Thursday, July 30, 2009

Demon Conversions for the Campaign with Dustin

If I have my 40k fluff right, then Slaanesh the chaos god was born at the moment known as "The Fall of the Eldar". It seems to me that it is fitting, then, to take some old Dark Eldar models (From the 3rd Ed. Box set?) and convert them into Daemonettes. Here are my six (six is the sacred number of Slaanesh) models assembled and ready for paint:

I will post some painted pictures tomorrow. I think the paint job will make them look more like daemonettes, and less like poorly-hacked-into Dark Eldar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been so busy! I am trying to get all of my Warhammer stuff in order for the campaign when Dustin arrives, so that means not only working on my last few Marines (I am so tired of red, seriously), but also Tau and Kroot, Orks, and probably a few Demons which I will head out and buy today.

I have also been trying to throw together enough decent-looking terrain for our games so we can play at home. Of course we will play a lot at the store, because of their large tables, great terrain, friendly atmosphere, and other players just hanging out.

Also, with Dustin's last-minute switch from Imperial Guard to Eldar, and the fact that he is not bringing his Tyranids, I am re-working the campaign from top to bottom. We will still play with plenty of wacky special rules, no doubt made up on-the-fly by us for comedy's sake.

All this to do...entirely too much fun, don't you think?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Dustin has chosen to go with Eldar as his new army, contrary to his earlier plans of Imperial Guard. He wanted the "Death Corps of Krieg" special Forge World Guard, and they were having shipping issues. He ordered his Eldar force today; something on the order of:

2 Farseer and 10 Warlock Seer Council mounted in a Wave Serpent grav tank
2 Dire Avenger squads(x12) mounted in Wave Serpents
3 Fire Dragon (x6) squads mounted in Falcon grav tanks

I am very excited to play, and I think that is a fairly solid "mechdar" (as mechanized Eldar are sometimes called) list. The weakness, which Dustin knows, is that there are only two scoring units.

2. We took the first ripe Tomato off the vine tonight. Soon we will eat it as part of a fancied-up grilled cheese sandwich.

3. Tomorrow is my 2nd Anniversary dating Better Living. I love you, honey! <3

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Brief Battle Report

Last Thursday I played a fun game against one of the store clerks, Matt (I think...maybe Mike?). He was playing Chaos Demons, a very close-combat oriented army. An interesting match-up, since my army is pretty close-combat oriented also. He won the roll for going first, but elected to let me do it (since this actually denies me a turn of shooting because demons all deep-strike). So here is what my deployment looked like:

Essentially, a big "turtle" formation surrounding my dreadnoughts and death company with tanks. This was my first big mistake. Having played most recently against Tau and Eldar, with all of their fancy guns, I deployed in a way to try to protect my most potent assault units from shooting. However, demons don't do a lot of shooting and have problems penetrating armor anyway. So rather than protecting my good units, I have boxed them in.

Here is a picture of the demons after they materialized on the battlefield:

Luckily, they couldn't do anything on the turn they arrived, except take a a few ineffective shots at me. In my second turn, I did manage to gun down the Lord of Change, that big blue-winged guy. Hooray! However, I also immobilized my command rhino trying to drive it through the woods. In the next turn, the demons were upon me:

The Bloodthirster, that big red-winged demon, knocked out one of my dreadnoughts, and the lesser demons all scuttled up and began bashing on my tanks. My dreadnought on the right side of the picture couldn't fit through the gaps in my units and his, to get out and start smashing the weaker demons, so I charged the bloodthirster...also a mistake, as the greater demon first immobilized and then destroyed it. My final dreadnought was heading over to crush those flamer demons (the blue guys on the left), but due to the special powers of a certain demon called "The Changeling", my opponent got to fire one of my tanks instead of me, and he used it to immobilize the final dreadnought. I also made the mistake of committing Dante and the death company too early, where some terrible dice rolling on my part led them to an early demise. As things were rapidly going bad for me, I threw common sense to the wind and started to dismount my infantry, trying to kill smaller units of demons while I had the chance:

Unfortunately, after taking down their targets, my infantry were wide open to getting swamped, which is exactly what happened to these guys and basically the entire army. Once the "blood-crushers", the demons riding "juggernauts of Khorne" made it into my lines, I was finished:

So another defeat for me. I need to remember that different enemy armies will play differently. There was really no reason for me to "turtle up" like I did; it only kept my dreadnoughts out of the fight. Also, with a few wiser choices during the game and some better dice-rolling, I really could have pulled out a draw, as most of the demons spent literally the entire game bashing on my tanks, not bringing them down until the final turn. I really shouldn't have gotten greedy and dismounted my infantry, but given the situation, it was the only chance I had to take a few more demon units with me. Actually, more individual demons were killed by the tanks they were bashing on exploding than by me shooting or assaulting them. That is pretty sad. But oh well, you live and you learn!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Better Living and I are having friends over tonight for drinks and a fancy dinner, possibly followed by more drinks! Hooray! Now I just have to get the patio set all cleaned up...

2. Dustin finally got his leave all worked out and should be arriving in town sometime during the first week of August. Hooray!

3. This Sunday at the Peoples' Market is "Jordan River Day". Celebrate this vital part of Salt Lake City by riding your bike or floating your boat to the market, as a combined bike ride/boat float will be heading up the river at 2:30pm. There will also be presentations and workshops on the importance of the river. Hooray!

4. Hooray!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cast of characters in my 40k army, Part 3: the Dreadnoughts

The thing that really makes my army "scary" to opponent is the three Venerable Furioso Death Company Dreadnoughts. These three models contain most of the killing potential in my army. As such, they are always a priority target for the enemy, and I try to shield them behind my tanks or terrain for as long as possible. Of course, they are all named and have a little back-story.

REDEMPTOR - Once a Chaplain, Brother Redepmtor led one of the largest Death Companies ever assembled in the Second Battle for Armageddon. This massive formation of blood-crazed Marines smashed into the Ork flank, disrupting their lines and delaying the Ork capture of Hades Hive. None of the Marines survived, except Redemptor...his broken body consumed by the Black Rage, he was entombed in a dreadnought sarcophagus so that he could continue to battle the enemies of humanity.

RESURGAM - One of the oldest Death Company Dreadnoughts, no elder or record identifies the true name of this battle-brother who has served his chapter for millennia. He is known only as Resurgam, meaning "I shall rise again". In countless battles, his dreadnought body has been all but annihilated, only to rise up once more, tearing his would-be slayers limb from limb.

ALLISON VALENTINE - Over 300 years ago, Allison Valentine was serving as a Sister of Battle to bring glory to the House of Valentine. But, in a combined action with the Blood Angels chapter, she was overcome with the Black Rage. The Blood Angels believed this to be a miracle, as no one outside their chapter and without their gene-seed had ever fallen to the visions of the Black Rage. They immediately encased the dying woman in a suit of dreadnought armor, so she might live on. The Ecclesiarchy and Allison's fellow Battle-sisters were dubious, suspecting the taint of Chaos rather than a miracle. It was this event that forced young Jonas Valentine into exile. Now, Borther and Sister fight alongside one another; she in the un-death of a dreadnought, he with the pronounced longevity of the Blood Angels. Continuing suspicion of Chaos taint is why Inquisition forces accompany the II MARS detachment, ever watchful of some sign that the Valentines are in fact agents of darkness.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

War Story Wednesday: The complications of leave

So a short post today, just to say: Dustin is still not sure about his leave. Let me tell you, taking leave in the military is a gigantic pain (in my experience). Sometimes, there are even weird conundrums like: you can't get your leave approved without a plane ticket, but there is a chance you will buy the plane ticket and still not have your leave approved and then be out the cost of the ticket. I don't think Dustin is any a silly situation like that, but there is still an elaborate process requiring the signatures of multiple people in the chain of command, a detailed travel plan, etc.

I just hope he can make it out here before school starts!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thoughts on my 40k army

LinkSo...I am kind of at an impasse with my 40k Blood Angels army. I currently have it set up for 2050 points for the third Mind Games tournament coming up in August. The list I have worked out is roughly:

Dante, Lord of Blood Angels
Death Company w/ jump packs x4

Venerable Death Company Dreadnoughts x3

Ten-man tactical squad mounted in a rhino x2
Five-man tactical squad mounted in a razorback
Five-man assault squad mounted in a rhino, accompanied by Brother Corbulo

Predator tank with autocannon and heavy bolters
Baal Predators x2

I have played a couple of games with this army, where it performed much better than my previous army lists. Still, the thoughts that other players have had is that Dante is just too expensive in points (200) for what he does (which is a lot). Also, once Dante is down and no longer giving his fantastic bonuses to everyone around him, the army kind of starts to fall apart. Also, Corbulo is the one preventing the death company guys and death company dreadnoughts from running all over the place with compulsory "rage" moves. Having him mounted in a tank (I can't give him a jump pack) tends to make the army unwieldy, and eventually some of the death company stuff gets outside his control range and has to make their compulsory moves. There have been suggestions that I take a regular Chaplain or the special character Lemartes (who comes with a jump pack) to control my death company stuff and drop Corbulo. Still, I think that having Corbulo mounted in the command tank makes him very survivable, whereas a jump-packing Chaplain tends to just get gunned down (which is what happened in my games in the previous two tournaments).

So I don't really know what to do...keep my list the way it is and refine my tactics to better shield Dante, and make better use of his and Corbulo's special bonuses? Or take those two characters out and use the points on something else? The only thing I can think to do would be to drop Dante and use those 200 points on some Witch Hunter allies; most likely just some extra troops choices. But super-over-the-top Dante bonuses. Also, I have almost completely painted everything for the list in its current state. I would have to buy and model up those witch hunters...which is a giant pain.

So I am thinking...I will keep the list as-is, and try to get in a few more games where I will work to keep Dante better protected until he makes contact with the enemy, and also keep the army together. I generally split the army, with a main thrust containing all of my goodies, and one predator, the razorback, and maybe another unit or two sitting back to shoot. I think that I would fair better if everything was just together, in a single big armored column that advanced on the enemy. I would be very vulnerable at that point to big template weapons, but since everyone BUT Dante and the death company are mounted in tanks, generally a big template weapon is still only going to destroy a single tank.

Decisions, decisions....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. The Peoples' Market is really booked up for music this weekend! We have Misty Rivers scheduled for a long set in the morning, Jose Banillo and everybody from Lutheran Community Services, and Didjeridan may even be there to play his didjeridoo. Of course the house band, Rick, Tiffin, Patrick, and myself will likely play throughout the day. We also have a neat workshop scheduled that day on electric vehicles, starting at 12:30.

2. This weekend, I am going to the Utah Delta Epsion Chi (ΔEX or "DEX") State Officer Retreat. We have a whole day of leadership classes, teambuilding exercises, and the good stuff: decision making. I also get to report on my progress towards starting a ΔEX chapter at Westminster College, where I start as a junior this fall. Woot!

3. I have been talking about the Tau from Warhammer 40k on here, and I think that there may be some unfamiliar readers out there. The Tau are an alien empire in the distant future of the fictional (obviously) Warhammer 40,000 Universe. They control a small but dense piece of space, far from Terra and at the fringe of the Imperium of Man. The Tau have absorbed other species from planets in their empire, all working for "The Greater Good", and have a technology level far beyond that of humans. Consequently, in the game they have many of the best weapons around, and many ways to apply special bonuses to their shooting. As my Blood Angels army is fairly focused on close assault, the Tau get to shoot me up as I try to advance on them, and are usually able to out-maneuver me and delay my assault for several turns if not the whole game. Below is a picture of Josh-from-the-game-store's Tau, from the most recent tournament:

...and here is a picture from the game, with one of the Tau "Piranhas" advancing on my tactical marines:

In the game, I eventually shot down both piranhas with that big gun one of my guys is toting, a "multi-melta". However, Josh's Kroot eventually came and took this position over, in what I think was the critical objective that caused me to lose instead of draw. What is a Kroot, you ask? Kroot are one of the main alien species that has joined the Tau empire. I don't have any pictures of Josh's excellently painted Kroot, but here is a picture of mine (they are the guys on the right):

Okay, folks...have a good weekend! Valentine out.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Uniforms post yesterday. I was busy getting my Marine Corps Dress Blue uniform from the tailor. I had to have it altered so it could still fit me. You see, I had made Dustin an offer: If he so desired, when he returned from Iraq, I would get all of my lovely thick hair cut off and within regulation, and make sure my uniform was ready to go, and we would both go out on the town decked out in our military get-up. Maybe we will get free drinks? I am sure a lot of people will come up to us and say "thank you"; they always do...

Anyhow...the blues look great. I think next week I might actually put up some pictures.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Okay. So I really like music. I actually went to a couple semesters of music college. My problem lately is I can't find any NEW music to listen to. I guess I don't really put a ton of effort into it, and I am quite content to just listen to my favorites over and over. The most recent artist that I have "gotten in to" would be Neko Case, who totally rocks. I have been lucky enough to see her live this year AND last year. Also, Better Living just happens to have all of her records. Beyond that, I have to go back several years to when Dustin turned me on to The Arcade Fire, who totally rule the Earth. All bands must bow to them. Just look them up on You-Tube and be amazed. This is a particularly silly and awesome performance, and here they are playing one of their songs with David Bowie.

More recently, Patrick was nice enough to turn me on to the band Beirut, who have a similar vibe to The Arcade Fire, a little more by the way of Devotchka.

I have a busy day ahead of me - here's wishing it is full of good songs!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Busy Weekend

Wow! What a holiday! First, great sunshine at the water-park, and continuing all day on Friday into my parents' big party.

Saturday was a blur...sleeping in, then prepping for the 4th of July celebration, where People's Market had a booth. We also ran a big sack-race that was a huge hit and had kids running in from all over the park to participate. I cut out before the big fireworks I could make it home and head out with Better Living to a park up on Capitol Hill...where we watched fireworks going off all across the valley.

Sunday, the market was a blast, although I caught a lot of open hostility. Apparently, some people just don't have any manners (or class, or humility). It is okay, though...they are like a shadow to me now; an echo of a person. No sense letting one little shadow ruin a fantastic weekend!

And how about all of the SUNSHINE?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. I petitioned Better Living to have a Tuesday or Thursday "Project Roundup". She said no. She said it could be the "Project Review, Project Update, or Project Progress Report", but not round-up. Apparently, "there is only room for one round-up on this ranch." It was cute.

2. The Marines have recently launched a big offensive in Afghanistan. I heard on N.P.R. that the Marines are planning on clearing a southern region of the country and then setting up temporary camps and staying for who knows how long, while they train the Afghanistan Army and police in the area.

3. Water Parks! We are going to an amusement park today, that features a small water park and several water rides. It is too bad that we aren't going the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas, because that is the greatest water park I have been to. Aaaahhhhh....nice times in the water.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Feeling Lazy...

I have several errands to run today, and so I am feeling kind of lazy when it comes to blogging. So, I will just share a few nice 40k images with you all. Better stuff tomorrow.

The first is a picture from the last 40k tournament I played in, wherein Stelek's demons have laid waste to one flank of my army. Yikes! Luckily, I laid waste to the other flank of HIS army, then ran away for a nice fair-and square draw. Very nicely painted demons.

The second picture is of my small Tau force, looking cool in some ruins in a picture I sent to Dustin to keep him motivated (warhammer-style) while he was in Iraq:

That is all for today, folks. Valentine out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

War Story Wednesdy: Motor Transport

When I say over there in the "about me" bit that I am a Veteran, I don't give a lot of details. More for War Story Wednesday? So here is today's topic: Motor Transport. My M.O.S. (That is Military Occupational Specialty for the uninitiated) was "3533": Logistics Vehicle Systems (LVS) Operator. So..a fancy acronym-tastic way to say that I drove trucks; the fanciest trucks. The LVS series of vehicles are all powered by the Mk48 front module, which has the cab and engine, and are then coupled with a rear module. There are several rear module variants. The Mk14, for example, is a simple flat bed that can be fitted with I.S.O. (International Standards Organization) locks to haul shipping containers and connex boxes, or cargo can just be placed on the bed and strapped down. The Mk17 has a smaller flatbed (with fold-up sides), and also has a hydraulic crane. Below is a photo of some of the most difficult LVS work I got into. In the photo, I have just returned to our camp after a vehicle recovery mission. I am driving the Mk48/16 rear module, which has a fifth-wheel to pull an M870 low-boy trailer:
I actually have the trailer detached, because its bit for the fifth-wheel is on a collapsible goose-neck. I am backed up to the back of the trailer (those are the rear ramps of the trailer sticking up behind my four main LVS axles). I have used a winch on the Mk16 to recover an Army 5-ton that was hit by an enemy IED. It wasn't a particularly large or effective IED, but it did flatten the tires and took out a big piece of the passenger side axles. In the picture, if I remember correctly, we are off-loading the Army 5-ton over at the Army's side of our camp.

As an LVS Operator, I also went through all of the regular Motor Transport Operator training (MOS 3531), and was fully licensed to drive (and boy did I drive) the normal Motor Transport vehicles: The 7-ton MTVR and the ubiquitous HMMWV (High Moblity Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or 'humvee'). Below is a photo of a 7-ton towing a HMMWV:
There are two things I would like to point out in this photo: first, we are in the middle of nowhere, and second, that HMMWV is all kitted-out and up-armored. Regarding the first, there isn't much to say. We are out in the desert. It is vast and empty. I believe we are on a raid in the photo, or on our way back. That is an entire other post, however. On the second point: That is not one of our Motor-T platoon HMMWV's. It belonged to H&S (Headquarters and support) Company or one of the other companies in my battalion. We didn't get up-armored HMMWV's until a few weeks before we redeployed back to the U.S. Our convoys were thusly comprised entirely of 7-tons (generally) with a few LVS's thrown in to haul fuel, heavy equipment, etc. The 7-ton in this picture is a good representation of our average 7-ton: an armored turret for a gunner, bolt-on armored door, and ballistic windshield.

Alrighty...I think I am going to go swimming now. It is summer, after all!