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Chapter Relics

I found these figures in the attic of a relatives house last summer.  I painted them while I was living there back in 1990 or so when I was fifteen.  They are painted to match the colour scheme of my first Space Marine army.

The miniatures are the same seriously dodgy Terminators that were supplied with the original Space Hulk box.  The figures are undeniably clunky, but have a very functional charm as gaming pieces, from my nostalgia ridden perspective at least.  Being as devoid of animation as they are, they are as obviously boardgame pieces as something like the top hat from Monopoly or even a pawn from a cheap set of Snakes and Ladders.

I also found a painted Terminator Librarian from the Deathwing supplement.  Another goofy early GW plastic.

I got a kick out of finding these figures and I dusted them off ready for a game of Space Hulk or Advanced Space Crusade or something similar in the future.  While the paint jobs are a scary twenty years old, they are perfectly fine for gaming with.

Funnily enough when I traded on Boardgamegeek for a set of 2nd edition Space Hulk back in 2008 I painted up another batch of the same sculpts, visible here and here.

At the time I was going through a sort of minimalist phase in my figure painting and I was trying to see the smallest amount of work required to do to a figure to get it finished well enough to game with.  This was mainly in an effort to try to make a serious dent in the lead and plastic mountain and to get some projects (like Space Hulk, Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel and Descent: Journeys in the Dark) finished for once, at the expense of paint job quality. I found it curious to compare the figures painted in 2008 with the same figures painted eighteen years earlier.

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Back To The (Grim, Dark) Future Pt5

Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

For the final game we switched the forces from the previous game around.  This time the Kouranaya Craftworld Eldar Kill Team would be attacking the Sin Eaters.

GAME 5: Kouranaya Craftworld Eldar Kill Team Vs Sin Eaters Chaos Space Marines

The Sin Eaters set up with squads of three sentries plus Brother Damien leading the defence.

In Kill Team the more exceptions that are made to build the Kill Team force the more sentries are allowed in defence.  Additionally, the defenders are allowed to buy one low level character who in this case was Brother Damien.

Brother Damien and his bodyguard are shown above guarding the dark altar with Trixie the captured Eldar tied up and ready for sacrifice.

MT went for a pretty big, pretty bog standard codex squad Kill Team, with few alterations made to it (the added Howling Banshee being the only one that I remember). This also made for correspondingly smaller defending forces.

Personally my preference for Kill Teams is to use mixtures of figure types to make for a fun, idiosyncratic group of badasses, like the guys from Predator or the A-Team or whatever.  While this may not always be the most effective way of ensuring a win, the team in itself will be a talking point and fun to use.  This meant that I thought that the Kill Team above was dull, even if it meant that it stood a better chance of winning the game.

The vast Kill Team surged forward and swamped the first group of sentries…

…killed them and proceeded towards the next bunch…

…bumped them off…rinsed, repeated…

…and made it to the altar and mangled the defenders there too.  Successful, for the victorious Eldar yes.  For the people playing it was less so.  A humdrum exercise in dice rolling.  Yawn.

———-

Conclusions:  that was dull, but mercifully quick, showcasing the worst of 40k.  The perfect venture to enable me to put all of that stuff behind me again for another five years at least.

I still hope to use my 40k figures in a skirmish level game at some point soon, but as yet I havent found something suitable.  Savage Worlds Showdown is the next rule set that I am going to consider.

Back To The (Grim, Dark) Future Pt4

Parts 1, 2 and 3.

For the second last game of 40k that we played that weekend we decided to try a “Kill Team” scenario.  For those that dont know, Kill Team is a way of playing games using a small, hand-picked force from an army list that doesnt conform to the usual restrictions and getting them to do something cinematic like rescue a hostage, blow up a reactor etc.  It is a potentially fun way to use some of the more oddball figures in your collection to do something worthy of a crappy yet entertaining movie.  One of the main reasons to play miniature games in my opinion.

Kill Team games are also by definition quick affairs with only a handful of figures on one side and not really a vast amount on the other side either, sentry types mostly.

GAME 4: Sin Eaters Kill Team Vs Kouranaya Craftworld Eldar

The Sin Eater Kill Team consisted of three Chaos Space marines (here and here), of which one had a Plasma Gun (right), two Possessed Marines from Squad Nemesis and Sgt Damien, a vintage Nurgle Chaos Renegade that I am very fond of (he oozes character), representing a Veteran Sergeant/Aspiring Champion type.

The Kouranaya Eldar set up around the table in an unalerted state, talking about the good old days ten thousand years ago when they didnt have to live like monks for fear of their souls being devoured by an evil god (represented by the yellow markers.  The unlaerted state that is, not the evil god).  The floating pyramid in the middle of the table is the webway portal which the Kill Team has been sent to destroy.

The Kill Team enter from the East…

…and quickly blow one unit of Guardians to pieces, forcefeed knuckle sandwiches to a second squad and send a third running back home to tell on them.  All in a days work for paranormal, post-human, pestilent pantheon proclaimers.

Although the Kill Team kept the noise down a reasonable amount, most of the Eldar cottoned on (the yellow markers have turned red) and they regrouped ready to provide a reasonably coherent defence of the portal.

The Kill Team is surrounded.  What we got here is a Mexican stand off… ‘cept there aint no Mexicans.

In a potent display of why the Kill Team is comprised of the best of the best (with honours), the Guardians are either killed or driven off, with some casualties to the Sin Eaters.

Sgt Damien allows himself a rare, rotten-gobbed smile as the corrupting influence of Chaos permeates the sacred ground of the Eldar, all according to plan.

——-

Conclusions:  The game was fun, but would probably have been more so if another gaming system was used: it was hampered by the Warhammer system.

I was surprised at the time when GW published the Kill Team rules and even more so when they codified them fully and comprehensively in the 4th edition rulebook.  It showed that they were willing to acknowledge that there was more to figure gaming than just their usual tedious big battle fare.  Within the limitations of the 40k system they did a good job too.

I dont think that the Kill Team rules are included in the current rulebook which is both a sign of the times and a pity.

Part FIVE.

Back To The (Grim, Dark) Future Pt3

Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Using the last game for rules of thumb we decided to throw points values out of the window.  We then tweaked the scenario to represent the disruption by Harlequins of a daemonic summoning ritual by the Sin-Eaters.

The main reason for that scenario was that I wanted to use some of the daemon and other miniatures that I painted for the army years ago that never proved viable enough for regular play.  It is always fun going back to play with figures that were fun to paint that never got much table time for whatever reason.

GAME 3: Harlequins Vs Sin Eaters Chaos Space Marines

We set  up as above but doubled the number of sentries as the Harlequins had too easy a time avoiding them in the previous game.

Nonetheless two troupes made short work of the sentries on the Western side.

That didnt slow down the summoning ritual though.  Swarms of Nurglings and and a group of Plaguebearers poured through the rift that was being opened by the Plague Marines.  Sin-Eaters Bikers also came in from the East in support.

Nurglings swarmed over one squad of Harlequins, catching them unawares and killing them unexpectedly.  The fight between the Plaguebearers and the second troupe caused casualties on both sides.

Eldar Guardians from the Kouranaya Craftworld stepped through their webway portal (the tacky looking golden pyramid) to support the Harlequins.  The Sin Eater bikers adjusted to an intercept course.

Tough as they were the Plaguebearers were finding it difficult to withstand the repeated hit and run attacks from the Harlequin troupe.  The Nurglings unexpected run of luck didnt hold and a fully expected obliteration occurred at the hands of the third troupe.

Sin Eater Havocs moved in from the South West and deployed their heavy weapons to cover the altar.

A solitary Plaguebearer was all that remained of the unit as the troupe disengaged ready to charge in again.

The armoured bikers were too tough for the guardians who were wiped out after a protracted fight.

More Guardians came through the Webway portal just as the Bikers finished off the first Guardian squad while the surviving Harlequins circled the altar ready to assault.

With heavy casualties on both sides the Harlequins nearly dislodge the Plague Marines from the altar…

…but a Chaos Spawn congeals out of nowhere and lands behind the surviving troupe.  It looks bad for the Eldar.

The Harlequins on the altar are killed by the remaining Plague Marines, Chaos Spawn and solitary Plaguebearer.  The Harlequins backflip out of combat with the bikers as the guardians kill another, leaving only the Sergeant.

This frees up the last Harlequin troupe to rush back towards the altar.  Unexpected supporting fire from the final Guardian squad that just warped in proves lethal in combination with the Harlequins sidearms.

The Guardians finally tear the biker sergeant from his saddle and riddle him with close range shuriken fire while the remnants of the last troupe send the final daemon back to the hole that spawned him.  Bloody but victorious the Eldar prepare to set explosives and counter wards to ensure that the altar can never be used again.

————————————-

Conclusions:

Although at this stage we were tiring of our trip down 40k memory lane, with all of its dead ends and turn offs that go nowhere and for no real reason, that game ended up being quite fun, if a bit linear and predictable.  It was close in the end and it was evocative of the source material.  That is the most that we could have hoped for in fairness.

Parts FOUR and FIVE.

Sin Eaters Raptors: Squad Boyle

Sergeant Boyle and Melta Gunner

Squad Boyle was a pretty late addition to my Sin Eaters army.  They nonetheless got used in a tournament or two as well as in a number of casual games.

Jump Packs

My income levels at the time were pretty low (a perennial condition at sho3box towers Im afraid) and so I used a few components that up until that point I had been avoiding, in the interests of keeping things cheap.

Sergeant Boyles Head

Most notably in that regard was the use of the quite goofy zombie head with the beard and the tongue hanging out from the GW zombie sprue.  For the earlier squads I had avoided that head as I regarded it as a bit too wacky for my purposes.  Finances were low and I had a number of those heads sitting around so I decided to use one along with the new-at-the-time Space Wolf heads (and a Khorne head).

Bolt Pistol & Chain Axe, Plasma Pistol & Bolt Pistol

At that late stage of painting an army (roughly about 80 models or so into the project I would say) painting techniques tend to have evolved, usually in the interests of expediency.  In addition to that slighly more oddball units and concepts start to crop up, usually in my case in an effort to keep interest up.  Hence the heavily armed unit of jet pack-ing zombie space soldiers.

Plasma Pistol & Chainsword, Bolt Pistol & Chainsword

There has been some crazy talk about playing some small games of 3rd ed 40K amongst SOS and MT recently.  If my resolve breaks and I engage in some of those shenanigans it will likely involve games that include the more elite and oddball units like Squad Boyle.

Sin Eater Plague Marines: Squad Klaus

Sgt Klaus (left) and Plague Marine

Squad Klaus was the first unit that I painted for my Sin Eaters, waaay back in 1999.  As the Sin Eaters was going to be an exclusively Nurgle Chaos Marine force I decided to start with two ten man Plague Marine units, the first of which was Squad Klaus.

Plague Marines

Squad Klaus is made up of plague marines with bolters.  Half of the miniatures are the old plastic plague marine three piece plastics and the other five are old metal plague marines, including the original, very first ever plague marine model, Klaus himself.

Corrupted Defenders of Humanity

The all plastic plague marines are a lot cruder that the stuff that GW has made since.  In the interests of keeping costs down I squeezed them in alongside the nicer metal figures.

Zombie Soldiers

Like Squad Damien, I painted these guys a certain way.  As time went on and I painted more and more Sin Eaters the techniques evolved a bit.  The figures still look like they are part of the same uniformed force, but the paint application techniques changed.  Compare the white armoured areas on the marines in Squad Nemesis with these guys and you should be able to see the difference.

Plague Marine and Plague Marine Plasma Gunner

Squad Klaus hasnt had as much time on the tabletop as I would like, mostly because while carrying a bolter may be iconic in terms of the 40k-verse, in terms of gameplay it doesnt cut it (or it didnt when I used to play.  I dont know what its like now really).

I hope to remedy this with some skirmish games that feature Klaus and co at some point over the next year or two.

Squad Klaus Combat Squad 1...

...and the plastic Combat Squad 2.

Sin Eaters Chaos Marines: Squad Damien

Sgt Damien (right) and two Chaos Marines

Squad Damien is the third squad that I painted for my WH40k Chaos Space Marine force back in 1999.  The figures used are vintage Chaos Renegades made by GW in the 1980s.

Chaos Renegades

I needed a unit to represent possessed space marines.  I had some ideas about converting up my own figures (which came to fruition a year or two later with Squad Nemesis) but in the interim I thought that I would get some fun out of painting up these classic figures.

Nurgle Twins

Squad Damien took the field as possessed marines more often than not.  The heavily mutated style was satisfyingly more extreme than most of the other marines that I used for my force, so they fit the role of possessed admirably.

Degenerate Chaos Space Marines

Like anything that I painted a long time ago (over a decade in this case) there are lots of things that I would do differently if I painted these figures again now.  I still like these guys though: they were fun figures to paint, they are very characterful and amusing looking and I also played a lot of games with them over the years.  Satisfying.

Squad Damien takes to the field.

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