Showing posts from 2013

Best of 2013

Merry Christmas! This year has been pretty dramatic.  We had a step change in terms of wargaming and apart from all the painting and modelling, I managed to get in some very regular games, with some really memorable snippets.  Let's look back over the year at some of my favourite projects, games and funny moments... Tale of Two Gamers was the Battlefleet Gothic campaign me and Kieran ran early in the year.  It was great fun to play a Specialist Game - we've always preferred the friendly, non-competitive and vaguely 80's cult ethos of these games, but this was the first we'd ever played properly.  It was a significant milestone in also being the first fully-painted, fully-terrained game I'd played ever, and being a valuable lesson in planning and running a campaign.  It was never conclusively finished, so we may end up carrying this on one day...

Pakwagen Halftrack

Things have been a bit quiet of late on the Second World War stuff - the 40K campaign has taken over a little bit, but I've still been doing lots of painting, you'll be pleased to hear.

This is my latest effort, the Sd Kfz 251/22 'Pakwagen' from Warlord Games.  A nice-looking model that will probably be my Latvian Legion's only mechanised anti-tank, since we're going to be playing small skirmish games.  It's a very nice kit, easy to put together and detailed as most of Warlord's stuff is.  The cannon and crewman are metal and the half track itself is resin.  I decided to make it look a little more ragtag than usual with the addition of a tarpaulin half-strewn across the gun; perhaps an attempt at camoflauge for a road move, or more likely just hurriedly bringing the gun into action against the advancing Russians!  It's just tissue paper dipped in wet PVA glue then given successive black washes and grey highlights until I was happy.

Chimera Alternatives

For those of us Guard players who don't like the stock GW Chimera, there are plenty of alternatives out there.  Not being much of a Chimera fan at all, I haven't tried very many but I was given the opportunity to the other week when I went over to Zzzzz's place (for the Big Apocolypse Doom Game)  He gave me this kit to build up - a Hammer APC from War Chimera.
It was an interesting challenge, doing something totally different and non-GW, and opened my eyes to the possibility of varying the stock options in a GW army.  Let me talk you through some of the pictures.

200th Post: Battle of the Palace Steps

Yes, that's right - 200 posts!  I did have a mushy 'it's all you guys' post, but the other day me, Ollie and Coldsteel Dan had one of the most enjoyable and epic games of 40K I've had in a long time.  So I decided that it would be more interesting - and appropriate to this blog's theme - to make this milestone post a battle report instead.

The Story So Far

The restive moon of Edethor stirs ... this looks more than mere discontent - it's an uprising!  Read the full background post here, but the bottom line is the Palladians (Me) are fighting the Breaker Insurgents (Dan), while two Space Marine Chapters (Ollie's Storm Wolves and Kieran's Mawrynites) persue their own secret agendas on the planet.  It's a fluid, casual and friendly narrative campaign.
The first two battles were both between the Palladians and the Spears of Mawdryn (searching for ancient Chapter relics on Edethor) - a bloody hard-fought draw followed by a win for the Palladians.  So t…

Starting a Death Korps of Kreig Army

I've decided to start a new Imperial Guard army.  After two years of Palladians, it's time for something a bit new.  Let me talk you through what I decided to do, and how.

I really like the Death Korps models; always have done.  I think it was reading a post on Zzzz's blog about the new platoon deals from Forgeworld that got me excited - my Palladians have reached a logical point to finish, so I'd decided on my new army.

Fluff Creation

Regular readers will know about my passion for fluff, so they may be surprised by my efforts to reduce the amount of fluff for this army.  The reason is, fun though all the Palladian fluff was, this is just supposed to be a nice quick army that's going to look great on the table.

I can use the vanilla DKoK fluff to give me any background information I need, leaving me to focus on the models themselves and a little bit on the unit and its characters.

Looted Punisher Tank

Quick update today - recently me and Coldsteel Dan agreed to do an exchange project.  He put together some elite Guardsmen (post and fluff to follow), while I did a Leman Russ Punisher for him. In a cruel twist, we thought it would be good to do it in Palladian colours, with a few slogans and extra wear and tear on it.

The Breakers are an oppressed mining community on the Palladian moon of Edethor Luna, and they're not really 'chaotic', just anti-Imperial. So I thought it would be a bit trite to just cover it with Chaos symbols. It was fun to build; never done a Punisher before and it's been a while since I've done any Guard tanks. Keep an eye on Coldsteel's blog for its first outing against its erstwhile owners!

Organising Your Imperial Guard Army

I've been making a real effort to organise my Imperial Guard army lately, so I thought I'd share the fruits of my labour.  Organising is one of those things people often tend not to focus on, particularly when it involves spending time or money.  Our hobby taxes them both pretty well already.  But I find a small amount of time and effort pays off, and makes deploying and using your army a lot easier.

Painting and Buying Chart
A lot of people use these, but the best I've seen is by Admiral Drax.  This is simply a chart to keep track of all the models you own, and what stage of completion they're currently at.
Here Drax has done a simple Excel spreadsheet with colour codes for models which are bought, built, and completed.  You might assume you'd know this stuff if you're collecting an army, but it can really help to visualise it and more than once I've bought a duplicate of a model, forgetting I've already got one.  It's also really helpful for buildi…

Remembrance Sunday

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?"

George Canning

Apocalypse Now: Battle for Ebirnan

Me and Kieran recently made the trip to visit Zzzzzz at his pad and take part in an Apocolypse-scale game.  This was the first time we'd played anything on this scale, and my word what a day it was.  Readers of Adm Drax's blog will have seen the recent post on his own visit earlier this year.  He summarised the spirit of the day brilliantly: great company, plentiful brews, a frankly staggering collection of models and terrain from Zzzzzz and a fantastic narrative Apocalypse game.  As well as coma-inducing quantities of bacon.

Battle Report: The Tallax Slums Superpost

Kieran and I managed to get together for a game of 40K the other week.  We've decided that we're going to turn the occasional games (including Coldsteel Dan) into a campaign - the Fourth Edethorian War.  Read the background to that setting here and I'll be doing some posts in the coming weeks about what we have in store.

Battle Report: Trench Raiders

I had a chance to play Trench Raiders today, my WW1 skirmish wargame I wrote a few weeks back.  Popped over to my brother's house and had a quick game - it was supposed to be a full wargame when it was conceived, but a combination of the fast play, emphasis on simplicity and popup terrain make it very portable and quick to play.

So we got started, Ollie taking control of the German Sturmtruppen and me as the Russian defenders (Western Front opponents coming soon!).  We rolled for objectives and got the Map Trenches result.  The German officer had to map the enemy defences in preparation for a larger attach by entering every quarter of the board.

We rolled a six for selecting support, which meant that Ollie could pick any level from a stealthy scout raid to a full Fuerwaltz barrage.  Opting for the middle ground the Battalion-Level Bombardment was picked.  This would give a nice mix: light enough so as not to kick the hornets' nest, but heavy enough to suppress the defenders.

Who Are The Palladian Guard: The Soldiers

My last fluff update was an overview of the current situation on and around Palladia.  Now, we're going to go a bit more into detail with the lives of the ordinary Palladian soldiers.  A lot of the fluff focuses on the commanders and heroes, so this will give you a better idea of what it's like to be a PBI in the Palladian Guard.

Post Battle Report: Evacuation

Hi everybody!  I'm very pleased to be able to say me and Coldsteel Dan managed to get in a game of 40K this weekend - a fantastic cut-and-thrust, back and forth game that came right down to the wire.  Dan has written up a report, which you are ordered to check out here.

To summarise what happened, it was a random game length scenario (written by Dan), where the Blades of Fire defenders had 1,000pts to stop my 1,500pts of attackers from destroying the launch pad of a Stormraven attempting to escape.  My attackers came on in waves, but 2 Platoon had to hold out on its own for three turns as I rolled a spectacular succession of '1's until turn three, when most of my army rolled on.

It wasn't until turn six that my numbers decisively told, and I managed to start shooting at the launch pad.  But it was very tough, and only through some excellent work from my Veterans and their meltabombs, coupled with two 4+ rolls to keep the game going into turn eight, that I managed to sc…

Who Are The Palladian Guard: The Edethor Campaign

Recently Zzzzz of Devos IV fame did a post summarising the Liberation Campaign so far. It was a very enjoyable read (as always), and it got me thinking about my own fluff. A lot of mine is written in an 'in universe' style, which makes it very biased. Also, there is a large amount of fluff written which means it's difficult to just dip in and get a feel for the army. To remedy this, I'm going to write few introductory posts and talk a little bit about who the Palladian Guard are.  Today, I'll talk about the Palladian Sector and the ongoing campaign on the moon of Edethor Luna.

The Palladian Sector

Palladia is a restive three-world solar system of hive worlds, very close to Cadia. Usually the 27 regiments that make up the Palladian Guard (about 300,000 men) carry out garrison and police duties, although recently they have been attached to Crusades and deployed on Cadia and Devos IV, outside their system.

New Modelling Area

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.”
Rodney Dangerfield
Done!  After three weeks of packing I have finally moved into my new digs in the middle of sunny Cambridgeshire.  Of course, as all fellow wargamers will know my main concern was the model box (the driver's leisurely pace of work, charging as he was by the half-hour, coming in a close second).  
All the paints and modelling supplies went into the top of a clothes box for extra cushioning (with double black bin bags to protect against spillages).  The lion's share of the supplies went into two shoeboxes and I had enough foam model trays to keep the models themselves in.  And of course the desk itself was one of the first things to be set up.  A year or so ago I did a post on the layout of my modelling desk in the London flat.  Time for an update.

The New Zealand Legion: 1919 Faction

Readers of Headologist's blog will have heard about his new alternate history project - 1919.  Allow me to pinch his summary from the blog:

"In these circumstances, if you carry out your threat and strike, then you will defeat us.  But if you do so, have you weighed the consequences? ...  For, if a force arises in the state which is stronger than the state itself, then it must be ready to take on the functions of the state itself, or withdraw and accept the authority of the state.  Gentlemen, have you considered, and if you have, are you ready?' 
Prime Minister, David Lloyd George to strike leader Robert Smillie
In 1919, Britain was already close to revolution - and whilst this has been debated, it is clear that the Government of the day considered it a very real possibility. I won't waffle on about this history now, I'm saving that for a shiny document. But the quote from Lloyd George above sums it up nicely.

What if Smillie and the others had said that they were rea…

Guess the Commander's Name

I recognise that I probably have enough Guard officers now.  For those who don't know, my Imperial Guard Army is led by commanders who each have their own unique storylines, backgrounds and careers.  And they are 'Dead is Dead' - so if they loose their last wound in a game, that's it.  They're retired and I convert a new model.
That of course means lots of conversions, since Guard officers have a very short lifespan.  But I enjoy it - if I haven't done a 40K model in a while, I can convert my own new model from scratch and spend a while on him.  Here's my latest offering ...

Diorama: HQ (Ordnance Liaison)

Time for another diorama - this is something I've been tinkering with for the last few weeks.  Fellow blogger Dai was kind enough to recently pop some models across the pond for me to paint up, and these are the results.  The ones I used here were two of the Imperial Guard Adviser models - Navy Liaison Officer and Master of Ordnance.  I wanted to do something a bit special for them, and with Captain Severus taking command of the company, this could be the perfect opportunity to model his new advisers.

Trench Raider Rules

Hi all, and welcome to the culmination of a project I've been working on for a few weeks now - a skirmish ruleset for Trench Raids in the First World War.  It's designed to be played with 28mm models, and have a bit of the feel of old 40K Kill Team rules.  Sneaking round defences, outwitting sentries and then, of course, the brutal close-range firefight.  This is a snippet from the introductory post:
It's a skirmish game, with the attacker controlling about eight trench raiders, and the defender (GM or NPC) in command of the sentries in the trench under attack.There is a whole system for stealth with randomised sentry behaviour.The game is heavily focused on realism, with devastating grenades, very easy wound rolls, and centred around the effective use of cover.Everything revolves around actions and 'activation' - your team only gets D3 activations per turn, with each turn representing only a few seconds.This makes the whole game about one or two minutes of real-ti…

PC Game Review: Space Hulk

In the latest of what's been a pretty successful venture for GW, they've added to their PC Game repertoire with a remake of the classic Space Hulk board game.  I got it for my birthday and decided to type out a few words.

Firstly, it isn't a remake of the classic PC game - the one where you're inching along pixelated corridors with genuine terror as Genestealers lurk just beyond the draw distance.  It's a modern version of the board game, that feels a lot like an RPG as you move along tiles, spend actions, and roll (virtual) dice.

Trench Raiders Playthrough

The last couple of weeks have had a distinctly WWI feel, as I paint my Russian and German Infantry for a skirmish game of Trench Raiders.  Me, Ollie and Dan (you might remember us all from the Necromunda campaign) managed to get together on one of my now-exceptionally-rare days off and play two games.  I'd already thrashed out most of the rules - this was just a playtest really.
I won't go into detail on the battle reports, but hopefully the pictures give you a feel for the pace of the game and also show the setup.  When we have a fully functioning set of rules, I'll do a batrep and put the rules up for download.  Oh, and you can read about some of the difficulties and considerations when I first dreamt up the rules, here.

Tutorial: WWI German Infantry

Still working away on WWI stuff with a view to getting enough forces to play Trench Raiders, my own skirmish wargame.  The Russians are done and dusted - see them in all their khaki glory here.

So I'm painting some German infantry up now, and it wouldn't be fair to teach everybody to paint Russians without doing Germans, would it?  These chaps make heavy use of the tecniques discussed in the Army Painter review.  So here we go.  Hang on to your stahlhelms...

Review: Army Painter

I'll take a bit of a break from my WWI rules today to do a bit of a modelling post today, while we take a look at Army Painter's Quick Shade.  I'm currently working on my WWI Germans, and since this stuff is so invaluable I thought I'd share my thoughts.  This is already pretty popular and there are a lot of good tutorials out there; instead I'll aim this post at someone who's never used it before and wants to see the 'before and after'.

Anyway, Quick Shade is basically an ink, which comes in Strong, Soft and Dark tones.  As I say, there are tonnes of videos out there on the subtle differences between the exact tones so I won't cover old ground.  Ron at FTW has done an excellent post on these and their similarities to the old GW Devlan Mud inks and others.  Well worth a look.

Writing a First World War Wargame

In recent posts on the WWI theme, I've alluded to my plan to write a First World War game based on the trench raids on the Western Front.  With my Russians finished and my Germans underway, and Headologist with French and Austrians in the post, we have all the troops we need for a good clash.

Now we just need some rules.

Writing wargames is difficult.  Motivation is the toughest, since there are thousands of games out there covering every conceivable period, duplicating someone else's work is inevitable.  And it isn't easy - it might seem fun at first, writing your own special rules and lovely dice charts, but as anyone who has tried it knows, there's nothing like the sinking feeling that comes when one of your playtesters says, "well, can I do this?", and you realise there's no rule for it.  And you can't think of a way to represent their desired action.  It's a difficult job.

WWI Russians

Hello again - been a bit of a quiet week really, but I've been plodding on with my WWI Russians from Musketeer Miniatures - tutorial post here.  I've really had fun painting these chaps, experimenting with a few different techniques.  I haven't tried any of the new Painting Faces methods you chaps so generously shared yet, just for consistency's sake.

Now I have some Russians, there are Renegade Miniatures Germans coming soon.  Once that's done, I'll probably get a few Highlanders to complete my armies, then we'll be ready to playtest the WWI rules - post to follow next week!  Anyway - enjoy the piccies.

Man Down - Classic IG Casualties

Ebay is usually a bad thing.  I go on the website, then after about half an hour, I've suddenly lost about £40.  But, to cheer me up, after a few days some nice models arrive - and these are nicer than most.
Classic Mordian Iron Guard casualty models!  I do like painting a few casualty models, so I can pop them down on the field to mark where my men are (inevitably) scythed down like wheat.  And these are particularly nice, because they're Mordians I haven't seen before, so I get to paint something a bit new.

I selfishly bought the entire lot and there aren't any on as I write this, but they do keep appearing from time to time.  I found these through an email alert, and they cost me about £10.

Imperial Fortifications

Pretty pictures today folks, here we have some of GW's Martyr's Defence Lines, which I've recently painted up for a mate.  Which is a shame, since I really like them and now I'll probably have to give them back.  For those uninitiated, this is the combination of a set which includes trenches, dugouts and a command post and it's all totally modular.  A very nice set, if a little on the expensive side, but sure to dominate any battlefield.  Enough waffle, time for pictures!

Renegade Miniatures Review: WWI Germans

Evening all - hope you're all enjoying the weather and it's not distracting you too much from wargaming ... readers may remember my WWI Russians; I'm nearing completion on them (post to follow), but I also invested in some insolent Nemnetskis for them to get to grips with.

There'll probably be a couple of different nations represented - I know I want to do some A&S Highlanders after reading Ian Hay's First Hundred Thousand (half witty, black-humoured take on trench warfare and army life; half grim and hard-hitting WWI memoir).

But for now I've got as far as ze Chermans, cheerfully supplied by Renegade Miniatures.  As I haven't done one in a little while, I think it's time for a little review, don't you?

PC Game Shout Out: Unity Of Command

Something fresh today, as I thought I'd do a PC game shout-out.  A bit of genre-crossing here, I realise not everyone is a computer gamer, but a big part of the models I buy is the films I'm watching, books I'm reading, and games I'm playing.  And the game I'm playing is Unity of Command.

So here we have it - a little review of Unity of Command, with a wargamer's spin.

Unity of Command - a hex-and-counter, turn based strategy game set around Stalingrad.

This will not be totally alien to your wargaming side.  UoC is a strategy simulation game where you command German or Soviet formations, moving them around on a map divided into hexes, like many classic board wargames.  Each unit has characteristics like attack, defence, movement, and so on, with specialist additions to give you advantages against certain unit types.  Most obvious one - anti-tank giving you a significant boost when defending against tanks.

While there is so much detail in the game, it's all p…

Advice Needed - Painting Faces

I've always had a bit of a problem painting faces - they always turn out very blotchy, with the lines too definite and unrealistic.  A Google revealed a couple of tutorials, but before I go for one I thought I'd open it up to you guys!

This is usually what I do:
Tallharn FleshElf FleshA light brown wash Which results in the face you see to the right.  Okay, for 28mm from a distance, but just wondered if you chaps had any suggestions since I'd seen some very nice examples on all your blogs.
In other general update news, I've got some Renegade Miniatures German Stormtroopers on the way and my First World War rules are taking shape.  I'm away for a week, so no modelling, but I'll hopefully get a game or two in!
Thanks in advance for all your help - until next time...

Plans for 2013 - Six-Month Review

Time for a six-monthly check of how I'm doing on my New Year's Resolutions for 2013.  It's been a busy old year in terms of real life, with plenty going on at work but luckily I've managed to fit in plenty of hobby time.  Let's take a look at the list I wrote way back in January (feels like a week ago).

Tutorial: WWI Russian Infantry

Hello again all, carrying on with my WWI theme today, as I take a look at painting Musketeer Miniatures' WWI Russian Infantry.  If you missed the last post, then check it out here: but the main point was that these miniatures are amazing!  I really wanted to do something special for them, so I tried a few new techniques - namely more 'manual' highlighting and fewer washes.
Here's another one of my step-by-steps.  It's meant for new-ish gamers so sorry if it seems a bit basic to you Longbeards!  The inspiration for this technique (and a rough starting point) was Sydney Roundwood's 'in progress' posts for his British Infantry.  Sydney really is one of the most talented painters I've seen and I'd highly recommend a look and a flow if for some reason you haven't seen the blog.  Now, to painting!  Before I started, I superglued the model to a 2p coin, PVA'd some sand on, and undercoated the whole thing white.

WWI Russian Officer from Musketeer Miniatures

Hi everyone - very excited to share this one with you, part of a new historical period I'm working on.  These are from Musketeer Miniatures (the chap on the left is the Russian Platoon Commander.

I've always been interested in the First and Second World Wars, both from a wargaming perspective and a general historical side as well.  Me and Headologist both play Company of Heroes a lot, and recently downloaded the 1918 Mod - a really excellent piece of work.  It's sparked a bit more interest in the WW1 era, hence the chap on the left.

(Incidentally, I'm also working on a set of rules for Trench Raids on the Western Front - watch this space for more info later on!)

Imperial Guard Heavy Troopers

Afternoon all!  After last week's Necromunda Superpost I've been getting back into the thick of painting; there are about four simultaneous projects on the go at the moment.  But while I was down in the Bunker (our subterranean wargaming lair), I found these guys in a box I built ages ago for my Human Rebels.  Thought it was about time they saw the light of day again.

Necromunda Campaign Superpost!

After several weeks of planning and some frantic terrain- and model-building, we managed to get five Necromunda enthusiasts together for a two-day campaign.  Huzzah!  Have a look through our quick battle summaries and the photos ...
Me:  The Krell Yards (East) Chapter, CawdorOllie:  Special Containment Team 7, EnforcersKieran (Headologist):  Court of the Blind King, ScavviesDan:  Deacon's Prospectors, OrlocksMike:  'Crazy Legs' Cuccinni's Crew
We had five missions planned, with each player taking part in four and spectating one.  This way everybody got to play one game against every other gang; the fairest way to do it.  We didn't do battle reports - with five games to play it would have made it very difficult to keep tallies of what was going on.  But I'll try and give a flavour of what happened in each game.

Final Guard Squad and New Officer

A quick update to the Imperial Guard army today, as well as a general status report.  Me and Headologist are working hard to put the final touches to the forthcoming Necromunda Campaign Weekend.  We've got four (possibly five) fully painted gangs and scenarios all written out ready.  H is back in town later this week and we've got a terrain-making day planned, so I'll try to get some photos for that as well.  Looking further ahead, I've ordered my first ever WW1 miniatures from Musketeer, so there'll hopefully be something on that in the coming months.

Enforcers Necromunda Gang

Back to modelling this week; I've got one week off before I head back to meet up for our Necromunda campaign weekend.  After finishing my own Cawdor Gang, I got straight to work on the next gang for one of my opponents without his own.  I also happen to be a big fan of these classic style models.
I scraped them together from various Ebay sellers, and the whole lot together cost a considerable amount, getting on for £100 (mainly because of the rare Sergeant model).  We watched the French film L'Assaultfor some inspiration and it was supplied in bags.  Cue SCT-7!

Quick 'n' Cheap Urban Bases

Headologist and I are still preparing for our Necromunda campaign next month, which means I'm in a marathon of building and painting to get the gangs and terrain ready.  The last post was about my Cawdor gang, and I touched on the cheap bases I made.  With 20-30 models required for all the participants, anything that saves time and money is welcome.

I'll do a quick tutorial here, pitching at a fairly basic step-by-step level for newer players too, so you Longbeards excuse anything that seems a bit basic.

Cawdor Necromunda Gang

Just finished my Necromunda gang, and though I'd share.  Me and Headologist are busily painting up gangs and terrain (see his scrofulous Scavvies here) for a planned Necromunda super weekend in June, marking another sensible decision by GW to discontinue one of my favourite product lines.

We've always been into Necrounda (in theory) - we probably played more Inquisitor than 40K in our youths because it was cheaper, and have long wanted to move onto Necromunda.  I went on a brutal overspending spree on Ebay and spent well over £100 on various collectors' models and enough to make two gangs.  These really are all beautiful models from a bygone era, metal ones of serious quality and with some imaginative and creative sculpting.

Heirodeacon Varn Leader of the Krell Yards (East) Chapter of the United Redemptionist Church of Necromunda

Imperial Guard Priest

This week has seen some pretty extensive modelling going on.  After finishing the latest update of my Background Book, fluff has been given a bit of a break for a while while I clear the backlog of unfinished models in my collection.  A while back I had a serious re-org of my modelling area, which involved putting all the unbuilt models away in a drawer.  Very tidy, but unfortunately some have sat in there for quite a while now.

New Imperial Guard Background Book

Long-time readers may remember last year's Background Book - a book of homemade fluff on my Imperial Guard army.  Well, I've been chipping away at rewrites for almost a year now, and I'm very pleased to announce Edition 2.0.

The 'change log', if you like: A toning-down of the zealous, futuristic tone of the text to a slightly more neutral style - for ease of comprehension.Added several diagrams and summary charts, especially on Recruitment, to clarify some of the tings which were laboriously described in blocks of prose.Addition of a section on rank insignia and some uniform pictures.A complete Order of Battle, with strengths and ammunition/equipment holdings.Some correction of errors, omissions and continuity bloopers.

Chaos Commander

Hi everybody - once in a while, I'll buy a model just for the sheer fun of it.  This is the story of one of those days.  I was at my local model shop, loudly lamenting the loss of specialist games, when the owner showed me a dusty cardboard box.  As a GW retailer he has long since stopped selling blister packs, but had a few left over at knockdown prices.  Mostly old LOTR stuff, but in the background I saw an old 'Lucius the Eternal' figure lurking, and picked him up for a steal price.

Halt! Papers Please!

After a lot of 40K stuff over recent weeks, I think it's time for an update to my World War 2 forces.  Since August (which was WW2 month last year) I haven't really done much on them and Headologist and I last did a battle in October.  Not forgotten, just on the back burner really.

So I was clearing out my modelling area when I decided to do a few bits which have been sitting on my desk for yonks - mostly the old WW2 stuff you see before you.

Tactica Imperial Guard: Heavy Support

Ladies and Gentlemen ... the moment you've all been waiting for:  Tactica Imperial Guard, Heavy Support!!!  The fifth and final episode in the Tactica Imperial Guard series, we're now going to look at the big beasts of the Imperial Guard.

We sat through silly horses, we sat through puny weapons teams and we sat through weak infantry.  Space Marines laughed, Eldar mocked and Necrons just ignored us.  Now they shall know fear, for it is upon them!

Sorry, got a bit carried away there.  Here we go ...

Tactica Imperial Guard: Fast Attack

Welcome back all, for part four of five in my ongoing Tactica Imperial Guard series, this time it's Fast Attack.

Before we plunge into the depths of the Codex, you all deserve a quick update as things have been moving over the last few days:
I've been guest blogging over at DYHAF, with a little spiel on GW and their latest controversy, which I like to call 'Faeitgate'.Picked up a cheap Lucius the Eternal model from my local store, which I'm going to paint up and use as a generic bad guy for our campaigns.Ordered a bunch more metal IG models now they might well be dying off ... including priests, old commissars, sergeants and demolition charge Catachans.Finished a long-time overhaul of my Palladian fluff - expect a post on that soon!

Tactica Imperial Guard: Troops

The latest installment in the series on Guard tactics, which takes a look at the Codex unit-by-unit, basically looking at how good all our units are.  This has stirred up quite some discussion on the previous posts, so hopefully we can carry on as we started when we look at the mainstay of the Guard - nay, the Imperium - the humble Troops.

Imperial Guard troops are an oddity.  The options available are staggering - you can get veterans, heavy weapons, conscripts - and everything in between. Stuff that would fill up another codex entirely is to be found neatly packed in the two troops pages of the codex.  It's perfectly possible to build a very competitive army incorporating all the required specialisations just using Troops slots.

Tactica Imperial Guard: Elites

Continuing my series of posts on Imperial Guard tactics, today I'm going to be looking at those mainstays of the Guard battleplan - Elites.  These nails units offer up an enormous range of specialties  not to mention fantastic modelling and painting opportunities.  But like all Guard, they're generally not that tough and can run up a hefty points bill if you let yourself run away with it all.

(Should also mention that the prices given in all these articles are taken from GW direct - you can usually save at least 10% by going through another supplier.)

Tactica Imperial Guard: HQ Units

Hello again everybody!  Been a bit of a quiet week this week as I've been working pretty non-stop, but glad to say normal service has been resumed. Quick modelling update: After Commissar von Körtig, I'm carrying on with more Penal Legionnaires - with a few new purchases from Victoria Lamb that I'll be reviewing in a post later this weekMy good pal Headologist is still neck-deep in his dissertation so there are no games on the horizon, but we are tinkering with a few fiction ideas, hopefully we'll be getting to the stage where we both do a weekly serial on some kind of joint story. But that's all by the by.  Today, I wanted to introduce what I hope will become a semi-regular slot on the blog of Imperial Guard tactical guides.  I'm going to be looking at the codex, unit-by-unit, and sharing a few thoughts.  Maybe one or two new players might get something out of it, and I'm sure it will stimulate some discussion amongst the longbeards out there!  I notice f…

Finished: von Körtig's Backscratchers

Hi all!  After last week's update to the Penal Legion, I've been busily painting away for the last week.  This is what I've come up with.  If you missed it, this is the link to the concept/construction post.  I'll let the pics do most of the talking here!

One thing that's missing is a flag (thanks for the idea for that Chris), just need to wait until Bitzbox have one in stock again.

Captain Severus Takes Command ...

“He’s coming!”One of the subalterns had been lingering by the door of the Company HQ, and when the carrier jerked to a muddy halt outside he hissed his warning inside.  It was met with a hum of murmuring activity as the others hurried to the door.  Captain Norbanus stood closest, heading the little party of staff officers.  It was unusual for the executive officer to be greeting the arrival of a new company commander, but since the battle had taken the lives of all the field officers, there was no alternative.Galbrio had been boiled alive with a plasma bolt to his gut.  The promising young boy had died in agony, the medic pinned down by bolter fire in a crater three feet away.

A Project Is Born - "von Körtig's Backscratchers"

Hi everyone!  Got back into the swing of modelling this week with some time off in the flat.  So, what to do?

While watching the famous scene in Enemy at the Gates, where retreating Soviet soldiers are machine-gunned by NKVD 'blocking troops', I thought that's just the thing my Penal Legion could do with ... although they weren't as keen as I was.  I promptly went on a bit of a spending spree and got:

Various Vicky Lamb parts - mostly flak-armoured torsos and heavy weapon arms, with some conversion bits tooSome legs of unknown origin, mostly Guard plastics but some other generic-looking limbsSome heavy weapons carriages and gasmask heads from MaximiniSM Terminator Assault Cannons from BitzBoxAnd 60mm bases and a Commissar model from GW itself. The vague idea was to make three Assault Cannon stands, one of which would have a commissar on it, 'encouraging' the Penal Legion to carry on.  Not quite sure how it would work in game terms, but I'll come to that in d…

In The Name Of The Emperor...

Can't believe it's been a whole week already.  Last week, me and Coldsteel Dan clashed in a rather epic game of 40K which I scraped by the skin of my teeth - at the cost of about 25 men and all my company officers.  Argh!

After a battle between Headologist and myself last year, I did a little post called 'Death by Fluff' where I took a little look at the practice of running a campaign with 'Dead-is-Dead' officers.  That is, when my officers die in battle, that's it and I replace them (model and all).

But Nero's death really tested me.  I was so tempted to write it off as a 'flesh wound' and bring him back - but in the end I decided it was better to end the story and give someone else a chance to write their own.  To summarise all the promotions and demotions, medals etc:

Battle Report: Get the Relic!

Hi all - things have been a bit quiet on the blog of late but no more!  We have another battle report today, as I got firmly into the swing of Sixth Edition and tried out a number of new units I have never used before with Guard.  My opponent was the worthy Coldsteel Dan.  Not a blogger but a fellow gamer of many years, with whom I last clashed in the epic Battle for the Comms Tower.

This continues our on-off campaign on Palladia's troubled satellite of Edethor.  The Blades of Fire chapter are seeking relics, with which they hope to piece together their history and find out more about their parent legion - traitor marines.  Unfortunately, the unenlightened Guard mistake them for said traitors and attack.

Imperial Guard Medals - Part III

The last in the series on Imperial Guard medals...

ii.)   Medals honouring wounds suffered in the line of duty.
a.)   Medallion Crimson.  Part of a series of awards granted to those who suffer injuries or death in the service of the Immortal Emperor, the Medallion Crimson is one of the highest in this category, and is only granted to soldiers who perform their duty despite the most grievous injury.  As such, it is often awarded posthumously in circumstances where, had the solider survived he might be eligible for the Aquilla Ferrum.  Living bearers of the Medallion Crimson are so rare that a bearer is granted a raft of special provisions, including a large grant of land, the reduction of a soldier’s remaining service, an annuity, and a permanent servant's staff in the familial home.  Nonetheless almost all such bearers accompany the award with extensive bionic augmentation.  It is tradition that wounded officers are employed as instructors at training academies and the ranking major…

Imperial Guard Medals - Part II

Without too much preambling guff - here's Part II on my series of Imperial Guard Medals.  These are the leadership awards.  (Check out Part I here!)

Imperial Guard Medals - Part I

Hello all, welcome back to Palladian Guard.  Thinking about campaigns, last week I shared some 'admin files', lists and check sheets where you can keep tally of your troops' valourous deeds.  Well, some of the good Col Ackland's comments got me thinking about medals.

Specifically, Imperial Guard medals.  Now, anyone who's seen a copy of the Departmento Munitorum Manual, or Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, will have seen the collection of medals at the back, complete with some fairly nifty sketches and descriptions.  These are all brilliant, and I enjoy reading them.  But for me, the list seemed incomplete. There were some fairly specific medals (for example, for taking part in airborne landings), but didn't seem to be many ordinary bravery medals.  The whole thing lacked proportion (or, to use the proper military word, precedence.  Which medal is worth more, in other words).

A Tale of Two Gamers - Campaign Admin

Hi all, welcome back!  This week I'm going to share a few thoughts on running campaigns  and specifically keeping track of all your units throughout the course of the campaigns you play.

Whatever system you play, most games have a kind of campaign system.  Even if they don't, we'll often play a series of narrative battles and link them together ourselves.  Playing a campaign is all about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts - it's not just six games in a row; it's six linked games, each one feeding into the others to make an exciting and slightly personal story.  Your units get battle honours, experience, upgrades - and a story behind them too.  It's one of my favourite parts of the games.

Everyone has their own system for keeping track of your units' progressions in campaigns, and it depends to a large extent on what games you play.  I'm going to be focussing on two campaigns I play with Headologist that are ongoing - our Battlefleet Gothi…

Imperial Guard SMG Trooper

Hello once again folks!  This week has seen me get back into the swing of modelling after a bit of a dry spell.  With my Guard army basically finished, the main effort has switched onto my Penal Legion.

But sitting watching Hornblower* DVDs for hours means there's more time than models at the moment, so I was reduced to tinkering a bit.  A few of you may remember my remaining Germans for the Army of Freedom WW2 campaign.  Well, while getting stuck back into painting some German paratroopers from Warlord Games I found on the plus side, I'd got two officers rather than one.  On the minus side, their MP40s were both badly warped and couldn't be used.  Possibly why there were two in there.

Captain Morgan Earnest Helbrooke

Hello everybody, thanks for stopping by again.  I've been very slow on the modelling front these past few weeks but I've got a week off now.  Plenty of catching up to do!

Despite me saying I've finished my Palladians there are still the squad special weapons to paint.  And that'll free up six men from the squads, the best part of another one...  A Guardsman's life is never done!
As well as that little project (and the WWII and the BFG ships), I still have my Last Gasp Platoon to finish.  The latest step was building the commander, Captain Hellbrooke!  There wasn't any converting done here so I skipped the WiP shots and I'm rushing you straight to the finished product.  The bitz are all Victoria Lamb's finest, with the exception of the Tommy Gun which is an unknown part from my bitz box.

Subject Number Two - Imperial Guard Wages

I'm in the middle of a rewrite/extention to my Imperial Guard Background Book - partly to make it a bit more readable and user-friendly, but partly to add more detail in, because the Palladians are soon off for a trip to Devos IV under the watchful eye of Zzzzz.  At first in fluff, hopefully in person as well soon.

So I have to go back and add in a few more details to my fluff.  

Lothar Gunther-Buchheim, in his famous novel Das Boot, identified 'Subject Number One', which occupies most of soliders'/sailors' conversations.  If you haven't read the book, and are over 18, I'll leave it to your imagination as to what that is.

I would suggest that Subject Number Two would be pay/allowances.  Or lack thereof.  Go into any mess/NAAFI and eavesdrop on some conversations, I bet half would be along the lines of 'I've been underpaid by XXX this month, blah blah blah', punctuated by colourful addition of appropriate expletives.

The Raid: Part II

Hi guys and gals, thanks for stopping by for Part II of my rediscovered short story.  Thanks for all the comments on Part I, so without further ado...

“Staggered line! Advance!” Falconius whispered into his throat-mike. He stopped and let his men pass ahead of him as he counted them off. Nine others. Together since indoctrination, with ninety-four combat missions, thirty-two fronts, nine theaters and two warzones to their credit. They had pulled one other screaming from smoldering shell craters on Khellan two years prior, spend six weeks behind the Ork lines on Piscina before that; Falconius himself had taken a bolt round to the gut there and nearly paid with his life for the privilege of living to tell the tale. Twenty insolent rebels with lasguns led by an egomaniacal defector would be swatted aside as a bear bats a wasp from its head.

The Raid: Part I

Hi everybody!  Thanks for stopping by again - I was trawling through my computer and came across this little gem, a short story I wrote a few years back.  It was intended as a write-up for a kill team game a mate played against my Imperial Guard.
I always like my fluff to serve a purpose (apart from entertaining people): so this one is a write-up for a battle as well as a little story.  In others I drop in some info on the Palladians, so rather than writing something up in prose I can just describe it as part of the story.

I realise how dull reams of text can be so I'll split this into two posts ... tune in later in the week for part two!  If this goes well I have several other stories, I'll make Storytime a regular slot.

A Tale of Two Gamers - Raiding Parties

A Tale of Two Gamers Scipio and Headologist's BFG Campaign
Hello again, today there's time for an update to the Tale of Two Gamers, the Battlefleet Gothic campaign that Headologist (Kieran) and I are currently running.

We've managed to have the last few days in the same place, which is almost unheard of with our respective transient lifestyles.  No messing about, we basically did dawn-till-dusk BFG for three days (allowing for a trip to the model shop).  With our general blundering about we managed four games in that time - all very leisurely with nice slow turns and plenty of cups of tea provided by Kieran.

As for presentation, what we're going to do is split the battle reports between mine and DYHAF.  So the first two Raid missions will be reported on today, with subsequent missions being properly written up with maps etc (like our first report) when H has had the time to put them together.  I want to focus on the battles, of course, but also talk a little bit about t…

A Tale of Two Gamers

A Tale of Two Gamers Scipio and Headologist's BFG Campaign
Come in, come in, and welcome back to Palladian Guard ... to what I hope will become a regular slot on the blog!  Me and Headologist recently flexed our nautical muscles with a game of GW's classic space combat game Battlefleet Gothic.
After the success of out last game, we've decided to play a campaign.  BFG is one of those old rulebooks, written in a friendly, conversational style where the designers describe and advise you about how to run a campaign (rather than just 'advising' you to buy more models like 40K).  We went for a map campaign, and in this introductory post I'll describe how we're planning the campaign and how I built up my fleet!

Imperial Guard: Looking Forward, Looking Back

I'm in a bit of a pensive mood this morning, so I'm going to start rambling on all the little topics I've always wanted to post on and gather them together - hopefully in some kind of order.  All this has been sparked by my reaching something of an impasse with my Guard army.  I've got one of almost every unit in the codex, and not sure if I can cope with life after Guard!  But that decision might be made for me by the executive bigwigs at GW ...

Battle Report: Cruiser Clash

Welcome back to a very special joint post on Palladian Guard, as today we not only have a new Battle Report but today marks the start of a new game covered here on the blog!  Me and Headologist have been long-time 40K players, and we've dabbled in a few Battlefleet Gothic games in the past.  But while Headologist has always been a big fan of naval warfare I'm relatively new to it all - drawn in no doubt by the hours of Silent Hunter 3 over the last few months.
So the last time we crossed paths, I dug out four old Imperial Cruisers, and H got his wonderfully painted Chaos ships and we had a trial game of BFG.  I hadn't played in a long time, so we stuck to the basic rules.  In H's living room, complete with copious cups of tea/coffee, we set out the field of battle.  This would be a straightforward Cruiser Clash scenario.  I should mention here that we took notes and H drew up some lovely charts to illustrate the battle - each one is a beautiful work of art in its own ri…

First Rank ... FIRE!!!

Morning everybody!

First, news!  I'm planning a fairly earth-shattering career move in the next six or twelve months, as a result of which my posting rate has slipped slightly.

Apparently if you want to swap jobs, and your current employer finds out about it, they do their level best to squeeze every last man-hour out of you before you go, like drinking an entire half-pint of milk, even though you don't want it, just because it's going out of date tomorrow.

Force on Force - 20mm British Army

Morning all!  Now, for yet another exciting side project to keep me distracted.  A fellow wargamer sent a large cardboard box of powdered mashed potato my way a few weeks back.  Great!  When I opened it up, however, it turned out that it was just a fistful of 20mm British Army figures, itching to have a game of Force on Force.

Even better!

Thargadd's Thumpers

(For those of you who don't know what this is all about, it's the culmination of a brilliant collaborative project between myself and the good Mordian7th - basically a unit swap.  Thargadd's Thumpers have just arrived to take up their place in the illustrious ranks of the 122/7th Pioneer Company ... read Mordian's post to find out the first half of the fluff!)