Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Know What?

Screw it.

After spending the last several days cleaning and de-Chaosing a bunch of CSM bits (and still having only done about half of them) I've decided that I am just going to go all in and build my Custodes army. I don't want to spend all this time converting these bits and then not even use them on what I really want to use them on.

The Wolves Templar, out. Adeptus Custodes, in.

To this end I've devised a fairly simple set of conversions for making normal power-armored Custodes with some fairly simple kitbashing + minor GS work. On the plus side, this means I can stop converting all of the heads, arms, and weapons I've been working on and focus exclusively on the legs and torsos. On the other hand though, it means all of the non-legs I've already converted are just wasted time. This kind of sucks, but it is what it is.

I'll have to figure out what to do about making Custodes Terminators, as well as heavy weapons Custodes, but I've got some ideas that I'll play with when I get done with all my normal marines. Terminators I only need about 5 or so of for any of the lists I'm trying to build, but the regular Custodes I'm going to need to do about 25 at the least I'm thinking.

When I get to the fun parts (ie, not cleaning the dozen or so sets of legs I have left to do) I'll put up some pictures and stuff on what I'm doing to make these guys. Before that, I will probably start posting some of the lists I've been playing with and what my reasonings are for what I've chosen. I definitely put flavor and personal preference ahead of 'ardness but being somewhat of a mathematician, I still like to make intelligent decisions where I can and squeeze in as much math as possible to back up my decisions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conversion Woes

Before I get to do any of the fun stuff, I'm stuck cleaning and de-Chaos'ing all of the guys I currently have in preparation of turning them into members of The Wolves Templar. It's a barrel of laughs, let me tell you.

See there was once a time when I thought it would be pretty sweet to play Chaos; Nightlords, in fact. So, to that end, I bought up a bunch of mostly unpainted/unassembled guys from eBay and then never touched them again. Before putting any of them together, but after buying them all, I realized that I could never play a Chaos army. I just love the Emperor way too much. Maybe Alpha Legion, but even then I'd probably use C:SM instead of C:CSM because I know in my heart they're loyal to Him even still. Anyways, I now have something like 25 or 30 unaligned CSMs and about a dozen or so Khorne Berserkers that I am trying to convert into brothers of The Wolves Templar.

I'll probably end up putting a bunch of them on eBay and using the revenue to buy regular tac squads.  Some of these guys are just too ornately Chaos to convert. I wholly expect most of my Berserkers-sans-heads, and all of my terminators, raptors, and deamon lords will go this route. After playing Tau I can definitely appreciate all the tiny details that went into these guys, but trying to remove it all is proving to be quite the time-sink.

1)It's going to be a while before I get to do anything fun. (ie: paint/convert stuff)

1)I get to save some money.
2)A lot of the CSM power armor looks really cool compared to normal Space Marines. Some of the legs/shoulders are especially neat and should provide me with some decently flavorful variation in my models.

2 > 1, so here I am scraping all of the little arrow-heads off of these pieces. In the end, it will all be worth it...

It will all be worth it.......

...all be worth it......

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Scene

The main reason I quit playing 40k before was that I went away to college. I tend to have a hard time with meeting and accepting new people, so moving to a new city and trying to go to a club I'd never been to and play 40k with people I'd never met was a very daunting task. Not to mention being in a new city I'd never been to period, and the fact that I was just starting college and it was my first time spending more than a week away from my family, made it fairly difficult for me to do anything. I barely even left my dorm room the first 2 years I was up here. I suppose those were the peak WoW days too (aka: 'the dark times') which didn't help any either.

Since then I have moved into an apartment up here for real, and have really gotten to know and love the area of the city that I live in. So, yesterday, in preparation for getting back into the game again, I went down to FLGS#1 to scope out the scene.

There are apparently 2 fairly large clubs right near me, and a third close enough that if I really loved it and hated the other 2 I could go there instead. I randomly picked one of the 2 closer ones (the one that seemed smaller as I figured it would be less scary) and headed on down.

The shop was awesome. They had a bunch of comics and the usual stuff you find at such places, but their main focus is tabletop gaming. Board games, wargames, RPGs, they had it all in large supply. I learned that they are officially affiliated with both Games Workshop and Privateer Press (the makers of Warmachine, which is another mini wargame that intrigues me), and that they have a real, live British person on their staff; like, from England and everything. The club itself had sort of a smallish retail area, but a giant gaming room with like six or seven 8x4 tables to play on. They are even having a 'Ard Boyz tournament next month; which, that is a level of the game I have no interest in at all, but it is still really cool that they are doing that. Considering the club I played at years ago was a comic book shop that just happened to have some 40k stuff too, was in no way officially connected to GW, and only had two 4x4 card-tables to play on, I was quite happy with what this club had to offer.

It turns out that every Saturday from noon to close is Warhammer 40k time. As luck would have it, it was a Saturday at about 12:30. Unfortunately, it was a slow 40k day (according to one of the guys there) so I didn't get to see much of the crowd, but those that I did meet seemed like decent enough folks.

There was about a dozen or so really old nerdy guys (I'm talking 35-40+ and at least one surely in his 50s) playing a huge game of Battletech (I don't know BT, maybe every game is huge? in any case, they were all in on 1 game so by 40k standards it seemed huge to me) on one of the tables. They were a very...erm... interesting, group, but they were having a great time and really, really into their game. It was fairly refreshing.

There was a very casual teaching game of Warhammer Fantasy going on as well. I don't play WHFB, and it doesn't really interest me a whole lot, but it was very reassuring that this guy was taking the time to teach people how to play. They started out fairly slow and timid, I guess would  be a good word, in the beginning, but then towards the end of the game both sides were really getting into it. Again, super refreshing.

I saw two 40k guys with Eldar and Tyranid armies who weren't playing, I met a guy who didn't bring his 40k stuff but was just there watching, and I watched a game of Dark Angels v Space Wolves playing out of the Battle Missions book, which is cool. I talked to a bunch of people about the club and what the scene is like, and I guess there is a pretty good spread of casual gamers and competitive gamers. All-in-all, it was pretty awesome, and I definitely could see myself gaming there in the future.

Oh, they play 1850-2000 points though. Which, I guess I should have expected that. At my old club we used to play 1000-1500 and I think around 1500 is really my favorite place to be. 1850 I guess I'm ok with. At least it's not super-'ard 2500 lists all the time. It could always be worse, I suppose.

Next weekend is my graduation ceremony, so I will be too busy partying with my family for any wargaming, but the following weekend I think I'd like to go to the other club and check them out. I feel like this one is a good place and that I probably won't frequent the other over it, but you never know. I saw on the other club's website they had a 40k tournament, the grand prize of which was something like this:

My girlfriend would probably kill me if I ever brought something like that home, but who knows.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Project: The Wolves Templar

So why start with a new army at all? I've already got a decent Rogue Trader SM army collected, as well as a much larger Tau army, why not use one of them and just build up to a 5th edition force?

Well, for one I would like to keep all of my RT Space Marines relatively untouched; mostly for nostalgic purposes. Besides, the older models look so small and unthreatening compared to modern ones.

From left to right: Old Dreadnought,8-year-old in Halloween costume, Space Marine

As for the Tau, I just don't really like them that much anymore. Sure they still look cool and all

Mainly though, I want a new army just because.

I am a heavy reader of 40k novels. About 6 months ago, I picked up both of the Space Wolf Omnibuses and proceeded to read through them with great enthusiasm. It was at this point that I decided that Space Wolves were really cool. It was them I decided to play this time around.

I went to pick up their codex and learned a new one had just been released for them. Just my luck! So I spent the next few months reading over it repeatedly and putting together lists that I liked in my head. I don't consider myself a very competitive player, far from it in fact, and so I was really having a good time coming up with fun lists and finally came up with a few that I wanted to use.

So after spending all this time getting to know and love the codex, it finally came time to start thinking about building my army. I did a lot of pricing, looking at what sorts of boxes I want to get to make this happen, weighing my eBay options, etc and I came upon a major problem with my plan: I really don't like Space Wolves.

Reasons I don't like Space Wolves:
1) They use bad colors.
I like the blue well enough, definitely not a fan of the yellow though. And NOT grey, ugh! Don't get me wrong, I respect the guys over at to no end and that is one of my favorite 40k blogs for sure, but the grey they use on their Space Wolves looks so bad to me. All I see is unpainted plastic with squad markings.
This is a major problem for me. On the one hand, I would never put a Space Wolf model in a helmet, it goes so strongly against their background; it cuts off their sense of smell! On the other hand, I would never field a single Space Marine with his helmet off because they look so ugly. Ok, well, maybe one or two for special characters and such, but in general the SM helmets look good and are way easier to paint. It is definitely a deal-breaker to have an all-helmetless army.
3) They're barbarians.
I love Werewolves and Vikings as much as the next guy that loves Werewolves and Vikings (I'm the guy that never got anywhere in Viking: Total War because I refused to build anything other than Viking Berserkers the whole time) and Werewolf Vikings in space are no exception. That being said, I'm somewhat of a snob and I can't shake the feeling that if I ever met one of these guys irl we would not get along. Too much noise, drinking, rough-housing, etc. Why can't everyone just sit down and eat like normal people? Deal-breaker.

So, what to do? I've fallen in love with this codex, but can't bring myself to actually field the ugly fellas. Guess I'll be painting them in a different scheme. Ho-hum. It's not really something I like to do because people see it and brand you WAAC (if you like ChapterX so much, why not just use their codex instead of pretending they're something else? clearly the only reason it could possibly be is because you want the more powerful army list and therefore, by my infalible logic, are a powergamer... '-.-) but it seems like a necessary choice at this point. Enter project: The Wolves Templar.

My favorite-of-all time Space Marine group has to be Pre-Heresy Custodes. The awesome gold ones, not the ones that run around with their shirts off. This was naturally my first thought. They fit fairly well with the codex: powerful/diverse characters, tending to favor foot/mounted lists rather than mech transports, etc. I could even use some sweet jetbikes count-as Thunderwolf Mounts. The only problem is they are fairly out of my reach as a modeler, and not to mention my budget right now. So, I fell  back onto my second favorite SM group: the much-easier-to-paint, much-cheaper-to-build, Black Templars. Unfortunately, they don't mesh quite as well with the SW codex: no psykers, nothing that really lends itself to being a TWM, etc. Jump on over to the BT codex to make sure I shouldn't just use that instead, discover that I pretty much hate it, and so I've decided to stick with the BT motif on the SW codex. I'll just have to use a slightly more limited list. Not totally BT fluffy, but just nothing overtly out of place. Mostly just no Rune Priests or TWMs. I can deal with that. (It is at this point I'd like to point out that running SW sans RP and TWM basically exonerates me for life of any powergaming accusations)

I still plan to slowly build up a custom Custodes army on the side to eventually replace my BTs. I wholly expect that to take a very long time though, and I want to start gaming now. One day I will be the guy that shows up with the army of lovingly converted custom models, but until that day comes, it's The Wolves Templar full steam ahead.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It Starts...

Here at this daunting precipice, I find myself at a loss for words. There are so many to choose from and a misstep here could be disastrous; first impressions are, as they say, everything after all. I suppose then that, for lack of anything particularly better, I should start with what I seek to accomplish with all of this.

Warhammer 40k is something that I have been enamored with for the better part of my life. Ever since my cousin told me of the game and gifted me with a single Ork model from his 2nd Edition box set the Christmas of too-long-ago-to-remember, I have always held a certain amount of interest in the game.

In the early days, I didn't quite understand it all (being a sub-10-year-old I can hardly blame myself) but I eventually inherited my cousin's collection of minis and began playing somewhat regularly at my FLGS. In these days I played Vanilla Space Marines painted in Blood Angels regalia. These were good times. The game was in 3rd edition then, and when it switched over to 4th I sort of fell out of it because I didn't like some of the newer rules and could never quite get the feel for it. However, a few years later I decided to begin the hobby anew with a Tau army.

I always thought the Tau looked pretty cool, but once I actually read into their fluff and playstyle, it was as if GW had said "Hey, Zheilt, this one's for you" so I naturally began collecting them. I managed to obtain a pretty good number of the little behooved fellows, but due to other things in my life only ever got to assemble about half of them, never finished painting any of them, and only really ever played a single 500 point game with them; that being the last game I've played in 2 years, and the first in about 3 at the time. I'll be graduating from college soon, so with all of the free time I am about to acquire, I would like to try to fix that.

Ultimately, my goal here is to facilitate that purpose. I hope that in having this resource, I will be more likely to continue gaming, and that in gaming I will be more likely to use use this resource. I'm not looking for readers, or heated 40k discussions. I'm not looking for internet drama, or to shoot out a ton of army lists, or anything like that. I'm just looking for a place to chronicle this journey, and to maybe post a batrep or two if I actually manage to start playing again. Though, I wouldn't necessarily turn down any of the aforementioned items. Well, maybe the internet drama.

First up, choosing my new army.