Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Unholy Alliances

So as I said the last day, in this latest post I will be talking about allies for my Eldar, more specifically, their Dark Brethren (we don't like the fish boys). Over the last week or so I've finally started settling on some elements of a list and one thing I know I am using is a Jetlock Council. While amazing as they are, the Jetlock Council gets truly augmented by the addition of Dark Eldar allies.

The Baron is front and center of this arrangement, or as he will be for my army, Spiritseer Sathonyx (see pics below). The Council is nothing if not resilient, however the Baron really takes this to new heights. First and most obviously, he gives them Stealth. Combine this with Conceal from one of the Warlocks and you get a 2+ cover save just for moving. This literally doubles the unit's capacity to take damage from anything that doesn't ignore cover. Next up is Hit and Run. Hit and Run on the surface is a tool seemingly for offense, however its defensive capabilities are twofold. Firstly, it means you do not get bogged down in a combat that you don't want to be in; we're fast guys, but some things out there are faster if we want to actually do things. Secondly however, it allows you a safe haven from unwanted shooting. If you believe the enemy is going to trail an unnatural amount of firepower on you next turn and you're not confident that you can take it, you charge something not very combat worthy in order to take shelter from this. Wait until his turn and then pop out ready to go again, but without having to weather a hail or fire. Grenades are next. With the Phantasm Launcher giving the whole squad Grenades, you can be sure to get the drop on most enemies, especially with a Warlock Psychic boost to Initiative. Lastly, and most subtely, is his ability to add 1 to the dice roll when determining who goes first. In my opinion Eldar nearly always want to be going second, as with flimsy Troops and deployment being so important, late game objective grabbing and knowing where your enemy is going first are two very important things to success. With a +1 on the roll, the chance of your opponent forcing you to go first is lessened to an extent. Probably nothing to write home about, but handy all the same.

The other element to my allied detachment that helps the Council out is the Venom. Now the Wyches inside are simply to threaten Land Raiders and grab objectives, but the Venom serves to boost me chances of getting up my Runes of Battle powers thanks to Grisly Trophies. These allow all friendly units within 6" to re-roll Leadership checks. Ld8 isn't great, however when you can re-roll it, your chances become much greater. It doesn't hurt that the Venom pumps out 12 poison shots and allows the Wyches to score similar ot my Jetbikes either.

So onto the modeling. I have always had allies sit uncomfortably with me since 6th edition came around. It's mostly because it just doesn't look right. As such, I like to put in the effort of making my allies look like they are part of the main force, while being distinct enough to differentiate between the two. For the Dark Eldar allies, this most meant adding Eldar bits to Dark Eldar models, adding Dark Eldar bits to Eldar models, and shaving off all manner of spikey bits. My converted Warp Spiders from a few posts back are a good reference design wise to what I was going for. As such I have converted the Baron from scratch, bits bashed the Wyches from Wych, Scourge and Guardian bits, and made the Venom from an Eldar Vyper. I finished painting all of these bad boys up yesterday, and to finish off this post, I present to you the results below. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hell & Dire Conqesuences

Hell is right, painting hell. With only 5wks until NWG I am working as much as possible to get the army done, because whereas that may seem like a lot of time, there is still a tonne to do, especially since I still haven't decided on a list yet.

But enough about that, today's focus is on the Dire Avengers. Now I won't praise them like I did the Warp Spiders, as truth be told, they are only really here to provide me with a Wave Serpent. But they are still a good scoring unit. AS4+ holds them up better than Guardians and an 18" range combined with Battle Focus gives them a decent Pseudo-Rending threat range. Ld9 has an approximately 37.5% greater chance of passing than Ld8 too, which is rather significant in my opinion.

In the painting department these were a fun unit to paint. Big mohawks are cool and all, but it was also because this is a totally kit bashed unit, as I had very few Dire Avenger parts lying around. So there are some flails and extra guns thrown in there for good use, but they are mostly Guardian bodies. Their ride was a similar treat, as I find the Eldar vehicles very pleasant to paint, though note in the pics below the Wave Serpent is all but finished; it still needs a touch-up of the purple to remove mistakes, but other than that it is completed.

Next time I will be talking about allies, but until then, enjoy the Hell's Angels of the Eldar Craftworld, the Dire Avengers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monofilament Madness

Still painting, still writing lists, still undecided. Through all of these processes, one aspect has managed to stay static; Warp Spiders. Spiders fill an important role in the Eldar army, and that is being able to strike wherever they are needed with ease and precision. With the option to Deep Strike or deploy and move 2D6 + 6" plus Battle Focus plus Jet move, they really can be anywhere any time. With the new monofilament rules they also pose a great threat to most vehicles and even some flyers. They also take down infantry rather well, and if you can get Guide on them, the enemy might as well take their models off the board before the dice hit the mat.

I had to have at least one unit of these guys in every list, and in my usual style opted to convert plastic versions instead of buying the old metals (which I think look atrocious anyway). Searching around I came across the Dark Eldar Scourges, and thought their dynamic posing would make them a perfect fit. When it came down to it, I had to cut off all of the spikes, shave down any other pointy areas, shave back the helmet and hair into a sleeker shape, turn any bare feet into regular boots, attach addition Guardian antenaee to the backpack (making an 8 legged design for the jump thrusters) and make them some guns. I made these with Dark Eldar Shredders (I think) and the flagpoles from the back of the Eldar Jetbikes. Whereas the guns don't look like the conventional Death Spinner, I see them almost like mini Prism Blasters or something like that. I also did a lot of extra work on their bases, adding to the scenic bits already present on the Scourge minis.

The end result after painting and basing can be seen below. There are 8 here, which is the unit size I typically use, but I have two more in the works with some heavier conversion work, including some webs. So for now, enjoy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Air Superiority and the Sky Hunter

Continuing my painting for NWG, as is usually the case one of the first models I finish is always the one I'm unsure of. In this case I am referring to the Crimson Hunter. Now don't get me wrong, in every game I've played it has survived despite the internet's "wisdom" that an AV10 flyer won't survive its arrival on the board, and has gotten some sweet kills, but it's the one unit in the army that hasn't had that umph factor about it, whether that was bad luck from some late reserve rolls, a fluff of shots in one game, or something else entirely.

Now all that being said, it is a unit that makes me feel very comfortable with my army despite all else, because if there's one thing my army absolutely struggles with it's Storm Ravens, in particular Grey Knight ones which make my Seer Council disappear (and they thought they were the ones pulling the tricks). Unlike other flyers as you know, the Raven is AV12 all around, so no jumping into rear armour shots, and not an easy kill even for mass S7. All in all, a pickle that 4 S8 AP2 shots with re-roll against armour solves. The problem is it only solves it if it gets to shoot at all, which of course might be a long shot if the Hunter comes onto the board before the Raven.

As such, I'm thinking of trying out the Nightwing for this army, since this event is Forge World friendly. It has a similar weapon load out, just replacing the Pulsar for two Shuriken Cannons. This makes it better overall but slightly worse at taking on flyers like the Raven. The big pull for the Nightwing however is that it is cheaper and can get a 2+ jink in order to stay alive. Also, I plan on converting one from a Razorwing, so that would be another conversion for painting points, though this is assuming the TO allows me to convert a Forge World unit from non-FW parts.

Anyway, I just wanted to muse out loud on that topic for a bit, and feel free to comment. But the part you probably want to see more are the pics of the finished Crimson Hunter, so here they are; enjoy.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Study in Purple - ABF 2013 Begins

Battle Focus, Bladestorm, Serpent Shields, Holo-Fields; these are just some of the many things that came to us via the release of the new Codex: Eldar two months ago, and as a long time Eldar player I was ecstatic reading to book and confident in taking my army out of storage. Given that the army had been in a box for about two years and with the NWG tournament, which focuses heavily on painting, coming up in only a few weeks, I decided that the army would get a whole do over paintwise. I also added a couple of new models to modernise it.

Over the next two months leading up to NWG on September 28th, I am going to be chronicling my Eldar army as it progresses and prepares for two days of battling enjoyment, and the yearly Anyone But Frank (ABF) challenge. For those that may not remember since last year, Frank is one of the players on this side of the pond well known for his dynamic and enthusiastic painting projects, which happened to be winning him the painting prize at NWG year in and year out. Last year somebody claimed that it would be great if 'Anybody But Frank' won this year, and so Frank and the organisers came up with the ABF challenge. The challenge consists of a pledge to paint a new army and the standards include conversions, themed basing, and display boards. Last year I rocked out with Draigowing Grey Knights and actually won the challenge, so this year me and my space elves are back to try and take two in a row.

So enough talking, let's get to the actual painting. I decided on a purple colour scheme (shocker right), since doing my Eldar was putting my CSM on hold, and let's face it, I LOVE painting purple for some reason. I went and found an online painter and came up with this.

What you don't see here is the complimentary colour to the purple which will be added via weapons which is a Snakebite Leather based bone colour. So in order to show it to you I've had to go ahead a finish a model ahead of the pack so SPOILER ALERT, here is the first finished model (minus basing). On that note, the basing theme will be Eldar runes, so they will all be in greys with more green flock for similar contrast to the Spirit Stones, and will have plenty of ruined bits added.

Of course this is now, but I actually started a few weeks ago while working on my original list (it has changed a bit since then; will be posting the list in progress next time). At that pointed I decided to not lag behind on progress this year and just lined everything up, sprayed, basecoated, washed, and highlighted, all at once, so here are some progress shots of the last few weeks to tide you over while I get back to work. Stay tuned for my updates.