Tale of Gamers: Update

My second Tale Of Gamers battle is scheduled in for next week, and I’m still on track having finished my first 250pts of reinforcements.

I’ve decided that my force is a little slow at the moment, so have added in two Taurox Primes – one with a Gatling Cannon and Volley Guns to deal with infantry, and the other with Autocannons and a Missile Launcher to deal with light vehicles (and ‘cos it looks so darn cool). This gave me 60pts left over, which coincidentally is what five Stormtroopers cost – so both squads are now bulked out a little bit. Next month’s additions are already under way, with a Command Squad assembled so I can start using those lovely, lovely orders.

The plain black panels were a stylistic choice on my part – Inquisitor Ariada du Bois doesn’t tend to announce her presence, so it makes sense that her vehicles would be unmarked except for the Imperial Aquilla. I am tempted to pick up Forge World’s brass Inquisition sheet sometime, however, to decorate the plain panels with the Inquisitorial =][=.

Reinforcements!

Yep, I did keep the tops removable so that I could paint the interior & crew.

I’ve also been working dilligently on my Tyranids, painting them as a splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan. The contrast between the albino skin and the deep purple chitin is such a fantastic look, and I’ve also kept the red to a minimum by avoiding using it on the guns. This is really just a stylistic choice on my part but, as the models are beautifully sculpted to have their forearms meshed into the weapon, I wanted to keep it all one uniform colour so that the gun really looks like part of the creature – you can’t tell where the creature ends and the weapon-symbiote begins.

Unfortunately they are currently leaderless as my Hive Tyrant hasn’t got a base, but the troops and heavy support choices are coming along nicely. I’m particularly happy with the Carnifexes – aside from being stunning models they were also a joy to paint, and I can’t wait to get them on the table.

They’re not quite finished yet – there’s still a few details like teeth, eyes and the bases to finish.

And finally, I’ve been working on another model I love, Forge World’s Inquisitor Solomon Lok. I’m not sure if he’ll be appearing in my Tale Of Gamers army yet to assist Ariada, but it’s such a characteristic model I just had to paint him. I’ve chosen quite a muted colour scheme as, what with the hood and cloak, Lok looks to me like he would be able to blend in with the citizens of the Imperium if he needed to go undercover. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to get a good shot of him when he’s painted in such a dark colour scheme!

That’s all for now, though I’ll be updating again soon with more painting progress and my charity Magic The Gathering tiger deck.

Take care,

Ben

Tale of Gamers: Part 1.5

After my disastrous performance last week and, as one of our group wasn’t able to make it down, we arranged another Tale Of Gamers game this week. There was conflict in the Ordos this week, as Ariada and her force went up against a Deathwatch kill-team! Who had sent this rival Deathwatch force, and what was their agenda?

* * *

The first turn saw Ariada and her retinue advancing into cover, and Ariada had clearly been practising her psychic powers as she managed to cast Forewarning on her unit. Safe behind the psychic barrier, I ran them out of cover and forwards to close the distance to the nearby Deathwatch squad. Meanwhile, my own Deathwatch kill-team ‘Andromeda’ advanced in the open, moving up towards Artemis. The Jokaero, deployed separately from my Inquisitorial retinue this time, aimed his digi-weapons at the Venerable Dreadnaught, but missed the hulking machine.

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Inquisitor Ariada du Bois and her retinue move forward.

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The opposing Deathwatch forces.

In response, Mark’s Deathwatch squad moved forward, the Infernus-pattern Heavy Bolter chattering as they advanced and cutting down a couple of Acolytes. Meanwhile, Artemis and the Venerable Dreadnaught opened fire on kill-team Andromeda, the Plasma Cannon vaporising the watch sergeant and Artemis’ Boltgun taking another one down. Despite being hard-bitten veteran Space Marines and the presence of a Commissar amongst them, kill-team Andromeda promptly rolled a double six for their morale check, falling back from the overwhelming firepower directed at them.

Turn two started with a roar of engines and rotor-blades as Inquisitorial drop-ships swung in low, hatches thrown open as both squads of my Stormtroopers disembarked. Team Alpha landed behind the Venerable Dreadnaught, opening fire with both Plasma Guns at short range. Despite inflicting two penetrating hits, I managed to roll two one’s on the damage table, leaving the Dreadnaught standing. Squad Beta opted for a safer deployment, landing within 6″ of Ariada’s mystic to avoid scattering. This did put them at long range, however, and they were only able to land a couple of wounds on Mark’s Deathwatch. Once again, the Jokaero missed the Dreadnaught with his Digi-Weapons. Ariada and her retinue charged into the remaining Deathwatch marines, the Death-Cult Assassins striking first thanks to their I6… and wiping out the whole unit in a flurry of Power Sword attacks. Maybe this is where I was going wrong in previous games, as I never managed to get these two into combat before!

With just Artemis and the Venerable Dreadnaught left, Mark’s Deathwatch went for an all-out offensive. Artemis opened up with his flamer, finishing off the remaining Acolytes before charging into my Inquisitor and her retinue. The Death-Cult Assassins managed to land a wound on Artemis before he struck back, cutting them both down to avenge his fallen brothers. Ariada du Bois’ Power Sword flashed, though, taking Captain Artemis down to his last wound. The Venerable Dreadnaught, unable to fire its Plasma Cannon, charged into Stormtrooper squad Alpha – however, the veteran Inquisition troops had some rather spectacular rolling, as the overwatch fire from their Plasma Guns finished off the Dreadnaught before it could reach them.

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Bursts of plasma fire bring down the mighty Venerable Dreadnaught.

Onto turn three! Seeing Ariada’s retinue engaging Artemis, the Commissar and kill-team ‘Andromeda’ moved forward, rolling high enough to charge into the opposing Deathwatch captain. Artemis and Inquisitor du Bois were engaged in a cinematic duel, power weapons flashing as they blocked and parried one another. Artemis landed a wound on Ariada, while her attacks in return were blocked by his Iron Halo. The showdown was brought to an abrupt ending as – in a rather anti-climactic ending – the charging Deathwatch kill-team ganged up on Artemis, clubbing him down with their shotgun butts. As the Stormtroopers moved onto the objectives, the Inquisition claimed a victory at last!

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Captain Artemis and Inquisitor Ariada prepare for a climatic showdown…

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…only for my Deathwatch kill-team to steal the glory and club Artemis down with their shotgun butts.

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Inquisitorial Stormtroopers move through the tangle of tank-traps and razorwire.

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Stormtrooper squad beta moves onto the objective.

* * *

This seemed to go a lot better than my last couple of games – while I’m sure that part of it was down to the AP3 Power weapons and Hellguns in my army, I think that having the Jokaero separate from the rest of Ariada’s retinue was a big help as it allowed her to move around freely without having to worry about the Jokaero firing (though, to be fair, the little creature couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn this game!). Similarly, deep-striking the Stormtroopers was a massive help in taking out priority targets such as the Dreadnaught, and made them much more effective than before when they were foot-slogging it across the field. I’m learning, slowly! :P

I’ve made a start on painting the next 250pts – just base coats so far, but it’s progress at least. Also picked up Michele McLaughlin’s latest album to listen to while painting, which – if you like piano music – I would highly recommend :)

20170221_180244Take care,

Ben

Tale of Gamers: Part 1

So, with my first 500pts fully painted, Inquisitor Ariada du Bois and her strike-force took to the field of battle. Investigating a PDF fuel station that had been trasmitting unauthorised data to an unknown source, Ariada arrives to find the area overrun. A force of Dark Eldar are still in the area and, more mysteriously, an Adeptus Mechanicus battlegroup arrives at the depot, refusing to answer her requests for identification before opening fire on the Inquisition…

* * *

Due to an odd number of players, I ended up in a three player game against Tom’s Dark Eldar from last week and an Adeptus Mechanicus force. Setting up in the cover of the treeline against a worrying number of vehicles, my forces quickly ran afoul of the ordnance templates the AdMech threw in to them, quickly decimating Ariada’s retinue and killing enough Stormtroopers that both units fled before they could even fire a shot. The Deathwatch engaged the Dark Eldar, their shotguns taking out two of the Reaver jetbikes before killing the final one. However, it was not enough as the Adeptus Mechanicus continued their advance with overwhelming firepower (Assault 3 Radiation guns as basic weapons on a whole squad!), forcing my remaining forces off the board in short order. No models left, and unable to kill even a single AdMech model before they took me out – not quite what I’d hoped for from the first game.

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The battlefield!

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The Dark Eldar forces skim forward along the abandoned PDF trenchline.

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Inquisitor Ariada du Bois and her Stormtroopers move into position.

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The Deathwatch take an objective.

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The Adeptus Mechanicus close in.

Still, onwards and upwards. Ariada can call in reinforcements for next time, as I get to add 250pts of models to the force. I’m currently swaying between adding one Taurox Prime and bulking both Scion squads up to ten men each, or adding in two Taurox Primes and then bulking each Scion squad up by two or three men. Given how quickly my Stormtroopers were forced off the board, I’m leaning towards giving both squads a transport to hide in…

Assembly is already under way, with both Tauroxes assembled and the Scions next!

Take care,

Ben

Returning to the grim darkness of the far future

You have been told of the Inquisition; that shadowy organisation which defends Mankind and the Emperor from the perils of heresy, possession, alien dominance and rebellion.
You have been told the Inquisition are the ultimate defence against the phantoms of fear and terror which lurk in the darkness between the stars.
You have been told the Inquisition are the bright saviours in an eclipse of evil; purest and most devoted warriors of the Emperor.
You have been told the Inquisition is united in its cause to rid the galaxy of any threat, from without or within.

Everything you have been told is a lie!

* * *

I’ve joined in with a Tale Of Gamers that’s being run by my local club, and next Wednesday is the end of the first month when we’re all meant to have painted our first 500pts. I’ve still got a bit of work to do on mine in finishing my Inquisitor and painting my Stormtroopers, but I’m confident that I can get them all done over the weekend :) It’s been a few years now since I last played Warhammer 40K – in fact, I don’t think I’ve actually played 7th edition at all – so this week I decided to get a practise game in to refresh my memory of the rules.

We went for a small 524pt game (an odd value!), so I just chucked a couple of extra Stormtroopers into my 500pt force. My opponent ran his Archon along with nine Warriors in a Raider, accompanied by ten Warriors in another Raider and three Reaver jetbikes. I chose Inquisitor Ariada du Bois as my warlord (I think this epitomises my attitude to this – I know enough that tactically it makes more sense to have the Commissar as my warlord since then I’d get two warlord traits, but this is an Inquisitorial task force, so of course the Inquisitor has to be the one in charge!), rolling Unquestionable Wisdom on the Ordo Xenos table. Deploying in the ruins of an Imperial city, our forces prepared to battle!

20170208_190833The Inquisition went first, with the psychic energies ebbing low as Ariada failed to cast Prescience. Despite this, the Jokaero in her retinue fired off a beam of blinding energy from one of his digi-weapons, the shot slicing through the Archon’s raider and sending it crashing to the ground in flames! Devoid of his transport, the Archon and remaining bodyguards moved forward into cover while the second Raider swung around, the Eldar warriors on board firing their weapons at the Deathwatch kill team. Two of the marines fell, but the remaining warriors held their nerve. On the other side of the field, the Reaver jetbikes sped forward, preparing to charge the nearby Stormtroopers. The resulting overwatch fire decimated the unit, as the veteran Inquisitorial troops killed two of the three jetbikes. Perhaps seeing what had just happened to his companions, the remaining Reaver failed to roll high enough to engage the Stormtroopers.

20170208_195244With a thunder of rotor-blades and the scream of jet engines, my second squad of Stormtroopers arrived via drop-ship, opening fire on the Archon’s retinue and whittling them down to just a few models left. The veteran Stormtroopers finished off the remaining Reaver, while the Deathwatch pumped high-velocity shells from their shotguns into the nearby Raider, reducing it to one hull point. The Jokaero was unable to repeat his previous success and so, krak grenades in hand, the Deathwatch charged into the Raider. Another marine was cut down by the blizzard of overwatch fire, but one of the remaining marines managed to attach a grenade to the vehicle… only to roll low and fail to beat the armour, leaving the Raider mobile. In response, the troops on-board finished off the Deathwatch, while the Archon’s squad killed a couple of the newly-arrived Stormtroopers. Rolling a double 6 for their morale, the squad turned tail and fled…. a mighty 2 inches as they rolled a double 1 for their movement :P

20170208_195252The third turn started with the Jokaero missing the Raider (again!) and, perhaps foolishly in hindsight, both squads of Stormtroopers opened fire on the Archon and his retinue. The sustained firing of their plasma weapons suddenly showed, though, as both the Commisar’s plasma pistol and the other squad’s plasma gun exploded, killing their users. The remaining shots finished off the warriors protecting the Archon, though his xenos technology kept him safe from the barrage of hellgun fire. In response, the warriors on-board the Raider finished off one squad of Stormtroopers, while the Archon moved forward and gunned down the remaining models in the other squad with the assistance of the Raider’s dark lance.

20170208_202830Finding herself alone with scant few members of her retinue left, Ariada ended up in hand-to-hand combat with the Dark Eldar Archon. The Jokaero sacrificed itself to save her, and her power sword cut through the eldar’s armour to wound it. Realising that it wouldn’t be enough, Ariada hit the displacement field generator built in to her power armour, teleporting away from the alien leader as Inquisition drop-ships arrived to extract the wounded survivors. A victory to the dark eldar!

It was a rather enjoyable game, which started off well and seemed to go downhill for Ariada and her force. I think my mistake was leaving the second Raider alive – being able to fly around and unleash upwards of 18 shots each turn meant it was able to absolutely decimate my squads, which quickly whittled my forces down. The Archon passing so many invulnerable and Feel No Pain saves didn’t help either :P I think it’s solidified the rules in my head, so I’d better crack on and finish painting the Stormtroopers. Next week I’ll write up a report of their first game, so hope to see you then.

Take care,

Ben

Tale Of Gamers

My local gaming club has started a Tale Of Gamers. For those of you who don’t remember this White Dwarf classic, it was a series of articles from way back in the days of my youth where members of the studio would each collect and paint a new army, adding a set amount of models each month and playing games as the armies grew. I remember loving the articles back when I was a teenager reading White Dwarf, and decided to reignite my interest in 40K and join in. I’ve already got a half-finished Inquisitorial force from years ago when I last played Warhammer 40K (back in the days of the Daemonhunters codex!), and this seemed like an ideal time to finish it.

So, having picked up the up-to-date codices I would need and re-reading the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies for the millionth time as inspiration, I sat down to write up my starting army. First off, an Inquisitor to lead the force – and with the release of the stunning new Inquisitor Greyfax, there was no question as to what model I was going to use. I’ve never been a big fan of using pre-determined characters, though, preferring to write my own backstory…

* * *

Ariada du Bois was born on the Imperial world of Lacus IX, a planet covered entirely with one massive ocean. Cities are built upon tall metal stilts high above the water, with floating gondolas carrying travellers between each city. Due to its proximity to a relatively-stable warp current known as the Daemon’s Tongue, Lacus IX enjoys prosperous trade but also faces regular attacks from the forces of chaos, as well as any xenos races such as the Tyranids who exit the Empyrean at this point.

Born in a family of Praetors, the local law enforcement on the planet, Ariada naturally graduated towards the Praetor academy where she graduated with distinction. The next two decades were spent rising through the ranks, leading a tactical response unit in various engagements ranging from raids on criminal syndicates to being mobilised alongside the PDF against alien incursions. All that changed when her fireteam was requisitioned by Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Janek Luther to assist in an assault on a chaos cult. Displaying bravery and fortitude in the face of the great enemy, Ariada was offered a position on Luther’s staff. Accompanying him on various missions, she was eventually promoted to the rank of interrogator, before progressing to become a fully-fledged Inquisitor. Due to her experience fighting against various alien races on her homeworld, she has recently transitioned to the Ordo Xenos where her experience and talents have led to a successful start to her career.

Recently, Ariada has been chasing a cabal of eldar pirates who have been raiding convoys and supply routes in the Osmeron system. Having chased them to the planet of Thomia Minor and realising that traitors in the local administratum or military are tipping off the pirates to weak and unguarded convoys, Ariada secretly lands her forces on the planet without informing anyone. Gathering her cadre of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers along with an elite Deathwatch kill-team, she prepares a trap for the eldar, creating a fake supply convoy that – as far as all Imperial records are concerned – is carrying weapons and munitions to a local PDF garrison with minimal guards. Following the convoy, Ariada prepares to strike at the Dark Eldar, turning the predator into the prey.

However, Ariada is soon to realise that the situation on Thomia Minor is far more dire than just eldar pirates. A Nurgle cult bent on turning the planet into a daemon-world for their pestilent god; abrasive and disruptive Adeptus Mechanicus forces who see Ariada’s presence as desecrating their techno-shrines; an Imperial Guard garrison who may or may not be harbouring the traitor leaking information to the eldar; a Deathwatch force with their own secretive agenda and no desire to see an Inquisitor stand in their way; and a battalion of Chaos Space Marines set on laying waste to the world.

* * *

Having been out of 40K for a good few years now and having never really paid attention to the meta when I was playing it, I decided that I wanted to build a thematic force. The starting force ended up spanning two codices, thanks to my desire to use Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (who, oddly, aren’t a part of Codex: Imperial Agents for some reason). Leading the force is Inquisitor Ariada du Bois, accompanied by her trusted cadre of acolytes, henchmen and associates. The bulk of the force is made up of elite Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, along with a small Deathwatch kill-team who Ariada has called upon to assist in hunting down the Dark Eldar.

20170204_084019Inquisitor Ariada du Bois herself, armoured in a suit of power armour and armed with her trusty boltgun and power sword.

20170204_084120Ariada’s retinue, consisting of: Angelos and Constantine, her Crusaders; Eirianwen and Aderyn, twin swordswomen from the planet Carthae (Death-Cult Assassins); a Jokaero weaponsmith; Lucius, the mystic; and three acolytes.

*edit – looks like the Jokaero somehow dodged the photo shoot! 

20170204_084037Commissar Johan Klyosov.

20170204_084143Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad alpha. Recruited by Ariada from one of the Inquisition’s many secret bases around the galaxy, these men and women are veterans of combat and well-used to the sort of work that the Inquisition requires of them. With only the undercoat and the first coat of gold done, there’s a lot of work for me to do on these models over the next fortnight!

20170204_084217Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad beta.

20170204_083945Deathwatch killteam ‘Andromeda’. Armoured in matt-black power armour and armed with combat shotguns, kill-team ‘Andromeda’ has worked with Ariada before, and have joined her again to hunt down the dark eldar pirates plaguing the planet.

So, aside from finishing painting the Stormtroopers, some final details on Ariada herself, and finishing the basing, that’s the first month done! I’ve got an allowance of 250pts to add to the force for the next month, and have been deliberating on what to add for the past couple of weeks. Currently I’m thinking of adding in some more Stormtroopers to bring each squad up to 10 men, and maybe adding in a Taurox Prime to add some extra mobility to one squad. I’ve got a couple of games with the force before then, though, so we’ll see how they perform!

Take care,

Ben