Monday, August 31, 2009

Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest

Here are some pictures of a command stand I painted up to command a Brigade of Confederate Cavalry. As usual, the miniatures are 10mm GHQ. The riders were done with the same sort of technique as the 4th Tennessee Cavalry riders, by leaving thin black lines in recesses and between different colored areas, instead of inking. The horses were also manually shaded and highlighted, instead of inking. They turned out decent, I think, but the method does take more time, and I definitely need some practice to get better at it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

4th Tennessee Cavalry

Here are some pictures of my first unit of mounted Confederate Cavalry, intended to represent the 4th Tennessee Cavalry. The figures, as usual, are 10mm GHQ. The horses I painted pretty much the same as I did the Union cavalry horses, just using more variety in things like blanket colors. I changed up my technique when painting the riders. Instead of inking for shading, I primed black and tried to leave a thin black line between areas of different colors and in the deep recesses. I think it took me a lot longer, but it does look good. With practice I could probably get better at doing it faster, but I'm not sure if the extra effort is worth it. So, what do you think? Are these results worth the extra effort, or should I stick with the inking method?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Warhammer 40,000 Planetstrike Battle Report: Tyranids Attacking Tau

I played my first game of Planetstrike recently. My Tyranids were attacking some Tau who had occupied an Imperial base. The defenders set up 5 objectives, three Bastions and two circles of barricades with automated weapons in them. Two of the bastions were on one side of the board, the other three objectives on the opposite side to spread out their forces. My stratagems were Hypertrophic Flora, the Tyranid-specific one that creates forest areas (to put some cover between the two areas of objectives), the Forward Observer to let me re-roll any scatter dice within its line of sight, and Scorched Skies, which gives an extra D6 bombardments. It also causes the entire defending army to be at -2 leadership in the first turn, but I probably forgot about that part of it anyway.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Special Character

Harai Grae Dei
Aka Lieutenant Grady

Lieutenant Grady is legendary among the pirates and corsairs of Tito’s fleet, who consider him to be a good luck charm. His fame began during a battle against a small force of Space Marines on the Exodite world of Tirathain. At the time, Grady was just an inexperienced young corsair guardian. His unit was pinned down by heavy weapons fire from a squad of marine devastators. In a legendary act of stupendous courage and foolishness, Grady shouted at his comrades to follow, and charged out of cover towards the marines.

The rest of his squad immediately yelled at Grady to stay down, but he would hear none of it. He was hardly interested in hearing any of their extremely sane advice. The others could only look on as Grady broke cover and sprinted across the open ground towards the position of the space marines.

Once Grady was in the open, the marines focused their fire on him and let loose a torrent of heavy bolter and assault cannon shots. Grady was struck several times by the heavy weapons fire, and fell to his knees. His horrified squad looked on, but the Grady quickly disappeared in clouds of smoke and debris caused by the heavy weapons fire tearing into the ground all around him.

Seconds later when the dust cleared, his squad mates could make out the miraculous sight of Grady, getting back to his feet and continuing his charge towards the space marine position. Inspired by Grady’s miraculous resilience and insane dedication, the others in his squad let out a cheer and sprinted out of cover after him.

The space marines were stunned to see Grady get back to his feet and charge out of the cloud of smoke and dust towards them. After a second’s hesitation, they retrained their weapons on him and let loose another fierce burst of weapons fire. Grady was struck again, and this time wounded more severely. He fell to the ground, finally incapacitated by the absurd amount of fire directed at him.

But as Grady collapsed, the rest of his furiously inspired squad charged past him and towards the space marines with incredible speed. With Grady having drawn such a great deal of fire from the marine heavy weapons, the rest of the squad made it to the marine position with few casualties. In their enthusiasm the Eldar pirates completely overwhelmed the marine position in the ensuing combat.

After the battle, the others returned for the heroic Grady and in another miraculous testament to his incredible resiliency and force of will, Grady actually survived his wounds. He did have to receive several bionic implants and replacements in order to recover from his injuries, but he survived. From then on, the pirates he fought with, and soon all who heard the incredible story, praised Grady both for his idiotic courage and for his sheer dumb luck.

Since then, Grady’s reputation has spread. The other pirates and corsairs in the fleet considering him to be something of a good luck charm. He inspires those around him to greater acts of bravery, as they feel much safer knowing they have Grady there to draw fire away from them. For his part, Grady has tried to perpetuate this feeling by very often doing stupidly courageous and even utterly suicidal things on the battlefield. This has led to him being wounded many times, and requiring more bionic replacements, but he still has yet to be killed.

He even survived an incident where he and a small group of Eldar pirates were mysteriously sucked into the warp and transported to the daemon world of D’Elaware. There, he and his army were made to fight against the retinues of several other champions for the amusement of the Chaos gods. All of the champions ended up battling on a massive Ziggurat of Doom. A deadly unit of Harlequins killed two of the other champions, including a massive daemonically powered Ork warboss who had completely wiped out a squad of pirates Grady had been leading, though Grady himself, as always, had survived. In fact, Grady survived the longest of any of the champions, but was eventually badly wounded by enemy fire. The surviving Harlequins rescued Grady and managed to escape the daemon world with him, and he lived to fight yet again.

Because of his insane courage and luck, all those who fight with Grady have grown to love him and even treat him as something of a folk hero. This despite the fact that most who fight alongside Grady are not nearly as lucky when it comes to surviving as Grady himself.

WS:4 BS:4 S:3 T:3 W:3 I:4 A:2 Ld:9 Sv:5+

Fleet of Foot, Independent Character.

Iron Will: Grady has incredible will power and refuses to go down. He has the Feel No Pain universal special rule.

Cybernetic Body: At this point, most of Grady’s body has been replaced with cybernetic augmentations. These augmentations provide further protection and also incorporate redundant life support systems to keep Grady alive. Grady is immune to Instant Death from weapons with a strength twice or more his toughness. Things that cause instant death in other ways will still work as normal.

Insane Courage: Grady is always out in front of the men, placing himself in harm’s way. When part of a unit taking fire, Grady will always be hit by as many shots as legally possible when distributing hits. So if the unit takes a single wound, Grady will have to take a save for it. If a unit takes one more wound than it has models, Grady will take two saves and everyone else a single save, etc.

Man of the People: Grady is by no means any sort of military strategist or brilliant commander of troops. He can never join units of Aspect Warriors, as there is no way they would follow his orders. However, any unit Grady does join is so inspired by his courage that they may re-roll any leadership based test they are required to take.

Grady can be chosen as an upgrade for any unit of guardians, instead of being chosen as a separate HQ choice. In this case, he no longer counts as an independent character and does not use up an HQ slot on the force organization chart.

Shuriken pistol, close combat weapon, plasma grenades, haywire grenades, forceshield (4+ invulnerable save).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Special Character

Rai luith aeth
Aka Pirate Captain Raleigh

Captain Raleigh is the captain of one of the cruisers in Tito’s fleet, as well as the leader of the ships ground forces. He is a competent naval commander and military strategist, but his greatest skill lies in his mastery of guerilla warfare.

Through many decades of piracy and raiding, Raleigh has become an expert in stealth, ambush, and sabotage. He would often sneak behind enemy lines or into encampments to plant booby traps. He would then conceal himself and wait for the perfect moment in order to spring an attack when the enemy least expects it.

Perhaps his most famous battle occurred while raiding an imperial outpost. Unexpectedly, the outpost ended up having several squads of Ultramarines guarding it. After springing their attack, Raleigh and his men suffered a brutally swift counter-attack from the highly trained Space Marines.

All of Raleigh’s men were wiped out in the ensuing firefight, but Raleigh managed to escape and conceal himself. The Ultramarines thought the battle was over, but Raleigh would not leave without avenging his fallen men.

Using his incredible stealth, Raleigh stalked the Ultramarines, waiting for individual units to be isolated. Then suddenly he would be upon them, his arcane but deadly rad grenades weakening the marines before he charged in the finish them off. Then, as quickly as he has sprung upon them, he would fade away back into the darkness before another squad could arrive to help.

Captain Raleigh repeated this tactic, isolating each of the marine combat squads, ambushing them, and then escaping into hiding. He continued his guerilla campaign until he had slain every single one of the Ultramarine guards at the outpost. This amounted to killing around 15 or 20 Space Marines single handedly.

But more importantly for Raleigh, he had killed those who had slaughtered his brave men, and avenged their loss. Afterward Raleigh made his way back to his ship to get reinforcements, and the outpost was then successfully raided. All who heard of the raid learned of the value of Raleigh’s guerilla warfare tactics.

WS:6 BS:6 S:3 T:3 W:3 I:6 A:3 Ld:10 Sv:3+

Fleet of Foot, Independent Character.

Master Strategist: Captain Raleigh is essentially the corsair equivalent of an Autarch. He has the Master Strategist rule, just like a regular Autarch.

Guerilla Warrior: Captain Raleigh is an expert in guerilla warfare. He has the Infiltrate and Hit And Run universal special rules.

Shuriken pistol, power weapon, avenger shuriken catapult, plasma grenades, haywire grenades, forceshield (4+ invulnerable save), mandiblasters.

Rad Grenades: These extremely rare grenades saturate a small area with a burst a powerful radiation that is engineered to quickly dissipate once the initial damage is done. A model with rad grenades can re-roll any of his to wound rolls in the first round of any assault.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Special Character

Tito Cai caedr eth
Exiled Farseer of Iyanden

Tito was born on Craftworld Iyanden, the son of the most powerful and most respected farseer on the craftworld. From a very early age, Tito proved incredibly gifted in the psychic arts, a gift that he clearly inherited from his father. But he also developed many qualities his father did not share. His mind often drifted to thoughts of excitement and adventure, exploration of far away worlds, and the glory of battle.

Tito would have preferred to follow the path of the warrior or of the naval commander. Or even to succumb to the wanderlust and take up with some rangers to explore the distant reaches of the galaxy. But such an option was impossible for the son of an important and respected figure of authority on Iyanden. Tito’s father, pressured by public opinion, in turn pressured his son to follow a respectable path of public service.

So against his true desires, Tito followed in his father’s footsteps and set about one of the strictest and most difficult paths an Eldar can undertake: the path of the seer. Despite his whole heart not being entirely in it, Tito’s natural gifts and thirst for knowledge saw him advance quickly along the path. In fact, he was one of the youngest of the Iyanden craftworld to ever attain the designation of Farseer. Some, however, saw his rapid advancement along the path as recklessness rather than skillfulness. He was particularly resented by many of the older farseers, who had taken much longer than Tito to achieve a similar level of ability and status.

But many others viewed Tito as a brilliant rising star in Iyanden society. Before long, he, like his father, had become an important figure in the leadership of the craftworld. He met and got to know many other leaders of Iyanden society: other seers, politicians, naval commanders, leaders of the great warrior shrines, and many others. But through his rise to prominence, Tito never lost his thirst for adventure, which would soon lead him to tragedy.

One day, Tito proclaimed to his fellow farseers that in his examinations of the strings of fate, he had come to an important conclusion. In his view, the salvation of the Iyanden craftworld, and the Eldar race itself, lie in the recovery of ancient elder artifacts and worlds that were lost during the fall. In his visions, Tito saw that these lost pieces of ancient Eldar culture were the key to reclaiming the glorious heights of power the Eldar once enjoyed. He proposed that a large portion of the fleet and the aspect warriors of Iyanden be formed into a crusading force that Tito himself would lead throughout the galaxy, finding and reclaiming the shards of their lost civilization.

The farseers on the ruling council, including Tito’s father, were completely against the idea, which they considered to be far too dangerous and reckless. They all warned that they sensed a possible disaster that could result from leaving Iyanden so lightly defended. Unfortunately, none of the great farseers were able to foresee any details of the looming danger, as they claimed something was clouding their ability to clearly discern the future.

Tito thought the old farseers were just jealous of his abilities, and were being intentionally difficult. He did not believe their vague claims of a potential disaster since he sensed no such thing. Without their approval, Tito set about convincing others of his plan, and soon had a large group of supporters. These supporters included prominent admiral Kuronus Tirtu and his fleet, powerful autarchs, many aspect warrior exarchs, and quite a few warlocks who had been followers and students of Tito. They were all convinced by the grandeur of Tito’s plans and pledged their considerable resources to it.

With so much support behind him, Tito set off with his fleet and considerable army despite the almost unanimous objections of the other farseers of Iyanden. They explored the galaxy, searching out the former bastions of Eldar civilization in their search for powerful ancient artifacts. Tito personally led many battles on distant worlds, and enjoyed being in the thick of the action. Many of the exodites and rangers the fleet encountered joined up with them when hearing of Tito’s deeds and his noble quest to regain the glory of their race. Even the famed Corsair Prince Yriel joined up with Tito’s grand fleet.

Then one day, without warning, the shadow that had been clouding the strands of the future lifted, and Tito had a horrifying vision. He instantly realized the terrible mistake he had made. The Council of Farseers had been right all along. Tito immediately raced his fleet to the nearest webway portal large enough to accommodate it, and made his way through the webway back to Iyanden.

Tito’s ships exited the webway directly into the carnage of the Tyranid invasion ships of Hive Fleet Kraken. They immediately engaged the foe that was spread out all around them. By this point, most of the Iyanden defense fleet had already been destroyed, and the defenders on the ground were fighting a desperate struggle to hold off the ground invasion. Tito wanted to lead his men in the ground assault against the invading monsters, but he had learned his lesson about ignoring the strands of fate to pursue his own desires.

So, sensing that he would be needed in the naval battle, Tito ordered Prince Yriel to take his corsair fleet and fight their way through the Tyranid bio-ships to the surface of Iyanden. There his men could land and attack the Tyranid ground forces. Tito remained with the rest of his fleet in space to guide them to victory against the overwhelming swarm of living ships. Tito’s skills as a Farseer and his tactical boldness were crucial in eventually destroying the enemy fleet that surrounded them.

On the ground, Prince Yriel’s corsair force turned the tide, and Yriel himself killed the massive beast that was leading the invasion. Despite the eventual victory, Iyanden had been devastated, and countless Eldar lives lost. Those who remained could not help but blame Tito and his arrogance for what had happened. Though Prince Yriel was restored to the rank of admiral to reward his deeds, Iyanden could not forgive Tito, who was exiled from his home forever.

Though personally devastated by what had transpired, there was nothing Tito could do but to continue his quest, and many still followed him on it. He took up adventuring once again, and had many great and glorious victories all over the galaxy, including the destruction of a massive Ork horde in the Peni System, defeat of the Space Wolves on Tirathain, and victory over a mighty Chaos Space Marine army in the epic battle for the Ymga Monolith. He has also recovered many magnificent artifacts dating from the height of Eldar civilization, and discovered several previously unknown maiden worlds. To this day, Tito continues his quest to return the Eldar race to their glory days by recovering the mighty artifacts of their ancient past.

TITO – 200 pts
WS:5 BS:5 S:3 T:3 W:3 I:5 A:2 Ld:10 Sv:-

Fleet of Foot, Independent Character.

Psychic Powers: Tito is a farseer and has the Fortune, Doom, and Mind War psychic powers.

Shuriken pistol, runes of warding, runes of witnessing, ghosthelm, spirit stones.

Kerun Rune armor: This special suit of rune armor confers a 3+ invulnerable save.

Ymga Witchblade: This ancient artifact of the Eldar race was recovered by Tito during the titanic war for the Ymga monolith. It counts as a witchblade that ignores armor saves.

Tito is normally accompanied by a dedicated bodyguard of Howling Banshees. Instead of allowing you to take a unit of warlocks like a normal farseer, Tito can be accompanied by a unit of Howling Banshees chosen as normal, with all the normal options/restrictions. This unit and Tito together are a single HQ choice.