All Scars painting challenge – The Survivor Series 2017 – May

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by vobeskhan

Well May is our second Showcase month of the year so I wanted to do a character model for my SAMCRO Black Legion.

I recently built a Sorcerer with jump pack to accompany my Raptor Talon in a game (though technically it’s possessed winged backpack rather than a jump pack). Using a combination of Raptor and Calth marine parts, along with a Chaos Knight lance for the force staff he quickly came together and performed quite well in his game against the dreaded Dark Angels.

In honour of this performance I decided to decorate his base with the helmet of one of his fallen foes (or should that be Fallen allies?) along with a piece of terrain to go with the ruined piece he appears to be leaping off from.

I made a quick start, getting the model primed in black as usual, then getting the astrogranite and base ready. Then unfortunately I seemed to lose impetus and left the model lounging on the table for most of the month.

Until today that is, I felt the desire to paint and set myself up to do so while watching the Monaco Grand Prix. I expected to get a good way through the painting but surprised myself by getting it totally finished (a decal will be applied once its all dry and I get the opportunity).

The photos are terrible as I used my phone camera (hopefully will get some better ones done using my daughters camera when she gets back off holiday).

So here he is, my Talon Sorcerer of Tzeentch with combi-melta and force staff.

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D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – Goblins everywhere!

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2017 by vobeskhan

So we reach the end of another round of sessions for my three tables. I shall as always try to be as spoiler free as possible but some things might be inferred from the comments below.

Tuesday table 1

The team replaced their fallen elf ranger with a human cleric and decided that having reached the lower level now was the time to blitz the dungeon. A tactic which looked to be working well for them for the most part – up until the fell afoul of a trap which also alerted the nearby foes. While the ensuing battle went their way they were bruised, battered and their resources severely depleted. As another swathe of foes approached they made a swift retreat to what they hope will be a safe room to rest and recuperate.

Wednesday table 2

With a couple of their comrades returned from holidays the party were able to return to some previously troubling puzzles, figuring out what the fountains did with the help of a kobold accomplice. They then encountered the main goblin encampment and were deep in the thick of it when the session drew to a close.

Wednesday table 3

The party had the gnome cleric they had rescued use his channel divinity to open the cold stone door and encountered the undead within. They also then worked out what the fountains did, before finally encountering the missing dragon. However, unlike the other two groups, these decided that the evil beast needed to be destroyed and battled it to the death! Spurred on by their victory they also then found the goblin encampment and engaged the goblins within, narrowly securing a victory but has the violent and noisy combat alerted others nearby?

 

All Scars Glory Hogs – late start but taking off at a sprint

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by vobeskhan

So I’ve been a bit lax in getting my opening games played in our Path to Glory mini-campaign but this weekend saw my first two battles.

Battle 1 – playing the Pillage mission against Jon’s Khorne warband.

Jon’s warband is a beauty to behold. His models are all converted to be bestial, his maulerfiend is a converted AoS beast, and his rhinos are a gorka trukk and a taurox – added to this they are immaculately painted too – it’s almost enough to make you not want to destroy him …….. almost.

Pillage is a strange mission where you score your points at the end of your opponents turn rather than your own so takes a bit of strategic planning to hold on to those Loot objectives.

Jon took an early lead of 5-2 after the first few rounds but then my heldrake came on, and in a surprise move after its initial arrival, dropped into hover mode and moved back to sit on an objective bravely weathering a meltagun troopers fire to bring me back to a 6-6 draw.

The following round proved decisive though with many of my units finishing off his last few and his Jugger-lord failing to finish off my rhino to bring the final score to a 10-7 victory for the Rising Sons.

The Sons earned 2 Favour points and added Darhma the Azure, a terminator armoured level 2 Sorcerer to their ranks. Burdon the Warplord gained the Soulscream ability, causing fear to his enemies!

Battle 2 – modified tactical objective game (3 objectives, non-mysterious) against Mark’s Khorne warband.

Wow, this looked like it was going to be an uphill struggle as Mark had 2 land raiders, a defiler, termies, Lord, Chosen and a spawn.

Mark took the lead with lucky card pulls in the first round, and my only point coming from first blood as his Spawn succumbed to soulblaze (caused from a hit from my rhino’s havoc launcher)! 2-1 to Khorne.

Round 2 and Mark’s luck with the cards fails him but my heldrake arrives and I manage to pull a point back. 2-2.

Round 3, Mark’s termies wreck my rhino and have reduced my bikes to just the lord and aspiring champion, both our defilers are immobilised but his has also lost its scourge and I still have my warpsmith. One of his landraiders vaporises Darhma with lascannon fire but thankfully my Aspiring Sorcerer manifests a single power and gets me Harness the Warp for a point. 3-2 to Tzeentch!

Round 4 and it all starts to go wrong for Mark. His Lords raider is destroyed, his chosen are chopped liver and his lord charges into mine. Despite him taking out my aspiring champ my own lord then introduces his rectum to a power sword enema. The heldrake once again takes a cheeky hover mode and skims behind a building to not only claim a secure objective card but also “behind enemy lines” too. With Slay the Warlord this brings it to 6-3 to Tzeentch.

We did begin round 5 with Mark having his immobilised defiler shoot my remaining thousand sons but only got rid of about half, his landraider tried to shoot down my lord but his Tzeentch blessed Sigil saves him from all harm and so Mark concedes it there. My own defiler had also regenerated its HP (IWND) and had its immobilization repaired (on the second attempt) by the warpsmith.

Rolling for favour and the dice gods were truly with me – 3 Favour points!

Burdon gained a Lesser Reward in the form of an Arcane Vessel, wow, being able to heal d3 wounds if he successfully denies the witch (on top of his IWND from his Immovable Object warlord trait)!

And as this was my second battle in the same week, using our campaign house rules, rather than another new unit I got to upgrade an existing one, so the thousand son unit gained the Adepts of the Hidden Path – a once per battle teleport for a unit with ap3 bolters, 4+ invulnerable and fearless, thank you very much 🙂

D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – Death in the dark

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by vobeskhan

Last night completed the round of third sessions for my trio of tables down at Tabletop Tyrants. As before, all three are exploring the Sunless Citadel but have taken slightly different approaches and made their own progress.

While I’m hoping to avoid spoilers for each group some may slip through so I apologise in advance.

Again this round we have seen a couple of deaths amongst the tables :

  • Tuesday (table 1) had what has been one of the most memorable ones for me, with Melissa’s ranger copying a maneuver that ended badly for Phil’s ranger and ended with her hitting the floor at a literally break-neck speed!
  • Wednesday (table 2) and Jack S’s cleric met a demise in the first half hour of the session. Thankfully his companions dragged his corpse back to safety where it received a faction raise and they were then able to proceed apace.
  • Wednesday (table 3) still remain the only table not to have suffered a character death, though they are also the ones to make the least progress through the Citadel so far. Their cautious approach is certainly safer but low risk often equates to low reward.

All three groups have now encountered the Citadels second group of inhabitants in some form or another – the Goblins!

All three groups have also encountered and freed the goblin’s prisoners – three kobolds and the gnome priest Erky.

So how are each tables progress then:

  • Tuesday (table 1) have recovered and returned the missing dragon, and found the way down to the lower level.
  • Wednesday (table 2) have recovered and returned the dragon but are yet to discover the way down.
  • Wednesday (table 3) have just begun to foray into goblin territory, no dragon or way down yet.

What will the series of session fours bring? Will table 3 make it a death-free quartet or will the grim reaper finally claim one of their number?

New 40k – what we know so far

Posted in 40k with tags , on May 1, 2017 by vobeskhan

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Admittedly, when we first heard that 8th edition was imminent and would be taking an Age of Sigmar style route many of us felt as betrayed as Horus did. However, GW have been showing us gradually that it’s not all doom and gloom (even in the Grimdark future), and that the lessons learned from the AOS initial release have enabled them to bring forth a new edition of 40k which I for one am actually quite excited for.

Rather than repeat what they have shown us here I will simply direct you to the Warhammer Community site for their regular updates. But I will cover a few of the points with my own views.

What we do know is that we’ll get the basic rules for free and there will be the basic information for your factions available too. Hard copies will be coming and I guess will include bonus stuff that the free version might not (fair play they need to make money still) but to get going you’re not going to need to outlay a lot of cash. If the recently released Traitor Legions book gets invalidated I will be pissed off, especially since it basically replaced the Black Legion Supplement and the Traitors Hate book itself after I had forked out for them too, no word yet on whether the formations within it will still be usable (though it was said that the recent Gathering Storm stuff would be so I hold out a hope).

They’re advocating 3 play styles: Open, Narrative and Matched. Open seems pretty much what the old “unbound” format was (just bring and battle). Narrative looks to be the one I’m going to be more focussed on, forces picked according to a story-based reason rather than just because of their death-star combos. Matched pretty much will be the tournament style from the sounds of it, though this can easily combine with the Narrative style I reckon to make for some very interesting games.

Gone are the Armour values for vehicles, everything uses the same style profiles and vehicles will be multi-wound with decent saving throws. The Movement stat is back, with different factions and unit types having differing movement rates – this to me feels good as Eldar/Nids should be more mobile than Guards/Marines/Necrons.

One big change is that templates are gone! Flamers have a range  and hit D6 models automatically – I’m very interested to see how this works with my heldrakes (though haven’t seen anything about flyers in particular so far).

Weapons will also have save modifiers rather than a flat AP value, for example a bolter doesn’t change your save target but a lascannon gives you a -3 penalty (so a marine in power armour can survive a hit on a 6!). Some weapons will give multiple shots, eg heavy bolters, while others will inflict multiple wounds on a single target, again the lascanon is their example causing D6 damage – excellent for taking shots at those pesky multi-wound vehicles and monsters but a bit of a waste shooting a guardsman (though it will still kill him and sometimes it may be necessary – the important part of overkill is the last four letters!).

Running, turbo-boosting, flat-out vehicles – this all takes place in the Movement phase now rather than the shooting, kind of makes sense as it’s a continuation of the movement.

A big one they revealed too is that you can move out of combat! Yes it will incur penalties and limit the actions the unit can take during the rest of the turn but this is huge. No longer can you be locked in to a combat if you dont want to be. Not only can units that aren’t ideal for assault retreat but dedicated assault units cant be bogged down by swarms/hordes if they would be better suited chasing down other targets. I’m really looking forward to this as I have a new-found love of my raptors and warp talons.

The psychic phase gets a massive overhaul and as a follower of the Dark Gods I do like my sorcerers so I’m still on the fence for this until we see the full version. However, the tease tells us that psykers can cast as many powers as their mastery levels (and enemy psykers can attempt to dispel as many as theirs). Each faction will have their own powers but every psyker will know SMITE – a power that can inflict Mortal Wounds, which can’t be saved by anything! WHAT! Psykers are the new D-weapons!

Remember those penalties for leaving combat I mentioned, well apparently no shooting is one of them, I guess the unit is too busy getting the feck out of there to do so. Running (or Advancing as its renamed) also prevents shooting, as does having an enemy within 1″ – unless you’re equipped with a pistol, which you can then shoot in his face. And yes this includes when you’re in combat (those raptors are looking more and more fun)!

You still can’t have other units shoot into the combat, but with the option to either fall back or shoot the fighting units pistols it’s going to be a tactical choice.

Heavy weapons and vehicles take a -1 to hit if they move (looks like snap fire is gone, though no word on how that affects shooting flyers yet).

Cover gets an overhaul too, with it increasing the saves in a similar way to the weapon modifiers decreasing it but with hopefully better clarifications on who counts as in cover and when (none of this “well my knights toe is on the terrain base so I get a cover save” bullshit).

As always these are just my thoughts on the teasers they have revealed to date. You might not agree, and that’s fine

 

Black Legion – built via the All Scars Painting Challenges

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by vobeskhan

So we’ve been running the All Scars Survivor Series Painting Challenge for some time now and I decided to work out how many points of my Black Legion Chaos Space Marine force I had managed to get done through my pledges.

Starting with the 750 points in 75 day challenge then continuing through 2015, 2016 and so far in 2017, this is what I have completed.
++ Unbound Army (Faction) (Chaos Space Marines: Codex (2012)) [5418pts] ++

+ HQ +

Abaddon the Despoiler [265pts]: Warlord

Chaos Lord [190pts]: Bike, Bolt Pistol, Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Power Sword, Sigil of corruption, The Hand of Darkness, Veterans of the Long War

Chaos Lord [160pts]: Bike, Bolt Pistol, Combat familiar, Mark of Khorne, Power Armour, Power Fist, Sigil of corruption, Veterans of the Long War

Daemon Prince [340pts]: Mastery Level 3, Power Armour, Spell familiar, The SpineShiver Blade, Tzeentch, Wings

Dark Apostle [130pts]: Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta, Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer [220pts]: 2x Additional Mastery Level, Bike, Bolt Pistol, Force Stave, Last Memory of Yuranthos, Mark of Tzeentch, Melta bombs, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, Spell familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer [185pts]: 2x Additional Mastery Level, Force Stave, Mark of Tzeentch, Melta bombs, Plasma Pistol, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, Spell familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Warpsmith [140pts]: Aura of dark glory, Bolt Pistol, Mark of Tzeentch, Power Axe, Veterans of the Long War

+ Elites +

Helbrute [120pts]: Plasma cannon, Power scourge

Possessed [205pts]: Mark of Tzeentch, 4x Possessed, Possessed Champion, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Rhino: Combi-bolter, Dirge Caster, Warpflame Gargoyles

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [75pts]: 9x Cultists, Heavy Stubber, Mark of Tzeentch, 8x Replace Autopistol with Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Shotgun

Chaos Cultists [75pts]: Cultist Champion, 9x Cultists, Flamer, Mark of Nurgle

Chaos Terminators [255pts]: Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Chaos Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Terminator Champion: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw
. Terminator with Heavy Weapon: Chainfist, Reaper Autocannon

Chosen [295pts]: 9x Chosen with Boltgun, CCW and Boltpistol, Icon of Flame, Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War
. Chosen Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bomb, Power Sword
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul
. Replace CCW w/ Power Weapon: Power Maul

Chosen [190pts]: 5x Chosen with Boltgun, CCW and Boltpistol, Mark of Tzeentch, 4x Replace boltgun w/ Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chosen Champion: Boltgun, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Bikers [180pts]: 4x Chaos Biker, Mark of Nurgle, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Biker Champion: Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Chaos Bikers [180pts]: 4x Chaos Biker, Icon of Flame, Mark of Tzeentch, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War
. Chaos Biker Champion: Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Heldrake [170pts]: Baleflamer

+ Heavy Support +

[FW] Chaos Land Raider Proteus [355pts]: Ark of Unnameable Horror, Armoured Ceramite, Dirge Caster, Maelific Ammunition on Heavy Bolters, Multi-Melta, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Warpflame Gargoyles

[FW] Chaos Spartan Assault Tank [372pts]: All heavy Bolters to have Maelific Ammo, Armoured Ceramite, Dirge Caster, Frag Assualt Launchers, Havoc Launcher, Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, Two Sponson-mounted Quad Lascannons, Warpflame Gargoyles

Chaos Land Raider [240pts]: Dirge Caster, Warpflame Gargoyles

Chaos Vindicators [140pts]
. Chaos Vindicator: Dirge Caster, Siege Shield, Warpflame Gargoyles

Defiler [230pts]: Dirge Caster, Power Scourge, Reaper Autocannon, Warpflame Gargoyles

Forgefiend [200pts]: Additional Ectoplasma Cannon, Two Hades Autocannon

Havocs [206pts]: 5x Havoc, Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
. Aspiring Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Power Fist
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles
. Missile Launcher: Flak Missiles

Havocs [175pts]: 4x Havoc, 3x Heavy Bolter, Lascannon, Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
. Aspiring Champion: Melta Bombs, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword

+ Fortification +

Imperial Bastion [125pts]: Gun Emplacement with Quad-gun

++ Total: [5418pts] ++

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D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – I must be crazy

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2017 by vobeskhan

So the new season of Adventurers League story arc is upon us, and it’s not the same as previous ones. This time the adventure consists of remastered classic dungeon crawls collected together in the one hardback.

Now when I hear the title and that it wold be a dungeoncrawl my brain automatically screamed “Undermountain!” but sadly the mega dungeon below Waterdeep doesn’t even get a look in. The only link being that the books premise is that adventurers from all over gather at the Yawning Portal to swap tales of their exploits in these “Legendary” dungeons.

That’s not to say I don’t like the book, its good and some of the adventures within are amongst my personal top 10.

Another change this season is that I am the only DM for Adventurers League this time around as our other regulars take time out for other games (or to continue their current Storm Kings game beyond the AL banner), this means that with the recent influx of new players I will be running 3 separate tables of 7 players apiece on fortnightly schedules (1 on a Tuesday evening, the other 2 on alternate Wednesday evenings), in addition to my fortnightly paid-DMing for a roll20 campaign and a monthly game with the local Hackspace group. This might sound like a lot, but I really enjoy DMing, especially if its bringing new players to the game and in the past I had even been running games 6 days out of 7 on a regular basis.

So who are my victims this season:

Tuesday (team 1) is a mixture of returning players and new players (to our AL group at least)

  • Phil (elf ranger)
  • Stuart (elf rogue)
  • John (human barbarian) new player
  • Elliot (dwarf fighter) new player
  • Jason (tiefling warlock)
  • Rose (gnome druid)
  • Melissa (half-elf ranger) new player

Wednesday (team 2) is mostly my previous Storm Kings group with a couple of returning players and a new addition

  • Jon (dwarf fighter)
  • Lee (bugbear barbarian)
  • Jack S (assimar cleric)
  • Tim (kobold ranger)
  • Morgan (assimar rogue)
  • Josh P (elf wiard)
  • Tommy (dwarf cleric) new player

Wednesday (team 3) is a mixture of newer players and some that while in our group for a while havent been on my table before.

  • Jack P (half orc barbarian)
  • Joshua P (elf ranger)
  • Sil (tiefling warlock)
  • Kieran (human fighter) new player
  • Lucie (gnome wizard) new player
  • Kara (elf ranger) new player
  • Vin (aasimar paladin)

As I prepared for the first sessions I realised the opening adventure, the Sunless Citadel, was written with a party of 4 in mind so using the AL and DMG guidelines I went through it and recalculated the encounters for my larger parties so as to maintain the challenges. I also noticed that the adventure had 3 different suggested hooks to get the players involved so decided to give each group a different one (though through interaction with npc’s etc they could uncover the other hooks in the course of the game).

As each table is progressing at a different rate I wont go into extreme detail on their sessions so far but it’s certainly been interesting to see how they have tackled the same adventure in their own ways.

Some things they have all done though so I can comment on those without fear of spoilers.

Meepo – the kobold keeper of the dragon. All three groups encountered him, and all three chose to interact with him rather than just slaughter him outright (maybe there’s hope for some of them yet). A source of little information but certainly some amusement, he was easily convinced to take the parties to his queen, Yusdrayl.

Queen Yusdrayl of the kobold clan inhabiting this part of the citadel, surrounded by her guards was willing to “recruit” the parties to recover her missing dragon in return for some of her treasures. She was able to tell the heroes that the goblins seem to be working for a man down in the grove below the ruins of the citadel and he gives the goblins the magic apples they’d heard of.

This is where the three groups begin to diverge on their progress however, some took Meepo with them as a guide, some left him behind so he didn’t get hurt. As I write this we have just wrapped up the second session for each group (around 7-8 hours gameplay each table) and interestingly enough 2 of the 3 have suffered their first pc deaths each and the ones that haven’t come close yesterday with both the barbarian and paladin being taken unconscious.

Looking ahead, I am planning on running the corresponding “expedition” adventures interspersed with the hardcover to allow us access to the additional content and Faction rewards.