Thursday, 26 February 2009

093 Leman Russ Camouflage

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

Blogger keeps doing strange things recently - forgetting who I am and displaying outdated updates to my blogroll after displaying more recent ones, for example. Ach! Who cares? Drax is on Work Avoidance duty. It's either this or marking 20,000-odd words' worth of A-Level coursework drafts.

For tomorrow.

No chance: I'm knackered.

Anyway, here as promised are some quick thoughts on my Leman Russ camouflage. Please note, this is for info only - I'm by no means suggesting it as a scheme!

As far as I'm concerned, vehicle camouflage is used for two main reasons: (1) to make the vehicle less obtrusive, (I wince at the phrase 'blend in'), and (2) to disrupt outlines of the superstructure, equipment and armament, in order to render positive identification more difficult. I know there are others, but that'll do for my reasoning.

To this end, and because I liked it, I got inspiration from the style of temperate camo used by the British Army on their light vehicles, such as landrovers. It's brutally simple and 'rough-and-ready'. Look at any of the old Landrover 'Defender' models and I'm afraid you'll find that over the years most of their fine detail has been obscured by paint...very much like my Russes, so it seemed to fit!
You'll hopefully note from the pics on this post that the camo on my Leman Russes - whilst not inspired - does at least generally follow the principles outlined above. The picture of all of them together illustrates this particularly well, in my view - note that it's a little tricky to tell at a glance what vehicles they are; certainly their variants are unclear:
Naturally, the Imperial Guard's penchant for identification flashes (see the previous post) negates some of camouflage's more traditional 'hiding in bushes' role!

Talking of hiding, I love this picture (below), which I had in a book as a kid and I'm pleased to say I found online. It's an Me109 in the desert, and it's a beautiful example of aircrat camo - something I've always thought Der Luftwaffe in WWII got off to a really fine art. If you're unfamiliar, there are doubtless other interesting examples online.
There you go then: vehicle cam, Drax-style. I'm tired now and I need bed. Corgi's drowsy too.

- Drax

Friday, 20 February 2009

092 The Sign of IV: Leman Russes Galore

Stop! Apply safety catches.

Before you lot get too excited over the new 'Codex: IG' rumours, I'm posting about my existing Leman Russes, from the IVth Cadian Armoured Regiment.

In my last post, I introduced you to my original 2nd Edition Leman Russ MBT, Quietus, and here she is with three of her six sister tanks (details below):
Firstly we have Quietus - an MBT with a history. Note that, like two of the other old ones, she has a chin-mounted heavy flamer. No rules, per se - I just liked the look of this as a no-brainer defensive weapon. More pics of her can be found on the last post:
Next, my other MBT, Purple Haze. I'm not very happy with the name, but I'm a little more loose with the naming of my Russes than with my other vehicles - they're all more individual - and the crew (originally GW Exterminator crew) reminded me of the film Apocalypse Now, appropriately enough. Kate painted them, and the other guy's knocking around somewhere or other:
The older of my two Exterminators is named Resurgam, after the beautiful line in Bronte's Jane Eyre. The name is because this one (in its original MBT state) was my brother's counterpart to my original Leman Russ. He's responsible for the original yellow and red details and the lack of driver's window(!), but I have to take responsibility for the bright yellow trim on the turret flash; the iron crosses too. The hull is the model's own; turret from Forge World:
When I rescued and painted this tank she was intended to be a commissar's vehicle (as per FW armoured company rules) - the idea being that the increased BS (4) would be of more benefit with the Exterminator's armament. Besides, I can't really imagine a commissar enjoying the prospect of sharing a turret with a sweaty grunt lugging whopping great battle cannon shells around. She has a P-M heavy stubber too, but I forgot it for the photos.

The last one here is another Exterminator, Sirius. The canine link actually belongs to Resurgam, as when I rescued her from my brother's old junk she had apparently been used as a teething toy by my dad's (then) puppy, Kitty. However, I couldn't let a great name like 'Sirius' go to waste, and as I'd already named my hellhounds I figured it'd be good for this Exterminator which was also designated the command tank (again, after the FW rules) - hence the chevrons (look in the fourth group shot above) and ill-advised clutter on the turret flash. Hey - I'm learning. I quite like the half-aquila on the hull bolter though...:
I only finished Sirius yesterday, so that's another 20 painting points - hooray! Sadly, we're trying to sort out a belated honeymoon at the moment, so it looks like my accumulated pounds from painting points will remain...err...theoretical. Bugger.

My next post will be a brief discussion of the camo patterns on my Russes. Exciting, huh? Oh, and if you were wondering, the other two of my current Russes are converted Annihilators. I love those tanks.

Thanks for swinging by,

- Drax.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

091 The First of the IVth

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please allow me to introduce you to the oldest, and most venerable of all my original models: my Leman Russ MBT, Quietus.
Dating all the way back to my sprawling teenage 2nd Edition Space Wolves army (and its many, many allies), Quietus has been with me since the Leman Russ was a new model. Given all the recent excitement over the old lady's re-release, I thought I'd finally get around to starting to document mine. More photos of the other five will follow soon.
No prizes (or painting points!) for me for painting her up - Quietus has been in this finished state for about five years or so. I don't think she's varnished either, unlike my more recent models: she's protected by her age!
I'll talk more about the paint job and camo scheme in future posts. I was going to photograph all three of my finished Russes this afternoon to show them off better, but alas our house guest arrived just after I took these pics.

Quietus is from the IVth Cadian Armoured Regiment, and to my shame this is their first proper mention, after 90 blog entries. I should point out that (a) these Leman Russes of mine are not beautifully painted, and if I were to start over I'd probably choose a different colour scheme; (b) they're old, and I can't be bothered to repaint them; and (c) the drab green colour is a mix: bless her soul, my wife - Kate - mixes it for me (and did a big pot of it last week) because I really do have simply no eye for colour.

More to follow,

- Drax.

Monday, 16 February 2009

090 Let's Talk Draxtics (Part II): Fielding Light Infantry

Thanks for the feedback from Draxtics Part I.

Before the onset of May's forthcoming New World Order for the Imperial Guard, here's...

Draxtica Part II: Fielding Light Infantry.

I know my Light Infantry aren't ever going to be tournament winners, but they're nicely fluffy, so here are some the advantages and musings I've noted for fielding a purely infantry force:

-- the psychological advantage is superb: not only is your enemy faced with a huge amount of infantry, he'll also quickly realise that every single one of his anti-tank weapons is useless. What a great waste of points!

-- Proportionately, there are lots of scoring units. Tons, in fact. Enjoy!

-- The manoeuvrability of this force can be surprising. With the heavy weapons in fire support squads, the normal rifle platoon squads are free to troll forward and - if needs be - to run. This means that it's even easier for them to claim objectives (see above).

-- Hard-hitting. Sure, my Guardsmen are not particularly talented with the whole pulling-the-trigger-and-hitting-the-thing-they-were-aiming-at thing, but those fire support squads can actually pack quite a concentrated punch if the dice come up right. If you set them up in hard cover with the right arcs of fire they should be able to command respectable 'killing areas'. Plus, in 4+ cover and with an officer nearby to help their Ld (see below) their survivability's pretty good too!

-- Hive mind. My infantry have a high-Ld commander, lots of junior officers and a thorough vox-network. The vox-network (with a master vox for the HQ) means that everyone gets to benefit from the commander's Ld; whilst the proliferation of subalterns means that everyone within 12" of them gets to benefit from their special rules.

-- This includes the snipers and support squads. As long as they're within 12" of a command squad they get to use the officer's Ld.

-- Assault: all elite enemy assault troops are wasted, as there's nothing for them to get their teeth into. If I deploy right, the most they can hope for is to massacre one of my units then get slaughtered by rapid firing lasguns when they're unable to consolidate into another assault.

-- Of course, the officers are tasty targets for assault but that's why I take quite a few junior officers. And I always ensure that I keep a rifle squad or two back to provide a defensive ring around the commander, so the meat shield has to be attacked first.

-- My infantry are a little tricksy too. By this I refer to my flamer squads. Each platoon has a remnant squad of a sgt + four pax, one of whom has a flamer. Unembellished, this costs a distinctly un-whopping 36pts, and gives you a squad who can sneak up to flambé the enemy, or hang around at the back as additional protection for the command echelon. Also, the two grenade launchers that each of my HQ squads pack, are very useful all-rounders, and I've neutralised a surprising amount of heavy-hitters with them before...although they do struggle a bit against MEQs!

-- Finally, I MUST mention the Light Infanty doctrine. It allows you to move through cover and infiltrate...and you can give it to fire support squads too! It's expensive at 10pts/unit (especially for 5-man units) but it makes such a difference when you can delay the deployment of entire rifle platoons or heavy weapons platoons; safe in the knowledge that they can deploy straight into cover, vantage points and your enemy's flanks or even his rear! Brilliant! At last you can guarantee that you can react to his deployement regardless of that initial roll. You can also march them in from reserve on a flanking manoeuvre, though that's necessarily less reliable.

-- Incidentally, when playing against Daemons, I discovered that this allowed me to deploy one platoon on my objective (in cover) and one on his objective (in cover), forcing the daemons to deep strike into the board's centre and fight on two fronts in open ground. That was the time, by the way, when two-and-a-half squads of my light infantry annihilated a freshly deep-struck Bloodthirster...with lasfire (19 lasguns on rapid; 3 las pistols; 1 meltagun and a plasma gun that missed)!

One question remains: why - when I'm such an abysmally slow painter - did I ever choose a horde army?


- Drax.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

089 Let's Talk Draxtics (Part I): How to Beat Guardsmen

[with thanks to Fallen 73rd.]

Evening, All.

This is the first of probably two installments of my own musings on tactics. I'm presenting this for two reasons: firstly, my tactics seem to work for me; and secondly because with the new IG codex only three months away (yippee!) I can afford to get a little less jealous of them.

Before we start, I ought to point out that I'm not a tournament player, nor have I ever fancied trying it. I don't even get to play any games that often. Still, I hope this first installment provides you with either useful insights or amusing titbits.

Draxtica Part I: How to Beat Guardsmen.

The following document is the verbatim copy of an email I sent to 73rd months ago* in response to a question along the lines of: "How do I beat an infantry-heavy Imperial Guard army?"

Please note that (a) 73rd was armed with Necrons, (b) I know nothing about Necrons, and (c) I do mean infantry-heavy. Heavy infantry are a different beast entirely!

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

-- Rock-hard close combat weapons and low AP weapons are pretty much a waste of time. The enemy's officers and commissars MAY be kitted out for assault, but even if they are, they ought to die pretty easily. That said, beware that even though a guardsman's Initiative is 3, it's still relatively easy for them to hit you with WS3. Hit them hard, wipe them out, and have some cover to consolidate into.

-- If you get a mission with Kill Points you'll almost certainly win!

-- If you roll the Dawn of War deployment, use it to your advantage: if, like me, his infantry heavy support is in heavy weapon platoons, then they'll be screwed by having to amble on (unable to fire) from reserve. If his heavy weapons are in his platoon squads, even better: the squad will be forced to either move or fire...and they'll need to manoeuvre for objectives!

-- Force the enemy to manoeuvre as much as you can, and slaughter him in the open. This can be done by - for example - careful placement of objectives. Also, and linked to this:

-- If you want to hit below the belt, play a game without much scenery: this'll deny him that all-important cover. It's low, though...

-- Deny the enemy the cover that's there...if you can. The rule about not deploying within 12" of a deployed model is useful, as you can use it to keep him away from certain areas.

-- Use the 'denied flank' tactic if you can, and if the set-up will allow it. If you're unfamiliar, then say he deploys all his infantry in a line along the width of the board - when you deploy, just stick to one side of the board: half of his force will be stranded out on a limb and unable to influence the game. You, meanwhile, concentrate your force on the foe in front then turn into the scattered remains!

-- If YOU set-up first, try to (a) deny them cover (see above), and (b) create killing areas: open ground where he'll get cut down in a crossfire if he tries to advance.

-- Really prioritise the elimination of officers and command squads if possible. Barrage weapons are quite god for that if (like me) he keeps them at the back. Without them, Guard are Ld7 at best. With them, Guard are either Ld8, 9 or 10 - depending on his officers and vox network.

-- Beware drop troops and light infantry doctrines. The former allows him to deep strike (deepstriking anti-tank veterans or stormtroopers can be a pain) and the latter gives the squad(s) infiltration and move-through-cover. Guard deploying as infiltrators (with freedom of placement and probably after you've deployed) can be a real pain, and difficult to shift from objctives.

-- Use lots of blasts/templates. I know that's obvious, but it's hard and time-consuming to adequately spread-out an infantry guard army, so he'll tend to bunch if he's lazy (like me). Easy target.

-- He may take no tanks. It's a bluff, but he'll know that people tend to expect guard to have armour. Therefore if he turns up with no tanks, then all your tankbusting points/troops are utterly wasted on flak armour.

-- Therefore, I'd be loath to take too much anti-tank stuff. Close combat A/T troops who can flank will be great - especially if you're playing corner-to-corner - as you can sidle up to his tanks from the flanks and open them right up...but really, the only Guard tanks that'll cause you any real grief are the hellhound and maybe the basilisk. You have to be half-asleep (or very unlucky) to be damaged too badly by a lone Leman Russ, so they can even be ignored. Let them have their fun! Remember: basilisks and hellhounds are easy to kill (the basilisk's hidden at the back, sure, but it's weak and open-topped) and the hellhound's turret only has a 24" range.

- Drax

*This was, of course, before he decided to ask me for a game in order to try to beat me with my very own advice!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

088 Dogs of War?

Hooray for family.

My wife has the patience of a saint when it comes to putting up with my hobby - even to the point whereby she doesn't object to the thousands of little bits of transfer backing paper that litter the floor around my desk like so much pale blue confetti.

But she did object when, the other day, Cadfael came downstairs in the morning bearing an Imperial Guard squad marking...on his nose.
The worst of it was that because his nose is so wet it had actually activated the transfer!
I love my corgi.

- Drax.

[Who needs to teach his dog that the Cadian 24th wear '24' on their shoulder pads - not '50'.]

Saturday, 7 February 2009

087 Wyvern Complete...and some!

[12/03/09 - NB: I'm planning to update and consolidate all my 'Wyvern' stuff soon into one shiny new post with cleaner photos and my ideas for rules. In the meantime, working backwards through the posts with the 'wyvern' label will reveal the whole process - albeit backwards. Thanks for your patience and watch this space!]

Hey, all,

Great news - I've finally finished the 'Wyvern' conversion I've been working on...with variations on a theme and magnet fun too! For rules ideas, see here.

So here, for your enjoyment, are the pics of (a) the wyvern (with wyvern missile launcher), (b) an enclosed version of a scout salamander that I originally mooted to go with it, and - as an added bonus - a third option! Scroll down for more and an explanation (sorry about the pics - it's night time already).

The wyvern:
The salamander:
...And introducing the never-before-seen wyvern 'annihilator' variant (see below):
Here she is stripped down:
Here's a close up of the hull weapon magnetisation - the magnet's on the back of a bit of plasticard inserted behind the slot (I had to break the heavy bolter off once I'd decided to try this...the exact reason why I always use superglue rather than poly cement) and the weapons have lengths of paperclip either inserted in them (as with the rear-mounted grenade launchers from the standard wyvern) or glued along their base:
And here are all of the different components:
About the 'annihilator' variant:
Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and after playing a couple of games with my mechanised force, I was forced to the conclusion that the light vehicles were severely lacking in anti-tank capabilities, and this seemed a monstrous omission from the Guard's armoury. I didn't want to use my Leman Russ tanks in support, for fear they'd spoil the aesthetic, so I figured it'd be an easy enough field conversion to get rid of the troop-carrying capacity and install an anti-tank configuration.

Rules to follow soon, of course.

Hope you've enjoyed these conversions: Drax is a little chuffed.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

- Drax.
PS: Painting Points (see panel, left)= 20 for completion of the model, and a discretionary 10 extra for the two variants and magnetry. Hooray!

086 FTW Dice - for all you Americans out there...


Thanks to Ron over at ++From the Warp++, I've now got some new dice.

And here's what I did with them, 'coz I'm clever:

- Drax.

PS: exciting news to follow tomorrowish...

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

085 Something for Marine and Guard Players Alike


I worked out how to use my scanner, so here are two things I've wanted to share for a long time. The first is from UK WD166 and is about the biology of Space Marines (two hearts one wound, anyone?) - the second is from UK WD105 and shows 6 Mk1 landraiders notable for two things: (a) the glorious Imperial Guard could use them back then, and (b) their vehicles are not camouflaged...unlike those cowardly Marines!
- Drax.

Monday, 2 February 2009

084 Infantry-only 3000pts Army List

Here you go...

...for your entertainment. This is actually two entire companies of the 2/24th - B Coy and D Coy (follow
this link for a mostly up-to-date Orbat) plus a few attached veterans and snipers. In total, this force comprises 233 men, including 8 officers and 2 commissars. And an absolute crap-load of lasguns.

NB: Those units listed in a slightly lighter shade of red are painted up or W-i-P and may therefore mostly be viewed in more detail via the links in the right-hand column.

Drax’s 3000 pt all-infantry list...


B Coy HQ:
Heroic Snr Officer, P/wpn, bolt pistol (bp), ID, with M/vox, medic, standard bearer and plasma gunner (142 pts)

Commissar w. p/wpn+bp (46 pts)
A/T Squad (3 lascannon) (110 pts)

D Coy HQ:
Heroic Snr Officer, P/wpn, bolt pistol (bp), ID, with M/vox, medic, standard bearer and plasma gunner (142 pts)
Commissar w. p/wpn+bp (46 pts)
A/T Squad (3 lascannon) (110 pts)


10 snipers (110 pts)

Hardened Veterans:
Vet Sgt, storm bolter, frag; missile launcher, plasma gun, melta gun, gren (134 pts)


1 Pl (347 pts):
HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers
1 sect: Sgt, vox, plasma gun
2 sect: Sgt, vox, melta gun
3 sect: Sgt, vox, gren
4 sect (r): Sgt, vox, flamer (5 pax)

2 Pl (397 pts):
HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers
1 sect: Sgt, vox, plasma gun
2 sect: Sgt, vox, melta gun
3 sect: Sgt, vox, gren
4 sect (r): Sgt, vox, flamer (5 pax)
[As 1 Pl, but with ‘Light Infantry’ doctrine @10pts/unit = +50 pts]

3 Pl (347 pts):
HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers

1 sect: Sgt, vox, plasma gun
2 sect: Sgt, vox, melta gun
3 sect: Sgt, vox, gren
4 sect (r): Sgt, vox, flamer (5 pax)
[As 1 Pl; not L.I.]


1st F/Sup Pl (393 pts):
HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers
A/T squad (3 missile launchers)
A/P squad (3 autocannon)
A/P squad (3 hvy bolters)
[‘Light Infantry’ doctrine @10pts/unit = +40 pts]

2nd F/Sup Pl (353 pts):

HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers
A/T squad (3 missile launchers)
A/P squad (3 autocannon)
A/P squad (3 hvy bolters)

3rd Mortar Pl (323 pts):

HQ sect: Jr Officer w. P/wpn, bp, ID; Vix, medic, 2 x grenade launchers
Mortar A Sub (3 mortars)
Mortar B Sub (3 mortars)
Mortar C Sub (3 mortars)

TOTAL = 3000 pts.
Although it doesn't really look it, the list can be re-jigged to make it FOC-legal.


- Drax