TEENY HORSIES!! (DIY Epic Imperial Guard Rough Riders)

How do, Dan here and yes, I’ve been at the granny grating again (sorry Legion4, I know this is hard for you 😉 ). Once again, I’m not going to try and claim any particular credit for this idea, the entire thing was nicked whole from the BattleCraft YouTube channel. Watch, learn, fall in love with it… they’re just so freaking cute.

And of course, cheap to the point of being practically free.

So, I began by cutting out my basic “horse and rider” shape, as per the video. Next up, I cut a length of granny grating and trimmed it to look like a pole. I superglued these on to my horses at a roughly 45 degree angle (apart from one where I cocked up a bit – see if you can spot him in the pics) – this is the deadly explosive lance that gives the Riders their punch against armour and cavalry. I’m not sure how that might work in reality – surely a shaped charge big enough to take out a Land Raider would probably take the arm off the rider at the very least, but hey, it’s 40K! DRIVE MY TANK CLOSER SO I CAN HIT THEM WITH MY SWORD!!!

Come on, I dare you not to fall in love with these!

I hot glued these onto 20mm x 20mm single corrugated card (cut from a wine box in this instance) – two riders per base.

A cavalry squadron that fits on a Post-It note – what’s not to love?

Then it was out to the shed for a burst of black spray primer, base coat with Wilkinson’s “Granite Dust” house paint from a tester pot (£1 or so? And it’s kept me going for 3 years so far..)

Follow that with a coat of tan craft paint, dot in the body armour with Vallejo German grey, wash with thin black ink.

Next – horses. Vallejo Filthy Brown washed with brown ink – I would have gone for more variety but I was really psyched to get these done, so apologies for lack of diversity..

Then it was flesh for the faces and hands, wash with thin Vallejo Skin Wash.. I did the lances the same way as the horses, finished with a dab of Vallejo Mithril Silver washed down with black for the lance tips.

Basing was the same as the rest of the lads so far – paint the base dark brown, then PVA, a dunk in the flock pot and a drizzle of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and boom, done.

I’m really chuffed with these little guys and I do plan to expand them out to a full company at some point, but I’ve started to get a focus on what my Guard army should look like. I’m taking my inspiration from these guys here: The Assault On Barbarius Prime Epic battle report from way back in the 90s.

As you can see, this force featured a Tactical Company (check) a Heavy Company (almost check – stay tuned), an Artillery Company (hmm) and two companies of superheavies as well as support detachments. Now, here’s the thing – I’m pretty certain I can build all that lot with foamcore, card, granny grating and straws. It’s going to take a while, but I don’t see any of it as impossible. I look at an Epic Shadowsword and I think “foamboard sides and base, lay cardboard armour over the top, drinking straw cannon and granny grating heavy bolters”.

Will this pan out? Or will it be a massive act of hubris that ends with me having superglued my hands to my feet and desperately trying to type a blog entry with my nose?

Let us see.

In the meantime, stay safe out there, look out for each other and stay thrifty 🙂

2020 Grimdark Future/ Future Force Warrior/ (40k?)1000pt Jam

(Really meant to put this post up back in July, but oh well… the real world with it’s insatiable desire for risk assessments has been consistently getting in the way of my blogging. Better late than never! )

So, as lockdown starts to ease here in dear old Blighty, Dan and I have come up with a plan for a (hopefully) epic summer of gaming and playtesting!

The idea is pretty straightforward- we’ve cooked up some lists using the tried and tested One Page Rules system “Grimdark Future” – namely the Hazzard 1977th PDF, the Orc Marauders of Da Skooderia, The People’s Front of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade, the Space Ratmen Clans of Ratticus McStilton III and the Crimson Fist Battle Brothers that last saw an outing when we played the Battle At The Farm back at the start of 9th edition.

Each faction will play each other – 2pts for a Stomping Great Victory (terms to be defined later), 1 pt for a victory, 0 for a draw, -1 for a defeat, -2 for a Crushing defeat. Hopefully, keeping the forces small should allow us to replay using our own Future Force Warrior system (Apocalypse Earth’s sci fi twin) and the 9th ed rules from 40k which we understand will be downloadable for free. This should give some fun games with a variety of different forces and allow us to balance and hone our game system a little bit too.

So, without further ado, here are the participants:

Crimson Fist Battle Brothers:

Captain [1] 3+ 2+ Assault Rifle (24”, A1), Energy Fist (A2, AP(3)) e: Jetpack (Ambush, Flying) Fearless, Hero, Relentless, Tough(3) 135ps

Battle Brothers [5] 3+ 2+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) Fearless 190 (325)

Battle Brothers [5] 3+ 2+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) Fearless 190 (515)

Battle Brothers [5] 3+ 2+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) Fearless 1 Missile Launcher – pick one to fire: HE (48”, A1, Blast(3)) AT (48”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)) 225 (740)

APC [1] 3+ 2+ Storm Rifle (24”, A2) Extra Storm Rifle (24”, A2) Fast, Fearless, Impact(6), Tough(6), 260 1000

Ratticus McStilton III’s Ratmen Clan:

Clan Mother [1] 3+ 3+ Staff-GL (24”, A1, AP(1), Blast(3)) ) Hero, Tough(6) Absolute Authority: When the hero activates pick one friendly unit within 12”, which gets the Fast rule next time it moves. 140Pts

Tangled Psychics [1] 5+ 4+ Elite Bodyguard (A3, AP(1)) , Rat Swarm (A6) Hero, Psychic(X), Tangle, Tough(3) Pistol (12”, A1)

Tangle: When the hero is activated roll one D3 to determine the X value of its Psychic(X) rule. Psychic Spells: 95pts RT 235

Filth (4+): Target friendly unit within 12” gets Poison in melee next time it fights.

Cracks (4+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 2 automatic hits with AP(2).

Sickness (5+): Target enemy unit within 18” gets -1 to hit next time it shoots.

Lightning (5+): Target enemy unit within 12” takes 1 hit with AP(4) and Deadly(3).

Frenzy (6+): Target friendly unit within 12” may immediately move by up to 6”.

Pestilence (6+): Target enemy unit within 6” takes 1 automatic hit per model.

3 x Saboteurs [5] 5+ 5+ Pistols (12”, A1), Explosives (A1, AP(4)) Scout 405 RT 640

Weapon Experts [5] 4+ 4+ Carbines (18”, A1), CCWs (A1) Relentless 2 x Heavy Machinegun (36”, A3, AP(1)) 2 x Rocket Launcher (24”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)) Plasma Rifle (24”, A1, AP(2)) 165pts RT 805

Rat Piper [1] 5+ 4+ Combat Staff (A3, Poison) Hero, Piper, Tough(3) Piper’s Calling

Piper: This hero may only join Rat Swarm units. The hero and his unit get Regeneration.

Piper’s Calling: When the hero is activated pick one friendly unit within 12”. That unit counts as having Quality 2+ next time it takes a morale test. 105Pts RT 910

2 x Rat Swarms [3] 6+ 6+ Swarm Attacks (A3, Poison) Strider, Tough(3) 90pts RT 1000

People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade Rebel Guerillas:

Commander – Q 4+ D 4+Carbine 18″ A1, Energy Fist A2 P2, Camo Cloak (Stealth) Wings (Ambush, Flying. Hero, Tough 3 (65pts)

4 Rebel Psychics – Q 5+ D 5+ Pistol 12″ A1 CCW A1, Hero, Psychic 1, Tough 3 (4 x 50pts – 200pts)

Simian Champion Q 4+ D 4 + Claw Gauntlets on Massive Fists A6 AP 1 Rending, Furious, Hero, Tough 3 (55pts)

2 x Rebel Squads – Q 5+ D 5+ 4 troops w/ Carbines 18″ A1, CCW A1, 1 w/ Missile Launcher 48″ HE A1 Blast 3 AT A1 AP3 Deadly 3. Camo Cloaks (Stealth) (2 x 85 pts – 170 pts total)

Striker Squad – 3 Strikers Q 5+ D 5+ Shotgun 12″ A2, Energy Sword A2 AP 1 Rending (105 pts)

Sniper Squad – 3 Snipers Q 6+ D 6+ Sniper Rifles 36″ A 1 AP1, Sniper CCW A1 (95 pts)

2 x Bounty Hunters Q 4+ D 4+ Plasma Rifle 24″ A1 AP2 , Camo Cloak (Stealth), Wings (Ambush, Fling, Hero, Scout, Tough 3 (2 x 65 pts – 130 pts total)

Assault Vehicle – Q 4+ D 2+ Fusion Cannon 24″ A1 AP4 Blast 3 Fast, Impact (6) Tough (6) (180 pts)

Total 1000 pts

The Hazzard 1977th Human Defence Force:

Commander [1] Q 4+ D 5+ Assault Rifle (24”, A1), Energy Sword (A2, AP (1)) Commander, Hero, Tough (3) 55

Commander: When the hero is activated pick one friendly non-commander unit within 6” that has no models with Tough(6) or more, and roll one die to give it orders. On a 4+ the unit may immediately be activated, even if it had been activated already this round.

Psychic [1] Q 5+ D 5+ Assault Rifle (24”, A1), CCW (A2) Hero, Psychic (2), Tough (3) 50 RT 105

  • Fortitude (4+) – Target friendly unit within 12”: immediately loses all enemy spell effects*
  • Nightmares (4+) -Target enemy model within 12” – takes 3 automatic hits with AP(2)*
  • Shroud (5+) – Target enemy model within 18” gets -1 to it’s rules next time it shoots*
  • Tempest (5+) Target enemy model within 6” takes 1 automatic hit with AP (1) per model*
  • Psychic Barrier (6+) Target friendly unit within 12” gts +2 to its defence rolls next time it takes hits*
  • Furious Blaze (6+) Target enemy unit within 18” takes 8 automatic hits with AP (1)

Drill Sergeant [1] 5+ 5+ Assault Rifle (24”, A1), CCW (A2) Battle Drills, Hero, Tough(3) A 40pts RT 145

Battle Drills: When the hero and his unit are activated pick one of the following drills, and they get one of these special rules until the end of the round:

 Double Time: +3” when moving

 Take Aim: +1 to shooting rolls

 Focus Fire: AP(+1) when shooting

 Fix Bayonets: +1 to melee rolls

Battle Tank [1]4+2+Heavy Flamethrower (12”, A6, AP(1)), Nova Cannon (36”, A1, AP(1), Blast(6))
Machinegun (36”, A3)
Fast, Impact(6), Tough(12)

505

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Heavy Machineguns (36”, A3, AP(1)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3) F 115pts 620

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Missile Launcher – pick one to fire:

HE (48”, A1, Blast(3))

AT (48”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3) F 120pts 740

Weapon Teams [3] 5+ 5+ Laser Cannon

(48”, A1, AP(4), Deadly(3)), CCWs (A1) Tough(3) F 125pts 865

Conscripts [10] 6+ 5+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) – – 75pts 940

Infantry Squad [5] 5+ 5+ Assault Rifles (24”, A1), CCWs (A1) – Sergeant Plasma Pistol (12”, A1, AP(2))

and CCW (A2) 60pts 1000pts

Company Standard: This unit gets the Fear and Fearless special rules.

Executioner: Whenever the hero’s unit fails a morale test you must kill one of its models and the morale test counts as passed instead.

Field Radio: If this unit has a Commander, then it may give orders to other units that have a Field Radio up to 24” away.

Medical Training: This model and his unit get the Regeneration rule.

Orc Marauder Warband “Da Skooderia”:

Warlord [1]3+   (shoots at 5+)4+Twin Carbine (18”, A4)   , CCW (A3)Bad Shot, Furious, Hero, Tough(3) 65pts
Orcs [10]4+   (shoots at 5+)5+Carbines (18”, A2)   , CCWs (A2) 1 Rocket Launcher (24”, A1, AP(3), Deadly(3)) 1 Heavy Machinegun (36”, A3, AP(1))Bad Shot, Furious 215pts   RT -280

Commando Orcs [5]
4+
 
(shoots at 5+)
5+
Pistols (12”, A1), CCWs (A2)
 
1 Flamethrower (12”, A6)
Bad Shot, Furious, Scout, Stealth, Strider
 
145pts
 
RT 425
Power Armor Orcs [3]3+   (shoots at 5+)2+Carbines (18”, A2), Energy Fists (A3, AP(2))Bad Shot, Furious, Slow, Tough(6) 395pts   RT 820


Truck [1]
4+
2+
Heavy Machinegun (36”, A3, AP(1)), Crew (A1)
Bad Shot, Fast, Impact(3), Tough(6), Transport(11)
Battle Ram (Strider)
 
Red Paint Job (moves +3” on Advance and +6” on Rush/Charge actions)
180pts
 
RT 1000

So there we go, apologies for the oddities in formatting but I couldn’t really get on with the WordPress editor… it’s legible, that’ll have to suffice! We’re up to game 4 now so I’ll be posting an update in the next…. year? Seriously, COVID, just f*ck off and stop causing so much bloody trouble…. oh well, I’m sure this time next year we’ll all be reminiscing about this!

Stay safe, healthy and thrifty out there, we’ll see you again soon!

Further Musings On Game Design.. What Will 9th bring?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are one of those “normies” just not interested in miniature wargames..) you’ll have heard the big news – Games Workshop, the Evil Empire of the games industry, are releasing a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. This makes it the 9th – although it feels like 8th only came out five minutes ago, but I guess that’s just me.

Needless to say, the forums have been full of speculation about what will be on offer, and some of these discussions have become a bit… heated, shall we say. Particularly with the news that GW will be sticking with the IGOUGO activation – this discussion thread on Dakka got very salty very quickly, and it got me thinking.

I’ve already posted some thoughts about game design and support, but I got to pondering the reasons why GW stick to this core idea for 40k but get so much more imaginative for other systems – and I’ve come up with a few real world analogies.

Consider the Porsche 911. Evolution of the Volkswagen Beetle, air cooled engine in the back way out behind the axle. Undoubtedly iconic, but also a bit of a handful, and well recognised as a yuppie-killer during the 80s. Over the years Porsche have tried all manner of drastic – stuffing the front bumper full of lead – and less drastic measures to even it out and from all accounts it now truly is a brilliant, balanced driving machine.

And if I ever get the chance to drive one, I’ll let you know my thoughts.

However, a few years ago they introduced the Cayman – lighter, cheaper, mid-engined.. and a fundamentally better design to the point where they’ve had to hobble it by not letting it have a limited slip differential (thing that makes it go faster) and slightly detuning the engine to produce 15-20bho less than the 911. Because it can’t be seen to be faster than the 911. Although several of Porsche’s designers have gone on record as saying that f they designed the 911 now, it would be the same as the Cayman, that moment has passed – the Cayman is fundamentally the better sports car, but the job of the 911 isn’t to be the greatest sportscar anymore – it’s to be the 911. It’s to be an icon. And you can’t f*ck with an icon.

See where we’re going?

OK, now to the world of guitars. Consider the Gibson Les Paul. Great big slab of mahogany, two big humbuckers (big fat sounding pickups), only one cutaway so top fret access is limited (tough to get the high notes).

And then Gibson’s arch-rival, Fender, introduced the Stratocaster – whammy bar (wiggly thing that changes the pitch of the notes), THREE pickups, lighter and more versatile..

A couple of years later, Gibson retired the Les Paul and brought in the SG – lighter, easier top fret access, more versatile:

The SG was supposed to be the lighter, more affordable, more versatile replacement for the Les Paul (as the Stratocaster was supposed to be for the Telecaster). You can still buy a Les Paul. You can still buy a Telecaster. What does that tell you?

Some people – a LOT of people – don’t want objectively good. They want the classic. They want The Icon. And that’s what 40k is.

Wait, 40k a design classic? But there’s so much wrong with it – IGO UGO, turn phases, list building… yes, but if you want better rules play Kill Team or Necromunda or Apocalypse or Blackstone Fortress or Betrayal At Calth or Epic (which I always dug as a kid more than 40k) . BUT 40k is no longer designed to be an objectively great game – it’s job is to be 40k. See the comparison?

Just as there are designers at Porsche who would LOVE to redesign the 911, just as there are designers at Gibson who would LOVE to redesign the Les Paul, I’m sure there are designers at GW who would love to redesign 40k from the ground up – look at Blackstone Fortress, or Kill Team etc. In fact, Christ , look at Epic back in the day! But they’re stuck. 40k has been around since 1987 – it has players who have been playing that long. They have certain expectations of how the game will play, and have done for 30+ years. And IGOUGO sits at the heart of that. These players have been around since Rogue Trader (more or less… we came in at the end of the RT era, ater GW had patched the hell out of it with Compilations, Compendiums, Vehicle Manuals and Battle Manuals) – you cant just ditch them, that would be a real betrayal of the fanbase. So what’s the answer?

I suspect 9th – at least to begin with – will be a pretty good answer. I anticipate a bodge of 8th with bits of 7th to add a level of detail.. I must admit we’ve only played a few games of 8th but there were a few bits of it that didn’t feel quite right to me, almost like they’d thrown the baby out with the bathwater in search f streamlining. So will we be buying it? No. No chance. But that’s because we’re cheap. Should YOU buy it?

Honestly? If you want to get into 40k and you have £100 or so to spare.. actually yes, I reckon you could do worse. As well as the box set usually being a (relatively speaking) good deal in terms of miniatures, 40k as a game always seems to get a lot of love when new editions drop, before power creep happens – and as 9th is being posited as an evolution, not a revolution. I think 9th could be a great time to get into 40k. For three or four months.

Meanwhile, we’ll grab what minis we can on eBay and play Grimdark Future and Future Force Warrior with the intent of someday getting the bastard finished and published!

Hmm.. I reach the end of this post with no clear conclusion… but I am curious to see the new box… what do our friends out there in the blogosphere make of it all?