Monday, May 25, 2015

Space Wolves Project: Part 12 of Lots


This week I have been working on my Wolf Guard in MKIII Iron Armour from Forgeworld with Combi-Meltas and Kromlech "Sons of Thor" backpacks.

The Kromlech backpacks may look nice at a glance, but the casting was terrible! I need to fill in a lot of bubble holes with green stuff.

I also spent hours trimming the cloaks to fit to the backs of the miniatures. I'll also have to fill in a lot of gaps with green stuff and sculpt some fur.


But never mind, because they look frickin' awesome!

I'm really glad I took the extra time and money to make this Elite unit using Forge World and Kromlech parts.

These guys should look awesome when they're painted... but first, I have a lot of green stuffing to do!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Interview with Aska from The Fenrisian Forge


This week I decided to do an interview with Aska from The Fenrisian Forge instead of boring you with another week of me building Drop Pods.

But who is Aska, what is the Fenrisian Forge and why do girls like cosplay so much?

All these questions and much more will be answered below...

Aska, how did your fascination with the Space Wolves begin?

That's pretty easy. I am also a huge Viking fan and as a friend of mine showed me the hobby and brought me to Games Workshop. I told him before that if there´s a way to play Vikings or barbarians, I want them! also my favourite animals are wolves, so it was a simple choice.

How many years ago was that?

Hmm... I think it was about 18, now I'm 26.

And how big is your army now?

Built and painted or still in boxes? Well, in boxes it surely will be around 10,000 pts. Built and painted are maybe 2,800. I'm lazy in painting.

I know your pain. If only all this stuff came built and painted!

So tell us about The Fenrisian Forge. What is the idea behind this? I see that there appears to be a comic to go with it?


Well the forge is my own hobby page. I wanted to share my hobby to others, to inspire people and bring them up to creativity. Also I was annoyed by the people "fluff-nazis", who would say things like "bla bla bla you cannot do this, it´s not allowed to make female marines." They were pissing me off. So I grinned and told them, "Never ever tell what I cannot do! I do what I want".

I have a good artist who I commission to make so artworks for me. But there won't be a complete comic.

So your character is a female space wolf?

She´s a Primarch's biological daughter

Does this mean she is taller/shorter/same size as a Space Marine?

Hmm.. I would say almost same size. She´s about 2,30 tall. In armour maybe about 2,40 or more.

Could you tell us about her back story. Name, weapons of choice, etc?

The whole Story and Aska developed in the whole time I've been in the hobby. So the whole thing is not from yesterday. Her Name Aska also means Ash. The Name Kjelu is from the Celtic and means Light (especially the light of the moon). The name remembers a little bit on a eternal reawakening. A kind of cycle that represents the winter and the summer, the darkness and the light. Her weapon is very special. She had forged it out of the tooth from an legendary Wolf during her tests while she had been an aspirant. Aska requests Leman Russ for permission to fight alongside him and her brothers to serve the All-Father. There are no exceptions made for her and she endures the same hard tests as all aspirants of the Wolves. As expected she overcomes these trials without problems. In her last test she was attacked by a legendary white Fenrisian Wolf: Vargnara, Full Moon's Huntress and sister of Narghar, New Moon's Huntress. Aska fought and killed Vargnara with her own hands and a spear carved out of wood. With the fangs of the passed legend she forged an unmatched scythe, which she also named Vargnara in honor of the slain wolf. These legendary wolves are creation by mine. I just wanted something special

Any reason she has white hair?

I personal quirk. I just love white hair totally! I want white silver hair by myself

Haha and of course white is a good colour for a moon wolf like her ^_^

So let's talk cosplay. You're working on a costume of her. How is that going?

Lots of burned fingers and blood! really! Before this I've made her hunting dress. As a Wolf King's daughter I'm pretty sure she´s allowed to have a huge wardrobe. The power armour is more tricky, you need lots of EVA foam. it´s a kind of foamy training-mattings going to be cut, heated, formed, glued, covered, painted and sealed. So it´s a lot of work, but hell this makes fun!

I saw some photos of your painted gauntlets. They look amazing. Especially the battle damage. How articulated are the fingers on the gloves?

Thanks I´m also pretty proud on the battle damage, thanks to Forge World powder. the gloves are made out of worbla. it´s a thermoplastic thin material which you can form as you wish to when it´s heated, once cooled down it stays in it´s form and is stable and hard as hell. I made plates over my fingers and connected all by movable rivets. also they were built on a thin cloth, so I completely can move them I will make a video in few days on my page and show how you can move your fingers in a armour glove.

What would you say has been the most challenging part of the costume so far?

'Til now, the damned breast! It´s pretty tricky to make it fit like you want. In the moment it looks like a huge potato, but this will change soon. I think also tricky will be the back module - I hope that's right in English?

Backpack?

Haha yeah XD I forget the word you use in English.

The sheer level of detail you have gone into with the leather straps, wolf tooth necklaces and pendants (including hammer of Thor and imperial eagle) is incredible. As well as the wolf pelts. Where on earth did you get all this stuff from?

Hunting in Asaheim is the best place to get your material! Nah, I really like hunting, sometimes I have a good day and get something so I have real bones. The rest is from LARP shops or creative stores, also we have a leather store right at my corner, you can buy lots of leather pretty cheap there. And everything you need to work with it. The Hammer was made by my uncle, he forges such small treasures and also has made the Viking pearls I wear in my usual hairstyle.

Once your costume is complete are you intending to attend any conventions? For example Gen Con is a huge gathering for cosplayers from around the world. Is there a goal to what you are doing?

Sure I will go on conventions. I see it as a kind of art in the hobby I do. and everybody wants to share his art, wants attention or that others can see it. it´s a normal thing. But the main reason is... I do this for myself, it makes me happy, it makes fun, i love it and since I created Aska I ever wanted to be like her. That was pretty silly, because Aska is just me in the 40k world. I would lie when I say that lot parts of her character are not coming from my own. I just needed a power-armour, so I've decided to build one. but this won´t be all, I am maybe the biggest fan of Ragnar Blackmane which is my most favourite Lord. I wanna make his armour for my boyfriend and may I will make a Ragnar armour of him for myself one day, but this is still the melody of future.

I saw a guy walking around in one of the life sized space marine costumes at SALUTE in the UK last weekend. It sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you!

I have I thought it might be better to start small. it´s the first time I cosplay and work with those cosplay material. Before this, also LARP was a part of my Life. Who knows, maybe one day I´ll challenge myself and build fathers armours

That would be incredible!

aye so the steps are like, Aska's hunting armour, all her other dresses, her power-armour, Ragnar armour for me, Ragnar's armour for my boyfriend in real life size and when I really can handle this, I am pretty sure I also can handle Leman Russ' Armour!

I do have one question I really must ask. Why would a suit of power armour has a bare midrift (stomach)? I know it's a stereotypical female armour design for fantasy and sci-fi, but... why? lol

Hahaha everybody asks me why why why? Dammit why not? some would say yeah it´s silly. Maybe they´re right but this would also mean all dark Eldar are silly. She has a kind of belt of Russ, so she is protected in this place. Also her speed and reflexes are matching the ones of a blackmane even more. You won´t hit her that easily. And of course... personal style ^_^

It must get hot in all that armour right?

Hot as hell XD

But I still have a bare midriff as cool down option.

You were saying you were also making a dress for Aska?

Aye, this will be released to the chapter where this dress is coming in But I won´t spoiler this now
fair enough

It's been awesome talking to you about your take on the hobby. I look forward to seeing all these costumes you're working on

Sure. As I said you all can follow me on my Fenrisian Forge if you wish to. my fan fiction is free to read, maybe not in the best English, but I have some very nice English wolf brothers that are helping me a lot. Thanks mate.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Warmachining of Warhammer 40K

Anyone else noticing similarities between Warhammer 40K and Warmachine lately?


Necrons, Khorne Daemonkin and Eldar Craftworlds all feature new army structures made of detachments, with smaller bolt-on detachments to construct a force.

While sceptics have said this is to encourage sales of less popular model kits, this is very similar to how you create themed armies around Warcasters in Warmachine and Hordes.

You start with your chosen Warcaster and then have to choose between a small selection of units to form the first part of the army. Often this includes units which MUST be included. But you get a number of stat bonuses, skills or other special rules for building within this restriction.

As you expand the army, you can choose to take other "detachments" for the lack of a better word, giving you access to another small pool of units which grant these units (and sometimes your entire army) more stat bonuses, skills and special rules.

More Interesting Armies or Another Flavour of Cheese?

Why did Games Workshop decide to take this approach to army creation? Well, did you know that Warmachine and Hordes are the biggest competitor to Warhammer and Warhammer 40K? So it would make sense that Games Workshop would take every idea it could from the success of Privateer Press.

Privateer Press makes Colossals and Gargantuans, then a few months later, Games Workshop starts making Riptides, Imperial Knights and enormous Greater Daemon miniatures.

But anyway, if this becomes the new standard for army building, then one of two things can happen.

1) More Interesting Armies

I'd like to think that this has potential, because it's encouraging people to build characterful armies around a theme. But it order for it to work, it would need to buff units which would not be considered particularly powerful.

Like Chaos Space Marines Possessed (who are over costed and not very impressive) all getting Fleet and Rending as a perk if you take 3 Squads of them.

Or take a whole force of Space Wolves Grey Hunters and as your 'reward' they all get Infiltrate as their perk.

2) Another Flavour of Cheese

The only risk that themed rewards brings are making the best units even more powerful.

For example: You run a Thunderwolf Cavalry army? Congratulations on your theme. As a perk we'll allow all your units to Scout.

That would be a bit a little harsh. Although with GW focussing on the more ferocious bonuses for the Space Wolves (rather than the tactical ones), they'd probably all get to re-roll their Run and Charge moves or something similar.

But the point I wanted to make is that people will probably pick detachments purely to cheese out their army, rather than creating an interesting force.


But what about people who like to run a little bit of everything?

With no perks for taking X number of units from a specific detachment, it makes many well rounded and tactical armies a lot weaker compared to these new detachments.

Personally, I have a Drop Pod army I've put a lot of time and effort into optimising. It has a good mix of Grey Hunters, Berserker Dreadnoughts, Wolf Guard and a small pack of Blood Claws, along with Ulrik at its head.

However, Games Workshop's idea of a Space Wolves Drop Pod Detachment (with perks) would likely be 3 packs of Grey Hunters, 3 packs of Blood Claws and a Wolf Guard Battle Leader.

Pick a crappy detachment or an army you like without any perks. Now that would be a horrible situation.


Devastating Weapons

Another way Warhammer 40K is becoming more like Warmachine is the strength of the units. Especially the new ones.

Eldar Wraithguard with D-Scythes and the Eldar Wraithknight with D Cannons. So much D!

In Warmachine and Hordes no one really complains about units being broken or overpowered. Because they're ALL broken and overpowered.

Horrible stuff happens in Warmachine and enemies generally hit hard and can combo up attacks in incredible ways. I used to play Warmachine, but it wasn't for casual play - Oh no sir, it really was not!

Notice how we suddenly have all these big, smashy units in Warhammer 40K all of a sudden? This could be why.


Space Marine Codex is Coming

The latest news from the rumour mill is that a new Space Marine Codex is already on the way. Didn't the last one come out, like, a year ago?

Tank Squadrons of 1-3 are being talked about, just like the Eldar being able to field 1-3 Falcons as a single Heavy Support Choice.

However, these formations (if they're formations at all) supposedly come with benefits too. Take 3 Predator Annihilators (those are the ones with all the lascannons) and they all get the Tank Hunter skill, maybe. You get the idea.

So this is very similar to what we are seeing in Codex Necrons, Khorne Daemonkin and Eldar Craftworlds.

CONCLUSION

Themed forces are kind of the way to go, because you're more likely to get a tasty detachment that gives you further perks.

Thunderwolf Cavalry forces, Eldar Jetbike armies, Necron Warrior hordes - buying lots of the same thing is potentially rewarding.

Hopefully fun to play too.

But the armies of old, with a little bit of everything that resembled real life armies of infantry, tanks and support units may suffer as the games designers favour a Warmachine-like smattering of hot new units.

The only problem is that, unlike Warmachine, Warhammer 40K is no longer a skirmish game due to the number of miniatures required.

I just hope that Games Workshop settles into a standard format for its games. Because change is scary and we've seen a lot of it lately.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Imperial Assassins: Vindicare, Culexus, Eversor and Callidus Tactics


With the new Imperial Assassins miniatures available, let's take a look at the Vindicare, Culexus, Eversor and Callidus rules and the best tactics for using them in your games of Warhammer 40,000.

First of all, make sure you don't spend 10 GBP on the Data Slate for these rules when you can get the digital version of White Dwarf with all their rules in for under 3 GBP.

The link is HERE

So why would you take an Imperial Assassin in your army?

Well, for fun more than anything. Although each of them have their own merits which may encourage you to include them in your competitive army lists. In this instance, the Vindicare and Culexus assassins are the obvious choices. One can pick off enemy Characters from afar with his Exitus Rifle, while the Culexus is the bane of Psykers and becomes more destructive, the more Psykers he is close to.

Callidus Assassin Tactics


One sneaky bitch! The Callidus assassin has the unique Polymorph drug, allowing her to completely change her appearance and infiltrate the enemy force. In game terms, she can deploy using Infiltrate anywhere on the table, but not within 1" of an enemy unit, regardless of whether the enemy can see her or not. Or, she can start the game in Reserves and choose to move on from the enemy board edge when she arrives.

Either way, during Turn 1, or the Turn she enters from Reserves, enemy units can only fire Snap Shots when targeting her.

I should also mention that if your army includes a Callidus Assassin, you can re-roll the dice when attempting to Seize the Initiative and your opponent suffers -3 to the first Reserve Roll he makes during the game, because she disrupts enemy communications.

She has Hit & Run, Fleet, Fearless, Precision Strikes and a 4+ Invulnerable save.

Her equipment includes:
3+ Poisoned and Rending blades
AP Phase Sword. If you roll a 6 to wound, Invulnerable saves cannot be taken against it.
Neural Shredder, which is a AP2 Flamer which always wounds on a 4+

So when playing the Callidus Assassin she either appears right in front of you by Infiltrating or comes on, behind your army. And you can only Snap Shoot at her. So she is very likely to make it into close combat with you.

The only issue is that she's likely to fry approximately 4-6 models with her Neural Shredder before she charges in. Then she's pretty tricky to kill in close combat. Although nothing that a well aimed Powerfist (that she doesn't dodge) can't sort out.

So.. she picks a target, goes all out to kill it and basically causes as much carnage as possible before taking a Powerfist to the face. It will happen statistically. But, she is very likely to make her points back.

Eversor Assassin Tactics


With a grinning skull, Neuro-Gauntlet, Power Sword and pumped up on Frenzon drugs you'd expect the Eversor Assassin to be a whrilwind of destruction.
Sure, he gets extra attacks and has an impressive charge range.

BUT, he's only any good for hacking his way through high numbers of basic infantry with the Fleshbane and Shred rules of his Neuro Gauntlet. He gets 4 shots with his pistol too. Not that it's much to write home about.

Great for killing Imperial Guard and Space Marines. But a mob of Orks would probably take the hits, then pummel him, even if he does have Feel No Pain.

I'm sure the Eversor has some merit, but he's not as effective or easy to use as the other Assassins.

Vindicare Assassin Tactics


Aka "Joe Pineapples", the Vindicare Assassin is the ice cool sniper you want to start picking off those enemy Characters. Like any sniper, he needs somewhere good to set up with great field of vision while not being exposed to basic weapons fire.

He may be a badass in close combat and have a fancy Exitus Pistol, but as a super sniper, the Vindicare needs to sit and shoot without being interrupted to get the best value for his points.

His range 72", AP2, Exitus Rifle with Sniper and Exitus Ammo allows him to shoot through Invulnerable saves, inflict Strength 10 hits against vehicles or D3 Wounds against other targets. Meanwhile his Hellfire rounds always wound on a 2+.

Did I mention he Ignores Cover too?

His Exitus Pistol does the same, but it's range 12".

And what makes all this even more amazing is his Deadshot skill, which makes all successful hit rolls made by a Vindicare Assassin (excluding Snap Shots) Precision Shots. So you can simply pick out Characters and special weapon models in a squad.

All Assassins have the No Escape rule, making enemy Characters suffer a -2 penalty to their Look Out Sir tests. But against this super sniper, it's an even more impressive ability.

Suffice to say that your opponent will dedicate resources to taking out your Vindicare Assassin very quickly if he values his Characters.

It's just as well that the Vindicare also has Stealth. Especially when you're going to deploy him in ruins to give him a 3+ cover save. If there are no ruins available, his 4+ Invulnerable save allows you to place him in the open for more shenanigans. But for obvious reasons, place him in a ruin if you can.

The flip side to all this awesomeness however, is that the Vindicare can only fire his Exitus Rifle once per Turn. So pick your targets well.

Culexus Assassin Tactics


The bane of Psykers everywhere - and curious addition to Grey Knights armies.

This is because his Animus Speculum helmet gets +1 shot (during the Psychic Phase) for every Pyschic Level within 12" of him, friend or foe. You can then add up to 3 dice form your own Warp Charge Pool. So just imagine the shenanigans of putting this guy in a Space Wolves Fast Attack Drop Pod and landing him next to an Eldar Seer Council. Did I mention the shots are Strength 5, AP1?

Psyk-Out Grenades are fun for making Psykers take Perils of the Warp tests.

Due to his Etherium suit, Whenever enemy units target a Culexus Assassin with shooting or close combat attacks, the shots or attacks are always resolved as if the attacking unit had Ballistic Skill and Weapon Skill 1.

The beautiful thing about the Culexus Assassin is that he instantly removes all Blessings and Maledictions within 12". So if your opponent has an annoying habit of casting Invisibility on their post powerful units, this guys gets rid of it right away.

Psykers within 12” of a Culexus Assassin have -3 Leadership and do not generate any Warp Charge.

A Culexus Assassin can never be targeted or affected by psychic powers.

Poke of Doom! Armour saves cannot be taken against Wounds inflicted by a Culexus Assassin’s close combat attacks due to his Life Drain special rule. Any close combat attack inflicted by a Culexus Assassin that rolls a 6 To Wound has the Instant Death special rule. Any close combat attack inflicted by a Culexus Assassin that is allocated to a Psyker has the Instant Death special rule.

What are the chances of him Wounding a Riptide or similar Monstrous Creature on a 6? Okay I guess.

I feel that the best way to use the Culexus is to put him in a Space Wolves Fast Attack Drop Pod, place him in Reserve and then drop him wherever he is needed to make a mess of some Psykers, or Psychic Monstrous Creatures. Or maybe just get out and stand there, laughing, as the enemy try to shoot him (or hit him in close combat) with their paltry Weapons Skill and Ballistic Skill of 1, then start killing people with his Life Drain 'ignore armour saves' attacks.

A Drop Pod gets around the difficulties of delivering him into the fight on foot (whether he can Infiltrate or not) and ensures he can appear precisely where he is needed.


CONCLUSION

All of the Imperial Assassins have something to offer, but the big question is whether or not they can make their points back.

I would be reluctant to take the Callidus, because how effective she is depends entirely on the composition of your opponent's army. She can either cause a lot of damage before she inevitably dies, or do very little and be ignored by a fast moving force.

The Vindicare only gets 1 shot per Turn. Can your opponent simply ignore him, turning him into a substantial points sink? Okay, he can pick off up to 7 targets throughout the duration of a game. He's pretty much guaranteed to Hit and Wound every time. But it could take him a few turns to take out a 3 Wound Character. So consider choosing your targets carefully.

I feel he works best in a shooting force, taking that last wound off a monstrous creature or walker or vehicle. Perhaps the Imperial Guard is the best place for him?

The Eversor...is okay. Crazy fun killing machine maybe, but you've got to get him there. Without an opened top transport or one with an assault ramp, he's likely to get his arse shot off before he ever sees close combat. His delivery then becomes a substantial points investment.

Finally, the Culexus! It's as if he was made to ride in a Drop Pod. But I wouldn't take him otherwise, because like the Eversor, you need a delivery system to get him in close so he can do his thing. I think he would be a lot of fun to play with his Life Drain (aka: Poke of Doom!) abilities alone.

I managed to get a Culexus Assassin on eBay. But after writing this article I really really wish I'd simply bought the Execution Force box and had all the Assassins to play with.

The Ultimate Space Wolves Resource

Welcome to the Space Wolves blog -the unofficial resource to building, painting and playing the Space Wolf army in Warhammer 40K.


We aim to provide you with all the painting guides, modelling tutorials and game winning tactics you need to get the most from playing your Space Wolf army!



Events Adam is Attending

Below you will find a list of the events I will be attending for the foreseeable future. So if you're going to the same event as me, come and say hi!

Event: Greetings from the Warp
Game: Warhammer 40K
Date: 30-31st May
Location: Warhammer World, Nottingham

Event:
Darkfaux

Game: Malifaux
Date: 19th July
Location: Dark Sphere, London

Event: Greetings from the Warp
Game: Warhammer 40K
Date: 14th November
Location: Northampton

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