Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ice Base Zero: GIB Medium

Generic Industrial Building (GIB) size Medium. That what I'm calling it for now until it's finished or something else comes to me. Whatever the final out come I want to get close to the following four requirements for a terrain piece of this type.

1.Blocks line of sight
2.Plenty of room for units
3.Blends in with modern/sci-fi terrain types
4.Easy to assemble

I started with a basic rectangular shape and set them up in a couple of games of 40k. This worked well with table coverage and rest of my goals for the building. But I can't just leave things alone and call them finished. Tinkering and tweaking the basic shape into a different form is a habit for me.

Instead of a concrete wall with a rooftop. I added a safety rail that goes along the top of the building for an added industrial look. This doesn't effect the amount of room on the roof top for troops and artillery. The detail element on the top leaves plenty of room for custom painting on the exterior walls with posters, graffiti, decals and/or paint mask work. This version also did well on the tabletop. It seemed quite handy in a recent Infinity tournament covering the four requirements I'm looking for.

So I think I'm at a good point to finish this building for Ice Base Zero. Just some additional tinkering with the entry ways and it will hope in the production line. It will get some additional play testing until then.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ice Base Zero: A base for testing the future

Developing terrain for my Ice mat is a continuing process that may never be completed. Which is good for me but maybe not my storage in the garage. Our last game gave me a chance to try out some new terrain ideas. Allot of these ideas will make it into a production kit, the shelf or maybe even the fire pit.

These five areas that i'm working on this go around:

A: Complete buildings which isn't my normal terrain focus but necessary for this table theme.

B: A larger Pump House building which will be compatible with our Pipe Works kits.

C: Ice terrain to help set the mood.

D: Pipe Works kits because there awesome!

E: Shipping Container kits with some accessories showing the beginning of the base. The complete building "A" represent the growth of the base.

I'll touch on each of these subjects from a hobby point of view in future posts. I'll also try to discuss the kits development and how they worked out during our games.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Narrative Tournament Play!?!

Dr. Todd takes a moment to reflect on the Las Vegas Open

Hello everyone!!!!!

We’d like to thank all of you who came by our both at the LVO to say hi and check with us here at Mechanical Warhorse. I think it’s safe to say that we have finally recovered and are ready to get back to work, which brings us to this week’s blog.

One thing that struck us as amazing was the huge success of the narrative campaign run by The Narrative Guys. The outcome of the battle playing into the next had many gamers excitedly chatting up a storm. While the narrative campaign was competitive, I had more players tell me it was fun than the actual tournament players there. I think it speaks highly that original content and story development makes for a much funner game than the tournaments games can. After all if you have a particularly bad game, it doesn’t ruin your chances for the upcoming game. It also helps those new or who aren’t particularly great dice rollers to play in an event where they can have fun, even if they get clobbered.

When a story is left hanging, you have a reason to show up for the next game. This maybe what Games Workshop has been trying to do with Age of Sigmar, and it appears to be generating chatter on the internet with the recent Space Wolf campaign book release. However, a tournament can offer something that GW hasn’t picked up on is that releasing a book with the outcome predetermined isn’t any fun. Who wants to fight a battle, where regardless of your performance, the next battle is already scripted? A narrative campaign with an impartial Warmaster (DM) can develop and define the aftermath of battles. At the tournaments end the results can be examined, developed and give prelude to the next tournament narrative. This, in my opinion would generate a greater newcomer turnout, and would certainly lead to some exciting battles. After all in a tournament you have to have fairly standard games, but in a narrative you can develop original mission objective. There is a reason we like our armies; it’s the fluff!!! So fluffy campaigns at tournaments; might be an area at gaming events which I hope is on the rise. I look forward to see what the future of this tournament style is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tentacles tighten around the Anchor Sector!

Hey Fellow Gamers. Quick 40K battle report here. Well, actually, I failed to take notes at the time, so I had to interview the participants to recreate the events. Then I failed to use those scribbled notes for another week. So it’s not really a battle report, per se; it’s more like a war story recollected days later after a night of heavy binge drinking. A battle happened—that much we know. We also know the outcome. Everything else is a bit hazy.

Anyway, we recently got together on a Sunday evening at Carlos’ sister’s scrapbooking store after hours because it has ample table space and we didn’t have to worry about the local game store wanting to lock its doors. It was going to be an epic battle between 3000 points of Imperials and 3000 points of Tyranids. I was fielding a combat force of those manly space Vikings otherwise known as the Space Wolves, supported (I hoped) by Carlos’ Imperial Guard Astra Militarum. Our buddies, Dr. Todd and Chica James, were fielding the Bugs. Below are our army lists. The last time I teamed up with Guard, our other buddy Nathan missed with all 9 las cannons in one round—which pretty much summed up the bloodbath that degenerated into. I had higher hopes for the armored task force that Carlos rolled into the fight with.


Astra Militarum (Carlos “Tanks! Tanks! Tanks!” Hernandez)

• Tank Commander—Leman Russ Exterminator (twin-linked autocannon): heavy bolter sponsons, dozer blade, fire barrels
• Squad Exterminator—heavy bolter sponsons, dozer blade, fire barrels
• 10-man Veteran squad—1 heavy flamer x2 plasma rifles, krak grenades with a Chimera transport: heavy flamer, heavy bolter
• 10-man Veteran squad—heavy flamer x2 plasma rifles, krak grenades with a Chimera transport: multi-laser/heavy bolter
• Squadron of 2 Leman Russ Executioners—plasma executioner, plasma side sponsons/las cannon, dozer, fire barrels
• Knight Errant—Meltacannon of Doominess, Giantass Chainsword (I have no idea what they’re called).

Space Wolves (Sean "The Tree Marker" Layton

• Wolf Lord – Armor of Russ, Helm of Durfast, two Wolf Claws
• Rune Priest (Mastery Lvl 2 – Biomancy: Smite, Iron Arm, Hemorrhage), Psychic Hood, Rune Staff, plasma pistol
• Iron Priest with 4 servitors.
• Grey Hunter Pack – 9 marines (bolters, bolt pistols, 2 plasma rifles) led by a Wolf Guard pack leader (power sword, combi-flamer)
• Grey Hunter Pack – 9 marines (bolters, bolt pistols, close combat weapons, 2 flamers) led by a Wolf Guard pack leader (frostfang sword and storm shield)
• Long Fang Pack– 5 marines (las cannons) led by an Ancient with a plasma rifle.
• Whirlwind
• Redeemer Landraider (Flamestorm cannons, twin-linked assault cannons, multimelta)
• Murderfang (special character dreadnaught with an boatload of special rules)


Hive Fleet Scorpion
Dr. Todd

• The Swarmlord—Bone Sabres,
• Hive Guard Brood of 3—Shockcannons
• Hive Tyrant—Scything Talons
• Toxicrene—Lash Whips
• Hive Crone—Tentaclids
• Genestealer brood—Rending Claws
• Tyrannocyte—Deathspitters
• Termagant Brood—Devourers
• Tyrannocyte—Deathspitters

Hive Fleet Chiggers
Chica James

Hive Tyrant with wings—Lash Whip, Bone Sword, and Scything Talons (psychic powers Catalyst and Warp Blast)
• 3 Carnifex—Devourers
• 3 Carnifex—Scything Talons
• 1 Genestealer brood of 8—Rending Claws
• 1 Genestealer brood of 8—Rending Claws
• 1 Venomthrope
• 1 Venomthrope
• 1 Lictor

The Battle

We ended up playing Eternal War: Big Guns Never Tire with a Vanguard Strike setup (diagonal split of the table). We rolled 3 Objective Markers (each controlled one at game’s end was worth 3 points) which all ended up more or less along the center line. Game would be decided by most Victory points (destroyed units, objectives, first blood, slain warlord, etc). The Forces of Good set up first and got the 1st Turn.

Set Up

The Astra Militarum was vehicle heavy with lots of heavy metal, plasma, and scorchie stuff, backed up by hull-mounted las cannons—all intended to stop the Tyranids in their tracks and make them cry. For footsloggers, the Guard called upon the wily courage of two 10-man squads of Veterans, each packing a flamer and two plasma rifles and mounted in a Chimera, one with a turret-mounted heavy flamer and the other armed with a multi-laser. A giant Knight Errant stomped around the middle of the battlefield, ready to give the Nids a taste of figurative boot leather (among other things).

The Space Wolf force was led by a Wolf Lord kitted out for close combat ass kicking (Armor of Russ 2+ armor save/4+ invulnerable save/-5 penalty to enemy Initiative in a challenge *which I always forget*, Helm of Durfast (reroll misses), and two Wolf Claws (reroll failed to wound rolls) who accompanied a Grey Hunter squad that brought along two plasma rifles—the pack leader was armed with a combi-flamer and a power sword. The pack took up position in the center of the diagonal battle line, set back a bit so it could blast onrushing ‘nids at long range.

A second Grey Hunter squad was thrown forward near the front lines on the low flank, taking cover on a fortified shipping container. It was armed with bolters, bolt pistols, additional close combat weapons, and two flamers. Its pack leader was in power armor and bore a storm shield and frostfang sword. Tagging along was a Rune Priest. The Redeemer lurked nearby to help hold that sector, its Flamestorm Cannons ready to make lots of crispy bugs and its twin-linked assault cannon and multimelta figuring to add to the carnage. Inside it was the Iron Priest with a boatload of servitors to try to handle the damage the ‘nids were sure to inflict at the close range the Redeemer would have to close to in order to start setting things on fire.

As a Carnifex solution, a squad of Long Fangs with 5 Lascannons led by a plasma rifle-toting Ancient took up a central, elevated firing position, ready to burn holes in giant bugs. The Whirlwind missile launcher was nearby, ready to rain down cover-denying Inferno missiles on anything scuttling around in large groups. Backing them up and waiting for the inevitable Deep Striking Bugs was Murderfang, his gleaming ice claws ready to Ginsu anything that got in range.

James deployed one brood of infiltrating Genestealers forward, uncomfortably close to my Grey Hunters on the front line containers. The other brood was near his main force. He had two broods of Carnifexs, each benefiting from Shroud from a Venomthrope—one set up for hand to hand badassery and the other all about the shooting with each one putting out 12 S6 (Living Ammo) twin-linked shots. (Yeah, those guys had to die). His winged Hive Tyrant was in the middle of his battleline, ready to fly forward and start beating on things.
Todd deployed his Toxicrene, the Swarm Lord, Hive Tyrant and Tyrant Guard. In reserve, he kept his Genestealers and Termagants, loaded into Tyrannocytes , and his Hive Crone.

Turn 1

The Grey Hunters thought briefly about leaving their position on the cargo container to try and get shots on the nearby Genestealers, but realized it would be suicide and opted to shoot long range at the Genestealers crossing open terrain. The Whirlwind tried an Indirect Barrage onto the huddled mass of Genestealers hidden below the far end of the forward cargo defensive position. It was a perfect target, so naturally, the barrage was way off the mark, the crew unable to correct the blind shot and it fell harmlessly.

The Carnifexs were able to shrug off most of the heavy fire directed at them due to the Shrouded effect conferred by the Venomthropes, one of which was wounded. The Toxicrene took a wound too. The Grey Hunters in the center of the board poured their fire at the Genestealers, taking some down, but one of their plasma riflemen forgot to bring along an icepack and was killed by his overheating gun.
The Hive Tyrant from Hive Fleet Chiggers flew forward with scuttling Genestealers in tow. There was a minor disagreement as the brood of Genestealers lurking in cover of the cargo container had originally declared they were trying to move up through difficult terrain to get on the container to set up an assault on the Grey Hunters, but James rolled poorly. They then moved off in another direction toward the Redeemer. I argued the Difficult Terrain rule says you roll to move into the terrain or you can choose to sit still if the roll sucks and that it doesn’t give you the option to move off another direction, but to keep things moving along, I allowed the move. The Chiggers’ Hive Tyrant used Warp Blast to take a Hull Point off the Redeemer (damn Lance rule) The Bugs had psychic superiority all battle long, which was a pain in the butt – particularly Catalyst which gave Feel No Pain saves.

The Tyrant Guard moved up and hit the Redeemer with their Shockcannons, and the Haywire effect took two more hull points off, leaving it barely in action. The Genestealers that the Whirlwind failed to hit now charged the hurting Redeemer, as did the Hive Tyrant. Things looked bad. Except the Hive Tyrant wasn’t set up to power through its armor. He was only S7 (+1 S with Adrenal Glands) on the charge and could only get a 13 at most, not enough for my formidable 14 armor. That was one seriously bummed Hive Tyrant (I think that in the limited Tyranid emotional spectrum bummed equals enraged). But things still looked grim for the Redeemer. The blob of Genestealers clawing it only had to get one Glance from their bazillion attacks (ok, it was only 32 attacks, but that feels like a bazillion) to kill it, which would be possible with their Adrenal Glands (+1 S from Furious Charge), and Rending Claws (extra bonus D3 after rolling a 6 for armor penetration). It would take a perfect set of circumstances to get that critical Glancing Hit – Hive Cheater McDonald would have to roll a 6 on his armor penetration, then a 3 on the bonus rending roll, which, when added to his S4 and +1S bonus for Furious Charge would give him a 14 (6+3+4+1=14). And he had 32 tries. Except he blew it. Not one Glancing Hit. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Turn 2

It was Genestealer roasting time. The forward pack of Grey Hunters left their defensive position and moved in and hit the Genestealers, who had attacked the Redeemer, hitting them with flamers and boltguns and wiped them out. The Redeemer and other squad of Grey Hunters killed the Hive Tyrant. I screwed up at this point, mistakenly thinking I couldn’t use the Iron Priest’s Mr. Fixit Autobody skillz to repair the Landraider if I fired its weapons, which wasn’t the case—it was if the Iron Priest shot.

The various LeMan Russes unleashed hell on the hand to hand Carnifexs and gooified one with concentrated plasma fire.
The Knight stomped in against the other brood of Carnifex and cut one in half.
Meanwhile, a Veteran squad who were guarding an objective tangled with the hand to hand Carnifexs. They lobbed all their Krak grenades at them—and missed (Shades of Nathan’s las cannons all over again). In the ensuing assault, the Veterans got their asses handed to them but the survivors fell back, abandoning the objective.
The Toxicrene on the low flank huddled behind a building, wounded and made no further move to advance.
Led by a deep striking Lictor, the Tyranid Tyrannocytes dropped in from space and barfed out Termagaunts and Genestealers into the good guy’s backfield though what fire they turned on the defenders had limited immediate effect other than getting the their attention.

Turn 3—A Sudden Reversal of Fortune

Things went terribly for Hive Fleet Chiggers. The fleeing Veteran squad rallied and killed a Carnifex.
Murderfang decided it was time to live up to his name and lit up the Genestealers of Hive Fleet Scorpion with his heavy flamer and stormbolter before getting stuck.
The Tyranids made a concerted effort to bring the Knight down and the remaining Carnifex from Hive Fleet Chiggers managed to fell it, but it went nuclear and avenged its own death by vaporizing its killers and a brood of Genestealers. Hive Fleet Chiggers was down to one lonely Venomthrope and a hand to hand Carnifex.
The Hive Crone swooped over the battlefield and fired its Tentaclids, finishing off the Redeemer with a salvo of Tentaclids, but despite this the Imperials felt confident having inflicted massive casualties for their own acceptable losses. It was just a matter of time before the Nids were wiped out to a bug.

Then the unthinkable happened....

Suddenly, word came down that the battle would be called after Turn 3. At first the bloodthirsty Space Wolves thought it was because the Bugs needed their beauty sleep and were crying ‘Uncle”, but much to the Wolf Lord’s chagrin, it turned out that the Imperial Guard element was under strict orders from the High Wife of Terra to return to its barracks by 9:30 p.m. – forcing them to pack up and withdraw before the joint task force could strike a glorious coup de grĂ¢ce against the hated Tyranids. Imperial analysts are convinced if the battle would have went the distance, the Emperor’s hammer strike would have crushed the Bugs. But as it was, the Bugs squeaked out a victory by 1 point. We’d destroyed a warlord and some heavy units, but they’d also knocked out some heavies and they had a unit in our deployment zone, and they controlled two objectives. The Toxicrene that we had assumed was huddling behind a building in fear was actually huddling over an Objective. Driving back the Veterans had been crucial as the Objective was no longer contested.
All in all, it was a good game, and despite losing it, the Imperials declared moral victory, sang a paean to the Emperor’s glory and departed for their home bases to leave the busted up Bug force to enjoy its Pyrrhic victory.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Six Man Gamer Tag Team Narrative

I have the good fortune to be playing games with some of my friends for over 20 years. Recently we've started a grudge match between Tyranids and the Imperium. Namely Astra Militarum and Space Wolves vs a ton of bugs. We tend to naturally fall into multiple game grudge matches when we play our regular games. So this can easily evolve into a narrative campaign. Having a professional writer and a college professor in the ranks will hopefully allow us to develop a story line and background.

What makes a campaign last for a length of time for our group is that we don't need the six of us every time to play. Each of our collections are substantial enough to fight any size battle we may need. Some of us even have armies that can fight on either side of the campaign.

The devil is in the details and book keeping so the next step is a briefing of our past conflicts and background of our forces and commanders.

The main thing to know right now is that this winged A-hole has been kick'in butt the last couple of games.

Tyranids 2

Imperium 0

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Salt River Rumble Results

An exciting day of gaming for the first Salt River Rumble on November 7th. A fun event with a couple of speed bumps but a good job of organizing the event from Dr. Todd. Thanks for stepping up and handling the tournament. Myself I pulled the rough job of handing out free stuff and shaking hands and BS with the players. Something I've volunteer to do again next year.

Here's Your Top Five

First Place: Herb Schaffer - Dark Eldar
Second Place: Scott Freeman - Orks
Third Place: Derek Page - Imperial Knights
Fourth Place: Cail Peterson - Daemonkin: Khorne
Fifth Place: Jason McCormack - Space Marines/Imperial Knights

Herb's Dark Eldar

Scott's Stompa doing bad things in my chemical pool.

Best Painted Army: Darin Shwartzman Astra Militarium

Thanks to everyone who participated and yes we're dumb enough to do this again next year!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pipe Works vs Imperial Knights

The great thing about all of the different types of terrain available for our hobby is that we can create a different environment every time we play. But this can sometimes cause confusion with some players who may be used to the typical flocked tree and cereal box buildings. Nothing against the basic terrain items but the same rules of thumb applies to all types of terrain.

First make sure you and your opponent understand the terrain and rules that can apply to the pieces before playing.

If your playing a scenario or tournament game make sure to check the rules and/or cross reference any concerns with the TO before you begin.

Unfortunately if you can't resolve a problem with a piece of terrain with your opponent role a die and call odd or even to resolve an issue. Keep the game going.
Remember this is a game with a cool pieces of terrain on a table. Don't let the semantics of a piece ruin you hobby time.

I've had some question about how to play super-heavy walkers around the Pipe Works terrain. Fortunately Dr. Todd has a Imperial Knight army that he likes to run through the pipe works terrain like a jungle gym.

We've been having Super Heavy walkers simply ignore the ground level pipe works and not benefiting from any cover as well. Monstrous creatures can ignore any movement restrictions put can gain a cover save depending on the model size.

Level 2 pipe works definitely slow the super heavy walkers down. We've been having knight roll for difficult terrain to cross the taller pipe section. The models can also get a 5+ cover save for within 1" of the pipes. The same applies for monstrous creatures unless the model can comfortably fit under the level 2 pipes.

Remember these are just guidelines for you to use if needed. Use and play the terrain to your systems rules or groups style of play..