Monthly Archives: May 2015

Armies of Yesteryear: 40K Mordian Iron Guard

Once again, a look back on my old armies. This time it’s my favorite old Imperial Guard faction: the Mordian Iron Guard.

What really drew me to the Imperial Guard is not really all that unusual: I wanted to field tanks and blow shit up.  I chose the Mordian Iron Guard because they were the chapter that appealed to me most, despite them not having any special characters in the Codex. (Actually, that appealed to me as well, as by the time I started playing Guard, special characters had fallen out of favor.) I never liked the Catachans, found the Rough Riders silly, didn’t really dig the Tallarns or the Cadians. And while I liked the Valhallans, I didn’t want to deal with snowy bases. (An old acquiaintance had a killer Valhallan Ice Warrior army complete with custom sentinels that was really cool, however.)

This army was my main Warhammer 40K army for most of the late 90’s -2003 or so. In choosing my army I decided that I would not field any Abhuman troops like Ratlings and Ogryns. I would use lots of base troops and have as many Commissars as possible to keep order and hopefully lend a little strength to squads in melee. I’d augment the core troops with fire-support and stormtrooper squads, and tanks tanks tanks!

And that’s what I did.

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Starting off in the front is a squad of pre-Kasarkin stormtroopers. These guys came 6 to a box and were all plastic. You had to buy your special weapons and command separately. Behind them is a standard Infantry squad of Mordians led by both a Sergeant and a Lieutenant. Behind them is an anti-tank battery of 3 Lascannon teams. Way in the back is a Basilisk Heavy Support Tank. Over on the right is a Chimera, deploying an Armored Fist Infantry Squad.

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Continuing, my Sentinel squad is in the forefront of this picture. (My sentinels never did anything but get shot and blow up, usually by Turn 2. But they look so cool.) Behind them is another Infantry Squad. Farther back from left to right is a Leman Russ Battle Tank, the Command Squad (more on that later), and a Mortar Battery led by another Commissar. On the right is a Chimera with a Forgeworld twin-linked heavy bolter turret. Better than a multilaser any day of the week, and it looks better too.

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Rounding out the force are the rest: in front, another squad of Stormtroopers. I used to love to Deep Strike with these guys and tie up some enemy units long enough to rain death from above with my artillery. Behind them is a fire-support battery (2 heavy bolters and an autocannon), crewed by Stormtroopers. Behind them is yet another Infantry squad. To the right are three more tanks: a Leman Russ Demolisher, a Hellhound, and in the back, an old Griffon Heavy Mortar. Last but not least a final Infantry squad is on the far right, led by another Commissar.

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I would often deploy an Adeptus Mechanicus tech-priest and some servitors between my tanks, especially those I usually kept stationary, like the Basilisk, Griffon and Demolisher. Sometimes they could save or fix something, and sometimes they couldn’t.

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Close-up of the pre-Kasarkin Stormtroopers armed with Hellguns.

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A Commissar leads an Infantry squad on the flank.

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Close-up of the anti-tank Lascannon battery.

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You can never have too many indirect fire weapons. I love mortars. Nothing better than dropping a couple of templates on some Orks, Gaunts, or Eldar.

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My command squad. The Commander is a converted miniature from the defunct and short-lived game Cell. (Don’t tell GW he’s not “official”.) He towers over everyone else in the army and is almost the size of an Ogryn. (“Methinks I detect the influence of the Warp….”)

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This is my Army Standard. I converted a Brin Milo miniature so that he wasn’t playing the Tanith pipes anymore. Then I used some 3/64mm brass rod to make the pipes. I used Squadron model putty (!) to sculpt the ferrules and the pipe sash and to beef up the bag (this was before I discovered Green Stuff). He was one of my first conversions ever and I still love him.

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Sentinels look bad-ass. Too bad they suck. You may also notice that none of the armor in this army has the slightest bit of mud or dust on it. That’s because it’s Mordian armor, dammit!

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Leman Russ Demolisher.  Boom.

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Leman Russ Battle Tank. I always went for the heavy bolters in the sponsons, as my strategy was shoot as many times as you can as opposed to courting disaster with plasma guns.

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My Basilisk. I think maybe I moved it during a game, once. Most of the time it sat there and angered my opponent. I used a radio from a 1/48th German radio set to represent improved comms.

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Lastly, my Griffon. I loved this tank, and of course, when I finally got this painted, GW came out with a new codex that didn’t include it. Like I said, I love mortars, so I have nothing but good things to say about it. I thought the Griffon tank crew that came with it didn’t look like they would pass Mordian muster, so I used some extra Mordian Lascannon crew members instead.

The problem with playing Imperial Guard, at least at that time, was cost. (Somehow I doubt that’s changed.) Most of these tanks were purchased secondhand. When it came to Infantry, Mordians, like every other chapter, were available in a 10 man squad for $30. The problem was each 10-man squad came with a grenade launcher and a Lascannon. If you wanted to change that, then you needed to buy heavy weapon teams and special weapon troops separately. That got pretty pricey, and left you with extra grenade launchers and Lascannon teams.

I’m still in the market for some plain-old Mordian Infantry with lasguns. I don’t need any heavy weapons or any special weapons, but I sure would like to get more regular joes.

More Armies of Yesteryear soon.

Armies of Yesteryear: Warhammer 40K Tyranids

Like many folks, my first Warhammer 40K army was Space Marines. Since almost everyone at my friendly local game store was playing marines, it became somewhat boring. Sure, there was one Ork player and an Eldar player, but they weren’t always around. So I bit the bullet and bought some Tyranids off a kid who was getting out of the hobby. Some of the paint jobs on the plastics are a little rough, but that’s because I was painting over his initial paint job, which was done with craft paints and was impossible to strip first. (Melonberry Genestealers anyone?)

68916_sm-2nd Edition, Copyright Games Workshop, Tyranids

Most of these miniatures are from the golden age of Tyranids, 2nd edition 40K. Old school players may remember these original paint schemes from the codex. Present-day Tyranids have changed a lot since then. I actually really like the present models but I’m obviously not buying new ones to replace what I already have. Aside from the cost, that’s just silly.

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From l-r: An old Lictor model, some (very) old-school Zooanthropes, a Biovore and a brood of metal Gargoyles. In front is a brood of Genestealers.

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In front are some metal Hormagaunts. These guys were always tipping over-a real pain in the ass during deployment and movement. Of course, they either got shot up or made it into hand-to-hand, so they didn’t stick around long once the game got underway. Behind them is a brood of Termagants, mostly the old plastic ones but some metal ones too. I still have about 12 of these that need to be painted. I always wanted to add more Termagants to the army. Way in the back in the center is my Hive Tyrant, the old school model with a Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Bonesword. He’s flanked by two broods of original Tyranid Warriors (although the brood on the right has a newer Warrior with a Barbed Strangler),and you can barely make out a second Biovore behind the Hive Tyrant. I still love the look of these old models. Back then, they based all large size models on 40mm square monster bases.

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Last but not least, more Genestealers, more Gargoyles, another Lictor, one last Biovore, and the old metal Carnifex! The Carnifex is one of my favorite all-time GW models. It’s definitely got some heft to it!

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Oddly enough, you can see the Biovore better than the Carnifex in this picture. Blame the photographer.

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Tyranid Warriors with boneswords. I built the other brood with Deathspitters. As I recall, Deathspitters suck, and Tyranids shouldn’t waste time shooting when they can get up close and personal.

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Remember these old-school Zooanthropes? This is before they became floating heads.

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The Tyranid Lictor. Like the carnifex, one of my favorite metal models. But damn was it fiddly to put together!

I actually played a quick game of 40K with these Tyranids with a friend last year. He used my Ultramarines. As I recall, he won, but we both had about 2 miniatures left on the board at the end of the game. As it should be!

I still have a few more Armies of Yesteryear to post, so check back soon!

 

Painting Imperial Assault

I took a break from my Insanity Pile to start a new project: Fantasy Flight Games’s Imperial Assault. I knew once I bought this game that I would paint the miniatures, unlike the Space Hulk game I bought 3 years ago (I hate Blood Angels, and if I ever paint another Genestealer in my life, it will be too soon.)

Star-Wars-Assault

Imperial Assault comes with 33 miniatures, plus a bonus pack of Luke and Darth Vader for a total of 35 plastic 28mm Star Wars figures. The sculpts are pretty high quality, although there is no variation. For example, the 9 Stormtroopers that come in the box are all in the same pose. I haven’t played the game yet, but I’m told it’s a lot like Descent, only with Star Wars characters.

I’m not thrilled about that, to be honest. While both games have great-looking miniatures, I have played Descent a few times and haven’t exactly had fun. Usually my fellow dungeoneers and I would make it just far enough into the dungeon to feel like we were accomplishing something before the “overlord” would unleash a threat hand so ridiculous it would wipe us all out in one turn. Cheap deaths? Yes. Fun? No. Guess we’ll see how similar Imperial Assault is when we give it a whirl. But that won’t be until after I’m done painting the figures.

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Cue the Imperial March! I decided to start with the Emperor’s Royal Guard. Not really much to say about the paint scheme as they’re overwhelmingly red. After I sprayed them with matte sealant, I decide to use a gloss varnish on the helmets to make them stand out a bit.

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I did the same with these Imperial officers’ boots. The officers were more fun to paint.

I think I’ll do the Stormtroopers next in one big lot, although I’m not looking forward to painting that much white.