Sunday, January 29, 2012

Team Tournament 1-28-2012

So, Kelly's Komix and I hosted a Team Tournament this Saturday - two players each with 1,500 points per player.  Minimum point value for a list was 1,485.  Scenarios were drafted and sent out to all participants ahead of time so they could know what to expect and what to expect in terms of having forces painted fully for the tournament.  The result was 11 of 14 armies fully painted when they hit the table to the minimum of three colors, with the other three armies either primed and in painting progress, or with a few models which were still in the primer because the player was in the process of upgrading his army to a 1, 500 point force. In any case it was a fantastic time for everyone who participated - at least I hope it was.  The scenarios were more balanced than they have been in many prior home-brewed scenarios, but they were also challenging to both sides.  Nothing says challenging when the scenarios resulted in only a few teams earning major victories, and no team going fully undefeated in the tournament!  So, in that vein the tournament was a smashing success and I felt that it went well.  So, here are some photos with a bit of commentary!

 Steven, Scott, Kevin and Andrew battling for the ruins of an Imperial city.
 Another view of the Imperial city besieged by Dark Eldar!
 As you can see, the Grey Knights have been completely corrupted to join forces with the Dark Eldar - or they are combating some Slaanesshi horrors which have captured the city.
 Eldar arrive on the table to fight to the death against the might of the Grey Knights.
 The Imperium's lines have been compromised and they have been forced to ally with Orks against the invasion of the Necrons!
 Here we see two tables in action at once - from right to left are Jason, Justin, Rylen, John, Jarred, Dennis, Matt and Josh, all of them commanding their forces and studying the positions and how to capture the objectives!
 The two teams squaring off to fight to the death - since it was teams and not themed the players picked their force and their partner and then joined up to fight other teams.  In this case we have Necrons and Space Marines against Orks and Blood Angels.  A hard fought engagment - which ended in a draw if I recall correctly!
Chaos and Space Marines squaring off with the Necrons over a rural agri-world.  The Necrons emerged victorious by holding one major objective and contesting the other major objective and tying for control of the minor objectives.
Space Marines being slaughtered in the courtyard by the Lychguard and Nemessor Zahndrekh.
The greater Daemon and his allied space marines slaughtering the Necron Triarch Praetorians to a man!
More Necrons moving forward to assault the fortifications - the funny part here is the green model in the middle of the Necrons next to the white basecoated Cryptek - that was the Necron Overlord before he got turned into a newt!  Funny event!
Felix looking grimly across at the incoming enemy army - he is seated at the right.
The Blood Angels Terminators emerge to carve a bloody swath through their opponents!
The dreaded Astral Claws being led forward by their allied Lamenter's commander Testiclees!  Custom dreadnought at bottom right is one of mine done for the store owner.  It is a Chaplain with a custom lion head and many other modifications all done on a Bjorn the Fell-handed model, since the store already had one done for the store's Space Wolves army!
Grey Knights squaring off against the might of the Necrons - it was fairly one-sided, but the Necron troopers gave as good as they could against the Grey Knights with two Dreadknights and the Chapter master of the Grey Knights with a full compliment of bodyguards.
Dark Eldar taking the Necrons down a notch or two - or did they?  This side of the engagement was a bit more even with the Necrons destroying quite a few of the Dark Eldar forces and continually moving forward towards the objective.  However, they failed in the end.
Chaos and Dark Angels going against the opposing forces of the Imperium.
Another view of the engagement - nice work on getting another player down to the tournament Scott!  Thanks for coming Steven!
A bit blurry - I was mugged by my kid mid-photo with a hug from behind as the SO brought them by on their Girls Day adventure!
Blood Angels advancing on the Horde!
Kevin's excellent paintjobs on his dark Eldar - all of them were very, very nice.  They looked great on the tabletop and they were quite effective too!
My Necrons advancing against the Grey Knights again - the Monolith lasted one whole turn.  Was really a really ugly turn for my son - who blamed by daughter for rolling the dice for his opponent, Andrew.
My Necrons being commanded by my son complete with the fully lit Necron Monolith!  He was having a great time until his Monolith got blown up - he kept asking when it would re-spawn like in HALO - I told him it wouldn't.  He was a bit peeved by that answer - but he got over it and his team still placed 3rd out of 7!
A final view of the battles from the day before my phone was put away and the photos were left untaken of the third round!  Sorry everyone if I didn't get enough photos taken, but I did try - and now you can share them or print them or whatever.  Enjoy and happy gaming!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Necron Royal Court Conversions

So here is the beginning  of the conversions and I have some Work in Progress photos of them and then a couple of shots of them completed.  I will post another set of photos as they progress through painting and then when they are done I will do a video of the models so you can see the full color change paint effects.
 Here are the figures in the initial stages - as you can see you have essentially two choices for the backs of the figures from each set - the Cryptech figure choices come from the Deathmarks as they have a hood-like armor plate partially covering their head - and the Deathmark head works fine as a Cryptech head - as it is essentially a Lychguard head with one eye instead of two.  I figured that I could cobble together some bits to make the new heads look more cryptech like.  The Necron Lord figures come from the Lychguard box set and I've used some of the back plates from both the Lychguard and Triarch Praetorian figures to build up some nice and different bodies to become the Necron Lords.  Also, I've used bits from the Triarch Praetorian box to make some different bodies for the Cryptechs.
 Above we have a close up of a Cryptech figure in progress - note that the Cryptech is kind of hunched over at the waist and he has an unusually large chin - I think he has more chins than two Chinese phone books - ok, enough Austin Powers humor.
 Above we have in the center another Cryptech conversion in the making - I've used the Triarch Praetorian back on the Immortal torso - a bit of a conversion - but it gives you a nice spinal column looking hood.  Next to him and below you have a Necron Lord conversion in process.  I've added two of the Warscythe blades to the sides of his head and used one of the Triarch Praetorian heads to make a fearsome looking head-dress on a standard Triarch Praetorian torso and Immortal legs.  (note the Immortal/Deathmark legs do  not have the large hip/thigh armor plates like the Lychguard/Triarch Praetorian models).
 Here we have the close up of the Necron Lord conversions in process - note the difference between the legs of the conversion in the center from those of the model at right above.  The huge thigh guards make a noticeable difference from the legs of the Immortal.  At right we have the Triarch Praetorian torso and legs with a Lychguard spinal column and head instead of the standard models.  These simple changes make them distinct enough to become Lords.
 Another view of the workbench and the various parts and models in process of being completed.  Thes two box sets give you loads of bits for conversion purposes and they will make a very nice Royal Court for about $66 for the full ten model compliment.  Please note that I've also used some staves from another box of Lychguard which have the shields and swords options instead of the Triarch Rods of the Covenant.  So, to get the full compliment you will need some extra parts - but then again if you have build any of the Elite choices in the new codex, you should have a few extra bits hanging around to work with on these types of conversions.
 Above we have a close up of three of the Necron Lord conversions in process.  There are three Triarch Praetorian/Lychguard legs used, two Triarch torsos, one Lychguard torso, and all Lychguard heads, with Lychguard spines - which will be further modified.

 Here are the models from the back in partial conversion state - you can see the various modifications of the figures.  The two on the left are the Cryptech conversions - note that they have been bent over at the waist as far as the model will permit to give them the hunched over pose.  The Necron Lord conversions are all upright and use various bits to modify the back of the figure to make them distinct from a standard Triarch Praetorian or Lychguard model.  Use your own creativity to modify the backs of your figures to make them distinct from standard models and you should have not problems using them in games.
 Okay, time for some bits removal and conversions.  Above you can see the Cryptech conversion in process - I've removed the hilt from a sword and affixed it to the chin of the Deathmark model giving the new Cryptech a large chin protrusion - which makes him distinct and gives him an appearance similar to the GW Cryptech in Fine Cast.  I think it also gives him a bit of a stylized chin not uncommon from those of the Pharaohs of Egypt.  This is a simple conversion and theft of a bit from a model which can be done by anyone - feel free to see how it looks on your models.
 Another conversion of a Deatchmark head to create a distinct Cryptech looking head.  Here I've stolen the top of a spinal column/tail device and trimmed it up to add on a distinctive looking large chin device - not too bad and another easy conversion to make a model distinct.
 Here is the standard Deathmark sniper rifle as clipped from the spue to be used to create a Deathmark sniper model.  However, that is not how we are going to use it in this conversion - it is going to become a Cryptech rod of destruction - one of the various types you can use in the special Cryptech models - and since there are various distinct types of Cryptech - it is only fitting that they have distinct rods/staves.
 Here we see the full effect on the nearly complete Cryptech model.  The sniper barrel has been removed from the gun and drilled and pinned into place on the standard Rod of the Covenant/Warscythe hilt to make a distinct looking rod for our Cryptech.  Makes him look a bit meanacing, we will have to see how the rest of my gaming group reacts to this figure when he is fully painted and ready to hit the tabletop!
 Here are the four new Necron Lord conversions now that they are complete - sorry I didn't take more photos of them in process, but I put the camera down and just went to work last night.  On the far left we have the Lord with the special conversion head-dress and a special stave which is a custom Warscythe with a Rod of the Covenant on the other end - in game terms it is just another Warscythe, but in some of our "build a character" types of campaigns it will be something distinct and fun.  The model to the left of center in the back has a standard Warscythe with a converted bit on the weapon to make him distinct from the model at far right.  Both of these models also have large Resurrection Orbs on the top of the spinal column.  The model at right in front also wields a custom double bladed Warscythe built upon a Rod of the Covenant with two blades from the standard Warscythe.  He also has a decorative finial on his spinal column which comes from the top of a Rod of the Covenant trimmed down, filed and fitted to the top of the spine.  Makes him distinct with a bit of a Samurai banner thing going on.  We will see how he looks on the tabletop when he is all painted up and terrorizing the enemy troops!
Above we have the five Cryptech models - the standard GW Cryptech in Fine Cast is center and you can see that with the other models mixed in they all look sufficiently like a Cryptech to make them a fine Royal Court for my Necron army - all that remains is to get them painted up and based to take the field against my opponents.  I hope that those of you who are wondering what to do to create a Royal Court will find some inspirations here and you will take your own creative license from these models to create your distinct Royal Court - as the only way the rest of the Royal Court is going to come out will be Fine Cast - this is a very cost effective and nice method of making your own and it is all tournament legal (if that is your thing!).  You may notice that there are two models missing - and the explanation is that they were already converted, assembled, primed and painted and featured in the color photos of my Necron army in the prior posts - I needed them ASAP for a game to add to my standard squads and give them a bit of a punch since running standard warriors under the new codex requires a few modifications of your standard old-codex army to make them a bit more resilient.  I hope you all enjoyed this mini tutorial on conversions.  It's my first - so enjoy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Turn 2 and it was nearly time!

Following turn 1, of the game.  The American paratroopers in the center were destroyed by the German panzergrenadiers and M-14/41 tanks.

Valentines Day Massacre - Tunisia!

The beginning  of our Valentines Day Massacre for Flames of War!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Necron Conversions to try in your army

So I was working on my Necrons for the first time since I "finished" the army for tournament play over a decade ago.  The codex is completely new, the background has been completely changed, re-written and made into a better codex than the lifeless and depressing codex of the prior Necron existance.  For once you can run the Necrons and feel pride in knowing that you are commanding a force which is not the soulless automaton puppets of the god-like C'Tan, but an immoral metal army of evolved Baboons.  Yes, you heard it here first - the Necrons are immortal metal monkeys evolved from Baboons - Planet of the Apes - no sir - full fleged Baboons without any hair, and evolved into one of the most voracious, vindictive, and warlike races the Universe has ever known - throwing themselves into war with those who may or may not have created the Universe!

Above you can see the two photos side by side for comparison of the facial characteristics.  I found it interesting that even GW finds inspiration in nature for the source of their models.  Nice work GW and thanks to some inventive detective work - I think I have solved one of the mysteries of the inner workings of GW - they are fans of Animal Planet! Alright, alright, enough with the humor and back to the task at hand - Conversions!
First things first - why would one need to do conversions of a completely new line of models? Well, because they have not released the Royal Court - and they are some of the cooler ideas to use in the new army and the selection of models is "limited" to say the least.  First, to get a new Necron Lord or Overlord you have two options - purchase a Fine Cast Necron Overlord - see the prior post to view the model - not bad, but it has issues - the mold lines are not crisp and the cost is - huge for the model.  Also, there is ONE pose - unless you want to field the special character models, which is also fine - again they are Fine Cast and that is a whole new level of PITA to deal with - and they are of limited battlefield use because they are fragile - and clumsy opponents will destroy them!  The other option to get these new lords is the Necron Catacomb Command Barge - of which you can field exactly TWO of them unless you convert them to the Annihilation Barge in which case you could field 5 - by who would want to do that just to get the five models you want and again they are limited to ONE pose?  So, for the Royal Court - it was conversion time here at Robertson's Rules of Disorder.
Here are photos of the original Fine Cast Cryptech model - not a bad model - but plagued by the issues which plague all Fine Cast models - air bubbles, imperfections and the slap-happy crank'em out get them into stores production which does not bode well for a modeling process which requires precision to get the best and most reliable cast of models.  That said - they are also really expensive and fragile.  Did I mention they are fragile?  Oh, well, you will find out when you purchase one what I am talking about first hand the minute some kid picks it up and does the "opps!" with the figure and you are bemoaning the hours you will spend putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.  Alright - enough already - one with the photos!

Here is a photo of the assembled Cryptech model - very nice model - but poor casting and plenty of defects if you look closely at the model or zoom in on the photo.  The distinguishing characteristic of the Cryptech is their incredibly developed chin.  Obviously evolved after centuries of sitting in their "thinking chair" on how to bend the very streams of time, matter, and energy to their will.  As you can see the Staff or Rod of the Cryptech is distinct from those of the other models like the Warscythe and Rod of the Covenant in the standard boxed units.  However, it is not so distinct that you can't convert something cool.  Further the new background gives you several new types of Cryptech to field - and each of them has a distinct staff.  So, plenty of modeling fun for everyone.

Another view of the Cryptech from Fine Cast - if you look closely you can see the magical bendy staff of super power as it bends in four or five directions over the short course of it's length.  I've attempted mechanical straightening of the material and it has been ineffective.  I fear that the heat gun and ice bath method will be the only viable solution - and that is also a very risky technique and not for the faint of heart.  Some have success with a hot water bath - I have had limited success with it.  It may be worth a shot before I break out the heat gun.  Below is another shot of the Cryptech using one of the two arms provided in the kit.  The chin is even MORE distinct in this view of the profile of this model - talk about remaining silent - you would nearly have to talk in short sentences to prevent yourself from wearing out your jaw muscles - fortunately these guys are immortal metal machines with sythesized voices and a speaker box.

So here is where we start with the conversion pieces - two different boxed sets of the new models.

So from these two boxed sets we get a look at the various bits we have to work with for our conversion: 

Above we have the Lychguard/Triarch Praetorian box with their sprues, and below we have the sprue which will be mainly used from the Immortals/Deathmark box.

Finally - here is a photo of lots of the bits off the sprue and ready to start playing with them in creating our custom Cryptech and Necron Lord models for our Royal Court:

That is a ton of bits - there are two backs for each type of model in each box - so you have 20 backs to work with - unfortunately they are NOT compatible with each other - so you have to keep the front plates and back plates separated or be prepared to do some modifications of these bits to make them fit together.  I believe Green Stuff - or in my case Apoxie Sculpt will be necessary to smooth out any conversions here - so I decide to forgo that option because I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time on each model - I am NOT going for Golden Daemon with these figures - they are for table top gaming.  If you are looking at this blog thinking you are going to see "Golden Daemon" work - move along - that way leads to the - wait - these are not the droids you're looking for - move along.

So, I forgot to take "in progress photos" of these conversions - but I think they came out nice.  I will take some "in progress photos of the other models as I work on them this week.  Until then - enjoy these models:

 The first conversion - a simple bend of the torso gets you the bent and contorted look of the original Cryptech model and you add in a nice staff conversion - and a few modifications to the back and arms, and you have a passable Cryptech which doesn't take too much time to complete and it is fairly simple to do with a standard hobby knife and patience.  Cutting and gluing bits together is tougher than it looks if you don't use the right tools.  Sharp knifes (new blades) work best.  Have a dedicated cutting surface - not your mother's table - I have my own table and I can do to it what I want - then again I am employed and can afford to stay in this hobby and expose my kids to it too!  In looking at this model (the one center) you can see that I used the Deathmark head and added a tip from a Warscythe/Rod of the Covenant to his chin - giving him a stylized beard to give him the "huge chin" look of the other Cryptech - I prefer my conversion over the original, then again, I am biased.  The staff is a conversion of two staff heads cut up and spliced together to give you an extra set of "arms" in the center section.  It fit together nicely!
 Here is a close up of the second coversion.  I've used the Cryptech hand from the original model (the package gives you two arms - you have to pick one) and it looks pretty good on this guy.  His staff is a bit more complex than the other staff.  It is cobbled together from three sources.  First, the longest part of the staff are barrels from the Immortal Gauss weapon - they were cut out - spliced together through drilling a hole in them and inserting brass rod inside.  The head of the weapon is a blade from the Lychguard model which is typically used with the large shield.  The head also features a spliced on part of a Warscythe and the lower portion of the staff is all part of the original Warscythe/Rod of the Covenant, but it is spliced together and held together with brass rod by drilling through the center sections of the rod and then splicing the whole thing together - much like beading - only using brass rod and plastic bits you had to core with a drill yourself.  The glossy sheen on the model and the white areas are glue cure effects which will be cleaned up before priming.  The white part is accelerator on the wrist joint.

 A back view of the second model - I've yet to attach the "tail" on the monkey.  I added it shortly after I looked at this photo and before I wrote this part of the blog.  I will give you an updated photo later after he is primed and ready for paint!
 A side view of the first model - you can clearly see the size of this Staff/Scythe/Rod and the extra large head on the staff - makes it interesting and fun - you can clearly see the tail on this model.  You can also just glimpse the work on the back of this model.  I filled in a gap with various bits rather than the standard "spinal column" found on other models.
 A side view of the second conversion showing the staff/rod/scythe for your thoughts and the modifications of the spinal column on this model to give him the hooded look similar to the original Cryptech, but with a different vision of how it might look - and to give each member of my Royal Court some personality!
A decent shot of the rear of the first model - you can see the ball on the top of the back - this comes from the shield model from the Triarch Praetorian model cut down and filed to fit in place and then a section of spinal column has been cut to fill the gap and attach to the back of the head of the model.  It looks pretty darn good and It will look very nice when I get the final bits and work done on it.  Well, enough of this for tonight - enjoy and post comments below!

Cheers, Jovian1