Monday, May 30, 2011

3 Units in Review: Daemon Princes

"Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, harshness, and ignorance; these are the marks of those who are born with demonic qualities..." Bhagavad Gita

Daemon Princes, once men who were born with these demonic qualities sacrifice enemies and allies alike for their ambitions. Through these actions they attracted the attention of their patron god.  In the world of 40k they are one of the truly unique units in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  The stand above the other choices available due to the sheer power that they bring to the table while adding tremendous fluff to your army.  The addition of a Marked Daemon Prince for your HQ really sets the table for the story behind your army. Lets have a look at what each of the Marks have to offer you and your Daemon Prince.

Khorne - One of the cheapest Daemon Princes going. Reason being is that they cannot take any psychic powers thus restricting what they can buy to just wings (a must have). The Benefits of the Mark of Khorne is the bonus of +1 Attack. Nothing huge by any means but an extra attack from a strength 6 monstrous creature is always nice.

Slaanesh - The sole purpose of taking this mark is have access to the Lash of Submission, a Slaanesh only power. This power as we all know allows you to manipulate your opponents units which is a rare and powerful ability. The other advantage is the +1 to initiative. With the Prince already being Initiative 5 it should be striking first against most enemies if not at the same time.  Rarely will it strike last.

Nurgle - Durability is the name of the game with this beast. The increase in toughness from 5 to 6 is bigger than most people think. It will cause strength 4 weapons and units to go from hitting on 5's to 6's which is just nasty.  The other door that opens up is the psychic power Nurgle's Rot. This psychic power is an area of effect spell that is great for using against hordes or when surrounded by numerous enemy models.  Not the strongest power but it has the chance at taking quite a few models plus this power can be used in close combat.

Tzneetch - Improved immunity to weapons that ignore a Daemon Princes 3+ armour save is the biggest advantage that this mark brings to the table. It improves your invulnerable save from 5+ to 4+. It may not come in handy all that often like the extra toughness that a Nurgle mark will but it makes up for it when your opponent brings down the hurt with AP 3 (or lower) weapons and with power weapons. The other advantage is that Tzneetch marked Daemon Princes can take a second Psychic power and on top of this they can use two powers each turn. This means it becomes an expensive build but there are some nasty combos like Warp Time and Winds of Chaos. Lastly this mark opens the door to the Tzneetch only power of Bolt of Change which is great for tank hunting.

As I have mentioned before my Chaos Space Marine Army, Betrayer's of Pain is dedicated to Nurgle which left me with only one choice, two Nurgle marked Daemon Princes. One was simply not enough for me as the other HQ choices failed in comparison to that of a Daemon Prince. The conversion opporunity is wide open when it comes to Daemon Princes so let your imagination run wild. Games Workshop's Fantasy model line is full of models that are awaiting to be ascended into the world of 40k. Vargulfs, Ogres, Minotaurs,Lord Kroak and the list goes on. I settled on using the Nurgle Daemon Prince model for one and a Necron Night Bringer for the other.

1/ Always give them a set of wings. Without wings a Daemon Prince is a slow moving monstrous creature that will be lucky if it makes it into close combat.  The mobility gain by having a set of wings is two fold. First off it doubles the Daemon Princes movement range from 6 to 12 inches. The second benefit is that it allows the Daemon Prince to act as a Jump Infantry, meaning it can jump over terrain and or other units.  These two combined will allow your Daemon Prince to fly in out of LOS or into positions that provide cover saves.

2/ Running them in pairs is twice as effective.  Having one Daemon Prince racing towards the enemy paints a large target on it and in reality focus fire will bring it down. Adding a second Daemon Prince to your army will force your opponent to make a choice on which one to target thus increasing the chance of one of them making it into close combat with the enemy. The most effective weapons at killing a Daemon Prince are high strength weapons that are generally used for popping open armoured vehicles. Multiple monstrous creatures and a mechanized army overloads your opponents anti tank weapons thus forcing them to make some very tough decisions.

3/ Do not be afraid to sit back or create false ploys with your Winged Daemon Princes. They have the mobility to pull or push the enemy. Hide for a turn and attempt to set up a trap. Be a patient hunter with them and you will be rewarded.

4/ When your army is involved in a battle that uses table quarters for deployment try holding both winged Daemon Princes in reserve. Your main force has to deploy in the designated quarter but all reserves that are walking on can use the whole table edge to deploy when they become available. If your opponent is not keen on this he may end up pushing his forces towards towards the empty table quarter where the rest of your table edge is. This may will allow the Daemon Princes to catch your opponents units in close combat due to their 18" assault range.

Now go forth and sow the enemy with hatred and fear.

Friday, May 27, 2011

3 Flashback Friday #1: Swamp Rhinos

If you followed my old blog you might have noticed that I have been re-posting some of the content from there.  The reason being is that I essentially want to bring everyone up to speed on all that is HotPANDA.  This will specially allow me to share my Chaos Space Marine army, The Betrayer's of Pain with new followers and old alike.  An added bonuses is that it will also reinvigorate me to paint some of my side projects that have not been blessed with the rotten brush of pigment. So without wasting anymore of your time here is the first official Friday Flashback....

Twisted branches punched through the hulls of the three Rhinos pulling them down into the murky depths of the swamp.  Fungus clung to the vehicles armour filling in the scars of it's battle torn past.  They looked like they had been forgotten about; relics of past.  Twenty one bloated Space Marines bodies laid motionless around the dilapidated Rhinos.  The trap was set...

The Crimson Fist Scout stalked quietly in towards their death, they never saw it coming.  First the trees lashed out at the the Scouts, grabbing their attention.  All three of the ghostly Rhinos smoke discharges exploded next.  The smoke engulfed the Scouts as the Rhinos let off long burst with their pintle mounted bolters.  Half of the Scouts were dead by this point.  As if on cue the twenty one bloated bodies rose up from the swampy waters hacking their rusted chain swords into the remaining Scouts. 

When the smoke cleared the only thing left were the bodies of the butchered scouts.  The bloated Space Marines and the Rhinos were no where to be seen."

When I originally made my Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army I had not even considered the use of rhinos till 5th edition hit the tables.  It was at this point that I realized that if I wanted my army to be competitive I needed mobility.  For myself Rhinos were the perfect answer to my mobility solution as they were cheap and it would only take one or two minor changes to get them into my list.  For me it meant dropping my beautiful converted Dreadnought (I will show that to you another time).  By including Rhinos I have done the following:

Moblity = A vehicle moves six inches more than a foot solider in the movement phase.  This extra movement can be the difference between winning and losing in object based games.

Protection = My opponent has to pop the Rhino if it wants to kill the troops.

Saturation = With 3 Monstrous Creatures, 1 Defiler, 2 Obliterators, 21 Plague Marines and now 2 Rhinos my opponents heavy weapons are over loaded.  Meaning my opponent needs to make hard choices on what target they need to shoot at.

Castles = I now have the ability to castle my army for when the situation arises.  In other word I can now "Circle the Wagons" for protection.  This protection can either prevent enemies from gaining line of sight, provide cover saves or block enemy movement.

Modelling wise, my Rhinos offered me a chance to put the icing on the cake. They gave me yet another unique chance to cement my forest theme. I  built a total of three rhinos in this fashion with one of them being an old 3rd edition model.  I let my imagination run wild with them and they were a blast to model.  I envisioned them having a symbiotic relationship with the swamp.  The trees may now grow from within the Rhinos but the fungus that clings to their hulls repairs and covers the damage; acting as extra armour.  On the Rhino featured in this blog post the pintle mounted bolter is even maned by a tree branch.  Its 90% painted with some minor details and highlights left to do still but enough to put it on the table. I still need to glue the top of it to the bottom but I have some work on the inside still to do.  At a later time and date I will post up my painting recipe for them.  Till then stay out of the swamp.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

1 WIP it Wednesday #3

The past week of painting saw a significant slow down in production speed due to life itself and minor details.  By minor details I mean faces, hair, touchups and other diminutive features on my Renegade Space Wolves.  The details for me right now are slowing me down due to indecisiveness and lack of experience at said features.  The two biggest hurdles left are fur and cloth.  Not quite sure how I should approach these features.  On one side I would like to paint the fur white.  I not sold on this as I plan on introducing some Ferisan Wolves a later time.  I do not want them to have white fur.  With that said I am leaning towards a dark brown.  The few pieces of cloth on my Renegades Wolves will take its cue from the fur or will simply be painted black.
My Long Fangs have stalled out as I am unsure if I should actually paint their details or just leave them be.  I'm really enjoying how the red wolf helmets POP.  I feel that if I were to paint the flames or add any other colour to the details that I would cause the POP to fizzle out.
At the same time my 5 Grey Hunter strong squad and their Wolf Guard are begging for their red paint.  I refuse to listen to them though as I have not come up with how I can differentiate them between my other two squads.  Squad A has an oxidized brass shoulder pad and backpack.  While Squad B has a red shoulder pad and a red backpack.  Just not sure how to go about creating a third scheme with the same colours.
In terms of what colours did find their way on to my models you can clearly see that I settled in on my skin tones.  I know that the blue is quite powerful in terms of contrast and not to mention not a standard colour.  In the end though I really enjoy the effect especially the eyes.  I also primed my two Razorbacks, my Vindicator, my Land Speeder and my Dreadnought.  My plan is to get as many of these vehicles 50% painted by next Wednesday.  A change in models will go a long way for my longevity.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

0 Chaos Terminators and the Art of Termicide

Termicide - The act of causing ones own death. Termicide is indirect, when one does not desire it as an end or a means.  When one nevertheless commits an act which courts death in the attempt to hand out death to ones foes, knowing that you yourself may well succumb to the same illness.

To be assigned to a Chaos Space Marine (CSM) Termicide Squad is to live as one would die, to dies as one has lived. With the unique ability to field small unit with minimal war gear these Termicide Squads can change the course of a battle through their actions.  These acts however are daring ones that laugh in the face of death in an attempt to take as many lives down with them as possible before succumbing to their own wounds. Failure is not an option only death is.

The key to achieving an effective Termicide Squad is keeping the points down while balancing their ability to handle tasks involving shooting and close combat against various targets.  Keeping in mind that a Termicide Squad is going to be Deep Striking in as their method of entry as this grants them the element of surprise.  A Termicide Squad is always 3 in size since anything more start to increase the cost of the squad to a point where they are not longer points effective.  CSM Terminators are able to achieve this balance between effectiveness and cost thanks to each Terminator's ability to field a combi weapon and a specialized close combat weapon.  On top of this each squad, regardless of how big it is, can take one heavy weapon. The question is what do you take though?  With the fact that they will not be able to assault the turn they arrive they need to be able to do some serious damage via shooting as soon as they arrive against various targets.  Combi Meltas, Combi Flamers and the HeavyFlamers are the most effective and cheapest shooting based war gear at their disposal.  These three weapon will allow them to pop a tank/walker and or trim the fat off of any horde.  If the squad survives the onslaught of fire power thrown their way they are more than likely going to get assaulted or be assaulting the next chance they get.  This is where their specialized Close Combat weapons come into play.  Standard war gear gives them each a power sword which is great for killing as it negates armour saves.  However it cannot handle vehicles/walkers in close combat.  To help with this one Chainfist (preferred) or Powerfist can make the world of difference.  If you know your army has a weakness in terms of anti tank or anti horde one can always focus the squads war gear around that.  For example, if your problem is that your army is lacking anti tank then a Termicide Squad can be use to plug that hole with a 3 man squad all equipped with Combi Meltas and one member with a Chainfist.  There are several different variants of the Termicide Squad but the principles remain the same; as cheap as possible, yet as effective as possible.
Below are several Termicide Squad load outs directed towards filling a specific goal:

All Comers
120 = CSM Terminators x 3: Combi Melta x2, Heavy Flamer and Chainfist x 1
* A wide variety of weapons for maximum target flexibility

Anti Tank
120 = CSM Terminators x 3: Combi Melta x 3 and Chainfist x 1
*All weapons are geared at popping vehicles/walkers

Anti Horde
105 = CSM Terminators x 3: Combi Flamer x 2, Heavy Flamer
*Lots of flamers to help trim the fat off of any horde

As you can clearly see you each of these three Termicide squads cost no more than 120 points but remember they are specifically designed to cost very little as they are in all likely hood going to die on the battlefield.  If you feel confident that your Termicide Squad will survive first contact and that assault is where they will meet death then the Icon of Khorne is an option as it will grant them +1 attack each while giving them an Icon to call down additional units.   If you have some points to spare but not enough for an Icon of Khorne then you can always make any of them a Champion as this will also give them a +1 to their attacks.
In terms of modeling the terminator kit is one that can be exploited like the rear armour on a Dreadnought.  Take the opportunity to personalize your Termicide squad.  Myself I wrapped each of my terminators with my steadfast Nurgle forest theme.  I did this by heavily mutating each of them with Spawn bitz.  I  included several smaller branches on the base and various war trophies on each of the models.  Last but not least I add some fungus via green stuff to them.

In the end death is the only outcome that a Termicide Squad is looking to achieve. If they cannot achieve that then their only answer is death itself.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

5 Sunday Best #1: Flash-paint

Click here for the preview to Flashdance the movie - LOL

It can cut you like a knife, if the gift becomes the fire
On a wire between will and what will be
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And she's dancing like she never danced before

The past couple weeks I feel like Jennifer Beals as I have been dancing the nights away with my paint brushes.  Instead of "dancing like she never danced before", I am painting like I have never before.  Not sure where the will to paint my models has come from but it's strength is turning into a desire.
My desire to paint models has never, not once been a driving force behind Warhammer 40k.  In fact it has been the one aspect in the hobby that I have loathed.  The biggest reason for my revulsion to painting is that I suffer from painter's regret.  Once the paint has dried I immediately start t think that I should repaint the model or in some cases an entire army.  Despite using test models that I full heartily fell in love with, I still end up wanting change.  Maybe I am just blessed by the great Fate Weaver himself; laughing and mocking me the whole time.
At the beginning of the May I set aside the time to start painting my Renegade Space Wolves.  The reason for this is that I am moving to another province in July and would like to showcase this army at my local gaming store.  This self impose dead line must have sparked the gift of painting as it has now become the fire.  Over the last two days alone I have flash-painted through over half my 2000 point Renegade Space Wolves army.  I do not see this relenting as this is a long weekend here in Canada and I have 3 days off.  Not to mention that I have the house to myself for the bulk of those three days as my wife regretfully has to work.
I do have some work myself ahead of me as I have two obstacles before me.  The first being how in the warp I am going to paint the skin on my Renegade Wolves.  This is a major issue as the defining feature of this army is that 33/40 models are not only helmet-less but each have a unique face (a different head bit for each model).  As you can see I need to have a solid paint scheme down for my skin tones in order for me to highlight this minor conversion.  The second obstacle is minor in nature as it is coming up with how I am going to base my models.  I originally wanted my Renegades to be treading their way through snow frozen planet.  I have been having second thoughts though due to the paint scheme that I have selected for my Khorne worshipping Space Wolves;  red and green.  With those two colours I fear the curse of Christmas Past.
Till next time I am a Maniac, Maniac and I just can't stop!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

8 Units in Review: D is for DEFILER

The runes that glowed with the anger stemmed from the Daemon.  The hell that was unleashed stemmed from the mechanical cage that it was trap inside of.  Scampering up on to the smoldering Imperial Guard tank that it just tore apart, it let off a deafening blast from its' battle cannon at a squad of Imperial Guardsmen.  Their blood and corpses filled the crater where they once stood.  It closed the open ground between itself and the Imperial Guard Command Squad.  Reaching out with both of its mechanical arms it crushed two Ogryn body guard as if they were delicate xenos eggs. Its branch like arms lashed out simultaneously at the smaller members of the Command Squad swatting them away like flies, while one of its' legs pinned the Company Commander down. Slowly pressing down it severed the officer at the waist..."

My Defiler is my pride and joy of my Chaos Space Marine army, Betrayer's of Pain.  Its' hulking frame cast its shadow over the rest of the army including both of my Daemon Princes.  On the table top however it goes unnoticed the majority of the time despite the death it causes to my enemies. I am able to keep it alive by using the following strategies:

Look I have 4 arms: I took 2 extra dreadnought close combat arms on my Defiler since if I fire its' battle cannon, an ordnance weapon, it cannot fire anything else.  All of these arms result in 6 Attacks at strength 10 on the charge which is nothing to scoff at.

Fire first, Combat Second: Despite having 4 dreadnought close combat arms I chose the Defiler for it fire support capabilities first and its close combat prowess second.  This is my only means of dropping a large template down and as such the longer it can fire the better.

Cover Saves: I always try to generated a cover save by obscuring my defiler to as many heavy weapons threats as I can by blocking 50% of its hulking mass from their view. If the only means to doing so are with my Rhinos then so be it. With this in my I tend to keep my Defiler in the back field as the further away my opponent is the easier it is to generate the cover save.

Fleet of Foot: I always keep in mind that my Defiler has 'Fleet of Foot' which gives it a 13-18" assault range. By doing so I am able to catch unsuspecting enemy units and destroy them in close combat with ease.

Line Backer: If my two quarterbacks, my Winged Nurgle Daemon Princes, are the means to the end of my opponent I will not hesitate for a second to run my Defiler out in front of them.  Its' size is great enough that I can block line sight to both of them.  I have also used my Defiler to escort dismounted troops onto objectives by hiding them behind it.<

Chooser of the Slain: I actively seek to control what units get close to my Defiler and what units do not.  By doing so I am able to lock down units in close combat that cannot effectively fight against it and avoid the ones that can.

Back Up Against a Wall: If my opponent has the means to outflank, infiltrate or deep strike in behind my Defiler I try to keep my Defilers backside up against a table edge, another vehicle or piece of terrain. The reason for this is that its rear armour is its Achilles heel, armour value 10.

By combining all of these principles together I am able to create the impression that my Defiler is not an immediate threat when need.  In the event that I suffer a "Weapon Destroyed" result and lose its' battle cannon then I start to seek close combat instead.  I find that once my opponent destroys its' battle cannon after feeling the pain it can cause they forget about it close combat abilities.  Over all my Defiler is a devastating platform that is flexible and effective at both shooting and close combat.

Modeling WIP Shots
It may not be the commanding officer but it is their crown jewel.  It lends not only a tremendous amount of firepower and close combat prowess but it cements the forest theme I set out for the army.  Its' extra close combat arms and the various small branches were kit-bashed from the Games Workshop Citadel Wood terrain set.

Off the record, it drove me nuts painting all of the freaking purple trim. Still on my hit list are all the dam little rivets.  My eyes are bleeding already, why Papa Nurgle Why?!!!?.  As always any feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Thanks for visiting my BLOG.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3 WIP it Wednesday #2

Another adventure filled week, except mine was filled with models, paint and blogs where "Juniors" was filled with nazis, cannibals and snakes.  It might not be as glamorous as hunting for long lost treasure but my week was just as fulfilling.  Lets have a look at what I accomplished over the last 7 days.

First off I overhauled my blog template due to my last one being filled with dead end links and constant editing problems.  I manage to find a very similar looking template though and one that is a hell of lot easier to work with.  I also added a text widget on the lower right of the blog that tracks the progress of my Renegade Space Wolves.
The main feature saw me building up the red pigments on 16 out of 21 of my Grey Hunters, 7 out of 8 Wolf Guard and all 6 of my Long Fangs.  As the layers of red where slowly added to the models I was filled with an immense sense of pride.  The paint scheme was coming together and it pleased the Eye of Terror, not to mention myself.
You can see the Grey Hunters are painted 50% oxidized bronze/brass and 50% red.  Where as the Terminators are 75% oxidized bronze/brass and 25% red.  The idea behind this is the more bronze the higher the Renegade is in the packs pecking order.  The plan is for my HQs to be 95% Brass with only a a small splash here or there of red.
Despite picking a brush up for the first time in over 8 months I feel like I have improved greatly.  My patience is 10 fold and my concept of techniques has improved.  This has not only left me with a sense of pride for my work but also has left me with feeling of joy.  For the first time in the hobby I am actually enjoying the painting side of the hobby.  My goals for next week are to have all 6 layers of red painted on to my infantry models, minus my HQ's.  I also hope to have the scheme for my skin tones sorted out, and the priming of my Landspeeder, Dreadnought, Razorbacks and Vindicator. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

4 Units in Review: Lesser Daemons

Lesser Daemons are probably the most under rated unit in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  Many players of old scoff and shrug them off.  Embrace them however cause they will provide your army with a thank-less work horse.  Lesser Daemons radiate the warp for the following reasons:

1/ They are Cheap. Roughly half the Cost of a Cult Dedicated Troop Choice.

2/ Invulnerable save only. The 5+ is just golden especially when matched up against power weapons. They just do not care what is hitting them unlike the Cult Troops.

3/ They can assault the turn they deep strike into play and they do not scatter (via Icon).

Now that we know what makes them an effective units lets look at how many to take. The number should aim for is 7 as this allows for one in the centre and a complete ring of 6 around it.  Remember they have to Deep Strike so the more you have the harder it will be to fit them into small tight areas.  The minor difference or 1 or 2 either way will be fine as you will have some play on where they go since they will not be be numerous enough to complete a second ring around the center model. I would never suggest anything more than 10 though.

In terms of roles look to their strengths and you can find some various uses for them. Here are a few of mine:
Objective Grabbers = Deep Strike in behind your assault elements and run back to claim the objectives.

Tar Pits = A squad of 6-10 Lesser Daemons with having their Fearless status and an invulnerable. save can stand up to small elite unit for quite some time. This is especially true against models with lower initiative than the Lesser Daemons as this allows them to strike first. I have killed many terminators,and terminators lords/Independent Characters with my Lesser Daemons.

Speed Bumps = Just a thrown them in front of the enemy and let them charge thus thus buying another one of your units time to get out of dodge/redeploy to a safer location.

Meat Shield = Use them like a grot screen whey your opponent has weapons that can punch through the armour of other units in your army. If the Lesser Daemons get shot they get an invulnerable. save or if the squad behind them gets hit they get a 4+ cover.

Shock Troops = With the ability to Deep Strike and assault the same turn Lesser Daemons make for excellent shock troops.  You can take your opponent by surprise thanks to their enter method.  They must deep strike within 6"of an icon.  By being a coy play you can actually place the model so just the back of the base is at the 6" range gaining .999" in the process.  Add one outer ring of models and now you have another 1".  This means that Lesser Daemons have 13.999" assault range.  With 3 attacks on the charge a unit of 7 gets 21 attacks.  Nothing to scoff at.

Last thing to remember about Lesser Daemons is that they offer you an unique opportunity in terms of modeling. With no actually model to represent them GW has given you the choice and freedom to model however you want to. Roll with this and apply theme through them to your army thus letting your army stand above the rest.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

6 Unlocking the Chaos Gene (Codex)

"There is no gene for faith.
When for one reason or another we attempted to change these hard times,
Our own genetic identity became our only true ally...
To finally survive." 

Telepopmusik  - Genetic World

Whether you are a Chaos Lord in one of the Legions or a Renegade Space Marine if you are to survive you must recognize what you are.  You are not an Ultra Marine, a Dark Angel, a Blood Angel, a Black Templar or a Space Wolf, you are a Chaos Space Marine (CSM).  You might share a few characteristics with these power armoured loyalist scum but if the Gods of Chaos are to smile upon you, you must embrace the warp and become one with it.  In gaming terms this means acknowledging the CSM Codex for what makes it stand apart from all the other power armoured Codices.  By identifying the qualities of the CSM Codex you are empowered with the knowledge that is needed to build an army that reflects the distinct genetic code of the Codex; both in terms of fluff and competitiveness.  Some of these qualities are an advantage, some are a disadvantage and others are a souble edge sword, like that of a daemon weapon.  Regardless though, this is what sets the CSM Codex apart from the rest of the pack.

To help unlock this genetic code it is best to compare the CSM Codex to that of the Space Marine Codex.  The Space Marine Codex is the base line for which all power armoured Codices are derived from.  There are three major differences between the Codices, Independent Characters, War Gear Options and Unique Units.

Independent Characters (ICs)
In the Space Marine Codex the majority of their ICs are force enablers as they can change the Force Organization Chart (FOC) and or provide a boost to shooting.  The effects can be applied to a single squad or across the entire army,  Vulkan Hestan is a prime example of this as he allows the entire army to re-roll their roll to hit on flamers, meltas and thunder hammers.  Other ICs grant various special rules with the majority of them providing a boost to shooting.  For Chaos Space Marines though their ICs only care about themselves thus they cannot change the FOC or enable units with special rules.  What they do bring to the table though is sheer close combat prowess.  This is especially true when you look at the likes of their Daemon Princes (DPs) which are Monstrous Creatures, Eternal Warriors, high stats across the board and the majority of them can take a psychic power.  They generally lack the ability to lend a hand in the shooting phase as they are geared towards close combat and then some.  Even though Chaos ICs cannot affect the FOC, the CSM codex has six options for troops to make up for this.  Four of these choices, the Cult Marines, are essentially Elite choices.

War Gear Options
For the majority of units in the Space Marine Codex they are equipped with a bolter and a close combat weapon.  Where a CSM come with a bolter, a bolt pistol and a close combat weapon.  This enables the CSM units to be better situated for close combat as they have an additional close combat weapon thus an extra attack.  We can see that the CSM Codex is geared towards close combat but every advantage comes with a disadvantage.  For the Chaos player it comes in the form of shooting.  Sure the CSM Codex has some great unit like that of an Obliterator, Thousand Sons or Noise Marines when it comes to shooting but when you compare how many shooting orientated units/vehicles that the Space Marine Codex has it becomes evident that Chaos got the short end of the bang stick.  This is not to say we are horrible at shooting but rather we are not as good at it as Space Marines are.  To help make up for this weakness the majority of CSM units can take two special weapons instead of a special and a heavy special weapon.  This is a huge advantage for mobile infantry units as they are not slowed down by the heavy weapon like a Space Marine Tactical squad is.

Unique Units
The last major difference is the biggest one of them all, in that this what truly sets the CSM Codex apart from the Vanilla Marine Codex.  If you can identify the unique units only found in the CSM Codex you have just unlocked the greatest tool in building a fluffy and or a competitive CSM army.  If we look at the CSM Codex it is easy to pull out the one of kind units:

Daemon Princes
Greater Daemons
Lesser Daemons
Cult Marines

These models cannto be replicated by the Space Marine Codex, where as the following units can be:

Chaos Terminator Lords
Chaos Terminators
Chaos Bikers
Land Raiders

If you were to build an army solely around units that are all found in the Space Marine Codex you might as well paint yourself blue and serve the loyalist scum's rotting corpse of an emperor.  Do not get me wrong though as some  of these units are valuable and or have a purpose in a CSM army.  You do not want them to be the core of your army though.

I have shined the light of the warp on what sets the CSM Codex apart from other Marine Codices but in the end this is not enough to simple survive.  Throwing together a random unique units with out thought or reason will make the Chaos Gods smile as your army will be fluffy but chances are it will not bring the Chaos Gods victory.  To achieve this though one must mutate the Chaos gene, but that is a BLOG post for another time...

Friday, May 13, 2011

0 WIP it Wednesday #1

Before the cream sits out to long, I have decided that I am going to WIP good, each and every Wednesday.  Exactly as the band Devo stated I am going to "Whip it, into shape, shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it's not to late, to whip it, whip it good".
Shining the spot light deep into my man cave, this segment will show case what my hands, eyes and chaotic imagination has gotten themselves into over the course of 7 days.  This should manifest itself into a series that focuses my efforts into both modelling and painting while providing you, the readers, a chance to study the dark arts that I am practicing. Over the last two weeks you would of found me working diligently an assembly line with the intention of slapping some paint on my Khorne dedicated Space Wolves.  The driving force behind this is to have the entire 2000pts worth of them 100% painted before I move this summer to a new province.  If I can achieve this, then it means the boyz at my local rouge trader and their Warboss "Roy" will get to see the end product of my sweat and blood.  I started this army just over a year ago and have been slowing enjoying the process of building them and playing with them despite not being painted.  I lavished the models with small but important conversions.  The biggest of them being that each model in the army except for a select few and by few I mean my Long Fangs, are individuals.  They are unique from each other as no two models are the same.  The way I achieved this was by ensuring that they each had their own face, in other words their own head.  This was no small task but by utilizing the CSM line and Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy model lineup I gather 38 one of kind heads.  It's hard to see this from the the various WIPs in this blog but my hope is that they will make my army stand apart once they are complete.
What you can notice from the WIPs is the development of my colour scheme and to that I owe Brian over at A Gentleman's Ones a galaxy of spilt blood. Through his hard work of applying paint to plastic and then plastic to blogging I was able to garnish my colour scheme from his recipes.  The WIP photos show various stages of his verdigris, the bright bluish-green encrustation formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, recipe on my traitor wolves. I chose to incorporate this colour as a way to push forth the idea that brass/bronze that is commonly seen on the worshippers of Khorne, has a story to tell through its age and wear.  As the month of may ages and wears to an end I should have enough paint on my models help bring out the diminutive conversions that help make my wolves what they are. Till then WIP it good, WIP real good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

6 Model Mondays #1

Painting beautiful models is something we all wish we could do.  Regretfully the only models that most of us will ever paint are those in the Games Workshop line up and not the models that strut down the catwalk.  The pictures above are compliments of my Wife's favorite show, America's Next Top Model, which airs once a week. For my blog the first day of the week will attempt whenever possible to hold Model Mondays.

So with further ado I would like to present the first installment of Model Mondays by showcasing my very first model that I 100% finished.  GASP!!! Yes he is an Ork!!!  Like most of you I have a plastic crack problem and find it hard to stick to just Chaos models.  My Ork army is my first army for 40k and it also is the army that introduced me into kit bashing.  Big Mek GearGrot, as I call him, was made from a plethora of kits.  GearGrot is kitted out with a KFF which is represented through the Eldar command bitz that I found on an Apocalypse Command sprue.  The Power Klaw compliments of Ghazskull Thrakka and it also help represents his Cybork Body.  The Bosspole owes its linage to a Fantasy Ogre Tyrants gut plate.  The 'Eavy Armour is shown through the Fantasy Black Orc Iron skull. In case you are wondering the main body is that of a Fantasy Ogre Tyrant while a fair amount of the gubbings belong to a Ork Loota squad.

Fluff wise GearGrot is one of three BigMeks that presides over THE KULT OF MEQ which is hybrid Death Skull, Blood Axe clan. They pride themselves on being mechanized and owe a great deal of their victories to GearGrot himself.  Big Mek GearGrot has grown not only in reputation but in his sheer height and girth. Not one one to be pushed around GearGrot's Warbosses typically end up dead in some sort of bloody accident.

Painting wise you can see the lineage to that of the Death Skulls through the extensive use of the colour blue. Using the Blue as the main colour and a stepping off point the remain colours seen in the model, green, red and orange form a Rectangle (tetradic) colour scheme. The rectangle or tetradic colour scheme uses four colors that area arranged into two complementary pairs. This rich color scheme offers plenty of possibilities for variation and work best when you let one colour be dominant. At time I did not follow the final principle which places emphasis on the balance between warm and cool colors in your design. Simply following  a aspect of colour theory was enough of a challenge when I painted this model two years ago.  To be honest I have a hard time wrapping my head around the whole temperature side of things.  The one aspect of the model that falls short is the green in several places as appears to be flat in appearance. Of course this can be corrected with some help of an additional layer and a slathering from a wash. I am happy with the model though and do not plan to modify or change anything on it.

Back from vacation on Wednesday where I should be able to pump out my first instalment of WIP IT Wednesdays.

Friday, May 6, 2011

6 Shadow of the Blood Moon

Going to be away for bit but I have schedule a few post for everyone enjoyment.

Betrayer's of Pain vs Faculty of the Dark Arts
A 2000pt Battle Report

Both armies watched the the ascension of the blood moon rise over the the battlefield as they realized what was at stake. It was not about securing the Imperial weapons caches that were scatter around the battlefield but rather about who could appease their Gods. Tied to the Chaos Alter was a scantily clad female salve. She was the true objective and both armiesk new that this is where the glory of the battle would be found. What God would she be sacrificed to? Was it going to be The Faculty of the Dark Arts spilling her blood in the name of Khorne and Slaanesh or was Betrayer's of Pain going to watch her suffer a slow death for the Father of Decay, Nurgle.

The Faculty of Dark Arts had recently broken off from Betrayer's of Pain in favor of worshipping new gods.  With the rise of the blood moon they saw it as a sign that they could strike a blow against Nurgle by stealing that female slave that he cherish so much. The trees though were the ears of Betrayer's of Pain and had caught wind of what the Faculty was planning.  Moving under the cover of the night Betrayer's of Pain set up an ambush around the Alter of Chaos. Using Nurgle's artifact the female slave, as bait they waited for The Faculty of the Dark Arts expose themselves. The trap was set.

A salvo of shots streaks across the battlefield and a large explosion filled the night sky with a ball of fire. The Faculty of the Dark Arts just lost its Defiler. Their Vindicator retaliated with a blast of its own at where the salvo of shots originated from; the top story of a shadowy set of ruins. It's round found it mark and instantly killed one of two Obliterators hiding amongst the shadows. Chunks of the the ruins rained down onto Betrayer's of Pain's two Rhinos which were slowly lurching towards the center of the battle field were the Alter of Chaos was located. The Faculty of the Dark Arts responded by having two of their Rhinos being Spearhead by a Vindicator surge in towards the alter on their east flank. While on their west flank the positioned a Land Raider a Rhino towards the alter as well.

A squad of Plague Marine unloaded from their rhino so that their two melta guns could tear a hole into the thermal coil of the Vindicator. This resulted in it exploding to pieces. Meanwhile a small but elite squad of Chosen, or as the Betrayer's of Pain referred to then "The Forsaken", had outflanked the two Rhinos and that were beside the now destroyed Vindicator in the east. Their five Plasma Gun fill the air with noxious gases as they rapid fired into the back of a rhino. Once again the darkness of the night was interrupted with a fiery explosion. The Rhinos fuel tank had been hit causing it to explode into pieces. A squad of Berzerkers emerged from the crater where their Rhino had previous been. The explosion simple never happened in their minds. They let loose a hail of bullets from their pistols and killed 4 of the 6 Forsaken. The Berzerkers were simply to fast for them and the remaining two fell before they could even draw their chain swords. Howling in pain as he swooped down on to the Berzerkers was Daemon Prince Amir Basit, One of the two Generals of Betrayer's of Pain. Pulsating wounds oozed out from his skin as his claws reached out for the Skulls of The Berzerkers, crushing them slowly one by one.

Enraged from the loss of his prized Berzerkers the Khorne Terminator Lord of the Faculty of the Dark Arts emerged from his Landraider. Accompanied by his entourage of blood thirsty Khorne Terminators they found themselves revealing with the mere thought of spilling some blood for Khorne. They unleashed their angry against a dismounted squad of Plague Marines and were making quick work of their bloated bodies. The air began to ripple and twist as each Plague Marine was killed.  The warp began to tear the air itself apart as if it was jealous of the blood being spilt. The warp began to possessed the trees that surrounded the alter and the air was filled with the Laughter of Papa Nurgle. Tearing their roots out from the ground the trees twisted and mutated in the name of Nurgle. When all was said and done two squads of Lesser Daemons of "Storax" and a Greater Daemon of "Storax" emerged. They quickly moved in for the kill against the Khorne Lord. Swinging the battle back into the favor of Nurgle the Dryads slowly but surely overwhelmed Terminators including the Lord himself. The Greater Tree Daemon and a what was left of the Dryads began to climb the alter. Lashing out with its twisted branches on the Facility's Land Raider, The Greater Daemon with the help of an Obliterator quickly turned it into a burning wreck.

Every where you looked the ground around the Alter of Chaos was pooling with the blood of both sides. It was all becoming a blur or steal and flesh. The Faculty's Sorcerer of Slaanesh fell, then their only Obliterator, a squad of Chaos Space Marines, and another squad of Chaos Space Marines. It just began to cascade out of control. Time stood still though when the Greater "Tree" Daemon slain the last warrior of The Faculty of the Dark arts on the Alter. There was nothing left to kill but the female slave. She had witness it all though through her own eyes. Her mind had ripped into fragments as she was forced to endure the battle before her. She had already died inside and now she was merely a cocoon now. Their had been enough killing tonight and she was to be spared. Here husk of a body would be turned into a casing for a viral bomb. She would become the delivery agent for a Zombie Plague... Betrayer's of Pain had not only emerge victorious but they would soon be bathing in the pain and suffering of billions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

0 Armies on Parade

Before I dive head first into the blogging warp space that I call my hobby with core post that cover the various aspects of Chaos, I should go over the various armies that I am collecting at this time.

Betrayer's of Pain
A highly themed but competitive Chaos Space Marine tournament army that adhears to the fluff of a Nurgle based army while having a strong swamp theme.  I chose the theme over  competitiveness as included lesser daemons  in the army which many competitive players simple scoff at.   However without them their is no theme.  They are the unsong hero in my army and they surprisingly out perform themselves time and time again.  This army is still ongoing with various side project but has a core element of 1850 points which is painted to table top quality.

The Ravenous
A Chaos Space Marine army that is dedicated to both Khorne and improving my painting abilities.  I specifically chose lava bases to facilitate the blending challenge that I set out for myself. The armour itself I hope to paint ruins of daemonic faces on to them to give them that final touch. This army is in no way meant to be played but rather enjoyed from looking at it instead.  This army has 2500 points modelled but next to little in terms of paint.

Company of Rot
A side project that is dedicated to the zombie fan inside me.  Based off the Imperial Guard codex it acts as an extension of my Nurgle CSM Army.  Daemon Princes Amir Zulfiqar and Amir Basit are building their very own Nurgle devoted guard army.  Not your typical IG army though as they have employed the Self Appointed Inquisitor Lord Fabius Bile.  The Three of them through Bile's experimentation and the Daemon Princes Nurgle Rot Power are raising a Zombie Army. Can they be stopped???

Renegade Space Wolves
My current endeavour which explores the Space Wolf model line while bathing them in the blood of Khorne.  Incorporating the subtle theme uniqueness through minor conversions I have managed to create a sister company to The Ravenous.  2000 point core that is currently being painted at an furious but meticulous rate.

This small glimpse into my various armies hopefully sparks your imagination and tingles your taste buds on what is to come.