The Fury of a Dying Race—Eldar Detachment!

After a couple years of threatening, I finally put together some Eldar!

Over the dust of a thousand worlds shall we ever chase the slaves of the foul ones.

Over the dust of a thousand worlds shall we ever chase the slaves of the foul ones.

I just finished the Autarch, but the two squads of Guardians and small pack of Windriders I’ve completed have actually already hit the tables a couple times. These are some beauty shots and notes on the process I’ve developed for them, which goes really fast but produces nice results.

Autarch

Playing around among my piles of unassembled plastic, I somehow got the base for a Wraithlord mixed up with that for the Autarch. I couldn’t fathom why a T3 infantry model had such a huge diameter but accepted it as GW proclaiming “Yo, space elves are the biggest and baddestest!” So then I started thinking about how to fill up all that space and came up with this little scene.

autarch-front-blue autarch-side-blue autarch-back-blue

This mini-diorama was quick to do, and though simple I like it a lot. It exemplifies much of the appeal of 40k for me, in that even this tiny vignette has a story. What just happened? Maybe they’ve been brawling and the Autarch just got the upper hand, knocking the Chaos Marine down and leaping into the air to strike down with the death blow. But how’s it going to play out? The 41st millenium is a dangerous place where anything can happen. Does the Autarch see the hastily wielded ritual blade coming at him? Is he shooting just in time with his fusion pistol? Who knows, but either way there’s a lot of backstory and possibilities just in this one little scene.

Fortunately I eventually realized that I’d switched the bases, but I was already committed to executing the scene. Everything is magnetized though such that the Autarch can be played on his standard smaller base. Unfortunately the magnetization scheme isn’t great. The size of magnets I used is not quite strong enough under a couple layers of paint to really lock the Autarch in place; you can’t hold the base at funny angles or he’ll fall off. However, the arrangement does let me break everything down for transport in a standard Chessex figure case, as well as swivel the Autarch around so that he can have a more level pose when not diving onto the poor traitor. If I had to do it again though I would use poles and tubes instead of magnets, carefully setting tubes in the two bases at the appropriate angles to enable the slightly different angles of attack.

magnetized autarch-smallbase-blue

This is actually the first Chaos Marine I’ve painted, so that was kind of fun as well. I have an older box of them for which the casting doesn’t seem super crisp, and I didn’t want to spend a ton of time detailing him either, so he’s fairly basic but fine as a simple display base. The only real work I did was a bunch of cutting and repositioning of the wrists and elbows to get this pose of being knocked down and thrusting backward with a blade held upside-down.

base-blue

Dude-Bros

Working on these guys I’ve focused on just getting them done. I’ve consciously not done a lot of detailing, and have a whole methodology to crank them out. The 20 Guardians and 3 Windriders I did from shrink wrap to finished in the course of just a couple evenings in order to have them ready for one of our club events.

squad-blue

The process is basically as follows.

Prep

  • Unsprue a set and scrape off the mold lines.
  • Cut the guns off the hands.
  • Assemble the bodies minus heads and guns, positioning the arms with a gun but not gluing it in place.
  • Put bodies, heads, and guns on bamboo skewers with alligator clips and shove each set of components into a foam block. Any chunk of leftover trash foam from packaging or such is ideal.
  • Spray prime those components white.

Painting

  • Airbrush each component the appropriate color; I used Vallejo Game Air:
    • Bodies are first coated in Imperial Blue, then another layer in Electric Blue.  The Imperial Blue gives a nice deep base color quickly, but if I’m feeling fancy I can do the Electric Blue from an elevated angle and give some depth gradient and shadowing to the models via the two shades and the natural airbrush blend between them.  This is fairly subtle though and only shows up if you look closely at those models.
    • Guns and heads are coated Stonewall Grey.
  • A few bits get picked out with quick brushwork, e.g., Leadbelcher metal for grenades and tubing.
  • Wash all the components:
    • Bodies in Drakenhoff Nightshade.
    • Guns and heads in Secret Weapon Soft Body Black.
  • Do the eyes on the helmets in Electric Blue. I just use the airbrush paint for this, I think the thinness of it works with the black wash to give it some shading and a slight glow effect.

Bases

  • Bases are covered in a mix of terrain gravel and crumbled leftover plaster.
  • They’re then spray primed black.
  • Dry brush the bases dark gray, light gray, then white in increasingly lighter strokes.
  • Then they’re washed in Secret Weapon Soft Body Black.

Finishing

  • The components all get carefully glued together. I pool out some plastic cement on scrap paper and then brush it in place with an old, dead brush in order to avoid risking glue running all over.
  • The finished models get sealed. The spray I’ve been using is labeled as a dull coat, but actually leaves a fair bit of sheen so it works well for the Eldar (less well for my Marines).

Putting all that in writing seems like a ton of steps, but it’s actually a really fast process that produces consistent, tabletop worthy figures. In particular, having the components separated by color and on skewers on the blocks makes them really easy to work with and is much faster to prep than temporarily pinning or gluing to bottle tops as many do. With the sprays and airbrushing I can do a whole block at once pretty easy. Then picking out the details and so on I just slide a skewer out of the block, do some brushwork, and slide it back into the block. It’s a minor thing, but it makes working with the individual bits really quick and clean, no messing around trying to hold one part while brushing another, getting paint on my fingers, holding them to dry before putting them down on the table, and so on.

Bodies ready to be primed.

Bodies ready to be primed.

Bodies done.

Bodies done.

Heads done.

Heads done.

Bases being textured. Nearly all the gravel piled on will shake off and be scooped back into a cup to be used again later (use a clean sheet of scrap paper under them to help with this).

Bases being textured. Nearly all the gravel piled on will shake off and be scooped back into a cup to be used again later (use a clean sheet of scrap paper under them to help with this).

Bases drybrushed.

Bases drybrushed.

Of course there’s other steps in reality, like doing the sergeant’s head or brushing the sensor stalks grey for the second squad. But I’m pleased with both the process and how these aliens turned out. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with how they’ve performed allied up with my Kingbreakers Space Marines, so I’m excited to continue fleshing out my Eldar army and getting them on the table.

sergeant-blue jetbike-blue troopers-blue

40k Battle Report: Enter the Eldar, Come Captain Nitrol!

kingbreakers-iconRecently I painted my first couple hundred points of Eldar after talking about starting an army for quite some time. Last night they made their first appearance, battling Jason’s Chaos Marines. He’s also got his own battle report.

Armies

I only have about 300 points of Eldar finished at the moment, so I figured I’d ally them with some Kingbreakers Space Marines to make up 1000 points. At the same time, I wanted to debut a captain and squad of Legion of the Damned that Alex painted for me in our club’s secret servitor this past holiday season. They even have their own little bit of fluff that Alex wrote to tie them into the chapter’s story:

Captain Nitrol is one of the oldest veterans of the Kingbreakers, a survivor of the fall of Forestway. On multiple occasions he has been all but mortally wounded in combat and thought lost, only to be rescued at the last moment by the timely appearance of the Legion of the Damned. What faith keeps him going? What power ensures his survival?

The overtones at the end are especially dark given the chapter’s surge in psykers after Forestway was lost to Chaos and exterminatus, as well as the ongoing plight of the captured and possessed Sergeant Titus. Rumors and theories abound of the Kingbreakers’ ultimate destiny!

Captain Nitrol and Sergeant Harbinger, in the thick of the battle.

Captain Nitrol and Sergeant Harbinger, in the thick of the battle.

In any event, I thought my army would wind up a bit of a random hodgepodge from being built on those two elements and only 1000 points. But it actually wound up kind of interesting, with some reasonable strategic rationale:

  • Kingbreakers (Salamanders)
    • Captain Nitrol (unnamed captain w/ artificer armour, plasma pistol, mastercrafted powerfist)
    • Legion of the Damned x5 w/ mastercrafted combi-grav, plasmagun, heavy bolter
    • Squad Harbinger (Tactical Marines x5 w/ veteran sergeant, mastercrafted boltgun, combi-melta, meltagun) w/ Razorback
    • Predators x3 w/ autocannons, heavy bolter sponsons
  • Eldar
    • Guardian Defenders x10 w/ scatter laser heavy weapons platform
    • Guardian Defenders x10 w/ scatter laser heavy weapons platform
    • Windriders x3 w/ scatter lasers

My thoughts in building from those two arbitrary cores were:

  • The Eldar bring cheap, mobile units to hold objectives. No Objective Secured because the list is completely unbound, but I still need warm bodies after all. The jet bikes are obviously super mobile. But the Guardians are no slouches either with their ability to run and shoot/shoot and run. So the Guardians are tasked with holding home objectives or nearby markers, while the Windriders hopefully swoop in at the end to claim or contest in the enemy’s zone.
  • The scatter lasers and Predators bring a bunch of mid-strength shooting that can really wreck a light vehicle or monstrous creature, both of which are common in our scene and probably in general at 1000 points. Note that the Predators have a special rule granting Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter while all three are alive, which just furthers this thought.
  • The Tactical Squad provides a unit for Nitrol to hide in while out in the open. Otherwise, he rides with them in the Razorback toward some contested midfield objective. Any actual close combat squad will wipe them out, but if it can be whittled down or the opposition is less combat oriented, they’re reasonably able to get stuck in and prevail. Meanwhile the Legion of the Damned hang out in the warp and eventually come down to help them out.

Jason on the other hand brought a cohesive, balanced Nurgle list, something like:

  • Nurgle Champion
  • Plaguemarines w/ meltas
  • Vulture Legion (Chaos Space Marines)
  • Fly Lord (some kind of Nurgle flying daemon prince)
  • Chaos Spawn (some kind of Nurgle blobby thing)
  • Plague Drone
  • Nurglings x3
  • Nurglings x3

After much back and forth about missions we eventually settled on 3 objectives and straight 12″ deployment zones on a fairly dense 4×4 board.

Fight!

Out on patrol, a small exploratory force of Eldar are startled by a bulbous daemon schlubbing its way nonchalantly across a clearing in an abandoned Imperial town.

IMG_20160131_195220~2 IMG_20160131_192306~2 IMG_20160131_192248~2

With no reinforcements of their own to call on and fearing a Nurgle infestation, the Eldar entreat a nearby force of Space Marines to come assist. Their hatred of the Plague Lord’s minions overcoming their aversion to the xenos themselves, the Kingbreakers accede to the request. Captain Nitrol and Squad Harbinger mount up with a small mechanized task force to go assess the situation. Once on site, the mission escalates immediately as a gigantic insectile horror crashes into their tank column, obliterating the Predator leading the way.

IMG_20160131_192259~2 IMG_20160131_192628~2

The Kingbreakers and Eldar rapidly focus their combined firepower on the beast, taking it down. It’s now clear however that the threat is severe. Guardians retreat to defensive positions, while Nitrol and the jet bikers move deeper into the town. Several transports of the traitor legions rapidly appear, but are also blown away by sheer volume of fire. Out of the flames though jump Plague Marines and a squad of the Vulture Legion. The Plague Marines come head on at Nitrol, while the Chaos Marines attempt to flank the Eldar. Their efforts are supported by torrents of pestilence vomited forth by a Plague Drone come to protect the mewling spawn.

IMG_20160131_195342~2

IMG_20160131_195629~2

With Nitrol’s rash position at the center of the battle already threatened on all sides by monsters and heavy infantry, the Kingbreakers are momentarily troubled by the wisps of eldritch flame arising forward of their location. Concern turns to relief, however, as the legendary Legion of the Damned emerge from the light, pouring heavy bolter and plasma fire into the Plague Marines. The traitors and their daemon kin are forced to concentrate on the new threat.

IMG_20160131_195239~2

IMG_20160131_195619~2

The ghostly warriors can only stand the combined assault for so long, but their intervention grants Squad Harbinger and the Windriders a critical moment to recover and provide long range fire support against the Vulture Legion encroaching on the Guardians’ rearward positions.

IMG_20160131_200451~2 IMG_20160131_195532~2 IMG_20160131_201954~2

With their primary flanking threats dispatched, the Eldar and Predators divide their attentions. Scatter lasers snipe the blubbering Chaos Spawn that prompted the battle, while shurikens and heavy bolter fire shred Nurglings arisen amid the death and gore of the small but heated conflict.

IMG_20160131_202102~2

The Plague Lord’s army all but cleansed from this corner of the materium, Captain Nitrol and Sergeant Harbinger are left chasing after Papa Nurgle’s champion that orchestrated the infiltration. His vast bulk crashing through the detritus of the town, the Emperor’s warriors finally run the traitor to ground atop a dump yard of broken supply containers, their contents spoiled and reeking. The heaving wreck barely recognizable as a once-human form, Nitrol pulps it back to the Warp with a momentous swing of his power fist.

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Outcome

Three cowering Nurglings keep the Kingbreakers from a full table sweep, but the town is secured and the Eldar and Space Marines part the best of friends…

Thoughts

I didn’t know for sure I’d be fighting Jason on Sunday, but I have to confess I was thinking of his usual armies as I put together this list. The end result has a fair amount of S5–S7 shooting, with a good balance of strength versus quantity of shots to go against his Rhinos and monstrous creatures. In particular, the decision to take the third Predator for the Monster Hunter/Tank Hunter bonus was made in that light. That didn’t do all that much in the end as his Daemon Prince poofed one of them right away, but it helped shred the Plague Marines’ Rhino well away from my home objective. The scatter lasers also did a great job with those kinds of targets. All in all, at several critical points I was able to concentrate a lot of solid firepower to take out targets like those and the Plague Drone.

One big mistake I made was I got sloppy with the Windriders and let them get assaulted toward the end of the match. I thought the Legion of the Damned were going to keep the Plague Marines and Chaos Spawn tied up in combat for another turn, so I had moved the Windriders close in order to get shots down a firing lane across the table and onto the Vulture Legion, while also moving them toward Jason’s home objective. The Damned crumpled that turn though, and Jason was immediately able to consolidate and make an easy charge on the jet bikes in his turn. That left me without any real option to go after both the mid-table and enemy objectives, so I would have been in trouble if I’d lost either mine or the mid-table.

All in all it worked out though and this list seemed a lot more capable than I was initially thinking. Don’t forget to check out Jason’s battle report, while Captain Nitrol and his Eldar friends await further action!

The Eldar are ready for you!

The Eldar are ready for you!

 

PAGE Apocalypse 2016: Rebuffed at Barnes 595

kingbreakers-iconWithout a home and newly without their major supply base, the Kingbreakers Space Marines drifted through the void for a time seeming interminable. Then they turned toward action and their sworn enemies: “They take one of ours, we take one of theirs…”

Another year, another PAGE Winter Apocalypse! Our club’s annual mega-Apocalypse is in the books. Seven players came out for the Recon Squad skirmish prologue last Saturday, and thirteen for the all-day mega-battle on Sunday. Each team fielded 26,000 points across an array of factions:

  • Legions of Discord: Daemons, Daemonkin, Chaos Marines, Renegades, Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Tyranids
    • Hierophant, Harridan, Hierodule, Scabeiathrax, Angrath, Samus, Baneblade-chassis, Corrupted Knight, Macro-Cannon Strongpoint
  • Forces of Order: Adeptus Mechanicus, Steel Legion, Death Korps of Krieg, Valhallans, Grey Knights, Dark Angels, Kingbreakers Space Marines
    • Warhound, eight Imperial Knights, Crassus Armored Transport, Marauder, two Baneblade-chassis, Vortex Missile Strongpoint, Plasma Obliterator
Daemonettes attack the Steel Legion's position.

Daemonettes attack the Steel Legion’s position.

Although both days in the end came out a couple players smaller than last year, it was a stellar weekend of gaming. Supported by some fantastic looking boards and armies, the Recon Squad matches were excellent. A new terrain theme for the Apocalypse brought a different look and revised tactics to that game, while double blind deployment significantly changed the startup phase. In the end it was a full day of great 40k with giant warmachines exploding, lone sergeants defending critical positions, and everything in between. Bonus points go to Alex and Dan for making the trip to Philly all the way from Cleveland and DC respectively!

Join the Fight!

Join us!

Join us!

The full story is below, and many more photos are in the Flickr gallery. If you are interested in events like this in & around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), or the supporting campaigns, game variants, and other materials we post from time to time, we invite you to get involved or follow along in any of several ways:

The field of war.

The field of war.

Backstory

Years ago the Legions of Discord assaulted Kimball Prime, intent on taking or destroying the primary Imperial manufactorum in the sector. After many lives given in devotion to the Emperor, the invasion was successfully brought to a halt and then itself put on the defensive. Elsewhere in the sector though the Legions finally acquired the legendary Scythe of Unbound Light super-weapon after a years-long campaign across Caldor IV. Deploying it on Kimball Prime, the traitors crashed through the front gates of the manufactorum and won the planet.

With Kimball Prime fallen and its system lost, leaders of the in-sector armies of the Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes regrouped in secret. Drawn by the loss of a major manufactorum, the Adeptus Mechanicus joined their strategic auguries. Hungry for revenge, the Astartes proposed to conquer and cleanse the corrupted Chaos temple world of Barnes 595—an act of symbolism over pure strategy. Although initially hesitant to partake in this emotional response, the Mechanicus was swayed by the promise of archeotech believed lost in the planet’s swamps and dead forests, or buried in the collapsed sub-basements of its byzantine shrines.

Gazing into the strategios, the representatives of the Imperial Guard remained silent, then assented. They were also unconvinced by the Astartes’ constant vainglorious prioritization of honor and ideals over blood. How 200 OK

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