Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tau says: Squats! I CHOOSE YOU!


     This rumor comes from the gentleman that spilled the beans on the Dreadknight for the Grey Knights. Now one of the earlier Tau rumors hinted that some more xenos would be added to the book. The Kroot and Vespids won't be the only add-in races for the Tau. Rumored is that the Demiurg might be joining in their Tau adventures. The Demiurg, for those of you that don't know are the squats (space dwarves), currently still in  Battle Fleet Gothic, and according to some fluff had allied with the Tau in times past. They are not, however, members of the Tau empire. And you thought they'd stop at space orangutans?

Demiurg Concept Art and Stronghold Ship from BFG

     The Tau have certainly been one of the races I've been more interested in. Some of their rules that are up for consideration in this new codex might really swing me towards their corner. They will surely need some new plastics, their Boxy-McBoxinton crysis suits are in desperate need of some refreshing. Fortunately I think Forgeworld knows the way forward.

You can get with this, or you can get with that.

     These tweaks would pretty much sell me on the army. I love the organic look of the tanks, and I dig the sort of anime styling of the battlesuits, troops, and drones. I really like the idea of an army that could possibly win a game of 40K in the shooting phase. We'll see if it happens.

Grey Knights

     If you've been following this blog for a while, you might know that I've actually got some painted Grey Knights. I grabbed a Stern model and a box of terminators more for the fun of actually painting them up and looking at them than playing them on the table. I've used them as an ally to my Space Marines in a few games. They never really did anything to spectacular, but they look dead sexy, and I dig their back story so I let it slide.

     I've been entertained with the reactions I've been seeing online. The mixture of "They went too far!" and "They didn't go far enough!" is bordering on insanity. GW isn't going to be able to please 100% of their fans... ever. I actually stopped by my local GW store a few times to check out the models and the codex. I'm loving the kits more for their completeness, but aesthetically they blend very well with the old metal models. The terminators more so than the power armored ones, but still they were meant to look very close to their older brothers. I listened to a few folks at the store moan about how they really expected more, but these aren't Dark Eldar we're talking about. That was an exception. Their old models were HORRIBLE, and without a reset, they'd have been dead in the water.

     The GK models were fine, but they were metal. So keeping the look, but making an awesome plastic kit that covers all the war gear gets a big 'win' in my book.

     Will I be running GKs? Yeah, but they're WAY down the road. Since completing these lowly six GK models, I've been wanting to build it out to a whole army. But before that, I have an IG army to do, my Red Scorpions, and a few long overdue additions to my Orks. Those shiny bastards will just have to wait their turn. 

Shout out to Japan

     Like everyone else, I've been pretty torn up concerning the tragedy in Japan. My wife has a few friends over in and around Tokyo, and fortunately they've all reported in that they are fine. Some are getting out of town while this nuclear reactor situation sorts itself out a bit. So I'd just like to say that I'm praying for all the folks out there, and I hope you might do the same, dear reader. The scale of the devastation is maybe too much to take in, but I'm hoping help gets where it is most needed. If you want to help, you can drop by the Red Cross website and make a donation. I've done so, and it ain't much, but I'd like to think that someone would do the same for me.

     And on a slightly sillier note: I was in my local Chipotle restaurant this evening and as I walked in a grimaced at the song playing. That song would be "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult. I'm a lyrics guy, and in case you didn't know there are a few parts: "Oh no! There goes Tokyo! Go Go Godzilla!" and "History shows again and again how Nature points out the folly of men."

     If you didn't know, Godzilla was originally an avatar of nuclear weapons. He was an allegory of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the reactor at Fukushima in an ever worsening state, this song seemed ever so timely. I was living in Norway when the Chernobyl accident went down, and I remember how panicked people were, and how helpless everyone felt as the fallout poured across Europe. Fortunately the effects weren't too widely felt, but you have to wonder what this will mean for Japan in the long run.

Take care out there, and be safe.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Command Squad Vox Caster completed!

Finally some progress!

     I have to apologize for, what I feel, was far too long of a break from actual painting updates. Silly finger injuries aside, I have been away from my painting table for too long. Ever get that feeling that, no matter what you're doing with your time off, it might be better spent painting? I do... I  might have a problem...

     So this Vox Caster marks the end of my troops. I have more infantry to paint, sure, but as I mentioned in my last post, those will be Storm Troopers, and I'm holding off on those until after my vehicles are done. Which is pretty exciting to me, because I haven't painted a 40K vehicle in seemingly ages. I think my last vehicle that I painted up was the Deff Dread for my Orks. I did paint my Koptas after that but, as we all know, those are technically vehicles, right?

     So next up should be the wacky Japanese bulldozer. This represents my weathering tests for how I'd like all my land vehicles in my guard army to look. Just the weathering, mind you, as I also have a camo test coming up too, but that'll be another model.

     So here are some additional pictures of the Vox Caster:

I liked the idea of painting him looking off to his left. I felt posture looked like he was turning. 

Ah the Dead Elf Head! The only good Eldar is a dead one. I wanted the glyph to look nearly worn off.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Retribution impression, Forgeworld, and my Finger.

Dawn of War 2 Retribution

     I don't know that I've mentioned it before on this blog, but I love me some Dawn of War 2. Hand on heart: It is what got me into Warhammer 40K. Now I'm sure that warms the hearts of both Relic and Games Workshop, to know that their marketing synergistic approach to licensing has paid off. Perhaps that sounds a bit cold, but I'm not pretending I don't know what's going on here: Unadulterated Capitalism! AND I LOVE IT!

     I've only been in the hobby for two years, and since I was introduced to the hobby via this video game, it only seems right that I should mark this second anniversary with a nod to the expansion for the game that made it all possible. If you haven't played Dawn of War 2 before, just know that it's similar to Company of Heroes in that the brunt of this Real Time Strategy is about managing squads. As opposed to the more common Dune 2 model, which was copied into Warcraft, Command and Conquer, Starcraft, and on down the line, you're rarely managing more than about five or six units. It can certainly be more than that, but it is rare, like I said.

"Nice hat, by da way..."

     I'm not going to try and fill you in on the campaigns from DoW2 and DoW2: Chaos Rising as that's something best served either from the Dawn of War 2 website or by a proper review. I'm just going to say that thus far, I love it. They've blended elements of the original DoW2 campaign mechanics with some of the multiplayer mechanics to some pretty awesome effects. The diversity of options you have between kitting out your heroes, choosing to leave the heroes and take special "Honor guard" units, or even which units to build during the mission to enhance your force can be nearly dizzying. Though the campaigns might seem a tad short, there's re-playability simply in the way you spec things out. I know that in the last two interations of this game, I have spent nearly 170+ hours playing and replaying the original campaigns. And those were quite limited compared to some of the meat on the bones that Retribution throws our way.

     The characters and their moments of interplay are awesome. You can pick up on some really established 40K archetypes. Having completed the Space Marine campaign, and nearly finishing up on the Ork campaign, I can say that these characters cover the gamut. If you enjoyed the original DoW2, and are remotely a fan of 40K, you owe it to yourself to give this a shot.
Forge World Cadian Goodies!

     It's like they know! So I've been going back and forth about what to do about my upcoming Storm Troopers. The Kasrkrin were my first choice, but they were metal and didn't come with the weapon options that I wanted, thus I would have to spend a good bit of change on two all metal squads that would have a lot of repeat models. Bleh. I LOVE the look of the helmets and armor. They're exactly what I want them to look like... if they were plastic. Then my next idea was just to get the Forge World Cadians with Respirators upgrade kit. There were some neat grubbins in the kit (whoops! Channeled my inner-Ork) and I did like the look of the helmets. It was still a toss up.

     Then Forge World broke the tie with the Cadian Hostile Environment kits! They had slick backpacks, unique torsos, and the awesome heads that I wanted. Granted they are lacking the grubbins that were in the other Cadian upgrade kit, but I'd make do.

     Then came the Cadian Hostile Environment Command Squad, and boy does that look slick. So I think I can combine the following and get two awesome and unique Storm Trooper squads:

1x Hostile Environment Command Squad
1x Hostile Environment Troops kit
1x Hostile Environment Melta Gunners kit
1x Cadians with Respirators kit

     That will give me plenty of the awesome Hostile Environment torsos, backpacks, and heads, plus all the extra grubbins from the Cadian Respirator kit to make two Storm Trooper squads with two melta guns in each. Not bad! I was really holding out for a plastic Storm Trooper kit to be potentially released for the Grey Knights codex, but that seems to be out of the picture now as it looks like the Storm Troopers were left out of the book.

     Thoughts anyone? Got any other ideas for potential Storm Troopers? I'd love to hear them. It's ages still until I order these. I've got plenty to paint before then. Including a Japanese Bulldozer (for my future White Scars army, of course).

Finger Update (speaking of scars)

     Not that you asked for it, just because it bugs the hell out of me. So as you can see from the picture, it has really healed up quite well, and quite fast. For a two inch gash that went to the bone, I'm happy to see that there doesn't (as yet) appear to be a hideous scar, nor is there seemingly any other repercussions. It hurts a bit when I flex it, but that might have something to do with the lack of motion it has had for the last week being mostly wrapped up in a bandage to prevent me from doing something daft and accidentally ripping some stitches out.

     I expressed the idea that I might take out my own stitches to my wife. Surprisingly she wasn't supportive of that! She mentioned something about me being "... your father's son" which I can only take as a sign of respect and admiration. Given that I'm in the military, I think there might be some official channels I'll have to go through to get these stitches out anyways. My wife can rest easy.

     So to sum things up: I should be painting again very soon. I might actually give it a go this afternoon as I do have some stuff sitting on my painting table that need to be finished. Namely that stupid Vox Caster I keep going on about.