Sunday, 30 November 2014

Operation Cygnar - I will paint every model in the collection

I have set myself the goal of finishing off the Cygnar Warmachine army, in it's totality, by the end of January 2015. The picture below is most of what i have left to paint (missing are 3 light jacks, Triumph and Laddermore who are either in the post, or mostly done.)

Now some of these are duplicates, but the goal is to have every single currently available model for Cygnar painted. Excluded are Sturgis, Dynamo and the caster resculpts. Oh, and all the mercenaries.... that's next years task. 

Here is the checklist
  • Caine1
  • Nemo1
  • Nemo3 and Finch
  • Stryker2
  • Stryker 3
  • Darius and Halfjacks (you can see the conversion i made in the top left)
  • Thunderhead
  • Triumph
  • 3 Chargers
  • 2 Fireflys
  • 2 Sentinels
  • Cygnar Heavy (Centurion, Hammersmith, Avenger)
  • Hunter
  • Storm Tower
  • Stormcallers
  • Sword Knights
  • Silverline stormguard
  • Runewood
  • Laddermore
  • Allison Jakes
  • Journeyman caster (male)
In addition, I will aim to finish off the mercs I have on hand
  • Eiryss 1 &2
  • Ragman
  • Gorman

It's a big job, and I will be posting updates as I go along. Once I am complete, I will do an epic photoshoot of the whole army deployed. Should be great. 

PS. This is what I have already painted

Friday, 14 November 2014

Kara "my gun is bigger than yours" Sloan - Conversion and Tactica

Kara Sloan Conversion

First off, let me say that the original pose this model has is terrible. A sniper holding her gun to the sky for no particular reason. 

I much preferred the art in the Forces of Cygnar book, so decided to repose her that way. 

Sadly, my sculpting skills are relatively substandard so it ended up not going as well as I had hoped.

The core of the re-sculpt is actually a space marine arm from a plastic sprue that i cut the hand off 

I then molded green stuff over the hinge to add strength to the model and to detract from the fact its a space marine arm. 

Unfortunately, it's just a little too blocky. It's passable on first glance, but when you look at the rear image you can see she has a bicep like Hulk Hogan. 

The base was done with all of the modelling clay I had left over. I think Warcasters should stand out on the battlefield where practicable, and mounting Sloan on a giant Boulder seemed natural to give her some elevation and presence. 
Kara Sloan Tactics

"General wisdom"

When I first said I was going to play Kara Sloan at events it was met with a pretty lukewarm response from the people I game with.

The consensus was that she is a boring caster that lends herself to boring play.

Being a bit confused about this I looked up the "general wisdom" around Kara sloan on the internet and was a little dumbfounded at the lists people put forward for Sloan. I found them quite dull and frankly, not very good. The "general wisdom" seemed to be that you run Sloan with a tarpit unit + loads of ranged troops. It was also advised to take a reasonable number of warjacks to take advantage of her feat.

Sometimes, I'm glad I don't spend too much time looking at other peoples lists and guides for armies.

My take on Kara- Take with a grain of salt

Kara Sloan, much like Caine2, is a bit of a glorfied solo caster. She has some army buffs and a feat that can buff a lot of shooting, but her real strength, the bread and butter or the character is her rifle.

Spitfire is a rate of fire 1, long range, moderate power WEAPON MASTER magical weapon. 

The weapon master bit is the real emphasis here. Boosting, it allows her to roll 4 damage dice from miles away and damage spikes from the gun can be devastating. Reinholdt is virtually mandatory with her as it allows her to shoot twice. 

Now that’s two shots a turn with potential damage rolls in the mid 30's.  A few lucky shots can take down most warcasters, even when camping, and even warlocks will not be wanting to transfer double digit damage frequently. In short, if you can get LOS, and your opponent is within 22" (16" if they have stealth) you have a good shot at an assassination. My normal target priority is casters I think I can kill/wound badly, stealth solos, solos, UA's, Cavalry, Heavy beast/jacks, Light beast/jacks, units.

I tend to boost to hit with spitfire 99% of the time, even if it is a 4 or 5 to hit. With that in mind, you will be spending 4 focus per turn making shots with spitfire.

Add in another point of focus per turn to upkeep refuge. Refuge is what allows Kara to hit and run. If she hits with a ranged attack (and with 2, she probably will) you can move her at the end of her activation. This effectively lets her move 12" in her turn and dramatically increases her surivability.

That leaves 2 focus a turn to buff units, use warjacks, camp, or cast spells. (if running squire)

Most of the time that's one "Dead eye" , or one double boosted jack cannon shot, or 2 camping.

The feat is a trap

This takes me to her feat, which as far as I am concerned reads as "faction models get boosted shots, oh, and Kara and a jack get an additional unboosted shot, but its not a big deal". 

The 1st part of the feat is very good, and the focus of my list building with her.

The 2nd part of the feat is a trap. Building a list around a couple of unboosted shots from warjacks you can't properly support is a terrible idea in my book.

Running 2,3 or more warjacks with guns to gain the benefit of her feat means that in most turns they will be under resourced with focus, or Kara won't be making enough awesome weapon master shots.

My advice, focus on the 1st part of the feat and treat the 2nd part as a nice little bonus, nothing more.

Cast a spell?

I cast very few spells with Kara Sloan. "Refuge" is used a lot to keep her mobile. I can see "return fire" having a use, but I've not really had a good situation to use it.

Deadeye is solid, and with your 2 remaining focus after upkeeping refuge and blazing out with spitfire would be well spent on it. That said, except in unusual circumstances, it's overkill to cast during a feat turn. Although Cygnar Rat + 4 dice should hit anything, even high def infantry under Ashylnns feat wouldn't be safe.

The two attacks spells are filler and won't be used very often. Arcane blast can kill a model engaging you in melee to free up a shot, and dust to dust can remove models from play, which is extremely rarely a very good thing to have (imagine an archangel with Thagrosh1 on 1 box remaining).

Fire group however, is another trap. It encourages you to take more jacks than you need and it makes you lazy when measuring ranges. The only time I use it is when I've measured my control range and spitfire is just short.

My Kara Sloan armies

I field Kara Sloan as a gun support solo for an assault army.

Reinholdt is always there to carry her ammo bag, and squire is a frequent inclusion. The models I favour are those Cygnar troops who can make assault shots when they charge. Storm Knights & Storm Lances are my current favourite core units. I support them with either gun mages or tempest blazers, models with good engagement ranges who can benefit from deadeye. Murdoch and mercs are another option.

The idea is not to play Kara's army as "sit back and shoot" but one that takes advantage of devastating charges in her feat round.

In a perfect world, it goes a little something like this.

Blazers go up one flank and harass the enemy with light cavalry moves and electro leaps. Full unit of Stormblades, supported by piper, captain and arcane shield run the center while the storm lances trot along side and behind.  The stormblades with gunners upfront "assault charge" under dead eye throwing a pile of Rat 5+3d6 threat range 14"-20" aoe 3 blasts into the enemy infantry.  the turn after receiving the counter charge you feat, have blazers do more house cleaning and have the Lances drive over the Storm knights using the capatains tactician and pathfinder, to deliver Rat 5 +3d6 shots with electro leap, mount attacks and Mat 9 charge attacks. 

The other option is to bait your opponent into closing the gap while forcing them into a kill zone. 

The image above is from a game where this plan worked perfectly(note, the blazers and Kara have moved, the storms have not). I ceded control of the objective while keeping the cavalry units on the flanks ready for the counter charge. The front line of Storm Knights fired off their boosted lighting shots and then took the brunt of the counter charge.

This counter attack would have been very good..... if Borka had any transfers. As it was, i just shot him dead. (Elevation + Kara = Dead casters)


Sure you can build Kara to be a boring gun line caster, but why not try assault armies with her. Run her jack light, don't build around the unboosted free shots under the feat, and keep her firing constantly. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Tempest Blazers - Cool unit, ugly horses

Oh Privateer press, how can you do so many things right and then do some things so very very wrong.

Unlike a lot of fans of another certain games company, I won't defend my favorite model makers when they do something sub standard.

The horses this unit are riding are simply awful. I've done everything in my power to detract from the horses in the paint scheme. They are drab and black with shiny bases.

The idea is that your eyes won't be drawn to the dogs horses these guys are riding. 

I really didn't enjoy painting this unit, it took 6 months to do........

Yep, I started painting them and they entirely killed my painting muse. Nothing can make those horses look good. I ended up painting the entire Storm Lance unit in a few days before coming back to these guys.....

The thing that really sucks is that they are AMAZING in game. They have mobility, great firepower, versatility and don't need a lot of support. Just put them on a flank and let them harass your opponent. 

Seriously, these chaps and chapettes have become one of my favorite Cygnar units and are beating out regular Gun Mages in a fair few lists. The extra movement and the light cavalry move after shooting has more than made up for losing true sight and jack marshall rune shots (which i personally have thought were overrated for the most part). Oh, and brutal shot kicks critical brutals butt.

One new technique i tried was water effects over terrain on the base. It's tricky to see by its made the mud all shiny and watery. As the unit has pathfinder i wanted to depict that (and take attention away from the stupid horses)

Coming soon, Kara and Kraye, along with the jack no one uses (but i will dammit)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Storm Lances


So, i'm back into painting seriously for the first time in ages. I have set myself a goal

Complete the entire available Cygnar range of models by the end of the Christmas holidays. (Note, this does not include all possible mercenary options) 

That's an awful lot of figures, but not as many as it sounds. Probably 30 odd models?

Once they are done, I will do a SUPER MEGA ARMY PHOTO SHOOT.

Because a full army should be something to brag about.

So, first update!


Seriously, just look at these bad boys on horseback!

If you haven't seen much of my army before, I have two distinct schemes for Cygnar. A light blue and gold theme for most of the army, and a very dark blue with lightning crackle for the Storm Knights. 

The dark blue effect is achieved in a remarkably simple way. The models are sprayed blue with an airbrush, then i dry brush a bright blue (enchanted) over the model. I think follow up with the GW blue glaze, two coats of it.

It gives the blue a really shiny and different finish. 

Lightning marks are then done freehand using the same technique as my rune script. Lightning blue, following by white with a touch of lightning blue.

 I initially didn't think much of Storm Lances, which is why they were one of the last units i purchased. 11 points for 5 dudes? 

It seemed like a high point and dollar investment for what i felt was a bit of a corner case unit.

I have been proven wrong and I think these guys are seriously under rated.

With the right casters their damage output is nothing short of insane. I've run them with Kara using deadeye and her fear to maximize their shooting and charging and they have been devastating.

My initial thoughts was all about throwing them out there on the charge, but what they have excelled at is counter punching.

They sit with your gunline, potentially riding forward to shoot and then riding back. And when someone tries to jam your gun line, you run right over them.

The Stormguard Captain also grants them tactician, which allows them to charge over stormguards and stormblades.

Just a great unit, and the look great on the table.

PS. just noticed i forgot to paint the rock on the base of the captain..... DERP!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Nerd Alert - New free online magazine for geekstuff

Now I don't normally advertise things on this blog as it's not my style to make money off things or cram product down peoples throats. I'll leave that to other sites.

Any who, Juan, one of the guys in my regular netrunner group has launched a new magazine. It's very professionally done and you might find it interesting.

You can find it by clicking on the image above or following this link

As a debut edition, it's pretty impressive. Check it out if you get the time
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