Since I had a nice lazy Sunday this weekend, it’s allowed me to get Thrasymedes painted up. He’s a nice model to paint – I’m fairly pleased with him – I had to add some extra grey areas of clothing to him though – partly because he’s more from the Greek-influenced side of Aleph, but also because without them he looked like a large black blob with some purple trousers – A bit too MC Hammer-esque for my liking! The grey helps break him up a little but doesn’t look jarring next to the rest of my Aleph. Here’s a few different angles of him:
I must say, I tend to prefer the look of the ‘Vedic’ and post-human Aleph models as opposed to the Greek-themed ones, although I expect I’ll end up with a smattering of them as I expand my Aleph next year.
Going back to the grim darkness of the far future, I’ve been preparing for VonSmallHausen, a 1250pt 40k tournament on the 25th of January. With this in mind, I invited Darren over today so we could both get a practice game of 40k in – I haven’t played 40k in quite a while so I probably should refresh my memory! VonSmallHausen uses a slightly restricted Force Organisation chart (which is a relief, as it helps cut down on any netlist, spammy builds), and I figured that since this was the first tournament I’d be attending using the new 6th Edition Space Marine Codex, I decided to add in a new unit to my Marines in the form of a 5 man Bike unit with 2 Grav Guns and a Sergeant with Combi-Grav Gun. I figured since they were at 5 men, and I’d end up with a 6th bike, I’d add in a Captain on bike, as then the bike unit can be taken as a Troops choice, which could be very handy in objective missions.
Because I’m on a bit of a budget what with saving for a wedding and all, I’ve had to bits order some Grav Guns (which wasn’t particularly cheap, but was certainly cheaper than buying three new Tactical Squads!). In the end, actual Grav Guns were difficult to come by (without costing about £8 each!) and so I hopped onto Bitzbox.co.uk and bought three Combi-Grav guns, two of which have been converted to resemble full Grav Guns – a simple case of chopping off the Bolter barrel and cocking handle, and filling in the ejection port. I also sliced off the sickle-shaped Bolter magazine, shortened and straightened it and put it back on – When I paint it I’ll make it look like it’s got an energy source inside it:
Since I already have the bits for the torso of my Space Marine Captain on bike (he’s just missing his bike. And legs. And a right arm…), I figured I’d get him built and painted now. I don’t normally build models in sub-assemblies, preferring to build them fully before painting them. However, since the many, many issues I had painting my Attack Bikes, I figured it best that I start on the riders first and do the bikes separately. I used a spare piece of sprue glued to a 40mm base to make a holder for him – I’ve glued him to the top and I’ll break him off of it when I’m ready to add him to the bike:
He’s painted black as an undercoat, then I add Codex Grey for his armour, line it with black ink (from a GW pot of it which I’ve had since about 2003, it never seems to end!), and highlight with Fortress Grey. The white helmet is usually built up by adding a few thin coats of Skull White, although this time I’ve just picked up the new(ish) Ceramite White, which appears to have marginally better coverage, but I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreakingly different.
I added ink lines to the panel edges, but I figured I’d try a softer shading on the helmet wings, and so I watered down a little Astronomican Grey and brushed it over, then re-highlighted the ‘feathers’.
It’s safe to say that I need to get used to this new army though, as my game today was a crushing defeat by Darren’s Tyranids! We were playing the standard Dawn of War setup with 3 Objectives to capture. I won the roll for first turn but that was about the only thing that went well! By the end of turn 4 I was left with two Marines, a Drop Pod and a Rhino alive, and there was a Tervigon bearing down on the last two Marines, so it was clear where this game was going! I’ll need to get a few more practice games in before the 25th, as I made some really silly mistakes, such as charging a Trygon Prime (I’d managed to concuss it with my Grav Guns, so I figured I’d get the Captain in with his Relic Blade to clean up) – however, I forgot that the Prime is a Character and so can issue a challenge, so he promptly singled out my Captain, and battered him into the ground. Oh dear!
After this terrible defeat we decided to play the new Dire Foes mission, since we’d finished painting the relevant models for our forces (Bipandra and Angus for my PanO, and Anyat for Darren’s Combined Army). I took a fairly standard PanO force, although I loaded up with Specialists so that I’d have plenty of chance to break into the train cab and access the computer inside. We’d gone for a fairly dense table setup, as we figured the mission should take place in a railyard or station type environment. Here’s a couple of pics of the table:
Without going into a blow-by-blow account, suffice it to say that to begin with my dice would not play nice and I was missing shots a heck of a lot – far more than you would hope for with PanO, given that shooting is supposed to be their strength! In the end, the game literally came down to the last dice-roll – making a successful WIP roll with Bipandra to heal a fallen comrade would give me a much-needed 2 objective points and would win me the game! Unfortunately, I appear to have upset the dice-gods and Bipandra spectacularly failed to save her patient, and I lost the game 3 points to 4! Perhaps Fusilier Angus’s perpetual bad luck has rubbed off on me!
I really enjoyed this mission, and I can’t wait to play it again, as well as the second Dire Foes mission featuring Thrasymedes – it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun from what I’ve read of it. The Dire Foes missions seem to be more narrative-based than the ITS missions, which is good, as they really help give the game the feeling of a story playing out on the tabletop – one of the many reasons I like Infinity so much!