Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Dark Future Games!


Happy New Year from the crew of DFG! May you have a safe and VERY FUN New Year! I would like to take a moment to thank all the other bloggers who make this a great community to be involved with, thanks to Ron at From the Warp for helping me get people to view my site. Thanks to Ryan for all the shout outs on the top-ten, thanks to my other writers who have made this a blog not just for Chaos, but for nearly all the races of the Dark Future. I want to thank Groff for getting me back in the game, Evolution Games for all the great support and the great people that they attract to play there ... and most importantly, the readers. Thank you all for a great first year ... you ain't seen nothin' yet! It's time for the crew here to get drunk, we've got 100+ beers to get through and a beer-pong table calling our name. See you next year!

D.I.Y. Chaos Terminator Lord Lightening Claws by Svartmetall

Old School here with the last Tutorial of 2009 and just like the last Tactica, it's pretty bad ass! This one comes from Heresy Online's Svartmetall. For those of you who don't know the name already, I encourage you to google his work; it is amazing. Anyway, he came up with this little gem and as I was searching for ways to give my Forge World Khorne Terminators their lightening claws, fate (with the help of Svartmetall) found me: Here is Svartmetall's tutorial:

Sick of buying Terminator Lord boxes just for the lightning claws because they're always out of stock on bitz sites? Doktor von Svartmetall has the cure!For this, you will need 3 Spawn spiny bits, and any power fist of your choice. The pint of Carlsberg is optional :D





First, trim the fingers off the power fist so you have a smooth surface where they once were:


Next, trim the bases of the spines:


And - in an unexpected plot twist - glue the spines to the fist:


I've put the spines in an even, level position for the purposes of this tutorial, but obviously you could have them in all sorts of angles depending on how you trimmed the base of the spines. Also, I'd recommend using a tiny bit of green stuff to smooth the joins between the spines and the body of the power fist.Voila! A perfectly decent lightning claw for your Chaos Terminators; here it is in situ on my testbed Plague Terminator:

And for the second claw, just remove one from the regular left arm and carefully cut off its fist and powercables, then remove the right arm's storm bolter (just cut the arm right behind the storm bolter) and carefully place the new lightening claw and the cable into place.



Thanks again to Svartmetall. I think the only thing I would do differently is to pin the claws into place for added stability, but I am a pinning nut! I will try it and post my photos, if you decide to try it, mail me a pic so I can post your work. My e-mail is DarkFutureGames@gmail.com

Chaos Space Marine Units and Tactics: Abbadon the Despoiler!




I originally planned to take care of Abbadon last in my tactica article, but I wanted my last Tactica of the year to be special and nothing is more special than the Warmaster! So, in his glorious name, I present my tactical approach to Abbadon!
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Holy Points Cost Batman! We all did a double-take when we saw his price - nearly 300 points is a lot when you consider the points-cost of everything else we field, but let's take a look at what we are getting in return; A terminator model with Eternal Warrior and a 4+ Invul (not bad, he can't really cut things down, but then nothing really lives through a combat with the Warmaster). He also has a daemon weapon (careful, he can still get a 1) plus his base number of attacks, giving him the potential of 10 S8 attacks in a turn! Not to mention he will reroll his failed to-wound dice. Sprinkle on a little I6 and you may just have the greatest 1-on-1 close-combat model in the game. It gets sticky though when people try to create an effective way to field him.
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The usual suspect: All across the pick-up game battlefields of the FLGS universe, you can see folks stuffing Abbadon in a Land Raider with berserkers or terminators. They understand that this unit is hard as nails and they understand that it is a good way to transport him across the field, but they also suffer from the massive point sink of a unit and transport that will only be able to effectively engage two, maybe three targets the whole game, while the rest of their list is sparse due to a lack of points to spend elsewhere.
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This can be fun, but loses its shine once it is realized that it will not win games against anyone with a balanced list and a tactical approach to the game. I would only field this in a massive apoc game and even then, there are so many cool apoc models and formations that I would still do something different with old Abbey. So, moving on ...
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Beam me down Scotty! Another way I have seen Abbadon used is a little more effective. Folks will Deepstrike him in with a unit of Terminators right into enemy territory. This save huge points from not having to use the Land Raider for him and it usually forces the enemy into focus firing the crap out of his unit, buying time for your other units to do their job. What other choice do they have - to let him walk is to possibly be assaulted by him, which is bad for business for anyone but the most mobile armies.
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Here is where it goes wrong; plasma or big ordnance and focus fire can smoke termies pretty quick and then abbadon is just a couple rapid fires and maybe a throw away unit from being killed himself. Add this to the still pricey unit and the Despoiler himself and it just seems like a really expensive scare tactic to me - one which we can do for much cheaper with other units in our codex. Then there is the huge "what if" of deepstriking that occurs. Sometimes the ballsy player can turn the game by making a gutsy deepstrike move with abbadon and turn the game, but that same idea turns to mush when a scatter occurs causing a mishap. Then an overly cautious player is too careful and drops the Warmaster in the middle of no-man's land without a prayer of getting into the fight - so to me, this is better than the land raider for the rest of my army, but still too much of an investment for what it does. Moving on ...
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You want this objective, come take it! Playing the defense is usually the very last thing on a person's mind when they field the Master of the Black Crusade, but it can be one of the best ways to use him in objective play.
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This works best in missions with 2-3 objectives; basically imagine your objective holding unit (mine would be the plague marines). Sure this unit is tough and most troops will have a hard time once stuck in with them. This almost always means the enemy is going to show up at your door with his Bloodthirst, Carnifex, Daemon Prince, Iron Clad, Biker Command Squad ect. This usually means that a portion of your army stays with a range of mutual support so as not to let the home objective get swept.
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Now imagine the plague marines camped out behind their rhino with the Baddest Top-Knot Wearing Chaos Marine in the Galaxy. Suddenly, they are looking at a unit that is tough to get stuck in with AND a model capable of stomping most of the bigger, uglier models of the game and even some of the uber squads out there.
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This forces them to do two things, fight you with everything they have at their objectives and try for some kind of last turn turbo-boost contest nonsense or they will have to commit a much larger and more dangerous force to the mission of taking the objective - now there are less of the usual counter assault units camped on their objective and a larger part of your force able to commit to his - and he will have to be moving across the board to get to it (perfect for the long range weapons). This also is one of those priciples that I beleive in - throwing the enemy off their plan. They are doing something they did not expect to do and something they are less than comfortable doing, which as long as you are comfortable, gives you an edge. For objective games, this is the way I run Abbey.
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Final thoughts: Now just because all of that sounds fun, it doesn't mean that you should pack the Warmaster into your tourney army or into every list you run - no - A) A balanced list without the Despoiler is almost always going to work better than one with him in take-all-comers games and ... B) This is the freaking Warmaster we are talking about and a great way to tie a good story into a game for a thematic battle ... not necessarily the guy to throw into every random pick-up game. I am simply encouraging you to try him out in different ways, don't just shelf the guy after you paint him, but maybe let him sit out for the tourneys : ). After all, he's fun and that's really why we all started this little hobby. Happy New Year from Dark Future Games!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Plague Tower video tutorial by Destroyer Hive!

Today I have a very awesome 4 part video tutorial from Heresy Online's Destroyer Hive (and his son) on how they built a Nurgle Plague Tower. Interesting stuff and a good place to get inspiration if you are considering tackling this project yourself.
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Thanks again to Destroyer Hive for making this and hopefully, this leads to some of you plagueheads making your own (and maybe even sending your own tuts!) Feedback welcome as usual, or leave it on DH's project log at Heresy here: http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=52584

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chaos Space Marine Units and Tactics: Fabius Bile!




Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for me to turn the Chaos Space Marine Units and Tactics article toward special characters and with that comes a disclaimer; For comp play, I do not generally recommend special characters, but I have fielded them and they can be fun and with the right army, they can be brutal. That being said, what I would like to avoid is the feedback of "I would just take a daemon prince instead," because in most cases, so would I, but this is a complete tactica and you never know, you might find something fun and brutal that you like!
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The first Character I would like to cover is the first Chaos character I ever fielded; Fabius Bile.
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He may be a scientist, but he ain't no pansy! Fabius Bile may look like a cross between a pimp and Buffulo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, but don't let his Mr. Burns looks fool you, this guy has 5 attacks at S 5, Weapon Skill 5 and to top it off, the old guy has Feel No Pain!
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As if that wasn't enough, he has a pimp cane that inflicts insta-death without needing a psychic test to make it work! He also has an 18" poisoned assault weapon, but due to its AP, I don't think it should be something to depend on.
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Not Just a Man, but an Army! Fabius is far from a one man show. He also enhances the warriors in his army by paying 3 points more a model. Just to be clear to all those who read codexes backwards and sideways, he may only enhance Chaos Space Marines (ie vanilla CSM), thought they may take an icon. Rolling the mid dice will give you an army that is fearless and extra strong, rolling a 1 will mean you will lose about a third of your squad, but they will still get the extra strength and fearlessness. Roll a six and you will get even stronger Marines, but you will lose one per turn. You can talk all the crap you want, for 18 points a model, this isn't a bad idea.
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I combat this by taking multiple squads and taking them in units of 10. Usually, I count on getting either three good units or two good ones and a group that had an accident.
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When I roll a 1, I take my losses then just move on as normal. When I roll a 6, I treat them as CC specialists and do everything I can to get them into combat.
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A Fabius Bile Army! What to take! For my troops, I like to treat them the way I treat any other troop choice. I give them a task of either tank hunting (2 melta) or infantry killing (2 flamers) or my flavor of the month (2 meltas, champ with combi-flamer). Once you have kitted your troops to your preference, it is time to kit out the champ. I always go for the powerfist as it allows me to deal with walkers, monstrous creatures and independant characters a little easier - I take it regardless of the mark I take.
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Icons for your freaks: Your freaks can take icons and I recommend it. Throw Icon of Chaos Glory right out the window as you are already fearless now!
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The Icon of Nurgle is expensive and without feel no pain, I'd rather have my plague marines, but S5/6 T5 Marines are nothing to sneeze at.
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The icon of Khorne is another that I leave behind as the extra attack is nice, but I still get my face stomped by those pesky Space Marine characters due to I4.
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I don't even consider the Icon of Tzeentch an option in this list as the hail-mary save sucks.
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This brings me to the Icon of Slaanesh, which is not only awesome here but fits the fluff of Bile being a former Emporer's Children Apothecary! The I5, plus the extra strength and the fearlessness make your guys a bunch of Khorne Berzerkers that always have furious charge - not to mention that they have bolters and can take meltas and flamers! They are like uber zerks in this combo! This is the way I run my bile army! Take Bile, three squads of these guys, a Daemon Prince or sorc (extra insta-killer in the crowd), and good long range fire power (Oblits ect).
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Final thought; In my opinion, Bile can be fun and actually pretty competitive. The randomness can suck when the dice suck, but they often do not suck and they are often pretty awesome. The trick is to not get stupid: Build a straight up awesome army with regular vanilla Marines (understanding that they are going to become monsters) as troops. DO NOT fall into that wierd train of thought that leads to "Well Fabius is random, so let's throw some random shit in here" as that will lead to disaster. Give Bile a chance, take a good army and call me when you have had some serious fun! Happy hunting!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Forge World Lord Zhufor! BAMF model!








Old School here,

Speaking of Lords, I have here the model that will be gracing my World Eaters as a Chaos Lord; Lord Zhufor from Forge World! Much like the zerks, I kind of ho-hummed when I saw this model online. Then I got a little exited when I got the sprues ... and again like I did with the zerks, I went crazy once I started putting him together.
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First off, this model had the teflon of releasing agents on it! I have never soaked and scrubbed anything this much in my life (that's what she said:D ). After a couple days of getting the agent off and cutting, filing and scraping the massive amount of flash, I finally got to put this bad mother f@*&er together and this is one impressive model.
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First off, it is huge. Look at it compared to the other zerks from my first squad! Second, there are tons and tons of tiny details everywhere on this model, which we will all see once I start painting this thing. Third, there are some parts (the axe and dead commissar) that are too small to file, so with the grace of the Blood God and a little bit of Green Stuff and Superglue let's hope it all holds.
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There are still a lot of things to do here before I am ready to paint him; mostly basing in detail and I am debating putting the cape on him. If anyone has any advise for fixing the cape on him so it stays even through handling, please hit me up! I also left off the trophy racks and I also do the same for all my termies. They just get in the way of poses and really limit their range of motion and for Zhufor, I wanted him to look feirce and full fo killyness, not static like the FW example.
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Finally, for those of you wondering what I did with the bare head ... let's just say that ties into a much bigger project I have planned. Feedback welcome as always!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chaos Space Marines Units and Tactics: Chaos Lords




The Chaos Lord is one of those units that should be very effective on the table top. He should be the terror that we would expect to command the legions of the traitors devoted to the Dark Gods, but alas, for the most part, he is not.
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The Problem: Chaos Lords would be great but for one small problem ... they cannot take retinues like their Space Marine equivilents (hell that is what Chosen USED to be for). This means that since they are ICs and they don't (and shouldn't) have eternal warrior, they get smoked by any squad upgrade (nob, sgt ect.) weilding a powerfist. This is very annoying and kind of forces them to a life-time on the shelf.
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How to make them work: To make the Chaos Lord work, you have to make them killy enough that they and their squad can wipe a whole squad of enemy in a single combat ... then survive getting shot in the enemy's shooting phase. Damn. Or you could make them shooty ... but with the lack of options, you are pretty much talking about a tzeench lord with a Deathscreamer, only problem is that you get D6 shots and a 1 can ruin your day.
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How do you fix this problem? Remember that the lord is better in pairs. Spamming Lords works much like spamming anything else; it is harder to kill two of them before they start killing you. The Lord needs to ride with a squad and needs to be kitted to fit in with that squad, so if you run a rhino-heavy list, then skip the terminator armor, but if you run Land Raiders, don't leave home without it!
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The Weapons of War: Your Lords excel at two things; Close Combat (WS 6 and I5) and shooting (BS 5), so you will want to use that to your advantage. For those rhino squads, I recommend giving the lord the combi-melta or combi-flamer, depending on what the squad needs. BS 5 means he will likely make use of the combi-melta better than most things that can take it in our codex. The rhino squad, if you run yours like mine, will most likely be led by a guy with a powerfist. Use the lord to get you the I5 power weapon. The Daemon Weapon can be interesting, but can also be a pain for those of us who are dice-impaired, so a pair of lightening claws can be nice or just a plain power weapon - either way it will take your squads effectiveness up a level.
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For the Land Raider squads, remember that the LR is meant to be an ASSAULT vehicle, so I would give him termie armour and either lightening claws or a daemon weapon depensing on your tolerance for risk.
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What mark? The Chaos Lord can do well enough and cheap enough without paying for a mark. The mark of Slaanesh is cheap, but might not come in handy as he is already fast. The mark of Tzeentch is expensive for adding a little invul, but for folks who worry about their lord getting insta-killed, I can see it's uses. The Mark of Nurgle will bring up his toughness, but is also expensive and still won't protect him from S 8 insta-death. Finally, the mark of Khorne gives him an extra attack. I may be a bit partial, but the mark of khorne combined with lighteneing claws is one of my favorites for lots of guaranteed killing.
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Other ways to work the lord: I have seen him work out well in casual games on a bike with the mark of nurgle and a combi-weapon and powerfist. It looked like fun and since the opponent wasn't running uber-units of any sort, it worked out, but in a comp games he could of had a nurgle DP with warptime for the same price, not to mention the cost of the bikers.
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I have also made the Khorne Lord with Daemon weapon work and while it is boner-worthy to put out an average of 8 powered attacks a turn, it also sucks when you roll a 1 one-third of the time and then get popped by a lousy tac sergeant with a fist, not to mention that the cost for that lord was near equal a daemon prince with wings.
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The Verdict: The lord may work for some, but I would take Daemon Princes or sorcerors over lords any day of the week. DPs offer you an additional tough to kill target on the board that normally takes the heat off your other units and in return you get awesome powers, 12" movement and a close combat powerhouse. Sorcs give you a guy who can hide in squads and be useful from turn one throughout the games, not to mention the ability to insta-kill enemies (which will be even more awesome now that nids no longer have EW). The Lord simply cannot perform in these areas as well as the other HQs and to me will always be a 3rd teir choice for HQ in the current codex.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Berserker Update: Alas Sicarius, I knew him well ...









Old School here and now that I am not puking, I have an update to my Zerk squad. This is my 8th berserker in the 8-man squad (I roll sacred numbers or not at all) and he is holding the head of a Space Marine Captain! I got the head (and the hand that he is holding it with from the Captain Sicarius blister. I think this is much cooler than Sicarius holding his helmet like some fancy lad; this makes it look like this zerk might be next in line for Aspiring Champion, truly fitting of the competitive and dog-eat-dog culture of the World Eaters! Enjoy the photos, I also included a group shot of the squad.

Artist of the Week: X-Mas Edition!







Merry X-mas everyone! To commemorate the holiday falling on the same day as the Artist of the Week, I have spread the love to four folks who have made some hilarious Christmas themed diaramas and minis! First is the Christmas Nid by DTS, the The Christmas Marine by Moonwhim, The Christmas Ork by Hydra, and the Christmas Cron by sgr.
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If you have trouble viewing the images here, then stop by the x-mas gallery at CMon by following this link: http://www.coolminiornot.com/browse/page/1/whatmanufacturer/GW/title/christmas/orderby/Descending

Thursday, December 24, 2009

8th Day of Khornemas! 8-Legged Death!








Old School here wishing you all a very happy and healthy Christmas! I have been sick all day, so my plan to post my eighth berserker conversion as my 8th Day of Khornemas fell apart, but, then a Khornemas miracle happened! In the middle of a terrible bout of nausea, the Blood God sent me a vision! I (sort of) ran to my garage and opened my working cabinet and there it was - the project I had started while waiting for the zerks to come. Yes, my Brass Scorpion! Converted out of a little more than two defilers, he was a beast to put together. I also almost chopped my thumb off while making him, soaking the model in blood - truly Khorne demanded tribute in return for such a powerful model! On to the song!
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On the 8th Day of Khornemas, the Blood God gave to me ... 8-Legged Death, a 7 foot chainsword, 6 bloody symbols, a flying f*@^ing madman, 4 possessed limbs, 3 severed skulls, 2 pistols packing, and a berserker slightly leaping
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A Bloody Khornemas to all, and to all a blood-soaked night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009