Monday, 31 March 2014

Macca on Tactica, Balance in 30k

Macca here, and today, I am dedicating a post to balance within a ruleset. This may not seem too important, but when you are going on to discuss tactics in your next few posts, it's important to set them within the context of a system.

So, how does the 30k System work?

Well, it's very similar to 40k. You have all the usual ingredients, such as HQ, Elite, Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy Support. They also have Lords of War and Fortifications.

Um, that's about it. Or is it?

Special Rules are like drinks at a club, they actually cost something

Let's use Codex: Space Marines (C:SM) as an example, since it is quite similar on the surface to 30k. You want to play a chapter: Step 1, you just say "I'm taking this chapter, aka, Salamanders". Step 2, profit. Well, that's simple, well, unless you play black templars.

Now, lets say you want to take that same chapter, in Legion form in 30k. Well, in 30k, they like a little balance, that's not to say that C:SM is unbalanced, but in general, you can't just say "I'm Salamanders" and profit. For example, you get something similar to Chapter Tactics, but you lose both the Moriat HQ choice and Destroyers. Ok, not a game changer, but it is a handy unit you might have liked. Next, you look at how you roll the deep fluffy thing, your Rite of War.

For those playing at home, a Rite of War is a change to your army special rules, and there are two types: common, which any Legion with a model with the rule 'Master of the Legion' may utilize. The other type is Legion specific. Now, the Rite of War changes it up, because unlike Chapter Tactics, which just give you a buff, the Rite of War likes to also take something away.

So, the Salamanders Rite of War lets you do some cool things, like:

-Getting 5+ invuls on all your vehicles against melta, volkite, plasma and flamer weapons
-All units gain move through cover etc.

Cool. But, some restrictions include:

-No deep strike
-No more fast attack/heavy support COMBINED then you have troops
-No Fortifications

Balance. Yes, you gained some cool rules, but you also lost some rules. This is a marked difference from the current trend in the 'parent game' 40k, where you get 'free rules'.

How does this affect units like Lords of War?

Lords of war aren't usually restricted by the Rite of War or the Legion you choose, but it can happen. Lords of War by the way, are basically Super Heavy vehicles, such as Fellblades and Titans, but also Super Humans, such as the Primarchs... and Lorgar...

Lorgar bashing aside, he is pivotal to the Heresy, Lords of war can give a big boost to your army, because they are usually some giant, badass unit that shoots lightning from its eyes, and fire from it's monstrous cock. (If you are shooting cock fire, that's bad, please see a doctor.)

So how much can a Lord of War affect the game?

Well, it honestly depends on the Lord of War you choose, and how it's utilized. If you bring a Fellblade along, you're going to wipe big swathes of infantry off the table every time you fire. But, if you bring a Cerberus, you're going to wipe out other tanks/super heavies, and if you're lucky, unfortunate giant-fire-cock wielding units.

So, how do you get one?

$$$$$$$$ and lots of them..... ok, well, again, this is where 40k and 30k differ. In both systems, there are specific ones that you may purchase. In 40k, you pick one that your army is allowed, pay the points, get the model, and game on! Nice and simple. If you're a 14yo kid and your parents are trying to buy your love, you probably have a warhound titan and you're running it in a 1250 point game.

Yeah, I stereotyped....

In 30k, there, again, is some criteria. You see, in 30k, a Lord of War can't take up more then one quarter of your total allowed points. If you run a 1000 point army, you can spend 250 on Lords of War. If you want to run that warhound now, you have to play a 4000 point game kid.... Oh right, your parents are buying love with resin-crack and you actually have 4000 points.

So why is this? I guess the guys over at Forge World didn't just want the 14 year old to rock up and table the other guy with his one-model-army. This is a GREAT THING. This shows that they put some real thought into this, rather then just saying 'buy whatever you want, use it however you want', because when you have units that are so powerful that they can beat whole armies on their own, you don't want them around all the time, because they RUIN THE GAME.

So what about regular Force Organization Slots?

In 40k, units can actually jump roles quite a bit, with some balancing issues along the way, but mostly it's ok. Some examples include bikes in armies like the White Scars. This happens too in 30k, however, they like to offset things a tad.

"Hey Macca, I like plasma guns they kick ass. I'm going to take Legion Tactical Support Squads because they are troops, AND every guy can have a plasma gun!" ~says little Billy.

Well little Billy, I'm afraid you can't just take cheap plasma infantry for your whole army.

"Why not Macca?"

Because it's BULLSHIT Billy. Dammit Billy, go sit in the corner.

In 30k, you have to take at least two compulsory troops choices, and they cannot be the plasma guys. Why? Because guys like Billy abuse it and take 4x 5 man plasma squads. Forge World pulled off a very smart trick here by saying 'yes, these guys are troops, no, they are not the only troops an army is going to take to battle'. They limit you to a more realistic, and, to me, more fun army that sticks closer to the dare-I-say canon.

This is remarkably different to 40k, where an overpowered unit that shouldn't be a troops choice is just allowed to be there for the rule of cool. 5th ed, Draigowing ring any bells?

"Ah, there are only like ten Paladins in the Imperium, and they are all in this army as troops. Oh, and on half the tables at this tournament."

So how does this balance effect us?

As I said, in order to discuss tactics, you have to understand balance. 30k IS different to 40k, you can't just rock up and take the biggest baddest thing. It doesn't work like that. Yes, there ARE loopholes in the games, and most armies always struggle to balance at low points levels whilst balancing out at high ones, but at the end of the day, this mostly means that if you are into 30k, you are going to have to use your noggin' to win games, not some badass-giant-fire-cock-decimator-of-all-life-super-soldier.

Disclaimer: Billy was not harmed in the writing of this post. Much.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Macca on Tactica, a Cheesy List and Why it has no Friends

Uh oh. What's that?

Yes, I have another big writing post. I can hear it now, "Why Macca, why! What did we do to you?". Well, if it helps, you did nothing wrong, I'm just an evil person. Today, we're going to revisit the 1000 points Iron Hand list, but this time, from a nastier point of view. This isn't the ultimate big-bad list, instead, it's an example of how by making some changes to the old list, found here, you can exponentially increase your win rate, and friend loss.

So, HQ. Now, lets keep the Praetor, as he is, but lets give him a bike. Now he's toughness 5, and a bit of a jerk with his 2 up save, 4 up invul, and waving his thunder hammer around.

Lookout, we have a badass here...

Troops: let's take the exact same, but we'll bump them up to 14 men per unit.

Elites: 2x Apothecary with art. armour.

Fast Attack: 6 Outriders, with 4 outriders have twin-linked plasma, 2 have twin-linked melta.

So, what have we lost? Well, we lost that fantastic Sicarian, but now we have two troops choices that you're going to struggle to move. At 15 models, with an Apothecary in each unit, with the -1 to your ranged attack strength, those tactical squads now require:

Uh oh, math hammer.....

Using bolters, the most common ranged choice in 30k,

Against regular marines, 66% of your shots will hit, 33% will wound,  just over 11% will actually get through the armour. In 100 shots, you'll kill 11 marines.

Against these badass mofo's, 66% of your shots will hit, 23% will wound,  just under 8% will actually get through the armour, and of that 8%, thanks to feel no pain only 5% will actually cause a kill. Hmm, so if you fire 100 shots, you'll kill 5 guys.

That's less then half the casualties. They now need to cause double the damage to really hurt you, also, as you have an extra 5 men, inc. the apothecary with the artificer armour, you have an extra 50% survivability on the first list. Yes, terminators will still hurt, but you even get feel no pain against meltaguns now because they are only S7!

Now the bikes, they are rocking with the badass Praetor. He is T5, they are T5, they fire a ton of twin-linked plasma, and have the power to take down tanks. That Thunder Hammer on the boss is gonna make short work of all but the most brutal characters. The squad isn't a powerhouse in CC, but they aren't meant to be, they are supposed to just pummel you with plasma, and they will do just that.

Think you're going to kill them? I do, but can you do it fast enough? Well, if I'm running them in defence, I'm just going to attach an apothecary to them for a couple of turns, until they need to take off and kill something at full speed.

If I'm aggressive and in your face, remember that statistic on kills against the troops? Even without the Apothecary attached, and not factoring in the praetors superior save, you will cause only kill about 4 with 100 bolter shots... in the perfect world. With the Apothecary that figure drops to two. TWO. That's 20 tactical marines and 5 stragglers with double shots in rapid fire range and you will kill one third of the unit. Next turn, predictably, you will die. Horribly. Because if they rapid fire that plasma, you're going to lose 10 men to it, then they are going to charge and another 5 are going to die to that Praetor. Yuck, nasty Math Hammer.

Well, with all this sarcasm, math hammer and general nastiness, what do we get out of this? Well, I can tell you, it isn't the most powerful. It's about 90% of the way there. That said, 9 out of 10 armies are going to die to it, and fast too. I'd like to put you in this scenario, you have a list with a Thunder Hammer Praetor, 2x 10 man tac squads, 10 jump destroyers with rad missile launchers and a sicarian. What do you do? Well, lucky for you, you have destroyers, you will likely kill one bike per turn with them alone. The bad news is, by turn two most of the destroyers are dead. They have more infantry, so you can't fight a bolter duel. In close combat, your praetor is screwed, he can't fight a T5 Thunder Hammer Praetor without dying round 1. The Sicarian can't save the army, and it will get popped probably soon after the destroyers. Your lovely, balanced, fluffy army that you spent a month building and painting is now on the side of the board.

So, why are you fielding a power gamer list like this?

Well, it depends on a few factors.

1) Competitive Gaming. If you're a tournament player, you want to win. After all, why did you go to the tournament? To have fun? Well, that's why I go, I want to see mates I haven't gamed with in a while, and if my list goes well, I might win something. That's what I get. If you're getting something else, then I think you're missing the point. Yes, winning is good. Winning because you took a list that a swamp rat could win with.... well, er, not so good. Imagine how people talk about you:

"Hey, did anyone hear about the guy who won a tournament on the weekend? What did he take? Oh, he took 3 Riptides and Missilesides in a skyshield..... well, I guess, well done?"

You aren't impressing people by winning. You impress people by winning against the odds. Ever watch Rocky? He's the underdog, and you root for him. If an Ork player won, you'd give a shit, but the minute someones says Tau, Eldar or Helldrake, you lose interest.

2) Curiosity. "I wanted to know how it goes" is perfectly fine, amongst your gaming group. Sometimes it's just fun to see what you can come up with, and I'm all for it. However, if they are the only lists you're gaming with, although you're having fun with it, your mates are probably getting sick of it (anyone remember that guy who kept rocking up to every game in 5th and early 6th with 18 wraiths?). I can't judge you, every group is different and this is just some food for thought.

3) Not realising just how powerful your list is. Sometimes, you take something thinking it's a bit meh, then in practice you're like "HOLY CRAP!". I have done that, I took an Alpha Legion army of 10 chosen from the 3.5 Chaos Codex. I thought, yeah, they are a super elite squad, but they can't be that great. As I tabled my mate on turn 3 with a 10 man army, I found myself perplexed. I'd won, but it was hollow. Then it struck me, I had no thrill. It wasn't fun. I never ran that list again.

4) You're a sociopath who gets off on winning. We all know this guy, he insists his list isn't cheesy and that if you were just a better general, you'd beat him. Notice how he was running Tau before his Eldar, and Necrons before his Tau? Don't be this guy. PLEASE.

So why is a power list so bad? Is winning that bad?

In short, no, winning isn't bad. Traveling around, working the tournament scene, is not a bad thing. But you have to look at the reasons behind it. If you're a talented artist, you might get exposure. If you're a tip-top general with a mile long list of wins, you might even score a gig working in the industry. I know some guys, who even tho they do take a cheese codex, just take a balanced army and win tournaments without coming across like a jerk. A good friend of mine called Dean is one of those guys. He has run Necrons since forever. We often give him the cheesy list award just because it's him, and we all get a good laugh out of it. But, this is all different to a power list.

A power list is something that the minute the other gamer sets up across from you, you know you're beat. It's bad because it's not fun. It turns people off tournaments, and eventually, all you're left with is a bunch of guys, playing, as an example, Tau and Eldar, and the game HAS actually become chess, with both sides having the same lists because they brought something competitive because they are sick of losing.

Now, chess is fun. 3 hours of chess on a 6x4 5 times over a weekend...

That's my little spiel, it's not supposed to be a rant about the condition of the hobby but rather a look at why some lists are built this way. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know below.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Macca on Tactica, Army Lists (and a great wall of text)

G'day all, it's Macca here, and I am going to be a bit bland on the visual side today by discussing some tactica. First off, what is tactica? Well, to me, it's a word which means a combination of tactics and synergy, that is, how units interact with one another. This post isn't aimed at the painting enthusiast, it's just an attempt to reconcile a few tactics and combinations I use in 30/40K in order to achieve certain end results, ranging from winning games in a competitive environment, to introductory games, to just trying to have as much fun as possible, which is honestly the best game possible. I will provide some visuals throughout these in future as well, drawn by myself, with a very simplistic style in order to illustrate specific points.

So, where shall we begin? I think the best place to start is with the basic army list. List composition is the bees knees of this game. You can take the best codex, and lose games with the wrong units, you can take the worst codex and win games. Conversely, you can build a powerhouse list, such as Eldar Serpent and Wraithknight spam or Taudar, and whilst you will win games, you're taking the competitive nature out of the hobby. To use a chess analogy, you've now built a force which has queens instead of pawns. You've got the game won, without lifting a finger, where's the fun?

Ok, so, first up, I like to start with an army. Let's go with Horus Heresy, we'll take Book II, and aim for 1000 points. I like Iron Hands, they are very popular now, and a lot of lists are floating around. I'm going to make a pair of lists, fluffy, and a bit cheesy.

For this post, I'm going to focus on fluffy and the design considerations for a well rounded, fun tournament list. I am going to use colours to denote what I term as tactics, and what I term as synergy. I am doing this so that you can pick up where I am choosing something because it aids my game, and where I choose something because it enhances how I do that.

So for the HQ, I am going with a Praetor. No surprises here, you need to have some kind of character killing unit. At 1000 points you aren't looking at seeing primarchs, but there are a load of special characters and other HQ's that can mess up your day. You can't try and compete with the likes of Kharn, or jetbike praetors with paragon blades, so instead, simple is key. I'm going to pick digital weapons, a thunder hammer, and an Iron Halo. The +1 attack from digital weapons is great, and it makes up for the lost attack from the thunder hammer, a specialist weapon. The Thunder Hammer itself bottles down to this: If you take a paragon blade, and come up against another praetor, you're equals, you strike at the same time, you have the same saves (2+/4+). This is a slog fest, and you don't want that. The thunderhammer means that in the event you survive long enough to strike, (you have pretty good odds here unless you're against units like Kharn, in which case, you're screwed due to sheer weight of attacks) you will instant kill, or at least wound and stun them (due to the concussive special rule) if they are on a bike, which gives you a 2nd chance to strike them next time, which a power-fist will not.

Troops. This is simple. At 1000 points, you can't go past numbers. 2x 10 man units of tactical are great. You spend not even a third of your points here, and you get 20 marines, and all the juicy bolter shots that come with it and coupled with the Iron Hands Legiones Astartes rules, (Inviolate Armour: -1 to shooting against you, Legiones Astartes may always rally) you have some survivability that you would normally try and get by adding more men. I find that if you go for units like Breachers, outside of Zone Mortalis, they are not worthit due to the high cost/gain ratio. Same goes for special weapons squads, 10 plasma is a great concept in theory, but in reality, you're paying more for 5 guys with plasma then 10 regular tactical marines, also, you can't fill out compulsory troops slots with them, which means you would need two troops squads AND these guys, it's just a massive points sink at 1000 points. (I'd like to point out, this is fantastic rules balancing by Forge World, yes, they have made some cheese in the past, but saying that you can take a powerful unit, and giving it purchasing criteria rather then just the assigned points value is an ace idea.)

Now, you're free to add the killing aspect to the list. So, what are Iron Hands good at? Well, they are good at synching their wargear and their aggression, in the form of bionics, feel no pain etc. How do you translate this to a game? Well, you know you're fighting other Legions. That means power armour. It also means Armour. You need units that can deal with both aspects. Most legion units do one job well, tacticals have lots of bolters, tactical support have losts of special weapons etc. This is important, because you can't rely on units to fulfill multiple roles.

So, we need marine killers. I like dakka, it's a really Iron Hand thing. What dakka? At 1000 points, you're looking at a 4x4 table, so basilisks and other heavy artillery is out, you simply will be in struggle town in the close in game. So, I'm going to go with Legion Outriders, with twin-linked plasma guns. 3 of these guys are the cost of one of our tactical squads, but you gain the advantage of speed, relentless, twin-linked on the plasma guns, which is far better then the Tactical Support squad, for the same points you lose two guys, gain a jink save and you have far, far less chance of killing yourself with your own plasma AND you get a scout move! Also, at Toughness 5 and with that Iron Hands rule, bolters will only wound you on a 6! Two squads of these guys, and you can deal with both power armour AND terminators, as well as light vehicles and elite units wearing artificer. Point to note here, is that you can't have more bikes then you have troops due to the Iron Hand rules.

For those playing at home, we're sitting at about 800 points here. So, with the remaining points, I'm going to aim for a unit which is just fantastic, the Sicarian Battle Tank. I am going with armoured ceramite, and lascannon sponsons. The Lascannons allow us to take on heavier armour, such as Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts. The armoured ceramite means that pesky melta shots are far less deadly. Finally, the main gun is a rending twin-linked auto-cannon with 6 shots that ignores jink saves. This weapon is FANTASTIC, and is one of the best all-rounders I know of.

So to recap,

Praetor with Thunder Hammer, Digital Weapons, Iron Halo
2x10 man Tactical Squads
2x3 Legion Outrider Squads with twin-linked plasma guns
Sicarian tank with armoured ceramite and lascannons

This list is tough, but it's also fluffy. You have good survivability, despite the lowish number of models, an you can deal with every kind of opponent, without relying on 'death stars' or special characters to buff the army. To me, (and this is subjective) this is how you build a list. You could go softer and fluffier by giving the HQ a cortex controller and ditching a squad of bikes to take thallax instead. That call is yours, and if you were playing friendly, that's exactly what I would do.

So, "how do you use this army Macca," I hear you ask. Well, I would run the Praetor with a tactical squad. He gives you the option of increasing the unit's leadership, as well as providing a rock for the enemy to break against in CC. You would usually put him on the squad that you think is more likely to suffer, such as the one closer to their assault units, or on a vital objective. If you are aggressive, he can go in your assaulting squad, moving up and using them as meat shields and to act as the delivery system to get him into close combat.

The standard play for the tacticals is going to be seizing ground and holding it, using their bolters at range, and using their 'Fury of the Legion" (doubles their firepower at the expense of not shooting again for a full game turn) in order to deplete enemies that get too close.

The Outriders are going to use that scout move first up, you want to get them as close as you can to the enemy, or out of their line of sight/possible line of sight, without wasting a turn turbo-boosting to get into range. The Plasma needs to be used early on to cause casualties, as 30/40k is all about exponential loss; that is the more guys you lose, you actually lose exponentially more potential from the unit.

Warning! Macca's crazy logic alert: an example of this loss is that if you lose 1 guy from a 5 man squad, you have lost 20%. Meh. Next turn, if you lose another, you've actually lost 25% of what's left, so whilst the number of the squad is down by 40%, the tactical efficiency of the squad is at -45% (20% manpower loss at first casualty, 25% loss on second casualty, combined gives you efficiency loss). Yes, with this logic, I am a witch, but it is actually how it works, you can't say that a 3 man unit has 60% of the starting potential, it losses more and more of a percentage of what it can do for the same relative damage done to it. A unit becomes combat ineffective after a certain amount of damage is done to it. Take 4 devestators shooting at a Storm Raven flyer with missiles (not the AA kind). Math hat on: 4 guys snap firing is just over a 66% chance of a hit, and a 50% chance of that can be damage. So all up, that's just over a 33% chance of some kind of damage. If you lose 75% of the unit, you are not 25% effective. You are looking at a 16% chance of a hit, and still a 50% chance of damage. That's an 8% chance of damage. losing 3 of 4 men is 75%. However, the missile is doing less then 25% of the 4 man potential..... crazy witchcraft right? When a unit has lost 100% tactical efficiency, it is deemed combat ineffective. It can still be used to hold and contest objectives but it no longer has the combat effectiveness it once had at full strength. In a 5 man unit, it's 20%, 25%, 33%, and 50%, so by the time you hit 1 man, you've lost OVER 100!

We now return you to your normal blogging.
Now, crazy logic aside, back to the Outriders. You want to spread them out, so that if they have units which can deal with the bikes (such as their own bikes, possibly with plasma), they can't focus on an area, and instead they have to decide "do I cover that side, or that side?". You want to create a lose/lose situation for them. In warfare, this is known as tactics, and it is very different to "I have more wave serpents then you, I am just going to sit here and roll dice till I win".

Finally, you use the Sicarian for two roles:
1, area denial. Nobody wants to expose themselves to the Sicarian, it'll mess up most things it touches. When you do this, you want to find a 'fire lane', that is a path that the enemy is going to want to go through, and then as you are parked there, they find that if they try to more through, you can dump rounds into their precious units. This is going to force the enemy to re-think their tactics and how they are going to get from point A to point B.

2, killing stuff. Your Sicarian is a great killer. Use it to do just this. You want to pic kthe bbiggest, baddest thing they have which is an immediate threat. Ok, I hear you saying, but Macca, killing is just simple, how's this a tactic? Well, because you want that immediate threat. As an example, a Primarch that is 60" away from your army is not a threat. A trio of Basilisks is. Yes, you need to kill the Primarch, but he's not going to get near you for a while, so use this time to pop the things which can hurt you. This is also known as target priority, and I will expand upon it in later posts.

Now, as a note on killing 'stuff' with a Sicarian: You aren't a Land Raider. If you move, you don't have Power of the Machine Spirit to help you, same if you're stunned. If you move, or are stunned, always pick the main gun. That auto-cannon is designed to just chew things up, and as it ignores jinks, you can pop units that would normally be sorta-survivable against you (bikes, fliers, skimmers)

Well, that's it, I'm at the end of my Tactica on a fluffy list. I thank those of you patient enough to stick with me for the long slog, and I would love to hear your feedback, whether you think I am wrong, right, or made some mistakes, any feedback is good feedback and it can only improve what I can deliver in future. Cheers gang.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Mechanicum WIP 4

Gday Guys,

Keepy here with the last WIP for the 1000pts Mechanicum army project. During this post we cover weathering, oil washing and decal application on the Castellax Battle-Automata and Thallax Cohort. So without further ado lets get to it!

So back to our hundreds of parts on sticks - I gave one of the models a test coat of an oil wash over gloss and it come up a treat. There is a tutorial to using oil washes here.

Test oil on the Carapace only

I also applied decals at this stage - An affiliation to the Sons of Horus on the black pad with squad markings and Mechanicum on the right. There is also a serial number on the chest

Decals were applied using Micro Set and Micro Sol so the line of the transfer looks less apparent. Make sure you gloss up the surface before applying as this helps for a better adhesion and seamless blend into the model. I have used some less used Sons of Horus iconography to represent these being attached to the 63rd Expedition and have been given a sutle mark to show support to the Warmaster prior or during the Istvann III campaign. They will make a great allied or embedded force to compliment my Sons of Horus legion.

I did a test of chipping with Mechanicum Grey and Leadbelcher using the sponging technique and it came up rather well. For a tutorial on sponging head over to Macca's post here. All the weathering was done before the oils but after the decals were applied, this ensures that damage goes over the top of the decals for a more realistic effect.

With the oil test done it was time for some weathering on the whole fleet before more oils could be applied

Weathering, decals and oils done on the carapace only

Fresh oil coat

Test model in progress

The whole Castellax fleet weathered

Oils to come next

Oil coats done

Castellax basically done, just need a matt coat to dull down the gloss and retain detail

Thallax detailing done

Thallax decals done, about to apply damage and oils

I was really pushed for time to get these done for a tournament in time, so to accelerate the oil drying process (which usually takes about 24hrs) I tried a bit of experimenting and put them in a fan forced oven. Really. Don't go over about 50 Deg C and check it constantly. If the temperature is too hot you will start to smell burning resin, take them out immediately! My minis escaped any damage despite being a bit soft and bendy and after about 4-5hrs the oil was dry enough for me to finish the models.
In the oven!

Hurry up and dry!

With all the components painted and finished it was time to assemble to force en-masse. Much cutting of toothpicks from models, each part had to have the paint removed from the joining points so the parts would stick together. If this is not done then the paint will just peel away and your model will fall apart.

Finally off the sticks and onto the base. I ended up with a mountain of toothpicks by the end of the build

Well that's all for this post, I am getting together some high res photos of the Mechanicum force, I was pretty blown away with how well they turned out.

Thanks for dropping by, as always your comments and criticisms are welcome.




1. Mechanicum 1000pts List
2. Mechanicum WIP 1
3. Mechanicum WIP 2
4. Mechanicum WIP 3 - Basing
5. Mechanicum WIP 4
6. Mechanicum 1000pts Completed!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mechanicum WIP 3 - Basing

Gday all,

Keepy here with the latest instalment of my 1000pts Mechanicum Army. Truth be told it has been finished for a couple of days now and has competed at a tournament, so the next couple posts will flow on thru shortly. This post will focus purely on basing. I will keep the text short as this has been explained how to do this before with my Justaerin Basing here.

The bases used were the tried and trusted combination of Secret Weapon's Urban Rubble and Urban Streets, and were heavily modified with grey bricks, medium slate, medium sand, fine sand, GW basing brass and my personal favourite Verlinden razor wire.

Basing construction done including the mounting of Castellax feet onto the bases

The Castellax legs were also mounted and tested on the feet prior to constructing the base around them,
heavy use of bricks and razor wire for a real Istvann III feel

Basecoat of GW Mechanicum Standard Grey and highlights of GW Codex Grey done

Metallics done in GW Leadbelcher and GW Balthasar Gold

Thallax and Magos bases with basecoat complete

Black weathering powder added to creases and recesses to create shadow
Red weathering powder on metallic to give a rust effect

Red and Black weathering done

Patches of green added to break up and give colour to bases

All weathering pigments now done

Wash of GW Agrax Earthshade done, avoiding green areas

Wash of GW Agrax Earthshade done, avoiding green areas

Black weathering powder added to Castellax bases

Red weathering powder done

Washes all done

Bases completed after a light drybrush of GW Fortress Grey

That's all for now, overall I am very happy with how the bases turned out. Please let us know what you think, C&C welcome.



1. Mechanicum 1000pts List
2. Mechanicum WIP 1
3. Mechanicum WIP 2
4. Mechanicum WIP 3 - Basing
5. Mechanicum WIP 4
6. Mechanicum 1000pts Completed!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mechanicum Display Board: Generatorium Part 1

Macca here with a quick one,

I am working on a small display board at the moment, so that I can showcase my Imperial Knights. The theme of the board is the same as the theme on the knights bases. One of the two large buildings will be a 'Heretics Abode', a shrine to chaos as it were, the other, will be a Mechanicum Generatorium, and there will also be a Space Marine Statue.

Ok, so this is the structure, at the moment it is still tacky wet with oil paints. I used several oils, mixed with weathering powders to create a lot of the grime effects.

 Up close you can see that I have added a building name and an Aquilla marking. I also added a tool box, as you can see a few servitors working up here with the tech priests.

 Here is the engineering console for the tech priest who runs the plant. It's from a Storm Raven dash board, and I have quite a few lying around in my bits box.

 The building name is also on the smoke stack. I have added ladders around the stack, so that unfortunate servitors can get around and do the appropriate maintenance.

Up high on the smoke stack I have added an etched brass Aquilla. Why? Well, as my mate Sutto says over at the painting bunker, "when in doubt, add eagles".

All around the building you can see that it's quite tarnished and run down. I chose not to add too many colours, as the plain white/greys I have sprayed it are much like concrete, and I don't want to lose the contrast.

You can also see the simple internal structure here. The rear two sides have really been carved out by some massive explosions, with only a couple of beams holding the structure together!

Well, there it is, I will put up some more pictures tomorrow once it has dried. Cya then,