Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The next project.......

With the Hjaltland LI and the Eagle Knights finished, not counting the extra troops or units that I'm going to be adding, it is time to.look at the next project. I have several projects that need doing, the Hrossey Yeomanry, the Stone Dragons and Dark Guardians, along side the rest of the Inquisitorial forces but i have decided that the next project, that will form the bulk of the summer painting project will be the Dagr Ormr and their supporting Hildasey PDF.

So what will this project consist of? Well, the Dagr Ormr already have a number of units painted up, although this firms only about a quarter of the force. The rest will have to be painted up, a total of about XX figures. The other half of the force, the Hildasey PDF only have a couple of test models part painted, so they will need to be finished of along side the XX models that form the rest of the force. 

The box of models to paint

There are currently 4 holes in the force, four very Taurox shaped holes that is. I have been waiting for Anvil Industries to release there Taipan APC, which looks a lot better than the GW Taurox and will fit nicely with my Dagr Ormr models. They were hinted at being released before last Christmas, but there doesn't seem to be any sign of them, not even a rumour, which is a little disappointing. I will continue to paint the the force anyway and just not worry about them for now. 

So what does the force actually look like, well, it looks something like this:

Militarum Tempestus force

2x Tempestus Primes

2x Command squads

3x 10 man Scion Squads, all with 2x special weapons

3x 9 man Scion Squads, all with 2x special weapons

4x Taurox or similar, when i get them

Astra Militarum force

1x\2x company commander

2x vet squads with shotguns

5x\6x heavy weapons Squads​

1x\2x platoon commander (?)

The Militarum Tempestus force is set in stone, as that's all the models i have, and I'm not going to buy any more! The Astra Militarum force is less set and i plan to have some flexibility in it as well. With the current list i will field 5 or 6 heavy weapons squads depending upon how many vets squads or platoon Commanders i take. Less vets, means more heavy weapons, although it also means less protection. I intend to paint up at least two 3 man units of each heavy weapon type, so 6 bases of missile launchers, mortars, heavy bolters and lascannons. Not autocannons though, as they are all in the Hjaltland LI. The two vet squads will have shotguns and be used solely for close protection of the heavy weapons, nothing else, that's the job of the Scions.

Hopefully this will form a nice little force. It may not be the most competitive but it's fluffy and hopefully fun to play. I'll get some initial shots of all the units up here soon, give you all an idea of what i have to paint! 

Friday, 16 March 2018

Eagle Knights on parade!

So, there it is, all the Eagle Knight units built, well, for the moment anyway. Plans are afoot for 2 squads of Sternguard, 1 Librarians (on foot) and another devastator squad, probably with missiles. However, firstly a quick run through of all of the units;

Lord Commander Verreaux (Captain)
Lord Lieutenant  Bateleau (Lieutenant)
Knight Captain Cassin (Captain)
Knight's Lieutenant Haast (Lieutenant)
Company Champions Henst and Besra
Priest Bonelli (Sanguinary Priest) 
Pastors Ayres and Gurney (Sanguinary Novitiates)
Standard-Bearer Nias (Company Ancient)
Chaplains Pallas (Lemartes) and Gundlach
Librarian Chaco

Serpent Squads (Command Squad) Asturinus and Sipora
Hawk Brethren (Vanguard Vets) Princeps
Brotherhood of the Eagles Tallons (Death Company) - Gallicus, Pectoralis and Beaudouini- lead by Brother Brother Ruppell
Tactical Squads  Malaiensis and Rapax
Devastator Squad Guianensis
Assault Squad Coronatus

It seems to be that 8th edition armies generally contain lots of characters, or at least most of mine do and so do many i see on various YouTube batreps. This is true for my Guard armies as well, although there are generally a lot more troops in those!

Now, some of you maybe wondering about the names, some of you may even have picked up on the trend but if you like me and don't have a clue about "proper" names for things, all of the names of the squads are bases off the Latin names, or if your posh, the Binomial nomenclature, of various eagle's and Hawks, all of which are part of the Accipitridae family. This means that all of the names refer to actual Hawks and Eagles. The only deviation from this pattern is with Characters, who have been named after the common or English name for the Hawks and Eagles.

Next up are the photos. These are the second lot of photos i took for the army, the first lot were not very good. If you want a flavour of what the first photos were like, look at the bottom of the post at the reinforcements. These were taken on my phone, under less than ideal conditions. However, i was getting out the Hjaltland LI for there photo shoot and decided that it was a lot better conditions for pictures, so i got the Knights out as well for a re-shoot. It's not idea, as although it a lot better, the lighting could still be improved, although my camera, a Canon Rebel XSi (or 450D in the UK) with additional flash has made a huge difference. If i had had more time i would have gone and found my tripod to enable me to open up the aperture and get a better depth to the pictures. Anyway here are the new photos.

The force

The commanders, Lord Commander on the right, Knight commander on the left.

Chaplains and Librarian.

Sanguinary detachment with Priest and Pastors.

Serpent squads

Squad Malaiensis

Standard-bearer Nias, flanked by the company Champions, Henst on the left and Besra on the right with the jump pack.

Devastator squad Guianensis

Hawk Brethren squad Princeps

Squad Rapax

Assault squad Coronatus

At the back, Brotherhood of the Eagles Talon squads Gallicus, with squad Beaudouin behind.

Eagle's Talon Squad Pectoralis

A low level shot of the force.

Up next are a few more shots of the main characters.

Henst, Nias and Besra

Ayres with jump pack, Bonelli and Gurney

Chaplain Pallas (Lemartes), Librarian Chaco and Chaplain Gundlach

Finally, we have some more shots of the company command. Lord Commander Verreaux on the far right, next to the Lord Lieutenant  Bateleau and the Knight Captain Cassin on the left with his second, Knight Lieutenant Haast

As i mentioned at the beginning, there are some reinforcements inbound, although at present, there arrival time is unknown. These reinforcements will add some additional mobility to the non-jump pack equipped troops in the form of 3 Rhino transports, in the form of Heliaca, Adalberti and Chrysaetos. The Hawk Brethren will also be joined by there by 2 Sternguard Squads or the Vulture Coterie squads Fulvus and Indicus. In addition there will be two mother squads, the Devastator Squad Harpyja and Assault squad Mahery. Here are a few pictures of the reinforcements as they stand:

Rhinos at the front, devastators on the left and sternguard on the right

6 of the 10 sternguard

The trio of rhinos.

I have know idea when the reinforcements will be painted and table ready, I suspect that it could be quite a while!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Major fluff changes!

Recently i have been going back over my chapters and regiments back stories. This is something i like to do every so often but with the release a 8th and the new guard, BA and DA codeces, it was even more necessary. Apart from the obvious changes to the BA and DA fluff from there respective codeces, i have also had a major reshuffle of my own fluff.

The various guard regiments have not received much in the way of an update, as to be honest, they don't really need one. There has been so bits added about the great rift and it's effect on the system, which is not much, as the segmentum pacificus doesn't really seem affected or even mentioned much in the books.

The Eagle Knights have had more of an update, due to the events surrounding the defense of Baal and the conning of Guilliman and his primaris marines. The 3rd, my company are not overly effected, but will be receiving reinforcements due to the chapters reorganisation. This means there will be more units to add in the future.

The biggest changes are happening around the other 4 marine chapters. I have back stories for the DA based Dark Guardians, the Imperial Fists based Emperor's Disciples, the Black Templars based Brazen Hawks and the Wolves based Stone Dragons. 5 marine forces is 3 to many really and the Hawks were dropped quite early, as i never really liked the force as i always felt i had created them for the sake of it, although i did quite like the fluff i had created. Next on the chopping board were the Disciples, as although i like the fluff and the force, the new Fists tactics didn't inspire me and i never warmed to the colour scheme, yes i could have changed the colour scheme and i had tweaked it in the past, but by this point i had fallen out of love with the Fists as a whole. This has left the Guardians and the Dragons, both of which, in terms of fluff and colour scheme, i like.

The Guardians are very different to the Knights. The Knights are about jump packs and assault, where as the guardians are about termies and bikes. To very different forces both visually and in play style. Granted the Knights have morphed a bit to include some more shooty units, such as sternguard from the Disciples, however the main principal will still be jump pack assault. The big question at the moment is the Dragons, as the Wolves codex is yet to be released. The plan is still several long range units, a contemptor dread and several elite units. When the Wolves codex does drop, which of you believe the rumours will be sometime this year, then i will firm up the list.

So, with dropping the Disciples and Hawks, i now have quite a bit of fluff that i no longer need, but that i do quite like. Solution? I'm going to delete the Disciples and Hawks pages from the blog but not before merging the Disciples and the Dragons and also the Hawks and Guardians fluff together, something I'm in the process of right now. This will mean that both of the forces will see quite a change in the back stories, but hopefully one that will add depth to what is already there. In terms of the Guardians, i hope it will tie in nicely with current events on the codex.

One thing is still bothering me though, while i don't really care about the Brazen Hawks name, it was just a random name i came up with, i have an attachment to the Emperor's Disciples name, as this was the first chapter name i came up with many years ago, when i first got back in to 40k. My guard at that time went by the name Segedunum Yeomanry, named after a local Roman fort at the time but i was not very attached to it, so it got changed to the Hjaltland LI. At that time i was intending on finishing the guard force and then creating a supporting marine force, which over many months and lots of thought, became to be called the Emperor's Disciples, taking the Imperial Fists chapter tactic, a gun line marine force supporting a gun line guard army. The Disciples have remained part of the plan ever since, being formed in to 500 point forces, the 1000 point, then full 2000 point lists, before dropping back down through 1000 and 500 point lists until they were dropped completely. But now i have dropped them, i want to keep the name going somehow, as it's something that has always been part of my 40k revival.

I had thought about merging the names as well as the fluff, but Emperor's Dragons or Stone Disciples don't ring as well as the originals. So how do i keep the name or do i not bother and just let it be one of those things that dies as the hobby progresses?

Friday, 9 March 2018

BA jump pack changes

Before we start, I'll warn you that this is going to be a pure bitch and moan post, filled with lots of negativity, grumpiness and whining.

Now you are suitable warned, let get on with the rant and it all centres around one item, the humble Astartes jump pack. And what is the problem here you might ask? Well, with the actual jump pack, nothing. The gripe lies with the fact that either the blood angels are incredibly untidy and forgetful or GW is further eroding the individuality of the Blood Angles, intentionally or otherwise.

My big issue come with the changes from 7th to 8th, not in a sense of the rules but unit options. In 7th we had the command squad, firmed of 3 veterans, a champion and a Sanguinary Novitiate. Within this squad, one of the unit could take a standard, as an extra, and the unit could take jump packs. That is all of the unit could take jump packs. So when 8th rolled around and they changed the way things worked, splitting up the command squad in to it's composite parts, one would have assumed that they would have kept all of the options the same, for the benefit of all those long standing BA players. Alas no, they gave us false hope, then shattered our dreams.

Ok, so that's a little dramatic but they did give us hope that all would continue as before on the model front with the BA index entries, which contained entries for Sanguinary Novitiate with jump pack, company champion with jump pack, company ancient with jump pack and company Veterans with jump pack. Now, i built my list and my forces for 7th, starting before any of the formations came out and my models reflected the options available at the time. With the release of the index it looked like BA were going to retain the options they had and there play style, maybe even give more emphasis to the fast, mobile infantry based forces that they were know for. I was excited, for BA could have all these extra jump pack units, playing in to the nature of the Blood Angles and there liking for jump packs. Regular marines couldn't take these units, but then they were getting there own unique units, so that was fine.

It's taken me a while but now i realise that this was false hope and with the codex we have yet again been moved closer to becoming red Ultramarines. We have lost some unique units and we have gained some very generic units, we may even be loosing the most unique unit of them all, the death company. Although i have a funny feeling that the black rage will show itself again but that's for another time. So, are we really becoming red Ultramarines and are GW slowly killing the flavour of the Blood Angles or was this just purely a marketing move, bringing the codex inline with the current model range?

It seems that the second option is more likely, as there doesn't seem to be a specific Blood Angles command squad, just the generic marines one. This means, no jump packs, as there are none in the box. However, GW do sell jump packs separately, at 5 pound for 5, which isn't to bad. This means you can easily convert you Command squad to a jump pack Command squad with ease. I know GW have been pushing the whole, no model, no entry thing for a while but it annoys me that something many people would have spent a long time building and painting has been ditched in a second. At this point your probably thinking, well why not just carry on with the index entries and the answer is simple, i could. However, for how long? If they change the points values of a unit, it will be the codex version, not the index one, so would i adjust that unit by the same or leave it? What happens if they adjust all the other jump pack equipped characters, should i adjust mine as well? There is such a variation in the effective cost of a jump pack, ranging from just 3 points on a vet, up to 30 points on a champion. Novitiate and ancient are 5 and 9 respectively, with the Sanguinary priest  coming in at 17 points extra for a jump pack. If jump packs were all the same points cost it would be easier to amend if needs be, but  I as it stands it's a bit of a mess. It's the main reason that sticking with the codex is my preferred choice, but i don't particularly like the loss of the units by doing so.

Maybe one day they will put the units back in but i highly doubt that they will. If they have been removed at this stage, it's unlikely to think that they would put them back in at a later date, especially as they will be phasing out the standard marine over the next few years anyway but that's another rant for another time.