Thursday, 29 January 2015

Relic - Nemesis

Just a quick update today about the latest painting project, Relic - Nemesis. Which makes two posts in a row with the word Nemesis in the title.....

I feel like that should mean something.......



Like the core game, the busts in Nemesis are fantastic figures, and it's amazing how much easier it is to paint this scale. These figs were a joy to paint, but it's worth noting that when you apply a gloss varnish, you need to highlight a little more. The poor genestealer ended up looking a little flat for that reason. Ah well, you learn as you go.

Next up on the painting table is Imperial Assault.  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Do you know what Nemesis means? A Horus Heresy review

Disclaimer


Spoilers abound in these posts, if you haven’t read the books and will get upset by finding out what happens just stop.

This is also not a recap, if you want a recap go to Lexicanium.

What The Black Library says about the book


After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor's Palace, powerful figures convene. Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it's even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor.


What the book is really about?


I can't hear the word "nemesis" without thinking of Bricktop's speech about "Nemesis" from Snatch. And I think it accurate describes what a Nemesis is :)






This book is an interesting one and I can see it being quite polarizing. I for one, like the ideas on concepts explored in the book, and I’m a sucker for procedural crime dramas and “dirty dozen/oceans 11” style team missions.

At its core, it is about an assassination plot, organized by the master of Assassins (Aka grumpy old man Malcador the Sigilite), aimed directly at Horus. Now the different assassin orders have all tried and failed to kill Horus, so the plan is to assemble the Voltron of assassinations, one member from each of the six clades (orders of Assassins).

The main story focusses on assembling this strike team of specialist assassins and then their arrival on the planet of Dagonet, a world that has special significance to Horus. After arriving on world, they discover the planet has almost fully gone over to Horus, so decide to become a G.I Joe strike force and prolong the civil war to the point that the Sons of Horus turn up, and when they do, they will gank Horus.

It’s actually a pretty good plan, and it was cool to see the Assassins using their skills as terrorist guerrilla types. I’ll go into more detail about the different clades later, but I really like the diversity shown in the team, they are all assassins, but their training, ideology and methods of operation could not be more different. That creates dramatic tension and allows the characters to explore their own foibles.

The secondary plot revolves around a pair of local coppers on a world near Dragonet investigating a serial killer with occult trimmings. James Swallow excels at writing horror and visceral details, and his descriptions of the crime scenes are excellent. As a dude who watches WAY TOO MANY forensic shows on TV (While I paint, I have documentaries or old sci-fi on, forensic shows are the most watched), I felt like he did his research and portrayed the investigation well.

The reveal of who the killer is was a nice twist, but I can see how that changeover could put off people who have grown attached to the investigators. In a way, it’s like “from Dusk til Dawn”, you start off watching a suspenseful crime thriller and then the tone rapidly changes in one scene. Thankfully from my point of view, it went from crime show, to Assassination quest, as opposed to slapstick horror in a vampire titty bar. (Have I mentioned how much that particular changeover disappointed me?)

Anyway, through the secondary plot we discover the Theoge, an imperial cult and it’s connections to a Rogue Trader who has a “warrant of trade” signed by the Emperor, complete with his blood. Our Serial killer, the shapeshifting, demonskin wearing, flesh and brain eating “Spear” desires nothing more than nomming down this drop of blood in order to attune to the Emperor, and possibly kill him.

AND IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT THE DROP OF BLOOD IS ON DAGONET WITH THE ASSASSINS!

So, as our heroes are preparing to gank Horus, Spear arrives and tries to hunt down the droplet of imperial deliciousness. The last chapters of the book can only be described as a cluster-fuck for everyone involved. No one, and I mean NO ONE, gets a happy ending or achieves what they wanted to.

The Assassins are wiped out, most of them by Spear himself. Spear gets his drop of “the red-red-Kroovy”, and then gets ganked by the assassination squad….. eventually….. but only after he eats some of them. Horus escapes the assassination attempt, but his body double, one of his Captains, gets killed with a SHIP LANCE, the people of Dagonet die in a ritual slaughter or bombardment, and finally…. the Assassin masters get unmasked by Rogal Dorn and told off by the Emperor.

What a mess, but it makes for great drama.


The Hero-Protagonist – Eristede Kell & Jenniker Soalm



Ok, look at the list of Assassin clades……. Of the 4 widely known ones, one has no soul, one has no self-control, and one has no face. It’s pretty easy to see why they put the Vindicare in control. He’s calm, professional and meticulous…… or at least hes meant to be.

Eristede is a pro’s pro, but the powers that be completely scupper him from being professional right from the get go. They assign him a Venenum (poisoner) Assassin, who just so happens to be his estranged kid sister.

I totally get why they do this for dramatic reasons, but the tense relationship constantly undermines his authority and makes him second guess things. Which is good as all of these Assassin characters could have ended up as caricatures. And while Eristede isn’t the deepest character in the world, we get to understand his motivation for becoming an assassin, the emotional walls he has put up, and the unreconciled issues he has around his family.

Jenniker on the other hand, is a very different character. I wish they had focussed a little more on her murdering people, as most of that happens off screen and it would have been nice to see the capabilities of a Venenum in more detail. What sets her apart from the other Assassins is that she has faith. Jenniker is a member of the Imperial Cult, and her actions are similar to Keeler, in that she becomes one of the first people “called to action” as a servant of the Emperor as God.

Her story arc is quite simple but contains interesting character development. She has the competing drivers of mission, family and faith to deal with, and her decision to follow her Faith turns out to be the correct choice for the Imperium.

I really liked the family elements to this story, but adding in something as humanizing as a kid-sister/big-brother relationship, the writer added something that cannot exist in an astartes focussed book, Intergender familial ties, and it was nice to see that aspect explored.

Why are there humans in my book about super-powered Space Marines Assassins?



Well, there are a few humans in this story, the cops for one and the resistance on Dagonet for the other. Josef Sabrat, the main police character has a particularly horrible story arc, and is final fate is pretty damned gruesome. It’s a bit of a shyamalan plot twist, and I can see how it would rankle readers who grew attached to him. It’s a little bit of a pity as the investigation story as developing nicely until we hit “WHAT A TWIST” territory.

As for the guerrilla’s, we don’t see much of them, but they are adequately portrayed. Oddly, the most memorable depiction of a human character in the book is a throw-away character who gets ganked by the Assassins 2 minutes after we meet him. But in those handful of pages from his perspective, you really develop a strong dislike for him. I’m talking about Goeda Rufin, the self-important jackass base commander character, such a dislikeable prat.


MVP – Assassination Voltron


I liked the Assassins, I thought their interactions were a good mix of dramatic and humorous. While each of them had to play archetype for their clade, the author explores this in a good way. This could easily have been a hack job like Battle for the Abyss, but Swallow decided to give us a little more than cliché here.

Tariel, the Vanus Infocyte was an interesting addition to the Warhammer universe, as I had not seen anything about the Vanus Assassins before this book. The idea of an imperial assassin who is a pudding in close combat was nice. I love his method of operation, hack everything, steal all knowledge you can, and use it your advantage. I also liked all his cyber animals and the fact he was a big steaming coward at heart.

Koyne was probably the blandest of the Assassins, but as a Callidus, that’s probably not surprising. While the character was a blank slate for the most part, where the authour excelled was in viscerally describing the use of polymorphine and the unsettling nature of having a shapeshifter around.

Iota was another interesting portrayal of a character. Being a vat born pariah, she could hardly have had a normal life growing up. What’s great is that her emotional distance and immaturity leaks through frequently. The discussion about whether a pariah can have a soul was quite sad in a way, and her death was one of the more horrific in the books.

And finally, the main man, the Garrantine. I love this guy, a single minded rage-killer who spends his whole time on the edge of a murderous frenzy. That sounds like a terribly boring character, but Swallow does a fine job of giving him some great “gallows humour” moments.

Worst Character – Spear



You’re gonna have to indulge me here because I like a lot of Spear. I think the way he’s described is great, I think his action scenes are great, and the horror scenes he’s involved with are great.

I guess I just don’t get why he’s the way he is. It’s a little bit of “he was born bad, so he’s bad” and the little hand-wave around Erebus torturing him didn’t come close to explaining his motivations. I dunno, might just be me but I found the character interesting to read about, but I didn’t “get him”.

But I think the issue is that his motivations are not his own. He’s a powerful entity, cut lose to complete a mission, but his motivations and goals are Erebus’s. And that robbed the character of his agency for me, which was something that left the character a bit flat.




Get to know your Legion – The Officio Assassinorum



Silly masks and parlour games….. honestly, the scenes with the Assassin bosses felt like a really bad Live-roleplaying game where everyone is playing an archetype. Eversor is angry…… GRRRRR.

However, the actual assassins make up for the tomfoolery on Terra. I did cringe a little when everyone got given their “new toys”: which just happened to be the standard kits for those characters in 40k. I guess we were supposed to be awed with

BEHOLD…… EXITUS…….

But I was simply…… well yeah, he’s a vindicare, of course he has an Exitus rifle. Bet the Callidus gets a neural shredder as well….. oh yeah, there it is.


Get to know your Primarch – Rogal Dorn


Dorn is a big boring goon in this book and I kinda like Dorn. To me, Dorn is one of the saner Primarchs. Sure, he occasionally tortures himself, and he’s pretty inflexible at times, but deep down he’s a soldier, he knows who is boss is, and he knows he is bred to fight. In a lot of ways, he’s like Stannis Baratheon from AGOT in that he’s not a loveable person, but he is in the right and will not give up on that fact.

But I still found him a little bland in this book, or at least I did at the start. Once his motivations were explained, that attempting to kill Horus would just result in an escalation of civilian casualties and carnage, I appreciated him more. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Dorn, especially as the war darkens and the Emperor gets more isolated.

I want to see his thoughts when he realizes he’s pretty much alone defending Terra, and that the Emperor himself isn’t do much to aid the situation. I also expect the interactions between Sanguinius, the Khan and him to be interesting as well.



Why the Emperor is a giant douche



Chalk up another book for the Emperor not being that bad. Sure, he’s turned a blind eye to countless assassinations before, but when they finally overstep by attacking Horus he does what any senior manager in a modern business would do…….

He conducts a governance review! Yep, so instead of having the Assassin Clade leadership in the shadows he makes them a part of the government and gives them an oversight committee. It’s a practical decision and not at all douchey!


Moustache twirling evil-bastard award –Erebus



Erebus…….  Would we even have a Horus Heresy without this guy….. or any stories for that matter. I get it, he’s the guy that kicked this whole thing off, but here’s something I want to emphasise.

Not all plots have to involve him, he’s already been super-successful evil guy, he’s doesn’t have to be behind EVERYTHING. I’d really have preferred if Spear had his own motivations as I mentioned earlier.

Heck, Spearcould have been deployed by the Alpha Legion or Xenos, He may have been the result of an experiment by the Mechanicum or Thousand Sons. He could have been 100% self-motivated by the idea of achieving apotheosis by consuming the Emperor.

Any of these ideas may have been better than having the villain being Erebus…… again.


Quirky reveals and other coolness


Malcador the sigilite, right hand of the Emperor, is also the master of assassins. I don’t know about anyone else, but Malcador is a character I am very suspicious of. We don’t really know a lot about him and he seems to have a bucket load of power.

Luc Sidrae, Captain of the 13th company of the Sons of Horus gets killed in this book. And it’s alluded to that Horus knew an attack was coming and knowingly sacrificed him. I hope more about this is revealed later, and I suspect it will be. (Don’t tell me the details if it has been, I’m still only up to this book)

Battle for the Abyss gets mentioned as Koyne is in the process of assassinating one of the guys behind the construction of the furious abyss. As bad as that book is, I like tie ins like this that make the stories more interconnected. It makes the setting feel more real and organically changing.


The writing – technical review and evaluation


James Swallow is a good writer, he excels at describing horror and the warp, and is arguably the best writer in the collection for doing a horror story. He also has some flashes of brilliance with characters, but overall, he’s a little inconsistent.

He is solidly in the 2nd tier of HH writers behind Abnett and ADB. While he lacks some of the brilliance of those two, he can still write very well and I will always pick up one of his books thinking it should be reasonably good.

This book gets a “You can skip this one, but it’s still a good read” rating.

 *disclaimer, borrowed art is borrowed. 











Thursday, 15 January 2015

Cygnar army complete - All the Cygnars

Long shot
Ok, 

I'm not going to say much more than this...

IT'S DONE, I PAINTED THEM ALL.......... 


BWAHAHAHAAHAHA. 
Ok, i still need Dynamo and Sturgis, and there are some mercs to go, but the core army is well and truly done and dusted.

And now, a massive gallery of pics to celebrate. 






Full army wide shot. 

CHARGE!

For a shooty army, that's a lot of stabby

Darius and the big boys


Devil Dogs and Jnr

Lt Jakes and her batttlegroup

Kara in firing position


Kraye on the flanks

Connie, Gallant and Team Morrow.

Nemo1 and the Thunderhead

Siege and the Big Guns


Styker out front

Sword Knights

Siege overlooks the infantry charge










Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Thunderhead



That's it, I'm done painting Cygnar. The final group shots will be up in the next few days. The last model painted was thunderhead, and I enjoyed doing him a little differently than the rest of the army.

I made my own metallic blue by mixing up some paints, and decided to paint him in a style inspired by this awesome forge world dreadnought. 


I also reposed his hand and made and "energy ball" for him to be summoning to throw. I never liked the flat hand facing down, and thought I should do something different with it. 

Anyways, Cygnar COMPLETE. Photos coming soon. Damn that's a good feeling. 



Monday, 5 January 2015

A Thousand Sons - Horus Heresy Book review

Disclaimer


Spoilers abound in these posts, if you haven’t read the books and will get upset by finding out what happens just stop.

This is also not a recap, if you want a recap go to Lexicanium.

What The Black Library says about the book


Censured at the Council of Nikea for his flagrant use of sorcery, Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons Legion retreat to their homeworld of Prospero to continue their use of the arcane arts in secret. But when the ill-fated primarch foresees the treachery of Warmaster Horus and warns the Emperor with the very powers he was forbidden to use, the Master of Mankind dispatches fellow primarch Leman Russ to attack Prospero itself. But Magnus has seen more than the betrayal of Horus and the witnessed revelations will change the fate of his fallen Legion, and its primarch, forever.

What the book is really about?


Damn, these book blurbs really like to give away the plot don’t they?

Ok, a lot happens in this book and some of it takes too long to develop, while other bits are rushed.

We start on the planet of Aghoru, a hot planet that has human inhabitants who wear masks all the time, and sort of worship a giant elder monument thingy that houses a GREAT EVIL. And for the first 3rd of the book, we get slowly introduced to the characters, the legion, the Space Wolves and Magnus.

Long story short, Space wolves turn up to demand Magnus join Russ in the crusade, Magnus wants to explore the temple, chaos awakes, mayhem eschews, and the Space Wolves see the Thousand sons cut loose with PSIPOWERZ when they think Magnus has fallen.

It’s a bit slowly paced to start and it took me a while to get into it. By the end of the Aghoru story arc I was feeling very “meh” about the book. But it picks up a lot after the initial arc, which really could have been tightened up a bit.

Part two of the book has the Thousand Sons, Space Wolves and Word Bearers engaged in a total war of extermination against an avian humanoid species. There’s some good action in here and a great stand-off between Primarchs.

The middle of the book is the double act of Emperor as stage performer. First, the victory procession at Ullanor, and then the Trial of Magnus at Nikea. I wish the Trial was a little more involved, Magnus got some great lines but it was all a bit clipped. I think 40 pages of padding from Aghoru could have been ripped out and replaced with more coverage of one of the seminal events of the Heresy.

It’s almost as though McNeill panicked a little at having to write a courtroom drama, so he had the protagonist collapse during the trial so he could hand wave it. A little disappointed at that, but I more than forgave him for what followed.

The battle of Prospero was awesome and epic, it swung back and forth, different characters had major impacts on the proceedings and it was a great read. It had everything an over the top battle in the Heresy needs; psychically controlled titans, magics aplenty, the Wulfen, two Primarchs going at it, custodes, sisters, guardsmen, hand to hand, orbital bombardments, the whole nine freaking yards.

But despite the great action scenes at the end, the single best part of this book is that it explains who the Thousand Sons are, What they believe, and why they fell. And it tells the story in a way that makes the Thousand Sons believable and real.

The Hero-Protagonist - Ahriman


Well Holy cow.

They finally made an established chaos character in the 40k universe something other than a moustache twirling villain (Tython, Bile) or a mindless buffoon (Abaddon, Lucius, Ben counters book 3 Kharn).

Ahriman is the classic “Warrior-scholar” type. He fights when he needs to and is an instrument of war, but deep down, he’d probably rather be reading books and indulging in his hobby of viticulture.

I really liked his interactions with Wyrdmake, the rune priest of the Space Wolves. It was nice for once to see a traitor legion on the receiving end of a personal betrayal. What starts as a friendly exchange of ideas between legions ends in massive betrayal of trust and revenge. You also feel that Ahriman is quite justified in his final acts against Wyrdmake as well.

The other things I found appealing about Ahriman was his interaction with the remembrancer Lumeul, his personal story about the flesh change and his twin, and his insecurities about his power. Ahriman felt flawed and….. human really. A lot of characters in this universe come across as caricatures and supermen, but for all of Ahriman’s baddassery, he really is just a guy committed to his legion and paranoid that he will become a monster. I’m quite interested to read more about him after this.

Why are their humans in my book about super-powered Space Marines?


Again, the Remembrancers are great human characters and all four of them are solid, interesting characters. It’s also nice to see lesser psykers and how normal people deal with psychic phenomenon in the 30k universe.

Lumuel, while clearly riffing on Karkasy from book one, is an engaging fellow. His personal growth in the story is immense, and he goes from a lazy gadfly to become a quite heroic character towards the end.

Camille and Kallista both go through horrible story arcs that show the dangers of psychic powers, and poor Kallimakus is the victim of horrific abuse and the hands of Magnus.

These four characters tell a very personal story of horror, and there are some truly creepy, tense and sad moments in their story. The exchange between Lumeul and Ahriman over Kallista’s fate at the end truly shows how far Lumeul has come, and how far Ahriman will go. It’s a great part of the book.

There are a lot of questions remaining for these characters and I hope they pop up again.


MVP – Phosis T’Kar


This may seem like a strange choice, but let me explain. I really liked the different captains within the Thousand Sons and their various fates. Ulthizaar the telepath had some great character exchanges with Ahriman, and his final fate was sad. Khalophis literally goes out in a blaze of glory while being a colossal engine of destruction; Maat pulls through the battle but is a shell of what he was at the end.

All of the captains have a bit of character, except Auramagma, who’s mostly defined through the fact that Ahriman doesn’t like him.

But Phosis T’kar wins the MVP for the single best death scene in the series so far. It’s a poignant moment that sums up everything about the Thousand Sons and their fall. It’s the final moment of realization that all of the power they have accumulated is for nothing, and all it has done is cost them their souls.

Worst Character – Yatiri


Ok, most of the characters in the book are alright, some are pretty good even. However, I’m giving this award to Yatiri as representative of a boring race of primitives who took up WAY too much of the book.

The thing that annoyed me most about them is the mask idea. Oh wow, a society that hides behind masks and never takes them off. That might be cool if they hadn’t done the exact same thing only a few books earlier, on Sarosh with Descent of Angels.

185 pages…… should have been a lot less.

Get to know your Legion – The Thousand sons


I think this is the high point of the book. McNeill took a tricky legion and made them interesting, unique and somewhat believable. Sure, he relied on WAY too many things to do with the number nine, but all in all, the Legion is well described and well detailed.

You have the planet of Prospero, and its past is explained in detailed. You also have the five cults of the legion spelled out and their origin story. I like that the psykers are specialized into traditions, biokenesis, telepathy, augury, telekenetics and pyromaniacs. It creates a nice feel and stops everyone being “just another psyker”.

It also creates rivalries and competition within the Legion, and marks out individual characters by their power displays. I think the cults were a great inclusion, and anyone doing a Thousand Sons army would profit from including them conceptually in unit design.

I also really like how the Thousand Sons gene flaw was handled. Lets face it, many Legions have some horrible downsides, the Red-Thirst, Becoming Wolfen, Rages, being a boring boring person (Sorry Ultramarine fans, but it’s true, that’s their geneflaw…. Deal with it!).

But none of them are quite as horrific as the flesh change. It’s described in great detail, and you can feel the fear across the Legion at the prospect of it. It’s yet another thing that drives the Thousand Sons to know everything.

I also like the mental discipline of the enumerations, even if I think it was a little overused. Despite occasionally going hogwild with the psychic powers, they are a discipline Legion, which provides nice contrast to the Space Wolves.

Oh, and I love that the Thousand Sons casually use warp entities and their power without realizing exactly what they are doing. These guys were so very very doomed with that attitude.


PS, when they finally get around to making legion models, they will be awesome, but perhaps not as awesome as these.


Get to know your Primarch – Magnus the Red.


Well he’s no 21st Century Schizoid man, that’s for sure. An obscure reference to say the least, but I couldn’t help but listen to “the court of the Crimson King” by progressive rock Legends King Crimson while typing this review, as every time they called him the Crimson King that track would pop into my head.

Magnus is done quite well. He swings between cocksure arrogance and pragmatic level-headedness but never goes into the caricature level. His fall is well telegraphed, but it’s a classic story, the story of Icarus or the cliché that “the road to ruin starts with good intentions”.

Magnus means well, but he’s fucked from day one. Seriously, I don’t know what Magnus could have done to escape his fate, he has amazing psychic powers, and his body is essentially a visage. So why expect him to sit and behave like a normal boy.

Faced with his legions flaw, he dooms himself to save them. And then, when he finds out about the heresy he tries to save the day with his forbidden powers, but in the process, muffs everything up.

But what else would he have done? Sat down and let the heresy happen? Not warned the Emperor? Magnus gets boxed in and his loyalty destroys him. Poor bastard.

Why the Emperor is a giant douche


This book is a big one for the Emperor acting on maximum nozzle.

Magnus was doomed with a dad like this. Magnus was a kid with special needs and needed a lot more parenting than the others. Anyone who can casually throw off their skin and fly around the warp needs some good solid parenting about what is in the warp.

And when Magnus solved the gene-flaw in the Thousand Sons, did the Emperor not think “how the heck did he do that, perhaps I will press him for answers”.

Then he punishes Magnus at Nikea for being himself.

And finally, although it’s not covered in this book in great detail, he builds a life support astropathic prison for Magnus to be entombed in…….. That golden throne wasn’t built for the Emperor you know. Someone with massive psychic powers was going to be imprisoned for all time in there, and you can bet the Emperor had Magnus lined up for the gig.

Moustache twirling evil-bastard award – Mortarion


Mortarion is pretty painfully written in this, and I get that it’s from the perspective of the Thousand Sons. But he just comes across as a giant ham who wants to sneakily smack down Magnus. 



Quirky reveals and other coolness


Well, this book has a few of them, so time to add in a new category for the reviews.

One – The name “a thousand sons” and how they were called that before they shrank to a Thousand. The Emperor knew what was coming? So did that mean he knew Magnus would barter his soul to save them?

Two – There are no wolves on Fenris. This whole little story piece was wonderfully creepy, and painted the Space Wolves as being something far more sinister and dark than simple tribal beserkers.

Three- Leman Russ and the façade. At one point Ahriman sees through Leman Russ’s façade and see that it’s mostly for show. Again, this makes the Space Wolves a lot darker and sinister than their normal portrayal and I loved it. Russ plays the mindless beserker, but is so much more.

Four – It’s all part of a master plan. The whole Space Wolves – Thousand Sons conflict is set off by pro-heresy factions who want to take out two of the most formidable loyal legions. It’s pretty clever really.

The writing – technical review and evaluation


At 558 pages, this is a solid sized book and it covers a lot of ground. I’m not gonna lie, I think this is Graham McNeill’s best work and it’s a great contribution to the Horus Heresy. This is a book that could easily have been messed up, and a Legion that could have turned out terribly in the story. And while the book has its flaws, it’s a solid read.


This book gets a “must read if reading the series” rating. 

 *disclaimer, borrowed art is borrowed. 














Sunday, 4 January 2015

Cygnar Light Jack Swarms





I Like light jacks, I like them a lot in fact. I like them so much I own a literal swarm of light jacks.

What's weirder is I use them a lot as well. I will rarely field an army that doesn't have at least one Light warjack. And occasionally, i'll field a lot more than that. 


Now, i've only just finished painting 3 chargers, 2 sentinels, 2 fireflys, i hunter and 1 minuteman. So i haven't got to go completely crazy with them yet. The key word is yet. 

At my next tournament I will be running a list with 3 sentinels, 4 chargers and 2 minutemen. It should be hilarious. Oh yeah, that list also has 20 focus per turn to spend. So silly. 

Now that's a tier list, but i think they have a place in almost any list. 


Light jacks seem to be overlooked a fair bit because of the obsession people have for running jacks on full focus. 

A lot of these jacks can get value for their points with 0-1 focus per turn. 

A minuteman only needs 1 focus to leap per turn, a hunter 1 to boost damage if standing still (rat 9), a sentinel should never really need focus, a grenadier can fire 3 shots a turn with zero focus and a charger gets a double boosted power 12 for one focus. Best of all, they cost 4-6 points and you can "focus them up" if the situation warrants it. 


Now that's with a standard caster. There are other examples that make Cygnar lights insanely good. Here's a few I use.

Kraye: How about 3 sentinels + guided fire? Minutemen with full tilt who can flak field important solos. Stand and fire Rat 9 boosted shot hunters who can move after shooting. Kraye loves lights.

Nemo2: Assign 3 focus to each jack? 4 Chargers, and that's a whomping 8 pow 12 double boosted shots, with energizer and movement, that's 21" of shooting threat. PEW PEW!


Stryker3: Most people seem obsessed with the high-power alpha strike to take down super tough units. I like the idea that even a small utility jack like a firefly can provide support for stormcallers, and then get a pow 13+4 dice, auto hitting, threat range 11" charge with reach. 

Anyway, light jacks, love em. Don't leave home without them. 

Oh, and you might notice the alternate paint schemes for the jacks below. I wanted to mix up painting so many light jacks at once, and I also wanted to create visually distinct "battlegroups", so i can assign a sentinel and a charger to a junior (or 4)






Thursday, 1 January 2015

Silverline Stormguard & 2 Warcasters






Welcome to the latest painting update on my pledge to finish "ALL THE CYGNAR" by the end of Jan 2015.  

First up are the Silverline Stormguard, a unit only available directly from Privateer Press. Which, if you live in New Zealand, means they are a pain in the ass to get a hold of in an affordable way.

Fortunately for me, one of my friends went to Warmachine weekend, heck, he even ended up on the muse on minis podcast, so i asked him to pick them up for me. Good job that man. 

This is the first unit I have airbrushed most of the painting on. I used black, then a dark metal and finally a silver in the manner described in more detail here


After the silver base was done, i used the dark blue glaze from Games Workshop and gently glazed the metal to give it this silver-metallic look. Overall, i like it. An entire silver unit would be too much for me in a blue army, but the metallic blue/silver keeps army coherency, while marking the silverlines as being very different from the dark blue traditional Stormguard. 

Next up is Nemo3, who I hated painting. I find Nemo3 the most disappointing model and concept in the Cygnar warcasters. The old guy has looked virtually the same in all 3 incarnations, and Nemo3, while quite powerful, lends himself to boring play.

I wanted Nemo3 to be an old man in a gundam suit of electrical power armour. I wanted something different, as it stands Nemo3 is pretty similar to his old form. He just doesn't grab me. 



And finally, Caine1. A caster I haven't used yet, but one who seems to have few fans. 

Caine1 seems to suffer from "1st edition, core set blues". He's very basic, has very simple effects and is ok. 

But he lacks the "OMG THATS AWESOME" that a lot of later casters have. 

I think deadeye, snipe and blur make for solid spells, and teleport is always handy. But compared to Caine2, I see a lot of short falls.

Which is sad, because i think their should be closer parity in casters than their is. Caine is a victim of the Apotheosis book, which made EPIC versions of the first 3 casters. And for the most part, the EPIC's were just that.... better versions. I hope they tweak Caine1 and Stryker1 when they do a 3rd edition to make them more interesting. 


Next up, loads of light jacks.....





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