Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nerdcrons Part 2

Lovell brought the Battle Missions book to our game the other night and wanted to play one of the Necron-specific scenarios. I don't recall the name, but it had us deploying along the short table edges, which was novel. The scenario was supposed to represent the Necrons striking into an undefended zone to harvest the population, and combat between two forces that rely heavily on Deep Strike was interesting. To win, a player needed to hold the majority of the objectives, of which there were three. I made a conservative Deathwing Assault into no-man's land, and in the remaining turn I grabbed the objective in Lovell's deployment zone with my command squad. Most of the action played out on the Necron end of the board and when the dust cleared, there were Dark Angels on all three objectives.

Lovell dug up a... I'll call it a "speculative codex" from the wilds of the Internet. I wasn't so sure about it, but I don't blame him. It's old enough that I was using it before I sold my Necrons, quit, took a few years off, came back, and spent a few years collecting space marines. According to some people, it's old and busted, so it makes sense that Lovell would want to get away from that image.

Initially, I was pretty shocked by the fake Necron book. Most of his units had 3+ Feel No Pain rolls that could be taken regardless of the strength or AP of the weapon firing on the unit. Some of this was due to the proximity of the monoliths, but the rules also gave the monoliths a 3+ cover save against all attacks, which essentially made them invincible considering their universal Armor 14. The Necron lord with his 3+ invulnerable save (in all fairness, a storm shield) and his attacks that ignored all saves also threw me for a loop, and the Monolith's ordnance blast being upgraded to AP 2 seemed almost nonsensical. But if I was able to beat the army 3-0, can it really be as bad as it looks on paper? I also have to admit it gave me one of the most hard-won, enjoyable games I've played recently. So although it certainly needs some amendments, I'd face it again.

All of this rumination on the strengths and weaknesses of the Necron codex has me thinking about the Dark Angels codex, as well. Over the last year or so I've been operating under the assumption that it's a fundamentally flawed book. I think that's probably true, but it also has a lot going for it. Consider:
  • Belial is pretty cheap compared to a similarly-equipped space marine captain, even accounting for his lower stats
  • Terminators become a bit more survivable if you use their flexible weapon options to play some wound allocation tricks
  • If you can pull off a Deathwing Assault, you're probably in good shape
  • You can pull off a Deathwing Assault if you bring some bikers, because they all come with teleport homers
So although there are a ton of disparities between Codex: Dark Angels and Codex: Space Marines (the newer book having units and upgrades that are both cheaper and better), the important thing is to treat the Dark Angels book as an army unto itself. Codex marine strategies won't work here, because it's simply a different list altogether.

Still, it's a drag not being able to put a bunch of tactical marines on the table. I've yet to determine whether plunking down 25 terminators makes up for that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Of the Nerdcrons and Their Ilk

How I Disproved Your T-Shirt, Or, This Blog Needs More Pictures

Last night was a big night for miniatures at PAGE. Lovell threw down the gauntlet with his homebrew Necron codex, and since I was the last to yell "not it!" we faced off. Lovell wanted to play "his scenario" from the Battle Missions book, and, being a gentleman, I assented.

I'll post more about the battle and my thoughts about the scenario and the unofficial Necron codex a little later, but for now, I'll leave you with some light reading:

Why Necrons Need Nerfing on Warhammer 39,999

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dark Angels vs. Codex Space Marines, 1750

The results are in, and this year Election Day was really tough on... the Dark Angels. My good friend Joe and I met last night in his palatial estate for a gentleman's game of Warhammer 40,000. My list consisted of mostly Deathwing units with a tactical and assault squad thrown in to showcase my newly-painted squads and to boost my numbers and mobility. Joe brought a Vulkan-themed codex list instead of his usual Drop Pod extravaganza, although both drop pods and Sternguard made an appearance.

We generated an Annihilation mission using Pitched Battle deployment rules, which was good as neither of us have played regularly for a while. He won the roll for first turn, and I didn't attempt to steal the initiative as I was planning to make a Deathwing Assault (tm).

In the end Joe won out, scoring 6 kill points to my 4. He did an excellent job outmaneuvering me, rendering my command squad, captain, and a supporting Deathwing squad (over 1/3 of my army's points value) almost completely harmless. Some highlights:
  • A four-turn dreadnought vs. venerable dreadnought slugfest (the venerable lost, but at least it held down a flank in the meantime)
  • Vulkan He'stan slaughters two full Deathwing squads, almost single-handedly
  • a single squad of terminators absorbs comical amounts of heavy bolter and autocannon fire
There's also some pictures of my in-progress tactical marines on Joe's flickr.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend haul, gearing up

I spent most of the weekend fulfilling family obligations and doing holiday stuff so I wasn't able to wrangle as much painting time as I'd hoped, but I did steal an hour or two to to continue working on tactical marines. I also put together and primed a venerable dreadnought using yet another spare Assault on Black Reach model and some bits from the Dark Angels veterans sprue.

Tonight I'll finish up a few things for tomorrow's match against Joe's Kingbreakers. I'm tempted to post my list, but I can't risk letting classified information fall into the wrong hands. One way or another, though, there's bound to be a whole lot of deep striking...

I'm hoping to have some photographs of the action.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Got home a little late tonight, so after dinner I decided to clean, assemble, prime, and paint a dreadnought. It's a little sloppy, but 100+ points isn't a bad haul for a night. Plus, it was a Black Reach model, so it won't be a big deal if I decide to repaint or replace it in a few months.

No surprises here, but the "verdigris" stain looks excellent over metallic gold.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Better Red Than Dead

After a bunch of frustrating setbacks regarding failed High Elf test models, I decided to switch gears and paint some Dark Angels today. I'd been trying to decide whether to give my marines black bolters or do the old school red "lunch box" bolters. I usually prefer darker, more realistic schemes but I was worried the black might make the model too boring, so I tried out some red bolters today.

To achieve a deep wine red I gave the gun a light wash of Leviathan Purple, followed by three washes of Baal Red, followed by a careful wash of Devlan Mud. So mostly, the gun is purple, but it's actually not bad.

I also applied some decals, which are a huge pain for not a lot of payoff. I'd skip them if it weren't for the Codex Astartes. It's probably a good idea to buy some micro-set, but at this point I'm sick of shelling out money for accessories for an already expensive hobby, so I'll just deal with it for now.

The models are definitely what you'd call "tabletop standard" but at this point, I'm happy sealing them instead of stripping them, so that's a big check in the win column. I'll have to wrangle a camera soon. I'm not really psyched about 40k right now, but I can't lie - I'm definitely looking forward to putting down some painted squads next week.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Goggles! They Do Nothing!

About a year ago, I bought a few cans of Minwax Polyshades with the intention of trying some dipping. I've been thinking about it more and more recently, so I primed a few models this morning and later this afternoon, spent about 30 minutes happily blocking in colors on a test model.

I cracked open a can of Minwax Pecan Satin and transferred it to a glass jar. It was a satisfying amber color. Selecting an old brush, I applied a conservative amount of the polyshade to my test miniature. Strangely, I didn't notice a change - the model just looked wet. I decided I hadn't used enough and really glopped it on. Now the model just looked really wet. Huh. The polyurethane, it does nothing.

That's when I noticed about a half inch of concentrated brown gloop in the bottom of the Minwax can. I had left the can sitting for a year and forgotten to sake it before opening.

Now I'll have to head over the Home Depot tomorrow afternoon, which will eat into Sunday Afternoon Painting Time (tm). Oh well, I was out of Simple Green anyway. Moral of the story: don't be like me! Shake shake shake!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

High Elves vs. Empire, 1500

After months of vague planning and halfhearted trash talk, Matt and I finally got our armies on the same table at last week's PAGE meeting. It was a busy weekend, so I brought the same list I used against the ogres in my previous game and Matt brought an Empire army consisting of:
  • Level 4 wizard with the Lore of Shadow
  • Level 2 wizard with the Lore of Fire
  • 2 units of spearmen each with multiple detachments of handgunners
  • 2 units of pistoliers
  • A unit of knights
  • A cannon, Hellblaster Volley Gun, and some kind of crazy engineer
We decided to play Scenario 1 for simplicity's sake and Matt won the rolls for board edge and first turn, so after deploying his gunline and making his vanguard move, the game was on. There was no need to move any of his units, so Matt's first action was the cast flamestorm with this level 2 wizard.. He cast with irresistible force, but the template promptly scattered into thin air and the wizard lost two levels for his trouble, essentially reducing him to a pajama'ed victory point bonanza. Later on, he suffered the same result with his Level 4, but the Lore of Shadow did an admirable job debuffing my swordmasters throughout the game. Miscasts abounded, mostly due to Matt's bad luck and my Book of Hoeth, but as far as the elves' magic phase was concerned, Throne of Vines really proved its worth with its ability to allow the caster to ignore miscasts on a 2+. In fact, it's probably crucial to the Book of Hoeth+Archmage+Regrowth strategy I've been relying on.

Gunpowder weapons wreak havoc on the frail elven constitution, and my Reavers evaporated in the face of the Imperial handgunners. Similarly, the two units of pistoliers on the Empire flank savaged my swordmasters, taking down 6. Critically for Matt, though, they didn't finish the job and I was able to complete the charge. In the magic phase, I pulled off a massive regrowth with irresistible force, restoring the unit to full strength. This was the turning point of the game as the swordmasters were able to cut down the pistoliers with ease and overrun safely into the right Imperial flank, putting them in position to chew their way down the gunline. Incredibly, the destruction of one unit of pistoliers caused the other to panic and flee off the board, making it difficult for Matt to respond to my maneuvering. It also reduced the hail of fire just enough that the second unit of swordmasters and the spearmen were able to charge and break units further down the Empire battle line, although the Hellblaster did a nasty job on the spearmen, killing all but Caradryan and the command models.

It was getting late, so we had to call it just before turn 4. I came out with a little over double Matt's victory points, but I'm not calling this a victory because we didn't finish and we played a few rules the wrong way. In terms of learning how my army works, though, this was by far the best game yet. It's all about the swordmasters.

Master of the blade! Wielder of the steel! With iron fury, killer fire and speed! With his mighty sword, he reaps his vengeance!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blood of Kings

A really smart dude named Ian unveiled his Warmachine strategy blog last night. I think you should read it if you play Warmachine or are thinking about playing Warmachine or have ever heard of Warmachine because when it comes to games, Ian knows his stuff. Personally I don't understand a damn word of this, but wiser souls than me should head to Blood of Kings.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nothing is Over! Nothing!

I'm stealing an hour or so to work on some scouts, and that has nothing to do with First Blood being on television. Nothing at all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Last night was the final week of the escalation league at Redcap's, so I packed up my High Elves and shipped over after work. The game was set at 1,500 points, so I updated my army list. It's still not exactly what I'd take if I had all the miniatures I'd like, but it's getting closer. In particular I wanted to try replacing the second mage with a melee-oriented character, so I swapped him out for Caradryan:

  • Level 4 Archmage, Book of Hoeth (aww yeah!), Lore of Life
  • Caradryan (aww yeah!)
  • 15 Spearmen, full command (joined by both characters)
  • 15 Sea Guard, full command
  • 2 units of 10 Swordmasters, one with the Banner of Sorcery, the other with Ironcurse Icon
  • 8 Ellyrian points fillers, or, Reavers
My opponent, Anthony, was a super nice guy who's also new to the game. Seriously, I've played some extremely courteous opponents lately, and he was probably the nicest (including the time I bilocated and played against myself). This turned out to be good later on. Anthony is the tyrant of an Ogre Kingdoms horde:
  • A Tyrant accompanied by 6 Ironguts
  • A good-sized Ogre Bull regiment
  • A mob that included probably every Gnoblar in the world
  • A group of Gnoblar Trappers
  • 3 Leadbelchers
  • 2 Gorgers
We rolled Blood and Glory, the scenario that assigns each army a "fortitude" score and checks against its "breaking point." If you reach your breaking point by losing some combination of the army's general and unit standards, you're toast. Anthony won the roll to choose his table edge, and opted to stick to the side where he'd already been unpacking his ogres. I was happy about that as the side I inherited had a sweet spot for some Sea Guard, a defended obstacle at the top of a hill. My setup was pretty simple: Sea Guard on the hill, Swordmasters to the fore, Spearmen just for maximum spell coverage, and Reavers on the right flank. Anthony plopped most of his Ogres down as close as possible, put the Leadbelchers on my right flank, and the Trappers just behind my army on the left flank. I used my Vanguard move to bring the Reavers over to deal with the gobbos, and the game began.

Anthony won the first turn, which was largely uneventful as his brutes lurched toward my lines. His Leadbelchers moved through a forest which turned out to be a Wildwood, causing two wounds. The trappers pelted the back of my Swordmasters with rocks, broken bottles, and other assorted detritus but they remained unscathed due to a few lucky armor saves. I was glad I moved the Reavers over. There was no firing from the Leadbelchers, so that was the end of the turn for the Ogres.

The Ironguts with the Ogre general were close enough for a charge by my Swordmasters, and impact hits are not friendly to my low-toughness, weakly armored elves, so they charged. I wasn't confident the other unit was in charge range of the Ogre Bulls, so I moved them backwards a hair, hoping to make Anthony think twice about a second-turn charge. The Reavers continued their collision course toward the gnoblers.

I then rubbed my hands gleefully as I prepared for my first magic phase. Between the winds of magic and my Banner of Sorcery, it came out to twelve power dice for me vs. six dispel dice for Anthony. I picked up three dice to cast Throne of Vines, hoping the extra die would draw off some of my opponent's dispel dice. "This mage has the Book of Hoeth," I explained as I rolled the dice, "so he'll cast with Irresistible Force on any double, not just a six." Confidently, I let the dice fall:

The number of the beast. Six! Six! Six!

Miscast! We consulted the miscast table to learn that my mage had indeed exploded with magical energy, killing an entire rank of Spearmen and removing four dice from my power pool. Suddently, it wasn't looking so impressive. With five dice remaining I probably should have cast an ehnanced Flesh to Stone on my Swordmasters, but for fun I decided to try The Dwellers Below against the large unit of Ogre Bulls, reasoning that a few of them would surely fail their strength tests, but the spell failed.

The Reavers shot up a handful of Trappers and the Sea Guard fired some warning shots against the Bulls, so we moved on to the close combat phase. My Swordmasters promptly failed their fear checks as the Tyrant called out my champion, who accepted the challenge. Both champion and unit alike were pasted as they failed to do significant damage. The Ironguts won combat handily, and the Swordmasters were no more.

Not much happened during the Ogres' second turn, except for this: they won the game! The Ironguts charged my Spearmen, killing three with impact hits before the combat began. Caradryan wasted no time challenging the tyrant: with his halberd causing multiple wounds, I felt pretty good, but he managed to fail to wound with all of his attacks. The Tyrant took a wound off of him, which was not enough to kill Caradryan and trigger his death throes. The Spearmen failed to inflict any wounds on their foes but, amusingly, the Archmage's WS 4, Str 3 attack finished off a wounded ogre. The ogres retaliated by pulping the unit, winning combat by 10(!). Needless to say, even with the reroll provided by the army general, the Spearmen broke, the Ironguts ran them down, and as my army had reaching its' breaking point, that was the game.

I'm not sure I'm willing to claim this loss, but in retrospect, there are a few things I should have done differently. I should have stuck to my plan in the magic phase, even after the cataclysmic miscast. I also should have risked the long charge with my second unit of Swordmasters instead of moving them back. I also should have rolled another other than a 10 on my fear test and triple 6s on my casting roll, of course.

Having said that, though, I still think Anthony deserved the win. He had all of his units in the right places and was applying pressure from the start. The way his ogres utterly brutalized my poor, precious elves helped highlight a key issue, which is this: I need to figure out a way to deal with the elves' natural fragility. I still think the Lore of Life is the way to do it, but last night was some pretty strong evidence to the contrary. Also, I really need some Bolt Throwers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Healthy Respect for Rats

I was able to make it down to Redcap's Corner for their escalation league the other night, and played 1,250 points of High Elves against the store owner's Skaven. Here's what I brought:

  • A level 3 Archmage with High Magic and a level 2 Mage with the Lore of Life
  • 2 units of 10 Sea Guard with full command
  • 2 units of 10 Swordmasters with full command, one with the Banner of Socrery
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers
Adam had:
  • Queek Headtaker and a BSB with some kind of crazy rat banner that does random str2 hits
  • a massive 500-point block of Stormvermin
  • 2 (or possibly 3) units of Skavenslaves
  • 2 Rat Ogres with packmaster
  • a warpfire thrower
  • 2 lightning cannons
We rolled scenario six, the one with the watchtower, with a unit of Adam's Skavenslaves holding the tower at the start of the game. Thinking back to past defeats, I deployed my units mostly together to keep them in range of the mages' augment spells. With my vanguard move, I moved the Reavers up my right flank to deal with one of the lightning cannons, which Adam had placed in opposite corners of the board.

I was in the position to make a first turn charge on the tower with my Swordmasters, so I did so. They ended up taking out half the Skavenslaves with no casualties, but because of the building the rats were stubborn and I wasn't able to shift them. I moved the other unit of Swordmasters forward to charge the Stormvermin next turn, and buffed them with Stone to Flesh and Shield of Saphery in the magic phase. The Reavers took a wound off of the lightning cannon with their bows. In Adam's turn, the bulk of the rats moved up and there was some inaccurate fire from the lightning cannons.

In the second turn I continued to clear the slaves out of the tower. Adam eschewed dispelling my augment spells in favor of throwing a massive handful of dice to counter Flames of the Phoenix (understandably). The Sea Guard killed the Rat Ogres' packmaster with a lucky shot, rendering them stupid and slowing their advance. The Reavers took another wound off the rightmost lightning cannon, although I stupidly forgot to charge the war machine (mostly because Adam was using a dreadnought as a proxy, and all of my instincts told me it was a bad idea to charge a dreadnought with light troops - duh). The Swordmasters charged Queek's huge unit of Stormvermin, their champion killing Queek with three lucky blows in the challenge! The rest of the unit chipped away at the rats, but lost half their members for their trouble.

From this point it was mostly downhill for me. I had some lucky breaks, such as the unit of Sea Guard receiving the Rat Ogre charge with minimal casualties, running them down, and claiming the tower. In the end, though, I couldn't put enough wounds on the Stormvermin to make much of a dent, and with the help of the Warpfire thrower they cleared the tower out easily.

This was one of those games that felt close until the last turn or so, and games like that are always a good time. The Skaven have some incredibly nasty units and items, the kind of scary stuff that I feel the High Elves lack (for the most part). I will definitely not be underestimating them as I retool my list for the rematch.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Captain's Log

I need to find a new photography option, as the lens on my camera phone got scratched to hell sometime last week and a blog without pictures does not make for exciting times. It was a good weekend for gaming, though. I sat down and cleaned the flash from a bunch of Dark Angel parts (this seems to take forever) and got some paint on an elf mage, which is now awaiting a bath of Simple Green. Call it a failed experiment.

After weeks of trying to find an opponent for Warhammer Fantasy (I guess the new edition excitement was short-lived), I was finally able to get some elves on the table. I made a decent showing, but in the end I was massacred by Kevin's night goblin horde. Some teachable moments:

  • Swordmasters are really, really good. I already knew this, but I didn't realize how good.
  • Swordmasters are really, really fragile. I already knew this, but I didn't realize how fragile.
  • If you're going to try to dominate the magic phase, bring an item that generates extra dice; snake eyes on the winds of magic isn't good.
  • Actually, magic seems kind of unreliable in general - between enemy dispel dice, spell selection, board position, and a host of other factors, it seems like you're getting about one spell off per turn.
  • Don't split your forces if you're already outnumbered like crazy.
Despite the outcome I had a lot of fun; I'm starting to feel that Fantasy is more satisfying (although not necessarily more fun) than 40k. I still hate the overabundance of wacky magical terrain, though.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ain't Done Much

Not really. I've been cleaning mold lines and priming for the last few days. Not pictured: double the amount of elves (ten more Sea Guard, ten more Swordmasters, five more Reavers), a squad of terminators, chaplain with jump pack.

That's right, I broke down and bought the Island of Blood at full retail, swapped my rats for a buddy's elves, and won myself a $15 gift card in the process.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sophisticated Computational Devices

According to Wolfram|Alpha, there's only 123 days left for me to meet my deadline. That puts my painting requirements at approximately 170 points per week, or about 25 points a day. That's no joke - that means I need to assemble and paint something like a squad of marines every week. I'm guessing the Fantasy troops will be about the same, with the large units and expensive characters just about canceling each other out.

With that in mind, I assembled and primed a bunch of stuff tonight, including the entire assault squad and a few test marines. I'm going to try to sit down tomorrow after work and paint a marine from start to finish to work out some color scheme questions and get some pictures on this blog.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Angels of Death

I came across some excellent Excel army list templates today courtesy of Ben over at The Quiet Limit of the World and got inspired to try my hand at some listbuilding. Since I haven't gotten my hands on a copy of the WFB 8th edition rulebook yet (and the universal magic items list that comes with it), here's a Dark Angels list.

Actually, it's a Codex: Space Marines army list painted green, which is an unforgivable sin around certain sectors of the web. Luckily, my group is pretty cool about this sort of thing. And for the haters out there, whatever man, I put in my time fielding Deathwing for the past couple years and I want to put some tactical marines on the table.

If it makes you feel any better, I overcame the urge to field Blood Angels. And I'm pretty sure I figured out a nice deep red, too.

Space Marines: 1500

  • Chaplain: combi-melta, jump pack (130)

  • Terminator Squad (5): assault cannon (230)

  • Tactical Squad (10): plasma gun, plasma cannon, Rhino (220)
  • Tactical Squad (10): plasma gun, plasma cannon, Rhino (220)
  • Tactical Squad (10): power weapon, flamer, heavy bolter (185)
  • Scouts (10): 5 bolt pistol/combat knives, 4 sniper rifles, heavy bolter

Fast Attack:
  • Assault Squad (5): power fist, flamer (135)

Heavy Support:
  • Devastator Squad (10): 4 missile launchers (230)
It's a weird list; not enough redundancy, a distinct lack of melta, et cetera. I'm looking forward to painting these models, though, and I think it'll be a good start toward a painted army collection.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bonus week running down

Between vacationing and spending way too much time playing Runewars, I'm off to a slow start, but I've been cleaning mold lines here and there. Taking stock of the models in the queue, here's what I'm likely to start painting first:
  • 32 Spearmen with two full commands
  • 8 Silver Helms with full command
  • 5 shadow warriors
  • Some form of character (probably a mage and a Battle Standard Bearer)
I need to rush on the Spearmen because they don't have slottabases, so I can't use them in games until I at least get them based. When I finish painting the bases (they've been modeled and primed) and the Spearmen's boots, I'll glue them to the bases and they can at least hit the table while I finish them up. It seems to be a controversial decision, but I've decided to paint the bases separately because I've got terrible patience and even worse brush control. I never understood how folks can navigate around a painted model's feet without screwing up their previous work.

I also have ten marines with bolters and a 5-man assault squad in the wings. With all of the attention on 8th edition Fantasy right now these guys aren't really a priority, but they are a pretty big distraction because they're far less intimidating to paint than the elven troops and I've got a mostly-finished test model sitting on the desk. I'm traveling again this weekend so I have no great hope of making huge strides, but if I can get back early on Sunday I might dedicate an hour or two to finishing up the test marine, decals, sealer, and all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Armies

The first thing to do when you decide to finish two armies by the end of the year is decide which two armies to finish. In this case it's pretty easy as I've got a bunch of models purchased, but I still have some choices to make.

Since I started getting back into miniatures I've collected a ton of space marines that I've been passing off as Dark Angels, so putting some green paint on marines is my priority as far as 40k goes. I have 40+ terminators (thanks, Black Reach box set) that I've been fielding as Deathwing, but I'd really like to get more tactical marines on the table so I'm not going to paint a pure Deathwing force for this challenge, as easy as that would be. I'm almost certain to paint some terminators, though, using the excellent Coolminiornot tutorial.

In the realm of fantasy, I'll be marshaling a High Elf army. It's quickly becoming apparent that painting and assembling Fantasy miniatures is way more involved than the average 40k model (compared to Space Marines, the training wheels of the 41st millennium, anyway).

I didn't have a ton of spare time tonight but I did manage to clean and assemble eight barded elven steeds and half of their Silver Helm riders. First order of business for this project: getting enough elves in a decent enough state to start playing some WHFB games in September.

I'm going to need some help. Ever seen a grown man shoot a laser from his guitar at a cartoon robot? Now you have.

I've got the touch!

Of the monstrous pictures of whales.

This is the story of a man with an obsession. It's the story of a man, blade in hand, poised to embark upon an impossible voyage of conquest. He is alone save for the eyes of the gods, which remain fixed upon him in mute judgment. The legions of his adversary are practically innumerable.

I'm talking, of course, about the obscene amount of unpainted Games Workshop product in my closet.

It's a situation far too many hobbyists find ourselves in - the rampant accrual of toy soldiers (henceforth referred to as "dudes") without an accompanying rise in painted models. Taking stock recently, I realized my home is awash in a sea of unpainted, partially-assembled dudes. I blame Games Workshop for producing such high-quality models and my parents for my poor impulse control. Still, it seems like if there's a time for something to be done, it's now. Actually, that time has probably come and gone, but better late than never, right?

First, some background. I bought the 5th edition Warhammer Fantasy boxed set on a family vacation when I was 12, and started playing Warhammer 40k in my early teens. A few friends and I played intermittently throughout the first half of college, but due to waning interest, growing frustration, and a series of scary student loan bills, I sold my entire collection (including most of my painted armies) to an acquaintance for cheap shortly after graduation. I was convinced my Games Workshop days were behind me until a few years later when I began to feel the siren call again and discovered the fine folks over at Philadelphia Area Gaming Enthusiasts. With reckless abandon I shortly amassed a small mountain of plastic and a whole heap of excuses. I've been with the club for close to two years(!) now, and still don't have a proper army to show for it. The shame!

So now it's time to see what I've got. The object of this challenge is to complete a 1500 point army for BOTH Warhammer Fantasy Battles AND Warhammer, 40,000 in the following months:


The U is for "U better get this shit done."

The rules are simple. I've got until year's end to complete my task, no excuses. It's a tall order. Along the way I'll call upon my fellow gamers to critique my progress and, should I fail, decide my fate. I'll need to work hard lest I find myself at the mercy of these pitiless overlords.

It's time to SO(u)ND off!