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Showing posts from 2021

Brütal Crüsade Weekend

Since 40K's ninth edition dropped I have been yearning for a full weekend of playing Crusade games with my mates. Was it worth the wait? Yes . Just being surrounded by friends doing the hobby we love was great. I should probably caveat this post-coital hobby high as I don't want to oversell things to you,  dear reader. Is Crusade perfect? No. Is 40K perfect? No. Am I the perfect opponent? No, but thanks for asking. The thing is, I'm slowly learning to relax about, and laugh at, 40K's post-reality mechanics. Today's post is really just chronicling my first serious weekend of 40K Crusade, including one of the multiplayer Treachery and Honour missions from the Catastrophe  mission pack. Game 1: Wait, what xenos cult?? Having been tipped about the existence of a xenos cult on Andaras Prime by Drew's Farseer, I threw my challenge gauntlet at Jeff: my Cobalt Scions versus his Starborn Souls  in a 500 point exchange of strongly worded opinions. As with many 500 point

Cargo shorts, skater shoes, and a keg of German field grey

Phobos armour: sleeker. Sneakier. JUST AS BRIGHTLY COLOURED. The first time GW put out a unit wearing Phobos armour left me decidedly confused. The Phobos-clad Reiver squad was depicted wearing bright blue heraldry so they didn't seem like stealth troops, but were instead... terror troops? I'm sorry, aren't marines terrifying by default? It didn't help that the greaves made me think of cargo shorts and skater shoes. Those Reivers would love to help purge the galaxy of xenos, but sorry, they're too busy doing radical tricks in the nearest halfpipe. It was only when the rest of the Phobos stuff dropped that my attitude started to soften. Ohhhhh, they're stealth troops, they've just been painted in bright colours because Fl ames Orkshop. I started to imagine how these tacticool idiots would look if painted in more drab colours, and I liked what I was imagining. So much so, in fact, that I recently bought a box, built 5 Incursors (albeit without the Geordi LaCyc

Modular Urban Board Project Log 5: Sector Mechanicus railings & cables

The final step of the Sector Mechanicus elements of the urban project was getting around to the cables and hand rails that attach to the sides and undersides of the walkways. Glamorous? No. Visually effective? I think so, yes. I'll confess I'm not wild about the handrail design, what with them having strong picket fence energy. I had no idea what the thought was behind them until I came to recognise that the overall approach to the Sector Mechanicus terrain is that of a nightmarish sci-fi Victorian train station. That doesn't knock me into actively loving the railings, but I can at least see the dark comedy charm, and they have grown on me since painting them because they really, really add some volume to the walkways. Here's a comparison shot: Lazy up top, bizniz on the bottom half. Adding the cables and railings really breaks up the plain silhouette of the walkways, and makes it all feel a lot more lived in. And also immediately turns the walkways into something you m

Modular Urban Board Project Log 4: quickly adding colour to the Sector Mechanicus

In my ongoing mission to spruce up my 40K urban terrain, I've tarted up my Sector Mechanicus buildings. Previously  I'd just got them to a basic semi-rusty metal, claiming I'd come back and pretty them up. That was in (checks notes, groans) July 2019. Tom recently started politely pointing this out, because he is my hobby wife. A brush almost immediately appeared in my hand. I considered various colours, but ultimately yellow always felt pretty industrial to me, and gives a good bright contrast. Admittedly with the lighting in that first pic above it looks extremely bright, but it's not so intense in person. Or in the other photos, for which I'd reduced the aperture. Anyway back to painting. My worry was speed. Yellow traditionally needs a few layers, and these things are large. Given the slightly rusty and oily look of the metal, I didn't want the panels to look too pristine, which they would do with just a flat coat of paint. Instead, using a large flat brush,

Thoughts on Painting Small Scale Figures

As previously promised I was going to get stuck into some 6mm fun with a Napoloenic starter set from Baccus6mm. It was a good set with rules, bases, scenery, and two opposing forces. Everything you need to get going. Seeing the figures for the first time in real life made it clear that the ‘normal’ 28mm styles of painting wasn’t going to work here. Something different would be required. So I went off a did my research. Many hours of videos, blogs, and pasting guides later, as well as actually getting stuck in and putting paint on the models, I’ve decided there are three important things to painting super tiny mens.  1 - Know your subject matter: Knowing what you are painting in detail before you start really helps a) figuring out what you are looking at and b) what is the most important details to pick out. I’ve spent many an hour reading up and generally researching the uniforms of the period. it’s part of the fun for me, turning hobby into history and history into hobby.  French coat

House Rules for 40K

40K's ninth edition is probably the best one yet, but has that stopped us wanting to tweak a few things? Obviously not . Admittedly there's not much we've changed, yet, but still it made sense to have everything in one place where our group could find it and make suggestions. Of course this raises the question as to when one should have a house rule, and when one should just calm down and follow the rules. If you find yourself writing a giant list of amendments, one has to start wondering if one is even playing the right game. There's alternatives out there, foremost among which is the well-regarded Grimdark Future . To my mind, house rules are there for when any of the following are happening: Something is confusing. The rules are causing units to not work like they ought to. The rules are getting in the way of you doing something that is both fair and thematic. Post-game sequence for Crusade games Now that occasional Beard Bunker guest writer Tom has played a fair fe

Two Shades of Black

With our Deathwatch session coming up I've painted up another marine, this time for Jon (he's a keen gamer but isn't into the hobby side of things). He was built and painted according to Jon's choices, from the big honkin' Infernus heavy bolter to the choice of heraldry, face and skin tone. Since every other player has made and painted their own guy, the paint styles across the squad vary hugely. As such, I took the opportunity to try painting the black armour in a different style to my own marine (featured last week ). Today's post then is a sort of compare and contrast. I'm not sure that I prefer one or the other; apples and oranges, innit. That said, one is definitely faster. Or rather: less slow. Neither of these marines are of the "bang it out in an afternoon" variety. When you only have to paint two dudes it's a chance to put some extra love into it. Let's start by explaining what the differences are in the black armour of the two min

Characterisation Creation for Deathwatch Marines

It's easy to fall into a trap when creating a Space Marine. Fear is the baby, and every other human emotion besides rage is the bathwater. Legions of blandly angry bald dudes populate the fanficosphere and, dare I say it, a certain percentage of the Black Library. If they're not angry, they're stoic. That's usually even more boring. Obviously if I objected to the presence of rage and stoicism in my fiction I wouldn't be a 40K fan, but there's limits. Today, then, I seek to do my part by providing a series of prompts to help anyone trying to write a Space Marine character, be it to lead their army in a 40K Crusade or for a roleplay scenario. It's specifically written for creating Deathwatch characters, but honestly it'll work fine for pretty much any loyalist marine, and in a pinch, spiky marines too. Side note: I wrote this guide for our gaming group to create their Deathwatch roleplay characters. I won't share the rules themselves, since they're

Napoleonics: A French Brigade

 Not a massive amount to say this week, so I've taken a lot of photos instead.  I've managed to find a bit of time off work and threw myself into finishing off my Napoleonics to-do pile. In a week I chunked through two half finished light infantry units, and a full battalion of line.  This brings me up to having the bare minimum for playing some Black Powder! Yes, Black Powder, and Napoleonics in general is massive in scale and the forces used where huge. Which looks amazing on the tabletop but is a daunting task to paint.  To add a little perspective what I have here is an Infantry brigade of four battalions + command. It also has an attached artillery battery and some Hussars (for giggles). This amounts to about 250pts. To quote the Black Powder rulebook "in a typical encounter battle, we’ll have three players on each side with each player controlling a brigade. A brigade might typically be four infantry battalions, a gun, and two cavalry regiments together with a comma