25 December, 2015

Army List Analysis: Grey Knights with Saim-Hann & Harlequin Allies

In my article about Grey Knights 7th edition Maelstrom missions I outlined my plan to bring Eldar (Craftworld and Harlequins) into my army. Essentially what I'm doing here is fielding a hyper focused allied force based around the Grey Knights Tactical Objectives.

Doing this allows me to use as many leftover points as possible to field as many Grey Knight Terminators as I can. It does pain me that Grey Knights are better off hiring allies to do their job in Maelstrom Missions, but I love the fluff and models so much that I want to find a way to max out on Termies.

I'll be honest: it feels kind of weird to run Eldar to make Terminators work.
Let's break down the list and analyse how I plan on making it work so that I can win those mission-critical objectives. I've colour-coded the army into four generalised segments. But before we jump into that, I want to point out two things:

(1) These are generalised segments or roles, meaning that each group performs multiple roles and synergises with the army in more ways than I'll mention in this article, but for now I want to focus on how they help me win points by accomplishing Tactical Objectives. 

(2) These units also help create a balanced army list, but that's also something that I won't be covering in this article. Again I'll be focusing instead on how they help me win games by achieving the goals dictated by the Tactical Objectives datacards.


- Blue: Close-combat and psychological warfare
- Red: Objective-grabbers and anti-infantry
- Yellow: Anti-air and anti-AV
- Green: They can do damage and win points, but are mostly there for fun

The Heroe’s Path (325 pts.)
- Deathjester
- Shadowseer
- Solitaire

Craftworld Eldar: Combined Arms Detachment (775 pts.)
- Autarch
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 2x Crimson Hunters

Grey Knights: Nemesis Strike Force (725 pts.)
- Librarian
- 5x Terminators
- 10x Terminators

Total: 1825/1850 points

Close-Combat & Psychological Warfare:

In the first segment (or "Blue Team") we have the Deathjester, Shadowseer, Solitaire and Autarch. In terms of Tactical Objectives, these guys are generally in charge of achieving Tactical Objectives such as issuing challenges, winning challenges, wiping out a unit in the Assault Phase, causing opponents to fail some kind of leadership check, manifesting psychic powers, getting into the opponent's deployment zone and helping to destroy super heavies (and other vehicles) with their Haywire grenades.

Tactical flexibility, ingenuity and imagination are key, so they can do more than what I've just outlined, but again I'm generalising here for the sake of flushing out my ideas and to establish a basic battle-plan. 

Objective-Grabbers & Anti-Infantry:

Next up we have the red team, who are in charge of shredding infantry at a distance (36") and moving in to capture objectives. Unfortunately these guys are on a quasi-suicidal mission, meaning that if I have to choose between grabbing an objective and keeping them alive, they're destined to go in and take that objective.

They're also tasked with destroying units in the shooting phase, killing any independent characters that are out of reach of the Harlequins and Autarch and getting into the opponent's deployment zone for achieve mission-specific objectives. Again there's always more that these guys can do, but at their core they're there for their extreme maneuverability, speed and the quality of their ranged weapons, especially against anything with a toughness value of nine or less.

Anti-Air & Anti-AV:

Next up we've got the two Crimson Hunters. Their role is straight forward: come in, take out any flyers or flying monstrous creatures and if there aren't any, then deal with any other vehicles or even Monstrous Creatures on the ground.

Their other duties include wiping out a unit in the shooting phase or putting the hurt on super heavies and gargantuan creatures. If there's none of that, then they can attack heavy infantry such as Terminators. Not much else to say, except that they synergise well with the Autarch due to the fact that he/she can manipulate reserve rolls, but as I mentioned earlier I'll leave synergy and balanced list-building for another time.

Grey Knight Terminators: 

Given how focused on Tactical Objectives (in addition to being balanced) the rest of the list is, these guys find themselves right at home performing any roles that they're capable of, such as acting as bullet-magnets (I've included a video about that below).

They're also capable of taking out independent characters, issuing and winning challenges, manifesting psychic powers, capturing objectives (objective-secured Terminators!), getting into the opponent's backfield, wiping out units in the assault phase (especially if they're MEQ), helping to destroy units in the shooting phase, attempting to force opposing units to fail some kind of leadership check, killing other psykers, destroying a unit after teleporting onto the battlefield, and finally taking on monstrous creatures (if need be) and even super heavies and gargantuan creatures (with absolutely no guarantee of survival).

That pretty much covers it. There's never any guarantee, especially when it comes to Maelstrom Missions, but the goal here is to maximise my opportunities to score points. Once again you can check out the campaign and storyline for my army list here

24 December, 2015

Painting Windrider Jetbikes: The Stripes

Yesterday I went out for some Christmas shopping and of course I couldn't resist the allure of 40k, so I and picked up a box of Windrider jetbikes!

So as soon as I got home, I got started on painting the stripes on the front of the jetbikes, and I took some photos to tell you how I did it.

Step-1: Paint the sprues black. 

First thing's first: spray-painted the sprues Chaos Black. Once that's done you'll want to cut the noses from the sprue set and give them a second coat of black paint, because the spray paint will leave the model looking a bit grey, rather than perfectly black. So for this, I used Abbadon Black and watered it down just enough so as to make sure it was a thin layer that didn't create any extra ridges or bumps on the jetbike, once the paint dried. 

As you can see, there's a stark difference between the spray-painted jetbike piece, and the one that's been given a fresh coat of Abbadon Black paint. Of course it looks a bit darker and glossier when wet, but once its dry it has a nice jet-black matte finish. 

Step-2: Tape the nose of the jetbikes.

This step is very simple: just take a piece of tape and place it where you want the stripes to be. I'll be honest and say that if you're anything like me, you'll want the stripes to be identical on each piece, which can be a bit annoying, but on the other hand the type of stripes on the nose can also serve as squad markings during game-play, so it's worth the effort.

Step-3: We're painting the [n]oses red! 

This next part is pretty fun: you just slop Mephiston Red all over the model, as aptly demonstrated by our fine friends below. But be forewarned to (1) thin your paints and (2) be careful not to get paint between the seams of the plastic model and the tapeOther than that, go nuts. 

Step-4: Start layering.

Now that you've painted the noses red, you want to start layering. As always keep your paints nice and watered so they don't create lumps and bumps when they dry. For the layering process, you can start by mixing 50/50 Mephiston Red with Evil Sunz Scarlet and painting the whole thing, except about 5mm away from the edge of the tape.

Once that's done you can do the same thing by mixing about 20/80 Mephiston Red and Evil Sunz Scarlet, and painting about another 10mm away from the edge of the tape. 

Repeat the process again, but this time painting pure Evil Sunz Scarlet about 15mm away from the edge of the tape. By the way, as a Canadian I feel the need to apologise to my American friends who don't use the metric system, so for you I've prepared a chart to follow:

- 5mm = a little bit
- 10mm = a little bit more
- 15mm = a little bit more than the first two times

Now that you've painted a little bit away from the edge of the tape with different gradients of red, you can peel the tape off the model, and voilà! There you have it! Your Windrider jetbikes now have stripes! 

If you have any questions or something to share, be sure to leave it in the comments section below. 

~ Cheers from Japan on Christmas Eve!  

23 December, 2015

Grey Knight Campaign & Fan-Fiction: The Crone Worlds

I've started working on a campaign accompanied by fan-fiction. I think it's going to be a really good one, especially given that I've got all those morning and afternoon train rides to/from work to write it up and put ideas together. Check it out here: The Crone Worlds.
(CTRL+F5 to view it as a slideshow)

The basic premise is that sixteen Grey Knight Terminators accompanied by a small Eldar warhost are headed right into the belly of the beast itself: the Eye of Terror. The details need to be flushed out, but essentially it's the backstory explaining why Eldar would ally with Grey Knights for the army list mentioned in my previous post.

22 December, 2015

Grey Knights 7th Edition: Maelstrom Missions (Eldar Allies)

Last night I started finishing up some of my my Grey Knight Terminators and I remembered how much I love the army (in terms of the fluff and models). I'm not particularly fond of the way that Terminators play, but what are you going to do? It's not like they come stock with Invisibility and Levitation.

With that in mind, I took out the Maelstrom datacards and went through them one-by-one. My intention was to see what could be accomplished by bringing allies -- ANY ally! It didn't matter if they were daemons, chaos cultists or the rot of Nurgle itself. The point was just to see what army could help deliver the win for Grey Knights. 

The highlighted text: Maelstrom objectives. The bottom text: the making of a balanced list.

As you can see by the image above, Eldar can help fulfill almost every objective that Games Workshop has seen fit to give the Grey Knights -- and they do it better than the Grey Knights can! They can also complement the Grey Knights so well that they can easily help create a balanced list. 

With all that being said and done, I concocted an army list to tackle the Grey Knight Maelstrom cards in 40k 7th Edition, with some Harlequins sprinkled on top for fluff reasons, although to be fair they ended up just making the army better overall. Lol-tastic.

The Heroe’s Path (325)
- Deathjester
- Shadowseer + Neuro disruptor + Mastery level-2 psyker + Haywire grenades + The Mask of Secrets
- Solitaire + Haywire grenades

Craftworld Eldar: Combined Arms Detachment (576)
- Autarch + Skyrunner + Banshee mask
- 6x (3x Windriders + 3x Scatter lasers)

Craftworld Eldar: Crimson Death: (440)
- 3x Crimson Hunters + 1x Exarch

Grey Knights: Nemesis Strike Force (505)
- Librarian + Storm-bolter
- 10x Terminators (330) + 2x Psycannons (40) + 2x Nemesis daemon hammers (20) = 390

Total: 1846/1850

I like the list, but I do find it unfortunate that I don't have very many Terminators. If I went to 2000 points, I'd certainly include more. That or I can tone it down to 1500 points to balance out the Grey Kight-Eldar ratio, or simply remove the Harlequins and three Windriders to make more room for Grey Knight Terminators.

The challenge that I now face is how to make the Windriders look like Eldar Daemon hunters...

16 December, 2015

Hobby Update: Painting Guardsmen & Grey Knight Army Idea

Last night I had a few moments to get some Guardsmen painted, so I mostly worked on the sarge and did some stubble, as I mentioned in my previous article.

Note to self: make a proper photo studio for my models.

I also came up with a new idea for my Grey Knights and/or Inquisition: I could pair up them up with a horde-type army of Astra Militarum. I'm thinking two blobs of twenty to thirty models with a commissar, a priest and a Grey Knight Librarian, or an Inquisitor in Terminator armour.

14 December, 2015

Hobby Update: My 40k Collection (in Japan)

As I mentioned in my first post, I had the chance to visit Games Workshop in Tokyo last month. I've already spoken about my five Grey Knight Terminators (you can check that out in the video below), and this week I picked up ten Guardsmen.

So all in all I've got:
- Five Grey Knight Terminators
- Ten Imperial Guardsmen
- Ten Tactical Marines
- A Space Marine Captain
- A Rhino/Razorback
- A Dreadnought (I'm missing the multi-melta arm, as it's a Forge World army).

A family photo to capture the moment.

I won't go into my full army list just yet, but aside from the Grey Knights, this is a large part of the foundation the 1500 point Ultramarine army that I'm building. I've already spoken about the Razorback/Rhino, and there are some cool photos of it in the previous article so I won't include those same images here. However I am happy with the job I've done on the Guardsmen and with the Marines.

The Guardsmen were a lot easier to do than I thought they'd be, especially considering that it took me about an evening to do the lot of them. As a personal disclaimer, I don't consider them finished; I still have to do more details like the eyes, layering on the skin, armour, etc. and I also want to give the sarge a five o'clock shadow. When they're done I might write up a tutorial on how to paint Guardsmen quick and easy, although I think I'll  make "How to Paint Facial Hair" my first tutorial.

Warhammer 40k: 3 Reasons To Get a Razorback

While I was in Tokyo last month I picked up a 40k starter box-set which came with a Razorback. I normally give Rhinos to my Marines, so the fact that the box-set came with a Razorback instead of a Rhino was perfect! Perfect? Why? I'll explain.

Reason #1: Razorbacks come with the components to be built as Rhinos. It's very simple: the Razorback kit is the same as the Rhino kit, except that to make a Razorback they've added additional bits. Therefore when you get a Razorback, you're also getting a Rhino, and the beauty is that to switch between one or the other doesn't require any amount of hard work or even any glue.

Reason #2: Given the fact that Razorbacks can only carry five guys, it can be worth fitting a Razordback into your list rather than a Rhino. Say for instance that you're like me and only have ten Marines in a 500 point army -- why not try using a Razorback? Likewise if you have a full unit of ten, you could run it alongside your men or use it to support your backfield, for example by running it in tandem with a Devastator Squad or even Thunderfire cannons. All of these ideas lead into the third point . . .

Reason #3: If you're just starting out with your Space Marine army, it's a good time to experiment with different options. I normally recommend transporting Marines in Rhinos but if you're new to the army, now's a good time to give Razorbacks a try in order to gain experience as you enter the hobby. As mentioned above, if you don't want to field Razorbacks, then you can always go back to using a Rhino instead.

If you're really into painting and converting, there are a lot of fun things you can do, the least of which is painting the interior of the vehicle, but I've seen people go so far as to add red LED lights. Personally though, I like to stick to the basics. I plan on getting a second Razorback kit, for sure!

13 December, 2015

Warhammer 40k In Tokyo, Japan

What I'm going to cover here is how to find Games Workshop in Tokyo, so if you're interested in finding and even playing 40k in Japan, this is the article for you!

Last month I had the opportunity to visit (or "find", I should say) the Games Workshop in Tokyo. It's located in the Chiyoda area (in Japanese: 千代田区 or Chiyoda-ku), north of the Imperial Palace and not too far from the famed geek-haven known as Akihabara.

If you make the journey, beware that typing "Games Workshop Tokyo" can give you conflicting results. As you can see in the image below, there's a separate entry for something that looks official which is called "Warhammer". Well my buddy and I followed our GPSs and Google Maps to the location, only to find ourselves standing in a random backstreet. Needless to say, an empty backstreet isn't what we were looking for. As such, I've included an image below of the proper location as it appears on Google Maps. 

Once there we found a well-stocked store, which is great considering that it's the only shop that has all the 40k goodies you could want within the country that I'm aware of (aside from Iconoclasm in Osaka). Of course there's also Yellow Submarine in Nagoya, but as I hinted at, it's not very well stocked at all, but we'll get to that in a separate article at a later time. For the time being here are a few shots of the store:

Oh yeah, and Nottingham has not only blessed the guys in Tokyo with an Astartes helm, but a chainsword as well.