Epic Showdown on Hazzard Prime!

Damn, when you get old, time goes FAST. Can you really believe it was December 2017 when we last threw down the Epic armies of WAAAAAGH BOZZHOG and the Redeemers Marine Chapter?

Nope, neither could we.

So it was high time to break out the wee tiny fellas, scatter some scenery and get ready to do some serious krumpin’

This time the Imperial forces would be bolstered not just by the home made Leviathan, but also by a squadron of home made Vindicators – the first inklings of a DIY Epic Imperial Guard army! Whilst the greenskins… they got BIG RED.

 Preparation:

The armies hit the board! Objectives laid, armies deployed – Big Red anchors the Ork left flank along with the Goff Skullhamma, while the Slasher leads the Goffs and Evil Sunz assault force and the Bad Moons prepare to provide fire support. Meanwhile, the Devastators anchor the Imperial right, while the Veterans make ready to assault forwards in the centre supported by the Land Raider company, Warlord Titan, Leviathan and Vindicator squadron.

Ork Plan:

The basic plan with WAAGH BOZZHOG has pretty much always been use the Evil Sunz to charge forward and pin the enemy in place until the Goffs arrive to batter them senseless, while the Bad Moons throw fire support downrange. Meanwhile Big Red would occupy the objective in the gulley to the left, backed up by the Skullhamma and the Slasher would either cause calamities with it’s belly gun or rush forward to demolish the opposition with it’s chainfist, we’d play that one by ear!

Imperial Plan:

Looking at the terrain, it seemed a slam dunk to have the Devastators to deploy up the steep hill onto the objective on the Imperial right, which would also give a great field of fire across the battlefield. However, there was a tempting objective in the town slightly toward the centre, so I split off one detachment to occupy that. Meanwhile, the veterans of 1st Company would hurl themselves forward into the teeth of the ork horde and try and hold the town in the face of the Evil Sunz assault while the Land Raider company moved up in support behind them (with their mortal cousins in the Imperial Guard Vindicator squadron alongside them) and the Warlord and Leviathan adding their weight of firepower to the mix.

Turn 1:

Orks get the initiative and force the Marines to move first. Devastators take positions on the hill and in the town, while No. 1 company veterans deploy into the buildings facing the Ork horde!
Hurtling forward, pedal to the metal, the Evil Sunz crash into the veterans of No. 1 company and the Nobz warbikes demolish a squadron of Land Raiders.
Carnage!!!!
As turn 1 ends, the orks have broken the Veteran and Land Raider companies in exchange for the Evil Sunz and the Skullhamma but superior Imperial manoeuvrability means  more Imperial held objectives – Imperials lead 36 VPs to 26.

Turn 2:

The second wave hits! Goffs assault the buildings held by the remains of the veteran company whilst the few surviving Evil Sunz add their firepower in support. Meanwhile the Slasher lines up the Warlord and the surviving Imperial armour moves up in the centre.
Guard Vindicators pour their fire into the murderous close quarter battle in the streets as the Marine veterans fight desperate hand to hand combats in the buildings!
Devastator fire blows up the Skullhamma but Big Red watches on, impervious… (note the building reduced to rubble by a ball round, taking most of a Devastator detachment with it!)
Destruction up close and personal!

This turn broke the Devastators on top of the Veterans and Land Raiders, but the Goffs were teetering on the brink after the spectacularly bloody battle for the town that had also shattered the Evil Sunz, the Slasher and the Warlord  had both taken chunks out of each other and both sides were teetering on the edge of collapse…

Turn 3:

 

With the last veterans massacred by rampaging Goffs, Whirlwind artillery fire, combined with the barrage weapons on the Leviathan and Warlord, collapses the building they captured. Meanwhile, a lucky volcano cannon shot from the Warlord causes a flashback to the magazine, destroying the Slasher!
With the Slasher gone (and Big Red on the other flank damaged by fire from the Devastators), the Goffs now broken, the battered Imperial forces stand bloodied but victorious! 58-44 to the Redeemers with their Hazzard PDF allies – WAAAGH-BOZZHOG is denied once again…

Epilogue:

Whew, that was close – had I not got lucky with the Warlord’s volcano cannon in turn 3, that could have gone very differently.. I’ve also realised how ineptly I handled the veterans, rushing them forward to take on the Ork horde in close combat whilst moving support up behind them – what I should have done is kept them in their transports in reserve and allow the Orks to face long range fire from whatever Devastators I could spare from sparring with the Gargant, let the Whirlwinds and the barrage weapons on the Titan do their thing and then unleashed the elite close combat troops. And I should group the Terminators with them, as they accomplished squat where they were, until they were largely squashed by a ball round… must remember, it’s not how many points you have at the start of the game, it’s how many you have on the last turn that count!

___________________

 

Zog it! Well, I stuck to the plan – so maybe that’s the problem.. I’m thinking of putting the Goffs in battlewagons to keep up with the Sunz and maybe paint up a Death Skull warband to best use the Goff armour. That way the assault wave can hit all at once for truly devastating effect.. hmm.. either way, we definitely have escalation!

Till next time, stay thrifty out there!

Another Epic Scratchbuild – Imperial Guard Vindicator Company

Presenting just the CUTEST scratchbuild ever!

I always had a thing for the Imperial Guard as a wee youngling, and it often occurred to me that it was very wrong the way they were portrayed as almost a “fringe” army in 40k – after all, it was the teeming trillions of plain old GI Joes and Janes that held the line against the countless horrors of the 41st millenium, amirite?

But it was always the Space Marines who got included in the boxes…

I always fancied having a Guard army for Epic- the idea of massed tank and infantry suited the Guard absolutely perfectly! But then the cost – GW ain’t, never has been, and most likely never will be, cheap.

So, if I was going to make this idea happen, I was clearly going to have to MAKE it happen, if you catch my drift.

Yup, scratchbuild time again.

Normally I’d go in all all guns blazing and try and build something like a company of Stormhammer super heavy tanks out of cardboard, Blu-Tack and straws with nothing but blind faith in the God Emperor guiding my hand, but we’ve done that sort of thing before and this time I had an idea I wanted to try. I started with the idea of a Vindicator company – back in the early 90s, the Guard could take them, and Predators – and although the model itself got a bit of stick for looking blocky and cartoonish,  it was those very properties that appealed to me for ease of building. If the original model looked like it had been carved out of foamboard and cardboard by a cretin, it should be easy for a cretin to build one out of foamboard and cardboard!

Let us begin:

We begin two blacks of foamboard – I measured an old Epic Rhino to get the dimensions right and came up with 24mm by 11mm
Next, trim these to form a parallelogram – 6mm back from the front and back to create the slopes, again copied from the Epic Rhino I used as my template.
Now we turn to cardboard – or chipboard, for our friends across the pond (looking at you, Wyloch!)
Note the measurements in millimetres – these would form the first layer of the sides and track units.
Another shot of the side units, cut out and showing their shape
Next layer of side armour – again, note measurements in millimetres
Rear hatch cut from cardboard – 12mm wide by 10mm tall rectangle
12mm by 12mm square for front glacis plate
Front glacis plate with edges trimmed
And installed – that 2+ save doesn’t come out of nowhere!
Measuring out the side and top panels on thin modelling cardstock
And applied, bulking out the classic Rhino silhouette into something more intimidating..

 

Ain’t no Vindicator without the unfeasibly big gun! Drinking straw filled with tacky glue…
Glued in place on the front glacis plate. Hatches punched from chipboard with hole punch.
Final detailing! cylinders cut from granny grating to represent the side exhausts
And DONE! ready for priming….

Next up, painting – and that’s still a WIP so right now you’ll have to make do with this for now 🙂 Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!

Cheaphammer 40k FINALE! – the 2nd Ed Revival Project : Battle For The Bridge

And lo, it has come to pass – ALL DA LADZ against Dan’s thin red (well, black) line of Space Marines in the climactic game from the 1993 2nd Ed box set Battle For Armageddon mini campaign.

On the Marine side – two tactical squads of Space Marines, each comprising a Sergeant with bolt pistol and chainsword, a Marine with a missile launcher, a Marine with flamer, and 7 Marines with bolters. For the Orks, it was the Dread, twenty Boyz armed with bolt pistols, axes and stikkbomz and no fewer than FORTY Gretchin, all armed with autoguns – quite the horde!

Forces were organised as follows:

Marines (all Space Marines have Mk7 power armour, bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades):

Squad Raphael (red shoulder pads):

Sergeant Raphael – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – flamer

Squad Mephisto (blue shoulder pads):

Brother Mephisto – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)

Squad Lazarus (grey shoulder pads):

Sergeant Lazarus – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – flamer

Squad Cleon (cream shoulder pads):

Brother Cleon – boltgun

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)

MarinesDone

Orks (All Orks and Gretchin wear flak armour):

Da Krusher – Ork Dreadnought armed with two power klaws, heavy bolter and lascannon.

Grugnat’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.

Snikbog’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.

Grit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Grot’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Scumbo’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Fergit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

OrkzOnParade

The Marines got points for wiping out as many Greenskin mobs as possible, while the Orks got a 5 point bonus for getting a mob of six models or the Dread into the Marine deployment zone. Game length was four turns.

Turn 1

To everyone’s surprise, the Orks won the first turn and barrelled forward, Gretchin screening the boyz who were hugging the available cover until they could get within bolt pistol range.

Gretchin fire patters ineffectively off Marine power armour..
..meanwhile, Da Krusher’s lascannon stabs out and downs a marine from Squad Lazarus
Marines hunker down and fire wherever possible, bolters and frag missiles downing an Ork and 7 Grots

And with a Leadership of only 5, it should be no surprise that Scumbo’s Mob break and run for it

Turn 2

This time probability reasserted itself and the Marines scored first turn.

Squads Lazarus and Raphael venture out into the open, hoping to close the range and bring their flamers into play
Krak missile from Squad Mephisto smashes into Da Krusha, sending it out of control – it promptly barrels into the nearest unit, the Gretchin of Grot’s Mob!
Marine fire take its toll on the Greenskin horde…
But humie isn’t having it all his own way! Da Boyz close the range to the exposed Marine combat squads, and three of humanity’s finest fall to bolt pistol fire.

Turn 3

Once again, the Marines won the first turn and the missile launcher teams desperately pumped bolter fire and frag missiles into the oncoming greenskins, while the flamer teams attempted to manouevre in to use their devastating short range weapons to better effect..

Marines pump fire into the oncoming horde, but will it be enough?
Seeing Da Krusha out of control, missile launcher teams focus on thinning out the greenskins with frag missiles.. this proves to be a mistake, as the pilot promptly has a change of heart, wheels around and barrels into the Marine lines, vapourising a brother with its’ lascannon.
“It’s too much!” Gretchin take shelter in a ruin after losing seven of their squad to Marine fire

Turn 4

First turn passed back to the Orks and the boyz burst from behind the screen of Grots to engage the Marines at point blank range!

“WAAAAARRRGH!”  Boyz charge forward, gunning down Squad Lazarus in a hail of bolt pistol fire
It gets up close and personal in the games’ closing moments..
Gretchin blaze away with their autoguns as da boyz get stuck in! Meanwhile, Da Krusha savages Squad Mephisto

 

The weight of fire batters through the Marine power armour..

 

Squad Mephisto marines fall to assault saw and power klaw!

 

Greenskins rampage across the battlefield, overwhelming the remaining Marines!

At the end of the turn, we totted up the points – Orks 4, Marines 1 – a solid win for the Greenskins!

Dan owned up to a lack of concentrating fire on single mobs, as he caused a solid amount of casualties but not actually wiping out or seriously damaging complete units. I did get pretty lucky with Da Krusha’s lunatic rampage not just taking down three Marines from Squad Mephisto but also taking him squarely into the Marine deployment zone! However if Dan’s flamer teams could have gotten in range, or if he’d finished off Da Krusha with a couple of extra krak missiles, things could easily have gone the other way..

So if you’re keeping score, that’s 2-1 to the Orks, so a Greenskin victory in this mini campaign! Props to Dan for a brilliant job on his Marines (whatever he may claim to the contrary) and being a gentlemanly and sporting (if perennially unlucky) opponent.

This project has been a blast, but it doesn’t have to end here – we’re toying with adding a few bits to make these forces 8th ed legal, and just maybe to take them on a pilgrimage to Warhammer World itself, for a game on the hallowed tables themselves! A great way touch base with the roots of what got us into this hobby in the first place.

Till next time, stay thrifty out there, yo 😉

CheapHammer 40k: The 2nd Ed Revival Project Pt. 6 – Second Marine Combat Squad

…Or “An Odyssey in Edge Highlighting And Going Partially Blind”…

As Jim has raced through his Greenskin horde with impressive and ever improving results, I seem to have gone backwards! *gnashes teeth*

With these two combat squads I decided to deviate slightly from the template laid down by Duncan on Warhammer TV (at the risk of being burned as a heretic) and try something a little different – after priming with cheap black £1 spray paint, I gave these lads a base coat of Vallejo German Grey and darkened them down with a couple of thinned black ink washes. When these dried, I hit them with a drybrush of German Grey giving me a nicely modulated basecoat…

…Which I then proceeded to ruin..

Now, I’ve seen edge highlighting done well in the old ‘Eavy Metal pages of White Dwarf, I’ve seen it done well on Warhammer TV and on the display stuff at Warhammer World, but I’ve seen a LOT more examples of it done badly and hamfistedly (many of them my own work, it must be said, and I will name no names otherwise), and it seems to me that the problem lies in thinning the paint for the highlight enough and being patient enough for the colours to modulate subtly.

Now, to give them their due, GW seems to have thought this through with their colour selection, as Duncan and Peachy’s videos show the various shades blending together beautifully, but they also tend to use a minimum of two dozen colours every time they paint something. And GW paints ain’t cheap.

So, using what I had to hand, I tried to blend some highlight colours – I took the base Vallejo German Grey, dialled in a little of the light blue grey Crown house paint (water based, so probably still acrylic in nature) to gradually lighten it, took up the old Windsor & Newton series 7, drew breath and started.

The next layer was for the super high exposed edges, and for this I blended in a little bone craft paint to lift it still higher. I also hit the recessed parts with pin washes of black ink to give depth, and went to bed pretty satisfied with my work.

Looking back on it the next day though, I found myself considerably less satisfied – the highlights look blocky and heavy handed, the washes a bit unsubtle, and disturbingly I found that if I bring a model too close (ie less than about 6 inches from my nose) my vision starts to get a bit blurry, so I’m starting to ponder glasses or one of those magnifying glass/ holder things I’ve seen. Any thoughts, internet?

Anyway – pics, see for yourselves and see if you agree with my assessment.

Combat squad headed by Veteran Marine as I only had three sergeant models.. note the sponge chipping – think I went a bit heavy handed there, oh well..
This was the squad I felt I went a bit too heavy with the pin washes… still, they look ok from two feet away!
Ready for action!
Group shot of the entire force
Time to kick some greenskin ass!

Next up, Jim’s got the rest of his ladz based, varnished and ready to rock, so it’ll be time to throw down for the third and final game of the campaign! Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon.

CheapHammer40K – The 2nd Ed Revival Project: Game 2 – High Ground

The dust of broken glass ground underfoot, and the smoke of a million corpse-fires fouled the air. Boss Bludguzzla WarBastard IV took to his feet and breathed deeply of the Armageddon stench. Beautiful.

He belched, cocked a leg and let go an insouciant, musical fart. “I luvz da smell of roastin’ humiez in da morning”.

Turning to the motley assortment of Orks gathered in the shell crater before him, he waved a hand toward the biggest ruin on the horizon.

“Dat’s where they are, ladz! Sneaky gitz holed up in dat temple wiv a missile launcher. We’s got to splat dem so we can bring da Dread around and get da boyz ready to kick some proper humie arse. Cumlicka!” 

One of the larger Orks cocked an ear. 

“You takes your ladz up da front. Keep shootin’, keep their heads down. Ratbollock!”

A second oversized Ork shuffled to attention,

“You ladz folla mine, we’s going to get round da side of ’em, chuck da stikkbomz, and go feth ’em up, up close and personal like”

WarBastard jammed a magazine into his bolt pistol.

“Dat concludes da breefin’. Let’s go feth it up! WAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!”

“WAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGHHH” rose from more throats than an Ork could count (somewhere between 8 and 20) – and the Boyz rolled to war once again…

Welcome to Mission 2 from the 2nd Edition Scenario Booklet – High Ground! After a close fought first round (no spoilers here), and some frenzied painting on my part after a a couple of lucky eBay wins fleshed out my Ork forces to full strength, Dan and I warmed up the shed and got busy deploying Ork and Marine alike for the next round.

The two sides deploy
View from the Marine position in the ruined Shrine Of The Emperor Triumphant – frag missiles at the ready, it’s a target rich environment!
Da Boyz cluster in the ruins, making use of what cover they can find

Turn 1 kicked off with the Marines gaining the initiative – no point in breaking cover yet, and no one in range, so they elected to hunker down and blast a frag missile into the densely packed boyz mobs facing them..

Lacking the artillery dice from the early 90s, we agreed that “1” would equal a misfire, so…..
……yeah. Misfire, exploding both launcher and Marine. Cue some innovative swearing from Dan.
The Orks dash forward, using the ruins to shield them from Marine fire
Well, partially.
Orks charge toward Marine lines – a few fall, but will it be enough?
“Dere day are ladz!” It’s not all one sided – a Marine falls to Ork bolt pistol fire
“Squad Broken” – 25% losses in one turn, the Marines fail their morale check!
But Marines don’t run – although shaken, they stay in the fight, and return the favour, breaking an Ork mob with bolter fire

While Boss Cumlicka and his boyz died to an Ork taking the Marines on in place, Bludguzzla and Ratbollock led their boyz in a kunnin’ flanking manouvre, hurling frag stikkbomz onto the hated humiez

Frontal assault is always a bad idea
“FIRE IN DA HOLE!” Stikkbomz take down another Marine
Sergeant Taddeus leads his remaining Marine out to counterattack the Ork assault with bolter and chainsword!
Taddeus and his brother stand against many times their own number of boyz (by this point it was already past turn 4 and an Ork victory, but we were enjoying ourselves too much!)

 

Bellowing his war cry, Sgt. Taddeus barrels into the Ork horde..
And falls a hero, dead Orks on every side!

And there we are, and Ork victory, but what a game! Right from the off the Marines were on the back foot, their most potent weapon blowing itself up – but what says 40k more than the last stand of Marine Sergeant Taddeus, surrounded by Ork corpses? Brilliant fun, despite 40ks inherent limitations, very cinematic – the game really wrote it’s own story, and isn’t that exactly why we play these things?

Next up, a truly epic battle as 20 marines face a dreadnought, 20 Orks and 40 Gretchin as our campaign reaches its conclusion! Stay tuned, stay thrifty, we’ll see you soon 😉

Christmas in Armageddon, and a Happy New WAAAAAAARGHH!The 2nd Ed Revival Project – Game 1: Against The Odds

Brother Lorenzio tapped his comm-link again and muttered a curse. No matter what he did, he couldn’t tune out the sibilant high frequency pulsating that he would almost swear sounded like some form of rhythmic high pitched bell… He put it out if his mind as the sonorous voice of Brother Sergeant Garcia came across the squad net.

“Stay close, brothers, the enemy is lightly armed but numerous. Brother Fiorian, your flamer to the fore.”

The net chimed as Brother Enricio chimed in. “Forgive me, Brother Sergeant – enemy sighted, three contacts, each ten strong, bearings 294, 012 and 027”

The combat squad clustered behind a ruined wall. Garcia’s voice across the net again – “Close and destroy, brothers. Grenades and flamer, bolter and sword. On me!”

With that, the five Space Marines roared their assent and charged toward their foe..

Welcome to 2019! Over the last few months, Dan & I have been working on a plan to utilise the contents of our accidental 2017 purchase in the manner they were originally intended – recreating the mini campaign in the scenario book included with 1993’s Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition box set. It’s taken a little while, but now we’ve got the urban board, the ruins, as well as enough Marines and Gretchin to tackle the first scenario in the booklet – “First Blood”.

So, with bellies strained to bursting point with mince pies and mulled wine, we deployed troops (Dan taking the Grots) and had at it!



Marines cluster in the ruins at the bottom left, three Grot mobs close from the top..
Seeking to close the range and utilise their superior short range firepower, Marines forgo shooting in this first turn and run forward, flamer to the fore… in retrospect this was a rookie error, as…
Massed autogun fire takes down Brother Fiorian’s flamer… damn, that was going to come in handy!
Bolter fire downs two Grots in return, but the Marines know they don’t want to get bogged down into a shooting match here, they need to get in close and use the force multipliers that are frag grenades..
Brother Enricio falls to massed autogun fire, caught out in the open! This forces a Leadership test, as the Marines have lost 25% of their current strength… but being Marines, they pass it without a hitch! Meanwhile, as Furst and Secund Mobs engage the Marines directly, Furd Mob forgoes shooting to infiltrate around the flank, real sneaky like…
“On my command, brothers!” bellows Brother Sergeant Garcia, “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” – three frag grenades arc toward Secund Mob, immolating the unwary Grots!
With fully half their number torn apart by grenades, and a paltry Leadership value of 5, it surprises precisely no-one when the Grots turn and flee!
Furst Mob form a gun line flanking the Marines, autoguns blazing!
Autogun fire patters off his armour like rain, but one slips through and Sergeant Garcia falls! “Avenge me, brothers….”

And they do! Frag grenades all amongst Furst Mob, killing off half the remaining number..
The survivors turn and flee..
A hail of frag grenades take down the fleeing survivors, but…
Secund Mob rally in the ruins and turn their autoguns on the two remaining marines…
Brother Salatian falls to their fire, but Brother Lorenzio anchors himself and pumps rapid fire bolts into the Gretchin, felling two of them
Bellowing his vengeance, Brother Lorenzio barrels into the sole remaining Grot, gutting it from head to gizzard with his combat knife!

All in all, a very fun game, fortune went back and forth between the two sides – allowing my flamer marine to lead the advance was a rookie error, as that flamer template against the close packed Gretchin would have been carnage!

A few criticisms – why (oh WHY OH WHY OH WHY…) must I move and then shoot? Why can’t I shoot and then move? And why phases????? It just seems unnecessary unwieldy complication…

But overall, it was a giggle, and while there are definitely better systems out there, 2nd Ed 40k is genuinely FUN, nostalgia angle entirely aside. Next scenario will be soon, just as soon as the frankly spectacular hangovers Dan and I are currently nursing decline to more manageable levels. In the meantime, happy new year and a prosperous 2019!

Happy Christmas! And what’s half of 40k?

…20,000, of course! And that’s how many views I discovered we’d had when I checked our stats a few days ago – pretty amazing stuff for our geeky little blog! So this is a quick fill in post to thank all of you who keep coming pack to discover what we’ve managed to build out of cardboard and junk picked out of the recycling – all of you who like, comment and share, it’s really a wonderful feeling to think we’re connecting with people across the world. Particularly when we’ve learned so much from other posters on YouTube, TMP, Dakka Dakka and Warseer – building on their ideas and spreading the word to others. So a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you out there in cyberspace!

This is probably our last post of 2018 – certainly the last sober one – so what’s in store for 2019? Well, we’ve got the 2nd Ed 40k Armageddon campaign to fight, a Firefight campaign to play through– not to mention that in the war torn world of Apocalypse: Earth, the vital plasma generator complex at Skalk Point is still in the hands of the evil Holy Soviet Empire! And with Buffalo 2-7 devastated by the losses they took, it’s going to be the League Of European Nations leading the charge to retake the facility.. that’s going to be a scrap to look forward to! And let’s throw in the fact that June 6 2019 will be 75 years from D-Day – there has to be some way to commemorate that…. plus the Betrayal at Calth campaign to run… oh, and I have a project I want to try using foamboard to build a variety of vehicles for Epic… let’s see how many of these projects we can turn from ideas into actual models this coming year!

And as a teaser for our next battle report, let us present scenario #1 from the 2nd Edition mini campaign book, “First Blood”!



Marines and Gretchin deploy to fight it out in the rubble of a ruined hive world…

Stay tuned, stay thrifty, and have a fantastic Christmas! See you in 2019..

CheapHammer 40k -The 2nd Ed Revival Project! Pt. 1 The Plan

So, hands up who remembers this?

20171109_205218

As it happens, we don’t either – don’t drink and eBay, kids! So, we were wondering what we should do with this haul – loads of Grots, a full complement of 20 Marines, and a couple of Orks in various states of repair… not to mention the cardboard cutout Dreadnaught, plus the very brightly coloured Codex Imperialis and campaign book.

 

In the grim darkness of the far future, there are only bold primary colours

Now, this raises an interesting, almost paradoxical conundrum – because we can’t afford proper 40k minis, we’d got sunk deep into 20mm (aka 1/72 or 1/76 or HO) gaming, meaning all our terrain was designed and sized for this. So getting our hands on actual 40k minis kind of threw the plans out a bit. As discussed before, we planned on using them as proxies for OOP systems like Firefight, Space Crusade etc (not to mention freely downloadable ones like Deadzone), but with all this… stuff… it was more or less a given that at some point we’d end up giving 40k a try again, and we’ve had a couple of little skirmishes with our new skirmish board.

And yeah, compared to modern systems, this old girl is a bit clunky. But we got to thinking – both me and Dan got into 40k in 1991 (albeit independently of each other and hundreds of miles apart) and by then the 1st edition Rogue Trader had evolved massively from it’s origins as an almost unplayable (in practical terms) RPG/ skirmish game and was heading towards the slick and shiny and GLORIOUSLY colourful subsequent editions. Dan and I both remember getting the 40k box set – and be aware, a 40k box set was a brand new thing back then, never been done before! – for Christmas 1993, and working our way through the mini campaign missions given in the book. If you’re unfamiliar, this set focused heavily on the 2nd War For Armageddon, and featured a three (four?) mission campaign of Blood Angels vs Orks.

Then Dan reminded me that 1993 was 25 years ago exactly.

Hmm. We should mark this occasion.

We did something similar last year, commemorating 30 years of 40k by playing The Battle At The Farm from Rogue Trader using 8th Edition rules, and had a blast, but we figured, you know what? 2nd Ed was our edition. Goblin Green bases, primary colours – the grim darkness of the far future had never looked so appealing. Army lists existed from the drop, rather than being gradually added over six years of White Dwarf articles.

Or  Warhammer 40000 Compilations.

Or Warhammer 40000 Compendiums.

Or Warhammer 40000 Battle Manuals.

You have to figure by this point, the game had evolved quite away from it’s origins, and was badly in need of a rewrite! And so it was…

You bought wargear with cards rather than having a 15 % chance of having it. The thing had been tested, and many mechanics from 2nd Ed actually form the backbone of 40k as we know it now, love it or loathe it. We may not have had Tau or Necrons, but we had Squats, dammit! (at least for a while..) And so begins our new project for the remains of 2018 – painting up the contents of our unwitting haul to replicate those halcyon days gone by – we began with the Marines, and Dan has a load of Grots ready for the camera – then there’s the scenery to make… lots of ruins (which we’ll make 3″ by 3″ to also be Deadzone compatible – muy Skinflint).. plus we have found a very cool papercraft of an Ork Deff Dread… And then come Christmas, we’ll run the whole campaign!

So, here’s raising a glass to our “origin story” within the hobby – we may not be the seasoned grognards in at the birth of it all with Rogue Trader, but we were there for 40k to find it’s feet and become what it is today. And for all it’s (many many ) faults-  it will always have a place in our hearts.

CheapHammer 40k – the 2nd Ed Revival Project! Pt. 2 – Deathwatch

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS ACTUAL CITADEL MINIATURES.

I KNOW :-O

So, some of you may remember these guys from an earlier post:

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..and our wondering exactly what the hell we were going to do with them, being as we’re pretty heavily committed to our beloved uber-cheap and thrifty 1/72 figures.

You may also remember our dabbling in the Horus Heresy game “Betrayal At Calth”, which we picked up sans miniatures for £4.99.

And I think you can start to see where this is going.

Thing is, over the years GW have published a great many games set in the 40k universe – Space Hulk, Space Crusade, Advanced Space Crusade as well as the current generation (Betrayal at Calth, Burning Of Prospero, Deathwatch Overkill) – all cracking good fun, easy and quick to set up and crucially, with a very low model count. 20 Marines and a big crowd of Grots to play the bad guys is plenty for these types of games (not to mention the nostalgia factor of those 2nd ed sculpts.. opening that box was Christmas ’93 all over again!), and as we discovered with the Calth box set, many players by them for the minis and disregard everything else. As for the older games, rules, tokens etc can all be found online and downloaded for free (often there are fan remakes to be found too – check out this one).

As a side note, I’m also hoping to track down a copy of Alternative Armies’ Firefight rules from 1991 – that was a brilliant game, fast paced and utterly addictive!

If you like sci-fi skirmish games, you need to try this game.

All these games are board or tile based, so easy and quick set up, perfect for a quick hobby fix!

(edit – add Mantic’s Deadzone 2.0 to that list – just downloaded the rules from their site and very much looking forward to trying it out!)

So, onto painting them – I figured the Marines should be Deathwatch, as that seems to fit with the fluff of small scale alien (or heretic) -hunting skirmishes in narrow streets, cramped arcologies or abandoned spacecraft, so I stripped them using meths, primed with black spray paint, popped a beer and watched Duncan’s excellent Deathwatch painting tutorial video, and had at it!

I did deviate slightly from the Duncan’s template – black acrylic basecoat (cheap £1 store black), light drybrush with Vallejo German Grey, then took a deep breath and tried some edge highlighting, having mixed the grey with some bone and a little blue, and was pleasantly surprised with the results! I’ve seen edge highlighting look pretty cack handed and splodgy (particularly when I’ve done it), but I think the trick to it is ensuring your paint is thin and you create a smooth colour graduation. Clearly all that time painting weeny 1/72 figures has helped get my eye in as these chaps came out better than anything I painted back in the 90s! Metallics were Vallejo silver, washed with thin black ink, skulls were bone washed with thinned brown ink and the red was a cheap £1 acrylic that I layered up with some yellow to create highlights. Flesh was craft paint skin tone washed first with Vallejo skin wash and then thinned brown wash.

For basing, I was briefly tempted to go full retro – PVA, sand, Goblin Green, remember that? – but instead took things a little further. I put a bit of home made texture paste (sand, PVA, filler powder, water) on the base before the priming stage and after I’d painted the model, painted this dark brown and drybrushed up with a couple of layers of lighter browns. Then dabbed on a bit of PVA and drizzled on some flock, than another dab and drizzled on some Garage Floor Dust (TM) which is one of the best basing materials I’ve ever discovered, despite it’s humble origins!

Finally I edged the base in black as I wanted a cinematic look (and brown just looked weird) and done! So the first group are complete, and (deep breath) – here are the pics!

Bargain At Calth (or – 30k for under £5? YES WE CAN!)

How do, Dan here again – getting the hang of this typing malarkey. Jim’s given me the keys to the blog as long as I promise no naked belly dancing pictures.

I promise nothing.

Since we started dipping our toe back into 40k and it’s boutique cousin, 30k (aka the Horus Heresy) a while back, we’ve been hearing the name “Betrayal at Calth” bandied about with much excitement about the variety and quality of the miniatures included in it. The consensus seems to be that it’s an excellent starter set for anyone planning a 30k Space Marine army, containing 30 Marines in Mk 4 power armour, a Chaplain, a Terminator Captain and 5 Cataphractii Terminators, plus a Contemptor Dreadnought – yours for just £95.

Hmm.

£95.

Hmm.

That kind of goes against our cheap ‘n’ cheerful, DIY ethos. But as it turns out, Betrayal At Calth is in fact a board game with miniatures – in intent, at least. To 99% of the internet, it’s miniatures with some dice and bits of cardboard cluttering the box up.

However, this can work to our advantage – a little bit of eBay reconnaissance shows that there seems to be a cottage industry in buying BaC boxes, stripping out the minis and selling them on.. but that leaves the game pieces for sale at absolutely knockdown prices.

And thus it was that we discovered a seller offering the complete BaC kit sans minis for £4.99. Yes, you read that right. Well, we’ve sold a couple of copies of Apocalypse: Earth over at Wargame Vault, so we cashed in and went for it. A few days later, and lookie lookie what turns up in the post:

Shiny shiny.

Typical GW, even the box is laaaaaaarvely, loads of artwork and pics of beautifully painted minis adorning the side – a nice throw back to the days of the 90s classic Space Crusade.

Rulebook, board segments, cards, dice and tokens

Beautifully illustrated rulebook, replete with plenty of fluff, gorgeous artwork and photos.

The rulebook contains some in depth fluff on the battle of Calth and the Heresy (Spoiler alert – Word Bearers are BAD GUYS) which give plenty of atmosphere, as well as containing the rules and six scenarios to play through. My only criticism here is the rules are somewhat unclearly expressed – the Critical Hit rules weren’t clear until we watched a Warhammer TV playthrough of the game, and it was only then we realised about rubble hexes giving cover. This is in the rulebook, just not where you expect it to be. Props to GW for including a handy reference chart on the back page, though, good thinking!

The board

The board itself is a hex board, four interlocking sections that are double sided and depict the ruined arcologies of the once verdant world of Calth. These can be rearranged to create all manner of different floorplans with red bordered hexes representing blocked terrain and dotted line bordered hexes representing rubble – slowing movement but conferring a cover bonus.

Dice – contain Hit, Critical Hit and Shield symbols

There are also a deck of cards giving reference stats for all the units

Gameplay wise, it’s pretty straightforward, every unit has a Bulk rating (how many can fit in a hex), Melee and Shoot ratings all allowing different numbers of dice to be rolled.

But straightforward doesn’t mean bad. In fact, this is a really fun game, fast paced and cinematic with the Command Cards adding an extra dimension (a special mention is the Word Bearers’ “Would You Fire On Your Brother?” – sneaky… very sneaky..). It seems to be pretty well balanced as well, we’re pretty much even on victories through the first three scenarios. Alternating activation and the tactical point system makes it much more flexible than 40k/ 30k and has produced some great moments.

In terms of replay value, although there are only six scenarios included in the book, there’s plenty of variation to be had in terms of weapon loadouts etc. There’s also a lot to be said for the “board game” nature of BaC – quick set up and pack down, missions play through in 30-45 minutes meaning there’s plenty of opportunities for replay, campaigns etc.

Now..the million dollar question – is it worth the money? £95 is a LOT of money.. but if you’re coming at it from the perspective of a 30k player looking to start an army (or armies) it probably is – certainly, by comparison to most GW starter sets, it’s a bargain. However, we’re not really arsed about that, we’re thinking about the £4.99 we paid for the game itself, and the answer is a resounding YES. BaC is fun, fast, and a great laugh. Not only that, but it’s given us some ideas…. Originally we were planning to play this with flats or tokens, but then we remembered these guys.

I’d thoroughly recommend this approach to anyone with an existing 40k or 30k collection, as GW have a few tidy looking games out at the moment which plenty of people seem to buy purely to asset strip the miniatures from – Burning Of Prospero and Deathwatch Overkill look particularly interesting, not to mention all the long out of print stuff floating around the net in PDF form. And not just GW – there’s a fantastic game I remember playing as a kid called FireFight which was tile/ boardgame style – I’ll get my Google Fu on the case!

So, in the meantime – Space Marines and greenskins are going to get a repaint, and not only that, but we can investigate a whole host of other classic GW (and others) boxed games – look forward to DIY Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Advanced Space Crusade and a whole bunch more!

Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!