I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front the last week or so – that’s because I’ve been frantically using any free time I’ve had to get these bikes finished. I’m not really sure what it was exactly that caused me to take so long to finish them – I guess I’ve been spoiled slightly with all the Infinity models I’ve painted recently – each model is a gorgeous sculpt and no two in my collection are exactly alike (with the exception of some of the remotes). On the flipside of that, 6 Space Marine models which are all very similar in pose, each with a real pain in the butt colour scheme – a black undercoat followed by a couple of thin coats of Codex Grey, then some lining using black ink, with a single highlight of Fortress Grey, followed by any freehand squad markings and chapter symbols. It may not sound like a lot, but when it’s applied across multiple similar models, it gets old, fast! Curse my 14-year old self for picking such a time-consuming colour scheme!
They’ve come out pretty well – neat enough for me, at any rate. They’ve got the standard codex markings for the sergeant (red helmet, with a white stripe as in the last Codex Veteran Sergeants were standard). I didn’t go too mad with them as I wanted to finish them quickly. It’s definitely a relief to finish them, and I’m really happy with my army as a whole.
When I entered the tournament back in November, I toyed around with several army ideas, and in the end settled on my Marines. I decided to buy a new unit to try and help reignite my passion for 40k, which for me has been on the decline for the past year, as regular readers will no doubt have picked up on in all of my posts! Having a new unit to build and paint has kind of helped, although having to slog through the job of painting them up has reminded me why I was so thankful for making the jump to Infinity in the first place!
I know I’ve been overly vocal about how I’ve fallen out of love with 40k a bit in the past year. Don’t get me wrong, I still like 40k, but given the choice between having a game of that or a game of Infinity, at this point in time I’d rather be playing Infinity! The models are really nice, the rules set feels wonderfully balanced and the tables look and feel a hell of a lot nicer (they feel like proper places rather than a bunch of ruins in the middle of nowhere).
Crikey, that sounds incredibly anti-40k – better rectify that! Despite all my whinging, I *am* looking forward to the event this weekend, and now that my 1250pt force is up together I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I do want to actively try to play 40k more in 2014, although I definitely see Infinity as my primary gaming system these days, purely because it’s now more accessible for me and my regulars to play (less time needed is a big factor in the real world where free time is now limited – I’m no longer a teenager with all the free time in the world!)
The Army List
I realise I’ve not actually written about the army I’m taking to the tournament, so perhaps a little context might be useful here.
I began by cutting down my 2300pt VonPocalypso force from last April – I cut it down to a core of two full Tactical Squads in Rhinos. Since I would be using the actual Marine Codex this time (as opposed to the Blood Angels which I used at VonPocalypso), I figured the Rhinos would be a better investment at lower points, since VonSmallhausen uses nearly half as many points as VonPocalypso.
With the core of my army sorted, I decided I’d add in some Sniper Scouts with Camo Cloaks, if only because I love the models – in my experience they just tend to miss with all of their shots and die horribly to heavy flamers! Still, they look cool so they’re in! I had initially taken 6 Space Marines with a Missile Launcher, which was almost the same amount of points, but the Scouts won through for me, mainly because it was less to paint, but also to add some variety to the look of the force!
I definitely wanted a Stormraven in the army, as I enjoy using them and they’re a great multipurpose unit which all of my regular opponents hate, so that’s an auto-include. It’ll help with any long-range Anti Tank I may need – granted, I won’t have it until turn 2 at the least but when it’s on I’ve got a very good chance of destroying whatever vehicle I point it at.
To give myself a bit of alpha-strike capability, I’ve put in my usual 5 man Sternguard squad with 2 combi-meltas. I’d normally take 2 combis and 2 Meltaguns, but I’ve had to shave points down a bit for this one. Still, 2 meltas should be enough to knock out a tank on turn 1.
My friend Craig has always sworn by his Attack Bikes, and regularly fields 6(!) of them. Taking a leaf from his book, I’ve regularly used a pair of them in many of my forces, and they’re a very handy unit to have, so at 90pts they’re also in.
Finally, I decided to shake things up a bit – rather than my usual gunline Marines, I decided to add a unit which I’ve never had before, and so that’s where the Biker Captain and 5 Bikes with Grav Guns idea came from – a bit of research has shown that they’re quite popular, and fairly versatile (especially since the Captain makes them Troops, and therefore a scoring unit).
So, to re-cap:
Space Marine Bike, Relic Blade, Iron Halo, Bolt Pistol
Sternguard Squad (5 models): 175pts
2x Combi-Melta in Drop Pod
Bike Squad (5 models): 145pts
Sergeant with Combi-Grav Gun, 2x Grav Gun
Tactical Squad (10 models): 200pts
Sergeant with Boltgun, Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Rhino with Smoke Launchers and Searchlight
Tactical Squad (10 models): 205pts
Sergeant with Boltgun, Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher, Rhino with Smoke Launchers and Searchlight
Scout Squad (6 models): 98pts
Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks, Missile Launcher
Attack Bike Squad (2 models): 90pts
Stormraven Gunship: 201pts
Twin-linked Assault Cannon, Twin-linked Multimelta, 4 Stormstrike Missiles, Searchlight
There’s quite a bit of composition changes for the event, such as maximum of 1 HQ, maximum of 4 Troops units, 0-2 for everything else, with no duplicating of Elite/Fast/Heavy units, so if the list looks a little weird that’s why. Still, I think I’ve got a fairly solid firebase, plus some fast-moving firepower to move forward and try and clear some enemies off of any objectives! Time will tell how well I get on at the event thought!
Here’s a pic of the army as a whole:
And here are a few detail shots:
I’ll post a re-cap of the tournament next week. My goal is to get at least 1 win out of 4 games – I’m not massively confident, as I’m so rusty with 40k, but I wanted to set myself a challenge!
On the painting front, my next set of models will be a set of commission jobs – some old-school metal Cadian Autocannons for one friend, and some more Dark Eldar for another. Once they’re done, my next plan is to sort the Eldar/Dark Eldar alliance out, as I mentioned before. In addition to all that, I’m getting some more Aleph models soon, and I’ve got the Spring Challenge in March!
I’m going to have a bit of a clear out this year of a lot of 40k stuff that I’m just not using, concentrating on having a decent sized collection of Space Marines and Eldar to play the odd game of 40k with my regular opponents. I’ll be detailing more about my Eldar fairly soon, as I want to (finally) have a 2000pt army of them fully painted – in the last 15 plus years, I’ve never once had a full Eldar army painted – it’s usually been a couple of painted models plus a ton of others with just a white undercoat! No longer – my New Year’s resolution is to get an Eldar army prepared which I could feasibly take to a tournament later in the year and not lose points for unpainted models! Watch this space!