Showing posts from January, 2012

The Father's Son

Thanks go out to Col. Ackland and his comments on the trial officer rules, I am now teeming with ideas for these little officer stereotype rules.  As I think of them I'll post them up, and there are certainly lots to be going on with.

One of my favourite ideas (see comments on yesterday's post) was a 'Flyboy', an Aces High, Baron von Richthofen type chap.  That set me off thinking about an Imperial Guard air army ... but that's for another day.  I toyed with the idea of making the Flyboy an upgrade, but in the end the only benefit I could think he'd bestow would be cheaper Valkyries etc.  It didn't seem fair to just upgrade your commander and get cheap flyers; that would be best covered with an alternate army list instead (like Armoured Companies allow you to field lots of tanks).

But, it did get me thinking on, rather an a Flyboy, ie. someone who flies around the battlefield themselves, what about a high-born officer with connections who can call in favour…

The Leash

The Leash is an expansion of the Trial Officer Rules.

Everyone knows commissars.  Everyone has had a perfectly sensible officer gunned down by one of these black-and-red-clad lunatics and lost a subsequent close combat as a result.  But reading the Departmento Munitorium manual (and why, by the way, are they £50 on Amazon?  If I'd have known their value would go up that much I'd have bought more than one) it occurred that most capital crimes, most of the '31 ways to crash-land', as it were, just refer to 'officers' rather than Commissars.  Coupled with a stint of watching some Eastern Front WWII films, I thought it was about time I expanded the trial officer rules.

'The Leash' is a bit like a commissar 'upgrade', in that it turns an ordinary officer into one with the summary execution rule.  However, rather than the idealistic, stylised view of commissars inspiring men to feats of great bravery in the name of the Emperor, I thought most ordinary…

Trial Officer Rules

I'm a pretty big pan of creating house rules.  The ruleset is very adaptable, and can be modified pretty easily to accommodate your desired style of play.  For example, I like to have quite cinematic games where everything is gritty and realistic, but still a bit cliched - have a look through the 2nd Battalion Hardened Veterans Squad to see what I mean.

So, one of my biggest bugbears with the IG codex is the commanders.  Fair enough, Guard officers are never going to be beating Carnifexes in close combat, but platoon commanders now have stats that make them basically like veteran sergeants.  I wanted to create some rules for officers; as well as heroes and legends, a few cowards and weasels as well.  All of the trial officers incorporate some negative rules as well as positive ones to try and make it a bit fairer.

The way I've incorporated the Officer Rules is as a series of 'upgrades'.  Officers command either companies (i.e. the HQ slot) or platoons (Troops slot), so…

Grav Troopers

After a bit of digging around my model collection, I decided to share some of my original 'Ninth Battalion' army, made using plastic Cadians.  I'm not as happy with the painting or modelling of some of these as I am with my more recent efforts; they are about three to four years old but some of the conversion work is good.

This squad is a converted hardened veterans squad, mainly because I didn't like the rigidity of the plastic Kasrkin and lack of convertibility.  These guys are just based on the regular Cadian infantry, but with the flamer heads (mouthpieces on the helmets) painted white, and cut-down vox casters as squad radios.  They carry a variety of weapons but predominantly plastic Space Marine Scout shotguns, along with a few bolters and a grenade launcher.  My favourite thing about this squad is that it was cheap to make; granted, this was after making about 50 regular guardsmen so I had ample spare parts, but the only extra thing I needed was a scout sprue f…

Uniform Pictures

Here's some more fluff I've been working on, with the artistic talents of Headologist helping me out .. some uniform plates!  These are a bit like the colour pictures you get in the Osprey books and I like doing these, as it gives a bit more depth and colour than just the standard issue 40K artwork.
These are both based on one picture, but I have a few more I'm working on and I hope to get some more updates in the next few days!  For those of you not familiar with the background of the army, these are the dress uniforms worn by the troops of the Praetorian units - consider it one step up from the smart uniforms the Mordian Iron Guard wear.
3.Captain of Infantry, Mess Dress.  The Mess Dress is worn on formal occasions only.  Usually, as the name implies, these are regimental events hosted by the R.P. to which officers are invited.  Some of the ceremonies might include the anniversary of a famous battle, the regiment’s Founding Feast, or a prominent Saint’s Day.  Palladian reg…

Anti-Magnetic Tank Paint

Earlier I posted a few pictures of my tanks, some of which have been fitted with 'Zimmerit' anti-magnetic paint, and as I did another one today I remembered to take some photos so I could do a mini-tutorial.  First, a bit of a history lesson:  zimmerit was the name for the composition the Germans applied to a few of their tanks during World War 2, which was a mix of sawdust, wood glue and a few other chemicals.  It wasn't strictly 'anti-magnetic' at all, it just created an uneven surface so that mines couldn't be stuck to it.  It was only used for about a year.  Despite the fact that it worked well, the Allies didn't use nearly as many magnetic AT mines as the Germans did so it was barely worth the effort.  Also, a popular and totally untrue rumour that it was flammable started spreading, and in Sept 1944 the practice was stopped.

Cloth, Flesh and Ink ... A Wargamer's Cosy Night In

I thought I'd break from the Palladian theme today to share some of the work I've been doing on historical miniatures: specifically, some of Wargames Foundry's Gladiator models.  These are some that I've been painting up for fellow blogologist and general history buff Headologist, and although not strictly related to 40K, there have been some very useful trials of new painting techniques focussing on flesh and cloth, and various shades of brown.

Command Squad

Morning all!  Further to my last Hardened Veterans post, I've dug out some of my other favourite conversions to share.  These models are not army commanders, but orderlies and objective markers; primarily display pieces, really, just ones that can double as objectives.

Hardened Veterans

Well, here they are!  After a lot of procrastinating, I've finally got round to putting up what is probably my most heavily-converted squad in the game.  The Hardened Veterans.  I really love these models, and in every incarnation of Imperial Guard, these guys are always the tactical and modelling focus of my army.  These chaps are based on a roughly equal mix of Schaeffer's Last Chancers and ordinary Mordian troopers.

I always find that these guys end up being the centre of attention in any games.  Just for coolness' sake, I often send them into the thick of the scrapping and get them to complete the objective ... normally suffering heavy casualties but the commander (with a single wound) just manages to detonate the bomb in time ... any unit that can do that in my mind is worth the points.

So, we'll have a look model-by-model at everything in the squad.  First up, some may recognise this as the old Shiv model from the Last Chancers.  Well, it is.  I liked the old mo…

Uniforms and Background

Well, holiday's begun, and so far I'm coping with the lack of paints remarkably well.  Today I'm going to put up a few of the pictures I've been looking at for inspiration, particularly with regards the uniforms and background.  As I've already put up, the 'Mordians' are 2nd Battalion troops in dress uniform, whereas the 9th Battalion 'Cadians' are representative of the standard field troops.

The uniform on the right represents, in cut, what the Mordians would look like without any kit on (this is a Prussian 19th Century tunic).  I really like the double breasted cut, and obvious colour modifications this might serve as an illustration for the 'stand-down' uniform.

I really like using real-world photos to illustrate things where possible, as it adds a level of realism you can't otherwise get with just artwork.

And I can't draw.

I plan to have a full-colour gallery of uniforms as an appendix to my fluff document, in the same sort of w…

Heavy Mortar and Crew

Time for some more pictures.  This is one of my three Forgeworld Heavy Mortars.  I really like the look of these models, and their accuracy make them a real bonus in games.  I've not had chance to use them properly yet, but I strongly suspect that they'll be overlooked as the enemy deep strikes onto my Basilisks and Earthshakers.

Anyway, I've added some of the regular Mordian Mortar Crew to give the scene a bit of life.  In fact, a few more Mortar Crews and that'll be all my army built!  Then just have to paint it ...

The mud is my favoured household filler / Dark Flesh combo, and I've painted all the uniform trim red, to signify artillery troops rather than infantry support.

 The shells are colourfully painted to signify gas shells - after the multicoloured banding used on World War 1 shells of the same type.  Incidentally, I'm reading a really good book about Fritz Haber, pioneer of gas warfare and I wanted to incorporate some of this into the world of 40K. …

Service Record: Lucius Nero

Well, since Headologist has been getting along with some paperwork on his blog, I thought it was about time I updated mine.  Using my newfound typewriting skills, I thought I'd type up the full service history of one of the Company's most controversial characters:  Captain Nero.

A former soldier from the ranks with a dark past, he has a reputation for inconsolable drunkeness, mindless bravery and getting men under his command killed ... the service record throws some light onto this dark character, so read on:

Platoon Commander

Well, believe it or not, I've finally managed to do a bit of painting!  Here's one for you:

 As you can no doubt tell, he's the standard Imperial Navy advisor model, with the cap taken from a Mordian Lieutenant.  I'm pretty pleased with this paint job, as the green looks realistic and the tunic looks crumpled, while still being neat.  Also, it's a good opportunity to show off my basing ... I'm a firm believer, that even with run-of-the-mill models some effort on the base can really drag up the quality of the whole miniature.  This base here is done using the 40K basing box.  As I've said before, these are quite expensive but will go a very long way.  Three boxes have done my entire Imperial Guard army with LOTS to spare.

If there's one thing I'm not proud of it's the face ... I can never seem to get them right.  Especially on this photo, the hands look really good but around the eyes spoils it a bit for me.  That said, he does have an amazing mou…

The 9th Battalion

Update:  today has seen me plod long with painting my latest squad.  A full roll call of all the models in the army has revealed I am perilously close to having all the figures I need for my 2000pt army.  All I need now are two more lascannons and enough mortars to pillage the crew as artillery loaders, and that's the army done!  Well, 2nd Battalion, anyway.  Well, one company at least.

I'm going to expand it with a Ratling Squad and pad out the infantry platoons to be three squads each, in time.  Meanwhile, there's a snippet more of the fluff.  This section is taken from the background to 9th Battalion, my first army.

LU X   I M P E R A T O R;  9th Battalion It was alongside 8 Bn. that 9 Bn. was formed to bring the Praetorian Guard up to a regimental strength. In line with the general effort to include more light units, 9 Bn. was designated a light infantry reconnaissance unit, to conduct scouting raids deep into enemy territory. To this end, 9 Bn. were gifted fewer heavy a…

You've got Mail!

Continuing my fluff-themed posts, I'm skilfully avoiding having to admit I've done very little in the way of modelling recently due to a long stint at work.  Currently plodding along with 2nd Platoon's infantry squads, so the production line is up and running ... hoping to get an (unfinished) army shot showing everything I have by the end of this month.

Anyway, for today:  I was wandering around a set of old bookshops today when I came across an old typewriter.  It struck me as just the sort of antiquated technology you might see in the Imperial Guard universe, and I used it to throw together a 'snapshot' of Imperial tele-transmissions.  No real purpose to this, and it doesn't tie in with any existing fluff, but it just looks rather cool.

Shoulder Fluff

If there's one thing you can say about the Imperial Guard, it's that they're organised.  Whether expertly dispatching troops into a futile pointless meat grinder in an orderly fashion, or fastidiously ordering tens of thousands of 'bolts' for troops to hold up their trousers with because of a clerk's poor handwriting, the Imperial Guard have got organisation sorted.

The fluff in the Codex and Rulebook doesn't really go into any great depth, and having a little historical interest, it's one of my favourite parts to add to my background.  Today, a little insignia / ranks.  A lot of people tend to just use the stuff off Halo or the modern USMC, so I tried to come up with something original, yet 'rooted' in history.  Results are below.

For those of you who are interested, they are 'inspired' by East German shoulder boards with a little rejigging and the addition of a squared-off fabric backer.  The bottom one is an example of a 'full dre…


After the success of our sniper-based 'Snatch and Grab' mission, I've decided to put up our trial rules for snipers.  These were devised by an avid sniper-maniac and historian, so they aim to offset a few inaccuracies (if you'll pardon the pun) in some of the sniper rules.

I'll stress that the GW out-of-the-box rules are not wrong as such; they are designed for a balanced game.  These are a bit more realistic (stronger, longer ranged) and as such are not really fair.  That's a recurring theme with our games, we are prepared to make them a little less fair in exchange for them being a little more realistic.  Because life isn't fair.

Another brand of house rule is the ad-hoc, make-it-up-as-you-go sort of job.  For example, in the last game two Guardsmen were charging down a corridor towards a sniper.  He shot and killed the front man, and on the spur of the moment we decided that if he rolled a '6', the round passed through the front man and into the …