the Chapter lacked the gene required to manifest psychic powers (this time fueling rumours that they were an offshoot of the Black Templars). This opinion was furthered by the number of Culexus assassins that had been seen operating in tandem with the Sentinels in an apparent effort to neutralise enemy psykers.

It is this agents opinion, that this is another example of the misdirection constantly employed by the Chapter. Although he cannot offer hololith evidence, this agent has personally observed at least one Sentinel manifesting powers from the Librarius Discipline. Whether this Marine is an aberration in the Chapter or one of many Librarians rarely seen, he cannot confirm.

Of probably greater importance is the question of why have they gone to such lengths to conceal their presence.

++++++ Report ends. Sector agent Lucian Grite ++++++

The latest edition to the Shadow Sentinels is one of the very rare Chapter Librarians.

I kept the paint scheme in the same simple green and silver but added a bit more detail, a completely unblended variation of colours on his hand because, you know, that’s what psychic powers being cast look like… I also experimented on the sword (unsuccessfully) using the Nihilakh Oxide after I had edged it etc. with the various blues. At present I’ve not gone back to clean that up but will do so.


40k First Game incoming

More than 8 months after deciding to retry 40k (after a very brief unsuccessful stint in 7th Edition), i’ve finally lined up my first game of 8th edition against one of the club committee members, Nick.

He knows it’s my first game so said he will not bring one of his nastier lists (which would probably have involved some form of Imperial Knight!) and would use the models from the dark imperium set. Being a glutton for punishment, I of course said bring whatever you like, so we shall see what appears.

I’ve said it many times before on the blog, I’m sure and I’ll say it again (I’m getting older and so repeating myself is not only allowed but to be expected). I suffer from perennial list tinkerer syndrome. It’s a real thing, look it up. I just can’t help myself, I’m sure my laptop is slowly filling up with variation upon variation of lists, most of which never see the light of day but exist just for my theory/list hammer pleasure.

Phew, now I have that heavy burden off my chest, I feel I can safely post my latest creation and chosen list for the game.

The Crusade of the Stalking Tiger

Raven Guard Chapter Tactics


The Light that Guides – Captain – 77pts

Master-crafted Boltgun, Chainsword

The Mind Awakes – Librarian – 120pts

Force Sword, Boltgun, Jet Pack, Armour Indominus

Red Runs the Flesh – Techmarine – 57pts

Boltgun, Chainsword 


The Mist Convalesces – Scout Squad – 65pts

5 Scouts, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

The Wind It Whispers – Scout Squad – 84pts

5 Scouts, Sniper rifles, Missile launcher

Moons Rise Together – Intercessor Squad – 91pts

5 Primaris Marines, Bolt Rifle, Auxillary grenade launcher


The Storm Gathers – Aggressor Squad – 111pts

3 Aggressors, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

The Tranquil Garden – Sternguard Veteran Squad – 180pts

10 Sternguard, Special issue boltguns

The Emperor Draws Breath – Redemptor Dreadnought – 202pts

2 Stormbolters, Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Rocket Pod

The Enduring Rock – Venerable Dreadnought – 165pts

Missile Launcher, Twin Lascannon

The Ground Trembles – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Mountain Comes – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

Fast Attack

Swift Strikes the Thunder- Inceptors – 135pts

3 Inceptors, assault bolters

Heavy Support

The Light Should Burn – Devastator Squad – 170pts

5 Marines, 4 * Lascannons, Armorium Cherub

The Fires they Cleanse – Hellblaster Squad – 165pts

5 Primaris Marines, Plasma Incinerators

Dedicated Transport

The Sky Must Fall – Drop Pod – 85pts

Total – 1997pts

List Thoughts

The list has 1 Battalion and 1 Vanguard detachment so with it also being battleforged, will have 7 Command points to use. This seems like a reasonable number.

I have no idea how the list will play but I did have a couple of over-arching thoughts.

The main one was that I had to include all my dreadnoughts. The second was that I wanted to try out as many things as possible.

I feel a bit gamey using Raven Guard tactics (-1 to hit them when 12″ away) but I feel they are the most complementary of the list. If I weren’t using them, I’d probably use Iron Hands (due to the 6+++ save and the specific dreadnought stratagem) or Imperial Fists (due to fire ignoring cover). The advantage of these 3 are the consistent benefits, meaning I’m unlikely to forget them!

With my first few lists, I realised that I had little or no deep striking units so I revised it so that I had 3 distinct elements to the force.

The Pillar Endures

The first is the fire base. This group should do very little movement and camp any deployment zone objectives.

It will be led by the Venerable dreadnought who can, if necessary, burn a stratagem to act as a captain. He will be supported by the Devastator Marines, Intercessor Squad and sniper scouts.

This will give me 5 Lascannons (with one being a twin and one additional one time shot from the cherub) and 2 missile launchers with which to take out heavy armour. The 4 sniper shots will target characters (probably support characters as they usually have fewer wounds). The Intercessors will be used to help protect the fire base from deep strikers and will be the mobile element of the group.

The Blade is Poised

The Assault group will be led by one of the Chapter Captains. He will start within range of much of the fire base to buff them with his aura and will either stay with them or advance as needed to assist the Hellblaster squad, as their ability to overcharge will benefit most from the reroll to hit of 1’s he provides. I also like the idea of a Captain advancing to cleanse the enemy rather than hanging back. I’m contemplating spending an additional command point before I begin to give the captain an addition relic (the teeth of terra) as I do feel that bar the Dreadnoughts, the list lacks combat punch but it may be a wasted point. The other thing I’m unsure on is what warlord trait to give him. At the moment I’m gravitating towards Storm of Fire to give nearby Chapter units a chance to get an additional -1 save modifier.

The Hellblasters will be the mobile ranged hard hitters. I’ve taken the standard gun over the assault version due to the extra pip of strength.

In some ways the Captain, Hellblasters and Intercessors are fluid option, able to move between the fire base and assault groups as required.

The boltgun scouts are there to provide the second part of the deep strike area denial and if possible to capture mid-field objectives at the same time.

This group will have their own fire support in the form of the Redemptor Dreadnought who will advance with the Captain and Hellblasters. The Captains buff should again help with its damage output as moving will impede its hit rate.

The final element of the group will be made up of the units that will be barrelling forward at all due speed. The 2 Ironclads will be advancing towards the enemy as fast as possible. Their smoke launchers and Chapter tactics will infer a one turn -2 to enemy shooting, that should mitigate a lot of hits. The Techmarine will run with them to try and heal as much damage as possible (or he will help with the Redemptor if required). They will be supported by the Aggressors who have the ability to both advance and shoot and should be able to help thin out any potential horde style units that try to chaff up the ironclads. I’m hoping the 2 Dreads will present a greater threat and deflect attention from the more vulnerable Aggressors.

It is tempting to leave a deliberate backfield space near the Aggressors to entice a deep strike but I somehow doubt Nick would fall for that tactic but would capitalise on it if I moved later on.

The Crushing Blow

The final group is the strike force and is made up of those starting from reserve.

The Sternguard will be deployed in the drop pod to allow them the flexibility to go where needed and drop into short range where their special issue guns combined with sternguard stratagem should cause some decent damage and be a distraction. The increased range of their guns also means they can still benefit from the Chapter tactic when in rapid fire range.

The strike force will be led by the Librarian who will jump in with the Sternguard using his powers either as an offensive force or to help buff the unit. As a bonus, jumping in might mean he starts in range to get a deny the witch boost. I’ve given him the armour relic to boost his save and give a one time 3++ ward. It should make him more survivable, especially in combat.

The Inceptors are very much a distraction. They are to drop in to try and thin out any hordes but I’m happy to make them sacrificial and as a fly unit, they are able to fallback and still shoot.

If you are still reading after that wall of text then I’m impressed. If any of you have played many games then please feel free to off any tips you may have.


Hobby Update – Neglected Model Feb round-up

With February over and Azazel having posted his wrap up of the neglected model’s completed, I thought I’d better post mine.

This month it has very much been wood elf central, concentrating on my mainly 4th edition models all hailing from the early 90’s.

This involved 2 sets of command models, 14 Eternal Guard and a load of plastic archers. Now admittedly the archers were mainly finished at the end of Jan but I thought i’d slip them in anyway 🙂


Hobby Update – Space Marine Aggressors

I am on FIRE this month. Three hobby updates in as many days, you must be wondering what they’ve put in my water!

Ok it’s not that impressive as most of these miniatures have been worked on over the last month or so and not finished due to flitting from one set of models to another and I’ve now had a bit of time (and motivation) to finish them off.

I last posted 40k models back in November and despite my growing interest, I’ve still yet to have gotten a game in of 8th ed.

I have to say I really quite like the Aggressor models. They have a really solid feel to them and on the field, the number of shots they can put out, backed up with power fists, seem to be a good combo. I suspect they are still too fragile though as they don’t have many wounds so sheer rate of fire would likely be enough to bring them down.

I’ve kept with the plain green colour scheme of my Chapter, building on the dreadnought paint job and pretty much just using silver to offset it. I must say I like the simple contrast much more than the lighter green highlights used on my tester miniature. I am now going to go back and revisit the Dreadnoughts to add similar touches.

I did start with some middenland tufts as something different (using them for the first time), before adding my normal static grass to the base but all the tufts did were add a slight variation in colour rather than stand out like I hoped. I get the impression that they are best used on, say, a plainer base to add variation. Still, you live and learn. One thing that I was pleasantly surprised at, was the tufts are applied like stickers. I don’t know why but I had been expecting to have to glue them to the models base myself.

Hobby Update – Wood Elves pt 2

Further to my previous post, this month I’ve continued Azazel’s challenge to give some love to some long neglected models. The victims, I mean lucky recipients were the 4th ed. wood elf spearmen that one of the command groups in the last post will lead.

These will make up the bulk of my Crimson Guard (I may have just had an Action Force/GI Joe flashback with that name) and will be fielded as Eternal Guard.

These will be reinforced by 10 of the newer plastic Eternal Guard models (again part painted) and 4 oldhammer models (that are technically high elves and also need some love), to make the unit a more viable size when using them on the battlefield.

I do have the shields somewhere but they are with my stored figures/boxes at my folks so I’ll have to have a rummage when I’m next down there. I did take a quick look on eBay but frankly the cost of the old shields seems somewhat high.

I have also come to the conclusion that I really am crap at painting human/elf faces so I’m going to have to go away and watch some vids on this, as the base, wash and highlight didn’t work very well.