Sunday, February 28, 2010

Army Building 101: Essential Capabilities

This article springboards off of my posts on evaluating units honestly and making tradeoffs. This is a little basic, but you need to bring the tools to do three basic things:

1) Hold Objectives
2) Stop Enemy Armor
3) Kill Enemy Troops

You need to hold objectives in 2/3 of the games, but make sure that you don't actually hurt yourself when it comes to killing the other guy. When it comes to stopping the other guy, you want to be able to stop vehicles AND enemy troopers.

1) Controlling Objectives
Objective games break up into two categories: 2 objectives, or 3+ objectives. The number of objectives changes the way you play, but not necessarily how you build. Controlling objectives comes to two things:

1) Hold Objectives
2) Deny Objectives

Hold Objectives
You need troops to hold objectives. Once you hit 1500+ points, I suggest 3 troops just as a rule of thumb. The number you take ultimately depends on your army, as some troops selections are nastier/more resiliant than others. If you take too few, the other guy might decide to just KO your troops and make you fight for a draw. It's a very real risk, and it's happened to me.

You have two basic choices for holding objectives: You can take a dedicated squad to hold it, or you can just bring several mobile choices and make sure you have troops on the objective by the end. If it's a dedicated squad, ideally it's got a long-range weapon or two in it (IE: Space Marine Scouts w/ Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher, Telion, camo cloaks).

Deny Objectives
There are two ways to do this: kill the troops on/near them, or contest the objectives. If you have stuff within 3" of the objective, then he doesn't control it. We'll cover the 'killing them' part later, but the short version is that corpses don't hold territory*. Contesting objectives usually involves swift, cheap units. Sometimes it's a Tau Piranha or Marine Land Speeder, but empty transports can do the trick as well. In a pinch, you can tank-shock people off objectives as well, unless they're in a transport.

2) Kill Armor
Vehicles (and monstrous creatures) are a fact of life in 40k. You need to be able to stop them, or they'll run roughshod over you (sometimes literally, see 'deny objectives'). In terms of killing vehicles, you're looking at two basic types: lighter, and heavier. Lighter vehicles are AV10-12; Heavy is 13-14. You need different kit to take them out. Note that vehicles may not always DIE when you damage them, but sometimes it's enough to shake/stun them or knock off the main gun.

Light Armor
Usually, weight of fire is enough to harm/kill lighter armor. Things like scatter lasers and autocannons are your weapons of choice against lighter armor; S7 lets you threaten AV12 and usually comes in decent numbers. Most S8 weapons don't have the weight of fire to do the trick.

Most light vehicles are faster, and most transports are lighter-weight vehicles. Additionally, some heavier-weight vehicles have weaker flank armor (IE: A Predator has AV13 in the front, but only AV11 on the side).

Heavy Armor
Sometimes, the autocannon just isn't gonna cut it against your target. Sometimes, you need melta weapons or rail guns. Why melta? If you can deliver it to 1/2 its range, you get 2d6 for damage penetration, and s8 + 2d6 averages to 15, which is a penetrating hit. AP1 is icing on the cake, since it's +1 to damage results, or a 50/50 shot of killing the vehicle on a penetrating hit.

Some armies have access to S10 shooting (Tyranids and Tau), and this has the raw strength to go through AV 13/14.

Taking it for the Team
Note that with melta weapons, you probably WON'T get a second shot, AND you are close to the enemy. It behoves you to have some cheap, sacrifical melta units just so you can take out higher-cost targets. Triple land raider sounds fun until someone trades 3 landspeeders or 3 squads of guardsmen for 750-800 points of your army.

Vehicles and Assault
Most vehicles have AV10 in the rear, so monstrous creatures, powerfists, dreadnoughts and the like can damage or kill them. Vehicles can counter this by moving and making it more difficult to hit, but lose the ability to use some of their guns.

On Monstrous Creatures
While there are some differences between vehicles and monstrous creautres, know that the same stuff that hurts vehicles usually wounds monstrous creatures. You generally want to throw AP2-3 fire into monstrous creatures just to deny them armor saves.

3) Killing Troops
Like vehicles, troops tend to come either in larger numbers of cheap, not-so-durable guys or fewer, tougher troops. Compare the Termagant, at 5 points, with an almight S3, T3, 1 wound and 6+ save to the Plague Marine, with T5, a 3+ armor save and Feel No Pain. Note also you can get 4 termagants for one plague marine...

Now, with infantry, you generally want to pile on the wounds. Weight of fire works on infantry in general, as you'll generally wound/kill the lighter troops and you'll force the heavier ones to take more saves (which they will eventually fail). Note also that infantry love cover and will generally have access to at least a 4+ save; marines and their ilk can operate in the open and fear far fewer weapons.

Weapons of note for anti-infantry work:
1) Flamers
2) Blast Weapons
3) Small Arms
4) Assault

These are generally for killing lighter stuff; S4 AP5 or S5 AP4 combined with no cover saves is good for nuking as many orks/termagants/non-marines as you can fit under a template. It'll still force saves on marines and the like.

Blast Weapons
Blast weapons LOOK good on paper, but if the enemy uses their 2" coherency to the max and lines up properly (IE a line instead of a group hug) they can make sure you don't hit that many troops with a large blast. On the other hand, blast weapons in crowded areas are likely to hit at least SOMETHING, but this can include your troops if they're nearby.

Small Arms
Frankly, most infantry have these. It's not your ideal weapon, but if you catch the enemy out in the open or shoot enough of them with these, they'll work. Everyone laughs at lasguns until 30-40 guardsmen point them at you...And even a 10-man tactical squad can crank out a fairly respectable number of wounds.

Not everyone belongs in assault. Those that do tend to have either a LOT of attacks, or good quality of attacks (IE: ignore armor saves and decent strength) or both. The poster child for heavyweight assault troops is the Thunder Hammer/Stor Shield Terminator. While they only have 2 attacks each, they are hard to kill (T4, 2+ armor save, 3+ invulnerable save) and hit hard (S8, ignore armor saves, and survivors go at I1 next time). The flip side is something like the Hormagaunt, which is only 10 points for something with S3, poison, and 3 attacks on the charge with Furious Charge and I5 base.

In Summary
While this IS a critical-hit wall o' text, I (and others) could easily go into more detail on the various points. I think I've covered the salient, basic points for the scenarios you'll commonly see. I mean, most of the time you'll have to deal with objectives, and all armies can bring vehicles (or MCs) and infantry. I will probably try to break these points out in greater depth for my next few non-hobby articles.

In the mean time, I've got a heap of bugs to paint, and still have Tyranid Primes, Hive Tyrants, Hive Guard, and Harpies to convert. There's also 30,121.57 Termagants to paint. Finally, there are the Trygons to build...but it's all good.

*Unless it's zombies.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Evaluating Units Honestly: Opportunity Cost

Aside from being a stupidly catchy song and amusing video, the song emphasizes a point: "You can go with this, or you can go with that," (Or you can blow it up, but we're trying that too, aren't we?). Blame Haihastur too for this one, since he touched on it in the comments here.

Defining the Term
'Opportunity cost' is a $20 term you'll hear in economics class that explains the idea that 'there is no such thing as a free lunch.' So, let's say someone buys you lunch. You spend time, go with them, eat, and may or may not enjoy yourself, the food, the company, etc. Right? Perfectly plausible.

See, the thing is that the lunch never cost you MONEY, but you still had to spend the time. You could have eaten somewhere else with different company, or simply worked through lunch and gone home early that day (assuming your workplace would let you).

The fancier definition is that when you pick one option, the opportunity cost is what you give up from the second best option. IE: I have $1 and a vending machine. I can buy a Nutty Bar (mmm, peanut butter and chocolate...) or a Coke (mmm, cleans engine parts AND refreshes!). If I buy a Nutty Bar, the opportunity cost was the coke. If I buy a coke, the opportunity cost was the Nutty Bar. If I don't buy anything, the cost of $1 was not eating from the vending machine.

Make sense?

Opportunity Cost in 40k Terms
Let's walk away from the vending machines in the break room and look at the force organization chart. I'm allowed 2 HQ choices, 3 elites, 6 troops, 3 fast attack, and 3 heavy support. I'm also allotted a certain amount of points per game, and I'll generally have to field one HQ and two troops selections.

We'll have to compare Opportunity Cost two main ways in 40k: force org slots and points.

Force Org Slots
Here, we're comparing options within a given force organization slot. Well, we have to have an HQ, and we have to have two troops (and will often go for at least a third, depending on the army). These are non-negotiable slots, so what we put in them is part of the army's 'theme' (in that you want something like light or heavy mech, or foot, or massed MCs, or horde, or whatnot).

Similar Roles
Here, we're talking support. It's simple, because we can limit our comparison to the slot. This is where Haihastur started this. If I recall correctly, he's not a fan of Vindicators in the Marine codex (and frankly, I'm not either), but prefers Whirlwinds to Predators.

Well, we have 3 heavy support slots, and we probably want to at least duplicate the choice for sake of reliability/resiliency (aka, redundancy). So, we're comparing the capabilities of two potentially disparate units. We should ask ourselves:
1) What capabilities does it bring/what does it kill?
2) What does this do for the rest of my army, potentially?
3) What's the point cost?

The Heavy Bolter/Autocannon Predator is more or less the same price as the Whirlwind, so price isn't an option. We then need to ask what do they do, and what do they bring for the army. This is a nutshell example, so I'm not going to give you all a full Vindicator vs Predator comparison. Short version:

-Worry light armor w/ heavy bolters, autocannon
-worry medium armor w/ autocannon
-durable AV13-front vehicle; one more target to deal with
-worry monstrous creatures & infantry, but loses effectiveness to cover

-maim up infantry w/ S4, AP5 ignores-cover shot
-prefers to hide
-single weapon system = one damage result to gimp it.

My opinion leans towards the predator because it can do more than the Whirlwind (engage vehicles/MCs/infantry), even though the Whirly can scare lighter infantry even if it's in cover (assuming they're AP5) and can still respectably wound heavier infantry with the S5 shot.

Disparate Roles
So, let's look at Fast Attack for Space Wolves. They can bring the respectable space marine land speeder, but also have Thunderwolf Cavalry. Both need to be brought in numbers, so they generally preclude the other. Here, we're talking about something that potentially flavors the army; bringing 10-15 thunderwolvs is a hefty points investment and makes them the centerpiece of the army (and they can be a bloody scary one at that).

A tyranid example would be 2-3 Tyrannofexes versus 3 trygons. Taking Tyrannofexes means you've got a ranged shooty core to the army, whereas 3 Trygons means you're going to be in the enemy's face and that'll dictate how you build the army.

The same can easily be said for any Space Marine commander with Chapter Tactics in lieu of combat tactics, or any strong supporting HQ figure (IE: Farseers for psychic support/defense, Hive Tyrants for reserves manipulation/preferred enemy, etc.)

Comparing Capabilities
The other basic form of opportunity cost comes in the form of similar capabilities in different slots. This is something you'll find more of in newer codices, as this allows you much greater flexibility in terms of making an army, but complicates army building a bit since you're weighing more options. (I'll take the extra work, personally).

Let's look at the IG book. I don't know about you guys, but I like poofing infantry in great bloody swathes. Do you like that? I also like chunky spaghetti sauce, but that's unrelated.

So, if I want to KO swathes of infantry, I have several choices, including:
1) Hellhounds in Fast Attack
2) Valkyries with Missile Pods in Fast Attack
3) Multiple Chimeras w/ Hull Heavy Flamers in troops, other slots
-possibly Platoon Commands in aforementioned chimeras with flamers, too
4) Leman Russ Eradicator in Heavy Support
5) Colossus Siege Mortar in Heavy Support

All of these are capable of doing horrifically graphic things to infantry, though not all capabilities are necessarily equal.

My evaluation will also depend on what other essentially capabilities I can get in other slots, so I'm still doing some intra-slot comparison. I could take Hellhounds (which can get hull multi-meltas for some duality), which means I need to get some more reliable anti-tank elsewhere (Maybe troops or heavy support, but not Vendettas. Maybe Hydra flak tanks and meltagun squads?). Or, maybe I take the Russ Eradicators, filling up my heavy support and leaving me with the need to bring anti-tank in other slots (Maybe vendettas or melta squads?).

Wrapup: Opportunity Cost and Army Design
Basically, you need to start by knowing what your army can give you in what slots. Some armies make this simpler than others. With Eldar, I know I want to bring Fire Dragons to kill heavy tanks, because they're a solid option (...and I don't really have other good options for killing tanks). I can supplement it with S8 guns from transports and falcons, but I just don't have any other comparable punch, so the rest of my army can fall in after these choices are locked in.

On the other hand, better-designed armies can bring the capabilities in various slots. Here's where you have to do the work and take the concept of opportunity cost into account: you want redundancy so SOME of your tools live to do the jobs, so you're going to generally make one choice for the non-troops slots and duplicate it. That's why you need to get a grasp of tradeoffs.

Hopefully, this has been beneficial (or at least thought-provoking), but it seems like tradeoffs are A) a complicated part of army-building at times, and B) sometimes overlooked.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Evaluating Units Honestly: 'Making Back Your Points' is Overly Simplistic

Now, in all honesty when you analyze units, you can't just math-hammer them and say "Well, this unit is more effective at killing XYZ than that unit." Sometimes, you have to take a look at what a unit does for you, or to the opponent, and it's not always 'kill lots of things.' I'll start with a few simple examples.

The Rhino (and other Transports)
It's 35 points. It has a storm bolter. How often does a lone storm bolter do something more spectacular than take out the odd infantry straggler? The Rhino doesn't kill things. It might tank-shock someone and kill some moron trying Death or Glory.

So, how come you see people taking them? This one's the 'gimme' example. The Rhino (and any transport) keeps your infantry from eating small-arms fire from the get-go, and gets them places faster. For 205 points, I can take 10 tactical marines with a flamer and multi-melta, and get them into position to use them. I can drive up, pop smoke, and move up again and make the enemy worry about a multi-melta near their lines. Or, I can tank-shock infantry, pile out of my box and flamer/rapid-fire my new friends. Or, I can take a shorter tank-shock and do the same thing.

All that for 35? That's a bargain.

Kroot (and other 'bubble wrap')
I pay around 120 points for 10 Kroot and 7 Hounds. How often do they kill stuff? Well, there was that one time they took out a chaos Raptor squad... But beyond that, no, they really DON'T kill stuff. They fold like wet paper sacks in hand-to-hand, they die to flamers in a comedic and terrible fashion, and can kind of rapid-fire stuff. Kind of.

So, why do I take them?

It's called a 'meat shield.' Bubble wrap is another term I've heard, but I prefer meat shield since I've bought lunch meat that comes in tupperware containers explicitly for carting around heaps of plastic infantry that have a generous amount of clear coat on them. Plus, it's good for a laugh when you put your meat shield back into a meat container.

Case in point today against Tyranids: A Trygon pops up near my lines. There are a heap of Kroot between it and juicy targets like a Hammerhead, Broadside Team, and a couple of Crisis Suit teams. Had I not taken the Kroot, I would have had ONE turn to kill the Trygon (which is not necessarily a given, with 6 wounds at T6 with a 3+, even with plasma rifles) before I lost something important. Instead, I took off four wounds with a heap of gunfire, lost a Piranha to it, and then had a Crisis Suit squad go up to BS5 from markerlights and nuke it.

Against meltaguns and the like, you have to do something like tank shock the kroot out of the way to deploy within 6" and get your crucial 2d6 penetration. S8 on AV13 is not a gimme by any stretch of the imagination, but S8+2d6 is a Hammerhead in trouble. It does stop annoying alpha-strike tactics like scout-moving a Vendetta up, and meltagun+meltabomb rushing a Hammerhead, provided you space out and deploy properly.

The Piranha (and other fast, generally-expendable threats)
Here's another short story abou Tau and sacrificing units for the greater good. I field two squads of two Piranhas; they pack Fusion blasters, BS4, and one mounts a Disruption Pod while the other carries the wargear that lets me split fire.

So, one of my buddies was getting into Black Templar, so he's rolling a pair of Land Raider Crusaders with furious charge lightning claw terminators. Ouch. Well, we set up in table quarters, so I rush my Piranhas up in front of his Raiders. He HAS to deal with them; there is a very real chance I can trade 300 points of my army for 500+ of his, and force his terminators to run at me. Considering plasma rifles and markerlights are involved, this doesn't bode well for the Terminators.

So, he shoots at them a little, and I get my shots at his Raiders. Four meltaguns and three railguns later, I've managed to...shake...a single Land Raider. Even with smoke, you'd think all the fething AP1 fire might do some damage. Nope. Sorry. HOWEVER, since these are vehicles, he can't tank shock through them. At this range, he can get an S4-5 ram off on AV11 with a 3+ dodge save. If he does NOT halt and engage them, they'll simply try again next turn. So, he spends a turn or two repositioning and brutally gunning them down.

The Piranhas did not kill a bloody thing.

The Piranhas cost him two turns of movement.

The Piranhas dictated his game, and in turn gave me the time I needed to immobilize one Raider and kill the other.

My Point on Meat Shields and Other Expendables
Sometimes, just being there is enough. Cheap infantry can buy you a turn against assaulty armies, and cheap, fast vehicles that are a credible threat (IE: Multi-melta/Heavy flamer land speeders as well as Piranhas) HAVE to be killed. It's the fact that you can pay points and troops for time, or make them dictate your opponent's movements that makes them worth it.

Rambo, Deathleaper, Doom of Malant'i, and Company
Another category of 'doesn't make points back' is the type of unit that makes you change your deployment and target priority.

Let's be honest: Rambo doesn't often kill much. Marbo appears, chucks a demolition charge, and draws some fire. If you left the opening, Rambo chucked it at the back of a vehicle or at some infantry that weren't in cover. I mean, some good deployment counters that. Additionally, if you spread out in terrain, you minimize the places that Marbo can actually be placed.

Deathleaper and the Doom fall into the same category (though the Doom kind of needs some clarification on its Psychic Vampire crap. At least it's not sparkly like diamonds, right? Right). Worst comes to worst, the Doom kills some infantry, and then you hit it with S8 until it fails a save. Doesn't matter how many wounds at has if it suffers Instant Death.

Outflankers: Or, sometimes the bluff isn't worth it
Now, another category came up from an onlooker. He talked about "Man, you have a hammerhead right on the flank. Some genestealers would be nasty, there."

Not really. First, I can deploy away from the flanks. Oooh. Ahh. It's not THAT hard to get away from foot infantry. Second, in this particular situation, the Hammerhead had moved 12 inches. Had 8 genestealers actually charged it, they might have gotten ONE penetrating hit. (8 stealers = 24 attacks; 6's to hit means 4 hits, which means MAYBE one penetrating hit). Oh. Then the Hammerhead zooms away 12", takes a shot, and some of the rest of my army nukes the stealers, or weakens them sufficiently for me to ignore them.

Ok, outflanking CAN be annoying. On the other hand, there are some problems with it.
1) Reserves. Did you show up on time?
2) Entry Point. Did you show up where I needed you?
3) Impact. Did you do something useful when you showed up?

See, with Khan, I could theoretically outflank a Land Raider Crusader (provided I take it as a dedicated transport) full of assaulty goodness. I could also not see it 'til turn 4-5 and have it arrive on the other end of the table, and there's 450+ points that did not actually KILL anything.

Admittedly, some armies have reserves manipulation and outflank entry manipulation (IE: IG command squads). That helps to an extent, but you can still use things like, oh, meat shields to work around it.

This isn't to say that outflank is ALWAYS useless. However, if you want the enemy to pay attention to your wildcard threat, it should be less of a threat and more of a promise.

In Summary
When you're analyzing a unit, lethality isn't everything. You have to look at the army as a whole; what can each part bring to the table and what does the sum of the parts do for you? If you're going to play expendable units, make sure they're expended usefully. I mean, stuff's gonna die, so get the most out of it and make it work for you. If you're going to bring a bluff card, make sure it's something the enemy HAS to take seriously and make sure it's a somewhat reliable bluff card.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Humor and WiP

This is a slight crop, so pardon the quality. However, I had to share what happened when I was trying to remove the arms. I put the toothbrush in there, applied a little lever action to remove his other arm, heard a snap...I worried about the model, and realized my toothbrush was too short. Oh, well. I mean, we've all broken things and hurt ourselves doing modelling stuff, but this was just too funny. And yes, this is the pose it happened in.
Here's a WIP shot of my paint scheme. The fleshy bits are generally done, and the carapaces are in progress. The detailed bits will be in green (IE: tyrannofex tongue, maybe claws here and there). The weapons will be the squad markers, since you can apparently get away with making the bioweapons somewhat different than the rest of them.

Finally, I started on the first hive tyrant. Nothing fancy; just magnetized arms and the good ol' dragon wings. It needs a little green stuff work, and I think I'm going to go with an urban theme for the bases to match the scheme.

Coming Up in Modeling
15 Gargs completed and to be painted this month.
6-9 Hive Guard to be converted/painted from warriors.

Coming Up in Gaming/Tactics/Reviews/Etc.
Thoughts on the Parastie of Mortrex
Brainstorms on HQs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Draft 1, Tyranids

Here's the first list I'm working towards for Tyranids. I'm going for a bit of a mix of shooting and assault. Thoughts?

Hive Tyrant [255]
-Old Adversary
-Double Scything Talons

3 Hive Guard [150]

3 Hive Guard [150]

Doom of Malanti [90]
Mycetic Spore [40]

10 Termagants w/ Fleshborer [50]

10 Termagants w/ Fleshborer [50]

Tervigon [180]
-Adrenal Glands
-Toxin Sacks
-Cluster Spines

Tervigon [180]
-Adrenal Glands
-Toxin Sacks
-Cluster Spines

Fast Attack
20 Gargolyes [160]
-Adrenal Glands
-Toxin Sacks

20 Gargolyes [160]
-Adrenal Glands
-Toxin Sacks

Heavy Support
Tyrannofex [265]
-Rupture Cannon
-Cluster Spines
-Desiccator Swarm

Tyrannofex [265]
-Rupture Cannon
-Cluster Spines
-Desiccator Swarm

Total: 1995/2000

Hive Guard and Tyrannofexes provide support; Tyrant and Gargolyes apply pressure while the Tervigons provide backup and objective support. The Doom just suggests you deploy carefully.

My worry is that I'm a little too in the middle here. I've got some shooting, I've got some assault, and I've got the Tervigons for objective support, but I wonder if I should drop the Tervis and go with Hormagaunts instead. I mean, I could make the transition from about 40 gribblies flying at you to ~80 of them running at you, and probably transition the Doom into an Alpha for rear syanpse support, and break the Hive Guard into 3x2.

Feedback & suggestions?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tyrannofex Conversion, Complete

And lo, I have completed my Tyrannofex conversion from a carnifex kit. I strayed only a little, and that involved using Genestealer scything talons (...because who runs those on stealers?) and a couple random carapace plates. Anyway, here we go.
Imposing? I like to think so. Rupture Cannon, cluster spines, and in lieu of building a generally-unnoticeable torso swarm, I decided I'd let the bio-plasma head represent the thorax swarm. I mean, come on, it's close enough to a breath weapon, right? Besides, I like the mental image of the tyrannofex yawning wide and vomiting forth a wave of bugs.
Who says you have to have a feeding tub attached to the gun? It always seemed a little odd to have the gun STUCK like that. So, I gave him a hand. A big one. So it can ozzie osbourne someone in melee. I mean, come on, big mouth, hand, human-sized things about to scale. You get the idea.

Just for sake of completeness, a shot from behind. I have since added some of the thornback bits to cover that ugly seam on the back.

And, from the other side. If you see a little bit of green on the forward legs, it'sbecause I cut and re-aligned the shoulder a little bit. My second Tyrannofex has come along much faster, and were you to use this process I would highly suggest fixing the gun up first, and then making sure that the crushing claw limb conversions can be properly posed.
Now, please forgive the flash, but the picture came out well enough. This is one of the monstrous-creature sized scything talons. Chop the talon off at the wrist. Then, based on the gun's pose, I cut the elbow joint (and removed the pointy elbow bit, since it would get in the way) and put a teeny bit of sprue in there just to brace it. It was later green-stuffed, and if you look close at the crab-limb conversions you can see where I did the chopping and rotating.

The scything talon lost the 'thumb', and I eyeballed the cut on the talon itself after gluing the upper limb into place. I actually glued the tip of the talon to the rupture cannon, and after that set the genestealer talons got glued on.

I have a little GS stuff to do here and there, and may yet bulk up the gun-bracing forelimb just so it doesn't look blatantly like a cut-up scything talon, but the conversion is about 95% complete.

For the previous steps, see:

All things considered, this was not a terribly difficult conversion. As some have remarked, GSing organic stuff is a whole lot more forgiving than mechanical crap. All you need to pull it off is some water, patience, and my preference? Dental hygiene tools, and you can get those in the pharmacy/personal care section of your grocery store.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tyrannofex WIP 2

Busy week, but I found time for some modeling. I've also committed to the HAAWGS painting initiative, and the Tyrannofex is on the menu. I also picked up the remaining Carnifex kits I need for the Tervigons and Carnifexes. Anyway, the Rupture Cannon is a two-stage weapon, so I went about cobbling together an over-and-under weapon out of Carnifex weaponry.

Here, you see the ingredients, step one, and the end result: you will need the Stranglethorn Cannon, and the MC Deathspitters. Not like anyone would USE those, right? Right. Cut the cannon part off the Stranglethorn, and trim the lower feed tube and the top of the barrel. You want the part you chop off the gun to look like the part that comes from the sprue. (This would make more sense if you look at the MC gun sprue)
Next, you cut the bottom of the deathspitter off, file it flat, line them up and glue them together.
Once the double-deathspitter dries, we add the stranglethorn bits one after the other.
Glue to the arm again, add green stuff, and bam. Done.
At this point, all I have left to do is add the head, pose, and assemble them. Then, there's figuring out what to do for the other arm. I'm leaning towards making it a supporting arm, and just running the ammo tube alongside it.

Also, for the head, I'm going with the bioplasma head. Rather than building a thorax weapon, I think I'm going to just call it a breath weapon.

Pending Tyranid Projects
In other tyranid news, assembling termagants and hormagaunts is time-consuming, but that's not a huge surprise. The next conversions will be Warriors into Hive Guard, and then Carnifex kits into Tervigons. Eventually, I'll do something for mycetic spores, if/when I decide I want them. I'll be magnetizing a Hive Tyrant as well, and likely his Hive Guard so I can swap between shooty walking tyrant, winged melee wrecking ball (Hey, let's give Preferred enemy to 50 gargoyles. It'll be fun!) and the Swarmlord (, y'know, I can crank out a stupid number of instant-death power weapon attacks on the charge. It will be win. You will see.)

Other Projects
The Green Templar are almost done as an army. I have five initiates to finish basing (which is to say a paint, a wash, and a paint) and five to add colors to. Then, there'll be a family shot. Then, well, it'll be on to painting the bugs.