Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tau Riptide WIP #1


As some people may know, as well as being into WFB and Skaven, I also have an interest in WH40K. In fact, I got back into 40K before WFB, with my army of choice being Tau (mainly for the design aethetic).

A couple of weeks ago, I made a dive into GW Tokyo HQ to take a look at the new Tau models, and walked out with the new Codex, a Riptide, Cadre Fireblade and Longstrike.

Although the pace is slow (work, life etc.) I finally got around to starting on these. Some photos and initial impressions below.

In this first set, it quickly became obvious when positioning the model that the huge base is a great chance to do something interesting. In fact, it needs something interesting, because it will just look too bare with flock, grass etc. So, after playing around, I decided to add a couple of Firewarriors in cover, as well as a crashed Drone. The theme is "Defence", or "Taking Cover". This comes from the Riptide entry in the Codex, which I think refers to the constant training that takes place with Riptide units so Tau troops are comfortable with their presence. As you can see here they are in close proximity (possible danger of being stepped-on!)

Lower torso.

Marking the position of the units so I can come back later!

After that, I got out the Skull White undercoat and had a go the other night, so here is where I am at the moment. I have included a Space Marine for scale:

I must say that I have grown to like this model. I have to also say that I think it looks a bit better than the new Eldar walker (which I think kind of looks even gawkier than the Riptide.

Why have I grown to like it?

  1. Lots of bits in the box - weapons etc. (Nice missile pods by the way!)
  2. Good detail on the model.
  3. Scale is actually pretty good.
  4. Design fits in nicely with the Tau aesthetic.
  5. Easy to convert so you can move limbs etc. (manual encourages you to by showing you which bits to cut-off to allow that easily)
More updates in the future on this, the Fireblade Cadre, and Longstrike!


Friday, May 24, 2013

8 Skaven Battlefield Tips for Beginners...

...learned the hard way!


As it may take me some time to finish up my most recent battle report, I thought I would cut to the chase here! 
These are a few things that came to mind after my most recent battle. They aren't all of benefit to the Skaven Warlord, but in the interests of fairness in a friendly game these things are important! (in my gaming group, friendly players will often offer you a chance to take a forgotten role etc. This is lovely, but makes me feel even more guilty of I then roll well!)

These are things that I think in the excitement of a game with other inexperienced players if it's easy to forget (and I did!) 

1. You rocked your painting (and your budget) to bring a Screaming Bell... 

... so don't forget to ring it! Remember that it gets rung at a very specific time (sorry, don't have my Army Book with me at the moment). More than once I forgot to ring it at the right time (if at all!)

2. Plague Monks are awesome in Close Combat because they have Frenzy... 

...but Frenzy doesn't only apply in CC! Remember that (if I have it right) they have to try to charge the nearest eligible enemy unit in the charge phase, even you don't want them too! (Or something!)

3. Plague Monks are awesome in Close Combat because they have Frenzy...

...until they don't have Frenzy anymore. 
Situations include: losing CC, not being in the attacking front ranks etc. (or something!)

4. Fear and Terror are great...

...and you have them, not only on models that would obviously terrify anyone (e.g. Hell Pit Abomination) but also on high comedy value warmachines such as your Doomwheel. 
Also, don't forget that the effects of these rules apply in Close Combat too (is that right?). 
Don't forget to do a check each turn of CC. Your Doomwheel is precious, and it may last longer if you get it out of CC with enemy Chaff units (yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn't have been stupid enough to let it get caught by enemy infantry in the first place!)

5. If the enemy is a cannon-toting, black-powder lovin' kinda guy or gal, (I'm looking at you Dwarves and Empire)... 

...consider not taking a Screaming Bell!

Instead of rockin' up to the party with mega large juicy cannon-bait, instead consider putting your Grey-Seer in a block of infantry.
(thanks to an anonymous poster for this tip previously - very true!).

6. If they dropped an Organ-gun on the table, don't setup anything within 24 inches (I think that is the range). 

These will be auto-hit. Forgetting this is a dead easy way to lose scouts (such as Gutter Runners). As in dead, dead, dead.

7. Excited by finally getting that block of 50 "counts - as" Goblin Skaven Slaves into combat for the first time?

 ...don't forget then that you can blast/ burn and gas that block of slaves with your warmachines and weapons teams in order to take out the unit it is fighting. You will take casualties, but so will they.
 (*hangs head in shame* yes, I forgot to sacrifice their lives several times)

8. "Oooooooo, look at all my lovely rats lined up for war...

... now, how am I going to get them across the table in an orderly fashion!?"

Skaven armies MUST bring a lot of bodies to the table (a strength) but "with great numbers of troops comes great responsibility for deployment planning" (or something). With even a few bits of terrain on the table, you could well get into a tragic traffic jam, delaying the arrival of your best troops, or hampering charges etc.
So think carefully in your head about not only who will fight where, but how are they going to get there, and in what order?
Literally, good deployment could win you the battle and bad deployment could almost certainly help you lose it!

To all you experienced Skaven Warlords out there, what lessons would you pass on from your own experiences to your comrades?

(I know of course that no TRUE Skaven would ever pass on a winning tip to even another Skaven, but think of the greater future of our race!)


 P. S. Sorry if the post is formatted poorly, but I'm writing and posting this on blogger mobile.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Skaven v. Empire and High Elves Early Game Report


Here is some turn-by-turn commentary on my recent battle. I'll put some photos under each section.

Deployment: (For full army lists, please see my previous post)

2,500 points per side meant lots to put down! I started off with my Giant Rat darts to see what my opponents might put down so I could get a sense of their priorities. Naturally, Dwarf war machines went on the hill (Center Right above), with Quarrelers on the same hill - quite a firebase!

The anvil and dwarf infantry went next to them (top right, above), while the Empire flanked the hill with their infantry. The Dwarf miners didn't actually come on yet (center bottom above.)

Skaven took the chance to put WLC on a hill (bottom left) with the Doomwheel lined up for a run against the Demigryph Knights. Doombell went center of the battlefield. One block of Skaven Slaves and Clanrats faced off against the Empire, while the Plague Monks and other slaves faced off against the Dwarves.

I put down x1 unit of Gutter Runners as Scouts and held the other as "Sneaky Infiltrators" - hoping to bring them on later behind the gunline to take out a cannon.

Magic-wise, Grey Seer rolled-up Plague, Howling Warpgale, Skitterleap, Death Frenzy. Plague Priest rolled  Pestilent Breath and Cloud of Pestilence.

Turn 1: Dwarves and Empire

Not much movement, and not much magic that I remember (aside from the Anvil putting a couple of attacks down on my Hell Pit Abomination, which regen'd a wound) but  as would be the case through most of the game, lots of shooting. 

I immediately learned the hard way to fear Dwarf artillery. Why?
Cannon: Destroyed my Warplightning Cannon with one shot - multiple wounds done. Blam!
Dwarf Organ Gun. Anything within 24 Inches is auto-hit, regardless of line of sight. First shot from this thing took out my unit of Gutter Runners, who fled off the board. Being behind a forest made no difference!
(Note: my thanks to my opponents for the offer and decision to modify the Organ Gun rules! We decided to mod the rules a bit where a unit is behind something like a forest or a building so it wouldn't be auto-hit, which seems to make sense to me!) 

Quarrelers: Took some long shots and took down a couple of Clanrats pushing the bell.

Anyway, a good turn for Dwarf Shooting!

Lesson(s) Learned: Watch out for those Dwarf Organ Guns and stay out of their 24 inch range at setup!

The Anvil and Dwarf infantry
Dwarves move forward
Gutter Runners (before their destruction!)

Dwarf gunline, with Organ Gun at right and Quarrelers at left.
Here comes the Empire! Doomwheel just out of shot to the left here.
Wrecked WLC - boo hoo!

Turn 1: Skaven

Skaven moved forward, but no charges yet. In the magic phase I rang the Screaming Bell, but got "Emboldened", which wouldn't really help this turn...
Likewise, the Doomwheel moves forward, hoping to get close enough to the Demigriff Knights and give them some Zzap love. Unfortunately though the DW didn't get very far, (as the rats weren't feeling particularly energetic) so only manages to zap a couple of Clanrats.

...on the other hand, the Grey Seer managed to Skitterleap the Warplock Engineer with Doomrocket right into the enemy back field.
BOOM! The Doomrocket sails right down the enemy backline and explodes on top of the Quarrelers, managing to take out almost half of them.
AND, one of the Plague Wind Mortars manages to get a hit on the Empire infantry, managing to take out a few infantry.

Lessons Learned: Yeah, Skitterleaping a naked Warplock Engineer with a Doomrocket is a lot of fun! However, wouldn't this only work once against a regular opponent? (They would stagger their lines of deployment to avoid this in the future...)

Plague Wind Mortar takes a long shot.
Skaven advance (skitter, scamper etc!)

'till next time!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Battle Report Skaven v. Dwarf & Empire


Hmmm. I think I should actually call this a "Battle Overview", rather than a battle "report", because the latter would mean a lot of detail...

Anyway, 2,500 points of Skaven took on 1,000 points of Empire and 1,500 points of Dwarves. Both I and the Dwarf general are fairly inexperienced, whereas the Empire general has quite a lot of experience at WFB, but this was his first time out of the gate with an Empire army. Both opponents were great fun during the game, and I learned a lot!

Today, army lists. First up, the dwarves.


Lords (318pts)

x1 Runelord (318pts). General, Gromril Armour, Hand Weapon, Shield 

x1 Anvil Of Doom (175pts) and Anvil Guard x2

Heroes (67pts)

x1 Thane (67pts)Gromril Armour, Hand Weapon, Shield

Core (420pts)

  • x24 Dwarf Warriors (265pts) Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour and Full Command
  • x10 Quarrellers (155pts) Crossbow, Hand Weapon, Light Armour and Full Command

Special (575pts)

  • x1Cannon (125pts) Rune Of Forging and x3 crew
  • x20 Ironbreakers (315pts) Gromril Armour, Hand Weapon, Shield and Full Command (Standard Bearer)
  • Miners (135pts) with Full command

Rare (120pts)

  • Organ Gun (120pts) + 3 crew


Empire (1,000 pt)  

Full roster can be found here, or here is a summary:

Archlector (General), with Enchanted Shield + Luckstone

Captain (BSB), Wizard Level 1. Iron Curse icon, Charmed Shield and Dispel Scroll

X33 Halbediers (Full Command)

x20 Greatswords (Full Command with Gleaming Banner)
x3 Demigryph Knights (Full Command with Flaming Banner)


Skaven: 2,500

Lords: (495)
Grey Seer (495 pts) + Screaming Bell, Earthing Rod, Skalm

Heroes: (311)
Chieftain (122 pts) (Battle Standard Bearer),  Shield and Storm Banner
Warlock Engineer (45 pts) + Doomrocket 
Plague Priest (144 pts) Lvl 2 Wizard, Flail and Ironcurse Icon

Core: (638)
x35 Clanrats (217 pts) Musician, Standard Bearer, Poisoned Wind Mortar
x35 Clanrats (217 pts) Musician, Standard Bearer, Poisoned Wind Mortar 

x50 Skavenslaves (102 pts) + Musician
x50 Skavenslaves (102 pts) + Musician

x5 Giant Rats (23 pts) and Packmaster, 
x5 Giant Rats (23 pts) and Packmaster, 

Special: (520)
x7 Gutter Runners (126 pts) - Slings and Poisoned attacks
x8 Gutter Runners (144 pts) - Slings and Poisoned attacks

x30 Plague Monks (250 pts) Standard Bearer + Plague Banner, 30 pts

Rare: (490)
x1Warp Lightning Cannon (90 pts)
x1 Hell Pit Abomination (250 pts) + Warpstone Spikes
x1 Doomwheel (150 pts)


So, from looking at these two lists, and playing against Empire and Dwarves for the first time, here are few things that I learned (and we will encounter again in future posts about this battle)...
  • Death magic - Spirit Leech is a b*+stard! :-)  Character-sniping death magic is pretty scarey stuff! My opponent tried it on my Grey Seer once (but I think decided to go easy on me after that by not trying it again.)
  • Dwarf Organ Gun - bad news! This thing automatically hits anything within range (24 inches)
  • Don't forget that the Hell Pit and Doomwheel have "Terror" -so enemy units in CC need to take a leadership test in each round of CC (I think?)
  • 2,500 points of Skaven is a fair load of bodies. Think carefully at setup about positioning! In this game my Plague Monks didn't work well as I was too slow getting them into combat (held up by other units out front.) Watch out for traffic jams!
  • Skaven magic can be easily shut down by a combined enemy force that includes a Dwarf contingent with  Anvil of Doom (The opponents get x3 extra dispel dice?!)
  • Doomrocket = Skaven fun!
  • Dwarf cannon = v. bad news (you'll find out more next post!)
To whet your appetite for my next post (Deployment and early game turns), here are some deployment photos!

Until next time!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Need help against stunty/ human alliance!


So, in little over a day I face not one, but TWO armies that I haven't fought before, and on the same team. 

Yes, it is 2,500 points Stunties (1,500) and Empire (1,000) v. Skaven.

As I haven't fought either of these players before, I don't have any idea what their list would be, or what units they usually bring. Having read around a bit, I thought the general following list might be ok. This game is at a friendly local gaming circle.

What do you think?

Drops/ Chaff (46 pts)

*5x Giant Rats, Packmaster (For drops/ setup and chaff)
*5x Giant Rats, Packmaster (For drops/ setup and chaff)

Lords (490pts)

* x1 Grey Seer  (Dispel Scroll, Earthing Rod, Screaming Bell)

Heroes (361pts)

* Chieftain (Battle Standard Bearer, Shield, Storm Banner)

* x1 Plague Priest: Flail, Wizard Level 1

*x1 Warlock Engineer: Doomrocket

* x1 Warlock Engineer: Death Globe, Wizard Level 1

Core (638pts)

* x35 Clanrats (For pushing Bell)
Musician, Poisoned Wind Mortar, Standard Bearer

* x35 Clanrats (Chieftain goes here)
Musician, Poisoned Wind Mortar, Standard Bearer

* x50 Skavenslaves (WLE with Rocket here, so he can be teleported over to enemy battle line)

* x50 Skavenslaves 

Special (471pts)

* 6x Gutter Runners + Poisoned Attacks, Slings (Scout, to taking out advancing enemy warmachines)

* 6x Gutter Runners + Poisoned Attacks, Slings (Infiltrate in game to take out enemy warmachines)

* x30 Plague Monks (Plague Priest goes here)
Musician, Plague Banner, Standard Bearer

Rare (490pts)

* Doomwheel (Flank Running, monster/ vehicle hunting)

* Hell Pit Abomination + Warpstone spikes (general anti infantry duties!)

* Warp Lightning Cannon

(List made with Battlescribe)

Any ideas or help for 'ol Squeek out there? If so, send in those ideas quick!!



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Charge of the Templars!


I have been slowly adding to my Black Templars by picking up bits and pieces on the net and working through painting them when the mood takes me.

I just finished 8 Space Marine Assault troops in Black Templars colours, so here are a few  photos!

Look, I'm the joker at the back of the class! (There's always one)

Run away!



Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to Paint a High Elf Mage


What do them pointy-eared, long-lived, do-gooders do better than almost anyone else in the Warhammer World?
So if you are going to have a High Elf army you are probably going to have several Mages of different kinds.

In this "How to" guide, I am going to be working with the famed "Rock Balancing Rainbow Purple People Eating Mage of Xereus". This was a model that I did as part of a gift army I painted up for my kids. It is a bit different from the standard one because the tip of the staff was broken.

As usual, no claim to greatness here. These are tabletop models (because I can't do anything else.) I hope that this will still be useful for somebody though, especially as the new High Elf Army Book is now out (I picked mine up at GW Jinbocho in Tokyo yesterday.) Please note that I make reference to the "old" Citadel Colours because that is what I used when I painted this, but you can find a conversion guide here, and if I can I will list up the nearest equivalent in the post. As many have noted on other blogs, new and old colours don't exactly correspond, so your experience may change from mine.

Paints used (Old/ New):

  • Skull White (White Scar)
  • Snakebite Leather (Balor Brown)
  • Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone)
  • Chainmail (Iron Breaker)
  • Mithril Silver (Runefang Steel)
  • Dark Angels Green (Caliban Green)
  • Snot Green (Warpstone Glow)
  • Liche Purple (Xereus Purple)
  • Warlock Purple (Screamer Pink)
  • Calthan Brown (Mournfang Brown)
  • Tallarn Flesh (Cadian Fleshtone)
  • Dwarf Flesh (Ratskin Flesh)
  • Elf Flesh (Kislev Flesh)
  • Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow)
  • Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper)
  • Shining Gold (Gehenna's Gold)
  • Codex Grey (Dawnstone)
  • Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey)


  • Gryphonne Sepia (Seraphim Sepia)
  • Ogryn Flesh (Reikland Fleshshade)
  • Badab Black (Nuln Oil)

Step 1: Preparation.

Assemble models.
Use a craft knife or file away flash/ mould lines (carefully!)  Please make sure you pay attention to this on their robes and bows, as mould lines really show up later when painted if you don't get rid of them, especially when using white paint.

Step 2: First basing.

Sand down any flash or raised areas around the edge of the base. 
Apply PVA glue to the top of the base, being careful not to get this on the boots of the model. (For variety, consider sprinkling a couple of pieces of crushed coral onto the PVA before the sand.)
Immediately dip the base into modelling sand.

TIP: Rub away any sand or glue that has dripped over onto the sides of the base now if you prefer a nice (clean-looking) base later.

Optional: Finish off the bases now (see Step 8, final basing).

Step 3: Undercoat.

Spray paint the model(s) using the undercoat of your choice. 
I use Citadel Chaos Black. Many people prefer a Skull White undercoat for brighter models like High Elves as the overall effect will be brighter and you will need far fewer layers of Skull White (White Scar) later on robes etc. 

However, I often use black as it hides mistakes and allows you to very easily leave shading in corners and crevices etc (especially in difficult to reach areas).

Step 4: Basecoats.

Codex Grey (Dawnstone)Rocks. 
Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey): Robes (this will be an undercoat for the Skull White (White Scar) later.
Chainmail (Ironbreaker) or Mithril Silver (Runefang Steel): Circlet, belt detail.
Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone): Hair, parchment.
Snakebite Leather (Balor Brown): Belt, shoes.
Liche Purple (Xereus Purple): Robes
Dark Angels Green (Caliban Green): Gems
Tallarn Flesh (Cadian Fleshtone): Skin.
Calthan Brown (Mournfang Brown): Staff
Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper) or Shining Gold (Gehenna's Gold): Jewelry, details on belt.

TIP: I didn't do the Skull White robes until after washes (step 5 below) had been done.

Step 5: Washes.

Ogryn Flesh (Reikland Flesh Shade: Skin (face, hands etc.)
Devlan Mud (Agrax Earthshade) or Badab Black (Nuln Oil): Sleeves, belts, shoes, (leathers), rocks.
Gryphonne Sepia (Seraphim Sepia): Hair.

Looking back, I don't think I washed the cloak/ cape.

Step 6: Layers.

Skull White (White Scar): Robes (leave Codex Grey in the folds to provide some shading.) If using Skull White, be prepared to use many, many thin layers. 
TIP: Don't be tempted to do thick layers though, the end effect won't look very nice.
TIP: Ceramite White gives good coverage, so you should be able to get a nice smooth covering in fewer layers than the old paints. As above though, don't be tempted to put it on too thick.

Liche Purple (Xereus Purple)/ Warlock Purple (Screamer Pink) mix (50/50) on robe. Layer this up to a purer Warlock Purple (Xereus Purple) to provide highlights on the raised areas of the robe (30/70) 
Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone): Staff, strands of hair
Tallarn Flesh (Cadian Fleshtone) / Dwarf Flesh (Ratskin Flesh) mix (50/50)
Dark Angels Green (Caliban Green)/ Snot Green (Warpstone Glow) mix: Gems. (70/30 mix, layering up to a 30/70 mix along the bottom edge of the gem)
Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper)/ Shining Gold (Gehenna's Gold) mix: (50/50) on Gold pieces.

TIP: To make your gems really stand out, consider adding a tiny dot of pure Skull White at the top and/ or bottom of the gem.

Step 7: Drybrushing.

Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey): Lightly drybrush rocks.

Step 8: Final basing.

Calthan Brown (Mournfang Brown): Overbrush across the sandy part of the base, being careful to avoid the boots/ legs of the model and flagstones
Snakebite Leather (Balor Brown): Drybrush across the base. Paint the base edges. I usually find 2 coats gives a nice smooth finish.
Codex Grey (Dawnstone): Drybrush lightly across the base, paint any crushed coral.
Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey): Drybrush any crushed coral rocks to add a natural highlight. 
Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone): Flagstones (being careful not to go into the cracks between the flagstone. We want those to remain a darker colour)
Bleacher Bone (Ushabti Bone)/ Skull White (Scar White): 50/50 mix - apply as highlights around the edge of the flagstones.

Paint on PVA glue, and then sprinkle static grass onto the base.

Done! (I think!)

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